Perfection and/or HarmonyHello friends!

I hope everything is good with you all.

Here is my mid-week posting, it’s a page from my A4 journal.  Unusually it’s just a single page, not a spread and I’ve already shown you the opposite page here.

There are quite a lot of layers on this page, torn papers, images downloaded from the internet, home made washi tape (inspired by my friend Carolyn at a Colorful Journey), the stamps are by Lost & Found My Mind’s Eye range, I think the set might be called Rosy ‘Everything’, I stencilled black and red acrylic paint through punchinella and added the quote to finish it off.  The page was made some time ago at a time when I was struggling with some conflict in my life.

I have realised that making art like this really grounds me, I can sort stuff out in my head, breath, calm myself down.  I made a page that I think is pleasing to look at from a situation that felt really ugly and uncomfortable for me.  I hope you like it.

I hope the week is going well for you.

Big love

AJ 🙂

Tired but contented

BlossomHello friends, I’m back!

I hope all is good with you, what a busy week I’ve had!

On Monday I spent most of the day preparing for a presentation I had agreed to give to senior management at work.  I agreed to do it because it’s not really something I feel very comfortable with, and I am determined to be more fearless.  I thought this would be a good challenge to help me be braver.

On Tuesday I spent the whole day working on the lifting inspections project.  This project was given to me as an ‘add-on’ to my normal work, but it’s taking up far more time than I thought it would and nothing is simple, I keep coming across problems and difficulties, but at least it’s not boring and it gets me out of the office, so I’m not complaining.

On Wednesday I travelled to the mainland (remember I live on an Island) to meet up with a colleague and we rehearsed our presentation once before going and delivering it to the bosses.  It went OK, the management team were very kind to us and didn’t seem half as scary as I thought they would be.  My presentation was not ‘word perfect’ but I was happy at the end of it.

Dad 90When I got back home we went out for an evening meal with my Mum & Dad and my eldest brother and his wife to celebrate dad’s 90th birthday.  My brother and I had arranged for Dad to have a flight in a glider for a birthday treat and the weather was good enough for him to have the flight actually on his birthday.  He had a really great day.  My other brother and his family are coming over from France next weekend to see us for a short visit.


On Thursday and Friday I had leave from work and I spent the whole of both days, setting up stuff for the RSHG Open Days and Jubilee Celebrations in Ryde Cemetery.  On Thursday I was mostly on my own, but on Friday others came to help.  After a lot of hard work, finally every thing was ready.

Queen Elizabeth & Queen VictoriaWe had two glorious days of sunny weather and lots of visitors.  There are three old chapels in the cemetery and we had all three open, in one, the Learning Centre, we had refreshements available and all of our research folders for visitors to browse.  We were also able to help many people with their family history research and to locate graves of their ancestors.  In the two other chapels we had display boards with historical information about our town.  One display was about Royals and Ryde and as well as display boards we also had artefacts, and a Royal tableau consisting of a young Queen Elizabeth dressed in her coronation gown and robe complete with crown and orb (made by me) and along side her was an older Queen Victoria.  It all looked really good.

Hannah Harvey

Me as Hannah Harvey

At 2pm on both days we performed some living history in the form of a ‘Character Walk’.  The visitors lead by a guide and commentator went for a short stroll in the cemetery and met some of the characters from Ryde’s past.  We had loads of fun performing our characters and everyone said they enjoyed the walk very much.  When the character walk was over we invited all the visitors to join us for a Royal Tea party.  We had a fantastic bunch of volunteers helping us.  Now it’s over and everything is tidied up and packed away we are all very tired but satisifed that it was worth the effort.



Well you were probably not interested in any of that, so now to the spread above, it’s from my 6×6 journal and was done at the end of April this year.   I started off with gesso which I textured, then coloured with orange and purple acrylic paint and then stamped with my flower word stamp.  A good friend recently gave me some delightful floral papers, the papers are all about the size of a playing card and are packaged together with a neat paper binding.  It was such a lovely gift I wasn’t sure I would be able to break into the stash, but I took a deep breath, selected some of the papers, tore the edges and edged with orange and purple ink and stuck them on the pages, then I finger painted with orange glitter paint and used some flower stamps to put in the bottom border.  I coloured the stamped images with glitter pens and finally added the quote “The day comes when the risk of remaining tight in a bud is more painful than the risk it takes to open and blossom” by Anais Nin.

Oh! my other exciting news is that it was my birthday yesterday and my lovely husband said that I could book myself on to the Call of the Wild Soul art retreat in September.  So I am going to have three wonderful days being taught by Teesha Moore, Orly Avineri and Flora Bowley.!!! I am soooooo excited!  And as an extra special treat for me I will get to see Tracy Moore, Teesha’s husband, again.  I met Tracy a few years ago at a Lomographic convention in London.  He is just the sweetest, kindest, warm-hearted man ever.

What a fabulous birthday present and what a fabulous week!

Hope you are all having a good time too.

Big love




Caribbean Cool

Caribbean CoolHello friends

I hope you have all had a good weekend, mine has been busy.  Spent the last two days working in the Heritage Centre in the Cemetery helping to set up an exhibition on Royalty and Ryde for our two Open Days next weekend.  There is still quite a lot of work to do but nevertheless we made good progress and it will all look good.   Now we just have to hope some people turn up to make it worthwhile.

The spread above is about my wedding on February 2 2007, I’ve written about that event before so I won’t bore you with the details again, except to say that I absolutely love the Island of Tobago and in particular the quiet fishing village of Castara.  Our wedding was just before sunset on top of Mount Dillon overlooking beautiful Castara Bay, it was perfect.

To make the spread I first covered the pages completely with images cut from magazines, all the images were predominently an intense blue – the colour of the Caribbean sea, then I lightly gesso’d over the top, stamped and stencilled in red, yellow and green also colours of the Caribbean, and blue fishes.  Then I added three images;  the ‘Welcome to Paradise’ sign was on a tree outside Cascreole beach bar (where we had supper after our wedding), one image is of the wedding party – two locals, Susan and Horace Jackson (Horace was one of the witnesses), me, T and the lovely minister Brent Hart, the photo was taken by Paul T’s best man.  There was no-one else there.  The third photo is of one of the many beautiful sunsets you can see from the beach at Castara.  The blue heart is a die cut baby wipe I had used to wipe some blue paint.

This spread makes me happy.

It’s my Dad’s 90th birthday on Wednesday and we are going out for a meal to celebrate that night so I probably won’t be able to post anything until next weekend.

I’ll be thinking of you all and I’ll be back as soon as I can.

Big love

AJ 🙂

The Journey

The JourneyHello friends!

I hope you are having a good week.  Mine is going fine.

For this spread in my 6×6 journal I started with a page that had some horrible dark green paint on it and the opposite page had dabs of pink ink.  Not a great combination!   I collaged copies of old maps and papers from the Papermania Bookprint collection onto the pages.  I coloured them with Inktense blocks and water.  Where I had used Mod Podge to stick the papers down it acted as a resist to the colour – a nice effect.  I finger painted the whole spread with an ‘eggyolk’ yellow acrylic paint and then added the circles by stamping brown acrylic paint using bottle caps.  I thought it needed some contrast so I stencilled blue acrylic paint through punchinella and a big dot stencil.  Finally I added the words using brown Stazon and a set of tiny letters I purchased at Hobbycraft a while ago.

Making the spread was a bit of a journey, I had no idea where I was going with it when I started and I wasn’t sure where I was when I finished.  It was good fun though 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Big love

AJ 🙂

As We Grow Up

As We Grow Up

Hello friends

Well we finally had some sunshine, and oh boy! doesn’t it make a difference, everything looks and feels better when the sun shines.

Yesterday I did a lot of work in the garden.  The only area of responsibility I have in the garden is cutting the grass, but because I don’t do it very often, the two grassy areas are more weed patches than grass and look very scruffy.  This contrasts very badly with the rest of the garden which is very neat and tidy, as are most things in my husband’s life (apart from me).  I really don’t know how he puts up with me, he is obsessive about tidiness, and I live my life surrounded by clutter and stuff!

Anyway I cut down the two weed patches and they now look slightly more respectible, however I am pleased to say I have finally convinced T that we should do away with the grass altogether.  The area at the back of the house where we occassionally sit on the rare occasions when it’s warm enough will be paved (when we can afford it) and the garden at the front of the house is going to have raised beds so T can grow even more vegetables.  This is a huge relief for me I can tell you, and gives him more growing space – he loves his home grown veg.

Today was even more glorious but I woke up feeling poorly and spent most of the morning in bed.  When I did get up there were chores to do and then a visit to my parents.  Fortunately I have a day off work tomorrow so I will be able to enjoy a day that I felt like I missed today – if you see what I mean?

This spread is from my A4 journal, it looks a bit busy, but I was pleased with how it turned out.  I did it a while ago so I can’t really remember the whole process, but there are ripped and die cut old book pages, acrylic paints, gesso, stamping and a really cool, but very long quote I found.  It starts “As we grow up” and ends “live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back”.

I think if you click on the image you should be able to see it big enough to read the whole quote  – it’s a good one.  I use all these quotes because I am really trying to improve myself – to improve in my art and in my attitude and outlook.  I don’t always succeed and I definitely do have negative periods, but I’m trying and slowly I feel that I am getting to grips with it.

I hope you are having a great weekend.

Big love

AJ 🙂

The Moment is Now!

The Moment is NowHello friends!

Happy Wednesday to you I hope you are all well and happy.  I am fine, but I’m feeling physically exhausted at the moment – in a good way I think.

I’ve been doing something completely different at work last week and this week, it’s interesting but tiring for me.

This is a spread from my 6×6 journal.  I started by collaging some images I’d printed but because my printer was running out of ink the colours came out really strange.  Rather than throw them out I decided to use them as a base for a journal page.  I also ripped up some of the local newspaper the was lying on my work table and stuck that down too.  Then I finger painted with blue acrylic, I used a handcut stencil and some blue distress ink then I over collaged with scrapbook paper and the quote which I hand wrote.  I know I should credit the author, but I’m sorry I can’t remember this time.  Finally I overstamped with a paisley stamp and black Stazon and a flower stamp and blue Stazon and I edged the pages with the blue ink too..

Right, I’m off to bed now to get some rest before another busy day of site visits.

I’ll be back soon.

Big love

AJ 🙂


Be Grateful to People Who Make us Happy…

Be Grateful to People Who Make us HappyHello friends!

I hope everything is good with you.  We are in the middle of a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK and it’s unseasonally cold.  At least it has stopped raining for the time being, but a little warmth and sunshine would be appreciated… maybe tomorrow?  I mean we are well into May now!

This spread is from my A4 journal.  You are probably getting the idea by now that one of the things I love to use in my art is torn paper – books, adverts, old maps, receipts, scrap book paper, etc. I just love paper!  I also love script and especially script I can’t understand.  I can only speak English so all other languages look fascinating to me.

I also like the idea of my soul blossoming, so thank you Marcel Proust for the lovely quote.  Fortunately there are quite a lot of people in my life who make me happy.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Big love

AJ 🙂


A Beautiful and Incredible Place

A Beautiful & Incredible Place

Hello friends

Gosh, it’s mid week already, I just don’t know where the time goes, but then they do say ‘Time flies when you are having fun’ 🙂

This spread is from my 6×6 journal and I used stuff that was just on my work table – scraps of paper, images from magazines, old maps, even a bit of packaging from a Tim Holtz mask I purchased.  The pages already had gesso on them which I had textured by putting the wet pages together and then pulling them apart (I love that effect), I finger painted with yellow acrylic paint and then collaged the paper scraps on top.  I edged some of the paper with black ink and some with yellow ink.  I added more gesso to the edges of some of the images to push them back to the background.  The quote is by Ole Osterkamp and I wrote it on some cream vellum, tore the edges, inked them with yellow ink and stuck the pieces on.  I have started putting dates on my finished pages, because I am having trouble remembering when I did what, if you know what I mean 😉  I liked the end result.

The journal is actually wire bound, but I am in quandry about continuing to use wire bound journals.  There are pros and cons.  The wire binding allows for expansion as the pages and journal thicken up and also allows for a lot of decorating, with fibres, charms etc,  of the outside of the spine when the journal is completed.  But the wire binding really distracts and disects the images I make across two pages.  That is why I scan the two sides of the spread and stitch them close together without the wire binding showing.  Is that cheating?

I hope all is good with you my friends and I’ll be back again soon.

Big love

AJ 🙂