Thursday, 28 July 2011

The End

I have finished ''The Saffron Sea''. I really enjoyed using this book-it was good having quotes to spark ideas, the paper is lovely, the size a good one and I love the cover. To think I nearly gave it to the charity shop! Thank you Rosemary Rome!
I filled in the end month the other day. I used sakura metallic gel pens and the red is a glaze pen which I like as it dries really shiny.

The last page. ''Perhaps tomorrow'' is in the text, and seemed appropriate words with which to end something, as they also imply the beginning of something else. And I love the lady with her letter ready to go off to Mills and Boon, to receive the latest news of their publications and help with her library list.

Thank you for your comments and for following too! I have started my new journal which is quite a different kind of book-I will continue to use this blog to share pages, so hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Eggs and the Robin

Two fresh eggs from Rhian's chickens-delicious!

One of my favourite songs related to chickens-here is a sweet version of it I found on youtube related to Farm Africa which looks like a great organisation.

The page was prepared already with the ink and heart stencil, and all that time ago I left the word Robin uncovered, which became suitable now. That has happened quite a lot with this journal-that words I chose to leave uncovered ages ago when I gessoed it, suited what was happening at the time. Here is the Robin I am referring to. Ages ago when it was nesting time, a little Robin would defensively chirp every day on the fence. I went away for a weekend and when I came back he was not there anymore, and I was afraid that one of the cats had got him. About two weeks ago he came back. Obviously I don't know if it is the same one, but he is doing exactly the same thing, and as they are territorial I feel like it might be. He has a damaged looking tail and does look a bit the worse for wear, which also makes me think he is the same one. He arrives on the fence every day but usually when I have got my camera he has gone. Today I was quick enough!

Monday, 25 July 2011


Plants seen in my garden on Friday evening. It was a good stress reliever to sit out there and concentrate on plants rather than work thoughts. The petal is from one of my growing collection of Geraniums-in beautiful pinks, lilacs and purples. I stuck it in with matt medium and it looked really bright at first, though the colour has faded now.

Sunday, 24 July 2011


The Gatekeeper butterfly on the Verbena.

Butterflies were flying around today so I did my survey. In 15 minutes I saw one Small White and two Gatekeepers. The lady on this page is a bad rendition of the lady on the poster for The Cult of Beauty exhibition.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Rainbow 'Broidery Box

The page on the left is based on the quote about a 'broidery box' of the character's mother's-her 'rainbow box' which Sounds lovely. Coincidentally I have recently bought a 'rainbow box' of my own-there were three in the charity shop and I was good-I only bought one! It is full of little wound cards of embroidery silk, and as well as being useful, is a thing of beauty in itself. The lady's rainbow hair is made from a cut up pogo print of the box.

The page on the right is notes of what the children said and what happened when I showed them a dead blackbird at Forest School last week.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Cassie and a Pig

A tired cat and a friendly pig. I drew this page on the day of our school trip to Mudchute farm, then added some colour later. He really was the perfect pig-medium sized, traditional piggy pink and really gentle-yet greedy enough to eat all of the rest of the straw in our bags.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Woods and Cotton Scrim

Nap Wood visit page on the left-with two pieces of fern and a beech leaf from the walk. I used mod podge to stick the things in. The ink writing is on a teabag. The mod podge comes out quite shiny so I prefer matt medium-but was just too lazy to go and look for that! The teabag person on the right is sewn in as I wasn't sure I could stick it because it is coated in wax. I have a growing pile of teabags to use-roll on the holidays! If you click on the picture you may be able to see the base of the left hand page-it was a DIY shop find-this stuff called 'cotton scrim'-which plasterers use under plaster to strengthen joints. Metres of it for about £3. If anyone would like a bit to try just email me your address and I will send you a couple of metres! It has a very loose weave and I am sure could be used in all kinds of ways.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

New Paint!

I have read about Casein (kay-seen) paint on Lynne's blog and really wanted to try it. So I finally ordered some from America, as I couldn't find it online here-though I did find decorator's casein paint, and also found out what it is which I didn't know-it is based on a milk protein.
Here is the wikipedia page on it-most interesting! It says that it used to be a favourite paint of illustrators until acrylic came along. It is very different to acrylic-which I use mainly for dolls as it has a waterproof finish but the plastic look of dried acrylic is what I don't especially like-I know I could use matt medium but it seems like such a faff! I like how the paint feels as you use it-creamy really. I read in the wikipedia page that it has a more even consistency than gouache(which I love and have used a lot recently.) It looks somehow slightly more velvety when it is dried. Like gouache it can be thinned as you like-I used it thick and then the next day re-wet it to do another painting, so used it more thinly. Both were good. The colours are lovely and intense. It has a strange smell (this may not be important to you but I do love to smell things!) Not unpleasant-it reminds me of dettol-a popular disinfectant here!

Rush rush-the first page was a huge rush to try all the colours-a strange face emerged-looking a bit cross and wondering why his pattern book has no pattern on the front. The second page is a bad copy of a pre-raphaelite face-and my memory is so bad that although it was only a couple of days ago I have drawn a blank in trying to remember which one! (End of term madness is my excuse!)

I have two or three more pages left in The Saffron Sea and then I have to choose my next journal. Not sure which one to choose yet, but am going to carry on using this blog to share journal pages. I have enjoyed it and like the fact that I have a record of the whole thing. Thanks for comments, following and encouragement!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Story Page

This page started off as a biro pen drawing. It looked too wishy washy so I painted it with watercolours. It still didn't look right so I used gouache to deepen the colours. It is just a made up drawing but somehow it has taken on a life of its own. It is as if she is in a winter dark snowstorm, looking out on spring blossom and has a winter tree indoors with her. She could be looking forwards or backwards, or at a present that does not match how she feels. Who knows? I don't know and I did it! I quite like it though!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Balls in a Bucket

These pages are where I worked out how to arrange the balls in a bucket game that I was going to run for the summer fete. It was supposed to be on Friday but was rained off, so was on Monday instead. I couldn't do it on Monday but two of my colleagues ran it for me(which was very nice of them!) It raised about £10. You had to throw the balls in the bucket, add up your points, for which you were given various amounts of sweets as prizes-points mean prizes!

Sunday, 10 July 2011


Sometimes I just stick things in I want to keep, and do nothing else. The section of dress pattern came first and might have been used as a background, but then I stuck in the plastic sticky label from the front of my satnav (bought a couple of months ago and a most useful purchase I must say!) I liked the little picture imitating what you see on the screen as you are directed effortlessly around.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Tudor Wives

A much happier outcome for Anne of Cleves than for Katherine Howard.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Cassie and Abstract

Ink drawing of Cassie on a tag, with watercolour added much later. She has such a strange shaped body, totally different to my other two cats. Overall she is much longer! I don't draw the cats very often but enjoy it when I do. They always move though so it can be hard!
The other page is oil pastel and gouache I think. I liked the colours next to each other-the yellow and the purple particularly.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


This page is just a doodly page. It started with the swan which is a photo transfer. Then I stuck on a part of an ink doodle. I painted around and over. By this point I had had enough of this page and didn't want to do any more! Not one of my favourite pages but I like the swan.

Monday, 4 July 2011

The Queen of Hearts

This page was prompted by the words in the book which say ''She was just like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland'' to which I added ''except that she smiled!'' The blue dress is made up of mini paintings of pieces of china from the river shore. I love the tiny glimpses of what must have been a beautiful and intricate pattern. The variety is huge. I like it when a tiny figure or building appears on the fragment. The face is copied from Tenniel's illustration-exept that she is smiling.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Party Souvenirs

These two pages are from Andy's birthday party a few weeks ago. The pretty foil is from Tunnock's dark chocolate teacakes-a biscuity base with soft marshmallow on top, all covered in chocolate. The foil is lovely I think. If it had not been for writing this post I would never have thought to visit Tunnock's website, and I am glad I have as it is a good one! It has fifties looking graphics and little interesting facts about their products which appear across the bottom of the page. My favourite Tunnocks biscuit are these. Anyway, a few of these wrappers were smoothed out and left by one of our friends, so I stuck one in. I had already made the hole in the page and stuck the little clown drawing-a result of that game where each person draws the next part-behind-looking through the hole. The pages help me remember a great party!
I have just noticed how fairground like Tunnock's packaging is, which goes well with the clown!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Man From a Magazine

This is the second picture I painted of a man on the front of the Guardian magazine last week. I want to make a doll like him.

Here he is...

The first picture I did of him with staring eyes, and a doodle about painting faces, done on a piece of cardboard and stapled in. The doodle is gouache and the man is watercolour.