Poem A Day challenge starts tomorrow

Welcome Back

Its been a while but I just wanted to give you a heads up that over on Writers Digest website tomorrow, this years Poem A Day (PAD) Challenge for November begins. As the title suggests, each day there will be a new prompt posted for you to write your poem from. If you have ever wanted to write poems, the PAD; Poem A Day Challenge can be a great place to start.

From the main website, scroll down a little and look for the ‘What’s New’ area of the site, there you will find that day’s prompt and often the previous couple of days prompts too. I believe this is an American site, so the times of day when the prompts go live will be based on that region.

Don’t know about you but I do like sitting by the patio doors, having breakfast, looking at the misty mornings of autumn and writing poetry. This is my most productive time of the year for poetry. This season hurts emotionally, and physically and often mentally too but from there, also comes a creative force. A voice that needs to be heard and the prompts often tempt that voice onto the page. If I could give you one tip, its to write the words your soul wants to speak.

There are a lot of rules about poetry, and lots of poetic forms to explore shoud you wish too. Stephen Fry has written a comprehensive book about them called The Ode Less Travelled, which I ‘tried’ to read but I got confused n just took my journal, a pencil and let the words fall out. Sometimes it works, sometimes they need a nudge to make them sound graceful in a poetic sence. Sometimes the prompts cause free writing, rather than true poetry. But if you write from your soul, it can feel soo good, so freeing, so healing. Follow your heart, get paper, a pencil n feel what you feel, write what you feel, hear, think and see. You might surprise yourself.

Just remember if you are nervous about writing for the first time, or for however long you have been writing. NO ONE has to see what you write. You can write for YOU, because you want to, like to, need too. If you aren’t sure if what you have written ‘works’ for you, maybe try reading it outloud to yourself, it can help to get the words to scan the way you feel you want them too.

I’ll let you into a secret, which is that I write ALL the prompts into a journal to save. I love to write poems, and there are times when the prompts grab me as I read them and the words just flow, other times, they need to be saved n savored at a different time. For me poetry is something that just ‘happens’ I cannot and do not write to order, I’m mearly the one holding the pen and the words arrive. I’ve also found this approach good as at different times I can have different reactions n poetry thoughts and ideas from the prompts so it can be good to revist them more than once.

If you are new to poetry, or this challenge and want to make it a bit special, one of those mindfulness, self care n kindness practices. Do treat yourself to a journal that feels beautiful to you, grab a pen or a pencil can be good as its easier to make corrections if you wanted too. But what is most important is to ‘just write’ it doesn’t have to be perfect, to rhyme if that doesn’t feel right for you, just let the words fall out of the pen and go from there.

If you want to look up different poetic forms (different kinds of poetry) then Stephen Fry’s book An Ode Less Travelled is good. I found it helpful as a reference book so if someone mentioned a technical term that I didn’t understand I could look it up, but I didn’t get on so well reading it from cover to cover but I have dyslexia and shh don’t judge me but I don’t know a verb from a noun. So if too are not one of life’s most accomplished english lit masters, please don’t let that put you off giving writing poetry a go.

Links

  • Writers Digest website Once the challenge has started go to the ‘What’s New’ section on the left hand side for each days new prompt
  • The Ode Less Travelled; Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry. A great place to look up the ‘technical terms’ used in the poetry  world, like stanzas, and different verse forms. You don’t need to read this first, but if you want to learn the local lingo of poetry, learn new forms/styles of writting it is very useful.

If you find yourself bitten by the poetry bug, the PAD Challenge happens each April and November on the Writers Digest site and there is also a poetry prompt every wednesday on the site throughout the year, also found under the ‘What’s new’ section.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy your poetry journey.

Billie x

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Vintage Wisdom Oracle Deck

Vintage Wisdom Oracle Deck

Welcome Back

My deck of the month for Self Love September is; Vintage Wisdom Oracle by Victoria Mosley and published by US Games. I am in love with this deck, I adore vintage layered images and everything about this deck is wonderful. The readings with it are so healing, supportive and gentle. The colour pallet is muted which suits an early autumn time of the year we are just going into. This feels a very nurturing deck, like a warm blanket, a cup of tea and a hug from someone kind. For a less ‘fluffy’ explanation, please keep reading 😉

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Vintage Wisdom Oracle by Victoria Mosely

  • Publisher US Games ISBN 13: 978-1572817814
  • Box is a nice sturdy cardboard, similar to the quality of Blue Angel decks
  • The book with it is the same size as the cards n has a sturdy cover rather than a paper cover.
  • Card stock is sturdy and matt so its easy on the eye
  • Card size 9.5 x 14 cm and there are 52 cards which are silky smooth to shuffle.
  • Images are from vintage postcards with layers of different images together, which gives you plenty to get into, each time you see a card you see more in there.
  • Boarders, yes these cards have boarders but they are in muted tones and don’t distract from the main image
  • Keyword on the card in beautiful font. Go with that and read  intuatively or have a look at the book for more insight from the author.

Links

Many thanks to Dark Star Tarot who has done a walk through of this deck which can be seen on You Tube, she kindly gave me permission to post a link to it here.

Vintage Wisdom Oracle deck walk-through by Dark Star Tarot

best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

B

 

 

Self Love September Card Spread

Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share an Oracle/Tarot spread for Self Love September. I was using old favorite spreads and combining them in the last few days, when suddenly I noticed they looked like a capital letter I. So I thought that it would be an ideal spread for Self Love. In a busy world we often do so much for others, this month and indeed this spread is intended to help us answer the question; ‘What do I need right now?’ The deck shown is Vintage Wisdom Oracle by Victoria Moseley.

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Self Love September: Card Spread

Shuffle your chosen deck the way you prefer too, I have used both shuffle n see what flies out, or sticks up from the other cards but sometimes go with shuffle and then spread the whole deck in a line n see which cards I’m drawn too. Please feel free to go with what feel right for you, in that moment.

Top row

Card 1: What does my mind need right now?

Card 2: What does my body need right now?

Card 3: What does my spirit/soul need right now?

Middle row

Card 4: Question of the day [this is the question uppermost on your mind today, you can make this two cards if you felt one wasn’t enough]

Bottom Row

Card 5: What is my guidance for today?

Card 6: What is my lesson for today? [reword as needed, depending if you prefer to do this draw in the morning or at night]

Card 7: Hidden knowledge. [For drawing this card gather the deck together and then select the card at the bottom of the deck]

I’m not claiming this is anything new, just one I was playing with the last few days and noticing it was in the shape of an I, made me want to share it with your for this project. If you like this deck; Vintage Wisdom Oracle by Victoria Moseley, I will be sharing a review on it in the next few days.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

 

 

Self-Love September 2017

Welcome Back

Kelly Ann Maddox has a project on her You Tube channel called Self Love September and for the last few years I have joined in, making it my own. This year, for me, Self Love September is going to be about deepening my daily spiritual practice and finding reasons to stay alive for the coming dark months of the year, which are the hardest times of the the year for me. I’m going to share some things that I have found healing in the last 12 months.

What will you find here this month?

There will be

  • Art
  • Books
  • Crystals,
  • Card decks
  • Websites and links to interesting places.

All of which have held space for me when things got tough. Can I promise 24/7 smiley happy posts on this blog? No, because this blog is about healing, which is a process, a journey and one that I am on but have certainly not yet completed. Here, I am not, going to put on the fake smile n pretend all is well, there are lots of sites that do that and I wish I could, if I could take more pictures to post, I would, yet at the same time, I will try not to bring you down either, because I want to help you to find things that may make your journey a little easier to travel.

Pictures are going to be a challenge as my computer is low on memory, so I’ll do the best I can. I did buy an external hard drive to enable me to start taking pictures again but I wasn’t able to get to write to it from windows 7 😦 and I don’t have the skills to make it. It works but reformatting it is too scary for this technophobe.

Short post this one as I want to get to the part where I can tell you all about the lush new oracle deck that is my companion to Self love September and about the ‘new’ to me spread that I discovered which is a blend of a few that I like and suddenly realised it looked like a capital letter I, so would be perfect for self love.

Right see you in a mo for episode 2

Best wishes and thanks for reading

Billie

 

My art is calling to me

Welcome Back

Recently I made a sympathy card for a close friend, it was the first card I had made since DH passed but something special happened as a result. My muse woke up, my art started calling to me, my creative spirit that I though had been burried with my husband, started to call out to me. I am thankful.

Here is the poem that my muse whispered to me.

My Creative Muse

On an island far away sits a siren.

She is calling to my soul; ‘Don’t let us part’.

But I could not hear her song,

with my husband now long gone,

For my heart is full of grief,

And my eyes are full of tears

All are blocking up my ears.

 

But my muse upon the rock

She has waited.

For the mist to start to lift,

For the fog to start to clear,

Now she wispers in my ear;

‘I’m your art and I am here’.

‘Come to me’.

 

As I wade across the water

Pull her close like she’s my daughter

Or the person I’m inside

That’s been too scared to step outside.

Still she whispers in my ear

‘Im your art and I am here’

‘Stay with me’.

 

As we sit there side by side,

She holds me close and lets me cry.

Dabs a tissue to my eye,

As she whispers in my ear;

‘Im your art and I am here’.

‘You are safe and you are home,

I won’t let you be alone.’

 

Confessions of an art supplies Junkie

I’m thankful for my art making a comeback, so much has happened, so much has changed. I shattered into a million pieces when DH passed. I am thankful to have found this one fragment of myself that is so dear to me. Art has helped me through so much in my life so far. I wasn’t sure if I wanted it back before, I was indifferent to it and everything else. Its not about moving on, or forward or anything like that. Its just finding a scrap of myself that is worth holding onto.

As a result I have been having a self love/manifestation month, collecting stamps, books, pencils and now art lessons with Jane Davenport. All this thanks to making a card for a friend, then watching a You Tube video on Mixed media journaling which led me to Dina Wakley who showed how to draw a face. This went so well I ordered her book and Amazon did their classic ‘other people who bought this, also went for this..’ and offered me Jane Davenports book. From there I discovered her free class, which was so amazing I took a paid class called Supplies Me, which is so fantastic that I’ve signed up for three more of her classes. Drawing Beautiful Faces, Express Yourself (drawing different emotions) and the figure drawing class I heart Drawing. I hope you can forgive a gush moment but this is so HUGE for me, I am so so thankful for so much creatively at the moment. I thought this part of me was gone forever. Turns out she was just waiting for the right time to come out of the shadows. This and the classes are the entire years happy budget and beyond, I don’t care if I eat only weetabix for the rest of the year it will be worth it to follow my heart and follow my dream.

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I have always loved art, but not had the confidence to draw well, rubber stamping has bridged the gap for a while but still what I most wanted to do was draw. Mixed media painting was good, but learning how to draw so I can pick up a pencil and paper and have art fall like rainbows out of the end of my pencil, well, its all I ever wanted and these classes are helping me do that. Thank you Universe for helping me find my art again, for helping me find mixed media, Dina Wakely and Jane Davenport.

I have never been one for posh clothes or jewelery, stationary is my thing, pens, pencils paper paint. I have a stash of materials and look forward to learnging how to use them well. These classes are lifetime access and online which being housebound is perfect for me. If you want to find out more about the classes I’m taking I blogged about them on my art blog.

Sending you the courage to hold on, till your soul helps call back to you, what it most needs and wants to help you get through each moment. Be still and listen, you can’t push it, or rush it, its a waiting game.

I hope you too can find the pieces of yourself that you miss and that want to come back to you.

Peace n light

Billie

 

Quality over quantity

Welcome Back

Its been a while since I wrote, I haven’t had words, not kind words, not helpful words and I didn’t want my first post of the year to be negative, so I have waited. In books a lot is spoken of divine timing, that thing where stuff doesn’t happen when you want it but when you are ready for it. Some things have been coming together this week that have proven that to me, so I’m back to share.

Don’t know about you, but I struggle big time with doing anything nice for ME, for others yes, in a heart beat but for me, nope, if its not essential it doesn’t happen.. then I saw an advert on TV while I was in my dark place of despair with the mean girl, black dog n grief monster all giving me a pummeling an advert for a new magazine collection. Its called Mind, Body Spirit and I will link to it later in the article. It has sections on meditation, herbal remedies, aromatherapy, massage, runes, tarot palm reading even angel cards.

Well it was so perfect I was itching to get it, I managed to get issue one and after ages of shall I shan’t I (with an inner child standing in front of me hopping from one foot to another begging me) for once in my life I said yes. I am learning that when my soul calls to me this loud, its a good plan to listen, only good things have come from following soul calls like this. I’m so glad I did, now there is happy post coming once a month, rain or shine without me having to do anything more (set up direct debit for it) and its a monthly treat. The magazine comes out weekly but they will be posting monthly. I shall set aside one day a week to chill, and have a retreat day to include this magazine 🙂

Art

I used to be very into rubber stamping and paper crafts but my mojo has laid in rest with my late husband. Have been in a very dark place for a long time, last year Gorguss stamps, those soulful looking girl stamps called to me, and I got a few to stamp around my poems in my journal.

Feeling very low and exhausted I found myself on You Tube and decided to look up mixed media art. This was the best thing I have done for myself in a long time, oh the pretty colours, the messy play, that acrylic and inky stampie fun that I missed. I watched a video by Dina Wakely and had a go at drawing a face, OMG it was the best face I’ve EVER drawn!

Dina Wakely

I had heard of this lady long ago, back in my own mixed media days 2010 era but had not bought her books as North Light have a passion for putting text and patterns UNDER the main text in the book and with my dyslexia I can’t read that. So I admit I hadn’t really got into her stuff before. Divine timing though, as just watching a few of her videos has got me itching to get the paints out. I have bought clear stamps of her faces stamps (all the gals) and her scribbly wings are on order as I figure they have open space into which I can write inspiring phrases.I also love love love her birdies stamps too. (sits on hands) and I ‘need’ her books! (stop it now, its becoming an obsession, new fave toy much!)

I have saved a couple of sketchbooks for so long as the blue wave by Daler Rowney has now been discontinued but I just might need to take a leap of faith n get painty in them. So thank you thank you Dina Wakely for being such an inspirational, empowering teacher and for making me want to make art again.

Tim Holtz

Ahh ‘Sir’ Tim as we used to call him on a stamping forum (hey Sid x) I’ve long loved his style of stamping before I got into paint I was very much into the grunge style of rubber stamping, I have invested in one of his grunge stamp sets and also another which has a CROW on it, me n that crow are going to have fun, I can tell. Crow has been keeping me company for a while now, I feel he wants to come into my art as well as my poems.

I do need some more paint, some of my Winsor & Newton Galeria tubes got damaged and dried out but the new ones are plastic so when funds have recovered from the stamp spend I will be off to Cowling and Wilcox to restock. Will I share the art here, or on my Billie’s Craft Room blog….time will tell, depends how I use it, if I can find strength to paint again when the weather relents and lets my hands work, IF I can ever get the GP to change the meds that have left me with double vision since July last year, then I hope to play again.

For now, I am grateful for some hope of an option for something arty coming back into my life. I am struggling to survive and don’t really want to survive,I don’t feel worthy of doing something nice for me, not sure I deserve to enjoy anything, don’t feel ready to enjoy things. So for now like my scribbling with pencil to let out the pain and the darkness when I don’t have words, for now that is how the painting will be. My anger and despair have created some really nice backgrounds, perhaps I can go back to those pages and develop them some more with the new stamps. Time will tell.

Please pray I can get the meds changed so I can see straight!

Links

Ok I’ve mentioned some new stuff so here we go for a whole new world of linky fun.

Here is the video that got me into Dina Wakley:

 

Well there we have it, something positive to post about, hope you enjoy the videos and can’t promise not to post any more dark poetry, I’m just not in a pretty unincorns n fluffy bunnies place right now. I’d like to be so maybe the new magazine, a med change and some art will help me find a softer space.

 

Sending you peace, love, light, hope and compassion

Billie

 

 

 

Goodbye 2016

Welcome Back

And so as another year comes to an end, its the traditional time to think back on what have been the highs and lows through the year. Its also a time often used to make new years resolutions, well blahh to that, I gave that up long ago; however Susannah Conway has some wonderful printables on her website to help you say farewell to 2016 and ease into 2017 on your terms and they are amazing! I’ve put a link at the end of the post so you can find them too.

Finding your word

My word for 2016 was ‘Nourish’. I needed and still do need nourishing, mentally, physically and emotionally so Nourish may well get another outing this year. Susannah has a series called Find your Word on the blog post I’ve linked to, so I’ll be spending the next few days, considering the options for my word for 2017.

Unravel Your Year 2017 is a workbook by Susannah Conway is also excellent and I’ve printed that out too. It looks very interesting, useful, empowering and supportive so its well worth a look at. So far my only concrete plan for 2017 is that I’ve enrolled for Susannah’s class 78 Mirrors to further  my tarot studies, I want to read just for myself for personal development and as a way to get in touch with my inner guidance/ my spiritual sat nav if you like. There is a LOT that NEEDs doing next year but a lot of it is beyond my control and I am a control freak, so I’m finding it difficult. I also like the sound of Write your Soul which enrols 11 January but will have to save up for that one.

2016 has been ‘one of those years’, where I had hopes for things that really needed to happen and although I am a step closer, they still feel a long way off from completion and other things have to wait till the earlier steps are done. I’m just working on survival at this point.

I am very happy to have treated myself to a simply gorgeous A5 Malden, in the teal green/blue and its amazing, so soft, so supple, very huggable, feels devine. This will be my journal companion to my spiritual journey next year. I was also delighted to be gifted a book called Wheel of the year by Teresa Moorey and Jane Brideson as I want to explore a year of seasonal earth based discovery. My body is very linked to the weather and the seasons, my mood and pain levels very much directed by light and temperature so I want to find out more about this. I loved Kindling the Native Spirit book by Denise Lin which I read this year. Runes are going well, made of holly wood and they look feel and are amazing. As are Oracle decks, I now have one angel deck and the collection of Tarot cards is growing. With The Fountain Tarot being my latest addtion, OMG amazing artwork brillant cards to journal or  meditate with the images.

The biggest thing I’ve learnt this year was that FOLLOWING my heart is a good thing.

When I do that, things work out, when I don’t, I feel so bad, like Ive let myself down and have treated my self so unkindly by not listening to ME.I’m still planner girl, lists everywhere but I’m also taking time out to meditate, to watch the sun rise n set, to listen to birdsong, to watch clouds, to smell the seasons.

Each season does have its own smell; growing up and smelling the hops as they were harvested in the autumn taught me that, but the smell of frost, of snow, of summer of spring, of wet mud, or cut grass. All these things matter, step away from screens and take 5 minutes to look at the clouds, and the sky, smell the air, and let some air into your soul.

Poetry is still happening, haven’t published much this year as a lot of it is too dark, my soul processing my loss, and its a cross between Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson and I’m trying to share hope in these pages, not just a personal vent of negative emotions n grief. I’ve still bought the occasional magazine for the clear stamps on the back. I just wish my hands would be well enough to let me do what I need to in the day AND have some strength left for craft but that is not the case. I’m still struggling to do essentials right now. So lets all say ‘Goodbye 2016, don’t let the door hit you in the ar** on the way out.’

My wish for us all is that we find; hope, compassion from those around us and patience with ourselves while we make our way in the world. One foot in front of the other, one breath at a time, one step at a time. There are times when a good cry or hiding out under a blanket are absolutely what is needed.

May we be kind to ourselves especially if those around us are not.

Links

My phase for the year: I am on the page that I am on, until the page turns.

May your days be as gentle as possible with you, and may you find ways to make each moment as soft as possible.

Sending you all, peace, light, hope and compassion

Billie x