kid’s work

Oh I am so slack sometimes.  NO! Not true!  I have been incredibly busy and had a bad back into the bargain that kept me away from the computer to a large extent.   Excuses?  No, reasons.

Another reason I haven’t shared some of the results of the work with students that I wrote about in my last post, playing at work, was that I was unsure of which parents had signed consent forms.  I have permission from parents and students to share work and in some cases permission to share photos of students working.  While parents may sign consent, I won’t share unless the student agrees.  So, here are some examples of student work.  IMG_1949IMG_1951 IMG_1947

These were their very first pages and the topic was their positive attributes.  First I asked what they thought they were . . . oh difficult!  We have a culture of not blowing our own trumpet in New Zealand as the tall poppy quickly gets cut down.  Then I asked what someone who knew them well, their parents, an aunty, uncle or grandparent, the teacher, might say of them . . . much easier!

After their second pages, quite a few students went back to this first one and added detail.   Their concentration was wonderful to see . . . in both boys and girls.  I had fun, they had fun, and some of the conversations were quite revealing about how they feel about themselves.

I set the topic, showed them a few ideas, demonstrated some lettering techniques and they took it from there . . . if they took one of my ideas from the pages I showed them, then they truly made it their own!

More soon . . . I promise!

good intentions honoured

Knowing that I had two weeks of holidays, albeit with some day-job work to do at home, I got out some books and supplies to start playing.  I will have a few days of granddaughters staying so the house will be completely given over to creativity as they have a tendency to get going before they even get out of their pyjamas.IMG_1835

I got out the pile of journals that I used in a rather haphazard way and was really surprised at how many there are . . . and horrors!!   I even found a travelling journal that the wonderful Quinn McDonald had sent me for a contribution before sending on to another journaler in this neck of the woods.  I cannot believe I have been so remiss!  What was going on in my life at that time that I forgot?  I’ll send it on very soon Quinn, I promise!

But I digress . . . here is the pile I have.

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The third from the top has “Draw you mind before it expires” written on it. As I’ve had it for about 4 years without using it much, I thought the time had come to give the message some serious thought!

The one on top is a duct-tape journal I made after watching a video of Diana Trout‘s.  It lives in my bag and has its innards replaced from time to time.  The zibaldone is my commonplace journal, my ‘everything but mostly writing, daily pages’ journal – read this and you would know my innermost thoughts!  It’s a 2002 diary that somehow did not get used and was put in storage while I was overseas.  While I’m thinking of it I should perhaps see if I can pick up a 2013 A4 diary before they get sent off for recycling.

A favourite for now is this visual journal with alternating black and white pages.

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Black and white journal cover – gesso and permanent markers

I had been thinking about how vulnerable the heart is, that while we need to guard it well, we also need to let others in.  I have mentioned the TED talk by Brené Brown, The Power of Vulnerability before . . .  do watch it.   I thought that for this serious topic, I’d have a little play with cut outs.IMG_1882IMG_1875Tomorrow, I’ll try for three posts in a row but no promises with the darlings arriving here this afternoon . . . I could be busy.

sitting with my demons

I envisaged this page complete and just did it . . . no procrastination or consideration about the time or materials, I just picked up the nearest pencil and drew.   The whole page was there, a visual BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious)  in my head . . . or is that my heart?IMG_1677Sitting with our demons

I think perhaps that our demons are nothing more than our hurts child selves, that if we sit beside them and listen quietly we would be able to understand and help them to heal. 

Wouldn’t we all do that for a child? 

Why not ourselves?

Let me in.

Let me help . . . please?

another late start?

When I read Natasha White’s Grand Declaration post today on Define Your Joy, I realised that if I didn’t want to start slipping backwards I needed to start moving forwards again . . . marking time is not an option!

I was lent a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron a few years back and couldn’t read it, it didn’t seem to be what I needed at the time but later, I borrowed the book from the library and then eventually bought a copy.  Writing the morning pages works for me: they help sort out my head, help me focus on what’s important and head me off on the right direction for the day.  It is in this journal that I started to realise that I could dream and that those dreams are attainable.

So why is the book such a difficult read for me?  God has something to do with it – and there’s quite a bit of God in there.   You see when this God with a capital G turns up and is referred to as ‘He’ I have to do all these complex transformations to fit it to my beliefs and quite frankly it gets in the way sometimes.  You see I don’t believe in the ‘God’ I grew up with, I don’t believe in an interventionist god, but I do believe in the power of love and hope, and I do believe in the connection of all things and that we are just a small part of everything.   I do not believe humans have any superiority, nor that one faith is, nor I am more important that any other form of life – I believe in positive interdependence.   And while I’m at it, I believe I’m here just to be uniquely, lovingly me . . . that’s all.

And then there is the cultural divide – the book’s written by an American and I’m not one . . . I’m a down-to-earth New Zealander and it all needs to be taken into account.  It can be somewhat exhausting really.

So why am I wrestling with this book again?  Because having already found something of value there, I want to dig a little deeper and see what other gems I might find. I aim to respect my skills and talents more, to honour my Self.  I’ll let you know if and why I give up trying to read it again – and what the gems might be.

When I started this blog, I hoped to demonstrate, primarily to women in their 60s, who had put their creative dreams on the back-burner, who had eaten the burnt chop and given the best to everyone else at the table (sometimes literally), that it is never to late to find what you want to do and go out and explore – I just have to want to enough . . . enough to enter uncharted waters and create my own map.

So when I pass this vine-covered tree on my way to work each day, I’ll imagine that it is waving to the other motorists and me and saying, “Off you go, be yourself, be happy.”

The Greeting Tree

The Greeting Tree

Natasha made a pledge, to blog about The Artist’s Way each week.  My pledge is to just blog at least weekly from now – a bit of whimsy (like the tree), some mucking around, and perhaps an insight or two – what ever takes my fancy.

Thanks for stopping by.    Ka kite ano au i a koe . . . I’ll see you again!

 

a travelling journal

This morning I found out that I had won the opportunity to make an entry in a travelling journal.  Quinn McDonald over at QuinnCreative is celebrating 1,500 blog posts!  I’m in awe of that tally.  She posts daily, has great insight, provides on a variety of topics and creative endeavours, and what’s more, she responds to people who comment.  It’s one of the blogs I check in on daily.

So there’s Quinn, a model of consistency when it comes to her blog . . . and here’s me with my sporadic posts.   I bet she’s no less busy than me, in fact I bet the only difference is that she’s got different priorities and probably a tad better organised.

My priorities are fine, family and friends first and work after that – I guess I’m in there too somewhere but where?  I think I need myself up the list and make myself more visible!

Spring is definitely here which is a good time for new beginnings mmm?

And what have I been noticing?  This, I pass by this sign on a regular basis and had to stop and take a photo.

Baby OpenI can see nothing right with this sign.  It is on the end wall of a small grocery shop, the wall itself has been painted as if it belonged on a pre-school or crèche although I can’t see one near by.  There are big advertisements posted for grocery specials in the shop . . . and this!

The figures look happy and excited as they follow the arrows, but the sign points in the other direction!  Why?  A ‘Shop Open’ sign I can understand but ‘Baby Open’?  And no, I haven’t been playing with the photo.  What is it all about?

I guess it would be simple enough to go into the shop and ask if they know, but sometimes puzzlement is a delicious feeling to hold on to.  It makes me smile.