Sunday 13 February 2011

A small disaster and another paint over collage painting.

So this is what happened: once upon a [magical] time I found myself in a pool in Brighton hospital screaming away trying to push a child with the head of a small melon out of me. I hallucinated through the pain and after many painful hours a cute little person lay in my arms. Wonderful.

Then, 18 months later, I sweated over making my own art journal, I pricked my fingers several nights with the needle while threading the paper carefully. It was like giving birth all over again, in a different way, but yes I birthed a book, a sacred beautiful journal book. I admired it with love and joy.

Then, one evening (read; this evening), a friend comes round and I excitedly want to show her the beautiful sacred book I made with my bear hands, but because the person who I pushed out of me 18 months ago has screaming fits if I leave the room for a minute or more, I decide to carry him with me up the stairs, into the art room to go get the journal to prevent too much drama in the house. Babe on the arm, I go up the stairs, pick up the journal lovingly, walk down the stairs again (babe & journal both in arms), walk past the kitchen, and all of a sudden feel a bit of wet on/ near my hand...

I look down and the melon-head boy has PUKED ALL OVER MY NEW SACRED JOURNAL!!!!

Puked I tell YOU! PUKED!

I let out one loud YELP! Shout at Andy: tissues! tissues! tissues! The whole cover is covered in the vomit. I am beside myself with disbelief, I might faint or spontaneously combust. Puke puke puke on my sacred sacred journal! This can't be happening, no no no! Disaster! Disaster! Disaster!

Can I hear a OMGODDDDDDD?!

So I've been sitting there with dettol wipes with apple fragrance trying to get the vomit smell off my sacred journal, in tears and fuming (not with Dylan of course, he can't help it - instead I blamed Andy because he was cooking chillies and they make you cough and when Dylan coughs he often has to puke, so it's all Andy's fault, he now has to eat the journal. Kidding totally -not. ;) No really, just kidding, ha ha).

I just can't believe how unfortunate it was. I've worked through the trauma now, and the journal is still usable but still. Effing hell.

Let me give you a moment to recover from the shock of 'puke on sacred journal'. I know you need it. I needed it too.

Ok, over it?

Let me show you another paint over collage painting, I'm loving doing these:

don't run away, stay

and here are the before and after (click on image to see larger):

don't run away - before and after

Collage a pleasing [to you] composition together, then paint, brayer, embellish etc over it! So fun, messy and expressive. Highly enjoyable to do I find.

Ok, in other news, I just wrote the word 'disaster' 3 times and all of a sudden it lost all its meaning. Ha.

Going to bed now, snugs and muffins.


Friday 11 February 2011

19 minutes, handmade journals, princesses & bird girls

"Can I write an engaging blog post in 19 minutes?" I think to myself. I have 19 minutes because -stupidly- I moved several of my mermaid movie files to another folder and now my iMovie project tells me in a surly voice when I try to continue editing the file: "sorry love, source files are missing". Aaaah - a low-level panic spreads from my nose down to my gut. Then I utilise my techie brain and think: 'hang on, if I re-create that earlier folder with the exact same name (frantically clicks on 'trash' click click click), and then copy and paste the other movie files back there: hopefully - pray god, goddess, cross fingers, toes and other limbs - iMovie should be happy to continue editing this project again as if nothing happened.' If not. I have to do the whole blooming thing again, having wasted precious precious hours.


You don't know yet why I have 19 minutes, do you? If often start a sentence and end up somewhere off track. Well, it's going to take 19 (although now 15 - ha, that paragraph took me 4 minutes!), to copy and paste the files to the new (old) folder. In those 19 minutes, I can't work on my project, so I thought: let's try and write a bloggie.

Et voila, here I am, writing a bloggie of which I want to do a lot more in future. I'm going to aim for 1 as a minimum a week after M3 is finished. I enjoy having a body of blog posts to look back on. I have a big archive on livejournal (back to 2002 can you believe!) and I love looking back on my posts once in while and giggle at the 'immature', highly 'un-enlightened' person I was then! (I jest, but yes, it's interesting to see how I approached things in 2003 compared to how I approach things now). I was also incredibly funny then, clearly, that hasn't changed! ;)

So, I now only have 4 minutes left, so let me leave you with the progress of my handmade art journal (eeeeh) which I'm trying to create in the few little hours after Dylbee has gone to bed. And some new messy mixed media art. The method in the ones below is painting OVER collage. I used to do it quite a bit, but have become re-obsessed with it, hope you enjoy and have a lovely Friday plus weekend mah babies. :) Hugs. x


OH HILARIOUS! I just closed and opened up iMovie only for it to tell me it needs another 40 minutes to process the new folder!! (Granted it does have almost 60 gigs worth of video in it, but come on, you are A MAC with a reputation for super speedy superior processing capabilities, why you need 40 minutes? Aaagh!

Oh well, some more time for me to blog, so, where was I? Oh yes, my handmade journal in which I'll be doing sacred awareness, getting-in-touch-with-my-feelings stuff. Here it is! (not finished yet) ->

hand made journal! yay!

hand made journal! yay!

(Rho if you're reading this, I know something is 'off' on the first stitching loop thing, but can't be bothered to do it all again! :))

hand made journal! yay!

Pretty no? :) I used watercolour paper, so it's going to be awesome to work in! I can't wait to start using it. It's very satisfying to create your own journal I must say! (Though a little time consuming).

BTW, if you want to learn it too, I took Rhomany's coptic binding workshop which you can take over here: (scroll down to middle of the pages for Rho's video).

Ok, and here are the paint over collage pieces I was taking about:

a princess waiting

I love the freedom this technique gives and the surreal, out of proportion style of it. Very much inspired by the lovely Misty Mawn, of course, but I think because I've been doing this stuff for a while (although have been taking a break with all the courses), I've found my own voice within the style.

Here's another one. The title Bird Guhl is from a song by Antony & the Johnsons who I adore adore adore adore.

bird guhl.

In fact, here is the song for those interested, it is breath-taking.

Antony spells bird girl in a few ways on the album cover: bird gehrl and bird guhl. I think he himself struggled with dyslexia when younger (not sure if this is correct) and also dealt with gender 'confusion' which is a poignant topic on that album.

Last one of the paint over collage pieces:

this sacred life

I love the messy gray with black and white and the strong female figure in the middle. For those actually managing to read any of the small handwriting on the first piece and the last: they are around wanting another baby. :) We have talks with the IVF clinic early March. That's all I'll say for now. :)))

Ok, 2 minutes left now! Perfect to REALLY say byes now!


PS. It worked! (the moving the files thing - I know, like you cared! ;)) xoxox

Tuesday 1 February 2011

You are braver than you think you are.

you are braver than you think you are

My word for the year 2011 (I know, it took me a while to decide) is going to be:


(with a hint of 'presence', an undertone of 'connection' and a dash of 'being')

I realised it last night as I was contemplating unwanted behaviour and strategies I employ (over-eating in response to a wide variety of feelings). I realised that the biggest thing I don't do before I employ unwanted strategies is: become aware of and connect to 'what is alive in me'. I just go into a trance like state, I'm on automatic pilot and I do what I always do.

Instead, if I pay attention, create awareness and really connect to what is going on within me, feeling-wise, I may be able to choose different strategies in response to whatever it is that is going on in me.

So, the challenge I set myself this year is to become more aware of my inner me. My inner Tam and give her a massive dose of lovin'. :-)

One of the ways I want to become more aware (and this is where it becomes FUN), is through art journaling. I can hear you say: 'but Tam, you journal already'. Yes, yes, my faithful reader, I sorta do, but not in this new way I want to do it. I normally journal perhaps at the end of the day or take an hour during lunch. This time, I want to journal each time I feel down or right before -and as a prevention of- choosing unwanted strategies to deal with my stuff. So, if I feel the urge to eat (emotionally, rather than physically), I am going to take it as a sign that 'something is up' and I will then ask myself: 'Tam, what is up?', then really connect and feel my stuff and write/ journal about it. I probably won't have lots of time for it, but just writing down something small or doing a quick doodle, a brief moment of connection with myself, may help me become more and more aware and help heal and transform.

I'm excited about this new way of trying to deal with something I've struggled with all my life. :)

Oh, to top it off, for this specific purpose I'm gonna make my own journal! (Because I want my journal to have watercolour paper). Eee. :)

Now, I like this idea and want to make this journal, but but but, I don't know when because I'm currently working like MAD (6 days a week can you believe and sometimes until late late in the night).

M3 is going wonderfully! The students are doing amazing work and they are all so lovely towards each other! It's very time consuming for me though and I'm definitely going to run my next course differently so that I time manage it better. I thought I had done enough of the materials beforehand, but I put so much more into a class nowadays compared to when I just started (simply because everything evolves) and these classes have just become 'monsters' (sweet ones, and pretty ones, but still monstrous in size, lol). So, I have my hands full with that. But, I can't complain, I feel deeply blessed with all that I have and am able to do. I love my work and students so much!

After this, I am going to take a HUGE break and do a load of art just for my own enjoyment. I desperately want to make art dolls and record some more songs and do some more paintings! I'll have time again, soon!

Althououoouuugh, in other news! I was invited by Connie from dirtyfootprints studio to be 1 of the teachers on the next round of 21 secrets! How cool is that? I am going to be surrounded by 20 other amazingly talented artists who will each share some of their art journaling secrets with all the students! The first round has been incredibly successful and this time round proves to be amazing too! Registration starts Monday, March 14, 2011.

21 SECRETS Spring opens Friday, April 1, 2011 and closes Monday, August 1. 2011. If you want to read more about it, have a peek here:

So that will be a new project I'm involved with after this course, but it will in no way be as time consuming, ha ha!

Ok, here is some new art that I managed to finish off recently:

the angel and the horse
Inspired by the work of Lucy Campbell

Angel for week 3 of M3

This angel & girl were created for week 3 for the course I'm currently running. :)

And I also did an art journal entry for it which is this one:

Art Journal 2011 - angel exploration

In other news, being with Dylan still has its ups and downs, but it's recently been more fun to be with him (depending on his level of grumpy, hee hee). He can be absolutely delightful. Earlier, I was watching him as he was engrossed in the sing and sign DVD and I was struck by so much love for him that I could crumble right before him. :)

I'm also, however, really wanting to stop breastfeeding him, but don't know how. He loves it so much, I don't want to take it away from him, but he puts his hands down my shirt and always scratches me in the process and it's often not a lot of fun for me anymore. Any helpful tips on this one are welcomed! :)

Here are two cute little videos of Dylan, the first he's in the bath (17.5 months old btw) and in the second it's me and him giggling! :)

and here some recent twitpics, taken with the iphone:

very rosey cheeked today #TwitPict on Twitpic xxxx #TwitPict on Twitpic Let us charm you this morning x  on Twitpic

And here some bigger ones.

dylbee in a funny hat

my little explorer

I am ok overall, but just feel swallowed up by a wave of work and I'm losing myself and connection with loved ones a bit. So, I'm trying to be extra mindful of that and trying to breathe, ground and take stock once in a while so that I remain centered.

I'm really loving this practical approach to trying to become more inner aware (I've always said: I must become more aware, but not really figuring out a way to do it and I think the conscious journaling will really help).

So with that, I bid thee adieu for the night. Sweet dreams, magic sparklies and fairy dust!

Snugs & Hugs all. x


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