December 31, 2008

between the old & the new . . .

Christmas has tumbled past in a flurry of happiness & contentment
wouldn't it be lovely if  we could catch those moments in a delicate snow globe
to give it a gentle shake every once in a while & glimpse the magic over again

and now, here I find myself in this familiar old place
this kind of waiting space between the old & the new
a time for quiet reflection . . .
. . . wandering back over the happenings of the old year
pondering some bits & musing others pieces

This has been a truly different & very lovely year for me, I proudly married the very wonderful Mr O. I  started working for myself doing what I love the most, being creative and painting! I started blogging and a whole new world opened up before my very eyes.

 I have learnt a great deal this last twelve months and now I am looking forward to the start of a brand new year, with great excitement, resolutions have been scribbled down, must do's & would love to do's. I am ready to roll, here it comes, tiptoeing around the corner, so I am away to spend the last of this good old 2008 remembering & reminiscing, dreaming & planning and just being oh so thankful
wishing you all a very wonderful New Year,
may it be all you hope for in your heart

December 24, 2008

Ssshhh it's Christmas eve

  . . . its a magical night, silent & soft
such an expectant feeling fills our wee house
a stillness & a peace wrapped around us,
waiting for loved ones to arrive from distant places
sounds of paper rustling & secret present wrapping
excited laughter & busy chatter
no better place could i wish to be
but here in the heart of my precious family
on this night of all nights
Christmas eve
wishing you all a very merry Christmas
x x x
beautiful illustrations from
Jan Pienkowski's

December 10, 2008

Burrell Collection - medieval stained glass

such a sight for sore eyesglowing wings of angels
precious colours set alight in glass the Burrells collection of stained glass
such a perfect place for my research
on medieval art

with imagination set alight and thoughts of a world long gone
i found so very much to explore and soak up
amazed at this, the work of those distant craftsmen

such a stunning collection of art work
gifted by Sir William Burrell and his wife to Glasgow in 1944
The Burrell collection in Glasgow is made up of a vast array of works
of all periods and from all over the world.

The Burrell Collection

October 28, 2008

MY creative journey . . .

The  clocks have now gone ticking back an hour and the nights will now be creeping slowly in. Yet i smile because i am always glad to see the seasons change & am looking forward with glee to what the next one brings along. Still to come, crisp frosty patterned mornings & wintery hued sunsets, a new season laying another set of colours over the landscape. Long cosy evenings in front of the crackling, popping fire, a perfect excuse to snuggle in with my paints & my sketch pad.

My weekend of "going with the flow" was a huge success, i am finishing off the piece i started & shall show it very soon, a slightly scary thought. I am slowly re-discovered so much that had slipped into places i couldn't reach, like my love of folklore and of symbolism in art, these i want to include in my work again. I am excitedly waiting the arrival of books on those very subjects that i purchased from Rima across at The Hermitage, a visit there is a must for lovers of more magical places.

I am away to my newly magical place, the studio, to add more to my painting, i love this new focus & excitment that i feel in my work.

October 21, 2008

Jessie M King. . .

nestling quietly  in the beautiful Scottish countryside
home, over many years, to assortments of artists & crafting folk 

. . . in days long gone by
after many travels & inspiring adventures
a free spirit, called Jessie M King came to settle there

 a talented illustrator & designer of wonderful things
she loved all that was medieval and fantasy
she created such delicate illustrations  for  faerie tales & books

designed jewelry, fabrics, murals, costumes & so much more 
this  arty girl could not help but call Jessie  a favourite
all work above by Jessie M King

October 19, 2008

Time out . . .

Mom and I mulled this over yesterday
as we sat chatting over mugs of tea in the sunshine
gazing out over the sheep strewn meadow, out across the turquoise bay.
We are both, we decided, very visual folk, we see our way through life
taking in all that information, storing it away,
to bring out and use as we sketch & paint.

i love days like this, time spent with my Mom, precious moments
we are so very lucky to have this wonderful lady in our lives
a talented artist, a strong, patient, kind, gentle soul
from her i have learnt & have yet to learnt so much

all my life i have watched as Mom created beautiful things,
her paintings & sketches, her garden, the peaceful haven at the cottage
and now, now she is in the process of setting up her very own Blog
i am so excited, i can hardly wait to see it.

( Images taken at the stunning Mullof Galloway, SW Scotland.

October 16, 2008

the moment has arrived

This journey, my creative re-awakening has me feeling as though my senses have been sharpened, as if i have woken from a deep sleep and am seeing the world through new eyes. As i looked around me yesterday i saw the colours of autumn painted over the landscape. The day had a dreamy look, softly smudged around the edges.

But i was not dreaming, after all those long hours of waiting, the moment had arrived, i could soon be saying, finally say "i am my own boss". I now have time to paint, draw, sew, i have precious hours just to create. Time again to express - me, wow, i think it will take a while for this to feel real, time to adjust. I feel quite dazed.

So i am taking time out & spending the days of the half term holiday with my boy. He is growing so fast & time spent with him is precious. Already i have experienced the pull and tug of my heart as i have proudly watched my two daughters grow into beautiful, gentle, independent women. Now the last of my babies is growing up and not needing me! I shall treasure these moments whilst i can. When i was a very new first time Mum, a dear sweet neighbour handed me a tiny envelope inside which was a poem, i still have it, and even though it has not always been possible to live by them as life got in the way, these words have always stayed with me, . . .
Cleaning and cooking can wait 'till tomorrow
For babies grow up, as we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep

September 17, 2008

Painting Robins

Paint smeared & happy
my thursday/friday job finds me
with brush in hand & new challenges waiting
smooth pieces of slate or granite with polish sanded away
ready for a splash of colour, a picture to be painted
today the stresses of my week slowly melted away
as i found myself with each brush stroke i made
back where i belong, being creative again.

September 08, 2008

The decision . . .

I am feeling ever so slightly overwhelmed today. First there were notions & fancies, then day dreams & ponderings, followed by heaps of mulling over & ruminations and then, then, there we were, suddenly, at yesterday. Today was the day of "The Decision" !

The sums are done, the weighing up is over. I am about to embark on the newest part of my adventure. One month away from becoming my very own boss! Oh my, that sounds scary & exciting, and huge!!

I think it will take a good while for this to sink in. On Monday i am handing in my notice. No more long drives, glaring computer screens, coming home too exhausted to do much more than eat & sleep. I am going to have time & energy to do my stuff! 

 Mr O is here, right beside me, step by step, all the way. He asked me my main reason for doing this?" I thought for a minute, then it came as clear as day, "because this is what i am", a "creative type", one of those mysterious creatures who won't be truly happy unless there is a brush or pencil, in her hand, letting it all flow out.

I drew my faces illustration over there, when one day i was thinking of all the different parts we play in our own lives and the lives of others. All making up our one whole self. My self is mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt. It is home-maker, seamstress, writer, cook, gardener. It is soon to be self-employed artist & illustrator - hopeful ETSY shop owner, gallery exhibitor & creator of many things. It sounds so yummy & I can't wait!

September 07, 2008

My secret wish . . .

I haven't told you yet about my secret wish,
the very thing i am quietly, creeping towards, have i?
* * *
It is almost as if, by whispering these words out loud,
i will let my dream escape & fly away.
But i am going to be brave, i shall tell you!
I dream of a day when, in the not so distant future,
i can give up my "day job" & move full time to a life filled
with making & painting, story telling & creating.
* * *
The world of my childhood, that i put down somewhere & lost
so very long ago, the world filled with
goodness, myth & legend, magical things & happy endings.
faeries & gypsies, fantastic creatures & shining knights,
dragons & mermaids, the world of my imagination.
* *
After 26 long years,
for that's how long ago it is since i last painted,
i hope i have the courage to take that step.
I want to paint & sketch & give life to my world again,
those scribbled characters above,
locked in my sketchbooks for too many years.
I think i should open the pages and let them out. . . ..
What is right for one soul may not be right for another.
It may mean having to stand on your own
and do something strange in the eyes of others.
But do not be daunted,
do whatever it is because you know within it is right for you.

It is such a goods feeling to be going home. . .

September 06, 2008

A place for ideas

I bought myself a treat today, a beautiful note book to treasure.
The perfect place to store my ideas & sketches. Whenever i open its cover to start scribbling, i see the words below & they make me smile - for my soul has indeed filled with a rainbow of colours, every one a lesson learnt.
Designed by the talented & brave, late artist Laurel Burch. You can follow the link below to read Laurel's inspiring story. The cover shows "Spirit of womankind" so vibrant, like jewels lying here on my desk.

Propped up in the corner of the studio is my easel, for the moment home to some things i started a long, long time ago.
The picture at the front is a rough for a painting depicting motherhood
i can hardly wait to start on it again.

September 05, 2008

A spark of creative inspiration

For three whole weeks, I have been house bound thanks to a slipped disc, trapped nerve and a doctors note. It was so sore, and I was probably so grumpy to live with. But I loved that I had a reason to stay at home, clear my head and re-focus.  I have drawn & painted, scribbled & scrawled, pages & pages of ideas, sketches and notes, so many project ideas. I have felt so alive.  How wonderful it would be to do this all day every day.

I have this poem on my inspiration board, first learnt it from my Mom . . .

There is no point in work
Unless it absorbs you
Like an absorbing game.
If it doesn’t absorb you
If it’s never any fun,
Don’t do it.
When a man goes out into his work
He is alive like a tree in Spring
He is living, not merely working.

D H Lawrence

What wonderful words they are . . . my hope one day!

Over the years I found I lost the energy & motivation to come home after a long day at work and start to make at. Now, a spark is kindled, over these past weeks I  have become more determined to aim for my goals. my dream ~ to be a full time, self -employed artist.

 I want to hold on to this focus I have discovered whilst being off work and get back to producing paintings again. I am going to try and do at least one sketch/painting each day to keep this new focus going and after all everything happens for a reason, doesn't it!

September 02, 2008

A story of how wishes can come true . . . .

Once upon a long time ago, on a peaceful, secluded sandy shore at the Mull of Galloway in Scotland, whilst on holiday visiting Granny, a little girl bent down and oh so very carefully traced a message on a patch of pure, sparkling sand.  Grannie had whispered to  her that sometimes, if the sea came up and washed away a wish, it just might just come true . . . the words she wrote?   " I wish we could all live in Scotland and be near to Granny" . . .
That gentle, little girl, for so very long, had a yearning for peaceful, unspolit, countryside and longed to live near her granny & papa her auntie & cousins.  Mommy stood watching, heart aching as her little girl came running excitedly along the beach, rosy cheeked, expectantly, hugging her secret tight. Mommy knew what that sandy message would say, a shared but impossible dream of both mother & daughter

Yet the unimaginable happened . . . Five months later at the door of a their little scottish cottage, surrounded by her precious family, stood that same sweet girl calling to Grannie " could we come for tea tomorrow".  Mommy smiled at those words, & her heart was full.  So fast they had hardly time to blink, magical happenings had happened, and here they were, now living a stones throw from Granny & cups of tea, cuddles & visits galor. A dream come true.

And that is the story of how magic really did happen and my family and I found ourselves living here in beautiful Scotland, surrounded by the heather & the hills & my family.   Who says wishes can't sometimes come true. 

Have you every wished for something so much, but hardly dared to imagine. . . .
 To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.”
  William Blake quotes

August 27, 2008

Sons, daughters & friends . . .

precious things today
my enthusiastic boy (see above) - he makes me laugh out loud
miracle working physio - we might be getting somewhere
wonderful friend - helping organise my boys birthday treat
a daughter - oh so excited over our soon to be puppy household
and a lovely, quiet, uninterrupted day full of sketching

August 24, 2008

A dusty portfolio uncovered

Taking pictures over the last few weeks for this blog,
had started something stirring inside me

Hauling out my dusty forlorn portfolio i felt a sense of apprehension
yes, there they were, all my long forgotten sketches and paintings
so many ideas swirling round in my head, where do i start
as i began to work with the photographic images from my day
i knew i was on the mend, finding my feet at last.

After so long, it came at me in huge waves
this passion for my work. This is me.
I feel i have truly come home.

Clouds & silver linings . . . how true.
Being off work, waiting for my arm to mend
and the help of a certain Mr, of course,
has given me time to start my blog.
Everything happens for a reason, don't you think?

August 23, 2008

Threave Gardens ~ colour & shape to inspire

This was my second week of enforced laziness
with my aching, useless arm i was feeling pretty blue . . .
Mr O in his wisdom decided inspiration was called for

a secret walled garden and hot house beyond
colours straight from a child's paint box

delicate detail and sumptuous velvety petals

sculptural shapes

and a giant fir cone

i would show you so much more
but something else tasty caught my eye.

These same gardens were the very place
Mr O & I had our very first outing too!

Threave Gardens, South West Scotland, see info below

August 20, 2008

Museum of Costume, Shambellie House

So many of my favourite things in one place....

beautiful victorian country house & gardens

elegant dresses & sumptuous fabricstheatrical fancydress & underwear dainty parasols & exquisite evening bags

delicate fans & vivid feathers

shoes! and more shoes!
then down twirling spiral stairs to

delicious homemade soup and melt in the mouth shortbread

whilst gazing at beautiful views
what more could a girl ask for.

for more informationShambellie House Museum of Costume
south west scotland
Open daily until Fri 31 October from 10:00 - 17:00