Friday, 24 June 2016

Snotfest 2016...

 I have been away from the blog for a couple of weeks
  due to our whole family participating in Snotfest 2016
 talk about being seriously gross
   we have been expertly building walls of tissues
 sneezing loudly enough to cause avalanches of the same walls of tissues
 not so quietly  bringing up lungs from coughing
 and happily infecting most of the southeast corner of the state
 actually we are all well and truly on the mend but nothing wrong with a bit of  creative exaggeration is there...

In amongst all the fun and drama I have squeezed in illustration work 
 and done some more cuppa paintings and some light sketching
but gross snotiness has been reigning supreme until the last day or two

 The only one clear of grossness has been Barry the cat
 though he has developed the habit of coming in and jumping on the bed in the morning and  just placing one foot on my forehead
 not with force or any weight... he just lets it lay there
which makes me think he is either attempting to do some sort of mind control
which requires actual physical contact
or he is just weird
 weird probably wins out

Part of the reason I think weird may win out is because he has begun jumping up on the sofa and lying on his back and meowing ... loudly
like cat screaming until we cover him with a blanket and then he stretches his arms above his head and goes into a deep sleep
it looks hilarious and is half adorable

Plus this same cat who is scared of cauliflower happens to like cauliflower soup
Phants has decided it is because it has been beaten into submission 
kind of makes sense when you think about it as pretty much anything is no threat if it is cooked until soft then pureed
I mean even a T-rex would be little threat in that situation

and talking about dinosaurs... how cool is that blue dino-planter
I am seriously wanting one for the studio
hence the drawing at the top
I think it would be just the thing to chase the last of the cold and flu blues away
I think he would be called Phillip... or Greg
or maybe he looks a bit like a Frank... or a Stanley

happy painting all...xx

Friday, 3 June 2016

Making Lemonade...

This week it has all been about making lemonade
 A whole frickin tree of lemons has been coming our way
 but I am pollyanna-ing their butts like crazy
 so lemonade it is

I could be stressing that Phants is patient zero for the current head-cold-ageddon
and is making all in her path generate unholy amounts of snot as she happily infects us?
. but I am choosing to see her as our own personal flu shot
and is helping us get the flu/ head cold out of the way early in the season
okay so maybe this one is pushing it as she really does appear to be patient zero despite her swearing it is Sinus and referring to him as Typhoid Mary under her breath

My poor Dad also had to have back surgery
which happily went well so don't stress
 plus he told my Mum and sister he was buying us all new Mercedes while drugged up to the eyeballs... he also wanted to know why they were wearing clothes
which is something I don't want to go anywhere near
but a new car brightens the week considerably
and the only downside is the sister didn't get it on camera
he is sooo going to try to weedle his way out of that one

Mug photo from Susanne Vargas

Barry the cat managed to jump/sit or otherwise bury his foot in mud
which then dried to the consistency of concrete
which has led to him walking around demanding we somehow remove it with what we assume are our magical powers as we aren't allowed to touch it
it is dislodging bit by bit and the upside is that he constantly walks around shaking his foot
 step step shake... step step shake... step step stop and lick it a bit... then shake
I shouldn't laugh and our cat whisperer is coming in to help us sort it out
but in the meantime... hilarious

mug photo provided by donna Browning-Damm
I still haven't found the missing left shoe I have been hunting for
but have decided it is a sign that I should buy new shoes
total lemonade there people

I dropped everything that I put in my hands
but that meant the floors are gleaming and have been washed more in the last week
than they were in the last month
I am thinking of serving dinner on them they are so shiny

We bought a gold painted garden gnome to put in the lounge room
no downside there...pure unadulterated genius from the top of his gnomey hat to his adorable golden feet

Mug photo from birthday girl and one of my Delicious Painters... Lynn Pauly
The Index-Card-a-Day challenge started 
so I got to get stuck into a couple of cuppa paintings

plus I am working on an illustration job 
that has involved me doing  some exploratory lemon paintings
which I kind of love despite the fact that they aren't usable for the actual job
and I have to get my head down and butt up and get moving on them as the deadline looms
but it has served as a good make lemonade reminder!!!

Happy painting all...xx

Friday, 27 May 2016

My Gloriously Messy Week...

I would love to be sitting here telling you I have had this amazing, productive, organised sort of week that is Pinterest worthy... or instagrammable
you know what I mean right, all pretty, carefully curated and collected
and looking like I have sailed through without a hair out of place
 hitting the end of the week feeling nicely accomplished and deserving of some time off
and perhaps a pretty drink with an umbrella in it
but nope I am skidding in with my butt bouncing on the floor
my hair is more akin to a person testing electrical sockets with damp fingers
the studio looks a little like I have held a rave followed by a toddler's birthday party in it
and despite the rest of the house looking surprisingly neat, tidy and visitor ready
I haven't been able to find my left sneaker for two days
and I suspect there is something in the back of the fridge that may actually be growing an appendage... or maybe it is a stray leftover lamb shank 
either way I'm not checking it out and risking it being gross
Sinus can do the honour of delving into the scary fridge leftover zone when he gets home
So despite the deplorable state of the world I inhabit do I get in and put it to rights
nope I am sitting carving a lino block

so let's look at the week shall we
hair was cut and coloured so it looked great for a day
and then old einstein hair made a reappearance
happily a nice fresh light colour, but einstein none the less

Phants turned 20 which is uber scary
not just because she is actually 20... which is seriously grown up
but it also meant a quick trip to the transport department for her to get her learner's permit as she had always thought she would get it before she was twenty
snuck that one in with hours to spare!!!
we have even done our first drive and car, nerves and sanity are all intact
in all honesty she did fabulously well and we only have 12 months and 99 and a half more hours to log before she can sit her test
she also managed to change her profile pic from here twelve year old self to an actual recent photo... Phants is not a huge one for social media you see
so this is big... like momentous big... friends phoning to congratulate her big

Last night we had a birthday dinner which meant lots of cooking, baking
and decorating the dining room which is always fun
even if it is a little fraught with danger as it requires climbing on things to hang those giant paper flower, ball things and other stuff from the ceiling
well I have to cover the scorch marks from the poorly thought out idea to cover the ceiling in fairy lights a few years ago... they looked glorious until the scorching stared though

We also got new curtains which necessitated Sinus using tools
and some light cussing and a couple of hours later the main bedroom is transformed
okay maybe not transformed
but it certainly looks like grown ups live there now
of course Sinus nixed the idea of attempting a ceiling covered in fairy lights up there
despite my assurances that I think I know where I went wrong in the dining room

I have done all sorts of fun-ish work projects
snuck in some sketching time
and eaten ice blocks in the endless summer warmth
we have walked the waterfront and marvelled at the perfection of the 
sky and water at this time of year
and have discovered that Barry the cat  is somewhat scared of certain vegetables
cauliflower seems to scare him, though it turns out broccoli isn't a problem
carrots freak him out and make him hide, but beans just make him curious
cats are weird

So quite frankly you can keep your pinterest, instagram perfection
I like things just as they are
happy painting all...xx

PS thanks to all of you who sent me photos of your cups and mugs for my Cuppa with Friends Project... they are all printed and on the pile waiting for painting to begin

Friday, 20 May 2016


 This week has been all about painting up food
 all of which was quite delicious to draw and paint
 and it was food I would normally eat
 which is great as you can eat your models!!!
 well the burger isn't something I would eat actually, not even close
and I'm not even sure where it came from except maybe as a reaction to all the healthy stuff
which is kind of weird when I think about it as most of the time now 
 I veer towards the gloriously hippy dippy, raw chocolate, wholefoods, courgette noodles, drink your greens end of the spectrum which I love quite frankly
so the burger was a weird blip on the creative radar perhaps

The good stuff for one job was creating illustrations 
for recipe templates for a tortilla company which is a bit of a dream job really
which reminded me that wanting to maybe illustrate a recipe book of my own
 is a good dream to have and maybe I would have  a great time creating one

which then got me thinking about all the things I would like to do one day

like learn to ride a unicycle
no clue why but it kind of defies the laws of all that is possible in the world 
and I like the idea of carrying one around on trains
not saying any of these dreams are normal... they are dreams after all

I would also like to be able to own a mini horse
or perhaps babysit one
the idea of watching tv in the evening with a mini horse curled up at your feet appeals hugely... cleaning up after said mini horse not so much
so perhaps I should be more specific... I would like a house trained mini horse

another dream is to be able to do a backflip on a trampoline
I mean who wouldn't
and this one gets stronger the older I get because being able to rock up to someone's house as a middle aged chickie and then just pop a backflip on the trampoline 
it would make you cool in anyone's eyes I believe

 I would also like to be able to understand and work bloody snapchat
see a drop bear in person
drive a mini dump/tip truck... you know like they have for delivering small loads from the sand and gravel supply places
grow an extra toe... just in case one fell off... I always thought we should have a spare
 and to be able to whistle

and one day... maybe one day I would like to have a book published of all the cuppa paintings I have done for my Cuppa With Friends Project
ICAD 2016 is starting up on June 1
and I am using it to get me to the 150 mark of cups and mugs painted
i am at about 100 now and I figure as the queen of the half arse if I can get 50 more in over the next few months I will have done great
so if you haven't already done so then send me your photos of your favourite
old or new, fancy or funky, chipped or pristine
send my a nice clear photo and I will add it to the pile
there are more details up the top of this page
or maybe you want to share your dreams in the comments... surely I'm not the only one who has such thoughts am I?

happy painting all...xx

Friday, 13 May 2016

Hot Stuff...

I have been a touch quiet on the old blog lately
 work and life have all gotten in the way a bit
 which kind of sucks but it is also great in other ways
in that life is busy and full and work is challenging and fun
Not so fun and also getting in the way of things is that it has been an endless summer
 now for some of you the thought of an endless summer probably sounds fabulous
 but when you are walking around in a near permanent state of hot flashes
 it is not so great and does wear thin after 6 endless months of it

The big problem is I am fine one minute, cruising around looking cool and calm 
and the next minute I am  like a walking furnace
beet red face, damp and dewy skin, or perhaps looking like you have just had a swim in your clothes if it is a bad one
I tell you if I didn't live such a blameless and perfect life I would be worried that I was being hit by punishing bolts from above or smited left right and centre for my sins 
Sometimes I even wonder if in in my menopausal brain haze
 I decided to go stand in a furnace/ oven / kiln
or if I ate chillies instead of chocolate
and of course because cancer induced menopause is the gift that just keeps giving the oncologist informed me last week that I am now postmenopausal which is a great thing cancer wise, unfortunately means the hot flashes continuing are from ongoing medication.
I am facing this joy for another nine years... and you can't take anything for it... all the bloody treatments involve oestrogen raising, and that is the worst thing for me...ah the joys right

so after a few days of cursing the oncologist's every utterance and the bloody horse he rode in on I started to get my head around it all

Because there are advantages to the spontaneous furnace impressions
and that is because this week Autumn has arrived
well at night anyway
so while others are shivering and feeling sorry for themselves 
hauling heating out of garden sheds and wondering if using it will short the wiring
washing and airing blankets while wrestling the unwieldy things onto the clothes line
I am sailing through it all with a smile on the dial
I am getting out of bed without a goosebump in sight
stepping out of the shower with abandon 
and not a shiver is felt as I step onto the deliciously freezing tiles underfoot
plus I am walking around in summer nightwear 
reveling in the cold nights as an instant hot flash buster
bonuses left right and centre it turns out
I just needed summer to take off and leave me to the blessed cool
it is all about the timing it would appear
got to love an upside!
happy painting all...xx

PS how cute is the Barry checking out my new lino block... other than the cat hair everywhere, it is fun seeing how curious he is about everything