Out and About

What I do when I’m not Arting…..




weekend sport










flogging the Thermomix






school art show


entertaining friends



Yep, pretty much what the rest of us mere mortals do over the course of a week or 2. Hence the importance of getting into my art supplies. Without it, there’d be no balance in my life. Everything is skewed to the needs of family which leaves precious little time to create.

So come scratch out some time to join me on Saturday 22 November for The Joy Tree art class.

All details in THIS POST.

Hope you can join me. It’ll be a lot of fun and a great little escape….and we ALL need that!

xx Giovanna


A.W.O.L. Explained!

Sometimes I use my Art to escape and while that can be a good thing most of the time and if you have a relatively normal life – there is absolutely no problem with that at all!

However, I do NOT have a normal life.

When the pressure builds I can generally cope, but since my car accident last April I find myself more and more unable to shoulder all my responsibilities. Coupled with my chronic Perfectionism and you have a wonderful, heady cocktail of anxiety and moodiness! I turn into Mrs Cranky-Pants and neglect all the things I should be more pedantic about.

Finally this month, I decided to take some time out – visit my Naturopath and my GP and order a barrage of testing. My weight is now how it was when I was 9mths pregnant – and that’s not good when you are neither pregnant, nor under 160cm. I was losing all strength and energy and feeling very manic. I know I need to be 7kg lighter but it’s not my diet that’s the issue, so off to have scans and x-rays and blood tests to rule out every possible nasty. That’s my mission next week!

I also made a few huuuge life-saving decisions. Firstly I plucked up the courage to take my 8year old son (who is severely autistic) to have a big blood test. We needed him to be sedated because he is too strong for me now to hold down, he is not a compliant munchkin and can’t be bribed, so sedate him we did. His biochemistry is different to you or I, so I was so fearful that things would go oh-so badly, he would react terribly to the medication and then it would un-do all the sacrifices and hard work I’ve put into his recovery the last 6 years! So you can imagine my hesitation. I did NOT want to go back there, to that dark, isolating world when you first get the diagnosis and your trapped child is tearing your house and your family apart.

me & my boy

But we did the test Monday at the Children’s Hospital Emergency Department, and I’m happy to say it all went well. Initial results show he is doing well – but we all know it’s my dedication to his recovery that deserves the credit here LOL.

I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have it done and have no side effects to worry about. We have a baseline to move forward and that can only be GOOD! My mood is better and I “feel” healthier. My abdomen is smaller today – I only look 6mths pregnant LOL.

So, back to what I love to do and keeps me sane – MY ART!

messy bits and pieces

I have scribbled the last few weeks and loved it but felt frustrated that I couldn’t get studio time – “me” time. It would be nice if everyone worked in compartments. That I could put all my personal issues into a little box and then turn around and be a creative, professional, inspiring genius. I envy those who make time for it all. What I don’t like is comments about how those who drop out of view for a while are considered “has-beens” or “failures”.

Do you recall the days before social media? An artist could create in peace and not have to “be seen” constantly, for fear of the “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” curse, and you just turned up for their twice-yearly exhibitions. (Apologies for the number of inverted commas…..poor writing, I agree!) I feel like I want people to LIKE me too much and have lost sight of actually just doing it – the very thing they LIKEd me for in the first place!
And so I have…..

new ideas and new orders in progress!

I’ve realised, as I always have, that being PRODUCTIVE is the magic tonic in my life.

I hope you find your magic tonic but not have to go through a whole year of pain to get there!


2012: WORD UP!

Towards the end of each year I begin to plan the next. My birthday is 27th December and while others are nursing hangovers and distended bellies from Christmas, and perhaps planning seeing in the New Year, I’m huddled in my Cave, contemplating my life.
Caves of Hercules near Tanger, Morocco
Honestly, 2011 was so good and so horrible in so many ways. I thought about a Retrospective Post, began writing it, and then was soooooooooo bored with my life last year, decided to trash it. Retrospectives are great for some, but not this little black sheep, and not this year.

Resolutions? Again, fine for some but not me. I love lists. I’m a manic list maker! I even have categories for my lists *sigh* but resolutions are a whole new psychological nightmare. No Resolutions.
random list <3

So many years ago I discovered the ONE LITTLE WORD concept. Ali Edwards is one Mumma I admire. I’ve learned so much from her about organising my life and family and keeping personal stuff well, personal. She suits my style of sharing without revealing (digging the semantics yet?) Her OLW concept struck a chord with me and many, many others around the world and inspired a challenge blog (since finished). It’s a blueprint for how you can still have focus in your life without the need for a “To Do..” list.


riSe agAinSt tHe wiNd !rise
I felt that feedback the last few months has culminated in this word. The need to rise to the occasion, to rise early, to rise from the deep, to grow, to rise and shine, to be a light, to find my inner light and to rise and be the real me.

This word has already weaved its magic and is bearing fruit. I see my colleagues also reaping the benefits of hard work in 2011, despite a year of challenges and hardship. I am proud of our family’s resilience and our need to constantly re-evaluate our position in life. To say I am looking forward to this year’s opportunities and experiences is an understatement.
feliz 2012!

FEBRUARY – Brisbane Papercrafts Festival – teaching 3 workshops – wow
MARCH – Art-is-You, Sydney : brilliant opportunity! This is my “professional development” sabbatical of sorts. Total immersion and total liberation. (Sadly AIYS has been postponed until 2013, but another opportunity has presented itself – we shall see!)
MAY – Lake Macquarie. A chance to relax and unwind at a “scrapbooking” retreat, but my roommate is also a mad keen artiste so we’ll be in a noisy corner somewhere!
AUGUST – An opportunity to make more art at home following the “Birthday Season”. Perhaps another Collection.

Woven within all this is the continual doodling, painting, spraying, educating and general playing with all things arty and mixed media. It’s been a huge adjustment from the scrapbooking world of monthly challenges and deadlines and product releases and the removal of myself from that comfortable environment. I have struggled with being once again a Little Fish in a Big Pond – this time in the land of Mixed Media. It’s exciting and terrifying and I’m learning a lot about myself and the Brave New World I’ve leapt into (not drawing any parallels to Aldous Huxley’s awesomely creepy novel).

So I leave you with this question:

If you had nothing to fear, had a fab safety net to take the leap, and could rise and soar as far as you could go, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?