What's Wrong With This Montage?

So, I was catching up on my blog reading, when I came across this gadget at myheritage.com.

You input a picture of yourself, the site "reads" your picture with face recognition technology, and then matches you with your celebrity look-a-likes.

Simple. 

Now, admittedly, the picture I used was one of me on a plane.  Strictly speaking, one muscle relaxant and several gin and tonics into the flight.  I'm a nervous flier.

But, you tell me, what's wrong with this montage..?

http://www.myheritage.com/collage



I've Set a Gemstone!

As personal ambitions go, one that has been with me for a very long time has been the wish to be able to make rings from silver and gemstones.  

  With gemstones set in silver.  Not wire wrapped.  Or glued.

And I've only gone and done it.  

Look!





Using sheet metal, I have cut, sawn, hammered, and soldered.

My finished ring isn't lobsided.  Or a bit wonky.  And the stone hasn't fallen out.

It's a simple silver ring with a gemstone set in a silver mount.

And I am ridiculously pleased with it.



 



The ring shank is made with a chunky piece of silver that I have hammered, so that it's textured.

The mount is plain, smooth silver.

The stone is a type of jasper, I think.







I haven't taken it off since I finished it.







One very long-standing personal ambition achieved.

Yay!

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

After reading my blog post last week, my lovely friend Ange told me she had something I might like to read.

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

I read it a few years ago and liked it.  And this week, I read it again.  It meant something different the second time around.

It's powerful stuff.




Australian Ballet Company





If you're not familiar with the poem, here it is:



The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me which planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. 
I want to know if you can sit with the pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer




I think this is a beautiful poem.  And I think I'd like to be the kind of person who can accept Oriah Mountain Dreamer's Invitation.

So, perhaps it's time for me to find out what I ache for, to see if I dare to dream of my heart's longing, or can risk looking the fool for love, for my dream, for the adventure of being alive.  It's time to see if I can sit with my own pain or yours without moving to hide it or fix it.  It's time to see if I can be with my own joy or yours.  To find out if I can see beauty, say "Yes!" to life, and do what needs to be done even when I am weary with despair.  I want to know if I can stand in the centre of the fire with you and not shrink back.  I want to know what sustains me from the inside when all falls away.  I want to know if I can be alone with myself, and like the company I keep.

No pressure then.

I've got my goggles on and plenty of ready salted crisps to hand.  I'm going in.  Gulp.  Wish me luck.




P.S.  Thanks Ange.

Creative Thinking

Hello again.

I'm sorry I haven't been around for the past ten days or so.  But something a little bit strange has been happening.

Over the past few months since starting on this creative journey, I have changed.  And it's been good change.  I have felt a new part of me unfurl, and that has been interesting, surprising, and fun.

I've had a bit of a struggle sometimes on this blog to know how much of my private world to share.  Too much information seems a bit uncomfortable for me and possibly for other people too.  And I've always tended towards the less is more approach (unless that applies to red shoes).  The whisper is louder than the shout way of looking at life (unless you eat the last cake).  I'm a pretty private kind of gal.

So I've tended not to post for a few days if I'm going through a bit of a "thinking" part of being creative.  I've tended to wait until I've made something new, and have posted about that.  But I have to tell you that this creative journey got a bit intense recently.  And I've been umming and aahing around whether to share it with you or not.  

And again, because I'm an in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound kind of a gal (and also because I can't hold my own water, no matter how private I tend to be) I'm going to share.  Whether you want me to or not.




Wild flowers near my home.



It's nine months now since I started this creative journey, nine months since I started this blog.  And I began by trying out new ways for me to be creative.  Baking, sewing, drawing, knitting.  I spent time thinking about how I was feeling and what I wanted to make.  It was fun.  I found that I had skills I didn't know I had.

Then I found myself wanting to change my external environment.  I wanted my home to reflect who I was, and I wanted to include in my home things that I had made.  So I spent time changing how my home looked, adding fairy lights, bunting, the odd rag doll or two.

Then decided I wanted to change how I looked to reflect who I was.  I stared dying my hair red.  Wearing big, floppy bows in my hair.  My style changed.  I bought bright purple baseball boots.  I ditched the black and found myself wearing pink, red, stripes, dots.  And I tucked away my black messenger bag, and bought myself a flowery oil cloth tote.  I'd never felt more me.

Then over the past few weeks something started to happen.

I've learned new things, I've changed my environment, I've changed my style.  Where next?




More wild flowers near my home.



And then before I knew what was happening.  Before I'd had time to strap myself in and turn on the "I Have No Idea What's Coming" sign.  Well, that's when I started asking myself the Big Questions. 

And we all know...  When you take the lid off those boxes you haven't opened in a while...  Well...  No good can come from that.

At least not straight away.

These were the doosies that I found myself mulling over...

What kind of person do I want to be?

What kind of life do I want to create?

Am I happy?

What do I need to bring into my life so that I can be the kind of person I want to be, live the kind of life I want to live, and be happy?

How do I get from Here to There?

You can imagine the result.

Yes.

It's been ugly.

There have been times, I'll admit, where I have sat, mouth open, with the silence ringing in my ears, looking generally stunned and confused. Every once in a while putting the kettle on to drown my sorrows in warm, sugary tea.  Muttering gently under my breath.  Tumble weeds rolling softly across my lounge floor as the clock ticked. 

My cats have been forced to throw themselves at my feet, clutching at their stomachs and pointing with their paws to their mouths, in a bid to get me to fling some food their way.

Yes, it's been ugly. 

It took more sugary tea than I'd expected.  And more packets of ready salted crisps than I thought it would.  But they're a winning combination to bring me through most instances of emotional Poking Around With a Big Stick.  And I'm out the other end.  My cats are well-fed.  I've washed my hair.  And I'm back.

With some answers to my questions.  And that feels good.

I thought when I started this creative journey that it would be all about the art and craft.  Making Things.  The external stuff of life.  I had no idea this whole commitment to creativity would be such a powerful internal journey.  Creative thinking.  Who knew?

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