Sunday, 31 August 2008


Today is the last day of winter.
This was the sky this afternoon with a storm brewing.

Spring begins from tomorrow.
The wattle trees are in flower everywhere.
Bright yellow-gold, a visual feast.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

quirky and happy things

I'm so excited about this new pendant style light shade we bought on the weekend. It's soooo lovely! Those crisply printed organic shapes on the the fabric are just so delicate to look at when it's lit up. So here is a pic of where we put it in the house and a close up so you can see a bit more of what I'm raving about.

A big belated thank you to Danielle from Of Paper and Thread for passing on the Tree of Happiness award to me. To accept the award I have to list 6 things that make me happy. So here goes:

1. Saturdays
2. Sunshine on my skin in winter
3. Porridge cooked with fresh dates and served with cream
4. Lazy walks in the bush
5. Drinking tea on a quiet afternoon
6. Having time to doodle in my sketch books

And the lovely Lisa from a little birdy told me tagged me and I have to list 6 unspectacular quirks of mine here. I like reading these things about other people so here is my effort to write something:

1. People tell me I'm super organised. I think that makes me sound a bit nerdy but I suppose that's ok. eg. I sent my dad a father's day card yesterday thinking that this Sunday is Father's Day but found out it's the following week. When I told my sister what I'd done she sent me a text saying: 'yep, that's cos you're so organised'.

2. I'm also told that I'm a very calm person by people I work with. But people who know me better can see that's not always the case....

3. I like plants and have quite a green thumb when I make an effort. But whenever I've tried to grow maidenhair ferns I've killed every single one of them. Which is a shame really because I love them.

4. I don't drink coffee and never have. For me that's not quirky, but to the coffee drinking masses of the world I'm a freak.

5. I got my very first mobile phone only 12 months ago.

6. I managed to live in a very tiny space (3 metres x 2 metres) without a bathroom in Kyoto for 7 years. It taught me a lot about what you really need (in terms of stuff) to live. Not much as it turns out.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

khadi papers

I love the way going into an art supply shop can bring about disappointment and surprise all at the same time. Disappointment because I was really hoping their pieces of shina plywood would be large and 6mm thick. But no, they were tiny and 4mm thick :( Fussy me. It's so hard getting shina ply for woodblock printing in Australia. I have a few leads though so will see where they take me. The pleasant surprise was finding gorgeous paper from the Khadi Papers range, 100% recycled handmade from Indian cotton rag. What I love about this company is the way they treat the environment so carefully through their process of making paper. And they produce lovely rough textured pieces with irregular deckled edges. Yum! And because I can't stop handling the paper, I've started a little pen and ink drawing of a fragile dragonfly on a small piece.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

fruiting habits and the like

It's funny the kinds of anatomical names for plants that they use in botany. This is part of one of my drawings and according to the botanical information I had on hand it's technically a 'fruiting habit'. Strange looking thing but I'm quite fond of the quirky shapes. Almost pod-like, and I'm a sucker for the cuteness of pods.

And speaking of illustrations and quirky, lovely things, the new Pikaland August Project is up and live. You can also find out about the magical wonder of Pikaland by clicking on that gorgeous little bird holding the sack on the top right hand side of my blog. Amy from Pikaland coordinates the most original international illustration project I've ever come across. Check out the work of all the amazing illustration artists participating in the August Project. You'll even see some of my work there :)

Friday, 15 August 2008


Wilkins and Kent of Brunswick St, Fitzroy (Melbourne) will be stocking a small range of my giclee art prints in their gorgeous homewares shop as of this weekend. Which is so lovely because I'm often asked through my online shop if I have a real shop in Melbourne so people can come and have a look at my work. And given I don't, this little partnership is a good thing.

I just have to share this great little Sydney based textile find with you. Publisher Textiles have a warehouse studio in Leichhardt and if I lived in Sydney I'd be standing on their doorstep every single Saturday for their open-to-the-public days just so I could feast my eyes on their printed textiles. All printed with eco-friendly water based inks. They do wallpaper too. If you want to see a fun little video they made of them printing on their long table click here and then go to 'who'. When you see how much work they put into printing each textile piece you can really understand the prices designers have to put on their work.

Friday, 8 August 2008

the fine differences between puff and short crust

I've decided there's a good reason why I'm a printmaker and not, say, a pastry chef. And there's also probably a lot of sense in why I usually stick to cooking one pot curries and soups and don't deviate into the complications and drama of the pastry world. But last night I did, and oooooh how bad it was! I was aiming for Moroccan pasties using a Delicious Mag recipe in the effort to, you know, branch out, build up the cooking repertoire a little. Crazy, I know, but hey it's winter here and we have a need to expand on the indoor activity list. And in my head playing with pastry didn't seem that far off from from printmaking. Both involve hands and flat-ish surfaces. It does help, of course, if you read the pastry pack to see that you're using short crust pie pastry and not, as I was supposed to be, good ol' puff pastry. Misery and tantrums poured forth. M saved the day by ordering me out of the kitchen with a glass of wine while she fixed the mess. She slowly scraped all the lovely organic lamb cooked in spices out of the short crust and into neatly wrapped (how does she do that?) puff pastry parcels. And they were damn good! But I swear I'm not going into pastry land again. Ever.

And the wee print above? Tis a new giclee print from me. You'll be happy to know I'm sticking to paper from now on...