Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Thoughts

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! 
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.*

Philippians 2:5-11

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

Jesus, who created the world and everything in it with a word, humbled himself and came to earth as a baby and had to learn how to speak. (Andrew East)

Jesus humbled himself to the death we deserve, so that we can have the life we don't deserve. (Rick Lewers)

*If you would like to listen to this in song you can listen here** or come along to our church some time :)

**I haven't posted it in my blog because I am not sure of the copyright conditions.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

I'm here, I'm here, Jo!

That title has little to do with this post except to state that I have not fallen off the face of the earth or vanished into thin air. :)

I did this layout way back in 2006 for the Scrap 52 Challenge. At the time this slightly avant garde (for me anyway) layout was a representation of my head exploding with creative ideas. In those days I did at least 2 layouts a week. Phew!

Today this layout could represent my head exploding with all the information exploding from my brain and keeping me awake at night and in the early hours of the morning writing blog posts and emails and thinking about what to do and how to do it.

What has caused this sudden disruption to the unexciting, but highly sleep-conducive, brain waves I had before Saturday 25 November, 2012?

I'll tell you.

I went to the the Low Carb Nutrition Seminar presented by Low Carb Australia and Nourishing Australia. I went because my friend wanted someone to go with her and I have an interest in my health and my family’s health. I did, however, have a negative view (from ignorance rather than knowledge) of the Paleo Diet and thought I might be somewhat bored by the day.

How wrong was I?!?! And that is why my brain is busting!

I want to keep a record of my thoughts, findings, health and anything else related and I've decided to do that in a blog - Woo Woo To Wow Wow*.

"How did you come up with a name like that?" you may well ask. 

Again, I'll tell you. :)

One of the speakers at the Seminar, Sarah Wilson, used the term "woo woo" to describe how people might think about all this stuff about low carbs and high fat and thyroid and heart disease and so on. I like "woo woo" so I am going to take "woo woo" and show how "wow wow" will be the results. :)

If you want to read about my family's and my journey from healthlessness to healthfulness then you can follow Woo Woo To Wow Wow. If not, you can just ignore this post and I will return to regular (in the sense of normal) posts on this blog from now on.

*I haven't even written a post yet (except in my head in the middle of the night) but you'll know where to find it when I do!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

After Ruark Lewis and other things

I have been using my Walls Notebook (which I first saw on Lori Vliegen's blog) for quite some time now. I mostly use it for taking notes at church but every so often I do a little rendition to highlight my notes so I thought I'd give you a little peek at what I've done in it so far

I'll start with what I did the other day...
Susannah and I headed down to the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre where I was introduced to (and instantly inspired by) the work of Ruark Lewis.

Here's 1 Corinthians 12:13 Ruark Lewis style.

1 Corinthians 12:13

And here are the other (word escapes me)...

1 Thessalonians 5:13

Matthew 18:15-35

Also Matthew 18:15-35

Not sure where this was from - probably the Matthew reference.

John 12:1-16

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Zephaniah 1:7 - A little bit Ruark Lewis style

Zephaniah 3:17

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Ethical Consumer

From Undies to Easter Eggs (or Halloween Chocolate).

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
For quite some time now there has been a little niggle in my heart/mind about the ridiculous price of clothes at K-Mart. Not ridiculous as in highly-priced but ridiculous as in so cheap that it makes me expel air in a "phrrrrrttt" kind of way and question "HOW??? How can the prices be so low?" For instance, a while back now, my daughter bought something like 6 pairs of undies for $3.00. She mistakenly bought the wrong size. When I went back to K-Mart the same undies were on special - half price!!!

That's the kind of ridiculous I am talking about!

I haven't been back to K-Mart in a long time - my conscience is bothered by it. Yesterday I was reminded, as I was chatting about clothes with a friend, about K-Mart's ridiculously low prices.

I mentioned to my friend that I was wondering about the ethical issues that might be connected with cheap clothes and then told her about the issues surrounding chocolate that were brought to my attention again recently by this post -

the inconvenient truth about your halloween chocolate and forced child labor

- and wondered if K-Mart's prices are arrived at ethically. I haven't even looked into it yet. I am bothered also by inner conflicts of ethics and finances.
"People continue to buy chocolate even after learning about the harm to children in Africa.  I’ve heard excuses from people in my own life that sound pretty similar to the ones I made in the coffee post.  We rationalize that we can’t afford fair-trade.  We joke about how addicted we are.  We justify that we can’t change everything.  And I think secretly, we don’t relate because these are kids in a far-off country, and not our own.  It’s okay as long as we don’t have to see it happening right in front of us."
I haven't even looked deeply enough into this whole issue yet and my choice has been just to avoid purchasing these products.

There are solutions and here you can find a few in relation to chocolate.
from problem to solution: practical ideas for an ethical halloween

Just remember that it is not just chocolate we're talking about here. Today I decided to look up "how to buy ethically" and found 
- a mine of information for the ethically minded consumer. I am sure that this is only the tip of a gigantic iceberg but this is where I am going to start.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Creating in the Kitchen

There was a time when I would say I hate cooking but I have realised that I don't actually hate cooking, I just don't like cooking for people who won't like what I have cooked.
I am forever trying to come up with new and interesting ways to make meals and snacks that are failsafe and acceptable to everyone. An unlikely event, methinks, but I still keep trying.
Today, having soaked a cupful of chickpeas overnight, I concocted a snack that might be acceptable to a few.

I'm not feeling very creative about a name for this concoction but I did accidentally call it Snickpea Chack - I'm good at that!!!

So here's a recipe of sorts.

1 cup of uncooked chickpeas, soaked overnight and then cooked for 1 hour in my Thermomix with 1500g of water and a teaspoonful of salt.

I finely chopped 3 cloves of garlic and sautéed them in a dob of butter.
When the garlic was just clear I poured in approximately 1/4 cup of Rice Malt Syrup and a 1/3 cup or so or hot water and stirred it up.
Then I added 1 tspn sugar, 1/2 tspn salt, and 1/4 tspn citric acid and simmered until it reduces a bit. At this stage I added some cubed swede and cooked it until tender.
Meanwhile, I preheated the oven to 210°C.
Remove from heat, add the cooked chickpeas and stir so that everything is coated in the syrup, then spread in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.
Stir them up a little and cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve them up sprinkled with some chopped parsley and voila! They're ready to eat.

At least one of my kids likes it!

Speaking of chickpeas...
I've been following a few foodie blogs lately and Failsafe Foodie has a nice hommus recipe.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Scrapbooking With Yellow

The other day I read Scrapbooking With Yellow from the Get It Scrapped blog and I imagined doing a yellow layout right then and there. Imagine being the operative word!
I have no photos to scrapbook - that's my excuse - so I'll show you some yellow layouts that I have done in the past.

I don't mind a bit of yellow.

Big Idea Festival

The Big Idea Festival is on again from September 4th - 17th, 2012 and it's FREE!
It's is organised by Big Picture Classes and their classes and workshops are exceptional, imho.
I participated last year and had a lot of fun.
Just sayin'.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Down Memory Lane

Just today I was reading Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's second post about favourite craft/art books. Her first post on this subject reminded me that I want to make books. And quilts. The second post reminded me that, way back in 2006, I did Elsie Flannigan's 52 Scrapbooking Challenges - two a week for 26 weeks. That's commitment!
Back in the day I actually won an autographed copy of the book - yay for me!
I was also remembering that I did some of my favourite layouts then too. And maybe some of my least faves as well :)
Here are a couple of my favourites.

Ooh, and then there's this one...

Or these...

Sigh! It's just too hard to pick a favourite.
What do you think?
The rest you can see in my newly formed Flickr album - 52 Scrapbooking Challenges - cos I did these challenges before I started blogging.


Saturday, 18 August 2012

Art on Print

The time passes a whole lot faster when Susannah is refereeing if I am sitting in a warm car and occupied with art stuff (or playing word games on my iPhone). This morning I had the privilege of being able to see the games, and Susannah, from the comfort of my car and being able to do some more art on print. This time I used an old hymnbook that Sophie-Lee, knowing me, picked up from the side of the road in someone's council cleanup pile.

The flowers were inspired by my-twin-who's-not-my-twin's daughter the other day. She had used black and white stripy circle stickers and then added her petals and stems. I didn't have stickers but I did have a black pen and a white paint pen. I love the effect.

Something that adds a whole new dimension both literally (but not physically) and aesthetically is the sense of a shadow being cast making it look 3D. I used to do it with watercolour paint but I learnt from Lori Vliegen when I did her "letterLAB" class how to do it quickly and easily with a 2B pencil and a paper stump.

I was reading Psalm 106 this morning. A thought that struck me was from verses 6-8. The Psalmist admits his sin but then calls on God to save him, not for his own sake but for God's sake. It reminded me of when Moses pleaded with God to not destroy the Israelites, not for Moses' sake but for God's reputation.

Habbakuk 3:2
Lord, I have heard of your fame;    I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,    in our time make them known;    in wrath remember mercy.
That's all.


Friday, 17 August 2012

Hooked on Inspiration

It is so easy, for me at least, to keep drinking in all the amazing inspiration, pinning here, posting there, sharing with friends and family or just storing it in my head for an unknown future moment., but never actually getting around to doing something.
Well the other day my twin-who's-not-my-twin and I got together to actually do something that we have been inspired by.
After a very quick, for me at least, perusal of my Art/Journal board on Pinterest I found this cute little artwork - sadly not attributed to anyone but Pinterest.
That was just the inspiration my twin-who's-not-my-twin (and her daughter) and I needed and that is what we went with.
Here are my renditions...

It was a perfect little book that had great chapter titles.

There may be more some time.
Or maybe not.


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Book Spine Poetry

Yesterday Annelise saw this post about book spine poetry and was immediately inspired to compose one herself.
Annelise showed me that same post and I was immediately inspired to compose one myself. I went straight to my art room Expedit (I had no desire to navigate the stairs to the main bookshelves) and started collecting and collating.

Who'd've thunk?!
I just love what one can do with words. (And numbers)

Here are my first attempts at book spine poetry.

 Love Life
How babies are made
Seven from Heaven
Gioie di una madre
(Joys of a mother)

 Yarns on women
The elements of style
It's not always black and white.

The lady and the chocolate
Sharing your story
Each new day
Living out loud
That's life!

How 'bout you have a go, eh? 


Thursday, 2 August 2012


Some time between last night and now 30,000 page views have happened on my blog (not including mine). I know that is not really very many if compared to a famous blogger but to me it's HUGE!

I have viewers from 57 different countries around the world. How amazing is that?!?

Just thought I'd share. :)

PS I hope you find just a little inspiration when you visit and I'd love for you to say a little 'hello' in the comments - that would make me VERY happy.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Dead Right

There's this roundabout near our place that causes me just a little bit of grief. Here's why...
Drivers approach the roundabout as if they have right of way. They do not slow down, give way, or demonstrate that they even noticed that there was a roundabout.

Every time I approach the roundabout I think of a poem that my Dad would recite when I voiced my opinion about occasions such as the roundabout wrong.

Here lies the grave of Samuel Grey, 
Who died defending his right of way, 
He was right, quite right, as he strolled along,  
But he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong.

Do you know the roundabout rules? It's pretty simple really - Slow down as you approach a roundabout, give way to traffic already on the roundabout if there is a risk of collision, and enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap. 

There is no rule about giving way to the right - none at all. In fact, there are no specific rules at all about giving way if you all happened to arrive at the a roundabout at the same time. He who hesitates gives way!!!

Driving a Ford Transit Van into a roundabout can sometimes be a tad stressful - even though I start into the roundabout first, my vehicle is SO slow to get going that it might appear that a car that entered the roundabout after me, but without slowing down, had actually entered before me. This happens quite often and some drivers are so rude as to honk their horn at me instead of applying the rule of giving way to avoid collision. 

Generally, I tend towards not being 'dead' right! I have imagined printing a placard saying "Read the Road Rules" and attaching it to the roundabout sign.

Speaking of driving...
I used to think that driving games would be bad for the kids to play because I thought that they would apply the same recklessness to their own driving, not really understanding the consequences of having a crash. But going grocery shopping with Declan and Hudson has changed my mind!!!

I heard a man have a little chuckle when I complained to the boys that they could play computer driving games with such skill but they couldn't even steer my trolley in the right direction for half a second! Obviously, the boys' computer driving skills have not transferred to real life.

Do driving games help you to drive? I know not. 

So to come full circle...
Check out the roundabout rules for your country, state or territory. It might not change anything at all but at least you will know that you had the right of way even if you didn't take it.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Time to Think

Some doodling from Saturday.
When I am doodling my mind is pondering things - everything from parenting to punctuation*, sleeping to sermons, farming to pharmaceuticals (to name a few!).

*Today when Reuben and I were out and about we saw an ad on the back of bus that said, "Surf's up. Steak's cookin'!" And it had all the apostrophes in the right places. 
Then we saw a sign that said, "St Joseph's EX-STUDENTS REUNION". Not the worst I've ever seen but a little noted contrast .

Monday, 16 July 2012

"You could sell that!"

The other day I spent two and a half hours sitting in a cold church hall waiting for a guy to draw up a plan and quote for renovating the church hall kitchen. Fortunately I had my doodling supplies in my handbag - I had removed them earlier to lighten the load but thought better of it and bunged them back in at the last second before leaving the house.

The first thing that came to mind to doodle was a peacock (not surprisingly) - I liked the effect of two pen thicknesses in a previous doodle so I used it again. Later that afternoon I spotted a peacock on the cover of a magazine sitting on a little hall stand at a lady's house. I was instantly drawn to the colours and the gold lettering*. I showed the lady my doodled peacock and she exclaimed, "You could sell that!"

This was not the first time someone had said that to me so that got me to thinking. 
What I want to know is...
HOW? How could I sell my art work?
That's a giveaway - I'm not an entrepreneur. :(

Kelly gave me a delightful little book quite some time ago and I've just started carrying it around with me. It is just the right size to do a quick little creative entry now and then. I took it with me to reffing and the combination of doing art and sitting in a warm, sun-filled car helped make the 5 hours pass ever so quickly. Here's what I did.

I doodled this blue piece inspired by the wake in the little Pixar film (well, I think that is where I saw it) - La Luna.

Then I fished out my travel watercolour kit and fiddled around - I put the paint down first and sun-dried it. Then I left it as a fail cos I didn't like it. Then I came back to it and added then pen work. Now it's okay.

Same with this one.

Here are previous entries, some of which you may have seen before.

That's all for now.

PS Sorry about the dark photos - that's just the way it is at the moment.

*I am inspired to add gold highlights to my peacock.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Playing with Pastels Again (Still)

The other day I saw my blog post from about 3 years ago and thought to myself I'd really like to get those pastels out again.
Then... Hudson was looking for something - glue, I think - and he found the pastels. He yelled out "Mum, can I use these crayons?" and there was no hesitation in me saying yes.

Yesss!!! That was the start of some fun pastel play.

Here are some of the beautiful results - there are many missing because they were taken home, or to bedrooms to hang on the walls before I got a chance to take a photo.

Most of them were plain colouring in...

... but sometimes a technique was added. Caitlin, inspired by her big sister, Annelise, scratched a design into her artwork with a gel-less gel pen.

The technique on this butterfly was to colour one side and then press a design onto the other side with a pen. Even though this is a fabulous result, it occurred to Caitlin after she finished that she could have drawn the whole butterfly on one side and the pressed it out on the other. Another time - when she gets over the cramp in her hand.

We've brightened up the winter sunlessness of the downstairs area with these vibrant artworks. You can also see there a works by Declan, Hudson and Annelise.

 Then Susannah said, "That one up there reminds me of a peacock."
And I was like "A PEACOCK!!! I could do a peacock!!!"
In my head it was way different, but this will do, eh?

In my mind I had hoped to do some scrapbooking or glue napkins to my handbag to change it up a bit and was feeling a little bit defeated but then I realised that this was just the creative outlet I needed in the last couple of cold, rainy days. And it's given me something to blog about too. :)


PS: Black just makes the pieces POP!!!