August 27, 2009

Please pass the salt and pepper...

... or could that be, the kitsch?

What delights! Our first stop in Amerrr-ica included a Saturday in Seattle, and while he went off to the Museum of Flight and the Flying Heritage Collection, I went to Pike Place Market.

Now, I admit that I am a spoiled girl, with Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market right on my doorstep, and so while I enjoyed Pike Place Market, it wasn't a life-changing experience (You see, I had that, in the Queen Vic, and I went back to the UK and applied for a visa. That's definitely life-changing.)

So, you can see why I wished that the girls of blogland and the TCB could be here with me when I hit the motherload of all salt and pepper kitsch. An entire shop devoted to crazy character salt and pepper sets.

(I'm sure they're used to women circling their windows and aisles, giggling quietly to themselves.)

But I wasn't sure if they'd want me taking pictures, so there are just a few.


August 25, 2009

Looking and thinking, travelling to some summer

I've been playing out in the wide world, looking at the colours and thinking of pictures and creations. As usual, getting away reminds me of who I am and of all of the images and ideas, colour and creations I want to be part of my life.

Travel opens possibilities. It wipes the veneer of weekly, daily, monthly work and routine out of my head and reminds me that life is short and is here to be lived to the full. Bloom and fade: celebrate and burst with colour.

The things I see make me want to draw all day, paint all evening, dream all night.

I did do a little painting on this trip, and lots and lots of drawing. Constant doodling. I made the commitment not to worry if it was any good; just to do as much drawing as I could. Even though we're back and the wind is wuthering (and we've got the traditional post-air journey sniffles), I'm doodling most days. It feels great.

And this is one of the photos from the trip that I find most wonderfully, richly satisfying.

Doesn't that just make you tingle? They look rich and full but pokey and prickly all at the same time. Can you see how big these barrel cacti are? I purposefully poked my toe in the bottom of the photo so you could see just how bloody enormous they are. I imagine if you sat on them, they'd pop. Or slump. (And poke billions of little cacti-holes in your delicate derriere.)

These photos were all taken one sunny fine day in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as I went around the botanical gardens and sculpture park. Big thanks to my lovely host, Jennifer, for suggesting it -- somehow I never fail to find inspiration in a great garden.

Especially one with vistas like this that remind me of the summers in Canada and big fields of wildflowers.

Now all I need is a big floaty dress and a sunhat. (Too bad they lost my luggage and all I had was my Melbourne winter black. But that's all forgiven and in the past now, right?)

Ahh, holidays. > dream <

August 8, 2009

Homemade In Epicure

Originally uploaded by smallcloughs
I'm on holiday at the moment -- did you miss me?

I'm on the patio, sitting in the sun in Canada, enjoying the summer breezes, the prospect of more barbeques and swimming in the lake.

Meanwhile, at home, the little cookbook we produced for the bushfire benefit has attracted some attention and was in Epicure last week. Yay!

If you don't already know all about it, go to (I promise you it's delicious, I edited those recipes and some of them looked great...!)

More soon, just wanted to share the (belated) news. If you'e already ordered a copy of the book, apparently they have arrived and will be shipping very soon if not already. Double yay!