Monday, 20 December 2010

Wey Hey

There was me joking about the nice Yaktrax people reading my blog and wey hey but who leaves me a message ..................... the nice Yaktrax people. How did they find my blog and mention of their wonderful product? Wonders of the internet I guess.

So two posts in as many days, way to go.

The other big news worth posting is that Lord Tim (Tim Holtz for the uninitiated) is paying braving the elements and visiting the UK in February. He will be doing a couple of classes at Art From The Heart in Harrogate and the tickets go on sale tonight at 7pm. So excited. Guess what I am hoping to get for my birthday :o)

Talking of Art From the Heart, Dyan has posted up the new Spring classes including a art journalling backgrounds page by Kate Crane. Kate does the most amazing backgrounds to her pages and my mate Kathb and I have booked to attend, so fingers crossed the snow holds off.

Got my winter tyres put on my car today and drove all the way up the hill. Didn't quite have the bottle to drive all the way to the house just in case it's really cold tonight, or should I say colder. It was already -5 at 3.30pm today but as long as the nice men grit the hill tonight it should be ok.

Well off to do, well nothing really except try to keep warm.

Till next time.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

OK ........... who knicked November?

I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged, well actually I can, the time just seems to have flown by. I mean it's not like I haven't had time with the enforced grounding due to bad weather, so again I offer my sincere apologies and a round up of what's been going on.

After the folks came back from their jollies, MP and I went to Turkey for a weeks R&R. First few days were literally a wash out due to unusual torrential rain but then the sun broke through and we managed to have a few days of sun bathing. We didn't do much by way of sightseeing or trips as we were only there for a week and didn't take many photos but we went from Hisanaru to Fethiye a few times for a bit of shopping and to eat. Nice break but wouldn't rush back to Hisanaru as it was a bit like Blackpool and not really our thing but nice to get away and re charge the batteries. Was going to pop in a photo here but doesn't look like we have uploaded any :o)

Didn't really do anything in November apart from planning for the winter. Now this may sound strange but where we live can get shut off from the snow and after last years disaster of running out of gas and coal, was determined to be more organised. So full tank of gas delivered, double coal delivery, rock salt bought, cupboards and freezer full and my own personal cat food mountain stacked up - so all set.

Damn good job too as the snow did in fact come early. Luckily I had taken my car down to the bottom of the hill so I was able to get to work, setting the team precedent for this year. The walking up and down the hill wasn't quite so good and boy did I look a sight - duffle coat (bright red), hat, head torch, scarf, gloves, walking pole, joggers, rucksack, walking boots and my wonderful Yaktraxs. If you haven't heard of these they are just the most incredible things. Bought mine last winter and they made walking on ice and snow easy, in fact you'd think you were walking on ordinary road. So impressed with them was I that I have bought them for my folks and on my recommendation, half my team at work have bought them either for themselves or as presents for other people this year. So if the Yaktrax people read this - I am the reason your sales have gone through the roof this year and I do take commission.

So after a week of respite from the snow, it is back with a vengeance and this time, and it's all MP's fault, my car is still at the house! We are going to try and get it down the hill today so fingers crossed the nice men from the council have been up and gritted the hill.

After a very scary journey back from Halifax in the snow I have managed to secure some winter tyres for my car. MP got some put on last year and what a difference they made, so fingers crossed (again) I will get them put on the car this week. As MP is back on shift work now I am having to drive myself to work each day and this is not something I am looking forward to in the bad weather, there are too many hills round here for my liking!

So in between all this and trying to keep warm I have found a little time to play. I made some Christmas cards this year which is a first for me and I am quite pleased with the outcome and I have been playing with my art journalling. So here's some of the stuff I've done;

The search for the perfect handbag

Keep young and beautiful - paint dabbers, Dyan's inks and downloads, magazine page, download from Lisa's altered art

Unfinished page - Mark Ryder drawing, 7 gypsies paper

Unfinished page - magazine cut out, distressed inks and TH stamps

Nearly finished - Dyans downloads, Sizzix wings

Actually It doesn't look much but I have also started an A-Z of me art journal and my first attempt at altering something .................

Altered canvas board - book pages, Claudine Hellmuth paint, Dyan's inks, Tim Holtz masks and downloads from the Octopode Factory, which I saw on the fantastic Sue Roddis blog.

It is supposed to be MP and I with one of our many cats :o)

Dyan currently running her own tags of Christmas challenge over on her wonderful blog Art and Soul , if you haven't seen it, go have a look. I haven't managed a tag every day and I haven't got the embellishments but these are my attempts so far;

I also haven't punched the holes in the tops of the tags yet as Mother borrowed my cropodile and I've only just got it back!!

Well enough of an update for today. Off to start wrapping the Christmas presents and maybe, if I am really bored, put up the Christmas tree.

Oh nearly forgot. Final piccy of the post ........................ the wonderful Blink 182 who I am going to see in July 2011. Bring on the summer

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Wanted Ark

What miserable weather, good job we live on the top of a hill as all the fields are flooded so heaven knows what it's like down in the valley. Funnily we have just heard an air raid type siren going off down below and we think it may be something to do with the flood defence work they have been doing. MP will probably go and have a look in a while .......... it's a man thing!

The last 2 weeks I have been house sitting for my folks who went off on their jollies to Portugal so I filled my car with all my crafting stuff and a bag of clothes and headed off to their place for some quality crafting time. Spare bedroom set up, stuff unpacked and ready to go I have a wonderful first week playing with my art journals but then picked up the lergy from someone at work and spent the second week bed bound and hardly able to breathe, so not much journalling done there.

Back home now (it is lovely to be in your own bed with your own cats hogging the duvet) and feeling slightly better so taking the opportunity to catch up on my remiss blogging.

As promised previously, the pages from the 1st art journalling class at Dyans;

and some of the ones I did at home afterwards, so fired up by the class was I

The second part of the class in September Dyan did 'Anatomy of a page' with us. This was great and by breaking it down into stages got the group to do a Dyan style page. Here was mine

Then we decorated the covers for our newspaper journals. The front cover we used Dyan's downloads and the back cover we used a colour theme and bits cut out of magazines. Still need some finishing but you get the idea.

front cover

back cover

I have also been working on a smaller journal to take with me on my holidays in a few weeks time. I picked up a neat sized Philosophy book from the works, gluing every couple of pages together for stability and getting them prepped, so all I need to take with me are a selection of pens. Here are some of the pages so far

I seem to have a lot of pages in progress at the moment and not many completed but hoping that will change soon. There are more pics yet but I think that's enough for today, so till next time x

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Just for you Mum x

And I thought it was a long time between blogs last time but this takes the biscuit! Even my Mum had a moan about me updating my blog ....... so here it is :o)

Last time I was heading off to Art from the heart for an art journalling class, well I did, and as usual it was great. Dyan showed us how to make a journal from scratch using newspaper.

Use your journal cover (in this case chipboard) as a template and tear eight sheets of newspapers slightly larger. Glue together using a glue stick and smooth out with your hand or a brayer. Leave to dry.

Cover with a layer of gesso and leave to dry. It will become quite rigid.

Decorate as required. This was done using paint dabbers. Leaving some of the news print/gesso visible in this case. These are the two we finished at the class and I've done a few more since I came home. (if you read this before I come back and post these pics then sorry)

I enjoyed the class so much that I am going back on the 13th September for part 2 :o)

So inspired by the class I have really got to work on my other art journalling. I took my friend's daughter Ellie shopping to the Trafford centre a few weeks ago and I bought the most perfect moleskin journals in Waterstones, they are the perfect size and although the paper is a bit thin, I've got round this by gluing two pages together, then with gesso on top they are really sturdy.

So creative juices flowing, here are some of the pages I have done;

Images from Teesha Moore

Stampotique head, feet - Dyans downloads, body map

TH stamp at bottom

Stampotique stamp, paint dabbers and old book pages

Pictures from magazines, scrapbook paper

Stampotique stamps, TH mask, Paint dabbers, TH distressed ink and Dyan's new spray inks

Paint dabbers, boarders and image - Teesha Moore and Crowabout studios

Doesn't seem much looking at it here but it has kept me busy. I have also done a couple of entries for CJ's I am in :o)

Not done much scrapbooking as I have kinda run out of photo's I want to scrap but MP and I have booked a week away in October so should have loads of new photo's then.

Back soon with the other pics :o)

Monday, 12 July 2010

Adventures in Art Journalling or what a cock up

Can't believe it's been so long since I posted and not really sure why not but in my defence where has the last month gone?

So brief round up .......... end of June saw my mum's birthday with a nice carvery lunch out. Then we had our monthly crop at Whittle Le Woods and a home made chocolate cola cake with candle :o) The crop was fun, this month Kathb and I were in charge so we set a challenge for the group of a LO using the sketch from Sarah's cards blog, went down well too and my mum won first prize.

Beginning of July was our monthly crop over in Warrington run by Sarah and Lianne of Sarah's cards. Sadly, we found out a few days before that this was to be the last one :o( Seems there's no pleasing some folks and Sarah and Lianne were getting the brunt of it so fairly decided to call it a day. Very sad but I don't blame them and what a great last crop it was.

One of my favourite things living where I do and next to my fabulous neighbours is that they keep chickens and I love to watch out the window in a morning when Philip lets them out of their huts and they set off running down the fields to 'get the best spots'. This is fondly referred to as Chicken Run in our house and a source of great hilarity. So I was gutted to hear from Philip at weekend that a fox had massacred 20 chickens in one go the day before. So at the moment, the fields look quiet and strange and I miss the chickens and my morning smile. RIP feathered friends.

As mentioned previously I enrolled for Dina Wakely's Art Journalling 101 online course. What an excellent buy. I have been playing nicely, had quite a few disasters and one of two that I quite like but boy have I played.

Not a good attempt, couldn't get the paints to remove, found out was using the wrong gesso and paints (craft paints)

Another bad one, the stamping into the gesso worked but the paint was still wrong. Was using arondak dabbers.

This one I'm happy with. Bought the liquitex student gesso (bit thin really) and Chroma art student acrylic paints (good but really thick and taken a lot of messing to get them to the right consistancy). Pental oil pastels (Amazon for a great price) and some of Dyan's new spray inks (which are awesome).

These ones I didn't dilute the paint enough but I do quite like them ....

Can you just see the pattens in the gesso?

This one is a bit of a mix of techniques, gesso base, arondak paint dabbers, gesso stencilled on top and Dyan's inks again. This is lifted from Kate Crane's blog - thanks Kate :o)

The borders here are a mixture of home made, vintage stuff, 7 gypsies papers and Dyan's downloads

So as you can see, I have been playing and trying different styles of background. Another great site I've been following is JournalArtista on Utube. This Canadian lady does some great journalling and has done some tutorials on different mediums which are really helpful. Here are a couple of my attempts at her style ......

This is her watercolour tutorial, which walks you through the whole entry from start to finish. Mine isn't quite finished but you can see how much effort she puts into her pages. This has about 5 layers on it so far.

These are 2 pages using acrylic paints and again aren't finished. There's a full several episode tutorial on this as well and worth a look at.

This one is another work in progress and based on the Teesha Moore school of art journalling, so loads more to do on it.

So as you can see, I've had a great time playing, making mistakes and learning what does and doesn't work. I'm also starting to find I like some styles more than others so watch this space. There are some really good sites for free downloads of pictures and some great sites where you can purchase bits to add to your pages. I'll do another post highlighting where I've shopped for goodies next week.

I've also managed a little bit of scrapping :o)

and altered a bingo board that I picked up for £1.50 whilst up in Scotland visiting


After - used the remnants of one of Sarah' cards monthly scrap booking kits

Well I guess thats pretty much enough for today, bit of a blog overload :o)

It just leaves me one last thing and then I'll go make a cake and thats to wish my Dad ...........

A Very Happy Birthday xxxxxx

Thursday, 17 June 2010

If I was a foot shorter and lots of other things

I would so be lusting after Billy Joe Armstrong, not everyones cup of tea but I do have a history of fancying men wearing eyeliner (don't ask unless you really want the answer). So I'll just have to appreciate Greenday's talent.

The concert last night was fantstic. Bearing in mind its only 8 months since I last saw them, they managed to make it a brand new concert, not repeating themselves from the last show, whilst still playing all my favourites and a few I hadn't heard for a while.

The only downer from the evening was the idiots throwing beer from behind (and in front). I'd seem them do this at other concerts from my seat but haven't stood at a concert for a long time. One of the joys of earning a wage and being able to afford seats. So I was not impressed, having spent good money on a new hair do earlier that day, to have some plonkers behind me throwing beer into the crowd. Thankfully it stopped before I decked someone.

Word of warning - dont take an SLR with you to a concert, they wont let you take it in. They class it as a professional camera and they aren't allowed. The only way I got mine in was to hand over the battery to security for the duration of the concert and collect it at the end of the night. Good job MP had his and it passed security (his has a huge zoom which is handy), so the photos are pretty good.

Billy Joe Armstrong

Oh it's Billy Joe Armstrong

More Billy Joe Armstrong

So a good night was had by all.

As MP and I were off today after a late night an far too much excitement for people our age, Mp caught up with photos of my lay outs. So here's what I've been doing in the last few weeks or so .........

Me with Father Christmas (probably at the old Lewis's store in Manchester) many moons ago

Me and Murphy, New Years Eve 1995

One of the 2010 cyber crop classes - Murphy again

Lauren (left) and friends at a pre prom school film night - needs a title

A Trip Down Memory Lane sketch challenge - my boys

Well thats enough for tonight. If you want to see anymore pictures of the Greenday concert or any of the other members of the band then please feel free to email me :o)