Monday, December 19, 2011


You are amazing. I just wanted you to know that. I am blown away by the heartfelt comments on my last blog post, and the ones before that. Thank you so much for taking the time to support me and lift my spirits when I'm being awkward about my art. It really means the world to me!

I know that at times it seems I'm nothing but awkward about my art, but I'm not. Not all the time :) I just need to dump, sometimes. To let go of some of the stuff that's cramping my style and making it hard to listen inside.

I love it - so much! - that you talk to me! It really does help!

I've been doing way more painting than I've been sharing here lately, but I will post about that later. There's a reason why there is no illustration to this post :) I want to do something for you. To say 'thank you' properly. And to wish you happy holidays!

If you leave me a comment here or per email (turquoise.tortoise(at) and send me you postal address (email or in a FaceBook message), I'll send you a handwritten card of my own design, per post :) Because I really, deeply, appreciate you being here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It's been quiet here... I'm well aware...
November was a busy month, with 3 family birthdays, including Squirt's and mine. And I actually celebrated my birthday for the first time in years, which made it a bit of a stressful event! And of course, after that, Sinterklaas came to visit on the 5th of December, which took some careful plotting and planning (not to mention shopping and wrapping!) as well.

There's a couple of weeks left till Christmas, so the next while should be quiet. I'm totally ready for some relative quiet. I feel like I've been running around like a headless chicken for longer than I care to remember, and I'm not entirely sure where I left my head! But I'll find it - I always do :)

I have been anticipating creativity for the sake of being creative. Out of my birthday money (thank you SO much, friends!!) I've ordered some amazing books on how to live the artist's life, and some on inspiration, and I've been breathing & browsing them over the past week, wishing there was time to dive in. I've been telling myself time will magically reappear after the first week of December.

But the crazy thing is, time has never truly been away... There's been less time, perhaps, but I could have gotten a few brush strokes down, every single day - if I'd really wanted to. The honest truth of the matter is, I've been afraid. I mentioned it before, and it's still with me. I have no idea where it's coming from. Or maybe I do. Part of it is, that I want to do so much that I don't know where to start. Part of it is in having seen too much intimidatingly amazing work from other artists lately. Paralysingly so. I've been feeling so inspired, that it's turned into a block. Or something. I can't put my finger on it...

What I did know yesterday, was that I had to put something down onto paper. I just had to. I was beginning to feel like a fraud, having all these books on living an artist's life lying around, not actually feeling like much of an artist... So I picked up a ballpoint pen and started drawing from a photo I took of Monday's lunch. Straight to pen, drawn & coloured in 30 minutes. And part of the whole facing the fear, doing it anyway (one of the books that's waiting for me ;)) - I knew I had to post it here.

The fear has been telling me that I can't draw or paint. I can try, but it won't come out looking like it was meant to do. I'm not writing this because I'm fishing for compliments, but because that's what is on my mind. But I don't think this drawing came out bad at all :) Especially not for someone who's been telling herself she sucks, consistently, for weeks!

It all comes down to breathing. Pushing through, and doing it anyway. And I just did. I so need to ignore my inner mean dude more and just do!

What's holding you back from jumping in? How do you deal with irrational fears? I'd love to hear!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 26

It's my birthday today, & I'm not keeping my age a secret ;) I'm not ashamed ;)

I am proud of who I have become over the years. That's not something I say lightly, not something I say easily, but it needed to be said. It's been one hell of a trip so far, but I think I'm getting closer to being who my inner 3-yr-old wanted to be when she grew up :)

This past year, including our move (in fact, the actual moving started on my BD last year!), has been the best year in a really long time :)

Today, I'm grateful for my beautiful 'old' friends, and for the lovely & amazing new friends I've met since I turned 37 :) I'm grateful for the fact that I finally feel like I've got something to offer and to share. I'm grateful that those who knew me 'when', stuck with me through a whole lot of anguish and crap.

Here's to friendship. I feel a lot stronger for knowing my friends, for finally living geographically closer to them. I always knew it would be beautiful - & I've felt SO incredibly alone without, living away from the people I knew, hardly knowing my neighbours for the previous 11 years! This is the first year I'm actually feeling in my bones what it means to have friends! I'll be celebrating you with food today, people, lots of food & cake :D

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 21

Oh my gosh! Proud for persevering far outside my comfortzone! I don't do faces! Let alone large, center piece faces! You can see why ;) But this happened, and I stuck with it. And as if that's not enough, I'm publishing it, here. Sorry folks ;)

Today's gratitude is for regaining my footing after weeks of being lost, somewhere... I'm not all there, quite yet, but I'm on my way ;) I'm grateful for being able to call myself again on something without freaking out, screeching 'FAILURE!!' This was a battle going on on the inside, mostly. Outward (outside) appearance; calm and composed, for the most part.

Yesterday I caught myself thinking vicious thoughts. About other people, and myself too, eventually. The kind of stuff that really doesn't help. And it's hard to shut up that voice, but I made a start. Drawing this helped. I'm listening to Ingrid Michaelson this morning, and that helps too:

I could write my name at the age of three
and I don't need anyone to cut my meat for me
I'm a big girl now, see my big-girl-shoes
It'll take more than just a breeze to make me fall overboard...

That bit. Not the rest. Unless it's me, because I am always trying to catch myself. Hard work, that. But always rewarding, if I stand still long enough to feel grateful & thank myself ;)

Thank yourself today. For something! It really does feel good!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 17

I've been a little obsessed with blue & orange lately! Ideas kept swimming in my mind, and I set out on a little quest to capture them in photographs :) There is a lot of blue & orange out there, and I'm not sure I'm finished with it. But this is my final cut for now (haha). These 5 are framed and ready to go up in the hallway, as sort of a little private exhibition - if you're in the neighbourhood, please drop in :)These two - A4 in an A3 frame! - are on the living room wall, hanging over the couch. I love how patiently Squirt cooperated with these for the price of a couple of blue and orange smarties :D The one on the left was him showing a couple of sweets to the camera of his own accord - he's a natural ;)

Today's gratitude is all for creativity. I love this buzz, ideas that keep coming, refusing to leave! To be quite honest, I have a little bit of paint-anxiety right now... No idea where it's coming from or why - yet. But you know what?! It doesn't matter! Because for the past couple of days, I found a different outlet for creative fever, and it's all good. I'd almost forgotten how much I love my camera, too - so maybe it's all because I needed that reminder!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Rant & lesson for today -
It's actually totally warped to want people to appreciate all the upheaval you are facing, too. The fact that some people perpetually think their problems are bigger, should point you to notice the beauty in your life. To take it on as a compliment. To smell roses! To be more compassionate and kind - both to yourself and to others! To be graciously grateful.

‎& how I suck at that! Do you think it's a women's thing? To want to be appreciated for our struggles, instead of our ability to see silver linings?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 13

This was scary! I'd wanted to try drawing outside, in a public space for ages, but I just wasn't brave enough. Yet. Today, I brought my art journal and some not much used supplies (crayons and felt tips) to Artis Zoo. I wasn't sure they were going to leave the bag I carried, but bringing them made me feel good :)

Until we got to the Butterfly Pavilion, where it's nice and tropical, and I could sit down on the floor. This is not necessarily what I wanted to draw - I would have prefered to draw an animal, but this was the spot we chose to sit, so this was the stuff that ended up in my journal :) I brought paper for Squirt too, and we sat drawing together, which was awesome! It was cool to hear people whisper that it was a great idea!

I'm totally impressed with myself :) I'll be doing more of this! I'm grateful that today I plucked up courage and drew in a public space, with unfamiliar media & a subject I wouldn't have picked naturally. I stepped outside my comfort zone in a big way, and it was amazing! I really needed something like this right now :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 9

Yesterday, we went on a little Road Trip by Bike! Inspired by Stephanie Levy & her awesome Creative Courage e-course. Taking a detour to go shopping, looking at things we would normally just pass, stopping where we wouldn't on a run-of-the-mill Wednesday :) We had a lovely time, me & Squirt, and when it was time for bed, he asked me if we could do another day like this tomorrow :) That was probably partly inspired by the fact that we had poffertjes (sort of small puffy pancakes served with melting butter and powdered sugar) for lunch, but still! We had fun together!

Gratitude for today? Definitely, for taking the time to slow down. There is a drawing in this, but it's in the Work in Progress-stages still. I'll share it when it's done!

Day 8

On Tuesday, I spent my creativity on creating these mice for Squirt :) In the Netherlands, it's customary to share a little treat with your class mates when you've had a birthday, and Squirt went for... cheese! Which is quite funny when you know he tells me (and everyone who'll listen) on a daily basis that he really doesn't like cheese! On occasion while munching on a piece of cheese. Adding that he likes this cheese, but most definitely not 'the other cheese', whatever that means ;)

Gratitude only in the fact that I finished them on time :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 7

True story... My mother gave my grandparents a cake set for their 12.5-year anniversary; 1 large cake platter and 12 plates, decorated with different fruit & leaf patterns. It must have been around 1960. The platter and 8 plates had survived years and years of good use, and I inherited those when my oma passed away.

I used them for the first time last Sunday, for my home-made birthday cake, and my mom was so happy to see them out and in use, in my house...

Sunday evening, when I tried to put the stack back in the cupboard, somehow, 7 out of 8 plates slid off onto the kitchen floortiles. And broke. They didn't just break really, they shattered. Leaving shards everywhere. I cried while we cleaned and threw them away. I still haven't told my mom. I know it's going to make her sad, too.

I drew this plate on Monday, for AEDM, day 7, while eating the last piece of chocolate cake. I was thinking about my grandmother, my oma. These plates have been the center of every cake-worthy celebration since before I was born. They were a symbol of family to me. With my grandmother in the middle of that small safe universe.

I am grateful to my grandmother, for showing me what family is all about. Lots of good stuff, all about warmth - especially when I was a little girl. And lots of wise stuff, about people. My grandmother always saw the best in people, except in herself. She passed away in March of this year, and I miss her.

Update: I just phoned my mom to tell her about the plates... Her response? "Well, I guess it was their time then. I was amazed that they lasted this long!" How's that for mindful wabi sabi wisdom? ;)

I had an idea. I have my birthday coming up soon, and I've asked my mom to come cake-plate-shopping with me. I'd love to find plates that will go with the large platter, and she's going to gift them to me for my BD. That way, I'll still sort of have grandma-mother-daughter plates that will hopefully last till it's time to bequeath them :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 6

It's Day 8 of the beautiful month of November, I realise that... I'm playing catch-up from the get-go, here. I knew this would happen, which is why I'm taking part in both Art Every Day Month and 30 Days of Giving Thanks on the QT.

As far as AEDM is concerned, doing the work isn't the challenge, so much. I seem to end up doing something creative every day, whether it's an intention (mostly), or not :) It makes me endlessly happy, that does! So AEDM is great, because it's making me aware of how much time I spend on creative projects! I tend to complain a lot about not having enough time to do all the things I want to do, and it's true: I have way more ideas than time, for sure. But I do get to my creative work. And that needs saying too :) I'm grateful for recognising what I get to do!

The challenge is in the posting about it all! Do the work, enjoy myself and blog about it, too? That's where it gets trickier!

And then there is Shannon's challenge. Giving thanks each day of November. Gratitude is beautiful. When you do it right, when you try and feel it to your toes and back, it's kind, it's soft and it's mindful. It creates space, too. Space in your heart, space in your mind and space to breathe. I know this. I've known it for a while. But I have to admit, I need practice.

It's sort of heartbreaking to be honest about this, but being grateful is really hard for me. I'm a recovering perfectionist. There are so many sides and sidelines to this that it probably warrants a whole blogpost of its own, but I'll keep it simple for now. It's hard, because as a recovering perfectionist, I'm still having a hard time letting things go. Realising that there is no shame in leaving things as they are. That there is beauty in imperfection. That I don't have to make everything better, and improve upon improvements, perpetually. That there is space to BE. And breathe. And enjoy.

To be truly grateful, you have to be able to be still. To take stock of what is; not of what's going to be better if you get to tweak just a little more. And that's hard. I'm getting better at it, but it's still hard. A challenge. One that I need. For my soul (thank you so much, Shannon, for making me aware of this!)...

This is part I of my art for November 6th. I cut myself some slack and used Photoshop Elements on the painting I made for my friend's card. After all, she wasn't happy about the design per se, but I was! I made this painting with my birthday boy in mind, and so it was always going to be for him. I had never coloured something in PSE, but always wanted to, so this made me happy :) And I'm pleased with how it turned out!

And this? This was an exercise in letting go of the inner critic :) I was going to order a birthday cake. What with all the stuff and stress on my mind, I was going to be kind to myself. And then, just like that, I decided to just go for it! I'm not a pastry chef, but I can bake a cake! It's a brownie cake with lots of real chocolate inside & on top, moist & yummy :) To be honest, maybe more in honour of me the mamma than of the birthday boy, but hey! I was celebrating being a mom just as much that day ;) And I made some coconut-banana muffins for the kids, so I'm not feeling guilty ;)

My gratitude for day 6 of thanking in November? It goes wholeheartedly to my baby boy... Who is as far from being a baby boy as any three-year-old can be :) He's awesome!! He's more and more becoming his own self, with likes and dislikes, hugs + kisses & a dead-cool sense of humour :D

He changed my life when my life needed changing most. I'd almost given up on myself and my place in this world when he came along. He made me want to be the best mamma I could be, and for that I had to become. Full stop. I had to re-invent myself, drag myself up out of the mud by the ears and start believing in myself. You have no idea where I was. Neither do I. But I do know that I'm here, like this - getting stronger, wiser and more true to myself every day - because this amazing little boy, this gift came into my life when he did, three years and 2 days ago...

That's gratitude from my toes...

Birthday Boy

Friday, November 4, 2011


I finally got round to creating a spot for my witch to hang out!
I went leaf-hunting two weeks ago, spending a couple of awesome hours in the park with Squirt in the Autumn sun. Of course I didn't bring my camera... I wonder what life would be like without something to beat yourself around the ears with, but that's another blogpost ;)

I dried the leaves between tissue paper in a book, and got out my sewing machine yesterday - after the last drags of a stomach bug had left my system. I had wanted to finish these window buntings before Halloween, but didn't. I'm okay with that. Last night's yoga session was amazing, and I'm at peace with the world today ;)

I created them the same way as the one I made two years ago. There is a link (with permission) to a tutorial in that post, although needless to say, I only used the sewing method here :)

After finishing my buntings, there were a couple of leaves and bats left, so I decided to frame them:
I LOVE blue and orange together. Ever since the episode with baby smurf and too many carrots (click & scroll down a little through the post)... There is something so... energising and zesty about this combination :)

By the way, I'm sort of taking part in Art Every Day Month, hosted by Leah Piken Kolidas. But quietly. I probably won't be posting my efforts every day. And I'm okay with that, too. In fact, I'm really, really okay with that :) It means I'm finally reclaiming my power to say 'No!' to myself. Because I have way more ideas than time to accomplish them. And I really liberally ladle stress all over my plate when I have the feeling I committed, so I MUST... So there :) Look for the label 'AEDM 2011 on the QT' :)

I also love the November challenge Shannon came up with - Thirty Days of Giving Thanks. I had this awesome idea of combining the two and make a piece of art based on who or what I'm thanking that day :) Again, I'm saying 'No!' I'm not committing, as such. But I am joining this challenge, quietely, too. Basically, I'm going to do what I can when it feels right :) I'll label these '30DOT on the QT', surprisingly :)

How's all that for soul care, nurture & self-love?! MAN I make me proud ;)

P.S. reserving the right to change my mind - it's all part of being whimsical & colourful ;)

Saturday, October 29, 2011


This is a birthday card I got commissioned to make for a friend! Commissioned, yes :) Which is awesome :) I'm actually selling my art!

It's the second card I made for her. And it's hard! Not the actual work; I love coming up with an idea, based on what she says - that's the part that energises me to bits! There is something about making someone else's idea come to life in your own style :) And at times, it's good, not to have to come up with - something meaningful from the heart ;) To just draw and paint for the sake of practising & doing.

But then comes the moment it's finished and you have to show your work to a critical eye... This friend, she doesn't hold back. I don't mean she's unkind about it, but she has an opinion, and she's not afraid to share it. She liked the first card I made better, and she thinks the 3 is too big. Ouch. That hurts. It's definitely the reason why I'm so scared to really take my work 'out there', you know? Of course she's entitled to her opinion; she has to send the card, so she has to be happy with the design. That's how it works. But it's still hard to take criticism - of any kind... I made a print version in which I stretched the design up & down a little, and she could live with that. She'll buy and send my card.

I have a little boy who'll be three in a week's time. I'll frame the original for him :) I made the 3 that big because I know turning three is the first birthday that actually means something to him. 3 is BIG! Looking at Squirt I know that at this moment in his little life, 3 is as big as cars. That's how that card happened the way it did. But that's personal, and the card was for someone else.

There is a lesson in here. About swallowing & breathing. And about not taking it all to heart. And about taste. About stepping up and stepping down. It's big, the stuff involved here - much bigger than that little card!

What do you do when someone isn't happy with what you made for them?

Thursday, October 20, 2011


This page is... so many things into one! A pretty cool doodle turned... interesting when I started applying watercolours to it...

First of all, I don't know where my mind was when I chose the colours, but it wasn't on pleasing, that's for sure! What happens when you're just doing while listening elsewhere, I guess :)
And secondly, perfect proof of the fact that I don't really know what I'm doing with those watercolours, quite yet! I was fine on run-of-the-mill (80 gsm) paper! I mean, it didn't work properly, of course, but I could just blame it on the paper! Now that I'm using the real stuff, paperwise, it's me. I don't know how to stop the stuff from staining, striping, cauliflowering & whatever else you want to call what can go wrong with this paint ;)

It's a learning curve, on many counts. I need to keep at it and practise on filling large spaces with a consistent wash. I need to re-learn the lesson that it's okay if not everything turns out the way I plan it, even when I set out to create something that's supposed to rock. Meaning I need to regain controll of my inner mean dude. Shut him up. Whatever he says, it's hardly ever appropriate!

I'm doing a course. Creative Courage, with Stephanie Levy. It's beautiful, she knows so much and she's sharing freely and thoughtfully. But it's also... quite daunting, to me. I am surrounded by so many incredibly talented artists who are already selling their products, and I feel... out of place. Not good enough. A beginner - and not in the Buddhist sense where it can be so beneficial ;)

I'm comparing while knowing I shouldn't, I keep measuring myself and coming up short. Who am I kidding?! It's one thing to overcome your inner critic when you're putting your own thoughts into your own images, essentially for yourself; it's quite another when you're contemplating - merely imagining! - that some day, someone might want to pay for something you make!

I'm stuck, at the moment. Stuck in can't, shouldn't, must!, who am I kidding?!, not nearly good enough!; inner mean dude ramblings. I know the only answer is pushing through. Perseverance. Daring to wish for myself. Soul searching, bridge-building, handstands and chocolate. Especially chocolate...

This painting is a metaphor. Of how colourblind I can get. How stuck. And how I keep at it, nonetheless. I think it deserves to be framed and hung, just for that!

What do you do to overcome yourself & shut up that inner critic?

p.s. If anyone has tips on washing a great white space around complex structures (haha), I'll be so grateful, I might not send you a print of this... beauty :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


It was beautiful, it had a tail & all! I don't think I've ever seen a shooting star with a tail before!

So I started wishing for more creative courage, more creative juice, renewed belief in my own unique style, and ended up monologuing in my head. Whether I'd be jinxing my family's health and financial well-being by asking for something so... selfish! A luxury, really. I went back and forth with myself for a while, and just like that, the moment was gone.

I have no idea what the Universe in Its endless wisdom does with multifaceted... wishpuddles. But I'm sure it will be good! I believe that, you know?

Do you think it's selfish to use such a special wishing moment on yourself? It's hours later by now, and I'm still befuddled!

I just sat, gut-wrenched, through an emergency doctor's visit. Squirt fell down the stairs? off a stair? just slipped? really hard, hitting his head on the marble floor tiles in the hallway - I didn't see it! What sort of a mother am I?! He was all pale and groggy and half out of it... But he seems fine now. Thank the stars - kids get over these things SO much quicker than their mothers!
So of course, here I am, wondering whether he fell because of the above, or whether he's fine, because of the above ;) At times, it's EXHAUSTING, having an active, imaginative mind ;)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Making art together, me & my 'baby' :) Some much needed 'about nothing'. We should all play more. I mean that!

Monday, October 10, 2011


A quick cheater blind contour. With a humble request:
Please, kind Sir, remove me some obstacles... I've been kicking the same stone again & again - my proverbial foot hurts! xo, Yvonne

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Hateful when you discover a spelling mistake just when you're finished & quite pleased with yourself!! Oh well...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I know I'm being dramatic here... But it feels traumatic, this whole playschool-thing. To me, anyway. To me, much more than to the kid involved. He goes, does his thing, and sort of whines when I come to pick him up. Funny. But not haha, necessarily. Not yet, anyway :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Not my best work, but so heart-felt it hurts!

Squirt is going to playschool this Tuesday. I'm sending him away! I know I'm not, but ouch just the same. But hey - mums bloom in Autumn, so it's a matter of waiting for my moment. Right? I mean, right?!

Life's bitter-sweet, huh?!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


All done with the witch :) Cut & pasted, two-sided, and threaded to go up. Somewhere. Somehow. Still have to figure out the rest of it, but this is done :) There are days I'd love to join her, broom off into the great blue yonder... But that's another story, I guess ;)

@ Anne, don't worry, her shoes won't come off, I used decent glue ;)

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Spent all day on a Halloween-y sort of project, spontaneously :) I hope it's going to be a window bunting thingy when it's finished, but it all remains to be seen. It's ongoing. Got a sore back from cutting and pasting - in the literal sense, involving scissors and glue! So for today, I'm done.

This is the witch I drew. I think she's sort of cute :) Trying to teach Squirt that there are good witches too. He's just discovered the idea of witches, ghosts and the like, and he's not quite sure what to make of it all - & to be honest, neither am I! We'll figure it all out, head on, together, I guess ;)

I'll let you know if this witch turns into something finished!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Brussels sprouts, to be exact. In honour of the fact that, allegedly, according to my mother, I'm the only grown-up (also, allegedly!) who's never overcome her - let's say aversion to these abominations.

Of course, fate dealt me a kid who loves them. By exception (click!), he got lucky! I needed a couple to draw (note to self: it's hard to try and mix the same colours a day later!), he got to get rid of the evidence :)

I stayed at my parents' house for a couple of days last week. A little too long. Something about childhood indignations and their apparently endless shelf life seems to bring me Brussels sprouts. Go figure!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've been drawing & painting like mad over the past few days. I'd love to show and tell, but there's a lot of angst and negativity involved and I feel like I've been overstating that side of me, lately... These are times of transition, of growth and growing pains for me. I'm channelling lots of stuff into my art journal in stead of into words, and that's a huge step up. I'm slowly letting go of the idea that - if I can word things, I can grasp and control them. So I'm drawing them. It feels good, and I'm getting drawing practise in at the same time :)

But while dealing with things - or: look, pick apart, disect and study the remains - is a big part of who I've always been, life definitely isn't all bad. There's just not enough time in a day to draw all that and sweet smelling roses!

So for the sake of something completely different, I'm sharing our smallest room with you today :)

I'm trying to make it a happier place, seeing that we spend so many hours there, in a lifetime. The (ceramic) houses and cars are the latest addition, I stuck them up with double sided tape just this morning. We brought them home from South Africa, as an odd souvenir :)

My awesome neighbour and friend Tamar says Dutch toilets are the cleanest, but also the most boring in the world. She ought to know, she's a self-proclaimed, well-travelled expert on the subject ;)*
I started decorating toilets long before I met her, and it's a work in progress, but I'm bent on proving her wrong, anyway :)

*she said so in this awesome bit of stand-up comedy (sadly only for the Dutch speakers among you!):

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I started this bit of art-ish-tics just to see how I could draw our carpet (using watercolour and coloured pencil, as it turns out). Then I got sucked into drawing the hoover - pun unintentional, but on point ;) And this is where it ended, quite unplanned.

This is not how we coexist in this house! Willing or not, you probably gleaned I'm not always one for letting things go easily (although I'm fervently working on that - really!), or to let sleeping dogs get their much deserved sleep ;)

But we did celebrate 11 years of marriage, last Thursday! At times, dust bunnies take over the house - small & bigger arguments left unresolved overnight, petty grievances unaired, random crap rehashed and chewed again, you know the sort of thing ;) It sure as hell isn't always easy, but then, no one said it would be! But we're still here. And as far as I'm concerned, we're sticking it out!

Happy anniversary, honey :)


I am not a huge rugby fan. & rugby, she's not hot, really, here in the Low Countries. But husband is South African, so I get... contaminated, every now & then ;)

Just this morning, apropos of nothing much, I got this image in my head: a dog lives in the center of the Universe. And it barks and bites. Not a comfortable image to start the day with. For all sorts of reasons, better left undisturbed ;) But then I saw this:

I love watching the All Blacks perform the Haka!! I can't even begin to explain how this sets fire to my insides, so I won't ;) But I've decided to play this for myself, first thing in the morning, for as long as the dog refuses to wag its tail & do a happy dance!

Friday, September 2, 2011


From my Morning Pages this morning;

'Some hope onto this page, into my heart! Because please! These convictions! They - none of them mean anything beyond the boundaries of my flourishing and over-active imagination: not really.
It's a beautiful idea to think of it all along Chinese (medicinal) lines: I'm diagnosing the (in-) balance of NOW & confusing it with ALWAYS!
Right now I'm disappointed & sore & tired. Of course I am! & Right Now can be a long moment - let's say the past 2 years. Almost. It doesn't matter. Right Now - including large chunks of 2010 & '11 - is not Always. It's NOW.
Everything flows & changes. It does. I know it does - of course. The Me who is, now, is the self-same Me who never thought she'd be a mamma, standing upright, here (and all that includes), to make Art! It's not the exact same Me, because we ebb and flow and change - but it's essentially the same lost soul of... 2002, to name a year. So things change, they heal.
If I believe that - and I do, I have to, I live it! - then WHY do my own home-grown + nurtured convictions (especially when I see they change like leaves, over a matter of just days at times!) settle into all that I AM?!
Grieve, cry, be sad about what isn't, sure! Healthy, even!
But to swallow it, to cartilage the whole thing & make it a Truth?! Not a good thing; not okay, not healthy, not helpful!, not necessary & definitely not Truth.

Amazing, awesome & soul-deep!
Focus on & cry for NOW, not Always!
What an insanely simple relief!'

Feeling a whole lot better, when I really didn't think I would, for a long time. I hope it might make you think differently about something you have been holding onto unnecessarily. There is hope, there always is. I don't usually do posts like this, but I needed to fling this out there. It just felt that way!


Wednesday, August 31, 2011


On our first day in South Africa, Squirt got a wire car. A toyota, even! A gift from his grandad ('oupa Afrika') that had been waiting for him for months :) Within hours, he was fluent with the steering wheel, and he never left it anywhere he couldn't see it :) It really was awesome to watch him with that thing!

Of course, I couldn't leave it out of my 'Africa sketchbook', so I drew it. Eventually ;) It took a while to build up the courage to tackle this thing! And it took me hours...

I was convinced that if I could draw this, I could draw anything. Of course, that's not exactly true - I've already proven that to myself ;) But it was - probably - the hardest think I ever tried to draw, and I'm definitely proud of how it turned out!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011


Birthday card for a friend :)