Archive for July, 2007


The school I went to in my secondary years, had a compulsory ‘Dressmaking’ class.  While mildy fascinated (my mother sews), I mostly saw this class as a great opportunity to have a chat and relax in between other subjects.  It seemed a bit of a laugh and impossibly easy to avoid doing any actual work.  The general construction, ironing, and need to share machines with the rest of the group would have made it impossible to supervise as a teacher, and Mrs Prendergast (who as it turns out was having big problems at home herself), was not really in control.

I suppose I learnt enough to be able to get by these days, but the finer points were definately lost on me, and it’s a shame I didn’t pay attention then, because it would have helped a lot now in dealing with some of these complicated patterns I’m looking at these days for fiddly little children’s clothes.  Mrs Predendergast – you get the last laugh.  😉


As long as the pattern is easy, I have no problem in altering, or adding to it.  The moment there are more than the basic pieces I get all paralysed and flappy.  Breath, breathe, breathe….

The ‘wardrobe project’ as I’m calling it at the moment, is going along nicely however.  My daughter has 2 dresses, 3 skirts, 2 nighties, and a big knitted coat.  Next I need to make her some pants, and figure out how I am going to tackle the tops.  Stretchy T-shirts are just so easy and comfy, and if I find an Australian manufacturer I may just succumb and buy her those, embellishing them myself.  A girl’s got to be comfortable.


The big score in the past few weeks was the discovery of Burda pattern magazines at the local library.  I had no idea, until Kirsten mentioned they were available, and then bang, there they were at the library.  Whoot!  So I borrowed 5 mags, and now potentially have more patterns in my hands than I will ever need in the forseeable future, including lots of great shirts which will be good for me for summer.  I am quite excited, and have sorted out the stash into a more manageable pile, so I can actually see what’s there.  Scary but good.

I wonder if schools still offer dressmaking as part of their curriculum.  It seems to me, that these days, that sort of self-sufficiency is a great thing we can do for ourselves, and it makes the world a bit more interesting too.


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Yesterday we packed provisions and warm clothes and drove up to Lake Mountain to see some snow.

There was tobogganing, and snowman making, and snowball fights. Here is Horatio the third. For some reason whenever we make a snowman his name must be Horatio. It kind of suits him anyway don’t you think.


We fell over in the icy conditions, laughed a lot, ate a lot.


Drank in the beautiful sight of snow amongst gum trees and scrub. Apparently my happy snapping is driving everyone mad, and my digital camera may be in peril…..


And on the way home we stopped for the most amazing cakes, Belgian hot chocolate and fudge (to bring home) at the Marysville patisserie and Fudge Kitchen. Yummmmmmmmmmmmm.

Happy me 🙂

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work in progress – Free Range.

This has been a hectic week – for lots of domestic and head-splitting reasons.  I missed my usual Dr Sketchy (burlesque life-drawing), and am still burning for the lost opportunity.  It’s my little bit of self-indulgence and a super-great way to forget about the domestic responsibilities that are a part of every mother’s life – working or not.

I do love being a mother.  I’m CRAZY for my kids, and it’s such an honour to have them in my life, and to be able to do things with and for them.  But a break from the everyday can be a good thing too, and since it’s not immediately possible, and it is another month or so until I can do a Sketchy session, I’m going – to be frank – a little NUTS!  I must say, however, intense conflicted feelings bubbling away, usually have a good effect on my art.  Uncomfortable but interesting.  I don’t like it, but try to harness it in a constructive way.

If only I had a teeny bit more time to paint we might be able to strike a happy medium. 😉

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Transform and roll out


Click, zoom, scroll, comment, flick, new page.  Silence.


My broadband account for the month has been all used up, and I blame Youtube.  My son spent hours during the holidays trawling youtube for demonstrations of ‘Transformers’ toys, and now – quite alarmingly can do a fairly good impersonation of a 25 year old overweight american man demonstrating the attributes of various toys.  And he’s not doing it in a ‘look how hilarious this is’ kind of way.  He thinks the fellow is splendid.

As a result, My internet cruising days are over for the month, and it’s driving me CRAZY!  Dialup sucks.

So if any of you are wondering where I am – I’m here.  I just can’t reach out very far, and commenting seems impossible….. 😦

Better go get some sunshine.

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The horse has bolted, Oil + wax on linen, 2007.

New painting from me for the Caulfield show coming up next month. The horse in this painting represents mother nature to me, and the woman, our confusion about how we got ourselves in this situation. Hopefully it’s not too late, or we can reach a new agreement that’s kinder all around. 🙂

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Feeling very constricted today.  I have painting commitments, family commitments, personal commitments, monetary commitments.  Responsibility aplenty and all I want to do is go and lie somewhere in the sun without any worries flitting through my head and breathe deep and just be.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not sad or anything, I am just feeling pulled in all sorts of directions, that are important for all sorts of reasons and I’m ready for something light and wonderful to happen that requires no energy or responsibility on my part.

Wouldn’t that be nice. 🙂

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Detail of new painting – Comfort. 120cm x 120cm. Oil on Linen, 2007

I finished this painting yesterday for my dear friend who has just moved into her palatial new home.

I’ve known my friend since we were 17, had heard about her for a long time before as she went to school with my cousin. She is funny, and warm, lovely, disgracefully successful, and single.

I sold my first painting to her, and as I progressed in my skills and saw it at her house I felt that it needed to be upgraded, as her home was to be, so I took it away, and repainted it in oil on linen as a housewarming gift.


If I could give her one thing, it would be this – little moments of warmth amongst the chaos. Small arms wrapped tight about her neck, loving her completely, and needing her absolutely. I’m sure when she’s ready it will come.

I hope this painting will be a lucky charm and bring it to her in complete abundance and joy. 🙂

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