Thank you

Firstly, I need to say thank you to all of you who sent prayers and good wishes for my father in law.

At this stage they seem to have discounted the more scary and serious stuff and he will be returning to hospital soon to have his gall bladder removed with key hole surgery.  Still concerning but definitely a whole lot better than what it might have been.

They have still taken biopsies and I guess they are covering their bets but at least he is being looked after by his doctors.

We can hope that with the surgery, what ever is the problem will be fixed but I guess only time will tell.

The week was a busy one and one I was happy to see the end of.

My own parents were away and we had custody and responsibility for their little Pomeranian “Toffee”.  She is a sweet and energetic little thing and we spent a lot of time playing ball down the passage..

She went home today, and after a bit of a cleaning frenzy (dusting mopping etc) I started what I hope will be a birthday or mothers day gift for my Mum.

No face yet so still looking not quite right but not too bad for a couple of hours and my new oils I think.

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Not the best pics but as it is still a work in progress,I know you will forgive me.

And remember, don’t tell my Mum.

Also still in progress, my spider.

I ended up making it larger, I wasn’t happy with how it was originally sitting on the canvas.

Its still pretty messy but I am happier with it and next week, I shall add more definition to the back and legs

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So just a short post today.

Thank you again my lovely friends for your support and caring wishes this week.  It was so very much appreciated.

Time I went and made a potato salad.  Friends popping over for a BBQ as we make the most of the warm days before Winter lands on us.

Oh, and would you believe that it is now less than 7 months before my grand adventure.  Accommodation and airfares all booked and pretty much paid.  Still a rental car to organise for us to use in Texas and also  I need to decide just what I just can’t possibly miss in NYC.

All suggestions appreciated.

Better choof.  Taters to toss and such.

Hugs and smiles



A simple request

Its kinda hard for me to write this today, but I need to ask a favor from all my blogging friends.

Not something I think I have ever asked before.

My father-in-law isn’t well.  He hasn’t been well for a while and after some recent routine blood tests, something needed further investigation.

Since then, there have been a lot more tests.  Ultrasounds, MRI and two stops in hospital in the past week, the first for an endoscopy.

There is an urgency in the way the specialists are treating him which has me worried although so far either we are not being told the worst or they still don’t know.

Mentions of a shadow on his liver as well as the irregularities in the blood tests are about all hubby and I know at this stage.

I’m not asking for your stories of illness, or comparisons to others that you know of. We will leave the diagnosis to the doctors.  I am already imagining too many worst case scenarios

I am simply asking that you include my wonderful sweet father in law in your prayers and thoughts for me.

He is a simple man with simple pleasures.  A craftsman and a fisherman.

And we love him so very much

A crisis of confidence.

See that over in the corner?  That red and bloody mound of mush, dotted with chunks of sage green slime?

That I think, is my left lung.

Or maybe my right.

Or both of them.

Its been three weeks of the most disgusting lurgy that has kept me from here and I am still fighting the remnants.

Started with my usual nemesis.  The sinus infection.  But this germ wasn’t giving up without a fight and the amount of phlegm I have coughed up in the last three weeks would fill a fancy Nutribullet cup and give some hipster a terrible shock next green smoothie they reached for.

To much information?  Too bad. If I have had to sleep with feet lathered with Vicks and drink copious quantities of Senega and Ammonia, you get to enjoy my usual vivid descriptions of my life.

So how the hell are you all?

Last time I was here, I had almost finished Benson.

Which I have and is now just drying before going off to a new home. Yes, sold to the real Benson’s mum and there is nothing at all wrong with that. (Money of course going straight to the very worthy cause of NYC sightseeing and Broadway show fund)

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So after pretty kitty was done, I succumbed to peer and spousal pressure and chose my new challenge from a photo I had taken a little while back.


Still here?


You were warned.

Lady Redback is my model for this particular painting and she is going to be a huge challenge.

First the prep drawings and trying to get an idea of composition took most of last Saturdays class.


Now I could have chosen to paint this HUGE.  After all the canvas is HUGE. But I have instead decided to leave a reasonable amount of “negative space”.

I want this to look simplistic and minimalist despite the fact that it is going to be incredibly difficult for me to paint.

And then happy with my proportions and measurements and composition of my drawing, I popped it all to one side with the plans to start the serious stuff today.  Which I did.

But the weeks art didn’t finish there..


A good friend (who just happens to be an Archer) had a birthday and impulsively I decided to paint him a picture.

So I started it Saturday, finished it Sunday morning and had it framed and wrapped by 5pm Sunday afternoon.


What some might call a “quickie”

Happily, he loved it. And I loved painting it with my acrylic paints.

Today, being Saturday again and the second day in the past three weeks, that I have felt remotely human (I decided that I must be better if the cloud has lifted and people are back to pissing me off) I headed off to class with the background done and a feeling of optimism about starting the spider painting.

All ready to trace it onto the canvas and then a class mate and dear friend got inside my head with the words “Do you think you should paint it larger”

Apparently negative space is a very scary thing to have on a painting


Self doubt didn’t just creep in, it body slammed me and I started to second guess and over think and justify my reasons for doing it how I had planned.  (Planning that I had spent hours doing and thinking about already).

But I shook it off, took a deep breath and did as I had intended and by the end of the class, she could see what I had planned all along.

That this is more than just a painting of a spider. (Well in my head it is anyway)

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While the background has been started in acrylics, the spider and shadow are in oil paint and this little lady is going to take me a while.

Oils dry much slower than acrylics and I want to move away from my usual style and paint it with a little more realism.

I know it wont be to everyone’s taste but I need to keep challenging myself and this is exactly what I need to be attempting at the moment.

It’s so crazy to think that our Summer is over and I confess it was a piss poor attempt Mother Nature.  Only a few extreme hot days and now we are back to darker cooler mornings and the temptation to grab a cardi as I head out the door to work.

Time is ticking down towards my trip.  More things are getting crossed off the list and I at least have a pretty good idea where we will be sleeping most nights.

Apparently as well as forcing my body to accept a huge time shift simply flying from here to there, I will also encounter 4 time zones in three weeks as well as the added bonus of a daylight saving switch.

Gonna be mind blowing.

Even hubby is getting excited. Just have to make sure we find him somewhere to feed his archery addiction on our travels.

Oh, forgot to mention.  My exhibition hasn’t happened yet.  Had a bit of trouble coordinating dates for installation with work roster so it has been put off for a few weeks but as soon as it happens there will be pics and stuff.

it will happen.

Just gotta make it so.

This has turned into novella length so I am going to sign off and think about what wine I will be drinking at the neighbours farewell party tonight.

(Finished the antibiotics so I can drink again)\

Bye for now.


Benson – A work in progress

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Started in acrylic paints on a 20″ square canvas, I hope to finish this one in oil at my next class.

“Benson” will most likely be going to live in the home of the real kitten Benson.

In other art news,  hopefully in two weeks I will have my first real exhibition of my art in a city cafe. Complete with “opening”.

Up to 9 of my recent art works on the walls and for sale.

Very cool, and slightly terrifying.

Wish me luck :)


Valentine’s Day Sucks

There you go, I said it.

Valentine’s Day sucks great big hairy sweaty monkey balls and really in my heart, I hate it.

The concept is fine enough.

A day set aside for romance and couples and love.

And the world needs love,  Big bucketfuls of it to be honest.

And I have love, I have the most amazing man who loves me, as well as wonderful family and friends.

I KNOW I am loved by the most important people in my life.

I don’t NEED a day for my husband to send me overpriced and most likely to die within 24 hours given that it is 41 fucking degrees outside and you could fry an egg on the concrete under my clothesline, what was I saying..oh yes overpriced and overrated roses.

I certainly don’t need chocolates on February 14th anymore than I need chocolates on any other day of the week and I certainly don’t need all the hoopla and commercialism that goes with the annual saturation of red.

My husband does romantic and wonderful things for me every single day.  Simple little things that show me how much he loves me, from the morning coffee before I get out of bed, to the almost daily text message of “Love you most”.  He will pour me a much needed wine, and even sometimes bravely attempt to organise dinner.  (Bravely as the days I really need it most are the most dangerous times to actually invade my kitchen).

And each year, especially this year, we both diss the whole Valentines commercialism and agree not to bother.


As much as the rational part of my brain is fully intentional on sticking to the plan, somehow this crazy, emotional woman takes over, buys a card and then works herself into a state, as all her friends are getting flowers and her Facebook feed is filled with public declarations of love mixed in with pictures of love quotes and blissfully happy couples having romantic weekends.


Suddenly I am 13 again and WANTing the whole ridiculous shebang.  The cards, flowers, candlelit dinner for two in Paris..

And Hubby is confused

Because he has done what we agreed on.

And has no idea why, once again, he is, to quote him “in the shit”

Its not him, its me.

And I can blame hormones, or tiredness from work but realistically, it is behaviour that I keep repeating.

Actually, given the mood swings, teary episodes and the state of my skin this week, there probably was some post menopausal hormonal influence.

Poor Hubby.

He did the only thing he could.

He hugged me tightly, kissed me and together we went to see a film.

No, not that 50 shades of Bleh that everyone is talking about.  We went to see “Kingsman” starring Colin Firth as I have never seen him before.

Some similar aspects though.  Hot guy, great suits, over the top violence.  Very comic book though.  Lots of decapitations with very little blood.

Lots of swearing and gorgeous English accents too.

While I did do  fair bit of hiding the face into the Hubby’s shoulder, I came away laughing so it was a definite mood lifter.

And there was icecream after.

Perhaps after all these years, Hubby should have guessed that the crazy was going to come out.  It had been a hell of a week to be honest.

But he is only human.  And I really don’t need a day to be told what I already know.

After all, he is helping me make my American dream come true.

And that really is the best and most romantic gift a girl could ever hope for.

Enough babble

Here is the art from this week

Firstly, another charcoal portrait.

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Some progress shots of a reworking in oils of an old painting originally done in acrylics

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And finally

My next project and a beginning prep drawing (Thumbnail)

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That is just a quick sketch to get a feel for layout and angles boring stuff like that.

Ok, Hubby is waiting for me to join him in the pool.

After all, it is fucking hot and perfect for a dip.

Til next time,

with love


*** all bonus swearing inserted to make Patty and Jenny laugh.

Not brown, anymore

Ok, so I turn around and it is Friday again and I am thinking “How the hell does one week seem both so long and yet have disappeared in a blink of an eye?.

Just one of the many mysteries of life.

Of course if we go by drying time of these lovely new paints, it feels like only a day as some colours (I am looking at you Alizarin) are still tacky after nearly a week.

Yep, I did it, crossed over to the dark side and started a new class term with my brand new oil paints.

What a mind fuck.

Sooooo different from the way I paint with my acrylic.

Jury is still out on a verdict of whether or not I like them yet (much less love)but as all super heroes must have an evil nemesis, I resolve that I will defeat them and make them my bitch.

Its going to be 37 deg C here today.  Somewhere around 100 F I think for my friends on the other side of this blue ball in space.

Bit of a jump from yesterday’s 29 deg C, but I am not complaining.

It has been a dreadful attempt at summer so far.  Not impressed Mother Nature.

There should not be uggboots out from under the bed or woolies close at hand.  All such winter apparel should be well and truly packed away and gathering dust.

Sadly, what has been gathering dust is the cover on the unused pool, something I hope to remedy this weekend.

Big C had the stitches on his face removed this week after a minor surgical procedure to remove a cyst.

His grandmother played taxi, and helped out while I was at work.   After the appointment, they stopped for coffee with my handsome son, picking up the tab.  Grandma, being awesome, offered to buy him lunch.

Bad move Grandma.

Fiercely independent 18-year-old, promptly and politely told his grandmother to “Back off” as it was his responsibility to treat her after all the running around she had done for him.

I am so proud of that boy.

My mum and I are still laughing about it.

And that is where this stopped on Friday….


8:52pm Sunday

Feet up, starting to think about my nightly cuppa tea as we watch for the first time a new TV show “Shark Tank”.

This is after my latest fix of my current obsession, the Australian version of “I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here”.

But there has been more to this weekend than just watching TV.

Friday finished after a long hot afternoon, with a cold shower and couple of glasses of wine leading to a very sleepy me, dozing in the recliner.  My work in the city office is much more physical than some other offices and quiet honestly, I was shagged, and not in a good way.

Saturday, up bright and early for Art class.   As a bonus, an opportunity to work once again beside a dear friend who I hadn’t seen for months.

And those oils.

This time though, it felt less foreign, and with the gentle guidance of my wonderful teacher, things started to happen.

And the apples, actually look a little bit like apples

Still plenty of more experimentation and practice required, but I will get this figured and hopefully, shortly, I will be back to painting more instinctively.

After class, a long overdue trip to the hairdresser, before a lovely evening of pizza and wine with good friends.

Of course, when you mix warm weather, wine, pizza, more wine with the neighbours after a spontaneous wander down the street after waving good-bye to said good friends, and then throw in a 6 am alarm so the youngest can have a driving lesson, a slightly thick head is pretty much par for the course.

So today was spent getting the washing done, catching up on overdue emails and now finally finishing this post.

Oh and completely wiping and restoring my ipad…ugh.   it hasn’t been happy since the last ios update and today the almost constant restarting got me pissed.

So I saved what I wanted, noted my passwords and then crossed my fingers and plugged it in to the lap top.

So far so good.

I think.

Anyway, that is what my life has been like lately.

Several good friends have checked on me as apparently I have been a little on the quiet side, and my only excuse, is life is going well, busy, but nothing stressy or dramatic or out of the ordinary.

Boring mostly as I kick the saving plan into high gear and my favorite reading matter is Trip Advisor.

Time to drop the hint to the hubby to bung the kettle on.

Hope y’all are enjoying your weekend.  (see that, practicing my Texan)



There has been art

I’m not dead.

In case you have been wondering.

Oh? You haven’t even noticed I have been absent?

Well, I have no excuse.  I confess, I have been slack.

I did go away.  With Hubby.  To Mount Gambier.

He shot sticks at circles while I browsed an art gallery and did some sketching.

Food was eaten.  The motel was pretty much a lesson in getting what you pay for…

And after two nights,

we drove the 5 hours home.

But the short trip away, combined with the Victor Harbor Art show (I sold NOTHING) did fire up the creative juices and so finally, I have art to show you.

Two sketches in charcoal.

A sunflower

And a friend
The potted plant is finished.

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and then there is this.
One of those random slightly bizarre conversations between mother and son.
A request, almost a dare was issued.
A painting of a duck. A mallard duck
With party hat and a rainbow.

All a bit of fun, and of course I agreed, but admitted that sadly, I had no canvas.

And then he called my bluff and presented me with a canvas.


Of course, I refuse to be out bluffed by an 18 yr old so I called his bluff and painted it.
And now he must hang it on his bedroom wall


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So there you go.

I did art.

Classes start next week.

Routine is finally returning