Monday, 29 June 2009

For Me?

The lovely Mel has decided to gift this blog with this lovely award!

The Guidelines:

1. Post picture of award with link back to person who honoured you - check!
2. Pass along the award to deserving persons whose blogs you have just discovered - more on that in a minute!
3. Leave a *note* informing aforementioned recipients of your bloggy award-love - will do!

Now I find I am not having so many new blogs added to my blog roll as I have had previously... That is just because I can not physically cope with too many more lovely people's lives and a full time job.... There are many, many mroe blogs out there I would love to immerse myself in....

But here are a few, and only arty ones because this is my arty blog...

1) A Clear Path to Happy
2) Mama Craft
3) Warrior Girl, You're a Warrior Mama Now
4) Here be Dreams
5) Knottyneedle
6) Little Scraps of Magic
7) Today and Everyday

I thin seven is an excellent number!

Each of these blogs brings little pieces of happiness into my life. They are all relatively new to me and (I think) this is the first time I have tagged any of them...

So thank you again Mel!

Sunday, 28 June 2009


It feels like smaller steps at the moment... Doing pretty things more than reckless things...

I have started way more pages than I have finished...

The colour the entire page, page
The press leaves and other found things page
The sticky things page (I stuck some gum in and then managed to persuade F to as well *grin*)
The sample household substances page
The nonstop line page
The document time passing page

But I did draw lines while in motion (thank you F for driving!) and I really like the result...

And I wrote CREATE on one short edge and destroy on the other short edge and then metamorphosis on the long edge...

I also started reworking my front cover with some lovely irridescent paints...

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Wrecking Roundup

I have really loved this weeks efforts. Last weekend was really productive and produced some things that I have written separate posts about.

My journal is for now going through a period of beautification but I am sure this will come to an end some time.....

I have been wondering why I couldn't pick a really difficult page to do last week. I came to the conclusion that I can plan something to do for every page but until I actually try and do it, I can't feel if I am resistant to it or not. I think the pages left at the end may be the ones I find most dull or the ones that are really, really challenging to me. So for now I am going with the flow....

I slept with my journal one night and wrote in my journal about it.... I spotted someone had stuck some fruit stickers on the wall and on the door at work, so I surreptiously released them as I walked past them, aiming for no one to actually spot what a strange thing I was doing, I think I suceeded... A journal page has traveled to Canada for some friendly destruction and my whole journal will go there to be posted back at some point....

Here are some pretty pictures of this weeks wrecking....
And some less pretty pictures!
Lavender oil and jasmine scent dripped liberally everywhere then hot vanilla scented wax and lavender flowers scattered on top. Bits of lavender and wax keep falling out! *grin*I used the 'slam the book quick' technique for my burning and it was much fun!

Oh and earlier this week Kelly Kilmer wrote a really nice bit about what it is to keep an art journal...

Sweet Nothings

What do you make a lovely young lady for an exchange? I thought long and hard and eventually decided to make a mobile... It had many incarnations that lived only in my head but eventually something emerged.

I made the letters to spell out her name using air dry clay cut with alphabet cookie cutters. I had to use the end of a paint brush to push them out which gave them an interesting texture. They are also all different thicknesses. I pierced each one with a needle to make a hole for threading them.

Once dry I painted them with PVA to seal them before covering them with black acrylic. Over the black I painted each letter with my lovely new goldens interference colours full of delicious glittery micaeous particles. I love the colour they came out!

I had ideas of threading them and wrapping them with wire and beads and having all sorts of bits dangling such as wool and ribbon and all sorts of glorious things. And I started this but it was just too much and it didn't work. I ended up rethreading the letters onto black cat's tail wire for added flexibility and fixing them in place with tube crimps and putting a lobster clasp at one end via a jump ring and wire guardian.

It may be a simpler look but I love this so much! Hope she does too!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Blog Candy: Aimeslee

I have finally sent of my first piece of blogcandy and when you finally get to read this it will have been received by the lovely Aimeslee!

I started silk painting this year with only instructions found online to help me. I have created three painted scarves. One for me, one for Mel and now a third....

I only had four colours of paint but I have now expanded my collection to seven!

The third and latest scarf was rather more complicated than my previous efforts. I had wanted to use some Islamic art and this was a good opportunity. This meant that the design was rather more ambitious than anything I had previously tried. In this style of silk painting you use thick goopy paint to draw lines that act as barriers for the liquid paints. In this design the gutta is black and there was an awful lot to apply! I copied the block and pinned the copies to the wall and stuck the scarf on top and then copied the pattern onto the scraf. Then I had to add paint inbetween all the lines.

The borders are a little different though as there is no gutta and the paints are more roughly applied so they merge and run into each other more. The very centre was painted in grey first before the navy was added over the top. The affect of the navy paint was achieved by sprinkling some alcohol on to carry the wet navy paint.

Although I love the scarf I am not sure if I would do one like it again. It was very time consuming and the precise design was difficult to do correctly. The scarf is full of mistakes. And I don't want to think about the time it took!

The scarf has had an interesting journey to it's destination that has been considerably lengthened by arrival at the wrong address. So it actually ended it up with not one but two postal journeys...

One other thing is that the process of making the scarf has left me with quite a few pieces of interesting paper where the thick black gutta has soaked through and the liquid silk paints have soaked into the paper. Every one is different and beautiful!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Butterfly Art

I love doing this sort of painting. I remember it fondly from my childhood and recently rediscovered it care of Caspiana.... So when short of time last night, splodging some paint on and shutting book before leaving it to dry was the perfect thing.

I used purple and pink ready mix, metallic pink and lilac, irridescent medium and interference violet acrylic.

The paints glimmer in the light and contrast really well with the muddy edges. I liked it so much, I had to do one for my Neice's book as well....

Is Beauty in the Eye?

I started gathering white things for my white page and found a whole heap of stuff. Of course, I tried to get as much stuff on my page as possible!

Here is a rough list...
paper: Watercolour paper, acrylic paper, photographic paper, crepe paper, toilet paper, tissue paper with pearl squares.
Tape: masking, electrical and label
Fabric: felt, cotton, lace, thin gauze
Fibres: toy stuffing, embroidery thread, KO beading thread, ribbon, irridescent fusible fibres, art threads
Pencils and pens etc: correction pen, glue pen, irridescent oil pastel, chalk
Liquids: wax, acrylic, glitter glue, gesso
Powders: glitter, clear embossing powder
Buttons and beads: flat plastic button, old pearl button, vintage beads, coconut spacers, cats eye beads, white millefori style bead, size 11 white ceylon, size 8 white opaque, frosted drop beads.
Other stuff: white netting, plastic bag, stick on gems, stick on foam letters, craft pom poms

As I made this page, I was working quickly and filling up space rather than worrying too much about placement. Some of it was practical though, for instance one piece of lace wouldn't stick so it was helped with some tape and sewing. Some was experimental, particularly the wax dripping.

I always knew this page would be about texture because it was to be plain and white. The word that sprang to mind when I got to the foam letters was beauty and I went with it, even though I am sure this page doesn't form to the classic understanding of beauty! I thought some more and the phrase beauty is in the eye of the beholder came to mind. I imagine this sort of page would be really interesting to feel, particularly if you couldn't see it. So is beauty in the eye? Or is it somewhere else? Maybe the mind? Obviously the phrase means what is beautiful to one may not be beautiful to another but....

I have some favourite parts of this page...
  • The feel of the wax drops in the toy stuffing
  • The three stick on gems together
  • The spirals on the gauze as they show the change in texture
  • The triangle of fusible fibres that comes down from the pom poms
  • The beads sewn randomly onto the lace
  • The gesso in the net

My scanner was convinced this page was black and white and I had to con it to make it scan in colour. Even so, I don't think the scanned image shows off the page so well. But just imagine running your fingers over it....

This page won't be permanent. It is randomly thrown together and will not be able to take much throwing around. I will also find other white things to add I am sure! That top left corner is looking a little dull to me..... *grin*

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Back to Wrecking

I wanted to do was implement some of the ideas I had had to repair and prettify the damage caused by walking my book.

I got some purple ink and painted the white scuffed parts of the back cover. I then watered down the ink a little and painted the parts of the last page that show when the book is shut. I watered it down a little more and started on the next to last page and so on...The idea was to create a stepped look with the colour slowly changing. I like the way this looks but it isn't as extreme as I had hoped!

Then I started work on the back cover. I placed some sticky backed plastic on the inside of the back cover and then placed some cellophane on the outside of the front cover so it stuck onto the sticky backed plastic where there was no book cover. The cellophane was some florists wrap I saved with words written in silver and on the cover it has flower and part of leaf.

I noticed that the there was a nice cavity and decided to pour some glitter in. I used pink, white and purple and then added some punched out hearts as well. I then sealed up the spine by using some silver tape and cut the plastic down to size. I used some tape on one edge to make sure it remained shut. I had to use some glue at the spine and a little extra tape to seal it up.

Now I have a book I can tape up and put in the post! If I hadn't wanted to create a book I could tape up to post I would never have thought of repairing the back cover. If I hadn't wanted to show the purple terraced pages rather than hide them, I wouldn't have used clear plastic. If I hadn't done all this and created a clear pocket I wouldn't have thought of filling it with pretty things. I really love how it has turned out.....

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Wrecking Ball

I have decided to only post on this once a week but to write every day!

In summary of this week... I have come to realise that my approach to this journal is a reflection of my true approach to life, how I should be living in order to be true to me. How we approach this journal is really, really personal and can tell others so much about ourselves.

My attitude towards the wrecking has changed completely - each act of destruction is a chance to create a new set of possibilities. I have some plans for the repair / transformation of my journal following last weeks seriously destructive start but this requires a little time... It has given me some lovely ideas.

I am not sure if I am ever going to be able to consider my journal as finished! Each page can be reworked and reworked. Destructive acts can just add layers and layers of character to it. If something beautiful is lost it doesn't matter, it is still there in my laptop, stored for all timeand there is the possibility that something even more fantastic can be made from the new starting point.

Experimenting is great and this journal is one great big experiment....


Took journal in shower and gave it a bit of a wash with my shampoo bar and then my solid conditioner to. It now smells nice and is a wee bit cleaner! Took the book out in the car and left it in the car so it could bake a little to help it dry out.

I started the day by feeling a little sorrowful about my book. It is a mess. It is haggard and old and the chances of me managing to make anything nice and pretty in such a book are just so slim. I was mourning the fact that I could have created a thing of beauty and instead I have this abused hunk of sodden paper which is still muddy.

But then I began to think. I can fix it. There is no reason I can not fix the damage and turn parts of the book into something else. There is no reason I can not mend the cover and tape up the spine. In fact I will need to if I am going to send it in the post... I can still have pretty but it doesn't have to be pretty and if it is pretty, i can make it ugly again whenever I feel like and pretty it up again too.... Maybe this hournal will never ever actually be finished....

The journal is still wet so I can't do a whole lot to it really. I pulled out a page and stuck it under some soil to compost in our garden. I pulled out another page to screw up and put in my black jeans pocket before I wash them. I figured that I might as well do something fun to the washing page before so I could see what washing does to colour to. One side I used watercolour pencils and the other I used oil pastels....

I then put my journal out in the garden to dry and every so often I popped out to open it to a different page to help with the drying...

The journal was still damp and found itself left on the landing to dry today. After work I finally crumpled up my washing page and put it in my jeans to wash and that is where it is right now. I have my draw of pens next to me and my journal and I am going to have a play while we have a film on TV....

... I have doodled and dabbled... My front cover has been embellished with metallic markers and it now has a luscious flowering vine. My name page has my name. I discovered that my name spelt backwards gives DNILASOR which kind of makes me think dinosaur, so I drew a very rough dinosaur to go with it. I added some page numbers. Page one is the taking book for a walk page and it has a giant metallic green one. Page two is an orange shower page. Page three I can't find but I did rip a page out and screw it up. Page four is the stub of a composting page. Page five is in the washing machine still. Page sixIs the one that tells you to embellish other pages and six a is the front cover. Page seven is a lovely messing connect dots with eyes shut and eight is my name page.


My journal is still damp. some of the things I did last night have altered since last night. They have bled a little, mingled a little, passed on to other pages a little... I do need to get the thing dry soon though otherwise it will start to smell and go mouldy. Might have a go with my hairdryer later... In fact I think it already needs some odour assistance, my shampoo and conditioner seem to have worn off... The scent page calls. Job for tonight....

My washed page has come out nice. The oil pastels are still there, mostly. The water colour pencils have been mostly washed out but there are hints of colour here and there. The page has a lovely soft crinkly texture now to.

While everyone was out of the room I sneakily borrowed some pens...

At lunch I did a bunch more things...

Noticed that my composting page is not composting - it is being eaten!

Friday, 12 June 2009


Another spread in my Niece's book which I completed last weekend. I applied clear gesso mixed with white paint and then closed the book and squidged it. I peeled it open and then stuck some pretty multicoloured pastel leave skeletons into the gesoo. No idea why the second picture is black and white...


I had no expectations of having a journal waiting for me at home as I left work. I drove home deciding to go to a nice shady wildlife reserve called Kennall Vale for a walk with Little Dog. It is a steep sided valley which used to be home to an explosives factory and then later a granite quarry. The mills for the explosives works were water powered by the river and a series of channels (leats) that run between the mills. All is ruined now but more beautiful for it. Full of growing things and water. Go see my other blog for some pictures.

So I got home and there it was - the book I have been waiting for. But I wanted to go out.... I decided to break the back straight away. This is a bit symbolic to me. I always break the backs of my books but never of library books or books belonging to others. Breaking the book is my way of claiming this journal and making it mine...

So I had a quick flick through and found it... 'tie a string to the journal. go for a walk, drag it.' ooohhh... but people might see me - um, so? but it will be muddy and dirty and nasty - er, isn't that the point? I couldn't think of a good reason NOT to do it... Not given the whole point of it.

So off we went in the car. Little Dog had to stay on the lead there so I had two leads... There is a long path into the reserve proper and since last time they have covered it in granite chippings. This started to scuff it up nicely. I was starting to feel braver and stopped thinking about the things to come.

My two leads got tangled up a couple of times and Little Dog ended up trampling Journal Dog a couple of time - mind you so did I. The path was fine to start with but it got muddier the closer we got to the main river and my book slowly started to get dirty.

The path along the other side of the valley goes along the backs of the mills, past the leats and the waterfalls, through shallow streams, across wooden bridges lined with chickenwire, down steep granite steps. I had to grit my teeth to get through the first puddle but after that it got easier.... And my book got dragged through it all...

I bumped into a couple of people and I picked up my book. My excuse is that they had dogs and dealing with two leads - one of which held an excited hound. I got my book back to the car, not exactly safe and not exactly sound, not any more...

My journal is now officially wrecked, having done this in such a big way, right from the beginning I feel free from the desire to make my wrecking pretty. Nothing I can do to this book is ever really going to make it pretty now! *laugh*

Hope you are all having as much as I am!

The wrecked front - not too bad?

This is what remains of the back....

This gives you some idea of how much of the back of the book has gone.... *grin*

So how do I feel? I would never have chosen this prompt to follow if I hadn't been desperate to do SOMETHING to blog about tonight and still go for my walk. This was a pretty tricky one for me, some of the others would have been easy. Trashing it so much, in public, was fun! Nothing else I can do to it, could wreck it this much (could it?) so surely now there is no pressure? (is there?) It was very, very much beyond my comfort zone - no safe easy start here...

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Pastel Yellow

Yesterday i bought some nice new pastels - four yellow ones this time. I don't know why but when I decide to try out new pastels I always seem to end up doing circles of colour and blending. So here it is yellow for Project Spectrum's air. I have found this hard because air is hard to reproduce pictorially as you can't see it and yellow isn't my most favourite colour....

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Wreck This Journal

OK - so my book hasn't arrived. I want to get started. I want to have a look. I want to be part of the group. I feel left out.....

Well I did until I read through the links posted by others showing their progress. So many people out there are intimidated by the blank page. The unusual instructions. The lack of reverence they will have to show to a book.... Not many people have really gotten started yet.

In my desire not to feel left out, I have been hunting around on the net about this book and I found a few things that I have found inspiring and I guess others might to, if they are feeling blocked...

First off is the Flickr group and second is the author's blog which includes pictures.

I put off buying this book when I first heard about it. The idea of destroying a book kind of hurts. But as soon as I got hold of the idea that not giving it a go would mean I would miss out on some fun and some weird and wonderful experiments in the world of creativity, well... Things began to change. More than a book lover, i am a rule follower and if the rule is to wreck this journal then I am hoping that I can follow this rule to the hilt... Maybe I can make up some new exciting rules for me to follow in my life while I am at it.

So if you are stuck, go be inspired by what others have achieved. I think it helps to look at the trailblazers - kind of comforting.....