scrambled, colourful squares, sugar, goldfish…

Do you ever feel scrambled?  This is how I have been feeling over the weekend.  It could be just due to getting a cold mid last week and being a bit run down.  It could be due to the endless list of things I want to achieve…last month!  It could be due to the end of year nearing and starting to reflect on the last 12 months.  It certainly leaves me feeling uneasy, nauseated, fatigued, and strange.  My energy is frenetic, I’m certainly not grounded and my moods are random.  Time to book in for a Kinesiology balance I think.  I did something for myself though to try to remedy this uneasiness.  I sat down for an hour midday yesterday while Flynn slept and Tully rested and thought for a moment.  I’ve been longing to paint for weeks.  I just needed to paint.  I had no idea what to paint and really didn’t have time to, but I just needed to paint.  Instead of grabbing a canvas I took a piece of cotton rag archival paper that I draw my illustrations on.  I also selected 3 colour and limited myself to this by not painting in my studio but rather at my desk.  This is what became of this short but very therapeutic exercise.

It is the total opposite to what my paintings normally look like, and not even close to where they would start.  I am also pretty sure this is finished.  I never complete paintings in less than an hour, little loan in a day!  It is portioned, measured, and precise.  It is more of a colour study I would say than a painting.  But, I enjoyed it.  I felt better for it.  And my mood, thoughts and physical feeling shifted.  The colours are very much what I’ve been drawn to this past month.  I’ve been longing for more pink, yellow and white in my wardrobe too.  Interesting.   I’ll have to make do with my paint palette for now.

I have been reading a lot of my nutrition information and research again recently and also started following this blogSarah Wilson is a journalist, a blogger, a writer, and a media personality.  Not usually the type that would grab my attention.  However, she’s lovely, she’s passionate about health and wellbeing and has through her own health experience researched diet, health and nutrition and written an interesting e-book called “I quit sugar“. 

Since suffering quite badly from Irritable Bowel Syndrome in my late 20’s and early 30s I am very aware of my diet and lifestyle.  This condition had a lot to do with stress at the time but I have done a lot of reading on food, wholefoods and what is good for your body / mind health, implementing different things over the years and cooking more and more of our foods from scratch.  Sarah’s concept of quitting sugar is interesting though as I have been well aware of the effects of refined sugar and too much sugar in our bodies.  But, this goes further and talks about the actual amount of sugar in everything we eat, not just refined white sugar.  It includes the natural sugars such as honey, agave, fruits and so on which I tend to consume a lot of without having thought seriously about it.  I’ve always thought it’s natural so it’s fine and good for me and the amount doesn’t matter as much.  I think it’s an important thing for me to take note of.  I wonder about the effect on my memory, my energy levels, and I often feel like I have a burst of energy and then I have nothing left.  I also suffer from low blood pressure so lots of water and a low GI diet is important to keep this in balance.  Reducing or eliminating sugar could make a lot of difference.

More than anything reading this book has made me more aware.  It’s also led me to experiment a bit.  I went a few days very strictly avoiding any sugar filled foods, and then a day today as we would normally on the weekend.  We baked a pear and raspberry loaf which we had for breaky, along with some cut up fresh fruit and a soy latte.  Well within half an hour of eating this I felt crap.  I actually feel hung over as if I’d had a big night out and got to bed late.  Starting the day with sugar is definitely a bit no go for me I think.  So I really want to see how I go avoiding sugar as much as I can and what if any difference it makes.  It’s much easier than avoiding wheat, dairy and sugars all in one as I had to do some years back.  But it’s still not easy to do this time of year, or with little ones, or with my love of organic honey and dark chocolate…! 

Before I sign off for today I have been excitedly awaiting this fabulous news from a new dear friend of mine.  Artist Shae Reid has proudly announced the up and coming new book that she has illustrated along with her close friend Brian McCully who is the author of this delightful new book “Why Goldfish Never Die“.

image from The Butterfly Collector. Copyright Shae Reid 2011

Shae has spent the past year realising her childhood dream of illustrating a book.  She has produced over 100 of the most beautiful paintings to accompany and bring to life Brian’s thought provoking words.  This is going to be one very special book.  Lots of messages to ponder and many beautifully written, poetic words to enjoy.  I can’t wait to curl up on the couch with my boys either side and sit quietly reading this to them.  Brian and Shae have just launched their website this weekend, please pop over here and check it out for yourselves, it’s truly magical.

image from The Butterfly Collector. Copyright Shae Reid 2011

Well my lil man Flynn will probably awaken from his slumber soon and I have a mountain load of washing to do as usual so I shall be off.  I haven’t forgotten about sharing my range of Christmas cards with you either.  That is up next over the coming couple of days.  Enjoy the rest of this lazy Sunday, ooohhhh to be truly lazy today…

Liza xxx

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17 thoughts on “scrambled, colourful squares, sugar, goldfish…

  1. I love your color study – I need to take the time to do some of these. I have no formal art training and I really struggle when it comes to color. Great info. concerning the sugar. Excited for your friend Shae! I had seen her post earlier and had hopped on over to her blog – pretty exciting, indeed. You’ll have to keep us posted on how the leaving out sugar is going. I know I can’t have much sugar in the morning and try not to have a lot during the day, but the older I get, the more I seem to want : (

    • Thankyou Kathleen, yes have a go colour studies I think are fun, because the only objective is to pick a small selection of colours and see what they look like alongside each other. It’s just fun doing it and you can play with whatever format you like and whatever medium you like. I have no formal training either, but I do remember my mum teaching me about colour and different combinations, I just wish I could remember all the formal names instead of just red, blue, green and yellow (o” Yes Shae has achieved a huge milestone and I think these moments should be celebrated, she is such a great inspiration to us all that our dreams can come true (o: So far I’ve just really cut down on sugar, even cut out the honey in my tea – gasp…I’ve gone a couple of days without any all together and it’s only really nightime when I’m up late working that I crave a little something sweet with my tea or a nice piece of homemade cake or something. I think it’s just breaking the habit that’s hard. I have been a little grumpy today, a bit tired and I also felt quite blahh so I think there’s a little bit of detoxing going on. xxx

  2. What a great post, Liza. I struggle with scrambledness myself, and it feels like the last two weeks have brought about a particularly concentrated amount of it. We’re headed up to QLD this coming Friday, and with a to-do list about 10 miles long, I’m a bit all over the place. Plus my poor blog has suffered a bit since I just haven’t been able to get to posting. I think a creative exercise like the one you did would really help visualize my stresses.

    As for sugar… that sounds like a great book! My boyfriend and I are conscious about what we eat, but within limits of course. I do think there are a lot of fad diets and “findings” out there that bully certain foods – meat, sugar, gluten, in particular. In the case of sugar I definitely think there’s merit to it. I allow myself plenty of natural sugars in fruit and honey, but when I eat something refined (a cake from a commercial bakery, for instance) I experience the exact hangover symptoms you described!

    • Yes scramble brain just has to go! You sound flat chat too. I’m finding the blog is really enjoyable but it does take a lot of input, so it’s definitely a commitment. It could be really interesting for you to unleash some creative energy and see what comes of it. Yes very much so and I find it really hard to really know what is fad and what is true so I always trust my own judgement and my own feeling within. I think cutting out sugar completely is unnecessary. I really don’t think cutting out fresh fruit is the thing to do but I do believe it’s easy to consume more than we need. I found it interesting what Sarah wrote about our ancestory and the amounts from each food group that we once consumed in accordance with what our bodies were designed for and how much that has changed. When I look at jar and packaged food lables I get so frustrated seeing sugar in almost everything and usually 2nd on the list. You just can’t find a breakfast cereal without some form of natural or unnatural sugar in it for example and most have a lot. I’m like you though all for the natural but oh so aware of the unnatural and how it makes me feel. Have fun up im QLD Yasmeen and I hope the weather is a bit more consistant up there! Liza xxx

    • My pleasure beautiful you guys deserve abundant support and plenty of celebration, this is a very exciting and special achievement for you both so happy to spread the word to as many as I can (o: Ohhh don’t worry I don’t think I’ll be quitting sugar! LOL, certainly not with 2 lil munchkins and certainly not with so many late nights (o” Just cutting back and becoming even more aware of “hidden sugars”. Lxxx

  3. Liza, what a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing “yourself”. I have a terrible sugar addiction! It makes me feel terrible, but it is always the first thing I turn to in times of stress. Thanks for sharing your sugar stories. I also like your color study — strange how we’re drawn to certain color combinations at different times. Something to contemplate. I’m heading over to Sarah Wilson’s blog!

    • My pleasure (o: I’m sure you’re not the only one with a sugar addiction, it is so easy to become addicted to. I am facinated by colour and really interested in the different meanings of colours and how they affect us. Hope you enjoy Sarah’s blog, it’s great for a little awareness. I’m certainly not suggesting we all give up sugar completely, that would be one huge task to do, but I found it so interesting reading about the hidden sugars, learning more about the effect of sugar and the amounts consumed without perhaps realising. I don’t think I can give it up completely as I love my fruit especially summer berries and I also love a little bit of dark chocolate most nights Lxxx

  4. Hi Liza, i know that scrambled feeling, its hard to stay balanced sometimes but what a lovely way to spend an hour & what a great challenge to set for yourself i’m glad you felt refreshed after it. thanks for the info about sugar, its funny, just this week, i’ve been thinking about cutting out sugar, not too sure how i’ll go, but i think i would lose a little weight immediately if i did & probably feel better for it too.

    • Hi Michelle, yes being out of balance isn’t much fun, I hate it actually and these days it’s really obvious to me (and hubby) when I’m out of balance. It’s been fun reading everyone’s comments it seems a lot of us are at least mindful of this and aware of it’s affect on our mind and bodies. I’m like you I’m thinking about giving it up, but I really don’t think I can give it all up. Summer berries are on the shelves = LOVE, dark chocolate = LOVE & organic honey = LOVE. Life it for enjoyment and I want to be fresh, alert, healthy but I think there’s still room for the odd piece of sweetness in life. (o: I’m just perhaps more aware of where the hidden sugars are, quantities of sugar in foods, and learning what is the right balance for me as at the moment I’m certainly not feeling completely right and I have been endulging in more than I normally would. Let me know how you go and how you feel with adjustments (o: I’m looking forward to a clearer mind so I can keep ahead of myself haha! Lxxx

  5. Liza, such a beautiful post. I love your color painting, the symmetry, the colors and the juxtaposition of the green is fun! Hmmm, quitting sugar, I am not sure I could do it but being more conscious of how much I consume completely necessary.

    • Thankyou Lori (o: Yes the touch of green I just love that colour and well you’ve seen my paintings…so hard for me to limit my colour palette (o” Yes being concious of my consumption of sugar and being more aware of hidden sugars is my goal. I don’t think I can quit completely either. Summer fruit, dark chocolate & organic honey,…I adore them ALL! Moderation and awareness though for me from now on. Lx

  6. Hi Liza, I was thinking squares this morning in bed – what to do with a painting I don’t like – I also watched a program about Modrian over the weekend….

    Sugar is my addiction….giving it up….noooooooooooo life won’t be worth living……….Honestly I should give it a go and I’d probably feel a whole lot better once I got over the withdrawal symptoms. You might find this site interesting: http://www.radiantrecovery.com/

    • The Mondrian show would have been great to see. A painting you don’t like – does anyone else like it. I think sometimes others see something in a piece that perhaps we miss. If it’s a newish piece then sit on it for a while before you do anything with it. Or if it’s been there for a while and you don’t like it and no one else likes it, play with it. Perhaps leave elements you do like or you see have potential and just go crazy with it and see where it leads you. Treat it as a fun experiment and turn it into a positive (o:
      I’m certainly not suggesting we all give up sugar and I totally agree life is for enjoying. I was just really noticing lately I was consuming more and more without being aware until I noticed that it was making me feel really crap! I found her book and info really interesting to learn more about the hidden sugars and the amount of sugars in our foods. I certainly love fresh fruit, honey and chocolate and couldn’t imagine life being much fun without them! I’ll just be cutting back and being more concious of what sugar I am consuming (o: Thankyou for sharing that link though I’ve had a quick peak and bookmarked it for a further read later (o: Liza xxx PS. already having withdrawal symptoms and that was just cutting back!!! )O:

  7. Great Post Liza!! I love your colour study and am curious about the green square? I love sugar and sweet desserts but it also gives me highs and lows. Thx for sharing the link to Sarah Wilson. I love Shaes goldfish illustrations. Great to see her being featured on your lovely blog! I hope you are feeling better now. Wini xox

    • Thankyou Wini ohhh hehe the green square yes I just couldn’t help myself basically and just had to have another colour in there (o” You know me and my paintings, colour restrictions, nahhhh.
      I’m going to do another one with these yellows and pinks but with my favourite blue. You see that way I’m still having all my loves in there together. Cheeky aren’t I (o” It was fun, mindless and a way for me to sneak a little painting in. It was really nice though just to see a few colours together and ordered in some way, rather than my usual random rainbows that have no limitations and can go on for ever. I think this piece was just what my mind needed over the weekend. Something precise, limited and still with lovely colour (o: Shae is such a lovely person and I’m so happy for her, and it’s so inspiring to hear of stories like hers and Brians, of people achieving and living their dreams, just so special. Yes getting there. Not feeling like I need to be in bed like last week, still a stuffy nose but otherwise back on track. Thankfully as I still have loads of work to do. Looking forward to taking a real break though over Christmas. Two weeks just to chill with family and friends and turning off the computer for the whole time (o: Liza xxx

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