Be Silent

There are days when all you want to do is curl up in a ball and retreat. Find a dark, quiet room and have a long lie down. Shut out the noise, the demands, the requests and find rest.
But more often than not this idea of rest is elusive. It escapes us….slips through our fingers.
If I am serious about finding rest in the busyness I need to be prepared to do the following:
Get to bed early
Sit down for five minutes when I have a coffee or cup of tea
Eat well, snack less
Play my favourite music and sing along
Walk, stretch, exercise my body
Read or listen to something encouraging
Find a space of my own to read, reflect, journal, pray each day
Be still
Be silent

Interview with Jasmine Mansbridge Part 2

Yesterday I introduced you to Jasmine Mansbridge and her artwork. One of the things that I am really interested in is how busy, creative people find time to balance life. I am super impressed by her discipline to paint and the way the process of creating offers Jasmine peace and ‘quiet space’ to reflect. It is probably that quiet space you and I crave. Enjoy!
How do you find time to balance family life and the creative process?

Balance is something I have to work on daily to achieve. I exercise as often as I can, usually early in the morning; it clears my mind and gets me ready for the day. Without it I get grumbly and my head gets jumbly! I also try and paint every day, in the middle of the day when my little ones are napping. It is a matter of just stepping away from the house work etc… which will never ever be completely done anyway! Even just two hours a day equals 14 hours a week. My paintings are intricate and take a lot of time so I have to just be consistent and patient to see them completed. I also don’t over commit as that makes me a stress head, which isn’t fair on my family. 

At the end of a day I cook and we eat together as a family 90 percent of the time. This helps me unwind. I have a great husband who helps with the menial stuff and easily does his 50% at home. When the day is done I pretty much always pray and kind of review what has gone on in my day and thank God for my amazing, blessed life.

What project are you working on right now?

I am having a solo show opening this Friday 21st October. I have started two new pieces to help me transition when that’s done. I have lots of ideas, short term/long term, and then BIG dreams! I have loved working collaboratively with other textile artists using my fabric, for the Red Scissors Project. I would like to play around with this idea further, re upholstering retro chairs would be a good start. I would like to exhibit in Melbourne in the next 18 months, and also at 24hr Art in Darwin in the future. Big dreams are a show in Berlin & Tokyo and to travel and photograph houses/homes all round the world.. and that’s probably enough for this interview.

Planning for family life

It is great fun learning to hang out all day with the family on holidays. It is fun because we don’t usually have so much time together – there is work and school, music and ballet classes, playgroup,youthgroup and rowing training that keeps us all apart.

I have been thinking about what makes a larger family “hang together”. What is the secret to doing life together in way that accounts for everyone’s needs but also challenges us to share more and work hard for each other? I found this Big Family Story quite interesting and honest about the ideas and expectations for family life. We have loads of routines and structures that help us connect regularly. Family dinner at 6pm on weeknights is sacred, reading the Bible together and praying is a priority, as is a regular dose of family movie time on a late Sunday afternoon. Daddy dates/mummy dates with individual kids. But there are many things I need to reflect on this week – chores, washing, cleaning up, organising and tidying, homework. Holidays become the break I need to reassess and reflect on what we are doing well and what needs to change.

According to Katie in her guest blog post, an industrial strength Miele dryer might be life changing. Hhhmmm. If only it was that simple.