Sunday, December 29, 2013

Loving Donnybrook

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  We are finally moved down to Donnybrook, it was a massive job for John and I we travelled 1800 kilometres and 22 hours over 5 days starting on the 16th December.  The reason we travelled back and forth each day, accommodation was expensive and it cost us only $50 a day in diesel whereas accommodation was $200 a night.  To say we where exhausted by the end of the week would be an understatement, but it is done now and we are moving on.  Took a few days to sort out our furniture to make this lovely old house into our home for the next six months or so, we have two rooms with boxed stuff that we are not unpacking and still have a bed to assemble, but that can wait until we have visitors coming to stay.  It is a mystery tour finding things but we are getting there, however in saying that I haven't even thought about starting any projects or art.  We spent Christmas day at Kirsty's in Collie which is 50 kilometres from Donnybrook, went home again for a couple of days then back to Collie to housesit and dog sit for two weeks.  Have had time to check out the library where I can use their internet for free, but of course I have to be organised and have everything I need when I go there.  I can update my blogs while John sits and reads the paper all for free, and in air-conditioned room.  Checked out the gym, the nursery and two markets, still can't seem to slow down.  If you are interested in seeing more photos of the house go to my photography blog here and more photo's on my Facebook I wish you all a happy New Year and may it be memorable in a good way.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cheryl's Studio

A few weeks back the girls I have been teaching art journals and book art, met in Mandurah for our last get together and Christmas lunch.  We met at Cheryls home in Mandurah, Cheryl travelled up to Perth, over and hours drive, for the classes.  I really appreciated the effort the distance the girls travelled to do my class.  We had seen photo's of all the stages of Cheryl's shed being built etc and wanted to see it in the flesh so to speak.  Cheryl does beautiful work and it won't be hard to see what her favourite colour is.  Below is the Studio set in their beautiful garden with Cheryl inviting us in.

I like to think I have had a little influence in her style, but her studio is a veritable treasure trove of all her beautiful collections.  I will miss our weekly classes that have been ongoing over the last five years and hope the girls will stay in touch.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Big move 1 week tomorrow

Sorry it has been chaos here since my last entry.  Trip to New Zealand was wonderful, seems like a year ago.  The reunion was like having a big family wrapping you up in its arms, so many hugs, so much catching up.  Emotional trip to the Cemetary where my great grandmother was buried and a memorial stone unveiled, then a trip to each of our late relatives graves but most important finding our brothers grave.  He was the first born after my father left for the 2nd World war, although we never knew him he was always part of our family.  Growing up as the eldest when I felt I was hard done by I would talk to him wishing he had lived to take over the responsibility of being the eldest.

sharing the sisterly love, my mother never knew where his grave was, I guess it was too painful for her
It was great being with my three sisters first time in Gisborne altogether,  probably at my wedding, yikes, so long ago.  Gisborne is the first city to see the sun rising.

There was a bus trip out to Tekaraka where my Great grandparents had the hotel and this is in front of the home they built over a hundred years ago and still standing today.
view of Gisborne our home town from Kaiti Hill

Friday, October 18, 2013

Art journal for family reunion

I had wanted to take an art journal with me to record history of my family.  My great grandfather was Chinese and we are going to a family reunion of his descenants in Gisborne my home town. As usual I couldn't make up my mind on what I wanted to do.  I ended up with a bought journal that I have had for a few years and liked the paper and the size.  To save me time I prepared all the pages leaving room for notes and photo's that I will take over there.  This took me a couple of days solid, had stuff spread out every where as you can see in the photo's below.

 I edged the pages with old text paper and paper tapes, nothing to fancy
 Some pages I have entered detail I already have.  For each of his children I have allowed a few blank pages, depending on the size of the family

 I have entered some photo's that I have already found

Will share with you when I get back and hopefully have lots of information and photo's.  I would like to write a book with all the information I get, or maybe Kirsty might do that one day, it is something she said she would like to do one day.  Plenty of drama's and scandal mmmmh the plot thickens
catch you in a couple of weeks

this is what we have been waiting for

At last SOLD SOLD SOLD.  Settlement date 20 December.  Yaghhhh, dealing with buying a block, selling a house, settlement agents and on and on it goes.  Arranging removalists to move all your household 200 kilometres, trying to tie it up with finding a rental property.  whesh, just as well John retires in a couple of weeks and we will be retiree's, or sort of, then its sorting through all the stuff before the big move, have you seen the stuff we have accumulated!!!!! luckily the new owner didn't want settlement until late December, more breathing time for us.  Then the fun stuff will start building a kit home, Storybook home, where they build to lockup and then we sub contract out the work, that will be interesting, but we can do it!!!!  Off to New Zealand Sunday for 10 days.  My great grandfather was Chinese and they are putting on a reunion for all his descendants, he had 7 children and most of them had between 6 and 8 each, so will be very interesting.  I have been making a journal to get all the details, will share with you tomorrow.
Have a good weekend

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Creativity to me is like getting into a zone where I shut out everything around me, hours can pass with out my noticing.  It  draws me back when I am doing other tasks, many a time the potatoes have burnt.  I have not had time to be creative over the last few months, what with keeping the house looking presentable for sale etc, not to mention my things shoved away out of sight, the hours spent looking for things become too hard.  But last week I got back into it.  What with Kalamunda Markets on the Saturday and then we will be away for 10 days just before the next one in November comes around, means I have to make plenty of stock to cover both, also need to take advantage of the November market being more likely for buyers looking for Christmas gifts.  Following are a few items I have made over the last week.
 Art Journals made from upcycled old books and fabrics, hand bound, sizes about 5 x 6 inches.  Small enough to carry around.
 Decorated old books with old fabrics and buttons, look great standing in a small pile with the spines showing.  You can see not much of the old books are wasted, covers are used on small journals and the rest of the book created to look decorative.
 A friend shared how to make these little journals using old book covers and would you believe folded used envelopes, you know the sort, the only thing you get in your letter box now days.  I have decorated a couple of pages inside to show you a way of decorating your journals and made up small packs of bits and bobs of old book pages photo's etc to get you started.  The journals are about 5 x 6 inch hand bound.  Easy to carry around with you, if you would like a holiday project.  Look equally as good if you add your own photo's.
The green hand bound journal using old photo album covers is a sample of made to order journals I will make and the brown cover a sample ready to be created for someone special.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


After almost two years, fingers crossed, prayers to above, Raymon is over the hurdle of cancer.  Although the cancer was diagnosed as in remission over a year ago the ongoing effects of the radiation has been a problem.  When they extracted his back teeth for the radiation, they broke a piece of bone off and didn't extract it.  After many months of pain and the inability to open his mouth properly they re operated to remove it.  He had about 5 days a week for 6 weeks in the hyperbarick (not sure of spelling, its where divers go when they get the bends) before operation and another two after, its all now finished.  Other than the fact he cannot eat normal food, inability to swallow and no taste he is looking healthy.  While in hospital a nurse who had same cancer and lost her ability to eat told him, her taste came back after 3 years, so he has that to look forward to.  There are lots worse off than him, it was our scare and we are only too grateful that he came through it all.  Now he is getting his life back on track, his marriage has broken down but is still very good friends with his wife.  Onwards and upwards Raymon, we love you.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Exciting news

We put in an offer for our dream block in Donnybrook and it has been accepted now our home in Kiara Perth is on the market for sale, open day on Sunday.
 Half view of the block of land
Image from Storybook homes.  At the moment our plans are to build our new home something like this.
We found it so difficult to find a project home that looked like a country home until we found Storybook homes a kit set style home, which we both loved.  I will keep you up to date with our plans and progress when we start later this year.
Exciting aye!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Van Gogh, Dali & Beyond

In Perth  we are very privileged to have a collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art, New York. As far as I am aware this show only comes to Perth, yay, for once Perth gets something the Eastern States don't get, we miss out on so many shows over here in the West.  I missed the last one, so made an effort to go to this one yesterday.  I want to share some of the ones that impressed me most.
 This oil by Salvador Dali was my favourite I think.  There is so much going on in this one masterpiece.  The clarity in the colours is amazing.  I hired the audio headset at $8, so glad that I did, I learnt so much more than what was written next to each one.  What I can remember of this one is, the head looking down in the blue box is Dali wiht blood running from his nose.  The womans face on the top represents a vessel which he thinks symbolises women and the rest I cannot remember, lot of violence.
 I am afraid I didn't get all the artists names, but this one tells a story of Tristan and Isolde and you needed to view it as a whole to appreciate the 25 paintings in sepia tones.
 This one was fascinating, hundreds of coils molded onto the canvas, black underpainting with a buff colour on top.  There where 3 next to each other, very large and very textural.
 This sculpture was made from junkyard finds titled Goats skull and bottle, it depicts the sense of mortality in the turbulence after the 2nd world war in Europe.  Isn't that cool.
 Love the sense of playfullness in this canvas, can you see the telephone in the horses mouth, a wheel for one of his legs with a fender over his raised front leg, and the old radiator.  Some of the art had glass on which made photographing a bit of a challenge.
 this one the artist had started a portrait of his wife and it lay unfinished for many years, when he came back to it this is what he ended up doing, much better than a portrait with her looking out through veils of lovely colours.
 Diego Rivera 1914 titled Young man in grey sweater.  What I want to know is how did he get all those lovely straight lines, no repositional tape in 1914, did he use a peice of straight paper as a mask, love it.
 Amedea Modiglianni, Anna Zborowska, 1917.  He would have been commissioned to do this portrait and in this period it didn't matter what the woman looked like the artist had to make the portrait look beautiful.  Modiglianni followed the African style of making the face oval.
 Selfie by Fried Karlos after separating from her husband, in a move to show her independence she cut off all her hair which he had always loved and dressed in mens clothes, you go Frieda.
 Francis Bacon, 1953.  With his mouth open in mid scream, he reveals the animalistic violence that lurks in man and the mood of anxiety after the 2nd world war.  This figure is a portrait of a pope transformed into a ghostly presence, and replaced his throne with cage like lines.  Sorry a lot of reflection on this phot you can even see me taking the photo, the background was mainly black and white with the lines in yellow it was very dramatic.
 Andy Warhols painting of Elvis from blazing saddles, he duplicated the figures to give a blur of movement, another pretty cool peice of art.
Wasn't much information on this canvas, but very impressive looking upwards to a man in white pants, great detail.
If you live in Western Australia you don't want to miss this exhibition, and hire the audio you learn so much more.
Have a great weekend I will be doing the Kalamunda Market and will be down the hill a bit, come say hello if you are visiting, I would love to see you.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fragments in Time workshop

A lovely group of girls participated in my Fragments in Time Journal Workshop last Saturday and Sunday.  The girls where very industrious and produced very creative pages for their journals.  It is very satisfying teaching these workshops, I always learn something new from the students as well.  I love seeing each ones individual personality evolving in their art. I am always grateful and humble to be accepted as a teacher by the women who attend my workshops, I feel I do a good job by the quality of workmanship achieved.