Not so much a retreat as an advance....

I left my desk on Thursday and I got back to my 'nest'  a couple of hours ago ( this is how Lizzie finds out I didn't crash and burn on the M25/M1).

On arriving home I was duly greeted by man and dogs, my purse was immediately raided by eldest son, and the youngest son is still awol... in Leeds -  with new undergrads, gatecrashing freshers week.....it feels like I was never away.

Did I go  on retreat??? nah - far from retreating,  I have been advancing like a demented Celt into 'altered book battle'.  I went to Kent to pull in a Jennie Boxall lesson - altered book class III - and of course to spend time with the lovely Lizzie, unfortunately Jo did not make it, which was a shame, because there was definitely 2 inches of room for her on Lizzie's craft desk.  And Jennie & Co were really looking forward to meeting her.  But never mind,  the remaining five ladies had a splendid time.The course was held at the Artistic Stamper Shop Cafe and Bar AKA 'Mal's Palace',  he makes a mean cup of tea, and (here's a tip) he does a weekly bargain deal,  I got two shimmer mist sprays for £4. I also found out that Mal is a whizz when it comes to photography advice.  In  full command of his domain, any befuddled shopper is swiftly directed to relevant craft items.  A shopping pleasure.

During class itself - I learned new techniques (see examples below) .  I used what I learned to alter the book Jennie gave us using samples taken of her stock, and her precious stash of golden oldie adverts ( London Advertiser 1904) .  We put in zips and buttons and made metal plating,  I also used gesso texturing techniques in both my altered book and in my swap journal.  The  class company was great, I have not laughed so much in ages.  It was a rare treat to have six undisturbed hours to lose ourselves in art and craft.  Ask Jennie about her grandma next time you see her...

Finally - please do watch Jennie's website (and mine!) as we will release new stamps next week ready for the upcoming shows....I can't wait to show you my Salome's Christmas...but I just have to wait for release day....here are the pictures of my work:

artistic stamper background text stamp over gesso and dylusion spray finished with washi tape, silk tape  ribbon and a tim thing.(click on images to enlarge)