Thursday, 29 December 2016

Time to assess

As the end of the year approaches, it's time to assess the past year. How far have I come?  Have I travelled in the right direction?

And where should I be moving to? What are the next steps for me?

Definitely a time of contemplation.

Happy last Paint Party Friday of the year! Thank you Eva and Kristin for hosting, and for everyone who takes part and shares so much encouragement. Happy new year, and may 2017 be a wonderfully creative one for you.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Hanging by a thread

This is one of those pages that came together from a whim. I was happily making marks, putting down colour and layers, and the circle at the left just reminded me of a bauble - 'tis the season, after all :) So I put in a delicate thread holding the 'bauble'.

When you're hanging by a thread, be still. Even if the rest of the world is bustling and noisy, be still and tune it all out. When you're hanging by a thread, you need to focus. To listen. Not to thrash around. Equilibrium will return and, though your external situation may not change much, the internal precarious feeling will lessen.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Parallel pages

I worked these two pages in parallel, using leftovers from one on the other, so they have a thematic look. You can see that I used a couple of hand-carved stamps, the leafy one from a while ago, the semi-circles I did this month as part of #carvedecember.

If there are shadows, there must be light. When things happen that we wish hadn't, we have to remember that things only seem bad because we know they can be good.

No matter what, I am accepted. Even if those bad things happen, and even if they have been brought about by my own actions or lack of action, I am still loved and accepted. I can start afresh and get back on the right track.

And so can you.

Thursday, 22 December 2016


Do you pick a word for the year? If so, how do you do it?

I pray, ponder, reflect.

This year when I started to think about what my word for 2017 might be, this one jumped (!) into my head. I did what I usually do, and pushed it to one side. But it kept coming back. If 2016 was a year of 'continue' i.e. just go along as you have been doing, waiting, really, for the time to be right for the next thing - then it seems that 2017 may be the year that I get to do things.

But 'leap'.


Sounds to me like taking risks. Throwing myself into the unknown. Really going for it.

This doesn't sit comfortably with my introvert, cautious nature. But then, who said life should be comfortable?

So I'm going to embrace my word, trust the Lord knows what He's doing, and leap into 2017. Who knows what opportunities may come my way?

Linking up with Paint Party Friday. Happy Christmas to all you encouraging people out there!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Plant the seed

Sometimes a page is done much more quickly than you expect. This one doesn't have a lot of layers. There's some collage, tissue paper, paint, stamping, and journalling - all the usual suspects - but in toning, subtle shades. I wanted the hand-carved stamp to be the focus.

The journalling is about how, even when we give a seed all the best conditions, we still have to trust for growth. You can keep things at the right temperature, give enough water, use good soil, but you still can't predict whether a particular seed will germinate.

So you just have to take the chance and plant the seed, trusting for the growth.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Waiting in readiness

And so we enter the final week of Advent, the time of waiting.

It's easy to slack off when we are waiting. It's easy to get pulled into something else that sucks up all your attention so that, when the time comes, you're not ready.

Or maybe you're tired, so you fall asleep, so that when the time comes, you have to run around collecting whatever is needed.

But we need to wait in readiness. Like a pregnant woman whose time is near, we should have a bag packed and ready at the door.

It doesn't mean that we don't do anything else while we wait, just that when the time comes, we are able to drop everything that isn't necessary and be ready to go.

Wait expectantly. Wait patiently. Wait peacefully. And wait in readiness.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Peering into the future

Well, yesterday was my 5th blogoversary. I can't believe I've been posting for 5 years! And here is this page with a face standing on the threshold of a new year and peering into the future to see if there's anything to see. 

2017 will be the start of a new phase for me. Our daughter has just reached the end of year 12 - the end of her official education. So I've reached the end of homeschooling. What to do with all my time next year?

I have a few ideas, but we'll have to see how it all pans out...

What might the new year have in store for you?

Happy paint party Friday to you all!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

When hackles rise

When hackles rise, lower the walls.

When you're in a situation where someone is heated and your first instinct is to retaliate, step back. Where possible, take some time to allow things to cool.

Then lower the walls.

Where your instinct is to make the walls higher, to increase the stakes, to take a step that you'll regret, instead, think about how you can lower the walls. Make it easy for both sides to recover the relationship and save face. Make sure that you look at the situation with realistic eyes. For that, it's usually best to remove the emotion, which is where the cooling off period comes in.

Lower walls. Don't build them.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

An intentional Advent

We can wait passively, growing weary, becoming stagnant.

But Advent is about waiting intentionally.

We are not just passing time; we are getting ready. Getting ready requires preparation.

A tree in winter can look dead. It's waiting for spring, for favourable weather. But a tree in winter is anything but passive. It isn't just sitting there and waiting. Before it threw away its leaves, the tree drew back in everything that would be useful and left only the toxins and waste to fall away. Part of preparation is getting rid of things that are hindering. But the tree is also pulling in everything it's going to need to burst into new growth as soon as the weather warms up. It is resting but building up energy reserves as well.

The yellow circles on this page stand for networks. We can intentionally build networks while we wait. Just because you're waiting doesn't mean you can't learn from others, that you should withdraw and wait alone. Waiting doesn't have to be a solo sport. Waiting in community builds us all up as we encourage one another, celebrating each other's victories, whether large or small.

Practice intentional waiting.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Half a face

Just having fun with face practice on this journal page. I didn't even find any words for it - though they may come at some point. Just had fun making marks, playing with different media, and enjoying the colour combination.

Sharing with Paint Party Friday.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

What does forward look like?

Sometimes, to go forward, you need to make a turn.

So what does forward look like right now? Which direction should I go in in this coming year?

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Wait peacefully

Here we are in the second week in Advent, and I'm continuing to contemplate what waiting should look like. 

Wait peacefully.

What does that mean? Well, don't be anxious in the waiting. Don't be fretful or worried. Wait in the quiet assurance that all is in hand, that the time will come for action and you'll recognise it when it comes. I know that this is so, because I've been in a waiting room before, and then I was up and down, constantly looking down the track for the train, even though it wasn't near the time for its arrival. This time, I find that I am waiting with much more peace.

This time I remembered to take some shots of the page in progress. I started with collage, gesso, and a bit of spray through a stencil:

A splash of colour applied with a colour-shaper (a 'brush' made of a solid wedge of rubber):

Yellow ink applied with a baby-wipe:

A bit of stencilling:

More collage:

Washi tape and some water-soluble graphite activated with water:

Some stamped leaves:

Leaves filled in with paint and joined with some dark grey paint:

A bit of doodling and some blobs of paint applied with a gelli-plate. And now the page is ready for journalling, as seen above: