Alchemy of Emotions


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DD looking at art
Sometimes I ‘baulk’ at the idea of naming a collection of paintings or coming up with a theme for an exhibition… so as a bit of a continuing the conversation on from last years paintings with Jassy and BJ “Dreaming into Being” … this bunch on display at The NAC I am calling. “Alchemy of Emotions” … I reckon I could paint with that name for the rest of my days to be honest. I also find it hard to come up with dazzling names for the paintings and often opt for the obvious and literal . . . it’s not as important to me as the FEELS. 
It’s a bit over a year since the last longish painting session I had… around the time of my Mother’s crossing over… so these ones have a lot of ‘windows’ in them, I’m in a seeking and listening mode in my life, nearing the end of my forties, and approaching empty nest years . . . I relished the sense of freedom and ANYTHING GOES that I gave myself in these works, I imagined I wanted to paint quite calm, mostly white canvases.. with smaller pieces of colour and distinct marks… but no.. that wasn’t to be this time around. I instead felt drawn to making drips and marks, some recognisable shapes and plenty of flora and fauna like growth. Many seeds are being planted this year, internally and externally. I imagine an orchard growing up over the coming years.. not simply a single lone plant.
Apparently all of our emotions stem from just these four; fear, anger, sadness, and joy. In my artwork of recent years I seek to hold space for myself to allow all of these emotions to run through me, not judging how they show up. Often the result of allowing all of the hard to feel feels… is joy. May these artworks reach in and mend a part of you that is within your reach.
4 alchemy

1. I see you Magpie, 2. Charlie’s Garden, 3. Little Black Cat, 4. Teatime Ms Moor Hen               45 x 45cm mixed media on canvas 

Our lifelong adventure urges us to dance within the shadows and the light. Whilst witnessing the unrest, fear and terror within our world, it is still vital to release the fight or flight automatic reactions we have and to find ways to calm the fear, channel the anger, allow the sadness and practice joy.
It is an honour to be invited to display my work at Noosa Arts Cafe, I commend the generosity of spirit of Mark & Paula and their team creating a fantastic space where locals and visitors can gather and connect, be nourished and uplifted, surrounded by art and natural beauty.  The NAC : 205 Weyba Road, Noosaville, Qld 4566 
DD champagne and art

Nature Spirit acrylic on canvas 103 x 70 cm

thanks for visiting,


warmest wishes

Denise x

A Most Painful Question for an Artist


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I sat in my lounge the other day as it was filled with over 70 pieces of my artwork, I’d opened it up to have an Art Sale over the weekend. This felt like both a brave and an embarrassing act of faith and courage.

Hanging the works in one space gave me a jolt of recognition that ‘many of these are the ones that remain’, and where to from here?  It also became quite confronting for me and perhaps if I be kind, a celebration.

I was more than grateful that several pieces sold, the financial support of that is really helpful.



Audio … ‘podcast’ kind of recording.  vimeo link :

As I mention in this audio, one of the most painful questions I still ‘come up against’ is “Did you sell any paintings?” It’s obviously not the question in and of itself, it’s about what I make it mean.




I’m not looking for platitudes or wanting to take up full time residence in victim mode here, I’m simply aiming curiosity at an aspect of ‘being an artist’ that can really suck. I wonder why this question is seemingly the first one to roll of someones’s tongue.

I don’t think many other workers of pretty much any kind are asked this.

What other questions/things might one say . . .

  • How did it feel having a room filled with your creativity on the wall and people staring at them?
  • Tell me about your favourite piece in this collection.
  • Can I tell you about the one I liked the best?
  • I was most moved by . . .
  • This one made me think of . . .

Before you ask that question of an artist . . . pause . . . what is it you’re really asking, and is there a way you can connect in a new way.

What happens when something goes from being an expression of feelings and emotions and colour.. onto the canvas . . . to an item or product for sale. Can we / I the artist divorce myself from that process? Can I make it less of an issue of success or failure.


This is on my mind again, will I do the dance to create for the love of it, if it sells – celebrate the exchange. If it does not sell – celebrate the freedom to paint again, paint some more, paint over any I/you choose to.

I speak a bit more about all of this in a ‘podcast’ kind of ‘innerviewthing above that my partner and I recorded Thurs 16 Feb 2017.

I feel I live right in the middle of the paradox. Wanting to paint for the love of it, needing to have financial exchange for my work in some way shape or form . . . if not from making art, perhaps from other creative projects. This year is all about making changes that bring me more into alignment with what I’m meant to be doing here.

Making a living from ones art – this seems to be quite an issue of contention. Reading Big Magic by Liz Gilbert I came up HARD against her words “I don’t make my creativity pay the rent”.

So, I believe I am still in the thick of this inquiry, I am not seeking answers from without so much as from within, but open to sharing a piece of the process with you here. I suspect I am not alone in this quest to make peace with how I/we stay true to the creative spirit within whilst finding authentic, doable ways of ‘making a living’.

Before you ask that question of an artist . . . pause . . . what is it you’re really asking, and is there a way you can connect in a new way.

Denise x

ps. It’s been over a week since the art sale, I’ve decided to remove several of the paintings from their stretchers and let them go. Already I feel an ease when I look at the smooth pine frames without any canvas stretched upon them, they wait patiently to have a new beginning, and hold a new possibility for me. I’ve also started to paint over a selection of them that are ‘done’. I may share some of them in a future blogpost soon. D x

Dear Woman on the train


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To the Woman I saw on the train yesterday

Dear Woman,

May you allow yourself to know

you are worthy of kindness

May you feel a strength welling

up within you to stand up for the one

in you who has been beaten down.

Dear Woman,

I felt the acidity of the words your partner

was striking you with,

throwing abuse at you like it was nothing

like those words weren’t sharp and hurtful,

coming from a bitterness

and an ignorance of their weight.

Dear Man,

I hesitate to call you a man, but that

is the judgement and scorn that arose

in me at seeing, sensing and feeling

the abuse you were hurling into

a public train carriage.

I spoke up for the woman you were with,

and you started verbally abusing me,

you asked who the fuck do I think I am

Dear Man,

I am a concerned human being,

witnessing the abuse of a woman on a train

and knowing IT’S NOT OK.

I am a mother who has grown daughters,

I speak from a place of concern,

What is it in you that is so broken

that you don’t see the pain you are in,

and inflicting on the woman you seem

to be in relationship with.

Dear Couple on the train,

May you wake up,

both you you.

May the courage and love that

resides within you no matter how

deeply covered over and solidified

the container housing that courage is,

be cracked open.

May you be blessed,

you are both capable of so much

better in your life.

May you be blessed.

Continue reading

Mother Love : Hearth & Heart Tender


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Hi dear reader,

This month I am present to what wants to show up for my shared journey into (eCourse land 26 Oct – 18 Jan )  – I am creating the container, ‘Mother Love’ and holding a space for the information to flow in.. and the women to gather.. . . to connect with those who will want to pull up a chair and sit with me at the virtual tea table.

I work within the framework that all feelings are welcomed, there is nothing wrong and nothing to fix. I work best with large amounts of curiositea and courage to go where my heart leads. Observe how things are showing up in my life and see, sense and feel into whether I am choosing how I want to respond or am I being blown about by any breeze and storm.

I believe women need connection and thrive when they feel seen and heard. I am drawn to create an opportunity for that to happen in an online environment, I also do this in live workshop settings, but online is extraordinary as it allows us to be in communication and connection with women all across the world, and they in turn meet women from the other side of the globe from them.

Let us gather in virtual circle together.



I am an artist, who loves to write, collage, paint, art journal, smashbook (an extremely relaxed form of art journaling)  and extend invitations to hold space for  others to gather, create and listen within for their own inner wise selves to speak to them in words, and pictures, colour and collage.

I am discovering more and more how vitally important it is to treat ourselves with compassion and dedicated self kindness. When I do this, it is vastly more enjoyable and livable inside my thoughts and life. So this is one of the life practices I encourage in all of my classes.

How might you respond to my invitation . . . when I gently encourage you to :

Attend as a Curious Observer and feel into the conversations, pages and journal created, is there part of you that would dearly love to write or gather your own information using creativity and kindness in relation to any stepping stones you wish to follow in relation to Mother Love?

Attend as a Seeker . . . know some questions you have or threads you are ready to follow? Let this be a resource that will meet you where you are. Expect the unexpected, expect a miracle. These things are not so rare as once thought. Openings and connections show themselves as soon as we’re ready to see and find them.


Attend as Intuitive Feeler . . . the rare bird on the Myers Briggs type indicator. You go by feelings, you’re incredibly sensitive and empathic. You have a heart for healing the world – let this be a soft place of sustenance for you to receive the nourishment you need to tend to your own deep longings first.

Attend as a Deep Diver, ready to put on ‘metaphotical scuba gear’ and submerge into the underworld of what you swim in  . .  bring your curious observer self along for the dive.

Attend as a Hearth and Heart Tender, share in Creativitea Time for the healing and mending it offers, sip tea with your wise inner self and those who gather alongside you for this season, reason, life time.



Attend as Sovereign Skeptic, Queen of your own domain, work well with all that is in resonance with your Soul. No judgment or schedule is to be checked up on, you’ll know what to do.

Attend as Deeply Caring Woman who must make space and time to Mother herself, meet with others and hear stories of how Mother Love shows up for sisters and friends you have yet to meet.


Do you have questions for me? Would you like to meet for a virtual circle on Zoom a week or two before this eCourse is to begin?

Visit the website here for more information on

Mother Love – 12 week journey into our own mystery.

and please add your name to the mailing list for updates on that link.



Mother Love : an invitation to circle


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I’m ‘flying by the seat of my pants again’ (in an imaginary red cape, wearing red shoes) . . . and have made the committment to step in to the next offering, I’m feeling pulled to bring out into the world.

It’s called Mother Love, and by that it can be in whatever way you need to immerse yourself in that energy for a 12 week focused time within a group/circle opportunity.

Whether you are grieving the loss of your Mother, or loss of relationship, a difficult relationship, a long distance relationship, exhausted by the desire to be a Mother and it hasn’t happened yet, relating to your own way of showing up as Mother… indeed… Mothering ourselves.. and some I know have a deep relationship with the Divine Mother.

I will be holding the space of facilitator of circle gatherings on Zoom… every 2 weeks during the 12, with a 2 week break over Christmas and New Year time.

(starting 26 October 2016 – 18 January 2017)


There will be video’s of art journal pages and prompts, conversations and innerviews about what Mother Love means to some of the women in my life, ideas and possibilities – freshly made so they meet us where we are – in this ‘time space continuum’ lol …. reminding me of that crazy Back to the Future movie.

. . . anyhow, dear heart if you seek a soft place to explore some of your Mother Love story… you are welcome, this will be a gentle and kind space, nurturing and I hope nourishing. I am feeling the desire to bring in some kind of ‘hand stitching’ as well.

I’ll share the first video I made in relation to my thoughts behind it’s creation… and on the website you will find another couple of video samples of how I share this work.


and a link to the website page for Mother Love, eCourse Circle offering is here.


Mother Love is Boundless.

My Mother died earlier in the year, I seek a deep understanding of what I need to know now as a grown woman, and Mother to myself and my two daughters.

I now have space and time to notice what parts of my Mother Love story are life giving in their tenderness? What parts want to be put to rest? Where does it hurt?

I can open my heart to be shown these, I can open my heart to receive the memories that I can hold safe now and bring Grace to the child in me.

I may ask my Grand Mothers’ of generations past.

Show me the legacy, show me what is mine to birth into this world, now that they are beyond the bounds of their human constraints to offer me support in ways I do not fully understand.

~ Denise Daffara


much love Denise xx

I am proud of myself that . . .


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When your friend shares with you in an email that a special practice to do at this turn of season time is to spend a little time thinking of all the accomplishments and growth experienced over this past year . . .


I turned to this rose filled page I’d been saving for a time I’d know it was right to use it. I began to write the phrase my dear friend invited me to be with . . .

“I am proud of myself that…. “

I had no idea it would open a little flood gate and tears would spill out of my eyes, I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to answer this . . .

I realised again how I give so much time to noticing what I’m not doing enough of, how my business isn’t flourishing in the way I think it’s meant to, and it equates to so much focus on not enoughness that it was actually confronting to ask myself, honestly,

What have I done this year that I am proud of?


I’m not sure it’s important to share here what I wrote, what seems most pressing is how it made me feel. I wondered how many other of my friends and connections do this same dance of scarcity.

I am often reminded of the importance of self kindness, I’ve made it my life’s work to be kind to this self I show up as for this life journey.

I was raised in a religion that told me I was worthless without God in the way they wanted me to believe in ‘him’, and now as a 48 year old woman I have come to different conclusions about this God thing and currently believe that we are all part of the Source of life having a human experience, but no less connected to the One than the Pope, Buddha, Jesus or Anyone. I don’t care much for arguing this point of view, this is my page, I get to say whatever I like. I also can’t be bothered to argue for another’s limitations.

This …. this thing… this deeply woven, skein of a belief that holds the note I’m not enough, is really effing toxic.


Little dd – inner child expressions of wisdom and whimsy by Denise Daffara

daisy border coop

If you’re curious as to what I realised was the thing I was most proud of this year. . .

I’m proud of myself that . . . I was able to be present with my dear Mummah at the time of her death, and now I am learning a new way to live. More real, and more true.

and it hurts sometimes, and like I keep mentioning from time to time (because I’m still learning it) is; to hurt is part of life, to live a full, wide and deep life I must go through those times to discover what is hidden beneath the layers.

Layers I have covered things with

Layers that were tucked in for generations of covering, nothing to see here

Layers of the onion that keep peeling off,

you know… we don’t have a bottomless coffee in this life

we have a bloody never peeled onion.


Yours Curiously,

Denise xo



Altered States for Break Through’s


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Curious about the Landmark Forum.. and Tony Robbins world of break throughs. I have not gone to one of these seminars, but I really admire the personal growth that is encouraged by them both.

little dd colourful shapes

I often find myself wondering if this form of ‘BIG COMMITMENT WEEKEND OR DAYS OF RA RA’ is something I’d really benefit from. … here’s the wonderings from this morning’s pages.

So much sorting out of thoughts. It’s like I’m afraid I can’t really GET THERE?? without it, (get where? a breakthrough?, but I continually do seek and find breakthrough’s) and then there would never be enough courses, SO MANY… on every topic – and Tony Robbins has many courses too.

Ahhhh but this is about PEAK PERFORMANCE. Do you have to be a certain type to seek out this PEAK’NESS of which they speak?

So many ways to run this human show.

They each help you to see ‘where are you running a story?’

‘Where have you made stuff up that you’re now using to hurt yourself?’

‘When do you reckon you can STOP THAT?’

Little dd wondering

It’s like we feel safer in a room filled with other humans who are all seeking happiness to be able to receive that collective boost to shift our vibration significantly to a place of new being’ness.

Having others in the room that have experienced it and witnessed it for themselves gives us the validation we may need so that we don’t end up believing it was all just hype and lasting change didn’t really happen – and we find ourselves back home, staring into space, and wondering what the heck was that and what the heck is this all about?

So… creating spaces where altered states of self belief are welcomed, honoured and nourished seems extraordinarily interesting to me. (not unlike what churches were developed for… but I’ll not go down that rabbit hole today)

I am interested in shifting my perspective to one of support and love for this human I move around in.

Right now, today, I feel more attuned to a quieter upheavel of unwanted limiting beliefs, and a daily awareness of choosing thoughts that serve my highest good … I’m also trying out a thing called , which came highly recommended by an inspirational lady named April Adams.

But… if you’ve had a life changing, hugely life enhancing experience of these experiental learning events… I’m more than happy to hear your take on it.

I’m not out to say any of it is wrong.. I am simply and honestly, seeking the best way forward.

I am interested in shifting my perspective to one of support and love for this human I move around in.

watch own show


Denise x

Self Harming without the Cuts


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As a curious one, I subscribe to rather a lot of interesting teachers, healers, inspirers of the world . . . I get snagged by those landing pages, ‘click bait’ … ‘lead magnets’ [nod].

This means, I get to receive some of their thoughts, gifts and offerings into my email box… some VERY regularly, and well, if they are over zealous I allow myself to unsubscribe but some I choose to keep..

… I read the subject line, it draws me in.. and whoa.. before I know it I’ve read a page that transforms some of my thinking, or meets me right where I am, and THEN… can come the self harming part.

little dd frustrated at the desk

I want to speak about this part, self harming without cutting. Not unlike those vicious paper cuts that catch you by surprise, and sting like a bee. I’m referring to the moment you take a message read on the page, the screen and COMPARE your own output, or achievements, or experience in a way that has you sense, or feel you are not enough. Not doing enough. Not being enough. Not giving enough.

Do you ever start to look at the author or artist as a super human? One who hasn’t had a day of self doubt in the last 6 months and they are thriving and flourishing in their online arena blooming like a springtime garden?

There are likely many psychological reasons we humans do this, probably running patterns of ‘not enoughness’ from childhood osmosis. I seek to make a safe space for myself to be ok in this world just the way I am. I am always, all ways, open to growing, and learning, that is not my issue here.

Little dd by denise daffara

To me a landing page is one in my art journal where I can show up wild and true and free, and give my words and feelings a safe place to land.

My issue is how I mistreat myself, and feed self doubt.

Marketing blue prints can come across as an assault to my sensitive soul.

Today’s world of free stuff, social media and marketing is so full, it can crowd out our own still small voice of reason and strength. Authenticity is the current catch cry of the online arena.. and I mean catch. cry.

It is so so so challenging to find a way to bring ones gifts online without losing, or indeed bruising the very heart and soul that you begun with.

To me a landing page is one in my art journal where I can show up wild and true and free, and give my words and feelings a safe place to land… not a first page of a web site that captures peoples addresses so that I can fill up their email boxes to the point of madness.

landing page by denise daffara

video featuring this image at the end of this post


To be honest, I am conflicted, I am an artist and I hold space for online courses myself, and I am currently seeking ways to connect with those who are drawn to my way of sharing and being in the world so that I too may welcome classes filled with delighted participants. But this cannot be in lieu of my integrity. It really cannot. I call BS on this current flood of too muchery and not enoughery.

I want to hear real and be real, sans bullshit.

When I am hit with the barrage that sometimes comes in the form of “you asked for it, now I’m gonna give it to you” I am sometimes left feeling bewildered, emotionally drained, and definitely not enough just as I am.

little dd by denise daffara

I’ll use a recent happening as an example… it began with a free video series, powerful, shiny, beautifully presented. … but when it came time to sign up, to commit, to buy in… I started to receive daily emails: one that said it was from ‘The Universe” .. not the sender.. and then “ a note from myself, to myself’ .. the email was written in a form (by the seller) that it was my future wise self talking to my current self … basically saying how much this program had made a difference and how I really needed to sign up.

What the actual f? This may work for many, this may seem to come from a sincere place of someone seeing great potential in me.. but I start feeling irky inside and I have to pause.. which you cannot do if you are reading and watching every piece of marketing that flies into your in tray (inbox).

I call PAUSE on this, I feel it is dangerous and potentially damaging. I witness and sense the desperation this vibration tends to connect with and it’s not where I want to have myself nor my work live, breath and flow from.

little dd listening to music

Right now I am in the wonder zone, the intersection of receiving so much information on how to do an online business, the whispers from inner wise voice and my own upper limits.  My current challenge seems to be letting go of the fear of rejection. Facing what success and failure means to me, why marketing makes me so freakin mad.

Continue reading

Smashbooking & Creativitea Time Circle


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Autumn in Adelaide, I felt so delighted by our hostess’s garden, such seasonal changes aren’t always part of Queensland life.. so taking a trip to the bottom of this big land was a new adventure, not just geographically.

autumn leaves

Smashbooking with a gorgeous bunch of women in Adelaide was a real treat for me. I was welcomed with open arms by a friend made online 5 years ago, but not yet met in person. Dana Sparkle and I met in Dream Boogie with SARK about 2011 (I was in a very perplexing state of ‘artist block’ which was really ‘inner critic takeover of my whole life’)

From where I was then, to this day, being picked up by Dana and Gina and driven off into the Adelaide hills to meet new friends and teach a workshop was a beautiful enriching experience for me.

Darling Dana Sparkle

Time away from the busy, brings such beautiful moments where we may pause and be.

begin with tea


This workshop begins with a circle, we find connections and come into a space of allowing what wants to be heard, and felt. I loved observing how tentatively we can begin this process. There are parts that take us deep within to find our inner whisperings, but once they are brought out, and secretly written down we tuck them in safely.

… a sense of playfulness arises as colour is added…. and when the pages are ‘smashed’ that’s a whole other release of energy and Perfectionista is seen racing out the back gate as she cannot stand this part.

table things

The freedom and joy that unfolded as these smashbooks were made was pure alchemy in action. I’m smiling again as I write and see these images.


Surrounded my angels and fairies we were, in the gorgeous back yard of Ilona’s home in the Adelaide Hills.



Thank you beautiful Adelaidies Gina, Cristy, Jane M, Teena, Dana & Ilona.

hands up Adelaidies

often associated with Christmas by our Northern hemisphere friends… but of course.. we have winter mid year! Holly and ivy growing in Ilona’s garden.


Smashbooking is a delightful freedom seeking release for my creative spirit, taught to me by the wonderful Catt Geller .

I teach an online course called ‘Creativitea Time’ where we begin with making a smashbook to hold the activities and offerings made. I am available for private workshops and very occasionally I hold them in my home.

There is one coming up at the end of July, if you are able to make it to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in Australia.  more info here



I am envisioning a long table ‘ala long italian lunch esq’ … strewn with art materials,

surrounded by women with less worry lines and more smile ones, a sense of PLAY, whilst holding a very sacred space of inner wise self soothingness.

China cups of coconut milk chai tea, or any number of other choices – a hug in a cup.

Snacks for lunch along the lines of delicious things you might find at a high tea … scones, cream & jam, lemon slice… cucumber sandwiches. . .  and more tea.


# drawlikenooneisjudging

bye for now,

love Denise.


Personal Daily Light


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journal page denise daffara

Light Source

“We are needing to find and maintain our daily light, and that is what will charge us.”

Lee Harris and his most recent energy update have sparked me into wanting to make a post, a page, a memory tweaker, a sweet reminder note.

“If we forget to do it we get upset at human density, we get upset at the dark or the suffering side of the world without remembering we’re all here creating it and influencing it with our vibration.”

“So if you can indentify the things that LIGHT YOU UP or give you relief and apply some of them every day as either medicine to the part of you that’s struggling or support to the part of you that is here to go deeper with your purpose. Because that is ‘if you like’ an annual theme for this year – everybody on the planet, whether they’re spiritual or not, there is a strong sense of, everything is under review.”

“What is my purpose. Why am I here, what am I doing this for.” – Lee Harris

daisy border coop

I SO relate to this. I know I am a light ‘seeker and worker’. I understand the need and place for darkness, and I need daily light to see my way forward.

Not content to sit around in a funk for very long, I find that very exhausting and seemingly pointless. As I was listening to Lee’s update, and the idea of ‘what lights you up’ I instantly thought of the litte drawings I make of my inner child – Little dd. She puts me in touch with an inner innocence and my own experience here.

Drawing her and sharing her quirkyness with the world is a small commitment I can make to my own creative practice right now, encouraging myself to #drawlikenooneisjudging. In doing so, I trust, that others will also be encouraged to draw like noone is judging if that is something that lights them up.

image by Denise Daffara

This creative life is a devotion.

A devotion to bringing more light into the world.

.. holding a space where light is welcomed.

image by Denise Daffara


I have been finding it very challenging to hold on to my lighter self with all of the harshness unfolding and yelling across our news reals and social media.

I weep for the brokenness and rail against the negative patriarchal energy and blatant abuse of women and girls and minority groups. It’s really bloody awful out there.

I need ways of bringing joy into my own darkness, healing my own inner demons, so I will continue to seek out my personal daily light.

So when others pass by my digital home, they’ll see a light on, and teacups at the ready, creativitea served daily with love.


blessed be,


love Denise x

Little dd by Denise Daffara

Little dd’d very own facebook page.


daisy border coop