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Friday, January 02, 2015

Word for 2015

Ok, well, it's sure been a while since I dropped by. I'm unsure my reasons, to be honest. I just haven't felt up to much revealing of self, if that makes any sense. I suppose when a lot of things in life are confusing, it's a lot more effort to try and avoid showing that to others, than it is to share it, because you are already in a state of confusion and speaking about it will only add to the problem. Like that's any clearer for you.

I doubt it, but have decided not to waste energy on this whole idea. I am just going to blog about the stuff I am currently involved with and let life and art and the words I do share with you speak for themselves.

This whole word of the year thing was about to totally pass me by this time, but wouldn't you know it, a word reached out and grabbed me just when I wasn't expecting it. I came across BRAVE as a word in the Thrive Community challenges group. It was meant as a prompt to begin some art or writing. I clicked on the link for the definition and found myself just loving the meaning of the word. After that it just wouldn't leave me alone, so I gave in and have embraced BRAVE as my word for 2015.

Artwork to follow in the next day or so.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cooking Up A Little Soul Food

It never ceases to amaze me the generosity of the art journaling community. As I delve further into artistic pursuits, and also journal writing, I meet more and more talented and inspiring artists who participate in online courses teaching artistic techniques. Sure, these courses cost something, but when you work it out, the cost per lesson is really very reasonable. To get things going and build excitement there is usually some kind of promotion and blog hop with many giving away a place in the course on offer.

Currently you can join in such a blog hop with Heather Santos at her blog Sparrow's Journey to be in with a chance to win a place in the Soul Food 2014 classes. Heather is one of the Head Chefs involved. Discover more by following any of those links, or checking out Community Thrive, which is hosting the online course. Many of the artists have shared their giveaways on their blogs and unfortunately many of these have already selected winners, but there are still some open. You could win a place. So, make sure you take a look and be part of it, or simply sign up and be ready for some artistic fun next year.

One blogger still offering a free spot is the Fairy at Prairie Fairy Studios. Sure, you'll have to do a little work, but I think it's worth the effort. I'm to share one of my artistic dreams if I hope to win a place in Soul Food 2014. I suppose my artistic dream is for my art and writing to have a following. Yeah, to make a living out of it would be excellent, but I'd enjoy a following of people who want to know what I'm doing, who check in and see me as an artist. I want to get to know these people and inspire and encourage them to continue in their artistic endeavours. A big dream considering I've only just come into this in the last few years, and haven't made much out of it yet. I've been keeping up with the NaNoJouMo challenge of spending some time in my art journal every day this month, so perhaps there is hope for my dream after all.

Prairie Fairy Studios
I hope you have a chance to give a bit of time to your art journal or simply to write in your journal today. I know how much good it does me, so be sure to discover that for yourself. And good luck if you are trying to win a place like me.

A canvas from the MADE course I won

Click here to visit Planet SARK.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I've Got It MADE

Yeah. I've been quiet again. There are a lot of things happening at home. These are too personal to go into, but I am coping with prayer and because I was blessed to win a place in the Made e-course. I have to say it's been so wonderful to create from a spiritual and Godly perspective. I've been inviting Jesus to help me and the results have been incredibly healing. The pages I've made perhaps reflect this, but I hope you enjoy seeing some of the art I've made so far.

Lesson 3
How I see safety
Beautiful writing with a Sweetling
Lesson 5
Scripture Doodles

The Sweetling was a combination of a bonus lesson from Effy Wild's Book of Days 2014, which I was able to join because of a pay-what-you-can sale, and a blessing received from a good friend. I hope you are inspired to spend some time writing or making colour and images in your journals, too.

Click here to visit Planet SARK.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

MADE and a great giveaway

I suppose I should say it's about time, but it might seem a bit rude. But, finally, a group of Christian creatives have made an art journal eCourse for other Christian creatives. As a born-again believer I sometimes need to steer clear of otherwise well-meaning instructors and classes, simply because their course content does not glorify Jesus or is simply outright against my views. 

That's why I was excited to learn about MADE - for those “who are interested in exploring God-centered creativity within an online community of artsistic believers.” If this sounds like you, why not check it out and join others who want to explore their creativity in a way that reflects their Christian world view.

While I'd love to join in, and the cost is very reasonable, I am in a tough financial position at present and am unable to pay for a place. Perhaps, like me, you'd love to win a spot. The very generous BethMorey is giving away three places in the MADE eCourse. Check out her blog Beauty from Ashes to find out how you could win.

Click here to visit Planet SARK.

Friday, August 02, 2013

The True Secret

Yesterday while visiting the library I came across another book by Natalie Goldberg; The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language. I found her book Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, 2nd Edition an inspiration to get into writing, as a practice.

Now, I don't advocate everything Natalie Goldberg believes, but I'm hoping to gain similar inspiration from reading this book. There really is something in writing regularly, just doing it, that leads to other writing, that leads to learning about yourself and what you want to write. It need never lead to being published or becoming a novelist, but just that regular moment each day that you sit and write can lead to a richer experience in life.

I'm more of a Judy Reeves A Writer's Book of Days: A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life fan. Her style is less spiritual, but the basic idea is the same. Just sit down and write, each day, and reap the rewards of regular writing practice.

Do you have a favourite book on writing, journal writing or creativity that inspires you? Please feel free to share in the comments below and encourage other writers with books you've found helpful.

Click here to visit Planet SARK.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

An August Blogalong - No Excuses

I've been way too quiet with my blogging habits lately. So to remedy that I'm joining in a blogalong with Effie Wild. For the entire month of August I will try to write five entries a week. That works out to be Monday through Friday of each week. I'm taking the weekends off. Hope that's cool with you, too. I'm hoping to spend the month of August helping people get into, or back into, this journal keeping habit.

Journal keeping is a great adventure. If you don't already write a journal today is a great time to begin. People tell me they don't have time to keep a journal or that they end up writing the same things every day. You can spend as long or as short as you like on writing in your journal. Honestly, 20 minutes is about my regular entry time, but you could still write a lot in just ten minutes. In my opinion the benefit in keeping a journal is more about the quality of what you write than how long you spend doing it.

There are plenty of things we all waste time doing. Using the internet is one of them. I'll bet you're just as guilty as me of wasting time doing meaningless stuff. Find 10-15 minutes, open a journal to any page and begin. No excuses.

As to writing the same things each day, I say, well... you don't have to. I tell people there are no rules in keeping a journal. There should only be the rules you feel are necessary. So, make that one rule for yourself, if you need to; I will not write the same things every day. Use journal prompts or purposefully stay away from the mundane grind of daily life. Find ways to begin your entry that are not the same old same old. And, anyway, you don't even have to write. You can collage, paint, draw, or whatever feels like expressing what is going on with you, is perfectly fine.

The internet is groaning with suggested journal prompts and other ways to get started, so you really have no excuse. You can also check out any of my older blog entries for other ideas and clues on how to get started in keeping a journal.

I hope you will join me in this adventure during August and begin or refresh your journal keeping habit once again.

Click here to visit Planet SARK.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Food Journal Story

I've been wanting to share my weight loss story for some time, but felt I needed to wait for the right time. It feels like that time about now.

Near the end of 2009 I was feeling quite unwell in general. My cholesterol was fine, blood sugars not a worry, blood pressure excellent, but I was overweight, obese even. I still managed to do a lot in a regular day, though, and am surprised when I look back now at just how much I did manage, considering I was carrying at least 60 more kilograms than I am now.

The last few days of that year, 2009, had me suffering an horrific bout of vomiting and painful diarrhoea, with an ache in my upper right belly. The illness passed, but I made a decision to lessen the amount of fats and sugars in my diet, reduce my portion size and make sure I was active every day. I decided that I lived at a new address as far as my health was concerned and began to keep a food journal to help document my input.

Me with my youngest brother at the end of 2009

The food journal really helped. I found myself experiencing more bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea, but more often the pain in my upper right tummy. I began to track and work out what foods were making me feel so sick and which caused the pain. I had lost some weight, but had no idea how much I weighed, just that my clothes were getting looser. About March 2010 I tried to donate blood but my iron was extremely low and they refused, later sending me a letter to present to my doctor, etc. At the blood clinic I had weighed in at 127.6kg. 

Beading meet up May 2010

By the time the doctor investigated what was up with me and sent me to have my gallbladder removed, in May 2010, I was down to 97kg. I continued to experience trouble with certain foods, though, so the food diary was still valuable in locating culprits. I found foods high in fats and many dairy products caused painful gas, headaches and often diarrhoea. I didn't enjoy this at all, so began to avoid certain foods and felt much better for my efforts.

Mother's Day 2011

By early 2011 I weighed 67kg, thereabouts and have maintained this loss over the time since, averaging 65kg with a weigh in once a fortnight. I went from size 24-26 to 8-10 and feel so much better I could go on all day. But I feel the pictures tell the story and hope you are inspired to also begin a food journal to help track your weight loss journey.

Me Sunday 21st October