After a while

Looking inDuring the week I had an opportunity to remember my own boundaries and enforce them (oh how I love those life lessons!!). In the middle of the storm I spoke to a good friend who reminded me of my own power and strength. At the end of the call she told me she had a poem she wanted to read me and it brought me to tears (more tears if I am honest!!) :).

I googled it (because that is what you do!! :)) and here it is, sharing it in case anyone else needs it too!

After a While

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn.

Veronica A Shoffstall


Fragmented faces

This is my contribution inspired by a tutorial over at Kristin’s Tutorial Tryout sessions over here.  The original tutorial is to be found over here and was created by Denthe.

I had an idea for this in my head and I couldn’t get it to work.  I wanted to do a face and had this idea about shades and strips within the face, that were a similar sort of tone, ie not like the tutorial at all!!  So I reached a place and felt stuck and couldn’t finish it how I saw it in my head.

So this sat here half finished.  In the end I decided to just finish it, not like I saw it in my head because I can do another one, another day, how I saw it in my head!!  Problem solved. Moving on past my stuckness occurred. :)

Fragmented face

I tried another face, not how I saw the first one in my face, but with a different idea entirely. I stuffed that up so I glued some newspaper over the page (because I had used sharpie and didn’t want that coming back through the paint), and started again. This is much more akin to what I saw in my head for this girl. Certainly some more ideas recorded in my art journal that I can play with and explore a bit more.

Geometric face

Kristin is bring her Tutorial Try-outs to end for a little while, (luckily for me I have a couple of catch ups still to come), but I cannot recommend highly enough doing these when they start up again.

It is just a fun way to not only do something with tutorials and techniques we file away and never seem to get to, but it also allows us to push our own skill level and develop new ideas in ways we may not have done otherwise. It is also a really fun no pressure way to just play and experiment.

As is ICAD (index card a day) that is starting up very, very soon, and you can find out more about over here.

May Link Love #4

link-love-icon250Linking up into Tammy’s mission to spread the inspiration and link love far and wide.

My first link love this week is going to Stacy.  I guarantee you have not seen anyone be as creative with the same subject matter because she consistently paints only crows and they all have their own stories to tell.  Amazingness.  As well as that she is a very generous soul and so encouraging and supportive.

My next bit of link love is going to Chris at Parabolic Muse.  HILARIOUS.  She is witty and charming and makes me laugh.  As well she is incredibly creative and has gorgeous flowers in her garden.

My next link is to Dawn DeVries Sokol.  Her 1000 Artist Journal Pages book may be one of the most inspiring pages on my art book collection, and was one of the first art books I bought.  If I am really stuck I can flick through the pages and generally find something to inspire me.  Something that gives me somewhere to start.  Whether it be a line, or phrase or colour combination or composition.  The book is beautiful.  Really nice pages as well.  Dawn is currently working on another book and is inviting submissions from YOU!  Click on that link to find out more.  There is still a couple of weeks to get your submissions together.  You don’t know unless you submit something, so give it a go I say!  You could become published!!!!!!  :)

My next bit of linky love is Julie Gibbons.  Her work is beautiful and meaningful as you can see here and here.  This article by Julie was recently published on another site and was inspiring to me as well so I am sharing her flirty art journaling self with you all.  :)

Finally my last bit of link love this week is Agnes Cecile.  OH MY GOSH.  Be still my heart.  You must flick through all her portfolios and fall madly in love.  It is compulsory.  Her work is amazing and just took my breath away.  So much talent and so young.  Incredible work.


Artist’s Way Check in: Week 10

Standing in her own power

There has been some resistance this week (if that is what you call the complete desire to do anything else but this), and then yesterday there was an emotional breakthrough with some old family patterning and suddenly I was much more inspired. I then realised that the task I had been avoiding actually took less than five minutes!! In my head it seemed it would take so much longer.

Actually in light of reviewing the chapter for this post it is ironic that I had so much resistance when the overview talks about dealing with toxic patterns that we cling to that impede our creativity.

The chapter starts out discussing the blocks we use to stifle our creativity such as food, alcohol or busy-ness.

There was a bit of journaling this week, and perhaps some of the resistance was being honest about how close to home some of it was. However, the tenet of the chapter was about not only acknowledging the blocks we use to sabotage ourselves, but also to come up with strategies to aid ourselves and treat ourselves with compassion.

This chapter also deals with creative droughts, fame and competition and how we can twist these to stifle our own creativity. The chapter then deals with the other side of that and what are the touchstones and practices we can hold onto. I found this week quite challenging but it could have been other stuff going on.

TouchstonesThe quotable quotes from Julia Cameron in this weeks chapter are:

We turn to our drug of choice to block our creativity whenever we experience, the anxiety of our inner emptiness. It is always fear – often disguised but always there – that leads us into grabbing for a block.

As we become aware of our blocking devices – food, busyness, alcohol, sex, other drugs – we can feel our U-turns as we make them. The blocks will no longer work effectively. Over time, we will try…and ride out anxiety and see where we emerge. Anxiety is fuel. We can use it to write with, paint with, work with.

The phrase “I’m working” has a certain unassailable air of goodness and duty to it. The truth is, we are very often working to avoid ourselves, our spouses, our real feelings.

Even an hour of creative work/play can go a long way toward offsetting the sense of workaholic desperation that keeps out dreams at bay.

In any creative life there are dry seasons….We feel we have nothing to say, and we are tempted to say nothing. These are the times when the morning pages are most difficult and most valuable. During a drought, the mere act of showing up on the page…requires one footfall after another to no apparent point….For all creative beings the morning pages are the lifeline – the trail we explore and the trail home to ourselves.

In a creative life, droughts are a necessity. The time in the desert brings us clarity and charity.

Art needs time to incubate, to sprawl a little, to be ungainly and misshapen and finally emerge as itself.

There have been times this week when doing the morning pages was the last thing I wanted to do, and they have been filled with feelings of being stagnant and stuck and not going anywhere. General blahness, and then some processing as things happened. What I credit morning pages with is that I acknowledged those feelings every day on the page, and by the end of the three pages I was working towards potential solutions or things I could do, which definitely is an improvement over just moping about those feelings but not doing anything productive. The feelings did last for a good few days, but I suspect they may have lasted longer had I not shown up on the page every day.

And this week is done!!  Two more weeks to go.  :)

Plugging back in

I unplugged late last week and never really got plugged back in so this is a catch up of sorts where I go over my rocking moments of the week and share the card I made yesterday as part of my 52 card series.

I was feeling a bit flat for a lot of last week, and yesterday I got a gigantic headache and felt a bit achy, but whatever it was has passed because I feel a lot more on top of everything today (apart from my inbox!!).


First of all my rocking moments that I am sharing with Virginia at Celtic House.

The children had cross country this week and both of them came in the top ten of their groups, despite not running as hard as they could so that was a good start to the week.

A good friend came back from China where she had a second wedding with the groom’s family and described it to me so clearly I could almost imagine I was there.   I am insanely jealous that I missed out on the extravaganza.  Just the stories however made me laugh so hard and her sharing with me lit up my week.  A bubble machine, glitter cannon, disco ball extravaganza that has set new standards for weddings, even if it was quite a bit more than the bride was expecting.  The descriptions sound like they would have put my beloved gypsy weddings to shame.

I got the most lovely card in the mail from a friend that delighted me and was so unexpected.  It came at the most perfect of times and was rather wonderful.

Victoria and her friend found a dead butterfly that they named Prince and decorated what I thought was a coffin for him. There is a roster set up and they are taking turns looking after him.  She very generously offers to let all visitor’s to the house pat him on her nights, and she is doting on him.  It is very cute, but I have gently suggested a funeral may be in order because I don’t know how much resting in peace is going on.

Girl-child found a dead butterfly and with a friend they have made it a last resting place and have a roster for looking after it. There is even a note to have a happy life in heaven.There has been a lot of rain the past week, and it does feel like the world around us has being a little bit cleansed. With the rain and wind I note a big difference between last week and this week in relation to the amount of leaves on trees. Last week there was still an abundant display, but this morning on my walk/jog I realised that some trees were nearly bare now. Feels like Autumn has bedded in and is getting ready for Winter.

I also got some yarn last week that made me very happy. Turquoise teals and gold, hand dyed. I am intending to knit a scarf with it. I have a lace pattern and I have started it ever slowly (as per all my knitting!). Whichever year it gets finished I will love it. It was a bit of a treat because the last thing I needed was more yarn!!

And they are my most rocking moments of the week. In amongst it have been conversations with my Beloved and the children that have had me in stitches and feeling very loved and I am much appreciative and grateful of all of them. I have also had some good conversations with friends that have sparked off ideas filled with potential. A blessed week, if quite and filled with some early hibernation!! :D

Here also is the latest in my 52 cards. Number 13!!

Looking for answers Card #13/52)

A quiet week this week led to me hibernating, reading and going quiet. I did wonder if I was perhaps too quiet or if I should be doing more, those questions that plague all of us when we have some down time.

The journaling reads:
Look ahead.
Looking up.
Looking forward.

I suspect the result of my quiet introspection all week!

Are your index cards ready?

It is that time of year again where June is fast approaching and with the approach of June it also means the Index Card a Day challenge is nearly here. You can read more about it here.

I have my index cards ready:

All ready for #icad with @gypsy999. :)I cannot recommend joining this challenge enough. Just creating for even 5-10 minutes a day sparks so many ideas. There is also a freedom that comes is using an index card for creating, a trick for your perfectionist mind.

I first joined in 2011 but life happened and I got away from it.

Last year I did the entire challenge and it was such a fantastic experience. I went into it with two goals, to finish, and to do as many of Tammy’s prompts as possible. I made NO other rules. I prepared some backgrounds on cards with extra paint and what have you so that on the days where I had nothing left, I had somewhere to start.

I also had a couple of times I basically completed two cards (or more) at the same time, and those back up cards were useful on the days where time got away from me. A couple of tweaks and I was good to go. Or an easy list scribbled down. No rules.

The biggest success factor for me last year was not to impose any rules on myself. In 2011 when I got behind I had so many rules in my head: I had to do both sides of the card, I had to do a card every day (it didn’t count if I did an extra card on another day where I had more time), if I got behind I HAD to catch up, each card had to be of a certain quality, it all just got too hard and I never got back to it after my life interrupted for a week. Last year there was none of that.

Last year I finished the challenge.

First set*:

Icad Mosaic #1Second Set*:

Icad Mosaic #2I pulled the cards out yesterday and I was amazed holding them in my hand. I had forgotten all about some of them, and the ideas that had been sparked. It was such a treat holding them in my hand, and I decided to bind them.  I pulled out my Alisa Golden bookbinding book.

I decided to make it very easy on myself. One of the joys of ICAD is the experimentation so I went into the binding with that in mind (two different binding methods). I used a cardboard envelope I received in the post as my covers and punched a couple of holes in the covers and the cards. No measuring, just by sight.

Making an Icad Book #1

Making an Icad Book #3

Making an Icad Book #4

Making an Icad Book #5

Making an Icad Book #6

Making an Icad Book #7I LOVE THESE. Such a joy to hold these little books in my hand.

This year I have my cards ready and only two goals. To finish and to use only collage. Collage scares me a little so I thought index cards are the perfect place to challenge myself with this medium.

Get your cards ready now and join in, there is such a lovely community spirit that forms over these little cards, and you get to connect with so many new people.

No rules. Dip in or out. You will be surprised at how much it adds to your creative well, and how many ideas it sparks.

* Mosaic photo links:

First set:
1. Icad #1, 2. Icad #2, 3. Icad 3, 4. Icad 4, 5. Icad 5, 6. Icad 6, 7. Icad 7, 8. Icad 8, 9. Icad 9, 10. Icad 10, 11. Icad 11, 12. Icad 12, 13. Icad 13, 14. Icad 14, 15. Icad 15 – Part 1, 16. Icad 15 – Part 2, 17. Icad 16, 18. Icad 17, 19. Icad 18, 20. Icad 19, 21. Icad 20, 22. ICAD 21, 23. ICAD 22, 24. ICAD 23, 25. ICAD 24, 26. ICAD 25, 27. ICAD 26, 28. ICAD 27, 29. ICAD 28, 30. ICAD 29, 31. ICAD 30, 32. ICAD 31, 33. Icad 32, 34. Icad 33, 35. Icad 34, 36. Icad 35

Second set:
1. Icad 36, 2. Icad 37, 3. Icad 38, 4. Icad 39, 5. Icad 40, 6. Icad #41, 7. Icad #42, 8. Icad #43, 9. Icad #44, 10. Icad #45, 11. Icad #46, 12. Icad #47, 13. Icad #48, 14. Icad #49, 15. Icad #50, 16. Icad 51, 17. Icad 52, 18. Icad 53, 19. Icad 54, 20. Icad 55, 21. Icad 56: Background 1, 22. Icad 56: Background 2, 23. Icad 57, 24. Icad 58, 25. Icad 59, 26. Icad 59 Close up, 27. Icad 60, 28. Icad 60 close up, 29. Icad 61, 30. 61 Index cards!

Tutorial: Making Resin paper

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned making resin paper, and there was a comment showing interest in it, and since it is so magical and yet so easy, I thought I would do a quick tutorial!  :)

You will need some resin, paper, some plastic protective sheet for the table you are working on (and to let the paper dry) and a sponge.

I would note at this stage that after making two lots of resin paper my sponge was pretty much dead, so do not use one that you are overly fond off and want to keep reusing.  In fact those cheap disposable sponge brushes would be most excellent for this.

The plastic I used was a shopping bag made with some heavy duty plastic that I cut up.  You may have one of those non-stick craft sheets or the like which I assume will work just as well.

Resin paper tutorial #1

I had some resin and so used what I had, I assume all brands will work the same on this technique.

Resin paper tutorial #2

I grabbed a variety of paper: tissue paper, pattern paper, rice paper, book text, scrapbooking paper, and some good scrapbooking paper that was akin to cardstock almost. I was experimenting a little as well as doing this tutotial. :)

Resin paper tutorial #3

I made the resin up according to the instructions on the bottles and assembled all the supplies.

Resin paper tutorial #4

This is one side of the book text paper complete. You get the resin on the sponge and then you are almost pushing it into the paper to saturate it. So swiping slowly and imagining that resin soaking into the paper fibres. Gently but firmly. (Noting that tissue paper needs more gentle than firm!!) Here you can see that you can start to see the text from the other side of the page beginning to poke through.

Resin paper tutorial #5

This is what the other side looked like. You can see there are still some patches of white on the page where the resin has not soaked through to the other side (hence why I do both sides).

Resin paper tutorial #6

This is the complete page, where you can see the words from both sides and the paper is thoroughly saturated.

Resin paper tutorial #7

I then did the same for all the papers, this is the scrapbook cardstock paper, and you can see how the back is starting to go very translucent.

Resin paper tutorial #8

This is all the papers laid out to dry. They take a little while. You will know when they are dry because they will not be tacky anymore. This can take a varying amount of time. The scrapbooking paper and book text took 24 hours. The tissue paper took longer, and because I was impatient I removed it early and it ripped into bits on me as I was removing from the plastic sheet. Looing at it now when it has been a couple of weeks, I should have left it for maybe another day. It was slightly tacky when I removed the tissue paper, but it feels very strong now.

Resin paper tutorial #9

This photo is to show that there was in fact something in the middle of the plastic!! It just went white and clear! It was the rice paper and tissue paper.

Resin paper tutorial #10

When you pull it off the plastic pull up slowly, like you are almost peeling it off, if that makes sense.

Here are some of the results. I have held them up against a window so you can see the magical nature of it. Almost translucent and they glow almost. I am looking forward to cutting these into stones!!

Resin paper tutorial #11

Resin paper tutorial #12

Resin paper tutorial #13

Resin paper tutorial #14

On the book text you can see that you can see both sides of the book text clearly.

This picture is off the same scrapbooking paper that I cut in half. One half has been resined and one hasn’t.

Resin paper tutorial #17

You can see that it has not lost as much as the colour as the photo suggests, it is just the light shining through it. On the floor, without the light there is still a lot of colour, though it is slightly more muted. (The resin paper is on the left)

This is just the resin paper up to the light!

Resin paper tutorial #18

Resin paper tutorial #15

This is the cardstock resin paper from the back, so you can see that you can’t see any white at all now. (The above scrapbooking paper is the same).

Resin paper tutorial #16

This is the tissue paper, that I am holding so you can see how glass like it is, with my finger behind it.

Resin paper tutorial #19

All truly magical. I hope this is helpful if you are interested at all!  :)