2023 – your year. Is it really though?

Everyone is saying this year is going to be the best yet – why should it be any different than the last few years. I say that in all honesty and without malice.

Hope for the new year. Gratitude is the key.

If you want this year to be better than last year, what are you doing to make it so?

This new year could still throw you some rubbish you have no control over. Will that make everything else pointless? Does that mean you should right the whole year off?

Or, are you going to acknowledge that yep rubbish is gonna happen but let’s make the rest count anyways. 

2022 saw the arrival of baby J. For me the second I saw his squishy little face I knew it was perfect, everything I never knew I needed and wanted. Prior to that though, I was was scared as hell. My mental health had already taken a beating, how and why did I put myself in this position? I was petrified. 

I learnt so much over this last year and I would not have been able to appreciate the good that has happened and the bad. All events of this last year shaped me. Changed me.

I used to think those people that write a daily “what am I grateful for” were a little froo froo. After all, who actually writes anything of substance down everyday. I’ve come to realise that it’s not that we need to be grateful for profound things every single day of the year for it to matter. Being grateful is about acknowledging there is beauty, no matter how small in every day. Being able to work towards your goals, even if there is a mountain of work in front of you. Having goals, having things to work towards is a wonderful thing.

So this year, Instead of wishing on a star that this year is your year. Take those small steps towards your goals even if it takes a while to get to your destination. Make it your year.

Happy new year!

This year we welcomed a new addition to our family, it is now perfectly complete. I forgot how precious babies are. Our biggest baby graduated primary school and is becoming a beautiful little lady. Marcus is cruising around and kicking goals at soccer and at school. Overall this year has seen some beautiful moments, we have created some amazing memories.

I’ve experienced some lows, my mental health took a bashing this year. However along with the bashing I have also learned a lot, about myself and how to deal with people better. The arrival of James has really brought into perspective what’s important in life.

I’ve been working on something new that will be released THIS WEEK! With that, here is a look back at some of what I’ve created this year.

I’ve had a lot of fun this past year. I’ve got so much planned for next year. Let’s have some fun this coming year. Wishing you all love, happiness and health in 2023!

Abstract Portraits

We all know I’m rubbish at faces, but I’m trying to get better. We all know I’m good at painting flowers, there is always room for improvement.

Abstract Floral Portrait

So to make things easier and break the face down into pieces to practice, I’ve used flowers to help me out. What do you all think? I love the oil effect.

Latest release – The Island of Ramichi

The latest chapter and artwork has been released for my short story The Island of Ramichi. Read the next chapter HERE.

The Island of Ramichi – Chapter 2

So far, I’m finding the artwork has been the hardest to create. Which surprised me a little I must admit. Trying to create and execute fantasy artwork in the same style he been very challenging. I am having fun with it however and can not wait to show you all the rest.

Please let me know what you think so far, I’m pretty happy with it but there is always room to improve and learn. I would love to know what everyone else does for fun? Am I the only one who dabbles in just about everything? Let me know what you’re up to on my socials!

Artist’s October Wrap Up

It’s all fun and games until someone knocks over my Orchid – or even worse, bans me from buying any more house plants!

The last few months has seen some massive life changes for my family and I. We’ve welcomed a new edition to the family. Who has caused utter chaos in the best way. Baby James has really brought me back down to earth and helped me realise what is actually important in life. He is ADORABLE! At only 9 weeks old he has started rolling…. Nothing is safe.

I’ve also been able to work on many things for myself for a change. I’ve been able to focus more on the things I want to continue with. Which is where this monthly update comes in. It will be a collection of things I’ve been up to over the last month or so. It will also include what’s coming up and when new works are being released.


The Island of Ramichi – Langour Forest

This month I released the first chapter of The Island of Ramichi. My first illustrated short story. I’ve had some good reviews. I’ve also had a couple of people make some suggestions and edits – which I’m very grateful for. I know this sounds strange, however it’s my first story that I’ve let people read. I hope to get better as I continue to write so constructive criticism is a welcome. If you would like to read the story so far CLICK HERE.

The second chapter is set to be released next week! Keep your eyes peeled. For now though, I would like to introduce you to Oriana. The main character. What secrets will we uncover while she is on the island?

The Island of Ramichi – Oriana Character Profile


Has anyone else ever watched a nature documentary and been so totally over come with emotion when the mumma loses her little one? Or are my hormones still making me crazy? I can’t even watch those little clips you see on the socials with out getting teary. It breaks my heart, I automatically think of the kids and then it’s all over. I’m blubbering like a baby. Anyone else?

**Brand New Phone backgrounds and wallpapers have been released.**

I have been working on a number of different kinds of wallpapers and backgrounds for phones for a little while now. With more and more being released monthly.

Please go and check them out HERE. For only $2 (AUD) you can’t really go wrong.

I am happy to alter them, or make a completely unique one for you as well, just drop me an email!

Coming up in November.

Christmas Cards and Free Colouring sheet! This month I’m releasing my Christmas Cards again. I am also giving away a free colouring sheet, you don’t even have to buy the cards. All you need to do is go to my website and download the PDF! Simple as that.

Island of Ramichi – Langour Jungle

Finally, I have released the first chapter of an illustrated fantasy short story I’ve written. I’m so nervous about it. I’m not worried about the artwork, I’m pretty happy with that. I’m terrified that I put all this effort into writing and no one likes it! Or worse, it’s totally rubbish and everyone hates it.

The Island of Ramichi

Opinions are welcome. Although it’ll hurt, constructive criticism is absolutely appreciated. I know I’m going to have the odd armchair critic being an a**hat, but I will have to learn not to take everything to heart so much. Life is full of people how are not nice just because they can be.

I’m new to this writing thing. I’m bound to mess it up. My writing style will be clumsy, probably disjointed and lacking in sophistication. How am I to improve if I don’t put it out there?

I’ve taken inspiration from many people, places and even animals while creating a world. I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s in my head. I could have waited until I created the whole thing before publishing. I think I would have been waiting for several decades!

So, to read the first chapter of my short story CLICK HERE!!!! This fantasy story is set in Pleyon. A world of fairies, dragon shifters and war. Happy reading!

A sneak peek at some of the artwork to come.

Am I a novelist?

The answer to that question is a HARD NO! However, I would like to be. I’m not really sure where to start. It’s hard knowing what is good when I write. I also feel what I “write in my head” is very different to what I manage to get on to paper. Anyone else feel the same?

A sneak peek of some of my digital art work. The Langour Jungle.

I do like to draw an image and then write a description or couple of paragraphs to go with it. I like to create a whole world to go with it. Maybe that’s where I should start? Short and sweet. Smaller more manageable goals.

The genre I like? Fantasy of course. I’ve read so many fantasy and romance books, many of them are so similar I wonder if some of the authors has a convention to discuss how many slightly different ways the same story can be told. Which makes me think “How can I come up with anything new.” It makes me not want to bother. It scares me that I’ll pour my heart and soul into something that is just average. Something that’s already been written.

With having read 100’s of books I will have found inspiration for my idea from some book or movie at some point. It’s inevitable. It is almost impossible to create something totally original. I remember reading a book once, I believe it was called Big Magic. It basically stated that there no new ideas, only different ways of they can be portrayed. Or something to that affect.

I guess, the one thing, and most important thing I’ve learnt while learning how to draw, create art and now garden and grow things is “You have to try!” I guess that’s where I’m at, I need to try. If it’s rubbish, someone will tell me – that’s guaranteed.

With that in mind, I’ve written my first paragraphs to some art work I’m really happy with. I just have to find the guts to put it out there!

Time Out with the family at the Japanese Gardens Toowoomba

Just a quick update

Holy moly! How hectic is life at the moment. I’ve found myself with a quiet moment and enough brain power to actually write at the same time! I didn’t forget how much time babies take up but it is still a bit of a shock. Especially with Dan being away for more than half of James life so far. Having 2 older kids has made things easier and harder.

James – perfection ❤️

I have managed to get some gardening done and been able to look after my indoor plants as well. I still have an incredibly long “to-do” list but I’m slowly ticking things off. My art has suffered a little. I did manage to get a little landscape completed. Sunshine Forest – digital drawing is at the bottom of the page.

James is now a month old, almost 6 weeks. He’s been a total blessing. All the rubbish I went through to get here was worth it. Even though we’ve had a few rough nights, a trip to the hospital and an amazing amount of wee and poo. He’s made me re-evaluate everything. Figure out what and who are the most important in my life.

Some of the new editions to the garden – Vireya

Turns out, although I want to be exceptionally good at my job, I was putting too much of my energy into it. I was giving too much. Considering they would replace me in a heart beat if they wanted to.

The kids and Dan are far too important for me not to be in the moment while with them. Family time is family time, work time is work time. Boundaries need to be put in place to distinguish between the two, and being 100% focused on each at the appropriate time is essential. I also need to carve out some me time, that doesn’t consist of running errands, that I feel will take some more time to figure out.

My latest digital drawing – Sunshine Forest

Learning to balance work and life has been tricky. I haven’t mastered it yet, I’m still on maternity leave so it’ll be interesting to go back to work and see if I can manage it. I do think it’s the most important thing I need to focus on though.


Remembering those we’ve loved and lost

How do you remember those who you have lost?

I’ve been struggling with this one for a while. I’m not one for visiting graves, it’s not something I’m comfortable with. Breaking down and crying while strangers could see me – heaven forbid. I want to be able to sit and think about those people we’ve lost and miss so much, in private when I want to. Not necessarily on an anniversary. Not to mention, I am not able to visit all of the graves of loved ones as they are either in another state and some in another country.

Lavish Pink Lavender – also in my front garden

A few weeks of each year are the anniversaries of several lost loved ones. Yep, one particular week has 3 significant dates and is always hard to get through. I’m not great with remembering dates, but some how my subconscious must know and those particular weeks because I’m a blubbering mess.

This year I was struggling a lot, with life and one of those weeks in particular I was having a really hard time. I actually started crying at work, for what I thought was for no reason at all. Until I realised what week it was.

I have an obsession with purples of all shades. Artwork I created to decorate my gardening journal.

One of my work colleagues, who I now consider to be a good friend noticed I was upset and asked me about it. Obviously I was highly emotional and nearly fell apart. Some of my grief was – how do I remember all these wonderful people? How do I show my respect, honour their memory if I can’t remember dates? She had a wonderful suggestion, knowing that I was slowly getting into gardening. To plant a tree for everyone I’ve lost. A tree, not just a plant, that will be there for many years to come, more than likely it will out live me.

I can’t plant one tree for everyone that we have lost, I’d need a few acres for that. So I’ve altered the idea slightly. I’ve designed our front garden to be a memorial to those we’ve lost. I’ll have a couple of out door seats and a cute little table to be able to sit surrounded by nature, and be able to remember all of those we’ve lost. I’ll cry and smile, and hopefully laugh at the memories we shared.

I’ve got a lot of work to do, I’ve only just started with one garden bed at the front. It will be a labour of love, I’ll take my time.

Melaleuca Thymifolia – native to Australia’s eastern coast.

The first plant I planted for someone. A Melaleuca Thymifolia. It’s a beautiful native bush with beautiful purple flowers. This one reminds me of my Grandma. Her favourite flower was actually an Angel Face rose (her nickname for me), which I do plan to put in if I can find one. They are super rare so I have to be patient. Grandma loved Bribie Island, she loved walking along the beach. She loved her garden, she would always tell me to go and smell the roses. She loved to read and taught me how to knit. Now, I’m teaching my daughter how to knit. We would sit together and read, I used to take her grocery shopping when I was old enough to do so. I miss her dearly. We were close. She was the first significant loss in my life when she passed.

Just having a plan to create something like this, a memorial has given me a lot of peace. Even if it does take me years to complete it. The sobering fact is, it will never truly be complete. Unfortunately their will always be new names to add. The good thing is, a garden, trees, plants the ecosystem that will be created will long out live me and be a beautiful calming place for all.

Hope or hopeless…..

This weeks blog post is late, I’ve been recovering from gastro. That was not fun being 33 weeks pregnant let me tell you! I have been thinking a lot about my post last week and how the general consensus is that this year has had a lot of downs. Trying to climb out of a slump emotionally and mentally has been really tough these last few months. I’ve been trying to figure out why most of us are feeling drained or afraid to start something. The uncertainty of current times and all the negative news within our society is surely playing a big role.

Flowers starting appear on my blueberry bush

I feel in our society, we are told to make a difference and are expected to make a big impact. I think this is far too daunting. Imagine having that on your shoulders, that’s an unbelievable amount of weight. Too much for many, this then causes the “I can’t impact the world, so there’s no point in trying” attitude, which I absolutely understand. The mentality of “Go big or go home” is frustrating. It indicates that unless the actions and impact are great then don’t bother. I certainly wouldn’t want my children to feel that if they aren’t going to change the world their lives mean nothing.

This is not to say people can’t make a huge impact. Nor that they shouldn’t try. Anyone can make a big difference, if they find the right power within themselves. What I am saying is, changing one life is just as important as changing the world. If one thing you do changes one persons life for the better, then that should also be celebrated as a big win. Not on social media for the likes, congratulate yourself. Smile and remember that feeling. If you are the person who was helped, thank them. You don’t have to praise them to the world, but a simple heartfelt thank you goes a long way.

Monochrome evening sky – created with Procreate

We should be passing this knowledge down to our kids. So they don’t feel like they are starting from scratch. They certainly have much more to contend with than we did as kids. The skills they need are slightly different. We need to teach them to care and be kind to themselves first. Than to do small things to help others. The small things make a huge difference. If they already have some of these skills under their belt before they are thrown out into the world, maybe it won’t be so daunting to reach a little bigger each time.

How we teach our kiddos this when we too are probably overwhelmed and buried under the recent stresses of the year I don’t know. I guess talking to them about how we are feeling, seeing if they’ll talk to us about their feelings would be a good step. I know we can’t unload everything on them, they are only little and they shouldn’t be dealing with our problems. But letting them know we can get a bit scared and anxious too, will let them know that they are not alone.

Changing the world isn’t a one person job, you need a team, to surround yourself with people you can trust, who have the same will and desire to do good. Together we can all make a difference, whether it be small or large it doesn’t matter. It’s the intention and emotion (love and gratitude) behind the actions that count

The first raspberries from our bush this year ❤️❤️