A beautiful day in the country...

We had a mid-week public holiday and we took a two hour drive up the coast and out of town.  It was a beautiful peaceful drive.  Lots of laughs, banter and moments of quiet.  I love road-tripping but more than that, I love making memories.  It's something we have always done as a family and I hope it's something we continue to do.  Getting us all at the same place at the same time, is taking more effort these days.


We had brunch at a Slow Food Restaurant called Graze and it was well worth the drive.  We arrived hungry and the beautiful organic veggies brought in by the locals, was a highlight for me.  It also meant I didn't have to stop for supplies during the week.

After our meal, we popped into the some lovely shops along the main strip.  It didn't take long because the town of Stanford is rather minute.  We popped into an antique store where I found this beautiful Fallow Deer Antler.  I didn't hesitate, I bought it on the spot.  I didn't know we got them here.  It's something I've waited a very long time for.  I feel a little beside myself about it.

We took a slow meander home and it was just such a treat of a day.

#HappyDay #HappyHeart


For Gillian's mentorship program, I had to work out a "showing up" program and put them in my diary as appointments.  I love that.  It is going very well.  I am project / goal orientated and although I have no idea where I'm heading currently, my project for now, is just being present and here and holding this space.


Finishing this piece that I started on the 1st January, it has been lying around here for months.  Playing with blue because it is currently and maybe always has been my favourite colour.  That combined with my "showing up" schedule and not knowing anything else = extreme joy!

I'm kind of loving researching and experimenting.

And that's enough for now.

Writing, writing, writing...

The last while I have been doing deep introspection work and writing in abundance.  We are on week 6/7 of the Artist Way and I'm truly loving the material.  I try do it every couple of years but this time, maybe due to where I'm at, has gone way deeper.  It's so good, I had forgotten.  That in combination with Gillian's class material... and the deep introspection she makes us do seems to be going hand in hand.


I'm writing wherever and whenever I can.  I realised today it's actually my favourite time of the year to write.  We are heading into autumn and I need my morning jersey and it feels nostalgic and like I'm visiting with an old friend... myself.

A day or two in the City with a little book...

I spent the day in the City at a Bookbinding Workshop - Accordion Spine & Pamphlet Stitch today.  What a treat.  I wanted to do something that stretched my comfort zones and that was a little different for me.  I am trying to be braver in this area of taking in person classes.

It was a lovely studio and the weather made it a perfect day to be huddled in the studio making handmade art books.  Tomorrow we stitch and make our hardboard covers and spines.

 Paper Tearing

Paper Tearing

 And more tearing

And more tearing

 Paper Folding

Paper Folding

I have been collecting the most beautiful covers the last while and I can't wait to fill them with beautiful signatures... I want to get into the habit of making art books and practice my stitching skills.  When I'm not doing them regularly, I forget the sequences and I have to learn from scratch all over again.

 All ready for stitching.  The blue fabric will be on my hardboard covers.

All ready for stitching.  The blue fabric will be on my hardboard covers.

Will share more tomorrow...

Tea and Cake with Gracie...

I am so thrilled to share with you that at the beginning of the year, I was invited by Tam and Gracie from WillowingArt.org to have a Tea and Cake with Gracie interview.  That has just gone live on their website.  Please pop on over to their page.  I am having a few giveaways there, sharing a creative video, some free downloads, as well as sharing some of my story.  I will be sharing on LifeBook later this year too.

Thank you Gracie for such a special time of sharing.


Burnt Offerings...


I'm finally showing up for Portraits, Your Art, Your Way, a class I signed up for last year with Gillan Lee Smith, but never got there.  I am loving having the space to breath and get back into deep learning.  This lesson was to draw expressively with charcoal for 5 minute and then continue on for another 20 minutes, just using a putty eraser with your charcoal.  I was resistant at first but the more I got into it the easier it got and for now I'm just playing, practicing and experimenting.

Gillian's class is 4 weeks, I might stretch it out because I am currently on week 6 of the Artist Way and it has been deep and challenging and I am also in Gillian's Mentoring Group for the next six months and the we are working deep and lots.  So my heart and head and hands are full.

And I'm happy!



We are almost halfway through March and I'm still loving this incredible little project.    This year is already moving so swiftly and it makes me a little scared at the pace of life at the moment.  I would love it to slow down just a little.

How important is it to capture moments and hold onto something before they pass on by and quickly forgotten.  I am loving being so mindful and loving how visually beautiful this project is.  #SoGrateful

Klimt inspired slingbags - have arrived...


Oh they are here and they are beautiful

I am so excited... I was desperate to try my Klimt inspired TeaBagGirl on one of my SlingBags and it has surpassed my expectations.   I took a chance and it paid off.

I only had 10 printed up and there are only 7 left.  Please follow the button below to secure your SlingBag.  Thank you for the love around my special bags - that has meant the world to me.


"I'll carry my village with me..."

I really had an exciting week.

I signed a new contract this week for something new coming up, I'll share soon.  I have an interview coming up, will share about that soon too and my new bags arrived and they are even more beautiful.

I had beautiful quality conversations with a few special friends that I had been missing and it helped me feel more connected.  Quality conversation is one of my love languages so this is always a treat for me.  Thank you for filling my love tank.

I have been so enjoying everyone's art and what they have been sharing the past few months and Ivy Newport had been sharing about her new class, Into the Blue, Picasso Inspired and in between she shared her latest Marc Chagall inspired piece.  I adore both artists.  She has been so inspiring.  She told me to give myself permission to have a date with Mr Chagall to creatively play with primary colors.  Her words and creative play and my book on Chagall inspired me to try this, something that I had wanted to try for a while but was lacking courage.

Thank you my friend, for the gentle push.


More than the outcome of this piece, I felt my old familiar joy of painting again.  This is my first start to finish piece this year.  It was a wonderful way to spend my weekend and I really haven't felt that for so long.  I had fun and I love her building earrings and the playfulness of the other buildings.

I love old buildings and I love including them in my work.

Feeling encouraged and so grateful.

Morning Pages and Artist's Dates...

On the 4th January I started doing morning pages again and later started the Artist's Way.  I do it every couple of years and it never seizes to amaze me how brilliant the tools are and the outcome.  The weekly readings are phenomenal and so are the assignments.

It took me a bit to settle into it but we are just through week 4 and I'm already feeling the rewards of the daily practices.


I found this gorgeous Mandala drop and Neil Diamond LP on my last date.  It is a nostalgic walk down my childhood memory lane.  All these small gestures are making me so ridiculously happy.  I had been on the look out for a candle's solution to add to my act of Hygge and I found these beautiful additions on an outing.  There is something intentional about it all.

The mandala drop lead me to rearrange my whole studio and clear out so much.


I had got out of the practice of writing daily, walking and artist's dates last year and feeling the benefits of these powerful acts again has been so deeply rewarding and healing in many ways.

The Humble Little Pencil...

A little in December and a bit more in January I worked with Graphite and I fell a little in love with how beautifully simple this play can be.  I worked with references and then continued to work on finding my own way home.  It was challenging and I was enjoying that.


At the start of January it became a daily practice.  I was working together with Jackie and Betty and we were showing up daily and sharing our work with each other.  Then in January I fell of the back, I went back to the office almost everyday and I was struggling to keep up.


My heart wasn't in anything I was doing.  I kept fighting the fact that I and my body needed rest.  With some help, I eventually surrendered to it and let go of the control and guilt.  After a few weeks of self care, long naps and going gently, I started to feel that familiar bounce in my step after which, I needed a long nap.

I can giggle about it now but my energy has slowly been returning but I'm being careful with it.  I am on tonic specifically for fatigue and Vitamin D, my little sunshine of happiness pills. 

I am hoping to return to this beautiful practice of daily graphite.

It sure does feel good to be feeling more like myself again.  And yes, my mind is dwelling on the beautiful gift of surrender.  There is lots in there for me.

"The Keeper of Books"

What a joy to finally finish a piece this year, it's been a battle of wills.

I haven't been able to move forward or past the unfinished pieces on my desk.   The unfinished works have been an obstacle and blocking me in many ways.  It's a terrible habit to get myself into and I have been here before.  I have done the work not to do this to myself and I find it strange that I have slipped back into this old pattern.  I do know unfinished works is part of fear.  So I know on a subconscious level, somethings up.  I know it takes courage to finish strong and it's easy to get distracted with new and more exciting things and projects.


That being said, it feels like something has shifted inside of me in terms of what I'm doing creatively although I have no idea what that looks like or will look like.  I just know it has to change and I know change is never easy.  And our spirits fight it sometimes.

I have found it hard to hold this space comfortably and it's been painful the past few months to see what now feels 'old' for me through.  It has been more than challenging and at times has left me completely paralyzed. I know how important it is for me to finish what I've started and go into the deep waters even when my heart no longer wants to.

Finishing my little Keeper of Books has felt in many ways like a small victory and I have more to finish this week.  I am encouraged.  I hope to share more victories with you this week.

In terms of where I'm going... I'll share that with you soon.

Love always, Jeannie

Slingbags updated...


I spent a bit of time with Township, the makers of my beautiful fabric bags and we made some modifications for my next batch order.  We have included a mobile phone pouch which I just love so your phone won't drop down to the bottom of your bag.  We have also included a magnetic clasp to close the opening for safety.  I have also had a little swingtag added with a bit of my story around my #teabaggirls and this project together with adding a few extra images for variety.  The new images are up on my SlingBag page.

I have so loved this endeavour and I am beyond thrilled.


It was all about Kitty...

We had planned this day for Kitty for months.  We wanted to spoil her purely and simply because she's amazing.  Turning 17 was way more important to her than turning 16 was and we wanted this day to be one she would remember, always.  Not only did it rain beautifully on her special day which was a beautiful gift in itself but she had been saving for months for her record player.

I knew I wanted to help her little dream come true.  Finding a red record player was just an absolute bonus.  Corks spent the morning scouting through many lps to find some we knew she would love and she did.  She loves old music and what better way to play them the old fashioned way.


She had an incredible day at school with her friends too and just had a stunning birthday week.  I couldn't have planned it better myself.  It was important to her and she felt so loved.

Mission accomplished.


She wanted to spend the day in one of her fav places in Cape Town, so we booked this for the weekend.  She woke up on Sunday morning with a full head cold and was feeling grotty but we went anyway, we knew it would cheer her up.  We had a lovely day out.  It's always a treat of treats to visit here, browse the beautiful artisan shops and the harbor and just move slowly together.

We found a delicious bakery and sat outside eating gorgeous pastries.


I love these kind of birthdays, when we adventure together just the 4 of us and dream out loud and it feels like we are floating.  It's always good for the heart.  17 has felt huge for all of us and I can't believe our baby girl is maturing at such a rapid pace.

She's one cool kid and I'm so grateful for her in my life.

Moving slowly...

We are slowly getting there together.


Painting her face is up in my {Held}Captive classroom.  I'm busy filming and finishing her story.  She's feeling vulnerable to me.  Maybe it's her body language or maybe she's picking that up from me.  Either way, I look forward to finishing her.  I am loving her.

  In between being #inmystudio and completing creative tasks, I have also been bogged down with administration...  Ordering my new batch of bags with modifications and with swingtags.  Getting my taxes up to date and dealing with some shipping issues.  I have been working at the film office (work work) because it's filming season and I am still editing and filming odd things here and there.  I have some other things in the pipeline and will share soon.

So although I'm working slowly I am getting there steadily.

Cry me a river...

I already knew last year that I was working at such a pace and sharing my journey on my blog pretty much started becoming more about sharing upcoming things I was involved in, as opposed to sharing my heart.  I knew I wanted to be more {vulnerable} this year.  This space for me has always been a place to process my creative endeavours.  Mainly for myself as a way of unpacking my creative struggles and celebrating small victories, mixed in with a bit of real life and the things that are precious to me.  It has always been my safe place, my refuge.  When I started my blog, I made a silent vow to never talk politics or anything negative.  My creativity is such a beautiful part of my life and I want to share that.

I feel that the world currently is not a securely held place at the best of times and it is hard not to take that all on.  This is my little corner to help me feel loved and safe in a world that doesn't always afford me the luxury of that.  Being a sensitive person, I know I feel the weight of the earth groaning and some days I am overwhelmed.  

Survival lies in sanity, and sanity lies in paying attention.
— Julia Cameron

So that all being said - let's talk about our water crisis.  Thank you for the letters and messages about our water crisis.  It's lovely to know you hold us in this.  My special online friend asked me why haven't I been sharing about our hardships and why am I only sharing how amazing life is.  I felt convicted because it touched my {vulnerability} nerve but how do I do this without touching on politics or the state of our country's affairs and how do I do that without going against what this space means to me.  I am conflicted. How do I be real and vulnerable without whining about how hard my life in Africa is, right?

I don't want to do that.


Cape Town is my beautiful home and this is where I have lived the longest.  I love where we live and on the most part I am in love with our life.  I know it could be better but this is Africa and it will never be without it's challenges.  I get that.  I don't think there is a perfect place in the world either.  I think every country has it's own unique set of problems.

Cape Town is in a water crisis due to mismanagement, lack of foresight/planning and of course, corruption.  Maybe even denial.  So what is the upside to all of this... to me the upside of crisis is always creativity and innovation.  I am already seeing how we as a family are changing the way we think about water.  I am seeing companies and concerns pulling together with innovative ideas to do better and be better.  To conserve and preserve.  I am excited and so encouraged.  I hope we will never go back to wasteful indulgent ways of using water.  When you are down to measuring every drop, it matters.

In terms of the political climate in our country, it is bad and most days I am ashamed of it and that this is our story.  But we are on the brink of big change so today I have a tiny ounce of hope again.  Rebuilding takes time and I am hoping we move into a new season.  There is enough in the news and online about our now ex-President.  Please feel free to google it.

The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.... and the reward for attention is always healing.
— Julia Cameron

So for the moment I spend time focusing on the goodness I can find in the small things around me.

I focus on the things that delight me so I can cope with it all.  So I can heal my heart that is aching deeply for the state of affairs of my second country of origin.  We fled the first when I was 5, but that's another story for another time.  The small things I find that bring me joy makes me feel, no... make me know that this life is worth living. I have so much to be grateful for.

Fear is our reality, yes because we have poverty and crime and yes, it is challenging but I am fully engaged and fully here!  From what I see on the news fear might be becoming everyone's reality.  The world is in a weird space and I've been saying for a long time, Mother Earth is groaning.

Life is beautiful.  It's not perfect, but it's enough, for now. 

I get to come home after a full day in the city, which I love, to my sweet little home and beautiful studio that I am so grateful to have and I get to try find and make beautiful everyday and just for a precious moment I get to forget the woes of the world and get to focus on goodness.

And then I get to share that with you.  Thank you for giving me that.