Monday, 30 June 2014

Wind and rain

It's been a very wet and windy winter so far. It set me to thinking.

Trees need rain to grow and wind to make them strong. In the Eden Project in the UK they found that the trees grown in the giant greenhouses weren't very robust. Now they go in and shake the trees as they grow, just as the wind does to them when they grow outside. Otherwise they grow tall, but the smallest push can cause them to break rather than bend.

A certain amount of water and wind is necessary, otherwise we break under the smallest amount of stress.

But there are times when it can feel like a flood or a hurricane.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Facing the future

This page started with a scrap piece of paper that I was using to clean off my brayer and to pick up the last bits of paint from the gelli-plate. Lots of bits and pieces that I had stuck on have been covered up, but the page was calling for a face. The eyes are done with a hand-carved stamp and the eyelashes added afterwards.

The fact that she was staring head on made me think about how we, as a family, are facing a bit of uncertainty at the moment. However, we have hope and faith that everything will work out.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Summer of Colo(u)r week 3

The colours for this, the third week of Summer of Colo(u)r, are lavender, grey, and a pop, splash, or smudge of plum. Hop on over to the blog to share in the fun - the badge is in the sidebar.

I used the quote by William James: The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

The end of the Australian tax year is approaching when we review our spending over the past year. I find myself, at 45, looking at how I am spending my life. What will I leave behind? How will I be remembered? How am I investing my time and energy? What have I achieved and what do I want to achieve with the time that is left to me?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014


We only have so many days to live. More than a dragonfly, usually, but only so many. So why would we waste them?

Live with intention.

The intention to be generous.
The intention to be kind.
The intention to be thankful.
The intention to leave something meaningful behind.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Friday, 20 June 2014

Be surprised

You cannot imagine everything that is possible. There is always room for surprise.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Summer of Colo(u)r - week 2

About a month ago I was delighted to find that I had won a random prize on One Little Word. This week the goodies arrived - stencils, papers, washi tape, shiny bits and pieces, and a designer camera strap!

I immediately used some of my haul to enter the second week of the Summer of Colo(u)r challenge, where the colours are teal and coral with a pop, splash, or smudge of white. This page also fits for the One Little Word challenge this month which is light.

When things feel dark, I take comfort in the fact that the smallest bit of light fights back the darkness.

Monday, 16 June 2014

A canvas

A friend mentioned that she needed some artwork for her office, so I actually worked on a canvas rather than in an art journal - a departure for me.

I applied moulding paste, collage, water-soluble graphite, sprayed some ink, and stamped onto greaseproof paper before sticking it down with gel medium - so much easier than trying to stamp direct on to canvas. I also wrote on greaseproof paper so I could move the quote around before sticking it down.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Summer of Colo(u)r - week 1

Summer of Colo(u)r 4 has begun! If you don't know what I'm talking about, check the button in the sidebar and join in the fun.

This week's colour combination is yellow and aqua with a hint of hot pink. These colours remind me so much of summer, which it isn't here at the moment :) We just get a few hints every now and then of the brilliant blue sky that marks the summer months. So I'm happy to revisit these colours and imagine the warmth that will eventually return.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Regarding the ravages of time...

This page started out with a bit of collage. I had no idea where it was going to go, but I wanted to use the gelli-printed paper at the top. A quick wash of purple watercolour with salt sprinkled on came next. Then a bit more collage.

For some reason I felt like drawing some features, so out came the eye stamps. The rest of the face followed and a few square spirals were stamped on.

Then it sat for a while.

My eye kept being drawn to the pocket watch on the face and I got to thinking about time and how it affects how we look. Personally, I am not really that bothered about wrinkles. I don't dye my hair even though there are plenty of white ones sprinkled among the black. Hence the journalling:

"The marks of time were upon her face… and she treasured them as honestly won."

The lines remind me that I've smiled a lot :)

Monday, 9 June 2014

What sort of house will your heart live in?

I was reading through Ann Voskamp's blog the other day and this quote really struck me, especially as the theme at Art Journal Journey is houses and at Mix it Monthly is home.

This quote made me think about what sort of house I want my heart to live in. Will I allow my circling, negative thoughts to become a prison for it? Or will I listen to the truth and make a place of refuge?

Thursday, 5 June 2014

House or home?

The new theme for this month over on Art Journal Journey is houses, so here is a simple page done with watercolour inks and pencils used with a brush and spray.

I thought about the difference between a house and a home. The journalling reads: A house is not a home unless it contains the ones you love.

And as the new theme on Mix it Monthly is home I shall be sharing over there, too.

And if you haven't heard yet, Summer of Colo(u)r is on again! Go to Kristin's blog to see what it's all about and check out the first colour combination on Monday.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014


I wasn't sure where this page was going to go, I just had in mind to use the greaseproof paper with the orange circles. It was a piece made when I used a hand-carved stamp to lift paint from the gelli-plate. My first thought was that it would look good on blue so I painted the top half of the page blue and the bottom green. The circles went nicely on the blue. 

Then the page sat for a few days.

The circles were really telling me that they were flowers, but they were so high up in the blue it was as if they were towering in the sky. 

That's when it came to me. 

If you lie down in the grass, the flowers look as if they reach to the sky. Sometimes a problem that seems enormous can be put in perspective if only we look at it from another angle. So face your problems standing up, not lying down in despair. Maybe they'll be brought down to size. 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Be glad!

How easy do you find it to take joy in the achievements of others? When someone else wins that prize that you'd like? When you read of someone else having a new line of stencils/paints/stamps produced? When someone else is asked to teach at that workshop?

Be honest. Is there a little prickle of envy?

It's normal! But don't let it be your ongoing feeling.

Someone else's achievement takes nothing away from you. Think about it. One person getting a book deal doesn't stop the chance of you ever getting one. They haven't 'stolen' your success. How can they steal something that wasn't yours in the first place?

So don't let envy be your last reaction as well as your first. Be glad for that person. Be glad that their talents have been recognised. We have all learned from those who have gone before us and produced books and materials for us to use. We all gain when we are generous and share our gifts.

And if, when your time comes, you want to be surrounded by people who are glad for you, not eaten up with envy, then you need to be that person to others.