Friday, 30 January 2015

Second guessing...

Claudia reminded me in a recent post about a technique with petroleum jelly that I first read about in Surface Treatment Workshop by Darlene Olivia McElroy and Sandra Duran Wilson. The dark blue on this page was acrylic paint applied over the petroleum jelly and once the paint dried I scraped it off. The only thing with using the petroleum jelly is that it makes it difficult to write on afterwards, which is why the outlining on the white writing tails off.

It was one of those pages where I just kept going, even when I thought it was okay. Sometimes you just have to go beyond what you're happy with and cover up some of those bits you love. It gives a depth that isn't possible otherwise.

I think I like it :)

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

One bad apple...

Why is it that we allow negative comments or experiences to carry so much more weight than positive ones? We let the one bad apple sour the whole boxful rather than chucking it out at the beginning and salvaging and consuming the rest.

Out with the bad apple, I say!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Take Me Deeper - Week 4

Take Me Deeper week 4 - Hebrews 10:19-23, transforming faithfully.

The journal I made for this year-long course is made of gelli-printed papers put together with the tag and slot method. This means that the opposing pages are hardly ever harmonious. I'm finding this quite a challenge to overcome when working on spreads. The pages aren't turning out as something that I like (except for last week!) but then, it's the process that is important.

Each week I am having to transform the pages and try to pull them together. I am having to transform them towards what I want them to be. And some days that takes a lot of wrestling.

For me, transforming faithfully means turning up every day, day in, day out, with a heart that is ready, malleable, and obedient. I look back over the past few weeks of this study and see that the things I am picking up on are about being close, drawing near, pressing in to God. If I want God to change me, I have to get close enough to let Him.

Thursday, 22 January 2015


The 2015 round robin/circle journal is starting to get going, but one participant has had to pull out because of an injury. I thought it would be nice if we sent her pages on her theme anyway, so here is my take on weather.

I've often talked about how I still find it difficult to correlate the weather outside with what I expect in my head at this time of year. To a northern hemisphere girl, January should be cold. As the song goes, Well the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. So while we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

The sun is blazing outside, but in my head it should be snowing. So here's my take on the weather.

Monday, 19 January 2015

5 minute pages

I've been having fun with pages done in 5 minutes. They have a completely different look to them. White space, for a start :)

The page above is what happened when a friend brought round some part-used sheets of sticky labels. I wanted to do something along the lines of a mosaic. By brayering on some acrylic inks and then cutting the labels up, I was able to do a paper mosaic that was harmonised in terms of colour without having to think too hard about the placement of each piece. After all, five minutes isn't very long.

The addition of a black line made me think about how we all stand alone and yet are all connected, too.

I think I'll be using some more labels soon...

The page above was done using a hand-cut stencil and some spray inks. Once the shapes were on the page they felt like balloons to me. I outlined each part of the fractured circle with a Copic marker and then with a black uni-ball pen. A few 'strings' and a thought and the page is done.

And here is a close-up of the labels. I like how the brayer makes the paint look almost like a glaze on ceramic tiles.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Take me Deeper - week 3

So, on to week 3 in the Take Me Deeper project over at the HKC community (see the button in the sidebar).

This week we are looking at 2 Corinthians 3:18
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (ESV)
January is about transforming, and this week, transforming submissively.
Submission - yield to a greater authority or to the will of another.

The thing that pops out to me when I read the verse is 'with unveiled face'. This conjures up the image of lifting my face up to the sun and feeling the warmth. A good feeling. I think of how I can lift my face to God without anything between us - no mask - and feel the warmth of His love and acceptance.

And because of this love and acceptance I submit to His authority, knowing that when He transforms me, it will be for my own good.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

How to flourish

I was just having fun playing with some new stencils I had cut, putting down colour and pattern with no real end in sight. The flower developed on one side of the page and a pattern on the other.

When I stood back I noticed the line dividing the space. There was a barrier between the two sides of the page. It made me think about what are the barriers that get in the way of my flourishing? (Flourish being my Logos365)

For a plant to flourish it needs sunlight, water, and food - trace minerals from the soil. But it needs these things within specific limits. Too much can be just as bad as not enough.

So I need to think about optimal levels for me to flourish, and how to remove any barriers to growth.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Just playing

I've been busy lately with writing a Faith Journalling 101 course and a children's story, so not so much journalling going on.

These tags have been hanging around on my desk and I have taken a few minutes every now and again to do things to them. It's a bit like working in a series, although looking at the photo, there seem to be two series here - the dark blue/purple ones and the pastel ones.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Take Me Deeper - Week 2

Take Me Deeper - Week 2 at HKC.

This week's verses are 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, and the idea is to think about transforming vulnerably.

The things that pop out to me are 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' and 'For when I am weak, then I am strong.'

Sufficient - as much as is required.
Vulnerable - able to be wounded.
Perfect - complete; having all the desired elements.

It is comforting to me to know that when I feel completely lacking, God is sufficient. He provides all that is needed. If He doesn't provide it, I don't need it.

When I am weak - vulnerable and open - then I AM is strong in me, because my own pride is set aside and I can see my need for Him. When I recognise my need for Him, I stop getting in the way and allow Him to have His way. Then I am transformed.

Thursday, 8 January 2015


There are times when it can feel like everything is a little too closed in.

As if you're moving through a very narrow tunnel.

With very high walls.

It isn't always comfortable.

But what can seem restrictive for a season can often lead to greater freedom in the long run.

I did my journalling on the back of this little tag.

The thoughts for this page came when I started putting the long triangles between the pieces of washi tape. As they started to emerge, I started to fan them out, and it felt like freedom.

The outlining on these circles and the stripes around the edge are done with some really creamy pencils from Derwent. I love the way the layers show through here - stencilled chevrons in gesso and spray ink, acrylic smeared over the top with a baby-wipe. The circles look as if they are stuck on over the top, but they are actually the holes in the paper left when I punched out the circles on the other side of the page.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Tags and stamps

A simple repeating stamp. Might be good for borders.

And some lovely artmail - tags from the tag swap over on the Creating and Sharing Mixed Media Art community.  First two from Donna Hanrahan on the theme of red.

And below, two tags and some sparklies from Shel C on the theme of magical. 

Tuesday, 6 January 2015


Focus. That's what you need if you want to reach your goals. Fix your eyes on the goal and say no to all the distractions.

I wanted to have a go at a different type of face for me. This one is copied from a postcard and done without drawing lines in first. I started with the base colour and then added shadows and highlights. It's a bit lumpy, but all-in-all, I'm pleased with the colours. She seemed to have a very fixed look, hence the subject of the page.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Take Me Deeper - Week 1

It's week one in the Take Me Deeper course over at His Kingdom Come. This week's Bible prompt is Romans 12:1-2:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as  a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)
The things that first jumped out at me were the words conform, transform, and renew.

Conform - to comply; measure up to; be similar in form to. We are commanded not to be conformed to the world. Don't be shaped to the world, but press close to God and be shaped according to His moulding. 

Transform - dramatic and thorough change in form, appearance, character, or nature. When we meet with God we undergo a transformation, much like a caterpillar into a butterfly. We change completely (or we should!) because now we are pressing close to God and conforming to Him and not the world. Our whole outlook on what is important changes. The fruit we produce should change to that which is more acceptable to God.

Renew - re-establish a relationship; give fresh life or strength to; replace something broken. God renews us in all these ways: we are reconciled to Him through Christ's death and resurrection; we are given new life and strengthened to live in a way that is acceptable to God; and we are mended in those places that we are broken.

Of course, some of these things need to continue over a life time, but when we are willing to present ourselves to Him and trust Him to do His will in our lives, we will see transformation.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Art Journal Journey

This month the theme at Art Journal Journey (see button in sidebar) is inspired by the masters. Although Irving Harper isn't an old master in the traditional sense, he is definitely a master with paper. My husband bought me a book about him for Christmas and I am definitely inspired!

The piece below is on p140 of the book Irving Harper: Works in Paper (edited by Michael Maharam, published by Skira Rizzoli Publications, 2013) It is made with window blind matchsticks and mat-board, whereas my version is paint and Copic Ciao pen. The words are my own.

Thursday, 1 January 2015


Happy new year, everyone!

Here are a couple of pages that I've done in the last week or so, both speaking to the same subject but from slightly different angles.

The first one seemed to be calling out for an eye. I had no idea why, but put it there anyway. It seemed to be looking through a peephole. This made me think about how we see only snapshots of the lives of others, so I drew in the lines from the edge of the circle. What is seen in that small field of view is what others choose to show us. 'Everything in the garden is lovely' is a mask that many of us wear, but out of view things may be a lot messier and darker.

We do not see the whole picture, so extend grace and mercy when dealing with others.

Then this page because I was still thinking along the same lines. This started out with the laying down of a layer of gelli-prints on greaseproof paper. A little thinned acrylic was put on in some areas, and then the collaged diamonds.

I thought about how, sometimes, a person can seem to over-react to a situation, or something you say to them. The strong reaction can come completely out of the blue, taking us aback a little. You wonder what you said or did. (And sometimes find yourself over-reacting too. It's worth looking at the underpinning reason for that.)

Perhaps it's not you. Perhaps it is something in the other person's past that causes them pain and they are reacting to that past hurt, not what you said or did, necessarily. Again, you are seeing a snapshot that is out of context unless you know their journey up to this point. 

Things can't always be taken at face value.