New year. New look. Basically, a new life.

You’ve probably noticed already that instead of splitting my blogs across this site for all my personal blogging and my other word press one for all the stuff about education in art now it is all going to come through this one website.

This is going to allow everyone to see what I’m doing and what I’m thinking and what I’m learning and I think will ultimately work better as rather than presenting myself as someone who knows it all, which I don’t, I’d like to show my journey of art and hopefully by showing my journey we can all learn together.

Please do communicate with me about things you’re learning and thinking. Because this will be lots of the same stuff. Just under one beautiful Art-Thunk banner.

This year there is a lot if stuff going on. So I want to just bring people up to speed with me.

Last year was a bit of a write off for me.

I was working at MAS. A company I love working for.

As many of you know I was struggling with having lost a baby the year before and so more or less took 2017 to focus on my health. I got pregnant again at the start of 2017 and had a beautiful baby boy who we called Jack. He’s a big boy too. He’s currently in the 99.6th percentile for his height!

I’ve spent since August 2017 at home with him, and often my oldest Grace, and we’ve been having fun. He’s a charming boy, and we adore him. Our heart swells with adoration.

Since being at home I haven’t done as much as I’d planned. Or as much as I thought I might have. But being that Jack is still only 5 months old I feel I have time.

This year I have signed up to do 5(!) papers through Massey University for my degree in Communications Management. My first 3 papers are starting next week, and I’ve already read one of the set texts from cover to cover and completed the first week for one of the courses. So, as usual, I am trying to start and stay ahead of where I need to be. This is me who knows I am going to be under the pump with a baby, a 4 year old and life in general. I like to be organised and on top of things so that I can do my best job.

I will likely be heading back to work at the start of August. I still have plenty of time to decide what I want to do but is it just me who finds that having kids means suddenly you’re thinking about all these other things, and your decisions suddenly are so hard and, seemingly, so important? So I have been considering going back to  work part time, maybe just looking for a job that is in the area I plan to work in (communications), or maybe I try build my own career freelancing or something. There are so so many options I think I might just see what eventuates and just try enjoy myself until then.

Andrew just recently has been caught up in the whole Fletchers lay offs. So now we also have a whole new world of opportunities opened up to us. Andrew had expected to work for Fletchers for the rest of his working life so now with a forced retirement from that company he is forced to explore his options, which, like mine, are many.  We are even considering packing up in Wellington and moving up to Wanganui. But thats a huge call to make. And it is early days on the Fletchers front. So we shall see.

I have been doing very little art work. But I have been doing some cross stitching here and there. My main challenge that I set myself was to finish any free kits that I had in my stash  so far I’ve done most of them. But still have a few to finish. I’ve been going great guns.

The other thing I’ve been doing since going on maternity leave is reading. I’m not sure if many people on here are aware, but I adore reading.

I use an app called goodreads to track my reading. And I regularly write reviews of the books I read. So I’ve been reading a reviewing loads of books since going on maternity leave.

This year I have a goal to read 1 hour every single day. So far this year I have achieved this pretty well.

I’ve been reading lots of Art books including “Art as Therapy”, “This model world”, “The power of Art”, “Art inc” and several other art related books. Currently I am reading my way through over 1000 pages of “Art through the Ages”. Such a huge book but truly amazing!

I’m absolutely loving reading about the history of Art and surprisingly (but ridiculously) I’m finding that Reading about Art is such a good way for me to start to understand about cultures, history, and the world in general. My knowledge of everything is just expanding so rapidly. This surprises me because I’m a person who tends to find history (by itself) incredibly boring and extremely hard to grasp. But, now that I’m coupling it with Art I’m finding I’m getting it. Perhaps I won’t remember names, dates and places, because those things are so hard for me. But I think I will understand the order of things, how this thing here caused that thing there.

So I’d really encourage everyone to pick up books about Art.

Alongside art books I’ve been reading books on all sorts of topics. Investing, cooking, Writing, advertising, personal development, domestic abuse, and also fiction. Check out my good reads site to see what I’ve been into.

Usually I’m not one to enjoy cooking very much. In fact at all. But Andrew got me Chelsea Winter’s cookbook “Eat” for Christmas. I love it. And have used it heaps. And I’ve been hunting out more and more recipes to try out. I’m really getting into it. And I thought I’d share my baking adventures with you as I try out more stuff.

Last weekend I completed the Round the bays 6.5km buggy walk with Jack. Unfortunately my timing chip was damaged so our official time wasnmt recorded. But on Strava it came up as 1 hour 19 minutes. This included the slow start as we got across the starting line and a pause at the end while I checked the buggy wheel which I damaged as I came in to the finish line.

You might be able to see how angled that front wheel is. It’s rubbing and pulling hard out to the right. So. That’s not very helpful. But we’re looking into either a repair. Or a new buggy.

Aside from that the event was amazing.  Virtually perfect weather. Hot, with some wind at times which made it difficult to push the buggy and a little overcast so the heat wasn’t always unbearable.

Cigna do such a phenomenal job too. I just wanted to shout out to them. I love the step it up facebook group who kept posting inspiration. I loved the crew t-shirts, sweatbands, and countdown calendar. And I just love how all-inclusive this event is. Offering free transport to and from the event, various events for every fitness level, and coaching through les mills. The actual route I find a little boring, because I’m not much of a road runner (I love trail running), but I love that as you run around the course the homeowners spray you with hoses and waterguns. Little things like these just really make an event enjoyable and memorable.

This coming weekend I have the 5km plimmerton fun run which I’m looking forward to. And I’ve also entered the Hutt Valley fun run, and the Great Forest Run. I plan to walk each of these events, but at least I’m getting involved and starting again. I can’t wait until I can run again without my womb feeling like it’s going to blow apart. (Having babies plays havoc on your body I’ve found).

Next week I will be going to Auckland to see Bruno Mars in concert with my bestie Delwyn. I’m so looking forward to this. Not only for Bruno, but also his warm up act Dua Lipa (one of my favourite new artists at the moment), and also because of time spent with Delwyn who I feel like I haven’t had any quality time with in years – this time it is just her and I YAY!, and also because I will be free of Jack and Grace for 2 days. While I will definitely miss them (and Andrew) it will be so nice to just sleep. Well. After the long night out. ?

So. Phew! As you can see I have a lot on. This year is actually going to be huge! It will be exciting! Grace starts school this year (oh my lordy. Where has THAT time gone?!) this year, my 31st, will see me growing, and learning, and changing so much. And I am so super excited!! Bring it on.

About Me

I adore and practise Art and Embroidery. I blog about Art, trying to encourage open communication through the creation of Art and discussion about Art.

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Bruno Mars

Last week my girlfriend Delwyn and I flew to Auckland