Sunday, 29 December 2013

January Calendar

Another month has rushed past and it's time to make our January calendar.  If you want to know more about the idea behind the monthly calendar please look on Kate Crane's blog as the whole thing is her idea.

I sprayed the pages with 3 colours of blue Dylusions inks although by the time I wiped them to the edges they all amalgamated into one blue.  I spayed White Linen through the Tim Holtz Shatter Stencil.  I also sprayed water through Dyan's Let It Snow stencil before stamping snowflames down the sides.

I had previously made a stamp from one of Tim Holtz Along the Edge dies and used it to stamp across the top and bottom edges.

I stamped some circles which have days of the week in them - who knew I owned such a thing!!!??!! Added some more snowflakes and the month.

I thne decorated the page with a silver pen.

I look forward to seeing what you do for your January calendar.  Don't forget to share your calendar using the linky below.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Aren't you clever!


That’s what you’ll hear NEXT Christmas when people see the cute little gift ornaments you’ll have made in our January recycling art project.

Joanna Grant will bring us a fun and easy project using recycled Christmas cards, so save all yours from this holiday season and tune in on January 11th 2014 for all the details.    

Don’t have a lot of Christmas cards?  Ask your friends and family to save theirs for you.  Any size, any colors will do.

See you then!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Happy Christmas

Wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas.
Thank  you for joining me on this 12 month art journey.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Creative Date Challenge

This month instead of the usual creative date, technique challenge and art challenge I have combined them all into one Creative Date Challenge.

And this is it!

Take a photo of something to represent each letter of the word Christmas.  Preferably go out of the house to take the photos.
I is for icicles

Here are some suggestions 
C: candle, cake, carols,
H: holly,
R: robin, red, rudolph
I: ice, icicles
S: string, santa, singers
T: tinsel
M:  mince pies, mistletoe
A:  angel

And here is a website I found to help you: Christmas Vocabulary

And if that isn't enough for you then try this Christmas Photo list that Judy shared on Facebook.

I hope you have fun with this.  I look forward to seeing what you come up with.  Do share with us using the linky below.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Quarterly Zine

Today is the start of a new Zine.   For instructions on how to fold and cut the paper to make your Zine go here.

As I am going to make all my quarterly zines into one book at the end, it was important that I cut the cartridge paper for this quarter exactly the same size as the last one.

I sprayed the paper with 2 colours of blue spray inks.

I spritzed water through a snowflake stencil.

Then I sprayed Dylusions White Linen through the same stencil, but in different places.

I folded the paper to make the zine and started on the pages for December.

I sprayed green ink through the Tim Holtz holly stencil and added red stickles for the berries.  It would have been better to wait until the end to add the stickles as I couldn't work on the page until they had dried!

I stamped the word december on a scrap of paper and stuck it on.  I printed out the quote and cut it up and stuck it down.

I look forward to seeing your December Zine.  Don't forget to share it with us using the linky below.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Photo Challenge

In March I introduced this monthly challenge.  Each month we take a photograph on the same day, at the same time, of the same place.  How are you getting on with this challenge?

You choose a day or date and a place to suit you.  It could be taken from your front door, your back door, a particular place on your journey to work or on the school run.  It could be where you walk the dog.  Wherever it is, it needs to be a place you are at or near regularly.

Each month we take a photo and over the year we will build up a picture of the changes in the seasons.   If you haven't already, I suggest you have a folder on your hard drive where you keep these photos so you can find them at the end of our 12 months together.

If you upload them to the Facebook group please add the photo to your album or if you are new please make an album with your name and a suitable title.  Thanks.

There's also a Flickr group if you don't have a blog or a Facebook account.

I've added a linky for you to add your photo or blog.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Flower of the Month

Thank you to Susan for yet again providing us with an interesting article about our flower of the month.


With holly and ivy
So green and so gay,
We deck up our houses
As fresh as the day.
With bays and rosemary, and laurel complete,
And everyone now
Is a king in conceit.
- Unknown

The English Holly, Ilex aquifolium, and the American Holly, Ilex opaca, are common symbols of Christmas time. Images of this plant decorate greeting cards, wrapping papers, dishes, glasses, vases and linens which we display during the holiday season. “Deck the halls with boughs of holly” describes the ancient tradition of incorporating the holly, with its green leaves and bright red berries, (traditional colors of Christmas) into wreaths, garlands and centerpieces. It is said that branches of holly were brought into the home during Roman times to celebrate the festival of Saturnalia, which took place during the winter solstice. Many beliefs and superstitions advocated bringing branches of holly inside to protect the home against malevolent elves and fairies or to enable benevolent fairies to live in the home among humans during the cold weather. Planted outside the home or barn, holly was said to protect against lightening strikes. Modern science confirms that the spines of the holly leaves are able to conduct electricity to the ground, which protects the area surrounding them.

The homeowner has reason to plant hollies near the home and around the property for their great ornamental value as well. The English Holly, with its glossy dark green leaves, is highly ornamental year round and the yellow, orange or red berries on female plants during the autumn and winter months provide cheer when it is sorely needed. Birds eat the fruit, which adds another attractive dimension. The English Holly has over 400 cultivars so there is a variety which will fit your location and taste. Leaves are usually a dark green but plants can be purchased which have blue-green, white variegated or yellow variegated foliage. Stems can be green or purple. Berries are various shades of red, orange or yellow, depending on the variety. Size can range from a foot to fifty feet in height.

Hollies of all species need acid soil that is well drained and rich in organic matter. They do best in partial shade but will tolerate full sun in cooler climates. Protect them from wind which tends to desiccate the leaves, especially during the winter months, causing them to turn brown. Most hollies are dioecious which means they bear male and female flowers on different plants. If you want your hollies to bear fruit, be sure to have a male holly planted within a few hundred feet of it. One male holly plant can produce enough pollen to fertilize up to six female plants.

Holly berries, though eaten by birds, are toxic to humans. Bees make a reddish colored honey from the flowers, which is described as mild, sweet and buttery in flavor. The wood of holly is extremely hard and ivory in color. It is used for inlaid marquetry, and takes stain beautifully. It has been used to make walking sticks, riding whips, tool, broom and brush handles, chess pieces and piano keys.

This spring, plant a holly somewhere on your property. The ornamental qualities will delight you and you will have branches to bring inside each December.

Take photos of the holly adorned Christmas decorations which are part of your particular “decking the halls” tradition. If you have an heirloom piece, please tell us something about it.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Link your challenge results using the Linky below.

Monday, 2 December 2013

The month of December

December in the UK can be either quite miserable with very short dark days or bright sunny and cold days but getting dark early.

Find out more about December here.

I love this site that lists all the bizarre celebrations for each month.  Here is December's list.  What is a noodle ring?  National Noodle Ring Day.    Or what about National Bicarbonate of Soda Day?  I think we should all join in with Look on the bright side day!

This year Advent started on December 1st.  Find out more here.

Our Flower of the Month is Holly.

There are many Christmas related songs but I really love this one.

A poem for December
The Journey of the Magi by T S Eliot

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The was deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter."
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires gong out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty, and charging high prices.:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we lead all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

Here are some extra items on Pinterest: Advent    Christmas     Christmas Tags

And just for fun: an origami Christmas Tree

Here's your December checklist.

Art Challenge
Make a page inspired by the information or inspiration you have found here.  Don't forget to share it with us.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Introduction to the Season

Winter is upon us in the northern hemisphere and we only have 3 months left of 12 Months in View.

There are so many Winter songs so I picked one that I like!

And especially for February (the masks and costumes are from the Venice Carnival)

Find out more about Winter from Wikipedia 

Colour Scheme
For this season we have two colour schemes.  For December we have red, green and gold and for January and February we have blue, white and silver.

A winter theme
The theme for the next 3 months is Christmas & New Beginnings.

A winter poem
Winter by Walter de la Mare
Clouded with snow
The cold winds blow,
And shrill on leafless bough
The robin with its burning breast
Alone sings now.

The rayless sun,
Day's journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Unearthly white.

Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon.

Quotes and Bible Verses
You can download pdfs from here:  Quotes     Bible Verses

Make a winter related introductory page.

Don't forget to add your page using the linky.

Friday, 29 November 2013

December Calendar

Can you believe it?  Another month has rushed past and it's time to make our December calendar.  If you want to know more about the idea behind the monthly calendar please look on Kate Crane's blog as the whole thing is her idea.

I was inspired by a calendar I saw on Facebook, by Annika Eikenaar, for my December calendar.

I sprayed my pages with 2 colours of red inks and one gold mica spray.  I stamped along the top and down the sides with some Dylusions stamps.   I cut 1 cm. strips from Christmas scrapbook paper and stuck them down.  I stamped the baubles and coloured them with a gold pen.

Here is a close up of the baubles.

 I look forward to seeing what you do for your December calendar.  Don't forget to share your calendar using the linky below.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

November Art Challenge

What media do you own that you haven't used in a while?

For example:
Watercolour crayons?
Wax crayons?
Pan Pastels?
Acrylic Paints?
Scrapbook papers?

Or do you have lots of stamps that you haven't used in a while? Or haven't used at all?

Chose one or both of the above and make a page in your journal.

Don't forget to share what you do using the linky below.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

December - a little bit early.

Do you record the month of December?

I have just found this Debbie Hodge class: Your December Story.  I don't know what it is like but it may interest you.

The two most famous December diaries are Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas and Ali Edwards' December Daily.

And this is the one that I might do: Reverb 2013.  Each day there's a question to answer that is related to events, thoughts and feelings during 2013 rather than a record of December & Christmas activities.

Whatever you choose to do I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Hospitality: Family Reunion

This season Judy is sharing with us her idea for a family party.  For those of you that celebrate Thanksgiving maybe this will give you some ideas. 

We love to get together with family and friends during the fall – the weather here in the south is usually JUST RIGHT – cooler, but not too cool to enjoy being outside in God’s creation.  Back in the summer I began to plan a fall gathering – knowing I wanted to host it in an outdoor setting – some of my extended family [cousins] had been talking for months about getting together, but no one was taking the lead, so I decided, why not? – We reserved a cabin in a nearby town [many of us have moved away from ‘home’ anyway] and sent out the invitation:

I knew a cabin would work if the weather didn’t cooperate – We have a BIG family – my mom had NINE sisters – so we didn’t know how many of the cousins might be able to attend… This cabin provided plenty of indoor and outdoor space. You can see we planned a weekend of it for those who wanted to visit and be together a bit more.

 As the time I got closer I began to make my list to be sure everything was covered – You can see a bit of how my crazy mind works and how I break down the tasks by days, chores, etc.

I set up a nice little welcome spot [thanks to my SWEET  hubs who helps me make my ideas happen] with a hay bale, old suitcase, chalkboard [hint: I did not write on this chalkboard – instead, created the ‘welcome’ on the computer, saved it as a jpeg and had Staples print it as an engineer print, then stuck it on my chalkboard  -- much easier], mums, pumpkins, and a favorite photo of the sisters in a little wooden frame I got at Michaels [for 80% off.]

 I wanted the main table to reflect our family so I scanned some old photos of ‘the sisters’ as we’ve always called them, had them enlarged at Staples [so inexpensive] and put them in frames from the Dollar Tree – I kept the glass in with clear tape, but wanted them to have sort of ‘floating’ look – LOVE that we had beautiful view of the river!

Of course it looked much different once everyone brought their pot-luck dishes to share – We had SO MANY delicious dishes -  chicken and dumplings, pinto beans and cornbread, sausage dressing, collard greens, corn casserole, and of course, bbq pork, and fried chicken – all the southern favorites!

 We also had a little area for coffee / hot chocolate [thanks to my brother and sister-in-law], and tables set up for the deserts and drinks –

Some of us opted to sit around the fire pit while we visited and ate –

And others sat at the picnic tables provided –inside and outside the screened in porch. [It really WAS a great cabin!]

I had a thankful tree [something we’ve always done in one form or another within our immediate family] where everyone was encouraged to write things they were grateful for on leaves [provided] and tape them to the tree – You can see it to the left, on the edge of the porch – It was pretty full by the end of the day – oh, and that’s cotton that I ‘gleaned’ from a harvested field on the way over. [Mama and her sisters often share about how they picked cotton for spending money when they were

I also had a craft for those who wanted to do it – I printed out family quotes and provided wooden slates [re-purposed from old blinds] and modpodge to glue them on.  I think they turned out cute – This one is hanging in one of my cousin’s home already –

Oh, and of course we had had a photo op – LOVE how my sweetie made the frame appear to be floating in the air [the magic of fishing line thrown over a VERY tall tree limb!] And we LOVE technology that allowed relatives vacationing far away to still visit a bit and be a part!

This is a frame that I picked up at a thrift store years ago – I use it often for fun photos – for this gathering I printed out a little sign and taped it in the corner –

We tried to get individual photos of all who attended – but I’m sure we missed a few –

And a note – this was planned months ago [I had to reserve the cabin that far in advance to be sure we had it in the fall] with no thought that our mother wouldn’t be here with us. But my sister, brother, and I decided we wanted to go ahead with it and loved visiting with family and hearing stories about our mother who’d passed away just a few weeks prior. We had a pretty good attendance and realized we don’t do it often enough. – Back in the day many of us gathered almost every Sunday afternoon out at my Mama Moland’s house and we all have sweet memories…

With the holidays coming up – I encourage you to take the time to gather together with family and friends. Do a pot luck and let them share in the preparation - and cherish the moment.

Thank you so much Judy for sharing your ideas and the precious time you spent with your family.

Do share your family parties - Thanksgiving or Christmas - with us by using the linky below.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Creative Date for November

Julia Cameron in The Artists Way suggested the idea of making time for a regular creative date.   This idea is also picked up by Matt Tommey in Unlocking the Heart of the Artist.   You can also find inspiration here: 101 Artist's Date Ideas.

I am suggesting that we should each make time for a creative date each month.  Ideally we will go out.  Go to a local museum, a local art gallery, go for a walk!  Whatever idea you have that will feed your creativity.

However sometimes it's not possible to physically visit those places.  So here's my idea for November.  Visit an online museum.

Do let us know what your favourite parts of the museum are using the linky below.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Technique Challenge

This month's challenge is to play with stencils.  Here's a video to inspire you from Carolyn Dube.

I love Carolyn Dube's style of teaching and if you want to find out more about ways to use your stencils then sign up for Stencil Play.  Visit Carolyn's blog: A Colorful Journey.

Don't forget to link you work using the linky below.

Monday, 11 November 2013


On the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month
We will remember them

For the Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

• For The Fallen was first published in the Times on September 21 1914. Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) wrote it while working at the British Museum, and did not go to the western front until 1916, as a Red Cross orderly. The poem's fourth verse is now used all over the world during services of remembrance, and is inscribed on countless war monuments.

Find out more here: For the Fallen