Sunday, 25 April 2010


Those of you who follow this blog will know that my home was completely flooded in a storm last month. I've been fixing up flood damage ever since and it's a big job. All of the flooring has to be replaced, so yesterday my dad and I scraped old underlay off the floor in one bedroom and tomorrow we're going to tackle the other bedroom. The underlay is dusty, a little mouldy, makes me wheeze ever so slightly and I can't wait to see it go.
But today I am taking a break!
I thought I'd treat myself to some blogging. I've got some crochet to show you (surprise!), some musings and some long forgotten pen illustrations to share as well.

Here are the drawings:

(The picture above is a stylization of a nocturnal gecko that's native to Perth. I currently have one of these dear little guys living in my garden shed and another one living under the bird bath.
They're very shy and very sweet.)

I rediscovered the drawings when, after the storm, I was salvaging belongings I'd stored in my spare room. They are part of a set of posters that I made waaaaayyyyy back in the 1980s when I was studying Education. These pictures are pretty modest little efforts but I'm fond of them, and I am very happy that I didn't lose them to the flood. Actually, I'm amazed that they survived without any water damage. They were packed in a big box that got wet but, miraculously, the box's cardboard absorbed all of the moisture.

I think that one of the reasons these old pictures are precious to me is because I do so little drawing these days. I'm always making resolutions to get back into drawing...but never getting around to it. Next year, though, I'm going to apply to work part time and, if I get an extra day to myself and all of my creative dreams, I hope I'll be able to summon up the energy and focus and commitment that I need to draw. In the meantime, I love the inspiration I can gain from people like Paul Heaston and Kelli Nina Perkins, who's been interviewed at Janeville (thanks to Judy for this link). Do you know of any other inspiring artists?

Crochet, on the other hand, is a very well developed habit.
Since my last post, I've finished felting my Marvellous Mini Tote:

I've also started crocheting squares for the Save The Children Fund's Knit One Save One campaign:

(The pattern's called the 6-7-8 Square and I'm sure it will look much prettier after it's been blocked. )

I've crocheted a necklace too, which I really like:

I used a slightly modified version of this tutorial. I worked with tigertail instead of craft wire ~ tigertail is much easier to crochet with than craft wire because it's more flexible. Unlike craft wire though, tigertail doesn't hold it's shape so I had to finish off the necklace with cord tips rather than the wire wrapping that's suggested in the tutorial. You can see the cord tips (they're little clamps) in the photo below:

This worked up really fast ~ it only took a few hours to create and I'm sure I'll be quicker next time.

I don't feel that I can finish this post without marking that today is Anzac Day, the national day of rememberance for Australians and New Zealanders when we honour those who died and served in military campaigns. Anzac Day is always a day of reflection. This year I've thought of some of the places I saw in Vietnam, which made the horror of war very real, and I've thought of some of the people I met in Vietnam who touched me with their capacity for forgiveness. Anzac Day has personal signifance for me too: my grandfather and great grandfather lost their lives in World War 2. They were both very brave men and their loss, of course, has had a huge impact on my family.
Lest we forget.


Monday, 12 April 2010


So much has happened since I last wrote here:
there's been some creativity
(which I'll get to eventually if you can bear with me)
but last month my home was flooded in a freak, incredibly intense, autumn storm. It hit at about 5:00 pm, meaning I had to drive into it on the way back from work...under ink black clouds and forked lightning, through rain so heavy I often couldn't see out of the windscreen and flash flooding on the roads...and arrived home (safely, to my amazement) to discover that instead of a parking bay I now had a small lake, and that the water had poured off the street, down the driveway, gushed into my back garden and streamed under the laundry door covering everything inside with at least a centimetre of muddy water. After a few moments of open~mouthed disbelief and some frantic phone calls I started the very, very big job of cleaning it all up.

Luckily for me my neighbours and my family were, and have continued to be, terrific. On the night of the storm, my sister and brother~in~law drove for an hour and a half, through chaotic traffic, to come and help. My dad, too, spent much of the next week at my place doing the most horrible jobs while I was at work. Thanks to everyone's assistance, and despite a few near misses, I haven't lost anything irreplaceable. My family have mopped, moved heavy furniture, cleaned out muddy electrical points, repaired brick paving that collapsed (with me on top of it), ripped out all of my sodden, smelly carpet and patiently listened to a few slightly hysterical stinking~carpet~induced rants from me. Theoretically, my insurance company should have helped me with most of this but they were so overwhelmed by claims I couldn't get anybody to come I took photos for them instead:

Mopping Up, Midnight

My Back Garden, Morning After

There's lots more to do: my no longer beautiful bamboo floor is going to have to be replaced, my bedroom's too dusty and mouldy to safely sleep in, the back yard's still full of debris...but I'm getting there.
Molly's quite happy to keep the bed warm for me, for however long it's going to take:

(By the way, the windows are always wide open when she's in there.)

I've tucked cheerful little pots of flowers in amongst the mess out the back, which makes such a difference:

I'm planning on getting bamboo laid in the bedrooms too ~ hooray!!!!!

of course,
I've been crafting.
Nothing too taxing,
sorting out the storm damage's challenging enough,
but I've taken some more jewellery~making classes:

Copper Pendant and Bangle

I've started knitting another Fascinate wrap:

(I love the Noro yarn's subtle colours ~ they remind me of looking out over the sea and the sky on an early, wintery morning.)

and I've crocheted a little project bag which I'm just about to felt:

The pattern's called the Marvelous Mini Tote Bag
and the flower's another five petalled rose made with directions from Crochet Bouquet. I've crocheted with stash yarn, in much duller colours than I usually use, but I really like it regardless.

I'd best get back to it as there are phone calls to make and quotes to organise.
I hope, dear readers, that you're all well and happy
....and that Nature's being a little kinder to you than she's recently been to me.