Live Like You Are Very, Very Precious.





Live like you are very, very precious.
Because you are.

Those words flitted across my mind this week.  And I decided to paint a picture around them.

The image of a beautifully feathered, exotic looking bird kept coming into my head.  Do you know the kind I mean?  Absolutely stunning but somehow very fragile looking.  That's kind of how we are isn't it?  All stunning in our own beautiful way, but also fragile and vulnerable.

I used my new Tombow art pens on this design.  My Significant Other (Let's call him Steve.  Because that's his name.) bought them for me.  They are the Roll's Royce of art pens, and come in 96 different shades.  As Tombow is my witness, I intend to own all 96 colours at some point on the space time continuum.  They glide across the page, have gorgeously rich pigment, and make my eyeballs fizz with joy at their colour.  Thank you Steve.

I hope this weekend, you are able to find some time to live as if you are very, very precious.  Because you are.

Happy Saturday.

Peonies



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Last weekend my dad cut some peonies for me from his and my mum's garden.
Here they are in full bloom.
Peonies are one of my favourite flowers.
What's your favourite flower?

Ernie Says "I'm Free! I'm Free!"


Ernie, enjoying his new-found freedom in the garden.
I tried to get a photo of Eric but he wouldn't keep his swollen head still long enough.
A big hello and wave to my new Mimi and Tilly followers.  It's lovely to meet you. 
I hope you're having a great day. 



My Desk Today.



My desk today.  
Art supplies and jam jars make me happy.
What makes you happy?




Free Art For You



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My cats, Eric and Ernie, are rescue cats from a nearby cat shelter.  They could fit on the palm of my hand when I brought them home, they were so small.  Ernie was a really curious kitten.  He wanted to explore every space he could find.  Eric was the runt of the litter.  He was a bit poorly when we picked him up.  He had runny eyes and a runny nose, and wouldn't uncurl from the back of the little basket he was in.

Over time, both Eric and Ernie have grown into beautiful cats.  They are loving, playful, and quick to head-bonk you and say hello.  They purr constantly, and are very happy with life.

For the past 7 years they have both been house cats.  Snoozing, playing with fluffy toys and generally enjoying all the good stuff that life has to offer.  Except prowling on the wild side.

In recent months they've begun to miaow to go out. After much lip chewing and fretting on my part, I decided it was cruel to keep them indoors now that they were clearly telling me they wanted to go outside. Last week was the big "Born Free" moment I let them have a run round the garden.

It was fab...  With one unexpected result.

Unbeknown to me, I have been living with a cat hooligan.

Eric has decided that, whether it's animal, vegetable, or mineral, he's not bothered, if it comes into his garden and moves, he's all over it.

So far, he has attacked the neighbour's dog (yes, you read that right, dog), the cat belonging to the neighbours on the other side, several other neighbourhood cats.  And, he's got himself into a red-mist kind of a sid-uation where he's attacked his own brother Ernie, just because he caught a glimpse of him when he was having a cat stand-off with a cat from across the street and wanted to show his prowess.

Frankly, my friends, my "Born Free" fantasy has been turned into a Reservoir Dogs/Cats kind of a scenario. It's been ugly.

Mainly because my cat Eric has the kind of self belief I can only dream of.  He doesn't care if he's a cat.  He doesn't care that cats are supposed to run away from dogs.  He doesn't care if other cats are bigger, fatter, scarier than he is.  He is a cat kung fu fighter and he's doing his kung fu thing.

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Eric prefers the "are you eye-balling me?" approach to life.


This got me thinking about being fearless.  Doing your thing no matter what obstacles cross your path.

Ernie has decided to deal with other cats and dogs invading or coming close to his space by running indoors and hiding under the bed.  Eric has faced all the obstacles that have crossed his path this week with bravery and determination to stand his ground.  I have to say, to watch him see off a dog that was encroaching on his space was actually quite moving.  He was strong, assertive and feisty.



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Ernie prefers the "if I can't see it it's not there" approach to life.


So with Eric's tenacity on my mind, I painted this week's art journal page.  Believing in yourself is a lovely thing to do. (As long as you don't end up with a scratched eyeball and a swollen head like Eric.  Remember believing in yourself is one thing, but fighting is never big or clever unless you're a kung fu fighting cat.)

In honour of Eric's foolhardiness bravery, I've painted today's art journal entry for you to use as a smartphone screensaver.  To upload the painting to your phone, just follow these simple instructions:


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  • Visit this page on your phone
  • Click on the image
  • Hold your finger on it
  • Save it
  • Go to settings, then Wallpaper
  • Choose photo from Camera

Please let me know if you have any problems downloading my painting, so that I can sort out any technical hitches!  And the next time you're feeling nervous or unsure, just look at your screen saver, think of Eric, and believe in yourself!

Much love,


P.S.  In honour of the recent Diamond Jubilee here in Blighty, I have a jewellery give-away coming up.  I'll post the details of how to enter soon.

I Can't Resist Swearing




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I've been resisting a lot of things recently.  Do you ever get in that mood?  Where you dig your heels in? Stick your chin out and get as stubborn as you can possibly get without actually standing in the middle of the carpet and having a hissy fit?

I do.  And that's how I've been feeling lately.

When I was little, I can remember being really stubborn.  If I wanted to learn how to do something, I'd just keep at it till I'd done it.  My dad recently reminded me of something I did when I was about 6.  He had been out on the street with my sister for a while, teaching her how to ride her bike without stabilisers.  I decided to join them.  My sister was taking a break from her bike.  So I picked it up.  Got on it and rode off.  My dad said he could see my concentration as I peddled off up the street.  I had never ridden without stabilisers before, but was determined that I'd just keep going till I fell off.

In Japan, they call this way of being the "gambatte" way (pronounced "gambattay").  Gambatte, in Japanese, means something like try hard, keep fighting, do your best, have courage, (although there's no literal translation into English).  I think that's been my nature since I was little.  It's how I mastered pointe work during ballet lessons even though my feet bled, and how I travelled round the world alone, even though I was often filling my big girl pants (that's a technical term), how I achieved most of the wonderful and exciting things I have achieved in my life.

And sometimes when I'm trying to come over all zen, enjoy the small things in life, get in the "flow", feel peaceful...  I come over all agitated, stubborn and restless. Instead of feeling the "peace of the moment", I want to run round butt naked in a big floppy hat, shouting rude words, cavorting with a bottle of gin.

What's wrong with having a good old foot stamp every once in a while, at the same time inventing new swear words?  I love to swear.  I know it's not big or clever but it makes me laugh.  (A recent addition to my swearing thesaurus?  Funt.  I'll leave you to figure it out.)  I also love snorting when I laugh.

So, while I've been spending the past couple of weeks trying to get into a peaceful place so that I can get down to some art and write something here on my blog, I've been resisting being the sweary, snorty, stubborn person I can also be.  And it just hasn't felt right. The more I've resisted swearing, the more I've come over all Gordon Ramsey...

And then I remembered...  What you resist persists.  So I sat down and painted today's picture.  While swearing.

Problem solved.

In a bid to stop resisting, I have a confession to make.  I enjoy the small things in life.  I enjoy being peaceful. Spending time in nature.  Being quiet.

And I also have times of being stubborn, feisty.  Having a good rant. Slurping gin.  And inventing new swear words that really roll round the tongue.

How about you?

Thank you and good night...

 
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