Awareness, By Gum

I went to a new dentist but it set up a chain of pain, so I’ve been pretty sick.

However, while organizing my last two sketches for my old sketchbook project, I decided I needed a proper set of gouache paints. I’ve been limping along with the extremely cheap and chalky Reeves set, which is about 15 to 20 years old, so for Christmas I ordered a Winsor & Newton set of 10 gouache tubes and ordered one extra tube of titanium white, which is a little different than the zinc white that comes in the set and I need them both.


BLUE GUM FLOWER – (Eucalyptus globulus) Healing

I am mixing the Australian Wildflower Reading Cards with the old but charming Nature Spirits Oracle Cards.

Acceptance for what has gone before , and a time to move forward, not getting bogged down in details. Look at other ways to heal and be healthy and look after yourself.

Awareness is always a struggle I find. Mention is made of paying attention to details but the Blue Gum says not to get bogged down in them. Be more focused and attentive, observe, it’s a good time to make changes.

Art is a healing thing, sometimes it’s good to get away and draw.

When we were in the dollar store this week they had this at the checkout counter, so I bought it for $2 to set on my drafting board while I work.


The Trust of the Grey Spider

GREY SPIDER FLOWER – Grevillea buxifolia – Faith


Silly me, I am more fearful of taking a taxi to and from the hospital for the spouse’s operation than I am about the operation. Because it means talking to another human being, no not that.

So what succour is this card offering me? Have trust, be brave, do not be afraid, and your intentions will have positive results. “As a healer, Grey Spider Flower instills courage and assists in easing anxiety.”

I’ll keep this card out for the next 4 days to remind me.

Oh, and I’m back being vegan again, quite a strict plan to see if I can alleviate pain. Twenty million ways to prepare beans and vegetable soups. Have faith sayeth the Grey Spider Flower.

Rabbits Secretly Enjoy a Good Ballpoint Pen

It has been a wild sort of week. We got word about the spouse’s hand surgery in one week (panic stations) and I got some books in the mail, one of which was wrong and the used bookseller is sending me the correct book.

I figured we’d better get proper blinds in the bathrooms and when the company was here measuring we decided to get all three bedrooms done as well. The old aluminum slats are bent and peeling and flaking paint, and the one in the master bedroom is black which sucks the light out of the room, apart from having kind of a teenage Goth vibe.

Because it’s hard for me to type without pain, I’ve been staying quiet and reading a lot. The highlight of my week was discovering that I could get refills for a Zebra F-701 ballpoint pen that my husband rescued from the garbage at his work a few years ago. I bought the refill, in it went, and the excitement of having the pen work again had me flying with delight. It is now back in my pen roll with all my fountain pens.



I do feel rather abundantly blessed lately, at least with interesting material things, like an ash can for the fireplace (squeee!) plus lots of books in my annual Christmas in October buying. We can pay our bills, and buy a few treats, so it’s not all bad. BUT I do feel I need to pull back from spending and calm down and enjoy what I have, finish a few projects slowly.

I complain about endless pain and hopelessness but as in everyone’s life, there are good and bad things. Rabbit Orchids flower more prolifically after a fire, did you know?

And I bought a whole box of 500 staples. Man, does it get any more exciting?

Hoya Flowers and Furious Blood Flow

I received my Australian Wildflower Readings Cards but felt a bit swamped by pain this week, which sucks the joy out of typing and discussing cards.

During this lull, I have been collecting a Notepad file of interesting nicknames for Donald Trump:

Comb-over Caligula
Cheeto Jesus
The Orange Turnip
The Furious Yam
The Orange Goblin
The Velveeta Raccoon
The Tangerine Terror

My favourite is The Furious Yam, but Comb-over Caligula seems apt as well. Sounds like the name of a band: Comb-over Caligula and the Furious Yam.

Shades of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five whom I remember from younger days. “It’s like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under. Don’t push me ‘cause I’m close to the edge…”

HOYA – ALIGNMENT – (Hoya australis)


Seemingly random flowers but there is often an underlying Fibonacci alignment in flowers. Five petals and five stamens, speaking of the Furious.

Making the pieces fit, making the pieces align: when in pain it’s hard to make plans, hard to believe anything will align again in my life. I feel scattered and incomplete when I can’t make things or have hope for my ideas.

This also reminds me of blood cells tumbling through veins, picking up oxygen, the biology that is needed to replenish and heal the body. I am planning meals and trying to align nutrition and energy in my body.

Time for a lie down.

Cheralyn Darcey Decks

I’ve had these two on my wish list for a while.


I’m predictably taken with decks with plants or animals, but it’s a rare thing to find artists who work by hand these days. These particular decks are linocut which is a technique I like and I did myself when I did my review of the Mirrors of the Heart deck.

Gosh, was it really twelve years ago? Shiver me stamens and stalks.

I couldn’t afford to order these from Australia but I managed to find them here in Canada online so I hope the order goes through okay. She has a new deck which is done in dark colours like a negative, and that is funding on Kickstarter but is too costly for me.

With winter coming up I wanted something cheery and I can pair it with my botanical postcards or something and have fun and enjoy the art. It rains a lot here. Almost worse than the snow of Ontario is the relentless rain of British Columbia which I find depressing. But one must cope and I find using uplifting plant decks helps.

I bought a type of cranberry plant for the front garden. We managed to transplant the hydrangeas and the rose but I lost the beautiful old viburnum shrub.

Cards and cranberries: a great compensatory combination.




I Like this Australian Wildflower Deck

I saw a deck I liked with linocut art coloured with watercolour; gouache to be exact. I have put it on my wish list but it’s a bit pricey for me right now.


It’s the Australian Wildflower Reading Cards by Cheralyn Darcey, and has 44 cards. They are large 3 x 5 inch cards (my favourite, the bigger, the better), and rather exuberant in execution. She refers to herself as an “environmental artist” and I like her thoughts on noticing things, and looking deeper at the Earth and things in nature we take for granted. She also says that the cards could lead to deeper study beyond divinatory use which is my approach to cards as well. Mythology, human tradition, learning about Australia, and botany are all wrapped up in these.

She is apparently working on two more nature-inspired decks and a book later this year and into 2016.

Having done a linocut myself when reviewing the Mirrors of the Heart deck in 2004, I appreciate artists who use this technique.

I think this is definitely a deck that would have meaning for me. I don’t see it being used on blogs but there are some great videos of it.

I’m in a bit of a funk which popped up after my recent finishing of Japonica, my fauxdori, but these came up some how when I was looking at art tutorials, so they cheered me up and got me thinking forward again.

I am hopefully working on my weekly sketch which I started planning last Tuesday in a grisaille technique, but I had to finish this journal.