June 30, 2006

Parcel in the Mail.......

I just received my magazine swap parcel all the way from England!!!

Thanks Monica!
I love both magazines and thank you so much for the extra goodies - you are too sweet!

Rain Rain go away.......

Its very gray and wet outside today as you can see from my pic but I find weather like this so comforting as well especially when indoors with the heater on and 'Oprah' blaring on TV....I love days like this.

Ive even popped some vegetables to roast in the oven in preparation for my spicy roasted Vege soup!!
Who else loves soup?? Yum!!!
Its the easiest thing to prepare and is just perfect for chilly days like today!
Cut + Paste......

This is my first collage piece. Its kind of a thrill to cut and glue pictures on paper - brings back many memories of noisy craft classes in primary school.
This picture doesnt have any meaning, I just liked the colour combination and the cut out of granny reminds me of my own sweet grandmamma who lives so far away and whom I think of daily (mine is a lot happier and jolly though and doesnt set her hair or wear gloves unless she is gardening)

Ulla's post
inspired me and this collage was created by flicking through an old Italia Vogue issue and tearing out what caught my eye.
Id love to do one of Ulla's classes - if only I lived nearby, she is very talented!

Some other great collage artists I admire

Michelle Caplan
Jen B
Claudine Hellmuth
Tiffini Elektra X
Pam Garrison

Ive booked in to do 3 classes in next months Paperific Expo which Stacey organises each year - Im looking forward to it as I missed it last year.

June 29, 2006

As I was sitting at my work desk number crunching all day I was thinking about my blog and how Im approaching my 100th post

Jen had a question on her blog the other day, ‘if no one commented, would you still blog?’

Receiving comments is so motivating and encouraging and I must admit pretty thrilling!! But for me, blogging has pushed me to draw and create and to observe my wonderful surroundings and view things in a different way so yes, definetley!! I would!

The first blog I ever visited was Amy’s as I loved her little online shop from years back when she used to post on the 'Victoria magazine' forum.

I also remember visiting a great inspiring website last year ‘Another Girl at Play’ which featured
Alicia Paulson , her sister Julianna Smith and Claire from Loobylu
Such inspiring women who create - that got me going!!

From a post on Alicia's blog I somehow discovered 'Illustration Friday' and that changed everything for me!
so I encouraged my friend Melissa , who draws the cutest cats ever! to join up with me
'We can do this Melissa - one drawing a week - easy AND fun'

so this is how my blog came to be and its been an amazing blogging journey so far - really really great and I thank you ALL for your encouraging comments!!!

The image is from Milly Molly Mandy book - one of my childhood favourites! aint she cute??

June 28, 2006

The Sartorialist is in Milano, Italy....

Some people love having their morning coffee whilst reading the online newspapers, I check out The Sartorialist

Its my daily morning hit!
Love his street fashion shots on NYC and now he is in Milano - check them out
What wonderful colour and style, everyone is so tres chic!

June 27, 2006

EDM Challenge #72 - Draw somewhere new

My sister and i went shopping in Newtown on Sunday as she wanted to buy a dress.

Great! I thought, should be fun and I can do some sketches whilst we have a coffee break and that could be my ‘Draw Somewhere new’
Well do you think she let me sketch anyone?? ‘We don’t have time, I got to get home soon, Greg’s cooking lunch…. blah blah blah…

So I started to draw our coffee cups and even attempted to draw her jacket ‘Don’t draw me – c’mon lets go!’ quite laughable really
Anyway guess who ended up buying two dresses! Yep me….

Sunday afternoon we went to my inlaws for a quick coffee and visit.
This is my father in law all rugged up in his favourite armchair eating a biscuit so I sketched him instead.

My father in law is a real sweetheart –a very kind and caring man.
*He’ll be 72 in August
*He lost his home on his 40th birthday after the Turkish invasion in 1974 – he still has the front door key to his home in Cyprus but will never be able to use it as the area he lived in is now occupied – tears still well up in his eyes when he talks about it
* He learnt to drive a car after he arrived in Sydney at age 42.
* In Cyprus he owned a small sheep farm
* He plays the lute and loves to sing Cypriot folk songs
* He has 7 grandchildren (aged 24 down to 18mnths)

June 26, 2006

Congtratulations to Nicole Kidman and
Keith Urban

Here are some pics I found online - I didnt venture out to Manly where the wedding was held but there was a crowd of about 500 people lining the streets and I thought that was really nice of them especially since it was freezing!
She looked stunning (botox and collagen to perfection - Oh nasty me!!!) and extremely happy - may they have a wonderful married life.

I was suprised she wore Balenciaga as she did those Chanel No.5 ads and even more suprised she tweaked a runway dress for her wedding gown - I really thought she'd go for an original haute couture gown.
The top of her dress is from the black Balenciaga gown below and the bridesmaids wore the creamy lace tops from the runway shot below.

A Giveaway.......

I got two issues of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion delivered - just wondering if anyone wants one of them?
Its the April/May06 issue (subscriptions take a while to get here) - cute magazine!
Just email me
TAKEN now - thanks!!!

I got my tags from Dacia's tagswap in the mail the other day - how pretty are they???
Thanks for the recipe cards Dacia!

Ellia is having the 3rd round of her Sweetpea swaps - this one is called 'Just a Kid Swap' for the kid within us all! check it out.

Aren't her illustrations just beautiful!!! this is done with cut-out paper amazing work!

June 25, 2006

Illustration Friday - Rain

3 quick sketches this week - I know we are only meant to do one but hey breaking the rules occasionaly makes u feel good....
these were done with black pen and watercolour pencils.

"Playing in the puddles wasnt such a good idea"

"if only she had agreed to meet inside the bookstore"

"The Sudden downpour - Oh no! my blowout!!"

For those like me who have supercurly hair and love it blowdried straight, rain is our worst enemy! heehee

June 24, 2006

Happy 1st Birthday Victoria!!

Little Victoria is my god-daughter and today is her 1st birthday!!

Victoria is a sweet little girl, so placid and a delight to her parents Chris and Patricia and to us. She's been walking for a month now and is exploring her little world a lot faster.

Andrew and I have 4 godchildren and feel so honoured that our friends trust us to play such an important role in their kids lives - we love them all!

We are off to Victoria's party this afternoon. I made these Chocolate almonds because they taste so good and are so easy to make. Whenever we are invited to a dinner party or have one at home, Im always expected to make these as everyone loves them. I swear its the first thing they ask me, 'Did you make the chocolate almonds?'

2 cups raw almonds - toast in slow oven until crunchy and tasty.

1 block cooking chocolate (220g) melt in bain marie ( fill saucepan with water and place bowl with broken chocolate pieces over saucepan over medium heat)

Once the chocolate has melted add almonds to the bowl and stir till they are all coated. I then cluster them with a teaspoon - about 4 almonds each - refrigerate till set.

I think the key to this recipe is to make sure the almonds are toasted well - I keep tasting until perfect - they need to be really crunchy as it gives them a really nice burnt smoked flavour. Enjoy!

June 23, 2006

Where's my coffee?

Im feeling totaly exhausted!

I got back last night from a work conference ' Making Finance Friendly' (what are they trying to say?? Hmph!)
Had a great time although it rained and rained some more so a beach house wasn't the ideal setting but at least the rain prevented us from the 6am wakeup call to jog to the blowhole.
It was a great team building event and I even got a bit of knitting in before bedtime.

Well the Socceroos did it!!!! Yes! we are into the next round at the World Cup - you beauty!!!
I think people are still partying hard out there somewhere....

Has anyone see Madonna's video clip for 'Get Together' I love it!!! great clip and song - the woman is a legend!
check it out here

June 20, 2006

Some Fun Happenings.....

Ive taken part in Cottonstrudel's Mag swap. My swap partner is Monica from England. Yeahh I love anything British!! We've been emailing and she is lovely!
Monica is working on the courage to start her own blog - C'mon Monica join in on the fun!!!
Edited to Add: Monica has just set up her blog!! Yeahhh Monica - have a look here Quilt while you're ahead

Some cool things Ive ordered from some very talented Bloggers. I managed to get one of Amy's MailOrder packages - these sell out SO fast and I read about the first one on a few blogs, missed out on the second one but yeahhh got the current one! Cant wait to receive it!

I also ordered a really cute colouring book/journal/storybook from VegasandVenice
called 'Shy Monster' - I think there are a couple left in her etsy shop
they are selling fast too!!!

Ive also joined in to do a Paperswap
so have to start thinking about that soon.

Lots of fun happenings. Im off to a work conference tommorow night - its pretty full on schedule but Im going to take my knitting and my sketchbook - I wonder if my collegues would mind?

June 19, 2006

Illustration Friday - Dance

Gosh its been ages since Ive had a good dance! I was THE dancing queen in my heyday!! love a good boogie....
I watch quite a lot of MTV for my age (hey gotta keep up with the Y generation ) and every now and then I do a crazy dance in front of the TV.
A Wiff of Cinnamon........

One of my favourite smells is cinnamon.

I have gorgeous cinammon oil that I burn in my oil burner but today since we've got gray skies, cold weather and are stuck indoors, I thought Id bake some 'Norweigan Cinnamon buns' from Nigella's 'How to be a Domestic Goddess cookbook'
Im always worried about recipes that use yeast as Ive had a few flops but these turned out well - crispy sweet crust and gooey soft dough on the inside - perfect with some afternoon tea - off to put the kettle on!!

EDM Challenge #71 - Sport

Im not a sporty kinda girl but I do love Yoga!!
Im sad that I dont get to Yoga class much these days - I need to get me back there soon.
I love the stretching and deep breathing.

June 17, 2006

Days off are for Fun.....

I was planning to spend most of yesterday drawing and crafting but instead did 5 loads of washing, folding clothes and then spent hours ironing! Ughh the house is a mess and I cant keep up!

I was happy that I made the Sambag warehouse sale though - I bought these cute leather flats for my upcoming Summer holiday.
Lovely arent they?
Only problem with this colour is that you need a wicked tan and my legs are ghostly white so I'll need some to crack open the fake tan bottle.
Am I the only one who loves pale skin? Probably as everyone seems to be so into fake tan and bronzers.

Anyway i also bought some cute beaded boho skirts at $5 a piece - great presents for my girl cousins. I think Im a shop owners worst customer as i refuse to pay retail prices and hang out for the sales (Im showing the true thrifty Capricorn in me).
I mean its ridiculous dont you think when they charge SO much in their stores and then offer things at $5? I know they just want to get rid of excess stock but geesh....

June 16, 2006

Red Friday

Here is Neo and his red balloon. Who needs expensive toys - this balloon gave him so much joy and fun for hours - totaly wore him out before bed time.
Cant believe my little man will be 18mnths next week - I can still remember giving birth to him and experiencing the joys of motherhood all over again. After having my first boy Peter, I used to wonder how can I love another baby as much but that raw mother love hits you in the face in an instant. He was a demanding baby so very different to my Peter and he refused just refused a bottle so we breastfed for a year and it was a wonderful experience. Neo, you make me smile and laugh and i love you to bits!!!!!!

June 15, 2006

Blue Thursday

I spotted this bright blue flame last night when I went to roast a marshamallow over the stove - a open fireplace would be nice because its been freezing lately but our chimney is closed.

This sweet habit started when i was pregnant with Neo and I love a warm sticky vanilla marshmallow (no fat but yep loads of sugar) especially late at night just before bed.
The flame was really bright and I love how it looks like it has blue neon light running through it.

June 14, 2006

Black/Gray Wednesday

I love gray teamed with black. This is one of my favourite cardigans - its soft and warm and the elbows have tweed patches.

I think smoky lined eyes look cool too - lots of gray eyeshadow, black liner and mascara. Edgy chic!

Illustration Friday - Jungle

A fun one this week.
I kept thinking of the song 'Jungle Boogie' from Pulp Fiction soundtrack. Thats a cool funk song - perfect for a Jungle Party.
Get down, get down ....

Brown Tuesday

Some of my favourite brown things from my kitchen.

Brown Lentils - I try to cook legumes at least once a week. Lentils are easy and fast to cook - just add stock, rice and boil away.

Almonds - My favourite snack. Even better drizzled with honey.

Greek Coffee - Its so dense, rich and smells beautiful. Its cooked on the stove until thick and syrupy. The old traditonal coffee houses in Cyprus cook it in a pot over hot sand.

June 13, 2006

White Monday

Seems like everyone is in on Colour Week and i too thought it would be fun to do.
My white image is of me and my niece (and god-daughter) Stephanie on my wedding day. Our dresses were pure white.
Stephanie is almost 9yrs old now - how the years go by.......
Go you Socceroos...........

Congratulations to our Australian soccer team for winning their first game at the World Cup 2006!!!
3-1 against Japan.

June 9, 2006

3 day Weekend ahead..........

Yeahhhh we have a long weekend in Australia!! so we are heading out of the city and driving north for about 3hrs to a town called Forster, Tuncurry.

I hope its not too cold as my parents have rented a beach house for a week so we thought we'd drag along for the 3 days.

Ive never been to Forster before but my work collegues have warned me that there isnt too much to do - why thats perfect....I just want to relax, play with my boys and be with my family.

Im going to take some good books/mags to read, my scarf that Ive been knitting for 2mnths now, my sketch book and pens. Hope the weather holds out as we've had lots of rain (we need it though) so we can go for long walks on the beach and have brunch at cafes.....sweet!!!

So take care my bloggy friends - catch up with you all Tuesday!!



EDM Challenge #69 - Beverage

Apart from tea and coffee I love freshly squeezed orange juice.

We have so many oranges and Mandarins at home - I keep getting bags from my parents and the neighbour who grows them in the backyard. Lots of Vitamin C which is perfect to ward off any winter colds.

June 8, 2006

Thursday Night is MY TV night........

A couple of days ago Andrew and I watched a beautiful Indian film on dvd.
The movie is called ‘Water’ set in the 1930’s and it portrays the life of Widows in India who were basically shunned from society and sent to live in ashrams.
The youngest widow is only 7 years old!
Although a very sad film, I really enjoyed it and even days later I still keep thinking about it .

Its been a while since Ive seen a good film – ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was so disappointing for me. I couldn’t put the book down and I finished it in 2days! I had been hanging out for the film all year and I was really bummed the movie didn’t match it.
Some books are just not meant to be made into movies…..
Audrey Tautou is super cute though – loved her in Amelie! Who didn’t?? its such a sweet sweet film…..

Well tonight my sister and nieces are coming over for dinner. My brother in law is in St Louis, Missouri for work so I thought it would be nice for them to come over and hang out.

Plus 'Lost' is on and we hang out for that every Thursday night AND it’s the finale of Amazing Race (Season 9). Love that show!!! It’s the best reality show ever!
Ive seen them all but this is the first time I didn’t peak on the internet to see who wins (Im so bad aren’t I??) as we are a little behind the US .... so it will be a nice surprise – hope the hippies win!! KAPOW!!
My First attempt at ATCs.....

I finally finished my ATC series for Amy's 'Fairy Tales and Fables ATC Swap'
I was a little confused with the MailArt Envelope but I hope its okay - I better send them out today as they have a bit of a way to go from Sydney to Texas and I need to make the deadline!

Thanks for organising and hosting the swap Amy!!!
Here is my Cinderella - I stuffed up the fairy godmother so covered her in a cloud of glitter hehee do u think she'll mind?

June 7, 2006

How many countries have you visited.........

Take the test here

Although Ive been to 23 countries I still have lots to see and do in my life!
With this blog and the wonders of the internet and new technologies the world is a smaller place....friendly too!

June 6, 2006

A package to brighten up the Day......

I got a parcel from Regina today - its all the wonderful cards from her NoteCard swap.

They are all so gorgeous!!

The theme was 'Spring' and even though its been raining in Sydney the past two days these sure added some Spring to my day....there sure are some very clever creative ladies in this bloggy community! I love it!!!

Oh and thanks for the Pop Rock candy Regina, I shared it with Peter - his first popping candy experience!!

Quick Mummy! Charlie and Lola is on......

On my days off one of my morning delights is to watch 'Charlie and Lola'
on ABC kids at 8.45am.
My boy Peter always lets me know by shouting Come quick Mummy, its on its on! He knows how much I love it.
Bravo to author Lauren Child for creating such a wonderful TV series and gorgeous characters – she even has a card & stationery deal with Roger La Borde featuring her great illustrations.

June 5, 2006

Illustration Friday - Portrait

When I saw this week's topic I immediately thought of Royal families, aristocrats with grand country homes and painted portraits of ancestors hanging on the wall.
I loved Cecil Beaton's photos as he always captured their personality as well as their beauty (or lack of)

June 4, 2006

Something Fishy.......

How sweet is this dress! I love the school of fish design and navy blue teamed with white is so classic

This is by J.Crew - we dont have this store in Australia - what a shame... I love their simple preppy styles.

First Attempt at Outdoor sketching......

Last Sunday we went down to The Rocks for a stroll and some lunch.

It was a really warm day and we had lunch at an outdoor cafe in a quiet square.

After lunch Andrew and the boys were walking around nearby so I pulled out my sketch pad and started sketching a man doing his cross word puzzle just across me. I was doing okay but then a pigeon decided it wanted to eat some of our leftovers right off the table which caused a commotion when other birds realised they could do the same so I jumped up screaming and so did the two girls at the nearby table. We all burst into laughter soon after and my hubby just rolled his eyes with embarrasment....

June 2, 2006

Blind Contour Friday - Favourites

Blind Contour sketches are so hard - I just want to peep at my paper.....

This is my favourite morning beverage - Twinings English Breakfast tea with honey and a splash of milk
It has to be drunk in my favourite mug otherwise it just doenst taste the same hehee

I also drew my favourite jewellery that I wear everyday and feel naked without....
my wedding band and engagement ring, my watch, a purple pearl ring and two solid silver bangles

see all the entries here

Playing with Granny's Purse

This book 'My Granny's Purse' is adorable!!! Which little person doenst love peeping in their gran's handbag to see what goodies are in there.
This is something I would have loved as a child - I used to make my own paper handbags and even suitcases out of shoeboxes ....I think Id like one of these books for myself....
Ageing Paper Experiment........

This was something I did the other night. I diluted instant coffee (cheap stuff - dont go wasting your good coffee) in some hot water and painted directly on paper. I then sprinled some coffee granules over and let it dry - voila! aged paper....

I better get cracking - I have APL Creations' ATC swap coming up. The theme is 'Fairy Tales and Fables' and will be a challenge for me as Ive never done ATCs before - the card is so small!!! 3.5inches x 2.5 inches! we also have to create a MailArt envelope.
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