16 May 2014

all the young dudes

Finding the time to produce any new artwork has been hard recently. Priorities and other work commitments have made my relationship with my pens, paper and Photoshop a distant one. But look, I've managed to make something! And I made it mostly standing up cos I've got a bad back! I'm pretty pleased with that. It's helped that I've had extra help with the kids from my parents this week. Thanks to them I could do a little extra work. It's surprising what you can fit into a few hours here and there.

I wanted something bright and cheery, maybe for Griffy's room. That's when he actually gets a room and moves out of ours. 

It feels good to have made something new. I'm feeling motivated right now. Guess I better ride that feeling and get shit done!

8 May 2014

it's always me and her and him

I miss being on my own. 

And I feel weirdly guilty saying that, as I'm blessed with lots of wonderful people around me, people that light up my heart and who help make my world a beautiful place. I love those people. I need them, adore them, would do anything for them but...

...but I'm never alone. Those of you with small children will understand that it when I say I'm seriously never alone, not even in the bath, not even on the toilet. If on a crazy whim I close the bathroom door for a few minutes you could set a 20 second timer to the first calls of 'MUMMY?! WHERE ARE YOU?'

I need alone. 

A little space for myself, just for me. That's normal. That's more than normal, that's absobloodylutely necessary.

When I'm not with the kids I'm working with a roomful of students, or joining in with some group event, or watching a film with David, all of which I love and which I wouldn't change for the world... but oh to be given a couple of hours which no one else around. At all.

Maybe it's a post small baby thing; Griff has turned one and as his need for independence increases so does mine. Otherwise I'd be heart broken everytime he took a step away from me. He's still very clingy right now but every now and again he gives me a little shove as if to say 'Back off, I'm busy'. Kids. They do stuff like that. Soon he'll be saying 'Mummy, why are you still here? Go home, I'm seeing Nanna on my own today', just like his big sister does. 

And now I've kind of talked myself around. I'll have plenty of time alone soon enough I guess. But until then maybe I should get a lock for the bathroom door, I think that's an acceptable compromise.

6 May 2014

doing it not right

Griff. He's happy even when I'm feeling like I should be doing something else, so I guess I'm doing something right!
You know that feeling, that insidious, stealthy feeling that whispers you're not doing it right? You get it too, don't you? The one that makes you look at your life, at your home, at your job and at your reflection and think 'oh, bloody hell...'.

I'm always trying to work out the best way to live my life; I sometimes feel like I'm doing a crap job of it, I always feel like I'm doing a crap job of something. Maybe I am. Probably I am. Yep, I am.

What should I do next, what should I do now, what should I have done this morning when the baby was asleep and I had an hour 'free'? (I did some ironing. I'm thinking I should have done some pilates or started writing a novel or something...)

I often feel like I look a wreck. I often feel like my house is a mess. I often feel like I don't earn enough money, that I don't exercise enough, that I should read more, that the kids should be eating more fresh vegetables and less pasta, that I should be living somewhere else and that I should sit on the floor and sing 'Twinkle, Twinkle' with the baby more often.

Christ, it's exhausting. And I could make some bloggy comment now about how I'm going to walk away from that way of thinking and go easy on myself and make a cup of tea and eat a piece of cake and go and cover some pine cones with glitter with the kids but that's bullshit cos I'll still be feeling like it's not enough and I know it would take at least 5 years of therapy to stop thinking that there's a better way to do everything all the time and even then I guess I'd still have my moments. Because I'm human, and I'm female, and I'm a mum. That's why.

So what can we do? Anyone? Why do we do this to ourselves?

16 Apr 2014

Griff is 1


I can hardly believe that it's been year since Griffy was born. A year! I can remember the day he came to join us so clearly; how can a whole twelve months have passed?! Although, in another way it seems like he's been here with us for longer, to think back to when we were a 3 is to cast my mind back to another era, long gone.

He such a dream boat. That's what I call him, and then Edie laughs and says he's her dream boat too.

Griff's birthday was yesterday and we had such lovely day. We went to a children's petting farm set in the most amazingly beautiful landscape and stayed outdoors till bedtime, riding the toboggan ride, taking the tractor tour, bouncing on trampolines, eating ice-cream and lying back on the grass looking up at the blue blue skies. We stopped for chips on the way home and found a lovely spot in the Brecon Beacons to eat them. Edie made us all laugh all day, she was so excited that it was her brother's birthday and to be honest I think she enjoyed the day a little more than the birthday boy did; he was content to sit his chubby bottom down on the picnic blanket with a welsh cake and watch his sister hurtle around the place like a bouncy mad thing.

And so Griff's second year begins. I look forward to watching him grow over the next 12 months, time will fly by once again no doubt but I'm so happy to be spending that time with him by my side.

24 Mar 2014

I like this stuff...

I don't think I've ever posted about a clothes label before but I'm liking the look of this easy to wear stuff from Hush lots right now. I'm not sure on the styling they've used on this shoot, it's not really calling out to me, but I can look past that and there are several items I could really do with for spring/summer 2014. Like the slate trousers below... Don't they look comfy?

I'm a newcomer to Hush clothing, I own only one item of theirs, a grey cashmere beanie that I wore every day through the winter. I LOVE that hat. It's so soft and warm and the perfect slouchy shape. I sometimes worry that at Edie's school I'm known as the 'one who always wears that hat' as it was seriously stuck to my head throughout January and February. Now I've started talking about it I'm tempted to go and get it and put it on right now, yes, I love it that much.

I may get those trousers... And the shorter black dress... Ahh, decisions...

20 Mar 2014

just a Thursday afternoon

Edie is home ill from school for the second day this week. She is ill with a nasty cold but I have the sneaking suspicion she's laying it on a bit thick. It's so hard to judge when kids should stay home and when they should just battle on. She's only 4 though I guess and we all feel rotten with a bunged up nose and a cough don't we? Even a cough that has an element of RADA, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to it.

And it was my day off. I had so much planned, but hey ho.

I've been sorting out my prints for an art fair I'm doing on the weekend. Luckily I had lots already prepared or I'd be panicking right around now. I've just made a last minute order for more printer paper so I can produce more of the 'Reading Makes Your World Big' print and also 'The Alphabet' print; I've sold a few of these recently and my stocks are running low.

I hope this art fair will be worth it, the last one I did was very slow. You can never tell with these things. 

Anyway, it seems my ill daughter is in desperate need of a snack so I shall leave you now and go and attend to the invalid. The constantly hungry invalid who miraculously feels better when she is playing on the iPad. 

18 Mar 2014

10 signs of spring; collected, photographed and noted

1• there are buds on the trees and they're starting to blossom. Soon they will be bouncing pink and white bundles of beauty! Fleeting but all the more magical because of that.

daffodils. They are the front line of spring flowers, their bright and cheery yellowness makes the world a better place, don't you think?

birds getting crazy. Something is going on up in the eves of our house. Every year we have a little nest there and we watch the comings and goings. Last year a fledgling's first attempts at flying were unsuccessful and we had a stressful morning trying to keep our dog away whilst trying to coax it out of it's hiding place in the wood pile so it's mum and dad could find it and encourage it to try to fly again. Happily they did find it and it did manage to take flight. Happy ending!

bees. There was a bee in the house; a HUGE one. I picked up a pair of socks I'd left on a radiator by the bedroom window and my hand began to buzz... there was a giant bee in my fist and I didn't scream much at all.

pussy willows. I've just discovered we have them in our garden and I'm so pleased about that. They're fluffy and full of the promise of growth and new things.

ice cream (especially ice cream in the park).

light. Light in the morning and light in the evening. doesn't it make things so much easier?

there are clothes and accessories in the shops that I really like and they are not black, white, navy, grey, sparkly or metallic...

• blue skies and bird song

and finally (but this is maybe my favourite) that smell you catch in the air, the one that smells green and woody and earthy and full of life and sunshine. Oh my goodness, when you catch that smell it's so beautiful.

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like


 Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard's Egg

Spring! The beginning of new things. The awakening of sleepy things. The goodness that light and warmth and new life bring to us all. And it's all happening right now all around us. Enjoy it!