Creativity: Escape I

Escape 6

An altered book like this is a good place to try new things, use up odds and ends, and bring out your collection of rubber stamps…Years ago, my father-in-law gave the kids a stack of big yellow stickers, which they never found a use for. Now I find them handy for covering a whole page of unwanted text in one go. A white pen didn’t show up on the yellow, so I wrote over it in blue. An inspiring  Kikki-K sticker gets modified by the text in the art work stuck below it.

Escape 7


The name of an art exhibition in Bendigo reminded me of a loved song-lyric of Leonard Cohen’s. It didn’t all fit on the label sticker, so wandered out across the edge of the page, ending on the next one. The text of the stuck-on paper is obscured with the frames of postage stamps, then painted over with water-colour. The key stamp I added in the birdcage is is one carved into a cheap eraser, an excellent way to make custom stamps. You can use a craft-knife, but Japanese wood carving tools are better – and quite cheap and easy to buy in art supply stores.Escape 8

The left-hand page plays with the idea of flying in dreams – something I like to do whenever I realise I’m dreaming. I remember being disappointed as a child that I couldn’t do it when awake! I thought I rememberd how, but it just didn’t work. Sad.

The picture of “Pink Sita” is torn out of an art magazine, and is the work of internationally recognised local artist, Geoff Todd.

Escape 9


I like the colours in the felt vessels on the postcard – advertising for another art exhibition. The other page has been painted and embellished with stamps and a rub-on guitar, and some paint doodles. There’s plenty of room left to write in a quote about creativity when I come across one I want to add. So the book is still an on-going project.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Humanity


The challenge this week is to come up with something about ‘humanity’, which is very broad and open to interpretation. Thirdeyemom, who came up with the challenge, shared a gallery of photos of people from various countries and cultures from her travels. I decided to go with humanity’s  love of music, and stories in the form of songs.

I trawled through all my files to choose these pics – all of occasions where people gathered in the open air to enjoy music together. Except for the busker, who took the music to the people, and hoped that some of them would appreciate his efforts, and drop a contribution into his guitar case. The two shots from Seattle show an elderly and very colourful old man who came supplied with pieces of bright sheer fabrics, and the fellow members of the audience he cajoled to dance and twirl with them. They didn’t last long though – too self-conscious!

Friday Poem: Invocation

This poem, or prayer, is based – very loosely – on a meditation for cultivating compassion, which is in Sogyal Rinpoche’s Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, along with generous dashes of other spiritual ideas. Maybe you’ll recognise a few, depending on your reading habits! Or maybe you’ll recognise existential angst…bush

Oh, Little Master,
as representative of all the Buddhas,
as one facet of the one Mind,
Ground of my Being,
I ask of you,
burn out my obscurations.

Make me pure and free,
cast off the yoke of my stubborn Sense of Duty;
Little Master, let me be one with you,
a gleam in the flame of pure being.

Little Master,
as far as it is possible for me here,
in these circumstances which I suppose I must have chosen for myself,
for the lessons I wanted to learn,
and the course I wanted to complete,
as much as I can,
help me to be true.
True to myself,
my true self,
true to you, Little Master,
who have been with me always and will always be with me,
True to my purpose in being here.

Help me to break free,
to wake up in God’s wide world;
don’t let me sleep in a prison.

This is a lot to ask,
Little Master,
because I seem to love my chains,
because they are so familiar.

But you are familiar too,
and you know the whole story,
whilst I only look through
a crack in the door.

You are always behind me
and beside me.
Make me one with you.
set me free.

bush track

These photos were taken in ‘the bush’ near Chilton in Victoria. I think it’s called the Honey-eater picnic ground. We called in there on our way to Canberra to visit for Juniper’s first birthday, and didn’t have much time to spend there. The only  honey-eaters we saw were wattle birds, which are notoriously territorial and chase most other birds away – if they are present, you can be fairly sure you won’t see much else by way of bird life! We did find three species of orchids, though. Here’s one of them – Pterostylis curta, in a beautiful big colony alongside the track.bush orchids

1 Day 1 World: 6am – 7am

I woke up early enough to rejoin Lisa’s 1 Day 1 World Project, so I took some photos. Not especially interesting ones, as dawn is not really my time of day, but still…



It wasn’t much lighter in my west-facing room at 7 than it was just after 6, but it was daylight. I went to the window hoping to see a bird, or a neighborhood cat, but there was nothing going on out there at all. There are some daffodils in flower in the pots over the way, just to show that it is spring in Canberra. In a few days, I pack up and take the bus/train/train home to western Victoria. Maybe I’ll find something better to photograph on the way…


Escape 1“Genius begins where rules end”

- William BlakeEscape 3

“Artists are tricksters, opening up possibilities and reflections.”

- F. David Peat and John Briggs, ‘7 Life Lessons of Chaos’Escape 4

“When it comes to the arts I do not care how mindless it is as long as the makers put their heart and soul into it.”

Sean Hughes, ‘Sean’s Book’Escape 5

“Escape” is the old novel I have altered and turned into a book about creativity. It still has some empty spaces in it, ready for some more pithy quotes or inspiring thoughts.

Many of the pages are painted with ordinary acrylic house paint, because I was given a couple of tiny sample pots at a promotional display. It works really well! If you don’t have samples, you could also use leftovers, and mix your own custom colours with them. Altering books can be lots of fun, and an opportunity to try  new techniques and materials – just be sure to bend the rules, be open to many possibilities and put your heart and soul into the process!

Remember, you cannot fail.

These images are of the cover, title page and first few pages of “Escape”. I’ll be sharing some each week and hopefully inspiring people to pull apart and rehash boring old books into something new, exciting and very personal.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Adventure


My grand daughter Juniper is one year old today, and for her, every day is another adventure. For father’s Day on Sunday we all went to a park for a picnic lunch, where Juniper had the chance to explore an adventure playground. It was built for much bigger children, but she liked it anyway.

There was another section much more suitable for such a small person, but Juniper is much too adventurous to be interested in that…

Friday Poem:


Pierce me anew
With your love
Make me anew
According to your desire
And will
Like a block of marble
It’s potential hidden
But somehow sensed
Chip away at me
At my defenses
Carve away the waste
That hides who I am
Cut away my rough edges
My excess, my reserve
Carve shape grind
Whittle hammer scrape
Whatever it takes
Uncover by your love
My perfect Self.imagine