When the wind keeps stealing the joy of spring, and rain and hail dampen the spirits, it’s time to look forward to summer, which surely is coming.

And so I’ve made a gift card set from my past ‘Summer Mandala’ images. I’ve done one of these each year now, and the card set will be tucked into book orders that arrive during November, as a free gift to delight my loyal readers.

It gives me so much pleasure to prepare a gift that comes from my own labour.

Now I’ve started creating the image for 2014, which I will make into a card to send to family and friends.

 Dear reader, I must confess it’s not going well. The ingredients are beautiful, but how to put them together?

 I try adding jade plant leaves to add some life, but no, it’s not quite right. That flax mat looks too yellow, and drains the energy.

How about doing it on a tile? Hmmm. I’m repeating myself from other years. A fresh approach is needed.
I read an article many years ago about the stages of the creative process. Frustration is a stage. It’s not forever. In fact it is said to precede a breakthrough.

I’m reminded that the images in the cards above took many hours or days to produce. They all went through the process, with frustration speed humps jolting and jarring the flow and tempting me to give up.

When in the frustration stage, it’s useful to take a break, and to remember past successes. So that’s why I’ve photographed my card set and posted it at the top of this blog. It makes me smile to share it with you. Meanwhile, watch this space and see what emerges from the failures.