Friday, 23 May 2014

the tortoise and the hare ~winning~ nothing else matters

the other week I was a little bit tired when I did my benches
felt as slow as a tortoise, as I slowly, but surely, pushed the bar up

normally I do a comfortable 3 sets of 4/5 reps on 60kg now. I've built up to that and I usually get 3 clean reps and a couple extra with my spotter.
It's always good to have someone strong to spot me
to wheek the bar up when I am struggling...

here I am struggling....

had one of my fav Metallica songs on - 'nothing else matters'
you can just hear it in background above my panting

did some declines next
I now do 3 sets of 8 reps on 60kg easily, then about 3 sets of 4 reps on 70kg, with at least 2/3 reps clean per set

...slow and steady wins the race....

eh, but that day I was only on about 85% strength, so em, I tried my best

...better late than never....

and since I was not up to par, my spotter had his work cut out for him that day!
- so here's the bar being wheeked up....
(always good to get some negative reps in, dontcha know how beneficial they are? :  )

and then 24hrs later I was surrounded by heavy metal of another kind....

I flew across the North Sea to Norway, to bask in the Scandinavian sun and have a wee break from all the Scottish rain

aah, I'm only joking! it's been pretty good in Scotland so far with some nice sunny days
but it was good to be in Stavanger again! catching up with family

and because you can't take the metal out of this girl -
I spent 6 days hard training in 'bears' gym - THE best hardcore gym for serious training in Stavanger! - Bjorns gym!

and best of all - they had Metallica playing! 
omg!! omg!!! how happy was I?!!

many thanks to Lloyd for being totally awesome : ) and Benjamin too!

let's have some more Nothing Else Matters eh?

was nice to be back in Norway
went for a wee run around in my brother's rr

love driving the range rover! so much fun! like a tank and it can go as fast as a hare!

talking about fast - there are alot of Trans Ams in Norway. My fav car ever! They have a few ta clubs over there
and I was so hoping to see one, or two, or three - I'd seen one the week before in Scotland on the coast road to North Berwick - ha ha, that was SO exciting!!!
but the only old car I saw was a Ford Mustang

Bears gym was 2.5km away, so I ran there and back every day
was nice, ran by a wee lake, Mostvatnet, was chased by hungry mallards with tiny babies and hungry swans, then up and down a couple hills, past lots of beautiful and elegant Norwegian homes, across some busy roads, up 4 sets of steep steps, then finally made it to the gym in one piece
(*yes, I did get lost on my first day, yes I did run an extra 1km trying to find my way there and home again...)

~ never ran in those purdy shoeses though, they are my stepping out heels
as in stepping outside anywhere
love them so much! 

then on the first day I got back from the gym I was so exhausted after my *extra excursion that I flopped like a tired hare on the long summer grasses of my sister-in-laws beautiful flower-filled meadow-like garden
amongst the dandelions and wishes and.....
and dozed in the evening sun

~it was blissful~

normally the grass and dandelions are kept in trim by the tiny furry lawnmower

little Tomas - my Norwegian heart! eating his heart out

but a few days before I was to fly over, he decided to fly to heaven

and so not all the dandelions were kept in trim
and some had turned to wishes

I was so looking forward to seeing Tomas again. 
We got on so well together. 
I bribed him, er, I fed him nice things and he let me pat him : ) 
I loved stroking his fur, feeling his tiny heart beating thru his warm skin, looking into his soft black eyes, listening to his rustlings late at night
I had made him a little heart shaped fleece blanket the year before and often sent him edible presents, and on my birthday this year my brother took him out of his inside home (sometimes it is referred to as a cage by others, but not by me), and Tomas sat on the dining table eating tasty treats when he skyped me happy birthday and my nieces were dancing gangnam style in the background (yeah, they had a birthday party for me on skype :/

and whenever I see dandelions, and wishes, I think of my little prince Tomas

and whenever I see things fast

taking things slow

I remember to enjoy the moment ~nothing else matters~

spotted these fast things being slow in a gallery window 

feety grooming is a time consuming and pernickity process

and attention to detail is what matters

they are on my wish list now
well, one is anyway

made by Kjersti Olsen and sold here Galleri Amare 

and then as I was walking up the street, smiling away to myself, after looking at those hares I happened to glance to my left, in between two large buildings, and saying hello from a far wall were a couple of bigger hares !!!

ha ha ha!
that made me smile big time!
I've seen some interesting art on buildings before, but I reckon these rabbits take the cake 
sooty and sweep?

it's good to see fun and beautiful art
nice to appreciate it

even better to enjoy a cup of tea and some cake, or biscuits, as one does the appreciating

whether of a tiny sculpture, 
building graffiti,
or even on oneself.....

yeah, yeah, what can I say?
7 going on 17

isn't she beautiful

my youngest niece
who demanded that I apply some make-up to her, since I am an artist

and now I am a professional make-up artist to small humans under 10 (yup, her 2 wee pals wanted made-up too) and she is now a professional model for all things Ness and tigers

my watercolour hare is now nearly finished

only got the whiskers to go on

was nice to paint him

he's a young buck

and he's waiting for the sun to come out, after getting a wee bit wet in the morning rain

painting takes it's own time

no matter how fast you want to go, 
time dictates the pace
and me n watercolours - it's slow and steady

was nice being in Norway
totally loved bears gym! totally loved all the metal big time, never seen so many eleiko plates in my life! *sigh* and a full set of eleiko dumbbells *sigh* and 4 racks!! *sigh* 
yup, was good

and loved seeing my precious nieces and beautiful sister-in-law
and soaking up the Norwegian sun - got a little bit of a tan infact

winning ? 

losing ?

slow ?

fast ?

as long as you are enjoying yourself, then in my book you are winning and ~ nothing else matters

Saturday, 10 May 2014

..not a creature was stirring, not even a, er tank...

usually I prefer to paint during the day with the natural light,
but being a night owl, I don't usually turn in until after 4ish, and I can just as easily be found daubing the canvas in the wee hours

this tank isn't making too much noise

even though it is travelling at speed in this painting (yeah, really - got lil bits of dirt being flung up in front of the tracks...)
it's nearly finished
sometimes it's best not to 'overpaint' a painting

recognize it? 
it's an M1 Abrams MBT, the Australian Army's main battle tank
so LOVE my military hardware big time!! love love love!!

surrounded by a litter of leverets....

uh-oh! they're all awake! that tank's not so quiet after all then

these pics are all aceo size - 2.5 x 3.5 inches
sorta tiny eh?
cute 'n' tiny

talkin' 'bout cute 'n' tiny - here's some REAL cute 'n' tiny -

totally adorable eh?

my dreams of Wesley are still continuing :)
I have his photo next to me and he looks 'so real' every time I look at him
I can smell him, and feel his fur, he looks ready to hop out and into my lap *sigh*

the hares I am painting are coming along their own pace - as my paintings do

this one has dark rich brown lowlights now, and detail on the ears
- not ready to hop off the page yet

no fur in yet, nor whiskers
I'm still getting the 'feel' of the hare

watercolour dictates it's pace to me
not the other way around

anyway - leverets of another type have been born and have now left the nest

I made these 6 little chaps as a donation for Nowzad Dogs - the charity that helps stray dogs and the soldiers who adopt them, 

and I support them with every sale of a Drive Safe baby Army Hare

and this half a dozen will raise £90 for them
nice eh?

if you are a serving soldier in the coalition forces (British / America / Australian..) with a set of old cams and would love a free hare, plus 2 free hares going straight to Nowzad for fundraising then get in touch with me - my contact details are on that link above
(for EVERY set of Army cams sent to me I make 3 free hares as a thank you - 1 for the soldier and 2 for Nowzad - this is my way of showing my appreciation)

which one will look great in your wheels?

these wee hares are expert back seat drivers, and so willing to adorn your rear-view mirror

each hare is an original, and perfectly 'imperfect'

these ones are made from German Flecktarn cams and it was rather tough to turn out, so I made the ears 'open'
and why not? they look pretty neat I reckon

and like all those stray dogs in Afghanistan, and the soldiers on deployment there, they all have their 'scars' 
~ whether visible or not ~

so if you want to give one of these 6 hares a home, then just get in touch with Nowzad
£15 each and all money goes to the dogs....

....doggies like Anjali and her new litter 

she was rescued by German soldiers, 
so it's pretty good that I've got those hares made in flecktarn 

isn't she such a beautiful lady! soft and gentle and loving, and look at those tiny little puppies
omg! so adorable!

here's a close up of those imperfect ears

blue-eyed beauty...

purdy lil hare...

and one with fully sewn ears but still a bit tatty and with some fawn coloured bits like Anjali
always good to be so individual eh?

because nothing is perfect in this world 

anyway  *yaaaaaawwnn*

times' gettin' on


someone is out for the count already!

and if the fur-ball at the front is not careful he will be tumbling out of bed and straight into the foody bowl :)

(I reckon he might be dreaming of rabbits eh?)

so here's a little something relaxing 
to listen to
with your bedtime cup of tea

50s pretty cool 
likin' him lots..
I reckon he'd love one of my little hares in his hot wheels

....anyway it's nearly 4am and time to stop stirring

Friday, 2 May 2014

yeah! still dreamin' of small white rabbits....

nearly every night I've had dreams of Wesley


just now I'm painting a watercolour hare portrait

so I did a few sketches first, to get in the flow

as usual, I did them over an old sketch, on one of my pads that I'd drawn an M1 Abrams MBT a couple years ago (the Australian Army's main battle tank)

- hares and tanks - why not? 

I've been thinking about my little heart nearly every day
amongst the stars :)

and remembering all the furry little beasties I've loved
- Wes was the only white rabbit I've ever had
and every time I see a wee furry white thing - I get a small pang as I think of my heart

this song kinda sums it up 
(so loving my DMX at the moment)

and I so love Mr Uber-Cool Steven Seagal
how could any lady not love someone as ultra cool as that dude? 
he literally oozes sex appeal, and it's not as if he's a hot super model or anything like that
he just has 'it'  - the X factor! in bucket loads! did I say BUCKET LOADS!?

that nonchalance, 
that 'I don't need to prove myself to no-one'
that 'yeah, I am a rebel but I'm really a good boy - just watch me'

was a good movie too, Exit Wounds, and DMX is cool too, ultra cool...

anyway, back to things less explosive than Mr Seagal

here's some old sketches of two Abrams
I was painting in the 'speed'

not all my paintings get finished
most get binned

but that tank up there amongst the hares will be getting finished I reckon

so, small white rabbits ....

this is a rough on my sketch pad and this one won't be getting painted in, 
this hare will always be white
I reckon it's a female - there is a softness about her

I'm painting up another hare like this one (that I made into postcards)

I've actually got two of them on the go!
I don't really do anything by half (but you knew that already didn't you?)

this one

and this one

will see how they turn out

....fur being added daily

meanwhile, I'll be turning in soon, it's just on 3am

and I have small white rabbits to dream of