Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Well, I have finally started to move into my new work space!  I began to wonder if the day would ever arrive and   I will eventually buy a new work table and storage but for now I will try out the space and see what I want to do with it.   And I lost no time in making two books to take on holiday.  These will be used to record our travels and there was no time for elaborate works of art.  But at least I managed to put some pages together and add envelopes for storage and notes.

We are currently having a motor camper built, you see.  Another long term plan finally achieved.  Well, nearly... because at the moment it looks like this:

I am assured it will be ready for our holiday.  Let's say we are on a very tight schedule and I am trying hard to hold onto my optimism! 

I recently read about someone who kept a log book, recording the travels in his campervan.  After collecting these for a number of years he decided to add photos and have the pages professionally bound into volumes.  What a lovely idea, I thought.  And so I plan to record brief notes daily and I will add leaflets and things we collect, adding photos when we get home.  I won't have mine professionally bound since I like making my own books, but I like the idea of recording our travels.  We have lots of ideas planned for the future but first we  will be heading for north Wales.  And of course, I shall take a small kit with me because I will have a another new workspace to try out!!  

Here at Julia's you can see see what others are busy with.  Have a good week, what ever you are doing.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Dear Favourite Son, thank you for the hours spent on Sunday trying to sort out the problems on my computer.  For showing that it is not just me that gets frustrated with Google sign-in when it constantly signs-out.  For managing my anxiety when you suggested deleting 8000+ photos from my hard drive.  For patiently explaining that when I delete photos they sit in a Recycle Bin.  I did not know I have to delete them from there also.  Is this why my computer has been running so slow do you think?  In high esteem, yours eternally grateful.   Dear Heart, can you please explain the nails that protrude in each the corner of the door frame?  Are they yet another unfinished renovation project, or a sign that you are releasing your creativity?  Yours in admiration.  Dear Brian the plumber, thank you for coming round so promptly to do the work in the utility room.  I thought you had been excessively busy, or on an extended world cruise.  Yours in appreciation.  Dear Heart, when I said we needed to rein in our spending I meant with stocking the wine cellar and the fine dining.  I did not mean with essential house renovations.  Next time can we compare lists of his and her priorities?  PatientlyYours.    Dear Granddaughter, when I suggested we camped out in the garden I did not mean build a raised platform with a ladder, and covering the ceiling with stars.  I admire your 7 year old vision, especially the bit about making planets and hanging them from the ceiling.  Did I mention that room is my new craft space?  Besottedly yours.  Dear Alexa, I'm pretty sure food colouring would work a treat as an art medium. You could also try tea and coffee, preferably without the milk.  And I hear red wine is good too, though I prefer to drink mine. Yours in understanding.  Dear Campervan Builder, thank you for not running off with our money.  No, seriously.  I began to wonder if you were sunning yourself somewhere at our expense.  We have a deadline and a holiday of our own planned.  Please deliver on time.  Trustingly yours.

This post was inspired by Alexa, and originally by Em at Todays Letters.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


How do you manage the mundane?  Usually I find time to create, meet with friends, or do something to change my sceenery or routine.  But I've not been able to do these things because even on my days off I have been busy working just to keep one step ahead.  So every day has felt much like the last.  And today, while my body demanded rest, I was lurred to the shoe shop by my daughter.  I always like to catch up with her when I have a chance, and spending time with my granddaughters is something I can never resist. 

Even on days when they are buying new school shoes. 

Even when my body is saying 'have a quiet day doing nothing', and I'd rather someone wait on me, hand and foot.   Here's why:

 Wren goes exploring while her mum turns her back


Summer & Ivy admire shoes and try out boots.

They certainly keep us on our toes!

Then it's time to head to MacDonalds for lunch and a play before heading home.


And now back home it's finally time to put my feet up and unwind.

A restful day?

No....   but I wouldn't have it any other way.  There will be plenty of other days for creating and relaxing. 

What have you done to give your day a lift?

Monday, 8 August 2011


         Today I went to London where I met friends for lunch and visited Spitalfields Market.  

And when I got home I used the Random Generator to choose
the lucky person who will be next to receive Painted Pages.

Drum roll............

5th person to leave a comment was

Alexa !

CONGRATULATIONS!  I'll be Passing the Book as soon as I have your details.
Thank you to everyone who left comments, and to Sian for the idea.

I'll be sad to part with the book but I know I can buy my own copy if I miss it too much!

I had my finger posed over the 'publish' button when 'ping' a new comment arrived on my screen.

It was from Alexa.  Guess what she said? 
"Isn't synchronicity wonderful!"

Her comment related to chance happenings, something I had written about in my previous post

Yes, Alexa!  It certainly is, especially when it happens in succession !!!!





Just a quick reminder that I shall be picking a lucky name to receive 'PASS THE BOOK' so to be in for a chance post a comment today!

It has been a 'colourful' week.  Shimelle has focused on colour in her 3rd week of Explore.  I've not done any of the prompts as yet, I'm saving them for when I have more time so that I can enjoy them and not feel under pressure.  However, I did put together my Creative Color Challenge which was to create a colour spectrum using any medium.  Since my workspace is still inaccessible I chose to do this on my computer, I was pleased to be able to use some of my photos.  I knew they'd come in useful one day!

Do you remember I have complained recently that I frequently can't leave comments and am having lots of problems with Blogger?  Well it seems I am not alone.  I was hugely relieved to see this post by Sarah at Blog Guidebook, so if you are also having difficulties it may be worth checking this out.  It looks like I need to delete lots in order to identify the authentication cookie that is causing the problem.  My computer needs a good detox, so perhaps I need to allocate some time and do this.  Then I need to do the same with the house!  Working full time and trying to organise my new creative space means everything is sadly neglected.  But  s-l-o-w-l-y  headway is being made.  Then it will be time to start creating again, I can't wait!

Finally, I had a wonderful day out on Friday with friends.  We went to Charleston House in Sussex, home of the Bloomsbury Set.  I confess, before my visit I knew very little about the artists or their style.  Unfortuantly we could not take photos inside the house, but imagine my surprise when I visited Julia Kirk's post on my return.  A part from the fact that Julia had visited Masham in North Yorkshire, a place I LOVE, she showed photos of a wonderful studio called ArtisOn.  And inside they had a fireplace decorated in the style of the Bloomsbury Set, complete with a painting above it.            I must have learned something from my visit as this artwork jumped out at me and I immediately recognised it! 

I'll be back soon with the name of the lucky person who will receive Painted Pages.  What are you waiting for?  Post your comment now!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

It's time to ' PASS THE BOOK'

Recently I was the lucky recipient of Pass the Book.  I knew I would love it and I was not disappointed.  I especially liked the 'Try it outs!'  and these can be adapted for any creative idea.

For example, writing prompt cards is something I did last year when I needed inspiration for my Project 365 photos.  But rather than a one word prompt, the author of Painted Pages, Sarah Ahearn Bellemare, suggests you can use this idea as a two-minute warm up exercise.  For example:
- Paint only with white paint
- Write a few words with rub-on letters
- Rip out a page of a book and use a piece for collage

The techniques shown in this book could easily be used on a scrapbook page or a handmade card, so this book would be of interest to those like me who are not purists, and who like to experiment and express themselves in a wide range of creative arts. And of course, if you are a wanna-be or an art journalist!  The book is also lovely just to browse, admire, and read, and there is a good range of examples as well as techniques to try.  I read it from cover to cover within days of receiving, and I have since picked it up frequently just to look again.

Sadly I have not had opportunity to try out any of the techniques shown in this book.  But I will in time and I have recorded lots of notes and inspirational ideas.  And if you would like to be the next recipient of Painted Pages just leave me a comment.  I will pick a name from random in one week.  If you are not sure how Pass the Book works, pop over to Sian's where she explains it beautifully.  And finally, a huge thank you to Sian  for buying the books and sharing them!  A wonderful gesture that is much appreciated by all who receive them.  I wonder who the next lucky reader will be?

Monday, 1 August 2011


Do you have routines or rituals that structure your day to day or your week?  Some people like routines, infact some live their life by knowing what they will do from one minute to the next. 
I like change and variation in my life.  So my shift work pattern suits me, and one week is never the same as the next.  Last week, Shimelle suggested that we observe what we do day to day and find ways of recording this.  I like to make more of the mundane and will do things to vary any routine, and so I often take things to work to do during my break, usually something creative .  On one occasion I was in London with time before my training resumed.  So I took my camera outside and took as many photos as I could in 10 minutes.  I went back to the training buzzing with excitement!  I was really pleased with the photos I took and the change in activity and pace gave me renewed energy for the rest of the day.  You can see some of the photos here and it is certainly an idea I will repeat again and again.  

This weekend I planned to continue painting my new workroom.   But then my daughter invited us to up Suffolk, where she is on holiday.  And so my plans immediately changed & Saturday morning we headed off. I recorded the day in photographs (many of them!) and here is just a quick snapshot:


And then our plans changed again.  Because it was suggested we stay over night as we were tired after our busy fun day and the sea air.  We were completely unprepared, had no change of clothes and we had to improvise with bedding, but what the heck!!  Life is about grabbing opportunities and making the most of every given situation, and so this weekend took yet another turn of direction and my paint brushes still remain untouched!

A change of pace or routine usually gives me a lift  and just like after the 10 minute photo shoot, I am feeling renewed with energy and ready to face another week.   I hope yours will be filled with good surprises and some fun, and to kick off you are invited to join in with some celebrations......

It's time for some BLOG HOP fun!!  

Congratulations to Jemma, whose blog is one year old today, and to celebrate she has organised a number themed blog hop.  If you have come to me from Jemma, then play a long.  Otherwise you may want to visit Jemma at just-jimjams, and then come back here.

So, ready to play along?  Here's what you do:
Collect a number from each of Jimjams' Blogiversary friends, put them in numerical order and then e-mail Jemma with the number which is missing from the sequence.

Here is my number.  I thought I'd have some fun so can you work it out from these clues?

a.   I am a prime number
b.   I have two digits
c.   Add these together and I am twice as many
d.   I am the first repeating number
e.   I appear four times this year as unique dates
f.    I am the number of years that a sun spot cycle repeats
g.   and the number of players in many popular team games
h.   Apollo ??  made the first lunar landing
i.    I am the record number of Oscars for one movie

What number am I?

Make a note, then head over to Furrypig for the next number clue. 

Good luck!!  I'm looking forward to playing along.

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