One Little House challenge Abstract with Discarded Material

Sweet Dreams


Hello friends!

This spread in my recently started ‘Altered book journal’ is a response to a challenge over at One Little House.  There is a free group called One Little Book Club and Jeanette, our host, was inspired by Mary Beth Shaw’s book “Flavour for Mixed Media”.  I have to be honest here and say I’ve never heard of this book before and never read it.  However Jeanette created a fantastic page and I was inspired to respond.

I went though my rubbish bag and also through the piles of mess on my work desk and this is what I found:

The StashThe journal already had paint on the pages becasue I had some left over from another project, and I found some used (paint covered) baby wipes, old photos, bits of torn map, some jigsaw puzzle pieces, an old letter, a bingo card, some die cut scraps, a quote cut out from a magazine, various scrap papers and some pieces of ribbon. I began to collage it all onto the pages:

CollageAfter that I randomly added gesso, paint, texture paste, stamping, some plaster tape and glitter.  Towards the end of the process I decided to add the thin black ribbon.  It was really difficult to get it to stick to the pages and to be honest with you I thought I had ruined the whole spread.  It did not look good.  So I just added more ribbon and in the end I was pleased with the results.  I hope you like it.

I have had a very productive weekend – I am making progress with sorting out the mess in my art room and today I took 4 big bags of rubbish to the local landfill site.  T and I have made a start at redesigning the kitchen, it’s  difficult as the kitchen is long and very narrow, but we think we have worked out how to maximise on the space.  It is going to be hugely expensive and disruptive once we start, but at least we now have a plan. 🙂 Today I’ve done some housework and we purchased a lovely oak dresser which will eventually have a home in what will be our ‘rustic’ kitchen.  We had also planned to go and get a new computer for T, but after buying the furniture it was too late so maybe we will do that tomorrow?  We need to get it while it is still on Sale price.  Anyway we have both been feeling quite well this weekend so all is good.

I hope your weekend has been productive too.

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂


Let Your Heart Soar

Let Your Heart SoarHello friends!

It’s the middle of the week already!  Thank you all for your kind wishes.  I am feeling much better, T is still suffering and the doctor says it is some gastric problem and has prescribed some tablets which will take a while to start working.  In the meantime he feels sick whenever he eats and is having to drastically alter his diet.  Fortunately his mood has improved though.  It is always a worry when he is physically ill as it can trigger a bipolar episode, usually a massive low.

Today I went to our head office at work and met my manager for the first time.  He talks to me on the phone several times a week but today was out first face to face meeting.  I got a good vibe from him.  I spent the rest of the day with one of the team who showed me some of the complexities of the database I use.  Wow!  I was really impressed, what an amazing woman!  It was a good day.

The snow has just about gone now which is good but it’s really cold and wet now (not so good), I’m looking forward to spring and some warm weather.

The spread above is from my 6×6 journal, it’s actually the last page in the book.  I only have the first page and cover to do now and it will be complete. 🙂

I hope you are all keeping well and happy

Big love

AJ 🙂


Weird & Wonderful

Weird & WonderfulHello friends

I hope all is good with you.  We have had a little snow here which meant I struggled to get in to work on Friday.  I called my boss to explain the problems I was having and he agreed I could take the day as annual leave.

I spent the day tidying up my art room and achieved quite a lot, it’s going to take at least another full day though before it has any semblance of being ‘tidy’.  Unfortunately since then we have had sickness in the house, both of us have been quite poorly.  It’s hard to say who has been the worse.  I spent the whole day in bed yesterday being sick everytime I moved, which rates as quite bad in my books.  T, on the other hand, has been feeling poorly for much longer than me and he has now sunk into a very bad depression which is horrible on top of feeling nausious all the time.   I am hoping he will get himself to the doctor tomorrow.  I am feeling a lot better today, I have manged to eat some food and not been sick once, but my head is still feeling a bit odd.  I reckon I will be fit enough for work tomorrow.

I have to go and visit my parents now as I haven’t seen them since before it snowed and they might be in need of provisions.  I am hoping they are just staying in and keeping warm, they are too old and frail to go out on slippery pavements.

So above is another page from my 2nd journal inspired by Teesha Moore I hope you like it.

Take care and I’ll see you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂


Sparkle and RadiateHello friends!

Well this is a very strange spread in my 6×6 journal, it was an experiment and I’m not sure it was successful.  I did a background on the pages that I LOVED, and then I did something that ruined it and I HATED it.  I didn’t know what to do with it.  Then I had this crazy idea to try using fusible film on top of the horrible background.  I painted the pages with PVA glue, and cut some fusible film that was bigger than the pages.  I scrunched it up one one side and folded it on the other and tried to stick it on the pages.  Not an easy task!  When it was loosely fixed I used the heat gun to shrink the film and meld it together.  Then I die cut some borders and flourishes and added the quote.  I don’t really like the end result, but it was an interesting process and something I shall try again at some point, probably.

I hope you are all keeping well and happy.  I am feeling good, at last I seem to be getting on top of things at work and I am feeling a lot happier about the situation.  I look at some of my colleagues who have really stressful jobs and are expected to work all hours of the day and night  and I think that actually there are a lot of advantages to having a mundane and repetative role.   So all is good 🙂

That’s all for now, see you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂

Be Audacious!

Be Audacious!


Hello friends!

Wow it’s a beautiful sunny but cold winter’s day outside, the perfect day for taking a walk and taking photos, but I really have to stay in and do some housework today.  I need to try and get some sort of order into my art room, the chaos is even getting to me now and generally I can put up with quite a lot of chaos!  I think the problem is that I am trying to squeeze too much into too small a space.  I keep trying to use stuff up, but ‘someone’ keeps buying more supplies and starting more projects!

So I hope you are all well and happy and have had a great start to the New Year.  I am doing fine although I have been a bit under the weather.  I had to take Friday off work as I was sick all day.  I was in bed all day, I hate it when that happens it feels like such a waste of a day!  But I needed time to rest and restore and I am sure that my imagination was working overtime.

Yesterday I had to chair a meeting of the Local History group in the morning and I wasn’t sure I was up to it, but once I was up, showered, dressed and prepared I really enjoyed the meeting.  Despite really horrible weather lots of people turned up, everyone was really friendly, our guest speaker was fantastic and we all had a great time.  I LOVE being part Ryde Social Heritage Group it is so rewarding to work with people who are so enthusiastic and helpful.  We make a great team!

Above is the second page of my second journal inspired by the lovely Teesha Moore.  I have that quote printed out and stuck on my phone at work … because sometimes I just need to remind myself.

Have a great week everyone.

Big love

AJ 🙂


Circles of Wisdom

Crcles of WisdomHello friends!

I hope your week is going well, I am doing fine and I have been feeling a bit better about work this week.  I am having problems with my computer at home though, it just seems to be getting slower and slower so everything I do takes double or treble the time I think it should.  I am grateful that it is still working though as I don’t know what I’d do without it.

The image above is made up of 4 pages from my 6×6 journal.  Last year on 21 Secrets I did a workshop with Dion Dior called Circles of Wisdom and I learnt to draw mandalas.  It was a good opportunity for me to practice my doodles and there is definitely something meditative about creating mandalas.  The pages in my journal already had gesso and paint on them and were not ideal backgrounds for the images.  So after I drew these 4 I decided to make a whole book dedicated to Circles of Wisdom.  I recycled a child’s board book which is 5.5″ x 5.5″ and I filled it up with 16 different mandalas, it’s a lovely little book and I will probably share it with you at some point in the future.

***** One of the gorgeous women I met at the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat last year, Jeanette House, has set up a new ning site called One Little House  for art and craft e-learning.   I think you should probably check it out, we are bound to have fun and Jeanette is both lovely and talented 🙂 *****

OK that’s all for tonight, I’ve got to print out a batch of cemetery maps for my friend.

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂


Be of Good Cheer!

Be of Good CheerHello friends!

It’s Sunday morning and I am trying to catch up with a load of stuff that is really overwhelming me.  What makes it worse is that my workroom is a total mess.  I REALLY need to tidy up in here, I think it is becoming a bit of a Health & Safety issue, trip hazards on the floor and surfaces covered in precarious stacks of things!  Why can’t I be ‘super tidy’ like my husband?

Anyway, even though I am surrounded by chaos and my ‘To Do’ list just grows and grows, I am still of Good Cheer today.  Yesterday T and I completed a big project (well it was big for us).  We relocated the washing machine from the kitchen to the cupboard under the stairs.   We have done a load of washing and (so far) there are no leaks!!!!  That’s stage 1 of the kitchen refurb complete…  At the moment there is a horrible big hole under the worksurface where the machine was.  We were going to put the freezer in there but it won’t fit!  Well it would fit if we forced it past the water pipes that feed the boiler but we are too worried that that will cause a leak.  Just getting the washing machine out of the space was scarey enough.  One thing we have to make sure of when we finally do the kitchen is that that space is made bigger.

I am working on a number of creative projects at the moment – several differend journals and a 16″ x 20″ canvas.

The page is above is the first page from my second Teesha inspired journal.  I LOVE this style of journaling and my collection of lovely pens is growing almost by the day.  I need to find a good way to store pens, does anyone have any ideas about that?  I like to store them flat so I need some sort of boxed racking (cheap).   I think probably I could get something at Ikea but we don’t have a store locally that I can visit.  Oh well I’m sure something will turn up.

Have a good week everyone, I’ve just been summoned to go and help measure the kitchen so we can start planning the next stage of the kitchen!

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂






Time for something new :-)

December completeHello friends!

I completed my Calendar Challenge for 2012.  Thank you Kate Crane for a great project I really enjoyed it and surprised myself by actually completing the whole year.

This year I am going to try something a bit different, I am going to try and make myself a Year Book.  I never do proper journaling in my journals, if I use words they tend to be quotes that I find that resonate with me.  I enjoyed writing on the little squares in the calendar challenge so this year I thought I would try and keep a diary and write some more about my life.  I have made some signatures for the book by recycling Christmas cards, I sewed two or three together, then gesso’d them and then covered them with some of my enormous stash of scrap papers.  The plan is that at the end of the year I will bind all the signatures into one big year book and it will be record of what happened in 2013.  If I succeed I might show you a picture of the book in about a year’s time but I doubt that i will be sharing the content of the book because my life really is not that exciting and my writing style (and handwriting) is very poor.  But I shall be interested to see if I can keep it up for a whole year.  Don’t hold your breath though…  🙂

Today was my first day back at work after the long Christmas holidays and it was a bit of a struggle, but I am determined that I am going to keep positive about it and try to do the best I can.  I am asking a lot of myself with this so wish me luck.

It’s a New Year my friends and I wish you success in all your endeavours.

Big love

AJ 🙂