Saturday 31 January 2009

january photo a day - 31st - following a trail

today is the last day of the january photo-a-day challenge. i've had so much fun and it's been great seen everyone else's photos too. i'm looking forward to continuing on with the photo-a-week challenge. you can check out the link in my sidebar if you are interested in joining us.

i had no idea what to photograph today but i did manage something after picking up the familiar trail of one of the creatures who live here.

be warned....the following photos are not for the faint-hearted

this pile of clothes spilled out of that person's bedroom into the dining room....

i followed the messy trail in here....

hmmmmmm.....that bed looks familiar...

and here we have the culprit and quite proud of himself too....he has no shame!

to be fair, reece had tidied his desk up at this stage but it did take him all day to clean his room. not because there was so much mess but because reece felt the need to have a 30 minute break every 15 minutes or so. as mentioned in an earlier post, reece detests housework so will find lots of excuses to have 'necessary' breaks. lol

Friday 30 January 2009

january photo a day - the twins

beau commissioned my good friend, romona, to make these dolls for him and they arrived all the way from canada today. beau gave romona the specifics on what colours and animal print he wanted etc. and she did a great job, don't you think?!! as beau is gifting a doll to someone, i don't want to say too much more in case they happen across my blog so will fill you in at a later date.
click on image to enlarge


as we have all enjoyed the january photo-a-day challenge so much, linda, has decided that from february we will continue the challenge with my-world-in-a-photo-a-week for the year. all you need do is take one photo a week of something in your corner of the world and post it every monday. if you are interested in participating, click here to check out the details and add your name to the list.

Thursday 29 January 2009

photo a day & 12 secrets book club


family collage created by michelle and beau. it lives on my fridge for all to see.
click on image to enlarge

starting with my only daughter, michelle, who is such an inspiration to me. a girl who has never sewn a day in her life yet she started making, from scratch, the most gorgeous rag dolls in the later part of last year. you see, michelle found herself unable to work in the corporate world due to injuries she sustained in a car accident at the very end of 2007, however, she woke up one morning and said she had a dream about making dolls and so she did. how cool is that?! michelle also is a talented artist and i think she's planning on getting back into that too.

next, there is aaron, my youngest, who just started grade five at school. he is my constant companion and is a great help to me. we do a lot of stuff together such as, crafting, painting, photography outings, animal crusades, gardening, shopping, etc.....needless to say he gets spoiled rotten by all of us.

then there is me......well, you know about me already so i won't bore you with any more details.

next is bradley who, in the picture, appears to be wearing a rather large, old-fashioned wig which is, in fact, a set of headphones. lol you see, brad LOVES music hence the little music notes rising above his head. brad has been legally blind and hearing impaired since birth but that doesn't stop him playing the electronic keyboards or being a bit of a computer whizz. he really knows his stuff.

then comes beau who, most times, stands with the foot of one leg firmly anchored against the knee of his other leg. funny thing is that i used to stand that exact same way in my teen years. lol beau is a manager at 'target' but is also a keen photographer and artist who works mostly in coloured pencil, graphite and, most recently, pastels. he creates from his emotions and his work is amazing! beau loves animals and music too. he recently bought himself an electric guitar and has a classical guitar on order. i don't know if my poor ear drums will be quite ready for the onslaught. lol

then there is reece who, as my regular readers will already know, is big into fitness and personal training....hence the weights in his hands and, of course, the big muscles depicted on his arms. lol i forget what the big hat was supposed to symbolise. reece isn't too bad at drawing and he's a natural when it comes to playing guitar. when he first bought his guitar a year ago, i showed him the basic chords and, by the end of that week, he had taught himself, with brad's help, to play notes and songs.

lastly, is alex....michelle's de facto boyfriend. they have been together for four years and are perfectly suited. he has been a tower of strength for michelle since her accident and he fits into our family perfectly. alex likes surfing and, in the pic, is racing to the beach with surfboard in hand. i love how beau depicted alex with his hair blowing in the wind.

so, there you have family. poor cody, my dog, was not included but, rest assured, he is a much loved member of the family too.



i found this chapter a little hard to get into but, after reading some of the other '12 secret' blogger posts, i'm relieved to see that i wasn't the only one.

this secret/chapter speaks of taking risks, following our creative intuition, developing staying power and listening to our hearts.

as i turn 50 in march, i can look back and see that i've taken some life-changing risks along the way and, while those risks may not have worked out at the time (mainly concerning relationships), i feel they helped to bring me to where i am today. i've been happily divorced for 9 years, i have a loving and close relationship with all five of my kids and, because i stay home and care for my oldest son, bradley, i am able to paint and craft when i can. yes, money is tight but we're happy.

as far as following my creative intuition.....well, i'm torn because i feel myself being pulled in different directions. my skills lie in realism animal art which i love and will always love, however, in the past year i have found myself feeling drawn more and more towards the world of mixed media art. this area is very new to me as i'm used to having reference images to work from but i'm loving it. i hear some artists say that we need to each find our own special niche and focus solely on that.....e.g. if you're an animal artist, specialise by only painting animals. i love realism animal art but i am also loving the new experience with mixed media art. starting with a blank canvas and having absolutely no idea where it's going to end up is a freeing experience for me. these are two very different styles of art. do i sacrifice one for the sake of the other or is it possible to enjoy both at the same time? do i harm my fine detail skills if i loosen up too much for the mixed media art? things to think about but why not enjoy both if i can?

yet another decision i'm currently facing is that i have recently been asked to draw up some 'australian aboriginal' portrait samples for an 'aboriginal art dealer' with the possibility that it may well bring me some paid work. while i'm fairly confident that i would be capable of portraiture, i've never felt the desire to be a portrait artist. my heart says no to this offer but my head is thinking...well it's money too.

i guess i'm a little selfish in wanting to follow my own desires. i'm not so sure i see this offer as an opportunity after having made the 'money' mistake once before when i took up teaching art because it conveniently crossed my path one day. teaching was something i never felt drawn to but i figured it crossed my path for a reason and i thought it would help a little on the financial side of things. i ended up resenting the teaching because it kept me away from my own art time and i ended up feeling suffocated. i was designing subject matter solely for what others wanted to paint, all the time yearning to paint the things i wanted to paint. after five years of teaching, i felt immense relief last year when i made the decision to stop teaching altogether.

so, do i choose this 'portraiture' path that i'm not feeling drawn to at all or do i heed my heart and follow my fascinations instead?

Wednesday 28 January 2009

january photo a day - meet bess!

this morning, i was busy catching up with blogs and, in the afternoon, i was busy painting in the studio, followed by dinner preparations, then clean up. before i knew it, it was 8:30 PM and i realised i hadn't taken a photo yet for the january challenge...YIKES! i roamed the house looking for a victim and.. she be

meet bess
click on image to enlarge

i do apologise for the poor quality was taken without a flash in a poorly lit area. i tried the flash but that made her look like she had 'deer in the headlight eyes'. i promise to take a better photo of her soon.

'bess' came into my life when i was only 9 months old so, obviously, i didn't have anything to do with the naming of her. bess was made in england and has the word 'RODDY' imprinted at the back of her head. she is 17" in height. i did a little research a while ago and it seems 'RODDY' dolls were made in the 1950's and are now classified as 'vintage'. she has a hard, plastic body with a soft rubber head.....when you squeeze her head, she squeaks. she has sleepy eyes too which means they close when you lie her down and open when you stand her up. she's lost a bit of hair around the forehead and, it may be a little hard to see but, her tootsies are a little worse for wear too. you see, when i was still just a toddler, one of our german shepherd dogs decided to try and eat bess. thankfully, she was saved from the jaws of death just in the nick of time. to be honest, i really don't know what it is about bess that i loved so much to have kept her close to me all these years.....i mean, check out that garish yellow hair!!! i know i had much prettier dolls that have come and gone yet bess has always remained the constant in my life. my faithful companion through my childhood years, my teen years and my adult years.....and she hasn't aged a bit, bless her. i sure wish i could have been so lucky!

Tuesday 27 January 2009

january photo a day - australia day

thank you all for your well wishes. i think i was just feeling fatigued from the heat and humidity. i was feeling much better yesterday but didn't get a chance to post due to celebrating 'australia day'. unfortunately, i missed out doing the 'mantra monday' for the same week, for sure.

january 26th is a day where australia stops to celebrate our heritage and commemoratre the arrival of the first fleet in 1788. like most australians, we grabbed the opportunity to enjoy a family day out. the boys and i went over to michelle's (daughter) and alex's place. we played in the park near their apartment, then walked to the portside wharf by the brisbane river for a gander, then it was back to their place to enjoy a good ol' aussie barbie (BBQ) without the prawns... lol....finishing it all off with delicious pavlova. YUM!

at the park

even brad got in on the action

portside wharf

this is where some of the big international ocean cruisers come to dock, however, there was none yesterday. a pity as i hear they are quite a sight to see dwarfing everything around them.

there was a container ship

and some other vessels with passengers enjoying the special holiday

an art sculpture outside one of the many shops

alex - chef extraordinaire

on our way home - ahead is the 'gateway bridge' toll booths

aaron took this photo of the sky as we drove home...pretty neat, huh?

we all had a beautiful and fun day!

Sunday 25 January 2009

photo a day & sacred life sunday

i had a few pics to upload for today but i'm not feeling well at all so i'm going to post and run, sorry.

i was also going to rattle on about taking this pic to coincide with sacred life sunday.....the new leaf growth symbolising growth in our own lives but i'm just not up to it right now.

so, instead, i will list five things i was grateful for today -

  • that my son got home safely this morning from his night out

  • more heavy rain for the lawn and gardens

  • my dog, cody, who is never far from my side

  • my camera

  • my bed which is where i'll be going shortly

Saturday 24 January 2009

january photo a day - canvas sale & journal


it's been an absolute stinker of a darned hot and humid making it very hard to feel comfortable at all. i can cope with the heat, it's the high humidity i can't stand. it totally drains me of energy. that aside, one of the highlights today was that riot's art and craft store were having a 50% off sale on gallery-wrapped canvas. i just can't say no when it comes to a great sale, especially when it's art-related so naturally, i picked up a few more canvasses for stock. YAY!

yesterday, a few readers were wondering if the journals i decorated opened out flat because of the bulky looking spine so, to answer the question, this is a pic of my blue journal that i made a while ago

and, same journal, now opened flat

well, i'm off to finish reading 'secret three' of the 12 secrets book. i hope to post more about that very soon.

Friday 23 January 2009

january photo a day & decorated journals

yesterday afternoon, the rains came.....aaron and i were out at the time and, on getting home, just running the short distance from the car to the covered front awning, had us both drenched through. it continued through the night and into the morning. it was HEAVEN!!! the lawn has been like straw so, hopefully, it will now green up a bit. we have been in drought conditions for years and under strict water restrictions...we aren't allowed to water lawns, just gardens. hoses are's strictly watering by bucket only, once a week for an every drop of rain we get is precious. the drenching rain left us with a very muggy, humid and hot day....something i'm not fond of at all.

click on images to enlarge

this pic was taken, this morning, standing at the front awning looking to the left

looking to the right

aaron on wheelie bin duty

on another note, here are some pics of the journals i decorated last week. these were orders. i purchased spiral bound notebooks, covered them with decorative papers, added wool fibres to the spiral spine and attached some decorations. i also made matching bookmarks.

Thursday 22 January 2009

12 secrets & photo-a-day

today, i did some rearranging in the studio and i feel wonderful! firstly, i replaced the old section of carpet that was stained and worn. the new section of carpet looks lovely and dresses the place up a bit.

before, the second desk was positioned to form a U-shape but it made my painting area feel quite cramped so, today, i moved the second desk further across and it made a huge difference in opening up my painting area. the following pics are of two different angles of the new arrangement. i'm rapt!!!


this week, we discuss how we honour our inspirations.

first and foremost, we need to listen and recognise them as inspirations. then we can open ourselves to the possibility of exploring them further in whatever creative play we are drawn to. it's a great idea to create a personal space to do this, big or small. years ago, i had a studio in the garage of our house but later, we moved to a house that didn't allow me to have that personal space anymore. i found it very difficult to drag out all my art supplies each time i wanted to paint, only to have to put them away again before dinner....i managed it for four long years. i was overjoyed when we moved again and i was able to organise a small studio space to create in. four years later we moved again and, this time, i made a point of creating an even bigger studio area in our double garage. i love knowing that when the painting urge hits me, i can just go paint. creative rituals are another great way to honour your inspirations.

when did my creative awakening occur? i firmly believe that we are all creative though, sometimes due to our life experiences, many of us are disconnected from it. i guess i've shown creative ability throughout my whole life but never realised it until recent years. i remember drawing regularly as a child. i did a lot of sewing in my teen and child-bearing years. then, by sheer accident in my mid-thirties, i discovered a passion for art in my life.

what talents do i have, naturally? i'm not really sure i understand the question correctly but i think i am patient when it comes to my art. i'm also good at paying attention to finer details which i think helps a lot in my realistic paintings. other talents.....i don't think i do too bad in the kitchen as the kids prefer my home-cooked meals to takeaway food any day. i've been told that i make a good hostess and people seem to feel happy and welcome in my home. i do like to fuss over visitors.

which elements draw me toward them? i feel very strongly drawn to water. i have always dreamed of living in a house near the sea and i adore blue/green colour combinations which i also relate to water.

where and when do i create? i mostly create in my home studio when i'm painting but, when i'm working with graphite or coloured pencils, it's usually in my dining room or, at the computer desk, if i'm using a reference image file. i try to create during the daytime as i prefer working in natural lighting, but over the past few months, i have found i am creating a lot more at night too.

where and when would i like to create? as per the previous answer, however, i have been making changes in my studio because i've been yearning for months now to make my studio a more homely and welcoming place to create. a place that reflects facets of who i am. a place where i can kick back and just relax if i want to.

what activates my creative energy? hmmmmmm, i'm not really sure, to be honest. i think anything has the potential to activate my creative energy. i am very inspired by some of the amazing artists i have met online. i am inspired by nature. i am inspired through meditation. i also find that, by just sitting at my studio table, i will feel the urge to create.

what drains it? busy schedules, or distractions, that don't allow me creative time in my studio. my studio takes up half the space in a double garage while the other half is used for storage and a workout space for my son. the storage space seems to attract items which are no longer wanted in the house and, sometimes, it starts to exceed it's boundaries. when this clutter builds up, i can feel stifled and blocked creatively. thankfully, through the 'soul coaching' program which involved a lot of clutter clearing, i made huge headway in that area and now, i seem to act sooner on clearing away the excess.

do i use creative rituals? i do like the rest of the house to be in reasonable order before i can create more freely in the studio. i also like to tidy up the immediate area of my workspace. fresh water in the brush-rinse jars, cotton buds, blending fabric, paper towels neatly folded for brush blotting, everything i need in its place and at the ready. i ALWAYS have music playing in the background...alanis morrisette - 'the collection' is one of my favourites. any cd of enigma, relaxation music, celtic and many more, however, i must admit that i'm not a huge fan of classical music, jazz or blues. i do like the idea of burning incense or lighting a candle to acknowledge my creative time.

does nature influence my creativity? i find that a walk in nature or a trip to the beach gets my creative juices flowing, however, i need to get more in the habit of noting down the ideas that come to me as i all too easily forget them. i do have an ideas journal for this reason but, sometimes, i'm lazy and don't bother writing stuff down. i need to rectify that.

what has been my greatest creative hurdle so far? i think the fact that it took me a long time to feel comfortable actually calling myself an artist and plus, getting past the fear of not being capable.

what time of day are you most receptive to inspiration? i feel that i can be open to inspiration at any time of the day depending on my mood.
what would you answer to these questions?

Wednesday 21 January 2009

photo a day - a visit to 'the village'

today, brad, aaron and i visited mum and dad who happen to live in an over-50's retirement village......about a 10 minute drive from where we live. we decided to go for a bit of walk through the village so i thought i'd share some of the pics for my 'photo a day'.

you can click on images to enlarge

aaron, mum and brad as we set off on our walk

me, mum and brad

mum and brad standing beside a wagon cart outside the village's community hall that the village people....i love calling them that....lovingly refer to as 'the shed'. aaron was posing in the pic too until he suddenly took off like the hammers of hell. the poor thing had been stung by these little buggers.....
i managed to take this close-up pic and i swear you can see their beady, little eyes staring back at the camera just daring me to come closer. aaron's foot swelled up a bit around the sting site and we packed some ice around it which helped ease the pain enough where we could continue on our walk.

a glimpse of the village community pool which is at the rear of 'the shed'.

a partial view of the back of 'the shed'. it's huge inside but i didn't take any pics as there was an art class in progress and i didn't want to distract them.

i thought the front of this house was quite pretty so took a couple of photos

another house i liked with the palms out front

the community barbecue which faces....

....the dam

and that, folks, was part of my day in pictures


Tuesday 20 January 2009

52 weeks of me & baby rainbow lorikeet

52 WEEKS OF ME - week three

my daily meditation time. i don't always meditate sitting on my bed...sometimes, i will sit on the couch in the lounge room before anyone else wakes up in the morning.


the day flew by before i knew it so, apart from the pic of me taken today, i thought i would share some pics of a baby rainbow lorikeet that was in our care a few years ago.

this was taken in the rainforest style garden at the school. i had hoped it's parents would find it but no luck, so i called in a registered wildlife carer.

the wildlife carer felt that he must have fallen out of the nest as he couldn't fly and you can see its long tail feather hadn't even grown in. the beak of the adult rainbow lorikeet is red whereas the baby beaks are brown/orange in colour. rainbow lorikeets are nectivores too so it's very important NOT to feed them anything but fruit, particularly stone fruit, nectar-type native flowers and water. feeding them seeds or anything else can cause permanent damage to their unusual looking tongues. we only had him overnight before the registered wildlife carer was able to come and collect him.....with plans to eventually release him back to the wild.

we still speak of this little guy with much affection even though we had him for just a day.

we went to see 'marley and me' today. a funny and emotional movie....i'm so glad i took tissues in with me. i won't say anymore because i don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet was a lovely movie.

Monday 19 January 2009

photo a day & mantra monday


click on images to enlarge

yes, i am a creative being and YOU are too. we are all creative beings. creativity has many facets whether it be preparing a delicious meal, taking interesting photos, decorating areas in your home, planning a garden, sculpting with clay, sewing, creating a beautiful painting...just to name a few. you ARE a creative being.

click here to find out more about mantra monday and feel free to join in too.
while you're there, you might want to check out jenn's gorgeous studio at this link.


today, aaron and i went to his school to collect his books for the new school year. he starts back on tuesday, grade five! while walking through the school grounds, i stopped and snapped a couple of pics from the school gardens.
a pretty red hibiscus

i don't know the name of these flowers but aren't they pretty?

genie's comment made me realise that i had forgotten to include the following pic. this is part of the school ground....that is aaron walking ahead. i love the trees.....and aaron, of course ~ :)