Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

Wishing you all a wonderfully magical Halloween...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Celebrate your Gifts

The weeks are flying by, and as the seasons change, I feel a deep metamorphisis within myself. These past few years have been a time of renewal for me...of transformation and growth. The Transpersonal Art Therapy I studied a few years back began the peeling back of many layers. The process was often times painful, but I am at a point in my life now where I feel so alive and appreciative of all that I have experienced, good and bad.

I will not lie to has been very difficult at times. But completely necessary. I was living a life of excess, and knew it was not good for me, or those around me, but I felt trapped and unable to make changes. The insecure person I was was desperate for approval and the need to 'fit in'.

I spent a lot of time alone, but never lonely, exploring my creativity and just enjoying the quiet. I began meditating, taking long walks and, as you know, yoga. I really began to love and honour myself again, and I felt myself growing stronger and stronger.

As I delved deeper into my own truth, I began to find the courage to say no, and to begin to live authentically. Again, not easy, because people as a rule, don't like change - it's too scary, and it forces them to look at their own lives.

As I continue on my journey of self re-discovery (for that is how it feels - coming full circle to my unique essence, with the added bonus of maturity and wisdom which comes from making mistakes and learning from them), I find myself re-connecting with friends from my past, who are like-minded and share the same interests and beliefs.

The beautiful photo above of the peacock in all his majestic glory was taken while catching up with a gorgeous friend who I went to school with, and have not seen in many years. I can honestly say that spending the afternoon with her was wonderful, and the hours flew by talking about the years in between. When the peacock displayed his beautiful tail like that, it was as though he was putting on a show, just for us, and I can't descibe how excited we were!

As we ate our lunch, he sauntered past, and I remarked how his beauty astounded me, and how amazing Mother Nature is. He reminded me of my own gifts which I share with the world, and how it doesn't serve anyone to hide those gifts.

When I first began my blog, I was unsure at first, and a little self-conscious to say the least, but the process of taking photos and blogging has changed my life. Once upon a time, I would never have posted any of my art here, because I always would compare it to someone else's, and I never felt that I measured up. I am happy to say that I have come to a place where I am happy to post my art, knowing full well that it will never make it onto the walls of an art gallery or be sold for thousands of dollars, but it is MY art, so that makes it special, and if it inspires even one person, then my heart is full. 

I hope that my story inspires you to celebrate all of your gifts and to share them with the world. Honour yourself for the amazing person that you are...

...and just because I love em, check out my new red shoes! A gift to myself...hee hee

Below is one of my favourite quotes, given to me by a beautiful friend who I studied Art Therapy with.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented,  fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tending the Secret Garden

Okay, so I haven't been in the secret garden in any physical sense lately, because it has been so cold and wet! (Spring, where did you go?)  But I have definitely been tending my metaphorical secret garden, nurturing myself with art and escaping into fantasy novels and just enjoying the 'being'. I have been pruning that in my life which no longer serves me, or that doesn't make me feel good. I have been planting seeds of creativity and watching them blossom and grow. My garden feels wild and abundant and I am enjoying all the fruits of my labour....

I have been struck down with some nasty bug, which has confined me to the couch, pretty much, but I am grateful, for it has forced me to ignore the chores that are beckoning, and to just quiet my mind and spend some quality time with myself.  I treated myself to this little water colour set yesterday, and I'm so happy I did! The little brush fills up with water, so it's totally portable, and I can paint now wherever I am. It's like I have been possessed (in a good way), and I can't stop drawing and painting! I am in love...

I have taken out my journals, which I have neglected for a while, and unleashed my new found muse upon them. This is purely play, my friends, and I find myself creating mandalas, and losing (finding) myself in them. Now that I think of it, the dreamcatcher from last week got me thinking about circles...perhaps that is why I have mandalas bursting from me! If you don't know much about the magic of mandalas, I suggest you read this description

They are traditionally used for meditation and healing, and I really urge you to have a go and see where they may take you. Carl Jung believed that they accessed deeper levels of our consciousness, and are used for healing.

To make one, just begin with a 'seed'...or a little circle in the middle of your page. Now here comes the fun part - just make a mark around your seed. It can be anything. The whole point is not to think too much. Perhaps an S shape, or a C, or a get the idea. After a while, you will find that the mandala will 'tell' you what mark to make next. That's the magic of are getting out of your head (ego) and drawing from a deeper place (your authentic self, or soul). I love to put on some chill out music to draw, but everyone is different, and what is right for me, may not be right for you. I love mandalas because, truly, there are no mistakes, and every one is different.

"What you are is God's gift to you; what you do with yourself is your gift to God" - Danish proverb

Still scared to draw? Just place your hand on a piece of blank paper and trace around it with a black sharpie pen. This was a lot of fun, inspired by a gorgeous vintage palm reading poster I found in a shop (and which both my daughter and I are coveting!) I had a little giggle to myself when I realised that I had drawn another mandala inside the palm...I love this!

Remember the dreamcatcher swap I did last week? Well, I posted mine off, and received the one my swap partner made me yesterday! Her name is Nola, and she is such a sweetheart...she doesn't have a blog, but judging by her beautiful handiwork, perhaps she should! I love that it has a little bell attached, and a clay heart dangling down. It is hanging above my bed, to capture my sweet dreams...thankyou Nola x

Before I crawl back to my couch, I wanted to let you all know that I am having trouble again with Blogger, and I have tried to leave comments on some of your blogs, but am unable please don't think I have forgotten you - I love peeking in to see what you have all been up to. I hope this is fixed soon...

"The time will come...when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at the other's welcome."

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

To Catch a Dream

Yesterday was such a beautiful day that I decided the time was right to make my dreamcatcher. So I gathered a basket of bits and pieces and took a blanket out in the sunshine.
I had been down the garden path the day before and found a beautiful vine wrapped around a tree. It was perfect for making my circle; I just twisted it into the size I wanted. Next I collected some feathers, some beads and a ball of string. Just a little note to self for next time - make sure the beads have holes big enough for the string to pass through!
I began by making a little hoop in the top of the string to hang the dreamcatcher. I threaded a couple of beads on and then tied the end to the top of the hoop, leaving enough string to hang it by. To start, you just hold the string and place it loosely over the top of the hoop. Move the string around to the back of the hoop (forming a hole) and pull the string back through the hole you just made.

Pull each stitch taught but not too tight or it will warp the hoop of the dreamcatcher. The same stitch is repeated around the hoop, spacing the stitches evenly (approximately 10 stitches around the hoop).

The last stitch of the first round should be placed a couple of centimetres away from the hanging loop. On the next round of the circle, place the string around the centre of each stitch from the previous round (rather than around the hoop). Now, don't stress at this point. As you can see with mine, my 'spider web' pattern isn't perfect where I've missed the loops, but I kind of think it adds to the organic look of it, and I'm not fussed by it being perfect.

As you pull each stitch tight, a diamond shape will begin to form, and it will begin to look like a spider web. Once you have been around a few times, you can thread a bead onto the string, and just continue stitching. keep going, until you have a little hole in the centre of your dreamcatcher (to let the bad dreams through!) You can just finish it here with a couple of stitches through the same loop to form a knot.

With the left over string, just attach a couple of feathers and perhaps some beads and knot. I wrapped the string around the top of the feathers to neaten it up.

I also embellished my dreamcatcher with some crystals. Turquoise to dispel negativity and to open the heart chakra, and the powerful crystal quartz, for balance, protection and harmony, and particularly useful in dream work. These I just wrapped tightly with wire to attach to my dreamcatcher. Then I threaded some beads and crystals onto some leather and looped these around the bottom of the hoop to hang next to the feathers.

I certainly lost myself in the creating, and the repetitive nature of looping the string was quite meditative, and as I spun my web, I couldn't help but ponder the cleverness of spiders who do this naturally. I was lucky enough to see a spider's web in the garden yesterday, and I marvelled at the intricacy of the delicate home he had spun.

I hope you are inspired to make a dreamcatcher of your own. Sweet dreams...I wish we could all have a sleepover and make dreamcatchers together - how fun that would be!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Some me time

It is school holidays here, and I have just returned from the little beach house. The weather wasn't very kind, but we had a lovely time nevertheless. The beach was magnificent as always...long walks with the wind in my hair and the roar of the ocean in my ears. Just beautiful...

The rain did keep me indoors for a time, but it was the perfect excuse to curl up in bed with a novel and the sound of the rain falling on my little tin roof - cosy indeed, with Pip curled up at the end of the bed. I managed to escape for a few precious hours into the realms of imagination, between the pages of a library book - my idea of bliss.
My little bedroom at the beach house is a tiny room at the top of the stairs, with a peaked roof and a little window which looks out at the inlet...we are near farmland, and from my little hideaway you can hear the cows and the sheep in the meadows...a very comforting sound, and the perfect place to spend a rainy day.

I am home again now, and need to get busy in the studio. I have decided to take part in a swap with some lovely ladies on facebook...we each must make our version of a dreamcatcher and we have been given the name of a partner to swap with. A little while back I made a dreamcatcher and it was a lot of fun, so I'm looking forward to making another. Do you remember this one?

I will be sure to take a photo to share when I have finished my dreamcatcher.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week...and remember to 'sprinkle a little magic everyday'.