mercredi 31 décembre 2014

My One Little Word for 2015

Since 2012, following Ali Edward's example, I choose a word to focus on for the year. I think that it is such a great idea. I've never taken her OLW workshops or classes, because I feel I can live with my word without have the need for prompts and things like that. But in retrospect, I may need a reminder or a way to be deliberate about my word halfway through the year.

My word for 2014 was 'elevate' as in 'elevate the everyday'. I managed to keep that word in the forefront throughout most of the year. But certain events (mostly people passing away and major international moves) derailed a lot of the plans and projects that I had mapoped out for myself at the beginning of the year.

So in the spirit of actually getting things done and also of accounting for impossible to predict events, I'm keeping my goals and resolutions to zero. I will tackle projects as they come along instead of having a list of things to accomplish. I want to approach each project when it comes and make sure I finish it. It was while I was thinking of this that my One Little Word for 2015 popped into my head.

com·mit

 (kə-mĭt′)
v. com·mit·ted, com·mit·ting, com·mits
v.tr.
1. To do, perform, or perpetrate: commit a murder.
2. To put in trust or charge; entrust: commit oneself to the care of a doctor; commit responsibilities to an assistant.
3. To consign for future use or for preservation: We must commit the necessary funds for the project.
4. To place officially in confinement or custody, as in a mental health facility.
5. To put into a place to be disposed of or kept safe: committed the manuscript to the flames.
6.
a. To make known the views of (oneself) on an issue: I never commit myself on such issues.
b. To bind, obligate, or devote, as by a pledge: They were committed to follow orders. She committed herself to her art.
7. To refer (a legislative bill, for example) to a committee.
v.intr.
To pledge, obligate, or devote one's own self: felt that he was too young to commit fully to marriage.
Please disregard the example for the first definition!!
 
I want to commit :
-to this blog : better pictures, clearer content, more interaction with readers and other bloggers,
-to bettering my photo skills : I want to get to know my Nikon better
-to using Photoshop : to help with the above two points
-to my sanity : by spending time in my art journal
-to my creative community : through design and inspiration teams
-to empowering women : by participating in the Walk in Her Shoes campaign again
-to my family : by being present
-to my body : by treating it better that I have lately

I'm already very much into my word. I feel it's a perfect match for 2015. I'll be doing regular updates here on the blog, probably every two months.

Have you thought of a word to define or guide your year? I'd love to read it in the comments.
 

mardi 30 décembre 2014

December 30 Days of Lists || last week


Here are the lists I made for the last week of the December edition of 30 days of Lists. Once again, it was a wonderful round. I really enjoy this project each time it comes 'round. I really really love the December edition because of all the added tidbits that come with various kits. I love finding a place for them.
 
 
 
 










 
 


 Thanks for your visits to this space and I hope to see more of you in 2015 xo

vendredi 26 décembre 2014

The new Get Messy prompts || 02

Hi again. I hope you celebrated the season nicely and basked in the glow of good food and close friends and family. I sure did. And it isn't over!
 
Today I am sharing my take on the second of the first series of prompts. Here's a reminder of the actual prompt:
 
 
Challenge #1:
Journal prompt: Choose a song that represents how you feel right now. Pair the lyrics with a photo of yourself portraying the emotion.
 
Art Prompt: Script out the lyrics to create your background using a font or special handwriting you created.
 
Here is my spread:
 

So, I try not to talk about it too much on social media or in this group, but religious institutions and I have - as Facebook says - a complicated relationship. I was brought up catholic but I am now an apostate (i.e. I had myself un-baptised (?) de-baptised(?) in 2009). This doesn't mean I am not a spiritual person (I really am). It does mean that I am in disagreement with how religious institutions act and preach.

I decided to pair the lyrics of my song with this very gothic image of what could be a woman attending mass, getting ready to confess or going to a funeral service. I wrote the words on either side of her and tried to remember to make all the Ts look like crosses, although I forgot a couple of times!

 
Recently, I've made a conscious decision to chose myself, to trust my gut, to follow my path, to worship at my own altar so to speak. So this song by Hozier was appropriate for what I wanted to express about how I am feeling now, which is the first part of the prompt.

One of the aspects of Christianity which really bothers me is the lack of credible female role models; you get to choose between the Virgin and the Prostitute. I found it very hard to intergrate this part of the message in my life. That said, when I went to Mexico, I found the imagery of the Virgin everywhere (that and the Sacred Heart). You could tell that for catholics there, Mary is a very strong, loving, mother figure and that definitely appealed to me.


I myself am a mother. And that is huge. It was the most transformative experience of my life and I was lucky enough to experience it twice. There is so much power in becoming a mother; it really bugs me that Mary has to be a virgin. Like making love is bad, like a woman has to do something bad to be able to become a mother. I can't help but see this way of putting things as a way of controlling people, especially women, to keep them obediant, modest and subdued. I am certain the pagan goddesses of yore were powerful humans that did not tone down their essence or compromise their feminity.

But I digress. I definitely don't want to offend anyone or start a religious debate. I only want to express what I feel about this song and what it means to me. I added the last lines of the song to this page about me. I took a photo of myself in a saintly pose (a shoutout to the Church of Babe Vibes). The miror behind me looks like a halo and it says : 'the keys have broadened my possibilities' (one of my favorite lines from The Master and Margharita by Mikhail Bulgakov). I chose to be fully myself, to be master and king of my own destiny because I want to be an example for my children. That they be strong in their identity and kind and respectful of others and of themselves.



So this prompt led me down many meanders which I have tried to keep short here. I love talking about this subject though, so if you want to have an open and frank discussion, I'm all for it and don't hesitate to leave any comments you have here. I know a lot of Get Messians (and even scrapbookers and creatives in general) are religious and I am careful not to insult or offend any of you. I don't mind reading your scripture posts and I know that you are and will be just as respectful of my beliefs. The very first Instagram conversation I had with Caylee was about walking (or not) with God and it was full of respect and really listening to the other's point of view. That is one of the great aspects of the Get Messy group : a place to be yourself and for open and frank debate.



It's also quite ironic that I'm sharing this on the day after Mary gave birth, isn't it?

jeudi 25 décembre 2014

Happy holidays


I hope you spend time surrounded by loved ones! Happy holidays to all, no matter who you worship - or don't! I'll be back on Friday with my take on the second Get Messy prompt.

mercredi 24 décembre 2014

Stamp destash sale


Just a quick note to say I have listed a few slightly used or new stamp sets in my Etsy shop. Find them here or click on the link below.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/vanessasfancy/search?search_query=destash&order=date_desc&view_type=gallery&ref=shop_search
 
 

mardi 23 décembre 2014

December Memories || part 1

As per usual, I am intergrating my December pages directly in my Project Life album. I really love the smaller 6 x 8 books that people use for their December Daily album. But I just can't justify having another seperate album for December. Especially since I am already documenting the month in my December 30 Lists notebook. So I just get the kits and add the pages in my 'regular' album.
 
This year, I got the December Memories kit from Gossamer Blue. I mostly got it for the amazing colors (lots of dark green and pink!) and for Ashley Goldberg's designs too. I am really impressed with this kit. You get a lot of products for the price. I will be using the 6 x 8 album for my San Miguel de Allende album. I am using the products from the kit in my 30 Days of Lists notebook as well as my Project Life pages. It's very cool that you get two of each 3 x 4 and 6 x 4 card.
 
Here's a look at my pages for December so far. I am also using leftovers from past kits and my stash. Please feel free to ask me about any particular product I may have used. This is for Dec 1st to 7th.
 
 
The left side is my intro page. I cut down the 6 x 8 paper with 'December Memories' on it.

 
The right side is the top page of an insert. In this insert I am documenting some of our December traditions : the tree and ornaments, watching Christmas movies, making gingerbread houses and watching Santa's message on the computer.


This is the backside of the insert and the last part of the week.
 

The back part of the insert documents wintertime. After living in Hong Kong for four years, the snow and cold are all (almost) new to us! I included an art journal page I made to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre. It was too important to leave out.
 

The last part of the week is on this page : more snow and winterscapes and fairy lights at work.
 

The week of Dec 8th to 14th is on this spread.
 

The highlight was going to see The Nutcracker, the lowlight was going to the hospital for my son.
 

I don't often use Design E, but for some reason, I find it easier to do so during this time. Maybe it's because the kits coordinate so well?
 

For Dec 15th to 21st, the right page is the top of an insert about the weekend.
 

There was not too much happening since I stayed home with my son almost all that week. I used the backside of the E design to document little moments.
 

We had some friends over on Saturday. I love me good slow cooked food, fine wine and long conversations.
 

The left is the backside of the insert where I documented Sunday Dec 21 also known as 'baking all the stuff day'
 

I even had a moment when I did nothing!!!!!
 

This side shows Thursday the 18th (when I went back to work) and Friday the 19th (when we saw Christmas plays at school and put presents under the tree).
 


And there you have it. I will be sharing the second part of my album next week. I'm also working on planning my 2015 Project Life, my One Little Word and some intentions for this blog for 2015.

lundi 22 décembre 2014

The first of the new Get Messy prompts

If you are signed up to the Get Messy newsletter, you received the first set of prompts last Monday. For these art journal pages, we are sharing them when we want to and we are using the #getmessyprompts around social media.
 
Here is my take on the second prompt (I'll be sharing the first one on Friday):
 
 
Challenge #2
Journal prompt: Randomly open a magazine or newspaper. Rip out an article title and write your own article for that title. Do not read the original article until after you write yours.
 
Art prompt: Find an image to pair with your new article from an unrelated magazine page. Or go simple: allow your focus to be on writing your article as thoroughly as possible, cover the page with your words until you have exhausted your topic.
 


I was looking through Flow magazine and that title 'Anger can be beautiful' totally jumped out at me. I paired it with the red haired woman because red is an action color to me and my article is about using anger as a call to action.
 
 
I gave my article this subtitle, which I stamped with an alphabet set.
 

I used another cutout from a third magazine as a section title and paired it with two very strong female characters - who are unafraid to use their anger - from Game of Thrones.


It was really cool to finish writing this out and then to go back and read the original article. It was quite close to what I wrote. Also, the very day that I wrote this, David Whyte, a poet that I recently was introduced to, shared this wonderful morsel :
 
''ANGER

is the deepest form of compassion, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt. Stripped of physical imprisonment and violent reaction, anger is the purest form of care, the internal living flame of anger always illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for. What we usually call anger is only what is left of its essence when it reaches the lost surface of our mind or our body’s incapacity to hold it, or the limits of our understanding. What we name as anger is actually only the incoherent physical incapacity to sustain this deep form of care in our outer daily life; the unwillingness to be large enough and generous enough to hold what we love helplessly in our bodies or our mind with the clarity and breadth of our whole being.

What we have named as anger on the surface is the violent outer response to our own inner powerlessness, a powerlessness connected to such a profound sense of rawness and care that it can find no proper outer body or identity or voice, or way of life to hold it. What we call anger is often simply the unwillingness to live the full measure of our fears or of our not knowing, in the face of our love for a wife, in the depth of our caring for a son, in our wanting the best, in the face of simply being alive and loving those with whom we live.

 Our anger breaks to the surface most often through our feeling there is something profoundly wrong with this powerlessness and vulnerability; anger too often finds its voice strangely, through our incoherence and through our inability to speak, but anger in its pure state is the measure of the way we are implicated in the world and made vulnerable through love in all its specifics: a daughter, a house, a family, an enterprise, a land or a colleague.

Anger turns to violence and violent speech when the mind refuses to countenance the vulnerability of the body in its love for all these outer things - we are often abused or have been abused by those who love us but have no vehicle to carry its understanding, who have no outer emblems of their inner care or even their own wanting to be wanted. Lacking any outer vehicle for the expression of this inner rawness they are simply overwhelmed by the elemental nature of love’s vulnerability. In their helplessness they turn their violence on the very people who are the outer representation of this inner lack of control.

But anger truly felt at its center is the essential living flame of being fully alive and fully here, it is a quality to be followed to its source, to be prized, to be tended, and an invitation to finding a way to bring that source fully into the world through making the mind clearer and more generous, the heart more compassionate and the body larger and strong enough to hold it. What we call anger on the surface only serves to define its true underlying quality by being a complete and absolute mirror-opposite of its true internal essence.''

©2014 David Whyte
Excerpted from ‘ANGER’ From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words
Now Available
http://davidwhyte.stores.yahoo.net/newbook.html
 

Doesn't he have such a way with words? I really recommend following his Facebook page where he generously shares segments of his work. I really admire the way the can describe things, people, sentiments in a perfectly new way.

Thanks for coming by. I wish you and yours happy holidays and good times spent with family and friends. I'll be sharing the other prompt on Friday the 26th.

December 30 days of Lists || week 3

 
Third week...what?! We are past the halfway point. This season is so full. Of lights, magic, family, love. I am glad to have more than one way of documenting December.
 
 
 
Yup. Made another flap!
 
 
 


 I have to say that I really love the notebook I bound for this round. the mix of reds, greens, pinks and blacks really does it for me :0)



 
And to end the week...oups I did it again. A third flap! At this point I am declaring it a trend!
 





Have a great holiday week friends !

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