Hello friends!

I’m sorry I’m a day late with this post which is the last page of my Circles of Wisdom book, just circles and doodles.  Hmmm, must start a new journal soon 🙂

Things are changing in my life for the better and today I was thinking about some of the people who have influenced these changes.  It’s interesting that initially at least most of them I met either on-line or through correspondence.

My friend G has been my pen-friend for about 30 years, she lives in the Hollywood Hills above Los Angeles and we met really just by chance.  Something horrible happened to her in a foreign country and I happened to be friends with someone she met while she was undergoing this terrible ordeal.  G and I started corresponding with each other and became good friends.  We have since both lost touch with the person who introduced us but we have had a long and loving correspondence.  Her misfortune was my good fortune in that I met a true and dear friend. Over the years I have met G in person on several occasions, both in the UK and at her home in LA and she has had a profound and positive influence on my life and I love her.

Another person who I only ever knew as Pix I met on the Lomography website and I’ve never met in real life.   I didn’t even really know him that well, but apart from being an outstanding photographer he was always upbeat, positive, funny and friendly.  His attitude to life made a big impression on me and I decided that I wanted to be like that too.  I think that is when I first decided that I wanted to change and become a more positive, happy and contented person.

I also met a man called Tracy Moore on the Lomography website he is lovely, friendly and quirky and also a great and prolific photographer.  In 2007 I attended the Lomographic World Congress in London.  Attending that event, with hundreds of people from all over the world, was really scary for me.  I’m a country girl from a small town and I am really quite shy and insecure so it was a huge act of bravery for me to attend on my own.  I was really fortunate to meet up with Tracy and his daughter, Trista, at the Congress and we spent a lot of time together.  They were both so warm and kind to me.  The added bonus to this was that Tracy carried around with him several different cameras AND a huge hand made journal (which he encouraged everyone he met to draw or write in).  This was the first time I had ever heard about art journalling and I was intrigued.

As a result of meeting Tracy and Trista, I eventually discovered Teesha Moore (Tracy’s wife) and immediately fell in love with her art.  Then last year I was fortunate to be able to attend the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat in the UK where Teesha was one of the teachers.  That event had a big influence on my art and my life.  Not only is Teesha a great artist she is one of the most generous and big-hearted people I’ve ever met.

Tracy and Teesha are the perfect couple, just like me and T are 🙂

Through art journaling I also met, online, Gretchen Miller who is an art therapist.  Gretchen ran a workshop on 21 Secrets in 2011 and it was in this workshop I learnt about making Revo-lution books and how visualizing your intentions into your artwork can be so rewarding.

And recently I met another person online who is having a massive positive effect on my personal growth and well-being.  Some of my art work is featured on the Tiny Buddha website, the whole website is well worth checking out if you want to start feeling good about yourself.  As a result of being featured over there I’ve met Dr Amy Johnson.  I love her outlook on life, what she says really resonates with me and I am learning so much from her.

I am so grateful that all these people came into my life at the exact time I needed them.

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

Big love

AJ 🙂



© 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.


Mandala 1Hello friends

I hope your week is going well, mine is.  I couldn’t post yesterday because my computer was being so slow it took me over three hours to just get my emails and when I tried to get onto the blog is just ground to a halt!  Instead of getting annoyed and depressed I switched it off and did some art instead so it was a happy result in the end 🙂

The image above is from the Circles of Wisdom book I made for Dion Dior’s workshop on 21 Secrets last year.  The book is a child’s board book measuring about 5″ x 5″ and with the plastic stripped off the pages.  This is something I learnt from my friend Gretchen Miller’s workshop on 21 Secrets in 2011.  The book has 7 pages, not including the cover so there are 16 mandalas in total.  The board books make fantastic journals, they are cheap to buy in charity shops, have sturdy thick pages and the small ones like this one fit in your bag easily.  Sometimes it requires a bit of work to get the plastic off the page, but it’s worth the effort because when you’ve finished you have a complete blank book to work in.

Drawing mandalas is a very centering and calming thing to do.  You just start in the middle of the page and work your way out and around, the possibilities are endless.

Have a go it’s great fun!

21 Secrets is a great place to learn techniques from some fabulous teachers and I think it is really good value for money.  I have really enjoyed being involved with it for the past two years.  This year though I’m not doing any online workshops that require payment because I’m saving my money to go on another art retreat (hopefully) later in the year.

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂

Revo’lution 2013

Cover-smallHello friends!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!

I am really enjoying being off work for a few days and I’ve been doing art whenever possible.   We spent Christmas day with my parents and yesterday we had Tony’s friend Nigel come for lunch.  Today we have had a day on our own and tomorrow more family arrive.

When I have had time I have been working on my 2013 Revo’lution book.  Last year the words in my Revo’lution book were: Inspire, change, kindness, authentic, gratitude and abundance.  It is a book I pick up often and think about the intention behind making the book.  All I can tell you is that it’s a fantastic exercise and (for me) much more beneficial than making New Year’s Resolutions, which I can never keep.

This year the words in my Revo’lution book are: connect, grow, focus, share and reflect.  I wanted to have a line running through the book which would connect all the pages together.  There are very few words or explantion of what the book means, that is because producing the book was almost like a meditation.  On each page I gave the word intention in every action of producing the page.  I can look at each page and know exactly what want to attract into my life.

To find out more about this excellent process please go over and visit my friend Gretchen Miller.  Gretchen introduced me to this wonderful process in 2011.  So above is the cover and below are all the pages of my 2013  Revo’lution book, which is a repurposed children’s board book:


Page-3-smallPage-4-smallPage-5-smallWishing you success in all your endevours in the coming year.

Big love


Operation Sock Monkey and Sock Monkey Swap :-)

MonkeysHello friends

I recently took part in Operation Sock Monkey and Sock Monkey Swap which was hosted by 6 Degrees of Creativity and my friend Gretchen Miller.  Over 100 Sock Monkeys from 18 states across the US and from New Zealand, Canada, UK, and Italy came together before being sent to their final destination: The Boys and Girls Club in Hoboken, New Jersey. 

If you click on the links you can find out all about the project.

Above are my two sock monkeys, I had to make them before I could commit myself to participating, they were fun to make.  The pink one was sent to Gretchen to be sent to the Boys & Girls Club in Hoboken and the grey one was sent to Katarina Thorsen in Canada.  Katarina is an amazing artist and I recommend you check out all of her blogs :-).  You can find out all about Operation Sock Monkey here.  I love their motto which is ‘Sending smiles across the miles’.

And here is the sweet monkey I received in the swap.  It was made by Katie in Connecticut. Thank You Katie! Once Billy Kat gets used to having ‘a stranger’ on the bed Monkey will fit in nicely and have a good home here 🙂


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

Big love

AJ 🙂

October’s gone and here is November :-)



Hello friends

Here is my journal page all ready for November for Kate Crane’s Calendar Challenge, time is just zipping by at the moment!  I am fairly sure now that I will complete the whole year.

I wanted my spread to have a wintery feel so I used cool colours for the background and then contrasted with warmer tones for the days.

I really love the quote and it has been a sort of motto for me this year.  I have done lots of things that previously I’d have been too scared to do and I am becoming braver and more self-confident.

I want to thank my friend Gretchen Miller for this – it was when I made my first Revo-lution Book as part of 21 Secrets 2011 that I first started to focus on the changes I wanted to make in my life and began to visualise my intentions.  You can find out about the Revo-lution over at Gretchen’s blog Creativity in Motion .  Just this week I have given presentations to two groups of strangers and I really enjoyed myself.  Just a few years ago I could not have contemplated standing in front of people and talking.  Inside there was a shouting voice telling me I wasn’t good enough and that I couldn’t do it, so of course I couldn’t.  But I have quietened that voice and now what I hear is “You can do this, relax and have fun”.  Thank you Gretchen  for helping me in this way and I am so glad I met you in cyber space 🙂  Thank you  also for the nomination as a Beautiful Blogger and when I get the time I will accept and nominate some of my favourite beautiful bloggers too.

And here is my completed October spread

October Complete


Stay warm and safe people

Big love

AJ 🙂

Revo-lution 2012 – Gratitude

GratitudeHello friends!

I hope everyone is feeling good.

I’m really pleased to say I am feeling much better this weekend and also that I’ve been given a new project at work which should be more interesting than the work I’ve been doing for the past year (although I will probably have to still do that as well).  I’m optimistic about it anyway, it seems like a good change for me.

Here is another spread from my Revo-lution 2012 board book.  Check out Gretchen Miller’s blog, Creativity in Motion, for more information about the thinking behind the Revolution book.

Sometimes things in my life are not exactly as I want them to be and if I allow myself I can get to feeling hard done by.  I’ve realised it does no good to just feel sorry for myself so my intention this year is to appreciate and feel gratitude for all the good things in my life.   When I think about it seriously it is obvious to me the good things far out-number the percieved bad, or problem, things in my life.

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments on my blog, I do try to answer everyone and visit your blogs too. Recently I’ve been having problems leaving comments on Blogger blogs.  I’m not sure if that’s a Blogger problem, a WordPress problem or (and this is much more likely) an AJ problem!  I’ll try and get it sorted.

My life can be a bit hectic –  I work full time and I am committed to the success of our local history group and need to keep the RSHG website up- to-date.  Now if I could just have … ooh I don’t know … maybe an extra 4 or 5 hours to each day … I might stand a chance of getting everything done.  I know I’m not alone and most creative people have the same dilemas juggling with the day to day stuff.  I am still managing to do some art every day, even if it’s only a teeny weeny bit, it’s good for my soul 🙂

Hope you are all being wondrously industrious with your creativity.

Big love


Revo-lution 2012 – Kindness

KindnessHello friends!

I hope everyone is well and happy.  I must admit I’m a bit under the weather at the moment and have spent most of today in bed.  It will pass I just need to rest up for a couple of days, so I probably won’t go to work tomorrow.

The spread above is from my 5″ x 5″ Revo-lution 2012 board book inspired by a workshop I did on 21 Secrets last year with Gretchen Miller.  Gretchen has information and an e-book all about the Revolution available on her blog here.

This image reflects my desire to become a kinder person.  I really like the way it came out.  I painted the pages with a pink fluorscent paint I found in my stash when I tidied up my work room recently.

The paint must be nearly 20 years old because I remember I originally used it to paint on big fabric hangings that were used to decorate walls at clubs and parties where my husband DJ’d.  When the hangings were lit with UV/black light the colours really glowed.  Anyway despite its age most of the paint is still useable so I’ve moved it into my paint storage drawers for easy access.

Also on this spread I transferred text from a book directly onto the page using gel medium.  Thanks to Donna Downey for the tip on how to do that, it’s really easy and the results are amazing, although I must admit you can’t see them too well in the picture.  I stamped over with my tiny flower and tiny dots stamps.  The hands are cut from a magazine, the letters are from a word game I bought in a charity shop and are stuck on over a piece of scrap paper.  The hearts were cut with my new BigShot 🙂 and I stuck the three words onto pre-made tags from K & Co which were attached with a decorative brad.

That’s all for now folks, I’ve exhausted myself and need to go and lie down again for a while.

See you later

Big Love

AJ 🙂

Revo-lution 2012 – Change

Hello Friends

I hope everyone is well and enjoying the new year.

First of all I apologise because I have not been replying to comments on my blog, which I think is very rude and I hope you will forgive me.  My only excuse is that things have been very busy.

My dad went into hospital on Friday for what the doctor described as a minor operation.  It was to remove a lump about the size of a tennis ball from the side of his face and neck.  We already knew that the lump was benign but it was beginning to affect his swallow.  There were some risks in him having the op.  Dad is nearly 90.  The doctor assured us that if all went well he would stay in hospital one night and then come home the next day.

The op was done in a hospital in Portsmouth, just a few miles from where we live but with a stretch of water and a ferry crossing between.  Mum wanted to be on the same side of the water as dad, so on Friday we all set off together and mum and I booked into a hotel overnight.  We left him at the hospital at about 1pm and the next time we saw him was at 5pm.  He was sitting up in bed, looking pretty OK.  He has a three inch cut in his neck with 12 stitches, which does look quite dramatic, but the big lump is gone!  Everything went well and he was allowed to come home yesterday.  He is just feeling slightly sore but is suffering no after affects from the general anaesthetic.

I think mum and I were more exhasuted than he was by the time we got home.  I checked on them both today and everything is still fine.   Phew!

Apart from that I’ve had to update the history group website and prepare a presentation for next Saturday, now I have a quarterly report to write before next weekend and then there is a stack of about 100 historic photographs that someone lent to me a couple of months ago that I really must scan so I can return the originals.

Still I’ve managed to do a little art and this is the second spread in my 2012 Revo-lution book which is about the changes I want to make in myself for my intention of becoming a better person.

That’s all for now.

Big love


New Year’s Revolution!

Hello Friends

Happy New Year to one and all!

I’m not making New Year’s Resolutions any more, because to be honest they usually seem to be about giving up things and I rarely keep those kinds of promises.  So this year I am trying something new.

One of the workshops I did at 21 Secrets 2011 (now sadly ended) was Gretchen Miller’s Revo-lution workshop.  It’s all about exploring concepts of transformation, creating change and new possibilities through art.  You concentrate on key words that have meaning for you and you make a journal page to show that meaning visually.  You can find out much more about this process at Gretchen’s blog Creativity in Motion.  It’s a great thing to do and I highly recommend it.  I do believe it can be life-changing for the better.

I made one Revolution book during 21 Secrets which concentrated on Joy, Bravery, Harmony, Creativity, Confidence, Authenticity and Serenity and now I am making a new book for 2012.  The first page is about Inspiration – I want to be inspired and I’d like to inspire others.  The book is a 5″ by 5″ board book stripped back to the board and then gesso’d and I’ve used images that inspire me.  The couple on the left are my parents who have loved and inspired me all my life; the sunset at Castara bay in Sunny Tobago (one of my favourite places on earth); a bit of an old map of Ryde, the town where I live, it has a fascinating history; Albert Einstein – who was a genius, deep thinker and often a little playful, I would have loved to have met him; Images of work of Joan Miro and Keith Haring, two of my favourite artists.  The little image bottom right says Plant a Seed, because that’s what inspiration is – the potential for something great.  I’ve included ArchBishop Desmond Tutu because he is another highly intellegent man, deep thinker, has a heart the size of a planet and a ‘wicked’ laugh.  I would love to meet him.

My good news is that I am now signed up for 21 Secrets 2012 so this year I will be participating for the whole 9 months, (big smile).

I hope all your dreams come true in 2012.  Here’s to another art full year.

Big love



Hello Friends!

Sorry I haven’t time to write much today, I’m in my usual seasonal panic before Christmas.  I’m still trying to make the last of the presents and I’m struggling!  Why do I take on these ambitious projects?!  I am working on the last two and hope to get them done by the weekend.  I’ve made a couple of errors which have set me back a bit, but I’ve just had to work around them because I don’t have time to start from scratch now.

This is another spread from my small 6×6 journal – textured gesso, Inktense and acrylic paint, some scrap paper and more gesso and stamped and written words.

Before I go I’m going to recommend you check out Gretchen Miller’s blog Creativity in Motion she has a great post today about a Gratitude Scroll.  Gretchen ran my favourite workshop over at 21 Secrets where we made a Revo-lution book for ourselves.  Eventually I will get around to sharing that with you here, but in the meantime check out her blog, it has loads of wonderful creative ideas.

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂