Saturday, 23 February 2013


If you're a regular visitor here you may notice something unusual about this page?  Its got lots of empty space, which is not like me at all!  Generally I fill every corner with bits of writing and doodling, but not this time ....
It started out like this ... a background made with Caran d'Ache crayons with a little bit of pink ink dabbed through a stencil.  Then I drew some strange, almost organic shapes (was my brain still thinking about arteries and body parts like the other week)??  Dunno really, who knows what goes on in there, I don't even remember most of it!
The black lines were done with a Promarker - I like doing wobbly thicknesses like this, and anyway if I tried to make them all neat, of equal thickness and regular I'd never do it!  If wobbles are inevitable why not make an artistic feature of them?  Then I wrote  "breathe slowly" - and its funny how I didn't know that I needed to do so until those words appeared on the page - my journalling is often intuitive like that.  It felt like I was getting a message from Herself upstairs, especially when the other words turned up.
I do have a bit of a tendency to worry about stuff, instead of handing it over and saying "I can't deal with this, but I know you can", but I think (I hope) I'm getting better at it.  A bit more writing (in my own handwriting yet!) and it was done.  No more words, message received and understood.

Obviously I couldn't resist doing a few dotty decorations, but even these were restrained by my usual standards, and I was quite comfortable with the empty space.  Actually I've been looking at journal pages on Pinterest recently, and noticed that some of the ones I liked the best were very clean and simple.  You wouldn't normally describe my pages that way - another message from Herself?  It may have been divinely inspired, or (possibly more likely) I was in a funny mood.  Whatever.   I like it though!

PS I've just noticed that my visitors have passed the 10,000 mark - and that's with a reset from 0 when for some reason I lost the blog counter!  I'm awed and amazed.  Thank you for coming by.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


This was one of the times when I made a (Caran d'Ache crayon) background and then didn't know what to do with it - I sometimes  just make something/anything for when inspiration strikes!  Anyway it was some days later than I finally sat down in front of this and that's when I drew these branching lines with a Promarker pen, which write really well over the crayon surface.  I had some vague idea about branching arteries in my head, but in the end that's not what it turned out to be about!
And that's why I titled this entry "a bit confused" because I was - I think!  There seemed to be a lot of random stuff going on in my life, and I was trying to make sense of it.  Because I believe in the interconnectedness of all things, I never assume that things are truly random, and am always looking for patterns.
I've often preached about life as a great tapestry - think of the work of Kaffe Fassett, a brilliant explosion of colour and pattern.  When you can only see your own small corner of the tapestry, you might not even have all the colours it contains, let alone see how the pattern works, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.  So I talk about God as a kind of masterweaver ... the only one who can see the whole pattern, knows how it works and how individual warp and weft threads relate to one another.  That's kind of what I was thinking about here - I couldn't see the patterns in my own life, but I was convinced they were there.  I might never get to know how my words or actions contribute to the whole, but will have to trust that they do ....
You may also detect that I've been exploring zentangle doodling again ... (that's those black and white patterns in some of the spaces).  It isn't half fun to do, and the complex patterns seemed to illustrate something of what I was thinking about.

I spend quite a lot of time "a bit confused", but overall I know the pattern is there, that I'm a necessary and unique part of it, and most of all (despite or even because of me) it is beautiful ....

Sunday, 10 February 2013


 Back from Venice with hundreds of photographs to turn into a scrapbook, but the first thing I turned to was my journal...  This page began when I found this pencil sketch online, and it seems to me to illustrate the half full/half empty thing.  The background and the sun are done with Caran d'Ache crayons, and the grey bottle is pasted onto the page.
This is a bit of a soapbox of mine, so forgive me if I've bored you with this before, but I find that I can (and indeed MUST) make this choice daily, if not hourly!  It would be so easy to get dragged down by my illness, and to have a relentlessly negative outlook on life ... and I do have someone in my extended family who is like that, and nobody wants to be near them.  A good lesson to try and see the positive and celebrate your blessings, rather than endlessly rehearsing your woes and complaints!
But there are days when my inner Pollyanna goes on strike, and I WANT to feel sorry for myself, in fact I feel positively entitled.  But its not just me, there are countless people who could with perfect justification complain about the hand life has dealt them, and the poor quality of their life, but if they do .... they make themselves extremely unpopular.  Its not that a positive attitude changes anything, because it doesn't - the facts remain the same, but what can and does change is how you view it, and therefore deal with it.
So even when its difficult to do so I try to remember to count my blessings, and celebrate all that is good in my life, rather than focusing on the negatives.  It really works - and journalling helps! That alone makes me feel lucky!