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My Friend

After some time away from crafting, I finally sat down to do some collage-making on the weekend.  And was immediately met with contempt and disdain from the creative Gods.  I couldn’t wrap my brain around starting anything, let alone actually completing a half-way decent piece.  I doodled, I painted, I cut out and fiddled about, but nothing was working.  Is spent ages drawing and painting a little crowned lady, only to be disgusted at my own lack of artistic talent, and threw her in the bin.  Sigh.

Then I went back to basics.  I started with a nicely patterned piece of paper and stuck it down on a fresh board.  I lightly smeared white gesso over the paper, rubbing it off in places and letting some of the pattern show through.  I stamped a heart in one corner – I didn’t even bothered trying to draw or paint one, given my creative ability  had deserted me that day.  I let it all dry and thought about what else I wanted to add.

I felt like doing a “wordy” plaque – something with all text and little else.  So I began stamping…

I have a nice collection of alphabet stamps now – all different sizes and styles.  I buy them wherever I see them – you can never have enough – and it’s good to have different fonts and in both upper and lower cases.  I am hopeless at getting things straight but I am learning to not worry so much about that.

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Aside from the stamping itself, which took forever due to my dropsy fingers (I’m sure I have some teeny little clear stamps embedded in the carpet now…), this project was done and dusted quickly and I am pretty happy with it.

Most importantly, it got my creative mojo a-happening again, which meant I was able to start a few other projects as well, and make myself feel better about my lack of “oomph” earlier in the day.  It’s easy to get discouraged – well, it is for me, anyway!

Thank you for dropping by – hope you’re having a happy, productive day x

 

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Word Book

Sometimes I lose my words.  Not just when I’m talking, but also when I am crafting and using actual words.  Like, cut-out-of-books words, that I use for mixed-media projects.  Teeny, tiny little scraps of paper with EXACTLY THE RIGHT WORDS ON THEM THAT SUDDENLY DISAPPEAR WHEN I COUGH OR SNEEZE OR START WHISTLING.  Or, I cut them out and leave it on my desk where God only knows what could happen.  Because once something ends up on my desk, it is lost in no man’s land, never to be found again (or, at least, not until I’ve given up and used a completely different word which changes the whole meaning of the piece).

So, my Mum, ever the organised and, let’s face it, more mature adult, suggested I make a little word book, with all those little-bitty scraps in them, all neatly set out and ready to use.  Her idea is simple : stick the adhesive strip at the top of Post-It Notes onto a page in a photo album (the kind where you slip the photos in to little sleeves) and – voila! – you have created a perfect receptacle for your words, sentences and letters.  You stick the adhesive strip (sticky side up) onto the pages with double sided tape and then just pop your words on top.  They stay in place, the adhesive isn’t sticky enough to make the page get stuck inside the sleeve, and everything is hunky-dory, neat and tidy.  Genius!

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So, instead of losing those words, or having to hunt through piles of junk on your desk to find them, you have a perfectly organised little file, which saves you time and energy.  So you can concentrate on finishing your crafty projects, word art, or collages, and feel good knowing you have created some order in your messy life.  I don’t know about you, but I need all the order and calmness I can get right now.

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Hope this has been helpful.  You can thank my Mum 🙂

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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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Blogging Challenge – Day Three : Favourite Quote

30-day-blogging-challenge[1]

My favourite quote has been, for a long time, this one from A. A. Milne (as Christopher Robin, spoken to Winnie the Pooh) :

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”

It just resonates with me.  I guess it’s something I would like someone to say to me.  I actually made this quote into a wedding card for my ex-husband but I never gave it to him.  It didn’t feel right at the time.  Probably should have paid attention to that little feeling at the time, in hindsight!  I almost use this quote as a gauge for how I feel about someone – if they’re worthy of these words, they’re a keeper.

What’s your favourite quote?  Do you have any words you live by or feel particularly strongly about?

Thank you for dropping by x

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Birds with Hats (When all else fails…)

Last weekend I was trying desperately to make some decent cards.  Sometimes, the creative Gods turn their backs on you and you have to just struggle along on your own.  That’s what happened to me last weekend.  I mucked about for ages, trying to put things together that I liked but, sadly, I ended up not achieving very much and being less than impressed with anything I did manage to finish.

To the rescue came IKEA.  That beacon of light when all is darkness and you can’t see the woods for the badly-collaged trees.  I’ve had these little bird postcards for AGES – I can’t remember exactly when I got them – and they’ve been sitting, propped up, in my bookshelves.  It suddenly occurred to me that I should try and incorporate them in my own card-making.  Mostly because they’re birds, and I love birdy-related things, but also because they were a good background piece that wouldn’t need much embellishment.  Basically, I was lazy and wanted a quick fix to my creative dilemma.

With a few tiny scraps of paper, text, lace and other bits and pieces, I made these quirky little cards.  They’re not perfect, but I kinda like them, their simplicity, and the fact I finished each one really quickly.  Plus, you know I love a bird with a hat.

A friend has already nabbed the yellow (finch? canary?) one and I will probably use the other ones myself or just add them to my sales stock.

It would be nice if we could fix our lives this easily, just by donning a hat (although, I haven’t tried…maybe it could work?) and bunging on a few bits of text (I wonder what mine would say?).  But, if all else fails, there’s always IKEA – that fixes everything.  Or at least distracts you for a few hours while you wander around looking at all the pretty things and stuff you don’t need and trying to figure out how to pronounce things.  Which is a bit like life, really, ie wandering around bemused and confused and getting sidetracked.

Hope you’re a happy little birdy today and always

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Little words make a big difference

Little words make a big difference

I am having a bit of a sad/stressed/upset week.  I’m not going to go into it (I promised myself this blog would no longer be home to my whinging and depressing monologues on love/marriage/pain/illness blah blah blah) – suffice to say I have been feeling quite low, a little panicky and just a tad unsure of my place and value in the world.  It may be hormonal (I’m always hormonal!!!) or the time of year that causes reflection and navel-gazing.  Anyway, I am trying to cheer myself up and look to brighter days and words of kindness.

Just before Christmas, one of our departments at work had a Christmas party that I was also invited to (as the librarian, I tend to deal with all the departments and be involved with them on a daily basis – it has perks ha ha!).  One of the activities for the afternoon was to write “compliments cards”.  Everyone had a paper bag pinned to their backs and were given a stack on index cards.  We all had to write about people in the department and say nice things about them – what we liked about them, how they contributed to the organisation and just what made them special etc.  It was such a nice idea.  I wanted to write something about everyone so I ended up with a rather large stack of cards – well, I didn’t want anyone to be left out…how horrible would that be!?  It would be like going back to school and getting picked last for sport teams…so sad!

When you’d written a card, you popped into the paper bag on the corresponding person’s back and, later, they got to open the bag and read the cards.  I got a nice little stack written for me – such an ego booster!  It’s lovely to be appreciated and validated.  I think it was a nice way to spend an afternoon and I hope everyone else got a kick out of it too and felt good about themselves.

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I’m a bit sappy so I love this kind of thing (I keep nice emails, little notes from people, thank you cards, birthday messages etc…hoarding strikes again!).  We don’t often get to tell people how much they are valued and that they make us smile or help us get through tough times.  I’m going to keep my little cards somewhere I can see them, and remind myself that, even on my worse days, I am doing ok and that people appreciate my work and like me for just being me.  Sometimes it is hard to remember that, especially when someone makes you feel less than wonderful.

I think words are so powerful and a kind word can make a person’s day, just as a harsh one can stay with them forever.  
Choose your words wisely and always be kind if you can.  

 

Words to Live by…

Words to Live by…

Good morning!  I am a good girl today – I got up nice and early and went for a walk while it was still cool and quiet.  We have had such a mild Christmas/New Year weather period, it doesn’t feel like Summer at all.  This morning was actually chilly when I got started which is so unusual for this time of year.  Normally it is blazing hot until at least March.

I snapped a few pictures as I walked through the neighbourhood and down to the foreshore.  Lots of pretty flowers and birds, no doubt enjoying the unseasonably cool weather.  I normally take my iPod with me and listen to music, but, as it and my phone were both charging, I took my camera instead.  The sky was pretty grey this morning – a chance of rain perhaps? – and the water on the river was still and glass-like.

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 I got into a bit of a meditative frame of mind (in other words, I was still a bit sleepy and just switched my brain off) and just enjoyed the gentle breeze and relative peace and quiet.  I am trying to be a bit more centred this year, calmer and less anxious and stressed.  I find it very hard to just stop thinking about everything.  So I am now trying to think about good things, instead of worrying, especially about things I cannot change.  I focused on the birds and the water and the city skyline and just breathed (or puffed, depending on how you look at it – I’m not very fit).  It made me think about the Desiderata.  Have you ever read it?

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When I was 12, our teacher’s assistant read out the Desiderata to us at our Year 7 graduation night.  I will always remember sitting there and listening to his voice as he read out those magical words.  As a 12-year-old I can’t say I took a lot of it in, but it has always stuck with me, somewhere in the back of my crowded brain, as words to live by.  I have given it to people as gifts and keep a copy with me.  This year I am going to try and live up to it and remember it’s words more often.  It doesn’t preach and it doesn’t claim to have all the answers.  It’s just perfect.

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If you’ve never read it before, please do now.  I think the world would be a nicer place if everyone knew and believed in these words.

Thank you Mr Rosling – you may not remember this little twelve-year-old girl, but she remembers you fondly and with love and gratitude.

x

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

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As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

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If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;

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for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

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Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.

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But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

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Be yourself.

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Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

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Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

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You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

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Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

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With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927

Have a wonderful day everyone.