Friday, 30 January 2015

Some New Journals on Etsy!

Hello, you wonderful You!

Here with a quick post - mostly pictures - about new journals finally listed in my Etsy shop. These have really been a labour of love as I currently only feel moved to make my journals and altered books when I'm very emotional and full of memories. Most of these reflect my dream states where my head is filled with days at the seaside, my old home by the sea and my heart's joy - the wild beauty of untamed nature. 

The books are coptic bound and allow, pretty much, a 360 degree display when open. I've tried many wonderful binding techniques, but I keep coming back this method which is still very pretty and versatile, but crucially allows for greater practicality of use, especially for art journalers. I also stayed true to my promise of reducing my arty hoard by selectively adding some of my favourite lampwork and art beads - some of which I've had for nearly fifteen years! I'll recover from the trauma of using them EVENTUALLY I'm sure!! Okee - no more rambling, here- have some piccies!

'Gaia's Dream'





'Heart Of The Ocean'






'A Mermaid's Wish'








'Seaside Dreams'




'Rock Pool Treasure Trove'







That's them then! Each one contains a mix of papers (colours and weights) which are great for writers or a fun challenge and opportunity for art journalers. I feel a sense of achievement in having finished them and put them in my shop (at looooooong last). I hope you're going to praise yourself for your achievements this week - you know you're awesome!

I'll be back this weekend with the first of my 'supplies' posts ...I TRIED to narrow it down to just ten things but honestly....that's just not gonna happen..... See you then - hugs from Shroo :) xxx

 *  *  *
 My uncle, Grandpa and mum at the beach, braving the icy cold of the British coastal waters! My Grandpa would quite earnestly tell them (and me too) that baby jellyfish would swim through our legs - so that there was panic when they were spotted!

My Grandparents 'living it up' at the seaside! Party on!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Taming Your Troublesome Muse!

Hello again!

Are you well? I hope so. If you're having a great day then THANK YOU for sharing your sunshine! If you're having a poopy day - here have some sunshine to brighten it up -


Today's post is a fun little exercise to help free up your arty doodle muse. How often do we sit down with every artistic fibre of our souls straining at the leash, ready to burst forth with creativity and awesomeness, AND

....... meh.....

Nothing......

Our muse is off at the shops or snoring in a corner. It's SO frustrating, and it only takes a couple of times for that annoying little voice that lurks in the dark parts of our brains to pipe up and tell us that we CAN'T do this, we CAN'T make art....we should give up.

Well. That's NONSENSE!....a load of rot!  Lazy muse just needs to be woken up so that she can pay attention! In time, you'll develop your own muse-nudgey methods, but for now here's a fun little exercise that might just help!

This exercise is to help you put marks on paper quickly- NOT to produce universe-altering art! Judgement free fun! You'll need some scrap paper, a pen or pencil, and some colours - either pens, pencils or crayons would be ideal.

You're going to make eight little drawings, each one taking no more than one minute. Yep - ONE minute! I promise - this is easy.  The pictures will all be variations on a single theme, which is easier to show than ramble on about, so without further ado....

Choose something simple - you'll need to think of eight different images! Start with something basic - SHAPES.You're going to draw eight different shapes and colour them and each one will take you less than one minute! So - pens and pencils at the ready.......GO!


HA HAAAAAH!!!! Scribbly fun! That was easy, huh? TOLD ya! You can do this as often as you want or need to. How's about upping the ante a bit? Something a little less basic - stretch the thinky muse! How about......emoticons! Circles with faces on them....different expressions.....GO!

I'm not stressing AT all - no worry about colouring in neatly! Scribbly scribbly. But lookee - that's sixteen drawings in sixteen minutes! And you thought you'd stare at a blank page for HOURS! Holy moley, you're AWESOME!  What else can you do? If you need more exercise, choose another thing to draw....not too complicated......err......LEAVES! there are thousands of variations! Ok....think about a few plants or trees in your garden.......got it?  ok.......GO!

BAZINGA! You aced it! Another eight drawings! That's .....err.....twenty-four pictures in less than half an hour - you're on FIRE baby!

If you do this regularly, it'll feel like a game, and you'll be able to challenge yourself more and just enjoy the silly fun of it. Here are four further doodle topics I chose to stretch my (VERY useless) brain a bit -
- flowers, buildings/homes, woodland creatures and cats. Same time restrictions apply -




THAT was fun! I have a stack of weird, scruffy doodles and my muse is wide awake and ready to kick some arty arse!

This is a great exercise any day, any time. If you're with a friend you can do this together - see what nutty stuff you both come up with! (can be quite questionable if you've both had a glass of wine! I am not responsible for your dodgy-doodle-related trauma!!) You can do this with your kids - make it a race. I like to cut eight pieces of paper (just roughly the same size), stack them in a pile and turn each one upside down as I finish it so I don't waste time staring at the ones I've finished. Plus each time I doodle it's a new little blank page - no fear of them for me now, my friends, OH no!

What to do with all your doodles? Well, that's up to you. You can throw them away - OR you can incorporate them into your artwork or journaling and make that muse work a little harder for you. Here's a page spread I created with three cut-out doodles -

Step one: Choose a book of booky bookness, liiiiiike so -


Step two: Cut out the doodles you want to use and riffle through your bits and pieces of arty crafty supplies until you have a bundle of inspiration lying in front of you (forget tidy - this is about fun!)


Step three: a background. I scraped a little white acrylic paint onto the page, then tore up some pretty paper pieces to fit onto the four corners, plus a bit extra because it looked cool... Then sticky sticky sticky with your sticky stuff of choice (not jam....jam is not good for this....make toast for your jam):


Oooooh! It left a white spot. Looks like a cloud.... I'm taking that and running with it....

Step four of fourness: Sploosh on a little sexy colour. Go ooooooon....  I used my trusty Gelatos and Inktense pencils and added a bit of a border and some life to the whole thing. Go on - get mucky!






Smooshy smooshy! Be messy - be creative! Paint with your fingers! Let your cat paint for you! No....that's probably not a good plan.....wet painty paws and angry claws.....Paint with your fingers! Aaaah.....you rebel you!

Step the fifth: I cut out text from some magazine clippings I've obsessively hoarded (as you do). You don't have to....you can always write!


The sexy sixth step! - This is where you get to add your awesome doodles! TA-DAAAAH!



The final lucky seventh step! (you take AS MANY as you jolly well like!): Add faffy fun doodles to bring the page together. Add some colour to the border if you need it, then do a happy dance!


Now stand back and and admire your work! You....are.....EPIC! Hug your muse, that way she'll come back quicker and pay attention in the future... Now party like you've earned it!

This is a good day and you're a legend! I'm off to boil a kettle ....and make toast! I'll see you soon with more journaling exercises and some notes on my favourite art supplies. NOW GO AND LET THE WORLD WITNESS YOUR AWESOMENESS!!!!

Love and hugs from Shroo :) xxx


Me and my mum - my inspiration!