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



The smell of chocolate fills the air

It is a much cooler and nicer day today.  The rain has stopped and the fire is well and truly out after 6 days burning, destroying over thirty homes and many hectares of property.

We went from a 42 deg C mid week to a 22 deg C day with plenty of rain forecast.  The floods didn’t happen here in the city but the ground soaked up that much needed water and I think we all sighed a collective sigh of relief.

This week I took the hugest step yet towards my dream of traveling to the USA.

I booked my flights.

I went to the travel agent alone.  Hubby is happy to let me do all the leg work although I am pretty sure he is okay with everything so far planned.  (He really does love me very very much)

It is all so very exciting and just a little bit terrifying.  Especially the cost of accommodation in New York city.

I have planned a 7 night stop there.  In a lovely hotel on Broadway.   Hopefully enough time to have a decent enough look around.  Certainly plenty to see and very likely not enough time to see it all.

Several things on my “bucket list” to be crossed off.  MoMA, The Metropolitan, Statue of Liberty and perhaps a random Broadway show.

Even a hot dog in Central Park.  Cliche’ perhaps, but this might be the only opportunity for this little Aussie to experience one of the most iconic cities in the world.

From New York, across the country to Phoenix, AZ.

The offer of a local to guide us and a road trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon was too much fun to turn down.

I have been longing to see the USA desert for the longest time.  And happily in October, it might not be as scorching hot as it can be in the Summer.

We might even see bears!!

A couple of nights in Vegas, including Halloween, should be fun and probably enough freak show for us.  Dazzling bright lights and hopefully a show, as well as plenty of people watching will be amazing.

Last stop on our much too brief visit will be Texas.

And time spent with a best friend.

We have plans to paint.  And maybe even a football game.

Nothing definite yet,

except perhaps the tears, when it comes time for me to leave.

I am pretty sure that it is going to be heartbreaking to go.

Three weeks, multiple time zones, multiple airports, and a big variety of adventures ahead.

My bank account may never recover, but I have this dream, and I am making it happen.

Life can be short and unpredictable and I plan to live it to the fullest with no regrets.

In a perfect world,  I could have included more stops, got to spend more time with my blogging friends, but it just isn’t possible with my budget and leave time.

In other news,

I have baked today.
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Triple choc muffins

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ANZAC biscuits

Chocolate cherry cookies

(Seems to be a recurring theme here…)

Tomorrow I take my paintings to the Art show. Bit of luck I might even sell one.

Until next time (I have dishes to do now)



A sensory overload

I walked outside a moment ago.  An overwhelming smell of hot asphalt rose to great me, as large drops of rain splashed and then evaporated.

Two days of extreme heat here in SA has also left an acrid smell of smoke in the air.  Assaulting the senses and stirring up primal fears.

Fire on the northern side of our city, and now moving across the hills.  More fires in regional areas.  Property damaged, families evacuated and a major emergency declared.

Parts of Victoria are also burning as winds push the flames across more and more land.

My social media news feed is filled with terrifying images of flames and devastation as family members leave their homes and take refuge in safer areas.

Be safe.

Two words repeated.  The sky is dark from rising ash and we sit and watch the news, and hope that the change now blowing through will help to slow the fire and give the brave men and women on the front line of fighting the dragon, some respite.

We are safe here.  Well away from the fires but conscious that for many, when the battle is won, life will never be the same.

it is a sobering thought.

Many of my friends have bushfire plans.  And as I sat on my own this afternoon, reflecting, I thought about what I would take if the worst happened here.

The pets, of course, although Obie (our snake) would be a challenge and the cat doesn’t like me.

Photos, clothes, my computer..

My indecision shows how rarely I truly think about the possibility of disaster happening.

And so much would depend on who was home at the time.

My friends in high risk areas, keep a bag by the door.  Have a plan to get out.

Many of them have chosen to go already.

Be safe

Houses can be rebuilt.

Please let us hope and pray, that no lives are taken.

The rain has stopped.

It wasn’t enough.

It’s up to the firefighters now.

Another year over

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The pav is in the oven and I have time to kill before my last shift at work for 2014.

Been a hell of a year.

Major changes at work resulted in a new location and a much happier me.

A new dream decided on – My grand adventure to the USA in 2015.

Big C, finishing school and learning to drive and now to find a “real” job

MJ still single but happy enough, busy at Uni and doing well.

Hubby still in the same job, loving his archery, still loving me (so he says anyway)

New friends made, old friends reconnected.

And lots of progress in my art thanks to a change in classes (but the same awesome teacher)

Not always wine and roses but we met every challenge thrown at us and we are still here.

2015 will be an exciting year. Exhibitions, new art, travel and of course constant changes and challenges.
No resolutions. I really prefer not to make lists like that.

Just simple goals.

To hug my friends
To laugh often
and to continue to challenge myself.

Thank you all who continue to follow my journey here. May 2015 bring you much happiness and fulfillment.

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If you are interested WordPress has done its annual review of my stats. If not, I will leave you here.

Stay safe, and keep smiling

Happy New Year


PS Random travel fact  – there is a “Dog Museum” in Texas.  Really, totally devoted to dogs.

Here is the link

I love the slightly bizarre

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.