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Week Four #2016PCChallenge

I’ve made it to week four! I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of polyclay playing this year so it gets to the end of the week and I have to sit back and think ok, what did I remember to take photos of? Which project shall I post about?

 

This week I decided to go with the dragon scales work I’ve been doing. This is based on Deb Hart’s Dragonscale Gems tutorial that can be found at Craft Art Edu. I didn’t use her exact colours but it still turned out pretty kewl. The first thing I tried out was a bracelet. I haven’t managed to find a form the size I like to wrap my scrap clay around yet so this one is quite a big bracelet. Having said that I actually like how big and chunky it is. If ever I lose weight I figure I’ll just push it up to the top of my arm instead!!

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So after I baked the scrap clay form I went to work on making the clay, then I filled the outside of the scrap clay form with the cane slices. I baked that and so far that’s as far as I’ve gotten with this particular piece. I still need to sand and polish it and put some black clay around the inside to neaten it up a bit. Once that is done I think it will look quite awesome!

I still had plenty of the clay cane left over so I decided to shrink it down, found one of my bezels and filled it with a bunch of slices. I didn’t mind how the bracelet looked all flat, but this time I wanted it to be more 3D and I have to admit I much prefer it this way! I may need to make a smaller bracelet or cuff with 3D scales rather than smooth flat scales.

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I really loved how this one turned out. So I then decided I’d make a dragon egg. In case you don’t know it, I LOVE dragons. I have loved dragons since I was very, very young. So this cane was right up my alley! Then upon re-discovering polyclay in my 30’s I have spent time trying to make dragons and all sorts of other things. No matter how far away from dragon’s I travel in my exploration of the clay, I always seem to come back to them. I’ve always wanted to explore doing dragon eggs, so I thought now was the time…

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That is what I came up with. I’m not sure if I’m completely finished with it yet. It keeps calling for me to put some sworovski flatbacks on it, so I may just have to do that before I call it done. I’m not sure what kind of dragon would hatch from this kind of egg but I’d sure like to see it one day! I still have left over cane, perhaps that’s what I need to do with it?!

This cane definitely excited me with all the amazing possibilities. This is only my first ever attempt at the cane, just wait until I start trying different colour combinations!! Remember to come back next week to see what polyclay creation I’ve come up with!

Week 3 in the #2016PCChallenge

I actually finished this week pretty early so I’ve done a bunch more than just this weeks project which is awesome because I am starting the markets this week and I want to have a heap of stock to sell. This weeks project was done specifically to sell at the market. I also managed to finally complete a few things I had begun last year which is nice too.

So this week I found a tutorial via a blog I follow on blogspot… I’m sorry I don’t remember which one it was now or have a link to it. They didn’t make hair pins but I saw the design and thought it would be well suited to hair pins:

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This picture was taken after they had come out of the oven and cooled down, ready for a few extra embellishments.

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This one is the final product. I put some sculpey gloss glaze over all of them and added some swarovski gems in random spaces in some of them:

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Others I left plain:

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Then there was a couple of pairs where I added extra petals inside before the baking process:

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Hopefully they sell! And hopefully they stay together and don’t fall apart!!

Week 2 #PCChallenge2016

Well I’m a day late for this post seeing as it’s the 15th January 2016 now but better late than never!

This weeks polymer clay piece is inspired by Faerie Magazine‘s dragons and mermaid gallery. They have some really amazing stuff for anyone who is a true Dragon Lover, which I am! I’ve always been interested in dragons and inspired by them since I can remember. So it was only natural when I re-discovered polyclay a couple years ago now that I would venture in to dragon making. I have done some dragons… ok, a lot of dragons, in that time but making miniatures doesn’t sing to me.

So when I saw dragon eggs I thought oh man, that would be awesome! I just never got around to making any … yet. Then I saw some pendants and because it was small and simple I thought why not? So I got one of my bezels and plopped some black clay in it, textured it, added a tiny rose quartz cabachon and some glow-in-the-dark polyclay and… voila!

 

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My very first dragon shell pendant.

OK, so I’m not so happy with it, but that’s ok, we all have to begin somewhere right? Firstly I really need to make sure I’m working on an extremely clean surface with extremely clean hands. I have to say, the clean hand thing is no easy thing! I feel like I can wash and wipe my hands 100 times but as soon as I touch white clay or the glow-in-the-dark clay it manages to pull more of the darker clay from the dips in my fingerprints or something. It’s quite frustrating!!

So I’m really unhappy with how dirty the glow-in-the-dark clay is. I’m also disappointed with how much the rose quartz faded in the heat. You can’t even see the rose in it anymore. Then the very middle spike I can see the very end of my armature which is most frustrating because I didn’t see that before I baked it and I don’t think there’s anything I can do about that now! So I guess I just strike this one down to a first attempt and do better next time.

It was fun though and I can see myself quite likely making more of these cute little necklaces in the future. Not bad for my 2nd completed project for the year so far!!

Week One #2016PCChallenge

Can you believe the first week of 2016 is already done and dusted?!

I can actually. I’ve done a lot and feel pretty accomplished and on task. One of my tasks this year that I have set myself is to do one polymer clay piece a week so that by the end of 2016 I’ll have done at least 52 COMPLETED polymer clay pieces. The completed part is important for me because I am amazing at beginning projects… the completion though is something I need more practice with. After this week though I do wonder where people find the time to do everything in their lives. It’s not like I have a full-time muggle job to get to 5 days a week or anything. I would end up with no time for anything at all if I did!

It is my intention to blog about each polymer clay piece I do each week so that’s what this blog is meant to be about. Win/win being I not only do a polymer clay piece each week, I also blog each week! Better than last years effort by far if I can pull this off 😀

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So here goes! I started off being inspired by Claire Wallis’ tutorial for Faux Knit weave in polymer. I did manage to do a couple (see above photo) but I wasn’t really happy with them. From that I kind of moved on to weaving…

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It wasn’t my intention but that is where I landed. I used my Makins’ extruder for the logs simply because I am lazy and I do like the ease of uniformity. Once I’d done the weave I squished it together a bit and used a brayer to roll over the top to squash it down some.

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Once I was happy with that… ok, not happy but couldn’t be bothered being a perfectionist 😛 I ignored the gaping holes and instead decided to put a sheet of glow-in-the-dark polymer clay underneath it, cut it in to a heart… because hearts… and of course border it with some more glow-in-the-dark polymer clay.

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Once that was done I put a couple of small holes in the top left and right corners of the heart, twisted and mashed up the rest of the clay and rolled it in to a not-so-uniform log.

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As you can see I kind of flip-flop between wanting perfection but being too lazy to actually strive for it in reality. I figure if I don’t do my absolute best, when it doesn’t turn out as awesome in reality as I think it is in my head… well I have my lack of precision to blame and can always convince myself that if I just tried harder and took more time with it, imagine how much better it would have been. Or is that just a cop-out?

So after I rolled it in to a log, deciding just how many beads I wanted… I went with 7 on each side because as much as I love even numbers odd numbers tend to look more pleasing to the eye *sigh* I then cut the log in to 1cm sections once I made sure the log reached 14cms, thus ensuring I would have 7 beads for each side of the necklace.

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At this point I wasn’t actually sure how I was going to turn it in to a necklace. The holes I put in the heart were too small for suede or hemp, which meant my only real option was wire. I could have then made the holes big enough in the beads to thread them on to some black suede but because I do love wire working a lot I figured why not make the whole thing wire, so I did the beads up in my little contraption here…

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As they were baking in the oven the gears were still churning around in my head and I finally decided how I would piece it all together. So once it was all nice and cool I began…

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I got out some seed beads, got out some 20 gauge bronze wire and began to put together a pattern. I’m not sure why but I thought it might not end up as long as I would like. So in addition to the bead links I did a couple rose and bead links. In the end I left out two of those links because I realised it was actually getting quite long! To finish it off I attached one of my magnetic rhinestone clasps.

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And this is it! My first completely finished polymer clay and wire wrapped piece for 2016! I haven’t seen what it looks like when it’s all glow-in-the-darky yet but I imagine it’ll look pretty awesome with some glowy bits peaking through from the back of the heart and the bits and blobs of it mixed around in the matching beads.

I’ve realised this is going to be quite the challenge after all this year. To complete a piece every week. It sounds easy… 52 projects a year… but in reality, I guess we’ll see. I haven’t even started my Uni course yet and I still want to find a couple more regular face painting gigs! Let alone the more time I want to spend out in nature like today with the kids at the Ennogera Reservoir. It was really beautiful there and while I may or may not have gotten a bit burnt, I can see us spending more time there this year having picnics and swimming and walking the tracks.

So fingers crossed I can succeed in getting through this #2016PCChallenge as well as all the other stuff!

I’m always happy to read your thoughts on my posts so don’t be shy, leave a comment if you dare.

Either way have a beautiful day, In Joy!

 

Day 2 already?!

Yeap, it’s the 2nd day of the year here in Australia already… actually the 2nd day is almost over! I only have 5 more days to start and complete my very first polymer clay piece for my yearly challenge!! And I’m not even sure what I’m going to do yet. I may need to begin working on that tomorrow.

Today I spent time working on planning my 2016 with Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead. If you want some help with releasing last year and moving in to this year with some clarity and purpose head on over to her page and download the free pdf! It’s well worth it in my opinion. It felt really good to sit here most of the day answering the questions, picking tarot cards, and sorting out my desires for the year. No resolutions for me, no goals for me. Just desires for things I’d love to see happen. The pdf gives you this fluidity and ability to go with the flow which I love. Just as life has this inevitable way of changing, so do your intentions and desires. This way, I won’t feel bad for not accomplishing my goals or resolutions. It feels better this way!

I also started my Birthing Ourselves Into Being course for the year. I’m really excited about this one too as it speaks to me on a deeply spiritual level. The first chapter that we work on this month is all about our birth story. Writing it, owning it, seeing how it shaped us, then rewriting it in a way you wish it had been and transcending what is to what can be. You can find out more here.

Funnily enough with all my planning and ideas, I didn’t end up putting in there that I’d like to blog more regularly, which is something I’d really love to do. I want to blog at least once a week about the polyclay project I’ve completed. I’d love to blog once a month about BOiB. Perhaps also blog about the jewellery making and then of course is my Uni course! Yeap, I’m going to Uni this year! 40 years old and I’m finally going to University. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m the first one along my particular genetic branch to go to Uni! Go me! I’ll be studying Art therapy which I’m hoping to bring to those who need it online as well as in person. We’ll see how we go. Those are plans for another year 🙂

As the clock ticks inevitably toward midnight and toward the 3rd day of January 2016 I really must get myself to bed. I have 2 face painting gigs tomorrow. My regular tavern gig for the lunchtime rush between 12 and 2, then I’m going to help a bunch of other painters paint up the fans of Brisbane Heat tomorrow at the Gabba. Being an Aussie you would think I’d be all in to sport and stuff.. but I’m not. Apparently Brisbane Heat is a cricket team. Their colours are teal and white. They logo a flame. So I’ll be painting a lot of teal flames tomorrow night!

If you are one of the few people to have read my blog, thank you 🙂 Hopefully I will bring you interesting content throughout the year. If not, at least this will be a space for me to share my authentic self. Much love.

The Cacao Dieta Begins

I wasn’t actually going to post today. I haven’t had my radical rest even though it’s 9.45pm already! What?! 9.45pm?!! I didn’t think it was that late. I was going to lay down and watch some TV before bed, but now I’m thinking I might be better off just going straight to sleep.

While I haven’t really done all that much today I still feel like it has been a big day. I had a lot of dreams last night, however I didn’t write any down so I don’t really remember any. If there were any messages in them, I totally missed them. This morning I spent a lot of time cutting my cacao…

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Yes, that is a Thomas the Tank Engine placemat 😛 While Mr Bee, now Master of the 4’s and heading into 5, still loves Thomas and his friends, he isn’t quite obsessed with them anymore. Not that he’s here to witness me using his placemat! I have managed to cut enough cacao that I have enough for another ceremonial dose tomorrow without having to sit there and chop, chop, chop it. It can get quite tedious to do, because the finer you chop it the smoother it is when you make the elixir. However, it is also quite meditative. I was listening to some very beautiful piano music by Michael Golzmane and I was doing my best to keep my thoughts positive. Not always an easy thing to do and I had to redirect my thoughts quite a few times. It’s nice knowing I don’t have to do any chopping next time if I don’t want to. I might do it anyway and chop down the last of the block I’m currently working with.

I complained a little in the chocolate ceremony group yesterday about the vile taste of cacao, which I am experiencing right now as I write this and try to eat a bliss ball before bed. The bliss balls are deceptive because they look so good and when you very first bite in to them they are coated in coconut so your taste buds get excited… unfortunately that excitement doesn’t last. The wise women in my group, the elders of the tribe, had some useful information and some wonderful insight which has also lead me on a slightly new course.

One suggestion was to use some tea as a base, peppermint was one of the suggestions and one of the teas I happen to have sitting in my pantry. So I used the peppermint tea as a base today and I have to admit it was much easier to consume this concoction…

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See how luscious it looks, how tempting. It whispers my name with sweet promises only to bite me on the arse with bitter realisations. However, cacao (pronounced ka-kow in case you were wondering, not ka-kay-oh) IS a plant medicine and not all plant medicines taste good, depending on what medicine they will be bringing. I guess I feel a little ripped-off is all because it looks so sweet, so delicious and disappoints me every time. Like I said, however, the peppermint base helped a little today. Now that I know I can have the full ceremonial dose without any nasty side-effects I’m quite happy to just scull the whole lot down, which I did. It took me three takes before I got it all down then I put a bit more of the peppermint tea in the glass and swished it around and drank that for good measure.

Something else the lovely wise women in the group helped me come to on my own, was that the intention I need to set forth with when I work with cacao deva, is to help me release my addiction to sugar! The very fact that it is the sweet call of sugar I need to release from my body and my mind could be the very reason I am finding cacao so difficult to consume, so difficult to swallow. Like a bitter pill designed to rid me of a toxic drug.

I feel better, having this intention. I felt very unanchored today as there was no real intention for me. I went in with the intention of gaining any healing I may need and integrating any insights that might arrive. With that I didn’t meditate or do a healing, instead I drew my first mandala in awhile. I enjoyed it immensely, however felt like I didn’t get as much use out of the cacao medicine as I could have. Now though, now, I have a deep, connected and vital intention of healing that feels so right. I can now go in to my daily cacao work with the intent of shifting my addiction to sugar out of my body, loosen the hold it has on my mind, come to realise that I do not need sugar. I can survive without it. Not just survive, but thrive!! I know without a doubt this is something I desperately need to happen. Sugar is like a vice around my pituitary gland demanding I put more and more of it in to my body. This needs to stop.

So while day one of my dieta has felt like I didn’t accomplish anything, I have come to the end of my day and realised it has actually accomplished a lot. I now have 4 -5 more days of really focusing on releasing the hold sugar has over me. I now have 4-5 days to truly heal the emotional ties that have me imprisoned and thinking the only freedom I can ever feel is when I consume, consume, consume. Not just sugar, but dense, heavy carbs and nasty fats, not the good fats. Not just food either, but stuff. Stuff that I don’t necessarily need but I can’t seem to help but purchase. Four or five days left to sink in and allow Ixcacao to do her work on me, however that work shows up. Even if I do nothing but 4 or 5 more mandalas, I will accept that it what I need right now. I am hoping for more. I am hoping for a shift. I am hoping for a change. I am hoping I will come out the other side stronger. Strong enough to rip the chains, to cut the cords, to no longer succumb to the foods I know are not feeding me properly. Strong enough to eat the foods I enjoy eating and that my body enjoys me eating and that my soul enjoys me eating.

Tomorrow is going to be a late day of ceremony as I get to find out what my MRI has said about my knee. No doubt it is telling me I need to lose weight. That is ok. I have begun.

The Cacao Journey – Part One

I’ve been on this journey, taking timid steps, for a couple months now so I am still really learning what it’s all about and how it fits in my life and exactly where I want to take this journey to. During the process I have mentioned it a time or two on facebook and have had a number of people ask me about it. The stars have aligned and circumstances have occurred that are allowing me the time and space I need to really delve in to this sacred cacao stuff for a few days and I am going to share my experiences with you, Constant Reader.

So firstly I think it best if I try and explain what exactly cacao is, and perhaps what it isn’t. For starters, it’s isn’t modern day chocolate as you know it, with the additives and the sweetness. That kind of chocolate comes from Theobroma cacao, however the difference between commercial chocolate and ceremonial (super-healthy!) cacao is like the difference between chalk and cheese. Theobroma is a greek word and is translated literally to mean “god food”. The genus Theobroma has been traced back MILLIONS of years to the east of the Andes in South America. The first recorded use of cacao was dated back to around 2000BC.

The Aztecs called the cacao bean Cacahuatl. Their sacred cacao drink was called Xocoatl which is where the word chocolate was actually derived from. Cacao trees only grow within a 20 degree direction either side of the equator and are a tropical evergreen species. Possibly one of the few things on the planet that don’t need bees to pollinate it, relying instead on tiny flies! They produce flowers, beans, seeds and nibs. It’s the beans that are harvested to produce chocolate.

The cacao bean is a revered and magical gift believed to be granted to mortals by the gods. Cacao was a sacred elixir, a ritual aid, powerful medicine, a source of economical exchange and an indicator of spiritual standing. The Aztecs and Mayans believe cacao was discovered by the gods in the Mountain of Sustenance (which some mythologies indicate is likely near the Andes), along with many other nourishing life-giving foods. Quite possibly of the sort we now call “super foods”. Interestingly, considering the society stigma between women and chocolate in the modern world, it was said the sacred knowledge of how to prepare, roast and press the cacao beans in to the sacred chocolate elixir (which was believed to have gifted wisdom) was very specifically given to women as divine instruction.

An early, traditional recipe of the cacao elixir, Xocoatl, was for it to be mixed with roasted corn flower, chilies, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and pepper. This made it a bitter, savoury and very spicy drink, not at all like the sweet and creamy hot chocolate we consume today. It’s most common use was for medicinal, ritual, shamanic use and as a spiritual aid, mystical practice and religious sacrament. There are those who believe a powerful blend of cacao and psychedelic tryptamines were ingested with great appeal and reverence specifically for significant spiritual rituals and celebrations.

Cacao was deeply revered as a sacred plant medicine and healer. It’s healing and medicinal properties include, but is not limited to, aphrodisiac properties, longevity benefits, assists with an array of internal bodily pain, external wounds and burns, various disease, lung and abdominal issues. It was also given to warriors to help with courage and sustenance. Spanish priest, Bernardino de Sahagun in 1590AD, over a 60 year period, put together a codex listing around 300 medicinal uses for cacao. It wasn’t until the 1800’s that the processing and production of chocolate began to change, no doubt at the hands of a man! (Don’t get me wrong, I am not a man-hater, I love men, however I do think the masculine energy has destroyed a lot of what was once held sacred)

Cacao in it’s rawest form is an ancient super-food. The super-food of super-foods! It is completely riddled with essential minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. It is also known to be packed with naturally-occuring, consciousness altering, significant components like endorphins, magnesium, histamine, serotonin, dopamine, tryptophan and more. Most people will have at least heard of a number of these but the most significant (for me) is probably the magnesium. I’ve been doing some research on magnesium over the years and discovered that a large chunk of the population is severely deficient in magnesium. It does so much for our bodies yet things like stress deplete it far quicker than what most of us are consuming to replace it. It is essential for memory, concentration and has a capacity to help relax the muscles and regular progesterone, the hormone responsible for mood-swings. It’s highly likely cacao’s super-high content of magnesium is a big reason for a woman’s body to intuitively crave chocolate around menstruation. In my personal experience I have noticed less migraines since I have begun to regularly experiment with ceremonial cacao.

There is so much amazing information about this god-food that I could likely write a years worth of blog posts about it. But I’m not a scientist and I’m not really interested in delving that deep in to the scientific nature or even the mythological nature of cacao – though I am very interested in mythology, so perhaps one day I will explore that aspect some more. For now though, for today, this moment, this coming week, I will be writing about going on a cacao dieta.

So now we know what cacao is, let me tell you what a cacao dieta is about.

Basically, I have been ‘tinkering’ with cacao. Getting my toes wet, seeing how it feels, experimenting, playing. A dieta is about deepening the relationship. You could think of it as immersion work or a cacao retreat. I will be ingesting cacao every single day for the next 5-6 days and devoting time to myself and my experiences and journey with ceremony and self-connection. I will be using it to help me heal some past wounds that desperately need healing so I can let them go and move forward without the baggage weighting me down. In a way I will be using it, also, as a regenerative.

During this week I will be detoxing. I will be getting synthetic sugar out of my system. I will be getting gluten out of my system. I will be filling myself with as many fresh and healthy nutrients and vitamins as possible. I will be paying particular attention to how my energy levels have been recently and how they are when I get to the end of the week and I am going to really focus on how much better I feel every time I go to reach for a coke at the supermarket, or go to buy a packet of biscuits or cake or get fish and chips for dinner cause I’m too tired to make something better. I will remember how much better I feel when I reach for the mash potato or the white bread or the pasta. I am using this week to kick-start a new lifestyle for myself. I’ve even got a friends xtrainer I will be borrowing!

A traditional plant medicine dieta is considered a form of apprenticeship and intensive training. Essentially it’s a commitment to a period of time where the primary focus is on deepening, exploring and learning from various plant medicines through personal retreat and extended ceremonial depth work. This intense form of work is best done with the use of other healing modalities, so I will be laying on my crystal bed a lot, surrounded but supportive crystals and giving myself reiki treatments. I have organised for myself at least 4 days of retreat conditions where I can withdraw or semi-withdraw from my normal everyday life. By allowing myself this container I am hoping to engage in transformational work and conscious integration and I am inviting you to witness this journey through my blog posts.

I hope this has been at least a start for you to understand what this cacao thing I keep going on about is all about 🙂 I’m really looking forward to going inward and giving myself some time and space to shift some old, dug in conditioning and festering wounds. I’m ready to become all I can be. I’m ready to be healthy and in love with myself. I am ready to stop being so affected by other people and their criticism. I’m ready to surrender all that I am to all that is. I am ready to be that which I am.

My future blog posts probably won’t be as structured or knowledge based as this. Mostly it will be a story-telling of my journey, what I did, what insights arose, what healing took place, etc. Just for this post I wanted to help people really understand what sacred ceremonial cacao is and what it is used for. If you have any questions you’d like me to answer about it please feel free to leave a comment and I will answer them in following blog posts if I can.

In Joy! I love you. You are welcome here in your true form of authentic self-expression. You are beautiful.

Capricorns Rule!!

I know SO MANY Capricorns. It’s just birthday after birthday after birthday of some really beautiful, amazing, wonderful people! I love Capricorns! I don’t think I’ve ever met one that I don’t like. My best-friend in the entire universe is a Capricorn and my sister and I am so grateful. Her existence blesses my life and I am glad she’s reached her ripe old age and look forward to twice as many more of those years with her in my life. So, today is her birthday. I didn’t get to spend that much time with her, she’s having a fancy dinner and I’m not into that sort of thing at this stage of my life, her hubby had organised her some super special lunch so I didn’t want to intrude on that, my son had a dentist appointment this afternoon, so we went for a quick drive down the coast to see her this morning.

She wanted to go to this…. fun-house, called Infinity. I’d never heard of it before even though it’s apparently been around for years. But she asked me to go with her so I decided I’d buy her tickets and off we went and holy balls I’m so glad!!! It was SO MUCH fun. I would have had more fun and spent more time in each room if I didn’t have my Mr Bee with me. They do sell tickets to kids as low as 3 but they recommend the place for children only 8 and above. I wasn’t sure how he would go in there. He went fairly well though for most of it. It wasn’t until we got into the dance room with the flashing lights that he began to get over it, so I missed out enjoying a few really awesome rooms that I would have loved to have spent more time in because I had to rush him through it. I think it was just a little too much for his brain to assimilate at one time and he was feeling a little over-whelmed and out-of-body.

I had a lot of fun with my daughter in one room, she was the first one to walk in but before she even took one step in to it she froze. It made it look like you were going to just walk right out in to space and she was terrified and being the awesome mother I am I laughed at her and pushed her in. I loved it, I think it was actually my favourite room in there. She clinged to me like crazy and really didn’t want to move… now that I think about it, it was just after that when Mr Bee wanted out, so I ponder if her fear set him on edge and he took some of it on because at one point she was clinging to him. I was a little nasty at one point and pretended I had stepped too far and began to fall teehee. I’m so mean 🙂 But she took it good-naturedly, I don’t think there will be any lasting negative affects muahahahahahaha!

Anyway I highly recommend it for any Aussies reading this. If you go to the Gold Coast go check out Infinity:

http://www.infinitygc.com.au/

To finish off today’s post here is a very fitting and perfectly descriptive photo of my family (without the husbands)

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In Joy!!

Copic Colouring!

Well, so much for posting a blog post every day for January! But I won’t beat myself up about that. I’ve been pretty busy the past few days and by the time I remember I’m way too tired and need to get some sleep. So today I thought I would share one of the projects I’ve been working on. I blame Amy Grigg 😉 See, she got some new copics for xmas and if you know me, you know I’m a little in love with copics! Well… she is just the same and rightly so! Her artwork blows my mind!

I met Amy via face painting, my weekend day-job. Her face and body art has always inspired me. I love her style, her use of colour and the fact she also loves to use black in a way I enjoy using black. So her art, whether on skin or other type of canvas, has always inspired me and appealed to me. So of course once she started using copics and found out what I’ve known for a year now, that copics are AMAZING, she was going to start producing MORE inspiring and appealing art for me to drool over! In fact, why don’t you go check out her newly created art page on facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-Grigg-Fine-Art/765206946897790?fref=ts

I’ve been watching her so far this year and thinking I need to get back to my copics, as I’ve been completely obsessed with polyclay – which I am loving!! But nothing, I mean nothing, compares to copics for me. There is just something about them that I love, I really gel with them, they talk to me, they tell me what colours to use and how and I just follow their story. Someone commented on some of Amy’s stuff that she should create an adult colour-in book so I’m actually thinking that is something I would love to do. What do you think? Are there many adults out there who would enjoy having a colour-in book for them? How much would you expect to pay for such a book?

So I lived on Pinterest for awhile and looked through all my pins that I have saved for inspiration and found a few things I wanted to draw myself and finally did it! Yay! I can’t tell you how glad I am to have finally used some of the inspiration I’ve pinned instead of just having it sit there for no reason. So some of the illustrations I’ve done in a look at producing a colour-in book for the older kid, have been inspired by images I’ve found on Pinterest. At the end of the day though I did them by hand, I did not trace them or copy them exactly, they are my own art, just inspired by those who came before me, and isn’t that life? Are we not always inspired by those who come before us?

So this is the first image of my book without any colour:

Part One

I added those little lines to the middle of her neck. It was an experiment that I wasn’t sure would work out. I also wanted to add a line to where her collarbone is to give it a bit more definition. The image this was inspired by was also not a sugar skull and because I love sugar skulls and appreciate the ritual of the Day of the Dead I decided I would incorporate that in to the piece. After I scanned the image, in case I do want to use it as part of the book, I started adding some colour!!

Part Two

Well I’m happy with how the middle of the neck turned out. It really works for me. Do you think so? Or does it make her look too masculine? I just adore how easy it is to shade out a face with copic. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do my normal crisp line shading which I love, or to blend it, but as you see I went with blending. It took me about an hour and a half all told to end up with this:

Part Three

I just love her! I love how she turned out! I was really enjoying watching my own personal style coming through as I was doing it. Sometimes I worry that when I look at others art, or am inspired by others art, that I will mimic them, but I don’t think I have done that. I have a certain way I like to illustrate and that is definitely visible in all my copic work. When it comes to other mediums there’s not necessarily always a telling style-factor that makes someone know it was mine, but I like to hope that when I do use copics there is something very distinctly mine about them. Do you see it? When you look at my copic work is there something very definitely Samm the Creative Alchemist about it? I’d love to know what you think? Do you love this finished piece as much as I do? Would you enjoy having a colouring book with her in it so you could colour her yourself in whatever manner you wish, with whatever colour combination and whatever medium you want? I’m really digging this idea! (thank you Carleen!!! <3 )

I’d love to hear from you guys if you have the time. Much love and blessings. In Joy!

Random rabbling

How can we be a whole week in to January already? That is just crazy talk! Yet here I sit at my laptop looking at the date and it is telling me it is January 7th already! What have I accomplished so far this year? Not a hell of a lot! What about you? Have you made any progress toward any goals you’ve made this year yet?

In fact, as I sit here and ponder the nature of the universe (not) I discover not only am I not moving forward but I seem to be moving backward. Some days I can fool myself in to believing I’m ok, then inevitably some kind of proverbial shit will hit the fan and crash bang boom I realise I’m not so ok. Then I feel bad about not being ok.

Do you ever get sick of yourself? Just over it all and wanna slap yourself upside the head cause you know what you need to do to make yourself better but you find yourself not doing that, or even worse, doing the complete opposite? That is me. I am so over myself! I want to kick my arse out of bed at 6am and start walking again in the mornings because I KNOW I feel better when I do that. I want to kick myself up the butt and drink a cup of water every hour again cause I KNOW I feel better when I do that! I want to kick myself up the butt and do some extra exercise cause I KNOW it helps create endorphins and endorphins make you happy happy joy joy! I want to kick myself up the hiney and get the house cleaned and organised and the shed, cause I KNOW I feel better when my house is neat and tidy and I throw away the clutter I no longer need. I want to slap myself upside the head for not doing any of this stuff even when I KNOW I feel better when I do.

Why must I feel so damn tired all the time? I’m so tired of feeling tired 🙁 I started Isagenix because I heard left and right about how people had so much more energy being on it and that excited me. Having energy excites me. If I had energy I could do more! I could be more! I could wander through life without feeling so heavy all the time and feeling like everything is such a struggle. Well, I’ve been using it for almost 2 months now and you guessed it, still no energy. I have spurts when I’m doing well and getting stuff done and I love that, but then I fall in to these days, weeks, forever, where I can barely lift a finger to type or do art. It is driving me bat-shit crazy but you know what is worse?! I know that if I walk, exercise, drink more water, eat lots of salad and stick to Isagenix properly and get heaps of sleep… I will be better. So why, why don’t I?

I’m sure my husband has that question run through his mind often. I’m sure a number of people who witness my journey think this thought. *I* think this thought. I have no answer. Neither does the one person in the entire world who gets it. Neither her nor I have no idea why I don’t do what I know I need to do. Well, at the end of the day, at least I have one person who really gets it, without me having to try and explain it… cause really, how do you explain it well enough to someone who hasn’t experienced it themselves, in a way that they would understand?