Saturday 31 December 2022

Word of the Year or not!

Happy New Year

I have been choosing one word for the year for a while now.

Over the years since 2011 I've chosen
Restore, Focus, Present, Participate, Thirst, Purpose, Connect, Gratitude/Thankfulness, Commit/Commitment, Walk, Intentional and More.

Looking back, many of the same things to focus on each year, come up time and again whatever the focus word.  In fact when I look at what I wrote for {More}, I could use most of it again this year with one or two tweaks!

So what's the word for 2023?

At first it was going to be {self-care} but I like to find quotes and Bible verses and really didn't think think there'd be many appropriate scriptures.

Then I thought maybe I could use the word {Balance} - as in a well-balanced physical, spiritual and creative life.  Basically self-care then!!

Then I moved onto {Identity} because as I told you I have signed up for the Essence of Identity Course.  Also Identity in Christ is a key foundation of my church and is the current teaching series.


I am also very aware that I get really excited about having a word for the year and do lots of work towards it.  See my posts for {More} and More Planner Stuff.    However by June if not April or May, my focus has waned and the last 3 months of the year I'm hard put to remember what my word is/was.

I was having a Facebook Messenger 'chat' with my friend Mary about it saying 'I have wondered about having a different word for each quarter'.    She suggested 'Maybe you could have an overarching word - self care or balance - for the year. Then have a focus word for each quarter that could line up with some of the areas you want to focus on'.

Mary told me that she had signed up for Ali Edward's One Little Word workshop because it provides structure.  I haven't done OLW since 2017 but thought I would check it out.  It has changed since I last took part.  Ali has brought in a team to help her and the participants.  So I thought I would give it a go.

This video is a helpful introduction if you've never chosen a focus word for the year.

As I write this in 2022 I'm still no nearer choosing a word although one or two are bubbling closer to the surface.  And it's 2023 tomorrow!

Thanks for joining me today.

Tuesday 27 December 2022

Planning the planner(s)

This year I have been using a Happy Planner as a journal rather than the dotted Wordsworth & Black notebook I used in 2021.

I bought a new planner for 2023 a little while ago but hadn't decided quite how I was going to use it.   I don't need a planner as such as all my appointments etc are on my phone and the calendar in the kitchen.

I spent some time watching videos on YouTube which show how different people use their planners.  Many of them are into something called Frankenplanning where for each month you take a section out of anything up to 7 planners!  I think that's taking it a bit far.

Having said that, it was my intention to only have one planner/journal for 2023 but the way it's looking there may well be three.

Firstly, there's the main one in which I shall record what has happened each day.  This is how I've used my planner/journal this year with a page at the end of each month with photos of some of the things that have happened.  I did start blogging about it but stopped taking photos of my journal pages in June.  The pages are a daily vertical layout.

I think this year I might include photos on the weekly pages rather than putting them on a page at the end of the month.

The second planner/journal has pages with a horizontal layout.

And it has this cover.

However I am going to swap out the cover to this:

I'm going to use this as a journal to record my thoughts mostly on what I read from this book which I actually bought in August 2021 but haven't used.

I hope to include other thoughts about life in general.  Or not, as the case may be!

The third one is this pretty wildflower planner which will have a variety of pretty lined paper in it.  I am going to use this for the journaling of a course I have signed up for with Fibre Arts Take Two called: Essence of Identity with Donna Watson.

I'm also going to include with this photos of my creative work and list the materials used and the size etc.  I also want to start writing about how I made each piece and what techniques I used.  I'm hoping this will lead to understanding the piece of work which will inform the next pieces I make.

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you will know that I choose a Word for the Year.  As I write this I'm still not sure what that word is for 2023.

However come back next week to find out how I get on with choosing the word.  And whether that means a 4th journal!!!!!

Thanks for  joining me today.

Happy New Year

Saturday 24 December 2022

Happy Christmas

Thank you for joining me during 2022.  I hope you have a happy Christmas and a great 2023.

See you there!

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Poetic words

I spent a very productive couple of hours on a Write Poetry zoom call run by Sara-Jane Arbury.  You may remember me mentioning her before when I wrote about Shape Shift Words.

We did 3 exercises.  In each Sara-Jane introduced us to a poem, talked about its form, language and punctuation and set us off to write a poem of our own.

(c) Frederick Yang

The first poem was Considering the Snail by Thom Gunn.  My version:

Feline Considerations
Stripes echoing the grasses’ light and shade.
Perfectly still. But
totally alert to movement of its prey.

Ears pricked.
Eyes watchful, unblinking.

Slowly one paw stretches
and touches down silently
as the next paw moves
and the next!
Slow, yet coiled.
Eyes on the target.

A sudden burst of rippling muscle
surging, pursuing the hapless prey.
Flapping feathers, frightened squawking
The feathered prey fights for freedom and
soars to the safety of branches high above and
jeers and catcalls at the losing stalker.

The cat stalks back to the shadowy grasses
his inner tiger dissatisfied. But,
there’s always another day.

The second poem was Root Vegetable Stew by Myra Schneider.   I can't find a copy online for you to see.  It was about cooking and about putting roots down.

My version as you will see is not about cooking:

I don’t cook. I heat up food.
Foil trays and frozen vegetables
brought from the supermarket of my husband’s choice.
Our evening meals based on use before dates
served on warmed plates
perched on trays.

We eat.
We watch the cooking shows.

The third poem was Amulet by Ted Hughes.  We were supposed to write about a creature but firstly I couldn't think of one and secondly this format is really, really hard.  Anyway you know my thoughts fairly frequently turn to canals, so here it is:

Inside the city’s roar, the canal’s silence
Inside the canal’s silence, the coots nest
Inside the coot’s nest, the hatchlings rest
Inside the hatchlings rest, the grasses sway
Inside the grasses sway, the fishes play
Inside the fishes play, the water moves
Inside the waters’ move, the narrowboats steer
Inside the narrowboats’ steer, they enter the city’s roar.

Well done if you've read this far.  I'm very impressed.

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday 17 December 2022

Another day, another book!

Creative Intent is a monthly online shared critique session - basically a group Show & Tell. It's run by Christine Chester.  Each of us in the group works on our pieces and at the zoom session talk about what we've done.  It's a chance to ask for advice or ideas of where to go next with the work if we're stuck.

At our last session I talked about my wanting to transfer the maps in my sketchbook to my fabric book.

My problem was how 'in your face' the pattern of the fabric is.  One of the suggestions made was that I stitched the maps on organza and layered that on the top of the page.  I tried this out at a studio day this week at Littleheath Barn Studio.

I traced the first two maps onto tissue paper.  Then put the tissue paper over the organza and stretched both tight in an embroidery hoop.

I used running stitch and then ran back!  I mean I stitched back into the spaces with running stitch.

This shows the organza laid over the fabric book.  I will be cutting up the organza and stitching it onto the page.

Watch this space for updates!  It might be a while because I want to finish the other book first.

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday 13 December 2022


My stitching is ongoing but not enough for an update

Partly because I spent a morning doing this:

I thought this might be a good time to recommend some things I follow.

Image result for podcast icon


Matt Tommey: The Thriving Christian Artist

Louise Fletcher & Alice Sheridan: Art Juice

Frank Skinner: Poetry Podcast

Image result for instagram icon 





and many many more!

Blog Icon in Social


Valerie Sjodin

Mary Brack

This West London Life

Image result for youtube icon

Planning with Bumble

Neil Sean

Adventures with Purpose

I hope you find something to interest you amongst all of these.

Thanks for joining me today


Saturday 10 December 2022

Lots of stitching

A quick update on the fabric pages from my last post.

I've been using running stitch and cross stitch.  I've mostly used Paintbox Threads.

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday 6 December 2022

A Fabric Collaged Book

Continuing with my map themed fabrics, a while ago I started making a fabric book.    I fused some fabrics I wasn't going to use onto the backs of all the pages.  I laid them out on the table.

I started placing collages on the pages.  Fortunately I could leave them all out on the table so I could walk away and keep coming back to them.  This makes the composition much easier.

It also means that some of the collages may change over the time.

All the collages are done now and I used a glue stick to temporarily attach the layers to each other and to the page.

They are all ready to hand stitch.  I may well machine stitch them as well.

I am also contemplating using the What3words little paper book I made as the inspiration for what I do with this fabric book I put together from one piece of printed fabric.

Watch this space!

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday 3 December 2022


Do you remember these from this post

Well, now they look like this!

These are 15cms square box frames.  Sorry about the quality of the photos.  There is glass in the frames and there#s a reflection on the lefthand side that looks like thread.  Don't know what that is!

Thanks for joining me today