That was January and here comes February

Hello Friends

I hope everyone is well, I’ve been sick again since Sunday and am having a few days off work to hopefully recuperate.  I saw the doctor today and he is arranging for me to have physiotherapy on my neck.  The neck seems to be a problem area for me, causing severe headaches and nausea.  The doctor also gave me some medicine to take to stop the sickness so that I should at least be able to take and, more importantly, keep down pain-killers when necessary.

Anyway I still managed to get my January calander completed and the new page for February is ready for tomorrow.  I will try and use more images for February.  January seems to have zipped by in a flash!

T and I are making plans for a short holiday in July to celebrate his 60th birthday we are going up north to Yorkshire, where he was born, for a week.  At first he was very reluctant to go away because since our last holiday together we have adopted two beautiful cats.  T didn’t like the idea of putting them into a cattery for the week, so he is paying someone to come and house/cat sit for us.  I’m sure ‘the boys’ will still be freaked out at having a stranger in the house, but it should be OK as soon as they realise he is going to pet and feed them and let them out every morning.   We live in a cemetery and the cats are allowed out in the morning and can play in the cemetery all day, but we like to have them inside at night.  There are foxes in the cemetery and although everyone says that in general cats and foxes tolerate eachother and in a fight the fox is likely to come off worse we don’t want to risk it.  As far as we can tell ‘the boys’ don’t venture outside of the cemetery, it covers 12 acres of land so they don’t really need to go out on the roads.  But then who really knows what they get up to when they are out of sight?

That’s all for now, I hope to get back to normal soon.

Big love

AJ 🙂





Advice from Albert Einstein

Advice from AlbertHello friends!

Thanks for dropping by.

If you could meet anyone in the world (dead or alive) who would it be?  I really think I’d have liked to have met Albert Einstein.  A man of super intelligence but with that little glint of mischieviousness in his eye and crazy hair.  I think he must have been one cool dude.  He said so many deep and profound things and I love using his quotes in my journals.

This spread from my 6″x6″ journal  is on a textured gesso ground.  I bought some tiny tubs of glitter paint (old stuff) in a charity shop and when I got home and opened them the paint, instead of being liquid or creamy, had set like thick jelly.  At first I thought I’m not going to be able to use it, I stuck my finger in and a great glob of sticky paint stuck to it.   I wiped my finger on my book to remove the paint and magic happened.  This lovely luminescent orange glow transferred to the page.  It doesn’t really show up in the scanned image but that orange sheen is just fabulous.  For some reason, not even known to me, I added pink and purple to the page.  Colours that really shouldn’t go together or with orange but I love the way it turned out.  I added pink flowery torn paper edged with purple ink and stamped over with some flower stamps.   There is something about those particular flower stamps that reminds me of the early 70s when I was young, all my friends were hippies and we thought we could change the world…

I added the quote from AE to finish the spread off. I hope you like it.

Big love


Revo-lution 2012 – Authentic

AuthenticHello friends!

Hope all is good with you, and those of you that are engulfed by snow – I hope you are keeping warm.

Here is another spread from my Revo-lution board book.  Check out Gretchen Miller’s blog, Creativity in Motion, for more information about the thinking behind the Revolution book, plus lots of other fabulous arty ideas!

This is a fairly simple spread about finding and being my authentic self.  I just used acrylic paints on the pages.  I started with green, then a dark blue around the edges and to create the lines down the pages, then red also around the edges, then a metallic bronze paint over the red.  I cut the swirls with my Big Shot from some thick dark textured paper and printed the three words with white ink.  Finally I outlined the letters of Authentic with dots using my white gel pen.  It was then I realised that instead of using the letter U I had in fact used an upside-down N, doh!  🙂

I had some good news yesterday, I won the Vintage Papers giveawy on Alicia’s Altered Bits blog.  Yeah!  That made me HAPPY!  I am also going to participate in her Tallest Handmade Book in the World Project and I hope that some of you will too.  It’s for a really good cause Alicia is starting a nonprofit art group for children with Asperger’s and Autism.  Click on the link on my sidebar (Yes I finally figured out how to add a button to the sidebar, it’s taken me almost a year to do that!) and find out the details of the project.  The end date of the project is 27 April 2012 which is her son Finn’s 9th Birthday, so there is still time to make some pages and get them to her.  I’m sure she could do with some more pages, and I am sure the end result will be an awesome book we can all be proud of.

That’s all for now, see you soon

Big love


Writing in the Round

Hello Friends

I hope everyone is well.  I am feeling much better and only had one day off work.  My husband is now poorly but not with the same thing.  He’s had a few days off work and has suffered much more than I did.  Hopefully we will both be back on track again soon.

The spread above is from my 6×6 (handbag size) journal.  I still don’t feel comfortable writing in my journals so I thought I would practice my lettering. I painted gesso in a spiral on the pages so that some parts were left without gesso and then I used Inktense block over the top to create the background.

I drew the ‘true love’ flowers in the middle and then started to write – from the inside out on the first page and the outside in on the second page.  I coloured the petals of the flowers with glitter pen so they sparkle, and drew the wobbly border all around – et voila!

Not much else to say really and I need to get on with my scanning of old photographs.   So far I’ve scanned and cleaned up 11 photos, only about another 100 to go!

Hope you all are having fun

Big love


Revo-lution 2012 – Kindness

KindnessHello friends!

I hope everyone is well and happy.  I must admit I’m a bit under the weather at the moment and have spent most of today in bed.  It will pass I just need to rest up for a couple of days, so I probably won’t go to work tomorrow.

The spread above is from my 5″ x 5″ Revo-lution 2012 board book inspired by a workshop I did on 21 Secrets last year with Gretchen Miller.  Gretchen has information and an e-book all about the Revolution available on her blog here.

This image reflects my desire to become a kinder person.  I really like the way it came out.  I painted the pages with a pink fluorscent paint I found in my stash when I tidied up my work room recently.

The paint must be nearly 20 years old because I remember I originally used it to paint on big fabric hangings that were used to decorate walls at clubs and parties where my husband DJ’d.  When the hangings were lit with UV/black light the colours really glowed.  Anyway despite its age most of the paint is still useable so I’ve moved it into my paint storage drawers for easy access.

Also on this spread I transferred text from a book directly onto the page using gel medium.  Thanks to Donna Downey for the tip on how to do that, it’s really easy and the results are amazing, although I must admit you can’t see them too well in the picture.  I stamped over with my tiny flower and tiny dots stamps.  The hands are cut from a magazine, the letters are from a word game I bought in a charity shop and are stuck on over a piece of scrap paper.  The hearts were cut with my new BigShot 🙂 and I stuck the three words onto pre-made tags from K & Co which were attached with a decorative brad.

That’s all for now folks, I’ve exhausted myself and need to go and lie down again for a while.

See you later

Big Love

AJ 🙂

Doodles Unleashed – Playful Printmaking

Hello friends!

Strathmore has some fantastic free online workshops at the moment and I decided to sign up for the wonderful Traci Bautista‘s Doodles Unleashed.

If I was a more disciplined person I wouldn’t have done this because there are other things I really should be doing right now, however, I am a hopeless addict to creativity and I couldn’t resist!  I watched both video turorials for week 1 Playful Printmaking and then created the above image.  It is in a big (12 x 16 inch) Daler Rowney 300 g/m water colour pad.

I was a bit out of my comfort zone creating this page, but I am happy with the way it turned out.  I had to laugh because my husband came into the room while I was working on it, he rarely comments on my art, but he looked at this page and said “Hmmm, that’s very psychedelic”!!  He didn’t say whether he liked it or now though?

Right, let’s see if I can get this report written before I’m tempted to start the second workshop Spontaneous Water Colour Backgrounds, it’s going to be tough so wish me luck 😉

Big love


Revo-lution 2012 – Change

Hello Friends

I hope everyone is well and enjoying the new year.

First of all I apologise because I have not been replying to comments on my blog, which I think is very rude and I hope you will forgive me.  My only excuse is that things have been very busy.

My dad went into hospital on Friday for what the doctor described as a minor operation.  It was to remove a lump about the size of a tennis ball from the side of his face and neck.  We already knew that the lump was benign but it was beginning to affect his swallow.  There were some risks in him having the op.  Dad is nearly 90.  The doctor assured us that if all went well he would stay in hospital one night and then come home the next day.

The op was done in a hospital in Portsmouth, just a few miles from where we live but with a stretch of water and a ferry crossing between.  Mum wanted to be on the same side of the water as dad, so on Friday we all set off together and mum and I booked into a hotel overnight.  We left him at the hospital at about 1pm and the next time we saw him was at 5pm.  He was sitting up in bed, looking pretty OK.  He has a three inch cut in his neck with 12 stitches, which does look quite dramatic, but the big lump is gone!  Everything went well and he was allowed to come home yesterday.  He is just feeling slightly sore but is suffering no after affects from the general anaesthetic.

I think mum and I were more exhasuted than he was by the time we got home.  I checked on them both today and everything is still fine.   Phew!

Apart from that I’ve had to update the history group website and prepare a presentation for next Saturday, now I have a quarterly report to write before next weekend and then there is a stack of about 100 historic photographs that someone lent to me a couple of months ago that I really must scan so I can return the originals.

Still I’ve managed to do a little art and this is the second spread in my 2012 Revo-lution book which is about the changes I want to make in myself for my intention of becoming a better person.

That’s all for now.

Big love


366 Challenge

Hello Friends

I have decided to have a go at Kate Crane’s 366 Challenge this year.  Here is my January spread.  The idea is to create a calendar page for each month and then doodle or journal on each square for each day and at the end of the month post the completed page along with a new one for the following month.  The quote says

“A new year is unfolding like a blossom with petals tightly concealing the beauty within”.

I hope everyone is well.

Big love


New Year’s Revolution!

Hello Friends

Happy New Year to one and all!

I’m not making New Year’s Resolutions any more, because to be honest they usually seem to be about giving up things and I rarely keep those kinds of promises.  So this year I am trying something new.

One of the workshops I did at 21 Secrets 2011 (now sadly ended) was Gretchen Miller’s Revo-lution workshop.  It’s all about exploring concepts of transformation, creating change and new possibilities through art.  You concentrate on key words that have meaning for you and you make a journal page to show that meaning visually.  You can find out much more about this process at Gretchen’s blog Creativity in Motion.  It’s a great thing to do and I highly recommend it.  I do believe it can be life-changing for the better.

I made one Revolution book during 21 Secrets which concentrated on Joy, Bravery, Harmony, Creativity, Confidence, Authenticity and Serenity and now I am making a new book for 2012.  The first page is about Inspiration – I want to be inspired and I’d like to inspire others.  The book is a 5″ by 5″ board book stripped back to the board and then gesso’d and I’ve used images that inspire me.  The couple on the left are my parents who have loved and inspired me all my life; the sunset at Castara bay in Sunny Tobago (one of my favourite places on earth); a bit of an old map of Ryde, the town where I live, it has a fascinating history; Albert Einstein – who was a genius, deep thinker and often a little playful, I would have loved to have met him; Images of work of Joan Miro and Keith Haring, two of my favourite artists.  The little image bottom right says Plant a Seed, because that’s what inspiration is – the potential for something great.  I’ve included ArchBishop Desmond Tutu because he is another highly intellegent man, deep thinker, has a heart the size of a planet and a ‘wicked’ laugh.  I would love to meet him.

My good news is that I am now signed up for 21 Secrets 2012 so this year I will be participating for the whole 9 months, (big smile).

I hope all your dreams come true in 2012.  Here’s to another art full year.

Big love