Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Don't upset the balance....

And so, with this quick and simple page, that's my baby Moleskine all filled up!

I was kind of hoping it would last till the end of the year so it could be my 2011 journal - but I guess I got a bit ahead of myself :)

Here it is all bursting at the seams, it's been a good little companion to me over the past 11 months:

But anyway, back to the page in hand.

This one's in response to the latest prompt over at A Year In The Life Of An Art Journal, the one challenge site I have managed to keep up with pretty much all year, as I really enjoy their 3-part prompts that you can take in pretty much any direction you choose.

THE SONG: Fuckin' Perfect by Pink
Written Lyrics HERE
PRODUCT/TECHNIQUE: Pink Paint Dripped like Blood

I started thinking about the concept of "pretty" - and would I want to be prettier than I am (not difficult lol) - and then got stuck on the "pretty pretty please" in the song lyrics, and thinking about asking/begging the universe to make me prettier/thinner/richer/have more talent/have more stuff.....

And then I thought about the concept of balance ..... how if the left hand gives, the right hand takes away .... and I realised I didn't want any of that extra stuff enough to give up any of the great things I already have in my life.

So my "pretty pretty please" ended up as a request to the universe to leave my perfect life just as it is.

Funny where these prompts end up taking you :)

The construction of the page was quick and easy - spray paint in two shades of pink over some scrapbook paper with a faint Oriental text on it.  Stamped yin-yang symbols.  A picture of a perfectly balanced scale (must have been tricky getting it so spot on that those balls didn't roll off!) added to drive the point home.  And then the title drawn with a yellow Posca paint pen and outlined with a thin black Pitt pen.  And the journalling written in with the same Pitt pen.  and we're done.

It's way simpler than most of my pages but it doesn't seem to need anything else adding to it.

AJED : 105 / 365

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My pages for the tallest handmade book....

...are all finished and ready to be sent to Oregon (a place I've always wanted to visit, but my pages will have to go there on my behalf)

I look forward to seeing them in the finished book, some time next year. 

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, a clickety click on the logo below will explain everything:

It's been simultaneously liberating, and difficult, to work completely without a brief or a theme - I'm so used to doing themed circle journals, that being told I can do absolutely anything I want left me a little rabbit-in-the-headlights to start with.

So I started with imagery and themes that I'm very familiar with, things that are very "me", like a slightly darker, more grungy re-work of my Don't Blink canvas:

And this page using my favourite orca stamp (which I've blogged already but here it is for completeness)

Next I found a great headline in one of my old, old books (this one's from the late 1800s) - "Ventriloquism, and how to acquire the art"- and paired this with an image of some rather creepy puppets for the page at the top of this post.

And finally, some fun with layers of image transfers and texture and a creepy plague doctor:

I think that these four are fairly representative of my usual style, and the kinds of imagery and colours I respond to, which is what I was aiming for.

Now to pop them in the post...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

So is there one L in Vermilion, or two in Vermillion?

Rock CJ time again - and this month it's Clare's colour themed journal.

We are each to choose a rock band or song with a colour in the name, and make something with that colour dominant, that will fit in a little 5" square clear plastic pocket.

My go to favourite-song-with-a-colour-in-it is usually Pearl Jam's Black.  But I've already done a layout based on that song in another colour themed journal some time ago - plus I've done Pearl Jam to death so far in this current rock CJ (here and here) - and it's about time another band got a look in!

So I've chosen Vermilion by Slipknot - such a brilliant, haunting song.  I just wish they'd learn how to spell!  I'm convinced it's vermillion with 2 L's - maybe it's an American/British thing like color and colour and center and centre....?

This is what my entry looks closed up.  One of the key lines from the song is written on the front in silver ink using a dip pen.  You'll notice that my sewing machine REALLY didn't like the spraypainted cardstock - it is a tad sticky and kept getting stuck on the feeders, but I've decided I actually like the super messy look - in some places it has just carved chunks out of the cardboard - I think it adds to the crazed serial killer vibes more than beautiful neat stitching ever could :)  (that's my justification and I'm sticking to it!)

And here it is opened out:

Not the best photo as there was too much glare from the lights above, but you get the general idea.  You can see Corey's mask better in the close up at the top of this page.  The zipper on the mouth is decoupaged up on foam pads, and the edge of the picture has been airbrushed over in black to give the picture a smoother transition into the background.

She isn't real!  I can't make her real!

And here's the back, including my sign in info:

That's pretty much it.

I hope the CJ owner likes it and doesn't think it's too dark or grisly.

And I hope nobody else further down the line wanted the colour red, better think of a reserve colour ladies :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My cheer-me-up playlist

It's been too long since I last played in the Green Pepper Press Crusades - but Michelle knows that she can always count on me to join in with the music related challenges, I can never resist :)

Can't believe this is Crusade #57 - I fondly remember number one!

A simple brief then - name and shame the list of songs you can't stop yourself belting out in the car, in the bath, pottering around the kitchen - the ones that lift your spirits every. single. time.

So here's my list - my playlist of pure joy :)

I think I'm going to burn this little lot onto a CD for the car - then if I'm ever feeling a little down, I know I have handy a 100% guaranteed way to cheer myself up :)

(Please don't judge me on McFly and the show tunes!)

AJED : 104/365

Friday, November 11, 2011

Brrrring on the bllllling!

Well this pushed me a little out of my comfort zone :D

But that's why circle journals are fun!

This is my latest entry in the Project Runway CJ - and the theme for this journal was the drag queen challenge.

Now this doesn't mean that we had to make a page about an actual drag queen (although my punk rock princess does look a teeny bit butch!) - but that we had to roll out the bright colours and, most importantly, the BLING.

Eeeek, I really don't do bling :)

But as soon as I started thinking jewels..... jewellery....PIERCINGS!  I was back on home turf, yay!

So I found a photo online of a rather prim and proper young lady, and proceeded to re-invent her complete with a punk rawk makeover, with tattoos and piercings galore, and that rather fetching hair style.  Quite an improvement if you ask me :)

There is so much on the page that is super shiny or glittery, it was virtually impossible to take a photo of.

For example the "punk rock bling" title is actually on extra reflective mirror film, and the purple stripes (which are actually straight and parallel to the edge in real life, honest) are shiny too:

So please do use your imaginations to fill in all the glare :)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Timecachers by Glenn R Petrucci - a book review and a giveaway too!

Sometimes in life, you just get lucky.... and I think that it's only fair that in those situations, you pass on the luck.

About a month ago, I happened across an online write up of a newly published novel that sounded right up my street.... I'm a geocacher, and I love both historical- and science-fiction.  So what's not to love about (gross over generalisation coming up.....) a story about time travelling cachers who visit the old Wild West?

This was the press release I had stumbled across, it was certainly enough to make me want to read the book:

It was breakthrough technology, but where would it lead them?

When Adam Hill of Overhill Engineering accepted the assignment to test the innovative device, he knew the project would be exciting, but this was far beyond his team’s expectations. A handheld navigation device with the ability to provide precise location information anywhere on earth—or anywhere in the universe—without the need of a supporting satellite system! “We’ve discovered some interesting anomalies that may actually enhance the unit’s functionality,” said Dr. Odan, the enigmatic inventor of the LANav device. “We need engineers who are familiar with hardware and software testing, as well as an aptitude for outdoor activities, such as backpacking, orienteering, and survival skills. They will also need practical knowledge of early American history.” As avid outdoorsmen and geocachers, Adam’s team was well suited to the project. Field testing the device would require them to travel to the remote mountains of northwest Georgia, where wilderness skills would understandably be required. But what possible need for knowledge of early American history could there be? They soon discover the device has the capability to lead them not only to any destination—but to any time—in this case May, 1838, the beginning of the Cherokee Indian Removal.

So off I skipped to, to find that they only have a Kindle version available :(  Boo!  I'm one of those strange old fashioned people who prefers to read actual books made of actual paper.

Then, as I said, I struck lucky!  I was able to make contact with the author, who generously sent me a review copy of the book, signed no less, so I was able to read it after all - hooooray!

And read it I did.  In fact, devour might be a better word.  I loved this book!

Now, I'm not sure how thoroughly I can review it without giving away too much of the plot.  But suffice to say that it ticked all my boxes:

  • there was lots of detail - I love detail!  both technical / jargon detail about the fictitious GPS-like invention that's central to the plot, and also historical detail about the time period in which the bulk of the book is set, and the daily lives of the Cherokee.
  • I really got to know - and care about - the characters.  In fact I had a good weep at one point when something not so good happens to one of them.  And that's always a good sign as it shows that the characters and story are completely believeable.
  • the insight the novel gave me relating to the major historical event that the story revolves around - the Cherokee Indian Removal of 1838 - was absolutely fascinating.
  • it was really refreshing to read a time travel story that wasn't obsessed with the whole paradox aspect, and the consequences for the future of making the tiniest change in the past.
  • I liked the way that the main characters in the book were able to split up to go and have their own adventures, so that the storyline could cut from one to the other.  It kept everything moving along at a perfect pace.
  • it's a long book - large format and 600 pages - but it was quick and easy to read.  If anything I wish it was a little longer as the ending felt almost unexpectedly sudden.  
  • you certainly don't need to be a geocacher to enjoy this novel, not at all - but the added twist of seeing my geeky hobby mentioned in print was fun for me
  • and it was left wide open for a sequel - and I am SO keen to read more!

But anyway, you don't have to take my word for it, as I said I'd pass on the luck, didn't I?

So I'm going to send this book, autographed by the author, on to another lucky UK reader.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning it is leave a comment on this blog post.

I will use a random number generator to choose the winner in one week - so that will be on Monday November 14th.  Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you win (eg. email address, a link to your own blog, your geocaching name if you cache, etc).

And please note, the draw is open to UK residents only.

Good luck!


It's now November 14th - so I'm announcing the winner!

*drumroll please..........*

The random number generator chose number 3:

And the third commenter was Ally - so congratulations Ally!

I will be in touch to get your postal address, and will pop the book in the post ASAP

Friday, November 04, 2011 do you really need 5 different bottles of shampoo???

A quick "just because" art journal page tonight, in honour of a fab gig I went to on Wednesday night.

AJED : 102/365