Wednesday, 30 July 2014

2 finished pages

So, in the last post I was waiting for words for these two pages. The one above was sitting open on my table and I walked in to the room, saw it, and suddenly knew what I wanted to write. I suddenly saw connections between the circles and there it was.

I thought about how, whenever we've moved house before, it has meant a move to a new city - and last time to the other side of the world - and so a whole round of making new friends. This time we're only moving to the other side of the city. I am so grateful that, although we will be making new connections in our new church, we'll still be able to keep up with our friends easily.

The words for this page came when I became frustrated at the disorganisation of a certain institution. What seems like common sense to me obviously isn't. The page was very busy and seemed to be a bit disorganised. It fit perfectly with what I was feeling.

And a gelli-print I was particularly pleased with, made using large bubble-wrap.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Waiting for words

Sometimes, when I blog about a page, it can look as if it is worked through from beginning to end before another is started. But here are a couple of pages that I'm working on that I just don't have the words for yet.

Sometimes you just need to put down colour and pattern. The busywork of your fingers lets your mind wander, and at the moment my mind needs to sift through things. So the words aren't clear - yet - but backgrounds are ready and waiting.

The page with red circles started out as a gelli-print. I've added stamping, gelli-printed greaseproof paper (that's what those blue concentric circles are above and the black at the right of the photo below), and washi-tape.

The green and yellow page is built up with layers of acrylic paint, water-soluble graphite, gelli-printed greaseproof paper, sequin-waste used as a stencil and a stamp, and splashes of white ink. There's even a little tag in the base layer.

Do you work on multiple pages at once?

Thursday, 24 July 2014

On the threshold

In that awkward space -
standing on the threshold, 
but not quite there yet. 

One foot in each place 
but not wholly in either. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Planting good stuff

I spent a little time this morning clearing weeds from the small bed that runs down the fence-line at the side of the house. This is something I have to do on a regular basis, because there is no deliberate planting in it. I like to grow things I can eat, but because of car fumes I haven't planted anything in that bed.

As I cleared it of the myriad of weeds I thought about how, when we get rid of bad habits, we need to replace them with good ones, rather than leaving a space. If we leave a space, anything can move in. We have to be deliberate about planting something else in the space to keep out the stuff we don't want.  If I planted some flowers in that bed, yes, I would still have to do some weeding, but there would be a lot less of it because there would be less space for things to grow in.

So deliberately plant some flowers in your life to keep out the weeds.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Ending well

With a move to a new home and church coming up, I find my mind chewing over how to end well. Endings are necessary and they need to be done well. So often people fade away. They just stop showing up. And when that happens, we don't get the chance to honour what they have done in our lives. We don't get the chance to say a proper goodbye.

With all the excitement of what we're moving to, it would be easy to fade out of what we are still doing. So I need to remember to stay engaged, to end well.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Summer of Colo(u)r - week 6

The six weeks of Summer of Colour have flown by! The last colour challenge is raspberry, tangerine, and a splash of lemon. It's not too late to join in. Use the badge in the sidebar to see what loveliness has been made in these summery colours. 

The gelli-print I used at the bottom of this page reminded me of fish. Of course, there was bound to be one that was going in the opposite direction from the others, hence the journalling: Always be yourself, even if everyone else is going in the opposite direction.

So, thank you, Kristin, for this little taste of summer in the middle of a cold, wet, Antipodean winter.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Saying no

I find myself contemplating a lot at the moment. I'm reading Pursue the Intentional Life by Jean Fleming. I'm pruning our possessions ready for our upcoming move. Then I read a post by Randy Alcorn about how we have to say no to some really good things… to make room for the best.

If you fill all your time, where do the surprises and delights fit? How do you shoe-horn in time for those unexpected events?

There are some really good things that we can do. But should we be doing them? Think of it like this:

There is an accident. Someone has a broken leg and another person is not breathing. While helping the person with a broken leg would be a good thing, it would not be the best thing in this instance.

What do I need to say no to so that I can say yes to the best?

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A good clear-out

One of the good things about moving is that it forces you to have a jolly good clear-out of the accumulated detritus of life. I have been gradually moving through the house throwing away or donating items that we really don't need anymore. It is amazing how much stuff you keep simply because it is in the cupboard, out of sight. It isn't until you think about moving it to somewhere else that you realise that it's just taking up space.

It is a reminder to go through my interior life regularly as well. There are times when we need to let go of things that are not healthy for us or that we have outgrown. Things that have been stuffed into a cupboard and ignored need to be pulled out into the light and dealt with, ready for us to move on.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

What I learned from a journal round robin

This is the journal that went around the world. 

I'd like to share some of the things I have learned from this adventure. 

1. No matter how well you plan, something will always go awry. 
I'm a planner. I like to be organised. This means that for this round robin/circle journal I had a schedule. Normally these things would be simple: each person would just send the journal they had finished working on to the next person on the list. However, as this was an international endeavour, I didn't feel that it was fair to land one person with the large costs of always sending to me, in Australia, while someone else might always be sending in-country. (This group included 2 participants from Canada, 1 east coast USA, 1 west coast USA, 1 from Holland, 1 from Germany, and me in Australia.) However, things quickly went wrong when one of the journals took 12 weeks to arrive at the first person. Also, as the schedule went over Christmas, there were delays. What should have finished in March has taken until July to complete. 

2. Keep in touch.
Make sure that you keep in touch with everyone involved and that everyone has shared their email address. When you post a journal on to the next person, let them know. When you receive a new journal, let the person who sent it know that it has arrived safely. If things seem to be off-schedule, contact everyone to see how they are doing.

3. Pack well and be aware of how much postage might cost. 
The journals need to be properly packaged so that they aren't damaged. Placing the journal in a plastic bag, using bubblewrap, and placing waxed paper between the pages to stop them sticking together are all good. Whether you use an envelope or a box can mean the difference between a $20 parcel and a $40 one, especially when posting to another country, so weigh the parcel before you go to the post office. 

4. Make sure that everyone knows how many pages/spreads they can do.
If you allow for each person to have two goes at a theme, it can be a bit disappointing if your journal comes back only half-filled because people only did one page.

5. The first moment of working in someone else's journal doesn't get any easier!
It is always a moment of trepidation when you first put colour in someone else's journal. There is always that feeling that you don't want to 'mess up' because it isn't your journal. And it feels the same when you reach the last journal as it felt in the first. You just have to jump in and go for it :)

I was amazed at the range of journals that came through my hands - a leather-bound, hardback book with removable signatures; spiral bound books; a book in a slipcase; a concertina journal; journals with black pages; journals with pristine white pages; journals with pages that already had some colour and pattern on them; journals with flaps.

I would definitely do this again, if anyone is up for it.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Back home

My journal has been around the world and has now returned home! It is full of loveliness, so prepare yourself for a photo-heavy post. I'll share the pages here and some thoughts on hosting a round robin/circle journal in my next post. 

Thank you so much Jessica, Monique, Susan Jane, Beate, Gayle, and Lee for joining me on this arty adventure!

There are a few spreads still blank. If you would like to contribute with your own thoughts of home, I'd be happy to do a swap. Just email me at

And the sign-in tags: