Bottoms Up!

So!  I began to get a series of emails from Twitter advising me I had new followers.  This may not be big news to some of you avid tweeters – but to me, whose Twitter account at three years old sported twelve followers and whose only tweets consisted of the automatic notifications made when I posted something on WordPress – it was a bit unexpected.  Especially as they addressed me as Tericia and the new followers were mostly all young Latino looking dudes sporting an arm muscle or a Superman/ Batman, or interrelated Marvel Comics costume.

I assumed, in my all my worldly wisdom, that Twitter had somehow cocked up and mistaken my elderly profile for some pouting Latino looking dudess named Tericia and they’d soon enough sort out their mistake.

Time passed and the emails kept coming, accompanied now and again by a private message containing single words like ‘hey’ or ‘hot’.

I thought I must go check my Twitter account soon as I’ve done ……

So, this morning, with the weather turning wet and cooler again and my plan to plant up the spring garden put on hold, I hunted around, found and opened my Twitter account and was truly amazed to discover a lovely profile picture of a slim, dark haired me pouting provocatively up at my hand held cellphone and my name clearly scribed across the top Tericia McGowan.

Well, I’ve heard of the Mandela Effect and all that, but I didn’t expect to slip through universes and dimensions as a totally different ethnic and generationally nubile and re-named me.  I had a quick peek in the hall mirror just in case – but nope, still Contented, still -er – generationally mature and definitely not nubile!

Tericia had definitely been handed my account – Oh, hang on – I’m slow, but I’m not that slow!  Had Tericia in fact hacked her way into my account?  Oh ho!  Off I went looking for evidence.  Where my nice little bio had once been telling you all about my contented retired, artful life now rested a nice blue link address.

Of course I hit it – don’t be silly, what would you have done?

You could have knocked me sideways with a feather duster!  Or, as my favourite aunt would once have said ‘Well, bugger me!’

It took me a moment to realise that the two beautifully curved and rounded gleaming moons shining out at me was in fact a bottom, an ass as you Americans say; an arse for my English friends; a derriere, a behind, a bum!



Arched.  Taut.  Erotic.

Well, that explained all the muscles and Superman and Batman and so forth costumes!

There were many photos of Tericia’s bare and tightly bunned bum.  She must, quite rightly be very proud of it.  However she picked the wrong dudess to hack!  This hacking victim is well versed in the sublime art of the ‘Interesting Times Curse’* and planned on putting it to good use.

I battled my way through all the incongruities and inconsistencies of my Twitter page and eventually removed all traces of Tericia McGowan [may you live in VERY interesting times Tericia McGowan and long enough for stretch marks to pit your twin moons!] and reclaimed my Twitter account for me.

Lastly I looked into my ‘Followers’ list.  Almost TWO THOUSAND! Last time I looked it was twelve …………..  And no way – no way Twitter people – to mass eradicate them.  There they were all those lovely young men looking like they might just have emerged from pre-pubescence into puberty; strutting their stuff according to their life view – but all – ALL! – very attracted to the bum of Tericia McGowan.  Not a one of them there to enjoy my journey back into the world of artiness.  [May you all live in interesting times young men! – oh, that’s right you do!!]

So, Tericia McGowan [may you live long enough to see your taut little ass dissolve into a lumpy puddle!]  I had to spend three hours of my life – three hours I can’t really afford to waste at this end of the life spectrum – blocking one by painful one each of your avid rear-end admirers.

I now have twelve followers again.

To any of you who read my blog and who may have come across one of my tweets and who may have inadvertently – or out of mere curiosity hit that harmless looking blue link in my bio field – I hope you enjoyed looking at Tericia’s bare bum – I  suppose you realised quite quickly it wasn’t mine, but were too bemused to enquire any further…..  ??

I’m not at all connected to my Twitter account.  But I have two very kind blog readers who loyally tweet out my posts as they hit the airwaves and who may have helped grow my sudden large following if they have any young dudes on their twitter lists ………  [Just joking Norah and David!]  I hope none of your friends investigated the little blue link under the name of Tericia McGowan.  If they did I apologise! If Tericia McGowan [may you live long and grow some self respect Tericia!] comes back again, I may just have to let her have it!

Still, it’s all done now – I’ve reclaimed my Twitter account and found a couple of other interesting/nice folks to follow too and I’ve got my lovely twelve followers.  One day I might even see the point of having Twitter and go read some tweets.

So, if you’re still with me [well done!] here’s a fun little art journal page to finish off.  Staying with the subject of birds, twitty ones, it features an owl, a bird who is equated with wisdom.  Perhaps he’ll fly over Tericia McGowan and drop a bit on her.  🙂

Painted over black gesso across two pages, with stencils and modelling paste leaves and stars.  The little verse bottom left made itself known as I finished – it’s a bit Roald Dahl-esque don’t you think? I’m dedicating it to Tericia McGowan – enjoy!

Good NightIf you click once on the photo you will see the painting pretty much life size; click twice and you’ll see every brush stroke – or be in Kansas!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

*Commonly attributed to the Chinese, it may in fact be an American invention. I just found this out via Mr Google – I love Mr Google!  ‘May you live in interesting times!’ usurps any hopes for peace and quiet and ease in the victim’s daily life.  The up-side of this of course is that it is through troubling events that we deepen as human beings through personal growth and through the opportunity to reach out and help each other.

If the Earth Were Only

Here is a recent entry in my art journal – this one took about four days of work to get to ‘finished!’ status.  The main problem was that in my enthusiasm to get started I forgot to gesso the pages so was working on raw water colour paper.  It was inspired by a double whammy, picking up a verse I know well and seeing an artist at her work on You Tube.

If the Earth Were Only ..... Art Journal August 2016

If the Earth Were Only …..
Art Journal August 2016

Do you agree with me that the big-eyed girl is a bit of a worry?  I had seen videos on You Tube from an artist named Megan Saurez and am quite fascinated with her style – I have always tended to big eyes in my work, partly because I think the eyes are the window to the soul and are the most important part of the face – Megan takes it a step further and paints delightfully impish faces and I wondered what would happen if I made my eyes even bigger ………  I don’t have her talent or technique to make it work though – suffice to say I won’t go quite that big again…………

I’ve had the verse in my possession since sometime in the mid 80’s.  An older student gave it to me, thinking I would like it.  She was right!.  I’ve since used it several times when working with middle teens and even some adults.  I just found out the author’s name via Mr Google – don’t you love the internet!!  I couldn’t find out anything else however, just his name, Joe Miller, and the fact that he wrote this piece in a little book which got slated for being neither scientific or spiritual, just a woolly mix of both. Which says more about the reviewer than the work in my opinion.

It speaks strongly to young teens who are beginning to stand firmly in their ‘scientific facts’ and yet still have their hearts touched by something a little more intangible, resting in the realm of feeling.

Personally I think everyone should come in contact with this verse at some time in their lives.  And think about it.

Thanks to the kindly input of Derrick Knight after my last post, the issue with the biggifying feature has been resolved.  You can click twice to get a really good look at my appalling penmanship!

Here’s the text only:

If the Earth were only- text

And here’s a close-up of the face.  I like the hair – on the actual double page spread it looks like fields and hedgerows and forests…….

If the Earth were only - detail

What do you think?

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

All I Am – Another Art Journal Page

Orlando the Marmalade Cat has been the star of the show for the last three posts, I decided it must be my turn again!  And today I decided to work in my art journal again – I haven’t since September 14th [Be the Change …….]  My how time flies!!

All I knew when I started was that I wanted to work with my new Monte Marte acrylics, which I’ve had since the end of August and still hadn’t opened.  They are beautiful – rich, thick and creamy and as you will see, with a fabulous depth of colour.

I started by laying down some old book pages, which I gessoed over and then I painted.

When the paint was dry I used a couple of acrylic stamps – one with scratchy marks on it and one with words – and randomly plonked them around the pages.  Finally a small Dyan Reavelly stencil came into play and I used a dry sponge with almost no gesso on it to dab out the spots and flowers.

With the background done I sketched the head outline in pencil then painted the area white.  Once that was dry I could settle in and let the features begin to reveal themselves.

I had three colours on my palette for the face and added in some metallic bronze for the hair – in real life when the light hits the page the hair sparkles 🙂

By the time I had finished painting her the words were clearly in my mind, so I wrote them out onto book paper, cut them out and stuck them in before I could change my mind.


Close-ups for you:



Couple of detail shots:



I love my new paints!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!  🙂

Be The Change …….

Hello friends!  If you have been following my posts you know that I have been busy taking a few courses and learning lots……. Yesterday was the day when I decided it was time to return to my journal and create a page just for me, by me and without following anybody else’s guide lines.

Happily, I discovered I had a few more tricks in my bag!

It was time to create a page using one of my favourite quotes; Gandhi’s ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’.  It’s an exhortation to stop blaming, stop whining, stop waiting for someone else to fix things and get on and do what you can do yourself ……

I started the double page spread with three colour washes – yellow, green and red.  The colours were watered down 1:3 sploshed over and left to dry.

Next I die-cut a double run of lace from my couture creations die in white card stock and lay a length to the left and right side of the double page spread, inked it up with some ‘Aged Mahogany’ Distress Ink, glued it down and left that to dry.

 An hour later I lay a piece of old lace curtain over the pages and spritzed a good coat of Dylusions white over everything.  Peeling back the the lace revealed a rather gorgeous, soft dappled effect.

Then I got out the water colour pencils and started drawing – I wasn’t a hundred percent sure I knew what I was going to do – I had my quote and that was about it – oh and I had just found an old Fiskars template with big butterfly wings that had appealed to me – I knew I wanted to do something with that if I could …. I drew the left side first and after that the right side just kind of drew itself.

This is the water colour pencil drawing on the left side:

Image: Contented Crafter

Image: Contented Crafter

On the right hand page, the template made the outline of her wings and I drew and doodled inside the shape.  I edged the wings with a golden yellow Sakura gel pen – gotta have a little bling somewhere right?  I liked that so much that when I had the quote all written out and mounted I edged that with the same pen……… if a little bling is good, a little more is even better!

This is the water colour pencil drawing on the right side:

Finally the edges were treated to a light coat of gold paint, around the lace to define it a bit and top and bottom of the pages with a doodle or two, date stamped and voila, finito!

Please do note that the girl is wearing a rather fabulous pair of red gumboots [galoshes, wellingtons, rain boots – depending on where in the world you are] with a big red bow with polka dots on them, because I saw a pair in a store recently and really, really wanted to buy them despite the fact that my garden is the size of a postage stamp….. As I couldn’t justify the expense the gardening gal gets to wear them instead!

So, this is my latest page – what do you think?

Thanks for dropping by today, do leave as note to say you’ve been – it’s always nice to hear from you 🙂 Have a great day!

Hope – A New Journal Page

I’ve managed to completely discombobulate myself with all my new found arty-farty techniques, new equipment and re-found mediums – shall I use the water paints or the fluid acrylics or the water soluble pastels or the water soluble crayons?   Perhaps I should just use the inks and sprays I am used to – but then why are all these pretty colours sitting on my desk smiling at me hopefully?

Shall I doodle, draw freehand or use stencils?  Shall I layer or not layer?  How will I ever become an artiste if I can’t decide which medium to use?  Is it kosher to use ’em all at once?

To add to my confusion I took a short on-line class with the remarkably talented Valerie Sjodin.  Her work is stunning and she works with accuracy and attention to detail.  Doesn’t really sound like me does it?

One aspect which was really new for me was doing the lettering first – usually I do any writing towards the end of my process and, with a blank sheet of white paper looking back at me,  I found it impossible to picture how it would look at the end – which is pretty obvious when you see the end!    It is so interesting learning different ways of working and so challenging too!

I learnt a lot but didn’t have a hope of coming anywhere near the beauty of Valerie’s work.  Standing back to assess my effort, I told Orlando despondently it wasn’t working out for me because I didn’t have the right paint colours and he just stretched up and asked for a dance.

We had a wee dance around the studio – well, to be accurate, I do the dancing – swaying really – and he sits up in my arms, head back, eyes closed and purrs and harrumps and warbles with bliss…..

But I digress!  Here is my first effort:


All the wording comes from Valerie – I loved it so much I just went with it.  You may notice the curvy edged paper – I have made a small 8 page journal with shaped edges and a wrap around cover – also courtesy Valerie.  When the whole thing is finished I’ll put it up for your admiration and delight 🙂

But this first effort is pretty dismal!  Usually when I make a muck up I can retrieve, cover, change, somehow redeem something – but there is nothing on this page I like.  The background is flat and uninspiring and I over-doodled on the right hand edge.  The splodges of gold are an aborted attempt to stencil some leaves with gold perfect pearls – which is a brilliant thing to do provided you don’t blast them over enthusiastically with the very large water spritzer bottle picked up mistakenly because you weren’t really concentrating at that particular moment, and thusly cause them to just go glump!  

Let’s see, what else ….. I don’t like the colours I’ve put on the egg shaped words.  There should have been a gap between that egg of words and the doodled edge – and the rest of the wording is – well, just rubbish really!

But was I deterred?  Was I heck!!  Hope is my friend, so I flipped the page and had another go:


I lay down tiny bits of torn book pages and painted the background with Hansa Yellow fluid acrylics.  Those white circles are made with a bit of bubble wrap dipped into gesso and pressed onto the page.  Then I did the words   [Little rebel contented crafter 🙂 ]

I doodled the flowers and edges and felt much happier.

Here are a couple of close-ups:



All in all, much happier with version two – do you agree?

Thank you for coming by today, love that you did!

New Beginnings

It’s September, my birthday is later this week and Spring is here!  How much better can it get?

I always think of Spring as a new beginning, and I am also at a ‘new beginning’ stage in my life and I wanted to make a journal page to commemorate both these events.

I had gone on line a couple of days back and treated myself to a pile of new art products: half a dozen Golden Fluid Acrylics; Pitt pens in all sizes, water colour paints, water soluble oil pastels and a selection of pastel gliders.

While there I also purchased a selection of sketching pencils  and graphite pencils and charcoal in pencil form and slabs.  And a calligraphy pen.

It all arrived on my doorstep yesterday and I was ready to rock and roll!

And I’m on a high because this latest page in my journal has been a delight to do.  I wasn’t glaring at her-in-the-video or muttering under my breath – I was smiling delightedly and clapping my hands and saying ‘Whoo-hoo’ to Orlando, who thought it was an invitation to dance …. but I rushed into the playroom and quickly completed the first days work:


I lay down some old book pages, put a good wash of gesso over the pages and edged with that gorgeous Hansa Yellow – one of my new paints.  I sketched the face and went to watch the next installment.

You may remember I said in my last post I wasn’t going to muck about with just 10 minutes journalling time every day – I’m going to work for as long as I want.  So I watched the next two days videos and went back to work:


She arrived quite quickly on the page – but when I stood back and looked I noticed the nose was – well – misplaced ….. [Did you spot it?]

In adjusting it I mucked everything up – not only because of the nose placement, but also because I have all these new toys and tried to put ’em all onto the same page at once ….. sigh!  I never learn!

Any way, I was so engrossed in my artistic conundrum that I never gave the camera a thought until today – and as you can see, flowers hide a multitude of sins and I’m delighted with the end result!


There’s tons of texture on the page and of course I doodled – but not as much as in the last post:


And those purple flowers were fussy cut from a sheet of designer paper and they are flocked, so quite pleasing to the touch.

A quick aside:  I’d had that sheet of paper in my stash for some years – it was one of those things that was just to beautiful to actually use – I thought it would probably stay there forever.  So another thing I take away from this course is the ability to actually dive in and use the stuff I squirrel away … hah!  Ten points to Julie!!


Thanks for sticking with me on this process – I have one more spread to do before things go back to normal – what ever that is – I hope you will come back for it.

Hope your weekend is going as splendidly as mine 🙂

Spots Before My Eyes!

Hello there 🙂   [waving and smiling happily}

Here I am with the latest episode of my adventure in learning to step outside of my comfort zone.  Although, to tell the truth and ‘fess up, pretty early in this lesson I began by doing my own thing, as I wasn’t in love with the flowers the tutor produced on her page

I started well, laying down a coat of white gesso followed by two coats of black paint as I did not have to hand any black gesso.

Then the rebellion started. I didn’t like what I was seeing [multi-coloured scribbles of water soluble crayon to make three flowers] so I made my own flowers from design paper and a template.  I made every flower two layers, off-setting the layers.  I cut one completed flower in half.   I outlined the petals with a black pen and then doodled dots and lines as the tutor indicated.


Day 1 the page looked like this:


So far, so good right?  I was quite pleased with that ……

Next day I began by edging everything with a gold pen ………..


…….as I returned to the format the lovely tutor was trying to teach me and I edged, dotted, swirled and scripted with the paint pen over two days until the page looked like this:


Apart from the flowers and gold paint, this double page spread was made almost exclusively with a paint pen – which is really just a fat ‘Sharpie’ like marker filled with white acrylic paint.

Over these four days I dotted, doodled, scripted ‘Spring is coming’ [because it really is – Hallelujah!!] and recorded my thoughts on the process.

My thoughts on the process have settled into – I don’t really like this style of working in my art journal.  Which is good to gain clarity on.  I don’t use my art journal as a diary.  I use it to try out ‘good ideas’ or to play about and see what happens and am not that comfortable with mixing up the two.  I also tend to work organically developing and tweaking the original idea for quite a while before moving on to something different.

Having said that I feel I have been freed up a lot while engaged in the process, I’ve tried loads of different things, been introduced to radically different concepts [for me] and I’m pretty sure they will spill over in some way into my continuing work.

I’m also not a ten-minuter.  I’m a sixty minuter or more!  I have the time and I like to spend it carefully crafting and trying, discarding, re-doing and endlessly tweaking.

These are all really great discoveries to make and I am so grateful to have been able to take this workshop and find it all out.

I no longer need castigate myself for my slow and ponderous efforts.

I’m a plodder and proud of it!

I might have to rename my blog ‘The Happy Plodder’ – has a certain ring don’t you think?

Any hoo – I digress.  Here is the completed spread – don’t look for too long or you’ll start hallucinating:

Aug13jffb4 ga

The keen eyed among my bloggie friends will spot that I am projecting myself a day into the future … [I’m publishing this Friday 30th – a deliciously spring-like evening in my part of New Zealand]  I cheated, I just can’t look at the dots and doodles and swirls and spots any longer!

I haven’t finished my course yet – I think I’m just over half way through.  And I think I’m going to ditch the ten minutes a day and work for however long I feel like it on each installment. Which means I might have it finished in a day or two.  🙂

Please do pop back and see what happens next.  I know I’m curious to know….

Thanks for coming by – have a great weekend!

Journalling With Practise Pieces

Hello friends!!

Here I am again, continuing with posts of my adventures in learning how to journal in just 10 minutes a day.

This is the third spread and marks twelve days completed of the thirty.

This page began no differently to the others – me muttering darkly at the video – ‘Really?’ ‘You want me to do this?’  ‘Just this?’

But off I went obediently – the penny is beginning to drop.  I might be challenged by these new processes, but in the end something quite interesting does appear, and if nothing else, I learn new ways of looking at old things.

I have to admit I do not like the dark hue of the painted page.  I didn’t gesso this page so am guessing it is the quality of the paper in this journal that is leeching the brightness from my sprays, inks and paints.


This layout includes some practise pieces.  I was already doodling away at the flower, practising my free-form doodles and decided to include it in this page.  It is drawn in black pen and coloured with water colour pencils.


The following day I rifled through the pile of scrap paper and found the face.  it was one of those 5 minute exercises where I was trying to get the eyes to come alive and I ended up taking 10 minutes on it. So she got bunged in for the Sunday entry.


The final 10 minutes was spent scribbling in a couple of thoughts,doodling in arrows and dividing lines between days and the heading, which actually took much less than 10 minutes – go figure!


And the whole page again:


So now you are all pretty much up to date with this work.  Let me know what you think.

Thanks so much for coming by.

Have a great week  🙂

Journalling With Discards

Hello there!  Lovely that you dropped by 🙂

I’ve been posting about the on-line course I am doing in 10 minute journalling.  It has been quite challenging for me and today I will tell how the challenges continue.

For now the lovely lady wants me to use some of the leftover – discarded – ruined – experimented on stuff that I have carefully collected over the past three years – which is stored randomly in a drawer and two boxes, because one day it might come in handy and we crafters never throw anything away…….. Did you note that?  She actually wants me to use it…

Blimey – there’s a challenge!

The theme was tags and other discarded ephemera, and the suggestion was made that something of interest pertaining to a particular day would also be incorporated.

So I scuttled about in my drawer and two boxes and found some tags and also a piece of paper from which a heart had been cut.

The background is Dylusions sprayed over gesso, which I discovered muted the colour palette right down.  With a background of bluey-green splattered with yellow and pink and daubed at with a toilet paper roll dipped into brown paint,  I worked within the daily 10 minute guidelines [well, mostly] and over four days journalled on some of the tags.  I adorned one brightly coloured tag with the outline of my cat – which I’m quite enamoured with – and then included a note that says my blog hit 77 followers – which is a miracle to me – for the ‘item of interest’!  And finally, I faffed about with the open heart, writing ‘doodles’ inside it as that is my latest passion and that ended up taking much longer than the allotted 10 minutes!

The scraps of left over paper I punched in my 1″ punch and made phases of the moon to accompany the note about the brightness of the full moon and the fact that Spring is coming!!

I have never made a journal page like this before – I probably never will again, but it is quite liberating to think you can go to the discard drawer and produce an interesting looking layout.

This is the double page spread:

Aug13 jffb2

Three close-ups to save your eyes a bit …..

Aug13 jffb2c

Tag below made with Tim Holtz Stains ages ago and never used, thought it was too murkey:

Aug13 jffb2a

And the negative left over from cutting out a heart die stuck directly onto the journal page and outlined with a glaze pen.

Aug13 jffb2b

That’s it for now my friends, the second page of my ‘experimental’  journal done and 8 days of the course completed.  Thanks for dropping by 🙂

Can a Gaudy Tart Change Her Spots?

Hello there!  Thanks for coming by to check on my doings – I love that you took the time!

Right now I’m taking an on-line course in a [for me] totally new way of art journalling.

By now you may be aware that I’m a kind of an ‘all or nothing’ gal – I work on things for hours, and sometimes even days, I don’t quit until it is embellished to death and the brighter the better!

As my kids tell me, in a loving way, of course 🙂  ‘You’re such a gaudy tart!’

I embrace my gaudy tartiness – my motto is:

There is no such thing as too much bling!”

[If you require proof may I refer you to the post ‘The Adventures of a Prima Doll Stamp’. You’ll find it about 5 posts back]

I started this on-line course so happily, a new challenge, I thought, would be good for me.  I like to learn and I feel I have become a bit stuck in a rut – This, I thought, is my chance to change things up, to take a step towards becoming the artist I dream I might be one day when I grow up …..

But the reality is somewhat different – for a start it’s just  ten minutes a day.  When the time is up, it’s up.  Put down your pencil-paintbrush-spray-pen-whatever and walk away! 

Walk away!

Oh, the indecision, the struggle – the sheer disbelief!

‘Really?’ ‘That’s it?’  ‘But I’m just getting started …’“But, I could just do ….’  ‘But …..’ ‘But …..’  ‘But ….’

It’s no good, I’m just talking to a pre-recorded  video!


Here is the first few days work; [click on the photo for an enlarged image]

Aug13 jffb1

If you look carefully you can see this is four days work – and when I look at it now I can’t see much difference between this and some of my previous journal pages that I have laboured over for hours ….

Try as hard as could I couldn’t help myself and I did spend a little more time on the last day.  I added in the black circles with white centres all around the edges of the pages, the white daisies under the photo of the old chair and the clump by the tree, and of course I doodled the ‘Happy’ word after time up as well … well, you just gotta have some bling somewhere!

But, all in all, the colours are muted, the layout is simple, the embellishment is not 2D, the texture is simple. …. and I find I kinda like it …..

So, unlike the Leopard, maybe this gaudy tart might just alter her spots, just a little …..

What do you think?