Back to Work!

Hello there blogging friends!

It’s spring here at last and the sap is finally rising.  The daffodils are smiling, the blossom is blossoming and the birds are singing enthusiastically by 5 am every morning.    It’s just wonderful!

Another short break has ensued from posting here while I had my two week long birthday festival, followed by a mild case of flu, followed by a back that got put out by all the festivities, followed by trying to catch up with everything that had got away on me.  All is well again now and we are good to go as we cruise towards summer.

Of course I kept on making stuff all this time – several light catchers got sent off for example – and not a one of them photographed before doing so…….  Sigh!!

Miles of decorative tape got made – such an excellent activity when you only have energy to plop yourself onto the sofa and keep yourself amused with doodles and colour – a few cards got put together with said decorative tape and a few note books and journals found themselves titivated up as well.  Serious painting duties have now resumed.

Decorative Tapes are made by laying down strips of masking tape onto plastic cutting boards, the kind that you buy from the $2 shop, and painting them or doodling them start to finish.  The centre one in the photo below is all doodles, the other two are painted and when dry I used gold paint through stencils.  The one on the right has additional doodles.  Loads of fun!


Some books got covered with other decorative tapes:

The back and front covers of another notebook:


A journal cover for the official photographer – who incidentally took none of these photos – but that’s okay as I’m not that enthralled with the quality of cover that she received!


Little thank you cards were made from paper painted with left over paint from other activities that piles up until I feel I want to do something with them – these ones were dabbed with paint on a small round dauber I was using at the time:


Storage for little thank you cards made from an empty packet of washing machine powder covered with paper and edged with decorative tape


A journal page almost completed, edged with more decorative tape:


And I’ll leave you today with a small peek at an amazing basket of flowers received from Ms Laurie at Life on the Bike and Other Fab Things for my birthday.


Blessed indeed!

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


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:

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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  🙂