Category Archives: Change

New Home

These last few weeks I have been packing and unpacking. We have moved from Wimbledon to the Isle of Wight. I find moving horrible and that is why we lived in our last place for nearly 4 years because I hate moving. I don’t mind the change, it is physically packing and moving that I don’t like. I had a stress rash for over a fortnight in the wake of moving day. Our new home is great. I am so grateful for being able to move here.

In our new home I am grateful for – the house has it’s own front door, we have a garden, the oven has two shelves, we have a front-room that is just a front-room (not a kitchen, dining room or my studio), I have my own studio/office room, my husband has his own space, we have a kitchen diner that I can spin around in and no doubt dance around in, we have a washing line, and the most important thing we are near our family.

We arrived back on the Isle of Wight over two weeks ago. We have been unpacking, setting up, making furniture and generally deciding where to put things. Already my Dad has been round fixing things and discussing drills with K. It felt like home as soon as we moved in and we are both happy there.

Office/Studio space

Creating new habits

I find it hard to start and keep new habits. It is east to break good habits but starting ‘good’ habits is difficult. I gave up chewing gum on the winter solstice, must days after lunch I would still like a piece but instead I have a mint that doesn’t contain all the yucky chemicals that are in chewing gum. At the beginning of the year in the Apothecary Circle we did a water challenge. One thing involved was doing a morning flush; drinking down a big glass of water before anything else, sometimes I take it with a slice of lemon and always slightly warm water. I have continued this habit for over four months and I can’t see a reasons to stop. 
A section of my latest painting in progress
My most recent habit is getting up at 6am and being creative for an hour. I have found it works best if I think about what I am going to do the night before and have stuff out and ready, so I can just start and not have to think about what it is I am going to do. I have joined Leo Babauta at Zen Habits Sea Change programme. The best way to start a new habit is to have a trigger. The trigger for drinking my daily flush is getting up and putting the kettle on. The trigger for being creative is making a cup of tea and sitting at my desk. I think the idea of a trigger is a really good idea to form habits. Another trigger I have is when I am waiting for someone I get out my sketchbook and have a doodle. It relaxes me and makes waiting less of a pain.    

Sacred Space (part 2)

The next part of sacred space involved removing unwanted chemicals from your daily routine. I have already swapped my regular surface cleaner for one that I make myself. Here is the recipe –

1 teaspoon borax

500ml of warm water

2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar

½ teaspoon natural liquid dishwashing soap

10 drops lavender EO

5 drops rosemary EO

Combine the borax and the water in a spray bottle shake well. Then add all other ingredients, shake again. Spray on the countertops and wipe clean with a cloth. This recipe I use came from the following book ‘1001 Natural Remedies’ by Laurel Vukovi  

I love the smell of the lavender, It makes it a pleasure to use. I would also really like to try these soap nuts for our washing. I have stopped using shampoo to wash my hair and now use Bicarbonate of soda. I make the Bicarb into a paste and rub it into my hair, rinse with warm water and then a rinse of ACV and one more rinse of warm water. I have found that my curls are more defined apart from my grey streak at the front that has a mind of its own! I am planning on making face cream and body lotion, I have not looked for a recipe yet but I am sure if I ask over at the AC one of the members would suggest a good recipe, there may already be something listed. There are a lot of recipes being shared from lip-balm to dishwashing soap. It is a great place to pick up tips and ideas. I am so grateful for being part of the AC.  


The latest thing that has come about is ClicktoTweet. So if you have Twitter and a blog and you want your followers to Tweet easier about your products and services you can now use a service called ClicktoTweet you can find this service here.

– Testing out clicktoTweet thanks to @AbsoluteAlicia! Loving how easy it is to share. @C_Skillen.

If you have a Twitter account test out how easy it is to use and share my link. Thank you.

Creative goddess online course

I am taking part in the Leonie Dawson Creative Goddess online course. It started at the beginning of April. I was attracted to it as the description sounded just perfect; to get me motivated and inspire me into action and I really want to change how I act and feel about creating art. I am very happy and excited to be taking part in the Creative Goddess Course. It is a six weeks course and typical me I am running behind schedule… I have yet to finish week one and we are already at the end of week three! The course involves meditations, creation and reflection. The first weeks task was to go on a walk and collect things that you are guided to. Then create a painting with your findings incorporated into the piece. I have to confess I didn’t like the idea of sticking things on to my canvas! I found seven feathers on my walk; I didn’t stick them onto my canvas straight away I used my Gelli plate to take monoprints of the feathers that I had found. Here are the prints that I made, I love how much detail is picked up.

I am going to cut these prints up at some stage and use it on the canvas. While I had my Gelli plate out I used it directly onto the canvas. The Gelli plate is so responsive that it picked up the textures from the painting and the canvas itself. 

It was such a beautiful morning while on the walk I also took photos of things that captured my eye, from these photos I developed a series of patterns. 

The photo below is of a wooden fence, I loved how the light giving it contrast.

These are the patterns that I developed from the photograph above, I really like the colours and the various patterns that I have made. I am going to print out my favourites and include them in my painting.I have been meaning to print off some of my patterns for a while now so I am glad that I have finally be given a reason to print them.

I will post more patterns and some photos of my canvas soon.


A while back I added social media buttons to my blog. I know every blog has them but mine didn’t and I wanted them. So I made my own. I followed these instruction from Projects Around the House and I downloaded the social media icons from Pixeden. I made the buttons in Picmonkey a photo editing application. It is free but you can upgrade to a package that has more filters, boarders and other cool stuff. I was really proud of myself that I made these buttons and I think they turned out rather well. I did learn that it is a good idea to make all the buttons that you need at the same time as it can be difficult to find the same colours, I learnt the hard way and made one of my buttons at a later date and it was a bit tricky to match the colour. I was really impressed with the Picmoney  application that I used to make the buttons, it is free but you can upgrade. While I was taking the time making the buttons I thought I would also follow these seven useful tips from Momcomm.

1. Overall Design Too Wide – I adjusted mine accordingly and now my banner fits just right.
2. Light-colored Links – I have tried to adjust the colours of the links but I just can’t seem to change it.
4. Sharing Buttons – Oh dear I did try and add sharing buttons but it didn’t work either, so just using the standard Blogger ones.
5. Graphic Elements that Look Clickable (but Aren’t)- I am working on this and if I use images I do try and remember to use links.
6. Hard to Find Contact Info – I now have an email button, click it and it automatically opens an email to me.
7. Cluttered Sidebar – I only now have a sidebar on the right rather than the left and right.


My Word of Intention for 2013

I have never had a word of intention for the year before, but I think the universe wants me to have one or it thinks I need one. Three things have lead me to having a word for 2013. The first was the workbook from Susannah Conway this is a really useful workbook and helps you to say goodbye to 2012 and gives you focus for the following year. It took longer to fill out than expected but I enjoyed the process. I was then introduced to ‘2013 Creating Your Incredible Year’ by Marissa at Moondaugter this workbook looked interesting and inspiring, it didn’t take me that long to decide to purchase it. What it’s about – ‘The 2013 Create Your Incredible Year workbook, planner & calendar is an incredibly popular & useful tool to help you plan out & make happen your most incredible year in life or business (or both!). Over the last four years, thousands of women have used this workbook with the most amazing results. It’s the best planning tool available to help you make your year your most exceptional yet! Used by entrepreneurs, artists, mamas, creatives, coaches, teachers and women of all ages, the Creating Your Incredible Year workbooks are filled with dozens of pages of powerful worksheets & a printable calendar to help you create your amazing new year’. I have worked though most of it and it is more in depth than the first one and takes that much longer but I think it is worth it. It is also a bit of work in progress at the moment as there are parts of it I need to revisit.

The third thing that spurred me on to get a word for the year was the course that I am taking, The Apothecary Circle run by the lovely Laura Emily. It is a full year of holistic living while earning a certificate in keeping a home apothecary. Here is what it’s about- ‘learn how to craft up your own herbal remedies, how to replace your medicine cabinet with fresh, gorgeous food, develop a foundation for abundant and vibrant health by engaging in our monthly group challenges- dive into a buffet of ecourses and workshops read up on weekly lessons, monthly tutorials and be surrounded by a gorgeous and thriving community of women, all desiring to weave some earth medicine into their own lives. And if you feel called to, use your time in the apothecary circle to apply towards an accredited course to become a certified Holistic Coach, and more.’ Wow I am going to be busy this year….

With all that said, my word for the year was ‘change’ until on my journey back to London last week when my word changed! It is now ‘BELIEVE’…I was the passenger in our car while Kris drove us home after spending 6 days on the Isle of Wight with family. Not feeling too great, I was drifting/meditating and the word believe was brought to my attention, it just popped into my mind. It feels so right and special. So that is how I have a word for the year. 

Out with the old in with the new…

I decided at the end of last year that for the beginning of 2013 I would have a new blog. I feel as if I have outgrown Tumblr and I want to do more with my blog than what Tumblr can offer. So here it is, it is a few days late as I came down with a stinky cold at the beginning of the week, so I spent New Years Eve and Day in bed. I hope to be a regular blogger, writing about things I am doing, what interests me and of course sharing my artwork and photos. I hope you enjoy what you see. Here is a link to my old blog.