social spark Aisling Beatha: October 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.

You can find posts with labels not included in that list via the labels list over in the sidebar.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

21 Secrets is Going Strong

I've been having a lot of fun over at the 21Secrets ning site, learning and playing and making art.  These are the pages I have made through the class, so far:

If you are at all interested in Art journaling and haven't signed up for 21 Secrets yet, head over there and sign up now.  You can click on the link in my sidebar and it will take you straight to the site, or sign up via any of the artist's web pages.

There are 21 different classes over there, each with their own individual section of the website for discussion and sharing your work.  21 different teachers, and all for just under $60.  That might seem like a lot, but I worked out that if I paid for a class at the local community college I would pay £100 for just 10 classes with just 1 teacher!  This is actually an incredible deal, and since the whole site will stay up until the end of January you can keep coming back to it and back to it and learning again and again.
There are lessons and advice for absolute beginners and right up to those who have been doing this for a while.  CHECK IT OUT!

Friday, October 22, 2010


I have been struggling with a cold or some other bug that has left me with a nasty taste in my mouth whenever eating for days now.  I was also struggling with a mini creativity block.  So I went to 21Secrets (see link over in the sidebar) and launched into a page based on two of the classes.

One of my favourite classes has been the Typoholic class as my handwriting has never been the nicest to look at.  Then there is the Secret of Beginning class and one of the things we talk about in that class is it's not just about beginning the first time you learn something, it's about all the best artists begin again and again and again and it's always good to go back to the start.

So with the bit of creative block I decided it was time to begin again and just make a page about something as simple as not being able to taste stuff!

I went to a page that I had already painted a background on and grabbed a supermarket freebie magazine.  I cut out pictures of lots of different foods and glued them onto my page.  I hand wrote the blech! at the top of the page and then sponged a couple of colours of paint that I mixed up to be a bit dark and yucky, over the top.  One of the colours I put on using just a simple kitchen sponge that I had cut a chunk off and the other I used a scrunched up paper towel.  Then I wrote in the other text over the top.

So, yes, a lot of the pages I make are deep, and full of meaning to me, but some of them are just fun, playing with colours, techniques or just what is happening that day! 

THANKFULLY it seems that my sense of taste is returning, slowly.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Best of People and the Worst of people

On Sunday night my car was broken into.  They bent the door right back and now it's not safe to drive until we get a new door and is certainly not weather proof or secure!

So this week if I need to go anywhere I either have to get a lift from someone OR I have to use the bus.  I don't mind using the bus, I still have my free pass from when my driving licence was revoked for 6 months due to the sleep apnoea, and as long as my journey doesn't start before 9am I can use that and don't have to pay.

But one of the things about using public transport is that you see the best of people and you see the worst of people.

For instance, this morning in less than 5 minutes I went from hearing a parent yell at their young child to "#*%!#£$%*&! Shut UP" to hearing a conversation between a little boy (probably only 4 or 5) and an older lady.  She was explaining to him that she wanted the driver to hurry up and get back because she needed to get to the train station to catch her train which was leaving in 10 minutes.  I couldn't help smiling as I heard him tell her she didn't need to worry because if she missed her train he would chase after it and make it come back!

The worst of people's behaviour and the best of people's behaviour.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Will You Climb Out on Your Own or Wait for the Wave?

I am having a fantastic time over at the 21 secrets site learning all sort of new techniques and having fun.

What is 21 secrets?
A fantastic set of classes put together by some awesome people in the art journal world. 21 separate classes for just $59. And for any UK art journalers worried about your credit card charging you for paying in dollars (ours does, £2.50 per time), you can pay by paypal and avoid them that way!

You can check out the 21 Secrets site by clicking on the link over in my side bar.

One of the classes I have been really excited about taking was "Layers of Tissue with Hanna Andersson". There is a page that has been forming in my head that I knew I wanted to work in tissue paper but wasn't sure if it would work. It's a vision that God gave to one of our church leaders but I believe it could apply to other people, individuals even, and I think even non believers could get something from this.

There's ship sitting in a valley on a dry river bed, it's a huge ocean going galleon, it's not meant to be sitting on dry land in a valley.  But it's moored in the valley, it's tethered, attached.  It's been stuck there for a while in the wrong place, not doing what it is meant to do.  Some people have got off the ship and begun to try and climb out of the valley in their own strength, trying to claw their way out up the sides.

The thing is, there is a huge tidal wave like wave coming down the valley, ready to sweep that ship further along the valley, and right out to sea, where it gets to be what it was meant to be and do what it was meant to do.  BUT there's a problem, that mooring!  It's moored, it's attached to the valley!  If that wave comes while that boat is STILL moored, it will break it to pieces quite probably.  So how do we get the ship off it's mooring?  What is the mooring?

The mooring is an attachment to the past, to the things that were and have now gone, in a bad way, a hanging on to the PAIN of the things that have gone, clinging to the pain of lost relationships and so on.  If that pain is released, if those situations are let go of, then the ship will be free to go with the flow when that wave comes and end up right out to sea.

So, as I said, I was excited about the "Layers of Tissue with Hanna Andersson" class because I was going to learn some tips about using tissue paper on the page.

I am not someone who can draw very well, so I got a photo of a valley online, printed it out in washout mode, so that it is just barely an image cut it in half and glued that to the page.  Then I worked in tissue paper over the top of the picture, using the image to guide me where to put things.  I've scrunched the paper up slightly as I glued it down using matt medium and in some places I've put 2 or more layers of ripped up pieces.

I didn't have any light blue tissue so decided to paint the sky but figured that taking white tissue and scrunchig it up much more and then using acrylic paint as a kind of glue I would be able to make great clouds and I am really pleased with the way they turned out.

I printed out and cut out the picture of the galleon and glued that onto the page on the dry river bed.

And finally I painted in the wave.  I waited for the sky to dry first and then used tracing paper to mark the shape of the wave on the page.  I filled in the wave with blue and then white acrylic paint and then stippled more white paint around the wave to make spray.

So there you have it . . . .

Are you stuck?  Is there some pain from the past holding you back?  Do you need to let it go?

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Art Journal Pages From trip Away

While I was away in Wales I did manage to do a little bit of art journaling on the go although mainly I stayed in my written journal.  For me, I don't think it will ever be either or, it will most probably be a bit of both with something I do in the one, sparking an idea for something I need to do in the other and vice versa.

I had prepped the background for this before I went and the two stencilled ladies.  I knew the main phrase that I wanted to use for this, but the bible verse on the left, the bird, and all the stamping etc was decided on and done while away.  The only thing I would change about this page is the crayon (gold silver and bronze) lines on the right hand page, they didn't come out quite how I was hoping.

The only part of this page that was prepped before I went was the background, the rest was done on the go, with one little bit being finished off after I returned home.  The only phrase I had when starting this page was the Singing in the Night, the rest of it came as I worked the page.  I love the cosmic shimmer (a UK version of glimmer mist)  over the image of the woman.
Singing in the night,
Dancing in the Dark
Sunbathing in the Rain

It's about turning your face towards heaven and believing that the drops that fall on it are heaven's rain.
It's about standing in the face of circumstances that say otherwise and choosing to believe God's best.

You turned my mourning into dancing.

Stay tuned for more pages!

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