30 June 2013

of spider

spider's web
spider's web // Mikhail Khursevich

Weaver

Connectress

Path-finder

Sensate

Patient

Swift-acting

Thread-spinner

Fate-reader

Nimble

29 June 2013

on blogging every day in june

blog*space
At the beginning of June I quietly set myself a little experiment: that I would kick-start my new blogging habit with a 30-day immersion. Full on. Every day for a month. The hope being that by doing so, it would put me back into the rhythm of posting on a consistent basis and allow me time to see the direction I really wanted to take this new path. Other than a few ideas for the month ahead, I did not pre-plan or pre-write any content, writing each day as I went. Today is my penultimate day. So how'd it go?

What worked?

As I had hoped, the commitment of blogging every day has indeed put me back into the rhythm of posting on a consistent basis, and reminded me just how much fun it is to ‘blog’. The rhythm of writing and creating in this way has also brought a welcome routine into my days once more.

Something that was not at all on my list of objectives has been the added bonus of gathering a library of (albeit, short) posts in a very swift amount of time when compared to my ‘usual’ posting pattern.

This initial burst of activity has allowed me to gain a far better sense of the direction this blog will take as I go forward than all the months of planning and procrastination had leading up to my taking the plunge. Once again the lesson of jumping in first and figuring things out as I go has repeated itself. When seeking and receiving ideas now I know what I want to blog about and what I can let go. This has allowed for more of the ‘right’ ideas to flow.

What did not?

While it was a great experiment (and one I would highly recommend to others seeking a similar outcome) to kick-start my new blog, realistically blogging every day is not sustainable for me at this time. Especially if I want those posts to be relevant, genuine and of substance each and every time.

Although I had a number of post ideas for the month at the start, there were many days when I did not and was seeking topic ideas on the go. The one saving grace is that June turned out to be a rather busy month for me with many projects and events appearing suddenly that I could call on for suitable inspiration. I can’t help but think of how synchronicitous their timing was!

Also, in order to meet the demand (self-imposed, I know) of a fresh, relevant post each day, things had to be quick and easy and usually the first idea I had. Posts that I would have liked to have been more in-depth, became short and sweet introductions with little time or energy remaining to fuss over their being ‘perfect’. This said, I am very pleased with what I have created so far and feel I am off to a great start.

What's next?

Overall I would definitely say that the past ‘30’ days blogging experiment has been a great success in figuring out what I want from this new blogging space, what works for me as a content creator and starting my new blogging adventure. I am also really delighted to have stuck with my commitment to this 30-day experiment despite its' difficulties and am willing to try this process again with something a little more challenging to me.

Much as the thrill of blogging daily has been, I am looking forward to being able to ease off on the high frequency of posts and to making those that I do share more in-depth than what has gone before. That we are about to head into summer when blog reading takes a back seat is no bad thing and I can have the time to mull over ideas for going into next season.

What about you? Have you tried a 30-day experiment? I'd love to hear about your experience.

27 June 2013

stone folk

stone*folk
stone*folk
from my personal collection

quartz // hematite // red jasper // moonstone
carnelian // tiger's eye // turquoise
citrine // fluorite // blue agate
lapis lazuli // bloodstone // rose quartz

26 June 2013

4 fun photography tricks

photo*tricks
The perfection and precision of digital photography and editing is all very lovely and that, but now that I am getting more practiced at the basics, I am finding it can get a little boring going through the same motions and actions each time. Time to stretch myself and discover something new to play with, me thinks!

As I'm still too chicken to drop entirely out of auto just quite yet, I thought it would be rather fun to play with some 'old school' diy in-camera tricks - the unpredictable results of which I really like for their added humanness to the finished image, that for all the whiz-bang of photo-editing software can be somewhat lacking, I feel. Who knows, I may even actually learn some bonafide manual tricks along the way!

There is an absolute overwhelm of photography tips and tricks across the ether, but these four are definitely among my first pick for experimental adventures:

1. Coloured Filters - using nothing more than plastic lids and coloured Sharpie pens, David shows how easy it is to create some lovely colour-tinted results...

2. Dreamy Soft Focus - a simple technique used by film photographers to create a dream-like soft focus on photos with some interesting blurring and light effects...

3. Lazy Reverse Macro - any technique that means I can save some pennies is worth experimenting with in my book and this 'cheats' way of turning your regular camera lense into a macro one without need for fancy extra kit is definitely a go...

4. Prism Refraction - humorously demonstrated on video, I absolutely love this innovative kaleidoscope-like technique using prisms and light refraction to capture bizarre and beautiful images from all different angles...

Do you have a favourite, in-camera photography trick you absolutely love? I'd love to see!

25 June 2013

visual quest: a shamanic painting adventure


visual quest // a shamanic painting adventure with Pixie Campbell

I'm so excited! This was an instant *yes!* moment, the minute I found out. I have been a follower of Pixie's for a couple of years now I guess, and have long wanted to join one of her live painting workshops, but time and circumstance have not allowed me to. So the moment I heard her announcement of offering this class for the first time, I was truly bursting with excitement.

Visual Quest is a five-week online painting course that combines creative process with the insightful, ancient tools of shamanism. It is a class for spiritual people, creative people, artists, deep-thinkers and deep-feelers alike that want to explore connecting with the deepest parts of their soul through an interpretive, integrative, creative process. And from my experiences with Pixie to date, I can totally vouch for her natural and simple, yet deep and holistic approach to this subject.

"...This class is a convergence of everything I know about spirit and art all rolled into one. Creative living and spiritual practice represents all that’s mysterious, alive and juicy in every one of us. I’ve been painting for twenty-three years, and I’ve watched my practice become more reflective of my deep Self, and less of my ‘ideas’ about what would make a good painting. This freeing process is release, it’s color and spirit in motion, it’s a deep embrace of What Is, and an intentional honoring of life itself..."

If you would like to join me this summer for a Visual Quest, you can read more about this online class here. I sincerely hope it is a *yes!* moment for you too!

24 June 2013

handmade leather medicine pouch

medicine*pouch
medicine*pouch

Simple draw-string leather medicine pouch, handmade using adapted instructions from Shaman Arts. The perfect size for carrying a small piece of quartz and other tiny tokens. Can be hung around the neck or tied to a belt at the waist.


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20 June 2013

shamanic journey work with soulodge

hot air balloon
hot air balloon // Leni Somnia

This past week I have been participating in SouLodge's Seven Journeys live telecast as a way to practice my rather rusty skills at pathworking in readiness for the class I am taking later this summer.

I have been having mixed results but am persisting with it as an experimental process rather than to necessarily have much 'success'. I am finding that the quality of my 'success' is mostly down to preparation and entry into the 'zone' ready for journeying. Unlike previous methods I have tried, this is far more open and loose with little guidance as to how to get 'down the rabbit hole'. However, despite these little bumps I am really enjoying the experience of journeying to the sound of drumming and it has got me hooked on the idea of getting my own drum and even forming a local drumming group of like-minded women.

Our week of journeying is almost up, but the daily habit has caught me and I am once again thumbing the pages of some favoured old books and sources for the clues they can provide in getting down that rabbit hole more easily. There is of course practice, but so too is having a map in the first instance. And that is what I am hoping to draw...

19 June 2013

herbal eyewash infusion

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From tired, sore eyes from too much computer use or sewing tiny details on craft projects, to mild feline and environmental allergies and a susceptibility to dry, gritty eyes due to the natural atmosphere, this herbal infusion is my go-to, all-purpose solution for all manner of eye related issues. I have even used it to bathe the boys eyes when they have suffered from conjunctivitis (pink eye) and over-the-counter solutions have proved difficult to administer.

Soothing Herbal Eyewash Infusion
Makes 1 infusion

1/2 tsp dried fennel seeds
1/2 tsp dried eyebright
1/2 tsp dried comfrey
1.5 tsp dried chamomile flowers
1.5 tsp dried calendula flowers

1. Combine all dry herbs in a small pudding/mixing bowl.
2. Boil fresh water and pour over loose herbs to cover. Stir, then allow to cool.
3. Strain herbal liquid through a coffee filter paper into a clean, sterile glass jar.
4. Cover filtered liquid with screw-top lid and store in the fridge for 24-36hrs.
5. Bathe affected eye/s with the infusion using either a sterile eye-bath or clean cotton wool pads.

** Please remember to use a fresh portion of the infusion for each affected eye so as to not cross-contaminate.

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18 June 2013

it's a small world

small*world
So I put together a new blogsite for a friend's non-profit community project. We kept the design simple with some unifying elements, that while drew in fun components from it's previous incarnation, brought things up to date with a fresh, clean 'face'. The nature of the project means that I will continue to be involved for the next few months as events unfold, providing additional graphic elements and extensions to the site along the way.

small*world
I have enjoyed working on this so much and whole-heartedly wish my friend and this new phase of the project every success as it goes forward! Of course, the side effect of doing this is that I am now positively itching to do more *grin!*

16 June 2013

of eagle

bald eagle
bald eagle // Sara Finke

Far-sighted

Sharp-sighted

Spirit

Wilderness

Freedom

Independence

Loyal

Unimpressed

Scrutiny

14 June 2013

muldoodles

castle web, muldoodles
magical homes // Muldoodles

Winner of Hallmark Creative Studio UK's February 2013 Design Competition and recent graduate of the Edinburgh College of Art, Scottish artist and illustrator Eilidh Muldoon is a freelance designer who would one day like to illustrate children's books. She lives by the sea and enjoys drawing and making things.

I think her work is fantastic and I too would love to see her illustrations appear in childrens' books. I think they would be perfect! It is thanks to her witty and loyal friend, Kirsty, that I discovered her talent also.

13 June 2013

a murder of crows

2324+WM
2327+WM
2337+WM
2348+WM
2335+WM
While other folks have an animosity to this large, vocal, obsidian bird, I have always felt connected on a soul level to them. For all the years I lived in England I somehow was never gifted crow feathers. It does not pass my curiosity then that since living here I have rapidly grown a collection of crow feathers in a very short while. It seems they too have messages for me. I will listen...

12 June 2013

floral abundance

garden floragarden floragarden floragarden floralilacsgarden foliage
Once more our garden is abundant with blooms and green life. The lilacs overwhelm with their intoxicating scent and our 'lawn' of mixed grass and moss lays thick like a lush carpet. I notice the smells of wood smoke and rising sap from among the tall pines. I watch as the hummingbirds joust about the feeder and find the first plums starting to bud on the trees. The sun warms my face as my feet get wet underfoot after another 'faery' shower. All is good.

11 June 2013

snap shot delight

snap shot delight
snap shot delight online class // Alisa Burke

I am a humongous fan of Alisa Burke's having followed her blog and process for many years, taking several of her classes along the way, so I may be a bit biased when I say I am really excited that she has been inspired to put together a fun mini class on incorporating creative photography into one's summer activities. It was an instant 'yes!'

"...as a huge part of my creative process, I carry a camera everywhere I go hoping to discover and document inspiration and capture the things that make my heart sing. From color, pattern and texture, to simple moments and milestones - the process of looking through my lens to see the world around me is a profound part of my life as an artist. Snap Shot Delight is not about camera settings and technical information - instead I have put together my favorite tips, unconventional tricks, prompts and all kinds creative ways to use your camera as a part of your creative process..."

For more information and to catch the early bird sale before class starts, visit Alisa's shop here!

10 June 2013

dancing with the fae folk

faery oracle
the faun, the myomancer, and gloominous doom // from the Faeries' Oracle, by Brian Froud

I have played (for play is imperative when consulting with fae folk) sporadically with these cards for so many years I have forgotten just how long we have known one other.

Always with the philosophy that these things work best when most needed and with time enough between for events to unfold as they must, I have tended to only call upon their clarity when I have felt the most need for perspective. As a result sometimes many months can go by quite happily between our meetings - hence, sporadically. But for all this lack of consistent contact, they have always been spot on in unravelling me from whatever it is that I have got myself tangled among.

This said, sometimes like today, I may not have had a particularly deep reason for meeting with them but just felt called to do so, for a check up so to speak. That it is the new moon did not go unacknowledged in its appropriateness. I am constantly learning (and re-learning again and again) our dance together and today's exchange turned out not to be what I had thought was on the agenda but instead was gifted some gentle reminders that they too have things to impart sometimes and that this is a two-way relationship.

Like I said, I am still learning this fae dance…

08 June 2013

creative chaos

creative chaos market

White Owl Ceramic Studio // White Crow // Sublime Designs
Olga Cuttell // Janette Forest // Mr Hoot & Company
Dropping Form Designs // Nickelbee Studios // Red Pot Pottery

Just some of my personal favourites found at this year's Creative Chaos Craft Market.

Since we arrived here it's become an annual tradition of my Mom's and I to make a point of going to this, more artsy and artisanal craft show, on the hunt for locally handmade arts and crafts that step outside the realms of the regular.

06 June 2013

what I love

transport
What I love:

thunderstorms and forked lightning // the smell of wet grass and earth // broad-leaf trees // wide open prairie skies // giant full moons rising over the mountain // the taste and scent of lemon and vanilla // green. anything green // a sky full of stars // frogs and lizards // making things myself // playing with web code // handmade sketchbooks

the blank canvas // dripping, splattering and smearing messy paint // the quite of the early morning and breathing deeply the fresh morning air // listening to the rain pelt against the window when I'm wrapped in my duvet // book stores and stationers // the smell of the newly printed page // fresh pink grapefruit // the smell of burning wood

walking in the rain // tapas and thai food // the peaceful calm of pilates // the thrill of trampolining and flying on a swing // teapots // handcrafted pottery // kraft paper and card // my children's spontaneous and unfettered free laughter // southern comfort or whisky // snorkelling the reef // exploring ancient ruined cities alone and 'hearing' the ghosts of centuries past

yarn displays and fabric stores // guerilla art // dancing // words and language // connecting direct with Source // classic fiat five-hundreds // vintage trucks and hot rods // steampunk and fantasy // digitally envisaged other worlds // graphic novels // children's illustrated fiction // carrot cake // brightly coloured or patterned wellies

rolling ranch land // horses roaming among the trees // lemon sherbets and sours // hats // sewing dolls clothes // miniature prop-making // jars of used paintbrushes // paint on my hands // rebelling // asian fashion dolls // dreadlocks // camp fires on the beach // art journals // living simply and with ease // following my passion

What do you love?

*This post was inspired by Lisa's recent writing prompt of noticing what makes us happy. I challenge you to try it too!

02 June 2013

of coyote

coyote hug
coyote hug // Perry McKenna via keterry

Trickster

Mischief

Evasive

Adaptable

Cunning

Accidental wisdom

Illusion

Intelligence

Playful

Tread lightly

Simplify

Teacher

01 June 2013

invocation

Hello. Again.

I have been away from this circle for nine months. It was an unexpected detour to be away for this long, but it seems much needed to be processed and many layers shed so as to find my way out of the labyrinth and return anew.

In that time you have been sorely missed, my dearest silver-tongued, mercurial ether. You who know the depth of me and I the glamour of you. Let us dance and spar together once more along these voltaic arteries.

I shall not make any promises or guarantees of what you will find here, but what I can say is that I am content in the knowing that I am a creative being who allows herself the freedom to fluidly change and express herself as the muse speaks. Come and go as you please; for I leave the door open for you to tag along on my journey any time you like.

For now, welcome to my space on the ether'verse...