Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Stay At Home CJ - Final Reveal - Cogs and Wheels and Rust

So here it is - the end of the Stay-At-Home CJ!

And, sadly, I think it's the end of this blog too - the initial enthusiasm for collaborative projects seems to have waned, to the extent that for the full nine months that this last project has been in play, there haven't been any more started or suggested .... so I think it is time we called it a day.  It was fun while it lasted though guys, thanks for playing along!! :)

I'll leave the blog up so we don't lose the record of the old projects, I think you'll all agree that between us we created a lot of pretty :)

So, anyway, yes, this month we all worked on Katie's lovely background  ^  up there - and her theme was Cogs and Wheels and Rust

Here's what everyone came up with:

by Sami - "I drew the image of the woman onto Deli paper and then modge podged into on the background age. I used neo water colour crayons to colour it and stamps and paint for the details."

by Sarah - "I was inspired by last month's anatomical hearts to have a stab at one myself this time around, with a steampunk twist"
by Pat - "I am putting all my pages together in a book and as the orientation on this page was landscape I made a copy to work on - cut out the birdcage/hand image from the original and added this after adding various images on the background.....and as I have a collection of rusty stuff and cogs in my stash I added these as the final layer"
by Pam - "I just thought a little clockwork owl not wanting to go back to the cage was quite sweet"
by Virginia - "Well this was a lovely background to work on, I dragged out various dies to cut out cogs and wheels from a variety of cardstock and chipboard.  I then set too achieving a rust effect.  I used a dark brown acrylic paint and then used a natural sponge and used burnt sienna and a bright yellow paint colour to create the rust effect.  I was surprised how 'effective' it was.  Then I found out some cog stamps and adhered the rust effect dies and used the cog stamps to create the finished product.  I'm eager to see what everyone else does with this fab background this month and have a sneaky feeling theirs will be an awful lot more inventive than mine.  I've had a blast with this circle journal that never left my paws, mmm so what's the next challenge?"
by Gill - "Thanks so much for organising this - it has been great fun"
by Carmen - "It wasn't till I chopped her up that I realised they are BACKGROUND papers. But I really just kept seeing an angel so made the beautiful background the focus by making a paper doll. I really love her and hope she fits the theme still"

And finally, this incredibly apt entry from Lou - here's hoping that the end of Collabor-ART does prompt the start of other exciting creative journeys for all of us....

Friday, 2 May 2014

Stay At Home CJ - April Reveal - Art in my Heart

So here we are with the penultimate Stay At Home circle journal reveal - that has gone quick!

This month we all worked on Gill's cool background
and her theme was Art in my Heart

Here are all our - very different - entries this month:

Sami - "I used gelli printed deli paper to collage and then used acrylic paint markers to decorate and doodle"

Lou - “Helping my inner Goddess break free - I made a deep heart recessed into the base, the base was gesso'd and sanded down a few times.  The heart was covered with layers of red tissue paper. Gold paint was slapped over the base and heart.  The goddess sits within the heart securely behind bars, or is she?!”

Pat - "I made a couple of copies of the original background and used these to layer my page, I've stamped embossed and added various layers"

Gill - "apologies for the not great picture, my scanner is playing up!"

Pam - "I took the title literally and made some art coming from a heart. Gelli printed card using poster paints and acrylics with some clingfilm for the texture - on which I drew an anatomical heart (that brought back memories!!) from one of my anatomy books. Then used pen and ink and watercolour pencils for the flowers :)"

Sarah - "I got to thinking about broken hearts, and how they can often inspire creativity in different ways - acrylic paints with purple bombay ink for the tears - I left the heart from the underlying background where it happened to land on her neck, as I thought it looked pretty cool, like a tattoo"

Virginia - "I loved the background print this month (actually I've liked them all) and liked the play on words.  Having been one of those kids that was told at school I couldn't draw it's lovely to be able to get inky and messy and call it art (even if others might not LOL).  I first got back into art at the time I got married in 1998 and as part of that we had a Celtic theme running through the same, including a knot designed by hubby, this knot has continued to resonate through our lives and so I thought it would be apt to utilise it on my page.  I also like the fact that this knot as per many traditional knots has no beginning and no end and therefore feel returning to creativity and art is like coming full circle on somewhere I've been before.  Initially I toned down the background with a light gesso, then I used a 'cell' mask and some distress inks on top before finally painting on our Celtic knot which I subsequently edged in silver.  I finished the page off with distress inks and a grungy border stamp"

Carmen - "Never let it be said that I don't do literal *g* - Art in my Heart - a rather dodgy looking heart... but wouldn't yours be with a paint brush going through it? I used gesso, fineliner and Posca paint pens - much fun was had. Thank you for a great background to work on Gill"

Another brilliantly varied month - thanks to all the participants for being so prompt this time, it's only the second of the month and the reveal post is up, I think this might be a record!! :D

Next month is sadly the last one :( :( :(  I've really enjoyed this CJ and will miss it!!

Our final background is by Katie, and her theme is Cogs and Wheels and Rust:

I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with for the very final reveal.....

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: