Sunday, 28 October 2012


This began as one of my inky pages with water dropped onto it.  I drew the "tear" or crack across it, with me peeping out at the world, and wrote in big letters "I'm scared".  As you know, a lot of my pages begin with a single word or phrase like this ...

To appreciate where I'm coming from with this, the thing you need to know about me is that I tend to do this "good old Rosie" act, pin a big smile on my face, get everyone organised and be the one who cheers everyone else up.  My sister once told me (ages ago before I got ill) that I could be very scary in my extreme competence, and I gaped at her in amazement and said "but its all an act, I'm always frightened inside".  That's still true, although I'd rather hoped that when I got to be a grown-up (when does that start exactly?) I'd grow more confident with maturity.  Well I have in a way ... but my inner child is still in there and she's frightened of all sorts of things!  I suppose what I have learned is that most of our worst fears aren't realised anyway, and yet we waste so much precious time and energy worrying ourselves sick with our imaginings.  It seems to me that I'm more able to say "well I'll deal with that when, and if, it happens".

As you can see, most of my fears are just the normal stuff that haunts all of us - loneliness, bad things happening to people we love, and so on, but all of us have our really SECRET fears that we can't (or daren't) tell anyone about.  I'm certainly not writing mine down here!  These are the ones that come out in anxiety dreams, and tend to be at heart about being exposed for the fraud you really are .... yeah you know the ones.
I was trying to record these feelings in the hope that, by naming them, they'd lose some of their power?  It does work like that at one level.  So I also wrote about being brave, and what that means to me - I'm a member of the brave girls club, and I work very hard at being courageous.  Its that "feel the fear and do it anyway" thing I suppose.  I am a bit of a fighter for a cause too, but perhaps less so in my own defence, although I'll bravely stand up for other people, particularly against injustice.
I guess what I'm really trying to ask is ... how come a 58 year old grandmother like me can still feel such a lost child sometimes?  Still trying to conquer my fears, putting a "brave" face on, still doing my well-known impersonation of a confident woman who knows what she is doing.  Will I ever really become the Brave Girl I long to be, or is bravery really and finally about still being scared but not letting it hold you back? 

Saturday, 20 October 2012


I don't know about you, but my art journalling is how I work things out ... and often the process of making a page brings me peace on the subject.  Perhaps its being able to acknowledge the stress which allows you to let something go, or at least the bad feelings associated with it?  Maybe its also about not wasting your precious energy on keeping down the negative emotions you daren't let out.  Whatever and however, it works for me ....

So this page began with lots of orange and yellow - sometimes happy colours for me, but not quite in this case.  Perhaps I associate it with intense emotions, good or bad?  I think in some way I needed to contain those feelings before they could overwhelm me, and that's why this page HAD to have a border around it!
I've used these jazzy stamps before - they're big and black, strong and powerful, which I like a lot.  Actually they were a complete bargain because they were an Ebay purchase, very inexpensive, and are really intended for marking clay.  I cut them up and made border stamps - and I've used them in the post below as well .... strong feelings again!
As so often, I just wrote on the page what I was feeling, in this case "I feel stressed".  Writing around in a circle reflected my state of mind too - I felt as if I was going round and round in circles.  Having written like that, I realised what I was doing was pointless - that I might be beating myself to death against something I was more or less powerless to change.  Maybe you know that feeling?

It seemed to me that I had some choices - to waste energy stressing about the things I couldn't change, or to decide to calmly accept.  Not easy, but I'm working on it.  What I can do is gradually enact small changes which make my life a little bit easier in the meantime, and I'm working on that.
The "hope" part - another cheapy stamp found in a bargain box - is perhaps the key word here. You have to have hope that somewhere, somehow things will change/improve, as it may be the only lifeline you have.   The Brave Girls Club of whom I'm an enthusiastic and grateful member, tell us to  "go where the peace is", and that we can choose to find that place.  My peaceful place is in the knowledge that the situation we're in won't last for ever ....

If you're another Brave Girl feeling stressed out about something, write it down to work it out!  Then draw and/or paint all over it and through that process find your peace - it works, I promise!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Another painty background!  Heavens, its not like me at all, but I do try to challenge myself to try new things and so on .... Look I've used masks and things here too, and I struggle to love them if I'm honest.  That border down the side is a stamp I bought which is intended for shaping clay ... quite inexpensive and I love it!  The reason I keep trying new stuff (or techniques I'm not sure about) is because one thing worries me (and you must tell me if you think its true) and that is a tendency for all my pages to look the same?  I don't want that to happen, so I keep pushing the boundaries.
Anyway, I did rather like how slightly chaotic this background turned out, which reflected exactly how I was feeling after my darling grand-daughters came to stay for a week (for the first time ever)!  When they'd gone I didn't know whether to burst into tears, celebrate, or lie down for a week, so I settled for making a page about it.

It turned out pretty much as disorganised and chaotic as the week had been - which was probably the reason why my brain wouldn't work sufficiently well to do a visually well-balanced and thoroughly organised page.  It just sort of happened really as I poured out my feelings of total exhaustion and wondrous amazement at how lovely, wonderful and clever they are (take after their granny of course)!!
Just confirmed that they're coming again at half term - but fortunately bringing their mother with them too.  This means that granny's pathetic attempts at discipline (go on then you can read a bit longer, have another sweetie, etc etc .... ) will not be required, and I can just get on with loving them to bits.  I may however need two weeks in a rest home once they've gone!!