Monday, August 31, 2009


My mum has a habit of inventing traditions. One such fake tradition, is that she buys me the first bunch of daffodils of the season.

She came down to Canberra with a bunch of poppies because the big smoke was all out of daffodils, and she slipped me a twenty to buy a bunch later. It only just occurred to me, that the photo I posted of her and I in the field, is quite likely a field of poppies.

Now I promise not to use the twenty dollars on a gin and tonic, two coffees and parking.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Family history

My mum and stepdad are here from the big smoke. They are here for a quick sticks visit before going back to Austria to help my grandparents move into a retirement village. They aren't really my grandparents by birth, but they are the old people who have been in my life since I was born - so it's the best way to describe them.

So anyways, after Persepolis, I started to think about how so many families have interesting and sad stories. And then I was all like...hang on, like mine.

My dad has told me a heap of interesting stories about growing up in Europe during the second world war, but it is the stories from my mother which have always held a kind of mythical draw for me. They are mythical in the sense that she doesn't like to talk about that part of her history, so as a child I picked up bits and pieces and, I guess, have created my own version of events. Some parts are true and some parts are from a childs imagination.

My mums dad fought in World War 2 and never came back. Then her mother died during childbirth - which I thought was so bittersweet...a woman gives birth as her husband is away at war and tragically dies. I think thats the bit I made up. I'm not sure what she died of, but it was a bit after the war and she had another partner, but that was kept under wraps so my mums mum could keep claiming some sort of war pension. That was all well and good, until she died, and that meant my mum had to go to foster care while her step dad got to keep her half siblings.

So she went to foster care at age four or five and lived on a farm. It didn't sound like fun, because she was put to work, and there wasn't much love or money. Just a little girl stuck on a farm, confused and alone.

Somehow, about seven years on, my mums Aunty and Uncle found her, and took her away from the foster family to live in a small village called Kaprun. They are the old people she is visiting that I call my grandparents.

That life wasn't a bundle of laughs either, but fast forward, and my mum ends up living in Australia, with no english, no family, nothing. Then she has a family of a boy and then a wonderful, cute little girl. Hey - my blog, my story!

My memories kick in here. Trips back to the homeland to find her mothers grave. I remember her tears and then mine as a child, upset at my own mother is crying. The grave was never found, because so many people died and they kind of buried people on top of each other. I might have made that bit up, but I'm pretty sure I didn't, because I remember having the bunch of flowers to take to the grave and then the same bunch coming back home with us.

Then there was the next trip, where mum was reunited with a half blind lady who I thought was a step sister. She lived in Graz, in a funny little apartment block right up the top floor. I remember the blinds being drawn and a dark room full of cigarette smoke. Now looking back, I think that woman was her foster mum.

On another trip I witnessed my mum reunited with her older sister, a relationship which is now complicated by feelings of betrayal and jealousy. And then there are the siblings who have never been found...and probably a hundred more details and stories to fill in the gaps.

I'm not sure if I'll ever know the truth, but I think it is amazing that so many ordinary people hold onto extraordinary stories.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Mr Dargaville

A good friend of mine is in Denmark working. Even though I don't get to see him much, I still miss him knowing he is far away. When I hear this song I think of that fun day of vodka and slushies, and listening to Air in the rain. Then I think of this amazing set, and hearing the opening riff of this song takes me straight back there. Na na nana Na na nana


I was going to clean all this off. And then I thought...

Fuck it. I like it, and when I look at it, it makes me happy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


When I went on my holiday (which seems like a world away) I bought a Frankie magazine to read on the plane. I opened it up, and who was in there? Taffy's friend Luke.

So I kept the magazine the entire trip - to show Taffy, but to also remind me to do the post on LUUK that I had planned months ago. Anyways the magazine was left in Thailand and that was that.

Until the other day...I was at the hairdressers and the magazine handed to me was that very same Frankie. A sign to finally do that (this) post.

Luke Chiswell is LUUK. He draws, screenprints and designs tshirts and launches them by throwing parties called 'drops'.

I first met Luke when Taffy invited him to my opening last year. His designs are refreshingly simple, graphic and not overworked. And they are clever and fun too. The thing I love most about what Luke does, is how he randomly displays his art. The photos above are from around Canberra town and the one below is in Sydney. Sometimes the work will be a huge screenprinted poster stuck to a commercial wall, and other times it is a small postcard - framed and stuck high on a wall amongst a group of shops. I love the wit and generosity in sharing his work. And once I knew they were around... I spot them everywhere. You will too now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

RIP Dean Turner

I still listen to Magic Dirts EP Life was Better. I went through a stage were I would buy anything put out on the Au-go-go label and this, their first EP was a cracker. Ice was a song I would play over and over...

This song makes me think of Magic Dirt all grown up.

You're an ordinary boy and
That's the way I like it
On the train in the corner
With a mind-numbing headache
Went out last night
With only one life
Had to let you know
That you're beautiful
And you make me go

Even if you're takin'
There's no moves I'm makin'

My legs are achin' 
My eyes are sore 
I haven't washed my jeans
In three months or more

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hong Kong Cat

And you can buy me at the Handmade markets.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


If you have started to forget about what has gone down in Iran in recent months, go watch Persepolis - the wonderful film based on Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel.

The film follows a young girl as she comes of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. The graphics are beautiful and the story so mesmerising you forget that you are watching animation.

Iran is one place I've always wanted to travel, and came close to it a few years ago, before it all went bad again. I'd spend hours in bookshops planning the journey which was to involve Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan and a trip over the sea to Dubai to visit friends in the desert. But it just wasn't meant to be, and we chickened out when things heated up again in the middle east.

To me, the movie Persepolis depicts Iran I had imagined and the one I am so desperate to see. The beautiful snowcapped mountains framing Tehran, the people cultured and dignified, and the woman proud and strong.

So anyway, if you don't know anything about the recent history of Iran, watch the movie and learn that the past is sometimes a mirror into the future.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I'm nearly finished my small heart series for the Handmade Markets....this evening will be working on the domes of snow.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Charlie Virtue is going away

I'm going to miss Charlie Virtue. Here is a list of 10 things I'm going to miss (and not miss) when both Charlie and his gal leave for their big adventure.

1. I will miss Charlie V's the one about German Dom and the possum. I won't miss him telling that story 3 times in a row.

2. I will miss drinking sidecars with him. I won't miss how I felt the next day after drinking all those sidecars.

3. I will miss trips like the one to see the Flaming Lips in Sydney, and going to Bodega and Dank Street Depot. I will not miss being badgered into driving Charlie V and Taffy on other trips - like to the Dog on the Tuckerbox at 3am in the morning only to 'compromise' and end up doing something bad with a half dozen of eggs.

4. I will miss Operation Cloned Cat II, where it was a world of forts, firecrackers and fun. I won't miss him turning up at my house with Taffy (and an undisclosed third party) at 2.30am wearing masks and letting off fire crackers at my front door.

5. I will miss hearing about Charlie Virtue and Taffy's football games and who kicked goals (and who didn't). I won't miss convincing them not not to kick a solid bowl out of the balcony at the Medina apartment in Dank Street.

6. I will miss seeing Charlie V at trivia. I won't not miss his replacement.

7. I will miss going to Gorman House Markets on a Saturday, especially when Taffy says to me how much Charlie V looks like Jean Luc Godard. I won't miss Jean Luc Godard.

8. I will miss playing pocket trivial pursuit. I will not miss the rules changing just when it is my go.

9. I will miss driving Charlie home past the War Memorial because that is a pretty drive. I won't miss that huge truck outside Charlies house because it hasn't been there for a while anyways.

10. I will miss Pretak and the other dude. I won't miss Pretak and the other dude because they don't really exist.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Nick Cave comes to Canberra

Remember I wrote about seeing this here?

Well this exhibition has made it to Canberra and it is the final Australian venue. You should go see it - there is no excuse really. Even if you were say...moving to America in a day and a half, you still have time to go see it. Go see it!

National Library

Exhibition Gallery
Open daily, 9 am – 5 pm
Until 29 November

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Being held accountable

I'm starting to freak out a little about how quickly time is whizzing by, so like I usually do, I overcomplicate things by writing lists. I had three going today, though did eliminate list number three, by combine it with list number two. List number one is the 'master list' and is used for cross checking purposes.

So today I'm supposed to be working on stuff for the Handmade Market . A friend gave me an incentive to get some stuff done - well actually I told her what I had planned and once I said it out loud it kind o
Here is the proof I've been working:

And proof I could have been working harder:

Saturday, August 15, 2009


The internet is an amazing place. I hope the fox got away.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Heart Hiroshima

I Heart Hiroshima are playing at Transit Bar tonight in Canberra. I'd love to go see them, except this band was introduced to me via my ex's workmate who is now his current girlfriend. Follow that?

So, you see, as much as I'd like to see the band... I kind of think of her when I hear them now, and that isn't an entirely pleasant experience for me.

Nothing stopping you from seeing them though. Go!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Great, I didn't want to spend Winter in Paris this year anyways

National Gallery of Australia announces one of the most exceptional art events ever to be held in Australia . EVER! Until the next time...

4 December 2009 – 5 April 2010

Canberra only (that's here, where I live)

Masterpieces from Paris: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and beyond, an extraordinary exhibition presented by the National Gallery of Australia in association with the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, was officially announced today by the Arts Minister, The Hon Peter Garrett AM, MP (Sometimes he is the Arts Minister, sometimes he is the Environment Minister, sometimes he is a singer in a band).

From December 2009 through to April 2010, the Australian public won’t have to travel to Paris (and let's be honest if you could choose between seeing this in Canberra or in Paris?) to see masterpieces by Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, Georges Seurat, Pierre Bonnard, Claude Monet, Maurice Denis and Edouard Vuillard—they can visit them in Canberra.

“Australians will be able to experience the best of French culture in the nation’s capital over summer and autumn 2009 and 2010. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for art lovers and first-timers, students, rabbits and families to see these renowned works that many have grown up with in art history books. Canberra will be the world premiere for this exhibition (huh?!), which will then travel to Tokyo and San Francisco,” said Arts Minister, Peter Garrett.

Among the 114 paintings included in the exhibition are some of the best-known works of modern art. These works draw gazillions of tourists in Paris to the Musée d’Orsay, one of the great museums of 19th-century art.

These works almost never leave the Musée d’Orsay even singly and never before in these numbers, like there is a 114 of them coming at once!” said Ron Radford AM, Director National Gallery of Australia.

Masterpieces from Paris shows the explosive arrival of modern art in Europe. The most famous and influential painters are represented by many works. The exhibition showcases seven van Goghs, nine Gauguins, eight Cézannes and eleven Seurats. In addition, there are many paintings by Bernard (five)(but not my brother Bernard - some other dude), Bonnard (nine), Denis (ten), Monet (five), Maier (0)and Vuillard (eight), among others.

“We are renovating our Post-Impressionist Galleries at the Musée d’Orsay which means we are able to lend these works together for the first time. Australia will be the first country to see these works outside France,” said Guy Cogeval, President Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Ahhhh - now it all makes sense.

Visitors will encounter van Gogh’s Bedroom at Arles 1889, Gauguin’s painting Tahitian women 1891 (Phew I was getting worried that there was no representation of the ladies, but a nudie painting will do), Cézanne’s beloved Mount Saint-Victoire c 1890, and many other great examples by Post- Impressionist painters.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pretty Birdy

Me, Taffy and Charlie Virtue were not at My Café but rather Café Essen over the weekend. I ordered a latte and ended up with a birdy.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Handmade in Bloom

I'm up early on a Sunday morning so I can work on preparing for the next Handmade Market.

The market is now being held at an exciting new location of the Yarralumla Woolshed and I have a big list of things I want to make for the day, so I'd better get cracking!

6-9pm Friday Sept 11 (50 sellers) twilight market
10-4 Saturday Sept 12th (100+ sellers) in full bloom
Now at Yarralumla Woolshed
off Cotter Road, near Lady Denman Drive, kinda near the zoo and gorgeous Government House

Saturday, August 8, 2009

3 months of the yellow house in the U

It has now been three months since I started blogging, and it has been fun, fun, fun.

To celebrate I have a little gift for you. It is called 'Red and Gold colour chart' and it is images from my recent trip away. Not surprisingly the red and gold ones. It is an edition of 20 small postcards - 10 of which I have to give away. Just email me at, and the first 10 emails get a postcard sent the old fashioned way. Don't forget to leave your address too.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Friday, August 7, 2009


friend (frnd)
1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement.
5. Friend A member of the Society of Friends; a Quaker.
tr.v. friend·ed, friend·ing, friends
1. To add (someone) as a friend on a social networking website.
2. Archaic To befriend.

I always have random thoughts, where your not sure why or how your mind gets there, but somehow it just does. The other day I was daydreaming and thinking about a friend of mine, and how I thought she is one of the most beautiful people I know, because she is both gorgeous and also a straight up good person.

Stuff happened which meant I got to tell her that today, but you know what? I wish I had told her what I thought just out of the blue, and not in response to something else that had happened.

This is all very cryptic and might not make sense, but what I was thinking about this evening was how we don't generally tell friends that we love them. It's usually something you'd say to a partner, or family member - but friends? And I should qualify to mean when you are sober.

I think I'm really lucky in that I have great friends who mean the world to me. Some I have known for years, some for not so long. I know that there are friends that are with you for just a point in your life and some friends that you'll end up hanging onto forever. And the ones I have now I'm hanging onto for dear life!

This is the first time in many years that I've been single, so I guess for me, that has helped me to understand the true value of friendship. Not just people sticking by you and all that, but being able to enjoy the relationship that a friendship offers. I'm certain some of my friends don't have any idea how much they have meant to me and helped me out of the big old mess of the last few years. While some of that time has been fucking ordinary, if none of it had happened I wouldn't be sharing those relationships with some of you today. So that's something I've gained from a loss.

So I'm sending love and thanks to my friends who are both near and far, those who came back and those who are soon to move away ♥

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's been a week...

And they are still looking beautiful and remind me of fun in the big smoke

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oh deer

Ummm, so...about that post yesterday. You know, the one about Option-g.

I kind of went onto the site to have a look, more for inspiration than anything, while I wrote the post.

I did that thing where I put stuff in the virtual shopping cart. But then instead of hitting the small red cross up the top left of my screen, I hit pay. Whoops, and before I knew it I ended up owning 6 new prints. How did that happen?

Monday, August 3, 2009


I often to to option-g's website, put a stack of prints into my shopping basket, and then realise I don't really have a spare $300 US bux. That's when I click on that little red cross on the top left hand side of the screen. Bye bye.

The other day I recieved a taunting email with this beautiful painting. I borrowed the picture from option-g's email to put on this blog:

Someone please buy this for me. Or just buy it for yourself and I'll come visit it.

I think I found out about Cole's work through the folk at Poketo. Cole Gerst is based in Los Angeles, California, and I was going to regurgitate a bunch of stuff about what he does but instead I'm just going to tell you why I like his work. I love deer, and can't help but love the wooden deer screenprint and the deer island series. I also love his band posters and how he is able to work commercially, and still produce beautiful paintings in a fine art sense. I like how that even when his work is commercial, it isn't sold out, but just accessible to more people. I love that he makes skate board decks one day, and tiny little foil stamped prints the next. I also like his fascination with power points. A lot.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Chicken with cider

I have so much spinach growing in my garden at the moment, so wanted to use some for my dinner tonight. I remembered a tapas dish I had in Seville - chickpeas with spinach, so drew inspiration from that as well as some local cider I bought the other day on recommendation from my local bottle-shop.

The cider was a bit too dry for my palate which is why it ended up in this and not in my glass*:

Brown about a kilo of chicken thighs in some olive oil

Take chicken out of pan and brown about 5 small onions quartered and some crushed garlic

Add a sliced chorizo and cook for about 5 minutes

Chuck in a glass or two of cider, some saffron and bring to the boil.

Now take that off the hot-plate and put everything in a clay pot or casserole dish, add a can of chickpeas and some olives and a bit of salt

Cook in a preheated oven (180 degrees) for about an hour

Pull it out of the oven and add a big handful of spinach. Just put it in and pop the lid back on. No need to put it back in the oven as the spinach will cook from the heat

I ate mine with mash potato and some just boiled asparagus and green beens dressed in lemon juice and olive oil. It was yum.

*Instead of cider I made a cocktail of vodka, mandarin juice and sparkling don't feel too bad for me

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Happy Two Months Blogging

That was to be my blog post until I figured out it has been 3 months (well on the 8th anyway).

Could someone tell me where a whole month has just disappeared to? I'd kind of like it back please.

So in 7 days I'll do the post I was going to tonight but it will be 'Happy 3 months Blogging'. Until then I'll leave you with this thought, which came from Charlie Virtue:

'If you don't take any never do anything breathtaking.'