Me and VCFS!

If any anyone knows me then they would know that I am a person who has been effected by VCFS. I had never heard of this genetic disorder until my son was diagnosed at 18 months old; he will be seven at the end of the week. The news came as a big shock soon followed by grief and tears.

The way I have dealt with it has been to embrace the unexpected world that we were thrown into and find out as much as we could about this VCFS aka q22. dil.11.2. Like any normal parenting world, it’s been a journey of many ups and downs with a bit more obstacles in the way.

For the past couple of years at this time of year I have enthusiastically have attempted to create awareness of VCFS in my local community. This year has been different.

Has VCFS worn me out?


VCFS is only a small part of the story that has been unfolding in my life for the past seven years. It’s been a story of breakdowns, bankruptcy, car accidents, child needing surgery to repair soft cleft palate, child with a diagnoses, Mum getting sick, mum dying, my cousin died and my father in Law died. There has been so much and more that eventually it all caught up on me and for the first time in my life I’m on medication for depression.

I’ve been told by many that I need to be kind to myself. How do you do that??

Recently I took a  three-month break from my studies and as a result I kind of got there. I read novels, took long walks, painted at the community garden and started to recognise more of Gods love for me.

When I thought about VCFS awareness week it made me feel stressed so for the first time ever I said “no, I can’t this year” It felt like such a relief to be kind to myself. I have had to just let certain things go and just do the things that give me pleasure.

For VCFS awareness week this year I will just write this little post and hope that those who read it will check out  the VCFS 22q11 Foundation. On the website you will notice a link to Area Representatives. I am from the Illawarra and you are welcome to make contact with me. Don’t do this journey alone because at times it can  really do your head in!!!!

The unexpected morning adventure!!!

This morning turned out quite different from how I planned, but all is good as I was then able to take a 25 minute stroll to my regular My Time outing while capturing heaps of images ready to be Instagramed.

It’s Book Week today at my son’s school and normally parents and family go along to join the fun. This is where it’s always a good thing to read the school news letter carefully, as I turned up today and there were no other parents present……. awkward!! So I asked at the office and was enlightened that because education week was not too far away a mufti day with a theme was sufficient.

Oh dear and today I was without a car so I caught a bus to the school (my son gets a special bus to school). I then had two choices, to catch the bus back home or walk to My time and hopefully scab a lift from one of the other mum’s who attend the group.

I believe that I made the best choice of walking to my destination as it was very relaxing and indeed my friend was there and she dropped me off at my local shopping centre.

Below is a few of the photos that I took along the way.

Just another lovely day at the community Garden

Yesterday was great!! I felt like a had one big shot of serotonin which flooded me with happiness. Once again I took my Arty stuff to the Garden where I then proceeded to work on some paintings. I’m telling you, there is something extremely pleasant in partaking in this activity!!

Notice the seat that the painting is resting on? It’s made from recyclable materials such as old tires, brick rubble that’s been used as fill and reused timber to create the seating. It has been made in the shape of a crescent and when I sit in the middle of it I feel like I’m the recipient of a big hug!!!…..That’s special 🙂

It makes me think of God the Father and why Jesus came so that we too can know the Father like Jesus. It  reminds me that no matter what I do or don’t do I can’t make God love me any more then he already does.

After having a lovely time painting my own thing, then came the second stage of happy happy joy feelings.  It was now time for me to pick up my son from school and other kids to be at the garden where I was able to facilitate an art session with the kids!!

It’s so good to see kids keen to be creative

I love how this little one began to mosaic bits of cardboard onto a bigger piece of cardboard. She spent a lot of time creating and inventing with just things that we consider rubbish.

I love the passion in this work

I’ve discovered that a community garden isn’t just for gardening. What ever your gift is use it and contribute to the diversity and pleasure of the place. When you reach out with your gift the enjoyment of your passion increases and more ideas start to flow. What I find so interesting is that I started going to the garden for my son’s benefit but now it’s me who is getting the biggest benefits of all.

I encourage anyone if it’s possible, to join a community garden, get out in the sunshine, contribute your gift and get to know your neighbours 🙂

Escapism!! What’s yours??

Just after my mum passed away more than three years ago, I remember feeling so down that I thought that I could never feel happiness again ever. One night, when in my sadness a cheesy romantic movie came on the telly that would normally have me change the channel in a flash. When the introductory music was playing I noticed how I suddenly stopped feeling sad so I thought “Why not, I’ll give it a go”.

I watched the movie and was grateful for the escapism as it was like ointment for my wounded soul. I then realised why such movies are so popular  and gained a respect for the once mocked genre. After that I began to wonder what is my escapism?? 

Well after thinking about it for a short second Kath and Kim came to mind “look at moi look at moi look at moi Kimmy Look at moi” For some reason they make me laugh and I feel that all is well with the world when I watch them. So I watched them and enjoyed my bit of escapism for a while.

I’m glad to see that they have a new movie out and here’s the trailer

I wonder if you have ever thought about your escapism and what it is? To be honest before that moment I really never gave it much thought.

It’s so good to paint

Today I had a great time painting at Kiama in the Pavilion. What I enjoyed the most was when people stopped and I could explain the process of creativity. I could spend the rest of my life painting for an audience!!!

Today I worked on a series of six paintings that were inspired from a painting that I did while at the garden last week. The picture below is a close up of one of the paintings that I did.

This is a drawing that I did inspired by the above photo.

From this process I then have painted six paintings. Sorry the picture isn’t so clear but you get the idea.

Here are some close-ups of today’s work

I felt so good that I didn’t want to stop but I couldn’t leave my little boy at school. It’s a good thing that I have an extra day as I am scheduled in again tomorrow and I know it will be a great day of painting.

Just getting my art on!!!

I had a wonderful day at the community garden last Wednesday as I took along my paints. It was so relaxing and as I was walking to the garden I could feel joy and happiness bubble inside of me. It’s been three years since I’ve painted a body of work. By that I mean, the participation of preliminary drawings, paintings that lead to more than one painting on a theme. In the past three years I have only completed one painting a year, which I find very unsatisfying as painting is my passion.

So the inspiration came as I received an email to do a live painting in Kiama and I jumped at this opportunity. As I thought about what I could paint about, the garden seemed a good choice as there are many theme’s going on in me about knowing God more and emotional healing that I know God has for me.

For a long time I have been pondering about the provision of God and how a permaculture garden is self-sustaining. This world can have many demands that can be exhausting to the soul. The first dwelling place that God provided was a garden and I think that there is so much we can learn in just that statement.

Being in the garden is soothing to my soul and with the inclusion of painting it feels so good. So this is me getting my art on

I decided to paint on cardboard boxes that I acquired free from Bunnings, which I think is quite fitting considering we use cardboard to create no dig gardens. I also feel in step with Ian Fairweather who often painted on cardboard.

Here are some close-ups of my work