Sunday, 31 August 2014

September Resolutions from the Eternal Student

September is one of my favourite months, I love the change in seasons, the natural change of colours and change in temperature.  I’ve seen September as a time for new beginnings for many years, perhaps why I prefer mid year diaries.

So whilst I’m staying with my Belief in the Magic of 2014, I’m using this month as a well needed time for reviewing what’s going on here in the land of WHEN and with my Creative Abundance Centre.  There may not be a mega amount of physical crafting going on this week, I’ll be crafting a holistic hub, lots of planning, clarifying a vision and getting ready for lots of doing.

For as Joel A Barker said “Vision with action can change the world”. (Tweet it out)

In keeping with Monday's blogging Crafting Community I will show a piece of work I've completed this week.

This is HoliStitch, Ive created her for the marketing material I'm compiling for my Creative Abundance Centre.  I'll be using her to promote my Indian Head Massage.

My knee jerk reaction to this title when I wrote it was that I am the Eternal Student because my ‘student years’ were a time where I held a lust for life and where my long term goal in life was to be happy, a yearning for a more mystical time.  But it turns out that I am, by nature, an eternal student.


Friday, 22 August 2014

The Art of The To Do List

Love them or loathe them we all come across a time when we need a ‘To Do’ List.  To be honest I’ve never really been a fan but as I build my Abundance Centre I find myself with more and more things to do and a need to put them somewhere.

There is a tremendous release in endorphins as we tick that done box and relax in the knowledge that something is done.

The big advantage I am currently finding with my to do list, (I have one Big To Do List, that I add to whenever a ‘To Do’ arises and review on a weekly basis), is that knowing I have added the To Do means I can let it go until it’s time to do something with it.

A great lesson I’ve also learnt is that just because it’s on the list doesn’t mean it has to be done.  I’m finding that there is an additional endorphin release in ‘letting go’.  Could letting go be the new done?

A fun to do list from Pinterest for Friday.

Some Fun From Pinterest


Catherine x

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Mind Over Medicine - More a Recommendation than a Review

From My Pinterest Inspiration Art
Anyone who’s read my blog for any length of time will know that I have, in the past struggled with depression.  Struggled with admitting to it’s existence, understanding what it is and with the long and arduous journey out of the depths.  If you know me, at all, you will also know that I am a recovering Self Help Addict. Today’s post is evidence that it’s all a one day at a time journey.  And that helping yourself is a more natural reponse than you might think.

‘Mind over Medicine’ by Dr Lissa Rankin is a book that brings into perspective the shortcomings of the medical professionals and our own responsibility in our recovery and wellbeing.  And whilst I am not affiliated with Dr Rankin or Amazon in any way I highly recommend you get yourself a copy.

Strangely enough, I started reading this not so much on a Self Help kick but as I found myself questioning more and more the authenticity and validity of the medical professionals I was coming into contact with on a daily basis, regarding the treatment of a family member.

Dr Rankin validated my belief that these professionals were not treating the patient, but individual symptoms.  Hence we went through over a year of endless poking and prodding at various hospitals, each time seeing no light at the end of an endless dark tunnel.   Every so often there would be a little glimmer of light from someone who ‘understood how we felt’ , only for it to extinguish as they were blinkered to the Big Picture. But I digress...

Do you know how ingenious your body is?  Do you know what it does best?  It has “the ability to heal itself”.  The ‘Relaxation Response’, a natural function of our body, activates self repair mechanisms, releasing endorphins and other healing chemicals.  And this healing process is very much a by product of what is going on in our minds. Hence the title of ‘Mind Over Medicine.

Whilst there is still a need for Doctors, they are highly qualified and experts in their fields, the need to treat the patient as a whole person is key to the holistic approach and the achievement of the finest healing process.

This book is a breath of fresh air.  It asks the patient ‘what does your body need in order to heal’’, recognises there is courage in taking responsibility for your own healing, “healing yourself is not for the faint of heart” and that we are all entitled to the best level of care.  And that you are a key member ot your care team, there is no ranking, but perhaps for the fact that you have been with your body the longest and thus know it best.

Do what you can to encourage that Relaxation Response to do it’s thing, it’s alter ego the ‘Stress Response’ has the key to the toxic cabinet so don’t let it go there.

Happy reading.

Catherine x

Monday, 18 August 2014

Drawing With Scissors – I Just Didn’t Get It.

It was a beautiful sunny day in Paisley, one of many throughout this summer, and I felt I was taking a trip to see some ‘grown up ‘ art.  And as such, I should appreciate it.  This was a timely reminder in why I don’t do ‘shoulds’.  Because I just didn’t get it.

Before I visited the Matisse Exhibition, Drawing With Scissors, at Paisley Museum and Art Galleries  I had been reeled in by Matise’s words, ‘the paper cut-out allows me to draw in the colour’.  Iwas intrigued and I was on my way.

I’m not sure what I was expecting to see.  Perhaps my expectations had been heightened by pieces I’d recently added to my pinterest boards.

Now that's what I call 'Drawing with Scissors'!

I found the whole exhibition to be pretty basic and disappointing.  Allowances may perhaps be made for the fact that these works were completed by Matisse as he lay in his sick bed toward the end of his life, 1950-54. (Matisse died in 1954).  Not wishing to be too harsh but I’m sure many an art project of a similair style may have been put together by a child home from school and needing some entertainment to soothe the boredom.  I’m not sure what it is about this exhibition that has stayed with me.  Perhaps the vibrancy of the colours or my wonder at the stark simplicity of the pieces, who knows – perhaps you should see it for yourself to find out.

Your visit would be enhanced further by the ever present Paisley Pattern and Weaving Galleries and by the currentGeneration’Exhibition, tracing the development of Contemporary Art over the last 25 years.  Now some of these pieces were starkly simple but I got the point. 

This is more of a what other people made Hand Made Monday piece, all the same I'm off to see what everyone else has been up to, it's been a while...

The Matisse Exhibition remains at the Galleries until 28 September, with Generation running till 5 October, finishing just before we get to see some more Lego Brilliance with Brick Wonders opening 11 October.


Catherine x

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Creative Marvelling

You can see my Art Work at Etsy
I’ve been doing a lot of work on my textured art lately, the latest collection I’ve put together incorporating words and embroidery.  As I worked on the above piece I found myself stopping quite a lot as watching its coming together. Which led me to the question:  Does the creative process take longer because we marvel at the work coming together?

This is one closely followed by the beauty of the back of thread work – I’m not the only one that see’s the beauty there, right?

Here’s to a happy weekend.  I’m looking forward spending some time at my local park, Barshaw, giving some love to the overgrown peace garden.  If you’re local why not join us.


Catherine x

Sunday, 10 August 2014

What’s Your Sma’ Shot?

I recently visited the local museum in my home town of Paisley.  Walking through those high glass doors and up the steps past the room where I used to attend Saturday Morning Art Classes there was a touch of nostalgia reinforced further by Buddy the Lion. The reason for this visit was to see the Story of the Paisley Shawl and the Weaving Gallery.
(he was much scarier and I’m sure much bigger when I used to make weekly visits)
I was born and brought up in Paisley, and spent most of my teenage years planning my escape.  I never truly appreciated the history of this beautiful  town and the many treasures to be found here.  I’ve been working on creating some pieces around the Paisley Pattern and thought a trip to the museum would bring some additional inspiration.  And I was not left disappointed.

The story of the Paisley Pattern, the Paisley Shawl collection and the Weaving Gallery were well worth the visit.  Whilst there was much to learn about the shawls there was a wealth of knowledge to be gained regarding the spirit and resilience of the Paisley People.  Whilst Paisley was a highly industrialised town, I’m sure this was as much a product of the highly skilled and hard working people as the wealthy industrialists that also called the town home.

As you enter the Weaving Gallery there is a short video presentation showing the restoration of the Sma’ Shot Cottages, further instilling a pride in Paisley’s Past and the pride Paisley’s people have in their town.  This is also where I learnt what a ‘Sma’ Shot’ was/is.  Every so often, as weavers wove the cloth on the loom an extra weft was shot through the work in order to add strength to the fabric – this was the “sma’ shot”.

A sma’ shot was a balancing thread strengthening the fabric.  It struck me that the fabric of all our lives can benefit from a sma’ shot.  What do you weave into your life?  Art? Meditation? Journaling?  What’s your sma’ shot?



It’s Only A Super Moon

As I journey further along the Mindfulness Path and my belief in the Holistic Approach to life is further reinforced I find myself drawn more and more to each full moon. My ever present cynical self questions the whole concept of the moon’s magic.  And my mindful self surrenders to the fact that it is what it is.

Many holistic and creative practitioners put great emphasis on the power of the moon, offering monthly workshops and creative classes.  My beginner mind on this is embracing the ethos of asking a meaningful question each month and very much trusting in ‘everything I want and need coming to me in the perfect way’.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not really a believer in the law of attraction being I put it on a moon board and it will come to me.  But I do believe that vision boards are powerful conduits, especially for the creatives among us who are very much visual learners.  From an early age I have had a strong belief that if I can imagine something, and I can draw it or write it down then the only person preventing it from truly being is me.  And if I can find pictures that reinforce that dream then I’m on the right path.

Jamie Ridler offers a workshop each month – the message of this month’s moon being “You know what your dreams are.  What’s your gut telling you?”  (If you think you’ve missed this magic window apparently the magic sticks around for 3 days either side of the Full Moon).  Anne Hayman, who many of you may know for her gorgeous ‘Indie Lovely’ magazine, offers an e-course on Full Moon Manifesting and has a Virtual Full Moon Ceremony each month – you can check it out on her FaceBook page.

Whatever your feelings about moon cycles – (I’m sure I’ll come back to that when I finish my current read, recommended by Lissa Rankin; Sarah Drew’s Gaia Codex.) – it is a Natural reminder to check in with your dreams and what you’re doing about living them on a daily basis.  And if you are in any doubt of the magic that's been surrounding this weekend the largest Global synchronised meditation for World Peace took place and I am still feeling the love.

So what are your dreams – and is your gut happy with them?


Catherine x

Monday, 4 August 2014

Something Old - Something not so Old

Giving you some old stuff while I'm engaged in creating the new
I’m taking this week out to get some art together and get my Etsy shop up and running again, along with a brand new Society 6 store.  Rather than leave you with another blank week on the old blogosphere I’m revisiting some of my previous posts.

I stumbled on this one – thinking Tuesday and Treasury and returning to Etsy Land and got quite the surprise when I found a whole different type of treasury – look for yourself.

Today is an ideal day...


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