31 August 2014

Sunday thoughts...

Yesterday was the end of the ROOT 30-day journal project, which I have thoroughly enjoyed! I've kept all the emails in a separate folder, as I think I'll revisit it each year - to help me clarify what's what in my overily busy brain!

I have also been doing this...

This was a freebie in my new favourite magazine Flow, and was full of good questions and cool illustrations...

I especially love the 'coffee stains' - so realistic!!

What has come out of doing these two 30-day journal exercises has been my desire/need to write each day... As the physical demands and mechanics of writing are getting easier, and I'm getting more used to being a leftie, my deep inner connection to writing is getting stronger. I used to journal every day, and was doing just that when the stroke hit 7 years ago...

So, I have a plan for September, and I'll share thoughts here as they develop :-)


And I also want to share these beauties...

They are to be my Year and a Day journals, and I have to be good and resist writing in them until 23 October *gulp*

They're roughly 9" x 7" - a standard A5 is just not quite large enough for me nowadays and A4 is too big to handle one-handed.

They have the creamiest, smoothest paper and a page ribbon *sigh*

... and...

... THE home of beautiful marbled paper, rich leather and the best bookbinding in the world, IMHO ;-)

And I found them in a local toy shop (go figure!!). But the best bit was the price - hence I got two - as there's roughly 100 thick pages in each (200 sides), which should cover writing a side-a-day for 366 days, with room to write more, if the Muse so inspires...

29 August 2014

Focus on Life Week 35: Lazy days of summer

A day trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park last Sunday...

An iconic Henry Moore sculpture sitting among the sheep...

A mighty oak...

Moore's Reclining Woman

A Barbara Hepworth icon...

A truly massively impressive piece by Ursula von Rydingsvard...

23 August 2014

Focus on Life Week 34: About the ground

To quote Sally: 'This week draw your focus about the ground you may be surprised at what you find'.

So I draw your attention to this wee churchyard...

There are no surprises here for us - it's the church where my parents married, where I was christened, where hubby and I were married, and where our first baby rests...

She would have been 21 tomorrow, can you believe??
Never known, Always loved, my lovely...

21 August 2014

Thursday thoughts...

I'm a proud mama - again!!

Our gorgeous girl got the GCSE grades she needs to go into the 6th Form to do her A levels - oh soooo exciting!!!

photo by Kate

17 August 2014

Sunday thoughts...

We're on the home stretch of this 30-day project, and I'm loving it!

Yesterday's prompts were especially inspiring, hence this post...

The responses are exactly as I wrote them in my journal.

Day 16
Today’s Inspiration:
And don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. 
It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous. 
- Rumi said that.

Today’s Journal Prompts: (do one, some, all, or none, as you wish)
I’m experiencing quiet this way…
It's Saturday morning and I'm the only one awake. I'm writing, reading, pondering. The clock's ticking, the sun's shining - though I still sit in shade. It'll reach me soon enough, and then I'll have to start the day's chores...
What it probably looks like on the outside is…
... calm and tranquil - and a tad boring.
But inside, I am…
... beavering away - my synapses are firing, I'm thinking hard... But my centre is still, yet glowing :-)
When I think of riotous roots, I imagine…
... them pushing down and out, seeking water and nourishment, It's a vital activity - if they don't push, they'll shrivel and die!
There is a quiet ecstasy in…

Some days, what I write surprises me and I wonder where it came from... my response to the 'When I think of riotous roots' especially!!

I'd love to know your thoughts, insights, especially if you're doing the ROOT project too - do share :-)

15 August 2014

Focus on Life Week 33: The view of above

The theme for August is Outside, so here's a view of above as I pause under a neighbour's apple tree that hangs over the pathway into town.

Just sooooo tempting...

Paint Party Friday

Having a wee play in my favourite journal...

Just some gesso in a backing paper, then lace and buttons and stickers...
Plus lovely paper ephemera from Tim Holtz :-)

Joining the party here!

14 August 2014

Thursday Thoughts...

I'm one proud mama today - our gorgeous boy got the A level grades he needed, so he's going to Hull Uni next month to read Psychology - SO PROUD :-)

11 August 2014

Word for the Week

Ummm, this week's Word out of the bag of Rediscovery Cards is another one I have mixed feelings about...

I think it's because the first thing I thought of was the ghastly talent show Opportunity Knocks, which aired for years and was probably the instigator of much of today's 'get famous, get rich quick' mentality. And those entrepeneur gurus who see every friendship, every contact as a business 'opportunity'...

Then, I Googled quotes about Opportunity and found some wonderful ones, like this:

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed 
in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Edison

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, 
for beauty is God's handwriting.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ageing is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength
Betty Friedan

The rich raspberry background is the same colour as Support and Hope, which is interesting to me as arguably the way to make the most of any opportunity one needs both Support and Hope...

This week we await our son's A level results and we hope he's got the grades to go to uni to read Psychology. Further education is such an opportunity to meet new people and experience new things, to leave home and move onto the next stage of adulthood.

But it's not just big Life opportunities, I think of when I see this Word, as to me every moment, every breath is an opportunity to be and do the best we can in whatever situation we find ourselves today.

I'd love to know what you think of/feel when you see this week's Word :-)

10 August 2014

August Full Moon Dreamboard

Before I share this month's Dreamboard, I want to show this which I bought last month from Jane Samuelson. The 'poem' sits in the beautiful pouch and perfectly expresses why I love the moon so much... she never shouts like the sun, she always whispers...

                                                                              Click on image to enlarge

... and yes, I wore the necklace as I made the Dreamboard :-)

This month is a Hazel Full Moon - a very significant tree for the Celts connected with wisdom.
Amy Palko asked this question:

What veils are keeping you from seeing your Truth?

I'm afraid I can't remember where any of this images originally came from, but each time I make my Full Moon Dreamboard, I realize I've been collecting such beautifully evocative images for years now, without knowing why... And each month this is the perfect way to gather them together.

The two quotes are

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.
Joseph Campbell

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

I wasn't at all melancholy when I made this page, but melancholia is my natural default position... By this I don't mean sadness per se, but a sensitivity to the feelings of others, empathy, a certain delicacy of spirit.

This time, I made a wee tag which I've tied to the spiral spine. On the back is written another of Amy's journal prompts 

Hazel rods were traditionally used as divining rods for finding water. And under the image of the woman/goddess on the front of the tag, I put these stickers

Kindness is a very under-rated quality. It's that gentleness of spirit I think of whenever I remember the Dalai Lama quote: 'Kindness is my religion' and this from Mother Teresa

In the top right of the page is a postcard from Liz Lamoreux showing a soul mantra locket which says 'Open up and Live', under that is a picture of an open door with a raven/crow, and this quote from Emily Dickinson:

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.

Then at the bottom of the page are two black and white images - a medieval-looking woman and a feather - on which I've written:

Thus am I a feather on the breath of God.
Hildegard von Bingen

Hildegard is one of my favourite mystics - such an incredibly talented, inspirational woman!!

So that's my August Dreamboard! Once again I'd really appreciate any thoughts, insights... Each month I gain so much from your wise comments, so thank you :-)

9 August 2014

Focus on Life Week 32: Fresh air

Summer in England continues to be sunny and dry (great for the ripening crops!), and thankfully the temperatures have dropped a tad, and occasionally there have been actual breezes (gosh!)

So I did as Sally suggested - I got outside in the fresh air on my scooter...

... can't wait for these blackberries to ripen - hubby makes delicious jam :-)

PS Autumn must be just around the corner - this started on TV this week - hooray!!

8 August 2014

Paint Party Friday

A friend came for coffee the other day armed with paint goop (made with flour and water paste) for me to try making my own wrapping paper - one-handed...

Here's my first attempt dragging different implements through the paint

It IS messy, but it's also FUN :-)

Joining the Party here

7 August 2014

Thursday thoughts...

As Lisa Sonora's ROOT journal prompts come through late in the day, here's my thoughts from yesterday - Day 6...

In striving for perfection what really happens is... I quit - or don't even start! I get a germ of an idea, try something, it doesn't turn out as perfectly as I imagined, so I quit...

What cracked me open was... the stroke - it's hard to be perfect when half your body is paralyzed...

10 things I can offer right now, imperfectly...

  1. Patience
  2. Kindness
  3. A listening ear
  4. A listening heart
  5. A record of my thoughts
  6. Honesty
  7. Openness to Spirit
  8. No judgements
  9. Time - as long as my family needs me today, as long as the Work needs me today
  10. Belief that this is Enough

5 August 2014

Tuesday thoughts...

I've just finished this book, and I'm pondering much in my journal... working out what's evolving in my own spirituality...

Nimue's quite a writer. Here's a sample of her poetry from Beyond the Map - all I can say is WOW!!

Onion Woman

Asked once in play
My totem vegetable
I said onion.

The layers are pulled
Skin long since gone
Now flesh follows.

Circles of my life
Rings I’d created
Dared to cherish.

Another layer prised
Forced from me

How big am I?
Are there skins enough
To weather this?

Will I be stripped
And torn away
Into non-existence?

Today’s peeling
Leaves me soul naked
Yesterday’s too much.

Tomorrow or tomorrow
They find the heart
And still it.

The layers of giving
Are gone
Circles of trust.

Hope peeled off
Belief with it
Confidence shredded.

Bring your knives
All are welcome
None refused.

This I deserve
For my onion nature
Makes people cry.

Nimue Brown
(shared with permission)

4 August 2014

Word for the Week

A powerful Word for this week drawn from my Rediscovery Cards...

My first thought was 'Ummmm, not sure what I think about this word...' with its Darwinian past and imperialist overtones, i.e. white Victorian males are the pinnacle of creation(!)

But looking at the dictionary definition from the Latin evolvere 'to unroll, open, unfold' gave me a different image... of unrolling the scroll of a life story, the opening, unfolding of a flower's petals from a bud to a full bloom... And it's an ongoing action word, a present participle, a state of Be-ing...

Moreover, the rich, dark green background is the same colour used for Beginnings and Patience, which is just perfect - There must be a Beginning, and then a Patient Evolving...

Cultivate the root, the leaves and branches will take care of themselves.

This quote was used in yesterday's prompt from Lisa Sonora and her Root 30-day journal project which I'm currently doing. I've been realizing for the past few weeks that my Root lies deep in my Silent Centre. 

In response to July's Full Moon Dreamboard, I asked Liz Lamoreux to make this mantra talisman for me

I'm realizing that every decision I make begins here - deep within - and I need to listen hard to the Silence that's rooted in my Soul, as I know every branch and leaf, every thought, every action is Evolving from this Root...

One of the BIG things that's already evolving is my decision to commit to this AMAZING project 'A Year and a Day - Crafting the Book of You' which starts in October (there's a button in my sidebar). There are still places left if you wanted to join me on this incredible journey of discovery... Connecting with Angel through a mutual friend is just the beginning, and I can't wait to see what Evolves :-)

2 August 2014

Focus on Life Week 31: Outside the box

Another week, a new month - eeeek! Where is 2014 disappearing to??

August's theme is Outside, and this week it's 'Outside the box'. So here are my crayons outside their box (tin!)

I had great fun making the photo more retro and 'HDR-ish' - whatever that is!! It's a fun option in Picasa which tweaks the colours, as far as I can tell...

PS To those lovely peeps who got in touch, your notes from England will soon be winging their way onto your doormats/mailboxes :-)

PPS To those who celebrate - Happy Lammas!!