Hetty & Dimitri’s Wedding

When I was in my second year of uni I shared a flat (in Lewisham *shudders*) with Hetty. In the same year she met Dimitri and on 31 July 2010 (Saturday just gone) she got married to him! I went over to Gibraltar where the wedding was being held (they live there) and spent a lovely couple of days with Hetty, her family & friends. It was really amazing and the wedding was perfect! (I know everyone says that, but I work in the wedding industry so I like to pretend a statement like that from me carries more weight =p)

They didn’t have a gift list and said they didn’t want any presents because people being able to come to Gibraltar was present enough. Obviously I couldn’t show up empty handed, but I’m not a big fan of giving toasters (besides, a nice toaster is bloody expensive!) or generic presents just for the sake of giving something. So I decided to create a painting. I think it was back in February last year that Hetty asked if I would do a painting for her, after seeing the painting I made for my aunt.

I set up my art desk and identified my art supplies (all still in boxes from our move in April) which were conveniently located in the box that was tucked furthest away and underneath 3 boxes filled with books.. And I set to work. I started on the Sunday before the wedding and finished it on Thursday evening (because I flew out on the Friday), which is very fast for me. However, I think it’s actually good for me to be under a bit of time pressure, because it makes me get on with things and forces me not to think too much. Thinking too much can have a devastating effect on ‘getting things done’ for me, because self doubt creeps in quickly and makes it impossible to create freely.

The first picture below is the finished painting. Stupidly enough I only took that one picture of it when finished rather than close-ups of the details as I usually do. Ah well. The other pictures are of the progress in chronological order. You can click each picture for a bigger version.

Hetty & Dimitri Finished Painting
Finished painting

Sketch on wood

Skin tones painted

Hair painted

Clothes painted

Cats painted

Initial background layers added

In 2009

I update so infrequently that whenever I do, I first have to upgrade WordPress to the latest version. Happens every time! Here a little update with some major things that happened in my life in 2009.

Moving house

Up until February 2009 Andrew and I were living together in one room in a flatshare with two other people (and were also running our business from said room). We’d been there since the beginning of our relationship 4 years previously and needless to say it was cramped and you couldn’t turn your arse cozy. Having got married the previous autumn we’d really hoped to be able to buy by that time, but it didn’t work out. So we decided to at least find our own place to rent. It meant moving slightly further out from the centre of London but the space we got in return for it was definitely worth it. Not having to share the kitchen and bathroom with other people anymore is pure bliss!


As a direct consequence of moving into our own place meant I could finally get a cat! I had wanted a cat since I was about 4 years old, but my mum didn’t want cats so I had to make do with first a guinea pig, then several dwarf hamsters and also some mice (none of which I particularly liked as they were poor substitute for a cat). I had been doing research on cats for a while and decided I really wanted a Bengal as the personality of the breed really appealed to me as well as the look. At the beginning of April we picked up our little cat and brought her home! We called her Tikka both because she’s a Bengal and because we live near Brick Lane (curry capital!).

She is everything we expected and then some! I cannot imagine life without her now. She is absolutely INSANE which fits our personalities quite well =p Right now she is asleep on top of a pile of boxes underneath a halogen lamp as it’s nice and warm there.

Playing the Violin

In September I took up playing the violin. When I was little I’d had lessons for maybe 6 months or a year but quit quickly (after hardly practicing) because I felt very disappointed at how hard it was and how horrible it sounded! Nevertheless, it had always been my favourite instrument and continued to be so. Now as an adult I thought it more likely that I’d have the patience and dedication to try again. I’m taking lessons at a local college that specialises in evening education for adults. My class is very big (about 20 people – although in practice not everyone shows up every week) but the teacher is great and I feel like I’m making good progress. I enjoy the lessons and practicing at home and can’t wait to get better!


Going to California has always been a dream for both of us. We initially wanted to do this for our honeymoon in 2008, but had next to no money left after getting married! So instead we went this year and I’m definitely glad we waited. It was the holiday of a lifetime and I enjoyed it immensely. We both really want to go back or perhaps try to live there part of the year.

1st Anniversary

31 October 2009 was our first wedding anniversary. I’m just so glad to be spending my life with Andrew! Our relationship grows stronger every year and I definitely think the past year has been exceptional in terms of how much closer we’ve become. In 9 days we celebrate our 5 years together!


This past year has been really good. I’m almost surprised as I am not used to my life being that enjoyable, always expecting disaster around the corner. I think I updated a while back writing about feeling more content and life being more in balance. I’m hoping this will continue and obviously will work on making it happen! One of the most valuable ‘lessons’ I learned this year is that you create your own destiny and that it’s up to you alone how you approach and interpret what happens.

Update of Epic Proportions

Soooo I haven’t updated since August! I’m so bad at sticking with something (like blogging). I’m so good at starting stuff, just not great at finishing, it’s the story of my life I swear!

So I’ve been thinking that I want this blog & site to be a bit different. OK I go through a phase thinking that every so often and then fizzle out, but gosh darnit this time I’m serious! I think.. Soooo this blog post is gonna just incorporate everything that I was thinking this site will incorporate too, which is pure and undiluted ME. What else did you expect, right?

First of all, what has been happening in the life of Iris since August 2008? Well, I guess the most groundbreaking, earthshattering and interesting fact is that.. *drumroll* I got married! The lucky victim was (and is) Andrew, my boyfriend of 4 years. We got married in London on 31 October 2008.

Wedding Day

Wedding Day

We went on our honeymoon to Leicestershire (how exotic, I know) where we had rented a narrow boat. It was so peaceful and amazing. I would recommend this type of holiday to anyone. And even though we went in November and it was cold, that didn’t make it uncomfortable or anything. The weather was just part of it and we had some amazing days.



I did a bit of art while on the boat but haven’t taken pics of that yet, but I will soon. I just can’t stress enough how amazingly tranquil it was, SUCH a good place to get inspired and do art. It’s also nice to be in a place that doesn’t have the usual distractions of computers & the internet.

Now that we’re married we’re incredibly poor. *cries* I know I know, children in Africa are starving and I don’t know what the word ‘poor’ really means. It’s been good for us in a way though, because we’ve had to really evaluate what we spend, and what we can spend. Nevertheless, at certain times it depresses me a bit because going without luxuries, even though very doable, can be a bit of a dampener on our spirits. It also makes socialising very hard. People suggesting we go catch up with a drink/dinner, a friend of mine who has invited me to her wedding. Can’t afford to do those kind of things. Blegh, talking about it is making me feel sad, so I’ll just move on!

On January 5th it was my grandmother’s (if I recall correctly) 92nd birthday! Isn’t that amazing? As she doesn’t really need anything and we couldn’t afford anything, I made her a present! I created a painting for her.


Because of the ‘deadline’ (her birthday) this is actually the quickest mixed media piece I have ever done (2 evenings). I think that was really good for me, because it meant I had to just DO IT, rather than thinking about it for ages and ending up leaving it half finished in a drawer somewhere.

Apparently it made her cry profusely which was weird on the one hand and very touching on the other. I think maybe she thought it was supposed to represent me and my mother. I painted it having in mind a grandmother & granddaughter figure though (not necessarily me and her).

When it comes to work, work is just.. work. I wish I liked it more than I do. Just a bit of background, Andrew and I work together on our own video production business. He started it up about 2.5 years ago and I’ve been working full-time for the company for about 1.5 years. It is not my passion, nor what I want to do with my life, but I DO want to support Andrew and help build something for us. I just hope to figure out sooner or later what it is that I actually want to do. It’s all well and good knowing what you don’t want to do, but that still doesn’t help me find out what I do want to do. There are way too many do’s in that paragraph so I will stop it now.

This update is starting to become pretty epic so I think I will wrap it up, that way hopefully I will have something more to say when I update again soon.