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Archive for the ‘art journalling’ Category

Where bloggers create – my space

Last year I gave up the space in which I’d been creating on and off over the last 5 years and recently acquired a new space. As we’ve had the builders in over the last month I haven’t been able to make my space into exactly how I envisage it. It needs a new coat of paint on the walls and pine cupboards, and maybe a change of curtains wouldn’t go amiss but there’s plenty of time for that. Many of my books and supplies are still packed up in boxes in the garage as are most of my treasured ornaments so think of it as a work-in-progress.



At least my treasured curved glass fronted cupboard survived the move from one foreign country to another as did the wonderful chest of drawers which belonged to my father. I can’t find the key to the small triangular corner cupboard although I was sure I put it in a safe place …. and the beautiful glass picture based on a painting by Klimt fell over and cracked in several places.


But I’m happy here. Two large windows mean that plenty of light comes into the room but from a Feng Shui point of view the west-facing window is bad news if you are using the room to work in so I might have to do something about that. I’ve chosen to place my desk under the north-facing window. The door is in the wrong place and I’m short on wall space so the books will have go somewhere else.



From the windows to the north I can just see the sea. There is a row of vines at the bottom of the garden and 2 fig trees, a pomegranate, an apricot, a persimmon, an almond, a lemon and 2 tangerine trees in the garden. The garden, or rather the large patch of bare earth, is a canvas still to be planted but for the time being we watch what each new season will bring us. And yes, oh bliss, there is a pool for those long hot lazy days of summer.

Behind me,to the south west lies a ridge of mountains.


Being away for 3 months at the beginning of the year it’s been hard to do much creating but here are a few pieces.











My Desert Cottage

Dreams begin wherever you want

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Digital Mania‘s ‘create a journal page’ challenge

My Buried Treasure

In 2011 Milliande hosted a month-long series of creative art journalling prompts and it was one of the most enjoyable activities I’ve done for a long time. Milliande had put a great deal of time and thought into creating this series of prompts and I’m happy to post it again as part of the Buried Treasure collaboration.

Buried Treasure

Buried Treasure

I have finally completed all 24 days of Milliande’s art journal for January 2011:

Day 1 – the prompt was “zebra up your intro page”

Milliande Art Journal Day 1

Day 2 – the prompt was to create a zendoodle then cut up an enlarged photocopy and use the pieces to create something new

Milliande Art Journal Day 2_Small

Day 3 – carve your own printing blocks and print them. I used a couple of potato halves for my printing blocks

Milliande art journal Day 3

Day 4 – create a face with zebra accents. I had no materials at hand to do this so I used a magazine image

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Day 5 – create a zebra hand

Milliande Art Journal Day 5

Day 6 – “stripey legs”

Milliande Art Journal Day 6

Day 7 – the prompt was “stripey windows”

Milliande Art Journal Day 7

This is the inside of my window – it’s a digital mandala I created. Afterwards, not shown in this scan, I added the words “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

Milliande Art Journal Day 7 open

Day 8 – vertical journaling. I used one of those crosswords without black squares for the grid. I used purple food colouring for the background and lifted off some of the colour with kitchen paper.

Milliande Art Journal Day 8

Day 9 – layered lines

Milliande art journal Day 9

Day 10 – the prompt was “striped dragonfly”

Milliande Art Journal Day 10

Day 11 – crossword puzzles

Milliande Art Journal Day 11

Day 12 – daily debris – my daily debris consists of bills and endless cups of tea so I used an envelope with a transparent window and stuck on a number of tea bag envelopes, some postage stamps and did some doodling

Milliande Art Journal Day 12

Day 13 – taking lines for a walk – we were supposed to draw lines on the page, without any preconceived idea of what you were going to do, then see what the lines suggested to you. Mine ended up as a sunset landscape with the sky, a range of hills, the greenery of hills and fields and then the sea. I used water colour crayons and the colours are very muted in the scan

Milliande art journal Day 13

Day 14 – mirror mirror

Milliande Art Journal Day 14

Day 15 – Stories of woman

Milliande Art Journal Day 15

Day 16 – favourite number – I had the most difficulty with this one and am not really happy with it but the whole point of art journalling is that you don’t have to create a perfect piece of finished art

Milliande art journal Day 16

Day 17 – the prompt was “plump pears”. I drew them with watercolour crayons and added the “stitching” in black pen so that they would look as if they have been appliqued

Milliande Art Journal Day 17

Day 18 – lettering

Milliande Art Journal Day 18

Day 19 – toy or talisman. Cats are my talismans and I have always had a cat in my life from the age of 5 (although sadly not a cat of my own at the moment)

Milliande Art Journal Day 19

Day 20 – your front door

Milliande art journal Day 20

Day 21 – bonny bluebells. As children we were often taken to the nearest bluebell wood to see the bluebells, the sight of the carpets of blue always filled (and still does) me with joy

Milliande Art Journal Day 21

Day 22 – a favourite day in the life of YOU. This is a depiction of typical day on our holiday in Thailand. The rainy season had not finished and we were deluged with torrential rain for most of the day on most of our days. Serendipitously I found the Emerson quote the day I drew this

Milliande Art Journal Day 22

Day 23 – paper poem – this was supposed to be a found poem but I had no suitable to literature so I created my poem from the Splatt poetry game site ( The words led to the image I created.

Milliande Art Journal Day 23

Day 24 – round and round we go

Milliande Art Journal Day 24

I would have preferred to be able to do these art journal entries in the comfort of my own home with all my art supplies to hand rather than on the move and staying in other people’s houses. However, this forced me to think outside the box and to use whatever I could lay my hands on. I had only used watercolour crayons once before so this was a useful experiment – I must learn to make the colours more substantial. I also found it hard not to want to produce a complete piece of work and to allow myself to experiment and not think too hard. I kept having to remind myself that it was all about experimenting and having fun. I also found that I was less successful with the prompts that didn’t “say” anything to me.

I-Spy with my little eye

The latest visual prompt to come from Tangie Baxter in her 2014 Art Journal Caravan online course was called I-Spy.

If you grew up in the UK in the 1950’s and 60’s you may remember the little books called I-Spy. I-Spy appeared in the United States on similar lines.

The I-SPY Tribe was based on the I-SPY Books, some forty small volumes that sold in hundreds of thousands. Each book covered a subject such as I-SPY Cars, I-SPY on the Pavement, I-SPY Churches, I-SPY on a Train Journey, etc. As children spotted objects such as coalhole covers, oak trees, semaphore signals, fire engines, whelks, and so on, they recorded the event in the relevant book, and gained points. Once the book was complete, it could be sent to Big Chief I-SPY for a feather and order of merit.

I managed to get a couple of these coveted badges.

Read more here:

If we didn’t have the books to keep us amused there was always the game, which started (often in a singsong voice) “I spy with my little eye something beginning with …..” and then everyone joined in by trying to guess what the object was that began with that particular letter that the person was looking at. The one who guessed correctly started off the next round. Letters were usually chosen at random.

This is my response to the prompt


Word games like this were a very good way of encouraging children to be more observant and it helped improve their vocabulary.

My favourite word game was one called “the Parson’s cat”. Participants worked their way through the alphabet as follows:

The Parson’s cat was (adjective) an addicted cat
His name was Algernon
and his favourite food was artichokes

The Parson’s cat was a beautiful cat
Her name was Bella
and her favourite food was Bakewell tart

(as far as I can remember in our household the Parson’s cat was always a male).

Cee’s fun foto challenge: circles and curves

I missed part one, on angles and squares, of a series of four challenges Cee is featuring on her blog. So here is part two:

the leaning tower of Pisa


the interior of the cathedral in Pisa

feline curves

this is how silk worm cocoons are “farmed” in Luang Prabang, Laos





art journal March planner
an art journal page I made last year

where bloggers create 2012

WELCOME to my sanctum and to the “Where Bloggers Create” blog party hosted by Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage.

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This is the first time I have participated in this event so I would like to explain a bit about my blog.:

My blog has evolved over the years into a travel blog although it started with journeys of all sorts and experiments with writing. Lately, because I never seem to be in one place for more than a couple of months at a time, it has become a documentary of my real life journeys and my journeys into the world of digital photography and the editing of many of my photographs into new versions of their original selves. I have moved into the digital age more out of necessity than anything else as it is not practical to lug around my stash of mixed media bits and pieces. For my digital work all I need is my laptop and my two cameras.

When we are not on the move we return to south western Turkey, to my studio, my place of preference, where I can pick up again on my mixed media creations.

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It is the place to which I can retreat when I need some me time, where I am surrounded by art – mine

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and other people’s,
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my books,

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some treasured pieces of furniture

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and souvenirs brought back from our travels.
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Here are some more photos my domain:


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what’s on my bookshelves


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storage solutions

some of my early jewellry pieces. The piece in the bottom left corner is a wall hanging made for a friend out of some bits of broken jewellry she gave me.

introducing Scampi, a street cat we feed when she deigns to visit us and a constant source of inspiration

there’s a wealth of flowers for inspiration

this was the view, with Greek islands in the distance, after a couple of days of heavy rain. Usually it is nothing like as clear as this

the winter sunsets are fabulous.

Thank you for visiting my little corner of the world. I hope you have enjoyed it and I hope you will return, I am always adding new posts.

the three muses: postage stamps

Whilst exploring an internet link I came across a blog called the three muses and they have a challenge to use postage stamps in some form in your artwork. I love postage stamps and incorporating them into my artwork and made these journal pages


Pebbles was one of my favourite cats

and I think Sandy was my alltime favourite


A while ago Tee Thompson posted an art journal prompt on Facebook called “stranger”. The idea was to draw or paint a stranger or use a photo from a magazine or newspaper and then journal a bit about the life of your stranger.

La Principessa Befania hails from a far-distant land of high peaked mountains and a people known for their fiery dispositions. She is no exception and the expression on her face indicates that she might have mischief on her mind.


La Diva was a regular visitor to the elegant salons of Edwardian England. Known for her saucy outfits and biting wit she was a hit wherever she went.


a slightly different take on Eve where the snake has become a jewelled salamander


Milliande’s art journaling theme for the beginning of this year is “seeds”.
The first one was about sowing a seed versus being the seed. What sort of seed are you?

Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy.  I am a dream seed, cast into the Heavens to drift into a sleeping mind and there to sow the seeds of future dreams. I contain within my heart knowledge from years gone by and visions and hopes still to be fulfilled.


The second one was about seed vessels – create a vessel which will contain what you take away from 2011. What does it contain?

my vessel was partly inspired by an earlier post on FB about scattering seeds of love. Each seed contains a little heart and when the seeds are scattered love will be spread wherever the seeds fall.


Summer school 2011

At the end of July DH and I attended a theatre summer school, organised by Luxembourg’s NWTC, in the village of Clairefontaine on the border of Belgium and Luxembourg. I chose to sing my way through the week and he chose to do comedy in various forms. The week was hectic as we worked from 9 in the morning until gone 9 at night with tea, coffee, lunch and dinner breaks.

Now that I have access to my art supplies I have just finished creating some pieces inspired by the course.

The first is a mixed media painting of pomegranates to accompany a poem we heard entitled “how to cut a pomegranate” by Imtiaz Dharker from her collection of poems “A terrorist at my table”. I love pomegranates and the poem just cried out to be illustrated.


this is the painting on its own


with the text added

In one of the other classes we were each handed a haiku to work on and I created a digital picture for this.


Summer school is a wonderful experience where you are bombarded with new sounds, words, ideas and are surrounded by old friends and new. Silence and retreat from the outside world is just about impossible. In our singing groups we were learning complicated stuff – Bohemian rhapsody – for example, as well as taking a look at some new ways of creating “music” from non-traditional scores. At the end of each day I found it difficult to shut off as there were so many things flinging themselves around in my skull. I tried to explain what was going on by referencing the Hadron collider/accelerator (a high speed particle accelerator). When I told DH what this collage was all about, he just said “oh dear”. I am left wondering quite what he meant by that …….