Monday, 30 March 2020

Coughs and sneezes

Coughs and sneezes spread diseases.

The three circles sat on this page for a while before I decided what I wanted to do with the rest of the page. The black marks were made to calm the background and bring things together. When I stood back and looked at what I'd done, I was reminded of the spread of droplets when coughing and sneezing - something that is on everyone's mind at the moment - and I couldn't get the little phrase out of my head, so I wrote it down. If I did it over again, I'd do the lettering differently, but it's just my journal and I'll turn the page and start anew.

Friday, 27 March 2020

The practice of thankfulness

Practice thankfulness. In times of uncertainty and anxiety it is helpful to remember your blessings.

No matter what situation we find ourselves in, there is always something to be thankful for. We may have to look harder to find it, it may be a small thing, but there is always a reason to give thanks.

In our pandemic times, I am thankful for...
the breath in my lungs
family and friends, even though I can't hug them all right now
the sunshine - somehow it all looks better when the sun is shining
birdsong - I can hear more of it while I walk now there are fewer cars on the roads
technology that helps us stay in touch
all those people who are working on the front-lines to keep us all healthy and fed
art supplies
and many, many other things besides.

There is much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Social distancing

Social distancing. The new buzzwords. When will that phrase make its way into the Oxford Dictionary?

Keep plenty of white space between you and the next person.

And if you're someone who prays, please pray for those who have lost loved ones recently and who can only have 10 people at a funeral service and only at a crematorium or graveside. No church service, no wake, and sitting six feet apart. Grief compounded.

Monday, 23 March 2020


Re-thinking community: how to fellowship when we can't gather together?

It is a time when we realise that gathering together has become part of who we are, a way to feel that we belong, a way to connect and keep in touch. Humans need that connection.

With churches shut, we have been looking at how to keep in touch with our community using all the things available to us. Technology for virtual church, letters through the door for those not on email, phone calls - anything to help us to connect while staying away from each other.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Taming an out of control page!

This page is so out of control! I guess maybe it reflects our world at the moment. However, I refused to let it stay out of control. So, what to do?

First, throw some white at it:

This is an improvement, but it needs more. There are some bits I really like, but all together it's too much. So, more white, but with an aim in mind:

Now we have a vase incorporating lots of colour and pattern, but surrounded by white, it becomes much calmer. And a vase needs flowers:

So there you go: how to tame an out of control page and turn chaos into something beautiful.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Don't let fear rule!

Do not let fear rule - care for one another.

I went to do my weekly shopping trip on Monday and it was horrendous. Where there are usually two tills open at the most and a couple of people waiting at each, instead there were five open tills and people were queueing halfway down the shop. It took us about twenty minutes to get to the till. The whole job took twice as long as usual and there were several items on my list that I couldn't get because the shelves were empty.

People had trolleys that were piled high - 4 of everything because those were the restrictions. Who really needs 4 packs of crumpets + 4 packs of teacakes + 4 loaves + 4 packs of rolls + 4 packs of drop scones? Really? There were no packets of flour on the shelves. Has everyone taken up baking all of a sudden? As someone who bakes every week, I have to be honest and tell you that I was slightly annoyed that I couldn't pick up my usual pack of flour that I have on my list once a fortnight. That's all I wanted, just one pack. I'm not stockpiling, just buying to feed my family for a week.

Why do we let fear rule? Please, please ask yourself if you really need that extra pack (or 3!) of toilet rolls/flour/UHT milk. What if we all bought just what we really need for the week? What if we left something for the next person or took something to the local foodbank?

What if we started to care for one another instead of letting fear make us selfish?

Monday, 16 March 2020

to be yourself...

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson.

There is so much pressure these days to measure up to certain arbitrary beauty standards, modes of behaviour, roles etc. It would be so easy to just bow to all that pressure and fit in, but the world would be worse off. If we all strive to be the same, wouldn't that be so boring? We all have so much to contribute and each contribution is unique. So be your own colourful authentic self, no matter what the world wants you to be.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Seeds in the ground

The seed sits in the ground for a while after it is planted. It sits in the dark, seemingly doing nothing. When the conditions are right, it germinates.

When we are waiting for something new to germinate, it can feel like we are missing out on all the colourful things that are going on elsewhere. We sit there in the dark, waiting, feeling as if nothing is happening. But that time in the ground is necessary.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Climbing towards the light

Climbing towards the light.

I find myself adding climbing vines to quite a few pages just recently. This one seems to be reaching for the light, just as I do. This is a simple page, but I am happy to leave it this way. Sometimes you just have to stop with a few layers. It is enough.

Monday, 9 March 2020

100 day project

I've heard about the 100 day project before, enjoyed watching people's progress on Instagram, but never taken part. This year I decided to change that.

But what to do?

It needs to be something that doesn't take too long each day and also something that doesn't become boring. At first I thought about doing some small collages using only collage and pens, but then I'd end up with 100 small collages - yet more stuff to clutter up my tiny studio.

So I thought again. What about working on one piece? I could do 100 layers. The first few pictures will be fairly boring, but as it builds, hopefully it should become more interesting. It will go through hot mess stages and also 'I want to stop because I love it as it is' stages. Each layer will consist of work with one particularly art item e.g. if I pick up a tube of red acrylic, then I can do as much as I want on the paper with that particular paint, and that counts as a layer.

So watch this space. The challenge starts on April 7th. Will you be joining in the fun?

Wednesday, 4 March 2020


Women: forever transforming.

Women go through many changes - puberty, pregnancy, menopause. I no sooner get more or less used to the changes from one thing than I'm on to another.

But on the bright side, change lets us know we're alive. It means we haven't stagnated. So as difficult as some of those changes are, I am learning to welcome them.

Monday, 2 March 2020

Who do you listen to?

Whose voice do you listen to? What is it growing in you?

When I pulled out this mask it looked like someone cocking their head to hear something. I had been doing a study on the word 'turn' in Mary Brack's Lent Words Study. It made me think about how, when we turn from one thing, we are also turning towards another. When we hear a sound, we might turn our heads to find the direction of the sound. If someone calls out to us, we turn towards them.

In this age of social media, there are a lot of people calling out to us. We can choose whether we listen to our detractors or our cheerleaders. What we listen to grows things in our hearts: bitterness, self-hatred, grudges, self-esteem, love, depending on what we are listening to.

So take care, and turn towards the voices that will grow good things in you.