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Watercolour - Basic Supplies

Have you ever looked at someone creating something beautiful and wished you could do the same thing?

For me its Crochet ... I have longed to make these amazing creations that people seem to materialise in minutes but the best i have ever made was holey bunting and even that was supposed to be a sample solid square.

For a lot of people, painting seems to be the thing that many want to do but believe only few can ... well I'm here to show you that EVERYONE can paint ... and i mean everyone.

My preferred medium is Watercolour which is in my opinion is the easiest. Acrylic is pretty close but i think if your just dipping your toe in then watercolour is the way to go.

So what do you need to get started?

Well the first thing i would say is a good set of paints.

Watercolours come in so many different forms, it is easy to get overwhelmed but once you break it down, you can get a feel for what might suit you and even if you change your mind you can always start out small and build up a collection of materials.

For simplicity, well just cover paint pans at the moment.

Boredom Jar

Kids today ... I remember when i was little i would just chill in the garden or find something to keep me entertained yet these days kids need constant stimulation. I am gobsmacked when Agent M says to me he is "bored". How with everything you have can you possibly be bored?

Then it clicked, Its not that he has "nothing to do" ... Its more he cant think of what he wants to do. So that's where this gem come in to play.

The boredom jar.

Its such a simple idea ... I'm surprised i hadn't heard of it before.

Take a bunch of lolly pop sticks and write activities on them. When your little one says the dreaded words, ask then to pick a stick from the jar.


He's the catch though ... They HAVE TO DO IT! And not every stick is a fun activity but that's the compromise as there are also sticks in there that might be stuff your not keen on either. Whatever they pull is what they do

Salted Caramel Brownies

Salted caramel is everywhere just now and lets be honest, its one of the best combos ever. The sweetness of the caramel and the slight bitter tang of sea salt ... Mmmm its so good.

So imagine how amazing it is when you add it to a batch of brownie mix. Answer - Mind blowing!

Here is how i made mine and i was luck enough to get to try them before the M descended and the tray was all but licked clean.

I wish i still drank the cool-aid

When i was younger my family were religious. Church was a weekly family activity with my little sister and i splitting off and going to Sunday school. I used to read the bible stories and when asked could rhyme off the books of the old testament in order. It was just what we did and i didn't know any better.

As i grew up i started to question the whole concept of "God". I asked questions in the older chapter of the Sunday school (known as the Covenanters) which was met with answers i didn't like, normally passing the blame to the "devil" for all the worlds problems or the standard "read your bible, all the answers are in there".

As a teen that is a crappy response, especially when your having a crisis of faith.

Then my papa died and i pretty much lost my faith completely.

Around the time that my parents marriage broke down in spectacular fashion, my papa passed away and i really couldn't cope with it all. We had stopped going to church long before that but i did still believe. The when he passed away, all everyone said to me was that he was in a "better place" which was like a slap in the face. I adored my papa. I was close to him and i really felt that out of all my grandparents, he was the one that "got me". I used to watch Hammer Horror movies with him. We would discuss the pros and cons of life now compared to like when he was younger and we would talk about Art and i would draw for him replicas of his own artwork. He would let me sneak a chocolate lime sweet out of his tub and we would giggle thinking Granny didn't notice (though she probably did). I was inconsolable when he died and still to this day i get emotional when i think of him and how i wish so hard that he could have lived to see Agent M ... Who i think he would have got on great with.

I think i started to lose faith because i seen him deteriorate in front of me. He was a small man anyway but towards the end looked so fragile, and his spirit was so broken. I couldn't believe that a God who was great and powerful would/could allow someone so amazing to suffer so much. It seemed cruel. It made more sense to me that life was just a dick.

When i lost my first pregnancy i completely lost faith in any God. I couldn't accept what was going on and telling me that it was part of "Gods Plan" was as good as saying my imaginary friend says suck it up. There was no higher power at play here. Life just smacked me down and there was no guiding hand to help me up. I was alone in this and that's how it was always gonna be.

Years have passed and when asked i would describe myself as an atheist. It has caused problems with some members of my family with things like getting Agent M christened. I refuse point blank to do it even though i was christened, as i cant stand up there and promise i will raise him in the church. It would be a lie and I'm not going to do that. When I'm asked questions by Agent M about things he has learnt in school i answer them honestly but he knows that i don't believe and he knows that he is free to choose his own belief system. Just cause i don't think there is a God doesn't mean he has to. His beliefs are his own and he has chosen what makes sense to him.

But there are times when i do miss having that faith.

Sometimes i feel jealous of those who still believe. It must be so refreshing to have faith that everything will work out alright in the end. And the idea of seeing family that have passed must be comforting but more than anything i miss the feeling that I'm safe. Knowing that things happen for a reason and that someone is always looking out for you has to be better than the feeling of being totally alone.

When i believed in God i knew that when i died, i would go somewhere special and that i would one day be reunited with everyone i have lost. Now i know that i came into this world alone and i will leave it alone. That's a terrifying thought but one that i have made.

If I'm totally honest with myself, I do wish i still drank the cool-aid.

HP Sprocket Review

For a while now i have been looking at hand held printers, half with curiosity and half with almost an obsession.

I take a lot of photographs and there is something about the idea of a portable printer that i just love. Especially since this year i have decided to give memory journalling a try.

I have watched You Tube video after You Tube video of comparisons with them all and after to-ing and fro-ing i decided i would be brave and buy one.

So let me introduce you to my new HP Sprocket.

Why did i decide to go with this particular printer? Well for me the deciding factor was the quality of prints that they seem to give out. Talking to other users and watching the videos, it seemed to me that the HP gave the best quality. Compared to the Polaroid Snap in particular i liked that i could zoom in on the app allowing me to focus the image on what mattered. I also downloaded the apps prior to deciding which one i would buy so i could get a feel for them. The HP has a lot more frames and "stickers" which you can decorate your images with before printing which became the cherry on the sundae for me.

So let me show you what is what.

Needing a break after the Christmas break

Oft ... I cant believe its the 11th of January all ready. I've still not 100% recovered from the Christmas break yet either. I feel like i need another break.

I don't know why i ever expect the Christmas holiday to be relaxing ... You have more activities that you need to find time for, more family and friends to visit which means more hugging and if you have a horrible immune system like me, more time spent getting over all the bugs you have picked up from people.

Christmas is with out a doubt the busiest holiday EVER!

Thankfully we are getting back into our routine - Up early for school, having my morning coffee while paroozing pinterest and I've finally caught up with the mount crumpit sized washing pile. I can see the bottom of the basket and its beautiful :)

With the new year comes lots of new possibilities ... I don't make resolutions anymore as they never seem to stick but instead and continuing to work towards my 101 things in 1001 days and setting myself goals at the beginning of each month that i am wanting to hit.

One thing I'm trying hard to do is find balance between life, my Etsy and my blog ... Here's hoping 2018 is the year i finally learn how to juggle it all.

Fingers crossed