Monday, 26 November 2007

more christmas decorations...

This little guy is hand beaded and embroidered. A slow and time consuming technique, but a relaxing one.

the bird motif seems to be a very popular one, and one that I normally avoid. But it seemed appropriate for christmas.

I decided to steer away from felt for this one. Ideally I'd like to be using more vintage fabrics, but my stash is a little depleted. So vintage silk wings (one of my favouritest fabrics courtesy of mel) teamed here with striped cotton that was originally intented to become 3/4 pants for miss bella. Not finished yet, but I mainly wanted to test out the hand applique stitch that I recently saw demonstated on a daytime quilting show (very sad, I know..but these nanna's have a lot of skills to teach!)
I have a bunch of ideas fliting around in my head, so hopefully there will be loads more to come.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

one big softie

here's my latest creation, his name is Moxy-Maou.

I think softies are so cute, so I couldn't help making one. feeling a bit creative this week. I'm making christmas tree decorations again, same as last year. They look really amazing when hung on a tree.

These little gems are all hand beaded and embroidered. I'm wondering if I should consider an etsy shop? but it's probably a bit late for this yuletide season...

I also dragged the sewing machine out of hibernation...I need to make my daughters flower-girl dress, for which I drafted the pattern months ago, managed to cut out the toille and never took it any further. Well today I sewed up the toille (test run made from calico) and fitted it so now I can make any alterations and proceed to make the actual dress. Fun times. :-)

Don't forget to comment me below on the PIF post if you want a free handmade gift...

Monday, 19 November 2007

Pay it forward

I'd never heard of this before, what a fantastic concept.

Here's the deal: The first three people who leave a comment on this post will receive a handmade gift from me. In return you have to pay it forward by sending a gift to three people on your blog. Leave your email address so I can grab your postal address later on.

To find out more about Paying it Forward, click here.

Friday, 16 November 2007


click on the little snowflake icon over to the's so much fun and totally addictive!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

inspirations part one

If you asked me who my inspirations in the art world are I'd be hard-pressed to find a definitive answer. There are loads of artists whose work I admire and sometimes even draw inspiration from, particularly if they might have worked with the same medium or in a similar style to myself. But when it comes to words, ask me who my literary heroes are and I will gush forth a plethora of names.
Inspiration can come from so many sources, some entirely unexpected. Not all of my inspirations are writers, though most are. And often the inspiration I draw has to do with aspects other than their writing.
Numero Uno has to be Tim Freedman, songwriter and singer of The Whitlams. I am seriously in love with this man's mind. Songwriting is not something I aspire to at all, but they way he strings words together to paint a visual image is incredible.
Markus Zusack; I love that he is Australian, I love his style. It seems that every sentence is riddled with cliche (number one writing no-no), but it works. His writing is vivid and sensual and intoxicating. I could drown in his words...
John Parkes; John was my uni lecturer and encouraged me to write and write even though he was my art lecturer. He taught me that writing isn't something I do, it's who I am. Thanks John :-)
Jodi Piccoult; I came across Jodi as I was working my way through the A&R top 100 books list. I'm new to Jodi's writing as I tend to avoid mainstream fiction these days, but after reading 'My sisters keeper' I was struck at how seamlessly she paints a portrait of peoples ordinary lives and makes them seem so real.
Angela Meyer; a fellow blogger and young Australian writer. I can't even remember how I tripped into her blog (LiteraryMinded), but I love her dedication to her craft. At just 23(?) she has been published in many journals and mags and is working on two novels. If that isn't inspiring, I don't know what is! Good luck Angela.

stay tuned for more....

Thursday, 8 November 2007

post secret

it's not the first time I've stumbled upon this site, but it still intrigues me, so I thought I'd share.

post secret is a community art project where people send in secrets written on a handmade postcard. Some secrets are funny, some are sad, some are downright crazy. All of them could be the basis for a story! What fantastic insight...

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

divine candy

Inspiration comes in many shapes and bright colours... many many years ago I was training to be a fashion designer, and even though it's a career path I've long since given up on, you can never really take the designer out of the girl! I don't get inspired to sew very often, I find it frustrating and time consuming and I am a terrible perfectionist striving for a level of perfection that I am simply not patient enough to achieve.
That said, I was seduced today by the array of vintage prints available in spotlight so much that i couldn't resist buying some.
You see, I've been suckered into being the costume designer for a film a friend of mine is producing, and I'm required to construct a 50's style wedding dress as cheaply as possible. We have pretty much decided on the design, so today I was looking at patterns for some inspiration for the actual construction and some idea on how much fabric i will need (as I'm making the pattern myself, I won't know these kinds of details).
Anyway, I discovered the 'Vintage Vogue' pattern collection which are basically recycled 40s and 50s patterns. Oh my god, they are fantastic! So Stepford Wives!
So I've actually altered my design to incorporate a few extra little features that I found in these patterns to give it a little more authenticity, and now I have to do up the sketches and pattern flats for the film guys to check over.
While I was browsing around, I noticed that there are alot of very 50s style prints in store, and they are so delecious, I simply could not resist. I got carried away on the thought of designing an entire summer collection, just for myself, based on 50s prints and styles.
How could anyone resist fabrics that look like lollipops?!

Monday, 5 November 2007

shifting down a gear

Today marks the start of a new chapter in my life.
After being the sole breadwinner for the past few years, my partner and I have now switched roles again with him re-entering the work force and me becoming a full time mum again.
It struck me today how easily I've sliped back into this role, like sliding back into step with an old friend...
The first time around, when my daughter was born nearly 6 years ago, I struggled with all sorts of identity issues surrounding the shift into parenthood which i then tranlslated into artworks during my last term at uni.
Since I've been working, I have put off doing all the things I really want to do in terms of writing and art, perhaps because I was lazy and it was a convenient excuse...either way, now I'm hoping to open up these avenues again and get creative.
I've been rolling an idea around for about a year now for a novel I want to write, so hopefully now I will find the inspiration to get it started.
Also, last week I was offered a new job working from home as a copywriter. I wasn't looking to continue working at this point, but this may be a blessing in disguise. I get to keep my hand in the jar (so to speak) while still being at home with my kids.
Bring it on!

Friday, 27 July 2007

Anticipation balls inside her
deep and hungry
she slides into her lipstick
dangerous red.
And walks, careless in the night
heels clacking defiant against the cold
hot breath swirling, dissolving.

(will he remember me?)

And there he is, across the room
catching her eye
she catches her breath
and plunges into his unexpecting embrace.

(it’s ok, we’re old friends)

Flirting glances.

(is he watching as I remove my jacket?)

I could get lost in your conversation.
Words dancing between us
from your lips to mine.
All your stories are mine.

(when did desire arrive?)

Wine wraps its languid arms around us.
We meander in the night
lag behind
lost in these moments
so transient.

(if only we knew)

I remember your hands
cupping my face
my averted gaze, blushing.
You’re beautiful, you said.
You’re lying, I said.
I’m not used to such boldness
but I believed you, anyway.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

what makes me happy:
the colour pink
the smell of coffee
fields sprayed with flowers
dark chocolate
being hugged from behind
being kissed on my neck
laughing with friends
good food
reading good writing
sunsets across the ocean
an unexpected smile
french pastries from Fre-Jac
meeting people of like mind
spontaneous hugs from my babies
garlic roasting
wet sand between my toes
collecting seashells
the smell of books

Monday, 16 July 2007

my fingers tap-dancing across the keyboard

I have been writing a lot lately. It feels so good, so right and natural. But at once it is frustrating, and I spend much of my day pensive and gazing into space; into my imagined reality.
During the day when I am busy at work, i crave writing, but by the time i get home, cook dinner, play with the kids, get them off to bed, eat, tidy up... where does the time go? And all my energy and inspiration is sapped.
How do women do this?

I feel so sad for Sylvia Plath. her poor poor children.

Monday, 2 July 2007

thirty minutes of solitude

this morning i drove to work in silence.

i switched off the radio and stepped into my own thoughts.

i was thinking about the book i am currently reading: 'the unbearable lightness of being' by milan kundera.

a couple of things: to me this book is an ultimate celebration of post-modernism. the author invites you into his story, he tells you it is nothing more than a story. are the characters imperative to the story? the author himself acknowledges that they don't exist beyond the bounds of this book, they are not people, merely tools driving the story (this is especially evident to me in the way that some seemingly important characters have dropped off throughout the story). I kind of wonder if this novel is merely a means for MK to assert his philosophy on love; as conflicted as it may be...on one hand he is exploring the sanctity of marriage and monogomy, and on the other (perhaps a desire to be a part of) the world of adultery.
there is so much subtext.
i love when i find myself staring into nowhere, suddenly seduced by what is unsaid (unwritten).

i love when he uses of words outside my own context. (imperative)

(sorry Peta...there are post-its all through your book :-)

random thought:

i was living with my head in a cloud, eating poetry for breakfast lunch and dinner, when Life sidled up to me, silent and coy, and gently took my hand.
Life brought me back to this reality of work, children, cooking countless dinners, watching tv, shopping, making love.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

journeys and endless roads

those of you who know me probably know about the journey quilt project (link somewhere down there) It was an idea designed to impel myself and Peta to work continuously, autonomously, creating art to a central theme, and coming together at the end to create something together.
The idea is something I have toyed with for years...making a piece of work on a regular basis, be it daily, weekly or whatever, as a form of documentation. For me it stemmed from the idea of keeping a journal and that journal becomming the work that it inspires. The form of a quilt seemed to be an appropriate medium for us both at the time of conception; it is tactile and nurturing, yet in so many ways a quilt is like an open story book; the pages splayed for all to see rather than closed against the world guarding its own secrets. An open book, documenting many journeys.
Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a different way of telling it.

Naturally when I stumbled (with a shove from Peta!) into Ness Donnelly's blog, 'Folk'( over there near the other one) I was intrigued. This idea is not original....what ideas are these days? but here is someone with the courage and tenacity and sheer dedication to continue working inside a set of guidelines for a specified period of time.
I have really enjoyed following your progress Ness. I will be watching with interest to see what you get up to next!!
Today Ness has posted a link to another incessant artist: Kirsty Hall and The Diary Project (do I really need to say it again?) How intriguing! I will be keeping an eye on this one also.
I wonder how many more of us there are?

My first ever implication that I might want to make a quilt was as part of an ongoing daily journal, where I had to produce a square each day for the course of an entire year, then sew them all together. This idea stemmed from another, back when I was making books....instead of making blank journals to fill, I made pages one by one and bound them into books. A diary of sorts. The quilt was merely an extention, a different medium to push the boundaries, to relate my work back to textiles.
A quilt in its very essence is like a map; a series of squares, fields across the earth; boxes on a callendar; pages in a book.
Squares are so comfortable...yet so contrived.
Squares are manmade, sharp angles, firm lines, endless roads.

yet journeys come and go in circles.

Monday, 18 June 2007


I found this article online the other day; an art conservator in Victoria, while restoring an Arthur Streeton painting (Spring) discovered secret love notes, or rather, inscriptions of love, in the painting more than 120 years after it was painted.
It got me to thinking: what secrets would be revealed if people were passed under the UV light? I mean, everyone has secrets: secret thoughts, desires, history's.
Think about it...what information do you choose not to disclose to people?
I love the idea of something hidden just below the surface, hidden layers, secrets trapped.
It takes me back to some of the work I did while at uni that stemmed from the idea of layers as applied to the facets of a persons personality. The notions that we are in fact many different people in all the different situations in our lives. We are never just a writer, an artist, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a lover, a wife. We are all of those things and many more. And of those, how many more facets are there that we keep hidden?

Friday, 15 June 2007

a while back a friend sent me a copy of Jack Kerouacs thirty essential 'Beliefs and Techniques for Modern Prose'. The whole list is strange to say the least, not quite adhering to what one would expect from a guide to writing. Number 14 though resonated with me in its strangeness:
"Like Proust be an old teahead of time"
I couldn't make any sense of this and was keen to find some sort of explanation.
My initial search led me to believe he was a 'pothead'. probably not a far stretch for a writer, but this didn't seem to sit quite right.
Anyway, I pulled a book of essays off my shelf the other day called 'Timepieces' by Drussilla Modjeska. I bought it years ago after partly reading Stravinsky's Lunch (sadly i never finished). Anyway, I was randomly leafing through and Prousts name jumped off the page and slapped me in the face.
Here's what I found:

"I think I'm a temporiser. It's a term Andre Aciman uses of himself, and of a certain sort of memorist, of whom the greatest- the incomparable- example, is Proust. Temporising, in Aicman's view, is an attitude of mind which develops in certain people who can find themselves engulfed, even tipped off balance, by the sadness of the present. "The incurable imperfection in the very essence of the present", Proust says..... they slip into other time frames; in other words, they play with time. They propel themselves into wishful thinking, fantasising, all kinds of story telling, as a way of coaxing life into more controllable possibilities. They return to a troubled present once it has passed and reconsider it from a safer vantage point. A life of imagination, lived on the page, takes on a reality that can be a powerful as the reality their body inhabits."
(page 75)

It all makes perfect sense. Imagine living your life not in the present, but outside this moment, only to return when the dust has settled and take it all in, analyse from an objective standpoint.
To the active mind, I think, analysis offers a 'safe' way of dealing with issues; with emotions. As the analyst, you objectify what is happening around you, to you.
Callous and un-compassionate? or simply protecting my most fragile asset? My heart.

Monday, 11 June 2007

cliche or metaphor?
what's the difference?