Nanojoumo update and bits…

Well the altered books class is going super well, so many people have joined and it is so exciting to see what people are doing.  I am learning about recording and making videos and I am really enjoying the experience.

Nanojoumo is still on and I am working on it each day and am really loving the down time and space it is giving me working in my journal.  And while I have so much going on, it really has been a sanity saver as I process things in the pages.

And I have a migraine.  I haven”t had one for so long, and for the last month I have had a pretty low level headache all the time and not been sleeping, and then for the past week it has gotten a bit worse, but there have been some personal family things going on as well, so I thought it was just stress really.  Combined with a bit of teary pms moments and some other blah, and then yesterday.  Wham.  The pain stepped up a level and all my other migraine symptoms stepped up so I had lights and nausea and dizziness and vampire-itis as any light hurt my eyes…and I retired to bed.  And trying not to move.  And it made sense because I had felt a bit off all week, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  And I just received a call to tell me about the death of an acquaintance, a very fit healthy acquaintance, not old, with a youngish family acquaintance.  And so now I am also feeling a bit shell shocked as well.

And this morning, I am shaky and not well.  Still.  So I am writing this post.  Posting my photos.  Because I have been meaning to, but got caught up in personal family stuff and editing and making videos and this post has sat around long enough, and it is haunting me.  And the longer I leave it, the bigger the update post will be!  And then I am going to lie down and try not to move.  So I can get better.  Because I have videos and editing to do as well, and I feel like this down time is going to put me behind everything I have going on at the moment.

So here are my Nanojoumo photos…with some explanation for those that find it interesting! :)

Nanojoumo #7

The buildings up the top came last…and were painted with Twinkling H20s which I have been trying to use more, the rest was a bit of smushing and writing with ink.

Nanojoumo #8

Some pages have a lot of writing, others not so much.  This did have writing for me, and things going through my head, these prompts this years have been good for sorting out things in my head and crystalising what is in there.  And I love that elephant!  And the colours.

Nanojoumo #9

This page was a bit messy to start with, though the writing came very easily.  It was nice to stop and reflect and then write down whatever came to mind.  I didn’t want to put a face there, but I saw her, bold and with no hair, and I was going to put hair on her, but I had this very strong feeling to leave her as is.  So I listened.

Nanojoumo #10

This page is really hard to get a good photo of. It was fun playing with patterns.  And this was going to get covered up with paint, but I decided not to.  I like the roughness.  And I love writing with sumi ink and a bamboo skewer!

Nanojoumo #11

I had an old frame I had made a couple of years ago for another journal that I ended up not using and it hung around so I chopped it up for this page.  And I used my homemade alcohol ink and I I decided to leave this page quite simple as well with all the embellishments, I didn’t want to do too much else.  In person it looks quite vintagey-pretty.

Nanojoumo #12

These girls were painted during Manon Visser‘s FREE live class that can be accessed over here.  The one on the left is using chalk pastels, and the one on the right prismacolours.  It was the first time I had used chalk pastels and I really love the look of them.  More playing will be had…


Nanojoumo #13


This page, right down the bottom, you can see a part of the marmite label poking through from the previous page.  It seemed somewhat appropriate to the message of the page about letting go of attachments, to rip some of the clean book pages off the page.  I think I made a mistake, and the page makes me a little annoyed that I did that, which is the perfect sign that I did have an attachment to that page.

Nanojoumo #14

This page had a whole lot of writing in white pen.  The flowers were kept simple with my Neocolours, but this question clearly sparked something and some of the things I wrote actually surprised me, and has given me much pause to think.

Nanojoumo #15

This whole page was kept simple, I used some of my home made graffiti paper that I have punched stars out of, and there is pink acrylics, and necolours and twinkling h20’s.  I person there is more depth than can be seen in this photo.  But I could not get a good photo of this page!

Nanojoumo #16

This is one of my favourite photos of my beloved and the children, thought it was taken a few years ago now.  I remember where they were and where I was, and it was such a nice intimate family moment, that belied that 10 minutes earlier my daughter hot and dusty and tired had lost the plot completely outside our tent while we were camping.  As we calmed her, and she calmed down her father sat down with her and her brother came up and we all just kind of sunk down.  I always see such love in this photo.  And because it has my beloved in it, who has no real online presence, with no facebook account or anything else, I did offer to put a post-it note over his devilishly rugged handsome face (which I scratched by accident on the photo), however he gave me permission to post freely!  :)

Nanojoumo #17

This page was hard for me, I don’t normally plaster my photos all over the page, but it seemed somewhat appropriate to use at least one photo for this prompt.  And what you can also see is that I have taken a lot of stupid photos of myself with photobooth.  :)  I printed out a stack of them this year to use in my journal, but have only used a couple so I selected a few that were calling to me and used them, and I like how this page came out.  It sums me up reasonably well as of this moment in time.

Nanojoumo #18

I love the scarecrow that I sketched out with my stabilo pencil.  The journaling on the page is all mixed up and in a strange order, because when I started writing I thought I would only write in one panel.  Turns out I had a lot that needed to be said!  :)  What art journaling gives me really is sometimes a therapists couch.  If I am feeling a little off or out of sorts but can’t quite work out why, I can investigate and generally find out the real cause of any discontent.  And sometimes it turns out my head is the one suffering and telling myself stories and I need the space to see those stories for what they are!  :)

Nanojoumo #19

I am not a doodler, so this page was really hard for me.  When I am scribbling on the backs of envelopes and on the margins it is portraits or facial features or flowers or stars or spirals that I draw.  But in no coherent fashion, and I always block myself by thinking that doodling has to look like some great zentangled masterpiece, so in this one I just started a drawing with a face where I didn’t lift the pen, and then I went back in with other details and even while I was working on the first face I put the word doodle into the middle of the hair.  I don’t know that this is necessarily proper doodling, but is there even such a thing as proper doodling??  But it is what I did and I am happy with it.  I did think about adding colour, but I like the black and white feel of the page.

And that is as far as my photos have gone, so I will get the other pages photographed soon, and upload my next lot of progress…but a whole lot earlier, because this has been a mission post and I really need to lie down.


BIG announcements

Wow.  This birthday month of mine has seen me living my word of the year, much more than at any other time this year.


Putting my blog out there.  On my personal facebook page where my family can see it.


Making the commitment to do what it takes to be a thriving artist.


Making my first vlog.


Collaborating on an ONLINE CLASS.


And yet that is what is happening.  In this month as my birthday fast approaches I am putting on my big girl pants and getting brave.

So BIG announcement.

FREE, yes FREE Book Altering class over at

There will be two lessons a week from both myself and Amy.

And it will all be free.

We are hoping people will spread the word and the class will be a creative juicy hive of community and learning and sharing.  Where everyone has access.


Huge exciting.

My first online class.

And despite the price tag, the value of this class is amazing.

Because we want people to get inspired and creative and to not have to worry about cost.

We will be altering books together.  Little treasure troves of inspiration.

So sign up.

It opens tomorrow….

Amy already has free live classes each week that are usually recorded.  You can find out about them here, and why she is holding them.  Read the post, because it gets to the essence of who Amy is and why I think she is so freaking incredible.

And guest teachers are coming on board as well…like Manon Visser this Friday (or Saturday if you live in New Zealand :))

Here is Manon’s information about the class.

FREE is taking on.  Free and VALUABLE, no strings attached FREE.

This is a world I am happy to be a part of.

Come join us.




Nanojoumo Days one to six…

This year I am doing Nanojoumo in my handbound journal (!).

just before I started I was thinking about this book I had when I was younger called (I think) “The Lettering Book”.  I am not even sure you can still get it, but I loved it.  Loved it too death until all the spiral binding fell apart.  I remember I saw this older girl with it the first time and I wanted it, and when I got it from Father Christmas I was beside myself happy.  And so I was thinking about this book and when Nanojoumo started I thought I would concentrate a bit more on my lettering, so there has been more emphasis than I necessarily would on lettering styles, but it has been fun.

Since I have a day ahead of Dawn (who is facilitating Nanojoumo) the first day of November was promptless, but on the other days I have followed the prompts.  It has been such a good practice for me.  I am so busy at the moment, or I feel busy and it is quite grounding to just play, and write and take some time out for me.  You can see some days I felt a need to write more than others, but it has been so useful to my stress levels to make sure a page is done each day.

Here are my first six days (with close up detail shots…be warned :))

Day one:

NaNoJouMo Day 1

Day two:

NaNoJouMo Day 2

Day two close ups:

Day three:

NaNoJouMo Day three

Day three close ups

Day Four:

NaNoJouMo Day four

Day Four close ups:

And look what appeared all by itself so I outlined it, and it seemed appropriate it appeared on the Hopes page!  :)

Day five:

NaNoJouMo Day five

Day five close up:

Day six:

NaNoJouMo Day six

Day six close up: