Paying it forward

You all know by now the story of how I got started painting.

I met a guy, we became friends, he got sick of my “one day I might” procrastination and replied with “shut up and scribble”

Well he said more than that, but it was the proverbial kick up the bum I needed at that time and so I picked up that pencil and scribbled, and painted and here I am today, actually getting paid (sometimes) to produce something people love (hopefully).

And you know that one of the messages of this blog that I try to convey is that anything is possible if you give it a go.

You just have to stop talking about one day and just try.

I started with a ratty pencil and paper scrounged from the kids.  All the fancy brushes and paint came after.

Now let me take you back nearly 30 years.  Before the internet, before Facebook.

My first marriage had collapsed, my world was in turmoil and my best friend at the time took me away from the sad and angry and we spent New year with her family in a coastal country town.

We partied, and I found my laugh and realized that life would go on.

And it did.

But she moved north, life happened and despite best intentions, we lost touch for the longest time.  And it made me sad.

There was always the intention to ring, or write, but it wasn’t until Facebook, that we finally reconnected.

Her life is so busy.  5 beautiful children, all boys, keep her on the run and being so far away (the opposite end of the country), we really don’t get to talk like we once did.

But she is in my heart and my thoughts and last week I sent her a gift of flowers.
2014-04-12 09.02.04

These  flowers.

Not the first painting I have given away, but the first I have given to her.

And the text I received when it arrived left me smiling ear to ear.

She loved it, as I hoped she would.  But the icing on the cake was the interest her youngest son had for the painting.

He loved the colours and next thing he had picked up his pens and was busily creating his own work of art. Not flowers, too girly, but a “wild west cactus” in a pot, in front of a red couch. 

There was a skull and cross bones in the corner as well.

Texts flew back and forth about the type of cactus it was, there was googling.

And I felt that I had been given the perfect “payment” for my gift. My little painting had inspired someone else to create.

And while dollars are wonderful (and essential to feed my passion), and there is always a thrill in selling a painting. That little picture of a cactus is probably the best gift ever.

Maybe, just maybe I might have inspired a new artist.



63 days to go.


After all these months, hubby is finally showing a proper interest, to the point of printing out a map and plotting our trip.

We have agreed that a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon is a “must do” and will decide a little closer whether we will prebook or just keep our fingers crossed it will happen on the day.

Not cheap, especially with the Aussie dollar being fairly pathetic at the moment but totally worth it.

Still swinging from excited to terrified.  3 am is the worst time for my brain to torment me with the “what if’s”

But it is going to be AMAZING.  THE BEST ADVENTURE EVER.




Last bit.


New work in progress.  Working title “Kookie”


Until next time.


Sold …and sold

Both chicken paintings are now “sold”.

Hold on, I didn’t show you #2 now that it is finished.

Here you go

“Funky Chicken”


I’m pretty happy and so is the private collector who has agreed to purchase it.

On to something new on Saturday.

In other news, it’s still fucking Winter.  It’s cold, wet, windy and horrible and I am over it.

Yes, there are hints of spring.  A few brave flowering bulbs making their way through the masses of weeds.  Some trees are optimistically sprouting blossom and new growth.

I’m not convinced though.

And of course, as soon as the weather gets better, I will be trading some long awaited Spring for Fall.

It’s getting closer.  We now have international driving permits.  Simple process.  A photo of each of us, a fee paid.  Although we still have to carry our local driver’s license when we do drive on American roads.

I am making a “must do list”

There does seem to be a lot of food “must dos”

And museums

But I want to see a squirrel as well.

We don’t have those here.

So tell me, what else should I add to the list?

Remember, we have a week in NYC, a road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas via the Grand Canyon and then a week based in Waco Tx.

I am open to suggestions.

I think I might have settled on my “traveling clothes” (I am a girl, it’s a very long plane trip, such things are important)

I even have an “adult colouring book”  or more simply, a lovely book to colour while I enjoy those many hours on that plane.  Colouring being the newest trend and an awesome way to relax.

I do plan to sleep though.  I am lucky in that I can generally sleep when I fly.  I will have books and my ipad.  There is always the movies and food.  As long as I can get up and stretch I am sure the 20+ hours from Sydney to NYC (via LA) should pass quickly.

One should not add the traveling time up when planning such a journey.  And don’t even mention time zones and jet lag.  At least there are no lengthy waits between flights and only 2 stops from home to hotel.

It’s raining again.

At least I am in for the night.  And I think I can convince the hubby to go collect the youngest.  (who would have normally driven himself to work except he left the car lights on last night and flattened the battery).

Feet are up.  Dinner is done.

Time for The Bachelor.  A girl is allowed a guilty pleasure like that.



If it aint broke..

Don’t fix it, or upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 unless you want to spend some time untangling things.

Of course it could have just been me and my computer but it has been a weekend of password changes, moving things around and finding new programs to replace old ones that simply wont work anymore.

Always fun.

Still a good distraction from the mind fuck that was last week at work where I had stupidly volunteered to introduce our newest staff member to the quirks of the job she beat me to.

After the huge rave that boss had given her, I thought it would be, here is your desk, the loo is that way and you find the postpack there but of course nothing is ever that simple.

Despite all her amazing qualifications, and varied experience across different areas of the company, actual experience in the way a business hub works was virtually non-existent and I found myself teaching her to do things that I have been doing for years.  Yep, the superwoman, despite being a really nice person, beat me to the job with less experience and skills in actually doing the job she has been hired for.

And yes, it rankled just a little bit.

By the end of the week, I was struggling.  There was a melt down, with tears.  Not directed at her.  I like her.

Directed by my frustration at the whole system and management.

As I said, the whole situation was a complete mind fuck and left me drained.

Tomorrow however is another day and she should be fine now without my direction.

Enough about work.

You come here for the art.

FB_IMG_1437785965637  “Are you my mother”   Finished. Possibly sold.

Also possibly my best work so far if you believe what my teacher says.

I know it got a friend excited and so I am painting another chicken painting. I started class feeling a little tentative with what I had done the week before. Not loving it, but reasonably confident I could pull it together. 20150725_110435

Thankfully by the end of class, it was looking better.


I reckon I might even have it finished by the end of next class.

The countdown of days has reached double digits now, with around 80 days left before our trip.

I have found myself some lovely walking shoes.  We have had our photos taken ready for getting an international drivers permit and my browser history is full of searches about NYC and Texas.

I haven’t looked too much at some of the tourist stuff we might encounter on our road trip to Vegas part of the holiday.

I’m leaving that challenge up to our awesome local tour guide.  I have heard she is the queen of list makers.

The weather is still atrocious.  i am starting to wonder if it will ever start to warm up.  We had needed rain this weekend at least.  The weeds in the garden are loving it.

So that’s whats been happening in my life.  It’s now Sunday night, the shoes are off and the feet are up.

Hoping you are all having an awesome weekend.