Thursday, 29 November 2007

Fifty-three: Thank God for Snuffles

Here she is, my first painting of her.
Snuffles is my granddog (as I don't have any grandchildren).
We were teaching in Kuwait at the time. She was for sale (aged 3 months) because she was being hurt by the 18 month old son of her owner. She had been brought over from Thailand, to Kuwait, along with a Rottweiler.
The moment I set eyes on her I fell deeply and irrevocably in love, and had to have her.
She is a Shih Tsu, weighs only 4.8 kgs and has the sweetest nature I've ever known in a dog.
She's fast asleep on the sofa with a contented, postitivelysublime smile on her face.
I think I'll let this 'sleeping dog lie'!

Tangent: Draw your teacher

I was so thrilled when Lynn decided to draw me, so I asked my class of 5/6 year olds to draw me today, and these are some of the (best) results.
One even drew Snuffles (I took her to school last year to do a lesson on 'caring for your pets').
All quite different, yet all seem to capture my large earrings, prominent glasses, short hair and (hopefully) joie de vivre!
Thanx Lynn, I love the picture!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Fifty-two: Laugh at myself

It is very important to be able to laugh at oneself!
I do it frequently!

I've just been invited by Kim to join his new blog 'Please Draw Me'.

You post a photo of yourself on it, then other people draw you and you draw them....
I'm always ready to try something new, so I did.

This is the first drawing done of's a total giggle. a whizz. an all round hoot.....

Thanx Joe I love it, am off to draw some of the others.

Why don't you all join us?

Monday, 26 November 2007

Tangent: Cartoon Cactus

This is my third attempt at drawing Senita, and I'm getting in to the 'swing' of it now.

I decided to do a cartoon version, and it's the right day too.

Happy Cactus Monday Teri.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Tangent: Baby Giraffe

So many people have done drawings of giraffes for IF: The Zoo.

I just couldn't resist posting this. The giraffe is my favourite wild animal.

This picture is my desktop background at present.

Isn't he adorable?

Why would we ever want to put these magnificent creatures into a zoo?

Fifty-One: Show admiration

As I'm in the 'giving' mood, I'd like to give praise for African Women (specially those who live in the rural areas.)

I spent the whole afternoon painting (the last one done in charcoal and pastel) these women.
I think they are admirable.

They carry the burden in every way, caring for their families, providing food and safety, cultivating the land, dealing with aids, childbirth and death, often without medical assistance and certainly without therapists, self help groups and weekly hair appointments, manicurists or plastic surgery.

They are valiant, strong, brave and beautiful.

Let's think of them today ladies!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Tangent: The Zoo (IF)

In my first year as a qualified teacher, 1969 (really), I took my class of 7 year olds to Johannesburg Zoo on an outing.
We were having a great time until we reached the bear cage, when suddenly Eric (will never forget his name) started shrieking and flailing his arms.
The rest of us had been 'oohing' and 'aahing' at the cute cub, when I looked round in alarm and found him with his head stuck in the large protective bars in front of the cage.
Some of the other 27 children started sniffling and panicking and it took a very calm, poised and soft - spoken ME to settle them all down and send for help. Inside I was a mass of panicky blubber......
It was relatively easy to get his head out, and the day was saved, but I swear I actually felt the first million grey hairs sprout all over my scalp.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Fifty: Give, give, give

I read a very moving article about family violence this morning, and this was the picture accompanying it.
I decided to paint it and make it my fiftieth thing to do before 60....
In my job as a teacher I am very well aware of bullying and hideous family problems which exist today as never before. I could tell you some stories that would appal and horrify you.
Domestic violence is still regarded as something which goes on behind closed doors, and not other people's business. A recent survey revealed that more people (74%) would report a person for kicking their dog than for kicking their partner (53%).
A recent Dolce & Gabbana ad depicting a woman held down in what appeared to be a stylised gang rape barely raised a mutter of dissent.
I already have 4 charities that I give to monthly, and am also putting a little African girl through school.
We as a family have stopped exchanging Christmas gifts. We send the amount of money we would've spent on a gift to the other's chosen charity instead.

Give, give and give some more, and while you're at it, give thanks for what you have!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Tangent: Happy Thanksgiving

I/we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, but to all my new friends- have a happy one!

Five things I am thankful for:
1.) To live to 60 (in February )which most of my family didn't do, due to heart disease or cancer.
2.) My hubby and sons (my 'boys').
3.) My long and fulfilling career as a teacher.
4.) My sense of humour and relatively good health.
5.) My quirky, eccentric, funloving, friendly, caring nature.
Think of five things you are grateful for this thanksgiving!

Tangent: Monday Artday#4: Goddess

Oshun (Yoruba) is the goddess of the rivers that sustain life. She rules love, beauty and the arts, especially dance.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Tangent: Happy Cactus Monday (Tuesday)

This is my second drawing of my new love 'Senita'.
I tried to do it looking down from the top.....mmmmm.....what do you think?

Happy Cactus Monday (Tuesday).

Forty-nine: Celebrate being a 'Silver Surfer'

'We do not stop playing because we grow old:
We grow old because we stop playing.'


Monday, 19 November 2007

Tangent: I've been tagged

My chest infection has turned to bronchitis, so am still at home feeling rough, but blogging away and enjoying the solitude around me, and the wet plop-plop sound of rain on the window pane. As long as I sit here quietly the coughing and burning chest pain ceases for a while.

What a lovely surprise to get tagged.

I decided to trace this tag backwards to try to find its origin, and managed to go back 14 posts till I was stopped with a 'this blog is open to invited readers only'. This was a mammoth exercise, but great fun. Along the way, I posted a comment on each and every one of these people's blogs, so am hoping to make some new friends.

Here are THE RULES:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as their links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

My five facts (you decide whether they're random or weird) are:
1.) I planned to spend my 50th birthday sitting on the top of table mountain thinking about my life, when it rained and they closed the cable car for the day. I did it, but later.
2.) I'm a member of the 'mile high' club.
3.) I'm passionate about causes and I spend time helping them, instead of just thinking about them.
4.) I have a Living Will.
5.) I am still studying and try to get a new diploma every year.

I am tagging:





Happy posting girls, while you grind your teeth at me!!

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Tangent: Superstitions (IF)

If you sit naked in the moonlight, you are sure to get an unexpected surprise!

I painted this 4 years ago, don't know why I painted it; seems like a fun thing to post for this week's IF.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Tangent: Snapdragon

After two weeks of incarceration indoors with a chest infection, two lots of antibiotics,four bottles of cough mixture, strepsils and warm drinks, spitting, coughing, hawking and spluttering, I feel like a snapdragon.....................

PART OF ME HAS SNAPPED .....................AND THE REST IS DRAGGING.................................

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Tangent: Monday Artday #3

One of the challenges this week is to draw another Monday Artday Artist, so I chose Teri.

I copied this from the photo on her blog.

Hope you don't mind Teri and aoplogies as it looks nothing like you at all.

Was done with watercolours and waterclour pencils.

Now I'm going to do my whole family and friends too! So watch out!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Tangent: Senita

My first attempt at drawing senita.

I used pastels, then painted over it with acrylic, then touched up with the pastels again.

I rather like the result.

It seems that 'bold' is my style.

This is dedicated to Teri. Happy Cactus Tuesday.

Tangent: Click to give

I click every single day.
It only takes a minute.
What do I click?
Go to this site and see.
Please click every day too.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Forty-eight: Visit Auschwitz

When we visited Yad Vashem in Israel in 1987, I was profoundly moved and the feelings have stayed with me always.

I would like to see Auschwitz, not out of morbid curiosity, but in the knowledge that this will enrich my soul yet again and lest we forget!

This was an actual painting I did about 4 years ago, a picture about the holocaust, which I just had to recreate.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Tangent: I got it

Steve has had this beauty for about 2 years now, and I've always coveted it.

Now he has given it to me to look after/foster/maybe adopt, and I'm thrilled.
It's gorgeous.
He kept it on a window ledge in the light, but no direct sunshine, with very very little water/or none at all.
It has never flowered (if it can) or changed in the time he's had it.

Now I need to know what sort it is, where to place it and how best to care for it.

So, TeriC,


Forty-seven: Learn not to say 'yes' when I really mean 'No'.

I've struggled with this one all my life. I always believed that I had to say 'yes' or there would be dire consequences.
Saying 'no' inevitably hurt someone (usually me).
But as I've got older, it's become easier and easier and this year I've managed more than ever before..
Wisdom has taught me that as long as one is prepared to take the consequences for one's actions, whether it's a 'yes' or a 'no', that's really all that matters.
'When in doubt, say no!
(I painted this with my one finger, on a yellow card. Quite effective.)

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Forty-six: Spend a whole day eating junk food without feeling guilty.

junk food
junk food
give me junk food







and fuck the bloody scales.

just once!

IF: Scales

Friday, 9 November 2007

Tangent: Burlesque Club #3

Did it oh Guru. And it was such a hoot!
I don't know why, but I decided to use my index finger only, no brushes, oh and a cotton bud for the smaller bits e.g. garters and mouth.
It only took me 30 minutes, and it just 'flowed' outta me.
I have posted two pictures showing how different they look by taking the photo slightly differently.
I've learnt more by doing this than I ever did in the art course I only attended for a few weeks.
Thanks Mama Jo Jo, you have inspired me, not to take my clothes off and wear titty tassles, but to experiment with my art.
Come on, Nad, what's next?

Forty-five: Forgive my mother

They say that 'children are either a pain in the neck or a pain in the heart'.
I know I was both to my mother.
That didn't give her the right to do what she did to me!
I have been thinking a great deal about families this week.
It is time to forgive my mother.
She's been gone 26 years.
Rest in peace Ma.

(painted this a few years ago, named it 'mother and son', it's crude and rude and bold and even ugly, but it suits this topic.)

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Tangent: Burlesque club #2

My Burlesque club experience evoked some interesting comments.

Ellis suggested that I draw this.
Your wish is my command oh master!
What a giggle I had doing it, mixture of paints and soft pastels and just messing around....

Monday, 5 November 2007

Forty-four: Send a message in a bottle

I've always wanted to do this.

I know what I'm going to write and who I would send it to.

Maybe while I'm in Australia at the end of the year watching my son getting married as the sun sets on a gloriously beautiful beach, I'll just scurry away and launch my bottle into the sea with kisses and 'waves'......

(BTW this is the sun setting in Llandudno beach near Hout Bay, and I was there. African sunsets are quite spectacular.)

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Tangent: Good Morning

Crispy early mornings,
Sun glimmering on the grass,
Quiet and peaceful,
Hope within one's breast,
Snuffles with her jaunty step.
Good morning world!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Tangent: Top hats (IF)

I adore penguins and have visited the only place in the world where Jackass penguins live, Boulder's Beach.

They are regal, stately, majestic and, although cumbersome in thier movement, somehow seem to totter along quite amicably. They mate for life and recognise their partner whenever and wherever.

I have spent more than one blissful occasion picknicking amongst them, and learnt a lot from them about life!
In their honour I declare today 'Penguin Day'.

So, I painted these two gents in their 'tuxedos', then just to be devilish, I added a 'mad hatter' green hat, to submit it to IF.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Tangent: Leaves

A beautiful Autumnal day here in London.

These are photos taken in my garden,the street and on the lawn, leaves everywhere.

The colours are magnificent.


Tangent: Burlesque club

My future daughter-in-law had her 'hen party' last Saturday night at a Burlesque club in London.
Sixteen of us joined her there, and it was lovely meeting her family and friends at last.
We all settled down in a merry mood, to an evening of wining, dining, giving her funny little gifts and of course the 'cabaret'.
Now, I think you all know by now, I'm no prude. But something about Mama Jo-Jo's act left me feeling slightly sick.
She was also the emcee for the evening and the burlesque teacher who had trained all her 'girls'. (yes, and a very shrewd business woman drumming up new business on a Saturday night).
Most of the acts were good, professionally done and some even had talent.
Her message was 'be confident about your body, flaunt it, show it, enjoy it, no matter what size, shape or form you happen to be'.
That's all very well, but I must say this sight did rather put me off my delicious cheesecake.

Maybe, I'm more of a prude than I thought I was!