Saturday 30 June 2012

Moleskine Musings

Hey guys, hope you're having a lovely weekend so for me I'm so totally absorbed in Wimbledon I've got nothing done =( so it's just a passing visit from me before I glue myself back to the tv (a couple of years ago I was there - on the hill, not centre court - for the finals and I fell asleep during Serena v Venus women's final! Now I'm like yelling at the TV and it's not even the quarters yet lol...yep I'm a strange being). I just wanted to show you some entries from this month into my moleskine:
I set myself the challenge to create 30 drawings/paintings in the sketchbook during June, much like I set myself the challenge to make a Journal a Day during June last year...results of which can be seen here. So far it has produced such a varied bag of creations (well I've only today left and a few more drawings to go, 4 or 5, but you know what I mean):
The initial video for this project can be found below in which I also showed the process of creating this page:
I shall do a flip video tomorrow and show you if I made it or not! One things for certain, when you try to fit challenges like this in a busy creative life already you don't half get a fast and furious journaling pace going, which has it's own advantages (a feeling of freedom) and disadvantages (not very skilled resulting pages) and is also probably the reason why it creates such a variety of pages - 'do whatever pop's into your head' says brain 
'errrrm' says I.
'NOW!' says brain
'errr I'm thinking, I'm thinking!' says I.
'No time! No think, get doing, get doing' demands brain
'Ok...ay!' - and off I goes painting a steam boat ?!?!?!??
Fingers crossed that I get my few remaining drawings done, much love xx

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Kelly Watts

Hi guys, week 3 of TAT already whoa!! This week's artist is another art journaler who I have long enjoyed the work of, her style is very distinct and I love her use of shapes & colour in her pages. I hope you enjoy:

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are 
My name is Kelly Watts and I live in Calgary, Alberta with my Husband and two teenage sons. I am a strong Christian and most of my art incorporates my beliefs, but some is just plain fun and girlie. I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil and/or crayons but I would not have classified myself as an actual artist until the past six years or so. My passion is in the process of Art Journaling and creating Art that inspires or brings a smile to people. I have been selling my art for only one year now and have been very blessed to bless others with it. I am self taught and enjoy working with all kinds of different mediums such as copic markers, watercolors, acrylic, chalks, pastels, inks etc. 
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it? 
The biggest challenge I personally face as an artist is in believing that I am talented, that I have something to share, that other people would possibly want to purchase my art work. I overcome it by getting out there, going to art sales and selling my work. Once I get the feedback from other people it feeds my soul. 
What other issues to you overcome to accomplish your art?
Many of my art journaling pages are stemmed from emotional trauma that I have faced in my life, they are personal and they are raw ~ plain and simple, they take a lot out of me. Some days it takes me awhile to recover from what my pages have brought to the surface. I overcome this by turning to God's Word, where my healing comes from. 
What do you love most / least enjoyable about your art?
The things I love most in my art process is the release... after finishing an emotional piece especially; and then when someone else finds healing through my art,or it touches their heart in some way... yes, I love that feeling most of all.
The least enjoyable is when I am trying so hard to work on a piece and it's just not working - I hate that!

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art? 
You can find my art and the meaning behind most of it at my blog at and you can purchase my artwork in my etsy shop at

Thank you Kelly, I can so identify with your biggest challenge of believing that you are talented, but after I did the post/video Telling My Story what I understood is that we are certainly not alone in dealing with this challenge: we all share it, unfortunately it seems to be the curse of artists lol but I also think we can use it like actors use their adrenaline before they hit the stage...we can either use it to make us better, or we can crumble under it and let it take over. Many of you know now I did that for years but I see it as a choice now: a choice of containing it, or letting it contain us. Want to be a featured artist on TAT?? Click the lady on the right, she'll tell you how ;) x

Saturday 23 June 2012

Loosening Up in Your Art Journal

When I was a teenager & into my early twenties whenever I attempted any art I had to give up. The frustration at never being able to achieve what I wanted to, at it never being 'perfect' or at least what it was in my head, left me very discontented and until a few years ago I never understood why. But I understand now, I was trying to get to 10 without learning how to get there through one, two, three... I have never been taught anything about art. Back then I didn't have any art books and the internet didn't exist. I was left very empty, not realising it was because I needed to do art and that I just didn't understand how. Well trained artists may still say I don't know how, but what I understand now is that I don't necessarily need to. Art is not about being trained to be perfect. It is about being creative, being free and being open with yourself. Through the shredding of rigidity I felt up to my mid twenties came an artist, from this artist came Jennibellie and from Jennibellie comes a trick for loosening yourself up too. Here's my latest tutorial, a faux Chinese Brush inspired tutorial. I hope you enjoy

Thursday 21 June 2012

Recycled Tissue Box Journal & a 'Paper Choice & Gesso' Video

Hey guys, I have here my latest little journal:
I made the inside pages entirely out of waste tissue boxes yay!
I was given a challenge many many moons ago now by my online chum Angela (aka BritChickNY) to make a journal out of tissue boxes, and although I recently made this journal out of them I didn't feel like I'd fulfilled the challenge as it wasn't hand bound. Well now it is, and now I feel like I have, and I LOVE all of the patterns and pictures the tissues boxes have given the insides of my new journal. The outside is made of recycled packaging board too, with just some pattern paper to decorate.
 The journal features a little bit in a video I made yesterday too about different paper choices and the necessity (or not) of gessoing. It's a video response to many questions I've been asked lately on what papers I prefer and if I gesso. In the video I discuss & show paper weights from lightweight drawing paper to heavyweight watercolour paper and show examples of wet media art work done of them & then I discuss the requirement of gessoing.
I realise it's a bit of a newbie video and not for everybody but I hope it answers your question if you have asked me one recently on this subject (which I'm trying to get round, along with my substantial inbox so please bear with if you've contacted, but not heard from me yet) Much love, JB xxx

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Pauline Leger

Week 2 of TAT, and here's another artist I'm really excited about (although I've a feeling I may say that every week lol - there's just far too much talent out there!!). This artist is no exception, she is uber talented, but I not only like visiting her blog for her artwork (though obviously a treat in itself) but also for her positivity and wisdom, which shrines through every post. Enjoy.
Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are
My name is Pauline Leger, and I’m a graphic designer by profession and an artist by heart.
Growing up I had parents who supported creativity & as a teenager, I took every art class I could get my hands on. As I became older and it was time for me to choose a career, I quickly realized that art was not a serious option for a profession. Art was just for fun. If I wanted a real job after graduation, the message was loud and clear: become a secretary or a hairdresser. (shoot me now…)
So at 18, I moved to Western Canada and landed my first real job as a secretary – 3000 miles away from home. While I worked at office jobs for years, I continued to make art and I dreamt of having an art job one day. After several years, I came back to the East, and an older friend of mine suggested I look into graphic design as he thought it would be a great fit. And the rest, as they say, is history.
I became an official graphic designer in 1992 and the past few years I have focused my energy on illustrating, painting, writing and journaling. I make art every day. Journaling has become a way for me not only to express myself, but also to understand and interpret the world around me. I began to blog on November 15, 2010 and the creative floodgates opened. I became more comfortable to share my art with the world and became more confident as an artist. Finding such a supportive, creative community out there has meant the world to me. It has literally given me my wings and filled me with such inspiration.
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Overcoming my own fears. (being judged, by myself or others…) Getting out of my own way. (letting the art be expressed, regardless of how comfortable it is or not)
Believing in my own value as an artist in this world, and teaching others (clients, family, friends) that art is a legitimate profession.
Art is a worthy, fulfilling, honest and honorable path in life.
Yeah, baby… =)
What is your heart’s greatest desire for your life as an artist? 
- To communicate with others and make them feel less alone.
- To do this in a way that honors my own heart
- To share my ideas & art with like-minded creative souls
- To attend art and writing retreats all over the world
- To eventually publish a successful book that will inspire others to FOLLOW THEIR HEARTS, despite the naysayers and obstacles.
- Oh, and to make lots of moolah while sharing my gifts with the world. =)
What do you love most about your art? 
I love the process of discovery. Beginning a painting or a journal page without knowing much what it’s going to look like in the end, or even where it’s going. I am also getting better at trusting myself. When I prepare to make art, I put on some good music, often light a candle, sometimes have a glass of wine, and as soon as I sit myself down on my little ergonomic chair, my brain kicks into to “creative mode” and it instinctively knows what to do. Without wanting to sound possessed, I sometimes feel like I’m on autopilot. Time is non-existant when I am in this zone.

There is a quote by Picasso that I love: ART WASHES AWAY FROM THE SOUL THE DUST OF EVERYDAY LIFE. That’s what art does for me. It keeps me sane in this insane world.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
Blog - 
Website - (under construction!)

See what I mean about positive energy?? Thank you so much for your answers Pauline =) that Picasso quote resonates as the role art has on my life also and I wish I could put your 'time is just non-existant' mojo on my clocks lol
If you would like to be a featured artist on Tell All Tuesday then email me @

Saturday 16 June 2012

Rubbish Stencil Tutorial

...or a tutorial where stencils are made from rubbish, whichever way you want to look at it I won't be offended lol  
So since yesterdays post about feeling dissatisfied with lack of creativity I have, today, created! Wahoo! I've done some drawing in my moleskine, painted the covers of my cousins new baby's journal, altered my studio a little and made these:
Well actually I made these last night. They are stencils made by recycling rubbish, and in fact also recycling some of your own artwork. I made these for the requested video below:
Not about amount of creativity for 14 or so hours me thinks, certainly better than the rest of the week. As for the emails....well a chip has been made of the block at least.

Hoping you're having an utterly creative day where you are xx

Friday 15 June 2012

Fighting the Hour Glass

Hey guys, eeh! I've had an incredibly difficult week trying to juggle my online, and actual life lol. Questions, comments and emails have stacked up like no man's business, did someone change all the clocks (everywhere!) and not tell me?? How's it Thursday* already!?

I've not created very much either and I'm left feeling very unsatisfied, I need to create something like NOW. This is one page I did make a few days ago:
And I did do this video on it, so I guess that's where sometime has gone:
I find it so very annoying not having the time I want to create AND go online. It's always a bit of a juggling act but this week I've had hardly any time to do either. It's exactly what Courtney was saying in the last post isn't it?? But unfortunately I don't have the other half and children to blame it on, I've just dropped the soft, squidgy, polystrene-filled rubber balls myself. I'm hoping this weekend will bring some arty-down time and a VERY tall latte to get me through my emails lol, much love guys xx 

*Later Correction: I've just been informed it's Friday, not Thursday, so I conclude...alien abduction is the only explanation to why my head is so far behind!

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Courtney Brook

Hey guys! Eeeeek I'm so excited the first Tell All Tuesday artist interview is here, on my very first blogoversary too wahoo!! Lots of artsy goodness has happened to me over the last year, and I'm hoping it will continue for the next, either way I think these interviews are a great place to start - for us all even, to share the love (...and also the 'dark' side, as someone recently put it to me lol) of being an artist. First up is a lady I feel I have sooooo much in common with and I could drool over her journal pages for hours, she is the lovely mixed media artist Courtney Brook, also known online to us as Little Raven Ink, I hope you enjoy =)
Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are
Well, I'm a little awkard australian Mixed Media Artist, at the age of 28, Mumma to two little brown eyed fuzzy mop-like haired children, I currently live in Sydney after a big move from the country. Such a vast change but certainly a needed one. My art is a touch of this and a dab of that really, I alter books, giving them a new life. My style is what I call, where art and life collide. I don't just draw, I put my life down on a page, with the use of so many mediums, including photographs from my day to day life, in amongst the paint and ink. I feel that I'm a eclectic artist, I don't just stick to one thing, if I see something I like I try it out and apply my style to it. Trying to put the jigsaw puzzle of myself back together ready to see what fits and what doesn't. 
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Time...time is never on my side, in fact I never wear a watch because I know I'd spend what little time I do have, watching the time slip by! Being a mum and a girlfriend, stretches me almost to my limits, I have to continually make the time to art. If I didn't I feel I wouldn't be half the woman I am today. I have learnt not to trust time, and not to take it for granted, or my journals would be a very empty place. We are in charge of what we can and cannot do...and I can..and will make time for art. That is the one promise I make to myself every year, art is what keeps me sane, so I always make sure I have even 30 min blocks of time per day devoted to just opening my journal and making marks, and colours. 
What is your greatest personal achievement either in your art, or because of it?
Art saved my life...there is no insert drama music here, it did. I was an artist at a very young age, and kept journals and sketchbooks, for years and years..until I got married...then it all stopped, as the years went on and the marriage got more and more ugly...I found some of my old journals in a box, it was at that moment, I decided to start drawing again, I went from a greyscale version of myself, to someone with more confidence, more happiness, more intentions. It gave me the courage to walk out on my abusive marriage, and start a new life. I would channel all my frustrations and anger into pages in my journal, day after day, so my personal achievement was leaving my husband, and art gave me the drive and the will to take my two little teacup humans and never look back. I haven't stopped drawing since, and that was almost 3 years ago now. There will never be a moment in my life like the 6 years I was married...I refuse to let it happen again. Art saved my life, and the future of my kids, and I can never thank it enough.
Do you ever lose your mojo, and if so, how do you get it back?
My gosh, the muse to me is like a call girl, comes when she wants gives what she wants, and flounces outta my life within a blink of an eye! So the answer is YES, I lose my mojo all the time, I'm constantly fighting with my sub self to get out of the big black rut. People think Artists are just brimming with ideas and finished works and all that pretty stuff...and some maybe blessed with having all of that...but I am not one of them. I have to work myself stupid to keep inspired. Its a job in itself. How do I get it back, there are many ways. I spend days just taking photos, snapping random moments in my life, even waiting for the bus every afternoon, I take my phone and just snap away. Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms, but it never comes in the shape of a silver platter. It won't be handed to have to chase it with everything you have. I take my big journal with me wherever I go ( my shoulder suffers but hey I do it anyway) I spend 20 mins waiting at my little boy's school and in that time I'm drawing, anything and everything, it may be good it may turn into something bigger...or it may just get covered with gesso and turned into something else, but I am always drawing, tinting, photographing, Everything becomes habit, even art. So on the days when you feel so blah you cant even pick up a pencil...don't..get your camera out and start snapping, one of those photos will spark something in you...or print them out and lay them down in your journal...its all progress, and progress is what scares a rut the most.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
Places you can find me are over at my little art nook or over at the facebook page for Little Raven Ink : you can find my day to day photographs over on instagram :, if you search really hard, you can find me in many places hehe.

Thanks so much for kicking us off with such honest and inspiring answers Courtney! I think we can all relate to something here - the time issues especially, but you manage to make such beautiful art in spite of it which is a lesson to us all =)

If you would like to be a featured artist on Tell All Tuesday then email me @

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Telling My Story

Hi guys, what a week!! Apart from my giddiness at our wonderful Queens Jubilee celebrations I have been truly overwhelmed by the amazing response to the upcoming Tell All Tuesday's I'll be hosting. I already have more than two months worth of interviews returned to me, with many more artists putting their interviews together, so thank you to everyone who has shown an interest, it looks like we're all go!! One thing that got me thinking though is that I received a few emails with an air of 'I want to do this...but I'm not sure if I should/am well known enough/can call myself an artist', which really got me sad because we ALL feel these things, and that is exactly why I am doing these interviews. So, for the first time, I decided to share my story. It is only VERY recently I have had the self belief to call myself an artist, so I know all about these 'gremlins' as I call them and thought that, seeing as I'm asking others to answers questions regarding their stories as artists, I should share my own. So here it is: (note the union jack tee, yep! nothing was not adorned with it this weekend lol)
Again I've been very shocked by the response to this, I uploaded this vid as I went to bed last night & woke up this morning to tons of comments relaying similar stories to my own...because I think in truth no matter who we are or what kind of artist we all have similar struggles with gremlins of various varieties. Therefore I think we can learn a lot from each other so cannot be more excited about these interviews starting on the 12th =)That's all for now folks, happy hump days xx

Friday 1 June 2012

Tell All Tuesday - Requesting Artists

Hey guys, woah! It looks like I've a three reasons for a bloggy celebration, first this my 100th post! Wahoo! Second my bloggy stats things tell me I get a healthy number of visitors everyday & I've gone well over 300 followers! So I've a BIG thank you to say to everyone who reads my blog, whether you let me know it or not, whether you click the follow button or not, I'm truly grateful you think my art and my words are worth your time. And finally we're close to my first blogoversary! Who'd have thought I'd have kept up blogging and learn to love it??? Certainly not the terrified-of-anything-blog-related year ago me that's for sure. 
So this seems a good post to announce that I'm going to be holding weekly artists interviews here on my blog starting next tuesday 12th June, as this week it's Jubilee celebrations here in the UK, but this actually means the first interview will fall directly on the anniversary of my first post (cosmic intervention me thinks!). The aim of Tell All Tuesday's is to go a little deeper into our psyches as artists and reveal who we really are, what we have to deal with and how we overcome any issues to be artists. Here is a little more info:
If this sounds like something you are interested in and would like to be a featured artist please email and I will send you the information. As I not only want people to be comfortable in what they're answering, but also keep the interviews fresh, I have devised a list of questions you can pick from, rather than it just being the same for everyone.

I hope everyone will find this as interesting and as inspiring as I will...what I have realised most in this last year since I have been active in this community is that however much our issues might seem like our own we ALL share them, and we can help each other out. So if you would like to share your work and words please don't feel hesitant about it, your voice IS as important as anyone else's. Much love and have an awesome weekend everyone xx
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