Happy Birthday Blog!

Mandala book coverHello friends!

It’s been a while so I hope all is good with you.

According to WordPress it’s 3 years ago today that I started this blog, so Happy Birthday Blog!  Unfortunately recently I’ve been neglecting things and here we are in the middle of June and this is my first post of the month.  What happened?  I used to post regularly, often 2 posts a week, but now there are long gaps.

Working on the kitchen refurb was the start of the upset of the routine and finding the time is always a problem, but it’s more than that.  I’ve been wondering what it’s all about? Why am I putting all this stuff out there? I always found time in the past so what’s the problem now? Also there is a bit of guilt, people come along here and leave lovely comments and I read them and have every intention of replying, visiting their blogs and being supportive – every intention but I’m not always successful with my intentions.  So does that make me a bad blogger? I’m not asking for or expecting anyone to give me any answers but these are just some of the thoughts I’ve been having and I’m still confused about it…

Anyway, I’ve still found time to be creative – I’ve been working on a couple of paintings, on several journals and I managed to finish my second Mandala book, the images above and below are the front and back cover of the book.

Take good care of yourselves, until the next time

Big love

AJ 🙂

Back cover

 

 

© 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.

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.

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.

 

 

Hmmmm!

Spinning

 

Hello friends

I hope you are well and happy, I must admit I am struggling at the moment and feeling a bit glum today, for no reason that I can think of.  So rather than blather on about things that in reality are of no consequence I am going to do something I hardly ever do and that is to switch off the computer spend the evening watching television.

Anyway, here is a colourful mandala to hopefully brighten your day.

Have a good week and I’ll be back at the at the weekend.

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.

Circles

Circles

 

Hello friends

Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts regarding my Dad after his recent fall and visit to the Emergency Department of the local hospital.  He is doing really well, still looks a bit ‘battered’ and his cracked rib is giving him some pain, but he’s fine.  He is remarkable for a 92 year old.  When I first saw him in hospital I feared the worse, but the thing I have noticed about Dad is that he has a great attitude, things don’t get him down, he has a quiet determination and it all helps him to get over any health problems.

What has really helped this weekend is that his granddaughter, Sophie, who lives in France came to stay for a couple of days.  This was arranged before he had his fall.  Dad always loves seeing any of his grandchildren and it was lovely to see him and Sophie sitting on the sofa this afternoon just holding hands.  This visit was the best medicine he could have had.

Unfortunately the stress of all of this is taking its toll on Mum and I getting concerned about her now.

Recently I have been doing a lot of doodling and for the next few weeks I will be sharing some Mandalas I have created in a stripped down children’s board book. The first is shown above, it’s kind of like a sunburst 🙂

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.

 

Whoah! It’s Wednesday already!

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

Albert Einstein

Love & Peace

 

Hello friends!

It’s mid-week already! I think this is a shock to me because I had the day off work on Monday and after a lovely long weekend this week seems very short and fast!

I read this theory about why time seems to speed up as you get older and, basically, it is to do with repetition and familiarity.  The way to slow down your perception of time is to get as many new and unique experiences as you can.  We should also focus on positive (rather than negative) past memories, try to live more in the present and hold a positive perception of the future.  Use time wisely. Food for thought anyway…

I have spent much of my time in the last week looking for something I had lost.  I thought I knew at least which room it was in but I couldn’t find it   I even searched in the recycle bin, just in case.  But then today I found it, and nowhere near (not even the same building) as I was sure I had left it!  You know sometimes I worry a little about the state of my brain!

So I thought today is probably a good day for another page from my Circles of Wisdom journal.

I hope you have a good week.

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.