A little something inspired by Created by Hand this week. I receive the Quietfire Design newsletter – I love the calligraphy stamps and some of the lovely products too! The red+blue struck a chord with me because I use the colour purple quite a lot.

This is the first art journal (book), I ever made thanks to Julie Prichard!! The only thing wrong with it is the Khadi papers. Great texture, too absorbent for me though, but the edges are cool! I use red and blue a lot in this little journal!

The image is a transfer from a Boots the chemist free magazine. The woman was on one of the “agony aunt” pages, with the lead title of “We talked it out…”, etc. She’s a clean image so I decided to use her for a quickie transfer. I’m taking Quinn’s Workshop – Raw Art Journalling – and I have given myself permission to make RAW art – imperfect art, because I can get very hung up on perfection… No, really, really control-freakishly annoying to myself!!

You see how there are a few spots where I rubbed too much of the image away? Not perfect… I can live with that, because it sort of goes with how “smug” I find articles like that! The speech bubble says: “We talked it all out… we felt a lot better although nothing changed.”

I also enjoy writing around an image, just for fun, to see how the words flow, or not! I drew the little flowers with red and blue Inktense pencils and blended them with a waterbrush.  I also bought a very cheap pack of pens recently -2 black and 1 red – simple gel pens, for 99p, and surprisingly, they’ll write/sketch/doodle on almost any surface! They probably won’t last long because they are so handy!!!

Just one little tip for people who struggle to get rid of the white “fuzzies” of paper left over when you have rubbed to the image on your transfer: Using your finger, apply a very small amount of mineral, vegetable or baby oil to the image transfer and watch the image shine out. It’s “magic” and I must give credit to Bev Wauer and Lesley Riley of the Inkjet Transfers Yahoo Group. I’ve been a member for about 4 years and they are so helpful and friendly! 🙂

The finished leather journal…

Yay! Today I managed to sew the signatures into the leather journal and take pics. I also took pics of the Oilcloth Tote I sewed myself last week after reading the Kath Kidston Book! So be prepared for a photo-post!!
I used one of the art journal painted pages from my Layer Love painting workshop for the inside covers, both front and back. It feels right!
All the signatures are scrapbooking papers, junk mail, etc. It’s a fun journal… 😉
I must admit that sewing the signatures in place was quite tricky, but by the time I’d done the second, I had the hang of it:
That middle page is one of my art journal backgrounds printed out onto an aviation book page. And I did the same with a Gospel sheet, which looks quite different!
And there you have it…
And then there’s the new oilcloth tote bag:
I’ve had this piece of oilcloth hanging around for over a year in my fabric stash and finally, I felt inspired to make it into a big old shoulder bag/tote for parcels, groceries, etc. The only thing I regret is not including a pocket for my phone and purse (wallet). However, I have since crocheted a phone carrier, so 1 out of 2 ain’t bad!!
To stop the strap from sliding off my shoulder, I used some plain twill (recycled curtain ties!) and some fancy machine embroidery stitches! Fun and practical as it actually works!
If you want to find the tutorial for the art journal, it is HERE on Ilse’s blog. (Artist in Training).
So, between all this handmade stuff and real life, changing the blog theme and having issues with the photo uploader which won’t let me post a photo where I want to, life is pretty calm right now. I am wondering if this is a “calm before the storm” thing? Maybe I am just a pessimist!! 😉

Crazy or inspired?

I wrote recently that I had made peace with the fact that art journalling can be about merely putting pencil, pen, paint to paper and keeping your words, emotions, etc. private, hidden, or even off the page… Here’s what I painted yesterday, in my Long Tall Skinny Journal that I made with Julie Prichard in the Supernova class. I only have one or two pages left unpainted, but I know I can soon make another journal, so I am not too worried!

This was paint over collage, inspired by Tam, from Willowing. She has become rather taken with this technique and it appealed to me, so I tried it out.  Here’s the finished piece, just worked on with pencils and pens and actually, I have journalled around her, in very small writing, but significant! It’s about DH’s reaction to her – he thought it was like seeing a face though a hole and he didn’t like the crazy hair… 😉

Just face it!

I think the colourway, being experimental for me, was influenced – subconsciously – by Matisse images I had seen earlier in the day… I like the colours though, and the addition of blues and yellows to the face is something I might have been able to learn, but it’s more fun to experiment sometimes, isn’t it?

I need to link this to Theme Thursday’s “Crazy” and also to a wonderful post – The Everything Book! – by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer… of  Art Journalling Every Day fame.

Win an online class…

Julie Prichard and Chris Cozen are teaching an online mixed media class together. So exciting! And you have the chance to win a place for FREE… Go HERE and check out the video these very talented ladies have made.

I have taken 2 classes with Julie Prichard and found them fantastic: I learned a huge amount. Julie was constantly in the group, answering questions, supporting us all the way. The classmates were fab – we encouraged and egged each other on, pooled knowledge and (in some cases), resources, and I have made new friends too!

If you’ve been considering taking an online class, don’t hold back, here’s your opportunity, take it! Carpe diem and all that (Seize the Day!) You couldn’t start with a better teacher and what you learn will last you a lifetime! Yeah! 😉

PS – If you’re wondering why I’m not taking this class, but promoting it, I’ll tell you. Simply put, I can’t afford to take a class right now. If I could, it’d be this one!!

Spill it!

I like Carmen Torbus’s work – a lot. I mean, she’s inspirational and “messy” too – gotta love messy because I identify with that. One of these days I’ll shoot a video and you can see and be amazed, that given my working conditions, I can still produce art!!!!

I want to take her online class. I’d love to take this class because it’s like a culmination of the other 2 classes I have taken with Julie Prichard – who taught me about paint, mediums and layers; who’s still teaching me about Art Journalling and who taught me to make fabulous books. They overlap a bit, and I am pretty penniless at the moment (about to lose my weekly part-time jobs, too), so if I promote “Spill It”, I get an entry into the draw to WIN this workshop…

…and then there’ll be NO stopping me!! So here’s Carmen, with a sneak peek at what she does:


And here’s why I want to learn this…

I want to be able to make that kind of art. Simples… 😉

Layers of Colours

The latest lesson in our online painting class invites us to explore layering colours, using inspiration from papers or ephemera of our choice. I received the most beautiful postcard from Crafty Individuals (last year, I think…) and decided to use that for my piece. The colours aren’t ones I would naturally choose to combine, so I am really chuffed (pleased!) with the result.

Here’s my postcard:


And this is my layered colours piece…


MMM – Layers

Diane challenged us to use “Layers” this week at Mixed Media Monday and as I am taking Julie’s Layer Love Class, what could be easier than to show you Lesson #4 as it turned out?


This on 9″x12″  canvas, using acrylic paints and Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint. All it lacks is words and images… so, although it’s not finished, it certainly has a lot of layers.

I’m thinking a crow, a phrase and a black rose may well fit right in there. I’ll be sure to share when I add them!

Sharing the (Layer) Love!

This is my latest painting following JP’s  wonderful class – Lesson 3 – Old World Golds…


I am learning loads and having such fun! This is my favourite one so far – I felt more in control as I worked through this page. I even went back and watched lesson #1 again and I understand it much better, so I look forward to doing that one all over again.

This one is really shiny and feels a bit like oilskin to me – or one of those vinyl tablecloths. And I got more and better drips this time, too! I know it sounds silly, but it’s such a boost to my confidence every time I overcome another tiny hurdle. Yay!! 😉

Layer Love #2

The second lesson in our fabulous Layer Love Class was based on Julie’s “The Old Man & the Sea Calling to Me”. It looks beautiful! I haven’t got many colours and I am now positive that I need to start a collection of Golden Fluid Acrylics. I love how easy they are to use and I have to focus on transparent colours, cos by adding Titan Buff or Titanium White, I can make them opaque if that’s required – see how much I’ve learned already? And this was only the 2nd lesson!!!

I didn’t have Quin-NAG (Quinacridone Nickel/Azo Gold) for the ageing look because it’s out of stock at Jacksons – as Lisa said… it’s always the one colour you really want that’s OOS! Never mind, it’s due in on Tuesday, so maybe next week I’ll have it. In lieu of that, I was tempted to use copper acrylic paint, but I went with a runny gold from a Tortoiseshell Painting kit I found at a car boot ages ago!!! Enough waffle, here’s the painting!


I am so much happier with how this one turned out, despite the fact that the colours are so different from Julie’s. I am really excited to see what lesson 3 will be about and I am really looking forward to reworking my 1st piece and practising my head off! This class has become something of a revelation to me… I really enjoy the process, the support from the other students, Julie’s a great teacher – d’you know she comments on EVERY single piece of work and gives tons of encouragement too. I am a fan!!

JP can be found HERE… xo

Layer Love – #1

I took my first lesson in Julie’s Layer Love Class yesterday and finished it off this afternoon. I am not entirely happy with what I have produced, but I am ecstatic that I am learning to apply colour and work with different mediums to change the properties of paints… so here is my first background – an Aged Red Page.


My DD commented that it looks like the opening sequence to a James Bond film – where the shot is fired and blood drips down the screen? I think it looks a bit like a Vampire’s lair… but then I would, wouldn’t I?!!

Onwards and upwards. I hope I get time later this week to repeat this exercise… perhaps using different colours – maybe blues or greens… we’ll see!