Topsy Turvy

Today is a topsy turvy day.  I start to think I am doing good, and then I have a little slide.  In the interests of not rushing the healing process and fully stepping into where I am, I will say I am doing okay, right now.  I am not going to make any declarations of coming out of my funk, because right when I do that, I take a slide.  Only living in the present.  I have been reading Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser, and how welcome that is.  Stories tagged like a little roadmap.  And wisdom leaking out of the pages.  So for right now I am allowing myself to stop. Embrace all that I a feeling and not rushing through where I am right now.  And that means I am topsy turvy.  Gloriously topsy turvy.

Thank goodness for play dates with four year old girls who are busy baking playdough and chocolate muffins to welcome our new neighbours.  And Fantasia playing in the background, and a gray autumnal day that is perfect for cups of tea and listening to little girl chatter as they make a ‘garden for mama’ out of playdough.

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Sometimes you just need to jump into the fire

Yesterday I resolved to get back to the land of the living.  I had a long todo list and began to get laundry done and the house tidied and sorted.  I also did a little arting.  I felt like I had crossed a threshold coming out of my funk and resolving all those whirling thoughts in my head, at least enough no to be paralysed.  I have journalled and gone to the beach with my family.  And let the ocean do it’s work on me and bring me back.  And I stopped.  I let myself be where I was.  I didn’t fight it.  I didn’t struggle to get back on top of things, I let myself just take the time I needed to process everything.  And once I had decided to let myself be there.  Be still and let a gap in my life open for where I was right then.  In that moment I took a deep breath and started to come back.

And then yesterday I had a Dick Blick order come, (this is pretty high up in my joy of joys), the only thing I was a touch disappointed about was that I thought I had ordered Quinacridone Nickle Azo Gold in the heavy body golden acrylics, but had in fact only ordered normal Nickle Azo Gold.  But I tried the heavy bodied acrylics for the first time and they were good really good.  I loved them, though I have never yet found an art supply that I didn’t like playing with. :)  And the silver lining is that I will have to place another Dick Blick order at some stage to get the correct paint colour.  I tend to save up my purchases though, and then get a little stash arrive, so goodness knows when that will be.  Will just have to use the fluid acrylic instead.  (Oh how tough my life is! :))

And yes, I know when I can moan about getting the wrong paint colour, I have a blessed life.  Thankfully I realise that, and I do appreciate how lucky I am.

Here is the page I painted yesterday with the heavy body acrylics I got…summed up where I was perfectly yesterday, and at the moment.  I just let myself paint and then she arrived out of the flames.  The words scratched into wet paint read: “Sometimes you just need to jump into the fire” I felt that when I started proceeding through my list yesterday in 15 minute spurts.  That I was just jumping straight back into the fire, and how gloriously right that felt.  I smiled when it appeared on the page. And she is messy and imperfect and reflective and resolute and I love that when I just let myself paint, I get the messages I need.

Beyond excited.

Violette Inspired Background (21 SECRETS)

I have taken the last little while to get my bearings back.  Staying away from the computer unless it revolves around creating, and spending time at the beach, with my family, luxuriating in autumnal sun.  The ocean calls to me, and settles me, and brings me back to myself.  Slowly I feel the funk I have been in leaving.  And slowly resolving feelings of grief and confusion and overwhelm, and, and…

So coming back I am glad to say I checked my emails this  morning, and my blog subscriptions come straight to my inbox, and I discovered I had won a fantastic prize!!!  It is so welcome after the last couple of weeks.  The joy of winning art related competitions feels like Christmas has come early.  I feel such joy and am beyond grateful to be so blessed.  I have to admit I squealed when I first realised it was me, and I am so excited that the world famous Violette will be sending ME something!  And she is teaching at 21 Secrets Spring Session as well.  World famous.

Thank you is all I have to say. Thank you.

Violette Inspired background (21 Secrets)

I am priceless

Thank goodness I have had a breakthrough!  Art journalling really is cheap therapy for me.  I have been in a bit of a funk, coming out of it, and then hit by the news that a friend had taken her life, and I have been stuck there.  Aware that it was not the slide into depression that I am always mindful of, but not quite been able to get out of the hole.  I needed to name that hole it appears.

Yesterday’s art journal spread, helped steel me.  I took the “Emotional Evolution”  workshop run by Jeniffer Hutchins at 21 Secrets and just did a mind dump of everything I was feeling, and it was illuminating.  I felt like I got the the crux of it.  And then I saw the way forward.  And then we got to play.  And discover our maps past our emotional minefields.  That is priceless.  I feel so much clearer.  I don’t feel like I am getting weighted down now with all the burdens of life. Here is the page…

Thank goodness.  And today, as we have our first autumnal (I love that word) cold snap, it feels like a cleansing sort of day.  Perfect.  Don’t you just love the synchronicity of timing, that it feels the perfect time to do this session of 21 Secrets.  And I have to also say, this time around, the classes are ALL fantastic, and are worth tonnes more that the price of the workshop.  Last time around, I felt like I got more than my money’s worth because there were super fantastic classes, but some were a bit average.  I did feel a bit let down by a coupe of them, but I fully get that was my own expectations on the teacher.  This time around however, each of the classes I have taken have been work the price.  So much to do, and knowing where to start is a bit overwhelming.  But what a blessing to be so overwhelmed by creativity.  I will take ten of that sort of overwhelm please.

Sometimes it just is…

This is a journal page I did following the workshop process of Natasha at the latest session of 21 secrets.

Doing this today became very reflective of the friend who took her life and the incomprehension of it all.  It just makes no sense and so many questions are left unanswered.  And perhaps the answer is sometimes it just is.

Even in that place of having something so intense, so close to home, there is always wonder at the magnificence of the the wonders around us.  The beauty that surrounds us if only we open ourselves up to it.  And the wonder in the fragility of life and the intricacies of the spider web.  In the end the page took on  a life of it’s own and I was grateful for the chance to work through some of the thoughts I have been processing in a somewhat healthy way.

The perfect use of an art journal.  Cheap therapy :)

Coming out of my funk and new obsessions

I have been in a funny heady space the last couple of weeks.  I have felt quite heavy with life and decisions and a good dose of aimlessness thrown in.

A friend took their life and it was completely unexpected, and it gives pause to reflect.  I had other bad news as well, but really I have been a bit stopped in my tracks by this.

That is my problem I think, I think too much.  I went to the place of where was she that she though this was her only option, and then as I thought about where she must have been, I just got a bit lost there.  I aspire to live more in the present and be more aware and mindful.  The skill is in living that truth when life comes calling.

While all this was going on, I actually thought I hadn’t created much, but I have when looking back been quite busy, probably what has pulled me up and out of the stuckness.

I bought a sewing machine a couple of years ago, took it out once or twice, and it just scared me.  Visions of that young girl getting kicked out of sewing class and going into extra woodwork and metal work classes (which I was not unhappy about :)) kept plaguing me and I would become paralysed.

And then a couple of months ago I bought a free form darning foot.  I stashed that with the unused sewing machine.

And then came the weekend.  A while ago I bought some canvas books for an online art class I was doing.  I had a vision for how they would end up, and the online teacher ended up losing her momentum, and so the journals were barely used.  And I didn’t use mine for that project at all.  It just didn’t call to me.

But I had a vision on the weekend, and decided to get them out.  The pages were all doubled over, so I cut the sides to make extra pages, as I want it to be art journal-ly.  I originally intended to pinking shear the outside edges to stop fraying, but my old second hand pinking shears are too blunt for that, and so I got the machine out to figure out how to zig zag the edges.  Thanks to the manual and google I had figured that out in no time.  And then I got hit by the sewing bug.

My first project

Look at those stitches!

And then I began playing with paper and I got out the darning foot and figured out how that worked.  All the time telling myself I was just playing.  I will be honest and two needles were broken during my play period, but I am no longer afraid of the machine.  I loved it.

Paper, material and even old balloons were sewn up...

I have so scraps of paper now sewn together.  Some will form journal pages, others like the one pictured above…I don’t know what I will do with them.  Maybe journal pages.  I just went on a sewing rampage.  And I am completely in love with what that machine can do.  And the free motion darning foot…oh my gosh.  I was like a child.

And then I remembered reading something a long time ago just after I got my sewing machine, and I had material stashed for that, and I had even bought the ribbons, so I went ahead and ran them up after doing a quick google search for the post…

And funnily enough these were just before dinner as well.  Note there is only one skirt pictured but there were two made, she is wearing one of them today! :)

I have to say it appeals greatly to my hippie sensibilities that my daughter was twirling around in a new skirt made from sheets I slept on as a child.  I had rescued them from my sister a while ago who had been given them to use as drop cloths and I am so glad I did.  The stitching isn’t perfect and my mother mentioned how the stitches weren’t very straight…but frankly…I love it.  I love that it is crooked stitching made with this mama’s love.