Wednesday 30 April 2008


It is slightly too warm here in Sydney to grow Clematis well although I have a very healthy native clematis in my back garden which has climbed 20 feet up through a nearby tree. It refuses to flower even one bloom, though, maybe next spring?!
My friend grew this clematis a couple of years ago, it flowered fantastically with huge beautiful azure blue blooms, she was quite depressed a few weeks later when it dropped dead overnight! I am wondering about gocco printing this illustration which I made the other day but first I would have to track down the perfect colour ink.

p.s. Here's a pic I posted on Flickr yesterday of the way I polish the connections of my Gocco bulbs on paper. I find rubbing the ends makes them more reliable, more likely to go off. If you are goccoing and you haven't checked out the Flickr Gocco group discussion it is an invaluable resource and brains trust for everything to do with Gocco and has saved me time and frustration and, more importantly, wasted screens and bulbs!!

Tuesday 29 April 2008

red butterflies

Saw this plant on Ebay and just couldn't resist it. The leaves are so like the butterflies of its common name the Butterfly plant. I think it's botanic name is Christia vespertilionis and this is the red version. I must say I like it even more in real life and might keep it here for a while, near my kitchen sink with the light coming through the leaves.

Sunday 27 April 2008

autumn berries

Picked by the side of the road on our way home through the Southern Highlands. I could just imagine a huge bunch of them like this in a vase.

Saturday 26 April 2008


I'm a compulsive beachcomber, I can't seem to break the habit and always come away with pockets full of shells and pebbles and driftwood whenever I'm at the beach! I wonder if there is a gene for that, something to do with being a hoarder too.
I'm always delighted by the wonderful colours, shapes and patterns on shells. Here are some beautiful little shells that I collected from the beach all slightly different and all beautiful.
We had the most wonderful time away in what seems to have been the only sunny spot on the east coast of Australia. Lucky us. More photos later.

Saturday 19 April 2008

sue h. and other favourites

It's been a while since I posted a mosaic of my Flickr favourites. What an inspiring wealth of talent Flickr holds. Someone I discovered recently whose photos I love is Australian Sue Hammond, whose Flickr stream goes under the name Sue H. She has some beautiful still lifes, landscapes and black and white photos among others (above). And quite a botanic bent (as all my favourites seem to have!). I'm also intrigued with the way she crops all her photos square, I really like that.

I've made a mosaic of my recent favourites, with credits, below. I like how the colours and images go so well with each other. All very romantic and moody at the moment. And some beautiful polaroids, two great flower pictures are included here. I hope someone saves this format, there is such an otherworldly air to the photos. And they have that square format. I used to have a polaroid camera somewhere but I think its gone in a move.

1. adjust, 2. the detail's in the bokeh, 3. pink tea, 4. Persicaria, 5. wire tree, 6. Magnolia Tree In Bloom, 7. dandelion b&w, 8. urchin, 9. leafy #2, 10. orchids black and white, 11. sketchbook no.2, 12. twirly pods, 13. chandelier, 14. just keep it simple, 15. boop-boop-a-doop, 16. Morning Bloom, 17. Dark Beauty, 18. crysanthemum..., 19. sweet suite, 20. In aPod, 21. at the coffee shop, 22. mossy roof, 23. Untitled, 24. winter colours 4, 25. winter cabinet

I'm going away tomorrow for a week to a wet and windy south coast. I will be taking my camera, a pen and paper and lots of inspiration. And hoping for at least a glimpse of sun.

Thursday 17 April 2008

Audrey rose

A while ago I posted a picture of what to me was a horticultural triumph, I managed to grow a rose seed.
Not such an easy task as it sounds you have to overwinter the seeds in the fridge to trick them into opening and this one is the only seed in 40 or so that I managed to deceive! In fact last year was the second time I'd tried it, the first time I also had one seed split and start to grow. I potted it carefully out, only to leave it baking in the sun one day and kill it.
With this seed I was much more careful and luckily my little plant has grown and flowered. Though the roses are hardly earth shattering they have a certain charm - the flowers are tiny and quite a lovely shade of pink with an orange tinge. The flowers are also quite long lived and stay on the plant shading to a pinkish red. And the plant has flowered three times this summer even though it is tiny. Another bonus is that each rose seed from hybrid roses is a unique hybrid, sort of like people. This is the only rose like this in the world and I have naming rights :-)

Apparently roses may get more petals the second year, but whatever happens, this plant has enough sentimental value that I'm keeping it and I love it.
And I said I would post a picture when it flowered so here it is.

Tuesday 15 April 2008

chrysanthemum gocco

I've been thinking about this print for ages - I first made the drawing last year. Originally I printed it out with my laser, playing around with colours and cardstocks.
I just loved it on this golden yellow card that I had some offcuts of and it seemed to really suit the image so, the other day I tracked the stock down and bought some in readiness. Another great bonus of this card is that it is 100% recycled, acid free and has a great handmade look with random flecks of blue and brown.
Then I just waited till I had time and space to print. Which of course never happened!
So the other day, late in the afternoon I grabbed the bull by the horns and pulled out my gocco, cleared a space and printed the white layer. I love the way this makes the black stand out. The only problem is that white is the hardest ink colour to use, in my experience. It fades out once it dries and this time it seemed to be quite thick and wouldn't print evenly.
Eventually I got enough prints made, I had to pump the Gocco a few times each print to make sure I had even coverage. Sometimes I think you have to vary your printing style to suit the screen.
The next evening, same thing, about 5pm I cleared our dining table and printed the black screen. This time the exposure was perfect and the black ink a breeze to use. I printed a few different colourways. Next time I print this design I think I might vary the first colour, play around with some pinks and greens and print on white card.

Anyway I'm really happy with my happy Chrysanthemums, they make me smile with their little arms out wide, doing a happy dance. I've framed this print and I'm going to hang it near my desk, when I get time!

This print will go up on the Etsy shop later today.

Wednesday 9 April 2008

physalis alkekengi

Bought this plant on Ebay a while ago, I think the common name is Chinese Lantern. The flowers are tiny and inconsequential but then it produces these great orange pods which disintegrate slowly to a filigree cage for the bright orange fruit. Hard not to take a good photo of them but I really like this pic and the great bokeh background. Bokeh is a new word in my vocabulary, learnt on Flickr :-) It means that great out of focus part of the photo and there are many Flickr groups dedicated to lovers of this effect like me.
Actually I think there is a group on Flickr for everybody. I could spend hours browsing around and always leave inspired.
This plant is meant to be quite invasive so I have kept it in a pot, I am tempted though to let it out for a season and see how it goes.

Monday 7 April 2008


These turtledoves are a pair that spend a lot of time in our garden, and like to sunbake on our deck. This afternoon I came out and found them in the kitchen, they've become so tame that they'd wandered in the french doors to have a look around. As silly as they are beautiful I eventually had to climb up on the bench and grab this one and take her outside.
Her partner waited patiently outside on the fence till she reappeared.
I like the way she chose a colour coordinated pot to wait on. They have the most exquisite colours of dove grey brown tinged with pink and a blue grey around the eyes.
Here is a sketch I made recently of this bird and another local dove. I'd love to make a print of them one day.


One of my favourite autumn plants. This plant is in a great spot where it gets the morning sun against a shady background. This is either the named hybrid Anemone x hybrida 'Pamina' which I bought at a rare plants fair or a similar plant I got from 'the tip lady' who sells plants from a roadside stall in Bathurst (on the road to the rubbish tip). Some of my favourite plans come as little divisions from her plants and as the labels are usually faded it is like a lucky dip!

Sunday 6 April 2008

versacolor stamps

I did talk about these stamps before and how much I like them. The other day I was driving past the shop and treated myself with some more colours :-) I still need to take the time and care to carve a detailed stamp which does them justice but life has been too busy recently to do anything creative.

Saturday 5 April 2008


The birthday boys chose these icing colours for the cupcakes we made for school. I wasn't sure about how tasty they looked or about the dangers of red food colouring on all those little brains but they proved very popular and this colour combination really grew on me. I like it against the red gingham checks, and the chunky coloured sprinkles make a great contrast.

Friday 4 April 2008

shop order!

Lots of fun last night packaging up an order for a shop that's opening soon - my first shop order! I love the way things look all neatly packaged, very satisfying.

Wednesday 2 April 2008

otchipotchi & skinny laminx

This morning I got an update email from one of my favourite shops/blogs otchipotchi. Based in Portugal this very talented woman is also one of my favourites on Flickr and has a blog called simple me that I read. I find Paula's work very inspiring and her sites are definitely worth looking at if you haven't seen of her work before.
I really admire the classic simplicity of everything she does and the beauty she sees in the every day. Below is one of the very limited pieces she produces occasionally for her shop, beautifully made and I love her simple styling.
Her simple, classic, clean style reminds me of the gorgeous Skinny LaMinx, whose clean lines and great design are so popular. It seems to me that most people have checked out her blog and Etsy shop, but if you haven't then that is another treat you can't miss.
Thanks to both these women for all the enjoyment I've had from their work. Skinny LaMinx's cutout work below and one of her beautiful screenprinted teatowels.