Thursday, 28 October 2010

Notice the little yellow duckie.

up up and away!

Up Up and Away
(buy here)

Today I woke up to a gurgling baby who threw himself onto my breast and then made cute cooing noises for 15 minutes while nursing. After that I proceeded to tickle him and kiss the bottom of his chin which had him in fits of laughter and me fill up with light inside. I am so incredibly in love with my child. :-)

There is something we can all learn from Dylan (and all other babies for that matter). He really lives in the present. Now, I know it's probably because he hasn't really developed his long-term memory brain cells yet, but memory or not, at the moment, he lives ::here-now:: . Let me give you an example:

Last week, he had the most horrible nappy rash. Very painful, red and raw. Each time we changed his nappy he would burst into tears and scream his little lungs out for the duration of the nappy change (btw; nappy = diaper). The interesting thing was though; as soon as we put some cream on the soreness and the pain subsided, he would get up and immediately return to his happy self and go over to his ducky (fav toy at the moment) and continued on with his happy playing. There was no: 'dwelling on the past' -> (ooh, my nappy change; it was so awful, why did mummy do this to me, why do these things always happen to me?), nor was he' worried about the future' -> (ohmygod, in another 2 hours I'll have to go through the same horrid pain, I'm so depressed, I never want a nappy change ever again, I hate my life ..). Unlike with most of us 'grown-ups' he does no dwelling at all; when he's in pain: he's in proper pain and let's everyone know by screaming, but when the pain is gone; it's gone and he's back to focusing on what is going on for him there and then, that minute; not an hour ago, not yesterday, not two hours later, not a day later, no; now.

We can really really learn from that. :)

Us grown-ups, had we been in Dylan's position: we'd be endlessly muttering on about how horrible our nappy rash is, how it was so painful to have it cleaned, how we're so worried about that it has to happen again in 2 hours time, how the world is unfair to us, how we can possibly speed up the healing so we don't have to experience it again ... all the while missing out on how beautiful that yellow little ducky is ...


So, I'm a bit addicted to working digitally at the moment. There is something really satisfying about working with the wacom tablet. When I first got it, I did really need to get to used it, but I'm now getting more and more confident with it and am really loving it. The image above was done digitally and the other two wintery ones too! (I'm probably going to make these into Christmas cards).

bear snowman & bear whimsy

skating bearsie

Though I've added in an extra week between week 2 & 3 of Art, Heart & Healing, I'm up to my neck in work. Loads of filming, editing, doing packages, emailing oh and I updated lots of stuff on my website But I have decided to run Magical Mythical Makings in January instead of November so that I have a bit of a breather. I really feel I could do with a holiday of 6 months in Thailand on the beach with blue ocean water and a yummy coconut with a straw. Hey, a girl can dream.

Oh, in other very mundane, unimportant news; I want to talk a little about some of the tv shows I have on in the background sometimes when I work. One of them is 'Gossip Girl' (I know; shame on me), I've also, over the last year watched several seasons of the 'L-word'. I wanted to write up a whole review of the L-word, but I have so much to say about that show, it'd take up too much of my time. What I wanted to say about these shows -and I know; no one is forcing me to watch them-, what aggravates me deeply is the lack of character development and the continuous deja vu I keep experiencing when semi-watching these shows.

For instance, with Gossip Girl, now, I know; the name of the show, obviously, says it all, but it has/ had some kind of entertainment potential and instead it keeps playing out the same story over and over again again with the characters not growing or developing out of their tedious personalities by even one iota. Now, I get that is a lot of judgement and I don't usually do judgement, so let me rephrase this, or rather; let me explain why it bothers me so much when a character on a show just stays the same.

It leaves me without hope. This because the subliminal message is that people don't change (while they do, or can). The moment someone like Chuck shows an inch of humanity, something unfortunate happens returning his menacing bitterness and kerblam he's back in the business of spreading misery.

The other thing that annoys me a lot about this type of story writing is that, to me; it's a cop-out. It feels like the writers think to themselves: 'well, the viewers want this dude to be evil and remain evil so we'll keep him evil so that the ratings stay up and we make money'. While the more socially responsible thing would be to imply growth, change and transformation in a character like Chuck's.

I know, I'm laughing out loud reading that paragraph back, I don't know why I expect writers of a show like Gossip Girl to feel any sense of social responsibility {hilarious, really}, but I don't know; I just feel sad and annoyed when I notice that writers don't want to take risks or do something original or (welp) something that might actually bring hope, love and understanding into the world ... (oh no; not if it's not going to make any money!)


Ok, the L-word: The most frustrating thing about that show was how they developed Jenny Schecter's character (this was character development gone completely hay-wire and beserk in my opinion). Jenny's character had a lot of depth, integrity and authenticity in the first season. I know, she had an affair with someone, that's not the kind of authenticity I'm talking about. Her integrity and depth lay in the fact that she cared about stuff, thought deeply about life, living, she felt deeply, she was aware and simply felt everything. By the end of the entire show, no one cared that she died, because they had turned her character into some kind of fame seeking, power hungry, arrogant, distorted diva, which I really didn't think did her initial character any justice. There was so much more to her, they could've done so much with her. What a waste of a character.

Overall, with the L-word I have a similar commentary as I do with Gossip Girl; while in general there was a little more growth with the characters; the same things kept happening. Shane always always always had to fall back into her pattern of having sex with everyone, never able to commit to a relationship. While I understand that Shane had big psychological issues and part of her defense mechanism was to use sex as a way of dealing with her pain, the writers never made Shane confront this part of herself on a deeper level, or learn to understand that side of herself, no they just made her fall back into the same pattern without any hope of change or understanding of herself.

Alice always ended up in a relationship that didn't work out. The only person who really developed and changed was Tina, from a shy submissive woman to a much more independent person grounded in her own power. But then there were so many loose-end stories in the L-word as well, for instance; Bette & Tina wanted to be attachment parents to their child, this seemed to be significant at one point in the story line and then just sizzled away. Why not go deeper into that story?

A last thing that annoyed me about the L-word: the ridiculous amount of sex scenes. Why was there so much more sex in the L-word compared to other shows? This annoys me so much. Is this to attract men to watch the show? Is it attempting to represent the lesbian community "realistically"? Even if it's realistic, why show so much sex on the show? (Way to stereotype)? On heterosexual shows there isn't a representational amount of sex on shows either, but no; now that there is a show specifically about lesbians; we have to saturate it with sex scenes otherwise we don't ... uhm, live up to the what?

Talk about segregating a group of people! Here you are having the huge responsibility to bring a show about lesbians to national tv, scary, hard, difficult to do. It's a precarious subject, you want to make sure that the world isn't going to view 'these people' as 'different to me', so I know; why not make them have rampant sex with each other all the time! That will really help with the inclusion, integration and 'not seeing them as different;' (end sarcasm) ...

Let me be clear; this is not me being angry about sex on tv. I really don't mind sex on tv, if it's relevant, realistic and a fair representation of whatever story line is being presented. It annoys me when sex is being used for something other than fairly representing the story line, which is what it felt like a lot, for me, in the L-word.

To me, this much sex was a way to attract viewers, to sensationalise being a lesbian, to make the show (supposedly) more interesting. Which just makes me feel very sad. Why does a show about lesbians need lots of sex to be interesting? It's people, just people, not weird "other" people that have lots more sex than you (heterosexual person) does ...

It's not necessary, it's not representational, it's stereotyping. I would've liked the show if there was some sex, not loads (or so glaringly more than other shows), more depth, more transformational character development, an attempt at going deeper into interesting story lines (attachment parenting) and specifically a different character development for Jenny Schecter.

I think it just makes me sad that there is so much potential for certain characters which would actually send positive messages into the world somehow, instead the focus is on making money and creating tv shows that sensationalise and stereotype and imply no hope or that change is possible.

It also makes me sad, as it just seems to cause more separation rather than a bringing together.


Now, Peepshow, with David Mitchell & Robert Webb -> THAT is the most awesomestest tv show ever created in the history of ever. :) Comedy genius' at their peek. (Quote on Porn: "Is it not just dead eyed men fucking dead eyed women in a world of pain?!")

Here endeth the sermon by Tam on the mundane topic of the day; tv shows.


I so must go to sleep.

Huggles. x

PS. aren't I diverse & all-encompassing? -> covering both something like 'Gossip Girl' and 'being in the now' in one blog post? ;P

Friday, 22 October 2010

You will never be just 'pretty'.


Girl - in progress

So, where was I? :-)

Well, let me hear a "HOLY WOW"; there are 950+ people on my free art course and they are on FIRE! One after another posts amazing work, beautiful comments, revelations of healing. I am continually awed, stunned, humbled and moved by what they are posting and how they are responding to each other; with such love, care and encouragement. I am blown away.

So, all is very very busy in Tam-land and I do look forward to a bit of a break soon, but that's going to have to be December as preparations for my next course have started! Yes, yes: Magical Mythical Makings is soon coming to a server near you! ;) We'll be creating a new mythical creature each week! From Goddesses to Angels to Mermaids, they're all going to join us! We'll also be looking at some of the old masters for inspiration (Klimt, Chagall, Redon etc). I can't wait to run this class, I'm so excited about it. :)

In the mean time, I'm still trying to take some time for myself and create art purely for my own relaxation (usually after Dylan goes to sleep), and all art you see in this post has been created in the 'after hours' (is what I've come to call them, ha).

Here be a happy pic of me and Dylbee: :-)

I've done some more digital creating which is very satisfying I must say, I think I'll make these into a series:

And here some new art journal pages:

art journal - oct 2010


art journal - oct 2010

art journal - oct 2010

art journal - oct 2010

art journal - oct 2010

Back to some more digital creating! Hope everyone is well.

Snugglehugs. x

Oh PS. Watch this awesome poetry slam video, you won't regret it:

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Hugging is the Whole Point

Hugging is the Whole Point

Hugging is the Whole Point

Original for sale HERE
Prints available for sale HERE


Isn't she cute? ♥

I have tired eyes and I sit here at too late an hour writing my blog, updating all my latest art bits on my site and in my etsy store and checking up on Dylbee intermittently who has lately developed 'bad' sleep habits again, he wakes up frequently before I've even gone to bed, yes, I am tired, but I'm happy.

Crazy busy with preparation for my up and coming free course! It's so funny because I, obviously, can't spend all my time creating lessons for free, but I keep wanting to do 'a bit more' and 'cover this bit too', 'add just another page'. LOL. It's hilarious and potentially a bit stupid, but hey, I is an artist who can't stop! :D

Also, I'm excited because I recently had pocket mirrors made of my art and they look soooo pretty! They have this beautiful glossy finish and the art is really beautifully printed, great quality. Just really pleased they came out well as sometimes you can order something online and be disappointed, but these are just the prettiest! Have a looksie! :)

These are also available in my etsy store if you're interested! :)

I did art with a friend of mine and her 12 year old daughter yesterday, it was really lovely to be working with a child (ok; teenager) again, I miss doing art with kids and it really makes me want to run courses in person with either kids or adults so I'm going to look into doing in person courses here in Brighton, should be fun!

Ooh, I've signed up to Gritty Jane's art doll class and soooo badly want to find some time to start creating an art doll, but am totally caught up in doing my classes at the moment, I will find some time though as I have all the materials now (paper clay, yay) and just gonna HAVE TO make one, I'm itching to create one. Hope to be able to sculpt the face though as that is always my struggling point.

Mmmh, what else?

Oh yes! I'm gonna be interviewed by the cool and awesome Jonathan Manning (aka; the artistic biker) tomorrow for his ustream show! I look forward to talking art with him, it'll be fun! :) (should be going to bed to make sure I look semi-presentable, ha ha).

Well, I think that's it again for now. Oh, one more thing, Dylan's got his FIRST BIKE! :) LOOOOOOK:

Loads of my friends and acquaintances are pregnant (something like 7-8 people I know are either having a first or second baby) and it's making me very much think about a second baby (eeee!!). It's all a bit romanticised though as realistically it's probably not such a good idea (not quite yet), but hey, a girl can dream. ;)

Big hugs and love to all. x

Friday, 1 October 2010

Out of Ashes, Phoenix Rises

art journal sept 2010

A long overdue blog post with a bit more detail than just 'here is my new art video' or 'look at this cute picture of Dylbee' (not to say that those aren't totally delightful, right? ;)).

Ok, so what has been up with the Tam, waddup, whatdeuppah, whatsieupsies Tamarooraaa?

Well, life really, lots, big huge mountains of it.

The biggest learning when you have a baby is basically one in 'zen-mind'. (I've been trying to get that mind for a while now, and of course; the trying is in the way, so now, with a baby, you're no longer trying, you're just DOING zen-mind, because you have NO choice, ha ha, how's that 'careful what you ask for eh Tam' ;)).

Karen Maezen-Miller (author of Momma Zen) says it perfectly: "the things that you used to think were 'yours' are no longer yours". Take sleep for instance; before baby came, you may have had sleepless nights because you were stressed about work or something else nagging, but at least those sleepless nights were YOUR sleepless nights; ie: you were the one making yourself sleepless. With a baby, he or she is making you sleepless, it is out of your control, there is nothing you can do but 'go with it' (see: great practise in mindfulness and zen-mind).

While your life is blessed with this stunning beautiful thing called a new baby, it's also earthquaked upside down in ways that you -seriously- don't expect. So, without you sort of asking for it, you're all of a sudden learning learning learning learning learning. (A bit like when I went to Sri Lanka; so beautiful and so difficult at the same time!).

I was saying to my osteopath the other day; 'when you're pregnant and you imagine having your baby, you imagine it to "slide" gracefully into your life, perfectly fitting around everything else already there, you image this baby becoming 'part of your life' and sort of it moving with you, but instead; it doesn't become part of your life, instead; your life is no longer relevant and everything, really, everything revolves around this little creature's life". The osteopath, proud father of 3, simply smiled. :)

So, needless to say; a lot of our lives revolve around the little critter at the moment, look at him now ->

dylan 13 months old

dylan in the bubbles

Dylan @ 13 months old

He is nearly 14 months old now and is a pretty sturdy walker, has a 7th tooth coming through, makes an hilarious noise when you ask him; 'Dylan was does the cow say' and still doesn't sleep great, but is getting better and better with that one overall.

He loves reading books, or rather; have us read them to him, is crazy strong (for some reason likes to pick up both my exercise weights 4 kilos each at once) and is the proud owner of 2 pairs of shoes!

He knows how to point at his ear, nose and feet and when you ask him where they are (he's a genius! ;)) and jiggles/ dances while sitting down when you sing to him which is so insanely cute! He adores his daddy, loves being chased and has the most amazing giggle that makes my heart soar when I hear it.


Here he is in the pool and in the New Forest with his dad:

I used to find it annoying when people who had babies would just 1. disappear on me, and 2. only talk about their babies, but I find myself in the same position now! I have very little time to see friends or write blogs between working, sleeping and being with Andy and Dylan, there just isn't much time left!!

And that I find difficult and sad. Part of me wishes there were 48 hours in a day so that I can spend 12 hours working, 12 hours with Dylan, 12 hours with Andy & Friends and 12 hours sleeping, but alas alas, it be not so.

So, I, we, are doing our best to manage work, Dylan, our together time, sleep, getting stuff done, meeting up with friends, writing on blogs, but really, when you have a baby, you have an extra full time job on your hands. I never quite realised this with other people with babies until now.

We have hired a childminder who comes 3 days a week for 7 hours, which is a huge help so we can do our work, but it also breaks my heart a little as I miss Dylan like crazy for those 7 hours, but it's gotta be done, gotta bring in the bacon as they say! :)

Work wise, well that is going well!! A lot of people are enjoying spending time on my ning site. And the courses and my art is selling well! I'm very proud of this and immensely enjoying all the connections I'm making with the artsy community online.

I am currently working hard on my free online course 'The Heart of Art'. It does really feel good to simply GIVE, I am so overwhelmed by everyone's responses to it, at this point over 500 people have already signed up! I can't wait to get started on that one and really contribute to people in this way. :) I have another course planned for October/ November as well called: "Magical Mythical Makings" and we'll be making a new mythical creature each week, very excited about that one too!

Psychologically I am up and down at times (the story of my life). Since Dylan has been born I feel even more attuned to other people's suffering and don't quite know how to 'shut that empathy door'. A friend of a friend of mine has just found out that she is terminally ill and is going to die soon and she has 2 young children. When I think of that, I experience it as if it's happening to me and can simply break down in tears and don't know how to 'let go' or help. It makes me feel utterly helpless and in despair to think what she must be going through. And this is just the suffering of 1 person. When I think of so many other horrible things that happen in the world, I can feel utterly depressed and overwhelmed with sadness and again; don't know how to not be so affected by it. I know Byron Katie says it's 'false suffering', not my suffering and I often am able to let go with doing some of her work, but I often slide back into "suffering on behalf others", it's so pointless though as it doesn't help these other people at all. Gotta remember that. I am also always very fearful that something like that can happen to me and that would be my worst nightmare; having 3 months to live and having to say goodbye to your loved ones. I much rather die an instant death in an accident or something.

Apologies for some gloomy stuff, but this is also what goes on for me and at times this is a daily struggle.

I now try to make time each day to do some art journaling after Dylan has gone to bed, just to realign myself, with myself, after a long day full of things and to just ground back and reconnect with and into myself and that has been really helpful as it's like a place I can return to, to give myself some nourishment, self-connection and empathy. Here are the pages I've done the last couple of weeks:

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

art journal sept 2010

hope you like!

and here another picture of the two most amazing men in my life:

dylan & daddy in marwell zoo

oh and me and dylbee!! :D

mummy & dylbee

i deeply hope everyone is well, ok, sparkly and beautiful with blueberry muffins.

big hugs. x


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