Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Packed? Yes
Ready? Ummmm ...

I am packed and ready to drive off up to Art Journey Retreat in the morning. I have more luggage than the average family of 4 and KNOW I will not have taken something I want. But as the retreat is being held in the bustling city of Fremantle I have managed to convince myself there in nothing I cannot buy, if needed, when I get there. My Mum is organised to visit daily, at least, and take care of Hamish, Charles and Phantom. Maggie is packed for the kennels - and I really do not need her looking at me like this all night, my heart is already breaking at leaving her.

Poor love the moment she sees a case she is bereft. This Mama's girl can have the best of care but would rather be with her Mum,and have no attention. That love is both the most amazing blessing and a bind.

I am always an emotional wreck before I leave home - and end up enjoying myself once I arrive. I have been looking forward to this Retreat for almost a year and now am almost numb with a combination of anticipation, fear and excitement.

I will take photos, and keep a journal, while I am away and hopefully will be able to share with you on Tuesday.

Stay safe.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I must create ...

I took time away from chores today to make these last two cards, and with them came peace, and the decision to give myself permission to create every day - no matter how busy life is. Art is sustaining. Having said that, I have achieved a lot this weekend and I can now see the possibility of setting off for Fremantle, and Art Journey Retreat on Thursday!!! Yeah!

I am even getting excited again. Yes, there is a lot that could go wrong - but there is a lot to be hopeful about, and I am going to be meeting up with so many friends while making new.

Have a peace filled week.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Timely Gifts

Jacky is a new friend of mine, we will meet in June but for now we have connected through a swap hosted by the lovely Dotee. On Tuesday I came home to this wonderful parcel of treasures. See the detail in those fabric inchies? The rusty birds I love so much, the fibres and rooster napkins. Last but not least the gorgeous tile pendant. I am so blessed by the thought that has gone into this precious gift.
My very talented friend Sulea had an ART from the heART give-away and I am so, so thrilled to be the lucky winner of this canvas. There is so much texture and detail in the background - I know that I will be picking this one up time and again. I have known Sulea through groups for a few years - but she is another treasure I have yet to meet face to face.
I really am so thankful for my on-line friends.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Turning Corners

I made these cards on Sunday when the world was a dark place and I needed some light, they are a combination of journal and altered card. The process did help me to focus. Yesterday a funeral and being confronted by some harsh realities ( about myself ) plunged me into a darkness I once new well. It frightened me.

Today I got up and made the first of what I hope will be a collection of good decisions over the coming months. The peace, the relief ... I am climbing out of the valley. For the first time in weeks I don't have a sick tension knot in my tummy and I am facing outwards again.

Melancholy called my name, and today I decided not to answer - to fight on...

Please don't feel the need to comment, I am OK. I was warmed by the response to my last post - it helped me find some strength within, and the journey continues. I wonder where it will go.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Decisions, Choices, Plans and More

I bought this cabinet card last year and use the image in my art regularly. Look at this little girl, scrubbed face, hair parted exactly and pulled tight, bow and beads for decoration. Her family clearly wanted to record their love for her. Cabinet cards/photos were not cheap in this era. Last night I picked up a scrap off my desk - the bottom section of this photo left over after I had cropped it for a ATC. For the first time I noticed these boots, they are scuffed and worn. The shoe laces have broken and are knotted ,missing some holes, so as to hold the boots on. A choice was made - the money was spent recording a memory. I wonder when, or if, she got the new boots.
At the moment I am struggling to make choices - and yet craving the structure they bring. I am desperate to create and yet can not seem to find my rhythm- I am not 'owning' the art I make. I feel lonely and yet I have friends - am loved.
I feel sure that once again I have reached a cross roads in life and am determined not to pass any paths without making a conscious decision not to walk them, I will not ignore the choices that I, and only I, can make.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Day

I received this fabulous book in the mail earlier in the week. I respect Bernie Berlin for her amazing work running a dog and cat rescue in the USA and for passionately advocating for sensible pet ownership. The profits from this book go to help save animals - and that is the reason I bought it. But Wow oh Wow! There are lots of amazing background and paper arts' techniques in this book, all illustrated with step-by-step photos and samples by other artists. I know I am going to try them all one-by-one.
I took an hour away from the demands of my day to alter a few more playing cards. At the moment these cards are giving me 'instant gratification' as I work on larger projects and adjust to working full-time for the first time in a few years.
I do not want to end up existing through each day and repeating, "on the weekend ... " or "on the holidays ... ". I need to make time to live beyond my job and my chores every day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

It's Monday

Some more altered playing cards from the weekend - they are much nicer in real life. However , I am sure you can see how much I am loving gel transfers at the moment.
It was such a long day at work today with lots of niggling problems - and I am sitting here feeling quite pleased. Oh no, not with the problems but with the way I did not let them get to me.
My day started to wobble about 7.00 am. I went to set my breakfast plate on the table and poked a finger into a vase of flowers at the same time. No I was not washing the butter off my finger - rather, checking the water level. What do you know, I knocked the vase and it began to wobble, I dove to catch it. Not only did I fail and send water all over the table, but a dangling extremity (covered only in a thin nightie) with all of the table to hang over - landed in my fresh hot cup of tea.
Are you giggling? It is OK, I was not badly burnt - just a little pink. And, breakfast took a little longer than usual.
This wobble and splash set the tone for my day. Here's hoping for a smooth Tuesday!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Philosophical Return ...

I altered these playing cards this afternoon, the first from a pack for swapping at Art Journey Retreat. Typical me I did not feel like playing with paper, when paper I must. But once I got scissors and glue in my hands I was inspired. Normally I try to merge layers together - today I wanted to draw attention to the edges.
These lovely goodies including the "vegetarian" pin by Gael came from Dotee last week. The were included with the fabulous "inchies" below. I have admired those rusted birds for some time and am just thrilled to own some. Have a look at the wonderful face on the bottom left square and all the luscious beading. Dotee is such a blessing ...
The mysterious Mona card is from my friend Natalie another talented West Aussie I have yet to meet in the flesh; and yet I feel like I know her so well.
I must confess that during my time away from the computer I felt dehydrated and a little lost. So much of my artistic inspiration and encouragement comes from the blog and group friends I have, and yet I am surrounded by wonderful friends and family here in Albany. The time really did serve to remind me how essential art is to my well being, and not just the art within me but that I see from each of you as well.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

This and That

Thank you so much to all the wonderful people who have left comments, particularly about my self-portrait, it makes my day when I hear from my bloggy friends.

Many of you asked about the process I used for the canvas. When I was happy with the background basics I printed the photo onto and inkjet transparency (using my inkjet printer and durabrite inks). I then put a good thick coat of Golden gel medium onto the back of the transfer and lay it on top of the canvas. Using my bone scorer I gently pressed the the transparency to the canvas. I find this gel transfers almost too well and having it fairly wet allowed me to lift it without a full transfer. The think coat also means that it will dry with a slight crackle effect.

I could scream, rant and rave about my computer, but will simply say that it came back worse than it went away and has gone again. I so look forward to being back in my blog community.