Minions for Mr Underfoot

About a week before Christmas we visited the Animal Welfare League shelter at Kemp’s Creek, so L & R could adopt a kitten each.

Merry Christmas from a sleepy Gigi and manic Dash

It’s something we’ve talked about for years, but first we were renting and then our little house was already cramped. Imagine it with two active little furballs racing around!
Now we’ve got more space (more about that later on), there was no reason to wait.

Plus, it’s someone for Mr Underfoot to boss around. He’s 14 now and while play is no longer his favourite pastime, he quite likes watching their antics. – so long as they remember their place.
And he’s a constant source of fascination for them, too.


He spends a lot of time outdoors during the day (while they will remain indoor cats), but has taken to checking in two or three times between breaky and tea.
Just to make sure everyone is behaving themselves.

All of our cats over the years have been adopted from shelters – except Mr U, who found us. Animals of all ages deserve a second chance.

This time we chose kittens rather than older cats, because kittens are playful and we needed their help to tire out the kids so we can get some rest ourselves.
Next time we’ll go for someone a bit older, who can be Mr Underfoot’s snoozebuddy (and mine).

 

Personally, I prefer a furry friend who will sit or lay beside me for company as I paint – rather than trying to join in and savaging my paintbrushes in the night (not pointing any fingers).

Welcome home, Gigi and Dash.
Life will never be the same..

ps – please excuse the break from topic, I’ll be back with more arty goodness in a week or so.
2015 is going to be a big year!

Happy New Year!

You Rule My World - mixed media - bird detailHere’s to 2014!
It’s going to be a great one, I can feel it!

We had a quiet Chrissy and NYE at home and let the kiddo’s stay up until midnight for the first time – and they both made it!
(although only just, in monkeyboy R’s case)

You Rule my World - mixed media - bear detail

Lots of Christmas goodies were had by all, and Wonderhubby and I are just about to enjoy a quiet cuppa.
(“quiet” being the operative word, since the kids have had an early night)

You Rule my World - mixed media - face detail

So, this is an example of what I’ve been up to in the last month since WH started his new job…

You Rule my World - mixed media painting - whimsical artPainting, painting and more painting, of course!
(thank you Santa for all those lovely art supplies)

I hope everyone has had a lovely Chrissy/NYE break, and would like to wish you all the very best the universe has to offer in 2014.

hugs, jane xx  WithLove-janecoquillon-heart3-shadow

where the past five months went

WithLove-janecoquillon-heart3-shadowSo, without bringing anyone down, I wanted to share what we’ve been through in the last 12mths.
I know I’m not the only one who suffers on-and-off with depression and it’s important that our stories are shared.

This could be a bit of a long post, so please bear with me…WithLove-janecoquillon-heart1-shadow

I’ve had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since I got Glandular Fever (mono) at 16, which was plenty of reason to feel down over the past 25 years (I’m 41). This time was different, so we all kind of missed the warning signs for quite a while.

I learnt something…
depression doesn’t necessarily mean feeling sad
instead this year my emotions were numbed,

I lost interest in everything around me.

WithLove-janecoquillon-divider2-shadow
To make it easy to follow, here it is in point form:
WithLove-janecoquillon-flower2-shadowOctober 2012

  • Hubby made redundant
  • Lasted 6wks – he took on a 12mth contract because Christmas was coming up

WithLove-janecoquillon-flower1-shadowDecember 2012

  • My mother had open heart surgery for a valve replacement – we joke that she smells like bacon now because of the pig valve!
  • L finished year six in the same week (lots of tears & worry), with her presentation evening the same day as Mum’s surgery.
  • Mum came home on Christmas Eve, to stay with us for six weeks.

WithLove-janecoquillon-flower2-shadowJanuary – February this year

  • Hubby was working incredibly long hours
  • L started high school (and loved it)
  • Mum went home

April –WithLove-janecoquillon-flower1-shadow Mid June

  • By now, I knew that everyone else was going to be fine
  • I began to feel kind of numb & disinterested in the things and people around me
  • Lost my appetite (and 10kg / 1st, 8lb)
  • Stopped painting, stopped enjoying anything

WithLove-janecoquillon-flower2-shadowLate June

  • Realised that I was depressed and saw our doctor
  • Began medication on the same day Hubby was made redundant for the second time.

WithLove-janecoquillon-flower1-shadowSeptember

  • I began to feel again
  • Began enjoying things again
  • Picked up my paintbrush and had a ball!

WithLove-janecoquillon-flower2-shadowNovember

  • Hubby found a great job and started work!!!

WithLove-janecoquillon-divider1-shadow

Needless to say, life could have been better – but it certainly could have been a lot worse..WithLove-janecoquillon-heart2-shadow

Nobody died, my marriage didn’t fail and we didn’t lose the house.
Yes, it could have been a whole lot worse, and for a lot of people it is.

WithLove-janecoquillon-heart3-shadowIt took three months for me to feel I was almost whole again, and I’m so lucky to have had my wonderful husband at home to care for me throughout the episode, regardless of the reason.

Mental illness is a terrible label for this, depression is a physical illness, with physical causes and often at least a partial physical cure in the form of medication.

There’s nothing shameful in taking a tablet for blood pressure,
and the same is true for depression.

WithLove-janecoquillon-heart1-shadowEven someone with experience dealing with depression can still miss all the signs.

If you’re having difficulty coping, it is just so important to ask (and keep asking) for help.

Make Waves!

It’s time to stop worrying about what other people think and just have fun!

More finger painting fun with this girlie, and although she’s not quite as loose as the last two I’m still quite happy with her.

Make Waves - original mixed media girl painting - etsy listing

I’m not quite sure whether she’s actually holding a picture with waves on it, or it’s on her dress.

Originally she was supposed to be holding it, but now I just don’t know…

Make Waves - original mixed media painting - detail

I quite fancy her hairdo, which is a freestyle bun type of thing, slightly off to one side.

My own hair is kind of frizzy and never does what I want, so this is definitely a look I could achieve without much effort, but it probably wouldn’t look as good as hers and would flop in my eyes.

Make Waves - original mixed media girl painting - detail

Speaking of frizzy hair – or feeling frazzled…  We’re into the third week off school here, and I think the kids are getting kind of fed up.

(remember we booked our week away at the wrong time & the kids scored an extra week off, so it’s crazy around here right now)

The bickering became unbearable late last week, and my wonderful mother invited them to stay at her place (separately) for a few days.

What a godsend. And no, you can’t have her – she’s mine.

Make Waves - original mixed media painting - detail

It’s amazing how easy it is to care for just one child, when there’s no-one around to bicker with! I can’t believe I thought it was hard work having just the one – what planet was I living on???

(no offense to parents of singletons, it was hard work – but as a singleton myself the bickering was a revelation and a half)

Anyhoo, I need to go break up another fight, I’ll see you all around at paint party friday.
I’ll be the one with the frizzy freestyle hairdo.

 

Birthday party + school assignments = no art to speak of

In the last two weeks, with lots of help from hubby, I…

  • did a big spring clean (even though it’s Autumn here)
  • held a 9th birthday party at home for R (hence, the cleaning)
  • completed two-and-a-half major yr7 assignments with L
  • slept a lot to catch up
  • tried to fit in some painting time, somewhere

So, not much creativity expressed lately – unless you count the party decorations, and there were plenty of those.

Balloon Girl aceo

I have two new ACEO’s to share with you, the first is Balloon Girl ACEO, with bright pink balloon hair 🙂

Hot Air Kitty aceo

The second, another hot air balloon with a cat’s head this time. “Hot Air Kitty”

And one new 4×4″ bald girl, who I’m thinking of keeping for myself.  The colours are much more intense in person 🙂

Lucy Lopsides - mixed media girl painting on 4x4" canvas panel

I’ve named her “Lucy Lopsides”, because her bow is a bit off-centre, and prints will be available in my etsy store soon.

Finally, I fixed that dress – that’s the good news.
Now I’ve decided to repaint the little girl’s face, so no photo to share of that one, yet..

Hope you all had a much more productive couple of weeks than I have!