Bookmark Giveaway: Choose your favourite

For my third giveaway I’m giving my handmade bookmarks with encouraging messages in the form of a picture and a quote.

Each design is created with Prismacolor pencils and shares a life lesson I’ve learnt. These insights have helped me with issues of depression, anxiety, identity crises, self-worth, and life direction.

Everyone who enters this giveaway will receive a bookmark through the mail .

To enter, check out the bookmarks below and choose one that speaks to you the most. Then leave a comment with the name of the bookmark you would like and why it speaks to you.

I’ll then reply to acknowledge your entry and ask you to email me your name and address. (Once again, this is not a ploy to get emails or addresses, everything is confidential and I delete the details as soon as the giveaway is finished.)

Each picture shows the front and back of the bookmark.

Permission to Fail
Be Still in the Chaos
Divine Dance
Introvert Reality
Be Unconventional
Choose Your Thoughts
Embrace Your Shape
Everyone Has a Story
Doors of Opportunity
Safe in a Storm
Be You
Step Out of the Box

Strictly one bookmark per person, but if you would like more than one bookmark they are available for $2 each via Paypal.

Also, if you would like to buy the full size version that inspired the bookmarks as an A3 print, they are $20 + postage via Paypal.

Failure Is A Door To Growth
Walk In This Way
A Peaceful Mind
Divine Dance
Introvert Reality
Be Unconventional
Choose Your Thoughts
Embrace Your Shape
Everyone Has a Story
Doors of Opportunity
Safe In A Storm

Feel free to contact me if you’d like the full story/meaning behind the artwork if you want one that really speaks to you.

Which bookmark is your favourite and speaks to you the most?

Making Bookmarks

I first made bookmarks when I was a kid. Here’s the very first one I still have.

Then I made some more when I was in high school and I gave them as gifts. Here are two that I kept.

Then last year I upcycled some of my grandpa’s notes and turned them into bookmarks.

I love these because they give me a memory of my grandpa who died when I was 8 and they combine family with my love of writing.

I showed them to my dad and he said to make copies because the rest of the family would probably like to have some and I could sell them.

I never even thought of that but I made copies and gave some as gifts and some people bought them.

Then I got into making bookmarks inspired my Prismacolor drawings that share an encouraging message from life lessons I’ve learnt. The first one I did was about embracing failure.

From there I created bookmarks galore.

And sold bookmarks galore as people choose the ones that speak to them.

Here is my latest bookmark.

I’ve copied them, cut them out, and stuck the front and back together. Now I just have to laminate them and they’re ready to go.

I love using my own bookmarks and I love giving them as gifts and selling them. So much fun! Whenever I send a card in the mail, I like to include a bookmark that I think will encourage the person I’m sending the card to.

One lady said she cried when she received her bookmark because it spoke to her right where she was at and was something she needed to hear. That made me so happy. I love how art can help people and all we have to do is share what we’ve learnt.

I used to fold the corner of the page to mark where I was up to but now I love using my bookmarks.

Do you use bookmarks?

How Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ made me cry

When I first read this I spent a day at the beach and read over a hundred pages and loved being absorbed by the book with no reading time limit.

I was inspired by the advice to read a lot and write a lot. And I was inspired by the process of turning up each day to write.

Then I got to a part that made tears come to my eyes. It was about the muse and how my job is to make sure the muse knows where I’ll be every day. That way, the muse will always know where it can find me and when the muse shows up I’ll be there.

I’ve never really been into the idea of the muse. Some people call it inspiration or genius or spirit. For me, I’ve decided the muse is that feeling I have when something in me wants to come out, that feeling that words need to be written.

I don’t know when the words will come or what the words are, but I know I have to write them. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing. I can be too physically, mentally or emotionally tired to write, but that feeling won’t let me rest. If I want to rest, I know I have to write.

The book made me cry because it made me realise I have a muse – a deep need in me to write. It made me so happy I cried happy tears.

The book gave me the urge to write. To write right then. To write always. It always comes back. I can never get away from it.

Writing just won’t let me go. The muse won’t let me go.

Have you read On Writing?

Do you read only your favourtie genres or do you like to read widely?

I’ve just finished Life of Pi. It took me a while to get through. It was one of those slow-moving literary books. The reading was so slow-moving that when One of Us Is Lying came in the mail, I read it in two days then went back to Life of Pi.

At least One of Us Is Lying kick-started me back into reading in long chunks and I managed to blitz through the rest of Life of Pi.

Both of those books weren’t my normal books I read, but One of Us Is Lying I mostly read for the quick and easy entertainment value, and Life of Pi I read for the reading widely value of exposing myself to different styles and reading the classics.

I’ve just finished another book that isn’t my usual genre: Persepolis by Marjane Strapi. It’s a graphic novel so it’s like a comic book and very quick to read.

This book was one of my required readings when I did a Master of Writing and Literature but since we had three set books and only had to write about one of them, I didn’t finish Persepolis.

I started it stopped when I felt too sick and disturbed by the subject matter and a certain horrible picture. Reading about war and torture was a bit too much for me at the time when I was going through a bad case of depression.

So I was apprehensive about reading this book but I finally got past that picture and it was fine now that I’m in a different place and was prepared.

It was an interesting read and I quite liked learning about the history and culture, and of course I love reading memoirs and learning from them. So I always knew it would be worth the read.

Three books in a row, out of my book comfort zone, but all of them worth it to help me as a reader, writer, and person who lives.

It was Stephen King’s On Writing (a book that is one of my normal genres) that got me reading me widely. I used to only stick to my favourite genres but he got me not only reading more but outside of my genres so that I could be a better writer and find my own voice as I learnt what worked, what didn’t, what I liked, and what I didn’t like.

It’s been one of the best decisions. He taught me every book is worth reading even if you don’t like it because you will learn from it.

I still have my favourite genres that I read more than other genres, but I like exposing myself to different styles.

What is your favourite book genre and do you stick to it or do you like to read widely?

Blackout Poetry

I discovered blackout poetry through the blog world last year and went through a bit of a phase with it.

I was given a collection of books from a friend to make art with so I chose a novel, bought a chunky black marker, got my Artline fineliner, and got to work.

First I choose a page and rip it out.

Then I underline or draw a square around any words that stand out to me. Then I try to find a theme or story to connect the words and make a poem.

I don’t include all the words, just the ones that fit the poem. Then I black out everything else.

I experimented with different styles with different ways of connecting the words and added drawings.

At first I used too many words and found the linking of words too complicated. Now I prefer the minimalist look where the words standalone.

Here’s one of the minimalist poems that appears in Please Tell Someone which is a book I put together where people from around the world and all ages share their stories of surviving sexual or indecent assault.

She felt compelled to tell the truth, to face the truth. She lost the fear.

Here’s one I did with mixed media (Prismacolors and gelatos) on a larger page. The colour worked really well on the black.

Your words, live in you. Write through your eyes, from the heart. Simple, real, raw . . . true.

It’s quite fun and I love how the poems can be a form of therapy and a snapshot of where you were in the moment as you naturally look for words that meet you where you’re at.

Have you tried blackout poetry?

Do you love notebooks?

I love collecting notebooks. I found these ones for only $3.25 each. They’d easily be $20 at a gift shop. They are some of the prettiest notebooks I’ve seen and I bought three of them. I love them!

It felt like it was my birthday and these notebooks were worth a million dollars to me the way they made me feel.

The blue one especially makes me happy. It’s everything I love: the blue, silver and white combination, the writing/quote as part of the design, and the quote itself is awesome by a pretty cool philosopher.

I couldn’t stop staring at these notebooks and running my fingers over them. These notebooks inspire me and make me want to write beautiful things in them.

Who else loves notebooks? And stationery? I have high standards for my stationary – it has to look and feel a certain way.

It’s not just stationary or a notebook. It’s a world of possibility, inspiration, ideas, creativity, organisation, and joy.

When people ask if I collect anything, I can say I collect notebooks.

Do you love notebooks?

What are your dreams?

The Dream Tree – Live big (11th July 2017, Prismacolor on A3 cartridge paper)

There are some dreams I’m too afraid to tell people because I think they’ll think I’m stupid or selfish. But I’m learning that’s mostly all in my head. Guilt and self-doubt are some of my biggest struggles.

If I wasn’t worried what people thought and if I didn’t care about expectations and assumptions from friends, family, culture, or society, I’d tell everyone these are my dreams:

  • Be a full-time writer and author of many books that impact people
  • Travel and speak sharing my message that we are most useful when we are ourselves and use our gifts
  • Open a bookshop and writing/art studio where people can read, write, create, and learn to their heart’s content
  • Run writing/spiritual/creative retreats
  • Run writing courses and art workshops
  • Start my own publishing company with a writing competition so as many people’s voices and stories can be heard as possible

They all seem far-fetched but here’s the thing, I actually believe some of them will happen. No matter what anyone says, I already see it because I know my purpose. I am made to write and create. To share my voice, my heart, and my stories to help others do the same.

It’s taken so long to get here. So many times I’ve gone down dead-ends because I was trying to please everyone and live up to expectations. It led me to a quarter-life crisis at 26, then it led me to depression and anxiety at 29 when I went through an identity crisis and self-destructed.

For the next two years I worked at reconnecting with myself and I found what actually makes me happy and makes me come alive. It was there all along but now I saw how important it was and not something to feel bad or guilty about but something to go after wholeheartedly.

So now I’m finally doing the things I love with wild abandon and not feeling guilty for the things I naturally do. It feels right. It feels like I’m me and I’ve found my soul and I’m doing what I was created to do.

I’m living my dream every day to read, write, and create. But I know there is purpose in these things as I pass on all that I learn. I know that as I simply do what I was made to do, God will use it for good, to help others, and to glorify him.

I don’t need to know how. All I have to do is write and create. All I have to do is use the gifts he gave me and trust he will use them.

I left the left side of the picture blank because I was too afraid to write down my dreams and let people see them. But I think now I’m ready to write them down. I’m strong enough to handle any negative responses because now I know what I’m made to do.

What are your dreams?


My Bookshelf

I reorganised my bookshelf which is always fun.

First I cleared the shelves and put every single book I own on my bed.

Then I went shelf by shelf.

The top shelf has my children’s books and young adult books plus some classics and literary fiction.

The second shelf has my fantasy and science fiction books, plus Dan Brown’s books.

The third shelf has my writing books as well as my piggy-bank and a jewellery box my grandma made me.

The fourth shelf, the middle shelf, is my dressing table since I don’t have one. It’s also my memory shelf of special and pretty things that I love and mean something to me.

The fifth shelf has my psychology, philosophy, and self-help books.

The sixth shelf has my Christian books.

The seventh and bottom shelf has all my heavier theological and biblical books and resources as well as uni books from my zoology days.

The books that lie horizontally are the books on my reading list.

It’s not perfectly organised in categories but with the books I have, it works for me. I love how my bookshelf shows me what my passions are.

One of my dreams is to have a library in my home and a bookshop, so I’ll definitely need more shelves.

How do you organise your bookshelves?

Memory Box and Shelf

Memory box

I was inspired by Ellora’s post Writer’s Box to do this post. It made me think of how I’ve always kept places to keep memories.

The first place was my memory box. I got a wooden jewellery box for Christmas or a birthday and even though it was quite a special looking box, it wasn’t my style. So instead of keeping jewellery in it, I kept memories in it.

It was full of things I collected from my school years. A broken pencil I used in year 7 art. Batteries that came from a game console I got for Christmas. A wrist band I got from the dentist. A watch that was my mum’s. Three stones I got from the schoolyard when we played a stone game. And so many other random things.

I loved opening the box once or twice a year and picking up each item and having the memories come back.

But really, most of the items were broken things and things I didn’t particularly like (otherwise I would have kept them out of the box so I could see them all the time). I kept them purely for the memory. While that was fun I now only keep things that I actually like.

So I threw most of the things out as well as the box which I never liked. I took a photo of them for the memories though, so I still have the memories without the clutter.

This is essential for me since I am a major sentimental hoarder. Ever since my foray into simple living, though, where I live based on values I worked out I only want to keep things that I either use or matter to me but that I also love for the objects themselves since aesthetics is one of my values.

Now I have a memory shelf.

Memory Shelf

I love crystal and silver and anything sparkly. I was inspired to collect crystal and silver when I saw my sister-in-law’s collection. It showed me how much I value beauty and aesthetics. I can look at them and they make me happy. So I chose to live by this value instead of feeling guilty for buying things I didn’t need. The silver and crystal aren’t just pretty but remind me of the importance of values.

The five coloured glass blocks mean a lot to me because they were my grandma’s. She was the only one who nurtured my creative side as I was growing up. Her house was full of pretty and creative things and I loved playing with those glass blocks. When she died this year, I got to keep those blocks.

I love my tiaras. I’m an adult who wears tiaras. It took me a while because I was worried what people would think of an adult wearing tiaras but I got over that and wear them because I like them. So those tiaras don’t just speak to me of something pretty that I love, but identity and being yourself.

The silver cup (it needs a polish) is my birth cup. All of us kids got one each, in a different style.

The jar of sand comes from my 12 years of beach mission where I learnt what heaven looks like: a place of belonging and being yourself where everyone is useful.

My grandma made me that blue fairy brush with glitter.

Dingoes are my favourite animal and I collect pictures of them. My mobile wallpaper is a dingo. So when a friend painted me a picture of dingoes, I absolutely loved it.

I made that mirror when I was at school and I love that I actually use it and that it’s decorated in a way that speaks of me: blue and sparkly things.

That’s a picture of my family on the side when they dressed up in olden day costumes. I wasn’t born yet but those four people mean more to me than anyone else so I love this picture.

Do you have a memory place?

Do you have a writer’s bump?

A writer’s bump is a callus on the finger where the pen rests when writing by hand. It forms when you write a lot.

I’ve had mine since primary school. My writer’s bump is on the last joint of my middle finger on my right hand. I do hold my pen quite tightly so it’s like a pad or cushion for my pen to rest on.

I wear it with pride. I think of it as a distinguishing physical mark of a writer. I usually have ink on my hands as well, but wherever I go I’ll always have that writer’s bump.

I probably do grip the pen too tight, but it’s the way I’ve done it ever since I started writing. When I write a lot, the bump gets bigger. But even when I haven’t written by hand for a long time, it’s still there. I don’t think it will ever go away.

Do you have a writer’s bump?