Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude, Art, Baby OL, Baking, Children, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, My Art Work, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Paintings, Parenting, Running, Sketches, Trail Running, Training

Happy 5 year Blog Anniversary!

I have had this blog for 5 years – wow time has flown.  Before I started here I had an iBlog account for a short while as well.

Over the years my blog has changed quite bit.  It has gone from being mostly about Ironman training to a real mix up of stuff, Ordinary Life stuff!  I have had a baby, I have started baking and icing cookies, I have shown you all some of my paintings and sketches, I have started a new business – SA Medal Hangers.  And very importantly I have made some great friends!

Thank you all so much for joining me on this journey, I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Here is the link to my first post – published on the 1st September 2008

Posted in Art, Charcoal Drawings, My Art Work, Sketches

Life Drawing

I once again attended a life drawing session at Art on Target in Target Kloof. They generally hold them once a month and get a different model to pose each time. This time they got their gardern to do it – a wonderful gentleman in his 60’s with lovely features.  It was apprently his first time posing and he did very well.


In one of the drawings I tried to focus mainly on his face, but he tended to look around the room a bit and although he probably thought he was only moving is eyes it did change the look – the next few drawigns I stuck mainly to his body.

We started with 3 minute poses, then a couple of 15 minutes, 30 minutes and ended off with 1 60 minutes session.  I love doing this and will definitly try again.  I probably would not have done these had it not been for the fact that I am unable to run (hopefully that changes this week)

Here are some of my drawings – these are all done in charcoal.








Posted in Art, Ordinarylife, Sketches, Trail Running

An update – on my foot

It’s been 7 weeks to the day since I last ran – SEVEN WEEKS!!!!!  I am grumpy, I am miserable and I am generally not pleasant to be around….  Hmmmm, this might explain why Mr OL is in East London at the moment – (Honey – it is for work right???)  [Side note: he does not actually read my blog so I am not expecting an answer]

I keep getting asked how my foot is doing and the truth is that I have NO IDEA.  It was ever only sore after I had run 10km and then only if I went up a hill.  It then stayed sore for 5 days but after that it was back to normal until I did a similar run.  So, without going and testing it on a 10km run ending in an uphill I am unable to give you an answer.  I am hoping good!  I am hoping that it has healed and I am hoping that from next week Thursday (I am going to give it 8 weeks to be on the safe side) I will be able to run pain free again.

There are however a few good things that have come from this… In the past two weeks I have been allowed to use the stair master at the gym.  Owww, owww, owww!  The first day I could only manage 5 minutes before I needed to stop and walk around.  I then went back and did another 5 minutes but it was tough!!!! I can now do 15 minutes at level 10 without stopping.  I am sure that this will help with the Dryland Traverse where I have heard it is impossible to run in some places as you are too busy climbing up a goat track.  I have also been given exercises to try and improve the strength of my glutes – apparently I don’t use my butt enough when I run and so am putting more pressure or strain on my leg muscles, which in turn pulls on my feet.  I went for a gait analysis to try and avoid a similar injury in the future.

So, from next week I will slowly start running again (avoiding hills initially) and then finally hit the trails again.  At least there is another life drawing session on Saturday so that will keep me entertained and out of mischief.


For those that can run and are interested in trail running there are 2 really nice trail runs coming up – a 30km called the Brak River Run at Hopewell estate this weekend and a 22km next weekend at Woodridge. There are shorter distances too if those are too intimidating.


Posted in Art, Food, Knysna, My sketchbook, Ordinarylife, Running

My weekend

My weekend away was fantastic and exactly what I needed.

I ate

I chilled,

I ate some more

I went shopping at a farmers market (for food)  If you are ever in the Garden Route on a Saturday morning head to the Wild Oats Farmer’s Market outside Sedgefield!  LOVE IT!

I ate even more

And I even drew a little while everyone else was running.


It was quite weird to sit and draw in a really crowded area.  I have not done this in a while and at first was a bit nervous but soon blocked out all the people around me and just concentrated.  At one point a man behind me did call over his kids to come and have a look but I was too scared to turn around and speak to them, so I just pretended I hear nothing……..  They where very respectful and quiet and I am not sure how long they were there.  Once I concentrate on something I do tend to block out the world.  This I really needed to concentrate on as the people kept moving…….



I might never run the Knysna Marathon again, this was so much fun… (just kidding)  I did miss the fact that I was not running.

Posted in Art, Baby OL, Family, Sketches, South Africa

All by myself……. I don’t wanna be all by myself

Well okay I do but just for the weekend…..

I seem to have gotten over my guilt about going away for the weekend – ALONE! And am now just extremely excited.  Did I mention I am going ALONE?  All by myself?  Well, my mom, brother, sister, their respective partners, sister-in-law and a whole bunch of other friends are also going but we are not going together.

It is the Knysna Oyster Festival and although I am not running I know quite a few people who are – and they are welcome to it.  I have totally gotten over my disappointment at not being able to run and have decided to hit the art galleries, the quaint shops, the markets, the coffee shops and the oysters!  All by myself!  Did I mention I am going ALONE!  To do all the stuff that I love to do, without any time constraints.  Or quite possibly to do none of it.  It is actually really sad how excited I am that I can spend time on my own.  Just me, myself and I cruising around at my own pace, possibly taking a few photos, possibly sitting down and sketching, possibly spending an entire day in a coffee shop.  Possibly not even leaving the guest house.  Who knows…..

I think I have previously mentioned that I traveled around the world, sometimes with company but most of the time on my own.  I have no problem being on my own but it has been a while.  So to that end, no I am not sharing a lift.  I want my own car, to do things at my own pace.  But at least I know that if I get bored (or horrified) at my own company I will have loads of friends and family very close.  I just hope that they don’t get offended if I decide that I don’t want to see too much of them.

I have also organised 3G for my tablet so will be able to Skype Little OL.

Posted in Art, Baby OL, Family, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Running, Sketches, Tenants, Trail Running, Training, Training, Women

A quick catch up

My poor blog – so neglected…..

I start a post in my mind and then stop.  Too much information, too boring, said already or whatever the reason the thought gets ditched.

So, I am writing this one, one not thought out ahead of time.  I have nothing much to say but so what…. Here is a basic update of what is happening in my Ordinary Life.

  • I am still doing the Art Techniques course through and loving it.  I don’t feel that I always have enough time to do the art project but you only are required to do 2 to pass and I have already done two, so am not too concerned if I miss a week here or there.  I am just completing all the theory quizzes and that will be enough.  Here is a picture I drew (the London taxi) for one of the assignments, the topic was “Mail Art”

Mail Art

  • I am driving Mr OL batty with thoughts of trying to start (another) business.  I constantly have ideas in my head but generally they don’t get much further than the planning stages
  • I bought another property – think I already mentioned this – and have since found out that the tenants that I was led to believe were “good” have not paid rent in 5 months.  I am hoping that the current owner gets rid of them before I take over.  I am sure that it is a breach of contract or something if he said that they were paying when I signed for it but they were not???  Any ideas?
  • My foot is …. I am actually not sure.  All I do know is that I still can’t run.  I am going to take 6 weeks off and then hope for the best.  We do know that there is no muscle damage, no tendonitis, no ligament damage and nothing else that can be seen in x-rays or an ultra-sound.  These however do not rule out a stress fracture.  In the meantime I am going to go for Gait Analysis because something I am doing has caused this.  I am also going for massages (yay) and to the chiropractor who is doing dry needling as my muscles in my legs are in knots.  I am hoping that this all makes me stronger. I am also trying to stretch in.  I really need to get in the pool and on my bicycle…..
  • I am having a serious case of “mommy guilt” at the moment.  Next weekend I was due to go to the Knysna Oyster Festival to run the HoutKapper Trail… Mr and Little OL were going to stay behind in PE.  Now obviously the running is out – however I have already sorted out my accommodation….. So…….  A weekend away sans husband and kiddy????  I am going to go but why do I feel so guilty about going away by myself for the weekend?  My mom, brother, sister and a multitude of my friends are all going, Mr OL does not want to go….urgh!  Would you feel guilty?

Wow, for a post that I did not think about I sure had a lot to write.

Oh, yes – MR OL surprised me with an Asus Transformer – well, he actually surprised me by asking if I would like an iPad Mini – I said no.  After he got over the initial shock I explained why.  So he helped me get the Transformer instead.  I LOVE IT!

Posted in Art, Courses and Workshops, Family, My sketchbook, Ordinarylife, Paintings, Sketches

I want to learn how to…. (a Bucket List of sorts)

I don’t have is a bucket list – for some reason it has never appealed to me.  However I have always had a vague list of stuff that I would like learn how to do.  I love learning about new things.  I get overly excited, I Google it extensively, I watch tutorial after tutorial on You Tube, I buy books and read everything possible about it, I might even attend a course or two and eventually I will attempt it.

I love the challenge of learning something new, pushing my boundaries and trying stuff that I have never tried before.  The problem is that as soon as I have figured out how to do it (not even mastered it, just how to do it) I get bored and move onto the next project.  Sometimes I will go back to that project because I really enjoyed it, or I found out more about it and realised I only just scratched the surface with my abilities and then I will get all excited about it again.

My problem though is that my list of things I would like to learn about it is endless, varied and I forget about the one as soon as I have thought of something new.  So ci decided to write them all down ….  Here are just a few that I can think of at the moment:

  • I want to learn how to do quick sketches on location (and make it look like the people are people and not monkeys) – STARTED – WORKSHOP BOOKED, BOOKS ORDERED, GOOGLED EXTENSIVELY – See other blog An Ordinary Life – Sketched
  • I want to learn how to take a decent photograph
  • I want to learn how to paint a decent portrait (properly) – STARTED – SIGNED UP FOR THE DIARY OF FACES ONLINE WORKSHOP – PART ONE with Sharon Tomlinson
  • I want to learn how to work with chocolate
  • I want to learn how to make fondant (sugar paste) figures decently
  • I want to learn how to design a website
  • I want to learn how to use my Silhouette machine properly
  • I want to learn how to illustrate a children’s book (I will even settle for drawing a decent greeting card)
  • I want to learn how to use a photo editing program with a little bit of skill
  • I want to learn how to use a graphic design program
  • I want to learn how to make money out of property
  • I want to learn how to retire rich (don’t we all)
  • I want to learn about trading on the stock exchange
  • I want to learn about permaculture
  • I want to learn how to reupholster furniture
  • I want to learn how to write more creatively
  • I want to learn why my tomatoes keep dying
  • I want to learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • I want to learn how to bake a Black Forest Gateau
  • I want to learn how to swim more efficiently – for long distance open water swimming
  • I want to learn how to hand bind a book
  • I want to learn how to do Lino Block Printing

As you can see my list is extensive and varied…..  Although you will note there is nothing musical on there. Even I know my limits.  I am totally tone deaf!!!

I have decided that instead of just having a vague idea of things I would like to learn and randomly doing some as I come across them I am going to try and work my way through my list.  I am not saying I am going to try and learn them all.   Some I might scratch off the list all together.  I am also not giving myself a time limit.  Who knows, I might find one on the list that I absolutely adore doing and get stuck on it for ages.  Then again I might try and do two at once.

There are also some obvious constraints – obviously money is a huge one (if you offer courses in PE or online and want to donate a space to me in any of the above I will gladly accept – just saying…..). Time is the other biggie – I have a full time job and a 3 year old.  Space is another – the garage is my husband’s domain (or he so he likes to believe) I can’t really just take over the entire house and garage with my stuff.  I have already taken over about 95% of all available storage spaces (including the garage) with my hobbies (yes, I have a few).

So, with this in mind I have asked to attend a Pen and Wash workshop held by Talbot Cox for my Birthday, it is all about sketching on location and using your sketchbook as you go.  It sounds exactly what I am after at the moment. The course is in a couple of months and I am very excited.  HERE are details on the workshop if you are interest.

What would you really like to learn how to do, or like me do you have a list?

Posted in Art, Baby OL, Children, Family, My sketchbook, Ordinarylife, Sketches

A Sketched Life

I love drawing! I like painting with oils too but I really love drawing, either with pen, pencil or charcoal.

I used to carry a sketch pad everywhere with me although I did not always use it as much as I would have liked. It was kind of like my running shoes, I had to have them close… just in case, but years could go by when I never used them.  In fact when I moved to London in my early twenties there were 3 things that I made sure I had packed.  My sleeping bag, my sketchpad and my running shoes (listed in order of most frequent use).  My backpack only weighed 14 kgs and contained everything I thought was important!

A few years later I when left London to backpack around New Zealand, I once again packed those three items, (although by then my backpack had probably doubled in weight). This time however I actually used my sketchpad quite a bit.  I found that I loved just sitting somewhere and sketching what I saw – I used pen.  One of my favourite days was spent in Christchurch in front of the cathedral just drawing.  After New Zealand I went to Australia for a year, followed by Sweden and I never really drew much while I was in either country.  I don’t know why I stopped…

When I returned to South Africa I started art classes, painting and drawing, but always from photographs, never just sitting somewhere and sketching what I saw. I realised that I missed it, I want to be able to do those quick sketches that capture people as they go about their day to day business, I want to be able to catch a glimpse of a place, using my sketchpad, and not just a camera.  At the moment though I am not quick enough, people move, I move, stuff happens.  Although as with everything I am sure it is all about practise.  So that is what I have decided to do.  I want to try to do a sketch a day.  Something small, something quick;  I can’t promise that it will be good, or accurate or even decipherable but I am sure that they will get better.  I found a website called Urban Sketchers and then bought their book The Art of Urban Sketching, it has really inspired me. So, to document my progress I have decided to start another blog, one just for my pictures and sketches.  I am hoping to see some progress, some improvement and hopefully some frequency…. I have called it “A Sketched Life”  Please click HERE if you are interested in seeing it.

Little OL sleeping
Little OL sleeping
Posted in Art, My sketchbook, Ordinarylife, Sketches

FBC – a doodle

A Doodle by me
A Doodle by me


I drew this using a fine-liner, correction pen (otherwise know as tippex) and my new favourite pen an ink brush pen by Pental – see HERE.  Its called a Pocket Brush Pen, I am guessing because unlike a normal brush you can just pop it in your pocket and it is ready to go.  It does takes some getting used to and I tend to be a bit shaky using it, but love it.  I will keep practising.