Sunday, 31 January 2010

work at last

Proof i actually did something today :-)  fuzzy feet on my snow leopard .

A bit of leg

Balcony end of January

break time i was in this chair 20 seconds after the photo , coffee was lovely
Husband making drainage holes

My best friend :-)

Overwintered Geranium

repotted plants

Spring fresh green

I think therefore

I think therefore i get muddled up . This morning im raging with inspiration and im in the wrong place . Husbands asleep , kids are playing up and i have a migraine . I NEED to be in someplace isolated and majestic , or remote , or high , or just plain peaceful . i need space and good vistas . I need that high that i get . today i realised fully , like a smack in the face just how much depression has taken from me and its not just a little , its a lot , its ten years that have left me ten years behind what i want to do   . when i was a child i had to draw , had to be alone , had to record and collect and hear words in my head  , i created always and was firmly rooted in my surroundings but i didnt know why . Turns out it was because im an artist , thats why . now im afloat again . what sort of an artist am i . why am i not serious about what i do . Ive been told i have the talent and the inspiration so why do i hide . Fear . fear is the answer , depression driven fear and stupidly its a fear of being successful . im scared of it . i know how to be broke , i know how to be mummie , some days ,  i know how to be wife . what i dont know is this wild thing iside me that wants to get out . i aknowledge it , i enjoy it but it tortures me , i should be more , i should do more .  I have to take this out into the light , look at it , give it a good shake and decide .  I can either be mummie all the time or i can really be an artist .
I CAN do it .  Having depression dosnt prevent me , it just makes it a whole lot harder but on the other hand , it adds an extra element . I can see it as a gift that makes me appreciate things more . The reason for sharing this is whith depression it always feel like you struggle alone . So im sharing . I feel this . so if anyone else feels this , you are not alone :-)))

Alpine thoughts

Some places in the world it gets wilder the further you go , in the Alps it gets wilder the higher you go . Towering above the trappings of civilization the high alpine world  gradually strips itself of mans influence  shedding trees , roads , people  . plantlife untill whats left is the bare essence of high altitude environments , the rocks , the snow and ice , the weird unexpected formations and all pervading , the weather that rules over all . Some animals cling to life here , some plants cling to the sharp slopes and huddle in massive cravasses shelted from scouring winds , hail , lightning , ice , snow . One moments blackout , the next lit by rainbows from below its a world unknown from above its excatly that , a world above  , elevated senses and thoughts in elevated heights .
There is access its tue  , to some areas of the Alps , lots in fact but it only takes a little effort to escape that to true wildness  , to be alone and to soak it up and just feel . I talk to much .

Friday, 29 January 2010

Painting day

Last night i got inspired to paint ,thanks Clive , so today i defrosted the studio , fortified myself with caffiene and went to paint . I gave myself eye strain dehydration and possible frostbite but im getting the Leopards legs on albiet slowly . at least this time my paint is not frozen . This seriously happened a few weeks back .  The mouth looks wonky , the colours look wrong and its mostly naked and looks motheaten but this wont last ! this is how messy my work looks when its creating itself .  I know when a picture starts to work when i walk by it and say hello cat but it isnt at that stage yet . Maybe when i have got its leg onto the next layer it might be . I didnt want to stop . The reason the cat looks more brown than grey is because im working from two references of the same cat on the same day , one is brown , one is grey , im working to what i know is the correct colouration . Wait and see :-) This is a female Snow Leopard  she is looking towards the male which was way off left when i watched them .

A few other photos from today The 30 seconds of sunshine
Snow clouds behind the trees . After dark there was a sprinkling of snow on my balcony :-)

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Life is small pleasures

Today . we had two minutes of sunshine again , here it is

Today was accounting day . OOOPS i am shocked and horrified at my overspend . I know why i do it , its because on depressed days i just NEED a polyanthus or a book or a new set of plates , (actually i did because i dropped all the old ones on my foot and smashed them ) and i got them half price but the truth is i just cant aford these things . i have enough if i dont buy anything . The food bill , OOOOOOOPS ! way to much . I have to learn something from my grandmother now and all those kitchen gardeners that look so happy shelling peas on their doorsteps . THRIFT !
Spend nothing . It is now a game . My dad gave me books , i have seeds , pots and mud . I am therefore rich , I have everything i need and most of what i want so the game is now to shop as cheaply as possible and this means my gardening is no longer a hobby or a place to sit and be pleased or a good way to get fresh and organic veg , its now a way to feed my family , a necessity as it used to be .  I need to think harder about how i was going to organise things and plant mostly what we EAT not what i want to give a go , though if ive got the seeds and the space those will sneak in too :-))

todays dinner , before it went into the oven , a strange looking lasagne because this is the pie dish that i have :-))

It came out all golden and bubbly and we scraped it clean it was lovely . I served it with a salad of tomatoes onions mozarella and basil with a swirl of olive oil and seasoning . I grated a carrot for the kids and they eat it ! lol  , we had some grapes , we had some more grated cheese and some bread . dinner . I have found if i ask kids do they want grated carrot they would look at me in horror . if i just put a bowl on the table hands sneak in :-) ok my meals are strange mixes but i cant afford to shop yes so we use what we have as we should do and its fine :-) l

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Wishing the sun would shine and the third eyebrow .

Well , the sun did shine , for 30 minutes the last two days , i really needed it  but we have bad weather on the way in again , and its freezing . No joke i had the heating on all day and i was wearing my coat indoors . Me that doesnt feel the cold .  
I woke up this morning unwilling to move but i managed it with the thought of a hot coffee and in one hour it would all be over ( the school run ) .   My son saw me said hello mum and i realised he had a third eyebrow . Not a good start . it was deep purple  , he slept on a felt tip and no , it didnt come off . Then my daughter said mum i cant move my neck it really hurts and i felt so low and drained i called for help . Mum came and gave us a much needed  lift to school my daughter would have been in too much pain walking 20 minutes in minus 6 degrees c with a stiff neck .  I had coffee at mums and walked back past the aAbbey on the hilll in the sun , it hurt to breathe but i enjoyed the walk :-) 
I planned gardening , so i went out , fed the birds more seeds , bought in a planter full of soil and happily dug my trowel in , ortried to , Frozen solid .  I thawed it out in front of the radiator :-)

I planted it up with some Polyanthus i bought and i love the finished look . This was an old trug i had for collecting garden produce but it went a bit rusty so i recycled it into a planter .

Another great discovery this week , some Hyacinths that i can grow on and enjoy the scent from , i chose white ones  , and these are the plants i planted up in the trug ..
Please note the sunshine !

This fruit came from the local market , we got there just as he was closing down and we got it super cheap ! i let the kids loose on it they are now stained with cherry juice :-)

On the baby news , we now have four baby Platies and a LOT of new baby Guppies , to many to count ,. they are all in the same breeding trap now which is bigger than the other one and they have a constant flow of bubbles to airate and cool the water because they are trapped under the light and they may overheat . The sides of the trap are perforated to allow the water flow in . If you enklarge this image you can just make out small grey brown babies in there with the orange ones . there are about 20 you cant see :-)

This also happened , the Golden nugget Plec is just above the Snowball Plec and this is danger ! amazingly they didnt fight . so close ...

 Ive been finding things hard . Im so sleepy and i hurt , everywhere hurts . the doc tells me its stress and he has upped my tablets for depression again . Ill take them and see . but im so tired...... and im having intense dreams  , side effecs i know , and the joint pain . Still , im willing to suffer a lot to get better , and i am . Im still healthy eating , tonight we had chorizio sausages which twizzled the kids tongues up :-)) spring greens , new potatoes and baked butternut squash that my smallest girl and i loved .   Im keeping it up and im determined to enjoy my life to the full  . Im really feeling the lack of sun . soon , hopefully soon it will come back .

Saturday, 23 January 2010

No sun

There is no sun no sun no sun in England for DAYS and DAYS more to go . i have S A D and this is major bad .  I need sunlight or i will wither away :-) . Mornings are hard . That first hour depression hits and its a struggle to remember the rest of the day will not be like this . Whats hard in the morning will be easy in the afternoon but oh boy im stressed .   A lot of the point of this blog is to give myself a reason . A reason to get up , a reason to do things , a reason to enjoy and it works too . At night instead of nasty images in my mind i see herbs . VAST improvement .  I do things so i can take a photo and upload . I had plenty of purpose before with painting and writing and photography but i found i needed something new and different to grab my attention and blogs got me . I loved them , so much feel good shared by other people gives me a massive boost . :-)

Two more soon to be mummies :-)

I cooked , it helps , i feel productive and nurturing feeding my family good stuff .
My husband weighed the potatoes and didnt realise he made a potato man .

Shepherds pie filling

The final article , it was yummy . Comfort food .

At the end of the day before the night terrors set in i can remember i have so much to be greatful for and no reason to be depressed . Im a positive person and i will get better . I have to give myself time , look after myself and capture every moment . I have to remember that in the morning . :-)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Breeding Angelfish

Breeding Angelfish

Today the Angelfish decided to join in the fun and lay eggs on a Sword plant  ! I have five baby Platies in the floating breeding trap and no where to put the Anglefish eggs and now i have just seen the other Platy is hugely fat ! I have no where to put her while she has her babies , i cant put her in the trap or she will eat the other ones unless;...... i very carefully lower the V shaped barrier back in over the existing fry but im really worried about hurting them if i do that and then the kids will cry at me . I need another breeding trap or two ! The Angelfish eggs will all get eaten over night by this guy my Golden Nugget. I also have a Snowball plec and two Ancistrus .

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Swine flu

Hmm . My son was diagnosed with possible swine flu this morning he has been really ill , we picked up the Tamiflu allocated to him and before i could give it he perked up . hopefully he hasnt got it . My dad is in hospital having tests , having his lungs drained and having cancer removed . We got back in late last night from taking him there because they had a bed problem due to wards closed because of winter vomiting bug .

On the up side my livebearing Platy fish had babies . Five , this morning . the parents are bright orange . I put the mother in a breeding trap to keep the babies safe and she is now removed and back in the tank leaving the babies to grow on . I have special food for them .

My youngest daughter is not naming them she called her fish Twinkled Sausage .

This is the floating breeding trap . ingenious , it comes with an insert which i have taken out , to keep the mother seperate from the babies while she is giving birth . Otherwise she might eat the babies .

Ive been feeling a bit down and depresssed and mornings have been hard so we moved the chandelier to above the new sofa , its brighter for me and  i cleaned the crystals

couldnt resist sharing my new casserole pot . Makes me smile :-)

I want to be gardening ! Im still bringing in pots to clean and putting food out for the birds , tomorrow its supposed to snow again maybe . \the ground is really cold and soggy . I have seen some daffodil leaves coming through though  . Im filling out the order in the seed catalogue tonight , a few more things may sneak in :-))

This geranium is a bit leggy lol i have turned it away from the window so the leaves grow more evenly and move back towards the light .

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Fish tank

Its raining , the snow has melted and we have big winds so no gardening today . i tried painting but it was as dark as evening , the lights didnt help because they shone of the pencil drawing and created shadows so i gave up on that , and decided on some indoor gardening , or rather , the fish tank . it needed a clean out  and some new plants . Its a freshwater tropical tank  .

Friday, 15 January 2010

Drawing day

This morning was a housework morning as they all are and i had to strenuously resist buying things form the Tchibo website . I only need to hold out for a week then i can order :-))  
What i did do was retrieve some pots from the garden and wash them out with hot soapy water to make sure they dont harbour any germs . They are Scheurich pots and i love them . one is brown , one is bright orange and the other is a metal bucket  with a daisy wrapround picture on it . I expect they will end up on my balcony table with Geraniums and Chives in them . 
This afternoon was a drwing afternoon ,. I finally gave the Snow Leopard some life . My daughter was howling with laughter when i was talking to it . She is off school with a sprained ankle . She kept saying its not real mummy ! and i covered the leopards ears with my hand and said "dont listen ! now , where do you want your tail " she thinks im mad .

Studio scribbles ..

The whole thing but bear in mind the perspective is skewed because the desk is tipped

Im having background troubles , it will probably change a few times , and the snow leopard too  , before im through . First it was too fat , then too thin . then the ears needed to be closer and the eyes too far apart .. but im getting closer now .

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Fruit shopping , handwarmers and ice .

This morning when i looked out the window it had been raining and the snow was melting . Ok i thought walking to school should be OK . i popped the handwarmers , the kids love to watch them go hard and hot and whiter , and we bundled up and headed out and got as far as three houses up when my eldest gave up hopping and said no more it hurts ! She twisted her ankle yesterday and again several times on the ice because although it was melting what was left was like oiled bumpy glass . My son had a hospital appointment so i ended up with only one in school and i had to wake my husband after only a few hours home from nightshift to drive the remaining urchin safely to the school . AAGH .
My son was diagnosed with ADHD and elements of Aspergers today . He is a mild case and super intelligent but very exhausting to deal with , Now we have an official diagnosis we can deal with him more effectively . Its a relief .

Today was also fruit shopping day . With five hungry people in one house no fruit is safe . We had salad for dinner and then i put on the table a punnet of raspberries , a punnet of blueberries and half a bunch of grapes . I went to wash up . halfway through the dishes my smallest urchin came to me and solemny handed me    three     sad grapes hanging on the remaining grape stalk  , and a pot with three squashed raspberries in it . That was all that was left , its like being invaded by a swarm of locusts .

This wont last long . I am going to order a cherry tree and maybe an apple this year .

Heart shaped handwarmers , we have snowflake onles also :-) This is after they are activated , when they are cool again you have to boil them for ten minutes to re-set them back to liquid then you an use them again , up to 1000 times .

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

candles at night

Last night it was still air and not too cold so i lit some scented candles , wiggled them in the snow and called the kids . We entertained ourselves by stomping in it and throwing snowballs over the balcony :-)

We had fun :-) This morning i walked to school in it , the school being finally open ! Its a 20 minute walk to school uphill and another 20 minutes back . i try to do it fast for excercise because its good for me but sometimes its good to linger and enjoy the walk . Today was a workout day . ive started my healthy eating , i have a  new le crueset pie dish and a similar cast iron casserole pot which takes some lifting , and im loving the way the food looks presented in it , hot orange . . its even a pleasure to wash up . Little things please me greatly . Last night we had chicken casserole and it was lovely . Eating that from a hot orange casserole dish with snow outside the widow . Perfect . Life is little moments , one by one ,. Today im proud of myself . I felt so depressed when i woke , the day seemed empty and impossible but i got up and thought no . Today is good . as i walked back from school i decided to tell myself mornings were the special part of the day  . The kids behaved and we all managed it and walking in the snow was fun . I so hate that dead heavy feeling i get on waking . I want to deal with that i can see its a problem . getting up and getting dressed is a big huge step . it seems so hard but i feel so much better when ive done it .

My overwintering Geraniums . A bit stragly but they soon fill out when they go outside in may :-))) Maybe i will try some cuttings in spring  , they might take better . They arnt getting enough sunlight still so i have some on a box in front of the window and i will rotate them .

This afternoon i finally got my trip to the garden centre which was great because i was getting cabin fever :-) snow was everywhere including on all the plants but i found some great planters  . They are really long , lightweight , and have a great water retention system in the bottom . it has peaks in it like underwater volcanoes with craters in the top so that water is retained in the bottom but runs out over a certain height . what i also love is they come with matching trays so i can start them off indoors and not get my floor wet . I also bought some garlic to grow and some purple carrot seeds because the kids want to grow them for fun . This usually means they will eat them too . If they grow it its nice . If i biy it and cook it its yuk . Kids are strange things .

While i was there i saw this plant for half price . I think it said Stephanoitus , i will have to look it up . My husband chose this recycled glass pot to put it in and no . the pot wasnt cheap but we did our bit for the environment by choosing it above the cheaper plastic ones and it is nice i must admit :-)

Sunday, 10 January 2010


We took a drive out today to get more bird food and while we were out we took a trip to a local farm  We took some photos but missed the best . Among the ones that got away were two Barn Owls , a Kestrel  , three Herons and a Marsh Harrier . What i did get were Partridge

Also a lapwing and several others  .

I wanted to take a trip to the local garden centre but our Island was cut off from the mainland , both bridges closed do that was that . I was feeling pretty depressed this morning and could have done with some plant soothing i wanted to go stroke some herbs for the scent of it but i'l have to wait . I settled with cleaning up my overwintering Geraniums  , taking of  the dead leaves and flowers and sweeping under them . I gave them a little feed since the light levels have been so low lately , probably why i have been feeling not so bouncy . One of them is in flower , bright red , that makes me feel better . I also found some Basil seeds in one of my magazines and i can sow indoors now , i can get my gardening fix .  On a sad note my geranium cuttings did not take and i used rooting compound too . ah well , the big ones are fine .