the first week back

It feels a little strange being back at work full-time – I’m tired too.  Living in a different city, good trains running nearby in the night (although I know I’ll get used to the sound very soon), having to work out where the best supermarket is, the petrol station, where can I get a decent coffee and a sandwich for lunch etc.  And then there’s the art supply stores – I guess Lynette from All of Me will help out with this as it’s her city and she uses a wide range of materials!

So what would you take with you for a few nights away, when you know you’ll be tired in the evening and need to just wind down a bit?  I took a small watercolour Moleskine, black pens and watercolour pencils and crayons.   I only used the first two items!

Doodles 1What would you take away with you when you know you’ll just have a small amount of time?

wobbly spirals I like my deliberately wobbly spirals, I have to fight being too tidy so these were fun – maybe I’ll add some colour.

Next week I’ll repair the bear my mother made for my daughter – at about 35 years old and much loved in his younger days, he’s looking a bit worse for wear and somewhat moth-eaten as well!

Poor Bear

According to my grand-daughter I am only allowed to do minimal restoration work - there's to be no new clothes or updating of his image!

I’m really chuffed (very pleased) that Jeanne has a sense of history and that at 7 years old, she values this little bear as something her great grandmother made with loving care so just restoration work it is.

are you brave enough to be vulnerable?

Some people have the courage to be vulnerable while for others, they have to be brought to their knees first.

Looking back at the road from Tibet down into Nepal. While it wasn't really on this crazy angle, it was road works all the way.

I put my hand out the window and took this photo over the cliff into the mist below. Sometimes you just have to put your hand out, or up, and you don't know what you're going to get. A metaphor for life?

At the Voodoo Cafe earlier this week, Ricë Freeman-Zachery interviewed Jill Berry.  During the interview, Jill had some words of wisdom about the value of allowing yourself to be vulnerable – you learn that way.

Also this week, friend posted this link to Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability on Facebook – sorry, I don’t have the facility on this free version of WordPress to embed a video.

If you have ever suffered from self doubt or that inner critic, I urge you to watch – it’s 20:20 minutes long, wise and witty.  When you’ve watched please come back and leave a comment – let me know what resonates with you.  There was a bit 12:50 in that shook me – as well as many other a-ha moments.

Love and courage.

some weeks don’t go to plan . . .

. . . and this was one of them.  I intended getting the quilt finished but have hardly done any work on it at all.  Do you give yourself a hard time when thins kind of thing happens?  Do you forget about all the other things you’ve achieved?  Easy isn’t it?  Surely there are enough other people around who could do that but don’t, so why do we do it to ourselves?

So I didn’t do thing A, however I did do things B, C, and D.  What?  Not thing A.  Tough!

It’s enough that I have sorted work clothes for my new job, gone through boxes and boxes of resources from the job I left almost 8 years ago and am about to return to.  Oh yes, I’ve also had several long walks on the beach, read a novel and half finished knitting a cardigan for one of my grand-daughters.

At the beach

I have no idea who built this structure on the beach - lovely to see that it's been added to over the past week or two. Taken on my iPhone camera + Pic Grunger.

Sundown

As I walked home, it was just me and the shag worshipping the last of the sun (or cormorant if you prefer) - aren't I fortunate living just a stone's throw from all this? Taken on my iPhone camera.

All in all it’s been a busy week – and it’s only Thursday!

more mucking around

I’ve been playing around with my iPhone.   After reading a post on Traci Bunker’s blog I downloaded the Hipstamatic, Pic Grunger and Fish Eye apps and compared some photos – great fun!

Lion's Tail

Lion's tail - regular camera shot

Lion's Tail 2

Lion's tail - a Fish Eye option

The second example is a separate shot.  In the next two photos, the second example is a treatment of the first.  I don’t know if I’m using the correct terminology here – and if you learn something new it’s the short-sighted leading the blind as most of what I know is the result of just mucking around.

Sailing forth

Hipstamatic shot

Sailing forth 2

Pic Grunger treatment

I really enjoyed messing around with these apps – not as much as being down at the beach with my grand-daughters though.  They stayed for the weekend and the weather was perfect – it was sheer delight!

I got snail mail!

Yesterday afternoon, as I walked on the beach I found a piece of driftwood as black as pitch that looked for all the world like a crow’s head.  Now one of the blogs I read on a regular basis is Violette’s Creative Juice – and Violette has a special place in her heart for crows.  Crow

So there I was, wandering back from the beach with my crow, thinking about Violette and her love for crows, I checked the mail and YAY!  Violette had sent me her Teen Dream Journal DVD – lucky, lucky me!  I am probably the only person in New Zealand to have one!! Mail

In my job I work with students at risk of failure due to learning and/or behaviour difficulties and self-esteem is a big issue – I mean, if you don’t believe in yourself you’re not going to make optimum progress (at any age).  This DVD is so jam-packed full of material designed with increasing self-esteem in mind and I can’t wait to use it!  It’s school holidays now so I have to be patient – and that’s not a strength I have when enthusiasm strikes.

I’ve watched from the point of view of a teacher who perhaps doesn’t have much experience in art but knows that kids love to experiment and express themselves.  There are enough wonderfully clear demonstrations, explanations, PDF materials and templates for even the most cautious student and teacher to create something unique that reflects their thoughts and feelings.

I can’t wait to use the DVD with teachers and students and I’m certainly recommending it very highly to a friend who works in an alternative school.    Actually, if you’re new to art journaling at any age, it’s a terrific resource.  Get Violette’s book Journal Bliss as well and you’re on your way!

the back burner

Do you refer to half-finished projects as being on the back burner?   I’ve been thinking about this saying recently, one reason being that I’m going back to work full-time in a demanding but satisfying job so I will need to put aside some of the creative ventures that take up my time and ideas I have for the near future.

To me, when something is one the back burner, it’s simmering, reducing to a wonderful, savoury, taste delight where flavours combine to make something wonderous.After the rain

I visited a glass factory in Yangon Myanmar where rejects were put out under the trees – definitely on the back-burner!  Eventually everything would be recycled.  The place sparkled in the sunshine and looked for all the world like an Aladdin’s cave full of treasure.  Recycling

My friends and I were invited to look for anything we might want – it was like a treasure hunt.    I bought a large, wonderfully lop-sided, bowl and a number of small paper weights.

When things are laid aside, it’s not necessarily the end for them.  Partially finished projects, plans or ideas can be refined, redesigned and invested with new life – they’ll wait for you.