Mosaic mural {making, treasure}

I did this four years ago, at my children’s old school.

It’s pretty big – I worked it all out on the floor of my studio at home, glueing sections at a time onto mesh.

Then I transported this sucker to the school where I reattached little bits and pieces that had fallen off in transit.

Mosaics (making)

I hid coins, and lady birds, snails, frogs, bits of broken crockery, a spoon, a key and other little bits of treasure within the glass tiles, (and of course I jazzed this baby up with mirror, this is a given – in any mosaic I make) with the hope of it being a place of constant discovery for adults and children.

It turns out, this has worked. I still receive comments of children being transfixed by the mural, and noticing details that us older folk may have overlooked. Children enjoy the textural feel of the mosaic, and run their hands along the mosaic as they walk through the corridor. I had considered the tactile nature of mosaic when making this, and had purposely included quite a few lines of unbroken white glass beading. I think this may be visible under the two large fish you see here. So anyone travelling with an obsessive disorder would be fully satisfied every time they pass this ‘sure thing’ in the hall way.

Of course time is a great teacher. I would have done things differently if I was given this time again. However, I don’t over think it, because my brain can be lazy at the best of times, to be overly critical. Also because of two things I do know;

1. Mosaic is hard to get off a wall, so even if  I wanted to change it –  good luck with that Emily!

And, 2. I know I’m the only one that notices the flaws in the mosaic –  it makes people happy.

So I’m happy.


Number 11, Geoffrey’s house {treasure}

I managed to visit the great Geoffrey Bawa’s house last year. Very unassuming from the outside, until you notice this sneaky view, with this cheeky bottom peeking out.

Hello! An old Mercedes ’roundie’.


I was very excited to be here, and felt like a super sleuth for even managing to negotiate my way to Number 11.

On this particular day, the facade was being painted, there were guys up ladders, swinging cans of epoxy white paint – that Geoffrey painted all walls and floors with, in order to keep the appearance of clean, reflective surfaces.


Geoffrey clearly liked his cars, as did I. The interesting notion about his style of architecture, is that everything is essentially open. Yes, his cars were parked in the garage. Once inside the garage, the cars were inside the house. Part of the inner sanctum.


I soaked in every word our tour guide said. See? There! Epoxy paint. Shiny.

Courtyards, water features (even in the house) and windows worked hand in hand to keep the temperature low. Corridors and strategically built walls meant doors were not really required in many areas – providing little nooks and crannies ensuring privacy.


Bawa’s use of space. Air flow being paramount.


I realised I was so busy soaking in the stories, and revelling in the architectural genius of this man – that all I came out with were photos of his fish. From his old office at Paradise Road, not even from his house.

The old office is a few streets away from the residence and has been turned into a cafe, bar and gallery now known as Paradise Road Galleries. The café and staff were so infectious, we didn’t want to leave.

(I was actually quite surprised at the number of wonderful Art Galleries in Colombo, mainly owned by English folk with a smart retirement plan. Being an artist in residence in this place, what a gig!)

In summary, brilliant man. The Gallery Café serves Tamarind margaritas – I had two, as they too were brilliant.

And here are the fish.


The nest {making, collecting, treasure}

We made a nest, from silver birch twigs.


We went walking to collect materials to weave within the birch. A piece of electrical wire was found, a bright red strand. This was woven through the twigs with great skill. We decided birds are very clever, they don’t have two hands to bend, twist and manipulate the twigs into the right place.

Just a beak. No opposable thumbs.


Henry decided the birds would be more comfortable sitting in feathers from our chickens bottoms, rather than scratchy sticks. So, we gathered them up, along with violets and jonquils – (a sort of bird aromatherapy, if you like) and placed them in our nest.

Funnily enough no wayward birds arrived to take advantage of this ready made haven.


Regardless of this, we now have bird nesting skills. Something to add to our can-do list.


Hipsterville aka Perth {treasure}

Give it up Australian cities. Perth has ‘cool’ all stitched up.



Between Brad Eastman and Anya Brock – colour, murals and budgies are covered.


Funny signs in shop windows. We don’t mind that we can’t peruse your goods, you are closed for sleeps – for goodness sake. In log font, no less.


Northbridge has beautiful alley ways full of art. The food is exquisite too. This is out the back of La Cholita in Northbridge.



There is a piano in the tunnel at Freo Beach, incase you feel the need for chopsticks.


Mosaic traffic light base. Yes please!



Festive houses line Fremantle streets.


Clearly, every kind of art is highly regarded and valued.


Way cool imagery. Just because. The bigger, the better.


Massive street art inspiring me to work bigger myself. My new favourite place.


‘A Falling Through’ {making}

I made her in January.

A knee jerk reaction to Summer, swimming, and polka dots (of course polka dots).

I spent a weekend almost by myself, driving – which to me is my definition of heavenly. Driving my car, listening to my music, shirking all responsibilities for 48 hours. An amazing sense of freedom.

I bought some vintage dominoes, and I sat on the side of an ocean pool, dangling my feet in the water. It was the most beautiful day. I wanted to jump in with gay abandonment. I didn’t. I watched other people enjoying the freedom – I hadn’t come prepared. The water was beckoning. I have a reputation of rebellion when it comes to the costume constraints surrounding water, and have in the past just jumped in anyway. Clothes and all, This time I couldn’t. I was being careful, watching myself, and I had to get back on the road and continue my journey. The further away I got from this pool, the more I had to fight myself not to turn around and just jump in that damned water! I really wanted to, and I felt the conditions would never be the same, never that perfect.

Anyway, I carried on, and had the most jam packed amazing weekend surrounded by people I love, reconnecting with the city that was my home BC (before children). I ate, I drank, I was merry – and topped it off with an amazing haul from Rozelle markets.

Even with all that distraction, this image didn’t leave me.

I knew this was my next piece.


I had to sit on my hands until the festive season was over – there was a lot to do, as the ‘festive’ with extended family was happening at my house.

Every now and then I would sneak half an hour with this girl.


She still wasn’t finished.

After Christmas the ocean calls.

So, down the coast I headed with a gaggle of children, and m’lady tucked in amongst the beach towels.


I snuck in some time to stick the last few pieces on.


Then with an audience of at least 10 friendly caravaning kids. I grouted.
And here she is.