These days

"It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing and there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. Right? And this bag was just dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That's the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember... I need to remember... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in."

- American Beauty

There are times when I feel like I have missed my calling. Like I should have been a writer or a photographer, or a film maker - though I am not very good at any of these things.

Sometimes there is just so much beauty in the world. So many small moments that create such a fabudonkyulous world that I feel like there should be some way of recording them. Of possessing that beauty. Memory seems inadequate at those times.

I find my artistic skills just as inadequate at imparting those feelings, and I'm not really a poet (despite my enduring love for the haiku) and as you may have noticed from what I have shared with you on this blog - photography is still outside of my skill set.

I feel like my body fills up with so much feeling, and I am so incapable of expressing it, that I just sit around feeling emotional, and inadequate. Moments like these are given to us to make something out of them, I am convinced, otherwise why would we have them? Inspiration to creation.

 One of my favourite bloggers  writers said this:
"I get so damn tired of feelings sometimes, the way they crash over you, threaten to drown you, and then slowly recede, leaving you wet and stinking and covered in seaweed. I think that in my next life I'm going to come back as a robot that's incapable of feeling obligation or regret. I think that that would be nice."
I guess that is what is means to be human, and even more so what it means to be suffer from mental illness, though I don't feel that us 'touched' folk have the monopoly on intense emotions.
All I know is that I adore this side of the coin. The feelings before the plug gets pulled from the bath and you slowly get heavier and heavier, and colder and colder. The joy of beautifully real things. The pretentious feelings that make people film paper bags dancing in the wind.

My work is small and certainly not profound by any definition of the word, but I want you to know that I have aspirations. That my work, especially the things I do for myself, are my way of trying to tie up and own a tiny part of why I think that the world is lovely, and hopefully share that with you.

Don't get me wrong. Life is dangerous and awful too, and that makes me just as emotional - and I make art then too... even more than when I am absorbed by the beauty ... 

I am glad that Ky is studying film, I hope that he gets to share his vision with everyone of the worlds in his mind. I am glad that there are people out there who can write the way I wish I could and film and photograph moments that reflect the feelings that I have.

Like this guy.

We Were Wanderers On A Prehistoric Earth from James W Griffiths on Vimeo.

I never intended this blog post to be as ... emo (?) as it turned out.
Editing it now seems disingenuous so I won't.

For the Samurai

In 2011 Evangeline Cachinero quit her day job and sold paintings every week to make the money she needed for her rent. 

Love is at your fingertips - Evangeline Cachinero

That is all that any artist is doing when they sell their work I suppose - paying their rent, feeding their faces, clothing their bodies, and paying for the things that they need.

Living on a budget is in many ways restrictive - mostly when it comes to food... I have to keep meal plans and bake way more than I used to (I don't like baking... ) and I don't really have the luxury of just deciding I don't want to make dinner so we'll just get pizza (which happens a lot. Cooking isn't really my thing) but it is also freeing in a way.

Without the option to waste money - we don't. I am more organised out of necessity and marginally less lazy too.

The best part of it all is that Ky is happy. He is doing something that he enjoys, and if that means he isn't working full time for the moment then I am okay with that, because our household is a nicer place to be part of when we are doing things that we find personally rewarding.

One of the downsides though is the lack of flexibility when it comes to emergencies or unplanned for expenses.

The Samurai needs to see a specialist with the possibility of needing surgery for some baby issues. Nothing that's going to kill him, but definitely something that needs to be dealt with now to prevent problems for him down the line.
It's going to cost us quite a bit of money, and if surgery is required, even more... 

 At the same time - I will be reorganising my Etsy store so that everything is up to date.

I am taking a page out of Cachinero's book and selling things with a specific purpose - Ronin. I will be selling things here through my blog until they are gone, and the money will be going towards those unplanned expenses - namely, the paediatric urologist who we will be trusting to heal our little Samurai.

To check out everything that is for sale, click here - or click the URGENT SALE tab along the top.

Thank you!

Part of the process

Sometimes life is a chaotic mess of activity.

Sometimes it's just a chaotic mess.

At the moment it is busy, the Samurai is teething, the Angel is still two... (and has a new streak of stubbornness)  On the plus side, Ky is into the post part of his film. After two weeks of him leaving early in the morning and coming home late from shoots it has been awesome to have him home - even if he is tinkering with edits on his computer.

The film he made with his night class is finished - (you can see it here Warning - swearing and violence.) - after they workshopped it together in class Ky's script was chosen to make (his script had no swearing - that was added by the actors) and if you watch till the end you'll see baby and I at a funeral and the angel wandering around the cemetery.

Amidst all the activity of the household I have been working on some commissions and some new art for those awesome people who are subscribed.

Here is something that I have been working on.

I really like working on sketches in photoshop. I'm not really sure why that is - but it probably has something to do with the ease of deleting things. Lines are my friends on the computer, tones slightly less so, and colour is my photoshop enemy ... which is to say that my digital art skills are incredibly limited. So here the first part of what most of my art starts as - a sketchy scribbley mess. (This is Jack and the beanstalk in case you didn't guess)

Keep an eye out for him as he makes his way to paper, paint, and the printers.

Happy mother's day!

I realised while I was painting Lisa and four of her five Kings that I had featured mothers of boys. Maybe this was some kind of subliminal bias as I have two children and they are both boys - but I did invite other mums who have daughters to be a part of this conversation about motherhood.

I have had a wonderful time learning more about the beautiful women who have shared their stories with me (with all of us) and if you missed any of them, check them out:


I love my mum. She has been firmly on my side throughout my life (despite the foolish choices that I may have made), and I have never doubted that she loved me.
I hope that my boys will always know that I love them too. Even when my hair is falling out (by the handful) and I am airing out a wet bed (again) or doing any of the less than glamorous jobs that come with being a mum... it will all help me to love and appreciate my own mum more.

Thank you for inspiring and uplifting me with your examples and encouragement (not judgement or comparison.)

Happy Mother's Day ladies :)

Lisa {Mother of Kings}

I think that as mothers and as women generally we are guilty of comparing ourselves and our children to one another in a competitive and non-constructive way. Collecting out experiences in an open and non-judgemental way could be so beneficial.

I have two sons. Sometimes I am at a complete loss when it comes to what I need to do in order to help them to become men of principle... and happy ones at that.
Lisa's attitude of making moments count, and not counting moments is inspiring to me and reminds me to be grateful for the goodness of life.

You can read more about her household of Kings on her blog.

Something that I have learnt over the last twelve years is that life can change in an instant. In 1995 I married my best friend Aaron, and four years later our eldest son Jalen was born.

Almost twelve years ago my life changed in an instant, when our second eldest son Noah, was diagnosed with a condition called hydranencephaly at nine weeks old. The short version is that he was missing most of his brain because he suffered a stroke while I was pregnant with him. We were told that he probably wouldn’t live longer than four years old and we left hospital with our beautiful baby, who we now knew was severely physically and mentally disabled.

Aaron and I were blessed with four beautiful boys. Our sons Harri and Kobe were born after Noah and they reminded us that life is awesome, as they brought a lot of joy back into our family. I love being a Mum and life was hard at times, but also wonderful.

As a Mum I feel like it’s my responsibility to teach my boys, but Noah taught me more than I could ever teach him. He taught us to appreciate every single day. He taught us that it really is the little things in life that are the most important. He taught us that our family is the biggest blessing that we have, and that we needed to make the most of the time we had together, because you never know when it’s going to be taken away.

A lot of people say that being a Mum is the hardest but best job you can do, and I totally agree. Noah needed full time care and had a lot of health issues, and life was far from what I had imagined it to be, but the blessings of having such a special spirit in our home, far outweighed anything else.
Our life once again changed in an instant, when we sat around Noah’s bedside in the Intensive Care Unit as a family and say goodbye to him. It was just three months after his tenth birthday and his body shut down after years of illnesses and he passed away.

Our hearts broke that day and we had to adjust to life without our beautiful son. My heart was far from being healed when just three and a half months later my husband Aaron suffered a massive heart attack right in front of me and my boys, and passed away.

It has now been nineteen months since Noah passed away and sixteen months since Aaron passed away, and I’m still don’t really believe that this is my life. I’m now a single Mum raising my three boys on earth on my own. It’s so hard to be grieving for Noah and Aaron at the same time. It’s so hard to be grieving myself, but having to help my boys through their own trauma and grief.

I am grateful every day for my three boys, as they are what keep me going every day. We are learning together to find the good in life. We cry together often, but we also laugh together still. I’m grateful for Noah who taught us to make the most of every day, and I’m trying to remember that now and to teach my boys that as well.

Our days feel empty without our whole family here, but together we are trying to focus on our blessings, and our biggest blessing is that we know that we will be together as a whole family one day.


Caley + Ike {Mother's Day}

I used to see Caley at church events and we had friends in common, but I never really knew her. She's a total babe though - yeah I was checking her out...

She's still pretty of course, and together with her husband has produced a gorgeous little boy who fills up my instagram feed with his dark eyes and smiles. 

You can follow Caley on her blog.

Before Motherhood, I only knew what it was like to have the love of a little dog.

This dog was the love of my life (and still is) however it is amazing how much the heart grows and allows room for another type of love. The love of a child. Not just any child, your own child. A child who has your humour, eye shape, little hands and even the same eye brow raised movement when he's looking at you, the same way you look at them.

You share the same kind of love for each other, for the other man in both of your lives, their dad, your husband and together you all complete a role on what makes a woman, a Mother.

The most important role in the world. I say this because I've had many roles. I've been the daughter, I've been the friend, I've been the Aunty with no kids, I've been the career maniac, the Wife but this role tops all roles combined, the role of a Mother. It has opened my eyes into a different world, not just in my own world but looking out from it. I see things from a different perspective, a different emotion, a different fear, a different ball of emotions all wrapped up because of one cute little bundle.
I understand my Mother so much more. I appreciate her so much more. I understand the hardships Single Mother's go through and the joy that their little ones would bring to their worldly experiences that have been tipped upside down. I understand the loss of ones that have not been able to experience Motherhood, an emotion I could never truly understand until I became a Mother and how heartbreaking it is to love something that does not yet exist. Motherhood completes me, it completes our family, immediate and extended. It's my little place in the world which is home for me. Home is where Mum is. Always has and always will be for me.

My own Mother was the most perfect example for me to learn from without even realising I was learning from her. Subliminal Mothering at it's finest. Thank you Mum.

Happy Mother's Day to all.


Jessica Frost {on motherhood}

I have some magnificent friends. Friends who seem more like family, and when you see them, no matter how long its been, you can laugh and chat and cry and whatever you need - because they're just awesome.
Jess is a friend like that, only she lives around the corner from me and I see her at least once most weeks. Also - she's actually family because she married my cousin. 
I have a lot of respect for her as a woman and I hope that her words help you reflect on motherhood in a much broader sense.
Jess talks about a lot of things over at her blog including infertility, today there is a list of things that you can say to any women (or men) in your life who are struggling with infertility. (A good thing to know with mother's day this Sunday!)

Motherhood. It has a mixed meaning for me. Respect and heartache. It's hard to imagine how those two can co-exist.

I love and respect my mother. She is one of the most amazing women I know. Growing up she sacrificed to give me and my sisters whatever we needed. She still sacrifices today in different ways and I know her heartaches for us every day. She is one of my best friends. I have so much respect for all the mothers in my life. The one who raised a kind, funny and loving man to be my husband. Seeing how my sister raises her children. All the other women who teach me so much about what makes a great mother.

Ever since I was a little child I looked forward to the day I'd be a mother. My mum always joked I was born 30 & a homemaker. I thought about things I wanted to teach my children, seeing them grow and learn. Now, after finding the right guy (the best guy), things haven't gone as planned. Where hope for motherhood once stood, now there is pain. I still hope for a day when I hold a precious baby in my arms. A baby I already love and think about every day. Kissing their little nose. Holding their tiny hand in my mine. What them grow and live their dreams.

Infertility changes your perspective on a lot of things. I hope one day I can look back at this time with gratitude. It's hard to feel like this time will pass but I have faith it will. I have faith that one day, I'll be grateful for everyday I endured 
through this time of infertility. I know it will make me a better mother, I think it already has. To appreciate the blessing of motherhood more. That when my child won't stop crying or won't sleep or my house is torn apart, I'll remember the years I cried and my heart ached for the chance to have that child. To appreciate the little moments that others might let pass by with the frustrations of the day. 

I hope I never forget this time though. I don't want the memories to fade as the years go by. Not because I want to keep feeling the pain, because I think we can move past the pain of infertility (eventually). I want to remember it so I can lift up those who are still in the midst of it, to be a shoulder and most importantly, to cherish the blessings I do have in my life everyday. Because if the passed 2 and a half years have taught me anything, it's to cherish the little moments that make life great.


Kesh + Roo {Roo's morning}

Mother's Day, like every other holiday currently celebrated by society is in terrible danger of being turned into one giant marketing campaign, whether it has already is only a matter of perspective really. 

Thankfully my mother doesn't equate the amount of money I spend on her to the magnitude of my love for her. Otherwise this would be fairly disastrous as I give her art pretty much every year. In fact mothers day is one of the reasons I bother levelling up my craft skills. 

Two years ago, on my first mother's day as a mother, I invited some friends who had children to share some thoughts on motherhood. You can read what they wrote here

This year I have done something similar, only I drew people instead of getting photos of them. 

Today the boys managed to sleep for a collection of hours (AT THE SAME TIME) so I had time to get some drawings done. The scanner is at my sisters house, so photos taken with my phone will have to do. I have to make it very clear that these illustrations may deviate a little (or a lot) from what people really look like. In real life Kesh is far more beautiful than my scratchings make her out to be, and her son Roo is a very jovial and happy looking fellow. (For proof of both of these things check out her blog)

In fact  its not just Kesh's face that is beautiful, but her whole attitude is beautiful and joyful. Especially when it comes to being a mum. 

Roo wakes with the first signs of the sun. He calls out for me, I go to him. He is standing, reaching for me. I hold him in my arms and he sleepily snuggles in. I bring him with me to our big, warm bed, then breastfeed him in our sheets. I struggle to keep my eyes open. He grabs my nose and pushes my face. This keeps me awake. He finishes one side, sits up on my lap and baby-talks happily to me. Once the other side is done, he finds his Dadda next to me and wakes him too. Pulling hair, grabbing noses, hitting cheeks.
We are awake.
He has our attention.

Dadda and Roo snuggle and roll around on the bed while I watch and laugh. In awe that they are mine. He crawls between us making faces, raised eyebrows, crazy smiles. He’s animated. He machine gun laughs at us and then rests his head on my chest for a three second cuddle.
The day has started.

We drive to the beach to watch Dadda swim. Roo crawls after the seagulls. Dadda calls out to Roo mid-stroke, Roo laughs and squeals with excitement. He knows his Dad. Roo races for the water. He wants to swim but the water is fresh.
He doesn’t mind.
He loves the cold.

We come home. Breakfast. Vegemite all over his face. Toys on the floor. We pray, grateful for a new day. Back to bed for Roo.
This is our morning.
We are happy.


Kesh Coulson

of mice and men (and mothers)

The change of season always brings sickness into our house. It doesn't seem to matter whether it is getting colder or warmer, the change just screws around with everyone's bodies.
At the moment both of my babies are sick. Which means runny noses, coughs, and sneezes and tired grumpiness.
The Samurai sleeps more, but the Angel has warped into this tantrum throwing yelling machine who fights through the day until he passes out as the sun sets.

The end of this week is Mother's Day and I had grand plans to feature different people I know and their views on motherhood and various other wonderful things like that. Instead every one in our house has taken turns at being sick, and I have been busy doing all the mundane things that facilitate our lifestyle (and lives!), like making sure that we have food in the house.  I find myself in a more reflective than celebratory mood when it comes to thinking about being a mum. The kind of mood where I just stare at Gabe and am utterly bewildered by the being that he is. I'm not sure if that makes sense... all I know is that I am very tired.

The art and words from others will still come. Tomorrow - and the day after, and every day until mother's day if I manage to be that organised; and by then hopefully my children will have bested the nasty germs in their bodies and I'll be able to have a rational conversation with my two year old (yeah, I'm not going to be holding my breath.)


Kyle has been filming for the past two weeks solid - illustrating the downside to this career choice. Prior to that, he had school holidays (the upside!) and we got to escape to his parents house for a few days and look at horses and feed chickens and be outside and do all the things that you can't do when you live in a busy area in an apartment block. Asides from having a virus ('tis the season) it was magnificent.

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