Wednesday, 28 December 2011

I was out in the garden before writing this page, and out there today. I did a bit of tidying and weeding. Lots of things need attention-the decking seems to be rotting, the fence needs sealing or the same thing will happen to that, the path is mud and needs to be made into a proper path, and the shed is falling down. It was lovely to be outside though. Cassie and Lily came out with me. It is mild today with an invigorating breeze. I tidied up old pots and moved the fatsia japonica and the bay tree (both in pots) up the steps ready to plant them in the garden. There are a few gaps that need a medium to large shrub, and both of these have been stunted in pots for years.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Friday, 23 December 2011


A woman from an article in a book about the 1940s. It showed gas masks for glasses as the caption says. A singer on a late night music programme. I took pictures of the television to capture her earrings which I really liked. They seemed to be laminated pictures of and eighties type digital watch. I am trying to be more observant and true to what I actually see when doing faces, rather than my stock face-though I do like doing my stock face!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Too Many Obsessions

I take after my Dad in that I flit from thing to thing, obsessively really, until the next thing comes along. I always have to be doing something-like an addiction-but one I prefer to smoking, which is my former addiction. Like my Dad, I go through phases of doing one thing, then put it aside, then do the next and so on. I come back to all my interests eventually but can't stand to do the same thing forever. I did that thing where you pick a word for the year. I thought about how I am, and thought of a word that would try to correct it (self criticism ruled there!) I picked 'focus'. I picked it, thinking it would help me to become really good at one thing, rather than dabbling all the time. In terms of that it was a failure, but in terms of understanding myself better it was great! I now realise that I definitely need to flit from thing to thing to be happy. I try to do things well, and I like to learn new things. I am happy with that.
For me, anything can start off an obsession. In the summer I bought 'Water for Elephants' from the charity shop. I enjoyed the story, and the film which I watched later. But the best part of the book for me, was the author's notes and interview at the end of the book. This is where I learned about her obsession for the circus, and how she had fed that with two particular books of old photos, both of which I now own too. A fascinating world.

What I really want, is endless time! Don't we all?

These are the few pages that came out of the circus fad.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Weird Face and Two Copies

Weird imaginary face that turned out to look a bit Egyptian. I like the eyes, but that is about it!

Picasso from a painting in a book of Tate exhibits-a lovely second hand book with lots of beautiful art.

From the same book.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Obsession List

This seems like ages ago now! Time passes so quickly. I think I may be a very fickle person as my current obsession list is completely different. TV obsession is 'Strictly Come Dancing'-a great and heart warming show. Book obsessions are ever changing and at the moment include 'Nomad' by Sibella Court and 'Under the Dome' (which I really didn't like at first but have now got into) by Stephen King. Current making obsessions are shaky eggs (a real egg shell, rice, tissue paper and pva glue-shaky egg!), crocheting washcloths for Christmas and crocheting a string bag.

Thursday, 24 November 2011


This is what happens when I get out a table, put a white cloth on it and try to photograph my book. My little helper comes along and, well, helps. She has a look at what is going on.
Decides if it makes a worthy seat or not-most things do.

She doesn't understand what my problem with the help is!

Thanks Cassie!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Pastel Book

I chose a pastel book as my next journal to make a change. I really like the coloured paper-and there is a piece of tissue paper in between each page too which I also used. The front cover is two pieces of marbling I did ages ago. I do these things and make loads of pieces as it is that kind of activity, then I don't know what to do with them! I have used a few in collage but the rest are still in an envelope! Summery pastel beach huts on the title page.
The sunflower picture is from a number of years ago-from the nursery garden. We had great sunflowers this year too-the last year for that garden as the school is now being rebuilt and the garden has gone. It was very hot this September and October, and has been mild for most of November.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Last of Erewhon

Erewhon was finished a while ago and I have since completed another journal and am onto the next, though journalling has not been happening much the last few weeks. Here are a last few pictures from this book. Doodley face turned into staring lady, who then needed something to stare at-so I gave her one of the more lurid sunsets from Skye.

'Kelly Watch the Stars'-an Air song based on Kelly from Charlie's Angels-my favourite Angel, hence the fact I have a puzzle of her, from which this image came.

She goes quite well with the vintage wallpaper page.

This lady is from a National Geographic book of portraits-a great book and full of inspiration.

Thanks for your comments and encouragement on this blog. I shall be back soon with my next book-a pastel paper sketch book.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Cassie in a Box

First and second goes-the first one would not really have allowed room for her legs. When I looked at her again I realised that!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Mixed and Doodly Pages

I have not abandoned this blog-just keep forgetting to upload the rest of the Erewhon pics! I finished it a while ago and am currently nearly at the end of my next book-a pastel sketch book with fifferent coloured papers. Here are a few more pages of Erewhon. Left page-self explanatory. Right page-a list of purchases in my last trip to Rye in the summer. All very lovely and useful-especially a weird deep swirly plastic tray. It is perfect to keep all the annoying bottles and bits and pieces near the sink tidy. I used a plastic doily to stamp part of the page and used gold embossing powder on it. The gold is the best colour-it looks dull olive green as a powder but bubbles up into a beautiful gold under the heat tool.

Left page-another list-well two-one of artistic things I have done for a long time, and the other of relatively new things. The page on the right is a quote from a Brazilian artist-Cildo Meireles-

"I could never restrict myself to certain subjects or procedure. Nor could I give up the freedom to experiment with new materials, procedures or questions. Whenever I begin a new work, I always prefer the risk of starting from scratch. Sure, we're always influenced by what other artists we admire have done, or still do. We're all a bit like snails, carrying around our house, our universe."

Left page-doodling circles and things symbolised by them. Right page-a doodle with inks and ball point-it came out looking a bit like the Virgin Mary.
A pogo print of a silly little ebay purchase-which I nearly got poor feedback for as we were on holiday when I won it-for 99p-and I didn't pay for about a week. I love the design of the packet. The right page is part of the journal-sixties wall paper. I have a whole roll of it-I should put some somewhere. It is not a very good paper for art activities though as it is quite brittle.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Face Page

I had not painted a face for a while and this is the one I painted. For some reason I listed television programmes down the side-I think they were the ones I was watching in the holiday.
Click to enlarge the picture and see how I waste my time!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Felty Head

A sketch and some photos of my first felty head using the technique I have written about. It is a clay tutorial but has been really helpful to get the proportions of my heads a bit better-and I find mouths incredibly hard to do and this has really helped me. I have yet to try it with clay. The sketch is on tracing paper.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Last Holiday Page

Page on the left-doodling on marbling-I bought a great set of marbling inks in the charity shop and have done loads of small pieces which I am gradually using.
The page on the right is related to the place we stayed on the way back from Skye-in a place called Appleby in the Lake District. It was a lovely room.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Sheep, sheep signs, zig-zagging road signs, zig-zagging roads, and a Scottish paper bag.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Yet More Holiday Pages!

On the Isle of Raasay it rained and we saw a mermaid-only stone but I am sure the real ones were there somewhere hiding. We went for a walk in the rain and seemed to have the place to ourselves. At the end of our walk we found a lovely and cosy cafe-part of an outdoor adventure type hotel. The food was lovely-the perfect end to a rainy walk! The map on the right hand page pulls out concertina style.

We drove to visit the Talisker distillery and on the way saw lots of scarecrows. It was a village wide effort and every house and farm had one. This is Jessie, the scarecrow at the local primary school.

This is the beach at Glen Brittle. Another quite hairy drive to get there, but worth it as it was a beautiful place. The sand is black-volcanic. It had intricate patterns and there was a large seabird skeleton looking most dramatic. The mountains are just behind the beach and looked black and moody, with mist at their base, and cloud at their summits, on the day we went. The only slight downside was the lack of a public toilet! The mean campsite people keep theirs locked apart from for residents, even though it is marked as a pc (public convenience) on the map! Ah well, the walk on the beach was a bit shorter than I would have liked!
Page one-a visit to Portree, the main town. The lion is in the town square.

Page two is a photo of the post office on the mainland in a place called Knoydart. The Old Forge was the pub we were there to visit-it was a deal where you get a boat at 5.30 from Armadale, have a meal, and get the boat back at 9.00. It was a good boat trip. Andy caused false excitement when he spotted a rock, but thought it was a seal! Knoydart is about half an hour from Skye by boat, and is on the mainland, but there are not any roads out of there-an eighteen mile hike will get you to the nearest civilisation!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Glossy postcards peel off the card backing quite easily, and so use up less space in the book. The page on the left is just the page-no relevance to the holiday. I painted it and it just sat in a drawer with no purpose until it became a page in Erewhon.
This is Elgol, and the rocks I found there. The black one is so smooth.
Such a dramatic drive to get there.

Felted balls I made while away, An absolutely gorgeous and cuddly looking bull, and a refelceted mountain.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Weird Little Beach FInd and a Fairy Flag

The beach find is like horsetail in the way it joins together but seems to be made of a calcium like substance. Perhaps it is fossilised horsetail! I found some on another beach, but didn't keep it as it fell apart. I was more careful with this piece, which I found on the beach near the house. I stuck it to the see through tracing paper page on the back of a sticky pogo print. It has lasted remarkably well so far. Dunvegan is the ancestral home of Clan MacLeod. The most interesting thing, I thought, was the Fairy Flag, which has a number of stories attached to it about its origin. Wherever it came from, it has been held as a good luck symbol for the MacLeods since they acquired it, and has traditionally been taken into battle with them. All that remains of the flag is a very fragile piece of cloth, now encased in a frame behind glass.

Here is my version, using a little ripped section of sari fabric. The remaining piece of flag has little circular red darned patches. The portrait is one of the lairds of the clan and is cut out of a postcard.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Sunsets, Beaches and Herons

There were lovely sunsets each evening, and, where we were staying, on Broadford Bay, was perfect for viewing them. The house had a little conservatory so you could sit and enjoy the view even when it was getting chilly, or the midges were biting!

This page is photos from our walk to the coral beach. Not really coral, but algae doing a good impression. From a distance it looks like white sand, but up close there are thousands of tiny coral like pieces mixed with shells-also tiny.

More wildlife. You can see the back of a ticket to Dunvegan castle as the page is tracing paper. It is useful as you can see both sides of things such as tickets.