Friday, November 30, 2007

wrecking my journal ... part 2

More before and after pages. And more to come!

I don't drink coffee much - I'm much more of a tea drinker. But I had a cup of coffee so that I could do this page. It was a lot of fun!

wrecking my journal

Now that I can upload my photos again, I thought I'd share with you my wrecked journal. I'll just show you a couple of pages at a time, so as not to overwhelm you. This has been so much fun and I recommend that everyone wrecks a journal. Or at least check out the website

What a clean front cover. Not for long ...

Candle wax!

Before the doodling...


my jewellery creations

I can post pictures again! No, we haven't had our possessions returned to us after the burglary (I can't see that happening before Christmas!), but I have found Hubby's camera with it's lead, so I popped my memory card in and - hey presto! Golly, what a long sentence.

I'm having a jewellery-making phase at the moment and thought I would share my creations (that IS the point of this blog!). Here are some earrings I made for a friend.

I originally made this necklace for myself a couple of years ago but then a friend of mine admired it so much that she asked if I would make one for her! The ultimate compliment! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

wreck this journal

I bought this book a while ago and only decided to play with it the other day when Hubby was off work. We both needed some cheering up after the burglary and it really did the trick! It is possibly the most fun I've ever had with a book! I took photos of my journal before I began to wreck it, so, once it's finished I'll post the before and after pictures.
Here's what the website says about the book: 

This book was created for anyone who has ever had trouble starting/keeping or finishing a journal/sketchbook. By forcing ourselves to wreck it on purpose, the “journal as an object” loses it’s preciousness, and allows us the feeling of completion. This book was created for every person who has looked at other artist’s journals and said, “I wish I could do that. I’ve started dozens of them but didn’t stick with it.” or, “But the journal itself is so beautiful, I don’t want to wreck it with my ideas/handwriting/drawings.” Or, “I feel pressured to write something good.”

In this book good does not exist. The goal is to fill it up, to shift your perception of the blank page and the journal itself into a place for experimentation. Into a place where you just get stuff out onto the page. A place to start working against your better judgment. To do those things you were taught to never do (make a mess, destroy, fold down pages, write in books, play with dirt). This book IS the place. Each page of Wreck This Journal is filled with prompts telling you how to systematically ‘destroy’ the entire book.

Off to wreck my journal some more...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

junk journal

I did quite a big project on 'junk' a few years ago and really loved the little journal I had created. Each page had a colour theme. As the theme was junk, I found most of the items on the street. Either that or took things which were going to be thrown away (the purple fluffy pen, the insides of a walkman, a spoon, etc). First I stuck down paper or magazine cuttings in the colour of that page, then it was time to have some fun! Not a great front cover, but I think the inside is pretty cool...

So much fun to make! Also, I find something very satisfying about looking through a really chunky, full-to-bursting art journal. If I can't close it comfortably, I'm happy!

Once I had finished with the coloured pages, I just messed about on the other pages - making little works of art with junk. On the page above, I rubbed tea into it! Great fun!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I love art studios

I love seeing other people's art studios/creative working spaces. I don't know why. I suppose I like to get ideas for my own studio - how to keep it organised, how to encourage creativity, etc. I discovered this artist (and her blog!) online this morning. 
Last night was the first time in four nights that Hubby and I slept upstairs in our room. The glazier came yesterday to sort out the door so, until then, we felt the need to sleep downstairs to protect our house. However, I didn't sleep well. I was so tempted to give up the 'let's go to sleep' game and just come downstairs to check out my favourite blogs. I resisted and managed to wait until this morning. So 7am I was downstairs on the computer! I was aimlessly wandering through cyberspace when I came across an artist site with a link saying 'studio' - I couldn't resist! I'll just show you the one picture. Isn't it beautiful?!

I love the objects of inspiration on the top of the shelves. What a wonderful creative space. Who does the studio belong to? An artist/crafter in the US called Donna Downey. After seeing her studio I simply HAD to see her artwork...

Ta-da! This is one of my favourite pieces by Donna. On her blog, she does little youtube videos, which I am thoroughly enjoying.  

Today, I SHALL tidy up. Donna has inspired me. That studio of mine will be usable THIS WEEK! Cheerio for now x

Monday, November 19, 2007

our wedding cake

If you read my post 'A Bit Of A Moan', you'll know that I'm grieving the loss of our wedding cake, or the top tier at least. We were saving it for when our wedding dvd was finished and it was stolen on Friday when we were burgled. A friend of mine made me laugh by saying how the situation gave rise to a joke regarding the cake being Stollen. Oh and can you spot the other joke? "The situation gave rise" - cake? Rise? Cakes rise in the oven? Made me smile at least.

Our Wedding Cake

However, all is not lost. Hubby's mother made and decorated the cake (a talented lady, as you can see!) and says that she still has some of the pink icing and will make us another cake. Obviously not the same, but it will be nice to have something to eat with a cup of tea while watching our wedding dvd (when we get it - these things take much longer than I thought!).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

a bit better

Feeling much better today. Yesterday, not even our favourite comedies could make us smile. Today, we have been able to laugh.

Tomorrow we have the laborious work of
  • Calling the estate agent to get them to pay for a glazier
  • Calling our insurance company to see if we're covered and make a claim
  • Calling the police to inform them of the other things we have realised are missing (and to see if they have found the scum)
  • Tidying up!
I think that's all we need to do. We'll definitely fit in some relaxation time - art for me, music for Hubby. And obviously, a good cup of tea and a nice sit-down. As the thieves took our memory card reader, I can't post any pictures of what I'm creating at the moment :o(
I shall post again tomorrow.  Cheery-boo.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

a bit of a moan

I'm still not sure which way to take this blog.  Should I make it personal or strictly arty? I'm undecided.  I always worry about stalkers.

Just for now, I am going to have a little moan.  I'll probably delete it later.

We got in yesterday at about twenty past six. There was an odd light on in the living room. It was the light from the cupboard under the stairs (where we are temporarily keeping our dvds). "What has he been doing?", said Hubby with a chuckle, referring to our temporary lodger. I came into the living room and saw that the cupboard door was open and the light was on. Also, the ironing board was on the sofa ... and my Apple Mac had been unplugged and dumped on the sofa ... in fact, the whole living room had been tipped upside down. Then it dawned on me. I dashed to my art studio (the room next door), where Hubby keeps his instruments and his brand new 24" iMac (computer). It was gone. Hubby didn't know what I was doing at first. It took him a little while to register. I switched the light on and saw the carnage that had taken place in my beautiful studio. Back into the living room. They hadn't taken the TV. Or dvd player. What else had they taken? Kitchen. Empty sweet wrappers all over the floor.Cupboard doors open. Empty chocolate bar wrapper on the counter. I noticed a space on the kitchen work surface ... What was missing? All that was there was an empty cake stand. I couldn't believe it... They had taken the top tier of our wedding cake. Now it was really personal. I couldn't understand how they had got in. The front door was locked. The kitchen was cold. I couldn't see any broken glass. They had taken the panel of glass out of the door to get in. Professionals. I called the police. I couldn't stop crying. Why us? And our wedding cake?!
I phoned my parents. What could I do? I let Hubby phone his parents. I called in next door to find out if they had seen or heard anything. Nope, not a thing. 
I wandered upstairs to see what else they had taken. All of the cupboard doors were open; all the drawers emptied. The storage boxes under the bed had been pulled out and searched through. I did have a big sports holdall full of coat-hangers which they had emptied and taken, filling it with whatever took their fancy. They had certainly had a good rummage. 
The police arrived fairly quickly. They noted down what was taken. We didn't want to touch anything until CSI arrived, and he did, very quickly. He went off dusting things and the police officer took down the details. I couldn't stop thinking about the cake. Neither of us had the chance to have a piece on our wedding day. Too busy. We had been really looking forward to it. We were saving it to eat with a cup of tea when our wedding dvd was finished. And we never had a piece.
It wasn't until later that I thought of all of the photographs which were on Hubby's computer. We don't tend to print photos these days. Thousands of photos on his computer of the two of us from the beginning of our relationship. Photos of our family. Photos of happy times. We'll never get to see them again. Of all the things the scum-bags could have taken, they took the two things which held the most sentimental value.
It's only now, 28 hours later, that we're realising what else they took. Hubby's speakers for his computer. The Xbox (and whatever happened to be in the Xbox bag - controls and things). Hubby's wireless mouse and keyboard. Why couldn't they have taken the TV? The DVD player? The new microwave? Or any of our other new kitchen things (all wedding gifts)? We could replace those. But his computer? With thousands of songs on it and PHOTOS! And a wedding cake?! 
I find it very hard to be forgiving at a time like this. People keep saying very unhelpful things like, "at least you're okay" and, "I'm just glad you didn't come face-to-face with them" WHY?!  At least if we had seen them we could have identified them! We think that we had scared them off. We found the TV speakers unplugged today. 
Apparently, there was a white transit van at the back of our house. Makes me wonder if they had planned to empty the house.
I keep thanking God that we still have my computer with my photographs. And at least, with my computer, we still have access to the internet. We can continue life as normal. We did have to do quite a significant clean-up job today though. Thank the Lord we are covered on the insurance. See, I am trying very hard to count my blessings. It's just hard when I feel that I have to sleep downstairs on the sofa to protect my house. Also, I don't want to leave the house for fear that they'll come back, cause more damage, and take what they didn't have time for last time. How dare they make me feel fearful in AND out of my own home.
Not feeling very forgiving at all. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

some of my stuff...

I realised that anyone looking at this blog for any signs of art may be disappointed. Everything in the house is still all over the place with the move so I haven't been able to be as arty as I would normally like. Instead, I will share some of my old pieces of work and general doodles. This blog will get artier - that's a promise!

Here is a hand I drew in a black ball-point pen. I love working in biro. I did this a few years ago and now I think the very straight lines of the cross-hatching are much too harsh. I wanted to make the hand look old and 'weathered'. I was pleased with it at the time but now I'm not so sure.

Another doodle in biro. Often, I want to draw but I just don't know what. I'm not good at just thinking up a picture in my head - I prefer drawing from observation. Hence why most of my doodles are circles and lines!

Another doodle. This time in pencil crayons.

This is a page from a sketchbook-come-scrapbook. I like to keep any little meaningless drawings I happen to do while bored, so I stick them in here.

Another page. I can't remember whose face this was. I think it may have been a model in a magazine. I love drawing faces. 

Another page. I drew this daffodil in pencil crayons but decided that it was far too boring! So plenty of black fine-liner was added. This was originally in one of my GCSE sketchbooks (very old indeed!).

My eye, drawn in pencil crayons. When I drew this (a couple of years ago) I wanted it to be as true a likeness as possible, so I kept the colours quite light. However, I am so pale that if I were any more pale I would be see-through. The result being that this drawing looks unfinished and pale. 

I'm so pleased with this painting. It's such a shame that I can't find the photo I was copying. I painted this two years ago with acrylic paints onto canvas. I had to work really quickly as acrylics are so fast-drying. There was a very slight orange reflection in the sea which I tried to do. Didn't turn out as I hoped, but I'm definitely not changing it now! I'm very pleased with the sky. Not sure about the horizon or the sea. 

This is a mono-print done in oils after much layering. I rollered the oil paint onto the table (that's right - the table! (Not to be done on a beautiful kitchen table) and gently pressed a piece of paper on top. On the paper I drew simple shapes (which were actually based on a still-life I was doing) and, once I was happy with the arrangement, I peeled the paper away from the table. I repeated this several times, which is why you may see feint white lines in the background. I've always liked this piece. But not many other people do. It certainly needs to be framed properly.

My face. I first did a biro sketch on white paper, then copied that with a white pencil crayon on black card.

My face again. This was done on computer. A very enjoyable program to use with pleasing results. However, it was done on my parents' PC and I can't remember what the program was called. Shame. I'm sure Apple have something, I just haven't explored the photo-editing possibilities on my Mac yet.

I'll post some more of my work later. I'm off to have a nap now.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

settling in

We've been in our new house two weeks today. Sorry if it's a bit quiet on the blogging front - we have some major unpacking to do!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I'm back!


Hubby and I have moved into our new house and we are now fully operational with not just a phone line, but internet too. Hooray. We moved in a week ago and have been decorating furiously all week. The living room is finished and next to be completed is the studio. Once that is all assembled (shelves, desks, etc) I can set about creating some arty pieces. That's all for now: just wanted to let my readers know that I was still alive. And as I feel that I cannot post without a photo, here is one of wallpaper in our living room