Wednesday, 31 December 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR


in just six hours we will be greeting 2009 here in australia! WHOO HOO!!! i am so excited! i cleaned house today, caught up on some laundry, made prawn vindaloo curry and chicken korma curry which we will have with basmati rice, and now i'm off too freshen up before alex and michelle arrive. we are in for a night of fun and games!

whichever way you choose to bring in the new year, i wish you all the very joyous and happy 2009!!!

see you next year! hehehe

love, light and peace ~

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

january photo challenge


i was catching up with linda's blog this morning and read this post about taking up a photo challenge for the month of january. the challenge - to take one photo each day and post it to your blog of something outside your home.....basically, sharing a part of my world in a photo a day. the challenge was started to discourage the feeling of cabin fever in the winter. in my case, i'm not cooped up because we're in the middle of our summer here so maybe i can bring some good, old australian warmth and sunshine to those who are in the midst of their winter instead.

it just so happens that i treated myself to a lovely CANON IXUS80 IS digital camera with my christmas money......so this will be the perfect opportunity to put it to good use.

january 1st will be photo #01. feel free to participate too if it takes your fancy.

love, light and peace ~

Monday, 29 December 2008

my word for 2009


i was reading christine kane's post about choosing a word to focus on during 2009 and i thought it was a wonderful idea instead of setting up goal lists which, for me, often end in failure. however, a well chosen word to focus on all year.....i can DO that! of course, i never make things easy for myself and, for the past few days, i have been mulling two words over in my head. so.....today, i let the universe decide for me. i gave each word a 'heads' or 'tails' title and i flipped a coin. heck, why didn't i think of that days ago?! so, heads won out and my word for 2009 is.......JOY!
in case you're dying of curiosity, the other word under consideration was - allow.

after reading a new earth by eckhart tolle earlier this year and then participating in the blog book club in november where we read soul coaching by denise linn, i felt like i was on the brink of change. most recently, i have been reading and watching a lot of books/DVDs by esther and jerry hicks re. the teachings of abraham and i have been hooked. two of the main things that abraham focuses on is living joyfully and the art of allowing. as joy won the coin toss, i plan to focus each day on things that make me feel joyful. in doing this, i trust that the law of attraction will see to the rest and bring me more of the same.

if you are interested in choosing your own word for 2009, visit this post where christine gives the run-down and offers a list of words that may be helpful. feel free to leave a comment here and let me know what word you are choosing for 2009.

btw, it's not too late to sign up for the next blog book club which starts on january 9th. you can read more about it here.

as you can see from the 2009 happenings in my side-bar, i'm already chalking up a lot of positive and creative things to do in 2009 and i'm sure they will all bring me lots of.....JOY!

love, light and peace ~

Saturday, 27 December 2008

my five a day

© beau tomlinson

a few weeks back, jamie tagged me in a meme called “five-a-day” which was started to encourage mental well-being.

here are my top five things that i try to do every day to stay mentally healthy:

meditation: since november, i have been in the practice of meditation every day. it is so beneficial in clearing my mind and allowing me to start my day with clarity.

creativity: whether it be painting or crafting in my studio or even rearranging home accents and/or furniture.....this activity allows my inner creative to come out and play. so much fun!

journal: i have kept a journal, on and off, for years now and i have found it to be crucial to my mental well-being. it's a great way to shed mental burdens but also to record the highlights and everything in-between.

walking: i love to walk when i can. it helps me to appreciate the beauty around me and i notice things i would normally miss if i were driving. it helps to relax my busy mind.

gratitude: each night i write down five things that have happened that day to which i am grateful for. even on a bad day, there is always something i find myself being grateful for. this definitely puts my mind in a happy place.

i now tag:

stapeliad

rita

maria

lillian

You!

Rules - all you need do is link back to the person who sent it to you, write your list of five, putting up your own pic is optional, then tag five other people. if you have already done this meme/tag, or would prefer not to participate, or are a tag-free zone, that's totally fine too.

Friday, 26 December 2008

secret santas revealed on christmas day......

we had a wonderful christmas day!
i hope your christmas was too ~

i think aaron was happy with the camera i bought him

mother and son

i was 'secret santa' to michelle - showing part of her gift

michelle was 'secret santa' to brad

reece was 'secret santa' to beau

brad was 'secret santa' to me...i LOVE the buddha!

alex was 'secret santa' to reece

beau was 'secret santa' to alex

aaron helping cody open his gift

reece, alex, aaron and beau

michelle, aaron, reece and beau

mum, me and dad

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

birthday celebration and christmas preparation



wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season!


the past three days have been a blur! we celebrated aaron's birthday on sunday though he officially hit the double digits yesterday....my baby is now a WHOPPING 10 YEARS OLD!!!
michelle, alex and aaron


michelle and aaron


shell and reece


brad, aaron and reece


unfortunately, my other son, beau, missed out on all the party fun as he had to work.

it's now christmas eve and all my gift and food shopping is done....YAY! I'm feeling very excited and looking forward to the kids and my parents being here for christmas day tomorrow. i feel so blessed! thank you, universe!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

true meaning of christmas

i found this video over on serena's blog and thought it spoke volumes in the commercialism of christmas today so had to post it here too.

Friday, 19 December 2008

less than a week til christmas!!!

........YIKES! i am so relieved we do the secret santa thing at christmas as i can only imagine how stressed i would be feeling right now.....buying for just one person, plus aaron makes life so much easier. i've always been one to leave everything til the last minute, you see. i passed by the shopping centre yesterday and it was packed! there were cars parked in places they would never normally be....up on footpaths too. thank goodness, i only have some food shopping left to do!

here is a pic of the ornament i painted for a christmas exchange

my exchange partner has received it now so it's safe to post a pic. the original design is by Annette Long though the pattern i used for this santa was in a 'paintworks' magazine back in 1999.

yesterday, i spent the afternoon sewing and, today, it will be more of the same. i'm doing some 'top secret' stuff for my daughter, michelle. hehehe

do you like the blog header i made? it's fancier than the basic ones i've done before but it was fun making it. i'm not sure that it's staying though as i plan to give my blog a bit of a face-lift over the chistmas period....a fresh start for the new year.

i hope that you are taking time out to rest and relax during the busy-ness of the christmas season. stress-free is definitely more healthy.
tomorrow, i will be listing FIVE things that i do each day for mental well-being. i was tagged by jamie over a week ago but i've been so busy....tomorrow is THE day!
love, light and peace ~

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

she is now......finished

i knew when i mentioned previously about being unsure if she had needed something else that i would definitely fiddle some more. a purple butterfly in the top left corner had been in the back of my mind and it seems a few of you were thinking the same thing. i also liked ro's suggestion of a chain around her neck so i painted an amethyst stone to match in with the added rub-on butterflies. now, i feel that she is complete. thanks so much for all your wonderful advice.
mixed media - 12"x12" gallery-wrapped canvas
© serena lewis


i'm off to buy a new fridge today! YAY! the tuckerbox freezer died on me two weeks ago and had to be replaced.....now, the fridge is barely hanging on. admittedly, it's been a bit of a pain for the eight years we've had it as it hasn't coped well with the heat of our summers at all. so, it's time for a replacement.

what are you doing today?

Monday, 15 December 2008

my 2nd Blog Birthday!....and an award!

it's hard to believe that, two years ago today, i started this blog! i am ever grateful to the many amazing and wonderful people I have met on this journey. my life has been so enriched in countless ways....blogging has helped my confidence, it has helped me broaden my horizons and i have learned so much from other bloggers. the blogosphere truly is a world unto itself and i hope to continue enjoying it's riches.

it just so happened that beau baked a chocolate slice today so i seized the opportunity to whack on a couple of candles and celebrate my blog's 2nd birthday. WHOO HOO!!!



another award i received recently was the butterfly award which the very talented margaret bestowed upon me.

check out margaret's blog to see some of her amazing zen drawings. i am honoured that she chose me as one of the recipients for this award. i am supposed to nominate ten other bloggers and give a reason why i think they are deserving of this award also. this is where i become unstuck because i think you are all amazing and it would be way too hard for me to pick and choose among you...so...once again, i'm breaking the rules. consider yourself chosen for this award! if you choose to participate, link back to my blog and feel free to pass the award on to ten other bloggers. ENJOY!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

tag/award catch up

since the beginning of november, i have received quite a few tags and awards from different bloggers but, due to being so busy in november, i held off doing them until now.....so.....

serena pia tagged me to list 6 secrets/things about myself.....

sabrina (i think i have the name right) tagged me to list 7 things about myself.....

carin tagged me to list 8 random facts about myself.....

genie tagged me with the kreative blogger award where i need to list 6 things about myself.....

tammy also tagged me with the kreative blogger award where i need to list 6 things about myself.....


i figure if i list 8 things (the highest amount requested by an individual blogger) about myself that it will have me covered on all counts so, here goes -

1/ i've always been a very giving person even as far back as grade one. i took quite a few toys to school one day and gave them away to my friends. my parents didn't know about it until another parent came around (we didn't have home phones back then) to tell them. the parent wondered if it was okay because the toy i'd given her daughter was fairly expensive. my dad then drove me around to all my friends' houses to collect the toys. i had just wanted to be nice but i do remember being embarrassed at having to ask for the toys back. i don't think my friends liked me too much for a while either.

2/ my love for animals was apparent back in grade one too because i still vividly remember one day where i was mortified and crying because one of the boys in the playground had found a grasshopper that he was threatening to kill. i managed to tell the playground teacher between my fits of uncontrollable sobs and she told the boy to release it.....much to my relief. i still can picture the incident clearly in my mind.

3/ one of my favourite sandwiches is peanut butter and sliced fresh tomatoes with lots of salt and pepper. i even have this on toast for breakfast some mornings. don't knock it til you try it.

4/ through the course of my life, i have been engaged to four different men and married two of them...separate times, of course......and i still haven't found mr right! i've given up ~

5/ i love spicy hot food with extra chillies in it. i put heaps of cayenne pepper on my spaghetti bolognaise, fried rice, vegetable soup etc. LOVE the stuff!

6/ i started a pescetarian diet in 2003. in case you're wondering, a pescetarian is someone who does not eat red/white meat or poultry, but will eat seafood with a regular vegetarian diet. i continued with this diet until....

7/ i changed to a full vegan diet on january 14th, 2008. the thought of eating any form of animal product now makes me feel physically ill. that said, to each, their own...i do not condemn people who eat meat or animal products. in fact, i still cook meat meals for my kids as i don't believe in forcing my dietary beliefs on others. my kids do eat vegan meals also so i feel that's a fair compromise.

8/ i've always felt like i was a hippie at heart. i love nature, peace, kombi vans, long-flowy skirts, wrap-around skirts and head bands (see pic) etc. the headband was made for me by one of my brother's friends who had a huge crush on me.


this goes back nearly 30 years


and just because i'm on roll -

9/ in the eighties, for a very brief period of time....my sister and i had what we now refer to as a 'helmet' perm. all i can say is.....WHAT were we thinking???!!! it was all the trend though and we thought we were pretty darned cool....LOL don't ya love my little german shepherd puppy? his name was 'kai' and so cute! notice how i'm trying to change the subject...hehehe

(added dec. 15th) - my friend, maria, has posted a pic of her helmet perm on her blog. we could be sisters! are there any more of you willing to come forward???

and lastly,

10/ i do have a mean streak in me....when my kids were young, we were looking through old family pics and they came across this one -

.....and they were kinda freaked out by it, immediately wanting to know who the ugly people were. i couldn't pass up the opportunity to have a 'play/tease' with the kids so i said they were friends of mine who i hadn't seen in ages and, on seeing the photo, thought it might be nice to invite them over for dinner one night. they all resounded a unanimous NO!!!...then started begging me NOT to invite those ugly people over. in fact, the people in the pic were my brother and his then-girlfriend (later became his wife) dressed up for a new year's eve party. i remember those masks freaked out quite a lot of young kids that particular night so they couldn't keep the masks on for too long at all. thankfully, my own kids were just babies at the time.

i'm supposed to tag the same amount of people as random facts so, if you are reading this and would like to participate, consider yourself 'tagged'. there is absolutely no expectations for anyone to participate but, if you do, all you need to do is link back to this post and also post links to the bloggers you are passing the tag/award onto.

thanks to everyone who nominated me!

i'll continue the other tag/awards over to tomorrow.....see ya then ~

Saturday, 13 December 2008

my vision-board for 2009

last night, i spent some time creating my vision-board/dream-board for 2009. it was so much fun and even aaron decided to do one. i've never done a vision-board before and i'm so pleased with how it turned out....i LOVE collage! i did do a goals illustration in my sketchbook for 2008 and failed miserably filling those commitments so....for 2009, i decided to make it more inspirational than filled with expectations. if you are interested in seeing more dream/vision boards you can check out suzie's post here. suzie holds a monthly dreamboard participation group which i think is really cool! it's my understanding that they work on different themes each month. i went with the annual vision/dream board though as it suits me better at this time. i feel like change is in the air and this is just what i needed to keep me focused.

here is my vision board -
click on image to enlarge


here is aaron's vision board -

click on image to enlarge

aaron had absolutely no help from me at all and i am so impressed with how his turned out. we are hanging it near his bed. i've pinned mine to a cork board that i painted turquoise-blue...love that colour!

P.S. - i've had to postpone tags and awards until tomorrow....stay tuned.

love, light and peace ~

Friday, 12 December 2008

mixed media canvas - finished

i'm still debating whether it needs something else or not.....any suggestions? a butterfly, perhaps? a different colour?

follow your bliss - mixed media 12"x12" gallery-wrapped canvas
© serena lewis


i've added some swirls in gold metallic paint, then i did a couple of layers of washes for the wings using a warm white. after drying that off with the hair-dryer and allowing it to cool, i used some rub-ons of little white flowers and dots on the wings. i've always loved the joseph campbell saying - follow your bliss - so i chose that for my motivational words in this piece.

yesterday, another storm moved through and left in it's wake a beautiful rainbow! the pic is pretty crappy because, after the storm, the sun came out out giving a very bright, warm cast over everything which doesn't show in the pic.....however, my camera kept warning me that there was a problem with focusing, I presume because of the brightness...i took the pic anyways.


through november and this month, i've been tagged or have received a few awards but, due to other commitments, didn't manage time to post them so, tomorrow, will probably be a tag/award marathon. some were the same tags awards/tags by different people so i will tie those into just one to make it easier. i love simplicity.

i'm also thinking about making my dream board for the coming year. what fun! do you make dream/vision boards?

love, light and peace ~

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

more progress on my mixed media piece

i haven't had a great deal of time working on her but she's moving along.....slowly, but surely.
mixed media - work in progress

i'm pretty much done with her hair after deepening and cooling the colour. to tie the girl and background together more, i added the matisse phthalo blue (used in her eyes and top) to the background, concentrating it around the edges. i also added some deeper jo sonja burnt umber tones. i love the jo sonja burnt umber and use it a lot in my work....it's a much deeper and cooler tone than the matisse burnt umber. i'm lovin' how parts of the cards still show through in areas.....YAY for mixed media layering!

i bought a couple of the abraham-hicks DVDs yesterday on the law of attraction (i'm currently reading the book) and am totally hooked now.

my daily meditation continues and, a couple of times, i didn't get a chance to meditate in the morning so meditated at night before going to bed. i found the night time meditation more difficult as, when i tried to focus on nothing, i was bombarded with thoughts from my experience throughout the day. i discovered that chanting 'om' as a mantra helped a great deal in keeping the thoughts at bay.

i need to get some housework done today but my studio is beckoning also....i'll see if i can work a compromise....hehehe

love, light and peace

Monday, 8 December 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree....


i'm still in shock that we are already in december with christmas just around the corner. like a lot of other bloggers i've been visiting, i'm not big into the commercialism of today's christmas as, this aspect has often brought me a lot of stress in the past to the point where i have dreaded the season approach. however, for the past two years at christmas time, we opted to only buy gifts for my 9 year old son and then, my adult kids (6 in all, including, alex, michelle's boyfriend) and i did a 'secret santa' exchange instead of buying gifts for each other. we also set the gift price at around $50 so there was no pressure there either. we will be doing the same again this year. it takes the financial pressure off with only having one person to buy for, apart from aaron, and it's so much fun with the teasing, and guessing, leading up to the day and then......finding out who your 'secret santa' partner is on christmas day. peace on earth is what it's really all about and when i'm with my family, i feel at peace, content and happy. genie-sea, one of my blogger friends, is opting to help out in a homeless shelter this year instead of buying into the commercialism of christmas which i think is such a wonderful idea. to give of yourself is one of the most precious gifts ever.

aaron and i started working on a small ornamental ribbon tree in november and, yesterday, i finally got around to finishing it. it's kinda cute, don't you think?
also, this year, beau bought us a new artificial, fibre-optic tree!! i feel so spoiled as it's quite large compared to the previous one we had used for the last eight years and i've never had one with lights either. of course, in respect for the environment, we only light it up for an hour or so each night. these pics aren't the best because they were taken in poor lighting and i'm not camera savvy so please make allowances for me.
and lit up...
i'm not good with camera settings so,if anyone can tell me how to get a good pic of our tree, lit up, i would greatly appreciate it. i think i should have used a tripod, right?

addition - i just tried a nifty, little graphics program plug-in that kate mentioned on this post and it did improve the picture (reposted above). though still grainy, it has given a lovely ambience to the original pic. THANKS, KATE!!! my graphics program is paint shop pro 7 and it had no trouble recognising the plug-in. i think kate uses photoshop but, apparently, the plug-in will work with most graphics programs and it truly opens up A LOT of cool things to do with your pics. best of all.......IT'S FREE!!!! So, go grab yourself a copy of 'virtual photographer' here.

if you want to know about the origins of christmas, click here for an interesting read.

love, light and peace to all ~

Sunday, 7 December 2008

mixed media canvas - work in progress

we had some doozies of storms yesterday and the computer was shut down all night so i didn't get a chance to post. very unusual weather patterns for this time of year as our main storm season months are january/february. the first storm hit around 7:30PM and then, a whole string of storms came through one after the other from around 1AM this morning right through until around 4:30AM. i barely got any sleep at all because i was consoling little cody who is terrified of storms. his little body was a mess of continuous shudders for hours, poor thing, and he just would not settle.

so.....here is where i'm up to with the mixed media piece i've been working on -

for my reference, i used a sketch of a female i had done from my imagination in my sketchbook last year. i quickly free-handed it onto the canvas using a charcoal pencil. there is still lots to do but i'm having so much fun with this.

i have started reading the book by esther and jerry hicks titled 'the law of attraction'. it's making a lot of sense to me and seems to emphasise the concepts of eckhart tolle and the laws behind 'the secret'. i read 'ask and it is given' by esther and jerry last year and i found it also offered a lot of great ideas...unfortunately, i don't think i was quite ready to incorporate the lessons into my daily life at that time but now, i believe i AM ready. i'm looking forward to seeing where it all leads. i've ordered my book for the book blog in january...see my sidebar under january happenings...i hope it will be as awesome an adventure as the 'soul coaching' book blog was.

it's getting very busy with the lead up to christmas. have you done your christmas shopping yet?

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

back to the grind.....

my baby girl (yes, she's 23 but she's still my baby girl) went home tonight and i miss her already. aaron took it pretty hard as michelle has always been like a second mum to him and he wanted her to stay longer. we have promised that he can stay at michelle's and alex's place for a couple of days over the christmas break so he's already looking forward to that.

getting back to the grind, here is a canvas i'm currently working on.....it's inspired by kelly rae's book 'taking flight'.

i'm very new to all this mixed media stuff but i've thoroughly enjoyed the process so far. at this point, i'm not really sure where i'm headed with it but i'm hoping something will come to me.

i'm also working on some christmas projects at this time and will post some pics soon.

love, light and peace ~

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

doggy in a blanket

i'm feeling a little lost at the moment, without direction, now that the 'soul coaching' program is over but i'm sure things will start falling back into place soon.

michelle has been here for a few days recuperating after her appendectomy and laparoscopy.....she has shown improvement with each day and will be going home tomorrow night as she is now able to get up and about for periods throughout the day. naturally there is still a ways to go before she is fully healed from the surgery. it's been lovely having her here though i wish it had been under better circumstances. we are both planning to get together for a craft day each week once she is all better so that will be fun.

hard to believe that december is already here. WOW! where did the year go???!!!

today, i packaged up my completed christmas ornament, with a few goodies, ready to go but i can't show a pic here until my exchange partner receives it. so, for now, i will share a pic of the christmas tree exchange i participated in last christmas.
acrylics on wooden tree
click on image to enlarge


oh, and i just had to share a pic of cody, my dog, lying in among the throw blankets in my wardrobe....can you spot him?

click on image to enlarge


i'll be back tomorrow.....sweet dreams,

love, light and peace ~

Monday, 1 December 2008

quest - beyond the 28 days

peace to you all


SOUL COACHING - QUEST - BEYOND THE 28 DAYS


and what an amazing 28 days it has been. where do i go from here?

in the closing chapter, denise goes on to say that one of the best ways to open up to our higher self is to take time away from routine to be still and just listen. she suggests doing this some time in the next two weeks, i guess, while our soul journey is still fresh. i will do my sacred circle as a way of acknowledging and continuing on with my soul journey. once again, i thank all my soul sisters for sharing this incredible journey with me and i would also like to thank my blog friends who visited and supported me throughout the journey regardless of whether they participated themselves or not. the support you all gave me helped to carry me through it to the end and i am deeply grateful.


i would also like to thank leah from 'creative every day', whose blog challenge helped me to get into the habit of creativity on a daily basis over the month of november. i plan to continue with this also.

my blog will now return to normal viewing, however, as i feel like i am forever changed, you could well see some changes to my blog also.

OH, and i enjoyed participating so much in this book blog club that i have signed up for another book blogging date with jamie in january. we will be working with the book '12 secrets of highly creative women'. if you are interested in signing up too, you can read more about it here on 'the next chapter'. it will be a weekly blog date so maybe not as full on as the 'soul coaching' journey was but i'm sure it will be just as beneficial.

i am now off to meditate......love, light and peace ~

Sunday, 30 November 2008

and the winner of........

this 'I AM LOVE' original 6"x6" canvas painting


is....
take it away, brad -






CONGRATULATIONS, HELEN!

please email me with your home/snail address and i will mail off your prize.

Italic
i was so happy to give away this painting that i decided to pick a second winner.

this person will receive my 'I AM PRESENT' 6"x6" original painting.

and the second winner is....

take it away, aaron -





CONGRATULATIONS, LEAH!!!
please email me with your home/snail address and i will mail off your prize.

if you enjoyed this giveaway, know that there will definitely be more in the future, so feel free to pop in for a cuppa and a chat. you are always welcome.

i have michelle and alex coming to stay for a few days so we are able to look after her while alex is at work. she is very sore with three separate suture sites, on top of still healing from the car accident injuries a year ago, poor thing. anyways, i hope to get back tonight to post a little more re. my soul coaching journey but, if time gets away...i will post tomorrow.

love, light and peace to all ~

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