Learning begins at the end of your comfort zone

I’ve just completed 8 of the best weeks of learning I’ve had in some time! I don’t consider myself either ‘left brain’ or ‘right brain’ … but perhaps a little of both (middle brain?), so creative fields always challenge me, but I love it! I cannot draw to save myself, but I am not too bad with a computer, so graphic design is something I can have a go at.

I enrolled some time ago in the ‘Introduction to Graphic Design’ course at ‘Designworks’ – a private college based in West Burleigh here on the Gold Coast. I’d been looking for some time for a course that helped get me started in this field – I by no means need to be a full time graphic designer (those guys are far too bloody clever), but I wanted to be able to open up the adobe creative suite and not be too afraid to touch things. To play, to create the basics and possibly make a few adjustments at times. I had googled different courses and found various things… I just wasn’t sure I was the TAFE kind of person – It’s also not just about learning the software – youtube can teach me that…

So I showed up the first night, unsure what to expect and I was delighted that we had a teacher who was passionate, realistic and knowledgable and that there was a small group of only 6. They have fantastic labs and facilities and I went home that night knowing I picked the right course!

Over the 8 weeks, we did so many different things. We were treated to the opportunity to do some letterpress – which we were VERY lucky to do and was so so so fun!

IMG_4522 IMG_4521 IMG_4523 IMG_4503 IMG_4520So, I’m not going to lie – I went home a number of nights very frustrated because it’s not the easiest thing to learn. It’s also hard when you haven’t been in learning mode for so long that you forget what it is like not to be proficient at everything you do, so that in itself is a great lesson and very humbling. I also learnt that graphic design is HARD! You can certainly do an average job without too much training or skill. I respected graphic designers before (I always respect the skills of others as you never know the challenges until you try and do it yourself), but I respect them even more now – the complexities and the room for error is much bigger than I thought!

Our teacher Drew asked for feedback in whichever way we wanted to send it.. so I’m blogging mine. If there was a rating for the course, I would give it a 9/10 (always room for improvement he says). I enjoyed the variety of activities and different ways to learn – not all activities clicked for me (but that’s expected for a group of students as not everybody learns the same way) but it was great to be pushed to the limits (they say learning only begins at the end of your comfort zone). I also liked that all of the activities were brought together at the end – it was great to have both structured learning activities and also the ‘free time’ to prepare our documents. I also liked that Drew gave good honest feedback and would tell us the harsh realities of the real world. I also met a lovely group of ladies, who I am sure I will keep in touch with – thanks to the girls and our teachers for your patience and the giggles – you guys are great!

In summary, I’d recommend this course to anybody who wants an intro to graphic design, but not to anybody who just wants to learn how to use the software. Here are some other samples of the work I did (I means also supported by Drew 😉 … IMG_4745 IMG_4753 IMG_4752IMG_4670


The Muddiness continues…

Do things happen in three’s? If so, I need to watch out… I have had my second run in with mud. This time, it was a puddle of it.

I was walking along, minding my own business texting loved ones in a very dark, grassy paddock used for carparking and out of the blue SPLASH.. I am knee deep in a mud puddle with a shocked and mud splashed face (and back, hair, tummy, legs) I can tell you, I was anything but expressionless. I did somehow manage to not fall over OR drop my phone in the puddle.

See Exhibit A:

Muddy Puddle


So, once I decided I was ok.. all I could do was giggle. Shame nobody else got to witness my funny little incident.. it surely would have brightened ones day.

Anything funny happen to you all lately that made you giggle?


The R Word and interesting jobs

What’s your favourite R Word? Romance? Ritz? (sun) Ray’s? At the moment, I’m a bit focused on two R words. Sadly, they are not my favourites, but they visit from time to time. Redundancy and Rollercoaster.

Well, they are calling it a Restructure. Don’t mistake what I’m saying, it’s Required. It’s a good change for the Role and I’m excited for them. I’ll stop with the R thing now 😉

It’s important to remember when these things happen that it’s not personal. They have done it the fair way to make the change that they need to make. They did not single people out and it’s not a reflection of performance. There are positions there which I am welcome to apply for, which are similar to my role, but with a few things tweaked. BUT I see this as an opportunity!

I can 100% honestly say I love my job and I am very grateful to be able to say that. I come home knowing that the work that we do contributes to the lives of real people and helps to save their lives. It’s also wonderful to work with the kindest, selfless members of our community. People who give up their time to give to somebody they don’t even know – it’s goosebumps stuff and I’m proud to say I’ve worked hard for the past 2 years and been very blessed to contribute to that.

Sometimes it’s good to be given a reason to jump up and get moving. To have a quick look left and a quick look right and take another step. It’s exciting times, hop on the rollercoaster and see where it spits me out. (hopefully a tiny bit closer to home, because I can find a number of more inspiring and creative things to do above staring at and following the back of somebody else’s car twice a day!).

A quick sub note on the Rollercoaster word. Although I am totally ok with what is happening and I am optimistic as always, there are a few minor downs. It’s a bit stressful and tiring and exhausting and it’s ok to be a little bit sad and frustrated with it for a bit, but that’s also what motivates you to do something about it – there is the silver lining!

I have found some funny jobs in my searching. This morning it was ‘Professional Tree Climber’, ‘Lifestyle Advisor’, ‘Fan Development’. Wonder what kind of fun job title I can get myself?

If you are reading, I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever been made redundant? I’m sure it all turned out ok for you – so please share your experience and help keep me on the up of my rollercoaster 🙂 Also, wish me luck with my interview this morning – hope I like them and the feeling is mutual 🙂

Life and death at the beach

No, it’s not what you think. I was not faking a drowning to be rescued by the hot lifesaver and no, this is not a post to make you feel guilty about not wearing sunscreen (if you thought it was, you mistook me for somebody much more serious and responsible)
, but I did nearly die at the beach…well, I perhaps I COULD have died… really.

So, I was laying on the beach at Burleigh Heads thinking about how great it is that it seems to be raining everywhere else in Queensland EXCEPT where I am laying on the Gold Coast which was totally unexpected and wonderful (sorry, I diverse), enjoying the sunshine and my free mag from the gym (my favourite mag’s are free mags! and I diverse again.. back to the life and death thing….) and all of a sudden I catch somebody’s runaway beach umbrella right between my knees.. and it’s important to be quite precise about which body part I caught it with, because it was my knees and thank goodness no further north. So anyway, back to how it could of killed me – With wide and confused eyes, I realised it’s shiny pointy metal end was only about 10 centimeters from my face ! I know, I was scared too. And Grateful… It all happened so fast, I didn’t even get a chance to note what colour it was (which is always the question any girl will ask with any topic of conversation… ‘I got a new car’ – ‘nice, what colour is it?’ … ‘I painted the house’ ‘Excellent, what colour did you choose’… ‘I am wearing my new dress’.. ‘awesome, what colour is that again’…..)

I thought about calling this post ‘when beach umbrellas ATTACK’, but that would have given away the ending of my story (and god knows, I do that all the time!). So, after I sat up and looked around to make sure a few people saw what the hell just happened, I celebrated being in the land of the living with a juice from my all time favourite juice bar at the little green grocer – if you haven’t tried one of their juices, you really should because they taste amazing – especially after a near death experience.

This isnt my hand and it isnt my beautiful image, so I want to thank the and acknowledge the author of another lovely blog (honestly – its a great blog!) because I am not usually in the business of stealing images, but I have to show you how great they are:

It has got me thinking a little about these sorts of disasters. So of course, I popped it into youtube and this is what came up:

Tell me about your near death experience.

Here’s Cheers

Heres cheers

New Years is a time for reflection, lots of people are talking about how they can’t wait for the new year to come, so they can forget about 2012 and onwards and upwards for 2013 – it’s their year they are saying… Well I agree with half of that – 2013 is going to be a great year.. but so was 2012. I was sitting doing my NY Reflection and there has been alot to celebrate…

In 2012 I…

  • Climbed a Mountain (Mt Warning to be exact)
  • Cycled further than ever before
  • Hand fed a (lovely) dolphin
  • Moved house (not just house, but moved Town!)
  • Learned alot about my friends and family
  • Helped loved ones through tough times
  • Travelled to (and loved) New Zealand
  • Ate a Cheese Roll for the first time
  • Fell more in love with my beautiful kind generous Partner
  • Fell more in love with my wonderful, interesting, busy, exhausting, fun life
  • Travelled to Bali
  • Drank my body weight in Cocktails
  • Learnt traditional Balinese cooking
  • Went Camping (more than once – arent I lucky?)
  • Saw my first Volcano
  • Had a monkey take a bite out of my shoe
  • Got to surprise one of my family with a surprise interstate visit
  • Was happy
  • Was Sad
  • Laughed, cried and laughed till I cried
  • Missed somebody(s)
  • Read books
  • Started to ‘enjoy’ red wine
  • learnt about myself
  • Overcame a fear
  • Started a blog…….

I really could go on.

So, here’s cheers to the New Year. I hope you bring in the New Year surrounded by loved ones (either new or old loved ones) and like me celebrate bringing in another amazing year.

hers to 2013


Every day is a holiday

I’m on holidays… and I’m sure you could all hear my sigh of relief from wherever you were on Friday afternoon…

While sitting on the beach yesterday, after sleeping in, waking up looking out over a beautiful day on the gold coast, enjoying Yum cha for breakfast, swimming in our pool and a quick trip around the golf course and finishing off with a drink on the deck I realised it was only sunday and my holidays hadn’t officially even started yet… I joke about it with my friends, but it was then that I realised it was true – my life really is one big holiday!

I am lucky enough to live in a place that people travel across the world to visit. It’s easy to forget in the business that is every day life that ordinary every day life can be just like being on holidays every day… if you let it. I mean – this is where I get to spend my weekends – a small selection of some of the pics I’ve taken over the past 12 months.. heaven

So – on that note, I am going to take a few days and head off to Bali for a few days of swimming, shopping, eating, laughing, exploring, walking, bike riding, enjoying the view, laying on the beach, reading books all with a cocktail in hand….. the only difference really is the location 🙂



Surprise midweek luxury

To celebrate the return of the serendipians from their amazing overseas adventure (they galavanted all over America and had a bloody good time!) they were in desperate need of some good quality Aussie Tucker. Sad to hear reports that the food was less than amazing in the USA.

So, I got a phone call from N at 3.30pm to see if I was available for a hot date tonight. I consulted the diary (and rearranged my long list of other hot dates 😉 and was pleased to be able to RSVP with a yes please!!! We were booked and rearing to go to theMarriott resort and spa, surfers paradise

I even wore heels – it’s that kind of establishment (if you feel like making it one) AND I blow dried my hair!!! My taste buds (Non – also known as taste bubbles) were treated to champage, beautiful prawns, oysters (natural, Kirkpatrick AND mornay), moreton bay bugs, crab, scallops, roasts, sashimi salmon, amazing salads, yum char, pork belly, beautiful fresh veggies, curries ect AND even 10 different kinds of salts. Don’t even start me on dessert!

In other news – it’s Melbourne Cup day – the race that stops the nation, or in the corporate world ‘the at work public holiday where you get drunk before lunch cause the race is so long after what is actually lunch time’ then followed by the day of the most sick leave in the year. We don’t celebrate melb cup day really at the blood service, but whilst I won’t get frocked up this year – I might make sure I wear an ironed shirt! Yep, it’s a special day 🙂

Loving all this midweek luxury – spoilt!