Archive for the ‘Fizzy Musings’ Category

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Talk Like A Pirate Day – September 19

September 10, 2011

International Talk Like A Pirate Day Official Website

One o’ t’ finest holidays – well, celebration days – out thar be International Talk Like A Pirate Day. For t’ last few years I have sought t’ recognise Talk Like A Pirate Day. Join me!

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introducing my new blog

July 29, 2011

I am moving blogs!

My new blog is sunrise over swamps and will be, I hope, a fresh start and a new creative outlet.

Thank you to the amazing readers of The  Amalgamation who have visited me over the years. An extra-special thank you to those who followed me across from my blogger blog, A Humble Art Folio, which I started in 2006.

There will be some more posts to follow on The Amalgamation, but I hope that regular readers will join me at sunrise over swamps.

I hope that sunrise over swamps will provide a clean, easy to read format. I will continue uploading sketches from my art folio but will be ceasing the numbering system I’ve followed that saw me upload approximately 500 images from my sketch books.

There will be a few more art folio additions to The Amalgamation in the next couple of weeks, but after that I will be focusing my attention on the new adventure. My sincere gratitude to those who’ve supported me along the way!

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news

July 6, 2011

Hi, readers,

as I move into a new and different stage of my life, I am thinking it is time to start afresh.

I will soon be moving my blog as a part of this fresh start. More details will follow sometime in the near future.

I aim to create a cleaner, easier to read, and easier to maintain blog. I will continue to upload items from my sketchbook, and occasionally touch on other relevant topics.

I look forward to starting this new project – especially now with some extra time on my hands!

– fikalo

 

 

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News

June 13, 2011

Originally posted at http://www.redbubble.com/people/flokot/journal/7315455-june-2011-updates

Monday 13 June 2011

My life has been pretty hectic in recent months. However, approximately two weeks ago I managed to get a major monkey off my back (so to speak). The release from the burden of study has been incredible. Juggling parenting, my honours degree studies, and volunteer work has been incredibly exhausting. Along the way I effectively lost my social life, which for an extremely sociable sociology student equates to a living hell! It also meant no time to engage in creative pursuits.

The last fortnight has been an incredible and healing time: a chance to read some novels, write and draw. To catch up with old friends. To have visitors for the first time in maybe one or two years. To travel to the beach (yes, it is a very cold winter here but I love the wild solitude of the wintry Victorian beaches where the wind blows in from the Antarctic). To enjoy some live music, something I have not done in years. To take the time out to watch the clouds roll by, to watch the ladybird (beetle!) crawling along a blade of grass when I hung out the laundry to dry today, and to refresh myself spiritually.

As a result, I hope to soon upload some new writings and drawings to redbubble. I want to thank the customers over the last few months who bought stickers, gift cards and t-shirts. Every sale is greatly appreciated.

I’m not sure what the months to come will hold. I look forward to graduating, soon. And after that, who knows what might happen?

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Song Challenge 1: Jimmy – Tool

May 1, 2011

day 01 – your favourite song

I’m going to attempt this 30 day song challenge. Why? Because, right now, I’m avoiding more pressing and more important tasks. This looked like the perfect form of  procrastination.

Also, I just really, really love music.

Song Challenge

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Creative Writing

April 13, 2011

I have recently re-arranged my RedBubble profile and portfolio.  It is the primary location at which I post my creative writing. Here is a selected list of some of my short writings that have made it onto RedBubble.

Feel free to browse and read my work, and leave any comments there if you have a RedBubble account; or here, if you don’t. Or hit the facebook ‘Like’ button!

I am grateful for all support I have received for my RedBubble works since I first signed up in September 2008. I have even managed to sell a few t-shirts and art prints, for which I am very grateful.

Creative Writing Portfolio

I. He Left Me To Die Here – 1 of 3

The first of a three-part short story exploring something akin to the spiritual wilderness experience.

Convincing Myself: I Can Wait

Love and Torture Are the Same Thing

Waiting for a rescuer? Lonely. Again.

My Swamp; Or, a moment of paranoia

Stand Off? A lament on distance and separation

The Destruction of the Swamp

Dreamscapes: escaping from the crowd to the sea

And, for the sheer fun of it:

Poetic Musings: An Ode To Tofu

There are some definite recurring themes that seem to run through my writing. It has not been deliberate, but put together it would appear that I have something of a fixation on solitude, swamps, and spiritual journeys.

 

 

 

 

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Everyday Justice Blog

April 5, 2011

http://everydayjusticeeverydaychoices.wordpress.com/

I just wanted to share this link to the blog for one of the social justice ministries in my local church.

 

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musings on Psalm 139

March 29, 2011

Psalm 139 – 13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. (NKJV)

Please excuse me for asking what will no doubt come across as a stupid question to my theologically inclined friends, but here goes. Psalm 139 says, to me, that God made each individual with a specificity and attention to detail. However, can this not also be a potentially negative thing*? Or is it an inherently uplifting and positive scripture?

It seems too easy to perhaps draw out what will probably sound incredibly shallow**: if God created me to be like this, why? Why this… broken ugly hideous visage? The faults? The imperfections? Okay, I know the whole thing about how we live in a broken fallen world that was once very good, since damaged, one day to be restored. But, is that it? Is that all there is to it? To the question of one’s fundamental worth?

Anyway, just wondering. I don’t know if anyone has any thoughts on it but any comments would be welcome. I have a working feminist position on the issue (initially sparked by reading Wolf’s The Beauty Myth) but I have largely been disappointed with Christian approaches to the concept of beauty.

For the record, I do not want to impose any particular mould (“iron maiden” as Wolf described) upon other women; I disagree with externalised, cultural definitions of beauty as being far too narrow to encompass the breadth of human female variety. Problem is, I find it very easy to take it out on myself.

 

*not to imply that the only valid positions are necessarily positive

** but I am confident I’m not the only one who thinks these things

 

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Taking out the trash – Reshoot (via Advanced Mattematics)

January 20, 2011

The photos in the blog post linked below are portraits of me! Just saying… Consider this a shameless plug for my husband’s wordpress blog.

I had the rare opportunity for a second day in a row to redo the same shoot as yesterday, in the same light conditions, at the same time of day, at the same place, with the same person. After spending the afternoon with my friend Will from Red Sparrow Photography (check his Facebook page, also, at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Red-Sparrow-Photography/) I wanted to have another go at taking these photos. I had a great time “talking shop” and felt … Read More

via Advanced Mattematics

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Short story time: He left me

January 20, 2011

In December 2010 I posted a series of short paragraphs on a common theme on my redbubble site. Here is the three-part piece in its entirety.

I. He Left Me To Die Here – 1 of 3

[Read the original post here.]

When I finally opened my eyes, it was into the searing white heat of a desert landscape. Sun-bleached stones and striated mesas came into focus. My limbs ached and the thirst was unbearable. Spiky tussocks of grass poked my bare, burnt skin. I became aware of my prone position, face down, skin scraping on harsh, rocky soil. I was cut in places, with dried blood caked to my arms.

He had brought me here. I was sure of it.

He left me cut and bleeding, and in a ditch?

I thought he was loving. I thought he cared about me. It was a strange kind of love that did this to a girl.

Did he not know that I was already mired in self pity, in old hurts, in a wounded spirit? Was that not enough for him?

To call me into this wild place, fraught with danger, injured and left to die; how could he do that to me?

The ghostly howl of the wind as it rushed between rocky passes and through the sharp-bladed grass was broken by a soft voice. “Here, drink this,” he said, holding a flask to my mouth.

It was him. Wrapped in coarse robes. Despite the dry heat, he wore heavy, dark clothing. His feet were bare, and he must have been tough skinned to walk on the rubble and thorns.

I drank, and drank, feeling the life slowly coursing back into my broken body.

He squatted next to me in the dust and dirt, and held out his hand. I glared at him, knowing that my naked, bruised, and wounded state would steal any authority or strength from my countenance. He waited. I refused to stir. An age seemed to pass as I tried to stare him into submission, knowing it was a fruitless task, knowing he could wait forever.

“I didn’t try to kill you,” he whispered, “but I brought you here so you could stay with me and heal.”

Lies. It had to be lies. He had told me he would protect me, stay by me, always love me. Then he had disappeared and left me to die here.

“I am here now,” he said. “And I was never far from you.”

A sharp jolt of pain ran through my body. I groaned and clasped his hand. His skin was cool, his touch kind. He lifted me to my feet and wrapped me in rough robes like his own. I hurt, but I could stand, still holding his hand.

He almost smiled, and his eyes were gentle. I wanted to hate him. What was this lonely desert? The heat, the pain, the blood. The scent of unseen flowers caught in the wind’s howling rush across the land.

“Come with me,” he said. He walked ahead of me, releasing my hand. Tears began to fall. I did not want him to let go, not again. I hated him and I loved him.

He walked onwards, and I struggled to catch up. I saw his feet dig into the rocky soil as he climbed over a rise. I followed in his footprints, dented in the white earth.

“Where are you going?” I cried. My voice was weak and lost in the natural noises of the wasteland. He glanced back toward me and smiled. I struggled after him.

II. He Let Me Hold His Hand – 2 of 3

[Read the original post here.]

It was hard travelling with him. He moved so quickly and easily in the soft, shifting sands and over rough, sharp grass and rocks. Sometimes he looked back and caught my eye. Something in his glance gave me courage.

He never answered my questions, merely walked ahead. Shimmering waves of heat distorted the horizon, which became flatter as we headed into the white desert.

I had so much to ask him. Why had he brought me here, to this desolate waste? Why had he let me nearly die before restoring me? How did he move so lightly, so swiftly? How could I ever trust him to lead me when he left me for so long? How I hated him, hated with a passion. I had loved him, that was the only reason I could despise him now.

Yet, he had come for me. Late, but not too late. I saw him now, climbing a small rise. He stopped and waited for me to catch up. I reached out to touch his hand. He stood still and let me entwine our fingers together. He smiled now, as he looked across a green plateau. The silvery thread of a river wound its course through the grassy expanse. The sky here was less harsh, a pale blue, rather than glaring white.

To touch him was like touching the source of life and light. It was overwhelming, and I wanted to let go, but wanted to hold on. I was entirely torn. Who was he? Why did he bring me here? Why not someone else? Though, it seemed, there was not another soul in this strange place.

He led me down the hillside toward the river, feeling the cool grass beneath my aching feet. The wounds on my arms had healed now, leaving fine traces of scars. Still, he let me hold his hand.

I did not know if he would answer me, but he was here. For now. I would have to rest in the closeness of his presence and hope that he would remain close.

III. He Said I Could Never Be Happy In This Place – 3 of 3

[Read the original post here.]

We sat by the silver stream, watching the clouds drift across the caerulean expanse of a kind sky. It was quiet, more peaceful here.

He lay down on the ground and motioned for me to do the same. Lying on the soft grass next to each other, I listened to him breathing. Wondered what he was thinking behind his thoughtful eyes. Wondered if I should ask him what was going through his mind. I did not though, for fear of being ignored. For fear that if he did finally answer me, I would not be able to bear the truth.

For now it was enough to be here, with him. To lie side by side and take in the sky, the distant speck of a hunting raptor high on the air currents, the sound of the gentle rushing river, the sound of his breathing.

“I did not leave you to die,” he whispered. “You ran from me. So I brought you out here. Only here would you see that you could trust me.”

His tone was serious. I struggled to understand. He had never made much sense to me.

He placed his hands on my face and looked in my eyes. It was confronting to face him at such close range. He was overwhelming. Terrifying. He certainly had my attention now, alone together, lost in some wilderness.

“I can’t force you to trust me,” he said gently, “but know this: you will never be truly happy in this place.”

He let me go, then, and I repositioned myself on the riverbank. I could not ignore the fact that, for now, I was happier than I could recall in any of my memories.

=

© 2010

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Is It Odd To Photograph Pylons? (via PurpleT Photography)

January 14, 2011

I was impressed with this blogger’s photography and philosophy. It’s worth a read!

Is It Odd To Photograph Pylons? Being someone who has environmental leanings, i have often found it rather disturbing that here in the UK, applications for wind turbines can be rejected with one of the main reasons being that people complain they will be able to see them. “I’ll be able to see them from my house!” “I’ll be able to see them on the hill over there, it’s just not right!” Yet mention to these same people that you can see the line of electricity pylons from their hou … Read More

via PurpleT Photography

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Christmas Time Devotionals

November 23, 2010

Christmas Themed Devotional Readings: https://darthmaulmakesmesmile.wordpress.com/tag/Christmas-2008/

In 2008 I wrote a series of 28 Christmas-themed devotionals, beginning with https://darthmaulmakesmesmile.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/christmas01/.

At the time, I wrote:

I thought I’d take some time out to share a few thoughts on Christmas in the month to come, as a sort-of non-denominational pre-Christmas Advent devotional and musings column. I hope that it brings you some light, inspiration and excitement as we remind ourselves of the true meaning of the festive occasion.

I believe it is still relevant and hope you will consider reading it as part of your spiritual journey during December.

The devotionals incorporate Bible scriptures and links to further readings on related topics of faith.

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My RedBubble Folio Cull

September 29, 2010

I am currently going through the surprisingly emotionally painful process of going through my art and t-shirt designs on RedBubble and deleting the least viewed / least favourited / least purchased designs. Hopefully the end result will be a higher quality folio.

I warned my redbubble contacts that I would be doing an art cull, asking them to favourite any of my designs they particularly like to stop me from deleting those particular designs. You don’t have to be an artist to have a redbubble account, by the way – if you like to look at good art, I encourage you to consider signing up for an account so you can see what different artists and designers are up to!

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Dressing For The Inner Me

September 28, 2010

Here’s a brief excerpt from comments I made during a facebook conversation today. It happened on my current profile photo. The conversation amused me so much that I thought I should share it:

(On the topic of what clothes to wear to church) “I should just turn up one day dressed as the inner me…which will presumably be barefoot, wearing spiritual wanderer pilgrim style clothes crossed with sci-fi sensibilities with my hair down to my waist carrying the Bible printed on a papyrus scroll or something…”

I can just imagine turning up to church looking like that. I think it would very quickly divide people – there’d be those who encourage the whole free spirit attitude; the rest who desperately want to be all-embracing but would feel somewhat uncomfortable. As I also mentioned in the conversation, the current dress trend among fellow 20-something year old members of our church seems to be skinny jeans, tight bicep-revealing shirts (for the guys) and loose shirts with lots of necklaces for the girls. Then there’s me – flared or boot cut jeans, skate shoes and novelty t-shirts. That’s my safe mode of dressing. Believe me when I say that if my budget could handle it I would be dressing more like some pseudo-Goth-Jedi Knight(ess)-greenie-forest dweller-spiritual wanderer. Funny that what I perceive as more “natural” (or just more me) is potentially more expensive! And let’s face it, jeans and t-shirt isn’t a particularly confronting.

And, in random news, recently I’ve been taking a lot more interest in lingerie and clothes. What’s happening to me!?

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Beauty

September 27, 2010

If I can’t be beautiful, can I at least have the capacity to create something beautiful?

All right, I know, that comment alone goes against everything I believe philosophically, rationally, sociologically, historically, spiritually and scripturally about the true definition of beauty… but sometimes, looking at beautiful photographs of beautiful women in my general forays into art/photography land leaves me feeling a little bit crushed and hollowed out. Why can’t I look like that?

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Sometimes I feel a bit redundant

September 27, 2010

Yeah, what the heading said.

So, I’m in this weird state of mind where I look at what the people in my husband’s family do (career wise, spiritually, educationally, etcetera) and I wonder what on Earth I’m doing there. I don’t belong there. Everything that I have considered unique about me, or specific to my self identity, has already been taken up by other people there. Strange that it should bother me so much, but here we are!

I used to be an obsessive musician. Granted, I was never a virtuoso, but many people remarked on my innate gift for music. I was even the inaugural music captain at my high school (13 years ago, that was!). Then I moved to the suburbs, joined a brilliant mega-church, and discovered that good musicians are a dime-a-dozen. So, I gave up my music. Oh, I occasionally strum the guitar and I can help my kids with their own piano studies, but I feel like a part of me has died a very painful death in giving up music. Listening to the Karnivool album ‘Sound Awake’ this afternoon, I had to admit that putting my beloved 5-string bass guitar in its case and stuffing it away behind the chest-of-drawers in my bedroom was a terrible, terrible thing. I really should dust the poor neglected guitars off and play, even if just for my own sanity.

Perhaps I’m just in a low point in my life. I look at the high-flying, high-achieving 20-somethings around me and compare myself to them. I’m in my late 20s and what do I have to show for it? A still as-yet-incomplete uni course on the go, no job, no music. I struggle with the things I love, art and writing. I just have to keep reminding myself that other Australian women my age often aren’t married with children like I am, and it feels good thinking that my youngest will be finishing high school when I’m 40 years old!

In all the self-loathing and moaning and carrying on, I have neglected my Bible study. So, in order to combat this, today I spent an hour scouring a Bible study website to begin a word study on the “elements”: earth, wind, fire, and water. Talk about a massive topic! It should keep me occupied for some time.

Hopefully, as I pour myself into God and into the bigger picture, I will begin to regain my confidence and strength. I hope that one day I can create something beautiful and worthwhile.

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Blogging…

September 27, 2010

Howdy all, faithful readers and new visitors,

I haven’t been drawing much recently – thanks to an overload of uni work and the unpleasantness that is cold and flu season.

However, I hope to get some new work up here in the coming month.

In the meantime, I’ve been pondering the many various social networking media. I am connected to WordPress, Blogger, Yahoo, Lomography, Blurb, Flickr, RedBubble, YouTube, MySpace and Facebook, to name a few. Perhaps surprisingly, I have resisted the urge to join Twitter.

One thing I like about blogging is that it requires more effort than some of the other similar forms of expression. It requires full and complete sentences. Regular involvement. Thought and consideration.

It also feeds into my other social networking sites, anyway.

In the absence of my artistic efforts, I am likely to start posting more “status update” style items on my blog. All this pent up creativity has to come out somewhere!

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Article: “An Equal-Opportunity Destroyer”

September 22, 2010

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/september/24.71.html

Extract:

“If you’ve heard the word porn in church recently, in a small group or from the pulpit, chances are you hardly blinked. Thanks to ministries like Promise Keepers and Operation Integrity, the research of sex addiction expert Patrick Carnes and neuroscientist William Struthers, and individuals courageous enough to admit they have a problem, American churches have squarely faced porn’s destructive and tragic effects. We know porn is highly addictive, and we have more tools than ever to break its stranglehold. Praise God.” Read More.

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Stuff

September 16, 2010

The week of attempted veganism is failing miserably (keeping in mind that I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian who has been successfully vegetarian since 1995). Yesterday alone I consumed dairy chocolate, fried egg and possibly inadvertently even ate a caterpillar or two after I found one in my Chinese mixed vegetables with tofu!

Today I also had two squares of chocolate and cheese in my dinner. And egg in last night’s leftovers. My gurgling stomach is, perhaps, my due punishment!

Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

For a simple introduction to what on Earth I’m on about, have a look at the free downloadable PCRM Veg Starter Kit.

(I am studying vegetarianism, animal rights and environment for my upcoming dissertation, hence the sudden overflow of blog posts about the topic.)

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