The Abortionist’s Daughter

The Abortionist’s Daughter is presented to us as a sort of crime drama, equipped with a full set of murder, drugs, false leads, controversy and stalkers. I did find the plot a little predictable but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

I liked that it is quite different from the forensics-heavy novels that seem to be floating around nowadays. Rather than focusing on the minutia of the crime, Elisabeth Hyde draws us into the life of the victim. Instead of being told from the point of view of a team of investigators the perspective bounces from victim, to police man, to suspect to witness. By concentrating the story on the victim’s daughter (rather than the investigation) Hyde brings family drama to the foreground, which adds complexity to a somewhat exhausted genre. This also helps to make the characters more relatable; not everyone knows what it’s like to lose a parent, but everyone can relate to fighting with one.

I also found it refreshing that we didn’t have a single ‘good’ character (by ‘good’ I mean nice, not well-developed, I though Hyde’s characterization was pretty good, she mostly steered away from the murder mystery stereotypes).

There were a number of controversial issues incorporated into the narrative, and by using very different characters as her mouthpiece Hyde provides us with alternative perspectives, emphasising the subjectivity of life.

I would recommend this book- it’s an easy read and reasonably interesting (if a touch anticlimactic), but if topics such as abortion, murder or sex make you feel quite uncomfortable it might not be for you.


‘Out to Lunch’ Art Challenge – Breaking up space

(For more information, or a reminder of the ‘Out to Lunch’ rules, please click here)

Sometimes creating art can be daunting. My sketchbook pages are A3 sized, and sometimes that much blank paper fills me with dread. When this happens I often divide my page into different shapes and then just draw something inside one of these smaller chunks. It makes the whole task seem much more manageable… So this week I went on the hunt for shapes I could use to break up the miles and miles of white space in my art journal. Here is what I came up with:

I will probably use all of these examples at some point, but this time I chose the coloured tiles as my inspiration, here is what I created:

Using a black gel pen I divided my page into rough squares, I then coloured in the negative space using my AMAZING Papermania Watercolour Markers and dissolved the colour with a wet paintbrush. Because I had this ripple of colour across the page, I felt like I could get away with just using black pen for the sketching. The drawings are details from general household items combined with a bit of doodling (of course!) –  the main question is, can you tell what everything is?

Hope you’re all having a great week so far!

D x

21 Secrets – Frolicaholic (Part 1)

As you know I’m taking part in the ‘21 Secrets’ Workshop hosted by the Dirty Footprints Studio. So this week, I thought I’d share some of my scribblings.

21 Secrets is divided into 21 mini-workshops each run by a different artist, so it’s great variety-wise. The first workshop I’ve taken part in is Frolicaholic (aka Draw Happy 2) by the wonderful Jane Davenport (check out her gorgeous blog  here).

The ideas behind Frolicaholic are:

  • You can choose to be happy.
  • ENJOY the process of drawing.
  • Stop criticizing your own work.
  • Accept your own style.
  • Develop your Frolicaholic symbology (or the images that consistently pop up into your artwork)

This seemed like a great place for me to start as I ALWAYS point out the negative aspects of my own artwork, and I sometimes forget to relish the process of creating art.

The first step was to make our own little journal. I made mine out of pastel paper because of the sherbet-y colours, but that was a mistake. Apparently pastel paper doesn’t hold ink or paint, so everything just seeps through to the other side. That’s why most of my stuff is in pencil.

So here are my first few pages, I hope you enjoy!


Text reads: A Frolicaholic is a person who untangles and expresses emotion through drawing on the positive into their journal, into the words, and into their minds. To put it simply a Frolicaholic is happy.

Text reads:  I choose to be happy. I choose to lead a life filled with love and art and music. If believing is really half the battle then my war is half over. Positivity can only make your world a shinier place. To live, to laugh and to love are all we can ask for. And these will find their way to us through our art, our experiments and our experiences.

Text (around mandala) reads: Just start your art. Make lines, make marks, make patterns, swirls, shapes, doodles and designs. Not everything you create needs to be a masterpiece – as long as you love it, who cares?


Text reads: My Frolicaholic symbols * flowers and leaves * faces with big eyes and wild hair * circles and swirls * hearts, stars and squares * words-quotes and lyrics * mandalas * russian dolls * mythical creatures * totem poles * trees

Text (in petals) reads: luck * chance * fortune * pray

I’ve really enjoyed this class, but I’m really missing my paints and other messy art supplies, so I think I’ll be making myself another Frolicaholic art journal with sturdier paper.

Enjoy your weekend everyone,

D x

P.S. Also linking up to Julie’s AJED post.





‘Out to Lunch’ Art Challenge – Finding Fonts

(For more information, or a reminder of the ‘Out to Lunch’ rules, please click here)

As you may have seen from some of the art journal pages I’ve shared here, I like to incorporate text into my pieces. Sometimes this will be a famous quote, or a song lyric, a word I like, the title of the drawing or a bit of journalling. No matter what I write I like to experiment with different styles of lettering.

This week, this is the image that caught my eye:

And I created this little journal page, as a way of recording the fonts I’d found:

(Quoted from Jack London, available on

I also mimicked the colour combination for future reference as I quite like it, even though I never would have come up with it on my own.

Enjoy your artistic endeavours kiddies!

D x

Northanger Abbey

So I’ve finally finished the first of my set books! It’s weird that it has taken me sooo long, because it’s the smallest of the lot!

I’ve never read anything by Jane Austen before (shock, horror!) despite obsessively watching Sense and Sensibility over and over since I was about seven. I can understand why everyone raves about her, she has this quaint, gentle tone that lends to easy reading. There’s nothing outrageous, nothing shocking.

A couple of slight negatives- it was very predictable. I’d guessed the ending by the time I’d read the first few chapters. Also, there were a couple of characters that were a total pain- simpering, moronic clichés. I do think that is what Ms Austen was aiming for though, so she did a good job.

I’ll go into deeper analysis when I’m actually studying it, but for now I’m moving on to the next book on my list.

Bye for now.

D x

Art Journal Every Day – Soul Armour

Hello! Hello! And Happy Friday to one and all!

Today I’d like to share an art journal page with you, that I made in response to a prompt from Sarah Whitmire’s ‘Soul Journal’ page which asked us to construct our ‘soul armour’. The idea is that we would create a suit of armour and incorporate things we need more of in order to protect ourselves, or the things we want to shield ourselves against.

And this is what came of it:

Creative tool- kit for this page: 1 black Sharpie, 1 black biro, green acrylic paint, grey acrylic paint, scraps of patterned paper (the inside of an envelope that once housed a bank statement, and a piece torn from a magazine page).

I also added a few quotes about strength and fear. These are:

  • Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.  (Theodore Roosevelt) AND
  • Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. (Bertrand Russell)

I hope you’ve all had a great week, and I can’t wait to hop over to Julie’s blog and see what the rest of the AJED-ers have been up to these past few days…

D x

P.S. All quotes came from

‘Out to Lunch’ Art Challenge – Air Hockey

(For more information, or a reminder of the ‘Out to Lunch’ rules, please click here)

This week’s inspiration photo was this:

Apologies for the quality- this was taken on my phone by a moving hand under flickery lights. I was attracted to the eyes. Eyes are one of my absolute favourite things to draw, and I like that these eyes didn’t have a whole face to contend with….

And this is what I made:

This is a bookmark to replace the grubby receipts I usually have stuck between my book pages. I didn’t want to have a plain white back, so I sprayed a little left over paint through a stencil to create:

Nothing too taxing, but fun, quick and pretty! Hope you’re having a great week everyone,

D x