Sunday, 30 November 2014

Growth Spurt

It's only when you go to put on familiar clothes that you realise you've had a growth spurt. Suddenly those clothes are too short in the leg and look slightly silly. You've grown, seemingly overnight, but didn't notice at the time. Of course, you can replace 'clothes' with habits, exercises, familiar pursuits, whatever. You go to do something familiar, and it feels different because you have grown.

And it's a good feeling.

This page started with a few bits of collage from a Chinese dictionary, some perforations from the edge of a page, and a bit of pattern where I cleaned off a stencil with a baby-wipe. The whole page was then coated with gesso.

The green and pink acrylic paints were calling to me, so on they went with a plastic palette knife. Then a bit of yellow at the edge.

I looked through the box of kirigami patterns my daughter has made and picked out a flower. Pasting it at the edge with some gel medium meant that I could cut part off and use it on the other side of the page.

Then it needed a border so I rummaged through the rubber stamps. A bit of orange seemed to be called for, so that was used to fill the border.

A bit of doodling.

Some washi tape from my stash.

And the journalling to finish off. The lines are stamped on.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

I did good!

I know it's not grammatically correct, but I did good!

Yesterday I ran a workshop on Engaging Creatively with Psalm 23. It's the first workshop I've done since we moved, and the first one that has gone wider than just the congregation. It was time to stretch - my word for the year - and although it seems a small step, to me it was a big one.

The group of six took off like children in a sweet shop, praying, listening, and playing. Feedback was good and for the first time I didn't feel nervous.

This background had been sitting on my desk all week, and I just didn't have anything else to go on it. When the workshop finished, I knew this was what it had been waiting for. The colours, the circles, all spoke of joy and satisfaction.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Set apart, not set aside

I read a great post on (in)courage about being set apart rather than set aside. I've been thinking about it ever since, and wanted to do a page on it. This is the opposite way around than usual for me. Usually I play about with my background before the words come. This time I had something I wanted to journal about specifically.

I wanted the arrows in the background to be pointing in opposite directions to indicate a putting to one side. The 'title' also needed to show the same thing. The journalling was my thought processes about the difference between being set aside - with the feeling that someone doesn't know what to do with you so you're sidelined - and being set apart - to be reserved for a special purpose and prepared for it.

The problem is that they often feel the same.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

I am an artist!

I thought I hadn't done a step-out set of photos for ages, so here goes. It's fun to look back and see how something came together because you don't always remember. This is a simple page - it's just what happened :)

A bit of collage - a large piece of the paper I made last week with spray inks, some circles from a Chinese dictionary, and a bit of gesso applied with bubble-wrap.

Acrylic paint applied with a baby-wipe brings out the gesso pattern.

Simple outline applied through a stencil. The shadow is done with water-soluble graphite. I was a bit heavy-handed with a couple of them. The different papers reacted differently so the dark bit at the top couldn't be removed. Never mind.

A little bit of border on one side.

The stencil reminded me of flags, hence the words.

But which colours am I nailing up? Then it came to me - claim the name of artist and don't be embarrassed by it!

The letters needed a bit of outlining and some extra colour.

And here are some details:

Thursday, 20 November 2014


Just playing around in a new journal today. A bit of stencilling, some washi tape, a bit of paint, water-soluble graphite, acrylic paint, and a piece of gelli-printed greaseproof paper.

When I looked at everything, the word tether kept coming into my mind. I couldn't get away from it. I think it was the circle at the top right being tethered to the top and bottom of the page. It's stuck there on the page with no chance to move up or down. It made me think about all the things that stop me from doing things. I guess fear is the biggest one. Then there is lack of self-confidence and not having faith in my gifts.

Then there are unresolved feelings. They can tether us between two places, neither able to leave the one behind nor move forward to another. This is OK for a while, as you work things through, but you can't stay there forever.

Every now and again it is good to ask if there is anything holding us in place; anything stopping us from moving forward. It is good to cut the tethers.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Fun with spray and clingfilm

Sometimes you just need to have a little fun. I found a few pieces of glossy paper in a drawer. I grabbed a spray bottle, some watercolour and acrylic inks, and a couple of pieces of clingfilm (cling wrap, saran wrap, whatever!)

I sprayed the paper with water first, then dropped on the acrylics or sprayed the watercolours and just enjoyed watching them spread. There is something very satisfying in that :)

On some pieces I left it at that. On the others I crumpled some clingfilm and left it to dry.

More papers for my stash!

Sunday, 16 November 2014


It seems to me that wherever there is communication, there is the possibility of miscommunication. No matter how clear you think you are being, there is still the chance of your words being misconstrued.

It is the chance we take if we want to live in community with others.

And where there is community, there is also the chance for forgiveness and reconciliation.

Don't let miscommunication be the end of the story.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Calling all journallers!

Just a quick post.

Anyone interested in being part of a circle journal/round robin next year, starting around mid-January, please email me - - and let me know. All styles and all levels of experience welcome.

Come join in the fun!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Not all seeds

I was watering the garden, noting which new veggies were doing well and which seeds had refused to come up at all. It's strange how you can put in whole rows of seeds and have not one of them germinate.

And I got to thinking that it is the same way when you move into a new community. There are some relationships that seem to spring to life immediately and flourish, quickly yielding fruit. But there are others where, no matter what you do, there isn't much kindled. There are some soils where certain things will never grow naturally.

If you want to grow those things, you need to condition the soil.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Why compare?

I hear and read a lot of comparisons. As women we often compare ourselves with others and their achievements. As artists even more so. And how often is that comparison unfavourable?

There are the people who say they can't draw, when really what they mean is that they don't like the way they draw or the results - especially when compared with someone else's efforts. That is a whole different thing. Everyone can draw, but we have to learn to love our own style.

This can take years.

But it is worth the effort. Because once you are content with your own style, you can enjoy what you create, and what others create, and look at each on its own merits. You wouldn't compare a circle with a square. They each have their own pleasing qualities and yet are completely different from each other.

I am unique. I cannot be compared with anyone else.

And neither can you.