Journalling through South Dakota

One of the nicest birthday gifts I have ever received is a journalling kit from Chris. As I was a jet-lagged muggle with limited brain power, I didn’t take a photo of the contents before we went on the road with it. It came in a terrific grey bag and Chris had made a book with old maps and blank journal pages in it. I was thrilled and used it to journal our trip through South Dakota as it was just perfect for collecting up ephemera and giving me a few moments at the end of each day to think about where we’d been and what we’d been doing. I had originally taken that trip with Eileen back in 2011 but our trip was cut short because I had pneumonia and a heart thing and ended up in hospital for several days so it was good to have a place to reflect a while as I was sad that Eileen passed away soon after I came back to England and we didn’t get to finish what she intended for us to do.

I really loved the thought that Chris had put into making the book for my journal. It had some beautifully stamped papers and maps in it.

I bought a box of very small pencils from Barnes and Noble on our first day in MN and had some fun with those whilst we were travelling. And yes, we stayed in an America’s Best Value Inn.. I’m not shy – it was cheap and clean-ish and it did mean we got to splurge and stay in a beautiful lodge in the Badlands and a really wonderful Lodge in Spearfish Canyon recommended by Michael (thanks, Michael – definitely going with travel tips from him in future 🙂 )

I loved looking at the maps when we were on the road. America is such a huge place and has many many interesting towns.

This is one of my favourite pages I made. I liked playing with the washi tape I’d brought with me to make a kind of flag.

When I was done, I looked at the cover and thought I needed to do something else to it and found this map I’d brought back with me (yes, Jeanne this is why my luggage was quite so heavy and we needed an extra suitcase). I love the way it looks. Thank you so much, Chris!! It was an inspired gift.

Taking a leaf out of Chris’ books

Chris has been doing some amazing things with bookbinding and journalling recently and I’ve been really inspired. I found an old book in a Book Tree in town the other day with the cover half hanging off with some beautiful colour artwork inside. I had to bring it home, didn’t I? The half-hanging off cover got me thinking about book-binding and making books. I wanted to use the cover to make it into a book so I went into our local art shop and started looking at paper to make pages like Chris did when I saw these plain little books for just 70 pence each. I figured three would be enough for my purposes.

It is good to see that Claude has assumed the helper mantle. He is inspecting the inside of the book.

I glued the covers of the exercise books together with Pritt stick and then stuck the three spines together with some cute duct tape that Chris had given me as part of a really wonderful birthday present.

I then stuck the covers of the books to the outer cover of the book I found and then glued then sellotaped the overlap over. I used sellotape as I wanted to keep the matching look but figure there is probably something better.

I liked the way it turned out inside, too.

I wanted a little whimsy and added a bit of sheep washi tape to the outside cover.

I found a beautiful image inside the book and it has lots of beautiful imagery of Kent where I live which I thought was perfect for the inside cover of the book.

I used one of the old maps for the back cover of the book. It is of East Kent.

Top view. I’m quite happy with how it has turned out.

My helper was very happy indeed with his work. He particularly liked the duct tape!!

Doodling and dribbling

pao surprised me with this watercolour palette as a get well gift. It is a beautiful Sakura Koi palette which I’d read about on a journalling blog (I can’t remember which now) but thought it was a pretty neat set.

It comes with a water brush which I enjoyed playing with. I’m quite impressed with the stripes.

I liked painting this rose enhanced with a bit of gold ink and the good old Sharpie.

Of course, I couldn’t resist another kitty cat. I started out with stark black whiskers but felt they were too stark so in trying to tone them down, I made them a bit thick! So I went for gold and traced them over with some Windsor and Newton gold ink I had handy.

And you know that I got a new helper so that distracted me a bit!

Something new for 2016

Chris‘ art journalling endeavours have really encouraged me to start something myself. When she sent me an email mentioning the 30 Day Journal Project, it took me all of a minute to think ‘Why not!’ and off I went.

The first prompt was the one above but I am still thinking about things I’ve begun and am proud of so I’m still wondering how to begin.

I have started doing some backgrounds using a technique I heard about from Chris. Most of these use a base pattern made in wax (I just picked a bit off a candle we had been using and started fiddling) with watercolour paint brushed over the top.










I couldn’t resist a little cat dabbling.