When someone shows you who they are…

When someone shows you who they areHello friends

Wow Wednesday already, can’t believe how fast this week is passing, but I had two days off work and managed to get loads done, even a bit of decorating.

This spread is from my A4 journal and it was done as ‘art therapy’ a few months ago.  I was angry and upset and rather than dwell on it I put it down on these pages.

I won’t go into the details because honestly it’s not worth it.  It’s about someone who used to be a friend but isn’t anymore.  The quote by Maya Angelou, is so appropriate because if I think back, even when we were friends she showed me her true colours several times, but because we were friends I made allowances.  I should have believed her the first time she showed me the nasty side of her personality and ended the friendship then.  It’s been a valuable lesson to learn.

The page was created after a particularly unpleasent event a couple of years after the friendship ended.  She made accusations about me doing something I hadn’t done to several other people.  It felt like I was being provoked to respond in an angry way and defend myself, but I decided to ignore her and work through my frustrations by making art.  I wrote down exactly what I was thinking and then covered it up with art.  It worked 🙂

I didn’t like the spread at first, but now it’s growing on me.

I thoroughly recommend this – Don’t get angry, get arty!

I hope you are all having a good week.

Big love

AJ 🙂

Let your imagination soar!

Let your imagination soar

Hello friends!

It’s Sunday evening and it’s sunny – woo hoo!  It’s so nice to see some sunshine at last.

It’s been a crazy week here.  There is a big music festival going on, with lots of famous bands and Bruce Springsteen headlining tonight.   There are somewhere between 65,000 and 90,000 people attending (it’s difficult to get a definite/accurate number).  Anyway the place where I work is slap bang in the middle of what becomes the festival campsite and every year we get several weeks of disruption in the build up, during and after the festival.  For some reason I am the person who deals with all the problems and sorts it all out, which I have to admit is fairly interesting although not always successful.

This year is the 11th year of the festival and it seems to get bigger every year.  For the first 9 years they had sunshine everytime but last year it rained on the last day and as a result the whole site turned into a mud bath.  This year we have had really bad weather for weeks and the site was already thick with mud even before the gates opened on Thursday morning.  My 20 minute drive to work on Thursday took about 2 hours and most of the time I wasn’t moving at all, just sat in a long line of traffic.  Fortunately I left early because things just got steadily worse throughout the day.

When they opened the festival car park fields on Thursday morning the first cars in sunk into the mud and after that every single car had to be towed in by tractor, which took much longer than if they had been able to drive in.  All the time more ferries were arriving with more cars and eventually the tailback from the festival entrance went back as far as the ferry terminal which meant they were unable to unload any more cars.  Some people were trapped on the ferries for about 4 hours, others were unable to get on the ferries until the next day and many people had to sleep in their cars overnight.  When eventually they did get to the site, it was a mud bath.

I really feel sorry for all these people, the tickets for the festival are expensive and the tickets for the ferries are also expensive, so many people invested a lot of money in the weekend.  Everyone accepts that this is England and the weather is unpredictable, so come prepared for rain and mud, but the poor planning in dealing with the huge influx of people onto muddy fields on Thursday and Friday, has left a lot of people angry.  I could not get to work on Friday because all the roads around the site were gridlocked.  Eventually things did get better, the police and organisers found other places for people to park and bussed them into the site, but it was not a good start to the weekend.

We have had rain on and off all weekend and a heavy downpour most of last night.   I am really glad that now, for the last bit of the festival the sun has come out and hopefully warmed everyone’s spirits, they deserve it.

I am on leave tomorrow and Tuesday and at a meeting on the mainland on Wednesday, but I know that when I get back to my office on Thursday I will be greeted with a sight of devastation and mud  where just a couple of weeks ago there were green fields.

I don’t go to big festivals any more, I sometimes go to smaller ones and I was lucky enough to go to see Jimi Hendrix play at the early and massive Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 when I was just 15 years old.  They reckon that 600,000 people attended that festival, amazing!

Anyway, enough about all that stuff.  This spread is from my A4 journal and it came about because I bought the Tim Holtz Birdcage die.  I was so excited that I die cut a whole book (I believe it was an Enid Blyton Famous Five book).  Then I wondered what on earth I could do with so many birdcages so started to stick them down on my journal pages and from there the idea came about freeing myself from the doubts and self-limiting beliefs that sometimes (often) enter my head.

I like how it turned out.

Have a good week

Big love

AJ 🙂

Be Strong Live your Life

Live your Life be Strong

Hello friends

I hope your week is going well, mine has been a bit chaotic and it feels like Friday when it’s still only the middle of the week, I’m tired…

The spread above is from my A4 journal.  The pages already had some Adirondak Colorwash spray on them and I collaged torn book pages over the top, more Colorwash spray, acrylic paint and gesso.  Some torn 1950s wallpaper with geometric design, and the girl is from an exercise I did for last year’s 21 Secrets.  Through Tamara Laporte’s workshop I learnt that if you are not very good at painting faces (and I’m not) you can paint over an image of a face cut from a magazine or printed on your computer, by doing that you will get all the proportions right.  I loved this half face image of a girl in a turban so I printed it out and painted over it.  I think I need a lot more practice, but it looks more realistic than any other face I’ve tried to paint so I’m quite pleased with the result.  To me she has an arabic look, so I looked for some arabic text to put on my pages.  The text I found says something like Be Strong, Live your Life.  I printed it out in reverse and tried to transfer it to the page with gel medium it wasn’t very successful and is something else I need more practice with, but I think you should just be able to see some of the text :-).  Finally I printed the words in English big and bold.

The quote is appropriate for me right now because I’m struggling with a couple of things at work at the moment.  I know I need to stay strong and positive despite there being so much negativity all around me and the temptation to just get angry and give up.  I have to keep giving myself little pep talks to make sure I stay on course, it’s a challenge!

Wow!  I just realised that today is Summer Solstice, from now on the hours of daylight start shortening again.  People call it Midsummer’s Day but it’s not really that – often there is more warmer weather after the Solstice than there was before, I hope that’s true this year, because we haven’t had much of a summer so far.

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone and I’ll be back soon.

Big love

AJ 🙂


Doodles Unleashed

Doodles UnleashedHello friends!

As I am writing this at 7am on Sunday morning the sun is shining through the window, so maybe today we will have some ‘summery’ weather.  We are fast approaching the longest day and summer hasn’t started yet!  Oh the joys of English weather!

I don’t really mind much, I’m not one for lounging about getting a tan, and despite living on an Island I never swim in the sea (not unless I travel to another Island where the weather and sea are warm), but I do like walking on beaches and I like living near to the sea.

This week at work I organised a meeting to get the whole Island Team (about 40 people) together to share progress on the Employee Engagement Programme.  It didn’t turn out as I had hoped and got hijacked by people who wanted to vent their opinions about how bad things are.  I have to admit things are not good, but at least the company is trying and there have been some successes which I wanted to share.  I couldn’t finish my presentation because of all the interuptions and negativity.  I felt quite despondent after the meeting, but then I realised that at least it shows how passionate people are and the negativity wasn’t directed at me personally.  It was really hard work though!

Thank goodness for art, at least now I have a way of working through angst and upset so I don’t have to dwell on the negatives.  I did my best for the team, but it wasn’t what they wanted, that’s OK, I’ll learn from the experience and move onwards.

The spread above is from a Strathmore Online workshop I did earlier in the year called Doodles Unleashed by Traci Bautista.  I have already posted one page here.  The spread above is unusual in that I actually did some journaling on it, that’s really rare for me.  Anyway it’s a fantastic workshop and it’s free so if you haven’t tried it I recommend you check it out.  It will stay online until 1 August 2012 so there is still time.  You can find out the details here.  There are three workshops available but I only did Traci’s.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone and I’ll be back soon.

Big love

AJ 🙂


Life’s Treasures

Life's Treasures

Hello friends!

OK so I promised something ‘prettier’ this time, the scan doesn’t really do the spread justice because you can’t see all the glitter and shine on the page.

This spread was a challenge from a friend.  She went to a craft show and when she came back she gave me this small bag containing lots and lots of tiny pieces of fabric saying “I expect you can do something creative with those”.  Hmmm, I looked at the bag for a while and wondered.

These pages were already painted a very dull and pale pink colour and I just stared sticking the little pieces of fabric over the background, using ModPodge, until both pages were covered,  you can just see some of the pink background.  I kept thinking about the little things in life, the moments, when they are all brought together can turn into something significant (deep eh!).  Then I started adding, glitter, gems and embellisments to the pages to give some dimension.  I couldn’t find an appropriate quote so I made one up (based on many that I’ve read before).

That’s it for now, I hope everyone is well and happy.  Today, at least for now which is early morning, the sun is shining – a rare event in recent weeks here – so I need to go out and make the most of it!

See you soon!

Big love

AJ 🙂

Sometimes you just have to go with it!

Doing your best!Hello friends!

It’s another wet weekend in the UK!  Oh well don’t have to feel guilty about staying in all day doing art 🙂

This page almost didn’t make it to the blog, because I’m really not that happy with it.  I was tempted to just paint over it with gesso and start again, but I spent so much time getting it to this sorry state it probably deserves to be just as it is.  I always try to do the best I can, but I’m not a perfectionist, I reckon if that’s the best I can do at this time then I should be satisfied.  It’s a bit of a struggle with this page because it’s ugly, but I hope it might grow on me.

There are so many layers I couldn’t even begin to tell you the whole process, but the page includes textured gesso, acrylic paint, stamping, acrylic ink, lots of torn paper (of course),tissue paper, holographic paper and rub on lacey bits.  I bought some small letter dies to cut the letters from holographic paper for the quote.  The dies were cheap, and unfortunately they don’t really work in the Big Shot, so I had to improvise and add layers of card until eventually the letters punched out.  The words ‘Best’ and ‘Moment’ are stamped with some vintage letter stamps that were being thrown out at work, there is not a full alphabet but I didn’t realise until I tried to find the N so I had to use Z on its side!  I stamped with Perfect Medium and used black embossing powder.

Because of the way the light from the scanner reflects on the holographic paper you may not be able to read the quote, it says: Doing your Best in this moment, puts you in the best place for the next MOMENT.

That’s all for now, hope you are all enjoying your weekend, next time I will post something that I think is prettier.

Big love

AJ 🙂

Trying to be Fearless!


Hello friends!

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

This will have to be a quick post because it’s waaaaay past my bedtime and I have to get up earlier than normal tomorrow.

This year I have been trying to be braver and to build up my self-confidence.  A friend of mine who is training to be a life coach tells me that when I talk to him I make lots of self-limiting statements.  I’d never thought about it before but I guess he is right.  All my life I felt that I wasn’t quite good enough in many aspects of my life.  So now I’m telling myself more and more that actually I am good enough.  I am putting myself outside of my comfort zone and doing things that I’d have been too scared to do a few years ago.  I still get scared and worried that I’ll mess up (and sometimes I do mess up) but at least I try now.

So I found this quote which I thought was PERFECT for my 6×6 journal and  I also have it pinned up along side my computer screen so I read it every day, it’s becoming a sort of mantra for me.  I had no idea where it came from so I ‘googled’ it and I was so ‘over the moon’ delighted to find out, this deep, philosophical quote is attributed to A A Milne author of the book Winnie the Pooh! I think Christopher Robin said it to Pooh.  How cool is that?!  The actual quote starts “If there is ever a tomorrow when we are not together, you must remember..”  and I don’t think it had the “and more loved than you know” bit at the end.  Someone must have added that on before I found it, but it’s still just perfect for me.  I really like this spread even though it’s a bit dark and difficult to read.

I’ve been so busy this last weekend I totally missed the whole Jubilee thing, but I hear it was a great success despite the typical English Bank Holiday weather.

I’ll be back soon

Big love

AJ 🙂

Here comes Jubbly June!

Jubbly June

Hello friends!

That’s another month gone by and it’s time for Kate‘s Calendar challenge pages.  Here is June’s page.  It probably should be more red, white and blue considering it’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (or The Jubbly as my husband calls it) this month, but when I made the page I wanted it to have a holiday feel.  I painted the background in sea colours, added a little boat and some bunting at the top.  I used copies of old ferry tickets for the date squares.

The local history group I am involved had our Jubilee celebrations last weekend and to be honest with you I doubt if I will take any more interest in the Jubilee now.  I don’t really get all that excited about Royal events.  However I am grateful that we get two bank holidays next week, and in fact I get the whole week off because I’ve booked the other three days.  Yay!

It will be interesting to see how the month pans out.

And below is my completed May spread.  A month when we had unseasonally cold weather, lots of rain and then some hot weather for a few days. Some days when nothing seemed to happen and others when I achieved good things.

May complete

I hope all is good with all of you my friends.

Big love

AJ 🙂