Exactly. What shall I call this post? Or now, it has become, “I shall call this post What?” I have hamsters living in my head this week, really, I do! I am doing (or trying to do), so many different things all converging together, that I might just be losing the plot(s)…

I love spreading colour around on paper. I love overstamping that color and/or doodling on it. I love using the white pen to make highlights… I love creating a character and now that I am sketching aswell, I am drawing characters too! I know, right? Can you believe it? Me, drawing a Zetti-person (I say person, because I can’t decide if he/she is a boy or a girl…) – just sayin’!


So, whilst I was waiting in the Test Centre for Nick today, I drew this Zetti, now known as What?  It’s rather amazing to me and I also wrote alongside it, “It’s very surprising what you can draw when you give your imagination free rein + forget the rules…” You see, I sort of get the zetti, but I never fully embraced it before. Now I think I do get it, if only for this one single character, What?

This month’s theme for Sketchbook Challenge is “Highly Prized”. I can now address this issue because this spread represents all the arty things that I cherish:

I cherish all the wonderful people who have influenced and inspired me, read my blog and encouraged my artistic endeavours. I prize very highly all that I have learnt and continue to learn because I am an art blogger. You are all very special to me and when people ask me who my friends are, I think first of those of you who daily enrich my life – fellow-bloggers and artists – we have so much in common and aspire to inspire and nurture. That’s why I continue to blog and comment and join in with challenges, swaps, groups, etc. And that’s what I prize, very highly… that part of my life that is just for me! 😉

This entry is for Wednesday Stamper’s Dream Big; Take a Word’s Zetti; MaVinci’s Reliquary (latin text stamp).


Christmas robin padded collage!

“Robins” is the SPA theme this week and after leaving Nick to get on with most of the decorating of the “tree”, I had a bit of “me” time this afternoon. Apart from painting the row house assemblage/collage, creating a mini-canvas for TAW tomorrow and getting a bit too ‘painty’, I got out the sewing machine…

"Age 3 yrs."

I couldn’t find any images of robins in my stash so I drew him. Well, he’s not too bad, is he?!! Lots of recycled elements in this stitched postcard – the background is a paper cast from a previous GPP Street Teams challenge; the threads are leftovers from fraying fabric pieces, the leaf ribbon was gifted to me by Patty (Magpie’s Nest) a long time ago; the red gauzy (gold holly), ribbon is from a gift last xmas which I just cut up and used for the hanger too!

I am still knitting happily in the evenings and have managed 3 pairs of cable wrist warmers so far (sent one pair to DH’s best bud yesterday!!) and am playing with some very hairy, mohair leftovers at the moment, knitting stripes – something I haven’t done since I was a kid!!!

Looking forward to seeing who goes into next week’s Strictly final – my ultimate line-up would be Kara, Pamela and any of the boys (though I have a soft spot for both Scott & Matt), and I shall be recording the X Factor final results too!

Widen my vision…

What a strange phrase. Or is it? Sometimes I think we can all be incredibly short-sighted/narrow-minded, don’t you? People round here think we’re strange and exotic because we are multi-lingual and multi-cultural. Yes, we’ve lived and worked abroad, and if it weren’t for Nick’s health issues, we’d be off on more adventures again when DD has finished her GCSEs…

As it is, we’ll probably move again next year – where exactly is undecided as yet – exciting, isn’t it? Apart from the packing, etc. I enjoy moving. I like getting to know a new area, looking for new opportunities to get more out of life. I admit that I can’t comprehend living all your life in the same village and never venturing beyond your own borders… makes me shudder, I’m afraid!!

"Widen my vision."

Created for Mixed Media Monday Art” theme this week – open theme for all of us!

I used Stewart Gill orange paint and blue acrylic over a coat of pale peach emulsion (which dried quicker than my gesso – even with a heat gun!), in my altered book. I added the the collage elements and then used a 9B graphite stick to outline the text and smudged it around liberally. Lastly came the purple through punchinella and the MaVinci latin text stamp. All the other stamps are by Ria Vaneman. All the paint was applied with a palette knife and a sponge!

Art Envelopes

This is the latest challenge from the Three Muses… yes, it’s that time of the week again! Talk about propitious – I actually have an envelope ready for stuffing, to send off to an arty friend so I feel perfectly justified in entering this gaudy, hurly-burly, padded “Art” envelope!!

My kinda mail...!!

Apart from the Milano postage stamp (by Crafty Individuals), all the other (silhouette) stamps are by Ria Vaneman – the last ones she designed before selling on her artstamp line… I am so lucky to have them! Michelle Ward still has the old scraped paint influence over me at the moment and all the ‘muckiness’ is pure me!!

I received this very arty envelope recently from Bev – and what a beauty it is…

Cutie Patootie!!

How cute is that??? 🙂

"You've got mail!"

That says it all, doesn’t it?!! Wouldn’t it be great if the utilities companies (for instance), got some creative soul – maybe in their offices – to design a more cheerful envelope?  It would make receiving the bill itself far more pleasant and we could use the pretty envies in our artwork, making it greener!

Should I email them and suggest myself, d’you think?!! 😉

Feeling blue?

Sunday Postcard Art theme this week, using the scraped paint technique (again) from GPP Street Team Crusade #44

Blues in hiding...

An altered Home Impressions postcard, whence the image in the lower left hand corner… Stamps: my own handcarved Birdie and a PM foam swirl.

In a Scrape!

But not in a bad way, no! Just getting creative with paint, paper/cardstock, old plastic cards, etc. for making really cool background surfaces. When I first learned this technique, courtesy of  Trish Bayley, I fell in love with its simplicity and speed… Anyone who knows me knows how very impatient I am!!

I have used some scraped backgrounds for ATCs, etc. in recent posts and to be honest, it’s a great way of using up paint that you have left from other projects, rather than binning it! Jump right in, read how Michelle Ward goes about creating textured and scraped backgrounds and get playing yourself. The photos are brilliantly clear as always and the advice (hints and tips), is priceless.

Here are a couple of pre-painted cards I got “in a scrape” with:

Autumnal scrapings I

I used red, black and copper acrylic paint on this bright orange background. The hard part was waiting a few  minutes for the colours to dry so I didn’t muddy things up. (Why do I have this problem with waiting?)

Autumnal Scrapings II

I love how vibrant they are and I know I found it hard to stop when I did these last week – I was nearly late for work – *giggles*!

Come and join in with all the friendly artists in the Street Team Crusades – a very cool place to learn new stuff! 😉

GPP Crusade#43 revisited – Text Messaging

There have been some fab entries on this subject, including 2 videos by Christy – Dream Big Art Journal. I think her style is awesome!

I wanted to play with blocks of text cut from magazines, like Red, Tatler, etc. but which weren’t overtly all about fashion… Here’s the before:


You can read this different ways, but it emerges as being all about me! (My mate Tess would say, “Me, me me…!!!” to me and we’d both giggle helplessly while lesser mortals look on in astonishment!), but I digress. Now here’s the after:

Mommy Dearest is fading...

I merely added floating flowers in various colours – yes, I am at last learning to use pens other than black and white when I doodle! I was going to get out my Neos (as usual), but I didn’t want the stuck down text to get wet, warp, etc., so I used a charcoal pencil and a paper stump for smudging instead. Also, my Sharpie Poster paint pens are running out and I have to seek an alternative as I can’t get them here in the UK… 😦

There are over 30 entries to this month’s Crusade, so get over there and be inspired. Better still, have a go yourself! (It must be fun – I usually only submit once!)


Text Messaging

As Michelle would say… “How cool is that?!” I created a page this evening in my altered girls’ journal, scanned it into my PC and then went browsing, wondering if the latest Crusade (No. 43), had been posted yet. Imagine my surprise when I found it was there and all about using found text in your pages…

Although there’s no pressure to show a completed page along these lines, I have this one ready, so here it is!


I’m a sci-fi fan, always have been, ever since I read “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov. I don’t read as many books in the genre these days, but I love watching series like Fringe, Warehouse 13, etc. I recently watched the new J.J. Abram’s film Star Trek and enjoyed it hugely. That’s what prompted this page’s images, which I found whilst tidying up the lounge! The text is words I cut from a library bookmark – also found whilst tidying! Serendipitous I believe…

I shall have fun trying the linear style of texting shown by Michelle in the coming days. If you’ve never tried a Crusade before, please check it out – they’re fun, friendly and eye-opening!

Baby love…

Once I started thinking the phrase, I couldn’t get the tune out of my head!! “Babies” is Louise’s chosen theme for Sunday Postcard Art and I had time to play this evening so I’m in…

I continued with Michelle’s strips of paper (and fabric) to create this postcard:

Baby love...

Random, grungey rippings, stickings and stitchings! They became grungey when I brayered over the whole piece with pale purple and light black ink! The base is half of a large postcard I got from the local library, most of which I covered with torn strips of paper and fabric, held in place with a touch of glue, then stamped and stitched. Lastly, doodled and written on…

I am taking Kelly Kilmer’s online Memories and Reflections class and have made my first book cover – just the basic shell, ribbon closure and first part of the cover. At no time did I feel nervous or concerned that I might do something wrong. It was all very simple and so easy to follow that I know if I do make any boo-boos, I can simply cover them up and no-one will know (unless I tell them, or you!). That’s very cool collaging – totally reassuring and I LOVE that! ***

Strip Ease…

Michelle Ward suggests having a ripping good time this month for the Street Team Crusade – No.42

So, I took some of the papers on my desktop and dutifully tore them into strips. I like torn edges, so it was no hassle at all! It also made a big change for me NOT to do any sewing at all for this piece… Thanks for getting me back in the loop, Michelle. It’s been a while since I took part in a Crusade!

I got my altered book out – the one I use for journal pages – and began to stick the papers down randomly. I always wonder whether anything we do artfully is, in fact, random? Or is it all there already, subconsciously?

Random rippings and stickings...

Took that pic with my phone, so that you can see what I started out with… and this is what developed.

Love is...

So there’s some loose threads there, I know, right? But I was sitting right next to the sewing machine and it seemed natural to just grab some and stick them down too – in the name of my god, Texture! I used liquid glaze and some acrylic paint, gesso, stamps from my collection, my Neos and my favourite black and white Sharpie Poster Paint Pens… it’s been too long!

I shall do more pages like this again soon. I am committing myself to “Memories and Reflections”:  Kelly Kilmer’s online class later this month. My BBGF, Barbara Hagerty has been telling me about Kelly (whose classes she’s lucky enough to take in person too!), for the last 18 months at least, so I know it’s gonna be good!

It’s been almost a year since I last took an art class, so I am investing my earnings from sales of wearable arty things at Glastonbury in this class. I love that I don’t need to buy any new materials and also, that we learn to make 2 journals to use in the class too. How cool is that?

If you’re interested in what I’m talking about and want to know more, click on THIS!