Wednesday 30 October 2013

Clean - Memories of Home

Memories of Home - Clean
Welcome to Memories of Home, if you would like to find out more information about the series, Click here

Being in a supportive environment is important to our growth as individuals, not everyone has had that opportunity and as adults we try and create an environment that will nurture and bless our children and indeed ourselves.

As children we were given chores to do, and each weekend we had to do our bit. Out would come all the cleaning materials and we would have to get on with the hoovering, dusting and carrying out the rubbish. It wasn't something we looked forward to, but led by my big sister, me and my little brother were kept in check. My sister even drew up a rota for us all to follow and tried to rope my dad into it, but as far as he was concerned the cleaning was our job cause he went out to work every day!
Mothers helping hand
By the time my sister left home to go to university I was able to have a room all to myself and I think I rebelled within the confines of my room and on more than one occasion the messiness became overwhelming and my mother would save the day. I would come back from school and my room would be all tidy and clean. She would say "a place for everything and everything in its place", and I would be more than grateful that I had a my tidy room back.

Organising my space in my bedroom
And right she was! In my studio space that measures approx 6ft by 7ft, I have tried to cram as many things as I can whilst trying to create a sense of space, it can be difficult and making use of wall space and storage ideas is necessary.
Studio space, compact but everything has it's place!

I have had to be really strict with myself about clearing up at the end of the day and enabling me to allow the creativity to flow. Whilst I am not a minimalist, mums example set all those years ago provided the example that in my life now and at home with my family we have systems in place that enables us to appreciate the space that we do have.

I would love to hear what you have put in place in your own home environment that allows you to be organised. I hope you continue to join me on my journey over the weeks, as I share my mixed media houses and look back to the memories of home. I look forward to hearing about some some of your own memories. Blessings and peace to you!

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Tutorial Tuesday - Phone Directories Journal

Tutorial Tuesday

Directories Journal

In today's Tutorial Tuesday I have made a set of 3 journals from phone directories.  These are A5 in size and I began by gluing a selection of pages together because they were so thin.

I covered the selection of pages with either gesso or pattered paper. 

On the front cover I used patterned tissue paper and on the two lower ones I used fabric.
 I made some tags out of the scrap paper and applied some stamps and crochet edging 

 I typed out some encouraging words on card and highlighted specific ones....creativity

For me these books are for you to just let go and play with whatever supplies you have.  These books can look and contain whatever material that you want, you just have to let your creativity loose as there is no right or wrong way, just your way!

I would love to see what you do....until next week 

Sunday 27 October 2013

Material Mondays - Crochet and Fabric


Fabric Journal
Fabric Journal, an assortment of materials decorate the front

I made this particular fabric journal and decided that rather than have paper pages I would make it with fabric pages so that I could not only paint but apply and try out different stitches to the page, or if you wanted to add that piece of fabric that you thought was unusual. 

The pages I have used in the journal have been pieces from material that I either liked the design or ones that I have recycled and painted.  I have also included some crochet to some of the pages.

Buttons decorate back of the journal

The journal measures approx 4x6 inches.  I have included sections at the front and back inside covers to hold sewing supplies, and a mini pocket at the front. 

Journal at work
I guess the journal allows me to continue to play with different materials when and how the mood takes.  

Inside cover with supplies, and crochet detail to page

The journal can be taken anywhere as it has all the things you need contained within it to be self sufficient. When I've practiced a few more stitches and techniques I will let you have a look. Hope if you were considering making one for yourself that this has provided some inspiration.

If you are considering learning how to crochet, or any other creative activity check out Craftsy online courses, at the moment they are doing a special offer on some of their classes, and they are offering some free mini courses. Click here

Have a blessed day, see you tomorrow for Tutorial Tuesday.

Joy - Creating in Faith

After all that we have been through, I still have joy.....

I have been reflecting back over my life as another year slowly comes to an end.  As I look to the year to come and wonder if the decisions I made this year will bear fruit in the coming year.  Not one for making New Year’s resolutions I plan from around November the things I want to do or changes that I want to make, that way I am not setting myself up for a fall when you hit the second week in January and all your promises to yourself have been swept to the wayside.

Back to joy... there are many scriptures and references that talk about 'shouts of joy', 'singing songs of joy', 'being joyful', and it would seem as if it were a state of being.  When you look at the glass with water in it, is it half full or half empty?  I have always been a half full type of girl and tried to go into every situation trying to look at the positives that can be seen, and this I guess calls for a particular state of mind, but I think you also have to make a decision with the way you choose to see things.

My mother had a mini stroke twice this year, and after we came back from holiday and she had been in respite care she was in a really bad way and couldn't stand up straight and had difficulty walking, she also couldn't feed herself and wasn't really eating.  It was suggested by some that she go into a permanent home, but this is something that I have always fought against, for whatever reason the ‘residential home’ environment doesn't seem to extend life but I could guarantee that within 6 months she would have passed.  What was important for me in getting her back to some form of health, thee one to one interaction, the encouragement to walk even if she said she didn’t want to and for me the creativity, the laughter and joy would be the thing that would facilitate improvement.  I knew that if I was sitting down all day in a circular formation with other people who didn’t really speak and other people making you do things at set times then I would find it difficult and wouldn’t want to get up or function.  We know that if you have ever suffered from any form of depression, the last thing you want to do is mix with other people and you don’t want to get up and walk but cover your head under the covers, even though the walk will do you mood some good.  It would seem that there is no joy in this situation.  

What we had to look at was not what mum couldn’t do, but what she could, how could we support her where she was but to also retain and build on the strength that she had.  We had to encourage her to see that there was still something worth fighting for – to try and straighten her back, lift up her head, hold the spoon, walk up those stairs with encouragement all the way - to find those pockets of joy, sing a song, dance even though there is no music and as I found joy in the simple things she was able to find the joy within what she had, see the sun shining and get excited.

When we choose to be joyful it lifts or spirits, and brings about a sense of contentment and peace, opening up new insight and views to life.  Wherever you are in the world when you look at your current situation where can you see the pockets of joy?  Sometimes it is in the least expected places, but it is worth taking the time to discover.  Blessings

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you... and I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes... Ezekiel 36:26-27
 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. John 16:20

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

Saturday 26 October 2013

Recycled Projects - Directories Journal

Every now and again we get a new directory of local services in our area pushed through our door.  They used to be big and bulky and around A4 in size and about 2 inches thick, they have now been reduced to a more efficient A5 size.
I would normally recycle the old ones but decided that I would come up with a creative solution.  The pages in this directory needed to be glued together as the pages were very thin. On Tuesday I will share the process of making one of them.  

I came up with not one but 3 varieties, each with a different theme and use

I really like the size of these journals, which are A5 and can have as many pages as you require.

My Grace Journal had the theme of 'letters' and was about writing encouraging notes to myself, not being afraid to explore my creativity and having the patient and grace with myself.  The cover was made using tissue paper and then decorated with embellishments and paint.

The Miracles Journal was made using fabric, lace and ribbon.  There is room for me to write my own thoughts as well  

On the inside there are a lot of quotes and tags giving encouraging words.

The third journal called the Love Journal is covered with recycled sari material which has been painted.  In this journal I plan to house experimental ideas and is still a work in progress.

I hope you have a blessed weekend, and allow your creativity to push back the boundaries in order to allow yourself to really soar! 

Come back on Tuesday to see how I made them in Tutorial Tuesday. Do share creative ways in which you have used recycled materials and leave a comment below.

Friday 25 October 2013

Gratitude's and Celebrations - Week 16 - Choices

Gratitude's and Celebrations - Choices

Keeping in line with last weeks page on, understanding that we are able to choose how to respond to certain situations.
I have to continue to remind myself that my art journals are also places that I can spend time in to play, or celebrate as well as to work through anything that might be troubling me, I don't always have to have a 'set in stone idea' of what I am going to do.  My page today reminds me that it is quite easy to lock our creativity away in a cage and just look at it, feeling scared to make a decision... 
But we can work through our doubts and insecurities, which we may feel at the back of our minds, and keep going, using our wisdom and choosing to soar!  I am grateful that I have the ability to choose to follow the dreams of my heart!
As this week draws to a close can you think of some of the difficult choices you had to make this week and they turned out.  Do leave a comment and have a blessed weekend!

If you want to see how I made the journal (click here)

Thursday 24 October 2013

In the news - Change, Coming Soon Club and Competition winner

Welcome to another special day, for us to be able to share our gifts, connect and make a difference in whatever way possible. Even the smallest effort can make a difference.  

Flowers still in bloom - in October!

Yesterday I spent time in a park close to where I grew up as a child.  It brought back memories of my adventures with my brother Robert who passed away in June.  In thinking of our loss I still have a hard time believing he is gone, I said to my son Sekani that this time last year I was sitting in my brother's kitchen over a cup of tea talking about our creative paths, without a clue of what was to come.  As children we sometimes use to go to the park after school and play because it was close to our home.  The area has changed a lot over the years.  

Outdoor Gym open to all!

The park is now also home to an outside gym to encourage the locals to get fit, and a skateboard park and basket ball pitch for the younger crowd.  The apartments that you can see in the picture above used to be a school.  As you look around the park you can see that they have really taken time to consider what facilities they provide which has made it more accessible for community that live there. 

Creativity and organisation

Over the past couple of weeks I made a conscious decision that I wanted to make several changes to my processes, organisation, output etc.  I was feeling as if the things that I really wanted to do and see come to pass were so far out of my reach.  I prayed that the changes in my life I had been working on to manifest, would start to be evident.  This is really where patience comes in, any change that will be lasting takes effort and time.  You can decide to do nothing and change will still take place, whether it will bring the results you seek is another matter.  I guess in some cases my impatient side was looking for the immediate, but also know that unless you plan and make adjustments then you won't get the results you require.  

I looked at my output in my writing and art and wanted to become more focused, sharing and interacting more.  This is one of the changes that I have made on my blog, by having specific areas that I will share each day.  The frequency of my posting has increased and I have attempted to be more consistent in sharing part of my world with those that visit and also to stretch myself. For those who haven't yet noticed I have a new blog schedule:

Fabric and Crochet

Tutorial Tuesday
How to....

Memories of Home
Mixed Media houses

In the News!
What's on?

Gratitude's and Celebration Journal
What are you grateful for?

Recycled Projects
Reuse, Recycle & Up-cycle

Creating in Faith - Discussions and more
I am trying to work across the board with all of my social media, but as you probably understand - there is only so much time in a day, but with perseverance and passion a way will be made, and I hope you continue to join me as my work and practices evolve.


I ran a competition last week on my Capturing Moments tutorial post, the prize is the mini journal below. 
The winner is Bloomers, and I am also giving a runners up prize of a mini journal and this will go to Ann K from Cairn Cottage.  Well done to both of you, hope you enjoy your mini journals!

Hot desk at the Coming Soon Club...

An organisation called  The Coming Soon Club has set up enterprise initiatives for local people who want to test out a business idea or arts or community project in a temporary space.  They not only provide the space but mentoring advice as well.  They also provide facilities hot desk and internet connection for those who normally work from home which is great if you want to dip your feet in every now and again into the office environment without the office politics.  I used them recently when my internet connection went down, it was great to be able to get on with some focused work without the distractions of home.  It is very relaxed space, they have some exhibitions on the way and they have a small cafe serving refreshments.

Creativity and Social Work

Tomorrow I am giving a talk to a group of social workers training for their AMPH qualification.  My talk focuses on being a carer and the impact of the role on my life, I will also be able to share some creative tools and reflections that I have used.  It is my third year of presenting this talk and it is great to be able to interact with the students and see how they begin to reflect on their own roles and the impact it may have on carers.

And finally...

Katherines Corner

Thursday Favorite ThingsToday is also Thursdays Favorite Things on Katherines Corner Take a stroll over there and visit some of the inspiring blogs listed in the links, you can leave a link to your post and show some support by visiting others who have listed theirs.  

Blessings to you and yours!

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Comfort - Memories of home

Memories of Home - Comfort

Welcome to Memories of Home, if you would like to find out more information about the series, Click here

Being in a supportive environment is important to our growth as individuals, not everyone has had that opportunity and as adults we try and create an environment that will nurture and bless our children and indeed ourselves.

I brought a back support cushion recently and its filled with a memory type filling that makes it really soft yet firm. Whatever seat you sit in if you have this behind you it immediately makes the chair comfortable cause it is giving your back the correct support. 

In thinking about home comforts it is those things when you go away you miss, and you try and substitute. Whenever I go away I always make sure I have a shawl, I invariably get cold on the return journey back to the UK and the shawl not only warms me up but it adds to my comfort. 

What do you think about when you consider comfort and how it impacts on your well being.

I would love to hear what you have put in place in your own home environment that allows you to be comfortable.  I hope you continue to join me on my journey over the weeks, as I share my mixed media houses and look back to the memories of home. I look forward to hearing about some some of your own memories.   Blessings and peace to you!

Tutorial Tuesday - Toilet Roll Journal

In today's Tutorial Tuesday I will show you how to make this journal made from toilet rolls and recycled card. With the drive to be more 'green' this is a great way to make use of something that you would normally throw away.

What you will need:

empty toilet rolls
recycled card
packaging card - a few millimetres thick
papers and art materials to decorate.....

Here's how you put them together:

Each empty toilet roll will form a pocket for your journal, select how many you require, this journal uses 10 rolls. The card will be used to connect each rolls together

You will need two pieces of slightly thicker card taken from packaging - these will form the front and back covers

Flatten the toilet rolls and cover with some scrap paper, I have used the pages of an old encyclopedia

Seal one of the ends of the toilet roll, as you cover it above, to form a pocket that can be used to hold your tags, or journal writing.
Cut the recycled cards into strips that will be stuck to the sides of the toilet roll pockets and connect them all.

Stick the pieces of card to as many toilet roll pockets you require..
Prepare the front covers and attach.  You can paint them or add decorative paper of choice
Add paint as required to each of the pages, and make tags from some of the left over paper and card

From this to that - it's cool how you can take an everyday object and transform it!

Add some encouraging words and text to the pages, leave space for you to write your thoughts 
Enjoy spending time in your journal!

There is still 9 hours left for you to enter last weeks competition to win a Capturing moments mini journal.  Click here to take you to the post to enter.
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