Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Crusade 24

Well Michelle...three crusades in row! Didn't I do well?

Crusade 24 is all about writing our ‘final wishes’ for our loved ones. This was prompted by the death of Michelles sister in the latter part of 2008 and whilst Michelle acknowledged that some people would not want to partake in this challenge she nevertheless felt the need to encourage us to document our final wishes. You can find her blog post here


In 2002 the possibility of dying was very real to me. I had been diagnosed with Bowel Cancer one day and was operated on the next day. The next few months were very difficult and I did actually spend a lot of time planning my funeral. It used to really upset me but it was a process that was crucial to my acceptance of where I was...at that time. I really felt it was necessary. I once tried to talk to my daughter about my wishes but it upset her and she didn't want to talk about it. She thought I was being dramatic!

The fact is though, that these things are easier if decided upon earlier and after my good friend Ann died just before xmas at the very young age of 56 I decided that I really had to stop procrastinating and get on with it. So I sat a couple of nights ago and composed a very long but necessary letter. One copy has been attached to my art journal, the other has been placed in my jewelry box. I intend to tell all the family where it is so that there will be no question about my final wishes when the time comes. Whats good about this is that once you have a framework for it, you can add to it quite easily. I even woke last night remembering something I hadn't put in so its good that it can be modified!

When I read my letter back it struck me that all those things that are important to me could almost be thought of as useless pieces of information...that is until the event actually happens...and then my kids will be glad that I have picked the piece of music I have. They will love my references to 'Mummy's Moon' and I feel sure they will find some comfort from my little oddities.

Here then are the journal pages. I enjoyed doing these cos I was sat watching the tv and I kind of did a 'free spirit' thing. I cut and stuck and used those lovely caran d'ache watercolour crayons, finally adding an envelope with my letter inside.

Thank-you Michelle for pushing this...it was something I had intended to do for a while and now I am so glad it is done!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

GPP Crusade 26

The GPP Crusade for December is to journal a scent for the season so having put all the effort into making the backgrounds over the weekend I then went on to use them for this challenge. In the first one I adhered dried rose petals from my garden in the summer. I am not sure if these will last in this journal...I think they may perish...I don't know. Maybe someone can advise? But the pages really smell nice at the moment! BTW the background was stamped over with gesso before I added the petals.

And my favourite smell of the season...xmas tree! We always have a real xmas tree and I get so excited when it goes up. The scent just permeates the whole room for several days. I just wish there was a way of capturing that scent for longer but it generally fades. I have to keep my son away from the pine needles though as he is allergic to them! That said, he is 21 now so that shouldn't be too difficult! The little envelope is packed full of pine needles.

I have another one on the go so will post that as well if I get a chance.
And yes Michelle...you told me about your Graham...what month is his birthday in? Just wondering if they have more in common.
And something else exciting...g is having a little giveaway and I have won an antique xmas deccie! I am so excited about that...I love antique stuff! Will post a pic when it arrives. Thanks g!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Crusade no 25

From time to time I follow Michelle Wards Crusades and no 25 was to investigate the properties of gesso. I had so much fun with this, turning out several pages to use for journalling backgrounds in the space of just a few days (allowing for drying time!). So here are some of my experiments...

This was stamping into a block of painted gesso and then painting over the top. As gesso resists paint, a short spritz of water and I was able to move the paint around and create quite a different effect.

In this one, I used 'gloopy' gesso...that is, loading the sponge with huge amounts of gesso and leaving it all 'gloopy' on the page. It took a long time to dry and I did a couple of different layers finishing up with paint over sequin scrim.

This one may well be my favourite. The effects were achieved by dipping a piece of string into the gesso and dragging it over the page. The photos dont do it justice as there is depth and texture on the page. And finally...

More 'gloopyiness' achieved by dragging the sponge horizontally across the page as well as the string technique and then painting and spritzing with water before spreading the paint. I have actually used this one as a background for crusade 26 but more about that tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration Michelle! I am determined to stay more up to date with the crusades from now on...we'll see!!!

Oh and for those who asked, my square is the memory angel which I think was in the second photo.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Part Two of the Pink Artist Project

Imagine my surprise, when I popped into Monica's blog, to find my little square in her sneak peek. That truly is awesome...look here if you want to see more


Sunday, 9 November 2008

Making albums!

I am still following g and her plan to do lots of creative stuff this month. She taught a class a few months ago in which we made our own albums and I was hooked. I had already dabbled in album making using a bind it all but that was the first time I had stitched in my own pages. Anyway, this is a slight variation on that first album. It is empty at the moment but I intend to change that real soon! Notice the use of yet another packing tape transfer.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

My first Banner!

I just played a little and managed to come up with this one. Its taken from the album I made to house my g inspired CJ pages. Hope you like it!

Friday, 7 November 2008

A Cunning Plan...

A few of us gp's are joining g in her plan to use a few photos over the course of the month. The first of these prompts was to scrap a layout using 5 photos. So here is one I made a couple of nights ago but had to wait for all the glossy accents to dry before I could upload it. I have had these papers since last xmas...Cosmo Cricket...very oldy worldy which I love.
I glittered the outline of the snowflake and then glossy accented over it. Also you will see a packing tape transfer, something I have become very fond of since g showed us how it was done.
The next prompt is an album so I think I may go get a head start. Thanks g!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Les Petite dolls

I have been following a class by suzi blu over on ning in which she is teaching us how to draw faces and do mixed media collages. Here is my girl so far...she needs wax though and possibly more layers first. What do you think?

More CJ pages

I have been rather caught up with the Suzi blu class over on Ning so haven't uploaded much here lately. Having said that here is g's page which was penguin shaped and is winging itself all the way to Canada! She loves her garden so I used dried rose petals from mine to decorate the background. Hope she likes it!

Friday, 5 September 2008

A few more CJ pages for the g inspired group

Here we have Manda's



and Lisa's

Sunday, 31 August 2008

I am such a bad blogger!

No excuses really except I had a spate of trips which meant I was always coming from behind and never catching up on here. My 50th birthday came and went with a weekend away, a cruise around the Greek Islands followed by a week in Rome! Had a wonderful time and I am soooo glad we went away cos the weather has been awful here in the UK this summer.

One of my sons has taken off to Hawaii and California to coach football for the summer and returns here on Wednesday, the other son has managed to get all the required grades in his A levels and so will join the Uni community in a couple of weeks and my daughter completed her intercalated degree and so goes back to finish her medical degree this week. Only two more years left Char! So, this means I will have three children at Uni for a whole year! Scarey.

We went to Cardiff for Char's graduation ceremony and I will leave you with this lovely photo of her all gowned up!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

g inspired CJ

I have joined this group of ladies from all over the world who share a common interest and that is Gloria Froese! What a talented lady! Anyway, we are embarking on a worldwide CJ with a bit of a difference. The journals don't get posted...just the pages. We all decided on a theme and a size beforehand so then the pages can be done at leisure and posted around the world! Awesome challenge. Here are my first four

Alice in Wonderland for Monique

Whose at the bottom of your garden for Sue

String for Lisa

And Vintage Bathing Belles for Severine

Thoroughly enjoyed doing these...only 8 more to go!

BTW - that little heart on the Vintage bather...was made during Michelle Wards in which we made paper casts...lovely to see my own embellishment on the page!

Monday, 23 June 2008

Little Boxes - all done

Finally finished the rest of my little boxes for Sarah's swap


Thoroughly enjoyed doing them and learnt loads by trying different techniques.

Thanks Sarah :)

GPP Street Team Crusade No 21

So Michelles crusades have come around again and this time we are doing wax rubbings and painting over them so that the wax resists the paint. I have actually done quite a few of these but many of them havn't photographed so well as the colours I used were just too light. That said I am particularly fond of my car tyre which I struggled to get to but you can just about get the idea from thisThis one was anaglypta wall paperAnd this one...the good old fashioned house brick! Rubbing done in a purple colour and the paint was metallic platinum ...just love the iridescence.
Of course what better place to put my rubbing of a house brick than on my little houses for the little boxes swap?

I quite enjoyed doing these rubbings and of course this is only limited by your imagination...and your crayons...mine were cheapies and I think a better effect could have been achieved with better tools...not that I am blaming them!

Friday, 20 June 2008

I won!!

With the layout below...I won! I am so chuffed...see here

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Using your stash!

This is something I am very into at the moment so thought I would have a go at this challenge. I used the remains of a whole pack of stickers on this layout (inked them first) and managed to scrap some not very good photos of my son taken 16 years ago!!!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Little Boxes Swap

I have made a good start on these now with various themes. I just love the little beach huts...I cut up lolly sticks and painted them to try and give an authentic feel. The others were just messing around with various techniques but have enjoyed doint them immensely.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Summer Workshop at Bad Girls

Just completed Gloria's class over at the Summer workshop at Bad Girls and look at this little album...isn't the cutest? I love it! I didn't use the latest kit but dug out my 7 gypsies papers. I just loved the stitching on this class. Although Gloria used her machine I used some large stitches and twine...really love the effect.

Another class I did was this one using cardboard, paint and other bits of arty stuff. The idea being that you complete your layout with things you find around the house. I must admit I wasn't sure how this would turn out but I actually think I like getting messy and the end result is awesome!

Friday, 30 May 2008

Paper Casts

Really loved doing the challenge this month, so much so that I have a few more 'drying' as we speak. I was rather slap dash with my method in that I just laid tissue paper over the mould and added water with a paint brush, dabbing it in around the mould. I then just pushed and squeezed the paper to get as much water out as possible before leaving them to dry in my airing cupboard which took a good 48 hours but loook at the results!

I am really pleased with the little heart shape and the aztec (y) type sun. They look fab irl and I will definately be doing some more. I am surprised at how firm the end result is and all this made from paper! So my next task is to paint them and use them!!

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Little Boxes on the Hillside

I am so excited about this swap, just imagine all these little houses lined up on your mantelpiece or window sill...

I have been running a few ideas through my head this evening and hope to make a start tomorrow.

In the meantime I have finished a few layouts with the May Bad Girls kit.

Just realised the other two are in the other camera so I will upload those another time. You know I always wonder what my postie thinks when this kit turns up each month...promptley labeled up 'BAD GIRLS' :lol:

Sunday, 11 May 2008

A busy month

April has been a very busy month for me not least of all because it was my hubby's 50th birthday and I organised a trip to Eurodisney for both of us and all three kids...this was technically challenging since they are all in the middle of exams. Anyway we went, we conquered and had a fabulous time.

So I have been back a week and managed to finish off the two outstanding CJ's that I had hanging around and then finally got round to doing my layout for Shimelles class and April 25th. Believe it or not I managed to get 13 photos on this page (after cropping) and I am very pleased with it. I intend to use it to track my weight loss over the next few months...lets hope you see a little less of me in the future! Crikey...just realised that having put that out there I now need to make sure I do it!

Other things I want to record are the changes in the garden, 'whose in the house' cos we are a family of five and I am often here alone, and whats 'on my mind'.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Save your day!

Shimelles challenge on UKS for the cybercrop is to Scrap your day...so what are you waiting for?

See here for details

So I have been snapping away all day...all the important and not so important things that have caught my eye. What a fabulous challenge? I am definately going to scrap the people in my house each month because with a hubby who works away and two children at uni I can have any number of combinations of people living here at any moment! I also want to get shots of my garden and anything that is in bloom (or not) and is looking particularly photogenic! There are also a number of other things I want to capture for example what I am eating for my lunch, what diet I am on at the time, what I am reading...oh so many options.

Here is my first page and there are a number of others in the last post.

And just a couple of shots which will be in my first month!