Saturday, February 27, 2010


Mmm, this looks a bit pale here compared to real life... it is the March page in my art calendar journal. Go here to find out more. I have gone for lighter colours but the creaminess of them is definitely missing here... need more photography 'know how' me thinks!

I thought I'd go lighter because spring is in the air and also because I wanted a change from the deeper colours I'd used for February (below). I love being able to make choices to suit my whims!

I've also been messing around preparing pages in my A5 art journal, I've done so much running around to hospitals lately and have had to sit twiddling my thumbs in waiting rooms frustrated at not having control of MY own time, thinking about all the things I need to be doing... So I thought if I took along my journal to work in, I might feel less frustrated and definitely calmer!
(if Dyan can do it why can't I!)

So I shall add some background stamping and an image, then I'll be good to go....just take my pens with me and doodle away to my hearts content!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blog Awards....

Recently I was nominated for this "beautiful heart" award by Virginia. I have to confess that I don't like being in the limelight and struggle to accept compliments....I know that's daft...we all like to feel appreciated and I'm not saying I don't... (truth be told I probably need to be told more than you!) It's just that I feel kinda self-conscious about it. Why? Well I think there's a journal page in that! Any interpretations?????

Anyway, I thought I'd quietly accept it and forget about it, but then she went and awarded me another...... so Ginnie, I want to honour that and I'm being brave and posting them.... I accept both graciously.

You have to pass it on and name five others for the awards so I'm nominating:

I NEED those new distress inks!

Just a quickie post...I was just having a little blog before I went to bed and came across this giveaway on Janet's blog... opportunity to WIN all 12 of the new distress inks or re-inkers!

I'll have a go at that! Check it out here .

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Reveal!

On Thursday, I attended a Claudine Hellmuth workshop at AFTH...
....where to start? Well, don't you just love the blogging community? I met a few people I 'knew' who speak the same language as me (bloggish from blogland!) I met Mell for the first time, she lives in Doncaster so only a few miles from me, I met Teresa from Belfast (where our son lives) Christine was there, Pat who I know through my mate, Ann , (by the way Pat made the most divine carrot cake for our afternoon tea.... who needs Betty's?)
So it was great, chit chatting before the class started (Upon arrival, Dy allowed us to drop our bags and then kicked us out of the studio area, so we congregated in the shop ((heh heh... bliss with all the new goody arrivals!))
At this point, I had to give myself a talking to because I'd forgotten my camera (yes BIG blunder Sandra!) and I was cross with myself...I had to let it go because what could I do to change it! I had wanted to take photo's of the day so Ann, who should have been attending the workshop but unfortunately is ill in hospital, could have felt a flavour of the day.

Claudine showed us some the techniques she uses for collage work and then unleashed us to get on with our own....
Have you ever used Claudine's paints? They are so gorgeous to work with, they are kinda transparent and give this wonderful sheen... mixing the colours is sheer delight! Anyway, after layering the canvas with old papers and book print, we played with the paints and messed around with a few techniques before adding our own images.....
(these photo's were taken at home)

I had a gorgeous tag sat in this space here, but I obviously didn't attach it very well 'cos its disappeared!

...And I still have some work to do on 'mind over matter man' as I'm calling him

I drove home feeling replete - well satisfied with my day!
And it wasn't over yet.... most Thursday evenings, we visit our friends Stan and Shelley (you've probably seen piccies of Shelley on my blog). Well I 'phoned her, told her about my day (Shelley had been unable to make the workshop) and asked if she fancied 'a play night' She has a fantastic room with plenty of space and a chair with my name on it! so I took along my journals, paints, stamps, pencils.... !! (went pretty loaded up actually - Andy had to carry the box it was so heavy!) And we played..... Shell is preparing backgrounds in her journal for when she goes on holiday, I made these.... this one in my A5 journal....

And this in my A4....
Funny story here.... when I journal, I don't work in order through the book, I just open it and start anywhere. (I do put a date on the page so I know when I did that piece of work)
Anyway, I had only done one other (well a double page spread) in this journal, so I thought I'd do the first page, so I opened the book and painted....great....added the fun image (remember those bouncy hoppers when you were a child?)...all good so far.... had fun painting with my inktense pencils... "Lovely page Sandy" says Shelley.....

It was only when I flicked to the other page I had in the journal that I found out it was upside down!!! All good fun....I'm not going to worry about it.

Last night we had our good friends Dave and Jayne round.... it was Dave's birthday, so I had cooked a special meal. It has to be good because both Dave and Jayne are Chef's and make delicious meals so I like to return the compliment....
Starter -Goats Cheese brushetta on a bed of tender salad leaves and scattered with pickled walnuts.
Main - Fillet of pork stuffed with Apricot, Leek, Mushroom and Bacon served with Steamed asparagus, green beans and broccoli spears and potato dauphinois
Dessert - Rum and Chocolate Cheesecake served with crushed raspberries

Andy was the wine waiter....

"Happy Birthday dear David...."

But you get to wash up at the end!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, Dave is always going on about how I'm older than him..... by six months! We have known each other for more than 40 years, lived in the same village and went to the same schools as children, but I was always in the year above him.... well he has caught up to me and keeps pointing out that while he is 50 next year, I am going to be 50 this year!
Ah but David....for now we are both the '49 ers'!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oh Dear...

When I started art journaling a few months ago, I didn't realise how very much I would LOVE it (read here addicted!!)
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I attended a whole weekend course of art journaling at AFTH in Harrogate ( a Christmas present from our three children - so you three...THANK YOU!! - my most favourite present of 2009!!) I picked up loads of tips from Dyan.
Well when I got home, I told Andy I needed magazines for images.... he's very thoughtful about some things but I was thrilled when he came back with this mag.... I think he was drawn to it because it's called Juxtapoze (but without the 'e') and he uses that word sometimes... in his book it means looking at opposing opinions and critiquing them!

There are some great images in it!

So last night I 'popped' into my room and ended up staying there until 2 o clock this morning! After what I said in my last post, (about needing a few minutes here and there!) things have deteriorated pretty rapidly!
It was very relaxing though - I had my door open and could hear Andy's breathing rhythm as he was sleeping!
I love the Tim Holtz brick stamp and used it to frame this page...

And I was inspired to do a black and white page after seeing Dyan's. And of course I cut up my new magazine....

So my art journey continues and I'm very much enjoying travelling this path!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Proven Therapy!

I know what to do when I need a little therapy - art journal!
It's great to do when your day is 'bitty'. I used to think I needed at least a few hours to go into my craft room and 'create' something...but that really isn't true for me anymore. (thanks to a certain Dyan Reaveley who educated me recently on the anatomy of a journal page!)
My days have been quite taken up with visiting my Aunty and sorting out a care package for when she comes home (very draining trying to get people (Dr's!) to understand the situation!)
So in between the running around (AND the other stuff I have to do every day) I nip into my craft room and art journal - one time I might spend a few minutes adding paint to a page, next time I go in it will be adding the background splodges or stamping or know how it is!
I'm also loving being part of Kate's 365 art calendar challenge, you journal a snapshot of your day EVERY day of the year (which will be interesting to look back on in years to come.) So next time I go into my room it will be logging that days event! Then I go back to the art journal and start to 'build' the page... if I've only got a few minutes it will be something as simple as cutting out an image.

Anyway, this week I started a larger art journal - well large for me - if you want to see large, go to Virginia's blog and see LARGE!

This looks kinda scary on its own doesn't it? Its that grinning over sized mouth! I sometimes feel like this - my interpretation here was smiling through gritted teeth...

And this is the whole thing.....

I just keep bobbing into my room when I have any spare time. I know that's harder to do if you have young children or use another room as your crafting space because you can't leave things out... I'm fortunate to be able to close the door on my mess!
But the phenomenon that is art journaling is blessing my socks off at the moment and keeping me grounded during stressful times.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Art Journal Pages I forgot to post yesterday!

Here are the journal pages I made over the weekend... Dy had us pull a coloured card out of a basket with a word on it. We could do anything we liked using that colour and word prompt.
I picked the colour black and the word sensual. My first thought was making love...I blushed at that because my intimate life is private and I didn't feel I wanted to share it - plus, this was the first page I'd made in front of anybody!!! But I went with it and I'm being brave letting you see it even though it is pretty tame!

Then we had a go at 'ghosting' .....writing out something private - I was the last to finish, I wrote so much! then we painted over the words with gesso, dried that layer and applied colour using crayon in a random fashion. Next we applied a wash of water over that - you can't see on this photo, but it gave lovely pastel shades and the words, although slightly visible are indecipherable (is that how you spell THAT!)

This next one because it's a special part of my communion with God...

We all had to choose an image and then pulled a name out of a hat and gave the image to that person and they had to use it on a journal page... Michelle chose this image and my name was pulled out of the hat....I felt a bit under pressure, because I like to think about what I might do and that takes time, but I came up with this....

I started this page but added the stamped words and doodled edges at home...I shall probably tweak all of them at some point, because I can't tell when they're finished!

And this is my art calendar so far for Kate's 365 challenge....

Andy and I have just spent the day in York with our youngest daughter, it's her birthday today. typical me, I forgot the camera!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Art Journaling Weekend

What a weekend! My friend Shelley and I went to an art journaling weekend at Art from the Heart with the inimitable Dyan Reaveley. We set off early on Friday morning for a bit of retail therapy in lovely Harrogate. It was a bit drizzly so the umbrella's were required but our spirits were not dampened...we were going to play at our favourite place ALL WEEKEND!!

Of course we called in at Betty's to buy a treat for our afternoon cuppa back at the hotel....
Shelley was beautifying her self as she ate!

We arrived at Dy's studio to find our "survival kit" for the weekend... chocolate and tissues!

Back in bed later that night, The spotty pyjama twins "argued" over the colour of my pyjamas - she says they are blue... now look here - you can tell they are black can't you!

Anyway, here are a few photo's of the weekend.

I met up with one of my bloggy friends, Jude, who had travelled down from Inverurie with her hubby Paul. She kept throwing things at Shelley all weekend, accidently of course... she was aiming for the waste's just that she kept missing!
And Melanie....well, she is the sister of Virginia (one of the ladies who attends my scrapbook classes at the Craft Box) They are as different as chalk and cheese and I was really surprised when I met her at last. She had a lot to say about the colour in she didn't like it! Well when Dy asked us to pick a prompt card out of her basket, which card did Mel get? uh huh...and she wasn't thrilled about that! but she did keep it (we were allowed one pass) so hats off to her!

We had fun looking at the 'anatomy of a page' .... putting elements together and doodling etc, Dy style...

Shelley hollered and hooted as she struggled to do the wiggly lines, so Dy had to step in to talk her through it (now if you've ever seen any of Shelley's work you would be surprised at this because she is AMAZINGLY talented!) she doesn't blog though, so I'll maybe borrow something and put it on here to show you.

We all got a certificate in 'Pratology' to show that we can 'officially prat around' as Dyan eloquently puts it!

I have to say it was a great weekend - tears and laughter flowed freely and I met some lovely people who felt brave enough to share some of their struggles with us all. For that to happen you have to feel you're in a safe place, so thank you, Dyan, for creating that space!
I have kept a diary on and off for years but recording your feelings in this arty way takes it to a new level. It was said over the weekend that in scrapbooking, you record special occasions, holidays and happy stuff....and I guess thats true ..... art journaling allows for the more gritty stuff to be recorded. And that's surely a good thing!!

So roll on the second weekend and my journey continues... "further up and further in" (words from C.S.Lewis' The Last Battle - Narnia series book 7)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Carry on Challenge!

I don't think I've ever posted so frequently! (JaneyB you'll have some catching up to do!)

I stayed up into the night getting my February page to the 'ready to write' stage - it took longer than I thought it would sticking those blocks in position! but my determination to complete things is strong (plus this challenge is FUN! and I WANTED to play!) Even though my eyelids feel rather heavy this morning!

And you know, once you start playing, you can't stop! I had already painted the page, it just need some background stamping. Eventually I decided to use a Paperartsy mini cog stamp and the mini collage stamp. I stamped the title with a grungy Magenta alphabet set again and Glossy Accented it. Then I added a few watch cog parts over some of the stamped cogs.

I haven't added all the numbers yet - just the 9th as that's our youngest daughter's birthday... I know we will be spending the day with her in York (where I'm sure she will be filling us in on the latest plans for her wedding which is 14 months away!)

I know I'll titivate some more - I've got '2010' to add and the days of the week too... and I'm sure other bits and pieces will creep on there too! Going for a little blog hop to see what the other's have created....TTFN!