Latest Posts

Taking Stock January 2018


First stock take of the year.  Inspired by the lovely Pip at Meet me at Mikes blog, if you want to take your own stock, there is a blank list of starting words at the end of this post.

These posts are a fun way to see what is going on and they are great to look back on and see what you were up to at the time.

Here goes –

Making :  Mandalas in my sketchbook.

Cooking : Chicken tikka masala for dinner.

Drinking : Nothing, but now I want a cup of tea.

Reading: Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin and Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich.

Wanting: A cup of tea, hold on while I put the kettle on…..

Looking: At my kids doing homework as I write this.

Playing: With my new/old typewriter now it has a shiny new ribbon.

Deciding: What to wear for work.

Wishing: My clothes ironed themselves!

Enjoying: My part time job at the local library.

Waiting: For the dishwasher to finish.

Liking: The new layers in my hair.

Wondering: Shall I make cinnamon muffins?

Loving:  ‘Episodes’ on Netflix.

Pondering: Whether to invest on some gouache paints or stick to watercolors for now.

Considering: What to do this weekend.

Buying: New noodle bowls (hopefully, I saw them today and I WANT them!)

Watching: Lisa Congdon’s daily class on Creative Bug.

Hoping: For a nice weekend of weather.

Marvelling: At all the things to learn.

Cringing: At the crazy things people do to make a video.

Needing: Lip balm.

Questioning: Why I haven’t cleared more clutter out of our basement.

Smelling: Tuberose essential oil.

Wearing: Jeans and sweatshirt.

Following: Lots of new blogs on Bloglovin’ and trying to be a good bloggy pal by reading them all.

Noticing: How nice the table looks when it is clear and polished.

Knowing: I need to learn iMovie.

Thinking: Constant ideas, I have to write them all in a little book!

Admiring: All the clever creative people.

Sorting: Book covers to make myself an art journal.

Getting: Excited to make a new art journal.

Bookmarking: Pages in magazines as I slowly read them. I buy magazines then don’t give myself time to read them!

Coveting: Old photos and postcards.

Disliking: Super dry overheated winter air.

Opening: A box of parchment paper to make muffin cases as I have run out!

Giggling: At ‘Project Runway Allstars’ new season.

Feeling: A bit chilly.

Snacking: On Penguin biscuits.

Helping: Anyone I can and needs my help.

Hearing: All the podcasts, I am liking ‘How She Creates’ and ‘Radiolab’ at the moment.

Here is your list and happy Friday x

Making :

Cooking :

Drinking :








































Ten things to do with a vintage typewriter.



1. Use it as decoration.

2. Type some letters to some friends.

3. Type over a vintage photo, a poem or a letter to the people in the photo.

4. Type random words, cut them up and make a poem.

5. Take photos of it (they are so stylish even the beige ones are cool).

6. Learn to type properly or at least how your old typewriter works (this is on my list!).

7.  Start that book, type that novel.

8. Write a love letter.

9. Type a joke.

10. Type on some fancy paper, find some vintage typing paper and type on that.

Yes, I just got a lovely new/old typewriter and as I wait for a new ribbon for it, I am having all the ideas of things I can do and write with it!

Happy Wednesday x


My year of art journaling


All of the journals I filled in 2017 including my daily Moleskine planner.


Books I used solely for art journaling.


Books I filled as daily challenges, travel journal (Cape Cod Folks), general Moleskine sketchbooks and my daily Moleskine.


I was looking back at my art journals from last year and I was surprised at what I found.  Even though the years seem to fly by, a year ago can seem so much in the past and some of the pages and even the sketchbooks seemed so distant to me.

When I was pulling out journals, I concentrated on the handmade ones because that is what I thought I had used all year.  I didn’t realize that I had spent the first three or four months using random sketchbooks including a Moleskine and a  Dylusions book.  I like these sketchbooks a lot and what I made in them, but I really enjoy the handmade books I made for each Get Messy season and for some of the monthly challenges I played along with via Instagram and Creative Bug.

I pulled out books I thought were from last year and they were actually from 2016 and I ignored books I had filled last year.  I am not sure if this is because I can’t keep track of time (which is why I keep a diary!) or because I am simply losing my mind, maybe a combination of the two! Ha.

What I did notice was how I seem to have found myself a little niche in my art journaling practice which I am happy about.  I am not sure I could pick my ‘style’ out of a crowd but I have allowed myself to develop in my own way this year instead of creating what I think I should.

I find that when I start something new to me I try to follow the flock, do what I think is the ‘correct’ method.  This didn’t work for me when I started art journaling and even pages I made a few months ago are not at all ‘me’, they are just me ‘doing as I am told’, or doing what I think is ‘art journaling’.

My turning point was a book called Make your own Ideabook with Arne and Carlos which is full of ideas for what to put in your book as well as how to make the book from scratch. I borrowed it from the library a ton of times and eventually bought it because it was useful to me in terms of inspiration and instruction. When I took the book binding class through Get Messy, that was revolutionary!  I felt as though someone had opened the door, making sketchbooks of my own was the best thing (still is!).

As I started to make my own books with papers I had chosen and covers I had retrieved from thrift shops and library sale carts, the art I was making inside became more my own.  I stopped jamming in magazine images and trying to find quotes and I started to make my own images (I rarely use quotes or any writing). My mindset shifted to make these books more art journals and less art journals as I don’t journal in them, I use them to experiment, record and practice my art making.

The focus for my journals is practice and technique discovery. I love that they are a place to try new paper, ephemera and media, stick stuff in when I want to – yes, I do still jam magazine cuttings in but not because I think I should because I know I love the image and I want to keep it as a record in my journal.

Sometimes I will strive towards a complete page or spread, or I will also happily make some sketches to practice faces or plants to get some ideas.

What I am saying is that I love my art journal deeply and more so now I am starting to find a way with a style and method of my own.  Also practice, and more practice!

Do you make art? Where? Handmade books? Sketchbooks? Big or small books?  I want to know it all!

Happy happy Wednesday!



Daily Moleskine 2017. December pages.

I made it!  A whole year of making some kind of art (I use the term very loosely for some days) in my daily Moleskine planner.  Yes, some days turned out a bit rubbish, but at least I had a go at something.

The days I like far outnumber the days which I feel didn’t work, so I would call my 2017 project a success!  My 2018 planner is underway which makes me happy!

For these December pages I painted a watercolour cactus, collaged and painted, gelli printed an old doily, practiced my ink painting, made some bauble strings, more collage, printed flowers, doodled, sketched biscuits and sketched a face with my new inks.

I wonder what I will be posting at this time next year? Another book full of art I hope!

Happy Monday x


Get Messy Art Journal. Season of Nature Week 5.




I have been busy with my gelli plate this season, I just keep wanting to print flowers!  No bloom is safe when I get my paints out!

Some of the pages were printed before I bound this book and some I have printed over collage elements, like the last page shown here where I stuck down the periodic table and butterfly and then printed some flowers on top.

Nearly as popular as my gelli plate has been my sumi brush and black sumi ink which I have used to make patterns over pages. I love the depth of the deep black ink when applied with a nice thick sumi brush.

I have been enjoying using the Jane Davenport Inkredible inks which smell as good as they look!  I used ‘Limeade’ on the page with the butterfly and gave it a little spray with my water bottle.

I am ashamed to say that I have not followed any prompts this season, I have just been jollying along in my journal filling it up a little each day.

For more information about the Get Messy community, go here.

Happy Thursday x


The diaries I use through the year and why I love them all!



Each year I keep a diary, not a ‘dear diary’ type thing but more a record of what we have done as a family, where we went, who we went with, celebrations and details of them along with presents received for birthdays and Christmas.

I have kept this type of diary in a day per view layout since my first son was born 16 years ago.  It started as a baby feeding log and branched out from there as I added what we did and things he said day to day.

Prior to this I was always a diary keeper (more along the dear diary lines this time) and I have a wooden box full of diaries I have kept since I was 13.  To be honest I rarely look back on the old diaries as they are a little bit cringe worthy even the more ‘recent’ ones.

However the ones I have kept since we had a family have been invaluable from just browsing when my sons were young to checking to see what recipe I used for a Christmas item.  I tend to write things like recipe page numbers and the book or magazine it was from for future use.  Looking to see what presents I bought people is also helpful when trying not to buy a repeat!

I don’t remember all that we did and it is always a joy to look back and remember an event especially one I had forgotten all about.

This year I have my ‘Peanuts’ Limited Edition Moleskine large daily planner all ready to go, with January 1st and 2nd already started.

Alongside this book, I started two more planners last year and I am continuing with them both this year as they are both fabulous in very different ways.

I have a small day per view planner simply to write down what I need to do that day.  Yes, a book of ‘to do’ lists. This is so helpful for me to keep to deadlines and buy birthday presents on time as well as the mundane jobs like vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom. I don’t plan to keep this one as I do the aforementioned diary but I will be happy I used it to keep me on track and keep the floor clean!

Finally my beloved creative diary in which I use each page to create a piece of art every day.  It is a small piece of art and it is created on thin lined paper but look how full my book from 2017 is!  It is so lovely to see them all neat and compact at the beginning of the year and then watch them get fat with writing and art as the year goes on.

I decided in 2018 to make a sketch a day in my art diary to improve my drawing skills.  I am motivated purely by the fact that I want to see my book full of little drawings and sketches!

In addition to these I have decided to make a colour a day using watercolour paints.  Each colour will be mixed and recorded in a small sketchbook then the final mix will go onto a mini watercolour sheet with the name of the colour with the actual colour. I was inspired to do this as a yearly project by Courtney Cerruti who is one of the amazing instructors over at Creative Bug.  So far my colours are ‘vintage yoyo’ and ‘library leak’!

Are you doing a yearly project? I wonder if I have bitten off more than I can chew, I hope not!

Happy Tuesday x

Weekly Photos 2017. 52/52






1. Soldiers for Christmas.

2-3. We made a gingerbread cabin, thanks Martha Stewart!

4.  Of course I have been making prints with flowers.

5. Home made cinnamon buns for New Year’s Eve breakfast.

Happy New Year!