Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Journeying back to health...

My folks introduced me to a program called Metabolic Balancing which you work through together with a physician.   After a full blood tests that covers 27 different things.  The results were sent to Sweden for food pairing etc.  My results came back quite interesting... 

The way I did food would have to change forever... No more cow's diary and no wheat whatsoever.  No nuts, seeds or berries.  A very limited non-acidic fruits and vegetables regime.  My selection of meats aren't bad and I can have any kind of seafood under the sun.  At first I was shocked at my rather limited selection of food that I felt a bit down about it.  Changing my lifestyle after 40 years wasn't going to be easy... shifting mindsets and my perspectives.

But after a very encouraging chat with a friend whose diet changed in quite a similar way - encouraged me that the changers changed her life for the better and health-wise she had never felt better.  So I dived right in because after all it was the improved health I was looking for.  I wouldn't exactly say I've been sickly... but just had insidious things plaguing me.  Well the results have been instantaneous... in the 4 areas that have plagued me for years... my nasal, stomach and skin.  And my weight of course... All of which I have seen a vast improvement in.  I'm happy to say that I have managed to shed 15 pounds in the process.  And I'm feeling really good.

Now this is my only treat... a Soya Latte, one a day if I am lucky.  It's the highlight of my day and it really does makes me happy knowing I'm going to have one.  I guess it's come down to that - just enjoying the small things again.  And knowing it's enough.

I feel like for the first time in absolute years that I've found something that makes perfect sense to me and has given me some definitive answers. I do believe I will be on this program for a long time to see the full health benefits.

I know this for sure... I will never have cow's diary in my life again or wheat.  And I'm grateful that I have alternatives... like soya and others.  My parents are goat diary farmers - so I have great options there too.  I feel like I have changed something deep inside of me... It's been on my heart for awhile to "journey back to health" and I do believe I'm on the right path.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Growing up...

When I see my girls like this... I have to catch my breath...

They are getting so big and are so beautiful.
Corks is taller than me now (don't tell her I'm admitting that out loud) 
and next year my baby girl becomes a teenager.
The older they are getting the closer they are becoming and I love that.

After a bit of an emotional chat on Instagram with a buddy - it reminded me that in 3.5 years time my big girl too goes off to University...  We are already starting to take steps in that direction.  Last week she did her aptitude tests to help narrow down her subject choices.  She was at the University the other day for a Maths tournament and got the vibe of the Campus... and instantly fell in love with it...
I guess when you can taste and smell your future that's pretty exciting!

Don't get me wrong, I am so proud of who they are and who they are becoming... in every way.
I am as excited as they are at the life and possibilities ahead of them.
But right now, all I want to do is throw on the brakes.
 I live everyday knowing that in so many ways they are surpassing me... in their youth.  their beauty. their knowledge to the new world we are living in... and no matter how hard I vow to stay connected and relevant and for the most part I am.

There will come a time when the divide will be too big to bridge.
And sometimes - it freaks me out.

I love my life with them and I love and value each precious moment we have together and I take none of it for granted.  Even in the mundane of waiting for cross country to finish for the pick up and the chat all the way home... to painting sets for the school concert.
Or just being around for studying and exams etc.
There is a lot to be said for just being HERE in the now and in the current moment!
And long may it last!


Sunday, 28 April 2013

#InMyStudio - A Serious #EvolutionOfaPainting

This was my first painting on this canvas....

This was my second painting on this canvas...
I did the Mermaid while I was on Jane Davenport's Supply Me online class...
When I started my journey of painting faces...
I haven't been happy with her for ages now! I knew I had to try fix her!

I woke up at 4am this morning with this girl on my mind... and how I was going to try fix this.
I thought if I can't rescue her face... it's time for that bonfire.
I decided to use my OilPastels because it's quick and easy to see if I
could salvage this piece once and for all.

I am so much happier with her now...
Feel quite excited because this really shows my growth!
Encouraged to keep going!

I am in love with her green eyes.
Not great lighting - but this gives you a better indication of her size.
So thrilled I was able to save her.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

#InMyStudio... The collage becomes a painting!

9" x 12" Mixed Media on 100% WaterColor Paper - "Butterfly Dreams"

I know, what a transformation... I think I shocked myself.

I loved this piece in it's original state but whenever I looked at it, I thought to myself, she isn't finished.  But how do I change it or bring it together to feel complete.
All I can say is I didn't picture this at all.
And I wish I could say I planned it to turn out like this.
This really is an #evolutionofacollage

It just kind of happened, I started on her face and just kept moving down onto her dress and so on... And this is where I ended up!

I love the little blue butterfly on a string.

I still can't believe this is crayons.
I am loving discovering new mediums!
Feel like a kid again!

#InMyStudio... #Evolutionofacollage

So today when I was housebound with no power due to maintenance they were doing in our street.  I started going through some pieces of art that still need to be framed up when I stumbled across this unfinished piece... My collaboration with Sharon Tomilson.  I can't believe I still hadn't finished this piece.

When I was in Italy last year, I asked Misty to demonstrate her wonderful backgrounds... I created this background.  Almost everyone had left Orvieto and on this specific day, it was just Sharon and myself left in the Studio.  

Sharon generously shared how to use napkins with me (the wings).  And if I'm not mistaken she pencil drew in the lady and suggest we make this piece a collaboration... Well I already loved this piece... This is how I brought it home.

When I got home... I started my part of this collaboration...  Rather than try paint in a face with my own hand, I used some ephemera pieces that Misty shared with us in Italy.  I love how her face is turned but I didn't have the courage to take this piece any further.  But I guess timing is everything...

The past 2 or 3 weeks I have been playing and discovering new mediums and this weekend past, I really played and experimented with my NeoColors... the success I had with my OilPastels gave me a better insight how to use this new little sticks of delightful color.

So today, I thought "what the hell - I'm going to just go for it and if I completely ruin it completely, then I ruin it!"  I grabbed my NeoColors and just started playing with it and it just started coming together.  I think the NeoColor crayon colors were just perfect for the colors that I had used in this background!

9" x 12" Mixed Media on 100% WaterColor paper
She's pretty special to me... I've decided to call her Sharon

Thursday, 18 April 2013

#InMyStudio... More playing with my Oil Sticks

I had some old paintings lying around... some I thought were finished and others I knew weren't but wasn't sure what to do with them or if I had a desire to move forward with them...
I was starting to think, it's almost time for a bonfire.

Although Emily Moon always had a nice feel about her - she was just so flat.
What a difference... I love her much more now...  
My hubby thinks she's the best I've ever done.  I can live with that!

This is my interpretation of CHEN from a Diary of Faces...
I loved her face before and the sincerity in her eyes but I only did one layer of paint and she wasn't finished.  She is so much more finished now and has such a renaissance painting feel to her... which I just adore!

This is my self portrait assignment I did when I came back from Italy.
I did like this piece... except now looking back at this piece it too has been lacking depth and shape... and again was completely "flat".

It's the main thing I have been concentrating on lately,
on how to give my faces more depth and perspective...

When I look back at some of these pieces... it's like I am afraid to really put down thick paint.  Misty's loosening up exercise is changing me... me thinks!

Wow - I have found it hard to move between mediums and but this discovery has been such a delightful surprise for me!  It is loose, easy, fun and delightfully messy.
And leaves each piece with an incredibly rich creamy feel!

#InMyStudio... Heavenly Sticks

So a few weeks back, Skye from the Italian Art shop imported in some beautiful Sennelier Oil Pastels for me... Misty did a tutorial using them... I thought it would be a good thing to have even though I wasn't sure about actually using them.  I took them with me on holiday but didn't have the courage to use them.

When I was on holiday, I did a postcard that I wasn't happy with so I thought i would just experiment on it with the oil pastels.  And I was quite thrilled with out they worked out... and it was rather fun too....

I had so much fun...  I drew up 6 more postcards... my send out list is certainly growing...

You've got mail.... another beautiful postcard

I can't believe I got another beautiful postcard today from my sweet friend, Betty!  And what a beauty she is... I love the colors and it reminded me that I need to use more RED.
So beautiful Betty!

Sweet Betty also included some exquisite napkins for me... I am so loving my art community!!!  There is such a spirit of generosity and kindness.  It just keeps blowing me away.

Monday, 15 April 2013

I'm a sucker for a beautiful Bag!

As you know, I no longer have a bag issue... although I love to look, I don't indulge anymore...
well just every couple of years I do... and that's what this one was about.
In case I need a justification... it's still my 40th all year long! :-)

After a long 6 weeks wait with post office issues etc... 
my long awaited bag finally arrived.
And I have to say the package was so beautiful!  It's a beautifully handmade bag and the quality is stunning!  I think I will love it for sure.
It definitely has a winter feel to it!  Just in the nick of time too!

She's beautiful - Jeanne Oliver Designs

#InMyStudio - Postcard swap continues...

Both Misty and Alissa received their postcards from me...
so I'm thrilled to share them here.
I called them Maria and Summer.
What fun...

I received two new postcards in the post today too...

I so can't wait to frame up all my postcards....
I have the perfect space for them right above my Studio Desk.
I can't wait to get them up!

I have some work to do to continue my postcard send outs!!!

My list is growing!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

All work and no play...

The price we pay for being away on holiday.... means I came home to a truck load of washing and ironing.  And lots of work to catch up on.  And I've committed myself to not sneaking to the canvas' that are calling my name until I'm up to date...
Happy to say my washing is back on track!
I'm almost there.

This weekend I started my detox program and I have to say it wasn't pretty.
After some blood works it's been established that I'm no longer to have cow's dairy of any kind and bread is out.  I am funny enough okay about the milk side of things but cheese is a bit ouchie and so is bread... I love bread... who doesn't.
I am allowed 100% whole rye... just not yet.
I am on the strict schedule for the next two weeks - but it's manageable.
I'm already in love with my new Soya Latte.
I'm already starting to feel the effects of my changed lifestyle.

Whenever we come back from Moonshine we are reminded about simplicity.  And it is totally in the simplicity of the lifestyle there that completely feeds our souls... I've come back renewed to still further simplify.  So this quiet weekend while I was detoxing and catching up with life, that's what I spent my time doing.  Spring cleaning and clearing out.  Being ruthless and unattached to things that need to move on.  It was so good and it's totally cleared my mind and spirit.  I also spent some time re-arranging some furniture to better suit our current lifestyles.  The girls are doing so much PC work for homework and assignments - I set up a space that is easy and fully functional for them.  My studio also had a bit of a move around and I'm totally in love with my new space.  And it's close to the family.

~ I'm so stoked with my new space - it just feels so right ~

Can you see all my canvas' waiting for me ???
I'm hoping to steal some time in the mornings and hoping by Wednesday to be back on track!!!
I have some postcards and commissions waiting for me.

Monday, 8 April 2013

You've got Mail...

Today I did a mail run after being away for a while and I was delighted to discover these two beautiful postcards from my fellow ClassMates from Face to Face.

The first PostCard is from Annie Hamman, Johannesburg.  And the second PostCard is from Lucy Cooke, California.  Both ladies left such a beautiful message at the back of their PostCards for me and I am so touched by this gesture!  I know they will both frame up beautifully!

So excited!

I have only completed 4 PostCards so far... two I have sent out and two I left as gifts at our holiday place.  So now that I am back home - 
I will get cracking with some more cards!
I now have two people on my list to send to... 
I was wondering how I was going to select, but this is a great start!
I have six PostCards drawn up and ready for painting!
I have decided to start out any painting session with warming up with a PostCard!

You can follow my PostsCard Project on my website...
I am so in love with this concept of sending out free mini pieces of art... that I created
a specific page for it on my website... as it will be something I continue to do!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Beautiful Butterfly, precious moments, beautiful days... best time ever!

We arrived in Plett to winter.  It was cold and wet and I was delighted... I just knew we would have rain so my heart was prepared.  In many ways I was grateful.  I knew it meant - forced rest... which was high on our priority list.  There is no TV, no signal... so it's just the simplicity!!!

I think it's the first time in my life, I gave myself permission to have no agenda, no plans.  I didn't force myself to get up early to write morning pages - we slept late everyday.  I realized how hard I am on myself to work hard, stick to schedules even when we are on holiday.  But I broke all my rules this time.  I read a book... something I haven't done for years because I usually feel too guilty!  I napped everyday too!  Maybe it has something to do with getting older...  but whatever it is I can't fully explain it but I think this might be our absolutely best holiday yet... We absolutely love going to Moonshine on Whiskey Creek - it's our spot!  But this time topped all our previous visits... didn't know that was possible. It was precious.

We didn't do anything momentous, except just be... and truly value our beautiful surrounds and each other!!!

I couldn't have asked for a better time... We laughed a lot.  The girls played a lot.  Every night we sat around the fire... reading, chatting, playing games... connecting!  If we went out in the morning - we relaxed in the afternoon.  We shared slow meals together and the girls were happy!!!  We got our beach days and caught our last moments of summer... surfing, a 2 hour badminton match between Corks and myself.  We had our fav beach to ourselves and spent the whole day there until sunset - the most incredible day of our trip!  Albert and Sue, our hosts were amazing, as usual and we got to play several games of pool with them... a huge highlight of this trip.  Their girls and our girls also had time to re-connect too.  

It had been a long time since we have been on leave and I'm not taking one bit of this trip or time for granted.   With Corks being almost 15 and Kitty on the brink of becoming a teenager - we know our next trip might be completely different...  Trusting it will still be special but different all the same!

Just some picture glimpses of our trip...

Jolly Jammers - who knew something
so simple could bring us such joy!
Holiday Treat of note!
My Hippie Child
Both girls got a homemade
Bow and Arrow (with a blunt Nib)
Such a simple toy but such joy!

 I love these shots of the girls - I believe both capture an essence of who they are!

Holiday Finds

Beautiful wooden hearts for gifts for some people that I'm busy putting gifts together for
and this 1913 book with exquisite pages for a new ArtJournal...
But I would like to read it first!

#WhataFind - total spend $8 - it really is in the simple things!

The mermaid was a gift from Albert and Sue...
For my dream shower one day.... I dream of a Moonshine Shower!
I have vowed that one day I will have a shower like this!

 The most incredible shower experience ever... 
You eyes keep finding new pieces of art!

My Dream Catcher
We read this on FB one evening that one of my friends
shared and it made me and the girls laugh so much
We were crying!!! It started a ridiculous conversation and 

it has become such a joke between us!

Our scene every night!

~ Magnificent Beaches and Views ~

Beach Walking - my fav thing to do!

Who wouldn't love to walk these beaches... 
The whole week the skies, seas and beaches were breathtaking!!

We have come home with full, content and happy hearts!
It's always sad when something so precious comes to an end,
but we know we have to get back to life as we know it.
For now... we continue to dream of when we can
 get to go back to our special happy place.