Monday, 25 January 2016

Dream a little dream

A background of spritzer inks followed by stamping, a watercolour wash and some alcohol pens for the dots.  I tried to transfer the photocopied image using a blender pen but it just didn't budge or I was doing something wrong.

I didn't want to waste the image so I used a sepia alcohol pen to give it more of a vintage feel then I created a frame using some strips of paper I had sprayed ink over.  I really love the song, "Dream a Little Dream", so I decided to add a little pocket containing the first verse.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Down at the bottom of the Deep Blue Sea

The background to this page was created using my lovely Kuretake paints.  They seem to be a cross between a watercolour and a gouache paint leaving a good dense colour on the surface of the paper.  This made me think of all those creatures swimming around in the depth illuminated in the dark.   I created this using a mix of gel pens; Saruka gelly roll glaze pens, Mitsubishi Gel pens

I am quite happy with the final result.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Many faces

Here's an exercise in drawing faces which isn't my favourite thing to do.  I do like how it is lovely and bright though.  I was using my water based brush pens.

Friday, 22 January 2016


I  was looking through my stack of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazines and came across an interesting article called Visual Journaling by Melanie Testa (issue 24 May/June) . In it she shared a little of her process, one of which is using tracing paper in her journals.  When she is out and about she takes sketches of things of interest e.g. a bird or a flower, then she comes home does the research and draws it again, this time on tracing paper.  This allows her to be able to use that sketch again and again.

She uses tracing paper not only to sketch on but also to paint on.  Now this initially made me a little nervous.  Putting paint onto tracing paper will instantly cause the paper to distort. However Melanie suggests, "You can also play with the tracing paper's ability to stretch and expand while applying the tracing paper to your work."

Being a girl that uses what I have to hand I decided to try working on tissue paper.  I knew this would throw up more of a challenge but I was well and truly inspired and ready to go and here's the resulting page.

Within the page above I have created a background from left over wet ink and paint from other pages I had been working on so it was basically all ready to work on.  I sketched then painted my one year old jade tree onto the tissue paper then painted it using my Kuretake paints, I love their vibrancy.  Whilst waiting for the paint to dry I cut out some graph paper and outlined a couple of words to link to the plant.  I love my little jade plant, I found it on a cold December morning in 2015. I brought it home as a small branch.. Many people believe that the more these plants flourish the more affluent you will become or perhaps it's you won't be short of money.  Whatever the believe, I used to have one for coming on 40 years and then it just gave up the ghost.  No amount of water, sun, re-potting helped it.

I hope you enjoy the page.

take pART project: "You can find me right here" - week one

With the first workshop complete, I feel happy that I have come up with some very pleasing two hour creative experiences for the groups at Spalding and Boston Libraries.  This week, I showed the group how to make a folded star book using stitched maps.

Next week, the group will go on a journey of choice and learn how to make a meander book.

Thursday, 21 January 2016 the sea

Working with my Kuretake paints and table salt I wanted to create a beach scene.  The salt really does give it a textured, grainy effect which makes it almost impossible to work over in any detail so I decided to use a image transfer method using sticky tape.  It's an interesting effect to experiment with and it's great to see the reaction salt has on the paint.

The process is quite straight forward, but can be a bit unpredicable, some paper works better than others.

1.  Cut a small image from a magazine or book and place it image down on the sticky tape.

2.  With the sticky side of the tape faced up, wet the back of the image.  In my case it showed some printed text.

3.  Rub the surface in a gentle circular motion until the paper starts to roll.  Add a little more water with your finger when needed.

4.  Keep rubbing in this way until you see only the image and it becomes transparent.

5.  Now apply it to your project.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Growth and Movement in Plants

I  really like the fantasy almost ethereal quality to this page.  To get this effect, I sprayed the surface before spraying inks over the surface and allowing to disperse.  Once dried, I added small marks, dots and dashes using my brush pens.  Finally I stamped a fairy and added some text and illustrations from an old gardening book.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Echinacea Augustifolia

I love the colour palette in this art journal page. I've used yellow and purple to lay the bas then stamped into the surface using bubble wrap.  The flowers are from an old gardening magazine and I wrote the title with my Pentel black brush pen.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Peacock Feathers

This page is worked over some blue tissue paper with my brush pens.  These are vibrant and easy to use.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Make a cake

This was a good opportunity to further experiment with the alcohol pens.  Using a page from a book and using the title at he top of the page to inspire me.  These alcohol pens are vibrant and very easy to use.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Love is like a butterfly

Today my page was given a Japanese feel. I used red and orange as the page background.  Whilst it was wet I scratched into the surface and printed circles using an empty cotton bobbin.  I further built on that by layering butterfly photos from gardening magazines, some gold foil wrapping paper and a small piece of Japanese themed decorative paper.  Finally I used some clear nail varnish is some of the areas to echo laquering.  I have to say I am quite satisfied with the result.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Down in the Deep Blue Sea

Drawing people has always been something I have struggled with.  But practice, practice, practice is all you can do.  This is one of my favourite pages as the layout is layered and simply stuck down with glue stick and washi tape.

Thursday, 14 January 2016


A page with the feel of a chalk board listing four things that make me happy right now.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016


I love re-using items and materials found around me.  In this instance, I took a sample created for a workshop and layered it onto burgundy paper, then added it to a brown paper page which had a watercolour wash and a bubblewrap stamped over it using purple distress stamp pad.

The sample was created using decorative paper, a section of a map and hand stitching.  You will also notice that I have included a head binding taken from an old book, then just one word I was lucky to find in my scraps.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016


Threads and Chatter session one - A fiesta of pom-poms

It's good to be back making and creating on the Back to Books project.

Just to get the Threads and Chatter sessions back on track I thought it would be nice to work with colourful threads to create incy wincy pom-poms.

Carole Miles, the Project Leader always makes a lovely comfortable environment for the group to create and today was no exception.  There was tea, coffee and fresh fruit juice a plenty, plus fresh fruit and fruit cake available

We have moved from Kettering Buccleuch Academy to the The Resource Centre at Grange Place in Kettering

The group learnt how to make these tiny pom-poms using forks.  They are do-able and fun and as you can  see.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Plenty of Fish

The way I have been working on this journal is to create plenty of backgrounds and then return to work on the individual pages.

This background for this page was created using watercolour paints and table salt.  As soon as it was created it made be think of the sea and a finding Nemo.

The fishes and the lettering were created separately on white paper and cut out and stuck on.  It's quite a fun page, I love the expression and in this instance was using it as a way of saying there are many more adventures out there to be had.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Wild Child

Dramatic curls make up this young lady's look.  The page was given a wash with water colours then I adhered a small piece of paper torn from a disguarded book. Once dry I added a coat of transparent gesso before stamping the surface with found objects; plastic tubes, ends of wire bobbies etc using a Distress Ink Stamp pad.  Finally the image of the girl was added using Sharpie permanent pens.  I've a feeling that Copic or similar pens would be very useful for this job.  I know I have a few in a tin somewhere, I must hunt them out.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Quite Contrary

I love the poem:-

Mary, Mary, quite contrary 
How does your garden grow? 
With silver bells and cockleshells 
And pretty maids all in a row.

It conjures up all sorts of images in my mind.  For this page I used tissue, a textile wax drawing that I had left over from a workshop, acrylic paint, transparent gesso and permanent pens.

Friday, 8 January 2016

A Walk in the woods

Confronted by a brown paper page, I was inspired by the colour to link it with a walk I went on today with my husband and dog.

Very light wash of paint down the centre of the page then using strips of brown envelope and the trunks I drew simple lines to represent the branches, then filled the centre with a poem.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Be careful what you wish for

A lot of collaging makes up this page. Starting with a base page with a smear of purple ink on it.  I added some light grey book paper then inked over part of the surface, scrunching into it with cling film.  This was then layer with the image of the dark grey pot. The pink puffs of smoke were taken from some decorative paper.  Finally I drew the girl and added the lettering.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Home in the Country

Using the image of wooden houses in their cubby holes got me thinking about the song, "Little Boxes", by Malvina Reynolds.

In this page I used collage, coloured pencils, decorative paper, highlight and permanent pens.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Create, Amazing Doodles

What to do with a black page?  An excellent opportunity to work with white gel pens to doodle with a little collage.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Aqua Aerobics

So it's back to health and fitness.

I've noticed how, after three weeks of walking my new dog Lola, I am able to fit into trousers that were starting to get a little tight around the midriff.

So I've re-joined the local health and fitness centre.  When I arrived today, a good gaggle of ladies plus one man were doing Aqua aerobics.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Random Thoughts, Aims,and Desires

Had the yen to fill a page with things that are happening, about to happen and will hopefully happen during this the coming year.  I'm sure I will squeeze a few more ideas in there in the days to come.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year - I wonder if I could manage a Daily Art Journal?

And so another year is other and a new one begins.

I quite often see people doing daily challenges and I've always wanted to have a go to see if I can keep up the momentum along with all the other things that happen in my practice.  Over the last few months of last year I was experimenting with daily writing which I got quite into.  I used it as a way of decluttering my mind from all the things that clog me up, make me worry or anxiously ponder over.  It started as a decluttering of the mind to becoming quite auto-biographical, then evolved into what I had achieved in the previous day and things I was hoping to achieve in the present day.  Although useful, I found it quite time consuming and restrictive.  I think on quieter days, it could be useful, but not so much on the days I have to dash out to do a workshop or attend a meeting.

I also dipped into art journalling, which I see as a way of combining the daily writing and sketching randomly and enjoying the moment.  I am very focused when it comes to my making.  I have an idea, I research it, draw down ideas, sample, adjust and come to a conclusion whether to take things forward or not. I never allow my mind to wander creatively unless it is to explore craft techniques.

So this year, with my upcoming Africa trip I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get myself into the habit of using a journal-come sketch book to explore random ideas, thoughts, experiences etc.

Today,  I've used a little view into my kitchen.  I adore my vintage teapot which is akin to a Cosyware version although it had a bobble missing.  I tracked down one that may look out of place to others but absolutely perfect for me.