Blogging 101

What a difference a year makes

cherry blossomI was scrolling through my photos on the laptop (procrastinating from accounts homework, heh! Numbers are not my friend) and I came across this photo from last year, taken the same day as today…give or take a day or two. I see this, and then look outside at the bleak skies, the chilly air, the bare trees that frankly, look quite dead. Its been a horrible year weather wise and I really hope it changes for the better very soon, or me and Mother Nature and going to be having WORDS, oh yes.

Anyway, musing upon the nostalgic same-time-last-year mood, I noticed how my blog posts changed and fell away for the most part as I embarked upon the college adventure. I was far more productive and energised last year, and now with studies, my creativity is more like a sleeping cat curled up on the rug, raising its head every so often to see if there is anything interesting going on! Nope, ok then, back to snoozing.

So! To nudge the “creative cat” into some high jinks, I have set myself some challenges for the upcoming Easter Break (off college for two whole weeks, I cannot wait!) To be fair, I have been collecting some arty things for “during the break” so its not like I’m starting from scratch, but…..I am on a mission to post every other day during the first two weeks in April. If I can get into a routine with that, then it should be easy enough to continue, yes? I’m making up a working list of projects as you read this, so there will be some diy’s, some illustrations, photography, textile projects, and – if I’m brave enough – maybe a video or two. I’m trying to treat this like an art retreat, if that makes sense. (Since clearly a holiday on a hot sunny island is out of the question!) I do still have some work to do for college (because we aren’t getting away from it THAT easily!), and a work placement to organise, but those things – during the holiday at least – will be firmly set in second place.

I’m just holding myself accountable, which is why I’m writing it out here. Its important to take a break from the necessities of life and just play for a while. Its all about balance. 🙂



art, Crafts

DIY Fabric printing…..


So! Having got some ideas of what to do with the scrapbook paper from yesterday, I am now working on cards and a book cover. I got to thinking how pretty the paper would look as a fabric, and wondered how to transfer it over.

I headed over to YouTube and Pinterest for ideas, and spend most of the day being lost in in the pretties (!) Many tutorials involved special glue or gels – none of which I have, but there were a few tut’s on using your printer. I balked at that – my printer is old and probably wouldn’t cope with shoving fabric in it, haha!

So I did it anyway…..

What I did was tape some plain white cotton fabric onto some cardboard for stability, and fed that through as “speciality paper” so the printer would just think it was being used effectively! (one has to keep ones techno gadgets happy otherwise they rebel)

Naturally I didn’t take pics of the process because I was too busy hovering nervously over the darn machine, hoping to goodness it would actually pull through ok, and not detect the fact I was using it improperly!

Here are the results of my first go:



The scrapbook paper is beneath the fabric that I made it into. I uploaded a picture of the scrapbook paper to the laptop, and printed it off just like normal. The print is larger on the fabric because the photo I took was a close up, not the entire square of paper. (I’m thinking I need to do a show and tell at some point!)

Next I tore up some papers to make a faux patchwork look……this is the paper when it was glued down:

Green patchwork paper

I glued it down then made little stitch marks with a marker pen. And here is the fabric as a result:


Pretty darn cool, huh? (The pic at the top of this post is my icon on fabric too!) One word of caution though – it uses up ink like billy-o, seriously, I’m only doing this experiment and that’s it, haha!) I have no ink left. Plus the ink runs and blurs when wet……I found this out when ironing it and a drop of water spilled out from the iron! Oh well. It was fun. 😀 If you would like a full How To, let me know. I promise it won’t be green (she says realising how green this post is!)



Hmmmm….Scrapbook papers

So I was in the poundshop looking at their range of pretty papers when my phone rang. Normally I would never answer it, (nothing interrupts my stationery shopping!) but on this occasion I did answer it – and lo and behold, after the conversation I found myself leaving the checkout, having bought 4 pads of scrapbooking paper! (This is why nothing should be interrupting my stationery shopping!)

pretty papers

Now I am not a scrapbooker. I don’t do cards, or layouts, and don’t have the fancy punches etc required. If I ever need pretty paper for something, I tend to paint my own since its not something I use very often at all. So I’m sitting here wondering what to use them for (btw, is it normally as stiff as cardboard? I tried to make paper beads but its really not that flexible)

I looked at my little characters I was painting and wondered if I could use the paper for that… I tried this:

girl suprisewhere I drew items of clothing on the paper and cut them out. Kindof like a paper doll idea. The face, hair, legs, and hands (badly drawn hands, heh!) are just paint and coloured pencil. To pull it all together I scribbled round it with black ink pen. Its alright, but….y’know…..its not really my style.

I tried another one

sleepyheadAgain, wonky perspective with the PJ’s, but hey…its been a while since I played, haha!

So given that the paper is so stiff, I wondered if anyone out there had any ideas on what to use this stuff for?

P.S. My phone is being left at home on the next stationery mission!

art, Photography

Happy Thursday!

Its not a special day is a Thursday, is it? I mean its too far away to look forward to the weekend, and it could still technically be “mid-week”, which is a bit tedious, so I’m wishing all who arrive here a Happy Thursday. 😀

So, what’s been going on…..well I made some art (always good, right?)

collage stickers

I’m not sure what to do with them now… they become stickers? or do I make a collage? I have no sticker paper so I thought of doing something nifty with double sided tape so that they could be applied only when required. Hmmm….but then a collage would be nice too. With added elements of course – these are just random with no connection.

Also, the last of my ink photos:


Now if such a thing exists as a circular picture frame, I would be very interested! I did look online, but everything is square – or a circle within a square. I would like a circle, with circle glass. Keeping on looking because I would love to frame this one! Its like a little tree world.

And finally….we went for a walk on a cold bleak day. It was raining and cold – typical Scottish weather…

bleak walk day

But we saw this

lucky memorial

Which seems to be a memorial to someone’s pet. I thought that was quite sweet. Especially the knitted flower toy lying on top….aww!

A bit of a hodge podge post today, but I’m determined to keep up with blogging, so it may be some quick little updates until I get settled into a schedule. 🙂






art, Photography

Macro ink & water (part2)

Yes, yes, I know….but c’mon, indulge me…..I’m back at college tomorrow (not that I will disappear again though!) but I’m having so much fun I just can’t wait to show you new ones, heh….I’ll stop after this I promise. I’m enthusiastic, what can I say!

redinkI managed to fix the background on this, which pleased me. Pumping up the contrast and colour is the answer, I found.

redink2As you can probably tell, this is a glass turned upside down (in the editing bit……I didn’t actually have the glass upside down while I was pouring ink and water all over the place!) I love how the curve of the glass kind of frames the shot… if its a tiny world all of its own inside.

redandblackThis turned out to be a fabulous shot (in my opinion anyway) The mix of red ink in the water, and the shot of black made this incredible glowy effect! Looks like a little guy struggling with an umbrella, hehe! Or a twisted mushroom…..?

redandblacktreemanAdding in more black gave this effect… me it looks like a little animal with a hat on, under a tree, what do you think?

setupFinally, the set up… glass, two lights, and white boards or paper at the bottom and back of the glass to reflect the light. I don’t use a flash. The little camera is on a little bendy tripod thing I got from the Poundshop, and I press the shutter at the same time as dropping the ink. Accidents happen – as you can see at the bottom right – oops! Anyway, that’s how I do it…..I read that oil or milk gives different effects, so I will try that sometime soon. 🙂


art, Photography

Ink and water photography #2

Hello! Remember a while back (ok, a couple of years *ahem* gosh was it THAT long ago?) I did some ink and water photography well I had another little play today. And this result was the best one in a lot of attempts!

greenongreen inkThis was created by dropping blue and yellow ink in first, then dropping actual green ink on top of the mix. I think it turned out pretty neat!

Others I tried were alright as well – considering its been a couple of years since I did this. I don’t have photoshop, so I don’t know how to lighten the background  without it affecting the inky colours 😦

inkyblueThis is blue ink – looks a bit like some surreal landscape doesn’t it?

inkyblue2I really like the wispiness in this one – so delicate!

So yes, I’m going to play a bit more with this, its so much fun!  I should have posted a photo of my set up, with the lights and stuff……I will do that in the next post of this!


Charity Shop Art Supply Haul

art supply haul

The original title of this post was “When the Universe says “OK then, you wanna make art? I’ll give you art stuff!” but that was too long, so I just said what it was.

I haven’t done any creating in so many months, that all my paint supplies have dried up more or less. So as I wandered round the shops thinking maybe I should get a couple of things, I went and said Hi to my charity shop people, as I am want to do – they know I like to recycle *ahem*. Right in the corner, on the floor was a pile of art stuff (bag and  glass jar not included but I bought them for pennies thinking the bag would make a great Art Bag, and the jar would be a fun thing just *because*)

Now the charity shops in my town are 1,2,3 shops, which means the majority of items are no more than £3 top price. Larger items are more expensive, but this little lot came to £9. I couldn’t believe it!

From left to right:

1) glass mason type jar with lid for straw. 2) (Unused) Wooden art box containing 5 watercolour tubes of paint, a watercolour pad, section for paintbrushes, and a pull out easel type thing. 3) (Unused) Set of 51 oil pastels……not a brand name, but brand new! 4) Small box of 12 brand new and unused soft chalk pastels 5) Pack of 6 brand new unused tubes of watercolour paint 6) A pink (!) canvas bag with sections, pockets and pouches that I intend to use for Art supplies and finally in the centre 7) Brand new and unused (well I had a play with it this morning so I guess its used now, heh!) set of unbranded half pan watercolours.

I am so very grateful to have stumbled upon these riches, and I deeply appreciate whoever decided to donate them all instead of selling them. I said to the checkout person when I was buying them “Oh I shall paint you some small cards and you can sell them here for charity!” and they looked at me and said “Well, we can sell anything you know….”

Not sure what he meant by that, but hey, I’m going to have fun with this lot! 🙂


A Wee Wood Walk

elfcup-mushrooms.jpgI went for a little walk in the woods today, just for a couple of hours before the deluge of rain descended as promised! (Funny how the weather people are always correct with the bad weather, never the good!) My camera also died on me – my fault for grabbing it to take with me, without checking the battery life. Anyway…..these tiny mushrooms are called “Elfcup Mushrooms” and can grow quite large. They are also edible in very small amounts, although I don’t think they taste of much. These ones shown above were the size of a penny.

heron wood otter wood

This beautiful carved seat with the heron at one end, and the otter at the other, impressed me no end! Such carving skill. It was too wet to sit on, so I just admired it.

Tree TangleThis is a tangle of trees…..when I saw it, it reminded me of something from a horror movie, so I put a filter on it to try and express that. Looks kindof creepy!

And at this point my camera died, so I trudged home in the rain and mud, quite happy nonetheless.


art, Blogging 101, Photography

Well long time no updates! :)

*Bustles in and starts brushing off cobwebs*

monster say hi

Hi!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, its me!! Hello, how ARE you all? I had no idea so much time had gone by…..well, I kindof did in a periphery vision sort of way, and I always meant to get here and let you all know that I hadn’t died, but… got in the way.

Lemme catch you up – have you got some tea? here I’ll put the kettle on and clear a space for you to sit.


So….college, well I’m still there. Working hard and still enjoying it. Some people have left the course for some reason, but we are at the end of block 2, about to begin block 3, which is the last bit before finishing up in June, so I figured I may as well see it out, heh! I have a placement coming up so that’s good. The age thing that I was worried about at the start of the course – well, no need for that. Everyone gets on, and that’s nice. Its hard work, to be honest, and this is why I basically left the internet….staring at a computer all day, and then doing the same at night is no good, and headaches happened, and all sorts, so I tried to give myself a break. I did no creating at all, which by Christmas, left me feeling quite stressed. All work and no play, etc.

Family stuff happened too which wasn’t great and I decided to get my foot off the pedal so to speak and get some fun back into my life!



So I cleaned up the Room of Doom (again), and tried some photography, just to get back in the swing….then I did a bit of painting and began to relax. So now I am on half term break (which makes me sound about 5 years old!) and I thought finally I will get back in touch with you all.

So yes, feel free to say hi if you are still blogging, and I will go check out the changes that may or may not have been going on here in the last 6 months! 🙂


First week of college……!


alex-harvey-44062(I love this picture – not mine, but it sums up how I’m feeling! Source)

Hello everybody! Well I seem to have survived a rather busy week, and to be honest I’m still processing it.

I was late the first day, haha!

Class starts at 9am sharp, so from easy going mornings of pottering around, I’m now throwing myself out the door at 08:30 to run down to college, after feeding and walking the dog, doing laundry, making lunches for myself and hubby, getting ready etc. Its a bit of a culture shock, lemme tell ya! As I scuttled down the road, I did a mental check of omg-I-didn’t-shut-the-window-have-I-switched-the-iron-off-I-can’t-find-my-keys-I-bet-I-left-them-in-the-door!

First day I walked into a packed lecture hall, scanning faces to see if there was anyone my age that I could sit with. Nope! So I squeezed in between two young’uns as the lecturer was going through the induction. Then we were split into our respective classes and led off to the rooms. My group was led by a lovely lady, who waved her arms around like an overly excited air hostess as she pointed out places of interest:

“Ladies loo’s over there…….canteen down that corridor…….library up those stairs” she trilled, swooping her arms around. My head felt like it was going to spin off, haha!

So, in class we spent the first days doing those terrible ice breaking exercises where you have to introduce yourself and say something interesting that begins with the first letter of your name. (This is so everyone gets to know you and remembers you – just for reference, I like cartwheels, camping, and cake….)

As an introvert though, I am finding the combined information overload/meeting new people situation really overwhelming, and at break times and lunch, I like to sit by myself in the classroom. I read a book and drink coffee/or cucumber water (new discovery, its amazing!) and just chill. I’ll probably get the reputation as an anti social weirdo, but for now it suits me. After a few weeks of adjustment, I’ll probably integrate more – the classmates are all very nice, and we do talk to each other, but only to discuss classwork. I don’t have the conversation that would remotely interest a twenty something who has boyfriend drama and parties hard! Its quite odd, because when I was at Uni, I really immersed myself in all aspects of student life (I mean joining groups and activities, NOT partying, haha!) I chatted with literally everybody I met, and found Uni life quite exciting. Now I’m older though, I’m focused more on just doing what I need to do, and consider my life away from college as my “real” life – does that make sense? I don’t define myself as a student like I did before……I’m more like “I do this and that, oh, and I also go to college” Quite interesting from a psychological perspective.

Needless to say I haven’t picked up a paintbrush all week, which bothers me. This first weekend is being spent catching up on all the chores I missed, so I doubt I’ll paint today. It will take time to get used to the new routine, I’m aware of that, but I just thought I would check in with some thoughts of the first week.

Next week is “specialist programs and terminology”, which sounds so much…….! I found an old android phone in the junk drawer, and I’m using that for my “productivity apps” (yes, I am that much of a geek). I have my timetable on it, and to-do lists, along with habit trackers and timers, so that I keep focused on my schedule and not wander off to the Room of Doom to doodle! I tried customising some folders to use, but decided they weren’t professional looking, so went out and bought some “proper” stationery to use in college.

Kinda wish I was doing an art course now, haha!

Anyway, that’s it for now. I will try and pop in during the week to post something colourful, because creativity is (another word beginning with C!) relaxing and I feel I’m just running on adrenaline right now. But overall, the work is fine, the people are nice, and I think its going to be a good year! 🙂