Tuesday, September 21, 2010


i am off with the family for a holiday - i am hoping to fill my cup

i will come back brimming i hope

and i will miss you

ps i didn't win the free spots on the course but enrolled anyway! Maybe i will see you there xxx

Monday, September 20, 2010

its HOT and JUICY people!!!

that dynamo at DirtyFootprints Studio, Connie Hozvicka has gathered together some marvellous maevens of mixed media (and other art but i couldn't resist the alliteration) and created

it is an amazing collection of spirited and talented hearts who will open their passion and get your art journaling juices flowing

just go to the link below and see what i mean



I am not just writing about this because i am a Connie-o-phile - any one who reads this blog regularly will know that already...

I am writing this because it gives me the chance to enter the competition to win two places on the workshop

one for me

and one for one of you -


So part of the entry is that i get to talk about the 3 people i really wanna learn from - now that is just too stinkin hard - mainly because there are friends teaching on there from BIG and of course i wanna learn from them - they are juicy and gorgeous and their ideas are remarkable, and i like hanging out with them.... so that makes me biased so i will go for someone else (sorry my honeys but i had to choose)

and i choose...
Sarah Whitmire :: Soul Journaling
(we are going to the South Island for the Christmas hols this year and i have already been thinking about what toys the girls will need to leave behind to get my art gear in the van!! :-P kidding (just))

Heidi Newstrand-Dilley :: Heidiology

Well i am an old hippy at heart so i am all for making the old and used beautiful... i know people say upcycling nowadays but hey - i am an old hippy!

and lastly
Angelia Thompson :: Angelia's Art Journals

i had a very powerful encounter with my inner small Jane yesterday and i think she has a lot (see how i did that Meg??) to say... and i wanna hear her...

so there it is - our chance to win

also if we don't win it is still our chance to join up with what promises to be something bloody marvellous....

cross your fingers

Friday, September 17, 2010

happy birthday Auntie Glen

this is the present i made for Aunty Glen, the glamourous one taking the shot, she is my favourite aunty and turns 80 this week...

kind, loyal, thoughtful, smart, funny, generous and loving

Happy birthday

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

things that need to die

i did this as a journal page - i was experimenting with the masking tape being ripped up on the page and when i finished they looked like the little crosses that litter our roads...

memorials to the spot where people's lives ended

i am not alone in being a bit freaked out by death

the end of life as a breathing talking walking entity....

i used to be so scared of it i couldn't garden - growing my own veges meant i had to kill something in order to eat it...(Roald Dahl and his story about screaming plants really has a lot to answer for!)

now i see how death is part of life

the leaves that fall generate food for the plants to come

the lives of those who pass are never forgotten by those who love them and who are left...

I also realise that patterns in my life that seem natural are as ephemeral as anything and that in order for new nourishment some of them need to die

and so this page became a list, a memorial to things that i see that need to die...

like ...Self judgement

like... Being too busy

like... vicious self talk

like...feeling responsible for everything

like... feeling ugly

each little arm of the cross holding the energy for the soon to be departed feeling or pattern...

they have served me well

but long may they rest in peace

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

snatching a sense of powerlessness

today i have felt powerlessness
Powerlessness over natural processes

my lovely 7 year old woke at 4am with a bad dream

tears on her face she came into our bed and i didn't get back to sleep. I knew i would be tired and jumpy today - the flu has seduced my energy reserves away - they are feeling each other up behind the bikeshed i am sure - and i felt overwhelm at all i had to do on too little sleep.

the more i worried and tried to sleep the harder it got. i had no power to make sleep happen so i rested there, between my husband and my little girl, still clutching my hand and felt the immense gratitude of surrendering to that... that moment that i hope i remember when my baby is a seething mass of hormones...

Powerlessness when you are ill equipped
then we woke up to have a sick and sore little lamb... nothing i could do right then would ease her pain, or the anxiety and fear my eldest felt. Simon thought i should wait, should ask for advice. But i realised i had no power without help to fix it, so i rang the vet, who arrived straight from bed to administer some gruesome but effective treatment. Surrendering to my incapability and not struggling to bash on saved Ripple's life.

Powerlessness when you are scared

I had to go for a repeat boobultrasound today (running the word together makes it seem less scary so humour me)

They asked me to get there 10 minutes early - i arrived on time for the appointment but not 10 minutes early. I think they thought "ha! we'll fix you". There were no other patients, this is a private clinic so no urgent cases rushed through the door. So they made me wait for 20 minutes in a cubicle with a gown that wouldn't secure (my daughter too distraught by the lamb trauma was in the waiting room). Then she scanned me huffing and sighing. I didn't ask any questions - i was upset. Then they made me wait another 15 minutes after the scan was done.

i feel mad. I feel violated. I feel dehumanised by the waiting by the lack of communication by the ill fitting gown, by the threat to my health. All of a sudden i am not Jane with the rather lovely boobs but i am that woman who is late who has the odd complex cysts....i composed phonecalls to the manager, letters to the editor... all witty and erudite of course...

Well crap - i am surrendering that too... all of it - i am snatching back the sense that there is nothing i can do about this system's lack of compassion. I am not responsible for their behaviour. it is out of my control. i am powerless to be their monitor. I choose to take a sense of powerlessness.

Not that i don't think for a minute that i am powerless - o lordy no - i have power in ever second that i live and breathe to make the life and the world i want. But i choose to not be putting my precious heart in the machine they have created.

i nestle back into the knowledge that i am swept along on this stream of universal love which directs me with my utmost good in mind.

I surrender to that trust and that releases me in so many ways.

Mostly it releases me into stillness.

Which is just where i want to be.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

it's raining

letting the rain wash away
the busy-ness
the shoulds
the timeli-ness
the coulds
the tired-ness
the woulds
the dirt of life and roles and all the pressures those lies make
that lay heavily on the door
to the truth

Thursday, September 9, 2010

being still so i can hear

this idea of being still has been reinforced in all sorts of ways...

this morning i got woken early and unable to go back to sleep but not wanting to disturb simon i lay there quietly and heard the world around me wake up... gentle rain, light emerging, one bird then hundreds greeting the day.

stillness gave me the gift of being with the miracle of a new day arriving. I didn't have to do anything about supporting it or shaping it, i just had to be still and the more still i was the more i could be present as it unfolded.

i am also reading "LIFE, PAINT AND PASSION. Reclaiming the magic of spontaneous expression. By Michele Cassou and Stewart Cubley.

it is a challenging book which alternately makes me want to lock myself in my painting space for a week or run and hide under the duvet

but the phrase which rang out to me last night was this

"Theories can be made one way or another about the content of your painting. .... There is an intelligence within you that is superior to any solution contrived by the mind. If yu dare follow the inner call without reservation, you are putting your trust in a reality that can never be captured by ideas or concepts. This is the challenge of creative exploration."

The mind loves theories - they are the noisy proclamations the mind can make that muddy the waters of creating.

I feel, in order to connect with the creative spirit that lives outside of me, that makes me feel like i am coming home when i am in it's presence and working through whatever it is that it delivers me, i must be quiet.

Quiet not only in the stillness of not making sounds but quiet in the head.

Not constantly asking if i have balance or what tonal values work or what my husband might say when he walks past...

none of that action and noise

what i desire is the stillness to be present to what is happening right inside me, right in front of me

then i won't be a painter with a reputation or a body of work or an income

then i will be painting

and that is what i want

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

trying new things and being still

(my first journal page background courtesy of art journal love letter's tutorial with Connie)

i am 45

i guess that makes me an old dog

but i am proud to say i am still trying new tricks

with Connie at DirtyFootprints Studios i am exploring more BIG painting - we are looking at balance in painting - and then exploring balance in work.....

i am also part of her ArtJournal Love Letters

With Connie and her open heart, and the members of "the tribe", i am constantly trying new things - some of them grab my heart, some of them slide right by....

I want to honour that by opening myself up in this way, i am still learning, not barricading myself up in the fort of what i already "know".

This keeps me alive.

In Big we are looking this week at space... having been so sick and feeling so weak has meant i have had to look my busy-ness in the eye...

i didn't like what i saw.

mostly i was busy scurrying around doing things for other purposes.

the driving force i have to create and learn and experiment was being elbowed to the side by duty and shoulds.

I know with my deepest wisdom that in order for me to create something truely soulshifting i need to be quiet.

i need to be in nature.

i need to relax.

and instead, all i do is bustle-bustle-bustle......

mostly to show that as a "nonworking" mother, i am still valuable.

so i say to that busy-ness "This no longer serves me".

i am committing to quiet, to creation, to honouring what is deeply moving me.

after all (and i found this quote this morning)

It is because of its emptiness that the cup is useful....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the unruly queen

i have been reading a book about Princess Caroline of Brunswick, also Princess Caroline of Wales, also Queen Caroline of England.

She was married to George, the Prince of Wales who was by my reckoning, acted like a right twat.

He was already married, to a "commoner", when they married by arrangement between the families.

He detested her on sight and spent his life making her life a misery.

She left England and travelled through the continent drinking and bonking her way around the place until she ended up with a tasty Italian chap and seemed rather happy.

Unfortunately she came back to England and underwent a trial based on her sullied reputation.

She was not without a rich and varied love life but her trial was never about who committed adultery first.

"the purity of women was prized in society... precisely because men could not aspire to that honour and grace which embellished women, espcially English women. Hence, to safeguard that purity, adultery in women was a crime, and a ground for divorce, while it was condoned in the stronger sex."

this flabbergasted me.

mostly because, taking away the archaic language it is what my mother passed on to me about sexuality.

that was spoken in 1820.

two hundred years ago

and i am still carrying echoes of it in my bones.

i am glad that Caroline went and shagged her handsome Italian (and all the other men she did) she was handed a bum deal in life and she went out and made lemonade (and drank it in exotic places with lusty men)

i am sorry that she was dragged through the mud by the double standards of the day

but i am even sorrier that i haven't examined this ridiculous peice of twaddle before now...

i held it as a virtue that i have only ever slept with my husband

i had always thought it was up to me to uphold the balance of that energy in a sexual transaction....

stronger sex my arse - women had to uphold their virtue and rein in their lust to manage the uncontrolled lust of a man....

i can't believe how this still pervades....

i need some mental housecleaning!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

when my heart

when my heart feels the weight of the possibilities
she feels too small
when my heart hears the whispers of the shoulds
she feels too torn
when my heart smells the ashy odour of the fears
she feels too much heat
when my heart sees your smile
she fills with shining, shimmering, light

Thursday, September 2, 2010

love and fear

"Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we have learned here. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts."

- Marianne Williamson, best-selling author and speaker.

i got this today in the Daily love

and you know what i think it says everything that has ever needed to be said...

relearning love is what i am pretty sure i am here for

- (i am sorry i have been so quiet but i have had the flu)