A Little Lesson – Week Thirty-Two: Artist Trading Card

In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety”.  Abraham H. Maslow.

week thirty-two – artist trading card

Simplicity, time and the colour blue were my inspiration for this weeks project. I found a packet of blank artist trading cards in my art drawers and set to work. An artist trading card is only 6.35 x 8.89cm big and the concept is that they can be traded with other artists around the world. I used one of my favourite mediums; watercolour pencils.

Until next week… happy painting?

Have you ever created and swapped an artist trading card before?

New or Used – Week Thirty-One: Decorative Blocks, Part Two

Be gentle with yourself, you are doing the best you can”. (Source)

week thirty-one – decorative blocks, part two

So this week was all about decorating the little wooden wagon that holds the blocks I painted last week.



As I mentioned last week I picked up this toy second hand for a mere $5 and decided to spruce it up for Baby C.

It was structurally sound so after lightly sandpapering the wooden tray, I painted it with acrylic paint. I chose blue and yellow to match the wheels (the same colours I used on the blocks). I wanted a fun and bright look.

As the wheels and handlebars are plastic I chose to leave them as they were. I then lined the inside of the tray with a piece of felt which I glued down.


This has been a really fun and easy project to work on. Until next week… happy painting!

Do you prefer to buy new or used?

New or Used – Week Thirty: Decorative Blocks, Part One


The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.”
John Maynard Keynes

week thirty – decorative blocks

I’ve spent the last few days sorting through Baby C’s clothes and I can’t believe how quickly she is growing. I’m currently in the process of bagging clothes that no longer fit her to make room for her next size. I’m so grateful to have amazing friends who have handed us down so many lovely baby/toddler clothes for her, along with many toys and baby necessities too. We have been more than happy to accept used items and find ourselves barely buying anything new these days. Which brings me to this weeks project.

Mr T and I had been wanting to buy Baby C an activity cube with a bead maze and as they are quite expensive new, I started searching on Gumtree. I found one this week which came in a bundle of four toys at the bargain price of twenty dollars (only five dollars a toy). One of those toys was a push wagon with blocks. It was in well used condition and I considered passing it on until I decided it wouldn’t hurt if I reconditioned it.

week thirty – decorative blocks

decorative-blocksSo this week I’ve been painting the blocks and next week I’m going to spruce up the little wagon. The blocks are a soft wood and had been knocked about quite a bit. I went over them with a medium grade sandpaper first and then used acrylic paint which I plan to seal in a non toxic sealer. For the patterns I was inspired by some pins I found and saved to my pinterest baby love board. I thought it would be fun to do something nontraditional.

I’ll keep you posted as to what Baby C thinks of them. Until next week…. happy painting?

week thirty – decorative blocks

Have you reconditioned used toys?

Life Without Social Media – Week Twenty-Nine: Loose Ends

Ma’am step away from the computer” (Source)

As most of you will know, several projects ago I declared that ‘I was making a commitment to take myself off social media’. Or more specifically Facebook. Funnily enough my life hasn’t fallen apart since I’ve made this decision and stuck to it. Life actually feels more peaceful without it and I no longer feel like I’m attached to my phone. I’m happy I let go of the pressure I felt to be a part of the social norm and know that for now it’s the right decision for me.

This weeks project was all about finishing off the loose ends of previous creative projects. I’ve finally put two pieces into frames and printed the album labels from last week. I needed to do this to rid myself of that niggly feeling of having unfinished projects lying around.

I now feel more focused to sink my teeth into more artistic projects in the coming weeks.

Until next week… happy painting?

What creative loose ends would you feel better about finishing?

Creative Block – Week Twenty-Eight: Album Labels

The soul usually knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind. (source)

week twenty-eight – album labels (photograph by Suzanne Black Photography)

For the last few weeks I’ve been finding it really hard to keep motivated and complete an artistic project each week. I’ve even considered quitting a number of times. Even though I’m passionate about it my primary focus each week is with Baby C and my family, so I’ve been leaving my projects until the last minute before trying to whip something up. Sometimes this works but a lot of the time it doesn’t. I’m just not a naturally spontaneous creative sort. I need to have a little plan before I feel comfortable taking a step forward.

For other creative types this might sound a bit suffocating but I’ve tended to find that the work I’ve enjoyed doing the most, I almost always had a well thought out idea in mind before I started. That still doesn’t mean it turned out how I wanted it to each time. But isn’t that the journey of a creative process; it grows, adapts, expands or simplifies as you go.

This weeks project isn’t an overly artistic one. But it’s one that comes out of not having a plan and facing a severe creative block a few weeks back.

After my Husband and I were married I created our wedding albums with Adobe Lightroom which I then had printed. In the printing process the company printed the wrong titles on the albums. The company reprinted them for us but that left us with two albums with incorrect covers. As we don’t need two sets of the same album (and I wasn’t going to throw them away) I’ve been meaning to create my own new cover labels and give them to family.

week twenty-eight – album labels (photograph by SilverEdge Photography)

I originally wanted to make handmade ones with lovely paper and ink. As you can tell that is not what happened. I didn’t have a plan or proper idea of what I wanted to do and I decided to wing it at the last minute. Throw in that I was tired and had my weekly deadline breathing down my neck and it ended in wasted paper and ink. Not to mention a few tantrums too. I then had a severe case of creative block. It was like my brain just went foggy and shut off all creative thought.

So here I am again fighting myself NOT to quit, with another case of creative block. But I’m not going to be defeated. I need to accept that as a new Mother, each day, week and month isn’t always going to go to plan. I’m going to have good days, great days and not so good days. And simple sometimes just has to be good enough. And that’s what I’ve done this week. I’ve finally made my wedding album labels but kept it really simple. That is why I love Photoshop!

Until next week… happy painting!

Have you suffered from creative block before?

I’m sure some of you are asking the question as to why we had two weddings. The short answer is that we had a legal surprise ceremony at home (the night before we left for our month long honeymoon) and a symbolic elopement ceremony in Scotland. The long story… well that’s for another blog post.

So Tired – Week Twenty-Seven: Handprint

Listen and Silent are spelled with the same letters. Think about it. (Source)

week twenty-seven – handprint

Baby C’s birthday party was a huge success over the weekend and I couldn’t be happier. I also couldn’t be more exhausted. Throw in a change of sleeping patterns for Baby C and I’m one tired Mumma.

So this weeks post needs to be short and sweet. To celebrate Baby C’s special milestone of turning one I bought several of these little framing kits that I’m going to gift to family. It comes with clay that you can imprint into and then bake as a keepsake.

My heart keeps melting every time I look at her little handprint.

I really need to go to bed now.

Until next week… happy painting!

Have you created something special to celebrate a special occasion? I’d love to hear all about it.

Fun and Games – Week Twenty-Six: Party Game

Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody”. (Source)

week twenty-six – Party Game

So this week marks the halfway point for my fifty-two week project. I’ve decided to make it a fun one by building a game for Baby C’s golf themed party coming up.

I was inspired by a pin saved from goodideasforyou.com. I used an old cardboard box, brown paper, scissors, cutting blade, glitter card, black marker, printing paper and party straws.

I am going to get my hands on some green felt or fake grass and make a little runway for it to sit on at the party. Our own little putt putt game.

Until next week… happy painting!

What party games have you created before?


Reflection – Week Twenty-Five: Decorative Letters

Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. – Mahatma Gandhi

week twenty-five – decorative letters

Today is our baby girls first birthday. And like any milestone I cannot help but reflect on this past year. I’m so proud and grateful to be her Mother.

When I contemplate the past twelve months, I realise that I could not have anticipated the transformative journey having a baby would take me on. It has been the most challenging, emotional and physically demanding time of my life so far. And only now do I understand that it is an experience I simply cannot put into words.

week twenty-five – decorative letters

One thing I feel like I can explain is that from this experience I’ve learnt a really important lesson. Somehow from the beginning I’d convinced myself that being a Mother simply was not enough. That I needed to achieve more for myself and be more. This art project is the perfect example of that. What I failed to realise was that my daughter; this little human life that my Husband and I created, IS the BIGGEST achievement of my life and I’m immensely proud of that.


So I’ve reminded myself to take a step back, let go of the perfectionism and just do the best I can.


This weeks project has been about getting ready for Baby C’s birthday party in a few weeks time. I found these cardboard letters at a local craft store and painted them with Acrylic Paint.

Until next week… happy painting!



Turning One – Week Twenty-Three: Digital Invitation

Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it”. – Brigitte Bardot

Clara's 1st Birthday Invitations Blog
week twenty-three – digital invitation

We have a special celebration coming up at the end of this month. Baby C is turning one. And as a creative Mum I really need to try and NOT get carried away… hmm I wonder if that’s even possible. I never really understood the big fuss for a party of a one year old but that was well and truly before Baby C came along.

As you have learned from my previous posts Mr T and I are golfers, so as Baby C cannot currently decide what she would like for her party we decided to stick with our tradition of a golf themed event (we were married on the ninth golf green at the golf course where we met). And it isn’t completely irrelevant to what Baby C likes. When my Husband chips in the backyard, Baby C flaps her arms about, squeals and giggles. She also picks up the balls for Daddy and throws them back down for him to do it again. So much fun!

So my project this week was to create an invitation I could send via e-mail to save not only on expense but also time. I would have loved to hand make the invitations but with a little one I need to be choosy with my time. And if we are honest, don’t most go in the bin after all our hard work. So this way, it’s also environmentally friendly.

I created the invitation using Adobe Illustrator software. It makes it so easy. I had lots of fun making the argyle pattern (very popular in golf) and then worked my design around that. I cannot take credit for the wording though. I found this online when checking out other golf themed invitations.

I have a feeling the next few weeks projects may have a certain theme.

Until next week… happy painting?

What do you think about digital invitations?