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


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Stay at Home CJ - October - Beasties!

Woohooo!!! it's reveal time!!!!

This month in the stay-at-home CJ we have all been working on Carmen's gorgeous background


and her theme, perfect for Halloween month, was 'beastie'

In no particular order, here are this month's diverse and wonderful entries:

Pam's fantastic Cthulhu - I love the way he's escaping off the page :) - painted with acrylics and using carvable paste and stamps, then inked and used white and red pencil with a touch of silver paste on the tentacles
                                                    the Weaver of Destiny by Lou - that stitched web is awesome!                                                                               
Sami's genuinely scary entry - don't have nightmares kids! - "I had every intention of doing the Loch Ness Monster (I know Carmen's a bit partial to Nessie and Scotland!) But when I looked at the background I could just see this female zombie silhouette emerging from the page. The closer I looked, the more I could see all the elements, the torn book pages looked liked grave stones and there was even a moon in the background. I know Carmen loves Zombies so I thought, that's not a problem, do a zombie then. I got my pen and settled down on the sofa to draw and scared myself with what emerged! I would not like to meet her on a dark night! I used a black biro, a red biro, some white and black oil pastels and letter stamps with black ink."
Most pumpkins are rather cute, but Virginia's pumpkin-head monster actually looks rather menacing! - Virginia calls him her Scooby Doo villain :)  
Pat's lovely multi layered entry this month quotes the famous poem 'the Spider and the Fly' by Mary Howitt
I just love these cute lil' monsters from Katie - "I drew stuff- I don't like my drawings but as this is a CJ I MADE myself draw as an experiment! *shakes*" - I'd say that experiment paid off!
Another Cthulhu - this time by yours truly (Sarah) - mine is mourning the death of his creator, Lovecraft.  Funny how Pam and I, sight unseen, have ended up with such similar entries - even his three quarter stance is the same!  This is all acrylic paints and pencil.
                     Wisher (Gill)'s interpretation of the theme is really cool - the Beastie is within, not without.               
And last, but certainly not least, Carmen's own entry, which I LOVE!!!! It reminds me of one of Dave McKean's Sandman covers, which is high praise indeed from me, fantastic!  - "I could see a figure which might or might not be me and I could see what looked like a crows beak and head - so that's what I went with. I found the quote and it  just seemed to all come together and fit with how I'm feeling at the moment.  I used oil pastels, HB pencil, gel pen and biro"
So that's this month all wrapped up - I'm enjoying this CJ so much, I hope everyone else is loving it too :)

Next month, we're working on Pat's background, and the theme is Steampunk  =======>

So, have at it, stay-at-homers!  Deadline is Saturday November 30th.  Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with.....

Monday, 30 September 2013

Stay at Home CJ - September - For The Love Of Trees

So here we are - our first big reveal day for the Stay at Home CJ!

This month we all worked on Lou's lovely background:

and the theme was 'for the love of trees'

Before we start can I just say a big thank you to all the participants for sending their entries through on time without me having to chase anybody up - that makes my job as host SO much easier :)

So, here we go, in no particular order:

Carmen - acrylics and drawing ink
Lou's techniques used: I stencilled the tree onto tissue paper and applied with matte medium, unfortunately the tissue didn't 'blend' into the background as I expected not sure why as this technique usually works well.  So I  applied inks to the tissue to help the blending a bit more. Scattered some leaves punched from an old bible and added the quote from the poem "The Tree" by
Tom Splitt:

The calm quiet strength of a tree
Anchored deep in the earth
Reaching high in the sky
The calm quiet strength of a tree

The calm quiet strength of a tree
Full of life from its roots
To the tiniest branch
The calm quiet strength of a tree

And oh, how it comforts me
How it teaches me
Without a sound
Then I realize at once
That this tree and I are one
In eternity

The calm quiet strength of a tree
From the weight of its trunk
To its delicate leaves
The calm quiet strength of a tree

The calm quiet strength of a tree
Showing anyone near
All the secrets of time
The calm quiet strength of a tree

Sarah - Pitt pen plus Fresco acrylics
The quote is Emily Bronte, get me being all literary :)

"Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky" Kahlil Gibran

Sami said: Lou's colours reminded me of autumn, walking through the woods once the
colours have changed. I used gelli prints to collage trees onto her
background and although I was going to add more texture and colour, I really
liked how it looked with just the collage. I added my favourite poem by
Robert Frost, and although not specifically about trees, it always reminds
me of the beauty of autumn.

And that's that for this month - haven't we created a beautiful autumnal forest?!!

It's so cool to see how differently (and in some cases similarly) we all riffed off the same background.

Next month, Carmen's background, theme "beastie":

I can't wait to see where you all go with that one! :)

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

And the Stay-At-Home CJ is ready for the off.....

A big thank you to everybody who is taking part in the Stay-at-Home CJ, I have now received all your backgrounds and made all the colour copies.

These will be posted out this weekend, in the meantime, here's a thumbnail of each one, and due dates for each completed page:

•             30th September 2013 : Lou’s background – theme ‘for the love of trees’

•             31st October 2013 : Carmen’s background – theme ‘beastie’

•             30th November 2013 : Pat’s background – theme ‘steampunk’

•             31st December 2013 : Sarah’s background – theme ‘song lyrics’

•             31st January 2014 : Virginia’s background – theme ‘Shakespeare’

•             28th February 2014 : Pam’s background – theme ‘innocence and experience’

•             31st March 2014 : Sami’s background – theme ‘mermaid tales’

•             30th April 2014 : Gill’s background – theme ‘art in my heart’

•             31st May 2014 : Katie’s background – theme ‘cogs & wheels & rust’

I can't wait for the first big reveal!  Have fun, all :)

Monday, 19 August 2013


A while ago (actually an absolute age ago), I was the lucky recipient of one of Donna's mail art pieces, not because I'd added my name to the mail art list, just because she wanted to send me a piece, I adored her typewriter stamp that she'd created!  Awesome stuff - thought I would share it, I love mail art - thank you Donna!

Sunday, 18 August 2013


Finally got around to photographing my DID journal that arrived home recently.  This will be a photo heavy post, but wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed and who added to previous art - it's a beautiful collaborative project.  My only sadness in all of this is that Sarah's journal was lost in this process, hopefully the new Royal Mail proof CJ will prove not only fun but prevent this happening again!