Saturday 29 March 2014

Gratitudes and Celebrations Journal - Week 38 - Peace Inspires

Gratitude's and Celebration Journal

Peace is possible in your inspired life

We can sometimes be surrounded by the noises of life that we forget what peace is like. From the moment we get up, the alarm clock, the radio, tv, the clatter of the breakfast dishes, slam of the front door, rev of the car, interacting with others, chatter, laughter, dogs barking, cats meowing, cows mooing, birds tweeting, foxes....(well you know what the fox says:) and it never seems to stop!

It seems as if there is always something going on, some crisis to avert, problem to be heard and sometimes all you want to do is shout ‘Peace, Be Still’.

You have to make time to be still, to sit and just listen to the stillness, be calm, to wait and allow your body to find its natural rhythm, as it repairs, restores, refreshes and inspires.  You need to understand what your body is telling you and take action provide the remedy. You have to give yourself the space to unwind and reflect and just be at one with God.  
Finding those pockets of inspiration 
I am grateful that I live in an environment where I can take time out to be still, and I celebrate the renewed me that is present when I have enabled myself to be at peace and to find those pockets of inspiration. 

What can you do differently to create a sense of peace for you? Have a blessed weekend! If you want to see how I made the journal (click here) Blessings!

Wednesday 26 March 2014

New art - Courses Update

I have been busy in the studio working away on a variety of courses.  What I realized early this year was that I signed up for too many courses.  It is so important to keep moving forward and learning new things, but if you don't give yourself enough time to process what you are learning it can become stressful, falling behind and getting yourself in a stressful state. 

What I found happened to me was that I just stopped.  I had lost sight of why I was doing the courses as I just tried to churn out images in an attempt to keep up, and also keep up with the events happening around me in my life.  

I decided to change my mindset, I have slowed down and have been taking my time, having given myself a breather and got on with things like moving my mum into a new home, I have come out the other end excited about the new work that I will produce over the course of the next year.

I am very pleased to share with you some of the pieces that I have done over the last couple of weeks from Soul Food and Life Book courses, I will also be sharing over the coming months some larger paintings that I will be working on for the Bloom True - Flora Bowley Course  It is a 5 week course, with access after the course for 6 months, the next course starts May 12th – June 14th, 2014, so go on the waiting list to get more information. 

Here are a glimpse of 3 pieces that I recently finished....
Going to the party

Palette Love

Sweety Pie

If you would like to see the complete image you can check them out here at my mixed media art site

Sunday 23 March 2014

Material Mondays - Crochet and textiles Art Show

It has been a while since I did anything with fabric or wool, so I thought I would share with you the latest thing that I have made.  For a while I seem to be buying a new shade of wool every week, but there is a limit to how fast I can crochet, even on a good day and with all the other priorities that seem to rear their head it has kind of taken a back seat.

I wanted to make something for my 6 year old niece and thought a crochet bracelet would be the nice to try, it could be worn with a variety of outfits and I could make it within a few hours.

Flower and button details

It is made using wool with specks of silver thread, I created 2 flowers one using the grey wool and the other using white as contrast. 

Grey and silver thread running through the wool...
These were then and attached these to another piece of wool that had been crocheted that would fit around her wrist.  A button was added and a button hole in the opposite ends.

Flower button 
A flower button was added in the middle of the crochet flower. The bracelet was straight forward and quite easy to make, yet it looks quite effective.  I have been busy with the flowers and now have a few more to make into bracelets, and maybe a broach or two!

Flowers waiting for a new lease of life
I recently got a couple of tickets to go to the Creative Stitches show, which I am really excited about, as it will also include a look at the Festival of Textile Art.  I have been getting more and more inspired by the many fabric designs, quilting and using textiles in my work.

Creative Stitches + Fashion & Embroidery
The Creative Stitches and the Fashion Embroidery show will be held at London, Excel on 3rd - 5th April 2014, and the tickets are £8 in advance and £10 at the door, but it also gives you entry to the Hobby Crafts show at the same venue. It will be a great way to hear some inspiring talks, see new techniques and connect with others, if your going, let me know!

Friday 21 March 2014

Experiments in Collage

I have been part of the course run by Randal Plowman called 'Experiments in Collage', which has sadly come to an end.  I have learnt quite a few new collage techniques that I will take forward within my own work.  Here are some of the collages that I did on the course.

Seeing the world through fresh eyes

We spent 6 weeks looking at different approaches to collage,

Essential Play
Trying different techniques and seeing what we liked the best.
It's a Mans world
 I really enjoyed adding painting effects and drawings within my collages,
Admit One
 And using images printed on tracing paper.
The Secret
 Trying to step out of that which feels comfortable to being outside of my comfort zone, and then bringing it all together.  

As the course has finished around 16 of the participants from around the world decided to make and send 5"x7" collages to each other, I am still working on my set to send out and should complete them over the next couple of weeks - I'll post the collages when I have done them and let you have a peek .  I will also be able to show you some of the collages that I receive from the group.

No place like home
I thoroughly recommend this class, why not do something different that will take you out of your comfort zone. Check out Randal's website to see when the next one is running, and do remember to share what you get up to!

Gratitude's and Celebration - Week 37 - Each Step you take...

Gratitudes and Celebration Journal
Each Step you take leads you closer to your dreams

What are the dreams you have been allowing to stir in your heart.  There are so many things that you are naturally gifted with and often you find your self falling into things, seemingly by coincidence.  

Imagine what life would be like if you had a plan, if you made an effort each and every day.  What are the dreams you have for your life, where do you want to be next year, or 3 years time.  You have to be an active participant in your dreams and work on achieving all the little milestones that's how positive change happens we have to do something, so let us continue to dream, dream big, take action by taking a step to realise those dreams.  
Each step you take leads you closer to your dreams
I am grateful to God for enabling me to realize many of my dreams over the years, and I celebrate the ones that will come to fruition in the future.

What dream can you take action on today?  As this week draws to a close have a blessed weekend! If you want to see how I made the journal (click here) Blessings!

Thursday 20 March 2014

Soul Food....Surprise package!

Soul Food

I got a surprise package in the mail a couple of weeks ago, I was blessed to win the February prize draw which consisted of a set of stencils from Artist Cellar

The stencils are from the Cathedral Plans series and Old World Map series, can be used as a mask or as a stencil and are made from quite a hard wearing plastic.  I have been playing around a bit using gesso, a fairly thick modelling paste and working on fabric.

Here is a sneak preview of a few books that I have been altering.
Stencils used from the Old World map series by Artist Cellar
On this book, which was from my local pound store I used fine poly-filler.  After it had dried I had to sand it down slightly before painting.

I haven't finished with them, but I like how they turned out so far.  I also used the same stencil on some fabric to see how it would look.  I decided that I will be using it for a lesson with Susana Tavares who is showing us how to make a fabric Art Doll

Stencils used on Fabric
There are so many more techniques that you can try out with the stencils, they are very durable and wash out with warm soapy water, can be used on their own, or with other mixed media tools. I am looking forward to sharing some of the ways I get to use mine.  What new techniques have you been trying out?  

Sunday 16 March 2014

Moving Home....Adapting to needs

One of mums many ornaments!

This weekend finds me packing boxes, not of my own home but that of my mums.  Her needs have increased and we needed to find a place that had a lift or easy access for a wheel chair.  I was thinking with my practical head, and I got the boxes and tap and other packing materials ready.  As I have been making my way around the rooms I see that this job is far bigger than I expected it to be. I didn't realize that with every item that I pick up I would be confronted with memories, and times from my childhood, some sadness with the losses, knowing that change has to come.
Moving unearths many things....
As a child I as many do thought my parents would live for ever, never get old, and we would always come back and have dinners on. This was my family home from the age of 7 and quite a number of years have passed.  I understand now why I had to do the 'Memories of Home' posts, for a time like this.  When I first started the posts moving wasn't even a thought, I knew that I needed at some time to do something as mums needs had increased and carrying a wheelchair up the stairs has been impacting on my own health, but thought I had more time.  Anyway each room holds it's own memories that I have been savoring.
Hands off! Some of dads prized glasses
When we were little, my dad brought a drinks cabinet that held a large array of glasses that we were never allowed to use, so many tumblers, wine, liqueur and champagne glasses - it wasn't as if he was a drinker.  They were for best in case we had visitors, the glasses sit all uniform side by side, we kept up the tradition when my dad died of periodically dusting and not allowing our kids to use them.  Mum would say that one day a section of the cabinet and the contents would be passed each of the children, how do you sound grateful and turn down the offer,  we have no room in our own homes.  Now Robert has gone, mums new place has no space, it has to find a new home.
Jugs and glasses fill the cabinet
There are so many things that we have collected that recapture the memories and that connection that was once thought forgotten, I have been showing some of them to mum to see if it sparks some memories for her. We all reminiscence at some point whether it is talking about something we did 20 years ago or last month.
Egg cups we used as children

Looking around my mums home I am reminded of many things of my past that as children we used, the egg cups above had a lid to keep them warm, mum would make us egg and soldiers that we would dunk.
Soda Stream, one of the earlier kinds!
Soda stream – this is one of the older versions that my dad would use and we would have sparkling drinks, we used it quite a lot in favor of the fizzy drinks you could buy in the shops.

This statue is one that my dad got and has been in the family for years, not sure where he got it from, it is funny that the things that were so precious for one person might not be so for another and when you are gone you can't take it with you.  I am going to make up a memory box out of things that would trigger a memory that could be a talking point to spark my mums memory, for some of them it will just have to be the photograph!  

We turn a corner and I busy myself again with wrapping up glasses and plates and seeing what can find a new home, this week will definitely be a busy one and every now and again an emotional roller-coaster, but also provide comfort as we remember and take stock of our lives. 

What will this week hold for you?

Friday 14 March 2014

Gratitudes's and Celebrations - Week 36 - Shine

Gratitude and Celebration
Your spirit shines
When you enter a room something happens, the particles of energy that collide with your energy begin to vibrate and a spark is lit.......

We have all been created to interact with each other, to collaborate, support and encourage.  That spark within that lights up a room, shifts the energy and inspires, we all have it whether you have realised it or not, you matter.  

Have you experienced the times when you have impacted positively on a situation or circumstance.  Imagine what a blessing you could be if you used your talents, gifts and abilities and shone that light in the lives of others.

I celebrate and I am grateful for the Holy Spirit which lives within me, a gift from God.  How will you let your Spirit shine?

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Memories of Home - Reflections

Last week saw the last of my series 'Memories of Home'  I had made a series of houses, some made from card and others created on wood.  It was a great way to look back at childhood memories and share some of them.  My son also got to see another side of the child I used to be.  

Each week I took a word which would be the starting point to launch from and I shared a memory, some of them had been long forgotten.  

I enjoyed sharing the memories, some of which were of times me and my brother had spent on our adventures as children, thinking about him and the good times though still difficult at times seem to lessen the sting of his passing.  Speaking about him some how keeps his memory alive and feels right, I can't believe at times that he is gone.

When my dad died mum would speak of how they met and how she secretly liked him all along, I found that even after 20 years of him not being with us I still felt the emotional pain.  
The more she talked about him the more I remembered and it didn't hurt so much.  I still wish he could have seen his grand children and that they could have had more time together.

Now I have finished the series I have been thinking what to do with the houses and want to turn the into some form of book, along with the memories shared and can be passed down to grandchildren and be the stories that are shared and not forgotten -  I will let you know how I get on.

I encourage you to take the time to reflect back on your own memories, you might find that they might hold the key to moving forward. 
Wooden house collage
One of the wooden houses that I made inspired by a class on Soul food opened up a whole new set of possibilities, I didn't realized how much I liked working with wood and hope to do more pieces.

As I made the houses I found I related to them more, and each began to mean more to me and became more a part of me and my stories.

I have found Memories of home has been a way to capture some of my stories, the ones that had been forgotten, and as we get older and family get together's fall to the wayside it has also been extremely important to me as my mothers memory diminishes.  What experiences and memories have you been capturing and what special ways have you been able to share them?

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Soul Food - New work and Zen Doodles

I thought I would share some of the work I have been producing from the Soul Food course I have been doing....

In the session led by Heather Santos - 'letting go of perfect', I used a piece of art that just didn't seem to be working and creating a new painting.  I drew an outline of a figure I wanted to use and then went about adding the necessary paint.

I was pleased with how she eventually turned out.

Sarah Hand showed us how to make paper mache shadow boxes

Shadow Box
It has been great so far to be able to work with such a vast array of creatives, in a supportive and encouraging environment.  I would definitely do both of these again and have collected a few boxes that I would love to alter.  I am finding my pace and looking forward to sharing more as the weeks go on.

Finally, do you doodle?

I was fortunate to have one of my Doodles featured in the book Zen Doodle: Tons of Tangles.  Well, North Light Books are producing another book called Oodles of Doodles and they want you to submit your doodles or tangles to the Zen Doodle competition by March 14th, there is no entry fee so get a move on!  Check out Create Mixed Media 

You can also enter in the following ways:

email them at
Instagram — email them at via your Instagram account
Pinterest — tag them in the comment @CreateMixedMedia
Twitter – tag them in the comment @CMixedMedia

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