Friday, 18 August 2017

Oil Pastel Painting

I've had oil pastels, albeit cheap ones, for many years. Probably since my never-completed Fine Arts days come to think of it... anyhoo, I got them out of a drawer as I was decluttering recently and looked up some oil pastel tutorials on Youtube. I gave one for garlic, one for a cactus flower, and one for artichoke a try and the other two I had a crack at on my own. I enjoyed this medium for the speed of colour application and the ease of use without fussy finer details. I'd like to try and draw from life this weekend with them, possibly in the form of urban sketching? I'm not sure yet but we'll see! 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

That 'what am I doing with my life?' post

Be warned, this is another one of my long rambling, 'trying to work out my thoughts' posts that often makes no sense to the outside world BUT I feel it's necessary, and it's my blog so I'll post whatever I want *pokes out tongue*

OK so this one is about hitting an inspirational wall, and asking that niggling question "what am I doing with my life?" I'm going to launch right into this so here we go.
Sure, it's busy being a stay at home mum but when many friends and people I know of are studying and/or working as well as raising their kids I feel the added pressure to be doing *something* of worth. Parenting is not a waste of time, and that's not at all what I'm discussing here today. I find myself wondering what I'm working towards, and thinking about how I should be using my time. Do I have the opportunities now to set down the foundations for living my dream later on that I'm not taking advantage of? Because that's been on my mind a lot lately. What do I plan to do once Lynton starts school?
I think back to the times in my life when I managed all those crochet orders and kept on top of it all (mostly) and wonder where I lost the passion for that. Is it just me not being able to stick to something, or have I just not found my 'thing' yet? There are so many artistic and creative pathways I've already followed and explored, and I still feel there are more ahead of me, but why hasn't something presented itself more obviously to me yet? (can't half see the impatient Aries sun and moon there, can you? *cough cough*). Am I still in the 'trying things to find where I fit' phase?

Now PLEASE don't try to tell me 'but you're only 28, you still have your life ahead of you, it'll work out' because it may well do, but that doesn't help me in feeling a sense of chasing a dream or accomplishing anything right now. I'm not talking about huge, grand sweeping, monumental achievements here... I'm talking the little things, and what will those little things, once completed add up to? This thought stems from staring at my '100 things to do in 2017' list, which has 84 of the 100 things it should have listed, and seeing that the easier ones have been checked off but the trickier ones are still sitting there waiting for me to get started. And then once I've achieved them, what then? Where will I actually be after that?

I know there is no one size fits all 'should' when it comes to us as individuals, we can only do what works for us, and we can only do that once we've worked out what actually does work for us. And I'm fairly sure we are in pursuit of that our entire lives. So what about the tools I have to help point me back in the right direction; why haven't I meditated on it, or said to the Tarot "Guys, HELP MEEEEEE. Throw me a metaphysical slap in the face, would ya?". Good question. Because I've been in the semi-detached all too familiar 'survival mode' and fallen rather alarmingly back into the trap of self pity without taking steps to better myself or the situation. Very VERY naughty, Tasha. The techniques for catching those old cognitive habits were given to me at the beginning of the year and stuck above my desk... have I been reading them regularly enough to catch the old tape clicking over and running willy-nilly in my head? Nope. How can I expect to replace those old thought processes with new ones if I can't be bothered recognizing that I'm doing them? Exactly.

Welcome to the inside of my brain at the moment... can I offer you a beverage?

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Nothing in particular of interest

Oh, hello Blog. Long time no type-y. To be honest I kind of forgot I had one for a while there...Life has been keeping me on my toes. Sometimes I wonder "why on Earth would anyone want to read about me and my goings-on" but I suppose I hope that some part of it may be relateable to someone out there in the Universe... is it? Whoever you are?
So you may have noticed that I didn't finish my Five Days of Guidance thing which is completely typical of me, isn't it? We all know Im awful at finishing the things I start, let's just accept that and move on. Over the past few months I've done a whole lot of painting, a whole lot of parenting, and a whole lot of soul searching. I've learnt some new lessons about life and humans, and learnt a few things about myself. I'm really only here writing at the moment because I feel like I should put SOMETHING here, even if it isn't much. Maybe that will prompt me to do it again sometime with more interesting content but who knows with me. I have a rather delicious chocolate mud face mask on at the moment, a little pampering before the week begins again tomorrow. Oh Monday how I loathe thee.

Anyway that's me checking in with nothing in particular to say,

Til next time!
Tash x

Saturday, 29 April 2017

5 Days of Guidance - Day 4

Hello lovelies,
I didn't do any readings or even open my angel book yesterday as I was just emotionally and mentally drained so I put it off until today. I don't think mentally and physically I'm any better than yesterday but 1. no vomit and 2. the kids are away this weekend so at least I can nap when I need to. I decided as an act of self care I needed to make myself some lamb and veggie soup for dinner, so I dragged my butt around to the spunky butcher 'round the corner and got some tender fresh lamb. It's all thrown in the slow cooker and hopefully by tonight I'll have some soul soup.

Just off topic here for a bit but do you ever find yourself panic-buying stuff? This morning after the butcher I thought I'd get a coffee (even though coffee is disagreeing with my gut these days) and I panic bought a custard tart. I didn't even bloody feel like it! Bloody sick foggy brain *cough* because I TOTALLY don't do that sort of thing when perfectly well *cough cough* Kidding, I do.

Today's cards are bought to you by The Secret Language of Animals oracle deck by Chip Richards. This deck has the most beautifully illustrated cards, oh my gosh. It features endangered animals which I feel is a nice little way to work awareness in. I actually used this oracle deck along side my tarot cards when I did my 2017 Year Ahead reading. And speaking of animals last night after I had my Thai feast while watching Apollo 13 (which then all came back up that night anyway) I painted Andrew Geeson's latest tutorial of sunflowers with a buzzy bee. I'm enjoying the process of loose watercolours, Andrew is a brilliant teacher and his videos are usually filled with the best kind of bad jokes.
Your Cards 
The Reveal
1. White pelican with red goldstone. Keywords of this card read ease, optimism, grace, cooperation. Red goldstone is the stone of confidence, motivation, optimism, and can promote vitality. It's a generally uplifting stone. These two elements combined makes for a very positive reading.
2. Timber wolf with Australian ruby in fuschite. This card represents instinct, guidance, belonging, order. Ruby in fuschite is loving and positive, can help us to be aware of ourselves while connecting us to humanity as a whole (as a wolf does as a part of a pack).
3. Orange-bellied parrot with lepidolite. Orange-bellied parrot is a card of radiance, expression, communication, acceleration. Comprised of mica and lithium, lepidolite is a very calm and relaxing stone. It can have a very strong relaxing effect, brings about balance, and can assist with sleep. Unlike the other two cards whose crystal meanings are tied in with the animal, this one presents a polar opposite of fast and slow. Quite literally! Maybe that has some relevance to you today?
The back one is goldstone, purple is lepidolite and the out of focus one is aussie ruby in fuschite 

My little spot of guidance (for myself) is "Notice Sounds" 168. The Thought for Today reads 'I tune into the sounds around me, noticing how each one affects me. I trust the feelings that arise in response to every noise, and I honour my increasing sensitivity as the gift that it is'. 
This is wonderful because as I don't have the children here today, my world is very quiet and undemanding. I have my favourite Moods of Meditation background music on and it bought me instant calm as it began to play. Other noises are irritating the living daylights out of me today though, like my budgies. Sometimes Ollie just gets it in his head that he's going to do the bird equivalent of yelling through a megaphone and while usually I find it endearing, today I just want him to close his little beak. I'm FAIRLY sure my increased sensitivity to sound is due to be tired, irritable, and sick but it's still relevant, for sure! 

How was your reading today? I LOVE that the Timber wolf made an appearance today, he's one of my very favourite animals on this Earth and I find myself connecting to that card whenever it shows in a reading. I'm off to paint now, or have a nap. One or the other... I can feel my eyelids trying to slide down my cheeks. 
Til tomorrow for our last day in this mini series! 

Thursday, 27 April 2017

5 Days of Guidance - Day 3

Ugh, the flu hath struck. I knew it was coming, Master B has been congested and my throat has been sore nearly all week. Before I climbed into bed last night the coughing and boogers kicked in; this morning I feel like poop on a stick.  I don't have anything major to do today thankfully, I just have to call Auspost to chase a Postal Pinball Package (the new acronym I've given their delivery service). For some reason instead of reaching me here in the same state it was shipped from it has ended up in QLD. I'm also doing battle with customer service at Sephora. Oh. My. Fucking. Goddess. Just don't even bother with them. I ordered from their online store before googling reviews (my mistake clearly!) and it turns out they're the worst kind of business to give money to. Many many reviews of customer service lines being unmanned, people placing up to 100 calls a day, weeks and weeks between answered emails, items not shipping, refund chasing when items are out of stock but they haven't been listed as such on the site and allow you to order them... and in those cases you have to wait for the item to be back IN stock, wait for it to be eventually shipped to you, then you have to SEND IT BACK, and only then can you start chasing a refund. Reading reviews then lead me to Youtube where I found yet more online rants (because if you try to complain on their Facebook or tweet to them they block you, or so the internet says).
My own personal experience? Well I ordered four business days ago, received no shipping notification, emailed regarding the lack of shipping notification, handed over my order number as requested, and have had na-da back yet. I was given a time frame of 24-48 hours from placing the order for it to be shipped. Turns out this is one of the major complaints I've read about... unfortunately it's not a matter of the company forgetting to update the shipping information and the item arriving on time anyway, because that's happened before elsewhere, it's a matter of 'we take your money and you get nothing'. I'd probably be less skeptical if there was comparatively less shitty reviews to 5 star experiences, but the absolute majority is the shitty stuff.
Anyway I will live in hope that the $38 I spent (a somewhat tiny amount compared to how much people have been known to throw at Sephora, but a huge amount for me to decide to spend on makeup) will not be lost forever and I actually get what I ordered. Honestly if you want to look up all of this yourself I'd suggest you do, I can't understand how in this day and age a business can be handled SO appallingly.

Anyway, I'll update on that situation if you're interested in finding out what happens next. Let's move on to today's angel guidance and our tarot reading! I've decided to use traditional tarot today. By the way thank you so much for the feedback you guys have been giving me on your readings. I know that the public selection method can't always be specifically accurate for the individual, but I truly hope they've helped in some way.

I've opened up today to "Know That You're Powerful" - 279
'Your source of strength is within the Universe (it says God but you know how I feel about that). You are eternally connected to this force; the only reason you sometimes feel powerless is because you become unaware of this source' In regards to this I don't completely believe that I am strong because of some external factor. I'm strong because I've grown to be that way; some of the strength I find comes from the Universe but it's not SOLELY from that as a source. The reason I'm doing this 5 Days of Guidance is to reconnect myself to my higher power, my higher self, and reconnect with my intuition which has been very quiet lately. It goes on to say 'today, remind yourself frequently that you're fully supported by the Universe. This means that you can attract and manifest the good thoughts.' Now that I feel is more relevant. It's much like the Strength card that was part of yesterday's reading, the measure of authentic strength and power is how we choose to use it. I think it's trying to say that your constant thoughts become your reality in some way, even if it only affects your attitude to a situation. We all know that the right attitude toward a person, situation, life in general makes a difference in how we handle it all.

Your Cards Today 
The Reveal
This beautiful deck is 'Shadowscapes' by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore. 
1.Six of Wands with clear quartz. Clear quartz is the amplifier of our intuition, our metaphysical selves, a conductor to the universe. It's a universal healer and holds energy very easily. The Six of Wands is, as you may guess by the image, about a win, a victory. Hooray! You've come through some shit, fought, and you've made it out the other side. Buuuut be wary of self-importance. Yes, you have done an amazing job and earned your crown but stay modest about it. If there's some remaining feelings you need to work through after your battle the clear quartz reminds you to work on that and don't forget to give yourself time to heal your wounds so to speak. 

2 Seven of Pentacles with rainbow fluorite. Fluorite is a stone of mental clarity and concentration, reduces that internal noise that can interrupt our thought processes, promotes more balanced thinking and can also help to manifest plans. The Seven of Pentacles always stands out as an easy one for me when it comes up so I'm going to give you the simple interpretation of this one. You reap was you sow. Whatever you put your energies and patience into and nurture over time will reward you. So maybe a little extra focus right now and blacking out those pesky distractions to get on with the task at hand? I think you know what I'm talking about. 

3. Two of Wands with rainbow moonstone. Rainbow moonstone is highly feminine and as such can balance out the excess of masculine energies we might be feeling. It enhances our feelings, desires, and is connected to the powers of the moon. Draw on your courage, your power, your influence now. Don't shy away from what you need to do to achieve your goals. Just mind that ego as you go. The moonstone is interesting here because the wands are fiery energy and enthusiasm which is (in tarot-world) typically a masculine energy. So I'd say this crystal and this card together would indicate that while you need to be fierce you also need to be gentle. 

4. Four of Swords with purple amethyst. Amethyst is meditative, calming, balancing, protective. It's helpful to bring us past grief and trauma as well which in this case I feel is relevant in particular. Four of Swords is about rest, recovery, recuperation. You need to find a place of spiritual and mental calm and clarity. Find a place inside yourself that you can retreat to when you need to, cultivate and nurture that safe space for when you need it. If you're having a hard time finding this restful state I'd suggest getting yourself a piece of tumbled amethyst to carry with you x 

Today's Crystals

Annnnd before you go, checkout my very dodgy and hastily made- but also incredible practical and dandy!- watercolour tube storage box! Made with MacGuyver's favourite duct tape, toilet rolls and a box. I got sick of rummaging through my basket and im a big fan of re using what's in the recycling bin to make useful things for myself. I actually made my makeup storage (half of it, because the collection has expanded) with cardboard boxes, toilet rolls, scrapbook paper, black paint, glue, and some ribbon. I collect stuff for the kids to do crafts with anyway so really the recycling bin is just an inspiration box.
P.s I was just listening to Fat Boy Slim's 'Weapon of Choice' on youtube (my music list is there and public if you want to see the kind of shameful things I listen to) and I can't help but fall in love all over again with Christopher Walken whenever I watch the clip. That man is the shiz.

P.P.S How many damned times can a person sneeze in a day? I swear I've blown my nose that many times today it's so bloody sore. I was kinda looking forward to using my new Springtime in Paris Collection tomorrow and actually posting to my blog about it but not gonna happen when I have the Niagra falls of snot coming out of my face x

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

5 Days of Guidance - Day 2

Hi everyone and welcome to day two of my mini series. You're probably only here to get the card reveal I posted earlier to my Facebook page and that's ok but first I want to talk about my daily guidance for today. 
I should start by saying today has absolutely SUCKED. I feel like shit, the kids are so hypo today and clingy and demanding, it's dreary and both cold and humid at the same time. My knee really hurts from when I slipped on a puddle of spilled water last night. I am SO frustrated and tired it's not even funny anymore. Both boys have decided that sleeping at night isn't for them for about a week now and I'm just exhausted. So with all of these damn feels, let's see what my book has to say to me today. 
There are 365 pages of guidance in this book, I feel they're scraping the barrel with some of them. Today is one of those... 
Feed The Birds - 82 
'Feed the birds today and spend time in their company. They'll appreciate your generosity, and you'll benefit from their sweet songs, presence, and energy.
This page goes on to talk about how similar angels and birds are. "We may not be experiencing the struggles, but we're supporting you through everything that happens". So I should give my budgies  (who sit in my kitchen/dining room and chat everyday anyway) food, and go find a random feather and everything will be ok. 

Nup. Even I am too far gone with frustration, annoyance, and sheer exhausted to try and apply that to myself today. I get it, I get what they're trying to say, but my internal dialogue is just going PFFFFFT, whatevs. I DID dream of getting another bird last night so I don't know what relevance that has.
I'd love a gentle cuddle with my birds right now but they aren't cuddle-able. Maybe i'll try painting a bird sometime today. 

Today's Cards featuring the Vintage Wisdom Oracle by Victoria Moseley. 
The Reveal 
Thought - Be aware of your thoughts, they precede action and have great effect on how you experience life. Now is a good time to make that decision, resolve a problem, or do some self discovery. Be aware of the positive power of your thoughts and how they affect not only yourself but those around you. A bit of meditation wouldn't hurt. (I should note here that I chose card 1 today for myself, so I know it's definitely relevant to me!) Smokey quartz is an excellent grounding stone, good at sucking up negative shit. It also helps you get shit done!! Aka that thing you've been putting off. 

Wisdom - This card features Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. This card asks you to think about an important insight today, and decipher the full truth from the half-truth. Athena was said to have a blind spot on one side, where the owl sits and helps her see and understand the whole of the truth instead of part. Trust your inner voice, learn from experience, be objective about the mistakes you make. Knowledge helps you make a living, wisdom helps you make a life. Labradorite is a stone of transformation and magic. It has the ability to clear, balance, and protect your aura. 

Strength - This card is watery, 'yin', feminine. Physical strength is tangible, whether in the form of  prowess, status, or worldly power. Learn what the authentic nature of strength really is, The measure of personal strength is always obvious to the outside world. Evaluate the role that strength plays in your life, and how it manifests in you. Be careful that your strength comes from a place of higher power, and not of ego. Mind your intentions. "I do not pray for a lighter road, but for a stronger back" Serpentine is about emotional cleansing, psychic power, and the attraction of money and love. 

Harmony - Here we have Orpheus playing his Lyre and enchanting the entire universe with his songs. Release any possible feelings of conflict, judgment, or isolation by tuning into the harmony of all things. Music needs harmony to be played beautifully, as your life needs harmony for you to live beautifully. Rose quartz is a soft feminine stone of love, peace, tenderness and healing. It's allll good. 

Playfulness - Light-hearted, carefree, enjoy being alive and being happy with shit! The worries and woes won't bother you for the time being, take a new playful perspective and watch as your view on the situation changes. It's not immaturity! Quit trying to control how things will turn out and just roll with it. Black quartz is protective and grounding. It's a good stone to guard against negativity, which probably translates to, in this case, stop giving a fuck what people think of you and go have fun anyway. 

Today's Crystals  
Quartz made an appearance twice today, one smokey tumbled and one raw Tibetan black. We also have rose quartz which appeared to be a favourite, terminated labradorite, and tumbled serpentine with malachite. 

And just sharing last night's painting. I've tried this one before but I googled how to get a similar shade to perylene green and winsor violet and tried it again. The pigment is pretty dull and my winsor violet mix split because apparently magenta doesn't like playing with permanent blue and they tried to go their separate ways. I also tried painting the little figure dudes in the centre there like Geeson did on his, and now it looks like Slenderman and his missus are out for an afternoon stroll.

You know that Frozen parody of 'Let It Go', the one that goes 'FUCK IT ALL',,, that's my theme song today. Ok so my Springtime in Paris collection from Jouer arrived thismorning, but I'm too cranky to appreciate it right now *sad face*

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Reconnecting to myself - 5 days of guidance

Because I've distanced myself from my cards and spiritual side lately (read: for a looooong time...again) I have set myself the challenge of focusing on Universal guidance for the next 5 days. I want to take note on how each day's guidance relates to my current thoughts and actions, and environmental factors. 
My daily guidance will be simple and will come straight from 'Daily Guidance from your Angels' by Doreen Virtue* (Hay House Inc. 2006). The plan is to just open to a page in my book, no re-do's, and trust what's there in front of me. 

Your daily guidance will come from different tarot and oracle decks I have in my collection, in case you've been a little disconnected as well or you need a gentle nudge in the right direction. I've been meaning to do these on my blog since January but I hadn't gotten around to it. Honestly the drawing cards, taking photos, intuitively selecting crystals, uploading photos, editing, getting my words out on paper and compiling it all is time consuming when you've got two under-four year olds to parent. But I'll take opportunity as I find it and it so happens I have that opportunity for a short while today, so here we go. 

"Know that your future is safe"- 180 
'There are fulfilling, happy, and memorable moments in store for me in life, an array of paths to follow, and a variety of lessons to learn. Breathe easy, let down your guard, your future is safe.' 

As I read those words to myself I felt connected, protected, and the inner knot I didn't realise was there inside me untangled and released itself. This always seems to happen when I've been distant from my spiritual voice and haven't been reaffirming my choices and feelings with the Universe. It's that feeling of coming back home and being in a familiar and comfortable place. 
"Everything will turn out all right for I am watched over and sheltered" 
*The D. Virtue disclaimer bit: I don't follow Doreen Virtue. I don't keep up to date on her, although I have heard murmerings within the tarot community that many people have moved away from her teachings and philosophies recently. The DV Angel Tarot was my first deck, and my introduction to tarot. As you probably know yourself there are certain connections you make with your 'firsts' (of anything!) and this deck has always felt like an old friend. 
As for my 365 Days of Angel Guidance book, my mother bought it for me, and I think all the women in my immediate family circle have one. Again, I don't promote or condone DV as a person, but these two products of hers happen to be special to me. Does that make sense? 

Today's Cards
 As I've mentioned, I want to help you guys along a little while I reconnect with myself so on this first day of my mini blog series I want to start by offering a reading to you. If you don't know how this works, read on. On my personal Facebook page {LINK} (the post will be made public for now, I know my little blog following are mainly friends anyway. If you're from the outside world, HELLO! I welcome thee!) there will be a selection of cards available in a post (it's the same photo as above). You select one of the three cards that you feel speaks to you, then later that day, or in the evening, I will come back and post the card reveal here on my blog. Use these cards as guidance, but know that your choices are your own and I take zero responsibilities for your actions. That's fairly straight forward of course.
I also intuitively select a crystal to accompany each card before revealing them to myself, and I will explain what those mean during the reveal. You may find you selected your card based on the crystal alone, you may find that the crystal meaning is closely related to that of the card. The angel guidance's I post will be for me, and these readings will be for you over the next 5 days.
As today is the first day I will be posting both the intro to my little blogging venture and the card reveal in the same post. Tomorrow though there will be the card options on my Facebook page, and the reveal will be here.
The Reveal
 Our Crystals Today 

Card one: Release, with honey calcite.
The end of a phase or situation. Spiritual transformation, time to move on! Honey calcite is useful in assisting to overcome obstacles, and can help ease the transition from challenges caused by change.

Card two: Two of Water, with ocean jasper.
A relationship that continues to grow closer. Forgiveness; the positive resolution of a conflict. Ocean Jasper helps to remove negative feelings and and make you feel all round happier as well as bringing you a newfound sense of optimism. As with all things water/ocean related we are in the realm of emotions and this is a very positive crystal-card combo.

Card three: Ten of Fire, with amazonite.
Too much work, accept help from others. Life is out of balance, stress related health concerns. Amazonite is a throat chakra stone, and as such has to do with communication. Ask. For. Help.

I hope that helped someone out there, let me know in the comments if you found yourself relating to your card today and I'll see you again tomorrow for the next one.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Crocheted Nail Polish Pods

Handy little doodads to have around the house; nail polish edition! I call them nail polish pods and they're groovy for storing my collection in my drawer upright without them rolling all over the place. I made a spangly purple one for a friend today. It's a very very simple pattern,the jist of it is thus:
Ch 2, 8 hdc into second chain from hook, join.
Ch 1, 2 hdc in same stitch and in each stitch around.
From here it's a matter of increasing to the size you want. I've made mine between 4-5 rows in increase in diameter so
Ch 1, 1 hdc in same stitch, *2hdc in next, 1hdc in next st* Join
Ch 1 *2hdc in same stitch, 1 hdc in next 2 stitches* Join
Ch 1 * 2hdc in same stitch, 1 hdc in next 3 sts* Join
And so on until you get the size you want. From there, ch 1, and in the back loop only 1hdc in each st around. Then in both loops, hdc 1 in each st around again. The next round you want to add a decrease at equal intervals around, *hdc2tog, 1 hdc in next 8* around. This will give your pod a nice inward curve to hug your bottles. Add another 1 or 2 rows of single hdcs around or until you reach your desired height. Done! Quick and easy. I'm sure I've done a post about these before but hey, have it again!

This is what my Sunday is looking like. I have lunch with my bestie in town, now I'm settled on the lounge watching Memoirs of a Geisha and crocheting. I may paint a bit later on, but that's about it. Nice and relaxing =)

Friday, 7 April 2017

Happy Birthday to Me!

So it's my birthday today and I am 28! Whoop!

Honestly I was kinda dreading today, because my birthday this time last year triggered the worst period of my entire life and I didn't really want the memories and feelings from that coming flooding back. But upon waking this morning and being surrounded by my kidlets, being wished happy birthday by my toddler, being messaged to say I'd been ordered flowers and to expect them today, having a text sent from my aunt inviting me to dinner tonight, and knowing that tomorrow night my bestie is taking me to dinner and then The World of Musicals at the Glasshouse, I haven't felt any pain at all. All I feel is love! So much love. A dear friend described today as being my 'rebirth day' and that really struck a chord with me because she is (as she often is) right! It is my rebirth day, the day I leave the past in the past and look at all the good things that surround me right now and be thankful for the direction my new life is leading.

I left a new poem on my fridge (those fridge words are fucking awesome by the way) and I was surprised at how perfectly it just flowed out of my and onto that magnetic surface.
This morning the kids and I walked around to the corner shop to get some cake mix and lollies and then Lynton helped me bake the cake, and I let him decorate it. We then put 28 candles on it and we both had fun. That's what it's all about, isn't it?

I was blessed this week by two friends who showed an act of beautiful kindness; one who offered to send me her set of watercolours she is no longer using, and another who, with the help of her mum, sent me a perfectly timed surprise for my birthday and my upcoming week at home without the boys. I was able to get a few things that we've needed, put a layby on of winter clothes for the boys, and I was able to spoil myself with the new Spring Collection by Jouer, a couple of new higher end watercolour paper pads, and a nice order with Cosmetic Capital (scored a NARS mini 'Orgasm' gloss for $4 which usually retails for $30... I mean, how rad is that?). Seriously just amazed at the abundance thrown my way lately. My tarot card for this month is Six of Swords, and I do feel like I will be sailing safely over the rough seas of the past few months finally (going from the Wizard's Tarot meaning of the card, not so much the traditional. I will apply a different meaning to each card depending what deck I use). If the stress from our new tighter than Bowie's pants budget wasn't apparent enough, I've broken out in both pimples AND had a recurring attack of eczema which a blast from the past of my childhood. First thing the chemist asked me this morning when I went in for some treatment was 'are you stressed?'. How'd you guess?

But today I'm not stressed. Today I'm just relaxed.

By the way, check out the cake... it's a beauty, right? Master L had to taste test the frosting and decorations... Duh.
I've been painting a lot lately but I'm too lazy right now to compile photos, watermark them, upload blah blah (yes I know I'm terrible) but maybe that's a job for next week... give you a nice updated gallery of works a la Tash. Annnnnd since this is 'Of CROCHET and Life' and you've had a bit of the 'life' part, let's throw some crochet in! I still know how to use that hook even though it's been a paint brush in my hand more frequently. I fell in love with the 'More V's Please' square pattern years ago and I find it easy enough to just go along with when watching whatever I'm watching. The back room is a little mental with yarn overload so I'm endeavouring to start using the bits and bobs when I can. Voila! It's a free pattern on Ravelry {pattern here!}

So yep! That's about it for now =) It's all good!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Monday rambles

Well that was a good few hours spent binge watching An Idiot Abroad and eating maltesers in bed. Holy heck I'm grateful for my awesome room/personal space, the fact that both my children sleep pretty well at night now, having this sense of freedom and peace to just switch off my lamp and sleep knowing I have a bit of control back over my life. I'd be even happier if I woke up tomorrow and this cough and tonsillitis had gone away, and the boys noses had stopped running, but I feel like that might be a stretch. Dear Universe, can my family and I start improving health-wise asap please? It's painful and exhausting for all of us. And I'm REALLY tired of wiping snotty noses.
On an unrelated note.. but also sort of related because of the wiping involved.. I'm going to get into toilet training Master L this week. It's been hard to dedicate myself to it but other mum's I know have managed it so I can too. Teaching Master L to dress himself is the next hurdle as well, putting on his pj pants tonight he got halfway in before exclaiming 'I can't do it!' so I placed his hands where they needed to go and told him what to do. The second time he remembered and got it right. It's a funny age between 3-4. You know they're capable of doing these things but are also very good at not wanting to, or giving up halfway through and hope mummy finishes it for them. And they've learnt how a bribe works and start milking that, and they remember the smallest details! "Two weeks ago you said I could do "whatever it was" so we have to do that now' at which point I think 'Oh fuck, yeah I did say that didn't I' Probably the hardest part at this point is when you threaten something if they don't do as they're asked, or if they don't listen, and then having to follow through on your threat. Which usually means manages a massive tantrum or meltdown and a general testing of patience. And having a toddler-protege in the form of Master B makes it double trouble! L's little brother has certainly been learning all the tricks. Master B knows what he's not allowed to do so when he gets in trouble for one thing, he immediately goes to do the next thing, then the next, then the next etc. I tell you, tonsillitis for a week while trying to manage two amazingly energetic but also sick boys? So much pain. Much pain. For a day there I nearly lost my voice completely so that was fun.
Anyway I just felt like having a ramble and it was too long for a Facebook status.
I hear stirrings from the Thing Next Door in Master B's room (spoiler alert, the 'Thing' is Bryce) that I'll go and suss out before putting myself to bed.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Cleaning my room.

Hello blog!

Let's just jump right in here, this week some stuff happened... big stuff... and immediately following the big stuff I got the flu, so the relief of what happened hasn't really sunk in for me yet as I just feel like total and utter SHITE. I have the weekend to myself this weekend (and too sick and too broke to venture out into the world) so I decided to spend today doing a bit of tidying, my bedroom in particular. Not that it was messy as such but my surfaces were untidy and everything was in desperate need of a dusting. It's also my studio so keeping my desk and space surrounding functional is a priority. I took some happy snaps along the way, some of before, some of after.

My day has just been cleaning thus far, it's 2pm now, I'm starting to feel sick again and my throat is trying to kill me so time to allow myself a break. There is actually a new watercolour painting tutorial up on The Frugal Crafter's youtube {click here to go there!} so I was hoping to try that out later today. My cleaning process has been slow because I have been a) coughing up a lung b) finding stuff that distracts me c) been texting someone but I have done it so big high five to myself! (I'm not actually going to do that).

I should probably mention here that my new fave tea is Blueberry by Celestial Teas. SO good. Plus it's purple which is a double win. Also last night I had a bit of a chill fest (although I REALLY couldn't afford it but anyway) and ordered a pizza to eat while watching Mean Girls. Pretty sure that movie is universally loved. If you don't love it, we can't be friends anymore. I'm sorry.
Oh, that's Ronan J Foxx, he lives on my bed. I can have stuffed toys if I want. Ollie and Spook hanging out in the morning sun (inside because the noisy minors harass them otherwise) and purple tea in my owl mug. 
Some before photos... like I said the mess isn't really heinous but it was cluttered and dusty and driving me nuts. My tumbled crystals were everywhere, the corner beside my desk had become a bit of a dumping ground, there were candles EVERYWHERE (more on that below), just cluttered and yuck.
I literally had candles everywhere. See this photo? That's all the candles I took out of my room. I've put half of them back in, the rest I don't know where to put just yet. I never have an issue when the power goes out. My pride and joys (Woodwicks... are the BEST) live in the lounge room and kitchen. I lit one of them while cleaning up... you'll never guess was scent it is. Seriously, you won't. I'll tell you what it is at the end of the post. I found this book I picked up a Rotary Book Fair ages and ages ago that I'd forgotten I had! I'm not hugely into pencil drawing at the moment but I may have a flick through later and see what I can apply to my felt tip line and wash drawings.
And speaking of other hobbies, found my vinyl floorboard photography background AND my camera tripod! Huzzah!
Then while I was picking up some tissues that Master L had kindly left on the other side of my bed I happened to catch something in the corner of my eye out my bedroom window. These two live on my block but they're always playing in my yard and the neighbour's garden. I stopped to watch them hide behind plants and pounce on one another for a while because they're pretty dang adorable.
And here we are with some after pics. Just brought a little more order to my chaos which I feel was needed to really take in my week.

I set a little loving rose quartz, mangano calcite, rhodochrosite, and rhodonite on my bedside table. I usually keep smoky quartz and some raw black tourmaline there to keep the nightmares at bay but I will try without them for a night or two and see how I go. I may slip them in the bowl before I go to bed tonight anyway.
The eight-legged guy there? That's Larry. He's my bathroom spider and actually has a web beside the backdoor and at a good height above the toothbrush holder over the vanity. He is getting to be fairly large and I don't usually like to let spiders live in conspicuous places however Larry is an excellent trapper, I've allowed him to stay. He's always there, he doesn't move around or anything so for now I have no issue with him.

Did you guess what scent my candle was? It's Krispy-Kreme scented haha I know, right? But I picked it up for $1 I think at the op shop because it was so random and I love it. It's weird, but I love it.
Here's me giving you a dorky webcam wave! 
I'll catch you another time, bloggo. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll have something groovy to show you next week...depends on when it arrives. 
 Til then, ta ta!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Hello Stormy Monday

Hello... to a new week (and nearly a new month!)
Hello... comfy jumpsuit
Hello... new book to read
Hello... Master L's daycare day
Hello... morning coffee with Master B
Hello... delicious teas on special!
Hello... clean birdcage
Hello...succulents I've managed to keep alive!
Hello... stormy weather
Hello... soothing white sage oil
Hello...last full page of watercolour paper, eek!
Hello... special one-on-one play time with Master B

I will not only get through this week, but I will rise to meet it head on Xx

Edit: Also hello to this article which is a must read for all mummies. I came across it in my Facebook newsfeed this morning and thought it was wonderful.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Line and Wash with Peter Sheeler

On my watercolour journey I've started to learn Line and Wash. On Youtube there is an amazing teacher, {link to Peter Sheeler}, who posts real time videos of usually no more than 20 minutes of how he draws and then paints Line and Wash. I've found that I need to slow the speed down a tad so I can sketch in the initial drawing, but aside from that they are very easy to follow. A few things I've learnt from these are:
-I need to invest in a waterproof felt tip pen, and possibly a finer nib. 
-My sap green is not very pigmented
-I really do need a tube of ultra marine blue, and a higher quality burnt sienna. Both tubes of my burnt umber are the same colours as the burnt sienna used in video tutorials and they aren't producing the right mixes. 
-My rough tooth 300gsm water colour paper produces a nicer end result painting. The bottom two paintings are done on this, the others are using an art spectrum line and wash paper. 

I'd like to work my way through Sheeler's paintings! I particularly love his repeated use of power poles and electricity wires in most of his drawings. 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Got crabs?

I wanted something quick and satisfying to paint late last night before bed; I'd been out of my 'studio' (bedroom) a few times putting my children back to bed, getting them drinks, wiping snotty noses, rubbing on Vicks etc and as it turned out it was a long night after that, so I did this little postcard for myself. I'd only just realised I have Ultra Marine Blue on my student palette so I've been having fun adding it to my paintings. 

Both kids are still cranky, tired, and sick today plus it's overcast and yuck outside so I've declared a TV day. Amidst more nose-wiping, fetching of snacks and drinks, nappy changes, and coffees for me, I got the chance to sketch up this little gold fish for an idea I had. It will be similar to last night's painting with another uplifting message to myself. I've been considering putting them into an art journal. This will be what I finally sit down and relax to when I survive today. 

Got crabs? I do!
This little dude is a second attempt after learning some new tips from the below crab, which I followed from a Frugal Crafter tutorial on Youtube. The first time didn't exactly go as planned, but I think using what I learned and just being relaxed got me a pretty groovy end result. Also say hello to the sap green I now own finally! Looks nice sitting there with the violet and UM Blue, doesn't it? 

The first rule about first attempts is that we do not talk about first attempts, except to say that it is a first attempt.
I do love the sandy colour mixed with the Cerulean though! 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Watercolour escapades

Cool new stuff I've learnt to use when painting with watercolour 
This evening's landscape painting practice thanks to a video tutorial by The Frugal Crafter 
Two landscapes, both painted today at different times under different circumstances 
Master B playing with Ronan J Foxx, who typically lives on my bed 
Inspired by the Joie De Vivre Tarot, I created this mohair and chroma knitpicks worsted crochet pouch to send to my darling friend in the US. I finished it up this morning 
Master L this morning thrilled about getting to use his new (and very own) umbrella while waiting for the bus 
This one I attempted on my own sans tutorial using a photograph I found on Google. I'm actually quite pleased with how it turned out 
You'll have to turn your head sideways because I forgot to adjust it and I'm too lazy to go back and fix it now. I attempted to paint a stream in the woods, but when the tutorial was telling me to use burnt sienna, I was actually using yellow ochre and getting REALLY frustrated when my colours weren't turning out the same as hers. Whoops.
These tutorials I find challenging as the whole premise is to touch your brush to the paper as little as possible to create an image, so it relies heavily on what shape watercolour brush you use and the size. I started a little low on the paper and consequently ran out of room 
I think I've finally reached the stage in my painting where I need to update the quality of paints I'm using. The basic Monte Marte brand were great to play with, but I'm really needing a stronger pigment and better light fastness. The Frugal Crafter does a lot of brand testing on her Youtube channel so I'll have a watch of those and find out what level of paints will be my next best move. I may need to sell a few paintings, or try to, to fund that purchase though. I wouldn't mind some new imitation sable round brushes either, I'm missing a few numbers between 6 and 12 that would be handy to have. All in good time! The practice is doing my stress a world of good regardless of what I use.