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Looking back at 2018, a year in review including books read.

I like to look back over photos and diary entries from the past year, remember what I did,what I learnt and where I went.  Here is a brief summary from 2018, what did you get up to?  Any surprises?  I had no groundbreaking moments, but some new techniques were learnt and new places visited. I have also included the books I was reading each month.

January  I started my tutorial making year for Get Messy and it was quite the learning curve! I got this fabulous typewriter which works very well. We went metal detecting and found things like ring pulls, a screwdriver and a swallow brooch. Book – Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich.

February  I have been working at the library for one year. We went to the Contemporary Art Museum and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation to see some art (darling). Book – Started The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan, but I had to return it to the library, so I made a note of the page I had got to!

March I had to renew passports for our trip to the UK in June and I booked the Air BnB for two weeks!  Book – The Gargoyle Hunters by John Freeman Gill.

April The 100 day project started and I made 100 mandalas by July.  I finished my Brooklyn Art Library sketchbook (below).  Book – Finished The Keeper of Lost Things and started The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

May We had a Royal Wedding party at the library! School out for the summer. Book – Tin Man by Sarah Winman.

June We went to England for two weeks in Lincoln and a couple of day trips to London.  We visited family, ate fish and chips and did some mudlarking on the Thames. Book – The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah Harris.

July The kids re-did their bedroom and I got a bumper crop of gooseberries. Book – The Lido by Libby Page.

August To the Sunken Cities exhibition at the St Louis Art Museum which was very interesting.  Back to school and at last we bought a new mattress!  Book – Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon.

September Went to estate sales for treasures, tried the Megaformer at the gym for the first time and could hardly walk straight afterwards and spotted these colorful ‘chicken of the woods’ fungi in the woods. Book – Dear Mrs Bird by A J Pearce.

October Met some friends in Portland OR and had a lovely few days making art and visiting Lisa Congdon’s shop.  Book – French Exit by Patrick Dewitt.

November I spend a day using indigo dye and had a lovely time, I was so happy with all the things I dyed including a length of fabric, a string of wooden beads and a vintage book. The kids had a snow day which is unheard of in November! I had my 49th birthday. Book- Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver.

December I spent December carving a stamp a day and loved it, I didn’t miss one because I was enjoying it so much!  book – Man with a seagull on his head by Harriet Page.

A good year was had and I am so pleased that I keep a very casual diary in the form of a Moleskine large daily planner.  Using this I keep track of books I read and daily goings on.  It is always nice to look back and see what we did even the small things are good to note and remember.

Turns out read about a book a month!

Happy 2019 and happy Sunday x

Daily Moleskine 2018. December pages.

The month of December saw me carving a stamp everyday, something a few months ago I would not have even considered.  I love all of my stamps and am so happy with my collection!

Each page in my daily Moleskine planner for December has the stamp I made.

I am not using a Moleskine for 2019, but I am still arting daily!

Happy Tuesday x

My pile of art journals from 2018.

It is always a revelation when I gather my journals together to see what I made in a year.  Some I thought I made last year and one I had completely forgotten about (thanks Instagram!).  Most of these are full and a couple are my current journals which should be finished soon.

What this pile has made me think about is that I want to use one journal for sketching and one for art journaling and work my way though them.  This is such a higgledy piggledy pile I lose track of what I did when.  I am terrible for not dating work too, so I need to be sure to do that more next year!

All of the journals I have used this year are handmade even though I do use bought sketchbooks for general sketching and note taking.  I usually use Moleskine and Hahnemuhle books for this.

Are you filling books? Do you intend to in the New Year?  It is well worth it and such a joy to be able to look back on what you were working on and smile at all you have achieved, successes and not so much alike.

Happy Sunday x

Half way through Carve December.

I am now just over halfway through Carve December and I am enjoying it so much.  I tried carving a stamp a few years ago and didn’t get on with it at all. I think I was using the wrong rubber block and I found it very frustrating.

Since then I have looked in a few books and watched a couple of tutorials and have made a handful of stamps.

While I was in Portland in October the artists I was staying with were talking about Carve December and I thought it sounded rather intimidating and almost impossible to make a rubber stamp every day.

December rolls around and I have forgotten all about it until I see my friend’s post and I am reminded that I said I would give it a go.  So I jumped in and the water is great!

Carving stamps has made me slow down in my creating, take my time and not rush. I tend to rush most things I make, mainly because I feel like I should be doing something else, like washing the pots.

There is a list of prompts which I follow or ignore, depending on what I fancy carving.

So far I am enjoying the mix and match stamps like the cacti and the plant pots and the collection of flower petals and centers.  Of course I also love the cassette tape and the camera!

I am learning and my carving skills are improving as is my stamp collection!

Happy Monday x

Daily Moleskine Pages. November 2018

Last month in my Moleskine daily planner, I stuck stickers, found leaves, spray painted through old doilies, sketched hilarious self portraits and tested new supplies.

Only one month left and we are almost halfway through it!

Happy Monday x

Books I like and some on my wish list!

Here are some books that I have borrowed from the library and love and a couple which I have not seen inside but I really really want to!

Ottolenghi Simple This is a book full of really interesting and delicious sounding recipes like ‘Thai sticky rice with crispy ginger, chile and peanuts’ or ‘Sweet potato mash with lime salsa’ which also are completely doable. The ingredients are not a mystery and the method is straightforward.

Breakfast with Beatrice I love me a cook book or even better a pile of cookbooks, even though they are huge and heavy to carry home, I don’t even care! This one also has a beautiful cover (yes, I do judge books by the cover). ‘Walnut pear coffee cake’ and a delicious sounding ‘Belgian waffle’ recipe are on my ‘to bake’ list. Some more unusual ingredients in this one, but nothing inaccessible.

Smithsonian Flora I have not clapped eyes on this book but I have seen a couple of peeks on the interwebs and it looks so gorgeous I need to see it!

Oliver Jeffers: The Working Mind and Drawing Hand Another one I have not had the pleasure of holding in my hands, but it sounds so interesting and I am a big fan of Oliver Jeffers.

Polka Dot Parade A Book about Bill Cunningham Picture books have my heart, I just love them and this one is about the late Bill Cunningham which makes it a winner in my view. The illustrations are by the amazing Masha D’Yans who is one of my favourite artists,  her work is gorgeous and inspiring which is exactly what this book is.

Frida Kahlo An Illustrated Life A beautiful beautiful book which is written in the first person and full of gorgeous and some brutal illustrations which tell the story of Frida Kahlo perfectly.

A Big Important Art Book Now with Women The new book from the Jealous Curator Danielle Krysa is all of the things, it is interesting and inspiring and gets you to work on your own art.  It is split into chapters like ‘Capture Childhood’  and ‘Add a Wink’ which each feature a selection of artists and a page of projects for the reader to work on their own art practice.  I think it is kind of a genius book.

The Art of the Fold This is another on I have not actually seen but boy do I want to grab this one and make some books and zines.  Hand made books are a recent pleasure in my life and they are the best.  Making a journal or a zine and then filling it up is so rewarding.

What books have you been enjoying or are on your wish list?

Happy Thursday x

Get Messy Art Journal Season of Freedom Beginnings

The new season in the art journaling community of Get Messy is the Season of Freedom.  What a perfect way to end the year and begin the next, the freedom to create and create what you want!

Of course there will be prompts and tutorials to keep us all inspired and working in our art journals, but they will all be freeing (see what I did there!) and full of ideas.

I have made my little journal using book rings which hold together a variety of vintage envelopes, recipe cards and plain postcards.  It is higgledy piggledy and that is how I like it.

Some pages have been started and maybe finished, I will see where the season takes me.

More information on Get Messy can be found here.

Happy Friday x