Nurturing Thursday 102


‘Today I am creating a better version of myself’

Oprah and Deepak 21 Day Meditation ExperienceGetting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless Life 

I’m currently mid~way through another on~line meditation course, guided by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra ~ they run two or three every year and I’ve been joining in since 2012.

We’ve had unusually wonderful weather in the UK this week ~ although it is a little cooler and more windy today, so that may not continue over the weekend. Never mind, we’re British ~ we never expect sunny spells to last and when they do we complain it’s too hot!

Tuesday was brilliant though, so I meditated outside in the secluded Kitchen Courtyard. As Deepak closed the session with a softly spoken blessing, I opened my eyes and noticed how vibrant the flowers on the table in front of me were. With the Buddha head in the middle and my collection of interesting rocks, it looks like an altar ~ although that’s completely unintentional. I took a quick snap on my phone and carried on with my day.

This morning, searching for a suitable ‘Nurturing’ post, I flicked through my photostream and was amazed when I saw this picture for the first time. I appreciate that it’s not great ~ the pots are shabby, the plants overblown and technically it’s a disaster. But I ❤ it.

The Buddha must have been smiling down on me 🙂 ~ I couldn’t have caught those rays of light beaming down on my accidental altar, or the vertical rainbow behind it if I’d tried. They were invisible to the naked eye and completely absent from the one taken a few seconds later.

So I’ve decided to use it as this week’s subject, along with the centering thought from Day 7: ‘Today I am creating a better version of myself’ ~ rather than competing with or comparing myself to other people. (Which fits in well with Becca’s original reasons for starting ‘Nurturing Thursday’)

Like the photo I’m not perfect, so there’s plenty of room for improvement ~ but in the meantime I’m just fine as I am!


‘Nurturing Thursday’ is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea. If you would like to learn more about it please visit her site.

Crafty Bees

Recently Gilly ~ energetic author of Lucid Gypsy ~ asked if I was still attending a craft group that I used to write about on my other blog. (Tao of Scrumble)

The answer is most definitely ‘Yes!’

These are a few of my nimble~fingered friends at last night’s get~together: Mel cast on the stitches for her first pair of fingerless mittens (vowing later that they’d be her last!); Irene has been working on a knitted cover for her heirloom single bed, (which she slept in as a child, as did her own sons.) Hazel, sitting on the floor, is sorting through her stash of bits and bobs, Dawn and Kerry are sewing badges on their daughters’ Girl Guide sweaters and Chrissie is crocheting a waistcoat, in a rich Autmn shade.

And what, you may ask, was my contribution to this hive of activity ~ apart from interrupting my companions mid~stitch and persuading them to smile for the camera?


A long, long time ago, in a galaxy parallel to this one, (minus the current heatwave,) Martin asked if I’d make him a blanket, like the one Indie and I snuggle under while watching TV. But different. He had very definite ideas ~ not the same as mine but equally whacky.

Yesterday ~ the hottest day of the year ~ I tied the final knot, wove in the last loose end and it was finished. Yay! Here he is holding it up in the Kitchen Courtyard this morning:


With clashing colours and a random selection of squares and stripes, he can fold it whichever way takes his fancy, completely swaddle himself in it or hide behind it when I’m trying to take his photograph. It’s certainly large enough.

It may have taken me an age to complete and it might be too hot to wrap ourselves up in wooly blankets right now. But when winter comes ~ or next week when the sun disappears ~ we’ll all be cosy and warm!



Experimental multi-media collage

This is my first attempt at a multi~media collage ~ constructed during my ‘lets go with the flow and see where it leads us’ phase.


I had a rough idea of what I’d like to create, but didn’t know if the various materials would work together ~ would metal washers stick to canvas, for example; how would different media inter~act?  Without a definite plan I focused on one section at a time, allowing the design to emerge organically over a period of months.

As a try~out piece I’m happy with it ~ now I understand my lovely husband when he says that some of his early paintings are more about trying out  a particuar technique than creating a perfect picture.

There are parts of it that I’d do differently ~ if I ever made another one like this. Not that I’m intending to just yet ~ there are far too many other interesting avenues to explore and I’m champing at the bit to get stuck in. But I’ve taken on board the lessons that this one taught me so my next attempt won’t be quite so…serendipitous. It’s tricky balancing order with spontanaiety.

A backstory began to emerge and as I worked I imagined a intrepid Victorian explorer (the Brave Soul.) He’s returning from a long and sometimes perilous sea voyage, heading towards the land where his true love awaits.

Cliched and Romantic maybe ~ but that’s the reason why I call this piece ~ Homeward Bound. 



Nurturing Thursday 101

No, I’m not losing the plot and forgetting what day it is (not this time anyway.) I do know that it’s Friday and that this week’s Nurturing Thursday post is one day overdue.

Yesterday I was enoying myself out in the open air, and when I came home the sun was bathing our Kitchen Courtyard so I sat out there instead of sorting out the photos that I’d taken on my phone and writing about them.

I belong to the Carisbrooke branch of The Women’s Institute ~ a voluntary women’s organisation which was set up 101 years ago, to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in food production during the first World War. Today it’s not all about home~made jam or making do and mending ~ although we are still active in our communities and belong to the National Federation.

On Thursday afternoon I joined a few other members on a cirular walk around the nearby countryside ~ just for the fun of it. We weren’t collecting funds or raising awareness, this was one of the social activities organised in addition to monthly meetings.

We strolled through Gatcombe village, past quirky cottages and farm buildings, then climbed a steep and winding hill. Resting on the ridge to take in the panoramic vista, we marvelled at how much of The Island we could see and pointed out local landmarks, to help us work out where we were. Single file, we made our way up narrow lanes, before dropping down through woods and emerging where we’d parked our cars over an hour earlier. Feeling virtuous we rounded off the afternoon with tea and cake in a group member’s lovely garden.

So, I took time off from spending hours indoors typing and nurtured myself instead, as you can see. You might also notice that I was invariably bringing up the rear but ambling at my own comfortable pace, I managed to keep up.

Sunshine, gentle excercise, delightful company and cake. What more could anybody ask for?

“Nurturing Thursday’ is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea. If you would like to learn more about it please visit her site.





What’s a Kaboodle?

Over the years I’ve hoarded so many art materials ~ bought and reclaimed ~ that they were spilling into every room in the house. (This, by the way, is completly normal ~ ask any crafter!)

Try as I might, I just couldn’t help myself from examining every piece of rubbish I was about to chuck into the bin, wondering if I could make something from it. And storing it ‘just in case…’.

Something had to be done.

So, with a little help from friends we transformed this:


into this:


The Kaboodle is large enough to stash my various collections, (with plenty of room for more;)) Now I can lay my hands on tools and materials with ease ~ quite a new experience for me!

We’ve furnished it with rejects from the home ~ some drawer units and shelving, a cupboard and our pine dining table. (Well it was perpetualy covered in art ‘stuff’, so we could never have a meal at it anyway ;))

With Martin’s paintings hung on the walls, a portable ‘boogie box’ playing in the background and fairy lights strung along the eaves, it’s a cosy and inspiring creative space. This is where I practice my art.

I’ve been running through the basics,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

experimenting with whatever comes to hand and generally having fun. 🙂

I’ve tackled a few simple projects:

…..and learned what not to do from ‘mistakes’. 🙂

I’ve dabbled to my heart’s content for long enough and the time has come to put my newly~acquired skills to test. (Scary! :-/) So I’m moving on to the next phase ~ making Multi Media Collages and papier~mache Tiny Houses.

I’ll be photographing and writing about them as well, that’s all part of the project.

I’ll tell you more about these Works in Progress another time.




‘Pure Love’ expanded

The image I posted for Nurturing Thursday 100 is a ‘recycled choc~box’ pic. Here it is again, photographed on a spray~ink background, to make it easier to see.


For a such a simple subject it has proved quite tricky to get right ~ particularly when I forgot that I’d crafted a hanging loop on the back and glued the embellishments on sideways. (I’d propped it up to dry and moved on to another project, so it was a couple of weeks before I noticed!)

I was embarassed by this careless mistake but liked the way my original idea had turned out, so I deconstructed and repaired it ~ layering tissue paper over the base to diguise where I’d torn off the shapes, before painting it all again.

I actually prefer this textured finish, so I’m glad I didn’t follow my first instinct and bury it at the bottom of the rubbish bin, never to be mentioned again!





Lake Vyrnwy

Shivers ran down my spine when I read this week’s ‘Nurturing Thursday’ post by ladyleemanila, and listened to the haunting folk song in Welsh. I was brought up near Lake Vyrnwy, so it brought back happy memories of my childhood , when we would regularly drive around the area on a Sunday afternoon. The water rushing down the side of the dam, when it was overflowing, was exciting and dramatic and the fairytale tower brought to mind the legends of King Arthur and The Lady of Shallot! Revisiting these memories and hearing the ballad in my father’s language has made me so happy that I just have to reblog the post!


Lake Vyrnwy is a reservoir in Powys, Wales. Its stone-built dam, built in the 1880s, was the first of its kind in the world. It was built for the purpose of supplying Liverpool and the districts later designated as Merseyside with fresh water. (Wikipedia)

What made you smile this week?

For: Nurt Thurs – Serenity Prayer, Night scenes of a sleepless city – Echoes of my neighbourhood 25, WW #66 rocky arch… , Weekly Smile 26 #weeklysmile, Three Things Thursday: June 30, 2016

View original post