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Get Messy Art Journal Season of Fairy Tales. Week 2.


I really got stuck into the season of fairy tales this week, and I have made a good start in my hand made journal as well as some off-shoot ideas in my giant Moleskine.

Rather than follow any fairy tale in particular, I am making my pages with the general theme in mind and as a guide rather than a director. I have lots of golden circles reflecting the golden ball from The Frog Prince and this week I have painted castles and trees which I see more of in this journal as they were lovely to paint and sparked many more ideas as I created them.


I made a falling triangle stencil and painted it in a bright opera pink on a vellum page in my journal.  I like this simple but striking page over the watery trees and inky castle.



I may draw in some details to my castle but for now, I like it as it is.



Castles and forests and golden balls. My week in fairy tale art journaling.

Happy Thursday x

Happy New (school) Year!


The beginning of the school year feels to me more like a new year than January 1st.  Without the resolutions and goal setting and navel gazing which is tradition in my January world! My August new year is more about getting on with stuff, more starting, less thinking.

Even though I am now working part time at the library which is new from last year, I still make my plans. So far they have included – read my magazine stack, paint the gladioli I just bought from Trader Joes (especially to paint and draw!), go to the Art Museum to gather inspiration, watch classes at Creative Bug and Skillshare as well as all of the art journaling.

So far I can report that the boys have been back at school for two days and my magazines are still in a stack and the gladioli are beautiful and full of flowers but unpainted, I have been nowhere and watched nothing!

However I have had a very nice couple of days getting back into the routine and wishing the weather would cool down just a little bit.


Do you plan all the things for back to school time?  Or do you prefer the traditional new year goal setting?  Whichever it is, I hope you are getting stuff done!!

Happy Wednesday x

Weekly Photos 2017. 32/52







1. My little garden is struggling this year, I am not sure whether it is a lack of rain or a lack of gardening skills, but this is one of the little sunflowers that made it.

2&3. One of the huge trees at the park keeled over this week, it wasn’t in a storm or anything but it was on the ground when I walked the dog on Monday.

4&5. Once the tree had been cut down, the trunk circles were a work of art. I think one looks like a sad raccoon face!

6. This drink machine doesn’t work, I wonder how long these drinks have been in it? I suppose pop doesn’t go off!

Happy Monday x

My Collections. Found Marbles.


I don’t always consciously ‘collect’ things, but when I watched Courtney Cerruti on Creative Bug talking about collections and how we are drawn to things over and over, I quickly realized that I have amassed a collection or three over the years.

When I am at the thrift shop or an estate sale or antique shop, I do have things I look for. Like old buttons, ledgers – the more handwriting the better, postcards – again, the more writing the better, photographs, books, flash cards and old haberdashery.

The thing I do conciously collect is marbles, but not just any marbles, I don’t look for marbles at any of the above locations and I am not interested in new marbles.


All of my precious marbles are from the local creek and the woods and all of which I have found with my 12 year old son.

We find them on the creek bed and in the mud and we love to dig them out!  Some are in half, some are chipped and some are sand pitted with age and longevity in the creek.



Big marbles and small, we wash them and clean them and keep them in a ‘Pevely’ milk bottle also found in the woods.

We have over fifty of them and are still on the lookout for more!


Do you collect anything? Lots of different collections?  I will share some more of my collections over the next few weeks and let’s see what we have in common!

Happy Wednesday and happy collecting x


‘I like’ Friday. Top Tips from vintage books.


I recently picked up some excellent books from the library sale cart and the local antiques mall. Old books are among my favorite things, the covers, the advice and the illustrations.  I love the books which were obviously very fashionable and cutting edge in their information at the time of publication.  Of course some of the writing is out of date and sometimes hilarious but a lot of it is still relevant and timeless.

‘New Bodies for Old (Why, Where and How to Exercise for Figure, Beauty and Health)’ by Dorothy Nye  was written as a guide to exercise written in 1936 and it has some sage advice for would be exercising ladies.

On the first page, second paragraph we are treated to the following wisdom about the ideal body shape.

“It is, primarily, a figure of bone and muscle over which a silken skin stretches in taut perfection. ” No pressure then….


They use the Rockette dancing chorus from Radio City as an ideal, citing measurements to aim for –



Top tips from Ms Nye in a question and answer style.

Will walking reduce? No, not unless you do a great deal of it. Walking is mainly a leg exercise. It’s real benefit is that it induces deeper breathing of fresh air and increases the circulation, and this helps to throw off the body’s poisons. However, if done in cities it is oftentimes more harmful than beneficial because of the crowds, the traffic and the stale, dust filled air. If you mush walk in the city, go to the park or open spaces and walk there.”

Can women do the same exercise as men? No. A woman wants flexibility and grace rather than strength. She wants long, lean muscles rather than bunchy muscles. Therefore she should take exercises which include the whole body rather than those which concentrate on chest and arms such as are generally given in men’s gymnastics.”

What sports do you recommend for women after forty? Swimming, horseback riding, golf, bowling, fencing and tennis – if one has played them before or starts them very gradually. Also rhythmic dancing, if not too strenuous at first.”

Best go and grab my rhythmic dancing shoes then!

Finally and one of my favorites just for the wonderful metaphor –

Should I continue to exercise all of my life? Yes; one bath doesn’t keep you clean more than a few hours”


The next book of wisdom for today is ‘The Glamour Magazine After Five Cookbook’ by Beverly Pepper which was published in 1952.

In the introduction we are advised – “This book was originally planned, when it first appeared in magazine form, as a chart to aid the working girl who comes home, tired and spent, from her office only to face the insurmountable problem preparing an original meal for her husband or companion.”

Each day has a meal plan along with the recipes and the book is split into months and weeks of the year. Every single meal is finished with a drink  –  coffee,  black, iced or coffee with lemon peel, tea, chilled tea, cold milk or even ice cream cupcakes.

Here is the page which would be for today, Friday of the first week of August.  Sherried strawberries anyone?


Some recipes include –

Porcupine apples – Cover mounds of canned sliced apples with whipped cream. Pierce all over with blanched sliced almonds.

Avocado with sherry – Halve a ripe avocado. Remove pit. Pour sherry into each half.

Broccoli with grapes – Cook as directed. Drain. Garnish with 1/2 cup halved grapes in 2 tablespoons butter.

Tropical hamburgers – add 1 mashed banana to your regular burger ingredients.

Luxuro cakes – Fill 4 sponge shells with vanilla ice cream. Top with chocolate sauce and salted almonds.  Sounds luxuro indeed!

“So deck your table with flowers, or maybe just leaves and candlelight. Sit down with a smile and a happy heart. It’s your victory-enjoy it. Remember, however you slice, bake or casserole it-it’s food, it’s fun, and like life at times, it can be out of this world!”

Words to live by there from Beverly Pepper herself.

Happy Friday x

My Daily Moleskine 2017. July Pages.

Half way through the year and half way through my Moleskine Daily Planner as I create something on each day.

It continues to serve as a visual diary as much as a creative habit because I will stick down stickers or business cards or things I have found that day.

Here are some pages from July.


I was making some collage pages and used the left over paint here!


Left over collage pieces with some paint and china marker added.


My Goodwill haul and some sun prints.


We were painting watercolor flowers through July and some strayed into my Moleskine along with a moon.


Predictably, another flower!


Black gesso and a test of some face stencils I bought.


A catalogue card from an old library book and some ephemera from a parcel sent from my friend in Finland.


Some flow acrylics on a vintage photo and a copy of an old cigarette card in some colour.


Sumi brush and watery ink flowers.


I removed the spine from an old book to use the covers to make a sketchbook, so I stuck it down and added some pattern and paint.

I hope your July was wonderful and your August will be even better.

Happy Wednesday x



Weekly Photos 2017 30/52






1. Paint water!

2. Painting stripes all at the same time by putting all four colours onto the brush.

3. Practicing my mini weaving skills.

4. Cicada hanging out.

5. Mushroom in the woods.

Happy Monday x