Monday, 30 May 2011

Get Jumping

… with The Pointer Sisters.

I loved this song when I was a kid. It really got me going.
It was also wonderful to see Hugh Grant just going for it with this song in Love Actually.

Books in Blume

I first read Freckle Juice, a book written by Judy Blume when I was in grade 3. This was such a fun read, but it was in grade 4 when the teacher read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing that Judy Blume truly rocked my world.

Over the following years I would read as many of her books as I could find in the library. She has written so many wonderful stories for children and young adults. So, admittedly I still have a long way to go before having read them all.
Judy wrote quite openly and honestly, her narratives from the perspective of children and teenagers. Her books connected to kids and made them feel that there was an adult that understood their schoolyard troubles and worries about growing up.
From another perspective it was this independent honesty that scared a discriminating group of adults, who demanded that her books be banned [amongst many other celebrated authors both modern and classic] in America during a rather discriminating book censorship regime of the 80s. However as someone who had read some of the so-called banned books I can say there was never anything inappropriate about Judy’s writing. But people being what they are sometimes fear discussion of certain subject matter, whether it is racism, bullying, puberty or [quick, cover your eyes] menstruation.
Judy aspires to be a ballerina.

And now, from the perspective of a parent I look forward to sharing Judy’s stories with my children as they grow up.
To find out more about Judy Blume you can visit her website, which by the way, is an invaluable literary resource in itself —
Judy's early years as a mum and author.

The Memory

“The Memory”

A single light, hanging delicately by an old wire, illuminates the cold and narrow underground space. The length of the room is filled with shelved musty books; dust covered ornaments and rusted trunks line the opposite length of wall space.
Two figures, a mother and daughter have been working away that morning, sifting through the forgotten family history. Cassie, mid thirties and her eight-year-old daughter, Tina, side by side they work, pulling objects out of dormancy, judging and adding to piles. Be it trash, or treasure.
Once in a while the shuffling silence is broken by a little voice, “Mamma, what about this? Should this go?” A pause would follow and a murmur of judgement as Cassie assesses the vintage object her daughter has placed under her nose.
The two busy females take a rest and eat a lunch upstairs, prepared by Grandma. After some ham and cheese sandwiches, a cup of tea, and apple juice, recharged, they return to their processing. By then the afternoon sun has just begun to reach the entrance of the repurposed wine cellar.
Light from outside touches a trunk positioned close to the stairs. Tina sits before the trunk and unlatches it, but it will not open. Cassie then crouches down and gives the lid a vigorous jostle. The hinges groan, and the trunk’s now at last open.
Revealed within they find a pair of black roller skates, old 80s vinyl singles, a film developer’s envelope filled with photos and negatives, rolled up rainbow socks, and a miscellaneous pile of smelly clothes.
Tina picks up one of the worn skates in both her tiny hands. “These smell funny. Mamma, are these yours? Oh and look all this other stuff.” Without waiting for an answer, Tina puts down the skate and runs her hands through the brightly coloured clothes. She picks up the photo envelope, opens it out and begins flicking through the photos.
Cassie picked up the other matching skate and leans over Tina’s shoulder as she peruses the happy snaps – a Birthday party at an old roller skating rink. In the photos a much younger Cassie is surrounded by some of her classmates, with skates on their feet and about to eat cake. She is wearing a Punky Brewster shirt. Her parents have given her a pair of brand new skates. She is so excited, no longer needing to rent the rink skates.
The cellar surroundings begin to slip away. Cassie is lost in a memory. One she had almost forgotten.
It is the smell of hot chips, candy, leather, and oiled metal filling the room, but she is no longer sitting on the floor of the repurposed wine cellar. She is on her feet and in her new skates. She is nine years old again. One song is fading and the lights are dimming. The mirror ball dangling from the centre most point begins to spin as newly flicked beams glance off its mosaic like mirrors.
The needle settles into a groove of another record. The first couple of bars crackle through corner speakers and a masculine voice gently resonates across the room, “Now, I had the time of my life”. Everyone is out on the floor moving in a single direction. Round and round — spinning with the dancing light in the darkness.  She imagines the swirling lights to be fairies from some roller kingdom. This is her kind of magic. Here she is happy and safe. There is no yesterday, nor a tomorrow, only her self and her skates. She is having the time of my life.
The moment is passing and Cassie feels something pulling at her, drawing her forward.
“Mamma, what is it? What’s the matter?” Tina has her hand on Cassie’s arm shaking it.
Cassie shakes her head, as if to clear the residue of the recovered memory. Her mind is caught between what was and the present. Tina reaches up and wipes one of her eyes.
“Mamma you’re crying.”
Cassie smiles at her worrying daughter, “It’s alright. I’m fine. I just had — I just had an incredibly vivid memory. Something that I had long forgotten came back to me. And it was something that made me very happy. That’s all. Don’t worry about your mamma.”
“Were you being silly?” Tina asked with all seriousness.
Cassie laughs out loud and rubs the top of her daughter’s head, “Yes! Mamma was being very silly. Now lets get back to the clean up, shall we?”
“Okay, but can I keep these?” Tina picks up the skates holding them up for her mamma to see. “I want to play with them.”
Cassie is bouncing an idea around in her head. It has been a very long time since she last skated. ‘Could I do it again?’ She stares at Tina for a moment, “I have a better idea. How about we take the whole trunk home. Would you like to hear about my skating days?”
Cassie is responded with energetic nodding from her daughter.
The scene has changed. It is Saturday night and many weeks have passed since the cleaning out of the cellar. A current radio hit is blaring out of the speakers, and the smell of hot chips and popcorn permeates the air.
Cassie leans forward on bended knee, firmly lacing the skates on her daughter’s socked feet. The skates are cleaned, oiled with wheel nuts adjusted. Tina is wearing her mamma’s old skates. Not to mention the mercilessly nuked in Nappi-san eighties clothes that had been hidden in the trunk.
On Cassie’s feet is a new pair of skates — white, shiny and tight, with the anticipation of being worn in. Pulling her daughter to her feet, they pose together as her husband takes a photo of them.
Tina points to a pair of sneaker covered feet, “Daddy, aren’t you going to skate too?”
With a nervous smile and a quick glance to the rink, her Daddy shakes his head, “Maybe next time. I reckon your Mamma will need to give me some lessons before I step out there. But I’ll be right here watching you both. You can give me a wave when you get out there.”
Cassie gives her husband a kiss on the cheek, then slowly and a just little awkwardly leads their daughter out into a rink opening. They are joining a party of families and couples that have already taken flight in a circular pattern. Nervously Tina chooses to cling to the outer railing. She doesn’t feel confident enough to be amongst all the other larger skaters. She’d rather figure this skating business out for herself. Cassie doesn’t argue, because she recalls being exactly the same when she first strapped skates to her feet decades ago.
Cassie rolls onward, skating a few laps, letting her daughter see how it can be done. Holding on to the rail and moving forward at a snail pace, Tina watches the other skaters, and most especially her Mamma in awe. Changing her mind she decides to not do this alone after all. Waving for Cassie’s attention she releases her hold of the railing and reaches out to her mamma. Cassie sees her daughter and meets her the rest of the way. Holding hands, unhurriedly they skate around the rink, letting everyone else pass them.
To Cassie the music pumped out of the speakers is new, but that is the only thing on the skating scene that has changed over the myriad of years. Everything that she loved about skating as a child is right here. It is all waiting to be tasted and felt all over again. And now it is something she can share with her daughter.
The skate session nears to an end and the disk jockey makes an announcement — he will play one last track. It is a golden oldie. The compact disc begins to spin. The first couple of bars of a song are heard and a masculine voice gently resonates across the room, “Now, I had the time of my life”.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Friday Release

    Thank god it’s Friday! You know, I have yet to watch that film, though it is a phrase I have thrown around for many years. I use to flick through my Dad’s vinyl collection and I loved looking at the funny cover art for that movie soundtrack. I want to see that film if for nothing else than to watch Donna Summer perform.
    I am so looking forward to the weekend and just relaxing with my husband and daughter. Only have one week to go with the pregnancy, so anything can happen now.
Crumble Cake
    I have such a hankering for something sweet to eat. Might even try baking a cake this weekend. This crumble cake looks promising.
    Right, well I'm off now to read a little. I am now on to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Carry On

… from my previous blog entry. I made a slightly larger mock up of an earlier sketch. There is no denying my influences here — a combination of Vincent Van Gogh and Monkey Island artwork.
Mock up using oil pastels.

Possibly Maybe Hopefully

Okay! So I am only at that doodling stage, but I am considering doing a new canvas painting. It is still a work in progress and I have been playing with the idea of the night sky and the ocean as my visuals.
My first sketch
Later today I will do a larger mock up using oil pastels. And I am thinking of using actual oil paints for the final piece. Maybe. Well see how the mock up goes first, shall we.
My second sketch

We All Scream For Ice Cream

    Wow! That didn't take very long to do. Last week I mentioned a food crochet project that I would begin [as per this link]. It was an ice cream cone for my daughter.
    I began the crochet work on Friday and finished the thing just last night. Then leaving the toy on Gwen's little table it was the first thing she noticed when she got out of bed this morning. She immediately picked it up and exclaimed “ice cream cone”.
    I have seen Gwen pretend to lick the ice cream. So thankfully the toy version appears to cure her desire for the real thing.

    For anyone interested I followed the crochet instructions for this ice cream cone from the book Tasty Crochet by Rose Langlitz. You can also visit Rose's blog at

Thursday, 19 May 2011

My Creative Space

    Or, otherwise known as the ice cream entry.

    My daughter's latest obsession has been ice cream. Which is funny considering her limited exposure to any form of candy. So this morning my husband suggested I crochet an ice cream cone for Gwen to play with.
    Gwen and I just returned from the wool and knitting shop with a 4 mm crochet hook and 4 different yarns to produce the below pictured ice cream cone.
    If it is not too difficult I might even try making two ice cream cones.
    Mmmm! All this talk about ice cream and now I just want to eat a cornetto.
Tasty Crochet by Rose Langlitz.
Straying a little from the instructions — I will use Dazzle yarn.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

A True Perspective

    Here is my useless piece of information for the day. I was just reviewing season 1 episode 5 of True Blood and I noticed an interesting perspective.
    In the church Bill is describing a day during the civil war when an injured boy was stuck out in a field. A friend of Bill’s tried to save the boy but was shot mid rescue. Someone asks what became of the injured boy and Bill said he lived. At that point the camera cuts to Terry (foreground) and Andy Bellefleur (background).
    From reading the original Sookie Stackhouse books I happen to know that the injured boy was the ancestor of the above mentioned Bellefleur cousins. And in the books Bill holds a grudge against the Bellefleur family, because of this one event.
    Although the tele-series never comes right out in an obvious way to make any such connection . They still did it in this very subtle visual cue. But it would only be picked up on if the viewer has read the books, I think. So, there you have it.

Let’s Get Roller

Patrick Swayze had all the dance moves, and on roller skates too!
Following is a scene from a 1979 film – Skatetown USA.


I am thinking, thinking, thinking.
My quill is broken. Honestly, try drawing with a mouse.
I need a new project.
I have a long list, but where to begin.
Just one of those days, I guess.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Hood & Wolf

And so, my mild obsession with Little Red Riding Hood continues…

Ornamental Garden

On and off over the past few days I have been developing a series of ornamental garden illustrations. As per the below. It took me a little longer to do as my Wacom stylus decided to give up on me, but I got there in the end.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Your Happy List

The Sound of Music

Normally I am ‘loving’ the slight grey skies of autumn. But today I am just not feeling that love. And why is that? I can nail it in one word — virus!
I haven’t been feeling the greatest since early last week and I thought it was just a simple cold. No big deal. I could handle a head cold. But then it just seemed to drag out. And out. So I called in at the GP and they confirmed that it was not a cold, but, in actual fact, a virus.
Not much can be done about it except the advice that I rest. This may seem a simple enough instruction, unless you happen to have a toddler [and another on the way in three weeks].
But I didn’t come here to complain. Rather I thought I’d share with you the things that currently make me happy. A happy list can improve one’s mood a bit.
·      Following craft and artist blogs. My most favourite blogger at the moment is Candice Ransom.
·      Reading book sagas — because the fun almost never ends.
·      Rereading old favourite books. Especially when the pages are dog eared and softened brown from age and air exposure.
·      Dreaming about getting back into a pair of roller skates in the near future.
·      Writing my thoughts in various journals and making potential lists of things to do in the future.
·      Looking forward to meeting and getting to know my next child. Soon. Very soon.
·      Drinking milkshakes.
·      I enjoy the aroma of a chai tea bag.
·      Checking out the artwork of some of my favourite artists:
o   Josh Agle
What about you? What is on your ‘happy’ list?

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Melissa Haslam

Melissa Haslam is one of my favourite artists whom I first came across via her blog — Cherry Fields.
One of the nicer sides to the internet is the opportunity it provides in seeing into the work studios of our favourite artists. And a few months ago Melissa’s sister, Suzie Haslam, made a sweet little feature video [as shown below]. I have no doubt you will enjoy viewing it as much as I did.

Melissa Haslam: Painting from Suzie Haslam on Vimeo.

To find out more about Melissa Haslam’s work simply follow these links:

Monday, 9 May 2011


I have been blogging here since Friday 27th June 2008 and have made 625 posts on this blog alone. That’s not a bad haul for one person. Originally I didn’t have a clear objective for the blog other than to have a digital platform for sharing my ideas and crafty works-in-progress. This blog has since evolved with me. On and off there was emphasis on my artwork and crafts. More recently it has been a bit more about my writing.
I feel a new phase of the moon is passing for me — I am considering the future of my blog. So now I ponder the secrets of the universe, or at least the hearts of those whom enjoy following my blog.
Please leave a comment, telling my what you like best about my work here in blog-land [and feel free to elaborate]. Is it my:
·      Artwork [illustrations and paintings]
·      Witty writing [essays and short stories]
·      Or something else that I haven’t thought of.
There will be a Secret Special Giveaway for the first three blog followers/readers who provide feedback to this blog entry. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Books or Door Stops

Listen, people, those rectangular slabs you're using as doorstops… they're books. Careful, the first time you open them, they'll crack a bit. Don't be alarmed.
Professor Edward Alcott [Greg Kinnear], film Loser

My brain is fried! It has been quite an active week for me, both physically and mentally.
I think I’ll just stop now, eat a biscuit, drink tea and read the latest issue of Frankie and some Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. No doubt husband will come home from work and find me passed out with book open. This happens on occasion, when I am extra tired.
Have a great weekend everyone, with whatever it is you do.

Dirty Hair & Creative Juices

Ack! I’ve got dirty hair, and feeling a need for a make over. Luckily the creative juices are beginning to flow again. So rather than running the risk of doing something drastic [a-la-Britney-chop-it-off-Spears] I directed my creative energies into my own picture.
I don’t know about you, but so looking forward to a quiet, restive weekend.
Oh! I just remembered the new bed is coming tomorrow. So much for the quiet weekend, but at least it’ll be fun filled [sort of].
Right then, off I go to wash my hair. Toodles.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Curator At Home

Recently one of my favourite childhood authors, Candice Ransom, inspired me to be a curator in my own home. She wrote a blog entry about having set up a visually artistic ‘themed’ display in her own home [Follow this link to her blog entry].
Over the years I have collected many wonderful pieces, most of which are hidden away in boxes, just waiting to see the light of day. These are the sort of treasures I promised myself would eventually come out once I had something appropriate to display them on. Of course, time passes by and these lovely little pieces continue to lurk away under the house or in cupboards. So after reading Candice’s blog I just thought ‘enough’s enough’. It is time for some positive action.
The first step toward being my own curator was to pull out my old embroidered badges from childhood and to be placed in a frame. Most of these badges were souvenirs of places I have visited or lived in Australia. One of the badges is something my Dad received as part of his war game training back when he worked for the Royal Australian Air Force. And what badge collection is complete without my own achievements in roller-skating — my highest rating was three stars. I am very proud of these stars.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011


240: Go Currant

The Line Up

Dear 240, for almost ten years you have been an enduring and trusted friend. You were the mask I wore when I felt as though I couldn’t face the world. You helped when I wanted to look my best. You were even there for me on my wedding day. Sadly though, dear bedazzling 240 your days are numbered. The closer to the shaft’s end you come the less I turn to you.
Please understand it was never negligence or boredom on my part that turned me away. Neither should you believe that I found anything more suitable than you.
The only reason I tried other colours was in the hope of extending your life span. Sure there was some fun to be had with 867. But I couldn’t unwind and relax with that party animal. There was a brief and abysmal encounter with 260, but it didn’t take long to realise that was a no-brainer right there — it didn’t try to get along with anything in my life. Then there was the WX195. Certainly it worked well in a subdued kind of way, but did nothing for me when all I wanted to do was shine. Last but not least were 110 and 630, both of which did come close to your standard and perhaps may have almost hit the mark if combined. Yet still in the back of my mind there would always be something left to be desired, and I’d have known the difference. Some of the sparkle was in these two, but where was the warmth of you, 240, I’d sure like to know.
             240 what will I do when you are gone? Will there ever be another lipstick that can enhance my small lips and make my eyes shine?

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

By the Window

Wouldn’t it be nice to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon in front of a large open window, with a pot of tea, a delightful slice of cake and an engrossing book or letter at hand?
A gentle breeze floats the curtains and pervades the room. There is business going on in the world outside, but you are just inside your window. Disconnected from the busy movement beyond the walls of your home. You have your reading. You have your garden
[Sigh] Wouldn’t it be nice?

Girl Reading a Letter by a Window - Johannes Vermeer

Reading by the Window - Charles James Lewis

Young Girl Reading by the Window - Walter MacEwen