Wednesday 25 April 2012

Shapes of my heart.

Aaaaaah! Crazy overwhelm. Not enough sleep. Creative blocks. Deadlines looming. Not enough time. Beautiful babies. Beautiful husband. Crazy chaos. Birds and wings. Frustration. Want to get stuff done but can't. Love love love. Heart-shaped sun-glasses. Bleary-eyes. Playing 'Draw Something' in the middle of the night because Elliot won't sleep. To-do lists. Roses and icecream. Behind on emails. Want to write more blog posts. La la la. Happy. Depressed. Loved up. Chaotic. Swooning over baby eyelashes. There's guilt in there somewhere. Dots and flowers. Rainbows and love emails. Packages and videos. Editing and writing. Breastfeeding and cuddle hugs. Crayfish salad and rye bread. Not enough water. Empathy monsters and little cute hippos. Streams and streams of consciousness. Open.

Let me show you.

Love Eyes 

 Here is me making love eyes at you. You're welcome. :)

Compassion gives wings

Compassion gives wings (successful detail from a 'failed' journal page).

Zombie baby trying to eat my ear :)

Zombie babies trying to eat my ear while I'm trying to 'get stuff done'.

My updated rainbow pinboard #lifebook

Made of rainbows.

The babe is finally asleep. Had his jabs today was screaming his head off x

He's asleep here, but last night he was up every half an hour
after having had his vaccinations earlier that day. So I play:

I thought this was a pretty fly way of drawing MC Hammer (Hammer Time is one of my favourite songs of all time Oh my lawd :0)) - though Andy did not agree.

Darcy, who is an awesome opponent, DID guess it was him though!

Part of a bunch of roses Andy bought me :)

Andy beautiful husband bought me beautiful roses. :)

Dylan trying his pretty much first ever ice cream. He liked it! :)

Dylan eats his {pretty much} first ever icecream.

Creative block. That big flower's stalk is all wrong. 
What are those bulbous things in the sky? And the white vines?
Where is this painting going? Arrrgh. More on this later.
Once she is {finally} done, I shall have a parteh. 


Feeling: Frazzled, expressive.
Hearing: Elliot complaining, Andy soothing him - Music: Iron & Wine
Needing: Still a long overdue holiday in the sun by a pool with no one bothering me
Tasting: Andy's home-made rye bread - heavenly
Seeing: My art on video for the next Life Book lesson
Loving: My heart-shaped sunglasses, Dylanisms*, Elliot's smiles, Andy's compassion


* Dylanisms (now that he's talking more and more, I'll be sharing some of the hilarious things he says, should be fun for all. 

This month's Dylanisms: 
  • While naked and not wearing any trousers, Dylan was perturbed by the fact that he did not have a pocket 'in his leg' to put his pebble in so he says: "Dylan have pocket?"
  • Dylan wants to go outside and asks this as follows: "Dylan go look in the wind?"
  • Dylan is playing on the iPad. He then sees me on my iPhone (yeah, we're an Apple family ..). He goes: "Dylan have mummy's phone?" I give him my phone and take the iPad. He goes: "Where's the ipad?" I say: "Look Dylan which one do you want, the phone or the iPad? You can't have both". He says; "Both".
  • When asked what his favourite colour is, Dylan says: "Yellow CAKE"
  • Dylan and I are sitting on the bed. Andy comes in and says to me: I'll just go get the iPad. Dylan looks at me and says: "Daddy's gone to get Dylan's iPad". 
  • When Dylan is asked to count to 30, he goes: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 20TEN!"

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Progress on WIP

Found some more time today to work on this irritating monster of a creation painting. Never before have I been faffing with the shading on a face for THIS LONG (and it's still not done).

I nearly gave up on it this morning, but then pushed myself and muddled on like the sleep-deprived hero that I am. (And sleep deprived I AM, last night I slept 5 VERY interrupted hours only). And look; I even managed to give her a fairly alright new eye (instead of turning her into a pirate girl with an eye-patch).

But, it's one of those paintings that is taunting me and bugging me and challenging me to the point of despair. The face shape is wonky (and I can't get it 'right'), the eyes are still wonky, though I'm happier with them now, her facial expression is too grumpy for my liking and I have no clue where that background is going. My inner critic is running rampant, but I suspect she is also more around because I am so sleep deprived which always means I have much less tolerance for anything that annoys me anyway.

Also, some paintings throw me into an artist identity crisis and this is one of them. I keep going from illustrator to painter to illustrator, not knowing who I am, who I want to be. The multiple creative personalities driving me crazy, ha ha! 

So, anyhoohah, I shall let it go now and sleep on this painting, ha ha, sleep! Like that's gonna happen. ;)

Ok; The good news is; Dylan is better. He hasn't thrown up in a day and the house has been diarrhea free for a whole day as well! The down side: Andy has now started to throw up, but he's also on the mend.

I now hope that 'business as usual' will commence tomorrow (I've not actually been able to do proper work since last Wednesday! And that makes me nervous and all eye-twitchy!) - When your kid has an infectious bug, no childminder will come near you (rightfully so or they'll pass it on to all the other kids, but still, doesn't make it easy on us).

Ok, that's me for today, hoping to get more than 5 hours sleep tonight.

Ta-ra mah babies. 

Oh, and here some pics of the last couple of days. :-)

BTW: can I just say: THANK YOU to all who leave comments on my blog! I always deeply appreciate hearing from you and love reading your thoughts. I don't often reply though because I never think people actually GET the replies back as blogger's comment system isn't properly designed that way. You only get my comment back if you've remembered to tick the 'email me with follow up comments' box or if you actively come back here to see if I've commented back. So, I imagine both those ways of receiving my comment back are a bit laborious and I don't think a lot of people go through the hassle of doing either of those options, hence I don't comment back unless I really want to say something! :) Nevertheless: I LOVE and appreciate YOU and your comments. <3

Sunday 15 April 2012

A painting I'm trying to make in between the puke and diarrhea

Whenever I have 5 minutes (in between the puking, diarrhea and cranky children wanting mummy huggles - those who follow me on FB know that Dylan has been sick the whole week), I try to work on the above painting. I say try because it's totally doing my head in. The face, so far, has had many shading incarnations and one of THE worst things that can happen to me, is when I suddenly notice that the eyes are really unbalanced and I can't fix it without re-doing one whole eye. Re-doing one whole eye, while the other is already there, is almost impossible to me. It never comes out looking 'right'. So I'm now considering turning her into a pirate girl and give her an eye patch. That's not cheating, that's saving my sanity. ;)

Another alternative is to re-do both eyes, but, I'm rather fond of that existing right eye, and I'm starting to like the idea of a pirate girl more and more. 

Also, when I was doing this painting just now, I grabbed one pot of paint by the lid only to find out that the lid was on it loose, it therefore nearly dropped to the ground. This is a very Tam thing to happen and I actually mumbled to myself:

Note to self: "Always remember that you do stupid things"

Made me smile.

Ok, I'm out of pepsi max now and somehow need to get some, but not sure how.

Aloha groovy babies. I hope you have all been less exposed to diarrhea this weekend than I have! :-)

I do, btw, like that one gesso groove going over her right eye. And, oh yes, I'm bringing back poppies.

Hearing: Elliot burbles/ Dylan saying; 'Dylan have pasta?'
Seeing: Clouds in a blue sky
Reading: "Hunger" - Michael Grant
Feeling: Sleep deprived, buzzy head
Needing: a 6 week holiday
Tasting: soya yogurt

Senses Shared

Friday 13 April 2012

Conversations with Andy

Me: So, little miss muffet sat on a tuffet eating her "curtain way"? What's a curtain way?

{note; English is not my first language, a fact which Andy enjoys abusing when it amuses him}

Andy: it's a cookie.

Me: Really? Never heard of a cookie like that before. Are you taking the piss?

Andy: {grins} Ok, no, it's a 'curtain way', like she's eating while pulling the curtain {by the window} away. 

Tam: What? That makes no sense. Come on, what does it mean?

Andy: ... it's a cookie.

Tam: Ok, so the lyrics are not 'curtain way' are they?

Andy: yes yes, they are; miss muffet, is eating on curtain way, like a road ..

Tam: Argh, ok, I'll look it up on the internet, what the actual lyrics are ...

... Tam looks up lyrics on iPhone

Tam: Oh, miss muffet is not eating a 'curtain way' but her curds and whey. What are curds?

Andy: A curd, is a Kurdish person.  

Tam: I'm going to kill you.


A few hours later.

Tam: Wait, miss muffet sits on a 'tuffet', what's a tuffet?

Andy: It's a cute word for something 'tough'. Like, she's sitting on something hard, but because it's a cute children's song, they call it a 'tuffet' like a 'toughie'/ 'tuffet'.

Tam: Oh go away.


I had to look up the meaning of 'tuffet' on the internet just now as apparently Andy didn't know what it was either!

Tuffet, pouffe or hassock are all terms for a piece of furniture used as a footstool or low seat.


Wednesday 11 April 2012

I want to tell you ...

And this one as well. Filter courtesy; tadaa :)

It's dark here. Dylan is curled up against my back. Elliot snuggled in the crook of my arm. Both asleep.

I want to write more about these experiences. Of having children and seeing them grow. Of seeing them learn and form words, sentences. Of how they can blow your mind by saying one word only and how ferociously you want to protect them from feeling pain. Any kind of pain.

I want to write about the love. How intensely it holds you and how it dictates much of what you do in life.

And I want to tell you about how exhausting it is. How easily you lose your you-ness. How hard it is to have so little freedom, so little time to do anything for yourself.

I want to write about the puke on my back, the poo on my hand and the urine on my clothes. About how I usually only shower once every 3 days. I want to tell you how my 2.5 year old hogs my iPad all the time and sneezes all over it or finds his way to his favourite YouTube video with yogurt fingers.

I want to write about how I marvel over the shape of Dylan's nose, the deep rich colour of his hazel eyes, the curve of his upper lip. I am awed at my own child's beauty.

I want to tell you how I can't get over how much Elliot smiles and laughs at his tender age of 4.5 months old, how his face lights me up each time he looks at me. How the fire inside his little soul excites me and gives me an inward smile.

I want to write about how often I've heard the song: "Old MacDonald had a Farm" and the countless versions of it that exist on YouTube. And about the fear. All the 'what-ifs' and how I have to force myself not to imagine the most dire possible scenarios involving my children and the man that I love.

I want to tell you how parenthood is the greatest spiritual lesson and a lesson in letting go and selflessness.

I want to write about how I miss going to the cinema twice every weekend. How, since Dylan was born I've only been 3 times in 3 years.

I want to write about how I miss working on paintings until deep in the night and how I miss not being able to wear my hair loose (as baby hands will pull at it).

I want to tell you about how I miss sitting still. Sitting quietly with nothing to do, ruminating over poetic ideas in life, now, most of what I ruminate about is practical stuff and the logistics on how to run our family life. ("Ruminate" does that come from Rumi? - We almost called Elliot, Rumi! :-)).

I want to tell you how I miss having Andy as the center of my universe and me being the center of his universe. And I want to tell you how there is nothing more amazing than watch Andy dance with Dylan to 'raw hide' (Dylan's favourite song).

I want to tell you about how kind Dylan is and how all he wants is to be seen and loved. And about how loving he is towards his little brother even though sometimes he finds it hard to accept he has to share the attention with him.

I want to tell you about Dylan's hair, how it's much blonder than mine and Andy's hair and how it has a golden glow in the sunshine. It's also growing dreads seeing that he won't let me brush it ...

I want to write about Elliot's little mannerisms and noises. He makes noises like a little bird, a little little tiny bird. Or a little dinosaur, though I'm not sure what a little dinosaur sounds like.

I want to write about waking up every hour at night and how sleep deprivation causes intolerance to rise its ugly head and how watching Elliot breastfeed is one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen.

I want to tell you how I just cannot find the time to book myself a pedicure; my feet look like those of a troll's.

I want to tell you about how beautiful it is, how difficult it is, how stinky it is, how amazing it is, how rewarding it is, how frustrating it is, how funny it is, how messy it is, how depressing it is, how uplifting it is. How sometimes I despair, how sometimes I rejoice, how sometimes I cry, how sometimes I laugh big belly laughs.

I want to write about the dichotomy. Of how having children is both the most amazing thing and the most frustrating thing I've ever done. And how on some days I wish it all away: undo it all and go back to how my life used to be. 'I unsubscribe' I sometimes say jokingly. And how on other days, I thank every God & Goddess in the universe for the precious precious gifts bestowed upon me through the gift of my children.

I want to tell you that parenting is bitch-slapping my ass. It is the toughest thing I've ever ever done, and it's relentless and deeply life-altering. And then there are boys who sing 'twinkle twinkle little star'  for you and babies who laugh at the sound of tearing paper.

It's sitting in the fire, once more. <3

The result of painting Easter eggs, eating chocolate eggs, using ink pads playing with rubber stamps and generally being a savage ;) Better than Easter bunnies ;) The morning after. I'm whacked sleep wise but Dylan is ok. X <3 more love I love him. Father and son :) LOVE how dylbee looks here. :) so pretty!

One example of why my job is awesome.

This is one example of why my job is so awesome. I received an email from Danielle that brought tears to my (and Andy's) eyes. (Andy wants me to let you know though that he's usually very tough! ;))

Thank you Danielle and Paul for sharing this with me. Paul, are you awesomesauce or what?! Thank you for being so amazingly loving and nurturing. I wish everyone had a person like you in their lives.

{Email posted with permission}

"Dear Tam -
I wanted to tell you about a special moment I shared with my husband thanks to LifeBook. 
I had just finished the artwork for week 5 when my husband Paul, came into my studio to see what I was up to.  I explained to him that there was a list of words that I had to choose from to describe myself and then add to my page.  I told him how I had to pick one word from each letter of the alphabet and then repeat the process as often as necessary with a new word.
Paul asked to see the list.  He then asked if he could choose the words.  I thought to myself, why not, if I didn’t like what he said, I just wouldn’t write it down.  Now, I must tell you that Paul and I are nearing our 60’s, and although we tell each other we love each other several times a day, every day, I didn’t know what to expect.
What ensued was a magical hour of his calling out qualities that he felt I have, and his telling me why he believed they described me.  When we were done, I felt so loved and so.... well.... so important.  All of my insecurities seemed to have vanished and I was just a well loved woman.  Not an overweight, greying, near-sighted, wheel-chair bound person. 
There I was safely ensconced in my studio, being flooded with positive loving words by the man I love.   I wish every person -  man, woman and child – could feel as I felt at that moment.  I don’t think I have ever felt so special or so powerful.
Thank you for making this moment possible.
Hugs and much love,
NB Danielle is referring a lesson conducted by the awesome Kylie Fowler who is one of the guest teachers of Life Book. :) 


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