Tuesday, 26 January 2021


 ON SUNDAY i went into mildura to meet sonja, helen and her friend ros at the Ginporium.   the ideal place to chill on a 44 deg day.    the rain was on the way next day so the clouds were spectacular, pics taken on the river road on the way home.


 AH, THE BIG CONTROVERSY - australia day on january 26.  just change it.  it used to be the last monday in january, always a long weekend.   why not just revert to that and let us all celebrate the diversity of the country.  

it's divinely cool this morning after two days of 40+  -  last night it really rained for the first time in months.  everything outside my bedroom window is looking damp and green as i write this in bed at 7am after a really good sleep :0)

this week -

working on the book every day, not producing much but i think i have the first illustration - a monoprint fresh off the press.  i'll do some refining with dark pencil and white but i reckon it's ok.  i'm off to photograph holly today, i used her in swan lake, she's very responsive to the camera and what i need so hopefully i'll come home with some good reference to go on with.

BIRDBATHS - so important in this super hot weather, the birds shelter in trees, under the carport, under the house and on the verandah. i leave extra dishes of water there and the birdbaths are always busy.

Thursday, 21 January 2021


LAST WEEK'S POST has been sitting in the draft folder for over a week.  the weather has been very kind,  cool mornings and warm days for a while now,  heating up today until it gets to 45 on sunday!  eek, hot nights, hot days.

I've finally got into the studio and feel the big barrier has been lifted, i'm just mucking around and getting the feel of printmaking again. 

trying out rubbings, washes, direct prints with leaves and a couple of monoprint trials, good for getting the composition worked out properly

and another big barrier's been lifted:


what a special day to hear some civil speeches  and sense being spoken.   I hope the USA settles down and gets on with beating their terrible covid problems.

i've had a very social weekend, three things in three days so this week i've been perfectly happy mooching around the house and studio and watching bob the magician moving my clothesline, taking away the shed and generally cleaning up a ute full of stuff for the tip.  he's worth his weight in gold.  now to get the drive done.

and there are always 
the birds, young and 
old distracting me 
through every window 

this area outside the kitchen window has become a daily playground for five tiny fairy wren siblings and lots of other small birds, makes doing the dishes a pleasure

this little birdhouse has been hanging in the tree for eight years and not one bird has ever showed any interest until these little guys showed up

GORGEOUS SUNSETS - the river is so always beautiful


IT'S BEEN VERY WARM AND HOT since i got back from down south but not unpleasant.  either still and calm or a light breeze, so much kinder than the horrible duststorms and super hot brown days of last summer.  touch wood it stays this way. 40 today, but back to 30- for the next few days.

some lovely pics and cute videos of the kids from both sunny and rene.  etta is just growing and growing, eating now and very physically active.   Cal and Mara are as funny as ever.

Working on Romeo and Juliet but struggling.  Being in semi-isolation is not good for creativity.  

testing mediums, above inktense pencil and wash, below water-soluble graphite and wash  -  sigh!

always plenty of distractions outside the window
when i'm at my desk, the willie wagtail is constantly
badgering the kookaburras, they have two fledglings
in the garden so they're relentlessly protective :0)

beautiful mornings, i'm walking earlier to beat the heat

Thursday, 7 January 2021


 THE WEATHER HAS BEEN DIVINE since i got home on the 29th. It's been hot enough to put the cooler on a couple of times but mornings are cool and breezy, perfect for my walk and some tidying up outside.  The birdlife is lively, lots of young ones with parents in the garden, the willie wagtails have a fledgling or two, so the kingfishers and kookaburras are relentlessly badgered and chased off for just sitting quietly in a tree. they make me laugh

Kangaroos are around,  four large ones the other night and last night i awoke at 1.30 thinking it was morning thanks to the sensor light thru a gap in the curtains. i looked out to see the very large powerful male kangaroo grazing outside the window.   he could obviously smell me as he stood up and sniffed the air in all directions.  i went back to bed feeling as though i had a bodyguard :0)    

The goanna has also been strolling around the yard but i haven't caught him on film either.

It's been cloudy so sunsets have been amazing every night.  i'm working on my book, doing versions of a night sky to use as endpapers.  and working out the faces of romeo and juliet, that'll be a good start.

   the little kingfishers are badgered relentlessly by the
   willie wagtail -     I  wonder if they are ever a problem, 
   they only seem to eat insects

The birdbaths are always being used, so many different birds to watch from the windows

the willie wagtail is so agile, it just darts out of reach so quickly.


 the tiny wrens are loving this birdbath, sadly it was lying on the ground the next day, the bowl was fine but the aqua ball was smashed.  I think the large kangaroo was probably drinking there and knocked it off its stand

new rompers for Etta, pink one i made and the
blue one is an op shop one i used for sizing.

I've just ordered two of these decorative rolling pins which i'm looking forward to using for fancy shortbreads next christmas


               Little madam is enjoying the                                  discovery of food  :0)

Rene, Sayaka, Cal and Mara are looking good and managing ok during covid in tokyo.  numbers are a worry at the moment but rene says they're used to being at home a lot,  plenty to do there.

i'm knitting a jumper for rene and i've gone down a huge rabbithole looking at the history of guernseys/ganseys, fishermen's jumpers from Yorkshire.  fascinating the way they're made really tight knit to be warm, gussets for movement, fishermen being identified by their jumpers, or at least the region they come from. Looking forward to starting it but it'll take a bit of working out a design.