Thursday, July 29, 2010

Today is a day of YAY!

Today I got home and waiting for me were these from Moo Printing! My Postcards, hurrah.Yay! was definitely the first thing I said too!
This came on the back of the best news ever….I have a job!!!!!!! Starting next week I will be officially (as opposed to casually, every now and then) working for Brad Fisher at Visual Strategy Design. YAYYAYAYAY!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

excuse me for a moment….


found here

Boo to all teenagers who download so much stuff that they use all your download speed and your left not being able to do anything with the computer… email, no blog feeds, and everything else soooo slooow! Bah!

…stay tuned we will resume normal programming after a short break….

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday lunch

I’m all for kids being independent and one of the first things I do is teach them how to cook simple meals. The second thing I teach them is how to clean up after!!!!
A standard dish we make especially on Sunday afternoons is French Toast, YUM! In know it’s traditional to have it sweet but we actually eat it savoury.

As you can see Master 9 here is very serious about his cooking and was most annoyed at me taking his photo while in the middle of such serious business…he is now looking over my shoulder and pulling faces! But I reminded him that when he is a famous Chef we need to document his beginnings, much rolling of the eyes followed.


This is serious work!


IF - Double

IF_Double copy

There are days when I feel split, fractured even. I wonder at times if this is why my artwork can be so varied and it seems to me I don’t stick to a consistent style. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad, it’s just where I am at the moment. It has only been three and a half years since I decided to pursue my dreams of becoming a professional artist so I guess I can’t expect it all to be totally formed yet.

I’m still  finding my way, discovering who I am, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a work of a lifetime.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I made it!

Remember this…


…and this


from here?


I added these…


and put it all together to make this


……and now it lives here!   

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ten Things…

I have been tagged to play ten things by Fourth Daughter over at Style Wilderness so…

1. I LOVE Science Fiction BIG time…and English period dramas. Yep, nothing like keeping your options open.

cat rabbit 

2. I like to sing and have sang solo’s and duets and in Choir's. My first public appearance was at the old folks home when I was 4 but I chickened out and ran away leaving my partner to go it alone, she still mentions it occasionally.

4. I married an artist. You would think marrying a fellow artist would be a good thing but it just means there’s no one to do the human, earthly things. I manage to pull it together enough to make sure children are fed and bills paid…well most of the time.

4. I can’t count!?! Well actually I can count but I suck at times tables all I remember of learning of times tables is having the teacher spring “what’s 6 x 12” on me and me probably looking like a deer caught in the headlights and thinking “ ????? “ and generally wishing I could just die, please, anything, just get me out of maths!


5.I have never been really career minded. I have always been quite happy being a stay at home mum/homemaker and if I could get paid for doing that I probably wouldn’t bother going to work.
This may not be very burn your bra, ra ra, feministic( I think i just made a word) but I’ve always thought the feminist ideal was that women get a choice, not that they have to be all power driven, conquer the world career super women as well as all the other stuff as well,and that’s OK  if that’s what you want to but I don’t!


6.I really really really really hate doing dishes they suck like a Hoover.

7.I secretly wish I could live a totally self sufficient, sustainable live off the land and off the grid kind of life…but with holidays in France. That’s possible right!? Oh but I’m not giving up toilet paper!


8. I have done Archery and Fencing and I can ride a horse. Ready and waiting for my next quest, may need some assistance with actually getting into the saddle these days*see next.

9. I have just started to do Yoga (beginner's). The first session consisted of me thinking ‘you want me to put what, where?’ after some slight?? modifications on my part it is slowly coming together. Emphasis on the slow.

Picture 3

10. I like foxes, but you new that right.
Just last week my friend, who lives in town, went for an evening walk and a pair of foxes ran across her front yard looking at her as they loped past. 
This last point you may find a bit icky but my Dad was actually a fox shooter (actually that’s another point, I can fire a rifle, but I have never ever killed any living thing with it however many cans went to the great smelt house in the sky). 
Dad would bring home the skins and peg them out in the back yard and sprinkle salt on them and let them dry out so that he could  then sell them. They are extremely smelly creatures and they are naughty and feral and not good for our native environment,but I still like them, I can be naughty and feral and occasionally smelly too.

Talking of naughty I do not know where I found all these images so sorry! Oh but the first two are from Cat Rabbit.

Finders Keepers

Op Shop Finds- Books

I have a little bit of a problem…I love books especially children’s books. I suppose it’s not really a problem except that I want to collect some that I can turn into projects, but when I find some that I think will be good I can’t bear to break them.
I don’t mind so much if they are ones that are already ripped a bit but if they are in good condition I just can’t do it. I suppose the ones that are ripped are just put in the bin damn it, they would be perfect for me.
Maybe I could ask the op shop ladies for any ripped pre 1980 books that might come in,hmmm.

These are the latest collected for crafting that I can’t bear to break…doh!  Of course I tend to collect pre 1980, the illustrations just have such a charm about them, so sweet.

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1970                                                   1978

IMG_3251 IMG_3254

1958                                                    197? Printed in Yugoslavia

I actually have just finished a couple of presents using a couple of books that were in poor condition, therefore were perfect, and I was really happy with how they have worked out. I can’t post about them yet as that would be letting the cat out of the bag but I will soon.


I went to one of my favourite op shops out at Red Cliffs today and really found some lovely treasure as you can see. Doilies, beautifully embroidered and a gorgeous vintage pillow slip.

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This is my favourite, it’s just way to pretty for anything to be sitting on it so I think I will use it with the the pillowslip and make it into a cushion, all those golden colours will fit together beautifully.



Look at that beautiful hand work, sweet little daisies.


Close up of the pillow slip.
I’m pretty sure we had something like this when I was a kid or my grandma did, it’s been washed a lot and is all soft and the colours have muted but I like it like that. Stay tuned for the finished pillow I think that might be tonight's project!

My Creative Space

My creative space has been a little erratic this week, lots of jumping from project to project. I think it might be to the rapidly approaching end of holidays. The panic is setting in, and all the things I won’t have time to do when Uni starts are crying to be done! (Just breath, just breath, it’s going to be OK….)


One of the things that I wanted to do during the holidays was reorganise my house,  HA, I managed a cupboard! I found these clear draw organizers (second shelf down) at the Reject Shop just perfect for all those bits and pieces you tend to collect and only $4, perfect!


And of course I have been making all the lovelies for my giveaway!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

IF - Breakfast

happy birthday mummy copy

Nothing conceptual this is simply what happened on my birthday last Saturday…breakfast in bed made by the smallest of the clan, Lachi. This was followed of course by much snuggling under the toasty warm blankets. What a perfect start to the day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Re: Embrace Life and Gratitude


Just a quick thought. 

Just recently friends of ours have suffered the loss of a member of their family. A young healthy mother of two children 5 and 2  passed away during the night with no warning. It has rocked family and friends and underscores how fragile life is and how precious.

Then I was thinking about the commercial I posted the other day, and the symbology behind it. Our loved ones really are the ‘seatbelts’ to our lives when it all just hits the wall and life collides with you like the proverbial bus. They brace you and keep you secure when it all feels like it’s out of control, so more than anything else I am grateful to my family and friends they really are the glue that holds me together.

The Secret Squirrel Squealed-the I can’t help myself I have to give you a sneak preview of the giveaway post

*my birthday giveaway*

OK I suck at not giving away secret presents, (unless it’s the kids then I love not telling them they make such funny pleading type faces, wahaha!) But I’m not giving it away completely just a bit of a sneak peak…


Some of the items on this table are in the process of making themselves ready for a grand tour and some are ready and waiting and some are hiding out of sight and some have not even made their way into the picture…hehehe…I feel all secretive and sneaky and can’t wait till I send it off. Remember just leave a comment about what your grateful for and your in the running for the Surprise Package

Monday, July 19, 2010

Embrace Life!

I’m probably the last one to see this but it would have to be one of the most beautiful and poignant ad. I have ever seen! I blubbered almost the whole way through it sooky lala!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Birthday me! (and a giveaway)

*giveaway at bottom of page*

Well I’m Forty! I have to admit it wasn’t that painful big sooky la la that I am and I think I have my most awesome friends and family to thank for that.
The day started late with a long breakfast in bed, made by my dear little Lachi, and a call from my mum so it was off to a good start. This was followed by snuggly conversations with the little one until we felt like getting up.
I had decided the night before I wasn’t going to go to church so I spent the morning just pottering around while the kids made fabulous cubby houses outside.
I had invited my girlfriend April and her girls over for lunch so I reheated the two pots of soup I had made the day before ready for lunch, and then we all spent the day just hanging out  until tea time. Then my other besty Michelle came over with her family and we ordered pizza and had the MOST AWESOME Toblerone Cheese Cake that April had made!!!! It was the most lovely, relaxed, blessed day *sigh*

I would like to introduce you to two my dear friends…img152 copy

This is April (on the right) we met when I was 9 and have remained firm friends all our lives. We have weathered the usual births, deaths and marriages and everything else in between. She is my heart sister totally true and faithful, and we tend to be naughty when were together which is important and fun don’t you think? Love her to bits.
Oh, and just for a bit of trivia the guy in the centre row forth from the right is Brent Parker-Jones who appeared on the first season of Master Chef!
It’s kind of weird, but you know I still know most of these people after all these years! Also, my kids now go to the same school, minus the white knee high socks with sandals!

The next lovely is my special friend Michelle…isn’t she purdy?


Our friendship kind of took a round about route. I knew of Michelle when we were both Nurses in Sydney as she was dating and then married a boy I grew up with, however it wasn’t until we had both moved to Mildura that we really got to know each other. But it wasn’t until I had moved to Bendigo that our friendship really became close…Wierd?! When we lived in Bendigo we would spend every Easter and Christmas together and since we moved back to Mildura our weekends kind of go like this…Friday night her house, Sunday afternoon coffee for the ladies while the daddies look after the kids and watch motorsports then Sunday night tea at our house. Sunday just doesn't seem like Sunday without  Michelle and coffee! She is wise and strong and graceful and super funny in a really intelligent way, such friends.

So now I will show off the goodies…. can you see? Yes, it is a new Janome Sewing Machine thanks to my sweet, lovely husband!!!!!


These pearl earrings and the Homemade book from April all the way from a recent Darwin Holiday.


These beautiful handmade pieces from my Michelle.


Seriously,  how blessed am I?

*So now I would like to bless others with a giveaway. My giveaway will consist off a secret envelope of cuteness inspired by the Envelope Project.

I will be making things on the above new machine and out of the new book and other lovelies but it will be kind off secret squirrel. There may be peeks of said cute items in the next week.

If you would like to be a part of the giveaway then leave a comment with one thing you are grateful for and I will draw a name in two weeks time.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I am grateful…

…for grey cloudy mornings that clear into sunshiny days…

…for paisley…

paisley tie bop boutique

here                                                       here

….for stationery shops and all things paper, cute and quirky…

…for soap and deodorant (especially with teenage boys living in the house)…

…for the sparrows that live in my bougainvillea,  take dust baths near my backdoor and steal the dog food… 



Thursday, July 15, 2010

I have something to tell…

While in Bendigo on holidays recently I went into Provincial for a dose of all things Frenchified and lovely and most things in there are just not on my super saver list so it’s drool only, but I did spy these gorgeous blue glazed handles and as my cupboard was missing handles and they were only $3.95 each I was all over them like flies on a picnic….speaking of picnic…

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…how’s that for a segue?  I am currently illustrating a piece on the theme picnic for a new group We Love to Illustrate and I have a month to do it YAY, it’s kind of nice to take my time and add lots of detail.


You cant really see this very clearly as it’s just my pencil rough before I start to paint.


Oh and by the way that is also my new easel that my lovely mummy bought me for my birthday.
Shhh it’s a bit of a secret but it’s my Fortieth (Yikes!!) birthday this Saturday, It’s kind of weird but I thought by the time I was Forty I would feel like a grown up but ya know I really don’t. Oh, and a heads up, for my birthday I would like to give away a present so keep a look out on Saturday (OK realistically maybe Sunday morning) for my giveaway!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Creative Space - Take an old pair of jeans and a pillow case….

I’m not sure if it’s the collective conscience memory kicking in or a childhood raised on BBC dramas and English boarding school novels but I have a love of all things English. Just this holidays gone my mum and I spent most evenings watching ‘Relocation Relocation’ on the Lifestyle channel, a UK Real Estate show that allowed us to peep inside a bunch of beautiful English houses. Oh and, the rolling hills, the wildflowers the green greeness, Ahhh!

london calling

But I digress…just the other day I was walking past a shop that had enormous denim floor pillows with the Union Jack stitched on the front in either the red, white and blue or just all denim…Love! Way too expensive for me I’m afraid but ever since I seem to be seeing Union Jacks everywhere so there’s nothing for it, I’ve had to make something.


I already had in mind to make a hot water bottle cover as I didn’t have one (oh, by the way don’t you just love the smell of hot water bottles? I do!) and I had an old pair of jeans that had worn out, and so in the spirit of reduce,reuse, recycle I used my old jeans and a vintage pillow slip I found at the op shop and voila there is my new hotty cover! Unfortunately you cant see the green and purple floral in this photo but I think it’s quite pretty.

Then, as I was playing with the fabric the pillow came to mind but obviously a pair of jeans doesn't have enough material for that so I will have to be content for the moment with a pencil case. Also a good way of doing a test run.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Star Crossed Lovers – Tanabata


I must admit I’m a sucker for a romantic story and have always loved myths and legends. I have an ever growing collection of fairy tales but must admit an ignorance of the Asian mythical stories.
Over at Style Wilderness Fourth Daughter mentioned this story of the Cow Heard and the Weaver Girl only able to meet once a year…can you imagine what that annual kiss might be like?
So, just a quickie (?) illustration of the star crossed lovers!

star crossed copy 

Actually this story is the celebration of the Tanabata or Star Festival in Japan on July 7th. People celebrate the day at home and in schools. Many cities and towns hold festivals and have Tanabata displays decorating the main streets. In some regions, people light lanterns and float them on the river, or float bamboo leaves on the river.

The festival traces its origins to a legend that the Cowherd Star (Altair) and Weaver Star (Vega), separated by the Milky Way, are allowed to meet just once a year-on the seventh day of the seventh month. Tanabata originated more than 2000 years ago with an tale called Kikkoden. Once there was a weaver princess named Orihime and a cow herder prince named Hikoboshi After they got together, they were playing all the time and forgot their jobs. The king was angry and separated them on opposite sides of the Amanogawa River (Milky Way). The king allowed them to meet only once a year on July 7th.

In Japan people write their wishes on narrow strips of coloured paper and hang them, along with other paper ornaments, on trees or bamboo branches placed in the backyards or entrances of their homes. They then pray hard that their wishes will come true. The most common Tanabata decorations are colourful streamers. Streamers are said to symbolise the weaving of threads. Other common decorations are Toami (casting net), which means good luck for fishing and farming and Kinchaku (bag), which means wealth.

The Tanabata festival is thought to have started in China. It was transmitted to Japan during the feudal period and combined with traditional local customs to become an official event at the Imperial court, with different localities developing their own distinctive ways of celebrating.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

IF – Diary

I really like the Harry Potter idea of having a ‘pensive’, a place to dump all those extra thought that clutter up your mind and I guess that’s essentially what a diary is, a mind dump!

This weeks word for Illustration Friday is ‘Diary’ and apart from the de fragging (not a rude word just computer speak for cleaning up) of the brain, I immediately thought of this song that I would listen to over and over again when I was a kid. I just loved the music of Bread.


Diary - Bread

I found her diary underneath a tree.
and started reading about me
The words she's written took me by surprise
you'd never read them in her eyes.
They said that she had found the love she waited for.
Wouldn't you know it, she wouldn't show it.
When she confronted with the writing there,
simply pretended not to care.
I passed it off as just in keeping with
her total disconcerting air
and though she tried to hide
the love that she denied,
wouldn't you know it, she wouldn't show it.
And as I go through my life, I will give to her my wife
all the sweet things that I can find.
I found her diary underneath a tree.
and started reading about me.
The words began stick and tears to flow.
Her meaning now was clear to see.
The love she'd waited for was someone else not me
Wouldn't you know it, she wouldn't show it.
and as I go through my life, I will wish for her his wife
all the sweet things that she can find
all the sweet things they can find

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday night, do do do, do do, do do!

Ok that title might seem a bit random if you don’t know the song!


Anyhoo, this Saturday night I am sitting down to my home made creamy mushroom soup. I am also reading an amazing, insightful and helpful book. But first the soup!

On the last day of my Bendigo holiday my mum and I went for a wander around all those little out of the way shops that you don’t always get time to see. As we were walking around we walked past a lovely café and as it was time for lunch decided to see what soup was on offer, Creamy Mushroom Soup was the soup of the day with a crusty Baguette. OK I thought this sounds nice and ‘Oh My’ was it ever and I have been a little obsessed with having a go at making my own ever since. So voila!

Creamy Mushroom Soup

1 Tbspn Butter
10-12 Medium Mushrooms
1 litre vegetable stock
1/2 cup cream

So basically sauté your roughly chopped mushrooms in butter for 5 min until slightly wilted, add vegetable stock and allow to come to the boil, simmer for 10 min. Turn off the heat and stir through the cream.
I actually made mine Friday so I left it overnight which gave it better flavour. YUM!

The Book
Simplicity Parenting – Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids
By Kim John Payne, M.Ed.

Simplicity Parenting is all about the ‘Less is More’ principle and about fostering in your children calmness, mindfulness, reflection and individuality. A practical guide to creating a haven of peace in a frenetic world, this book suggests how to streamline and
de clutter your home environment, establish rhythms and rituals, schedule a break in the schedule and scale back on media and information overload.

I have really enjoyed reading this book as it helps to remind me of the things I know but sometimes forget in the fast paced consumer society we live in. It has come along at a time when I have been consciously thinking about what’s important and how to continue the simplification process in my and my family’s life. I thoroughly recommend this book.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bringing Home the Treasure

Well I guess it had to happen, the end of the holidays *sigh*

So now I will show you some of the treasure discovered, new and old.

Something New

Seriously loving the work of Courtney Brims Brisbane artist.courtney-brims_portrait

Image here


Card purchased from Bop Boutique Bendigo Go visit here for cute and kooky stuff.

courtneybrims1  Picture 3

Something Old

My mum was in  give away mode and so I scored big time.

First this super cute tin which I can remember being around forever and when I had a look underneath I saw it was a Coles of Melbourne Toffee Tin!  But wait there’s more…


…upon opening eureka! Inside it was full of mums old swap cards which I used to play with as a kid. Some of them are actually playing cards and some used to belong to my Grandpa’s sister when she was a kid so they are quite old…but wait there’s more…


Then mum pulled out her old magazines and posters she had on her wall as a teen, how awesome are these (just a small selection mind you). Oh Elvis, Tom Jones, you devils you!!! I don’t know who the blondie is but love her hair  and as for the teen love mag’s, everything your mother never told you my dear, so sweet!


Well that’s my show and tell for today. I’ll have to let you in on my op shop finds next!