Thursday, 12 June 2014

Hot water and inspiration

                Today I came in from a birthday party, and instead of heading to clear up the kitchen, I plunked myself down in front of my computer.  By default, I clicked onto the solitaire game on the desktop.  “What a waste of time!”  I chided myself. 
                It was about 5.00 pm and too early for dinner.  I was going to have leftovers anyway.  And “The Maverick” was on late shift—so no need to worry about cooking for him.
                Blog!  I could write a blog entry…yes.  Now, what was on my mind?   Hmmmmm?  Right, …nothing came to mind.  I closed my eyes…a long blacktopped road appeared in my imagination; just a long, flat, black expanse, with no end destination. Neither was there a train to climb onto to follow as there was a non-existent track. 
                I could be sorting out all the clutter in my guest bedroom that serves as my office.  No energy for that.  What did come to mind about 6.00 pm was the stack of dirty dishes sitting on the worktop awaiting washing.  Deep sigh…and one can only procrastinate for so long.  Plus I hate an untidy kitchen—even if I do have a bad habit of letting dishes stack up over a series of days. 
                An amazing thing happened when the water started flowing from the tap.  My ideas started flowing as well.  There is something about physical activity that jump-started the creative activity in my brain as well.  What I was avoiding was actually the key to solving my slumbering creativity. 
                For me there seem to be three things that instigate productivity in my mind:  washing dishes, taking a shower and taking a walk.  Oh the pleasure of hot running water and sweet smelling soap to bring refreshing, order and even a sense of playfulness to me.  
                Maybe it’s the warm and soothing affect of the running water that relaxes the body tension, so that in those muscle-melting moments all kinds of happy chemicals are released in my brain.  I start thinking about events during the day that I want to share.  I talk to Jesus, giving Him praise for His love and grace.  Vague ideas about characters and story lines begin to develop like a photograph in chemical bath.  So, the dishes get clean.  Or my skin is exfoliated.  Or my body gets a bit of exercise as I walk.  
                I’m sure scientists have a better understanding of how the body and mind are affected by each other.  All I know is, that when I need inspiration, some physical activity, and often flowing hot water can flip the switch of synapses in my brain and I’m creating again.
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,
“Lady Helene”

Monday, 9 June 2014

Magazine Article

In case some of you don't know, "The Maverick" has planned a grueling challenge for himself.  I've been busy helping him by designing logos, creating tote bags and tee-shirts.  I've kind of become his press agent, as I've also been contacting the media, and writing newspaper articles.  

However, "The Maverick" wrote his own article and it was posted in the LHR News, an in house magazine for London Heathrow. 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Cooker & Camera

Panoramic view of our lounge

"The Maverick" and I discovered that we needed photos of him wearing the bright orange tee-shirt my sister sent him.  We were working on his logo, and the lettering in the background is blue.  In the previous photos I took, he was wearing a purple shirt.  
 So, on Sunday, 4th May, I took my camera to church with me so we could get the photos.  I turned the camera on, and the screen went black.  Turned it off, turned it back screen.  The information was still read-able (flash, battery charge, etc.) But the screen showed nothing--just black. Well, end of photoshoot. I learned after some research on the internet that the sensor had died.  And seeing it was several years old, it wasn't worth fixing.  That meant buying a new camera.

A friend took the photos for us and put them onto a disc. 

In the meantime, I completed work on "The Maverick's" logo for tee-shirts, bags and cards.  Now you can see what I mean about the orange shirt on the blue background.  :-)

 Since I had to wait for pay-day, I took some time to research cameras on Amazon and Google.  I wanted a more progressive camera, and came across one called a "bridge" camera.  It is a cross between a point-and-shoot, and a digital single lense reflex camera. 

An especially desired feature was the view-finder for really sunny days.  Yippee, I found one.  A Fujifilm Digital--FinepixS series 4530 model.  In red, no less.  It arrived on Monday, 2nd June.  I was collecting my bag and cardigan/sweater to leave when there was a knock at the door.  The post man handed me the box, for which I signed.  I had no time to open the box.  

I know it sounds daft, but it took me a couple of days to open the box.  And it has only been today that I've had the time to actually read the manual and try it out.  

I used to be a person who would just take something out and try pushing buttons, or playing with a new item to learn how it worked.  But in my thirties I began making myself sit down, read the manual and do things step by step.  First, it was a lot faster in the long run.  Secondly, I learned just how much I could do with the product and get a lot more use out of it.  

One of the features on this camera is a panorama mode.  You can see the result in the top photo.  I am looking forward to using this whilst my sister is here later this month.  

One of the reasons I am so chuffed by having a new camera is that I can now post a photo of our new cooker.  It arrived on Friday, 2nd May.  Trying to decided on the best model and make was quite a chore, as we had not been thinking of replacing our cooker.  In the end we bought a Belling.  

You notice the wok on the stove?  This cooker has a wok burner, which has a large ring with flame inside a small circle and the a larger ring of flame on the outside.  And there is a wire frame that wok settles into.  This makes wok cooking so much more convenient.  

There is a fold-down top, which makes sure the gas is not still on.  It has a shut-down mechanism.  I have a tendency to leave it up, though because I like to have the wok out.  

I feel like I'm back in business now that I have a cooker and a camera.  Take away meals are nice for a change, but a hot meal at home is still wonderful.  And pictures, drawings and photos make telling a story so much easier.  

I'll be posting photos of the tee-shirts and bags I have made to raise support for "Riding Against the Traffik"  .  

Serving Jesus, Author of our Faith,

"Lady Helene"

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

She's calling your name

19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens; 20 By His knowledge the depths were broken up, And clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes— Keep sound wisdom and discretion; 22 So they will be life to your soul And grace to your neck.  Proverbs, chapter 3

            Within my heart and mind is the knowledge that if I spent more quiet time with God, I would certainly have more access to His direction in my daily life.  I have lots of ideas; and know that if I made listening to the direction of the Holy Spirit a priority, how to accomplish them all would become clear. 

                This morning, as I was reading Proverbs, I was reminded of this again.  I’ve often thought that wisdom is presented as a feminine attribute of God’s character, because the writer of Proverbs frequently refers to “Wisdom” as “She”.  I think it is a good balance of some of the masculine attributes expressed by David and writers of Psalms—that of a mighty warrior, a Holy Oracle. 
                As God’s creation, we reflect God’s desire to put the world to rights.  When the world was first created, God made everything beautiful, uncorrupted, healthy.  But man was given the opportunity to choose the knowledge of good and evil.   And we have struggled since—with injustice, selfishness, cruelty.  The evil brought darkness, illness, perversion.  I’ve heard it said that our Holy God creates, but Satan-incapable of creating-can only corrupt

In the midst of this world of suffering,  Human-kind has yearned for forgiveness, restoration, healing and health.  Even when people don’t believe in God, or have a Christian faith, there is a strong desire to set the world back in order.  This is reflected in things like:
·         engineers who design wells for water in desert countries;
·          doctors who travel to places of war and natural disasters in order to treat those who are injured;
·         Advocates as they seek to change laws, raise awareness of and rescue the abused, neglected and oppressed
·         Scientist who research drugs to fight AIDS, Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, diabetes, etc.
·         Politicians who seek to bring peace through arbitration, negotiation and promotion of democracy

It seems to me that religion is seen by a majority of people in the world as a tool to put the world back to rights.  Through religion we begin to learn about right, wrong, compassion, generosity, reverence, respect.  Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, as well as other religions teach about the necessity of making peace with God, and living in harmony with each other. 
The Apostle Paul wrote that the law serves to teach us what sin is, but grace empowers us to live a life that overcomes sin. 
                God instilled into our souls the desire, the passionate yearning for peace, order and joy.  The soul’s hunger drives the mind to seek for knowledge, for answers to suffering and pain.  There are those in the world whose minds are numbed against the understanding that in searching to unlock the mysteries of brokenness in the world, we are in essence seeking to find God.  In the revealing of nature, God’s goodness is silently, patiently, consistently speaking.  His voice is the voice of Wisdom:

"20: Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. 21 She cries out in the chief concourses,[b] At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words:"
Proverbs, chapter 1