29 July 2012

So Much Going On

I havent sat down to write for some time. Probably because I felt like there was too much to say and I didnt have time to put it in meaningful sentences. The best way for me to handle this is to do bullet points because, once again, I only have 10 minutes and I do so want to check in with those who still bother to pop in here! ;-)


  • Havent run in about 10 days. My last one was 10km trail and my ITB behaved and it went well. I am definitely lacking fitness though as I found the last km tough. 
  • Am going to pilates weekly. I hate and loathe it but I do it to support my running and stay injury free.
  • I went to a fortieth recently - Denim and Diamonds - it was such a blast and as usual I was the last one standing on the dancefloor. (probably cos I only drank lime n soda all night!)



    • I am well into planning my fortieth with the kind help of one of my besties. 
    • I have started painting again. It has been awhile....like 35yrs. The last time I painted was in kindergarten until I realised everyone was better than me and I stopped. Well, I dont really care anymore and I am having great fun messing around.
    Retro Girl is a work in progress

    My bird is made of polyfiller, using a stencil, love the dimension

    • I hosted a 'class' (or something!) for some friends/family last week - showing them how to explore the wilder side of working with mixed media.. It was great fun - you can read my friend, Flowrs, account of the morning here.
    • Word has spread and I have been asked to 'teach' at a craft evening next month with about 10 women. I am somewhat daunted....but will busk my way through it! ;-)

    • I have also started a Project #40 art journal with Flowrs and another mate - you can read more about how it works here.
    • I am off to see Brave shortly with the kids - looking forward to it; that animation is off the hook - by the same crowd who did How to Train Your Dragon.

    26 July 2012

    Of Painting and Creating

    There has been a flurry of creativity recently. We have decided to just throw caution to the wind and have fun with all the materials I have lying around the studio. For too long I have looked at them and prized them and felt I needed to *save* them for that one day when I did something *special* with them.

    Well, no more. Now it is a matter of grab, stick, cut, scribble, rub, paint, sand ---- and stand back and look at what you made. There is no required outcome. The only important part of this process is how it makes you *feel*.

    I have seen that doing this with my girls decreases their moodiness considerably. Be they tired, grumpy, quarrelsome, bored or simply imposssible I stick a paint brush in one hand - modge in the other and tell them to go mad.

    The results have been utterly remarkable. The girls instantly become happier, calmer, more thoughtful and considerate to one another.

    It is really that simple.

    Both girls love to get messy with me in the studio

    a few primed canvases and peeks at the stuff I have done

    Studio madness and my first experiments.

    19 July 2012

    Finding my Scrapper

    Since excising myself from facebook I have found I have more time to scrap again. Except for the fact that I seem to pfaff around a lot more than actually *do* anything.

    I did have a flurry of activity late last week where I made an album for a friend but nothing much since then. I think I have suffering for 'overwhelmedness' which is a common scrapper malady. I am overwhelmed not only by my stash but by my photos.

    Just the thought of looking, sorting, deciding on size and then printing is making me see double.

    In an effort to gain direction, focus and inspiration I have amble over to Big Picture Scrapbooking for help. The last time I logged in there was 2007!! *gasp*

    I have signed up for 2 online classes by my 2 favourite scrappers - Stacy Julian and Cathy Zielske.

    Cathy will be doing an online course on typography which is a lesser-known passion of mine - I so so wish I had studied design. Maybe when I get my mac I will tread this path!

    Stacy, queen of quick and simple, will remind me that sometimes it is just about GETTING IT DONE and not getting weighed down by the process. Her class focuses on what she calls Finish Line Scrapbooking. I just lurve the sound of that.

    So I hope to be spending lots of time running....and scrapping in the coming weeks. (we wont mention the other boring tasks!)

    18 July 2012

    Yes, it's true.

     
    I am a scrapbooker.

    I know what you're thinking and you are wrong. Just the word 'scrapbooker' also makes me all cringey inside. I do prefer the word 'life documenter' - that is what I do - I use words + photos = our daily lives.

    Since excising myself from facebook I have found I have more time to scrap again. Except for the fact that I seem to pfaff around a lot more than actually *do* anything.

    I did have a flurry of activity late last week where I made an album for a friend but nothing much since then. I think I have suffering for 'overwhelmedness' which is a common scrapper malady. I am overwhelmed not only by my stash but by my photos.

    Just the thought of looking, sorting, deciding on size and then printing is making me see double.

    In an effort to gain direction, focus and inspiration I have amble over to Big Picture Scrapbooking http://www.bigpictureclasses.com/or help. The last time I logged in there was 2007!! *gasp*


    I have signed up for 2 online classes by my 2 favourite scrappers - Stacy Julian and Cathy Zielske.

    Cathy will be doing an online course on typography which is a lesser-known passion of mine - I so so wish I had studied design. Maybe when I get my mac I will tread this path!

    Stacy, queen of quick and simple, will remind me that sometimes it is just about GETTING IT DONE and not getting weighed down by the process. Her class focuses on what she calls Finish Line Scrapbooking. I just love the sound of that. Finish lines are always good.

    So I hope to be spending lots of time running....and scrapping in the coming weeks. (we wont mention the other boring tasks!)

    Gratitude

    This morning dawned bright and still. The mountain was calling! I havent been on the trails for over a month due to the ITB issues and really bad weather.

    FlowrsinherHair, a few of my other close mates and even my hounds joined me as we traipsed up the hills in Silvermine and headed toward the Hout Bay lookout point.


    Luke and Honey awed by the view!

    Takinga breather to appreciate the beauty.


    I felt so alive, exhilharated and grateful to be in a place of such beauty, doing something that brings me so much joy AND sharing it with people who mean so much to me. Not to mention the fact that I was able to run with abandon, even down the hills, with no pain!






    It is in the moments like these that I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this thing we casually call LIFE.

    17 July 2012

    Routine is the Bomb

    Apparently you are termed 'boring' if you like routine. Back in the day I used to be spontaneous. Actually, that is a total bloody lie. I dont really have a spontaneous bone in my body.

    I like to know there is structure and a plan. Otherwise I get antsy and a little bit spooked. School holidays (particularly winter ones) can spook me a little bit. While I do love the lie-ins and the pajama days the relentless lack of structure begins to wear on me somewhat.

    Fortunately 3 weeks is 'just enough' holiday - the kids went back to school yesterday and I have been hellishly productive the last two mornings.

    Today I faced my nemesis early - Pick n Pay was done and dusted in 20 minutes. I am currently trying to get all our pictures /  photographs and the like hung. It is a mission. A real mission for two reasons:

    1. I should measure and I dont because I want it done quickly. So I get it wrong.
    2. We have verrry high areas that I cant reach on our picture wall, I did get the ladder and I still cant reach. I did have thoughts of channelling my inner Tom Cruise but thoughts of falling through the glass with no-one to take me for stitches made me pause.

    So for now I resort to more mindful activities like sorting out my cutlery drawer.

    I said I had been productive. I never said anything about it being exciting okay?

    16 July 2012

    A Space to Call Mine. And Ours.

    A Space to Call Mine. And Ours.

    I think every woman (and man!) can relate to that desire to have a space that belongs to them. Where one can have all your 'stuff'.  Stuff that others may deem clutter but to you these items feed  your soul and speak volumes about who you are.

    My space is somewhere I like to just sit and absorb the present. Think, dream and ponder while sipping my second cup of tea.

    A place where stillness settles and gratitude flows.

    Remarkably 'my space' is in a room which I share with my kids....this room houses my studio, their studio and our computer area.

    I use time in the mornings to indulge that part of me that craves solitude and quiet. In the afternoons, chaos ensues as three creatively enthusiastic youngsters invade and permeate the air with their youthful exuberance.

    I think I have found the happy medium.

    15 July 2012

    Many Milestones!

    School holidays are at an end. Tomorrow morning the alarm, will once again, begin its abuse at 630am. I will bravely and fearlessly get myself up and make my own tea - for the first time in 3 weeks.

    Reflecting on these past 3 weeks a few things need to be noted:

    • Faith has brought me tea every morning.
    • Levi has made me toast in the morning.
    • Levi learnt to tie his shoelaces
    • No-one has ever woken me before I was ready.
    • Rachel as discovered the joys of Whatsapp. She and I have a steller whatsapp relationship that makes me smile. It seems she is well able to show her softer side through texting.
    • Levi lost another tooth.
    • Rachel lost another tooth.
    • I set up my creating studio again.
    • I bought a painting.
    • I created a new family wall collage in wood.
    • I hung pictures, pin boards and canvases, long overdue.
    • I made a frame for my instagrams - one that can be switched out daily.
    • I moved my dining room into our vast entrance hall - LOVE IT!
    • All 3 kids went to work with their dad at least twice these holidays.
    • I saw 4 movies : Extremely Loud and Up Close, Friends with Kids, Ice Age 4, Madagascar 3.
    • I made 2 mini albums; one for a friend and one documenting the build of our house.
    • I finished a mixed media painting.
    • I went to Jhb and met Kirsty and made strides in getting back to running.

    And that is just a few of the highlights!

    10 July 2012

    Meeting Kirsty!

    I have met many of my blog friends over the last 5 years but there is one very special person I have yet to meet.




    I found Kirsty probably about 4years ago? She and her family were still living in the UK at the time. I commented on her blog once or twice and then I moved bloghomes and lost contact. It is all a bit vague to me now but somehow she found me or I found her again...and by now her little tribe had returned to our rainbow nation and had settled in Egoli.

    We have shared lots of these last years; I was supposed to be at her 40th earlier this year and was so utterly heartbroken to miss sharing it with her. We have much in common - not the least of which is that we are both loud and proud slummy mummies who are not ashamed to admit we dont have it all together.

    Fast forward to last week. My wheels were falling off. I was / am so frustrated with this ITB condition and I just needed some reassurance and guidance as to what the best way forward is. Did I mention Kirst is a hotshot physio?

    Fast forward to tomorrow..... I am hitching a ride with my man and we headed to the City of Gold. I will be spending lots of time with Mam Kirsty - meeting in real life to talk about life and loveliness. (and maybe check out my itb issue, maybe ;)   I cannot wait.

    ITB is almost turning into a blessing....not only can I touch my toes for the first time in my life (due to tedious daily stretches) but I am now able to visit someone who has become like a long-lost sister to me!

    Talk about a silver lining eh?

    09 July 2012

    And Today I Ran....

    I cannot tell you how good it felt despite the fact that it was on a treadmill. I ensured that I chose a treadmill facing the mountain, you know, to keep me focussed on my goal - to get back on those trails as fast as possible.

    I only ran 20 minutes today but they were PAIN FREE 20 minutes. I am on my knees thanking Kirsty for her help and guidance in getting me back running. I am avoiding the nagging voices in my head ... the ones that say 'just wait til you run a bit longer...or a bit faster....or uphill...or or or' Those voices can bugger off. For now I will take one day at a time, adding 5mins onto each run until I can run a solid 60minutes. Pain free.

    In other breaking news....I finally managed to photo-document the build of our house. This build completed in August 2006, so it has taken somewhere close to 6 years for me to put the album together. I am pretty sure this delay was not due to anything other than post traumatic stress. The build of our house was pretty nightmarish for many reasons....and my son was born a month before we moved....

    Nonetheless the mini album is almost complete.

    And did I mention I completely revamped our workspace? We now have 3 dedicated areas in our 'studio' - my art area, the kids art area and a technology table which houses the pc's/printer/scanner etc. It still needs a wee bit of sorting and containerising but it is functioning beautifully!

    03 July 2012

    Meet Willow

    I purchased a mixed media painting this week. As some of you know I am a lover of mixed media works and have dabbled in my own creations.

    This particular piece spoke to my he{art} like I believe always happens when a piece is meant for you. I immediately snapped her up when I heard she was about to be loaded onto the artist's Etsy site! 

    Meet Willow. Large mixed media on canvas. She will be taking pride of place on my studio wall.



    Reminding me daily to connect with that deepest part of me that needs to find artistic expression.

    02 July 2012

    ITB Drama

    I have been trail running consistently for almost a year now and I am glibly told it was only a matter of time before ITBS (iliotibial band syndrome) would catch up to me. Upon further research I find it's one of the top 3 running complaints of distance runners.

    The thing is I am not really a distance runner....maybe 25km in a good week? That is hardly distance.My desire is to run 10km a couple of times a week and maybe 15km over the weekend. I dont see this as 'overtraining'?

    Each time I have spoken to a seasoned runner about this I get the same response :


    1. You need to rest (check)
    2. You need to cut your mileage (why, that is not to solve anything)
    3. Check your shoes (check)
    4. Stretch and strengthen (ongoing)

    The scariest thing to me though is the look I get when mention this ailment.

    PITY.

    And then the stinger :

    "shame Mel, ITB is a bitch. My mom/brother/cousin/trainer eventually quit running because of it.

    NOT AN OPTION.  

    Thankfully I have my own little team of cheerleaders and medical pro's who are going to make sure that, whatever it takes, I will be back in my happy place again real soon!

    Levi Cracks the Nod

    It has been a ritual that each child gets a turn to go spend a day at Dad's work during school holidays. Of course, said child needs to be mature enough to sit still (either at or under the desk) for 8 hours while Dad actually works....

    Rach has been able to do this since she was 3. She would pack all her toys, animals,blankets, books and a dvd player. It was the highlight of every school holiday for her!

    Soon Faith followed suit; in fact just last week she went along and actually fell asleep under the desk for a good part of the day.

    Today was Levi's turn. He had had a trial run last year where he went for a half day but we felt he was now old enough to do the 530am til 4pm haul. He did himself proud - watched 6 movies and generally arbed under the desk! Russ had a meeting in the next room and when he returned he found a very calm Levi lying a bit strangely and upon further inspection found that he had gotten his arm stuck between the desk leg and the cabinet....and just lay there until Russ returned! (my mothers heart was alarmed but russ insists he was fine and that it wasnt a long time!)

    I think there is a magic land under that desk that adults know nothing about because my kids all seem very happy to nestle in there and make their own little world come alive.

    01 July 2012

    A Mommy Fail Day

    Blech, today has just been revolting. I have a headache and a sore throat and I am not sick. Nope, this is the residual effect of being a fishwife today.

    I think the combination of no househelp, school holidays and not being able to run due to ITB has just pushed me over the edge. I want to SCREAM at everyone ALL the time.

    These people in my  house DRIVE ME NUTS but most of the time I can take a deep breathe and let it go but at the moment, not so much.

    It is the constant mess (dog hair, laundry, ironing, dishes) coupled with regular winges of "Mooooom, where is my ___________________" that is doing my head in. 

    I dont wear their clothes, play with their toys, use their glue, hide their scissors or sleep with their toys. OMISHATTERED NERVES.

    Like I warned them earlier : Yes, your mom is rude tonight. Deal with it. And for your own health all you should be saying is 'Yes Mom'.

    #thankGodtomorrowisanotherday