Inspiring me

Inspiring Me Icon.jpg

First up is this video.  I realised just after I hit publish on my last inspiring me post that I should have shared this.  I saw it literally hours before I was due to be Master of Ceremonies and give a biggish Chairperson speech for which I felt a bit wretched.  I don’t know if it was this power pose or a placebo effect but I felt so much better before the speech after watching than I had been feeling.

As an aside the speech went stunningly well (and one of the younger children whose class I help in a couple of times a week told me I looked saxy!) :), though the thieves stealing my wallet from my handbag in the school office while I was speaking was not so pleasant. Given it is a Catholic school it seems a bit reckless given the closeness to God’s watchful eye (just thinking out loud, not very filled with forgiveness right at the moment as card replacement costs and the loss of photos and momentos in my wallet, far outweigh the $5 they took), but I am not letting that one incident impact on my recollection of how well the day went. So I leave you with this, talk about how we hold our space in this world.

Jane, a women who always inspires me to be a better more real person had this fabulous post over here that reaffirmed my decision not to colour my hair or cover up the few greys that I am noticing coming through.  Having coloured my hair often since I was a teenager, when  I found a couple of greys last year I had an initial panic (because surely I am not old enough to be going grey!?), and then decided I wouldn’t dye my hair anymore.  Setting an example for Victoria that you don’t have to cover up aging to be beautiful. Inspired to that view by another very good real life friend as well. And then I found a few more and had to remake that choice very consciously confronting my own demons about aging.  It is funny because I always admire woman who don’t, and I wonder about that, like why I think that is a brave choice to remain in our natural state.   It is redefining my own sense of beauty about aging consciously as well.  In any event, without digging into those thinkings on a post about inspirations, Jane greatly inspired me this week.

Emily Ball is an absolutely fantastic artist and she is inspiring me as well.  You can see her work over hair, but do a more general google search as well.  I love her paint lines and shapes and the way she constructs her forms.  The colours she chooses talk to me, the parts she leaves white, and the parts bursting with energy and colour.  Her art really speaks to me.

Andrea is doing a free ecourse on giving your dreams wings which you can sign up to over here.  Given what my own workshop was in 21 Secrets, it felt very serendipitous (especially this post by Jamie Ridler!). You can find out more about the course and sign up over here.

I am immersed in this course at the moment (immersed and behind!) and there is something quite delicious and appealing to me discussing and reading old myths, particularly Psyche and Amor.  It appeals to the history loving scholarly side of me, and is so much different to what I imagined but also so much more.  It delights me to go to sleep thinking about the stories and reflections questions and to wake up thinking about the symbols and archetypes.  It is really filling me up in a good way and so if it comes up again and it is calling to you then I recommend it.  You can get into it as much or as little as you like, but even if just reading the class discussion you learn so much.

Finally Jay over at Moonlight Creations has created an ebook on drawing faces that he is GIVING AWAY over here.  I have just read the first ten or so pages and already I am staggered by how much work he has gone to, and I am excited about delving into it more.  I definitely encourage people to go look at it if they like drawing faces.  It looks like an incredible resource and I am pretty sure that people will get something out of it no matter how experienced you are.

I hope that you find something here that inspires you in some way. :)

On my easel

As I talked about here, while I was talking about gaining clarity in one of my art pieces and how I loved that spot when you see a way forward so clearly, I was at the time staring at this piece.

I had previously spoken about my intention to get on and finish it over here, but stating that and actually doing it can be two very different things. It was out though and while I was on the phone I happened to glance at it and I saw this figure quite clearly in the background. So I grabbed my pencil and sketched out the figure I had seen before I lost her.


I wasn’t immediately sure about what next step to do, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked doing something along these lines.

So I began blocking out the background with some white.


This is where she is sitting now. I think she is nearly done, if not done. I have left her out to see if I am inspired to add anything else.

Still standing

Here a close up photo of the texture. I love it. Really love it.

Still standing close up

Any input or anything that jumps out at people is more than welcome. :)

Weekly Reflections

In a new thing I am doing directly based on my 52 Cards and  inspired by Teresa Robinson’s inspiration and truthful wisdom on her site and with her own 52 cards I have begun working in this little notebook that I was given by a good friend after she visited China (and married over there!).`

Weekly Reflections Journal

I love it, and I love the pages.  It is pocket sized and I love the binding.  I didn’t want to “waste” it.  I had done one page already last year and then no further.

Weekly Reflections Journal

2013 Found words Collage

Mainly I was working on my 52 cards though in this style.  I did more of those than I shared on here, but I didn’t finish them.  I have wondered whether to share what I had done.  Or to start again at the start of the year.  My wondering turned into procrastination and I didn’t start any cards at the start of the year.

A couple of weeks ago I decided I was not going to share the remaining cards.  Not because of any big secrets on them, but they were done.  I don’t even think I could talk sensibly to them now.  Well, I probably could. But they would be no less done.  And I had no words for them.  So I decided to leave them.

There is a quiet power in that decision of not sharing.  That feeling that everything you create does not have to be shared even if you are blogging and wanting to make a business out of your creating.  That there can be creating that is just for you.

It goes to the very heart of why I stopped blogging for a while.  That  question of why am I sharing this? What is my motivation?  Am I doing it just to garner feedback.  Or just for connection. And what does that mean at it’s very core for me.  And then the question of why we create. All big questions.  Certainly not a track I was envisioning when I began this post, so I will gracefully step off that little track and back on to the one I began on.  :)

So the final outcome is that there will be no more of the series my 52 cards.  But that process of reflecting each week is a powerful one that made such a real difference to my life.  The words that would be found and chosen.  I can’t say enough about it. So incredibly powerful.  Truly.

In that spirit, I missed not doing the cards.  Having that dedicated reflection (and I know I could have done it anytime, but I liked the dedicated time to reflection at the end of the week), and I was thinking about starting it up again when I came across my book while looking for something else.  I saw that first page and a 1000 little twinkly lights twinkled and I realised I could use this little book in place of a card.

Reflections on the past week and an opportunity to use my date stamp!!  Also serendipitous scraps photo bombing. :) #weeklyreflections #artjournal

When I had done the first page I realised that there was space for writing about any thoughts or ideas that had come up.  So my new weekly reflection journal was born. Combining found words and written words, a powerful tool already.  Last weekend after some truly testing personal experiences I came to such an incredible story-reframing realisation about it all, after looking at the words ad then beginning journaling.

#weeklyreflections in my #artjournal

Things I knew in my head, but didn’t really know in my bones yet clearly. And all of a sudden I got it.  The words formed themselves on the page and I wondered what had made those words come to the surface.  Powerful stuff in a gut punching kind of way. So all this to say that while My 52 cards is no longer a feature, my Weekly Reflections are likely to be.

They will be useful to track my journey and progress.  At this stage however just the found words will be shared.  There is also wisdom when sharing and not sharing in knowing where those boundaries lie for each of us.  For me right now, the balance feels right.

Truth Card #2

As I mentioned in this post I am going to be finishing of these truth cards that I started in 2011.  As I randomly pick one each week, it will also act as a kind of oracle…maybe, or just a finished card!  :)

The Before:
Truth card #2 (Before)

The After:

This one did not have much of the previous collage show through at all.  But you can see it was there.  And it feels so much more finished.  I am quite looking forward to seeing the finished cards at the end of this creative project.
Truth card #2 (After)

Creativity Challenge 2014

While catching up at Carmen’s blog recently I saw that she was doing this Creativity Challenge.  While she was doing it at the start of the year, I thought anytime was the right time to have a quick kickstart, so I went over and signed up.  :)

It was good to have daily challenges and be focussed on creativity.  The challenges were also not overly involved so quite easily achievable and I did indeed feel like I had had a quick kick to the creative behind.

I had been meaning to do this one for a little while, a combination of my word of the year and also the best word I could come up with to describe my creative intention.  I have been a little bit hesitant to mention my word of the year because I was worried that as soon as I announced it I would then send myself into a self-sabotaging sticky funk, but I am in the process of breaking new patterns, not reinforcing them so without further ado…my word of the year is abundance.

So scary.  My previous words have been (in their order I think): Transform, Bravery, Open, Connections and now Abundant.  All such a progressive flow to them.  But all have been quite big words and had much bigger implications than I could ever have imagined.  I expect Abundance will as well and that scares me as well as excites me.  But it seems like quite a positive word with positive connotations, marking an upward transition out of the darkness, so the fact that that word came into my life really pleases me on a number of levels.

Anyway, so here is my word in my art journal…

Creativity Challenge 2014 #1

My creative to-do list was a joy to do. It was a good chance to remember everything that I wanted to do, and certainly an excuse to never be bored. :)

No time to be bored!! :) #creativitychallenge14

I am also quite certain it will get added to as and before other things are crossed off.

I decluttered three shoeboxes of ephemera and scraps, some of which date back to 2009.  I kept enough to fit into a single file but figured anymore was madness.  I never went into the shoeboxes generally anyway. They were full to overflowing and taking the lid off caused more mess than I desired in wanting one particular scrap.

I always have stuff around that I can use and there is a trust required in abundance and knowing I will have what I need when I need it.  This has worked out really well and I am actively using the bits I have kept.

Braving my boxed collection of scraps and tossing what I don't need. #ruthlessandproductive #creativitychallenge14

Thinking about beginnings I worked on this journal page:


Here is a close up so you can read the words.

Beginnings close up

It felt significant. There is a feeling at the moment that I have of hope. And joy but hope that things are getting better and I am definitely more happy and not procrastinating my days away. Finding these words at the time I was working on this page felt like one of those shifts we sometimes feel. :)

Next came an artist date to the local gallery The Dowse. I did this on a day which had not started well with the children, and in between parent help on road patrol and parent help with the little kids and their reading I took a deep breath and went to the art gallery. I don’t know why I don’t pop in more. It is so close and accessible.

It doesn’t need to be a huge period of time, especially if you are popping in often. And it really did give me a fresh burst of inspiration and reset my whole day. I loved it. The exhibits were also really good. Just that little bit of self care was really uplifting and changed the slant I had tainted my day with (though I stayed longer than I was going to and missed out on my coffee I was also desperately needing, but I survived!! :))

Creativity Challenge 2014 Museum Visit

Here is a shot I took to show my creative process:

My process

And finally some words…Why I love what I do? Because of that juicy moment of clarity when you suddenly see a way forward in a project.

At the moment while I was considering what I would write I was looking at one of my WIPs and suddenly saw a figure which excited me.  Those moments where you feel completely in the zone of all creative forces, that is what juices me up.

I wholeheartedly recommend signing up and I am grateful to Carmen for mentioning it.  It was a twitter based challenge which intrigued me and also made it feel more manageable (because 140 characters?!) but I thought I would share here as well.

If you decide to do it, please let me know!  I would love to see your creative story. :)

DIY Postcard swap is looming again

I have joined up with Hanna’s DIY Postcard swap.  A fantastic opportunity to send out happy mail and receive it as well.  So far I have always had extras which I have sent out to say thank you for cards received and to other friends.

I was not entirely sure I was going to sign up this time.  I think some got waylaid on their way to NZ last time because I only received four from the swap, but I found this paper I had painted a while ago (for some long forgotten project so I really hope I don’t remember what I had it for and want to finish the project!!) over the weekend and while wondering what to do with it thought it might look cool chopped up which made me think of the postcard challenge.  While I do love to receive happy mail, it really is joyful for me creating it and sending it out all over the world (as well as nervewracking) so with that as my primary motivation I signed up again. :)

I am so glad I did.  I am quite excited by the potential of these.

This is the sheet when I first pulled it out and decided what to do with it.  You can see how big it is from my feet at the bottom of the photo.

Have decided to join @ihannas postcard swap and use this paper as my background.  You can see how big it is by my feet so I figure it won't all be postcards!! #diypostcardswap

I added a bit more paint…

Background paper 2

…and then a bit of book text, more paint and some graphite…

Background paper 3

I cut up some cereal boxes to glue on to the back…(the description belies the wrist strain from brayering all those cards onto the background paper to make sure they are stuck down tight…but I will spare you that whining)

Making postcards

…and am now cutting them out (and may be doing that over the next week or so, it will probably be the job I turn to when I am procrastinating :)).

Making postcards

I am not sure what is going to go on the front.  I am thinking I may look for shapes and characters and some funky monsters and see what I see but I am not sure at the moment.

Here are the other cards I have sent out in the previous swaps…here and here.

Inspiring me

Inspiring Me Icon.jpgAnd thus starts another series over here on my blog.  Some links or images on what is inspiring me at the moment.  Or what I have been particularly taken with.

I foresee that it will be telling on what is impacting my creativity and process at a given time and will be interesting to look back.

Maya Hayuk.

Oh my gosh. Her art and her murals.  Both have completely taken me and held me captive.  I love her work.  The vibrancy and energy and colours and it really speaks to me.

This video on positive and negative space by Diane Culhane.  And while you are over there please check out her art. Oh yes.  Check out her work!

21 Secrets.  Wow.  A couple of people have shared pages that from my videos which is thrilling beyond belief.  I show everyone quite excitedly on my phone like a fool.  But more than that seeing the inspiration and art over there is really inspiring and exciting to see.  I am grateful to have been a part of it.

I love this idea that I saw on Carmen’s blog…collaborative faces…I love it.  And I totally want to do something like this myself.  I think that would be cool.  To see the different styles of people come together in creating a face.  The idea is quite exciting to me.

Finally my daughter Victoria is home sick with asthma at the moment and has been arting up some faces.  I adore the noses and character in her portraits.  I don’t know when her noses changed or what she has been inspired by but I completely love them.

Victoria is painting a self-portrait. Love that she included messy unbrushed hair.

Victoria is home sick again and drawing her father and I. I thought we were mouthless and then she pointed out we were kissing. Oh my gosh. #thecuteness


These are the things that are inspiring me and exciting me at the moment.  :)  I hope you are having a fabulously inspiring week and if you find things that you think would inspire me then please feel free to share!  I would love that.