Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why not? Christmas in May

I've taken to this seeming new tradition when starting a new journal. This new organic material, Paper Clay, with which you can shape most anything, roll extremely flat, dry in the air and paint with most anything is how I'm launching the first page ... this particular journal starts just before Christmas 2011.

This year the holidays were an awkward, uncomfortable time of year for me. Unpredictable tensions, personal health issues, relationship challenges and then, add the element of everyone being jolly ~ well, except me. I loved sculpting my lil' green Christmas Tree. It was indeed my heart, that early December, placed me overnight in the hospital for observation. So you see the role my heart needed to play in this journal entry.

At first I was bothered by the red stitching I'd used. It made the lil' green tree look like a cactus. But the more I observed it, the more appropriate was the statement for what I was feeling. The cut-out that is necessary to allow the perhaps 1/8 inch depth of the Paper Clay element continues thru several of the next pages, creating an interesting design and element with which I'll need to wiggle my future page designs around. But ... I love a challenge. :)

The main street in my sweet Jacksonville is the sketch filling the rest of the page, where I especially wanted to accent the charming Clydesdale-like horses that pulled the festive wagon thru town.

I also enjoy finding some charming, appropriate small image to sort of lead into the start of a new journal ... for this one I chose colorful lil' Christmas tree ornaments.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

There's Always Time For Thanksgiving & Wild Animals

It may seem odd that in May, I'm posting about Thanksgiving, but in my heart, I'd like every day to be a day of giving thanksgiving. So perhaps this will remind me in May, to continue being grateful for all our blessings.
Our Thanksgiving in November was celebritory but wintery. A grey sky encouraged us to cultivate inner thinkings and activities. I'd signed up as a volunteer to help serve the Thanksgiving meal to the homeless at a nearby Gospel Mission in Medford. It was a nearly new facility and quite upscale and pleasant for the surroundings. I was chosen to help bus the tables and was kept pretty busy. I have to admit, there were so many volunteers, that when asked if I'd want to leave early, I did so. They gave me an invite to come back and volunteer again and I've kept it here. I've invented this fun way to cut paper things in half and have them placed so they bridge across the center of my journal page.

Next day was Thanksgiving and here on this journal entry, you've caught my "Amazing Chef in the House", Roland's hands stuffing the November turkey. We'd invited one special guest and she arrived with lovely turkey feathers to grace our home with and a smile with lively conversation. Because of the extreme rain conditions, she left early, while there was still light, incase she had to walk up her driveway. And we nestled by the fire gratefully . . .

Several days later we finally decided to take in the annual event offered out at Wildlife Images (a rescue and rehabilitation facility for wildlife) where they tour you thru the facilitiy. The diversity of the animals was fascinating. They had docents to tell us about the various birds, wolves, bears, cougars and otters.
I have to say the animal that touched my heart the most deeply was Clark, the Cougar. He's so elegantly beautiful, strong and majestic. His story of having not only his talons removed (by a vet at the request of his owner), but also having the front tendons cut so he could not climb ~ ~ just broke my heart. How could any veteranarian do that to any wild animal, maiming Clark for life. And now he resides here at the facility, for his remaining days. Most "cute" I have to award to the fox . . . her chubby tail and crafty face made me smile. Two more creatures that I wanted to remember are the one legged Barn Owl and the Grizzly, popping up out of her cozy den in the ground. It was a day stirring many feelings, but most prevalent was my gratitude for this place that allows these animals a chance to continue living . . . in somewhat natural conditions of wild open space.
I wanted to save the colorful business card from the sanctuary and so, punched a hole in one corner, then tieing it into another hole I punched into my journal page.

This completes this journal and I like to end with some kind of quote that epitomizes where I am in my life at the close of each journal. This one is the one I've chosen: "Jumping off the cliff with open hands" byWumen Huaikai.
Where are you in your life, what quote would you choose?