I don’t want to know how log it has been!! All is well over here. Living Summer. The children have been home, we went camping to a beach with no cell phone reception, which you got used to, and now the children are back at school. I kept telling myself I would blog when this happened, or this, or this, and those moments came and I only wrote posts in my head. When I scheduled posts I somehow stuffed it up and decided that was a sign. And then our main computer died, which threw me a little loop as blogging as I now have to was not what I envisaged (mad expectations and thoughts I admit). Until I got to the point I thought I should have something of worth to say. But that made the pressure worse and silenced me even more…so no pressure, just a hi and I am back. I have journalled a lot including about why I was even blogging and what I missed was the sense of sharing and community and connection, which is after all what any of this sharing is about. Looking for those like minded souls to connect with and feel less alone with in this world. So that is where I have been, living and wondering if I had anything of value to say. Not in a deep soulful kind of way but in that way that you don’t want to be clutter in anyone’s life. But the truth is that I missed it. And I missed the connection and feeling that I was not so isolated and alone even if I was overwhelmed about how to begin. So I decided to sneak in…no fanfare….just sneaking. I have still been creating and painting and I have a lot more to say. But if I do that it won’t be sneaking and instead will involve more fanfare and fireworks so just want to keep this brief!
Back in September (ignoring the fact it is now not September!!) I participated in a mail art challenge for Tim’s Sally True Free Spirit Art Group. I was a little nervous about who I was swapping for but ended up producing this:
I really liked the sketchy quality of it, and the imperfection. And it was something I wanted to explore a bit more so I made a note. :)
And then I saw Hanna was holding her DIY Postcard swap and at the last minute decided to join up. To get my art mojo back again…nothing like a little art deadline pressure! When I was thinking about what to do I thought about the mail art I had made for Nolwenn and thought I could do something similar…also further exploring what it was I liked about the original piece I did. Which also makes this a series!! Which is a proper artist kind of thing to do. Also I am not finished with the idea. I still want to play a bit more. I also really want to do life drawing classes now.
Some I felt called to write on, others I didn’t. I really enjoyed making them. I was careful about what poses I chose since other people would be receiving them who may be sensitive to glimpses of breast or the like. I hope all the receivers are happy. I really liked how they came out.
I didn’t take any progress shots, but I did not finish all of them that I had prepped so the backgrounds did all look a bit like these unfinished ones.
Oh my gosh. Now for my announcement!! As has just been announced by Connie over at Dirty Footprints Studio….
I am so incredibly honoured to have been asked to teach at next years 21 Secrets workshop…OH MY GOSH. Cue flailing arms AND jazz hands. And just a little squealing…very unprofessional I know.
Keeping this a secret has been very hard let me tell you!! I was so excited I wanted to tell everyone! :D
So. That is my big news. The other 20 teachers are so incredibly talented and wonderful and I am so excited and nervous to be included in the line up. Oh my gosh!! This was a big yes moment for me and I have had more than one crisis moment of oh my gosh can I actually do this. But yes. Yes I can and I will be of course or else Connie will be after me!! :)
I have taken the 21 Secrets classes since they first began so I am very honoured to now be taking a workshop myself. They are changing a little next year…
In Connie’s words: 21 SECRETS is celebrating itʼs fifth year of delivering inspiring art journaling workshops with a total make-over! 21 SECRETS is now a downloadable eBook with all 21 workshops beautifully contained and at your access 24/7. Not only do you pick and choose which workshops you do when–but you now get to keep these workshops
forever and ever! Plus–there is both a private Facebook community and Flickr gallery
where you can share, receive feedback, and meet others art journaling along with you!
Exciting news all around. I tell you!
My class is titled “Fly baby Fly!”. In light of how I have been feeling during September, I have actually been working through some prompts I am going to use…we teach what we most need to learn as it happens. I so hope that people will find it useful…and of course fun!!
The official words to describe my workshop are:
In Fly Baby Fly! weʼll use writing prompts to explore where weʼve come from, what our strengths are, and where our hearts wish to soar. From there, I will guide you in making mixed media feathers that we will use in our art journals to build wings that best represent our own personal journey into flight.
Here is the link again to find out more about the class. I do want to point out that it is an affiliate link. So if you click on it and make a purchase, I will get a percentage. Which I would be most grateful for. :)
Also…I will be having another giveaway in the near future, for a spot in the class!
Honestly I have so many exciting ideas about this workshop. I am so juiced up about the potential of how this could look in our art journal pages, in my art journal pages. I am already experimenting. So excited!
And look at all the other teachers…
Squealing with joy and excitement!!
Especially it seems when you have run out of words. I have been in some crazy mute stage, that I think looking back over the last couple of years always tends to happen in the same phase. I don’t know what it is about August-September, but I am back with my right words. :)
As I type that it may actually be part of my creative cycle. Also perhaps would have been easier to come back if I did not fight it and beat myself up for not coming here calling myself a lazy person. Perhaps a note for if this happens next year may be to show myself some grace for September!
In any event I have still been arting, even if I did run out of words. Also…in big news around here, one of the proposals I was working on for the organisation I was contracting for was shortlisted and they have been asked to make a presentation to the government department in that area and have asked me to help present!! Which was a huge honour. Very exciting non art news.
I am four weeks behind in showin my 52 cards so will show those all here today. My version of attempting to catch up. Then I have a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT later today. I can barely keep my mouth shut around it. Then sharing some mail art and art journal stuff later in the week. I have already scheduled the posts which makes me feel very organised!! :)
In other BIG news I got my firs big girl camera. I finally made a decision and it is beautiful. A little nerve-wracking to use, but I also got a book on my kindle that I am going to work my way through. I do however see how you can spend a fortune on lenses. I did not fully appreciate that before. Now…oh my gosh. I get it.
This could be a very expensive hobby…
But look…isn’t she beautiful??
Card 30 was actually painted using my daughters left over paints from when she had finished painting. I was feeling a bit lazy and didn’t want to get out one of my art journals to put the left over paints there like I normally would.
I can see here how uninspired I was feeling and trying to reassure myself that my creative mojo was going to come back, so I would not feel like I had fallen from the fly forever. Though honestly I had a few doubts as I wondered about I was really doing here.
Still dithering and asking questions…so many questions. It really is interesting looking back and writing about it now because it does symbolise my angst about what I was doing. I had so many plans for posts and really could barely make myself go near the computer!! Grace for September is clearly needed. I am going to make sure I have a plan in place for next year!
Starting to take more affirmative action…plugging away behind the scenes and also this week I began creating a bit more. I think this was the week I had no more contract work and honestly I did not a lot more than rest. In fact maybe that is why I ran out of words here. I was so busy writing reports and I had no more to give…watch me make justifications for not posting!?!
I do wonder also as I am writing these words that I stopped my morning pages…I suspect that has contributed to me drifting. Back to those then without delay!!
To find out more about these 52 cards…found words and images on a playing card, please visit Teresa where she explains so wonderfully the whys of the cards and has such inspiring wisdom in her words. They guide me every time I read them.
Thank you in advance for having me back. I do feel back! :)
Gosh it has been that long, it feels like I am barely coming up for air at the moment, which I am not complaining about at all…the extra money will provide some much appreciated breathing room, but trying to manage everything and keep everything updated is proving more difficult than I imagined. Though my laundry is up to date as from today, if not yet folded and actually put away…small things! :)
My camera question is right at the end, so I am begging you if you know about DSLR’s to read to the end, and I am linking up to Virginia’s rocking moment recorders, who are a steadily growing group, though new rocking moment recorders are always welcome! :)
So one of the most rocking things has to be the contract work I am doing, drafting Action Plans for collaborative youth services across an entire community, and working on funding proposals for new initiatives you found in your research is very satisfying work…even if it makes me feel a little brain dead in other areas. I feel like I am making a real difference and doing something worthwhile, which is exciting. I also hasten to add that I think motherhood is definitely making a difference and worthwhile, but the financial pay is terrible I have found…and so is arranging holidays!! :) I think there is only another couple of weeks left of the work so I want to make the most of it. Especially coming into Christmas.
Which brings me on to another rocking moment, because as of last week I have bought four Christmas presents for this Christmas…I feel very organised…even if they are part presents…surely it is super organised and on top of life if you are Christmas shopping in September!? :D If you have finished your Christmas shopping back in June I am okay if you don’t mention that!! haha
After the last big earthquake I was talking to my aunt and we decided we would go up for a weekend, she lives on a farm a few hours away and has baby calves and lambs that the children were able to feed. It took a while to come up with a date that worked…in amongst the end of winter sports (YAY!) and St John’s Competitions and their stuff, but we finally came up with last weekend that worked for everyone, and as it turned out it was perfect timing. It was so good to spend time with my aunt and uncle and my kindle. Just doing nothing the whole weekend. I felt ready for last week! I snapped the first photo on the way up on Friday night just as the sun was setting about half way into the trip.
Also in relation to the St John’s competitions Victoria managed a first, two seconds and two thirds in six events, and second overall in the 6-8 year age group…not much to complain about, though I have to admit I saw all her events and was a little surprised when my beloved told me the final results. Clearly I would marked harder (which I do feel mean Mum about) and wonder if they gave bonus points to her and her partner for been so little and cute…though I did not see the other children who were competing. In any event go her. The competitions coincided with the last rugby game of the year for Sebastian, so that was a bit of a mission in military organisation. Particularly in organising the plate for the rugby prize-giving that afternoon.
A few weeks ago I dropped my phone and it still worked but it was glitchy (though I was hesitant to say anything to anyone without having to confess what I had done to it). The keyboard often didn’t come up when you touched the screen and it was a bit difficult to turn it on, but it still mostly worked for the basics. So I left it (and besides it was less of a priority to sort out and devote time to than my laundry which is now nearly up to date in case I haven’t mentioned it!! :)) Though it was a pain because I tended to read my blog reader on my phone, and the keyboard did not like blog comment boxes, but moving on…
I got a phone call on Friday and my phone was now off contract and they wanted to offer me a deal to sign up for another 24 months…which involved me getting a BRAND NEW SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 for FREE. So I thought about it for all of 30 seconds before I agreed it was a good idea. Though I then proceeded to change my mind a few times about the extravagance, before I actually got it yesterday.
Oh my gosh…who knew I had been missing out on so much with my old phone when it was fully working. It is a wonder, and this week I will be able to concentrate fully on getting my blog reader up to date, with a working key board and all. And the phone camera…so much better than the crappy one I have been using. It is all quite exciting.
And it was free so it felt like Christmas. Very exciting. I also realise that until last night I had no idea about how little my “smart phone” was lacking in some of the features other people have had. I was geeking out about it, and my Beloved couldn’t understand the fuss…until I gave him some examples from my phone. Still will take me a little while to suss out the navigation completely, especially with this working gig and laundry!
One of the other exciting things about the upgrade is that now I can have an updated Facebook app, which means I can now share my instagram photos to facebook…which I have been unable to do since June this year!! I discovered on my google research that it was because my facebook app was not up to date, but my phone did not have the memory for that so I had to let it be.
This photo was my test (and it successfully posted to facebook)…as we slowly teach Miss 6 to ride without trainer wheels…how I wish we had never put those things on her bike!!
My other rocking moments have been my beloved and children not mentioning the growing dirty laundry pile and for doing a lot more around the house than they normally do (mostly without the motivation of a snarky mother making martyr comments). I am very grateful though I need to stifle the urge to get up and do it when I hear them doing something. It is not that I don’t trust them to do it to a certain standard…I am not that strict of a housekeeper to be honest (if you had not yet guessed! ;) ), but I feel guilty not doing it…what is that and where did it come from??
I have to remind myself I am doing other stuff and the fact my beloved is doing some sort of cleaning around the house is not some personal judgement about my lack. I struggle a bit with making that not about my stuff though…one of the drawbacks abut working from home I think. If I wasn’t here I wouldn’t know it was happening, and would come home just pleased it was done!!
Now…for my big camera question. With this money I am getting I am diverting some of it to getting me my first DSLR camera. All very exciting. (VERY EXCITING…this may even mean more to me than an engagement ring I will get one day from my Beloved…well maybe it is about even, lest he thinks he has an escape from that bit of jewellery :)) A lot of the money from this contracting work is been diverted into much more boring areas, like bills and house bits, but knowing I am going to be getting a new camera makes everything okay (and the breathing room it is creating is such a massive stress relief)! I am very, very excited. I have been wanting this for a very LONG time.
I think I have narrowed down the camera I am getting to a Canon EOS 700D, or in American Language (:)) a Canon Rebel T5i. Although if you have other advice or suggestions I will gladly take it!, my money has not yet come in so I have not yet committed! :) BUT what I want to know is that I am split between two different packs. There is the twin lens pack with two lenses, an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II and an EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS, and the Super Lens pack is one lens the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM.
I am clueless about which one to get, and which one is better. Both the sets are around the same price, so I have no idea about what to start with. So if you know about such wondrous stuff, could you please help me out. I have gone backwards and forwards and all around about and am still dithering in the middle with no clear steps in either direction, I read one thing and take a step in one direction, and then read something else and take a step in the other direction…no clear direction has won out though. It is a lot of money for me to spend/invest on me (and my family of course!! :) haha), and I really want to make the best choice. So I thought maybe if you knew something about DSLR cameras you could help me maybe, if you wouldn’t mind! :) I would be ever so grateful.
Is it a sign when you have to log back in to WordPress that you have been missing in action for too long??
Gosh. I just took photos of my latest “My 52 Cards” card and realised that I had not taken photos of the one before that. Aaargh!! Life has gotten away from me in real life (evidenced by my laundry pile and library overdue fines) which means I have been away from here as I try and keep up. I feel like I am so scattered that I am letting a lot of balls fall but I am here checking in, and hopefully semi keeping the ball from smashing heavily down to earth!
I have been working essentially full time in proper paid work which has been great, the extra money will give us some breathing room, that is for sure, and I love the research/analysis work I have been doing. Work that makes you feel like you are making a difference. I am especially grateful for sanity that I have been able to do it from home which has helped a lot with managing children, though it has not been without some teething problems as I am available a bit less and things still need to happen…I may have had a couple of unsexy meltdowns as the reality of not been fully available and able to do EVERYTHING became realised by all but we have gotten to here relatively in tact!! .
I would even love it was more permanent, though I think it is only for another couple of weeks so I am making the most of it, though I would have to also be a whole lot more organised if it was more permanent!! Also I am going to buy myself a new camera, which is also *squee* exciting and I am looking forward to doing the research on that. And then actually buying it. I will warn you because I suspect I will become very excited about taking photos again!! :)
Still I know I am behind on things including blog reading, but I am trying to get my blog reader back up to day…so expect flurries of comments in little bursts!! I suspect some of the scattered feeling is also because I have not been doing my morning pages very regularly…note to self!! But I am trying not to self-flagellate myself with some of my more recent negative self-talk about how crap I am doing and exercise a bit more self-compassion.
So…a bit of an update and catch up.
First I was over here briefly…with this.
I cannot stress how much fun this was. it makes me smile thinking about it even now. In the middle of all this contracting work, where I have had moments of wondering if I am good enough to do it, flinging paint is a most excellent stress reliever…
And my latest 52 card contributions.
This one was done in the midst of been so exhausted from working and mothering (is there a difference sometimes) and I look at it now, and see how emotionally heavy I felt, but still somewhat positive and on track towards the bigger picture. At least an awareness that I shouldn’t get hung up on the heaviness, though with my depression journey I am always especially conscious of feeling heavy, to keep a careful eye that it doesn’t go further.
My last one was this:
A lot lighter, also done when we were just home from spending a weekend on my Aunt’s farm a few hours away. I did not a lot more than read my kindle and soak in the sun, and it gave me some breathing space from everything that was so needed.
Reflected by the words I chose!! :)
I will be back tomorrow with another post and more photos! So as not to wear out my welcome.
Wow. Nearly half way. This practice has taught me such a lot about myself. Today’s card is very reflective of the latter half of my week as well.
The painting on the front is a painting I did a couple of years ago on a diary page that I have saved in my collage box to use at some stage. This week I did not feel drawn to a lot of words and when I saw her I felt very drawn to putting her on this week’s card.
Eight weeks ago someone that my beloved used to work with closely was diagnosed with cancer. This afternoon we are going to his funeral. He was only 45.
It has taken up a lot of my thinking. Eight weeks. The difference that that amount of time can cause to a person’s dreams and very life. A wake up call of sorts for the rest of us as we sat absorbing the news very shell shocked late last week. At the start of the year he and his wife still had their dreams and future in tact. His wife’s future is now very different, and the reality of that is unimaginable for me. She has been in my constant thoughts. His whole family have.
It has also made me think think about what I would do differently with only eight weeks. It won’t be made up with the big ticket items on my list-of-things-to-do-before-I-die. It will in reality with only that amount of time be the life I am living now. So is the life I am living now, the life i would choose to be living if I had only eight weeks.
Generally I am grateful to say it is. There is not a lot I would choose to change or regret about my life as it stands right now. It would be my lost dreams of a future and missing my children’s future moments that would cause me the most distress.
It has also made me think about the potential of things I want to do but haven’t because I am not sure what I am doing, or how it would all work or what I have to do. And I don’t like to fail. In eight weeks all my chances and choices could be removed from me, and then one of my regrets would be the life I have not lived and the chances I have not taken even if I bomb wildly. At least I would have tried. I won;t be living in the not knowing one way or another, a live only half lived.
So. That is where I am. This week. Looking at those actions that make up my everyday private world, the real live, not those grandiose dreams that go on our lists of things we want to do. What are we doing in the here and now. The life we live daily is the life that counts in the end, that says who we were, who we are. What is it that makes our lives now, the ones we want to be living and that we won’t regret.
The power of eight weeks will be the most lasting legacy he has left to me, it is up to me how well lived my eight weeks are. A paradigm shift if ever there was one.
Inspired to note my week’s reflections by the 52 card project that Teresa is doing. Her words are worth reading anyway in my experience, but her words about this project in this post sum up perfectly what the project has meant to me. “It was my way of leaving bread crumbs to mark my path“. These cards are indeed my breadcrumbs to my path. Every single one.
Having just read this post, it also astounds me how much it ties up with the thoughts behind my card this week, and the thoughts in my head. Synchronicity across the oceans.
Live your life well. xx