Thursday, 23 December 2010

Happy Christmas

Friday, 10 December 2010

Complacency


A big thank you goes out to all those who have been an inspiration, who are currently an inspiration and those who will some day be an inspiration.  I hope your day has been a blessing, and the weekend will reveal untold treasures and blessings in your life!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Standing out....

This was taken on one of my many walks as part of my walking challenge.... Will be posting more images and reflections this week.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Change

Going for a walk the other day, partly for my fitness but essentially to catch the last glimpse of autumn as the leaves fall and the seasons go into another change.

Change is good....
I remind myself it was only a few months ago that I was enjoying the warm breeze of the caribbean sea, and feeling the sunshine against my skin, and now we have to wrap up in our warm clothes, gloves scarfs, waking up to dark frosty mornings and cold wet evenings....  We too go through change and need to take stock of what needs to be altered, moved, rescheduled or stopped in our lives.

   As I walk I am amazed at the colours that still remain, the beauty
in the shedding of the leaves from the trees


  that once stood amass with colour, now only the branches remain. 

 The colours of the remaining leaves waiting to be taken along in the next gust of
wind with the ones that have fallen. 
 We are filled with so many talents, abilities and gifts not all of them are meant to
be used at the same time, some are to remain constant, 
but some are just for a season.

There are trees that haven't shed their leaves, but hang on another year graceful
and tall....there are differences in their purpose.


 Having a plan, direction, purpose enables us to make informed decisions,
be spontaneous, letting our light and beauty shine..... 
even in those seemingly grey, cold days!

 
Taking time to reflect, refresh and renew our thoughts....

We look forward to another year of growth, laughter, beauty, creativity, love, joy



Saturday, 16 October 2010

Saturday Pick-me-up......Garden inspiration

Its amazing how time flies,  we are nearing the end of the year, ending of seasons, ways of thinking, new chapters beginning, new life.  Congratulations to Laura Stanton, Tanya (neighbour), Kelly Rae Roberts and the many other women that have been blessed with giving birth. 

I was quite amazed and thankful - with it being October how much sun we were still getting, and how much we can take for granted even in the small things, so armed with my camera I took a walk round the garden to delight myself in how much colour and scents I still had in my own back garden.....


Our plum tree, didn't get a very good crop this year, it needs prunning for next year, but the plums are always sweet!
This plant has lovely bright red berries in the winter for the birds.
My Jasmine plant, I was given a cutting around 8 years ago has given plants for the front garden (covering the fence) and many more areas in an around the garden and produces lovely smelling white flowers especially in the evening.
 Rosemary, this sits beside the Jasmine plant and another plant and is fighting for space at the moment, the flowers are dying off and it could do with a prune!




Acers - I love these plants, their red colour and the delicateness of the leaves, had them for two years they were in pots to begin with, finally planted them this year and they are slowly establishing themselves.




Lavender a lovely smelling plant, flowers are great!



This plant is awash with yellow flowers in the summer and grey leaves in the winter...

Orange Blossom - I have allowed this one to grow quite large (7ft high and about 10 ft across), lovely smelling leaves when rubbed and pretty white flowers in the summer



   Unexpected surprises - I think I found some wheat growing!



Pretty Colours to delight the eyes






 Cordyline Australis - I have two of these trees that I planted as small plants and they have grown considerably over the years, they produce a beautiful smelling clusters of flowers (similar to jasmine in scent), The tree is surrounded by orange poppies that grow every year.



I haven't spent the time that I would usually spend in my garden this year, but what I have seen is the results of time spent over the years in preparing the soil, planting, nurturing and pruning unfolding before my eyes.  Plants establishing themselves and needing less attention, and  new ones that I have planted and hoping to get through the winter, and the surprises that sometimes come....

I am thankful to the birds that have blessed me with two new trees, they dropped the seeds into pots that I had left with soil in, when the plants started to grow I decided to see what they would be, and they have turned out to be a Sugar Maple tree and a Silver Birch...blessings or what!  .... This is how the garden looks in winter


I realise in my own artist journey, just as the seasons change and have such a dramatic effect on the landscape, so too is my creative development going through change - I am currently working on a number of e-courses, which have been very inspiring and encouraging and I see this period of my life as gathering information for growth, preparing the good ground to plant the ideas that will take shape.

As we take a walk through our own lives, we remind ourselves the efforts that we have put in for growth, welcoming change by stepping out of our comfort zones, preparing our hearts - weeding out negativity, surround ourselves with good nurturing fertiliser that can direct and inspire and encourage (our friends, family, word of God) receiving unexpected blessings and stepping into the lives that God wants us to lead, that can be a blessing to others...... 

Have a blessed weekend! 

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Saturday Pick-me-up......Pictures from Barbados

I'd been meaning to put some more pictures from my holiday in Barbados.  As the weather is getting cold and its raining today, memories of the times by the sea, on the beach is fast drifting into the distance.  So this is my little Saturday 'pick me up'

Church on the Beach.  This area is called Bath and the church we visited that sunday had a lovely idea to take the whole church on a picnic and have the usual service on the beach.  We had a blessed time.


Cropover - Spring Gardens, St Michael.  Carnival celebrations, sunshine, soca, good food, lively participants, interesting costumes and more!  These are the only costumes I could find where people were covered up, the rest were very revealing and you definitely got an eyeful!



A shot of my future back garden (I wish) This is North Point in St Lucy

Ok, this is my future back garden!


 There are some beautiful houses in Barbados
Oh my! a bug - welcoming us to Barbados, just as well it was outside the window, it actually looks bigger than it was.
The flowers had a beautiful scent, and there were some amazing colours



Stepping to my own beat!


Coming back from Spring Gardens with the boys after listening to some great music and sampling some tasty food. 




Ok suitably picked-up. Off to do something creative, while I listen to my son Sekani tell me how much he has really done in his bedroom that he was supposed to be cleaning up from this morning! - teenagers!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Blogging to bless and inspire

Today is the last day of the SITS Back2Blogging Event!!

http://www.thesitsgirls.com/sits-blog/

Today, our assignment is to answer the question: “Why Do You Blog?” I thought long and hard about it as its taken quite a while to find the style and voice that I wanted to express.  I didn't know if I had enough to say, whether others would be interested or even 'get me'.  I have seen so many blogs that I have found a blessing and very much aspire to make my blog a place where others want to come back again and again, like visiting an old friend. 
 
I blog to share my views, my inspirations, my life with the ups and downs thrown in and my love of God.  I have felt honoured to read what others have shared and shown a part of themselves in their words. I have found it difficult sometimes to get into the routine of blogging fitting it around life and family -  but I'm getting there! I hope that all who have stopped by and left their generous comments have taken away a new perspective or an interesting insight, and I'm thankful to all the new friends that I have made.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Inspiring Women


There are many women who have for many different reasons inspired me. The one that has had the most impact on who I am today is my mother – Mavis

Throughout our childhood she supported and cared for her husband and 3 children whilst working part-time to make ends meet, cooking and providing a secure home environment. She sacrificed her own happiness and made sure that her children never did without. Growing up I never really appreciated or saw all that she did and it is only now as a mother to a teenager myself that I understand how many sacrifices she made for us, how she was being fair when we thought she was being unfair, when she was thinking of our wellbeing and not trying to spoil our fun, and showed me how she loved me enough not to judge me or label me or put me down.

As an adult I now have a different relationship with her and do sometimes have to remind her that I am a ‘big woman’ with my own responsibilities, and ways of doing things, but to her, I will always be her child.

I am now her main carer, she developed dementia and has been living with it for about 8 years and it is now in the severe stage as she needs 24 hour care. The remarkable thing about the illness is that she developed a whole different personality.

From being quiet she became out going and lively, she has a wonderful sense of humour and an infectious laugh and loves to dance! She knows what she wants and will tell you she is quite capable of looking after herself; after all she brought up 3 children! She enjoys going out and thankfully is still mobile. Where ever she goes she leaves an impression on people and they say they wish they had a mum who at 86 years old was still so outgoing and lively.

We can often take for granted those loved ones that are around us and it’s only when circumstances change that we realised what we had or have. Though caring for her I have grown as a person, I have understanding of the condition, and making the most of each and every day. As an artist I can also see how art, creativity and constant interaction can improve the quality of life. I have been able to work with others who have the condition and seen the benefits of remaining active in their lives.

I try not to let anything worry me, making the most of every opportunity and situation, and see the beauty in the smallest of detail, I also hope I can be an inspiration and a blessing to others.



I put together a short video giving you a bit more information on Mavis. Do let me know what you think. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SkClvTmlrw   also check out her riverdance attempt and forgive my laughing in the background and the messy front room! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yWRRz00h9I&NR=1

As an added bonus, this week’s challenge is sponsored by Standards of ExcellenceWestar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances. One lucky winner gets to take home a new Electrolux washer and dryer set.

Dementia - Journey of a Carer


This post is part of the SITS Girls Back to Blogging Challenge – Day 3. It originally appeared on this blog in 2009.

I thought I knew all there was to know about dementia and what to do, but each day seems to bring new lessons and learning and insights that I hope to capture in the blog, but also as a means of unravelling my own misconceptions, guilt, joy, ahha moments, and look at a condition that so many people seem to be facing and effected by.

As a carer, my journey started in small ways that I wasn't even aware, but were excused by 'oh its just been misplaced' or 'shes just trying to make you feel bad', but very soon became cause for concern and action needing to be taken. Some areas have been sorted and taken care of quite easily but the social services and care system can be a mine field. Apart from the charities that provide advice there didn't seem to be one voice of information and help that didn't need unravelling, along side support for the carers.

We were assigned a social worker who had a mother who was going through the same thing, but rather than relating it felt as if to get a response or help my mother had to be totally isolated and a urgent danger to herself. There were too many departments to deal with, too many cut-backs and no one seem to take any notice of the carer and the experience and talk to us rather than talk at us.

Life for a carer is never the same, all the things you took for granted become a luxury, there are expectations as to what you can or should do. When your worn out from sleepness nights trying to convince the person that you are caring for that there aren't insects crawling on the floor or finding ways not to agree that there are insects but you will do something about what they think they can see, and then bit your tongue when they shout at you because you didn't do it properly - it can be hard going. Its vital and can be a welcome release to talk to someone else who is a carer.
Millions of carers and health professionals voice the same concern for more research on the condition and support for carers who are saving the Health Service both money and resources. I believe art and creativity can have an impact on their quality of life and currently looking into work being done internationally with creativity and how we can measure impact on mental health and well-being, and I am also working as an artist providing art sessions for the elderly with dementia. I have learnt so much from those who participate in my art sessions who apart from the dementia and the way it manifests itself in their life are really lovely men and women with so much wisdom and experience. If you want to share your story, contribute or find out more information contact me on info@realityarts.co.uk.

As an added bonus, this week’s challenge is sponsored by Standards of ExcellenceWestar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances. One lucky winner gets to take home a new Electrolux washer and dryer set.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Sun, Sea, Sand and Change

I'm back after a much needed rest from the Caribbean.  Barbados to be exact. I had a great time with family and friends, and spending time touring the island and swimming most days. Coming back to UK I felt very motivated and felt my direction was clear.

As I tried to dive into my creative persuits I found
that I hit what seemed like a creative brick wall, I felt very reluctant to even consider being creative. It has been quite a tough time, a long road to travel, and I couldn't see any reason for it, it became a real valley experience trying to convince myself that this would pass. 


6 weeks later I have come through and understand that these times are necessary, and its been a time for clearing out, weeding and cutting out the old dead wood.  We all from time to time need to allow ourselves to reflect on our journey and see what changes need to be made, and we need to recognise that this season will pass - 'there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven' Ecclesiastes 3:1.  I spent my time clearing out my clutter, eating healthier and reading (still a bit more to do) but making room will allow space for the new things in my life to start to take shape.  I would love to know how others have dealt with their creative blocks, so please do leave a comment.
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