From boy to man…

I’ve been trying to get things sorted and done, put away, etc. at home but I’m not really feeling it at the moment. Life is complicated, uncertain, mixed up and downright messy, isn’t it? So today, I have distracted myself with a bit of digital play (for Theme Thursday’s “men/masculine” challenge) using some original vintage photos/photo postcards from my collection.

Coffin and Beardsley are the gentlemen in the foreground – turn of the century, Edwardian Music Hall actors. The boy is a very soft and blurry vintage photo, and the crack is one of those new brushes – cool, huh?!!

I told my BBF Barbara that I am knitting a bag – in an effort to sit still and keep the bad foot elevated! – and that it’s cable (I like patterns and a challenge!)…

I don’t have anything remotely resembling the top, fluffy bit, so I guess I shall be improvising!! At the moment I am over halfway up the first side and I’ll post pics when it’s finished. I sent my friend Debs, who recently acquired a gift shop in Redruth, near Truro, a big box of handmade pendants, pins, cards etc. and she’s sold several domino pendants, an art pin and a couple of cards, so I had to pack another box up for her today! Nice!

And here’s a quick pic of a reworked watercolour sketch I did the other day in the garden, thanks to Jane Davenport!

Although she’s unfinished, I feel a lot happier with her now than I did before!

Wednesday Stamper closes its doors…

I think this is so sad as I’ve been a participant on and off for the last 3 years or so. But, everything comes to an end and new challenge blogs emerge and life goes on as people get busier, etc. In honour of their closure, I wrote haikus and created this page:

“We flocked to their blog

and we created with joy:

every week was new.

Their challenge awoke

sparks of creativity

In all who took part… “

So farewell to WS and I wish you all joy and peace and creativity…

I am adding this to Theme Thursday’s “Wings” theme, which inspired the page originally! The stamps are a combination of handcarved and commercial. 🙂

Thinking happy thoughts!

I’m trying hard to, although I admit to still being quite uncomfortable and in a little pain… I had my first ever mammogram today and to be quite honest, it was far more distressing, uncomfortable and downright painful, than I had expected. I knew what was going to happen because I watched a short documentary about  breast screening last year, but I am just thankful it’s over. Now to wait for the results and hope all is well.  One of those necessary evils I suppose.

So, I am glad that Wednesday Stamper’s theme – “think happy thoughts” and show what makes us happy came to lift my spirits. It’s been such a busy few days that I haven’t spent much time with hands on creating, more a quick sketch here and there in the odd waiting room!

There are lots of things that make me happy – art, stamping, paints, etc. are the obvious ones, but combining them is joyful too! I spent a while today messing about with walnut ink crystals. I bought them well over a year ago and had never even opened the tub, so my backgrounds are a lovely deep brown in places and I did some stuff in my art journal too (but that’s for another day!).

This would be my first choice – poppies! There are few sights that delight me more than a field of poppies, nodding their pretty heads in the breeze! I passed a clump of huge California poppies in a garden this afternoon and that was how I came to embellish my poppy-head stamped image with the red paints! That fits nicely with Theme Thursday too – gardens… 😉

And, this little character also makes me smile happily! I have stickers in my fat pencil case and they “fell” into my hand whilst I was rummaging for my Inktense pencils…

I know, it’s Hello Kitty! I can’t help it – I love these stickers!! 🙂

Fingy to the rescue!

Meet Fingy Finnegan, friend to the Little Folk… I drew Fingy a while ago, at the same time as Saffy Valentine and he was languishing in my desk drawer till I was motivated to finish him. Well this morning, someone told us there was a fluffy kitten wandering about, obviously lost, so Fingy flew off to rescue the poor mite. If anyone knows whose kitten this is, we’ll be happy to return it!

Fingy Finnegan finds a kitten...

Created for fun – and Theme Thursday animal!

Kitten – courtesy of Google images.

Spikey – in orange!

Introducing another new face in my collection of pretty ladies… Meet Spikey and today, for Theme Thursday, she is resplendent in orange! The original is a sketch that I later painted (last night, actually),  in shades of red. So, today I got to practise in Photoshop, with hues and brushes and I really like how she turned out! Thank you Theme Thursday for pushing my envelope!

I like the magic of the changes of colours when I play around In Photoshop – it’s either dramatic or subtle. Most of the time I overdo things, but I am trying to get better at subtle/soft…

Here are a couple of “before” pics:


I hope that seeing what I have been doing for the past 3 – 6 months has encouraged you to re-use your images, drawings, sketches, etc. in new ways. I have learnt some really useful skills thanks to people like Tam @ Willowing, who inspired me to get Whimsical; Strathmore artists – Pam Carriker and Linda Blinn have now given us 2 free workshops with more techniques and advice; Tammy from Daisy Yellow is a constant source of inspiration and ideas; Traci Bunkers shares her world of handcarved stamps and art journalling; and not forgetting Julie FFB, who started me believing that I could AJED (Art Journal Every Day)!

 There’s a lot out there and it’s amazing to me that I am finally discovering my own style. I like my processes and my ‘madness’ or ‘weirdosity’ because, in all honesty, it’s who I am… Interestingly enough, the fact that I have had to use what I have all the time, every day, and haven’t bought any new art supplies for ages, has, I think, helped in my development. (But don’t tell Nick, okay?!)

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.

Safflower Saffy Valentine

From playing too much Sacred 2 Fallen Angel this week and concentrating on home and Accounts, I was very productive last night. I heard from my online pal Billie (very clever, very talented lady) and she has fallen in love with the Flowerpot girl, so we are doing an ATC swap. I decided to draw her again and along came 4 other characters, all vying for attention. I drew each one in my watercolour handmade journal, working from the back towards Blue & the Jesterbird.

This morning I scanned them all into my PC and then I printed Saffy off onto a different art journal page where she became colourful, vibrant and “loved up”!

Anyone can catch your eye...

I haven’t tweaked the colours in Photoshop, all I did was add the words. I’m happy with her!! This is my entry to  the Three Muses “Quotation” challenge and Theme Thursday’s “Words” this week…

I wonder why we have these bursts of creativity? I am not feeling the writing part of journalling at the moment, but I really am enjoying the drawing! So grateful for small mercies! 🙂

Tag-love, or Love-tag?

Just messing with you! Here, because I can, is a tag made from scraps using only what was on my desk at the time this evening,  a “tag” for Wednesday Stamper and there is “Love” in it  for Theme Thursday (white hearts, I love that poppy stamp and my triple Cherry Pie stamp where I have only used the “art” bit…)!


Recycled an old shipping tag which was uneven, so I made a feature of its oddness. I cut it a bit more and then wiped some black paint over it, added some Quin Azo Gold (I have been making journal backgrounds!), stamped the poppies, added the leftover bit from the ATCs a few days ago, stamped the Muse and trimmed it, all the while adding layers to a couple of pages in my art journals.

My hands are filthy, I love this tag, I have 2 more pages to work on and tomorrow is another day. This li’l rottweiler is going to watch a film** and go to bed….

** “Did you hear about the Morgans?” starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant!

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.

Dark + Victorian!

For the Three Muses “Victorian” challenge this week, I created this page in my altered Girls’ Book!

"We are not amused"

And Queen Victoria wasn’t amused, was she? The Victorian era was probably the most mutable in our history – complete with double standards, the Industrial Revolution and Victoria & Albert, (also my favourite museum!!)… I used brown and black acrylic paints scraped across the page for the background, and silver paint to represent steel (through the sequin waste). I think it has a bit of shock value, don’t you? Well, I hope so, because I also want to use it for Hels’ Sunday Stampers “Paint it black” theme… I’ve used my MaVinci latin text stamp liberally Hels, and also my RV barbwire too!

Less demanding, the Theme Thursday Dark, Gothic and/or Halloween challenge… used to be my fave time of the year, but not really these days *yawns*! All images used on these altered game pieces (and the collage), are from Ten Two Studios – Lisa has a very dark section… 😉

Doesn’t the application of aged mahogany distress ink round the tiles look a bit like blood??? *grins*  I also created a rather outrageous mail art piece which will be on its way to London tomorrow – did a swap with Jackie aka Jester Crafts! So, I won’t show you that one till she has received it. 😉