Thursday, July 28, 2011

my creative space...ripplicious

I'm having a lot of fun making this for the first born...
It keeps my knees warm at night while I'm hooking and watching countless reality tv shows:) 
...and this is proof positive that the sun doesn't always shine in Sydney!
Off to Townsville this afternoon...bloody long way to go for a meeting :)
Creative spaces this-a-way.
all images a tranquil townhouse

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

top ten pictures from the week ~ 26 July 11

Oh my, what a roller coaster these past few weeks have been...
Lots of ups and downs
...and a few in betweens. All good now though thank you.
seen on 10 rooms
I went to Sydney last Thursday for the 20th anniversary dinner of the Australian Republican Movement...(no emails from monarchists, I can't be swayed)
finding myself in the same room as the famous Australian author Thomas Keneally 
seen on from the right bank
the famous Australian designer Jenny Kee (oh my she looked glorious, just like in this next her to bits)
seen on miss speculiar
the famous Australian journalist Geraldine Doogue
I have to tell you I was more than a little bit star struck...
lonny, seen on design manifest
and then walking back to the hotel in the worst rain that Sydney has seen for decades...
I got drenched to the skin while waiting at the traffic lights, by a taxi driving through a huge puddle...
seen on design sponge 
luckily I'd had a few red wines by then and thought it was hilarious!
You probably had to have been there :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I've been doing a lot of writing lately.  After my wonderful Bali experience, there seem to be an awful lot of first sentences for novels or short stories floating around on bits of paper, banged out in a random word document when the computer's up and running or typed haphazardly on the iPad if that's the closest thing to hand.
One thing I have been trying to do is my morning pages...three pages of handwritten stream of consciousness. Oh the drivel that sometimes comes out of the end of a pen onto lined paper in the early hours of the morning is something to behold. Or perhaps not :)
I use one of these lovely Christina Re journals that I won on Louise's blog
But it makes me think about handwriting. I like to write, provided I have the right pen. A fine nibbed ballpoint is the weapon of choice for me. Cheap pens from hotels I've stayed in seem to be the best for some bizarre reason. And my handwriting is not too shabby. Not fancy or anything. No clever embellishments, no swirls and twirls. But when I'm 'in the flow or the zone' or whatever it is, my writing looks pretty good. It too is fluid, languid, easy to do, and easy on the eye. I can also do a reasonable imitation of a type font when I put my mind to it. But that requires a different pen...and a whole lot more time!
But when I'm in a hurry or my thoughts are jagged, my writing takes that form on as well. Do you find that? Or is the art of handwriting just dead and buried, used only for shopping lists or by very well mannered people who write thank you notes? I hope not. There's such pleasure in reading something that's been lovingly written don't you think. 
I will leave you with the words of Norbet Platt...I don't know who he is or was.. not even google helped me with that..but I stumbled upon this quote yesterday and I like what he says. I think my morning pages are doing this for me.

"The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium."

And speaking of equilibrium, thank you to everyone who left a comment, emailed or facebooked after my last're very kind you lot. And while the zen may not be completely back it's certainly getting there. Some balance has been regained. And that's a very good thing. The top ten might even make it back next week at this rate :)
images 1 and 3 found on pinterest

Thursday, July 14, 2011


That's the sound of my zen disappearing in a puff of smoke. I'm going through a bit of a rough time at the moment, but I'll be back as soon as I feel I can. Hopefully that won't be long :)
Until then, enjoy this painting I did a long time ago, but more importantly please pop over and say bon voyage to Charlotta. She's given me the honour of writing her last blog post from Australia....I'm not sure if she's brave or just momentarily muddled! She and her lovely family are heading back to Sweden. Sob and sigh.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

my creative space::epic crochet fail...

Once upon a time, in a parallel universe, I thought that I could make the first born a granny square blanket...exhibit A:
I told you she was putting on the pressure for me to actually finish it here. I know how this mothering gig works; I do as I'm told, most of the time, and so I started to put the squares together...there were lots of granny square skimpiness in the tranquil townhouse. Exhibit B:
But alas, my skills, such as they are, did not stretch to putting the squares together in a way that pleased the eye, or quite possibly any other part of one's anatomy...exhibit C. Plain ugly. Puckered. Nasty.
So, what does any slightly competitive, I'm not going to let anything beat me kind of person do? They give up, that's what they do...and start another one. Exhibit D:
Early days but I'm much happier with this one. The firstborn however will quite likely have to wait until next winter to wrap up in this ripply goodness. Blanket recipe found over at Lucy's. Should have gone there in the first place. Clearly. 
Creative spaces over here...
all photos by me; sorry for the slightly disturbing one.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

top ten pictures from the week ~ 5 July 11

I hope you didn't think I'd given up these top ten posts. I haven't.
I know you like them. I do too.
by janis, pinecone camp
But life's funny. It has a way of sneaking up, surprising you, and taking you in a different direction.
Case in point: I took three unread interiors magazines with me to the Writers' retreat in Bali (please note previously self confessed magazine addiction)
seen on belle maison
And I only discovered when I got home and unpacked, that they were right where I'd packed them in the bottom of the carry-on. Untouched.
seen on mfamb
I hadn't given them a thought. 
seen on savvy home 
And they're still unread. They've been dumped for Janette Turner Hospital (this week at least), my every day morning pages writing exercise a la Julia Cameron, and plotting and planning...
I feel like I don't know myself any more...
seen on belclaire house
But I'm quite liking this new, focused, contented person.
The  zen is still with me ;)
Who'd have thought!

Friday, July 1, 2011

cooking in bali...

Thank you very much for all your lovely comments on my last postI've still got that lovely Bali calm...even my children are saying I've gone all zen!
I mentioned that one of the fabulous things I did when I wasn't writing last week was go to a cooking class at the Casa Luna Cooking School in Ubud...famous I know why.
Like the whole writing experience, the cooking didn't let us down either.
We were whisked off to a place that was less a school, more an oasis in the hustle and bustle of downtown Ubud...
 a balinese mortar and pestle weighs between 16-20 kilos and is made of volcanic rock
The school is run by the legendary Janet de Neefe, author of Fragrant Rice (I now have a signed copy!) and owner of several wonderful Bali eating places. I may or may not have sampled a few desserts at Indus just up the road from the hotel :)
We helped make the spice pastes. The lovely staff took over when needed otherwise it would have been two hours in the making, not the 20 minutes it was!
We cooked Chicken Curry, wok fried eggplant, tofu fritters, bean and coconut salad (that was impossible to stop eating), spicy anchovy and coconut sambal, and sago pudding.
 our fantastic and very funny cooking teacher Udeh (not sure if that's how you spell it)
I haven't asked for permission to publish any of the recipes sorry, but I'll surely be trying some of them out this weekend.
I’ll let you know how I go. 
In the meantime, you have a top weekend. You deserve it :)
all images: a tranquil townhouse

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