Every piece of art being created is so much more than the visual outcome alone...it's the journey not the destination.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Day 39 To Day 52 Of Lock-down

Day 39 - Monday (4 May 2020)

Monday Monday... Got up early as I had to be at the art shop at 8h30.  I was about 5 minutes late as I couldn't get the car to start.

It was really great seeing all my work colleagues.

Busy day at the art shop with a constant flow of people in the row ready to pay for their happiness goods.  I love the term 'happiness goods' because art and craft materials is good for the soul and takes your mind to different places where time is non-existing. 

What I noticed today is a number of people that disregards the social distancing request.  Reminding a person here and there to please put their mask on that is hanging under their chin, or the mask is covering their mouth, but not their nose.  Let's face it...with me wearing my face mask and you wearing your face mask we are respecting one another and protecting one another.

Got home, practicing safety measures as I get to the front door, taking my shoes off outside the front door.  Not touching anything, although I sanitized my hand when I left work today.  The shoes was carried outside to the back to stand in the sun.  Taking a shower and the clothes of the day went straight into the wash.

I felt very tired as the night before I had very little sleep.  After supper I was lying on the bed scrolling through social media and then dozed in and out of sleep a couple of times.  Jason and Alicia made some 'funnel cake', which is not really a cake as such, but absolutely delicious!

Photo courtesy from My Food and Family website

We went to bed just after 23h00 and low and behold I could not keep my eyes open.

Day 40 - Tuesday (5 May 2020)

I woke up just after 9h00 and am really grateful for a good nights rest.  This morning I updated yesterday's post as I was too tired last night.  

My shift at the art shop starts at 13h00 again.

This evening my friend Monica and I had an amazing and fun filled Skype chat.  Skype interfered a lot as it froze on quite a number of occasions, then the video will be slow motion and suddenly it will do catching up and it will fast forward to catch up on timing.  These fast forward incidents reminded me so much of the really old and soundless black and white movies.  I haven't laughed so much in a long time.  

Day 41 - Wednesday (6 May 2020)

Just a quiet morning and then off to work for my afternoon shift at the art shop.  

Getting home the normal routine of clothes in the washing machine and showering.  Spend some time on my You Tube channel organizing videos that I have saved.  

Day 42 - Thursday (7 May 2020)

Spend some more time organizing videos that I have saved while listening to some encouraging music in finding your joy, just being who you are and being happy in trying times.  

"This Is Me" as a big favourite.

Something you might not know about me is that I absolutely love music with drums or drumming and that is one of the reasons I love Shamanic music.  I find drumming music invigorating and it plays right into my soul to the seat of my soul. 

This is one of my ultimate favourite Shamanic Videos!...especially the section
starting at 30minutes and 12 seconds into the video.  It starts of slowly and builds up.
When this song plays I really wish that I had a drum, oh man, it is so invigorating!
When I feel sad, angry, down or need some cheering up or get to even get my mojo going I love listening this video, especially the section in the video mentioned above.  
Please note...this music is not listened to on a low volume, it really gets you going when you turn the volume up 😍

Just try and drum (even when you don't have a drum, your legs will do just fine as me 😄) with the section in the video I mentioned above and let me know how you found the experience.

I crochet a couple of rows again on my scarf that I started a couple of months ago.  

Did not feel great emotionally when I went to bed.  A lot of many different things all happening in the same space of time.  

Day 43 - Friday (8 May 2020)

I had a good night's rest, but I still do not feel better emotionally this morning.  To top it all Mr Anxiety Attack is visiting which is making me feeling even worse as I feel like I just can't breathe...my eyes are just watering up like a natural spring.

After work I just had some quiet time in the studio watching a couple of videos.

Day 44 - Saturday (9 May 2020)

Popped out to the shop this morning to get some medication.  

Spent the rest of the day and evening packing up my studio into boxes.

Day 45 - Sunday (10 May 2020)

The entire day was spend packing up my studio.  My husband said he can't believe how many packed boxes comes out of my studio as it is only a small studio of 12 square meters.  Currently there are 22 boxes packed and sealed.  

I have only kept out the basic essentials like watercolour paper, watercolour paints, pencils and watercolour palettes.  

I have box nr 23 half packed as the essential bits mentioned above will be packed when the time comes to move.

Day 46 - Monday (11 May 2020) to Day 52 - Sunday (17 May 2020)

Since inception of Lock-down I have been very good in updating my blog every evening.  This past week was a different kettle of fish altogether though.  A week which has left me utterly emotionally drained.  I said to Adrian that the last time I cried so much was when my Mom passed away.  

This was a kind of week where I felt I needed to get away from everything and everyone, no speaking, thinking...nothing.  Yet, this week has shown me such amazing kindness and support from various wonderful, kind and empathetic human beings and friends and for you I am truly grateful!  Thank you for the kindness, words of encouragement or just that look shared between friends where no words are necessary for the souls are connected and you speak without words.



Sunday, 3 May 2020

Day 32 To Day 38 Of Lock-down

Day 32 - Monday (27 April 2020)

Well, what can I say, today I really was not a happy chappy as I woke up with a migraine.  

These are cervicogenic migraines.  To give you a little bit of a background.  Since 2009 I have had two neck operations.  First one was due to an motorcar accident and my neurosurgeon did a prosthetic disc replacement.  Nine months later I had an injury on duty which caused the prosthetic disc to break out of the bone and my neurosurgeon did a fusion.  Ever since then it depends on what I do, I would get these migraines.

So the cause of this migraine was sitting in front of the sewing machine making the masks and then most of the next day I spend in the kitchen making biscuits, chocolate brownies and flatbread.  I should actually know better by now and to give at least one day break in between.

Anyhow, the entire day was spend lying down on the bed today and I have not been able to shake off the migraine.

Day 33 - Tuesday (28 April 2020)

Woke up today to my second day of the migraine still being present, thankfully not as bad as it was yesterday.  The medication I have been taking is not helping much either.  These migraines are really debilitating and makes me feel very fed-up and frustrated as there are things I would love to do.

We need bread and I got up this morning and decided to mix up  "The best vetkoek recipe ever"Instead of making Vetkoek, I decided to try it out as a bread dough.  After the dough had it's first rise, I split the batch in two portions.  I put one portion in an oval Pirex oven dish that was sprayed with Spray & Cook and the other portion in a silicon bread oven 'tin' and placed a fresh dishcloth over each of the containers.  I heated the oven to 90 degrees Celsius and turned the oven off and then placed the two containers with dough in the oven for their second rise.  

I removed them from the oven once the dough doubled in size and then turned the oven on to 200 degrees Celsius.  I was not sure for how long I would need to bake the bread as it is a Vetkoek recipe and thus there is no stipulation.  So this was going to be trial and error.  I checked in my cookbook and the bread recipe there states 200 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes.  Once the oven was heated to 200 degrees Celsius I placed both the containers in the oven and set the timer for 45 mintues, however I set the alarm on my cellphone to check the bread after 20 minutes for that just in case factor.  After 20 minutes passed I checked on the bread and was pleasantly surprised to see how high it has risen and started browning on top.  I left the bread to cook for a further 10 minutes and then pushed a metal sosatie stick into the bread to check if it was cooked.  Indeed the bread was cooked and I removed it from the oven.  The crust on top was hard and when I 'knocked' on the bread it sounded hollow which is another sign that it is cooked.  I placed a clean dishcloth that was folded in half over the top of each loaf after I turned the bread out on the cooling rack as this makes the hard crust soften up from the steam as the bread is cooling down.

As you can see we couldn't wait to see what the Vetkoek dough would taste like as bread.

The rest of the afternoon and early evening was spend on the bed to try and get rid of this migraine.

For supper we had soup and my home baked bread which tasted very moreish indeed.

Day 34 - Wednesday (29 April 2020)

Today I am so grateful that my migraine is gone.  Today was just a very quiet and relaxing day as I  normally find that after such a migraine attack it leaves me very tired.  

Talking about gratefulness...sometimes we tend to think big when it comes to being grateful.  A roof over out head, food to eat, family, a job to go back to, but when you really, really sit down and let your mind wonder, you realize that the things to be grateful for is never ending.  There are so many things we don't always realize that we can be grateful for.  This is where a gratefulness journal comes in handy.  It doesn't have to be a big journal, it can be small A6 size and every morning you write down what you are grateful for.  It might be really simple or small things, for example when you pop out to the shop and as you park your car and get out you see this small flower blooming... Practicing gratefulness and mindfulness keeps one in the present, the here and now and stops your mind from racing ahead.

When I popped out to the patio early evening, I was greeted by the one plover and I saw a butcher bird in a tree nearby too.  I am not sure if you have watched plovers from close up, but they have this little bow they do with their head and neck.  So when I am outside and they are there and do their little bow, I also do a little bow with my head while looking at them...it's almost like a greeting between me and the birds.  As I am typing here I was thinking that all they need is a little top hat and the wingtip touching the top hat when they do their greeting.  Sorry, I just couldn't help that vision ha ha ha.  I have said so many times to Adrian, my husband, that if people in the estate had to watch me they might think I am crazy bowing like that ha ha ha.  To me it feels like a sacred greeting between myself and the plovers. We also have a pair of wild geese that pops into the communal garden in the mornings and evenings.  This evening they came walking to our boundary wall to say 'hello' and naturally looking for something to eat too.  Sometimes when I sit on the bench on the patio and the geese are in the communal garden, they will come waddling to the low boundary wall and even sometimes jump onto the wall and talk away.  This specific pair has been visiting the communal garden for quite a good couple of years.  

Nature has many great lessons, but I think generally life has become such a rush that us humans miss the connection with nature altogether.  So when you practice being mindful in your day it makes you more aware too of all the little blessings and lessons from mother nature.

This evening I cut 38 x 50mm x 50mm squares from Daler Rowney Aquafine 300gsm cold pressed watercolour paper.  I then proceeded to paint blobs of watercolour on each square.  I have a plan with these and once I have put my idea into practice I will post the finale.

Day 35 - Thursday (30 April 2020)

Good morning to the last day of April.  Today is studio day for me as I would really like to finish painting nr 5 of the series.  Since I started working on this series various titles for each painting crossed my mind, yet I have not settled on any titles until today when it all came together once the Series Title came to mind.  I really find it interesting how a lot of the times a painting will start forming in your mind long before it becomes a reality on canvas or paper.  Sometimes a title comes to mind first, but in most cases the title reveals itself through the painting process.

Alicia made the most delicious pea soup and to go with that homemade french garlic bread from scratch.  "The Best Homemade French Bread" recipe is by Jamielyn Nye and can be found here on her blog

This is a small plate and each one of us had a mini french bread like this to go with our delicious pea soup.

This evening I finished painting n5.  I actually only intended to paint the first painting, however as I thought about the concept of the first painting a series started to develop in my mind.  

Why did I choose earth to be pushed into the murky muddy water of a pond?  The virus causes pneumonia and the result is that the air sacs of the lungs are filled with fluid or puss, which indirectly causes the patient to suffocate.  Painting nr 3 "Trust" represents the pneumonia stage.  Why did I choose the Lotus flower?  As most people know the Lotus flower grows in muddy waters.  It rises out of murky waters to bloom into a beautiful pink and white flower.  The Lotus flower signifies strength, as it grows from dark muddy water into the light.  It also represents inner strength and determination to come out of difficulties.  We need to tap into our inner strength and determination and in conjunction with our hope, trust and faith we will also rise above this into a new world.  

The paintings are painted in mainly watercolour with some mixed media.  The Langton Aquarelle 300gsm cold pressed paper was used and each painting is 245mm x 178mm.

The series is called "Survival"

"The Virus"

"The Onslaught"




Day 36 - Friday (1 May 2020)

Today the art shop where I work opened for the first time since lock-down and I will be back at work on Monday.  Prior to lock-down I used to work in the afternoon from 13h00 to 17h00, but I will hear on Monday how my shift might change.  Adrian and I popped out, as I had to go and pick something up at the art shop.  Wearing our masks we waited our turn to enter the art shop as only a certain amount of people are let in at a time.  I made a quick round through the art shop to say 'hello' to my colleagues that were on duty.  Leaving the art shop we stopped at the chemist for some medication and the grocery store for some necessities. The rest of day I spend on reflecting on my above painting series and we also had some discussions with regards to our business, the way forward and life in general.

Day 37 - Saturday (2 May 2020)

Just a generally quiet day and made some Bolognese sause to go into my layered macaroni and white sauce topped with a little bit of cheese.  Almost like a lasagne, but just using macaroni shapes instead of lasagne sheets. 

When times are tough you learn how to really stretch food so that it will go much further.  One important ingredient is a 100g packet of Knorrox Soya Mutton flavoured mix which is cheap and can double to triple the 250g mince amount.  

I chopped an onion and saute'd it to which I then added the 250g mince.  While that was cooking I cleaned 4 big carrots which I then grated finely.  The grated carrots amount to about the same, if not more, quantity as the 250g mince. Once the mince was cooked I added 2 tins of tomato and onion mix (which was on a discounted price), 2 x beef stock cube, the grated carrots and a packet of tomato paste.  I cooked up 500g macaroni noodles while I waited for the mince mix to cook through.  Once the mince was done I added the 100g packet of Knorrox Mutton flavoured soya mince with added a descent amount of water as the soya mince absorbs up quite a bit of the liquid.  I let this simmer, stirring constantly until everything was cooked through.  So with all of my additions to the 250g packet of mince it stretched it to a big pot of mince mix.  

I prepared oven dishes and then layered the white sauce, macaroni and Bolognese sauce ending with white sauce and a little bit of grated cheese.  As mentioned above this provides three main meals for 4 adults. 

Perhaps the above will give you some ideas on how to stretch your food in this really difficult time.

This afternoon I spent some time in the studio drawing some doodles on the 50mm x 50mm squares I painted the other day.

I arranged them so that lines are together, circles etc.  I then punched a hole in the top left and tied a piece of waxed cord to keep them together.  This will act as some quick reference ideas for when I want to doodle on watercolour paint blobs.

Day 38 - Sunday (3 May 2020)

Good morning Sunday.  Sadly I did not have a very good night at all and tossed and turned, got up a few times, tried to go back to sleep again, but alas sleep was very evasive.  I eventually managed to doze off in the morning hours, however the sleep did not last very long as Da Vinci was in his element and kept waking me up. 

Lying on his scratch post under his kitty blanket.

Today I decided to stay away from social media as much a possible and rather focus my attention in my studio.  

I have uploaded my "Survival" painting series to my website and you will find various products available for sale with my artworks on including face masks.  

"Survival" Face mask
"Peacock" Face mask

This evening I played around a little by doodling on some watercolour blobs on A4.  To paint the blobs I used watercolours in combination with my home made pearlescent watercolours. 

This is the full page and below close-ups so that you can see the effect of the pearlescent watercolours.

Well, tomorrow is a new day filled with new promises, plus I am also starting my shift at the art shop.  

Please stay safe, keep the social distancing and take care.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Day 27 To Day 31 Of Lock-down

Day 27 - Wednesday (22 April 2020)

A lovely quiet day of doing nothing.  You know like one of those days where you just don't want to think and just be.  Spending some time watching some videos on Earthship living.  'Earthship' is a house that has been built with some (not necessary all) recycled materials for example old tyres and a lot of the people owning an Earthship also practices permaculture.  Permaculture is agricultural systems that focuses on interrelationships and sustainability of natural ecosystems. 

I am really fascinated by this building method quite honestly wouldn't mind living in an earthship.

The videos have been extremely interesting and showing where you can produce quite a bit of food in a small garden through permaculture.

Had a lovely relaxing day of doing absolutely nothingness and watching videos.

Supper time came and I made vetkoek (you will find the recipe in a previous post) and curry mince.

Day 28 - Thursday (23 April 2020)

I went to bed really early last night as for some or other reason I just couldn't keep my eyes open.  I suppose subconsciously a lot of thinking is happening too.  So basically it was not physical exhaustion, but more mental tiredness.

Played a little bit with watercolours making blobs and want to work with some ink on top of that sometime.

Adrian went out to the shop for some bits and pieces and forgot the most important thing on the list...electricity.  We should have electricity to last us through to tomorrow and thus decided that he will pop out tomorrow morning for that.

Naturally when him or Jason comes back from the shop we have this whole cleaning and disinfecting routine.  So I spent quite a bit of time on wiping and disinfecting all the bits and pieces...even the bananas got sprayed with some Jik solution and rinsed off.  

Jason asked me if it would be possible to make some face masks for us all.  I had to hunt around for some material, eventually found a duvet which I can cut up and the duvet is cotton rich.

A while ago, I think shortly after lock-down started I searched online for some mask ideas and patterns which I saved.  I showed Jason the picture of the pattern I had and that was exactly the one he also had in mind.  I printed the regular size pattern, cut it out of material and started sewing it.  I probably finished it at around 2h00am.  

Here is the link to the pattern of the Face Mask I used and below the video instruction which I followed should you be interested in making some face masks for yourself, family or someone else. 


Another great pattern is the Better Fit Face Mask, this is a downloadable PDF and below is her video instruction.

As it was so late, or rather early morning it was time to go to bed.

Day 29 - Friday (24 April 2020)

Slept in a a bit later as we went to bed in the early hours of the morning.  After we got up Adrian popped out to the shop to get some electricity and other bits which he forgot yesterday.  Once he got home it was the washing of the clothes he wore and then wiping and disinfecting everything bought at the shop.

This afternoon I sat and drew the patterns for the masks with my sewing chalk on the material.  Took a break and had an afternoon nap, which Da Vinci our youngest kitty naturally loved.

I discovered another channel on You Tube which I have thoroughly enjoyed watching while I am busy with the face masks.  The channel is called 'Sailing SV Delos' and it's a yacht owned by Brian.  The yacht has been sailing the seas for the past decade by Brian and his crew.  Brian and his wife just had a new addition to the crew, little Sierra and she is around 8 months old.  If you are interested you can follow their journey here.  

This is their latest uploaded video

This evening I cut out the patterns for all 11 masks and then stitched all the half sections together so that I am sitting with 3 sections for each mask which needs to be sewed together.  I was determined to finish all of this prior to going to bed, thus it was another late night and went to bed around 01h00.

Day 30 - Saturday (25 April 2020)

I can't believe that it is Saturday already, this week flew by at a speed.  To me, being busy with various projects makes the time pass by so quickly.  

Today the entire day my focus was on sewing all the pieces of each mask together, ironing it and doing the stitching on the outer edge to neaten them up while listening and partially watching some more of 'Sailing SV Delos' You Tube videos. 

This evening at around 22h45 I finished all 12 face masks.  I really pushed to get them done as there are other projects I would like to get to ... for example painting nr 5 in the series and I also had a request from the family to make more of the Chocolate Brownies.  So the latter I will tackle first thing tomorrow morning.

Day 31 - Sunday (26 April 2020)

Well, good morning beautiful Sunday!  Today was truly creativity in the kitchen as I didn't get to my studio to paint, nevertheless I had great fun in the kitchen.

First on the baking list was some Custard Biscuits.  Again this recipe comes from my trusty recipe book called 'The Complete South African Cookbook' by Magdaleen Van Wyk.

Custard Powder Biscuits

Makes +/- 40 biscuits;  Prep time 30 min;  Cooking time 20 min.


225 g Cake Flour
110 g Custard Powder
110 g Icing Sugar
225 g Butter or Margarine
1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) salt

Decoration Optional:  Halved glace cherries


1.  Combine the flour, custard powder, icing sugar and salt in a bowl.
2.  Rub in the butter or margarine, blending to a smooth dough.
3.  Roll little bits of the dough between the palms to form balls the size of walnuts.
4.  Place the balls on lightly greased baking sheets and flatten them slightly with a fork.  Place a halved cherry on each.
5.  Bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

My result

Next on the baking list was the Chocolate Blocks or also known as Chocolate Brownies.  I made the Marie Biscuits finer this time around.  Well, what can I say, another epic fail as it turned out the same as the previous batch.  I was not going to let a recipe get the better of me so I decided to make a plan.  I cut half of the Chocolate Brownies up in squares, put them in the Kenwood Chef and to that I added another 200g packet of Marie Biscuits and mixed it all up.  This turned out to be much drier.  I cut the other remainder of the Brownies into squares, placed them in the Kenwood Chef and added some of the dryer mix (to which I added the packet of Marie Biscuits) into the Kenwood Chef.  I blended it all up and then mixed the two batches together.  I put it into a flat baking tray and then pressed it down very firmly.  I put the baking tray in the fridge for about an hour.  Once I removed the baking tray from the fridge I placed some wax paper on top of the Brownies and then a wooden board so that I can flip it out onto the wax paper.  Miracles still happen as it came out of the tray in one solid piece.    I then used a sharp knife and cut it into squares.  The final result was perfect and tastes delicious.  I did some searching on Aunti Google and found a recipe that is very much like the one I have been using, the only difference is 2 packets of 200 g Marie Biscuits (compared to one packet in my current recipe).  Here is the recipe to the Chocolate Brownies

The final Chocolate Brownie result

This afternoon I also decided to try out a 3 ingredient recipe by 'Bigger Bolder Baking' for flat bread.  As the flatbread came out of the pan onto the plate I put some garlic, herb and oil mix lightly here and there with some salt lightly sprinkled over the flat bread.  This turned out to be absolutely yummy and I can highly recommend the recipe. 

You can find the written recipe here for the Flatbread With Only 3 Ingredients.

I trust that you had a great week.  Remember keep creative as it will have a positive effect on your mental and emotional health during lock-down.

Take care and keep safe.

Sending you love and light. 

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Day 19 To Day 26 Of Lock-down

Day 19 - Tuesday (14 April 2020)

All in all it was a pretty quiet day.  In the morning I mixed a double batch of the recipe I posted on day 18 "Faster, No knead bread".  I planned to make 2 loaves of bread.  One bread will go with the leftover pea soup this evening and the other loaf will be for tomorrow.  As mentioned in that recipe the dough needs to stand for 3 hours.

I spent some time in the studio finishing up on painting number 1 and working on painting number 2 of my series of 5 paintings.  I have not decided on a name for the Series as yet.

In the afternoon I baked the 2 loaves of bread so that they will be all cooled down by supper time.

Leftover pea soup and freshly baked bread for supper went down really well.

Day 20 - Wednesday (15 April 2020)

Autumn is definitely in the air and the cooler weather is welcome.  I haven't seen the plovers for a while, but I can still hear them when they call to each other.  I suppose they have moved, like previous occasions, to a more covered area in one of the smaller communal gardens in the estate. 

This morning I decided to make some crumpets and used the recipe out of my trusty cookbook, "The Complete South African Cookbook" by Magdaleen van Wyk.  I have made this recipe many times in the past and have always been a favourite over the years.


Makes 25-30 small;  Prep time 20 min;  Cooking time 5 min.

500 ml (2 cups) cake flour
50 ml (4 tablespoons) sugar
2 eggs
20 ml (4 teaspoons) butter, melted
250 ml (1 cup) milk
20 ml (4 teaspoons) baking powder
2ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt


1.  Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.
2.  Beat the eggs and sugar in another bowl, and add the milk and butter.
3.  Fold the dry ingredients into this mixture and stir well to form a smooth batter.
4.  Bake on a hot griddle or in a heavy-based frying-pan.  Turn once.
5.  Serve with honey, butter, jam and cream.

Above: The freshly fried crumpets are stacked on a small plate.  Each crumpet is more or less about +/- 10cm long and 8 cm wide.  These ones are quite big so I got out about 18-20 crumpets.

The rest of the day was spent quietly in the studio watching some off-grid Tiny Houses and permaculture living.  I would absolutely love living like this, have a cow, chickens and a goat or two.  

I also worked more on number 2 of my series of 5 paintings.

Sometimes in life incidents happen, sometimes small ones and sometimes big ones...then you get those incidents which leaves you utterly emotionally hurt and drained.  In times like this I get like a tortoise, pull my head back and that is that...I retreat into my studio...

Day 21 - Thursday (16 April 2020)

A perfect morning to enjoy a coffee date with my soul sister and friend Monica on Skype.  It's incredible how time flies by when you are having fun.  It was so great to see you Mon and thank you for the great chat.

The rest of the day was slow and painful in a way as I am still trying to work through some internal, emotional and soul stuff.  Sometimes some incidents truly leave you breathless from shock, empty, heartbroken and unattached.  Sometimes incidents, just like Covid 19, will affect a situation to a point where it will sadly just never be the same again after that...never. Words are wonderful as you can do such good with them, for example inspire someone or build them up... but, then there is the ugly side of words where they break and take and can thus also be the biggest evil of all.  Words used in a negative way cuts like a knife and can never be taken back.  That is why I will rather choose to go silent than saying something negative as I am never able to take those words back...Three things you can't recover in life...The word after it's said, the moment after it's missed and the time after it's gone.

Sometimes your best simply is just not enough and I am talking here from a general point of view.

I am grateful to my wonderful husband, whom understands me, loves me unconditionally and knows how to support me emotionally when I need it and vise versa.

Day 22 - Friday (17 April 2020)

Got up, made some coffee and then a 'little comfort' to eat.  Have you ever taken plain Marie biscuits and put some grated cheese on the one side and close the 'sandwich' up with another Marie biscuit...Ahhh, so tasteful and yummy.

I finished painting nr 2 as well as painting nr 3 of the series.  They are predominantly watercolour with some mixed media touches.

We enjoyed lovely bean soup and homemade bread for supper.

Day 23 - Saturday (18 April 2020)

Wow, what an incredibly beautiful autumn day with clear blue skies and no wind.  

We had a lovely call from my parents-in-law.  We are very concerned for their health as they are both in their 80's and my father-in-law has had terrible lung infections over the past 2-3 years.   We are just very grateful that they practice a good health and safety regime when they pop out to the shop for essentials.  When they get home they put their clothes in the washing machine as well as disinfect everything they purchased at the shop.  At his age, even with the health problems he struggles with from time to time, he is such a great example to many as he is always active and busy with some or other project.  

I saw a post on Facebook this morning about how the lions in the Kruger National Park was lying around on the golf course and the penguins in Simons Town went strolling down the road.  It just goes to show how free animals feel without humans around.

We had an interesting event today here in the estate.  As you have also experienced under lock-down that everything is a lot quieter than usual.  We heard this big truck just outside of our house and found it odd that such a big truck is driving around in the estate.  It is not a big estate and the roads here are just wide enough for 2 cars to pass one another.  We are the second house from the corner and there was this huge truck, truck head with a big or rather long refrigerator trailor with 12 wheels at the back, trying to turn the corner.  It really was a very tight squeeze and the truck was basically stuck as the trailor section was about to uproot a tree that was on the corner.  The truck driver had to reverse a little, take a wider turn going onto the garden section of the neighbours across the road to be able to turn the corner.  Well, that was the easy part as there is still a mini circle with poles by the entrance gate.  They struggled for nearly an hour back and forth, back and forth to manouver this huge truck out the entrance gate.  I bet the truck driver was very grateful once he was out of the main gate.  We were joking around saying that it is really odd for a refrigeration truck to be in the estate, perhaps someone place a huge meat order to add to their lock-down stock.

I made a delicious 'Chocolate Block' recipe I got from my cousin, Erika.  The chocolate blocks are currently in the fridge to cool down.  I have a suspicion that I didn't break the Marie biscuits into small enough pieces.

Back in the studio to work on painting nr 4 of the series.  I am still contemplating a name for the series...like my Dad always say "time will tell".'

I went to check on the "Chocolate Blocks" as they should be cool and ready to be cut into squares.  Well, dare I say another epic fail ha ha ha.  It turns out that it has sort of set, yet in some places not quite.  I have a suspicion that I didn't break the Marie biscuits into small enough pieces as mentioned before.  I messaged my cousin and told her the final result of my chocolate blocks and asked her how small she breaks her biscuits into.  She said that she normally rolls them with a cake roller into very small bits, just making sure she doesn't roll them into powder.  Well, there is my answer as I broke the Marie biscuits into bits of about 2 cm.  Now I will know for next time.

I had a lazy afternoon and decided to take a catnap.  Da Vinci was too happy and snuggled right next to me on the bed.

I finished painting nr 4 in the series this evening.  I will post them once I have completed all 5 paintings.

Day 24 - Sunday (19 April 2020)

Today I am very grateful for my family and that everyone has a safe place during lock-down.  What I enjoy most of all about lock-down is the quietness and nature sounds being more prominent.  

Today my husband, Adrian, is in the garage working on some of his remote control planes.  Yes, he is an avid remote control pilot and I am grateful that he enjoys his hobby so much.   I know he feels some frustration of not being able to go out and fly his planes, but at least he gets some satisfaction on the occasion of flying his helicopter in the driveway.

This morning I mixed up two batches of bread dough.  I used the 'No knead bread recipe', which has become my ultimate favourite as it tastes really good.  One batch is white bread and the other one is nutty wheat with some added pumpkin and sunflower seeds.  Getting daring, yes I am.  So now the dough needs to rest and rise for 3 hours.  I have to admit I am really looking forward to tasting the bread with the pumpkin and sunflower seeds. 

I made some spaghetti bolognese for supper and I have to admit that this is one of my favourite dishes to eat and my family loves it too.

Day 25 - Monday (20 April 2020)

Such lovely weather today, my favourite kinda weather which is overcast with soft drizzling.  

Wow, cleaning day again...it feels like the previous one was just yesterday 😆

We enjoyed some of the bread I baked yesterday for lunch with some cheese and apricot jam.  The nutty wheat bread with pumpkin and sunflower seeds came out tops and tastes delicious.  

This rest of the day was spent watching movies.

Day 26 - Tuesday (21 April 2020)

One can definitely feel the change of season in the air.  Mornings are nippy and as the sun sets in the evenings the temperatures drops.  

I scanned some of my acrylic pouring paintings today and started uploading them to my website on Pixels.  

Originally the website started out as Fine Art America, which I joined in 2010.  The website expanded dramatically and Pixels was 'born' and became the mother website selling artwork on various products.  In the beginning of 2018 I really suffered from social media burnout as I had so many sites to attend to and decided to close many of my online sites including my website with Pixels.  Near the end of 2018 I received a private message on my Facebook Business Page from a client in America.  She purchased some of my products in the past and asked me where she could purchase more products as she can't find me online on Fine Art America or Pixels.  I thus decided to reopen my account on Pixels the end of 2018 and uploaded the works she requested.  

As we are in lock-down I thought now would be perfect timing to upload some more works to my website on Pixels.  So if you would like to take a peek and/or purchase some products you can just click My Shop.  On the left side of the page you will find a menu and when you click on the down arrow in the 'Department' section it will open up all the other product selections each with their sub-divisions.  The main divisions range from 'Wall Art', 'Home Decor', 'Lifestyle', 'Beach', 'Phone Cases', 'Apparel', 'Stationary', 'Totes & Pouches'.  When you click on one of the 'Divisions' it will open up to the products in that division.

So basically the entire day was spend on scanning, uploading and updating my website, as well as updating my blog.  May your curiosity prod you to pop over to my website and have a look around.  You might just find something there that you like.  One of the new products are face masks.  So why wear a boring mask if you can wear something arty and make a statement. 

Face mask example and on my website you will be able to view the mask from various angles.

Should you wish to purchase something, you will not just be supporting and encourage an artist, but a family too and it would be greatly appreciated and valued.

I am wishing you well and to stay safe.  Remember keep the social distancing.

Much love and light 

Monday, 13 April 2020

Day 8 To Day 18 Of Lock-down

Day 8 - Friday (3 April 2020)

Today the focus was on doing some laundry and other mundane tasks.  Jason and Alicia decided to make some custard biscuits and they turned out super tasty.

Updated Day 7 of my blog, published and shared it.

I decided to add the date to each day as I am using my blog as a general journal too.

Day 9 - Saturday (4 April 2020)

I am feeling very thankful and grateful that I had a good nights rest for a change.  Late morning I made some Crunchies, which is absolutely yummy.  You can find the recipe here.

As it was close to lunchtime and I decided to make some flatbread.  The recipe was shared by someone on Facebook and unfortunately I can't remember by whom.  So if you are reading this, thank you for the great recipe and let me know so that I can give credit to you for this super quick and easy recipe.

I don't have olive oil, only sunflower oil and grapeseed oil as the latter was cheaper compared to the olive oil. I put a little bit of grapeseed oil in the pan and put the rolled out dough in the pan on the gas top.  It cooked quickly and after I turned it I sprinkled a little bit of salt and rosemary on top of the already cooked side.  On some of the other flatbread I added a little grated cheese which started melting while the underside was still cooking.

My family really enjoyed the flatbread.  When the dough is rolled out thinly it would make a super pizza base too.  In my humble opinion, another versatile recipe.  It will go really well with soup or stew as well.

Below is the recipe that I used.

Bread shortage?
This is the easiest kind of bread you can make. Costs pennies and can get you through these strange times, my family lived off these when the pickings were slim.

Navajo Flatbread:
Makes 6

2 cups flour
1 - 1 1/4cup of lukewarm water
1 table spoon baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 table spoon oil/butter/shortening

Mix dry ingredients together and add some of the water, mix and add water until it has the consistency of tacky pizza dough.
Knead for a few minutes.
Let rest in greased bowl for 30- 60 minutes.
Divide into 6 pieces and roll out on floured surface thin. (Tortilla thickness)
Hear griddle to 350F/180 Degrees Celcius.
Cook until golden brown spots and flip, cooking until done.
They can be made ahead and kept under a flour towel or frozen for later use.
Hope this helps. 
This photo came with the recipe.

Definitely a winner in my books as it has very few ingredients, it's cheap to make and absolutely delicious. 

This afternoon Alicia used the Quick Bread Dough recipe that I published in my previous post.  She replaced the flower with Nutty Wheat Flour and baked a bread with it.  It turned out really well and is very yummy.

So today creativity was focused in the kitchen with making eats and treats.

Day 10 - Sunday (5 April 2020)

Adrian (my husband) and I only fell asleep at around 3am. I was awake again just after 6am as Da Vinci our kitty cat normally wakes me up for some food.  I couldn't go back to sleep and came to the studio to watch some of the free creative retreat videos that I signed up for.  Just after midday I couldn't keep my eyes open and went to lie down on the bed to take 40 winks.  Naturally Da Vinci and Joey was in seventh heaven as they came and cuddled by me.

Alicia made some soup for supper and I decided to use the now infamous 'Quick Dough Recipe' and try and see how it would react should I use it to make some vetkoek to go with the soup.  Vetkoek is a traditional Afrikaner fried dough bread and is most of the time served with a filling. We just had the plain vetkoek instead of bread with our soup.  The vetkoek turned out well and was very tasty with the soup, however I would not use this recipe should I wish to make it with a filling as it is not as 'puffy' and bun/bread roll like.

The rest of the evening I tried to catch up on some of the videos mentioned earlier as well as update my blog.

"Joey" the eldest of our 2 kitties and is 13 years old.
He is a real softy, loves to cuddle and most of the time seeking out a sunny spot somewhere.

"Da Vinci", almost two and a half years old.
He is a real soppy date, talker and a Momma's boy as he is always following me around everywhere.

Day 11 - Monday (6 April 2020)

Woke up this morning and came to the studio to catch up on some videos.  I also then tried to Skype with my friend in Germany.  During our call the video kept freezing and then drops the call.  Eventually our internet just completely bombed out and was off for quite some time.

Today was also cleaning day, you know those normal household chores which everyone loves 😆

Anyhow, emotionally it was not my best day today and I ended up taking an afternoon nap, I suppose using it as an escape in a way.  I felt a little bit better after waking up.  In the evening we watched some movies which was super as we haven't watched movies for such a long time.

For supper we had home made Hotdogs and chips all made by Alicia and Jason.  The hotdog rolls were made with the Quick Dough Recipe and nutty wheat flour. 

Day 12 - Tuesday (7 April 2020)

Jason surprised us with a lovely pancake brunch.  He found this Eggless Pancake Recipe online.  This recipe will be great for people suffering form an egg allergy, yet will still be able to enjoy pancakes.  

Jason specifically looked for an eggless recipe because he said that should lockdown be extended and you can't find eggs or alternatively run out of eggs at home, you would still be able to make something that is quick, easy and filling.  Well I have to admit that the pancakes were absolutely delicious and the texture was fluffy, soft and light.  Jason duplicated the mixture and replaced the second cup of milk (we used full cream milk) with water, which is a saving on milk again.  You can also reduce the liquid a bit and the recipe will be perfect to make flapjacks.   Definitely a recipe that will be used more often.  Great find Jason 👌

We defrosted from the soup Alicia made on Sunday for supper this evening.  We decided to have some Vetkoek to go with the soup as we do not have bread on hand.  Since lock-down we have been making our own bread, rolls, roti's and more and have also come to the realization that homemade just taste so much better and has more substance to it compared to store bought bread.  I went in search of another dough recipe, this time for Vetkoek and found this awesome recipe "The best vetkoek recipe ever".  It definitely is the best vetkoek we have ever had!   Thank you "Getaway" magazine for sharing this recipe.

The dough after I left it to rise for 1 hour.

The batch of vetkoek after frying.  Next time I will make them a little smaller as some of them ended up being man hand size vetkoek.

So if you like vetkoek, I highly suggest you try out this recipe.  

We had another movie night and watched "Madea's family funeral".  Love the Tyler Perry movies as they come along with important messages applicable to life in general.  After the movie we started watching the Series "The Witcher".

Day 13 - Wednesday (8 April 2020)

I woke up with a migraine this morning.  Due to back and neck problems I tend to get these from time to time depending on what I am doing in a day.  This morning I was surprised that I woke up with a migraine and once I started thinking back to yesterday, I realized that the only activity I did yesterday that could have caused it would have been kneading the dough by hand for a short period of time.  Needless to say that this morning was spend quietly on the bed.

Lunchtime we had the leftover vetkoek with some cheese and jam...always a favourite.

The afternoon was spent quietly on the bed watching movies on the laptop.

Day 14 - Thursday (9 April 2020)

I got up nice and early and thought that I would surprise the family with some scones for breakfast.  I looked in my one folder and found a recipe, one that I have never tried before, where the dough is slightly more liquid and you just drop blobs of dough with a spoon on the baking tray and then it goes in the oven for 15 minutes.  Well, what an epic fail that recipe was 😂.  The dough was so runny, even though I followed the exact recipe, that as I dropped the dough on the baking tray it flattened out almost like flat biscuits.  I then added some flour to my dough mix to see if I can firm it up a little bit.  Dropped a second batch of blobs on the baking tray and the final result was not much better.  I didn't want to discard the dough mixture as we are in financial uncertain times and the recipe contained eggs, which we are running low on now.  So I decided to heat a pan on the gas top and that dough made some lovely crumpets in the end.  

Moral of the story...if something comes out a failure (in your eyes) or epic fail, do not loose heart, improvise and think out of the box and you might end up being pleasantly surprise with the final result.

In the evening I made more vetkoek, but this time not with yeast, but baking powder.  This vetkoek dough is also dropped in dollops in a pan.  The above mentioned recipe comes from my trusty cookbook, "The Complete South African Cookbook" by Magdaleen van Wyk and its a recipe I have used many times in the past.  I made scrambled eggs and we had the vetkoek as a 'bread base'.  I have the 8th impressum of the First Edition of the above cookbook. 


Makes 8-10;  Prep time 15 min;  Cooking time 10 min


250 ml (1 cup) cake flour
1 egg
125 ml milk
5 ml (1 teaspoon) baking powder
2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt
125 ml oil for frying.

1.  Sift the dry ingredients together into a bowl.
2.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg lightly and add to the dry ingredients.  Add the milk and mix the batter until smooth.
3.  Heat the oil in a frying-pan and drop tablespoonfuls of batter into the hot oil.
Fry for 2-3 minutes on one side, then turn and fry for another minute on the other side.
Serve hot with butter and jam.

A side note from myself ->  The above mentioned recipe is very versatile.  What I have done in the past is to either cut up some vienna sausages in rings or 'mini blocks' and add that to my dough mixture.  It makes a lovely savoury vetkoek.  Some other individual ideas to use instead of adding vienna sausages can be some grated cheese (you can also add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper then as it will compliment the cheese);  parsley;  olives chopped up;  cold meat'  cooked onions and/or mushrooms.  Just let your creativity flow.

At 20h00 President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke to the South African Nation and told us that our lock-down would have ended on the 16th, however an additional 2 weeks of lock-down has been added.

Adrian and I watched the last 3 episodes of  Series 1 of 'The Witcher'.  Apparently the new Series will only be coming out in 2021.   

Day 15 - Friday (10 April 2020)

Today is Good Friday.  How blessed are we not that our Father gave His only Son to die for us so that we can be free.

We have had a slow morning so far and discussing some business issues etc.  

The rest of the day was spent in the studio where I focused on some ideas that has been brewing for a good couple of days and working on the basic idea of a series of 5 paintings.  Interesting how the initial idea started out and how over the days it evolved. The series will follow a story line.

We went to bed really early, just before 20h00.  Adrian fell asleep just after eight and I tried to watch a movie.  Why I say 'tried' is because my eyes were so heavy and when I caught myself off-guard, my one eye is closed already while trying to watch the movie with the remaining half opened one.  In the end it didn't register even what was going on in the movie, so I decided to rather pack the laptop away as it was a lost cause.  Turned the light off and my head hardly touched the pillow and I was quickly away into dreamland.  This was possibly the best sleep I have had in a long time.

Day 16 - Saturday (11 April 2020)

Woke up early as Da Vinci likes to wake me up as he is hungry.  Joey was still sleeping all peacefully.  I made some coffee and got back into bed lurking through social media to see what is happening around the world.  

Got up and came to the studio to write some updates on my blog.  Then decided to make some Crunchies (you can find the recipe further up).  I made a double batch as the last one didn't last very long.  My family enjoys them sometimes as a quick breakfast snack.

I had a lovely chat with my friend Monica on WhatsApp and talked about what we have all been up to during lock-down.  It is so incredible how much we are alike, we are soul sisters indeed.  We made a coffee date for next week on Skype and I am really looking forward to that.

Day 17 - Sunday (12 April 2020)

Easter Sunday - He, the Son of God raised from the dead so that you and I have the wonderful gift and privilege of eternal life.  Today as we are celebrating Easter I am especially grateful and thankful for this gift. 

We enjoyed a quiet day and in the evening Jason and Alicia made some yummy pizza's with home made dough and then we watched some movies.  Sorry, no photos of the yummy pizza's, the hungry tummies took priority this evening.

Day 18 - Monday (13 April 2020)

Monday's are cleaning days and we also caught up with some laundry.  I plan to make another bread.  This time a different recipe, which I found online yesterday and to go with that some lovely homemade pea soup for supper.  We planned to watch some movies this afternoon, thus prior to that I mixed up the bread dough as it needs to stand for 3 hours.

Below is the You Tube video by "Jenny Can Cook"on how to make this yummy bread.

This is the full recipe on Jenny Can Cook's Website.  I would also suggest that you take a look at No knead bread solutions prior to making your bread.  I for example do not have a pot similar to what Jenny used and I also don't have parchment paper, thus I just used a big glass oven proof dish with a lid which I sprayed beforehand with some Spray And Cook. 

Some additional notes:  My convection microwave only goes up to 225 degrees Celsius and the recipe calls for 230 degrees Celsius.  I thus baked the bread at 225 degrees Celsius, but extended the baking time by about 10 minutes.

Jason and Alicia watched their own choice of movies this afternoon.  A couple of years ago we watched "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" with actress Judi Dench with my parents-in-law and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I only saw earlier this year that "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" was released.  This afternoon I found it online and we were able to watch the second one...absolutely loved it.

Once the movie was finished I got going in the kitchen with making the bread and pea soup.

Below is my result.

Above and below...Hot out of the oven.

Supper this evening...homemade bread and pea soup.

I hope that you have found this blog post interesting, informative and not too long.  As always your feedback is welcome and I would love to hear from you.  Perhaps you have some lovely recipes to share?

Take care, stay safe, be blessed and sending you love and light as always.