when the peeps are away, the mum will play!

finally, i've made it back in to the studio...  it seems like forever since i've painted, well maybe not forever, but a very long time.  it is so hard to balance being a full-time mother and all that comes with that, and finding some time to actually be creative.  actually, finding the time isn't that difficult, i have the evening hours when the peeps are in bed, but i'm always so tired...  so it's a total blessing to have thse 12 days all to myself (the peeps are visiting family with their dad) and in the studio for extended periods of time.  this is my first piece i started yesterday and finished today to get me in the swing of things and i actually really like it.  it's a fun piece and i think i'll really play some more with bright bold colours - lovin those.  i've also been wanting to experiment with fabric on my art as well - so hopefully will have something to show with that really soon.
thanks for stopping by my little corner of the world.  x me



i love christmas.  i really do.  i love the smells, the anticipation, the family customs and traditions.  i love that it brings people together, if only for a short while.  i love that the core of the human soul - the part inside us all that likes to show love and care comes out to play this time of the year.  i really love christmas...

this year is the first time really that my little girl 'gets it' she really gets the whole thing.  the presents, the reason behind the giving, the wrapping and not telling the reciever what it is, the anticipation and the waiting.  it's so good!  and little brother who is always in tow and mimicks her every move is starting to get it too.  so it's so much fun to be starting some new traditions and continuing with some old with these two munchkins contributing to it all. 

we always put our tree up on the first of december and take it down on the 31st and this was the first year that DD dressed it entirely herself (except the lights - i had to help there).  we play Bing Crosby christmas carols, wear santa hats and enjoy rediscovering each of the ornaments all over again. 

this year we started a new tradition of making spiced biscuits in christmas shapes.  these will be both for treats at home and gifts as well.  and of course santa will have some left out for him as well!  and speaking of santa and his sweet tooth, did you know he also likes beer?  this is a tradition from my husbands' childhood and it will definitely live on in our family.  the chidlren went outside to pick lovely fresh green grass to put on a plate, topped with lovely fresh carrots for the reindeer.  and because father christmas has to travel in the australian heat, it stands to reason of course that he would no doubt be mighty thirsty and the only beverage worth quenching a dry thirst here is of course beer. two i might add, it's really, really hot (so the husband says).

there is of course presents as well.  from each of us, and from father christmas too.  the presents that FC leaves under the tree are (as of this christmas) wrapped only in silver and gold ( they look so much  more special compared to all the others) whilst the others are wrapped in all the bright colours! and we went through all the book boxes and pulled out our favourite christmas stories to read before bed as well.  the nativity (of course!) 6 white boomers (an absolute must read) merry christmas stinky face ( i LOVE LOVE this book) and my absolute favourite, Night Tree (by eve bunting)

so there you have it folks, a little snap shot into christmas at our house.  lunch with the family tomorrow ( prawns or lobster this year?  cant wait!) and then lolling around all afternoon wondering why we all ate too much.  it will be hot, probably really windy too.  and although i do love summer time, i do wish that one year i'll be able to experience the magic of a white christmas. 

peace to you all,
x donna

in the morning we'll be eating pancakes as well (honestly - is there any other way to mark a special occassion?)


I'm not lost...

i've been a naughty blogger (slap hand) i know...  but really, being the lead-up to christmas i do have an excuse dont i?!  the peeps and i have made the trip to perth for a friend's wedding on saturday which i am so lookin forward to.  and i've been able to make some final christmas purchases too.  now, if you are a painter i have a question for you...

i have been wanting to varnish/seal my paintings for some time now, but as i use both oil and acrylic paint, this has proved a little more difficult to resolve - apparently there are different varnishes for both.  what to do???  i have been advised (after many conversations with shop owners etc) that i need to use an isolating medium and then something like MSA by Golden over the top.  so.  i want to know if there is one product out there that i can use rather than two?  the isolating medium takes 3 days to dry - and then the varnish more again.  there must be another way!  

so if you've come across this problem before, i'd love to know how you resolved it!

i am loving the build up to christmas and cant wait to make our christmas biscuits next week with the peeps.  but as with every year, i so WISH i was having a white christmas!  i read a blog post today and the author wrote that it was cold and dark by 4pm...  here it's still light at 7pm!  well, the summer evenings are nice - but oh it would be lovely to snuggle up in front of a fire with a warm cup of milo and a good book!

x me


happy birthday me...

look at this gorgeous piece of art!  it's one of jennifer valentine's creations - have a look at her art - she's so talented!  it's a vintage assemblage oil can turned into a photo holder thingo - isn't it beautiful!  lately i seem to be drawn to assemblage art.  although i dont feel drawn to creating anything assemblage (i'm not really a collector or keeper of things) - i just love seeing what amazing things people put together to create something new.  stay tuned for cheese grater art coming soon!!!


i can see clearly now...

the latest from my studio...  something a little different, but totally enjoyed creating this little birdie.  the words down the birdie's leg reads "she found the courage to stand tall"  perched atop her pile of rubble which is her life, this little birdie knows that even the tough times have refined her heart (gold leafed sections) and it is because of the pile, that she can see clearly into the distance...

creativity knows no bounds...

jus been surfing the web for a little creative inspiration and came across piece mama's blog.  i post the link as it's the only reference to this most amazing piece of art - check it out!  is that not the most amazing piece of quilting you've ever seen?  i dont know who the artist is - but that is one talented and patient person!

but if sea-scapes aren't your cup of tea, perhaps a bit of motor-vation is more you!  i've only ever made one quilting project in my life - a table runner which i am quite proud of - and if there were an extra 5 hours in every day i would definitely do more quilting.  the creative possibilities are quite endless ( who would have guessed, a car jacket?),  but one can only do so much!

got any funky finds off the net today?  post a link in the comments and spread the inspiration around!
thanks for stopping by, x me


and the winners are...

hi everyone!  thanks so much for all of you who visited and took the time to leave a message.  so without further ado, here are the winners of the two prizes...the random number generator has spoken and...
 the pack of cards go to: number 8!  Nicki F
and the bookmarks go to number 3: MLG Creative! 
so message or email me through your addresses and i'll have those in the post for you monday!

thanks again and please dont be a stranger, x me


baby steps...

the other day i picked these up from the printer - my new bookmarks!  and i have to say - i'm really impressed with the quality - these are the rolls royce of bookmarks i'm telling you!  and if you're not really a reader - these would be a really bright and gorgeous piece of fridge art!
there's heaps of ideas swimming around in my head - but i just find that lately i have no time...  i am always so tired!  with little ones up at 5 oclock in the mornings - the days are long - and all i really would love is an extended time in the studio...  but that is coming - just around the corner in fact.  in january, i'll have 10 uninterrupted days to create to my heart's content!  in the mean time, if you would like to purchase any of my items: card packs, individual cards, prints or bookmarks, either head over to my ETSY store, or feel free to contact me via email: donnaheart@westnet.com.au

now - for a giveaway!
one lucky reader will win a pack of my 6 cards - blank inside for your message
and another, a set of my new four bookmarks.

all you have to do is leave a comment below and i'll draw the winner on friday night.
here's the catch:  in one sentence, write down your most treasured memory of christmas.
i cant wait to hear your thoughts,
take care, and thanks heaps for dropping by,
x donna


the countdown is on...

this little person has been talking about what cake she will have for her 4th birthday for approximately 11 months now...  and for the most part is has remained the same - a ladybird cake.  so that's what it will be, together with a ladybird pinata as well.  the pinata has now become a birthday tradition in our family, one which i really love.  as the children get older, they'll be more and more help with the making of it too...  and speaking of traditions - here's a new one for us taken from one of my favourite crafting books the creative family by amanda blake soule.  it's miss m's birthday crown, which hopefully will be worn and enjoyed for many birthdays to come.  it's a very easy pattern and is sewn from felt.   the idea is to add a small embellishment for each year and that in time as the birthday girl/boy looks/reflects upon the various additions, the memories of that day remain strong and precious. when i spent a year travelling the us - i especially loved the traditions of thanksgiving, halloween and christmas.  yes, we do celebrate christmas here!  but it was so nice to have a COLD one! and the beautiful family i spent my christmas break with LOVED their traditions too.  a few weeks out, the oven would start up, the same cookie cutters would come out, the saved cookie tins too, and the family would get baking.  as children, the brothers and sisters would enjoy decorating the spice cookies in various ways, and as i understand, certain decorations and patterns became almost copywrited by each member, repeated with accuracy year after year!    these cookies would then get boxed up, placed in tins and mailed to friends and family around the country and world as special gifts from the heart. 
each year they would make tree decorations, and each year as they dressed the tree, the family would reminisce , telling the funny stories and anecdotes about how such-and-such spilt the glitter all over the dog, or the paint that got spilled on mum's good lounge...  these are the traditions i love.  the home-made ones.  the ones that just get better with time. the ones that make you feel loved, warm and wanted.  these are the moments and traditions i'd like to build into my family. 
  marking certain days as extra special, celebrating our small poeple and big people alike, and the contributions they make to our family and to ourselves is so important.  slowly we are building in traditions to our family, and our own special days and i'm hoping that with every year those traditions and activites help to strengthen and build the bonds of our family.  
do you have any great family traditions?  make a comment and share the love - go on, it's (nearly) christmas!

thanks for stopping by, x me


look what landed on my doorstep yesterday...

woohoo!  they're finally here!  my first ever run of cards.  a couple of months later than i had hoped/anticipated, but here none-the-less.  so it's lots of folding, folding and more folding for me with 1500 of these little beauties!  and then some collating, and then...  stocking the ETSY store!  i will be selling these both individually and in packs of 6.  i'm just finalising prices in my head so stay tuned as i'm hoping that by end of next week these will all be available for purchase!
thanks for stopping by, x me


*heart* this big time

do you like folk music?  if yes - then go and check out http://www.folkalley.com/ registering takes about 1 minute - and you can then stream non-stop folk music from around the globe 24/7!  i have been introduced to some awesome artists - so many i could listen to over and over.  it's now my absolute favourite tunes to have on in the studio whilst painting.  check it out!


a matter of courage...

my life seems to be ticking over at a very nice rate at the moment - not too fast, not too slow...  little by little i am making headway with the business, and any day now my first batch of cards will arrive on my doorstep! stepping out into the unknown for me has been an exciting move, but none-the-less requiring a certain amount of courage. as always there is a deceptively sweet small voice in the back of my mind giving me a list of reasons not to dream too big, or expect too much. so these words lately have been my own words of advice - or as we used to say in the army 'orders to myself only'!

tust my wings - fly with courage in my heart...
it's been so long since i've painted, and i've been pining to do so, so when i started this painting a day ago, my muse was with me and everything seemed to meld and gel and come together so well. i used some new paints by Matisse which being earthy tones was a step outside my usual bright and sunny pallette.   i had lots of fun scraping paint with an old business card, stamping circles with lids and even using my 4 year old's foam brushes as well!  i spent up big at scrap central in perth and experimented with the new tim holtz crackle paint here as well.  on her wings i used the clear crackle paint and then rubbed in ink to make the lines more visible. 
i had so much fun with this one - and apart from a minor mishap with some surface tension breaker which left the paint looking like curdled milk on the canvas (paper covers a multitude of sins!) everything worked so well...
hopefully i'll be able to ride this wave again soon as i desperately need to paint paint and paint some more!
hope life is well for you in your part of the world,

thanks for stopping by, x me


Old Friends...

it's been twenty years since i've seen these people...  twenty years.  i can hardly believe it.  my head is still spinning from the events of the weekend - what an awesome time i had catching up with this crew!  i think we had somewhere around 120 students in our year - so it wasn't a bad turnout.  we left at the sweet ages of 15 and 16 and returned as adults.  mothers, fathers, business men and women, stay at home parents, soldiers, policemen, stockbrokers and managers.  artists, nurses and everything in between.  most of us have been through the school of hard knocks in one form or another - and one of us never made it at all...  and yet here we were - another moment in time, talking like there was no tomorrow, catching up on 20 years of life!  and it occurred to me that there were also a few poeple there whom i'd been to school with for 13 years!  such a long time to share with friends - and it really was just like catching up with my extended family.  i had an absolute ball!

"here's to us by God!  To us and them, and privileges of youth.  Here's to us and what we were.  and what we'll be"

cheers everyone!

x don
PS: my cards are still at the printer!!!  so please be patient with me - as soon as i have them in my hot little hand i'll have another great giveaway for you all - so please stay tuned!


it's been 20 years...

i can hardly believe it myself, but i have been out of high school for 20 years!!!  and that means a reunion, and that reunion is tomorrow!  so i'm headed south for a few days to catch up with some old friends and faces i haven't seen for a lifetime.  i'm really looking forward to it, now that we're all 'grown ups' :)  so i will be off the page for a few days, but tune back in next wednesday for another great giveaway!



and the winner is...

thankyou so much to everyone who left a comment on my last post-and i'm very excited now to announce the winner of the 'she loves red' print. the random number generator has spoken, and the winner is...

number 2! Vanessa could you please message me with your address and i'll pop her in the post for you!

stay tuned folks - i'll have another giveaway coming up soon - so check back in for another chance to win some lovely donna heart goodies!

have a great week,

donna heart


a new season - the arrival of donna heart - and a giveaway!

hi everyone!  i know i have been a lazy blogger, but i seriously have had my attentions diverted over the last two weeks.  my dear friend Mel has left us all in search of a new life and adventure to the isle of New Zealand - farewell gorgeous friend!!!  and to add to all the farewell happenings associated with that, i've been working with stewart from Goodwin Media to design my new logo and brand.  so without further ado - here 'tis!...

wow - i never knew it would take so much of my time and attention to get to this!  but i'm really happy with the end result, i think it's perfectly me!  there are some gorgeous bookmarks soon to be printed, business cards, and a few other bits and pieces too.  so now all that is completed, i can actually get to the printers and have some cards ready to sell very soon!  I am soo excited to be so close to having this dream become reality.  if you had told me 5 months ago that i'd be going into small business this year- i'd have scoffed!  But here i am!  and to celebrate the creation of 'donna heart - where art and life collide' my new business, i'd like to have a giveaway of one of my prints.

this print is titled 'she loves red' and will arrive to you beautifully and professionally mounted on foam core backing-and matted with an archival quality black mat which shows off these colours beautifully.  it measures 21.5 x 37 cm (8.5 x 14.5 inches)
all you have to do is leave a comment - no more than a sentence in length, answering this question:
 what do you love?
AND! tell a friend about this new blog. I'll draw the winner on wednesday night (4th Nov) at 8 pm western australian time. 
also, in a couple of short weeks, i'll have my ETSY store up and running with beautiful cards and prints for sale in time for christmas.  I love red - what do you love?
Thanks for stopping by,
x donna


the bookfairy has landed...

well it took me all week, but i finally decided on the perfect place to leave Christine's gorgeous gift.  here on a park bench at George's Beach. i had thought about the war memorial, up on the hill overlooking the town and the ocean, or perhaps a bench on the boardwalk in town, plenty of people walk there every day.  and then today as i was driving back from the shops i remembered george's beach.  a gorgeous little peaceful place not far from where i live.  there's a carpark surrounded by gum trees and casuarinas line the grassy edge of the beach.  poeple come here to sit and each lunch, to walk their dogs, or their children -lol!  but what really made my mind up was this...

a few weeks ago now, a magnificent blue humpback whale, for reasons unknown, got wshed up on this beach.  it was an awesome, horrible and sad sad sight.  such a magestic animal, left high and dry in a world not his own (yes, i love whales). and it occurred to me, that it would be nice, or fair, or just to give something back to this place - to balance the universe a bit, to make peace.  something lost, something found.  equilibrium. balance.  give and take.  take and give.  so it is my hope now, that this book will fall into the hands of someone who really needs to read its words - and maybe not all would have been in vain...

i am alive...

i know, i've been a naughty blogger - but i am alive and haven't disappeared off the face of the planet.  it's just that life has been focusing my attention elsewhere lately.  life.   it twists and turns and takes unexpected lurches and leaps.  if you had told me 6 months ago that i'd be starting my own business, i would have laughed.  hysterically.  me, business?  but here i am.  starting my own small business.  emphasis on the word small, but a business none-the-less!  and it is exciting!  ex.ci.ting!  i'm really close to being able to show you my new brand/logo, header, etsy store and other yummy stuff...  after all - if i'm going to do this, i might as well do it properly don't you think?

so stay tuned, because in the not so distant future, i will be focused back on this space, and painting and creating and building and dreaming some more.  oh, it's all quite exhilarating really.  and i've even surprised myself in actually wanting to learn the business/accounting side of it too.  cool.

lots of love to you all - wherever you find yourself right now.  i hope you are following your passions too...


she brightens your day

about a week ago, an old friend of mine felicity, got back in contact with me and asked if i would be interested in doing a comissioned painting for her.  felicity is a miliner,and (you should check out her beautiful hats here) a dear friend of hers who also modelled many of her hats for her, is leaving town.  so felicity sent me a photo of Kate wearing one of her hats and really, the rest is history.  i've turned down a few inquiries about comissioned paintings before  because i've never seen myself as technically able to produce a likeness of another person.  but when i saw this photo of Kate with her hat - i knew i wanted to do it, and i knew it would be great!  and i've also given myself the freedom to produce a painting which doesn't have to be the exact likeness of the person either (that relieved alot of the anxiety!) so here's the photo that Felicity sent me of the gorgeous Kate... 

and here's my finished product...  I'm really happy with the outcome, and it's given me another boost of confidence in what i do.  That someone asked me to create something special for a friend is such an honour, and that they love it is very. deeply.cool... :)


some people really care a whole lot...

look what magical gift arrived in the post for me today...  when i opened the box to find this most stunningly - wrapped gift i was so in awe of it that i really didn't want to open it!  so i had to take a photo of it just to show what heartfelt lengths some people go to to make others feel special and loved...
 and here they are - the most beautiful pair of vintage earrings handmade by the lovely jennifer valentine... 
please go and check out her shop and all the wonderful treasures she has to offer - christmas is just around the corner - and these would be the perfect gift for a special bff, mum, aunty or sister... 

and i couldn't help but post these photos taken this afternoon in the fading afternoon light of miss chatterbox herself.  nope - she's not at all shy of the camera, can't you tell? 

hope you have a wonderful week.  i'm finishing off a commissioned piece of art tonight so hopefully will have something 'arty'to show soon.  thanks for stopping by, x me


true freedom

when Mr Happy (self appointed name) fell asleep on the lounge today, i asked Miss M what she would like to do with mummy.  her response?  'paint with your paints!'  how could i refuse?!  so she chose her own colours, and we sat together, and i watched her paint, and listened to her telling me all about it.  i even recorded some of it.  it is just so refreshing to listen to what children say as they paint - in the process, in the moment.  they are so free and so uninhibited.  they thoroughly immerse themselves in the pure joy of spreading paint.  the painting changed themes at least three times.  it evolved.  it morphed from one to another like clouds changing in the sky on a windy day.  first an elephant.  then a red sky, then... 'you'll just have to wait and see when i'm finished mum' 
then she found new colours which had to be used.  wait until one layer is dry and then paint righ tover the top. the rest of the day may have been bedlam, but this was a calm respite. 
have you painted with abandon today?
x me


wanting one of these...

oh.my.gosh - look at these!!!  this very talented lady makes cardigans, dresses and jumpers by repurposing old/other garments - how funky cool is this!


what matters most...

I'm reading a fabulous book at the moment called the gift by Lewis Hyde, and although i'm nowhere near finished it, it has started me thinking alot about our gifts and talents, and how they fit into our culture and collective identity.  i've been thinking about how we are each bestowed with precious gifts, (is cooking for my family a gift?  arranging a beautiful vase of flowers?  yes!) and must be good stewards of them - to use them wisely, but most importantly, to just use them.  it's as simple and as difficult as that really.  so this has been a bit of background to the words on this painting. for me, this journey has been( and continues to be) a wonderful and terrifying thing-especially to a) allow myself to do art (i'm not as good as them!) and to b) show anyone, and c) have someone actually want to hang it on their wall!!! so i really am trying not to look at all those amazing and talented artists out there with sooo much skill - because i believe there is aplace in this world for all types of artists, and creations. and it doesn't matter how good or talented you are.
 it matters most that you and i embrace it...


Through Her Eyes...

when miss moo was about 1, i decided that my sony cybershot camera just didn't cut the mustard.  it simply took too long to take the shot, and i always missed out on capturing the magic.  at the time my friend had a canon EOS400D which i played with, fell in love with and promptly bought.  i just love that what you see, you capture - no lag time...
so when Miss Moo wanted to start taking photos i handed her the cybershot and she's never looked back. here she is with me - taken on the cybershot, but here's a few of her own pics.  the world through Miss M's eyes...  I've deleted hundreds - i have had to be ruthless, but i so love seeing the world as she sees it.  and a big part of it is her little bro - dont you just love the faces!  and being caught red-handed (white faced) skulling a pot of yogurt whilst i was out hanging up the washing!

thanks for stopping by, x me


the magical powers of a sunny morning...

this morning i woke up and i was tired from the start.  i knew it was going to be a long day.  all i really wanted to do was to curl up in bed, wrap my doona around me and drift back into dreamy sleep.  but such is not the life of a mumma to  a 2 1/2 year old and a nearly-4 year old who like to wake up with the birds at 545 am...
so i dragged myself out of bed, staggered to the kitchen and made myself a milo.  recently our days have been pure heaven - sunny, breezy, perfect spring days.  the sort that should make you perpetually happy all day long even when someone cuts in front of you driving...  but i've been staying up late, and did i mention it? gettting up at 545,every.single.day.
but i dont want to be that drag-your-feet kind of person.  i want to be an up-and-at-em kinda girl!  so today i determined to kick the flesh into line with the spirit and i got us all organised for a walk to the beach.  now the beach is only about 200m from my house - but when you go with kids it becomes a small holiday.  towells - check.  water - check.  food-check.  sand play equipment - check. book - check.  mobile phone for emergency - check. dog-check.  hats, sunscreen and long shirts check, check check...

so off we trundled and within about 1 minute of being out in the sunshine i was instantly transformed from a drag-your-feet kind of girl into a click-your-heels kinda mumma!  it really was just what i needed.  and why (i continually asked myself) dont we do this every single day because this is just so magic- i dont know (NB if found asking this same question to self, re-read first para above).  and, well perhaps it could also be the fact that i have to push the two peeps in a pram up a very steep hill...   anyway...

i was so in love with the day and we were having such fun frolicking on teh beach and in the water that i completely fogot to take any photos until we started our walk home.  so here's my walk in reverse...

here's our own private lagoon - well, it was today!  When th etide is out - as in this morning, the reef forms a gorgeous protected swimming area just perfect for the kids and a dog who doesn't like swimming all that much.  did i say how perfect it is down here?  ...

here's my walking track along the beach...here's the two peeps in the pram that i push up the hill on the way home.  it's one of those that can get towed behind a bike, but i'm not sure what would be worse, trying to ride a bike up the hill, or pushing the pram up the hill...now this photo is VERY deceptive.  this is the hill, and trust me, it is a VERY STEEP HILL.  you cant see it - honestly, it is!and when you get to the top of the hill and turn back to face the way you've just come, this is what you see (facing due west off the coast)

and then facing due east - is the Chapman Valley - another beautiful sight - esp in winter when it's oh so green.  and my house is just down on the left about 50 metres or so...

so there you have it folks.  the evolution from lazy bed rat to life-lover in a morning.  thank you sun for saving me today!
thanks for stopping by, x me


She wears big hats...

i had a boyfriend once who gave me a small purple book of verse as a birthday present - i think the title was went something along the lines of " when i am an old woman i shall wear purple" .  i have had that book for many years and now, for the life of me, now, when i need it, i just cant find it anywhere!  but i love that title.  it reminds me that despite your age, your height, your weight, your colour of hair or complexion, or the size of your wallet, what's most important is just being the wonderful and beautiful you that only you can be.  and to do that without a care in the world, without worrying what other people may or may not say about you is the most important thing.  you know that positive poem curculating around - 'dance like no-one's watching, work like you don't need the money etc?' well if i could add one line to that i'd include:  
Wear big hats! 
be the wonderful, unique magical gift that you are to the world, and hold your head high.  be proud of your unique beauty and spread your special magic to others.  so there you go folks, a little bit of the inspiration behind this painting... 

and these two photos (below) show my first two prints framed and hanging on my wall.  i was so impressed with the quality of the prints.  it's very difficult to see it in the photo of course - but very crisp and clear - almost like having the real thing hanging on the wall!  so i'm pretty close to being able to print multiple copies of a few of the new paintings which is very exciting!  (btw - the frames were just Pixie Photo frames from Target - i think they look fine - what do you think?)  the printer down town uses very good quality long-life inks.  i'm pretty new to all of this - but the finished product look pretty damn spiffy to me!

well i hope you've managed to find some creative time in your weekend,  thanks for stopping by
x me