blessings

Notes from the Garden


Thursday- There are moments of grace to be had walking out through the garden during breaks in the rain that has fallen for over a week now. Baby daffodils are emerging against the soft pink of the Camellias and Azaleas that seem to take turns flowering. Almost every time I step into the garden I delight in some new discovery as we get to know this new garden full of mysteries. Today's was the Sakura by the front gate.
Even taking out the compost has become a labour of love, often followed by shouts of "come see, it's all pink", "look what's popped up" or "is it a weed" "I don't know, leave it, it's pretty" or "what do you think that is going to be" and "look what I found" or "smell this", "is that kaffir lime" and so on.
When my mother last visited she swooned to find her mother's namesake, Daphne, growing all through the garden and the last of its heady scent still permeates.

Friday- Today I found the Japanese Pearl flowering down a path and  brought some in to liven the house which is still in the midst of sick babies. It looks so delightful on the new eggshell blue table, in fact everything looks beautiful against that blue.
I look forward to the openness of the weekend mornings when the babies will sleep in and there will be just me and my thoughts in the quiet of the morning light and the soft falling rain.
I've been enjoying reading May Sarton's Journal of a Solitude, and it comforts me to know that she was so prolific that when I reach the end I can pick up another memoir. And yet I am never in any hurry to finish it, I've been reading it for a few years now, picking it up every now and again, reading a few entries, like catching up with an old friend, and then each of us going about our own lives until we meet again. It never even matters if I am reading passages read before.
Saturday- There's this urgent sense that the old needs to make way for the new as Spring is just around the corner and a week of rain wakes dormant seeds. I walk around with secateurs and hack at plants and pull away dead leaves. Today I was thrilled to find a Magnolia tree in the far corner next to the baby Magnolia that bloomed in winter, its buds almost ready to burst forth its magnificence. I planted out the  basil which hopefully will be pleased to stretch its legs beyond the restraints of the greenhouse tub it came in. It looks happy gently swaying in the breeze and momentary sunlight before the rain start again, almost grateful.

The garden looks wild and unkempt next to manicured and well kept gardens on either side of me. I like it wild, my attempts are just to nurture and nourish it and watch it, to let it flourish and be continually mystified by the constant new discoveries and growth. I hope I do more good than harm, of course I have no idea. And all the while I am reminded how much I love our little corner of the world here ♥ ♥ ♥

Lotus Fairy

Galia Alena, Lotus Fairy painting

"In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus, and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty." Kabir

Dragonfly medicine, bringer of light, cuts through illusions and her shifting colours help with transformation and transition as we move through the mud of this world to be raised pure as the lotus. She helps us dig deep through our emotions while keeping a lightness of being and joyfulness.

“As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world” Buddha

Butterfly Song

Butterfly Song- Galia Alena painting, butterfly medicine and throat chakra
Butterfly Song
"When you do not speak, the thousand stars that lay upon your tongue slide back down your throat only to be swallowed one by one, jagged, pointed and weighing more than planets. When we swallow the truth, we turn our bodies into graveyards." Tama Kieves

Butterfly medicine is about transformation but also about joyfulness and here the lightness around speaking your truths and the transformation that those truths can herald. This painting speaks of the voice chakra and its connection to creativity when we find our sacred voice and the inner peace from allowing our sacred voice and creativity to merge.


This original painting is available in my Etsy :)

Course Correcting

 On Christmas Eve, my family and I flew home after a few years living abroad. We bought a house on line and were waiting to move into it. Many said it was a brave move, buying a house off the internet. I had heard that before, that it was brave to pack up your family and move to a new country with no real plans. For me it didn't feel brave, it felt like the only thing to do when that itch to break out of one life and try another, to jump- not jumping wasn't really an option. Buying a house on line wasn't brave either. What was brave was admitting that the move wasn't working, that the children were not happy. What was brave was releasing a dream (sometimes we hold them too tight and dreams are fragile things) and doing what needed to be done to bring harmony and make room for new dreams. What was brave was risking failing, and leaping anyway, and then doing it again. Course correcting.

Luminous Mandala word of the year journal page, Galia Alena
Luminous Mandala- word of the year page
We didn't go back, there is no going back, as the saying goes "you can not step into the same river twice". So we didn't go back- we made a conscious choice to go forward, to find a place where we could all flourish. Course correcting.

View from Couch Surfing
 So on Christmas Eve we flew out of the land of the Long White Cloud and returned to the land of OZ. We arrived, with no plans but in time to spend Christmas with family and friends. After a few days couch surfing with family and then at a friends place near the beach luck dropped a little boat shed to rent for a month and we spent a few weeks with the ocean lapping at our feet.

Travel journaling Galia Alena sketching boat shed
Scenes from the Boat Shed
 Literally an old boat shed which was down several flights of stairs into the rocks, the old boat shed had been converted into a studio flat right on the water, so much so that if you were a sleep walker you would be in dire trouble in the night. In the mornings I was woken by the wake of the passing ferries and would then dangle my feet down into the water at the end of the bed while nursing my morning coffee. We reacquainted ourselves with old stomping grounds, caught up with friends, enjoyed the warm weather and outdoor concerts while waiting until our new house would be available for us.

Travel journaling Galia Alena sketching boat shed

 When the month was up, it was time to move up the mountains so the children could start their new year, and a little furnished house serendipitously fell into our laps until we could finally move into our new house.

Picasso Inspired Journal Galia Alena
Picasso Inspired Journal
 So many elements of luck and trust were at work in our move home. I made the decision to bring my family home sitting in a sweat lodge at Esalen surrounded by my beautiful sisters all supporting one another in our truths. In the dark hot tent, to the singing voice of Pixie and others I knew what needed to be done. It took awhile from the initial knowing, to the later hearing and then the final breaking of the camel's back at which point having none of the details sorted or the means to do it, I threw myself at the mercy of the universe, opened myself to trusting and declaring the intention of going home and left so many of the details open. In so many ways I/we were supported by friends, family, chance, luck and serendipity and while all the details are still unfolding it has been a pleasure to watch the pieces fall magically into place. With gratitude I sit here and type from my new home where my children are again happy (I will share more on the new home in another post, although if you follow me on Instagram you would already have had some sneak peeks).

Fleeting Altered Book Galia Alena, mixed media journal
Fleeting Altered Book
Of course, while in between lands and homes, there was light sketching and playing in little journals, a different way of working for different circumstance, an extended travel kit and inspiration from Misty (fleeting altered book and Picasso homage journal) and Jeanne (pattern journal). I hugged my children, worked in my books, listened to the whispers of the muses and let things fall where they would.

Pattern journal, Galia Alena, art journal sketches
Pattern Journal
A word on course correcting, we should all always be doing it, looking at our lives and seeing what is working, what isn't and what is missing (what's still needed as my friend Maya says), risking mistakes to find our own way, making glorious and brave mistakes, and being brave enough to course correct, sometimes a few degrees, sometimes 180, always with quiet listening and fierce abandon for life.

With Gratitude

From the Fires of the Earth

Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire
Finally made myself a blessing bowl for my own altar and I'm so excited, totally in love with how it turned out. We were lucky enough to do a pit fire this weekend with cuttings from the local pinot noir grapes and they turned out just beautifully. I'm totally in love with the alchemical fire markings in black and "pinot" wine colour, and specklings. I had to restrain myself from including too many close up shots because the texture is exquisite. Only wish I had had more time to make pieces for the firing but I am keen to try this again and soon. so delicious
Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire
 My bowl says "GIVE WITH ABANDON" & "RECEIVE WITH GRACE"
Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire
 On the back is a Rumi quote "When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you a joy."
Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire
 All perfect, reflecting the work done in Woman as River- exploring money mythology, through second chakra work around flow. Below is a journal page I did inspired by an artwork shared in the group (artist unknown). Pixie's next Woman as River starts next Monday, details here: Woman as River
Galia Alena mixed media journal page inspired by unknown artist


Galia Alena ceramic wip pit fire
 This piece is still a work in progress, she needs her hand dyed lace and feathers but the pit firing has turned out better than I could have imagined on her, although the earth did seem to taken an offering of her snake and a flower or two. She might be awhile before she's finished but I'll share when she is.

Galia Alena ceramic bowl pit fire

From the Earth and the Fires

It's been a long while since I've paid my Etsy shop any attention, but I reopened it two days ago with a few original paintings and some of my blessing bowls (including custom made ones). And I'm loving how well my bowls are being received. They are perfect to sit on your sacred altar holding your sacred herbs or flowers or just your intentions.

Blessing bowl by Galia Alena ceramics pottery sacred altar

Working with the clay, the wait while things dry, or go through the kiln, the mystery and alchemy of glazes doing their magic in the fiery darkness, the christmas morning feeling when you finally get to remove them from their final firing. It reminds me so much of when I first started photography. The mystery of images lying dormant and mysterious until you processed them then magically coming to life on the film or paper with the blending of alchemy- predictable yet mysterious and magical.

Blessing bowl by Galia Alena ceramics pottery sacred altar

This week I look forward to shaping some more clay, marking with sacred symbols and mantras. Each bowl takes a few weeks to complete and I can only do a couple at a time but the muses have been whispering to me so marks must be made. When I went to the states, I made some personalised bowls as gifts, intuiting what to put on for each individual and I loved how they turned out and am really looking forward to seeing what people might like on their own bowls.
Galia Alena mixed media painting
 I've also added in a few original paintings. These are acrylic, ink and pastels on plaster and fabric. Each would look fabulous in a shadow box frame or hung raw to give a rustic look. It is the first time I have put any originals up for sale, and it kind of comes with a bitter sweet sensation, sending my babies out into the world. I'm sure they will find good homes.
Galia Alena mixed media painting
 I would love to hear what you would like to see me put in my Etsy shop next. I'm also working on my next e-course and would love to hear what you would like to see included in that. I've had many request to do a journaling course so I'm working on that- what would you like to see included?
Galia Alena mixed media painting of an angel and a mary oliver quote