Saturday, 24 January 2015

Grow Your Blog Party 2015 - Welcome!

Hello Gorgeous!

Thank you for visiting my paint-filled, splooshy corner of the blogosphere and WELCOME one and all! It's the epic and legendary 'GROW YOUR BLOG PARTY 2015' !! Hurrah!!

http://vicki-2bagsfull.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/grow-your-blog-2015-party-this-is.html


My name is Rachael but I'm known as 'Shroo'. I live in the middle of varied and wonderful landscapes here in the UK, equidistant from the wild beauty of seas, rivers and lakes, farmland and wild protected areas of stunning rural splendour, and the quirky urban towns and villages that nestle linked by this natural beauty.



I live with my black cat, Harvey, or to give him his full title - Count Harvelstein Fluffpants III. He likes to be addressed as 'The Colonel' and has many adventures. He puts up with me and reminds me on a daily basis how fortunate I am that he allows me to cuddle him, wrap him in warm blankies, buy him funky toys and feed him his nippits (biscuits).


I love to be surrounded by interesting and beautiful things, bright colours, books and artwork as it keeps me inspired. I've been an artist since I was a baby, holding my first pen, but life led me away from my joy of all things arty for many years, replacing it with the more mundane and practical aspects of adult life. Recently, however, I've been moved to rediscover my artistic heart and fill my life anew with all things colour - paints and pencils, inks and papers - and what a joy it has brought me ....and it's rescued me in so many ways

I started my blog a couple of years ago and discovered the wonderful people that are part of this online community. They're an inspiration to me every day. I took a break last year after my mum passed away but returned at Christmas to begin again. I invite you to join me in my arty journey through life as I test out my skills and learn new ones and share them with this amazing arty family.

A little bit about my art.... I'm a mixed media artist and illustrator. I work intuitively which means that I rarely plan a project, rather I just sit down surrounded by supplies and just throw things onto paper or canvas (or whatever!) until it looks right to me. I am a journaler, and this year I'll be sharing my own journaling progress as well as encouraging my readers to join in with their own life recording process. I'll provide exercises and examples and encouragement in bucket-loads. Here are some of my journal pages. You can see more in my other blog pages or click the pics to see other blog pages and galleries.

http://artyshroo.blogspot.co.uk/p/gallery.html

http://artyshroo.blogspot.co.uk/p/gallery.html

http://artyshroo.blogspot.co.uk/p/gallery.html

I love to make my own books and journals - you can see a few of them HERE. I'm currently working on some new ones so that I can re-open my little Etsy shop next month - here's a preview of some of the latest offerings:


I like to make jewellery - basically as an excuse to hoard pretty beads (a lifelong obsession!). This year I'd like to advance my skills and learn some new metalwork techniques, but for now here's a little glimpse at what's on the work desk:


I love to doodle - it calms my mind and helps me to relax. I tend to theme my doodles in each book or journal...they'll never win awards but they make me happy! Here are a couple of my recent journal pages:

http://artyshroo.blogspot.co.uk/p/pen-ink.html

http://artyshroo.blogspot.co.uk/p/pen-ink.html

I also like to illustrate the variety and beauty of the wildlife that shares this planet with us. You can see an example of my pen & ink work HERE, or click on the picture below:

http://artyshroo.blogspot.co.uk/p/pen-ink.html

I love books and poetry and love to incorporate elements of them into my work, whether it be quotes,

http://artyshroo.blogspot.co.uk/p/panoramic-journal-pages.html

http://artyshroo.blogspot.co.uk/p/gallery.html

 character illustration,


http://artyshroo.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page_1479.html
Aslan - The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis

 or pages of the books themselves added to my paper collages...

http://artyshroo.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page_2.html

http://artyshroo.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page_2.html

So that's a bit about me. Coming up here in the next month will be some book making & bookbinding tutorials, suitable for anyone to try. You can find my last bookbinding post HERE, and for now here's a sneak preview of one such upcoming post-ette:


There'll also be some thoughts about and ideas for making altered art on a budget. Here's that sneak preview thing again! -


I'll be talking about how I use art and colour to help me cope with the ups and downs of life. I want to talk about public and private art, our insecurities and how to - hopefully - overcome them. Here are a couple of bijou hint-ettes at what will be on show...



I'll talk about supplies - my must-haves, my recommendations and top tens! (who doesn't love a list?)



 - and you can witness the perpetual horror that is my workdesk!



I'll also be blogging about crafting on a budget and about making your own unique elements:


Yep - there's quite a lot lined up to take us through the rest of January and right through February. You'll have to put up with my ramblings, but you can always do what The Colonel does and bury your head in a blanky and snore 'til I shut up!! (That's HIS recommendation anyway!)

It's so awesome to see you - I'd LOVE it of you'd add your epic self to my list of blog followers, and/or to my circles so that you'll be the first to be updated on new posts. Please leave a comment - I'll do my best to reply to everyone and I'll be visiting your blog asap!

I'd like to thank Vicki at '2 BAGS FULL' for all her inspiration and hard work. Enjoy the rest of the party! Love and hugs from Shroo :) xxx


55 comments:

  1. Lots of loveliness, good to see you blogging again. Valerie

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    1. It's REALLY good to be back - thank you for visiting and commenting. Your blog is a constant inspiration.big hugs - Shroo:)xx

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  2. Hi Rachael
    Great post. Your blog is such a happy place. I like dogs better than cats, but I can see your fellow is quite special. I can't tell you how happy I am to have found your blog. You are so inspiring that I bought a journal this afternoon...there really ARE reasons to journal...me...me...me!
    xx, Carol

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    1. YOu absolute LEGEND!! I'm so happy that you're going to journal for YOURSELF! Don't be nervous about it now will you? Plunge in there with a happy thought and plant a firm footstep on your journaling path. I have no doubt that you'll be epic! Thank you squillions for the FABULOUS comment! Bug hugs - Shroo :)xx

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  3. So happy to see you here at the party-I met you at last year's party and you have been such an inspiration to me-thanks so much-I love your art work-it makes me happy to see what you share with us.-hugs to you and the Colonel

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    1. Only the sparkliest people (that's you, that is) enter these crazy-ass party blog hops! Be twinkly and have an awesomely shiny day there missus! xxx

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  4. Shroo - I am SO delighted to meet you - your art is amazing! Thanks for being my first visitor at Create With Joy today! I truly look forward to getting to know you and would love it if you would stay in touch and share your artwork at our weekly Inspire Me Monday party! :-)

    Have a fabulous week!

    Create With Joy
    http://create-with-joy.com

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    1. Awwww - thank you! I'm still catching up with blogginess but when things calm down I'll be back to your blog and have a good look at your awesome Inspire Me Monday party ! I'd LOVE to join in! See ya soon - Shroo:) xx

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  5. Hi Rachael,

    I think I have been following your blog for about a year or so. I am always amazed as well as inspired by your wonderful artwork.

    I have been so very sorry to hear about your dear mother's passing away last summer -- my heartfelt condolences. (((Rachael)))

    It's great to see you back in Blogland since Christmas -- your last posts about creating one's own journal are just fabulous.

    Happy creating,
    Birgit

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    1. Birgit, thank you so much for your kind words - it's great to hear from you! Thank you for sticking with me and my blog through the big empty post-less months! It's so much appreciated. Sending big hugs - Shroo:)xx

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    2. Shroo, I just had a look at your most recent post. Remember your doodle of the cat with the mouse in its fangs? Well, yeah, that was MY Flecki last night. And how proud he was to present the gift. ;) Sure thing I praised him for keeping the house safe from evil mice...

      Big hugs,
      Birgit

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    3. OH yes- The COlonel's a bit too stately and, well, spherical, to be catching many mice nowadays, but in his errant youth he would bring them home in abundance. Alive. And let them go. In the house. Basically, his expressions of love turned me into a mouse-murderer! Cats........... :) xx

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  6. Wow Rachel, you are a talented lady! Love your cat too. So sorry about your Mom, it must be so hard...
    I look forward to reading more about you and your art. Thanks for following my blog too.

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    1. Hi Sami! Thank you squillions for following my blog and for your lovely comment. These blog parties are SO good for meeting wonderful people! Glad to have found you - all the best from Shroo:)xx

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  7. Hi Rachel WOW! Such beautiful work. I love your blog party introduction. On behalf of Vicki thanks for joining 'Grow Your Blog'.

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    1. Awwww thank you!!! I really appreciate you visiting - and hugs to you and Vicki too for organising this great event - Shroo:)xx

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  8. Hi Rachel - I came over from the blog hop. Love seeing all your art! What a lot of talent you are sharing. So glad to have found your blog. :)

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    1. Hi Laney - really happy that you stopped by as now I've visited your awesome blog and become a fan of your amazing work! Looking forward to reading more posts soon - hugs from Shroo:)xx

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  9. I always enjoy visiting your blog Rachel, your work is so vibrant and inspirational. Great picture of the Colonel too. I wanted to call one of my cats Wing Commander Fluffyboots, but the children wouldn't let me

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    1. YAY! SO happy to see you here again! Makes me happy! The Colonel, as always, is unmoved but there was a look of solidarity in his eye when I mentioned Wing Commander Fluffyboots! I fear that he's looking for a fellow plotter for world domination.....! Big hugs - Shroo:)xx

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  10. What an absolute delight to see all the creative fabulousness and hear what you're up to!

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    1. Hello lovely crystal lady! Thank you for visiting and introducing yourself - your blog is wonderful! I look forward to visiting again soon - hugs from Shroo:)xx

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  11. I did not join the blog party this year - but I am a follower and reader of your blog (as you know!) Your art is amazing...cannot wait for you to load up your shop again!

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    1. Hi Patti!! It's always completely lovely to see you - and visit your blog where you feed my addiction to beads! It's unhealthy I tell you! (but awesome!) Thank you so much for your support - sending big hugs - Shroo:)xx

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  12. So nice to meet you! thank you also for visiting my own blog. Your work is wonderful!!!

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    1. Thank you squillions! that's lovely - and your blog is fabulous! You have THE best photos! Really great to meet you at this party - hugs from Shroo:)xx

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  13. Hi Rachel ... thoroughly enjoyed your GYB Party post !

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    1. Right back atcha, lady! Your blog is filled with REALLY interesting stuff! I'm hooked. You're stuck with me as a follower now! hugs from Shroo:)xx

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  14. Oh Rachel your art is just beautiful! I love it and am your newest GFC follower!! (stopping by from the GYB event!)

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    1. Thank you so much! I also love your blog - that valentine quilt is completely gorgeous! Heck, they ALL are! Looking forward to finding out more about your work - hugs from Shroo:)xx

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  15. Wow, I really love your work!!! Looking forward to following you!

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    1. Thank you! It's great to meet you - your blog has everything anyone could ask for: great writing, creativity abounding, babies in quilts (I'm not a baby person but they are so adorable!), and my favourite picture of the hop so far - the one of your Gramma and her friends all quilting something with a "hearts and gizzards" design....just about made my day! Thanks for visiting! See you at your blog very soon - hugs from Shroo:)x

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  16. I love your style of art. I am totally drawn to your blog and can't wait to see what you post in the future. I'm sure i will be back to browse past posts. So fun and inspiring.

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    1. That's such a lovely comment- thank you squillions! I've visited your blogs and I'm hooked now. LOVE the quotes, and the mail.....oooooo everything! REALLY looking forward to your posts this year - hugs from Shroo:)xx

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  17. Love your blog and art, looking forward to seeing all your posts. your black cat is a cutie :) love cats.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! The Colonel has fluffed up beautifully and is strutting round like he's the king of the world now! He's even brushed his whiskers. Vain creature! Sending hugs - Shroo:)xx

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  18. You throw a great party. Thank you for inviting me!

    So that you know, I've become a Follower and when time permits, I'll be back to see what other beautiful things were made by your hands!

    What this party is all about is to GROW your blog and I'm hoping to do the same. When you get to Section One, check out A Country Chic Retreat and SuZeQ Creations, my personal blog, in Section Fifteen I'd love for you to follow and subscribe to.

    Happy crafting!
    SuZeQ

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    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting - I have indeed been to your blog and it's lovely! Sending hugs to a fellow paper crafter from Shroo:)xx

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  19. Fun-tastic! I L-O-V-E the bat at the end!!! (There is a special place in my heart for bats with character.) Thank you for posting such juicy, sumptuous pictures of your work, and for making them large so I can see them! :-)

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    1. Bats are indeed completely splendid! I used to have them flying round my old garden every dusk....I miss them! I'll be doing a bit of a post with that batty bat in February...hope it goes ok! Love your poppy quilt on your blog.....it's completely yummy! Thank you for leaving such a wonderful comment! big hugs from Shroo:)xx

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  20. I have been following you for a while, so I'm always happy to see one of your posts pop up in my feed! I love your use of color, especially the whackadoo turquoises in that second to last picture, so I'm excited to see what you've got in store for us!

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    1. Ach.....turquoise....a SERIOUS addiction! I loves me blues, so I do! Thank you for being a long-term awesome follower and serial putter-upper with my rambling. I send you many sparkles and bright colours via hugs (I'm wearing my painty clothes so hugs=paint transfer....) - from Shroo:)xx

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  21. oh be still my heart. I just turned 65 and am now trying to reenergize my childhood dream of being a real artist.
    I am basically self taught and when I logged on to your blog I just had to keep on reading and drooling over all of your beautiful talent. I can't wait to share art and follow you. I know you will be a great inspiration and teacher.

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    1. If you make art then you're a real artist! Thank you so much for your lovely comments which are VERY much appreciated.I finally had a proper chance to read through some of your blog posts - everything's so full of life and beauty and colour! Utterly fabulous! Happy to meet you - hugs from Shroo:)xx

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  22. Hello Shroo - well you made me smile this morning and it's great that I found you via the Blog Party. The Colonel looks a handsome chap, though my dog wouldn't think so.

    I love your style and your generosity. Are you full time at this arty stuff or are you burdened with a day job too?

    Lovely to find and follow you and it will be interesting to know what else you have in store for us.

    All the best. Hilary

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    1. Awwwww thank you!! What a wonderful comment! You're lovely! The Colonel indeed handsome....he's in 'Caligula' mode today, lounging about and ordering his army of mice to wear teeny togas and feed him peeled grapes. He waves a regal paw at your dog and suggests that if they met they could probably take over the world!

      I left work a couple of years ago to pursue a career in art, and did make decent inroads, but I'm taking a break from a lot of things at the mo as I'm working to sort out the tangle that mum left me when she crossed her rainbow bridge last year, along with working to tame my agoraphobia (which interferes with EVERYTHING). It's my goal to get myself back on track this year and I'm using art as a focus, a relaxation, and a continuity. Being back in the blog world has been a real boon - people here are wonderful! If I can help anyone else by sharing my journey then that's a special bonus :)

      I hope I get to see you here again - I'll certainly be checking out your new posts ! Sending hugs from Shroo:)xx

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  23. What fun!! I laughed out loud when I saw your header picture - how cool!! How I wish I had the talent to do what you do, but alas my painting abilities lie only in changing the colours on the walls in my apartment (and there's an element of doubt as to how successful THAT venture is too!). Your work is absolutely a delight. So happy to meet you!

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    1. Marvellous to meet you! Thank you for your fabulous comment - I'm happy to make you giggle! It's really kind of you to be so awesome - I'm heading over to read your blogs after posting this and look forward to legendary apartment walls!!! (Can I point out that the most adventurous I get is 'magnolia' on my walls!) hugs from Shroo:)xx

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  24. Lovely to meet you!
    I love what you do and I've signed up to follow you!

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    1. Thank you SQUILLIONS! You're an absolute STAR! Sending you big hugs - Shroo:)xxx

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  25. Hello Shroo! I love your world and your creations, they're so bold and bright, I 'm definitely going to follow you in your future adventures!

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    1. Thank you for being lovely - and for joining my blog! Sending you big hugs from Shroo:)xx

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  26. LOVE your blog! So much color, so much fun, the art, the supplies, the Colonel - I had to become a follower :0)

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    1. Thank you so much! Happy to welcome you to my ramblings and splishy splooshy artyness! Sending hugs from me and The Colonel - Shroo:)xxx

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