Summer

Summer

Hello friends

I hope you are all well and happy, everything is good here 🙂

This is a page in my mixed media, altered book journal.  Ages ago we bought some garlic at the Garlic Farm and it came in this fantastic brown paper bag printed with a butterfly and lots of words relating to garlic, so I used that as one layer, then there was lots of paint, stamping and stencilling.  The words are just things I wrote down in my note book one lunchtime when I went and sat outside and soaked up the glorious weather.  Later I transferred them to my journal.

I can’t believe what a wonderful summer we are having, it seems like we’ve had weeks and weeks of summer, I LOVE it.

The only trouble is I am so busy I’ve not really had time to enjoy it as much as I’d like, but even when I’m stuck inside working it’s still good to look outside and see the sunshine so I’m not complaining.

Sorry it’s a short post tonight because I need to start ticking some more things off my ‘To Do’ list before it starts stressing me out.

Take care of yourselves and I’ll be back soon(ish)

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 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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Be a realist!

Be a Realist!

Hello friends!

I hope all is good with you.

So the reality is I’ve become a ‘not very good blogger’ but that’s just how it is at the moment and I’ve got to stop letting it worry me.

The Ryde Arts Festival is now well under way and got off to a spectacular start on Friday evening with the opening of the Landmark Trees project and a concert of a piece of music composed (by two young composers) especially for the event.  It was fantastic!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAWhat was particularly good about it was that the hangings for the Landmark Trees were made by a local artist working with four different youth groups.  It took them about 3 months to paint them.

The concert ‘Seasons for a Soldier’ was played by the local Symphony Orchestra but also included an adult choir, a youth choir and the marching band of the local Sea Cadets.

The whole piece is about the seasons of 1914 – from optimistic Spring through to desolate Winter, reflecting on what it must have been like for all the young men who, in the autumn and winter of 1914 volunteered to fight for their country.  There are ribbons on all the trees outside with the names of the men from the town who lost their lives in WW1.

I’ve been volunteering over the weekend: on Friday and Saturday evening at events in the old church and this morning just sitting and welcoming the visitors who came in to see the installation and listen to a recording of the music.  (Actually I did a bit of art too while I was there) 🙂  Also yesterday afternoon I spent several hours updating the Ryde Arts Festival website.

You can’t see it in the picture (because people are sitting over it) but on the floor in big white lettering are the famous words from a Rupert Brooke poem “…That there’s some corner of a foreign field. That is for ever England”.  The chairs are just put out if there is a concert, but during the daytime people walk into a vast empty space with these wonderful tree hangings, the line of poetry on the floor and the music playing.  I think it’s really impressive and I’m proud to play a small part in the annual Arts Festival.

The spread above is in my Altered Book Journal.  I was a bit surprised in how it turned out, but that’s the way the pages wanted to be so who am I to argue?

I don’t know anything about Anwar Sadat other than he was the President of Egypt from 1970.  I’m guessing like most politicians he had good points and bad.  He took his country to war with Israel but he also entered into Peace Talks with Israel which culminated in a Peace Treaty being signed.  He and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On 6 October 1981 President Sadat was assassinated during the annual victory parade held in Cairo.

Anyway I really like the quote and I needed something with an Egyptian flavour to compliment the images (which came from a picture I bought in a charity shop yesterday).

Until the next time, have fun

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

 

 

 

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 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.

Things that Count

Things that Count

 

Hello friends

I hope you are well, I am pleased to say I am feeling much better this week.  This weekend has just zipped by and I can’t believe that I have to go back to work again tomorrow already!  Still never mind…

T has started to remove the tiles from the wall in the kitchen, so this means we have now definitely started with the kitchen refurbishment, but don’t hold you breath as I anticipate it is going to take months to complete.  We are going to have to purchase new cupboards, sink, cooker (and probably fridge and freezer), worktops and tiles.  That pretty much is going to break our bank so we are going to have to do as much of the work as we can ourselves.  It’s going to be difficult and will take us much longer than it would to have someone come and do it for us professionally, but needs must.  Although T has made a start, we are planning to purchase the stuff in the January sales and then I hope we don’t actually start the work until the weather warms up a bit as I anticipate we could be without cooker and sink for a some time as we try and figure out how to do it.  I have two weeks worth of leave from work that I have to take before the end of May.  So April/May time would be good for me however T is probably not going to be that patient and, to be fair, he has waited 20 years to get the kitchen sorted out.

As the fuel bills are going up by a ridiculous amount, I decided that we needed to put up thick curtains on all the windows that didn’t have any, in an attempt to keep the heat in the house and this weekend I have dyed, sewn and put up two lots so that has given me a sense of achievement.

A couple of really good things happened today:  first we bought a really nice dining table, it’s kind of ‘shabby chic’, it’s old and has thick turned and painted legs, a solid pine top and a little drawer.  It’s in keeping with our house which is old (built in 1860) and has a rustic feel.  Buying a table probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but we have never really had much money and previously any furniture we had was either bought cheap or handed on from someone else.  But this year we have purchased a lovely wooden dresser for the kitchen and now a table.  I am beginning to feel like a grown up at last, and for someone in their late 50’s that’s not bad.

The second, and best, thing was that when I went to visit Mum and Dad this afternoon my Dad presented me with a file containing 77 hand written pages about his life.  My Dad is over 90 and he is always telling me stories about his life.  Some time ago I asked him to try and write it all down for me.  I never thought he would actually do it, but today he gave it to me. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet and to be honest his handwriting is a bit difficult to read, but eventually I will type it all up and it will be distributed to my two brothers and their children.  Hopefully after that it will be passed on to their children too.  I am so lucky to have parents who may be a little frail physically these days but are both still mentally alert. I am pretty sure that my Mum has also written her story, but that’s not come my way yet.

The page above is a quick mixed-media page that I completed today in my altered book journal, it has layers of paint, papers, stencilling, some Zetiology stamps and a quote by one of my all time favourite people Albert Einstein.

Have a great 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.

Enjoy the Journey

Enjoy the Journey

 

Hello friends!

I hope all is good with you, I’ve been poorly but I’m feeling better now.  Sickness probably accounts for the ‘Senior Moments’ on Wednesday, on Thursday I really struggled to stay motivated at work and when I came home I sat and watched television (I never do that!), I just really felt out of sorts.   Then on Friday I woke up with a humdinger of a headache and was really sick, all day long.  I stayed in bed but every time I moved threw up,  Obviously I didn’t make it to work, I’m supposed to phone in and let them know if I’m not going to be at work, but I just couldn’t manage the phone or even to tell my husband to phone for me.  So I’m probably going to be in trouble tomorrow…

I’ve had this problem before and, by a process of elimination, I think I am beginning to work out what the cause is.  I used to think it was a problem with my neck, but I now think that because I have a weakness in my neck that’s where the pain tends to go.  The bottom line is, I think I need to change my diet.  It’s got to be worth a try because being sick like that really knocks me for six!

I’ve been reading a lot recently, obviously Dr Amy Johnson‘s new and previous books and other similar works about how our thinking shapes our personal world and that our default setting is always well-being.  It was comforting to me, while I was feeling so unwell, to know that my body was just working through some issues and eventually I was going to be OK.

Yesterday I was still feeling washed out but I did manage to get out for a walk and I did some easy art (shown above) in my altered book journal.  I’m not that impressed with the result to be honest, but art is always good therapy so I’m sharing it anyway.

I started off with gesso’d pages, stuck old dictionary pages over them (these can no longer be seen), then I painted them turquoise – I didn’t mean to paint the whole spread that colour but the paint tube was blocked and when I managed to unblock it I got far more paint out than I really needed, then I used some foam stamps to stamp over the turquoise with orange acrylic and gesso, a Crafters Workshop stencil called paint lids to add the purple and a Tim Holtz reflections stamp to add some word texture.  The girl is cut from a magazine advert and then painted over (I am still really rubbish at faces and hair) and I put images of the universe into her glasses. On the left hand side of the page I did some image transfers, but they didn’t work out at all, so I gesso’d over them and then painted over with green acrylic.  I used joint tape as a stencil to add the hatching, printed out the quote (I don’t know who to attribute the quote to) sprayed it with blue and yellow spray inks, ripped out the words and stuck them down, I highlighted the wording with a white pen. Finally edged the page with black and orange Stazon ink.  That’s it.

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.

Breathe, Calm, Connect

Breathe, Calm, Connect

 

Hello friends

We have had fantastic weather in my part of the UK this weekend and I’ve been busy.  I hope your weekend has been great too.

Yesterday I go up early and prepared for some voluntary work in the cemetery then did two hours work.  I was clearing grass and weeds away from the stones and carrying the waste to a bin nearby and my two friends were writing down the inscriptions from the memorials so we could add the information to our website.  I think I must have jarred my neck in doing the work because it’s been feeling a bit uncomfortable ever since then.

In the afternoon I did some work on my Story Box.  I have to have a story box completed by next Saturday, several of us are making them to show as examples of how people can use archives to tell a story.  My box is about a theatre that stood in the town from 1813 until 1961 when it burnt down.  One of the things I am putting in the box is a small book containing all the newspaper items that we have found.  I think there must be hundreds of them, it seems like that anyway.  I have typed them all out using a Old Newspaper style font, printed them, aged the paper by soaking it in tea and now I am tearing around the edges of the typed items, distressing the edges of the paper and sticking them in the book. This is just to give the ‘feel’ of ageing, I’m not trying to pass anything off as antique.

The ageing with tea took all yesterday afternoon!  Fortunately the weather was good so I was able to do most of it outside and didn’t drip tea all over the kitchen, that would have driven my husband crazy.  I worked on the tearing, distressing and sticking all evening but didn’t complete the job.

I started today by doing some updates to the RSHG website.  Then we drove over to the Garlic Farm to pick up some garlic bulbs for T to plant in the garden and to the big hardware store to picked up some items he needs for a project he is working on.

As it was such a beautiful day today I thought I would take Mum and Dad out for a drive and a walk this afternoon. Dad however said he would rather stay at home and watch the football on tv so must Mum and me went. We went to the village where I grew up and found the grave of my paternal great-grandparents in the church graveyard then we went for tea in, what I always thought was, a posh hotel. Surprisingly the service as abysmal and Mum complained about it!

This evening I’ve been doing more tearing, distressing and sticking and I’m still not finished!  As well as the book I have loads of stuff to print out to add to the Story Box which has to be completed by Saturday morning and I’ve got to presentation to prepare too.  I’m feeling just slightly under pressure right now.

Anyway, enough of the trivia of my exciting life.  The image above is a mixed media spread in my altered book.  I was just having fun with paint, papers, inks, printed tissue paper, collage and penwork.  I was going to say that I wasn’t sure what the words meant, they came to me out of nowhere, but now I realise I know exactly what they mean 🙂

I may not have time to post again until next weekend, so, in the meantime, I hope you have a great week.

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.

We are the Architects of our own Happiness

We are the architects of our own happiness

 

Hello friends

I just felt like getting messy with some paint, so I got out my old, mixed media journal which I started in June 2012.  It’s a proper book that I am altering, mainly because I don’t like the wire binding in the other journals I’ve used for mixed media.  I like doing double page spreads and wire binding distracts from the whole image .  When I first started this altered book I ripped out half of the pages and gessoed the remaining pages, leaving some of the illustrations showing through.  It was a book about shells that I picked up in a charity shop and I’ve since seen several copies of the same book, so I don’t feel bad about transforming it into something else.

This page was already started.  I can’t remember the entire process but there are pages from an old book on English architecture, handmade papers, Zettiology stamps (purchased from Teesha Moore), red and pink paint, an image transfer, spray inks, distress inks and a quote hand printed onto ordinary paper sprayed with inks.

I’ve been reading a lot recently about how despite what we may think, our happiness is not dependent upon external factors like possessions or how we look, it’s simply a choice that we make for ourselves.  So I’m choosing to be happy and I hope you are too 🙂

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

 

COPYRIGHT

© 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.

Wonder

Wonder

Hello friends

Wow, summer is really here now, it’s scorching hot!  I hope you are enjoying lovely weather too where ever you are.

So that’s the Ryde Arts Festival over with for another year.  Well not really we still have to have meetings to discuss what went right and what went wrong and how we can improve for next year, and then the planning meetings and hopefully some workshops throughout the year until next summer.  I have enjoyed it and I received some lovely feedback about my personal art which is a bonus.

I spent today sitting at the Depozitory from 12:30 to 4pm but only had a few visitors partly I think because of the glorious weather, many people just headed for the beach, and partly because of the Wimbledon finals.  I am sure that everyone is delighted that Andy Murray won.

This week I finally managed to find a little time to do some art journaling in my altered book. This is a quick page I created with the theme of Wonder.   The quote is by Helen Keller and (in case you can’t read it) says “The infinite wonders of the universe are revealed to us in exact measure as we are capable of receiving them”.  It’s a bit different to the pages I’ve been posting recently and it felt good to be doing some mixed media and layers again.  I hope you like it. 🙂

Short post tonight because it’s T’s Birthday and I have to pop down to the local Indian restaurant to collect his Birthday dinner.

I won’t be posting mid week this week because I am going to London to give a speech at a conference on Wednesday and won’t get home until late.  Hopefully I will be back next weekend and in the meantime I hope you have a lovely and rewarding time.

Big love

AJ 🙂

 

COPYRIGHT

© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2013. 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.