Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Stay At Home CJ - March Reveal - Mermaid Tales

This month we all worked with this gorgeous background from Sami - and her theme was Mermaid Tales

Here's what everyone came up with:

Firstly this month's hostess with the mostest.....

by Sami - "I had done a very delicate drawing of a mermaid in black fineliner and she had words from a poem in her tail. I painted it using Dyan Reaveley paints and managed to capture some of the luminance of the light sparking under the water. Then I decided to give it a little spritz with some white ink spray to highlight the sunlit areas and messed it up totally! The white ink came out and covered everything and I tried to mop it up but to no avail. It washed out everything and no amount of rubbing would bring it back. The only pen that would work over the top of the ink was a posca paint pen so my delicate drawing now resembles a cartoon! I couldn't get the colours to work properly over the white ink either so this is now my end result. Not quite how I intended it to look but ce le vie!!!!"
by Virginia - "I loved the beautiful background to this page, I put a very fine layer of gesso over the page, I then found an online colouring page of a mermaid and used it to help me create my very own.  I painted it using acrylics and finished it with a  black fine liner.  I added several free hand fish and the seaweed at the bottom of the page.  The ladies hair was bronze acrylic which actually came out quite well in the scan.  I love this journal, so lovely just to play with paints"
by Gill - "I thought the quote was apt as I didn't have a clue on the "right way" to do this page, complete wall of blankness when I thought about it.  Thought this little stamp was vaguely mermaid like!"
by Sarah - "I knew as soon as I saw this theme that I'd be painting this mama mermaid from the Animal Planet fake mermaid documentary, as I really enjoyed that programme, and whereas most of the mermaids in the show were scary/ugly, I thought she was really beautiful.  Mama and baby painted using Paper Artsy acrylics, reeds airbrushed over the top using Copic airbrush system"
by Pat - "I used inks and paint for the background and painted the mermaid with acrylics"
by Carmen - "Here we go. Simple again - but...  love her. So maybe this CJ is teaching me something? Maybe I don't need to get all my shelves and chuck everything at a page. Hmm.  I was going for the look of a story book illustration - maybe a page torn from a mermaid story (a mermaid tale?) I couldn't decide whether to add words or not and in the end didn't. Obviously. I used Neocolour IIs and Posca pens. Her tale has lots of shimmery gold and silver in it which the scan hasn't picked up. Thank you Sami for such a gorgeous background to work on."
by Lou
by Pam - "I love Octopuses so I did a Mer-Octo rather than a fishy one :)  Drawn with pen and ink from various references - watercolours, wire for the trident, fibre for the hair "
And that's all for this month as Katie is still recovering from her op - get well soon Katie!

We were a little late with the reveal this time due to various poorlies and mishaps, but I am sure you'll agree it was well worth the wait!  What a gorgeous undersea gallery!

Next month we will be working on Gill's fantastic background:

Her theme is "Art in my heart"

Saturday, 29 March 2014


Morning all, ooh I'm on catch up and realised I hadn't done a post regarding the mail art I received recently from Sarah - it's so lovely getting happy mail don't you find!

If you haven't joined in for a while, why not put best foot forward and give it a whirl - go on you know you want to!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Stay At Home CJ - February Reveal - Innocence and Experience

The start of another month can only mean one thing - it's time for the Stay At Home CJ reveal post!

This month we had a challenging theme from Pam - Innocence and Experience.  And an equally tricky background to work with.  Thanks to Pam for giving us something to really get our teeth into! :)

Only eight entries this month as sadly GlitteryKatie is currently rather poorly - get well soon Katie!

First up, Pam's own take on her own theme:

Pam - "I based it on one of William Blake's drawings and took the 'experience' bit rather than the 'innocence'- my background was always meant for this :) hence using the old cheque and the old book page -  I added the clock and the text of one of Blake's poems - it is from 'London' and was a quote i used as the title of one of my dissertations and still rings true in the work I do. Blake was a crazy old coot but a decent poet and a good artist of slightly wacky and scary pictures. I've used inks, masks, pencil , pen and spray colours with gold tempura on the clock."


Virginia - "Knowing that the original idea was because of a William Blake poem made me think about other pieces of literature and statements that I liked.  In particular this quote came to mind, when we lived in Stafford we actually had this statement painted up on the main living room wall, I think it says perfectly what I wanted it to say.  As a child you have so many dreams, hopes and aspirations for when you are older that you see the world through different eyes - innocence.  As an adult you learn that sometimes life doesn't quite go according to plan and as such a lot of childhood dreams are not realised in adulthood - experience.  This statement reminds us, that there is nothing wrong with retaining those dreams even if they don't always come to fruition and I like to think that there is a part of the world we cannot see, hear or feel where our dreams are lived out, if only we could tap into it. The original background that Pam created was beautiful, but it was also very bold so my first task was to tone down the background with a thin layer of gesso.  I then tore parts of an atlas onto the page as I feel that the quotation links back to maps and backed that off again with white gesso.  I then played with finger painting, a little white, turquoise and blue combined to start bringing the piece together.  I had an A-Z of the Celtic alphabet to hand and copied it by eye with pencil and then with promarker and fine liner pens onto the page.  I ran a turquoise ink around the edge of the page.  I then used some Bo Bunny stamps and distress inks to stamp the hexagons both solid and hollow and the chequer board and the word believe.  Finally I stamped the heart image which was a gift from Carmen an absolute age ago and is one of my favourite stamps onto tissue and then adhered it to the top of the piece, I used perfect pearls to highlight the heart in a red metallic and again for the crown in gold perfect pearls, so although you can't see from the picture they are both metallic.  Finally I added a few ink splats to the page!  A fab background and theme to work to, thank you Pam, I really enjoyed playing!"


Sarah - "I really loved Pam's background so decided to use it pretty much as it came, tricky as it was.... I discovered doing this page that I am a lot better at drawing dead things than alive things - not quite convinced by my Bambi, never mind :)  Everything was done with posca and sharpie pens and acrylic paints.  The words I must admit were traced before I coloured them in, I can't do lettering that tidy freehand!"

Carmen - "I know it's dead simple. I know it's a bit dodgy and hands aren't my strong point - the 'old' one ended up with 6 fingers at one point - I'm looking at it thinking "something's not quite right here..." I also got told off by a horrified Devvie for covering up the background so much (Are you ALLOWED to do that??) but this has turned out to be one of my favourite pages from the Stay at Home CJ :)  So have restrained myself and left it simple because I loves it I does.  Thank you Pam for a gorgeous background and (VERY) challenging theme to play with!"    ..... and I know that I (Sarah) shouldn't be playing favourites, and I do love EVERY entry this month - but wow this one leaves me gobsmacked, I LOVE it Carmen!!

Sami - "I based my page on the pagan sacred union of the God and Goddess on Beltaine (1st May), I hope it's not too 'rude'!. The God and Goddess are both reaching sexual maturity and on Beltaine they come together to consummate their love for each other and to ensure the fertility of the earth and the return of the summer. Without this union the crops would not be fruitful and the season would not move forward. The earth is experienced in this cycle of fertility, renewal and rebirth but the God and Goddess come innocent to this rite. I used an original pen and ink drawing I did and a poem I wrote back in 2011. I printed these onto deli paper so that when they were pasted onto the page the original images would still show through. I highlighted areas with neo water colour crayons, stencils and chalk ink, washi tape and white and black paint pens."

Lou - "‘When the stars threw down their spears, and watered heaven with their tears’ ― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience"
That's all for this month - another great crop of pages, once again I am bowled over with the variety that comes from a group of people working with the same background and same theme!

Next month we are all heading underwater, as Sami's theme is "Mermaid Tales"

I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Stay At Home CJ - January Reveal - Shakespeare

We've all been desperately cultured this month - more of a shock to the system for some of us than others! - as we tackled Virginia's lovely background and her theme of "Shakespeare"

Once again, it's fantastic to see everyone's unique take on the theme, even where some of us chose the same play, our interpretations are very different

In no particular order (and unfortunately missing Katie's entry for the time being, but this will be added in later), here are the January pages:

Carmen : "Call me an uncouth philistine but I didn't realise the Double double quote was from Shakespeare - so was chuffed to bits when I googled Shakespeare and that popped up! I knew I wanted to do a skull but didn't want to go down the obvious Yorrick route. And adding that text makes me think of a page from a spell book. I cut and collaged the skull from an old book page. He's highlighted with oil pastels and Posca pen. The text is Posca pen, written three times because I remember somewhere that being a magic number. Thank you to 6 year old Ruby for insisting, quite loudly over my shoulder, that I add the red to his eyes to make him look eviiiiil. I think it finishes him off perfectly and makes me think of Bob in the Dresden Files.  I have to thank Virginia for her gorgeous background and interesting theme. I always thought Shakespeare wasn't for me but after all this research I actually want to read some... or at least watch a couple of films to ease me in!"

Sarah : "Virginia's background reminded me of a beautiful twilight sky, so I went with Bottom and Titania from A Midsummer Night's Dream - I was going to add the relevant quotation, 'what angel wakes me from my flowery bed?', but then I realised I'd forgotten to paint any flowers in the grass :D  All done with Fresco acrylic paints from PaperArtsy"
(Inspiration image source here)

Pam : "titled Shakespeare in Love and War - painted, drawn, coloured and stamped"  

Sami :  "I went with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, just because I like fairies and magick! I used two magazine images as my starting point and then added paint, ink, prima flowers and a quote to complete it."

More hubbling and bubbling from Pat : "A mixture of pans pastels, inks, cut out and stamped images"

Judging by the quote, this is another Titania, this time by this month's host, Virginia - I (Sarah) like this Titania, she looks a lot less sappy than my own version of her :)

Gill has illustrated a great quotation here, but I'm afraid I don't know which play it is from, could one of you clever literary types enlighten me? 

Lou : "winged cupid from A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Next month it is Pam's turn to host - her theme is 'Innocence and Experience' and here is her fantastically textured background:

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Stay At Home CJ - December Reveal - Song Lyrics

This month in the stay-at-home CJ, we have all been working on my (Sarah's) background :

The theme this time was song lyrics.

As ever, we have a varied bunch of fantastic entries to share .....

Katie's up first this month - with her cheerful interpretation of Happy by Pharrell Williams
Next Pat was inspired by "Just Like A Pill" by Pink - I love that skyline!
Lou's entry was based upon the lyrics of "Loving Angels" by Robbie Williams 
Virginia's dark brooding silhouette is "livin' on the edge" - inspired by Aerosmith
Carmen has gone the typographical route this month (love the flowery Os :) ) with this entry based on the song No More The Fool by Elkie Brooks
Gill's fab collage was inspired by the Foreigner Classic "Waiting For A Girl Like You"
Sami had the following to say about her entry: "I chose 'Into the Mystic' by Van Morrison, one of my all time favourites. It is a song I have always loved and evokes a lot of imagery for me, of love, magic and mystery.  I cut the woman out of a magazine, the artist is Iain Lowe. I have a picture of Avalon as the destination at the top of the page as this is where my gypsy soul belongs!  I used paints, stencils, chalk inks and pens to complete the page"
Here's my own page.  The song I chose is Cochise by Audioslave, a brilliant song, and I love this line in particular.  The drowning lady is painted in acrylics, based upon a photo by talented Russian photographer Kassandra.  The lettering is white Posca pen outlined with a pencil.
And last one just in from Pam - in her own words: "It is Paolo Nuttini's 'Autumn'- it always makes me a good kind of sad as it reminds me of my Mum :) I love the lyrics and these are my favourite lines"

Next month, we are getting our culture on!  It's the turn of Virginia's lovely background, and the theme is "Shakespeare" - forsooth!!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Stay At Home CJ - November Reveal - Steampunk

Another month, another wonderfully varied gallery of entries in the Stay At Home CJ.....   This time we were all working on this fantastically detailed background from Pat:

Her theme was Steampunk, and this is what everyone came up with (in no particular order):

by Sami - 'I drew a face onto a book page and then stamped some hand carved wings on Gelli printed deli paper to put behind the face. I tried to do the hair as cogs but that didn't work so well. I used texture paste to put another face and some squares onto the paper. I used a bicycle stamp on tissue paper (given to me by Lou!) to add another detail. I stamped lots of cogs everywhere to finish off and then used oil pastels and spray inks to deepen the original colour of the page.
                                                                                                      by Katie                                                                                                   
by Pam - 'I'm afraid I did 3D again- I used card which I embossed by hand to stand out - cut out the cogwheels and drew on the bird cage with pens'
by Virginia - 'having already had the task of playing with steampunk previously I was quite giddy with this one.  I love the background, dragged out some steampunk scrapbook pages that I had and cut out the elements I had.  Then started to place on the page for effect.  After playing for a bit I started to stamp on the layout then to stick the paper elements down, trying to blend them in.  For a few of the items I had to 'mask' the paper item and insert the stamping thereafter.  I had great fun with this one! 

by Sarah - 'I hope mine is steampunky enough, I did give her goggles :)  this is a two part stencil, which took ages to cut and then I annoyingly managed to rip it making this, so I guess it's a one off!'
                                      by Lou - 'The Mechanics of Meditation aka My Steampunk Buddha'                                        
by Carmen - ‘ "Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.” – G.I. Gurdjieff …. Tried to make her look machine-ish without actually being a machine... if that makes sense. Not totally sure how Steampunky this is but I hope Pat likes it - It was a pleasure playing with her background, kept seeing something new as I was working on it.   I used: Pencil, Neocolour II's and oil pastel’
                                                                    And last but definitely not least - Pat's own entry                                                                     
We're one short this month for the moment, Wisher's entry to follow later in the month....

Next time, we'll all be working on my own (Sarah's) background:

theme "song lyrics", deadline December 31st