Happy New Year!

Happy New YearHello friends!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, if it is something you celebrate.

We had a very lovely Christmas Day.  T and I got up and opened our presents – I got Gellatos, new pyjamas, new pens, a bracelet, some new charms for my Love Links bracelet, a scarf, and lots of other lovely things.  Late morning we went to collect my parents and then drove over to my brother’s house where my sister-in-law provided a wonderful lunch for 9 of us.  It was a great day.  We got home at about 6pm having dropped Mum and Dad back home and then we watched a film called Midnight in Paris which was very good and I managed to last the whole film without dropping off to sleep 🙂

On Boxing Day we had invited T’s friend Nigel for lunch and we had to go and collect him from his sheltered accommodation and bring him back home, have lunch, then we went for a walk along the sea shore as it was a lovely day before taking Nigel home again.

On Friday we spent the day preparing the house for visitors and preparing food.

Yesterday (Saturday) we had to get up early to go to the DIY store to buy our new kitchen, we got an absolute bargain in the Sale and everything will be delivered towards the end of February.  Then the real work starts, ripping out the old and installing the new.

After we got home T’s younger brother, his wife and two children arrived, the first time we have seen them since last Christmas.  We had a very nice day together and yet another Christmas meal in the evening.  They all stayed overnight and this morning we all went for a walk on the beach before they had to head off again.

This afternoon I went to see Mum and Dad and tomorrow I will be taking Dad to the hospital audiology department so he can get his hearing aids fixed.

Now that Christmas is out of the way I am hoping to have some ‘me’ time, I don’t go back to work until Monday 6 January and, apart from taking Dad to the hospital tomorrow, I don’t really have many commitments so I’m hoping I can tick a few more things of my ‘To Do’ list and get some time for art.  I am currently working on 2 journal spreads – one mixed media and one collage and I am also altering a big ‘sample’ book I bought in a charity shop years ago.  I remember being so excited when I bought it but never did anything with it and the other day I decided to make a start.  I also have my 2013 year long project to finish and hopefully I will be able to share that with you soon in the New Year.  Then I have a new, year long, and hopefully easier project to start.

I hope your Christmas was wonderful too.

Thank you to all my readers for your support and encouragement over the past year (or longer) it means such a lot to me.  I wish you all success in all your endeavours and peace in your lives.

The image above is page 8 in my latest Mandala book.

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2013 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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Phew! I made it!

 

 

Celebrate

Hello friends.

I hope you are well and getting into the festive spirit 🙂

I’m guessing that where ever you are in the world you all probably heard my sigh of relief this morning when I finally finished making the Christmas presents.  I left the most important one until last and that was the one for my parents.  Leaving that one till the end kept me on track with the others, as I knew I had to finish them before starting the really important one.  Anyway they are all wrapped up now and most have been distributed, so finally I can start preparing in other ways for Christmas.  There are still things like housework to do before Wednesday as everything else got put on hold until I finished my task.

Today I have been to a friend’s 80th birthday celebrations at lunch time.  I spent most of the time in the kitchen helping with the washing up, but to be honest I am more comfortable there than I would have been circulating and socialising.  There was enough food to feed a small army so I can’t imagine what she will do with what has been left!  Still it was good fun and my friend is a very gracious hostess.

Afterwards I called round to see Mum and Dad and to deliver their presents.  We will be seeing them on Christmas Day when we go and collect them and drive them over to my brother’s house where we are all having lunch.

I have one more day at work, which I’m not looking forward to.  When I left on Friday I already had far more to do before Christmas than was humanly possible and by tomorrow morning there will be even more.  My Manager said he is going to get someone to help me tomorrow, but I still think it won’t all get done.  Not getting it done will have a negative impact on other people, but I did start asking for the information at the beginning of December and despite several reminders to the people who are supposed to supply the information it only started coming through on Wednesday of last week!  I was getting really stressed by the end of the week, but all I can do is my best and at 4:30 tomorrow I’m going to leave work and forget about it until 6 January.

This year I have decided to use up a lot of my annual leave and have nearly two weeks away from the office, hopefully I am going to have some time to play in my art room during those two weeks.  I hope so although there are still other obligations to be fulfilled during that time.

The page above is another from my Mandala book.

I hope you all have a lovely and uplifting Christmas.

Big love and Peace

AJ 🙂

 

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2013 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishes

Fishes

Hello friends!

So that’s another weekend almost over!  I hope you have had a great weekend, mine has been great and not so great.

On Friday evening I had a wonderful time, meeting up with two of my school friends and going for a meal, it was lovely.  We were friends when we were 15, pretty much lost touch with each other and now over 40 years later are friends again, it’s great.

Yesterday I woke up with a migraine and spent the whole day in bed trying not to be sick. It’s frustrating, when I have so much to do, that I lost half of the weekend but it can’t be helped when I feel like that all I can do is lie in bed and wait for it to pass.  For much of the time Jack Kat kept me company, I like to think it’s because he cared but it’s more likely it was because I provided him with some warmth. Here is Jack trying to look festive:

Happy ChristmasWhile I was sick T put the Christmas Tree up so we are looking ever so slightly festive in our house now.  Me, being the Grinch that I am, was going to put it up on Christmas Eve, providing I had completed all my tasks by then, but I must admit it does look very lovely in the corner of the living room.  It has three sets of lights on it, but unfortunately one set has already stopped working!  We’ve decided not to fret about that.

Today I have been feeling much better and I’ve been updating the Ryde Social Heritage Group website, working on Christmas presents, put clean sheets on the bed and visited Mum and Dad.  T has been baking bread and sorting out the washing.  I also watched an online tutorial by the fabulous Teesha Moore over on the Artstronauts Club website and then had to stop myself from immediately trying out what she had demonstrated.  I need to keep myself on track to get my stuff done before I allow myself to play!

The page at the top is from my Mandala Book and although it doesn’t truly qualify as a mandala it was inspired by a visit we made to the Monterey Bay Aquarium many years ago. If you ever get the chance to visit that aquarium I thoroughly recommend it.  It’s fabulous. The first thing we saw when we walked in was a HUGE tank 28 feet deep containing a kelp forest and loads of fishes swimming through the swaying fronds of kelp. It was so impressive it took my breath away.

We also petted some small Rays while we were there, they are just adorable creatures.

The page above was inspired by an exhibit of Northern Anchovy in a circular tank. To me it looked like there were millions of these tiny silver fishes all swimming round and round the tank. 99.9 per cent of them were swimming in the same direction with just the occasional ‘anarchist anchovy’ swimming against the tide.  It was mesmerising to watch them.

That’s all for now folks, have a great week.

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2013 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Pressure!

Mandala-5

 

Hello friends!

How are things with you, I hope all is good.  Me?  I’m beginning to feel the pressure of impending Christmas now.  I am making progress with the little presents I am making and I’m sure I’ll get there in the end but I think I’ll go right to the wire before I achieve my goal!

Of course I am actually making it harder on myself because, although I keep telling you I never watch television, I have been watching the latest series of MasterChef the Professionals.  It’s strange because I never cook but there is something about watching other people cook not just good but superb food.  It’s the finals tonight so after that I should have more time.  Note to self ‘Stay on track!’

Other than that all is pretty good here, everything is sorted out regarding purchasing the new kitchen, I just need to make sure we get there on sale day so that we can get it at a reduced price.  I am beginning to get excited about this now.

The page above is another from my Mandala book, made from just doodling about and coloured in with Pitt Artist pens, white Signo Uno pen and a gold pen.  I am a day late in posting because I got side-tracked yesterday!

I hope you week is going well and if you are in this part of the world I hope you are keeping warm.

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2013 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Red hot

Red hot

Hello friends

I thought I would add some bright colours to my blog this week, because today I am feeling bright and cheerful, I hope you are too.  Above is page 4 from my Mandala book.

The weekend has flown by again and it seems a little unfair I have to go back to work again tomorrow already!  Yesterday I spent the whole day at the tea counter at St Thomas Church where we had a Ryde Arts Festival event.  Visitors were invited to make Christmas wreaths for free.  In the middle of the floor was a big pile of holly, ivy, yew and other bits of greenery and there were wire hoops, fir cones, cinnamon sticks and other bits and pieces for people to make and decorate wreaths to hang on their doors over the festive season.  Tanya was there to give advice and help to those who needed it. Lots of people took part and there some really lovely creations.

While I was at the tea counter my friend looked after the table for children’s activities where they made paper robins or paper chains.  The table was always full of children deep in concentration as they coloured and added stickers to their paper robins.  Keeping the little ones occupied meant that their parents could concentrate on making the green wreaths.

It was a really good day.

Today T and I went back to the DIY store to do some checking on things and make the final decisions about what to buy for the kitchen. I have to go back on Tuesday to meet the planner and get the final quote, then I’ll have to arrange to have the money available just after Christmas.  All being well we are planning to do the work in February, but I guess that really depends on when they can deliver it and the amount of space it takes up in our small house before we start the work.  I can see we are going to be living in chaos for a while, but that’s probably going to bother T much more than it does me though.  My art room is always in chaos, so I’m used to it.

I went to see mum and dad this afternoon and they are both fine, they even went out for a short walk today so that’s good.

I am doing fairly well with making the Christmas presents and have completed 10, I still have 6 more to complete so I need to keep at it or I am going to run out of time.  It’s not long until Christmas now it is!

Have a great start to your week and hopefully I’ll be back here mid week with another post.

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2013 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Space, the final frontier

Space, the final frontier

 

Hello friends

I hope you are all well and happy.  All is good here, my dad has made a miraculous recovery and is back to his old self again.  Most of the bruises have gone and his broken rib gets a bit easier every day.  I am so pleased 🙂 

I am so excited to be sharing with you my first journal spread inspired by Teesha Moore‘s Artstonauts Club.  I made the deep space background using a technique shown by artist James S Flagg, then I collaged images of planets, a spaceman and a rocket on top and altered them with various pens.  I wanted to do something like the Ship’s log I remember from years ago when I used to watch Star Trek.  I typed out the words in a digital looking font and then found an image of an IPad to paste them onto.  I think it worked out quite well.  Oh and I put Teesha’s husband Tracy in the space suit 🙂

I feel like I want to hibernate at the moment, I am going to bed earlier and earlier and I am not so keen to get up in the morning.  I usually manage to be up by about 6am but not with the enthusiasm I have in the light summer months.  Cold, dark days don’t really suit me…

I am progressing (slowly) with the Christmas presents, but I am a little bit disappointed with how they are turning out.  Still I’m committed to making them now so I have to proceed.  I’ll show them to you after Christmas when I have handed them out.  They may not look totally brilliant but there is a lot of work going in to them so I hope they are received OK.

This coming Saturday I will at St Thomas Church in Ryde all day serving teas to visitors at a Ryde Arts Festival event.  There will be Green Wreath making, children’s activities, carol singing and lots of fun.  I am going to wrap up well though because it will probably be very cold.

I am still planning the new kitchen, T seems to have lost interest now it’s come down to the fine detail, but I want to make sure everything is as good as we can possibly make it, I doubt we will every do it again.  I’ve even toyed with the idea of perhaps learning to cook once we have a nice kitchen, I’m in my late 50’s so it’s probably time I did, I’ll never be able to cook as well as T does but I ought to be able to provide meals at least occasionally.

Anyway have a great week and I’ll be back at the weekend with another mandala.

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2013 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

I’m an Artstonaut!

 

Mandala 3Hello friends

I hope all is good with you, I am feeling much better than when I last posted.  I knew that if I just waited patiently my good mood would return 🙂

I’ve had a long weekend although it still seems to have flown by really fast.  I took the day off work on Friday as I had a funeral to attend in the morning and a meeting for the local history group in the afternoon.   The funeral was for a member of the group who passed away on 10 November.  Ralph was 91 and was a really delightful man.  The last time I saw him was in October when he gave a talk at one of our meetings.  He was cheerful and funny and seemed to be in good health, so it was a shock to hear that he had died.  The funeral was a touching tribute to a man who was clearly loved by many.

On Saturday T and I went to get a quote for the cabinets and fittings we will need for our kitchen.  Fortunately we can just about afford to buy the stuff and if we buy it between Christmas and New Year we should get it at a reduced price.  We have had to change our plans several times but we are near to finalising it now and I it’s going to look good once it’s done.  I still think it would be better to wait until warmer weather to start installing it but T is anxious to get it done, which is understandable seeing as how he has waited almost 20 years.  So I can see that we will be doing it in the depths of Winter!  He is already planning what things need to be done first.  We have to get a plumber in to move some pipework and we somehow have to box in some other pipework but we are not sure how we are going to do that at the moment.

Today I had some time to work in my altered book art journal and I am excited about the page I am creating.  I recently joined Teesha Moore‘s Artstonauts Club and it has inspired me to create a page unlike anything I have done before.  It’s a work in progress so I can’t share it with you just yet.

If you have been reading my blog for any time you will know that Teesha has inspired me more than any other artist, in fact it’s because of her that I first started to art journal so I am super excited to be a member of her Artstonauts Club.

Oops, I just realised that while I was playing in my art journal today I really should have been making Christmas presents!  I must try to stay more focused! 

Above is another page from my Mandala book, nicer colours than the first two in this book I think.

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

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2013 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.