Sunday, January 24, 2010

Finished WIP

All done.

Camilla Engman: The Suitcase Series

I've been an admirer of Camilla Engman's work for some time, especially her drawings and painting that often feature strange looking people in even stranger looking forests. I read her blog and enjoy posts about her dog Morran and her daily life in Gothenburg, Sweden.

I stumbled across The Suitcase Series on her blog. It looks like the first of a collection of books published by Uppercase that focus on different artists from around the world. You can buy it here. It's one of the most creatively inspiring books I've read in ages. It arrived with lots of extra goodies, too; postcards and a print and a small booklet all about Morran.

The book kicks off with a chapter on Camilla's childhood but goes on to delves into her art, why she creates, her inspirations and attitude towards 'making'. I've been carrying around for ages and each time I get the chance, I dip into it and feel a little creative charge that makes me's time I got some making done myself.

Oh, can you spot one of Loobylu's creations up there on the shelf?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's true - it's good to have at least one family member who has a house/shack/van near the beach. We only had a night and a day but we packed it in. My sister (a great cook) made hot, buttery pancakes. There was swimming and sailing and walking the dogs on the beach. Hours by the sea can equal days...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Three weeks off and I wait until the last day to get all crafty! This little doll (still painfully inside out) is far from original. I was inspired by Posie Gets Cozy and her lovely doll on the cover of Stitched in Time. Will let you know how she turns out. Ha ha.

PS Ah yes! Also influenced by the talented Apolline a Paris. Thanks Papillion Bleu UK!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever

Sunny Ridge, isn't that a perfect name for a Strawberry Farm? Early yesterday morning we headed for the sea-side hills of Flinders to get the jump on what was a very hot day. We got to the farm by 10am, paid $8 and was each handed a large (empty) punnet and headed for the biggest strawberry patch in the world. Can you see how red they are? In the field, each ripe strawberry was like a tiny, red glowing globe - even in the bright sun - you could see hundreds of them hiding in the dark leaves. And the taste? Some were gently warmed by the sun, others were cooler and smelled sweet like summer.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Pretty Paintings from Paris

A quick trip to Canberra to see Masterpieces from Paris at the National Gallery. We got there early and had our tickets but there was still a long (but very quiet) line weaving into the gallery. I guess we shuffled for just over an hour until we got even a glance at the pictures.

I'd never seen a real Degas before so seeing Dancers climbing the stairs was amazing. One of the dancers has a blue bow looked as if it has sparkles in the paint, as if it was illuminated somehow.

Claude Monet's London, Parliament: sun through the fog was mind-boggling. Nothing in the painting is clear, just shades of light and dark and smudges but you can see the sun setting behind the bank of fog.

There was a big crowd around Vincent van Gogh's Starry night. How did he do it? The depth of the yellow stars? The inky sky. You can almost hear the water lapping. Insane.

One of my favourites was Rest by Vilhelm Hammershoi. A woman sitting in a wooden chair, you never see her face, just the back of her head; her hair in a up-sweep, a table and part of a white, scalloped plate. So still and muted.

On the way out of the gallery grounds we went though The Fog Garden - great timing. We left in a haze.

It was my second trip to Canberra but it always feels the same, like a photograph taken on a hot day.

My holiday days are running out. Picking strawberries in Flinders tomorrow or not!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Brand New Decade - 2010

Not a big fan of resolutions - usually. Maybe it's the new decade thing but I've been doing quite a bit of reflecting. I think turning 40 had some part to play. It didn't hit me on the way up but rather blind-sided me on the way past. 2009 was a mixed bag. Work sucked energy big time. I crafted less, I played less, I got more annoyed about the little things.

I work to daily deadlines and in the past I've managed to meet them and leave them behind at a days end, but 2009 was different, a new (exciting job) had those invisible lines chasing me home and controlling all the fun stuff, too. Trains suddenly had to be caught, stuff had to be 'perfect' and often wasn't. I said Yes when I should of said No. By mid July the craft room was getting dusty.

I didn't put the lids back on, stuff got wasted.

I want this year to be different. I want to get some balance back and have more fun. I want to get fitter, sleep better, listen more, read more, judge less, fret less, laugh more, try and fail and not care, make things, draw things, see the little things, fight the big things and put the lids back on.

Meanwhile, a lovely illustration by Nicoletta Ceccoli. Hope you have a good 2010. x

Larking About...

We drove up to Daylesford yesterday to visit Lark! It's just as lovely as I imagined, full of cute & clever crafty goods and some eye-catching unexpected things like pink and green tipped matches and red and white paper straws. As if I wasn't excited enough, Allison also has a range of Paumes books and Paris Kitchens came home with me. Now I want to do two things: renovate the kitchen AND fly to Paris, via Tokyo. See what a harmless trip to the country can do? Here's a few pics of the day.

Some Books I've Really Enjoyed

  • Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros
  • Saturday by Ian McEwan
  • Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life by Andrew Motion
  • The Bell Jar by Syliva Plath
  • Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
  • Stasiland by Anna Funder

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Living, reading, crafting, taking photos, writing.