Blue and the Jesterbird…

What a great title for a book, no? I have been trying to draw every day, but it’s really more like every week I make a concerted effort to start and complete a drawing from scratch. Blue was born from a fertile imagination, and a desire to draw faces in monochrome to practise shading on a different level. That sounds a bit serious, but I was really playing with media again!

Blue and the Jesterbird

This is them just painted last night. They appear in the centre of my M & R Book, along with “What?” – hence the line down the centre, which is the waxed thread I use when making my own books… Here they are collaged. Blue is saddened by the music of the Jesterbird, so he sings her The Flight of the Bumblebee to cheer her up…

The Flight of the bumblebee...

I don’t think the music has quite had its effect on Blue, but maybe, in time…

Music is this week’s Wednesday Stamper theme and as bees and flowers remind me of “Spring”, I thought it would fit nicely with this week’s Theme Thursday.

The Journal Journey


It all started in May this year when I took my first ever online class – in fact, my first art class for over 30 years! I joined The Lost Luggage Network and started learning to paint with Julie Prichard. The Layer Love Class was where Julie introduced us to the techniques she uses to create beautiful, richly textured paintings and journal pages as deep as any sea!

It was all so new to me and quite honestly, a bit overwhelming. I was out of my depth at first – there were artists in the Group who really knew about colour and combinations. Me? Clueless! These people knew what ‘mediums’ were. Me? Obviously not psychics or clairvoyants, so what then? Again, clueless! And so on…

Well, that now seems a long time ago and these days I can tell you about the basic mediums, which I like (and, more importantly, why!) and I can explain to DH how he should be applying “x” and how to thin it, etc. etc…. So, I learned a lot and enjoyed the process so much, I joined the next online Class Julie is teaching – Supernova Art Journalling.

If you read my posts regularly, you’ll have noticed a slight change in format – I do more painting and pages than cards and ATCs, for example. It’s a “journey”, with a capital J! In Part 1 of Supernova, we learned to make 3 different styles of books – all of which I have shown here on my blog and on my Facebook page. In Part 2, Julie is teaching us tips, tricks and ways to journal, artistically speaking.  Just like the painting was, this is totally foreign to me and I am slowly getting the hang of it.

Journal writing per se, is what I do when I blog, because it’s simply “show & tell” where I show what I create and often explain the hows and whys of what I’ve created. I started explaining the inspirations behind pieces slowly this year and I am learning that I can paint and journal pages which are a little bit more revealing of my self – like telling you “Who I am” with a page in my art journal…

Anyway, I was so delighted with the journals I was making in Part 1, I took the plunge and opened my “Studio” (online store) on a month or so ago. Here are the latest 2 journals to make it into the store… (Should’ve been 3, but my friend bought it the other day!!)


See, not just layered, but collaged and stitched too! How cool is that?!! Here’s a closer look at the collaged bit on the front (yes, it’s repeated on the back cover too!)


And then there’s the Blue and Mauve Journal… yummy!


And those gorgeous Fabriano Mediovalis watercolour papers used to make the book block – superb for journalling, writing, drawing, sketching or painting! If you’re looking for Handmade gifts this Season, take a look HERE and see all the wonderful Books on offer… I have another book just waiting to be covered tomorrow and then I can start painting the next cover.

Any colour preferences? 🙂

Back to School…


GPP Street Team Crusade #33 is all about learning something new and…. I am! I am taking Julie Prichard’s Supernova Art Journalling Class I and II.

In Part 1 we are learning how to make 3 different beautiful, handmade books. Now that’s a challenge in itself as I have never dabbled in bookbinding before and the technical terms are enough to make you boggle-eyed to start with. Then we also had a few supplies issues here in the UK – not as many choices as the US students – but what a grand group of artists… we all managed, with Julie’s wholehearted backing, to share UK suppliers’ details, etc. and helpful links. A few of us have joined forces and shared the cost of buying in the journalling pens Julie cannot live without and we also have a sympathetic online Art supply company who are making sure that we can also buy the wonderful quality Fabriano papers that JP uses for her beautiful handmade art journals. All that spirit of cooperation because Julie is such a terrific and supportive teacher.

I took Layer Love earlier this year and Julie taught me to paint with acrylics and mediums and I learnt a huge amount, so when she said she was preparing an art journalling class for September, a lot of us cheered and said we were definitely taking part in that one too! So, some of the friends I made during the first class are back again, like me, for this Supernova Class. How cool is that? (as Michelle would say!).

I am not a class junkie, I haven’t the time to be… but I am a Julie Prichard fan – not in a sycophantic sort of way, but in the way that you are a fan of someone who can impart knowledge clearly, support you as a group and an individual and care that you are getting what you want from her Class. She’s no Diva when it comes to the classes and when JP says she’s here for me, I know that’s true and that gives me so much confidence.

Book 1 – a handmade journal I made using different materials from Julie’s – improvising till I get the hang of it – I gave to my DD and let her dictate the cover papers…

Next came the 2nd book, again improvised to make a notebook for a friend who’s back at college this week, and using experimental covers from another arty friend: I liked them so much I then asked my arty friend how to make them and learnt a new technique too!

 Then came the Long Tall Skinny book I posted HERE and the book I shall use for Class II, where we shall learn about Art Journalling. Book 3, the Fabric Book is a work in progress, which I am hoping I manage to complete this week. I have the fabric for the cover and the block is half-sewn… what an enjoyable experience this is…

Credits: Julie Prichard – for sharing her skill, talent and secrets and enabling me to acquire new skills of my own; Billie (Billie’s Craft Room) for sharing her knowledge of bookbinding and supplies; Julie (Jacksons Art) for excellent customer service; Fiona (UK Artswaps) who’s letting me have a sample of her very precious Japanese paper to paint on…; Sarah, who sent me needles, thread and beeswax, paper and a RAK!; and Stephanie, who let me share the costs of the AJ Pens; and all the lovely members of the Supernova Group 1 Class, for being so kind, encouraging and supportive of each other. So here’s what I am learning this month. It’ll be interesting to see what the other Crusaders are up to… 🙂

Technicolour Sunset!

Mixed Media Monday’s Guest Host this week – Beth – has made the most delightful quilties, depicting what “Time of the Day” means to her… My take on this challenge was to draw my interpretation of sunset, which is by far my favourite time of day, using a charcoal pencil, Neocolours II soluble crayons and a new black Pitt Pen. The Pitt pen is fab as it’ll write, draw or doodle on most any surface! Not terribly keen on the white Posca pen though… it’s brilliantly white, but as leaky as a bucket!


I simply roughed out the lines with a charcoal pencil, then added shades of the Neos, finishing off with my own ‘poppy-head’ stamp and some fine line doodling…

Since some of you have expressed an interest in the handmade books I am learning to make over at Julie Prichard’s Supernova class, I thought I’d share a few pics. Here’s the first book, which DD fell in love with – she chose the cover papers:


And a view from above so you can see the raggedy papers…


And this one is my 2nd, to be gifted to my friend Caz, who’s returning to college soon and will probably find it handy as a notebook. I used sturdy cartridge paper for this one:


Once you start making books, I can see how easy it is to become addicted! The tricky part is finding the right weight and quality papers to make the book block, but I am making more books on the pretext of experimenting with what I have in my stash, while searching for something affordable of good quality. I’m sure the ‘right’ stuff is out there, I just have to hunt it down!

“Old school!”

I must admit that I was less than enthused about this week’s theme of “School” for the Sunday Postcard Art challenge, but then that’s what challenges are great for – pushing you to create something even if it’s not your fave subject.

I found these images on The Little Dickens Sheet, along with the clothing atgs and ticket in my Ten Two Studios stash. I did get a complete finger and nail covered in alcohol ink without realising… good job I didn’t pick my nose, isn’t it? (Sorry! but it is about schoolboys…)


Suffice it to say, I thoroughly enjoyed myself making this!! I think my buoyant mood is also down to the fact that I succeeded in making a better job of my second handmade book, so that lifted my spirits!! For anyone who’s interested, I’m taking the Art Journalling Supernova online class with Julie Prichard, who is patiently trying to teach numpties like me, how to produce beautiful handmade books, which we can journal in, give as presents, or sell!

It’s a fascinating process and doesn’t take as long as I thought it would – great fun and a great, friendly, supportive class! 🙂