Creativity: Artist Scrapbook 25

Another week gone by, this time with my husband in hospital with pneumonia, and me home with a lesser version. Not very conducive to creativity, although I have done some work on an eye-spy quilt for my grand daughter, and some little drawings/paintings worked on beside the fire at night.as88

I used to love spending an hour or two in the big Border’s bookstore in Carlton, browsing through endless shelves of books and music, and carrying a few choice items up the back to the coffee shop for closer perusal. So, so sad when it all closed! The two quotes here refer to Kurt Cobain.as89

On the opposite page, one of my poems, the title inspired by a (slightly snarky) remark from my husband, who saw me writing something one day and assumed it was an “ode” to Kurt. It was a shopping list…Underneath it is a loose sheet on which I copied a scholarly piece about Kurt’s playing style from a book on Guitar players.



On the reverse of the poem, my Peace Love Empathy symbol, which developed quite organically over a period of weeks many years ago. It is generally coloured in, starting with red on the innermost heart and all the little loops, with the hearts in the colours of the spectrum. So, that’s the rainbow for Peace, Hearts for Love, and the blood drops for Empathy.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Summer Lovin’

It’s been cold and wet, as winter should be, and ideas of summer seem far, far away. Yet every day is a little longer, sometimes the air is almost warm, and any day now, Christmas…paraphernalia will be appearing in stores. And what do I love about summer? There’s a lot to dislike…days over 40C, bushfires, mosquitoes, Christmas…paraphenalia that comes out earlier every year and seemingly more of it, and most of it destined for landfill, sport…

At the beginning of summer, those first real t-shirt days are a pleasure, and there are the summer blooms and fruits to look forward to.SummerChristmas (apart from a surge of junk in shops) brings a quiet day spent with family. For the past couple of years, those of us available have taken a picnic to the botanical gardens in Melbourne, a perfect way to spend a summer’s day.picnicReflected in Tristan’s shades, you can see  the picnic rug, me standing, Lucie and Alex on the seat on my left, and Bryan nearest the front.tableau

Christmas decorations at our house have become more individual and arguably more interesting as the years go by. I find it bizarre to decorate with European snow images as we march into blazing hot summer. But I do like fairy lights!

summer paintingI searched through my files, trying to find the photo this (unfinished) painting is based on, with no luck. Maybe it’s in a box, not a digital file. Anyway, it was a glorious evening in Perth, and we drove to the beach to picnic and watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean. The family we were visiting are in Canberra now, so we may never do it again, which adds a piquancy to this scene. I have no idea who these people were, only that they had the same idea as we did, and that they gave me an immensely satisfying summer lovin’ composition that I could hardly wait to make into a painting. My favourite part was the way the sunlight caught in the soft-drink bottle between them – also the comfortable sharing of their evening and the view.


Creativity: Artist Scrapbook 24


The quote at the top of the page is ” Redemption only comes after we have moved through the horrors of our present situation to the better world that lies beyond it.” Derrick Jenson (author of “A Language Older Than Words’). I made free use of my stitches stamp to decorate the page, along with doodles and pasted on pieces of card. The tea-bag envelope contains a card with these words, from poet W.B. Yeats – “From our birthday until we die, Is but the winking of an eye.” Its from a sheet of stickers intended for card-making, but I can’t imagine that anyone would want to put such a gloomy sentiment on a birthday card!as85


More peace love empathy on the next page, too. Our first computer (how did we ever get along without it!) came with an art-making disc, which we had a lot of fun with. The kids got the hang of it better than I did, of course – they were using computers at school, and they had the advantage of just being young. You could do all sorts of things with it, but it wouldn’t even run on our new computer, sadly. And there are no doubt up to date and more exciting versions. It was along time before we worked out how to print our creations, so this is a rarity!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Containers

This week’s challenge is all about containers – instead of the contents, lets look at the outside for a change…


I have a weakness for old tins and chocolate boxes, and I like to use them as containers for various sewing and other art supplies. They can be really lovely in a well-worn, Wabi Sabi way. My button collection gets sorted into jars, preferably interesting old ones.

I went to one of those markets where lots of people are offering all sorts for sale, and the only thing I wanted to take home was a wooden box full of old cutlery. I’m showing you the contents instead of the container, but you can see a bit of it!seattle chocolate

When I heard that my friend Deb was going on a trip to Seattle (and Portland, and various other places), I recommended that she check out Theo’s fabulous chocolate while she was there. Being very efficient, she photocopied a page of my travel journal with a Theo’s packet/container pasted in…And she brought me home two samples, with their gorgeous artwork. (She’s awesome as well as efficient). I have a cold, so I’m not even thinking about eating my precious Theo’s bars until I have my tastebuds back – and I’ll certainly keep the containers long after…

Confession – I still have one square of the Nirvana dark chocolate from EMP, purchased in August 2011.

Friday Poem: Love is a Verb, and I Miss You

I’m not sure why I wrote this just now – it’s not an anniversary or anything. Maybe it’s the old photos I came across recently.Annette and

Sometimes loving you seems pointless
Love is a hug when times are tough;
A cup of tea in the afternoon;
A gift that says “I thought of you”;
A secret smile in a crowded room.

But I cannot hug you-
Your shoulders are dust;
You cannot drink
The tea I brew;
The thought of the gifts
I cannot give you
Are a secret tear
In an empty room.

Yet whoever I hug, I’m hugging for you;
The cup I share I have shared for you;
You are my gift, I give love for you –
And a secret smile in an empty room.a family trip

The blonde girl in these photos, taken over forty years ago, is my little sister, Merrilyn. The first photo was taken during a picnic at Hanging Rock, which later became famous (or infamous) thanks to the film, Picnic At Hanging Rock.  The pic above shows an encounter with an emu when we were on a family holiday. The lad in the sweater is our brother, Alan, the other girl, a passing stranger.Alan and Merrilyn

In this shot, which must be older, Alan is perched in a sapling, and Merrilyn rides her tractor in the background. You might notice that our front garden and it’s decor were a little bit unusual! Behind Merrilyn is a large cast-iron English ship’s cannon, which dad rescued from being melted down for scrap. It’s still there, but Merrilyn died in early 1992, aged 27.

Creativity: Artist Scrapbook 23

Wednesday again already! I swear they are getting closer together…

There are two quotes on this next page, from Walt Whitman-

” To have the feeling I am sufficient as I am.

and Dr Seuss –

“You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.”

Words to live by!


That’s me, about 18 years ago. As a goddess, I’m still in training. Ha ha. The romantic Indian miniature is from a packet of incense – I confess my choice of incense is often influenced by the pictures on the outside more than the contents!as81Stars, and star stickers, plus a hand written description of the supposed qualities of Green Obsidian – volcanic glass.  There’s also a poem, by me, and a quote from Albert Einstein –

“Knowledge is experience – anything else is just information.”as82

Here’s an entire incense packet – this one I chose for the smell, although the pack is beguilingly shiny! I haven’t put anything inside it, but flat packaging like this can easily be converted into a pocket to hold surprise items inside your book., either by adhering it to another page, or punching holes near the edge and binding it in.as83

This Emerson quote is squeezed onto a tiny piece of purple card, and slipped into a pocket that originally held a tea bag.  I especially liked this brand for embellishing books and altered postcards because of the kettle on the packet, and the old-fashioned pointing hand on the bag tag. Tea bags often have nice graphics and I like to save them, especially when travelling – cafes use different brands, so you get some variety! And variety is a good thing.


1 Day 1 World Project: 10pm – 11pm

Like Lisa in Edmond, Washington State, who came up with the 1 Day 1 World Project, I tend to think that 10pm is time for bed. Last night I was up a bit later, because Bryan had been out to play practice again (it will be  performed next month). There was Nothing On TV or at least, nothing I wanted to see, and it was too cold to be anywhere but by the fire. So I put a music DVD (Nirvana, on the In Utero tour) on and did some drawing with pigma pens and watercolour, and then switched to spinning alpaca fleece into yarn. It looks like steel wool, but it’s as soft as down.

10 o’clock was time to pack up and get ready for bed.

First things first, put tht kettle on to fill my hot water bottle. The digital kettle tells me how cold the water is before heating it to my required 80C. (That’s 50F to 170F). Much better!10pm 7

However cold and wet it is outside, a hot hot  water bottle and a pile of pillows and blankets will make a snuggly nest from which to survey the moonlit cloudy winter sky. I wish I could show you a photo of those moonlit clouds, but I don’t have the camera for the job. They were like a great sheet of old fashioned cotton wool, eerily backlit and very beautiful when viewed from a warm bed!