Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.

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Challenge #1 – High-Key B&W Portrait Effect & 30 Days of Creativity – Day 30

Once again, two birds with one stone! I did my Photoshop challenge of the week & my final day of the 30 Days of Creativity.

I used a photo that I took this weekend at a wedding we went to of my husband & my youngest son. I used this tutorial to produce a high-key black & white portrait. I love the dreamy, ethereal feel of the high-key effect.





For details of this challenge, click here

The 30 Days of Creativity has been amazing. I haven’t felt heaps of pressure which has been great because I think that would have taken a lot of the fun out of it. But it has definitely been a consideration &  motivation as I think about my day. I plan on doing it again next year, but I think I will be much more organised & plan out more activities instead of flying by the seat of my pants as much as I did. This has been inspirational for me & I’ve done so many fun things & stretched myself. I’m excited to get back into more of my traditional art disciplines.

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30 Days of Creativity – Day 29

I have been fighting a headache all day – I think it’s the leftovers of my, thankfully short-lived, cold. Headaches & creativity do not dwell peacefully together. I thought I wasn’t going to manage a creative act today, but I decided to get my sketchbook out & see what happened. I ended up doing a 5 minute sketch of my hand. It’s not amazing, but it was so fun to do. I forget how much I love to just draw. I need to do it more. It takes time & concentration, but it’s worth it.

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Challenge 3 – Trout Navarra-Style & 30 Days of Creativity – Day 28

I made this recipe using steelhead trout I got at Costco. I thought it would be more like a white meat fish, but it seemed a lot like salmon. It was a super simple recipe, but it was basically fish with bacon – not saying that’s a bad thing, but it seemed very simple. I actually added capers right at the end, mostly because one of my sons loves capers & the last time I cooked fish it didn’t have capers & he was sad. We all loved the fish & I really liked the smoky, saltiness of the bacon with the fish.

For more details of this challenge, click here.


30 Days of Creativity – Day 27

I finally did it! I made a fascinator. I have been wanting to make one for ages, but have been kind of intimidated. I decided that my first attempt would be a Summery fascinator that wouldn’t look heavy, but I also didn’t want it looking too bridal so I went black & white.

I even managed to clean the downstairs today. Creativity & cleaning? It is possible!

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30 Days of Creativity – Days 25 & 26

My creative act yesterday was to take a few pictures of my boys at the wedding we went to. This is one of my favourites.

Sometimes I am just blown away by how amazing my boys are. Truly blessed.

Today, I got out my calligraphy pens & wrote out a quote on an Artist Trading Card. I haven’t done any calligraphy in ages, but I love it. This was done freehand in no particular style but my own. The quote inspires me. I can’t do it on my own.

I am quite smitten with ATCs. I love the small size – you can create something simple or elaborate & they are just plain fun. I want to find a way to start trading with other artists.

Here are a few that I have done.



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30 Days of Creativity – Day 24

I’m back! Had a couple of days without doing anything intentional – I cooked meals, put outfits together, played with the boys, but none of it felt like an intentional act of creativity. It’s been a really bad week sleep-wise & I think that has contributed to my lethargy. Snapping out of it now though. I had a brief window of opportunity today while Zane was napping & Jude was at VBS, so I got on with it & made a button tree.

I have been wanting to make a button tree for ages. I’ve lately been obsessed with buttons – my grandma used to have lots of crafty things & I was frustrated that I didn’t have a big collection of buttons for the boys & I to make stuff with. So I set out to build my own button collection – Freecycle, thrift stores, family & 50% off buttons sales at Joanns. I’ve now got a great collection going. I originally had them all in one jar, but soon realised they would be more useful if I sorted them by colour. Jude & I had a lot of fun sorting buttons. I think they are beautiful in their jars & inspirational too. I love jars of treasures!

Jars full of wonderful things.


Colourful buttons.


My Button Tree

Now I fully intend to go to bed when the boys do tonight – must get some sleep!

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30 Days of Creativity – Day 19

Happy Father’s Day! Don’t know how it worked out, but we went to one of my favourite restaurants – the only Indian place in town. Colin loves it too, so that’s good. Colin played with the boys all day while I read, cooked & did some crafty/creative things. Colin really is an amazing Dad. Speaking of amazing Dad’s, I am so blessed to have mine. I’m thankful for the love of music, reading, thinking & a willingness to ask questions that he gave to me.

I got started on the boy’s outdoor chalkboard today. I saw this idea on Pinterest. Sanded, primed & the first coat of chalkboard paint on it. 24 hours & I can do the final coat. I’m excited to have it – I think the boy’s will have lots of fun with it.



Almost Ready

I can now also post a picture of the art work we made for Colin for Father’s Day. His office space at work is so bare & so I am setting out to add some nice touches. This was an idea that I also saw on Pinterest. All of our handprints. Colin has quite large hands!

I also made cheese & onion pasties for tea – one of my favourite things ever! And for my final creative act of the evening, I gave my oldest son his first buzz cut!

For more information about 30 Days of Creativity, click here.


30 Days of Creativity – Day 18

We’ve had a very productive day in our house today. Despite the rain, we got our soaker hoses in the ground for the garden – ok, so Colin & Jude did this. I planted all the seeds in the raised beds & transplanted the tomato plant outdoors. This is the latest we’ve ever got the garden going, but I planted shortly before this last year with starts & lost everything to a frost & had to start over. So I decided to wait until now & plant straight into the ground. We’ll see!


My other creative project that Colin helped me with today is one of my most favourite things I’ve ever made. I saw an item through Pinterest on Etsy & I loved the concept behind it. It was a keychain made from pennies from the year you, your spouse & your children were born, but I wanted something more accessory-like. So I scoured the house for pennies, emptied the boy’s piggy banks & found the coins I was looking for. Then I got to thinking that it would be fun to get even more personal & relevant. Colin was born in New Zealand so I am hoping some of our friends or family can find me a penny from Colin’s birth year. Then because we were married in the UK, I found a two pence piece (because there’s two of us!) from the year we were married.

All that to say that I now have a necklace with a penny each from all our birth years & the year we were married & they’re in chronological order from the top down. Drilling the holes in the coins wasn’t easy, but Colin helped & it worked! I’ll cherish this item forever!

For more information about the 30 Days of Creativity, click here.

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Challenge #1 Photoshop Actions & 30 Days of Creativity – Day 16

I love looking at photographer’s work. I have a pinboard on Pinterest dedicated to photography ideas. I asked a photographer friend of mine, Amy of Amy Mathews Photography, how she got some of her looks. She directed me to Florabella & MCP for their actions. They both have amazing Photoshop actions & I’d love to get some of them sometime. Not being a professional photographer though, it’s hard for me to justify the expense.

So I did a bit of searching, tried out a few free actions I found online, but none were really giving me the looks I wanted. Then I came across The Coffeeshop Blog. Rita has heaps of free Photoshop actions & I am just slowly working my way through them. She offers an explanation of the actions, but it’s easier for me if I can see what the effect will be. So I mostly just started grabbing actions & trying them. I need to spend some time learning how to use pre-assembled actions more – as far as making adjustments, etc. Super resource!

The boys & I went to the park & I happened to take my DSLR. 145 photos later… That’s the thing with digital cameras. Love it though. I’m also trying to be more disciplined with getting rid of photos so they don’t take up too much space.

I’ll be sharing more photos later, but I used some of The Coffeeshop Blog’s actions on two of the photos I took today.

Jude in a Tree - Before

I used Lusturous Pop& Eye Bright

Jude in a Tree - After


Zane - Before

I used Velvet Truffle & Eye Bright

Zane - After

Actions aren’t a substitute for good photography, but they can help make photos standout. I’m excited to try more of the actions from this great blog!

For details of this challenge, click here. For more information about 30 Days of Creativity, click here.


Challenge # 3 Salmon with Avocado Salsa + 30 Days of Creativity, Day 14

Jude was a bit shocked & horrified that I made salmon without capers tonight! How could I?!? Well, I did & it was yummy. I wanted to try a new salmon recipe & I came across this one. Up until recently, I have not been a fan of raw onion. Lately, it’s been growing on me. Onions are at their best when they are caramelized, but raw ain’t too bad. Sorry Mom! I know you don’t like raw onions, but I’m starting to.

Anyway, we had a lovely meal & the salsa was really nice. I loved the mix of the creaminess of the avocado & the tartness of the lime. I didn’t use hot peppers because I wanted the boys to try it.

This is also my creative enterprise for the day. I sewed some lace onto my dress today, so I guess that counts too.

For details of this challenge, click here.

Be on the lookout for my first giveaway tomorrow! It’s a good one.