Friday 9 December 2011

Snap = Happy

I really didn't  want to go out on a dog walk today, instead I wanted to sit in the warmth of my kitchen and write Christmas Cards.  But, I braved the elements, armed with my camera, Jasper and I headed on up to the beach.

I left the Diana Mini at home and took my Panasonic Lumix Digital camera. I like digital.  It's fast and immediate and you get a real sense of connection with the camera. It feels more like the camera is an extension of yourself.  Taking pictures really gets you to work in the present, I get totally absorbed and lost in the moment. I am grateful that my dog Jasper has patience and can keep himself amused whilst I get lost in taking pictures. Walking on the beach, I noticed the top layer of sand was being whipped up, and as it twisted and twirled into a mini sand storm, I was reminded of the ever changing landscape, nothing is permanent, it always looks the same and yet it isn't - the impermeance of nature.

I signed up to SWAY by Lisa Baldwin Zen at Play.  During November I received eight ponderings, delivered by email, twice a week. I read them, pondered them, and filed them.  Then, yesterday, I got a real understanding of what it was like to SWAY, to feel the impermeance, to feel a place so vulnerable within you that you are left gasping, knowing you have a choice, to LET GO, or to hold on. 
Nature, teaches us beautifully that to LET GO is the only way of being.  I read this yesterday -
The leaves have fallen and we have choices. We can rake them into a pile and bag them or let the child within have a little fun. We can get rid of them or let nature take care of them for us. The one choice I have never seen or heard anyone make is to glue them back on the tree…

"Like the leaves, we have life experiences that have served their purpose and now have fallen from our lives; yet our temptation is to hold on and attempt to make them true for our current life; it is like trying to glue them back on. The harder we hold on to those past situations, the more stress and frustration we create in our lives.

Keep the lessons so you do not have to repeat the past and let go of what is done. Allow new situations to grow and mature like the tree budding back to life in the spring… Kenny Brixey

Every new experience allows us to grow stronger, more beautiful and more able to live our amazing lives.
Expressions of an amazing life:

A beautiful feather on the beach
Tree refected in a puddle
Jasper - looks like he's in a wind tunnel!

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Free Fallin

Free fallin' into the Diana Mini - just opened it up now.............ah, feels like a real camera!!

She's so cute!! -can't wait to start taking pictures with her and she uses film!!

The list for today:

read: Diana mini instruction leaflet
taste: quorn chilli
see: Diana Mini
smell: excitement using the Diana Mini

hear: A Face In The Crowd - Tom Petty
think: taking pictues with Diana Mini!!
feel: excited about taking pictures with my Diana Mini!

Monday 5 December 2011

A list to share

I'm procrastinating, I'm writing a blog post instead of getting to grips with my College work. Anyhow, I've just read Tara's blog, in which she talked about a a recently discovered blog she likes to read called Bohemian Twilight  by Monica.  Monica does these lists and as Tara was in the mood, she borrowed it and made her own list.  I really liked the list idea, so I borrowed it too!

read: Tara's blog 
taste: quorn meatballs in a chilli sauce for tea - very yummy. 
see: beautiful Christmas decorations adorning the house
smell: Christmas cake baking in the oven

hear: Eyes On Fire - Blue Foundation
think: when will I start my Christmas wrapping?
feel: slightly guilty for writing a blog post instead of writing up my College work.

Time to make a cup of tea and then make a start on the College work :)

Saturday 3 December 2011

Angelic Connections

This time last Saturday my day spent as a student at a spiritual/psychic art workshop was coming to a close.  Hosted by Rosalind Coleman, a professional artist, Reiki Healer and Life Coach, Rosalind ’s work is dedicated to helping you develop your spiritual awareness and abilities and  connect/communicate with your spirit guides, guardians and angels  through art.
After the introductions, Ros took us through our first guided meditation, from this we were encouraged  to pick up our pastels and begin drawing, being guided to whatever colours we were drawn to. Ros says that in her opinion "all art that is created whilst in a state of joy, contentment, bliss, grace, etc. is spiritual. The artist Jackson Pollock would spend a fortnight staring at a canvas in deep thought, then he would quickly, in a highly focused trance state, create a painting in a short space of time.

Art has no rules unless the artist has specifically chosen to use them as part of the artwork. Spiritual art may look mature or portray a childlike naivety. Be produced very quickly; with precision or tentatively, as if exploring, or something else. Be laid own thickly and heavily, gently or sensitively.Appear crude and tribal or look fine and elegant. Change - starting out as one thing and transforming on the page to something else. Feel as though you are observing the picture being creating without your having a great deal of input, feel as if you are completely lost in the process of the picture’s creation.  "

Here is my first picture, drawn with my left hand (I'm right handed), I felt urged just to put colour down onto the paper, I felt myself getting quite frustrated as I felt confined by the smallness of the paper. I realised these feelings were not my own but belonged to the energy that was working with me, it felt large and powerful.

For our second picture, we were asked to link specifically to the angelic realm, again, drawn with my left hand this is what emerged.  I felt drawn to specific colours and had no idea what was going to emerge out of it and I also felt quite tearful (in a nice kind of way)

For our third exercise, we were asked to link into our partners, this is what emerged, drawn with my right hand this time.

This felt very tribal/shamanic to me and at first I got the sense I was drawing a bird but then it changed into something quite different! - a bit Scary Mary!

There's me at the bottom left hand side in blue

Overlooked by Angels

Friday 25 November 2011


These starlings  were making a very pleasant noise sat amongst the trees, tweeting & chirping, it was quite a moment to be in and savour.  There were many more birds than what you see in the picture, but they began to fly away as I slowly approached.

What they were doing in such large numbers I have no idea....they couldn't be pre-roosting as it was too early in the day. This led me to look up strange starling activity on the internet but couldn't find anything to explain this.

What I did find however, was an article on the RSPB website warning  that we're not the only ones that will have a shock in store once 'winter' as we know it, finally arrives with a vengeance this week.
Garden birds will have a rude awakening too the wildlife charity says, but they don't have the luxury of turning up the heating or putting on an extra coat.
Instead, they will start to rely on the goodwill of gardeners and householders, and the RSPB is asking everyone to consider putting out extra supplies of food and water.

So, if like me you enjoy your feathered friends, please remember to feed the birds.

Sunday 20 November 2011

The Big Knit 2011

For the Big Knit, Age UK and innocent ask knitters of all ages to get creative and come up with their own designs for mini-woolly hats to be placed on top of their smoothie bottles and sold in Boots and Sainsbury's stores throughout November. For each hatted bottle sold, 25p is donated to Age UK to help make winter warmer for older people across the UK.

I've been busy knitting for the past few months and donated all my wooly hats to Age UK in October.  Imagine my surprise on Friday night whilst shopping in my local Sainsburys to find one of the hats I knitted sitting proudly on top of an innocent smoothie bottle!!

That's My Hat!
I felt compelled to buy it, now its sitting at home in my fridge.  I wonder if any other big knitters out there have found their own hats sitting on a supermarket shelf?

Thursday 17 November 2011

Nature always delivers

Some photos from my afternoon dog walk, observing patterns in nature

Beautiful Autumn Leaves
Flowering Ivy
Heart Shape Leaf

Pattern Love

After much ummming and ahhhing, followed by crystal dowsing, I decided to sign up for the Beth Nicholls's The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design -  featuring Rachael Taylor.  I'm pleased I did. Although my eyes are getting boggled as you quickly start to notice patterns & textures everywhere!  Here's a selection of squares and patterns I noticed around the house this morning:

Partial pattern from a fairy picture
Mosiac t-light holder
Negative Squares
On a totally random theme, I noticed a shadow on my bedroom wall this morning, couldn't resist taking this and applying a few photo edits!

It's a nice sunny day today, so I will be taking my camera out with me on my afternoon  dog walk, can't wait to see what patterns I see in Mother Nature.

Thursday 27 October 2011

An Appointment With The Waterboys

I have an appointment with The Waterboys in April 2012, Jenna and I are going to see them in Dublin!! We could have seen them play locally at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester as part of the Appointment With Mr Yeats tour, BUT, as Jenna turns 18 on March 26th, she really wants to go to Dublin and she likes The Waterboys, the Universe appears to have offered us an invitation to some Irish magic.  I would be mad as the mist and snow not to accept.  Talking of mad as the mist and snow, here is the The Waterboys playing this little tune on Later Live with Jools Holland.....I fell in love with The Waterboys and Mike Scott (lead singer) when I first saw them live in 1986.  25 years later and they are still rocking with amazing energy, I'm still in love with Mike Scott and he is such a great example of someone who is doing What They Love.  

Saturday 8 October 2011


I've been busy reflecting! I've just completed the first week of Susan Conway's Unravelling e-course which encourages you to think about how often we see ourselves reflected back in our everyday lives, Vivienne McMaster's e-course Wading In is about Self Portraiture, and, I'm back at College continuing with my studies to become a Counsellor, which includes alot of reflective work through keeping a learning journal.  Anyhow, I'm very happy with this self portrait I took earlier this week:

As a trainee counsellor, I am required to undergo 10 hours of my own personal therapy, I had my first session on Thursday, and something very useful came out of it.  I felt unable to destroy some old school reports written about me in Junior School, my counsellor reflected back that they seemed to be holding some power over me.  I thought about this, how could I release the grip they held over me? Shredding them didn't seem appropriate but transforming them into something more useful did.  So, I picked up a pencil and began drawing random shapes over the reports then cut the shapes out. Unconsciously I had drawn a bird like shape.  I collaged the bird onto my self portrait picture and wrote the following quote onto the bird "Life is like photography, we use our negatives to develop". Stuck a few negatives around the picture and "voila" - I have transformed the negatives from an old school report into something postive with a bit of Art Therapy!  I found another bird shape so I have kept that to use in a later project, and the rest I was happy to throw away.

Life is like photography, we use our negatives to develop

I feel much lighter after doing this piece of work & I read this this today from The Daily Love - " so many of us lead our lives holding on so tightly that nothing new, nothing miraculous can find us" - how true. 

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Indian Summer

We appear to be experiencing an Indian Summer in the lateness of September 2011 - and so I am savouring the sunshine, a little like the last of the summer wine. 

Images for the day 28th September 2011

Saturday 17 September 2011

Faery Squash

Inspired by the Experimental Art assignment, I've been messing around with watercolours to create staining/mark making. Also inspired by faeries and autumn leaves here is my playful offering:

Thursday 15 September 2011

Having a smashing time

I've been inspired by hapa-zome.  Which is, essentially,  hammering or smashing plant material (leaves or flowers) into fabric to create an imprint  - its derived from Japan apparently and I love it! 

I decided to make a card for my god-daughter Sarah Rose who will be heading south tomorrow to start University at Kingston, London. Whilst walking the dog earlier in the beautiful sunshine we are currently enjoying here, I plucked a couple of roses from the rail embankment to use in my hapa-zome creation.  I stitched a piece of fabric onto card, then placed the rose petals onto the fabric.  Covered the petals with plasic and began to hammer (v.satisfying), my intention to create some splodges.   If I wanted to have a full imprint of the flower, I would have used a smaller flower such as a geranium or lobelia, but  I wanted my fabric to be stained. A bit of modge podge, faeries, glitter and stamping was all that was needed to create my card:

Here's a card I made earlier in the week using the same process:

This card was made imprinting leaves and lobelia onto fabric

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Experimental Art

Soooo excited to have signed up with Amelia Critchlow's Experimental Art e-course.  On day 1 we were given a doodling assignment!

Here is my doodle, the yellow splodge is food dye which I blew around with a straw to form a shape, then I began to doodle around it!  Doodling is v.addictive!

Doodling addicts can be found at this cool blog spot - doodlersanonymous

Saturday 27 August 2011

Is This True For You

I came across this mug yesterday on my shopping travels and loved the quote on it:

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Catch Up

I've not written a "proper blog" for a wee while, so, I'm trying to play catch up now, I'll start with my 3 day trip to Coniston......going to Coniston is an annual event with all the members of Young Church from Lytham Methodist. The thing is, the members of the young church are growing up - I think the adults outnumber the kids these days! Anyway, there were about 35 of us this year.  We stay at the St Martins Youth Centre which is bang in the middle of Coniston, it's like going home as we have been going for a number of years now.  This year, I chose to camp out in Dora McFlora, because the kids/young adults keep you awake til all hours and the bunk beds are just a bit too soft for my creaky back.  We all had a great time and I got chatting to a famouse fell runner in the Black Bull pub on a Friday night called Joss Naylor.  He is a LEGEND in the fell  running world.  I know about Joss Naylor as I bought a book about Fell running last year in Ambleside, and his name is mentioned throughout that book. What an opportunity to be able to have a chat with such a great man, who, in 2006, (age 70)  ran 70 Lakeland fell tops, covering more than 50 miles and ascending more than 25,000 feet, in under 21 hours!
My meeting with Joss gave me the impetus I needed to climb Coniston Old Man the very next day, I even managed to run up several parts of it and on the descent, my friend Nikki and I on the spur of the moment went wild swimming in Goats Water Tarn - it was very cold!

Me at the top of Coniston Old Man - First time this year my legs have been out in a pair of shorts!

DoraMcFlora in the Youth Centre Car Park
Tarn on the ascent up Coniston Old Man
TiddlyWinks with some light refreshment
Some of the kids in Coniston Lake
Another Tarn!
Fern  covered steps

Saturday 13 August 2011

Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap

Here is my creation, I posted her this morning, hopefully she will make it to her recipient in France!  For those of you who can draw people/faces, don't look to hard! she's a bit out of proportion! Still, I enjoyed making her :)


Wednesday 27 July 2011

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Horn of Africa

Having an early tea in one of my favourite Lake District pubs this afternoon, my daughter and I could not overhear a customer complaining about her food - she had ordered a plain baguette but I think she was served with a filled baguette.  She flung her arms into the air and screached "what is this?!", she promptly told the waiter he could do her a big favour by "going to the kitchen and getting her what she asked for".
As I was tucking into an oversized cheese and pickle baguette, accompanied by homemade chips and coleslaw, I could not help but be reminded of how incredibly lucky we are in this country to have food at our disposable, unlike our sisters in Africa.

Kenya, 2011: Somali children and women refugees await food and other assistance at a camp near the town of Dadaab. They are among more than 10 million people in five Horn of Africa countries affected by the worst drought in 60 years. An estimated 480,000 malnourished children are at risk of dying, and an additional 1.6 million children are at risk. UNICEF urgently needs US $31.8 million to support response programmes in four of the most affected countries for the next three months.
If you haven't done so already, you can make a donation here -

Thursday 14 July 2011

Poetry Muse

I listened to a talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert on nuturing creativity at  She spoke about an interview she conducted with American poet Ruth Stone.  Gilbert met Ruth Stone who's now in her 90's and has been a poet her entire life.  Stone tole her that when she was growing up she would be working out in the fields in rural Virginia and she would feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape.

It was like a thunderous train of air and it would come barreling down toward her and shake the ground under her feet.  At that point she knew that she had only one thing to do: run like hell toward her house and grab a piece of paper.  She had to get to a pencil and paper fast enough so that when the poem thundered through her she could write it down and get it on the page.

Sometimes she wasn't fast enough, so she would be running toward the house and the poem would go through her and continue down the landscape looking for another poet.

I was amazed when I heard this and I used this as a prompt for me to create this mixed media canvas which I'm rather proud of!

Poetry Fields
In the wind swirls I have place words from Ruth Stones poems

Sunday 3 July 2011


It's good to celebrate a friends birthday
Food, wine, mojito's, birthday cake mixed up with good company

The turning point of the evening - one Mojito too many

That's all it takes, one Mojito too many and my Sunday has been a washout! I've been busy nursing a hangover all day so haven't accomplished anything other than managing to watch the men's single final at Wimbledon!

So, taking inspiration from the creating my life I have contemplated what my goals for July are going to be, they look something like this:
  • no more alcohol to be consumed this month
  • attend two Yoga classes a week
  • read a book from cover to cover
  • finish my mixed media canvass
  • paint the front porch
How difficult is that?! :)

Thursday 16 June 2011

Changing Girl

"It's a bigger part, when our instincts act"...sings Paul Weller in Changing Man.

On days when I know I am acting on instinct/intuition, I always have Changing Man playing on the jukebox inside my head....and today, I am changing.  I have been decluttering (again), I am clearing, to allow for something new to come into my life, preparing the way for the Mondo Beyondo List (I have added to that list again today).

I have also started an Art Journalling course (which again is supporting the Mondo Beyondo List) - it's a 4 week course called Creative Journal Magic, it's only just started -  so more to come on that.

I am seeing small manifestations of "the list".  A dream is to take beautiful photographs.  I think I achieved that today with a picture of a beautiful poppy growing in my front garden:

Saturday 11 June 2011

It's all about the dogs

Snapping away in the back garden on a Saturday afternoon, trying to stay loose, experimenting with different camera angles and my best result are always the dogs!

Who can resist a face like this?

Do they make Grecian 2000 for dogs?
Jasper - he's a beautiful Blue Roan
If you don't like feet - look away now!
Reach for the skies!
My first mixed media canvas. 

Hermosa Mariposa
I attended the first of a series of workshops called "Create Your Own Cacoon Canvas" by Jules Dolly.  With a blank canvas, a Jules Dolly template and lots of goodies, I created Hermosa Mariposa.(Spanish for Beautiful Butterfly).  Please check out Julia's website for details of her next workshop at the National Wildflower Centre, Court Hey Park, Liverpool, 17th July 2011 -

Have a great week-end everyone! x