That used to be the way that “oriental people” were described, back in the old black and white movies’ days. I remember watching Charlie Chan films with my Mum when I was little, on BBC2 on a Saturday afternoon – we also watched a lot of musicals!

So, for me the term oriental has many inflections…


I started out making the background with strips of torn masking tape to leave space for journalling – trying to be a bit more disciplined!! Then came the walnut ink and some watercolour tones of brown.

“When I collaged this page I was thinking about the “state of GRACE” and that no matter how much you want to RAGE against the Machine, it doesn’t pay to rant and scream. It’s better just to try to maintain your dignity and keep your self-respect by rising above it all and preserving a dignified silence.”

It was unfinished, so I added colour and shading and some doodles, plus more detailed text… At the top I wrote:

“Although she looks very beautiful with her hazel eyes, I bet she’s not inscrutable, like the oriental races are… or appear to be! He has his glasses to hide behind.”

“Is it really better to live a minimalist life? Should we really discard things and not invest them with memories? Are we just too sentimental? Too steeped in the clutter and ownership of possessions?

Is “less” really “more”?”

Ironically, the Fortune Cookie paper at the bottom reads: You have a keen sense of humour and love a good time.

For Take a Word – “Oriental”.



5 things or more…

More journalling in pencil on the opposite page to yesterday’s. This is where I answer the questions (aka prompts) from Sharon. To create the page, I simply pasted the printed out questions, then painted the background in varying shades of green – green and purple are the Feng Shui colours of abundance, so I am using them in this exercise…

What 5 things...?

I confess to finding great beauty and serenity in the colour green. It’s the colour of growth, renewal, new shoots and there are so many varieties of greens, I could probably use it for a complete canvas! I wrote in pencil again and I have used some beautiful stamps – Diva Impressions top right is one of my faves. The rest are either by Personal Impressions (butterfly), Cherry Pie or Home Impressions. The doodling is a white Signo gel pen and a darker green triplus fineliner from a set by Staedtler. Love my pens!!

Beautiful is the theme for Take a Word this week. See everyone’s entries on the blog.

**** NB: I just wanted to add a link HERE to Neil Pasricha’s talk on, which is funny and inspirational. I thoroughly recommend you sit and listen to his talk for the 17 minutes duration – I am sure, like me, that you’ll end up with a smile on your face! 😉

AJED#7 Inside Out!

I’m still working my way through Sharon’s wonderful 5 stages to defining my 2011 and I have to say, I am enjoying myself hugely. As I said to her, the more I write, the more occurs to me and I lose myself in the page. I don’t have time at the moment to set aside proper time for art journalling. I sit with a tray on my lap to support my French Kitty book, a glue stick, my printouts, scissors and a couple of clear tubs which hold my most used pens and pencils, my tin of Neocolour Brights II and a waterbrush.

+ve, or positive

That quote is the motivation for this page and subconsciously, or intuitively, I have drawn and doodled the things that make me happy too – the bird is one of my favourite stamps from Ria’s erstwhile Gothic Arch plate: I can’t tell you the number of times I have used it on all sorts of art projects. My own handcarved birdies are much more stylised and the ones I have painted are simple, rounder and fat!!

The “beanstalk” probably has psychological connotations too, but the round flowers hark back to my “be beautiful” roses and the passion that remains for that style! The big, fat flower is the centre is yummy, isn’t it? If it were real, it’d be velvety and lush, and awfully strokable!! The +ve is a reminder to remain positive despite, or in spite of all the obstacles that “life” throws at you (and there have been more than enough already this year, thank you!).

The plain border stamps are my own. I must admit that the penwork was tricky, because the only one of my black pens that would produce a line on top of the oil pastels was a Uniball Eye – thanks Tam!! I used a slightly thicker rollerball for the writing however – still Signo though – fab!!

Don’t forget to check out the other journallers at AJED and there’s also a Strathmore Onliner you can take for free, with some very talented ladies like Pam Carriker showing you how they journal too!  You’ll find yourself in great company – lots of fellow-bloggers are there already!! 🙂

AJED#4 with a twist!

So, onwards and upwards… Day 4 of Art Journalling Every Day and I am also blogging every day too! I have a non-art blog where things that I find funny, interesting, annoying, etc. go. WP issued all WP bloggers with a challenge this year – to post every day or to post every week. It’s very easy to start a blog and then later, find it can be difficult to keep blogging. The trick is not feel guilty about it, one way or the other…

Anyways, I digress. I am not a great goal-setter or resolution-maker. I always aim too big and get really fed up when I fail to make the (often unrealistic), goal I set myself! It’s human, isn’t it? I think I have enough auto-critical stuff going on in my art without setting myself up in every other area too, don’t you?! So, I found this lovely, sensible, arty lady called Sharon, who shares her wisdom on her blog – My Story Art.

Sharon is showing me a new way forward this year… and here’s one of the journal exercises I did yesterday: Step 1 – Take an Inventory…

All this... from 2010!

I took an old A4-sized French Kitty Diary (where I dabbled with a bit of journalling last year), and stuck down some plain paper to cover the print, and also the Questions I had copied into Word and printed out. I worked quite freely through the exercise, trying to focus on the positive and left space at the bottom for a little arti-phi-cation!

I am peeping out into 2011!

I have always loved that *eyes*stamp and I didn’t even think too hard about my choices, but they feel right and I really like how the page turned out! I adore the colour orange – ever since someone told me it’s the colour of creativity!! – so when I am not sure what colour I need, I invariably plump for the orange! In keeping with that I doodled a tiny orange flower at the end of each statement too!

Sharon’s process is sneakier than bare-faced Goal-Setting… and I suspect we shall end up doing just that eventually; we’ll simply arrive there at a slower pace, with less stress, knowing exactly how we came to those conclusions. Well, I think that’s the idea, anyway! 🙂

Guess who’s on her wishlist?!

Wishlist is the theme at SPA today, chosen by the formidable Fatma… Here’s my entry postcard!

"Ho ho ho!"

Those great fun images are from the Silly Santas collage sheets by Lisa Vollrath at Ten Two Studios. They’re fab and I have lots of “Bah Humbug!”-style fun with these images, as you can see. All the stamps are from Ria’s Christmas Sheet, handpainted holly berries by moi! 😉

I’m painting a mixed media background on an 18″ x 14″ canvas for my “Angel” from Tam’s online course. Her new “Magickal, Mythical Makings” class has opened now for registration, is that’s your ‘bag’. I’m still going to buy the Fabulous Faces DVD so I can draw and shade better and bigger faces… although they might be “slightly monstrous” or somply “dark”! The experimenting will be fun!

I also have a 3D altered collage on wood in progress… a row of houses, waiting for more ‘stuff’. This one will be fun to complete so I am taking my time.

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!

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.

One for sorrow, two for joy…

Remember “Magpie”, the kids’ series? That inspired my thinking for this week’s Three Muses challenge – “Numbers”. Here are a couple of ATCs with a scraped paint background and some stamping over fusible lightweight interfacing: for sorrow...

...two for joy...

We shall be going fishing tomorrow with a family friend and I think we will probably giggle more than we fish… I just hope the weather stays reasonable!! After all the tension of the last few weeks, we need a break – health issues for DH, a very weird and nasty family situation for a close friend and yet another school for DD. Good thing this is the last year of it, is all I can say and… Art really does save lives – I am living proof. 😦

Past loves, old and new…

Collage play with paints, Neocolour IIs, my old altered book, collage images and some stamps – my own handcarved and the wonderful crow from Home Impressions. I wanted to see if my random collaging has changed since practising with Kelly’s templates, but apart from placing images first, I think it’s as random as ever. Maybe I have improved on a subconcious level!!

Hip and Hop wanted to grow as big as Sally...!!

Created for Sunday Stampers and Mixed Media Monday, with deep joy, because I haven’t had much time to paint and collage for a few months, and it’s something I really enjoy. Here’s to patience and outcomes, oh and a little luck with the prize draw over at The Artistic Stamper’s New Blog…!!


We have now finished the wedding saying!! Hah! So, a new challenge begins at MMM this week and we are to show “playthings” in our artwork… Here’s an ATC I created featuring a dolly, some string and staple – a few of my favourite things, although I would have to admit that I never have liked dolls very much and even cut my Tressy doll’s ponytail off one day! Ooops!

"Baby Doll" (yuck!)

The background is brayered distress ink on an old book page, stamped with Home Impressions stamps, which I love! Sadly, Ria has sold her line of stamps but they are still available to buy from the new owner in the Netherlands… The ATC blank is a matt board one from Habs and Nabs – Ebay shop!