Wreck This Journal – Part One

At the end of April, my friend/Lil Sister posted a picture of her Wreck This Journal on Facebook. I mentioned how I had a copy but wasn’t sure where it was – maybe I needed to dig it out and work on it. I’d written about it last summer when we were in Liverpool after I bought Living Out Loud from Waterstones after dragging the boys in there so that I could spend the gift voucher that I’d won. After Lil Sister and her Mum popped by on Tuesday to say hi (And for a mini Baby Shower as they can’t come at the weekend), I remembered where my copy was. I pulled it off the book shelf and we had a flick through. Yesterday I started working on some more of the pages. Some of it was just a case of adding more to each page and some was about starting new pages.

Write One Word Over and Over While chatting to Lil Sister – we ended up talking about chromatography and science lessons, I remember using Smarties or Skittles and water to then get the colouring to bleed into filter paper and it then ends up separating into the individual colours. As it happens I had a bag of Skittles in the house so decided that an experiment was needed for this page. I grabbed the Skittles and spread them across the page, then got a syringe that I had in a craft kit to drop the water onto the Skittles. I then left them and went off to do other bits and pieces. When I returned some of them had worked better than others, the red and the purple were really vivid but the yellow and green weren’t working so well. Skittles in Progress - WTJ Skittles - WTJ I had done the cover when I first got the book, I think it might need some bits adding to it and some tweaking. I used various bits of magazine and newspaper but I think it needs something else (and cover the Ikea logo lol). Front Cover - WTJ Inside Cover - WTJ Instructions - WTJ - In Progress WTJ

brushes and paint

About two weeks ago I went to The Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace. I was blessed to be given complimentary tickets by my friend Kathy who had a stand at the show (have you seen her work?!?! This lady is super talented!). I had meant to write about it but following the show, I’ve felt really tired and not completely with it. I’ve been having fun doing stuff that doesn’t involve me sitting in front of my computer for too long – I think the concentration was too much through the thick head of a cold. I managed to squeeze out a few posts along the way and write one that’s going up tomorrow but that was about it. I have plans to try and get myself in gear and ordered again. I work out that I have 8 weeks to Christmas and that means the next things on my list include lots of Christmas presents. The biggest one of them is the blanket I’m making for Our Sidekick. I made another for a friend of mine and he asked could he have one too. When I was about 14 we re-decorated my bedroom and my Mum made me a quilt with dolphins on it, to go with the theme of my bedroom. When Chris and I celebrated our first married Christmas, my Mum had made as a quilt in whites and creams. I can’t quilt like my Mum but I can crochet until my hands fall off, I love the idea of being able to make something for Our Sidekick that can remind him of the times he’s had with us even if he moves on from ours.

While at the show I got really inspired. I mean like REALLY inspired add that to the stencilling workshop we had at Scone Roses and I was ready to give something a try! For as long as I can remember I’ve loved painting and colouring but I’m not that good at drawing and so have always stuck to stuff I know I can do. I used to really enjoy making art journals but the journals that I make were always different to those that I was sent as part of swaps through Swap-Bot or saw on the internet.

I was about ready to give up and just go back to stuff that I can do but then spotted this quote written in my journal.

Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad whether they love or hate it. While they are deciding make even more art.

Andy Warhol

So that was that, I got out my markers, I bought some new felt pens and some watercolours and got going, If it’s not perfect so what, if the colours clash by mistake, get over it! I have two ribbons which I tie round the book to keep it shut when it’s put away but other than that I’m filling the pages. There are two packets from tea bags, there is my shirt number from Race for Life. Some pages work and some don’t, some are taking a bit more work and others are coming together really easily. My white on the watercolours is currently a pale blue as I cross mixed the colours by mistake. I also have to thank a couple of my penpals, there’s Adrienne in Germany who talks about painting with watercolours and telling me off when I say I can’t do it, to Bobberdilly in Kansas, who is just a great inspiration, each letter I receive has a watercolour or felt pen designed drawing on the front of it. The envelopes are just as important to hold on to. I think I need a scrapbook just for the envelopes that are designed. I wanted to experiment, and started with a gradient sign that I’d seen on my way back from the Opticians after going on a little explore (“I wonder what’s down this road…..”). Even I’m now painting in my pen pal letters, this was just a little one….

Working on a penpal letter now. Drew this picture of #paulmccartney's piano having watched #thegrahamnortonshow earlier added the colours in watercolours. #watercolours #penpal #snailmail

I even found a French newspaper that I’d bought when Chris and I went to France a few years ago, I chopped it up and stuck it all over the page to create something interesting. However I got a bit heavy handed with the watercolours over the top and now it’s not looking so good but it’s a learning curve.

Found an old #french newspaper.....what to do with this page now? #artjournals

162: Crocheting Away

Anyone notice how this post was just a title for a little while – oops!

Anyway here is the post. Why is it you get inspiration at 23:56 when you should be asleep!!! (but are also addicted to crochet so want to finish the square you’re on!!)

Look what I made :) so chuffed!!

For years I’ve been trying to learn to crochet – most of the time I admit defeat and decide that no matter how much I try clearly I wasn’t created to crochet. Well how wrong can a girl be!!

Me and Our Sidekick popped by my Mum and Dad’s house last weekend (I think it was Bank Holiday Monday) and ended up staying a little longer than intended while I was there Mum was showing me the flowers that she’d been crocheting. Her friend Kathy had been writing instructions and mum was being her guinea pig.

Well I asked mum “how easy is it?” and that was that. While we had Ben-Hur playing in the background (my Dad was watching it and we all got sucked into it!) my Mum taught me how to make the flower well I got hooked! I came home and with a crochet hook she let me I started making lots of flowers.

By about Thursday or Friday I decided that if I could flowers what else could I do. Well I’d heard my friend Becca tweeting about the granny squares that she was making into a blanket (as part of her 30 before 30 list), so I went off to find a pattern for a granny square – it couldn’t be that hard.

I started with the pattern and by Saturday had finished a whole square off (I cast(ed) it off and had to show my Mum on the way to town – I was too excited). She gave me some pointers like to treble instead of double (or something like that – I knew what she meant!) and to chain in different places and I was off! I’ve made 5 squares now and I’m off to make some more tomorrow after work (or maybe while I eat lunch). My first of these five isn’t quite the right dimensions so I might try and make another three dodgy sized ones and use them on the middle of the blanket or I’ll undo it and try again as it should have enough yarn to redo without chains stitches and other bits.

Either way I can crochet and I’m stupidly proud of the fact!! I was even asked by a teenager girl in The Fountain on Saturday what I was doing (and she seemed pretty interested).

Day 47

Today at work me and the Big Cheese had a chat. It wasn’t too seriously and stuff but it needed to be honest. Now I try not to lie but when you’re talking about situations at work it can be hard to speak up and say something is the matter rather than just answer its fine and then keep your head down. But it was good today. I’d given a brief explanation by email on Monday and The Big Cheese wasn’t sure that he got what was wrong but once I explained in person he got it.

So that got sorted which was good. We talked about some other bits and pieces and all in all it was good. I kinda want to share more but for now it’s behind closed doors and can’t be talked about lol. All I can say is that it was positive rather than negative and I feel good for the first time in about a week and a half.

I am again loving the Daily Drop Cap so again starting this post is one of Jessica Hische’s designs. This is from Alphabet 12. Originally this post started with an S but the one S I did kinda like had a cigarette as part of the picture and so I decided to avoid that.

Earlier I hosted #watercoolermoment on Twitter – I’m hoping it went well and there seemed to be enough people talking so who knows I might be doing it again in the future. Work has been fun since Monday – two of my colleagues got new computers this week so I was setting them up and getting my colleague in the US to install the other bits that needed to be done before they could use them. There is something about getting a new toy to play with even though you only get a few minutes to play with it. Am I right? lol.

Art

A friend of mine sent me links to the images in this post, I’m loving the angel on the right above. They are all painted by a girlie called Agustina.

Agustine was born in La Plata in Argentina in 1984 and when she was 21 she moved to Paris.

From an early age she devoted herself to the visual arts. Getting a vast academic background in her home town, she discovered her passion for classic styles, including Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. Then she joined surrealism, pop art, American hyperrealism and finally contemporary art.

Agustina exhibited in galleries, public and private institutions and integrates local and international art groups, including the Colectivo Tango and Arte sin Fronteras. Her painting has an eclectic aesthetic, integrating expressionism and figuration.

All the images in this post are for sale. If you get in touch with @wise_marketing or email me and we can sort things from there.

Dear Father Christmas

There’s a trend in the blogosphere at the moment of writing your wish list. (I’ve seen a few including here, here and here.)Well here is mine but first a memory about Christmas….

When I was younger, me and my Brother would sit down towards the end of November or the beginning of December and write our letter to Father Christmas, asking what we’d like for Christmas. My list would be a few items long – maybe 10 at the most. My brothers would be an essay. (He would sit there with the catalogue and go through it listing anything and everything).

I think the biggest two presents I asked for was a new bike (I was about 12 and cycling to school, this was purple and second hand, I didn’t mind that it was second hand – I knew my parents couldn’t afford a brand new one because I’d been looking through the same catalogue that my brother loved) and my electric guitar (This was different I thought I would get a Yamaha or a starter set from the catalogue. I got a Fender Squire Strat. I was so grateful that year.

Growing up I would ask for books – I loved reading and it was my way of restocking my bookshelf. I would ask for CDs and things like that but books were my first love.

I’m not expecting any of this but this is a wish list. I think my Mum has already sorted my presents and Chris will be thinking out of the box when it comes to my present as he does. But are some bits that I like….

1. This fab tote bag from Sublime Stitching - this stitched version is one of a kind but you can get ones that are printed blue (and because of the fabric you can stitch it yourself!)

Slouchie Beanie from Amyschmamey
2. I love the slouchie beanies that Amyschmamey makes – they are sooo fab! What do you think? (You can read Amy’s blog here and her Etsy Store is here.)

3. So I would say I’m a Harry Potter fan. I’ve read the books and seen the movies. My old school tie was very similar colours to the Gryffindor tie (Yup I am that geeky!!)

Made by Mary Rebecca – her blog is here and her Etsy Store is here.

Jo Totes - Missy Camera Bag

4. Yes I know another bag lol. This is a camera bag by Jo Totes. I saw one of the other designs on Elsie’s blog for a give-away and loved them. It’s really cool because there are dividers and bits so that you can use it as a camera bag but it’s also designed so that you can fit your other day to day bits and pieces in it.
(Click on the image and it’ll take you to Jo Totes site)

5. A proper nice leather bound journal would be fab. At the moment I have a ring bound notepad with stars on the front. I found this one on Etsy. It’s made by Daniel Heywood.

Thank You Notes

Ever since I was young after Birthdays and Christmas it was encouraged that we wrote Thank You cards. Now I always figured that this was something my Mum made us do because it made her feel good or something. However as I’ve grown up and become more responsible for making myself get on with them, it often makes the person who gave you a gift feel like you appreciated it.

I know that one year my Great Aunt got in a proper twist because she hadn’t received a thank you card from us. I’m not sure what actually happened after that but I just remember her getting in one over it – so I guess it’s a big deal lol.

My friend Katie lives in the States she’s a blogger but her main thing is running her own business called Katie Blair Designs. She mainly does stock items but if you ask her nicely she does custom jobs :D

Every so often she sends out an e-mail newsletter. Now I love her products – I’ve bought birthday presents and cards from her and hosted a giveaway to win one of her journals.

So with no further ado – courtesy of Katie we have four tips for you about Thank You notes.
As we enter months filled with parties, dinners, gifts and favors, it’s time to sharpen up our rusty thank you note writing skills. If you’re anything like me, your personal gratitude history is probably paved with thank you notes that never quite got written – or those sad few that you did write, but then stuck in a drawer and finally threw away six months later.

To help you out (and to make the holiday thank you parade a little less overwhelming), I’ve compiled a few of my favorite thank you note tips:

1. It’s OK if it’s late. Yes, you should get a thank you note in the mail as soon as possible. But if you forget, or if you’ve been putting it off, that doesn’t mean the opportunity has passed. Write a quick note, and add a lighthearted apology to the end. The recipient will appreciate the gesture.

2. Have supplies ready. Before the holidays, stock up on thank you notes and stamps. Start compiling an address list of people who usually send you gifts or invite you to holiday parties. If possible, keep a thank you note kit ready – include cards, envelopes, stamps, and a nice pen or two. That way, when you need to write a note, you’ll have everything ready to go.

3. When in doubt, send a note. Sure, everyone knows you should say thank you for a gift. And dinner parties are no-brainers. But what about less obvious areas – like a neighbor who shovels your walk or a postman who makes an extra stop to make sure your gifts get in the mail? If you’d like to say thanks, go ahead and do it. No one’s ever going to be disappointed to get a handwritten note, and you might make someone’s day.

4. Say more than thanks. Add a little something beyond the expected to make your note more enjoyable to read. Tell them what your family’s holiday plans are, or that funny story about your kids playing snow tag.

If you have tips for Katie (and for me lol) leave a comment and I will be sure to pass them on – I’m sure she’d be super grateful!

So maybe my Mum does make sense! Thank you cards are lovely and can make someone’s day – so even if it’s a little thing it could make a huge difference to the person you are giving it to.

You can visit her Online Store here. She also has a store with Etsy. You can read her blog or follow on Twitter.
All the text above in italics is from Katie’s Newletter that was sent out. The image is from her Etsy store – please ask her before reposting (leave a comment and I will forward onto her).

Things I Like….

Inspired by Elsie @ A Beautiful Mess

1. Random pictures on Ashley‘s latest post.

Glasses

Hello Kitty

2. How cool is the jumper? I love it although I think the spines/spikes/bobbly bits on the back might get on my nerves lol. This is from Polka Dot Robot.

Jumper - Front

Jumper - Back

3. I wore a dress today! Woot! I went to a workshop this morning and dressed up smartly (only to get there and there were people there in jeans lol). This is the dress I wore.

4. Feather Girl Art Print by Burnt Feather.

Feather Girl

My 30 Days – Day 16

My 30 Days

Today’s Prompt:

Cravings

Kinder Bueno

Kinder Bueno!

Minstrels

Galaxy Minstrels

Cupcakes

Cupcakes – or cake of pretty much any description.

Yeah I know not very healthy lol. Hence why I am going to attempt to give up chocolate and cake at the moment, I am looking into the best deals when it comes to gym membership and I’m going to get my behind in gear or at least I am saying that and hopefully will drag myself kicking and screaming to loose some of the extra weight I have hanging onto me lol.

And now for something completely different…..

While trying to find images for this post I found this guys website – how cool is his work….

Artist Residence Room 1

This artist is called Matt Sewell and he painted Room No 1 at the Artist Residence Hotel in Brighton. you can actually go stay at the hotel and it would be seriously cool but it’s a little on the expensive side for my pocket lol.

(The Image will take you to the blog most with more pictures – it’s sooooooo fab!

All images link to their relevant sources