Saturday, 25 December 2010

Weekly Photo Roundup…

….I decided to make my photos part of a regular schedule of postings next year, so here is the first one:

In front of our cottage, we have a fire pit.  In summer, fires cause havoc and much environmental damage in Portugal, so it is vital for any fires that one lights, to be safely contained.

This picture shows the fire pit in use, as it was intended:


This one, taken just a few days later, shows the effect of torrential rain on our pit.  At least someone appreciated it!:


Last night, the pit was still too wet to use, so S. used our brazier instead.  I love the movement of the flames and will probably use these pictures to practise drawing fire:




The next is a bit of a weird one; let it be a warning that if you stick your nose in my face when I´m holding a camera, I may colour it yellow and post it on my blog!:


Persimmons, Sharon Fruit or, as they are known in Portugal, Diasporas make wonderfully ornamental trees in the winter, when then brightly coloured fruit stands out from otherwise bare trees.  This one, nicely situated by a traditional well, caught my eye when I was out the other day:


I was also attracted to the Hawthorne berries, as are the local bird population:


These last pictures are in the series “Play of Light” that I have been working on:




These final two are my favourites actually.  I was amazed to be able to capture the light on the raindrops through the curtain in the way I was actually seeing it.  The first one looks like tiny stars and the second, out of focus, breaks the light into almost geometric shapes:



Friday, 24 December 2010

Osho Zen Tarot Reading…

…I know I decided a few months back to move all tarot related posts onto my Hallowquest blog.  Now I am going back on that decision because I am looking to simplify in several areas in 2011.  So reluctantly, I have decided to let my other blog lapse.  I wasn´t updating it very often anyway.

I now plan to follow the example of many other bloggers and have a different type of post on each day of the week.  And once a week, I will post a tarot or other divination-related item.  There´s a commitment!!!

The picture below, shows my workings on my latest tarot reading:


I was listening to the Osho Laughing Drums album and totally loving it.  I was feeling a great rise of energy and was dancing around the room.  In fact, I defy anyone to listen to this spontaneous drumming meditation and not dance!!!  It inspired me to get out the Osho Zen cards for a quick reading.

I used the layout format that I discovered in the Hallowquest book by Caitlín and John Matthews.  It´s very simple and effective for a daily reading.  All it is is a Major Arcana card provides the Teacher, a court card is the Guide and a Minor Arcana is the current Lesson.  I actually drew just the 3 of Fire but, as I am still having difficulties in understanding the difference between the 2 and 3, I fished out the 2 as well and put them side by side.

I saw that the Master card, number 22 (and unique to this deck), showed me that I had an opportunity for a breakthrough in a number of issues that I am dealing with.  Osho says about this card that by following the Master, we have the chance to get out of the loop that sees us going around the same scenarios in life, over and over again.  I felt the Fire energy, raised by my dancing and also the shift of energy because S. and I were having a big clean-up of our living space, ready for a Solstice party with friends.  I felt that as the dust was settling (literally) I was offered a new perspective on my life.

As soon as I saw the Playfulness card (Knight of Wands equivalent), I thought of Otter from my Samhain reading – ´nuff said!

The 3 of Fire shows a woman “Experiencing” life.  Compared with the 2 it shows the “Possibilities” of things we could experience.  For the 2, I wrote “Creativity, this is my Domain and I Love It!” and for the 3, I wrote “Living the Dream”.  With this deck, can see a clear difference between the two cards, that I still find difficult in the classic RWS.  It is my determination, that I will get these two cards next year, if it is the only tarot study I do!!!

BTW, I will get around to posting shorting details of my “Possibilities” Journal (aka Ideas Journal), that I have now embellished.  It has the 2 of Fire on the front cover and 3 of Fire on the back cover.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Mini-art Update…

…Here are the Flippers pages that I have created so far:


The first one was inspired by music that I was listening to; For Children to Play by Spyweirdos.  It´s really messy (thankfully, I managed to disguise the hole I made in the paper!) but hey! get over it.  I´m having fun!


This one evolved from some tiny scraps of card that I´d torn up and were going to throw away.


A haiku dedicated to my friend, who I swim with twice a week.


A quote from my only “exercise” book, although really it´s more about a way of life.  This is about Chi Kung, which I have recently started to re-introduce into my daily practise.


The first of a number of pages that use words from packaging.  This one from a wholefood bag.  Life is Beautiful is the translation of a vida é bela, in Portuguese.


A bit hard to read, this says “…Steal the fire from the gods and remake the innerverse in the image of the outerverse…”  This page because I am working with the Wands (fire) in my tarot study.


Another packaging page.  Cem Porcento means 100% and I was really having one hundred per cent fun!


The “6mins” is a tag from a tea bag.  It is a reminder to myself to take care of my needs and that all I need to do is take a series of short time periods throughout the day, to carry out little creativity and self-loving exercises i.e. flossing (!!!), Chi Kung, and mini-art.


Yet another packaging page.  I love the way these little clippings jump out at me from a piece of package that I was just going to put into the bin!  They make the page for the day virtually create itself.


This last one is from my favourite witchcraft book.  Montol is the Cornish word for Winter Solstice and this is a chant from a Montol ritual. 

Solstice Blessings to you all!

“Possibilities” Round-Up…

…I have been toying with the idea of changing this blog, so that, instead of being completely random entries, I would follow the format of some other bloggers and have regular slots for different kinds of posts.  The reason behind this is that I am seeking more organisation in my life and am working on my very poor planning skills next year.  Having a regular posting schedule gives me a structure to work with and goals to aim for.  I intend that it will also have the benefit of making my posts a little more interesting.  Well, we´ll see.

My intention for one regular post, would be to round up the creative ideas that I´ve been jotting down.  I´ve titled this “Possibilities” rather than “Ideas” because of the Osho Zen Tarot, Two of Fire (Wands), a card that I have been working with.  I don´t want to take this post off on too much of a tangent by explaining the significance of this card to me right now,  I will put that into another post very soon.

If you are anything like me, you will have far more ideas for projects, “to do” lists, things to make etc. than you could ever actually complete.  I may actually do only a fraction of those things on my list below.  If any of my readers feel inspired enough by one of my ideas to actually create something with it, I would be delighted.  It would be lovely if you do, that you share a link with me to a post showing what you did with it.

The period from Samhain to Solstice has been a massively creative time for me and I have felt it necessary to carry a notebook with me everywhere, to try to capture as much as possible of what is in my head.  So here goes with the list:

  • Create a piece dedicated to the Goddess Freya, who I´ve decided is my personal, Patron of Arts!  I have a page from an old journal that I´d like to start with.  It has, in small letters at the top of the page “What would it mean to have Freya as a Patron?”  Then I wrote, very large, in the centre of the page, FREYA, in a fancy, curly script that I was experimenting.with.  I would like to work some meaning into this by turning it into a very colourful and creative piece.
  • Make a “Labyrinth” art journal.  I was looking for a topic suitable for my first altered book journal and, as I am really into labyrinths and already know a fair bit on the subject, I thought this would make an excellent theme.
  • Remember Sesame Street?  Of course you do!  The programme used to be “brought to you by…” a letter of the alphabet and a number.  This was a spring-board for me to take a letter (in my case ´L´ ) and list loads of L-words and L-entries from my various A-Z reference books.  It was great fun and I thought would be another interesting theme for an art journal. 
  • Make my own planner calendar pages.  This is because planner inserts are now really expensive and they are so boring too.  This is a project that I am going to do in the run up to New Year, as I currently have no 2011 calendar ready to use.
  • I want to make a planner for myself using those Flipper pages that I have been creating the mini-art on.  I thought that if I had three sets of cards, one would form the diary, one my addresses and stored information, and the third would be for me to jot down ideas.  I would have to make a custom, three-ring binder for this, which may be a little ambitious. 
  • Make a small booklet on Healthy Eating Ideas, especially those suitable for a busy lifestyle and include my own recipe ideas.  This is an idea for a gift for my son and daughter-in-law.

That´s the round of for now.  I´ll finish with a picture of an accordion book project that I made into a birthday card for my son.  It´s too personal to show you the finished article but what I did was cut out photos from his childhood to stick on the right-hand page, and put some witty, appropriate words on the left-hand page.  I finished with a reminder to him to “Stop and smell the flowers!” and this page had a cute picture of him as a toddler, holding and smelling an enormous tulip.  I was very pleased with the finished article as I had never done anything like this before.


Sunday, 19 December 2010

“Mini” Flippers Art Journal Project …

…one thing that an enforced break from the internet (due to local  “technical difficulties!) allows, is plenty more time for creative work.  I have been very busy in a number of areas.  Mainly, trying to forward plan a little around what I want to do and what I intend to get out of 2011.  Planning has always been a weak area for me but I intend to finally lick this problem next year.

Those of you who have been loyal enough to hang on whilst I get myself back to blogging, may be curious to see whether I did start to do anything with the Flippers Study Cards, that I wrote about here.  Well yes, I certainly have and they have ensured that I am doing something artsy-craftsy every single day.  There are two months worth of cards on one ring and I have two of them, so enough to keep me going, well into the new year.

The idea was the sort familiar to many of you who tend to let your journals evolve through spontaneity i.e. I had no idea that I was going to end up doing this when I decided to create something.  Check out the picture below, which shows the spring-board for the idea.


I decided to get a bit of board I had in my card stash and the intention was to experiment on it with my water-colour pencils.  Then, the music I was listening to on the headphones (Spyweirdos – For Children To Play), totally got into my head and distracted me from that intention.  I started to think the phrase “ever expanding universe” and decided to use a stencil I have to draw some spirals.  Then I thought that I would stick on the bit of red card in the right corner and…

…that´s where I got stuck in a way I hadn´t intended.  I didn´t have any glue, so what did I have to hand to fasten the piece to the board?  I started riffling through the stationery drawer where I was sat and eventually I found loads of things that I could have used.  The first thing I found however was these Flippers, that I had bought to help me learn standard Tarot card meanings and had never used.  I thought to myself that the ring would be a way of making a join between the two cards.  Only then did I realised that the cards were like a miniature journal, their blank pages calling to me to expand outside my usual way of thinking and doing things.

After some more experimentation with other stationery objects that I found, I realised that the limitation imposed on me by not having glue and the limitation I had imposed on myself, by not wanting to get up, had forced me to find new uses for things like airmail stickers, photo stickers, bluetak, an elastic band and an unwanted parcel decoration.  I was fired up and this is when I wrote “You Have Everyting (freudian slip!) That You Need … Clearly”.

I decided to colour all the cards with my watercolour pencils, as a background for whatever I might like to put on top of it.  The picture below shows all the cards after painting.


And the next one shows some of my favourites and the first page I completed.


And here are some more of the painted pages and a completed one that says it all!


Monday, 13 December 2010

Been having fun with these...


Sorry, you can´t really count this as a post - it´s just to let you know that I´m alive really! Having those dreaded PC and internet problems, so service is intermittent to say the least.

Whilst it´s being sorted out, I have been occupied with these cute little study cards on a key ring. I decided to make a miniature art journal with it, using the theme of Limitation, Using What I Have and I Have Everything That I Need. It´s been fun. Hopefully, I will be able to post about it properly very soon.

Sunday, 5 December 2010


…I love taking pictures of the sky.  Since living here on the quinta, I really notice the changing moods.  I thought I would put these up as I having been working on my art journal for a few days.  I have been busy finishing some knitting for a Solstice gift.  With that out of the way, I can start planning for our Solstice party!






Friday, 3 December 2010

Beautiful Ice…

…I love the patterns in this piece of ice with the sunlight shining through.


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Five Faces of Billy Boy…

…does anyone remember Fry´s Five Boys Chocolate?  The wrapper was printed with five pictures of a boy in different emotional states, from being very unhappy to being over-joyed at receiving the chocolate bar.  I forget the details, but when I took the following pictures of our little dog today, I thought I could try something similar, just for fun.  I had (once again) managed to magic trick away his favourite thing in life – his ball.  He studies me so hard and he knows I´ve just played a trick on him.  Mostly, he is so sharp that I can´t do it these days but today I managed to palm the ball up a long sleeve, right in front of his eyes.  So the first picture would be:

DSCF2042Shock!  She did it again!

DSCF2046Disgusted, that she could pull that old trick again.

DSCF2044Disinterested- it may amuse you but not me!

DSCF2045Pleading – you have still got it haven´t you?

DSCF2041I hate you & until you return it I am not speaking to you at all!