Saturday, 28 December 2013

The Journey Continues

Hello blogland

I haven't logged on since my last post in October with the mundane almost pulling me under but I'm still continuing with my theme of "Uncharted Waters". The theme continues to reveal itself as relevant more and more in all aspects of my life which is amazing if not a little spooky...

Entry two of my Uncharted Waters journal
"I Must be a Mermaid"

Over this Christmas break I had the great joy in being reunited with my best friend of old. Huge thanks to my friend who has read my blog and told me I must continue to post as I was feeling at a bit of a loose end with it. I am starting to wonder if it needs a focus? Or should I just enjoy documenting my journey? I have no idea where I'm going with it but isn't that also exciting? 

Entry three "Beautiful Freedom"

I feel as if I'm done with being afraid of the unknown and am choosing to set sail and see where the wind and waves take me. Wish me luck...

Happy arting everyone


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Uncharted Waters

I recently decided to theme the second half of my art journal as "Uncharted Waters". While browsing the internet for themes this one leapt out at me - so much potential and so much imagery from oceans, ships,  pirates and mermaids to the healing power of water. There was also the idea of doing things I hadn't done before, pushing the boundaries and exploring. So exciting.
 Page one of themed section
of journal
The theme seems to be following me around as potential change arises in my every day life allowing me opportunties to embark on said uncharted waters...funny how that happens.
As for my art, well, yesterday I went for a medium I have been wanting to work with and hadn't gotten round to. Perhaps lack of time and also a lack on confidence. Here are day 1's results :)

Square canvas

 Rectangular canvas board

 I am so excited about this new way of working and have plans to keep exploring, keep pushing myself and ventured into the unknown. It's fantastic when you feel as if all your previous art works, journals and general art play have lead you to a point.

Happy arting everyone!


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Smash it in!

Over the summer I accidentally made a smash book. If you're not familiar with the term it's essentially like the old style scrapbooks - you glue down anything you think is cool, fun, interesting, linked to a memory, humorous etc.

However the term "Smash book" belongs to K and Co -check out this very short, fab video here.

I heard of the term smash book quite a lot via art journaling people but didn't really look into it until I saw some of K and Co's products at a local art shop. I then watched the above video and to my delight realised I already had my own smash book! Check out the pics below of what I had made up to that point:

London Trip page 1

               London Trip page 2

Using own photography 

I think because I also employ other media the lines between Smash booking and art journaling are a bit more blurred but I find this method such fun! It's also a way of using my altered book which I tried to use as my regular journal but didn't work out. The book is An Illustrated History of England and I love incorporating some of the images into my pages.

Cool stuff I like plus art play

A work in progress

So, why not have a go at Smash booking? Hark back to that child who lay on the carpet gluing odds and end into a scrapbook for the pure joy of it? 

Happy arting everyone!

Friday, 20 September 2013

How strange everything is today...

It’s been an odd few weeks, summer holidays were great and as soon as the new term started I felt such a shift in myself.
I have grown into myself more, my career plans have changed and I’ve gone back to my life long love of literature. All in a few weeks, people are marvelling at the outward changes as my appearance has altered too and I feel amazing.
I was looking at a photo of myself from nearly three years ago and it shocked me because I hardly recognise that person…
Thanks to all my nearest and dearest for supporting me through this transition, it’s making everything seemed in half a haze as I change and grow and now it’s gathered momentum it feels like outside of my control…Scary and exciting at the same time.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Scrappy snappy fun

Hey folks

It's been a very busy summer so far with art projects and a short break to the coast. I've been continuing with altering my planner but have also got stuck into scrapbooking! Last year during our seaside holiday I intended to scrapbook the memories but it didn't happen until now. 

I've been really busy getting it together and fresh back from this year's holiday I am so keen to crack on. I'm not going for the usual format of one or two photos per page but three and I'm using double spreads too. My knowledge of mixed media art journaling is easing the way as is the excellent Scrap365 magazine, it's pricey but it's been invaluable. 

I've also been busy snapping away with my phone camera creating some very satisfying pics...

I had a till like this as child and found this in a charity shop which begged to be snapped.

Who doesn't love a vintage tea shop?

Happy arting everyone!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Look what I've been doing today...

Today I've...

splashed in puddles

baked home grown redcurrant and choc chip buns

and made water turn blue and yellow like magic.

Who needs hot weather for summer holiday fun? :-)

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Order, order!

Lately, I've been doing quite a lot of organising - washing bedding and soft toys, sifting through the clutter in my 10 year old son's room and sorting out some of my art and craft supplies.
I love it.
I love to de-clutter and be organised.
I get excited when I get a new Ikea catalogue, see articles or, even better, pullouts on the topic and love the sense of peace it brings. Having a clear out is good for the soul, it's a purging, cathartic process. I also think it links to my love of art and design - finding that visual balance and harmony. It also impacts on my day-to-day life in that I find a lack of organisation frustrating, it can make me very stressed and so, if it's outside of my control, I'm having to learn to let it go.
So, when I came across a blog about how to alter your filofax/organiser I was immeditaly excited. I have a gorgeous organiser by Paperchase which I use regularly:

However, when I watched some youtube videos on this subject I realised I wasn't making the most of my organiser. Check out this one by Little Red Moose for starters :).
I had such fun altering my organiser making new sections and adding gorgeous washi (paper) tapes, stickers and cute paperclips. I'm genuinely making more of it now and am sure it will evolve as I go along.
Check out this photobucket link for the full set of pics.
So, why not have a go if you've got a similar organiser lying around just waiting to be altered?
Happy arting everyone

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

TAT with Jennibellie!

Hey everyone
I'm very honoured to be the featured artist for Jennibellie's TAT Tell All Tuesday this week! Check out the link and also have a mooch around Jenny's awesome blog if you haven't already!

Thanks a lot Jenny for your wonderful comments :).

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Bardic Moments: An Age of Slumber

An Age of Slumber

The landscape like a sleeping woman lies.
Tresses of birch, oak and ash, sprawl and tumble
to her shoulder of rock,
curved hill of hip meets the horizon.
One slender ridge outstretched,
to cushion her weathered head.
To trek across path strewn feet,
ramble up grass swathed thigh
and clamber over hedge rowed breast.
To gently roust from infinite imaginings
and stare into fathomless eyes.
Elvina Dulac
September 2010

Monday, 24 June 2013

Blog Revamp!

Hey folks. Welcome to my new look blog! I’m really thrilled with it and loved revamping it now I’ve gotten to grips with blogger, so expect a few more tweaks over the next few weeks until I get it spot on.

I thought I’d start this new phase with sharing some thoughts on living in the city. Now, I live on the edge of a major UK city and don’t get me wrong I do love it. Most of the time. I love being able to hop on a bus and be in the hustle and bustle of city life within 25 mins full of shops, cafes, theatres and galleries. Yet, other times I feel totally stifled. I think it’s partly to do with also living in a very small house with a husband and two children. Since finishing my studies for this academic year I’ve felt an increased need to just disappear, to go on a retreat for a week and recuperate or at least have a room/place where I wont be disturbed. The closest I come to is my garage which acts as a make shift art studio. I disappeared in there yesterday for two hours and it was bliss!

As a family we also walk up to the local woods and fields because sometimes you’ve just got to breathe. Sometimes, you have to leave all the day-to-day crap behind and draw in some calm. Living so cramped together as well all do, even in you’re in a huge detached property, is not natural. Up until the last hundred and fifty years or so people lived much, more spaciously and life was also a lot slower paced. The modern world can be a tough place to exist but not if we take time to just seek out the calm and breathe…

These times of calm and reflection also provide inspiration for my art. How do you breathe?

Happy arting everyone

Thursday, 13 June 2013


Hey folks

It’s been a little while since my last post as I’ve been up to my eyes in my revision for my art history exam. I’m delighted to say I took my exam on Monday and it went well (I think!) so now I’M FREE FOR THE SUMMER! WHOOP, WHOOP! I’m slowly getting used to the idea of having freedom again, proper freedom, not just an hour or two here and there.
So, here’s a couple more watercolour pieces I’ve been working on:

"Feel the Flow"
"What Transpires..."

I love the style which is emerging and I would like to translate this to acrylic on canvas. I also want to make more journals and have plans to make one for a friend, she’s a mum of three little children all under 7 and does an amazing job. My friend rarely complains and her children are incredible and such a credit to her. I love making journals for friends in the knowledge they will love what I’ve done and that I can bring a little magic into their life. I love art, books, stories and poetry and art journals allow me to bring together all of these things so beautifully.

As I’ve mentioned in my last post, in October I shall be studying children’s literature with the Open University. I’m so excited as I would love to write and illustrate a children’s book one day. So, watch this space, some ideas might start finding their way onto here as I start reading the set books and delving into the wonderful world of children’s literature.
Happy arting everyone!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Where Has My Poetry Mojo Gone?

Hey everyone

As I blog this I’m in the middle of my exam revision for my OU module “Exploring Art and Visual Culture”. The module is broad art history 1100-present day, yep, a lot packed into nine months of part-time learning but I’ve kept going because I love the subject plus I’ve got fantastic support from my tutor, family and friends.

So, the other night I came across some of my old poetry. Yes, folks, this lady writes poetry too. I was most upset to discover I haven’t written one for TWO AND A HALF YEARS! I was gutted, like that part of my had been snuffed out. I sat there reeling, thinking “How did this happen?”

I have done creative writing as a hobby for ten years, I write short stories, have a few half finished novels and I still write when my studies allow but the poetry has severely slipped.

When I was in London recently, visiting all the galleries, I treated myself to three gorgeous Alice in Wonderland notebooks - one lined, squared and plain. Last night I cracked open the lined one and got scribbling thoughts and ideas for my poetry:


In October I’m going to be studying OU’s children’s literature module and I am So. Fricking. Excited! Once my up-and-coming exam is over I shall be delving into all those set books which include children’s poetry.

Oh, btw, here’s pics of the journal I was making for a friend’s daughter, it’s now in it’s home in Canada and the young lady loves it J

So, I’m hoping this summer should be one filled with beautiful words and gorgeous art.
Does poetry speak to you? Do you write it or have a favourite poet?
Happy arting everyone

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Letting it all Through, Baby

Hey folks

Phew, where has the time gone? It seems ages since I’ve blogged but I’ve been checking in to read other people’s in-between finishing my last assignment. I have had time for my art too which is keeping me sane as I begin my revision for my exam in June.

I’m very happy to share my first finished canvas with you.

"Women of the Earth"
I'm delighted with how it turned out and it's set to hang in my purple bedroom after my hubby declared he loved the colours and how well it would fit in with the decor *beam*. I then realised how bare the walls are and had a vision of our room as a gallery...oh dear, if only my hubby knew :). 

I've also been busy with watercolours. The materials I constantly go back to are my pan watercolours, black Pitt pens and white gel pens. I also have certain shapes and marks I use all the time - spirals, dots, circles, wavy lines, leaves and anything that creates a sense of fluidity and movement. So, I’m concentrating on all these things until at least my exam is over to really get to grips with it all plus the materials are really convenient for my busy life!

"Let it all Through"
"Coming Full Circle"
I'm really happy with my progress with these two as I feel as if I've hit upon something. I love the lettering and as I like to use abstract shapes and patterns the words really bind it all together.
So, tomorrow I'm shopping for a watercolour journal.
What mediums/materails do you repeatedly return to?
Happy arting everyone!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

I'm afraid I must withdraw...

I have realised today, or rather reaffirmed this idea which has been floating around for a few months, that as an artist I have a great need to withdraw into myself. When that doesn't happen as much as I need to I end up cranky, bad tempered and with a low mood. Unfortunately, I'm struggling to withdraw properly at the moment and it's making me a crappy person at times in all my roles - bad mother, wife, friend and colleague. I can’t help feeling this way so I have apologised this weekend to my family for my behaviour which has been particularly acute this week.
A drain on my time is my Open University degree, I’m studying a BA Hons Open degree which is a varied degree on the arts - for me it’s early years care and education, art history and creative writing/literature. I love my studies and education is an absolute gift which I truly realised recently after almost packing in my degree. However, as I come to the end of my third year of six (it’s part-time distance learning so it takes double the length) I am struggling to keep it together. The finishing line is in sight though and I’m trying to find that balance. Today, working on the CAPI course (see side bar and previous post on CAPI for details) has brought a few breakthroughs including these thoughts :O). I’m also planning my way forward in developing my style which is slowly being revealed through CAPI and I shall blog more about that soon.

Does anyone else feel this need to withdraw? I’m pretty confident you do and would love to hear about how you strike the balance? How you manage those times where time for you and your art is severely marginalised?
Looking inward, time to contemplate...

Happy arting everyone

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Back to Business Wednesday Week 2 Making Stock

I know, I said this would be on a Monday but heck things are so crazy around here I’m lucky to be blogging at all. As a mum, wife, deputy manager in a pre-school and mature student with the Open University life is pretty hectic. I am currently building up to my last assignment and then exam in June. The summer will so be delicious with no work and studies but filled with art and family time! I CAN’T WAIT.

The summer will see me develop my logo for "Into the Mix" (I have a baseline image) and also create some stock. For my initial run I shall be making journals both altered and from scratch. I need a starting point and instead of getting lost in the millions of ideas I have I am focusing on journal making. I have caught the bug and just love creating what I hope will be a magical place for someone to create beautiful art. As I’ve mentioned before I have recently made a journal for my soul sister HK in Canada, here are some pics of that:


As you can see I have left pages incomplete for HK to fill in as she chooses which was so much fun J .

I am now making one for her 11 year old daughter as a surprise, here’s some pics:


HK's daughter loves all things ancient Greek, so I drew my favourite Greek deity Persephone.



The sticking point is adapting them for general sale, so this summer will see me doing lots of playing and experimenting as well as drawing upon the knowledge of the journal making queen Jennibellie. 

Gotta run, I have a journal to finish.

Happy arting everyone

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Make it Snappy!

As well as mixed media and acrylic, I love photography. I’m getting into this more and more as I use my humble phone camera to snap images from my environment. I especially enjoy natural places such as woodland and local/country parks. Yet, as I take more pictures I have begun to notice the quirks in the city too, things catch my photographer’s eye and suddenly I have an interesting image.

A fellow mature student and photography enthusiast was discussing how people have said he must miss a lot of his environment as he’s too busy taking photographs, he replied it was quite the opposite. Indeed, you do noticed so much more behind the lens and everything has the potential to end up as a snap, a captured moment, a piece of art…Special thanks to the amazing Courtney Brook aka Little Raven Ink for starting me on the road to photography last year. Courtney encourgaes you to snap everything: your breakfast, your favourite mug, the sky, your feet while out soon start to have the confidence to take pics of everything.

What's down the path? Where does it lead?
Nature reclaiming.
Here be dragons...
Childhood loveliness. Just look at those bubbles...
"Legal" graffiti at a contemporary art gallery :)
So start TODAY!
Happy snapping everyone!