Friday 29 December 2017


I'm not very good at finishing projects so I am delighted to say that I finished two Christmas related projects.

Firstly I finished Mary Brack's Advent Words 2017 study and book.

And secondly I finished my December Daily.  At tthe beginning I was going to keep it going right through the month to December 31st.  But in the end decided to finish with Christmas Day.

The last page has the information we put online for the project Valerie, Mary & I are running through 2018.  It belongs here because we were discussing it in the last few days before Christmas.   If you missed it, the information is in my last blog post.

See you in 2018.

Thanks for joining me today.

Wednesday 27 December 2017

Everyday Journals ~ Living Your Word of the Year

If you read my post about searching for a way to organise my life in a journal you won't be too surprised to hear that I have found a way forward with the help of two of my dear friends ~ Mary & Valerie.   We have joined together to help each other and anyone else who would like to join us in a group on Facebook: Everyday Journals ~ Living Your Word of the Year.

Do you choose a word for the year? Or does it choose you? When we ask God for a word for the year he gives us something that he wants us to work on, to include more of during the year? Do you know what your word for 2018 is yet?

Have you tried planners, bullet journals and diaries and found they don’t suit your lifestyle? Do you want a simple, completely personalized, no pressure way of journal keeping? Do you have lots of scraps of papers with your ideas written down but often lost in the detritus on your desk? Or do you file all your thoughts in your head and become overwhelmed with all the ideas and no place to flesh them out?

Would you like a more creative way to organise your word, your ideas, thoughts, prayers, events, or your projects all in one place? Let us introduce you to an Everyday Calendar Journal.

Through 2018, Valerie Sjodin, Mary Brack and I will be sharing insights through blog posts for keeping an Everyday Calendar Journal. We will be using the journal to record events, experiences and relationships; to explore our word’s meaning in visual and fun ways. It is our hope that you will make your journal your own, personalising it to make it a beautifully useful and valuable tool.

Watch for these hashtags on social media #livingyourword2018  #everydayjournals2018

Join us in our private Facebook group to find encouragement and support as we journal through 2018.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Monday 25 December 2017

Happy Christmas

I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas.

Thank you so much for reading my blog and following along with my various projects.  I really appreciate that you give your time to this.

Thank you for joining me today.

Merry Christmas

Friday 22 December 2017

Planners and Planning

For 2018 I would like to keep track of a variety of things – my life, my creative life, my word for the year, inspirational quotes – all in one place rather than on scrappy bits of paper or stored in the numerous filing cabinets of my brain. I like Valerie’s description of what she was going to do at the beginning of 2017 - ‘a loose design format to happily contain my thoughts, prayers, dreams and activities of the year.’

I’ve tried various things in the past. There was the Documented Life Project which was useful at the time but eventually became a chore. I tried the Dylusions Dyary but it was too similar to DLP and actually the very thing that I thought would be helpful – Dyan’s art on every other page became a turn-off for me as I couldn’t find how to make it my own, short of putting gesso over the page!

I have followed Seth Apter’s Artifacts posts this year and wanted some way to record workshops and work but didn’t feel that the Artifacts route was one I wanted to take.

Valerie uses what she calls her Everyday Journal and Mary has a Commonplace Book.   I think they do a variation that suits them of the same thing.

I spent several days researching bullet journals and planners, using Pinterest & YouTube. It was an interesting experience as over those days my internet connection had been reduced to approximately 0.97mbps instead of the normal 6.97mbps. This was really, really slow. And then it went down to 0.2 which meant that it could barely load a website page.

Bullet Journals are interesting but seem very complicated. They are about being extremely organised but actually I don’t want to be extremely organised, I just want to be more productive and more creative. I can see there are bits that would be useful but I’m not interested in what the BJ jargon calls collections. Basically they are lists and whilst I will incorporate some lists into whatever I come up with, listing everything isn’t what I need.

I set up a Pinterest board to collate my findings.

As I looked at the various things on offer I realised that what I needed to do was ask myself some questions. I needed to know what I did want to include and what I definitely didn’t want.

Did I want any of the following?
  • daily diary or planner
  • weekly diary or planner
  • Monthly calendar or planner
  • Yearly calendar or planner
  • A list of goals - yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly
  • A list of books I’ve read
  • A list of films I‘ve seen
  • A list of places to visit
  • Travel planning
  • Quotes
  • Bible verses
  • Prayers
  • Photos
  • My art
  • Sermon notes
  • Journaling
  • Projects
  • Health & fitness tracker, water consumption tracker
  • Monthly memories
  • A list of online courses
  • A list of workshops booked
  • Gratitude lists
  • To Do lists
  • A monthly or weekly review
There's also the question of how creative I want the journal to look.  I don't draw but I have loads of stencils I could use to make it look attractive.  Plus I bought a few more!

I'm nearly there!  I've got the Leuchtturm1917 notebook and I'm trying out various of my pens on the back page but most of them bleed through the paper so I went out and bought these.

So, I'm all set.  I just need to make the decision about what I'm including from the list above and then actually set up the book so it's ready to go on January 1st.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Thanks for joining me today.

Monday 18 December 2017

December Daily 2

I showed you my first collection of pages on the blog here.  Here are the next few days.

With the snow coming down on Friday I really didn't know whether we would be able to go to the Open Day at Hilary Beattie's studio - a 100 miles from my house.  However it was a lovely day and we got there and back in good time and had a great time at the studio.

The next day the snow returned and the roads were treacherous.  Church was cancelled.  My car disappeared under 8" of snow.

I don't have a story for December 11th and will come back to it.  The day was spent indoors because the snow had frozen.  Maybe that should be the story!

I put the tree up on the 12th.  According to Facebook's On this Day, I regularly put the tree up on the 12th!  Who knew!

And then the news we had been waiting for!  Our second grandson was born.

In the evening we celebrated Flynn's birth at my church small group's Christmas social. It's so lovely to celebrate with close friends - especially when your new grandson is in Australia.

I'm really pleased that I am mostly up to date.  Only one day to fill in.

Thanks for joining me today.

Friday 15 December 2017

Snow Days

I really only like snow when it looks pretty - a bit like a snow globe.  Plus I need to be inside - snug and warm.  So these photos were either taken through a closed window or an open window - but certainly not with me outside!

Through our bedroom window

The children in the road built a snowman

Our back garden

My car disappearing under the snow

Next doors tree with flashing lights in the branches


Eight inches of snow on my car

More snow


 Eventually all the grey clouds went away and there was blue sky.

 And sunshine!

Shapes in the snow

And the snowman in the middle of the road - being used as a roundabout!

Thanks for joining me today

Monday 11 December 2017

My Advent Journal

I love to make books.  I have so many - many of which have never been used - I just love the process of making them.   It took me quite a while to decide how I wanted to journal the Advent Challenge that Mary has written.  You can find it on her blog at Advent Words 2017.

Eventually I decided to make a book with watercolour paper and some fabric I bought a few years ago to make Christmas related items.  The fabric has been sitting in the cupboard all that time.  I tore pieces of it up and glued it with matte medium to the water colour paper. I was then going to make little collages for each page and maybe do some stitches.

I took so long thinking about it that I was getting further and further into the study but had no pages done.  So I simplified things.  I stamped the word of the day onto each page.  I used Valerie Sjodin's stencils and Marjolaine Walker's stencils with gelatos.  I wrote with Inktense pencils and here are my pages to date.

I used Pumice Stone Distress Ink to stain the edges of the pages after I had distressed the edges.

Thanks for joining me today.

Friday 8 December 2017

6 days of December Daily

I enjoyed making my December Daily album last year and actually finishing a project.  However I knew we were doing lots of things.  This year I thought I would do it again in order to find some joy in the season.  Otherwise it's just going to be 'just another month'.   And to be honest so far it's been just that.

I prepared the inserts ahead of time with the freedom to move anything that wasn't right for that day.  I have moved several things already.

The reason why and the Advent Words calendar.

Day 1  Naomi had sent me a photo of our grandson playing with the Nativity set we bought last year.  On day 2 we FaceTimed with the family in Sydney.

On day 3 there was a supermoon but I didn't get very good photos because of the clouds.

Day 4 I listed 4 strange Christmas songs that I like.  

Day 5: I wrote about spending Christmas with my cousin who died last month.  And on day 6 I bought some pants instead of Christmas Cards for my church's Pants Campaign.

I'm still trying to work out how to take decent photos of my album.  These were taken in the conservatory to have the benefit of natural daylight and they still needed tweaking.

Thanks for joining me today.

Monday 4 December 2017

More in my Fabric Sketchbook

In my last post I showed you my Fabric Sketchbook as far as I had got on the two day course.

When I got home I worked on it again adding the exercises suggested by Dionne that I hadn't had time to do.

I made a stamp and found the stamps I had made from Dionne's online course Developing Sketchbooks.

I used black acrylic paint to stamping my fabric sketchbook.  I also developed the teardrop shape which I had found in amongst the pages.

And here is my book which could be called finished.  Although there's plenty of scope for more machining and handstitching.

The back (left) and front pages

I really enjoyed doing this workshop and I feel much more confident about using my machine.

Be aware though that if you book for next year's course you won't end up with what I did.  Firstly, each of us on the course ended up with something different, and secondly, Dionne teaches it slightly differently each time she does the workshop.

Thanks for joining me today