Sunday, 13 December 2015

Reflections, gratitude and a Giveaway!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, welcome back after a bit of a hiatus. If you are a new reader, welcome. Gratitude is the main theme of my blog, I aim to be in a constant state of gratitude, to live each day with an underlying attitude of gratitude, grateful for every day and each experience. In previous blog posts, I have spoken at length about why I do this and my daily practices that help keep me in this mindset.

I always like to take a moment every day and reflect on what is in my present moment that I am grateful for. When life's challenges invariably come up, I always try to balance the negative with acknowledging those people, circumstances and experiences that I have to be grateful for. So, to this end, today marks a day of reflection and immense gratitude, as well as my contribution to paying it forward and expressing my gratitude to others.

Today I reflect on all of the experiences I have had over the past 12 months and longer, all the new people I have met and all of the interactions with my friends and family.

This year held so much with the most significant, a month long adventure with my beloved, to the UK and France, experiencing different cultures, visiting beautiful castles and chateaux, learning so much about their history and way of life. We basked in the warmth of the British and French people, always welcoming, only to happy to show us another part of their beautiful countries. We lived in a 6th floor Paris apartment, imbibed with the locals in Paris at sidewalk cafes and ate pizza while sipping on wine by the banks of the river Seine, wandered through the Louvre, took in a sunset over Paris from halfway up the Eiffel tower and generally soaked up the Parisian culture. We drove from the bottom tip of England to the north of Scotland, immersed ourselves in the history of Kings and Queens, took in the spectacular scenery of the Scottish highlands, visited all the stone Circles I could and followed the Outlander trail.

Art wise, this year was so very fulfilling, my continuing art journal classes with a fantastic group of ladies, my foray into the world of You Tubing, and a continuing daily practice of Lunchtime Art Time. Acceptance in my local councils, Emerging Artists exhibition was a highlight and just last month, being accepted to hold month long exhibition in the Council Chambers at the end of next year means a busy but exciting 2016.

Last night I celebrated with my family and closest friends, sharing stories, laughing over old photos, and reflecting on our time together. All in all I consider myself blessed, lucky to live in such a beautiful country, surrounded by people that have and still enrich my life in so many ways. I am lucky to have made connections with people all over this vast planet and, while some I may never meet face to face, still share a bond and friendships that I cherish.

Today I turn 50 and what better way is there to celebrate than to give presents.

So to that end I am having giveaway today as a thank you to everyone who has taken time to sit and read my ramblings, as a way to spread the love and share positive energy, as a prompt for everyone to sit and reflect on what is important.

All you have to do is tell me what you are grateful for today. Leave a comment and in a few days I will draw a winner and send them something arty

****Thanks to everyone who entered, the giveaway is now closed but if you would still like to tell me your grateful thoughts please feel free to comment.***

thank you for your presence



Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Nurturing a daily creative practice

It's been a while my friends, too long really, but while life feels like it is passing by sometimes, it is good to just stop and take a breath and be present.

While I may not have been posting on my blog, I have been arting, teaching my monthly art journal classes, travelling to teach at an annual weekend art convention, and exhibiting and selling my work at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. I have also signed up for Book Of Days, Lifebook and the 30 Day Journal Project this year. Add to that a major house renovation, that I was project manager for and you have a busy year. Thankfully, the renovations are finished (and look fabulous) so it is time to get back to 'normal', whatever normal is.

It is so easy to get bogged down in daily running around, feeding the family, working a day job, getting caught up in the day to day running of a household that, sadly our creative practice is sometimes last on our list.

Personally, I sometimes struggle with spending time in my studio playing with no end in mind, no "product" to produce, just arting for me, without feeling guilty, selfish even. But you know what I remind myself every time I get in this mindset, is that without this art practice I am not nurturing myself, not honouring myself.

It is essential that we find "me" time every day, whether that be 15 minutes of creative expression, 15 minutes of quiet time with a cuppa and a good book, or whether that be 15 minutes walking out in nature.

Late last year I was hearing from a lot of people, myself included, that there is not enough time in the day to art so to that end I decided to find a way of making my creative practice a part of every day. A challenge, if you will, to make art part of my everyday, even if I have just 15 minutes. It is not to 'produce' anything, it is just to exercise my right brain, to keep the creative juices flowing, to banish the excuses that there is no time for art.

To this end I have been adopting a daily art practice, which I coined, Lunchtime Art Time.It started with a daily challenge between a friend and I. Each day we would take it in turns to post a prompt and by the end of the day we had to express that prompt on a page in any way we chose. For me I decided to challenge myself to make my creative practice portable and so packed up a little art box and started taking it to work.

Each lunch time I sit down with my travel art box and my handmade journal and loose myself in my art for half an hour. Most times, I end up with 15-20 minutes, most pages are very simple but they take me out of the daily grind and bring me peace, ground me and centre my mind into the present.

So, what do you think. What are your favourite supplies to go in your travel art kit? I would love to hear the essentials that you cannot live without and what you take when you travel.

  I would love for you to join me and make art a part of your daily life, so connect with me on Instagram and lets make some art. Click on the icon below to go to my Instagram page.
Follow me on Instagram

Until next time


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