Saturday, 7 September 2013

88 - CSI Challenge - Life Lessons

These colours were super challenging for me this week and I probably would have been tempted to ditch this layout and start again if I had another day to play with.  Part of that is my personal aversion to the Autumnal tones. Part is the dodgy photo, but it’s about the only one I have of that time.....still the story is told I must give thanks to Debbi, who week after week, provides these superb challenges, not just the colours, but the journalling prompts, which somehow flick a switch in the subconscious and tap into rich veins of memory.  I don’t know how you do it Debbi, but I love CSI  and all your efforts to make it run like clockwork.   Thank you 
A couple of closies

Floral pattern - on the strips

I chose to write about something I’ve learned.  The journalling reads.

When I look at this photo, taken at the beginning of my Nursing Training, I had no idea how much hard yakka would be involved in finishing the course.  I soon learned to survive twelve hour shifts; to endure the interminable night duty, and with a Senior Nurse, to run a small hospital at night.  Matron was on call, but we were trusted to do everything else; the turning and pressure care of bed ridden patients; the monitoring of babies in the nursery and gavaging of those too weak to suck;  the dispensing of medications; the care of the dying and laying out of the dead.

When Matron sat me at the dining room table, with one arm in a sling and eyes blindfolded, I learned to place the food tray within reach of the patient and ask if they’d like some help to eat. I learned to treat each patient with dignity and kindness. I understood it was O.K. to cry when a local man was scooped off the road in fragments and couldn’t be cobbled together again. 

I learned to be calm in emergencies; to see a crisis in the making and take steps to avert it. Most of all I recognized that a career in Nursing was not for sissies. The hours were long and the pay was a pittance, but the rewards were enormous.  To see a critical patient restored to health, to witness the miracle of birth and to hold the hand of the dying, was an honour and a privilege.  

When patients, no matter how old, are in pain and afraid, they often call for their Mothers.  I learned to understand their need; to sit, listen to their fear, not offering solutions, but simply being fully present.  The black and white certitudes of my youth melted away by exposure to life in the raw and I realized the more I learned, the less I knew.  Most things I used to fret about don’t really matter. I’ve learned to “BE” in the moment, to enjoy the shenanigans of the Grandchildren; to bask in the warmth of my family’s love and to count my blessings every day.  Journalling September 2013

Watercolour paper
Graphic 45 - Bohemian Bazaar “Dazzling delights” Photo frame
Graphic 45 - Bohemian Bazaar “Dazzling delights” Strips
Faber Castell - Gelatos
Crafter’s Workshop Stencil - mini peacock pattern
Derivan Matisse - Impasto
My Mind’s Eye - Collectable, wooden butterfly
Prima - alphas
Prima - Stamp
Prima - flowers
Kaiser craft - flowers
Petaloo - flowers
Kaisercraft stamp - arty
Kaisercraft - acetate clock
Tim Holts - washi tape
Craft Queen washi - lime floral
Key - $2.00 shop
Bo-Bunny - Buttons. “C’est La Vie”
Scrapmatts - Leaves CB115
Spellbinder die - Romantic rectangle



  1. This is simply beautiful Helen, as always your journalling is amazing and I am actually sitting here with tears running down my cheeks. I don't know why my parents passing is still so raw, is it something we never get over ?
    I think your Autumn tones are gorgeous and I love the photo
    Mary x

  2. oh my oh my Helen , you have such a way with words. this is so exquisite and I just love to absorb and digest every single word you write ... magical and beautiful ... xooxoxo

  3. i love that layout, you made me feel inspired by the colors and vintage look!
    i'm following your blog and will be visiting you often! :*

  4. WOW! No doubts the page is fab, but your journaling is superb. You're a master in telling your story. I wish I could do so.
    I love that frame for the photo, need to get these dies... Your story touched my heart. thank you for sharing.

  5. If you wrote a book I'd buy it. Your stories and your life lessons that you share are such a joy to read and reflect on. And the layout is fabulous as well. I would never have guessed that you struggled with the color scheme. A wonderful layout.

  6. Simply Gorgeous......time and time again you come up with awe inspiring creations and journaling....Thank for aharing. Love this Helen. xx

  7. So glad you didn't ditch this page...think it came out beautifully and I love the styling soooo much! Of course, your journalling is always so super and I love the story you tell! Life is certainly a journey and so great that you are able to document it so wonderfully!

  8. I could copy+paste everything Shawna said - if you ever wrote a book, I would buy it. You have such a way with words and wisdom behind them.

  9. Every time I see one of your layouts and read one of your stories I think this is it. This is my fave and I know I have said it before but it is true. This is a simply beautiful layout. I love what you did with the background page. I love the journalling onto the layout and the simple photo mat. Everything working together in PERFECT harmony. I totally get how you feel about the more you learn the less you know... kind of puts it in perspective, we are very little beings in a very large universe. I really love this layout Helen ...<3

  10. beautiful page and thanks for sharing your stories :)

  11. Helen, I am far from being a nurse, would probably fall flat on my face seeing some blood or a syringe, but you and I share something that life has taught us even if we have taken different roads to reach there. To live HERE and NOW and thank every single day that I am alive and healthy, is what love is about. Thank you for crossing my path and telling your stories about life! I am so glad you didn't bin your page, it's perfect!! xoxoxo