Wednesday 18th October 2017

Creativity Soothes Me. 2017.102.

Creativity Soothes Me. 2017.102.

It’s been a while!

I used to post more about my creativity way back when I was blogging more frequently so I decided today was ideal for a creativity catch-up.

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that since 2013 art, in one shape or another, has helped me bridge some of life’s changes and given me a great ‘head space’ in which to become more mindful. I wrote about mindfulness here yesterday.

I am visually dominant then my next sense as a preference is kinaesthetic with aural (hearing and listening) third. I wrote about that here. It makes great sense to me then to enjoy art and using a myriad of different resources. From 2013 when I joined a group called DaisyYellowArt here, I have learned so much about media and then what I prefer to use. It has also meant I have, ahem, spent quite a lot of money over the years investing in artist-quality materials as student ones just do not ‘cut it.’

Making patterns on the page which may be large, small or somewhere in between gives me a creative freedom which I love. Although I do like to share on social media what I have made, the value for me is in the process. 

That is when I am at my most mindful and that is so good for my emotional health. When I went to hospital I took some art materials and an A4 book with some mandala outlines on quite a few pages and once I was in the ward (and not so knocked out from the huge surgery) I could lose myself in art each evening. I was a happy patient for sure and I did show some to the nurses as a way to connect.

Here’s a few I’ve made recently in my creative times. I will often say throughout the day, “I’m off to the art room” and it is a most pleasant and soothing place to be. I listen to some CDs often by some of my favourite teachers including Brene Brown, Pema Chodron and Tara Brach. It does soothe me for sure! I will sometimes draw mandalas and colour them in bed or sitting watching TV. I have a book with art materials that moves from room to room with me!!

What do you do to become more mindful?

Have you tried something new creatively recently?

Do you know what learning style is your preferred one? (hint: post link has place where you can check it!)


Linking here with Kylie Purtell for I Blog on Tuesday link up and here with Leanne for Lovin’ Life link on Thursdays.



Creative Art & Listening. 2017.83.

Creative Art & Listening. 2017.83.

I’ve been following art groups and becoming more creative in my retirement years. I am lucky to have a range of materials to work  play with and have had some lessons in their use. Now I get to have fun and create. I was doing this as part of my transitioning to retirement anyway but since I received my cancer diagnosis it has become a very important element in keeping me mindful and creating to heal.

For each of the photos I have written something about the process and you can see the products.

The accompaniment for me is always a CD where I am learning or reinforcing learning about life, our spirits, our behaviours and more. I have a range of CDs by Brene Brown, Pema Chodron, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Anne Lamott, and Rick Hanson among other. The one I am listening to right now (for the 3rd time!) is about offering ourselves self-compassion. I have been a late arrival to the need to show myself self-kindness and compassion and it is through the works of Kirsten Neff and Christopher Germer that I am undoing the practice of old (criticism and self-judgement) and integrating the practice of: self-compassion.

I hope you enjoy what you see here.


This is my post for the LAST EVER weekend linky called The Ultimate Rabbit Hole here with Sammie and Friends. I thought it was time for another post on creativity! Congratulations to all who made The Ultimate Rabbit Hole great and THANK you for sharing the love.

Large Page, Meditative Patterns & Repetitive Colouring.


Accuracy and pattern making in paint to the ROYGBIV colours…of the Rainbow!


The flower pattern started. So meditative and gentle I saw frangipanis arise.


Adding painted background close to leaf colour made for good concentration and distraction.


From the middle is the famous yellow of most if not all frangipanis. Letting the paint dry before next stage is a measure of my patience these days!


Taking the idea further, there have been many pink frangipanis on our tree as well as while ones, so I added a highlight colour in paint.


Almost there but not quite. Adding different shades of pink within the same tones from my gouache paints. Very slowly adding where I thought it was needed.


A3 size, the finished product is now on display. I loved doing this so much I have started another!


This one is different but still floral in focus. Listening to this book on CD reminds me of self-compassion and my need to be as kind to me as to another.


Hobbies. #LifeThisWeek 22/52. 2017.74.

Hobbies. #LifeThisWeek 22/52. 2017.74.

I wasn’t a kid who had hobbies. I didn’t collect things. I didn’t stick things in albums.

I just liked to READ. Sometimes my  mother would think I read too much and say “Denyse, you can’t borrow any books from the library in term time”. Mum was so not a reader. But I don’t think she ever carried out the threat.

I liked to go to the beach – Manly or North Steyne when I was a teen. But was that a hobby or was I just there to meet up with the girls and the BOYS….mmmm (shhh don’t tell Mum!). This is my shadow just after sunrise on Manly Beach around 50 years later!! Once I was an adult, had kids and was teaching (and often doing admin or study) I really did not have much time for hobbies but for a while, when it was trendy, I did scrapbooking (see the albums that are in the linen press) and the woollen embroidery that made pictures. What were they called? Anyway. That’s it. Oh, one hobby I just remembered. When we knew Sydney was going to host the 2000 Olympics I became a BADGE collector and obsessed by it. I remember taking a morning off school (I was principal!) to line up at K-Mart in Blacktown for a particular set of badges. What did I do with them? I wore ones I was prepared to part with or swap to the Olympics and then after the Olympics my husband made two frames for me to mount the badges. Now they are part of a school’s memorabilia about the Sydney Olympics.

Now I am all grown up AND retired my hobbies would be the photography and art of some kind. I am very visual and with kinaesthetic being my second preferred learning style, as in last week’s post here, then that makes sense.

So do you have a hobby or more than one?

A blogger has called my kind of blog a ‘hobby blog’ but I prefer to say it’s just my blog.

I love making connections here and thank those who join in on Mondays especially for #LifeThisWeek.

Denyse. Connecting here with Alicia who has a link up called Open Slather and here with Kell for Mummy Mondays. * You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “View From Here”.


Words and Pics This Week. 2017.43.

Words and Pics This Week. 2017.43.

It’s been a blah week because of the weather and I have made some time, where I could, to get outside for capturing a snapshot or five. As I do.

Here are some of the pics I took this week…and some words in the captions.

Saturday morning. Driving along and saw how still the water was. I was rewarded with this capture and many others! How amazing is nature!


I’ve grown sweet peas successfully back at our former home so decided this year to give them a go here. Love the sweet pea flower. Memories of childhood and taking flowers to school to the teacher.


My view from our back verandah. The house at the back is unoccupied since it was sold (this is the garage) is very old, made of fibro/asbestos I guess..and this is my view…making it better with trellis added to back fence to coax the sweet peas up!


After a weekend at home because of awful weather I ventured out to see the big seas and high tide at Soldiers Beach.


A walk around the garden and this pattern of raindrops caught my eye.


This 8inx8in mandala on black was both meditative and creative to complete. I could not stop adding to it. It was such fun. Now off to a friend for her to frame to put in her new house!


I hope your week’s been a good one. Mind you, the weather…let’s not talk too much about it shall we?


I am linking to photography friends who host links: Sue and Jen on Friday and over the weekend with Sammie here for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole.



What Did You Create This Week? 366/254.

What Did You Create This Week? 366/254.

In the past week what have you created?

It may be that you made a particular meal for the first time.

You may have decided to team accessories in a new way with an outfit.

Maybe you walked outside and took a different walking path so you could enjoy a new view and create memories.

Perhaps you painted something that was both practical and useful but you had fun choosing the colours.

In other words, creativity does not have to be all about music, art, drawing, craft and so on…it can be taking a different path for something that’s been regularly done only one way.

Here’s what I got up to:

  • made a friend two countdown charts for her little ones to be able to mark off the days till Daddy is home
  • completed mandala #70 of 100 which was actually a black and white mandala a while back, but I coloured it
  • changed the way in which I dealt with my ‘lonely day’ on Friday when my hub does his volunteering work
  • listened to a podcast I had not heard before
  • began a new book based on a more spiritual approach to living


So, what do you think you may have created this past week or so?

creativity 150


P.S. I have a NEW weekly link-up starting here this Monday 12 September called “Life This Week”. There are optional prompts! I hope you will link-up too when you can. Here’s the details from a recent post! 

life this week icons 150 2

Joining the Ultimate Rabbit Hole here this week with The Geeky Shopaholic and also where this link up appears too with Karin here at Calm to Conniption along with Shari from here at Good Food Week.



Creating Art For Stress Release. 366/247.

Creating Art For Stress Release. 366/247.

There are days where doing something art-y is about getting rid of tension and frustration and yesterday was one of ‘those days.’

My need to scribble in Neocolour 11 crayons helped with the actions to ‘unwind’ me from what was troubling me and then as I started to slow down, I could spent time with the water brush.

I also was able to ‘let it dry’ before I got to the next stage with the black outline.

Here are the photos of the stages of the SPRING flowers I did to help me feel better!!

First stage.

Drawing with the crayons. Felt good!


“wetting” the crayon to soften look.


Progress shot – difference between (dry) on left and (wet) on right.


Final Art Piece! SPRING flowers.

Do you ever create this way too?

It really is a good idea!!


creativity 150

Joining the Ultimate Rabbit Hole here this week with The Geeky Shopaholic and also where this link up appears too with Karin here at Calm to Conniption.

I hope Sammie is having a great time at Disneyland.



Black And White. 366/240.

Black And White. 366/240.

I have much love for the black and white in art and in photography.

I also adore making white on black designs with my signo pen.

My mandala challenge is going well. I’m up to 58/100 today.

Today’s creativity post is celebrating Black and White!

57/100 Mandala

57/100 Mandala


Yet to be posted “mandala” which I may or may not colour-in!


An ‘ode’ to spring’s near arrival


53/100 Mandala. This is a large one. Done on A3 paper.


#muse30 Challenge on Daisy Yellow. Prompt: 21. Dream. I used Aboriginal dreamtime for my inspiration.

Do you like Black and White?


creativity 150

Joining Sammie for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole over here. 


I.C.A.D. 2016 Is Almost Over! 366/205.

I.C.A.D. 2016 Is Almost Over! 366/205.

And just like that, we are about to enter the final week of the 61 day art/creative challenge, Index-Card-A-Day (I.C.A.D.) for 2016.

I wrote about it earlier this year. I have updated too since then.

Now, I am sharing two collages of cards from I.C.A.D.

It’s been fun and always interesting to see how others decide to create. The restriction is to use the ‘simple, cheap and readily available index (file) card’ which can be ‘small’ at 3X5 inch or ‘larger’ at 4X6 inch. I remain imperial for this as it is a US-based challenge and to be honest, the millimetres does my head in.

Most of the time in 2016 I used the smaller cards. I followed the prompts each time. I mostly used a prepped background card which often helped me decided how to interpret the prompt.

Here they are.


L>R. PROMPTS Rainbow (extra card) Prisms, Meditation, Folk Art, Lens, Surfboard, Yellow



L>R. Aurora Australis, Rainbow-Making Machine, Monochromatic, Play On Words, Lighthouse, Mint, Latitude/Longitude

Have you followed the I.C.A.D. challenge? How was it for you?

Each year I learn something new and I certainly enjoy connecting with artists from around the world.

Again this year I was a moderator on the FB page and we did have a busy time but well worth it. With over 1600 members it is like that! Thanks to Tammy Garcia for her work and her ‘idea’ some years ago now. I would not have the art-confidence I have now without starting at I.C.A.D. in 2013.

Special shout-out to Alicia over at One Mother Hen who also joined in this year and I have so enjoyed seeing her cards which she has on the blog too.


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Joining with Sammie over here for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

And over to Create-With-Joy as well.

Thanks for having me!