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Close your Eyes, Clear your Heart

Oh, how I fiddled and faffed around with this one!  I couldn’t make any wording fit and I was having a bit of a hissy fit.  I put it aside and left it alone for a while.  I stencilled the “bricks” on to the patterned paper as an afterthought, and I quite like the effect.  The wings are a bit wonky, but that’s ok.

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But the words!  Ugh!  I could not make anything work.  All I knew was that I didn’t want to stamp them directly to the background because I was sure to mess them up, and it would be really noticeable due to the straighter edges of the brick pattern.  So the words had to be stuck on, either stamped onto paper and then cut out, or using existing text.

So, in the end I found a quote on a sheet of scrapbooking paper that seemed to fit well with this image (actually, the original quote said “Let Go” at the end, but I changed it to “Dream” – it just seemed more appropriate) and quickly glued it on before I changed my mind.  I think it works ok…..

I need to add some detailing, paint the edges of the canvas and varnish it, etc, but it can wait until I am doing a few others at the same time.  I get to the end of a project and I just want to move on to the next.  By the time I’ve been fiddle-faffing around for hours on one thing, I get a bit sick at the sight of it and want to start something new.  Are you the same?  Do you like the entire process of creating something?  Or do you get fed up half way through and just want it done?

I probably need to close my eyes and clear my heart and just let the art happen.  But I’m not that trusting yet.  So things can take longer than they should.  But then I suppose there really isn’t a “should” when it comes to art and creativity.  It’s supposed to be intuitive and free, not structured and following some sort of plan or timeline.  I should try to please myself more, not keep trying to make something that will appeal to others.  But I need to learn to do that with myself too, and not try and be what I think other people want me to be.  Which is tricky, right?

Hope you are happy being YOU today – keep dreaming 🙂

x

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Quote for the Day : I am the Hurricane

“…I am not a Sunday morning inside four walls
with clean blood
and organized drawers.
I am the hurricane setting fire to the forests
at night when no one else is alive
or awake
however you choose to see it
and I live in my own flames
sometimes burning too bright and too wild
to make things last
or handle
myself or anyone else
and so I run.
run run run
far and wide
until my bones ache and lungs split
and it feels good.
Hear that people? It feels good
because I am the slave and ruler of my own body
and I wish to do with it exactly as I please…”

— Charlotte Eriksson

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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 🙂

An Evening with Oprah

An Evening with Oprah

One evening this week, I went to see Oprah.  Yes, THE Oprah.  It was slightly surreal seeing her in the flesh, after 25 years of watching her on TV and hanging off her every word.

The venue, the Perth Arena, was PACKED to the gills.  Lots of ladies, and a handful of long-suffering menfolk who had either been dragged there or, I guess, genuinely like Oprah.  I think she appeals to lots of people, because of her down-to-Earth sensibility and good humour.  She just is who she is.  What you see is what you get.  Which is a pretty amazing considering how famous she is, how wealthy and how utterly adored she is.  I’d probably lose my mind if I was her.  I like to think I’d still be the same big dork, but who knows how fame and fortune can affect you?

Anyway, it was a great evening and she is very inspirational. I found her life story to be very interesting – she’s lived an incredible life and gone through lots of make-or-break moments.  I tried very hard to soak up what she was saying – because I tend to drift off when people are talking and get stuck on one thing they’ve said and then don’t hear everything else they’re saying.  Which is why I never get asked to take minutes in meetings.  I switch off after the “welcome” part and wake up again when it’s time to break for coffee and cake.

She spoke about her childhood and the forces and events that formed the person she is today.  But, really, she was always OPRAH.  I think it would have taken more than mere human beings and everyday experiences to change her into someone else.  Some people are just MEANT TO BE.  In that way, I envy her, because I don’t know who I am yet or what I am supposed to be doing.  But, I live in hope that I will figure that out before it is too late.  By next week would be awesome, but it will probably take longer than that, knowing me.  I mean, I can’t even put a card together in less than three hours; how long will figuring myself out take?

Oprah recited one of her favourite pieces of poetry, Love after Love by Derek Walcott :

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror. 
      Sit. Feast on your life.  

Gorgeous.  Took me forever to find it, because I forgot who the author was ha ha (not listening again) but I’m glad I remembered enough of the lines to search for it.  God Bless Google.  Oprah also quoted Invictus by William Ernest Henley, focusing on the last lines which she says she lives by, and has lived by, since a very young age :

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.     

She spoke about many things – about finding your path in life but being ok with not yet figuring it out. She talked of surrendering – doing the best you can in a situation, focusing on what you want and then letting it go, giving it up to the Universe.  She described how obsessed she got with the Colour Purple – how she NEEDED to be in that movie, and then nearly didn’t get the role because she tried to change who she was, thinking that was what was expected.  Many times in her life she was taught a lesson about being yourself and not forgetting who you are.  It’s an important lesson to learn, I guess, no matter who you are.

I won’t go into huge detail about the evening – it was just great to see her and listen to her speak and just be there.  I think she is inspirational in many ways and has done a lot of good in her life, with her wealth and influence.  I know she’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I don’t think you can argue with the fact she has remained true to herself and helped a lot of people along the way. I would like to echo that in my own life – just figure out who I am and do some good as I go along.  I probably don’t need to speak about it in front 10’000 people (and my life is fairly boring so I’m not sure I’d sell that many tickets!) but it would be nice to think you have changed someone’s life in a positive way, or that you helped someone, even for just a moment.  I’m going to try and be more positive from now on and not so quick to get my cranky pants on, especially at work where my fuse can be dangerously short.  It’s important to remember everything you do affects someone else and any energy you send out, negative or otherwise is being felt by others.

So, today I shall try and breathe – in, out – and not have a conniption if someone has left a tea bag in the sink, or if people don’t park in the lines, or if the toilet roll is empty and no one has replaced it.  I’ll also be kind to myself – not berate myself for sneaking a cookie or needing an extra chai latte.  Little steps.  I’m sure Oprah would have made much larger steps and taken bigger risks but,for now, I will focus on changing my attitude and my inner voice and that angry little bee in my brain that chucks a wobbly a various intervals in the day.

An evening with Oprah – well worth it, if you get the chance 🙂

A Sentence a Day

A Sentence a Day

For Christmas, my best friend CG gave me a sort-of journal, titled “A Sentence a Day”.  As the title suggests, it has daily prompts for journaling your year (designed to show two years’ worth of entries so you can look back and see how you changed or stayed the same over that period) and encourage self-reflection.  It’s really a book for younger people (I discovered this on one page as the prompt for the day was “What did you do at school today?) but I’ve been happily filling in the pages and have enjoyed having that extra “push” to prompt me into writing.  I’ve been a bit hopeless lately (as would be obvious by the lack of blogging I have done over the last month or so) and so it’s been helpful having the little book to look forward to each day.

So, because I am literally out of ideas this week, and because my house is spotlessly clean and tidy (miracle of miracles!) – I don’t want to mess it up, not even for crafting! – I’m going to take a few of the prompts from the book and write my responses here.  Feel free to do the same on your blog (if you have one) or in your diary or wherever.  It’s cheating, ever so slightly, but I am completely inspiration-less this week.  I hope my mojo comes back soon, otherwise I’m in trouble.

So here goes – I’m just going to flick through the pages and choose random prompts…

  1. How do you feel about speaking in front of people?  Horrible!  Petrified, self-conscious and suddenly devoid of all thought and intelligence!
  2. Who is the funniest person you know?  Definitely my brother 🙂
  3. What’s your favourite sea creature?  Can I say a mermaid? 🙂  I think seahorses are amazing and beautiful but I also love whales, dolphins, seals and stingrays.  Ooh, and those creepy Vampire Squids!  They’re awesome!
  4. Do you have any bad habits?  God, where do I start?!  I chew my fingers and pick at them.  It’s disgusting.  I’m a teeth-grinder and a tongue-sucker (in my sleep).  Various unladylike habits.  All anxiety related, but bad habits nevertheless.  I used to suck my thumb when I was a child.  Then I got braces and couldn’t do it any more!
  5. What is unforgivable?  Child abuse and abuse of animals.
  6. What was the last time you saw a movie at the cinema?  What was it?  Last night!  I saw “St Vincent” with my work friend CI.  Excellent movie, great evening. We had dinner out (no dessert – good girls!) and chatted and enjoyed a great movie starring the amazing Bill Murray.  He’s a favourite of mine.
  7. What’s your favourite flower?  Violets, obviously! 🙂
  8. Describe how your house is decorated : My home has no definite style.  I am a bit schizophrenic in my decorating tastes.  I like bright colours but then I also like white and shabby-chic.  So I have a bit of everything.  I’m only renting so I can’t paint walls or do to much to the house in terms of decorating or changing any structures.  I like to have “pockets” of themes or colour palettes.  Each of my bookshelves has a different “vibe” going on.

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  1. What do you like most about your own personality?  I think I’m quite kind.  I try to be anyway.
  2. What does your dream house look like?  Cute.  I’ve always wanted a cute little house with a white picket fence, a pretty garden, and a warm and welcoming feel to it.  I’d like a porch with a rocking chair on it.  I’d like to be near the ocean and have room for animals.  I’d like an upstairs section (even if it’s just one little room) and a pretty guest room so visitors could stay the night.
  3. Describe your hairstyle : Slightly mental and uncooperative.  I have thick, unruly hair which I have grown to be grateful for.  I don’t try and tame it these days – it does its own thing and I do mine.  We agree to meet somewhere in the middle 🙂

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I have promised myself I will get better at blogging this year, so hopefully won’t need the little book to help me too many times throughout the coming months.  I’m enjoying my nice tidy home right now and so I am trying to hold of from doing anything crafty or mess-making.  I’m not very good at relaxing and doing nothing so I am finding it hard to know what to do if I’m not busy being busy.  I’ve even considered doing some ironing today which just shows I am getting desperate!

Hope your New Year is going well and shaping up to be the best year yet.  There is so much uncertainty and fear in the world right now – I can only hope that your own little corner is peaceful and happy.

Thanks for dropping by x