Monthly Archives: November 2011

The colourful journey continues

So much has happened in the last month and it has sped by.  Yesterday the Colourful Journey tour group arrived in Birtamod and we celebrated their arrival AND had a graduation for the ladies of Samunnat who have grown so much as artists over the last few years and very much over the last two days. (See here for an update on the lessons Cynthia Tinapple gave the ladies)

Certificates are very valued here so we printed up elaborate certificates and conducted a very formal affair with the wonderful trippers creating a delighted audience for us.  The ladies had all created necklaces of own designs, and had labels with their signed names attached.  A big  moment for all of us.  Lots of watery eyes!  Then we had a VERY long photo session.  Some channelled their inner catwalk queen and we are getting all these photos developed to give them.

In the other blog, I will write about the amazing generosity of the polymer clay community. Suffice it to say, we are overwhelmed by the love of people all around the world, and their willingness to support and encourage.

I leave my Birtamod home for a while tomorrow and, as always, it has been a special time.  After only one day with the Colourful trippers, we’ve already seen exotic dioramas, shared a meal at Kopila’s, attended a moving graduation ceremony and today we have our polymer clay lesson from the ladies.  I will attempt to keep you posted!



    P.S.  Exotic dioramas I hear you ask?  It doesn’t come much more exotic than this.


Sometimes I have to stop myself from seeing everything as a potential cane!




These are from an ad in Birtamod that uses Maithili figures and I especially loved the drummer-very Nepali with a real economy of line!

Many of the preparations for Diwali were sources of clay inspriation to the eyes of the faithful.  Part of the festival is the preparation of the rangoli which is made using coloured powders and petals to help entice the goddess Laxmi into the homes.   There are traditional designs and more modern ones and one of the rangolis that the girls did was from something they’d seen on TV!

Homes are not just painted for Diwali.  Many of the indigenous groups in the Terai region have a tradition of painting their homes and some of the motifs they use would look great as canes!  In their Creative Sparks book, Dayle Doroshow and Cynthia Tinapple talk about having a note book where you make a short daily sketch of things you see that may later translate into something you make.  I am not always disciplined enough to do this each day but I do carry a notebook and Nepal is the source of many scribbles. 

I leave my little oasis of cyber activity tomorrow so that’s it again for a while.  Happy scribbling.

The best intentions

Well, internet access has been a bit dire to say the least so it will be a bit feast or famine I fear gentle reader!  There was an intention to post reasonably often…

Living in Nepal, my days are very different. I am not running a household (this is a euphemism for saying Kopila won’t let me lift a finger) so there is more time for reading and thinking when I get home from teaching the ladies.  I live in a pretty traditional Nepali house where several families dwell, one on each floor.  We are a short distance from the main road in a large town and goats, chickens, dogs and occasionally a cow and her calf wander freely in our courtyard. 

 The day begins early with the sounds of the aforementioned livestock (some of whom make interesting decisions about the timing of the day’s start!) and most of us are all up and about by 5.30.  There is less time spent making decisions and choices that we have in the West.  I do not have my little studio on hand and, without labouring the point here, internet connection is poor.  I do more walking, reading, reflecting.  

 My reading so far has been serendipitously integrated:  Pema Chodron’s Taking the leap; Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection; and Tory Hughes’ Creative Development Manual.  There are some helpful common themes – overcoming fear, being authentic, living creatively… and a unifying theme has been that of intention

Intention at many levels – a daily intention like not getting hooked into automatic responding to stuff that makes me mad; short term intentions like completing a particular piece of work or teaching a particular thing to the ladies, and longer term larger intentions…one of those is to prepare for an exhibition at our Regional Art Gallery in Broken Hill in May 2013.

 It’s been useful to think a bit clearly about intentions. I have intentions for my business, my Samunnat involvement and my art.    And each morning, I think about one small, clearly defined thing I intend to do that will help me to live in a more aware way.  And then I think about how I’ve gone with that at the end of the day. And if I’ve remembered that even once, it’s a cause for celebration.  (Photos are of getting ready for gai puja– part of the Dipawali festival we have just had.)