There is something special about the ability of an illustrated journal to capture the details of our days and these are strange days indeed that need recording. If you make notes in your visual diary now, you will have an account of what this time was like: isolating or working on the front lines; keeping your kids home or keeping connected virtually while you are on your own; what you are watching or reading; privations, resourceful ideas, what you are doing to cope, how you have adjusted your day to day. Anything. Seriously – anything.
(Click on any photo for a larger view.)
My experience in teaching journal keeping tells me that some of you are already off and running while others are overwhelmed by the idea of beginning. If this is you here is what you need to know: you can and should do this, and here are some hacks to get you started, no excuses.
(To read more about what an illustrated journal is go to this earlier post.)
- Use what materials you have on hand. This is not the time to go out buy art supplies so use printer paper or a school notebook, a pencil or [read more]
I recently acquired an amazing volume of Oliver Goldsmith’s A History of the Earth and Animated Nature series. There are six volunes and they tend to be crazy pricey but I have my mind made up and managed to get two of them in my budget. The most recent was volume two and it is full of coloured engravings of birds! With an occasional insect. So without further ado, please feel free to use these images. Click on an image in the gallery to enlarge then right click, copy, then paste it into Paint or Word or whatever program you use to print [read more]
This altered, artist book was created from an early 20th century (English) hymn book.
The pages have been altered with a variety of paper ephemera including:
- Handwritten French and English letters, circa 1840s – 1870s;
- Astonomy lesson, Saturday Magazine, 1838;
- Hand-tinted engraving of English churchyard, 1889;
- Invoice, 1902;
- Vintage bird engravings (black and white), 1912;
- Engraving of vain woman, 1886;
- Blue-tinted woman with turban, 1919;
- Engraving of eggs, 1865;
- Welsh prayer book, 1840s;
- Kangaroo, 1911;
- Frontispiece from prize book, 1921;
- French military cahier page, 1897;
- Swiss envelope and stamp, 1902.
This is a one-of-a-kind work of altered art using a lot of original vintage paper ephemera. It takes many hours to make from preparing the book for embellishing to designing and executing that pages, each one of which is a unique piece of collage.
The cost is £175 with free worldwide shipping. Please let me know if you have any [read more]
This altered book is made from an old, supersincere, morally upstanding book called Gladys or Gwenyth, and it was given as a Sunday School prize in 1921, as can be seen on the original bookplate on the opening endpage. It ties closed with sari silk that I hand-dyed in turneric root. Inside are pages with an array of vintage, paper ephemera including:
Latest altered book. I am really pleased with this. After years of getting it close, this feels like the piece that most looks like the inside of my head and what can I say? Getting creative vision into something real, that I can see and hold, is dreamlike, strange, and [read more]
Here are recent pages, including churches and notes from Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, as well as French churches in Perpignan, the Priory at Serrabone, Elne Cathedral.
To see more sketchbook journal pages of churches, go to:
For more information on some of these lovely Romanesque churches, try:
I am obsessed with old books, old clothes, and boy, am I ever obsessed with old movies. (I met my first husband at a silent movie double feature, so there.) One of my favourite stars ever is Gladys Cooper. She is best known as a renowned character actress in the 1940s at Warner Brothers. She starred opposite Bette Davis in Now Voyager (as the oppressive mother) and in Separate Tables opposite Deborah Kerr (as the oppressive mother). She was also in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca as the really sweet sister to Laurence Olivier. What is less well known is that before all that she was a Great Beauty, when such a thing was a career.
Yesterday I hit the motherlode of Gladys Cooper postcards from her babe period. If you would like to use any of these for crafts or art journals, just right click on an image and click “Control C” then go to Word or Paint or whatever program you use for images and press “Control V.” If anyone would like a larger resolution, please contact me directly and I can send you a larger image. Enjoy!
To read a dishy biography of Ms. Cooper with clips from her films, go [read more]