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Preparing for Christmas...

It's been a busy week...

The stocking filler shop is now open for everyone... I have found a way to work around the technical difficulties I am currently experiencing with my website. You will find a link to both the Christmas store and my blog under the “What’s new?” section on my home page.

I have also been preparing to lead a reflection based on one of my paintings in an online retreat tonight (Saturday, 2nd December). I am looking forward to a chance to pause and step back, reflecting on my expectations for the Christmas season and my values rather than being pulled in too many different directions. It's not too late to sign up - the retreat runs from 5-8pm UK time. It will be recorded though you would not have a chance to work in breakout rooms if you do not attend live.

I have also spent time learning about Ukrainian folk art, as I am helping out at a Christmas event for Ukrainian women and children on Wednesday, 6th December. The techniques reminded me of approaches I learned many years ago in a Chinese watercolour course. It showed me once again how art is adaptable to different cultural environments.

I have also finished the oil painting I started at the beginning of October!

And the hearts? I found the process of cutting out hearts out of hand-painted paper calming and meditative, providing much needed thinking space.

I may eventually use the hearts to create greeting cards, but for now I am choosing one of the hearts every day during Advent as a point of focus and reflection.

This is a tweak on an idea shared by Brian Draper, who runs an online Advent retreat every year. He suggested colouring in an advent calendar template, recording a key phrase for each day.

So I am trying to balance action and contemplation in the run-up to Christmas. We'll see how long I can keep this up!


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