Sending my first happy mail

I’m so excited to be sending my first happy mail.

I discovered a Facebook group that does arty happy mail swaps and I’ve got two people to send mail to at the moment.

I had fun shopping for them as well going through my stash. I included some handmade gifts as well.

I love that I can connect with people from around the world who share my love of art and junk journaling.

Excited to see how this all unfolds.

Do you send happy mail?

Which cover should I choose?

So I’ve got a range of covers designed with slightly different elements.

Please help me choose a cover. Which one do you like best? Or which combination of fonts do you think would work best?

Also, when you look at the covers, what kind of book do you think it is?

Any feedback would be so appreciated.

And if anyone would like to volunteer to be a beta reader, please leave a comment or email me: wordslikesilk@gmail.com

Thanks so much!

 

Making a creative journal for a friend’s birthday

My friend showed me her Wreck It Journal and I was inspired to make her my own journal with prompts that resonate with me.

She’s like my adopted little sister and I’ll be giving this to her for her 14th birthday. I hope for the journal to not just be a fun book of activities but a keepsake full of special moments and memories.

So it includes prompts like getting letters from friends and family, writing down favourite quotes/lyrics/scriptures, and answering questions about life.

It incorporates self-discovery and self-expression with record-keeping.

Plus there are lots of random prompts like:

  • Go for a walk and find a feather/flower/leaf to stick in the journal
  • Take a selfie and stick it in the journal
  • Draw a self-portrait
  • Write a bucket list
  • Spray perfume on a page
  • Test all your nail polishes on a page
  • Cover a page in glitter
  • Draw a timeline of your life
  • Trace your footprint

Next week I’ll print the book and have it spiral bound ready to give to her on her birthday.

Any suggestions for prompts I could use?

Seeking feedback for a book cover

This time six years ago I was seventeen days in on the charity walk from Sydney to Melbourne. So surreal!!!

I’m on a deadline to get the first book I wrote published to coincide with the last day of the charity walk: November 13th.

I wrote it four years ago and it’s about time I shared it with people. So scary, but if I want to be an author I got to release the books eventually.

Today, I finished another edit of the book. (I’ve done countless edits.) It took four days to go through and now I’ve started the process to get a book cover.

Here is the first design I’ve received. I’m not sure if it needs colour or a different background or fonts. Any feedback?

Which authors are you grateful for?

I’m reading The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien at the moment and it’s the kind of book that takes me three weeks to read. Something I immerse myself in slowly. It’s a good book but not my favourite type of read. I love page-turners.

Committed, for me, is a page-turner. A book I can read in three days (or if I really go for it, one day.) So, as a person who reads multiple books at a time, I picked up Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert last night because it’s a book I can get absorbed in, enjoy and read quickly.

Within a page of reading Committed for the second time, I was struck by how much I love Liz’s writing. It’s just so easy to read. I want to be able to write like that. It takes absolutely no effort to read her words; I’m absorbed instantly and it’s a pleasure.

The other thing I was struck by was how much Liz’s books inspire me to write. Her memoirs are the type of books I want to write. Reflections on stages of my life and what I learnt and how I grew. How I lived and how I come to terms with life.

Her books and her writing make me want to write. They put kindling on the fire and ignite this burning desire in me to write. It’s a deep from the soul thing. It’s in moments like these that I remember I’m a writer; I was made to write.

So I’m grateful for Liz. I’m grateful for her writing and the books she shares with the world. But it’s not just because she inspires me to write and to write with a certain style and in a certain genre. It’s because she writes books that help me be at peace with my life.

Somehow reading her thoughts and stories and life journey helps me to be okay with who I am and where I’m at. For that I am immeasurably grateful.

It inspires me even more to write. If by writing my own memoirs, I can help others in their own existence, then my existence was worth it.

I want to matter, yes. I want to make a difference in the world. And I want to do that through writing. It’s not just about me doing what I love but about trusting that doing what I was made to do will benefit others in some way.

I believe this for everyone. And I thank everyone who uses what they’ve been given and does what they’re made to do because they are giving gifts to people.

It may be that the gift is as important as life – by adding joy, love, hope, humour, comfort, understanding, compassion, or any number of other things to a person’s life. I know this because writing has a way of bring life to me.

That’s what Liz has done for me ever since I first picked up one of her books. Over the years, she’s helped me heal through some heartache, walk through depression, and pick up the pieces of my identity. That’s huge! And I am so grateful that I want to put the gratitude into action and write my own stories.

There are a bunch of other authors who do what Liz do for me, authors I’m so thankful to for putting words on paper: Donald Miller, Gretchen Rubin, Allison Fallon, Brene Brown, to name a few.

Which authors are you grateful for?

Wings

This Prismacolor picture was inspired by my journey of learning how to be myself with God.

I’m a big suppressor of emotions, especially anger and sadness. So I’ve always struggled with expressing my emotions which prevents intimacy.

I’m getting to know via experience (and not just head knowledge) that God loves me even when I shout at him or when I’m in pain.

I’m learning he’s okay with my emotions and he wants me to express them. He’d rather that than the distance between us when I hold back from him.

The more I open up to him, the more I find comfort in his presence. It’s like being covered by the wings of God.

I don’t always feel safe to be myself with people but I want to feel safe with God all the time. Then that will hopefully lead the way for me to feel safe to be myself no matter who I’m around.

The Real Self

This picture was inspired by an insight I got from the book Scary Close by Donald Miller.

Don talked about a diagram with three circles. The inside circle represents the true self—who we really are. The middle circle represents shame, which causes us to think there’s something wrong with who we are. The outside circle is the false self we create (often subconsciously) to cover the shame.

We can think this outside circle is our personality but the things in this circle are roles we play—defence mechanisms to protect ourselves. We use these defence mechanisms because we think they make us someone.

This made me question what I used to cover up. For me it would be intelligence, morality, achievement, perfection, and niceness. Looking at my diagram looks like looking in the mirror—the me I present to the world to be liked. But the real me doesn’t know everything, gets things wrong, fails, doesn’t have everything together, and can’t please everyone. So I hid the real me because my shame made me think I was unlovable.

Subconsciously, I thought the things in my outside circle would make me someone who was lovable. While the things in my outside circle might not necessarily be bad things, they become bad when I think I get my identity and worth from them. I want to strip away the outside circle and be okay with showing the real me.

The diagram made me think about how a lot of people might be walking around with an outer circle around them and they’re telling the world this is who they are. I want to let them know they don’t need the false self. Their real self is loved and worthy.

The girl with the heart on her back

Here’s another Prismacolor picture and here’s the story behind it:

When I was five or six, I was invited to a fairy party. My family forgot and I didn’t have a fairy costume.

On the day of the party, my sister made me some heart-shaped wings out of cardboard covered in a white sheet. They were heavy and ugly but I appreciated the effort and didn’t say anything.

But at the party all the other girls had pretty, delicate wings and wore pinks and purples with tulle and sparkles. I felt so out of place and ugly in a woolen jumper with what felt like a plank of wood attached to it.

The worst part came when we had a group photo and I wasn’t allowed to stand on the table because I had hard shoes while everyone else had ballet slippers. It was a humiliating moment.

This story shows how things were like in my life: I never felt like I fit in.

But all along I was loved. My family loved me. God loved me. All along I had a heart on my back.