Last full week of index cards

We are now on the home stretch!!  This was the last full week of index cards.

Not long to go now.  I am so, so proud of my girl-child for sticking with this.

I would also like to thank everyone especially for the kind comments that are left for her, she reads and luxuriates all of them, and I am pretty sure that is one of her most motivating factors!  :)  She has even had me read some of them out to her grandfather to illustrate her growing fame!!  (Plenty of modesty on those shoulders! :D)

Here are our cards for the week:

Icad 50:
I was playing with circles and scrap paper, while Victoria saw birds in love. (To be honest she did this card a couple of weeks ago and then she misplaced it, we found it this week much to her delight!)

Icad #50

Victoria (6) Icad #50
Victoria (6)

Icad 51:
I was playing with the scraps from yesterday’s card and some circles that did not make it into the mix. I prefer this card, I love that you can see the packaging stamp on the gift bag I cut up and that you can see part of the advertising for the theatre’s seasonal programme I have been using as well. The papers have both been used on a lot of cards this year! The book text was left out for some reason and when I saw it, it seemed right for the card given it came out of the previous card. Victoria cur up some cardstock and pieced it back together.

Icad #51

Victoria (6) Icad #51
Victoria (6)

Icad 52:
I realised last week with my flowers that I had stuffed up the design somewhat so I was not done playing with them yet. This still was not quite what I had in mind! :) Victoria made a bunny with a stencil she has and then added on some decorations around the rabbit.

Icad #52

Victoria (6) Icad #52
Victoria (6)

Icad 53:
I was still playing with the flowers and still not happy. Victoria was exploring heart connections. :)

Icad #53

Victoria (6) Icad #53
Victoria (6)

Icad 54:
I was playing with scraps and Victoria dug out her watercolours.

Icad #54

Victoria (6) Icad #54
Victoria (6)

Icad 55:
I cheated with this one, I was about to throw my burnt incense sticks in the bin and then wondered if I could use them on a card, I saw a clothes line and couldn’t find background papers I wanted so I painted some background paper to use on this card. I do feel a bit bad about it, but I love the background more. :) Victoria was seeing watercolour rainbow trees and cloud hearts.

Icad #55

Victoria (6) Icad #55
Victoria (6)

Icad 56:
I was using up more scraps in my collage box (including the face which was a quick lesson for my boy child on using inktense pencils), and Victoria inked up her fingers and created a family with their dog. The family is loosely based on us, and I notice the boy is unnamed. She has some problems when she discovered that the honorific for a young boy is Master, and after making us prove it to her via the dictionary and google (which is apparently more reliable than my dictionary!), she clearly decided to leave him blank, though I did suggest to her that she could just use “Mr.” as well. She was not happy that her brother have “Mr.” either when he is “just a child like her and she has to have “Miss.”, I personally adore that she even went to that place!!

Icad #56

Victoria (6) Icad #56
Victoria (6)

I am linking up over at Tammy’s where she has recently announced another prompt challenge about to begin after ICAD ends.

To see mine or Victoria’s other index cards you can go here.

I hope you are all have a fantastic weekend!


Rocking moments

RYWLinking up over at Virginia’s as I record the moments that rocked this week

The biggest thing that rocked my world this week was a 6.5 earthquake (hahahaha), thankfully the aftershocks have dropped to only the one or two that we can feel each day and I am studiously avoiding the website that will tell me how many aftershocks we are actually having for the sake of my anxiety and so I don’t become addicted to red wine!!  :)  Also thankfully we had only a little bit of damage.

I won a spot on Nataša May’s art workshop Cotton Candy Girls which was very thrilling and I am looking forward to it!

Also Pixie Campbell’s Visual Quest workshop is opening very soon and I am most excited to be able to participating. It has been on my wish list all year so I am thrilled to bits that the start date is nearly here!!

I am grateful for ICAD, and so pleased that Victoria and I are up to date and on target to finishing this week (post coming up later today when I have taken and processed photos!!).

It is winter holidays over here, and we have had an awful amount of sun and even been hanging about in t-shirts and shorts.  It helps my sanity greatly to be able send children outside to kill each other where I can’t hear them.  We have also had an extra two boys for three days, so the good weather where three boys can go outside and make as much noise as they want makes me very grateful.

We have also had some crafty days (possibly more than just some!!)…

Craft central around here today...

We have also made playdough…

Keeping her handbag close just in case!?

I am also grateful for art mail making it’s way to my mail box courtesy of Jana at Tangled Pen.

Mail art makes me very happy!

I have thought her birds were amazing since I first saw them and I was so excited when I found one in my envelope.

I HAVE FINISHED THE ARTIST’S WAY AT LONG LAST!!!! I have been trying to finish this book for years and years and years. Even joined an online group last year and I just couldn’t do it, but I have done it this year thanks to making my blog hold me accountable and I am so excited by not only that I have finished (and that would have been enough considering how many times I tried to do this!), but also how much I got out of it.

I am also grateful for my online connections and the lovely comments and motivation I get from all of you. I feel blessed for the support and that I have people who see me in this way.

I am grateful that with some challenges and deadlines coming to an end I will have more time to get to the things I have been neglecting and feeling bad about…bonus time!

I am grateful for my beloved who opened the red wine last Sunday and indulged my high anxiety for the most part, as I did things like fill the bath tub with water in case we had the big one and we had no access to water. Also to my dearest snorting sniggering Wellington-based friends…I would probably still share with you LISA!! Maybe… :)

Sebastian is turning 10 next week, so this is my last week of him being in single digits as he keeps reminding me. It is hard to believe that I have been a mother for a decade (it has gone so fast) and at the same time, being a mother for only a decade, it feels like forever, most of the time in the best of ways! :D

And that is me for this week. I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend. :)

Artist’s Way Challenge: Week 12 update

I know, the last week of this book has been a very LONG week (:D) but I was distracted creatively by ICAD and the Summer of Color challenge and this week was done in a very scattered, but no less incredibly useful way.  :)  First things first.

OH MY GOSH!!!!  I have actually finished.  I have wondered if this day would ever come.  I have been trying to read this book and get into it for so many years, I am so glad I finally made the effort.  Before fully reading the book I would say my rating may have been a 2/5.  To be honest I undertook this challenge not expecting to get much out of the book, however the true magic in this book is in actually doing it.  I have gotten so much out of it, and it has been such a valuable exercise.  I truly feel like I am the most in touch with myself I have ever been, and a lot of that is because of this book.

That is not to say it has always been plain sailing and some weeks I have struck a lot of resistance and the going has not being easy, but {deep breath} I am finally finished!

The book I used for this, was one volume in an old Atlas set (which originally belonged to my grandparents), and I like that map connotation for this, it fits well in my head with the concept of mapping ourselves so to speak.  The book is also completely finished (meaning the pages all have something on them, though there are some pages that I want to work a bit more on), apart from the cover.

I also had an OH MY GOSH moment.  I worked on this page for the Summer of Color Week 2.

She knowsThe journaling on the side in pink reads: She is not always sure what she knows, but she knows.  And she knows she knows.  And that is sometimes enough, that is sometimes all she has.  She knows. She knows.  She knows.

The following week I began the readings and I read this:

Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is.  And the faith to trust our own admission.  The admitting is often very difficult.  A clearing affirmation can open the channel.  One excellent one is “I know the things I know”.  (Julia Cameron)

I got goosebumps!  This really was a powerful week for me and it started on the first page with a goosebump moment.

Here are the journal pages I have been working on for this week’s readings.

Especially for the past few chapters of the book, it has being a meandering, and as I was pondering the “failure” of that because it was not how I thought it should be, I realised that I was still making forward progress regardless.  It isn’t just big actions, but the little steps along the way that keep propelling us forward.

A gentle strollYou may remember this background from Week 2.  It finally got finished this week.  I loved this quote from Julia Cameron.  As soon as I read it, it resonated with me so much, and while I was thinking about it, I decided I was going to put it on this background.  I love it.  LOVE it.  This is what this blog is about for me, the shared connection with others.  Love this quote.

The miracle is one artist sharing with anotherThis was another Julia Cameron quote from this week that really resonated with me, though I added the last line after half the ink in my pen came out during the writing of the quote.

Trust the darknessFinally, the book starts with a contract of what you will undertake while completing the course, there was another one for the time period after the course.  I modified mine a bit, but I did one as well to close the book off.

Creativity ContractThis book was really about keeping it real, looking at where we sabotage ourselves, and making sure that we don;t let ourselves sink into those moments of darkness, or follow a false lure rather than pursue our dreams and real purpose.  Ensuring that now we have tools to help ourselves, that we remember to use them.  I really liked this week!

The tasks were a mix of writing tasks and doing tasks, things mending, and potting plants etc, against exercises looking at our fears and pay-offs, assessing how far we have come since week one (which for me personally, was incredible).

Here are the quotable quotes from this week’s chapter (there are a lot this week!!), all by Julia Cameron herself:

We are meant to be bountiful and live.  The universe will always support affirmative action.

It is the inner commitment to be true to ourselves and follow our dreams that triggers the support of the universe.

There is a path for each of us.  When we are on our right path, we have a surefootedness.  We know the next right action – although not necessarily what is just around the bend.  By trusting, we learn to trust.

Creativity – like human life itself – begins in darkness.

We need to trust the darkness.

We must work at learning to play.

We are intended to create.

You’re either losing your mind – or gaining your soul.  Life is meant to be an artist date.  That’s why we were created.

As recovering creatives, many of us find that every time our career heats up we reach for our nearest Wet Blanket.

We must learn to keep our own counsel, to move silently among doubters, to voice our plans only among our allies, and to name our allies accurately.

Do not indulge or tolerate anyone who throws cold water in your direction.  Forget good intentions.  Forget they didn’t mean it.  Remember to count your blessings and your toes.

Finally, would I recommend this?  Yes.  Yes.  Yes. :)

The trick is to actually do it.  To not let the “God” part bother you if that is your trigger, or any of her other phrases that you may personally struggle with, to move past that.  That is not what this book is about.  It is ultimately about ourselves.

You will not get a lot out of the book without actually doing the activities (or most of them at least), I got more out of the activities than the readings.  There will be things that don’t resonate with you, but overall, working through this book as a whole has been an amazing experience for me, and I don’t say that lightly.  It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses, but it has been amazing and powerful for the process and for what I have gotten out of it.

And now this chapter is done…or is it just beginning {cue cheesy laughter} :D

If you are interested in the other weeks you can find them all here.

A rocky time of it!


We have been rocking and rolling around these parts as we suffered two big earthquakes over the weekend and a lot of after shocks. Thankfully, although we have been told we should expect aftershocks for the next month or so, they are much less than they were and most are unfelt (so in my blinkered state they don’t count!) :).

Also thankfully we suffered only minor damage, some parts of the inner city have been very badly damaged. Suffice to say my nerves over the weekend were completely shot. I grew up in a city on the faultline and moved to another one on the faultline and I am used to earthquakes.  I used to love them in fact, until I watched what happened to one of our cities a couple of years ago. To see it decimated like that with so much loss of life and so close to home, makes one rethink their complacent nature about earthquakes I tell you! A 6.5 was higher than I was at all comfortable with, and it went on for so long I wondered if this was it (we are told often that we are overdue for the big one).

I have however discovered it is the aftershocks that are the worst. You can not fully relax at all, not sure what is coming. Good red wine and a resultant good nights sleep eased most of the initial anxiety, together with much weaker aftershocks. Also we rechecked emergency supplies and refreshed the emergency water. {deep breath} Peace of mind and sanity is returning…as much as that is possible during the winter school holidays. :D

So, onto my card for the week. I made this on Sunday during the earthquakes, and was actually quite excited to find “natural disasters”. It seemed appropriate to mark this week!

New adventures and natural disasters (#21/52)I am not why the “Tiger wrath” was calling to me but it was. I have just looked up in Animal Speak (by Ted Andrews) and it says “if a tiger has entered your life, you can expect new adventures. It will awaken new passion and power within life.”

How fabulous!! Welcome to new adventures! :)

And actually learning that makes some more of the phrases calling to me this week tie in with that idea as well. I love how all this ties in together and serendipitously gives us messages. To be honest I was not entirely sure about this card, in case it was induced by earthquake anxiety/hysteria!! Sometimes we just need to trust I guess. :)

Which seems like a good place to leave off, except I would like to mention that this series is inspired by Teresa Robinson’s 52 card project that she explains here. The cards are a good place to reflect and process whirling thoughts, as well as giving us messages for the future apparently!! The fact it is on a playing card also means that it is small enough to not feel like it is one more task you can’t cope with. It makes it much easier to get started!!

Honestly, apart from my morning pages, this practice has made such an incredible difference to my life and focus this year, I can’t stress the moment to pause and reflect enough. I am a door-knocking convert to the practice!! :D

The last batch for Summer of Color 3

The last week!!  The last six weeks have gone so fast, I can’t believe it has been six weeks since Summer of Color began.  I am also pleased to say that it is another completed challenge!  Finally some finishing magic is entering my creative space.  :)  A huge thanks to Kristin for her gracious hosting and the mid year Christmas gift that arrived when I won the week 2 goodies.  I am most grateful.  :)

These colours were a bit of a struggle for me, they are not colours I naturally gravitate to, but I love all my pages that eventuated from this week.  I love being pushed outside of my comfort zone, and the results that happen when you just play, because you have no other direction to go in when you start.  The space where magic happens.

Here are my journal pages:

This started of with just playing. I painted a couple of layers and put made some marks with my graphitones. I threaded a silk ribbon I had in this weeks colours (a lucky find when I was looking for something else!!) through the page and when I went to put on another layer of paint I saw these two figures dancing and I decided to leave them there. I love the sense of movement and feeling from them.

Dance of Lovers

I was going to go for a vintage-y portrait with red lips, but I ended up liking her the way she came out, so I left her quite soft and almost unfinished. She felt a bit dreamy and reflective.

ReflectionThis one began a lot like the first one, and then when I began playing with a later layer of paint I was interrupted by a phone call. When I came back the angle I saw this on looked liked someone, or a child being dragged and I love the unformed nature of it, so I left it as it was. I just added a few lines for the ground and a word down in the corner which came to me as I was working on the ground.

Dragged alongNext I decided to play with some corrugated cardboard. It is something I have been wanting to do for a while, to play with all that texture, and it seemed in my head it would work great with this week’s colours.

I LOVE how this came out. Not all my ideas worked, but I enjoyed playing immensely.

Texture cityAnd because I can I am going to force you to look at the delicious texture close ups!! :) I made the flowers with tissue paper and left over silk ribbon because I thought it needed a little something else.

Texture city close up

Texture city close up

Texture city close up

Texture city close upFinally I completely forgot last week that Victoria, my wee one worked on a painting with Summer of Color and she was most disappointed when I neglected to load it last week, so to make amends and appease my mother guilt here is her work from this week. She is on a playdate at the moment, so I can’t confirm, but I am reasonably confident it was all done with my Neocolor IIs. So here is the work from my Miss 6. :)

Victoria (6) Summer of Color Portrait

More index cards to show

Getting closer to the finish line and pleasingly up to date!  :)  It is a good feeling to actually finish a challenge and I have learnt a lot from this one of using only collage.  Like that I really like paint.  Also that I much prefer the collages that I make with my own painted papers.  Both useful things to know!  I did cheat on one of the cards this week by putting in some pen dots for eyes, but I did not like the eyeless look and the eyes I cut out looked wrong.

Victoria is still doing them as well, although her attention to them has gotten smaller and smaller, which is the opposite of what I thought would happen while she is on holidays.  Though I am still mightily impressed that she is still doing these mostly self-directed, I have only had to ask her once or twice if she is working on an index card today. Though this week she asked me how many more days until the end, so I think the novelty is wearing off!  :)

Icad 43:

I utilised my stone obsession with my resin paper and luminous paper I made.  I showed Victoria the pop out hearts for a friend’s birthday card and she decided to do it on her index card as well.

Icad #43Me

Victoria (6) Icad #43Victoria (6)

Icad 44:

I was using up the scraps from my collage box while Victoria was still seeing rainbows. :)

Icad #44Me

Victoria (6) Icad #44Victoria (6)

 Icad 45:

I thought I would try a matryoshka doll design I have been thinking about since ICAD began this year, and Victoria was playing with shiny metallics.

Icad #45Me

Victoria (6) Icad #45Victoria (6)

Icad 46:

I was inspired by this card of Tammy’s, while Victoria cut out a circle from one index card and used it to colour in circles on this index card.

Icad #46Me

Victoria (6) Icad #46Victoria (6)

Icad 47:

I was playing with circles of my gelatin prints while Victoria played with a gelatin print of a ginkgo leaf, and her original stencil card from above.
Icad #47Me

Victoria (6) Icad #47Victoria (6)

Icad 48:

I was using up scraps, and so was Victoria!  :)
Icad #48Me

Victoria (6) Icad #48Victoria (6)

Icad 49:

I was playing with the matryoshka doll idea again (where their eyeless state disturbed me), while Victoria was inspired by Schnitzel von Krumm with a very low tum.

Icad #49Me

Victoria (6) Icad #49Victoria (6)

I hope everyone is having a creatively-filled weekend. :)

Rocking moments galore

RYWI am linking up with Virginia and the girls to record my rocking moments.  Again, at the expense of being a joy-hog there was a lot of joy to be thankful for around here this week!

First of all, (and most excitingly!!!!!!!!!!) I was PUBLISHED!!!!  In Altered Arts Magazine.  Oh my gosh.  I was approached a little while ago and understood it was part of a gallery of other artists (which I was still very excited about), but when I checked out the magazine the other day I didn’t see my work in the gallery of artists,  and thought I was sent a copy of the magazine as a consolation. I double checked to see if there were any other artist gallery sections and I saw my name was ACTUALLY listed in  the contents!!!!  I behaved completely unprofessionally but joy-filled for the new couple of days.  In fact even now I feel a tingle of excitement in my belly still.  :D

I would like to celebrate Mother Nature who overall is making this a mild winter.  We are in t-shirts and soaking up the sun.  GLORIOUS weather, and I am especially grateful since it is the winter school holidays here so children have spent a lot of time outside playing (sometimes more nicely than at other times!).

The children for mostly not killing each other this week, though we have had some moments where I have wondered if any of us would survive with sanity intact.

Summer of Color over at Kristin’s has been such a fun way to connect with other people and challenge myself to use colours that I would not have otherwise have chosen (especially this week’s colours that have been a struggle).

I am beyond grateful for all the lovely sweet comments that were made at my excited squealing about being published here and on facebook.  I am so grateful that people were patient enough to celebrate with me, and patiently put up with my jazz hand madness. (Feel sorry for my poor family who can’t just turn off the computer and escape my madness!)

I finally finished the first scarf I have ever knitted on circular needles. In the past I have struggled with knitting on circular needles (which now seems embarrassingly easy), and I love this scarf! It is slightly more turquoise green than is shown on this photo.  The pattern is also super easy, and very addictive.  I also had a yarn problem (on the very last row when I was casting off!), wherein I ran out and the shop I used to go to had sold out, and I was most pleased at the FAST service I got from Great Southern Yarns (for those that live in New Zealand!).

My new scarf is finished. First time knitting successfully on circular needles!

Robot construction has been undertaken this week and I am grateful for my hoardings of cereal boxes and art supplies, also the fantastic weather that allowed painting to happen outside.

Robot construction is underway. :)

Robots are coming to life and children are both engaged and not fighting which is even more important! :)

Rainbow robot.

The never-ending hopscotch game was undertaken. She finally got up to over 150 though some of the squares were only big enough for tip toes.

Worlds longest game of hopscotch!

The longest game of hopscotch.   She is aiming for 100... #wondersifthepathislongenough

I got to soak him in as he went for a nap, he is ten in a couple of weeks, I don’t know where the time has gone, it is hard to believe he made me a mother a decade ago.

Master nearly 10 having a rare nap...sometimes it is much easier to see the little boy in him...

I also got to marvel at his art. He is into comics big time and I love seeing his work develop.

Taking a peek at boy-child's sketchbook while he has a break...Creatively I am loving that Victoria and I are still both doing our index cards and I love our collections!  The daily creativity sparks so many new ideas I am very grateful.

As ever I am grateful for my beloved who is incredibly funny and sexy to boot! :) (I don’t think he reads this blog, but just in case, it never hurts to earn some more brownie points!!)

I hope you all have a most fantabulous weekend, filled with sun and love.  :)