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Marvelous Monday

What is marvelous this Monday?  These things are!

The Joy of Watercolor by Emma Block is a beautiful book from cover to cover, I even love the size and shape of it.  I love a square chunky book! She shares lots of specific watercolor projects but they are not just step by steps, they are full of ideas and information which you can use in your own work.

The most gorgeous jewelry from British designer Layla Amber.  Delicate woodcut necklaces, pendants, rings and earrings galore for all seasons.

I am reading the new Joanna Cannon book ‘Three Things about Elsie’ and really enjoying it, I am only about 50 pages in and already it is full of intrigue and characters.

Tinkersketch  August challenge is one I came late to, but I still jumped in even though I started about two weeks into the month!  Rachelle of Tinkerlab (the host of Tinkersketch) suggested on her Instagram to combine prompts and used ‘building’ as an example.  This got me thinking I could do the whole prompt list as buildings, so I am and am now halfway through.  Quite happily doing a prompt a day even though I am behind rather than panic and try and catch up.  I am very pleased with my little book of buildings so far!

There are two classes over at fabulous Creative Bug which I am really enjoying and these are Andy Wahol inspired monoprints and Treasure hunt your artistic style.

Cabbage, yes really. Cabbage is the most versatile vegetable in my kitchen at the moment!  I love it with nachos, in noodle soup, in salad and to add crunch to a sandwich!

What are you finding marvelous on this Monday?

Happy Monday x

Get Messy Season of Seasons week 3


Week three of Get Messy Art Journal’s Season of Seasons is already here, we are almost half way through!  I feel like I have just started which I am interpreting as a good thing!

These are my art journal pages from this week and I have included repeat patterns from Alicia’s tutorial and of course I had to do more gelli prints using leaves and stalks from my garden.

I picked some Magnolia leaves which I printed with and drew and cut out for collage pieces.  I also snipped a couple of tomato plant stalks which gave me some very effective prints using the gelli plate and some Sennelier acrylic paint.






Prints from the garden into pages in my art journal.  I am enjoying using this old book for my journal and the addition of library cards in glassine envelopes.  I am considering these tomato plant prints on the old library cards a success!




Happy creating and Happy Thursday x


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