Family matters

I have been busy, offline:

learning about a network of family in New Zealand, Canada, and Scotland that was previously unknown to me; reveling in the new-found solidarity of knowing where I come from; knowing where I stand in the world.

David Millar, my great, great-uncle, born in Scotland, settled in Mangawhai.

David Millar, my great, great-uncle, born in Scotland, settled in Mangawhai.

I have been busy, offline:

celebrating the birthday of one our longest lived family members, my father; he turned 95 in early May.

I have been busy, in real life:

helping my sister put together a creative activity programme for our 92-year-old mother; it is already producing wonderful results,

Painted Lady inspired by Pauline King's art, painted by Mother

Painted  Collage Lady, inspired by Pauline King’s art,  by Mother

including an increase in my own desire to explore painting,

Playing with Paint by Gallivanta, inspired by Pauline King

Playing with Paint by Gallivanta, inspired by Pauline King

and to play.

In moments of down time, I have played with Facebook and WordPress,  and the camera on my mobile phone.  Using the WordPress app was interesting, but not particularly satisfying. I am happy to be back on my laptop, where reading, commenting, and writing are all so much easier. I am happy to have access to my usual camera again.

These recent days, offline, have been enriching. But were mostly made so because of  the wonderful inspiration I gain from my WordPress family. In particular I would like to thank Ellen Grace Olinger for encouraging my interest in colouring and colouring pages, and Pauline King,  The Contented Crafter , for her artistic support and guidance.

Family matters, in real life, in digital life, in history, and in the here and now. Bless you all.

ps: Having written this post, I went to read the newspaper and found this in my horoscope ~”Family matters are favoured today.”  Indeed! For once the horoscope and I are in agreement. 🙂

© silkannthreades

 

192 thoughts on “Family matters

  1. anotherday2paradise

    I’d love to know more about my family history too. How exciting for you to discover family you didn’t know you had. Happy 95th Birthday to your father. Your mom is doing pretty well too at 92. 🙂 Love the Collage Lady, and your painting is very pleasing to the eye.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Sylvia. My parents are in a relatively good phase at the moment after a very tough year, health wise. I guess they have reached another plateau. How long it will last is anyone’s guess. Make the most of every day. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Marisa @missmarzipan.com

    You have been busy indeed! And with such lovely things! I hope your dad had a wonderful birthday, that your mum is loving her new creative pursuits and that you are enjoying painting! You have inspired me to finally purchase a colouring book I have been looking at on amazon for ages! What a perfect way to wind down (being offline in itself is also a great way to do that). May you keep enjoying, both here and IRL 🙂 x

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      So pleased to hear that you have purchased a colouring book. It’s lovely to do on your own but also a great activity to do alongside your children. They colour, you colour, everyone is happy. 🙂 Which one did you choose?

      Reply
  3. Robbie

    To live to see 92 that is amazing! I was chatting with an elderly gentleman at our church last week and he said, I will be 90. I said, “I can’t imagine living to 90” He was so sweet, he said- “you will”-LOL-that just is too unbelievable. I guess, when I was younger 57 sounded old! I turn that this week and never thought when I was 20 something, I would see my 50’s!
    Your mother’s paula inspired painting is lovely! I really love your painting:-)
    I have to mention- My mother turned 80 this year and she did all the family trees. I am named after my great(s)-too many to write-lol- Col Robert Rae ( shortened the scottish name wjem came to ameria in 1600’s)from Scotland. He came to Chicago and was there at the World’s Fair. I have a cameo of his profile. I will pass it down to my Son which has the Scottish side Family name “Rae” as part of his middle name.
    He had a law office in Chicago and it burned down in the Great Chicago Fire. Our family spread out from there + we all would gather each summer for family gatherings. Met a lot of cousins there! I remember going to my great(s) house to get this cameo she wanted to pass on to me….I was suppose to be a boy named Robert-so they named me Roberta…something, most people get when named after grandpa…there were so many cousins named after him and too many Bobby, Bobbies etc…that I was nicknamed Robbie:-) In college when I would meet a girl with the name “Roberta” I would say, “you named after grandpa(s)”-too funny, but usually it was why WE were named Roberta!
    I have stacks of Family HIstory from my mother’s research in my closet. We had grandparents come over on the Mayflower + will pass it on to my children. She made copies for them each:-)
    I often ponder-will they care? Will my son even want the brooch?…but I can see as I age, it is a lot more interesting…..you are right, family history is important:-)

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I wonder the same. Will they care? Inevitably there will be someone who will care but not necessarily in one’s immediate family. I laughed about the names; the Scottish (and perhaps others) like to stick with the same family names, it seems. In our family, we have the same names through the generations. I almost need to write Jim (generation 1); Jim 2, son of Jim 1 and so on. It’s nice to keep names in the family but, my goodness, it can be confusing. How wonderful that your mother has done so much on the family tree. Your mother records ‘trees’, you plant them. 😉

      Reply
      1. Robbie

        🙂 so true. What is really interesting is my mother started all that when she had to go into the City of Chicago and pull out old film( you know the days before the internet) on the readers. Yep, I am old enough to remember the days before computers. She would drive down once every few months and spend the day in the library searching and reading. She now has Ancestry.com and she is in HEAVEN! She has met distant cousins and gone to see them from that site. They trade stories and share imforamiton.
        When you hit 80 you accumulate a large family-LOL. It is interesting. My mother is a “history” nut. Our vacations as children were in the back of the car traveling all over and in museums- or historical sites! I hated it at the time, but now that I am older, I am grateful she took us to interesting places. I just don’t like driving for long periods in cars to this day!! I felt like we lived in the car each summer:-)
        I love that -she records trees, you plant them!
        You are such a creative spirit!

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Those were the days! Ancestry. com is great but there is still a great deal of information to be gathered the way your mother did. Some of the best family information I have was gathered the old fashioned way by older family members. I can imagine your family holidays; the kid who has been busy at school, desperate to stay home and chill, the parent kept housebound by the school calendar, desperate to use the holidays to get out and about. I expect it’s a dilemma which continues to this day.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It’s a lot of fun delving into the past. I wonder though if my ancestors would be happy, or simply perplexed, that I want to do so. Do I want future generations investigating me? I am not sure if I know the answer to that.

      Reply
  4. Letizia

    How wonderful to dip into painting. It’s a pastime I find very rewarding as well. Your ancestor has an engaging portrait. I love the facial hair of all of our ancestors. We have a painting of one that looks so much like my brother that I keep trying to convince my brother to grow a fancy mustache and beard so we can take a photo next to the painting!

    Keep on with your creative streak!

    Reply
  5. Juliet

    What a rich time! I love the Mindfulness colouring. Just the thing to do on rainy winter days. I will look for this book.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It’s very soothing, Juliet. There are several others, but I like the size of this one; perfect for a handbag or travelling bag. We are hoping to interest my mother in making mandalas out of shells and found objects. I think she will love that.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, indeed, but also creates another small problem. I want to abandon all cooking, cleaning, shopping etc so I can paint and colour full time. Am looking now at the unmade bed, thinking colour or make bed, colour or make bed? Colour, I say. But then I look at the bed and feel guilty. Ah, such dilemmas. 😉

      Reply
  6. utesmile

    You have been busy, I admire you experimenting with art, I am totally useless on that, I am in to jigsaws at the moment… with my son, nice peaceful together time. You always had an eye for beauty so art is perfect for you! Have a great week! Hugs Ute

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Jigsaws! They are fun. I used to do them with my parents but I haven’t done one for ages. I don’t like doing them on my own. Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend.

      Reply
  7. knitnrun4sanity

    It is good to have some time in the real world. I find it really easy for the balance to go wrong, usually too much in the real world! Great paintings by the way. Painting is one thing I cannot do ( well one of many actually!)

    Reply
  8. clarepooley33

    I too, was worried when I hadn’t seen a post from you for a while. Happy birthday to both your parents! I am glad the art therapy and other activities are making a positive difference to your mother. I see you spoke about water-colour pencils with Wendy. My daughter uses them and loves them. She finds she has greater control over her painting and this results in her worrying less and enjoying more. They are great for detailed work.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh, that’s great to know, Clare. Yet another positive report for water colour pencils. I have been so long absent from arts and crafts that when I went to look at supplies in one of our local shops, my head went into a spin at all the choices. 🙂 Lovely to know that your daughter paints. I haven’t persuaded my daughter to paint yet but the other day she sang for me over Skype; the Bell Song from Lakme. The first time she has sung in months and months. I hope she will sing again for me. It was glorious.

      Reply
      1. clarepooley33

        How wonderful! I am so pleased for you and your daughter. I love the Bell Song – your daughter must have a high soprano voice and be a talented singer to sing that song! Yes, my daughter paints but has only recently got into it as she always had so much trouble with paint brushes (too thick). She has always drawn and wants to be a Graphic Designer. She had an interview on Wednesday for a Graphic Design course at college and got a conditional acceptance (she must pass the exams she is taking at the moment). My elder daughter also draws and prefers to colour with pencils. She loves to draw flowers and insects – her favourites are bees. Because of her PhD she hasn’t had time to draw for a few years but hopes to get back to it soon. It is so good for her as she is bi-polar, as I think I told you.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Let’s keep our fingers crossed and our hopes high for our lovely daughters in all their creative and artistic endeavours. My daughter’s new psychologist is also a singer. I am hoping (a bit desperately 😉 ) she will persuade my daughter to join a local choir. My daughter used to be in a chamber choir that did special services at the Anglican cathedral in our city.

  9. inmycorner

    You are so brave to be experimenting with art. It scares me – I wish I could let go and play in art. What you created is beautiful – and meaningful – and memorable. How very exciting to be exploring your own history. I have a cousin who does that too and she has uncovered some fascinating secrets which “root” me to this earth, to society. They help me to find my place. This post inspired me – in that I should be experimenting more.

    Reply
      1. inmycorner

        Oh – thank=you!!! I ‘m excited. May post the results. I’m going to be busy over the next couple of days — or weeks — or months. In any case – somethings to look forward to!

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh please do. It will be lovely to see what you create. You have an eye for photography, an eye and an ear for words, so I have no doubt you have an eye for colour and paint. 🙂 🙂 If you would like some more inspiration for art, take a look at how the lovely Z inspires everyone to paint and create. https://playamart.wordpress.com/

  10. dtaylor401

    Gallivanta! At last I have figured out how to follow your blog and comment. I am fairly new to this world and what seems clear to others is just mystery to me. We crossed paths several months back in one of Cynthia Reyes’s posts. My main focus is memoir, and your peek into ancestors fascinates me. Also your mother’s art is impressive, delightful!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Diane. I am sorry it was so tricky to find me and comment. But glad you are here now. How do you access blogs? On a laptop, iPad? I had such trouble figuring out blogs when I was using my mobile phone.

      Reply
  11. Tish Farrell

    I’ve been feeling the need to get among the ancestors (forebears of Giles of Gallipoli) I’ve been lucky to find 2 fellow searchers on-line. Rather magically, we’re each a descendant of siblings born on a Derbyshire farm in the late C18th. It’s a little bit weird. Thanks also for reminding me of the soothingness of ‘colouring in’. I have the books, the crayons, so why aren’t I doing it? Happy painting and family delving – and good on your parents, and especially Mum, for making the most of their late years.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, I find it weird that an online search led me to another great granddaughter of my Scottish great grandmother. There may be more of us out there!
      Colouring in may be more of a winter occupation……

      Reply
      1. Tish Farrell

        Ah well, we’ve been having winter, tho it’s a bit brighter today. I will bear it mind for rainy days when writing stalls and I can’t go digging in the allotment.

        Reply
  12. leapingtracks

    What an amazing post – thank you so much for sharing with us all those wonderful pictures of creativity. I am delighted to hear that you have been able to trace your Scottish ancestry and have everything crossed that you might be able to visit…!! Meanwhile, I have the exact same colouring book as you, which was bought for me a couple of months ago by my sister during my recent illness – I love the colouring process and find it very restful. Happy days 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Leaping Tracks, I have villages and houses and addresses in various locations, plus relatives to talk to in Clackmannan. I expect there are headstones to see, too. Such a lot of information. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed but so excited. And how very lovely that we have the same colouring book. I bought this colouring book for my mother. http://www.mcleodsbooks.co.nz/products/885516?barcode=9780600632092&title=Birds%26Butterflies%28ColouringforMindfulness%29 It’s also lovely. Do you prefer crayons or felt tips for colouring? I can’t decide which is better.

      Reply
      1. leapingtracks

        I can only imagine how amazing it must feel to have made those family connections. if there is anything we can do to help, just let me know. Meanwhile, that second colouring book you showed me looks lovely – there are some really nice ones on the market, aren’t there. I tend to use coloured pencils because I like the way you can use them on their own or blend them; and I also like sharpening them – another exercise in mindfulness!! 🙂

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Ah! You must have a good sharpener. Sharpening usually tries my patience! But I will give more attention to colouring with pencils and will try some blending. I have just been given some copies of letters from the family here to the family back in Scotland. They are wonderful to read except that I am faced with sentences like this “Whit ever pit it inta yer head to rite ta me…” which is challenging.

      1. Fabio

        Thanks so much, Gallivanta! It is more music for creative moments, and it’s a long piece. Please take a look at the video about some flowers to be shown at Chelsea Flower Show. Have a great weekend! 🙂

        Reply
  13. shoreacres

    I had to smile over your comment about not being a relaxed, competent knitter. My mother was, and the sorts of things she produced were simply stunning. But, as time passed, she found it more difficult and went back to knitting — dish cloths! She preferred a yarn we call “sugar and cream” — 100% cotton — and knit them in every color of the rainbow. I still have about a dozen. I stopped using them once I realized the pile was decreasing in size. They’re a wonderful reminder of her.

    Family is important, and I’m so pleased that you’ve found another branch or two to swing on. I’m the end of the line, I fear — at least on my paternal side. I still have an aunt, and a clutch of cousins on my maternal side, but that’s it. I do have some old family tales to tell, and some handwritten documents to transcribe, but I’m getting to the point where I’m beginning to explore museums and historical societies for some of my “treasures” — especially the photos and documents.

    A belated happy birthday to your father, too. It’s so wonderful that you have your parents, still active and engaged. All of the art projects are delightful, and I absolutely believe that they will enliven your mother more than she ever could imagine..

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sugar and Cream sounds like the yarn my mother was using for knitting dishcloths. She knitted a heap of them, too, but lately was finding even that task too taxing. Perhaps she will feel like making a few more after her time on other activities.
      As for my family tree; I have always wondered what happened to the family members who didn’t come out to NZ. Now, at least, I know a little more about the Scottish family who stayed behind. Our families in England and Scotland were large so there are bound to be more relatives to track down…..when there is time!
      “When will that be, say the Bells of Stepney. I am sure I don’t know says the Great Bell of Bow.” 😀

      Back to the present. We are have a bright sunny autumn day after a wild storm last night. We are off for a picnic and a quick search for a nearby tree which is apparently covered in over-wintering monarchs.

      Oh, indeed, you are wise to be exploring museums and historical societies for your treasures. 🙂

      Reply
      1. shoreacres

        I loved your mention of the Great Bell of Bow. I haven’t thought of the Bow Bells in ages. The last time I was in London, I had devised for myself a walking tour of Christopher Wren’s parish churches, and St. Mary-le-Bow was a favorite. I wish we had a church in Houston capable of change-ringing — it’s such a stirring experience to hear.

        Reply
  14. restlessjo

    So much activity and artistry, Ann! 🙂 That seems a great way to keep your mother engaged and interested, and the results are great! I can’t wait to get old enough to take up these new hobbies 🙂

    Reply
  15. Wendy L. Macdonald

    This is so inspiring. I like the warmth of your mother and daughter art. What a wonderful reminder this is that it’s never too late to create beauty. I need to set time aside for my sketch book and watercolor pencils–they’re calling my name now.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It’s never too late, Wendy. I am glad to hear your sketch book and pencils are calling. I do love your art. Tell me more about watercolour pencils. I saw some today in the shop and wondered if they were superior to ordinary pencils.

      Reply
      1. Wendy L. Macdonald

        Watercolour pencils blend easily (similar to pastels), except that you can use water on a brush to blend them after you colour in your picture (or parts at a time & even layers). I’m still very new at it and have only read up on it a bit. I’m finding them easier to use than regular watercolour painting. My mom sent me some and that’s how I got started. She uses oils, acrylics, and watercolours of various sorts for different paintings. I suspect there are probably Youtube videos about it—now I’m curious to go check… let me know if you give it a try. I love the greens and blues in your watercolour picture. ❀

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Good to know your experience. I bought some art supplies which weren’t really suitable ( for me) so I am trying to be more cautious about future purchases. 🙂 Sounds like you are not alone in your artistic talents; runs in your family?

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks Dannie. How wonderful that your mother is too busy to sit still. 🙂 My mother was active until a year or so ago. Osteoporosis now confines her to a chair most of the time.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      And to you I say, keep writing. I particularly enjoyed your article on Mother’s Day. Our mother needs a lot of assistance, too. She still finds it strange that we should be doing so many things for her but I find it completely natural. Our roles are not really reversed. I am still the child helping the mother, just doing a lot more helping. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Zambian Lady. My mother will be 93 next month. I am sure my parents find their ages as astonishing as we, their children, do.

      Reply
  16. Su Leslie

    Glad you are finding so much joy in family and art (and the mixture of the two). I think shared creativity offers so much in terms of both the creative output and the bonds it builds between us and those around us. Hope you manage a trip to Scotland; it is a wonderful place (not that I am biased of course). Cheers, Su.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      As a child I didn’t like joint creative projects because someone always seemed to spoil what I wanted to do. 😀 But as an adult I have learned “compromise’ and can relax about shared creative projects. And my family tree discoveries have only come about through a lot of sharing with other family members. I couldn’t do it on my own. Of shared creativity, have you read about the Wholehouse Reuse project? https://www.facebook.com/wholehousereuse

      Reply
      1. Su Leslie

        🙂 I know what you mean. I enjoy shared projects much more now, because I try to approach them with a mindset of embracing and feeling joy from the collaboration itself. But there is still a part of me that wants to go it alone. If I have a clear enough vision, I’m a nightmare to have in a group. I didn’t know about the Wholehouse project. I’m really tempted to go down to Christchurch to see the exhibition. Thanks for letting me know about it.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Turquoise it is. To remind us of our island homes and their sometimes turquoise waters. Turquoise=Turkish in French? Not sure. It is from Old French (pierre) turqueise (“Turkish (stone)”), according to Mr Google.

  17. womanseyeview

    Hopefully you’ll find time to trace family roots here in Canada! You have friends ready and waiting – including me – to host and assist😊. I am really taken with yours and your mother’s art … So great to have off line creative outlets too.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I have traced some of the family as far as Wentworth, Ontario, and there are a few others who settled near Vancouver. And there was one relative who lived briefly in Manitoba before travelling on to New Zealand. What I am not sure about yet is if the Ontario Millars had any children. So much to find out. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed our artwork. I think most of us can have fun with paint if we stop worrying about whether or not we are good at art. 😉

      Reply
      1. womanseyeview

        Interesting tracing family like that and also thinking about what caused them to wander so far from home. Hope to have fun with paint one day since I’m still at the worrying stage!

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          You’ll get there. It’s taken me about 50 years to get past the worrying stage.;) This link explains some of the history of migration to NZ. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/history-of-immigration/page-8 My Millar great great grandfather was a grieve or steward on a farm. With wages falling as well as falling employment, the opportunities supposedly available in NZ and Canada must have looked very tempting to his children.

  18. Mrs. P

    So happy to hear you having some fun with paint and color, I love the collage dresses, very three dimensional. You certainly come from a long line of elderly folk…so I guess you are going to be a round for some time then, right? 😀 😀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I hope to be around for a little while yet! Got some travelling to do. I didn’t quite get to an art class like you did but, at least, I got my hands on a paint brush. That’s a start. 🙂 I am not going to follow you into sailing adventures, though. 😉

      Reply
  19. Steve Schwartzman

    Welcome back, and a vicarious happy birthday to your father, who has now completed 19 five-year plans and is into his 20th. Congratulations, too, on discovering a new branch of your family. Let’s hope the Scotland trip materializes.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ha! I will pass this comment on to my father. As a former civil servant, he has done his share of five year plans. He did not enjoy preparing them! These days, he sometimes operates on a 5 hour plan, which occasionally gets stretched to a 5 day plan. 🙂 And of stretching; am wondering if I can stretch my family tree far enough to find a connection to Kenneth Millar https://www.nytimes.com/books/first/n/nolan-macdonald.html Perhaps not. He doesn’t seem to have been a very happy chappie.

      Reply
  20. Tiny

    Painting is such a creative outlet, and so healing. Wonderful that your mother has taken it up and come to life again! And I’m happy you are exploring it too, with beautiful results. It’s worth investing in cheerful colors! This part of your family is happy seeing you here again 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, and I have been happy catching up on the osprey family happenings. My parents spend a lot of time watching the birds who come to the bird bath on the front lawn. Recently the kookaburras have been for a visit. Great excitement. More cheerful colours are on order!

      Reply
  21. quarteracrelifestyle

    Oooh, he’s a rather formidable looking gentleman! Good on you Gallivanta, I have been reading about colouring in for adults and mindfulness. Art is such therapy, so lovely to see Pauline’s work is inspiring others, it’s so pretty! I haven’t been online much myself so have to make sure I come back to catch up with everyone here and see what they are up to. I hopethe recent spate of quakes has not left you feeling too icky x Enjoy your painting!!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      He does look formidable, doesn’t he! What I am finding, though, is that my ancestors looked out for each family member, so they must have been kindly and caring, despite appearances.
      I haven’t been too worried about local shakes but I was very upset about Nepal, which was my home from 1991-1992.
      The colouring is fun and restful. It would be at least 25 years since I have done any colouring, and that would have been with my children.
      How is your soap-making?

      Reply
      1. quarteracrelifestyle

        You are a well travelled woman! It must be very sad to see if you know the areas and people, it’s tragic to watch. I was doing my family tree with my first computer and became obsessed with it, lost it all when my computer crashed, enjoyed finding the stories of my ancestors. The soaping is going fine thanks, I am still enjoying it and for my birthday got a very nice prezzy card from my son which allowed me to buy lots of glorious toys for decorating so I will be experimenting lots 🙂

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          And, from your latest post, I see you are experimenting with paper making, too. I have printed out a lot of the family information I have obtained in recent weeks but there’s still lots on my computer that I could lose…..yikes! Scary thought.

  22. thecontentedcrafter

    You have been so busy! And I am really happy I was able to help – art is so healing on so many levels and a good palette of colours helps me to express what I want to express in any moment. I think the mindfulness colouring book is also a good place to be! Once years ago when I was getting my emotional health back on track I drew mandalas and coloured them in for hours. Looking at them a few years later I could track both my process and progress as I moved thorough some sticky stuff 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I have seen lots of mandala colouring books/pages. They look very soothing. Good to know you have found them helpful. I loved looking at the photos your daughter took of your art room. Gorgeous colours, pencils, and the beads, oh the beads!!!! Your working space gives off such happy vibes. 🙂 I am sure it has seen some sadness and pain, too, but it is the happiness that prevails.

      Reply
  23. aleafinspringtime

    Dear G, I am happy to see that you’ve been busy but in a fulfilling sort of way. As opposed to the frantic, unraveling kind. I have been wanting to get my hands on that mindfulness colouring book!! I read a Native American proverb which asked when did our problems appear? Was it when we stopped singing and crying? I like to think sometimes it could be when we stopped painting and colouring. Congratulations on the big birthday for your Dad! How absolutely wonderful!! Staring out my window at 10:35pm at a pale orange indigo sky above Helsinki. Sharon x

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, Sharon, you paint a beautiful picture of the Helsinki sky. I will try to use that colour combination in my colouring book. The Native American proverb is very apt. Does your little one like painting? Some children do and some don’t. I was a child who preferred pencils and pastels, though I did some painting when I was about 9 or 10.

      Reply
      1. aleafinspringtime

        My son is very much into drawing. He draws stacks and stacks each day and I have carefully kept most of his artwork amounting to some a few boxes now 🙂 I used to draw and colour a lot as a child and well into my teenage years. Seeing my son immersed in his daily artwork, I too have now drawn up a chair beside him and we draw and I occasionally do some watercolours with him. It’s a very comfortable and contented sort of silence that we share. Enjoy your colours G! Sending you love. Next week school ends and then it’s summer hols till mid-August. I foresee lots of drawing sessions and painting together 😀

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Ah, that sounds blissful. My eldest is 30 now but I still have her childhood paintings on my wall; I love their freshness and innocence and the lovely playfulness with colour.

  24. jennyredhen

    What is this colouring? It sounds like fun. I have met up with some relations recently too, by serendipity. Are you a Pisces like me it could be astrological.

    Reply
  25. Mél@nie

    welcome back, lovely and talented Lady Ann! ❤
    Lucky you to have your both parents… btw, our real life will always come first… 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Lady M. It’s absolutely incredible to still have both my parents. In my recent family history adventures I was told about a relative who lived to 105. So, there is longevity in the genes. 🙂

      Reply
  26. Poetsmith

    It’s wonderful that you and your sister have organised a creativity programme for your mother. Good to see you back and read your news. Happy painting too! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Iris. My mother likes to sing, too, so we try to incorporate songs into daily routines. Singing, painting, creating….all wonderful fun.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It is extraordinary, Julie. They have both had a rough time, health wise, over the last 9 months, so it’s good they are enjoying a slightly more gentle period for their bodies and minds.

      Reply
  27. Lavinia Ross

    Good to have you back! We were missing you. I had a feeling you were out discovering something.

    Finding family roots is always interesting. The artwork by your mother is beautiful!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks Lavinia. I wasn’t able to give as much time as usual to my blog but I tried to check in at least once a day via my mobile phone. How goes your care-giving role?

      Reply
      1. Lavinia Ross

        Doing the best we can… 🙂 Mom is coming up on 94 soon. It is a continual adjustment process for all. I am grateful the cats help out in their own way.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, I agree about the adjustment process. Cats are wonderful helpers especially if there is a quiet and gentle lap involved.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Hooray! Glad it is your lucky day. My sister is doing most of the work now. I am doing some mentoring and encouragement via Skype. At some stage I think my mother would enjoy doing a Mola panel, or something like your avatar. We are working on it. 🙂

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          She could indeed! She likes avocado, but would probably give guacamole a miss. She likes her food plain ( and salt-less).

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Alex, we are very lucky to have close contact, even though it is mostly via skype or the telephone. Modern communication is simply wonderful.

      Reply
  28. KerryCan

    When you weren’t here for awhile, I worried. Silly me! It looks like you were having wonderful moments with important people! The fact that Pauline’s work has inspired your mother (and you) in your artwork is just so cool–i’ll be looking forward to more of your creations!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I have already told Pauline how marvellously my mother responded to using paint and pen again. She is doing loads of colouring pages as well. After a year of stagnation, she has come to life again. It’s simply wonderful.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, there are family matters and family matters. Some are more complicated than others! I only had a very limited paint selection for my play painting, so the colours didn’t represent my sunshine mood. Now that I have had a go, I may invest in some happier colours. 😉

      Reply
      1. Aggie

        Just google “download inkscape.” And then “inkscape guide.”

        I have done a lot of time on computers, and I know it’s not a trivial program. There is good how to out there, and it is SO powerful. Google “inkscape art” and you will see.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh my goodness. I had a quick look. I think I will need an extra head/brain to get started on that. Mind you, that is what I said about WordPress at first. 🙂 It takes me a while to adjust my thought processes to new projects/adventures.

  29. lensandpensbysally

    You’ve been engaged in the roots of your soul and the greater universe. I’m especially happy that in the course of your living your “real” life, you are exercising your creativity.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sally, it really does feel as though I have engaged in the roots of my soul. There are more roots to explore but for the moment I am satisfied.

      Reply
  30. colorpencil2014

    So happy to hear from you again!! I love the photo of Mr. David Millar, that determined look on his face and the dashing beard! The art made by your mother is beautiful. What a blessing to have your parents still with you. ( and what a blessing for your parents to have such lovely daughters!) I hope to see more of your creative developments and explorations! xo Johanna

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It is a blessing, Johanna, although rather hard work for my sister who is their primary caregiver. Mr Millar has a very dashing beard indeed. I am wondering if it was specially groomed for the photo or if it was made perfect by photo editing, the old fashioned way. I am taking a small break from colouring at the moment. Have gone back to knitting a dishcloth.

      Reply
  31. Heather in Arles

    It seems like you planted your seeds and now are in full bloom! There is so much beauty and positivity here, G. And yes to discovering our ancestors too – I felt right at home the one time that I was able to go to Scotland, for example. It is good to remember that we are a part of a long line…
    Bisous,
    H

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Heather, I was starting to feel I was the end of the line, so I was very excited to find more family both here and in Scotland. I have only been to Scotland once but now I have spoken to family there I am more determined than ever to visit again. I would like to go with one or both of my siblings so it may be a while until we can coordinate something.

      Reply

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