Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thresholds and making a mess

My husband and daughter visited a chocolateria on Saturday while I was taking a class. They came back with napkins with a great sentiment on them:

It is perfect for an artist, though my hands don't become so artistically messy as this. Though the time when I was dyeing a T-shirt and developed a hole in my glove left me with a beautiful turquoise hand up to the wrist…

And this one just slips in to the Art Journal Journey challenge of 'doors' before December and the change of theme.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Noticing the difference

On Saturday morning I led a class in Biblical Meditation and Imaginative Prayer. It was only a couple of hours, but they were quite intense. This is the fourth or fifth women's retreat event I've led and I can feel the difference now.

At the first retreat I was nervous, I felt anxious standing in front of everyone, even though the group was fairly small. I could feel my voice shaking and I cut short the things I wanted to say because I felt so intensely uncomfortable. All I could think about was sitting down. I felt terribly exposed.

Through the progression of different events that I've led I have learned what I find more comfortable. For example, I prefer to sit with people around a table as I teach, with my laptop at an easy glance. I feel more confident if I write myself a whole script, even if I don't stick to it exactly. Smaller groups suit me better.

I wouldn't say that I don't get nervous anymore, but I am certainly a bit more laid back in that situation now. Through persevering in being obedient to what I feel called to do, I have grown. I have faced the fear and it has grown smaller :)

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Journal Fodder 365 - Prompt #27

This week's prompt was 'Bury the Doubt' but it didn't sit well with me. 

I didn't want to bury the doubt.

Not that I have no problems with doubt or that I like to wallow in it. 

No. I just think that if I bury it, I can go back and dig it up again. If I bury it it might rise again, zombie-like as my daughter remarked. If I bury it it might act like a seed and grow in to a whole plant and then be difficult to uproot.

I don't want to bury the doubt. 

I want to kill it.

If I kill the doubt I can move forward. 

But what can kill the doubt?

Well, how about the truth? If I remember the truth - that I am made in the image of the Creator of the universe, so how can I not be creative? - then the doubt starts to fade away. I'm not saying that it's easy, or that doubt is killed outright once and for all, but the more I listen to the truth, the more I start to believe it, and I can be freed from the doubts. 

I start to leave them behind.

Their voices cannot reach me.

What do you do to silence the doubt?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Learning about myself

It's fun to keep learning about yourself. I'm loving finding out more about introversion, learning that the things that I always felt were weird about me aren't so weird - like not liking to use the phone. I always felt that was just one of my foibles, strange, but just me. Turns out it's not just me. 

And learning that has been freeing. 

If you want to find out more about introversion, I can't recommend The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney highly enough. As you read it everything starts to fall into place; it starts to make sense. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

gelli circles

Just had to share this circle and ghost circle print - so pleased with it! I love the way gelli-prints can surprise you so delightfully. 

And here are some close-ups.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Journal Fodder 365 - Prompt #26

The prompt for this week is hopes and fears. 

I'm really pleased with the background in this. I just pasted down a few bits and pieces, gessoed, then scraped some acrylics - both liquid and thick - until it felt done. 

After that a bit of black stamping was needed. I knew the words 'hope' and 'fear' would be next and I wanted them writ large. They were a little lost so an added shadow dragged them out of the background. 

Then came the thinking part. What did the prompt bring up? 
I thought about the shadow cast by fear in contrast with the light of hope. I don't want to be chained in the shadow of fear, unable to move forward, living in the dark.

I want to move towards that light at the end of the tunnel, the flame of hope. 

I choose to live in the light.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Jessica's Journal - 2nd spread

So this is the second spread for Jessica's journal on the theme of explore the inner and outer. 

I wanted to think about how the outside affects the inside. What do we listen to that affects how we see ourselves? 

Those voices that speak into our lives can have a huge effect. So whose voice are you going to allow to speak the loudest? Whose voice has the most influence on how you see yourself?

Be careful what you listen to. Other people can steal your joy as well as increase your confidence. They can pull you down as well as build you up.

When it comes down to it, I listen to God. His opinion of me is the only one that matters. When I start to take criticism to heart, when I feel worthless, when my spirits are low, I go to God.
He reminds me that I matter...
...I'm unique.
…and I am loved.

And the other voices fade away.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


Over on Tracy Weinzapfel's blog there is a monthly creative dare. This month's is gratitude. 

I thought I'd dust off the time-lapse camera and make a little video of this page. That means that I vaguely plan what I'm going to do on the page, gather what I need, and then work swiftly to make the page in one hit because there's no pause button. It's always a bit of a challenge :)

Being thankful is a gift we can grow in. 
It is possible to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. 
Look for the things to be thankful for in each and every situation. 
Sometimes they aren't immediately obvious, like when you're in a hurry and the line at the supermarket is moving slowly. Then you can be thankful for the opportunity to grow in patience :)

Give it a try. 

Before you know it, you'll be living a life of gratitude.

As an aside, I've come into possession of a pile of vintage music papers circa 1920-1950, ideal for collage or background interest. If you'd like to share in the bounty, just email me your address ( and I'll send some off to you :)

Have a thankful day!

November Gelli-Print Party

Spring brings a riot of colour to our streets - the yellow wattle and native frangipani trees, the red and pink bottlebrushes, and the out-of-this-world purple jacarandas. How strange it is to turn a corner and be confronted with a street full of purple trees. And when I say purple, I mean purple - when the blossoms are out there are very few leaves, so where you expect a green canopy, you're met with purple. It's like stepping into a Dr. Seuss book :)

(And here's a photo to prove it)

I wanted to capture the brightness of the colours with the gelli-plate. I haven't used it in this way before. Usually I use blocks of colour, stencils, and stamps. This time a quick paint sketch was in order. 

And while I was playing my teenaged daughter decided now would be the time to have a go. I've offered to let her play ever since the gelli-plate arrived, but she hasn't really shown much interest. Yesterday, however, she wanted to make a background for a quote.

Here are her first experiments:

And here is the finished piece.

The quote resonates with her because she is home-schooled and loves writing. Today she is making a frame for it. I expect it to be on her wall by the end of the day :)

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Journal Fodder 365 - Prompt #25

Halfway through the Journal Fodder 365 book now. I'm enjoying it so far. It's making me think, which is always good.

This week's prompt was Getting it all out. How do you unpack your emotional baggage? How do you make sure that you don't bottle things up?

This page spread already had the big pink splodge on it, which gave me a great springboard along with the phrase bottled up. The page just about made itself after that.

My daily prayer practice means that I have a natural place to pour everything out. I don't need to bottle things up because I can pray out all my worries and concerns. Once they are out in the open I can start to deal with them - they are named and therefore I can get a better handle on them.

Plus I know that God is big enough to deal with anything. It might not be done in the way I expect, but I can trust Him to get me through.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Circle Journal - Jessica's Journal 1st spread

A couple of days ago a parcel arrived for me from California. It was such a treat, especially as I was washing a double sleeping-bag, grape-treading style in the bath at the time. What a great reward to open up the box and find Jessica's journal:

So, how could I explore the inner and outer? 

My first thought took me to anatomical diagrams from my studies. I wanted to look at the inner on a literal level visually, hence the heart.

Then I thought about the blood flow - in and out, just like inner and outer that I was exploring. Inspiration in, creativity out. The inner and outer are inextricably linked when we create. We are showing the world a little bit of our inner selves. 

I drew the heart diagram on to tissue paper and then stuck it down with gel medium just to be sure I didn't mess up :)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Hitting the wall

When you feel like you've hit a wall there are three things you can do.

Admit defeat and walk away.

Climb over it.

Or put a door in it.