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Get Messy Season of Seasons week 2

A few pages and cards from week 2 of the Season of Seasons over at Get Messy Art Journal.  In this found book as journal, I am covering some pages completely and some I am embracing the original page.  Thankfully the paper is not too thin so it is pretty nice to work in and the spiral binding is not getting on my nerves like I thought it would. So hurrah!

I have been making marks and using these pages as collage as well as using some flowers I have been playing with as a pattern on top of collage, paint and gesso (the page with the flowers was a hot mess and needed a layer of gesso very badly!).

As well as the book I am working in, I have a pile of old library catalogue cards which I am painting and doodling on.  I got hold of some glassine bags which fit the cards in perfectly so I am pleased with that.

The season of seasons is rolling on and I am enjoying myself immensely!

I hope are finding time to be creative.

Happy Thursday x


Daily Moleskine 2018 July pages

Seven months into my daily Moleskine practice and I love how my little planner is getting fat and full!

In July’s pages I have been continuing my stamp making and playing, practiced some faces (not sure what everyone is looking at on the last pages!), adding some simple collage elements and messing about generally.

This is one of my favourite things about this practice, I get to just play, the paper in this book is thin and the pages end up crinkly and with the image before or after showing through, and because of this there is no pressure.  If I want to paint  face with strange hair and wild eyebrows, I will and I will pretend that is the image I was going for. Ha!  This is where I will try new supplies and ideas, I will test a new stamp or stick in a fresh gelli print or print right onto the page.  It is a wonderful and precious record of where I am at and what I am doing with my art.  Wild eyebrows and all!

I hope that all of your projects are going well and if you are planning a new project, go for it!

Happy Monday x



Get Messy Season of Seasons week 1.


The season of seasons is upon us over at the Get Messy Art Journaling community.

I have to admit that it took me far too long to decide on a journal to use for this season!  Eventually I decided on the Airfoil instruction book and a pile of vintage library catalogue cards.

I thought that this way I can work in the book and on individual cards which I have recently been enjoying.  I have some glassine envelopes on the way so that I can include the cards in the book and ensure a cohesive journal. Well, I can’t promise cohesive but at least it will be all in one place.


Once I had decided on the journal (s), I wanted to make a little ‘kit’ to see me through the season without having to decide which supplies to use for each page, of course my little kit got bigger and bigger and I am pretty certain that my vintage typewriter will have a major part to play too. I am still sure that this conscious choosing of supplies will help keep me on track and mean that I can think about what I am making and spend less time wondering what to use to make it.


To kick off my book, I listed my supply choice starting with the basics – pens, pencils and water brushes (one with sumi ink in which I can’t live without!).




Next I tipped out my acrylic gouache colours and chose three for each season. Then I second guessed myself because of all the season options I had not considered – life, the soul, love, time, age, woman, motherhood –  I have just chosen the obvious seasons of the weather.  This is where some magic happened.  I decided to journal on the library catalogue cards all about my thoughts on them – literal to metaphysical seasons and what I think about them all.

I will use my typewriter for this and it will be the first time I have done any writing of note in my art journal.  Of course I haven’t done it yet, but I will, I can’t wait get to get going with it.


From a seat of complete indecision I have arrived at the season of seasons with a clear idea of where to start and if I just keep going from this momentum, who knows where this season of Get Messy will take me. I am looking forward to see where I go and where I end up!

If you are an art journaler or are curious to see what it is all about, pop over to Get Messy Art Journal and check it out!

Happy Thursday x


Taking Stock August 2018


Time for another Stock Take as the last one was in May this year.  I credit Pip at Meet me at Mikes blog for the original idea, I like to do it a few times each year to see what is going on.

I always have the goal to whiz through the ‘prompt’ words and write down quickly whatever comes to me, but usually this post takes most of the day as I leave it to do laundry or make dinner then come back to finish it!

If you fancy a stock take, I have a blank list at the end of mine.

Making : Plans for my next art journal which I think will consist of vintage flash cards!

Cooking : Burgers for dinner, a combination of beef, mushroom and veggie for our family!

Drinking : Fizzy grapefruit flavored water.

Reading: The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut, I have only just started it but it is good so far.

Wanting: The weather to cool down, yes we are in the midst of the mid-west summer and I am in full whining mode!

Looking: At microphones to use to make video tutorials.

Playing: The 1 inch challenge on Instagram for which we are making a one inch piece of art and sharing with the hashtag #oneinchwonders2018.

Deciding: What to sketch on my one inch circle for the aforementioned challenge.

Wishing: I had a bottomless cup of the perfect tea.

Enjoying: Air conditioning! It is hotter than an amazing hot thing outside.

Waiting: For some rain tomorrow!

Liking: Chocolates from Ikea, my favorites are called ‘Polly’.

Wondering: If I should start making tutorial and art journal videos and put them on YouTube?

Loving: The kids being home and chatting when they are around! Getting teens to chat is a rare thing I find.

Pondering: What to put on home made pizza.

Considering: Starting a new sketchbook to practice drawing in, but I already have about 5 or 6 on the go, maybe I should fill one before starting a new one!

Buying: New shoes for Turbo Kick, I am having a heck of a time finding good gym shoes.

Watching: The weather as it is threatening to thunder about the time I will be walking home from the gym, better take my umbrella.

Hoping: We have a smooth back to school week starting next Monday.

Marvelling: At how fast Marks and Spencer ship to the US!  I ordered this dress last week and it was here in two days!

Cringing: At how many frozen curries we have in the freezer!!!

Needing: St Louis Art Supply to open their new shop, I can’t wait to see what they have!

Questioning: When I should go to the post office to mail my Sketchbook Project canvas project off, it has to be gone this week!

Smelling: Rain.

Wearing: Skinny jeans and a navy t shirt.

Following: The Jealous Curator podcasts, they are always so good!

Noticing: I am tired today.

Knowing: I will be going to bed earlier to catch some sleep (hopefully)

Thinking: About doodling in my daily Moleskine planner.

Admiring: My kid who has a new job!

Sorting: Art supplies and accessories, I seem to have accumulated a lot and organized none of it!!

Getting: Organized.

Bookmarking: Magazines, I only read a little at a time and have to put in a bookmark!

Coveting: New shoes.

Disliking: The science project jars I keep finding at the back of the fridge.

Opening: Boxes and wondering what might be inside as we try and de-clutter our basement.

Giggling: At British comedy on BritBox which we have just subscribed to.

Feeling: Like I want to draw some random faces for practice.

Snacking: As little as possible, I am trying to be a sensible eater!

Helping: The teens get ready for back to school next week.

Hearing: My youngest teen on the xbox telling me all about the game he is playing!


Making :

Cooking :

Drinking :







































Happy Tuesday x


Using a ‘found’ book as an art journal.

Firstly I ask myself is a ‘found’ book the same as an altered book?  An altered book is one which you transform with your art into a new experience which could start with an old book from the antique mall, a kids board book from the thrift shop or a clothing catalogue which you use as a base to sketch and paint in.

A book is a book is a book and all are ‘found’ by whoever owns them.  So for the new season of Get Messy Art Journaling which is the ‘season of seasons’ we are going to use a found book, which sends my head spinning (in a very good way). Why? Because I just can’t decide!

Then, someone mentioned cards to use for the season and my head went off on it’s axis again, what a good idea, old playing cards, vintage flash cards, postcards, postcard books. Oh boy this could take a while!

So far I have narrowed my search (and pile) down to the following

-a 1976 diary from “St Louis Photo” – The Camera Specialty Shop, which is cool and a good size but the paper is thin and the spine is a spiral which will be better to work with than say staples, but I just don’t like spiral binding.

– an old vinyl record book which is basically kraft paper which I love and the holes in every page will look good I think, but this book is super delicate.

– flash cards from a school estate sale. I like the size and the nice thick card of these and I like working on individual pages but what about keeping them together? They won’t fit in that box when I am done no matter how minimal I keep my pages.

-A ‘Handbook of Airfoil Sections for Light Aircraft’ which has the dreaded spiral spine but I do love the imagery in this book and the 1971 orange cover.

-A street map of Lincoln, UK has great imagery with the maps and old adverts but those staples may not hold.

-Vintage postcard fold-out books are among the top contenders, good imagery to work with even if they are colours and very specific images.

-Booklets full of tea cards (small cards featuring a variety of themes were in tea bag boxes in the UK from the 1950’s onwards) are also a contender but they have very specific imagery and not very sturdy staples.

Guides to Lincoln cathedral, again with the staples but Lincoln cathedral is one of my favourite places in the wide world, so one of these might be a contender.

-Paper and colour sample cards full of great colour and quality card stock but they are very tightly fastened together, so would maybe need to be separated to use successfully.

So which to choose?

I am sure you will see in the next few days which I decide to work with, I am pretty sure of one thing though, I will be using a ‘regular’ book alongside the ‘found’ book.  I am intrigued as to which books I will end up with!

If you are interested in the Get Messy community, the link is here.

Happy Thursday x




Get Messy season of story week 8

I can’t believe another season at Get Messy Art Journal is almost over!  Almost two months of the season of story and it has flown by.  I took a while to get going on this one but I have really settled on a coherent ‘theme’ in my journal and I love to include the vintage photos and clipping out random words and arranging them into poems of a sort is sheer joy!  I am really loving it!

Making art in my handmade books is so exhilarating, I like to work through and fill them up with art journal spreads as well as sketches and practice pages like the portrait over a spray painted background.  It is a place to try things and keep them all, good and bad, a place to learn and improve.

I have been trying to add more sketches to my pages to make them ‘mine’,  but it all takes practice and that is what I intend to do.

Happy Thursday x

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.