Tuesday, 30 June 2015

MidYear check in.... #1FaceaDay

June is a wrap!
A few times this month I felt like I wasn't going to make it with my #1FaceaDay.
I'm not one to give up on a challenge or throw in the towel but some days to motivate myself to show up wasn't easy.  The fact that I'm doing it with Annetolie has been a lifesaver, more than she knows.  Seeing her images everyday - has helped keep me focused on days when my attention was waning.

Maybe because it was a tough demanding month with much going on...
Exams, results, play rehearsals which meant late night pick ups and the list goes on.
I also started training my work replacement this month... together with yearly audits at the office etc etc... all in all it's been good but jammed packed.
Also going away for 10 days takes much orchestrating...

That being said - I'm happy to report that I survived June and my #1FaceaDay
181 faces and 6 months in, with 6 months to go... I'm present!
And I'm HERE!

Some close up of my last few days of June!
Even though I found June a challenge - I did some pieces that made me insanely happy!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

#InMyStudio - AntlerGirl... at last.

For the past year - I have wanted to try this.
Paint a lady with Antlers.
I don't know why I procrastinated on it.
I guess I was finally ready.  And I have to say I'm totally in love.
I still have a ways to go and I know I want to do something creative with this...

Not sure how I will go yet and I can't wait to do and share more but so far... I'm stoked!

Most of the work I did #InMyStudio this weekend was working on tidying up my blog and catching up a little on Project 40 and continue with #1FaceaDay.  I was quite keen to finish unfinished pieces but I didn't get there... but I know I will.

I had mountains of washing and wet washing because it was so cold this week, monthly shopping together with starting to put things aside for our road trip... yup we have 5 more sleeps until we head out... let the packing begin!

We still have much to get through this coming week... much grace is needed!

Friday, 26 June 2015

FridaySelfie... it's been a while

Who do you find in the dark recesses?

I'm not always proud of who I find there or know there.
I know it will be my forever true work in progress.
And I hope it will be a journey that one day I will have peace with.
And be proud of.
The quintessence* of my true work and true self.

I know I can't do it alone.

#Project40 - Darkness #24

*{the aspect of something regarded as the intrinsic and central constituent of it's character
 / the most perfect example of quality}

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

#InMyStudio - Sleeping Beauties

Three Sleeping Beauties
I was looking at this piece (below) and I thought we were finished.
But the more I looked at it, the more I knew it was lacking something.
The idea came to me to put lace cappies on these sweet girls.
I love the essence of three, their unity and I loved their tenderness.
But something was missing....

I guess I had nothing to loose... so I started playing.
And I'm soooo thrilled I did.  I love the lace sleeping caps.
And the lace around their necks.  I've used this lace before on some of my paintings.
It is inspiration I got from a piece of lace I had left of my grans.
Again sweet reminders of my childhood... 

This change seems to have made these 3 so much more gentler, tender and more endearing.
And I'm completely in love.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Weekly News... in pictures...

Winter means cold snugly sleepy furr babies.
They suffer in winter, especially Riley because he's so lean.
Oh man look at those eyes.

Still baking low carb treats and options.
Especially for the lunch boxes.  Sunday morning was baking day!
The girls are loving it.  My new low carb book arrives soon.

The girls tucked in - veggie pizza with cali base.

Savory Muffins

2 eggs, 1 cup of grated cheese
1 tablespoon pysllium husks and bacon diced up.
Spoon into muffin trays.  Bake for 20 mins.
Yummy healthy treat.

Corks did her first school league cross country mtb bike race this weekend.
It was tough going and she had to ride in a slightly higher age group.
But she did well.  She came second in her age group and won a spot on the podium, together with some sweet prizes.
A wonderful boost to her bike confidence.  So proud of her!!!
She's so beautiful on the bike.  #ProudMommaMoments

This weekend I managed to find this French Shabby Chic wardrobe on GumTree... :-)
And she fits in so well in our little old house.
These holidays, I'll be heading into Woodstock to pick up old doors and will start the journey of fixing cupboard doors.
Quite excited!

A quick coffee @ The Dogs Bollocks
This week I started training my replacement but we started off here.
A sweet treat!  Digz and I need to have a date here soon.
Apparently the best burgers in town!

This Friday past was movie night.
We were desperate to be home after weeks of exams and Grade 11 concert practice.
I put my foot down this Friday about being home!
We stumbled across McFarland USA - what a delightful story.
I was crying and laughing - what an incredible feel good movie.
I've ordered a copy for my Pops - he was our running coach and I know he will love this true story.
It sure did bring back lots of memories of my running childhood.

Funny enough on Monday morning, quite coincidently my Momma and Pops sent me this image of me running when I was 12.
I guess they too were walking down memory lane.
#nolaughing #longrunninglegs
My girls loved the pictures and thought I was so precious!  Enough for me!

Precious captures.
It's getting harder and harder to get these gems.
The joys of living with teenagers - but this one - took my breath away! 

So I've joined up with this wonderful group of woman, once a month,
to do something creative, together... the first month we got to play with paperclay.
Last week we joined up to expressively play with paint.
I have to say I didn't use a brush but just used water and my hands and I loved it.
No control... just play!  Stunning woman!  Gentle time.  So good for me to get out and play creatively.  A positive step for me.

All n all - I had a good week.
Exams and results are behind us.  I sent off all my packages timeously.
I'm up to date with 1FaceaDay and I have a sense of calm about it.
I finished my Art Entwined tutorials and now I start of journey of making notes and working through the assignments - a huge accomplishment for me.  Got some time #InMyStudio.  Made the most of my extra hours at home.  Feeling encouraged.

As for now, we have a few more days left of this term and we heading into a longish winter holiday and our road trip... 
We are beside ourselves about it!  And seriously counting down the sleeps!
Yay - can't believe we are half way through this year already.
It's been crazy, intense, emotional and full on!!!

Hoping for a gentler second half.  And no better way than starting that off with a holiday!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

What a find... Vivian Maier

 So my sweet friend, Amina shared a post on my FB wall about this little treasure.  I watched the trailer and I was so intrigued, I bought the documentary immediately and I was completely blow away by this story, her story but more so her art.  Wow.  What an interesting find....

Her images are powerful and I adore her camera.  What I would give for a camera like that.  But the other thing that blew me away, were her selfies.  We are in the age of selfies but hers were way before her time.  It's as if they were taken for now, for this time... like she knew that.

This absolutely tickled me pink.  From recording voice messages about things happening in and around her.  To taking little video clips to the most powerful images of others and of herself.

Has it inspired me?   Beyond words.  A reminder to live this life, not missing everything... about taking the time to steal moments, to see and to take it all in and to record history.  To tell a story... what is more powerful than an imagery story.  And since I have budding young photographers in our midst - I know they will love this too.  Highly recommend!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

#InMyStudio.... Embracing Job's Tears...

Embracing Job's Tears
I can't tell you how I loved doing this piece.
We happily journeyed together for a good few days and that hand... 2 days solid.
We worked, reworked and reworked.
I studied other artists hands to guide me and eventually it came right....
The slightly elongated fingers... love.
The beautiful Job's Tears beads are my favorite beads of all time.
They remind me so much of my beautiful Momma and my childhood.

After Corks showed me how to paint beads - I love doing them and watching them come alive.
Painting this piece made my heart sing and I remember why I love this so.
Seeing all the lessons come together from all the years was pretty joyous.
I can't tell you how grateful I am for all the teachings.
I'm longing to do more....

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

#InMyKitchen... Cauliflower base pizza

How beautiful is this pizza.
And the best part of this pizza is that there is absolutely no bread here.
It's a Cauliflower base.

I got this recipe from Tim Noakes (Banting) and Suzelle DIY (both on Facebook).
I can't tell you how excited I am to have alternatives and be able to enjoy a meal with everyone else.

Here goes....



1 head of Cauliflower, lightly blended (to look like cauli rice)
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon of Psyllium Husks
Herbs of your choice (I used salt and pepper)
1 Cup of Mozzarella cheese


Place your mildly blended Cauliflower in the microwave for 4 minutes
Place the cooked Cauliflower into a clean dish towel and squeeze out the water
Mix in the rest of your ingredients and make into a dough ball
Put a sheet of wax paper on your baking tray and smear olive oil over
Spread your Cauli-dough ball out into the shape of your pizza as in image 1.
Place in a preheated oven for about 20 mins.

Once your base is cooked, add your own pizza toppings as in image 2.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Sunday Creative Play - playing catch up with life...

I would love to say that my #1FaceADay has been plain sailing but it hasn't been.
The purpose of this project for me, was about showing up daily.
I try my best to show up most days to paint and I do.
If not for #1FaceADay, for class or just for paintings I'm working on in general.
Sometimes something has to give but I'm doing my best.

I didn't have a great painting week.  I needed to do something to give me a boost.
I woke up, knowing exactly how to move forward.

I cut a bunch of canvas paper pieces and I taped them down.
I was feeling encouraged and inspired.

Two years ago Misty encouraged us to do this in the Face2FaceWorkshop for homework.
I created a long stabilo pencil and I drew these as continuous line drawings... 
holding my pencil at the back end.  Some are pretty scary.... eeeeck.

I started adding white and blending with my stabilo marks before I added color.
I didn't find it by any means easy.  It was messy and the surface was difficult.
But it was good to push through with many layers of paint.

Taping down the cards - left a lovely white boarder around each piece.
I have to say I am loving this set of cards.

I'm glad to say I'm back up to date with life.
I felt out of sorts this past week with my routine and staying on top of life, in general.
But hoping for good things this coming week in terms of managing my time.

#InMyStudio - FingerPainting for #1FaceADay

Last term when Corks was doing Portraiture at school.
She had to do a painting with her fingers and she encouraged me to do one.
I said yes, but didn't and kind of forgot about it.
  But Jenny reminded me about it because she was doing it too.

I decided to do it for my #1FaceaDay for today.
I have to say I really loved it... I really did feel like a kid.
It felt a little out of control - but it was good.
When I was finished - I used my stabilo to bring in some outlines.

Definitely would like to try this again... 
Once again being reminded that playing is good for the soul and the artist.

Friday, 12 June 2015

#InMyStudio... expressive play

Playing expressively...
I must say I really enjoyed playing like this.
The beautiful colors and the red.
Happy Friday...

Thursday, 11 June 2015

The story behind my beautiful little cards...

The story behind these beautiful little signature cards of mine - I bought them, among some other treats from the most interesting historian, Lamberto in Orvieto.  He has an old fashioned printing press.  He told us about the history of paper, his printing press, etching and also marbling paper.  And shares the most incredible stories about Orvieto.

We had a demonstration in his cave like studio - the stories that lie in that place, etched on the walls and ceiling... enough to make your toes curl.  It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip last year and we spent the better part of the morning with him.  Annie, John and myself lingered longer because his stories were so amazing.  Each piece of art we found had a story of it's own.

Well I couldn't resist these tiny beautiful cards - I hesitated for a moment because they were a bit pricey.  But I now include these hand printed press cards in all my parcels that I send out.  Just a sweet touch of beauty to me.  They mean so much to me.  I write little messages on the back.  But my little stack was dwindling and I was getting worried.

This past month Bill and Kristin were in Orvieto and on their last few days there, I plucked up the courage to ask them if they would mind getting me another box. 

They sent me such a beautiful note....

We just popped into Lamberto's shop to ask him about your cards.
He is going to go look in the studio.
We will let you know if he has any left. They are beautiful! Xo

Ciao! Just picked up a sweet box of cards from Lamberto.
We will put them in the post to you as soon as we get home.
He is so nice....good vibes all around with these dear cards. Xoxo

Oh my goodness - I'm dying to hear more about that story.
And I can't wait for my precious cards to arrive.
Are you kidding - I am so in love with the story behind this.
A beautiful touch to my week - thanks Bill and Kristin.

These are some of the wonderful treats I walked away with from Lamberto's studio - an image of Yates on his death bed (a beautiful story behind that image) and a beautiful image of Orvieto - both I still need to get framed.  To me - sacred treasures that I will always hold so dear.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Beautiful CherryBlossoms #InMyStudio....

20"x30" CherryBlossoms on Canvas Board
I started this one in the week while I was waiting for my Scarlet Thread piece to dry.
And after spending the day in Hermanus with sweet Annie, Amina and Corks - I knew when I got home I wasn't going to delay getting into my studio.

What a joy to work on this Mixed Media - I think I might be in a little collage mixed media mood.
As I've said many times before... it's a beautiful place for me to linger and play.
I always find delightful surprises there...
Long may I be surprised and find joy in this place.

I love the theme of three.
But I think this might be one of my favourite threes I've done.

#InMyKitchen.... A beautiful banting bread loaf...

1 Cup (100g) of almond flour
1 Cup of mixed seeds and nuts
(I use linseeds, sunflowr seeds, sesame seeds, almond shavings, 
pumpkin seeds - basically any nuts or seeds)
60ml of Psyllium husks
10ml baking powder
half a teaspoon of salt
6 eggs
1 cup of double cream yoghurt

Seeds / nuts for sprinkling on top.

Mix all the dry ingredients together
Lightly beat the eggs and add it to the mixture
Add the yoghurt and mix well.
If you are lactose intolerant - you can use goats/sheep's milk yoghurt instead.
Spoon into a loaf tin
Sprinkle seeds / nuts on top
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and bake for 55mins.

Enjoy your gluten free, wheat free bread.
It's beautiful.

Friday, 5 June 2015

The Scarlet Thread - the tread that connects us...

The Scarlet Tread - the tread that connects us...
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this piece... 

I feel this piece is a patchwork of paint and ephemera as much as a patchwork of influence and gifts from fellow artists.. the lessons from Misty through the years, her gifts of ephemera.
The red thread inspiration from Robin Laws and Sharon Tomlinson and my old art teacher Johan.
The beautiful butterfly washi tape from Renee Plains from a gift I received from her this week.
It feel this is a collaboration - bits taken from here and inspiration from there.
I'm soooo grateful for the wonderful online community that I have had the privilege of being part of for the past few years.  And I think this piece is a real representative of that.
That feels like her story!

I chose quite a biggish canvas to play on... so I had lots of spaces, as you can see.
But I knew when I started to add the paint I would feel better about that.

And I did.
But I felt like it was missing something.  The arms felt flat and so did the background.
Playing with ephemera, I added some more birds.  I worked on the arms and made the dress darker.
But still I felt it was missing something....

I always put my pieces up in front of me and I study them and wait for ideas to come.
I fell asleep by the fireplace and when I woke up I knew how to finish her....

With a scarlet thread... ♥♥♥

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Guess who got mail....

I have no words right now.  I can't believe it's finally here.  This incredible parcel took almost 7 months to reach me.  And I still can't believe it arrived.  I ordered these two pieces from my dear sweet Friend Renee last year but we had both given up hope that it would ever arrive.

I am thinking our postal dilemma is being worked through... receiving this parcel this week has given me much hope.

Which means too things... I can start receiving mail again and start collecting pieces and supporting fellow artists again.  Something I love doing.

Totally overjoyed this side of the world.

As for my incredible parcel - I'm blown away by everything Renee does.  The piece at the back stole my heart and seeing her in real life - took my breath away.  I'm so grateful that these pieces were not lost to me or the world.  Thank you dear friend.  Sacred treasures.