The love you make

The Love you Make

Hello friends

I hope all is well with you.

The Arts Festival is over now for another year and it was a great success, I really enjoyed it this year.  The artwork, created by a local artist and local youth groups was outstanding and the opening concert was very moving.  All week there was stuff going on.  A really great effort by the team.

Since then I finished a journal I started over a year ago and the image above is the back cover.  It started out it’s life as a child’s board book that I picked up in a charity shop for a few pence.  I peeled off the plastic covering from all the pages, gave them a coat of gesso, then coloured them, added collage and penwork.  The book had a pocket in the back cover but I sealed it up completely and just left the flap.

I’ve covered the outside of this journal with strips of clear packing tape so, hopefully, the collage elements won’t lift.  You can see where the tape overlaps and I realise that might bother a lot of people, but it doesn’t bother me, the tape gives the cover a high gloss finish that I like.

Here is what’s under the flap.

The secret under the flap

 

And here is the finished journal.  I started this journal over a year ago in Teesha Moore and Jane Davenport’s Mermaid Circus 1 online workshop, but I only did one page and the rest of it has been completed as part of Teesha’s Artstronauts Club.  There are only 12 pages in total including the front and back covers, but I usually have a number of different projects on the go at the same time so that’s why it takes so long to complete anything.  I always get a great sense of achievement when a journal is finished.

Finsiehd journal

Have a good week and I’ll see you soon (ish).

Big love

AJ :-)

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Be a realist!

Be a Realist!

Hello friends!

I hope all is good with you.

So the reality is I’ve become a ‘not very good blogger’ but that’s just how it is at the moment and I’ve got to stop letting it worry me.

The Ryde Arts Festival is now well under way and got off to a spectacular start on Friday evening with the opening of the Landmark Trees project and a concert of a piece of music composed (by two young composers) especially for the event.  It was fantastic!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAWhat was particularly good about it was that the hangings for the Landmark Trees were made by a local artist working with four different youth groups.  It took them about 3 months to paint them.

The concert ‘Seasons for a Soldier’ was played by the local Symphony Orchestra but also included an adult choir, a youth choir and the marching band of the local Sea Cadets.

The whole piece is about the seasons of 1914 – from optimistic Spring through to desolate Winter, reflecting on what it must have been like for all the young men who, in the autumn and winter of 1914 volunteered to fight for their country.  There are ribbons on all the trees outside with the names of the men from the town who lost their lives in WW1.

I’ve been volunteering over the weekend: on Friday and Saturday evening at events in the old church and this morning just sitting and welcoming the visitors who came in to see the installation and listen to a recording of the music.  (Actually I did a bit of art too while I was there) :-)  Also yesterday afternoon I spent several hours updating the Ryde Arts Festival website.

You can’t see it in the picture (because people are sitting over it) but on the floor in big white lettering are the famous words from a Rupert Brooke poem “…That there’s some corner of a foreign field. That is for ever England”.  The chairs are just put out if there is a concert, but during the daytime people walk into a vast empty space with these wonderful tree hangings, the line of poetry on the floor and the music playing.  I think it’s really impressive and I’m proud to play a small part in the annual Arts Festival.

The spread above is in my Altered Book Journal.  I was a bit surprised in how it turned out, but that’s the way the pages wanted to be so who am I to argue?

I don’t know anything about Anwar Sadat other than he was the President of Egypt from 1970.  I’m guessing like most politicians he had good points and bad.  He took his country to war with Israel but he also entered into Peace Talks with Israel which culminated in a Peace Treaty being signed.  He and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On 6 October 1981 President Sadat was assassinated during the annual victory parade held in Cairo.

Anyway I really like the quote and I needed something with an Egyptian flavour to compliment the images (which came from a picture I bought in a charity shop yesterday).

Until the next time, have fun

Big love

AJ :-)

 

 

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Getting Away With It

Getting Away With It

Hello friends

Thank you for your kind comments after my last post.  To be honest I am still feeling conflicted about the whole blog thing and I need to give it some thought.

In the meantime I have finished the front cover of my board book.  Just got the back cover to do now, but that could take a few weeks at current rate of progress.  I sealed the collage with clear packing tape, so it has a gloss finish.  You can see the lines where the tape overlaps, but I don’t mind that.

I hope you are keeping well and happy.  I’m really enjoying the sunshine and long hours of daylight at the moment.

See you soon

Big love

AJ :-)

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Happy Birthday Blog!

Mandala book coverHello friends!

It’s been a while so I hope all is good with you.

According to WordPress it’s 3 years ago today that I started this blog, so Happy Birthday Blog!  Unfortunately recently I’ve been neglecting things and here we are in the middle of June and this is my first post of the month.  What happened?  I used to post regularly, often 2 posts a week, but now there are long gaps.

Working on the kitchen refurb was the start of the upset of the routine and finding the time is always a problem, but it’s more than that.  I’ve been wondering what it’s all about? Why am I putting all this stuff out there? I always found time in the past so what’s the problem now? Also there is a bit of guilt, people come along here and leave lovely comments and I read them and have every intention of replying, visiting their blogs and being supportive – every intention but I’m not always successful with my intentions.  So does that make me a bad blogger? I’m not asking for or expecting anyone to give me any answers but these are just some of the thoughts I’ve been having and I’m still confused about it…

Anyway, I’ve still found time to be creative – I’ve been working on a couple of paintings, on several journals and I managed to finish my second Mandala book, the images above and below are the front and back cover of the book.

Take good care of yourselves, until the next time

Big love

AJ :-)

Back cover

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

It’s finished!

Global Psychedelic Soundsystem

 

Hello friends!

I hope you are all well and happy.

Here I am again after a long absence, I’ve just been busier then usual and had no time for blogging and little time for art in the past few weeks.

The page above is in my Amazing 16 page Journal. T asked me if I could make a flyer for his Global Psychedelic Soundsystem and here it is.  There will be another part to this page but it’s not finished yet.

However the kitchen is now finally finished – phew!  And as promised here are some before and photos:

Looking from dining room to end of kitchenBEFORE – Looking from dining room to end of kitchen – AFTER

 Looking from back door to dining room    -    AFTER

BEFORE    –   Looking from back door to dining room    –    AFTER

It probably doesn’t look a lot different but there is more space to move about in now and much more work-surface and storage space.  The style is more in fitting with the age of the house AND, although T is quite scared of colour and always wants everything painted white, I did manage to get a teal coloured wall and multi-coloured tiles, so it looks much brighter now.

The pink sign above the arch to the dining room says ‘MIND YOUR HEAD’ as it is lower than normal door height.  It’s fine for T and Me as we are both short and can walk through without ducking, but we do have some taller friends and we don’t want anyone knocking themselves out when they visit.

This weekend has been busy Ryde Social Heritage Group hosted two Open Days at Ryde Cemetery, where we had exhibitions, guided walks and talks and a ‘Meet the Residents’ event.  It all looked fantastic and was a great success, fortunately the sun shone on both days and we had lots of visitors.  It took a lot of hard work by the team to get it all together – researching, writing up display sheets, collecting items to display and sorting out costumes, but it was definitely worthwhile.  Today is a bank holiday in the UK so I’ve just been having a quiet day resting, the weather has been wet and miserable today but that’s OK as I was still in my PJs up until 3pm.

That’s all for now folks, I have a stack of ironing to do before work tomorrow and various other bits to sort out.

Have a great week and hopefully I’ll be back soon.

Big love

AJ :-)

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

Universal Force

Universal Force

Hello friends!

Another Sunday and that’s another week flown by!  Everything here is fine. T is recovering well but his doctor is insisting he takes another week off work, just to be on the safe side.

Tomorrow is a Bank Holiday anyway so we are both off work and we will probably try to get a bit more of the tiling done.  In a day it’s unlikely that we will finish it but it will be good to move it on even if it’s only a little bit.

I had a busy week, I had to go to a team meeting on Monday which took up all day and the rest of the week was spent catching up.

On Thursday I began to feel unwell at work and when I woke up on Friday I had a sore throat and aches all over my body.  I phoned in sick and spent the whole day in my PJs and most of the time in bed although I did get up several times for short periods.  I felt pretty rough all day though which was a bit worrying as on Saturday I had to make an early start and, with my friend, take our exhibition boards to a one day conference of the IW Family History Society.

Fortunately I did feel better when I woke up on Saturday and I dosed myself up with medicine before I left home at 07:30.  We had a good but tiring day.  Our exhibit was one of many local history displays and it was good to meet up with old friends and chat and meet new people.  Some people gave us information and others we were able to help. There were a number of talks throughout the day at the conference but sadly we didn’t get to hear them as we were ‘on duty’.  We were both really tired when we finally got home at about 7pm.

Today I’m feeling better again so I suppose I only had what is known as a ’24hr bug’, phew!

The page above is in my 16-page journal, I like this page, it’s zingy and fun!

A good friend of ours is currently in Nepal at Boudhanath Stupa, it’s a very wonderful and powerful place.  T and I went there way back in the 1970s. It’s pretty special to know that a good friend is there right now.

Boudhanath Stupa, Nepal

Public Domain Image of Boudhanath Stupa.

Our friend is doing 108 circuits of this magical place and performing a healing ceremony at a given time tomorrow.  All I have to do is be in a quiet place, relax and focus on my heart for 15 minutes.  I know, this could sound really crazy, but “There is force in the universe, which, if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results”, so said Mr Gandhi. :-)

Have a great week.

Big love

AJ :-)

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Live, Love, Laugh!

Live, Love, Laugh

Hello friends!

I am sorry I’ve been missing for a while, but things got crazy and difficult here for a few days.

So who was it that had the brilliant idea of putting in a new kitchen!????

It’s supposed to be finished by now isn’t it, but it’s not!

Last weekend (Easter) we spent three whole days tiling, but were making very slow progress.  T was clearly struggling all weekend and by Sunday afternoon it was obvious he was becoming very unwell.  He has Bipolar disorder but it is controlled by medication and he has been well for several years now.  I think the stress of the never-ending work in the kitchen, and the mass of other jobs that are being left while we are doing the work, triggered an episode. Things got really difficult for a while.

On Monday I let him rest and carried on tiling on my own.  I would say that now two thirds of the tiling is complete and it looks great, but I’ve no idea when the last third will get done. The last cupboard has been built but still has to be hung on the wall.  So not a great deal of progress since the last time I wrote.  I am going to be busy with other stuff now right up until the end of May.  So perhaps it will get done in the Summer now, or perhaps we will just live with an unfinished kitchen?

By Monday afternoon it was obvious that T needed more than rest so I phoned for medical help and I was lucky that someone from the Mental Health team agreed to come and visit us at home and bring some medication.  After that things began to calm down and T’s mood (which had been deep despair and agitation) began to lift.

So that’s why I’ve not been around and haven’t had any time for making art either!

The page above is a page I did at the Art Journaling workshop I taught on 29 March.  It didn’t come out quite as I expected.  I had spent most of the day trying to reassure the workshop participants that you can’t really do anything wrong in art journaling and if you make a mistake it can usually be fixed, Everyone was quietly working away happily.

My page originally had a black and white image of the face of a pretty girl cut from a magazine and for some reason I decided to colour it in with Copic Marker pen.  Big MISTAKE!  it looked truly horrible.  Oh No!  what to do now???  I’ve told everyone you can’t make mistakes and I’ve just made a massive one.  In the end I picked up a white Sharpie poster paint pen and completely blanked out the ruined face and restarted from there.  At the end of the workshop when we did our ‘show and tell session’ I had to explain what happened to my page.  I guess it was a good example though to show people that when things do go wrong the ‘golden rule’ is Don’t Panic just find a workaround.

So that’s how things are with me, I hope all is well with you and I’ll try and be more prompt with my blogging in future.

Big love

AJ :-)

 

 

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Hello friends

How are you?  I really hope all is good.

I’ve had a wonderful weekend, the weather has been very springlike and sunshine always raises my spirits.

Friday evening I attended a quiz at the local library with a bunch of friends.  We didn’t do very well at the quiz but we had loads of fun and a fish & chip supper.

On Saturday morning we had the quarterly meeting of the local history group and that was really enloyable.  I gave my Chairman’s report first and then a few other people from the group gave their reports and the meeting was concluded with an interesting talk about a hotel in Ryde that was demolished in the 1930s.  Afterwards a few of us went out for lunch.

When I got back home I decided to cut the grass in the back garden.  Unfortunately the lawn mower died just as I finished so I don’t know when it will be cut again.  I just don’t feel like paying out for a new mower just yet.

Today T has been working in the garden and I decided to start tiling the kitchen walls.  Yes the kitchen is almost finished now – there is still that one cupboard to build and hang on the wall and the tiles (which I bought last week).  The kitchen is looking good but until the tiles are put up it won’t be finished.  Unfortunately there was so much preparation to do on the walls that I haven’t managed yet to put one tile up today!  We did manage to get the splashback (which T insists on calling the ‘flashback’) up. Next weekend we have 4 days off work so the kitchen should be finished by the time we go back to work on Tuesday. (But don’t hold me to that)!

This afternoon I have been for a walk in the cemetery with a friend and visited Mum and Dad.

So all is good with me :-)

The page above is from my Teesha Moore inspired ‘Amazing 16 page journal’.  I’m really pleased with how this one turned out. I like the colours and the quote, and I’ve always been attracted by the Wild Side :-)

I’ve posted the image below before, but I’m reposting it again today.

When someone shows you who they are

I made this page in response to some nastiness that was going on in my life, if you are interested you can read the post here.

I am posting it again today to remind myself what a valuable lesson I learnt from a very nasty, stressful and difficult time. Something similar happened recently but this time my reaction was different. Eventually the ‘story’ being told about me got back to me, but this time I just laughed. I’ve grown, I’m happy and confident with who I am, if people want to believe lies about me, then it’s really none of my business. As Gandhi said “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet”.

Have a great week everyone

Big Love

AJ :-)

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Travel the Universe

Travel the Universe

Hello friends

I’m back!  I hope you are all fine, happy and following your creative flow.

Finally on Friday we had the water and gas reconnected in our new kitchen (we were almost a month without that luxury) and things are slowly getting back to normal again. Prior to that we had a few set backs and problems which we thought were going to cost a lot of money to sort out, but eventually our fantastic plumber worked it out and managed to do the job fairly quickly so hopefully his bill won’t be too huge when it arrives.

Still to do: build one more cupboard and hang it on the wall, sort out a back for the cupboard under the sink and finally buy tiles and fix them to the wall, then bring all the kitchen stuff that has been stored in T’s room since February back into the kitchen, oh and there will be several trips to the local landfill site to dispose of rubbish and accumulated stuff. I think we are coming to an agreement on which tiles and which colours to use. The kitchen is already looking pretty fabulous but the tiles and backsplash will complete the job. I don’t know if you will be interested but I will show you before and after photos once it’s finally complete. I am NEVER going to do a big job like this again, it has been really hard work and we will both be glad when it’s finally completely finished and actually now that it is almost done it’s a bit of a struggle to keep going and finish it.  Fortunately when things have gone wrong we have managed to keep each other’s spirits up.

The page above is another in my Amazing 16-page journal.  I had loads of fun with this page which is good, because I’m really not sure about the end result. but it is what it is. The quote is by Andre Robillard, a French artist I only discovered recently and whose work I absolutely love.  It may be a little difficult for you to read the words so here is what they say: “An artist is like an astronaut, with your mind you can travel the entire universe”.

I need more time, there are ideas forming in my mind for new projects, but I have too many other projects and commitments at the moment to bring them to fruition.  I guess I’ll just have to write the ideas up in my note book for future reference.

That’s all for now folks, have a great week and I’ll see you soon.

Big love

AJ :-)

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Balance

Balance

Hello friends!

I hope all is good in your part of the world.

It’s bright and sunny here today, but still cool. Nice though :-)

The clocks went forward last night and this always confuses T and me, still at least we got the right day this year!  It will be lovely this evening when it stays lighter for longer.

Yesterday I delivered my Introduction to Visual Journaling workshop (which was completely inspired by Teesha Moore) to a group of lovely women at Ventnor Library, it was a really fun day and everyone produced great work. It’s lovely to see how different people, using the same instructions, produce completely unique pieces by the end of the day. My sincere thanks to the Friends of Ventnor Library who invited me to deliver the workshop and to all who attended, I really hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and, more importantly, that you have been inspired to start your journey into the wonderful world of art journaling.

It’s been almost three weeks now that we have been without gas and water in our kitchen, it’s going to feel so good when it’s reconnected and we can start using the kitchen properly.  In the meantime the worktop has been cut and fitted by someone who knew what he was doing and it looks very professional :-)  It was well worth the money it cost to get someone else do to it for us. We just have a few small jobs to do ourselves, well they appear to be small jobs at the start but usually turn into long and difficult jobs!  There are two more cupboards to fit some doors to go on (once the plumber has been to reconnect the pipes) and then the last big job will be tiling the walls.  At the moment we can’t quite agree on the colours for the tiles but I am sure we will work something out.

The page above is one that I used as an example at my workshop yesterday.  I purposely started with a background colour that I didn’t like.  I wanted to show people that you can work with things that are maybe not ideal and still produce something you like at the end of the day.

OK I have to go now, as it’s a sunny day I have decided to mow the lawn (or more accurately the ‘weed patch’), it will be good to get out in the fresh air and sunshine for a while.

Have a good week and I’ll see you soon.

Big love

AJ :-)

 

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.