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Steps to healing and solastalgia.

It's quite amazing how your inner landscape changes after abuse and trauma.  Things that never used to bother me, or never even entered my awareness are now triggers sending off anxiety responses and distress.  The intensity of these varies and even though I am aware of them and have good protective strategies in place, frequently they go where they want to go as happens in trauma response.  Your hypothalamus hijacks your brain and off goes your heart rate, blood pressure, cognitive function etc.  If ever you find yourself in the company of someone with severe anxiety or experiencing a traumatic trigger please don't expect them to snap out of it or just get over it, the healing process doesn't work like that. They are not being dramatic or silly, nor is it something they have control over.  Be patient, help them to ease their anxiety and fear by using their senses.  Smelling the smells around them, feeling the breeze on their skin. Noticing the texture of their shirt, the …
Recent posts

Remembering Tree Day

Since my niece and three nephews were very small we have held Tree Day at the beginning of December each year.  On this day I gift the children with their first Christmas present - a new decoration for the tree, then we decorate. As I had hoped it is something that the children have come to love dearly and to look forward to. Even though the two oldest are in their teens they still LOVE it.
I began Tree Day when there were only two little cousins who decorated the tree only as high as they could reach and we pretty much left it like that.  Each year the tree has been decorated higher and higher. 
There are four cousins now and two tower over me they've grown so much and I'm happy to say that the tree is decorated right to the top these days. Our red head gets his license this year and is such a beautiful calm soul.  Miss R turns 15 this year and is such a sweet heart.  Both she and her brother are on the Autism Spectrum as well as having other difficulties so both are in the sp…

Changing Landscapes

Your landscapes can change in a heartbeat. Mine did. Just over three years ago I discovered that my husband was having an affair with a work colleague....and then he left.  He didn't leave cleanly or kindly.  By the time his prolonged and chaotic departure was complete my landscape was a post nuclear waste zone and I had been smashed into a million pieces. To this day I am still trying to fit back together in some healthy way.

As a result of the situation and the destructive behaviour I was exposed to, I was eventually diagnosed with major depression and complex PTSD.  Depression is a strange landscape where you feel nothing and no longer have any connections to anything.  You feel completely disconnected from the people and things that you once loved and that gave you joy. It was an interesting state to observe and experience, but not a place you want to stay in.

Needing to find a way to support myself and my illness riddled body I looked for a new career away from teaching that wa…

A Morning Out

I was off in search of concrete cleaner today and decided to visit the Bunnings at Caloundra so I could swing by the beach and take in the view.
 This is Pumicestone Passage at Golden Beach, Caloundra.  The land in the distance is the top end of Bribie Island.
 It was so still and perfect today.  A very gentle breeze and the temperature in the shade was just perfect.
 I remember a huge container ship - the Anro Asia - running aground on the end of Bribie when we were kids.  Mum and Dad took us down to Caloundra to see it while eating a treat of fish and chips from Bullcock Beach.  It seemed that half of our hinterland community had the same idea that night and I remember playing with many of our school mates on the beach with a giant ship just off shore.
 I wandered along through the parks for awile and then sat in the shade of a tree just watching the world go by for awhile.  I could have stayed all day but unfortunately had to make tracks to the hardware - which was crazy busy I have t…

Afternoon light.

As I came in from working in my garden this afternoon, the light was catching my geranium at the front door.  What can I say, small things make me happy!
 I got out my little sketchbook and made marks again today.  I'm using my copic markers and admit to either being too lazy to change the thickness of the nib or forgetting to do so..... All done with a 0.3.  Here is today's somewhat eclectic effort.
Yesterday's with added colour.  I ended up using felt pens as I wanted to do it while watching tv in the living room.  Pens are more conducive to that than watercolour.  I think I preferred this page without colour.  What do you think?

I've been back in the studio....

Over the past weeks I've been getting myself back into the studio.  At first I would just walk in there and look around. Perhaps open the windows and doors. Then I started to do a bit of decluttering here, some cleaning there, some rearranging somewhere else.  Short, sporadic little visits.

Then suddenly, without fanfare or planning I found myself in the studio painting some days ago.  I wanted to paint birthday gifts for some special girls in my life who celebrated their birthday over the weekend.  I had been mulling the idea over for awhile and rather agonised over the 'perfect' quote for each one.  They are twins and similar but I wanted the artworks to be personal and celebrating their indivual characters and spirits.

Miss Jade is unique and wild and lives life outside the lines. She is also vibrant and beautiful and fragile and delicate while being resilient.  So for her, I had to do a hodgepodge of wildflowers.  I notice I inadvertantly photographed the front of my bla…

A Day out With Mum

Today I took my Mum out for a belated Mother's Day jaunt.  We started our day in search of plants for her garden so headed up to Buderim to Manawhee Plant Nursery.


There were a great many plants that we were interested in but none that suited Mum's specific purpose unfotunately so we left empty handed.  I was sorely tempted by the herbs but held myself together.  We've had tradies working on replacing all of our gutters (130m in all) this week so my money has been spent elsewhere....

From the nursery we headed off to have morning tea at my friend Jodi's.  We've been friends since we were children and Jodi considers Mum to be her second mum.  We had a lovely visit and enjoyed tea and snacks on Jodi's lovely verandah - sorry was so busy chatting I forgot to take photos!

Our next stop was the latest Endeavour Prize home at Maleny.  It was very busy both in Maleny and out at the prize home.  I really liked this house.  It is in traditional Queenslander style as was th…