Thursday, 28 July 2011

You've got mail

I LOVE getting post through the mail, don't you?

Recently I was the lucky recipient of Sian Fair's monthly Pass the Book.
I couldn't wait to unwrap and read the pages, which I did at every available opportunity.  Such a lovely thing to receive through the post.

I will say more when I offer to Pass the Book next week.  So if you would like to join in this fun and gesture of sharing look out for the blog post and leave a comment.

I also received another wonderful surprise through my letterbox, an amazing original painting by the very talented Natasha May.

Called 'Changes' this painting is based on Alice in Wonderland and it formed part of a story told by Natasha.  I love the vidid colours and whimsical style.  I was the very lucky name randomly drawn, so imagine my excitement and gratitude!

If you want to check out Natasha's other wonderful works of art she also has an etsy shop.  

And finally, they postcard that I sent to myself arrived! My husband asked who it was from and when I said 'me' he quietly said something about 'Billy no friends' and walked away.  Well, I wouldn't know where to begin, in explaining, so I left it as that! I know he said it in jest, and that he appreciates this is part of my wacky world of creativity.  He also knows he would never understand and so he watches and supports me, and more than that he tolerates my chaos and mess.  I consider myself lucky.
But I digress......  this postcard was part of the new Explore online course that I am taking part in and mentioned here.  There are daily prompts as usual life is happening and I am not able to participate every day.  But I am collecting ideas and materials so it will all unfold in its own time. I am quite excited by some of the ideas and yesterday's prompt suggested writing directly onto a photo.  And if you like this idea or want to experiment Photojojo also shows ways of doing this.

I like the idea of receiving and sending postcards.  So I have signed up toJulie Kirk's 'Going Postal'.  This is involves another fascination of mine, Pinterest. I regularly add to my boards and if you have not signed up you need to be invited before you can create your own boards.  I am happy to send you an invite so just pass on your email address to me.  But be warned - it is addictive and even more hours will pass in front of the computer screen!

And I have also signed up for The Great Big Postcard Swap.  In fact, I got so excited I have signed up twice, but that means double the fun!  The idea is that you create a postcard using any medium, but must include a stitch or two.  Then you post it to your assigned partner and receive your swap.  I took part in last years swap and was inspired to join in again.  So I need to start making my two postcards ready to post and to look forward to more mail dropping through my letter box.

My workspace this week is covered with a dustsheet and tins of paint.  Yes!  I am STILL painting and it feels like the 4th bridge.  I wonder when it will end?  The excitement has gone and is replaced by frustration and an aching body.  Only the knowledge that this will have a good outcome keeps me motivated, and perhaps a paint party would have been a good idea! To see what other people have on their workspace go to Julia's site here.  I will persevere and at least I am full of creative ideas ready to burst when I have the time and space.  Meanwhile I did manage to quickly make my two grand daughters a Smash Book each to take on their holiday.  I am just as excited to see what they put in them.
More about this another time, because the day calls.

Have fun what ever you are doing and I hope some lovely mail drops through your door too.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Explore WOYWW

I am finally moving into to my new craft space, very slowly and not in the organised way that I had hoped.  My  plan was to decorate and move storage in before I started working, but I realised I had missed birthdays and needed to make cards among other things.  So bit by bit boxes and paper crept in and I’m now partly installed.  And my workspace is as disorganised as ever!

On it you can see:

1.        My Journal Your Christmas Album.   Yes... the fat pages are finally held together by ribbon and I am pleased to have it finished.  Not relieved, because I enjoyed it to the end, but it will be nice to move on to something new.  I will gradually add the pages to the forum, so anyone who took part in Shimelle’s online course will have access. 

2.        A big pile of of cut mountboard bought for £1.50.  I love a bargain don’t you!!  I will use two sheets as front and back page for a new album.  The size was even a perfect fit for pages I cut this morning.  Perfect!

3.       Printouts of Shimelle’s new online course – Explore.  The focus is on discovering more about yourself, and so far I am slow in starting.  Nothing new there then!  But I have proved that I can finish, so my pages are waiting to be put together and I am keeping it simple this time. 
Remind me please if I forget I said this!

4.       One of the other things Shimelle suggested was to send yourself a postcard of one of your best adventures.  We could use a picture postcard or make our own.  There was one photo that stood out for me, of my Nan on the beach as a young woman.  If I could turn back the time I would ask her more about her life as it is only in recent years that I have learned more and feel it was an opportunity missed.  I don't know what I will be asked to do in this album, so this in itself is part of the adventure.  And because I like to follow my intuition I stuck the photo onto a post card and posted it to myself.   There was no room for writing other than the address, but I can do that in my Explore album next to the postcard.  I am interested to find out where this will lead, I just have a feeling it will be exciting though.

If you want to know more about the Explore course go here

It's not to late to join in and the thing I like about Shimelle's courses is that you can work at your own pace.  And it seems I am not the only one to have taken my time over my Christmas Album so I am in great company!  For the Explore course Shimelle has come up with the idea that we can sign up to be 'accountable'.  And so as well as having a network of online friends and co-students, I am excited to have not one but two partners for this course!  I have exchanged emails with Pauline and Ali today and we plan to support, encourage and prompt each other along the way.  What's more, Pauline lives quite local so we may even get to meet!

So here's to unknown fun and adventures as I go and Explore! 

I wonder what's on your workspace this Wednesday?  Go here to see what others are busy with.

Monday, 11 July 2011

10 things on the 10th (July 2011)

Last month I made a list  and have been busy working my way through: 

Organising my photos - this is started and work in progress.  There was rather a lot of catching up to do, you see! 

Project 365   Finally added to my Flickr album here.

Start an Art Journal  more about that here.

Finish knitting a bollero.    That's here:

Finish my 'Journal Your Christmas album'I just need to put the pages together.  

Use my Wii fit. 
Not done.... 
but only because I have been doing a lot of physical work this month.
I also bought 2 fitness DVD's that were recommended by my daughter.  She has only used them 3 times and has noticed a big difference in her muscle tone.  I've used it once so there is hope for me yet!  And I will get the Wii out sometime as it is a lot of fun.

Birthday Blog.   A blog hop to celebrate my first year. A HUGE thank you to the very special people who helped me with this, and to everyone who took part. 

Plan holiday or a break. I'm looking forward to visiting the 'Bloomsbury Set House' and Lewes in Sussex, with friends very soon.  We are also in the process of buying a campervan, and have joined the Camping & Caravan club.  The site directory has just been delivered and I'm looking forward to a cut of tea and more making more plans to get away.

Organise my work space.  Unfortuantly it is taking longer than hoped as there have been unwanted delays, then yesterday I experienced vertigo every time I looked up.  This is not a good experience when perched on a ladder, so again I did not achieve as much as I hoped.  But I did make a difference and today I will buy more paint and start on the interior.  So, good progress is being made even if it is slower than I wanted.

Add a texture to a photo.
This was not the photo I wanted to post but for some reason Blogger is being picky.  This shows the before and after, and this can be quite fun as well as creating age or different effects.  Kim Klassen is offering a free mini-course on how to add textures.  It starts today, so head straight over if you are interested in finding out more.

So, this time I shall be continuing with organising my photos and workspace.  And I plan to carry on with the painting because I have some chairs and a lovely little table I want togive new life to.

I wonder what plans you have or what you are working on right now?  Have fun what ever you are doing.

This post is part of Shimelle's 10 things on the 10th. 

Friday, 8 July 2011


No, not at Wimbledon but in my garden.   Because we have been busy building my new craft space.  I wonder if I will take the jump one day and call this my studio?   At the moment I am thoughtful about what it will be called and hope that once it is filled I will know.  Meanwhile I have been busy on the outside, painting and making it mine, all mine.  

I wanted it to blend into the garden, so that it feels that it has grown out of the ground.  Once I have planted around it and added a plaque and lantern or two I hope it will look like it has always been there. Because,  it has in my dreams. 
But for now rain has stopped me painting.  I could go out and buy paint and start on the inside, but there is still small work to be done and so I will be patient.

 So instead, I will finish the last page or two of my Journal Your Christmas Album.  Yes, I am still working on it.  But you will understand the reason why it is not completed.  I still have two days left before I post my next 10 things on the 10th, so it will be done.

But before I start I am going to have a cup of tea and browse ‘Painted Pages’.   I was lucky enough to be picked for Sian’s ‘Pass the Book’ and have been turning the pages at every opportunity.   I will say more about this another time, but for now it has given me the inspiration to get out the paint instead of ink pads.  I also bought a template the other day, so my Journal Your Christmas album will be getting a new look. 

Best get started!
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