Over a month ago, my friend Jane from That Curious Love of Green asked me to join in an art challenge for the month of June, through Arna Baartz Artist Facebook page. I immediately agreed and promptly had a loud internal voice roaring at me “you did what?!” I was so close to backing out, hey, I had several brilliant excuses, least of all the teeny babe attached to the boob a lot of the day! But then I thought I’d give it a go, play each day by ear…

And I did. And a few funny things happened.

Firstly, I allowed myself the time. I stopped feeling guilty for allowing myself the time. And I starting creating, breathing life into so many ideas in my head. I had been slowly- slowly- working away, when I had time in order to work up a series of paintings to make into cards and prints. And, frankly, I rarely had time, or allowed myself the time, or enough time to make it meaningful, until the challenge. And so, after 30 days? I have a huge body of paintings and drawings, more than I could have dreamed of.


I now continue to give myself time, and continue to produce plenty of work.

I’m allowing MY work to BE “work”. For me, it’s important that it’s a “thing” that has an end result, rather than just a “thing”, if you get what I mean! (I then don’t feel so guilty)


I’m accepting that even if I never gave myself “the time”, the house would still be a mess. There are a lot of us. There is, at any given time, someone drawing, chopping paper, glueing, painting. At the same time, there are farms, train tracks, fairy kingdoms and Legoland being recreated on our floors. We generate a huuuuge amount of mess, bitty pieces of paper, fantastical games and awe inspiring creations. There isn’t one without the other. Added to this conundrum, I hate housework. I find it soul destroying, despite trying to see it in a more “mindful” way. It stops me from being creative, frustrates me because I never have enough time to finish, irritates me because no sooner than I have cleaned/tidied/organised something, there is something else that’s needs doing. And then I procrastinate, and I do a bit of this and a bit of something else, and nothing ever gets done. Now I’m giving myself TIME, and what needs to be done, gets done… May take a bit longer, but, oh well…!!

James blog

So I’ve decided to surrender:

~I’m surrendering to the constant mess: it’s a sign of creativity, a home that’s alive;

~I’m surrendering to not feeling guilty: it’s pointless, and a time waster. I don’t get any more done by feeling guilty, in fact, I feel I get less done as I spiral into complete procrastination;

~I’m surrendering to allowing things to unfold organically: literally going with the flow;

~I’m surrendering to switch off the Other Voices in my head. The voices that I fancy to belong to my mother, my husband, my friends, telling me what I “should” do. These are purely imaginary and stem from my feeling guilty over what I “should” be doing;

~I’m surrendering to allowing myself the time to create: it gives me joy and energy, and that affects everyone in the house;

~I’m surrendering to knowing, viscerally, that joy is a choice, so I’m choosing joy.

blog surrender

(I buried James’ placenta under a rose called “Bobbie James”… (thanks Dorothy!) This year, it has sprawled magnificently, and produced masses of flowers. James loves the fact it’s “his” rose. The other day he was telling me that there were “hearts” all over the yard. When we went to investigate, we realised that each petal of every flower is in the shape of a perfect white heart. We are surrounded by hearts. I need to keep remembering that)