After 2 weeks at home, I am now enjoying the last few hours of freedom before I head back to work tomorrow.

Yes, I return to work on a Friday, which is more than a little ridiculous, but is one of the silly quirks of my job.

It has been a lovely couple of weeks.

There has been long lazy indulgent lunches with good friends.  Outings with family.  A morning at a spa being pampered and just a little bit of housework.

And even some painting, of course.

I had a list of things I wanted to achieve.  A lot of it was finishing the unfinished.

Hubby had some time off as well.  Just one week, but it was enough for him to finish the painting of the front of the house.  Tick that job off.

I finally finished a photo book that I had been working on for months.  Our USA trip would you believe?  It only took me 15 months to get it done.  Tick.

Kitchen cupboards scrubbed – tick

Bathroom cabinet cleaned out – tick

A painting that had some bad mojo – dealt with and now no longer a problem, so tick that off too.

Sit on the couch and read a book – tick

Sort and organise the photo files on my computer – done.

My secret painting project is finished, and approved by the purchasers. It just needs to be signed and another painting is also finished.  I am very proud of both of them.

The Rose 12″ square oil on canvas.

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So in all it’s been an excellent break.  The windows didn’t get washed but I did have a 4 hour lunch with my bestie. (we may have required the hubby to come and collect us from the winery)

Actually, considering how many lunches that were had, I am hoping that my work pants actually still fit…

It just proves that while travelling to new places is wonderful,  sometimes simply staying at home,  catching up with friends and getting those overdue jobs done, is also a good recipe for a relaxing and sanity saving vacation.

At least for me anyway.

Now to plan the next adventure..



March 2017


It’s been a while and I am not really sure why.

I know I have been busy.  There has been work, of course, it’s been a lovely summer too.

Plenty of time with friends, interacting face to face, laughing, smiling, talking and some tears.

There has been 1st world dramas, a broken air conditioning unit that had me a little stressed for a while.

And there has been paint.

Here is a sample of what has come off my easel so far this year.

There is one top secret project.  A commission that I will have to wait until May to show off but I’m sure you will enjoy seeing all the other stuff I have been playing with.


A lesson in painting fabric and folds…


Helping a dear friend create a banner for her market stall.  She sells delicious traditional english style cakes and pastries.  I have also spent a lot of time, helping on the stall.  So much fun had spruiking and people watching.


Created in a time of pain, therapy in running dripping splashing paint


Big, bold, textural, still a work in progress.  Created with thick acrylic paint, knives and big brushes.


Just a doodle, something I dont do often enough probably.


Also a work in progress…maybe.  I have had a couple of people tell me they love this just as it is.  It’s in oil, thin paint.  Really just the underpainting.  I’m now in two minds whether the continue or leave as is.  I expect I will continue, although I do have other unfinished pieces I can work on until I make up my mind.

This blog has evolved, and changed so much since I started it 7 or so years ago.  As I have.

I have a much clearer idea now, of who I am and what makes me happy.  I am able to express my fears, pain and joy much more easily out loud and fear less that that will make me less likeable.

I wear my weirdness proudly, and continue to push myself out of comfort zones.

This little place in the universe that I created, when I was lost and lonely, has taught me so much.  It has introduced me to so many awesome people all over the world and helped me get to where I am now.  For that I will always be thankful.

Life is good, and I am living it.


Goodbye 2016

These are “Jars of Happiness”.  For holding all the good that happens in 2017

A lot of people across the various  media and friendship groups I am connected to, have declared 2016 to be a terrible year.

So many well known celebrities, are no longer with us, world politics has become somewhat disturbing and of course the weather is all upside down.

On a personal front though, 2016 held it’s challenges and  became a year of learning for me.

Still working this one but we are getting there..

I started the year, struggling emotionally.  I was lost, and  possibly depressed.  Home from my amazing adventure, and straight into the christmas chaos.

I set about clearing the clutter, emotionally as well as physically and even wrote a large list of things I needed to remember to get myself back on top.

It was sad though, that as I began to find myself again, I lost a friendship that I thought would weather the storm, but I learned that some people are more fairweather unless it is me giving them the umbrella or the life line.

But when one door closes, others open.  I found good strong equal friendships in others.  People who not only accepted my weirdness but helped me celebrate it.

People who listened without judgement as I processed all that was going on in my head and in my life.

People who shared laughter and ice cream and glasses of wine while we skyped.

I gave myself permission to be alone.  To be selfish and say “no” when I needed.

Permission to switch off, to sit down, read that trashy romance novel and just chill.

I discovered that walking  is good therapy so I put on my headphones and just walked.

In 2016, I overcame the fear of painting portraits, and of painting in oils.

I think this year has seen me produce some of my best work yet.


I have had fun painting pets and animals, pushing myself and my colours.

A few landscapes also in the mix, again, pushing myself in style and technique.

Painting for pleasure mostly, a bonus if they sold.

And I continue to write here, perhaps not as often as once I did, but still putting words and thoughts down and hopefully bringing smiles to the few who still come and read.

So as 2016 comes to an end, I am grateful for all that she has given me.  The love, the laughter, the learning and  life.

I look forward to new adventures in 2017.  I have plans to paint walls and freshen up the house.  There is talk of travel perhaps to coincide with our 25th Wedding anniversary in September.  Road trip to Canberra perhaps.

With a bit of luck, 2017 will see my boys find full time work and maybe I might even find a new job or direction.

I will continue to paint.  Hopefully sell a few too, although at the moment I am not chasing exhibitions.

In 2017, there will be more smiles and laughter, less giving a fuck about things that really don’t matter and plenty of gratitude.

I wish you all Love, Luck, Health, Happiness and Peace.

Thank you for being part of my world

Happy New Year





The sloth on my screen makes me smile


As each day passes, I become more aware that lately I don’t  always “people” well.  Maybe I never have. I am kinda socially awkward.

Perhaps that is why I love to use this forum to say all the things that I find so hard to say to people in real life.

Or perhaps it is just that the older I get, the less tolerance I have for bullshit.

Either way, it is what it is, and happily, despite being sorely tempted, a very annoying young classmate was not stabbed with my mixing knife yesterday in art class.

It was a morning of challenge and frustration with my art as I worked solely on skin tones and trying to get hubby to look like hubby, not helped by her incessant yapping and demands on our teacher’s attention. (Butting in is soooo rude)

But progress was made, no blood was shed and I left class mentally tired but happy with what I had managed.

I came home to an empty house.  All males either working or shooting sticks at circles and it was pretty wonderful.

Music was soon cranking and instead of my oils, I laid out a palette of acrylics, grabbed a smaller canvas (10″ x 14″) and painted a little seascape using mostly my palette knives.

After the intense session of painting of face and hands, I needed something that wasn’t people.

It came together quickly and I am pretty happy with it.  Loose, textural and dramatic, I feel I captured the essence of that rocky shoreline and the crashing waves.

Some touching up still to do maybe, but it refreshed my mind and allowed me to simply get messy.


It took me to my happy place.

Hubby took me to another happy place today.

Minds out of the gutter.

We went to the beach.  Summer is finally starting to happen and today was 33 deg C and gorgeous.  Perfect weather for a walk along the sand, and getting the toes wet.


I have often said it is the simple things that make me happy.

Like our movie date last night.  “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them” preceded by lovely dessert and Iced chocolates.

Couch time today.  A trashy romance novel which may have included some napping.

Getting out in the garden and planting some new colour – roses and lavender.  A lime tree to go with our lemon tree (margaritas!!)

A hug from my boys.   An icecream.  Music.

My friends, especially the ones who know I am weird and love me anyway.

Happy things.  And the things that keep me sane when “peopling” and life gets hard.

So what makes you happy?  And stops you from stabbing people with blunt art equipment?

Feel free to share the smiles.







What is important


Everybody has them.  And they are not always the same as yours.

And as hard as that is, you have to accept that.

As the world is melting down over the election result in the USA, I had my own little meltdown.

Over that deadly combination of Christmas planning and family.

Those of you that know me, know that I am not really religious.  While I consider myself spiritual, and am open to the concept of a God, I do not go to church nor do I believe that I need to.

I had a basic Christian upbringing and celebrating Christmas is a firmly entrenched tradition.

But this year, despite bending over backwards to accommodate everyone, to try to get a family christmas meal organised that includes not only my immediate family, but also my parents and brothers (and families) , it seems that my brothers have different priorities.

The end result, after tears and hurt, is the acceptance that our family Christmas (my side) will consist of lunch at a favourite pub up the coast on Boxing Day for just 6.  Myself, Hubby, my boys and my parents.

Because my priorities in the end include my own well being and letting my brothers absence upset me is a waste of emotional energy.

A family christmas or any occasion should be joy filled, and cherished.  I still have both my parents and that is something I continue to be grateful for.

Life is too short to stress over people for whom your company is not a priority and perhaps it is time for new family traditions.

New art on the easel

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“The Moment”

This is going to be a portrait of my Hubby doing what he loves.

He is holding his new compound bow and the photo I am working from was taken at the split second he released the arrow towards the target.  The string will be slack, and you can just see the arrow on the right of the picture.

It is a very cool moment and something hard to catch with the camera.  The bow for those that care is a Hoyt Defiant.

It’s a biggish canvas, and I am working in oils and that means I will be taking my time over it, although what you see has been done in about six hours over 3 sessions.

It isn’t the easiest to paint so far, simply getting the shape and angles on the bow has been tricky but I do love a good challenge.

Lots of light and contrasts will be needed to really give the painting depth and make it at least recognisable as my man.

I’m back to work today after two weeks of leave.  I confess it’s hard to be motivated and I am a little worried the work pants might be tighter than when I started my break.

It will be good to see my friends and regular customers again and get back to routine.  It is getting close to our busy time of year, people get a little nuts at Christmas time.

Still time for overseas posting so if anybody reading this would like to buy a painting from me, drop me a line.  I still have a number of smaller ones that would possibly make good gifts.

Wishing everybody a good week.  Keep smiling.




We are all but specks in the Universe

Twelve months ago, on this day, I was saying goodbye to Texas and heading home after the most amazing adventure of my life.

Little did I know that I would also be saying goodbye to a friendship that had been the original motivation for the trip only a few short months later.

It has been a rollercoaster of a year, emotionally.  And I confess to wondering if perhaps when the magical date of the anniversary rolled around, there might have been a break in the silence.

Which then led me to wonder if that was what I really wanted.

I don’t know.  I am still a little confused as to what I did that was so terrible that led to me being “ghosted” but in the end, perhaps I am better off and it is his loss as we all know that I am pretty bloody awesome (and so humble about it too)

I do know that when you are standing on the edge of a cliff with the immense expanse of the southern ocean in front of you,  you gain a much better perspective of what is really important.  As massive waves crash on rocks formed from volcanoes millions of years ago, you realise just how precious and fragile life is, how we need to embrace the positive, accept that the past has happened, and it is better to look forward instead of back. (especially when walking on the edge of a cliff)

If you look closely, very closely, at this photo, you will see what I mean.  Hubby is in there somewhere.  A tiny speck, dwarfed by mother nature’s magnificence.


This holiday we have just taken is about as different from the USA trip as you can imagine.

Instead of towering buildings, it was immense cliffs and glorious coastlines.


Instead of fancy hotels, it was a  shack right on the beach, where we could watch the sunlight play on gentle waves and the only sounds were of seabirds and hubby gently snoring as he napped on the couch.

Bitumen roads were traded for dirt and rock tracks, pavements for incredibly white sandy beaches and we could go for hours without seeing another human being at even the most popular of tourist destinations.


There was no squirrels, but we saw dozens of emu with chicks, lizards including a beautiful goanna and of course kangaroo.

For this burnt out city girl, it was as close to paradise as you can get.

I took my paints.  I had ideas of placing the easel on the beach and painting something fabulous “en plein air”.

Lets just say it was a learning experience.

I learned that acrylic paints dry much too quickly in a sea breeze.  I learned just how hard it is to keep within a frame without some sort of viewfinder to assist.

I learned that fly repellent is pretty much useless against sticky little bush flies determined to get in your eyes, nose and mouth.

And I learned that flies do not understand (or simply choose to ignore) ” Fuck OFF you little mongrel bastards” said with passion and much waving of hands.

Flies also become “walks” after landing in bright yellow paint.

But despite not creating a masterpiece while away, I have come home with so many “potential painting”  ideas and plenty of inspiration to last me a while.

Like this guy.  Painted in the comfort of my studio.


Before I finish this post I just want to say a bit of a thankyou to my dear blogger friend Pickelope.  As I said in the start of the post, it was a bit of a week of mixed emotions and to be the subject of such a beautiful blog post, was incredibly uplifting.  You can read what he had to say here – A tribute to you.

With beautiful friends like him and all the rest of you, I am truly blessed (even if some people think I am crazy)

There are a few more holiday pics on my insta – link on the side bar.  Time for me now to finish this off.  The sun is out and I still have a few more days of holiday left to enjoy.

With smiles and hugs


Road trippin’

Finally, I was able to say goodbye to work for a couple of weeks and now I am half way through “throwing a few things” aka packing way too much for a few days away with my gorgeous man.

I am taking paints, hopefully I will actually use them.  It’s a new thing to take paints, usually it is just pencils or pens so who knows, perhaps I might get out in the fresh air and paint a beach scene or jetty.

Or I might just sit on the couch if the weather gets a bit dodgy and read a book.  Both options are very appealing at this moment.

My Dad is back home, thank you all for your good wishes last post.  He is so much better than he has been in ages and hopefully will continue to improve.

This is probably going to be a quick post as I do have a list of things I need to do still but I wanted to show you my latest art.

It all started when I saw this instagram post by a lovely friend in Canada.

All those lovely trees and light just excited me.  And suddenly the creative light bulb in my head went off.


I wanted to build on last weeks exercise (weird horse/giraffe thing) and thought I could use this image as inspiration.

But what to paint on?

Glancing around my studio, I spotted this old one.  A very old one that I painted as an emotional response when a friend of mine was in hospital.

But that was then, and as that friendship has ended, and the emotional attachment to the painting is no longer, it was time to change it’s negative energy to something fresh and positive.


A good coating of gesso, and then a very thick layer of impasto medium later, we had the start of an autumn/fall themed painting.


24 hours of drying time and it was ready to take to class and bring my concept to realisation.


The background was worked in mostly yellows, greens and blues with a few hints of orange and red to lift it.  Paint was applied with everything from knives, brushes and rags.  Fingers might have also been useful in smearing as I worked to ensure the texture still showed though.


Finally, the trees.  Simply painted in long strokes, with light highlights, keeping everything still a little abstract.  Lots of soft edges created with a rag and soft “mop” brush techniques.

My “Autumn Forest”, misty and colourful.  I think one of my new favorite paintings and definity a new happier energy than what was before.

Also fall of happy energy, new shoes.  Once boring white canvas and now just a little “Jackson Pollock”


And finally, before I go rescue the washing from what looks like impending rain (so bloody sick of rain), not sure if I showed off the completed portrait of “Trixie”


She is finished, framed and in her new home.

Ok, definitely need to move this butt, getting much darker outside now.  Ugh.

Anyway, until next time, keep smiling and keep creating whatever makes  your heart sing.

Smiles and Hugs