Wool work and Emotional Energy.

I’ve moved to a lovely new place beside the Red Sea. A studio flat in Azzurra, in Sahl Hasheesh. A wonderfully creative place. It is a place where I can finish my first book and do some wool-craft. For me, right now, that is crochet. I go through phases of what wool-craft I want to do, but because of space limitations and the fact that it is summer here and too hot to be outside, I spend a lot of time indoors in the A/C, when I am not in the pool or walking and taking photos on the beach on cooler evenings. This place is the foundation of energies which are very much to do with healing and creativity, so it is perfect. Well…not quite perfect…we are still in Egypt!

I alternate between writing and crocheting. One was a break from the other. Because I am going back to the UK for a couple of months I didn’t want to get into an ‘important’ project, but just wanted to do some bits for the flat. So I decided to do a table-cloth. I crochet when talking to one of my daughters and a couple of friends on Messenger, as I cannot sit still. I have to be doing something with my hands.

Because I know that your energy goes into whatever you are doing, I have decided to call this project, the Hana and Jordan tablecloth, because it is filled the energy of them both. They were the topic of conversation for most of the crocheting of this project, so it was only fair!

Recently, reading a book about the Seth Personal sessions, Seth was speaking about Jane Robert’s mother and how she was knitting Jane a sweater as a Christmas gift. They had had a terrible, abusive relationship but they were trying in later years, to heal it somewhat. Jane’s mother decided to knit her this sweater, but Seth suggested that Jane not wear it, because of the energies of the mother being imparted into the knitting while she was doing it. If her mother’s energies had been those of love there would have been no problem. 

This was great confirmation for me, as I have felt that for a long time now. Everything we create contains our energy, so if we want to be surrounded by good vibes then we should create when we are feeling positive or loving or calm. Maybe the gifts we create for people could be infused with love so that they can feel it when they wear the item or use it. Or maybe if we are making something for someone who is ill or struggling, then we should think healing, supportive thoughts.

Whatever we do we should always be aware of what energy we are putting into anything. That way we can make sure that it is of the nicest energy so that we can be surrounded by it always.

 

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Weaving the New Templates of Reality.

20160822_174025I finally finished it, the weaving/embroidery project I have been working on for the last few months. It would have taken a shorter time but I was in a ‘process’, which meant learning a new way to be creative. I had ‘received’ (from my guides/Soul) the basic image of a pot/vessel, filled with layers of energy, the topmost layer being pyramidal in shape. Each layer of energy is an energy we carry when we do earth-healing, picking up energy from one site, in our ‘earthly vessel’, and depositing it at another site. We don’t know what the energies are, or what their purpose is, but we trust ‘our-selves’ to know what we are doing.

I now had t1462973974968he image, which I drew out and could see as a weaving; so I set up the small Tapestry loom that my friend, and fellow Gaia Method practitioner, Chris, had made for me before I moved out here to Egypt.  I could remember, that on my last trip to the UK, when I had stayed for a year before returning here to Luxor for a few months, I had picked up all of these energies on the drive back to the airport. It was as if I was pulling them all into my stomach, where I had seen them settle in an earthenware vessel, inside of my belly. I didn’t know exactly where these energies were coming from but I knew that they were important and that they would be anchored someplace here in Egypt.

I had done this before, when Chris and I had done a lot of energy-work in Luxor and Dendera, and all of the energies I had picked up there had been anchored at Beacon Hill, a hillfort outside Newbury, where Lord Carnarvon is buried. Now, I was doing it again, but in reverse.1463148639002

I started the weaving, using only the wool I had spun myself, either from wool I had bought and spun from the UK or from my own sheep here in Luxor. But when I had finished the actual weaving I started to embroider the pyramids at the top, but they began to look more mountains, so I just went with it.

Slowl20160616_232652 (2)y, as I went on, I began to see how other layers became different layers of the earth and the sea. But I could only work on one layer at a time. The layer dictated what it was to be, but I knew that each layer was connected to the other in some way. They were interwoven, so to speak. The tree roots became the seaweed floating in the water and the anemones were part of each succeeding layer. The bubbles arose from the sea-bed, floating upwards into topmost layers and sea fronds grew from deeper layers to connect with upper layers.

However, as I saw how it was evolving ‘I’ decided what the following layers were going to be. I ‘thought’ that the brown layer beneath the sea/blue layer would be seabed, followed by layers of fossils etc. So I embroidered a nautilus shell, but it just didn’t work; I carefully un-embroidered it.

I had no idea what to do next so I just looked at my threads and threaded a needle with the colours I was drawn to, then just stitched. My stitching became plants on the rocks of a warm tropical sea, complete with sea urchins and crystals. I could feel this odd sensation of my everyday thinking mind, moving to one side, while my ‘creative’ self, created what she needed to create, without my rational ‘planning’ mind taking control. It was a lesson in trusting my creative self completely.20160630_163522

This is also a process I have learned with my writing. A story comes into my head and I write it down. I am given the basic energy as words and then I have to embellish the story, but allowing my ‘planning mind’ to get out of the way, so that the necessary words can come into my head.

So, as with my writing, I am now learning to use the same process with weaving. I ‘receive’ the template as an image that comes into my head, and I see it as a woven piece. I know what the image represents so I know what energy I am weaving and why. But once the basic ‘template’ has been woven then I have to embellish it. The basic energetic template is there as the foundation for the completed image.

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This is how we, as Gaia Method Healers, work in the landscape. We ‘receive’ the energetic templates from our guides and Souls and then we anchor them where we are guided to anchor them. Over time, and with humanity using these templates, which are like computer software giving new possibilities and awarenesses to those people open to them, they become ‘physicalised’. Much like a blueprint of a building being built by the builders. In many ways. we are the healers of the present and the architects of the future!

Our writing, our crafting, our art, is our Soul’s way of communicating new awareness or symbols of new ideas, with the world. They are designed to awaken us to our deepest Selves, our awareness of ourselves as immortal beings, and to our own incredible power as creators of our own reality.

That is why so many healers are also artists and craftspeople. Their message comes through their images, words, and music. It awakens our Soul memories, even if we are unaware of it. We are the seed planters, the awakeners, the healers of the collective psyche and cosmic software downloaders and  art is our key!

So now that I have finished that weaving, I am preparing for the next one. Although the colours for this one are very specific so I will have to hunt for the right ones! I need different shades of purple and a compass. Hope I can find them here! Wish me luck!

The Love of Wool.

I have been in Egypt for nearly 4 years now and one of the things I miss most about being in the UK, apart from my children and grand-children of course, is my wool. Between the time I moved back to the UK from a year spent back in Ireland, approx three years ago, I taught myself how to spin. My friend who shared a house with me hooked me up with an old friend of his who kept Jacob’s sheep and I ended up buying all of her fleeces!! It had taken me two years from the point where I bought myself a spinning wheel  to actually having the fleeces to spin! Initially she gave me one as a gift and I taught myself, with the help of Youtube, how to wash, card and spin it. Before using the wheel I practised on a drop spindle until I knew how to feel the wool and get it right without dropping it every five seconds.

Carded Jacob’s wool ready to be spun.

I learned how to hand card before finally investing in a drum carder. What a brilliant machine! I also worked with other people’s wool which I had bought at our local guild meeting.   I bought a few batts of Shetland wool which I had heard so much about. But spinning it was a frustrating experience. I found myself feeling angry more often that not and just found it too frustrating to spin. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Working with the Jacob’s fleece was pure joy. I loved the feel of it, the softness, the ease with which it spun. I absolutely loved it…and I mean loved it. The kind of love you feel for a place or a beloved animal. I wanted to work with it everyday all day. It was so strange.

A Whole tub of Ready to-spin Jacob’s Wool.

I tried spinning the Shetland fleece but, again, I felt angry and frustrated and just could not get on with it. Why did one wool feel so gorgeous and the other so horrible? It was a mystery. I stayed with the feelings and went into them. Then, with a flash, I realised what it was! My wool had all been done by hand and the sheep were loved by its owner. The Shetland, on the other hand, were owned by a woman who treated them like a business and had her wool processed by a mill! There was love in the Jacob’s wool but nothing in the Shetland’s!  I decided to ask a healer friend of mine to tune in to each wool next time she visited and see if she picked up the same energy from the wools.

White clouds of delicious Jacob’s wool and Crab fibre.

I didn’t tell her why I was asking, but waited to hear her feelings.  What she picked up was that the Jacob’s wool felt like love but the Shetland felt like conflict, like it has been torn and pulled. She didn’t like the feel of the Shetland and said she wouldn’t like to wear anything that felt like this. But she would be happy to wear anything made of the  Jacob’s as it felt like she would be surrounded in love. It was quite a discovery!  It made me think even more about the effect each wool would have on the energy field of the wearer of anything knitted with each wool.  And then it made me think of all the synthetic fibres we wear every day of our lives and I wondered how that effected our moods and our energy?

Grey Jacob’s wool.

It made me think of all the homespun Aran wool and how the men of the Aran women’s families must have felt wearing the knitted sweaters and socks hand-knitted by their wives. Although I think the men also knit on Aran!!!

Tussah Silk and Jacob’s Wool.

I remember when I was knitting in Dunmore East, and my 17 year old daughter, Hana, was watching me. Suddenly she said “Isn’t it amazing how you can take a long piece of string and two long pins and create something beautiful to wear with it? Its like a little miracle”.   She had finally ‘gotten’ knitting! And she expressed it perfectly. I had tried to teach her, without success, for years. She is dyslexic and gave up in frustration every time. But this insight into the ‘miracle’ of knitting made her want to master it. I finally taught her how to knit!

My first pair of Jacob’s slipper-socks.

So here I am in Egypt and desperate to do some spinning with my beautiful wool. But it is so hard to find anything! All the wool is short and coarse and only good for carpets and wall-hangings. There is no way that you could knit it! I did find a source of wool which was already spun and dyed and as much as I love the natural colours it’s just too coarse. So my own sheep are the way to go! Everything here has to be done from scratch! If I want what I want then its like I nearly have to reinvent it! Very strange but it does mean that I have to think very creatively!!! I have one small black sheep but I don’t know what breed she is. But I do know that there are also sheep of her breed with pure white wool too!!! I saw them in Nagada, which is a half-an hours drive away! If I can get a ram I will try to breed with them and see what can be achieved!!!

Dolores

Finding a shop which sold yarn and other haberdashery also proved a mission here! It took the best part of five months to find the only shop in Luxor, owned by Christians and therefore not open in Sundays, the only day we went to Luxor! When you live here on the West Bank, Luxor is like another city across the river. It is the difference between town and country and feels like quite a trek to go there and back by service taxi to catch the ferry. But the shop is good enough and I managed to get my needles, crochet hooks, buttons etc and of course Chinese wool and cotton there. I can do something at least! But it just doesn’t feel the same. Working with it does not make me feel inspired. I have a strange sense of resistance to the process but, I have no other choice. Until I have my own wool I will have to make do with what I have and try to master my crocheting skills.

A Boy and a Girl! Buttons salvaged from prayer beads and a discarded top!!

Knitting baby clothes for all the babies in our families that are being born this year should keep me going until Autumn when we are going to the UK, and I can bring back some supplies and carded wool!!! I can’t wait!!! I wonder how many ‘supplies’ I can cram into our cases???

Crochet Oranges and Lemons.

What can you do as a foreigner living in a country which is going through a massive restructuring and healing process and which will get a lot worse before it is all over? Create! Create energetically and create in whichever way is your ‘bag’. And because I know I will have to leave luxor in a few months time and move to safer shores, I create only that which I can take with me. I am a very practical person, even if I do live in multiple realities, and I like to live with beautiful things, but things which are simple and useful and preferably hand-crafted.

Egyptian Vintage.
Egyptian Vintage.

I am in the middle of umpteen projects, most of which have to wait until I can get to my yarn shop to buy more of the right yarn. But because both yarn shops in Luxor are Christian owned I’m not sure that they will be open at the moment because of the Muslim Brotherhood’s vendetta against all Christians. Plus…I am not so keen on being shot at myself! So I am limited to my present supply. I am in the middle of completing a sea-colour skirt but my vintage Egyptian metal tray desperately needed a doily, to stop the jars and glasses sliding off and crashing to the ceramic floor! I couldn’t find a pattern so decided to wing it!

This is what I came up with:

Oranges...
Oranges…

I had to rip it back a few times to make it either not ripple or turn into a hat but it worked out alright! I do love this cotton and it comes in lovely colours. Only problem is that the shop is tiny, more like a Kiosk and you can’t pick up and look at the colours yourself. The owner has to do it for you. He climbs the ladder and I point out the colour, if I don’t know it in Arabic!  He then asks me how many I want and then he throws them to me, outside the counter, and I have to catch them. Its a nightmare if there is a queue!!! I only go once a month so I try to get what I need all at one go.

Fits like a glove.
Fits like a glove.

So, back to the doily. Once I was happy with it and it fit I blocked it and hey presto! Flat as a pancake. Wish I could say the same for my poor tray. These trays are no longer used by modern Egyptians as they are seen as ‘old-fashioned’. Nowadays they use sparkling stainless steel ones but they all look the same!!! So whenever someone in the family is throwing away a perfectly good enamel bowl or tray I rescue it! They think I’m crazy. They do not see the value in something old. A bit strange considering we live in Luxor!!! But…there you go…that’s Egypt!

Dinner is served.
Dinner is served.

Stuffed chiles, fried chiles (they like chile here), foul (my recipe), salad and fried rice with minced meat (bought from the Muslim Brotherhood owned supermarket which we can no longer use because the owner is one of the MB bigwigs and I’m not funding his war! Apart from the fact that his ‘protectors’ now guard the supermarket with machine guns from the top floor!I hope to God that the other supermarket, which is better, is also not owned by the MB. It took me two years to find someplace where I could buy beef stock, mince, butter and Irish cheese! My two only, foreign, friends brought me there one day. I was ecstatic. I’ll be gutted if I can’t get my supplies. Hey ho.)

You see? These are the things which matter in the middle of a political crisis; food and fibre!

Perfect!

Learning to Crochet.

One of the things I have managed to learn here in Egypt, while spending large amounts of time indoors in my flat, is to crochet. I have always been a knitter, having learned while in our rural Irish convent school in Graiguenemanagh, Co. Kilkenny in the 60’s. The nuns were great at teaching us how to be mothers, wives etc and so we were taught how to knit and sew and weave in Primary school, or ‘The Big Girls School’ as we called it because, at third class you were separated from the boys and went to the girls part of the school. The boys went to the Big Boys school which was in another part of town and only had male teachers. We had the nuns! We learned to knit while in 1st class, at age 6, then when we hit 8 yrs we were over in the big girls school.There we learned how to weave in 3rd class and sew clothes in 4th class. I can remember all of my primary school years except for years 1 and 2. Except for the knitting memory I can remember absolutely nothing. Not a jot!  It was during these years too that I started to have outer body experiences which absolutely terrified me and which didn’t leave until I was in my early 30’s. But that’s another story…

First pair of Slippers.

The only thing I didn’t learn in school was how to crochet. My mother crocheted all the time. I can remember sitting for ages holding her skeins of wool between my outstreched hands while she wound them into a ball. She crocheted everything. She also sewed and made most of our clothes including my First Holy Communion dress, which was completely different to everyone elses. Very sixties. My mother was not your normal Irish country-born woman. She was a designer and artist really, but not in the right situation to manifest her dreams. I still have one of her paintings on my wall and the communion dress she made for me from that time. She lives in Spain now.

So, having never learned to crochet, I knit. But intermittently. My friend Sarah was a great knitter and she gave me lots of tips. I played with quilting in my early 20’s and knit lots of legwarmers. It was the 80’s after all! Then, when I became pregnant at 24 yrs with twins, I began to knit in earnest. Like my mother I made as much as I could and when the twins were born she sent me some beautiful blankets and dresses she had crocheted for them.

Second pair...with Gaia Method symbols and crab fibre.

I knit everything. One thing I had never done, but which I had always wanted to do was to spin my own wool. So I taught myself how to hand spin and then bought a spinning wheel. Spinning my own wool from the sheep fleece I prepared myself was a magical experience. It was like a form of healing. I mixed my wool with bought silk, and crab fibre, and played with different ‘energies’, and then designed some boots and knit them with the homespun. I also did a short course on Navajo Weaving, again because it seemed to be such a spiritual activity. A way of creating certain energetic outcomes and influences. I began to learn how to tapestry weave using my home spun and my friend Chris made me a couple of looms. I bought a weaving fork and baton from a Navajo store in the US and also some warping thread. I wanted to retain the Navajo energy in my work.

But when I moved to Egypt a couple of years ago I had no access to fleeces and didn’t know where to buy wool! I had to put the spinning on the back burner and decided to learn to crochet. I had tried a couple of times before, being inspired by the women I worked with while working in C & H fabrics in Winchester. As usual, Youtube was my teacher! I crocheted everything. I found a couple of yarn shops in Luxor and every month would buy my supplies then spend hours crocheting. There is not much else to do here in the Summer heat and I’ve given up trying to manifest my farm here. I’ll wait until next year when we move to our own place! Then I will build my own studio space so that I can create what I want, when I want. I buy my fibres from the UK, usually Wingham Wools, and when friends are coming out to visit I ask them to bring them for me.

Detail of slipper boots.

I am going to get our local carpenter to make me a floor loom for tapestry weaving and some more tools. Everything is made by the carpenter or blacksmith etc. Its great! And then, before we move, I am going to Cairo with a pocket full of saved money to buy yarn at a much cheaper price than we buy it here. I cannot wait.

I had hoped to spin my own sheep’s wool here but I am going to have to buy an electric shears in the UK and then learn how to spin their wool. Because it is so dry here their wool is short and coarse and only good for carpets and wall hangings, once you have learned how to spin it! My spinning wheel, drumcarder and rigid heddle loom are still in England so I have to wait until Winter before they are out. But the one thing you do learn here is patience.

Everything comes eventually!!!

For more crochet/knitting/weaving/sewing adventures check out my fibre addiction blog: https://soulcreating.wordpress.com/

Escapism…

Since coming here to Egypt, my life has taken directions I did not expect, but should have. As I investigate my deeper beliefs and what I have created as a result of them I realise that old beliefs definitely still hold too much sway over my life.  I have been journeying with Anubis, guide to the Underworld and I am not out of the dark yet, but I can see the light in the distance!

I knew that this was not going to be an easy journey. I knew I would have to revisit old memories and heal old wounds. I have spent the last three years doing that. The emotions continue to be released and I am focussing in a different direction. I have been healing beliefs I took on from childhood, beliefs which have created a life I often find distressing and painful. But out of that healing I have rediscovered the world I escaped into as a child, the world of stories and art; only this time, I am the one writing the stories!

I have been writing since I was fourteen, but in 2007 I started to ‘channel’ stories. 2014-10-30 21.03.27At first it was a book, and I would receive chapters little by little. Then when we moved to Ireland for year, I woke up one morning with a story in my head, the story about a young Irish immigrant growing up in Canada in the late 1800’s. Still half asleep I began to ‘narrate’ the story to myself but then I fell asleep again. When I woke up properly I remembered it and I wrote it all down. It was like watching a movie, but with my feelings in it!

Other stories started to come in, all of which I wrote down. They would come in dribs and drabs and I would get the bare bones of them and then spend time filling in the gaps. Making them readable. I have so many stories, as yet unfinished, that I despair of having the time to write them all. Sometimes I wonder if the stories come from my own past life personalities, as one in particular that I began to write turned out to be just that! Others feel like stories from other people, people who just want to share their own life stories.

I have also been practicing painting and sketching. I want to illustrate my own books so that energy of the artwork matches the writing.

2014-10-24 07.37.34I found that I was spending more and more time writing and painting and I realised that I was doing the same as I did as a child. Reading was an escape into another world; it took me out of my ‘real’ one. If I wasn’t able to manage it, I would read. As a teenager I did the same, only now I started painting as well. I spent hours beside the stereo listening to music and sketching. The worse I felt the more I sketched.

For the past couple of months I realise that I have been doing that again, escaping into art and books because life here had become too depressing to be in. But when I realised what I was doing, I saw that I was not escaping, I was recreating!  The life I have created for myself through my beliefs, needed to be recreated, based on more positive beliefs. I was completely redesigning my life. Through art and writing I am creating the life I want to live, not one in which I feel powerless and depressed.

When I am writing, which is actually quite an exhausting process and one which I need to take regular breaks from, I am unaware of my surroundings. When I paint it is the same. When I do not have the energy to write I paint, and then I change back to writing again. In between that I cook and feed the animals with Omar.

This time last year I wanted a life where I was painting and writing and living a creative, fulfilling life. I have manifested some of that, which means my dream of having our own house/farm will also become a reality! All I have to do is keep dreaming…

Illustrating.

2014-10-20 07.55.56Having written a number of chapters of a book, I entered the ‘Null Zone, as my guides call it. I go through phases of ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ focus and right now I am in an ‘inner’ place. My brain seemed to have gone on strike and I had no idea what to do with myself.

After a couple of days of being unable to write, or read, or even to enjoy movies, I decided to take my paints out and just paint. I needed to use another ‘channel’ for a while. But I didn’t have an idea what to paint so I just sat and sketched random images, and then painted them.

2014-10-20 07.56.50 I was trying to do it as an art therapy exercise, even though I had written a few chapters of the book in as many days, so I wasn’t feeling necessary blocked, so much as ‘full up’!

Out of that initial therapy image I liked a couple of elements so I painted a simple flower image. I started to ‘feel’ unblocked on some level, but still had no desire to write.

But I decided to paint something that actually took more effort. So I found an image I liked from my old photos, taken while doing energy-work in the UK, and spent the evening sketching, then painting that. I finished it the following morning, having lost all interest in doing anything but paint! My chickens were not impressed.

2014-10-20 16.20.56 I became a little bored at the end, and didn’t put as much energy into the brickwork! My sketch-pad too is not designed for water paints so it rucks quite a bit, but it is only for practicing. As a result though, straight lines can look wavy in the photos.

I have very limited paints too, and three brushes to it is quite a challenge, but it is difficult to find quality paints and equipment here in Luxor.

This image is of a tree through the window of an upstairs room at Wardour castle.

Having finished that, not to my satisfaction though, as I need to practice a whole lot more!!!2014-10-20 20.20.54

While I was doing the washing up an image of a Black Widow spider appeared in my mind and I knew I was supposed to paint it. So I followed the impulse and it was quite quick.

While I was doing that another image popped into my head and that was for doing after the spider was finished.

I couldn’t figure out why these images were coming in. I knew they were for painting, but why?

Then I twigged! Most of my story writing comes into my head as dictation and images. I just have to listen to the words and describe what I see. I have been doing this since 2005 and am familiar with the process. But I wanted to illustrate the stories myself and my guides gave me a technique for accessing the ‘right’ image, to go with the story. But I hadn’t actually used it yet. 2014-10-21 14.23.30

This current process is about accessing the images! So I did the sketch that my ‘intuition’ showed me, even though I have no idea why it was that image! It seemed very random, like the spider! The image is more ‘purple’ in the picture than in actuality, as the light here in my flat is not good enough for an image and I couldn’t use a flash because I had also used pencil, which shines!

As I was going to sleep last night I was told to paint a jar of tadpoles! I haven’t started that one yet. I have no idea how to paint glass.

But I’ll see what happens!

Sketching Observations.

DSCN9769I’ve been practicing my life drawing, with my husband Omar as model. The only time I can catch him, however, is when he is asleep, so I did a couple of 30 minutes sketches while he slept. Now, he goes to sleep intentionally, so that I can draw him! However, I don’t particularly want to draw him every time he sleeps. It was supposed to be a pleasant exercise, not a chore!

But after doing today’s exercise, and finishing a practice painting I realise that I tend to draw and sketch rather small!

DSCN9790

These images are on paper which measures 25 x 35 cm. That makes drawing fingers and toes rather difficult! Every time I draw I see what I need to improve on; EVERYTHING. I wondered what would happen if I tried to sketch larger? I don’t feel comfortable with ‘big’ as it feels out of control somehow, but compulsively drawing ‘small’ can be very limiting. How do other illustration artists do it?Do they do ‘small’ too?

Another thing I am trying to achieve is ‘seeing’, differences in colour, with light and dark, on vegetation. Not easy! I see the colours fine but trying to ‘capture’ it realistically is quite a challenge. I know there is artistic licence but if I want to create an image of a plant I want it to look like the plant I am drawing. For instance the plant picture below left. It is a basil plant on my balcony. If I hadn’t said it was basil would you have known? Probably not! I would not have known!DSCN9787

How the light falls on the leaves is tricky and I tend to let my imagination do the colour for me, rather than my eyes. I feel more confident sketching than using colour, so I thought I would try another exercise. DSCN9798I have a photo of a Sheik’s Tomb from our local graveyard, so I decided to paint that. It is the only colourful object in the entire place, as we are in desert here, which is mainly multiple shades of browns! That gets very boring, very quickly, especially when you are surrounded by it!

Try as I might I just could not get the background Theban Hills to look the Theban Hills! I forgot the rule of Darker foreground, and lighter background. It is only by looking at images of the Theban hills that I realise I should practice painting them and then I might get them right in a smaller painting.

There is such a lot to catch up on, but I have plenty of time. I might just go the Ramesseum and do some sketches of the Temple. Its the only one that stills looks like it has only been found, as they have not ‘fiddled’ with it and put it back together. It still has its magic! All I have to do is wait for the cooler weather and spend the day there. Hopefully we will not be bothered by the constant attentions of the gafeer, looking for baksheesh!

Painting Again.

I recently started painting and sketching again. I used to do it all the time, when I was a teenager. I would listen to music and sketch for hours.  I was in another world while I did that, a better world.

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I REVISITED IT IN MY EARLY TWENTIES, HAVING DISCOVERED THE JOY OF PAINTING BIRDS, BUT THAT WAS THE LAST OF MY ART! I LOST MUCH OF MY CONFIDENCE WHEN I WAS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL. TWO OF MY FRIENDS HAD PARENTS IN THE ART-WORLD AND AS FAR AS MY SCHOOL-TEACHER WAS CONCERNED, MY FANTASY ART DID NOT FIT IN WITH HIS IDEAS OF WHAT MADE ‘GOOD ART’, AS IN ‘IT WASN’T FASHIONABLE’, LIKE WARHOL COPIES, ETC. IT COMPLETELY DESTROYED MY CREATIVE CONFIDENCE. MY OWN MOTHER IS AN ARTIST TOO, FINDING HER WAY BACK TO HER ART. AND MY FATHER’S FAMILY, ON HIS MOTHER’S SIDE, WERE ARTISTS, WRITERS AND MUSICIANS. THEY WERE ALSO ANTIQUARIANS. IT TOOK ME YEARS TO APPRECIATE THAT LIVING A CREATIVE LIFE IS THE WAY I LIKE TO LIVE. I’M NOT A ‘WORKER’, ABLE TO HOLD DOWN A NINE-TO-FIVE JOB, DAY IN AND DAY OUT, TAKING ORDERS FROM OTHER PEOPLE. THAT WAY OF LIFE FEELS LIKE DEATH TO ME. I NEED TO BE CONSTANTLY CREATING, AND THINKING.

 

Now, I want to illustrate my own stories, so I am relearning how to 2014-09-02 16.18.09paint and draw. Though, to me, it still looks like I am stuck in my teenage years as regards  my skill! In Winchester three years ago, I felt urges to learn again so I took an art class in figure drawing. I did alright, but the teacher wanted us to sketch in her style, which wasn’t mine, so I decided to trust my own impulses and sketch the way I wanted to. I think that class was more about me reconnecting to my own style rather than having to copy someone else’s. Interestingly, that was the last class that was held, even though we were only half way through! Our teacher was ill and had to cancel the class. I guess I achieved what I needed to! I hope she got better.

So I am relearning everything! It took me months to find an art shop in Luxor but I finally did, having trekked through tiny, dirty streets, in the dark,  to find it, and bought so2014-09-02 16.17.31me supplies. They do not have the same range of materials as they do in the UK but it’s good enough. It gives me something to practice with. Trees are my favourite objects so I am practicing drawing them! Trees are a huge part of the Gaia Method so I connect to them a lot. In fact I am also writing a story about a tree spirit so that should help!

Doing energy-work with Nature I see beautiful visions of other realms but have never been able to put them on paper. Now, as I learn more I feel that I will be able to! Plus, it gives me something to focus on when we have our power-cuts, which is every day!

As one of my daughter’s pointed out too, my drawings look like illustrations so maybe I am on the right track after all!

Tapestry and Navajo Weaving.

Before coming to Egypt I was trying to teach myself how to do tapestry weaving. I had done a one-day course (not enough) on Navajo weaving as I loved the idea of the weaving being about creating reality! I researched Navajo design elements and history but it was the mythological aspect that appealed to me the most, especially as I am an energy-worker and weaving was all about working with and creating our living reality through the magic of fibre and wood. I completely understood the idea of the loom being a ‘doorway’ into another  world,  the door being the interface between this, our physical world, and the world beyond the loom, the world of myth and and the collective unconscious. Working with the wool and yarn itself feels like such an ancient activity that connects me with all of the women, through all of time, who have ever created with this medium. Spider Woman creations!

As I was just learning to weave I wanted to do it properly, with the right energy and the right tools, so I sent away to the US for some handmade Navajo weaving tools and warp thread, which was hand-spun from their own sheep. I didn’t trust my own spinning skills enough to do my own yet, but I did make some ‘singles’ to play with once I get the hang of it! My first attempt, (in the photo below) was OK but thin in too many places to be able to withstand the weft passing through it so many times! It was definitely safer to use theirs!

When I moved to Egypt I brought my Navajo Weaving tools with me but it took me two years before I was ready to do any weaving. I just didn’t have the time to sit and dedicate energy to it as life here takes a lot of energy just to get through it! On top of that, it is virtually impossible to do anything which requires hours of dedicated concentration as I am always interrupted for one thing or another.

2001-01-01 00.00.00-2 (2) It is the lot of the women who live in the poorer villages not to have any life of their own once they are married; and because I live in such a village I find I have no time either. I am always ‘on-call’ for some family issue or emergency or just to cook  when required to. Egyptian husbands are used to ‘calling’ for what they need and often, when I am trying to work, I can hear mine bellowing my name from downstairs so I can come onto the balcony to talk to him. I feel like Juliet…without the romance! And most times it’s not stuff I am interested in hearing anyway, but he does it to keep me ‘in the loop’,  or to tell me what he has been doing. If he is calling me because he is too lazy to come and get something himself I pretend I can’t hear him because I am listening to music with my headphones on. Then he has to actually use his legs and come and get it himself. Its good exercise…on lots of levels. 2013-11-10 18.28.54 (2) That is why I have to resort to easy pieces of work which do not require much thought. It is so frustrating having to put down work every five minutes.

Last year I got out of bed early and, sitting in the early morning sun, warped up my little home-made tapestry loom, which my friend Chris had made for me. I had been practising on this in the UK, following a book by Nancy Harvey called Tapestry Weaving. A brilliant book! Then my loom sat around for another few months until I felt the ‘Weaving vibe’ again. My guides are always suggesting that I practice weaving and that this is what will bring me an income in the future but I am just not feeling that reality yet. I do not have the time or the energy. Perhaps once we move I can achieve it; when I can build a soundproof Adobe studio where I can work undisturbed? I can dream…or maybe I need to weave it into reality?

I finally decided to pick up my loom again and, using what wool I had spun from Jacob’s sheep in the UK from fleeces I had bought and processed myself, and Egyptian hand-spun wool which I bought from a weaver near Cairo, I ‘practiced’ some more techniques from Nancy’s book. But I didn’t plan it; I wanted it to grow organically, like the Wissa Wassef tapestries. As it grew it became a winter landscape in the early moonlit sky, but when it came to doing the moon circle I did have to resort to making a diagram and placing it behind the work. Trying to make circles is really difficult without a plan! The circles tend to grow into huge rounds which would be great if that is what I wanted, but I only wanted a little moon!

Now, yet again, it has been sitting around for a couple of months and I can feel myself energetically moving towards it again. It needs to be finished so I can start another one. But I have been thinking of getting a larger Navajo-style loom made so I can practice on bigger rugs. Maybe that way I can work on keeping my edges from pulling in? You can’t see the pulled in edges in the picture but they are there, I assure you!

As2012-12-26 16.47.46 (2) I was sitting here writing this, despairing about my seemingly purposeless existence here in Luxor I had an image appear in my head of teaching the women here to how spin the wool from our sheep and then weaving it. Maybe that is why our sheep seem to be so important. We are trying to buy a white, pregnant ewe so that I will have white wool and a baby! I can dye white wool! OK…that is a definite direction…its worth a try! Lets see how many women actually want to learn…what they usually do is watch me doing it, marvelling at how amazing it is then they ask me to do it for them! Its far too much effort for them to learn!

(This was our ram, which we recently sold in order to buy a ewe,. He was becoming a little too aggressive to keep and had head-butted Mother while he was grazing in the garden, sending her flying. She obviously had never learned the rule ’Never turn your back on a ram! Thankfully she wasn’t hurt!)