Make a List and Check It Twice

I just love to visit the sea. It doesn’t matter which sea, whenever I’m at the shore, the tide always feels so open and powerful.

I always think that people who live really close to the sea and can walk there every day must feel really calm and happy all the time.

This photo was taken recently at Formby beach. It’s one of the best beaches in the North West of England.

Formby Beach Sand

It was a beautiful hot sunny day with my family. I don’t think the photo shows how lovely and warm it was. We took a picnic and ate it sat on the warm sand. Bliss.

Disaster Struck

Uh oh. We forgot our sun cream so we couldn’t stay long. My little daughter has fair skin and it was such hot sun so we couldn’t risk her burning, but we knew we’d be okay a short time as she already had some on.

Parking had been difficult, we’d initially got lost and also had to pay to park – nipping into town to buy a bottle wasn’t an easy option, which might sound a sensible solution!

How could I forget something as important as sun cream? Well, it was packed in our bags to begin with. So I technically did remember it. But then it was taken out to use before we’d set off, and must not have been repacked.

It was so frustrating to arrive at the sea and have to leave well before we were ready. So it got me thinking, how could I have avoided this situation? This could apply to any big trip.

Art a List!

Toddlers also have a habit (well mine does) of sneakily taking things out of bags that have been packed to play with.

Toddler or not, the obvious solution is you make a list. Obvious right? But kind of boring and when it’s just a short trip, and planned last minute a list might seem a bit over the top.

If I’d had a list to check off items at the very point we were leaving – I likely would have made sure that sun cream was still in our bags.

Why not turn making a list into creative fun?

Art Journal Page Idea

I’m well into my art journalling so this has given me an idea. I want to plan more trips away, whether its a full holiday or an hour down the road. Just somewhere different. New places are good for the soul.

Paint a background you like, maybe blue for the sea etc. add related images or drawings that inspire you and somewhere within the page, write down your list of essentials to check off at the point you’re leaving.

Not only do you get to feel excited about the trip and take your mind far away whilst you create your very useful art journal page, its a lovely memory to look back on of your anticipation.

You can add another page with photos/mementoes of the trip itself too. I look forward to trying this out!

Do you live close to the sea? How does the sea make you feel? Leave a comment!

The Only Time I Feel Alive…

One of my favourite quotes is by Vincent van Gogh who said:

“The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting”Vincent_van_Gogh

He is also one of my favourite artists and I was fortunate to visit the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam during 2011.

I completely relate to this quote and it’s how I feel too when I’m doing creative work. Whether it’s painting, drawing or making art journal / scrapbook pages.

Time just disappears when I’m really engaged in a creative piece of work

I feel ‘in flow’ and at peace.

More works by van Gogh:


The Starry Night, June 1889, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

van gogh starry night over rhone

Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888, Musée d’Orsay, Paris.


View of Arles with Irises, 1888, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Van Gogh facts of interest

  • He was Dutch
  • He died aged 37 from a gun shot
  • It was supposedly self-inflicted, though no gun was ever found
  • He created his best-known work in the last 2 years of his life
  • In 10 years he created 2100 pieces of art
  • Van gogh cut his own ear off with a razor blade
  • He was thought to suffer psychotic episodes
  • It was only after his death he became a well-recognised artist

Interested in the history of Van Gogh? You can read more about him at the Van Gogh Gallery and in depth on his Wikipedia page.

I’d love to hear if this quote relates to you when you are doing creative work too! Leave a comment :)


Gardening: Creative Therapy

I spent this morning doing some gardening cutting down a huge ivy bush. (It was actually more like a tree). I needed garden cutters and a saw for the really thick branches.



If you don’t already do any gardening, have a go! It feels very therapeutic and relaxing once you get into the flow of it.

Not only is gardening so good for your mind, it’s also great exercise too! Especially when the sun is shining. It makes life feel so much nicer when you’re outdoors making little changes here and there, improving things, growing things…

I’m also convinced that gardening increases your creativity. It’s relaxing and it’s during these moments when you suddenly have new ideas and feel your stressed out mental state repairing for renewed creative work.

Do you do any gardening and how does it make you feel? Leave a comment :)

Refilling the Well

Filling the well

For the past few weeks I’ve been making big decisions on my business future. I’ve managed several affiliate blogs in the past and also owned an online baby gift shop. But none of those avenues fulfil me like being creative does.

From now on, this is my home.

The answers are there, but sometimes they’re hidden

I had to be sure on what I most wanted to do, because like many creative people, I have often had projects left, right and centre.

I’ve always stored ‘dancing on the page’ deep down in my heart, as something I’ll pursue when I have more time and money. How wrong is that?!

I love to make art, I love to inspire people. For me I feel most in ‘flow’ when I’m painting. It’s like I’m at home, where I need to be, it’s a safe place and time just disappears. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Filling the well

Since clearing out a ton of physical and mental clutter, I’ve made way for my inner artist to emerge.

If you’ve ever read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, you’ll know all about filling the well; It’s like topping up your creativity by exploring new places, taking in new images and enjoying new experiences.

Your creative well benefits from being replenished every once in a while and it makes you a more inspired artist.

I’ve been feeling drawn to visit stores that sell art and keep taking quick snaps on my phone of all the art I like. Suddenly I couldn’t put it off anymore, and I have begun painting again! It feels good.

Looking forward to getting comfy around here and hope you’ll join me :)

“The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting” Vincent van gogh

Your time is now

Its time to begin, your time in now

It’s time to begin. Your time is now. Breath in. Deeply. Feel the air fill your lungs and realise you are full of life, energy and possibility. Create your dream. Make it real. Make it happen. I believe in you.


Illustration Friday and Art Journal Progress

A very quick sketch for Illustration Friday this week!

The weekly topic is shy. A cartoon of a girl peeping over a wall sprung to mind.

Here she is:

I’ve also begun making a new art journal this week. I’m filling it with some great papers I have in my art boxes and painting the pages ready to be written on.

I absolutely adore art books, sketchbooks, journals etc. So making my very own is such fun!

I realised that what I’m making is actually called a smash book. This term had completely passed me by! I don’t think they are commonly sold in UK craft stores, as least not where I live. Smash books appear to be a journal with pre-decorated pages.

Whatever they are I love them and there’s some brilliant ones on Etsy that I’m so tempted by to fuel my stationary addiction!

Illustration Friday: Haunt

This week’s Illustration Friday topic is “Haunt,” a Halloween theme!

I’m submitting this sketch I did a few years ago of a mysterious character from a computer game called Loom.

Loom was amazing! This is a screen shot from the game and the original character.


lost in the internet

Lost in the Internet as an Artist

Keri Smith is one of my favourite authors.  She wrote a list about “how to feel miserable as an artist.”

(Words by Keri Smith and design by Reavel)

I wanted to add to this list:

Feeling lost in the internet as an artist

When you start visiting other artist’s websites it’s so easy to think what’s the point in doing your own work when there’s so many other amazing talented people out there doing just what you want to do? Sound familiar at all?

I know because I’ve felt it up until very recently.

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by the internet and by the sheer volume of other good artists and their websites.

But nobody does it like you do.

Hold onto that thought.

If you stay true to yourself you will always present your words and your art in a unique and original way.

Stand solid in your special place in the internet and be you, unique and original!


Keep Believing in Yourself and Your Dreams

I wanted to share with you this beautiful reminder that I keep on my wall by Jason Blume about believing in yourself and your dreams.

“Every goal that has ever been reached began with just one step – and the belief that it could be attained.

Dreams really can come true but they are most often the result of hardwork, determination and persistence. 

When the end of the journey seems impossible to reach, remember that all you need to do is take one more step. Stay focused on your goal and remember… each small step will bring you a little closer.

When the road becomes hard to travel and it feels as if you’ll never reach the end… look deep inside your heart and you will find the strength you never knew you had.

Believe in yourself – and remember that so many others believe in you, too.”

This beautiful picture is from a wallpaper website. Unfortunately I don’t know who it’s by but it seemed very fitting.