Category Archives: Moleskine Exchanges

drawing & a little bling


more glimpses of Spring the last few days, however today it has poured rain.  Buckets of it.  Good for all of those bulbs just emerging from their winter blanket.  I have created the little ornaments above for a Paper Traders bobbin swap being hosted by Connie.  I began them when we were away & kinda got a bit off track with them.  They are embellished with hand dyed vintage lace & trim & modern beaded fringing.  My ‘kitty’ drawing is the next installment in my Japanese Moleskine exchange with Jennifer.  If you’d like to see more of the book – it’s here on my Flickr site.  The butterfly & chrystalis was created by Jenn, signifying the life changes she is going through at the moment.  It’s beautiful in real life.


Alice Wonders


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 He’s my new take on the Japanese accordion fold out book, begun on my art date on my recent trip with the VERY lovely mARTina. Fashioned into a vintage book cover with ‘topiary’ art nouveau styled rose bushes on a red cover, it was begging to become an Alice project.
As you may be aware, I have been part of several Japanese Fold Moleskine exchanges over the last few months and there are two things that I find somewhat limiting. Firstly the size – there is the size there is – and that’s all! (about 6 x 4in) AND the paper is NOT really an artist paper – & ESPECIALLY NOT for mixed media – so it protests & falls limp anytime you even suggest a wet medium to it! BUT, I have to say, I am getting a little hooked on the ‘continuum’ effect of the folds of the paper & so wanted have a go at creating one of my own, and then the chance to put it in a vintage cover sealled the deal!
I have used molding paste to fill in the original title, then alcohol inks & stamping re-inkers to colour it back up –  – I will probably end up making a metal name plate for it and cover it over, as it’s a bit ordinary looking in the flesh . As the original book was quite thick, it meant I have had to make my accordian quite long – so I might be working in it for 10 years – but I have loved Alice all my life and there will always be something to add to it. OF COURSE – a new project would never be complete without a new TOOL to buy (thx AGAIN M!) I have a VERY well stocked studio, although I have managed to some of the more recent ‘must haves’ and try to be selective with my purchases as to whether I will actually get good use out of it (after buying a TOTALLY useless gimmick wide stapler that doesn’t pierce ANYTHING!)…….Having said all that – mARTina introducted (Princess 4’s word) me to a ‘scoring board’ Now all you card makers out there would know about these and already probably have one – but as an altered artist and book artist – I hadn’t heard of it! I scoured far and wide (which was an expensive exercise in itself because I ‘had’ to make purchases all along the way! LOL!) and eventually found my new best friend…………the Martha Stewart Scoring BoardMartha Stewart Scoring Board. mARTina had the ScorePal one, however due to the line spacing, she recommended the MS one – and mARTina – it is MUCH better for book making – I guess for card making it wouldn’t be so much of an issue, but page size has to match the cover when repurposing vintage books – so the 1/8th inch spacing on the MS one is great. Sue has done a comparision of the two if you’d like to read it here. Keeping in mind that IF you are a US reader, the prices may matter – for us Aussies – we pay top dollar regardless of the brand! SO just get the best tool! LOL! The MS one also has a nifty envelope folder that tucks in to the back of the board and the bone folder that comes with it is finer – so your ‘score lines’ are also finer.

(OH – and if you are still reading this on TYPEPAD – please change your link to WORDPRESS have this great feature where you can instantly create a slide show in your post from photos you upload, without having to use a third party tool (slide, piccasa, etc) – SO there are more pics of the book before, during & after on THERE!

at last a little quiet time


Quiet Caverns web Quiet night web
at last some art!  life has been busy with work, study & family and a week quickly turns into a month and a month into a quarter – summer has faded and we are enjoying the mildness of autumn.  Resplendant sunsets, huge skies, mild weather, rain drops that fall like water balloons & leaves that are starting to turn.  And of course, our new little Princess is growing & has already passed her birth weight.   IMG_4047-webIMG_4009-webShe is a precious little love, so treasured by us all. I bathed her this morning and the miracle of new life is still present in her infant cry & her flailing little arms.  Such a wonder – such joy to behold! One of the most precious comments came from our darling Toby when he was introduced to her, sitting with his Daddy (our son) he said – 'Now we are a 4 family daddy!' in a very excited voice!  How special.  Thank God.

we’re all a little mad here!


I am ACHING to see the new Alice in Wonderland movie with the MOST gorgeous Johnny Depp (that thunderous noise is my heart beating!) I have been seeing posters for it everywhere, so when Caroline's Moleskine arrived, bearing an Alice theme, I couldn't help but adding a little Tim Burton into the more traditional mix of Alice illustrations.  

HAVE YOU SEEN THE MOVIE??? What did you think??? Give me the low down………… me or leave a comment and tell me which bits to look out for.  Was it as scary and dark as everyone is saying???

I placement & drawing using pencil first, then later when I could get into the studio, added some gorgeous Golden acrylics for the hair, & cut the bow tie & cup from Basic Grey papers.  The rest has been created using Caran d'ache crayons, watercolour glazes, markers & my trusty ultra black watercolour.  It really was fun – my poor 'Lanes, Alleyways & other Quiet Corners' Moleskine has been sitting there, waiting for my first entry - while I suffered from 'blank canvas fever'……I am back on track now & I can't wait to get started, I'll let you see when I am done.

latest art projects


Juggling plates is my new pass time – some have food on them – others appointments – others family – yet others home duties – although I am still managing to fit art in – the time it takes to photograph/scan it, download & sort pics, upload to the various places I have my art on show & create some sort of narrative or explanation of them has taken a back seat………SO – I am still arting most days, some days only a little art! But I just don't have the time on the computer that I used to have – it's either create art – or sit on the computer & look at the art of others & talk about making art – so as a conscious decision – I have to cut my blogging back to an entry a couple of times a month – & I have set aside some time to upload a little of what I've been doing in the last little while tonight………IMG_2292_resize of course I zzsshuuieeezzzed up my Moly that I showed you last time, adding in some trims & papers, just for a little variety – it's now in Jenn's capable hands & I can't wait to see what she comes up with………..With all my 'plate juggling' drawing seems to be easier to keep up with than collage & mixed media, as I can take it with me.  I have begun my next one, which will be on the way to Rachel shortly – titled 'Lanes, Alleyways & Other Quiet Corners'  I hope for it to be largly in black & white with touches of other can check it out here…….IMG_2896_resize

 I have been creating some 'add ins' for my journals from 3 x 5" index cards using vegetable dyes, inks & bleach – messy – but good fun & well worth doing in batches……………

bleach & ink stamping 
I just COULDN'T resist participating in the Paper Trader's Renaissance Women Gothic Arch swap…I created these by layers and layers of acrylics, wax, & stamping, before I added the images & embellished them with pearls & bling……'s a glimpse of some of my arches & charmsRen women 1_resize (made from up-cycled opp (thrift) shop treasures)   Ren Women 2_resize IMG_2764_resize

I finished off that journal I was telling you about last month & sent it to its new home.if you'd like to see it all – here's the link……& here's a couple of pics to tempt you to look!IMG_1700_resize IMG_1734_resize IMG_1932_resize

A new project


As a further stretching exercise for my drawing skills, I have joined into the Moly-X group and begun swapping Japanese fold out Moleskiene books with other artists.  The process is the same as mixed media projects I have been in, however the art is primarily original work instead of collage.The 'standard' media used is the Moleskine Japanese foldout book which is about 9 x 14cm.  For my first one, I am have the honour of exchanging with the amazingly talented Jennifer Kraska – OMGOOODNESS – how lucky am I?!?!  Jenn & I have been online art buddies for a while & I am excited to be doing this project together. 2 Title Page web

My first Moly-X book (I have already been invited to participate in a second one!) has been Inspired by the singing of Britian's Got Talent superstar – Susan Boyle (I CAN'T believe that YOU haven't heard of her – but there's the link anyway!@) -this Moly takes it's que from the words of 'Memory' from theatre production Cats – while in general I am a 'live performance/ballet/theatre person. I am NOT a cat person, so it was a show I have never given any consideration to seeing.3 Daylight web 
The lyrics of the song have been taken literally, with no particular reference to the production.

you may see an odd stray cat wandering through, or veiled references, but the book is not  either about cat animals OR Cats the show.

LINK TO LYRICS: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>

LINK to CATS performance of Memory: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> (I think this is Elaine Paige)
4 Dew on the Sunflowers web