Hipsterville aka Perth {treasure}

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

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

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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.

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

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

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Mosaic traffic light base. Yes please!

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Festive houses line Fremantle streets.

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

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

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

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‘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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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This happened {making}

Easter time. This happened.

We decided to stay home for the weekend, instead of our usual stint visiting the coast.

4 whole days. Bliss.

What is a girl to do with 4 whole days?

I was hanging out some washing, always a good start to feeling organised and on top of things. I had hung the clothes out, the sun was warm, and for the first time this year all 3 children were in the sandpit. The dog too. Digging for treasure they buried for her. There were an assortment of exploding volcanoes, sand pies, and then things took a turn for the worse. T-shirts were stuffed with wet sand, laughter erupting around me. Then came the hose, spraying walls, dogs, kids. Then the sand throwing. Everywhere.

I was aware all of this was happening around me, and was happy in my bubble of bliss while the blood curdling shrieks of three small people were spirited and happy – and the sand wasn’t landing in my mouth, the world was fine. Bleeding eyeballs and tears were the only thing that could bring me out of my trance.

While all this was happening around me. I had found a stumpy purple pencil at my feet (I cannot stand purple, I adore violets – but the colour is always the last I would choose in a line-up of the rainbow.) I had picked up this pencil and started drawing on the wall of the house. Swirly lines, flowers, a vine of sorts in a deco style. I love my deco.

The noise around me still loud with laughter. A good sign. I grabbed my nippers. I started cutting little green pieces of glass for the stem. Bits of mirror too – because we all know I love sparkle. I glued over the purple line. Two hours had passed with no child related incident. In fact the smallest one had joined me and asked if he could stick the green bits, green is his very favourite colour.

Terrific, I had a personal assistant for my project!

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He stuck around for at least two hours. The vine was nearly done. Then we started on the flowers. He stuck on all of the flower stamen within reach. One. Two. Three.

Then the inner petals. Then he cut and run, he went for a bath.

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I carried on over the next few days with eager assistants, until the sun went down.

This didn’t feel arduous.

This was as relaxing as a bath, as relaxing as a weeding funk,

as relaxing as floating on my back down the river.

All in all this was a very organic process,

my planning skills are severely lacking as any friend will tell you.

Picking glue off my fingers has always a moment of pure zen for me.

Flying by the seat of my pants has always been my mode of transport.

I had sand, I had water, I had squealing around me – and look what happened.

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 {work in progress}

Disco steps update and my affection for mirrors {collecting, treasure}

I remember my early fascination with bevelled edged mirrors. There was a giant one on the wall at my grandparents house, a sweet country town famous for its cheese.

The mirror seemed enormous to me, and I wasn’t entirely sure it wasn’t the old back window from my Pop’s EK Holden, treated with silver paint.

It was foreign and very ‘granny-like’ and helped form my appreciation of all things old, rusty and lived-in. I realised  my Nana  and all of her sisters, in this same small town had these mirrors, or similar variations in their home. (Along with pretty coloured hair.)

I belonged in a house with an artist mother and conservative/gardening  father. They had their own taste, and bevelled edged mirrors didn’t have a place in our childhood home. They were decorating in the seventies, with huge colourful printed curtains (in hot pink, red and orange), sculptures, paintings bought from galleries, and huge carved elephants brought from Southern Asia. I believe sheepskin may have been peaking at this time too.

My grandparents died, and the Great-aunts did too. I don’t know where everything went. The mirrors, the aluminium canisters, the heavy club lounges, the chenille bed spreads… Everything did go, probably to the dump or Second Hand shops in the little town.

Anyway, I grew up, left home. I moved to Sydney. I only knew a handful of people. I had to find a new way to spend my weekends. I found Second Hand shopping. I was amazed at what I discovered. My love of treasure hunting soon overtook my weekends. I found a sweet small mirror with bevelled edges. I was naturally drawn to it, without explanation.

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Then came more. One by one. Its not about admiring my own reflection, nothing to do with vanity.

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I do love the way they reflect my garden. Bringing the outside in.

Along with bevelled edged mirrors, I collect any lovely piece that ‘speaks’ to me.

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The crustier, the better.

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Big mirrors, little mirrors…

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Old wardrobe doors with brass handles, make lovely full length mirrors.

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Eighteen years later, and five homes later,  they keep finding me. Garage sales at little coastal towns. Charity shops in my city. Birthday gifts from people who know me well. A lady at a little town Antique shop keeps them aside for me. Now I have…many.

So, what is responsible for this, may I ask?

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I’m not sure.  But I love these stairs.  I love mirror, I like shiny things.

I still have 2 steps left to glue – and wee bits to touch up.

More to come…

The front steps needed disco {treasure, making}

A mirror broke. I didn’t do it. A paint tin did. No bad luck for me.

I make the very most of situations such as this one, as you see. I contemplated a design of my own, but in such a prominent position, I didn’t want to start using the back gate in order to avoid using the front stairs. (What I mean is, I didn’t want to *sigh* or *cringe* every time I arrived home, because my skills & ideals of coolness have changed.) So, I turn to disco – as we all should.

One step down, seven to go.

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St Kilda Sea Glass {collecting,treasure}

I was lucky enough to spend a whole week of Winter school holidays in Melbourne, visiting a friend lucky enough to know me for 36 years. We ushered 5 children under 11 to St Kilda for a wee adventure and the promise of gelato too. There is a beach and a jetty, and you can probably see Tasmania on a clear day (no, not really).

The small folk very quickly tossed their shoes aside and took turns burying each other up to their necks. This friend of mine is not a fan of the beach, she doesn’t like sand getting in everywhere and everything. She was quietly having conniptions thinking of washing clothes x 5 kids and 1 adult, because I was right alongside them in the sandy department.

I managed to distract her with shiny things. These shiny things. We collected a beanie-ful, about 2 kgs of this goodness, sparkling in the sun along the shoreline. Two things I found out about St Kilda: 1.people drink lots of beer and wine, AND 2.they don’t use rubbish or recycling bins very often, on or off shore. Thank you irresponsible people! I love Sea Glass.

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‘Swing Life Away’ {making, treasure}

Swinging is good for you. So is jumping on a trampoline. Especially good for you considering most people put an age cap on these activities. Under 10 years old? You should be swinging and jumping like your life depends on it. 30 or over? All of a sudden the sound of crickets chirping is overwhelming. I am here to tell you, I do jump. I do swing. Engaging in child-like activities is good for us. (I also glide on shopping trolleys.)

Infobarrel.com says,”Bouncing on trampolines help remove toxins by squeezing them out. Your body has about 60 trillion cells, so the gravitational pull pushes out the toxins when you bounce. During the period of weightlessness, when your body is suspended midair, the lower pressure in your cells promote the movement of nutrients into the cells. Imagine this as a workout to get every cell in your body to exercise.”

This information is telling us we should. We must. My newest piece is based around just the swinging aspect. The weightlessness, the freedom, the whoosh of air passing your ears, the feeling of two straight legs ploughing through the sky, casting your eyes up to the heavens, feeling on top of the world. The breeze in your face, the wobbly colt-like legs that jerk you to a halt.  Jumping like a gymnast and dismounting in the mulch.

Those of us who use swings, instead of leaving it to the little people, smile BIG smiles.

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Beyond Borders: Mosaic Auction for DWB/MSF

September 2012
(Doctors Without Borders)