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Archive for July, 2015

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So the school summer holidays are about to begin here, six weeks of fun and me tearing my hair out having the kids home twenty four seven but I’m determined to be productive and enjoy my time with them over this month and not allow my usual summer funk to kick in.

I have some big stuff planned such as the super secret Disney Land Paris trip at the end of August and some smaller activities in the works including a stash box of random and odd art supplies that I organised after a studio clean out for the kids to get creative with while they are home.

My studio time has been all about experimenting at the moment. Playing with colour, form, composition, texture, anything and everything I can think of:

Mark Making Experiment ~ Telling A Story Through Marks

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After wrangling with myself for months about wanting to get myself a Midori traveller’s notebook I finally ordered one yesterday which should be arriving in the next couple of days. I’m super excited about getting it and the inserts I purchased for it as well. If the kids allow me enough peace and quiet I may try to make an un-boxing video for it.

I also started working in the Bindewerk and I’m absolutely loving it so far. The paper has taken my fountain pen and watercolour pencils pretty well. I like it when it buckles a little and creates texture over the pages and while the pen does ghost through slightly to the other side it doesn’t bother me and, I feel, adds to the character of the pages. I’ll be doing a little update post soon to show how I’m using it and what I’m putting in it.

Phew, this week has been a busy one. With the kids having a half day today I feel somewhat unmotivated to start anything major, knowing I’ll have to stop working on it early to pick them up. Since Wednesday I’ve been out of sync with my days thinking it’s Friday but now it actually is I feel a little disjointed. Between you and me I think my body is trying to prepare itself for the insanity of the next six weeks.

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I finally found the courage to make my first youtube video and as I mentioned in a previous filofax related post it’s a quick look at my filofax purple malden (personal size). Go me!

I hope that if you do watch it you find it interesting and not too terrible for a first attempt.

I’m hoping to make a few different videos for the channel mainly focused around art and my spiritual beliefs as well as my addiction to stationery and organisers, so if there’s anything you would like to see feel free to comment here or message me as I’m completely open to suggestions.

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unusual still life

Unusual Still Life ~ Original Painting

Who says that still life paintings can’t be fun and colourful? The Unusual Still Life started as a still life experiment that became something of it’s own, a real insight into how I view things and the energy in everything.  A mix of colour, shape, form and marks, Unusual Still Life is painted on a 20 x 16 x 1/2 inch stretched canvas in acrylic and ink. It’s vibrant, busy and full of interest for the eye to latch onto and investigate. I’m constantly seeing new things within it from colour combinations to marks I enjoy.

I had a blast painting this. I actually hated how it looked right up until the end once I had added lots of layers over many sessions working on it. Now I think it has a strange sort of charm to it and areas that I particularly like for the combinations of colours in them.

For me, this was a brave painting, an experiment and one I have come to appreciate more than I thought I would.

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I’m a firm believer in synchronicity; that the things we need and want are given to us by the universe, all we have to be is open to them. I’ve been doing a lot of spiritual work lately, as I’ve mentioned here over the past few weeks. Touching base with my beliefs as they stand right now and myself at this transitional point in my journey. Yeah, that phase is still happening, it’s a slow process and one that has left me reaching for comfort and grounding to help anchor myself during the confusion of everything that is going on around me.

Last night I made a wish list for things I wanted to get for myself; a few creative bits and the deep rooted feeling that I needed to get a new journal for my recipes and personal spell and spiritual work. I haven’t kept a Book of Shadows (BoS) or something similar in quite a while as I found myself progressively unsatisfied with them and the necessity I seem to cultivate to fill it with all the information I have collected whether I use it or not, just in case.

I managed to break that habit by allowing myself just a small notebook to jot down my recipes and a few key words about the herbs and crystals I use. It had been working really well for me but I wanted something a little more.

As often happens with me I was walking through town after a writing session at a local coffee shop when I felt that familiar pull to go into a particular store. I always recognise it but I never know what it’s going to lead me to. First it took me to the craft items on my wish list in a store that doesn’t usually stock a range of craft materials and then to a journal that I instantly knew was mine. In fact as I picked it up I had a small vocal outburst that may or may not have creeped out a woman who was coming around into the aisle at the time…

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I’ve never heard of the German brand Bindewerk before but as soon as I found this book I had to have it as my new BoS style journal. It has this beautiful wood veneer cover.

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An indentation built into the cover and pages for the rounded elastic closure to sit snugly without ruining anything.

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Plain, ivory paper that I’ll have to experiment with as far as pens are concerned as I’m not sure what I’ll be able to use with it without bleeding or heavy show through. Plain pages are a must for me as I love to add pictures, illustrations etc along with my writing to create something artistic, interesting and as unique as my practice.

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It also has a softer spine so the book can be opened flat which is also a big necessity for me as I like to be able to open it to a relevant page to work from or on. Best of all the journal was very affordable, around half the RRP.

I feel very blessed for the happy ‘coincidences’ of finding the things I needed today, both artistically speaking and spiritually. It can be really easy to forget that the Universe/God/Goddess/WhateverYouBelieveIn is there to help us in our journey.

My card this week was Confusion. It told me to keep going through the fog of not knowing with faith in my heart as in time, as slow as the process is, I will resurface and see the definitive way forward. In the meantime, while blind to the circumstances surrounding me, what I need will be provided. That has definitely been true today.

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Honeysuckle

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It’s that wonderful time of the year when the garden comes into full bloom. The colours and scents are wonderful but this year it is tinged with a little sadness as I know it will be me last chance to experience it.

It was time to harvest the honeysuckle so that I have a jar to take with me when we move as it’s a favourite offering of mine thanks to it’s smell.

I first started using honeysuckle a few years back when I was working with Pan, it was a flower that he requested in offering and as such has become something that I now really associate with him and his energy. Sweet and honeyed, cloying and overpowering at times the smell instantly makes me want to pluck the flowers and taste the nectar within as I was taught to as a child.

~Tiny flowers

amidst the ivy, sweeten my mood 

with your scent.~

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I knew I would have to slow down this week. My card for this week was Impasse; no progress to make where my main focus has been. Delay, slowing, patience, but all for the best in the long run.

It was on Monday that I felt the call to focus on the spiritual side of things. That evening I knew I needed to work on a couple of projects, the first being to make a medicine bag for myself. This was very important, I know that because the idea would not go away, it nagged at my heart even while I slept. In town the next day I was drawn to a charity shop where I found a bundle of linen fabric, just perfect for the bag…

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I attached a long burgundy cord to the pouch both to keep the top shut and so that I could wear it around my neck, using a special hagstone (the first one I ever found and that I have had for many years) to pass it through at the back of the pouch, which is why the top is shaped the way it is. In the above picture the hagstone has been tightened to the bag.

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Without the hagstone drawn in the medicine bag looks like this. I had originally planned to stitch it in a way that the stitching would be invisible however thanks to the fraying in the fabric and the fact I liked the look of the stitching I had to use to compensate for that I made it into more of a feature, adding a single quartz point to weigh down the front flap.

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And so my medicine bag is finished. It’s small enough that I can wear it without it getting in the way but big enough that I can fit plenty in it. Now I just have to work out what I’m going to do with the rest of the linen as this little project only used a small fraction of the bundle.

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