Saturday, 30 January 2010

Family news and some sketches...

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes concerning Reece and his back pain. I ended up taking him to the doctor who diagnosed the pain as being muscular so Reece organised a deep tissue remedial massage that same afternoon. The remedial physiotherapist said Reece's back muscles have a lot of knots that need attention so I only hope he takes it easy re. weight and fight training because he and his girlfriend are leaving for a holiday in Thailand in a couple of weeks.

Other news on the Lewis homefront -

Beau ended up trimming off his mohawk! As much as he loved it, Beau realised that it was going to require more upkeep than he was willing to allow for......so off it came.

Michelle has been visiting a fair bit over the past week and it's been wonderful catching up with girlie goss and watching movies together.

Aaron started a new school year! He is now in Grade Six!!! My baby is growing up.....sigh ~

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Despite being distracted in a good way this past week, I'm really pleased that I also managed to fit in some creative time, with a couple of EveryDay Matters challenges....




....and even a Zentangle which I'm naming 'Chaos' for obvious reasons. LOL

Click on the images to enlarge for more details


Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Love, light and peace

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Mission Monday note to self...and my word for 2010


I'm so behind on my Mission Mondays but thank the stars Brandi puts no pressure on us. A couple of weeks ago, Brandi posted this mission for us to take on if we chose to and, immediately, I knew it was for me. A simple but effective mission which was to say what we would like to say to ourselves. The pic above pretty much sums it up for me. My mind is always racing away with ideas for my art or other activities but, more often than not, that's as far as those ideas get and they end up lost in my memory somewhere. Fear of stuffing things up or finding the time to complete my ideas are two of my most common excuses which...

...brings me to my word for 2010 - just DO!
Nothing fancy but I'm hoping this word will encourage me to stop procrastinating and just DO! I will be placing this word, and the phrase in the pic, at various spots around the house so I am constantly reminded to take action. As timing would have it, I received an email only yesterday featuring a post by Alyson B. Stanfield on....devoting 15 minutes a day to check in with your art. You can read her post here. Instead of thinking in whole project terms, working in 15 minutes increments sounds do-able and a lot less daunting so, each day I will try to meet this commitment in one form or another. Wish me luck ~


Love, light and peace

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Australia Day Barbecue


Australia Day falls on January 26th and is a public holiday where most Australians come together to celebrate and reflect on being Australian. We all gathered at Michelle and Alex's place for a barbie. It was a VERY hot and muggy day but we didn't let that spoil the day for us....we all had a GREAT time!

Mum and I



Michelle and Aaron



Mum and Beau



Mum and Michelle



Brad and Mum

Mum suffered some heat fatigue later in the day, poor thing, so she rested indoors under the fan for a little while and recovered quite well.


Dad



Sarina and Reece



Our gracious hosts - Michelle and Alex



Alex cooking at the barbie



We did have some drama with Reece in the morning when he hurt his back by simply bending over to pick something up off the floor.....he had only bent about 10 degrees when the pain hit him and he fell to the floor in agony. Sarina managed to help him onto his bed and he was unable to move for about 15 minutes. During that time, the pain eased to a tolerable amount and he coped okay for the rest of the day. He is still in pain and I think he may have pinched a nerve or suffered muscle spasm so, if it's not any better tomorrow, it will be a trip to see the doctor for him.


Love, light and peace

Monday, 25 January 2010

MONDAY PHOTO A WEEK - My mug

Our theme for this week's photo was to take a pic of our favourite coffee mug.

I love this mug but I wouldn't say it has been my favourite mug, however, it is the one I currently use and it's the only one of my mugs that hasn't ended up broken. I'm always on the look out for new mugs that I like and the fancy, artsy types always get my attention. I love my hot drinks and the bigger the mug, the better. I've been known to use soup-sized mugs for my coffee...you know, like the ones they used in the Central Perk coffee lounge on the series - Friends. I'm more of a green tea drinker now but I still like my mugs large. As you can see in the pics I also like to leave my green teabag in the mug.....LOVE my green tea! The problem with tea is that it stains the mug so the design on this mug has worn somewhat around the rim from scrubbing.....ah well, it gives me a great excuse to go and stock up on some more mugs.









If you're interested in joining our weekly photo group, just click on the picture link in my sidebar under 2010 Happenings.


Love, light and peace

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Paying It Forward



PLEASE NOTE - This challenge has now closed. Thanks to those who are participating.


In February of 2008, I took on a Pay-It-Forward Challenge and I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for another one after seeing this post on Meredith's blog just before Christmas.

I have committed myself to this challenge as I think it's a lovely idea and it reminds me of the movie - Pay It Forward - where three acts of kindness are done without expecting anything in return. Each recipient of those 'acts of kindness' must then choose three different people who they, in turn, do an 'act of kindness' for and so the process continues and expands. However, this Pay It Forward challenge requires five acts of kindness instead of three.

Why not share in spreading the love via a gift of kindness too?

Here are the rules of the game - I’ll be sending a snail mail package to each of five recipients and they, in turn, will pay it forward by sending snail mail packages to five others under the same rules, thereby continuing to spread the love. (Who knows where our acts of kindness will ultimately end up?) You can select your five recipients any way you want, and there’s no pressure to send a particular kind of package or gift. The gifts may be very small and need not be expensive at all. They don’t even need to be bought (hint, hint to all of the artists and crafters out there). There are no deadlines and no need to hurry.....in fact no pressure at all. After being chosen, you can opt to post about the Pay It Forward challenge straight away on your own blog and get the ball rolling or, you can wait until you receive your Pay It Forward gift package from me.

SO, if you would like a painted gift from me, please leave a comment on this post. You must state that you would like to participate in the challenge which means you promise to pay it forward to five other people, if you are selected. At the end of this month, I will choose five names in a draw. These five bloggers will be notified that they have been selected and they can then send me their snail mail addresses.

Remember, there is no time limit or deadline with this challenge so I do hope you will give it some consideration and help to spread some love.


I received the Pay It Forward gift below from Meredith a few days ago and I was absolutely thrilled with the goodies she sent me. I felt so spoiled to find the following inside a beautifully collaged box - a delicate pink scarf, some shells, fabric swatches, handmade soaps, some gorgeous photos taken by Meredith, some postcards, and sidewalk chalk which, I put to use the very next day (more on that in an upcoming post). Thanks so much, Meredith!





As timing would have it, just yesterday, I received this wonderful book in the mail from one of the recipients I sent a gift to way back in the 2008 Pay It Forward challenge. It was not expected at all so truly a lovely surprise. Thanks, Ben!



Love, light and peace

Thursday, 21 January 2010

My prize & a sketch

A couple of days ago, I received not one but two gorgeous, beaded seahorses from Linda. I had won just one seahorse on this giveaway but Linda very kindly included an extra one for my daughter, Michelle, who has been going through quite an emotional time lately. What a sweet and caring thing to do....thanks, from the both of us, Linda! Michelle happened to be visiting when the package arrived so there was much excitement I can tell you. We were both very impressed with the intricate and complex beadwork in the seahorses. I have been reading Linda's wonderful blog for close to two years now and it's full of interesting and often funny posts about her life in Florida with her husband and their two dogs. If you feel so inclined, Linda's blog and ETSY store are definitely worth checking out, my friends. Anywhoo, below, is a pic of my prize....aren't they gorgeous?!!!!.......check out that beadwork!


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It's been a particularly busy week for me so I haven't been able to get too much done art-wise, however, I did manage this quick sketch yesterday.

Pigma Micron pen and coloured pencil in A5 sketchbook
Click on any image to enlarge


I will be back tomorrow to discuss a challenge that I am participating in and, hopefully, some of you may like to participate too......more tomorrow ~

Love, light and peace

Monday, 18 January 2010

MONDAY PHOTO-A-WEEK

Today was horrible heat-wise! It's been sauna-like conditions from early morning with a temperature of 35°C/95°F (I found out later that we actually hit 38°C/100.4°F!) and a humidity of at least 80%. I've even had trouble breathing most of the day because the air has been so hot and heavy. We had a storm move through late last night but it only added to the humidity rather than cool things down. I think I need to migrate to a colder climate.

Anywhoo, the theme for our photo group this week was - Shadows



Yep, that's my shadow. I've taken a photo of my shadow self before but it's been later in the day where the shadow cast has been short and wide. I like this long, tall look best.



I took these fern shadows while we were at the lake on Friday. This was taken with camera pointing down at the ground.

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On another note......the other day I received another of the giveaways I won! The beautiful calendar pictured below was created and made by Sara, over at The Sharing Connection, using her very own photos. The images are beautiful and each month includes an inspiring verse. Thanks so much, Sara....I love it! For those who haven't visited Sara's blog before, it is full of inspiring stories and life perspectives and well worth a look-see!



I'm feeling a little light-headed from the heat so I think I'll sign off and get to bed early.....

*** nighty-night all ***

Love, light and peace

Sunday, 17 January 2010

My medial cuneiform hurts....

....and has been for a couple of days now. Actually, in the past month or so, I've had a lot of pain in my feet and I'm not sure why. While I do worry about Rheumatoid Arthritis, as my Mum suffers with the condition and it can be hereditary, I'm trying to keep a positive mind. I guess time will tell. Anywhoo, it prompted the EveryDay Matters challenge I chose for today....

~ Draw your foot ~


Micron Pigma pen, graphite & coloured pencil in A5 skectchbook
Click on any image to enlarge


On Friday, Michelle came over and we - Michelle, Bradley, Aaron, Cody and I - went to Forest Lake for a walk and a picnic. We had a lovely day out and, as always, I snapped some pics during our walk.




I couldn't resist this cascade of flowers against the rock wall



A close up of a Tibouchina flower



Aaron and Michelle



I also took some pics of the birdlife on the lake which I plan to sketch over the coming days so stay tuned.......


Love, light and peace

Monday, 11 January 2010

MONDAY PHOTO-A-WEEK

This week's photo theme was - Something New.

At Christmas time, the kids and I have a Secret Santa and Michelle drew my name out of the hat. She bought me a beautiful sterling silver anklet which hasn't been taken off my ankle since, plus this beautiful beach bag...I fell in love with it instantly! It's large so has heaps of room for my sketchbooks, pens and watercolours, a beach towel, sketchbooks, sunscreen, a book to read, hat, sketchbooks, some snacks...did I say sketchbooks??? I haven't used it yet but I can hardly wait...did you hear that, kids? If you're reading this post....know that your mother wants to go to the beach one day soon.....a perfect excuse for another family day out ~ ;)

click on any image to enlarge


I also treated myself recently to a watercolour, daily calendar desk-set. I plan to experiment and play in this medium because I'm very much a novice when it comes to watercolour. I figure that it will be a handy skill to have when working in my visual journals.



This calendar set which promises a lesson-a-day, however, I'm already feeling lost with it. Each day (apart from weekends), I'm supposed to pump out a finished watercolour painting using the line drawing provided and a sample picture of the finished piece. I had assumed that the lesson-a-day would have been a step-by-step course to learn how to work with watercolours from beginner level and gradually build up skills, via the lessons, as I went along. You know, like work on one painting over a course of a few days, following instructions for each step. Not so.



For each day/painting, it gives just one tip which is pretty much useless to me as a newbie to this medium. Thankfully, I have some watercolour books that I can refer to for added help and my knowledge of acrylics may help to a degree but I must admit that I am a little disappointed. It's a lovely set and well displayed but I just feel it isn't well suited for beginners like me who have no idea how to even set up a watercolour palette let alone work with the medium itself on paper. I will persevere even though I feel like I've thrown myself in at the deep end.




Lastly, I thought I'd share a pic of the new book I've started reading...



***Recently divorced Anna Fox retraces a journey her great-grandmother made in the mid-nineteenth century - a Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan. She carries with her two of her great-grandmother's possessions: an ancient Egyptian scent bottle and an illustrated diary of the original cruise that has lain unread for over a hundred years.

The diary is a love story from the Victorian past and the glass bottle holds a chilling secret. Two men in the tour party develop an unfriendly rivalry for Anna's attention while showing a great deal of interest in the diary and the glass bottle. On top of that, Anna is the victim of a spectral presence that grows in strength and threat.***

It sounds like I'll be in for an interesting read.


Our photo group theme choice for next week will be - SHADOWS - so, if you're interested in joining our group and playing along, check out the picture link in my side-bar under 2010 Happenings


Love, light and peace

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Strumming away....

I'm still slowly working my way through some Every Day Matters sketch themes. There is 165 in all.....well there's more on the EDM website but that's all I have numbered and plan to do. They span over three A5 sketchbooks and I have only done 37 EDM sketches to date. This year, I would really like to focus on getting these sketchbooks completed as they keep taunting me every time I glance in their direction. I'm looking to fill one book at a time because I think that will give me the encouragement to move onto the next book. Wish me luck......

Pigma Micron pen and coloured pencil in A5 sketchbook

click on image to enlarge

Today, I chose EDM challenge #17 which was to draw a musical instrument. I used Aaron's guitar for my subject.....well, half of his guitar..... and I also played and sang a few songs afterwards. I bought my first and only guitar back when I was around 22 years old and I loved it! My younger sister played guitar so she taught me the basic chords and left me to my own devices from there. For my own enjoyment, I often played and sang a lot of John Denver songs....Goodbye Again and Lady being two of my faves. Bette Midler's - The Rose was another, as well as, Gilbert O'Sullivan's - Alone Again, Naturally and Coven's - One Tin Soldier. I fell in love with the song - One Tin Soldier - after watching the movie - Billy Jack. I LOVED that movie back in the day! Close to five years ago, I managed to buy all three of the Billy Jack movies and, while they aren't in the same calibre as movies nowadays, they still hold some sentimental value for me.

How about you?

Is there a song or movie from your younger years that you were absolutely crazy about and still hold sentimental value for today?

Love, light and peace

Friday, 8 January 2010

THIS is what happens when I go away for a few hours....

Today, Brad, Aaron and I went over to Mum and Dad's for lunch and a nice afternoon visit. We had a lovely time as usual. When we arrived home, my second eldest son, Beau, had gone.....


from this -




....to this...







I have been saying since October 2009 that I felt the year 2010 would be about change for, not only me, but for my kids and others too. I must admit that this wasn't quite what I had in mind but it does explain why Beau bought those hair trimmers a short time ago. He had trimmed the front and sides by the time I got home and, understandably, couldn't do the back so I finished it up for him......I gotta say......I like it! Beau LOVES it! Brad likes it! Aaron hates it! Michelle hates mohawks so we kinda know what she will think of it and Reece is yet to see it so the jury is out on him. However, it wasn't too many years ago that Reece was considering a mohawk himself so I think it's a safe guess that he will like it.

I've always admired people who stand out in a crowd and march to the beat of their own drums and I've never been one to be strict about how my kids should look or dress. Well, there was that time when Michelle's hair was so long and absolutely beautiful and she had to beg me over and over before I finally gave in and cut it to shoulder length. Remember that, Michelle? lol I still have the cut-off plait/braid which Michelle thinks is kinda weird but hey.....it's sentimental to me. Anywhoo, I encourage my kids to find their own style, likes, and dislikes and be comfortable in their own skin. Reece wanted to grow his hair long when he was around eight years old so I let him grow his hair long. In his high school years, Reece wore his hair in the US Marine/jarhead style and I was cool with that. Beau wants a mohawk....I'm happy if he's happy.

Love, light and peace

Thursday, 7 January 2010

ABSTRACT GOODNESS

I was the lucky winner of Maria's Christmas Giveaway and, yesterday, my prize arrived in the mail......talk about excitement!! WHOO HOO!!! I can hardly believe I actually own one of Maria's beautiful works of art. I have been following Maria's blog for a couple of years now and I can honestly say that Maria is not only a very talented lady but is also a very caring, sharing, and friendly person. Check out Maria's YouTube videos (link on her blog) for some interesting techniques too! To be honest, I have never been one for abstract art but there's something about Maria's work that just draws me right in. LOVE IT!

I had Aaron take a pic of me holding my prize but, unfortunately, the painting didn't show up too well due to the glare on the glossy surface. Yes, I DO have a rather smug look on my face, don't I?



I took this second pic of just the painting itself so you can see it more clearly.
Isn't it lovely?!

click on any image to enlarge


Thank you all so much for the supportive and caring words re. my family upset. It certainly wasn't the start to the year I would have hoped for but I'm hopeful things can only get better from hereon. I will post about my Word for 2010 very soon so......stay tuned ~ :)


Love, light and peace

Monday, 4 January 2010

MONDAY PHOTO-A-WEEK 2010

2010 began with a rather emotional start for us after hearing some devastating family news on New Year's Eve. It was most upsetting and left me feeling quite depressed and teary for a few days but......today, I'm beginning to feel more hopeful for a positive year ahead.

As you may guess by the post title, our photo group is continuing on for another year. YAY! If you're interested in joining us, please check out the picture link in my side bar under 2010 happenings....we would love to have you on board.

I don't know what it is at the moment with the insects around here but I seem to be coming across quite a few different species that are pretty much in the process of dying. It's almost like I'm living in the middle of an insect graveyard.


This poor Praying Mantis was the latest casualty.




I drew him, with some sadness, in my journal



...sadly, this Stick Insect won't be far behind as he's behaving very sluggishly.



This Christmas Beetle, with his beautiful metallic-coloured armour, was added to the recently deceased insect list the other day.



I'm not sure about this Rhinoceros Beetle though.



I haven't seen a Rhinoceros Beetle in years so ran for the camera when I spotted him underneath our pergola today. He was huge, at least 2" in length, and he hissed at me constantly. He was a fast little bugger too making it very hard to get a decent shot of him so he certainly didn't seem to be in the throes of death. After our photo shoot, I put him into the bushland behind our back fence where, hopefully, he will live out a long and happy life.




I'll be posting about my chosen word for 2010 over the coming days so.....stay tuned ~


Love, light and peace
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