Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Plant seeds not stones

Plant seeds not stones.

We all have the ability to plant seeds or stones into the lives of others.

If we plant seeds, they have the chance to grow and produce fruit.

If we plant stones, at best they are an irritation, like a tiny stone in a shoe. At worst they are a great big rock that weighs someone down so much that they cannot move on.

Choose to plant seeds.

This is one of my little square canvases. I'm particularly pleased with this one :)

Thursday, 21 February 2019

The lights are on

The lights were on but no-one was home.

Sometimes there is only time to do something quick. This page already had a gelli-print stuck to it so drawing a face on it took just a few minutes. When I stood back from it, this face looked far away. It had that look I get when I drift off due to overwhelm.

When we first moved to Australia in 2009, we were invited out to dinner by the archbishop. Unfortunately, the date coincided with the day our stuff finally arrived. We opened about 100 boxes that day before heading off for dinner. At about 9p.m. the person sitting next to my husband leaned over to him and said, 'I think your wife just crashed.' I imagine that my face looked like this :)

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

String of pearls

Your interaction with someone is one of a series for that day - make it a good one.

I was happy with this page. Had no idea where it was going, but I liked the colours and patterns that were emerging. Then I put in the gold dots and joined them together with white dashes. They reminded me of a string of pearls.

For some reason that brought to mind the string of interactions we have each day. One 'bad' interaction can sour the whole day. We might carry that feeling into the next interaction that we have and make an ugly pearl on someone else's necklace. So if you're speaking with someone who seems a little cranky, make sure your interaction with them is one that makes their day better, not worse.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Learning a new skill

I spent Saturday morning here, at Bartington Forge, taking a masterclass in blacksmithing. My husband and daughter bought it for me for Christmas. I had a great time learning from David Wilson, who has been doing this sort of work for 60 years. And I (mostly) made a poker. I say 'mostly' because you can't expect, in 3 hours, to gain a skill that takes years to build. There is so much to learn, but I did get to do a good amount of stuff myself with David tidying up my messy, first-try attempts. 

Above,  David is holding the main body of the poker firm while I turn the circle of the handle. This happens after you taper the top of the iron rod, which is the hard arm work of hammering. 

Here I'm getting ready to twist the tapered top around the body.

This is the end of the first turn around the body. The loop is removed from the peg and turned around before doing the next turn, otherwise you end up walking around the anvil. You continue to twist and then form a little tail with the thin end.

Here is the finished article (on the messy carpet in my studio 😊)

Here's a close-up of the top of the poker, and below you can see the twist in a squared off section of the bar. You square it off so that the corner lines show up nicely. The end is thickened up and then made into a point.

 It was a great morning but blacksmithing isn't something you can take up and do at home.
What new skill would you like to have a go at?

Wednesday, 13 February 2019


Waiting to feel like myself again.

My pages all feel like a mess at the moment - all over the place, uncoordinated, bits of this and that, just plain messy. I guess that's because it's how I'm feeling myself. There are times when I feel fine and others where I just don't feel like myself. It's my age and I'll grow out of it, but while I'm in it it just plain sucks.

So that's where I am. How about you?

Monday, 11 February 2019

Make ripples

This is the latest in my little square canvases. I'm almost up to twenty.

The circle is cut from a foreign (to me) language book. The ripples are from gelli-printed greaseproof paper, and the spots in the background are done using alcohol on watery acrylic paint.

So, go out and cause ripples. Remember that your actions affect others even in an indirect way. Make an impression on those you meet, as long as it's a good one!

Friday, 8 February 2019


The night may be long, but the sun will rise eventually.

This page felt like a night sky but there is a big area of light. Whenever the night feels long - and let's face it, we all go through times that feel dark and unending - we know that the dawn will come eventually. Even in the far north where the darkness lasts for months, the day eventually comes.

We look eagerly for the light.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019


Do not let your adorning be external.

Once I stuck the circles at the top of this page, I couldn't see them as anything except baubles, ornaments. They really stuck out on the page for me. Then the word 'adorning' popped into my head. It reminded me of a passage in 1 Peter chapter 3, verses 3 and 4. It says '...let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.'

True beauty does not come from the things we drape ourselves with. We do not paint it on our faces, hang it from our ears or around our necks, or gain it by going under the surgeon's knife. It is not made of cashmere or silk or gold. No amount of outward adornment will disguise an ugly spirit for long, just as a beautiful spirit will not be hidden.

True beauty comes from within. It does not fade but instead blossoms with age as we practice gentleness and quietude.

Monday, 4 February 2019

It's easier to make lots of small course corrections. Take your bearings often.

If you want to get somewhere, a straight line is the quickest way. When a farmer ploughed a field with oxen, he would take a sighting on something on the other side of the field and head straight towards it to help him not veer off course.

When we get distracted and take our eyes off the target, the quicker we look back to it, the smaller the course correction we'll need to make. Better to keep checking than to go off in completely the wrong direction and have to do a massive change of course later.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Layers over time

We are all made up of layers set down over time.

The shapes in the top right of this page reminded me of agate. We are all gemstones and each part of life sets down a layer in us. The trick is not to hide those layers but to let them show. The agate is beautiful because we see the layers.