Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Ok, so where on earth do I begin, I last left you with me trying to have a 'different' day the idea of this was to basically help make things different for me.  So after I left you I headed down to the nearest heritage centre to have a look for some good old fashioned texture, ideally graffiti was what I was after but none to be found (and in a positive way I was quite glad) so I went searching out all weird textures, you know bricks and iron work and rusty paint - it was quite therapeutic it's a while since I've had my camera in tow with me when I've gone out and then I popped into the craft shop and guess who should be there but the fantastic Sandy Poppins so I stopped and had a good natter for about an hour before she was teaching a class, it was lovely just to talk - thank you Sandra for joining in my different day, whilst there I bought a little wooden hinged frame and a pack of papers, no idea what to do with them but I liked them.

Then I set off - no idea where I was going so eventually I pulled over and text my sister to see if she fancied meeting for lunch and before I knew it we had made arrangements for lunch in town, I decided to pick somewhere that we don't normally go for lunch (we don't normally do lunch but when we do occasionally meet up for a coffee it's always at the same place).  It was a gorgeous little coffee shop really lovely with pretty decor inside so I ordered a cappuccino before Melanie arrived and sat drawing in my art journal - see taking a leaf out of Dyan's book on this one - not literally she might be slightly offended if i start dismantling her art journaling and yes I got some mighty strange stares - anyway Melanie arrived forthwith and we decided to order food - now this is the beginning of the problem on two counts - can someone please explain what the following item is and secondly who the hell would order one!

On the Menu (I kid you not) 
A list of delicious toasties including - wait for it 

I mean a pineapple toastie - who on earth wants a pineapple toastie?  A few people have said ooh it might have been with cheese - OK who would order a pineapple and cheese toastie - others have said it might have come with ham - a pineapple and ham toastie - nope it came all on it's own!  We laughed so much we almost cried - so we opted out of the toastie range and delved into the listings for paninis.

When I said to the waitress we wanted a panini she said not to rely on the list of fillings because we could pick out own - OK - I must admit the mushroom and onion panini wasn't ticking the box for me - so I said how about cheese and tuna - so we ordered two of them waiting for them to arrive - in the interim I'd discovered that my local town can make cappuccino without milk I swear it was the strongest coffee I've ever had!  So were the paninis a success - not really they weren't paninis but flattened crusty breadrolls that carved the roof of your mouth as you ate it, the tuna was dry and the cheese hadn't melted overall it wasn't the roaring success it could have been and came served with the biggest pile of coleslaw either of us had ever seen - I mean were they just using it up?  As you can imagine me and Melanie laughed and giggled our way through it because in all honestly - my different day was also proving to be amazingly amusing as well!  

So then on Sunday we went to my Mums house and then later on to my brothers house (eventually) for a catch up.  When we arrived at my Mum's she showed us some art work she'd been doing the night before where she'd been splatting paint - she'd got it everywhere - apparently she'd cleaned up but I detected quite a large amount on the kitchen floor, the cooker top and the microwave - she said she needed to do it from a distance to get the desired effect i hadn't realised that this would mean re-decorating her kitchen!

Then we headed to Johns it was lovely just chatting and drinking coffee - my Mum had gone to catch up and borrow books.  Cathie was making a cake when we were there and she showed little man how to make iced decorations - I was going to put a photo of them on my blog because Cathie let him bring them home but he ate them before I could photograph them!  

Classic statement from my Mum before we left (bearing in mind we'd lost an hour on Sunday)

"I don't know what time it is I haven't got my clock on me!"

Mmmmm - I now have visions of my Mum perpetually carrying a large alarm clock with her!

So onwards to crafty things - have you fallen asleep yet?  Well it's taken ages to get this uploaded - what's up with blogger today - grrrrrr - anyway this is my completed 365 day pages for March

and this the base to my April page - yes I know that I've not finished it but let's be honest the background is fairly essential in this anyway!
Then I thought I'd have a go at what's on my work station wednesday photographing my work station - but couldn't decide which one it is at the moment so this is the original - look at that mess! I've abandoned this really since we had to move the main PC down before Christmas following the laptop incident and i hate not having enough room to spreadout so..
I also use this which is apparently the dining table - well it was once!  Complete with sonic screwdriver and graffiti book and insulation foam to make stamps with and well you get the idea!
Then there is work station number 3 which is basically my main pile of art journaling - yes it is getting a little silly I can see a major sort of my craft cupboards coming up to resolve this! 
So I've been partaking in the amazing Graffiti Chic class by Alisa Burke - it has been truly spectacular and i've had so much fun, the following layout was created about half way through the class - what do you think?
Close ups
and the other page
Forgot to mention saturday although I know my Mum partially covered this, our postage stamp of a back garden is constantly waterlogged - I mean it's ridiculous so on Saturday we set to trying to bring the garden into shape (as it's been neglected in the last few years) which resulted in us doing something of a Time Team dig - basically we couldn't fathom out what the strange noise was underneath the lawn so dug out for a better inspection - needless to say we were somewhat bewildered with the 'buried' 3 feet x 3 feet paving slab?  Anyway after it's removal we decided to improve the garden's drainage by putting some gravel under this part of the lawn as per instructions on some random internet site - I'll let you know if it does the trick with the waterlogging problem!

My Mum helped - she's awesome and she had great fun re-knitting the lawn at the end with the lumps of turf we had remaining - we ached somewhat at the end of the day but I'm hoping it might help.  Anyway I think that's it life the universe and everything - I'm off to Taybarn's now - apparently according to my Mum is a last blowout before we start dieting - not sure if my stress head is ready for that - if you stop by and get to this point can i say that I'm truly amazed - please leave a message I like to see who is such a dedicated reader LOL! 

Friday, 26 March 2010


Well I had to get my brain online before I could post on this subject (as everyone whose following my blog will know - this week has been mighty stressful) but today is Friday and there are still many things that are Rocking my World so I'm going to share what they are

Gargoyles - I love these little guys and I know they would struggle to chat with us if they were able to speak on the grounds of having a lead pipe sticking out of their mouth - but I bet they've seen some sights in their time.  These gorgeous little guys were on the Church we went to last Sunday for a Christening aren't they cute

And this one
So I'm trying to have a "doing something different" kind of day - I'm assuming if I do something different then that will mean my day will be less stressful and if it's less stressful I get a better weekend and so do my family (there is some logics in it) however there are some things that have to stay the same - a cup of tea in the morning to be honest I couldn't cope with anything else!
But I did go for a different breakfast today it was muesli!
My Dad used to call it rabbit food but I like it and that's all that matters!

So I thought after dropping said 9 year old off I'd head to my Mum's for a cuppa - problem was she wasn't up - mmmm - now that's different because she normally is - so I got in the car and drove around and around (stress head back on - what was I doing) so I drove home

Do something different mmmm - so I made a milky coffee and grabbed my book and went and sat in the garden with my big woollen coat on - and well yes that was absolutely different and it was lovely - so Vitamin D dosage for me because the sun was out - very different.

I'd just finished my cuppa when ring ring (my interpretation of a phone LMAO) - it had to be my Mum - but no it wasn't it was Gavin - big waves to Gavin - whose a neighbour of ours from when we lived in Stafford and I haven't spoken to him in AGESSSSSSS and do you know it was a lovely telephone call we chatted and laughed and giggled and well it was lovely - SO THANK YOU GAVIN FOR MAKING MY MORNING DIFFERENT AND LOVELY ALL IN THE SAME PHONE CALL!!!!! 

He chatted about a recent outing he had to a cinema he'd not been to before and how it was like stepping back in time, not only did the tickets come out of the brass plates at the ticket counter but the screen was smaller than his telly at home and the seats were the original red dralon with matching carpet and elaborate curtaining surrounding the screen - talking of which there was no surround sound so the effect was rather muffled - despite the fact he'd gone to see Wolfman he was giggling throughout and then the icing on the cake was the intermission half way through where the man with the ice cream tray came into the cinema - Gavin said he couldn't speak he was crying too much from laughter!  On the flip side of this I was saying about our local cinema which gives you a variety of seating, from VIP and sofa to - wait for it - bean bag! WTF!!!!!  I said there was no way I was spending 3 hours in a beanbag watching a film that I wouldn't be able to hear due to the rustling - you know that rustling that you get in a beanbag every time you move its like an on/off button for white noise!!!!!!! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I couldn't stand it - and where the hell do you put your popcorn when you're on a bean bag other than all over yourself and your seating!  

Anyway rocking my world today as well is this listen ....

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh - can you hear it .......................................

You can? Me too - silence

Well as close to silence as I'm going to get I can hear me click clacking away on the keyboard, the whir of the PC as it does it's Friday morning scan and occasionally the wind moving one of the fence panels with an annoying squeak - hold up what else can I hear ...

I think I can hear an asthmatic bird - either that or a person with a whistle stuck in their throat 

Nope that's it - what can you hear?  I can't hear it so tell me then maybe I will be able to!

Next on Rocking my World Friday - a newly received Circle Journal all ready for my pages - I love this one it's gorgeous and now my subconscious has had a day or two to play I know what I'm doing with it and I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooo excited 
then there is the tidy house - we tidied last night so it's lovely throughout - it might not be everyone else's version of tidy - but it's mine - so I don't have to do my martyr act at the end of the day claiming how busy I've been whilst cleaning - nope all done!  Now in amongst all this tidiness is this corner of the breakfast bar and yes that is art journaling piled up high and I love it - there is o much going on with my art journaling at  the minute it's lovely but I'll save that for another post later in the weekend!

Finally there is this little guy who came for breakfast this morning - isn't he gorgeous, he's sat next to the feeder that my hubby made him, this way the squirrel has his own designated area and the birds have another - harmony in the garden, I love this little guy he's so sweet! 
OK - I'm off to Rock my World a bit more and do some other things that are different - I can't tell you what they are yet - because I haven't done them but I may come back later and tell you about them! 

In the meantime join me in telling me what is rocking your world today!  And a big thank you to Heavens2Betsy for the prod this morning - I just needed to apply my mind!

PS  One of the things I'm going to do today is go find texture!  So I'm off ta-ta for now - if you do a blog post on Rocking Your World - don't forget to leave details in my comments then I can come look too - if you haven't time and just want to list them then leave them in the comments box!

Thursday, 25 March 2010


Well good evening everyone, I thought I'd put another blog post on as it helps me unwind, putting a little art journaling on here, perhaps another Celtic Knot as the last were well received, answer a few questions and try and chill out.

 Cures for Stress
I giggled last night as Carmen said I should make some bread and pummel it if I couldn't find anything else to pummel - I had this mental image of attacking a sliced loaf and it definitely made me smile - I think Carmen meant at the dough beating stage - but I have a vision of me launching myself at the sliced bread aisle in Asda - mmm - stress head not good (but rather funny)

Celtic Knotwork

On to the knotwork for all those who asked, it was put on the wall using an overhead projector followed by hours and hours and hours of painting all over the house - it became something of an addiction and when we came to sell up I seriously considered charging on the door because it became something of a tourist attraction but not a house anyone wanted to buy as just too personal - so eventually we whitewashed the whole house as hard as it was - it looked like everyone elses house but it sold - I did get told when showing a couple around one day that they'd never seen anyone who'd "tattooed their house before" - mmm and you wonder where my tattooed ladies come from!

So here is the only other photo I've got on this PC although I'm sure I've got others on disc somewhere - this was the guest room!
Carmen said our house must be 'gorgeous' - well the last one was but we've never had the heart to do the knotwork to this one (yet) we sometimes get tempted to go blitz a wall - highly tempting - I'll let you know if it ever happens!

Art Journaling

OK on with the art journaling I started this double page in my A3 art journal weeks ago (prior to my weekend at AFTH) and it just didn't work for me at all, so I left it and left it but then I took the plunge, peeled off the image and set to with some thin gesso and then thought - what the hell am I doing - far from improving the situation I was definitely making it worse so I set to with paint and images and pen and well I really like it now it's finished however I do note that my style seems to be shifting (again)

I'm going to leave you all in suspense on the waiting for the paint to dry bit - I'm asking permission to show and promote on here at the mo and provided she says yes then I can let you see what I've been doing.

Stress Update

On the stress front - well last night I decided to do some art journaling as everyone said it would help, except I wasn't wanting to use my brain so I thought I'd do some backgrounds in my A5 journal - Craig stopped me an hour later to ask what I was doing - I'm de-stressing I said in a Mad-hatter kind of way - "Virginia" he said "You've almost filled that book in the last hour with backgrounds" - Whoops!

So even work have noticed that I'm stressed - they're looking at getting me an assistant but I've just got to manage in the interim - I said to my boss that I might head in tomorrow and he's told me not to but to actually have a day off - so the question is what should I do, the house is clean, the food is bought so after dropping little man at school I've got 6 hours all to myself - so what would you do with the time if you were me (please don't say go to work - I may throw myself off the front step with that one LOL)?

OK off to do some art journaling I think?  

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


Well I have every intention of art journaling this evening I am partaking in a new online course and up to now it's awesome - absolutely amazing fantastic and great all at the same time.  The downside is that the 'lesson' I'm on with took about two minutes to do and now apparently I have to wait for it to dry - wait did I hear 'wait' - and no before you say it I can't actually speed the process up by drying it with a heat tool or a hair dryer because otherwise I'll lose the 'look' - I have to actually wait!  So  I think Mmm what can I do - well other half also known as Craig is currently cooking tea so I thought I must have something to blog on my PC so here I am waiting for it to dry!

So the question is -  is this week any better than last week ie am I less stressed - nope fraid not - just as stressed as last week so my Wednesday night art journaling is essential to keep me sane - so it better hurry up and dry otherwise I'll be painting the walls at this rate and don't think we haven't done that in the past because we have this was my 'aubergine phase' at the Stafford house - I kid you not - it took 8 layers of cream paint to make the knotwork stand out on this wall

 However, it took only one layer of aubergine to stand out on the cream wall - ooh I miss my knotwork! 

And yes before you ask we did this to the entire house - every room a different colour - every wall a different knot - we even used scaffolding off the staircase for the dragon knot!  So be warned because I can imagine me hitting the walls at this rate!

So here's what I've done to try and de-stress this evening

  • First thing when I got in was a shower - to wash the stress away - but that didn't help (not at all not in the slightest or at least but I am now much cleaner)
  • so then I read - that didn't help it just started eating my evening up so I put the book down. 
  • Then I put my PJ's on and no I didn't care that it was only ten to six I art journal better when I'm comfy - so I'm comfy and less stressed - nope just comfy! 
  • So then I went blopping - around I went reading about all my blog friends lives - fun yes - less stressed no - unfortunately not - Carmen's blog tonight however really struck a cord must watch this program - it might be my catalyst too!
  • Had a cup of tea - de-stressed - nope but less thirsty
  • Spoke to my Mum - de-stressed - nope talked work with her = more stressed
  • Came on here to type about stress - it's not helping mmmmm me thinks I should stop talking about it then maybe it would go away - do you think that would work - ignoring it?
So here I am so what can I share with you - my favourite page from my new book, the colours are slightly richer than these are showing in my book but I love it all the same!
All based on Dyan's anatomy page and all part of my new 'anatomy' book!  Which is now officially full!  Right teas ready - going to see if that de-stresses me - can't see it - I can feel a painty session approaching! If you get to here say hi - if you think I'm officially mad you can say that too - or maybe I've just reached my goal and achieved eccentric - still haven't got the bank balance to match though!

Sunday, 21 March 2010


Well January arrived with an array of new challenges and I was up for them really I was and then well there are umpteen excuses that I could list here - many many many but I won't bore you with the detail - needless to say I've been on catch up with some and some well some are just impossible - but hey I've managed this one - by the skin of my teeth by combining blog entries, blog comments, work diary, home diary, general calendar, text messages etc - let it not be said that you can't piece your life back together again LMAO

So you're all wondering what the hell I'm talking about well look and see - Kate I managed it I'm caught up on your 365 day challenge (and if anyone out there feels it's too late to join in - I'm proof that it's not) and I now promise to duly complete my pages and prepare for the following month - LOL!

So it's Sunday morning and in 22 minutes we have to set off because we're off to my cousin's son's Christening (are there too many apostrophe's in that - nah - I think the world should be full of little apostrophes)- now this is quite poignant because two year's ago today we lost my Nannan - now there was a formidable woman, she had 10 children - 5 girls and 5 boys (my Mum is the eldest of them all) she had a strong sense of self and was fiercely independent, she was taken at the wrong time (she contracted a hospital bug that took her from us) and it has been a tough 2 years for all of them - my Nannan was always so vocal and she had the most equisite singing voice - she could hit notes like nobody else I knew and she had a wicked smile and was just quite simply awesome.  So today's Christening is a way for us all to mark a sad day in a positive way because my Nannan would have just loved it!

Now last night was Art Journaling Saturday night (I'm starting to love these) we went and grabbed some DVD's from the supermarket and spent most of the day creating.  We watched 50 First Dates for the first time and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and last night me and hubby watched The Frighteners and in amongst this filmfest I finished my anatomy book - now this is not a book about the anatomy it's the method taught by Dyan when we did the Beginner's Art Journaling weekend and I love the pages composition it lends itself again and again and again - as I've proved so I had a stack of these on the side so I turned them into my very first self made book with quite a lot of help from hubby who did the cutting and sticking of greyboard to create the outer covers.  I've covered them in another method taught by Dyan and love the combined pastel colours - I haven't finished the covers but the rest are done.  The next photo shows the inside of the bookk done in the same method and then a few more pages I added before it was complete.
The view from the top of the book - look how lovely and full it is, I love the yellow page above because the writing is crazy I tell you crazy - I drew a zig zag line so at first glance it just looks mad - but I love it!

I've a few more pictures to share but I'm keeping them for another post - ooh the suspense don't you love it!
Melanie was apparently going to do a blog post on Friday (that didn't happen) then she was going to do one on Saturday (that didn't happen either) although rumour has it she was karaoking at a friends house until the early hours - resulting in a lack of sleep on my Mum's part who lives next door to said party - uh-oh I can see some ranty blog postings coming - think I'll keep my head down! 

Now have to go 6 minutes til liftoff and coffee still to drink - if you stop by say hello!

Friday, 19 March 2010


Well what a week it's been and with a blink of an eye it's Friday usually I'd say woo hoo but today I think I'll just settle for phew!  It has been a roller coaster of a week with stress levels at maximum but my art journaling and scrapping has kept me sane (and a big thank you to all those that left comments to that effect - yes art journaling and scrapping definitely calm the mind).  So I thought as a flip side to my stress discussion earlier in the week I'd give you  

What's Rocking my World This Friday
  1. A tidy house, with such a messy week spending an hour hoovering and dusting and cleaning etc was mighty nice last night - not that I like cleaning I might add but boy do I like it when I come home to a tidy house!  So big thank you to Craig and Little Man for joining in - the house looks awesome (I even tidied away after art journaling last night because everywhere was tidy - it's a while since that's happened believe you and me)
  2. Prepared pages - yes I've been working on them and working on them and working on them and now all they need are my ramblings - don't they look lovely, spent last night finishing them off to the point where all they need is writing and oil pastels - so I can rant and ramble, note and discuss, cover serious and sad, happy and funny, life's moments immediately as they happen!
3.  Then there is the pile of magazines and books awaiting dismantling - how lush is this massive pile of magazines to look forward to!
4.  Then there are all these cut images ready - love it when I can just dip into this and find 'just the right' image that i'm after
 5. Washing drying on the line!
6.   Hot cross buns for breakfast
7.  A cup of tea in bed this morning (I get this every morning but it's nice to tell hubby he's appreciated isn't it)
8.  Blopping this week has been great, my Mum's new blog has kept me giggling all week (she managed to follow herself) and Melanie's taken to having full blown conversations on her own blog through the comments section LMAO
9.  A belated birthday gift received and loved - thanks Carmen it's still making me smile on the inside this week - she must have liked it she thought I'd be good enough for a new blog based on Tim Burton's creations LOL - don't know if I'm that good but I've e-mailed them so they can have a look at it LOL!
10.  Being alive on a beautiful spring morning in Yorkshire for that I am truly grateful
So the weekend stretches in front of us - I'm off to work this morning - I'm going to do a 'sod off or else' sign for my door but I'm not sure if it will work - perhaps I'll need to be more polite - if you can think of a more polite notice please let me know I'm doing 'blunt' at work at the moment and they know it!

I've got a parcel on it's way to Stafford fingers crossed it gets there and I've got a Christening on Sunday, so a busy weekend ahead but busy in a good way!

If you happen by don't forget to tell me what's rocking you Friday, in fact if you do it as a blog post let me know and I'll do a bit of blog hopping later and have a look, if you don't fancy that then just leave me your list in my comments, it's always lovely to know what's ticking the right box for other people at the moment!

Right off to do battle I'll see you all later


Wednesday, 17 March 2010

SHE LIKED IT!!!!! and life in general...

Well isn't life just a little curious sometimes - forgive me but need to waffle first.  Life at the moment is very stressful now stress is such a strange thing because it doesn't act like a button - you can't turn it on and off at will - what it actually reminds me of is being followed around by something that continues to try and catch me - now not one for running (I don't run - not with my back) I'm usually quick witted enough to manage to evade the dreaded stress factor.  

Now normally I partake in what I call fire fighting - I manage to keep the flames under control (I don't usually manage to extinguish the issues just deal with them as they burst into little mini fires) but at the moment I feel like I've run out of water and that there's an arsonist at large amongst my life because I'm failing miserably on this front, now some of you may think where is this happening in my life and the answer is work, so the last few days have been mighty difficult.  But in amongst all this there are some little pleasures that make me smile, yesterday was a prime example when I got a message saying the circle journal I had sent off had reached it's desired destination and the positive message from Suzy really made me smile and really took the edge off a very stressful day.  Then this morning I learned that the little gift I'd made for Carmen as a belated birthday present had reached its destination and even more she didn't know it was on it's way because she'd not picked up my e-mail so it was a complete surprise - how lovely is that.  It really set me up for the day, then my Mum rang me at work this morning (she knows I'm stressed so wanted to cheer me up) to say Carmen had left a love message on her blog - which she then insisted on reading me and it really brightened up quite a difficult day.  

Then I've got home this evening to find that Carmen has photographed the gift and popped it on her blog, although she said she's had difficulty photographing it and as Carmen knew I'd photographed it I thought I'd put it on here for her as well as I knew it was quite difficult to photograph given the layers - I'm so sorry I've used the word photograph so many times but you get gist.  

The book is the original Alice in Wonderland book, duly altered and complimented with altered pictures from original drawings to cartoon versions to recent versions all altered in an Alice Cooper style and incorporating Alice Cooper lyrics - specially made for Carmen who is a huge Alice Cooper fan (in case you hadn't guessed) - so eyes down
Front cover, followed by pages followed by back cover - meet me at the bottom when you've had a look

I think my hubby managed to capture the colours really well (my photos weren't as good lol) - so it's now in it's new home with Carmen

So this evening stretches out ahead I would love to say I'm going to sit and play with paint and ink and all fun stuff but teas not cooked, the ironing pile has reached the ceiling the washers on the house is untidy, the child needs collecting from a party, a gift a friend has asked me to make isn't late (yet I thought it was), I've brought a load of inputting home from work, I've asked dear hubby to make a box for the not yet late gift which will then need making pretty - mmmm - anyone got a time turner because I'mnot sure how I'm going to fit this all in LMAO!

If you stop by don't forget to say hi!