October’s gone and here is November :-)



Hello friends

Here is my journal page all ready for November for Kate Crane’s Calendar Challenge, time is just zipping by at the moment!  I am fairly sure now that I will complete the whole year.

I wanted my spread to have a wintery feel so I used cool colours for the background and then contrasted with warmer tones for the days.

I really love the quote and it has been a sort of motto for me this year.  I have done lots of things that previously I’d have been too scared to do and I am becoming braver and more self-confident.

I want to thank my friend Gretchen Miller for this – it was when I made my first Revo-lution Book as part of 21 Secrets 2011 that I first started to focus on the changes I wanted to make in my life and began to visualise my intentions.  You can find out about the Revo-lution over at Gretchen’s blog Creativity in Motion .  Just this week I have given presentations to two groups of strangers and I really enjoyed myself.  Just a few years ago I could not have contemplated standing in front of people and talking.  Inside there was a shouting voice telling me I wasn’t good enough and that I couldn’t do it, so of course I couldn’t.  But I have quietened that voice and now what I hear is “You can do this, relax and have fun”.  Thank you Gretchen  for helping me in this way and I am so glad I met you in cyber space 🙂  Thank you  also for the nomination as a Beautiful Blogger and when I get the time I will accept and nominate some of my favourite beautiful bloggers too.

And here is my completed October spread

October Complete


Stay warm and safe people

Big love

AJ 🙂

Do What Matters Most

Do What Matters Most



Hello friends!

Apologies I am out of sych again with my blog posting because I have been super busy again.

This journal page was made back in August, I used a lot of ephemera for the background including a leaflet a got from the doctors about a (rather unpleasant) medical procedure I had to go through, and a leaflet my husband had about access to work.  The colour scheme is a bit odd, I don’t think that acid green and purple really go together that well but it’s just what happened when I made the page.  The words were originally done in a different way and I hated how they looked and re-did them.  To be honest I’m not really that pleased with this page, but I love the sentiment.

At the moment what seems to matter most to me is creating art.  I have just finished my first Teesha inspired journal and I love it.  Creating it has definitely been feeding my soul and given me some ideas which I shall be pursuing in the next few months.

On Friday I gave my presentation to the group in Ventnor and it went really well, I enjoyed it and, judging by all the smiling faces and the comments I received afterwards the audience did too.  I have one more presentation to do tomorrow evening and then I can relax a bit and try and get my life back on track and hopefully regular posting to my blog.

This weekend we successfully constructed the window blind for the dining room (it took several attempts to get it right), so I will soon have to start looking at how to improve the kitchen (and you know how I feel about that)!

Have a good week and I’ll see you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂


The three of them

The three of themHello friends!

I hope you are having a great week, I am doing fine and finally finished preparing the presentation I am giving tomorrow evening.  I’m a bit nervous about it so I hope it goes OK.

This week I have been continuing to work on my Teesha style journal, but today I thought I would post a photograph of the three (A4 size) canvases I painted after I came back from the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat and was overflowing with inspiration from the workshop I took with Flora Bowley.

I thought the paintings were OK for a first attempt, but my husband insisted they hang on our new dining room wall.

So far they are the only things in the room as we have been waiting for the new blind to arrive before we moved our table and chairs in to the room.  The blind arrived today so over the weekend we have to try and figure out how to construct and hang it.  It’s all quite exciting really except for the fact that I know the next job in the house is the kitchen.

I have been putting it off for years and years now for a couple of reasons

1. the kitchen is not really my territory, apart from putting the kettle on to make coffee and helping with the washing up, I really don’t spend any time there, and

2. I know it’s going to be expensive and will take up a lot of time and, let’s face it, that is money and time I could be spending on art!  But my husband is a superb cook and he has struggled in a very impractical kitchen for years, so I think I just need to take a deep breath and help him with the planning, purchasing and the huge amount of DIY it’s going to take to get it done.

Anyway, that’s all from me for now, see you soon.

Big love

AJ 🙂

Grow & Blossom

Something weird is happening to my computer this is the third time of posting this, the first two times it just disappeared!  Let’s hope it’s third time lucky!

Hello friends

I hope you are all well.  Well this weekend went by in the blink of an eye and it’s back to work tomorrow!

Still I managed to get some art done and even some housework too (that’s almost unheard of)!  I am really loving the Visionary Journaling that Teesha Moore taught at the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat and I am now working on the back of the pages I started in her class.  This is my favourite page so far.  My husband likes it too which is high praise from someone who hardly ever comments on my art.

Actually that is not strictly true, I recently finished three A4 size canvases painting in the way that Flora Bowley taught us (also at COTWS) and he is insisting that they are hung in our dining room.  I guess I must be getting better at this art game 🙂

Anyway apologies for the short post but I have a mountain of ironing to do before tomorrow and I also have a presentation to prepare for a talk I am giving next Friday about some of the historical people from my town.

I hope all is good with you, everything is Tickety Boo here.

Big love

AJ 🙂

(Fingers crossed the post stays in place this time)

Jump for Joy!

Jump for Joy

Hello friends

Sorry I missed posting on Sunday because I was sick – same thing as happened to me when I was on the Art Retreat, blinding headache and sickness only this time much worse and I spent two whole days in bed!  But I am much better now and went back to work today, so it’s time to catch up 🙂

This is the second page that I started in Teesha Moore’s workshop and I finished it yesterday.  I really do like this way of journaling, it’s so different to my usual style – it’s bold, sassy and ‘in your face’.  I like doodling all over my pages, but I think I need to try some different styles, I seem to be stuck on the same few motifs at the moment 😉

I am going to link this page to Challenge 2 of Fall Fearless & Fly over at Artists in Blogland.

This time the prompts are:

Headline prompt:  Taking a Chance, Color prompt: What color do you like least? Use it! Quote prompt: Don’t refuse to go on the occasional Wild Goose chase – that’s what wild geese are for. Anonymous

Click on the link Fall Fearless & Fly for more information and the rules.

My page is all about taking chances and doing something different, I’ve used combinations of colours I wouldn’t normally use and I picked my quote because it seemed to fit with the image on the page and also it made me laugh because I misread it at first as “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily, not to dare is to lose ones elf”   Well you wouldn’t want to lose your Elf now would you?  You’d be lost without it!

Take care everyone and I’ll see you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂



“What a long strange trip it’s been”

Strange TripHello friends

This is another of those odd pages from my A4 Journal, produced in Tracie Hanson’s Journal Quest workshop over at 21 Secrets.  As you can see I’m really NOT a painter!  When I excavated my painted page all I found was these two odd and weird characters 😐

Do you recognise the quote?  Well you’d probably have to be of my generation and background if you did, it’s a lyric from the song Truckin’ by the Grateful Dead, from their album American Beauty.   It played a significant part in the soundtrack of my life when I was in my late teens and early 20s – and that was waaaaay back in the 1970s!

So anyway I hope life is good for all of you, I am really fine.  I am doing my new job now  and I’m still waiting to find out who to hand over my old job to.  At the moment nothing relating to my old job is getting done, but I’ve decided not to concern myself with that.  There are some good things about the new job – at the moment because I am learning I am very busy, the day passes quickly and I don’t get bored.  My new manager is very supportive and he has spoken to me more times in the last week than my previous manager spoke to me in the past 18 months.  Some people like being left alone, but I prefer to have communication with my manager.  I am happy that he is showing an interest in what I do and how I do it and I know that if I have any problems I can phone him up and ask for advice.   He and all the other people in my team all work in the same location (miles from where I am) and I thought I would feel isolated, but I have spoken to a few of them on the phone and they have all been really nice and helpful.  So I think things could work out fine.  Once I have mastered the data inputting part of the job there is another chunk of work coming my way which hopefully will be rewarding.  So I am pretty happy with things now.

That’s all for now folks see you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂




Making Connections

Call of the Wild SoulClick on the image to see it full size

Hello friends

I hope all is good with you because everthing is fine with me.

This time last week I was at the Art Retreat.  Above is a journal page that I started in Teesha Moore’s workshop.  The main reason I decided to go to the Art Retreat was because Teesha was going to be there.  In 2007 I met Tracy and Trista Moore (Teesha’s husband and daughter) at the Lomographic World Congress in London.  I had known Tracy online before I met him in person and the three of us spent a lot of time together, I loved them both from the moment I met them.  As a result of that meeting I got to hear about Art Journaling.  Tracy carried around with him lots of cameras and a huge handmade journal which he encouraged everyone he met to write or draw in.  It was fascinating, but I didn’t think it was something I could do.

Some time later I thought to myself, “I wonder what Tracy Moore is up to these days” and I ‘Googled’ his name and I found Teesha’s YouTube videos about art journaling and that’s what got me started.

It was so good to see Tracy again at the Retreat and to meet his adorable wife Teesha.  What an amazing woman!  Unfortunately I was really unwell on the day I had Teesha’s workshop, I had a really bad headache and was sick a few times during the day.  Eventually I had to leave the workshop about 2 hours before the end as I needed to go and lie down in a dark room, but while I was there, even though I was struggling with health issues, I loved what Teesha was saying to us.  She is a very beautiful vibrant woman as you will see from her art work.  AND she is generous, she brought her wonderful journals which we were allowed to handle.  When you see the images on line they are awesome – when you see them in real life you realise they are priceless pieces of art but Teesha is not precious about them and shares everything she has learnt.  I am so happy to have met her and I truly hope that we will meet again one day.

Above is one of the pages I started in Teesha’s workshop but couldn’t finish.  Before Teesha left the Art Retreat she generously gave me a bag of pens so I could complete the work and I have been working on it this week in my spare time.  I love it!  It also sums up for me what the Retreat was all about.

I am so happy to have met so many beautiful, inspiring and supportive women.  Thank you to Erin, Simon and little Poppy – you all did a great job, thanks to Teesha, Flora and Orly – you were amazing and generous teachers, and especially I’d like to thank all the wonderful Wild Soul Sistas I met there.  It was awesome!

Big love

AJ 🙂

PS I can’t post any photos of the event yet because yesterday I left my camera with all my photos on it at a friend’s house!  I’ll retrieve it next week.

Concentrate the Mind on the Present Moment

Concentrate the Mind on the Present MomentHello friends

I am still a bit discombobulated after the fantastic weekend at the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat.  I am still pretty much on a ‘high’ from the wonderful experience and all the lovely people I met.

This is a spread in my new altered book journal and I am linking it to the Fall Fearless and Fly challenge.  Click the link to see the rules and to find out more about the challenge 🙂

The First Set of Prompts:  Headline Prompt:  Inventing the Future:  Where do you want to be 5, 10, 15 years from now.  What’s holding you back?  What’s propelling you forward?  What do you need to do or stop doing to create your future? Color Prompt:  Warm colors (reds, oranges, pinks, yellows) Quote Prompt:  “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”  Abraham Lincoln

Well I have used warm colours and although I didn’t use the actual quote my spread has a ‘time’ theme.  First of all I collaged images of clocks, watches and hour-glasses all over the pages; gave them a wash of watered down gesso; finger painted with brown, red, russet, orange and neon pink acrylic paints; more collage with beautiful chinese papers (given to me by  Katie Flowers, one of the new friends I met at the Art Retreat, and who travelled all the way from Hong Kong to join us); I found a great quote about time which is attributed to Buddha – printed it out on my computer in Samarkan font, tore around the words and coloured the paper with Tattered Rose Distress ink and edged with Orange Stazon ink; the image of Buddha I found on the internet and I recoloured it in photoshop (to give it a warm hue) before printing it out and adding to the page; I edged and shaded the pages with brown and red Portfolio water soluable oil pastels.  Finally I added the butterfly which was also a gift I received at the art retreat (I am really sorry I can’t remember who gave that to me).

Well that’s it from me, I hope you like it.  (If you click on the image you can see it larger and in more detail).

Big love and see you soon

AJ 🙂


I’m back and it’s October already!

OctoberHello friends!

I’m back from my amazing weekend away at the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat.  Wow!  What an experience: being with 60 amazingly creative and lovely women, a fabulous location in Exmoor, great food and workshops with Flora Bowley, Teesha Moore and Orly Avineri.  What more could a creative Wild Soul ask for?

I need to absorb the whole experience before I write any more about it – it was awesome!

So here is my new spread for October for Kate’s Calendar Challenge and below is my completed September spread.

September complete

September was a hectic month for me with the big exhibition and 10th anniversary celebrations for Ryde Social Heritage Group earlier in the month, all the upset at work and the Art Retreat that I’ve just come home from.  I am hoping for a more restful October, but I somehow don’t think that will happen 😉

I’m off to have a bath and an early night now as I am very tired and have to go back to work tomorrow.

See you all soon

Big love

AJ 🙂