Posted in Baby OL, Crafts, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife

My word for 2013 – DO

A couple of years ago Lynette wrote that she chose a word for the year.  I think she has started a trend as I have been seeing it more and more.  This year I have decided to join in – my word for 2013 is “DO”.

At the end of last year I hired a life coach The Coachman – for a few sessions, it was one of the best decisions I have made in a very long time. I would highly recommend him.  One of the things he does is hold you accountable, so for example, if you say you are going to do something you need to “DO” it, at the next session he will confirm that you actually did it.  It can be one step in a process or a goal or whatever.

This resonated with me.  I often have an idea, or a thought, something I think I should do, but after a couple of hours or months I have done nothing about it.  This year I am going to “DO” something about those thoughts.  It is not that I want to do more stuff – in fact I actually want to do less, but I want to really focus on the ideas that I have.  I want to work out if they are viable, if they will add to my life, my marriage and my daughter.  If not, throw them out, but I want to have worked through them in a systematic way, step by step. The same with craft projects – I want to “DO” them. (no more unmade Christmas gifts)

So to this end I need to get organised.  I can’t function when there is chaos around me.  My first action this year was to declutter.  My second was to organise my home office and my 3rdwas to organise a crafting notebook.  I am going to write down all my craft projects – what it is that I require to finish them, when they need to be finished by and any other problems or requirement I might have along the way.  I also now have a file that has work in progress projects in it, so that I can easily go back to them as I get the time.

I love organisation, I love processes, I love to work through things – so this is what one of the things I mean by “DO

I also want to “DO” more life.  Mr OL and I are going to travel a bit this year and I would like to “DO” some races in different parts of the country.

However one of the things I am NOT going to DO this year is Ironman.  I must admit I was very tempted.  It is on my Birthday, my brother and sister are both probably going to do it again and I have a good fitness base.  I am however very happy with my decision (as I am sure  Mr OL will be when (if)  he reads this….)


PS:  The Coachman (Erich Jordan) is based in East London, but I did all the sessions over Skype so you can do it from anywhere.  His website is  I would highly recommend him.

Posted in Baby OL, Books, Children, Crafts, Family, Nursery Decor, Ordinarylife

Another fun project – a bookshelf

I posted a while back (HERE) that I had bought a spice rack that I intended to use as a bookshelf.

It is finally up and being used.  I actually spray painted it a while back, but it only made it onto the wall this weekend. Here are some before and after photos.

As you can see it was in a bit of a state when I bought it.

Before – needing a bit of work.

I had been looking for one for ages after seeing something similar on Pinterest.  I eventually found this one at a charity shop.

I sanded it and spray painted it. And am very happy with the result.  It is very narrow and fits perfectly below the window in Little OL’s bedroom.  When the curtains are closed you would not even know it was there.

cleaned, sanded and spray painted


Spice rack turned bookshelf!


Little OL doing an inspection. I think it passed.
Posted in Crafts, Family, Ordinarylife, Washi Tape

Another easy Washi craft

Here is another EASY washi craft.


3 or 4 magnetic strips  (I pulled mine from the back of old Mr Delivery menus)

Washi Tape


This is so simple.  Clean all the paper off the magnets if using old ones, then stick the washi tape on top.  I had to trim my magnets down the side a bit to get them the same width as the tape, but it cut really easily with sissors.  I then angled the ends a bit just to make it look a bit better.

Magnet strips with Washi Tape

Find your favorite photo or post card.

Put on fridge.


Washi tape magnets in action

The post card is from Russia with love from my sister-in-law.  It took over 2 months to get here but finally arrived.

I found the washi tape idea on THIS BLOG Twirling Betty

Also just a reminder that I am selling Washi Tape at R25 per roll, excluding postage.

Posted in Crafts, Ordinarylife, Washi Tape

Washi Tape – Tea light candles

Here is another REALLY easy thing to do with Washi Tape.

Required: Washi Tape, Sissors (or craft knife), Tea light candles, Pillar candle

Step 1 -( the hardest part)  Chose your washi tape

Step 2 – wrap around around the metal part of the tea light.  If wrapping around a pillar candle, make sure you put the washi tape quite low down so it does not catch alight.

Step 3 – cut.

Yip as easy as that.

Tea light Candles


Tea lights and a pillar candle

I tried wrapping washi tape around a normal pillar candle too and it looks great.  I love the idea that you can remove the tape and add different ones to match your tea light candles and table decor.

2 warnings – always put your candles on a heat resistant surface and make sure your pillar candle does not burn down to near  the washi tape.

Inspired by this post:

I am selling the tape at R25 / roll, excluding postage.

Posted in Crafts, Ordinarylife, Washi Tape

Washi Tape Craft – an updated notebook

Warning:  Expect a lot of washi type crafts in the near future…..

Here is the first one.

I took a notebook that I received free with a magazine (Good Housekeeping this month if anyone is interested) and changed it a little.

Notebook – updated using Washi Tape


If anyone is interested in buying Washi tape, please leave a comment and I will get back to you.

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 Charity, Crafts, Family, Ordinarylife

More than I bargained on

I love paper.  It is a well-known fact and one that I have mentioned here before.  I don’t scrapbook, but do, do a whole lot of crafty stuff that involves scrapbook stuff, like paper and other bits and pieces.  Well, this past week I was given the best gift ever…. Boxes and boxes of card-making and scrapbooking stuff.

My mom started dating a family friend after his wife unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago.  This lady was into card making, and a few weeks ago he decided it was time to clear it out.  I was going to go round on my birthday to have a look, but as we know my birthday plans did not quite come to fruition.  So I went around on Thursday and OH MY WORD!!!!

After starting to go through some of the boxes I got a bit overwhelmed.  It was a very weird experience.  Obviously I was extremely grateful to be given all of this, but it was too much.  In the end we called another of the ladies friends with whom she made cards and we went through the stuff together.  That was much better but I think we both found it a bit over whelming.  I also felt bad, and kept thinking of this lady as I was going through her stuff.  A lot of it was items or cards she had already made or was in the process of making.  I felt too bad to throw anything out and then felt greedy when It seemed like we were taking everything.  I was thankfully the other lady wanted all cards that had already been worked on.  I found the whole process a lot more emotional than I thought I would.

In the end we divided the boxes and goodies into 2 piles.  We then each divided those piles into further piles.  I split mine into a pile for me, one for my nanny’s kids and one for a rehabilitation hospital that is always looking for craft stuff for its patients.

As it is I will never need to buy a piece or card or envelop ever again….

Now let’s hope that Mr OL does not read my blog… he had a bit of a fit when he saw 2 of the boxes as I was working through them.  I am not sure what he would say about the 4 more hidden under the bed and the further 12 that I have hidden in the spare bedroom cupboard…… (and yes, that is after splitting it and giving a lot away to charity)

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Chocolate, Crafts, Family, Food, Ordinarylife

Advent Calendar

This year I decided to do an advent calendar for Little OL.  I am not sure if she will understand it or not, but worth a shot.  After scouring every corner of the internet (pintrest) I saw the idea of using wage packets on Harassed Mom’s site – what a brilliant idea. In fact I pretty much “stole” her whole idea.  I used the same printables as she did for Cameron’s packets – which can be found HERE.

My main problem was what to fill them with.  After our chocolate fiasco that was a definite NO NO.  In the end I have put in little packets of biltong, dried fruit, raisins or biscuits.  This is pretty much what Little OL would have for a snack in the morning anyway, but now she just has more fun getting it.

Advent Calendar
1st December
Posted in Baking, Books, Ordinarylife

I received a parcel in the post


I ordered a couple of books from at the beginning of the month and they arrived today…  Even better than Kalahari’s promised delivery time of the same books and cost nearly R200 less even including the shipping.



The packaging they arrived in seemed a bit of an overkill though….



Yes, that does say United States Postal Services…  LOL.  

I am determined to teach myself how to bake decent cakes by the end of the year!

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.