Archive for July, 2010


Outside (first session).

I worried for a while that the muse had abandoned me.  This has happened before.  Despite inspiring classes and time, and motivation I found – when working as a graphic designer that at the end of the day there was nothing left.  That all my creativity was sucked into producing work that was – well – disposable.  And the art making – was not an imperative.  I worried that not doing would lead to skills vanishing and that I would forget the difference between art and decoration.

The muse was – in fact very busy elsewhere with other people and had forgotten I was waiting for her to return.  And it was – in retrospect selfish of me to expect her to hang around waiting until I had enough energy to avail myself of her blessings.   She is – after all a busy woman.

Inside (Second session – still in progress).

I do think that certain activities naturally feed creativity, and others drain it.  For me – having busy hands seems to work.  Having an engaged brain, playing with textiles, exploring the craft zeitgeist and lateral extensions of that movement within the confines of my paid work seems to leave me with enough head-space left over to paint, and the muse – who took a brief holiday, seems to be happy with this time-share arrangement.  Which is – frankly a huge relief.  Not painting would have been an expensive trade-off soul-wise for financial assistance (necessary as that is).

Last Sunday was spent – outside, painting in the sun.  Mapping out a new painting and thrilling at how naturally it was coming together.  Sun on the back, companion painting (and also painting successfully), lunch with legs dangling over the edge of the terrace, a newspaper and good conversation.  A good day and with the residual feeling of rightness about everything at the moment continuing strong and continuing to feed all aspects of life.

Painting inside the outside studio, while a different sensory experience (jumper, heater), and a challenge with artificial light sources is still successful and there is something enjoyable too – about that cloistering and containment, and about exiting into the real world with its chill and dark and relaxing in the house after a session painting in the studio outside it.  In my last house there was a studio inside – where I could come and go any hour of the day – heated, comfortable, kids sleeping, but I did find that hard to turn off from.  All consuming I would paint all day, and night and get up to check and mull things over in my sleep.  Here – I give it my all when I can – which not as often as I would like, but better for my energy levels.

Thankfully it seems to be working.


Read Full Post »


In the past year I have had swings about blogging.  Gone through months of not looking at anyone’s in particular.  Had months where any inspiration of any kind was more of an annoyance than an inspiration – a cruel reminder of the lack of time and head space.

I had wondered if not having the drive to blog must mean something.  That it was serving no purpose for me – and was therefore not a priority, and wondered if that was that something that needed a decision – or was an apology needed for readers who were feeling abandoned or worried.  I am aware that blog reading can become an addiction of sorts – a real life soap opera in concentrated form.  I have blogger-friends who I don’t know that well physically who I have worried about from time to time.   Does the silence mean something?  Nothing? Is it a bad thing?  A good thing?

Truth is, sometimes life just gets in the way – which is bloody wonderful.

My journey with this blog has taken me through sewing, knitting, art, family, resettling and thinking out loud. It has been fun, and it is a kind of meditation in itself.  At the moment I am very busy with life – which is very, very good.  There is virtually no knitting, little sewing, family is hectic, art is slowly creeping back into my life in stolen moments (I miss it badly).  I wonder what this space will hold.

I take less photos but am building more memories and am enjoying watching the seasons change day by day instead of just waiting for the next one to arrive.  Hope you are keeping warm wherever you are. 🙂

Read Full Post »

rustle and link

In some ways I lament the loss of physical community that humans (for the most part) need.  Like  most people – I tend to lock myself in – coming out when I’m good and ready to play on my own terms.  Lazy but comfortable.  I love immersing myself in things that fascinate and delight, and my favourite social/unsocial pastime lately, is markets, which Melbourne thankfully has in abundance. The Melbourne Design market was on last weekend and it was amazing.  Music pumping, the scent of vegetarian paella wafting through the carpark and some fab stalls.  And upstairs Fed Square’s Mark it.  which was pocket emptying in the nicest way.

LOVE a good market.  Strong design, knowing your money is going straight to the person who made it, and seeing how happy both parties are. Special thing.

I think that we all have something wonderful tucked away just waiting to be made whole in our hands. Something original and wonderful that is a gift just by being in the world. One way to get in touch with this amazingness is by participating in a swap.  Sooz recently put the call out for participants in a ‘usefulness’ swap.

I love a good swap.

I love considering what to contribute.  The making of the object(s), wrapping them up and sending them off and then the anticipation of what will come back.  Mostly I love the sending off.  That is just such a thrill.  I almost forget that there is something coming back until there is a parcel delivered and that is a beautiful surprise.  The theme of this swap was to provide something that was eco-friendly.  I approached my contribution laterally and made a neckpiece for each of my swaps.  All different and hopefully a nice surprise.  They were made of Fimo which was mono-printed using newspaper so that they took on a light print.  I forgot to take photos (did I mention I was excited about sending them off) and a few of them were black with a slight sparkle in the mix.  They were wrapped in bags made of bamboo wadding, or the softest grey polar fleece I have ever felt.  I hope they found happy owners.

Thank you to Dee for a crochet dish cloth too beautiful to use for its intended purpose, Jo for a pincushion (I so needed a new one!) and drawstring bag, Ellen for a wheat bag (again – so needed!) and some beautiful fabric,  Sonya (no link) for some heavenly Garam Masala and handmade chocolate soap, Handmade lipgloss and some lollies all the way from Germany from Nicole (no link),  A cotton facecloth and soap saver from Abbington (no link) which is again too beautiful to use but I will, Bookmark from Nikkishell,  Eco travel lid from Breanna (no link), A marketbag from Rachel, and a Printed linen teatowel from my friend Alison.

Each item delightful in itself and because it was given out into the world with a happy heart and with a smile.

Each item lovingly turned over and appreciated.

Thank you ladies – I hope your ears are burning, you rock. 🙂

And thanks Sooz for organising the swap.  It was such a lovely thing to be part of.

Read Full Post »

stop (and go)

Here is Zara. She is 5.

She is all kinds of awesome.

Every so often I try to arrange a ‘date’ with one of the kids on their own.  It is always the biggest thrill for both of us, and since she started school and life has changed so much, this was our first opportunity to just be girls together at a time when it is really important for her to be a girl.

Being a girl can be tough, especially when everyone is trying to find themselves in the new school system and friends don’t quite stay where you think they should.  Don’t get me wrong, she is doing fine – splendidly really, but I think at this time there is a huge adjustment when the reason boys won’t play is that you are a girl.  I think that really sucks.

So we had a girls day.

We had made plans all week.  We dressed up (no photos of me sorry) and headed into the city.  We took a tram to the aquarium to see the penguins and the giant (is that it?  really?) octopus.

We chatted about everything and nothing.  Just girls stuff.  Had Japanese for lunch.

Saw Komaneko – possibly the nicest film ever made – and just a little bit scary at ACMI. (You can watch the whole thing on Youtube – it’s in bits and pieces and I love the Yeti at the end).

Then stopped by for a bit of gallery wandering at The Ian Potter Gallery at Fed Square where we talked about gallery etiquette, what the white lines mean on the floor, and how – when her pictures are on the walls of a gallery someday she will be glad that people can’t just walk up and touch them.

We loved the Stick it exhibition, but for Zara – the highlight of the gallery was the indigenous section where there were huge abstract (to us) colourful works.  How inspiring and thrilling to see colour used so boldly.

What I loved about our “girls” day – was that is wasn’t sickly sweet, super tizzy or what the media would call ‘girly’.  It was girls stuff – because girls can do anything – and if we’d been interested in taking apart a tractor or getting her nails painted I would have organised that for her.  She’s cool, she’s interested in visual things.  She’s ready to have her mind fed and that rocks big time.

Thanks for a great day Zara.  You are my favourite girl and I love you.

Read Full Post »