Monday, March 31, 2008

The Perfect Travel Journal

If you've been a reader for a while you will know of my search for the perfect journal and how I solved the ongoing dilemma by making my own.
'As For Italy' by Jean Francois Revel (copyright 1959) is one of the journals I made prior to my own trip to Italy at the end of 2006.  I took it with me all the way, and brought it home again, empty, untouched.  I had made too many journals to possibly fill on my trip, and this one was the last one, left blank.
I love this book!  I removed the original book block from it's cover, reinforced the spine, created a new book block out of the best quality artists watercolour and drawing papers, included a couple of the original pages (including the title page) and sewed it up using a technique that allows the book to open flat, but is strong and has no gaps at the spine.
I added a ribbon page marker, an elastic closer, a vellum pocket inside the back cover and some foldout maps I printed on my inkjet printer.  

I have no idea when, if ever, I will get to visit Italy again.  I think I'm finally ready to part with this perfect little gem, so I've actually listed it for sale in my Etsy shop.  It is very special and will be every bit as special to it's new owner, I'm sure!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Front page news!

Yes, I was lucky enough to be included in this delightful Etsy Treasury page which made it to the front page of the Etsy website!  I didn't get to see it there, however, but it must have looked just fabby because my handprinted retro 'sticks and balls' design card sold!  Thanks Jaidub (from nowherespecial) for including me!  

Click here to see the Treasury page at Etsy.
Click here to see the other goodies in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Thank you everyone who expressed concern for my sore ankle.  I feel a bit like a charlatan though.  I actually fell a couple of weeks ago and am all better now.  I've had a really busy few weeks and was just catching up on the missed posts!  Hope to get to post something happier very soon now!

Cheers and Thanks!

Friday, March 28, 2008


Don't you hate it when you read your own writing and find dumb spelling mistakes? I didn't 'feel' down the back steps! I FELL!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ah, Gigi!

I love this image!
I just sold the last Moleskine Cahier I have in stock.  I will definitely have to get printing!
Gigi limited edition art prints are still available though.  Above is 'Glamour Girl'.
And this one is of Perry who is REALLY hopeful of becoming Gigi's 'friend'!

Available in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Only Good Things Happen to Me!

That's my newest affirmation. I've maintained an arms-length interest in affirmations over the years, oscillating between belief and flat-out disbelief. Lately I've come firmly back to the belief side of the spectrum. I think it all has to do with intention. So, how nice is this affirmation!?! Only good things happen to me.  I'm actively testing this one!!!
I've actually been away for a few days - only three really, but it feels like I've had a real break away.  I wanted to show how good life can be - and for me that means art supplies and stationery to the max!  I'm putting these photos on Flickr with notes to tell you exactly what I splurged on.
Bookbinding supplies (I'm working on my first editioned Artist's Book), printing supplies (for that book) and books books books!
And!!! we all went to see Rocky Horror Show!!! iOTA, who plays Frankinfurter is excellent! As are they all!  A must see, if you can.  Thanks to Caitlin and Paul who gave me my ticket for Christmas!
And I managed to get envelopes the EXACT silver as that in my Gocco printed cards.  So I've been able to finally package up my first bulk order and I'll deliver it tomorrow.  Now that's good too!  This is a bad photo.  These cards are IMPOSSIBLE to photograph!

It was a good three days away.  It's true.  Only good things happen to me.  I strongly suggest you try that affirmation yourself!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Shop

The shop at the headland (now appropriately called "Headland Cafe") has not changed much at all since I saw it first as a little girl, and yet it is entirely different. When I was 7 it was owned and run by Mrs Jones. George (he was never called Mr Jones and she was never called... I don't even know her full name) drove the ute into Nambucca and Urunga to get the supplies, delivered the milk and papers, big blocks of ice to those who were camping and had no electricity, and I think even the mail for a long time, but he never set foot in the shop. He wasn't allowed or trusted by Mrs Jones. Or at least that's the way I remember it.

Last weekend I was there again. I have visited it regularly ever since that first day. This time I ordered the chargrilled vegetable turkish which is my favourite thing on the menu and in my opinion, hard to beat even in more sophisticated environments. (They got the order wrong again and I got the veggie burger - but that's OK; it's nice too.) While I was waiting I was again looking at the old photos of Mrs Jones, the shop and 'clientele' that could have been me (but I don't think my swimmers looked like the ones on the girl in the photo, so it probably isn't), I suggested to the 'shop keeper' (I have to call her that because that was Mrs Jones' title, and it seems only proper) that she sell 'Mrs Jones' postcards. She laughed and said that would be a funny thing to do. I said I'd buy them. I would. Every time I went there. I'd buy them.

It is an indication of how Mrs Jones affected the residents of Valla Beach, temporary and permanent, that her photos are hanging in the shop she last was in herself, what, I'm guessing 20 years ago or more. She was the glue of the community. Two-pack epoxy strength glue! When I was 7 there were 20 permanent residents in the village, but many more houses as it was the favoured destination for holidays for the families of inland towns. Mrs Jones had a key to just about every house. With George as her eyes (she was ALWAYS in the shop) she 'kept an eye on' each home. She knew who was where and why. In the holidays the sides of all the roads down to the beach would fill up with tents and people. George drove around to each tent and house several times a day. But it was Mrs Jones who was in charge. She pulled the strings and George made it happen.

In the shop she sold the best cheese, a huge wheel of cheddar wrapped in cheesecloth. Even in those days that was unusual as plastic wrapped processed cheese was the norm. She had one packet of everything on the shelves. I guess she got George to replace them when they finally sold. Except the tins, she would have 3 or 4 tins, each one so old the can was well and truly rusted. The packets were old too. I remember Rice Bubbles that had the texture of marshmallows. She had a fantastic collection of lollies in huge old jars. Her musk sticks are still the best I've ever tasted, so stale that they were astonishingly crunchy. I loved them!

She had hints for everything. I still remember her telling me how she came to have such beautiful skin. (I don't think a 13 year old can really appreciate how beautiful an 'old ladies' skin can be, but I listened anyway, you always listened to Mrs Jones.) She said she put rolled oats in her bath water and wiped metholated spirits on her face after washing it. I stuck to both these suggestions religiously, for a while anyway. Such was the power of Mrs Jones words.

I will still visit the shop. We always just called it 'the shop' and I always still will. The food is fabulous and fresh now, but somehow I still feel sentimental thinking about those ridiculously crunchy musk sticks.

I did this sketch in my rebound sketchbook The Function of Voluntary Muscles. The right hand page is one of the original book pages reinserted when I rebound it, with a layer of gesso over it. The watercolour is done over the gesso, but the original words are still visible, ghostlike.

A New Award?

Awards are so much fun.  I had such a lovely time getting the award (see previous post)!  It got me thinking... I could easily create an award that could swoop around the blogosphere like a speeding mullet... Now what could it be...  

So with a little work I came up with my version of the "I love you this much!" Award!

But then I couldn't think of anyone to give it to....
maybe it won't take off after all....

Monday, March 03, 2008


What a lovely surprise to receive this award from Janey!  She so rightly deserves this award.  I am wishing I could just send it straight back to her!  And why not!

So I am passing this award on to those who I do love this much:

Janey for being my oldest (in length of service, not age) blogging buddy, and such a great supporter of me and my lil' old blog.  (Who cares that she awarded me first?!)

To Nix for being a great artist, blogger and fellow art student.  But if that's not enough to merit this, I'll also mention that she and I will be creating - together - separately - or somehow -  in collaboration!

Linda at Quotidian Curiosities (I love the name!) gets this award, in spite of the fact she has been a multiple award winner recently, because she has always helped to lift my spirits when they were flagging a bit, with her thoughtful comments here on my blog.  I appreciate the support Linda!

Alison at Scribbles Adagio who inspires me constantly with her wonderful memory paintings. 

And my newest blogging friend, Sara from Double Elephant, The Daily Drawing, AND her third blog, Complicities.   Sara is a gifted artist and her artist's books are amazing.  And she lives near me, so I hope I'll get to have an 'analogue' chat soon.

It's actually hard to stop this list; it's just limited time tonight that stops me from going on (and on).  Thanks to everyone not on my list.  I do love you and your support for me and my blog over the years has really been appreciated.

I need to add the link to Emila who created this award and whose blog will tell you all about it.  The participation rules are simple:

1. If you get tagged (and want to play along), write a post with links to blogs that you love,
2. Link to 
this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

And as they say "I love you all!"

(I don't think I really need it, but I'm off to have another red wine!)

5th March - I corrected the error in the link to Alison's Scribbles Adagio!  Ooops!