Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

I love the Internets

An hour or so after I posted the update on my future SIL and her twins, I got an email from Sue of Prem2Pram. It's a webshop where you can buy clothes and accessories for babies as tiny as 0-1lbs! She also donates premature baby items to hospitals to help look after those tiny babies, and even have a whole section of 'angel blankets' for those who sadly do not make it...

Sue asked me for my address because she wanted to send a little something for our tiny Jenson and Lewis. This is what arrived here yesterday:

Isn't that amazing? Look at how tiny those clothes are! And they've got buttons on the side especially for those little ones in incubators. The hats are adorable, and I love the fact that she put their names on them.

And all because she just happened to read my blog and wanted to help! I love the Internets!

A quick update: SIL has finally been able to see her boys yesterday, after 3.5 weeks. She got to hold Lewis in a 'kangaroo-cuddle', which means skin on skin contact with a blanket over the two of them, and got to change little Jenson's bum who then decided to poo all over his mum's hand and arm. Nice!

Jenson it turns out has a hole in his valve which apprently all babies are born with, and he is now on medication which should help heal it over. He's put on a waiting list for the operation should he need it, but the doctors feel they should give him a little more time to do it on his own. If he does turn out to need the operation then of course he will, but they'd rather him do it himself, of course.

Teeny-tiny little babysteps every day... But in the right direction now!
SIL feels so much better now she's seen them, and got to hold one of them and hold the other one's tiny hand, and is amazed at how everything's there but in miniature. And they respond to their names, which is just mindblowing.

Thank you everyone for keeping the boys and their mummy in your prayers, for sending positive energy and thinking of them. Thank you for asking about how they are, and thank you to everyone who's offered to send them a card. And thank you so much Sue for those adorable little clothes. We are all so grateful.

Things are looking much, much brighter today than they were just a few days ago.
Time to go and celebrate Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And then we spotted these two...

While doing our last Christmas shopping a few weeks ago (oh yes, you read that right, we finished out Christmas shopping in November) we spotted these two pigeons on the wall:

With everything going on I have been doing a lot of journaling in my Art Journal, adding bits of hand decorated tape here and there, so I'm sure there will be more journaling on this page too. But then again, I might leave this page like this, the pigeons deserve it.

Do you use street art in your Art Journal? Show me show me show me!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Moleskine flip through found on Youtube

As annoying as I find the 'recommendations' on Amazon and other places, I love them on Youtube. You stumble across videos that you would otherwise miss out on.

Here's a Moleskine flip-through with some amazing nudes and other work by Zipchips

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Those of you who follow me on Twitter have already heard about this, I'm sure.

Little over three weeks ago, my SIL was taken into hospital. She was 7 months pregnant with twins, and in terrible pains. She thought she was having them then and there, but instead was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Three days later, she told the nurse she was feeling the urge to push. The nurse said that she was being silly, she was not in labour, the babies were not ready to come out yet. But SIL said that yes, they were coming. Before the nurse could even get a doctor in, Jenson was born at 2 lbs 10. His brother Lewis followed less than 30 minutes later at 2 lbs 6. Both so tiny, they were taken away to be put in incubators. Mum was too ill to go and see them. She was still complaining about stomach pains, and the doctors were trying to figure out what was wrong with her. A hernia, another infection?

Then, two days after they were born, the hospital staff felt they could not give the twins what they needed, and the boys were taken to a hospital in London, where they have specialist care for premature babies.
At near enough the same time, Mum was rushed to ICU. There they found out that she had peritonitis. Her appendix was leaking into her abdomen. It was taken out and fell apart...

Very quickly, was Lewis started doing really well, and after a few days was breathing on his own. Jenson however had more problems. He was having difficulty breathing, had fluid in his lungs. When Lewis was taken off the special ICU, Jenson still needed a lot of help.

When Lewis was taken to another ward, still in an incubator though, he got MRSA, the dreaded hospital-infection. Another baby on the ward got infected too, but thankfully it was caught early.

And just now, we were told that poor little Jenson has a hole in his heart and needs to be taken to yet another hospital for surgery...

I don't know how much more this family can take. SIL is heart-broken. She is still so weak from all she has been through herself, and not having been able to see her babies since they were born is eating away at her. She is scared. We all are. Her husband has been an absolute rock, going from the hospital here in Chelmsford to see his wife to the hospital in London to see his boys, taking pictures and keeping everyone up to date on what is going on. Her other three children, two boys of 13 and 10 and a little girl of 7 have been absolutely brilliant, looking after their mum and doing those little jobs that they can.

I am not a religious person, I don't know how to pray. But I am so very grateful for all those amazing friends who have kept the twins, my dear future sister-in-law and the rest of the family in their prayers. I cannot thank you enough.

I have been telling my SIL about you. She can't imagine there are people outside our family who care. She certainly can't imagine people across the world holding her little boys in their prayers.

Today I was pouring my heart out on Twitter, as I tend to do these days, and the lovely @MagicBartender asked if she could send a card, to make this support a bit more tangible. I asked my MIL how she felt about that and she said that it is a lovely thought and that her daughter would deeply appreciate it.

If you would like to send my sweet future sister-in-law a card, letting her know that you are thinking of her boys, please contact me through Twitter, the Ning site or my email address ( ukeveline @ blueyonder dot co dot uk) and I will give you the address to send your card to.

Thank you so so much for all your prayers, thoughts, energy, for all the candles that have been lit and the suppport I have gotten through Twitter, and other places. It means more than I can ever tell you.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Remember my sketchbook, the one that looks like a Moleskine but is much-much cheaper and turned out to have squared paper instead of plain?
After a couple of sketches I got fed up with the squares. I tried to gesso the pages but they were too thin to take the gesso and it just didn't work.

So now, that sketchbook is my notebook. I keep the notes on the
'zine in there, blog ideas, video ideas (yes, that means that in future there will be more videos on Youtube!) and the odd note or two about which episode of House M.D. Season 1 we're up to and what page I am on when going all the way back on this blog I really like..

Anyyywayy... I needed some tabs, so I knew exactly where all my stuff is.
I nearly picked some up at the store and then I remembered this video:

and I made myself some tabs. OK, so they are not perfect, but at least they do the job. Look:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Art Journaling -It's All Good! Holiday Special

Remember our 'zine 'Art Journaling - It's All Good'? The great 'zine about anything Art Journaling?

Well guess what: we made you a Holiday Special, all about Art Journaling through the Holidays. Why you should and how you can, with great ideas and pages you can print out and use in your own Art Journal.

And because it's a Holiday Special, it's available for just $3!

Go to here to order your copy. Please allow 24 hours for your order to be processes.

And if you want to let us know what you think of the 'zine, or if you want your Art Journal pictures to be featured in our next issue, please email us at , or become a member of Art Journaling Ning, a free site where you can get in touch with other Art Journal enthusiasts and join in on conversations and show off your work!

Ohhh my goodness, I completely forgot to mention that if you purchase a copy of the 'zine this month you will help us support Hopeline, which is a suicide hotline and so much more. If you know anyone effected by depression or have personal connections with suicide, you know how important it is to get help. Please help us support this wonderful charity, especially during these dark days at the end of the year.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm a Nanowrimo Winner!!

Minutes ago, just 20 minutes before midnight, I fished my Nanowrimo story and I have to tell you.. It's been another tough one.

The last couple of hundred words just did not want to get written. At all. I still don't think I got the ending right, and have already got tons of notes on how to rewrite. And even though I know I have said this before, I think this story might actually be worth doing a rewrite on. Zombies are the new vampires, right?

Other than the usual struggle with the writing, we had to deal with some major family stuff here the last week, which made focussing on something as trivial as a zombie story difficult. But everyone seems to be a lot better now, and hopefully this monday, we will get to see the latest addition to the family; two tiny twin boys who are currently in a London hospital growing bigger and stronger every day!

How about some statistics?
Total word count: 50101
Days of writing less than 1667 words: 4
Days of not writing anything at all: 5
Highest number of words ahead of schedule: 10 373 (on day 6)
Lowest number of words ahead of schedule: 3353 (on day 22)
Words written on Day 1: 5286
Words written on Day 27 (last day): 2212
Times I wanted to quit: a billion
No, really, times I wanted to quit: Never! I love Nanowrimo!

But you know what I love most about Nanowrimo? When it's over and done with. When you save your work for the last time, and can sit there and smile at the screen that says 'YOU ARE A NANNOWRIMO WINNER!!'

Congrats to those who have already won this year, and those still writing: best of luck on the last few words. You can do it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Try It Out Thursday

Remember the Kraft tape I was talking about? I took it a step futher and made my own decorative tape!

Two weeks ago, Leslie Herger was doing her weekly Ustream show on turning medical tapes into decorative tapes by adding some paint, and I decided that I could not wait until I could get my hands on Micropore, but use my Kraft tape.

Here's what I did:

I started off with putting the tape on a cover of a catalogue I wasn't going to buy anything from anyway.

Then I painted and painted and painted, using acrylics paint in colours I like. Some I kept in one colour, some painted in a few different colours.

I doodled on some of them, others I drew lines on so I could write on them later.

I then stuck them to grease proof paper. Because my Art Journal has handy pockets throughout the journal, they're right there when I want them. I keep the catalogue covers in there too in case I feel the urge to paint some more tape.

Here are a few Art Journal pages I've used the tapes on:

It's highly addictive and such an easy project you could do it with children too. And don't stop at using the tape for your Art Journal, you can use them for scrapbooking projects, labels, cards, and wrapping presents.. I'm sure you can think of many more uses for these tapes.

I know what I'll be asking Father Christmas for this year: more tape!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Art Journaling - It's all good!

It's here! The second issue of 'Art Journaling - It's all good!', the 'zine allll about Art Journaling, is here!

If you liked the first one, you will love the second issue! It's full of articles, book reviews, it has a readers' gallery, tons of images, an interview with the amazing Tracey Moore, a piece by Dawn Sokol about Nanojoumo, tons of prompts to work with and even more. Over 50 pages of Art Journaling goodness!

Even though we would very much like you to join our online community, you don't have to be a member to get your copy of the 'zine. Go here to order your copy, and if you haven't got the first issue yet, you can still order that too.
They're only $5 each!

Besides getting an amazing 'zine, you'll also be supporting our charity for this issue: the UCSF Art For Recovery project.

So, go on over here, click on the icon of the issue you'd like to purchase and follow the instructions. Please allow 24 hours for your order to be processed, Leslie has to do it all by hand so it takes a while...


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nanowrimo - the notebook

While everyone else seems to be getting ready for Halloween I'm starting to worry about what will start the day after: Nanowrimo.

For those who don't know: Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. That's 30 days of writing 1667 words a day!

This will be my 6th time and I've never been less prepared than I am this year. Usually around this time of year I know who my characters will be right down to the colour of their eyes, I know where the story will take place, I know what needs to happen to drive the story I have in mind. This year... I have zombies. And all I know about zombies is that since 28 Days Later they can run. And I want to somehow incorporate a journal of some sort. And that's it. To say I'm slightly worried is a huge understatement...

To distract myself I'd like to tell you about what I think is the most important tool during Nanowrimo, aside from my laptop that is; the notebook.

On the first few pages I write down the daily goal. 1667, 3334, 5001, 6668 etc. etc. etc. Next to that I have a column of word count, where I can keep track of what I've actually written that day. I break that down in 'today' and 'total', so I can keep track of how many words I actually write a day, and how I'm doing as far as the goal is concerned. Then I have another column in which I keep track of how much I'm ahead or behind. Hopefully this year there will only be plus signs in that column with at least a few hundred words I'm ahead of schedule.

When you turn the notebook around, you'll see my brainstorm notes. This year there aren't that many, because I still haven't decided on so many things yet. But this is where I'll write down names and ages and eye colours and where scenes are to take place.

And on the pages after the word count columns I write down a daily synopsis. Nanowrimo is about writing, not editing. So you need to write, write, write and not look back. Sometimes it's difficult to do that because you're not 100% sure on what you wrote two or three days ago. For the most part, I'll just keep on writing. I've had where I called a character Joe for the first few days and then suddenly changed his name to Jim. I jotted down that I changed the name after a while, just in case I wanted to edit the story after Nanowrimo (turns out I never did, but that's beside the point), and just carried on going with the new name. But if you haven't been able to write for a day or two because of a pesky cold it's a good idea to have a couple of notes on your storyline so far.

See, I'm not so ill-prepared after all!

For more Nanowrimo survival tips, go here, and be sure to check the 'labels' on the right side of this blog for more posts on Nanowrimo.

Have fun Monday!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Try It Out Thursday

The other day I went to Hobbycraft, which has just opened in town. Ohmygoodness, what a shop! It has products for anything creative you can think of. Needlecraft, knitting and crocheting, jewellery making, card making, it has all the paints and paper you could possibly want, tons of stamps, pens, model making supplies, all kinds of quilting materials, kits to keep your kids busy during the half term break... I dragged Tye through all the aisles and had to stop myself from drooling. I could easily have spend a fortune in there!

An unexpected find was kraft tape. The nice brown coloured paper tape that is used to back paintings. I got the permanent kind.

Sooooo.. let's try it out, shall we?

I stuck it to a page in my journal and burnished it quite well. I tried peeling it off but it wasn't easy like with masking tape. I like! Let's add some paint.

I just started drawing and out came this face. I don't particularly like it, but I wasn't going for a pretty picture anyway but am just testing things out. So I added some verrry runny white paint, which made the tape bubble up to begin with. After leaving it to dry for a bit, those bubbles disappeared. And the tape was still stuck right to the paper. So far so good!

On the next page, I put at a fair amount of paint. I scraped it with an old gift card, but there were eight or ten layers. And then I spotted a face! I got my charcoal pencil and outlined the face, adding more charcoal on the paint and smoothing it out so the face would pop out more.

I did the same to the next page, adding more and more paint because I couldn't spot a face straight away.

Then I remembered I was actually testing out the tape. Duhh! So I stuck a strip of tape on it, and was happy to see it stuck to the paint quite nicely.
And because of the charcoal I put tons of hairspray on the pages so it would not smudge anymore.

I left it to dry and was glad to see the kraft tape is still where it should be, and even covered in hairspray you can still write on it.

Yayyy for kraft tape! What will you try out today?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy birthday Oma.

My Oma (nan) passed away a shocking 9 years ago, and today would have been her 86th birthday. Happy birthday Oma!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Let me introduce you

Reader, meet Art Journal 9. Art Journal 9, meet Reader.

I got this journal at the car boot sale and fell in love with the kraft-paper-coloured pages. They are lined and squared, not really thick but thick enough to take paint and collaged materials.

After every ten pages there is a double sided pocket page, which I love!

And here are my first few pages.

Some journaling and a little character that came out of nowhere.

Doodling while watching art shows on Ustream.

Trying out my circle cutter and new paints.

Circles seem to be a theme lately...

I already feel so much better using this journal. I like the size, I like the paper, I can't wait to get to the first pocket page even though I don't have anything I can stick in there yet but I'm sure I'll find something.
I'm not a massive fan of ringbound journals, but I think I can overcome that with this one.

It will take me a while to fill this journal, so a flip-through will have to wait, but until then I'll be sure to post more pictures.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Should you always finish what you start?

I was raised with the idea that if you start something, you should finish it. OK, so that didn't quite work out for my much hated piano lessons, but it does go for a lot of other things in my life. Project 365, even though there were days I screamed that I had nothing to take a picture of and I wanted to quit, had to be seen through 'because I had started it'. Same goes for Nanowrimo, but I'll talk about that later this month.

When I first started journaling, in one of those little diaries with a lock on it, I knew I had to write on all those pages before I could start a new one. And that's what I did for years and years. I have a whole stack of them, I think my last written journal was number 33 or something.

And then I started Art Journaling. And I kept to the same principle: you start an art journal, you fill it up to the last page and then you start a new one. And I've been doing that for the last 7 Art Journals until I came to this one....

Art Journal number 8 is big, made from file folders, and it is not pretty. There have been some personal issues I've been working through while splashing paint around, and it really helped to do so.

And then we went on holiday and I kept a Travel Journal, and life got better and I felt better and I didn't want to open that angry Art Journal anymore. And I found a perfect journal that could be Art Journal number nine..

But, but, but.. If I do start a new Art Journal without finishing the previous one, my journals will not be in chronological order anymore. And I will not be able to do another flip-through until I finish another book.. and.. and...

I know it's nothing incredibly important, but it does feel a bit like I'm letting the side down. Maybe I should keep the previous Art Journal for those moments that I need to get some anger out, but does that mean that I can't work through any emotions in my new one?

I guess I'll figure it out as I go along.

(Whoooooo, I'm starting a new Art Journal without finishing my current one. I'm a rebel me!!)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Busy busy busy

Life is pretty hectic here at the moment.

I've started a new job a few weeks ago. I work in a pub, I do a bit of cleaning and I do a bit of serving food. No, not at the same time, but I enjoy both sides to the 'working in a pub' experience so far, and I'm actually getting to know people in the neighbourhood. I've only been living here for four years, so it's about time...

Then there's the Old Skool Drawing 101 course I'm taking. Leslie is doing such a great job teaching us the very basics of how to draw and I'm loving every minute of it. I should draw a lot more than I currently am, but I'm adjusting to the working life... which is strange after so many years of sitting at home doing my own thing. Drawing is a great way to relax though and I should start thinking of it as such a bit more.

Nanowrimo is coming up next month and I'm trying to decide what I'm going to write about. This will be my 6th time, so you'd think I have this all planned out months in advance. Um.. Nope. I do try and come up with a sort-of-kind-of idea before the clock strikes midnight on Halloween, because that's when I start typing like a looney to try and get the 1667 words a day, but as I've learned from past experience, things can change drasticly without you even knowing. Two years ago my main character decided to adopt a cat without asking me first! How dare she! But it was great for word count so I wasn't too upset.
If you're a fellow Nano-er and want to add a writing buddy, my user name on there is Eveline_UK. Feel free to add me.

Then there's the fact that my sister-in-law (well, not really because Tye and I aren't married yet) is expecting twin boys. I have decided to make them each a crocheted blanket. This one here. I have never done anything larger than a beanie hat and a skinny scarf, so I am a bit nervous, but I got my yarn today and I'm going to start making my first rows tonight. (See, by writing it here I have to! No backing out!) I'll keep you posted, because SIL doesn't read my blog anyway..

Of course we're also working our butts off to get the second issue of 'ZINE, 'Art Journaling - it's all good' ready for Nov. 1st. It is going to be even bigger and better than the first issue, so be sure to get your copy! We're thinking of changing the payment system, so please check or my blog for details nearer to Nov. 1st for details on where to get your copy. If you haven't seen the first issue yet, it's still for sale, so run on over to to get your copy!

And if that wasn't enough, I've gone PRO. Oh yes! And before you start going to a dark place, I meant that I've gone PRO on It doesn't change anything for you, but for me it's made things a lot easier and I'm really happy to have taken the plunge.
I've just listed a set of knotted necklaces to celebrate.

Please head on over to to see more pictures, more product and of course to purchase.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Watch out, girly post!

Today I had something done that I had wanted to for a long long time: having my eyebrows threaded. There has been this little booth in town where they do it, and it's always busy, and we're always rushing around getting our bits, so I never really got round to actually having it done, but today I did.

MAN did it hurt!!

Here's the before:

I know, I really needed to pluck them! She pulled out ten hairs at a time at one point, and I was sure I was bleeding! It took a while for the redness to disappear, but I do like the result:

She got me a loyalty card where I'd get the 6th time free, but I might watch some Youtube videos and learn how to do it myself. Might be less painful, too.

(Oh, and on Thursday I'm having another haircut. Ohhhyeahhhh!)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Finished Travel Journal

Here is the flip through video of my finished Travel Journal. Tye was helping me with the camera work while I did the flipping, and his singing and comments were too funny to not include into the final video.... Just excuse his coughing and sniffing please.

And some pictures, too. (Yes that is sand and those are pebbles. I took some plastic baggies just so I could add some sand and pebbles to my Travel Journal.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Resizing pictures for

Well hello there! I know it's been a while, I've been on holiday and it took me a bit to get back into the normal swing of things, plus I had this Travel Journal to work on (note to self: next time try and keep up while actually on holiday, so you don't have to play catch-up so much when you return) and on top of that I got offered a job at the pub around the corner. Just a few hours a week for now, and just a bit of cleaning and helping out once or twice a week when they do a food-night, but hey, it's a start.


As some of you know, I'm a moderator for, and one of the things I have to moderate is the posting of pictures. On Artjournaling, we're limited to 5 pictures a day, and they are only allowed to be under 100kbs each.

Because not everyone knows how to resize a picture to the size allowed on Artjournaling.Ning, the lovely Kerri aka ikerrilove on Twitter was kind enough to do a video on how to resize pictures.

Thank you Kerri for doing this video! Be sure to check out Kerri's blog too, and don't forget to join her Ustream show on Friday at 8 pm EST.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Travel Journal

Remember this journal I made a few months ago? Well I've turned it into a Travel Journal for me to take on holiday this week.

Because it's made from envelopes, it has tons of space to put tickets, receipts, pictures (I am taking my Pogo printer of course!) brochures, cards and whatever else I will come across in, plus it still has enough space for journaling.

I can't promise anything, but I will try and video me journaling in it, and of course I will show off the journal once it's finished.

Have you kept a travel journal? Show me show me show me! ;)

Art Journaling - It's all good 'zine is here!

We've talked about it, teased people about it, worked hard on it and now it's finally here: Art Journaling - it's all good, the 'zine!

'We' are Connie of Dirty Footprints Studio, Leslie of Comfortable Shoes Studio, Jonathan aka Blade of The Artistic Biker, Samantha Kira of Journal Girl, Klair aka Rhomany of Rhomany's Realm and me, and the 'zine is full of Art Journaling goodness. There are articles by all six of us, an interview with the lovely Teesha Moore, bookreviews and plenty of links to keep you going for a long time.

And all this for only $5!

You can go to, a great site where Art Journalers can connect, show their pages, talk in the forums, keep a blog, take part in workshops (some a free, for some you have to pay) or host your own, or you can click on the button below and get your copy.

You'll be directed to paypal for payment. You will then be redirected to the site for download. Please give us (well, Leslie) 24 hours to get the password and login to you for entry. Please look closely at the notes to the seller section. It contains the login and password.
Please be sure that you are entering the login and password in ALL lowercase letters. If you need assistance in anyway, please get in touch with Leslie of Comfortable Shoes Studios (she has an 'Email me' button on her blog, but you can also get in touch with her through but due to the large number of orders we are getting for the zine please allow 24 hours to get back to you. Please be sure to include your Paypal email address in all messages.

Well go on then... Click the button and sit back and relax while you read this brand new 'zine!

*Edit: No. 1 of the 'zine is sold out!*

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What is your creative style

Through Craft Therapy I found a test on on art and what your creative style is.

This is my result:

Creativity is a release

For you, creativity is first and foremost a form of expression: it creates a special link between the internal and external worlds. It allows you to get a grasp of your powerful emotions, by moulding them into a physical form. In fact, the most important thing for you is to be able to release your emotions. You need to be able to touch them or look at them in concrete form, and to do that you have to find a way to make them come alive. This is how your desires and anxieties take shape. Keeping things bottled up creates a tension that can only be resolved once you have expressed how you feel. This means you have to be strong enough not to let yourself get swept away by chaotic impulses; if you turn your creative urges on everyday life — making a picnic, singing to the baby, choosing what to wear — you can express yourself while staying rooted in reality. Creativity is principally cathartic. It relieves a deep need, an almost primal, archaic impulse. For you, being creative is about having the power to give form to something you feel, to those deep personal issues that are often raw and disorganised. For these reasons you are usually attracted to art that demands physicality, that allows you to express what’s inside, and that unites spontaneity, strength, freedom, power and movement.

Wow. That is really spot on! Especially lately my Art Journal has been filled with personal stuff rather than making 'a pretty page'. It's more raw and dark than what I have done in the past, and it feels more real that way.

Want to do your own test? Go here and be sure to let me know what your result is!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Car boot sale Haul

I'm sure you've seen me talk about car boot sales before. Here in the UK, usually during the weekend but in some places during the week aswell, people pack their cars full of unwanted stuff, drive to a field somewhere, pay a fee and start selling their items on tables or rugs they put down, hoping buyers are interested in their stuff.
It's one of my favourite things to do during the spring and summer months, looking for a great deal or something unique or something you've always wanted.

When we first started going, I was keeping an eye out for books, and wooden egg cups for me to paint and put up in my Etsy shop. The hunt for books is still going strong, but I'm now looking for art supplies and I have found many, many great things.
After watching a couple of haul videos people put up on Youtube after having been to craft or art stores, I decided to do a quick video of some of the items I've scored (and I really mean scored) at car boot sales.

And I haven't even shown my alphabet punches, my other punches, my stack of stencils, glitter paints, one of my art journals was a little book I found at the car boot too...

In the video I show you the embossing powders I had not used when I filmed it. Right after I cleared away all the stuff, I decided to try them out and was rather happy with the result:

Monday, August 16, 2010


Searching Vimeo for some cool sketchbook videos to share here on my blog, I stumbled across this one. It looks more like a diary with sketches thrown in, and without knowing anything about this person I'd say they've gone through a lot in the few months it took to fill this book.

book 20 (oct 1993 - apr 1994) from womanonfire on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Black gesso texture

The other day at the car boot sale I picked up some black gesso I have been keeping an eye out for for ages as well as a heat gun. Yayy!

Time to play, but I had no clue what to do with them just yet.

Thankfully, Ky aka Scrapacat posted a challange on her blog. So this afternoon, I cleared all the stuff off the desk (yes I know I had only just cleaned it but lots of my supplies happen to live on my desk) and try out a new camera angle while I tried out my new toys.

Because I had never used a heat gun before I was surprised to see the paint start to bubble up! Perfect for this challenge! Added some Pearlescent paint I picked up at the car boot sale last year, wiping some off with my trusty babywipes and in no time I had a fun textured page.

Thank you Ky for your challenge!
It took some blood, sweat, tears and many many naughty words before it was fiiinally uploaded to Youtube (still haven't got a clue where I went wrong today, but let's not think about that anymore, it's there and that's the most important thing!) but now I can safely go to bed knowing it's all done and ready in time for Ky's deadline.

Amazing travel art

Although the weather would be nice if it was late October instead of August, it is still summer, which means it's time to go on holiday! What a perfect time to take your art journal or sketchbook and do some work while you're on the train, ferry or on your flight to wherever it is you're going.

Christoph Niemann went from New York to Berlin and documented the flight in this visual diary, and it is absolutely brilliant!

If you're travelling any time soon, try and fit in some art time and be sure to give me a link to post on my blog when you're back safe and sound.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Drawing 101 starting in September

As you've seen on my blog and Youtube, I've started to sketch a bit here and there. I'm enjoying it very much, but without guidance and complete lack of education, I'm just doing what I think I should, making numerous mistakes along the way.

But from September, I'm going to take an online drawing course, 'Old skool art: drawing 101' run by Leslie Herger.

This is what she has to say about the course:

The intention of this course is to introduce you to some basic drawing tools and skill building exercises. I make it no secret that I believe that drawing is something you can improve with practice. Just like exercising a muscle you can exercise your drawing skills.

By gaining knowledge in the use of your tools you’ll have more confidence in your abilities. Drawing is a combination of learning how to properly see what is before you so that you can translate that into an image. You train your eyes to see so that your hand can record. Learning different ways of recording can help you translate what you see to paper. We’re going to focus on that first before anything else. After a few lessons of learning different ways to use your tools we’ll start to look at images to record.

Old Skool Art: Drawing 101 is the drawing class you never took. It's a kinder gentler approach to drawing than you've had in the past. We'll focus on ways to use pencils and skill building exercises. We'll have live content as well as PDF.

The cost for this course is $35 and it will officially open on Sept 6th.

And here is where you can sign up and join me in learning how to draw!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sketchbook video

Three updates in a day? Well, it's almost 11 pm here in the UK, so almost tomorrow..

Just thought I'd show you the sketches I've been doing lately. It's all Leslie's fault, she got me started on this!

Please note that this video is labelled 'PG 13' due to 2 nudes.. Not that I think anyone I know would mind, but hey, you never know who might get offended. Which truth be told I'd take as a compliment because that means that my scribbles actually resemble a nude lady. ;)

This is what I'll be doing today

Peanut shapes. Yeah. I know. Sounds ridiculous. But I've been looking at Youtube videos on drawing, and these seem fun. Of course I'll do them on paper, not on screen.

Matthew Archambault is an adjunct instructor at the School Of Visual Arts in New York and has his students do these peanut shapes in their first week at school. He considers it a great warm up as well as a shape that will help you draw figures later on. In this student's sketchbook video there are two or three pages filled with these shapes at about 6:14 into the video.

I'll be sure to let you know how I get on.

The Top Secret Project revealed!

If you are already a member of, or have been following me on Twitter, and certainly if you've been attending Blade's ustream shows on Thursday night, you will have heard that Leslie, Connie, Rhomany, Blade aka Artistic Biker, Samantha Kira and I have been working on a Top Secret Project.

We have been teasing people for weeks now, telling them that we would be revealing the secret, but then decided that we just were not ready yet. We still had a lot of things to sort out, and although some decisions have yet to be made, we can now reveal that...

No wait...
Let's get Blade to tell you what we've been up to, about 7 min. into the show.

Are you excited?? I know I am!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

So I finally tidied up my desk

It was needed. Very very much needed. I could not see the desk itself anymore. It was covered in.. well, stuff that was thrown on the desk. Besides my pens and brushes and babywipes and a book or two that live there, it had grown to be the place to dump letters, things that I would take downstairs but not right now, where I kept the Hama-beads we had picked up for dirt cheap at the car boot sale to keep the nieces happy, my own beads, you get the picture, right?

So yesterday, I finally took everything off, threw out two bags of *&^$$& that I didn't need or want or even thought of keeping for 'you never know', and tadaaa.. I have a desk again! A desk I can work at! A desk, I thought today, I could sit at to work in my new Art Journal while having the camera rolling. (Not rolling exactly now that we all use digital camera's, but still...)

And here it is, the first video since my very first two that I've actually done sitting at my desk. I do apologize for the crappy camera-angle. Or not really the angle, but me forgetting where it was and what would actually show up... I'll do better next time, promise!

Friday, July 23, 2010


I turned my back on my Artfire shop for two seconds, and what happens? Monsters take over!

Here they are:

These little monsters are actually ACEOs ,Artist Cards Editions and Originals. They are all 3.5" x 2.5" (or 8.9 cm x 6.4 cm), the same size as regular trading cards. Their size is all they have in common. You can find ACEOs in any medium, from water colours to fabric, from oil paint to metal work and anything else you can think of.

ACEOs are highly collectible, and make cute gifts or nice bookmarks. They can be kept in trading card albums, but will look best framed on their own or in a group.

You can collect ACEOs by artist, medium, theme, colour scheme, style, anything you like. And before you know it, you'll have a whole bunch, and it won't cost you an arm and a leg.

These ACEOs were inspired by the knots in the woodpanels of my wardrobe. Those of you who've been following this blog for a while might recognise them, because I first showed them in my Art Journal. They were done on cardboard, in coloured pencil and a tiny bit of gesso.

Run over to my shop to see all pictures and collect them all!

Friday, July 16, 2010

You don't need all that stuff

The other day I was talking to Leslie of Comfortable Shoes about how easy it is when you start out Art Journaling to get lost in collecting more and more and more supplies. You watch a couple of videos, read some blogs, and all of a sudden you feel like you can't live without certain acrylics or glazes or stamp pads or patterned paper, or that you have to have tons of stamps or at least a Moleskine because everyone's got one...

Like Leslie said on Twitter the other day and like she said on her blog, you don't need all that stuff! If you just get your art journal, which does not have to be a expensive name brand journal, and a mark maker, you're set to go. Use a pencil, a marker, a pen. Just one. It's enough to art journal. Having tons of stuff staring at you while you're waiting for inspiration might even stop you from creating anything at all. Especially if the supplies are expensive, and you feel like you have to wait for The Right Moment To Use Them, you might never get to that point.

Here are two pages in my brand new art journal, both done in BIC pen only. Well, on a pre-gessoed page, but still..

The first page is about the loss of a girl on the eating disorder forum I work for. She's been there for years, went through an awful lot and seemed to be doing slightly better.. but not everything is the way it seems. The other day she was found after taking a overdose, and she was already gone...

The second one is a very happy page, it's where I write about how four years ago, I moved to England to be with my Love. It's amazing how time flies!

I quite like the rawness of these pages. The 'this is all I've got and it's all I needed'. All it takes is a journal and a pen.

Now it's your turn! I would love to see what you can do in your journal with just a pen or a pencil or some markers. And be sure to show Leslie, too!