8 Jan 2014


I was very honoured yesterday to receive a lovely, uplifting email from Sandra Darby http://notesonaspanishvalley.com/, nominating my blog for The Sunshine Award!! Thanks Sandra! Wow, it`s always nice to have a litle bit of sunshine. Thankfully, today the Irish weather is finally giving us a reprieve and the winter sun is glowing down upon us.  Sandra is a fellow contributor to Kasia James`book The Milk of Female Kindness - An Anthology of Honest Motherhood, which also has one of my pen and ink illustrations, and is available on Amazon and Createspace.

There are a few rules to adhere to for this award. They are

1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer some random questions about youself,from the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers for The Sunshine Award.

Now for the scary bit: 5 random facts about me:

  1. A prize: hmmmm.  Although I work as an artist these days, my former career goal was to be an interpreter/translator. I still have to do the MA for that!  Life had other ideas, I guess.  My university degree is in French and Spanish, well it was actually Beginner`s Spanish at the beginning, ironically! so I was pretty chuffed when I received one of the few honourable mentions they give to those students who excell in spoken Spanish! I am not that good at blowing my own trumpet, but it was one of the first things that came to mind when I thought of a prize.  Actually, I prefer the Spanish version of this idiomatic expression: tirarse flores, which means to shower yourself with flowers. Pretty.
  2. positive: There are lots of positive things in life, and I am slowly learning to appreciate them and be less negative. For me personally, the biggest positive in my life is my faith in Jesus Christ, and the hope that gives me. Not to say that life then is a bed of roses, far from it. But it is the anchor in my life, and the one which gives my art and everything else meaning. Secondary to that, I`d say having lived abroad. Experiencing a new culture, living it out, learning a language "properly", in the "thrown into it" sense of the word, is a huge lifechanging experience.
  3. Inspiring: nature has always been close to my heart. There`s nothing I enjoy more than walking for miles in the hills or mountains, watching the imaginary shapes in the clouds change, the striking silhouette of a bare tree against the warm pinky, golden glow of a winter sunset, the chirping of the garden birds...these are all so inspring to me.  And not to forget my love of all things vintage, before that even became a fashionable word! Colour, pattern, design. That makes me tick.
  4. Creative: my children.  Seems a bit of an oxymoron, given the huge demands raising a family puts on your energy, finance and time, but for me, the arrival of my first child, born 7 weeks early, and in quite  scary circumstances, was to all extents and purposes, a bit of a eureka moment for me. Life is sacred, special, and all too short. Better to live and do what you really  want to do than live wondering what if.  That`s when I picked up a paintbrush again, after a 10 year break, and although I rarely get done what I intend to, I haven`t looked back since.
  5. Musings: I shall muse on how to know if having moved halfway across the world for the second time and still missing where you were before nearly 5 years later, that you`ve done the right thing?? What did I say earlier on being positive? enough said.

Ok, so now for my nominees. All 11 of them!

  1. To Jane Winton, http://janewintonartwork.blogspot.co.uk, /undoubtedy the first nominee. When I started blogging over 2 years ago, she gave me some great advice, and without me ever having to ask her! Her artwork is adorable, inspirational, and like me, she is a fan of all things vintage.
  2. Amanda White, naive collage artist.  http://amandawhitecontemporarynaiveart.blogspot.co.uk/ What she can do with a pair of scissors is outstanding, and she has a cat, I think, and lives in sunny Santa Cruz de Tenerife. She is also well read in English literature and knows a thing or two about many a heroine. I love reading the history behind her quirky, beautiful works of art.
  3. Haidee-Jo Summers, up and coming oil painter, with a talent and a passion for capturing the light in her work. In my view, the next female version of Ken Howard! http://haideejo.blogspot.co.uk/
  4. Kasia James, Australian author and fellow contibutor and editor of The Milk of Female Kindness- An Anthology of Honest Motherhood.  Her latest post on multi-tasking and spending "green" time is particularly insightful. http://kasiajames.wordpress.com/
  5. Lynda Hewitt, freelance writer, like the rest of us, trying to juggle her passion with too many other necessities.  http://blueuponblue.com/author/sunpuddler/  A lovely person, past owner of Mowgli, the tree-climbing kitten, who gave her husband a bit of an allergy, and is now residing with the Farias family and has forged a firm friendship with our almost 8-year-old German Shepherd, Guinness.
  6. The lovely Carol at http://artisautobiographical.blogspot.co.uk/. She has encouraged me through my blogging ventures and her posts are always interesting.
  7. The amazingly talented Ian Sidaway. This blog showcases his incredible skill with a pen and a moleskin.http://iansidawaydrawing.blogspot.co.uk/
  8. What Andrea Joseph can do with a humble biro pen is awe-inspiring. I still remember my jaw dropping the first time I came across her work. http://andreajoseph24.blogspot.co.uk/
  9. Gina is one of those bloggers you feel you know personally. A huge creative energy and a contender for the next Great British Bake-Off! http://ginaferrari.blogspot.co.uk/
  10. This is a truly inspirational blog by mixed media artist, Jane Lee Horton, full of creative ideas: work in watercolour, textiles and lately, ceramics.  http://theseventhmagpie.blogspot.co.uk/
  11. Last, but by no means least, there`s the legendary Gennine Zlatkis. Her blog has a huge, global audience, so she has probably been nominated for umpteen awards, but I just had to add her since her posts always bring me a little bit of Mexican sunshine, because she has connections with Chile and because her work output is just plain awesome. http://blogdelanine.blogspot.co.uk 
    Phew! so now for you lot. If you manage to get the time to do this! here are my five questions that you have to answer:
    • Pizza or Chinese
    • train or bus
    • stairs or lift
    • cooking or washing up
    • luxury cruise or camping
Happy blogging!


  1. Thank you for the award Judith - I'm honoured! I may not play totally according to the rules (random fact about me... I break rules!) but I will answer your questions very soon. Fun to have all your links to some interesting blogs too.

  2. Hi Judith, thanks so much for this it's very kind. I am over the moon that you describe me as the next (female) Ken Howard! No greater honour in the world! ;-)
    I shall look forward to having a really good look at your blog and all the others you recommend soon, as I'm a bit tied up at the moment. Thank you! :-)

  3. Thank you Judith, this is new to me 'blog awards' and it's lovely to be described as 'inspirational'!
    I shall endeavour to play along as soon as I'm able, and come back and spend a while reading your lovely blog too.

  4. It`s new to me too, Jane! If and when you get time, no worries! (that`s the downside, I suppose!) Anyway, it was easy to choose you. Thanks again for all your help! xx

  5. I've finally got around to answering the questions Judith...