Category Archives: children

Tis the season….

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December 1…the start of my favourite time of year…Christmas. And summer!

December 1 heralds in the start of the Christmas season…with the tree being decorated, the Advent Calendar being opened,  the Christmas stories coming out, the sense of anticipation starting to build…

December 1 is also, for us the real start of summer. It is the end of school and exams and the time of longer warmer days, of beaches, bbq’s and outdoor fun.

DECEMBER 1…I am so happy you have arrived.

 

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A Little Christmas Advent Alphabet Book

Exciting news.. our first book is published and has now arrived…book cover20151119_185955.jpg20151119_18595920151119_185945.jpg20151119_1903 00


A little poem by the sea…

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Playground park.

Big wide sea.

Trees delight.

Sunshine after rain.

Children play.

A perfect moment.

Happy mother’s day.


womad performance

We had been at the WOMAD festival all day and not seen any music…too many demands and request from children for face-painting, rock climbing, food, toilets, drinks, tree climbing, market stalls, kid zone activities, ice creams and more drinks. These requests had filled our time almost completely….we arrived home with happy and tired kids, but feeling like we had missed a whole lot of something…the music and dance!

A couple of hours later, sans children, we were back. The scene had changed….It was dark, still hot, the crowd was throbbing and uninhibited and dancing and socialising more freely. We searched out some great international music and joined the crowds…soaking up incredible sounds, interesting people, and walked, ate, people watched and soaked up atmosphere and sounds from all places….A perfect evening.

 

 

 

 


A happiness reminder from the past…

"start something"

 

I haven’t been blogging, sorry. I have been caught up in a project to collect together family photos and compile them into a book of memories.  I found that after assorting such a pile of  images of our life over one year, I realised three important things…1. how busy we are, 2. how much fun we actually have and 3. how much we had forgotten! I was sad that I had not recorded these memories anywhere apart from on my hard drive. My children have grown up in the era of on-line images, social media, digital images (stored on computers) and do not have many albums of memories of their childhood. I am going to fix this in the old fashioned way – with an album.

So, in the spirit of remembering and memories, here is one of my very first images I posted on my blog.  A shot taken from my inspiration board in my art room. It still inspires me with its reminder to  just “start something”.


A thought on personal and individual style.

symbols in home

What is individual style? I have been thinking about this and have come up with a few thoughts about it. To me personal style transcends your home, your studio, your art, your creative endeavours. They are all just manifestations of your style. Your style is you. It is what makes you a unique person on this planet. Style is a reflection of your genuine self, your expression of who you are. Style is understanding who you are and being extremely at ease with that.

Your personal style is partly what others see, it is your art and your creations, your thoughts expressed, your home, and your community. As I think about this I see images from my home, my art, my studio and my journals – all different but threads of the same things – old symbols (hearts, circles, crosses), text and use of letters and words, old patina’s and vintage finds. Trees, beaches, bridges, buildings, houses all feature in my style, as does finding old nests, collecting sea-glass, rocks and shells, quirky finds and birds, horses, growing food, and history all interest me. Writing musings, journalling and playing with mixed media, painting big abstract paintings and trying to do photography everyday are my style. Noticing things others might miss and finding beauty in everyday things are my style. My style is thinking in interconnected circles but writing in bullet points.

Your style is also how you live. Being a mum to four kids will always be my first priority. That’s my style too. Like many of us, I am juggling everyday – the divergent needs and demands of a large complicated and blended family, working to earn income, running, and try to find space in my day to create, fitting in all the other messy stuff in between, that’s my style too.

I am a mother to three boys rapidly moving into that strange place between being men and boys, and one 4 year old princess fairy. A writer and keen blogger. I am a runner. I am a photographer. I am an artist. I am creative. I dream of Italy and of visiting Europe one day. I dream of living closer to the land, but also (ironically) closer to the city centre and so I can smell and hear the sea. I dream of my three sons as babies and wonder at their journey into being young men. I love my pink, sparkly princess who has in a thousand different ways saved me from myself through this process with her enormous smiles, delicious cuddles and piles of charm, giggles and songs. All of this, is part of me.

What has running got to do with style? Running is very much apart of who I am now, after I put on my trainers one year ago exactly and ran to the first lamp post then walked the next two. I run to clear my mind, to think straight, to have my body hurt in a good way. I run so no one can see tears occasionally. I run to have a few precious moments when no-one needs me. Running gives me space to plan, dream and plot. It takes time but it also makes me more creative and more efficient. I also see things that I don’t see when driving or distracted by tasks and errands. They are all part of my style.

Is style is the only thing you have left when you strip everything back to its barest state. Or is style is an individual and original point of view delivered with confidence? Or, the culmination of all the parts of a life brought together? Or is style really just having curiosity, a sense of spirit and confidence in yourself?


January meanderings…

yellow flower

I saw these unusual flowers, like big bright yellow round blobs of sunshine on the end of bendy sticks waving in the grasses while out on a walk recently. Yellow is not my favourite colour but they were so unusual, having no leaves or petals and so brilliant yellow, that I had to stop and admire them in their coastal garden.

Yellow, to me means transformation. I don’t really know why, but when I see yellow, I think of change. Maybe its from the years I spent in Canada and the yellow of leaves representing the changing seasons? Whatever the reason, I have been thinking about change a lot.

I realised this week, that I can not really call myself an artist, having not painted in over a year. I have dabbled in creating some mixed media pieces, but really apart from my journals, photography and writing, I haven’t really created anything of note. Worse of all, my art room – my studio – has sat empty, neglected and abandoned for most of 2013. It had turned into a dumping ground for all sorts of unwanted stuff (and not in an eclectic, interesting, creatively inspiring kind of way, but more a “I don’t want to set foot in there” kind of space)…it was a sorry sight – curtains closed, cobwebs taking over, and boxed piled up…. That I had not used it in such a long time really shook me. So yesterday, in a fit of new year/new attitude, I emptied it, cleaned it, sorted it and only put back in those treasures that inspire me. I turned it into “my space” again…a space to create (although I have packed my paints away) and to write.

There is a story to be told, a thread that runs through my blogging – a story about change…about life turning out not quite how you expect, and about a dream and a search for a more creative/more inspired life and this is the year it happens. There may be less art in the way of painting this new year, but I think there will be plenty of photography, writing, running, and musings on life, love, inspiration in the everyday, raising kids and all the messy bits in between.


Icing and Christmas Icons

Icons and icing

The christmas cookies need Icing. These are, in fact, the first run, and will be well eaten by Christmas. But they need Icing first.

The cookie cutter shapes – a star, a heart and an angel – the very symbols (Icon’s) of Christmas.

I for Icing the cookies at Christmas.


Home…

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H is for being Home for Christmas.

I saw them putting up the lights today for the start of this year’s festival of lights, and it reminded me how Happy I was the night I took this image, wandering around the park with excited children.

This is my Home..a small sea-side city with a pretty park decked out in twinkling lights and full of music and people every Christmas.

Home really is where your Heart is.


Oh, Christmas Tree…

C christmas

Today, being the third day of Christmas, is all about the letter C for the Children and the Christmas Trees.

Putting up the tree and decorating it is a key part of most families’ Christmas preparations. It is a special time together. At my place, (and maybe at yours) the best bit is laughing with my children as they admire their handi-work (both in decorating the tree and in admiring the decorations they made and loved over the years). It reminds me that traditions like putting up our tree together are a part of building strong childhood memories. Simple traditions, home-made and home-grown, help to give kids a sense of identity, tradition and belonging.

A Christmas Tree doesn’t need fancy shop decorations, it doesn’t need twinkling lights or glittery balls, or even be a fir tree or green for that matter…(you may recall my driftwood Christmas Tree from last year, with shells for decorations). It can be a branch or a bush. What matters is that to you, and your family, it is your Christmas Tree…your tradition. Your story.


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