Lost Girl Diaries

Lost Girl Diaries zine

I have written and rewritten this post and it does not seem to do these justice, so bear in mind that they are better than what I am about to say.

I was going to include these in one of the Inspiring me links but it didn’t seem enough. I found Mel when she was still in a drafty garret (:)), some time ago and have quietly stalked her.  I loved her words and her finding her way through the muddle of it all.  She led me to interesting people and connections and discoveries and her honestly in her words spoke to me.

Last year she began doing this zine and I decided to stop just stalking her and to step out a little and it is one of the best things I did last year.  Towards the end of last year I went through a quiet hibernation that involved some regrouping and refocusing, and these brought light into that space for me.

Lost Girl Diaries zine

These are crafted with her heart on the pages,  Her stories (delicious serials that extend over issues and sadden you when they end.  Poetry and invites to write your own poetry and prompts and images to inspire you and make you laugh.

Honestly the joy you feel when you even noticed a personal message to you…

Lost Girl Diaries zine

I am very grateful for them, and for the connection they gave me, to myself and the wider world as well.

They are not light-hearted at the expense of substance and are raw and expressive in all the best of ways.  They are very “old-school zine” in nature, you do feel like you are holding written treasure in a way that is not common in this digital age.  They remind me of how we used to paste together bits and pieces when I was little.

Issue IV  made me sob while I journaled and wrote. I felt some stuff come up!  :) Permission to feel anger and rage is quite transforming when you are not suppressing it.  Though they are not all heavy with thinkings and musings and emotions either, there are wildly deranged and hilarious moments as well.  And little gems like this:

Lost Girl Diaries zine

I can’t say enough how much I love these. I am so grateful that Mel followed her heart’s preference and shared these because they need to be shared.  They are bursting with whispers and giggles and extraordinary activities and dangerous thoughts.  I have a notebook set aside (because I need another excuse for a notebook!) just for the writings that she inspires.

I couldn’t think of a better way to share how much they meant to me without sharing some of the words they have provoked as well.  Raw and unfinished and some make no sense, but they are written down snippets of things that came up while I was reading and responding to prompts and thoughts.

I feel like I need to explain and justify them but I am going to be brave and not do that.  They are my words. Full stop.

For more snippets provided by Mel and for information on the zines full stop you can go here.

Detrius of living

Stories of a life

Remnants of me


You are good at words of love

But your love injures

Wounds. Eventually. Always.


Forgiveness is hiding

Elusive in the hunt

It sneaks in the dark corners


What is real?

You see a me

They see a me

I see a me


Summer Tuesday

Sticky Toffee

Cherries on ice


If I was nicer

They would like me again

But I wouldn’t

Does it matter?


She tried to forget

Because only if she forgot

Could she forgive

But she is an elephant


In the darkness and silence

I felt my way

To the edge of myself

So I could find my way

To the centre


The last cicada

I notice the silence

When did the hum finish

Autumn is here

One sounds lonely

And knowing

You can see her here talking about behind the zines:

And this helped give me the courage to post my words today:


Inspiring me

Inspiring Me Icon.jpgThis week is a bit different to how I have been doing it.  If you read the blog in the past week or have read my Facebook page in the past week you know I am loving the books by Austin Kleon at the moment.

I have read two of his books in the last week. Steal like an Artist and Show your Work. Oh my gosh.  I wrote copious notes in my planner after reading these books.  I have also had copious thoughts running through my head.  Crystallising what I write about and where.  What do I share.  How do I share it. What do I include?  What do I leave out?

So many thoughts.  SO.MANY.THOUGHTS.

They are not long books, at all. I read both of them in a couple of days but I am still processing them, and still thinking about them.  They are really straight forward plain english speaking reads.  No extra words that are not necessary.  His words that he has therefore pack a bit of a punch.

I did not resonate with all of the bits in the books, but honestly who the heck would??  We are all different and in different places and do different stuff and will all get out different takeaways from what we read.  What I did get out of his books is so much more than enough.  I feel like a light was turned on for me and I got it.

In the way we assimilate information and the way it influences us.  The way we look at influences and the way we are inspired and grow as artists. Also what that says about us as artists or creators and what that says about us.  Allowing another form of connection and another backstory to our work.  How we contribute to growing that influence that inspires us.  What we bring or add to that story.

I feel like I was half way there, floundering in the dark a bit, but all of a sudden a light came on.

The Show your Work book had a similar moment for me.  The front half of the book just turned up the illumination I was already feeling.  I took so many notes from the top half of the book.  All into my planner, sparkling so many ideas and realisations and potential new directions.  I felt really motivated and excited to get started which I realise now may have influenced how I felt about the second half of the book.  Like I was speed reading it so I could get started with the doing.

So I have just decided to reread this book, to see what I missed in my Austin-Kleon-Inspired frenzy. :)  I suspect as I reflect while I write that I did see the last half of the book as an obstacle to get through while I was so inspired to begin.  I really was that excited.

My takeaways from this book were about the actual sharing.  How that is done.  Why you do it.  And the fact that it is not just about me showing you finished products or what I am working on.  It is about letting you see me, letting me add to the story.  Allowing you also to not like me which is a bit scary, especially to a people-pleaser that likes to be liked by everyone.  Keeping it real rather than censoring parts of me that may make you realise I am not for you (and hoping that is not because I am a bad person ~ because that is where my head goes to).  In doing that though I will find the people who really are for me.  Inviting much deeper connections.  Still scary stuff though!

It is not just about posting every day but about the quality of what you are posting.  Not the quality of your work in any sort of judgment frame of mind but in the quality of the connection you make.  It is that missing piece that is so hard to capture.  You can show your work every day but unless you are also connecting (and it is a two way street) then you are missing half of the picture.

Anyway. I am going to stop here. I don’t want you to think that is all the book is about so you don’t have to get it.  It isn’t, I have paraphrased wildly from one section of the book, gotten distracted, and missed out all the really juicy stuff.  I think if you share any work online then you should read this book.  Fullstop.

As a refresher and refiner if you are doing it right and as a light switch if you are half way there and don’t know what the bit is that you are missing but feel you are missing something, or you are not sure where to go.

Also I have now turned into an Austin Kleon stalker and found these which I have also devoured.


Here is what has been inspiring me the past week!  :)

Inspiring me

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Here is what is inspiring me this week:

Julia Yellow’s sketchbooks that you can see here.  Oh my gosh, I love how she combines elements, her line work, the white space on the page, her composition.  Everything about these pages I adore.  You should definitely go check her out.

Gillian Lee Smith.  Holy goodness.  Her work, leaves me speechless, so raw and filled with emotion.  I got lost at her blog earlier this week and I lost an hour.  Beautiful work.  And she has an ecourse that I want to do.  Really beautiful work.  I love her lines and the way she portrays emotions and the level of rawness in her work that tells stories.  Beautiful.

These Easter chicks.  I found them too late for this Easter but next Easter I want a flock.  (Do you call a group of chicks a flock?)  In any event, I love them, I also love how she posed them. They made me smile!  :)

Chrissy Angliker!  You can find her Tumblr here which is her blog essentially and you can see her work in process which I love. I first fell for these drippy portraits, but then worked through all her work until her present day work and was inspired by all of it. Her figurative work is so powerful as well…I got lost over here this week as well.  So much energy and emotion in her work.  The way she puts colour on the page, her control of the pieces particularly when work with tools and techniques that don’t a lot of control inherent in them…such as drips.  Her latest work makes me want to practice more with a palette knife.  Delicious.  Just delicious.

I hope you all had a fabulous Easter and have an inspired week.

Inspiring me

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First up is this video.  I realised just after I hit publish on my last inspiring me post that I should have shared this.  I saw it literally hours before I was due to be Master of Ceremonies and give a biggish Chairperson speech for which I felt a bit wretched.  I don’t know if it was this power pose or a placebo effect but I felt so much better before the speech after watching than I had been feeling.

As an aside the speech went stunningly well (and one of the younger children whose class I help in a couple of times a week told me I looked saxy!) :), though the thieves stealing my wallet from my handbag in the school office while I was speaking was not so pleasant. Given it is a Catholic school it seems a bit reckless given the closeness to God’s watchful eye (just thinking out loud, not very filled with forgiveness right at the moment as card replacement costs and the loss of photos and momentos in my wallet, far outweigh the $5 they took), but I am not letting that one incident impact on my recollection of how well the day went. So I leave you with this, talk about how we hold our space in this world.

Jane, a women who always inspires me to be a better more real person had this fabulous post over here that reaffirmed my decision not to colour my hair or cover up the few greys that I am noticing coming through.  Having coloured my hair often since I was a teenager, when  I found a couple of greys last year I had an initial panic (because surely I am not old enough to be going grey!?), and then decided I wouldn’t dye my hair anymore.  Setting an example for Victoria that you don’t have to cover up aging to be beautiful. Inspired to that view by another very good real life friend as well. And then I found a few more and had to remake that choice very consciously confronting my own demons about aging.  It is funny because I always admire woman who don’t, and I wonder about that, like why I think that is a brave choice to remain in our natural state.   It is redefining my own sense of beauty about aging consciously as well.  In any event, without digging into those thinkings on a post about inspirations, Jane greatly inspired me this week.

Emily Ball is an absolutely fantastic artist and she is inspiring me as well.  You can see her work over hair, but do a more general google search as well.  I love her paint lines and shapes and the way she constructs her forms.  The colours she chooses talk to me, the parts she leaves white, and the parts bursting with energy and colour.  Her art really speaks to me.

Andrea is doing a free ecourse on giving your dreams wings which you can sign up to over here.  Given what my own workshop was in 21 Secrets, it felt very serendipitous (especially this post by Jamie Ridler!). You can find out more about the course and sign up over here.

I am immersed in this course at the moment (immersed and behind!) and there is something quite delicious and appealing to me discussing and reading old myths, particularly Psyche and Amor.  It appeals to the history loving scholarly side of me, and is so much different to what I imagined but also so much more.  It delights me to go to sleep thinking about the stories and reflections questions and to wake up thinking about the symbols and archetypes.  It is really filling me up in a good way and so if it comes up again and it is calling to you then I recommend it.  You can get into it as much or as little as you like, but even if just reading the class discussion you learn so much.

Finally Jay over at Moonlight Creations has created an ebook on drawing faces that he is GIVING AWAY over here.  I have just read the first ten or so pages and already I am staggered by how much work he has gone to, and I am excited about delving into it more.  I definitely encourage people to go look at it if they like drawing faces.  It looks like an incredible resource and I am pretty sure that people will get something out of it no matter how experienced you are.

I hope that you find something here that inspires you in some way. :)

Inspiring me

Inspiring Me Icon.jpgAnd thus starts another series over here on my blog.  Some links or images on what is inspiring me at the moment.  Or what I have been particularly taken with.

I foresee that it will be telling on what is impacting my creativity and process at a given time and will be interesting to look back.

Maya Hayuk.

Oh my gosh. Her art and her murals.  Both have completely taken me and held me captive.  I love her work.  The vibrancy and energy and colours and it really speaks to me.

This video on positive and negative space by Diane Culhane.  And while you are over there please check out her art. Oh yes.  Check out her work!

21 Secrets.  Wow.  A couple of people have shared pages that from my videos which is thrilling beyond belief.  I show everyone quite excitedly on my phone like a fool.  But more than that seeing the inspiration and art over there is really inspiring and exciting to see.  I am grateful to have been a part of it.

I love this idea that I saw on Carmen’s blog…collaborative faces…I love it.  And I totally want to do something like this myself.  I think that would be cool.  To see the different styles of people come together in creating a face.  The idea is quite exciting to me.

Finally my daughter Victoria is home sick with asthma at the moment and has been arting up some faces.  I adore the noses and character in her portraits.  I don’t know when her noses changed or what she has been inspired by but I completely love them.

Victoria is painting a self-portrait. Love that she included messy unbrushed hair.

Victoria is home sick again and drawing her father and I. I thought we were mouthless and then she pointed out we were kissing. Oh my gosh. #thecuteness


These are the things that are inspiring me and exciting me at the moment.  :)  I hope you are having a fabulously inspiring week and if you find things that you think would inspire me then please feel free to share!  I would love that.


Link Love June #2

link-love-icon250Sharing the inspiration and goodness that has inspired me this week.  Tammy talks about her initial mission here, and I am linking up over at Crafty Pod, who is hosting the Linky Love while Tammy is away.

My first link love this week is going to Kristin over at Twinkle Twinkle.  She has a Summer of Color challenge that began this week, and you can find out more about the challenge here.  I saw it last year, but I found out too late and was too overcommitted.  This year I am in!!

My next bit of link love this week is going to the Index card a day challenge.  I really can’t recommend this enough.  There is a facebook group here and a Flickr group here and the community is massively inspiring and supportive!  It is never too late to join and the daily creativity practice sparks off so many ideas.  I am also enjoying doing this year’s challenge with my daughter.  :)

My next bit of link love this week is going to Tara Leaver.  I have quietly followed her blog for a little while (LOVE her art) and just recently connected with her (I think she loves the oceans as much I do).  I have always found her blog posts thought provoking and heart touching, and her inspiration posts where she highlights a different artist are WELL WORTH CHECKING OUT.  Also I love her art (have I mentioned that already), she keeps her artistic journey very real, and is very inspiring.  I also love that I now know I am not the only one with a whole lot of unfinished canvases! :)  She has also just recently self published a book which looks pretty fabulous as well.

Susanna Conway currently has a HUGE book giveaway over at blog that closes on Monday so you should head over here now!  There are 26 books up for grabs, and someone is going to win the entire book bonanza!!  So if you are into books I would definitely head over there because there are some fabulous ones that are in the prize pool.  :)  (Public Service Announcement complete! :D)

I hope you all have a most fabulous weekend, I am now off to watch my daughter compete in her first St. Johns competitions!!

Link Love June #1

How is it that it is June already?!?

link-love-icon250I am joining up with Tammy’s :Link Love mission that you can out more about here.

Collage is my theme for ICAD this year, so I thought I would start with a couple of collage artists that really inspire me.

Sarah Fanelli who is one of my most favourite illustrators ever.  My girl child has more than a couple of her books because I ADORE her illustrations. Just talking about her art makes me excited.  I love the stories she tells, the details she includes, the way she uses collage, her use of other mediums.  SO INSPIRING. Under her portfolio I recommend have a general browse, and if you see any of her books then have a look.  Her work really speaks to me.  Also look under Prints for Sale.  I adore her work.

Next up, is Rex Ray.  His use of collage is so inspired.  I love his designs, the way he constructs his pieces, the papers he uses.  I suspect you will see a few Rex Ray inspired collages during ICAD.  That is my intention anyway. :) I found this book at the library and I would dearly love to own it myself.  In the meantime I just got it out again yesterday and I am in love again.  His designs are clean, he uses every scrap of paper he cuts, everything is potentially useable. His paint work is pretty fantabulous as well, so you should definitely check him out. I just googled him to get his website link and honestly I could have gone through that rabbit hole chasing all the links and this post would never be written.  Well worth checking out.

Next up is another inspiring soul who also does collages.  Hanna is currently working her way through a years worth of collages (here are her latest ones) and it has been quite something to watch.  She also has the most gorgeous art journals, writes honest book reviews, and adores pink.  She is also the gracious facilitator of the DIY postcard swap that happens once or twice a year.  I totally advise checking her out if you have not already discovered the joys of Hanna.https://defineyourjoy.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post

Next up is a free art course I just discovered courtesy of Jo at Fiddlesnips.  (Is that not the coolest blog name!) :)  It is a seven week course offered by Coursera where you can learn to identify and define various art movements, artists, and their artworks. Convey a personal appreciation for art concepts, techniques, and approaches through the creation and sharing of your own original artwork.  Have I mentioned it is FREE???  Also the materials will remain up. You can find out more here.

Here is their introduction video:

My last bit of linky love (but by no means the least) is Cynthia from Spirit Uncaged. Another fantabulous blog name, so evocative and filled with meaning.  Cynthia and I first online during a class run by Connie Hozvicka in 2010.  We have recently reconnected and I am incredibly grateful.  She has so many inspiring wise words as she is living her very real life.  She has this ability to see you while she is conversing with you online and as well as being a fantastic painter of the most meaningful images, (and see here), she is also currently facilitating a s l o w online book reading of Clarrise Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run with the Wolves.  You can find out more about that over here if it is something that you may be interested in.  :)

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend.  :)