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Isn’t she beautiful!

I am loving riding this gorgeous thing – the most spectacular Christmas present I can remember, and one that is speeding me into the future.

Come follow me – I have a new blog.

 

 

family

I’ve learned so much about family in the past few years.

Family can be blood – or not.  Family can be friends.  Family can be the community you live in, work or socialise with.  You can adopt a family – make your own, or choose to be an orphan within a very large one.

All very intriguing.

Growing up, my own family lived far away from our extended families, but I always remember when we returned for long summer holidays how completely we were embraced and how totally I felt that I belonged.  I always thought that was about blood, but I can see now that it was much more about acceptance and unconditional generosity.

And when you think about it, we are all capable of acceptance and unconditional generosity.

I am fortunate.  I have a big family.  It makes me uncomfortable that I don’t get to see them as often as I would like.  Life gets in the way, and looking after my own little family needs to come first (especially this year), but just knowing they are there makes me warm.  I also have friends that are very much family, and that is such a gift.

Zara drew a family tree for school that was put into a collective book this year, and it made me so happy.  She left a lot of people out, and worried for days about who should have been in there as well.  I was thrilled that she had such an all-encompassing attitude to it.  That friends & their children were family (blood or not), that people we like should have been included.  That random branches grew and spilled over the page.  And it got me thinking about who we let in and why, and about people who may find themselves alone at this time of year and be feeling the sting.

And what I would do if it were me.

I think I would get out there and make someone happy.  Maybe random people.  Maybe giving strangers flowers or leaving books in the park and at bus shelters.  Putting gifts under wishing trees and thinking about the smile on the recipient’s face.  If I had no money and nobody to spend the day with I would volunteer at a soup kitchen, because you would be in contact with so many others who needed a smile on that day because I have discovered, that putting a smile on a strangers face is an enormously expansive experience.

Because we are all family.  All of us.

And we are all blessed simply to be here and breathing don’t you think.

Net Work

works by Ailey Ball, Dagmar Cyrulla

Network opened over the weekend.

It’s an exhibition that needs to be explained I suppose, in the interests of grasping its importance, personally, and as an art collective.

TLF is a private, invitation only online forum, comprised of professional contemporary artists.   For this reason it’s an intensely comforting place to share ideas, experiences, technical matters and a laugh.  Being able to join a discussion that may be months old, and gain insight is quite special.  It’s also a special place because one gets the feeling that this is the new collective.  A new salon in the way of earlier physical collectives, but immediate, and Australia-wide. It’s the brainchild of Amanda Van Gils (and she’s a pretty special herself).

For the most part, my experience of it has been a personal one – getting to know people as people without being overwhelmed by their skill or success and feeling intimidated by that and sharing the journey of parenthood while juggling art in particular.  So with the chance to join the very first TLF curated exhibition I waved my arms wildly and said – me, me, me.  It was exciting and overwhelming to see the works collected and find one of mine among them.

Here’s a snapshot of the exhibition.  I know I’ve left works out, and some of the photos were blurry (some too blurry to include) but hopefully it’s enough of a taster to get you out to the Art Gallery of Ballarat for a look yourself.

Jan Berg (amazing texture and so, so big)

(that’s my one – down there, next to some pretty incredible works)

Deb Mostert, Kate Bergin, Steve Wharburton, Debbie Hill, David Coles, Sue Beyer

Merryn Trevethen

David Coles, Sue Beyer

Dianne Gall, Glenn Locklee

Steve Wharburton

Amanda Van Gils, Irene Wellm

Chris Delpratt

Irene Wellm

Darian Zam, Simon Collins

Simon Collins, Kez Hughes

Claire Bridge, Jim Thalassoudis

Such a great exhibition, such a great opening – and I have no photos of that, but trust me it was busy, and friendly, and such a treat to be able to put faces to names and make friendships just that little bit more real.  Dinner afterwards was a hoot, and while we left early, I believe it went on into the small hours and there was more than a little mischief.

Gotta love a bit of mischief.  And community.  Loving that. Network.  Go see.

sew

I’m back from Craft camp.

And what an inspiring weekend that was.

I laughed more than I have for ages.  Ate amazing food.  Shared stories.  Met old friends and new, and was amazed, at how easy it is – when you forget that you are supposed to be nervous, how wonderful people can be.

Wonderful people they were.  And hilarious.

I came prepared for a solid weekend of sewing, and realised, mid-stream that this was my opportunity to actually take it slow.  I wished I had taken some pattern books to study and pore over – to think slowly about, to be experimental with and to take more risks.  I learned more about subtraction cutting (oh my gosh, oh my gosh).  I pumped out the projects.

But mostly it was just so great to be in the company of others who get the craft thing, and appreciate it is a journey and a pleasure, and something worth experimenting with in a stylish manner.  So great to learn, and discuss and open the mind to new possibilities.  Those ladies rock.

They do.

 

 

plan

Sew -  I am very excited.

An escape is planned for the weekend after next at Sewjourn.  With some fabulous, fabulous ladies. And I have been thinking about it for weeks. Wondering what to make in my precious time.  Things for me?  For the kids?  Pyjamarama? Travel bags?  Shall I paint?  TTV photography?  Shall I do all of that, or nothing……

For 2 – actually more days.  Uninterrupted in the sense of unwanted distractions.

(And speaking of distractions. I have to thank you for the comments on my last blog post.  It was a bit of a raw one.  You are the loveliest people.)

Shade

This has been a sobering year.

I have, to be honest never felt so fragile, and so hopeful and so grateful and so stretched.

Part of this is my own fault.  Assuming that the changes in my life would be changes in my life more than changes to who I am.

I am changed.

One of the things that I liked most about myself was the ability to handle so much, be thinking about the next thing while a task was midway, juggle kids and be planning dinner all at the same time.

Lately, if I leave the house looking presentable, with breakfast consumed, lunches made and school commitments met I am pretty chuffed.  There’s not much time for planning.  I bless the people who invented the Keep Cup most mornings so I can drink my lukewarm coffee on the way to work.  I have not been the most reliable of friends.

It’s not just that I’m busy with life and work and painting madly for this (which I am very, very excited by).  It’s the re-adjustment to working 5 days a week, and the complete lack of time to just gaze quietly for as long as the mood takes me at nothing in particular.

I miss quietly sewing, instead of designing and writing.  I miss being on top of all deadlines and being proactive about chasing opportunities.  I miss being able to pop into school as a class helper without it being a huge juggle.  I miss being able to bake with a little helper and share the love in those gentle moments.  I miss being able to have lunch and a laugh with mates mid-week.

And I am not invincible, which is a scary revelation to someone who thrived on adenalin.  Adrenalin these days leaves me shaken – not productive and decidedly less functional, which I cannot afford to be.

I’ll get back there I know.  And I’m looking forward to just being cruisy, having all legal paperwork over and tidy with no lawyers to speak with and thoroughly in the swing of work (and being able to leave that when I go home).  I am looking forward to enjoying the moment again without feeling like I’m dragged behind it and to not feeling guilty for the things that I would have done but havn’t.  So much guilt on a daily basis.

I am looking forward in the knowledge that I AM in such a good place in my heart and home and just waiting for the rest of me to catch up.  Someone tell her she’s running late – I miss her.

All shade is pattern – there is dark and light and the variations are beautiful, and natural and lovely.  From here I can see the sun and it’s wonderful but I’m loving the coolness of the shade and still sheltering.  Just a little.

teamster

All the sewing and sewing and sewing.  But such fun!

Ghostbusters costumes for a halloween (birthday) party we went to last weekend.  Pattern was adapted from a family pyjama one with skirts added for us girls, and the proton packs were elaborately constructed from foam, toy guns, tubing and vinyl straps.  We all had a ball and the party was great fun.

On a side note I think I may get my hair cut off…

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