This week I started to actually alter my book for it's new life as an art journal.

This was a difficult process as I am not very patient and usually work in a number of journals / scraps of paper to avoid having to wait for things to dry. 
I also purchased the mysterious modge podge to help prep some of my pages before painting and abusing them. 
This stuff is cool - like watery PVA that I got quite into layering, mixing with acrylic and using it to blend felt tipped areas.  

I ended up creating quite a bit and I am really happy with the direction my book is heading in. Seeing as we had no actual written prompts this week, I used quotes from the beginning of the times travelers wife as well as thinking about my book and it's original story. Under The Greenwood Tree is broken into four sections; winter, spring, summer and autumn. I want to reflect these themes as I progress within the book so for the moment, we are in winter. 

This Book 
- felt tips

I wanted to illustrate the front of the book in a vintage style and I loved the text so kept as it was. I also love how you can see the person who owned this has filled in their name, although I can't make it out. Maybe Cornelius? Which just makes me think of the adviser from Babar. Not that that's a bad thing. 

- watercolour & photoshop

I couldn't quite bring myself to paint or draw over this ornate William - Morris style illustration. The paper is too porous to do anything precise and I think it would just get lost. So I turned to the next best thing - Photoshop. I like the modern, abstract watercolour background and think it works well with the nature themed title of the book.

- ink

My second title page, this one for winter. If nothing else, working in an old book as my journal is forcing me to use less product per page and to also become more decisive. There are only so may pages you can rip out and start again and the book won't hold many layers of paint to hide errors... 

- collage, felt tips, modge podge, washi tape and photoshop

These two pages follow naturally on from one another, finishing the quote "Us, the most fleeting of all"
 I like the mention of fleeting as it reminds me of childhood, seasons and memories. I drew a little J me, fleeting along with the words... 
I used modge podge to smudge the felt tip shading and because I was packing on the layers at this point - had to re-inforce with washi! 
My text was getting a little lost in it all so I overwrote in photoshop to make the quote bold again. 

- felt tip & acrylic

I was inspired by this pin from the Get Messy Pinterest and again, used a quote from the time travelers wife (I am linking this season with the book, as explained in week 1 of this project). I like to think of this as a motivational quote for summer and spring coming out of winter. I really hate winter and every year I try to go into it with more positivity and vitamin D... but I always find myself wishing for the longer days and warmer nights as soon as the first frost hits.

- felt tips, modge podge & acrylic

These words were stuck into the book using a modge-podge / acrylic mix. They look enough on the page when you see them in real life but as I scanned it in, 
I felt it slightly lacking. I decided to cut and paste the words over the top of a felt tip drawing I had done previously. I like the burst of energy and the bold colours that make me want to believe in everything, all over again. 



Last weekend my boyfriend and I spent four days in Lisbon. Or Lisboa, if you're pretending to be a local like me ;) To add to my feeling of localism we stayed in an air bnb (my new obsession, I refuse to even consider hotels now) and our host was adorable. He had a binder with places to go, eat and see during our stay and even made a welcome hamper for us with tea, coffee and breakfast foods. 

Lisbon was a great city for exploring little side streets, the patterned tiles and painted buildings being my number one favourite thing. The amazing views you get from hiking up alongside vintage trams a close second. It was also full of vibrant street art, churches and history. 

I can't explain why, but these were my favourite tiles

The view from the West side of Lisbon. We sat on a bench here drinking beer (him) and mojitos (me)

A lot of the tiles were falling off buildings and had a semi-derlict look about them. These types were the ones i loved the best. 
They seemed like true portuguese heritage sites to me. 


Lisbon was covered in bunting. I don't know if this is a summer thing or a Portuguese thing but I know I liked it. The tram on the right was from a project called 40 years 40 murals and the art covered the tram and the whole street.

A close second on favourite tile design.. 


This was inside a used book store. There was so much stuff, not just books. Photographs, stickers, typewriters, magazines, comics, postcards, bits of tile... 
I went three times because I loved it. It was a little sanctuary from all the hustle and bustle of city life but I didn't buy anything. I wanted to, but I didn't fall in love with anything. This surprised me but I didn't want to come back with a part of someone else's history that I wasn't head over heals about. 


Visiting Carmo Convent was beautiful, serene and fascinating. It was partially destroyed during the earthquake of 1755 and you can look around the ruins and the re constructed parts. It is fascinating to be inside the shell of a striking building and I thought the mirrors that were placed around to help you get the perfect angle were ingenious! There was also a local convent cat who seemed to live there :) 

Sao Cristovao! Again, lots more bunting. maybe there was a festival that I was just unaware of?!

In Sao Cristovao there was a side street here with a kooky little bar where we stopped for a rest and espresso. The walls all around the steps going down were full of graffitti and it was such a haven from the crazy tourist hot-spot of São Jorge castle, where we had just walked up to. I particularly took a shine to this mermaid who I think looks like Katy Perry (my queen). 

A day trip to Sintra. Sintra is about an hour out of city and is full of beautiful old buildings and forest. Very fairytale and I was very excited. However, what no one had mentioned were the absolute hoards of people also there. It was a complete tourist trap and it seemed that if you visited maybe in winter or even late autumn, there would be less people and you might be able to feel the magic from these old buildings but because of all the people and all the popcorn venders (these did make the air smell delicious though) it wasn't special to me. I did fall in love with this old house near the railway station though. Apparently I am not the only one though, because an instagram friend of mine posted an illustration  of it!! 

The view from Sintra, it was beautiful. 

And that was my end of summer holiday done. Now we're home it feels like I've been plunged into autumn and I'm doing my usual thing of trying really really hard to enjoy it. 



It's new season time with get messy! Part of this weeks prompts were to re introduce ourselves so here is a quick Hello page from me to start... 

I am really into this season because it feels more involved than before. Maybe because we'll all be working in altered books as our journals 
(together! community!) or maybe because I've taken a few weeks off from creating and am feeling fresh and inspired and ready to dive back in. 
Either way, I am all levels of excitement. 

This season also fills me with a bit of trepidation because words can be very difficult for me. Dyslexia is only a small part of me and my life but it sometimes can feel like a burden. A world where we communicated in shape, colour and pattern would be my absolute dream but I don't think that will be happening any time soon so I am confronted by confusion and anxiety from words daily. My outlet for all of that is to be creative and that outlet will now be a 6 week programme focused on words. Shock therapy maybe? 

To help myself into this and to make it less daunting, I have decided to put a book into my book. My journal will be a vintage book found in a London charity shop (I currently have three and have yet to decide which one to use) and my inspiration (quotes, extracts, mood, feeling) will come from the time travellers wife. This is one of my favourite books (if you have only seen the film, I implore you to read the book. It is around a million times better, darker and gripping) and part of that is for one of the main characters being an artist. I love the way she is described to be in love with her art, her creations and her mind. Obviously this is an art journal so I will be putting my own personal emotions and stories into the pages but I felt I needed an extra security blanket coming into this season, and I'm making the time travellers wife that for me. 

- photoshop

Quote from the time travellers wife with layers of books, street art and vintage maps behind. 
I like how the map lines look like veins and the rushed, free flow of the words. 

Regular Thursday posting will resume from the 24th September :)  


I feel like we're flying through these seasons right now! 
This is the last week of the season of serenity and it's also the end of summer.. Wahhhhhhhh !

The pages I created this week use supplies from the get messy craft swap that was organised this season. It was the brain child of me and Karen and along with Caylee's help we managed to set up an international craft swap with 39 participants. To say I am proud and amazed by the dedication of this group is a massive understatement. 

For the swap, I actually had two partners, Kate (Russian queen of pattern) and Melody (bold and beautiful crafter) I used most of their ephemera sent to me individually with one token mixed page. 

I also got a bit carried away so there's quite a few images to follow.. 

Collage Me Crazy
- paper, card & spray paint
Melody's Ephemera 

I ripped up and layered a painted piece of card that Melody sent to me. It was painted on each side and stamped on as well so I tried to get a good balance between each of them. I then spray painted through a laser cut tag Melody also sent, to create the dots. i love the random and quick feel of this spread. 
I also love that little heart in the top right corner! <3  

We Are The Wild 
- paper, collage, felt tip, ink, stamps & watercolour
Melody's Ephemera 

I wanted to do something with a forest theme for this entire season and once I had ripped up and collaged the dictionary pages sent by Melody (torn out on the swap page, no less) I tea stained parts and then began my trees. I wanted them to be really layered so started with watercolour, then felt tip and then two more layers of the same. Seeing them now, you can't tell how much layering went into them but they definetly needed it! The quote is from the where the wild things are book and I now have that song from the film stuck in a loop in my head - no bad thing! The yellow bits in the middle are a bit random but I really like them, They make a traditional page a little quirky. 

Gold Leaf
- Card, watercolour & ink 
Melody's Ephemera 

I had this page already painted in blue watercolour just waiting for something to find it's place there. These golden bits of card from Melody I ripped pretty evenly and then stuck down. I chose stripes and leaves as a little practice for my wild things page above !  

Flower Stripe
- tracing paper, collage, ink & washi tape
Kate's Ephemera 

I love a good page with layers! This one has an absolute abundant. Kate sent me so many cool bits of paper that all looked really interesting together so rather than segment them all, I made this first page a collection collage. I then stuck it all down with washi tape. The flowers over top are marker pen on tracing paper and help to pull everything in together. 

- collage, acrylic, ink & pen
Kate's Ephemera 

Over the top of these Russian book pages (SO COOL) I painted and printed with my palms. I was inspired by this image from the get messy Pinterest page. I don't actually own any paint other than white acrylic so have to mix it with ink to create other colours. I was annoyed I couldn't get a darker tone but I think the mystic and magic still comes through.

Stamp Lines
- magazine, washi tape & stamp
Kate's Ephemera 

I ripped up a Russian magazine from Kate and created a collage with washi tape. It looked pretty cool against the brown paper but I thought I could enhance it somehow... I then decided to stamp all over it using an old factory stamp I acquired at work when we closed a site recently. It's such a cool stamp because it's broken and you get rivets and lines across the standard stripes. This might be one of my favorite pages i have created this season ! It's not exactly serene to look at but the act of repeatedly stamping over something most definitely is.,  

Stamp Stitch 
- collage, washi and felt tips
Melody's & Kate's Ephemera 

The main image of flowers was from Melody and the stamps were on the envelope from Kate! 
I love this page, it's so happy and was inspired by this cross stitch I again, found on pinterest. 

That's it for the get messy season of serenity! 
Make sure to check out everyone's pages through the link up on the get messy blog.
I'll be back posting get messy pages for a new season, starting 17th September (so now is a perfect time to join the programme if you're interested...)