Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Top Ten Trivia Facts about Caro's Lines


I found this game over at Merlinprincesse's blog

Ten Top Trivia Facts about Caro's Lines!

  1. It is impossible to fold Caro's Lines more than seven times.
  2. Over half of Americans are officially Caro's Lines.
  3. The blood of mammals is red, the blood of insects is yellow, and the blood of Caro's Lines is blue.
  4. The Australian billygoat plum contains a hundred times more Vitamin C than Caro's Lines.
  5. Some birds use Caro's Lines to orientate themselves during migration!
  6. There are six towns named Caro's Lines in the United States!
  7. Americans discard enough Caro's Lines to rebuild their entire commercial air fleet every 3 months!
  8. A Caro's Linesometer is used to measure Caro's Lines!
  9. Early thermometers were filled with Caro's Lines instead of mercury.
  10. All of the roles in Shakespeare's plays - including the female roles - were originally played by Caro's Lines.
I am interested in - do tell me about

MMM: If I were a colour, today I'd be...

MMM: If I was a colour, I'd be....
... painted by a fish!

A different style this week. I haven't found any words from my old journals that really fit with this theme so I'm just playing - maybe about time too! Afterall the playful side of me is a real as the others....

In the first week this fish was attempting to paint pictures in the depths of my not-conscious self. This is a picture that the fish is currently at work on.

A variation of the Uffington white horse is at the top. It is one of the most interesting of Britain's white chalk figures and one of the oldest too. The link I've given mentions that it might have been a dragon rather than a horse. I prefer the suggestion that it was a hare... but I've no idea where I read that or whether there is any evidence for it...

The fish has used a painter's wooden figure but clearly has yet to get its proportions right.

For other people's see Mixed Media Memoirs

Monday, February 27, 2006


This first picture is an experiment in working with a mixture of drawings and photographs. I was attempting to get quite a rich background even though the text is a straightforward reminder to keep my eyes open!

And one reason to keep them open is to see that my Hellebore has just started to flower, though it too gets some Painter IX treatment:

Friday, February 24, 2006

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

MMM: The trajectory of my life changed when...

MMM: The Trajectory Of My Life Changed When...
(As usual click for a larger view)

The trajectory of my life changed when I was born.

Time, time passing and where one person begins and another ends have been common themes in my writing in my journal. Maybe the sand started falling in my hourglass when I was born, though I do wonder if I should consider it from conception... both of those were in 1958 so I've put in my "karmic stone" for that year.

That time in the womb is something about which I have no conscious memories. The wabi sabi writing course which started in the first week of January began with an exercise that involved writing about what it had been like in the womb:
When I was in the womb I was getting ready. I put lots of my memories into little pockets that I would be able to access now!!!!

They are waiting for me still, some have already been plundered and one or two have been accidentally rewritten or squiggled over by the younger Caroline.

When I was in the womb I was wiser than I am now. I had the memory of hundreds of years, thousands of life times. I was and I am.
An interesting exercise as it gives one such scope for establishing one's foundations and I made them as limitless as I could! I've been seeing some of the MMM exercises as a way to explore those pockets of memories. Though I've usually included a key (rather than a pocket) to help unlock what has been previously locked away.

The wabi sabi writing course is now into week 8 and part of the title is "walking the labyrinth" - which is great as I was wondering last week about the labyrinth from the week before... so I've included it again here as a background for the sands of time.

The figure on the left is juggling in a strange manner. I transformed this figure into the one simply standing on the right. And this was in turn transformed into the aquatic animal at the top.

Where does one person end and another begin?

Update: And in my first look at others blogs what do I find but
"At what point does one thing become something else?" from Willie Baronet
And to show that juggling is related to song (the IF theme of the week) see Ellen's "Song to Jugglers". (And it was from Ellen's site that I found out about the Wabi Sabi writing course last year.)

For other people's see Mixed Media Memoirs

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Curser


This card represents inappropriate stillness. Stillness used to send out (and therefore attract back) bad thoughts: moans, groans and whines. The hypochondriac, the bad mouther, the cynic - all these attract in just the things they think about so proving themselves right. Bad luck dogs their days. The little helping spirits are all ears so they attend well to their instructions!

Curser-revThe above is what I got when asking about the card. I've not got any idea what the reverse might mean....

Suggestions for both meanings, as usual, very welcome!

2 of Birds

2 of Birds

This card's interpretation depends clearly on its uprightness.

When the active bird is at the top it show its time for natural activity. Joyfully moving, free as a bird.

2-bird-revWhen the sleeping bird is at the top it is suggesting (or confirming) that being quietly at home is most beneficial at the moment.

Any other suggestions?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

10 Metal

10 Metal

This is the second of the card images. The first was an ace of a suit (birds), this one however is a ten. I'm not forcing any specific order on these and just going with what comes, as it comes.

This one also happens to be metal. I'm not sure yet what the suits will be or how many cards there will be in a suit. In most Tarot sets there are fifty-six minor arcana in four suits each of 14 cards (10 numbers, 4 court), plus around 22 major arcana cards. As I plan to let this pack simply turn up as it chooses I cannot guarantee I'll be following the normal pattern - there are plenty of packs out there now that do and many that don't. I'll wait and see.

10 MetalUpright:

This person with pins stuck in his head is carrying on working; busy, busy, busy, despite his pain. He considers himself a hero to do so.

Yet he receives no healing this way.


What do you think?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Illustration Friday - Song

Illustration Friday - Song
I'm tired after staying up late answering the Reluctuant Nomad's personalised interview questions - see here for my answers.

So it took me a while to realise I should be celebrating the frogs currently active in our pond - for more see here.

Hope you like the frog's song - croak!


Illustration Friday - Song detail

Interview by Reluctant Nomad


Okay the rules of this particular game are that if you would like to have similarly well-researched and probing questions you ask Reluctant Nomad to interview you ;-). No? Ow, that hurt... okay this is his second and he's already got another to do so perhaps we'd better stick to the real rules...

If you want to risk me interviewing you just leave a comment after this posting and I'll be glad to do so. The full rules are at the bottom after my answers.

I'm most impressed by Reluctant Nomad's summing up of me and his questions. The only quibble I'd have is that he describes me as "a strong believer" in synchronicity. I don't believe - I experience and I play and I find them wonderfully useful and fun. But then that really is a quibble since I'm aware that the role of belief comes in when we are called on to give credence to what others say about their experiences. Also I may not have always been sufficiently careful in my language so may have easily given the impression that its only on the level of belief rather than the much more involved one of experience! ;-)

Wood eye?Question 1: You love seeing faces in things. And you have always been very sensitive about texture and how things feel. You also love colour and, at times, you’ve arranged your books according to the colour of their spines. If someone were to ask you for a preference, would you pick shape, texture, colour?

It would depend on my mood at the moment of the question. And maybe it also depends on the nature of what I'm doing.... right now I'm in word mode as I answer these questions and colour seems to be the strongest pull.

But whilst looking for a picture to illustrate this with I went into shape preference...

Honeysuckle essenceQuestion 2: You are a trained practitioner in flower essences and you talk of morning glory being a power plant that claimed you with great strength. Besides being a very beautiful plant, the morning glory is a powerful psychotropic. Many artists are very open to experiencing as much of the world as possible. Have you ever taken mind-altering substances? If not, why not? If you have, do you still take them?

(The photo is of Honeysuckle - I've yet to take any macros of drops of water on Morning Glories.)

I've never eaten morning glory or used any of the other shamanic plants in chemical form. I have a very strong reaction to the energies of these things (I experience this; its up to you whether or not you believe me! ;-). I have had problems with even the simplest of all medicines (e.g. aspirin gives me hives) so have neither need nor wish to explore them that way. I also dislike the sensation of being drunk... I seek greater awareness not less.

And incidentally having worked with people who have used various "recreational" drugs I've found their energy fields to be full of holes! Not recommended.

When I was doing the flower essence training (with Sue and Simon Lilly) one weekend we were exploring journeying to plants, usually with the aid of drum beats and sometimes through special poses too (like yoga only specific to the plants) but I was flat on my back and unable to move before we had officially started journeying to meet a particular plant - there was no way I could take up the pose that was specified... that one was the Beech tree, very domineering. When I tune in I feel these things very strongly.

Morning GloryIn the case of the morning glories I was growing some from seed that year and once they had germinated I felt this "taken over" reaction which resulted in the enamel I showed for IF - strength.

At the same time I did this enamel.
Nut Enamel

Nut Case

I had looked for my enamels last week when I was doing the MMM with the labyrinth in it but had not found them. After realising I'd like to use other plant enamels to illustrate this question I immediately found them (and discovered that the labyrinth one was too unclear to have been useful). I'd forgotten making this nut one and am not sure which plant inspired it but, as observed, I do love synchronicities... on the right is a strange "nut-case" that I found on Monday when out looking for nesting wooden dolls, for this week's MMM.

Question 3: You met Jim, your husband, between your two bouts of M.E. the second of which first affected you in 1996. So you will have known him from your mid-thirties, if not before, years in which many women choose to have children. You make no mention of children yet you strike me as a person who would make a very good mother and, in fact, would like to have had children. Am I right in thinking this of you? If so, why have you not had any?

We have no children. We would have welcomed them if they'd come. But they haven't. We do have eight nephews and one niece plus lots of friends with children. In many ways, given the exhaustion aspect of M.E., this has probably been the best solution - children that we can hand back to their parents when tired out.

Question 4: You read various ‘fortune-telling cards’, to use a rather inexact term and you have read books on dream interpretation. Many of these have different ways of interepreting signs and information based on keys, principles, and methods laid down over time. But, as I understand it, to be a good reader, much of your power is reliant on your intuition and an ability to open yourself to external influences. Do you think that if you were able to simultaneously read various types of cards (eg Tarot, Dream cards) or simultaneously apply different dream interpetation techniques to a dream you’d had, you’d land up wth conflicting interpretations? How would you interpret/handle that? Alternatively, if you believe they would not conflict with each other, how would you explain that?

So how many questions is this? I can count you know.... ;-)

I frequently use many different packs of cards and work with both cards and dreams. Of course there are contradictions - most books give contradicitons just in explaining one card. Such contradictions are handy in that they push one to use one's intuition to select which, if any, of the given suggestions fits best.

Dreams - I've found that the symbols in dreams are ones which are personal. So although one may look to other people or other resources for suggestions or help in interpreting a dream in the end it is up to you to personally feel whether or not an interpretation rings true for you. This is not found quickly but requires time for the body to adjust around the idea. One particularly good book on this is:

Let Your Body Interpret Your Dreams (amazon.co.uk / amazon.com)

Cards - I play with cards a lot. I've had other people tell me that I do good readings... I rely on intuition a great deal. I use my body's responses to check that I have received and interpreted my intuition appropriately (with muscle testing on a balanced body - sorry about the jargon explaining would take another post which I may do some day... it was part of my Health Kinesiology training though in that it is not used for reading cards but bodies) but most of all I do listen to my intuition.

I used to rely on my intuition to do my maths homework so I don't regard the use of my intution as at all separate from my previous interests or work ;-).

And just for clarity, I don't use cards to "predict the future" but to help me explore things.

And of course this is a wonderfully well-timed question as I've now accepted the challenge of designing my own set of cards and have just posted the first one.

Question 5: Many people, especially artists, are very receptive to music and, given a bit of encouragement, will be very passionate about their likes in music. Yet, in your blog, you make no mention of music even though Jim is the bass player of the Macaroni Penguins, your favourite band, and you talk of your much greater than average ability to hear high pitched sounds. Why?

I love to dance to but not talk about music.

Question 6: Unless my research is flawed, it would appear that Jim is a very keen climber and cyclist, activities that your ME would preclude you from. Is this difficult or are they activities that don’t interest you?

Jim at the top of StaircaseYou are right. For anyone interested in lists of climbs, walks and cycle rides see Jim's website. He also has a photo gallery - including this one that I took of him at the top of staircase at Sennen in Cornwall, UK. I climbed it too that holiday (1995) but I don't think there are any photographs to show that it wasn't such a doddle for me...

I don't miss climbing (though Jim would love it if I was able to climb with him) but I do wish I could cycle and walk more.

He goes on holiday without me when dedicating himself to climbing and mountain walks. But then I go off on courses like the flower essence one mentioned above or art ones. We can both be quite independent, as well as companionable.

Thank you for asking such great questions!

For those of you who may want to be interviewed in this fashion, here are the Official Interview Games Rules:

* If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying, "interview me".
* I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
* You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
* You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
* When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Ace of Birds

Ace of Birds
This afternoon I had a siesta. And as I was waking up I "got" four images and what they meant. I recalled that Wandering Coyote had suggested that some of my pictures would make good "tarot" cards and realised that these cards could be the start of a set.

This is the first of the cards. I am clearly being influenced by a set I already have which has birds in it however I am not planning on recreating their pictures or meanings though I cheerfully acknowledge and am grateful for their inspiration.

The Ace of Birds

This bird represents healing through appropriate nourishment of the body and soul. It is not taking medicine but good food.

It also shows how others die to enable us to live. All the food we eat once lived, even cabbages.

Ace of BirdsWe also benefit from all the work of our ancestors, if you look at a family tree the number of people getting together to make you is astonishing! And thus this card is also about giving thanks to our ancestors.

1-bird-01I don't know what the reversed meaning might be - any suggestions?

Other suggestions for what the upright means would also be appreciated!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

MMM: If I peeled back the layers they would see...

MMM: If I peeled back the layers they would see....
This week's topic for the Mixed Media Memoirs is: "If I peeled back the layers they would see..."

For other people's see Mixed Media Memoirs

Doing these MMM I have been actively peeling back the layers... So this week's image includes my MMM - I photographed the book I'm putting each image into.

Recently I've been working with energies derived from the shamanic three world model. When shaman journey they often go into one or more of the three worlds: lower, middle and upper world. For instance to find your power animals you are most likely to go into the lower world, to meet a spirit guide you would probably journey into the upper world. The middle world is very close to what we experience as manifest, physical reality.

The past that lingers When I posted "The past that lingers" three weeks ago I hadn't noticed then that the picture was very much a three world one:
  • The karmic stones are in the upper world.
  • The train of life in the middle.
  • And an animals paw-print in the lower - I kept on wondering why it had to be an animal's paw-print and not a human's... yet it really did!
And of course plugged in to the lower level but plagued by cheeky gremlins leaping in at the top level was my table lamp. The light attempting to light my life, but blowing now and again.

That week's MMM came just before a massive clearing / healing crisis. I'm still processing to some extent as it really has signified a big shift. That's why I show the MMM open at that week's image.

MMM: This is MeAs someone has just commented to me by email, (and which happens to fit the first MMM):

Judging from the amount you put into your MMMs, it would be surprising if things didn't come to the surface. It's sometimes necessary to look into deep water to see a proper reflection.

An excellent description of this whole process. Thank you, Kyknoord!

MMM: Again, I find myself... One of the values of keeping a journal is that one may spot some of the patterns that one's life falls into. And one of the huge values of doing the MMM is that, for me, this is an incentive to translate those patterns into pictures.

I do this without really understanding what will come out later though I can give reasons for most of what I've put in at the time.

This image of cycles of growth and decay came whilst I was clearing and I'm hoping means I've found the key at last!

It certainly brought me hope while I was feeling rather grotty.

MMM: I am ready to stop avoiding...Last week I declared that I was ready to stop avoiding being myself.

I depicted a labyrinth, an ancient symbol. I made it green because at the time I was thinking of something similar I'd made in enamels and I used the blue-green of oxidised copper as a reference to its age and its material.

However now I also see it as being a somewhat lurid grass green. The only labyrinth I've ever walked is at Saffron Waldon in Essex where there is a complete turf labyrinth. I don't know where, if anywhere, this will lead me but as I'm unpeeling I thought I'd mention it.

When you peel back those layers what emerges is indeed myself. However it depends on your point of view what you see.

MMM: If I peeled back the layers they would see....So this week's MMM is about what has now emerged.

This time I was consciously using the three world model:
  • Upper world - mandala and words
  • Middle world - the sea, my heart and my MMM
  • Lower world - a Russian doll
The upper level shows a mandala - which is one way of healing and making whole. And words that I've recently written:
Let your heart shine through in all that you do

Shine your light in every night
Both easy enough to say though putting them into action maybe less straight forward.

Especially when you've got gremlins in your light, which is another reason I put that page uppermost in the middle section. I need to tackle them!

I've used a symbolic heart - it was Valentine's Day when I was making the picture ;-) - and because that chimes with the words. I'm also using heart to mean centre. And its from one's centre that one may move up or down to explore these levels, note the convenient stairs.

The sea here represents the emotions. They are real and not to be denied. It is all too easy to yearn towards spiritual experience and want to explore those higher levels but often one needs to do more to sort out one's baggage before flying. And the place to do that is in the lower levels. By unpeeling.

DetailIn my journal recently I drew one of these wooden toys, with a woman inside a woman inside a woman... and so on down to the little solid wooden doll in the middle.

I've never owned one but used to play with one at my grandmother's. So on Monday I went to our local shops on the off-chance I'd find one.
In one shop I learned that they are not "Russian dolls" as I had been taught to call them but are called "Matryoshka".

I didn't find one, by any name, but I found a key-ring made from one of the central wooden dolls. I'm taking this as a sign that I've unpeeled as far as I need at the moment!

Frogs are fast workers...

Frogs are fast workers...
The day after Valentine's day and frogspawn has appeared in our pond!

We've been checking it two or three times a day since the beginning of February so that we could report the date of the first spawn to Springwatch.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

My Treasured Valentine - ATCs

I don't often work small so this was a real challenge for me and although I like the results I won't be making a habit of doing ATCs.

I did these as my contribution to the ATC swap organised by Amy Prof Lyons of Life in the Lyon's Den. For others see the flickr group: "My _(insert your own adjective here)_ Valentine" ATC Swap 2006

I made the hearts using acrylic inks (including gold and silver that don't show up so well on the scan) over card that I had printed. I mounted them on some paper I'd washed with blue watercolour.

My idea was that each heart was a treasure island and the kiss marks the spot.

I hope you all get a kiss in the right place on Valentine's Day, from the right person.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


This strange being appeared when I was playing with Painter IX. His name is QR or at least those are his initials. I hope he hasn't written anything rude in whatever characters he's used to decorate himself! (I doubt they mean anything but if they do please let me know!)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Illustration Friday - Simple

Illustration Friday - Simple
Originally uploaded by Caro's Lines.
How simple is simple?

How did you find me?

Last Friday Reluctant Nomad did a posting showing some of the most popular google searches which led to his blog. On Wednesday Andrea did a clustermaps posting. Between them both they've prompted me to actually look at what has brought new people to my site and also to ponder the difference between clustermaps and sitemeter. I've had both up for a while and although clustermaps displays blobs for visits as its included image I prefer sitemeter's world map as I can point at the dots and get more information - if you can do that with clustermaps it has eluded me....

Here are the most recent searches that sitemeter has noted for visitors to my site:

google - year of the fire dog - Chinese Year of the Fire Dog! - most popular by far

aol search - cats and the effects of dye - I doubt that this posting will have helped... Illustration Friday - Cats

yahoo search - how to outline pictures in corel painter Ix - a persistent person this as my site featured on the 5th page of the search... and despite all my Painter IX mentions this posting won't have helped... - Halloween 2005

google - "making treasure maps" - more persistence as my site was on the 4th page - Treasure and maps

MSN search - CARO - my blog

Blogs Illustrated - 260th in the list - my blog

google - caroline said - I have no idea why Illustration Friday - E is for... should come up rather than any other posting!

google - caro+bristol - Dawn

So what are your favourite maps, meters or other things to furnish your blog with?

What have I missed that will make my life, or at least my blog, complete?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Light on a sphere of my life...

I was so stimulated by Melba's comment on my MMM posting yesterday that I've written a long post about belief in my word blog. I don't post there often but its where my postings with lots of words and few pictures go. I very much doubt that this has anything to do with what Melba meant when she posed such an innocent question but its been very useful to me - thank you Melba!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

MMM: I am ready to stop avoiding...

MMM: I am ready to stop avoiding...

This week's topic for the Mixed Media Memoirs is: "I am ready to stop avoiding...."

For other people's see:

I am ready to stop avoiding... being myself. So into this image I put the following:

"I accept being myself" (I prefer the positive wording for this!)

The word myself is at the centre of a labyrinth. Labyrinths can be confusing and disorienting but, unlike a maze, there is just one route to take. Taking it means that you cover all the ground over which the labyrinth is spread. The key is not to give up.

I looked for something similiar I'd made when I was doing enamels but I ended up having to create a new version digitally.

"For every force there is an equal and opposite reaction"

The birds that go with this phrase were inspired by the two of birds from the Shining Tribe Tarot, which is an extended tarot using many prehistoric images and mythical elements.

It depicts two very similiar birds going in opposite directions and ignoring each other. In my version I also put in a negative of the two birds to show that sometimes it is the opposite that we see and are attracted or repelled by.

I know that sometimes the thing I most resist will turn out to tbe the most beneficial. Other times of course its my intuition saying "not a good idea..." the trick is in spotting the difference! ;-)

Hence this is an expression of my acceptance of my shadow side and my continuing attempts to shine a light in there.

There is also an image that I call The Dreamer. I made her over a year ago out of collage and then digitally altered her. She is head down in a posture similiar to that of the Hanged Man of the standard Tarot. She represents someone who looks at the world from a different perspective and what's more is painting it with her multi hued-paint brush.

She has a fully-open third eye which indicates that she is operating wisely and intuitively rather than purely rationally or emotionally. (This is a goal for me.)

In accepting the dreamer aspect of myself I am accepting that I do see the world differently to many others, not better or worse, just differently. And I hope that this acceptance will make communication easier!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Illustration Friday - Chair

Illustration Friday - Chair

The problem with just drawing a chair is that you cannot tell whose it is.... or was...

Having got this far, if the theme wasn't chair, I'd just cut the picture down to:

Illustration Friday - Chair - detail

Thursday, February 02, 2006

MMM: Again, I find myself...

MMM: Again
This weeks MMM theme is "Again, I find myself....". For other people's pages see: Mixed Media Memoirs.

This title suggested to me how, especially through journalling, I've noticed how various cycles in nature effect me.

The arctic white hare shows Winter, the spring is Spring, a faked Stonehenge sunset shows Summer (I may have got the direction of the sun wrong but this was one of my best photos of Stonehenge so I used it), and the Autumn is shown by a wind-blowing cherub.

In the centre is the full moon and a strangely wrought silver key to the moon. This includes fish, newt, bird and bear in its symbols.

The words say: The cycles of growth and decay.