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Marvelous Monday

What is marvelous this Monday?  These things are! The Joy of Watercolor by Emma Block is a beautiful book from cover to cover, I even love the size and shape of it.  I love a square chunky book! She shares lots of specific watercolor projects but they are not just step by steps, they are full of ideas and information which you can use in your own work. The most gorgeous jewelry from British designer Layla Amber.  Delicate woodcut necklaces, pendants, rings and earrings galore for all seasons. I am reading the new Joanna Cannon book ‘Three Things about Elsie’ and really enjoying it, I am only about 50 pages in and already it is full of intrigue and characters. Tinkersketch  August challenge is one I came late to, but I still jumped in even though I started about two weeks into the month!  Rachelle of Tinkerlab (the host of Tinkersketch) suggested on her Instagram to combine prompts and used ‘building’ as an example.  This got me thinking I could do the whole prompt list …

Taking Stock August 2018

Time for another Stock Take as the last one was in May this year.  I credit Pip at Meet me at Mikes blog for the original idea, I like to do it a few times each year to see what is going on. I always have the goal to whiz through the ‘prompt’ words and write down quickly whatever comes to me, but usually this post takes most of the day as I leave it to do laundry or make dinner then come back to finish it! If you fancy a stock take, I have a blank list at the end of mine. Making : Plans for my next art journal which I think will consist of vintage flash cards! Cooking : Burgers for dinner, a combination of beef, mushroom and veggie for our family! Drinking : Fizzy grapefruit flavored water. Reading: The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut, I have only just started it but it is good so far. Wanting: The weather to cool down, yes we are in the midst of the mid-west …

Mudlarking on the river Thames.

While we were on holiday in the UK, alongside visiting family and playing tourist in my home town of Lincoln, we also booked the train to go to London, wander along the edge of the Thames and see what treasures we could find. The ancient art of mudlarking is alive and very much kicking, everyone seems to be doing it and finding some amazing things.  Check out London Mudlark who not only finds the most wonderful historical treasures but also gives the background to the items along with essential mudlarking tips and guidelines. Of course you can’t just roll up at low tide and start digging about in the mud, you need a permit and these can be obtained from the Port of London Authority.  They take about a month to process so give yourself plenty of time. As we were only in the UK for 2 weeks and not in London, I pored over the tide tables which are also on the Port Authority website, to ascertain the best time to get into London on …

Daily Moleskine 2018 June pages

Lots of sketches and splats of colour in June.  Two weeks of pages were completed while I was on holiday in England so there are some good memories in those pages. I like ‘Don’t panic’ as I did that page right before we flew to England and I was panicking!  I am an airport panicker, always worried I have forgotten something or something will go wrong! Also, I like the sunnies which opened June, a pretty bad sketch but it makes me smile anyway. Are you doing a 365 project?  How’s it going now we are half way through the year? Happy Tuesday x  

Faces of Lincoln Cathedral

Being back in Lincoln for a visit is such a joy. The weather has been amazing with warm temperatures and blue skies full of fluffy clouds. I walked up to the cathedral early one morning and explored as many nooks and crannies as I could see. Looking up and down there are faces everywhere. Gargoyles, figures, statues and animals, all to spot wherever you turn. These were some of my favourites. It just shows that if you look carefully you will be rewarded. Happy Thursday x

100 days of freeform mandalas 1-10

Yay! I am loving the 100 day project so far. Yes, I know, easy to say when we are only at day 17 out of the 100 required days, but I am not feeling the pressure and I am enjoying my mandala making. I think one of the main reasons I am liking it so much this year is that I haven’t restricted myself to a sketchbook or one paper type to make them on.  In fact I am sure at some point I will make a mandala which doesn’t even involve paper. Some are in art journals, a Moleskine sketchbook, a handmade sketchbook, a vintage library card, on an old black and white photo and on a sheet of ledger paper. I do need to find a box or envelope to keep the loose ones all together though or I can see that by the end of the 100 days I won’t remember where half of my mandalas are! Are you doing the 100 day project?  How is it going? Happy Thursday x   …

The Sketchbook Project 2018

The Sketchbook Project is hosted and housed by the Brooklyn Art Library and I got my little sketchbook many months ago! This is an amazing and unique project in that it is not curated, you buy a sketchbook, fill it up following the Art Library guidelines, send it back to Brooklyn and you are in.  Your book filled with your art is on a shelf along with the other sketchbooks waiting for someone to pick it out and browse it’s pages. I removed the original pages and made an accordion fold out which I painted both sides of and glued it back in. The theme I chose is ‘People I wish I knew’ and my book title is ‘Vintage names and modern faces’.  I snipped out some names from a vintage encyclopedia and glued one per page/face and painted a face onto each page. On the reverse side I painted a loose pattern. I still think this is a wonderful project and I will be signing up for 2019! Happy Monday x  

Get Messy Season of Kindness Week 7.

I have been practicing my faces this week guided and encouraged by the talented Katie Smith from Studio Katie and Get Messy Art Journal in the run up to the new class called ‘Sketching Faces’ and hosted by Get Messy. The top ladies are painted in black ink using a sumi brush and using a template provided by Katie which I put under my paper as a guide.  I like to put my own style on my faces and I am learning so much from this class and getting more confident at faces which are not straight on, like profiles and turned to one side slightly. I used my new favorite paper for these sketches which is ‘Tomoe River’ paper, it is lightweight but still stands up to ink without warping too much. The middle faces are painted onto vintage ledger paper which has a nice rough texture and absorbs the ink giving an interesting look. The last girl has painted botanicals in her hair and I used a stencil with ink in a mister to get …

‘I like’ Friday. Top Tips from vintage books.

I recently picked up some excellent books from the library sale cart and the local antiques mall. Old books are among my favorite things, the covers, the advice and the illustrations.  I love the books which were obviously very fashionable and cutting edge in their information at the time of publication.  Of course some of the writing is out of date and sometimes hilarious but a lot of it is still relevant and timeless. ‘New Bodies for Old (Why, Where and How to Exercise for Figure, Beauty and Health)’ by Dorothy Nye  was written as a guide to exercise written in 1936 and it has some sage advice for would be exercising ladies. On the first page, second paragraph we are treated to the following wisdom about the ideal body shape. “It is, primarily, a figure of bone and muscle over which a silken skin stretches in taut perfection. ” No pressure then…. They use the Rockette dancing chorus from Radio City as an ideal, citing measurements to aim for –   Top tips from …

Get Messy – Season of Colour Week 4.

Lots of colour play this week, using a few colours and using lots.  I learnt that I don’t love using yellow! I painted on these vintage library catalogue cards using a very marvelous tutorial and idea from Julia via the Get Messy members blog. What to do with the cards now? I added two of them to a page I started in my Season of Colour journal (made from paper bags and atlas pages).  This page was a fighter, I almost painted ‘I hate this page’ all over it at one point (I am not even a little bit joking!). But I persevered and after a slice of orange in my corner, I jumped back into the ring and finished the page. I am so pleased that I didn’t scribble all over the page in a tantrum! Happy Thursday x