Wednesday, 7 December 2016

What does forward look like?

Sometimes, to go forward, you need to make a turn.

So what does forward look like right now? Which direction should I go in in this coming year?

Monday, 5 December 2016

Wait peacefully

Here we are in the second week in Advent, and I'm continuing to contemplate what waiting should look like. 

Wait peacefully.

What does that mean? Well, don't be anxious in the waiting. Don't be fretful or worried. Wait in the quiet assurance that all is in hand, that the time will come for action and you'll recognise it when it comes. I know that this is so, because I've been in a waiting room before, and then I was up and down, constantly looking down the track for the train, even though it wasn't near the time for its arrival. This time, I find that I am waiting with much more peace.

This time I remembered to take some shots of the page in progress. I started with collage, gesso, and a bit of spray through a stencil:

A splash of colour applied with a colour-shaper (a 'brush' made of a solid wedge of rubber):

Yellow ink applied with a baby-wipe:

A bit of stencilling:

More collage:

Washi tape and some water-soluble graphite activated with water:

Some stamped leaves:

Leaves filled in with paint and joined with some dark grey paint:

A bit of doodling and some blobs of paint applied with a gelli-plate. And now the page is ready for journalling, as seen above:

Friday, 2 December 2016

Lessons from the jetty

When we were on holiday on Kangaroo Island recently, I took a walk along the jetty early in the morning. Imagine my surprise to see grass growing there, between wooden boards with no soil and many yards out over the ocean.

It set me to thinking.

If grass can grow on a jetty, in those inhospitable conditions, then surely I must be expected to grow even when conditions don't feel optimal to me. There is no excuse to wither and wilt. It is up to me to find sustenance where I can and use everything presented to me to grow. That growth may come slowly, but it will come if I squeeze as much out of life as I can.

I will be sharing this page at Paint Party Friday. Hop on over there to see all the wonderful work that's been created this week.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Being present

I found this gift tag in my stash. It's circular, so of course I was drawn to it :) and it found its way on to this page.

It made me think about the word present. A present can be another name for a gift. But it can also mean at this time or in this place.

We can be a gift to someone by being in this time and this place; by being fully present with them. When we are seen and heard - and recognise it - it can be a great gift. It shows us that we are loved, cared for, respected.

So let's be that for others.

Let's be present, giving of our time to really listen, to encourage, to be alongside.

Let's be a gift to someone today.

Monday, 28 November 2016


Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, the first day of the church's (liturgical) year. Although 'advent' means 'arrival', this is really a season of waiting. The arrival doesn't actually happen until Christmas.

I find that Advent is a contemplative season, like Lent. It is a time for slowing down and thinking about what the season is all about. At a time when the world is speeding up and rushing headlong into a bustling season of presents and parties, I like to slow down and wait with expectation.

This has really been a year of waiting for me. My word for the year has been 'continue', but that has turned out to be very similar to 'wait'. Continuing has been about carrying on; about doing what I have already been doing and not pursuing new stuff. I have taken a couple of opportunities that have come my way, but I haven't looked for them.

And the waiting has been productive. I can see an increased complexity in my journal pages that wasn't there a year ago. I had a big chunk of the year where there weren't many words - if any - but they're starting to come back. Sometimes you have to push on through.

Sometimes you have to wait.

So Advent is about waiting... but with expectation.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Eschewing busy-ness

There are seasons in life that are busy, whether we like it or not. I've just come through a busy month. Busy for me, anyway. Now, I know some people thrive on events, parties, spending time with others.

I'm not one of them.

I know this from experience. I am strongly introverted and contemplative. Yes, I like to spend time with friends, but in small groups. Approaching 50, I have learned some things about myself and what I need to do for self-care, and one of those things is to eschew busy-ness where I can. One event a week is enough for me. I know how to pace myself and generally do it well, but this last month just happened to have more in it than I would have liked. It has taken a week to recover, and I am glad to be back in my journal, pottering in my studio, and having some solitude.

Do you love the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? Or do you know that you need to find breathing space?

I shall be sharing this on Paint Party Friday. Check out all the wonderful work that's been created this week.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Taking a breath

It's been a busy month for me: an exhibition, a holiday, a Christmas Fair. Now I'm taking a very necessary breath before heading on into Christmas. The Christmas Fair especially took a lot of energy and kept me away from my journal for a while.

This is not a good thing!

But now it's done, and I'm able to play again. I'm able to take a breath, find a pool of calm, and gather my resources for the busy-ness of the festive season.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Face practice

A bit of face practice in my journal.
The flowers are a hand-carved stamp.

Check out all the fun at Paint Party Friday!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016


Spots, stripes, and other camouflage - how far will you go to blend in?

We all want to be accepted, loved, known, seen. But do we change ourselves for that to happen? Do we put on masks or camouflage ourselves to fit in? Do we deny parts of ourselves or play them down so that others will accept us?

Thankfully, I have found that as I have aged, I have become more comfortable with myself; learned who I am and to celebrate it. Now in my 40s, I feel good in my own skin (most of time!) and am happy to say no to things that I need to say no to, to embrace who I am, and not to feel that I have to be a certain way to fit in. 

I am loved, and I find peace and security in that love. 

Monday, 14 November 2016

No matter what you do...

It's sad but true: sometimes, no matter what you do, you're wrong!
You can't please everyone all the time.