Winter is the Perfect Time for some Colouring Fun!

It’s the perfect weather to cosy up and colour in at the moment, so this week I’m adding downloadable colouring pages to my Etsy store! There will be more added each day. There will be some pages from my Hidden Places colouring book available, as well as new drawings from my curent series of bird drawings. Pages start at just $2.40 to download, and you can print and colour them as many times as you wish!

Yay!

You can purchase the printables here

 

Cutting back on technology, and Taking Stock

Sometimes, it’s easy to fall into the “low maintenance parent” pattern. Letting the kids watch too much TV, a little too long on the iPad, all of us sitting there staring at a screen, totally disconnected from one another. I doubt I am alone in this. Modern technology is both a blessing and a curse. Definitely a blessing when you are sitting in a doctors waiting room for an hour and a half with a bored 3 year old. Not so great when you realise all of you seem to have killed your creativity and motivation from the constant entertainment that an iPad can provide.

Lately, I’ve realised we’ve slipped into some bad habits, and I need to lift my game a bit as a parent. Rather then have the kids ask constantly to use the iPad or watch TV, I said at the start of the week that we were taking a break.  I made a conscious effort to ditch the technology, and spend better quality time with my children.

My youngest took it with surprisingly little complaint. She spent the days playing in her room, making a mess, then tidying it up, rearranging all of her special stuff. She helped me clean the house, taking great pride in dusting and packing things away neatly. She helped do the folding (folding things into strange little minuscule packages, but it’s a start!) She even helped me glue a craft project together, without making much mess. It made me wonder why I’ve started thinking it’s easier to let her watch too much TV when I need to get stuff done. Sure, it’s faster to just race around doing everything myself, but when I gave her the chance, she was actually pretty good at it.

My oldest took a little more convincing. Life without minecraft is tough, apparently. But he ended up getting out his lego, and building “real” minecraft instead. He helped me finish off the last of the craft project for the school art show, and then felt so inspired that he got out the scissors and made his own collage. We cooked together, and tidied up together. It was so much easier to get him interested, when the lure of minecraft disappeared!

I realised midway through the week, that I’ve fallen into that trap of being the mum who does everything. I’m not sure how it happened exactly. They used to follow me around the house “helping”. It was actually nice to have them engaged, interested and wanting to help again.  It’s funny how something like an iPad, which can make life easier and more fun, can actually make things harder. It’s so enticing and engaging, that it’s hard for anything else to compete. So we will keep up this new habit, of limiting technology.

Here’s some of the nice things we did this week:

Making: I went into my sons classroom, and ran a craft activity. The children traced around their hands, and then decorated them. I cut the hands out, and then my children helped me glue then into the shape of angels wings.

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Eating: My son helped me make schnitzel, and we made yummy schnitzel burgers with it.

Planning: my daughter helped me plan her 4th birthday. She asked me to make it a “surprise”. So on Saturday, she went out to the park with her dad, while my son and I madly decorated and got her cake ready. Her friends came over and all yelled “surprise” as she walked in.

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Creating: my son and I cut up some paintings and made a collage together. He helped me come up with ideas for his sister’s birthday card while we were making.

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Listening: to annoying orange song parodies. Not my choice! But my kids love dancing to them.

Reading: lots of library books, plus Harry Potter every night with the kids before bed.

Sewing: still working on a embroidery of my son

Drawing: I’ve been working my way through the 100 day project on Instagram, drawing and making birds.

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Studio Flood

It’s a sad day for my studio. After the torrential rain on the weekend, I went out to check on my studio space today, and it was very, very wet. I had a big pile of watercolour paper that I’d painted for collages, some glitter paper and some beautiful Nepalese paper stored on the floor as I’d run out of space. It’s all wet! The carpet is wet, some of my furniture is swelling, the ceiling is bubbling.

I’m feeling very grateful that it is not my whole studio. My desk and computer are ok. Thankfully all my silk was stored in sealed plastic tubs, and is dry.

Hopefully as I clean up, I won’t find more damage. Sigh.

In in the grand scheme of things, I know I am very lucky. People have lost their entire homes. But I may be a bit quieter on the creative front, while I deal with tradespeople to fix the roof and clean up the mess.

Anyone else get hit by the wild weather?

Creativity, making things, and Chocolate Chip Cookies! (Gluten, dairy and nut free, of course)

imageI’ve been a busy bee lately. Multiple crafty projects, a watercolour painting of my daughter (as a mermaid, because she lurves them), an embroidery of my son, an oil painting for my neighbour, designing a new kitchen (I’m so EXCITED)…

Floral Bouquet, work in progress
Floral Bouquet, work in progress

Do you ever feel like your head is swirling with ideas, and you can’t get them out fast enough?

Creativity is a funny thing. I often find it comes in giant bursts. The ideas come rushing out, I start on multiple projects, and struggle to finsh things, because I’m so eager to start the next project. My family can always tell when I’m in a creative burst, because of the mess. I run out of space in my studio, and things start to make their way out to the lounge room, then the dining table… Sorry family!

Leo dreaming
Leo dreaming
Vintage Kimono Silk Birds
Vintage Kimono Silk Birds
Even the window is getting covered in my "works in progress"
Even the window is getting covered in my “works in progress”

 

To help tackle my lack of focus (or being focused on too many things), I’ve been writing lots of to do lists. They aren’t particularly ordered. More like automatic writing, because there’s just so many ideas I want to get down, before I burst. There is something so satisfying about to do lists. Writing one out, no matter how jumbled, always makes me feel like I’m starting to achieve stuff. Invariably, because I’ve got it all out on paper, things start to happen. I start to work my way through the list, ticking things off. And then cleaning ip the mess, as each project gets resolved…

It’s amazing what you can achieve if you have a list to work with!

Naturally, all this productive stuff requires sustenance…

Yum
Yum

 

These cookies are quick and easy to make. I often take them to birthday parties, so my children can eat something sweet when the cake comes out. They are also great for the school lunchbox.

Easy Peasy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups of gluten free plain flour
250g nuttelex
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
1 cup of caster sugar
Half a cup of the Chocolate of your choice. We use Sweet Williams, or Plamil dark chocolate.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees

Beat Nuttelex, vanilla essence and sugar together until light and fluffy. Using a spatula, stir through flour and baking powder, and then knead gently into a soft dough. If it feels a bit sticky, add another tablespoon of flour. You should be able to roll the dough in your hands without it sticking all over you. Mix through desired chocolate. I use about half a cup, chopped up.

Roll into balls, then squash a bit flat. Makes about 20 cookies.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until they just start to turn golden. If you like them crunchy, leave them for a couple more minutes.

They will last in an airtight container for about a week.

 

FREE! Easter Colouring Pages!

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I’ve been working on this little guy for a while, and he’s ready just in time for Easter. Cute enough for little people to enjoy colouring, but detailed enough for the grown up colourists among us to enjoy!

Subscribe to my blog, and I will email you this brand new colouring page, PLUS, this gorgeous rabbit page from my colouring book, Hidden Places. This little Floral Bunny, is one of my most popular prints, and now you can colour it in any however you like! Yay!

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