Monday 28 May 2012

One of the not quite 29 Faces

I did this one face for the 29 faces challenge (which I won't be able to complete and that is cool!) a while back and filmed the process. :) I think she might go into my Life Book. Have only just had a chance to upload both the image and the video. Hope you like.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Choose Love - For Sale

Hello beautiful beings. :)

Finally, a new painting finished and it's for sale too! :) You can either buy the original or an art print. Hope you like it.

I absolutely love the texture and layering in this and am in love with this girl's hair and sweet facial expression. Also, the colour scheme is beautifully warm with reds, oranges, light blues and yellows.

It fits my summery mood here, it's so lovely and warm!

Big hugs.

Choose Love
"Choose Love"

Original Painting SOLD!
Thank you Ellie! :0)
Size: 12 x 9", surface: watercolour paper hotpressed 140lbs (300gsm), materials: collage papers, rubber stamping/ inks, watercolour crayons, watercolour markers, graphite pencils.

Print details:

will be printed on Bockingford Inkjet Double Sided Watercolour Paper 190gsm (90lb) with durable inks. Size: A4 - 190gsm (90lb).


Choose Love - Art Print
£12 + shipping £3

Detail Shots:

Choose Love - Detail 5 

Choose Love - Detail 1

Choose Love - Detail 2

Choose Love - Detail 3

Choose Love - Detail 4

Saturday 26 May 2012

Elliot is 6 months old!

Elliot 6 months old today

My new little man was 6 months old yesterday. Well. it's been a ride - so far! :)
This boy is eager to get going, he already army crawls around the room grabbing anything and everything he can get his little hands on. It's hilarious because he can't really crawl yet, but he just squirms his body towards the general direction of the object of his desire and he gets there. He is so determined.

He lights up a room with his infectious smile and giggle; he has the best face ever when he smiles. My mum described his face as 'guitig' in Dutch, which I suppose is similar to 'jolly', and it's true, when he's happy, he's so jolly.

He is a terrible sleeper, waking me up a lot at night, but because I l feed him while lying down, it's just about doable, though I do think I'm slowly creeping towards the brink of sleep-deprived insanity. Hopefully this will improve, like it did with Dylan.

Unlike Dylan, Elliot does love his boobie milk but can also leave it, at times, for more interesting ventures; he gets distracted easily during feeds. Which I'm surprised about because Dylan's absolute favourite thing ever, was to breast feed. This one not so much.

Elliot has also started to babble: lots of bah bah bahs. It's a beautifully gorgeous sound.
He is very perceptive. He notices things like when someone wears a towel on their head or sunglasses on their face (it confuses him to no end producing hysterical facial expressions).

Elliot also; loves bouncing, is incredibly strong and smells like sunshine.

He has just started on solids, but is only mildly impressed with it. His first encounter with a banana was one of 'quoi'? But now, bread, organic biscuits and some apple are experimented with.
His eyes are blue, grey, brown & green like his brother's and they're changing colour every day. I think they're going towards brown.

When upset, he screeches and howls like a banshee. You (and everyone else in the neighbourhood) knows when Elliot is not happy.

It's not been easy with an extra babe around. Managing a toddler's weird pre-teen hormones and then a new baby's needs as well is tough, but I maintain that Elliot is the perfect addition to our little family. I feel he completes us as a family and adds a touch of humour and a whole load of magic to the mix.

Happy 6 month bday Elbieboo. <3

Elliot 6 months old today
Elliot 6 months old today
PS. my website has been redesigned and my new blog now lives there. I will for some while longer be cross-posting my blog to this blog and over there, but if you follow me on RSS, you can simply update your feed to: thank you! <3

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Dylan & Elliot Journal

Ah man .... Where ever I go, where ever I look, people are struggling. People are either dealing with very real and painful problems or they are worried and anxious about perhaps having to go through very real and painful problems. Not sure why this is happening to so many, must be that we angered the planets or other strange energy juju going on, whatever it is; same is happening in the house of Tam. Sort of. Here, sleep is hard to come by with little Elliot waking every hour asking for milk and I feel anxious and worried a lot. The sleeplessness is causing me to have a really foggy brain. I don't retain a lot of information and get very confused and frazzled at times. The anxiety is around running a business.

Running an art business as I do is awesome, so so awesome. And also very unpredictable. I never quite know how sustainable it is and so when sales dip a bit or it is generally more quiet, I worry that 'the time has finally come that this is no longer sustainable'. Of course, this is not good thinking from a 'law of attraction' point of view and then I worry even more that I'm jinxing myself and the business and then it all spirals into a black hole which ends with me having visions of me, Elliot, Dylan and Andy living under a bridge somewhere, homeless. Ha ha. Quelle drama! Byron Katie would have a ball looking at what my thoughts do to me.

So, perspective is needed. And when I get like this, I usually only need a day or 2 of over-consuming chocolate in all its forms and then I have a good sturdy (yet compassionate!) word with myself and I can breathe again.

There is only now. And most -if not all- problems that are now, are manageable. And there is the beauty. The sun is shining here. Grass is so green. Red leaves are blowing on the wind. Elliot has giggles that sound like bells and Dylan is astounding us with his growth and development each day. The worries, the anxiety, they make me miss things. What is, is. Whatever happens, will happen. What you accept transforms, what you resist, persists. 

I've been working in a moleskine art journal for Dylan and Elliot. I thought, wouldn't it be awesome if in many years time they had this art journal they could look at with all these little 'wise' and funny messages for them with photos and drawings and anecdotes about what they are up to now? 

So, this is what I have so far:

Dylan & Elliot Art Journal - p1
Dear Elliot & Dylan, I want you to know; you are worthy.
Dylan & Elliot Art Journal - p2
Dear Dylan, sometimes cats wear crowns. Also, cats can be good friends.
Dylan & Elliot Art Journal - p3
Dear Elliot, sometimes the angriest people need the most love. And it's ok if you can't be the one to give it to them. Walking away is okay.
Dylan & Elliot Art Journal - p4
Dear Elliot & Dylan, always channel your inner flower.
Dylan & Elliot Art Journal - p5
Dear Dylan, dear Elliot, believe in fairies and angels because they believe in you (and so do I, forever and ever).
Dylan & Elliot Art Journal - p6
Dear Dylan, break the rules. Challenge the system.
Dylan & Elliot Art Journal - p7
Dear Elliot, shine your light. It is huge.
Dylan & Elliot Art Journal - p8
Dear Dylan. Kindness matters. A lot!
Dylan & Elliot Art Journal - p9
Dear Elliot. Create your own fairy tale.
Dylan & Elliot Art Journal - p11
Dear Elliot & Dylan. Know thyself.
Dylan & Elliot Art Journal - p12
Dear Dylan. You are good enough.
It's possibly the most meaningful journal project I've ever embarked upon. :) I love using the instagram photos as they are easy to print out at home and they are always the ones that are the 'best of' that week. So useful!

If you're on instagram, I'd love to follow you, I'm willowing (as usual).

So, to those who are struggling: I send you love and light and big hugs and a big dose of 'appreciating your now-ness even if that now includes sadness'. And I send the same to me too.

PS. I'm behind on 29 Faces and am ok with that.
PPS. My new website is finally almost ready to be launched. I'm excited about that!
PPPS. Life is awesome.
PPPPS. We booked a holiday to Spain early July! Wooooooooooh.

Friday 18 May 2012

Get Your Juice On! :)

Got a juicer for my bday. Now I'm obsessed with juicing. Juiced all this this morning. Got the following in it: kiwis, apples, oranges, melon, spinach, parsley, celery and ginger. I feel healthy just reading that. It was so tasty too! Pls ignore lager in

Ok, so I have recently become a 'juicer'. I had no clue that there is a whole juicer/ raw food community out there! That is cool, but for my kind of easy juicing, you don't need them!

Some people have asked me how I juice, what I juice, why I do it and which juicer I use, so here be da lowdown on mah juicing gear, preferred juicing foods and the reasons:

I have the Philips Aluminium Collection Juicer

It's great, works well and is fairly easy to clean (though all juicers are a pain to clean, key is: do it straight after you've used while all the pulp is still wet so it doesn't start to dry onto the machine and create mould and other yuckie stuff).

To get more and better quality vegetables into my body. When we boil/ fry veg, a lot of the nutrients (and 'live enzymes') get killed. When you eat raw food (or juice your food), you get ALL the goodies that the veg have to offer. Also, it's a yummy and convenient and relatively fast way to get veg in you.  

Preferred Juicing Foods: 
So a lot of people are like: eeeeuw, you put spinach in your drink! It looks all green. Dudes, you SO have to get over the colour thing. The thing is: once you mix in 2 apples and an orange, none of the green stuff is taste-able. Haha. For reals! It's like you're drinking apple juice, but it just looks green and you vaguely taste some veg, but the apple is really very dominating, so the taste is great!

So I throw in a whole mix of veg, whatever is around really that I think is healthy. I usually use the following fruit and veg:
  • Apples (2 per person)
  • 1 Orange
  • Carrots
  • Spinach or Curly Kale (or both)
  • Parsley
  • Celery
  • Kiwis
  • Lemon (with the rind/ skin)
  • Ginger
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Garlic (not too much of this though)

Those don't all go in one juice drink, I pick and mix depending on the day and what we have in the house. 

Other options for juicing:
  • Watermelon
  • Limes
  • Any kind of berry
  • Cabbage (true story)
  • Grapes
  • Lettuce
  • Beetroot
  • Cucumber

I've really been loving it so far and do notice a difference in how I feel already; healthier! :) I encourage you to juice too! :)

Tonight's juicing ingredients; apples, carrots, kiwis, celery, parsley, garlic, ginger and curly kale

Thursday 17 May 2012

Bonkers, it's all bonkers

Life is bonkers. I'm going bonkers. Dylan is going bonkers. Elliot is on his way to being bonkers. The only semi-sane person in the mix is Andy, although, one could argue he's going bonkers too because he's suddenly buying a shitload of plants for the patio and he can't seem to stop.

Dylan is going through a phase where he does a lot of whining. That is true whining, not actual crying or screaming or shouting, no, it's whining. He makes a noise that grates at the insides of your bones. He whines over everything, his shoe comes off; waaaah, he spills some milk on his t-shirt; waaaaah, he can't have a second biscuit; waaaah. It's like he's an hormonal toddler on the brink of puberty.

He also does this thing where he likes to poke me, touch me, hang on me, hang off me, fall onto me whenever he can, but particularly when I'm feeding Elliot. I know, it's obvious; he wants attention and love and connection, but he's asking for it in the most irritating way by falling on me, poking me etc. And if you are sleep-deprived as it is; I have very, very little tolerance for it all.  I'm a 'battered mum' with all the bruises on my body! He actually responds quite well to me redirecting his 'way of asking', but it's relentless and I have to keep 'correcting' him and doing that is so hard when you're so tired already.

All I want/ need is some time off, a break, quiet, peace, sleep time ... and that's just not happening at the moment.

So, Andy and I have been planning a holiday. A proper one with actual sunshine, a pool and childcare support. I haven't had a proper holiday since May 2009 (just before Dylan was born). It'll be end of June/ July. I can't. wait. :D


In the mean time, I have been keeping up with the faces challenge, sort of. The crazy thing is, my brain is so foggy that I started to lose count and also, I couldn't remember which face was done on which day, ha ha. But anyhoo, I'm still going fairly strong with it. I combined a whole lot of them together in one image, lookit:

All my faces so far

And I've since done another 2:

New face and new journal spread in Dylan/ Elliot journal :)

Dear Elliot, create your own fairy tale.

These last 2 were done in my Elliot & Dylan journal. The last one of those 2 is based on a lesson by the awesome Jane Davenport! I'm really enjoying working in this journal, it feels SO meaningful. I love writing down all the meaningful 'wisdom' messages and truly hope that one day they're going to actually use them and find the journal amusing, wise and perhaps a little helpful! :) More on the this journal soon. I'll be doing a video about it (if I can find the time).

Also, when and if I have the time I'm trying to work on a new, more in depth painting, and like my other {almost pirate} girl, it's one of those paintings that is taunting me and not pleasing me. Argh. I still haven't finished the {almost pirate} girl and now this painting also looks like it might be a 'doomed' one. But, I'm setting myself the aim NOT to start a new (big) painting until both these guys are finished - somehow.

So, the new painting went from this:

29 Faces Portrait
to this:

Not sure about this one. Liking it more than where it was but considering starting over completely with this one. Thoughts?

And, though I like where the shading is going, I keep not being happy with her face, expression and face shape. In her former incarnation she looked too male-esque for me and in this incarnation, her eyes look a bit dead-ish and her general expression a bit meh.  So much for silencing the inner critic huh? Ha ha.

Oh and lastly, I'm still up to date with my Life Book May calendar:

This one is much fun to do. :)


I've been working hard on re-designing my site and it's giving me small little seizures. I'm using the Wordpress software, and it's great on many levels, but some of the coding is annoying and irritating and doesn't do what I tell it to do. I really really don't like coding and web design. It's not that I can't do it. It's just SO tedious and time-consuming. Though, they do seem to have plugins for about every single action on the face of the earth, haha. Which is giving me an idea actually!

Anyway, I shall leave you with some senses shared:

Reading: 'Let's Pretend this Never Happened' - Jenny Lawson (best book EVER)
Feeling: So tired
Hearing: Iron & Wine - The Trapeze Swinger
Needing: Peaceful Quiet
Tasting: Pepsi Max
Loving: Source/ Spirit for allowing this life beautiful even if difficult.

Ha ha!

Saturday 12 May 2012

Why I tandem feed/ still breasteed Dylan

So there is this debate going on about extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting and I thought, seeing that I still breastfeed Dylan (though not very frequently), I'd share how it is for us.

Before I had children, I had a clear and strong idea of what kind of perfect parent I was going to be. Though Andy and are not extreme on the 'hippie spectrum' most of our pre-baby parenting ideas leaned more towards hippie than nazi and they still do, but let's just say, we're now cutting ourselves some slack. Ha.

I think to the outside world, I would be considered a more tolerant, attachment parenting, hippie-esque parent, and yes, we practise something called NVC (non-violent communication) with our babies (though NVC doesn't have a direct link to AP), we also don't use punishment as a method to discipline, nor do we dominate, shout or hit our children in any way, but still, we are by no means extreme on the spectrum of tolerant parenting.

Breastfeeding and co-sleeping were something that seemed obvious to me before I had children. I couldn't fathom putting a newborn far away from me in another room. It just didn't feel safe. And the breastfeeding thing seemed obvious: nutritionally it was healthier for the baby and also for me plus there was the whole bonding thing. Also, I have a great fear of cancer so when they say: breastfeeding reduces the chances of cancer I'm like: keep sucking on them boobies baby! Ha. But, I am getting to the point via a different route than I wanted, let me back track.

So, I never formally ascribed to the attachment parenting approach even though co-sleeping and extended breastfeeding seem two of the 3 pillars of attachment parenting.

Dylan was born, we started breastfeeding, it went great. I never gave 'when to stop' a huge amount of thought at first and was aiming for at least a year I think. Then as time went by, it became obvious that breastfeeding had become an integral part of my relationship with Dylan and it was an awesome tool to: help him go to sleep, calm him down when in pain & support his health (and mine). It also created a close connection and bond with Dylan that I still cherish today.

There were times that I started to really dislike breastfeeding though. Particularly when he was around 10 months old and he started to pinch the skin of my breasts and sometimes he'd 'clamp down' on the nipple leaving me in excruciating pain.

And here comes the kicker: I didn't not stop, because I am a holy selfless angel mother faithfully following the 'sacrifice all your own needs for child' rules. Nope. It was simply easier to keep breastfeeding. It avoided major drama. And when you are sleep deprived and weary and deeply tired of drama. You do everything you can to avoid drama. It's similar to offering your child that candy or cookie so that he won't have a tantrum.

Basically, for me, it's like this:

I'm trying to make our lives as easy as possible while doing the least emotional damage to all family members involved.  It's that simple.

If that means I breastfeed Dylan some more, then I will.

It's all about ease people.

After the first year; we naturally progressed on, he loved breastfeeding, he still does and we just kept going. There was no reason not to (apart from perhaps people being freaked out by the idea of it, but you know what: I'd rather have less cancer risk, a drama free life and a happy baby while freaking out people than; more cancer risk, more drama an unhappy baby and gaining the approval of other people. When I look at what I prefer, it's a no-brainer.)

So, we continued on after the first year: he loved it, I didn't mind, healthier for both of us, easy choice. Then I became pregnant with Elliot. Breastfeeding while pregnant is less comfortable and less easy, so we lessened the feeds, but still continued. I think by that time, it was twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

I was told that if you want to stop breastfeeding before a new baby comes, do so a good 3 months before, otherwise it's very painful for the toddler to see the new baby breastfeed and so I decided not to stop before Elliot as at that time he still loved the feeds so much.

Dylan is now 2 years and 9 months old and has an occasional feed. Perhaps one feed every 2-3 days. He gets sad and frustrated when he sees Elliot feed though he's getting better. I don't imagine he'll be feeding for much longer. I think he'll finish before he's 3 years old. We'll be doing whatever is comfortable for the both of us.

I hold no judgement of people who breastfeed their children beyond 3, though I can understand that some people may find it awkward or unusual as it's not a common thing here in the Western world. But I don't understand -like for instance with gay marriage- while people even care. I am a generally chilled person though when it comes to other people's life styles. If your life style doesn't hurt anyone involved or others, then I'm so very cool with it. Anyhoo ... :)

So, that's my/ our breastfeeding story. 

Love from a tandem-feeding mum who still breastfeeds her 2.9 year old toddler. :-)

deesha & mummy 
(Dylan circa 1.5 years old)

Ride it

This dude lights me up <3

I started writing this 2 days ago; 

I am awake again. It's 5am and I'm sitting on the bed with 2 sleeping boys opposite me. I've been awake since about 4, Elliot waking me every hour for milk and then at 4:30, Dylan joined us with a snotty nose and therefore: snoring/ breathing loudly.

I went to bed at 11am after having gone through another load of emails, so that has given me about 5 small bursts of 45 minutes-each sleep so far. Today shall be a bleary-eyed day, but it's okay, I've had many of the such, I cope and I do love my babies.

I love my babies.

This baby thing, my goodness. You start with wanting to get pregnant and from that wish, right there, starts the story telling. The fantasising, the dreaming. The 'how it's going to be when I have a baby' dream, the 'it's going to be so beautiful' kind of stories you tell yourself. I remember once seeing a photo of one of my old boyfriend's mother. In the photo she was walking through some woods with a toddler by her legs and she looked so happy and beautiful. And I remember wanting to be her. That beautiful, young, happy, light woman, with a toddler by her legs in the woods ... Stories.

And then you get pregnant (or not, but that is another -painful- story) and you tell people who have had babies, and they are happy for you and they nod knowingly, but they don't tell you. Oh sure, they tell you that parts of it are hard: the sleep deprivation for one and you may have trouble breastfeeding, or 'oh those terrible twos - ha ha', but no one tells you that having children is like being hit by a fuck-off truck changing your direction in life deeply and permanently.

No one tells you, clearly, that if you are big on freedom, control and making your own choices then having babies is probably going to fuck with you a little. And no one tells you that the babies -depending on your chosen parenting style- will simply start to rule your life; where you go (baby groups, playgrounds, child friendly restaurants - certainly not the cinema), what you do (puzzles, silly faces, change nappies, push the swing, clean the vomit of the carpet), what you wear (nothing pretty for banana puree, puke and snot will reach your clothes almost the moment you wake up), how you wear your hair (bunched up or short cut -only), what you watch on tv (cbeebies - kipper the dog - teletubbies or waybuloo) and so on and so forth. You are no longer the number one priority in your life; they are and what they say goes. Ok, that's not entirely true, but you get the picture. 

And then, it reshapes your relationship with your husband/ significant other. With the birth of your children; you both will be reborn. I don't mean that as beautifully and metaphorically as it sounds. You are literally being shaped into a new person and into a new relationship. If you don't process your stuff/ feelings well, having babies can really rock the core and foundation of what you have together, so keep talking. Keep talking.

And then, you work through it all. You keep working at it all. You keep spilling out love if and where you can. You keep giving cuddles if and where you can. You keep going, you keep doing, you keep trying. You keep surrendering and trusting (as the beautiful Connie so wisely described in her recent birth story). As my beautiful husber often says: 'this life, it has chosen me'. And so you can't not ride this crazy wave of parenthood, it chooses you and that's that. That's it, that's that; you gotta ride it.

And I do, because I love my babies. :) I do. 

Me and dylbee this eve :)

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Faces & Journals


 Oh hello again! No, I didn't write a blog post yesterday, but that doesn't mean I didn't do a portrait! :) Lookit, here's the one I did yesterday:

Face 6 - 29 Portraits
 I did this one in 30 mins. For clarification: whenever I can and have the extra time, I will spend more than 15-20 mins on it. :)
Face 6 - 29 Portraits

I'm pretty happy with it though I could've done more to it. The thing with only having so little time is that you never really make a finished piece. That's ok, but I'm aching to do a more finished piece. Hopefully I'll find some time for doing that soon!


 I've been awake since about 3:30am this morning. Dylan kept snoring and when I tried to move him to his own bed he was VERY disgruntled and promptly ran back to my bed. LOL. Then, I couldn't get back to sleep. I was lying awake just musing and trying to go back to sleep but it just wouldn't happen. So I decided to get up and do some more art in my Dylan & Elliot journal. And, I 'slayed' two birds with one stone (why would I want to slay birds? eugh, not a cool saying) and did another portrait as well.


Elliot & Dylan Journal - P3 

Elliot & Dylan Journal - P3

I'm really enjoying working in this journal, though I find my current colour combinations a bit 'drab' and the eyes of this girl are a tad lopsided and wonky. I love love love playing with the pictures of the boys. Adding paint and hats and crowns. Also, I'm enjoying adding the messages for them. I do hope that one day they'll take them to heart. :) The message in this page says:
"Dear Elliot, sometimes the angriest people need the most love. And it's ok if you can't be the one who gives that love to them. Walking away is okay."

 Things have been a tough here lately. After having almost no time to work for 2 weeks and then last week the childcare didn't turn up either plus a bank holiday on Monday (which meant again: no childcare), I am behind on work and it's stressing everyone out. Of course, we're managing, but it's all just a bit much at the moment. Anyhoo, speaking of deadlines, I need to get going on some new lessons. :) I will leave you with some of Dylan's latest Dylanisms and some instagram snaps taken this last week or so. Bye bye baby cakes. x  

Dylanisms circa 2 years 9 months old.
  • While driving in the car and passing a field: "look look! I saw a farm! In the grass!"
  • I'm talking to Andy. Dylan is a bit sick and keeps pinching my face. I say; "Dylan please stop doing that, what do you want ? Do you want some attention? Yes! I want some NICE attention."
  • I ask Dylan if he wants some cake and he says: "no, Dylan want to hugga mama."
  • Dylan on the farm: "Look! More geesies! No, more goosies!"
Elliot loves watching Dylan. This is his face when he looks at Dylan :)

He's having a ball :)

He makes my heart sing. :)

And don't forget:

Be brave.

Monday 7 May 2012

Portair nr 5. 29 Faces

Here is a progression of portrait nr 5. for 29 Faces. :) I had about an hour or so, so kept working on it a bit more. :) Have had an exhausting last 4 days, so gonna leave it at this. xoxo Hopefully back tomorrow! <3

Portrait nr5 Progression - 29 Faces

Portrait nr5 Progression - 29 Faces

Portrait nr5 Progression - 29 Faces

Portrait nr5 Progression - 29 Faces

Portrait nr5 Progression - 29 Faces

Portrait nr5 Progression - 29 Faces

And my updated calendar.

calenar update


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