Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Index Card A Day - it's all over!

the Tatty Wall - all done!
Phew!  I made it!  2 months and 61 cards later :)

This ICAD project has been tremendous fun, for the whole family, but I must admit I'm REALLY looking forward to doing nothing even remotely creative tomorrow evening :)  Every day is a big ask for me!

So here are the last few ..... thanks to everyone who has encouraged me along the way with comments here and on Flickr .....

Day 50 - 20th July - EDM prompt #3 draw a purse or a bag
Day 51 - 21st July - prompt: dice
Day 52 - 22nd July - the truth is out there!
Day 53 - 23rd July 
Day 54 - 24th July
Day 55 - 25th July
Day 56 - 26th July - for song lyrics Thursday - People Are Strange by the Doors
Day 57 - 27th July - a bit of a cop out of a card tonight as I was glued to the opening ceremony  instead of my art table :)
Day 58 - 28th July - EDM prompt #4 - draw a cup or a mug
Day 59 - 29th July - playing with salt/watercolour backgrounds, and Serj :) 
Day 60 - 30th July - a collaged tribute to one of the best TV shows ever cancelled
Day 61 - 31st July - the end of an era :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Seems like ages since I last did a Circle Journal entry....

... and it certainly makes a nice change from Index Cards :)

This is my entry in Liz's Rock CJ - her theme was "your ultimate feel-good rock song" or the song that makes you feel like a total bad ass

Now, I'm not convinced I ever get particularly bad ass, but I can do the feel-good bit :)

There is one song on earth that is guaranteed to make me sing along and smile, and that's Tribute by Tenacious D.  Connor has it on his phone ready to play to me if I'm ever in a sad or bad mood, works like a charm every single time :)

And it's the "we are but men, ROCK!!!" bit that really works the magic

So that's what I went with:

Liz's book is a kiddies board book, which was fun to work in, but that did mean that all our entries had to be pretty flat, no embellishments, and in addition she asked for us to draw/paint our own entries as much as possible

So instead of collaging in Mr Grohl as the Devil, I drew him and coloured him in with watercolours.

It was tough!! and I don't think the result looks much like him :)  But I'm still pleased I gave it a go.  I hope Liz likes it.

This almost concludes my participation in this CJ - but I have one entry to re-do, as Clare's colours journal (the one I did this for)  has sadly gone walkies.... I think I'll pick a different colour this time around rather than just reproduce what I did before .  After that, I'm all done and dusted.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rocking Your World Friday week 29

For once, this is going to be a fairly short and sweet post as, well, not a lot has really happened this week

It's not been a bad week by any means, perfectly pleasant, just a bumbling along doing not much out of the ordinary week....so I've not so much had my world rocked, more like gently swayed :)

Although it did start off with a little bit of excitement as one of my favourite authors (the one I mentioned in my last RYWF post) came to Swindon to do a book signing - and I was at the front of the queue :)

I made a right prat of myself, as I got all fan girl stupid and ran my mouth off, shades of every other time I have met any of my 'idols', I never know how to rein it in :)

So yes, here is Jasper Fforde being very understanding of the crazy woman and signing my book - it says "for Sarah from Swindon, who would love to be the next Thursday Next" - squeeee!

And I got a postcard too (to add to my other Nextian universe postcards - yes I have a few, shoot me - and no, I won't be postcrossing them any time soon :) )

The rest of the weekend was pretty chilled, the weather was pants so we mainly stayed indoors, watched TV, played with the cat, did arty stuffs.  That was nice.  We usually dash about a lot at the weekends which is great fun but it's so nice to have some relaxing down time once in a while.

We did finally leave the house on Sunday afternoon, to head to the local bowling alley with some of our Tesco Clubcard vouchers.  As ever, they saved us a fortune - two short games for the 4 of us would have cost £36 if we were paying cash - ouch!  So thanks yet again Mr Tesco!

True to form I was fairly rubbish at bowling, didn't get a single strike, and the only half decent shots I did get had bounced off the guardrail so didn't really count as they should have been in the gutter :) but it was still a lot of fun.

Jay huffed and puffed when I made the whole family pose for this pic:
He doesn't appreciate that I used to scrapbook, and an ex-scrapbooker can't resist that kind of photo opportunity! :)

And then fast forward to Wednesday, a day for celebrating as it was Connor's 10th birthday!  Poor kid still had to go to school as unlike some parts of the UK, Swindon hasn't broken up yet, but he did have a fun party in the evening.

Along with four of his incredibly hyper and noisy pals we first went to the pictures to see The Amazing Spider-Man (yup, I've seen it before, but they hadn't - at least I got my ticket free via Orange Wednesday :) ) - and then on to Pizza Hut where the kids were so noisy and cheeky that I am amazed we didn't get kicked out :)  Especially when they somehow managed to break the ice cream machine and spray it everywhere.  And I mean EVERYWHERE!  I swear some of it went in the salad :)  (the nice waiter did assure me, as I apologised profusely, that it has been known to do that before and he didn't think that the kids fighting over who got to use the ice cream tap first was to blame!)

It was pretty late by the time the cake came out for happy birthday singing and candle blowing - which is why the kids all look exhausted in this photo - I promise they were really having fun despite appearances! honest :)

And that's about it for this week.  The rest of the week has been the normal work, home, ICAD, sleep routine.

So my last grateful this week is for the occasional quiet week that means my RYWF post is manageable in size and I can actually get it done on a Friday morning for once! :)

I'm off to link this up at Rockette Central, and give Virginia a shock when she sees my name so far up the list :)

Index Card A Day week 7

the "Tatty Wall", week 7
Well, we're on the home stretch now!

The tatty wall is almost full to bursting, and there's only one week (well, 11 days really as I'm going through to the end of July) left to go.

This week is the first one I've struggled a little with, not with finding the time to make something, it's more that I feel like I'm running out of ideas, or getting too repetitive... and also that it's not leaving me any time to do anything else!

It's almost starting to feel like a chore and that's never good. Although I'm glad it took 7 weeks for me to get to that stage and not 2 :)

When this is all over, I'm hoping to keep up the daily creative time, but to vary what I do - so a journal page one day, an ATC the next, mail art the next, maybe a bit of fabric work the next etc.  No more index cards for a while :)

So anyway, here we go - and despite what I've just said, this first one wasn't a struggle at all, I thoroughly enjoyed drawing/painting my Friday 13th dude in honour of the date :)

Day 43 - Friday 13th July - Jason Vorhees

Day 44 - Saturday 14th - prompt: owl (and wholesale stealing Sue Roddis's idea with the sheets of letraset letter rub ons in the background)

Day 45 - Sunday 15th - no prompt or real reason for this one, I just loved this image I found in an old magazine 

Day 46 - Monday 16th - EDM prompt #2 , draw a lamp - couldn't get the proportions right at all on the lampshade bit, which annoyed me!

Day 47 - Tuesday 17th - prompt: graffiti - a super quickie using a "SARAH" design I found on't web, as I was busy tonight getting ready for Connor's birthday tomorrow

Day 48 - Wednesday 18th - made with my brand new stencil (the red spots) which came in the post this morning as a present from the lovely Shirley

Day 49 - Thursday 19th - "Look On" by John Frusciante for song lyrics Thursday

See you at the end of the month, for the final wrap up!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Are you sitting down....?

....because I'm about to post something that is neither ICAD nor RYWF related....shock!

So here is an update on how my Collabor-ART Pair Journal is coming along

This is the shared art journal that I am working on along with Shirley (Done At Last)

I love my book already :) :)  and we are barely getting started!

This is my second round working in my own journal

First of all, I tweaked my original first page as it looked a bit plain, by adding some little label stickers that I had "splatted" on with distress stains:

Next another minor tweak, this time adding a bit of black outlining and an orange harlequin pattern to Shirley's "eye for colour" page:

Then I added straw blown seaweed and a school of fish to one of Shirley's gorgeous backgrounds:

Next, this photo of two geishas paddling is from the 1920s and has been sat in my collage pile for a while waiting for the perfect time to use it, I love it:

And last up, the beginnings of a page for Shirley to run with:

Next I get a second turn in Shirley's own book, can't wait to see what she has done to it this time around....

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rocking Your World Friday weeks 27&28

And it's another double helping this time around as I missed the boat again last week - soz!

My lame excuse is that I really like to include a lot of photographs in my posts, as I think they bring it all to life, but sometimes it takes me so long to get all the photos off the camera and cropped and prepped, that I am nowhere near ready when Friday comes around.....But anyway - better late than never - here goes:

So the first thing that had me jumping for joy the week before last was, purely by chance, spotting a poster in the window of my local bookshop advertising this:

Jasper Fforde is one of my absolute favourite authors (as anyone who knows my Yahoo Groups ID - fforde_freak - or Flickr account - Thursday.Next - could probably guess!) - and now I get to go and tell him that in person, in a suitably gushy fan-girl kind of way :)

Oh and on the same day, I got Rancid tickets for Bristol in December - woohoo!!!

I had this entire week off work - which was wonderful!  I'm lucky enough to actually like my job (at least when we're not crazy busy) - but that doesn't mean that I don't LOVE time away from it :)

This will be Cons in a couple of years :)
And it was just as well that I was off on the Monday as the school, at stupidly short notice, required me to go in for a tour and meeting relating to Connor moving up to secondary school (which is over a year away! they're a bit keen).  They really annoy me when they do this, send a letter home on Thursday or Friday expecting me to attend something the following Monday during working hours - they don't have an awful lot of consideration for the working mother, who might have to ask her boss nicely for some time off and might have appreciated a tad more notice!  But anyway, this is a RYWF post, not a Wednesday Whine :)  So yes - the secondary school tour - was fab!  Connor is going to the same school that my older two sons went to, so it's not the first time I've been there, but it has changed loads.  Such a cool school with so many excellent resources especially in the arts and craft areas.  It made me want to go back in time and go there myself :)  I really enjoyed bumping into some of the teachers I remember from the first time around - especially Mr Gill the FAB art teacher - and having a little catch up.

The following day we flew to BERLIN!  Yay!  Photo overload starts here :)

So, where do I start?  This was a long awaited two night getaway (tickets booked before Christmas) for just myself and Jay - to a city that neither of us had ever been to before, but we knew we would love (I didn't realise HOW MUCH though!)

We didn't arrive until around 5pm on the Tuesday evening but we didn't waste any time and got tons done on that first night:

This one of the Berliner Dom made
me giggle when I got it out of
the camera as I hadn't spotted Jay's
 lil head down in the bottom corner :)

  • we went to Alexanderplatz and checked out the huuuuuge TV tower and the gorgeous Neptunebrunnen fountain
  • we went on a one hour boat tour up and down the River Spree and saw loads of landmarks and stunning architecture:
The Bode Museum
  • We walked the length of the impressive 16th century boulevard Unter Den Linden (one of the few bits we didn't bomb to smithereens in the war, thankfully!) down to the Brandenburg Gate, which looked spectacular in the evening sunshine:

  • We found our first of many Buddy Bears
  • We visited the Holocaust Memorial which is suitably striking, taking up a whole block to clearly make the point. Never again.
(and that's just a fraction of it)
  • We found a geocache nearby at the site of the Fuhrerbunker - the Nazi HQ in the final moments in the war and where Hitler and Eva Braun comitted suicide.  Glad to say that this site is handled very sympathetically - ie they have built a car park on top of it and pretty much left it unmarked save one small information sign that you'd never notice unless you were specifically looking for it. 

  • Next we took a trip on the tube train out the the former East Berlin where there was a Pearl Jam fan club partay in full swing at the very cool YAAM beach bar
  • And finally, after meeting up with our friends and having a few beers (Jay) / vodka cranberry cocktails (me) we decided, at gone midnight, that it would be fun to walk the entire length of the East Side Gallery (the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, now one of the largest open air art galleries in the World):


(zillions more photos over at Facebook here)

The next day we had a bit of a lie in (perhaps we tried to get a bit too much done in one evening the night before??? ya think??? :) ) but we still got a ton done:
  • we saw the coolest puppet ever roaming the streets and being a perfect gentleman....

  • we went on one of those hop-on hop-off open topped double decker bus tours, which was ace
one of my favorite photos taken from the bus with the reflection of  the  statue and sky behind me over those lovely old windows

the Victory Column in the Tiergarten
  • we hopped off at two modern art museums (which Jay kindly put up with!)
Lichenstein (the painting, not the unimpressed chappie in front, that's Watkins :) )

Warhol (and a rare glimpse of my Pearl Jam tattoo - it's very rare I bare my legs!! :)  but it was so HOT in Berlin!)
one of my very favourite artists - Robert Rauschenberg -they had a whole room full of his stuff - squee!

and just for Shirley - Vasarely
  • and the Checkpoint Charlie museum (where we also found another geocache):

And there was a ton more we had planned to do on this day but we ran out of time, and we were hot and sticky, and things started to shut, so we went back to the hotel and had a shower and changed before heading over to the Pearl Jam gig (which was the main reason we were in Berlin at all) a little earlier than we had planned....

It was still boily hot when we got to the venue, and I was worried the gig itself inside would be like a sauna, but it was actually a lot cooler in there with 10,000 people crowding around than it was outside!

We collected our special fan club wristbands and tickets and headed in for what turned out to be an AWESOME gig!
we had a good view despite being too middle aged to go right down to the front - here's one of our photos

and here's somebody else's who clearly a) had a real camera with them and b) got a bit closer :)
We got back to hotel about 1am with a delicious Apfelberliner each that we had bought at the station, tired but smiley :)

And then Thursday was our last day, we had to leave the city by half past 2 to get back to the airport for our plane home, so we had a bit of a rush about morning.

We had a lovely brekkie and checked out of the hotel, and then headed across town to an ice hockey shop that we had spotted on the first night (but after closing time).  We bought a pile of Eisbären Berlin ("the Berlin Polar Bears" - sounds so cute in English!) merchandise and vowed to come back again to Berlin one day in hockey season so we can actually see them play!

Then we went back into the city centre to meet our tour guide for a 3.5 hour walking tour of Berlin street art and alternative culture.  This was definitely one of the highlights of our trip, it was awesome.  Our guide - a tiny little Australian pixie called Victoria - was an artist herself and very much a part of the anti establishment squatter culture that is so strong in the city.  Her investment in and knowledge of everything that she showed us and told us about really shone through.  To the extent that when she was getting all worked up and upset telling us about how badly the eviction of one of the main artist squats has been handled, I thought she was going to grab one of the security guards and punch him! :)

Again, LOADS more photos on my facebook, but here's a tiny flavour of what we saw on our tour:

the Baumhaus an der Mauer - google it, it's a cool story :)

at night, the garage across the street projects the image of a flag into the astronaut's hand, which must look pretty cool!
the lovely building in the background is one of the artist squat / studios 
inside another squatted studio / cinema complex
by Otto Schade, one of my favourite street artists

from inside the Kunsthaus Tacheles
And that was that - the tour over ran a little so we had to race to the airport (luckily the plane was running about 20 minutes late so we got on in time!) and then it was back home :(  Too soon!  We barely scratched the surface of this AMAZING city - we must must must go back!

So - obviously that trip was the main thing rocking my little world this past fortnight, but we're not finished yet!

(not my picture, there was a big fence in the way so I found this on t'web)
On the following Saturday I got to spend some time just with my middle son Darby, always a treat, as I helped him move house.   His new digs in Bristol are super cool - right above a karate dojo and in an area full of fantastic street art.  I was super excited to see a big full colour piece by Sheffield artist Phlegm (one of my favourites) within spitting distance (see what I did there?  ha ha) of his flat.

I also saw this fab caravan :

To me, these are the signs of an awesome neighbourhood! (YMMV :) )

And the day just got more awesome as it went on, as in the afternoon I had a photo gig taking pics for my local roller derby team WRD at their closed scrimmage vs the Portsmouth Roller Wenches.  It's so good to see them back in action and I can't wait for their first public bout!

WRD looking fierce :)

The next day, Connor, the lucky so and so, got an invitation out of the blue to go to the Royal Air Show at Fairford with one of his pals.  I was so happy for him as he had a brilliant time and even got to sit in a Red Arrow!

So, not to be too left out, the rest of us went to the movies to see The Amazing Spider-Man.  Which was beyond awesome! :)  (although probably not quite as far beyond awesome as getting to sit in a Red Arrow, not that I'm jealous or anything!)

And that's pretty much everything really, as the rest of last week has mainly been me back to work, and having early nights to recover from my fun week off :)

Even in the quietest of weeks though there are always some Rockin' moments, like:

  • getting back to work to find that everyone has coped beautifully while I've been away, there were no crises to greet me, and I didn't even have too many emails to trawl through
  • drawing a pair of Converse for my ICAD on Wednesday and being immodestly super proud of it :)
  • finally reaching the end of my Town Called Eureka seasons 1-4 marathon, just in time for the start of season 5 :)
  • delivering a presentation to a room full of senior marketing people at a client company, and getting a hearty round of applause at the end - I don't think in 20+ years in this business anyone has ever clapped one of my presentations before!  (to be fair a few of them were American and Canadian, maybe it's the done thing over there?? it was surreal but kind of nice, I now want applause every time :) )
  • my friend at work giving me a huuuuuge pile of music and gaming magazines for collage fodder
  • and last but not least, heading out this lunchtime to a cool exhibition in a local gallery, put on by the Bath Artist Printmakers.  Some really lovely and inspiring work.  I do like a bit of artistic eye candy to set me up for the weekend....

And that's a wrap!

I'm going to go and quickly link this up at chief Rockette Virginia's fabby blog, and then hop in the bath, will visit all the other RYWF blogs later when I'm not so smelly :)

have a great week y'all!