Sunday, 31 July 2016

Pattern and shape

Sometimes there are just patterns and shapes, not words.

Do you ever feel that you've finished the page but there aren't any words to go with it? As a journaller, it feels strange to not put words on a page. But sometimes there just aren't any.

From the feel of this page I can tell that there isn't a lack of words because I'm sad - the colours are too bright for that. I love the feel of this page. It's just that when I look at it, I'm not taken off on a train of thought except to think that I'm happy with it as it is.

So sometimes there are just patterns and colours. And that's OK.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Not brave

I have never been told so often how brave I am as I have this week. Yet what I did - shaving my head for charity - was not brave or courageous. By definition, bravery and courage are about facing danger or pain, or conquering fear.

None of those things applied. After all, I just had a haircut, and my hair will grow again. There was no pain, no danger, no fear.

I think what people really meant was that I had made a sacrifice - an act of giving something up for the sake of something else regarded as more important. Making a sacrifice is a part of faith, so I see my act as obedient, not brave.

Sunday, 24 July 2016


You never know how far the ripples are going to go when you throw a stone into the pond. And when they hit something - a rock, the bank - they bounce off in another direction, sometimes cancelling each other out and sometimes joining together and increasing the amplitude.

Everything we do and everything we say sends out ripples. Some of them die away harmlessly, hitting nothing on their outward journey. But some things impact on other people as they ripple outwards.

Sometimes this can be positive - two sets of ripples cancelling each other out in a moment of reconciliation; ripples joining together, increasing amplitude for a shared good cause.

But sometimes those ripples have a negative effect - the joining of ripples in the escalation of an argument; opposite ripples causing flat water in the death of a relationship.

So make sure that the stones you throw into the pond are carefully placed.

Friday, 22 July 2016


So here we are, before and after. (If you're wondering 'before and after what?' see my blogpost here)

Thank you to everyone who sponsored us. If you haven't and would like to now that you can see the evidence :) here is the secure link:

Tuesday, 19 July 2016


Sometimes you just have to do something that is bigger than yourself. In our independent, self(ie)-obsessed world it is seen as normal to 'look out for number one.' But God calls us to something different.

I've been reading Philippians this week. In chapter 2 we are called to do things out of humility, not rivalry or conceit. We are called to 'look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.'

When we look outside of ourselves and choose deliberately to serve the interests of others, everyone benefits. If we are all so busy looking to serve one another, we stop comparing ourselves and trying to prove ourselves. It becomes about the other person, wanting the best for them.

There is a reason that service feels good. It's what we are made for.

Sunday, 17 July 2016


When a project is in bud and you're waiting for it to bloom… the anticipation can be unbearable. But blooming takes time. You can't force it.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Shaving our heads

Around this time last year I posted this journal page about awareness. I mentioned my dear friend J who has an incurable blood cancer called essential thrombocythaemia (ET). Since then, J and a few others have set up an awareness and support group called the MPNAA (Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Alliance Australia) under the umbrella of the Leukaemia Foundation. To help them get started with both awareness of this group of diseases and funds for research, my 17 year old daughter and I (I’m 47 just for the record) are shaving our heads on 22nd July. 

If you’d like to sponsor us in this, you can donate on a secure link here:
Before and after photos will be posted here next Friday.

MPNs are diseases that cause the over-production of certain types of blood cells. In ET the bone marrow produces too many platelets and they aren’t properly formed. This causes the blood to be thick and sticky, increasing the risk of clots and strokes along with other side-effects such as headaches and fatigue. There is also a chance of progression of an MPN to leukaemia. For most people, the diagnosis comes in their 60s or later. For J it came in her 30s. The medical community have no idea how taking the appropriate medications will affect someone if they take them for decades. And now there is someone in the group whose 2yr old has been diagnosed. Awareness and research are desperately needed so please share this info.

But why shave our heads?

Well, one of the possible side effects of the medications is hair loss. The thing is, because the treatment for MPNs is ongoing, unlike with other cancers where the chemo lasts for a certain length of time and then stops and the hair grows back, if hair loss happens, it doesn’t grow back. 

For more info on MPNs:

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Join forces

I watched a great Ted talk by Leila Hoteit yesterday. She is an Arab businesswoman who was talking about lessons she has learned. One of them was 'Don't compete. Join forces.' Busineswomen in the UAE face a lot of challenges already without competing with each other.

Too often we women compare and compete instead of joining forces and encouraging one another. It's time we remembered that someone else's success is something to be celebrated. It doesn't take anything away from you.

So cheer someone else on today, join forces, and achieve so much more together.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Flowers in winter

This page started out with a gelli-print made when cleaning off the gelli-plate. I always think of red, black, and white being winter colours, so perhaps that's why this print appealed to me. The hint of yellow spoke of warmth and spring, though, and a sunflower just cried out to be put on the page as a reminder that there are still flowers around in the winter, if you know where to look.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Working BIG

So, last Friday I posted about working small - ATCs which are only 3.5 x 2.5 inches. This week I've been working on a piece to go on the chimney breast in my studio. This is not small. This is LARGE. Roughly 2.5 x 3 ft. So I've stretched my comfort zone in both directions in the last week.

As we live in a rectory which comes with my husband's job, I decided to do the piece on a sheet of paper rather than straight on to the wall. I lopped some off a roll I have and started with my usual mish-mash of collaged down bits and pieces from old books, bits of gelli-print etc. This was covered with a layer of gesso and then the fun with paint, stencils, etc. began.

I discovered that there are just as many ways that working larger than normal is as uncomfortable as working smaller. You just get so used to a particular size when you mainly journal. I had to use larger brushes for a start. There's no being delicate with a large piece like this when it comes to background. Even doing the shading on the face meant I had to be a lot bolder with the amount of colour I was putting down.

It was fun to try something different.

I'll be linking up with Paint Party Friday, looking forward to seeing all the colourful loveliness that's been happening this week around the globe.

Monday, 4 July 2016

From one extreme to the other

So, just a quick post. I haven't done any new journal pages since last time. The cold winter days send me to a room with heating in it, so I'm spending time in front of the fire doing some knitting. However, I did start a large piece for the chimney breast in my studio. Just to show you how I've gone from one extreme to the other, that green rectangle in the top right is one of the ATCs from my last post. I guess I'm pushing my comfort zone in both directions as this is a lot larger than I normally work.

Still, it's good to push the boundaries.