During my creative retreat over the festive period, I took the chance to get out a half finished project from 2013 and try to resolve it.


I find altered art quite a challenge – I have a huge respect for books and try to keep mine in good condition, deliberately making marks on text or images requires a deep breath and slightly hysterical laughter! I made a conscious effort to overcome this with pages that have now come together in this and a companion book.


To make it easier, I went round the January sales in 2013 and got calenders and diaries and some coffee table style books from remainder shops, knowing that if unsold,

DSC_0041they would be going to the pulping mills… so whatever I did would surely not be as bad as that?!

Even so, it was hard, but I was pleased with some of the pages but couldn’t find a way to resolve them into a finished object. Coming across the quotes I put into Letraset [funky fonts, apologies to the dyslexics, this post is going to be really teeth grindingly annoying for you…] I decided

DSC_0052to cut and paste and collage again to make something that had more of my input.



The final touches are yet to be done, even though I have stitched the cover on [laughter from the back is allowed!] as it was only when I really looked at the album in order that the central theme became clear to me, the making space/finding peace. Lots of the images are about meditation, holy places, altars, temples… and lots of the quotes are about personal growth and finding our way to simplicity, happiness, serenity. So I will now do an extra page to paste or stitch in, and use my stamps and punches to make some more space/peace links…

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea” is from Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen and I used this a lot on my allotment to get great veg out of stress at home, thus linking it neatly to the advice from E.F.Schumacher [Small is Beautiful, Good Work etc] “The art of living is to turn a bad thing into a good thing”. The two quotes with no author are by me:



Each step in the garden brings back peace

The seed knows its purpose is to make seed: it does not owe you leaf or fruit

– more wisdom from my allotment 😉


I’m going to look at a new flat tomorrow, a ground floor one and hope I get it, having the energy for a container garden I can nip out to would be lovely. The stairs here are getting too much and the downstairs neighbours have taken the garden in a  ‘white vanman’ direction of beer, bbqs and destruction of the lovely permaculture woodland edge I was creating… very depressing and I’d rather just start again somewhere new. I find gardening very healing for my agoraphobia and of course being out in sunshine is good for mood, and getting your hands in soil too…It would be great to have a new garden space to play with.


So all who read this, feel free to cross your fingers or light candles for me to find a home and garden that suit me, the fibromyalgia and my persnicketty puss, who HATES change…