my uncle’s portrait

My uncle George, pastel on paper, now hangs on the old fireplace.

A few years ago I promised my uncle George that I’d paint his portrait. I took photos of him sitting on the back porch at Souvlia (his home on Paros, more like a village than a home really) and lost them all when my external hard drive crashed.

This year I found an old photo of him and me taken years ago, and a photo of the house as it was back then. I removed me and the others in the photo and created a portrait.

Closer up

Not too bad considering I hate doing portraits of people. They aren’t as furry as dogs. Or as forgiving if you show their wrinkles.

I think he likes it. He’s at least 40 years younger in the painting… He now wants a portrait of the four brothers, 2 of whom are no longer with us. The Dynasty as he calls it.

Better get my pastels sorted.

(I’ll be sharing photos of Souvlia soon!)


the post gets touched up

Remember the post that Wayne and I put in to stop people running into our retaining wall? Here it is after Wayne added his artist touch to it.


Well… it wasn’t really visible, what with the grey post and the light blue paint… so I added a my own touch to it.


What do you think? Is anyone going to hit it now?


a poodle portrait

I finished a commissioned poodle portrait the other day and realised that I hardly ever share any art on my blog. I mean, I share almost everything else I do, but art… not that often.

So I decided it was time to share a portrait I did a while ago and don’t believe I shared except on Facebook.

This is Andre, a gorgeous standard poodle.


And this is my painting of Andre for his loving parents.


Its pastel on paper, which is the medium I prefer to work with.

I just love using my fingers to work the colours, I think that’s why I love it so much. Nothing between me and the pigments. Its not quite the same when using a brush, there’s a stick between me and the work.

Anyway, I’ll share the most recent portrait soon as it arrives at its destination. I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

I’ve also been working on another portrait, something completely different. No hints on that yet… its a secret!

So, what else has been happening? You may have heard about the awful floods around Hobart and the Derwent Valley. We got lucky this time. Unlike so many other times, we only had minor flooding in our creek. No lakeside property for us … yet… this year.

I’m preparing for my upcoming visit to Greece and getting excited. So much to do, so little time!

Why is it that we always feel we have to do everything before we go on a trip? Its not like I’ll be going away forever!



i once wrote a book

Like many people, I lived under the illusion that I could write (and illustrate) books for a living. Especially children’s books.

Do you know how hard it actually is?

Anyway, one day I actually did write a book which I self published on, the DIY online publishing place. This was quite a few years ago, there may be other places now, but back then I think that was it.

This is the book:



Scooter was my second toy poodle ever. He was the first one I got while living in Australia. He was a real character, a little man with a huge attitude. He was hilarious. When we lived in Fentonbury the paddock next door was sometimes home to cattle and Scooter was game to take on anything. This is a true story. It happened one day while I watched. It was too good not to capture and share.

I think I sold about 10 copies. All to me. Ok, maybe a couple to a friend or two. The problem is that Lulu charges so much, its a ridiculous price to pay for a slim book!

I actually made heaps more selling the original watercolours on ebay.

I began illustrations for a book about Billybear, my other toy poodle, but never got past that to the story. One day I’ll finish it. Maybe.

You can see a bit more about my Scooter book and, if you have $$ to spare, you can order it online here.

Meanwhile, remembering this book got me to thinking about writing in general and beginnings specifically. I remember hearing somewhere that starting was the hardest part. I beg to differ. I can start anything, at any time.

Its finishing (or continuing) that’s the hard part!

In my mind I’m always writing first paragraphs for books. Its fun!

Like this:

The man lay in bed, watching the neon light outside the cheap motel window flash pink then red then white. He couldn’t sleep. He was too conscious of the loaded gun on the bedside table next to him. If he failed tomorrow he was as good as dead.

Or this:

Megan was woken by the cold. She reached for her comforter but something was wrong. She couldn’t move her arms or legs. Her eyes flew open and she looked around the dark unfamiliar room. She was lying on a mattress on a dirty floor, cable ties around her wrists and ankles. She remembered the man in the mask and she began to cry.

Yes. I obviously love crime and suspense books. Does it show?


Ok, how about:

Amy looked up as Troy put a large coffee on the table in front of her. Soy milk latte with a dash of vanilla, just the way she liked it. He sat down opposite her and smiled. He was such a nice guy, considerate, kind, attractive. They had heaps in common. He had a good job. Her parents loved him. Yet Amy looked watched him stir sugar into his coffee and felt like the walls were closing in around her. 

The second paragraph? So much harder to do! LOL


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sculpture and soul searching

I had a comment about how I’m blogging a lot lately. Unlike the huge gaps between posts most of the other time.
The fact is I know I’m a poor blogger. Good thing I’m not trying to make money from this blog!
I began blogging as a way to share news and photos of our lives with friends overseas. Then I began to share projects and got into the whole DIY/repurpose/recycle blog thing. I enjoy that stuff, I do it for myself anyway, why not share with others who like the same thing? Makes sense, right?
But… there are days I just don’t feel like blogging. I have nothing to say, I can’t be funny, or I’m flat. Its one of those vicious circles: when I feel good I’m creative, when I don’t create I feel flat. And work sometimes drains me to the point where all I want to do when I get home is curl up and zonk out in front of the TV.
On those days I think about giving up the blog. I mean, who cares what I make or do? I’m just some random person living on a small island on the bottom of the world. I have nothing important to say. 
I think the only reason I blog and share is cause I’m a showoff. I used to accuse my brother of being a showoff when we were kids but turns out I’m the one. 
Who knew…
Anyway, I’m still here, still blogging even if sporadically at times. You could say I like to be unpredictable. Like with the stuff I blog about. Its not all DIY, craft, decorating, gardening or any one thing in particular. Its a blog about me and my life – and I’m a wierd kind of jack of all trades kind of person.
So today I’ll share some sculptures. The theme was ‘body’… so body parts it is. As I found when making the animals, I love sculpting.

These sculptures are more along the lines of ART than the animals. I wanted them to look like an unfinished work.

Here they are finished. Difficult to photograph cause they’re so bright white. 

Unfortunately the wire nose ring burned off in the second firing. I’ll try to replace it but the bit remaining is in really firmly. I also need to make earrings to go in the holes I made in the ear.

So there you go. Another completely different thing.


cowpig and other ceramic animals

Its been years since I did any work with clay. High school in fact. And back then I didn’t think I really enjoyed sculpting.
Well, I tried it again a little while ago and I LOVE it.
This little pig bowl was my first foray into the world of pottery. He’s called a cowpig cause that’s what a friend called him when she saw the colour. Ok, so I got the holstein patches on a pig, ok, I stuffed that up… but he’s still darn cute.

I picked aqua blue for the inside cause pink would just be wrong… and disturbing… plus I love aqua.. The idea is that its a little bowl I can plonk bracelets or such in. For now its sitting on the air conditioner (which is a floor model) in the living room where I can see it every time I walk past.

Love his little face…

And his little tail!

Next I made some little critters. I made a chicken, two bandicoots and a wombat. The chicken is not here, neither is one of the bandicoots, but the other two are.

Let me introduce the brown bandicoot and the common wombat.

I gave the little bandicoot a copper wire tail.

I’m loving this. Both the building up and the carving out. I want to buy a slab of this paper clay and make a ton more stuff.

The paper clay is clay mixed with paper pulp. It dries completely white and is easy to work with. I then take it to a place in Hobart to have it fired, paint (glaze) it with the right paints and have it refired.

I’ll get onto that soon as I find some time…

After the huge garage sale at the end of October. After moving the grooming room to the storage room.

When I find time.