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Last calendars for 2021 – pretty cherry blossom one-sheets

As I mentioned yesterday, this is the last calendar I am doing for 2021. While one-sheets are still useful for the planner folk, I feel like I have added enough of them at this point that there will be one that will suit you, if you come looking. I’ll plan to update the page in the header that lists links to all of them, but you can also just plug in 2021 (or 2022 even!) in the search bar and all the posts should come up.

I quite like this one and use it myself. You can download the two-page PDF with both the 2021 and the 2022 versions.

Hope you find it useful! And here is my 100 days page for today. From next week yo will get two on a Monday and I’ll be lazing around with the family on Sundays! I’ve added a stamped element and am considering making at least the OPTION to do that a part of the project. Ideally I will be adding a stamp that I have either NEVER or very RARELY used. This may be one of my favourites so far…

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Sometimes, a page takes a while…

I have been working on an art journal page for three days. OK, so it was three days that were pretty stressful and jam-packed with other stuff that took priority, but still. And really I am still not there yet.

It all began well enough – a bit of gesso, some modelling paste, some paint…

…and then there was a selection of orange things added…

…and some drippage encouraged…

and then it started to go off the rails. Where to turn next? I do think I have a plan but I don’t know if it will work out. I finally found some stamps I wanted and they are on the way, but I am not sure I want to wait till they get here to move forward. I have another idea that I will play with today and see where it leads.

One the plus side, I do have another 100 days page done. Sorry for the slightly wonky shot – and I know it is impossible to see but the J on the tag is actually quite shiny gold. I had to use this scrap from a Tim Holtz paper pad, given the writing is about my fervent wish to see my son (who is named Jackson and who lives in LA) and while it is all a bit brown, I quite like it.

It feels good to have made it past the 1-week mark. When I get to one MONTH I suspect I will feel like Yeah, I can do this...

I have two more calendars to add, a 2021/2022 pair, and then I think I will call it a day on those till the autumn, where I will re-cap the 2022 things already posted and add and update some new ones. Then I plan to take Sundays off. I’ll add two 100 days pages on a Monday, but will still do my page on Sunday. It’s all about being at my desk, creating, every day, if even for just to half hour or so a page takes.

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Day 8

Another day another collage/word/daily diary. Like I said, getting into a groove now.

Now I am looking at it in the photo I realize that the little INSPIRE word fell off – or more likely I didn’t actually stick it down, then moved the book and lost it. This is a very b&w&grey page for a change. I am trying out some new things each day. I note the text is slightly easier to read. I am not trying to disguise it quite so much as I did – my handwriting is still pretty crap so I guess I have to decide how much of what I am putting out there I want to be readable. It’ll be either further away shots or blurred if I am not happy to share the actual words, I guess.

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100 days -day 7

Yesterday was a busy day – I only managed a few desk visits, so today is all about sorting out the shopping list for our once-weekly shop and getting around to the rest of the desks. But I am still keeping myself honest on my 100 Days project and here is day 7 to prove it! No matter how busy, I have managed to find time to do a page every day for a week. Woo hoo. OK so not a huge accomplishment but pretty good for me!

I am slowly finding my groove here. And it really is helping to east the clutter in my brain to get a few words down on paper. I don’t think it is as much the thinking about it as it is the writing about it that helps.

My daughter’s Zoom Annual Review went ok – this was the first day they used it (because Teams was giving them problems) and they didn’t realize that the free version tapped out at 40 minutes. They had submitted paperwork to buy the professional version but obviously things were not moving that fast. So when it all went dark everyone else was like WTF? Luckily we have a professional version so we re-issued the invite and we were able to carry on. Phew. Hubby got his jab yesterday, great, but he also got a little slip of paper telling him when his next jab is. I did NOT get that when I got mine. Tried to book my second jab on the online service but it only says I should call the Drs or the hospital where I got my first dose to book the second. Bah! I know we are doing very very well as a country in getting shots in arms, but I do wish it was all just a little less stressful. Especially as I am hoping I can get the next shot just before I have to have the next IVIG infusion, so (hopefully) I will get the most out of the jab I can. I am also anxiously awaiting the results of yesterday’s blood test to see if my CK levels cracked 900 – bearing in mind 20-200 is the normal range, getting to 800 or even down to 500 before this round begins to wear off would be amazing. Fingers crossed.

Maybe more craty goodness tomorrow but maybe just another day…time will tell!


WOYWW 112 and a 100 days recap.

Happy WOYWW. Still missing Shaz but trying to carry on, as she would expect us all to do. Just lots of photos today…

A desk shot – a tidy desk is a boring desk, true, but it helps me keep from descending into total chaos if I make sure I start each WOYWW day with a little bit of order. Gallery-style to keep all the photos from overwhelming.

I saw a 3D printed glue bottle holder last week, I forget where. I am always frustrated with getting the last little bit of glue out of the bottle, but have no 3D printer so I started doing this”glue Hack” instead – I always thought it was silly that the pointy tip isn’t flat so you can stand the bottle up! Another “hack” is my plastic placemat palette:

Easy to clean and it works pretty well. I do have a glass mat, it’s just on the OTHER desk! Also on this desk is a stamp I made by die-cutting a bit of fun foam. I used to do that a LOT but not so much anymore. I have to say I really love this stamp and suspect I will use it a lot.

My elephant (from a very old WOYWW with the deer head as well) needed a little repair job – I knocked it off the door – so that is taking up space while it dries. This is where it usually lives!

I’ll also re-cap my 100 days pages – in future, each WOYWW day should have seven days of pages. First the cover:

Now the pages, days 1 to 6:

My favourites are days 2 and 4, then 5 and 6. Less keen on 1 and 3, as they totally drifted into chaos and clutter. But, it’s a process, like anything, and I’m not going to judge it till I’m done.

Today is jam-packed. Early morning blood test for me, then Hubby has his Covid shot, and we have a total re-do of my daughter’s Annual Review for her SEN placement. Don’t ask – a total botch by the council/Education department. You’d think before they decided to release her from the Education system they would have both assigned her a social worker AND done an assessment (which takes 3 to 4 months, I’m told) for her transition to adult services, rather than realizing that she had no social worker nor an assessment, just as our time for an appeal was slipping away… One more stress none of us need! Anyway, I will squeeze in the odd desk visit as I can but this day is a challenge even without desk-hopping.


Spilling my story…Dina-stylee

Still experimenting. I commented last week that I tend to do two-page spreads in my art journal. Funny, for a very long time all my scrapbook layouts where 2-page spreads. I always had so many photos, it seemed madness to do a single page with one photo, even when that trend really exploded. Then I started working at Scrapbook Inspirations, and all of a sudden I was cranking out 1-pagers like I totally forgot you could DO 2-pagers! I think knowing the layouts would be published made me hyper-critical about my photo-choices. When I was scrapping for ME, getting as many of the photos onto the spread was more important than the quality of the photos – even BAD photos, if they were the only ones I had, captured a memory. I will never have an art journal page published, so really I make them to make me happy, to work things out, to spill my story. So I did this page, trying a few new things:

So I tried:

  • asemic writing
  • a one-page spread
  • gesso resist

all on one spread. It was…interesting. Usually I have been beginning each page by slapping on a load of gesso. This is in the little junk journal (a bus-tour brochure, as you can see from the glimpse of the left hand page) and there is a LOT going on on the basic page. I generally want to block that out. But as I wanted to play with gesso resist, that wasn’t going to work. So I began with torn book pages, then some slightly dimensional gesso dots thru a stencil.

I brushed on some paint, splatted on some of the old, discoloured Distress Stains, and finally smeared a bit of bright fluorescent yellow over the dots. I rather liked that, even if it was not the most vibrant colour choice. Not EVERY page has to be pink, turquoise and orange/yellow/lime.

What really lifted it for me was adding the Payne’s Grey around the figure and the bright white circles. I feel like there are many shades of Payne’s Grey, based on the brand of paint you have. Mine has a definite teal cast to it, at least over this background.

I wanted to add some lettering and considered using something from the Collage Collective. The page that had the text I wanted wasn’t quite right, either in the size of the text or the colours.

I ended up stamping the letters for the phrase (sort of) that I wanted to use and cutting them out.

Another throw-back to my scrapbooking days – I find cutting out letters really relaxing and almost meditative. Also, stamping on a heavily textured page can be tricky. I scribbled a bit on the stamped letters, and had a go at asemic writing around the masked figure, then popped on a little hart scrap that was on my desk from the 100 days debris (punched the heart, not used it, but I used the waste) cause 10 years ago I saw Teesha Moore add hearts to her collaged figures, and more recently Dina (occasionally) and Niamh Baly (always) and I like the way it humanizes a weird blob figure.

So LOTS of outside influences here, but I enjoyed taking those ideas and making my own page – different to the last page that was more of a “copy,” albeit not an exact one.

Finally, on to the next in my 100 days collage-word-daily diary project:

Weirdly, I feel like this one is kinda 1/2 way between chaotic and restrained. Also weirdly I must have been in a greenish sort of mood – both my 100 days page AND my art journal page seem to be in that colour space. A bit like how when the kids were young I would realize that I had dressed them in the same sort of colours I had chosen for my own outfit of the day! Not intentional, but if I was in a blue sort of mood we would all end up wearing blues. Time to tidy up for WOYWW tomorrow – I may just do a recap of the 100 days pages so far (+ todays) and a clean desk shot, if I manage to tidy up a bit. I already know tomorrow is going to be super chaotic on many fronts.


100 days day 4 and a face fail?

A quick one today. I watched a Dina video about faces. My other 100 days option, and one I think I will follow on with as a 2nd project, was drawing 100 faces. I really suck at faces. I thought I would try the suggestion of over-painting one of the tissue paper collage sheet faces as an experiment. Being able to use weird colours and not really trying to make it look realistic was appealing, and much more in my wheelhouse (as much as ANY face is in my wheelhouse LOL!) so a had a go. In my quite small Roben-Marie journal. The sentiment is more an encouragement to myself not to just look at it, go UGH! and vow to never do another face myself!

I’m not even confident of having gotten the shading right – Niamh Baly suggested, in one of her videos, that looking at make-up artist face contouring videos might be helpful, so maybe that will help? It was an interesting exercise, if nothing else. You can’t get better unless you KEEP TRYING.

On the the next 100 days – day 4:

Reeling it in again. I seem to alternate between slipping in to chaos, then practicing a little restraint. I also seem to have settled into a colour theme each day. It’s an easy way to group the debris and scraps I am working with. But I fear at some point it’s all going to be shades of brown cause that is what I seem to have the most of! We shall see what happens around day 82 or so…if I make it that far. At this point I am just hoping to get to day 7! One week in will feel like a milestone.


Finding my style – learning restraint, and Day 2 of 100

I bemoan my inability to retain “white space” and to resist throwing everything at a page. I also struggle with the clutter in my head from watching tons of inspirational videos and having it all become a huge muddle. In the end I don’t seem to learn anything from all that treadmill viewing. I decided to go a different way, for once. I saw a video from someone I subscribed to ages ago but don’t always watch. France Papillon has a lovely style, and she does a few things I tend to do as well, like edge decoration and mostly 2-page spreads. I watched a video from her Guided Journaling seriesand thought I would try to “re-create” the page but only with stuff I own. Here is my final page:

This is the one I watched:

Settle in cause this is going to be long and photo heavy.

I’ll begin with all the stuff I used that is not what she used:

You can watch her video and see where my substitutions fit in! I built the background in a pretty similar way using my paper masks and a very old punched-circle stencil.

I used my Woodies (by Stabilo, they work pretty much just like the Stabilo All pencil, water-reactive) to shade the large circles

and activated them with a wet brush to shade the circles.

I used the Woodies to colour the stamps by dipping them in my water pot and rubbing them over the stamps. That worked better than I expected!

A little diversion to a weird stamp set that I bought – pretty sure it came from Tiger but I can’t recall for sure. It came with a circle and a bunch of long pieces. The tiny stamps slot into the space at the end of the sticks (or in the circle) and you can create words or, in this case, number strips. Very handy!

I did not have the set of circles France used, but I did have this pencil grip – it’s handy because there are different sized circles on either end.

In the end, and partly to make the page more “my own” I used two stamps – I found this mushroom and the curve of the hill it sits on pretty much perfectly matched the circle, placing the mushroom cap within the bigger one! Serendipity. And as I am not a huge fan of the floating element, it helped ground it a bit. I had to drag out my quite ancient stamp positioner to try to ensure proper placement for both stamps.

And finally I used my brayer to knock back the darkness of the background. (still second guessing that step) and added the shading with a Stabilo All and water activated it to darken the mushroom.

I used a lot more text than the original and there is still not a lot of true white, but there is space, I think. It was an interesting exercise. Looking back at some of my pages, it isn’t a million miles away from a page I would make on my own. It might be interesting to find another artist I like, watch a video, and do a version. It might help me refine what is truly my style a little better, and maybe get a step or two away from the chaotic messy pages that I drift into if I am not mindful. The exercise really made me consider what I was doing at every step of the process. I usually just move quickly without thinking, going on pure instinct. At the very least I could learn to slow down and consider, to embrace the process and take my time.

And now, Day 2 of my 100 days project! I really like this one. Again, a little less chaotic than Day 1. I doubt the restraint will last LOL!


Where to begin? 100 Days or Art Journal?

I am off and running on my 100 days project – 100 days of daily journaling, of collage with scrapbook stash, and with words, (descriptive, positive, inspiring.) I kinda wnat to add in a 100 day spending ban too, but I know what I am like. I’ll get obsessed with something, NEED it, and struggle to deny myself. BAH! OK so I will begin with an art journal page. The final page looks like this:

It went thru a LOT till it got here. I am trying not to default to the same set of colours (pink, teal/turquoise, lime and orange) and use what I have. I have a LOT of paint. A lot of it is old and needs to be opened, assessed and disposed of – THEN I can replace it with new colours, brands and weights. Like the last disaster of a page this one began OK, with a cream background. THIS was going to be the page where I left a bit of white space. Yeah. Nope.

It went off the rails pretty might right away LOL! I used a purple, a light and a darker blue as the cools and orange and yellow as the warms. Jeez. I feel like I could have pulled it back from the edge here…

I rather liked the two tone, mirrored stencil image (a Dina one) that you can see more of here, but I did not like the two circles stamped on white.

In the end I re-stamped them on cream and added more. I basically used every stamp from that set. And I love a good splatter as well as the next art journaler, but when the spatter lands right on a letter…bah!

I also did something I used to do a lot and have started doing a lot again – dragging thick paint along the edge of the page, using a fan brush. Man, I love the look of it and it makes a nice alternative to inked edges.

And not, the first of my 100 day pages – could the above and this be more different? I am an artistic schizophrenic? I feel like it will take me a few days to find my groove here and I don’t plan on making much comment on the pages. I add them more to show I am actually doing them! But I think you will begin to see some elements repeating day after day. Day 2 tomorrow… always a day behind.


100 days of daily journaling, collage, and inspirational words

Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Who knows? I did finish my book and am quite happy with it!

You may recall the notebook itself had a window – the inner cover looks like this!

I have a couple of things that I plan to use on every page – the raffle tickets for the numbering and this small PaperChase notebook for the journaling spots.

I ope to begin every day with about 30 minutes spent selecting my word, building the collage for the day, and writing a short bit about the word and how it applies to where I am in my life. If nothing else it will be interesting.

As yet I am undecided if I will share the pages each day or not. It is not my intention for this to be the only project I am working on. I still want to be working in my art journal, still getting elbow deep in paint and other mixed media fun. But adding a page every day will keep me honest! 100 days. 100 pages. A Page a Day. Perhaps I will share just the page for the 100 day project and not get at all detailed as to how I got there. OK – no detail, just the page.

Phew. Relieved to have a plan