Sunday, 23 January 2011

getting hooked on art journaling

The other day I mentioned that I'd been doing an art journal page. It was about how I'm looking forward to spring - I can't wait for colour to creep back into England! Here's the page:

Lots of layers of paint and stamping, with some paint detail on the face. I wanted to make her look like a nature spirit, and have her blending in a bit with the background:

I also used some fountain pen ink on the page when the paint was still a little damp, so the ink ran, like fresh spring shoots creeping up from the ground, all wet with dew:

After I'd done this page, I was trying to think how to do my next journal page. I have been using layers of painting and stamping, using the same kind of techniques, on all my pages so far. Then, when I popped into the local library, this book happened to be sitting on the just returned shelf:

It's fabulous! It's one of those creative books that makes you think 'ooh, I want to try that, and that, and that' every time you turn the page. It's got all kinds of ideas tumbling around in my head. Here's the first page I've completed since reading it, about how much I'd love a holiday:

My main aim for the page aesthetics was to cut bits from magazines and books, and stick them on without them looking out of place:

I love the plane stamp in the top right corner, I want to use this on a scrapbook page soon too:

I have about 5 pages in my head that I am looking forward to putting together already. It feels very therapeautic to do, because it lets out some thoughts and feelings, whilst also doing my most favourite hobby of playing with paints and papers!

What to you think? Do you do any art journaling, and if so, can you suggest any great books or websites for even more inspiration? Let me know. xxx

Friday, 21 January 2011

making birthday goodies

It was my husband's birthday on Wednesday, so I made lots of bits and pieces. Here's the quadruple chocolate cake I made for him, with a racing car made from royal icing on top:

Some bunting which has images of racing cars, choc cake, chinese food and cards on it, as these were the theme of the evening! I got all the images off clipart, printed them out, and then made the bunting from paper to stick them onto:

I got this frame from a charity shop, printed the photo of hubby and daughter, and then got daughter to do a drawing of them together to put next to it. This was her present for him. Of course, she told him about it before his birthday, when we'd just made it. 'I've got a picture for your present Daddy' she said. Too cute!

Here's some fingerless gloves I crocheted for him, I had started them for a Christmas present, but only just finished them on tuesday!

The cards we made him. My daughter's one started out as a spaceship and a racing car, but she told him it was a river, a bridge, and him. So it's a transforming card!

Finally, I made him some mince pies, as I had promised to make some of these at Christmas and never got round to it. He loves mince pies!

And here he is, enjoying his evening playing scalextric, his xmas pressie from me, which he has had lots of fun with:

I think he enjoyed his day and liked all the things I made!

Hope you have a good weekend! xx

Sunday, 16 January 2011

My word for 2011

Hello all!

I have finally decided on my word for 2011: 'Guardian'. I really enjoyed having last year's word as a scrapbook page, stuck up on the wall of my study all year to keep me inspired. (You can see last year's word here if you're interested.) So I have made a page for this year too (click to see it larger):

Journaling reads:

It's 2011 and I am a guardian. My little girl will be three soon, and I'm expecting our second child. I must remember that even when I'm tired and frustrated I'm still a mother, protecting my children and nurturing them as they grow. I need to look after their daddy as well, to give him strength to be a guardian too.

I'm also guardian of my own life. I need to take care of myself. And things won't happen for me unless I make them happen.

I was inspired to use lots of buttons when I saw the Scrapbooker's Anonymous challenge this month (to use 17 buttons or more). I've used way more than 17! I set them out like a protective circle, and then I smashed some up and added the bits around the circle, like the awkward, sharp bits of life that I'm trying to guard us from.

It was harder than I thought it would be to smash up the buttons, I had to freeze them, put them in a plastic bag, and then whack them really hard with a hammer. I had a few white buttons I wanted to break, but couldn't even get them to chip! I am happy with what I ended up with though.

It took me quite a while to get the page completed, as I hadn't scrapped in so long. Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of it now. I've certainly got the creative bug back - today I've been working on an art journal page, and some polymer clay buttons. I'll show them off to you soon!


Wednesday, 12 January 2011

December catch up, part three

Okay, the last of my photos from December. My mum, stepdad, and sister stayed for a few days after Christmas, and one of those days we visited Lulworth Castle, a nearby attraction which I'd never been to before. Despite the day being very cold and windy we had a great time. They had events going on: a magician, a storyteller, an activity table, and a christmas cracker hunt (if you spotted all the crackers you got a bag of sweets).

My daughter loved it there, as she thinks she is a princess and that it's therefore her castle, of course. She even joined in the story, which children got to act out as the storyteller told it - my little girl was an old lady in the woods (it was a very small part!).

My Stepdad Mick even joined in - he made a brilliant evil troll!

Little miss also liked the cracker hunt, running around trying to find them all. Then we had a cake and a cuppa in the cafe, saw the animals at the animal farm, and played in the playpark.It was a great day out, and it was good to go then, as the attraction has just announced that it won't be putting on events any longer as it can't afford them. A real shame, as there's not much for kids there otherwise.

We also did a bit of sales shopping, and my mum bought this very cute outfit for her grandaughter, hopefully it will still fit her next year:

And my little girl also had her first proper haircut, courtesy of my sister Katy who's a qualified stylist (so proud of her!):

So, there we go, you're all caught up with what we've been up to! I promise the next post will feature a scrapbook page, but in the meantime, do you like the new blog background and header? The background is from Shabby Blogs, and I designed the header myself in Microsoft Publisher. It's probably a bit spring-themed for mid-January, but I like it!

Bye for now xxx

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

December catch up, part two

Okay, a few more photos from December, this time from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. My Mum, Step-Dad, and little Sister came to stay with us, and we had a lovely time with them, playing games and eating way too much!

(me making pancakes xmas morning, with bacon and maple syrup mmm)

(loved my daughter's xmas outfit!)
(Boxing Day walk in Swanage, all sporting new wooly hats)

( playing tag with the waves!)

(one of my mum's presents was balloon putty that you could blow into a big ball!)

I have a few more piccies to share of the few days after boxing day, and then I promise I'll share something craft related.

I am still feeling quite tired, I keep falling asleep on the sofa when my daughter is watching a movie in the afternoon, until she shouts 'wakey wakey mummy' in my ear! It's getting a bit better though - thanks for all the kind words. xx

Saturday, 8 January 2011

December catch up, part one

Hmm, I've discovered I've quite a few photos to catch you up with my blogging gap, so I'll post them over a few days rather than one big lump! This post includes the December up until Christmas.

At the beginning of December we had quite a lot of snow, like a lot of people in the UK I think! My daughter loved it, especially throwing snowballs:

and making a snowman with granny (yes Sian, he is wearing the hat you knitted, it suits him I think!):

My daughter made this green and glittery xmas tree decoration for our wall:

We had some fun at the park once the snow had melted:

And on the 12th of December Father Christmas came to our town. There's a Christmas parade every year and the man himself goes down the chimney of a hotel/pub in the town centre, and greets kids in the grotto at the bottom. We didn't queue to see him in the grotto but the parade was good:

We also visited Winchester Christmas markets and bought a few pressies:

On the 19th we went to our friend's wedding in Bedford, I was quite impressed we made it there as the weather was terrible, snow everywhere. I don't really have any pics from the wedding that I can share, but here's the card I made for the happy couple:

And the final photo for today, the Christmas cake I made. The recipe is Mulled Wine Christmas cake, and I really like the flavour. I make it with Rosie and then we split the cake in half as it makes quite a big cake. Then we decorate our own halves. She clued me in on painting the icing with a paintbrush dipped in food colouring, which made it quite fun:

There's still a tiny bit left, I think I might go and have a piece now!

Back soon with Christmas pics, xxx

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Why I've been blog lazy...

Okay, I know it's been over a month since my last post - I'm really sorry. I can offer you some left over xmas goodies to apologise? The remaining snickers and mars chocs (which we don't like!) from a Celebrations tin? Some gingerbread which I made and then forgot about, and is now only edible if dunked in tea? Perhaps not. I'll try to do a giveaway of slightly more tempting things in the near future instead!

Anyway, I shall do a little catch up on my December within the next few days, but for now I just want to tell you the main reason for my blog laziness:

I'm now 13 weeks and 5 days pregnant! Due on the 7th of July. Being pregnant in the run up to Christmas frazzled me out a bit. I don't get morning sickness too bad, just feeling quite queasy every now and then, but I do get really, really tired. You know, the sort of tired where you can barely lift yourself out of bed in the morning. Which, with a nearly-3-year-old little girl running around is real fun. Especially when you're also trying to xmas shop and prep the house for the festive season!
So, I've been cutting back on all non-essential activities. I ended up not making any gifts for xmas, and barely any decorations. I baked a few goodies, the main one being a Christmas cake. I didn't do any of Journal your Christmas, which makes me feel bad. But I know that really it was more important for me to use my energy playing with my daughter and cooking dinners!
That's all for now. Sorry I haven't been reading anyone else's blogs either, I've barely been on the internet at all which has felt quite wierd! I shall try to catch up as much as I can now that xmas is out of the way. Hope you all had a good one. And Happy New Year!
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