Thursday, 31 December 2015

Tree hopping...

For the birthday celebrations - we decided to adventure again... this time Tree Top Hopping.

Dig booked this a while ago as a total surprise for the girls, to celebrate Cork's birthday.
It's right up her adventurous alley.  The excitement was tangible.  My nerves, edgy.
I'm glad to say my girls don't have my "fear of height" genes.
I knew once I started this Tree Top Canopy tour there was no turning back or getting down, I had to see it through.  And see it through, I did.   At times I wanted to say a choice word or two and I am not going to lie, I cried a little at one point.  Dig said I was as white as a sheet.  But all in all I made it without embarrassing myself or them.  Lurching myself of the edge of anything 30m above the ground... well I'm never gonna find that a breeze.

But putting my brave on to be with my girls - I will do that again and again.
Funny enough, after the full 10 jumps - I thought now I'm ready to go again - it got easier as I went on.  Best of all they had the best time and the view were incredible.
Both my girls... adventure junkies.

Kitty encouraging me.

Will share a video clip soon.

#1FaceADay - 365 faces and it's a wrap!

And that's a wrap!  3️6️5️ faces in 3️6️5️ days. This idea was birthed in Italy last year October in the sweetest little Italian cafe! It's been an incredible journey, not one I found easy by any stretch of the imagination but hugely rewarding and quite #lifechanging - the act of #showingup everyday in spite of yourself and life... Was a single act of courage in itself. I learnt so much! I'm truly grateful for this year, my partner in crime Anne and to all of you for being part of the journey!  Thank you a million times over for the incredible support and year! #herestonewjourneys and #newadventures for 2016! #1faceaday #365faces #teabaggirls

Birthday Girl...

Sweet #17 is her number today!!!
Sometimes I have to pinch myself that she's been part of our lives that long.  She has seriously made the last 17 years nothing short of remarkable.  We are totally besotted with our birthday girl.
And today we are totally celebrating her life.  Good and proper.
We planned this day months ago, from her gift to the day!

Watching her develop into such a beautiful young lady has blown our hearts wide open.
That in amongst the fact that this is our last Christmas with her in school.  She's about to embark on her final year of school... which is pretty much 6 months left of physical school.  Part of her birthday gift was her Driver's Licence book, she will get her temporary licence now and she will start learning to drive when we get home.  On a whole, we just wanted this birthday to stand out for her... next year this time - who knows???

We are in for a massive year ahead - we spent some time these holidays talking and planning.  I'm trying not to get totally overwhelmed but embrace what comes for all of us this coming year.
I'm excited/nervous but above all, extremely proud of this being.

This was the start of her precious day - we had more treats planned for her.
Being a New Years Eve baby isn't always easy... but today was going to be uber special.

I think this may be the sweetest little video I have ever taken.
It makes me tear up every time.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

#1FaceADay - #364 and 1 more to go...

My #1FaceADay penultimate in my #365faces series and I'm feeling a tad bit overwhelmed, deeply moved by our journey! And so grateful for the love and support we received all year long!

I can't thank you enough for that and the belief in us that we could and would do it! 

This time tomorrow I'll be sharing my last FaceADay!!!!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Incredible artistry....

Sue and Albert who own Moonshine on Whiskey Creek are incredible artists in their own right.
Maybe it's why I'm so drawn to this place, when you see creativity all around you, like you do here - it takes you right to the core of your own creativity.  And starts to pry open it's doors.

It was in this place that I dared to dream about my own creative journey, where I made plans to walk that out.  Where I dreamed of making things with my own hands and said some things out loud... and now after all the years, I can look back and say they have come to pass.

A few of our big dreams were born at Moonshine, in Beautiful Butterfly.

I highly recommend to find your own creative haven, take the time and go there to dream!

How insane is that Shower.

#1FaceADay - #353 and 2 to go...

2 more sleeps!
I absolutely love this one!
It's a quiet slow day today, just how I love it!

Monday, 28 December 2015

A big highlight of my trip...

Life Jackets on.

About to head out on our adventure...
It was around 4pm and we knew we would be getting out around sunset.
We were excited.  We didn't want to spend our anniversary in a restaurant and we didn't want it to slip by like it can sometimes, because of this crazy time of year.  I decided to book us on an adventure.
It was impromptu and it was an incredible treat... something I wanted to do for a long time.

Paddles up

We couldn't enter the Storm River Mouth via the sea, due to rough seas.
So we had to walk a kilometre with our lifejackets and paddles up.
But when we arrived we were more than ready to hit the gorge.

I can't tell you how long this has been on my bucket list to do.
Kitty and I were uber excited.
We are about to embark on our Fearless Journey this year...
putting ourselves out there and trying new things, even when it's uncomfortable.
So proud of us.

Eeeyah here we go into the gorge.
That's my girls ahead of us.  They decided to travel together.
They made a good team.

Half way up the gorge we transferred to Lilos and paddled our way deeper.
The girls were absolutely raving and so was I.
Dig was our photographer - thank goodness for his GoPro.

Doing this team building thing together was one of the best things we did all year.
It was a hard year, I'm not going to lie.  And I can't tell you how much we needed this.
Hope we get to do plenty more of these kinds of things together.

Kitty and I have come back so amped - we are ready to buy our own kayak.

#1FaceADay - #362 and 3 to go...

Today's #1FaceADay is just a quick sweet face because it is our 19th Wedding Anniversary and we booked a kayak paddle up the Storms River Gorge.  The excitement... tangible, a tad bit nervy, make no mistake! But today we are getting our brave and adventure on.

My excitement, joy and love is off the charts today!

Have a beautiful day! ❤️

Christmas day...

This year we decided as a family to go the "no gift" route.
I know in this day and age, that might seem a little strange but sometimes, it all feels a bit much.  And if we are totally honest, we actually have enough.

That, together with the fact that there was only one thing I wanted for Christmas this year and it was nothing money could buy.... {Time}.

Beautiful, sacred, precious {time}.
It's the most elusive thing in my life and it's the one thing that seems to leave us all wanting.  At times, I feel like I'm clinging to it for dear life!

For me it was about slowing it down, resting through our lunch and being together.
After our lunch, a game of badminton and a nap... We walked together for an hour and a half in this beautiful place.  The lighting was moody and breathtakingly beautiful.  Walking, talking, holding hands, capturing these moments on our lomography cameras.  At times not talking, just being.  Deeply connected! Maybe to our souls as much as to each other!

This may be one of my best Christmas' to date.  So beautifully quiet and perfectly private.  I know it's something I will never forget!

May every holiday be this kind and this gentle and this deep!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

#1FaceADay - #361 and 4 to go...

Yahooooo - just 4 little days to go.
And my excitement combined with nerves are growing.
I'm uber stressing about my last face.  I know that's silly but I want her to be special.

Digz asked me last night... "why are you so stressed about your last face... seriously after 361, now you getting nervous".  Hahaha he has a point.

But to be honest, how do you end off something so momentous on something so tiny, like a tiny teabag.    Eeeeeeck!

Saturday, 26 December 2015

#1FaceADay - #360 and 5 to go...

Happy Boxing Day.... eeeeeck only 5 to go!

The sweetest thing about these TeaBagGirls is when I have my blank gessoed bag in front of me, I almost always see a face on the canvas before I start.  The tea stains coming through the gesso usually guide me and it's a wonderful way to work.  Each new bag is a delightful surprise and where I might find a face.

Today is a beautiful day and we are heading down to the beach.

Friday, 25 December 2015

#1FaceADay - #359 and 6 to go...

My Merry Christmas Face today... Today was a gentle, beautifully quiet and an exceptionally private day.

Some of my best Christmas' have been right here at Beautiful Butterfly Cottage and today was no different.

After our wonderful lunch, we headed out for a beautiful walk on the beach... the evening, the lighting and the air was truly incredible.

A perfect way to end today!  #trulygrateful for simplicity.

Finding beauty in unlikely places...

Finding these incredible and beautiful wild flowrs everywhere.
All over the side of the roads.  They are breathtakingly beautiful.
When you look up close they are tiny buds inside tiny buds.
I'm totally in love!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

#1FaceADay - #358 and 7 to go...

We spent the whole day on the beach yesterday... and it was astounding.  I'm so loving the downtime.

Today we will allow the day to lead us.

Happy Christmas Eve.

Sending love!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

#1FaceADay - #357 and 8 to go...

Digz and Kitty headed down for a sunrise workout on the beach this morning and I got up to paint and blog.

I love these early mornings of quiet alone to think and to dwell a little on the year passed.  Its been an epic year.

Can I just say how much I'm loving time off.   I was thinking how different my #1FaceADay journey would have been for me if I wasn't heading to the office everyday.  It really wasn't easy some days.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Finally got down to the beach...

A seriously beautiful evening on the beach, just Digz and myself.
This kind of peace and quiet is exactly what we need.
Corks has some friends in town so they both popped over for a games evening.
So Digz and I had an evening to ourselves.  That's the first time that's ever happened to us on holiday.
So we had a very late lunch @ Lookout and then headed down for a long walk right up to where the lagoon and sea merge.
It was perfection!

making funny faces

One of my favorite things of all time,
big open beaches where I get to walk and talk and walk some more.
One happy girl!

#1FaceADay - #356 and 9 to go

#1FaceADay - 9 to go.

I can't tell you how excited I am to be into the single digits.  It feels kind of surreal.

We really are heading towards the finishing line.  And the anticipation is off the charts.

I feel like it's going to be a big celebration all said and done!

Monday, 21 December 2015

#1FaceADay - #355 and 10 to go

This does count as 1 face though (1 TeaBag).  I just felt I needed to do two faces together.  It definitely is tricky when they are so small, but I do love that.

I sat out on the veranda, after a glorious 2 hour nap.  It was softly raining and there was a refreshing breeze blowing.  Corks was painting her own piece, Kitty was reading and Digz was tinkering on his bike.  We even spotted our first elusive Loerie.  Very special.

Today was a perfect day of rest. #SoGrateful.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

We have arrived safely...

We arrived safely at our destination.

People often ask why we return to the same place, year after year - 
that life is too short to do the same thing and that we should try new things...

Well the truth is, our lives are all about moving, about change, about growing, about pushing harder to do things differently, to do them better.  It's ever-moving and we are busy people.  But as we opened the gates to Sweet, Sweet, Beautiful Butterfly Cottage, the excitement and joy flooded all of us at the same time, as we embraced the familiarity, the comfort of our "home away from home" - I understood perfectly why we keep coming back....

It's the promise and expectation of the beautiful memories we made here before and that we will make this time, the promise and expectation of healing and beautiful rest.  Yes, we must return to something constant, something familiar because it's in the constant that find the quiet reassurance, that everything is going to be okay.  A small part of me never wants to stop coming here because we have found something uniquely ours here.... time!

Precious, beautiful, quiet, sacred... time.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

#1FaceADay - #354 and 11 to go...

I will be sharing the last 12 of my 365Faces daily, as I count down to the end.

I've prepped and fastened down my last 12 TeaBags.

I can't tell you how excited I am as we are almost in the single digits countdown.

Sooooo exciting.

Happy holidays....

Photo Credit - Kitty.  Model - Corks.  Location - The Park.

Digz and I finished working this week.  And I can't tell you how that has made us feel.
There has been much excitement in the house.
There has been much to sort out the past two days but I'm happy to report we are all packed and ready to go.  And you know you are going to have fun, when your activity bag is bigger than your clothing bag.

This week I managed to finish all my packaging of paintings and do my final send off for the year.
It was a big job.   But it's always such a joy for me.

Thank you for all the love and support in my little shop this past week - I can't tell you how much that has meant to me.  Hope all your packages arrive soon and that they will be a real treat to you!

These beautiful two got dropped off at their foster home today, while we are away.
Saying goodbye is never easy.  We are going to miss them terribly.
As for my Sandy girl, she has been my constant companion and today she didn't leave my side.
She even sat on my chair, right behind my back while I painted... sweet girl.

Playing it forward...

I gladly donated 11 framed up prints to Susan Burgess...
"An Altruistic Art Auction for Africa" - Uganda to be specific.
Susan has been auctioning off pieces to raise money for an Art Centre for Ugandan children.
She's done incredibly well.  You can find her group on Facebook if you want to support her cause.

Thank you <3

December #1FaceADay... 12 days to go.

Some of my December #1FaceADay #365Faces
As you know, I've been doing TeaBagGirls for December.
And I have to say I'm loving them.
They are lighthearted, fun and so far have been a joy to do and they seem to have a theme to them.
Which I'm kind of enjoying.

Besides commission work with these creations, I haven't really sold any of my TeaBagGirls.
I created plenty of gifts and I eventually lost count of my #100faces.
But I've decided to list all December TeaBagGirls in my Etsy shop.

Watch this space :-)

Only 12 faces left to go until 365... yippee!

Monday, 14 December 2015

My Sweet Garden...

My sweet little garden has been looking so lovely.
And we are getting to hang there most evenings.
It's so pretty.  I have lots planned for it next year... can't wait!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Finding creativity in the busyness...

This is a rather large piece.  And doing a single face on a large canvas can be tricksy.
She's different but I am drawn to her completely.
Maybe cos she's a little quirky...

I spent the better part of today finishing pieces for my little Etsy shop.
Trimming edges, painting sides of canvas' and stocking up my shop with #1FaceADay pieces.
It was daunting - I don't think it's ever easy to put yourself out there.
But as nervous as I was, I was excited too.

Thank you to all of you who popped over to see.
And thank you to those who found something.  Thank you for sharing the love.

Friday, 11 December 2015

It survived the firing...

I love where the Clay Studio is situated.
It's at an old Convent School where the Nun's still serve.
They have this beautiful garden cemetery for the passed Nuns and I just needed the peace of that space this morning.  The quiet was tangible and it was beautiful.

And this image reminded me so of Orvieto.

Oh yes, I'm happy to say my beautiful platter survived the kiln.
And I'm so grateful that I have a new platter to replace my broken one.
And of course, I'm utterly in love with the Cornflowr Blue.