Cheers! A little celebration and Inspiration

{Photo taken at Beluga in Cape Town}

I have decided that my maternity leave is officially over. It's difficult to make "official" proclamations when you work for yourself (who's keeping track of whether or not you clock in at your desk?), but I have to tell someone, so I'm telling you, dear readers. 

I've had a long hiatus full of soul-searching, self-doubt, moments of happy inspiration, and lots of cuddles with Little M.  

She is now 9 months old.... which also means that I have been a mother for 9 months. I think it's time to transform from a nesting, stay-at-home mom into a working mom (who also happens to work from home). 

I have no idea how I'm going to make this work. Motherhood and my passion for making books sometimes feel like two diametrically opposing forces pushing me in different directions.  One tells me to savour each moment and not work too hard, and the other tells me to sharpen my pencils and get creating because the seconds are rushing by faster than we can count them. 

But, this week I signed a contract to illustrate two children's picture books.  

Now I have no choice but to stick my head into my sketchbooks. I can't wait to get back to drawing, because a part of me will never feel whole unless I'm creating a book and telling a story, in some way. 

So, cheers! Let's celebrate! Raise a glass ... to new books! ... to 9 month birthdays.  And to venturing bravely into uncharted territories. 

Here's a little inspiration from the books I've been reading this week: 

On babies: 

"A baby is a wishing well.  We walk by every day and throw our pennies in. Most are bright and shiny, full of smiles and possibility. Some are tarnished with bad memories, unlucky genes. Others have been hiding under the couch cushions all these years, just waiting for someone to dig them out. A baby is a wishing well. Everyone puts their hopes, their fears, their pasts, their two cents in." Elizabeth Bard from 

Picnic in Provence.

On divine intervention: 

"I learned that to simply ask a blessing on one's circumstances, whatever they are, is somehow to improve them, and to tap some mysterious source of energy and joy. I came upon one of the most ancient and universal truths -- that to affirm and claim God's help even before it is given, is to receive it." Marjorie Holmes.