Posted in Art, Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Paintings

Latest painting

Here is a photo of my latest painting.  I have been really slack about painting lately and think I have only completed this one this year.  It is oil on stretch canvas.

I think when you paint a picture of your own child you are super critical as there are a few things I would like to change. For one the area around her nose is too dark.  However, I have signed it so it is finished.  I am always worried that if I go back to “fix” something I will muck it up even more.  Generally though I am quite proud of it.


Little OL – Oil on canvas
Posted in Art, Baking, Cookies, Food, Ordinarylife, Paintings

Something new

So I decided to try something different with my iced sugar cookies – to paint them!  I have seen it around and thought I would give it a try.  We have our art class end of year party this weekend – our theme was Berthe Morisot.

I did not enjoy it and they did not come out the way I wanted. 

I believe that this is because of a few reasons, firstly I don’t usually paint with water colours and this would be done in that style.  Also this artist used oils so it was difficult to copy.  Secondly I found that the colour bled into the icing.

The other thing I think is that the taste of the food colouring would be too strong if you ate them (which I have not done yet).

I think I will stick to the more conventional way of decorating sugar cookies, line and flood with royal icing.  I really enjoy that. 

Here are pictures of the three I tried next to a copy of the painting I was trying to copy.  I think the one of the little girl with the red hair came out the best – the others are shocking! 

Painted iced cookie


Painted Iced Cookie


Painted Iced Cookie
Posted in Paintings, Port Elizabeth, Swimming, Wetsuit

Summer – bring it on!

I went for my first sea swim this season – and only my second since Little OL was born.

It was a HOT day in PE so I organized my mom to come and babysit and I went down to the beach. 

All I can say is AMAZING!  I loved it, it was great being back in the water and today my tummy muscles are sore.  All good!!

I even still managed to squeeze myself into my wetsuit….

Posted in Art, Crafts, Family, Food, Ordinarylife, Paintings

I have NO words!!!

Oh my WORD!!!! My addiction just got a million times worse. 

Take a look at this site….. And I was not even Googling cookies, I was looking for ideas for Baby OL’s first birthday. It’s a sign I tell you…….

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I think I need to bow down to this woman, these are works of art.  The work that goes into each of them must be extreme…

I don’t know whether to give it a shot or to step back in admiration.   I love the fact that she paints onto the cookie icing.  I don’t think I would have thought of doing that.  If I do  “attempt” doing this it is going to be a much more basic version…. 

Follow THIS LINK to go and see shop or her BLOG. Truly amazing.

Posted in Baby OL, Family, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Paintings, Parenting, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

7 Things…

7 things….. 

Phew, I am not sure what there is that you don’t already know about me.

  1. Like Hayley who gave me this award (Thank you) I love South Africa.  I have lived in 6 different countries and visited quite a few more and still think this one is best!  I am not oblivious to its faults and I not always confident that it is heading in the right direction but I love it anyway.  I love the colour, the vibrancy and the noise.  I love the mountains and the beaches and the open space of the Karroo.  I love the faces, the smiles and the friendly greetings.  I love living here!

  2.  I get bored easily and it is a major problem!  I never stick to one thing, I have no idea what it is that I want to do with my life and by now (38) I really should have some sort of vague clue.  That saying “Jack or all trades but master of none” is very true for me.  I can do a lot of things reasonably well but have not mastered any one thing.  Hmmm…..
  3. I am surprised by how much I am enjoying Baby OL.  I always thought that I would not enjoy the “baby” stage but I love it!  It does help that she is a total little angel and has only woken once in the middle of the night in the past 4 months.  (Please don’t hate me).  She goes to bed at 7 and wakes up around 6 or 7 the following morning.

  4. Different cultures and traditions fascinate me. 
  5. I never thought I would get married. I did not picture it in my future at all.  I never dreamt about meeting that one or spending my life with one person.  I used to fear all forms of commitment and would not even sign a permanent job contract.  I worked as a temp for many years and only had my first permanent job when I was 28.  The job I have now has been my longest @ 3.5 years.  I would not even sign a lease agreement before.  Now I own property, am married and have a baby…   I used to think the Dido song “Life for Rent” pretty much summed up how I lived.  I worry it still does to a degree…

  6.   I have NEVER been on a diet.  If I think that I should maybe on one then I instantly start eating like a horse.  If I feel that I need to lose weight I start to do more exercise.  Usually that helps because I feel healthier and it has a knock on effect, the better I feel the healthier I eat and so on.
  7. When I was 12 I was told by the art teacher at my primary school that I had no artistic talent and art was not a subject that I should take in high school.  Thankfully art was actually a compulsory subject for the first two years while I was at high school and the teacher there was FANTASTIC!!!! She was encouraging and I was even made Art Monitor.  I did however carry the belief that I could not paint and so did not do art as an elective subject when the opportunity arose.  I did thankfully keep drawing and still do.  I even started art classes in 2000 and LOVED it.  Talent or not I now love painting and drawing and have actually sold quite a few of my art works.  It is something I am very proud off.  I am amazed that somebody that is supposed to nurture talent could destroy a child’s confidence like that.  I was even more upset because she said it when I was showing her a picture I was extremely proud of and still remember what it was off.  I now wish I had kept it, but I was so upset I scrunched it up and threw it in the bin. 

So, that is pretty much me.

I  have not tagged anybody, so if you  feel like doing it  please go ahead, just let me know in the comments so I can come and read what you have written (I am curious like that…) (is that No.8?)

Posted in Art, Nursery Decor, Ordinarylife, Paintings, Port Elizabeth

If you have nothing nice to say….

rather say nothing at all – or did you mom not teach you that????

You know there are just some people that you like right away and then there are the others…. The ones that you know, you will NEVER like. 

I encountered one on Sunday!  And she was standing in my house.  

Her boyfriend had come to help Mr OL out with some rewiring (we are having a kitchen done – yes I agree, fantastic timing being 9 months pregnant and all).  Anyway, they walk in while I am busy painting the last of my frogs – and feeling rather proud of them.  She asks if she can see what I am doing so I said by all means. She walks over, looks at them and asks if she can make a suggestion. – WTF!!! Me, in my dumbfounded state say yes. She says I should do something with the background, not just have it white.  This is the first time I have met this girl, and this is the first thing that she has to say to me… After I recovered from my shock I said, no I left it white on purpose and decide to show her the nursery so she can see the contrast.  Dumb move on my part!  She said she quite liked it, but then asked about the tree I painted and did I come up with it, and she supposes it does lift the room otherwise the brown would be rather flat.  Why the hell did she think I painted it???? 

She looked at some of my other paintings around the house, only to criticize them as well. She asked if I use oil or acrylic paint and when I said I use mostly oils, she says have I ever thought of mixing my paints with boiled linseed oil because my colours are dull.  Excuse me????  I told her I paint for fun, and no I have not thought about it and no I won’t be doing that in the future either.   I am quite proud of my paintings.  The she looks at a set of 3 that I did and asked if I was trying to copy Andy Warhol, but completed the sentence with, Oh, you probably don’t know who Andy Warhol is.  The little $##$%!@#$$!!!!!  I said, I know exactly who he is and these painting are nothing like his style, I have done a few in his style before, but I sold them, as I have done with a number of my pieces.  I was getting slightly irritated at this stage. 

She then had the nerve to comment on my garden, asked if I had thought of covering the patio and made a few other…. suggestions.  I think by this stage I was in too much shock to say anything back to her. And  if I had thought of something to say it might not have been very pleasant.  But my mom raised me better than that.  If you have nothing nice to say rather say nothing at all – her mom should have taught her that. 

The second she left I turned to Mr OL and said – “I intensely dislike that girl!”

Posted in My Art Work, Nursery Decor, Ordinarylife, Paintings, Pregnancy, Sewing

More nursery pictures.

Here are a couple more pictures from the nursery.  

It is nearly done!  The only thing left is the bedding, which I have still yet to sew.  I am not in a rush as I will be using blankets for the first little while anyway. 

Here are some pictures of the paintings I did.  I found a picture by an artist Royce McClure that he had for t-shirts (link HERE) and copied it.  I have no intention of selling these pictures, so hopefully he does not mind that I copied them.  I am really happy with the way they came out.  The first 3 pictures are the individual paintings and then the 4th picture is what they look like in the room.  I have also added a few more photos so you can get a general idea of what the room looks like.

We have left a double bed in it for now.  It might come in very useful (and we had no where else to put it).

I know the dark brown would not be to everyone’s taste but I am SO happy with the way the room has come out!  For all of Mr OL’s skepticism at the beginning about the colour and my plans he now loves it too and says he is really happy I did not go all pastels and stuff. Although if you saw the rest of our house you would know that I would not have gone pastels.

Hear no evil!
Speak No Evil!
See No Evil!
Pictures up in the room.
The opposite wall

And one final picture.  I found this doorstop and Mr Price Home.  Isn’t he so cute!!!

The cutest doorstop.
Posted in Art, Nursery Decor, Ordinarylife, Paintings

Art classes!! Woo hoo.

My art classes start again today and I am very excited.  I think I am being rather optimistic taking in a painting I want to finish as I doubt we will actually pick up a paint brush.  The last class we had was in August so there will be lots of catching up to do and wine to be drunk – unfortunately I will have to give that part a skip.  But it will be fun to catch up with the girls.  Our classes are always more social than anything else. 

I probably will only be able to make the next 3 or 4 before this baby comes so maybe it is best that I do actually try and do some paintings.  I have 3 paintings for the nursery that I would like to finish before the baby actually gets here.  Maybe I’ll start them next week…..

Posted in Nursery Decor, Ordinarylife, Paintings, Pregnancy

The bump and nursery

Here are some long promised photos.

Firstly the bump (pre haircut). From the side…

28 Weeks!

Yes, my cats are looking at me as if I have lost my mind.

And from the front….

28 Weeks

And finally – a picture of our nearly completed nursery.  I still need to get the bedding for the cot and put up pictures on one of the other walls.  We are also still going to get white skirting boards put in and a rug for the floor.  Other than that we are pretty much done.

Brown and Green Nursery


Well, it is pretty much brown and white, and we have brought the green in with the frogs.  I recovered the chair myself and painted the tree.  I am very happy with the nearly final result.  What do you think???

Posted in Art, Cycling, Family, Ironman, My Art Work, Ordinarylife, Paintings, Port Elizabeth, Running, Training, Triathlon

One painting bought and another sold! And a whole lot of stuff in between


I had the most fantastic weekend!

 Saturday was a busy day for me. In the morning I ran a 10 km race and who would have known, training actually does work!  Well kind of – I still did not beat my mom (damn that 63 year old can run) but I did beat my previous best time, so am pretty happy!  My time 56:53, which is about 5 minutes off my normal 10km time (yes, I told you I was slow).  My previous best was 58:46 and that was in 2005.

 Later in the day I met up with some friends that I have not seen in ages and it was great.  One cup of coffee ended up taking about 2 ½ hours to drink!  I am sure the waitress must have been cursing us.  It was so nice to catch up, and I really need to make more of a concerted effort to keep in touch with them. 

 That evening we had our Art School’s end of year (beginning of year) party.  Each year the classes have a little competition against each other.  We are given a theme and each class needs to submit a project or whatever, interpreting the theme.  This year we needed to “Do” a painting.  We were able to interpret this anyway we like, but were not just to recreate the painting, we needed be creative.  Some classes acted it out, some pretended to be “in” the paining and some pretended to be the artist painting the painting.  Some classes worked on their project for months.  We did not!  Some classes rehearsed together for hours, we did not!  Some classes put real effort in, we did not.  WE WON!  Some classes are not speaking to each other; most of them are not speaking to us.

A Jackson Pollock painting
A painting by Jackson Pollock


We arrived with a large blank canvas and 30 little water guns filled with paint.  We got everybody at the party to “shoot” the canvas.  Our painting was a “Jackson Pollock” and it was fantastic!  We had so much fun, and it seemed everybody else did too.  Well, until they realized they had just helped us win – again.  When the judges came by everybody was totally involved spraying our canvas.  Once the judges had watched for a bit, one of them said to us “You know what you need to do if you want to win”.  We knew exactly what we need to do, and all shouted “Justine”.  Out came Justine – in a bikini and rolled across the wet paint.  The judge just stood there open mouthed.  He had not expected us to actually have somebody to roll in it.  The resulting picture was actually really interesting, and as always they are put up for action with the money going Animal Welfare.  I have put in a bid on it, I hope it get it. 


 There was also an exhibition of works done at the school throughout the year.  We could each submit a couple of our paintings.  I kind of left it to the last minute so rushed there just before the party started and asked if it was too late to submit a painting.  My teacher said it was fine, she would find a space.  I am very thankful that she did – IT SOLD!!!!  Yippee.  I am so excited and at least now I can justify putting in a bid on the other painting.

Painting I sold!
Painting I sold!




 In other exciting news – well not exciting to anybody but me, I did another 120km cycle.  Once again we did the Ironman loop twice.  This time there was an Easterly blowing, so I expected our time to be a bit slower.  They were not, so I am pretty happy.  Now at least I have done it in both an East and a West!  So – 8 weeks to go and it is looking good so far!!!