Who We Were Born To Be

Who We Were Meant to Be

Hello friends!

Happy Wednesday, I hope your week is going well.  I am still struggling with health issues and a fluctuating mood.  How I hate being miserable, I keep telling myself, it’s my choice and I can actually just decide to be happy, but it doesn’t always work.  The situation at work doesn’t help and I suspect if I took my blood pressure it would be sky high at the moment.  I had to do some calming deep breathing this morning before I left for the office, I was so wound up just by the thought of it.  I think things got better during the day and I managed to get quite a bit done and then the database I was working on decided to drastically slow down, I mean REALLY slow down, I was waiting for up to two minutes for each change I made just to register in the system.  I stand no chance of meeting my deadlines at this rate and staring at a computer screen just waiting for something to happen is such a waste of time!  Anyway enough of this whining!  Where is my ‘positive’ head?

Here is the back cover of my Teesha Moore inspired journal, I hope you like it.

Have a great week

Big love

AJ 🙂

Quantum Entanglement


Quantum EntanglementHello friends!

I hope you are having a great weekend.  I must admit I am not feeling too good at the moment, so I am not going to blog (it would just be full of self-pity and whining if I did), so here is a spread from my 6×6 journal instead.  I hope you like it.  The theory of Quantum Entanglement, also known as Einstein’s theory of “spooky action at a distance”, is really too much for my tiny brain to take in, but that doesn’t stop me from being interested in the subject.

Have a good week and I’ll see you soon.

Big love

AJ 🙂

Just Keep Breathing


Just Keep BreathingHello friends!

How are you?  I am fine although I had a bit of a melt down at work yesterday.  I was doing OK until this lovely woman phoned me up and asked me how I was getting on in my new job.  I had to tell her I wasn’t very happy because it was so tedious and then it was like the flood gates opened.  Unfortunately I can be very emotional and my voice was breaking up, I started crying and I guess she knew that even down the phone line.   Anyway she was very encouraging and supportive and I think my discontent has now been passed up the chain a bit.  I don’t know if anything good will happen as a result of this though.  I am still trying my hardest to do a good job even though I find it totally boring and I am trying to stay positive about it.  It’s a challenge!  Anyway I felt a bit better today.  Sometimes it’s just good to talk and unload some of the crap.

So here is another bright and happy page from my ‘weird and freaky’ Teesha Moore inspired journal.  The quote is by Oprah Winfrey and is something I really need to keep telling myself.

Have a good week all and I’ll see you soon.

Big love

AJ 🙂


Home, a place of safety


Home, a place of safetyHello friends!

I hope you are all well and happy.  I have had a busy weekend.  Yesterday I had to make myself go and do the voluntary work in the cemetery, it was hard because I knew RoseMarie wouldn’t be there, but I also knew it’s what she would want me to carry on.  It was a lovely sunny morning and my friend Kate came to join me and we spent a pleasant couple of hours recording inscriptions from some of the memorials.

In the afternoon I went shopping, I was hoping to be able to buy some old National Geographic magazines cheap from one of the charity shops, but I couldn’t find any 😦  However in one of the charity shops I did find a rather fabulous scrap book of newspaper cuttings someone (unknown) made in the 1930s, I probably spent more than I should have done on it, but I couldn’t resist!  In the same shop I also got some good artist brushes for a bargain price.  Well you can never have too many brushes can you?

It is now 6:30 pm and this is the first time I’ve sat in front of my computer today.  I had to resist switching it on because I had chores to do today.  I got up early this morning and started to clear out and tidy up the cupboard under the stairs.  Eventually we intend to move the washing machine in there to free up some space in the kitchen.  It’s hard to believe that so much stuff could be crammed into such a small space.  I was ruthless and threw of lot out!  When my husband got up (much later than me) we spent time working out how we are going to deal with the plumbing and then we went to a big DIY store to buy the materials we will need.

It was too late to start by the time we got back so I went to see Mum and Dad, who are both fine, and I’ve just got back from that visit.

This image above is a single page from my A4 size journal and was done fairly quickly (I guess you can tell that) as part of the Fall Fearless and Fly challenge:

Headline prompt: Security, what makes you feel safe and secure? What rattles your sense of security? Where do you go for comfort and refuge?

Color prompt: Cool colors (blues, greens, violets, etc)

Quote prompt: You can’t make a place for yourself in the sun, if you keep taking refuge under the family tree. Helen Keller.

Well, my home and my art room make me feel safe and secure so that’s where I go for comfort.  I managed to get my two cats into the image, but not my husband, he is probably around the back of the house tending to the garden, either that or he is upstairs haveing a nap 🙂  By the way my house is not as big as the one depicted on the page.

I’m not sure who to attribute the quote I used to, I have seen several similar quotes attributed to different people, but nevertheless it is what I feel about home.  I feel that I ruined it with the terrible writing, but never mind…

Have a good week everyone and I’ll be back soon.

Big love

AJ 🙂

So Do It!


So do it!Hello friends

I hope your week is going well, I am doing pretty good 🙂

Here is another page from my Teesha Moore inspired journal, I am totally hooked on this at the moment…

I don’t have time to write a blog post at the moment, it’s late and I need to get to bed, but I hope you like my page.  I showed my journal to one of my friends and he said “It’s a bit ‘freaky’ and a bit weird”.  Oh well that’s me I guess 😉

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂

Focus on the Journey


Hello friends!

I hope you have had a great weekend, mine has been OKish.  I woke up with a horrible headache on Saturday morning and that kept me in bed all morning.  I finally managed to get rid of it and at lunch time I got up to make myself some toast.  The phone rang and my husband told me it was a friend wanting to speak to me.  I groaned as I really didn’t feel like talking to anyone but he had already told her he would get me so I answered the call.  Then I was hit by a bombshell, I was told that another friend had collapsed and died that morning.  It was completely unexpected, I had only seen her the previous Saturday when she came and volunteered in the cemetery with me, helping to record inscriptions from the memorials.  She has been helping me do this for several years.  In all that time I hadn’t really got to know her that well as she was a very private person, but gradually she began to open up and chat, especially when it was just the two of us working together.  She was a kind, caring, thoughtful soul who did much to help other people.  The last time I saw her she cheerily said “See you in a couple of weeks”.  As far as I know she had not been ill and her death was sudden and unexpected, she was only in her early 70s.

Rest in peace Rosemarie, dear kind soul, I will think of you and miss you every time I go into the cemetery to work.  The work you did will be appreciated by many people from all across the world who carry out research into their ancestors from our town.

She has been on my mind a lot ever since I heard, I had to phone several other people to impart the sad news and then I spent the rest of the time working on my art which has helped me to stay grounded.

The page above is from my A4 journal and was completed in August.  I used  pieces from an old cycling map as the background and then gave it a wash of watered down gesso and acrylic paint.  The bicycles in the bottom r/h corner were an image transfer.  The image and quote on the left hand page I found on the internet and it made me smile as I can imagine how precarious it was to ride a pennyfarthing bike.  The photograph of the girl is me aged about 18 on a bike ride in Nepal.  I stamped on the page with a Tim Holtz reflections text stamp and a number stamp.  I think I probably used Portfolio water soluable oil pastels to edge the page.  The quote sums up what I feel about art journaling – the process is more important than the end result – It’s All Good even if it’s not always good art 🙂

Have a good week my friends and I will see you soon.

Big love

AJ 🙂

Pigs can fly!


Hello friends

I am in desperate need of some bright colours at the moment so here is another page from my Teesha Moore inspired journal.  The image of the pig and the ‘Who says pigs can’t fly’ slogan were cut out of a ‘pigalogue’ I received at work.  There is a company is called Pig, they sell spill kits and absorbant materials,  they list all their products in a pigalogue instead of a catalogue – I love that.  The little pig has been sitting on my desk for weeks just waiting for the right time to appear in a piece of art.  And this was the page I made especially for him!

I am really fond of pigs in fact for years I tried to persaude my husband to let me have a pet pig, but he argued that a pig would a) grow far too big and b) would dig up his garden.  Both of which I’m sure are true.  So I have two cats instead, my Bengal Boys, Bill and Jack, and I’m totally besotted by them.  I suppose you couldn’t really have a pig sleeping on the bed with you could you?  Or could you!?  Well maybe if he took a bath first…

Pig in a Fisheye

So anyway my week has been a tad on the grey and boring side so far, but I’ve been trying to look at all the positives and one BIG positive for me is how much I love this style of journaling.  When my day got so dull I just wanted to bang my head against the desk, I got out my journal, looked through it and thought ‘Now that’s not dull, that’s really bright and juicy, and I did it ‘!  It’s such a shame I can’t actuallty do any art while I’m at work, but looking at  my journal lifts my spirits anyway.

I shouldn’t really involve myself in other people’s politics but I have to admit that when I heard the news this morning that Obama had been re-elected that brought a smile to my face too.  I feared that the alternative would have been such bad news for the US and the world.

Well I hope you are all having a great week, I am going to give myself a good talking to and ensure I enjoy the rest of mine.

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂



Triumph & Defeat

Triumph & Defeat


Hello friends!

This spread was completed for the challenge over at Fall Fearless and Fly and boy oh boy was it a challenge!

Headline prompt: Triumphs and defeats: What do you see as your greatest triumps and defeats.  What have they taught you? Which have you learned more from?

Color prompt: Black & white

Quote prompt: Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Click on this link to find out more about the callenge.

Just using black and white was so difficult for me and I did manage to sneek in a little bit of additional colour, the map in the top right hand corner has some red dots on it (that was intentional) and the stencil I used, still had some colorwash spray on it which came off on the page (that was unintentional)!

It was interesting to see how much depth was possible from using monochrome, but I still prefer using brighter colours.

As for triumphs and defeats in my heart I know that neither is really that important, but in reality defeats still knock me down and triumphs boost my self-confidence.  I guess I have a bit of work to do in that area 🙂

Yesterday I bought a couple of pairs of socks so I can make Sock Monkeys for Operation Sock Monkey.  It looks like fun and will challenge my sewing capabilities.  Why not give it a try?

That’s all for now, see you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂