Wednesday, 30 January 2019


Not much to show for my "Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesdsy" this week as the end of the month usually has me updating my Bullet Journal, 365 Challenge Journal and my end of month household accounts-I am sure you know how it is!

This is my Bullet Journal that I keep for each month.  It has a monthly diary on the left and on the right a To Do list, Next Month list, Longer Term list and  a Habit Tracker (the top right grid) which consists of Weight Watchers (been a Gold Member under target for almost 3 years), 6,000 steps I TRY to do each day, alcohol free days, meditation, sleep and RA symptoms.  Its not a pretty journal but over the past couple of years I have honed it to what works for me, easy to capture and document.

My 'pay the bills' job is keeping me rather busy at the moment and at the end of the day I am mentally and physically knackered (not easy when you are trying to manage Rheumatoid Arthritis) which means I haven't been able to make as many return desk visits in the past couple of weeks (sorry) and I haven't even got my 'Man Bites Dog' cards out this week-so no fortune telling for what oddness may happen this week! 

 I am sure normal service will return soon.

Happy crafting

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Chewing Gum Man

There is an artist in the UK called "The Chewing Gum Man".  To find out all about him search for "Ben Wilson".  He is incredibly talented and paints OVER discarded chewing gum you find on the pavement!

This the Millennium Bridge in London.  It is a well known landmark from the Tate Modern across the Thames.  Thousands must walk across this every day but in today's rush I am not sure how many notice the small things.  

As you cross, walk slowly and look down (the view along the Thames is fabulous but once you have taken that in, look down....and whilst those around you rush these...)

  I am not sure if this refers to the Grenfell tower fire, but love the heart and community logo.

 Love the statement on this one, so personal.

 So many different styles and subject matters.

Love the idea of these and something to keep your eyes peeled for.

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 23 January 2019


Hump day again so that means sharing our desks with "What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday" with the lovely Julia (full details here)

Finally got round to clearing my desk a bit (only so I could measure it to see if the new Tim Holtz glass cutting mat Shaz Silverwolf did a review of recently would fit-it will, just, so may think about getting one!)

On my desk is my urban sketching kit.  In the small "hangover mints" tin is my watercolour kit (full details if you are interested are here), some posca pens (my favourite multisurface pen).  In the black and white pouch are 3 ink pens and my sweat band (that I wear and use to wipe my brushes etc to stop me using my jeans etc)!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are "Convict Drugs Blonde Beauty", once again, no comment, but these cards can come out quite sinister sometimes!

So if you care to bare (your desk) then feel free to pop over to link up at Julia's blog (link above) and join us.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Concrete Collective

 We are very lucky to live in Bristol, it has a great art and independent community whilst being small enough to get across the city and being surrounded by countryside.

Last week we visited the Centrespace gallery, a small but fantastic art space down the smallest of back passages covered in great graffiti and art (quite a few ceramic wall plaques have been added over the years too,if I remember I will blog about them soon).

The had a show so we decided to pop in and have a look.  There were some great graphic pieces, some inspired by New York (which we love having been lucky enough to visit in 2017) AND there was an interactive wall you could use their typewriter, stamps and inks to add a piece of art should you wish, well try and stop me!

This is the piece I did with one of my favourite phrases "When one door it again.  It's a door, that's how they work".  I have painted this phrase on rocks, postcards, cardboard etc so I thought I would use their typewriter to add the phrase (and my details of course).  It only took a few minutes but it was great to take part.

Here it is displayed on the wall.  The one below was from my husband and is a quote from the band "The Clash" (his favourite band) and seems ever more possible in these days of reality 'TV stars' and the such being treated with celebrity status .

If you have local gallery spaces where you live I recommend to visit often they are a mind of creativity and you never know what you may stumble across.


Wednesday, 16 January 2019


Hump day again so that means "What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday" when across the globe we share our desks.  Some clean and tidy, some creative, some (see below) look like a darn good sort out is in order!

On a positive I have some Christmas papers out so that means I have finally started making my cards.  I don't tend to worry so long as I have about 20 (ideally) made by the end of January as that always feels like I have made a good dent in readiness.

Also out are my pens, journal and paints that I use when sketching on the go (see my previous update about the Bristol Urban Sketchers) as I am trying to sort them out as they have gotten into a bit of a mess whilst I was sorting out Christmas presents etc during the past couple of months and January tends to be my quiet month and chance to catch-up.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Girl Stabs Missing Tourist'-no comment!

Are you sharing your desk this week?  Full details on how to join this happy and friendly bunch can be found here, courtesy of our fabulous leader, Julia.

Happy crafting

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Urban Sketchers Bristol meet up

 Last Saturday was the Urban Sketchers Bristol chapter meet up.

We met in the Bristol Museum and I decided to sit in the cafe and sketch using my new travel watercolour kit 

I also decided to try and sketch people, my first person (chap with the top knot on the left) was my first and my favorite, I am not very pleased with the others but am seeing this as something I can learn to develop as I try new techniques etc.

One thing we did find out during the meet up was that the museum does NOT allow you to use anything other than pencil!  Several staff approached some of the group about their watercolours (even though we were all using sealed water pens, the ones that hold a small amount of water in the cartridge and doesn't even flick out of the fiber end) asking them to stop using them.  

Sadly we cannot find this anywhere on their webiste and none of their staff could even point out where this was stated!  I totally understand the issue, but these sealed pens carry no risk of spillage whilst children run around with bottles of juice and they even sell water pistols in the museum shop! 

 Now we know we can ensure that we only bring pencils if we sketch there again, but it is a shame that this was not communicated to the public and I suggest a tad outdated considering most use  water pens.  It would be interesting to know other museums take on this or whether other groups have had any issues?

If you have please let me know?


Wednesday, 9 January 2019


Hump day again, so that must mean "What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday" where we bare our desks across the globe (full details can be found over on the link on the right).

On my desk this week are some off cuts from cards, tags and in the middle a tissue box!  I thought I could use these as toppers for Christmas cards as I try to make about 12-20 cards during January in readiness for christmas whilst I still have the christmas stash out.

Not made any yet but I have the rest of the month (she says not panicking at all!)

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Prez shoots secret fake general'!!!  Well, let's just say that anything is possible!

Happy crafting

Monday, 7 January 2019

De cluttering my sketching kit

 Now, I am sure I am not alone but I tend to carry round in my handbag more than I need!

During 2018 I have tried to pare down what I carry, especially as my RA develops and I find it more difficult to carry heavy bags.  So I thought it was time to try and do the same for my urban sketching kit.  Now, I often just carry a few pens and a few posca's BUT I do like to splash a bit of colour around and I often use my travel watercolour kit so I looked around the web to see if I could get some ideas and boy, there are some GREAT ideas out there.

I saw many people who put art kits in small tins so I thought I would try that.

In CASS Art they had a sale for members so I bought a new travel kit where the colour pans were easily removed (cheaper than buying 9 separately)

Then in poundland I spotted this tin filled with sugar free mints and worked out this was exactly the right size.

So I decided which colours I wanted to include (that research took longer than making it all!) and stuck them in with contact adhesive.

I decided to use 9 colours and in the small space I added a small piece of sponge and cut down a pencil.  The small paint brush that came with the kit fits perfectly in the lid.

So there you have it, a small painting kit that fits not just in my handbag but also in my pocket!!  I am hoping that this will encourage me to paint/sketch more, only time will tell.

Do you have any ideas for lightweight kit, feel free to share.


Saturday, 5 January 2019

Key Holder upcycling

 As Christmas is well and truly over I am safe to post one of my Christmas pressie makes.

My brother and sister-in-law said they would like a key holder so I thought I would try making one rather than buying one.  

Not something I have ever made before but I decided to have a go.

A few years ago I decided to take off my red rubber stamps from their wooded bases in an attempt to save space.  Now the wood was lovely and smooth so too good to throw away so I have had them all stashed away until I can think of something to do with them and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I sanded, gesso'd and stamped a hummingbird and the word "keys" which I embossed then coloured in with posca pens.

When it dried I added a few coats of varnish and bought some key hooks.

I was really pleased how it turned out, not too fiddly just a bit of time for the drying between the layers etc but quite effective and totally personal (sis-in-law loves hummingbirds).

Now I just have about another 40 odd blocks of wood to use up!  Any ideas?

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 2 January 2019


Welcome to the first "What's on Your Workdesk" of 2019.
On my desk is my 365 Challenge Journal for January, I just need to stamp a few snowflakes across the page and it is ready to go. I find it an ideal way to capture a snippet of each day

  I wondered how long I have been doing this so I looked back through my old journals and was amazed to find out I have been doing the 365 challenge since January 2012!  

I find it hard to believe I have been doing this for 7 years!!

There is another thing I have been doing each month for the past year or so and that is the Bullet Journal.  It took me about 6 months to decide on a format that suited me, I tried weekly, pictures and very detailed ones but found a double page spread for the month works best.  I have the daily appts/birthdays/meetings on the left and on the right I have a "To Do" list, "Longer Term" list (for things I doubt I can do this month but need doing eventually, my memory is not great so I find it best to at least capture it somewhere).  On the far rights (all the little boxes) is my "Habit Tracker" for weightwatchers, steps taken, alcohol free days, meditation, sleep and my RA.

Under this is the list for the following month so on this page it is "February Notes" so that I can capture more immediate actions too.

It took me a while to create something that works for me and its not pretty, but it really does work and I have used it to provide data for my rheumatology appointments.

Not on my desk but it does tie in with the theme.  For the past 3 years hubby and I have done a gratitude jar.  I cut up scrap papers and not every day, but fairly regularly we write on a piece of paper something we are grateful for that day.  It could be something funny we heard (joke, compliment or a funny overheard conversation), something nice that happened (a gig, exhibition etc) or just something like it was sunny and we sat in the garden.

It costs nothing and takes only a minute to fill in then on New Years Day hubby and I sit down and go through the tin reading out the lovely memories and setting us in the right mind for the start of the new year.

Each of these "diaries" take only a minute to capture each day, so for 3 minutes a day I get to have  a clear picture of key events, tasks, habits and planning and cost pennies.

Hopefully it is something I will continue doing for a few years to come.

Happy crafting for 2019