Closing out the year...

22 years and still laughing…

With Christmas and birthdays and this crazy time of year… our anni usually comes and goes quietly and we are too exhausted to celebrate or spoil or anything else really. The past few years we have been trying to make more effort esp with the girls getting older. Last year we tried something different and celebrated early and that was amazing to take the pressure of this time of year. This year again, we were determined to keep it low key and it was soooo chilled too and we loved it. We had an uber quiet day at home… slept, read and played some poker. Later in the afternoon we popped out for a quiet celebration with Kitty. Being a hopeless romantic, she asked us to reminisce how we met and that time of our lives. We laughed a lot. This year I have known Digz for half his life and that seems so surreal to me.

One of things I’ve always loved so much about us and our family, is how much we laugh together. I know this is a gift from Digz, he’s a funny guy and he has always made me laugh from my belly. He has a brilliant way of helping us see the funny and joy in life and not take things too seriously. When things get intense, he manages to throw in something light and it sometimes just helps right when it needs to. It’s been a good balance for me and my more serious side has been a good balance for him.



It’s a wrap… “Love, Life and Everything else”

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have finished this visually beautiful project. It was one of the highlights to my year and I’m utterly grateful for everything it gave and more. I think it has changed me a little from the inside out and I’m not sure how you go back to normal after something so profound.

I have titled this body of works…. "Love, Life and Everything else”.

I didn’t know it at the time but when I look at them altogether like this, it’s all I can see… a body of love, of life and everything else in between. I have been so blown away by this project and how much it grounded me through the year. It gave me something tangible to hold onto especially when the weeks were tough and that even in those moments I could still find the beautiful. In each day, in the mundane, in the stress and chaos of life and in the quiet and private spaces too. It’s been one of the most visually beautiful projects I’ve ever done for myself. I know we know things and I know we miss other things. We skirt over the good things and focus on the silly things but seeing life's nuances in picture form helped me find so much love, goodness simplicity and humility… and it did something deep inside of me. I am so grateful.

.Thank you #365tinycaptures for helping me see, really see.

Thank you for journeying with me Lucy and Jackie who also personally took this journey in their own formats and thank you for coming along for the ride through the year - I loved sharing it with you.


Birthday Girl

I’m not going to lie, being far away from Corks on her birthday was brutal, we all missed her terribly. Sharing her has been an adjustment. She turned 20 while she was out at sea, a perfect way to kiss her teenage years goodbye. We are so proud of the young adult she’s becoming and is. We iron out issues as they come up, which of course they still do but on the most part… she’s doing good, very good. The best part about her traveling to Mauritius with Ryan and spending this festive season with his family is that Ryan took her to see most of the island on their bikes. It was block training season for both of them and they trained intensely together. I love the places her bike is taking her. What a beautiful way to see the world... one country at a time on your own set of wheels. It was a year of firsts for all of us, not having her with us this time of year. She’s growing up and so are we… we are learning how to let go and how to do that with grace (we hope). How I help myself cope is I remind myself where I was when I was her age and it definitely helps me find perspective. Sometimes I forget how independent I was already.

Ryan is Mauritian and his family live there and they invited Corks for the holidays.

When she asked us if she could go to Mauritius with Ryan earlier in the year, we decided that if she wanted to travel that we would help a little bit with pocket money but she would have to buy her own ticket to the island. Which she agreed to. I know that sounded a bit harsh on our part but it was a very grown up thing to do and we wanted her to know that it came with responsibility that she would have to carry. She had most of the year to work towards it. Corks and Ryan did their first stage race together and won the mixed team category and the prize money paid for her ticket there. Of course, we loved that so much.

Very proud of them both.


What a beautiful part of the world It’s around 2000 miles from Cape Town/5 hour flight.

Walking and walking…

The day before we left on holiday Digby broke his toe. Yes on the already injured side.

Digby’s mobility was returning beautifully, we weren’t having any set backs and the swelling had been at bay for a good few months already and he has been moving more freely and even faster. I actually couldn’t believe it. The swelling returned with a vengeance and the discomfort was back. After 20 months, we have another set back and I really just feel so badly for him. It’s the second December affected by this injury.

In April it will be 2 years since the hit and run and we continue to struggle. We spent as much time as we could in the water this holiday and walked on the beach sand too to help. Luckily this time he didn’t seem to have pain, just the swelling and discomfort. He will continue physio when we get back now and he might have to consider another op on his knee etc. in the new year. We will know more once the toe recovers.

I loved the beach walking and the beaches just seemed to go on forever and the water was warmish so I could wade and walk and I loved it. I can’t wait to come back asap.


I love this picture of us… it feels so youthful. Thank you Kitty for taking such beautiful pics for us. It was a beautiful day walking to Gerickes Point.

What a special place.


PYHAS 2019 - is a go…

Paint your Heart and Soul starts today.

There is such a brilliant lineup of artists sharing their love and passion and I can’t wait to join in and be part of this group this year. This will be the only group I’ll be in teaching in this year. If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s still not too late to do so.

Look forward to seeing you in the classroom.

Happy New Year!


Christmas Creativity... just a little

I only bought a few art supplies with me these holidays.

Just for a little tinkering here and there. Our first week here came and went so fast. I still had some work to do to get everyone paid before Christmas and we still had so much running around to do once we got here. It didn’t leave any time for anything creative. So come Christmas day after lunch had been served, I was just desperate to do anything. So I grabbed my charcoal and my journal and got to scribble a bit.


I really hope I get so squeeze in more scribbles and more creative moments in between the walks, naps, rest and recovery. Merry Christmas to you all. Sending love and gentleness to you and yours during this time.

Much love, always xoxo

Beautiful books...

Kitty asked for some books for Christmas so we sat together and ordered some books for all of us… for holiday reading. I had been eyeing these books in my yoga studio library and I decided to get my own copies.

I’m so glad I did. I love the little book of quiet. Just a perfect little companion for me.


I’m particularly thrilled with Meditations from the Mat. It’s actually a daily readings book so although I selected this book for holiday reading, it will take me through the next 365 days. The readings are short and manageable. And when I shared it on my Instagram story I got very positive feedback about it from friends.

I am a week in and I’m already learning lots and loving it’s profound simplicity and wisdom.

Choosing a simpler way...

After hearing Annie Hamman’s health testimony earlier this year, I was so blown away and really started researching. We had long telephone convos about it and I looked at the books she suggested. Various other things happened this year especially with Kitty and her health and well-being, we started talking about it more. With both of us doing yoga as much as we have been, we decided to start eating in a more simpler way. Choosing fruit and veggies over meats and choosing raw over cooked where we can. I’m not making any statements that we are now…. vegan or vegetarian or anything but more consciously choosing a different way daily and totally loving it. What I do know is that it’s been a long transition and small daily changes, going slowly.


It turned our meal prep on it’s head. Having two very different eating groups in our home was proving challenging. Our meals are now quick and easy to prepare and there was a big divide in our sharing meals. And we were all feeling it. Eating together is something we have always done as a family. We always stop what we are doing and commune together no matter what. A big part of our togetherness is around food.

We had to regroup and think how we were going to do this. And we did and we have come together beautifully. I’m so grateful to Corks who instigated this and got so on board with us and what we were doing and we have in returned met each other in our different spaces and worked together.

I’m so grateful my family loves healthy food and good food and with us getting all creative in the kitchen again has brought new life back into our kitchen and meal making.


31Days of... on hold

I had to put my 31Days of… project on hold because once our car was packed for our trip there was no room left for my big canvas and no matter how we tried, she was just too big.

I guess I didn’t realize how big she was. I got half way through the month and I’m loving the challenge of working on her everyday. But I am looking forward to going home to work on her some more in January.


What I’m loving most of all about this piece is of course her size but also moving slowly and the layering is rather wonderful.  Also not expecting an outcome has freed me up quite a bit.

Feels rather delicious.

Summer is finally here...

Every year everyone always seems a little shocked when summer finally arrives.

As someone who feels the cold the way I do, I know exactly when the warm finally arrives and it’s never in September when everyone expects. For the past 20 years… it has only ever arrived in December. And it when it arrives it does so with a vengeance. South African summers are hot and long but Cape Town is the exception. Our summers aren’t long and being coastal with our oceans being Atlantic, there is always this cold wind off the ocean. You always need a jersey especially in the evenings. The days can be brutally hot and the evenings with that icy wind, cold and to me it’s bitterly cold :-)


We had so much beautiful rain in November which is a bit unusual but the dry long summer months are terrifying me a little after the drought and water shortages the past while. The November and December rains have been glorious and the water in the forest, off the mountain has been flowing - I haven’t seen water flowing like this for years.

And of course my favorite part of summer are the beautiful flowering trees that flood our streets and gardens with brilliant colors and scents. Which make evening walks heavenly.


31Daysof... Day 1

So I have been out of my studio pretty much since my auction. I have had one session there for my final Life Book lesson. But on the most part, I haven’t been able to get back in there until I got some things out of my way….

  • My final assignment for Gillian’s class and my final mentoring call.

  • Final lesson for LifeBook… done.

  • Main lesson for Paint Your Heart and Soul… almost finished.

  • Shipping woes/issues from my auction… almost there.

  • Catching up with admin and work work… much better.

Day 1 of 31 - 30”x24” Stretched Canvas working with Charcoal and Derwent Graphite block.

Day 1 of 31 - 30”x24” Stretched Canvas working with Charcoal and Derwent Graphite block.

Process vs endProduct…

As a way to get me back into my space, I’ve decided to close out my year with a little project…

I’m going to work on this piece every day for the next 31 days, doing something even if it’s just small. I’m going to do my best to share this journey and be vulnerable as I can with you. My idea is to explore regardless of the end product, focusing on process and total exploration. I know some days will be good and others will be bad but I just want to move with it even if it’s a complete disaster. But I’ll be in my studio and it will be a good month regardless of the outcome.


Goodbye November...

Goodbye Busy November.

So much happened and when I look back at some of these images, they feel like they were months ago. But wow… things are moving fast and slow and everything feels a little intense as we are fast approach the end of the year. I know it’s just time and just symbolic but there is something about ending an intense year and starting a new one.

It feels like a new clean slate… blank canvas… renewed hope.


Whatever it is, I am loving seeing my 11 little bundles of pictures altogether. Big piles of life.

They are making me smile big at the moment.

31 days to go…


Busy, busy, busy...

I am not sure how exactly but I seemed to forget how insane November always is for me. I think because October was crazy, I thought the busy came early and November would be mild. That’s quite funny now when I think about it… what was I thinking?

It’s my busy season… work wise. Cape Town is in full filming season and the cameras are rolling everywhere. Plus I started with a new film client in October and it has been manic. I can’t remember when last I worked like this… I always work hard but this has been hectic. I am loving it and I know it’s good for me to keep me on my toes especially regarding not getting complacent in my day job. I think I was getting bored and the change has been brilliant.

35 Days to go

35 Days to go

Delightful finds

Delightful finds

Lavender Love

Lavender Love

Today we all got to breathe out a big sigh of relief because it is the end of the school year for Kitty. She has finished Grade 11 and officially has one year left of school. Both of us are getting the scent of freedom and it is good. Corks has finished her second year of art school and has two years left to go… we are half way there. She has selected her major in painting. Exciting times.

Getting through this last term has been a push because both girls have been in bed with bronchitis and so soon after kitty having pneumonia. The holiday couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. We are fatigued.

Stitching Class in the City

Stitching Class in the City

In all her Glory

In all her Glory

Old boy

Old boy

Even though I haven’t had any time #inmystudio since my last lesson for Life Book and my auction, I’ve still been making time to do my #365TinyCaptures project, attend a stitching class in the city with a friend. And had visits with both Anne (Annetolie) and Annie in Hermanus and that’s always creatively filling my love tank.

Sweetness in the City

Sweetness in the City

Annie weekend

Annie weekend

Tiles at my yoga studio

Tiles at my yoga studio

Tomorrow sees us finishing our second month of Budokon mornings. It is closing now for the holidays and we are hoping to return in the new year. For now we will do our Saturday morning Budokon classes and some of the yoga classes at our regular gym, together with our own practice at home. We continue to learn and be humbled by the practice as well as by our bodies.

What a life changing few months we have had.

Catching up with life... and some news.

thank you, thank you, thank you

The build up to my auction was intense and the prep work was mighty. I make sure each piece is finished well, the sides of my canvases, my backgrounds and I make sure there aren’t any blemishes. I seal some of the pieces too. To me, finishing off pieces can take as long as a painting itself. I also managed to finish some of my bigger pieces that I had been struggling all year to finish. They came together in the end and ended up being some of my favourites for this event.

My auction came and went and it was such a wonderful experience and truly a highlight to my whole year. Honestly, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. Knowing I don’t walk alone is so big for me. Thank you for those who came, who loved, who bid and more. Your presence for those few days made me feel so held. THANK YOU Stephanie for your incredible love, support and constant input.

I was blown away by the whole experience, truly.


Post auction work for me is as full on and as intense as the prep. I have been deep in wrapping paper, bubblewrap, tape and boxes. It’s why I have been so quiet here on my blog and on social media. As you know, packaging up for me is as sacred as the art itself. There is something old world about receiving art wrapped and sent by snail mail. I know how I have felt when I’ve bought art from a special artist and unveiled the beauty inside. There is no other way to describe it… it is sacred. I hope you receive you package as such.

My packages are all on their way and my studio is empty and my new blank canvases are waiting for me… and I can’t wait to start creating again. It feels like I haven’t been doing anything new for around two months. I’m missing my space.

budokan yoga mornings

We have survived our first month of Budokon Yoga mornings. Kitty and I have been getting up at 5.15am four mornings a week. We head into the city to workout with a small group. I think it might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, physically, mentally and emotional. Somedays to get me through the door is quite something. If I didn’t have Kitty coaxing me over the threshold, I would have run away already. Some mornings my anxiety is real. It’s a combination of knowing I’m going to suffer and that no matter how hard I try, sometimes my body just won’t or just can’t do what I want it to do. But also knowing I am weak physically. As someone who has been active my whole life, I’m not sure how I got to this place. I have always been fit but not overly strong. And I’m so stiff in body from years of being a runner and from long hours of sitting.

Looking back after our first month. I’m so proud of us.

We are showing up and as hard as it’s been, we are loving it. There is something so beautiful about rising early, I do know this in itself is such a beautiful practice. But there has been so much more. We have been humbled in the most amazing ways and we are getting stronger. Remembering the sequence is quite something for my older brain to grasp. Not to mention the beauty of the practice itself. It’s visually pleasing to watch and do.

But the greatest gift of all is that I get to do this with my girl 4 times a week but also seeing my Kitty girl so happy. It’s changing her and she’s transforming right in front of me, physically and emotionally and I can’t contain my joy some days.

We have signed up for another month and I’ve ordered a dvd too to help us practice more at home. It’s been such a gift to us this last month and I have a feeling it will continue to do so as we grow in strength.

road tripping, just digz and I

A few times Digz and I have been able to sneak away for a few weekends by ourself. And I can’t tell you what a treat they have been for us. Kitty has joined us a few times but Courteney’s schedule this year, hasn’t allowed her to join us yet but we are hoping she will soon. This past weekend was so special. It was good for my soul, we walked in the most beautiful place and it restored so much for me. We had beautiful quality conversation, shared meals and some sightseeing. I can’t wait to go back,


300 and 65 days to go…

I can’t believe we are past the 300 day mark in the awesome little project and I love it so much. I now have less than 65 days left. Less than two months and that’s crazy to me. Visually breathtaking and I can’t wait to lay them all out.

Hmmmm I wish you could all pop over and step a little closer to see these beautiful TinyCaptures of Love.


Lifebook 2018 Mini Lesson

I have been a guest teacher for a few platforms this year and I have found it particularly challenging this year to come up with teaching ideas. I don’t know why it’s been such a challenge, but it has. I literally toiled for months on this lesson and finally I managed to get out of my own way to film this little lesson. My first attempt was a fail. But this one… I loved putting together for you. Yay. Now I edit and upload and I hope you will love this lesson as much as I did. It was good for my soul.

Thank you for having me on LifeBook this year.


Have a beautiful week and I’m so excited to be entering November with most of my “have to’s” behind me. I am feeling excited and so relieved by my clear schedule ahead of me.

It feels like a promise…. of new things to come.

Much Love, always… Jeanne-Marie

September is behind us...

September came and went and I’m late in sharing my month.

Yes, life has been that crazy busy. Yikes…

This has still been such a highlight to my life and I’m loving ticking off the months as we go. We are officially into the double digit days and we are already into the 2nd week of October.

If I could chat to time, I would ask to him where he was off to in such a rush and maybe ask him to quieten down a bit, to linger a little longer and to take a gentle moment to hold still.

Just for a bit, just for me.


Thanksgiving Art Bundle...

This only happens once a year!!!!

8 Workshops from 5 Online Teachers are now on sale for a whopping 70% off.

For 1 week only.

If you haven't signed up for these yet, now is your chance to get them at this bargain price.

We all discounted our respective classes as a way of saying a BIG thank you, to YOU for the love and support through the years.

Registration is officially open now and once you have signed up, you will gain instant access to all 8 courses, all videos are downloadable and for your to keep and work on in your own time. 

This offer will expire in one week, next Wednesday 17th at 12 noon EST.

***Solo Auction in just a few sleeps...

I have known about my auction all year through and it’s just been something at the back of my mind and heart. It’s always a big deal and even though this will be my 4th Auction with Stephanie and 3rd Solo, I have to say it doesn’t get easier. Vulnerability takes courage, I know this right.

And for me it is always a full body, full heart and full mind experience.


Thank you for the love and support this last while, I literally couldn’t do it without YOU. And of course, Stephanie, you are amazing. Thank you for always believing.

Counting down the sleeps….

Sown in love...

I’m not sure why these little creations are delighting me so, even with my limited skills and abilities… They are bringing me equal amounts of joy and frustrations in their complexities.

At this stage I’m overstitching and unpicking as much as I am actually stitching and that makes me laugh at myself because in many ways, it’s how I paint. Layers over layers… until something emerges and until I find my way. Sometimes fully over doing it and having to pull back. I’m learning much and loving the creative play, as always.

Right now, it is feeding my soul and that’s always a good place.


All these pieces will be in my Auction next month. I hope you will swing by.

265 done and 100 to go...

The days have been slipping past and this year has moved at such a pace, that has at times left me breathless. Documenting this year in picture form has been such a gift to me. I have loved my journey. Visually… it’s moved me deeply. One thing has been clear the whole way through is being able to recognise the patterns of our life and our life is beautifully simple.

And simply beautiful.


Even though we have had challenges this year, a lot of them… it is SUCH a BeautifulLife and it’s really helped me not only focus on how hard things have been but it’s helped me hold on.

Thank you #365TinyCaptures for reminding me how precious our life is… each day, each memory, and each moment. You have taken my breath away with your beautiful reminders. Looking back with such fondness - I have loved every single day even in it’s fragility and in it’s vulnerability but mostly in it’s love.


Seeker of the Light...

This piece has captivated me for months.  I started her last year for my {Held}Captive class and I thought she was finished but she keeps calling me back.  These were originally flowers but now they are Lightseekers.  I guess pretty much where I am a this week, seeking that little light at the end of the tunnel.

I am learning much about painting fabric moths and I want to continue here for a while.  Finding ways to incorporate them into my art and stories.  I am still waiting for my MisterFinch book to arrive for beautiful inspiration but for now I continue to play and explore and fall more in love with painting these  mysterious fabric creatures.

I don’t think we are finished with each other yet but I’m hoping to wrap her up soon for my Auction that is coming up.  I am thrilled to say my Auction page is up and running.  To find out more, follow my button bellow.

Much love, always.

Budokon Yoga Mornings...

The past few years I’ve been doing on and off yoga. More off than on. For ages I giggled at myself for not being any good at it but I just kind of loved it for what it was. It wasn’t about being good or bad but more about me being. Stretching my stiff body. I sit a lot and stand a lot so I’m stiff in body. By the end of last year, something shifted and I’ve been going regularly, around 3 times a week. I’m a little hooked. And I’m slowly getting better, slowly getting stronger and slowly understanding more. More than that, I’m slowly loving it more and more. At our silent retreat we did such amazing yoga and our teachers recommended where we should go if we wanted to do more of that style of yoga. I did. I have been researching for 2 weeks and at last I signed up for a month long course, 12 sessions. to learn more and grow more, deeper learning. I feel like I am on this beautiful private journey.

Silent, intentional and utterly beautiful to me.


I am nervous, excited. It’s a new studio that I’ll be going to and that always takes courage. It will be 3 early mornings a week. It starts early October so the mornings will be lighter and warmer and I think it will be a brilliant way to start my day and make my weeks so beautiful.

#SoGrateful #SoHumbled

PYHAS2019 Winner


Thank you for participating in my free space giveaway. I had almost 100 names on my list.

Congratulations Mikell Duncan on your win.

Thank you for all your incredible comments, messages and stories about where you live and your beautiful homes. I learnt so much about new places and it felt like I got a little glimpse into your lives.

The early bird special continues. Please follow the button. Thank you so much for the sign ups already.

Happy Spring Day...

Since our beautiful silent retreat, we have been struggling to keep our head above water. Kitty being so sick, threw me right off kilter because she is so seldom sick and if she gets sick, it’s always so mild. And this was bad. Besides becoming an expert wound dresser the past few years from cycling crashes and road roasties, I realised I didn’t know what to do. It’s been so long since I had really sick babies, right. I am just so grateful for her doctor. I can’t remember when I felt so held and so heard by my doctor and that I was in a safe place. I took the rest of that week off and the weekend too, to be with her. She slept for 3 days straight. While she slept and healed, I spring cleaned her space and life and we regrouped together. Sometimes life just shows you what needs to be done.

We listened, we heard and we obeyed.

Eating clean

Eating clean

Sandy has fully healed

Sandy has fully healed

Yay Art Supplies

Yay Art Supplies

Sharon’s Porcelain rings

Sharon’s Porcelain rings

Beautiful scented Jasmine

Beautiful scented Jasmine

Wisdom teeth removal

Wisdom teeth removal

She slept for 3 days

She slept for 3 days

2019 Planning already

2019 Planning already

Riley has healed

Riley has healed

Hanging onto the goodness and celebrating the victories in the heaviness of these final winter months. We are all feeling it.

Today was the first official day of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, Spring Equinox. Even though we had snow this week. I know around the end of winter, we are wary and holding on tight and this year feels no different. I am hoping with the change of seasons, we will feel lighter and feel refreshed from things that always seem a little heavier during the winter months.

Looking forward to milder, calmer days.

The beautiful art of quiet...

This weekend past Kitty and I escaped to the beautiful Kogelberg Nature Reserve and Mountains for a Silent Retreat.  We went together with my oldest friend from school, we are still connected after all these years.  We had been planning this trip since April and it was hard to believe it had arrived.  Our hearts were expectant and our bodies were ready too.


We arrived on Friday afternoon and the drive into the mountains with all those yellows and greens were like my color palette in life form.  I couldn't believe the synchronicity of that.  It felt like I was in another country.  As we hit the nature reserve, the cellphone signal was gone and I thought I would struggle, but I really didn't.  Plus our schedules were full on so I didn't have too much time to think about connecting outside.  We were connecting right here in the present.  Digz and Corks were also away for the weekend doing a stage race.


Our days were filled with yoga, meditative yoga and quiet and gentle sessions of being introspective, intentional and deep thinking.  We also shared beautiful intimate meals together.  Our teachers were really two of the most beautiful people I've met in a long time and our little group was quite something.  Some of us knew each other from gym and other places and there was a unity with us that often happens when one is on retreat.  I never forget how meaningful this is.  It was hard work and deep work too.  It was a slower yoga than some of the gym classes I do and I've realised I love this way more, it suits my temperament and nature much more.


I think I will tuck this experience away deep inside as one of the most moving things I've done in a long time.  The yoga was the most beautiful to me.  I learnt so much about was my breathing technique and also my tummy.  I don't know why that affected me so much but I think it has to do with the work I've been doing this year in surrendering.  Funny enough the name of the retreat was "LetGo".  I realise I hold my tummy in so tight all the time, without knowing it, I'm always clenching.  I am still holding on so damn tight.  Although I've been doing the daily work in yielding and moving with rather than against... you know, like my paint, creativity, life or everything else really, I still have so much work to do.  I shared more about it previously, in this blog post here.

It hit me hard this weekend and my body isn't quite there yet.  It felt like deeper work in this area.  Like bringing my body in line with the thoughts I've been having this year.  Maybe deeper levels to complement the work I've been doing with Gillian, my art and creativity.  I don't know, I'm still unpacking it.  But as I slow down and contemplate, release my tummy and breathe out, I will continue to do the work and that this was the start of something rather beautiful.