Welcome to my creative online journal

Friday 29 July 2011

Love Art but...

I've put together another journal page tonight (I find it easier to do my art at night time when the boys have gone to bed, especially during the school holidays!) and this page's theme is so true for me:
I used a piece of art work I already had (an experimental painted textured piece) and used that for my 'Art' background.  I then found some images from my cut images stash of the wallet and pile of money.  Finally I used my Dymo-type of printer to print out the title of the journal page. The whole page was really easy to do and probably only took about 15 minutes. 

The finished page:
 I decided that I should keep to my own style of journaling to be truly authentic.  I can still look at and admire other artist's work (Teesha, etc) but to be true to myself I need to find - and keep - my own style.

(Incidently, I considered adding the word '...YET' to the bottom right of the page but haven't done so...yet! ☺)

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Wednesday 27 July 2011

A Busy Start to the School Holidays

Apart from joining in with my boys' Summer Activities, I've been taking pictures of things we have found on our travels:

 Two broken old bikes that were left near the river bank. They've been recovered from the river by the looks of things, and have probably got an unsavoury story to tell...

...and there is no doubt a sad story behind both of these:
 But not this, its simply the view from the children's play park:
(All effects as usual, created using Picnik)

The holiday has started with some beautiful sunny weather (at last!) and we have been busying ourselves with some gentle sporting activities...

...like making & throwing sponge flannel waterbombs!:
But also more gently, tennis:
  and bowls with a friend:
 ...and today it was the turn of some Kitchen Science Experiments:

Busy, busy, busy.
Who needs a computer, Wii or x-box?! ☺

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Sunday 24 July 2011

Goodbye Primary School

As I've mentioned recently, my eldest son at aged 11,came to an end of his years at Primary School.  Yesterday we had a very emotional day saying goodbye to many of the friends he had got to know during his 8 years at the school.

Some of the teachers also left too, including the headteacher, so I gave them a copy of this framed picture as a memento:

It was taken during the Winter from my attic window and those pointed turrets are part of the school.

We also gave each pupil in the class a copy of a video my husband and I have been working on.  It showed the pupils growing up during their years at the school.  At the end we had a video sequence of the class miming & rocking to the theme tune of 'Friends' which was such fun to make.  It also created lots of merriment when it was shown to the whole school at the end of year assembly too.

Also for the end of year assembly, some of the year 6 pupils acted out advertisements.  Ryan dressed up as Mr T in the advert for 'Snickers' bars:
He was so serious in his role!

I made the 'hair' the night before with a (new!) pair of tights and an old wig that I cut up and stuck on with a cold melt glue gun. Who said that it's cold? I burned my fingers many a time!  In the morning I drew on the beard with a washable black pen and the smaller pictures show him walking to school.  He made the belt himself out of duct tape and Snickers bars.

Also on the last day I gave him my Instax camera and he took pictures of his friends and they signed their names underneath:
I'm going to sort him out a memory book for these and other memorabilia that he has collected.

But meanwhile, for him, its 'Goodbye Primary School' and (in September) 'Hello High School'.  Hope he makes many more friends there and picks up some other good memories too. 

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Brown paper packages tied up with string

A few days ago I gave you a link to an online swap that I participated in recently, organised by Lakota of Faith Hope and Charity Shopping.

Today it's my turn to show you the wonderful collection of goodies I received from my swap partner, Mrs Tightwad of The Tightwad Telegraph.

 This is how it arrived:
 Do you see that handwritten message written downwards across the paper?  

It says:
What a fun way to send and receive a parcel, eh? ( I loved it!)

Inside, Mrs Tightwad (seems strange calling her that, but I won't be revealing any identity information online) has been carefully looking at my blog and from my post of 26th April discovered that I loved peacocks. It's true, I love their amazing colouring.

...which is why I loved the selection of peacock coloured goodies that I received:

* * * * *
Now for the details...

First up to show you we have a large vintage table cloth for an outside table, an eye pack for refreshing tired eyes (I could do with that right now!) and some peacock coasters....
...next there were some really lovely handmade (by Mrs Tightwad herself) knitted socks made out of Merino wool:
 .with lovely flecks of colour mixed in.  I do so wish I could knit!

And lastly, but no means least, there were some dazzling crafty bits:
A pack of beautiful material pieces, a pot of turquoise Cosmic Shimmer and some silver peacock jewellery charms.

* * * *

Thank you very much to my generous swap partner and also to Lakota for organising it.  I've had fun doing this and would love to do it again sometime.

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Sunday 17 July 2011

Not Spirograph

I've been playing with Paperchase's version of Spirograph.  It was not called 'Spirograph', it was called 'hypotrochoid' but essentially its the same thing!

This particular version has been altered using my favourite (because its so easy to use!) photo editing program picnik.

The way I played with it was I made my patterns in the conventional way and then filled in the gaps inbetween the patterns with colour.  This is what my finished page, using thin felt tips, originally looked like:
I don't know if you have played with Spirograph (maybe when you were younger?) but if your pen slips out of the hole of the plastic circle it is in when you are in the middle of a pattern, it is very difficult to remember which one to put it back in.  TIP: Always make a mental note of which hole you have put your pen in!

  This particular type of spirograph also doesn't have pins to keep the plastic circles still so I also got movement when making some of my patterns (grrr!)

Enough complaining, it's a lovely effect, with or without picnik effects!
..and changing it to black and white makes the lines stand out:
I'm not sure Paperchase sell this kit any more, I got mine from a charity shop for £1! (yay!) but you may be able to find one yourself if you fancy a go.  Occasionally you can get original Spirographs in charity shops or car boot sales..... or is it possible that you might already have one just gathering dust in your attic?...

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Saturday 16 July 2011

Hollywood Party

Excuse my mini absence, but this time I've been preparing for a party, a Hollywood themed school party.  It was for my eldest son who is leaving Primary School next week and the party was earlier tonight.

This was how he dressed up:
  He likes his hair long!

I didn't take pictures of all the decorations we made (too busy!) but I remembered to take these pictures:
 I just framed and added embellished gem stars with glossy accents.

On questioning, we found that none of  the children (aged 11) knew who any of the actresses were!

We had a 'red carpet' setup where each of the children from that year came in individually, making them feel like film stars.  Lots of the people in the crowd took pictures of them as though they were the paparazzi:
 A good fun night, though I didn't dance much, I was stuck behind the bar all night (serving!)

Thanks for looking, have a great weekend,

PS  I have also been taking part in an online swap run by Lakota of Faith Hope and Charity Shopping.  I was paired up with Mrs Tightwad of the Tightwad Telegraph and we have done our swapping.  In a future post (soon!) I will show you the lovely goodies I was sent, but if you take a look here (opens up in a new tab),  you can see what I sent her, based on her interests.  I also made a handmade card and calendar, which you can also see a picture of (note: she collects chicken ornaments).

Monday 11 July 2011

Balance in my Life

I have a confession to make, I am absolutely terrible at time management. I'm an 'all or nothing' person, as in I will spend ages doing one thing, like my art or maybe some ironing (cough!) or browsing blogs on the internet and then I'll wonder where all the time has gone.

But this method of mine (unsurprisingly!) is not working.  By concentrating on just doing one or two things every morning or afternoon, an awful lot else that needs doing is not getting done (washing up, clothes piles, hello!...)  What I need in my life is more balance, which is what this second page of my journal is about:

 In the centre of my page is a set of scales (taken from an Argos catalogue) and then around it I have collaged other pictures representing the elements of my life that are at the moment, out of balance.

 The coloured  pencils and computer are shown big to represent what a dominance they are taking and the red & black line underneath is like a graph.  By concentrating on a particular task I end up not stopping to eat properly and end up snacking on the wrong kind of foods, represented by the cakes (the 'blue' circles are green apples btw).  On the right, for 'housework', we have clothes lines, clothes and an iron and on the bottom left, a random family picture as a representation of my own family time.  Bottom right there is a picture of a messy sofa with empty cups and wine bottles. This was used to signify some of the rooms in my house that could do with being sorted (although mine aren't that bad!)

 This is what it looks like upside down, just look at all those dominant pencils! 

I sometimes think I could do with a timetable like we used to have at school to split up my days, I'm sure it would help.

How do you manage your time?  Have you got any tips you could share? 

Thanks for reading and for any comments or tips,

* * * * *

PS - Interesting link to photos (not mine) of a very creative recycled clothes festival WAP  (Facebook photos) 

Thursday 7 July 2011

Teesha Inspired Journal Page

You may be able to tell (!), but I watched a few of the Teesha Moore videos on youtube this morning.

I love the way Teesha doesn't seem to plan what things she is going to put together on her page, it just 'evolves.' (very successfully I might add!)  I decided to do my page (above) in the same way and believe you me it took absolutely AGES!   

This is in fact my first ever, real, proper, journalling page! Oh, I've dabbled in the past at 'pretend ones,' but never actually started a sketch book with the sole intention of keeping a journal - until now. 

It was a fun process to do but technically quite hard as most of the pens I used wouldn't write on the glossy magazine paper.  In the end I found that these ones (on the left) worked best:
 Staedtler Lumocolors in Black, Medium & Fine, a Uniball Signo in White and a Black Sakura Gelly Roll -  but all of them clogged to a degree.

I should point out that the face of the 'frog' isn't mine, I just made the model's hair a bit more like my style.  I did consider changing her features but I liked the way she was looking down at her big green belly!  
Even though I didn't plan on the theme of this page (a la Teesha), once I came across the magazine image of the frog, the theme came to me.  This is different to what I'm used to, a bit out of my comfort zone, but it is good to do that ocassionally.  

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Regal Sparkle

Hello Again, I'm still busy, busy, busy sorting out photos for the end of school video after having taken a break to go camping last weekend.  What a perfect weekend to choose to go, the sun kept its hat on for most of the 3 days. We were also lucky enough to get lovely sunsets too:

In the daytime the children loved playing around the shallow streams and pools that were very close to our camping field.  We brought a dinghy with us and they had lots of fun rowing themselves to a nearby island.
The children creating fun memories to last them a lifetime.

* * * * *

Onto crafting, and I just love shiny and sparkly things.  The other day I had this urge to get out all my glitter pots and tubes and jazz something up.

These were the result:
Glittered playing cards and dominoes.
(Click photo to enlarge)

Glitter is always difficult to photograph and show well but believe me, these are very glittery!  The King card in particular looks very rich in all his sparkling finery.   The King and the Queen (D?) card were glittered using glitter glue, but for the number '10' card I used a glue pen and loose glitter:

It was very fiddly and I wouldn't recommend it. This method is also incredibly messy and I was glad I had a 'Dust Buddy' for picking up the masses of stray glitter.
 It is still possible to use these cards (maybe do the whole pack?) for a game, but I'm thinking I might frame them instead.

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

Friday 1 July 2011

A Life in Music

This artwork is at the 'getting there' stage, near completion but needs a little more 'jiggery pokery.'  It's a framed picture that is for my cousin, the chap in the photo, for his 50th Birthday.

He has spent his lifetime pursuing a successful career in music, and the articles and pictures around the sides are all about that journey.  In one of the newspaper articles it mentions his first influence was the song, 'Hi Ho Silver Lining' (anyone care to admit remembering that?) so I found the lyrics to it and added it to the pictures around the sides.  These pictures have been faded out as they are like 'his memories'.

I must admit I found thinking about what to get, or make, a 50 year old male for their birthday really difficult, I think us ladies are much easier! ('Craft supplies please!' lol)  At least this cousin of mine did have an interest that I could work with, unlike some I could mention that are even more difficult to cater for.  

I used the newly discovered layer feature on Picnik to create this and the reason I think it needs more 'jiggery pokery' is because of the harsh lines around his right eye.  I'll have to see what I can do...

Need to do it soon though, we are going camping tomorrow and I need to give it to him on Saturday.
Hope he likes it!

Thanks for looking and for any comments,

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