Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Be the grown-up

In those explosive situations, arguments, disagreements - whatever the level of clash - always aim to be the grown-up.

Be the one who lets it go when it isn't important.

Be the one who forgives.

Be the one who apologises, even when it feels that their reaction was over the top.

Be the one who makes peace.

Ask yourself whether it is worth fighting for, and then move forward with maturity.

Be the grown-up.

Monday, 27 June 2016


I'm reading a book of essays at the moment - Refractions: a journey of faith, art, and culture by Makoto Fujimura. He uses some great phrases and imagery. Lots of things to make me think.

This week I was inspired to contemplate people being prisms. The pure and perfect light of God shines through us, but we are imperfect, and do not reflect this light perfectly. Instead, we refract it. The light is bent, and in the bending, the different colours can be split out, like with a prism. Although we don't reflect the fullness, the completeness of the light that shines into us, we show some of the parts that make it up: love, mercy, grace, kindness, gentleness, etc.

So my questions for myself this week are: When the light of Christ shines through me, how do I refract the light? What colours do I show?

Friday, 24 June 2016

Waiting… still

When my word for the year turned out to be 'continue' I didn't realise that most of what I would 'continue' to be doing was waiting.

But the way we wait is important.

It is important not to get bitter in the waiting; not to try to take things into your own hands; to wait patiently and thankfully, recognising that growth takes time.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016


Almost filled up my 'From Brain to Veins' journal. Only a couple of spreads left to fill. This one is 'Contentment is greater than monetary riches'.

Blessed is the person who is content with what they have. Thankfulness and contentment go together. When we learn to be thankful for what we have, we become content with what we have. The practice of thankfulness teaches us to appreciate even the smallest of things and to realise how rich we really are.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Staying focussed

I wanted to practice doing a smaller face. I find that if I do a face, it tends to almost fill the page, so this was an exercise in containment for me, ahead of doing an ATC to swap with Win. Such a tiny canvas to work with! I'm working myself down to it in stages :)

When I had finished the face I thought about the head-on gaze and the wind-blown hair. What was she saying to me? Of course: whichever the way wind blows, stay focussed. Don't be tossed this way and that by whatever is trying to distract you, by what others are doing, or by whatever is on trend at the moment. Stay on track with your calling.

Friday, 17 June 2016

More than your body

Another layout in my 'From Brain to Veins' journal where I'm exploring those things that we know in our minds but don't always reach our hearts so that we live them. This time - You Are More Than Your Body.

Say it with me: I am more than my body.

I found this image in a magazine. The headline for the article was De-Age Your Body. Seriously?! This woman can't be out of her 20s. With all the advertising, magazines, movies, etc. telling women - whether blatantly or in more insidious ways - that they have to be 'beach ready', stay young, be thinner, it's time to speak out.

When we put so much emphasis on what people look like, the size of their waist, the lack of wrinkles on their face, how fit they are, as soon as they become ill, grow older, don't 'measure up' in some way, they are seen as valueless. So what about the wisdom of those who have lived long, fulfilled lives? What about the perseverance, bravery, and strength we see in those who endure prolonged illness? How can we dismiss the beauty of faces that have been lived in, bodies that have brought forth life?

The tape under the figure reads: giving, smart, playful, silly, splendid, fantastic, awesome, funny, sweet, epic, amazing. None of these requires a particular body type.

I'm sharing this with all the lovely people at Paint Party Friday. Go and visit to see all the awesome art they've produced this week.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

See with more than your eyes

This page started out with the messy scrap paper I use to catch drips etc. when doing pages. I like the patterns that collect on those papers. They have patterns that you can't seem to make deliberately.

Once the scraps were collaged, a layer of gesso pulled it together and fun with the triangle stencil started. I used it as a straight stencil with paint, drew through it with a waterproof pen, and used it with a baby wipe to remove paint.

Then came the mark-making, just doodling, really, with pens, paint, and a straw. I was having fun. Then the circle just called out for an eye. I wasn't sure, so I left it to the next day, but I still wanted to put in that eye. So I did. After all, it's just my journal and I can play however I like in it.

Of course, the eye led me to think about seeing. How we can see more than just the light that is reflected from things and hits the eye. When we perceive with our heart and ears as well, we can really see.

Monday, 13 June 2016


The winter is coming on strong - wet and cold. I'm bunged up with a cold and sore throat, so hibernation until the spring is looking really good at the moment :)

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Bridge or stepping stones?

Have you ever added an element to your page and it's not what you expected? There was a yellow arc through the piece of gelli-print I'd attached at the top right that I wanted to add a little green to. I have a concentric fractured circles stencil that fit nicely.

The addition of green gave me a bridge.

Or was it stepping stones?

Which set me thinking - there's more than one way to cross a stream. The bridge and the stepping stones will both get you across. One is not better than the other. They are just different.

Maybe if something isn't working, we need to look at it from another angle. Try a different way that will still get you where you want to go.

Sharing with Paint Party Friday. Go check out all the colourful loveliness produced this week.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Emotions can lie

Up next in the 'From Brain to Veins' journal - sometimes emotions lie. It is easy for us to know this in our minds, but when we are in the midst of an emotional outburst or meltdown, that knowledge can go out of the window.

How often have you found yourself having an over-the-top emotional response to something? When it happens, do you realise that it is not really a response to the particular happening, but something deeper? Whenever I have a response that seems way too big for what has actually happened, I ask myself : is this response justified? Is it reasonable? If it isn't, then what is it really about?

I may be intensely angry or frustrated at some trivial thing. Chances are my emotions are lying to me. I'm not angry about what has happened, but what has happened is in the same vein as something I'm harbouring anger about. Something bigger and deeper.

Of course, it may just be that I'm tired, or my blood sugar levels have dipped, but even then, my emotions are lying to me.

So beware!

Monday, 6 June 2016

New stamps and stencils

It's a cold, wet winter here at the moment, and I felt that I needed some flowers. So here are some new stamps and stencils I made last week.

I make my stencils by first drawing the design on to card. Then I put sticky-backed plastic on to both sides before cutting out with a sharp pair of scissors with really fine points on the blades. The plastic makes them more durable. I know you can do these in minutes on scan and cut machines of varying types, but I'm kinda old school :)