Friday 13 December 2013

Bargain Books & Quick Journaling


It's December 12th!!! ALREADY! It's so not fair - the Christmas elves have stolen time, I'm sure of it!

I had another awesome day out with mum this week - adventures galore! We visited a local gallery who have been exhibiting some of my work for a while and HAPPILY (amazingly!) they've been fabulous and SOLD some of them for me. I love these people! That was excellent news so we decided to celebrate with a yummy meal at a newly refurbished pub.

We had some time to kill before serving started so we popped down the road to a botanical gardens and had a stroll around their gorgeous shop. They've made some cute reindeer for their Christmas display -

So cute! Anyhoo - I never miss an opportunity to add to that hoard of stuff I have lying about for arts and crafts, and here they have an area filled with second-hand books SO CHEAP! *sigh*  But then I have been EXCEPTIONALLY good and NOT bought craft things for WEEKS (apart from lacquer - but that's an essential!) so I picked up some lovely hardback vintage books - a couple about gardening and a few old encylopedias FILLED with yummy collageable images....oooooo.....

...all scruffy, gorgeous hardcovers printed in the 1940s and 1950s. The pages all have nice ageing (saves a lot of inking!) and the green one has that lovely tissue-type paper that usually comes in bibles or dictionaries which is fabulous for collage.

The encyclopedias are chock-full of fantastic images - some of them pretty weird, including this WILDLY unlikely picture of our Royal Family, which shows them at Y Bwthyn Bach - The Little House at Royal Lodge in Denbighshire, North Wales. Such an unusual image which is kind of sweet in that 'benign propaganda' way that our press demonstrated during the war years.  I just LOVE this page - and these books! So entertaining!

Anyhoo, I've had next to no time for my own arty endeavours this week, but I did yank out a couple of pages and make a couple of VERY quick collage journal pages to record elements of the day out that we had.  The lanes are still so lovely as the leaves seem reluctant to drop this year. The fields are bordered with groups of tall evergreens which are so dark against the winter skies - the scene is breathtakingly beautiful.  So I pulled out a couple of county-related images from the books and stuck them into my mini collage art journal (see the post: 'Time Versus Creativity" HERE) then coloured over them for quick journal pages -

"In the coldest Winter, the fragile yet eternal spark of life nestles safe & warm, protected by  the huddled evergreens, to be reborn when joyous Spring arrives."

Just a few minutes with a bit of glue and some coloured pencils and it's enough to record the day - if I want to draw any more in the future, at least I've stored the moment.

Remembering the trees at the botanical gardens, covered in pink and white berries.

The only other thing I've vaguely managed is a mandala doodle, done while chatting on the phone to mum in the evenings. Inspiration Avenue hosted a challenge LAST week to draw a mandala - and this is all I've had time for! It's a meagre offering, but in the spirit of taking part - voila!

That's it for the moment - like I say, anything else I'm working on at the moment will have to stay a secret 'til after Christmas. I know that there are still people out there who stress about old books being dismembered for art projects, but - for them - I found THIS printed inside the front cover of the encyclopedias:
So that this will work with the Google translator programme, this is what it says:

"To inspire ambition, to stimulate the imagination,
 to provide the inquiring mind with information told in an interesting style,
 and this lead into broader fields of knowledge 
- such is the purpose of this book."

This book was published as a tool of inspiration - a jumping-off point for adventures in learning and creativity. This book would have been pulped in the New Year, when unsold issues are taken to the recycling plant. This is my recycling and it makes me very happy!

Hope you're all coping well with the run-up to Christmas? Sending you all a virtual cup of relaxing tea to help you through! Remember it's just one day - make it about being happy and full of love.

Great big hugs from Shroo :) xxx


  1. amazing - I love the one with the berries sooo much... fantastic!

  2. yet another interesting post . Old books are very handy and if the money from the purchase goes to a good cause then then they have been recycled more than once ! I love the old photos too . I like in particular your pink berries - they convey in a simple way the beauty of winter - lovely x

  3. Fabulous stuff! I love the berries and your mandala is so intricate and lovely. I really love the photo of the Royal Family too. Old books, especially those with great pictures seduce me into collecting far more than I can use. Your evergreen trees are wonderful too! It sounds like you had a fun day with your mum all around. Congratulations on selling your art. I'm surprised you have any to sell-people should be snapping it up the second it hits the shops.
    I love when you share your special days. Cheers!