Wednesday 17 April 2013

My Blog has moved to my Website

I took a BIG decision to move my blog over to my Website.  It felt better to have everything in one place.  So please pop on over there, where lots of magic is happening.

Monday 18 February 2013

Getting closer to alignment is sending me wobbly.

I'm feeling off kilter today - there's a tingle in my stomach and an anxious feeling I just can't fathom.

I feel like an old fashioned metronome sitting on top of a piano, tick-tocking from side to side. 

I chose a word for 2013, a word I wanted to incorporate into my life. That word was Alignment.

To Align -  to come together in agreement or alliance.

I wanted to allow all I do to all come together in agreement, to  aligner, from à ligne ‘into line.’

For me, alignment is about everything that is meant to get into line, that's meant to be there.  Art, Healing, Writing.  Consequently, the other things I do, will become less prominent. 

So what is this off kilter feeling all about?

Today, I feel rushed and panicked and as if everything is spiralling out of control. 

There's something wobbly about today.

Is anyone else feeling this?

I have got a tonne of marking to do, which I'm feeling stressed about.  It's my main source of income and one that I am very grateful for, yet the deadlines every week are tough and I find that when they're released, I then worry am I going to get them done? I do them at all sorts of time of the day, trying to make sure I can get the bulk done.   Every day I wake up thinking I have 'statements to mark'.  It's the first thing that pops into my head.  They have to take priority, when my heart wants to create, draw, heal and write. 

Last night I revealed my etsy shop to the world. (well Facebook, at least!)

I woke up this morning to find that I have had two sales. I was so, so excited.

Today I cocked up on a drawing. I was so keen to be "Miss Perfect" that I smudged the face and had to start all over again when she was all ready and finished. 

So why the wobble? Surely I should be on cloud 9.

Sitting here this morning before I began anything, I wrote:-

"There's a part of me that's saying 'what the hell do you think you're doing? Don't you have enough to do? Having a shop. Pah! Who do you think you are?'

There's so much going on here.  
I'm getting closer to my authenticity and it's sending me into the wobbles.

The ego self is trying to pull me back down. 
Keep me safe.
I feel Scared and Excited
Hassled and Calm

In trying to work this out, I realise that I'm touching upon my hearts' desire
and yet I still have so much else to do that doesn't resonate with this hearts' desire.

But I have to do it.

What is going on?

I want to write yet I don't find time to write
I have a third book inside ready to come out
It has bubbled away for 3 years now.
Yet I don't seem to find this time.

Days merge into nights.
Work days merge into weekends.
There's no shut off time.

I find little time for exercise or getting outside.
Connecting with nature.
I see photos of beaches, skies and mountains
My heart yearns to be near them.
I eek out time for friends and family.
Yet it's not enough.

I stare at a screen for the most part of the day.

Dear Miss Julia

There is no solution right now.
You don't have to know the answers
You just have to let this out
Right here, right now
So you can wash it off
When you press 'Publish'



PS now go play 

Sunday 17 February 2013

"Old MacDonald Had a Farm" : My New Illustration!!

Back in December I posted a photo on Instagram of an illustration I had recently done and I received a message back from Pip who lives in France.  She was having a totally new kitchen   in her french farmhouse and really wanted something of them.  

Them?  Ok, so I initially thought it was 4 of them.  

Then it seemed there was, Humphrey and Maude, their two Bassett hounds, Ethel the miniature Daschund, Ralph (not quite sure if he is a Bassett cross) and there was Mary.  Mary is the beautiful grey dappled horse.  Oh and have I forgotten to tell you about Ruby the Greenwing Macaw.  

So here I was faced with 4 adults and their furry family. 10 in total.  I later found out that this was just a mere 5% of their family as they have so many animals that I wouldn't have been able to fit them on the paper! 

Sketch Number One with dogs needing changes!
I got straight into it and did an initial sketch which I sent to her.  She gave me access to her Facebook photos and there were just reams and reams of them.  It made me realise that I actually wanted to go and take photos of them all, including all of the animals because it's the little markings that are important. I'm not a portrait artist who does things exactly.  You guessed that right?!?! When you get my piece, it's my interpretation of you.  In a whimsical and soulful way.  

I realised that after sending this to her that the doggies weren't looking that great!!! They were indeed more squatter and had legs and feet that were crooked!  So I re-sketched and looked at the composition again.   This was better.  I always like to know what clothes you want to be dressed in, so made all the changes that were asked.

Sketch Number Two

Finished Illustration 
I have to be honest, I have never drawn a horse before so was a little anxious about this.  But Mary had such a presence in her photos that I loved drawing her. Obviously I wasn't going to draw all of her but the face is start. Yep!    I wondered if I could replicate the dogs and their little ways.  Using promarkers helps to add tone and depth but I needed something more.  So bring out the prisma colour pencils.  They were used to add detail and enhance the animal's features.  Then add in all my lovely pens and ink. 

I am really delighted with how this turned out and was excited to pack it off and send to them in France.  As I use a bleed proof paper, which is very thin, I was able to replace Humphrey and Maude at the centre, rather than at the end in the original sketch.  Having cut them out, I then backed this on to another piece of paper to give strength and enable them to mount and frame it.

I'm so excited to see where it will reside in their new french kitchen.

I'm going to be doing more of these so watch this space ♥

Much love
Jules xxx

Sunday 10 February 2013

Sharing Loran's Soul Portrait

When I began my drawings of the lovely women in Hannah Marcotti's Joy Up Group, I didn't know where this would lead me.  

My heartfelt wish and intention was to continue creating my portrait illustrations and I was still feeling like I needed to reconnect to my self through my art, I was still feeling so lost without Lucy and I just adored taking the photograph they gave me and intuitively responding to it.  

Loran very kindly said I could share the photo she gave me to draw her Soul Portrait and I am so excited to do so. When I saw her picture for the first time, I adored her glasses.  She also sent me an email telling me her love of purple and calla lilies asking if there was any way I could incorporate this into her Soul Portrait.  

Loran wrote to me to tell me how she felt when she saw her Soul Portrait

"I have been on pins and needles waiting for this and it is Wonderful! Thank you sooooo much. Love it!" She then later went on to write to me:-

"What came to mind when I saw my picture was Seth Godin's post on "Ridiculous is the new Remarkable." I think my glasses are silly but they are fun and light-hearted. One of my intentions for this year came from a message I received from the hummingbirds in my yard last summer - Lighten Up. So, when I had my professional photo shoot done in New York in September, I took my pompoms, tiara and glasses with me! I am loving being more playful and when I see my profile picture, that's what I am reminded to be.  My Soul Portrait reminds me to Lighten Up and that captures it all. It feels right". 

* * *
Thank you so much Loran for being the first reveal and for your lovely words.  I am in the process of going live with my Soul Portraits.  I'm stocking up and will be revealing all soon.  
Much love

Sunday 27 January 2013

Some Me of Beauty

There is something extremely scary about taking a self portrait with your phone camera, noticing the inner critic step in to berate your hair, your eyes, your nose, your ears, your wrinkles, your skin, your boobs, your hips (ok if you go that far!)  

I took ages to do mine
Now I love her
I could go on and on and on.  Yet what if you looked at yourself with love? Truly.  What if you looked in to your eyes and said, "yes".   

There has been magic happening lately as I have been privileged to capture the light in the eyes, the soulful expressions of a beautiful tribe of women that are part of Hannah Marcotti's Joy Up Alumni. I have so much inside me to say about Hannah and her programmes, I will come back for sure.  Let's just say they are really life changing and helped me move through feelings of grief. These women have been so incredibly supportive, kind, caring and healing for me.  

For now, let's fast forward to late December. 

As some of you may know, I have been working, quietly and secretly behind the scenes on a Wedding Commission for a young couple who are getting married in August 2013.  They came to me in August 2012 asking if I would create illustrations of their 60 guests, for wedding favours.  They intended for all the illustrations to form part of the table plan and be used in so many ways I can't say right now as NOBODY KNOWS.

I was delighted to be asked, and I also went into a little panic - how would I create them?  Normally I use canvas and layering with my illustrations.  I always start with my sketch and soulful interpretation of the individuals I'm painting, but I don't fill in all the detail until they are firmly secured to the canvas.  

They wouldn't be needing the entire canvas so how was this going to materialise. 

I set about testing different mediums.  No to watercolour - no offence watercolour, I like you but you're not 'poppy' enough.  How about my delectable prisma colour pencils - again no, I tried, but it wasn't for the main colour, maybe to add some detail.  Felts perhaps? Well yes,  felts have always been a firm staple diet of mine, I liked the colours but their mixing capability and blending were limited.  Then I remembered I had a few Letraset pro markers.

I tried. I fell in love. Again.

I realised there was so much more to them. Being used for the base, blending and layering, but hell there were so many other pen/marker possibilities to add to the illustrations. I ADORE Pens. Did I ever tell you this?  I can't walk past a stationary shop.

Anyway I was hooked.

So I carried on with my wedding commission.  

Until December when I had no more to do as I was waiting for a new batch to arrive.

I shared them with the Joy Up Tribe in our private group and asked if anyone would be interested in me soulfully illustrating them, thinking a few may respond.  70 said yes!

So fast forward 6 weeks and I have a plethora of beautiful women in front of me.  It is taking me in a completely new direction and I am firmly, finally, planting my ART FEET FORWARD.

I integrate reiki symbols within these healing reflections. I sit and mediate with them so when they're sent out or scanned, they're on their mission to bring JOY and HEALING.

Ultimately they're Love In Colour.

I am now developing this whole new layer and redeveloping my website and my etsy shop.
Taking this forward to send out to the world.

I'm excited to step into this new chapter.

Ok I'm so pleased I have written a new blog post as I hadn't done one in 4 months, almost didn't want to remove the last one because of Lucy Loo.

I have done it. So that's broken the ice.

Watch this space for more. 

Have you ever come across Carolyn Rogers poem? It sums up all that I'm doing:

And I asked myself could it
Have turned
Knowing full well greyness
Had been
Coming and had even
Been there
A while

Just like that I woke up one
And I looked at myself
And what I saw was
Not imanji ma jua or soul
Sistah poetess of
The moment
I saw a woman. Human and
I felt a spiritual
A root revival of
And I knew that many
Were Over
And Some me of
About to begin.

Some Me of Beauty is about to BEGIN

Much Love

Thursday 27 September 2012

My Lucy and The Squirrel's Message

I have held back from writing this blog post and in working out why, I realise that, to publish it, makes this post real and final.

I don't want that to be.  

But it is.

It has been such a heartbreaking time, as my lovely Lucy passed over on the 15th September.  It happened so quickly. Her health declined in one week, she was diagnosed with a dynamic heart murmur on Fri 7th September.

By Sat 15th she had gone.

It turned out that the murmur was not caused by heart disease but by tumours.  Now I look back and see that she had been dealing with the changes in her body and yet, there were no outward signs, up until Wed 5th when all night I was kept awake by her shallow breathing and I took her to an emergency vet as we were in Dorset.  On returning to Liverpool I took her for a second opinion to the Vet where I had taken her when she was a wee one, before the partners split and I made the choice to go with the other partner.  

Lucy was attacked by a Japanese Akita when she was 14 weeks old and ended up having surgery to remove a stomach tear.  I guess I am exceptionally lucky to have had my life with Lucy all these years when it could have been a whole different scenario.

I am getting some comfort from writing about Lucy - she was my child, we had gone through so much together, 14 years of joy - all joy.  I haven't been fortunate enough to have children in my life, Lucy was that baby and young child. She helped me through getting over my divorce, she moved with me everywhere, she made me get up in the morning, she came everywhere with me, my heart smiled when I was with her, and beamed when I knew I was going home to her.  I sang her my own little songs and had my own language with her.  She knew what I was saying and I knew what she was saying.  

We talked daily. 

We heard her each other.

I have never told anyone this.  

Not having her with me, physically, has blasted me open.

Since last June, when Lucy suffered from the Vestibular Attack, I have given her Reiki healing on a daily basis and the night before she passed, I spent all night with my hands gently placed in front of her, giving her Reiki and communicating with her. 

"I love you so much Lucy, it's alright if you need to go, Lucy"
"We've had such good times together, you'll always be in my heart"
"Let me know you're ok, come back and tell me?"

These past 2 weeks, I have written many words and cried lots of tears.  I know this will pass, I know that I will love another, but I won't love another Lucy because she was just uniquely cheeky and loving all wrapped up in an adorable furry package. 

Her dying is symbolic for a time in my life that has ended.  
It is symbolic for a new period in my life without her and what that means.
Losing her has reminded me of something, stirring within me.
Something I need to sit with for the next few weeks.

A week after Lucy passed, I left for work at 7.45, there's a tree outside our home on the wide paved area - Lucy loved this tree, we call it "Lucy's tree".  She always stopped here before we went anywhere else to do her wee, checking out the neighbourhood news.  

As I closed the front door behind me, a squirrel ran across the road and up the tree, about 3 feet, stopped, and looked at me, climbed up a little more, looked at me (I was standing sooooo still, looking at the squirrel) and then, with that, mr squirrel ran down the tree and back over the road.  

In the 6 and half years living here, there has never been a squirrel up that tree.


Ok, maybe I'm looking into this, but I feel that this is a sign that Lucy is ok, and somehow she wanted me to know that.  Lucy spent the majority of her life chasing squirrels, up trees. She never caught one, but she loved chasing them.  

All I had to say was

"Lucy, there's Cyril. Look!"

And she was off.

So Mr Squirrel had a message for me.  
Thank you Cyril.

L-R Lucy aged 3, 8, 9 & 11 

I have thousands of photos of Lucy of these past 14 years and these past 5, there's tonnes of video too... I love watching them, I feel close to her.  

I know this past year I have recorded so much more, because somewhere inside of me, I knew that our time was precious. 

I'll do something with them, if just for myself to go and meet with her, when I want to.

I have just found this of Lucy in May 2012.  We had a couple of beautiful weeks here in UK and I took Lucy somewhere she loved, Calderstones Park, it had a pond, and lots to explore.  Looking at her here, jumping on the tree logs, you wouldn't think there's something brewing.  But there was. 

A month after her Vestibular, her 13th birthday

The day before Lucy passed over, age 14 years 2 months.
You'll always be with me Lucy. This quote has meant alot to me recently:

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them.
And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart.
If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, 
and I will become as generous and loving as they are."

Much Love
Jules xxxx

Monday 3 September 2012

How I'm Ploughing On With My Wisdom Cards. Having a Melt Down And Moving Into My New Studio Space

It has been an Internet free zone round our place during August as our router faded out.  At first I was fine about it and welcomed the change, then ... it just got too much.  
I haven't blogged and felt very disconnected from webland.  It has been mighty strange.  

I started to look at things very differently.  I began to step back into my own inner self.  I began to read things I had written and looked at everything around me with a fresh pair of eyes.  

I began to start writing my Healing eBook; which will be available for download by the End of September (did you read that Jules? You just put that goal right out there and now you have to follow it through!)

I had a melt down about not having children and it has opened up the floodgates.  I'll share this with you soon.

Everything came back on 10 days ago and since then I have moved into my little studio space.  I spent some time in there today and it was so incredibly peaceful, even with the humming of the extractor fan from the Turkish restaurant next door.  

I felt serene and calm as I created and wrote.  

It feels like I am entering a new focused phase.  

I have a wonderful new BIG commission which is making me look at different ways of creating.  I'll reveal more of this too.

All is good.  All is well. 

With that in mind, here's my latest write up of my Wisdom Card.  

Please enjoy, sending much love to you 

All is Well 

Release the Negativity. Explore any resistance and relax in the knowledge that you are able to heal.   You have the power.  You can change the way you approach the situation you face.

Background to the card:

This card was inspired by Louise Hay, Author, Metaphysical Teacher and founder of Hay House.  I was first introduced to her book You Can Heal Your Life almost 24 years ago when I was ill with M.E/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome).  It was passed to me when I was in the depths of ill health. I was just embarking on my ‘back to health plan’, using a variety of complementary approaches and healing methods and when I read this book I realised immediately that it was going to accompany me to find my own way back.  I was transported into a metaphysical word that showed me I had the power.  I wasn’t waiting for one solution.  I was going to find many and use them all.   I devoured the book and used Louise’s morning and evening meditations – they helped me to learn to meditate and create a practice, it gave me extra courage to heal myself. 

The meaning behind the card:

If you picked this card today it is a reminder for you also that you can heal yourself.  Whatever is going on, perhaps a persistent long-term health problem, you can become your own investigator and learn some simple healing ways.  One of the lessons I learnt all those years ago was to tune out from negativity that is streamed from television, radio and even people in our lives. The first to go was late night news and radio.  I realised I didn’t want to tap into this negative drip-feed.  The world is not defined by bad news.  My world had to be optimistic and encouraging.  I had to see a way through this ill-health.  I wasn’t opting out, I was becoming more focused and directed about healing myself.  I tried everything you can name and settled on the therapies and practices that complemented my healing programme.
This card asks you to switch off from the negativity of your life.  Let it go.

Don’t tap into the drip feed of negativity.

The symbolism and colour of this card is very important.  The colour surrounding this beautiful woman is turquoise, once again representing the throat chakra and our communication centre, with the dragonfly placed here it signifies ‘Illusion’.  According to Sams and Carson, ‘the veil of negativity that we accept as our reality, is in fact, incorrect.  It may be time for you to break down the illusion you have held that restricts your actions or ideas.  Dragon fly asks you to seek out parts of you that need to change.” 

How to use this card:

This card asks of you to explore your resistance and relax in the knowledge that you are able to heal.   You have the power.  You can change the way you approach the situation you face.  Follow the image and place one hand over your naval area and one hand over your heart. Close your eyes and breathe through you nose for 7 seconds, then hold this breath for 7.  Exhale for a count of 7 through your mouth.  Really let go.  Then hold for another count of 7 and breathe in once again, counting 7 through the tips of your fingers.

Sit quietly, breathing in this way, for a round of 7.  Feel the gentle white speckles of white sunshine trickling over you, like a gentle shower of light bubbles.  Healing light bubbles, clearing negativity away from your body.   Know that you can do this at any time during you day.  Again and Again. 

This card is a reminder to do just that.

* * * * *

I'm creating a set of 44 Wisdom Cards and Book -  each card will be inspired by someone who has meant something to me, someone who has inspired me or taught me something.  They could be people I know, or people I don't know, living or passed over. They may be people I have seen from afar.  They may also be animals and elements from the planet around me.  They may also be from dreamtime and with symbolism that I can’t recognise.  What I know for sure is, it will all unfold.  If you'd like to read more about this project, click here

Much Love
Jules xxx

PS Text may change in final copy.

All photographs and text copyright of Julia Dolowicz 2012

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