Saturday, December 31, 2011

Postcard Challenge

Just two more days and the Postcard Challenge will start!
I of course have changed my mind a billion times on who my characters will be, and still have not decided anything yet. I try not to let this worry me, when Darcy gives us the first country I'll do my art work first...

I'm still incredibly excited about this. I can even see this being turned into my Nanowrimo for next year.

But first I needed a book. The lovely who thought of this fie folder book offered to pre-fold some filefolders and sent them to people who did not want to fold their own or could not get any where they are, oh yes please! I got some sturdy cardboard to make the cover out of and used the same white ductape as I did for my magazine Art Journal.

So here it is, my Postcard Challenge book:

There's also a Facebook Group and a Flickr Group for those interested in seeing all the work done in this challenge. And of course I will be posting all my cards on this blog, so you can keep up with the story as it unfolds.

Roll on 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Birthday Girl

Guess who had her very first birthday last Monday? I had to wait for better weather to take some pics:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Night Daddy

When first reading about Darcy's postcard challenge for the new year, I suddenly remembered a book I used to read when I was a lot lot younger called 'Nachtpapa', or 'Night Daddy' in English.

From what I remembered, it was about a little girl who gets a babysitter for when he mum has to go to work at night. It's a man she starts to call her Night Daddy, and he's a bit of a character, because he's a Writer and he has a pet owl. The postcard challenge reminded me of the book, because the girl and the Night Daddy start writing to each other. He writes on blue paper and she writes on pink or yellow, I wasn't too sure anymore.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find it in Dutch anywhere where they could send it to me for something other than a billion pounds, so I had to settle for the English version.
It arrived the other day and I love it!

It's an old library book and it was last due 28th Feb. 1977!
(note the '2p per week or part of the week' fine if you're late returning your book!)

It's so strange to read it in English. The book sounds so.. serious. I can't really remember if it was like that in Dutch, it must have been. It's a Swedish book written in the late '60's, right smack in the middle of the first feminist wave. Julia does not have a dad, and is glad about that fact too.
' My mother isn't married, and I'm glad about it, because otherwise I'd have one of those ordinary fathers, and would have never had a night daddy. [...] They all look harmless, jusst like other old men. They don't talk much - the mothers do all the talking, but the mothers are always dragging them into the conversation. They are always saying 'that's up to Dadddy. Ask Daddy. Daddy said... I'm going to tell your Daddy!' I wouldn't like to have a life like that. '

It turns out the word 'Night Daddy' comes from the word 'Night Mummy' for 'babysitter'. The babysitter is a writer, just like I remembered, and he's writing a book about stones. Because Julia likes to write too, they decide to write a book about themselves, but they're not allowed to read what the other person wrote. Not yet, anyway.

'We write on loose-leaf paper, which we then put into a notebook. Julia writes on yellow paper, and I on blue so we don't mix up the notes and read each other's by mistake. We never write during the day - only at night when we're togegther. But we never work at the same time. It wouldn't do because then our thoughts might get mixed up.

Did I really read this when I was about 8? Wow.. Quite different from Horrid Henry or even the first Harry Potter book.

Anyway.... I'm off to finding some inspiration for my postcard challenge characters and finishing my Night Daddy book!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tim's tags no. 2

Here's another Tim's tags, inspired by his second tag of the '12 tags of Christmas'.

It was a bit difficult because of the background, but I just freehanded some musical notes and hoped for the best:

And then I got out my watercolours:

I've already had a little look and some of the next tags are very stamp-based. That will be a challenge. I might do 'essence of stamp' on my next tags....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tim's tags

Last week, I stumbled across Tim Holtz' 12 tags of Christmas, where he shows you how you can make 12 diffferent tags, using all his products and his techniques.

While the tags look great, my jaw nearly dropped when I saw the amount of products used for one single tag. Tim Holtz puts handy dandy links under each tag, and the first one had 24 products used. Incredible, especially when you realise that his stuff isn't exactly on the cheap shelf in the arts and crafts shop.

So while I was moaning about this on Twitter, the lovely Dede aka Inkiwell thought of a great challenge: why not paint the tags! Forget about all the expensive inks and papers, let's get our paints out and see what happens.

I did this in pen, water colours and a tiny bit of white acrylic paint:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Creative 2012

It's starting to look as if 2012 will be my most creative year yet.

Not only do I have it on good authority that Father Christmas will be dropping some arty presents in my stocking this year, Alisa Burke announced new art classes for January and February and I've asked Tye if he would please-please-pretty-pleaaaase sign me up for Sketchbook Delight part 2 as a birthday present.

As if that wasn't enough, I found some free art classes on the Strathmore site that start in January, too.

And to top that off, I just learned that the lovely Darcy over on is starting a postcard challenge in which you let two fictitious characters write each other postcards from around the world. How amazing is that!

Roll on 2012! You're going to be so much fun!

(and that's without me mentioning that *cough*I'llbehostinganonlineclassoveronartjournalingdotningdotcom *cough*. There. I said it... kind of...)

Saturday, December 10, 2011


You know how you work in your Art Journal and you completely love one page and another one not so much? And how when you open your book to start working in it you first go back to that favourite page?

This was my favourite page:

I gesso'd the page and suddenly I saw these figures in it. All I had to do was trace it. First in red, but that wasn't working for me. So then I used a black marker and traced it again. Much better. I filled in the figures and rest of the page in blue, but that didn't stand out as much, so they went back to white and that worked.

But then last night, after gesso'ing another page, and putting some watercolours down, and some of my DIY mod podge (I use about 2/3 glue and 1/3 water) I started seeing a face... So out came my black marker again, following the lines I could see in the background paint.

I decided to only use white paint on half of the face, leaving some of the background paint showing.

I absolutely love it! My favourite page like everrrr...!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


A while ago, I was watching Joyce's Ustream, and she was showing how she glues babywipes to paper so it's easier to use them later.

I use babywipes all the time, to clean my brushes before I stick them in water, to wipe my hands when they get covered in paint, or to wipe off a bit of paint from whatever it is I'm doing. So those get lots of paint on them, and sometimes they end up looking really pretty. But cutting babywipes and sticking them to your Art Journal page is difficult, the fabric tears and does not cut easily.


Here's what I did with the first batch I glued to paper, then cut then sewed together:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I see what you don't see

The Dutch game of 'I spy with my little eye...' would translate to 'I see, I see what you don't see...' I was thinking about that game today, when the last of our Christmas presents arrived from Amazon, in a big box filled with this:

What do you see? Do you see paper that needs to go straight in the bin, or are you like me and do you see... OhmygoodnessbrownpaperIcanturnintoajournal!!
(I have to be honest here and mention that Tye was the one who opened the box and said 'I take it you want to keep this?' He is very well trained...)

The paper Amazon uses for packaging isn't the thickest of brown paper, but on the plus side it's perforated so it can easily be divided into strips that you can then fold over....

I ended up with 28 sheets that I folded:

I will glue about half an inch into the fold (roughly where I put the bulldog clip) then put holes where I put the glue, stack all the pages up and put a ribbon through it.
I might take two sheets and glue them together to create a slightly more sturdy cover.

Because the paper isn't the thickest in the world I can't put too much on it. I'll do some test sheets on paper that was already ripped and I can't use for the journal, and see just how much paint it will take. I'm thinking of limiting my pallet for this to just black, white, grey and maybe some blue or red.

I've put the sheets in my flower press so the worst of the creases will hopefully flatten, and I'll start on the glue tomorrow. Yayy! Thank you Amazon for this free journal!!