Category Archives: Family News

Autumn, Fairy Shoes and Ticking off lists


I am entranced daily by delicious vistas of autumn light – and raindrops so big you could loose yourself in them.  The environment is exuding a wealth that beckons a generosity of spirit.  My world is alive with the magic of enticing colour, warm light & shorter days.

Within the art of  photography, there is a time of day, called ‘magic hour’ – without getting two technical the half hour after sunrise & before sunset    Light at this time is warm & soft & you can capture photos with good shadows & tonal transitions. Subjects look warm, saturated in color.  Autumn in our house has me dashing to our front verandah – camera in hand………the half hour before sunrise & after sunset the light is soft & rich & has the depth of velvet.   Shadows are deep, but the light is extremely saturated, which makes for amazing sunset shots – which we are ideally situated to capture.  Autumn is one of my great loves.

(if you’d like to read a little more about ‘magic hour’ you’ll find some good info here & here)

I have been creating a bit of art with a needle lately.  I am thrilled to say that our little princess’s quilt is finished (which you may remember was on my list at the beginning of the year)  She has just turned 2 & she is so full of exuberance & has just a mischievious little laugh.  She is a little magpie and her little nonsensical conversations and comments make you laugh out loud – such a joy!!  What’s the first thing you do when you are presented with an heirloom that has cost many hundreds of dollars & has taken 18 months to make – JUMP  FOR JOY OF COURSE!!!  LOL!!!  We love her to bits – AND OF COURSE – as her grandies – we ARE biased!!  Back to the quilt – it’s huge – it began life as a cot quilt, then transitioned (when DIL & I discussed how the precious cot quilts of the older two had become obsolete now that they were in ‘big beds’) into a single bed, then finally into a king single (when I realized that was the size they had bought for their eldest.  The final size was 66in wide x 77in long…..aka big & heavy to ‘man handle’…..but it’s done now & sick person that I am, despite it becoming a guilty obligation in the end – I am already looking to the next one!  It’s the euphoria of the finished quilt driving me – no doubt!  After the spectre of failure that makes me choke at every deadline is overshadowed by a success – I want to recreate it.

We have an event coming up at the end of May that I am creatively involved in & I have been painting, sewing & doing some watercolours, mixed media & digital work – all around the topic of feet & shoes.  I have had fun creating fairy shoes, sweet little booties, as well as creating artful invites & treasures to sell on the night.

I HAD intended to post up the patterns that I made for the shoes – but that didn’t happen, so it has to be next time!  Til then – take care………..xk


at last a little quiet time


Quiet Caverns web Quiet night web
at last some art!  life has been busy with work, study & family and a week quickly turns into a month and a month into a quarter – summer has faded and we are enjoying the mildness of autumn.  Resplendant sunsets, huge skies, mild weather, rain drops that fall like water balloons & leaves that are starting to turn.  And of course, our new little Princess is growing & has already passed her birth weight.   IMG_4047-webIMG_4009-webShe is a precious little love, so treasured by us all. I bathed her this morning and the miracle of new life is still present in her infant cry & her flailing little arms.  Such a wonder – such joy to behold! One of the most precious comments came from our darling Toby when he was introduced to her, sitting with his Daddy (our son) he said – 'Now we are a 4 family daddy!' in a very excited voice!  How special.  Thank God.

life is galloping by


Night Owl Teal_resize After Rembrandt_resize at a great rate of knots – and yes – for the first time this year – the 'C' word was mentioned yesterday – yes, you know the one, the one my year used to be measured by….

it's 3 months,
or 111 days,
or 2669 hours, or 160162 minutes or 9609728 seconds until Christmas – whew – no wonder it's galloping – those numbers just escallate!After Degas_resize  I have had to (regretfully) acknowledge that The Princess (grandbaby) – Miss 3 – is NO LONGER a toddler and that I am approaching a very large number next year.

It's funny, having always been mistaken for being much younger than I am, age has really never worried me, but having suffered a whole raft of mobility issues in the last couple of years, I am now beginning to seriously consider my own mortality and aging.  It's not a pleasant thought. I am even wondering about my pursuit of drawing – will I finally get it, just before I die and not ever produce anything worthwhile?  I am STILL a fledgling – better of course – I would even hesitate to say MUCH better – but I am still heavily reliant on copying and having something already 'flattened' into an image rather than drawing from life.  oh well – at least I won't be a 'stale' old grannie – you can't get too old if you are still learning!  These are some of my recent dry point etchings – and NO – they aren't drawn – they are primarily traced. The decision of how & in what manner to shade is where the 'art' comes in, as it alters the whole look of the piece.  Still impacted by my 'Degas' visit last year, the little dancer was first etched and printed, then I bathed the paper in walnut ink & detailed it with white chalk.Toby's Magpie III_resize  The magpies are from photographs I took of our little Master 2 1/2 feeding a family of magpies they have befriended at their home (of course they end up reversed when they are etched & printed). IMG_0085_resize

Toby's Magpie II_resize
Countdown to Christmas!

life at TWO


IMG_1913_resize Our darling little grandbaby 'Special T' is TWO – wow – where did those TWO years go???  TWO year olds are SO busy and this is why 48 yo's don't have them.  Here is our little man, both Nonna and Poppa's pride and joy- starting up his scaled working toy chainsaw – just like Daddy's.  He was SO excited and of course everything instantly needed trimming!  LOL!!  Accompanied by his gardening tools and work apron and gloves, he immediately needed to leave the birthday celebrations to join the call of the great outdoors. IMG_1976_resize His cousin -' The Princess ' was equally excited and was very keen to 'help' with the candles on the birthday cake and 'share' all of the birthday boy's presents.  I must say, sharing doesn't come so easily to her – however 'Special T' was very gracious and was happy to share his new 'In The Night Garden' crockery.  Life is special at TWO – there are 'fairy clocks' (dandilion heads) to find and blow, flowers to pick and veges to water……..there are 'babies' (dolls) that need to be fed and walked in the pram and there are 'trees' that have to be cut down… OH – AND OF COURSE!  Nonna's Christmas tree to decorate! And yes – at last 'The Princess' has some HAIR! (carrying on the family tradition of nothing much appearing until about TWO – then IMG_1730_resizeeventually cultivating hair that is thick & wavy & needs regular shearing!

A BIG day!


WHEW – there is a reason why 48 yo's don't have toddler's!!! LOL!!!  Big morning with both of my little treasured grandbabies today….. we spent much of the morning outside with the dogs, finger painting on the deck, throwing the ball, sweeping the leaves, weeding the garden and all ended up a little wet (from the dew) very dirty (general grot) and quite tired – which WAS my plan.  Then unexpectedly, our son turned up to pick up 'Special T' early.   So what I thought was going to be a VERY long day, with two toddlers, ended up being just the morning & it was lovely.  After the boys left, it was time for afternoon nap & another surprise – the Princess (who is quite tall for her age), can now climb out of the porta cot which is her bed at Nonna's house.  The last few days both in the afternoons when I put her down for her sleep & in the evening when I put her to bed, I have found her, out of her cot, & tucked up in our bed under the doona.  It appears that the time has come for her to make the transition into a bed – so I have made her up a 'camp bed' for her afternoon nap – it remains to be seen how successful it is, but I have my fingers crossed.   I am working on some new handcarved stamps this afternoon – hopefully - I will have something to show you soon.  These are some of my faces from the last couple of days.FotD-191008-web FotD-181008web I have done these as 'Dinner Guests for the next 'Embrace the Face' challenge – Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.  The first one, called 'Wanna Play?' is done on hot pressed watercolour paper where as the second one – 'Feel the Serenity' is done on cold pressed paper.  When I first started watercolouring about 18 months ago – I really loved the texture of the cold pressed paper because of the dimpled texture.  At the time I was doing fruit (pears - look under Watercolours if you'd like to see them) & gum leaves.  This paper is great for this – however it makes faces look rather pockmarked – so I don't think that I will use it for this any more. 
Below are the next of my Every Day drawing challenges – #5 to draw your bed; #6 to draw something precious.  This is a likeness (a poor one) of my paternal Grandmother's wedding china – which I am priviledged to have had left to me by my Grandfather.  It is very special to me.

005-bed-web  006-precious-web

busy busy busy


Jordae10 a three word description of life with a 2 yo!  we have had fun today in the studio 'samping' (stamping) and drawing with her 'texas' (textas – markers)….. I have mostly be just doing a few bits & pieces today, adding in text, adding embellishments & highlights…. things I can pick up & put down – cos I may have to at any given moment.  Does it sound like I am complaining?  I am not – it's just that you can't expect to stick to a plan!  I am also doing a little work on my 'Bard of Avon' pieces as that has to be off on it's journey soon.  I found out today that William Shakespeare's parents were glove makers….. I didn't know that before today….. when I saw the gorgeous lace on this ladies sleeves it tied in to what I had seen associated with the shakespeare family – so I thought this would be a good image to give away today.  SO have fun with it!

A little ray of Sunshine


It is totally possible that over the next three weeks my posts will become a little Elizaveta_bem__postcard4sporadic……..because late this afternoon – our 2 yo princess arrives for a stay for three with  Nonna & Poppa while mummy does her last block placement for her course.  Babysitting is a little more involved now with a toddler, as we now are constantly on the move, into everything & needing to be occupied…….. every second sentance out of her mouth is ‘What Karl_friedrich_schinkel__portrait_oyou doing Nonna/Poppa’ which sounds incredibly cute when you hear it for the first or second time, but after you here it 20 times in the first hour you have her – you soon tire of it.  Despite all discouragement otherwise – she is writing & drawing on everything…… and frequently slams the door after her when she enters a room, then bangs on the door to come out. STILL – she is our precious treasure & there will be lots of special moments & I love being so involved in her life.  I will be arting & catching up when I can….if you right click these images, you can save them to use them in your art.  They are copywrite free.

you are so kind


thank you again, your messages, emails & comments have been lovely – really warming Fragileweb_2 my heart & have made me feel loved & supported the world over – it is really special that so many of you have taken the time to write to me…… thank you again & again Carolweb– you don’t know how much it has meant to me to read them when I have been feeling flat. (which is most of the time at the moment) – I am told that if I am breathing – I am doing ok – I have had the Princess today and who can be flat with a starry eyed 2 yo Princess begging you ‘amp Nonna’ (which is ‘Stamp’ – last week when she visited I introduced her to the wonders of stamping – with her own set of wood mounted butterflies – perhaps the world’s youngest stamper!)

Dispite not really feeling up to chatting – I have been scribbling away at some faces – nothing wonderful – and a bit souless – but I guess as long as I am drawing, I am making progress. Princessweb