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Mudlarking on the river Thames.

While we were on holiday in the UK, alongside visiting family and playing tourist in my home town of Lincoln, we also booked the train to go to London, wander along the edge of the Thames and see what treasures we could find.

The ancient art of mudlarking is alive and very much kicking, everyone seems to be doing it and finding some amazing things.  Check out London Mudlark who not only finds the most wonderful historical treasures but also gives the background to the items along with essential mudlarking tips and guidelines.

Of course you can’t just roll up at low tide and start digging about in the mud, you need a permit and these can be obtained from the Port of London Authority.  They take about a month to process so give yourself plenty of time.

As we were only in the UK for 2 weeks and not in London, I pored over the tide tables which are also on the Port Authority website, to ascertain the best time to get into London on the train, then still have plenty of time to wander the foreshore in search of historic treasure.  The day was picked, permit applied for and I began to research.  Where to go, how to get there, then how to get down to the Thames safely.

We ended up going down to the ‘beach’ at the Millennium bridge which seems to be a pretty standard area to search and wander the foreshore.  When the tide is out there is a sizable area to look in and access is easy and safe just in front of the Tate Modern.

This access point was of extra interest to me because I wanted to have a look at the massive letters on the bank of the river which say ‘Bankside’.  They are only visible from the foreshore and at low tide and they were impressive to see.


Once I had finished snapping the letters on the wall, I turned eyes down and spent the next few hours walking about staring at the pebbles and sand so I didn’t miss a thing.  Don’t worry I did remember to look up every so often to see where I was going!

This is a busy river which turns up all kinds of things, good and bad, so we had gloves on the whole time even though it was a warm day.  Plastic bags were at the ready and off we went a-searching.

Honestly I wasn’t sure if we would find anything at all, I mean how many things from old London could still be hanging about on the Thames foreshore.  Well, quite a lot, thanks for asking.

Immediately I began to spot clay pipe stem pieces and beach tumbled pottery shards. I had read a lot about the clay pipes smoked and discarded in days of old and I was excited to see them.  Yes, I know people find coins and all kinds of amazing treasures but for me the pottery and the pipes were treasure abound.

My find of the day was a small blue marble which was clearly well used and loved before being lost somewhere along the river.  I popped it in my pocket and got a spring in my step.

River tumbled glass and bottle stoppers were lovely to find too.

There are many many teeth along the foreshore, horses or cows teeth I think, I didn’t pick any up to check!  Fossils too, one of which is in the photos above.  Our most ancient find I think!

We had a lovely day mudlarking and found some amateur grade treasures which made our trip to the foreshore worth every minute.

Off to Yo Sushi for dinner and the train home.



Get Messy Art Journal, Season of story week 7.

I am loving how this handmade sketchbook is filling up during the season of story.  I am no where near full but I am happy to keep going with this one and see it full of journaling goodness.

Almost every page so far has begun with or included a vintage photo of someone or something.  The top page here has a 1923 note from a ledger of the time, an antique post-it!  The parrot has no rhyme or reason except that he is so cool he had to be included and he ended up on the first page, which I never start with.  I don’t know why, but I never begin a journal at the first page, I usually dive in wherever I feel like it and work out until it is full!

I photocopied the reverse side of the photos of Dorothy Jean, so the writing could be included in the page.  One of the many things I like about old photos is the writing often found on the back of them.

If you are interested in discovering more about the Get Messy Art Journaling community, click the link for all the information.

Happy Thursday x


100 days of freeform mandalas 91-100

Hurrah for the completed 100 day project!  I finished a while ago but have only just got around to blogging my triumph. I also just realized that I missed a mandala off these photos, I made number 92 but neglected to include it here.  Ooopsy!

I did enjoy the whole project, but I must admit that I am pleased to be done.

I have made all kinds of mandalas and this project has been in part responsible for my new love for making stamps and some experimenting which went well and some which I  maybe didn’t love.

Will I do it again next year? Most likely, yes!

Happy Monday x



Daily Moleskine 2018 June pages

Lots of sketches and splats of colour in June.  Two weeks of pages were completed while I was on holiday in England so there are some good memories in those pages.

I like ‘Don’t panic’ as I did that page right before we flew to England and I was panicking!  I am an airport panicker, always worried I have forgotten something or something will go wrong!

Also, I like the sunnies which opened June, a pretty bad sketch but it makes me smile anyway.

Are you doing a 365 project?  How’s it going now we are half way through the year?

Happy Tuesday x


Get Messy Season of Story Week 5

For the Season of Story over at the Get Messy Art Journaling community, I made a journal which I love and I am super proud of and then I left it at home when I went on holiday to England for two weeks.  I left it because I didn’t want it to get squashed or damaged or worse, ignored.  All of these things would  most likely have happened to it, so I am pleased I didn’t take it.

However, what also happened was that I didn’t do much of anything in the way of art journaling in my new journal for another couple of weeks afterwards.  It is a chunky little number and it needs to be filled!

This week I saw a bird egg which I decided to paint in order to capture the colour of it, then I searched my old photos for suitable candidates for the season of story.  At the same time I pulled out some old National Geographic magazines which I had recently bought at an estate sale and I began cutting out phrases and words which appealed to me.

The combination of all of these things resulted in the pages you see in this post and my journal is starting to fill up nicely.

I am unashamedly addicted to making found word poems from these old magazines.  I cut out lots of phrases and then put them together to form some poetic nonsense.

It is very therapeutic and I highly recommend it!

Happy Thursday x


100 days of free form mandalas 71-90

One of my mandalas fell by the wayside in England, but here are the rest of 71-90.

I have to confess that I am pretty much out of enthusiasm for the project at this point, even though they don’t take long, I am feeling like I would rather be doing something else.

Having said that, I am not stopping now and I do enjoy seeing them all together.  I can’t wait to lay out all 100 and see them all together.

Have you almost finished your 100 day project?  How has it been?

Happy Monday x



Books and vintage ephemera from my UK trip.

While on a recent trip home to Lincoln in the UK, I marked the calendar to visit an antique market in Castle Square and I wasn’t disappointed.  It was a small but interesting gathering of stalls from local vendors and antique dealers.  Among the wares on sale I spotted a vintage gladstone bag which my teenage goth self would have given her right arm for, I wanted one of those things so badly!  Thirty years on, I left it for someone else.

This typewriter was pretty sweet and I thought a bargain at twenty pounds but it would not have fit in my carry on, so even though it worked, it also was left for another owner.

As cruised the stalls in search of photos and ephemera which would fit into my bag, I found these cigarette cards wrapped in a crabby old elastic band at the bottom of a box of treasures.

These old travel souvenir photo sets were in the same box and I soon had a pile forming!The 1972 London street map and The Observer book of Pond Life sealed the deal.  A fiver for the lot and the stallholder gave me another Observer book for free!  The Lincoln booklets came from the second hand bookshop in the Jews House on the Strait in Lincoln and the  four books full of tea cards were also from the market. Boxes of tea used to come with a small card on a topic like ‘birds’, ‘space’ etc and they could be stuck into books to complete the pages.  Someone had worked hard at drinking all the tea and filled these books!This next batch of books came from the Jews House shop, the market and Oxfam’s book shop in Lincoln.  ‘Ships and the sea’ has some fantastic fold out pages of flags and is from 1936.  The two Greek books are from the 1800’s and I just loved the cover of ‘In Praise of the Lakes’ which was published in 1953.

I will put all of this to good use, even if it sits on my shelf in my old book collection.

I hope that you are finding treasures too!

Happy Wednesday x