25 April 2015
22 April 2015
21 April 2015
15 April 2015
10 April 2015
Some things are best expressed in words, some in art.
Inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi (broken pottery mended with gold), More Beautiful Than Before will help you think differently about the marks life leaves on all of us, encouraging you to see beauty in the places where we have been put back together rather than seeing only ugly scars.
This guided journey of self-discovery walks you through the creation of two easy felting projects and a number of simple journal writing exercises. Never felted before? Never done any writing? All the information you need is right here ... come and experience the joy of creativity!
More Beautiful Than Before is available as
a mini set (the book and writing cards),
a full set (the book, writing cards, and matching journal),
and a deluxe set (the book, writing cards, matching journal, and the fibre and other materials you need to complete the felting projects).
If you would like the e-book version of More Beautiful Than Before, you can purchase it from Smashwords, or your favourite online book retailer.
A printable set of the writing prompt cards is available for download here.
And the book itself can be ordered from yours truly!
When The Boy was small, ‘computer’ came out as ‘pacuter’. I can’t believe he is so big, yet things like this are still so clear in my memory!
Today was a day to do a bunch of stuff on da pacuter. I created a new website for Apple Jack Creek – removing the references to selling meat (we are only raising enough for ourselves now, though if things go well I may raise household milk cows!), updating the section on my books to encompass all the new works, adding links to my Ravelry page where my patterns are available, all those details. Our web hosting provider (DreamHost) has a one-click install for a product called Concrete5 which turned out to be a super easy way to build a website – no fussing with FTP and uploads or anything, it’s open source (thus free), mostly visual design tools but includes ready access to HTML for detailed work (adding PayPal buttons and such) … just fabulous. Dunno why it took me so long to realize that was there!
So, that took most of today. The catalyst for the change was the arrival of the latest book … which will be in the next post.
25 March 2015
At my counselling session yesterday, we were talking about the Scared Girl, the Not Good Enough Girl, the Angry Girl … all those personas inside my head who each have a job to do, but sometimes try to take over when their help isn’t really needed. Each Girl has a name and an image in my mind … my Scared Girl wears flannel pyjamas and hides under the bed most of the time, whispering to everyone else hold still, don’t make anyone angry, just hide. My Not Good Enough Girl stands there in a very prim skirt, low heels, beige nylons, and a buttoned up white blouse, her hands on her hips as she chides me for being inadequate. The Angry Girl has a leather jacket, ripped jeans, scuffed steel toed boots, and a pair of brass knuckles - she shouts and curses and yells and wants to hit things.
Mostly, these troublesome girls have quieted down now that I’m appropriately medicated, and for this I’m profoundly grateful. Still, I know they are there if I need them … and I’m also aware that because I’m so sensitive to stress and prone to feeling unsafe in perfectly ordinary situations, the Girls might jump out and try to help at times when I don’t actually need them.
Yes, if I’m truly threatened I will need my Angry Girl to stand up and say “No further! That’s enough! Stop there.” However, I don’t need her hitting anyone or yelling mindlessly – she has to communicate clearly, to fight fair, to be honourable. I don’t really want a street brawler who is always spoiling for a fight living inside my head.
So, I am going to send my Angry Girl for martial arts training. She’s going to become a peaceful warrior, one who will fight honourably in defense of herself or those she is responsible for, but who will not seek out an argument and will avoid violence, using only the amount of force necessary to evade danger and remain safe, no more.
Now I know that the samurai of history who developed the martial arts were in love with violence and death and I am, truly, a pacifist at heart … but there is much in ancient Japanese culture and martial arts philosophy besides physical violence, there is much that is beautiful and not inconsistent with my beliefs. I took a few lessons in Aikido when I was in university, and the idea of turning the enemy’s strength back on them while evading their blows really resonates with me. You aren’t out to beat someone up … just to safely get out of the way and convince the person that attacking you (or those you are protecting) was a very bad idea.
If there was a way for me to go to Aikido classes, I think I’d probably sign up again. I’d really like to use a quarterstaff, but reason tells me I’m not likely in any shape to even practice something so physically demanding. So, for now, I’ll see what I can do about reforming Angry Girl into an Honourable Warrior through mental discipline … and a wardrobe change.
Warrior Girl has set aside her leather and denim. She is now wearing plain peasant hakama and an indigo jacket. The brass knuckles are gone, instead she carries a wooden staff that serves as a walking stick to help climb the bumpy spots on the trail, and as a defensive weapon to ward off predators on two legs or four. She carries no swords, no tools of death … she is a pilgrim walking the Tokaido Road in search of peace, helping others as opportunity arises, always headed towards the sea.
On her jacket, at the centre back, is the mon: the crest of her family.
Encircled by the wings of a crane is the staff of a pilgrim and a flower blossom: the crane for longevity and peace … the pilgrim’s staff for support, safety, and the ongoing journey … the flower for hope, life, and beauty.
I may need to make myself a haori jacket with this symbol on the back. And find myself some hakama … they seem like they’d be terrifically comfortable.