2012 as a blogger

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views. In 2012, there were 57 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 559 posts. There were 129 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 190 MB. That’s about 2 pictures per week. The busiest day of the year was June 10th with 177 views. The most popular post that day was New home office / art room.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2012.

Visitors came from 98 countries in all! Most visitors came from The United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom were not far behind.

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Crusade #45 – back to back

Michelle’s challenge this month over the GPP Street Team site was to make colour copies of the backgrounds we scraped together last month, and finish them a few different ways. Today was a rare day for me; aside from the washing, there was *nothing* I needed to do. No paperwork, no artwork due, no anything!

So, I did a pile of colour copies, grabbed some supplies and ripped into it. I used stencils, Sharpies, transparencies, foam stamps, bubble wrap stamping, hand writing, collage, stickers. With some of the pages I then re-scanned and added text in Photoshop.

All up, I did around 20 pages. Here are a few that I particularly like (I’m showing a couple of the original backgrounds too). In some of them not all of the writing is visible. This is because some of them became like journal pages as I worked and the messages on them feel reasonably personal given that I’m quite introverted. If you can read it all, go for it. If you can’t, never mind!

As always, thanks so much for the inspiration Michelle. If you enjoy looking at these, you’ll find links to other artists who are playing this month on the left hand side of the GPP Street Team home page. And if you want to join in – cool! Can’t wait to see what you create 🙂


background 1



background 2



I value diversity



My guarded heart



Valued tools



Painted hands






My hands...


Crusade #44: In a scrape

Michelle’s challenge for the month over at the GPP Street Team site was to put away pour paint brushes, grab an old credit card, and get scraping. This idea really suits how I work so my answer to the challenge was “heck yes!”. I keep any old library cards people hand back in, so always have a supply of cards on hand for using in my art. All the following are done with an old library card; some have stamping on top, others have oil pastel and are wrapped with crinkled freezer wrap for texture. This has made me feel quite inspired and ready to get into some serious paintings; thanks so much Michelle – you really do rock.

Crusade #43: Text Messaging

Michelle’s challenge for the month over at the GPP Street Team site was to use found text in a page. As always, I was keen to have a go – the Crusades are a good way of trying out new ideas, and being reminded of old ideas you haven’t used in a while. Sort of like digging into the bottom of the tool box…

As many of you will now, I have a busy life. My pages reflects my desire to be more organised so that I have more creative time, and more time with Tony. These are both goals that came out of our trip to Dubai and Italy. The steps I’ve taken so far have helped, but there’s a long way to go yet. So, here’s my Crusade entry for the month, which is a page in my art journal:

Crusade #42: Strip Ease

It’s not long since I completed the last Crusade and I was determined to get in early this month. The task for the month really appealed to me; basically, rip some paper or fabric into strips and stick it down. You can read all about it here. I have done two layouts in my newest journal already.

The first is about deforestation and the impact it has on the world. It’s a topic I studied when I did my Post Grad Diploma and something I have remained interested in. I found some pictures of trees being turned into wood chips, and tore some of the picture into strips like the wood chips they were making. Around the edge I have written down all the different paper I use or receive every day, and I am sure there is more to add yet – I used a green Sharpie for the text. The background is Twinkling H2Os over gesso.

The second page is a tribute to all the history we saw while in Italy, the illuminated manuscripts and the amazing buildings. I found photos of some illuminated texts I had saved from a library book that was being deleted. I tore them into strips and overlapped them in a semi-weaving pattern. I was thinking about the way the trip has woven so many of Tony and my different interests together; royalty, religion, history, architecture…

Thanks for the inspiration Michelle. It is always such fun doing a Crusade then checking all the other blogs to see what everyone else has come up with.

Crusade No. 41 – Grid Lock

Most months I try to do Michelle Ward’s Crusade over at the GPP Street Team site. Crusade 41 is entitled Grid Lock – Michelle’s tips include a very cool way of marking out a grid on paper or in your journal. I decided to use this Crusade for a practical purpose. I have started dong a scrapbook of our recent trip to Dubai and Italy; I decided the album would be black and white cardstock only, with a little black and white patterned paper here and there. My favorite scrapbook shop sent me some lovely supplies but I hate cutting into “good” paper – silly I know. So, I have cut a sample of each piece of patterned paper and stuck it in the grids in my visual diary. Now the sheets are not “good” any more and I’ll get on and use them.

If you haven’t been to Michelle’s sites before, why not pop across and have a look? And if you lurk but don’t join in, why not grab some supplies and have a try. Then have a look at all the other entries this month, they’re sure to inspire you. Don’t forget to leave a comment everywhere you visit, you’re sure to make their day 🙂

Crusades: braving the elements

Today I found time to join the Crusades once again. Michelle’s last Crusade is here. The challenge involved making some paper snowflakes. We all made them at primary school so how hard could it be. In my case, quite hard as it tuned out. I seem to be snowflake-challenged. Seriously! I ended up going to a kindy page on the net and following their instructions. That’s my rather embarrassed admission for the day out of the way…

I made 5 snowflakes, following the instructions for 6 year olds, and ironed them flat seeing I had the iron on already. I had gessoed my journal pages right at the start, as Michelle suggested.  I brushed color on let it dry a bit, misted with water and blotted to get a splotchy effect. I dry-brushed colour around and over the snowflakes, overlapping them to get partial images, and then wiped some gesso onto the flakes to mute the colours a bit. Once everything was dry I glued my flakes down on the page.

They’re not my favorite pages ever as they stand, but I want to leave them like this so I can journal over them later. They’re a great beginning though, and that’s very cool. And, as Michelle said it would be, this Crusade was a good reminder of skills we have learnt in the past. So some on, what have you got to lose? Get cutting!

Crusade #35 – what’s your sign?


Over at Michelle’s GPP Crusades blog, this month’s challenge is to document your sign. Michelle says “The signs I’m talking about are images or things that make you think of a loved one”. My instant thought was “I can do that, possibly even without crying”. And I did. Because I needed to write so much I have created my journal page in Word and Photoshop and will be printing it out to glue into my journal as a reminder to myself.  So, come on, why not join the Crusades too, and tell us about your sign? (By the way, documenting my sign turned out to be more imporant than doing something artsy this time. I didn’t even pick up a paintbrush!)

dad show me a sign copy

Come over to the dark side

Michelle’s challenge for the Crusade’s this month was to journal on black. Excellent! I painted a couple of pages in my visual diary and then things got busy…weeks later, I finally got back into it this morning. I did two pages; one is about dragonflies, thinking about their wings and playing with iridescent colors. The other is a “proper” journal page, recording some thoughts on my life with Tony, my husband of 17 plus years.  

tony journal page oct 09

I enjoyed working on a black background, which I suppose should not surprise me, as I often use plain black cardstock as the background in my scrapbooks. I used acrylic paint this time but the surface is a bit too slick – I think next time I’ll use black gesso. dragonfly page

Crusade #33 – back to school


Michelle’s challenge over at the GPP Street Team this month is to learn something new, either in or out of the studio – you can read all about it here. I decided this month I would learn to let go of the results a bit more, and just enjoy the process. In the spirit of going back to school I have been reading about the creative process, about play, and about some new cutting-edge techniques – trying to make my objective an active on. Some of the books I have dipped into have included Nita Leland’s “The new creative artist“, Nancy Reyner’s “Acrylic revolution” and Lisa Cyr’s “Art revolution“.  

Moving on from reading, I have been playing with looser backgrounds as beginnings to works, collage, enhancing digitally then printing and working further on paper. In the image shown here I photographed a chook in amongst some weeds, made a loose background with texture, collaged the photo on, added some old watercolour painting strips on top, scanned and enhanced digitally. Is it a masterpiece? Not at all. Did I let go off the results and just learn through play? Yes.

Thanks Michelle – my “back to school” lesson was one I needed to start (re)learning. chook crop