Let’s Play! Blog Tagging!

Life is a Game, Play itHello friends,

It’s time to play 🙂  My friend Cat at seaskystone has tagged me in a game of blog tagging, and I’ve decided to play along. 🙂

The Rules
…you must post the rules
…answer 11 questions the tagger posted for you
…create 11 questions to ask the people you tag
…tag 11 people
…let them know you’ve tagged them

Here are the questions Cat asked and my replies:

  1. What’s the first art you remember making as a child? A roman style plate made of papier mache at infant school
  2. Pick a bouquet: Roses or wildflowers? It would have to be cultivated roses as wild flowers should be left where they choose to grow.
  3. Do you speak more than one language? Sadly I only speak English and I’m not even very good at that!
  4. How many unfinished projects are on your art table? It’s hard to tell as it is so cluttered, but there are at least 5 projects on the go at the moment!
  5. Peanut butter: extra crunchy, crunchy or creamy? Crunchy 🙂
  6. What’s your “if-you-were-stranded-on-a-deserted-island-and-could-only-have-one-song” song? Oooh this is difficult, I think it would have to be song called Afraid of the Dark written by my husband about 30 years ago.
  7. Reading preference: fiction or non-fiction?  I’m not reading much at all at the moment, but when I do read I like both fiction and non-fiction it’s the quality of the writing that counts.
  8. The smell of bread baking, or the smell of freshly ground coffee? Definitely coffee, I’m an addict.
  9. In five words or less, what does creativity mean to you? Expressing the inner me.
  10. What animal do you think you most look like? A pig
  11. What art techniques have you never tried, but want to…? Scrap metal sculpture.

And here are my 11 questions:

  1. Which artist (dead or alive) would you most like to have a 1 to 1 with?
  2. How do you silence your inner critic?
  3. If you could only use three colours which would you choose?
  4. If you could own any one piece of art in the world (money no object) what would it be?
  5. What is your most treasured inanimate possession?
  6. Given the choice of fruit or chocolate which would you pick?
  7. Where in the world would you most like to visit?
  8.  Is your art room tidy or messy?
  9. What gets you up in the morning?
  10. What makes you laugh out loud?
  11. If you could time travel which period or event in history would you like to experience?

And these are my Tagees, chosen from blogs I visit regularly and love (and not duplicating any chosen by Cat).

  1. Wendy @ a girl and her brush
  2. Alicia @ altered bits
  3. Gretchen @ creativity in motion
  4. Eileen @ The Scrap Pit
  5. Mary @ Time for Dabbling
  6. Nancy @ Delight-Filled Leaves Art
  7. Dana and Christopher @ St John Studio
  8. Brian @ a paper bear
  9. Sami @ Luna
  10. Elizabeth @ The Glowing Wheel
  11. July @ Itsaworkofart

I have checked the links and they work OK for me, but if there are any problems please let me know.

Please Note: There is no obligation to play along, I know people are busy with other stuff, so please don’t feel pressured because I tagged you, I just love your blogs so I wanted other to see them too.

The image above started off as just a purple glittery page, I didn’t like it so I drew black ovals all over it, didn’t like that either, so I took some of the lovely vintage pages Alicia sent me, ripped them and coloured them with blue distress ink and stuck them on, beginning to like it a bit now, then I got some gesso on my finger and drew around some of the black ovals and around the edges of the page, like it even more now. Then I took some printed vellum ripped and inked the edges with purple ink and stuck them on and dripped acrylic ink over the page.  Finally in honour of this game I printed the quote on.  Finally I really like the page and hope you do too 🙂

Big love


Life is Good

Hello Friends!

We changed the clocks this weekend so tonight it was lighter for an hour longer, the weather has been glorious and everywhere there are signs of spring.  I took my parents out for a drive this afternoon and the magnolia trees have just come into bloom, they look beautiful.

The page above is from my A4 journal, it looks a little ‘muddy’ as there are loads and loads of layers of gesso, acrylic paint, scrapbook paper, some Tim Holtz stamps and then more of the same.  It took a lot or work to arrive at something I was happy with – sometimes that’s how it goes.   The words sum up how I am feeling at the moment.

At the beginning of the month I said that I knew of 2 exciting things happening in March and the first happened last Friday.  My local history group was invited to a Royal event, the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the 200th anniversary of the passing of the Ryde Pier Act.  I think that my American friends will be much more impressed by this than any of my English friends.  I don’t know many English people who are ardent Royalists, but it was great for my hard working team to get some recognition for all the unpaid work they do researching and documenting the history of our town.  Prince Edward (the Queen’s youngest son) was very pleasant and easy to talk to and we had a fantastic day.  If you are intersted you can read about it here.

The second exciting thing is going to be the Party on the Pier next Saturday, we did it last year and our historical display attracted many people.  We are looking forward to having another wonderful day.

I hope life is good for all of you.

Big love


Out of the blue, I found you

Out of the Blue...Hello friends, happy Wednesday 🙂

I created this bluish spread with gesso, Derwents Inktense blocks, a Tim Holtz reflection script stamp, some scraps of scrap book paper and edged the pages and the papers with irredescent purple ink.  The phrase ‘Out of the blue, I found you”, kept coming into my mind so I stamped it with some tiny alphabet stamps I got from Hobbycraft.

I was thinking how lucky I was to meet my soul mate when I was still at school and how over time (over 40 ears) the relationship has changed in nature but is still constant and true.  Then I found this amazing quote by Sir Hugh Walpole.  You probably can’t read it from the image but it says:

“The most wonderful of things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one’s relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase.  This progressiveness of love between two humans is a marvellous thing; it cannot be found by looking or by passionately wishing for it.  Its a sort of divine accident”

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂

Mothers Day and Intuitive Cats

Mothers Day

Hello friends

I Hope everyone is well.

Mothers Day – It’s Mothers Day in the UK (I’m not sure if it is in other parts of the world).  My mum was 80 a few weeks ago and I wanted to do something special for her for Mothers Day.  I realised recently that I make things for lots of other people, but I’ve never made anything for Mum, so this week I converted a box, which originally contained chocolates, into a sort of Mothers Day card which I gave her today.  In the middle are two photos of Mum and me when we were both much younger.  I was lucky then to have such a loving Mum and I’m still lucky now.

Intuitive Cats – Usually my two cats get me up at about 5:30am because they want to go out, in fact they are desperate to go out.  I don’t mind because I like getting up early, it gives me time to do some art or local history group work before I set off for my day job.  But sometimes at weekends I could do with a break, that doesn’t usually happen.

Today I wasn’t woken up – no-one scratched at the base of the bed, ran over my head or whined in my ear to tell me it was time to get up.  When I realised this in my half awake state I thought that Tony must have let them out while I was still asleep.  So I had a peaceful lay in bed this morning and when I eventually decided to get up at 8am (very late for me)  I was surprised to see that both cats were still on the bed:  Jack Kat was on the pillow next to Tony’s head just gazing at his sleeping face, and Bill Kat was stretched out full length alongside him.  Yesterday Tony was unwell – he had a change of medication recently and the change has proved difficult to adjust to – I think the cats knew, I think they were watching over him making sure he was OK.  Fortunately he has been a lot better today.

That’s all for now, I’ll be back soon

Big love

AJ 🙂


Past, Future and Present

Past, Future and PresentHello Friends

This is a quick post because it’s early morning (although I’ve already been up an hour and a half) and I have to get ready for work.

Right now I am full fo anxiety.  Something has happened at work, I am totally unsure exactly what happened, but it means that either I have messed up, or one of my colleagues has been very dishonest.  I really think it is more likely to be the former than the latter, but either way I am in an uncomfortable situation.

The spread above from my small journal is about the past and the future, I used a lot of collage on this one, old book pages, old maps, and some old adverts.

I quite like the quote, but for now I need to go and face the present.  Wish me luck!

Big love


Let your heart lead the way…

Let your heart lead the wayHello friends

It has been a glorious weekend in my part of the world, warm and sunny and, for me, extremely busy.  I hope you have had a good weekend too.

On Saturday morning I did some shopping then spent the afternoon working with my local history group in the Heritage & Learning Centre.  When I got home I decided to clear out  the space underneath our decking.   My house is really old, it was built in about 1860, and underneath the house is a huge space like a cellar but with an earth floor.  Underneath the decking area is what was originally a small yard with two cubicles – one I think was where the outside toilet was and the other I suspect was where there were originally steps going down from the kitchen to the yard.

We have lived in the house for almost 16 years now and the yard and both cubicles had gradually filled up with bits of wood because they ‘might come in useful one day’.  Recently I began to realise that even if the wood could be reused, it was going to be impossible to get to any of it except those bits balanced precariously on the top of the stack.  So yesterday I decided to clear it all out.  I swept the area clean and then put back the very few bits that actually will be useful.

Today I got up early and, after typing up an article for the Local History group and before T was awake, I loaded up the car and took most of the wood to the local tip.  When I got home T was up and I got washed and changed into clean clothes and we went to pick up his friend N.  N has severe learning difficulties and is somewhere on the autistic spectrum, but he is lovely and T usually spends time with him one day during the week.  Last week was N’s birthday so for a special treat today we took him out for a walk and then for lunch.  We all had a great time.  By late afternoon we were back home  and I went to visit my parents who are both doing well.

I managed to work a little on a couple of art projects during the day too, so that was a bonus 🙂

This spread above, which I make a while ago, is in my 6″x6″ journal.  I’m not sure if you can read it, but on one page it says “Let your heart lead the way” and on the other it says “Your heart will find treasures your eyes can’t see“.   There are lots of layers of gesso, acrylic paint, scrapbook paper and Adirondak colorwash spray.  I wish I could remember where the scrapbook paper with the butterflies on came from, because it’s lovely.  It could be from the stash I bought when I was in LA last year, unfortunately I can’t remember for sure.  Anyway I was pleased with how this spread turned out.

That’s all for now, see you soon

Big love


Queen of HeARTs

Hello friends!

I hope everyone is well.

It’s been a week since I last posted, couldn’t post at the weekend due to various other tasks that had to be done.  I am getting behind with things at home and at work.  I spent the first part of the week at work preparing for two presentations I had to give today.  I’m glad I spent the time on them because I think they went well.  My presentations were on Employee Engagement and I was trying to be motivational to a group of people who were not really that interested, but I did OK and I was pleased with how I handled it.   But tomorrow I will have to try and catch up with over a week’s backlog of emails and other stuff I should also have been doing.  Oh well that’s life I guess, and I am pleased to say that although I am not managing to keep on top of things I’m not getting freaked out by that fact either.  There was a time when I’d have been full of anxiety and stress at the thought of my workload, but now I’m just going to try and work my way through it and eventually it will get done.

This page is from my A4 art journal and there is a bit of a ‘royal’ theme to it.  The page was gesso’d, then there are layers of acrylic paint.  I used white acrylic paint to make the ‘drippage’ lines which I thought gave a sort of tartan effect. The blue paper with the crown is a scrap book paper by Teresa Collins (torn and edged with blue distress ink).  Then I stamped over the page with a cheap foam crown stamp in black and some small hearts in red.  I stamped Queen of HeARTs with black Stazon but it looked odd so I edged and dotted the letters with a white gel pen.

I’m not sure what the significance of this page is, except it was one of those experimental and learning processes.

Big love to you all