Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year!

New Year New Start!

This year I have decided not to make resolutions, they are too easy to break! Instead I have decided to nominate a word for this year that I will follow to make my life flow the way I want it to.

So my word for the 2011 is... BALANCE!

(I found this image on the internet, and couldn't resist using it, as it has an elephant as well as my word! It's actually the logo for a West African Wine Producer (see, which I made a little more my colours. Copyright to goes to

I hope that this year, 2011, I can find more balance between work, family and pleasure pursuits! Wish me luck as we enter the new year! And Happy New Year to you all!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas is a-coming!

..and I don't even have a goose, let alone a fat one!

It's been a busy time here, trying to get everything ready for Christmas and I guess its the same everywhere! Buying presents, finishing up work committments, cleaning the house ready for guests, getting the food in (while coping with the snow!), writing cards (and finding the addresses!) and also dragging the boxes of decorations out of the loft and putting them up!

Whereas I *love* Christmas, this year doesn't feel as Christmassy as usual. Maybe that's because I am getting older... maybe that's because I am so behind with everything!

So there is just one week to go to *the big day* and its time to at least get the decorations up methinks!! So now I have to brave the loft and get all the boxes of decorations down!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

December Inspiration!

Yes I know Christmas is less than a month away (how did that happen?!) and I have tons to do before the big day, but I have been surfing around looking for Inspiration for Art.

You know the kinda thing, an image that will kickstart a page or a piece... and I found this great image:-

I love the colours and there was just something about this image that resonated with I'm off the play for a while and see what comes up!

Have fun with whatever you are playing with today!

Monday, 15 November 2010


(Time magazine cover copyright to

Wow! Time really does go so much faster the older you get. Almost a whole month has past without me even noticing! I only really realised it was November when I was checking my dentist appointments. I had one cancelled what I thought was a week or so back and when I checked... it was way back on the 8th of October! YIKES! So, I gotta call the dentist and get that sorted out... I don't want a painful Christmas!

I'm actually trying to to think what I *actually* did in the last 4 weeks and its kinda like a mish mash of things really... a new Part Time job, lots and lots of fun time with the family... but not a lot else really.

I *must* try to get on top of things better, so I can keep track of dates... and days!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Palindrome Day!

01 11 10

I love Palindromes! And the date today is one of those weird ones that is the same backwards as it is forwards... well in UK abbreviated date format that is!

When I saw it written down (on the milkman's bill!) it set me off thinking of other palindromes I could think of...

I reckon I only got the obvious ones:-


I struggled beyond 5 letters!! How can you do on this Palidrome Day?

Saturday, 23 October 2010

All Hallows Eve... just around the corner.

I love Halloween... well I guess I more love the imagery associated with Halloween rather than the practice of detting dressed up and knocking on people's door for sweets!

We used to get lots of kids down our road, one year we got over 50! But last year the road was quiet... I don't remember anyone knocking. Sign of the times I guess.

So to get into the spooky spirit, I've been looking for some Halloween Inspration for my art... now there are tons of great spooky images of Jack-0-Laterns and witches etc on t'net but I prefer something a little more obscure... and I found this:-
(I found this image here)

Now I *love* masks of all sorts... and have seen this Vendetta mask before and loved it, but in this image the background really adds to the picture of someone wearing the mask...what is the tree in the background? Where does the teal colour come from? I find it interesting... so hope to use it as inspiration in the new few days leading up to All Hallows Eve!

Have some spooky fun too!

Sunday, 10 October 2010


111 222 333 444 555 666 777 888 999...
The tenth day of the tenth month in the tenth year of 2000th century!
So today's date was 101010 and I went to see Jean Michel Jarre at the O2! I am a big JMJ fan (have been for many years...) and it was great to see him live in London again!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Looking forward!

I'm looking forward to October! We have a few days away planned, some extended family time scheduled and a concert to look forward to this month.

Summer is well and truly over and there didn't seem to be any evidence of the promised Indian Summer... it just got cold! I usually try to hold off until October before the heating comes on but I had to give in a few days earlier this year!

Time, as always, is against me, but I am going to try and be a better blogger. I have been contributing to a shared blog for a number of years and that has now come to an end, so I can focus more on my personal blog!

Happy 1st day of October all!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Happy Birthday ME!

I had a great birthday weekend! I went out with my extended family to somewhere I would never have gone on my own and enjoyed every minute! I even managed to get "arty" with some model making (I know!) but it opened me up to some new artistic endeavours that I might persue...

I also got some great presents, art books, supplies and a few CDs I was hankering after (yes I have an Ipod... yes I download tunes.... but there is nothing like actually owning the CD!).

Have a happy day all!

Friday, 3 September 2010

When does Summer end?

...cos it seems to have ended already!

Is September 21st the equinox? I never remember! I must look it up, does it change every year? All I know is that for me Summer is well and truly OVER after the summer equinox! I know the days start getting longer after the Solstice (June 21st) but it usually stays light and bright into late September, however this year blurgh! It's cold and damp and summer has GONE!

Shame as I like to watch the washing blowing on the line and take my supplies outside for some impromptu artwork... guess that's all over for another year!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

August is a funny month!

...always has been ...always will be!

I have lots of friends and family birthdays in August, so it usually means lots of running around and not getting a lot done. But hopefully it will be different this August, with two birthdays successfully out of the way already, we have booked a week away! Yes! I can't wait!

We are just off the country for a while of peacefulness... so it will be me, some supplies, some books and some quiet time! Can't wait!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Bright days, long nights!

I love summer! I love the long days...I love working and then realising it is 8pm and looking out the window to see that it is still light!

I love being able to take the dog for a walk after 4pm, I love the smell of BBQs... and I love sitting outside with a book, or supplies or... just a smile!

But I don't like it toooooo hot! (Call me fussy LOL!) We've had a bit of that recently but its better now, more liveable at least! I've been spending a lot of time with my extended family and it has been so much fun! We laugh so much together and I read recently that laughing keeps you young... so carry on laughing!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

A weekend away!

Holidays for us now are much fewer and farther between, but we do love our weekends away. We are off to Bath this weekend, one of my favourite places. I love the centre of Bath (and always have to go and have a drink of the "waters" while I am there) plus we are staying in a hotel we have stayed before, so no "awful room" surprises!

We last stayed there 2 years ago and had such a lovely time! This time I am really looking forward to the lazy-ness of it all!

Plus I get to meet up with my friend! She about 40 miles from Bath, so we make the time to meet up while we are there!

Taking no art supplies with me this time... want to have a break from it ALL!

If you are going away soon or just taking some time away from it all at home... hope you have a great time!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

June is here!

My favourite month. I am not sure why but I love June, the weather is usually warmer than May but not as hot as July... and the month itself is not as frantic for us as August usually is. Plus we usually manage to go away for a few days in June... not that anything is planned so far but the month is new yet!
I have also found some lovely Art Inspiration that I want to play with... something nice and fresh to keep the happy-ness flowing!

Oh!...and I have new watercolour pencils to play with, I have stayed with my favourite Derwent pencils but just extended my set! I prefer Derwent pencils (after trying LOTS of others) for a few reasons:-
  1. They are great quality
  2. They work as watercolours better than other brands
  3. They are a UK company!

I have been to Cumbria a few times and never been the the Pencil museum there... I always thought it was a bit "sad" to visit a museum for pencils but since becoming more of a mixed-media artist and appreciating the quality of the Derwent products... I really want to go now!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Book Review: Journal Bliss

Title: Journal Bliss
Subtitle: Creative prompts to unleash your inner eccentric
Author: Violette

Number of pages: 128
Publisher: North Light Books

Introduction: "I invite you to join me, don a pair of magical boots and come along on an exhilarating adventure to find Journal Bliss."

Violette first appeared on the internet creative arts scene in 2007 via her YouTube channel, with videos on Visual Journaling, Collage, Doodling and Mixed Media projects. In 2009, the book "Journal Bliss" followed, with Violette enticing readers to "follow your bliss" by creating and working in an art journal.

The book itself is in Violette's characteristic and colourful style, with each page containing a drawing or work of creative art. There are no photographs, all the images, including the step-by-step pictures, are hand drawn or copies of Violette's journal pages. Most of the text is also hand written, apart from the one-page introductions to each section, which makes the book seem more like you are reading one of Violette's journal themselves.

The sections in the book are as follows:-

  • Introduction
  • Silencing Your Inner Critic
  • Fanciful Lettering
  • Bodacious Borders
  • Doodling
  • Groovy Backgrounds
  • Funky Envelope Art
  • Image Transfer Techniques
  • Journal Bliss
  • About Violette

Each section loosely covers the topic in question. The introduction is a one page description of what the book will attempt to show you and two pages of (hand drawn) suggested supplies. There is no real breakdown of specific supplies, just some pretty sketches of art supplies and some notes on a creating a portable journaling kit.

And the whole book carries on in this same 'loose' way, for example the 'Fanciful Lettering' and 'Bodacious Borders' sections are really just pages of Violette's hand drawn words and borders. Some of the pages are in fact blank, apart from a hand drawn border around the edges. This almost gives the book a "colouring book" feel, or a book that you could turn into a journal by adding to the pages yourself!

The sections that cover techniques are, again, a little loose and sketchy... cartoon character drawings (not dissimilar to those in children's art books) attempt to show techniques such as a gel medium image transfer... and don't quite pull it off. I prefer to see photos of such processes and clearer how-tos... but then again I didn't buy this book to be a tutorial and as such feel it doesn't necessarily have a place here.

In conclusion, the book seems to me to be a little indulgent, with a little too less content and a little too many cutesy images. It's not a book you can dip into and read a section, as every time you open a page it feels like you are flipping through Violette's personal sketchbook/journal. Maybe that was the intention... and if you like Violette's style and images, then you will like this book... it's certainly a pretty picture book and would certainly appeal to those wanting to teach their children about art journaling.

However, if you are like me and prefer a bit more substance and a lot more inspiration then maybe this one isn't for you.