Tuesday, 31 July 2012


I have been keeping a lookout for another online course since I finished my Jane Davenport course called Supply Me, which completely changed my life.  I learnt so much about supplies and facework.  I haven't had a great budget this year to do online courses at my leisure also the supplies needed for these courses are expensive.  But I have been saving for this one new one.  It's Misty Mawn's online mixed-media course, called the Open Studio Workshop.   I'm dying to do it.  It not only covers drawing and painting but also paper-clay sculture, poetry, photography and art journal work.  It's a 6 week course but with my current schedule and new demands, I am not going to put myself under any pressure to do it all in 6 weeks, I have until January to work through the material.  But I am booking it today.  I am hoping to do some of it before my trip because I think some of the material will help me with my studio time there.

Grace is gone...

I am delighted to say that this beautiful little lady is also going home.  Grace has been quite special to me... I painted her on the evening that I made up my mind to do my art trip and I was feeling pretty emotional about my decision.  I wasn't sure I was going to sell her because I felt rather attached to her for this reason.  I think because I know she's going to live with such an amazing person, I have been willing to let her go.
#Completely overwhelmed.

Project Export...

So today I faced another Project looking me in the face everyday for the past 2 weeks.  Little Rue has been drying and waiting for export.  Oil paints can take about 7 days to dry when it isn't thick layers of paint.  But with all our cold wet weather, Rue has taken much longer to dry.  But today I felt confident that she had dried long enough to send.  I bought my packaging when the sale came through, so everything was ready.  She was a joy to pack up and send.  It's new turf for me but trusting Rue will find her way safely home.


I am totally loving the SIMPLICITY my life and home have taken on since moving back to Cape Town.  I am not sure how it got so convoluted before but it did.  Now looking back, the more my time and life got convoluted so did my home... or was it the other way round.  Whatever it was - my life had lost it's simplicity and along with that I lost some things I truly valued...
There is a beauty in traveling light.  And I am finding as we have chosen simplicity as our way of life, how much the quality of our life has improved.  Leaving more room for quanity in new ways.  Quanity in time.  Quanity in old values being restored... like time together around the dinner table.  Sitting by the fire reading or painting.  Time to hike up the mountain with good friends.  Time to exercise... things that make this life beautiful.  As my home is simplifying, I have found that I am falling in love with so many aspects of my home again.  And I am loving spending time in these places.

Here are a few views and aspects in my home that I love... as my pieces (albeit them few) find their way home.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Look what I found today...

I have worked in Cape Town City Centre on and off for 13 years. To me there is nothing better than going into the City Bowl. It completely excites me. The old buildings and churches, the mountain as it's backdrop on one side and the harbour on the other. It is really one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Sometimes if I arrive early, I drive the streets and just take it all in. Bearing in mind, it isn't very big so I use the term "city" loosely. The other day my friend mentioned something quietly about taking the train into work.  I could have quite easily missed this vital little gem that fluttered out of her thoughts... On one of my drives to school, as I drove past my local station that thought fluttered back across my mind.  Today I formulated my plan, together with the help of this friend! I am so excited about it. I will do the school drop, park and jump on the train outside the girls school {yes, it's that simple}. When I arrive in town, I will do a glorious 15-20 minute walk to the office. And obviously the same home. I have 3 objectives with this in mind. #1. I miss the morning traffic. #2. I am doing my weekly walks. #3. I get to picture document all that I discover in my little town, things that we miss in our car but will see while walking. And I am sure there are other things I can keep adding to this list.  Wish me luck!!!  

I left town early today and decided to stop by an old church. I have been wanting to photograph old stone churches in my area all year and today I started...  I have walked and driven past this church many times for over 16 years and I hate that I have never ventured in.  It feels like I have been so blind to all the wonders around me.  I love that when we take but a moment, to stop... breath and venture in... we find a whole world out there that is just patiently waiting for us to DISCOVER it. 

What I discovered wasn't a church, but in fact, an actual Cathedral!!!


Lost in translation... but found in journal pages.

So the past week or so I have been a bit quiet.  I have had so much going on in my new routine, on my schedule, #inmystudio and in my head, that I have been a tad overwhelmed.  Actually, completely overwhelmed and a bit restless and unsettled.  I have been working through Walking in this World and I have been processing a lot of thoughts and emotions.  All good but not without its responsibilities.  It speaks about the restlessness I have been feeling since Saturday, that it is in fact, a good place to be.  So I am embracing it.  She says the restlessness is because one is at the brink of change.  Which both excites me and terrifies me all at the same time...  So in the embracing I have managed to settle my heart for a moment and I am reminded about the journey I am on and why it is, I actually love to paint and why it is, I love art so much.  I paint because of the JOY I feel when I am painting.  It's just that simple.  Not necessarily the outcome, not necessarily the reward - that's the bonus part of it.  I love how happy it makes me feel when I have a paint brush in my hand.  I love that each piece I do big or small, it draws something out of me.  I never want to loose sight of that.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Monday Blessings...

I had a crazy busy weekend.  I had so many little odd jobs to get behind me... like a bit of sewing, finish some paintings before they get shipped, finish mosaicing my second table in the kitchen, my homework for week 5, help with school projects, washing and a mountain of ironing.  I didn't stop all weekend.  I finished last night at about 10pm with everything ready for the week ahead.  It was pretty awesome to wake up this morning and life was in order and I was ready to face the week on the front foot and not the back.  Was it worth giving up my whole weekend for... ABSOLUTELY!! Let's hope I can maintain life this week and keep it in order.  While out this morning - I found this beautifully painted wall and yes, my heart is feeling full of blessings at the moment!  #Graditude.

Saturday, 21 July 2012


People often ask me, do I see a girl in my head before I paint her.  And the answer is honestly NO.  Each new girl I paint is completely new and evolves on my canvas... I wish I could say it was more grand than that - but it really isn't.  I might have an idea to try a new technique or design but generally I am as surprised by each new piece as anyone else.  But the best way I can describe it, is that it's completely an #Evolutionofapainting.  A friend of mine on Instagram started that #tag and me, together with other artists have been using that hashtag since.  Funny enough, it was a phrase I have used since I started painting and I have always picture documented each stage as my painting has evolved.  I am not sure why I have always done that but it was on Instagram that I first started sharing my #WIP (work in progress) steps, something that has been well received on Instagram and Facebook and because of that, I have dedicated a whole page of that on my website.

I have often heard other artists say they visualised something and then painted it but I don't think I have ever had that experience. Except perhaps with this little painting...

I don't think she's spectacular but she's deeply personal to me, this is the only place I have shared her because I'm feeling a bit vulnerable about her...

I found this sunflower paper when we were in Worcester a few weeks back.  It's not a piece I think I would have naturally been drawn to - it was quite busy and wouldn't necessarily work with my other papers.  But I was completely drawn to this piece of paper and I could literally visualise a little fairy in amongst and behind the petals... This is a first for me.  I still didn't visualise her face, but I knew exactly how I wanted to use this piece of paper.  It was tough going and she wasn't a breeze to do because she's incredibly tiny on the canvas.  I have been working on her for 2 weeks!  But I am loving her sensitivity... maybe a little how I was feeling through this piece.  I hadn't planned on doing closed eyes but she was too tiny to do open eyes but I think it's adding to her sensitivity.  I am wondering if I, like my paintings am evolving as an artist... I hope so.  If nothing else, it was great to push myself to try and do something little different.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Somebody pinch me please....

Seriously, I have no words for the most incredible morning I have just had.... I met up with my running partner Mel and two other amazing ladies.  We started off in Silvermine, and headed towards Elephants Eye but continued up towards the Hout Bay lookout point.  Not only is it the most incredible day ever, weather wise - but look what greeted us at the end of our trail...

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Morning pages feedback...

So from the 1st June I have been waking up early to do my 3 longhand morning pages and I am busy working through Walking in this World, by Julia Cameron and I am on week 5.  It's excellent.  I am writing 5 days out of the 7 and I am walking once or twice a week.  My artists dates are still a challenge for me, not because I find it difficult but more about finding the time to be alone, especially during the school holidays.

Like I mentioned before, so much happens for me within these pages and like with the Artists Way - it's really changing me on the inside.  But the most incredible thing has happened... my Kitty girl has started getting up early to write with me for the past week.  She sets her own alarm clock and comes through.  I was so sleepy this morning and could easily have choosen sleep over writing.  She switched my light on, grabbed my journal and helped prop me up and there we both sat in my bed with our journals... writing.

To start my day off writing and reflecting before life happens, has so many benefits but one of the greatest benefits I've found is how clear thinking I am for the rest of the day.  My days are productive and constructive.  I have to say, this seems to be having the same affect on Kitty.  She has been incredible - so organised, clear thinking, on time, happy and in control.  It has really got me thinking today and I have been wondering, could it really all be from her early morning journal writing... maybe that coupled with the closeness of these moments together, getting to express her feelings and emotions in a safe place and even getting to express herself creatively.

How wonderful would it be if she learnt and understood this powerful skill so young.  It's like she's just given herself a gift.  In some way I feel a little jealous (in a good way) that she has this already.  The incredibly powerful gift of journalling.  Too amazing for words!!!

Monday, 16 July 2012

A delightful little wake up call...

I woke up this morning to find this delightful little email from Etsy... I am officially in business. My first item is being shipped to Canberra, Australia!!! Yippeeeee. I am too excited for words!!! Thanks Dionne for your awesome support and I am delighted to be sending Little Rue home to live with you. I hope you love her as much as we have. Thank you for helping me officially open my little online shop doors.

 Congratulations Flowrsinherhair on Your First Sale!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

A snowman, a snowfight and a little blizzard!!

So yesterday while I was cutting glass... Digz took the girls up to the Matroosberg mountains to see the snow.  A rare treat for us in this country... I just realised today, Kitty has never seen or felt snow.  Both girls absolutely loved it.  Today, they got to walk through a little blizzard, managed to build a sweet snowman and even had a great snow fight... of course!  They had an excellent day!!! When they got home, they were absolutely raving and full of stories from their amazing day in the snow.

I found a Little Rue in the Garden and I completely love her!!!


I am completely in love with this piece.  I found this glorious paper on our road trip to Worcester two weeks ago... and I have been dying to play with this design.  I prepped my canvas on Wednesday and it's been calling me since.  I have been waiting patiently to find a gap to paint. I rushed home after our Stain Glass workshop to paint... and boy am I grateful that I did because I found this sweet Little Rue girl in this beautiful little floral garden!

A little tainted glass.... ;-)

 My good friend, Gilly organised for us to do a stain glass window workshop today. I was a bit nervous because it's not something I have ever done before. I always feel a little intimidated to learn a new skill... So after an early start, I picked up some coffee and we headed out. We arrived at a workshop filled with panels of beautifully coloured glass sheets and mosaics. I thought I found a mosaic place the other day... well it had nothing on this place. Phew... coloured glass is beautiful! The studio was freezing and nothing we did warmed us up but we had a wonderful morning of learning, discovering new things and of course, creatiing. Which is always a good day!! Thanks Gilly for new adventures!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Last day of holidays...

I can't believe today is officially the last day of holidays.  The past 3 weeks have flown by.  Today has been the coldest day of winter, for sure.  Although we are ready for the routine to kick back into place, we certainly aren't ready for the early morning wake-up calls, in this cold.  Not sure how on earth we are going to cope next week.

We had a slow start to the day and headed into town to pick up my passport and then we headed out for lunch, which has become a firm last day of the holiday's ritual.  We did a few other errants and headed home to huddle around the fire and gas heater...  Yes, it was that cold tonight that we had both running.  Digz made us a delicious stew while I conquered my mountain of ironing.  The cool part about doing that on a Friday night is that my weekend is now free... free to play!

Digz and the girls are heading into the mountains tomorrow with some friends to see the snowfall, while I'm heading off with a friend on a Stained Glass Window course... I think that's gonna be kind of exciting day for all of us!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

We are officially Capetonian's again...

Many people haven't fully understood my affliation to Cape Town, my adopted home town and why being away from it was so painful and why coming back has meant so much to me.  I haven't been able to fully understand it myself.  So I hope I can find the words to try and explain.  I was born in Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa to start school.  For various reasons, we moved around a lot throughout my childhood.  I went to a total of 12 schools and settling down long enough in one place, never really happened.  We lovingly joke that we have gypsy blood running through our veins but in all seriousness, I think there was a bit of truth to it.  I felt nomadic.  After some time overseas, I came back to South Africa and settled, I do believe for the first time in my life, in Cape Town.  It's honestly the longest I had ever spent in one town and I loved that fact.  It's the place I married the man I love, quietly on the beach and where I had my two beautiful girls.  I guess if you have never lived a nomadic lifestyle, finding a home may not even be something that enters your mind.  But when it is something you have been searching for for the longest time, and feel you found. Giving that up just wasn't easy for me.

Four years ago we gave it up for a work contract in Johannesburg.  I thought I would adjust.  But I actually didn't.  In fact, I have to admit that big city living just wasn't for me or my family, for that matter.  At the end of 2010 while we were holidaying in Plett, we finally admitted that we hadn't integrated well and how much we were missing the coast.  It was the outdoors lifestyle and the simplicity that we found here that was now seriously missing from our lives.  We came to the realisation that we were not only suffering from burnout but perhaps even a little depression that comes from being misplaced.  It took a full 8 months to make the decision to come home and a further insane 3 months to make the move back.  We have been back almost 8 months already and today I got my CA number plates back.  Such a silly little symbol that has meant so much to me - it's what silently tells the world where I come from and to me, where I belong.

Don't get me wrong - I am not saying I regret the last 4 years... I have some special people who are still deeply in my heart.  And I am also not saying I will never move on again from this place.  I hold onto the fact that Digz and I are by nature adventureous people who aren't afraid to take chances or admit our mistakes... But for now - I know this is the place I want to be to bring up my girls.  Who knows where we will end up in this life or what is around the next corner.  But I sure am happy right now, to be in a place where I know, because I know, it's where I belong and where I want to be and maybe that's what those 4 years were all about... figuring out what I didn't want and to appreciate what I really did!!!!

Monday, 9 July 2012

It's been a great day...

OMGoodness it's been raining for days.  The weather people promised us a break in this rainy weather today and we had planned to hike to the top of Devil's Peak.  But those people lied to us... becos we woke up to the sound of rain and on the most part, it pretty much rained all day.

There was a momentary break in the weather so us 3 ladies bolted out the door and did a short run before the rain came down again. 

The sun popped his head out for 5 minutes and that was enough to encourage Digz to get us all out the house again to do a shorter hike than planned.  As we reached our destination, the rain had set in... but we had our rain jackets on and hey, what's a bit of rain.  And boy were we grateful that we did.  It was spectacularly beautiful!!!  Our moods may have started off a little dampened but it certainly didn't stay that way for long.  We got home drenched and tried but completely raving.  Us ladies did a total of 10kms today.  We quickly jumped around and made a chicken pie together, Kitty baked us a cake for dessert.  And now we are all chilling by the fire each doing something, like reading, blogging, playing on iPads etc.

Rain or shine... no let me say that again... Rain or rain - it's been a great day!