healing haven

August 27, 2014

Garden Visitors

Filed under: gardening,turtles — by thalia @ 9:17 am
Tags: , ,

Two different days this week, we opened our front door to find visitors, just waiting to be welcomed.  First there was a turtle right on the porch, looking up.  (You can see the raccoon flower pot but right next to that is a turtle flower pot – maybe he recognized a friendly place for turtles.)

8-19 turtle on porch

He was still there with head out even after I ran to grab my camera and came back.  And as I moved closer to take close-up shots, he remained watching as if to welcome a picture session.  From the beat-up missing parts of his shell, it was obvious he had been involved in a few difficult moments in his life.

8-19 turtle

The next visitor is actually someone who has maintained a permanent spot on the porch railing.  A spider who has learned to keep her web to one side of the walk-through as so she does not have to redo it every day as we leave the house.

8-19 spider's web on porch

This picture was taken with the sum shining through the web.  I tried it from the other side with the sun shining directly on the web, but it didn’t show up as well.

We delight in the interactions with our neighbors, human and otherwise.




August 3, 2014

Project Life pages


For the last few years I have been keeping up with Project life but not sharing much with personal photos involved.  Unfortunately, this takes many of my pages out of the posting possibility.

PL-can use 4-27-13  album-tornadoes TX, trim shrubs-cr,lt

This one, mostly about tornadoes going on around us and in Texas, used some photos, some Becky Higgins cards, some digitally-made cards,  some Pinterest images, and some journaling.

PL-can use 4-27-13  album-Shadow in box-cr,lt

This one included a notecard from a friend, pictures of the cat and garden with comments, another Becky Higgins card, and some digitally-made cards.

Project Life is an excellent way to keep a written and visual diary of your days.  The albums make excellent perusing through afterwards, for you and family members and even friends, when the days have mostly blurred into each other – gives you a chance to see what really happened and how you felt and thought about those happenings.


September 9, 2013

Project Life Diversity

This page shows diversity:

8-15-13  PL pages to post Eclipse to vet, garden

of pictures and journaling, bought and embellishment-added cards as well as subject matter: unhappy cat at vets for nail-clipping, messy drying apples process, garden updates and some daily journaling.  The cat was happy when back home and I was happy to have the dried apples to eat.

June 7, 2013

Turtle Gardens

Because of my love of turtles, and having had many as wonderful visits over the years (see posts under turtles regarding both real turtles as on April 17, 20011 and fictional turtles as on October 21, 2008), I always enjoy when one walks through the garden, as they frequently do.  As a way of letting them know the garden is a welcoming environment for them, I have many turtle garden ornamentals around. 

Turtle crowned with lilies

Turtle crowned with lilies

Combined with flowers, veggies and greens, these turtle figurines look very inviting and in their natural environment. 

Deck arden Turtles

Deck Garden Turtles

Plus they soothe my being with their healing presence.

May 19, 2013

A Real Snake in the Garden

Imagine my surprise, that after posting about a handmade knitted snake and a real experience about a snake years ago, I go outside and mow a bit then come back inside.  Later, I go out again and find a snake about 4 feet long by the mower.   It allows me to go back into the house and get my camera to get some pictures.   When it starts to move away going down the hill, I go up on the deck to keep it moving in that direction. 

A real snake in the garden.  Not that it is so unusual  (mostly turtles are seen roaming) but to happen on the same day I posted about a knitted snake is interesting.  I took the pictures and made them into another 6×10 insert for my Project Life album along with a section relating the details of the story.   I enjoy using Project Life to combine journaling with pictures to tell a more complete story.


May 17, 2013

May 17, 2013

As I watched the snake, I was aware of how graceful it moved, like ripples in the water.  The scales barely moved yet there was a pattern of motion , and I wondered if the snake could feel that as they propelled him along.  Or was it all so natural and familiar that he didn’t notice at all, or appreciate his own grace and beauty. 

Often we are unaware of the impact we make on others and of our own type of beauty.



May 17, 2013

Snakes in the Garden

Recently I made a knitted striped snake for my granddaughter.  She loves the colors of purple and blue, so that is what I primarily used.  Then she seemed to want a hat – a decorated, fancy red hat.  Maybe an Easter bonnet.  And of course, I included the process pictures as a 6×12 insert in my Project Life album:

Knitted snake Project Life page

Knitted snake Project Life page

This was fun to knit and great for working on while watching TV.  And such a cute example of a snake, similar to some of the pretty green snakes in the garden hanging from a tree and even found in one of my shrubs.

I remember, when I lived on 25 acres out in the countryside here in the Ozarks, reaching in to pick green beans we had planted in 4-foot-wide double-dug French Intensive style garden beds.  Hard to do with all the rocks in the hillside ground.  (We wound up with a huge pile of rocks that we then used for building walls, etc..)   In using this intensive method, the beans were planted close together than ususal forming a thick layer of green bean leaves making it impossible to see beneath.  I reached in and… grabbed a snake!  I jumped back but managed to see what it looked like.  Ran inside and got out my snake book and there it was, a black king rat snake – totally harmless for humans and actually good to have around in one’s garden.

Snakes have their place, whether as a knitted play/display snake or in the garden.

May 8, 2013

Visual Nourishment

One of the reasons I so like Pinterest is the Visual Nourishment it provides me when I look at the pages of either my boards (here is a sample) 

Sample of my Pinterest Boards

or the boards of others.  It almost doesn’t matter what the topic is – the visuals are wonderful and are very important to a visual person such as myself.   So as you are looking at the pins others have put on their boards that you follow either because you are interested in the topic  or just like to look at a topic, you get to choose which pins you want to put onto your boards.

 One of the choices you make is what to name your boards.  Most do  it by nouns: turtles, gardens, dance,  flowers, labyrinths, mandalas, art journals, quotes, childhood memories, etc. 

For some reason I tend to think in patterns and so named many boards for a theme that occurs in many different areas but all sharing the same trait, so turtles and gardening are on my Healing Haven board, the wonders of people’s faces and diversity of cultures are on Faces of Wisdom and Faces of the World boards, Project Life pages people have completed or cards available for printing are included in the Project Life board, while mandalas, labyrinths and meditation/spiritual pins are all on my Journey to the Center board.  

I’ll be more specific about the boards on a follow-up post and also include how the pins assist me in doing my Project Life albums.

May 2, 2013

Link Party Lists combined with Project Life

I came across the Shabby Blogs site (http://shabbyblogsblog.blogspot.com) where she is conducting a Link Party List that comes out each Tuesday.   Check it out if you are interested in either participating or checking out the links: 

ShabbyBlogs Tuesday Ten

ShabbyBlogs Tuesday Ten

I thought this would be  great way to combine her project with my Project life album I have been keeping, so I made my list of 10 random facts about myself in the form of 4×6 cards I made that I can print out and insert  in my page protectors:

5-1-13 List- random things self-front-cr

and the next 5 items on page 2:

5-1-13 List- random things self-2nd pf-cr

This was a very interesting way of combining the two different projects.  I am looking forward to continuing creatively incorporating blogging and Project Life.

May 1, 2013

Project Life Beginnings

It was right after I made the previously mentioned Razorback Bear for my teenage grandson in December 2011 that I started investigating and then getting involved with Project life, so the Razorback Bear was a major part of one of the first pages to be included in this system designed to meld picture albums and journaling. 

Project Life page for Christmas 2012

Project Life page for Christmas 2012

Project Life is a system originated and developed by Becky Higgins that includes whatever components you want to use, but basically an album, divided pocket pages holding various size pictures or cards, the pictures you take, and other cards specially designed to fit into the 3×4 or 4×6 plastic page slots of the pocket pages.  I started with the Clementine set for 2012, and this year got the Cobolt set.  Love them both along with my own pictures and also images I get from Pinterest, another online networking site.    

Title page for 2012 album

Title page for 2012 album

This is the title page for my 2012 album using a store-bought album and background paper from Hobby Lobby while the cards are from the Becky Higgins Clementine set, available from Amazon.  The use of pocket pages makes the layouts easy as you can choose from many different layout presentations.  I tend to use Pocket Page D most of the time, but have been using inserts for special days, like for someone’s birthday or anniversary.

I’ve noticed that many people come from a scrapbooking background and so tend to embellish/scrapbook their Project Life inclusions.  And almost everyone does one week in a 2-page spread.  Right from the beginning I realized that, for less stress, I needed to include as many pictures and journaling cards as was needed and wanted, so many weeks spilled way over the 2 pages.  Also I prefer a simpler approach so color and visual enjoyment seem to predominate my layouts with lots of journaling on the backs of cards and pictures.  A lone dandelion in a flower-pot filled with chickweed is as worthy of a picture as well as the many pictures I take of people, the garden and its inhabitants,  like the many turtle visitors. 


And I do not keep track of where I got what embellishment from – this has been for my pleasure – and I am very pleased, with the process and the results.

April 19, 2013

Slithering Through Changes

Filed under: Art Projects,gardening — by thalia @ 9:43 am
Tags: , , ,

This last year has been one of slithering through many changes; experimenting with many art/writing forms; making a variety of projects with various art/word combinations.  It has been a wonderfully creative and explorative year as I shed one form of creativity to take on another, then shed that – or more accurately, merge that with all the others I’ve done and will do. 

One of my projects involved using 2 beautiful pages from an old garden calendar to make an accordion journal in which to keep seed packets, an assortment of pretty notes and cards to jot down ideas about the garden, etc. 

An Accordian Garden Journal

An Accordion Garden Journal

This easy to make and a delight to my eyes garden journal was a gift to a friend who appreciates her garden and loves to keep details of what happens when in her garden.   I found that I loved looking at it more than I could picture using it in any way other than for visual delight.  I’m too much the get-your-hands-dirty big picture person rather than the wear-gloves detail oriented person in the garden. 

I taped 2 calendar pages together, pasted 2 more taped pages turned upside down onto the first set.   Then I folded up one side about 1/3, taping edges to hold flap in place.  Then accordion pleat the entire length, cutting off wherever necessary to come out with evenly spaced pages/pockets.  Free-form cut the top of the pages and the pockets  in accordance with placement and design. Then I started adding various notes and cards I decorated with washi tape, stickers and drawings.

Accordian Garden Journal - front view

Accordion Garden Journal – front view

This was a fairly quick and easy project that was perfect for anticipating spring and working in the garden. And one I will probably do again for myself – for visual enjoyment and for – who knows what idea might spring up?

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