You are Here

You are Here

Hello friends!

This is probably the most summery weekend we have had all year and I’ve been stuck inside working away on my computer preparing stuff for the history exhibition in September.  Never mind, at least I didn’t get sunburnt and at least it is nice to look out the window and see bright light.

The image above is just a single page from my A4 journal.  I used quite a lot of ripped up map for the background so I thought You Are Here was an appropriate quote.  The criss-cross lines I made by inking up a wheel from toy car and running it across the page.

On Tuesday I have to go for an interview at work so that, in 30 minutes, my competencies can be assessed and then I think I will just be slotted into a job where they (senior managers and HR) think I will fit best.  It’s all a bit strange really especially as I have already applied for a post that was advertised internally but that’s not what they are interviewing me for.  Anyway I have decided that I just need to do some preparation, go along, do the best I can, not get too anxious about it and try to enjoy the experience.  I’ll let you know how I got on next time I post.  I think it must be quite a tough interview because the 5 managers I work with have already been through the process and 3 of them have not been reappointed to their roles.  I already know I am not going to be reappointed to my role as it is disappearing into vapour in the restructure, but I will definitely still have a job.  So there is definitely something new for me just around the corner.  Exciting or what!

OK I am going to drag myself away from the computer now and the many things that I am supposed to be doing and I’ll go and see if Mum and Dad want to come out for a drive and an icecream.

See you later

Big love

AJ 🙂


The Destination


Hello friends

I hope everyone is well and happy.

This is my last post before we go off on holiday so I will be having a bit of a blog break for about a week and a half.  It’s going to be strange and quite refreshing to have no internet access for a while, but I am taking a few art supplies and a new journal I have made especially for the trip.

It is T’s 60th birthday and we are going to Keighley in Yorkshire where he was born and spent the first 16 years of his life.  We haven’t been there for about 40 years.  I hope it’s a good trip because he doesn’t have much of a memory of growing up, I think his childhood was quite traumatic, his parents split up when he was about 11 years old.   He wants to go back to his roots, but I hope it doesn’t bring back too many unhappy memories for him.

We will be seeing his best friend from school, his sister and an aunt so we are looking forward to that.

It’s hard to believe that the boy I fell in love with all those years ago will be 60 in a few days time (even harder to think I am just a few years behind him)!  Our relationship is as solid now as it’s ever been.  Love is a wonderful thing and I am lucky I found my soul mate when I was just 15 years old.

We are both going to be quite traumatised at leaving ‘the boys’, our two cats behind, but we have a friend coming to stay in the house and look after them while we are gone.  Hopefully everything will be OK.  We have never had children so these two beautiful cats mean the world to us both and we have never left them before.

For this spread I used gesso, acrylic paint, some bits of old maps, a dots rubber stamp and some tape I made.  I used microporous surgical tape and stuck it down on a sheet of acetate then printed text and old maps onto the sheet.  It wasn’t hugely successful, as the printing is not as ‘fast’ as it would have been if I’d stamped with Stazon ink, but not a bad effect.  The face is an image I cut from a National Geographic magazine.  The edges are inked with distress ink.

Right, I’ve got to go and pack, hope you all have fun while I’m away.

Big love

AJ 🙂Bengal Boys

The Bengal Boys  (they are not pure bred Bengal, but they have the leopard spots and many Bengal traits).  They look really sweet in this photograph but generally they don’t like being too close to each other any more!  Boys!

Good Old Days?

Good Old Days?Hello friends!

It’s a wet, windy and dismal day here on the Isle of Wight and I’ve been struggling with a low mood, actually been on the verge of tears a couple of times, and I have no idea why.  I’m not normally a depressive person but I let things at work get to me today.  Two days of having computers not working hasn’t helped because it has put me behind with stuff. I have let other stupid little things get to me too.

Coming home, doing some art and stroking Billy Kat has helped a lot.  Cats are such good therapy 🙂  There is a big meeting at work on Friday with a lot of senior managers, and I really need to get a positive head on for that.  Today if anyone had asked me how things are I’d have struggled to say anything positive and that’s not good.  Sometimes I just get days like this and hopefully I can turn it around tomorrow – I must remember I can make a choice to be happy, breath and smile 🙂

This spread is from my 6×6 journal.  I started with a smooth gesso’d background, painted it with a brown acrylic then collaged some ripped vintage pages (that Alicia from Altered Bits sent me) and some scraps of old maps of my town.  I don’t actually use the real maps, but scan them, print them on photographic paper and age them with tea so they look like the real thing.  Then I used some blue acrylic paint and some white ink dabbed through punchinella and wrote the quote (in my poor handwriting) in white ink and highlighted (or do I mean lowlighted it) with black.

I have become aware recently how much people look at the past through rose tinted glasses.  Especially at work, things were always better back then, in the Good Old Days, although when that time was differs from person to person.   I also know that rather than aching for the past and what was, we should all try and live more in the present.  As Oprah says, “this moment is the only one you know you have for sure”.  So we’d better enjoy it.

Thanks for listening, just putting this all down has helped me to lift my mood, I think tomorrow is going to be fine.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Big love

AJ 🙂