Wednesday, 24 February 2010


Well believe it or not  this is the first time I've been on the PC since the weekend, straight back into the depths of work as always so now I'm on mass blog catch up.  First stop Dyan's blog to have a read and read and read and read and read and read a bit more and then read and then made a cup of tea - so you think must have missed loads of blog postings from Dyan - two - that's all - but that lady has an amazingly busy life, I honestly think she has one of those time-turners that they have in the Harry Potter films, where she goes back and does the things that she didn't have time to do the first time - provided she doesn't spot other self - no problems will occur LMAO.

Anyway, the lovely lady in question has passed on a blog award to me - so thank you Dyan 

The idea is that I pass it on 


Then I have to list 10 things that make me happy 

  1. My little boy (little almost 10 now!)
  2. My hubby who makes me smile every day
  3. My amazing family
  4. Snow at the weekend when I don't have to worry about going to work 
  5. My art journaling - an absolute passion
  6. Going to the theatre - love the atmosphere of live productions
  7. An empty ironing basket 
  8. Curling up on the sofa late at night
  9. Sookie Stackhouse novels - pure escapism
  10. The sounds of the sea on a crisp bright morning.
So here's a few things I've been on with; this is in my large art journal - sorry about the wood either side of the photo - not had time to crop this morning and posting before school run and work!
I've really struggled with this double page over the last couple of weeks, because my style has changed again and this was started before this transitional period but I left it alone and came back to it and now I absolutely love it!  I extended the brick work on the picture which was good fun, although my pointing of the bricks leaves a lot to be desired, if my Dad was still alive he would certainly criticise the state of it LOL (he was a builder)
The other side was harder work as I did quite a lot of alterations on the image - for a starter the original picture was a white suit!
I also altered the mask and the shoes - mmm - can you see the transitional stage now!   
A close up of the extended brick wok I love it that much LOL!  And now for something completely different this is a double page layout done with a kit from my local scrapbook shop, I missed the class and although the lovely Sandra sent through photos of the original it was stamp heavy and stamps I don't have so I took up the challenge and did something completely different with it. 
It was also to prove that I can still scrapbook as it's been an absolute age since I have, note the art journaling style blocks on the left hand side!
And I added sewing on the page as well - something I haven't done in ages, although not sure if the combination of crossbows and hearts makes sense?
Ok I'll leave you with photos of the in progress art journaling day my Mum and I enjoyed last week - I had to document just how messy we were on the day! - Look at the state of it!
We had such fun though so I didn't mind at all! 
OK you've reached the bottom of my war and peace - if you got to this point without dozing off leave us a message!  Hope you're all having a good day - make up bag calling and seven minutes til we need to set off!

Friday, 19 February 2010


Ok this one is for Jude (well not just Jude but she did say that she was waiting on part two), she said she wasn't used to my short postings, they didn't sit right so here you go Friday morning war and peace.  

Well I was expecting to wake to snow but haven't woo hoo - the parcel I was having to wait in for has arrived - hurray which means not stranded in all day - so me thinks a little jaunt out as little man wants something called go-go's from WH Smiths - I call them plastic crap (they are definitely not art Jude!) but he likes them and he's been a little star this week, he's had his hair cut and got his new glasses, he's played out nicely, played in well and overall had a rather chilled half term!  

On the downside he managed to run over his own foot yesterday whilst playing out on his go-cart - WTF - now can someone please tell me how this is possible?  I'm still at a loss as to how he's done it, he managed to do the same with his bike a few weeks ago and ended up with a bruise and scraping his skin on the back of his ankle - is it just boys in general or is mine more clumsy?  Me thinks he just likes taking risks when he's out of my eye sight and then suffers the consequences.  Yes, I'm one of those Mum's who always says be careful at the first sign of danger - can't help it!  Mind you found him driving his go-cart backwards down the road the other day - without looking where he was going "Sorry Mum" is all I heard for about half an hour - thankfully we live on a cul-de-sac with very little traffic but honestly! 
I'm also going to buy hubby another art journal the A2 is just too damn big for what he wanted to journal - and the more he played with trying to get the journal to work - the unhappier her got with it!  So I'm off to buy him an A3 journal which I think he'll find a lot more enticing.

I might even manage to get the laptop picked up - apparently it's fixed after it's altercation with a hot cup of coffee before Christmas we discovered poorly husbands, blue tack, hot coffee and laptops don't mix!  It's been home once already but had to be returned primarily because the return key stuck down and every letter came out as a symbol or a 'z' - I was not impressed, so when they phoned to say it was fixed the other day I was a tad sarcastic 
"Yes, I can assure you it's fixed" 
"What the keyboard and everything" 
"Yes, it's all fixed now it has a new keyboard" 
"Yes - but does it work?" 
We'll see - I'm likely to throw a massive strop if it doesn't!
Talking of massive strops I threw a silent one yesterday - yes I know what is the point of a silent strop - well I was in the changing rooms of a department store and it would appear that I'm having the same problem as the M&S knickers mentioned on Dyan's blog but on this occasion it wasn't the knickers that were the issue it was the bras - honestly - my Mum kept bringing them to try on and they kept getting bigger and when I saw the size I said - well I won't say what I said but lets say that I wasn't impressed!  So I've managed to stick to a healthy eating plan all week and I've managed to get on my glider for two days running!

Now my biggest problem is I don't like exercise I never have and I've yet to find a way of exercising and art journaling at the same time (believe you and me I'll be the first to find it if it exists), Melanie always laughs at me as to how impossible I make things for myself, the last time I had a bout on my glider I had my MP3 player on whilst gliding and reading a book - and yes I was doing this all at the same time - call it mental multitasking! 
This morning I was just reading and gliding at the same time so that wasn't as bad LOL! Although you can only have a book that's so heavy otherwise I'll lose my balance and fall off - honestly - atrocious balance.
Anyway - anyone who's meandered along here this morning (afternoon, evening or middle of the night) will wonder where the hell the crafting has gone so here goes!  This is the one I did at Dyan's before we did the anatomy of a page and so when I came home I finish it off properly - it just needed something - couldn't quite decide what - then I realised so paint, stamping, inks - you get the drift - love it even more now!

 Then this is me moving on a little - and yes before you sk the bus looked like that before - I've never said I'm an artist LOL!
 This is one of the few that I've done with straight lines - well hand drawn straight lines I love the colour combination it just flows and look no spaces with my writing!
Ok now starting the quirky feel - a combination of four images together, on a brown background - but then had to add colour - never quite know when to stop but I love it none the less!
My other half bought me oil pastels for valentines day - don't you just love it when they take on board something you're raving about!  Another double page combination and those oil pastels really make the pictures pop - don't you think?
My Mum loves this one, I've had the images for a while and they just didn't gel with anything I'd done before and then - well it all made sense! 
Tilty wavey writing - this is one of my war and peace pieces but i love it none the less - that and the colour combinations - definitely influenced by Steph's beautiful pastel pages on our AFTH Art Journal weekend - with maybe a little more colour - but you get my drift! 
 One of the smaller pages - liked playing with the border on this one!
And finally this one 'through gritted teeth' - another image that I cut out ages ago and never thought I'd use!
So there you go Jude a nice lengthy post to get your teeth into with my infinite ramblings at the beginning to boot!  Hope everyone is having a great day if you get to this point without dozing off leave me a message (even if you're not Jude LOL) I love reading messages - it makes it feel like a two way communication rather than me sending this off into the internet jungle out there!

Thursday, 18 February 2010


Had a fabulous day today with my Mum, we spent all afternoon, painting, chatting, painting, chatting, drinking tea, chatting, cutting, chatting, painting etc - it was lovely and I really enjoyed it - it's amazing what a mess two art journalers can make - it kind of multiplies - at one point the breakfast bar was barely visible and the dining room table was awash with acrylic paints, baby wipes, newspaper, paintbrushes etc!  Thankfully my Mum helped tidy up before she went, I managed to finish off one in my large art journal that I've been fighting with since my return from Harrogate (I've gone smaller and so it's proved harder to supersize back up again if you know what I mean LOL).  But I've not photographed that yet so I'll just show you a couple more pages that I've done for the book I made with Dyan.

Look a yellow page, my sisters favourite LOL!  Photo combination is becoming quite a lot of fun, my Mum hadn't dabbled that way but I've managed to coax her into playing today and she had loads of fun!
Another favourite one below, I love the images on this and wasn't sure what I would document, but a little chat with my lad on Sunday provided the perfect little bit of journaling - it reads;

"So Dad (as it was his birthday) what time were you born? "
"I don't know" 
"Why not can't you remember?"

Laughed until I cried honestly these wonderful snippets of conversation are beautiful!  
Hope everyone is having a relaxing evening I've had a tremendous day, very contemplative thinking about people who aren't here any more and people who are no longer part of my life, hugs to everyone (see I told you it would be brief - you didn't believe me did you - now be honest you really want to read more - don't you LMAO?)

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


Good Evening everyone well I think I can officially say that my art journaling addiction has taken on a world of its own this week!  I'm absolutely loving it, it is the most fun, I love all of it, the lack of discipline, the lack of rules, the blending of pretty much whatever you want!  I've done loads, I won't scare you with just how much (not just yet) but here's a taste of what I've been doing! 
 I've spent a few nights with my other half painting pages and have very painty fingers (now I understand the need for black nail varnish Dyan! - although my other half says he'll get funny looks if he goes into work wearing it LMAO!) 

I'm really into finding weird images, in fact, the weirder the better and then combining them.  I found that I could get so far with the pages the other day but simply couldn't put down my thoughts, at first I worried but then I thought go with the flow, the following morning got up and the words just kept tumbling out, before I knew it the pages were complete!   

Loving the white pen illusion on this one, very therapeutic writing in white.
  My permission page in my new art journal is finally done (well I think it's done for now - may add more to it you never know) and I've started the next two pages!
 I'm loving the teal colour mix it's gorgeous and I'm getting better (I think) at doodling).

This is my favourite page up to now, I love the images don't you?  It documents the fact that me and my hubby have no intention on doing 'until death us do part' why the hell would we want to part at that point - we intend on staying together forever! 
Actually my addiction reached such a peak yesterday that I wondered if I'd forgotten how to scrapbook so I decided to have a go at a page (actually a double page), I missed a class at the beginning of the month due to a late meeting, so I picked my papers up and the lovely Sandra sent me photos of the pages in question, unfortunately without the stamps that they'd used my page wasn't going to 'pop' so Sandra said if I did something different to let her know.  Well I did something different but the photos don't do it justice so I'll try again to photograph them in the morning and put them on then. 

So other half is wanting to watch District 9 tonight (part of his birthday present), little man is watching City of Embers before he goes to bed then other half taking over the TV so I said I'll listen to District 9 whilst I'm art journaling LMAO and just in case you thought I was kidding on the prepared pages here is what I've got to play with! 
My Mum is coming over tomorrow to have an art journaling day woo hoo!  Hope you're all having a great day - if you stop by leave me a message I love to read them!

Monday, 15 February 2010


Apparently I have an amazing heart, the fantastic Carmen said I did so it must be true!  Thank you sweetie!  Here is what I have to do to accept the Beautiful Heart Award...

1. List 4 things that keep your inner self beautiful.
2. List 4 things that keep you physically beautiful.
3. Tell us about a precious memory you keep close to your heart. [Optional]
4. Share this award with 5 other people that you think have a beautiful heart too.
5. Link the blogs of the people you chose and link the person's blog who awarded you.
6. Have fun!

1.  List 4 things that keep your inner self beautiful

I feel people who are no longer with me on this earth are close at all times and help to guide me.
I have a strong sense of self that rarely gets diluted
I love my life completely and utterly
I feel amazingly blessed

2.  List 4 things that keep you physically beautiful

You are having a laugh here aren't you Carmen.  I don't moisturise but find that I look considerably younger when I take my glasses off - this is the only bonus to being severely shortsighted you can't see the lines!
I love blue skies bubble bar from Lush and love to soak in those beautiful bubbles
I only use Chanel foundation (mainly because I'm allergic to most others)
My husband compliments me continuously irrelevant of what I weigh (thank goodness as the scales are tipping maximum at the moment), how much or little make up I have on, how red my eyes are - he pretty much sees the real me all the time and he thinks its beautiful!  Thank goodness for the 'eyes of my beholder' is all I can say!

3.  Precious Memory

The last time I saw my Dad we sat across a breakfast table and chatted about the day ahead, he made me a cup of tea whilst I had breakfast and the house was really quiet as my Mum, brother and sister were all still fast asleep in bed.  I set off for school at 7.30am and he waved at me from the back door of our house and the last thing I said to him was "I love you Dad" and the last thing he said to me was "I love you too sweetheart, I'll see you later" I'm still waiting to see him again but believe I will one day.

4.  5 People that have a Beautiful Heart 


I also would award this to Dyan at AFTH but I know she gets inundated with these so didn't want to overwhelm her further when she's approaching the time to move studios etc!  

Leaving this one short and sweet, as blopping around this evening - take note Little Miss War and Peace can also do short stories LOL!

Friday, 12 February 2010


Well for those of you who know my family will know that we work together as a unit, we always have, don't know whether it was to do with losing my Dad at such an early age or what, but as a couple we've always embraced all things new and then attempted to integrate things into life regardless of whether the other half is interested or not, LOL!  We're no different now with 9 year old son in tow, he is kind of getting what slightly eccentric parents he's got (we can't be fully eccentric due to bank balance LOL - you never know the euro lottery draw might change that - fingers crossed - ooh sod thinking about it did I put it on?  mmmmm good thought - not sure need to check with other half) 

Anyway waffling now - so you know by now managed to get husband hooked on it earlier in the week - well Dyan way of journalling not mine LOL - he declared tonight he was going to do a page with said picture and said background - my retort - well that's not going to happen because you're doing art not art journaling and art means perfection whilst art journaling means being you and emotion - so he's changed his tune!  I'll post later in the weekend to see if he manages it! 
Anyway on to tonight apart from a lovely evening with family, despite hubby not being 100% I managed to spend time with said 9 year old- now don't get me wrong he initially did the raised eyebrow, not bothered, ooh god I'm going to have to entertain Mum's idea - but when he realised Dad was also keen for him to have a go he thought what the hell!

So anatomy of a page Dyan style - part 2! 
Mmm - amusing his mother here - surely it would soon be done and he could go and watch a repeat of Dr Who 
so you mean like this Mum?
 Mmm - this is quite fun (his statement not mine)
Can you see the intensity of the work?
I love this working side by side with my Little Man!
Fun, fun, fun - no TV - just quality family time - not tried it?  Well I recommend it highly! 
Now is it just me or does he look mighty happy with what he's doing?
Concentrating and having fun
So the questions
"Do I have to...."
"Mum should I do..."
"Mum I've made a mistake should I..."
"Mum are we doing this differently to how we've done art journaling before?"

"Well yes - fundamentally - very different - this is Dyan's way"

"Aaaaah - I get it now"
"Mmmmm so does Daddy, Aunty Melanie, Nanan and very shortly your fabulous cousin" 

"the power of knowledge is fantastic" 
So here is my page all done!
 and his 

He so loved the 'no constraints side of things"  no grammar, apostrophe's full stops, capitals etc etc etc etc etc - however, if you haven't seen the film - don't double click as serious film spoiler apparently - journaling from the heart don't you just love it!

Little man's page - look at that detail!
 Loving this - my other half - during our evening meal - how awesome is my Friday evening with a romantic meal and art journaling!

So this is this morning's art journal 
- I had received an e-mail from a gorgeous friend made me feel happy for her and sad for me - rather than bottle the emotion,
I thought write it down and release it to the universe!  So I did, felt happy with my page and happy with the start of my day - I'm loving this art journaling!
And finally - these are my prepared pictures - you don't want to see the state of my finger nails - honestly- but I'm so happy to have so many prepared pages, plus did the making a page from scratch bit today with other half, Craig (now there's new he wants me to name him - so now you'll have to deal with me calling him this from now on!)  
Anyway he's most impressed - I'll update you as to what we finish this weekend!
So little Miss War and Peace signing off for the weekend, if you wander through and actually get to the end of my drivel then leave a message, thinking of all my new friends, all the friends that I know, the ones about to walk a whole new path on the other side of the world and to Ann whose very poorly - big hugs to you all - offer up a thought tonight for what you've got and for those less fortunate and those struggling with their health... Stay Gold

Thursday, 11 February 2010


Well what an eventful few days it' been, I've loved reading everyone's blogs about the weekend it's lovely revisiting it albeit in my mind and thinking about all the great things we learnt, it's definitely taken it to the next step believe you and me.  So thought I'd show the completed pages from the weekend but before that this is one that I completed in my A3 journal before my weekend!  
I loved the colours - no idea how I managed to create the pink background, I decided to limit myself to using only 'leftovers' in my leftovers box on my table to finish it off rather than going rummaging - it definitely focuses the mind! 
This is the other side of the page, lots and lots of scraps on here - most fun!
Then this is the first page I did at Dyan's 
I selected an emotion and colour at Dyan's and initially got calm, which I then changed for annoyance - quite amusing because the subject of conversation at the time was something that annoys me but I thought I wouldn't find an image to go with it - but first magazine there it was waving at me in the right colour - don't ask me how Dyan managed this bit of magic LOL.  The background is a 'made' page quite literally and I love the texture of it, it feels so nice.
The shoes page was made with images chosen by Shelley and
then the next page was when we started going it alone - we were so into the swing of it by then! 
Loved the page we worked on in pieces, my other half has often seen me art journaling but his own attempts have proved frustrating and he's never finished a single one.  So his request last night was to show him some of wonderful things Dyan had taught me, (it was also a damn good excuse to have an art journal session myself) although it did make me feel like I need more dabbers LOL!  This is what I created 
Great fun, really liberating when I did it and here is the one he did now I know they look similar but that was the idea, lead him by the hand to see if I can get him addicted - verdict - well his response to me was "well if I'd known what it was all about I'd have done some sooner" followed by "well we don't need the TV in the evenings now" - LMAO mainly because a few months ago he tried to follow my method and didn't get beyond the base coat!  
 Right - off to teach my 9 year old son - will it be as successful? Not sure - I'll come back later to let you know!  Got parents evening as well tonight so busy busy busy!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

WHAT A FABULOUS WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Truly and honestly I can't believe it's over with - my weekend at AFTH was absolutely fantastic, Dyan was amazing and it was so revealing to realise how much lighter in our hearts and souls we would feel after the weekend.  

Now anyone whose read my blog will say - but you art journal anyway?  Yes I do but to learn from Dyan is like being given an amazing art journaling tool kit, we learnt about pages, texture, colour and emotions, images, doodling, methods etc but the categoric thing we learnt about was ourselves!  It was absolutely fantastic - added to which my partners in crime (my Mum and sister) were with me and now we're all moving forward on our art journaling journey!  

To have Dyan's expertise guiding us and moving us forward through the weekend was the biggest blessing of all I can wholeheartedly say that if you want to have fun, learn loads, to be freed from some of your mental constraints of everyday life and to meet like minded people and make lots of new friends this is the course for you!  

I don't have problems in the written format (as those who've witnessed my lengthy blog posts and comments on others blogs can vouch for) but the weekend really and truly allowed me to listen to my inner voice.  Yes I can talk for England, yes I can write down my emotion and yes I have learnt to deal with difficult subjects but in amongst all this I was given the opportunity - actually, no let's say it properly the PERMISSION to be myself, to say it how I wanted and with all the raw feeling and pent up emotion that I had.  Yes Dyan's amazing teaching gave me 'permission' I hadn't realised that in amongst all of my creativity I had unseen constraints that I attempted to abide by and was frustrated when I didn't - now - no stopping me - so Dyan thank you from the bottom of my heart!  

So lot's of you will be saying - 'I'm not sure if I'm happy with bearing my soul to a room full of people I don't know' and the answer is YOU DON'T HAVE TO - the Dyan way was share if you're happy to, don't if your not there was absolutely no pressure to live up to any expectation - the only request that Dyan asked was that you allowed yourself to be yourself.

So today's frustration - well I haven't done any art journaling since I got home ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - both my Mum, Valencia and my sister Melanie have made the time to art journal since we got home.  Mum was awake at 4am on Monday morning linking people and colour LMAO - she nearly e-mailed Dyan to tell her!  Melanie was art journaling in bed Monday night - have we learnt from the mistress of art journaling or what.

This is about all I've managed to do up to now but I'm pleased with it - this is a gorgeous book I bought from Dyan's and it's going to start my journey of all the things I give myself Permission to do now - and look I hyphenated the word - rather than trying to squeeze it on the one line (which I would have done before the weekend)!

 Now when I got home on Sunday this is what greeted me 
Do you think they missed me?

And I was thoroughly spoilt for the evening - must do this more often LOL - Dyan I'll be in touch about sending deposits - everyone they said YESSSSSSS plus Melanie wants to know how to do 3-D baubles - she's obsessed i'm telling you obsessed!!!!!!

Me and my hubby!

Started buying random mags, we've got a great stall in the town where we live that sells on old magazines for a £1 or £1.50 they are usually not that old (last month's usually) and you get to have a good rummage, these are the ones I picked up yesterday, the woodturning one has some great photos in as has the Digital Arts one but the American Curves was wrapped so I couldn't view it and it's primarily muscly women with bikinis on who've had their assets altered by plastic surgeons - not sure how I'm going to use these in my journals LMAO - might just paint clothes on them LOL!

I finally got to meet Shelley - who is my friend Sandra (Sandy Poppins) best mate and we decided my Mum had adopted another daughter in the form of Jude who was fantastic and wonderful and has a fabulous hubby - they travelled all the way from the far north of Scotland for the weekend!  Pop over to Jude and Sandra's blog to see what the weekend looked like!  Plus they've got photos etc!  

Probably the funniest thing that has happened since I've returned home is finding my sister on all these blog photos from the weekend she seems to have made a big impression on everyone, I showed her some of the blogs last night and she kept reading about herself and saying - "very true" - so funny! 

Anyway I'm off to work (boo hoo) but I will be art journaling in the paint format later as well as blopping!

Big waves to all my art journaling buddddiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeessssssssssssss - see you in May!