Monday, 23 September 2013

Just Another Manic Monday

Happy Monday!

Is that a contradiction in terms? As befits a typical Monday, nothing's gone according to plan so far and I can feel frustration building up to a level where I either punch the wall or open a VERY early bottle of wine...both SEEM like an AWESOME idea right now, but I suspect that the penalties for
either of those 'solutions' will be further degrees of grot.

Now, that may seem like a grim beginning to a post, and I suppose it is kinda, but it sort of leads me in a weird way to the subject, so I figure I'll go with the flow.

I know I've said before that art and art journaling can be an extremely useful exercise in catharsis, (as well as being WAY cheaper and less annoying than a therapist!), but I'd like to expand on that if I may? Well - I'm gonna, so go make a cup of tea, grab the biscuits and settle in as I promise many colourful pictures to break up the rambling and a picture of a kitty -

All hail Pinterest! If you're not signed up to Pinterest, get your behind on over there and find awesomeness aplenty - Hazar!  Did that cheer us all up? Bloody marvellous! Let's crack on then, shall we?

So this post [technically] begins at the end of August with an art prompt from the inexhaustible supportive and inspiring team over at Artists in Blogland. Their journal prompt for September was:

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."

Food for thought, eh? Hmmm.... Now, I have a tendency to overthink things. Well - everything. I'm not sure it's the failing that other people think it is.... for me it's a way to understand my often-glitchy brain and find ways to control the mind-babble, or alternatively, clear the path so that I can go with the flow. Nothing's simple for me - no spur-of-the-moment snap decisions, no easy choices.... everything's a debate, a discussion, a weighing-up of options (hello, and welcome to my psyche!) and I know that it can sometimes lead me down a negative mental dead-end, but life and experience have taught me that with perseverance and determination I can clear the weeds, or jump a fence ('Hot Fuzz' stylee) and clear that virtual cul-de-sac, finding open fields beyond which lead me inevitably to a clearer viewpoint, a place where I can breathe and feel confident with myself and where I am in life. That's just how I function, and EVERYthing is visual for me - colours, shapes, landscapes inside my mind - which, I suppose, explains why art journaling appeals SO much, and why I'm heavy on the visualism and imagery and a bit foofy on the wordage....

To summarise - everything for me is a journey and every destination is just a pit-stop on a longer voyage. Are we seeing a connection with that quote yet? Yuh-huh. Journey ... no shortcuts .... destinations .....

Here - have another kitty:

Oh you know you love it. In fact, if my brain was a cat, I think this would be its passport portrait!

So, 'Elasticat' brain got to thinkin' about this whole "life-journey/destination" thing, and I picked up a recently made junk journal, "crafted" (if that's whatcha wanna call it!) from junk mail and a painty, grubby sheet of DCWV paper for the cover (I can decorate it later...). It's a little over A5 in size and quite scrappy - which is how I like 'em, especially for single projects or a short term therapy for any angst. I also like to pick different overall themes and challenges for a new journal - no matter how small or junky. I decided - this is where you'll need the tea and bikkies...or possibly a swift glass of gin - to (brace yourself) cut up and use some of my hitherto hoarded PRECIOUS lovely, gorgeous, I-love-it-more-than-humans Graphic 45 12"x12" paper!! *Gasp!*  (quick - the gin, the GIN!). To hold the current theme - if I were a kitty with my G45 paper, this would be me:

...yep. I also wanted to restrict my media, so on all pages I used a combination of the following (admittedly my favourites because I am weak and they call to me with an arty siren song that cannot be denied!): 
  • *Faber Castell Pitt Pens
  • *Caran D'Ache Neocolor II soluble wax pastels
  • *Cosmic Shimmer inks and shimmer acrylics
  • *Uni Ball Gel Impact pens - black & white
  • *Treasure Gold 'classic' gold gilding wax paste
  • *Claudine Hellmuth multi-medium (matte)
  • *Chestnut satin acrylic laquer spray
  • *End-rolls of washi tape (just so the darn thing don't fall apart!)
  • *Odds and ends of tatty tisue paper and rub-ons remnants from t'bits box

Only real exception was acrylic paint to cover the pages as a background before I began. I also decided to make this a linear journal - you know, starting at the beginning and working through methodically for once.  Challenges in place, then, scissors at the ready, large glass of wine to hand aaaaaaaaaaaaaand begin. 

But - I didn't know what I wanted to do. So, as is commonplace for me, I started with a comfort zone, something that always makes me happy - the sea:

 There's a cheat on this page 'cos I had some already-painty modeling paste (the kind with micro glass beads in it) on a dish leftover from another project, which would have gone to waste (THE HORROR!) so - 

 Phwoar!!! Get that sexy texture, baby! So, still labouring under a degree of "Um?" I turned the page and my subconscious carried on the journey for me...

Scrumpled tissue paper and neocolor II pastels make quite the lovely combination when you add a strategic drop of water...

I love how the colour pools and catches here and there - it creates some unique texture and depth. Ooooo.  Anyhoo - by this point, this was very much feeling like there was a journey goin' on, and as my own life is full of challenges at present, it began to feel quite personal. I hauled out more of those G45 papers and with some delight (really? yep,) began snipping away at their vintage images, choosing ones that really fit the bill for me. I added the sign and fish, courtesy of the Tropical Travelogue designs, and the footprints.  Leaving my comfort zone ...

At this point I have to hark back to what I said about my use of imagery and symbolism. This journal's taken me four weeks, nearly, on and off,  and has been a bit of a surprise if I'm honest. I've included aspects of my life which may be hard to explain to someone else, and reflections of my stumbles in life, as well as aspirations and achievements. It ended up being pretty personal, but I was always aware that I'd share every page with you. There's not much text, but looking at the pages brings an instant burst of memory and all the comes with it. I'll mention a few things which I'm comfortable to blog, but I'd like you, if you will, to look at the pictures and see what YOU find within them. (I've added a challenge to the end of this post and would love to hear from you if you choose to accept!)

 This page spread reflects my childhood. I have always been most comfortable with my own company as my hobbies - reading, writing, poetry, art & craft - lent themselves to solitude, which I genuinely enjoy. I am an only child and found it hard to connect with the wider world... moving into it was like a leap of faith.  I wanted to reflect that in this collage.  Then -

Imagination, literature, t.v. and movies provided an exciting escape for me and still do. When the world is too real, or full of friction and confusion, I still allow myself to be absorbed into this fictional world. While it is a bolt-hole in times of stress or upset, it also releases my mind and emotions and allows me to find a guided order through the turmoil. Welcome to my safe place!

Growing up was an adventure - a challenge. I choose to see myself then as a warrior, finding my voice and my confidence as I grew older. I developed a passion for mythology, ancient culture and society and looked for my roots through the pages of time:

Paper elements are a mixture of G45 paper images (see below for details) and a pinterest image of Ra's chariot, altered to combine mythologies and favourite stories from ancient cultures. I added the idea of the 'Emerald City' on these pages with the 'crystal' structure (bottom right) as I wanted to capture the idea of Dorothy's confusing and fantastical journey in Oz. I wanted to add another element of continuity to the 'journey'.

Becoming an adult was full of the same busy confusion and distracting variety of life as it is for anyone. This is by far the busiest page and it holds elements that record my family and their lives as well as my own, which would be weird if I detailed everything, but there are a couple of mentions:

...I added a couple of bits and pieces here that aren't on that list above.... A handwritten list that my uncle made in preparation for his journey to New Zealand, where he lived and worked for a number of years. He was an avid traveller, which I envy greatly as I would love to travel, but remain a home-body. I added postage stamps from some of the many countries he visited. The image of 'Glinda' on the plane I chose to represent me at this point in my life - naive and wanting to take the plunge into this busy whirl of excitement but still feeling like I'm hovering just beyond that fringe. The map is part of one that my uncle brought back from Australia....'Oz'.....get it?

I added other collage images to represent my grandparents and my lineage and yes, I added a little text because the phrase kept repeating in my brain and would only shut up if I included it!

Joining the world was surreal, confusing and I made some rough choices. I chose to add them to the journal, unusually, as they're part of my life and gave me challenges which, in the end, made me stronger and more capable:

Life with new experiences is a whirl - a circus - full of colour and light and I danced like the Red Shoes compelled me. 

A couple more years and some significant life choices later, and it's time to join the throng for real, in at the deep end, and make a splash in the chosen career pool...

The addition of these circular pages made this a really fun experiment. Playing around with the shape of the pages can influence and challenge us as artists with positive and creative results. Some more text here - and for the next few pages.... I think that's because the stages of life that I wanted to journal here were - and are - closer and less abstract. I didn't really think about that 'til I'd finished and looked back. I find it interesting what conclusions can be drawn once a journal or work of art is complete. 

Throughout my life, the support and love of my family was always a comfort and inspiration. Losing them has been the hardest thing to handle, and I don't believe we ever let go of those we love and who are no longer here, but I think that's ok as long as we can remember them in a positive way, allowing their lives to continue to inspire us and warm us. Coming to terms with loss can break you but working through that, finding a way to navigate that pain can leave us stronger, with a whole new perspective. It can make us braver, more able to focus on our dreams and pursue them. They lead us to new horizons and an appreciation of the time we're given.

Being older and having perspective gave me the chance to return home - not to a place, as such, but to who I AM, who I USED to be. I think we get windows of opportunity to grab onto the things that lie deep at the core of us and bring them into the light, things that life buries deep within, that we forget about, that always made us happy in simpler times. These things can adapt and become a part of who we are now, grounding us and bringing a knowledge of self and a sense of peace, which we need to hold on to when things get rough again, as they always will. We can miss these windows or choose to pass them if we're distracted or blocked, but if you see one, and you can reach it, I'd recommend taking a walk through the beauty and simplicity that you may have forgotten. If other people don't understand and support you, that's their problem...not ours. Time flies - find that window and drink in the view!

And so to the end of my journey - 'there's no place like home'. No matter how much I have to deal with now, I feel I am closer to who I should be that I have been for a looooong time. The path ahead is a mystery - who knows where it will take me? But the point is that I want to enjoy the journey and learn as much as I can.

As I said earlier, I consider my journey to be ongoing and each destination just a pit-stop. I chose to reflect this in the final page, by adding the 'beach' sign, the traveling fish and the girl in the bathing costume as a series of references to pages right at the beginning of the journal. Back out to sea, with its turmoil, its calm, its variety of life and routes to everywhere, even unexplored territories!

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."

SO - told you there'd be rambling and lots of piccies! It's part of my life journey to have the courage to share part of myself - my life - with you, and I hope it's been interesting and in some way helpful. Thank you for reading (if you've managed to stay the course!) and looking at my art. It's always awesome to hear from you so leave a comment or send me your questions or art to and I'll get back to you asap. 

It would be awesome if you'd visit Artists in Blogland and give them your support. Click the pic below or at the side of the blog to go directly to their site:

In the meantime have some love and hugs from me and my cat and a hello from my mum who likes to join in!  Below is a list of the G45 paper collections used in this journal .....and......the CHALLENGE!!!! MWAH! - Shroo:)xxx

Graphic 45 paper collections used in this journal:
  • *Tropical Travelogue
  • *The Magic Of Oz
  • *Halloween In Wonderland
  • *Le Cirque
  • *Communique
  • *Curtain Call
  • *Steampunk Debutante
  • *ABC Primer
  • *On The Boardwalk
  • *Transatlantique
Many of these lovely papers are now out of print, but new releases are always there to tempt us. Check out their site and blog by clicking the button:

*** CHALLENGE! ***

Marvel comics, some years ago, challenged their writers to script a story in sequential panels with NO text. None at all. It was called " 'Nuff Said". The artists had the hardest job, translating the script and plot into the artistic equivalent of mime. It was a fascinating experiment - some disasters, and some quite epic successes. I have loved the idea ever since.

If you've not attempted this I'd very much encourage you to challenge yourself to create either a journal page or short sequential sequence of illustrations which tell a story and evoke emotion - totally text free. Use a quote as inspiration, maybe, but use your art to express yourself and a signifiant moment in your life without anchoring it with text. Be brave and ask close friends or family to tell you what they see and feel when they look at your art. It's a splendid experiment! Have fun - Shroo:) xxx

WOO! Remember - you are AWESOME! xxx

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

For Mum!

Hello lovely blog reader!

There was I today, worrying about a blog post, not knowing what to do and THEN - my MUM decided to be AWESOME and achieved a whole new level of EPIC!

Mum - you are brave and strong and fabulous, and there aren't words enough to say how proud I am of you so instead I did this:

THIS is how proud I am!

Mum's been very poorly and today was her first trip to somewhere OTHER than a hospital for three months - THAT'S how awesome today is! Mum - you kick arse! Love you loads and squillions and I know my lovely readers will understand that I'm celebrating here as a big surprise for you next time you check my blog. Apart from anything else you fixed my blog dilemma - see? You just can't help being Spectacular, can you eh?

Love and hugs xxxxxxxxxxxxx Shroo:) xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Additional (Friday 20th Sept.)

As requested, due to further exhibitions of awesomeness, an accompanying piccy to celebrate ongoing epicness:

Hope you like him!! xxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Show & Tell- Use It Up!


I have my home full of arty crafty stuff, my kitty cat, a coupla cool movies, snuggly jim-jams (that would be pyjamas, in case you're confused)  and a nice *yummy* bottle of wine.... couldn't be better!

I've had a few days of bits and pieces - you know, little bit of this, little bit of that....lots of little jobs to do and stuff to catch up on. As with the rest of the week, arty creative time has been at a minimum, mostly at lunchtime whilst catching up on Youtube videos, or late at night while I wait for my brain to switch off. So when it came time to thinking of a thing to post here for the Artists In Blogland: Show & Tell Saturday link, I thought I'd go with the theme of the week and introduce you to one of my use-it-up art books....not really a journal as it's more for, well....using stuff up! All those ends of paint pots, last dribbles of Glossy Accents, the scrap-ends of papers and die cuts that have festered at the bottom of the bits box for MONTHS! You know the kinda thing.... Well I do hate waste - O I so really do - so rather than let these things fade into wasteful oblivion, I select some at random and challenge myself to create a page spread using NOTHING but what I've chosen.... Not as easy as it sounds... it seems really limiting, but actually it forces me to think outside the box and REALLY work with only what I have which turns out to be really quite liberating.

Anyhoo - This week's 'use-it-up' was sparked by some off-cuts left over from making some cardstock gold medals for my mum to record how awesome she is (wall of medals - keep at it, mum!)...They were already painted a pretty gold colour so I just COULDN'T throw them away! I added some 7 Gypsies rub-ons which just had a couple left per sheet, two colours of Cosmic Shimmers that needed using up, a handful of Neocolor II wax pastels and a couple of pens and started adding things to the page. To be honest, I was interested to see what would happen as I really hadn't a clue where I was going! Anyhoo  - here's the result: reminds me of all the programmes I've watched about under-sea archaeology so I quite like it!  Here are a couple of earlier pages -

This was a 'using up dregs of Glossy Accents' page - that stuff is AWESOME fun to use as a texture on a page - only downside is the dry-time.

Using up old die-cuts. Very smooshy and very much its own personality again as the restricted media gives the art a chance to fight back against my will and intent more than usual. Not always the most amazing artwork, but it's always fascinating to see how it turns out.

As an extention to the use-it-up thing and combining the quick-art theme o' the week, I used up some scraps from the studio floor - yes, floor ....I work, stuff falls, but as always waste is not an option SO, out with the scissors, the multi-medium gel and awwww.... a completely random, weird piece of art is born! 

Ta-daaah! Proving that creativity doesn't NEED all the latest expensive craft releases (lovely though they may be)... When you look at the items on your arty/crafty wish list and realise you'd have to be Bill Gates living in Buckingham Palace to afford and house them, it's time to reassure yourself that it's YOU who brings creativity to the table - so resist the urge to add to your hoard for one more day, pat yourself on the back and award yourself that gold medal and have some fun with what you've got around you.  As for the hearty/cloudy piece above... I think it might wrap nicely around a tin can or cardboard tube and make an awesome pen holder - I can NEVER have enough of them!!

Okee - thank you for visiting! I hope some of this (admittedly slightly random) rambling has been interesting or useful? As always, please feel free to comment or contact me if you have questions or if you just wanna say hi, and don't forget to pop over to the spectacular Artists in Blogland and look at some of the site links there - I could spend for ever just enjoying the GORGEOUS eye candy on those sites! New posts are ready and waiting so y'all come back now!

Love and hugs as always - Shroo:) xxx

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Midweek Party With Mo!

Hello - Happy Wednesday!

...That should be a know? Middle of the week...that 'pfffff' feeling.....Rather that twiddling thumbs we should all have a stonkingly good party! So grab a groovy hat, and your favourite tipple and get yourself in a party mood, even if it's just for an hour. That should help. You know that saying - "dance like no one's looking"? Forget that - dance like EVERYONE'S looking and cheering your awesomeness because you totally ROCK!

Anyhoo - before I go boogie to funky vibes, I'll share another journal page with you. I found a great little quote thingy, which reads as follows:

"Be yourself - no one can ever tell you you're doing it wrong."

I like that. Why want to be like everyone else? Don't dilute your uniqueness, celebrate it! Off I went to the collage binder to find images that I liked and I found this:

Fabulous! This gal is certainly being herself! And what's more, she seems to be doing the 'Mobot' which made me laugh out loud once I'd realised! Perfect.  She's quirky and fun and decadent, which - weirdly - put me in mind of an illustration from a story book I had as a child -

- which is gorgeous with luscious, splooshy watercolour/ink illustrations. This is the particular one I was thinking of:

I always loved the beautiful colours so I decided to replicate the idea (kind of) with shimmering paints and collage 'Mo' (as I've named her) onto a sumptuous background suitable for her awesomeness! Here's what the page looked like with the background done:

It's hard to show the spectacular shimmer effect of the paint, which is annoying, but I hope this gives an idea. I wanted to add something foofy for Mo to lounge upon so I chose images from a collage sheet that I bought from Calico Crafts a while back-

Out with the snippy scissors... snippity snip snip...... Quick test with layout and such...

Yep - ok, grab the multi medium matte gel and add the quote, strategically placed butterflies, some bling and a bit of colour and TA-DAH!!!!

GO MO! Groovy cool. This is bright and fun and fabulous and makes me happy! Quick to do (apart from fiddly cutting-out, but I quite enjoy that because I'm a bit weird) and a nice, shimmery coloured page for my little speedy mini journal. Art can be aggravating, challenging, irritating, messy, disappointing and frustrating BUT - above all else, art should be FUN!

So here's wishing you a magnificent Wednesday! Hope the party goes swimmingly and that your art brings you EPIC levels of joy. Huge hugs - Shroo:)x

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Hell, YEAH!

Good morning!

...and it IS morning, despite whatever my 'google blogger' clock is reading at present. That thing seems to have it's own agenda!

This is just a quick post with a cool little motivational item that I found on 'Pinterest' (ADDICTIVE I tell you!) which I thought you might like.

We often find that somehow we've managed to pick up nay-sayers in our lives who might say negative things in order to fluff themselves up - we all need to show them the door. It's often tough to look into yourself and find out, honestly, who you are and where you are in your life, but by doing so we find everything we need to follow a more positive path. We're told to know and accept all aspects of our personalities and recognise our attributes and traits and in doing so we generally tend to focus on the negative - "yes, I can be controlling", " yes, I know I am a workaholic", "yes, I can be pessimistic sometimes" - but we forget the most vital thing which is to ACCEPT OUR POSITIVE TRAITS! "Yes, I am a well-informed, intelligent woman", "yes, I am versatile and talented", "yes, I am kind and honest". Only when we embrace this side of ourselves can we begin to achieve our personal greatness - whatever that may be... Happiness, fulfilment, inner peace, creativity and balance - and the odd 'punch-the-sky' moment will be there for us as well.

We're often made to feel guilty about our successes and taught to accept our failures before all else. Well....accepting when stuff goes wrong is part of life, but it's not "failure", it's a process we go through in order to achieve success. Without mistakes, we'd learn little of value in life. Today - feel AWESOME about being you - look at all the incredible things you manage and handle and achieve EVERY DAY and put a big shiny medal on your virtual trophy wall because YOU ARE AWESOME! Today I celebrate me and I celebrate you - WELL DONE, US !!!

Hugs as always - Shroo:)

Monday, 9 September 2013

Time Versus Creativity

Hi again!'s been a funny old week. It's been one of those work-heavy weeks, mainly playing 'catch-up' with all the tasks I'd stupidly put off the week before...I never learn...!  Along with that I had a bit of a creative 'dip', mainly due to a bit of a downward mood swing.

So, what to do when you're up to your eyeballs in important stuff, working late, sleeping badly and feeling fed up? Well....I know from experience that if I ALLOW myself to stay fed up I'll just get more grumpy, and no matter what the workload, all work and no rest makes me a right moody girl. Too tired to do much in the way of active stuff, and too busy to indulge in time consuming distractions - that sounds like a PERFECT opportunity to start off my little recently made junky mini art journal! It's My logic!

As is often the case, uber-business means that creativity can be a little elusive so in these cases I start with basics...I think how I feel and find SOMETHING positive to record as a means of motivation. The awesome awesomeness of art journals (I think we can all agree here) is that you don't have to produce a masterpiece on every page. Art journaling is a useful process for me, not only a way to practise tecniques and new media whilst recording my journey through life, but also a way of working through mental blocks in a creative way.

So how do I work artistically when I am blocked and can't access those skills and processes I'd normally rely on, but which go into hiding at times like these? Hmmm.... One way is to doodle and sketch - often when I'm on the phone, or absent mindedly while having lunch or watching t.v.  If I like a doodle I cut it out and use it as a prompt for a little journal page. It's a good start! Raiding my collage elements folder and bits-box can help as well.  Another useful tool is 'Pinterest' - an addictive collection of wonderful diverse images INCLUDING a fantastic collection of quotes. I tend to write any that I particularly like in a 'quotes journal' for future reference and it comes in handy at times like this.  Combining these things - whilst considering how I'm feeling - tends to help jog a creative process into action.

Below are the pages I've managed to produce over the past few days, in chronological order, which may or may not be helpful? They're not my most awesome work, but I want this blog to reflect who I am as a artist, and hiding scrappy stuff is just plain dishonest!  The little book is roughly A6 size, made from junk mail bound in three signatures with simple pamphlet stitch. I stick washi tape down a lot of the page spines to stop leakage and help keep the book strong and then cover each page with colour and texture, which also helps as an idea/mood prompt.

This is about as basic as it gets! A phone-call doodle cut-out and a couple of bit-box elements and the absolute honesty that SOMETIMES a cup of tea is the best thing to soothe mind, body and soul!

Collage elements again - just a way of journaling how I felt. Life's not always how we'd like it to be, but the only way to get through the bad stuff is to deal with it and move forward.

Another little phone-doodle (birdie)! I layered on some tissue paper and the bird image,  then couldn't decide what to do. I kept coming up with blanks every time I returned to the page through the day and night but was determined to finish... once I had a small epiphany about what I was doing, the quote seemed to be perfect and the page pretty much finished itself!

I love this quote, and when I strengthened the page spine with wood-grain patterned washi tape it seemed like a good excuse for a tree pic. This is an awesome way to use up scraps of patterned paper and leaf shapes are a doddle to cut out! Add Faber Castell Pitt pens, some Glimmer Glaze and Glam and hey presto! Easy apple tree! This was actually FUN to do, which helped a lot. No thinking required!

I took a break from work and just chose images that made me happy to collage onto this fold out page at the centre of the journal. (Apologies for the split piccy - my scanner didn't like the full width of the image and point-blank refused to co-operate! ). This is why I like having images ready cut-out in my folder and ephemera boxes - it allows for full, free creaive flow even if time's a restrictive factor.

***In case you want to know - I use Claudine Hellmuth multi-media matte gel to adhere collage. It's fast-drying, effective and leaves a nice surface to add colour and detail to.  Give it a go - you'll like it!***

The next page is just one of my standard escapist comfort zones - a mermaid on a beach - surprise! (not!!!)

Layers for the sea and sand are torn from scrap paper kept handy while I work to use up paint excess and such like. It creates excellent texture and layers with absolutely minimum effort. I keep EVERY piece of paper like this and I'm always glad of it! The mermaid is a Stampendous stamp image, cut out and coloured with Neocolor II soluble wax pastels and Cosmic Shimmer watercolours.

A quick journal page at the end of a busy day. I was feeling completely washed-out, but wanted to leave the day with a postitive message lodged in my brain. The rocket's cut from scraps - a quick and easy collage - and the stars are punched from more leftover bits and pieces. I used some "Ocean Breeze" Cosmic Shimmer Dazzle Paint for a shimmery look around the rocket...lovely stuff that paint...highly recommend it!

This page was prompted by the back-colour - that bright orange and yellow. It reminded me of the countryside around here which is always lovely, but looks spectacular against the splendour of a glorious sunset. Trees are evocative of strength and growth, and I felt that the image of trees, standing firm independently but with branches reaching towards the light and to each other was perfect for this quote, which is one I particularly like.  The trees are done with Sharpie marker and then india ink. The 'ground' is a torn strip of homemade paper and the foggy effect is made with a Staz-on Brilliance white ink pad dabbed gently about the page  with a text-stamp added for some interest in the ink. I like hand-writing the quote text as it feels more unique and personal to me.

This is today's page. The horsey was a phone-doodle and I really didn't want to throw him away. I pasted him to the page with that matte medium (see above) and swirled and smooshed some Magic Color white acrylic ink around him to make him stand out from the background and add a hint of motion to the image. I added some 'Amarillo Taxi' and 'Heirloom Blue' Mister Huey's spray inks along with some 'Aquamarine' and 'Tiger Lily' Glimmer mist, dabbed with a baby wipe then dried with a heat-gun which seems to bring out the sparkle a bit more. Doesn't show up hugely well in the scan, but is jolly pretty in real life! I have no idea what quote I'll add....or whether I'll add one at all, but I quite like this page and it makes me happy to have done something creative in an otherwise paperwork-based day!

I hope you enjoyed my latest journal work - I'll be back with more asap. Please feel free to comment or contact me if there's anything you want to ask as it's lovey to hear from you.
Because I hope to make my posts practically useful as well as being an opportunity to share my art with you, I'd like to highlight the awesomeness of Cosmic Shimmer products, which I've used a LOT in these journal pages. I'm not sure how readily available they are in shops around the world, but thanks to the wonders of t'interweb you can find them pretty easily there I think. They don't receive as much publicity as Tattered Angels or Ranger/Tim Holtz on Youtube and the like, but they're truly exceptional and have a really HUGE variety of products in stunning colours - for example:

Glitter Glues
Shimmer Mister Sprays

Shimmer Pearlescent Watercolour Paints

Embossing Powders
Shimmer Inks & Ink Sprays

High Pigment Mica Powders

Sparkle Paints
There's a lot more to the range supplied by Creative Expressions which you can view on their wholesale site HERE. I chose them for their variety and competitive prices and stuck with them because of their quality. No - I'm not employed by them, but I've always found honest recommendations to be incredibly valuable so I'd suggest giving the brand a chance ...I think you'll be pleasantly surprised! Hope that helps!

Thanks for visiting! Hope you have an AWESOME week! Stay positive and be happy - big hugs from Shroo :) x
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