My First Adventure into Exhibiting Art

Hello again friends,

Second time this week! Hi-five!
This week it is just as the title says.

Last year I decided that I wanted to join an art society so that I could grow more as an artist. So at the beginning of this year I joined Visual Art Scotland aka VAS. Then on the day that I joined (sometime very early January) I discovered that they were holding an open exhibition where anyone one who is one of their members can exhibit art for free. The submission date was the 21st January so I got my hustle on and started painting like crazy!

At first I didn’t tell anyone about it because I didn’t want something to go wrong and then I couldn’t exhibit and then I looked like a liar.
I did three paintings in total. The requirements for submission were 1-3 paintings that fit into a 30cm x 30cm mounting. And they will be for sale and you can price it anything up to 250 pounds but they do take a percentage.

I did 2 acrylic paint paintings and 1 watercolour.


from instagram
Unfortunately I forgot to scan this piece before we mounted it.


My wonderful husband mounted my pictures for me. We could not find 30 x 30 mounts so we had to cut our own out of mounting board and my husband is much better at measuring exact things and cutting them out exactly! I always manage to mess it up by a couple of mm.

I am super excited about this. We went to the exhibition opening night on the 28th of January, it was just the artists and their friends and family. It was so exciting to see all the amazing art there. There were loads of beautiful pieces and some very strange ones which really stood out in my mind.

The one was a man who was walking around in just his boxer shorts and he was carrying a chair. He just walked slowly with purpose, weaving in and out of the crowd not interacting with anyone. He also had a very interesting physique. He was short and incredibly muscular but he also had very saggy skin as though he had lost a lot of weight at some point in his life.

The other was a whole bunch of paintings of faces in black and white, they looked like very old photographs that had been cut out so it was just the face and they were on long poles so that they cascaded down from the top of the ceiling to just above head height. There were about 4 or 5 rows if I remember correctly. Anyway so I was looking at them thinking they were really interesting when I realised the one had a body! So I pointed out to my Husband and our friend R, and said look that one is a person standing on a chair with their face painted. So Husband said no that’s a mannequin… and then it blinked!! It was a man standing there!! He also was not interacting with anyone, just standing very sill on that chair. So now I am wondering if he stands there everyday or if it was just for the opening night. Does he go to the loo? Does he take a break to eat?

I have no idea if anything has sold or not. I don’t know if or how they will notify me but I guess I just won’t receive them back at the end in March if they have sold. Just in case any one is interested I have scanned the Octopus Lady who my mother named Octavia, and also the eye. So once the exhibition is over I will be uploading that to my Redbubble so you can buy prints on merchandise, and I may list some prints on Etsy if any one is interested.

Wow this post landed up much more wordy than I thought it would!
I hope that you have had a lovely week and that you have a wonderful Weekend,

Love Diella

First Etsy Listings

Hello everyone! I am so excited and quite nervous too… because I have just taken the plunge and put up some Etsy Listings for prints of my art! You can find my shop here.

Botanical Illustration of a Eucalyptus leaf I found in South Africa
Pixie Punk
Pink Rose Bud

All of these are prints of my original watercolour illustrations.
They are giclee prints which means that they are printed with archival quality inks on archival quality paper. If you don’t know what means, basically they should last a long time. However I would still advise that you try to keep them out of direct sunlight.

Thanks for reading and thank you if you go and check them out.

The Week of the Paintings

Hello Again,

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.

Unfinished crochet blanket makes another appearance

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.

The Original is on the Right
The Original is on the Right
The Original is on the Right
The Original is on the Left
The Original is on the Right

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.IMG-20170907-WA0007

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!


The card above was my welcome home card from friend E.

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

A little bit of sewing and a lot of painting

Hello lovelies,

Thank you for baring with me for such a long time! I am sorry that I had to stop but it really was good for me. I also stopped my knitting podcast. I have been feeling an urge to post here again however I have not had the inclination to start podcasting again.  To be honest I have been feeling more of the art urge while in Z.A. than the knitting urge. I have still been knitting but at my own slow pace. I wonder whether I will go back to knitting more when I go back to the UK or not. I am wondering if  I should make a new youtube as a combined thing, like just update my current art one, or if I should leave the knitting and the art separate. It is quite a lot of work to maintain two separate accounts.

Anyway! You are not here to listen to my internal monologue!!

Sunday the 16th of July

I have been doing a lot of watercolour paintings!

Lady with flowers

I decided that when I paint flowers I always paint roses because I find them quite easy so below you can find my practice with other flowers. and Some cute kitties at the bottom

Flower practice

And it has finally gotten quite chilly here in Cape Town if I do say so myself!


That blanket actually belongs to my mother but I have officially claimed it for while I am here.

Monday 17th

I am considering doing some custom pet portraits so this week I started practicing. Here is a cute little pug puppy.

Pug !

And I also picked up this knit again after about 2 weeks. I have been knitting it out of a cotton and bamboo blend. It is all knit in the round, which means no purling, which mean it is going pretty quickly for me.

Can you spot Salty in the glare?



Tuesday 18th

The pet I painted today was Zoe! You can see the picture and the reference picture together on my instagram.


I have been wanting to put more effort into selling art on my etsy store but I decided that people find xYOOPx a bit of a mouthful and it may be scaring some people off. So I have changed it to Diella Taylor. At the moment the shop is in holiday mode because I can’t feasibly ship anything out of South Africa. the post is either too expensive or too dodgy. All that to say that I designed a logo for my Shop.


Then after all that was done I went back to knitting my Umbria top.


Excuse the dirty mirror. In this picture the top is not finished as it gets a longer part at the back. But the front was finished.  As an aside just after I took this picture my button popped off my jeans. I have 2 pairs of jeans here in Z.A. and the other pair has developed a hole. This will be pertinent shortly.

Wednesday 19th

My mother woke me up early and asked if I wanted to go and visit my gran with her. My mom usually takes her to do her shopping as she no longer drives, and my mom offered to buy me some new jeans! Yay. See told you it was pertinent. We found some jeans, and a surprise top but we also wanted to get some boots. After dropping my gran back at home we went to another mall.

We stopped at Primi Piati first and had some lunch. We both got a greek salad and we got a board of rosemary and salt foccacia to share.


Then I found some boots!  Yay. They are real leather and they were on sale for R1100 😀


I also found some boots which looked like they would be good for walking in, because in Edinburgh we walk around the city a lot. But they were not in black… and they were a tad too expensive.


A quick picture of me wearing all 3 items 😀 Excuse the messy room.


My parents left for their holiday house in the afternoon which is unusual because they usually don’t leave on a Wednesday.

And in the evening Salty decided to entertain us by trying to sit in boxes that were way too small.


Thursday 20th

My dad has been getting micro-lite flying lessons so my mom sent us some pictures in the morning. My dad is in the front looking very serious.


We had a bit of a scary experience. My sister was having a friend stay with us but that friend starts work early so I gave her a lift down to the train at 5.50am. My sister came with, in fact she drove because she is still learning and there are pretty much no other cars at that time. Then about 3 hours later at 9 my sister opened the front door and discovered a foot print outside out security gate! My sister was wearing shoes with the same tread, but they are very common shoes. It had been very wet and rainy but can a print last 3 hours? Well to be honest people have jumped over our front wall before and our gates and burglar bars are very secure and always locked so I wasn’t that worried but it was a little unnerving. Also the dog had been barking that morning but she ran into the back garden so we guessed it was just the neighbors cat.


This day I painted our kitty Pangaea. The original photo was taken by my sister.


In the evening we went to the Spur to see one of my sister’s friends who is going back to the Northern Cape. We were quite early so I quickly went to have my acrylic overlay soaked off at Sorbet. And that is a whole other story. Long story short, two weeks ago I got an acrylic overlay because I thought it would help protect my usual fragile nails… big mistake. I have been regretting it ever since.


I took a picture of my waffle because my sister’s friends child said the cutest thing. When they arrived she said “Cake!” and we said no it’s not cake. So she said “Pizza!”. Haha that is the best name for it ever. Cake Pizza. Also here’s a little secret I am going to share with you. Spur make THE BEST Waffles. Okay they don’t really have variety. You get classic or you get bar-one sauce. But the bar-one sauce one is R40 for a full and … less for a half. and the waffle is not defrosted, it is made on site. It is not tough and chewy but not too thick. The ice-cream is real creamy ice-cream not icy vegetable fat, and the sauce is real chocolate too not a syrup. I have had waffles at many places in Cape Town, even from fancy waffle shops with only sell waffles and say that they are proper Belgian waffles… Nope. Spur wins hands down!

So when I got home I decided that I had to cut my nails because they were now super duper thin from all the soaking in acetone and then buffing. My nails are usually a little bendy but not this bendy. My pinkie nail felt like paper.


Friday 21st

Today was not a good day. First I did a drawing which I liked. and then I inked it with one of my new pens without checking that it was waterproof. I only checked it after and it’s not. 😦 I didn’t ruin the picture but I can’t paint it now.


I then did another painting which went really well, and then I decided to do the lines after the paint. And I was like hmmm I’ll try doing the lines with a brush and ink instead of a pen. And I messed it up big time. So I wasn’t in a good mood.

I discovered that my one nail has cracked on the top from being so brittle.


AND THEN! as if this all wasn’t enough. I was trying to use the visa website and I discovered that it is completely broken. I was getting display errors on Sunday so I sent in a complaint form. They had not responded to or acknowledged the complaint form. then today I tried to purchase the sms notification and discovered that that does not work any more, leading me to believe that their entire website is not working. This was made worse by the fact that the website is run by a separate company… but there is no way to contact that company other than through their complaint form… which as I said is broken. :< I will admit that I had a good sob.

So in the end my sister and I went out for some good old retail therapy. To be honest that is not usually my kind of thing, but we went to the art store so that I could get a new sketch book in which to practice drawing faces. (I always draw front facing female faces)

Then we went and bought a 1000 piece puzzle! Her boyfriend is also in the UK so we both need distracting.


Saturday 22nd

Saturday was a pretty mellow day. I played some computer games. My parents came home. I helped lift my sister’s friend back to her res which had reopened.
And in the evening my dad and I went out for waffles. (Again I know!) This time I only had a half one but the waiter brought me some extra astros! He said that it was because I am a spur baby. My dad had told him that I had been coming to spur since I was a baby and that when I was four I pointed to s big sign which said “Spur Secret Tribe” and asked why it’s a secret if it’s a giant sign?


Sunday 23rd

And last but not least on Sunday I fixed a dress that I had sewn previously. This dress is about 2 years old now but I always found that when I wore it, it dug under my armpits. I have since found that when ever I sew a dress from a pattern I need to make the arm holes bigger. I have really big shoulders! Anyway fortunately I still had some scraps of the material floating around so I scooped out the arm holes and then added a bias binding around the raw edges.


I am a little out of practice at this so I hope that it is still okay.
I hope that you have all been well during my extended absence.

Lots of love Diella ❤