Friday 24 December 2021

Merry Christmas

A watercolour I did as part of a Care December daily journalling course

As has become my Christmas tradition, I quote from one of my favourite Christmas carols, "It came upon the midnight clear", written by Edmund Sears in 1849.

"Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long
Beneath the angel-strain has rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not 
The love song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing."

To end on a positive, I again quote from Desiderata (a 1927 prose poem by Max Ehrmann):

"...And whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.  With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Be cheerful, Strive to be happy."

To all my readers and commenters who celebrate, may you have a happy festive season.

Wednesday 22 December 2021

Christmas baking

Traditional Christmas food is not something I enjoy. I am a vegetarian, so no turkey.  I don't like dried fruit so no Mince pies, no Christmas pudding, no Christmas cake.  
However, I don't miss out!  Christmas dinner for us will be Linda McCartney Rosemary and red onion sausages, loads of yummy veg and then chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce. 
I did some baking ready for Christmas and the following week and made Grantham Gingerbreads (above).  These are a sweet gingery biscuit which are slightly risen with hollow areas inside.  They are traditionally from Grantham, (a town around twenty minutes away from us) and date from 1740, made by the baker, William Egglestone.  Mum has an old family recipe for them, but there are lots of recipes available and a company in Grantham has recently starting making them again.
I also made some shortbread, just butter, sugar and flour and I really like these biscuits with a cup of tea.  (I am trying to reduce the amount of palm oil we eat, so am now making my own biscuits every week.) Biscuits made, tick!

Tuesday 14 December 2021

Wanderlust 2021 - weeks forty-five to fifty - Fables and Round up

 Wanderlust 2021, the mixed media art journal course, has come to an end. I have really enjoyed it and have learnt a lot.  It has been a challenge, but one that I have thrown myself into and done the best I could. I now have a lovely full journal to look back on.  I have signed up to Wanderlust 2022, so my journey will continue.

The final theme was fables, where animals illustrate a moral or a story. This page illustrates my own artistic journey, anticlockwise, from the top left:  a little kitten failing my A levels, retaking them and passing at evening classes, then twenty years later, going to do a Foundation in Art and Design course (with a photos of my felt behind the owl) and finally the tiger, more confident and ready for challenges.
The next week was about choosing an animal to illustrate and I chose a hare.  I have improved in my watercolouring and remembered the tips I had picked up from a previous watercolour class - leave white space, start with mid tones and don't be afraid of dark shadows.  Also, 'don't colour it all in, it's not a colouring book!'  I was really pleased with the end result.
The next fable theme was about creating a character (the example was a wolf in sheep's clothing)and using a phrase.  I chose the golden goose which is about being thankful for what you have.  While creating this page, I thought about the last line in the film 'Now, Voyager' so used that as my quote. "...Don't let's ask for the moon, we have the stars".
Week forty-eight was illustrating a fable which the teacher had created about an antelope called Tall Boy. He has managed to evade the hunters so far.  
Week forty-nine was a word for next year. I loved creating this collage and went for rich, luscious colours.  As you can see, I am hoping to continue to grow, in confidence, in my skills and in my knowledge.
Week fifty was a round up and creating the journal covers.  As I had deconstructed my journal, due to the spine binding breaking, I have four covers to make.   
These were collaged bits and pieces, including lace and die cuts, words and marks.  The little cover has the phrase 'a library full of treasures', which I thought was very appropriate.
On to Wanderlust 2022!

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Junk Journal progress

 I have recently decided to have a go at making a junk journal with pockets, tabs, tucks etc. and interesting things to look at.  I am not sure whether I shall use it to journal in, but it will be a nice project that I can work on as and when I feel I want to. I have been working on a few pages and here they are.

Here is a pocket containing a card...
...and here's the card.
Another pocket with images from a magazine...
...and another pocket with bits of collage all over it.
This pocket contains a little book with Beatrix Potter illustrations in it.
Another large pocket waiting for me to make something to go in it.

This 'Alice' flip out was made from a junk mail window envelope.

Inside is Alice in a couple of different illustrations.

They are a mix of scrapbook paper, book pages, scraps, gel plate prints, images from books and the internet, digi kits, and any other bits and pieces I want to put in.  I am really enjoying the relaxing collaging and this will be an ongoing project, which I may share more from occasionally.