Monday, 20 August 2018

Little things

What seems inconsequential when we do it may create great ripples.

This page is full of small marks that go to make up the whole. It came about after we received a message this week. About ten years ago we were living in Lewes, East Sussex. We made some friends there who were over from the US to study for a couple of years. We did the usual things of drinking coffee together and bonding over food. Just the usual stuff that you don't really think about.

They have returned to the US, we have lived in Australia for over eight years and now returned to the UK, but all through our respective travels we have kept in touch.

Fast forward to now. My husband saw an item that he wanted but was only available in the US. He contacted our friends and asked if it would be possible to get one and post it over. We would reciprocate with something they wanted or reimburse them, whichever was best for them. Said item arrived, and when we contacted our friends about paying them, they said they wanted to gift it to us. They mentioned our friendship when they were far from home, and a specific instance (which we had forgotten) when we fed them and looked after them after a particularly tough day.

Those things that seem inconsequential at the time can create ripples. They seem small or ordinary to us, but to those on the receiving end they are much more. Small acts of kindness are never wasted.

And of course, the same applies to mean acts. The ripples they cause can be devastating. So watch your behaviour in the small things as well as the large.

Friday, 17 August 2018


Maybe... I just need to be available.

When you're not sure what to do, be available. Be ready to do what needs to be done when asked.

I have a lot of spare time in my schedule, but perhaps it's there for a reason. Perhaps - just maybe - I need to be available when people need someone to talk to.

How available are you?

Wednesday, 15 August 2018


Where is your focus? What distracts you from it?

I'm not above being distracted or procrastinating. I like to swipe through Instagram as much as the next person. But I don't let it take over - a couple of minutes to catch up on what people have been doing, and then back to the real world.

There is so much that can pull our focus from where we want it to be/where it should be. This world is full of distractions. Will you let trivial things pull your focus from what's important? Or can you put on the blinkers when necessary and move towards your goals with purpose?

Monday, 13 August 2018

She wondered...

She wondered how her head could contain it all.

Sometimes your pages - much like life - can get a bit overwhelming. This was one of those. A quick face sketch and a pushing back of the background by painting over it with dark green made it more manageable. The face is a little wonky, but that reflects how I feel some days :)

Friday, 10 August 2018

Colossians words challenge - week 1

Through August Mary, over on Found On Brighton, is running a word challenge. The 20 words are taken from the letter to the Colossians. I'm working in an A5 journal - half the size of the pages I usually create - and each page is done in one day, so they are a little simpler than my usual work. I've taken the word, done a quick study (by way of a mind map on the back of each page) and condensed it down to a phrase which is then journalled on the page.

Here are the the ones for the first 7 words. Above: Faith - complete trust or confidence

Day 2: Love - that which everything else should grow out of.

Day 3: Hope - the light that keeps on shining.

Day 4: Knowledge - do you know in your head or in your heart?

Day 5: wisdom - knowing what to do and how.

Day 6: Strength/power - for endurance and patience with joy.

Day 7: All - nothing and no-one is left out.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The great divide

The great divide: what I think I could do vs what I could actually do.

This page was going along swimmingly as I contemplated what I might do in the future. Having moved, and approaching 50, I'm having one of those times of reassessment. 

Then a black swathe made its way on to the page. Yes, I know I'm making it sound as if the paint just put itself there, but sometimes that's how it feels! I go along just making marks and sticking things in the way that feels right, and suddenly something arrives on the page that makes me stop and think. 

What is it there for? Why did I do that? What is going on in my head?

Why did I have a great black curve splitting my page? When the word 'divide' came to me, it started to make sense. This black shape represented the divide between what I feel I am capable of, and what I'm really capable of if pushed to it. It's easy to get stuck with thinking that, just because I've been at home for 20 years looking after and educating our daughter, I have no skills for the workplace. 

But that's not true. Many things we do as mothers and looking after a home are transferable skills. Sometimes we have to stand back and take stock of the skills we have and how they can be applied in a different area. You (and I) are much more capable than you think.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Be authentic

Don't worry if you feel you don't fit in - authenticity is more valuable than conformity.

For me, the circle with stripes really stood out against the other circles on this page. But I really wanted it on the page. So I carried on and just waited for inspiration to strike. When I finally stood back I realised that that circle was just being itself, not trying to fit in.

We can often feel like we don't fit in, and there is the temptation to change and conform. However, authenticity is much more valuable - and attractive - than conformity. So just be yourself!

Friday, 3 August 2018

Writing on the wall

Who will you allow to comment on your wall?

This page wasn't going anywhere, so I painted black all over it and then slapped on a mask and removed some of the paint from around it as it was drying. A shadowy figure emerged and suddenly the page felt like it had some energy about it. My daughter thought it looked like graffiti, and that set me thinking.

Graffiti is 'writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place.' Taking a wider definition, people writing about us on social media - on our virtual wall - can be graffiti.

What will you let people say about you? What will you believe if someone else says it about you? Will you let their graffiti stay on your wall, carried around in your head? Who will you allow to define you?

Watch who you let comment on your wall.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018