Archives for category: Creativity



While the title of this post sounds like a pre-school article (which is deliberate!) I actually want to tell you (brag…!) about a very cool new art toy I treated myself to.


I've wanted some gelatos since the first time I saw them – pastels that are creamy and water soluble? Sign me up!!


But I had plenty of paint and even watercolours, so I was a good girl and turned away – sad, but vaguely virtuous.


And then in April, Shari Carroll made a page for her Art Journal series with Simon Says Stamp and I wanted them soooo bad… But I was packing up my home studio to make a room for Baby Girl so again, I turned away – desperately dreaming of them and eventually, unable to stop thinking about them!!


And then… I couldn't stop thinking about art journal pages, and the fact that – with all my studio packed away – it would be nice to have a small versatile product to hand, to make and create when the urge just gets too much (like when I'm ground down from seemingly endless days with a newborn…) – and wouldn't gelatos fit that bill very nicely… being small, versatile, and painty…?!


So I looked at prices and colour collections (and the utterly fabulous complete gift set…!) and decided to get the special edition 50's diner palette – because I can see my magpie eye falling on that gift set in the future and I didn't want to double up colours.



(image courtesy of google and


They arrived today, and I had a pleasant little play in my art journal – once again, cursing the fallibility of the moleskine I use, because although it is the sketch book version – it can't take water on a page to save its life…

(see and ignore the damage inside the yellow circle…!)


So I gessoed the bottom half of my test page and made some nicer discoveries – that gesso as a background lets one blend that creamy colour with the heat of a finger tip, rather than needing any water (although I could imagine that some cool things could be achieved with the precision of a water brush…) so I am a happy, happy artist – and look forward to many hours and pages with my newest toy – while I resist the lure of buying all the colours!!








Now, I'm sure no one else will see this as a great achievement – and I'm not really asking you to… But personally, I'm so proud of myself : )


Today, I made a simple salad dressing – using honey, oil and fresh lemon juice.


This is a thing to celebrate, because it is the first time I have made nice salad dressing, from ingredients in my kitchen. I even shared it with a friend, over for lunch, and she wasn't just being courteous when she agreed that it was tasty!


I have less than four days til my predicted due date… That means (theoretically…) in a week's time, I could be wrangling a household of four and a half (TimCat doesn't count as a whole, but he's work enough to be counted : P ) – so I'm taking the time to acknowledge simple little things before the chaos of newborn plus Boy hits my worldview : )



My recipe (adapted from Jamie Oliver…)

a simple Honey and Lemon dressing


1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste.


That's seriously it… Nothing more : ) And it was sooooooo good!!


I've been having a play with Paper by Bamboo as a potential digital home for my Project Life and I thought I'd found a cushy nest. But… while I can drop images into a page and write on it with my fancy (Christmas present!) stylus, I cannot add normal text to that page.


So, this week, I'm trying something else – Evernote for the iPad.


It's a whole heap better suited to my needs than Bamboo but it was still missing something.


Until I came across a new app (via Ali Edwards) that puts text on top of photos – from your phone!! No more struggling with layers?


(I have “Physical” by Olivia Newton John stuck in my head…!)



Scientist Guy asked me if I could turn my crafting digital this year, so that we could pack up my studio – for the new baby to have somewhere to sleep and somewhere to keep all her things AKA a nursery.


My first thought was “Waaaah!! I don't wanna…!” and my second thought was “Can I keep some stuff out because I'm not sure I can do this…”


But I had a week of thinking about it and announced on Saturday morning that I would do it. Not try, but actually commit, despite embarking on Project Life for a third year. I learnt a lot from two unfinished years of 365 scrapbooking and had big plans to do a proper job in 2013 – so making the switch is a big deal; and not just because I am new to digital crafting… For me, memory keeping is about the bits and pieces of memorabilia, as well as the pictures and stories that go into a week's record.


I've been using the Project Life system of pockets that Becky Higgins designed. Even though my first two years could be termed 'unsuccessful' because the binders are mostly empty, the photos are still on my computer and the memorabilia is in a bag waiting to go in to aforementioned pockets; but I made the effort to take the photos and write down the stories and collect the bits and pieces. And I learnt how I need to do Project Life in the future, to get those pages finished and everything in a secure place.


So deciding to go digital will be a crazy roller coaster of frustration and education, but I will have a record at the end of the year.


And… I will be telling the stories of my learning and progress as I go.


I discovered my first hurdle tonight… while mocking up a post for this week (7/52) as a first foray into it all. I had assumed that I could dump my photos and stories into my blog, so that I could share my project. I started with a story from today and made a huge realisation… I tell personal stories in my week pages, stories I don't want the world to read. Sure, I want to share a photo of my week spread but no-one can read the stories (unless I enable the zoom feature) and I can blur anything that I want to keep extra private.


So then I thought, “Well I can make the post private, creating a record for myself” but then no-one else can see it… This is still a problem not a solution!! Now I have a record, but it's not being shared with the crafting community…


So I need to do some more research and more thinking, and I'll get back to you later this week (8/52) with another tale of my big switch to digital – and hopefully, some answer to my current, first, BIIIG problem!





Scientist Guy and I don't really do Val's Day.


In the immortal words of John Hegley –

because I'm into saving trees

because my declarations are not determined by the calendar

because ultimately my heart is my own


But, since having Monkey Boy in my life, I rather enjoy the fun of visually celebrating some events. And thanks to the little miss in my belly, I am feeling rather pink and fluffy…


I love any excuse to make sweet treats in the kitchen : ) especially if that involves yummy chocolate… (much licking of lips!)


So tonight, we enjoyed, via Emma at aBeautifulMess, this (specially shaped for the occasion) dessert.




And there are no “making of” pics thanks to a needy little boy who kept interrupting the whole creating process!!


But it was a doddle to do, and very tasty. I made half the recipe amount (and used a silicone baking mould) and we had more than enough for all three of us.





I have had a blog for a year now, and I have made 44 posts. Could be better, but I'm pleased with what I've put out there. Except… I spend a lot of my time “on the Internet” pointlessly browsing AND HAVE NEVER MANAGED TO POST THE LINKS I READ…


I need to reassess the way I blog. I think I need to consider posting every week, and when I have nothing creative or personal to say I could share what I'm reading – those people or articles that have struck my fancy enough to bookmark them. Does it matter if no one reads/follows them because of me…?


Last year, Scientist Guy and I had a lovely and enlightening (and slightly scary) chat about what I wanted to do with my life and I said – I love to make things, wouldn't it be nice if I did something with/about that… And he said – get a blog and make a name for yourself…


Well, I got the blog and haven't treated it as well as it deserves; but I feel like I have a better idea of how to do that this year and unfortunately it comes back to my long-standing nemesis… time management.


So (if you want to think of it this way) I have a resolution for my blog 2013 – make lists and make the time, to post : whether it is an active article about me or a passive one about someone else.




In a “me 'vs' sourdough” challenge, it has beaten me three times since the beginning of September (when I first tried to wrangle a loaf from a new recipe…) but tonight, I feel lucky, punk…


I fed my starter on Monday. I made my dough this evening. But I have to let it rise until at. least. breakfast tomorrow.


Sigh… I wanna bake NOW!


I tried a loaf using my big bread bible but it failed because I tried to make the process fit my schedule by combining two methods. Do not try this at home, kids… when you try a new recipe… Follow. IT!! Word for word, no deviations. Sure, when you've made it work and are familiar with it (or at least have more of a feel for it than “uh… what happens now?” *headscratch) mix things up and play; but while you're learning the tricky newness of it – stick to the script!


Then I tried a different version from a new to me baker of breads as recommended by a friend (thank you, Mr. Glover!) and it was almost right – it needed less salt (shaky hand of doom!) and to be a larger batch to make a family sized loaf (and to be not over baked…) But it was almost there…



So my fingers are crossed that this one is The One. And I will keep myself entertained looking at beautiful photography while I compile a baking wishlist for the next few weeks!


cinnamon buns from Emmanuel's book… : D make me veerrrrry happy!