Let’s Get Organised!

Well it’s been a rather long time since I blogged – apologies/lucky you depending on how much you like receiving rambles from me!

Unfortunately I’ve been a bit unwell of late, have been in hospital and it’s all resulting in me having a full hysterectomy. Yeah, quite a big deal but I’m assured by dozens of women that it will be the best thing I’ve ever done. I was due to go in on Monday the 9th but this has had to be rescheduled to October now and so I’ve decided to spend this extra time getting organised!

While I can, I thought it best to get straight to work organising my studio.  It is such a mess!!


I’ve not been in there for a while (as it’s been the 6 weeks school holidays) but when I went in there the other day it looked like the mess fairies have been having a whale of a time! They particularly went mad on the glitter, ribbon, glue. I stood with my hands on hips so they would see my disapproving stance and see I mean business this time!

So for this week (and perhaps for the whole month) I am trying to finally get my studio into a state where I can actually create in there again! It’s harder than I thought it would be. It already looks so much worse BUT I know it will be worth it in the end and while I’m recovering I’d like to be able to sit and paint in a calm, environment.

The next challenge will be to maintain it – and to be able to do that “stuff” needs a home. I’m taking photographs throughout this process and will share when it’s all done. Hopefully with some amazing space saving solutions that I’m sure will come to me… some day soon…. 🙂

How many times have you thought of an art project, remembered buying just what you needed but now have no idea where it is, and just buy more??


My Heart is Breaking….Poor Tiny Tubby..

Yesterday was a very sad day. I can’t begin to tell you how heartbroken I am. I felt maybe I was over-reacting but I’m not because 15 small pieces of me died.  Someone threw my artwork away! I’ll tell you the whole story.

A few years ago I created the Tiny Trail. It’s an art trail/treasure hunt for children and I made it when I was involved in the adult art trail, who wanted to get children involved. I came up with this idea of having mini-worlds in the same venues as the artwork so that the children would encourage their adult keepers to see art – even those who wouldn’t even think of it.

I worked my butt off getting 15 scenes made in time for the trail. I had stickers printed, maps made and the children loved it. I was lucky enough to be around at the HQ when a little girl had completed it all and it made my heart sing. I did that. In every scene I put my heart and soul there. I searched the house for tiny things I could use. Some scenes were based all around one single find. This was my treasure hunt too.

I also had recently made a Tshirt for Tubby – my partner Chris Pegley. It is his nickname and one night we were chatting and he said in a Yoda voice…”Mmm Tubby one you are” to which I added, “The waist is large on this one”. It was hilarious. Oh how we laughed, with a bit of wee no doubt. (sorry).  I decided to make him a tshirt (like you do) and designed this graphic..

Tshirt Graphic

And in a true “Traciness lightbulb” moment I decided to make the Tiny Trail “THE ADVENTURES OF TUBBY”. He came round one night to find 15 small cork versions of himself:

Tiny Tubby

Creating the trail in such a small time-frame had, if I’m honest, made me a little insane. You can imagine his face when he turned up to see an army of mini versions of himself on my table. I wanted each scene to have a Tubby. I thought it would add to the wonder for the children.. Perhaps they could meet the real Tubby at an event in the future. It opened up my mind to so many more possibilities for the Trail beyond this one.

I did it. I made 15 scenes by the deadline and took them to their venues and has since travelled to other towns, has entertained both adults and children in the Children’s waiting room of a local community hospital for 6 months, came with me to show some children in a school how to make their own worlds, and was due to be on display once more this July. It has been in storage. I was told it would be safe there and I figured it would be fine there. Life hasn’t been very easy this year and trails are usually in the summer so Tubby was left where he was. I’d made new scenes for one of the trails and when old scenes became a bit worn out I’d recycle pieces I wanted to keep and make a new scene…

So – I’ve been trying to organise collection of the trail pieces so that I can get them ready for this years adventures. It took 3 weeks for them to get back to me only to tell me that “it must’ve been thrown away as it’s not here anymore. All I can do is apologise”. BOOM! Just felt my heart lodge itself in my throat and it’s not really left. I had no idea I would be so upset over little cork people. Silly really but my word did I cry yesterday.

All that work.. no, it’s not even the work… each piece meant so much to me. Tubby and I worked on this together in the end as I ran out of time. He made 2 scenes himself! I made individual pencils for the people in his “cork board meeting”.  I had plans for them all. 3 weeks has gone by where I could’ve been making new scenes. The next trail was the 20th of July but I have to go and have surgery and will be recovering in a week so this one has had to be cancelled.  😦 I’m so very sad.

I’m not going to give up though! I want to recreate it and I need your help. I need to raise some funding to pay for a new Tiny Trail and I wonder if I could ask you for a small donation to help? Art trails have very small budgets and can’t afford to pay for this kind of thing. Even if it’s just a few £s or $s. Please help me recreate the Tiny Trail and bring back Tubby and his friends so that they are able to have more adventures this year.

Thank you! A big thanks also to the women over at Magically Mixed Media – one of the facebook groups I belong to. You were awesome yesterday in supportive grieving! I really hope that I’ll be able to move on from this… it may just be little scenes of silliness to most but it meant so much to me and I put my heart and soul into every single one. It’s such a waste! Luckily I take photographs galore in my life and had plans for this trail beyond using just the physical scenes and I guess this will push me to doing those. Look out for that! For now though here are a couple of those photographs in a tribute to the lost Tubby Adventures. I hope there will be more…. one day.

How To Use “Altered Text” in a Journal Page – (or at least how I did it)

Starting... with somebody else's words..

Starting… with somebody else’s words..

Editing videos always seems like such a mammoth task to me, because it’s something I’ve not really done before. I’ve been putting it off and have video footage sitting waiting, but something else always come up.

Well I decided to just go for it and give it a go. I started with the video introducing the Guinea Pigs and then went straight into this one. I LOVED IT!! It’s just like creating another piece of artwork as you play with it, piece it together and mould it just how you like it. I even contacted Trace Bundy and asked if I could use his music in my videos. I didn’t even think he would reply but because this is what I listen to when I paint – I thought it would be nice for you to hear that too. He did reply – and said yes!! I’m off to see him in September LIVE! Can’t wait.

So… getting off the point really (no change there then – oh shiny thing!) here is my first edited art video. I wanted to show you how to use “Altered Text” in a journal page.. Just in case you don’t know “Altered Text” is where you use either a magazine page, page from a book, photocopy of a page etc… and you then find your own statement within that sheet of paper among the words… instead of you cutting out words and sticking them on in the order and sentiment you want – you have to search and let the page speak to you…

I really hope you enjoy it – and that it inspires you to give it a go! Also let me know what you think.. it’s always good to get some feedback – even if it is just a “HIYA!!!!” – otherwise it’s a bit of a lonely place, (and people think I’m strange when I leave the house because I’ve not had any adult interaction for a while… very strange!) 😀 This page was actually started late at night – then I left it and went to bed. I then had one of those days – one where I think I experience every single emotion all before 12pm. Joy, pride, excitement, sorrow, understanding, empathy, deep sadness, anger, rage then peace. It was a very busy morning. I felt overwhelmed and thought I was going to spiral into despair at the overload… so I picked up my journal and just did. This is the result.  I wasn’t thinking of the art.. just getting out of my own head.

There will be plenty more where this came from! Take care!

Hearts, hugs and giggles..

When an Emotional Warning is Handy.

My Dad popped round to look after Jamie for me last week and with him he brought round a couple of photographs. He’d been sorting out his garage and all of the “stuff” they collected from my Nan and Grandads house when my Nan passed away in 2007.
I had been having a rather tearful day, (Chris said that the wind changing would upset me, and oh how I missed that wind…) thanks to my hormones being all over the place, and I didn’t stop to think what he could be handing me or how it would effect me. We don’t do we? Why would we? Even I was shocked at my reaction to be honest.
He handed me this photograph:

Photograph of Grandad in his Garden next to his Greenhouse in 1983

Photograph of Grandad in his Garden next to his Greenhouse in 1983

I burst into tears the moment I saw it. Even writing this brings back that wave of emotion I felt when I held the handmade frame in my hands and I find myself with tears in my eyes now! I hugged the photograph to my chest and cried.
This photograph is the first I have seen, since he passed away 20 years ago, where he actually looks like the Grandad I remember and loved SO SO SO SO SO SO SO much growing up. This was taken in 1983; I was 9. It shot me back in time for a moment. That greenhouse always meant so much to me, when he was alive and more so once he had died. I would stand in there and soak up the smell and to me he was still with us. It’s amazing really how something made of glass and wood can hold so much of a person. To me it kept him here with me. I would go and visit my Nan (who was always in his shadow), but I’d go and spend time with Grandad in his greenhouse every time. It was special to me. Even if it was empty.
I think that was the hardest thing for me when my Nan finally passed away 14 years after his death. Their home was a council house and would need to go to someone else. The greenhouse and all of his sheds at the back of the garden (including his workshop where he would make amazing creations out of wood), would all be pulled down. The greenhouse was falling apart and wasn’t safe. To me – it meant finally having to say goodbye to my Grandad all over again and this time for real.

So for me I guess this photograph just shot me back there – in that moment of awe and love for a man I looked up to. A man who believed in me. A man who made me feel like the brightest star in the room. He made me feel like I could do absolutely anything and BE anyone. He made me believe (even at that young age) that I was talented, that all I had to do was practice, practice, practice and I would be an artist far greater than he. He made me feel like I had magic!

I did a live show a few weeks ago (probably months now, time seems to go so quickly and I’ve been too ill/distracted to notice) and I talked about working on a page dedicated to my Grandad, because it was 20 years since he passed away. I have a feeling that this might take a lot longer than I thought, and I’m not sure I want to record it because I think (going by the tears that are now streaming down my cheeks) it’s going to be emotional. So I might have to put that one on hold until I feel the urge to do it -and photographs may be better than film (sniffing and blubbering all over it on camera isn’t my idea of fun and I’m sure no one else will enjoy that either…:D).

My Dad also handed me this photograph:

This is (from the left to right) my Nan (Emily Shave), my Grandad (Albert Shave) and his I think sister in Law? Not sure (Doreen is her name anyway). This is taken in Kim Amis’ Studio (who used to call them Auntie and Uncle and is the daughter of Doreen so she is related to me somehow but I’m never entirely sure how). She teaches at the City and Guilds of London Art School. (I always wanted to be like her.. :D) http://www.cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk/staff/sculpture_staff/kim_amis

I love this photograph. The illustration I did of my Grandad for my story “Not a Fairytale” was drawn from memory. I wanted to draw the Grandad I remembered; sitting there as he showed me all of the wonderful “tricks” of our magic. When I saw this photograph I just felt so proud. He is far older, a tiny version of the man he once was, but you can see he is the man I drew from memory, nearly 20 years since his death.


So, all in all I thought that maybe an emotional trigger warning should come with people who visit holding photographs… BUT I do love to get that surge of emotion, to FEEL everything he was to me all over again. And I hope that one day someone will feel the same about me.

Video Blog #2 – Going all “piggy”

Having a rather hilarious time at home alone – thought I’d share…. 😀

Video Blog #1 Moving Day!

I was feeling sorry for myself – moving things back into my studio after having the winter inside because it was too cold in the shed, and I just needed someone to talk to. I was setting up my camera to see how it would work out there and decided to record a video blog:

See you soon!!!
I promise I will do more when I am well! (very frustrated I am still not well but seeing the consultant at the hospital again in a week or so).

Fun Art Challenge

I would love for some of my followers here to have a go at this Fun Silly Challenge I’ve added to our Artsy Fartsy Club group over at facebook.


A piece of plain paper
Some ink pads/finger paints or Wax Crayons
A pen

Draw a silly quick picture that you think will make someone smile! Simple really.

Here is my VERY quick entry – I did the first thing that came into my head. Don’t think about it, or worry about it being right – JUST DO.


Join in, scan or photograph your entry and post it over at : https://www.facebook.com/events/533435583375614/

We have another live show booked for Next Wednesday at 6.30pm EST (11.30pm UK) – Come over to http://www.spreecast.com/users/tracy–41 and follow me there if you like.

What did you draw?

Have fun!