Monday, 28 March 2011

Friendship


I said goodbye to a dear friend on Saturday 26th March, Barbara,  who unexpectedly passed away. She was the one I referred to in the post Balance and taking time out for friends, I’m so glad we spent the whole day together talking about our art, exhibitions, favourite artists, new techniques, faith and generally what was on our heart.

We have known each other for over 30 years having gone to college together studying a secretarial course. We came out after two years ready to face the world as PA's. Whilst this was not our passion we committed to it. Our paths throughout the years ran parallel at so may points.....


We sung together, trying to fulfil our 17 year old heads the dreams of forming a group with college friends Vilma and Juliet, hoping to tour the world. We trod the boards together, joining a group to write and perform our own community opera called Bloodties, and we toured many theatres.


We were at each other’s weddings. I remember when she first introduced us to her now husband, Phil in our 20’s we all hoped that one day we’d meet men like him. Our children were born and played together and she was blessed to have 4 beautiful daughters and a son. They have all been blessed with many wonderful talents waiting to be unleashed into the world


We shared our work environment for around 3 years literally side by side in the same organisation as executive PA’s sharing our experience, knowledge and much laughter. We shared our love and passion for art together. Barbara took the step to leave the organisation to pursue a degree in fine art. We always talked about wanting more time to be creative, having more space and inspiration but we encouraged each other, and she graduated in 2010. I was very proud of her as I attended her graduation show. We talked about collaborating again on an exhibition together later this year.

We shared our faith together. Barbara had an insight to the word of God that would touch your heart in the very place that it was needed. She had so many books within her waiting to be birthed; she had a unique wisdom and understanding. I saw her preach for the first time two weeks ago, and it was definitely a word for the season.


She touched many people’s lives over the years, both young and old and was a friend who I never imagined knowing after 30 years – (that seemed like a lifetime) - but time passed anyway...there were so many other things we were encouraging each other to do. This experience so brings home to me how precious our lives are, we don’t have any guarantee about tomorrow, so what are we going to do with our today? How many plans we make to see friends, catch up, or things we say we want to do, places to visit, but we put it off saying ‘I’ll do it tomorrow or next week’ and allow stuff to get in the way with our promises to ourselves being pushed further and further into the background.


I’m so glad that our day spent together was spent talking about our passions for art and creativity, our goals and dreams, in laughter and love. I value the years we have known each other and it has made me reassess all the other parts of my life that I have no guarantees about, everything I say I want to do, from my art, travel, adventures, to sending that card, making that call and spending more quality time with my family and friends. I will make the time and space for each, not putting it off or being distracted, but being in the moment, living in the moment and appreciating each moment, in balance.


My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost friends and loved ones. To Barbara’s family who I adopted many moons ago as my own, that they find the strength and courage to get through what seems like a very dark place, and find the joy and laughter that follow the tears as they ponder on the memories, Barbara’s grace, understanding, kindness, talent, humour, those laugh-out-loud moments, the way she encouraged and the way she loved.......Stay blessed!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Creative Every Day Challenge - Nest


For Creative Every Day Challenge Our topic for the month is nest and I have been pondering over it  for the past few weeks and for me it represents a place of safety, a place where nurturing, growth and security is present.  Just as a bird rears its young, so we hold on to our core values and beliefts that are at our very foundation. 

While doing the Crafting my best life course with Jenny Doh at Cresendoh we did an exercise where we identified our core values and we put these on stones.  Bringing the two together with this challenge serves as as a great reminder.



On a creative front I am becoming more at peace with my adventures as an artist, exploring, creating, journalling, stepping out, experimenting and on the way meeting some cool, supportive, inspiring and talented artists...



As you think about the challenges that are coming your way, think about the values that are at your foundation, the support network that you surround yourself with and that place of peace that you can retreat, to strengthen yourself as you face another day...

Friday, 18 March 2011

Balance


Took a break from work yesterday to visit my good friend Barbara who lives in Milton Keynes, about 50 miles from me.  she is a fellow artist and I've known her for nearly 30 years! (my... time flies)....I've known her kids from birth and seen them blossom into beautiful young adults.  It was great to not only catch up, reminisce, and laugh, it was also great to share about our art and creativity....She has these Derwent drawing pencils which I loved.  I did a quick sketch using them...(will have to put them on my wish list!)


They are very creamy, almost like a pastel and come in a range of colours

It's so important as creatives that we make time for the other areas of our lives, family and friends.  This is an important part of our lives' as well as taking 'me time'.  Balance was the word that came to me sometimes so many areas of our lives can seem out-of-balance.


Are we moaning about not spending enough time creating yet spend a lot of time watching tv?

Are we looking after our bodies and maintaining our health, or do we splurge on a particular food or 'chocolate'...(chilli chocolate is yummy!)....


With so many websites, blogs, networks and videos, are we taking the necessary breaks?

Are we getting out into the fresh air on a regular basis despite what the weather is like?  Its pouring with rain today and really chilly!

Are we filled with so many creative ideas that we juggle too many at once, surrounded by those new books,  paints, fabrics, paper..... and become burnt out and frustrated when things are not pulling together?  This week I hope to do a schedule so that I can fit in all those areas - work, play, creativity, health, friends, family and 'me time'!

What steps are you going to ensure that you have some balance in your life?.... taking that time to see what is around you, planning, playing, creating, listening and, recharging your batteries?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Making Handmade Books

I won a prize draw!  The book came today in the post, Making Handmade Books by Alisa Golden (Lark Crafts) Looking forward to trying out some of the projects.  It came with a lovely book made by the author.
I have been getting into making my own books and altering books so its a lovely treat to be able to learn even more techniques.
Another book that I started this week was Wreck this Journal


I used to feel overwhelmed by blank pages either on my canvas or my journal, this book provides prompt for stepping out and getting over the fear by doing random things in it, experiment and see where the adventure takes you....  A couple of the suggestions



Some others include:

Hanging the journal in a public place and invite people to draw on it - could be the start of an interesting project or journal page, Tongue painting, cutting, tearing, writing with the pen in your mouth....and much more..should be interesting....not sure about the tongue painting, might adapt that one...but hey, thats the fun make it what you want it to be....post a couple of pages to friends, get them to do something on it and post it back...or give you some ideas for your own journal prompts.

Some might be asking why regarding some of the prompts for 'wreck the journal', I guess it's part of keeping up the creative process, we often complain about not having enough time and some of the things you can do in the book only take a couple of minutes of thinking outside of the box, and may lead you developing your creative projects further and release a bit of tension :)  It would be great to see what you've done if you have one of these books, or thinking of getting one.  It would also be great to hear about any new techniques your learning.  Stay blessed!

Friday, 4 March 2011

March Challenges....

Yay, I've signed up to the A to Z blog challenge  I am the 362nd person to sign up, and more have come after me!  It will definitely be a challenge for me as I have not yet got the discipline of writing on a daily basis down, but I'm definitely looking forward to it, going into unchartered territories.. and visiting some inspiring blogs in the process.  So if you are up for the challenge, click on the link and sign up!

The Creative Every Day challenge theme for March is Nest, so some interesting ideas will come out of that. 

Whenever life throws up a challenge, think about what the lesson is, what are you learning from it and what gifts can come out of it.....have a blessed weekend!

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