'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Thursday 31 March 2011

Well, thank you,

Scottish and Southern Energy, for telling us last Friday that out electricity would be off this morning.

Fortunately it wasn’t a Babybel day, so we didn’t have to worry about the lack of CBeebies. We’d been thinking of visiting a couple of exhibitions, so we decided the simplest thing was to go out for the morning. Which we did.

And got back to find the power had never been off at all.

At the bottom of the tatty bit of paper they pushed through our letter box they kindly promise, if the work is postponed, they’ll warn us before they do it again  – so we're left waiting to see if we get another scrappy bit of paper tomorrow.

If I was running a business from home I'd been even more p****d off than I am.

However, the exhibitions were worth visiting, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much.

We started off being Precious at the Discovery Centre – a touring exhibition of art made with recycled materials, plus some Hampshire Museum items of a similar nature. Very interesting, very inspirational. There was little that didn’t impress, but the standouts for me were Mary Crabb’s baskets – well, I’m a sucker for recycled basketry, – Stephanie Douet’s ‘porcelain’ speakers, Tracey Bush’s paper plants, and most of all, what I can only describe as an ethereal suspension of holes on fishing line by Pamela Schilderman. One of the best exhibitions I’ve seen at the DC – although I know I’ve said that before.

Then, after coffee and one of the DC cafe’s excellent rock buns, we drifted down the hill to do something I’ve been intending to do for about 20 years – take a look at the Winchester Bible. I’ve decided that illuminated manuscripts are the first artists’ books in Europe – and that therefore I ought to start by looking at a local example.

What I hadn’t realised was just how big it is – 4 large volumes, each about 48 x 40cm closed. Of course, because it is kept in glass cases, you can only look at one page in each volume – so going here gives you a better idea of the illustrations, though not of the crispness of the art and script, and the glow of the colours. I bet I don’t look as good when I'm 800 years old…

There is, apparently, going to be a fuller exhibition at the end of April, to celebrate the anniversary of that mere stripling, the King James Bible, so we’ve added that to our ‘to do’ list.

So it all turned out OK in the end, but we’ll have to think of something else to do if we get another power cut. However, I think I’ll stay at home until the power actually goes off next time.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

What's been happening?

Not a lot – apart from the boring routine stuff like cooking and washing, and the more interesting but still routine stuff like Babybel minding – she does like her routine.

Having been all fired up to get going on the RP and the litter photos – I haven’t done much of either. Finally, today, I made myself sit down and make notes on some of the Googled information on artists’ books I found – particularly good sites here and here. So I have about 4 pages of notes and a mile of artists’ names to follow up. IMG_4739a

Instead of playing around with the litter photos, I’m reworking my way through Sharon Boggon’s on-line GIMP course – by way of working up to Photoshop Elements, you understand. So in exploring layers  and the shear and scale commands, and adding the photocopy filter, I turned this bit of Pollocking




into this. Perhaps not the greatest bit of photomanip in the world, but I like it.






The only place anything vaguely related to my vague idea about litter and books has been happening is in the PMS.

A one sheet book made from a stuffed plastic pocket.  OK, it’s not litter – but the contents are made from junk mail, so it’s related, right?


Of course after I’d punched all those asterisky flowers out of the junk mail I had left-overs – and one thing led to another…







Woven left-overs.



While I was in a bookmaking mood, I experimented a bit more. I was inspired by a hand stitch idea on someone’s blog - if it was yours, I apologise for nicking your idea and not crediting you, it’s the CRS again, let me know who you are and I'll be glad to tell everyone.

I tried machine stitch on tracing paper. The result is best described as a qualified failure. Straight stitch and a long, wide zigzag worked OK – anything else jammed and tore the paper, even with a Teflon foot. But I love the way it looks – with the one sheet book format, you get lovely shadows through from other pages. More experimentation needed, perhaps with better quality tracing paper, or trapping things between two layers.

A long way from litter, though. Trap bits of litter? Crisp packets might be interesting, if we ate crisps – I can’t quite bring myself to pick up real litter…

And finally – the developing story of the ‘orrible collage.


The ripped and over-painted stage. Wensleydale keeps telling me that litter is related to an old craze of mine, graffiti. Perhaps I need to get the spray can out?

Saturday 26 March 2011


No, not what you think. I’ve been skirting round that acronym since Wednesday, but I’ve decided I can’t go on typing ‘personally managed sketchbook’ all the time.

After my litter photography, I spent last night playing around with PostworkShop and my litter images. I was going to include some flower photos I took too, but I found theimage litter ones much more fun.

As you can see. 

I did print various images off on collaged paper and Lutradur, which I was going to scan to show you – but – er – I’m not quite sure where I’ve put them. [CRS, you know – Can’t Remember S**t.]

Today, armed with a pot of white emulsion. I attacked some of my ‘artwoPM sketchbookrk’.

Before and after.  I’m not sure what to do with it next, but smearing, rubbing, tearing and possibly sanding may come into it. [Can you tell I hate it, even now?]






But these, I like – inspired by the instructions here. I love those pinky bits which appeared in the black one, and the fact that  the fronts and backs are so different – good if you want to make books.

And finally – I made a book, from the instructions here. After all, if [and it’s a big if] I am researching artists’ books for my RP, it’s OK to make book samples for the PMS, isn’t it?


It is an interesting structure – like a flutter book with attitude. I used a failed screen print, and realised too late the crucial importance of folding it very very accurately. But, hey, it’s only a sample! I like the flappy bits, which, I think, don’t have to be precisely that shape – and I like the way the flaps in the example on Jane’s blog contrast with the background. Definitely something to return to.

I thought when I started typing this I hadn’t done much today [usual post-insomnia lethargy - PIL?] – but that’s not too bad a list.

Tonight, of course, is Danish Detective Drama [DDD] night – but the last one! Tonight we find out who done it! What we won’t find out is how we will survive Saturday nights until the BBC [enough with the acronyms!] runs the next series next autumn – though rumour has it we are getting another series of the almost equally good Spiral to keep us going.

Will I have any fingernails left?

Friday 25 March 2011

I’ve started!

The Research Project, that is. During an insomniac Thursday night I started the essential mindmap, which I tweaked yesterday and copied into the portfolio.


Copied, because:

  1. It will allow me to add bits to it when I change my mind, and
  2. I am trying to use glue as little as possible. I have a hate/hate relationship with glue.


  • PVA? – too messy
  • glue stick? – dries out and peels off
  • wallpaper paste? – too wet
  • something obscure in a tube from a chain that no longer exists? – buckles the substrate [showing off again]
  • Bondaweb? – currently my favourite but the iron can have a funny effect on the print, as I found out with the photos in my Identity book, which are slightly more distressed than I intended.

Yesterday I found a Wikipedia article on ‘Artists’ book’ [sic], which I summarised, as instructed by the tutors, while sitting outside in the sunshine this afternoon. [Note to self – must add details to the burgeoning bibliography.] I also began a list of artists to research, none of whom I have yet looked at, despite spending the early evening Googling about. Why? I rediscovered the UWE website. Fossicking around on there led to a paper on UK and Irish book artists, and following up some of them led to the Oxford Brookes artists’ books website. And their list of links led all over the place – MMU, the V&A, the British Library. I’m beginning to realise just how much stuff there is out there.

One of my colleagues has got a box for her RP and is putting everything she finds in it. I've only got a box file. So far.

I have also started the ‘personally managed sketchbook’ which, we discovered on Wednesday, is what is known in this house as a compost heap – chuck everything in it and see what grows. We are supposed to be including design ideas arising from the RP, [but not  people’s ideas, they go in the portfolio], reports and evaluations of exhibitions we’ve been to, other design ideas, doodles, great thoughts etc. etc. etc. ‘Design ideas’ could be drawings, words or photos. Yay! Photos!

So as I have had a vague idea about doing books about litter – I have been photographing litter.


This was prompted because every time we go for our Thursday dog and Babybel walk, [no ducks on Thursdays] I am struck by the fact right next to something like this




there is a lot of this. Even Babybel has noticed – and she doesn’t like it, any more than her granny does!

So maybe my book will be about litter – or alternatively I’ll find another idea and you’ll never hear about it again.


Since then I've been carrying my camera when I’m going somewhere I think there may be litter – which, of course, is almost everywhere – but this morning that did allow me to take advantage of this surreal experience.

Not often you see half a house on wheels.It gives a whole new meaning to ‘mobile home’.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

I’m much more organized…

now I’ve made myself an organizer.

In theory, anyway.

By consulting my organiser I can tell you that today was marked out for getting ready for college tomorrow, and working on my research project.

Of course, that didn’t allow for slippage - this morning was spent finishing off the book of photos instead.

After lunch I got round to looking at the list of requirements for tomorrow – which is ‘student managed sketchbooks’. [No, I don’t know either.] The list includes a sketchbook - we had a discussion last week about whether this meant an old sketchbook or a new one. In the absence of a definitive ruling I made an executive decision and packed a new one – or rather three – a commercial one and two hand made ones, of different sizes.

The next thing was ‘images relevant to your research project’. Like pictures of books? It was at this point that I realised that when I think of artists books, I think of books like these – and it is difficult to see how images like those might relate to working in a sketch book – apart from just drawing them, which I don’t think is the idea.

Which made me think. Maybe I ought to to put something on the pages of the books I make? Like this? [I love Dorothy Krause’s stuff.]

I assembled a few images to explore in paint or collage – mostly sort of grey, blurry, amorphous things. Hey, Picasso had his blue and pink periods – I can have a grey, blurry, amorphous period!

Back to the list.  ‘Materials which reflect your practice or are experimental and will complement what you have planned.’ This of course assumes that you have ‘a practice’ and/or have planned something.

After panicking long, hard thought I  decided my practice was probably splashing left over paint at random on bits of paper, ripping them up, sticking them down and printing computer manipulated images on them – a tiny bit like Krause but without her talent – so I assembled lots of interesting bits of paper and must remember to take the laptop. I shan’t print anything in college, though – I think it will cause less aggro if I don’t wreck their printer by putting strange layered things through it – that might be a bit too experimental.

So now I have 6 bags sitting in the hall, containing paper, sketchbooks, books, paints, glue, and drawing stuff – and the all-important organiser. That’s not counting my lunch bag and my handbag. This is one of the problems of not knowing what you are doing – you take everything you think you might possibly need and you still don’t have the right things.

I think I need a mule.

By now it was mid-afternoon and I hadn’t even thought about the RP – well, apart from the thinking that went into getting ready for college. [My brain hurts.]

To be fair to myself, I have been doing a bit of reading in the evenings – this, which is where I first came across Krause’s work, and this – but I’ve been put off making notes by the thought of working direct into an A3 book. Difficult to manage on your lap, along with the book you are making notes from, a spritzer and a cat.

So use a ring binder, I hear you cry. In the old days, I would have grabbed the nearest ring-binder and got started – but that is no longer good enough.

  1. Take one tatty old ring binder.
  2. Take two experimental screen prints which almost match, sew them together, quilt them and make a cover.image
  3. Take two experimental bits of calico, gesso, muslin and wallpaper [inspired by Lynda and Carol] and make end papers. Sew on a page protector to one to make a pocket  and stick them inside the ring binder with carpet tape. [The left hand one is back to front – when I made it I used up left-over bobbins in the machine, so the wrong side is multicoloured, and I decided I liked it better.]image
  4. Make dividers from an old calendar, and add paper.


Now I feel much more organised.

Sunday 20 March 2011

Books, books, books, books.

As planned, [I’d written it in my planner!] we went down to Walford Mill on Friday to visit their used book sale, look at the current exhibition, have a cup of tea and toasted teacake in the cafe, and collect our purchase from the last exhibition, by Pat Hodson.

As not planned, and definitely not in my planner, we arrived very late due to a broken down tanker on the A31. [Those who know the A31 will know exactly what that implies.] There was only time for the cup of tea [essential, after sitting in a traffic jam for an hour], a look at the books, and a very quick whizz round the exhibition. I wish we had had longer – the lively and exciting work was mainly by artists with learning difficulties, and made me realise what can be achieve if you forget your inhibitions ad go at things with enthusiasm!


I did pick up one or two books – well, at £1 a time, proceeds for a good cause, who could resist?






This was a little more than £1, but well worth it, especially given my research topic – and the next exhibition at Walford is of artists’ books. How serendipitous.2011-03-201


My planner also told me to work on the triptych and book of manipulated photos on Saturday afternoon. I disobeyed, and got ahead of the game, by managing to complete the triptych on Friday morning.

It is quite difficult to photograph, but here is an aerial view and the first panel, showing some of the more embarrassing photos.



After that promising start, things went pear-shaped on Saturday, as making the book took a lot longer than expected. Of course I’m used to making books where the pages are blank, or made from stuff I made earlier, so all I have to do is assemble them. For this book, although I'd printed off a lot of the images in advance, I had to glue them to the pages, and it all took a lot longer than I anticipated. It wasn't helped by the fact that I kept having ideas.

Ideas like pop-ups, and weavings, and paper dolls, and tearing pictures up, and cutting letters out of photos … And since I took these photos I’ve drawn on a lot of them too.


The binding is my speciality, wonky Coptic. I think it’s finished, apart from the colophon. [What a show off! I mean a note thanking my colleagues who took the photos and listing the programs I used to muck about with the images.]

According to my planner, today was going to be the day I started on the research project properly. Needless to say, I didn’t.

I did, however, make the RP book. IMG_4834A3, utilising the backs of two old sketchbooks and some hand made paper I bought years ago at Ally Pally, for some purpose long forgotten. Those clips were going to be temporary. to allow me to add more pages if needed, before stab binding it when I’d finished – but they are growing on me.

Now I've made the book I can really get started.

Thursday 17 March 2011

Ah – now I see…

We had a sort of mega-tutorial at College yesterday, so now  I understand what I am supposed to be doing for Module 9, the Research Project. I had seen it as a formal academic writing exercise – which was why the apparent lack of any parameters was so scary. However, rather than an essay, what we have to do [I think] is collect visual references, and written information and evaluation about our research topic – a sort of annotated scrapbook.

My topic? Artists’ books.

Bet you’re surprised.

So I've collected my books on books in a heap by my bed, ordered some more from ABE books and Allibris, and begun to do some Googling. This could be fun.

If anyone has any suggestions for good books on artists’ books, or any artists whose work you think I should look at, please let me know…

While at college I almost finished my triptych - all bar glueing it together, because I’d forgotten the glue. I didn’t get started on the book of manipulated images as I decided I wanted to do a Coptic binding and realised that I didn’t have any suitable card for covers with me. Finishing both is now slotted into the planning [a part of my new organised regime!] for Saturday afternoon. Evidence of planning and organisation is one of the marking criteria, so I have invented planning record sheets and started to fill them out. Wonder how long that will last.

And of course I have to make a book to keep all the research in – I could hardly chose a topic like artists’ books and use a manufactured one, could I? [Although of course an artist’s book could be made in a manufactured one – one of the points I need to mention when distinguishing between hand made books and artists’ books. Right after I’ve defined ‘a book’…]

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Proof positive


that spring has sprung. Only a bit of blossom so far, but the promise of a lot more, despite the attentions of a pair of bullfinches.







In case you need more proof – here is Babybel having a lovely time in the sunshine on my birthday – as did her Gran,


and some more spring flowers on our dog/duck walk on Monday.







Not all the birds we saw were ducks -

we saw Little -






and Large, as well. He has to be the biggest swan I have ever seen, and much more willing to come close than most of the swans on the lake. [Why am I suddenly thinking about Adam Cooper?] [That link is for Mrs Cheddar to enjoy.]

Despite all this excitement I managed to print out just a few [?] of the photos for tomorrow’s college work, and sorted out all [?] of the other things I need.

The design of the triptych, which is the real point of the exercise, didn’t take long once I’d remembered this poem, which has lots of visual imagery. We didn’t have to use a poem, but I love this one, which seemed perfect for the theme of ‘past, present, future’. Paint some lining paper, add the poem, print off a few sepiaised photos of past and present Cheshire [editing out the more embarrassing ones] and I’m done.

The design of the book of photos, which is just an add-on to encourage us to play around with our images, has, of course, taken a lot longer. I still can’t decide what binding to use. Codex – which I’ve never done? Coptic? The one I call slit and slot? I had lots of other ideas, but decided to keep it simple with one of those three, which have the advantage that you can go on adding pages to them until you’ve run out of paper/time/ideas.

We also crammed in a visit to this [OK, but a bit lacklustre – the most interesting things were a pub loo door and Willie Whitelaw’s graffitied desk] and a second birthday celebration next door.

My old principal used to say that a busy student was a happy student – I think she may have been right …

Saturday 12 March 2011

A day out and a day in.


Yesterday we decided it was time to revisit Highcliffe Castle, so we pottered down to Dorset, had a look at the art exhibitions that were on [some interesting ideas], spent some money in the shop [things for Babybel – 4,, things for Gran and Granddad – 0] and had a good lunch in the excellent cafe.Qbist, new layer, saturation-1

Then we came home and I played with GIMP, which, I’ve concluded, has much more interesting filters than PSE. This is one called Qbist, layered over one of the photos from college.






And while I was at it I had a go with the Hockneyiser







and Lunapic – this is the Obama style filter, you’ll be amazed to hear.

Then I began to have to fight with BT Total Broadband and/or Google Chrome to  get, and keep an internet connection, so I gave up, turned everything off, and watched a very good programme on Indian textiles on the telly.



Today, Wensleydale went to help Babybel’s Daddy do DIY - [and Babybel, of course, who has her own tool kit]. I stayed at home and kept busy. I:

  1. painted some black paper with Inkaid, on which to print off some of the 230+ images of myself I’ve accumulated over the last few days. [Vain? Moi?] Tried to remember if I usually use two coats, as per instructions, or only one. Plumped for one.
  2. Went up to local shop to buy things we forgot to get in Sainsbury’s.
  3. Took delivery of parcel.*
  4. Made birthday cake with ingredients bought in shop.
  5. Put serviettes to dye in the washing machine. They were once white, but got a bit discoloured so a while ago I dyed them blue to go with the blue paint in the dining room. However we no longer have blue paint in the dining room so I have dyed them black to go with the black curtains. I suspect this will be their final reincarnation.
  6. Made coffee. Still no reliable internet, so phoned BT. Waited while someone told me repeatedly how very busy they were– thank goodness its a free phone number. Eventually got through to a very helpful young man in India who managed to improve the connection no end. Everything now working apart from Chrome.
  7. Made mock up of the triptych for Wednesday, which involved wrestling with a metre and a bit of lining paper – very curly lining paper. Decided to make the real thing bigger. Wrestled with an even bigger piece of very curly lining paper, painted it with gesso, and glued on quotes from Robert Frost and TS Eliot. [Pretentious? Moi?]
  8. Took cake out of oven and dyeing out of washing machine.
  9. Made a cheese sandwich and a strong spritzer.
  10. Put dishwasher on and washed up the non-dishwasherable.
  11. Painted triptych.
  12. Found variety of papers and ironed Bondaweb on to them.
  13. Made cup of tea. Downloaded Opera, as recommended by Cheese Major, which has changed sine the last time I looked at it. Felt confused, but discovered it has a mail program which might allow me to give up on Outlook – followed instructions to download it, couldn’t believe it was really that easy.
  14. Tore up Bondawebbed papers and ironed the bits on to A4 cartridge paper, on which to print off some of the 230+ images of myself I’ve accumulated over the last few days. [Vain? Moi?]
  15. Saw Wensleydale coming up drive, breathed sigh of relief, and put kettle on again.

* Aforementioned parcel. What could be in it? [Not the cup, that’s there to show the size.]IMG_4797

A lot of packaging, 4 catalogues, a receipt and a little white box – overkill packaging, perhaps?



The little white box contained this, a somewhat more expensive replacement for my £5 charity shop watch, which finally gave up the ghost last week. As the local charity shops don’t seem to sell cheap watches any more, I decided I needed some colour in my life and gave myself another early birthday present. It is rather fun






Spot the difference?

Tomorrow is the actual day of my eleventy third birthday, so we are off for a family outing to look at model trains. Not that I am specially interested in model trains  but I know a young lady who is, and watching her watching them will be lots of fun.

Thursday 10 March 2011

What a dreadful assignment!

First day back at college and what are we asked to do? Work with a partner to take photos of each other, manipulate them in Photoshop, print them off and make a book of the best, and then produce a paper based triptych on the theme of ‘Past, Present and Future’ inspired, more or less, by our images.

I’m sure you realise how devastated I was by this.

There were two drawbacks – first, that the college network was working at the speed of a paralytic tortoise, and the other that this implied that I should limit myself to Photoshopimage - which of course I ignored.

Fortunately I’d treated my self to PS Elements as an early birthday prezzie, so I came home and played with it.

This is the ‘Cut-out’ filter.






And PostworkShop – this is ‘Outlines with Scanned Brush’.

Hope the pictures aren’t meant to be recognizable.






And Befunky – ‘Holgaart’ . I'm in there somewhere.

The book is called ‘How to Survive Modern Art’.







And Sumopaint – the ‘Kaleidoscope’ filter, which does a good job of showing off my Frida Kahlo eyebrows.

I don’t have purple hair, I was wearing a hat with purple flowers on it.




I may get round to GIMP,  and some of the other programs I tried out in the great flower extravaganza, [just search for passion flower’ or ‘dahlia’ on my blog], if I decide the current 190 or so images aren’t enough.

Yes, I have spoken to Wensleydale in the interim, and looked after Babybel, been to the gym and done a few chores – although progress was helped by another bout of insomnia last night.

Then there are the other important decisions, like what sort of binding to use – currently thinking of a simple codex, but with flaps and holes and fold outs – and how I can wangle a triptych into a book format. 

This was all supposed to be doable in the college time left over from thinking about topics for our research project and having tutorials on it.

Fat chance.

Suppose I ught to write a research proposal too. My preferred topic? Artists’ books …

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Everything comes in threes.

Or in this case, possibly goes in threes, as I have finished three things in the last few days.

  1. Is a sweater, which I can’t show you because it’s drying, but it is pretty unexciting anyway – I don’t do complex patterns any more. Knitting is what I do when reading emails2011-03-08 or watching Scandinavian thrillers which i have to read.
  2. Is a little green one-sheet-of-paper book. It started as a print out, on newspaper, of one of my Sumopaint designs, but it was dominated by the ad on the newspaper, so it gained spray paint,  appliqué, stitch and sequins, and lost bits I cut out. Weird, but I like it.
  3. Is a slightly bigger purple book -  used Colour Catchers again. Yes, I have 2011-03-081a fair amount of purple washing.2011-03-082








I like this one too.

My foot is much better, even after our sunny Monday morning Babybel, dog and duck IMG_4747walk. The ducks don’t actually join us on the walk, although they do tend to swim after bread providers for a short distance. The Canada geese, after ambushing unexpecting bread holders, will walk with us for a time, but they too lack stickability.

And that cygnet was so busy showing off he never got a nibble – unlike the dog.

Back to College tomorrow – we are looking at the theme of either:

  1. past, present, future – or
  2. identity.

Which, precisely, is unclear, but I can’t say I'm thrilled by either.

We have to take props which reflect our character and personality [I don’t have any bad-tempered old bat props, unfortunately] and will be photographed with them – or with someone else's – opinions vary.

Why do I keep thinking of ‘Calendar Girls’?

I am not taking my clothes off for anything – in any case, just like Celia Imrie, I’d need bigger buns…

Friday 4 March 2011

What would you do …

if you had to rest your big toe?  As in RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation?

Don’t laugh, it is very painful. I don’t know what I've done to it – Mrs Cheddar suggested it was gout, but when I Googled it the symptoms aren’t quite the same. It started on Tuesday night, but was not too bad on Wednesday – or I wouldn’t have gone out, but on Wednesday night it was agony, and I could barely walk on Thursday, hence the RICE. It has been a bit better today, but I am still trying to keep off my feet.

Using the sewing machine is out, unless I change the habit of a life time, and operate the pedal with my left foot, so I made a couple of books – what else would I do? Most of it done sitting down at my desk with an ice pack under my foot – there’s one there now, and it’s bliss.


This book mailer got a little damaged when Babybel helped her Granddad open it, so it is patched with tape. I was trying to make it look like a bar code, but ran out of tape, and ended up with a mess. The pages are an eclectic mess mixture of paper, including some of those I painted on Wednesday – whatever was easily to hand, really. The stitching is Keith Smith’s ‘Triple Dash’ – but there are four signatures, so i suppose it is ‘Quadruple Dash’.


This is, as you can see, a Sainsbury’s cheese box from Christmas – I kept it because I liked the hole in the top [now front].

I Bondawebbed the box to a bit of experimental dyeing, cutting the Bondaweb away from the hole. These pages were anything I could find in the paper drawer which seemed to go.  The binding is Ailsa Golden’s ‘Bunched Stitches’ – although my bunches are beads. Although I find beads on the spine are a bit of a nuisance because they stop the book lying flat, it seemed a good use for these spotty orange ones.

Of course the other thing I can do in my enforced rest is play with the computer – although BT is doing its best to restrict me, by b****ring around with broadband. We hope this is part of their promise to provide us soon [for a fee] with their whizzy new faster version – but this seems to involve cutting us off altogether for long periods of time, or delivering a v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w version when we’ve got one at all. imageOf course, as soon as I pick up the phone to ring BT – it comes back on again. That has happened three times now, which seems too much of a coincidence. [Paranoid? Me?]

Good job I’ve got some downloaded programs to play with, like PostworkShop.

This is a collage so boring I didn’t bother showing it to you when I made it – I was experimenting with a cruciform design as suggested in several design books. A good test for the program, I thought.



These were all made by applying a single ‘style’ to the original – apart from the blue and yellow one, which like this lot -





had a style applied to a style. Or in some cases a style to a style to a style  - you get the picture.

The one with letters came from using a brush called ‘Letters’ at its largest setting, in one of the Sketch styles – the sketch was very sketchy so the letters are sparsely scattered. You can choose the letters the program uses so you could make it say something, although I think you’d end up with anagrams...

Definite improvements, some of them. I think PWS passed the test.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

It has been a beautiful day.



So beautiful that I was inspired to paint some papers.  The colours are a bit odd because I was experimenting with using watercolour to make paste paint, and  used up some left-overs. [Those dark marks are shadows, because the sun was shining!]



So beautiful that we had lunch in the conservatory for the first time this year – and I took my sweater off!2011-03-021

So beautiful that we tore up the ‘to do’ list and went to the Hillier Gardens, where there were spring flowers, 













an amazing rhododendron, 






and beautiful trees.







The tea and cake were pretty good too.


But best of all – my beloved flowering cherry at home thinks it might almost be spring – there are little tiny red buds on there.




According to Google weather, there was a ‘chance of snow’ today -suppose it still might…