This is the second instalment of my recent break spending time with family.Continue reading “Family Break 02”
Hello again lovely Readers,
This week I mainly cooked and painted.
On Sunday evening I baked a banana bread loaf. Husband really enjoyed it and took some with his lunch everyday until it was all gone. I actually have 2 more very ripe bananas so I should make some more this week.
I am not actually the biggest fan of bananas and I only eat them when they have just begun to ripen. The skin needs to be still slightly green. As soon as they get any brown spots I won’t eat them. Luckily I do like banana loaf and that calls for very ripe bananas so if I buy a bunch and I don’t eat them all before the become unacceptable to me I just wait until they are good for banana loaf, you can also freeze them until you are ready. Just remember to wrap them in something because they sometimes burst and ooze when frozen.
On Monday I finished knitting a pair of mittens for myself which I started on the Sunday.
They are a little bit too big for me but that is okay I mainly knit them to test a different style of thumb construction. I knit these in the Norwegian style where the thumb comes out the bottom instead of out the side.
On Tuesday I started a series of paintings inspired by a game we played on the weekend. The game is Super Mario 3D World .
First I painted Mario. I tried to maintain my own painting style but also capture the character likeness.
On Wednesday make stock and soup and I started painting Princess Peach.
So when we buy a chicken my Husband fillets it and keeps the carcass in the freezer for me. Then when I want to make soup I start by making stock in the morning. I have a gigantic pot and I put veggies and the carcass in it and cover it all in water. I can give you the actual recipe if anyone is interested. Then I boil it for 4 hours.
While it was boiling I painted part of Peach.
Then in the evening I made butternut soup.
As with most things I hate wasting when I don’t need to. So I roasted the butternut seeds. This is something my mother used to do as well.
First I collect all the seeds and try and get rid of as much of the stringy orange stuff as possible.
Then I add some salt, pepper, and paprika. You can add what ever you like. I have even made them plain.
Then I spread them out on a lightly greased tray. I have a mechanical spray of olive oil so I just gave it a few sprays of that. Then you bake them in the oven at the lowest temperature. I check on mine every 20 min until I am happy with them.
On Thursday I finished painting Princess Peach.
On Friday I was feeling in an art slump. I love painting in acrylic paint but I can’t paint it on paper because it make the paper warp and go weird. So I need to either paint on canvass or wood. I dont really like canvas because I prefer a smooth surface rather than the texture. But at the moment we dont have space to keep wood and husband will also need to cut it to the correct shape so I have to wait until we have a house before i can do that. So I tried a watercolour and pencil crayon picture but I hate how it came out. I like the concept though, husband gave it to me. She is Penelope Teacup Pixie Toes and her friend Freddie Frogbert.
Friday evening friends came over and we had a great time.
On Saturday morning I went to collect my art from the Exhibition because it is over now. I am going to be listing them on my Etsy this week.
Then I went to my knitting group which was really nice. I got to see old friends and make some new friends.
On Sunday husband and I went on a really long walk! Well it was really long for me. It took about 3 hours in total. First we walked along the Water of Lieth Walk way. The river was so full from the melting snow it looked fit to burst,
Then we stopped and sat on a log and had a little picnic of crisps and tea.
Then as we headed home we switched over and walked along the Union Canal. We saw some cute ducks which had swum through the melting ice.
And now… the pictures you’ve all been waiting for. Haha. The cats!
Salty has been particularly clingy to my sister and it makes me miss her so much.
First my mom was showing my cats keeping her company during the day and that made me miss them, I loved that they were always getting involved.
Zoe and Salty have been fighting over my sister. They both want to be with her but neither of them like eachother.
Zoe and Salty fighting over my sister again.
Have I ever mentioned that my sister isn’t actually a big cat person? And she particularly doesn’t like Salty because Salty used to bite her the most and my sister actually has quite a few scars from bad Salty bites. But Since I have left the country Salty has decided that my sister is her person. I think that it might be because Pangaea had already claimed my parents.
Well I hope that you enjoyed my little week in review.
Keep Cuddling Cats,
Until next time
This week I took a lot of photos for some reason so I have a decent amount to share with you! I am going to preface this and say that there was a lot of snow this week so there are a lot of photos of snow. Haha, being born and raised in Cape Town, snow is still a novelty for me. Also because it typically doesn’t really snow in Edinburgh.
On Tuesday it began snowing. And it wasn’t just a few pretty flakes, there were windy gusty flurries of snow. I found it so mesmerizing I spent a good deal of time just watching out of my kitchen window.
I did try to start a new painting…
But after freezing my toes off and then discovering that since we don’t have double glazing it was 14.8 degrees Celsius next to my window, I decided to move. I know it doesn’t seem that cold but when the rest of the house is 21 degrees and you are sitting still painting you can get pretty cold.
So I moved myself into my nice warm lounge, got out my long abandoned crochet blanket and caught up on my backlog of knitting podcasts I watch.
This is a lovely blanket that I will eventually release the pattern tutorial for when I have finished it. I call it my honeymoon blanket because even though I started it long before that I brought it with me on Honeymoon and I worked on it a bit then. The dark colour always lands up looking black in photos but it is actually a deep aubergine purple.
Husband used excel to help me write the pattern as I wanted the colour stripes to be random and I am not good with excel.
The yarn is all from South Africa.
You can see here later on in the week I even got my hotwater bottle out and it has a panda bear cover which my sister gave to me.
I can’t wait for the blanket to be finished. I have about another 20 colour stripes which are each made of 2 rows. I will probably do 1 colour stripe a day from now on as I am finding that working with such a big blanket is hurting my shoulder if I do it for too long.
On Wednesday the snow got even more intense.
Mean while my sister sent me this photo from their house in Cape Town and the grass is all but died with the drought.
On Wednesday evening we decided to go out for a walk in the snow.
As you can see I love the snow very much. With my lovely big coat and my warm hand knits I dont’t find that the cold bothers me at all.
Making my very first snow angel ever.
And instant regret! I was all wet on my jeans and gloves. But I am still glad that I did it. 😛
With the weather being all cold and grey as it was it put me in a baking mood. So I made some oatcakes. This is something my mom has made a lot throughout my life. I like them because I think that they are yummy and I don’t feel bad snacking on them because they are much healthier than regular biscuits. They don’t contain sugar and they contain relatively little butter.
Next week I think I need to make a double batch of these.
On Wednesday a lot of people left their work early to make it home before the snow trapped them. Husband can luckily walk to work so he was not in any danger of getting trapped in a car. Then on Thursday and Friday a lot of people were either told to work from home or to take the day off. The buses stopped driving and unfortunately grocery stores stopped getting deliveries. So From Thursday until Sunday I had to ration my supply of milk, and husband went to a whole load of shops to find any sort of milk that he could and he found some soy milk. If you don’t know I use a lot of milk in my tea and coffee!!
On Friday I did a small A5 painting because I could do this in my warm lounge. I just covered the dining room table in newspaper to protect it. I painted something inspired by the snowy stormy weather.
On Saturday the restaurant that my knitting group meets at was thankfully open so I attended my knitting group for the first time in ages and it felt great! I really missed seeing my friends there. One of my friends even brought me a Danish type of Dubble Zout (Salty Licorice) for me to try and it was delicious! They were hard which is different from all the chewy ones I have tried but they were super nice. I think that if I got hard ones they might stop me from eating them as fast! I think I eat the chewy ones way too fast.
Then on Sunday Husband and I decided to go for another walk in the snow. This time we walked along the canal.
Now I will insert some funny photos that my friends and husband have been sending to each other of sightings around Edinburgh.
And finally to end off I will share more cozy cat photos of my loves in South Africa.
Wow this week has been quite a week now that I look back on it!
I hope that you have enjoyed the snow vicariously through my photos.
Lots of Love
Today I am going to take you time traveling back to 2017! Crazy I know. 😛 And this encompasses 2 weeks so it may be a bit of a long one.
Friday the 24th was the day that we left Edinburgh. Husband had work that day so we had to have everything ready so that we could rush out once he had got home. We had to catch a train to Glasgow because the airline we were using doing land at Edinburgh Airport.
Unfortunately the train was really full so we had to wait for another one. Then that one didn’t seem to have a proper luggage rack so we had to stand with our bags for the hour trip. Or so we thought. I was getting tired so Husband kindly said he’d look after the bags and I could go and sit down. I sat down near by next to another man, on the disabled seats (which have a lot of space around them) That man noticed that I was chatting to Husband and noticed husband’s bags and kindly offered to move. Because there was so much space around the seats we got to sit and look after our bags. We did get a little bit stressed because the train stopped randomly for about 10 minutes but thankfully it started again and we seemed to be still in good time to make our flights.
One we were in Glasgow we had to catch a bus to the airport.
At the airport we checked in and still had some time to grab some supper.
Then it was time to board the plane…
We boarded fine and then we sat. And waited. A long time! Until eventually the Pilot came over the intercom and said that if we looked out the right side of the plane we might notice a bit of commotion. A plane was backing up to taxi when one of those luggage vehicles had accidentally driven into the plane and knocked one of the engines. Nothing seemed to have happened but it is standard that they have to do a proper inspection. So they called the fire services to be on standby just in case. When the fire services arrived they did not notice that there was ice on the tar and one of the men slipped and he couldn’t get up! So they had to call an ambulance to move the man before they could carry out the inspection and then the plane could move. And this basically shut down the whole airport for a while!
This actually added some extra stress to our journey because we were going to have an hour and a half to make our connection in Dubai but now we only had about 30 or 40 min!
Saturday the 25th we landed in Dubai. While we were taxiing we discovered that the couple in front of us, who were Glaswegian, were also flying to Cape Town. So once we could disembark the plane, the four of us ran like crazy people to make our connecting flight. If we had missed it the airline would have given us seats on another flight since it wasn’t our fault, however the next flight only left in the evening which would have meant that we only got to South Africa on Sunday and we also didn’t fancy spending 8hours in an airport. Thankfully we made it! This flight was easily the best flight I have ever been on. There were so few people that almost everyone found them selves a free row and lay down across them to sleep! Husband and I took turns sleeping in one of the rows. There weren’t quite enough for one each.
We landed in Cape Town in the evening and we went out to supper with Husband’s family. My family were at my Godfather’s 50th birthday party but they came and said hi to us at our house after dinner for a few minutes.
Sunday the 26th we started the day, after sleeping very very well, by going to the Kirstenbosch Christmas Market. We did actually see some lovely things there however we had not acquired South African cash yet and most of the stalls did not accept card.
We then went to my uncle’s house because we were celebrating my cousin’s Birthday with my whole family.
In the evening we went back to my parents house and had our first Braai of our holiday! (That’s a BBQ or grill for you non South Africans). My sister, Zoe (her dog) Husband and I also went for a quick walk on the Alphen Greenbelt since the sun was only setting late.
My sister also made gluten free brownies which were delicious!
Monday 27th we went to the local mall to drop my dress off for dry cleaning. I may not have mentioned before, our main reason for the trip to South Africa was to attend our friend’s wedding. I also bought some red henna hairdye from Lush.
Then Husband dropped me off at my parents house so I could dye my hair and have supper with my parents while he went and had dinner and a chat with his parents.
I also started going through all the stuff I had left behind at my parent’s house because other than books and my dinner service I didn’t want to leave anything this time.
Tuesday 28th we went to Kalkbay with a dear friend. We had brunch at the Olympia Cafe (which was really nice) and then we went for a walk along the coast and down to the harbour.
We then popped to another Mall to get some vaccume pack bags! We knew these would come in handy for all the stuff I wanted to bring back which was mainly clothing.
Unfortunately Husband’s team at work had a deadline so he did have to do some work this holiday. So He then dropped me off at my parents house while he did some work. I did some more sorting out of my stuff.
Wednesday 29th we went to go and visit my Granny who lives in Silvermine. It was really nice to catch up with her and to see her again.
Husband had to work again so we had come in separate cars. So when we left husband went off home and I went with my mom to help her choose a Christmas present for Husband.
In the evening we went to see Husband’s brother. He was moving flats and he needed some help. Then we went for supper with him and his girlfriend. It was super great to catch up with them.
Thursday 30th we went around to a couple of shops looking for potential presents to bring back for our Scottish friends!
Then for dinner we went to Beau Constantia to the Chef’s Warehouse and had the Tappas for 2. It was 8 tasting plates of 3 courses. I can honestly say that that was the best food I have ever had in my life! Every ingredient is carefully thought through to bring out the best in the dish.
Friday 01st December was a terribly exciting day for me. We met up with my Mother-in-Law, (who I know reads this blog, Hi!) and she took us to the Zeitz Museum at the Waterfront. And it totally blew my mind and also inspired me for a series of paintings I am working on. It was also really lovely to spend some time with my Mother-in-Law and catch up with her.
We also had lunch at a lovely restaurant at the Waterfront too!
Then Husband and I went off to pick up friend E from work. He usually takes the train home to Paarl but since we were planning on visiting him there we picked him up instead. The wedding was to be the next day and the wedding venue was near to Paarl so we stayed the night there too.
It was really really lovely, and friends E and J gave us a game called Exploding Kittens as an early Christmas present so we played a few rounds of that. It was really a lot of fun.
Saturday 2nd December we set off to find the place we were renting for the night. The wedding ended late at night and we wanted to rather take an Uber to a close location than have to drive all the way home and not be able to have any alcohol. (We are responsible adults ;)) We also wanted to freshen up and get ready for the Wedding.
The wedding was a Greek Orthodox wedding. I have never been to one before, it was really beautiful. And the bride looked stunning! I didn’t really take many photos of the wedding because I kind of feel like it is a private and special occasion.
Sunday 3rd Husband wanted to sleep in but I didn’t so once we got back to the Southern Suburbs he went back to bed and I went to see my parents.
Pangaea and I were commiserating about the terribly hot weather. It gets much hotter than that in Cape Town but I don’t do well in the heat. My dad started a braai but then left to go to the hardware store so my sister and I “Manned” the braai. I am not very good at it but apparently we did a good job so yay! Husband came in the afternoon and grabbed a bit of the braai food and then we headed off for a walk with his Brother and his brother’s girlfriend. They had picked up their family dogs, and husband and I brought Zoe. So we had 3 energetic black dogs running around.
We also went for dinner with them after dropping the dogs off home.
Then we rushed home and wrapped our presents for my family before we went to go and exchange them with them. I know it is a long way from Christmas but we didn’t want to fly with wrapped gifts in our bags and then have them confiscated by the airline.
Monday 4th, Husband still had MORE work to do so he dropped me at my parents again.
I discovered that Salty’s dreadlocks were getting seriously out of hand. My mom and I tried to cut them but they were too thick and we were worried about cutting her skin.
Today was also the day that Husband’s little sister got to Cape Town. She studies in Pretoria. So Husband collected me from my parent’s house and we met her at our house. She was going to stay with us until we left, she actually stayed in that house after we left. The three of us then headed off to have supper with Husband’s brother and his girlfriend. After dinner they showed me a game called Banana Gram and I loved it!
Tuesday 5th December, Sister, Husband and I went to my parents house and they took us out to see my dad’s new micro-lite. At the time that my dad had bought it he was still learning but now (2018) he actually has just got his micro-lite pilots license! Unfortunately I only have one photo and it’s not very flattering, sorry dad!
We also had lunch at a place called Klein Joostenberg which is fairly nearby. Husband and I discovered that place a number of years ago and we love it. You can sit outside and there are tame chickens that run around and they are soooo floofy!
Then dropped Sister at her parents and Husband and I went out for dinner with some friends. The “guys” all went to school together but they have since been married and I have gotten to know the “girls”. The one couple has recently had their first baby girl, I was hoping that she would be there with us but alas no she stayed home and was being baby sat by family.
Wednesday 6th, now it is not very much a secret any more that I LOVE Spur Waffles. So It would have been a catastrophe for me if we had visited South Africa and not had waffles. So we got up early and husband did a thing very unusual for him, he had Waffles for breakfast with me. He is an English breakfast kind of guy (Eggs and bacon etc) and I am a continental breakfast kind of girl (sweet pastries and fruit). I also had a Latte which came with cream on top!
We then did as much packing as we could. And this was quite a feat as there was a lot of stuff.
We also went and bought all our Christmas presents for our Scottish Friends. Haha I am just thinking about it. I call them our Scottish friends because we met them in Scotland and they live here, but none of them are actually Scottish! 😛
Then we went for dinner with the whole of Husbands family.
Thursday 7th December, Husband and I went and bought an extra bag for flying. We were allowed it by the airline without any extra expense and it turned out that we needed it.
Then we took Sister with us to my parents for lunch and so that Husband could use my parents internet to upload the last of the work he had done. Sister and I made Christmas cards in my mom’s art studio.
Then we took my sister out for dinner! We had promised to take her out for Sushi.
Friday 8th December we packed like crazy people. Our weight limit was 60kg (together) and we were at 61kg!
Then we saw family at the airport.
When we dropped our bags they thankfully didn’t fuss over the 1 kg.
And I shall love and leave you with a photo that my mean husband took of me sleeping on the plane. This is actually the least embarrassing one.
Oh I also want to include something on the Drought. We were definitely sensitive to the Cape Town drought while we were there. We only showered for 2 minutes. When it came to the loo we followed the “if it’s yellow let it mellow”. And I didn’t really wash my hair because that takes me a long time.
At the end of our trip I was breaking out all over and I had a little rash all over. I am pretty sure it is because I was wearing a lot of sun screen ( because I am pale and it was summer) and then not washing it off regularly because of the lack of water.
I have actually decided to go through my back log of posts that I need to do from when I went on holiday to South Africa, but I am doing this post first because it is particularly pertinent now. I don’t want to post it later on when it doesn’t really apply so directly.
Cat photos are at the end so if you clicked on this because of my shameless click baity photo just scroll down. 😛
Now I don’t actually suffer from Separation Anxiety as it is defined.
Separation anxiety disorder (SAD), is an anxiety disorder in which an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment. – Wikipedia
However my husband helps me deal with a lot of my depression and anxiety so when he goes away my anxiety tends to skyrocket. Unfortunately with the job that he has at the moment he has to travel fairly often. Thankfully the company usually flies him back home for the weekends so it is not too long that I have to wait until I see him. It is strange because he can often land up working quite late so even during normal weeks I don’t always see him that much, but just having him around and being able to have breakfast and supper with him helps me so much!
At the moment he is halfway through a 2 week away stint. Thankfully that means that he is coming home this evening and is only leaving again on Sunday. Now I want to talk about how this affects my life.
The one thing is that it makes me not want to do things on the weekends where I don’t see him. This has unfortunately been affecting my attendance to my knitting meet up group. This always occurs on a Saturday afternoon from 2-5 and I just find that I can’t bear to spend that time with others when I could be spending it with my husband who is about to leave for the whole week. This makes me sad because I do really enjoy my knitting group.
Another thing is the way that I take care of myself and the house. When husband is not around I start getting lazy and falling into bad habits like eating instant meals for dinner, not doing the dishes ect. But then the mess / mild malnutrition makes me feel even worse and I start spiraling. Thankfully things don’t tend to get too out of hand but last year Husband had to go away for a whole month and by the end of it I had slipped into a depressive episode again.
This week I did pretty well at cooking for myself and trying to keep up with the housework. Towards the end of yesterday the house was beginning to look like a bit of a bomb site and this morning I just did a massive tidy up / clean. Next week I want to try and schedule in my diary time each day to do the dishes.
I find that writing things down in my diary / making a list means that I am much more likely to do something.
I have also been doing a sort of mental reward system.
So say that I want to play a computer game, then I will tell myself that I can do that if I put the laundry on and pack away the dry laundry. I know that this sounds really childish but it really helps to motivate me to try and be an adult.
I tend to play computer games as a way to escape reality. So if I am sad/lonely/anxious I tend to play an excessive amount of PC games and don’t do anything in real life that needs doing!
Another thing I have done is try to find a balance between pushing myself and being kind to myself. So for example I have recently joined an artist meetup group which meets up during the week in the evening which is perfect for me because it means I don’t feel like I am missing out on Husband time. (he will probably be at home doing work anyway) So this week I had said that I was going to attend but when it came to the day that I had to go I really didn’t want to. I just wanted to stay home in my pajamas and mooch. So I decided I needed to go since I had not seen anyone the whole week and I hadn’t left the house either. How ever because it was making me so anxious I decided that I would only commit to going for an hour. Obviously if I changed my mind once I was there I would stay for the whole time. But I didn’t I just went for an hour and I was really proud of myself.
And that is all I have to say on this topic for now. I’ll try and let you know how next week goes. I can’t wait until we have our own place and we can have pets. I feel like having an animal to keep me company will really help me with the times where my husband is away.
I am sorry that this post has been a lot of text and not much photos. I will leave you with some photos of Salty (who lives with my mom in South Africa.) She recently had to have some dreadlocks cut out so her neck fur is looking a bit moth eaten.
I hope that you have had a good week,
Hello Lovely Readers,
Welcome back again.
To start with we will have a tiny recap on last Saturday…. we went out to a belated Halloween party and only got back home at 4 am on Sunday morning. I can’t remember exactly but I am pretty sure that I only woke up around 1pm on Sunday. Husband went out because he had to fetch his work laptop so he could do a little bit of work. While he was out he sent me these pictures of George Street (in Edinburgh) starting their Christmas preparations.
Then when he got home he surprised me with a Starbucks festive latte and some mini doughnuts! Until very recently there haven’t been Starbucks in South Africa and at the time that I left there were none in Cape Town. So Starbucks drinks have been a bit of a new thing for me. I had always heard about the festive drinks and wanted to try them. Here Husband got us Toffee Nut Latte and Ginger Bread Latte. We kind of shared them a bit to see which one we liked. We don’t usually get them because they are kind of expensive so it was a real treat.
Monday is cleaning day as usual. (I write this every week :P) When Husband got home in the evening we decided to go for a walk to see the progression of lights on George Street.
And on the way home we got our new favourite dessert. Sticky Toffee Pudding! any ice-cream will do but we got this one because I have never had Ben&Jerry’s before.
Tuesday morning I got a nice little Delivery from Redbubble! Okay well I ordered it… but still I was happy to get it. The RB sticker on the left always comes with any redbubble order, different designs but always an RB sticker. And the little doggie on the right is a sticker of Zoe that my sister designed.
The rest of the day I worked on a present which is a surprise for someone so I can’t talk about it or show it.
On Wednesday I designed this festive mug design for the Redbubble Create Holiday Challenge.
Then I went out to look at the 2nd hand stores and a haberdashery store. On the way I noticed that they are setting up the Christmas Market on Prince’s Street.
I didn’t find anything at the 2nd hand stores but I bought some battery operated tea light candles to cheer the house up as it is starting to get dark around 4pm now days. Also we are not allowed anything flammable in our apartment as per the rental agreement.
I also bought a small pack of safety eyes to make a stuffy for a friend but I can’t show it as it is a surprise.
Thursday I don’t actually have any photos for but I went back to the haberdashery store and bought some size 80 tatting thread to make some earrings for my sister which she wants to purchase from me. I’d give them to her for free but she is insisting. 😛
Friday I worked on two presents for two separate people both of which I can’t show. Haha this should have been the week of – I did stuff but I can’t show you. 😛
Saturday husband and I went christmas decoration shopping!! I know it seems a bit early and I am way more excited about this than I ever was in South Africa. But I think that this is because the days are much colder and shorter now. In South Africa the days are getting long and hot. Next year I don’t know if we’ll put the decorations out so early but that will be because we will already have the lights and we can just put those out. But since we bought the lights and decorations together we just put them all out.
A before picture of the space.
I decorated our tree with some crochet ornaments which I made. I was thinking of making some to sell on my Etsy but then I realised that I am going to be traveling from the 24th of November to the 8th of December and I won’t be able to ship things then. I am afraid of shipping later than that because obviously it needs to arrive before Christmas. So there is only a short two week window now, but etsy charges you to list things. So I don’t think that it is worth it. I think I will have to wait until next Christmas. It is weird to think that you have missed your Christmas window in November.
We may land up getting more decorations or doing some other things too but for now this is how it is and we are super happy with it. And the lights make the lounge so cozy.
And finally to say goodbye here is an unusual picture of Zoe and Salty together. My sister sends me updates of the animal because I miss them so much. Zoe and Salty don’t usually like to be so close together.
On Saturday morning I was dozing, so I was only half asleep. I dreamed that I was in Cape Town and I though that I hadn’t petted Salty in a long time. So I woke up with the conviction to go and pet Salty and to my dismay I was not in Cape Town and Salty was no where to be found. I really really can’t wait until we have our own place and we can have a pet again.
That is it for this week. I hope that you had a great week.
Hello again dear Readers,
This last week was a bit different as Husband was away for a business trip. Unfortunately for me he is going to be going away a lot this month of October. Thankfully he does get to come back for the weekends so I don’t get too lonely without him.
So my plan for the week was participate in #Drawlloween on Instagram, knit and watch series. The series I have been watching lately is called Grimm. It is on Netflix. So unfortunately I have not been keeping up well with my Drawlloween. If you have not heard of it before, it is a challenge to follow drawing prompts and draw spooky things for the month of October. I am still going to be drawing along with the prompts when I get the chance but I have already messed up doing it everyday. Last year I managed to do every day of Inktober but clearly I am not in the same space as I was last year.
The knitting went fantastically and I got a lot done.
And as for Grimm… I had to institute a self imposed ban. By Wednesday I was way too hooked, I was not doing the dishes or laundry, I was just watching and knitting and sleeping. I even forgot to eat or drink a couple of times!
So the prompt for Sunday the 1st of October was “Return from the dead”. So I drew a Zombie Kitty Cat, Husband actually helped me with the inspiration for this one. This kitty has 10 lives. 😀
Day 2 was Summon Day. So I drew a cat summoning ritual. In my mom’s house we always give the cats some tuna as a treat, so if they have gone wondering and we want to call them in for the night we bang on the tin of tuna with a spoon and soon enough they will come clambering over the garden wall.
Monday I also landed up staying up till 2am because I was making great head way with my cardigan when I made a mistake. I Kitchenered the shoulders together and sewed up the side seams when I realised that I had attached the left front to the right back and visa versa. This means that the arm hole was where my neck line should be. I only realised when I started picking up the stitches for my neckband and there were way too many. anyway so I had to unsew the sides and unkitchner the shoulders and then redo it all.
Below is a picture from Tuesday morning when they were finally done right.
Unfortunately I have run out of wool for the sleeves so this project is now on hold.
I did not do Tuesday’s drawlloween.
The theme for Wednesday was Pumpkin wicked this way comes.
On Tuesday and Wednesday I worked mostly on my cozy memories blanket and I used one of each of the left overs I have from all my 4ply projects. Time to knit more socks to get more scraps! 😀
I also started watching an amazon Series called Ripper Street. It is set in White Chapel during the time of Jack the Ripper. I do not find it as addictive as Grimm which is a good thing because I can actually get other things done too!
On Thursday I cast on these memory socks from Cape Town. I bought the yarn from South African dyers while I was there with the intent of knitting some socks to remember that time by.
Mean while Husband was up in the Highlands and he sent me some cute sheepie photos.
Husband came back on Friday evening.
On Saturday we decided to go to Prince’s Street Gardens with a small picnic and some books to read and go and soak up some sun. Although I am not a huge fan of Sun or being hot I do acknowledge that Vitamin D is important in combating anxiety and depression.
In the evening Husband cooked us a delicious lamb shank roast! He really is amazing in the kitchen. 😀
Then finally I have some funny pictures of Salty to show you. She has always liked water and liked to be around people when they are having a shower or bath. When she was little she sometimes used to climb into the bath with me!
Here she is just visiting and getting some love from one of my family members. I suppose she is clever because she has you trapped into giving her love.
I hope that you had a good week! And I hope you got lots of kitty or puppy loves where ever you are.
Hello Again readers!
I don’t really have much to say about this week so lets just dive right in.
Monday was not a particularly interesting day and I didn’t even take any photos. I just cleaned the house and did house worky stuff. We did have friends over in the evening though and I got to meet friend I for the first time! Husband, friend R, friend E, and friend I all work together. But friend I was on holiday in another country when I came back to Edinburgh.
Tuesday I was pretty productive. I filmed a notice for my Knitting podcast and I filmed a new episode for my podcast. It is kind of funny, I always get dressed up for filming my podcast but then I never really go anywhere afterwards.
Friend E came over for tea in the afternoon and it was really nice.
Tuesday was a bad day for me. For some reason I woke up really early. I usually wake up between 8 and 9 when husband goes off to work. But I woke up at 4.45am and I was wide awake. I took a blankie and stayed in the lounge because I didn’t want to disturb husband.
As husband was leaving we discovered that I had somehow got shimmer powder on is raincoat! I had discovered that my powder puff the day before had had shimmer on it and it had accidentally got on my face. It must have got on him when I hugged him hello the evening before. Anyway needless to say husband was not very impressed although it was a raincoat so it would probably (and did) wash off when it rained.
Then for some reason I got obsessed with having all my packaging ready so that I can start listing my Etsy pieces. So I decided to go off to the Hobby Craft at Fort Kinnaird once husband went off to work. However when I got onto the bus my card beeped a whole lot and I didn’t really see what it said so I freaked out and got off the bus. Now for you South Africans I will explain the system a little more. I have a special travel card which I pay 54 pounds for every month and then I get unlimited access to the buses and tram for that month. Now for the last few days (5 I think) it beeps more than once when you scan it so that you remember that you need to buy another month soon. I don’t know if it was because I have been away for so long or if I am still not doing that well yet but I just freaked out and decided that it was completely expired and that I couldn’t use the bus (even though it had done it’s normal one beep the day before) and I set off home. And on the way home I decided that in future I’ll just order everything online and I will never have to leave the house again.
A little extreme I know. And obviously I have left the house since then, but I was just not having a very good day.
As I was falling asleep the night before I had had an image flash into my mind so I decided to paint it as a way to try and de-stress.
I told my mom about my bad day and she sent me a cute picture of Pangaea sleeping on her bed.
Then in a further effort to try and cheer myself up I crocheted some bunting for our kitchen window.
In the evening husband came home with a box of chocolates for me and he had clearly forgiven me for the shimmer make-up incident.
Thursday morning my sister sent me some funny pictures of Salty and Zoe both on her bed without her. Usual Salty and Zoe do not really get along but they seem to be tolerating each other better. Zoe is very civil to Salty although she is afraid of her and Salty is very mean to Zoe.
The rest of Thursday was kind of a slow day, I did more house work and I started the drawing for a painting which I decided to paint on Friday.
In the evening husband and I went for a walk along a canal. While we were walking we passed a houseboat which had a kitty on top. I wished I could pet the cat but knew that I couldn’t. We stopped a few meters passed the boat to check directions. When I looked away from the phone I saw Kitty! Right at my feet asking me for love, so I willingly obliged.
Friday was a terrible day! I woke up late and I hadn’t started doing anything productive when Husband messaged to say that our flat inspection is next Tuesday. Oh my word. Cue massive meltdown! Husband and friends tried to reason with me that our flat is always clean and reasonably tidy and that it will take no time on the weekend to spruce things up. But unfortunately my anxiety defies the laws of logic. I had an asthma attack, I was having heart palpitations and when I discovered that I left my “in case of emergency tranquilizers” in South Africa I just lay on the floor and cried for a while. Then Husband probably guessing what was going on (from past experience) suggested I meet him for coffee near his office since it was lunch time anyway.
Getting out the house, doing a bit of walking and seeing husband did me a world of good.
Then my mom sent me tonnes of cat photos to cheer me up.
On Friday afternoon I decided that my meltdown was a sign that I really need to sort out my medical status in the UK. So I went to my husbands medical practice and applied to have a doctor there too. They said that I can make an appointment from Tuesday. Unfortunately things are a little different here than in Z.A. so that is causing me some anxiety too. I only have a 10 min appointment and I am only allowed one problem per appointment so I need to go for 2, one for my mental health and one for my Asthma. And I have to hope that they refer me to a psychiatrist and for counseling. I don’t know if I will get a psychologist or a counselor but I really hope that I will be able to get the support I need here.
Once I was home I cast on a new sweater in an attempt to pretend that my life was not happening.
Saturday was a good day. I am always a lot more calm when husband is around. So we spent most of the day sorting out the flat to make sure it is ready for the inspection. And then in the afternoon I went to my knitting group which was wonderful as always.
In the evening Husband and I started watching Dr Who. I know we are seriously late to the Dr. Who party but it is a lot of fun. And it is weird for me because usually Husband does not like watching series.
So that was my crazy week. Unfortunately it was a bit up and down but hopefully everything will be sorted out by next weekend. I hope that your week was more calm than mine!
I know I skipped last week so I am just going to pretend that that didn’t happen. 😛
Last Friday Husband and I decided late in the evening that we wanted to buy a puzzle to do. So we landed up on an adventure out to HobbyCraft at Fort Kinnaird at 8pm because they only close at 10pm. We got there around 9. We chose a puzzle called the Carpenter’s Cottage.
We just did shopping and we helped a friend look at a flat he was looking at buying. It was a really nice place.
Friend E came over and I did some mending of her clothes for her. It was all pretty easy stuff except for a neckline which was made of a fine stretchy mesh folded over by more stretchy mesh, that took a bit of fussing.
As usual Monday is my cleaning day and so my house got quite a deep clean. It hadn’t be cleaned thoroughly for a while. I mean things like scrubbing the inside of the oven and that sort of thing.
My studio also got an amazing clean. Sigh, it is so nice to be back in my little creative space. I pushed my Laptop backwards so that I could set up my tripod for filming.
Here is my filming set up but I am going to have to play with it a bit more. 1) because I would like to have my tripod set up and also have my monitor on the table. I need my monitor in order to edit my art scans better. Laptops don’t give good colour representation because you can keep changing the angles. and 2) because I keep getting my head in the way!
And for supper I cooked a roast chicken for dinner. Ah, the Roast Chicken story. First of all, all you South African’s take a look at the photo below!
I bet you are thinking what I was thinking when I first unwrapped the chicken. What the heck are those?! I’ll explain. This chicken has shins, or lower leg parts still attached to the drum sticks. The only explanation which I can imagine is as follows: In South Africa there is a market for chicken feet, people buy them and cook them, so in South Africa the lower leg of the chicken is chopped off with the feet and sold that way. Where as, I am guessing here, there is less of a demand for chicken feet in the UK and so their chickens are sold with just the feet removed. My sister told me that she thinks they look like crayfish eyes / eye stalks. I agree.
Anyway so I take this chicken out the fridge and remove the packaging and discover that these leg things are tucked into the carcass of the chicken to make it neat. I gingerly pull them out and immediately get squeamish. (I was vegetarian for 2 years before I had to stop for health reasons) Getting this up close and personal with uncooked meat really freaks me out apparently. Then when I had to rub the butter over the skin I very nearly vomited. This chicken also seems to have a lot more skin than Z.A. chickens and they also left the neck on. Oh and there were some poor little tufty feathers on it.
This chicken has changed my life people. I am not joking, I am going to see if I can cut us down to one meat meal a week and see if my health can stand up to that. At the moment we are doing about 3 vegetarian meals a week.
I continued filming and managed to finish my architectural piece which I was painting.
My mom sent me this cute picture of Salty cuddling her.
Then, having decided that I was going to bake, I went in search of some nice baking trays. We currently only have one really small one that came with the flat. While I was going from shop to shop I saw these pretty pink velvety chairs! But husband pointed out that I already have a studio chair.
And I did find some really nice trays that are the perfect size for our oven! Our Oven is about 36cm squared and these are 34cm squared.
And then the baking bee stung and I baked over 100 cookies. I don’t know why I always do this. I don’t bake for ages and then all of a sudden I bake loads.
In the evening husband and I met friend R out at a restaurant for Taco Tuesday! They ordered something super spicy but I was a sane person and ordered something cheesy 😛
Wednesday was kind of a busy day but I didn’t plan it to be. First of all my prints which I had ordered came in the mail. If I have forgotten to tell you, I am in the process of setting up my Etsy Shop. At the moment there is nothing there because I am still ironing out some kinks.
The print job was perfect. Where you can see colour variation that is where I scanned the picture and then edited it on my laptop instead of on a fixed screen monitor.
Then I decided that I need to do more exercise so I did 45min of Tribal Fusion Belly Dance on my own, which considering I haven’t done it in over a year it was probably a bit much. We are desperately saving for our own place and so I am not that keen to go out and pay for lessons at the moment so I was just practicing what I remember and also doing some drills off Youtube. It is easier for me because I used to do a lot of it so I know how the moves are supposed to go. It’s just building up those muscles again.
After I was done with my dance practice I decided so do a painting of a flower my sister had photographed. It went way quicker than I had expected. It is a peach blossom.
After supper my husband and I went for a nice long walk. He took me on a route he had discovered while I was in South Africa. We took some photos along the way because it was so pretty.
Then at home something horrifying happened. Husband and I were chilling on the couch drinking coffee and chatting about our walk when suddenly I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Picture me pulling my legs up onto the couch quickly and yelling ” *insert husbands name here* ITS A GIANT FUDGING SPIDER!” Except I didn’t say Fudging I said a bad word. Husband is momentarily freaked out until he looks over and sees the actual size of it. And then he proceeds to calmly catch it and remove it for me. He doesn’t like killing spiders so he threw it out the window.
We did out best to identify it and we are pretty sure it’s the Giant House Spider. This one isn’t that big but apparently they can grow really huge and also what makes us even more sure that that is what this is is that it once held the Guinness world record for fastest spider…. and boy was this thing fast! Even husband was a bit unnerved by it’s speed. But thankfully their venom is not fatal to humans or pets and they prefer to escape than to bite.
It took me a really really long time to fall asleep that night. 😦 I am convinced I have a mild form of arachnophobia.
On Thursday I did a quick expressive painting. I quite enjoyed it as I have not worked in this style for a while.
Then I did a little sketch of an Accounticorn for a friend. I might paint this one up and give it to her.
And then I spent the rest of the day editing and uploading the art video which I filmed earlier in the week. You can see it here.
On Friday I did a quick little drawing inspired by the lyrics from a song by a band called Cake. “Sheep go to heaven, Goats go to hell”
My mom sent me more cute photos of Salty invading her art supplies.
And I also started a crochet stuffy / amigurumi for friend E. Friend E and I are pretty much obsessed with unicorns.
Halfway through the first leg I discovered that you stuff it while you make it not all at the end. So I had to leave my cozy home and go in search of stuffing. In the end it turned out cheaper to buy a microfiber pillow for M&S and open it than to buy actual craft microfiber at a craft store!
We had a lazy slow start to the day. Husband was immensely helpful with my Etsy and helped me with the money side of things.
We went for a walk up Corstorphine hill and saw another monument to Scott.
I managed to finish the unicorn!
I love it’s fabulous hair!
Then we took a quick walk through some suburbs that we might consider looking for our own place in. Husband has looked at a lot of the areas before but I was in South Africa and I haven’t seen them yet. It was really nice walking around and discussing the pros and cons of the area. Then at the end of the walk we went to friend E’s house where friend R was meeting us and we made a curry box. Friend R regularly gets these curry boxes. It was a lot of fun, and friend E loved the unicorn!
Well thank you for sticking with me again through another busy week! I hope that you are having a good week and I hope that anyone in the Florida area is busy keeping warm and safe!
Love Diella xoxo
Yuss! some consistency. 2 weeks in a row counts as consistency for me right now. 😛 Overall it was quite a good week this week just a bit of head trouble.
Sunday I kind of covered last week but I forgot to mention that I went a head and broke in my new sketchbook which will be dedicated to just drawing faces from reference.
I decided to start by drawing someone who I like to follow on Instagram called Chouchama. She has a really awesome pastel aesthetic but it also has a little dark side in it.
I am really sorry about the gross watermark I put on my art but I really don’t want it to be used elsewhere on the internet without my permission and I don’t really like doing tiny images.
Monday I started off by drawing my friend from GuildWars 2 (the computer game) Klavdija which if you anglicized it would be Claudia if you were wondering.
Then I got to help my husband book his flight back to South Africa! YAY! I cannot wait to see him again. It has been over 3 months since we last saw each other in person. We Skype obviously.
I also discovered the #1monthmug challenge by Audra Auclair. Audra is an amazing Canadian artist whom I have followed and admired for almost a year now. She is in Instagram, tumbler and Youtube. I don’t go on Tumblr in case you wondered. The rundown of the 1 month Mug is basically a way for artists to improve their portrait or “face” drawing. Here are the steps.
Week 1 – Draw 5 Skulls a day – Study muscles on day 7
Week 2 – Draw 5 different facial features every day
Week 3 – Day 1 : 5 frontal faces
Day 2 : 5 side faces (profile)
Day 3 : 5 3/4 faces
Repeat and on Day 7 work on weakest angle
Week 4 – draw 5 unique angles a day
I would like to stress again that these are not my steps / challenge, this is Audra Auclair’s concept!
In the evening I went to cuddle Salty but she seemed to be in a grumpy mood. Also she seems to have really taken over the 3 seater-couch.
Then I went to my bedroom and found Pangaea there and she was more than happy to give me cuddles.
Tuesday I did my 2nd day of skulls. In the end I found that I more often than not only do 3 not 5 but I decided that any practice is better than none.
Still being in the creative mood I decided to find a portrait on Google and draw it. I was not really happy with how this came out.
My mom’s friend came over and I helped her a bit with her knitting. She was knitting socks and you all know how I love knitting socks. 😀
Then I started to get a headache (mine are muscular and usually caused by stress) so I had a nap with Pangaea. When my headache eased I drew another portrait, this time with the intention of painting it. I was much happier with this one however my headache came back.
I think that maybe stress plus bad posture when I draw is what is giving me my headaches.
I found that I could still use my laptop because I have it set up so that I am not straining at all so that’s what I did. And I don’t know if it was a particularly cold night but she decided to sleep on my lap while I played Diablo 3.
Wednesday I did my skulls and then added colour to my portrait painting. It is much more vibrant in real life. Again I am desperate to get back and use my scanner in Scotland again. Haha.
My sister started her new work / job shadowing that she has to do for 6 months now. So Zoe was following me around a lot.
Salty decided to sleep on top of the puzzle in the lounge!
And my dad left for Yzerfontein. This time my mom stayed down with us and only he went up because he still wants to get his flying lessons in.
Thursday I did my first ever gouache painting with my mom. Well she was there and painting while I was. We didn’t work on the same piece.
I got another headache and Zoe was missing my sister so we napped together on my bed which is a rare treat for Zoe. I don’t usually like dogs in my bed. It is so very infuriating for me to get headaches that might be linked to drawing. I do kind of slouch down over my picture but I don’t know what else to do with myself if I am not doing art. And if I play too much computer games I feel like I am just doing nothing with my life. I am going to try and do pilates stretches more often and maybe go for more walks. Although I do not feel safe enough to go for walks on my own or even with Zoe.
Friday I finished the gouache painting which I had had to leave due to my headache.
At some point in the afternoon the animals decided to give me a heart attack. A cat was screaming so loud that I thought that maybe a dog had bitten a cats leg off. Not our dog biting our cat but neighour A) has a cat and neighbour B) has two dogs and we have 2 cats and a dog and the three groups of animals don’t get on with each other. Anyway so I ran through to the lounge to discover that Salty was sitting on the puzzle/table surveying from a distance and Pangaea was sat in front of the closed sliding door basically nose to nose with the neighbour’s cat Kerrie and screaming her head off. They couldn’t actually get to each other because the door was closed but Pangaea obviously wanted us to know that Kerrie was in our garden, on our stoep and she wasn’t having it.
I walked to the door and opened it, as I did Pangaea ran and hid under the table, while Kerrie ran across the garden, up a tree and back over the wall to her house.
That evening my mom, sister and I went to Canal Walk to meet my dad there for supper. Canal walk is kind of midway between our house and Yzerfontein and evidently my father had been missing us.
While I was there I made a bit of a bad purchase. I purchased the below phone stylus.
I honestly didn’t notice the fat stylus part at the top end of the pen and so I thought that there was a mini stylus on the bottom which would be good for writing with / drawing with on a smartphone. I don’t know why I thought that. Anyway so it was not a thin stylus but a fat stylus and an actual ink pen. I felt a bit stupid and a bit annoyed after that. (Lovely husband dear has ordered me something off the internet which is more to what I want)
Then all four of us went back home. My dad had suggested movies and then he would go back to Yzerfontein but there was nothing we wanted to watch and I wanted to spend more meaningful time with my family. So we drove home and had coffee and chatted and he went back to Yzerfontein from there. While the family was in the lounge Salty decided to chill in the puzzle box on top of the puzzle.
Saturday I was getting kind of tired of drawing skulls over and over so I copied some medical diagrams to familiarize my mind with the different sections of the skull. I don’t know the names but it helps me draw the shapes of the head better.
In the afternoon a friend and I took our dogs walking and they really had a lot of fun. We did too 😛
Zoe made a little bit of a mistake. So being a dog I guess she didn’t realise that the rain had filled up the river a bit more. So instead of being about 18cm deep it was now about half a meter (ish) deep. So she just jumped in as usual but instead of a little splash we just heard “plop” and then another “plop” as one of the other dogs followed her. She can swim fine and the water wasn’t flowing so I wasn’t worried about her… I was just laughing at her very surprised wet face.
In the evening my parents wanted to watch series. I don’t usually watch with them but they were starting something new so I chose Grimm…. and we are LOVING it! It is hilarious for me as my father jumps at all the jump scares, and he is a big guy! Not fat, I mean tall and big. so the whole couch moves when he jumps. Now I just want to watch more but I have to wait for my parents to be watching too.
Sunday I finally wore my finished Umbria jersey for the first time! I absolutely love it. It has turned out perfect.
I did my facial muscle study and then my friend came over to watch movies. We watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Repomen. Good grief I had forgotten how sad Repomen is. Anyway while we did that I did a painting of a skull as a final homage to my week of drawing skulls.
Other Bits and bobs:
Visa… I still have heard nothing. I have been given no updates and there have been no responses made to my emails or phone calls.
1monthmug … I will probably film a short flip through of my drawings so far and then post that onto youtube.
I hope that you are all keeping well and enjoying knitting, painting, drawing, or what ever it is you love to do.