Friday, 31 December 2010

Fresh Start

Red Fish

Happy New Year! A time when a large part of the world hits the re-set button and off we all go again!  Wishing everyone a fresh start in 2011... I hope it's a good one for you!

The above painting is water colour, acrylic and ink..

Thursday, 30 December 2010

The Wildlife

Black Prince
This is a once highly prized, Black Prince Cicada that we used to try desperately to collect when we were kids.  There are hundreds of them around now, this one on my front doorstep.  Max tells me a Water Dragon ate him soon after this pic.  The law of the jungle!

Speaking of the law of the jungle, my cat Phoebe caught a foot long water dragon (lizard) this morning and brought it inside the house between her jaws.  I rescued it and set it free across the street, hopefully it is okay!  No pics of this little drama!


This pic was taken at around 5.30 pm in the afternoon, feeding time for these lorikeets.  His friends & family were in our neighbour's backyard and he was the only one feeding on bottlebrush. We keep the cat in when the birds are around! 

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Simple Pleasures

I've been playing in my studio, as you can see!

Life is happy here at the Villa Alecia.  Colourful lorikeets fly past my kitchen window at daybreak and dusk.  They chirrup constantly, so we know when they've arrived, often as many as a dozen at a  time!

Tonight it's an omelette for dinner, already chopped - fresh, vine ripened tomatoes, basil and chives, a little parmesan - smells heavenly!  Simple pleasures!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas Table

The table is set and ready for Christmas Eve celebrations when my daughter arrives.  The first family celebration in our new place.  The candles are sandalwood and the scent is heavenly! 

My studio is all set up now, thanks to my husband's efforts putting together a trestle table from Ikea and moving in some shelves for me.  A few of my paintings on the wall, a rug and voila!  The best present I could ever dream of!  All I need to do is chase Phoebe off the chair and I'm back in business....

I hope your celebrations are happy ones and that your holidays are nice and relaxing, whatever you choose to do.

Saturday, 18 December 2010


It's word of the year time again so visit  Christine Kane  for some reflection on 2010 words and inspiration for 2011.

I'm thinking my word will be Flow.  Not pushing the river. The last word I chose was Change and I certainly have had plenty of that this past year and it's time to ease up a little!  Lots of plans for the new year, so with a little direction from me, we'll see where they take me.

I'm off to the pet grooming salon today to give Jess the border collie a much needed shampoo and clip for Christmas.  She's going to be (even more) gorgeous!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

We're In!

We're in our new villa at last and it feels good!  Living here is like being on holiday!  This is the front porch where we spend a lot of time talking and breathing in the view over a glass of wine, while Jess the border collie sits at our feet.  Although we live in suburbia, this vacant land across the street is full of gum trees.  We have water dragons (foot long lizards) skittering around our sunny patios.  They are quite comical and I will get a photo if I can catch one! 

This family of lorikeets arrive on our fence every morning and evening to feed on the grevillea's and bottlebrush flowers.  They are noisy, playful and very affectionate with each other.  I have put out a bird bath for them but they don't seem to want to use it yet.


The move went very smoothly and we have unpacked everything except my studio, which is on hold while we work out some shelving.  The desk I chose to use will not fit in the room so I have to re-think that also.

Anyhow, we are all very happy in our relaxing new home.  And life goes on....

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Sketchbook Challenge

I will be following.... 

.... just as soon as I land in my new place and get settled.  The blog is up and you can get yourself a badge there. Some wonderful artists will be participating, following monthly themes and I can't wait to see what other artists do in their sketchbooks.
Thank you for wishing us luck with our move.  Will let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


I've been doing a little zentangling (if there is such a word!)

Christmas is on its way here in my neighbourhood.  Twinkling christmas lights are up on houses and the street christmas party was held last weekend.  We have been head down and tail up getting ready for our move so it's been good to see festivities going on around us, even though we can't join in yet. I have not set foot in a mall this season either and I'm not missing that experience one bit!

Lots of unseasonal rain about this summer, in fact a good chunk of our state has been declared a disaster area due to floods and we're expecting rain on moving day.  If so we go to Plan B!

Please send some healing vibes to Suki who is facing the possibility of an operation next week.  May all be well there.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Counting Down

I am counting the days down on the calendar till we move with big yellow highlighter pen X's.  Eight days to go....  My endless lists are merging into one final list and after that, it's all in the hands of the gods!

In the meantime, I am enjoying....

  • reading home decor books from the library.
  • freshly picked, fragrant gardenias sprinkled with summer rain
  • summer salmon and pasta salad
  • zero housework (it's way too messy for anyone to care!)
  • my pets Jessa and Phoebe - constant companions!
  • cicadas chirruping in the evening

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Deep Breaths!

I'd love a nice ordered room like this one right about now!  Living with everything packed in boxes is not much fun!   I'm missing things.  Such as my paints. They're well and truly out of reach and I'm starting to pout!  Our bathrooms are in disarray, thanks to some repair work that's being done and I am keen for a bit of zen...... We have less than two weeks before we move and I can't wait!

On the bright side, we have lots of potted plants to move and luckily we are able to do this early, saving us time on moving day.  Breathing deeply......

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Some Journal Pages

This is what I have been doing lately in the journal.  We had a journal session at my place yesterday and decided to explore the Bagua Map.  We used affirmation cards to help map each of the nine 'treasures'.  My main card was 'harmony' and it was a good fit!

Then we applied the Bagua Map to my new place and identified areas that were 'missing'.  These are patio areas and I will enhance with lush potted plants and decorative items.

Is this how it is in the northern hemisphere?  All cosy scarves, red cheeks and leaves gone from the trees?

Here in the south, it is more mermaid weather....

Monday, 22 November 2010

Wearing Your Passion

I found this wonderful piece of wisdom here  I love the bit about turning off the tv!  It also made me realise how little travel I have done lately, so next year some plans to go exploring.  A road trip maybe!
I believe I wear my passion for a creative life and wonder what your passion might be? 


This journal page will become a painting on canvas once I settle in to my new studio space.  It is kind of rough, but I had to get the idea down fast once it found itself in my head.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

A Piece of Calm

Garden Buddha

This is a sketch of a foot-high buddha that usually sits in my garden.  Lately he has been sitting in the centre of my dining room table for safe keeping while we dismantle the house.  A piece of calm amid the storm!  He has a slightly green patina from living outside, but I like it that way, it makes him look ancient, even though he was only bought a few years ago at Eumundi Markets in Queensland for a sweet $15!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Villa

Here are some purple pages in the journal...  I weakened and unpacked a box with paints in it! No staying power!

Our new home will be a Villa photos yet!  It is three bedrooms with french doors off the main bedroom, an open plan living/dining space and a nice spacious kitchen.  A bathroom and laundry too, of course!  We will have a screened-in north facing sunroom (the best aspect when you're down under), a few patio areas, a garage and a utility area out the back for the clothes line etc. 

There is a garden out the front that will be mostly maintenance free.  After having such a big house and garden here, we are looking forward to spending our time doing other things, so this is a good thing. 
Our garden will now be in tubs ... herbs & vegetables, geraniums, fig trees and a couple of clivea's.

The property is on one level, so goodbye stairs too!  There is a large, vacant tract of land opposite us, so at the moment, it is a pleasant outlook. .  Just a few more weeks to go!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Mango Season

All that I have left unpacked from my studio are colored pencils, texta pens and a couple of fine tip markers, so I combined them to make this page.  Half a woman's face with snake-like hair...

I really love the idea of fearless painting - fearless anything really!  Connie from Dirty Footprints Studio and Kim, Queen of Arts have led the way with great results.  Can't wait to get my paints back, I'm feeling fearless! :)

We had a glorious, hot, blue sky, spring day today and I ate my first mango of the season - juicy and beautiful! Here's hoping your weather is beautiful, wherever you are!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


This is not as sparkly and silvery as it is in the flesh, but you get the idea!

We have practically finished packing with the exception of some clothes, basic kitchen essentials and a couple of lamps.  We are up to week two of a six week deadline, so we're doing very well!

There is a heap of stuff to go to the council tip, more still to be handed onto the Salvation Army.  I feel blessed that we have so much and burdened by it all at the same time.  It feels good to pass it all on.  We are moving on to a simpler lifestyle at our new place, that's for sure!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Journaling Among the Boxes

Yesterday I held another journal class in my home surrounded by semi-packed boxes and naturally, it was a lot of fun!  Our theme was to create a map and we each went off in different directions with this idea.  I decided to follow my heart....

This is Marisa and Jen who both took to art journaling like ducks to water! 

Then we went on to draw self-portraits and because I had a happy accident where I closed the journal and imprinted on the other page, this one became a 'reflection in the mirror'!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Happy, happy, happy!

Journal Page

I sit here surrounded by 'stuff' pulled out from wardrobes and cupboards.  We're moving house and taking stock of everything ready for packing. Organised chaos!  Downsizing is the catch phrase around here and we have to let go of as much as possible.  We hope to be settled in by Christmas.  Big deep breaths......

Some wonderful news arrived this morning.... my artwork has been selected to be included in Patti Digh's new book to be published in 2011 -  'What I Wish For You' .  This news has lifted me up on a day when I am stressing about furniture and where it's going to go!  Happy, happy, happy!!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Rainy Day Painting

Today I pulled out my paints, since it is raining steadily and definitely a stay-in kind of Sunday.  I found a little round camembert cheese box saved from last Christmas, that was crying out for a little folk art.  I hunted around for some inspiration on YouTube and settled in for some fun!

Then on to the letter P.  My nephews gave me this for my birthday and today I finally decorated it.  The aim was to be seriously cheerful!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


This is a bit of journal play.  I'm still craving sculpture, put on hold till we find a place to live.  The edges of the journal page have been cut with fancy scissors to give a lovely tactile edge, which satisfies my need to feel the physical right now.

We are having some beautiful Spring days, a little rain, a little cloud, not too cold....  feeling in limbo and anxious to get moving...!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Chilling Out!

This is a sketch I made of our cat Phoebe lying by the old gas heater last winter.  She is eleven years old now, and despite appearances, is still playful.  She is part Burmese and part Persian, and very vocal when she wants to be, especially in the mornings at breakfast time!  She wakes me up without fail at 6.30am!

We are still going through the real estate process and I have no art to share.  I miss it lots, although I have plenty with which to keep my mind occupied.  No time to scratch really!  People looking at my house, me looking at other people's houses, a possible's all been more gruelling than I thought it would be....  So tonight I will chill out with my journal for company and process the day away!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Creative Itch

I found some time yesterday to sit and paint, just a small one.  It helped relieve the creative itch I am feeling right now.  I am loving alizarene pigment (madder rose) at the moment and making the most of it since I only have a small tube.  It's on the shopping list.

I'm also itching to try some papier mache sculpture, get my hands all messy!  There's some amazing creations out there and I want to make one of my own, then paint it in the brightest colours I can find.....  and do some outside scenery painting down by the waterfront - a picnic with paints.  If only the weather would settle! 

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Today, I am....

We are selling our house and there has been lots of tidying, cleaning, mending, sweeping, weeding, styling and general peparation for selling.  We had our first open house yesterday, so we'll see what happens!  It's tough making a living, breathing messy home, behave like a tidy, sparkling show home!  I feel a little antsy, so settling to make art has been not so much, and packing it all away again to keep things tidy is no way to run a studio! Still, I'm journaling, but mostly writing.

In spite of it all, I had some ladies over for a journal session last week and we messed around, getting to know ourselves and where we were at.  We followed the prompt 'Today, I am...." and went from there....  We had some great results and will follow a different, deeper train of thought next session, when more ladies will join us.  Fun!

This is a long weekend for us and has been very wet and un-Springlike.  However, the grass is rich and green, so who could ask for more?

Monday, 27 September 2010

Getting Warmer

You can tell it's getting warmer down in this hemisphere when I start thinking about the beach, shells, surfboards, waves...  I painted these shells a while ago in a scrappy old sketchbook, then decided to cut them out and paste them into a nicer neighbourhood!

The surfboard is a photo I took a couple of summers ago.  A surfer threw down the board, flippers and towel while he showered off the salt water and sand & headed for the shop.  A classic beach shot, printed out on my printer and pasted in the journal.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

September Pages

I thought I'd share a couple of journal pages with you.  I've been incredibly busy lately, but have still managed to get some journaling in, in the evenings after dinner - my favourite time for being creative. 

I have been using a small A5 sized journal, so it's easy to fill up in a short time.  I use a caddy to keep all my creative tools in and carry it to wherever I choose to be.  Sometimes it's the dining room table, sometimes I sit on the lounge while watching tv and other times at my studio table while listening to my I-Pod. Whatever works on the night!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Thursday Notes

It's been great to find out that there are those of you out there interested in doing an online journaling course if I offer one.  I will seriously look at doing one, so hang in there and I'll get back to you! 

And thanks Suki for suggesting that Myla and I meet.  We are hoping to organise something, since Myla lives only an hour and a half away from me (If you're reading this Myla, contact me by email:  blissfruitstudio at gmail dot com) I know we're always saying it, but isn't the blog world amazing!

The above page was made by smooshing paint between the pages to get a mirror image effect.  Simple and fun! The colours (maroon & gold) are the same as my son's soccer team - and yes, they did get into the Grand Final!  Wish them luck!! 

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Moving Forward

I'm all excited about conducting a series of three art journaling sessions, starting at the end of the month.  If any of my local readers are interested, please let me know and I'll forward the details.  Lots of fun to be had!

I have felt lately as though I'm floating in liminal space, waiting for things to happen, so it's been great to get these classes up and running at last.

Also, we have settled in downstairs, making the area into a relaxing room to watch tv, read or listen to music - a parent's retreat, as my sister suggested.  It is a lovely light-filled room, with a sunny patio outside, so bring on Summer! 

I hope things are 'moving forward' (quoting our Prime Minister!) for you too.  Happy Thursday!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Satisfying Endings

It seems to be all about satisfying endings around here lately!

This zentangle with a splash of colour I made on the last page of my journal, on the last day of the month.  A tidy ending to August and the journal!

There's been plenty of Spring rain the past couple of days, so it's been easy to stay indoors and get some studio time in. I'm on to the last stages of a big painting...nearly there Helen! 

Tomorrow we're off to my son's soccer final - will they get into the Grand Final??  Fingers crossed!

I spent time with a friend yesterday and delivered a couple of paintings to their new home.  It's always a good feeling to see them hanging in someone elses house. Totally satisfying!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

On a Roll

Painting downstairs has been finished, though I decided to do a couple of other spots in the house that need it, while I'm on a roll. The more you do, the easier it gets!  The rooms are looking fresh and bright again and soon we will move furniture back in.

Art has been on hold for a while, just a little journal play every day while I attend to the house.  I can't believe we're at the end of August already, the past month has flown for me.  Lots of highlights - a new computer, new living space and a new hairdresser!

Monday, 23 August 2010


With my daughter moving out of home, there has been lots of decluttering going on.  We have identified piles of stuff and old furniture to go to charity, other piles of stuff to go to the council tip... it's been keeping me pretty busy and the new energy bouncing about feels so good!

Yesterday I began preparing the walls of the vacated downstairs area ready for painting.  Any bits of furniture remaining has been moved to the centre of the loungeroom and today, I washed the walls with sugar soap.  A great workout!! 

Then soon, on to painting the lounge area, bedroom, bathroom, stairwell and hall.  Lots to do, so we'll plug away at it and hopefully be completed in a couple of weeks.  We're quite excited about having this new found space, so we're well and truly motivated.  Now I must get back to work....

Monday, 16 August 2010

Good As New

After a couple of weeks where Mercury must have been retrograde (?), (or perhaps we travelled through the equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle), we are back in working order again!  First the computer gave up on us, then the brakes on the car, the ignition on the gas cooktop, the vacuum cleaner motor, the lawn mower cable and lastly my saucepan drawer collapsed!

All is good as new now, but phew, I'll never take them for granted again!

The above painting is named 'Time Traveller'  If only it was that easy to move through time, or perhaps it really is that easy?!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

A Half Empty Nest

As I mentioned before, my daughter is moving out of home.  This is not her first step out into the world, however this time she is making the move completely on her own and I am really proud of her.  It will be great for us to have more space and freedom here, and we will be taking advantage of it.  But I will miss having her around.  So mixed feelings, happy though,  that she will be able to express herself in her own space and live in such a beautiful neighbourhood.  It will be just me and the boys here now - a different family dynamic!

Above is a journal page - an ink drawing of one of my particularly happy pot plants.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Tuesday's Thoughts

It is Tuesday and a pink magnolia tree is in full bloom outside one window and out of another I can see a flock of bossy white cockatoos bickering with each other and swooping from tree to tree.  The day is wet, but there is a gentleness about it.

I'm having trouble uploading current photos to my new computer (don't ask!), so this old one is our Golden Robinia tree in full leaf.  I am looking forward to summer when it will look like this again.

My daughter moves out of home soon and it means our downstairs area will be available for us to use for ourselves. The walls need painting first and a few other minor repairs need to be done before we do.  So I sit here on this rainy day, contemplating what furniture will go down there, whether we will use the bedroom as a guest room or for ourselves.  I'm itching to get started!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Unofficially - Spring!

Spring is here!  Not officially, but my trees are unfurling tiny new green leaves, bulbs have pushed up through the ground and the first blow-fly droned through my open front door today! 

The weather has been incredibly rainy, though luckily we've had the occasional blue sky day that has been great for gardening - weeding mostly, much easier to pull out clumps of grass in the damp soil.

Consequently, I have no art to share, too busy outside in the warm sunshine, it's too good to miss!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Relax & Play

I am now onto the last third of a large painting and it is giving me a little grief at this point, I must admit.  So today I opened my journal again after weeks of being away from it.  It was good to just relax & play again, without worrying about the outcome.  We all strive for perfection in our art, but to achieve it without blowing a fuse, playtime is essential.

This page I divided into three unrelated sections and painted simply whatever I felt like.  More play tonight, then tomorrow back to the puzzling painting!