Prisma, iPhone Apps

I am enjoying playing around with the Prisma app at the moment – I particularly like the Heisenberg filter.

I think the buttons below are a successful filtered image 

It tends it struggle with high contrast images loosing details in the shadows and it coping with really fine detail 


With the succulents below – I had to lighten the original image because the first time I filtered it the result was very dark 

I really like the ‘pencil/line’ effects – it does get a bit samey – I have really enjoyed pushing it – I think the succulent wall, my journal pages grid and the girl work particularly well. The buildings are a bit formulaic. 

However – I think it works very well when I mix it with other apps 

The succulent 

 layered with Imageblender 

Mast reflections 

Layered with  another image of water in image blender 

And then layered again with a window. 

Examples of different filters – original below 

A few more filter effects 



Continuing our stay in California before the son’s wedding – we are in Monterey for the weekend ,staying in a very cute Airbnb on Van Buren.There is an eclectic mix of great textures and details in the furnishings – which I am enjoying very much. 

The last 2 mornings we have been up and out exploring – there are a few older houses and lots of succulents again

Fisherman’s  Wharf and Cannery Row 

There had been a stranding of the little red Crustaceans on the waterline  – apparently scientists are blaming the Elninio effect – “Typically such strandings of these species in large numbers are due to warm water intrusions,” said Linsey Sala, collection manager for the Pelagic Invertebrates Collection at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Birds in the Marina 

We visited a little coffee shop near Cannery Row – ‘Bright Coffee’ only 6/10 ( on the Jonathan tasting scale)  but nice ambience and great stuff for sale- I loved the hand made bowls and jugs  

The host has left us bowls of roses – I am charting their decline

Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco,

I am visiting California for my son’s wedding. Today we went to the Japanese Tea Garden which is situated with in the Golden Gate Park,  San Francisco  The park was a good 30 min walk from our Airbnb in Cole Valley. 

The park was originally commissioned for the Midwinter international Exposition of 1894. The garden consists of twisting paths, ‘tranquil coy ponds and carefully manicured trees’ ( Kristen Malsberger 2014). 

The garden was restored in 1952 after the war. There is a very pretty bridge called ‘Drum Bridge’ which has a dramatic curve to allow boats to pass easily underneath. It’s also called the ‘Moon bridge’ because the arch is reflected in the pool creating an unbroken circle. One of its main purposes is to slow people down during their walk around the gardens 

I had my heart in my mouth whilst my 82 yr old Dad climbed down it 

There is a plaque next to the bridge which tells you a little bit about its history – Shinshichi Nakatani designed and built the bridge. He constructed it  in Japan, dismantled it and brought back to the USA. Halfway through completion, the Midwinter Expo ran out of funds. Shinshichi returned to Japan and sold off personal land to pay for the rest of the project. It took 50yrs for him to save up enough money to by back his land. 

Sacrifice indeed

Detail of a gate

Pagoda (1915) 

Detail from the gate 

Crockery and tea – from our tea tasting – we also had fortune cookies……. 

‘ an alien of some sort will be appearing to you shortly’ 

‘Today is a good time to take some extra relaxation’

My favourite thing to take photos of were the large Coy Carp 

Messing about, mixed media and digital manipulation 

One of the things I like doing  best as a time waster and ‘a lets not do the housework/ cook dinner exercise ‘ is producing mixed media images and then manipulating them in my iPhone Apps 

My favourite go to doodling is pen and ink flowers 

I am working in a letter journal at the moment and the theme is flowers so I reproduced this image and added colour 

I used Gelatoes , babywipes and teal acrylic through a stencil – the pen ran a bit with the baby wipe 

So I needed to work ontop of it a bit more – I wasn’t really satisfied with this either 

So I edited the warmth and saturation in the iPhone photo app

I reflected the image , tried layering and fiddling with the filters in snapseed – but it wasn’t doing what I wanted 

Until I only layered part of the image and made a stronger tonal panel down the middle 

I rotated and reflected it and then zoomed in on a smaller section to get something I liked a lot more – I like the patterns the lighter sections make in contrast – it’s just a shame the resolution isn’t very good. When you manipulate to this level 

Working with stripes – artjournalling 

One of my favourite way of making backgrounds for journal work is using stripes. The Edinburgh Art festival Guide this year is some fab yellow and blue stripes. The paper is matt and fab for doodling all over 

I have so many pieces like this which are my go to relaxation doodling so I decided to rip them up to make backgrounds – I am having  a chill out day and making right mess of my living roomlayering stripes in lots of different altered books that I am preparing 

I wanted to do something bigger than normal so I used a double page spread in an A4 sketch book . I doodles all over the stripes but I didn’t like my design – I have been making split mandalas which work on as small  scale , but the spiral ring down the middle disrupted my flow too much. 

I was a bit disappointed because I had  liked the blue and yellow grids. The fab thing about collage/ mixed media is that you can just keep adding layers until it works 

I persevered adding a pale teal stripe – I wasn’t quite sure about this either but it was a bit different. 

I decided to change up the scale of the foreground with a megaphone – I am feeling a bit sensitive at the moment – the Edinburgh Festival is on and it is very busy and noisey. 

I mixed this up with a large spiral and some text 

I felt it needed a bit more – balancing up with a title , a figure, and some sound marks. I wanted something that was a bit of fun , but represented me now in situ 

Collaborative letter journaling 

I do some collaborative work with a face book Letter journals are small books that are made with 4 pages of light weight paper and a cover 8″x8″stitched down the middle.  When it is folded in half the journal fits in a business envelope. Most of the time I send the journals to Australia or America , because this is where most of the work that is similar to mine is produced. One of the aims of these journals is to have fun and keep the weight down so that they don’t break the bank when posting them internationally – the maximum weight is 50gms – so your journal will need to weigh 20gms or less at the beginning of the swap 

It’s fun to keep the cost down by using lots of cheap easily found art equipment. 

I use different light weight paper to make my pages for example security envelopes , old books , music scores and I recycle things like boarding passes 

Equipment : Colouring pencils, pencils , cheap acrylic paint , postage stamps, stamps, biros, thin black writing pens , sharpies, washi tape, stickers, madgazine and newspaper images, letter and image stencils 

When I send out my journals I go through and add stuff to every page 

Stage 1 

Examples :

Smear  some paint with credit card – add dots of paint 

This image is from a journal worked on with Brenda Lin, Joanne Hughes and Kerry Coleman
Scribble with a colouring pencil or a felt pen

The above image is from a journal with Michelle Hood, Jade Herriman and Natasha Kirby 

Use pages with patterns or textures- e.g old music paper , book pages 

Add images from news papers and magazines 

Add strips of colour or texture from news papers and magazines 

Add children’s stickers 

Colour in or doodle on plain  stickers 

Add stripes with different types of pen- sharpie , biro, pencil , thin black liner 


Cut out words from magazines and newspapers 

Stamp images using commercial stamps

From a page finished by Michelle Hood 

I send my journal off at this stage – usually you finish a double page spread in each journal and sign it. I like to do my final spread at the end, when I receive my journal back. 

Stage 2 

Things that I do to other people’s journals when I receive them 


Top left from a journal worked in with Paula Jeffery 

Add paint using stencils 

Add magazine images and text 

Other things to do – 

Colour in doodles 

From a journal worked in by Kathy Moulton , Darlene Winter and Sue Maher 

Add outlines and layers to people’s images 

Add more collage 

From a journal page finished by Joanne Hughes 

Washi tape – I tend to add washi tape at this stage because it is hard to doodle over the top of with my fine liners – even the permanent ink ones 

Work from a journal worked in by Michelle Hood, Jade Herriman and Natasha Kirby 

Stage 3 

Some finished pages – if everyone had a good go you get back 8 or 9 pages of mixed media fun 

From a couple  of journals worked in by Tess Wyatt ,Michelle Hood, Jade Herriman , Natasha Kirby l,Brenda Lin, Joanne Hughes and Kerry Coleman 

The FB group I work with is run by Jade Herriman 

Loving Letter Journals!

‘Feeding my demons’ 

I am trying to do an art journal therapy course on line with Shelley Klammer – you sign up and get 100 days of prompts via email. Life keeps getting in the way – I am well over the 100 days but still working only working in the 50’s 
I started again this week with day 51 – which encourages you to do an exercise called ‘Feeding your demons’ this has its roots in a Buddhist practice called Chod

Demon 1 

‘The process of feeding our demons is a method for bringing our shadow into consciousness and accessing the treasures it holds rather than repressing it.’

I have been putting off doing any art therapy – I have been going through a bad migraine and irritable bowel patch that has left me tired and unable to eat properly ( again) 

The prompt encourages you to make a shadow or demon journal. I did the exercise and found it liberating, so I did it again – this time it wasn’t as successful and felt that there was still more demons that needed working with 

I like writing stories and making up descriptions of the demons , I have an acute sense of smell and revelled in the making up of the beasties as real entities 

 For example demon 2 

this one is attached to my the back of my neck and its claws and feelers sink into my skin and then it is invisible – it lives off the adrenalin in my blood and cranks up the tension when the limbic flight or fight arises – it feeds of my anxiety too – it’s stomach has a the capacity to bloat up two or three times its size ( I am enjoying this far too much ) then it drops off – but it crawls back on to my neck when I am asleep. He is about 3″ long and he stinks – like rancid milk that has been spilt on a carpet and left to go off………

I felt the need to continue with the exercise 

This time when promoted to imagine my demon I saw a series of large distorted shadows that seemed to be controlled and created by a tiny figure – the exercise requires a meditative state and I was lying quite comfortably on the sofa under a warm duvet – when I realised that the small figure was me 

It seems so obvious that I am my own worst enemy but in my relaxed slightly unconscious state it was a shock. In the exercise you confront your demon, imagine it , ask it a series of questions and then feed it – there is an explanation of the whole process in the above link 

As this is an  art journal therapy exercise I worked on the images in my journal – I didn’t feel like there was enough confronting of self going on so I switched to my iPhone and used some layering and filters in Image blender. 

Added colour with gelatoes 

Layering and filters in Imageblender 


Layers in image blender and then finished in Snapseed – I felt this was nearly there but there wasn’t enough observing self going on lol