the Deepster's Dizziness

Exploits in art….

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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I’ve been loooooking forward to Christmas for ages, it takes me back to being about 10 again, with my mum and dad.

When I was a child, we used to go to midnight mass on the night of the 24th December at Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon. Sacred Heart Church, WimbledonThis was part of our annual Christmas ritual and, for me, represented the start of Christmas and everything that came with it. I remember the church was always packed, and the service was about an hour and a half too long, with me itching to get home and start opening my presents.

Back at home, my dad always bought a nice, real Christmas tree, and I will always remember the smell of pine and a carpet of green needles from the tree.  Along with our presents we also had a toy house under the tree, which my dad had brought from his time in Paris, and we converted it into the stable from a nativity scene.

As soon as we got home after midnight mass, the next part of the ritual began, ripping open my presents.  Back in the 70s, childhood was a lot simpler and I was lot easier to please.  I remember getting a Girl’s World toy, which was basically a doll’s bust for little girls to practice hair and make-up on (this was long before equalities). My favourite present was the Tiny Tots Family Tree House.  I definitely reckon they should bring that back. Simpler times…..



Fast forward 30 years and my husband and I spent a glorious Christmas Day with my sister Jenny and her family.  My brother in law, Sam, is pastor of his own church – which is quite literally across the road from his house.  We attended the Christmas morning service, sang carols, and generally felt very Christmassy as the rain poured down outside.

Like I used to as a child, they had already opened their presents at midnight.  My husband being the delayed gratification sort made me wait until the afternoon for present opening.  It must be something about the English? We had a fantastic Christmas Dinner that put us all to sleep until the early evening.

And what I really take from this day is the sense of belonging and family, and I hope that wherever you were and whatever you believe you were with family on Christmas Day.

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He is the reason for this season…..









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Happy Birthday and Joyeux Noel


As a birthday present this year, my husband Miles bought me a ticket to take the Eurostar to Paris for the day! Unbeknownst to me, my sister Jenny and her daughter Chloe were also going to come.

So we got a train from St Pancras and before we knew it, we were in La Gare du Nord train station in Gay Pareee! Apart from the fact that it was pouring with rain, and that (as usual) I was as cold as….as a cold person can be. So we went to the Eiffel Tower, closely followed by the Louvre, which is where we had lunch.

I couldn’t get right to the top of the Eiffel Tower because the lift only goes so far. So we were on the second floor – the view was really good but it was pissing with rain so I didn’t spend much time looking at it!

The only thing about the day that wasn’t as wonderful as it should have been, was that between moving from one place to another, we had to call a cab company that had disabled-accessible vehicles. So it meant we waited an hour between each place. Before we knew it, we were rushing back to the Gare du Nord. We missed our train, and only just caught the next train home!

The traffic was really bad and a 1km journey took us an hour and a half.  Everyone was trying to get somewhere – the trains weren’t running because someone had fallen off a train platform, and the roads were jammed.

I will certainly go back to Paris. I want to see the Mona Lisa and other works at the Lourve, and go to the Musee d’Orsay. Miles has already suggested that we go back to Paris in the Spring. But I’m also planning on blackmailing my carer Mary-Ann to go to the Musee d’Orsay with me! We’ll have to wait and see whether she’s feralling some children (she’ll know what I mean!).

Thanks to everyone, especially Miles and Jenny (for the 24hr lipstick! Maybe it’s Maybelline…). And to Chloe for helping me wheel around. She wisely chose not to wear her Frog Onesey.

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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!

Today and last week…


It’s been another good art week for me.

Today, I’ve been getting into the Christmas swing of things with my Anna Griffin card-making sets.  I have about three different Anna Griffin sets, and Edilyn and myself have been putting them to good use.  These sets are great for crafty types (like me) who like the idea of hand-made cards and the convenience of decoupage techniques.  They also make for very memorable Christmas cards for the people we care about.  Normally, I would’ve scanned them in for you to look at, but since one might be winging it’s way to you, I’d better not.

In the last week I have seen my friend Sandra, who returned my SRI- LANKA AB after working in it with her daughter.  You can see their pages here.  I’ve also reconnected with another old friend, Julie, who came over for tea and cupcakes.  She came with her lovely dog, Ezra.  He’s a working dog for  disabled people, and is very adorable.  Funnily enough our cats vanished whilst Ez was busy hoovering up their food and water, and were nowhere to be seen until long after he’d gone!!

Lastly, I have been dipping into more of my art books, which is another post for later this week.  Mostly I’ve been reading up on art journaling, as I am thinking about getting back into that.  There’s some great stuff out there on art journaling, so check out this Pinterest site.  Last week Edilyn had the pleasure (ha-ha) of preparing my art journal by painting the pages with gesso…So you see she is not just a pretty face!  Watch this space to see what I can manage to achieve art journaling wise this week… BYEEEE 😉


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Home at last…! The return of Sri Lanka


I’ve recently had my Sri Lankan Altered Book (AB) returned to me. I haven’t seen it in so long – it was started as a piece of collaborative art in 2006.

Each person in the art group would pick a book from a charity shop or junkshop. They’d choose a theme for it and start to alter the pages, covers, the spine…

Some people will paint, decorate, draw, embroider. Some will fold, tear, or insert pages. They might create pockets and pull-outs. Whatever they do, they’ll in some way be “embellishing” and altering the book.

Once you’ve started an Altered Book, members of the group will take possession of your book for one month, add to it following the theme, then pass it on. If there are twelve people in your group, you won’t get your book back for a year.  If you’re interested in AB’s then have a look at The Humument by Tom Phillips. It’s like the Bible for altered book artists.

I started a book on Sri Lanka, which is where I was born (I moved to London when I was 2 years old). It did the rounds, came back to me, then sat on the bookshelf.

Recently a Sri Lankan friend of mine and her daughter have added to the art in it.  It makes it feel (and smell) all the more authentic because Sandra has used various spices on her page – clove, cardamon, cinnamon and mustard seed. There might also be tea leaves, but I’m not swearing on that.  I’ve worked on several altered books, including a book I made myself. I’ll tell you about them next time.

PS.  Thank you to everyone who worked in my book, especially Sandra and Stephie for completing the book’s journey back to me.  Here’s to the next art session.

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