social spark Aisling Beatha: September 2010


Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy your stay, however short, and find something that interests and blesses you.

The tabs just below will take you to posts of particular topics. So if you are looking for my posts on food, fitness or creativity, you will find them there. You will also find my posts on thankfulness or other more contemplative posts, as well as a set of posts with traditional blessings from a number of different cultures.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Art Journal Travel Supplies

I am going to be out of town for two days with some free time on my hands so thought I would take my art journal and a few supplies along.

Here is what I will be taking:

Everything is in this bag. I got it for just £2.50 when the back to school supplies got reduced a week or so after the children had gone back. The ruler is just there to give you an idea of size, I am not taking it.

Since this bag will be going most places I go these couple of days, it is also acting as my handbag, so the front zipped pocket holds my mobile phone, purse, keys and journaling pen.

Under that front flap you can see there is the main pocket and two pockets running down the front.

This is what is in the front pockets. I have a tiny pot of gesso, certainly not enough for prepping any pages, but useful if I wanted to use some on a page as part of the design. The pot used to hold a single portion of jam. The glue stick was also bought in the back to school sales and cost me 50p instead of £2. In the two clear pencil cases you can see watercolour crayons and a bone folder on the right and an archival ink pad and set of alphabet stamps on the left. If I turn those cases over . . .

you can see I also have some small tubes of acrylic paint. just 12 ml tubes but i get that whole set for just £1 from the pound shop. Not the best paint in the world, but useful in certain situations. In the other case you can see some other stamps, curls, swirls and a couple of other background stamps.

Inside the main pocket you would find these. My pink pencil case, my written journal and my art journal.

The pencil case is great having three separate sections, and you 'll get a better look at the contents next.

Pound shop permanent markers, useless on bare paper because they bleed into the paper too much but excellent on top of acrylic paints, a set of 8 I think for just £1. Also a gold paint marker, white out pen, extra fine sharpie and gold silver and bronze wax crayons.

A set of sparkly pens, a black permanent paint pen and a few smaller brushes. Yes, I have had them a while and the paint is falling off the handles. But who wants to take their best brushes when travelling? I'd be gutted if I left my new brushes behind anywhere, but these it wouldn't matter too much. And they still do the job just fine.

And in the centre of that pencil case, a small pair of scissors a basic craft knife and soft grip craft blade, tiny ruler and a couple of pencils.

Finally on the back of the bag another pocket.

A plastic plate that I use as a pallet, a tub of baby wipes for keeping things clean, a small cutting mat that came free on the front of a magazine once and 3 plastic folders. They contain various alphabets, and images etc for using on my pages.

I have a number of prepped pages ready to work on, with backgrounds already done and am looking forward to seeing what comes of working ON THE GO!

See you all soon, when I get back!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Art Journaling Journey Through Life Labels

Who are you?  That's one of the questions I asked myself this week.
When I can get some good light to take photos of my other pages I will share with you the first pages I made on this art journaling journey through the soul journaling workshop.  But for now I have one particular page, one particular journey I want to share with you.  It came at an interesting time as two situations combined to bring about this page.  Firstly one of my favourite art journalers, journalartista had been talking about art journaling through her attempts at weight loss and had worked on a page where she wrote down all the negative things that had been said or she had said about her body, then she obliterated them and created something new on top of that page.  THEN, yesterday morning I got to a section of homework in my bible study that talks about negative words that have been spoken over us, either by others or ourselves and asks us to pray through those.  And I knew I had to combine the two.

SO I went to a fresh two page spread in my art journal.
The page had been prepped by gluing down ripped up pages from a random book I bought from the pound shop just for that purpose.  Then I had put a coat of gesso over both pages.

Then I wrote down the words, the phrases that came to mind in relation to this, on the whole, ones that still had a power in my life, but one of them was there just as a reminder, as I had dealt with it before.  Then I prayed through each of the things written down.  I forgave the people who has said those things, I released them from anything I had tried to hold over them.  I asked God to forgive me for taking up those things and allowing them to become part of my identity and I declared that the power of those lies (for that is what they are) was broken.  And anything else that God brought to mind for each phrase.  As I finished working through each phrase, I took my white out pen and put a single line through it.  That is the picture you see above.

That morning a set of watercolour crayons had arrived in the post and so I started to play.  GRIN!  I got a little bit out of hand and didn't bother with any particular colour scheme, just WENT FOR IT, sticking colour after colour down on the page as I wanted to try out as many of them as possible.  These are so much nicer to use than watercolour pencils, there just is no comparison and I am delighted that I bought them.  I didn't buy the expensive ones, just went for the cheaper ones, but even these are a delight.

Of course, then I took a wet brush to the page and blended in those colours.  Now, you can still see the writing underneath, you can probably still read most of them, and I was thinking about this as I worked and realised that actually isn't that what happens?  We have these things, these words, these labels and we try to do something about them, we try to work through them, and it doesn't always work, sometimes they still have power in our lives, still have a hold on us.  Sometimes that is because we have tried in our own strengths, sometimes that is because God is saying to us, something along the lines of what Donkey say to Shrek in the first movie "Shrek, you're an onion." Sometimes it's about layers, and God can't move onto the next layer until the last one is completely removed.  It's important to remember that when we find ourself dealing with an issue we thought we had already dealt with.  Sometimes it's just about layers.

So then another layer went onto the page.
I wanted to use green because green represents hope, as it says in Romans 15 in The Message: Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!.
So I put that layer down.  I like the way you can distinguish some of the watercolour crayon colours from others but you can' necessarily see what colours they are.  And again it made me think.  I thought back to the previous picture and how, yes, sometimes our efforts in this area don't work because they are just that, OUR efforts, and where we have tried and tried and failed to remove these labels from our lives, and still come up needing more we can STILL turn to our loving Heavenly father and ask Him to come in and do the work, ask Him to come in and cover over those words, remove their power in our lives and he WILL if we let Him.

Then, another layer, that I don't have a photo of on its own, unfortunately.  I dry brushed a layer of yellow paint over the top of the green.  And then it was ready!  Ready for the things that needed to replace those words and phrases I had covered over, ready for the things God had whispered earlier as I had worked through these issues.

I am Zoe and I am proud!
I don't know whether you can tell from this photo, but you can still see where some of the words are.  You can still see if you look VERY carefully what one of them even says.  And that's OK for me.  Because nothing I or God does will ever make those words unsaid.  They can't be removed from ever having been spoken.  They are part of my history, they are part of what brought me to where I am today and that's OK.  Forgiving is not the same as forgetting.  You don't need to have forgotten in order to have successfully forgiven.

I don't think this page is finished yet, I will probably come back to it, either as God whispers other words I need to add to the page or as I find an image of other addition that I want to add.

On a practical note, where I stamped "I am Zoe" I used a pigment ink because I loved loved loved the colour.  Anyone who has done art journaling will know that pigment ink will never dry over acrylics.  But what I did was take my matt medium and very carefully apply a layer of that over the top of the stamped words and now they are protected and dry.  The "& I am" is stamped in permanent ink (but I need a new pad or a re inker cuz this one is nearly dry) and the Proud is stamped in black acrylic paint.  The stamped "Strong" on the other page is stamped and embossed in white sea foam.

Linking to:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Simple Moment in Time

The other day I was out shopping with my youngest son.  We were walking through the supermarket, past where they put all the reduced bakery items.  There was an older man with a younger girl who looked to be his granddaughter.  He picked up some cakes of some sort off the reduced trolley and she looked up at him and in the most open, honest way that only a child has said "You're the BEST".

And then they were gone, we continued our walk around the store and I said to my son.  "When you have children, can you have ones like that so that I can have grandkids like that."

But as I sit here today, typing this out for you all to read, I am struck by thoughts of how this relates to our relationship with God. How often does He do the simple things, the everyday things and we forget to say THANK YOU!

THANK YOU Father God, Thank You Daddy For it ALL!  I am so blessed! YOU ARE THE BEST!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Growing up - Moving on

When did I get this old?  Huh?  When did I get old enough to have a child leaving home?

Yes, I am now of that age.  Our eldest left last weekend to start a 12 month internship at a church that is about 2 1/2 hours drive away.  Now I know that to my American that isn't a long journey at all, but it's a big deal for us in our little country.

As we were getting ready for him to go, people were asking me how I was, how I was feeling.  I'll be honest.  I was actually looking forward to this!  It was quite simply time!  Time for him to take this step, time for me to therefore get a bit of space back, both physically and mentally.   Do I worry about him?  Worry is the wrong word.  I have concerns about him but I know that he is in God's hands and that he is safe there.  I know that he needed to do this that he needed to step onward into the great future that God has for him.

I've always considered him to be a bit of a shy young man but my husband (who took him down) says that when he was dropping son off he watched as son walked up to the other intern, introduced himself and asked where she was from.  I've never seen him do anything like that before and I truly believe that being away from here, and his history here and any issues with here, in a new place is a good thing.  He can be the person he was always meant to be, not the person that those around him are expecting him to be!  Onward and upward son, but I do miss you!

Be blessed, you are an awesome young man!

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