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