Kids’ speak…

I was waiting for DD whilst she took an exam yesterday (Maths!). I had the very colourful fabric journal with me, a big old pencil case and a little ziplock bag with Neos, rubbers and a few more pens in it! (No wonder my bag is always so heavy!)

The composition is mine, but the layout is pure Kelly Kilmer! The writing says…

“The language that kids today use, is as colourful as my pages… They can be so abusive without at all meaning to be rude or give offence. I love talking to kids I don’t know, because we listen to each other & engage, with no preconceived ideas or opinions about each other. It’s merely the subject of our conversation that unites us briefly. Share a thought with a young person TODAY.”

Listen to Who I Am – Hear ME ….. Look Beyond My Attitude…. See Me

I got a few curious looks (as usual), as I sat there writing, drawing, pens in mouth, waterpen dribbling into my top!! But hey, I was in the “zone” and I stopped when I felt I was finished – about 15 minutes before DD!

In explanation of the above, DD took her exam outside school, in a Skills Centre where they run full-time and part-time educational courses for kids who don’t fit the “norm”. Listening to them, we got chatting, briefly, before they all went off to class, and I found it so interesting. So enlightening… and I listened to them and saw who they are – briefly.

Maybe one day I’ll be in a position to work alongside kids like those teens… who knows? 🙂


Musical Musings May 30th

Thanks so much to GLENDA for hosting this prompt!
The Prompt: Faith
The Song: Heaven help me by Gretchen Wilson
Product/Technique: Wings
I have rambled a bit and was trying a new technique to create this page – journalling in the journalled word… if that makes sense? It’s a “summer camp” thing! I’m trying to describe how I feel about Faith
I must explain that this is a handmade watercolour papers, art journal. I made the journal on the Supernova AJ Class with Julie Prichard in 2009. It has pages bound to tapes which are stitched into a fabric cover… I know, right? It is a really lovely AJ. However, I don’t like the papers much although they take media very well. They’re just hard to collage onto and write on.
When I took Kelly Kilmer’s Memories and Reflections class, a lot of emphasis was on page layout and composition for collage. I used Kelly’s templates with paint in this journal, instead of paper. The paints are a little bright/loud but the concept is good… So I have 5 or 6 layouts painted up in the journal, onto which I can collage, doodle, journal, etc.
The text-tape is something I picked up from Julie FFB recently!! Very quick and very cool – oh and really cheap! 😉

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!! 😉

Another shade of green.

I didn’t blog much last week: Too busy with destashing and sorting. I didn’t even get messy till today, and I missed it so much… This is a watercolour background that I didn’t like and had no idea what to do with. So I got out my fluid acrylic green paint, sprinkled some drops and squishes over it and went at it with my favourite MMT (mixed media tool): The Brayer.

Now I had a mucky, pretty green background to create with. I started clearing up my workspace and moving containers around and I started to spot green stuff – ribbons, fibres, a little scrap of fabric, some viney ribbon from Patty; some great drawings from a book of Churches that I bought because the drawings are so cool and the paper feels good (if you know what I mean?).

So I used gel medium to stick my collage elements down this time. I don’t always because it can make writing or colouring on them tricky sometimes, but I wanted to retain the detail in these drawings, so a little gel medium over the top was in order. I had the urge to stitch the textile elements to the page instead of sticking them down, so I got the sewing machine out. Here’s the page in its raw form…

Although I liked it, I wanted to add depth and shading, but I didn’t want to spoil this page or work directly onto it, so I compromised by copying it. Even though this is a colour copy, I was surprised initially by how ‘flat’ it looked. Here’s what a little pencil and pen added to it looks like…

Enhancing the copy!

So this is for Take a Word (Green) and I find it awesome that the curved arch means I can also submit it to Tammy’s NoFrills #16 – Curve. I shall go back and play some more with curves I expect, although this started with thinking about the distance between two points. It made sense at the time – what can I say?! 😉

Double Take!

When I saw the typo in the title, that’s exactly what I did! Double Tkae indeed – and I’m an English teacher – hah! I have no excuse for the frequent typos, I have no idea why I can’t touch type either. I can’t even use predictive text… you should see some of the things I used to send DD before I learned to turn it off!

Anyway, I digress… this week’s challenge at SPA was to use the same image twice in our postcard art. I started with the makeovers again yesterday – sewing machine, scissors, ironing board out upstairs and I cut 3 pairs of fingerless gloves from an old lambswool waistcoat (now awaiting embellishment before they go to the Etsy shop!); I converted a shiny black dress into a bag (awaiting handles) and even made the zipper go round the corner!!! I cut and tore strips of silk up for the prettifying and sewed up a sweet pair of variegated blue wristies (that have a matching hat) to photograph and Etsy later… I have also started the sleeves of the jacket I was knitting back before Christmas, so I was in full-on, artisan-mode.

I decided to take advantage of not yet having put away the sewing machine this morning and create a fabric postcard. I have some beautiful vintage playing cards with the same image on every one which were ideal for the theme. I get Linda Matthews  newsletter every week and she shares some beautiful tutorials, etc. I am often inspired by her (textile) projects and I wanted to try the simple scrap-strips method she showed one week… although I didn’t use the iron, I just stitched them together.

Seeing double...

It’s such a pity the metallic ribbon on the right and the shiny gold fabric on the left don’t scan well, but you can just see the red metallic thread I used to stitch the images down, can’t you? I know metallic thread can be tricky to stitch with – mine broke once when I was sewing through the brown suedette strip – but if you stand the spool on the table behind your machine, the thread seems to flow more freely and not get stretched to snapping point.

That’s a tip from a Cloth, Paper, Scissors newsletter last year!! See, I may be very eclectic and untrained, but I do pay attention sometimes! The reason for this foray back into stitch, knit, sew is really down to my bookbinding buddy ***Billie (Billie’s Craft Room), whom I first ‘met’ in JP’s Supernova Journalling Class. Billie has been picking my (in)expert brains about interfacing, threads, knitting, etc. We haven’t met in real life yet, but as we are moving later this year, it’s a pretty fair bet that we will sooner or later… 🙂

***See Billie’s blog for loads of tutorials about crafting items, reviews, featured artist of the month is a good read too! And, if you need help, Billie’s bound to respond quickly – she’s very kind (and a Twitter addict!).

So, this is a long post, innit? But, I might be too busy embellishing and stuff to write much this week – we’ll have to see how it goes. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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.


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).

Long, Tall, Skinny work…

That title describes my favourite journal to work in – which I learned to make in 2009 on JP’s Art Journal Supernova course. I can’t believe I have very nearly filled the book and will soon have to make another one! I think one of the seductive things about it is that all the pages are made from A4 sized cardstock, so I tend to think “A4” when I start to collage/paint a page. That gets me into a “framework” mode…

Anyways, I sat creating this spread on Friday, which was such a release as I have been knitting in my free time and sorting out images for the calendar too. Who knew that that would take up so much time – getting the right images for each month, etc.?

Angel, birds and flow...

I was playing with a few new things that I had ordered from Jacksons – namely some watersoluble pencils – in grey, indian ink and sepia tones – and a couple of new Neocolours to use in the Willowing coursework. I also tried mixing acrylics, watercolours and pencils, charcoal and pens – being very experimental.

I drew/painted on the round roses, the fat birdie and the angel; I used my own birdie stamp and the latin text from MaVinci, plus a small dragonfly stamp from Personal Impressions. The musical notes appeared because I have been trying to teach Nick’s parrot Gizmo  a Christmas Carol. She does a fair amount of random “singing” anyway, so I thought the “falalalala…lalalala” from Deck the Halls would be simple enough – considering she can sing “Food, glorious food!” from Oliver… She normally picks a new ‘thing’ up within a week or 10 days, depending on how interesting she finds it. Earlier this year I taught her to say “Yeah, baby!”, which she loves and she learnt that one within a few days, so…

***How odd: WordPress won’t let me “live-link” at the moment, so I can’t do much about that, sorry! I have been painting an angel today, as the final part of Tam’s free course which has ended now. It’s sad, but what a fabulous amount of people joined in and how we have all grown by doing this. The course isn’t closing, so if you’d like to try it yourself, then click on the badge in my lefthand side-bar to go see what it’s all about and watch the videos.

**I loved that song – Aliens want your underpants, or something like that… It made me giggle the way Tam set it to music and sings it while she’s painting!! What a lovely person she is! 🙂

Something old, something new…

The last Three Muses Challenge set for 2009! Made me think about what I have done this year – the painting class I took with Julie Prichard which re-awakened a desire to paint; the bookmaking class and art journalling Supernova workshop in September which brought a whole new skill set plus an introduction to Art Journals.

I still enjoy collage and altered art, but I am now drawn to watercolour painting too! For the first time in ages, my table upstairs is very tidy and I have packaged up a lot of unwanted supplies. (A definite new departure for me!!) Some of these are up for sale on Heavenly Auctions and some are for the grandchildren of/and friends!

Anyway, here’s my interpretation of the theme:

So, yes, although the altered page is from the old girls’ annual and layer painted with acrylics, suddenly there’s a landscape and valkyries in there too! If you saw my previous post, you’ll understand…

Happy New Year to you all out there in Bloglandia! I’m looking forward to painting my Guardian Angel next week!! 😉

MMM – On the Wings of Love.

Well, I get to play Guest Host again today over at Mixed Media Monday… and I challenge you to create a piece of art (in any format), using “On the Wings of Love” as inspiration.

I chose this theme because it illustrates this mixed media canvas which started as a Layer Love Lesson, on canvas, and then progressed, slowly over a couple of months, becoming this canvas for DH’s birthday. Raven is his nickname and both these birdies are image transfers, using images from Ten Two Studios…

A little more detail…

Yep, that’s me on the right! The tags read, “Birds of a feather flock together, and love one another forever and ever…”

So that’s the story behind this 12″x8″ canvas! You probably recognise the handcarved stamps, and additional accents were made with Sharpie poster paint pens, bits of scrim (like string) and wool from the Scrapstore! Hope you join in with this week’s challenge – I look forward to seeing your creations!