Saturday, December 25, 2010

For me

I bought myself 1 present for Christmas. Oh, except for that extra night in a Melbourne hotel!

My present?

A product from the AUM makeup range.

Ultra Hydrating Rose Facial toner.

Certified organic.
Australian made.
Cruelty free.
Fairtrade.

Yum.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Little Spaces

What does one do
When one lives in a shoe (box)
- with no room for a tree?

No, seriously, living in a studio appartent I have no room for a normal size Christmas tree. This can be disappointing because I love the smell and look of a huge, green, real Christmas tree! But, decorating the small places can be just as fun.
 
 This is my 'outside tree'. A small Aussie Christmas bush decorated with a few bits and bobs.

And this is my 'inside tree'. A twig decorated with my felt hearts, knitted stockings, glass icicles and wooden peg gnomes.
 
A little nest with felt acorns rests in one of the boughs.

At the base sits another antique wooden peg gnome-ess I made, as well as some of my ceramic birds.

Other decorations include an antique bottle, some Australian gum tree branches, and bees wax candles.

Some ceramic deer I picked up from a thrift shop and garage sale.

Felt hearts are hung in the doorway.

So, these are some of my ideas for decorating the little spaces for Christmas.

x

Christmas on the road.

Only two more working days until we jump in the car and go road tripping. 
Exactly one year since the last road trip.
Waterholes, native animals, magical little places. 
Christmas on the road.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Yum


I love this  Holiday giveaway from Mummy Sam!
x

That Felt Nice...


Image and pattern from http://annamariahorner.blogspot.com/2006/12/cozy-up-with-blanket.html


I love these felt garlands from Anna Maria! I first saw them on 'Whip Up' and wanted to share them as well.

So easy to make and so beautiful.

I want to make some - when I do I will post them here. If you make some, show me!
x

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sparrow head




A step on from my little clay birds.

I have been wanting to do something a bit different and make a pretty little fairy doll.

Once I had done the head and neck however, I quite liked the look of a mini clay bust. And then, of course, the bird just had to be added.  

I hope it doesn't fall apart in the kiln when firing!

x

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Perfect

Nature is so perfect.

In the wild storms of a couple of months ago I found this nest.
Tree branches and leaves lined the streets, having been ripped from trees by the wind.

In a lovely mass of twigs in the middle of the road lay this beautiful nest.
It is not small. About 20cm.
It is perfect.

The white fleece in the centre, amazingly was placed there perfectly by the bird who made it. It looks like it was done by a human hand.

The little native leaves, and a tiny little bit of banksia blossom were also there when found.
Perfect.

Just to let you know, I would never pluck a nest from a tree. Ever.

Near my house in the undergrowth is a finches' nest. Like a little hidden bundle of woven twigs with a perfectly round entrance.
If I move the reeds I can see the nest. I dare not touch it. It looks like it is not in use but I would hate for my touch to ruin someone else's home.

So, I claimed this nest pictured for my own and would like to share it with you.

Love


x

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Felt the Love


Felt hearts with vintage buttons and vintage lace and an awkward little blanket stitch.
Hung along the door frame with a little piece of bluetack - they are so light they won't fall down.
And wrapped in some second hand tissue paper for gifts.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Brown Sugar Oaty Splodges


I get super hungry at night.
I only ever do a daily shop so I never have anything in the fridge or cupboard except typical pantry items.

So, I cook oat cookies. 
Oat cookies of any variety possible.
I don't measure. I don't use a recipe. 
I just get a noodle bowl and fill it with ingredients, stir, get the right consistency, then taste the batter. If the batter is good, then the cookies will be good. Well, that's the idea anyway.

Tonight...
Brown sugar, old banana, currant, coconut oat cookies.

Ingredients:
1 scary old banana
A dumping of brown sugar
A dumping of wholemeal self-raising flour
A couple of handfuls of oats
Maybe a little more self-raising flour 
A dumping of coconut
A dumping of currants
A bit of old custard powder
A splash of milk
A slick of rice bran oil
More brown sugar
Fingers crossed. Taste. Yum...

Then I splodge spoonfuls of the mix in baking paper, keeping space between each splodge. Shake brown sugar over cookies. Cook at 180 degrees till I think they are toasty.

Such a technical feat.
So delicious.
'Where's my cookies?'
'Coming dear'...grin...eat...yum...Happy.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sea Shells by the Sea Shore

The non-stop rain has meant a blooming of the most wonderful fungi...

Seaweed like a mini tree...

 A bucket found in the sand used to collect shells. A little paddle in the water...

Marks in an old trunk made by insects? Reminding me of an ancient text.

Happy Monday
x

Friday, December 3, 2010

Birds of a Feather, Christmas Together




After such a long time of not posting, my photography has gone a little downhill. It was hard to photograph these little ceramic birds. I have made them for Christmas presents - a touch of blue and green and a rubbing of gold dust. I have heard other bloggers say the same, but after making presents and decorations I feel no desire to buy anything - no tinsel, no nothing. It's a nice feeling.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Meditation and Discipline


As a break from marking and reporting (and consequent utter brain drain) I have been crocheting and making felt heart decorations for Christmas (more to come).


However, yesterday I thought ENOUGH - I need a day off from marking and reporting. I need a day just enjoying my teaching practice. And so I did exactly what the kids were doing - realistic representations of scientific specimens.


Yes, I feel so much more relaxed, and ready for a full weekend of catch up reports. Sometimes all we need is that little bit of time out.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lost...in art

A well worthy link for you.



Lost At E Minor

For creative people like us ;-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Never Say Never...Ever

Never was a pink girl. Never.
Tomorrow at work we wear pink for breast cancer awareness. I have a new pink scarf with black polka dots. Perfect. And a pink T with glitter. Even more perfect.
And a vintage brooch with pink rhinestones.
It's summer. A new page here. Guess what? It's pink. With lolly stripes.
What is going on please? I think I am starting to love pink.
I sense this may continue for a while.

Happy summer
x

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Underground

It feels as if it has been an eternity since I last wrote something here.

Two days until Spring and all of a sudden I feel like cooking, gardening and making art. Things I have not done for so so long!

I almost have forgotten who the hell Marshmallow Beanie is. I'm starting to think that you can never find yourself again no matter how hard you try, primarily because changes in life happen so fast. The question of 'who am I' becomes totally redundant, rather it is 'where am I going' and 'who do I want to be'.

Something in the universe has forced me to stop. 3 days in bed with the flu and I feel like something has re-awoken in me. All of a sudden work does not seem as important and all-encompassing as it did.

So I got out of my p.js and with a groggy, stuffy, dizzy head I went to the supermarket to make Osso Bucco. The meat was heavily discounted. Heavily discounted. The use-by date indicates that it goes 'off' tomorrow. Rubbish. I have bought so much meat on special lately. I need to save what few pennies I have, and it has all been perfectly fine.

So, browning of the flour covered meat. Deglazing with red wine (the recipe said white but I have two bottles from a convention which has just sat there considering I am a non-drinker) then a bottle of tomato passata. Cooking covered very low for an hour and a half. Will serve with polenta (quick cook of course) and sprinkle with parsley and garlic. Green beans with the very best olive oil and salt and pepper on the side.

Now I sit wondering what now? Back to work tomorrow and I know it won't take long for the madness to kick in. But, just my luck, it's Friday.

Time to emerge from the underground.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dear Diary, you suck.

The topic for Illustration Friday this week is 'Diary' so I have been playing with that. I am obsessed. Have not done a completed illustration yet but have done some ramblings...

- Dear Diary,
Today I cried because Marion from Masterchef got kicked off the show. I cried for the loss of cuteness in my world. She was so damn cute!

- Dear Diary,
Today I wanted to Twitter that my damn internet connection was not working. The trouble is, you need internet connection to Twitter.

- Dear Diary,
They are having a party upstairs and did not invite me. But I hate parties anyway.

- Dear Diary,
I always write my diary pretending that someone will one day read it.

- Dear Diary,
Today I saw a big fat black rabbit eating grass on the side of the road. I know it was someone's pet but now I wish I had kidnapped it. I would have grabbed it, thrown it into my car and driven away really really fast. I desperately want a pet but have nowhere to put one.

- Dear Diary,
I hate keeping journals and never have.

- Dear Diary,
I once read that journalling can help you to be less stressed. But I also read that journalling can make you more of a stress head? Where is the truth I ask?

- Dear Diary,
How do I save 1 million dollars to get to the moon? I would do anything to go to the moon.

- Dear Diary,
I always give myself a bigger food portion than my boyfriend but hide it very well.

- Dear Diary,
I hate sad movies and very rarely cry in them. I will never ever watch the 'Notebook' and I don't care how good you think it is.

- Dear Diary,
Are you just a sorry replacement for God?

- Dear Diary,
I secretly cringe during weddings whilst everyone else gushes. I also don't find babies that cute.

- Dear Diary,
I could not care less about stretchmarks.

- Dear Diary,
I hate the phone and very rarely answer it.

- Dear Diary,
Why does everyone have a therapist. And why do they always say 'My therapist says...' Is there something wrong with me if I don't have a therapist?

- Dear Diary,
I went snowboarding and hated it until my boyfriend wanted to use my excellent board. After that, I have never had so much fun in my life.

- Dear Diary,
I sometimes worry I will be one of those women who collect so much stuff their house has to be cleaned out with a bulldozer and the neighbours complain of rats. Of course I am nowhere near this state but it could be a possibility.

- Dear Diary,
I always worry about things that may never happen.

x

Who me?

Things I've done in the last week:

- Been to the snow and snowboarded very badly - but much better than the last 4 or so times I've been!
- Watched 'Hurt Locker' on DVD. Not my first choice of film but yes, as good as critics have said it is.
- Watched Marion get booted off Masterchef - crying over the loss of cuteness! Man, how cute is she???
- Bought a new car - a second-hand old, old Toyota Corolla for $2,500 off my boyfriend's mum. Want to sell my 2006 Suzuki Swift because I don't like new cars - it hurts too much when I reverse into a pole.
- Re-opened my Twitter account. Still not sure about its value in my life but hoping to find out.
- Re-started my art teaching blog and neglected this blog! Life is full of imbalances!!!
- Cleaned my bathroom. Why is it so hard to clean the space the size of a Target dressing room?
- Marvelled at the fog
- Procrastinated.

Holidays are a wonderful thing but geez they go so quickly! No drawing but I suspect that may come one day. I am obsessed with studying social media and its impact on teaching. Trying to find out everything there is to know about the internet. I really must get a life.

x

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Glow






These are a few pages from my new journal which I covered in daggy fabric and felt.

My efforts in making art for me in the last little while have been sporadic and very random at best. Luckily now I am on the home straight at work - reports are marked and school is winding up for the term. Today is a day of assembly and soccer world cup games that the kids will play in the school grounds.

I am in the process of throwing out old stuff, tidying drawers and classrooms, cleaning the mac computers and generally just wanting everything fresh and new for next term. I am exhausted. But, I get great holidays - I know that!

So my drawings are refective of those little half hour spaces I get at home where I eat dinner and watch TV. Just play.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Inspiration


'Within the Glass Verdant'

I am currently at the 2010 VADEA conference at the Australian Catholic University listening to a speech by Sydney artist Janet Laurence. She is the artist who made 'Edge of Trees' with Fiona Foley (see my last post)

Her works are lovely - themes of the environment, alchemy, poetry, Australian history, apothecaries, science, regeneration, transformation, chemistry. A very prolific artist, and amazing crafts-person so check out her work.


'In the Shadow'

She is currently talking about how one of her site specific works (In the Shadow) has transformed the environment to such an extent that the plants are overgrown, blocking peoples' views, and the swamp hen population are out of control. It is hilarious that despite all these problems, because her work is an artwork it has to be protected! She says that she is sure people are tearing out the bullrushes! Isn't art fabulous?

On that note, I do have a love/hate relationship with technology. I am sitting in the lecture theatre and yesterday I couldn't connect to the internet, today I can instantaneously blog whilst watching a presentation. Oh well, keeps me on my toes!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Near the beach and Edge of trees.

Saturday morning.
I've done two classes at the gym with a friend. Sounds energetic but I am a bad exerciser and since I joined the gym I have been feeling a lot happier and have been able to deal with stress so much better. I know I keep saying it but I LOVE my job, but I also recognise that it is hard work. Last week I had 60 reports to write in 2 days and I didn't worry much - I just worked till they were done. I think the lack of worry is the extra exercise I have been doing.

After the gym,
A trip to my at the mo' favourite deli - a really unglam European deli where old dudes smoke out the front. I always order a proscuitto and Jarlesberg panini. My large skim coffee comes with a glass of water and a sweet biscuit. I read the weekend paper in the sun and try not to breath in the cigarette smoke from the old dudes.

Home for a shower.
I delay the shower because I get on the internet and plan my excursion with Year 7s for Monday. We are going to the Museum of Sydney and the Australian Museum to learn about Indigenous art and culture. I love the Museum of Sydney because it reminds me that the Circular Quay area is the site of the first settlement and a place of such significance - a real site of history and memory. I am putting together a little education exercise for the kids so they can learn about a favourite artwork of mine called 'Edge of Trees' by Indigenous artist Fiona Foley and non-Indigenous artist Janet Laurence. The work helps me to connect with the significance of the site.



The photo I have posted here does not do the work justice.

The work is a
'A 'forest' of 29 massive pillars – sandstone, wood and steel – cluster near the museum entrance. Wooden pillars from trees once grown in the area have been recycled from lost industrial buildings of Sydney. The names of 29 Aboriginal clans from around Sydney correspond to the 29 vertical poles. Walking between the pillars you hear a soundscape of Koori voices reciting the names of places in the Sydney region that have today been swallowed up by the metropolis. Organic materials such as human hair, shell, bone, feathers, ash and honey, are embedded in windows within the elements, evoking prior ways of life. Natural and cultural histories are evoked by the names of botanical species carved or burnt into wooden columns in both Latin and Aboriginal languages, along with the signatures of First Fleeters. Place names are engraved on the sandstone pillars in English and Aboriginal languages' (http://www.hht.net.au/discover/highlights/collection_items/edge_of_trees)

To my dear blog friend Mita - I will try to do some of my own work this weekend. It has been a couple of weeks but end of term kills me. I will let you know. Been painting a few pears but don't know how to finish the work. Little by little.

Now. Shower time and to the beach for coffee with friends.

Enjoy your weekend all!

x

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday night

I am so so happy it is the long weekend. Thank GOD! Such a hard week, but my presentation went really well (despite me wearing converse amongst a group of suits) and my flu is gone!!!

I am cooking casserole. I have never cooked casserole before. Beef, potatos, carrots, brown onion, portobello mushrooms, tomato paste, French mustard, beef stock and dark beer. I used to think I was a great cook - my friends and family used to tell me I was pretty good after many dinner parties and Christmases. But alas, in the last year I have lost any magic touch I may have had. I find it quite funny really as very easy things have become difficult and I have many more misses than hits!!! Maybe it is being far too busy to feel the love for the food.

I tried to brown the meat tonight and managed to burn the bottom of my fancy French cast iron pot more than 'brown' the meat...just to let you know, this happened twice ;-)

But it is cooking now and it smells ok...

My prep took ages. Its getting late and it still needs another hour cooking...

My boyfriend had pizza at his soccer match, celebrating their win. He forgot to tell me so he will have a 'little' of my casserole rather than it being a special dinner...

I am watching foxtel, excited to have to tele to myself for a while. Being able to choose from Rick Stein and the English 'Come Dine with Me' (YAY!) I realised I have seen both episodes...

So, I am happy sitting in front of the tele, watching not much really, waiting for dinner with my tummy rumbling, my feet warming in front of my new $20 fan heater. Life is bliss!!!

I think I will make individual apple and blackberry crumbles for desert. With Greek yoghurt. Yum.

x

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Me

I have just arrived at a conference. I am meant to present. It has to do with teaching and technology. I am not prepared. I am 'winging it'. The flu has made me too complacent but it is too late now. I know what I am going to show and I think I know what I am going to say. But despite the nerves I am blogging. I like to blog when I am nervous. I don't have any pictures to show. You wouldn't want to see pictures of a university cafe - it is far from interesting. Someone has walked in wearing a suit and I wonder if he too is attending the conference. I look down at my grubby converse and think I really should have put in a bit of effort and worn some nice shoes. But I just wear sneakers everyday, even to work, so I never really thought about it. I am wearing the boy's deoderant and it stinks. So, me and my converse will stand up in front of a group of professionals and hope to God that something will come out right. ;-)

Thank God there is a long weekend coming up...

Have a good day!

x

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dandelions and bubbles

I have had chronic flu and it is driving me crazy - nose running, coughing, spluttering. I have still had to turn up to work as I am in the middle of exams, marking, presentations, etc. etc. I am lucky the rest of my department is sick so I don't have to worry about passing it to them. I went home at lunch because I could not stand it anymore.

It is winter now and it is starting to get pretty chilly. What has been really bad is that it has rained for a couple of weeks - and not just sprinkles but absolute downpours. Luckily my apartment did not flood this time.

This morning, as I left my house, the morning sun shining through the trees was yummy. The beautiful dandelion in my front yard just had to be captured on camera, and I thought of it as a sort of good luck charm for the day.

Once at work, bleary eyed and again almost putting my teaspoon of coffee granules into my cereal bowl instead of my mug, out of the corner of my eye I saw a tiny little bubble made from the dishwashing liquid. It was so pretty I thought 'YES! it MUST be a lucky day'.

Hours later, sniffing, coughing and dripping under my doona in front of the tele, after a day of marking, hard work, and dealing with overly sensitive adolescent students, I have decided that really, there was nothing lucky about today. Except that I was able to see the beauty in a dandelion and a bubble.




Sunday, June 6, 2010

IF_Trail

Little Molly leaves a trail of footprints in the snow on her favourite walk. Molly's fuscia scarf hangs so low to the ground that it too creates a little trail in the snow. Molly says 'hello' to all the wonderful creatures of the forest - 'Hello Mr Owl, Mr Fox, Mr and Mrs Rabbit, Hello Blackbirds and Ravens!'



Winter has begun here - although, being Sydney Australia, it won't snow. Its nice to dream though. This is my illustration for 'Illustration Friday'. Like I said in my last post, I was going to illustrate my favourite walk but turned it into a snow scene instead. It was difficult leaving so much of the paper white for the snow - as you can see from my art I am not much into white paper! Watercolours, watercolour pencil, watercolour paper, white gouache.

Hope you like it
x

Saturday, June 5, 2010

This is me



This is the first picture of me on this blog. I like this picture because it is of me doing one of my favourite things - riding my beautiful bike on one of my favourite walking trails. I never made a conscious decision to not place a pic of me on my blog. It just has never happened.

No walking or bike riding today though. I have a cold so I am still in my pj's in bed. I have promised a friend I will go to the gym with her this arvo. I will, I will!

I was so happy when this week's Illustration Friday topic was 'Trail'. I immediately thought I would illustrate this very special place. But, strangely enough, I have done a snow scene with a girl, a trail of footprints and a pink scarf dragging through the snow. This I am finding difficult because I hate leaving paper white! And a snow scene means, yes, fields of white. We are now in winter and as a kid I yearned for it to snow in Sydney - ah - not going to happen! I don't mind as much now because I drive 6 or so hours to the snow fields in winter. And I spend lots of money I don't have because the snow is so scarily expensive!

I will post my snow scene tomorrow morning when I can use the scanner at work. I think I will lie down again now. Happy chilliness if you are in my part of the world and happy Summer for those of you who are not!

x

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mini Print

I watched 'Julie and Julia' on the weekend. A very good movie about food, cooking and blogging - what else is there really? Except art of course.

At one point in the movie Julie types on her blog 'Hello, is anybody out there' or something to that effect. This was slightly reassuring because I often wonder this myself. Is anyone out there reading this? I would love to know if you are.

Sometimes I like to make little mini stamps out of lino. I use these on cards to stick to an envelope as a sort of pseudo stamp.






Today is the last day of Autumn. Awwwwwww. I have really loved Autumn this year as all you beautiful bloggers who are inspired by Waldorf, etc. have really put me in touch with the seasons. I feel a little sad that Autumn has come and gone so quickly. But I ddo have such positive thoughts for winter!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Possibilities

Is it possible that fairyland can co-exist with suburbia? I think so.

It's been raining for days. I cancelled a trip to the Biennale with a friend because I thought the cyclonic storm would hit, but it looks like it is really going to effect down South.

So I rode my bike instead. The rain has brought forth the mushroom fairy shelters and ducks and water birds play happily.

I wish I could live in the country, but in the meantime, I think finding the magic around me can be easy. See for yourself...















I haven't been able to blog much lately. School term makes working on my own projects difficult so I have to do little bits and piece which I love - a photo trip here, a sketch or two there, a spot of reading the arts section of the paper on the side.

Back into bed now to read the paper. I am sure I saw fairies and other woodland folk today!