cy twombly bacchus

While in London the week before the wedding we visited the Tate Modern and wondered into their rooms on ‘Energy and Process’. Cy Twombly is one of my favourite painters and I had some lessons for life reaffirmed while looking at a room of his works including the Bacchus Series.

cy twombly bacchus - go big or go home

>>> Go big or go home. Don’t play small!

cy twombly bacchus - off the edge

>>> Don’t be afraid to go off the ‘edges’ (not in a crazy way but more colour outside the box sense)

cy twombly bacchus - do over

>>> It is okay to paint over and start again

primavera crowns

primavera crowns primavera crowns primaveracrowns primavera crown

Yay. It is officially spring  - at least according to the sun and moon (ie today is the spring equinox). In celebration I hope some of you have joined Bethan and me in wearing a flower crown – at least some of the time. Maybe while doing the dishes or working out this morning? I am imaging that I am virtually dancing in a flowery spring meadow with all of you lovely people!

Of course I couldn’t help taking a hundred of pictures of the pretty flowers (though I have maintained some restraint in sharing them there will be more tomorrrow). I haven’t bought carnations for … I think ever, but I think they might be under-rated. What do you think?


grotta gigante - giant cave grotta gigante - giant cave grotta gigante - giant cave

Sunday we went to one of Trieste’s ‘famous’ tourist attractions, the Giant Cave. It isn’t the biggest cave in the world but it is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the biggest cave which tourists can visit. So it is the biggest one you will ever see, unless you are a speleologist. It is 100 metres high and around 130 metres wide. This requires walking down 500 stairs on the one side and bit of a wander near the bottom and a climb up 500 stairs on the other side so not for the rather unfit. The tour was lead by a specialist. There are lots of science centres in Trieste so I don’t think they have them in short supply.

A visit to the cave was part of Tim’s birthday present. His birthday was a few weeks back and though I wanted to give him a massive expensive present as a symbol of appreciation (isn’t that always the way) I just didn’t have the money. It isn’t a new idea but I made him a sort of mixed ‘box of adventures’. Inside was a notebook that I had got in trade for some photographs, some money for earphones that he was after (so he could have a soundtrack for his adventures) and some ‘adventure vouchers’. Using vouchers meant that I could spread the cost while still showing how much I care. Other vouchers include things like ‘a date night somewhere new’, ‘an adventurous read’, ‘prints of some instagram adventures’ as well as things that don’t cost money like going on a hike.

They key with this type of present is making sure you act on them. As the giver I would say it is my responsibility. Put the vouchers up on the fridge or somewhere you will see them so you will be reminded to use them and not just make it a crappy present.

Have you ever given vouchers for a birthday? Or would you? I’d love to hear your ideas

On a side note don’t you love the graphic for cave on the signs?



waterlogue picture of Trieste by mycreative waterlogue "you are my sushine" italian mycreative waterlogue image of pomegranate seeds and yoghurt by mycreative waterlogue images of boat and staircase by mycreative Last week I read about a new app over on Claire’s blog about a new app called waterlogue. I have been a fan of watercolour for a while but sadly don’t have much talent in that department. When I saw Rosa Park instagram a waterlogue image a little later I decided I had to check this thing out for myself.

What I think it works well with is simple images which don’t require too much detail (though my pomegranate seeds above do just look like a red mass I still like the colour). Also architectural and landscape are great. Look at the water! I think with people it is best for up close and uncluttered images as it loses too much detail when they are far away.

I think the developers of this app did a great job and love the attention to detail. For example the paper texture that the images have. You have to pay for this app but seriously (and maybe this is just an indication of how tragic I am) the best £2 I’ve spent in a while. That said just watching the process of the photos turn into watercolours isn’t enough to keep me going. I am thinking the images would make great cards and postcards, maybe a piece of art for a gallery wall (if that ever gets around to happening) and fun for other ‘designy’ projects. I might also finally make a water colour journal of my next holiday. Something that I have wanted to do for a long time but just got frustrated with when I tried with paints. I take my hat off to the talented people who can paint.

What do you think? And what would you do with it?

a little research


For a while I have been thinking of selling prints again. I sold attempted to sell prints a few years ago and sold 2, so I thought I would do a bit more ‘market research’ this time around. I would really appreciate if you could take a minute to do a little survey for me. Pretty short but hopefully it will provide some insight into whether I should go ahead or not.

You can find the survey here.

Thank you.

cheap and dirty christmas

cheap and dirty christmas star Yay it is December! You know what that means. Full out Christmas posting time.

A few weeks ago Freya of Nishantishu asked about some DIY christmas ideas.  Ché from Indieberries and I joined in a discussion with a couple idea. We then thought we would join forces to create a couple of “cheap and dirty” DIYs – things scrounged from the earth and your cupboard type ideas. Honestly these are more some inspirational ideas (because they are so easy) than DIYs but hopefully you find it useful. In the end the only thing I bought was some string and ribbon which was less than €8 all together (and I still have loads left).

Having moved country and not brought any Christmas decorations, with the added bonus of a really minimal budget to spend, I was keen to use things I could find for free or had on hand. We don’t have much floor space either in the living area so I thought garlands and wall decor was the way to go.

christmas garlands and mobile So after a walk around our local park picking up sticks and Tim finding some pinecones near his work here are a couple of ideas I came up with.

cookie cutter stars Cookie cutter mobile

I had some large star cookie cutters and simply tied them to a stick! (Told you this was easy). You could obviously use any seasonal cookie cutters you liked and make more layers with more string and sticks. You could even do a sort of Christmas tree shape.

cheap-and-dirty-christmas-stars-garland-mycreative Paper star garland

Keeping in theme with the stars… I am not one to usually cut up books but honestly this book had last been taken out of the library in the 70s and was basically a list of American historical fiction. I didn’t think anyone would miss it if it turned into a garland on my wall. So I used this tutorial for origami stars. I used washi tape to stick the two pieces of the stars together. I then used mini pegs (which I had) to attach them to the string. I am sure you could also use washi tape to attach them. Admittedly these would look better on a painted wall but that would have stretched the budget! Alternatively use different coloured paper in the festive colours of your choice.

Glitter tape garland

Not an idea of mine at all but I thought the wall could do with a bit more sparkle. Just fold some glitter tape over string and cut at the bottom to make tags. I had the tape but you can stock up on endless colours at Papermash.

pinecones and ribbon pinecones Pinecones in a jar

First take a nice walk to pick up some pinecones. If they are closed placed them near the heating and they should open up soon. Then put them in a giant pickle jar. If you are feeling fancy tie a pretty piece of ribbon around the top. I had thought to do some Sharpie drawing on the jar but my gold sharpie wasn’t up to the challenge.

Told you simple right! Head on over to Ché and Freya’s blogs to see what they have been up to. We would also love you to join in! So if you have any “cheap and dirty” Christmas ideas to share leave a comment or tweet/instagram about with the hashtag #cheapdirtyxmas.