Friday, May 30, 2008

The Moly has Landed

Actually I had never heard Moleskines called 'Moly's' up until very recently when I joined a Moleskine Exchange. I recently blogged about my own Moly (here and here) for the exchange and my first entries in it.  I posted it off to Alison earlier in the week after a dodgy beginning. Then I just waited for Clare's to arrive for me to draw in.
Well here it is!  While I've  heard others say (well read really) that they look so different in the flesh, well... IT DOES!  It looked good to me in the online shots Clare put up on the Moly_x_25 blog and her Flickr site, but in the flesh! it just looks... well... (I hate to use those often overused words again, but...) absolutely fabulous!!!  It comes in its own little cosy cover and is accompanied with gifts!  What more could a girl ask for? (I won't say anything about the gifts for fear of spoiling the surprise for the next recipients in the exchange.)  

So, here I am.  With it.  Feeling all VERY precious about it.  And wondering what to do.  

It made me think about my own Moly, out there, travelling the world without me for the next 6 months.  I thought about how good it had turned out that I messed it up and had to get completely unprecious about it.  I put sticky notes in it to tell its future artists to write this here, that there etc etc.  I found myself thinking I wish I had put more notes in it, saying in particular, don't follow my rules, don't follow the rules of anything, just plain get into my book. Interact.  Replace. Obliterate. Transform. Get  down and dirty!!! (Maybe not 'obliterate'.)

Once again art brings about surprise.  I do expect art's nice surprises.  But I never expect the elements that end up surprising me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I always loved Snoopy's suppertime dance! Roly does a spectacular suppertime dance. So does every dog.

Meet Buster. He really has some suppertime moves!
Buster is my new Gocco print, my first one using so many screens (4). I loved making this print so much I've decided to do a series of dogs dancing for their supper!
Above is a shot of Buster in progress. And below is the painting I originally did of Buster, acrylic on two canvas panels.

Both are available. 'Suppertime' Gocco print is in my Etsy shop now. Contact me if you are interested in the painting.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Moleskine Exchange page completed

Well I'm ready to send off my moleskine to it's first exchange member.  
I had a spot of bother doing this.  I had planned a completely different picture and added found book pages as a border (see above right).  I sketched the whole drawing and then... eeek! discovered I'd done it on the wrong pages.  I needed to remove as much as I could and go back a page to do my drawing. Lucky a part of moly_x_25 is to allow the drawing to extend onto the next half a page... so mine extends onto the next 3 pages... not much difference there...
So back to a new page I found new ideas were needed.  But I had none.  So I just started working and this is what came out.  It ended up being a tribute to William Morris.  My moleskines theme is Red/Read.  I have lots of books on William Morris which I love to read and look at, so it tied in there.  My man had taken a photo of our new hibiscus and I just love the shape... one thing led to another as they say.  I had a bit of difficulty with the area in the fold peeling back all the time so I solved that with a piece of duct tape.  The silver matches the silver coloured pencil I used.  A bit of white line over the top and I was happy.  I think I will be able to post it off tomorrow.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Spider bite*Cellulitis*Shingles - An Update

I'm still getting hits everyday from people searching either spider bite, cellulitis, shingles, fatigue and even all of them together!  I did suffer from all of these together last year.  I blogged about my experience and what I was doing to assist my recovery.  I'm still amazed at how this is not a rare occurrence!  

So how am I doing?  Very well thank you!  I have learned so much in this 6 months so here is a brief rundown for those who are interested.  The most important thing I learned is that if I had a strong immune system at the time the spider bit me, I would not have ended up with cellulitis or shingles.  I have a mild condition that I live with that has nothing to do with my immune function at all - well that is what I thought!  It seems this condition which comes and goes (I won't go into details, but it really does surprise me that it can have this effect), any chronic condition really, just keeps taxing the immune system.  Throw in a few immune hurdles, it is taxed more, then whammo, get bitten by a spider and there is nothing left to fight it all off.  

I'm told that it will be at least a year of strong supplements and self care before my immune system recovers from that whammo.  Then it will be a further year of the same before I will have built some reserves.  I now feel lucky that I got bitten by that spider and all I got was shingles and cellulitis!  I am pleased I found out before the story got worse.  I am now happy to take medication for my condition.  I've always thought that I 'should' be able to deal with it without resorting to medication, because really, it is not that bad.  I am also happy to take a handful of supplements a couple of times a day too!

So what's working?  I take 2000 - 3000 mg vitamin C, a mega-B, a good quality multi, a liquid mineral supplement, olive leaf extract, fish oil, B5 and a womens herbal blend.  I'm told it's all necessary.  My information has come from my GP, a medical specialist and my Kinesiologist.  I have Kinesiology treatments at least once every month and I find it is invaluable.  It is difficult to describe how, but I am certain it has helped me become physically stronger, and to consolidate and stabilise my improvements.  

So if you found this post by doing a search for those medical problems, let me suggest you ask lots of questions about your immune system and take vitamin C and olive leaf extract as a minimum.  And all the best to you!

I know these pictures don't go with the post, but it would have seemed awfully boring without some images.  So I've included pictures of my latest rebound book.  I LOVE this book.  I know I say that each time - but this one I'm especially proud of.  It IS gorgeous! It would make the perfect European holiday journal with it's title 'Our Hundred Days in Europe' elegantly printed in gold on the spine.  It has a whopping 216 pages - 64 of them original pages from Oliver Wendell Holmes book.  And it is available in my Etsy shop.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I'm participating in a Moleskine exchange with five other artists. I haven't done anything like this before.  How it works is we each get a Japanese fold Moleskine and draw on the first 2 1/2 pages then send it on to the next artist.  They complete the 1/2 page and add their own spread with just a little extending onto the next page for the next artist to complete and so on and so forth.  The inside cover pages of mine have the 'sign-in' page, where each artist writes her details, and the title of my book.  
My theme is Red/Read [both pronounced the same].  I think this will be loose enough to be fun but also still enough of a theme to create a bit of interest.  In keeping with the 'read' part of the theme I made my 'sign-in' page a library card.  It sits it's envelope with the 'Due Date' slip attached.  As we each have a month to work on the book before it is sent on to the next artist, I thought it would be nice to record these dates - library style!

All I have to do now is think of something to draw on my 2 1/2 pages!!!

Check out the moly_x_25 blog!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Goodbye Mr Wells

I always feel a little bit dodgy about self promotion.  But this wonderful book I made has just sold from my Etsy shop, so now I feel OK about saying why I think it is so great!

It's over 80 years old, a copy of HG Wells "A Short History of the World".  Because it has so much character (what 80 year old doesn't!?) I left the endpapers intact when I rebound it. The original owners name and address still appears. For a bit of fun I added a small envelope made from a discarded page and added a Little Shop of Horus card library-card style.

I put some of the original pages, including some maps, back into the book when I rebound it with a mix of watercolour papers.  I added a ribbon page marker.  They are so useful, and it looks so nice matching the cover.

A nice mix of new and old, interesting lists of Mr Wells' other titles were printed.  And someone had carefully hidden a newspaper cutting inside the back cover.  I was careful to make sure it is still kept there - as I'm sure the new owner will too.  

By the way, the new owner agrees with me that these are the perfect journals - this is the second one she's bought from my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A stack of oldies but goodies

A small stack of rebound books waiting to burst into life as travel journals, sketchbooks, ideas books, writers notebooks or... whatever!  I just listed these for sale in The Little Shop of Horus.