Sunday, December 09, 2012

a day of sloth

just when I though I couldn't be any more slothful... we had a day of pure and applied sloth. Kind Dog threw a shoe and twisted a giblet in his Achilles tendon and is being extremely careful with it. So we decided he would Stay Upstairs All Day and I would provide the necessary nourishment and do any running up and down stairs.

So we have lolled in bed, with some desultory chatting, surfing of the Intertubes and some knitting. Luckily thanks to the lovely LibraryGirl I have discovered the wondrous blog of Antonia Cornwell and have been reading the back catalogue assiduously.

We also played with the new camera

Saturday, December 08, 2012

tis the season

to be hot and grumpy, I'm afraid. 37 degrees here today and blowing a gale - I took A and his girlfriend to work this afternoon and the car was rocking in the wind.  If there's one thing I hate it's the hot north wind.... However this time next week we will be rugged up against the cold of an English winter and possibly some snow :)

I leave you with young W's version of Bat Santa

Monday, December 03, 2012

into the studio

I decided to take a day off from study (hopes supervisor isn't reading...) and spent the morning in sloth and ta da! the afternoon in the studio...

It has been ages since I just pottered around not feeling doleful about my lack of productivity. I played around with some paint (fabric paint on rice paper, silk and stitched dupion)

and some stitching (perle 8 on folded onion skin paper)

gessoed some more sketchbook pages
 and finished sewing the lace edgings on my swaddling band.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Saturday, December 01, 2012

father pteranodon christmas

damn - just gone midnight but for me this is still Friday night, so still meeting my self-imposed discipline of posting every day... I was adjusting the size of various photos and lost track of time...

but the Christmas decorating has begun!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


This blogging every day stuff is not easy - I clearly need more filler photos.  Today was full of activity but no photos were taken: you will have to make do with this one, of our preaching pteranodon.
It was a vilely hot 39 degrees here but I had a very cheerful lunch with my ex inlaws, now friends who have been unfailingly kind to me in the 26 years that I have known them. My mum and auntie joined us in a local cafe and much chatting and reconnecting was had.

Then it was a meeting with my lovely supervisor who gave me the glad tidings that the presentation I was going to give next Tuesday has been postponed until February next year - calloo callay!! Hopefully by then I will know some more about the subject (even if I don't feel that I do).

Now back to hip and shoulder some cats away from the air conditioner where they are sucking up all available coolth.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Today has been spent doing my Italian revision and some uni work.  Kind Dog and I have been doing an intensive Italian course  - 3 hours on a Wednesday evening and homework tends to get left until Wednesday afternoon..... We enjoying it and, apparently, making good progress although I find the school girl French and German of the long distant past rises up like the Amityville horror and I say Entschuldigen Sie bitte instead of scusi and write qui instead of chi.

There being no Italian class related photos available I leave you with a photo of my new bike - tree frog green and very comfortable.
I haven't been on a bike for 20 years so it's a bit scary and I get rather nervous in traffic. But the plan is to ride to uni so I will persevere.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

sketchbook project

About 6 months ago I signed up for the Sketchbook Project - run out of the Brooklyn Art Library in New York, they send you a sketchbook, you fill it with your creative stuff and send it back and it becomes part of the Sketchbook Project exhibition.

Which is great - except I have done NOTHING in my sketchbook and it's due in New York by mid January.... when we will be honeymooning in Venice.
 So I have been wielding the gesso and fibre paste, and the ink spray bottle and thinking of next steps.
And because I have to send the sketchbook off forever I'm doing some similar pages in my own book as well.

Monday, November 26, 2012

paeonies and seaholly

Ok I am now on a mission to post every day until the end of November.  Which shouldn't be the Everestian task that it seems but my blogging muscles are so out of practice....

So here are the paeonies and seaholly that we bought at the market yesterday  - a very satisfying mix of textures and colours.

And on today's to-do list are:
  • finding the right images for a presentation I'm giving in two weeks
  • starting my Sketchbook project sketchbook - I suddenly realised they have to be posted to New York while we're away so I had better get it Done
  • trotting down to the post office to collect a parcel
  • general domestic things like laundry
  • and maybe another row on my shawl
I have been enjoying coming back to doing some knitting almost every day although I suspect this enthusiasm may wane as the rows of my shawl get longer and a row turns into a marathon... Wish you could knit on the plane.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday afternoon

We have been getting into a new rhythm of going to the Victoria Market once or twice a week and buying wonderful meat, fish and flowers.  Kind Dog has turned into an accomplished chef of various proteins and I have been honing my salad making skills.

Today we bought tuna, pork loin, veal mince, and veal for saltimbocca. The air in the fruit and veg section was heavy with the scents of ripe mangoes, pineapple, tomatoes and herbs. We succumbed to some luscious cherries which are available for about 5 minutes here.

As are peonies which are also lush and brief in their season. And we were really happy to find seaholly which makes a lovely counterpoint in colour and texture.

As we were coming out of the deli section clutching the customary bratwurst rolls, I heard someone call out my name. 1000 bonus points for Fiona for recognising me from blog photos! We stayed in the Burchell's beach house at Aireys Inlet earlier this year and I bought some luscious alpaca fleece from them. It was so lovely to meet them in real life :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bali hai

Last month we spent a lovely relaxing week in Ubud.  Surprisingly we found that the rhythm of slothing, a desultory swim or two, room service and a gentle trip into town in the late afternoon suited us very well.
But perhaps the thing that stuck us most was the gentle friendliness of the Balinese - everyone we encountered was polite, kind and seemed genuinely happy. None of the impatient grumpiness that you can find any time here.
I must post on the amazing Threads of Life Gallery too - a wonderful textile and fibre fair trade based enterprise that is focused on preserving and encouraging the beautiful traditional textiles of the Indonesian archipelago.

working out the balance

This really reflects the balance of my life at the moment: a new knitting project (Citron, in Malabrigo lace) and various texts for my thesis, competing for desk space, head space and time.
 A little desultory work is happening in the studio but it is in the background for the moment while I get some solid academic work done.
And the roses are enjoying the spring

I see I haven't posted about our short but lovely trip to Bali - will fix that next time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

falling off the blogosphere

prompted by G's plaintive call for new blogs to read over here, I feel I should explain why I have to all intents and purposes fallen off the blogosphere.

It's mostly about having my life so full that I haven't read other people's blogs, let alone updated my own. And then once you get past a certain point you become burdened by the obligation to update - what to tell, what to leave out and it all becomes too hard.

I was beating myself over the head for neglecting the blog when I did a quick reckoning and worked out that this year I have had the following events, in roughly chronological order
  • my first trip to Europe
  • my divorce
  • finishing my contract and taking leave without pay
  • applying to do post-graduate research
  • 2 weddings
  • 1 hysterectomy
  • formally starting my post graduate work
  • making a commissioned piece for Seth Apter's next book
  • organising a trip to Europe and our 3rd wedding
 So it's not that surprising that my energy has ebbed a bit - certainly my creativity has become almost dormant. I'm slowly working on a piece and am doing some desultory knitting but that's it really. My studio has been as neglected as my blog - it will correct itself as I find a new rhythm that fits studying and creating rather than working and creating.

In the meantime I will leave you with a happy snap of Barry, our resident axolotl.

Friday, October 19, 2012

a day in the hills

we took a day off today and headed for the hills.

the rhododendron gardens in olinda - full of gorgeous colours and textures

this is the closest i have ever been to a lyre bird - it was so busy scratching up the earth to get worms and insects that it took no notice of us at all
 the rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and proteas were bursting with life and energy and colour
and the bees were going nuts in the pride of madeira - surely a contender for Best Plant Name Ever
 we had a lovely relaxing time