Posted in Books, My sketchbook, Ordinarylife

Write something!

EDIT:  07/09/2012  I have finally written in it.  I started doing this Journal project with Ashley from Lil BlueBoo


My notebook from arrived a couple of days ago.  Yay! I love it, which is a problem.  It has been sitting on the edge of my desk for a couple of days now.  I take it home with me and then back to work every morning.  Every now and then I open it, have a look and close it again.  But don’t write or doodle in it. Why? Because I don’t’ want to “muck up” the pages!  I am scared that whatever I write is going to be rubbish and I will ruin my new beautiful book.  STUPID! notebook

I suppose the fact that I already have a notebook that I use every day is part of the problem.  It is not that I really needed it.  In my handbag already I have a small Moleskin notebook that I use for everyday stuff, a diary for work stuff and a sketch pad.  Not to mention the other numerous other notebooks and sketch pads scattered all over the house and in cupboards.  I might have mentioned in the past that I have weakness for paper products…..

So if you feel like sending me another, so I have one to actually write in and one to stare at it would be greatly appreciated…..

Posted in Family, Ordinarylife

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I feel like everyone is leaving or off somewhere – actually it is not a feeling it is a reality, although maybe not everyone.

Last night we went to a farewell party for a friend that is moving back to Cape Town.  He has been in PE for just over 3 years but is now retuning “home”.  I understand why, his family is there, PE is not the easiest place to be single in your early 30’s and well, let’s face it, if you get offered a fantastic job in Cape Town you are not exactly going to turn it down.

Then Mr OL is going overseas for 8 weeks shortly.  I am not expecting it this to be easy and it is going to put a serious dampener on my early morning training session but at least it is temporary.

More upsetting is the fact that my sister has decided to move to Australia for a while.  She has a one year working holiday visa and leaves next week.  I am going to find this very hard!  She is my best friend as well as my sister, but I know it is not impossible.  She and I have left and returned more times than most and I know we will still be in touch via email, BBM, Facebook, Skype and sms but it is not the same.  I want to throw a hissy fit  and kick and scream and tell her not to go, but I can’t. Not just because that would not be fair to her, but because I think going it is the best thing she could do right now.  And it is Sydney!!!!!! I love Sydney, I love Australia!  I am very worried that she won’t come back though – if that happens then I might just throw a hissy fit!


Posted in Art, Charcoal Drawings, Crafts, My Art Work, My sketchbook, Ordinarylife, Paintings

My voice

On all these reality TV shows, whether it is cooking, singing, dancing or home decorating, you always hear the judges saying the contestants need to “find their voice”.  At first I did not really understand what they meant, but as I watch more (purely research purposes of course) I got what they meant.  The contestant had to find the style that suited them.

I feel like I need to do that with art.  I am not talking restrict myself to one thing like only paint, or only draw.  I will always be trying new things and techniques but I need to discover my style.  I will still bake, sew, make cards, do various crafts, spray paint chairs, renovate and upcycle etc. but I am talking specifically about my artwork.  I see fantastic works of art that people are creating and think – wow, I’d love to paint like that or draw in that style or whatever.  But I know, I would never or could never do that.  It is not my style!

But what is my style?  That is the problem.  I feel that I need to define it, to “own” it.  I don’t know if I am making any sense??  But I feel that I need to concentrate on what works for me and I know that this should be easy and perfectly clear but I am finding it hard.

There are a few things that I know for sure.  I love drawing!  But I need a reference. I can’t draw “out my head”.  I love people and portraits.  I like paining in oils, but also love pencil, ink and charcoal.  I am better at realistic than fanciful.  But that is probably just because I have no confidence in my creative abilities.  So taking these as starting points I am going to try and work on defining my style.  I know it will change over time and I will improve.  For now I am going to draw more, as I mentioned in my post “Making a Plan” I want to try and draw something every day.  Not a masterpiece or even a full sketch.  I am happy if it is only a doodle, but I want to pick up a pencil or pen and draw.

Do you know your voice?  Are you trying to find it?

If you look at the tabs at the top of my page there is one labled “Art Work”.  I have some of my pictures and paintings there.



Posted in Ordinarylife

Internet shopping – I have a problem.

Marcia sent me an email asking for the names of the online shopping stores I like.  I started listing all the stores from which I have bought stuff in the past couple of months.  Wow, I really do have a problem!

I suppose it is just as well that I don’t like shopping the conventional way, so unless it is groceries or clothes I will pretty much buy everything else on line.

I thought it might be fun to post them here too:

Here goes: – I have recently bought a Nathan running hydration back pack as well as quite a few Kindle books. – it is a Spanish store, I bought my Garmin Forerunner 910XT from them. – I bought two pairs of Hunter’s boots on their sale.  YAY!  I have been dying for Hunter boots since I found out about them but could not justify spending over a grand on a pair of Wellingtons.  On the sale I got two pairs for R958 – bargain!  I would not rave about their service though.  I queried why my delivery was taking so long and did not even receive a response to my email.  It was only when I complained on Hello Peter than anything was done. – I only ordered this yesterday – can’t wait.  I bought an ice cream machine….. (and I had a R500 voucher from Discovery Miles, very useful)  EDITED _ Arrived! Yay – I am a sucker for anything paper – and if some of the money is going to a good cause… I have no will power.  I am also still waiting for this deliver.  It has been posted.  EDITED _ Arrived! Yay – I ordered their Facebook business cards! They are free at the moment, you only pay for the delivery.  I like this idea, they take your cover photos and create a cards out of them.  I only ordered them yesterday as well, so am waiting in bated breath…..

Other than that I ordered Washi tape from Francesca Mills whose details I found on this blog.  I received that parcel a week or so ago. Love it.

So there you have it.  My internet shopping list.  Where have you bought stuff from lately?

Posted in Crafts, Family, Ordinarylife, Paintings

A fun project

Mr OL had these pair of bar stools that he refused to part with… They were old, the varnish was peeling off and they were covered in paint splatters – he called them his painting chair – from the days before he had a ladder.

They had pride of place in our entertainment area (we had nowhere else to put them and the skip was out of the question.  I figured that if he was not going to let me get rid of them I was going to make them a feature – and paint them red!

It was the first time I have tried to repaint furniture and as I wanted them glossy I decided to use spray paint.  I am not sure if I would do that again – or just opt for the more conventional paint brush next time, but I am really happy with how they turned out.

My steps were

  • Strip of all old varnish
  • Sand
  • Fill all cracks using wood filler
  • Spray paint – a number of coats were necessary (5 cans……)

Here are some photos

Sanded and cracks filled – already looking better
Pride of place

The only thing I did not do is replace a missing cross bar.  I did not want to spend too much money on them incase I (or Mr OL) hated them.  Although initially sceptical about the red he loves them!

And its another thing crossed off my list.  The hardest part of this project was trying to find a windless day – yip PE has been living up to its name lately.

Posted in Art, Children, Family, Food, My sketchbook, Ordinarylife, Quilting, Sewing, Women

Making a plan!

I want to thank everyone for their comments on my previous post – and for the kicks up the backside. I needed it.

Little OL is doing so much better.  I can notice a huge improvement in both her temperament and energy levels and I did not even know there was something wrong with them.  She has always been a happy child but now she is bouncing off the walls (in a good way).

Unfortunately I have not heard anything further from her Nanny, which I am guessing that is bad news on her behalf as I am sure she would have contacted me if she could.  I have tried contacting her but her number is no longer operational.

Little OL seems to be doing fine at Day Care full day.  It has simplified one area of my life as I now don’t need to pick her up at lunch time and take her home.  I did not realise how much of an extra stress that was.  Seeing how much of a change that one little thing has made to my day I have decided that other areas of my life need simplifying too.  I am generally a pretty organised person, especially at work and I have decided to carry this over to my home.  As I work through what I am doing I will let you know.

Here is my list so far (I am sure I will add to it) as well as some of the stuff I have already done

  • Sell Little OL’s baby stuff
  • Organise recipes – DONE
  • Create a meal plan (Mr OL has a new job with longer hours and is no longer doing the cooking)
  • Organise baking stuff – DONE
  • Organise craft stuff – DONE
  • Organise sewing stuff
  • Do a drastic clear out of my clothes – be ruthless this time (I have lost some weight and my work pants no longer fit)
  • Take stock of everything in the freezer – keep the list up dated.
  • Take stock of everything in the grocery cupboard – keep the list up dated.
  • Start a family file with all the important stuff in it.  Dates, numbers ect.

Then there are some things I want to do that are not purely organisational

  • Draw every day – I used to carry a sketch pad around with me and draw, I want to do that again (I want to post about this in a separate post)
  • Repaint 2 chairs (started – I have finished the first coat – so happy) – DONE – read about them HERE.
  • Start the quilt I want to make from some of Little OL clothes and blankets from her first year.
  • The abs challenge with Pink Hair Girl.

I am sure both these lists will be added to as I work through them.

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Chocolate, Family, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Shaken and stirred!

I am sure that there will be many times while Little OL is growing up that my confidence will take a knock and that I will feel like “a bad mother”. This however is the first one, well first major one that has lasted more than past her next smile, cuddle and kiss.

I know that in the bigger scheme of things it is nothing serious. We found out that she was anaemic early, there is no long term damage and it can be “fixed”.  However it has shaken me.  I have always been pretty good with her diet and although I know that this is not entirely dietary related because of the worms it does come down to a lack of nutrients.

I have always been very strict with sugars and processed foods. She did not have commercially bought cereals when she was a baby and even at her first birthday party did not have any sweets (or even any of her cake).  Until she was about two she had never had sweets, chocolate or juices (fruit juice or sodas).  Her snacks were all healthy and her food all homemade (or from Wollies which I figured is the same thing…. J)  I did however realise that she drank quite a bit of milk, but figured it was good for her.

Now I am beginning to question everything.  It sucks!  I am taking another hard look at her diet.  I am cutting down on her milk intake as well as her carbs.  I need to find a way to get her to start enjoying her greens again and eating her veggies.  At school they  say she eats them no problem, so it is just at home.

I need however to get more organised as I need to have a meal ready just to warm up when we get home at 5. Little OL is starving then but if I wait then she won’t eat.  I have been using my slow cooker lately and just putting it on when I leave for work in the mornings so that it is ready when I get home but need to look at other ideas as well.  Maybe putting some of the meal I (or Mr OL) cooks the night before in the fridge for her or something like that.  I have been looking at various meal plans and ideas online (any excuse to search Pinterest…..), but just need to find one that works for us.  The reason I have not done this previously was that Mr OL did all our cooking (he adds too much spices, chilli and salt for Little OL). The nanny or I prepared all Little OL’s food and the nanny would then feed her before I got home from work.  Easy!  Now I am nanny less and Little OL is in school full day.  It has really thrown a spanner in the works.  I know if I prepare a full meal plan I will end up being the one to do all the cooking.  I don’t want to take that on as well.

Do you have a system that works for you?  Do you work from a meal plan or just throw something on when you get home?  Ideas please…..