Saturday, 31 March 2012

A is for Able

God is able.

      Able to surmount any problem in my life.

      Able to overcome any enemy.

      Able to deal with it.

      Able to do immeasurably more than my tiny mind can conceive of.

      Able to do the impossible.

      Able to use me especially when I feel completely unusable.

I just have to trust Him.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Look at me!

When I had finished the background for this page it reminded me a little of camouflage painting or fabric. This, along with a magazine picture of a woman looking at someone else while sitting in front of a mirror made me think about how lots of people nowadays are looking to be noticed. Any chance to get on to television, or find fame in one way or another is seen as a good thing. It's as if they're worried that they might fade into the background and not be noticed.

But when they are noticed for something that they wish was hidden, fame becomes a great burden. What is forgotten is that God sees everything: the sin as well as the acts of good service, whether noticed by the world or not.

So are you a 'look at me!' person, or are you happy to serve in quietness?

Ready for the challenge

Well, having signed up for the Blogging A to Z challenge, I thought I had better find a book to journal in for it. I found one in my stash that has the right number of page spreads to do the entire challenge, so was very happy about that. I have done the title page. (Forgive the slightly blurry photo. I took pics I don't know how many times and they all have a slight blur in one place or another.)

This is a thin, hardback book I picked up from the library. They sell off old books for a small fee. This one was $1 - a bargain for anyone who likes to alter books.

So, roll on Sunday when the challenge will begin.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

A new challenge

Just as I was wondering what sort of challenge I could take up next to force me to think in new ways, I read on Liz Powley's blog Gumnut Inspirations that she is taking the A to Z challenge in April. Sounds fun, I thought, so I hopped over to the website and signed up.

Watch out for my 'attributes of God' alphabet during April, starting on the first with 'God is Able'. And check out all those other lovely bloggers who are joining in in all sorts of ways.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Easter banners

Just designing the banners for Easter. I like to do banners that are seasonal and temporary. Paper is great for that. If you make banners on paper people don't feel the need to hold on to them and take them out every year like they seem to with fabric ones. They are disposable, so you can have the fun of making new ones regularly.

This year I am looking at Holy Week for inspiration. Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. I've picked out symbols for each and come up with a single word to encapsulate what was happening. Here is my sketchbook page with the final designs:

I decided to use the cross motif in each and then add something relevant to the word chosen for the day (sovereign, servant, sacrifice, and saviour)

Now I just need to get working on them...

Sunday, 18 March 2012

A godly woman

For a long time now I have been wrestling with what it means to be a godly woman. It is a process of transformation. Not something that can be achieved overnight but a lifelong journey.

When I did the background for this journal page it reminded me of marble. Having been learning about rocks with my daughter recently, I know that marble is a metamorphic rock. It is what happens when limestone has heat and pressure applied to it. It turns from a rather ordinary type of stone to something beautiful.

This is very much what becoming a godly woman is like. Life applies heat and pressure and gradually we learn, through the grace of God, to cope. We become transformed from soft, crumbling limestone to beautiful marble.

This is the poem I wrote about godly women:

A godly woman
keeps a rein on her mouth
knowing it to be - bar none -
her most powerful weapon.

A godly woman
fears the Lord
and knows it to be
her fount of wisdom.

A godly woman
produces fruit in keeping with righteousness
and knows it will feed
her neighbour.

A godly woman
listens with her heart
and knows that sometimes
silence is all she needs to bring.

A godly woman
has a teachable spirit
she knows she is clay
in the hands of a holy God.

A godly woman
I wish I were
- but know I'm not.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Art journalling with a friend on Tuesday night. We decided to both journal the same prompt and see what happened. Must do this some time with a large group to see the diversity of what comes out, because I find it fascinating.

Neither of us ended up with the background colour we intended, but things emerged as we carried on.

I went with the type of growth we have - is it fruitful? If it isn't then it is wasted energy. We can have really vigorous growth, but if it is all in the wrong direction then what good is it? It will all need pruning away.

Heather came at it from the direction of a little girl wondering what she was going to be and how she was going to turn out, and how this follows us into adulthood as well. We still have those feelings of wondering how we are going to grow and what the end result will be.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Work in progress

As I have said before, I like to make bespoke books. This is the latest one. It is a tale of courage, captivity, and cooking. Here are a few pages:

As you can see, the main protagonist is a pig. This has meant that I have had to learn to draw something approximating a pig, along with other farm animals. I've done chickens but not tackled cows, sheep, or horses yet.
It has taken me a little while to become happy with my illustrating style. I always looked at the beautiful drawings in children's books and felt very inadequate. However, my husband bought me a book called Play Pen which is a showcase of children's book illustrators from all over the world. A lot of them have very quirky styles that are immediately recognisable. Once I had seen the range of artistic styles I started to feel more comfortable with my own. We need to remember that our own unique style is just as valid as that of someone who makes their living at illustration.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Time flies

Wow, realised I haven't done anything on here all week. This week seems to have flown by and my creative output has consisted of making Haman's hats (a biscuit that is made to celebrate the Jewish Purim, from the book of Esther), profiteroles (just because I can) and wrestling with a story that has all the right elements but seems to be occurring in the wrong order.

Only managed two journal pages:

imagine this as less pink and more orange

The first one is about abiding in God. Abiding is more than just living somewhere. It is about being rooted and drawing sustenance. Without the roots the tree does not grow. If we keep our roots in God we will flourish.

The second one has a kirigami heart that my daughter made. I was thinking about how taking up your cross means more than just bearing things that are difficult. If you saw anyone walking through the Roman Empire carrying a cross you knew exactly where they were heading - to death. When we take up our crosses we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, dying to ourselves and taking on the new life that He gifts us with. Our cross is seen in the state of the heart. Am I following Jesus in my heart? Am I carrying the cross in a way that can be seen in my life?

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Let's Create Workshop

Did the Let's Create workshop today. Thanks to Heather, Glenys, Peta, Marie, Vicki, Lydia, and Jennifer for coming along. Here are some of the lovely artworks created:

It's so great to watch people produce art. All these women were coming from different places in their lives, some with art experience, some not, but all having fun and getting messy as they explored their creative side. 

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Bespoke books

I love to make bespoke books. I started out with notebooks and journals. But my passion outgrew them quite quickly. So I moved on to the real deal - writing the story, making the book, illustrating it  myself. One-off books.

It has always been the habit in our house to tell stories. At first we were telling stories to our daughter at bedtime. Then one Christmas I decided to make a book for her on one of her favourite characters. When she opened it on Christmas morning she took one look and asked for another one for her birthday. I've been writing and making bespoke books ever since.

Now she is twelve and has started to write her own stories. It was only a matter of time before she asked me to make one of her stories into a book. I haven't started it yet as I am still working on one of my own, but I look forward to being able to present her with her own story in a single edition.

Here are a few bits and pieces of earlier books:

This book has a silver ribbon closure

a photocopy transfer of my own photo that I was really pleased with

a double-page spread

You can't really see it here but this dragon has embossed scales