Finding Balance

I don’t know about you, but in my life things happen in series.  What’s truly amazing is that I can reflect back on the last couple of months and see how everything I was doing was leading up to this one incredible moment in time.  I even had signs along the way which told me that YES you are on the right path – keep doing exactly what you are doing.  In short, I have been following my gut.

But even in the most incredible of moments in life, things still can seem out of balance or can get out of balance.  This journal entry celebrates so much and at the same time, I feel like I am spinning and one slip I will fall down.  I have long been encapsulated within my chrysalis waiting for everything to be right, waiting to emerge, and then I realized that if I kept mediating on the emergence it would never come.  Finally, I simply had to crawl out and spread my wings.  It took a while for me to adjust – the sun was bright, the air was crisp and at times the currents were too strong for me to fly.  I crashed a few times, repeating old habits and behaviors, but then when I least expected it – I arrived.

The girl in this focal image is spinning and she’s reaching up and touching the butterfly.  This is me.  I’ve reached out and surprisingly grasped my soul.  I can see it clearly now, clearer than ever before.  I am complete in this moment.

I know that I will need to move from this place to continue my journey, living and learning and growing, just like I had to crawl out of the dark safety of the cocoon I emerged from.  I anticipate it will be exactly what I’m truly meant to be doing and achieving in this life.  What a beautiful realization and maturation!

Blessed Be.


Sacred Heart ATC

This ATC is entirely hand drawn and colored.  The object of the swap was to represent the sacred heart symbol in an ATC.  I guess the swap coordinator inspired me when she mentioned paints, pens, pencils etc.  I felt compelled from the start to do this one by hand.

This is also the first time I ever used alcohol inks.  The heart is done with red alcohol ink on a piece of semi gloss card stock.  The flames were then drawn with a permanent ink pen and colored in using my favorite new tool – Prismacolor pens.  The Prismacolor pens behave just like the alcohol inks – and can be blended using the colorless blender.  This made the flames look more realistic and the background mottled.

"E" is for "Elephant"

Another installment for the Alphabet ATC Swap.  This ATC went to Lewisville, NC. 

I chose “Elephant” because I really liked the image I found in my stash of ATC bits – a drawer I just had to expand this week into two drawers.  My addiction is growing rather rapidly.  I really liked the teal blue accents in the “elephant” image and  rather than try to match the color, I decided to make the card rather monochromatic so that the teal really stood out.  This ATC is pretty simple.  I simply layered mica onto the background of the ATC and layered the “elephant” image on top securing all layers together with brads.  The E and the corner embellishments were also from my drawer of bits.  I like the antique result.

In addition to this card, I made another semi-related ATC that I kept for myself.  My ATC started with left overs from the swap ATC.  The background I watercolored with Twinkling H2Os in an attempt to match the teal blue in the vintage “elephant” block.  It ended up being too bright and more blue than teal than the vintage block image for the swap ATC.  While digging through my bits, I found the bright flower element.  This flower’s exotic look, design, and colors (the contrast of the red, blue, and green) reminded me of India.  Given the “elephant” theme, I pulled out a Ganesha image I cut out and stashed a while ago.  Ganesha, is the Hindu “Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth. In fact, Ganesha is one of the five prime Hindu deities (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Durga being the other four).”  

It’s kind of fun that my “E” project resulted in two very different ATCs.  I’ve heard about swappers making one ATC for their partner and one for themselves and until now, I’ve never considered making extras for myself.   My extra ATC was a very pleasant un-planned surprise.

Card #1 – The Source

The Source

“The Source” is a visual representation of my concept of spirituality. I was worried at first about creating this card – the task of representing my concept of spirituality – my spiritual source – in one card sounded impossible. But while collecting pictures from magazines that caught my eye and felt inspirational, I came across the image that is displayed in the upper left inside a National Geographic magazine article. This image is the ceiling of a mosque at midday. I knew instantly, this would be a key image for my “Source” card. In addition to the light in the image, the geometry on the ceiling seems to emphasize and/or allude to the mathematical and scientific as a bridge to the unknown and the beyond. I did have to trim the image of the ceiling quite alot for it to fit onto the card, but I think that this feeling is still present.

Seena Frost (author of Soul Collage) encourages every cardmaker to create a “Source” card but points out that “The Source” doesn’t have to be the first card you create. I find that doing art allows me to bend the rules and go beyond the “shoulds” and “have tos”, but for some reason, I couldn’t really begin this project until I created this card. Now I look my “Source” card several times a day and feel like it just appeared magically upon my desk rather than I “created” it.

The image of the pregnant woman in the center is definitely a reference to the great mother goddess(es). It’s also representative of my role as a mother. This symbolizes another spiritual belief of mine: that “goddess” isn’t just a separate source of life, love, and spirit, but it is a source within my self. I am goddess too.

The one thing about this card that was intentional is the image of the woman in the lower right corner. I felt the need to “appear” in this card. Like the goddess figure, this represents the Zen concept of the spirit residing within the self. The image is tiny compared to the other subject because I still feel so small in comparison to my “Source”. The figure is in a meditative pose – in awe of that which is this world and that which is beyond this world.

I said that the picture of the mosque ceiling was the inspiration for this card and it was definitely the place that I started when thinking about “The Source,” but the beach image got me cutting and glueing. The sea/ocean/beach is the place where I feel most at peace. I came across this picture in an old day planner I saved because I liked the pictures and quotes. I had forgotten I even had this image and it is the perfect backdrop.