Thursday, 31 January 2013

#InMyStudio... 100 Things ...

I haven't done too much this week in the studio... just my journal assignment and watching tutorials... but still loving all of it.  Misty is truly amazing!

I spent much time at my printers, submitting my new pieces for prints, postcards and business cards.
{Can't wait to get my 2 sets of business cards - such fun}
Packaging orders which are now ready to send off tomorrow...

100 things that make me happy!


Little glimpses into some of the things that make me happy!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Word for 2013...

I know a lot of people are doing the word for the year thing and safe from being unoriginal, in principal I love the idea!!!

I have been so challenged to choose a single word for 2013. That will be true to me and what I value! Be prophetic and at the same time be original and authentic.

What I loved about choosing a word last year was that it made me consciously choose it on a daily basis! Choosing to be "brave" daily, eventually took me to travel to Italy by myself among other things. How does one top that!  So that being where I left off - I was not finding this year's choice particularly easy! But I have to say... the word "kindness" kept coming up for me...

One of the things that really blew me away in Italy was how incredibly kind our group was to me. During and after our trip. I am not exactly sure why. It kind of took me by surprise... But I was so blown away by it. I can't say I have often been on the receiving end of random acts of kindness. But it sure did move something deep inside of me!

I knew if this was my word for 2013 then it would be confirmed to me.

Two days later, my doorbell rang and there was a delivery for me! My friends from out of town had sent me a Nespresso machine as a gift! Today, we experienced another small gesture at Kitty's tennis training... Big or small - these gestures so touch my heart! I just can't fathom this level of kindness. Who does this kind of thing anymore... In the craziness of life and hectic schedules have we lost touch with each other and ways to really connect with kindness and grace!  I think somewhere along the way - I had lost faith... but I am being reminded that it's still here.

This has been a complete confirmation for me - that "kindness" will be my word for 2013!

Kindness on this level shifts the heart! And I just love that!! I believe it changes us from the inside out! And that's pretty powerful stuff!!! And I know I want to be more like that on a daily basis. When kindness coupled with generosity like this shows a kind of unattachment to worldly things! But a complete attachment to the heart and to people... Which will surely bring us deeper connections with each other!!

So with that in mind... I look forward to 2013 and not only finding creative ways to express random acts of kindness no matter how big or small but hopefully finding it as I consciously seek it out!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

What a week...

What a heavy week... Waking up at 5am everyday...

I have a completely new routine and a new training program and school extra murals are underway.  Being out the house from 5.30am 3 days a week when the girls get up for school has caused a bit of a disturbance, nevermind making lunches and tying up hair and keeping on top of daily chores.  Kitty taking the biggest strain of all because her morning cuddles are totally out of sync... something she desperately needs and has to start her day off!  I am sure we will all adjust but first week back into life as we know it and with all these additional changers - were amazing and enjoyable but also tough!!

That together with my Face2Face classroom starting which means assignments and homework and I was avoiding my studio as fear completely took hold of me.  Sometimes it's just the fear of starting, nothing more.  I did most of my tutorials during the week so it was just a matter of sitting down and getting started...

Once all my excuses were out the way - Saturday was my day... I sat quietly in my studio and I finally started my drawing exercises   I am not sure why fear has become my constant companion lately but once I got over myself the joy of working with Graphite took over... and I got into my happy place and got lost in the process.  And I loved every minute of it.

This week in every aspect, not only in the classroom but also at work, training wise, routine wise, my girls relational wise - I was pushed completely out of my comfort zones.  I am not sure it's always good to change up everything all at once but sometimes it just happens that way... trusting I will settle down quickly!!

As for this week looking ahead... I still have my 2nd assignment waiting for me in a Diary of Faces... I would like to do some charcoal pieces from week 1 from Face2Face and I would like to get to a stage where I am doing a quick drawing or sketch everyday as a form of discipline!!  I love making art everyday so if fear stays out of my way and I can stay on top of my life, this should be an amazing place to get to!

~Living in hope~

Monday, 21 January 2013

I'm running up that Hill...

Endomondo Running Workout:
was out running 9.23 km in 1h:07m:30s using Endomondo
in my sweet little Suburb

So today I pushed myself out of my comfort zones and joined a new running group about 2 minutes from my house.  I have been wanting to get more miles in and try be more consistent with my running this year.  In order for this to happen, it has to be easy to execute.  There is currently lots of change happening this month, new schedules and new routines which in turn means a new running and gym regime for me.

My stomach was in a complete knot on the way to meet everyone at 5.30 this morning.  I was so stressed that I would be too slow for the group and that I wouldn't be able to keep up.  Which left me tossing and turning all morning from 2am.  But I have to say the group was stunning and my running abilities were fine.  Fear has been delaying me joining the group since early December but I am delighted to have pushed through and have tried something new...

Bring on Wednesday and Friday where I will be trying new routes, harder... partly road and partly trail running... excited!

Friday, 18 January 2013

#InMyStudio - Hello Little SnowFlowr

I was so inspired by my ArtJournal page and girl from the other night - that I decided to transfer her onto canvas.  Well my canvas is actually another piece of wallpaper and I loved the coloring of this piece.  I love cool undertones for skin with lots of white.  So my palette was actually my Blending White (the one in the Winston Newton range only - my fav), Paynes Grey and Crimson.  Which instantly gave her a bit of an oriental feel.  I knew I wanted to do a piece and call her SnowFlowr but it had to have the right feel and when I started this piece - I knew right away she would be SnowFlowr.

I was inspired to do this from the movie I watched the other day called Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  It's a movie based on one of my favorite author, Lisa See.   I loved the movie and I knew right away I wanted to paint a Snow Flower inspired piece... I am thrilled with this piece!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

#InMyStudio - Who Am I?

We are 7 days away from our course starting and the anticipation in the class is awesome!  Misty started off the class with a little icebreaker... with an intro video clip and some delightful prompts... 

Which have been swirling around my mind all week...

1.  WHO AM I?

I guess I am many things in this world, but the one theme I kept coming back to was that above anything else... from woman, Artist, friend, confidant or however anyone sees me or how I see myself... Above all this - I am a Mama.

  We made the choice to have children and it's not something that just happened.  I have known my whole life that I wanted to be a Mother more than anything else I ever wanted... and when they put my first daughter in my arms - I realized at that moment, I had been waiting my whole life for my own daughters.

My youngest daughter always calls me her Cottage.  I didn't understand what she meant so I asked her to explain...  When she looks at me - I am her modest, humble home!  One that represents comfort, safety.  Slightly old fashioned, vintage in style and I guess embracing like a sweet little cottage in the woods would embrace one!

So this is who I am - I am a Cottage...

Other questions...

2.  Are you the same at home as you are out?
Pretty much - I love authenticity above everything else.
So I try as much as possible to honor that.

3.  What is the most exciting thing you have done thus far?
I have done so many exciting things in my life, I moved out of home at 17, lived overseas for a while, traveled a lot but I think of late one of the most exciting things I've done was travel to Italy to meet Misty and other amazing artists.  It was completely exciting because I did it just for me!

4.  How many rooms are in the place I live?
4 Bedrooms, a sweet studio, a bit of a FarmStyle Kitchen and the rest the same as most other houses.

5.  How many Windows?
16 windows {hahaha funny question}

6.  What makes me different from my parents?
Everything... sometimes I think they wonder where I came from!!
But I know they still love me!

7.  What is forever?
Love... Grace... Heaven!

8.  What do I need?
Time. Silence. Acceptance. Family. Love. Understanding. Home. Gentleness.  Kindness. Ocean. Running. Painting. Authenticity. Laughter. Honesty.
{not in any specific order}

9.  What do I want?
Pretty much all of the above.

10.  What does the world need?
Tolerance.  Kindness.  Grace.

11.  What do you think are the qualities of a fully lived life?
Lack of Bitterness.

12.  How many books are on my shelves?
We pretty much have a library - too many to count but I would have to say I have read about half of them.  My hubby and I have very different choice of books and half are mine and half are his.

13.  If you could travel anywhere through time, where would you go?
Hmm sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era and often think I would go back in time to a more vintage era because I am intrigued with things of old but maybe right now, I think I would just like to go back in time to see what I was like as a little girl.  I wonder if I was anything like my girls are now?

14.  What do I think about before I fall asleep?
I am a late owl usually so by the time I creep into bed, exhaustion has set in and the eyelids are shutting.

15.  Do you keep secrets?
I keep other peoples secrets if they ask me to but usually my life is an open book because I love transparency and vulnerability = connection!

16.  What makes me laugh?
My hubby.  He's a funny man and makes me laugh all the time.  And my daughters!  I am totally drawn to people who make me laugh!

17.  What is my fav time of the day?
When the house is sleeping and I am sitting in my studio painting, either in silence or with music.  I love this time - it's my time... time to reconnect with myself, my thoughts.  To listen.  Go over things and conversations in my heart. How to make things right!! 

18.  What do you think about when I hear the word Silence?
Longing... I love silence.  It's vital to me.
Not only in the quiet place but in a quiet presence of oneself.
I spent the last year silencing all the voices, expectations, have to's and have not to's.  Now the silence helps me hear for myself.
Love it!

19.  What do I want to remember most?
Happy memories.  Holidays.  My girls.  Surfing.
Moonshine on Whiskey Creek {fav holiday spot}

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

#InMyStudio - Art Journaling

So on Friday afternoon - Melody came around and we both broke in our brand new Hand-bound Leather Carved Journals.  I gave her one for her 40th birthday and Digz bought me one for Christmas and both of us were way too nervous to work in them...  Well because they are just too lovely.  But worst case, if we ruined them - I knew were to get more!  So Friday was the day!

I am not a huge fan of working in journals.  Well - I love the idea but in reality something else really happens.  I get really stressed out about it that I have been known to start from the back.  I don't know why it freaks me out so much.  Put a massive white canvas in front of me - and it excites me.  Put a blank journal in front of me - I try and hide it.

I had gone through all my tutorials from OpenStudio - so I was super keen to put some of what I learnt into practice.  As for Mel - she's so comfie and fearless doing these pages.  It was nice to have her around to make me feel safe.  Corks joined us and well - she's so natural at it - it's like she's been doing it all her life... both Mel and her just dived in and started creating beautiful pages... I was of course... was paralyzed.

As you can see - Mel and Corks are stoked!!!
And so they should be because they pages are gorgeous.
Note my unimpressed face! ;-)
All I did all afternoon was growl.  I let my pages dry over the weekend and although I wasn't thrilled with my page - I was hoping something would happen in time.  That being said - the creative play although I felt "grrrrrr"  through it...  It did put me in the mood for painting and I painted beautiful Lily afterwards - So I can totally get the value of creative play!  And I love that.  I think sometimes we forget to just have reckless fun in our pages, no matter where it takes us.

So last night after all my chores were done and the girls were tucked in bed, I walked past my Journal which was lying open and there was a pencil right there... and the rest as they say was history.  I am pleased I pushed through my fears... because I am delighted with this page and the story!

Well... here's the progression...

Where I left my page on Friday Evening

 Baby Steps...

At 3am this morning - This is where I ended...
And I have to say I am more than thrilled with this page
I have a gap now to write down "Who I am?"

Saturday, 12 January 2013

It's been such a special week...

I started my Morning Pages again at the beginning of the week... which means waking up early which is the best part of the day... it's quiet and cool and it's such a special time of the day for me.  I also got back to my regular Tuesday gym class and it was an incredible workout... I hit my post office because I was expecting a package and I just love getting packages and I was delighted to find my beautiful new print had arrived.  A beautiful piece by the very talented Joanna Rose for my collection... and I just love her!  Thanks Joanna.  This lovely print is called Window to my Heart!  How beautifully apt!

I knew it was going to be a good week when my day started off like this.  And it just got better... I am happy to say that we booked our Easter Holiday getaway.  We haven't been away for over 2 years and it was long overdue.  And of course we are going back to our favorite place in the world... Moonshine on Whiskey Creek and we will be staying in the Beautiful Butterfly Cottage.  This place is one of the most inspirational places we have ever found.  It's arty and peaceful and run by an amazing family.  The best part of this special place are the most incredible memories we have made here together as a family - it's one of the reasons we keep going back!  To make many more!  My heart is thrilled that we have this to look forward to...
My darlings had a sleepover with their big cousin... as we were heading out the door... my gate bell rang and I had an unexpected delivery.  A massive box and a very confused me!  Inside it I found this incredibly generous amazing gift from a very special couple!  I am so deeply touched by Random Acts of Kindness.  It really moves me deeply inside!  Thanks guys - you don't know what you did for my heart!!

Seriously can this week keep getting better :-)
I haven't painted for almost 2 weeks and when I haven't painted for a bit, I always get nervous to start again.. but yesterday I had a play-date with my special running and arty buddy, Mel and we got to do some creative play in our journals - which completely inspired me to start a new painting.  Thanks Mel!  I forget how important creative play is sometimes.

My sister-in-law and brother gave me a massive Wallpaper Sample book with delicious paper inside and I felt a painting coming on...
And Beautiful Little Lily just flowed right out of my paintbrush!

It's been a good week... lots of planning for the year ahead.  Choosing my word for 2013, updating my website.  Looking at some marketing ideas etc.etc.  Too excited for my courses that start in a weeks time.

As much as I struggling with the holidays being over - there is a definite excitement in the air for the year ahead...

Monday, 7 January 2013

Back to reality...

I am not one of those mom's that wish school holidays were over so that my kids can get back to school and out of my hair.  I think I may have felt that just once in the last 14 years but I must have had a good reason.  I love the school holidays with them... I love the break in routine and structure and I love the freedom that comes with the holidays.  But above all that, I love the quality time and memories we have in our holidays.
But I woke up this morning and I had the distinct feeling of reality... Digz was back to work today, I am at the office today and although the girls are still on leave, I am painfully aware that we only have 10 days left.  And I don't like that feeling!
We are starting a new school year and we will start this week with covering the new books and sorting out the stationery and uniforms etc.  That holiday feeling is slowly drifting out the front door!  I have to fight getting sad about it.
We didn't have the most spectacular "leave" or "away" holiday like we have had in the past.  In fact, we haven't had a holiday like that for about 2 years... and are sorely in need of one.  But I have to say we made the most of these holidays being based in one of the most beautiful places in the world... they ended up being quite amazing.  We did so much with the girls this year... hitting the beach literally every second day, running and weight training together, surfing together - it's clear that with age and maturity comes many more open doors and creative ways we can spend doing things together as a family.
We are an active family and this has to be one of the most active holidays we have ever had... and nothing makes my heart happier!  That and seeing my girls finding their joy in a sport that is bringing about a real passion and determination.  I always promised myself that I will never let myself go and that I will try as much as possible keep up with my girls... physically.  Which not only forces me to keep active and young but it's also helping me stay present and connected to them!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

#InMyStudio - Diary of Faces - Signapore...

 Sharon's Example and Tutorial
I loved hearing Sharon's voice and loved Week 1!
It felt like Sharon was right in my studio with me
and it completely reminded me about our days in the Studio together in Italy!
What a treat for me!

  My progress so far...  Looking so forward to finishing my background.
I have so loved this piece... and love the sincerity in her eyes.
Thank you Sharon - so going to love this course.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

#InMyStudio - finishing pieces and ready for 2013

A little mini set of Ladies

More and deeper layers
I have been working very hard to finish some unfinished pieces so that I could have a clear easel and be ready for 2013 and my two new online courses that I have signed up for {Misty's Face to Face and Sharon's Diary of Faces P1}.
I am so thrilled that I have made progress these holidays.

I have also spent the last few days finishing tutorials from Open Studio Workshop and I have loved every minute of it.  They are such good tutorials.  And I am still learning so much.  I have been working through the ArtJournalling sections and I know I will not only use these techniques in my ArtJournals but will also be applying some of these wonderful new lessons to my canvas'.

Excited to give it a go...