Friday, 23 June 2017

New project

I've been enjoying watching Jake Parker's videos on Youtube recently. I did the Inktober challenge last year and enjoyed and was stretched by that, so delved into some more inspiration. One of the videos was about drawing 100 of something, just to push yourself. As I am not sketching, and as I had a journal of the right size, I decided I would do 50 art journal reflections on the heart. I shall be posting them every Friday both here on the blog and on my instagram feed. (You'll be able to find them under #50reflectionsontheheart)

This is the first page based on the sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Weeds or seedlings?

You can't always tell if a seedling is a weed at first.

When a seed first germinates, it either produces one leaf or two, depending on the type of plant. Those first leaves look very similar on lots of plants, making it difficult to know whether a seedling is a weed or not.

By the time a seedling produces its next lot of leaves, they look like the ones on the mature plant and it's much easier to tell whether the seed is one you planted or if it is an interloper.

When something new germinates in your life, you can't always tell whether it is going to be useful or not. Is it a weed that will need pulling, or is it a plant that will produce fruit?

Sometimes you have to give it a little time.

Monday, 19 June 2017


The green and white marks on this page - made with a stencil - made me think of alligator skin. I feel that if I run my fingers over them, they will be rough. Where those marks go over the heart, it made me think about how not to let your heart become rough like that. How do you keep your heart soft and tender?

Widen your heart. Be expansive. Be open. Be accepting. Be loving.

Be loved.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Cutting back

This background went through stages where I loved it, then added more and had 'ruined' it. Once the tape went on, I just had to extend those nice neat leaves. So I pulled out my winkpen (a refillable fountain pen with a glass nib) and loosely drew in some more leaves.

Now I loved the page again. Those little straggly leaves just reminded me of the way plants get 'leggy' in the summer. A bit of sunshine and they take off. But not all of that growth is useful. To increase fruitfulness, some of those straggly ends need pruning back to benefit the whole plant.

Sometimes we end up with too much on our plate. Some things need to be cut back to make room for others to blossom and bear fruit.

What are you cutting back this season?

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


If it's not knitting up correctly, you have to unravel it and start again. 

Just as with knitting, so there are some things in life that you have to backtrack on. It's annoying to have to unpick the work you've just done, to discard the effort you've put in and start again. But in the end, you do a better job by going back to the beginning and doing it right. 

The effort is not wasted. You have learned how not to do something, which is just as important. 

Monday, 12 June 2017


Branch out - make sure you have many strings to your bow.

There have been times where I wished I was incredibly good in one area of creativity. I know some really talented people, at the top of their fields. I'm not in their league. Instead, I'm a Jack (or Jill) of all trades - art journalling is my main love, but I do bookbinding, knitting, crochet, jewellery-making, patchwork, batik, dressmaking, and anything else I feel like turning my hand to. Making shoes is on my bucket list 😊

I started out doing oil paintings on roof slates. We lived in a place where most of the roofs were made of slate and there were often slates lying in the street after windy nights. Here's one of those slates that hangs in my studio. It's called Passion and is from the early 1990s:

Anyway, one day I heard God telling me to stop painting.


I questioned whether I had heard correctly - I had - and then, with a heavy heart, did as I was told.

Fast forward 20 years and I can see that my obedience has been blessed. When I stopped painting, I branched out into other areas of creativity and now have many more strings to my bow. I tried lots of different things and eventually most of them came together in art journalling as a daily means of prayer, Bible study, and contemplation. Over the years painting has been restored to me and my skill has increased. This August will see me exhibit at SALA - the South Australian Living Artists Festival.  (Still can't quite believe it!)

When I did this journal page I saw the branching, a bunch of strings, and a plant. It reminded me of how far I have come and how it wouldn't have happened without my obedience all those years ago. It didn't make sense to me at the time, and it was really hard to do, but God is good, and He knows what He's doing. He returned what I gave up in spades.

Friday, 9 June 2017


You have to know what you're aiming at if you want to hit the target. If you're aiming at nothing, you'll definitely hit it!

Being in a liminal phase means you can stop, take stock, and set new targets. Once you know where you want to be, you can head in the right direction.

Sharing with Art Journal Journey as their theme this month is 'circles'. How could I resist? 😊

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Wall or door?

Once the piece of red gelliprint went on to this page, I could only see it as a wall. But it didn't go all the way across the page, so what else did the page need? That set me thinking.

Differing opinions should not be walls between us when they can be doors to new ways of thinking if we keep an open mind and a humble heart that is ready to grow and learn and consider.

We will always meet people who have different opinions from our own. We can choose how to react to them. Will you have a mind like a wall or like a door? When we put up walls, we close ourselves off to certain people. No, we are never going to agree on everything, but isolating ourselves from people who think differently from us can make us stagnant. It is those who have differing opinions who can cause us to grow if we are open to try to see things from their perspective. It doesn't mean we will end up agreeing in the end, but sometimes we may grow into a new way of thinking.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Never stop dreaming


We all need something to hope towards; something to stretch us and keep us hungry.

What's your dream?

Friday, 2 June 2017

Waiting vs. Knowing

Waiting can be harder than knowing.

A heap of prayers to all of you out there who are waiting on results or a decision. Sometimes knowing the result - even if it isn't what you want - is much easier to cope with than the waiting and not knowing.