Category Archives: art journal




Photo Challenge Prompt: MUSIC

Ronovan’s Haiku Prompts: BELLS and RING

I know many of you will be getting festive, but I am retreating into my own little world of creative solitude – bliss!!!!!

Haikus don’t seem to be flowing at the moment, maybe I’ll add one later if inspiration strikes.

The photo above is of a textile book I am putting together as a Baby Book, i thought Rock-a-Bye Baby would be good as the centre page.

I’m making pocket to tuck little records indsc_0010-1

and photo frames and a pen holder inside the front cover


Sending you all a pocket of peace.




Creating Pages

Eager to continue making more textile books I stopped off to buy lining wallpaper on the way home from Margate and started making some more paper pages even before I unpacked the car. The creative force was far too strong to resist.


The colours and the random shapes made make my heart sing ….


and following Frances Pickering‘s method the process is quick, simple and serendipitous!paper3

providing a background for adding doodles, text and photographspaper4

and then I had an idea to use strips of torn paper to act as a resist to the dye and add to the patterns


and am excited by the results


the last one thrills me to bits, I’m going to see if I can recreate this effect again today.

Now I’m thinking I can use this colour-washed paper for greetings cards and homemade postcards for the Post Card swap.

Going into mass production!

Textile Art: #1

I had a delightful day today learning how to make textile books with Frances Pickering.

imageSuch fun tearing fabric and sloshing paint to make the pages. This is going to be the first of my 9 pieces of textile art for my 16 for 2016 list.

It feels so good to be using bits and pieces I have had stashed away for years.

imageAll the pages are made, plus a fastening and a dinky bookmark.

Tonight I’m thinking about what to put on the pages


I am LOVING it and already have ideas lining up for the next 8.


Looking forward to tomorrow!

Garden Diary

Whilst blog-hopping I came across this blog: ‘My Garden Diaries’, it’s great, have a look. The title woke up that little nagging voice I have been ignoring for a while. That voice says “keep a garden diary”, so that I can look back and know what I was doing (and when) in the garden.

I want to create an Art Journal style diary, and did make a start – YIKES! back in September 2013!01c

Since then other things keep pushing themselves to the top of the priority list and painting, collaging and journalling seem to have slipped away – (sad face!) So, I have a plan: If anything to do with the garden has happened since my last post, I will add a bit under the title ‘Garden’ at the end of each post.

Yesterday I had the joy of picking a bulging bag of rocket and winter salad leaves that were sown by my Grandchildren with seed I had collected from my own plants. rocketVery satisfying, especially in January. The rocket (that bushy row of green on the right of the raised bed) was sown by Master R back in late summer, it is most peppery and delicious. And it is great to look back at the photos of the children painting the boards of the raised bed boardswith left over house paint (add orange and scarlet to the above mix and you see the colours of my kitchen in my former old thatched cottage – I miss that kitchen and its bright welcome!) raised bedAnd then poster paints for their pictures. Miss E had the brilliant idea of sketching her design with water firstsketch




We put the beds together, and filled them with soil and compost (Master R just LOVES making compost!)



and sowed seeds in pots ready for planting out later



wrote labelslabels

and a few weeks later there was planting, weeding, wateringgdn

and more labelling to be done



A quote from Daisy Yellow’s blog


“I recognize that knitting can improve my mood in trying circumstances.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Arty Crafty Workshops

We’ve been having fun at our Arty Crafty Workshops in the Village Hall.

In the first session we talked about altered books and making our own stamps and stencils:

0c 0c1 0c2For some it was hard to tear out the pages of a book but everyone seemed to enjoy messing about with paint.

Introducing the magically relaxing game of doodling was generally thought to be one of the favourites.

One of the most satisfying comments, for me, on the feedback forms was “Very enjoyable, brought out my inner child” – Hurray! – that’s what I am aiming for – makes me feel all warm a fuzzy inside!! And one feedback form even had some doodles on it – fabulous!

This week, ‘Granny’s Crafty Tricks’ was designed as a workshop for grandparents to have a few craft ideas up their sleeves for when the grandchildren come to stay – especially as the days get shorter and we are looking for things to do inside.

I chose crafts that I have done with my 6 and 4 year old grandchildren, that have a touch of magic about them, and that can also be done in a more sophisticated way with all ages and for oneself if you don’t have any kids to play with.

First tattoo a banana!




here’s one I did earlier, using the picture of a butterfly laid over the banana and going round the outlines with a pin.

0c5 Everyone went very quiet as they worked on their designs – and as the Hall has Wifi, I could show all the amazing designs and even some videos on the internet.

And LOOK!!!

0c6 0c7 0c7a


a bit of magic for teatime!

Onto pop-up cards – a bit more of a brain tease, but worth it in the end …….. I hope!

0c3 0c8


A really wonderful group – up for having a go!

We then played around with names, letters, sigils and mirror writing with some doodling thrown in. As ever, time ran out really quickly and there was just a few minutes at the end to demonstrate decorations that can be made with an empty loo roll. And again I was able show the fabulous examples one can find on the web.

Next week: Messy Play and Sticky Fingers!

Can’t wait!


I have been preparing for an Arty Crafty workshop I am running on Thursday. We’ll be doing some Art Journal style album making and I’m getting some examples ready by Gesso-ing lots of altered books



making up little packs of stamping and stencilling supplies



and at the same time …… gardening

I seem to have to grasshopper about – it drives other people mad but it IS part of my creative process and I’ve had to learn to live with it!!

One of my most long-standing and greatest friends gave me a wonderful garden based cornucopia of gardening bits and bobs for my birthday and in it were these cute seed packets



from a Somerset company, Pennard Plants.

I didn’t get to sow them this summer but have just sown the half- hardy annuals in one of the veg trugs.

01eI mixed them with sand and sprinkled them in clear shapes as advised by Monty Don (swoon) of BBC2’s Gardener’s World, so that I can see what the young plants look like when they come up. Then they will be all ready to plant out in my new beds in the Spring.

Back to the altered books001A page from a gardening book I am altering, leaving some of the flower pictures shining through.

It got me thinking – I love the Art Journal style but I don’t really want to keep an Art Journal which is why I do photo albums for my grandchildren – BUT a Garden journal – hmm – now01c that might be something I would like to do – a place to keep all the seed packets and a record of what I sow. Now that feels exciting!!

and a way to keep all these lovely seed packets


oh more hours in the day please ……..



There are little pockets of time when the world stops spinning quite so fast and one steps into some kind of heaven – lunch with old school friends in a beautiful peaceful haven of a garden gave me just such a blissful time on Saturday .shady corner

Everything about those few hours seemed to be in a bubble of delight, and now I so wish I had taken lots more pictures of Anna’s garden: the pond surrounded by irises, the Himalayan Musk climbing roses that scrambled up through the trees, 40feet and more, the brassicas which looked worthy of a Chelsea garden, poppies and foxgloves all in whites and pinks and some trying to be peonies.peopop

The lunch was delicious. I was introduced to flat Spanish peaches, which I have never seen before, they are quite small and so sweet.


We had them with raspberries and strawberry and champagne creme fraiche mmm!mmm!

and the paper napkins…… My friends do not blog, or read blogs or spend much time on the computer, so they were bemused as to why I might want to photograph a napkin!


Love those colours together!

And the cute mug of tea after lunch..cup

But you dear readers understand, don’t you!

Inspiration for doodles, colour combos, journaling etc etc….. I might print the pic of the napkin and use it in a photo album spread some how

And I bet the knitters and crocheters also understand why sitting in a gorgeous garden, chatting with old friends after a delicious lunch in the sunshine with a cuppa and crocheting is just about as near heaven as one can get!

tea 2

Anna has also grown a magnificent Rambling Rector rose, tumbling through a tree near her front door, the scent was an extraordinary mix of spicy scents – was it Campari, with cloves and cinnamon.. the smell reminded me of something and I just couldn’t place it. I was so intrigued by it and Anna gave me a bunch to take home

roseswhich I put in a wine glass with ladies mantle and feverfew. I snipped a few of the older blooms off, but couldn’t throw them away, so they float in a little bowl found in a charity shop and they sit on my bedroom windowsill, catching the light and letting the magic of the day stay with me a while longer.

Thank you to Anna and Jane for such a special afternoon.

Here’s to us all finding a pocket of heaven in our world!



Great idea Tammy of Daisy Yellow to share the links to 5 blogs

Here are some of my favourites:

Quinn Creative

Great thought provoking articles with lots of links to other blogs and art journaling.


Scrumptious crochet, wonderful colours and stunning photos.


Art in nature and other beautiful photos.


Colour, colour, colour – generous blog with so many wonderful tips on quilting, knitting and painting projects AND a beautiful garden.


Fabulous textile tutorials.

Relaxation, collage style

I have returned home from Wales thick with cold, so I am having a very cosy time in front of the fire today.

Last night I was feeling too tired to do anything that needed thought or planning, and having read Daisy Yellow’s post ‘Cut and Paste Therapy’, I decided that was just the thing. There is nothing more relaxing than thumbing through a pile of old magazine’s tearing out stuff that catches your eye.

I made a pile of ‘whites’ and so a collage grew. It is about A2 in size and on card gathered from the local Scrapstore, which had already been used for a project I did with a youth group ( I LOVE to recycle!)


Already, even through the tiredness and my cotton wool brain, ideas were beginning to form.

This morning I finished tearing and gluing and then cut the card into post card sizes. . . .



. . .  and made a few more cards for the Spring Post Card Swap.

I have added some of my crocheted daisies – daisies being a mini-obsession of mine at the moment …


. . .  some machine stitching and couldn’t resist trying out some doodling with a white gel pen.

The weather here must have been affecting me more than I thought as these definitely have a wintry feel – Spring 2013!

Altered books

These are the 6 books I am working on at the moment, all bought from charity shops.


I am working on them in the ‘Art Journal’ style, which I love , but I will be using them as albums. I have learnt so much from the generosity of other bloggers and I’m sharing some of the tips here – sadly I have not recorded where each tip came from, but most will probably be from the creative blogs listed in the Blogroll on the right.

The photo albums are for each of my 8 grandchildren, containing all the cards, photos and little notes that are sent to them at their Christenings. (2 done, 6 to go) ! I also include some family photos and the family tree.

Rufus (now 3) loves motorbikes so his cards are going in ‘Classic Bikes’.

I have already done Rocket Ru’s, his brother Bertie’s will be in the Winnie-the-pooh book because his Mum LOVES Pooh bear.

altered books

I work on several at once, first I take out the centres of the groups of pages sewn to the spine


as there needs to be room for all the cards and collage that will go into the album.

When I first started doing this it felt so wrong to be tearing up books and painting over text – but I am giving them a new life – and fits with my obsessive need to recycle as much as I POSSIBLY can.


I use Gesso to cover the text. Hence needing to work on several at a time allowing drying time, between pages.

Gesso has a slightly rough surface when it dries and provides a better key for acrylic paint than the shiny surface of the printed page.


There is no need to cover the text completely.



I use acrylic paint and a really good tip I got from a painting course years ago, is to put just a little water under greaseproof paper and then use this as the palette, it stops the paint drying quickly.



Having Gessoed the books, I can paint in several books at once to start building up the colours and textures. And using a home made stamp of chevrons I also try it out on all sorts of other papers to build up a supply for collage.


A closer look at one of the first pages in Rufus’s book.

the fitted suit

A post on the Process Art journal reminded me if this fable told to us by our tutor when I was training to be a Counsellor:

The Fitted Suit

A man went to tailor to have a suit made for him. He chose the very best cloth.

When it was made, he returned to collect the suit, it looked wonderful, he put it on.

He looked at himself in the mirror and noticed that the left side was slightly higher than the right, he told the tailor.

The tailor said, ‘Oh, that’s ok sir, if you just hold it down with your left hand it will look fine.’

The man held it down with his left hand.Then the man noticed that the right collar stuck up a bit.

‘Oh that will look fine, sir, if you just push it down slightly with your chin.’

The man pushed it down with his chin.

The man looked in the mirror and saw that the suit looked fabulous, the cloth was very fine, but he noticed that the right leg was slightly longer than the left.

‘You can remedy that by holding up the right leg of the suit very slightly’ said the tailor.

The man looked at the suit and it looked great.

The man left the shop in his new suit, and walked across the park.

Two people were sitting on a bench and saw him. ‘Look at that poor crippled man,’ said one.

‘Yes, but he has a wonderful suit,’ said the other.


Continue reading


Inspired by the Art Journals i see on other blogs, i have started making the photo album of Rocket’s Christening.

The diagonal lines on the left were done with a stamp i made out of an eraser. And I used a ‘pointy circle’ Balzer Design stencil to compliment the church window shape.

Hope you like it! Rocket’s Mum does and gave me permission to post the page.