Welcome to my creative online journal

Friday, 31 August 2012

Homeward Bound Travel Journal Pages

I've reached the end of this part of my Ireland journal, yay! 

One of our airline tickets was modified to put in this album.

But before this page came this one (the day before we left):
 Yep, I actually managed to craft whilst in Ireland - with the little girl from next door.  Her and her brother regularly came on visits to play with my boys.  She loved crafting with me, especially getting to play with all my materials!  The Gold Twinkling H20 was a particular favourite, but she also loved the wax crayons with the water brush (Neocolor IIs) - I don't think she had ever seen those before.  We were doing some activities from the '1000 things to Make & Draw' book that I mentioned earlier on in the holidays.  I was so glad I got to use it, it was quite a heavy book to cart to Ireland and back! 

Back to the page above and this was the full page:
I made a green background using the gesso and green paint technique that I used in my other journal. This was the last page that showed our last day and the journey back.

I've still got lots of pages left in this Paperchase Kraft Spiral Bound Album so instead of taking the remaining pages out, I've decided to add some more written memories of the holiday.   There were all sorts of things that happened that I haven't mentioned in the book yet, and I wouldn't want them to get forgotten, so that is what I will do next in this album.  

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Saturday Wedding

Wasn't Saturday the perfect day for a wedding?- NOT! It thundered and we had torrential rain storms - but that turned out to be the day that my brother just happened to have chosen for his wedding day. 

His wife hasn't been at all well for many years, so it was lovely to see them have such a lovely day, despite the weather!  (This was my brother's first marriage at aged 47!..)    It was a day that many of us won't forget... 

I made them a card, a design I lifted from Kirsty Wiseman's blog:
(The background is the blue dress that I wore to the wedding, I took this picture of the card on my lap in the car on the way there.  Apologies for the  lighting quality of the photo, I was trying to take it inbetween going over the speed bumps on the road!) 

Today, for Bank Holiday, we went on a trip to a working water flour mill:
Look at the mess on my boys (bottom right), covered in flour!  They have this great knack of getting filthy, I really don't know how they do it!  (Although, when I do my art....)

 I have also done another page of my Ireland journal, but I'll show you that next time,

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Moby Dick Journal Page

This is another filofax art journal page that looks almost like a book cover (see comments, previous post) and it was done in a similar way to the previous one.  Whilst I was 'mopping up' my son's left over paint, I decided to cover the back of one of my journal pages with some left over Black.  I then randomly added some Green and Brown, somehow expecting it to magically look all interesting (!)  Yawn!  'Interesting' was not the word I would choose to describe it.  It was at this point that I almost scrapped it, but then....

...I got a recently acquired stencil with circles on it and added some thick gesso.  I loved the textural surface that was created but the bright white of the gesso just wasn't working.  So, when it dried...
....I painted over the gessoed areas with Faber Castell PITT Big brushes in Brown and Green and now to me it looked great.  The green also had a lovely sheen on it, which I didn't expect.  

Then, whilst on my usual blog hop, I noticed that Christy Tomlinson had made a new canvas on which she had written the title, 'Delight in the Unexpected'.  This was perfect for my 'unexpected delight!'   So that is what I wrote on mine, with a white correction pen.   It really is a delight, when you get a pleasing result from an artistic experiment, especially when you have practically given up on it.  

* * * * *

I also made another page in my Ireland Holiday Journal today:
I hadn't got any photos of this particular day so I used brochures that were picked up from the Tourist Information and modified them.  I added the rain with a pen and stamped and coloured images of the umbrellas and a whale for 'Moby Dick'.  It was quite fun, sitting in that pub, imagining all those years ago (1950's)  that Gregory Peck may have been sat in that very same spot.  

Thanks for looking today and for any comments,

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Art Journal Pages

I got a nice surprise yesterday.  My youngest had asked to do some painting so I duly filled up a pot type of paint palette with lots and lots of colours for him to have a good session.  He painted three pictures and had enough.  There was loads of paint left!  I was just wondering about what to do with it (I don't normally paint with children's tempera paint that come in squeezy bottles) and even thought of chucking the wasted paint....when I had another thought.  I could get my filofax journal and a paint brush and make some more background journaling pages.

I had such fun!  That 'controlled messy' style really is me!  Splattering and sploshing and I've always loved the 'dry brush' effect.  

I can just add quotes or journaling around or on top of the background (like the top page - that was a book title). So glad that I didn't just chuck it now....

Another activity I did with my boys yesterday was some wax rubbings..:
...of drain and utility covers in our local area.

It's not a really dirty activity because the paper goes on top of the covers.  Some have some great patterns and lettering. 
..and it once again got them off the computers, yay!

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Travel Journal - Beach Days

 I'm slowly but surely getting to the end of my Ireland Holiday Travel Journal.  I've only got a few days left now.  These three pages show the time that we spent on the beach during the Ardmore Pattern Festival.

There was a Children's Beach art competition going on. We didn't join in with this (but wished we had, we would have been good!) but enjoyed watching the other competitors.  In the afternoon we listened to a (free!) talk and demonstration on seashore life, by a University lecturer.  

(My pages ended up being a little neater than previous ones.  For the additional pictures of shells and starfish I copied my seashore shell collection on a scanner).

  My sons enjoyed playing in the sand for hours and dug themselves a massive hole that loads of kids came along to play in.  The other photos show that at the end of the day you can't beat a bit of net fishing in rock pools.

As part of the festival also, they had a cartoonist drawing caracatures.  I waited in the queue for one whole hour but it was worth it for such a good, free portrait!  

Thanks for looking and for any non-spam comments!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Not like other girls....

Quick post tonight with a couple of things to show you.   

Looking through other blogs as I do for 'research' (and interest of course), I come across a lot of journals, greetings cards and canvas artworks with images of girls that don't have features drawn on their faces.  As an (amateur) cartoonist, I get this overwhelming urge to add a face to them.   (No offence meant to anyone by the way!)    Which is where I  got the idea for this journal page, a quick drawing on top of a previously made background, in my altered filofax journal.  I did consider adding other things in the background but didn't feel it necessary, the image and message say it all.    [Note to self, use that journal more, it is great for spontaneous thoughts...]

* * * * *

Getting my boys off the computer can be quite a challenge for me during the holidays ('Sims 3 is their latest interest) but today I managed to coax them off with a few fun science activities:

We made some homemade goo (cornflour, water and food dye) - verrrrry messy!  Blew bubbles inside other bubbles, made some chocolate marshmallow treats with mini Smarties and made ourselves a working Balloon rocket.  We also made a cardboard toy flinging catapult and some hanging cardboard monkeys (both not shown).   

So I can do it (get them off the computer)...  Must get myself some more activities prepared for tomorrow (and the next day and the next....)

Hope you are enjoying the holidays.
Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Sunday, 12 August 2012

A Fond Farewell to the Olympics & Travel Journal Pages

As we await the closing ceremony to what has been a fabulous Olympics....

(Munchies for the family to scoff while we watch the Ceremony)

...I have just got time to show you the latest pages of my Ireland Travel Journal.  To be honest, I never thought I'd be interested in the Olympics at all.  For someone that is not remotely sporty, this one took me by surprise and had me hooked.  Especially last Saturday (not yesterday, the one before), Britain did so well that day and I was getting almost as emotional as the athletes.

Anyway, on to the latest pages of my journal.   

The sun finally shone this day and we went along to an old fashioned Agricultural Show.  It took me back to the 1970s with its dog, sheep, and cattle shows. There were showjumping competitions and a 'Home Industries' tent with competions for things like best tapestry or springiest sponge cakes, etc.  I haven't been to one of those shows in years and didn't know they still existed!

There was a slightly newer area with sideshows like Zorbs, those great big inflatable neon floating balls, that my boys had fun in.

On to the next day and my sister-in-law had us on a tight schedule, she knew of some fun places to visit - like these old gothic style castle gatehouses.  
I made a distressed background with splattered gesso and a background stamp stamped with brown distress ink.
I think they have to be my favourite pages so far.

We did lots of walking in the country, which makes a change for us 'townies!'

And finally, for my scrapbook, so far:
We popped along to the Ardmore Pattern Fesival and there were some free workshops.  This one was for children, a famous-in-Ireland wildlife artist called Don Conroy presented a cartooning session.  The adults were allowed to sit at the back and I joined in!  Good fun it was too.

Right, off to watch the Olympic Closing Ceremony, and to scoff the choccie! ☺  Hope its better than the Opening Ceremony, I wasn't all that keen on that historical stuff :O

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Thursday, 9 August 2012

New Pages in Ireland Travel Journal

Yay, the weather is finally picking up!  We had a fun time today at Coombe Abbey and the Memorial Park in Coventry (with a fun children's water play area) in glorious sunshine.  Hubby is off this week for his firm's annual holiday so has been able to transport us out and about.  

In the evening yesterday I got another couple of pages done in my Travel Journal about our holiday in Ireland.  And this is them:
(Click picture to enlarge)

It documents the boys having a short pony ride along a quiet country lane - in the rain, naturally.  I walked alongside taking pictures.  At one stage we saw a massive hare on the road in front of us.  Pesky thing dashed out of the way sharpish before I had chance to take a photo.  

Again I used my messy gesso background technique, layering it quite thick because I so like the texture that it creates. 
The green horseshoes were made individually with a punch.  I drew around each and added details with a fine black pen.  I'm a bit impatient and kept clogging up the nib because I didn't let the gesso dry properly first, oops!

 I love this picture of the boys, looking a bit nervous before the ride:

They have had their hair cuts now, we took them to have them done yesterday.  The older one, Ryan, said that 'he was going to wear a hat to school!' lol.

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

A Creative Summer Holiday Book Activity

Summer Holiday Children's Book Activity

When I bought this book for Christmas last year for me my boys, I never imagined it would take us this long to realise its creative potential.  The (bad) weather we have had may have had something to do with it, but no matter, today was the day for fun!

Called 'The Book with a Hole', each double page spread opens out to reveal a handdrawn idea with a hole in the centre for you to fill in how you choose (from a prompt). 

We completed most pages, but these were my faves from the day:
 A toy rocket skyscraper

(On this page I added the cheeky penguin!)

 A toy dinosaur tail
A pretend camera effect.
Yes, I know he needs a haircut.  Why is the fashion for boys to have it so long?

Loving the graphic element of these, great contrast.

And finally, this one:
Again, great contrast. Lots of different patterns to contrast with the bold circles.

(Note: We added backing paper to the hole each time)

I noticed in Waterstones that this author has recently got lots of children's activity books out.  I'm sure if you go on a hunt you could get them for a reasonable price online.   We had lots of fun making these and next time we complete the book we are sure to come up with a completely different set of pictures (I'm quite tempted to do that myself!...).  

Hope you are enjoying your holidays.
Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Ireland Travel Journal

What a nice welcome (!) to come back from my holiday to my blog, a number of messages from pesky spammers!  Luckily blogger are on the ball and deleted them all by themselves, the clever things.

I'm pleased to say we had a thoroughly good time in Ireland, out and about seeing lots of things that my Brother and Sister in-Law (who live in Ireland) had organised for us.   The only thing I regretted is that we were so remote we had no internet access, not even a phone signal, so I wasn't able to share our adventures with you there and then.  I couldn't even use Instagram, which is what I had planned to do.

No matter, because since I have been back, I have been crafting with vengence!  In between the fabulous but nerve racking events of the Olympics this weekend I created this 'shabby chic' scrapbook/travel journal: 

(Warning - lots of piccies!)  

The book I used is a Paperchase kraft ringbound book. For the cover I covered it in green crepe paper and used paint and glitter.  I edited the title picture using Picmonkey and Word. 

I started making this journal in a conventional way with nicely lined up photos and lines of written journaling but then changed my mind, what I really wanted was a bit of style!  Out came the gesso, the black ink and the alphabet stamps and the theme of the album was made. 

True to form, when we arrived in Ireland it was pouring with rain! (I used just a bit of artistic licence on the windscreen pic). 

This one has lots of feely texture on it.  I layered gesso as a background for the pool effect and then added a swirly stamp on top.  (I hate waiting for things to dry though so watched Olympic events then). 
More gesso and a camera rubber stamp.  I spread the gesso with a spatula, my new favourite tool of choice. 
This one ended up a bit more 'chic' than I planned, but ink splattering can be a tricky technique to control.
(The Right Hand page to the above) 
Splatter, splatter fun.

For the background of these pages, I dripped black ink down the page from the top.  It was to give a 'reptile' type of background.  
Which matched the theme of my page.

...And that is where I am so far.  

I'm not sure my inlaws (who were there with us) will appreciate the style I've used but I feel that it is more authentically 'me' - and that is really what counts, isn't it?

Thanks for looking and for any comments,
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