Today Jamie asks us 'Where do you wish to be fierce?'
And my knee jerk reaction is to say for my kids.
But Goddess knows I am a fierce protector of them.
It's one of the many reasons I started homeschooling.
As my daughter steps into adulthood she's not really
in need of a fierce protector.
My role is transitioning into the gentle guidance of
a friend and for the most part we're both adjusting
to this change with grace and ease.
And I will continue to be fierce in making sure my son's needs are taken care of
until he takes his ginger steps into adulthood as well. As is sometimes the case with wishcasting, I felt the need to dig deeper so I turned to the dictionary for another look at the word 'fierce'.
In addition to the meaning 'having or displaying an intense
or ferocious aggressiveness', fierce can also mean 'showing a heartfelt
and powerful intensity'.
And then a quote came into my email this morning holding the answer:
"You need to claim the events of your life to make yourself yours.
When you truly possess all that you have been and done,
which may take some time, you are fierce with reality.”
~Florida Scott Maxwell
Everything that has happened to me good, bad or otherwise
has made me into the person I am today. If any one thing was different,
I wouldn't be the 'me' I am right now.
I strive to improve myself as much as I can every day, but I can honestly
say I really dig the me I am right now with all my imperfections.
So I wish to fiercely claim the events of my life;
Everything that's happened to me
Everything that's happened 'for' me
All the things I've done and chosen not to do
In claiming these events I claim myself...in all my imperfect perfection.
I am determined to keep this project simple.
No bells and whistles just pictures and journal cards
with a memory or brief note about the where or when of the photo
as I near as I can recall from my mom's sharing. Or just picture
collages and no words at all...whatever calls to us at the time.
Deciding on the book and card style was the hardest thing for us.
We looked at all the products narrowing our choice down between two.
We ordered the Clementine kit with the idea if we need another the sunny
Amber kit would be next.
We set a reminder on our calender dedicating 1 hour every Friday
afternoon for as long as it takes to complete this one album for
Project Past Life.
Just one. No pressure to do another one.
A strange spell came over us as we opened
the journal cards.
'Write it down...use me to write it all down"
they seemed to say.
With a box of photos beside us we grabbed a
handful and got started.
Josephine discovered some pictures still in the store envelope weren't my moms
but were actually from her middle school trip to Tybee Island. 'Can I write whatever
I want?' she asked. 'Yep. Whatever you want.'
She began feverishly writing on her chosen journal card as
I lifted out a hand full of pictures.
Mine turned out to be from when we lived in Germany.
My parents came to visit us for 6 weeks during the summer of 2000.
As I looked through the pictures Mom took, whispered memories of
that summer came flooding back. She had been so excited and happy
we had bought the tickets for them to visit.
I remember her telling me how grateful she was for us gifting her with
this once in a lifetime trip. Going through the envelope I discovered
she also kept all sorts of ephemera. Looking through it all, my heart aches
longing for her to have written even just a few sentences in a notebook about
what we did. But that ship has sailed and it is left to me to recall as much as I can.
As I begin, I offer a prayer to the Muse
Blessed Goddess of memory,
Beloved Muse Mnemosyne hear me
I call upon you to aid me as I start this journey
for without your ability to remember, I am lost.
Look with favor on our Project Past Life.
Grant me your blessing that I may preserve the
stories of my mother and my father.
As I look upon each picture part the veil of time so
I may see each story as clearly as if they'd happened
yesterday. May their voices ring clear through our ears
so they may be heard through the words I record on their behalf.
May what is remembered here live on.
And So It Is
As part of our homeschooling education, Fridays are usually dedicated to doing something creative. So far we've done watercolor painting, made goop, baked bread, cookies and play dough.
I've seen these wonderful melted crayon canvas art on Pinterest and decided I had to do it with my son.
He's melted crayons accidentally leaving them in the car but never
on purpose so I knew it would be something he would love.
I was right and now his art work is proudly on display in his room.
Here's what we used:
a heat gun (I've heard a blow dryer will also work)
A large canvas (ours is 9 X 11)
A large selection of crayons~my son always takes home the crayons from restaurants
and we have extras from other boxes. We ended up using 42 total this time.
Hot Glue gun and glue sticks
Contact Paper (it's what we had on hand)
1. Decide on your design. I showed Ian all the different things I'd found so he could get an ideas. In the end he decided to try doing his name.
In a document, I enlarged his letters to 600%, printed them then cut them out of contact paper to stick on the canvas.
While I was doing that he chose the colors he wanted
and put them in the order he wanted them to be in across the canvas. He also decided he wanted to keep the 'crayon skins' (his words!) on instead of taking them off.
2. After placing your design, use your hot glue gun to attach all your colors to the top of the canvas. We were actually glad we left the 'skins' on because our glue was so hot the crayons started to melt right when they touched the glue!
3. Lean your canvas against something and place some cardboard underneath to catch the drips) then starting on the lowest setting, hold your heat source close to the crayons.
We did a slow back and forth motion very close to get started then pulled back as the crayons started to melt.
4. Continue to melt the crayons until they have dripped down over your design and until you're happy with the amount of melt. Turn off your heat source and let the project sit for 3-5 minutes, then remove your stencils.
This is where we discovered that the heat from our gun was so hot it lifted the contact paper. But once we removed them, we scrapped some of the crayon wax off then took some acrylic paint and ﬁlled in some of the spots left.
Before I set you loose, I must give you some words of caution:
~the crayon wax will pool under your project.
Make sure you have something to scrape the excess drips off especially if it drips to the back of your canvas which will leave crayon marks on your wall when you hang it.
~I cannot stress enough to let the work sit for a few minutes. Ian picked it up too soon and got a little burned by an errant drip.
~This is quite addictive...no crayon may be safe in your presence!
With the spring coming and us doing Project Past Life revisiting
the pictures from the time we lived in Germany, my thoughts
have been on travel and how much I want to show my son.
As much as I enjoy living in the Atlanta Metro Area
I love going out of state for adventures, which has
mostly been to Myrtle Beach, SC. But I want to
go to more and different places this year.
What adventure await us just beyond those trees?
It's not a surprise when I looked at Jamie's
question for today.
How do I wish to spend my time?
I wish to spend my time traveling with my family and maybe even a few friends.
I wish to experience what every place I travel to has to offer.
I wish to spend time really enjoying where ever I am...even if it only
means exploring and enjoying what Georgia has to offer.
And I wish to spend my time sharing what I have learned and experienced
in a meaningful way with others.
'I really want to do something with these pictures, Mom.
It's making me sad that my memories of Papa and Grandmere are fading and I want to share them with Ian before it's too late.' my daughter conﬁded to me as we threw yet another half full photo album into the box we designated for photo storage.
It's been several months since she returned from her trip
to Japan last summer. She came home burning with passion and motivation to simplify our belongings;
mostly the things we held on to from my parent's estate.
In doing so we found loads of pictures.
My mom and my son, Christmas 2006
My mom's greatest wish was to be remembered
especially by the youngest of her grandchildren, my son. Even now over 2 1/2 years since her death,
I still struggle with how I can keep her memory and stories alive in a tangible way for him.
And with getting all the pictures from my grandmother that Mom kept,
I've also been concerned with ﬁnding a way to share the pictures and
stories of our family.
Scrapbooking would be the obvious answer to this dilemma, right?
Here's the thing...the only craft I've tried and hated was scrapbooking.
All the cropping, laying out, and endless bells, whistles and do dahs that go
with it seemed like much too much trouble for me. I need something
simple that's not going to take time way from other things I do like to do.
And though I've kept journals off and on for years I rarely if ever add pictures
to my words.
Enter Becky Higgins' Project Life, a simple
scrapbooking system that lets me
pair my photos with beautiful pre-designed
journal cards to help me save the memories
This made my heart sing with a resounding 'YES!!"
as I shared with my daughter what this system
could be for us.
As we go through the process of putting together the memories,
I'll be sharing our progress here as a way of staying accountable to
the completion of what at the beginning feels like a monumental task at this point.
Preserving the past while documenting the journey of a thousand memories.
We're calling our journey Project Past Life and I hope you join us.
I'm Dionne, a Natural Rhythms Creation Coach and Elemental Forces of Creation Oracle Reader. I teach people how to tune into to the power of the elements and rhythms of nature to design a life they love