Sunday, December 28, 2008


It's been a while since I have been able to be crafty/creative - I have been soaking up the sun - surfing, snorkling, walking, etc. Making the most of the holiday atmosphere. Instead I post images I did a while ago but which I have not had a chance to post. Terrible photos - taken with my imac but cest la vie. I love having this forum to post and write so I keep plodding along, waiting for that one sparling moment when I sit down again with brush and paint.

These images were all done with watercolour pencils.

Bless you all and hope you had a relaxing xmas

Friday, December 26, 2008

Witches Charms

I bought myself the book "The Little World of Elves and Fairies" for Christmas. $11 second hand. It was in a bookstore in Dee Why for years and every time I went in I would say "no, I don't have the money". Finally, the other day, I spent half an hour looking for it until I finally found it and bought it. After about two years!!!

The illustrations are beautiful. They are by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite. Ever since I was little I was in love with this image. Being a witch was my very first career aspiration. Bless. 

Witches Charms
The weather is fair, the wind is good
Up, dame, on your horse of wood!
Or else tuck up your grey frock,
And saddle your goat or your green cock,
And make his bridle a ball of thread
To roll up how many miles you have rid.
Quickly come away,
For we all stay.

The owl is abroad, the bat and the toad,
And so is the cat-a-mountain;
The ant and the mole sit both in a hole,
And the frog peeps out of the fountain,
The dogs they do bay, and the timbrels play.
The spindle is now a-turning;
The moon it is red, and the stars have fled,
But the sky is a-burning.

Ben Jonson.

I know it is Christmas and not Halloween, however it is always the right time for witchy things. Here are a few relatively old pics of mine (2007)

The Fortune Teller

Halloween 2007


Monday, December 22, 2008

Pepperkake fun

I took inspiration from the blog 'Tiny Happy' and made Norwegian spicy Christmas biscuits - Pepperkake. There are a few recipes on the internet and I just used one that I thought was the best for me. They were really really good; the white pepper is fabulous. I iced them with an icing sugar and lemon juice mix. 

The dough needs refrigeration for 24 hours and rather than rolling it out and using my lovely cookie cutter shapes, I was lazy and cut the dough into irregular 'bits'. I thought they looked terrific. The dough was enough to make heaps - I still have a ball of fresh dough in the fridge (I wrapped three large orange size balls). 

All the cooked ones are gone...only crumbs and the absent smell of nutmeg and ginger. A few for the neighbours, a few for a friend and the rest for us. Fat and happy.

Happy Christmas Blossoms!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bag of Bliss

On my doorstep from Susan. It smells divine. Will drink some tomorrow.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Buttons and chai

The Christmas decorations turned into pictures. I couldn't help myself.

And the buttons...

Me: "Hey Pauline, I know that room is your store room but you know those buttons in there...Are they for sale???"

Pauline: ""Why? Do you want them?".

Me: "Ooooh yes if you are selling them".

Pauline: "No, you can have them". 

Me: "No, really I couldn't!"

Pauline: "I will be glad to get rid of them, I keep having to pick them up off the floor".

And that is how I came across the buttons.
Such generous people in this life!
And waiting on my doorstep was another Christmas present. A beautiful bag of chai tea from a friend who delivered it while I was at work. I am so lucky. Photos to come.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Urban wonder

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU

Another animation

This is so beautiful. So lovely to watch. Urban street art wonder. Simple yet complex, sophisticated yet whimsical.  

Long live Youtube 


Monday, December 15, 2008

Loving and leaving

My dear friend Georgina left to live in England yesterday. I will miss her to pieces but will visit soon I am sure. Georgina with the English rose skin, the heart shaped face, the love of dance, and the appreciation for delicious food is nanny to Damian and Marianne's three beautiful girls. Marianne's gorgeous blog is listed in my blog list under applehead. Marianne loves and has purchased some of 'Amanda Blake's' art which is also listed in my blog list. I don't know Amanda Blake but I too love her work. And why do I write all of this? I guess I love the little intricacies, interconnections, relationships and inspirations in life and on the web. 

Bye Georgie girl, Marianne, Damien and the girls! See you soon on the other side of the world. 

Ps. This photo is not Georgie walking away, but my partner walking along Manly pier. Just a metaphorical shot.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

A lovely animation

I just want to share a great YouTube animation - simple yet so effective. 


Saturday, December 13, 2008


December...My darling December. 

I love this time of year but, like most other people, I am so frantic there is not much time to sit and enjoy. The canvas is blank, the brushes are dry and the remnants of November's glorious artmaking activities take over my desk - trying to say "hey! I am still here you know!

I am not complaining as the artmaking sits at the back of my head waiting for another Froghopkins Rennaissance. I cancelled the markets on Saturday due to bad weather and laziness; and really, my heart was not in it.  

Instead I do other things. Working, engagement parties, walking for fitness and health again. 

And I surfed today. I 'rode' my first two Sydney waves ever. I have been surfing countless times to no avail. I have caught waves before but these are the first two I can honestly say I rode. I am reluctant to include that glorious time in Waikiki where I rode a long board on a wave which seemed to go on for eternity. That one seemed too easy, too magnificent, too glorious. If I am to include that one I would say I have 'ridden' three waves in my life. BLISS.

I love summer.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Camilla and the Crow, final

Camilla and the Crow

It is done. Finito. The bubbles around her head are of glistening gold, as is her necklace. She definitely is royalty. 

It is funny but I am working with only 8 colours at the moment - 2 blues, 2 reds, and ochre yellow and black and white. Oh, and of course gold. I need to do some shopping otherwise all the paintings will end up looking the same. But then, sometimes it is nice to have some constraints within which to work. And we can't always have everything.

Now to the shops to get another coffee and some chocolate. 


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Camilla and the Crow, getting there.

Camilla and the Crow - update:

Ahh, I love progresssssssss. Nearly finished. I am aware that at the moment any little mark could change the work dramatically. So I am taking it slow. Oh so slow. Working with oils means I have little time for other projects such as the 'Loveliness not Perfection' book. Oh well. Wherever my arty heart goes, I follow. 


Friday, November 28, 2008

Camilla and the Crow.

Camilla and the Crow
And they all came from far and wide 
to see the crow and his bride.
From her hair the flowers grow,
Perched atop, the wisest crow.
They arched their necks, a glimpse they tried
And at her beauty they all sighed.
How magnificent! They all cried,
They dabbed their tears and wiped their eyes.

Unfinished yes, but getting there. I began last night and have had a few hours progress this morning. Will continue at end of day. The oils are getting easier to work and blend.

Another soggy weekend and I still did not learn my lesson in shutting the windows at night - again the rain poured in the bedroom window! The guttering is not good and torrents flow noisily right outside the window. Must ask the landlord to redirect.

I found this large feather a while back. I do have an obsession with crows/ravens/currawongs/whatever we call them here in the land of Oz. I love how their mystery and intensity translate over so many countries, myths and cultures.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Oils Well That Ends Well

The Palette

I am not really able to blog much at the moment. A little speed hump in the road that is life. A few days ago I began a mini-oil painting. I have only used oils a couple of times in my life so the task was relatively difficult in terms of how to use them, the conventions of oils, etc. When starting out it was easy to confuse the oils with some of the other mediums I use. 
I managed however to get a bit of a flow. This is what I accomplished over the course of a couple of days. The work is only postcard size.


Another Messy Desk


Ahhh Finito.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Marcelline and Butterfly String


Another decoration to add to the Froghopkins tree. Her name is Marcelline. 

I think I have a thing for 'M' names at the moment. 

Her dress is made from a beautiful paper I bought from an art supplies store at least a year ago. I have been wanting to use it for ages but never got around to it.

I have had a couple of days where I haven't been able to do anything - I had to take a break from most things and get to bed early. This time of year is a little exhausting! I made myself do page 7 of the 'Loveliness not Perfection' book just to keep me going. All I could do was a butterfly on a string... 

Butterfly on a String...
How many other girls, she wondered innocently, also had their very own butterfly on a string.

Back to normal now I think. Marcelline helped me to realise that.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Birdy surprise

At the beginning of this week my mum asked me to make her some cards after seeing my birdy lino (see page 2 of the 'Loveliness not Perfection' book). I thought I would post her a surprise. I made 6 cards - very very simple - just a gloss card with the lino print on japanese washi paper. I thought of doing a few paper layers but I thought the prints worked better on their own.

Being able to work on the messiest of desks (note the CD, internet connection, sketch book, toilet paper for blotting my watercolours!)
I love how you can print in the smallest of spaces without a press and still get a nice result. Gotta love the little things.

Tools of my trade.
After so many years I have amassed rather a large collection of tools. Tools for printing, for cutting, for painting, for collage, for sketching, for sewing, phew. 

The collection
I ran out of the cream/white washi so had to move onto the cream/yellow. It was ok but not as nice.

Finito with a silver ribbon
And this is the little parcel I sent my mum. Her name is Helen so I addressed it "Herron, from your ruvry dorter", only because I think I am quite funny most of the time. 

I think she will be surprised. Please Australia post, don't let me down (this time).


Fairy dust and dusty heads

My entry into reality this morning was a little slow and I don't think I am quite there yet. As a 6am riser, to wake at 8am is a little surreal, and three hours, a HUGE coffee and a croissant later my head is still very dusty.

I have been loving leaving the bedroom window open as I sleep so I can get some fresh air. Whilst it is a little dodgy considering we live on the bottom floor, I can't resist natural air whilst I sleep. Last night it absolutely poured with rain and I woke to see (as much as you can see in the dark!) the curtains soaked and puddles of water near the bed...nothing a few towels wouldn't fix. But, you know, there was something really lovely about the elements overtaking the bedroom, and something lovely about my arms and face being soaked as I closed the windows.

I have spent the last few hours making another mermaid - Madeleine. Again, more ochre red against greeny/blue, and sprinklings of gorgeous glitter. She is much bigger than her sister. Both hang on the Froghopkins tree looking lovely. Wondering what a mermaid has to do with Christmas would be quite natural, however, considering us Aussies spend our summers in the stinking  heat having BBQs at the beach, well it is not so strange is it? I do like the watery theme.


And what to do with the excess glitter that WONT go back in the tube? Sprinkle it around the window of course! Although you can't see it in the photo, trust me, it's there.

The house that I live in is quite odd I think. We are renting here and I have loved it from the day I saw it. Outside my artroom, facing the street, is one of two gargoyles (there are more out the back) and all the little kids stare at him as they walk past. My landlord says he is to keep away evil spirits. I will post more photos of this crazy house in the future. It is quite fabulous at Halloween.

Well, that's it for now. I really thought that would be a short entry but it never quite works out like that ;-)

What a nice day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Philomena and the mermaid

I lay in bed at 4:30am this morning thinking how there was absolutely no way I would be able to go back to sleep. The solution to that? Complete page 6 of the 'Loveliness not Perfection" book:

Page 6
Philomena liked to spend all day in her purple ballet shoes. And everyday she would think "what pretty shoes I have".

And then I moved onto Marguerite the Mermaid. She started off as a whole picture however she did not sit well so I cut her out and made her into a decoration for the Froghopkins tree. I think she is more beautiful in real life. Nothing compares to an ocean-themed image combined with good quality glitter that shines beautifully. I have always loved the combination of red hair with deep blue/green. I saw the combination on a model in a magazine once and have loved it ever since. Looking at Marguerite now makes me realise I have used my favourite combo unintentionally. 

Marguerite the Mermaid

Op shopping

My trip to my local 'Lifeline' yesterday was dangerous. I am not a huge op shopper and when I go I mostly buy knick knacks and jewellery rather than clothes. Yesterday was bliss. I found three skirts then a whole lot of lovely other objects. In the end, as per usual, I had to abandon the skirts so I could buy the toys. Go figure. Here are a couple of the goodies I bought...

Deer me!

Apparently this ceramic deer was made in Canada. I fell in love with him straight away. There is no marking or signature on him so I will just imagine he was born and bred in the Canadian Rockies. Over Christmas he will sit under the Froghopkins tree and then he will come back into my art room to keep me company as I wile away the hours.

Pretty blue
I loved the colour of this cheapo vase. Such a beautiful blue. And the blossoms are so pretty. I look forward to putting some flowers in this.

Kewpie cutie

I have always loved Kewpies - who couldn't? This little cutie I also fell in love with although I thought the dress it came in was not very fabulous. I binned the dress and now the kewpie stands nakie on my bookshelf. 

My partner asks where am I going to put all these things I keep bringing home with me. I ignore the question artfully and I know that I will always find a place for them. Besides, imagine all the people I am helping by shopping at my local Lifeline.


Monday, November 17, 2008

The big post. Procrastination tea anyone?

I wanted to post some images I have done in the last few weeks as they were 'pre-blog' and I want to keep a record of them.

Blue bird decoration
This has been added to the Froghopkins twig tree. It balanced the tree up nicely. Hand painted with Japanese Yuzen paper collage and a page from an old book on technology in art. I like the irony of that.


Again, hand painted watercolour and Japanese Yuzen paper collage. I love her necklace - this was already part of the paper and not painted on! How perfect.

Pink Alice

During my 12 week internship at a boy's school I had to teach the boys watercolour techniques. As a result I have a small pile of watercolour paper with wash blobs all over them. Pink Alice was born from one of these blobs. Like one of those weird psychological blob pictures, I saw Alice in this. A little mish-mashed and very imperfect but it really resonates with me.


The birds liked the colour of her hair. It was like the softest straw they had ever seen. How lovely they thought.

Again, watercolour, some collage.

The Tea Party

The Tea Party was done ages ago (a year or so?). Never documented this one. The bubbles and tea pot and seagulls are 3D - using mounting tape.

Now I have to get back to the real world. Sometimes that is delicious and sometimes I would rather dream.


Can't I just make art forever???

I had every intention of beginning work today at 8am to catch up on those "working from home" hours I lost last week. However it is now 11am and I am still not there. I have had coffee, banana bread, been to visit my local discount store for a friend's birthday present (cheap I know, but some very cutesy Japanese notepads, cups, etc.), and now I am doing this. I also want to go to my local op shop today. I guess what all this means is that once I have finished these entries I must work consistently until early evening. Hmmmm, I will sit on that one.

Until then, here is the most recent "Loveliness not Perfection" entries.

Page 4:

The Seagulls...
Most days she would go down to the ocean and watch the seagulls circle the rocks.

I wasn't sure about this page. Too much going on, the seagulls are fat and weird and I don't like the white halo around her. She does have glitter hair and I quite like that. Still, I did say it was loveliness not perfection I was after.

Page 5:

Vintage Clothes...
Millicent knew how good she looked in vintage clothes.

After the mish-mash of the last page I wanted to keep this one simple. I may make changes to any of the pages as I go but for the moment I liked the simplicity of this one. I wanted the focus on the Japanese Yuzen pattern, and of course, on Millicent.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Birdy Abundance page 2 and 3

Here are pages two and three of the "loveliness not perfection" book. Such a little book, such yummy fun.

Page 2 (lino print on paper):
Little Bird...
How are you today little bird? What did you see? What did you do? Oh if only I could be like you.

Page 3 (Felt and paper collage):
The Apples...
On that day I decided that the abundance of apples meant I would have a full and rosy life.