Thursday, June 26, 2008


yesterday was my birthday and I turned the mature age of 64, I find it hard to believe that I am now this age, what happened to the 30's, 40' and 50's seems that life has just whizzed by. I must not let that happen for the next 30 odd years I have left. I have so much to do, art, travel and live the best life that I can. I don't mind taking risk's, I would hate one day to find that life has passed me by and I haven't done all the things I want to do. How sad and tragic would that be. We get this gift of life and it is up to us to do what we want to do with it. In my blog on Anzac Day I wrote about my mother giving birth to my brother Raymond only to lose him in about 24 hours with my father on the other side of the world a soldier in the second world war. I was born when he came back from that war, I never asked my parents how they felt when I was born and so I can only surmise that I was eagerly awaited with some trepidation that the same thing could happen to me that happened to my brother. They must have been overjoyed that there was no problems and I always felt treasured. We live a lot of our lives thinking only of ourselves and do not appreciate what our parents had to go through, I really wish I had talked more to my parents (both gone now) about the past. As I lay in bed the night before my birthday and thought how nice it would be to given a dream to see the birth and my parents reactions. Following are a few favourite photo's of baby me with my parents, I am lucky to at least have these as I think photo's tell a story. Hope you can see the love that I see. Thank you Mum and Dad for giving me this wonderful life, making me always feel safe and cherished.

aren't old photo's wonderful, all worn and sometimes bent. the gentle patina of age and the wonderful backgrounds of another time that helps us to remember.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

beach glass

On a Saturday after shutting the shop at 2.00pm Joanne, girls and myself travelled about 30 minutes to a local beach. It was a lovely day and the sea shimmered like glass, there was a pod of surfers bobbing about in the surf like sleek black seals. It was a challenge trying to find sea glass. We could not find any on the beach. There was quite a strong undertow and we found sea glass tumbled up with shells and sand, you would spot a lovely piece of white sea glass swirling in the surf but by the time you spotted it then tried to quickly grab the wash was pulling back again and everything with it. The kids loved trying to snatch them up but ended up all wet, I think that was the whole idea of it. some of the sea glass we found, ground smooth with the tumbling action of the waves. My favourite is the shade of pale green glass unfortunately none turned up this day, are the brown pieces beer bottles do you think? as the surf hits the sand it looks like bubbling boiling milk, all frothy
further out you can see the power and pull of the sea on these waves, perfect for surfing
I find the surfers mesmerising, which one will they choose, then the graceful elegance of balancing on that board as the swell of the wave sends them racing into shore, so much fun.
Time at the ocean is so treasured, I love the powerful surges, the rhythmic pounding of the surf hitting the shore, sand or rocks. the smells. The sound is so relaxing, great way to get rid of stress. Oh a little cottage by the sea, how idyllic. The sound of the surf is a great way to drift off to sleep. I am no great swimmer, as I am short sighted, I never venture further out than where my feet still touch the ground. I also have a very healthy respect for the sea and prefer the safer shores. Our sea's are on the west coast and can be quite treacherous and need to be treated with respect at all times.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Melbourne Art Journey Retreat

Jo and Mandy in the plane, noses in books, we had to be at the airport at 5 am so a bit sleep deprived. We had a fabulous time in Melbourne, our accommodation was shared with Mandy W and Di Thomas from Stamping to Di for in Perth. Karen Hardey and the lovely Corinne Davis joined us as well in the next apartment. Di, Mandy and Corinne where our little angels that we could not have coped without, setting up the shop on the Thursday while Joanne handle registrations and I taught a Paint effects class. I spent a little time in nina's class on the Friday managing to just put together her little book with the match box inside, just enough to finish when I got back to Perth, being the first day we wanted to make sure all the tutors and students where settled into their individual classrooms and doing the general running around to try and ensure things where running smoothly. From comments from tutors they get looked after better here than they do in the large retreats in the USA, guess its a bit hard to give tutors individual treatment when there are so many of them, but they do appreciate what we do for them. Nina's classes are always a joy, with lots of cheerful banter between nina and the students on the american language, nina taking it all in the good humour as it was given, she does have a way with words.
It turned quite wintery on Saturday and these bare trees formed tracery's against the sky in the Swinburne Tafe gardens. Saturday night a group of about 20 girls including the tutors had a lovely dinner at a lovely bohemian restuarant, the food was delicious and the company perfect, thank you to all those who joined us. We have made such good friends at the retreats and it was lovely just to relax and let our hair down. Just down my end of the table was the lovely Christina from Christina Crafts, Jacky Williams, Shirley Howard, Keron Lee and as I have such a shocking memory for names other very lovely girls whose names escape me, thank you all.

I spent Saturday and Sunday in Misty's classes, I found her classes very interesting, have always loved playing with paint and it was a good opportunity to see her teaching techniques. Misty sets the mood for a most enjoyable class with a pack with copies of her artwork, miscellaneous vintage book pages some sequin waste all thoughtful things you could use in the class and a nice touch a tea bag, sitting on your table when you arrive along with several chocolates with inspirational messages on the wrapper. Nice music added to the ambience. Misty has you gather around her table where she will demonstrate each step of her techniques and then the students go off and follow her instructions or try to. Misty will stop everyone in the class and get them up for the next technique so with camara's flashing away each student is at the same step. In between Misty will wander around the class giving each student extra attention. I found her class very inspirational and professional.This was her smallest class on the sunday lucky for all those that chose this class as they got more individual attention, see all the paint on the table covers.Do you get the impression by Alice's smile that she is enjoying this?Di deeply engrossed, she said she had the best time, we heard a lot of that. It is very gratifying hearing from the students that they had such a good time, made all our hard work and worrying worth while. There was a few hiccups, but we learn from each retreat, its a learning game, we could employ a professional to run the retreats but that would push the price up, so thankfully most of the girls enjoyed the retreat. Running the retreat and bringing over the shop is a mammoth task and fortunately there are very few problems. I only looked in on Tracey's classes but we got very positive responses from all that did her classes, Jo commented on her professionalism as a teacher as did many others. At the end of the classes on Sunday we had the task of packing all our remaining stock ready to be picked up the next morning by the couriers and freightways. This was certainly made easier by Di, Corinne, Mandy the lovely girl who also picked us up to take us to the dinner on Saturday night. While we where packing up the foyer was filling up with lovely people coming to do a seminar for the Mormon church and lucky us they where doing a row of about 5 people at a time massages and offered us them as well, was most welcome by this time.

We allowed ourselves a day to unwind and see a little bit of Melbourne, such a beautiful city. Mandy had to fly out early so I shared a taxi with her to Prahran where she found the perfect pair of boots she wanted, we parted company there and I spent the rest of the morning browsing the shops on my own, meeting up with my dearest sister Phil, lovely lovely neice Karen and a little angel all snuggled up and warm for lunch.

Isn't she just perfect, look at that little pink hand, I can definately see creativity there. mmmI arranged to meet Di and Jo in the city at 4pm, walking to the train I came across this urban art on the wall. Now I know some people don't like graffitti, but you have to admire their creativity I wish I could spray paint around on a large wall and it came out so artistically, this is down in a minimum of time to avoid detection, so even more amazing. I dont find it as offensive as some of the modern architecture around large cities which I find uninspiring. What do you think?And while waiting for the train to arrive this plump fellow obliged my by staying still long enough for me to snap his photo. Meeting up with Jo and Di we were wandering through the beautiful old arcades when we bumped into Ro with Nina and Misty having a quick look around the city. Finally it was Tuesday and time to fly home to Perth, from the plane window I snapped this photo could it be Uluru. Amazing landscape viewed from above, beauty all around. So for another year Art Journey Retreats are over, its back to familiar routines until the next one.

A day with Nina

It was with great trepidation that I had Nina stay 2 nights and 1 day with me in my home, was our home good enough, I follow my own style and not sure how other people perceive my tastes, very vintage, very shabby oh well, nina is my friend and I am sure she wouldn't judge me. We arrived back from Dwellingup on Sunday and Mandy Woodham took nina to the Fremantle markets and to meet her lovely friend dropping nina over to my home later. Meanwhile I had the pleasure of giving Karen a quick tiki tour around Perth city before taking her to the airport. Kings Park with wonderful views over the city, and it being Mothers Day there was lots of family on this lovely sunny day celebrating mothers.

Monday morning I had made an appointment for nina to visit with the lovely girls at perth college, a private school for girls from Kindie up to graduation. A very lovely young girl Maegen (hoped that was spelt correctly) who is a very talented artist already at a very tender age, showed us proudly around their amazing art department, and proud she should be, wonderful light filled studios to create in. Nina, misty mawn and teesha moore are all mentor to these girls in the arts section and you could see the influence in the many beautiful peices we had the pleasure of seeing. We where treated to a lovely morning tea and nina was made a great fuss of. They had a most beautiful chapel, we requested permission to enter to take photo's.

I didnt take many photo's, bit intimidated by nina's talents with her camera. The photo on my blog of self was taken by nina outside the chapel, as I am like a lot of people, I hate having my photo taken but thought this was a really nice photo.

After Perth college I wanted to share with nina my love of the aboriginal culture, creative native seemed a good choice in our limited time. nina was entranced and a lovely young aboriginal boy demonstrated the different didgereedoo's for her, amazing artwork we both would have loved to purchase, particulary those painted onto belgian linen instead of canvas giving a real rustic look to the contemporary style.

We finished up at the Perth Mint for a high tea lunch and pretended we where ladies, bit hard but I think we pulled it off. It was a perfect Perth autumn day for two friends to spend together, first time I had time with nina on my own, how lucky am I.

Delivered nina to the airport early tuesday morning for her flight onto to Melbourne which Joanne, Mandy W and I followed early wednesday morning to the Melbourne Art Journey retreat.

Cobwebs in the bush at dwellingup in the early morning mist.

could be lace curtains