A burst of creativity 

25/6/17 After a week of feeling exhausted with high levels of pain and very little sleep I was met with an inspired moment. So this weekend’s sudden burst of creativity has come about by this….

A small pot of local flowers from my garden which either looked pretty or smelled nice. I thought I might be able to make some pot pourri to send to my friend in Australia as part of her birthday gift and to remind her of home. I miss her even more since she emigrated. Yes I have lots of wild flowers which have grown in the wrong place (otherwise known as weeds) but they are blooming and some of them smell rather lovely too so I’m not afraid to include them.

Unfortunately I then looked it up and found out that you cannot send plant matter to Australia since they have strict laws. So I thought about making her a wildflower bouquet mixed up with the ones from my garden and photographing it for her. Perhaps I would make it onto a notebook so she can write a journal, or get it printed for her and put in a frame. Who knows but on our evening walk we collected more and since it was a rainstorm by the time we arrived home I had to store them in the fridge overnight and so this was made today. 


It adorned my dining table for the day as I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with it next. Send it with blessings to the wind, or make the pot pourri out of it, it does smell rather nice. In the end I have opted for both. 

I was inspired by an artist named Day Schildkret who on his walks collects things and makes beautiful sculptural earth alters from his foraged finds which he photographs. Known as Impermanent Earth Art You can see his work at http://www.morningalters.com I love his work and am perfectly happy when doing my own foraging for beautiful things.

But it somehow set the ball rolling. Last night I wrote up my poems to the pc from the notebooks of my last trip it boosted my morale again finding out that I have almost reached my quota for my second book selection (a further 100 poems) and it seemed to trigger the writing again, suddenly whizzing around my head. This morning I wrote a poem about my friend who has invited me to her wedding next week. I plan to give it to her for a gift and thought that I need to do something else for them too. I am all for a bit of upcycled giftware and have made her a recycled roof slate chalkboard with the wedding couples initials in a logo and the date of their union. The slates were reclaimed from Scotland. I have a few of them I intended to make up for some friends and family or perhaps sell at a later date.


I hope that they like it. 

I also made one for our home which is personal to us. This has become our catchphrase of late since wherever we are as long as we are together it’s home.

It seems that I have been able to write more poetry this week. Not all of it suited to a book, or here but had to be written nevertheless.

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Some Things ARE Better in Colour.

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This follows on from my post about painting from the other week. Here’s the link so that it makes more sense…

About Some Things, I don’t have a Clue!

Ok I admit it that I didn’t quite get around to “painting” a picture during this trip, however I did sketch something with the intention of adding colour or paint and even got around to colouring it, just to see what it would look like. The colours were from watercolour pencils mainly except there are never enough of the colours to go round, especially the different shades of green to colour the woodland so I had to add in some normal pencils too.

The end result… Ta Da!

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Getting Creative Again- Making and Photographing Driftwood Sculptures.

26/10/16

img_2926Yesterday evening as the sun was setting we went for a drive to Largo. It was where we spent a lovely Christmas & New Year in a rented cottage after the roof came in up here.  I have fond memories of us all three, running along the beach. Kato skipping over the huge rocks like a mountain goat, when in other places he could trip on a pebble.  My partner and I hand in hand walking along the sand.

I have a photo I took of them when I wrote Happy New Year in the sand on the beach when the tide was out. Yesterday was different, I wrote a tribute to our Kato in the sand as the sun had gone down and the houses in the background were lit up like Christmas. We still walked hand in hand and combed the beach for driftwood.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but I felt like being creative.

So this afternoon, with a couple of hours to spare, I decided that I would make beach combed sculptures. You know the type that rely upon gravity to hold them into place.  Inspired by the stone sculptures held together just by their position in river beds, with the water gushing past.

We have a wonderful brook alongside our house, my partner built it for me and lined it with stones, so that Kato could play safely in the water of what was once a mosquito infested ditch. It is now a pretty stream thanks to his efforts.

So I set about positioning the driftwood and a few beach pebbles that we collected yesterday, I also found a few interesting shells.

I wondered how I would leave them, but knew that I would have to photograph them.  The mantelpiece seemed like the perfect place.  It is a stained hardwood top with a rough plastered white painted chimney breast behind it, which I thought might make a good backdrop.  Unfortunately I didn’t do this until the evening, so the only light in here is from an overhead bulb which created some shadows which I wasn’t always grateful for.  However generally I was pleased with the end result.

The one thing that was unexpected was that it got the imagination going, I could the shapes like animals in the wood, an alligator, a sheep, a whale, a Dragon, can you see any of them too?

I thought I saw a wolf,  a man showing you something inside a hole and some strange sea creature.

I saw a strange lizard and there is a shell, which has almost worn away, which has a small pebble firmly lodged inside it.

I left the sand on the shells and the logs, the logs were still damp from the beach and were drying out when I brought them back.  I tried to Balance some and was intrigued by the wormholes.

This was my drift pile before I assembled them, pretty uninspiring and it’s surprising what you can do when you make the effort.

The photos below were just the same one piece of driftwood.

When I came to position the stones, I hung them precariously over the edge, they did not fall, I stood a family on the top, I imagined a mother, a father and a dog, at first it looked a little like the third person, but I repositioned it to better signify our family.

I looked at the father stone, a close up of this showed a mournful face, as though crying out. It signified to me the grief Kato’s Dad has experienced in the past three months since we lost him.

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It’s strange how the imagination can bring emotions to the fore.  As we have almost come to the end of our break here, we are not looking forward to returning South. It has been hard to be in our house without our Little Bear here in the flesh, remembering all of the things that previously we enjoyed as a family here.  But, we are planning things for our future however long or short that may be.  We are planning a future in Scotland.  More time spent with the friends we have made there, would be a blessing.  We have met some lovely people on this trip, spent time with old friends who have been pleased to see us and made some new ones along the way.

The Daily Post – Rearrange

About Some Things, I don’t have a Clue!

img_7568It’s funny how some things you just know, deep down whilst other things you don’t have a clue about despite thinking that you do.

I was thinking this morning about the process of painting a picture. Something was a bit of a revelation about when people are up on hillsides looking at pretty things, with their easels and paint looking out over it all and deciding which bit of a wonderful landscape they will choose to paint.

Clearly I was not paying attention to things in my art class years ago, because it hadn’t occurred to me what happens first and it has held me back over the years, now as it turns out unnecessarily.

Faced with the blank page in front of me and thinking, Where do I start? What if I make a mistake? Will I mess it up? All these thoughts and many more have held me back from actually doing that thing, getting the paper, paints etc out. From creating a lovely picture to hang upon the wall. Of course it might not be lovely IF I actually mess it up, but the truth is I haven’t tried, through fear of failure. My art has suffered and with it, my creativity. Who holds me back, well yes the truth is it’s usually me.

I dreamed as a child of being a ballet dancer, where I danced beautifully on stage but in reality I cannot dance. I don’t have the confidence or coordination required.  I also dream of painting or drawing wonderful images, but settle for photography as the reality is so very different from my attempts.

But then a few weeks ago I was watching something on the TV, Grand Designs, (Well it is almost Autumn again and I will have to find something to watch on the television) Kevin McCloud, the presenter was up on a hillside with the man who was building his house. He had taken him there for inspiration, declaring that it would be time out from the build and since they both paint they would each do that. Watching them sitting there, they started to sketch out the view which reached out in front of them, on paper and sat there talking. And there is was… It must have sat in my subconscious after that until now. Later in the program, they showed the reveal of the almost finished house and hanging on the wall was the painted picture that the man had done. Of course it was beautiful, but then again he painted regularly.

I also noticed another painting where you could see the lines underneath the paint, why had I never thought about this before. Well, somehow it seemed as though I had a light bulb moment and when I come to think of it, it seems rather silly that I have never done this since leaving school. I quite often sketch pictures, usually of houses or landscapes and think, I only wish that I’d put more colour on there, but something more than colouring pencils. My painting fear does not extend to painting the house, objects etc it’s just when faced with the blank page.

So all of this time, I have only been seeing something half finished, it’s time to change that.

I have also sat down and thought about painting on many occasions, only to stop for fear of putting a brush stroke in the wrong place and having to turn it into something different. Paint seems to be such a permanent thing. I know that if I had to do that then that would be the one thing that would annoy me in the finished painting, the one thing that I could see that was wrong. So I didn’t. I guess as they say in America I have issues and somewhere in there is bound to be another metaphor. As I will be heading on up the hill at sometime soon, where I will be surrounded by the beauty and the scenery for a little while at least, when I finally get there, I may just take my sketch pad some paint and finally colour my world a little bit brighter.

Images: Morguefile & My Own

The Frustration in Fighting for Peace and Justice.

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Try as I may, I am bundled up with frustration at the situation which we currently face.
Following on from the incidents of this week, as mentioned in my previous post The art of holding it together…. Or keeping calm in a crisis.(which is a bit of a long read)

I have been told that the man who tried to come and kill me has been released, whilst I was being told this, he arrived back to his own home opposite mine, at about 11pm shouting that he was back. I told this to the Police officer who was informing me, she sighed and said, “so he is already kicking off then.”

It is the sort of response that I would expect from a friend of family member, but again it seems the police are actually powerless to deal with this. They know exactly what they are dealing with here and yet they had to let him go on bail, because he said that he didn’t do it! As my friend put it quite succinctly, did they expect him to say, “Yes Officer, I am a complete arse, I cannot live or function in Society”

I found out yesterday, that he told the officer who questioned him that he had never spoken to me before, which was a complete lie but thus admitting in theory at least that he did on this occasion. They said that there was not enough evidence. I am pretty sure that in the three hours it took the police to actually find him and arrest him, he was able to return the knife he was carrying back into the kitchen drawer, only to remove it and come back over the road carrying it a further twice, but there was plenty of time.
They released him on bail, but did not apply any bail conditions, like staying away from me or my partner. I questioned this, since I had been told that he had been told not to come near or speak to either of us. The police officer said that he would have been told that, but it was not an actual condition of his bail. My question, “So there’s nothing to actually stop him doing that then” “No,” he replied.

The officer came to gather more information for the Crown Prosecution Service, who are now trying to build a case against him. The two witness statements given and a verbal statement to another officer were simply not enough for them. I offered two letters from a former neighbour which mention that he was taken into custody some time ago by riot squad for using knives, and had returned to his old ways he told me that they were not useful to this investigation. I was confused as they showed a previous history of violent behaviour involving knives from a further independent witness. I also mentioned the neighbour who confirmed for the policemen who attended that he had been throwing knives about whilst she had a conversation with us and shouting abuse at us, just after he attempted to run my partner down, just 2 weeks earlier.

The police officer forgot something when he left and returned moments later to collect it to find this man standing at our front gate, yelling abuse at my partner. Clearly the neighbour did not expect him to return. He searched him and cautioned him again and sent him back to his house telling him to stay on his side of the street and not come near this property. The ranting went on for a large part of the afternoon. I stayed indoors.

Yesterday early evening he was in his front garden, yelling across the street again and mimicking my partner walking about. Then standing in front of the house menacingly. He certainly had some acting skills, that man and seems to love a camera, he was acting up for it. He was also wearing a white chefs jacket in his new cunning disguise. Pieces of a puzzle, why would he have chefs whites you may ask, well if he was out of his garden with another kitchen knife, someone might mistake him for a chef.

Thankfully since he seems to have the thought pattern of a 17 year old and you can watch the cogs whirring, we are able to see things coming to a certain extent, but basically think of a set of circumstances put together with childlike thought and remain one step ahead at all times.

I again notified the council of this incident who I would have hoped had not got their hands firmly in their pockets on this occasion. However it seems that the fence they are sitting on is so far up their backsides that you cannot even see it. A local councillor who had previously promised to deal with the matter as mediator and to lend it some weight when this first began some seven weeks ago, has done nothing not been to see other victims and now feels he’d like to go and visit the man himself for a chat, telling me that there is compassionate feeling for his circumstances. In seven weeks, no-one has visited him yet and there is clearly absolutely no compassion for mine, or the other neighbours whom he has terrorised during this time or beforehand Well, I hope that the dear councillor takes a stab vest with him and I am sure that the neighbour will have his carer present, or perhaps the barrister that his mother provided to remove him from custody the other day. Most certainly he will play his part of meek and mild to the hilt, he will probably take his medication that day, wear smart clothes and wait until the councillor leaves the house and then he will go back to being the monster he has become. I only hope that they are not fooled for a minute, but fear that they will be completely taken in by the charade.

For him it is a fine game, which can be played day in, day out, night and day endlessly for as long as it takes by someone with far to much time on their hands. Meanwhile we cannot continue with our lives or get anything done. No preparation for a trip we were due to take in July and have yet to, since our days are taken up with dealing with the circumstances of his play, or the fallout from it. Does it all boil down to politics at the end of the day, since he is Special Needs. The response which I received from the councillor certainly led me to believe that.

The frustration I feel right now is so intense that I am wound like a clock. Suffering with Hypertension, you tend to know when you are about to become ill and I am about one step away. I am not sleeping properly, I am jumpy and cannot relax, my chest is fluttering and pounding and my heart rate is ten beats more than usual. I know this since the Dr asked me to check it before I left the surgery the other day. She is concerned and has prescribed me medication for acute anxiety. Although I would love the release of forgetting about what has happened and being able to relax. I cannot afford to let my guard down outside of the home. I am on higher alert than I was three days ago, when he was away. I am looking over my shoulder as I walk accompanied down the road. I would rather not leave the house at all, I only feel safe out in the car, to a certain level.

My home here is no longer a place of safety where I can sleep, relax and enjoy being. I crave the sanctuary of the Hill, somewhere I can take us both off to recharge our batteries and forget about the Trauma caused by this  Summer’s events. Or at least can gather my own thoughts into some semblance of order once again, without the domination of this person. I have the getaways so badly that I can taste it, but am powerless to get there. I have the offer to stay with friends, but a night away, would bring fear of what may have happened by my return, so I have declined thus far.

The other day, I was feeling an inner strength which I know is still deep down. I am digging deeply for it at the moment, trying to be strong and remembering that I have a voice and to make it heard. Surely one man cannot chase off a whole bunch of neighbours, well he has managed to terrorise them for months now. I do want to move, but I don’t want to be seen off and leave the other people around here to try and deal with it. They haven’t been able to before, if I have become a kind of ambassador for the local neighbours, then that may not be such a bad thing. To have someone fighting their corner for a change. We all want to be safe in our homes.

A couple of weeks ago, I repainted a bench in our garden.  It is there as a reminder, during the times when it feels so dark. It also sends a message to the whole neighbourhood. #LoveisStrongerthanHate Although I am finding it hard to love this particular neighbour after what he has inflicted upon us as a family, which is pain so deep and personal in a barrage of unprovoked attacks, by sharing some love amongst the rest of the community, we will become stronger.

I thought about asking my current landlords about moving me to another property as they did when I moved in here following a burglary carried out by my next door neighbour. But since this man’s mother has friends in high places who are giving her information, I know that I would not be safe there either, if he was not held in a secure unit he would come and find me, since he is not giving up. Also, I have asked myself the question who would want to move in here, I would have a duty to them to tell them that there was an issue with one or two of the neighbours, so who in their right mind would want to move to a place like this at the moment? Part of me would see this as defeat if I moved. Meanwhile, the torrent of foul abuse is launched upon me whenever I step out of the front door.

I don’t have the answer, I am begging them for something to be done. For this horror story to finish so that we can all get on with our lives, but at the moment I am stuck in limbo. I am unable to proceed and certainly not wanting to retreat. If I can hold my ground, I am in with a chance of survival.

The Daily Post – Recharge

The Blank Canvas

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The Blank Canvas

When she moved away from her previous life, she bought the biggest one she could find and hung the blank canvas upon the wall.

And there it was….

Proudly displayed, her new life in her new home. Away from the hurt, anguish and resentment of the old one, a new beginning for her.
Still wrapped in plastic, a grubby mark in one corner, smudged, dirtied in transit.

It waited.

Not knowing what would be thrown in it’s direction, where the paint would land.
What would become of it?
What image would appear and how would it be received by those who saw it?
Three years later, she unwrapped it.

At last ready to begin, only to find that the smudge was not there at all. The outer packaging, peeled back to reveal the unblemished canvas underneath it all that time.

What will she fill the space with?

Words will come, songs of the heart. Raw emotions apparent, new memories created there and then.

The Blank Canvas is no more…

Filled with a new story, which has now begun.

 

The Daily Post – Transformation

This is about the Blank Canvas which hangs in my Mother’s home. It is her Birthday today, which is why I have chosen to post this now.  #Happy Birthday! Bizarrely though I wrote this and when I spoke with my mother two days later she told me that the very same day, she had begun painting her words on her Blank Canvas.

Photo: http://www.morguefile.com

Patterns & Textures

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How Bizarre! I don’t know what it was that went Pop! Inside my head last night leaving me feeling rather sick and dizzy and a little spaced out for most of the night, but to say that I feel a little bit odd today would be an understatement. I have not taken anything which would alter the mind or vision I hasten to add, but it left me feeling decidedly strange. I am hopeful that whatever it was that has given me a sore ear again today is not a return to the past three months of whatever caused havoc but a conclusion to it and I will finally feel so much better, instead of very nearly almost.

On the plus side though, I am rather transfixed by patterns and textures today and have spent a merry hour or so photographing all sorts of things around the home, so not much is getting done here today and You, you Lucky People get to see what I‘ve been up to….

Hopefully it will not be too boring for your though and it’s all in the name of creativity. It was another blogger, Austin Kleon who started me on this. This morning, I recalled looking at something he had done on one of his blogs. Like some of the greats which catch you totally unawares, it has sat there in the back of my mind since then, it challenged me to look at what constitutes art in a different way. He also seems to be a fan of recycling in what he does and this had me opening every envelope I could find with a printed interior, rather than throw them in the recycling, I thought I might do something with them myself, such as cover an old notebook with them, or on a grey day, (like today) begin to colour the endless patterns. Pattern can jump out from the oddest places once you start to look for it.
Then checking myself for thinking I must think I have too much time on my hands, I settled for photographing them instead.

No doubt I will add to the collection over time, before my new notebook cover takes shape.
I think I am a long way off from the leather bound one, which I have intended to make but streets ahead of my desperate reporters notebooks.