Saturday, 31 December 2011

my new year's wish for you





Plant the Seed of Peace in Your Heart

Water it With Compassion

and Watch  it

Flower in Joy

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Carrying on from yesterday...

a little sunshine did us good today

So here's the thing.  If I'm to do a daily project, it could fall into a few different categories that would shut it down awfully quickly.   A daily exercise, creative though it may be,  would certainly improve whatever skill I am working on.  Perhaps because that sounds too much like a job, I can see myself abandoning the discipline pretty soon.  So I figure if I'm going to set myself a daily project, it ought to be something I LOVE. Therein lays the purpose.  As someone once said, "doitforlove".

Well, that narrows it down a bit- Not!!  The nemesis of my life is that I love too many things, and am easily distracted by so much beauty and wonder that I can barely focus on the job at hand.   And what could I do that would be different than what I already do:  a dabble here, a dabble there?  The trick would be to incorporate that very part of my nature into this daily project.

All this came to me one week after I had read Cathy Cullis' challenge to do a daily project  (see last post).  I set myself the task of journalling on the subject of what to do but eventually came to an impasse.  I put my pen down and closed my eyes.   I find with closed eyes I can "hear" myself more.  What I heard was  "It has to be one thing that I am alway delighted by.  If I can find that one thing, I can play with it,  try anything I feel like with it as a take-off point."   I opened my eyes and scanned the room and the pretty things I'd collected over the yearsbut nothing caught my imagination.  And then it hit me.

I'd been awaiting the arrival of a rare vintage doll I had bought over a week earlier  from a shop on etsy called Matties Menagerie.   I don't remember what possessed me to go doll shopping.  As I recall,  a certain someone had encouraged me to focus on what I might want for Christmas, and probably one thing led to another as it does on the internet,  let alone etsy.   I  made a point of not looking at the picture of this doll online after it was purchased; I think anticipating its arrival blew its beauty up in my mind.  Once I decided it would,  indeed,  be my muse for my daily project even though I had yet to hold it in my hands,  I  was elated.  But by the next day,   I began to question myself.   Was I being realistic thinking my enthusiasm could sustain itself for a whole year?

Then I realized that through over-analyzing, indeed analyzing at all,  we kill our communion with the muse that existed before it occurred to us to put words and thought to it.   Imagination is a sacred process that must be trusted.  Leave the analysis to others.

And so on Christmas morning,  I  tore open the brown paper wrapping and opened this box...

Each of us has a muse,  something that speaks to us more than anything else.  For some it's music, or writing, or poetry or photography.  For others it's a child,  their beloved,  Mother or Grandpa.  It could be a soft breeze on a summer's day or the scent of lavender or wild roses  or puppies.   I hope this doll,  that is more beautiful to me than I imagined,  will be the vessel that carries me through a year of magic, mysteries unfolded, secrets undisclosed.   I see a great adventure before me....

I wish you a magic carpet ride of your own,
even if it is as simple as curling up in a cozy chair with a good book.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

a winter's night doll

Can you feel it?  Yes there IS  magic in the air on days like this.

Waking up to a morning like this... well, I have no words...

The canoe sits on sawhorses protected by this great fir.

Yes, it is cold; a dampness fills the air...

the garden huddles

the wheelbarrow set aside til spring


and a new doll is born.

Such a shy one she is too,  taking over a month to make her debut.  She is definitely a night doll.
A sensitive girl, a romantic, yet unto herself.  I love it that she is softly stuffed yet can stand on her own. I am more pleased than I was at first, dismayed that she was so wonky.  But it makes sense to me now, as so much does the next morning, ( having finished her last night) .


We are about to enter a new year.  This journey I am on,  exploring a creative world of possibilities that are born out of joy,   that evolve as they would,   not necessarily as I would have them,   has been both exciting and difficult.  As I slowly shed the shackles of obligation,  I have found that, without some kind of container,  my freedom goes splaying all about;  I cannot seem to meet my personal deadlines,  and rules, even my own,  cause me a kind of anxiety.  I find myself often at a loss for a raison d'etre.

Two weeks ago I read Cathy Cullis'  blog on a " daily project".  It caught me by the toe and wouldn't let go.  Within a few days I came up with an idea that excited me because it combined  a myriad of ideas that  I've had over the years into one.  The trick for me was to find something that could hold my attention for a YEAR.  A year can be a long time when one is doing something they dislike or awaiting something they desire.  But that year comes up awfully short and fast when one is putting the building blocks together for a personal dream.  I will reveal more to you tomorrow.

Sweet dreams 'til then.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

December doll evolves

Ah, how this month chugs along like "the little engine that could"; we make our way closer to the top of the mountain: the holidays and the end of the year. There always seems like one more thing to do, but I'm learning as the years move on to require less of myself. No longer the "mighty multi-tasker", I find I am having a more pleasant time this time of year than in years past.

I love the serious snow fall that covers everything in a kind of fairy dust.  The pond is almost covered here yet still not frozen.


Like the cyclamen, I am happy to do my blooming on the inside looking out.


 I have spent a lot of time working on the little doll I showed you in the last post,  more time than is viable for a reasonable price, so I will probably put her in my etsy shop at much lower price than the hours spent on her would suggest.  I just can't help myself; I love working on her so much.
The copper thread for her hair is something I've be saving for a special project for at least a dozen years or more. This taupe ultrasuede seemed to just call out out for it.  And even where the copper wears away, the main gold-coloured thread looks hair-like.  I'm so pleased!

This is such an emotional time of the year for so many.  Yesterday I read a passage from a new book interviewing the Dalai Lama where he reminds us that there is no compassion for others when we seek to satisfy ourselves.  We must shelve self-interest in order to love others better.  It is a hard lesson sometimes, but one worth learning.

I wish you all love in your lives. Sweet, kind, tender love.  Starting with the self, we work our way outwards embracing in our hearts those in our lives who don't know how to give it back, seeking not for ourselves except to give that which is so necessary to truly being alive.  Like forgiveness, it is the gift we give ourselves.


Thursday, 8 December 2011

the making of a doll

Season's Greetings!

An early morning dusting of snow, the third in a series of first snows as the lovely snowfall we had last week was all but gone with rain and milder temperatures.

And even as I write this the sun has been veiled by a serious curtain of snow.

It has been a quiet week thus far as I take a slow learning curve starting a new doll.  Originally it was going to be an elephant and then a bear but has become, of all things...

or rather, is becoming this young lady, taken from an original watercolour of mine.  I'd practically sewn her all up inside out when I realized I wouldn't be able to sew her features without sewing right through to her back... so I open a side seam up so that I would have access.  Even so, I have sewn the eye on the right 3 times and taken out many other stitches that didn't seem quite right.  Ah, the indignity of being constantly redrawn.  But therein lays yet another irony, the indignity of life that may only regain balance with grace, forgiveness and, bless us, a sense of humour!

staying in the moment...

Thursday, 1 December 2011


A happy first day of December.  I woke to our second day of snow, it being our second round as the snow of 2 weeks ago has since melted.  This one may go too if the forecast of rain has anything to do with it.

An early morning shot casts a pink glow over the new snow.

Doesn't the tool shed look  quaint and romantic in this winter wonderland.

I'm pleased to show you this latest effort with photo transfer and embroidery on the chocolately wool felt I made from a jacket that was meant to be used for a teddy bear- still to come...  It's so rare to find such a charming  photo to use,  the baby so intense,  and the little pig, too,  with tail held high.  You can find this piece that I've title  "1+1=love"  in my shop this evening.

The weekend is soon upon us and December will fly by I know.  After my first internet sale last week(thanks to you-know-who-you-are),  I am feeling more optimistic and eager to dive into new ideas. I hope to have something to show you next week.  In the meantime, thank you to Lorraine Young Pottery for coming on board as my latest "follower".

Til next time, I wish you a peace in your heart that spreads out to the whole world.