A completed journal :-)

Completed Journal Complete002-for-webHello friends!

At last my 6 x 6 journal is finished.  I started it in August 2011 and completed it in February 2013, of course it was not the only thing I was doing during that time, but it is always so satisfying when a project is complete.   There are some pages in this journal that I don’t really like, but the whole, completed journal is quite lovely I think.

I have one more journal with a spiral binding that I have already started but from now on I am going to use journals without the spiral binding because I don’t really like how it disects the page.  I always cut that bit out when I post them on my blog, but that ugly bit in the middle is just not attractive.  So from now on it’s going to be altered books and handmade journals, several of which are already on the go 🙂

It’s raining again here (what a surprise!) and my plans for cleaning my car and taking Mum for a walk are ‘out of the window’.  Still on the positive side other projects are progressing.  My room needs tidying up again, but I just can’t seem to find the time for that.  Yesterday I cleaned the whole house apart from my room.  There are just too many distractions here, that’s the problem!

Anyway, I hope life is treating you well and filling you with joy.

Big love

AJ 🙂


Welcome to my worldHello friends!

I hope all is good with you, I am a little under the weather today and spent the morning in bed.  Then I started to feel better so I got up and got showered and dressed and went to visit Mum and Dad.

I think the reason for feeling poorly is that yesterday afternoon I went into town and bought all the National Geographic magazines that I could find in the charity shops.  I didn’t realise how heavy they were until I got about half way home.  I suspect the weight of them hanging off my shoulder has disturbed the alignment of my neck and given me a headache.  Still at least I got some good supplies for cutting up and collaging 🙂

Yesterday evening we had a social get together of Ryde Social Heritage Group including a Murder Mystery.  I had to play the part of a nun (which I wasn’t too pleased about) but at least I wasn’t the victim or perpetrator of the crime!  It was an excellent evening with good food and lovely people.

The spread above is the last page to do in my 6×6 journal and is the inside cover and first page.  It has lots of layers and looks a bit grungey  but I am reasonably happy with it.  The stencil and sprays I used I won on a competition on my friend Caroline Dube’s blog.  Thank you Carolyn!  The only thing left to do now is the cover.  That is always exciting for me and I hope I don’t mess it up.

I am progressing well with the preparations for my workshop, the poster and information sheet are almost finished and I’ve ordered a whole load of new pens for the participants to use on the day.  I have drafted out the instruction leaflet they will be able to take away with them and need to start thinking about what else to include in their welcome pack.

I have to go now, we are having a friend visit us this evening and he has just arrived, so I need to go and be sociable.

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 🙂



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 🙂

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 🙂


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 🙂

A quick spread!

Live is Good Be BraveHello friends

I hope you are having a great weekend.  Yesterday we had bright sunshine and a cool breeze and today we have torrential rain and a howling wind!  I need to go out later but I have just remembered that my raincoat is in my car so I’m going to get wet running from the house to the car.  That’ll teach me!

For this spread I decided to use a colour I wouldn’t normally use and I think green is probably my least favourite colour to use in my art.  I went through my box of scrap papers and selected pieces with green on them and then just collaged them onto the pages of the journal.  The green, Tim Holtz compass was already there so I just decided to frame it.  There is no paint at all on this spread, after sticking down the paper I doodled and even did a bit of journaling (which I hardly ever do).  This is an unusual spread for me and really reflects that I am not entirely feeling myself at the moment.

Despite my best endeavours I have to admit I have been getting stressed about the work situation.  The company has decided to make changes which is fair enough, but little, if any thought, has been given as to how to implement the change.  I still don’t know who I am reporting to, what my hours are or, more importantly, who to hand over all the work I have been doing to.  Of course my colleagues who I work with locally all expect me to carry on doing the old job until it’s sorted out, but I don’t see how I can do that.  I have already started doing the new, and totally exciting, new job of data inputting.  It’s not difficult to do but I have to input the information as and when I receive it and that seems to be pretty constant.  The tension has aggravated the ongoing problem I have with my neck and I’ve had a headache for the past 4 days.

My husband has been very sympathetic and telling me that it’s not my problem and rather than getting myself stressed about it I should just hand the problem back to the people who made the decision to do away with my job in the first place.  It sounds good in principle but I’m not sure how easy that will be in practice!  Still I only have to get through Monday and Tuesday at work then I am on leave again for a few days.  On Thursday I am off to the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat and don’t return to work until October 2.  Hopefully it will all be sorted out by then.

I am so looking forward to the Art Retreat and I think it will do me good to be in a completely different environment, centred around art, for a few days.

I will try and post one more post on Wednesday before I go.

See you all soon

Big love

AJ 🙂



Sometimes Life gets Messy!

Sometimes Life gets Messy

Hello friends!

I hope you are all having a great week, we still have sunshine here (although I think it will rain tomorrow) but it is definitely autumnal now.

I finished this spread in my 6×6 journal yesterday, it kind of reflects my state of mind.  Truth is I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself over the past few days.  I don’t like feeling like that because I’ve become a much more positive person since I started art journaling and I like being a happier person.  When I found out what my new job is, I was hugely disappointed, it seems the company can’t see the potential in me I had hoped they would.  I was really hoping that something good would come out of this change and I was a bit hurt to find out that what they think I am ideally suited for is data-inputting!

So I had a bit of a controlled rant at the poor girl from HR yesterday and got it out of my system.  Today I have been sorting out the task list and descriptions for the job I will no longer do so the company can decide who if anyone will take on the tasks.  I have also been inputting data in  ‘my new system’.  There are some good points to the new job, it’s still only 20 minutes drive from home, once I’ve learnt all the key strokes and idiosyncracies of the system it will be easy (so no brain stress there)  and … actually I can’t think of anything else.

Anyway I’ve decided to do the very best I can with it and maybe I can make something of it.  I’m definitely not going to be miserable about it anyway, I like me much better when I’m in a postive frame of mind.

The spread has ripped pages from old books collaged over it, and then India ink in red, green and white dropped on it and sprayed with water.  I stamped out the quote, which was really me telling myself to ‘just get over it’, onto a piece of paper, tore around the words and edged with black ink and stuck on the pages.  Finally I edged the pages with a white Portfolia water soluable oil pastel crayon.

Pretty quick and simple to do and I liked how it turned out.

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂

How Sweet the Moonlight

How Sweet the Moonlight

Hello friends

I hope you are having a great weekend, it’s sunny Sunday here in my part of the world and tomorrow is a bank holiday – yay!

This spread is from my 6 x 6 journal, I started by covering the pages with scraps of paper and ephemera, then added paint and inks.  The swirly stamp is one I got free with a magazine.  I did some embossing and added the quote which is from the Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.  Shakespeare is supposed to be England’s finest writer, but unfortunately I was turned off him when I was at school.  We had to study Julius Caesar for an examination and the teacher got us to read some parts of it out loud in class.  I remember her shouting at me “Say it with feeling!”.  The trouble was I had no idea what I was reading, it was like a foreign language to me.  I think maybe a bit of instruction and explanation would have helped, shouting at me certainly didn’t!

I am going to try and keep up with my blog over the next couple of weeks, but Heritage Open Days starts on 6 September and there are still many things to sort out, so I may have to take a bit of time out.  We can get into the venue, an old church, next Saturday morning and then we have 5 days to clean and tidy the place up, transport and set up a huge exhibition ready for the opening at 11am on Thursday 6 September.  It’s going to be great but it is also going to be a lot of hard work.

If I disappear for a while please understand, I will still be trying to do bits and pieces of art when I can.

Big love

AJ 🙂

Life is full of Mystery

Life is full of Mystery

Hello friends

This is (fanfare of trumpets and drum roll) my 100th post!

Who’d have thought when I uploaded my first post that I’d still be here now?  Not me!  If I had more time I’d organise a party, but honestly I’ve got so much to do before September 6.  Ryde Social Heritage Group is having it’s 10th Anniversary celebrations.  I just need to keep doing things and ticking them off on my massive ‘To Do’ list so I don’t get stressed about it.

You know being creative and posting to this blog has been so beneficial to me – I used to be lacking in confidence and now I’m getting braver, I used to worry about lots of things that ‘might happen’ and now I am much more of a ‘go with the flow’ person, I used to get angry about all sorts of things and now I have a much more ‘laid back’ attitude.  I feel like a different person, it’s good 🙂  Yesterday I drove from home to the car ferry port, spent almost an hour on the ferry and then drove 40 miles which took another hour.  I arrived at the office where I was supposed to be attending a meeting only to be told the meeting had been cancelled the day before.  “We sent you an email yesterday (I was on leave yesterday as my ‘Out of Office’ message would have told you) don’t you read your work emails when you are home?” (Um, No!)  A few years ago I think I would have been in a rage about this, but I just smiled and said “Oh well” got back in my car and did the trip in reverse. To compensate for my waste of time I popped into Hobbycraft and bought a few supplies so it wasn’t a completely wasted day 🙂

Anyway, I’m rambling, I wanted to thank all of you for your lovely comments and ‘likes’ but especially for sharing your art.  The worldwide community of art journalers is so inspiring, friendly and supportive.  I am so happy that I can go online and see loads and loads of beautiful art and people sharing and showing their processes, and grateful to you all for the encouragement you have given me.

This spread is from my 6×6 journal, the background was gesso’d and then I used some strange oil pastels (I think) to add colour, they were a bit odd and I wasn’t happy with the result.  I looked though my box of cuttings from glossy magazines and selected the images which I collaged on top of the background and then I doodled all over it.  I like this spread because it’s colourful, it has fish in it and all the words that are important to me right now.

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

Big love

AJ 🙂