Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Another Full Tilt Boogie journal

Well, it seems that the last video has been posted for the Ticket to Venice class, which makes me very sad because the whole experience was quite magical.  If you haven't signed up you still can, all the posts are in chronological order and the instructions are neatly kept on a separate page, and the chatter is still active on the private Yahoo group. The videos of Venice are just gorgeous, so inspiring. And you saw my book so you know how wicked awesome it is.

I needed a small journal for a dedicated project, and so I went back to Mary Ann's Full Tilt Boogie (and her class is on sale!) and created a journal using the third binding she taught. And I finished sewing it while watching Laurence Olivier's Hamlet.

This is the binding ... it's called Triple Chain stitch.

The covers...
Paper Source paper covered the  back board of a paper pad

The inside consists of old ledger paper and canvas paper. (it's primed canvas)
security envelope (turned inside out), ledger paper
ledger paper
ledger paper and canvas paper
The first signature is all ledger paper (plus that large security envelope), the other two are canvas with some more ledger paper for additional notes. 

Have you made anything this past week or two?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Joy Dare Monday: Almost forgot!

61. muscles stretched
62. finding expression in art
63. all of us snuggled on the couch
64. cold inside, warm outside
65. God's love
66. night-time walk
67. oppressive air turning into the promise of rain
68. leaves dancing in the air above the street
69. the bus I needed to catch was 5 minutes late #madeit
70. perspective
71. crow waving a paper bag while on top of a lamp post
72. "how important is this game?" the question still being asked about football decades after that episode of The Bob Newhart Show aired (giving us the giggles)
73. rain
74. the excitement of a BHAG
75. teen praising "Cry Me a River"
76. walking in soft steady rain without an umbrella
77. falling asleep listening to the rain fall
78. English weather
79. Laura's talk
80. punching holes for a new journal
81. finish making journal

Joining in Ann Voskamp's:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Joy Dare not-Monday: God's saving gifts...

Posting a day late.

The previous weekend (not the one just gone) was a cold one: the kind where you curl up under blankets and read and eat too much. Even in Southern California.

The kind where you're congested from the heating and tired because a good night's sleep is interrupted.

The week before was a week where I dutifully wrote down a handful of gifts. I couldn't see the gifts God gave me. My world was blah.

It got darker. Something rather unpleasant happened.

The little black cloud over my head threatened a downpour.

I read a blog post about finding still points in my day and the world suddenly turned upside down.

I remembered my astonishment that our tropical hibiscus is flowering in the midst of a cold snap. I recalled the beauty of watching Russian Caravan tea leaves meander to the bottom of the clear teapot.

The little black cloud dried up and vanished. I felt God nudge me, remind me and say: "see? You don't need to concentrate so hard on looking for me. I am everywhere."

(Note: God didn't actually say that -- that's the sense I got.)

I wrote the above at the beginning of last week. Now, I am at the beginning of a new week and I see I woke up to God's gifts and blessings at just the right time.

God is indeed good.

This past Sunday was also Christian Unity Week. The Newman Center Catholic Community shares our church space and our choirs are getting together more and more frequently. So we had a pulpit exchange and  the choirs came together.

We sang a lot of spiritual, gospel tunes, or not-quite-gospel but similar rhythm.

As we rehearsed and then sang during two services, I felt God with me and I affirming God's existence and God's love for me, and that no matter what happens, God loves me and I love God.

Here are the gifts for this week:

38. unpleasant thing
39. tea leaves floating downward
40. hibiscus flowering in this cold weather

41. "still point" post from Christianne
42. good meditation
43. shady eucalyptus walk with friend
44. crepes
45. afternoon of art
46. whirl of getting dinner ready with dog underfoot (not gracefully)
47. strawberry Godiva chocolates from hubby
48. the kindness of the bus driver who didn't make me pay extra for a bus pass when my electronic one failed.
49. the generous heart of the poor
50. new gelato flavor at Chuao's - chai
51. sleepy dog whacks me in the eye
52. [redacted]
53. we have each other
54. cool cloud formation
55. the sound of our chanting
56. the stained glass reflected on grey walls
57. might actually be done with mudding the wall
58. realizing in rehearsal that today's music is perfect for where we're at (particularly: "Never give up, never give up, no, never give up, never give up, never never never never, oh, never, never give up.") [here's a link to the song. We sang the English lyrics all the way through.]
59. both communities standing during the last communion hymn (which was different)
60. prayers answered 

Joining in Ann Voskamp's:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Joy Dare Monday: plugging along...

20. a friend's good news
21. appointments made
22. hot pink cloud strands
23. behold
24. ocean air
25. delicate eucalyptus blossoms and leaves
26. sinus headache almost all day
27. chanting without accompaniment
28. breathing
29. warm day
30. blustery day
31. enough food
32. woolen sweaters and scarf
33. birdie getting comfortable in the long grass
34. laughter with Dan
35. closing prayer service
36. reminded of a Taize chant "soften my heart"
37. it's a little warmer

Joining in Ann Voskamp's:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Renewing and Refilling the Well...

By the end of last week, I needed to seek pastures outside of my house, the gym and the grocery store.

I received an email from the San Diego Museum of Art about a drawing class Friday afternoon. I ummed and ahhed and then decided to go for it. By that time I had my Word for The Year (abide) and I wanted to illustrate it and be a part of the Abbey of the Arts Photo Party for the month.

So I went early and wandered around Balboa Park, where the Museum is situated and just enjoyed being there. No pressure. No rush.

I visited the Timken Museum of Art and gazed upon their icon collection. I bought a few slides with the hope that I can trace from the projected images and write those icons. We'll see.  I need a ton more practice first.

It was a fabulous winter's day. The gloves, scarf and coat came off pretty quickly once I arrived.

I sat by a fountain in one of the gardens, got out my Anglican prayer beads and prayed.

a sense of peace and delight

I don't know if I will make it to all the drawing sessions at the Museum of Art but it sure makes for a day filled with good energy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Abide: my word for the year...

I thought I would share the process of how I came to choose a word for the year. 

For the last few years, I have watched folks online select a word that will last them the whole year.

I'll be honest, I thought it was somewhat ridiculous to select just one word for an entire year. Who knows what will come in that year? When that word will restrict or block an opportunity to grow in a new way?

I'd already chosen my word, but I was encouraged when Liz Lamoreux shared that choosing a word isn't permanent, and that's already proven to be the case. More on that, later.

scorning the trend

It's not the first time I've scorned a trend or popular thing.  Read Annie Lamott's Bird By Bird? The best book on writing out there? As a newbie author I listened to authors describe it and thought, no thanks. (And FYI, some years later, I read one of her later memoirs, thought she was absolutely brilliant and glommed everything she wrote, including Bird By Bird.)

I don't know why I rebel 'cause everybody else is reading or doing it. I suspect it has something to do with not quite fitting in with everyone's choice of school bags, or shoes, or skirt length back in the day. 

My defense was F%^# that. Conform if you want to, but not me.

(OK, so I conform in other ways, but that's a whole other story and this is not about logical reactions.)

finding a word

Something tugged at me to find a word. It had a lot to do with the last six months of transition, impatiently waiting for what's coming next, not at all thrilled that God wasn't dropping any clues.

I subscribed to a free e-course to find a word for 2013 around Christmas, but didn't get started right away. 

Last week, while chanting Lauds, the word "inhabit" popped into my head. Right in the middle of my chanting a psalm that did not have that word in there. I grinned, thinking of a monk's habit.

I started on the e-course and mentally reviewed my past year, looking for something to "shimmer". I read through the 1,000+ gifts I'd written down in 2012 in an effort to jog my memory of what actually happened in the first half of the year. (Is this a sign of getting old?)

Liz Lamoreux suggested using the prompt: "2013 was the year I..." and I wrote a whole page of them. 

Yes, the word "inhabit" showed up again but by this point it was pretty much front and center in my consciousness. I looked it up on the dictionary and liked the archaic meaning of it: "abide, or dwell".

Wednesday morning I headed off to my first chair yoga class of the year. During the closing meditation, the teacher asked us to set an intention for the year. "I want to abide with you, Lord," popped into my head. 


The definition from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary reads:
transitive verb
: to wait for : await

a : to endure without yielding : withstand
   b : to bear patiently : tolerate abide
: to accept without objection
intransitive verb
: to remain stable or fixed in a state 
: to continue in a place : sojourn

Patience? Wait? Remain fixed in a state? All things I'm pretty terrible at if the last six months are anything to go by, so this will be interesting to say the least. Oi.

("abide": Suzi Blu girl stamp, stickers from various places, acrylic paint, stencils, ProMarkers
and Sharpie white paint pen... and I just realized it's not finished! I need to add shadows to the
letters and girl. You can just make out parts of the writing prompt underneath all that.)
I ran the word by my spiritual director yesterday and she added a beautiful facet to it for me.


In choosing to intentionally abide with God this year, and by the grace of God, I'll behold God: be in awe and wonder at how God loves me and cares for me, going deeper and uncovering the Christ-light within me.

It's going to be a difficult word to live into, I hope a transformative word, but a word that will be well worth it.

"2013 was a great year."

Have you chosen a word this year? Or some other way to focus on the year ahead?

 I'm linking with Ann Voskamp's walk with Him Wednesdays on the theme of the Practice of Habits.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Joy Dare Monday: a new year

Last year saw me finish the Joy Dare challenge in excess of my goal: 1,134 although it still doesn't feel like quite enough.

The last two gifts of last year were these:

1,113. thick frost on roof tops
1,134. lonely seagull close by

And because I want to be sure I achieve at least one thousand gifts again, I've reset the count for 2013 (and then I'll do some math at the end of a grand total).

Here are the gifts for the past week:

1. higher pulp oj is actually quite good (I usually drink no pulp)
2. talking to Mum
3. patch of teal blue sky
4. chair pose - youch!
5. I  have my word for the year: abide (am posting about how I came to this word later in the week)
6. dog dragging his blanket around (he needed rescuing)
7. warm sun
8. office building lights against dark blue twilight sky
9. dangling bauble shadow

10. little girl collecting large leaves
11. praying with prayer beads by the fountain

12. sketching in the art gallery
13. palm berries

14. con trail that looked like a comet for a bit
15. third layer of mud
16. oven-roasted potatoes
17. still didn't land the last  note of the descant (darn it!)
18. sun shower
19. heavy rain

Joining in Ann Voskamp's:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Saint for the year...

Jennifer Fulwiler asks us to pick a saint for the year. I don't seem to rate a full on saint. Last year was a blessed (Bl. John of Parma), and so was this one.

Before I clicked on the link, I prayed that God would lead me to a saint that would encourage me to spend more time with God, being prayerful, still, listening and all that.

Pretty sure God has a sense of humor.

Because I ended up with Blessed Margaret of Castello.

Here's her bio:
Born a blind, lame, deformed, hunchback midget {in 1247} When she was six years old, her noble parents walled her up beside a chapel; she could not get out, but could attend Mass and receive the Sacraments. After 14 years of imprisonment, her parents took her to a shrine to pray for a cure. When none occurred, they abandoned her. She became a lay Dominican, and spent her life in prayer and charity. When she died {13 April, 1320}, the townspeople thronged her funeral, and demanded she be buried in a tomb inside the church. The priest protested, but a crippled girl was miraculously cured at the funeral, and he consented.
Yup. Someone's got to wall me up in a chapel before I'll sit still long enough to be with God. Good one, God. Thanks for the clue-by-four.

This is followed by the thought: somebody walled up a six-year-old?! This wasn't by choice, like Julian of Norwich's hermitage. How absolutely horrible.

More info here that reads a bit like a hagiography.