Thursday, 22 January 2009

A pinch of salt...and I'm sorry.

I was reading this post by Rachel Powers, who wrote 'The Divided Heart'. It got me thinking again about blogging. When I started this blog I did so nervously and very very anonymously, I let no-one know I had a blog and kept my big mouth shut whenever any one mentioned how much time people waste communicating via the internet, chat rooms, forums and blogs. I was a little embarrassed that I had become such a nerd and I as it was anonymous I felt free to write whatever I wanted, my very own thoughts and feelings. I didn't have to worry how the person on the receiving end of my waffle would take it. As I've said before if people find a particular post too boring they can simply click onto the next blog or skim over the worst to glean the essence of what is being said. Something that would be very rude in a face to face conversation.
Then as time passed I began to connect with people I'd not met before and found the blog of a lovely lady I did know who lived interstate. I knew of Kirti when I was at art school and had not heard of her for years until she met K who I had met through Tim. K was travelling in the eastern states when he met Kirti and through him we saw Kirti a little here and there. Reading Kirti's blog allowed me to connect with her and although I knew her I feel I've gotten to know her better as the blog allows us to keep in contact over the distance from one side of australia to the other.
Then one of my 'imaginary' blog friends became real when I met Fifi at the end of last year. It was a very strange situation in that I felt I knew her so well although I didn't really know her at all on an ordinary basis ie. I wasn't sure if she was actually married or not, I knew she had children but not their names. I knew she was funny but I didn't know how vivacious she was in person and now I have a physical voice to go with her writer's voice.
Blogging and 'sharing sites' like Ravelry and Flickr have also enabled me to keep in contact with one of my oldest and dearest friend's (No we are not OLD!) but as I've mentioned before I met A when I was 16. We became immediately inseparable best friends. We talked and talked and talked for hours hardly pausing to take a breath- I know that is hard to imagine now me being one of few words now. ;) over the years our friendship has remained even though there was one embarrassingly long period where we just seemed to get out of sync and left the phone calls too long but it survived that. Now A has two littlies- and a phone line that works intermittently and is in need of repair. Her timetable and mine are totally at odds with each other. I am often up until some crazy hour, and sleep in if it's holidays or go off to work, I then have to drive my much older children to work or drama or fencing or social engagements and then try and find time to prepare my school work for the next day, do marking, cook and find some time to be creative (hence the crazy bedtimes) She on the other hand has to be able to face the day with the sparrows as little ones tend to do. So she finds her creative times during the day or early evening once hers have gone to bed. Using Ravelry and flick-r have enabled us to keep in touch, sharing our own projects and highlighting hyperlinks to show off stuff we love or find interesting or things we think might interest each other. But we can do this in our own time more frequently than we could in person. I wish she lived around the corner but she lives over the freeway and although when it's clear that's only about 25min drive at peek hour it is much much more and the freeway is a mental divide that makes the drive seem so much further (Plus I don't particularly like to drive- I love that I am able to and have the choice to do so but I'm not too fond of busy traffic) Now we catch up in person during my holidays or on occasional weekends but we can keep in touch regardless of what or lives demand we do. For that I am thankful for this medium of communication.
Anyway as I started to become more and more enamoured with 'blogging' I couldn't help but 'confess' to those people I mentioned earlier who disapproved of computer communication that I actually had a blog and I enjoyed it.
NOW here comes a problem. Now my posts were being read or had the potential to be read by people I knew. Even the fact that they were in fact being read meant that I sometimes pause to think before I post and I worry if I can in fact spell the word I'm trying to use.
I've been thinking about this for some weeks now. Blogs are a great way to connect and they are also have the potential to offend and I am worried that I may have done just that.
I still look at this blog as a place where I can put down my thoughts how ever daggy or worries however trivial or large they may be. Sometimes I write things somewhat tongue in cheek. You all know how much I adore my children but I have been known to bemoan their behaviour, I've also had a go at my own foibles on occasion. And reading the posts of others I take their posts in perspective just because one mentioned that swimming with her daughter would deflect the attention of sharks I did not get alarmed or run off to alert children's services. I laughed at another's mean old batty aunt. So I guess we all take each other's rants and comments with a pinch of salt. Sometime we put things that may be concerning us in a flippant way or write a funny throw away line. I suppose that once you get to know a person you begin to judge the overall tone of the blog and relate to it or stop reading it.
Now to my faux pas. I think I may have offended my cousin when I wrote about my aunty joking about making bags the same as mine. I mentioned my blog to her at the lunch we had and she may have read it, but I don't know for sure. It has been keeping me awake all night tonight (it is now just gone 6 and I have been sitting here since 5am having had intermittent sleep since 2am) I feel sorry that I said those things. I suppose that my cousin could take the whole thing as a compliment that I think her mother talented and skillful enough to figure out the design and produce enough product in one week to be a threat and compete with me at the market when I had developed the design through trial and error and spent months creating them. So I felt the need to say I am sorry in the same forum in which I said the wrong thing. I hope that if she did in fact manage to find my blog and read the posts that she will read this and accept my apology.
And to future readers of my posts please don't take my rants too seriously. This is a place where I talk about my stresses, problems and share some successes and although sometimes I am serious more often than not I write in a way that pokes fun at the situation more than the actual people involved. Now it is definitely time for bed as I can hear those sparrows!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Finished? Almost...

Almost done. I think. I like it mostly. I wish I could be happy with the things I do I tend to focus on all the negative bits, and I'm aware that they exist in the work of others to yet I still enjoy them. Ok I'm going to ignore the negative and focus on the positive. I do like the way I have shown the mother so absorbed in the baby, oblivious to the viewer, and the hands although big are gentle.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

work in progress

I am beginning to warm to the piece and am not altogether unhappy with it now.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

mother and babe

Attempt two. I don't know why I keep on trying to do this as I hate drawing hands and faces and am always struck by my ineptitude in being able to recreate the human face! Something which we are all so familiar with! And don't get me started on the blobby hands! But I will continue and torment myself further as I attempt to add colour to it...

Sunday, 11 January 2009

how does your garden grow

Today I spent time working on the patio area leading through the french doors to my lounge/dining/kitchen and next to my studio, For twelve months it has had empty garden beds. They needed to be filled with soil. Tim and I (well honestly mostly Tim) have shifted two cubic meters of soil. My step father went and got us a couple of trailer loads from the local garden supplier. It was $50 for a trailer load -1 cubic meter or $170 to have it delivered.

I found a cheap black tub that fitted perfectly between the fence and the limestone garden bed/seat. It is so soothing to hear the water trickling ...

while relaxing in one of my favourite chairs. These chair frames belonged to my grandmother, Cammy. I love them. When I inherited the 4 of them they were just the frames. It took me ten years to find the pattern (Thank goodness for the internet!)

I planted about 40 plants today. Then because I wasn't happy with the arrangement I lifted about 8 and rearranged them and replanted them. Some I bought but some I managed to find tucked away in various parts of the garden, or in pots begging to be put into a more permanent home.

As a result my back is killing me and I found myself stuck momentarily in my favourite chair- wishing I had had the swags made for them some ten years ago when I was young and sprightly and laughed mercilessly at poor old people who get stuck in chairs!
Because Ron had been generous with his time and my mother has been impatient to see progress in the improvement of my home I thought I would invite them over for a BBQ.

I spent time washing things down , sweeping and straitening the chairs and cushions etc. Mum was suitably impressed. We are now planning a mother daughter mosaic making afternoon- she wants a mosaic table top and I'm planning another for above this new little pond. I positioned it directly opposite the french doors so that when they are open they will frame the mosaic as you view it from inside.

Mum was impressed with the meal- just a simple BBQ with chili, soy and coriander marinated chicken on satay sticks, lamb steaks and a plain green salad and a potato salad with wholegrain mustard and sour cream dressing. I cheated and dressed a shop bought pavlova shell with blueberries, strawberries and cream. I was given the highest compliment ever in my mothers eyes. She said my cooking was in league with Poppy, her dear grandmother, my great grandmother whom she loved very deeply. In her eyes Poppy was the dearest most lovely person in the whole world. Her cooking was renowned and was equated with love and nurturing. So I feel extremely flattered!

As I was preparing to do this post I thought we often show the best bits of what's happening around us , the tidied up before shots (well after cleaning, before the messing again.)

So I decided to show you what my lovely table looks like now.


I attempted to create an unusual table center with an assortment of coloured glass jugs which were going to have tea lights in them but I couldn't manage to get the tea lights lit and then I got distracted. (I can be a bit like that sometimes)


Note all the sugar on the tablecloth in the foreground of the photo- I think that was Bantam Boy.

Thursday, 8 January 2009


Well the kids are back. It started before they even got back into town. While having lunch with 'A' the message alert went on my phone. It was chicky babe
Message 1: "r u coming to get us or do we have to catch the train from perth the freo and then another bus home"

Reply 'No I'm coming to get you A lives nearby the bus station so that's why I'm here for lunch"

Message 2; 'I just thought we would have to catch the train"

Reply 'No of course I'll come and get you'

Message "can i meet m(the ex boyfriend) in town"

A flurry of messages ensued - Warranted queries on my part Where When Who How will you get home etc etc
And gruff vague replies on her part first on her phone until it ran out of battery then on Bantam Boy's.

I was not keen to allow her to travel on her own into perth so BB and I went to the Gallery and had a look around. And then we went into Freo to get BB some CD's because you can never have enough and after south bound he had to have some from the bands he saw. Then I rang to find out how far away she was thinking that as I was already in freo I would perhaps have a coffee and wait to pick her up. But she decided it was easier to go to Murdoch (another line entirely) and bus to M's where I could pick her up when she was ready!

Today I have been to M's again so they could go to the beach. She was alarmed to find I would pick he up at 3;30 or at 10. Why so late!!
Well strangely enough I have plans.(meeting a friend for drinks before she goes of to Albany)
Then I ended up taking both kids to the beach - we took the scenic route, I got lost and although M had been there several times, his mother reassuring me he knew the way he never paid attention. All the while the phones were beeping Where are you messages.
Apparently I am known as the crazy over protective mother who always gets lost! (I did ask them not to swim out too far. In my defence a man was eaten by a shark not far from the beach 10 days ago, and the news is full of shark stories at the moment. And I think I am doing well to let them go although it does my head in to deal with the conflict of wanting to keep them safe and give them the independence I know I must!
Anyway when I finally found my way home from the beach it was almost time to take BB to the pool to meet his friends. At least he was flexible enough to let me have time to have a coffee and some breakfast!
Soon I will have to pick him up again but Chicky will get a lift home later, so I can go out and have a bit of fun myself.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Tuesday's blog part B.

I found this site called design* sponge and learnt how to make a repeat design. I've photocoppied it four times and stuck it together. It was quite alot of fun. I have an old chair that needs recovering. I think I'd like to make up some of my own fabric to cover it in.

pear 1 image copy 2
Originally uploaded by dette.k

another quiet day....

I spent a bit of time trying to figure out how to use the computer to create a design to go onto fabric. ages ago I found this site where you can send in your fabric designs and they will print it off for you so you can have your own unique fabric to work with. I have done silk screen printing in the past but I'm not really set up for doing large pieces of fabric- so I thought I'd try this out one day. Anyway I tried to use adobe... I wished the kids were home because it took me HOURS to do this simple thing and I can't now figure out how to make it repeat itself! There must be a very easy way, surely.
(the missing image is the pear above- goodness knows what I did!)
Then I moved onto drawing with a pencil.... I am so rusty. I should break my successful resolution to have no resolutions and resolve to draw more regularly! So that I can manage to do half the things I am dreaming of doing, half as well as I'd like to.
(Sorry this is so faint but I don't have my technical advisers to show me what to do to make the image darker! This is darkest of the lot! A shame because I like the one of the kids better, it looks a bit like them. Funny isn't it that my own face just seems to escape me when I try to draw it.) P.S I published this post firstly with just the drawing then I spent some time painting one of the little sketches- Hmmm.. it's been about 12 years since I've used watercolour and I need more practice! I mucked up the faces, the eyes are particulerly tricky especially when they are so small. Oh! I should have worn my magnifying reading glasses!!!

Spending today pretty much the same as the last two.

I'm about to make coffee in a cute little teacup Tim bought for me yesterday.

(Note to self do not have four coffees and then a red bull with thyroid medication and only one piece of toast and a small piece of cheese for the whole day- it will give you the shakes!)

Monday, 5 January 2009


Yesterday I started my day with this.
A lovely cuppa using my tea cosy made for me by my dearest friend 'A'.

I wore only this. (there being no-one about to protest!)

I spent a great deal of time here crocheting (and snoozing)...

with my feet up.
Or browsing on the computer.

There was no-one to complain about lingonberry jam and organic butter on toast for lunch.

Later in the day I went here (wearing more than just my sarong!)

with Tim and Pablo (Tim is the human friend, Pablo the doggy friend.)

Until it got a bit too dark and we almost couldn't find the walkway back up to the car!

Today has pretty much been a repeat of yesterday. Some years ago I would have been incredulous at the thought that I could happily spend time all on my own and not feel lonely!

Sunday, 4 January 2009


Ahhhh! I'm all on my own. The kids have both gone off to visit their grandparents in Busselton. Bantam Boy went on Friday four South Bound- a big music festival and Chicky Babe went today. A friend of mine is the mother of one of BB's closest friends and she went down to pick up her son so she took CB down there at the same time. I love both my children dearly but I have to confess I'm looking forward to some time on my own where all I have to worry about is me! It has been a while since they have both gone off at the same time. Once upon a time they would go and stay at their fathers for weekends at first regularly, then just here and there. I know they are quickly approaching adult hood and before I know it being on my own will be a way of life and I don't wish that to happen too quickly. I really do love having them about but today I am taking pleasure from the fact that no-one needs me for anything and I don't have to think about the needs of others!
The doorbell has broken on my front door, the television is off and there is quiet in my house. I am going to sit and do a bit of blogging and a bit of crochet (see photo). On Friday evening I bought a fantastic little book about using ephemera in art.

I have loved the work of Geninne she uses postcards and paints little birdies or boats around them. They are lovely whimsical little pieces. Have a look. Anyway one day I am going to treat myself to a couple of these. But also her work is inspiring me I'm thinking of making some little pieces using the kids ephemera, things that were important to them when they were little and adding images / paintings of them. I'm not sure how just yet but the book was a very interesting read.
I also have iconic art swirling around in my head it is a theme that has been there for years, not in terms of religion but in relationship to motherhood. While I was at art school when the kids were little I had to do a self portrait. I made this life size mixed media piece. In it I was wearing a dress and the dress was made of a montage of photos of the kids and myself. Motherhood at that point felt like a mantle that you wore, something that was put on to you something that was added to who you are. As time has passed I don't see it like that anymore. I think that in some ways at that time of my life, at the end of my marriage at any rate, I did wear the role of a wife and mother, I was acting I suppose, going through the motions. So the self portrait was an expression of that. Now I feel like motherhood -well my form of it has become a calling almost a religious vocation. I do not mean that to sound pompous or over the top. How I have become as a mother now is much more grounded and natural. And I think I really do have a balanced approach to it, I'm definitely not a professional mummy and although I do make concessions for my children's needs I make sure I meet at least some of my needs too. I learnt that lesson and it is not one I wish to repeat- the next lesson to learn is self acceptance! that particular portrait had a big green smudge dragged violently over the face. Anyway I am thinking of images of me and the kids portrayed in an iconic format. Golds and reds, yummy.
The new year has got me thinking of my travel plans for when the children are grown up. Not too far away in two years time Chicky will have completed year 12 and my long service leave will be due. Perfect timing! I have been putting money into a college fund for the kids since they were about 6 & 7. I have put aside about 10 000 per child so I have decided that they will get 6000 each and I will keep 8000. They will receive the interest from the investment. So there is my European adventure money. As I browse on the net I have come across interesting places to stay and things to do. I've saved them in a folder quietly making plans for my adventure. When CB had her hair cut the hair dresser said she had stayed in a convent in Rome. I quite like the sound of that. I have this image of simple rooms and quiet- do you see a theme here. I think I am craving quiet at the moment. Plus I think I'd feel safe there as a lone traveller. Although it could turn out to be a huge 40+ European party as I now have several friends who want to join me for part of the journey!