Wednesday, 1 August 2018


Yayyy! This week I made ART! Here is what is on my desk today – the results of my labours on Monday.

For the first time in about six weeks I managed to make something in the studio. After finishing the two copies of the Floral Mini-Album about Mum, I wanted to make boxes for them, but only managed to finish the albums before going into hospital in March to have my hernia operation. Mum’s friend, the recipient of one of the albums, told us that at present, she is keeping her album safe in a biscuit tin! We are meeting up with her on Thursday but unfortunately I haven’t had time to finish her box.

On the left of the photo is the mock-up I made of the first box some weeks ago, from mount board and masking tape.

On Monday I got out what was left of the awful paper stack I used to make the album, that I was able to improve so much with lots of ink etc., and selected a few sheets to be used to cover the box. I am so glad I didn’t throw that paper away because it’s amazing the transformation you can bring about with some Distress Inks, Distress Oxides and Infusions, after which it becomes really quite useful!

This is the only one that I photographed with the original unaltered sheet because I had several sheets of this.

Here are the others.

All these 12 x 12 sheets are pretty wrinkled as a result of being so wet – when using Infusions particularly, they need a lot of spritzing with water. However, once they are ironed, they should be much better, and failing that I can leave them under a pile of heavy books for a while.

I haven’t got enough of any one colour to make the two boxes identical, but it doesn’t matter.

I need to get some metal corners and some feet, and possibly some sort of a clasp for the lid, and I need to decide exactly how I am going to embellish them, but they will be something like the front cover of the albums, probably.

I have now resumed uploading the blog posts about the construction of the mini-album after a bit of a break. I am keen to get this completed now, but I’ve been so busy with other things lately that it’s got a bit neglected. You can scroll down to see the latest ones if you are interested.

Also in my studio this week is more chaos, because someone we know who collects and sells old sheet music has recently had a clear-out and has offloaded a box of his rejects onto me as I said I might be able to use some music paper in art. I had no idea there’d be so much.

At the bottom of the box were 6 large volumes of Scottish songs from the 1800s – beautiful books, far too nice to throw away, but I may be able to alter them and use them for art journaling etc., keeping some of the pages unaltered as there are plates of beautiful Scottish scenery and people in Highland dress etc., and the dedication page is to “Her Majesty Queen Victoria.”

I have also got all that wonderful craft stuff a friend gave me a few weeks ago, still not sorted and put away properly. I’ve got far too much stuff in the room and I’m getting a bit swamped at the moment! I need to have a serious blitz and get tidied up a bit.

Following on from a couple of times recently when a book and a memory were restored to me, in amongst all that music was a book of elementary piano pieces for children on a sea theme called “Sea Idylls” which I used to play when I was a child! I just had to keep that. I loved those pieces, and so nice to have a copy again, even if I haven’t got a piano to play them on, and even if I could remember how to play the piano!! (I shall have to get my musical friend to give me lessons…) There seem to be quite a few lovely things from my past, coming back into my life again at the moment.


More fun and games with Lily and Ruby. They’ve both gone off the trolley completely now, and I’ve managed to persuade Ruby that sleeping right outside the bedroom door isn’t a good idea or she risks getting trodden on. At the weekend they discovered the kitty hammock in the sitting room, and once they are in from the garden, this is where they make a bee-line. They snuggle up together so happily in there. There’s a bit more room than on the trolley, and it’s a lot more comfortable (being designed with kitties in mind). They won’t know what’s hit them when winter comes and the heating is on!

See this post for full details and lots of pictures!


As usual, Ruby has something of herself draped over her sister.

Sunday morning:

Love those tails!!

They have NOT enjoyed the sudden change in the weather and I’ve told them that life isn’t all sunshine and butterflies but into each life, a little rain must fall! They are still dashing out when they get the chance but they don’t like the rain.

Lily watching blood and gore, violence and death on TV before the 9 o’clock watershed.


Last weekend I made my best sourdough bread yet. Details in the same post from the other day. Slightly reduced hydration which made the dough a bit easier to handle, but not much!

The texture is still a bit dense but if I increase the hydration again just a bit, I should get some nice glossy holes. This time I did a lot more proper stretching and folding, and this gave the dough more structure and it didn’t collapse when I turned it out onto the baking sheet. The two small loaves rose very well. I shall attempt some more this weekend.

Esmeralda (my sourdough starter) went completely bananas after I’d made the bread and fed her up again. Despite putting her back in the fridge to sleep it off for the week, I found her erupting all over the place when we got back from church on Sunday morning. It looks positively geological, doesn’t it.

She got reduced again and I cleaned out her jar, and since then she’s behaved very well. What I took out has been made into some more crackers (not too successful as I rolled them out too thick, but I’ll do better next time).

On Friday we are going to our friend’s for another Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) meal, for which I’ve offered to make the challah again. This delicious pair of plaited loaves is traditional and always goes down a treat. It’s enriched with egg and is quite sweet, and very soft and scrumptious, perfect served with a sprinkling of salt in the traditional way. We are out for lunch with Mum’s friend on Thursday so I’ve got to fit this in somehow. However, it’s not nearly so critical as sourdough when it comes to proving times so I can safely go out and leave it.


Last Thursday my hubby took me shopping in Totnes, which used to be our nearest shopping town, and full of ethnic and hippie shops which I love – all my favourite sort of clothes! I bought a few more things and told my hubby that I’d better not go back for a while or I won’t have any money left!! We only did the top bit of the town. It’s extremely inaccessible for wheelchairs or buggies because the street is very narrow, with tiny narrow pavements, and the hill is extremely steep, and all the shops have steps and narrow doorways, but it is soooo gorgeous!

In one shop we found a lot of fabulous stuff from Bali, and I simply couldn’t resist buying this trio of little carved and painted wooden cats.

We went into a whole food shop run by an Indian lady and I got chatting with her about kefir because I wondered if she’d like to take my excess kefir grains off my hands. She was very interested and said that several customers had asked if she sold kefir starter kits. I said she could have the grains and I didn’t want anything for them, and arranged that my friend (who came over yesterday) would probably be willing to drop them in for me as she lives just round the corner from there, and she is going to do that for me. While we were in there, another old friend that I don’t see much of these days, came in – so well met! She invited us back to tea at her house after we’d all finished our shopping, and we sat on her patio under the big umbrella, enjoying the sunshine and catching up. It was so nice!

So it’s been another busy week. In between I’ve tried to rest. Yesterday I was fighting off a major headache all day, which was probably brought on by a combination of doing too much, and a change in the weather.

At least I got back in the studio a bit this week.


  1. Those papers look fabulous now- what a difference! I am eagerly awaiting my new distress oxides so will remember my old un-loved papers when they come. LOVE that big pile of music - what treasures in there too. Does look like you'll be busy a while using it all though! Have a great week. Helen #1

  2. I do hope that headache has subsided Shoshi. I love how you changed some fairly hideous papers into things of beauty. Hope you manage to get the boxes completed soon. The sheet music looks fabulous. I would keep the books intact too and alter them in some way; they are too nice to tear up. Have a good week and hope Esmerelda behaves herself better this week. Meow to Lily and Ruby. Sarah #19

  3. Hi Shoshi, wow what a post! So much to see and read. :) Love the transformed paper, great way to use up the not so nice stuff. Lovely album cover, and what a fab selection of music papers, and such an amazing book too. Love the carved cats, good to hear you had a great day out. Have a lovely week, Hugs, Shaz #5 XxX

  4. What a fabulous way to recycle those unused 12 x 12's I really must find my books out and start using them up but i'm in fear of liking them again.
    Glad to see the kitties are now cuddle buddies again, looking forward to seeing how they get on when the radiator is in full use hee hee!!
    Esmeralda obviously was in shock with the recent change in weather, maybe she will behave again when the heat is back on this coming weekend I believe.
    Love those sheet music bits and bobs, you will spend hours looking through them. I bet they smell wonderful.
    Wishing you a wonderful week ahead Shoshi & Happy WOYWW hugs Tracey #3
    P.S Adore the carved kitty trio xx

  5. Wow, what gorgeousness you have given us today - it's a real feast for the eyes, thank you :)
    A very happy WOYWW to you!
    Claire no.6

  6. Your desk looked so inviting I had to enlarge and have a good look! What a transformation on the papers, amazing. Karen 26

  7. Great to see some art Shoshi.. and love inky affect on paper a grand idea.. cute kitties too love tails curled like that! BTW I'm on homeward run wuth your 5/2 diet. It really has worked with my erratic lifestyle. You helped me try it you know!
    It's encouraging how Lord blesses in spite of everything.
    Prayer hugs Shaz in Oz.x #25

  8. Your papers are great and I love the front of the album, so very pretty and I love the vintage envelopes with the sealing wax - just gorgeous. That's one fabulous lot of sheet music - I often pick sheets up from charity shops especially if they have fancy decoration on the front covers - some can be quite spectacular, like that thistle cover - isn't that beautiful, especially in embossed gold too.
    Hope you have a great week, good to see you got some crafting in,
    Diana x #21

  9. What a lovely lot of sheet music you've been given - very useful. Love all your artwork. Thanks for sharing. Hope you have a good day - Hazel, WOYWW #15 x

  10. Wow what a stash of vintage papers! Great score (pardon the pun ;) and your kitties are just soooo adorable! Happy WOYWW xox Cheetarah #30

  11. Totnes is a great town, I love the independent shops there - you were quite restrained in your purchases, the little Balinese cats are lovely. Those sheets you created are fab, the colours are great, the boxes will be really amazing when you've finished them. The kitties' entwined tails are very cute!
    Hugs LLJ 8 xxx

  12. The papers are great and love the colours,Loving the video of the Lily watching the TV
    Happy WOYWDW
    lilian B #13

  13. Hi Shoshi, hope you manage to get the album boxes finished soon. That is certainly a lot of music manuscripts! And I adore the trio of cats. Have a lovely week Heather x #34

  14. That video is fab! And what a great haul with those music books - especially the Scottish ones. The altered papers look amazing so much better for your input. I never think to alter scrapbook papers - I may have to have a play!

    Have a lovely week,
    Carmen x #35

  15. Hi, Shoshi! My goodness, you've had a busy week, indeed! What a great idea to transform the scrapbook papers. {I never think to do that.} They look fantastic! Your boxes for the albums sound like they will be amazing. Can't wait to see your finished products. Your kitties are just adorable! Hope you have a great week ahead. So glad you were able to find some time in your crafty space. Happy WOYWW! Julie {#32}

  16. Happy Belated WOYWW. No wonder you have a headache - you have been so busy. Get some rest now and do some pottering in your craft room! I get so frustrated not being able to keep going all day, every day like I used to. Got so much to do and so much going on in my head, but I just have to accept that I need to rest regularly. Our weather is just comfortable now, and we have a fab Dyson fan in the bedroom (I have it in my craft room on the heat setting when it is cold) if it is too stuffy to sleep. I am into menopause now and started on HRT, which has been helping with the various issues like hot flushes, mood swings etc. I am sleeping better at night most of the time, except when I get woken early by pain flares. However, then I just get up and do some digital crafting in front of the tv, so certainly not wasted time. The cats are so cute sleeping together. Never been to Totnes, but sounds like the sort of place I like. Hubby will have more time away from the farm soon, so perhaps we can get in the campervan for a trip to the South West. Ali x #7

  17. Thanks for visiting, I'm now having some quiet time with the kids back home. WOW loving your pages such great colors. And your 2 kitties are beautiful..Bailey misses his brother so much He loved having the kids here, slept a lot when they left !! Congrats on the music pages. I missed a stack of aged ones at an action no thanks to my DH. But did find some at more $ a few days ago. Enjoy working with it. Have a good weekend.

  18. Morning Shoshi, what a busy lady you have been, those altered pages are amazing, I shall have to rummage in my "ditch it" pile for some of that paper and have a play.
    The kitties are gorgeous, they look so huggable!
    And all that beautiful music, I would struggle to deface it by using it in craft, maybe the song books would be welcomed by an archive somewhere.
    Chris #9

  19. Hi again Shoshi, I had a go last night and my results are nothing like as good as yours.
    Chris #9


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