Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas

Christmas cards are fun for calligraphers. Every year in my calligraphy class we try to come up with a new and innovative card. This year I'd seen a Rudolph stamp and thought I would try and draw it, which worked and the rest of the card just evolved (such is the creative process. It's printed on tracing paper (or as the scrapbooking industry insists on calling it - vellum!) I hope all who received one enjoyed it, because it was fun to make.

This is to appease certain people (Margaret) who think I don't put enough photos on my blog. Admitedly I take lots, so it's not like I don't have plenty to choose from. This one was taken about 6 weeks ago at playgroup. Unfortunately I must have had a very senior moment and haven't downloaded the files from my camera to my computer. Luckily, I had printed some and was able to scan this in. We even got this printed on a 12x12 canvas, which looks excellent.

I think that I am almost ready for Christmas, all presents have been bought, Christmas cards sent, almost finished making Christmas tags and some of the pressies have been wrapped. I haven't made any gourmet goodies this year. I really want to try turkish delight, but I've been really unsuccessful in finding rosewater (any ideas?)

Well, it's time for the Amazing Race finale and for me to sit down with some chocky and a milor and relax. Will hopefully be able to post some pics from the Wiggles concert last Sunday, which was loads of fun! Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Movember Update

This is Andrew attempt (some may say sad attempt) at growing a Mo for Movemeber. I must admit I'm glad that it has been shaved off, not very nice in the kissing stakes and I think it does nothing for his face. Still a good effort and he has raised over $500 for Prostate Cancer research and that can only be a good thing.

Been meaning to post for a while, but to be honest I'm so tired by the time Bailey and Nathan go to bed that I fall asleep in the chair in front of the TV. Blogging during the day is difficult because they are firmly attached to me.

Now I know that someone must read this blog besides me and my family because I have a growing number of dots on my clustermaps. Please someone leave me a comment so I know where you are from and what you do and so that I can check out your blog.

Must go, munchkins are back from the park and peace has ended!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tarra Bulga National Park

Over Cup Weekend we visited Andrew's sister Fiona and her family, who live in Yarram. This is always lots of fun as Bailey and Nathan love to run around with their cousins and Jess the dog!! The dirt mound is also another favourite hideout.

While we were there this time we visited the Tarra Bulga National Park, which is temperate rain forest about 15 minutes from where Fiona and Trevor live. These are some of the random shots I took on our walk to the waterfall - which because of the drought is much more like a trickle!

Andrew is doing Movember this month, which means he is growing a moustache. Movember helps to raise money for Prostate cancer research and if you would like to donate. Andrew had started when I took these picks but it's a bit difficult to find any real undergrowth under his nose! I promise to post a recent look at this Mo but he's away for a couple of days so you'll have to wait!

We've had some momentous changes since I last blogged (yes, I know I've been a bit slack!). Bailey is now toilet trained, he still needs help going to the toilet, but generally remembers to tell me when he needs to go, we've only had a few accidents. Nathan is not really showing any signs of being ready, but often he has been a little behind Bailey in some of his milestones so we'll get there eventually. He certainly wants to sit on the toilet, but as yet nothing is happening!! It's funny that once you become a parent all decorum about bodily functions seems to be removed as we happily talk with other parents about wees and poos!

We had a great weekend this weekend. I spent some time on Saturday afternoon with a friend Lisa scrapbooking, which was a real treat. Andrew wasn't playing tennis so I really too advantage of that! Yesterday we finally sold some of Bailey and Nathan's baby stuff (car seats, rockers), which really frees up some room in our tiny but messy front room. Sunday afternoon we had tea at Lisa's place and Bailey and Nathan played so very well with her sons Cooper and Baxter it was nice to be able to relax and watch and not worry about who was going to get hurt!

Today Bailey and Nathan are in occasional care until 3pm. I'm trying to take advantage of this time to finally clear the mess in this room I'm sitting in. I've been trying all year!!! But I can see the floor for the first time in ages so that's a bonus. Tomorrow I'm finishing off my Christmas card design in calligraphy and having some x-rays done on my knees, which at this point appear to be cactus!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What's that smell?

Had to quickly share this story while Bailey and Nathan are safely eating brekkie and watching Shaun the Sheep.

Last night we put the boys to bed as normal, Nathan fell asleep almost immediately, Bailey however, having had a catnap at around 5pm decided not to go to sleep. That's okay, Andrew was on duty and just kept putting him into bed. Around 9pm when all was quiet I said to Andrew - Can you smell something? So we decided to check to make sure that Bailey hadn't got into anything . . . . yes . . . you guessed it . . . this is a real toddler/preschooler moment!

Bailey had found the Curash Nappy Rash cream, which is like thick zinc cream. Now not only had he decided to smear it all over his bed and the spare bed, he had also decided to completely cover a few toys, to try to feed Nathan some while he was sleeping . . . oh and to eat some himself! Andrew and I went into complete recovery mode, we rang Nurse-on-call who then passed us onto Poison's Australia, who advised us that this stuff was non-toxic and the worst case scenario was some diahorrea. So we cleaned out Bailey's mouth, cleaned his teeth, gave him lots of water to drink stripped the beds, washed the sheets, chucked the toys, tried to explain to Bailey why it's important not to eat things that are in strange tubes . . . and all the while Nathan kept sleeping.

I'm sure that this won't be the first time the boys eat something they are not supposed to, but hopefully it will all turn out okay like last night.

Next post will be some photos of Andrew's 40th, just need to find the time to post them!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Go Sainters!!

17.4.106 to 9.18.72

Andrew is in bed trying to sleep off the fact that Collingwood got beaten in another final. I'm not being cocky because we play Hawthorn next week and they are in fine form. Still it's one step closer to that elusive Grand Final berth.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I think I've told you that I'm really into making mini-books at the moment. I think it's because I can combine my love of paper, scrapbooking and calligraphy. I also get to play with some new techniques to see if they work or not. I'm sure that I'll probably get over the current passion, but at the moment they are my current favourite thing to make.

Okay, here's the first one, I made this for my Mum for her birthday.

Box-board covered in Mulberry paper.
Scapwares flower stamped in multi-coloures and heat embossed with clear holographic powder
Scrapbooking tag with calligraphy done in burnt sienna.

This one I made for my sister Jenni (who happens to share a birthday with Mum!!). This is to hold some of her photos - she is a fantastic photographer and you can find her stuff here and here.

Box board covered in mulberry paper
Chipboard frame from some scrapbooking kit I've had for ages
'My Photos' calligraphy done in burnt sienna and then heat embossed with
clear holographic powder.
Photos is one of Jenni's printed on archival inkjet canvas paper

These books are really easy to construct, especially since the box board goes through my guillotine, I really hate having to cut board with a craft knife. I've been using the Crop-o-Dile Big Bite for the holes and the eyelets and I must admit that I'm trying to use up some of my supplies so sometime I have absolutely no idea who made the embellishment that I have used. Still if I'm going to post them with details I might have to start taking some notice.

Jenni and I attended a workshop on making mini-books on Sunday and I'll post those in another post. Similar in construction although I learnt some new techniques for folding paper and adding a spine and the bling that we used to decorate them was quite different and not what I'd used before. I love it when I can incorporate new techniques into what I'm already doing. I'm currently making another book for a friend of Andrew's and need to finish that.

I usually have an idea in mind when I start but just allow the creative process to take over and the book evolves of it's own accord. These books are for sale if you are interested.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


This is Andrew on Broomecam last week. He was in Broome for work and as you can see he was working really, really, really hard!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

How cool is this!!

How cool is this layout? I was reading my latest issue of Creating Keepsakes and this is in the computer tricks article from Jessica Sprague (only the coolest of digital scrappers!!). The scalloped edged circle was a download from the CK site, also another cool thing! I was amazed at how easy it was to clip the photo's to the cirle mask. You don't actually crop the photo either it's just sitting out of sight in the background. I love that I can save this as a .psd file and play around with it at anytime. I've done this with a canvas size of 8 x 10 so it means I can get if printed if I save it as a JPEG. I have been toying with the idea of doing an album in this way, all done on the computer then printed as a photo and pasted to cardstock. I especially want to do an album of Bailey and Nathan's 10 weeks in hospital and I think that this could be the way to go. I have some more mini-albums to post, but as I'm maximising the time that Grandma and Grandpa are here it will have to be another post! Till then, enjoy.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Kinder time!

A quick not to let you know that Bailey and Nathan made it into the Dr. Stanley Cochrane Memorial Kindergarten (isn't that a great name!) for 2009. This is no mean feat in our council where kinder places are highly prized, we are very very excited to get a first round offer. I can't believer that the boys will be going to kinder next year, wow time flies. I'll have to post a now and then photo, just to see how much hey have grown.

Playgroup today and meeting up with my sister Jenni and my niece Kristen for Maccas - a very special treat for Bailey and Nathan.

Nathan has escaped, which means it's time to go.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Been a while . . .

It's been a while since I posted. I must admit the last month has been a bit of a struggle, just getting through the day has been a bonus. I'm into making mini-books at the moment and this is one I made for our friends Megan and Steve for the birth of their new little boy, Riley. I'm absolutely loving my new toy the Big Bite Crop-o-dile, it's fantastic to punch holes in anything. I'm doing a workshop in September with the Calligraphy Society making a keepsake book. I love learning new techniques and improving the way I do things.

Here's one of my little munchkins, aren't they cute. The floor puzzle is a big hit at the moment, they both like to do it together and get very excited when it's all finished. We've had some challenging behaviour recently but it all seems to have calmed down at the moment. The new table has helped with table manners and getting them to eat tea. Andrew and I are making a point of sitting down to tea as a family. I think this is an important part of family life.

The Wiggles are still popular, which is why I can type this post uninterrupted - Wiggle and Learn is on ABC!!! Another favourite is Lazy Town, which is from Iceland of all places. It's all about friends, teamwork, exercise and eating well, all good messages at this age.

I was very excited yesterday when my supervisor delayed our meeting because she's happy with how I'm tracking - means I'm on the right path. I have finally written my first words in my pursuit of 40,000. Having lots of fun tracking down books, manuscripts and scripts on the net. I found a rare book seller that has some fantastic examples of Nineteenth Century Illuminated manuscripts, these are not only rare, I actually thought they didn't exist! I love research and researching information about something like calligraphy just doesn't seem like study at all.

It's going to be a good day, Nanna's coming, she's got a surprise and I'm heading off to calligraphy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All in a day . . .

In many ways Bailey and Nathan are extremes. While being normal boys they love to run around, jump of anything (although Bailey has more height fear) and do rough play. But when all is said and done they and it's time to focus they like different things.

Bailey loves to do puzzles and he is a whiz at them.

Nathan loves to fly through the air!!! A superman in the making.
Today is Tuesday and that means Nanna is coming - yippee!! Calligraphy doesn't start for another week, but today I need to head over to Monash library in Clayton so that I can borrow some more books - the problems seems to be reading them not finding them!! I have to get some words to my MA supervisor and I'm sure she wants something other than, 'I have no idea what to write!' Currently my focus is on the nineteenth century revival of calligraphy, and more specifically broad nibbed calligraphy. But getting the words out of my brain at the moment is a challenge. Still that was one of my reasons for doing my Masters, to challenge myself intellectually.

Nathan is now helping Mummy to type mkhgfcfdc8ki he love s to be helpul.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Possum Magic

This morning when Andrew was leaving for work there were two ring tail possums on the electrical wire across our driveway. The light was amazing because it was an awesome sunrise. I snapped away happily while Bailey and Nathan were eating brekkie in the high chairs.

This was taken using my 100-300mm lens, which when added to a digital camera increases the zoom x 4. I played around with the apeture to get the blurred background, just don't ask me what I did.

I love this one because you can see how close the possums were curled up together.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


New work done for my friend Sar's little girl Charlotte. This is the first of this kind of thing that I've done, and although the fairy looks like she's got something stuck up her nose, I'm not unhappy with the result.

My head is buzzing at the moment from too much information, it honestly feels like it is going to explode. I met with my supervisor yesterday to get my MA moving into reality. Starting with the resurgence of calligraphy in the late 19C early 20C, specifically around Edward Johnston, the focus on letterforms and legibilty. Looking forward to seeing some early 20C calligraphic pieces so that I can compare with 21C contemporary/abstract stuff.

The buzz includes a series of wants that are burning into my brain. It's a matter of working out what I want more. There's a new workshop I'm thinking of doing on colour in calligraphy. Colour theory is not something that I can seem to stick in my brain. Any work I do in colour is purely intuitive. My Dad has explained the difference between warm and cool colours so many times he's given up trying! This is a five month workshop done one Sunday a month. It would be good to use calligraphy within a workshop, without focusing purely on the letters, in fact I think it would free up my lettering. Often when I attend workshops I swear I forget everything I've ever learned. It would also be a way of practising without taking up too much more of the limited time I have.

Time is also buzzing around my brain, hence why I'm blogging at 11pm at night. Hubbie and boys are asleep and this sometimes seems like it's the only time I can actually hear myself think. You have no idea how much I crave the silence of the night. I've been trying to finish PS for the past week and it's taking an interminable time, so much fiddling between Word, PhotoShop and InDesign. Unfortunately I'm going to have to let it go, with the start of my Masters I can't spend that much time focusing on something that is purely voluntary, no matter how much I enjoy it and how much it keeps my skills up. If it doesn't go, there's a good chance I'll go mad!

Trying to simplify my artistic life, to get back to what I enjoy doing rather than trying to work out if something is potentially sellable. Time to give myself the opportunity to call myself a calligrapher and an artist, rather than someone who does calligraphy and draws a bit! Incorporating calligraphy into my art seems the most logical step, although sometimes I struggle with where to start. I spend so much time in my head that sometimes I forget to have a go in the real world.

Remember this year is the year of doing more and thinking less . . . .

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Back from two lovely weeks holidaying in Merimbula. Fantastic weather, lots of time spent on the beach and in the pool!

Had some time to play around in PhotoShop and this is what happened!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Finished some work - finally!

Calligraphy done on an A3 watercolour background. Ink mixed to my own colours. Script is Italic in the blue and Roman capitals in the pink.

Flower Fairy - A3 watercolour background distressed with table salt. Coloured pencil and pen and ink drawing. Still deciding if I want to do some calligraphy on the original.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Getting up-to-date

Aren't these two of the most gorgeous boys you've ever seen!! Nuf said.

I did this for my cousin-in-law Jane and I understand it's now hanging in the bathroom. I have an order to do another frangipani tryptych similar to this and I'm also working on a vertical tryptych of a lotus flower. I like the smallness of the canvasses and giving them to my family and friends helps me practise my painting skills. Eventually if I can get a few done in reserve I'd like to try and sell them on ebay or at a market.

Went away recently for a girly weekend with the girls from my playgroup. Two kid-free nights, lots of champagne and food and a good cry!!! A luxurious pedicure ended with some pink toes, that still look good. I love being pampered.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Progressing on PS

I've been trying to work out for ages how to extract my lettering that I have scanned in from it's background. With a little help from my sister and Victoria Pittman I have finally worked out a way of doing it. This is my first try, using stuff I had already done. I'm excited about how this process can be used, especially for my cardmaking. Add to this that my bestest Dad has recently bought me some Chinese pointed brushes and black ink so that I can practise my brush lettering, the possibilities are endless. I'll post when I get something worth posting!
Haven't blogged for awhile and have a heap of photos that need to be downloaded from my camera. Once this is done will post a presis of my last couple of weeks. Have some excellent photos of Bailey and Nathan, been trying to take photos by stealth because everytime I get the camera out they want to look at the LCD screen at the back. They learn very quickly!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Seaside Daisy

This is the Seaside Daisy I've been working on since the
new year began.
Dimensions: 20cm x 20cm
Details: Coloured pencil on 220gsm card

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sunny days

Although they received trikes for Christmas Bailey and Nathan still prefer to hoon around on their ride-on BMWs. It never ceases to amaze me how much they like to be right next to each other. This is especially true now the our resident escapologist aka Nathan can get out of his cot. Where does he go, into Bailey's cot. Sounds cute, looks cute, but it's getting a bit dangerous so the the cots are being dismantle this weekend. Until their new beds arrive Bailey and Nathan will be 'sleeping' in Daddy's old king-single bed.
'Sleeping' because not much of that has been happening. After two days of no afternoon nap, and not getting to sleep until 9:30pm, Bailey felt the effect and fell asleep over his fish fingers last night. Nathan, well he's like the energiser bunny, he just never slows down.
My goal each day is to tire them out, but with these extreme weather days we've been spending a lot of time inside with the evaporative cooling. This tests my patience, especially since I no longer seem to have the sleep time to recover my energy. Consequently I've been a bit testy (if you as Andrew he might suggest I've been A LOT TESTY, or even downright CRANKY). Still I'm getting used to the new routine and I'm trying to let the boys have some independence. Still that meant Nathan climbing onto the bathroom vanity with Daddy's shaver while I was changing Bailey's nappy, and Nathan (notice the theme), climbing onto the mantlepiece to get the photo frames for Bailey while I was in the loo! Ahhh the life of a mother of a climber.
Still I just have to remember to put it all in perspective. At least I don't have triplets!!!! While my sense of humour sometimes takes a leave pass, I try my best to not let it all get to me.
PS sorry about the lack of spacing, blogger doesn't want to include the spacing I've put in and the editor in me hates it.