New #free #artwork page

You may have noticed a new page on my blog. I am sharing some of my artwork, and you can have a copy of something for free!

Or the original for a donation to charity.

I will also take requests for a mixed media piece, also for a donation to charity. 

The charities are:

Tearfund

Blurt

A Rocha UK

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Open awareness – the mindful silt trap of the mind

Some good thoughts on the natural capacity for mindfulness we have:

I have been staying at Clowance Estate in Cornwall, where there has been a mansion house since 1380. Some of the original features are still there like a silt trap.

This silt trap is a small pond into which a stream runs via a control gate and a control exit. The control gate is used to determine how strong a flow of water from the stream comes into the pond. Most of the particles coming into the pond, soil, sand and silt, settle in the silt trap.

That means much cleaner water flows out of the pond – in this case to stew ponds where fish for the kitchen table were reared. In the photo below you can see the stream, the control gate and the silt trap pond.

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Seeing this in operation gave me an analogy for the way our minds can work. Attention is like a control gate…

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There’s f**k all wrong with her

Nobody, NOBODY should be put through this…

You've gotta have Gumption....

I’m sat here broken and sobbing.

I just had one of the most humiliating experiences a person can have, and the worst part?

It won’t be the last time.

It’s a sunny Tuesday afternoon. I’ve just had my hair done for the first time in a year; my boyfriend arrives tomorrow and we are off on holiday with the family at the weekend. I’m smiling, and excited as I park my van near my daughters school, ready to collect my children. In the playground Mums and Nans tell me how great it is to see me, and how good I’m looking after a week or so off the radar, poorly. It’s quite lovely, and their kindness and words mean the world to me, when I have been feeling so low.

I collect my youngest two, and meander back to the car, noticing a traffic cone on the pavement blocking my…

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The importance of investing in the #small

Democracy is overrated. Or at least ours is. True democracy is of course, priceless, but when you have to put up with a government you didn’t vote for and more to the point, you couldn’t even vote for the party you wanted to it doesn’t look so rosy.

And then there are multinational corporations. You know, the people who have more power than the government. The organisations which really run our lives. Just look at the climate change issue. Or fair trade. Or the living wage.

It makes you wonder what an average Joe could do.

Small actions when lots of people do them add up to world changing big actions, but what if you look around you and you feel like the only one taking any action?

But wait. Your action might not change the world, but it does change you. And lets face it, regardless of what happens in the world, you are still going to have to live your life, and those around you are still going to have to live with you.

If it is right to take care of the planet, it is, regardless of whether anyone else is or not.

For your soul’s sake, invest in the small.

Besides, some people do end up as world changers and they all had to start somewhere, so never despise the small.

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In the end, the colour of your soul is not changed by the number of online petitions you sign, especially if you have slid into slackivism.

But it is changed by the grace of God as you take each small choice, each action and offer it up to him as worship. As we do things because the are right and good, regardless of whether or not they change the world, we find that instead, we are changed and the potential that others around us will be changed appears.

All it takes is one small flame to burst the dark.

Positive Pick: Lottie Doll is a fashion doll you can feel good about!

Always nice to see toy makers who make the effort :

Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Today I want to share a product with you that I think you’ll love. It’s the Lottie doll by Arklu. Arklu is in what they describe as a David versus Goliath fight against toy giants like Mattel and Disney. Their mission: to bring a fashion doll to the market that kids will love because of the fun, trendy clothes while also providing a developmentally appropriate play experience. That means no sexy clothes, no make-up, and no ridiculous thin ideal proportions. Their motto: Be bold, be brave, be you.

What Lottie does have is realistic child-like proportions, cute and trendy clothes, fun accessories and a background story for each doll that encourages imagination. The stories emphasize adventure, activity, and creativity rather than the usual shopping and romance. They are so much healthier and more relatable for young girls than popular dolls marketed to girls of this age that focus on themes…

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