My favourite colour is purple. I like most colours, except that I'm not too fond of yellow. I'm a teacher, a student, a wife and a step-mom to four young adult-ish kids. My favourite room is my craft room. I like to play with photography, paper, scrapbooking, book and card making. Thanks for checking out my blog!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Visual Journal- June 2013

theme: Effulgence-God’s radiance or glory

In this detail you can see a little of the texture of the gesso on the paper- I used a palette knife to raise the gesso before it dried. It reminds me of leaf veins. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Visual Journal- May 2013


The Lord bless you and keep you; 

the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you 

and give you peace. 

Numbers 6:24-26

For the background of these pages, I applied Dylusions spray (after midnight), Adirondack color wash (stream) and Perfect Pearl Mists (turquoise) onto wet white gesso. I also used gelatos and water colour pencils once it dried. I tore maps and placed them vertically and torn book pages for the writing. I added gelatos and watercolour pencils around and over the map strips. I outlined the text boxes with blue pen. 
I love the vibrant colour that the Dylusion ink spray added! 

I finished this page when I returned from the Dominican Republic. On our last evening we went to the Casa Monte Plata to have a last visit and say goodbye to our friends. This page is dedicated to all those who serve in this home and all those who call this place their home.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Visual Journal- April 2013


Sit with God as you might with the ocean. 
You bring nothing to the ocean, yet it changes you."
Sean Caulfield, from The Experience of Praying

My favourite ocean view- what I saw from my living room window growing up. It's not exotic to me, it was just something ever present, always mesmerizing, accompanied by a constant sound of waves coming in to shore.  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Visual Journal: March 2013


Our yearning for God’s encircling presence is expressed uniquely in the traditional Lorica prayers of protection. The most famous of these prayers, St. Patrick’s Breastplate, invokes all of God’s gifts to accompany us on our journey. 
Christ beside me, Christ before me
Christ behind me, Christ within me
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ within me. 
In this invocation, we are wrapping ourselves with the garment of Christ’s presence. This is the mystery of the incarnation in our own lives.

Here you can see that it's actually three pages. I tore the pages to be different sizes, then edged them with a strip of collaged bits. The edging ties the three pages together, and so does the text washi tape I used on the bottom of the pages.
I can't remember where I found this prayer, but it's been a good one for me recently. 

Page 2- 

detail pg 2: Christ behind me. I first printed a family picture from our wedding and chose a grey scale so it's a little faded. Then I put the same paper through the printer again, to print our wedding hymn on top. O God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come. Our shelter from the stormy blast and our eternal home. 

detail pg 2: This is a card that I picked up from a Home made craft fair. My friend collects bits of paper and makes them into cards. When I made this page, we were just preparing seeds indoors, preparing for our garden. I like the way it fits with this theme. 

detail, pg 2: This is the inside of the GROW card. I added a photo I took during my Masters' year of study. I was focussing on writing and I put the pencils in beside the tender green shoots, symbolizing how our writing is growing, how it takes a long time to nourish the ground and prepare for growth. Sometimes you don't see the flowers and harvest, but the work is still being done. There are steps to take before you see the expected results. Don't be discouraged in the process. Wait and trust that the seeds will flourish in their time.
There are so many places I can apply this truth.

pg 3: Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ within me. 

detail pg 3: I was struggling with images for Christ beneath me. What does it mean that Christ is beneath me? I was drawn to the idea that when a child needs the comfort of a parent, they are willing to be carried, they surrender their strong will and find welcome in the arms. In this sense, they are carried. They still have a will and a voice and maybe even a feisty spirit, but they are willing to relax and trust the other, the one who carries them, the one who is beneath them. The larger image is from a Wycliffe calendar and the small images are all babies from New Day. New Day Foster Home's core mission is to provide life-saving surgeries and a loving home to orphans with special needs from around China.

Christ above me- what does this mean? I don't think it means the he is high and lofty, up in the sky. Sometimes we think that.  I believe Christ is the ultimate reason why we give our time and gifts to serve others. Christ above me means I keep my eyes open to the world around me. It's because of his presence within me that I am able to give anything of worth. Not high and lofty.
So I can serve because he first served me. I serve because it's him that I am serving. And by serving, I know Christ is dwelling within me.

Christ beside me, Christ before me
Christ behind me, Christ within me
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ within me. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Visual Journal: February 2013


A gentle life 
is not driven by the urgent 
but makes space to listen 
to the heartbeat of God 
and others 
and self, 
and act in tender response. 
-carolyn watts

I read Carolyn Watts' blog here. This idea, this phrase, this imagery became our theme for February, 2013. 

For this page I used gesso and acrylics- mixing the paint into the gesso while it's wet on the page. 
I also used templates and acrylic paints. 
I collaged tissue paper and stamped them with the heart stamp using silver ink. 
The photos were printed on my black and white printer. They were taken just down the block from our house. I wanted to include this part of our neighbourhood because Jonathan recently said something about a big chunk of our daily lives are spent going from A to B. Sometimes the in-between places are where we need to slow down and pay attention. There is a little community that gathers outside our local liquor store. Thanks to Jonathan, now I know their names. For me, that's a tangible example of what it means to live a gentle life not driven by the urgent. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Visual Journal: January 2013

  1. theme:
    I watch the hands move grace 
    on the clock face. 
    I’m growing older. 
    These children growing up. 
    But time is not running out. 
    This day is not a sieve, losing time. 
    With each passing minute, each passing year, there’s this deepening awareness 
    that I am filling, gaining time. 
    We stand on the brink of eternity. 
    – Ann Voskamp, in “One Thousand Gifts”.

This was such a fun page to do! I collected images of clocks or watches from magazines, and also printed clock images I found on-line. I did printing from my computer onto scrapbook paper- including the burlap-looking paper. I also taped some old book pages onto a 8.5 X 11 paper and sent it through the printer to get some clocks printed onto it. 

For the background squares, I collaged torn pieces of the printed images. Some of them were sprayed with inks before tearing or cutting them up. After collaging them randomly, I used my large paper cutter to cut them into 1.5" squares. This is one of my favourite techniques. I then collaged those onto the sides of the pages until I was happy with the look. 

I used washi tape on both pages, to tie them together. 

I used Picket Fence distress stain to tone down one of the pinks that was too bright. 

I found the sieve image on-line and printed it, then used clear shelf liner to transfer it.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Visual journal : December 2012

  1. Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
    God of glory, Lord of love;
    Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
    Op’ning to the sun above.
    Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
    Drive the dark of doubt away;
    Giver of immortal gladness,
    Fill us with the light of day!
  2. All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
    Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
    Stars and angels sing around Thee,
    Center of unbroken praise.
    Field and forest, vale and mountain,
    Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
    Singing bird and flowing fountain
    Call us to rejoice in Thee.
  3. Thou art giving and forgiving,
    Ever blessing, ever blest,
    Wellspring of the joy of living,
    Ocean depth of happy rest!
    Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
    All who live in love are Thine;
    Teach us how to love each other,
    Lift us to the joy divine.
  4. Mortals, join the happy chorus,
    Which the morning stars began;
    Father love is reigning o’er us,
    Brother love binds man to man.
    Ever singing, march we onward,
    Victors in the midst of strife,
    Joyful music leads us Sunward
    In the triumph song of life.

For this page, I used the transfer pen on the sheet music, and made a 3-d heart that I sprayed, stencilled, and wrote the lyrics on. I cut flowers using my own photographs.  I dotted the centers of the hydrangeas with pearl dots from Ranger.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Visual Journal catch up: November 2012


Psalm 121 

A Pilgrim Song
I look up to the mountains;
    does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
    who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

He won’t let you stumble,
    your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel’s
    Guardian will never doze or sleep.

God’s your Guardian,
    right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke,
    sheltering you from moonstroke.

God guards you from every evil,
    he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
    he guards you now, he guards you always.
-the message

For this page I used gesso and acrylics on the background, using a tree stamp and distress inks. I also used water colour pencil crayons around the text boxes and gelatos. For the mountains, I used a mix of papers, edged with gelatos. The text page mountain I sprayed with inks, then used a template over it while spraying with ink. 

Marie passed away just before I worked on this page. She was a bright light in my community. I love this picture of her, because it's exactly the way she was. Always smiling, or laughing. During her battle with cancer, she chose this Psalm for her service. As I read this Psalm now, I like to think she wants me to remember that God is the only strength I need.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Visual Journal catch up: October 2012

to be grateful, feel thankful
give thanks

I did lots of image transfers here. For the colour glossy magazine I used the shelf paper transfer method. For the text and black and white communion image I used a blending pen on the back of the paper I printed out of my home printer. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Visual Journal catch up: June 2012

Theme: my word

Visual Journal catch up: April 2012


If I keep a green bough in my heart, 
the singing bird will come. 
-Chinese proverb

This is one of my favourite pages in my current visual journal! For the background I was experimenting with gesso on a variety of media: fabric, atlas pages, printed scrapbook card stock, watercolour paper. Then I cut them into 3" squares and glued them down. I used distress stains on the edges to join them together. I loved extending the bleeding hearts cut out onto both pages. The "believe" bird was an image I found online and I printed it out then used clear shelf paper to do an image transfer. It's a real tail feather! 

Visual Journal catch up: February 2012

O God of beginnings
as your spirit moved
over the face of the deep
on the first day of creation,
move with me now,
in my time of beginnings,
when the air is rain-washed
the bloom is on the bush,
and the world seems fresh
and full of possibilities,
and I feel ready and full.
I tremble on the edge of a maybe,
a first time
a new thing,
a tentative start,
and the wonder of it lays its finger on my lips.
In silence, Lord,
I share now my eagerness
and my uneasiness
about this something different
I would be or do:
and I listen for your leading
to help me separate the light
from the darkness
in the change I seek to shape
and which is shaping me. Amen.
-Ted Loder

I was training for a sprint triathlon.

On this page I began experimenting with putting printed scrapbook paper into my printer.