the Deepster's Dizziness

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21 Secrets


Whilst I’m sharing……

I’ve recently discovered 21 Secrets, which brings together 21 of the best and most creative artists and teachers from around the web. There’s something new on there everyday – new techniques covering all aspects of  art from acrylics to water-colours, so check it out.


21 secrets

21 secrets

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Just thought you artsters should check out the uber talented artist, Effy Wild.  She has a new online workshop on the more spiritual side of art journalling, called Moonshine.













To quote Effy, Moonshine is a “seasonally driven spiritual painting programme that will enfold you in the stories, power, and beauty of the feminine divine. Moonshine runs in quarterly sessions” and starts on 1 May.

She’s the kindest, most generous and open soul so go check her out.   Go on – now!

I can’t wait to start, how about you?

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Well… better late than never I suppose …


Hope  you enjoyed  loads and even more loads of  scrummy chocolate Easter eggs, unless of course,  you are diabetic like yours truly.  Hope you had  a wonderful Easter and, I guess the phrase would be a “jubilant resurrection”.

The last 6 weeks have been a little quiet on the art front – I’ve taken on three new carers and there’s been the usual settling in period.  You’ll be pleased to know I’ve still been learning as much as I can about all types of mixed media art, and I can’t wait to get started on new techniques once my new carers are ready for some ART!

I’ve finished my calendar spreads for February and March, for the Art Journalling Calendar Challenge with Kate Crane.  Two different carers helped me with these – Mary Ann for February and Theresa for March.  The February one looks quite spring-like and full of green hope.

feb 2013 spread

February 2013 calendar spread

The March calendar spread is based on Easter (eggs) and themes of hope, new life and the Resurrection.  Little did I know it would be the coldest winter for 50 years.

march 2013 spread

March 2013 calendar spread

I’m now just making a start on April’s calendar spread.  Rather optimistically it’s got a Spring theme of green fields and yellow daffodils.  In this never-ending winter of our discontent perhaps I should’ve done snow and ice.

I’ll write again when I’ve got more work to show you.


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Stealing my dreams


I got the idea for this spread from a reading in the United Christian Broadcasters’ booklet ‘Word for Today’, which on the 5th, 6th and 7th of February were about ‘Living Fearlessly’.

When you’re training an elephant, you control it by controlling its thinking. You put a rope around the elephant’s leg, nail it to the ground, and it learns that it can’t go any further than that. Even once the elephant has grown up, and is strong enough to break the rope and escape, it thinks it can’t so it doesn’t try.

The booklet describes how the elephant’s fear can prevent it from breaking free.  Perhaps subconsciously that’s how I feel.

I’m afraid of failing in my artwork.  If I’m afraid of failing in my artwork, it can prevent me from actually trying.

Live Fearlessly

Live Fearlessly

I don’t always value my art, and feel over-awed when people say nice things about stuff I’ve done.

I’m still not in love with the four canvases I did last year, inspired by the seasons.

When I did a course in collage at the Mary Ward Centre, I did a piece of work that took me forever. People really raved about it, but in my mind I was just thinking they were talking pants.  Even now, when I think back to that stuff, there’s nothing about it that I remember.

When I did art at the Marie Curie, there is nothing now that stands out to me about what I did. I can’t recall anything.

Maybe that’s just me.  My carer Mary-Ann says that I’m mean to myself in a way that I’d never dream of being mean about anyone else. Or their work, or their talent. I don’t feel like I have any talent.

There are some things I did craft-wise that I can say- “ooh, that’s good, I’m really pleased with that. That was a really good idea.”

I’ve always separated ‘craft’ from ‘art’. I never thought of myself as ‘artistic’, I still don’t. I can’t do art by myself. The only reason I can do these journal spreads is because my carers are my ‘hands’.  Maybe that’s why I don’t value the work I’ve done.

In this ‘fearless’ spread, there’s something about the composition that I’m not happy with.  But it did satisfy me that I did it all in blue. People have said that if I paint all in blue, does it mean I’m really sad? No, not consciously. But maybe I need to speak to my therapist about that!

When I think about this spread, I think about how I got to where I am now. When I was a teenager, I wanted to train in journalism. But I got kicked out of college for not going to lectures. Then I got kicked out of the house. When I got kicked out of the house, I went to live with Sam and Jenny, and got into youth work. I did it for 18 years, got a degree in Informal and Community Education, but then I couldn’t do it anymore because the MS had developed.

MS steals things.  It stops me from achieving the things I used to be able to do independently. But if it wasn’t for the MS, I wouldn’t have got involved with art or craft in the first place.

I can do these art projects, but only with help and support.  I need to remember that that doesn’t make my art any less valuable, or any less personal.

I should grab the opportunities for art by the horns.

I need to complete the various programmes that I’ve signed up for and prove to myself that I can do this.

The people around me see me as an artist. Maybe I need to embrace that, despite the fear.

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Art Journalling Calendar Challenge 2013


I’ve only just discovered Kate Crane‘s wonderful Art Journalling Calendar Challenge. She is an inspirational teacher and has done some great Youtube videos and DVDs, so check her out.

I missed January’s challenge, but with my carer/art therapist Mary-Ann, we’ve just finished a calendar spread for February, and I’m rather pleased with it, even if I do say so myself.

February 2013 calendar spread

February 2013 calendar spread for Art Journalling Calendar spread

I don’t know where the idea for a background of green hills and blue skies came from – it all looks very sunny and optimistic, given we’re just out of January snow and into the biting cold of February.

Anyway, it’s a slight contrast from my previous piece which was an angry red spread on getting through Tough Days and believing in better things to come. I’ll post that soon.

Husband did  a nice job, for an art baby, with the Nicolson’s Peerless Transparent Watercolours on the green hills.  The sun is a Dylusions ink spray, a Christmas gift from that nice Paula Watkins (thank you!). I’m very happy with its also impressionist look and colour. Stencil patterns down both side are Dylusions stencils c/o Art from the Heart.  The castle is from some scrapbook papers I’ve had lurking around for a few years, from a set called Once Upon a Time I ended up using on my wedding album (some 8 years after we got married). The tufts of grass are sheets foam cut by QuickKutz.  The calendar squares are punched card stock from the archive.

It was a labour of love that took us the best part of two days to complete, all to a soundtrack of old skool 80s music.  I think it must be the Carrie Diaries that has got me back into the 80s, and now I’m passing on my wisdom to Mary-Ann about what real music is.  She’s still finding out about the Communards and Bronski Beat…. I mean, come on people, it’s 1986, so Don’t Leave Me This Way!







Tough days come and go…


For the last few days I’ve been working on a multi-day spread (MDS). It’s an idea from Book of Days with Effy Wild.

The title of my spread was ‘Tough Days come and go, Tough People STAY’. I used Reeves acrylic paints for the background,  stamped the words TOUGH and STAY in paint and metallic ink, and used printed lettering for ‘days come and go’ and ‘tough people’.  Tim Holtz distress ink pads aged some papers, and Golden’s metallic bronze glaze coloured others.

I used text from Romeo and Juliet, the scene where Juliet’s body has been discovered. I used scrapbook papers for two days of my MDS, written by my carer.  Another carer helped me write an entry about how I’ve been feeling and the effects of that.

I don’t know where I got the quote, ‘Tough days come and go, Tough People stay’.

Tough Days come and go, Tough People STAY

Tough Days come and go, Tough People STAY

I must have read it or seen it somewhere recently, but I don’t know where. What was in my head, was that life is TOUGH. When the days are tough, that’s when you need the people around you to be tougher.  To stay with you. Keep at it with you.


Books of Life and Days


I’ve recently started on two new art projects for 2013 – Life Book 2013 and Book of Days.

The Life Book is an annual thing started by Tamara over at Willowing, and the idea is to journal your life over the course of a year, to reflect on what’s happening and heal thyself through art.  Through the year we get guidance from star mixed media artists on different techniques, with everyone sharing their Life Books.

The first “warm-up” exercise was to create a Fairy Art Mother who will look over us and guide us through our year in art.  Today I finished my own Fairy Art Mother, my first page in my Life Book.

Fairy Art Mother for Life Book 2013

Fairy Art Mother for Life Book 2013















It has a 3D effect and features a bunch of old materials fished out of my art stash, long forgotten and buried at the back of a cupboard.  The background was done using watercolour pencils.  Some of you will notice the top quote is borrowed from a Tracy Emin print, which my husband bought for me, and now hangs on my wall for inspiration.  I’m also inspired by my carer Mary-Ann, who provided the hands and encouragement to keep me going every time I wanted to quit.  I’m told I say that about every piece of art I do, so that’s why the messages in this piece are as they are.


Book of Days:

I’ve also started a project called Book of Days with Effy at Wild Soul Arts.  It’s a little bit similar to the Life Book idea, and like Willowing they have a lovely, supportive community of artists and teachers, and so far I’ve mostly been watching and learning from the video tutorials Effy has posted.  Now my first Life Book page is done I think I can now start planning my first Book of Days page.



Back to my Sri Lanka AB


Last month I talked about the return of my Sri Lanka altered book, a project that started life back in 2006.  Most recently the book has been with two lovely Sri Lankans from church, my friend Sandie and her daughter, Stephie.

They visited me last Friday for a day of artiness.  We kicked my husband out into the streets and turned the lounge into a craft workshop.  Mazza was on hand to orchestrate the madness, helping me with some journal pages.  Sandie and Stephie finished their altered book pages, and you can now see the finished works below.

Stephie’s page now features the Sri Lanka lion aka the Ceylon Lion, which has come to symbolise the independence of modern Sri Lanka.  As you can see she’s a very talented artist, even more so than me! The Singhalese script translates as “Sri Lanka”.  Yes, I am a native, and no I can’t read the script because I grew up in the UK, so I know only a few naughty words picked up here and there.

sri lanka lion small

Sandie’s pages show a sea-scene of spice trading boats and a lighthouse.  Sri Lanka was also known as the Spice Island.  She’s also very talented and you can see where Stephie gets her artiness from.

Sandie AB pages

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Artist’s Journal


I’ve just started my first ever Artist’s Journal. And whoo hoo! I’m well under way with my first spread.

I’ve done the visual bit of the spread and now I have to actually do some writing. I was thinking of maybe using some of the poetry I wrote eons ago, between the ages of 17/18 and 25.  Much of it is angst-filled, but there you go. I remember those times in my life.

I’m planning on scanning the pages, printing them and adding them to my journal as part of a mixed-media collage.

I’m gonna choose which pages to scan right now.

In preparation for the big day

In preparation for the big day

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Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat. And I’m gearing up to do some big journaling in 2013…


Since I last posted, which was oh so long ago now, Christmas has definitely arrived at the flat!

My hubby has certainly decked the halls, although not with boughs of holly. He’s done a great job, although I can’t help thinking that he doesn’t really like doing Christmas decorations. He would have ended up decorating on the 24th! Ha ha…

And my carer Edilyn has wrapped some of the Christmas presents I’ve bought for other people. Some presents haven’t arrived yet (boo hiss), but the ones that have are all wrapped. I must say Edilyn has done a skilful job! When I wrap something, I just roll it in paper and tape it round the present!

Meanwhile, I’ve been on Willowing’s website looking at the blogs and stuff. It must have been ages since I last looked at it. I believe Tam now has two sproglets – so Tam, congratulations!!

And I’ve signed up to the Life Book 2013 mixed-media year-long art class! It’s going to be taught by 22 different teachers, and you get video tutorials and downloads every month. I think the plan is to make two journal pages a month and then bind them at the end of the year to make a big LIFE BOOK.

life book 2013

Life Book 2013 with Willowing


She also does a bunch of free courses, so head over to Willowing and sign up for one now.

I’m still reading a load of books about journaling and stuff.

Earlier today I was trying to work out the best way to sell my Quickutz Squeeze, but haven’t come up with anything over-exciting yet.

I’ve realised I can use all my Quickutz dies in my Cuttlebug machine, so I can pass the Quickutz machine to someone else, but still use all the dies. There are how-to videos on youtube.  Maybe some of the Quickutz images will end up in my Life Book…

The first class is on 1st January – I can’t wait. Hopefully you won’t have to wait til this time next year to see some of the artwork I’ve done!

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