Monday 30 January 2012

Photographing Art work - Clearing the Clutter Challenge Day 30

This has been quite a month of photographing, writing and posting and still catching up, and one of the major tasks I have been putting off is taking new photographs of art work and uploading them on the website.  I have many pieces of art work and crafts for sale and the only thing holding me back at the moment is how they are presented.   Decided to take a bit of time on this and next week it will be on the top of my list and I will give myself the time and space to focus.  

Started the course Hello Soul Hello Business earlier this month and it is really getting us to think about the what and the why of our businesses, and I have gained new insight into where I want it to go.  In February I will be taking a break from the 30 day challenges, life can sometimes be one big challenge and need to just consolidate everything else that I am doing and get down to the meat of the course, and follow up on some of the things I unearthed over the past few months....also want to get back to some journalling, have been doing some as I have been clearing the clutter, will be sharing some of the pages soon.

I also want to play around with some digital art, itching to start doing some work from Susan Tuttles book - Digital Expressions to see what I come up with.  So with this it's good bye January, and hello February! Do share what will be new for you in February?  Do you have a course or book you want to try?

Saturday 28 January 2012

Clearing the Clutter Challenge - The Teenagers Room


What to do in my son's room, there are a few options, not sure he would appreciate all of them..though he would get the leg space he needs in this one!  

This one might work without the extra beds and suspended from the ceiling, but with more leg room he's still growing and his legs currently hang over his current bed (help!)

Might be forced to use the two palms in the garden to recreate this, there is lot of storage space out there, not sure if  he would enjoy sharing his room with the wild life! But I would get my studio (Lol!)

I think I've found it give or take the colour and the posters and wall space.... (Sekani....come here and look at this! :) 
Source: Uploaded by user via Kaye on Pinterest 

Now maybe a new look for my room is due......
Source: via Natalie on Pinterest                                                                                                                                                                

Friday 27 January 2012

Clearing the Clutter Challenge - What's happening in the Garden? Day 27 and 29

Well, what can I say, nearly the end of the challenge and I have been quite on it (for most of the time).  I know we all have that part of the house, or our space - somewhere that needs clearing, organising or just plain dumping.  Wanting to make a fresh start and catch up with yourself.  I have unearthed many delights I forgot I had.  I will be posting for previous days to let you know how I got on.

Today's challenge was to sort out the garden and I have combined this with day 29

Its amazing what the wind can do, we have 2 New Zealand Cordyline australis palms in our garden I planted about 8/9 years ago, didn’t realise that we would be constantly picking up the fallen leaves, but they do look glorious in the summer with their lovely smelling flowers. When you open up the kitchen window you get a whiff.. 
Once fallen I have been using the leaves to tie plants together, when you split the fallen wet leaf they are quite strong and you need scissors to cut them width ways.  I haven't come up with any creative weaving ideas for the Cordyline Australis.... here is more information about the plant if your interested... .  They have also been useful as ground cover to protect the roots of some of the plants, I haven't yet tried to dry them and use them in an art piece....
The back of the garden got quite a bashing in the high winds. I have been thinking of converting the shed into an art space, at the moment it has a lot of things that also needs sorting, but thats for another day!

The other thing that needs work is the plum tree, it should have been cut back at least 2 summers ago, so we will be cutting it back this year. Hopefully we'll get a better crop of plums, though the birds have fed off the ones we couldn't reach.

Speaking of the birds I hung some fat balls, I love hearing them sing and thought I would take part in the RSPB big garden Birdwatch this weekend. It is an opportunity to see which ones are coming into the garden.  The RSPB also suggest ways in which you can make your garden or space more bird and wildlife friendly. I am hoping to get some pictures of the birds that are our regular visitors, and may be inspired to get some ideas down for the shed come studio! What outside jobs have you been putting off?

Wednesday 25 January 2012

365 Days of Colour - Flower of the Day - 237 - 243

When was the last time you were really kind to yourself, treating yourself as you would a close friend?  Do you appreciate yourself and show it, taking time out for you to recharge and renew your batteries.  Sometimes because of what's going on around us we can leave ourselves till last.  This week how can you make a point of taking even 5 minutes out of your schedule to reflect? 

Day 237

Prepare for the journey, you are not alone 

A traveller am I, and a navigator, and every day I discover a new region within my soul. ...Kahlil Gibran 

....who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s...Psalm 103:5

Day 238

Don’t waste your time on unnecessary pursuits that do not bring you closer to your dream 

Work of sight is done. Now do heart work on the pictures within you. ...R.M. Rilke 

He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgement, but has passed out of death into life...John 5:24

Day 239

Be yourself, it is enough to let your light shine

The most important thing is that you love what you are doing, and the second that you are not afraid of where your next idea will lead. ...Charles Eames 

I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies....11 Samuel 22:4

Day 240

You are wonderful 

Love lights up the world… with its generous flames. ...Ralph Waldo Emerson 

The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes...Psalm 19:8

Day 241

This was meant to be

Life is a work of art, designed by the one who lives it. ...Unknown 

The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry...Psalm 34:15

Day 242

Miracles happen every day 

You have to operate from the sense of everything is new and you’re starting again. ...Nicole Kidman 

Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; and they have no storeroom nor barn; and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds

Day 243

Nothing can compare to the gifts you have to bless the world 

An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. ...Dr. Edwin Land 

ow we have received, not the spirit of the world, but  the Spirit of which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God....1 Corinthians 2:12

Tuesday 17 January 2012

365 Days of Colour - Flower of the Day 230 - 236

Understanding comes through experiences, the 'Aha' moments and sharing with others.  It can be hard to understand why at times we go through the hard times with the feeling that it will never end, but one day you are able to look around and celebrate coming through.....  

My favourite reflection this week is Day 230, 'Time to wake up and smell the chocolate' - I love dark chocolate especially the 85% Cocoa one (and it's good for you!).  The quote by Jeffrey David Lang, on Day 235 really spoke to me 'There will be times in life when impossibility is felt, but then there are dreams - and dreams allow us possibility. and is reminding me that I need to give my dreams the right foundations.  And the scripture that will keep me is Day 236 from Psalm 139:5 - Thou has enclosed me behind and before, and laid Thy hand upon me.  

What area will you be focussing your time on this week?

Day 230

It’s time to wake up and smell the chocolate! 

I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.....John Muir 

Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace..Psalm 37:37 

Day 231

Time to change your style! 

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. ---C.G. Jung 

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you..1 Peter 5:7

Day 232

You are a dear friend and much loved 

Every time you don’t follow your own inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness. ---Shakti Gawain 

I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me for I have redeemed thee...Isaiah 44:22

Day 233

You inspire others to be who they were called to be 

Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us. ---Roy Adzak 

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me  with songs of deliverance...Psalm 32:7

 Day 234

Step into the light and shine like the star you are. 

There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it.....Mary Little 

Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted...Matthew 5:4 

 Day 235

You can become whole again 

There will be times in life when impossibility is felt, but then there are dreams - and dreams allow us possibility. ...Jeffrey David Lang

Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His loving kindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments...Deuteronomy 7:9

Day 236

It’s time to take action 

Art is about paying attention. ...Laurie Anderson

Thou has enclosed me behind and before, and laid Thy hand upon me...Psalm 139:5 

Friday 13 January 2012

Clearing the Clutter Challenge - Day 12 and 13 - Ephemera and Magazine cuttings

Nearly half way through the challenge and understand just how big a challenge I set myself.  Want to make it as practical as possible so that I don't find myself being overwhelmed and lose interest along the way.  Being flexible I understand the most important thing for me to do now is to for each area decide what needs to happen to it.  I had half hoped to be super efficient and have all the areas locked down by the end of the month, but I have not been feeling it, and had lost enthusiasm, was change too bigger price to pay!!  

Rome wasn't built in a day, and my collection won't be cleared in a month but it can be better organised the Pottery Barn has some interesting 'schedule systems' ...little and often rather than all at once and fizzle out.    How too when the cares of life come and weigh down on us we feel as if we need to solve the problem there and then, but often taking a fresh set of eyes, talking about it, looking at the possible benefits that may come out (lessons we can learn) then we can see the problem in a whole new way.  

One of the things I knew about the collection was that I wanted to clear it, and knew I had to look at the individual area, why was I keeping it, what could I use it for, could it go to a better home, how long would it take to clear....then when you do have 15 spare minutes it can go to one of the tasks on the list that has already been identified.  So, back to the list.....


I have got quite a lot so after going through them decided to use a lot more attachments to my paintings and journals, looking at ways to use more of it in my work especially some of the smaller pieces of work....I will also be using more in the journals and assemblage art that I would like to do. You can find some free printable ephemera at Sweetly Scrapped to get you started.

News paper/ Magazine cuttings 

I had seen some of Teesha Moores work and wanted to do some myself with the cuttings.  I put them all in a large folder, and will separate them into categories to make them easier to find.  Some of the images will go into my source book and I want to find a space to put my dream board.  A virtual way of combining the images that I like as been the pinterest board.  Do you have a dream board? Are you are on Pinteres?  leave your details and we can have a look.

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Clearing The Clutter Challenge - Day 11 - The Filing Cabinet

The filing cabinet is hidden behind the plastic containers, this whole area will be getting an overhaul

The Filing cabinet is a Big Job.  There are 3 draws filled to capacity and I will need to go through each section and get new file holders, get rid of files that don’t need to be there.  I know that this was an area not for one day, but probably one week if not more.  To start with I got plastic wallets and will look through files to see what could be dumped. I will also make sure that all loose filing is put away.  I also found whilst going through the in-tray work that needed to be actioned, so will spend time doing this as well.  It can be difficult not to drown in paper, there are some things you need to hold on to because of the legal requirements, and most people keep their certificates from birth, graduation etc.  With the inside of the cabinets sorted the outside would also be great to change, and rather than the black wood to have some sort of design on them.  Mandy P from Fabric Paper Glue has a great design that she put on one of her cabinets and also check out her pinterest for more great ideas, if your looking for a tutorial on how to change the look of your cabinets heres a handy one at Piccadilly Market .

With the new technology it would be great to see how effective having everything computerised, but then you wouldn't have all that lovely ephemera to work with??  How long do you hold on to your paper work?

Thursday 5 January 2012

Clearing the Clutter - 30 days of change

I am trying to make myself more accountable in clearing my clutter and working on the little hoarder within me that loves to gather - I meant collector! The Try Something new challenge for this month is definitely testing me to the limits!

I am a collector of things that serve a purpose, or will do some day.  I realise my dad was a 'collector' of power tools, DIY equipment.  I had thought I kept but a few of his keepsakes  but the more I look around my collections I find more things that used to belong to him, some of which are tools I use now in my mixed media (so thanks dad - holding on to them did serve a purpose!).

Much to my protests, my son is showing tendencies, though he doesn't seem as discerning as I would hope and he is on my list of areas to deal with - I guess most parents can relate to the messy teenagers room, not sure if he will let me do a before picture - I still keep threatening to put a photo up on face book!

I often find myself watching the programme called Hoarders.  What pricked my interest was the 'Hoarder specialist' talking about the attachments that the individual had to a range of different things, and that many of the things were kept to fill an emotional hole, but for some the more they collected the bigger the hole became. I guess my attachments are my reminders of my past, or a memory, and as we reflect on them we can choose to hold on or let go.

I have made a list of the areas that I will be covering over the next 30 days.  I realise that some of these areas will take longer than 30 days as the aim is to clear them rather than just throwing one item my 3 draw filing cabinet will more than likely take a bit longer, but the idea is to make a dent, to see what has to be done, make a note and if necessary come back. Some of the things on the list include sorting emails, and poetry. I have written poetry for years, and they have stayed in books gathering dust, it's time to either show them the light or move on.

Here are my 30 tasks....

1.    Sort the contents of my hand bag/s
2.    Clothes that don’t fit
3.    Tatty un-wearable clothes
4.    Old makeup/products
5.    Old jewellery
6.    Recycled Paper/Shredding
7.    Old paints not used
8.    Shoes
9.    Fabric
10. Paper/card
11. Filing cabinet
12. Ephemera
13. News paper/ Magazine cuttings
14. Computer photos
15. Emails
16. Books on shelves
17. Recycled painted materials
18. Old bags not used
19. Poetry to sort
20. Pod casts recorded
21. Rubber Stamps in draws
22. Pencils/graphite/charcoals
23. Stored frames and unused art material
24. Magazine subscriptions
25. Typing to be done
26. Freezer
27. Garden – weeding/cutting back and pruning
28. My sons room!!!!
29. Garden picking up leaves from palm trees – recycling
30. Photography – art work

As I look down the list I can see already there are some things that I have an emotional attachment to and I might find that I start delay tactics in an area that I don't want to delve further in, perhaps each area reveals something that I wanted to subconsciously keep hidden.  I am seeing it as a journey, learn something new not only about myself, but about my space.  I am not an expert, I have read a lot of books on organising, which always seems easier when your doing it for other people, but there is no attachments.  So as I pull back my sleeves and don my 'I mean business face' and recycle, repurpose and give to charity I am going to expose, reveal, renew and regain my space as a place of peace, tranquillity, and most of all creativity.   What areas of your life will you be reclaiming this month?

Wednesday 4 January 2012

It's a New Day!

Went for my first walk of the year today, around my local park near my son’s school.  Didn’t see all the usual faces that would silently make their way round, lost in their own thoughts and plans for the rest of the day, perhaps the cold kept them away.

I was last here in around October 2011 which is when I started walking in my neighbourhood It was great to see the changes that take place as the seasons pass, the borders waiting to be planted.

and the last of the berries yet to be eaten

I love their colours

I wasn’t prepared to my legs itching as they did.  Why does it happen when you haven’t walked for a while that intense feeling starts under the skin and if you make the mistake of itching then it gets worse and almost drives you crazy, as it intensifies if you walk, but you need to walk to get to your destination.  I was half way round the park today when it started, I guess that’s what you get for neglecting yourself to the indulgences of the festive season – it has only been a couple of weeks, so back on tract for January!

There is so much to be inspired by, saw this jogger, made me laugh as he reminded me of spider man in his - specially designed material to keep out the cold! (he managed to lap me 2 times - ok... it was 3 times - he was running very fast in his ergonomically designed all in one body suit :), but made me want to renew my walking as it does allow me space to think, and in these busy times we have make the most of it. 

Earlier this week encouraged by Ella’s post I checked out Ann Voskamp and her book 1000 gifts.  

Thinking about things that I am grateful for and how I might express this creatively using mixed media and photography – will be giving it some more thought over the coming week..  

But for now...I love trees and birds serenading me with their song while the fresh crisp breeze brushes against my cheeks... (I feel a poem coming on) .... What are you grateful for today?


Tuesday 3 January 2012

Unwearable Clothes - Clearing the clutter challenge Day 3

I made the mistake of buying a cheap tracksuit recently, the lining inside is really soft and warm but within 3 days it was covered in bobbles.  I used to have a bobble trimmer - a battery operated machine that would cut the bobbles off but that was many moons ago.    After deciding to just wear the tracksuit around the house, I found myself dashing out into the light of day to quickly pick something up, and then wondered why people were looking at me oddly.  This happened recently here.  The task of removing unwearable clothes was slightly easier, although hanging on to something that makes you feel comfortable can be good.  Change comes in all shapes and sizes and we need to be treating ourselves with care.  If we are seeking comfort perhaps looking at the reasons why these feelings have come up and how we can make sure we address them needs to be the next step.  

What ways do you show yourself you care about you?

Monday 2 January 2012

Clothes that don't Fit - Clearing the Clutter Challenge

Why is it that we hold on to clothes that don't fit, with the promise of one day wearing them...or is it just me?

I have told myself over the years that I would slim down and get myself into these clothes again, and I've come to the conclusion that while I am getting fitter and loosing weight something still has to go, and there needs to be a closing date. 

When I looked at some of the styles I realized that it was the fabric I liked so rather than keep it as the original item I would re-purpose it. I've been getting quite attached to making journals and book binding, been inspired by Art Journals by other artists.  I have made a few on my channel that you can look at HERE

Others clothes I've packed for charity.  Looking back on some of the pieces the clothes reminded me of the summers I spent seemingly without a care in the world, not imagining my life years later, or the responsibilities I would have - perhaps I am hankering after that care free life again... perhaps it will come in a different form.

 What are you holding on to that doesn't quite fit?

Sunday 1 January 2012

What's in the Bag? - Clearing the Clutter Challenge - Day 1

Thought I would start with clearing out my bag as a challenge, I take my bag/s with me most places and I usually chuck most things in it and end up with a lot of ‘just in case’ items, then have to use move every thing to a bigger bag.  These are the three I have been carrying around at the same time, each with a set of different items,


I realised when I really looked at the contents I was also carrying around quite a few non essential items, and that the bags didn't reflect my personality.  

I’ve taken to carrying things just in case and I realised it was time for a clear out as I couldn't always find what I wanted. 

My son does a very good take of me looking for something in my bag and he always shows me as rummaging with my head down. I realised that alongside what I call my 'hand bag' I was carrying additional bags for those oh so essential items.  A clear out came at the right time, I don't think I'll ever be a small bag carrier and will just make a point of carrying what I need in future. When I get to the sorting bags challenge I might have to loose these three.   If you carry a bag, what does the contents say about you?

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