Friday, 31 July 2015

Tending to the roots

Continuing with my exploration of flourishing and all things to do with growing, I'm thinking about roots. For me, that means staying firmly rooted in God, making sure that my relationship with Him is healthy. It also means making sure that the soil I'm in is the right sort for me. I can't do anything about where I am, but I can make sure that I do all the things that nourish me, and avoid, as much as possible, the things that deplete me.

This is one of those pages where several things didn't go as I would have liked. I really liked how this circle turned out. It reminded me of a planet. I love the colour mix and the shading. But it's right at the bottom of the page, so couldn't become a focal point. Never mind.

I pulled out some colours from the checked paper. Unfortunately the red squares I put on the page were way too bold. The dark green I added to give them dimension didn't help. So out came these gelli-printed labels. They were a start. The white acrylic finally drew things together for me and had the page heading in the right direction. It's funny how a simple cover-up can end up making the page for you.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015


W. H. Murray said, "Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness."

A seed sits in the soil until it germinates. A number of factors can affect the 'decision' to germinate: temperature, water, air. But it is still risky. What if there has been a warm spell but a frost is coming? What if there are too many other plants in the same area and the seedling will emerge in too much shade? What if an animal eats it? The seed has one chance, because it can't pull back once it starts to grow. And once it pushes out its root and the first couple of leaves, it has used up all its reserves. After that it needs the sun and water and carbon dioxide to survive.

There are plenty of 'what ifs' that can stop us from setting out, committing ourselves, taking a risk.

But sometimes you just have to be like the seed and go all out.

Sunday, 26 July 2015


Sometimes, when things aren't flowing as well as you'd like, it can be good to use some prompts.  A little while ago I signed up for a 30-day free course from Lisa Sonora called Root. (She is doing one called Flow at the moment). I knew that I wasn't able to do the course straight away, so I saved all the emails with the prompts and thoughts to do at another time.

That time is now.

Although I probably won't finish the course in 30 days - I work in my journal every day but don't necessarily finish an entire page every day - I am starting to work through the prompts, using whichever bits and pieces speak to me at the time. For this first prompt, it was the quote by Henry David Thoreau - 'There is no beginning too small.'

Each plant starts as a small seed. Each journey starts by facing in the right direction. The trick is then to keep moving in that direction. Each step is valuable as long as it heads towards your goal.

So that first small step - it doesn't matter how small it is. It is a start. Sometimes it can be as simple as asking the question. For me it was, 'Would you be interested in putting on an art journalling workshop?' A swift affirmative reply pushed me to the next step - actually planning it.

One step at a time. Just make a start.

What's the first small step you can take towards that dream?

Friday, 24 July 2015

Circle Journal - Shelby

Shelby's journal arrived with me last week. Her theme is 'I like this quote because…' The journal is smaller than I usually work with - a challenge!

I picked a couple of quotes and did two spreads. This first one was by Rodin - 'Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.' I like this quote because it challenges us to use everything, to learn from everything, whether good or bad. I try not to get impatient waiting in queues, but instead use the time for observation, prayer, reflection.

The second quote I picked is from Einstein. It is a favourite in our household where we are all storytellers and voracious readers. 'If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.' I only used the first half because of space, but it continues, 'If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.' 

And here are a couple of close-ups:

Plus I thought you might like to see what I spend a lot of the winter doing:

This is a detail from the jumper I just finished for myself. I can only knit during the winter months as it is just too hot in the summer and the yarn gets ruined. 

Are your creative projects seasonal?

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Happy mail!

Loveliness in the mail yesterday from Gerda in the Netherlands, for the tag swap on Creating and Sharing Mixed Media Art Google+ community. Not only two beautiful tags but extra bits and pieces including some Dutch language papers for my collection.

Sunday, 19 July 2015


Sometimes it is fun to go back to a place you have ministered in and see what seeds are growing. It can be sad when you see things happening that you wish had happened while you were there. But then you have to remember that those instances would not be happening if we didn't plant the seeds in the first place. In obedience you minister and the Lord waters the seeds when the season is right.

There are many times and places where we don't see the fruit of our obedience.

But God sees.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Summer of Colo(u)r - week 6

Already it's the end of Summer of Colo(u)r! That colourful party that brings a little sunshine to my southern hemisphere winter. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, click on the button in the sidebar to visit Kristin's blog and see the wonderful creations with this week's colour combination in the link-up.)

Well, we had another opposites palette this week - 2 oranges and a blue. I went really simple - mango acrylic paint, a mid-blue water soluble oil pastel, and some darker orange spotty paper.

I smeared on some mango paint with a plastic card, then cut some rough circles from the paper and arranged them up one side of the page. Once the paint was dry - to avoid making mud from the opposite colours - I outlined the circles in blue. Then I left it for a while, not sure where I wanted to go next.

Then I glanced across the room at the page, and it just said 'wheat' to me. So I added the blue lines and thought about harvest. In every season there is something to harvest, and in every situation there is something for me to learn.

I just have to look for it.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

What else?

I read a blogpost about someone who, at the time they would normally be planting flower seeds in their garden, was doing something else. Now she's filling vases with wild flowers. The point was that while she hadn't planted seeds, God was growing stuff anyway.

It made me think - what is God growing in me that I'm not aware of at the moment? What is growing in me while I'm concentrating on/distracted by other things in my life? I know it happens, because sometimes I enter a situation and realise that my reaction is different to what I expect. Something has changed in me while I wasn't taking any notice.

So what is growing now?

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Piling on the layers!

Had fun playing with this page, just layering up, adding colour and shape, with no thought to where it was going. When it came to journalling, I thought about all the layers that went into the page, and the many layers I was having to wear because of the unusual cold snap we're having here in South Australia at the moment.

So what did I use in the layers? Acrylic paint, gelli-printed self-adhesive labels, stencilling, doodling, collage, water-soluble oil pastels, Sharpie brush markers, white gel pen, black uni-ball pen. Can you pick them all out?

Friday, 10 July 2015

Summer of Colo(u)r - Week 5

So it's already week 5 of the Summer of Colo(u)r! Only one more week to go. (If you haven't heard of the Summer of Colo(u)r, click on the button in the sidebar which will take you to Kristin's website and give you all the details and the link-up.)

This week the palette was 2 greens and a pink. I used two acrylics and an ink to produce this journal page. The journalling reads: Whatever the season, plant seeds. You never know what will grow.

It was inspired by my garden, which all through the hot summer showed a lot of bare earth. At the first rain of the winter season green sprang up from I don't know where! And it's the same in life - you plant 'seeds', but you don't know when they might germinate. It might not be the right season just yet, but plant them anyway, because when the right conditions come along, they spring up. 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The right order

In my last post I was battling the doubts that seem to rush in as soon as a door opens. I knew they were ridiculous, but they popped up anyway. So, I told the doubts to go away! This opportunity is just the next step in my journey. The seed was planted, and now it is starting to sprout.

And I am embracing it :)

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Summer of Colo(u)r - week 4

Well, we're already on week 4 of the Summer of Colo(u)r, and Kristin set us a real challenge this week - 2 reds and a metallic. (If you have no idea what the Summer of Colo(u)r is, just click on the button in the sidebar.)

Now, red is my favourite colour, but it is very bold, so I use it sparingly. And when a challenge is set, I tend to be very strict with it - when the challenge is 2 reds and a metallic, I stick to that with only the addition of white and black, which I take as a given. So this page was made with the supplies shown above, and a gelli-plate.

When I made the gelli-print for the background, there seemed to be an awful lot of red on the page, so I collaged some paper circles on there and doodled the flowers. Some of them looked like seed-heads, and others seemed to be in flower and just going to seed. In line with my 'word of the year' - flourish - it made me think of all the different seasons and how we can flourish in each of them by taking advantage of what each has to offer.

Spring is the season of new growth, new starts.

Summer brings more mature growth and flowers - harbingers of possible fruit to come.

Autumn is a time of fruitfulness, the culmination of the previous seasons' growth. The harvest time.

Even winter, where things seem pretty dead - or at best deeply asleep - we can flourish. We can use the time to rest and take in reserves ready for the growth spurt of spring.