Wednesday, April 13, 2016


The Grammar Nazi in me is hating on the title of this blog.............just sayin'

A reintroduction if you will!

Hi, my name is Vicki, sometimes called Dotti - mostly called a busy girl who doesn't stick with one thing for very my blog page would attest!!!

This year (I know it's nearly 1/4 through, I'll explain about that later!) I'm going to get back to being creative, if only for 10 minutes a day, and keep the creative side of me happy!!!

Do you remember this blog post I did all those years ago!?!!  well it's all still true!!  And close to 3 years later, it's more important than ever!!

I'm not going to make this super long...........just want to put it out there again that I plan on doing something small every day to feed my creative heart, and PUT MYSELF FIRST, even if it's only for 10 minutes a day!!

Make sure you stay creative - do a big project over months with your ten minutes, or do something new every day - JUST DO IT IS WHAT I SAY!!

But don't let me talk you into it - here's Shia LaBeouf to get you inspired!!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The sickness that I want to have

So you know I love anything upcycled........anything that was once destined for the trash that can be cleaned up & reused in a new way?  Yeah, that's what I'm all about!!

From turning old tyres into funky lamps

Old t-shirts into yarn & then into funky bowls

Even old bathtubs being transformed into day beds

I'm in awe of what can be done

You don't have to look for to find inspiration - all of these ideas were found on Pinterest - and there's a WHOLE WORLD of op shops (thrift shops) and recycling centres for you to fossick around.

It's just a matter of seeing something within something else.............which is the biggest challenge for me

How does someone see an old cupboard and think to themselves, "I'm going to turn that into an aviary!"

Who see's an old cup & saucer and think to transform it into a bird feeder!?!!

These people make me sick!!!  And I want their illness!!

I've started a board with a bit of inspiration on Pinterest - if you want to add to the list, why not join me down the rabbit hole!?!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Living below the line, aka what my 10 year old is teaching me

ok I know, we all want something more than we have

we all live beyond our means, and when we get a pay rise, we live beyond that too

or is it just me!?!!

It's taken me nearly 40 years to really understand how to be greatful.  I can't say I've had that much adversity in my life.  Life altering moments and big decisions, yes, but regardless of those moments I have still ended up with a supportive husband, two healthy kids and a beautiful roof over my head.

But last week i was taught something by my 10 year old son about what more we can do.

Through his school, he's decided to sign up for a program that helps people understand what it's like to live below the poverty line.

He came home on Tuesday and said, "Mum, dad, I've signed up to live below the line.  Can we go shopping for a weeks worth of groceries for me for $14?"

Now I'm a passionate supporter of following your dreams, so of course I was open to this - BUT - this is my little man - he's a growing lad and he's in the youngest year at his school (Year 5's to 12's.)  I wasn't sure if it was a great idea, and thought it more apt for the bigger boys in years 11 & 12.  But he's stubborn like me, and I knew that regardless of what we said, he would still want to go through with it.

So we looked through a few grocery catalogues to tried and figure out what he could live on.

"no, you can't have just have easy mac and doritos, that's $8 in total"

"why not try some noodles? they'll last longer and will probably get you through uni!"

"what about breakfast, everything here is savoury"

"what about milk? cheese is too expensive, sorry"

we ummed & ahhed for a while and eventually we made a list and headed off to the store.

Lucky for us we have generic brands that got us through - I'm not big on supporting the duopoly, but it seemed like the only option when you only have $2 a day as a budget.  And here's what the receipt looked like........

corn flakes - $2
2lt milk - $2
loaf of bread - $1.25
1kg rice - $1.20
medium tin of tuna - $1
chicken soup packet - $1
cheese sauce packet - 75c

total so far - $9.20

I also went to another grocery shop the next day and picked up some vegies - broccoli heads reduced for 50c, 1kg carrots, 1/4 pumpkin and 5 potatoes - grand total $4.30

total all up - $13.50 - with $1.50 left at the end of the week if need be

we also thought that because we have a few chooks that he could indulge in an egg every now and then, given that they were free (there's been 3 so far and we're currently at day 6)


it's been a great lesson for us in how versatile we can be - and it's also taught us how strong willed our son is!  On the first night we had planned on having dinner at the local club to coincide with a meeting.  Our son decided if he ate before we went he would simply just do without dining with us that night - and with the tuna surprise I cooked up for him, he wasn't even hungry!!

meals he's had so far (we're on day 6)

corn flakes for breakfast
egg sandwich for lunch
tuna surprise
diced roasted vegies
soup 2 ways
leftover diced roasted vegies
cut up carrot for school snack
tuna surprise leftovers on toast

We weren't sure how the weekend would go - he plays football and he LOVES his sausage sizzle & canteen food - but again we were surprised when he finished his game and said, "dad, can you cook up a soup with the vegies i have?"

no complaints, no whinging - and very little angst about what others are getting while he misses out.

our ten year old is teaching us that we could possibly take a page from his book and shop smarter - as well as cook better too.

I remember my mum saying that you can cook a single chicken in seven different ways....might have to investigate that further!

Think I might have to ask my boy to help with some serving suggestions when it comes to menu planning this week!!

As I write this I have Master 10 beside me, and I suggested that once this week is over, he could have a big feed of whatever he wants!!  his choice - carbonara with sausage on top of a schnitzel!!!

I also said we can have some special ice cream if he'd like - he humbly said, "that's ok mum, I don't want this opportunity to go to waste and just go back to my old eating habits."

I feel so proud of him & a little embarrassed about our eating habits at the same time!

I believe that everyone is destined for greatness - and my son is definitely going to make the world a better place.....

I think he gets that from his mother!!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Melanoma - what I truly want to do now that I've dodged a bullet or two

Everyone has a life defining moments........some are a little more exciting than others.

Some define us both inside and out, changing traits in our personality for the rest of our lives.  Some simply help us have a different perspective and make us realise how we really want to spend our days.

Mine isn't something that I've made public - basically because I don't like people to feel sorry for me. 

But just for the record............this is my story....

When I was a kid we spent many a sunny afternoon down at the beach.  I've never been a big beach fan - the grittiness of the sand in my cossies was never something I've been ok with.  But I have many fond memories of building sandcastles and mermaids on the beach with my brother and sister.  We would bury each other up to our heads, carve out our names with sticks and I would constantly forget to apply more sunscreen - meaning I would wake up the next day red as a beet.

sorry, this isn't me, it's a stock photo from - but I was pretty cute as a kid!!
I recall countless times when I got sunburnt; mum would peel off big layers of skin from my back.  It was a fascinating experience, and one that none of us knew was a pre-warning to the dangers I could be facing down the track.

Fast forward a few decades, and I'm now a mother myself, and we are now told that being burnt too many times isn't in fact building up resilience, but possible doing much worse.

I had a largish mole on my back that I had my GP keep an eye on.  It was perfectly round and all one colour, so I never really worried about it.

It was when I started working at my own business that I decided it might be time I started looking after myself a little better.  Having 2 kids under 5 meant there wasn't much time for me - but I also knew that I had to look after myself if I was going to hang around for my boys.

So off I hopped to my first ever mole scan.  A fairly straight forward procedure which was fairly non eventful.  "there's a few spots I might take a sample from," said the doctor.  "Better to be safe than sorry."  and that's where I left it.

No one can ever prepare you for the "call back" from the doctors office.

"it's about your test results, we need you to come back so we can discuss them with you."

It's something that I wasn't prepared for.................and neither was my husband.

It was late July and it was a Tuesday - and the call back was on the Thursday. 

Longest 48 hours of my life

You see, not knowing what is ahead in your future is a good thing.....isnt' it!?!!  You look at life and go, "ahh, she'll be right, we'll sort it out!"

But getting a call back means that she won't be right...............there's something wrong here and you can't just shrug this off - YOU NEED TO TALK TO A DOCTOR ABOUT YOUR OPTIONS


So hubby and I went to the docs together - and we were told the news.  Yes it's a melanoma, but it's 100% treatable.  I promptly burst into tears - tears of relief and tears of sadness.  The doctor told me not to worry, that we got it early and that we'll just cut it out and that's that - end of story.  But for me it meant that I my own body had created something that could actually kill me - my body has turned against me in some way......and I just wasn't sure what the future would hold because I had this cloud of doubt hanging over me.

So I cried and the doctor assured me, and hubby assured me, and the nurse assured me - and a few days later, after a few hours laying on my was gone.

I took that day off work and treated myself to a new skirt and a coffee with hubby - then promptly got back to work - and I WAS FINE.

I'd dodged a bullet with thanks to my doctor and I'd caught it early.

Nearly a year later I had another suspicious looking mole pop up - doc took a biopsy of that and it came back melanoma again - stage 1 very early, let's pop that one out too.

The second one was like the second child - a new challenge, but one I'd already gone through - so I took that in my stride

There was also a Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) that they took out at the same - not a killer mole, but still better out than in, bit of a safety measurement.

So now I say that I look a little like a patchwork quilt - it's nothing too shocking - my scars tell a story that I've shared with you today.

I am now on 3 monthly check ups as well as scans with the mole doctor - and if I keep this up I'll be able to nip any new ones in the bud..........I'm on a high priority list due to my 'more than one' melanoma - should I feel privileged or petrified!?!!

Either way it has given me perspective - a gentle nudge to myself to say, "stop taking things so seriously and worrying about things you have no control over.  Enjoy what is right here in front of you and be grateful for the same.  Not everyone gets a second chance as easily as you have, so MAKE IT COUNT!!"

So that's what I'm doing today...............and every day.............

Again, not my photo, but I'm waiting for inspiration like this to help me move forward!!!!

Making it count

Hope you are too!!  xxxxx

Monday, March 24, 2014

Plans vs action

Are you a list maker like me!?!!

Do you look forward to nothing more than sitting with a cuppa, a clean piece of paper, and a lovely pen to write out your days plans!?!!   (careful Vicki, your OCD is starting to show!!)

Do you find yourself working on your planning alot more than the actual WORK you've planned!?!!

I don't know about you, but without a goal set.................I'm a bit of a meanderer.
I might sit on Pinterest or Instagram for a half hour or so - then maybe pick up a paintbrush or sketch pad and while away another bit of time....

MEANWHILE the dishes aren't being done - the clothes are still very dirty and YOU KNOW time is running out because your son has training tomorrow and those clothes AIN'T GONNA WASH THEMSELVES!!

BUT EVEN WITH A PLAN it still doensn't always plan!!!


Is that we never actually grow up, and therefore get sick of doing the same thing every day?   I know as a creative person this affects me greatly.


I don't have a super cure, but I do have a super incentive plan!!

You migth not get everything done, but you'll still be spending half the time doing what you love, and half the time getting productive and ticking off a heap of things on your list!!

FIRST...........THE PLAN

You must write out a list of jobs/tasks you need to do for the day - write out as much as you can think of, but remember that your hours in this day are finite, and other forces may be at play, which means you probably won't get through it all today.  But get it out of your head and write it out anyway.

Second, write out all those little creative projects you'd like to get done too.  If it's one big project, try to break it down to about the same length as that list of tasks.  if you don't have as many tasks, maybe write down "research pinterest for inspiration" as a task!!!  don't judge me!!!

NOW......simply work on alternate lists throughout the day.  Do one chore, then reward yourself with some art's a great incentive for you to get through the trudgery, and it's a wonderful way to be productive AND have fun at the same time!!

TIPS - I'm a bit of a time keeper - it's the army brat in me screaming out for order!!!  If you have a big task that is broken down into smaller ones, maybe even set a timer for that task.  Have a canvas you want to spend a bit of time on!?!!  put on the timer for 15 minutes.  You'll get a bit done now, and then you'll take a break from it during your next task, and you can come back with fresh eyes and see what you missed!!!

NB - if you don't get everything done............don't beat yourself up.  LIFE IS ABOUT SPENDING EVERYDAY DOING SOMETHING YOU LOVE, NOT BEING SAD ABOUT ALL THE WORK YOU HAVE TO DO.  Enjoy it while you still can, you can always do more of the same tomorrow.

I think the main reason I wrote this is because we are constantly in touch with time wasters.  Our phones, tablets, tv's etc - they suck away our time and make it hard to get motivated.  so much inspiration and yet so little time to do it, because we are constantly searching for inspiration!!

One of my creative friends also has a great blog post about this - she gets SO MUCH DONE so be sure to take her advice on board too, especially if you're planning on using this on a daily basis, and not just on your days off like me!!!

I say enough is enough - once you've planned out what you're going to do - BLOODY DO IT!!  No more getting stuck on the screen, you've got goals and rewards all at the same time!!!

If you want to find me, I'll be the one sitting at the kitchen bench - cuppa in hand, notebook & pen by my side, planning out my week - between sessions on pinterest & instagram!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

29 faces - a month summation of less than 29 faces!!!

surely it hasn't been over 2 weeks since I posted last!?!!  That can't be right!?!!

I closed the gallery recently, and we have spent the last fortnight clearing, cleaning & finalising all the nasty little details of a small business closure - lots of loose ends to tie up, lots of misc bits that need finishing, and lots of rubbish to throw out!!  It's very similar to moving home - something that I did too much as a kid and will try to avoid for the next 20+ years!!!

So I didn't get much time to spend daily on my faces - but I am making it a PRIORITY now that I'm free of the space..............and I'll be focusing more on the body form as well as faces to get some progress with my art.

These faces are by no means my favourites - but I know that every one you do is a step closer to getting where you want to be - it's all about practice, practice, practice!  (still need desperately to work on hair!)

Hope you haven't had any hurdles too big to jump over these last few weeks - I know others are fighting bigger battles than me, so it's nice to be able to enjoy the free time and be grateful!!!\

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

29 faces - days 4 to 12

Please don't say I'm slack, I have some wonderfully valid excuses!!

I've been getting used to the idea of closing down my shop :(  It was a gorgeous gallery in the heart of Fortitude Valley here in Brisbane, but sadly the last day was yesterday, and I closed the doors for the very last time..................I'm being very positive about the situation, so am looking at this as a door closing, but with many other opportunities opening up for me in the very near future!!

It's funny, once you've set your mind to something that has a creative bent, it just won't let you give up, will it!?!!

So if i may, I'm submitting my work on one blog, that shall cover a few times I had 10 minutes to sit and sketch.

I found a book on big eye art at the local Cystic Fibrosis Op Shop - and i knew I had to start making these whimsical girls!!!

 I think with each piece I do, my confidence grows, but I'm still not sure on the hair - but this is about faces, no!?!!

 I'm going to add that I had been watching Dami M (last years x-factor? winner) on the TV when this one was created (coloured in with oil pastels) her voice is amazing, my hubby texted me while he was in melbourne this week that she performed for his work colleagues - UNBELIEVABLE!!

 And this lovely lady was created from a canvas gone wrong - I tried mixing old lace with gesso, and the end result didn't work.  Luckily I had started making faces, which meant I could hide her in the back, but also make the flowers in her hair a feature - I have this one on display at home but I feel she may be a work in progress to add to as I get a little more fearless, and a litte less fearful!!!

So from now on I'll be more connected, i promise!!  sketch every night, and post every morning.  Not many more sleeps to go till the end of the days will be filled with moving out of the gallery and a bit of painting.................

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy - Anne Frank xxx