Tuesday 28 April 2020


Have you ever made a Zine?  Here's information on Zines in case you've never come across them before.

They are very easy to make and only need one sheet of paper. Here is a sequence of photographs to show you how to do it.  If you have never made one before, I suggest you get a piece of printer paper and make a practice one.

Take your piece of paper

 and fold it in half width ways.

 Open the paper out

 and fold the paper length ways.

 Open it out (landscape style)

 and fold the sides into the middle.

 Open it out and fold the paper in half as you did before and cut from the fold to the next fold.

 Open it out and stand it up like this.

Crease the folds again to close the zine up and bring the fold shown at the top of this picture to meet the fold at the left of the picture.

 Use a bone folder on all the folds to make them sit properly.  I then numbered the pages - outer for outside 'covers' and then 1 to 6.

 When you unfold it the numbering looks like this.

Now you've practised with a ppiece of plain paper you can try again with paper you've painted or with scrapbook paper.

I tried folding a 12"x12" piece of doublesided scrapbook paper and this was the result.

I tried out a piece of single sided cardstock with this result.

Here are the 3 together

This one I made with a painted paper.

Come back for the next part of the tutorial on Saturday.

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday 25 April 2020


The theme for April's photography group was Spring.  Although I have been out walking every day all these photos are from my back garden.


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Tuesday 21 April 2020

Virtual Studio 2

These activities carry on from my last post.

Activity 6
Something a bit different. Look through magazines and newspapers and cut out or tear out words that jump out to you. Don't think about it or try to find a theme.

Activity 7
Take 2 of the background papers you have made - take the 2 you like least! Turn them over. On the back, draw round circular items of different sizes. Don't overlap the circles. Cut out the circles. Turn the circles over and you will see lovely little works of art. Have fun

Activity 8
Glue the circles you cut out onto one of the other papers you painted. You can stick them separately or overlap them.

Activity 9
Take the words you cut out and stick them on either the circle collage from Activity 8 or another piece of painted paper.  You could just stick down random words or try makiing up a poem with the words.

Activity 10
Use all the different activities again using a different colour scheme or with the same colours you've been using.  Now you know several techniques you could put several techniques on what sheet of paper building up layers.

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday 18 April 2020

Virtual Studio

In usual times I help faciilitate a community studio.  Obviously it is currently shut, but I have been suggesting activities iin a Facebook group.  I thought I would share them here.

Activity 1: Choose a colour scheme.
Find a container (box, basket, tin, whatever you have). Choose 3 colours you really like. From your colouring media - acrylic paint, watercolours, watercolour pencils or crayons, wax crayons - put those 3 colours in your container plus black and white. This will save you having to look for them each time you want to use them.

Activity 2
We are going to paint papers to make backgrounds. The video shows two techniques - watercolour paint with salt and watercolour paint with clingfilm. You can also try the cling film technique with runny acrylic paiint (water down your paint) however you need to pull the clingfilm off before the paint is dry other wise it glues itself to the paint. You don't have to use watercolour paper but printer paper is too thin. Use the 3 colours you chose in activity 1. Please share your results with the group. Have fun.

Activity 3
Use wax crayons in your colour scheme, or the black or white, and draw circles all over several sheets of paper. You could use sketchbook paper, music paper, brown paper etc . Overlap the circles. Draw different sizes of circles. If you want you could do squares or triangles instead of circles.   When you have finished your drawings, put a wash of watercolour paint over the page.

Activity 4. Acrylic Smooching!
If you have people at home to help you this is a great do-together exercise. If there's only you then you have to be well-prepared and quick!

Put some of each of the 3 colours of acrylic paint you are using on a palette (Paper plate, cling film over a real plate!) and get 3 water pots and 3 large brushes. If you're doing this on your own I suggest using A5 paper.

Quickly paint one colour on one sheet only, then the next colour on another sheet and the third colour on the last sheet.

Then whilst the paint is still wait take one sheet and turn the paint side onto the wet paper of another colour. Quickly peel off and smooth onto the 3rd piece. Do the same with each of the colours until the paint is dry. At this point you can either put another layer of paint on the dry paint or get another 3 pieces of paper.

Each piece of paper should have the main colour and some elements of the other 2 colours.

Activity 5
Go round the house finding different objects that you can use for stamping. This is often described as mark making. Here are some examples.

Use different papers - printer paper, music paper, pages torn from old books, brown paper etc. Use any or all of your 3 colours from your colour scheme. Also try the black and the white. Overlap your marks or not. Just have fun producing lots of different marks on paper.

I will add some more things to do in the next post.

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Coming home to a different country

Our final morning in Australia.  Andy took us all to Oatley Park where Roger & I went for a short walk and met back up with the family at the river's edge.

Andy was teaching Crusoe to swim.

After lunch Andy took us to the airport and we started our journey home.  The night before Singapore Airport had announced they would not be accepting transit passengers after midnight on the Monday.   Fortunately our flight for London left at 11.45pm on that Monday.  Although it did turn out that if you arrived before midnight and your flight wasn't until the next day then you could continue your journey.

The flight was almost full but Roger & I had a row of three seats for the two of us.   The flight was almost normal, apart from no hot flannels!  Or magazines in the seat pocket.  Hardly essentials!

We arrived in London as originally planned and collected the car.  The roads were quiet but it was 6am so it was hard to tell if things were different or not.  However whilst we were flying home, the Foreign Office had recalled British Citizens home.  Some are still stuck abroad as airlines closed down their services.  Currently 90% of Singapore Airlines flights are grounded.

Also whilst we were flying home, the lockdown announcement had been made.  So we arrived to a very different country.

I know that lots of people are finding it difficult.  Especially those who are worried about their finances as well as their health.  Roger & I are very fortunate to be healthy and to have our pensions.  We are only vulnerable apparently because of our age.  I was a bit miffed about that.  Earlier in the year much had been made about how healthy over-70s could be volunteering with various charities etc.  And now we're vulnerable!  But I understand there's a need to draw a line somewhere.  The government might have chosen 65 like some of the states in the US.

Roger is still shopping once a week.  We don't come into the category that allows us to have supermarket deliveries.  We both have a variety of hobbies and to be honest much of my life is the same as it was.  Obviously the church building is shut down so there's no church meeting or open studio time.  But the church leadership has risen to the occasion with livestreaming on Sundays and a daily 45 minute zoom prayer meeting.  Lifegroup is also via Zoom.  To be honest I've had more contact with church in the last 2 weeks than I normally do.

This is my last post about our holiday.  I am truly thankful that we managed to do everything we had planned and that we spent a week with the family.

I will be continuing to post here.  I will be back to sharing my creative endeavours.

Keep smiling.
Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday 11 April 2020

In the back of beyond

At this point in our trip I was keeping an eye out for emails or texts from Singapore Airlines and information about returning home either from the Australian government or from the UK.  I had seen that Singapore Airlines had cancelled three flights for the next Monday, but that ours was still on track to fly out of Sydney.   SO we continued with our plans to stay at an Airbnb place Andy had found in Capertee.   Coincidentally I had just finished reading The Finder which featured Capertee.

We set off on Thursday morning, stopping off at The Three Sisters viewpoint in the Blue Mountains.

I tried taking photos as we drove along but not all were successful

This was the beautiful three-bedroomed, two bathroom cabin in its own grounds.

And fabulous views.

On Friday we went to Mudgee and had a walk round.  We found an excellent playground for the children.

We then travelled on to Gulgong where Andy, Roger & I went round the Pioneer Museum. It was absolutely packed full of items.  To be honest it looked like everyone for miles around had decluttered their houses and farms and dumped everything with the museum.

Lots of lovely rust though!

Then we went on to Lowe's winery for lunch.

On Saturday we drove to Rylestone where we bought food for a picnic.

We went to Wollemi National Park where Andy & Crusoe went in the water.  Sadly the flies were so annoying that we ended up eating our picnic in the car!

The rock formations in the park were interesting.  Lots of the tops looked like roofs on rock houses.

The countryside we drove through to get back to Capertee was fascinating.

Andy loves to build a fire.

And the beautiful sunset.

On Sunday we packed up and started the journey back to Brighton-Le-Sands.

We stopped for lunch at Bilpin Cider where we had pizza.

By now we were checked in for our flight home the next day.

Thanks for joining me today