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Quote for the Day : Dreams are the Seedlings

“…The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities…”

— James Allen

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Book of Shadows / Journal

I am a bit obsessed with notebooks.  I have LOADS of them.  If you ever need to get me a gift and are stuck for ideas, get me a notebook and I will be happy as Larry.  Whoever Larry is…does anyone know?

I recently bought a lovely big notebook that would be just perfect for updating my *Book of Shadows, which had never been particularly well looked after or designed – it was just a bodgy little spiral-bound notepad that I had always meant to decorate / tizzy up but twenty years on had failed to do anything with – and really needed to be upgraded and given a bit more respect.  So, this new notebook, with it’s large blank pages and hardcover, screamed out “Make me over!”  I shall share my process with you now, dear readers, leaving out any details about how messy I got, and where I was finding black and copper paint, days later.

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Sorry – terrible photos…it was late and the lighting wasn’t great..

The first step is simple.  You spread PVA glue all over the cover of your notebook, so that it is completely covered, and then lay tissue paper over the top of it, smoothing and rippling the paper as you go, to create a natural-looking surface.  Be careful not to rip it as the tissue paper becomes quite fragile when wet.  Do one cover at a time – ie do the front first, let that dry and then do the spine and back cover next.  Fold any excess paper over to the inside – you will be covering that up later.

 

PVA glue takes a while to dry properly so go and do something else while you’re waiting.  You can speed the process up by gently drying with a heat gun or hairdryer.

When all the sides are done, paint with your chosen background colour.  I have used black acrylic paint, but it would look equally good with just about any dark-ish colour.  Paint each side, including the spine, and allow to dry as before.

Using a sheet of paper, cut to size, cover the inside, back and front, making sure you cover up the excess tissue paper that was folded over.  If you want to add some ribbon or binding to tie the book up with, now is the time to add it, before the paper is stuck down.  Or, if you make a mistake like I did (and forget to add the ribbon), you can glue it on after the paper and use an extra square of paper to hide the ribbon.  Hey, I am all about improvising!  When it is all stuck down, paint over with your chosen colour.  I used black again here, but you could use a contrasting colour if you like.

When everything is completely dry, you can start on the fun bit.  Squeeze out some metallic acrylic paint (I used copper, but gold or silver etc would look great too) onto a palette or spare bit of cardboard.  Don’t add water.  Dip your finger lightly into the paint, dabbing off the excess (you only want a little bit of paint) and lightly wipe it over the covers of your book.  This is like dry-brushing with a paint brush.  You don’t want thick splodges of paint – just a light, barely-there contrast.  It will highlight the textures and creases in the tissue paper and create a leathery/old look.  Keep going until you are happy with the result – don’t forget to also do the spine.

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Ooh, old and leathery…that reminds me, I have to buy moisturiser, ha ha!

Let this layer dry completely on all sides.  Add an embellishment to the front cover if you wish, to add some interest.  I used a copper, um, face-plate thingy (I have no idea what it is or where it came from) and, before sticking it down, created a little collage to fit underneath (flecked with a bit of copper paint), which was then sealed and enhanced with a layer of dimensional magic to give the effect of glass.
When the panel is slid open, the image is revealed.  It looks all magical if you squint a bit and also don’t have very high standards or expectations ha ha.

 

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Magic!

An easy technique for updating a tired old notebook, that can also be used on metal, wood and other materials.  It’s messy and fun and you basically get to finger-paint.  And there are sadly few opportunities to do that these days.

 

Thank you for stopping by 🙂

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PS I just want to say, I am not a witch, and do not mean to offend anyone who is.
I have “dabbled” in the Craft, as I think many women do at some stage in their life, but I certainly don’t claim to know all that I should know about it and would advise anyone who is thinking of casting a few random spells or hexing the neighbours to get some proper advice and guidance.  Be careful of your intent and the energy you put out into the world, even if you are just “dabbling”.

My *Book of Shadows is my own personal book of “spells” (if you want to call them that), affirmations and wishes, important things I want to record and hold dear, and does not imply that I am in any way affiliated with any particular belief system, religion, or group.
Believe in magic, or don’t.
Each to his or her own.  Blessed Be.

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Bucket List (or, Things I Will Probably Never Do)

Bucket List (or, Things I Will Probably Never Do)

OK, so I know Bucket Lists are pretty common these days.  Everybody is writing them.  Some people are even following through on their wishes.  Not sure if I can do the same but I do know there are some things I would like to be able to do before I kick the proverbial.  Many of them are very tame, in comparison to other people’s. But that’s ok I guess. Some of them are quite pedestrian.  But you have to start somewhere I suppose, and one person’s dream is another’s reality.  To me, owning a home is a big deal – it seems unattainable, and yet I know people who have bought and sold many houses.  It’s all relative.

Actually, I think my bucket list needs some work.  I think it is supposed to be more spectacular.  I think I’m supposed to write things like “Climb a Mountain” or “Run a Marathon”.  Most of the time I would be happy to just get out of bed on time and not bump in to things a lot.  But, as I said, it’s all relative and personal.

So here goes, in no particular order (and I will no doubt add to this as the months go by and I think of extra stuff I should have included) :

  1. Write a book
  2. Sky Dive
  3. Travel to Iceland
  4. Love myself
  5. Read all the books in one of those “1001 Books You Must Read before You Die” lists, like THIS
  6. Learn to dance
  7. Dye my hair purple
  8. Learn to walk in heels without falling down
  9. Visit Stonehenge
  10. Buy a house
  11. Study something I am passionate about
  12. Find a job I enjoy, not just tolerate
  13. Volunteer at an animal shelter
  14. Stand up for myself when it really counts
  15. Learn to play guitar
  16. Cultivate a viable vegetable garden
  17. Swim with whales/whale sharks/sharks/manatees
  18. Get a tattoo (maybe…I keep changing my mind on this one)
  19. Learn glass blowing
  20. Sleep on the beach for at least one night, under the stars
  21. Go on a luxury cruise
  22. Write a love letter to everyone I know and care about, so they know how I feel about them before it is too late
  23. Perform a random act of kindness on a grand scale
  24. Have my own business – nothing crazy or huge, just something that is my own
  25. Fly in a hot air balloon
  26. Sing with other people (not just by myself, in the car)
  27. Meet Jamie Oliver
  28. Become a morning person (my 6 year old nephew literally leaps out of bed in the morning, beaming and laughing and singing.  EVERY. MORNING.  He is sunshine on a stick.  I want to be like that).
  29. Be medication free
  30. Have dinner on a rooftop.  I’m not going to push my luck by saying a romantic dinner.  Any old dinner will do.
  31. Go on a proper road trip
  32. Learn to meditate
  33. Buy, and use, a hula hoop
  34. Do yoga regularly
  35. Be at peace with myself and my body
  36. Bake my own bread
  37. Stop being an insomniac
  38. Learn to make a “proper” curry, from scratch
  39. Learn to make kimchi
  40. Eat something wonderful and fattening in Paris
  41. Become vegan – or as close to it as I can
  42. Have coffee/tea with a stranger
  43. Go thrifting in New York
  44. Be part of a vintage pin-up photo-shoot
  45. Learn to drive a manual car
  46. Achieve 1000 followers on my blog
  47. Complete an art journal
  48. Learn to sew my own clothes
  49. Stop procrastinating
  50. Teach my craft
  51. Create a Youtube channel (which would require me to achieve points 33 & 49 simultaneously)
  52. Appear in one of my favourite magazines (for a good reason)
  53. Go a whole week without watching TV
  54. Read a book a week
  55. Make and enjoy a stack of pancakes, all by myself
  56. Grow my own herb garden
  57. Take an op-shopping tour of Australia
  58. Get a fringe
  59. Have a market stall
  60. Take a long, cross-country train ride
  61. Send a message in a bottle (haven’t worked out how to do that in an environmentally-friendly way, yet, but I am working on it)
  62. Create a shrine/altar in my home
  63. Be kissed by someone lovely when I’m not expecting it

That will do for today 🙂  How about you?  Do you have a bucket list?  Have you ticked anything off yet or added new things?  Any items you’ve changed your mind about?

Have a great day everyone 🙂

Blog Prompt : 26 Letters

Blog Prompt : 26 Letters

“Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet…”

Always searching

Bending backwards

Creating a sense of calm

Deflecting the hurt

Easing the ache

Forever hiding from harm

Gently existing

Hindering self

Intending to raise the alarm

Joyful dreaming

Kindred spirits

Leading with open arms

Meaningful silence

Nonsense embraced

Openly lying to charm

Patiently waiting

Quest incomplete

Relying on wit to disarm

Speaking no judgment

Traitor to none

Untruth sung out like a psalm

Wallows in self

X marks the spot

Youth remembered as balm

Zoo-like, her heart is caged.  Wild and shackled.  Free, yet tethered.  Beloved but forgotten.
Waiting for extinction, or release.  Whichever happens first.

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Quote for the Day : Learning to Fly

Quote for the Day : Learning to Fly

“The Guide says there is an art to flying”, said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” 
― Douglas AdamsLife, the Universe and Everything

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I’ve been dreaming an awful lot lately, about flying mostly.  I am someone who tends to have a lot of bad dreams and full-on, screaming-and-waking-yourself-up type of night terrors, so to have some nicer dreams about flying and being powerful is quite a change of pace.  I used to dream about flying all the time – for a while there I was convinced I was actually astral travelling because I would experience and see things that were so vivid, and even go places and witness events that would later turn up on the news.  But, of late, I have mostly dreamt of sad or painful things, break-ups and losses, death and monsters.  So it is certainly nice to have a few pleasant dream experiences thrown in for good measure.  Dreaming about flying has lots of different meanings and can be interpreted in lots of ways, entirely dependant on the dreamer’s life and current worries/hopes/stresses.  As I seem to be flying along quite happily, apart from a few wonky starts or inability to get off the ground, I think mine are saying I’m feeling freer than before and that, fears aside, I am “taking off”.  Something like that.  It could also mean I am full of hot air and have my head in the clouds.  Whatever.  I’ll take a flying dream over a being-chased-by-a-blood-thirsty-demon/vampire/ghost any day.  And the sooner I am free of the husband-leaving-me-again nightmares, the better.  Those ones suck!  Why don’t I get to have sexy Johnny Depp/Hugh Jackman/Robert Downey Jnr dreams?  My subconscious mind is so dull and chaste! Even as a teenager I didn’t have those kind of dreams – while my friends were re-counting raunchy tales of somnambular trysts with pop-stars and actors, my brain was showing me fascinating images of things like exploding spleens (true story – I had a nightmare about an exploding spleen) and graffiti that multiplied and smothered the world.  Also, the giant, evil pencil that I couldn’t hold on to whilst doing an exam.  Cheerful stuff like that.  I think it’s possible I should have sought therapy of some kind…

With dreams of conquering the world with my artistic vision (ha!), I tried making cards today but didn’t do a particularly good job (so I won’t show you – I have my pride!).  I have too much else on my brain at the moment, I think.  I’m off to Sydney in a couple of days for the dementia conference and I am focused on that (ie I am worrying about that) and all the accompanying plans and requirements.  Once that is over and done and I am back here in Perth in my little house with no threat of real flying (the dream kind is ok, just not fussed on the actual in-a-plane kind), I will relax and get back into things.  I did finish off my little clay quotes spheres/orbs (above) and I think they look pretty good.  I’ve displayed them on my bookshelf.  Next time I will make them bigger (these ones are like tiny marbles – why do I have to do everything in miniature?) and make more so I can display them in a bowl, maybe.

Gotta go and make soup for my lunch tomorrow and do some more worrying about my trip.  I AM worrying but I am trying to temper that with “you’ll be ok” type positive thoughts.  I’m getting better at those.  Because I have to.  Time I threw myself at the ground, or aimed for the sky – eventually I figure I will land somewhere and with a bit of luck it will be somewhere cushy and enjoyable.  And devoid of enormous expanding pencils (I can’t help but think that one is slightly sexual in origin but I am ignoring that fact and pretending it means something about something less, well,  phallic) or exploding spleens.  Sigh.

Have a lovely week everybody.  Fly and dream and, above all, love.

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Happy New Year, New Beginnings and a Fresh Slate

Happy New Year, New Beginnings and a Fresh Slate

Hello there!  Happy Happy Happy New Year to you all!  May 2014 be a year filled with love, laughter, creativity and all the good stuff (y’know, bunnies, sunshine, ice-cream, dew-drops on roses – that sort of thing…).  I truly wish you every happiness and hope that you can find and follow your bliss 🙂

As I sit on my own tonight (not sad and sorry, just on my own…reflecting, not moping…) I am thinking about the things I want to accomplish this new year.  Many of the things are somewhat selfish ones, but I hope that they will make me a better person and help me to live a little more and be myself, in whatever way makes me happy.  I’m going to put myself first a little bit more…which is hard because that doesn’t come naturally to me and I say that in the most humble way I can.  I am not a super unselfish person – I just to tend to put everyone else’s needs before my own and, while I think that is a good trait, it can sometimes mean I am left out in the cold (literally – I would give you my overcoat in a blizzard if you asked for it) and in not standing up for myself or making my needs known, I make it hard for other people to really know and respect me.  I am one of those annoying people who reply, when asked what I’d like to do, “Um…I don’t mind really – what would you like to do?”  Yes, I am one of THOSE. And it’s time to stop being that way.  At least some of the time.  Basically, get your own coat next time there’s a blizzard! It’s freezing out there!

I want to get better at taking compliments.  I want to be worthy of them and be gracious enough to accept them.

I want to improve my social skills.  While I will never be a party animal (unless that animal is a little mouse, hiding under a chair) and I will never be the life and soul of any social gathering, I want to be able to at least attend events without being scared and anxious and generally piking out.  I need to learn how to speak to people and not care if they think what I’m saying is rubbish.  Other people speak a load of nonsense and I don’t dislike or laugh at them, so why should I worry about it myself?  I need to be prepared and have a stock-standard list of things I can talk about so I am not a walking awkward silence.  I must not be dull any more.

I want to be more daring in my clothes.  I always dress safe.  I cover up.   I have curves and I do everything in my power to keep them hidden.  I’m not saying I should let it all hang out and frighten small children and animals, but I should try and dress like a woman.  Instead of a librarian.  Ok, I am a librarian…but librarians don’t actually dress “like librarians” – it’s a cliche and one that I am perpetuating.  I don’t like being the centre of attention so I will take baby steps with this one.  A slightly shorter skirt (must work on legs…) and an extra button undone.  That sort of thing.

I am going to stop saying “Sorry” all the time.

I’m going to get a tattoo.

I’m going to get my nose pierced again and my ears.

I’m not going to let my hair rule my life.

I’m going to exercise more.

I’m going to eat better.

I’m going to get to a healthy weight/size and stick to it.  I am not going to try to be thin, because I’m not that body type and I am not a thirteen year old boy.  I’m going to be healthy and fit. I’m going to walk more and find exercise that I enjoy.

I want to be tidier.  This is a tough one for me as I have already documented.  I will try and put things away and find a home for things.  I will not hoard.  There isn’t an apocalypse looming and if there was, how useful would empty toilet rolls and inch-long pieces of string be?

I’m going to tell people I love them.  I do this a lot anyway but I’m going to do it more.  I’m going to tell people they are important to me.

I’m going to learn how to sew.  I want to be able to hem my own pants, fix a broken zip and whip up a snazzy new skirt.  I want to be able to say “I made this” when someone compliments me on my outfit.  I want to be that embarrassing person who makes their ensemble out of curtains and gives
appliquéd reindeer sweaters as Christmas presents.

I am going to laugh more.

I am going to cry less but allow myself to cry when I need to. And then stop.

I am going to find a substitute for chocolate that is renal friendly.

I’m going to stop being a doormat.

I am going to be comfortable with myself and with being alone.  I’m not going to let someone else’s issues become mine.  I am not going to waste my time on people who don’t appreciate me for who I am, with all my faults.  I’m am not going to fall in love with people who don’t deserve me and who don’t think I am good enough. I am not going to change who I am and what I believe in to fit in with someone else’s ideals.

I’m going to be less harsh on myself.  I am going to be accepting of my failures and my shortcomings and I am going to help myself to do better, without judgement or fear.

I am going to try my best, always.

I am going to have a pretty home and surround myself with things I love and that make me happy.

I am going to entertain more and be less of a hermit.

I am going to learn new skills and have new experiences.

I am going to try hard to fix my medical and mental issues.

I am going to ask for help when I need it.

I’m going to stop being frightened of men.

I am going to read all the books I buy.

I want to find out what I am good at and do it.  I want to be successful at something and be proud of myself.

I want to dance like no one is watching.

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I want to learn how to walk in high heels.

I’m going to start my book.

I am going to stop allowing myself to be bullied into things.

I am going to stop trying to fix things for everyone.

I am going to drink tea out of pretty cups and sit at the dinner table to eat and make myself proper meals.  Toast is not a meal.  Neither are Cheerios or coleslaw.

I am going to stop being so cheap.

I am going to be braver.

I am going to master chopsticks.  The eating utensils, not the piano tune.

I am going to attempt to learn to play my ukelele.

I am going to hug and touch more.  I’m going to let people touch me.  They ain’t got cooties! (and more importantly, neither do I)

I am going to learn to like travel.

I’m going to be more spiritual and not be ashamed to be so. I am going to believe in magic again.

I am going to start dreaming of a future for myself.  If anyone wants to come along for the ride, that’s fine, but if not, that’s ok too.

I am not going to shut off my heart or stop being me.  I am going to love my family and friends and find joy in simple things.

I wish you all the best for the New Year, and every New Year.  Hold on to love and happiness.  Let go of fear.  That’s what I am going to try and do.

Thank you for reading (and not judging) 🙂

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