Hello! Lovely to see you! Here you will find random posts about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator. I create, take photos, faff, collect, teach. Watercolour, collage, colour, cheese, travel and dreaming are my faves. And Turkish delight. And cushions. And gardening. And op-shops...

Saturday, 23 July 2016

GETTING OLD..or..HOW THE HELL DID WE GET HERE?

GETTING OLD...OR...
HOW THE HELL DID WE GET HERE ?



 As time goes by...

My son is 16. My baby boy. My first born. The one the doctors told me I would probably never have. The one the told me I had miscarried in all likeliness. The one I had a ruptured placenta with at 32 weeks and was born a month early as a tiny 6 pound little skinned rabbit. The one who is now 6ft 3, towering over me, feet like Russian container ships, hair growing in all sorts of places. The one with attitude and mood swings and driving lessons.


Baby Fynn and Me

Little Fynn

Fynn now, 16 and a half

HOW THE HELL DID WE GET HERE!?


A few months ago I had a birthday... not a huge milestone one, but half way between 2 big ones. 

And I was stoked to get some fluffy puppy dog slippers. 

I spend too much time swooning over storage spaces in magazines, thinking about cushions and doing things to my house and garden. I buy plants and get excited. A good night is one with cheese and crackers, a DVD, a fire and lounging on our big sofa curled up next to hubby. I am finding hairs in weird places, and gravity is an issue for all sorts of body bits.

But hold on, HOLD ON! I am not a grown up. Really! HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN!

My hubby and I have been together over half our lives. Since we were teenagers. We no longer listen to JJJ but Radio National. I still say VIDEO, and actually buy DVD's and CD's. I just like to. I like reading books, not kindles. I am not on Snapchat or Twitter, and technology generally floors me totally. I do not do coding or encrypting or anythnig like that. I have lived through fashions that have come back, ones that were trendy when I was a kid. I have a white picket fence and 2 4WD's.


Our family of 4


Our family of 5

Yes, I am an old fart.

I still have a walkman and actual cassette tapes. My hubby and I love our turntable and vinyl. And boy did we laugh like jackasses when our kids clustered around us watching us use it for the first time fascinated and then when we turned over the record playing, they were totally freaked out. IT HAS 2 SIDES!!!!! Where is the rewind button? WEIRD.


Ye Olde cassette tapes

Yes, there are so many signs. The truth is out there. No point swimming up the big African River (De Nile..an old joke...). I am aging.

Yes, last month I had a birthday. Another one. And I do not mind one little bit. Because I got fluffy puppy slippers. And a new DVD. And some plants. And a beautiful card, hugs and even a kiss from my 16 year old baby boy. Bloody ace! No too bad really.

My fluffy puppy slippers... sneaking into a photo of one of my artworks



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Thursday, 21 July 2016

INSTAGRAM WEIRDS ME OUT

INSTAGRAM WEIRDS ME OUT


INSTAGRAM weirds me out. It really does. I do not get it. I love it. I hate it. I love it. I hate it. I do not understand it, maybe I don't want to. I love it.

I love that it is full of creative loveliness and creativity. I love that there are lots of people on it that I have followed for ages, that have followed me, and peeps who have become friends. There are people who have been part of my Instagram community for years now.


I love looking around me, snapping away and getting lovely images  and framing the world in this crazy kind of square frame manner, knowing I am doing it to share on Insta.

I love the challenge of coming up with images for prompts, faffing with props, and editing. Gosh I LOVE editing. It amazes me how some cropping and faffing makes images POP. It's fab.



BUT...

Then there is the other side that weirds me out, upsets me, makes me anxious, makes me feel BLAH, makes me just NOT UNDERSTAND.

We have all heard the quote

"comparison is the thief of joy"... 

and that we should NEVER compare ourselves to others. I hear it, I understand it... but sheesh, I still do it. 



Yep, I could lie, I could pretend, I probably should. But the truth is, when I see peeps that started on Instagram at the same time as me, dear lovely wonderful clever friends, and they have 5789 gazillion K followers... and I am still on the starting blocks. Well, it just kills me (a little bit). I go a shade of green that is certainly unflattering and a bit embarrassing to admit. 

First world problems... and totally realising I am ridiculous, BUT I really do feel it, and have at times questioned why my numbers are shit, and maybe my feed is shit, my pictures are shit, my ideas are shit, and why am I bothering? Silly me. 

PLEASE...

I don't want sympathy, empathy, or anyone saying "There there poor you". Conversely, I don't need analysis as to WHY this is so, what I can do to remedy those numbers. Or anyone saying how silly I am. I know that already! Let's just leave it at that. It is what it is. Some days I care about it, others I do not... maybe depending on when I last ate, how much sleep I have had, and where my hormones are at.


Then there's something else that weirds me out. You know when you post a picture that you really really like, and you think "This one will do well, I am sure..."
but it gets no great reaction. It is lukewarm at best, and you just go WHAT THE!? 

And then I post something that took 3 seconds, barely any thought, and it gets LOTS OF LIKES! WTF!?

Baffles me. Frustrates me. Amuses me. 

Then there is the changing algorithms. And the unfollows. And the new way that hashtags work. And the way that I am supposed to 'work it' to get more followers and comments. GAH! This makes it more like hard work and less fun. I get emails telling me how to 'build my community and get more likes'. I read them and roll my eyes, and think... it just feels so silly, so ridiculous, and so false somehow.

I know I could use it to push selling and making money. I probably should. But every time I read about how to, it feels so inauthentic and forced. I need to get over it.


I know I could use it to push my blog readers and subscribers(17 of them I think). But these posts never get many likes, and make me cringe a bit. I probably need to get over it. 

After scratching my head and feeling very blah about it all, I made a decision. I only post what I really like. When I feel like it. No scheduling. I hashtag lots sometimes, and not so much others. I delete sometimes. And I guess I may never ever get the followers I used to dream of. And I guess I am fine with that. Most of the time.

I want to enjoy being there, and not feel like it is a chore. I want to want to. Do you know what I mean? Maybe I am copping out? Maybe I am just running from working and pushing myself? What do you think?

And some days I will love it, and some days I will not so much. And some days I will scroll through and explore and comment lots, and other days I won't.

I will only post photos I really like and are happy with. Photos I have edited - but edited so that I like them, yes, me.


You know what I mean?! Or is it just me? How do you do feel about it all? For real? Tell me?

(and P.S INSTAGRAM I like the old logo better)
  

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Sunday, 17 July 2016

NEW ORDER, A BLUE MONDAY AND BIG FAT JUICY HAPPY HAPPINESS

NEW ORDER, A BLUE MONDAY AND BIG FAT JUICY HAPPY HAPPINESS 


We all have bucket lists, things we would like to do, achieve, see, experience. Some are easier to tick off than others. Some are going to be much trickier and really stretch the wallet and the commitment to get it done. 

My list is really just in my head, I have never committed it to paper. It is swirling around like vapour, but a few are constant. 

The 50th in Jamaica, the desire to be in Paris again but with my kids and hubby, to go to Antarctica and hang out with penguins.

One of them, granted, not quite as exciting, and more achievable, was to get to Sydney Opera House and see an Orchestra play.



And others include seeing live bands that are special to me, usually because of special moments I shared with their songs. And yep, lucky me, I have seen some of them - 
The B52's, Bowie, The Specials, The Eurythmics, The Cure, Suzanne Vega, Violent Femmes, Pet Shop Boys, PIL...

There was one missing from my list.
New Order. I listened to them in times of teenage angst and in my 20's travelling and finding myself. On cassettes, in my Walkman no less!

So can you imagine my UNBRIDLED JOY AND WOOOHOOOOO when some dear friends bought us tickets to see them last month... at the Sydney Opera house, with the Australian Chamber Orchestra... and during the Vivid festival too? Seriously deliriously happy.

lights, colour, action

So it happened. There I was, with friends and hubby, in the Opera House, all senses heightened. They came on, it started, music, light, sound. And the tears started. Just slowly rolling down my cheeks.



A bit emotional and overwhelmed. Quasi-religious, spiritual and brilliant. Life affirming. 

There was dancing, lots of dancing, and sweat, as my friends and I could no longer sit still in our seats, and we found a place to throw ourselves around our handbags. We laughed and screamed, and sang our hearts out. They played the hits, they played the new, they belayed the obscure. And we loved them all.


All around us, peeps were swaying, clapping, in sheer ecstasy of experience. And it occurred to me, that with all the difficulties and life and bad news on telly, all the shit that can happen, that THIS was a reminder of how magical humans can be. How we can create, and  be amazing. I kept thinking, we work hard, we strive, so we can have moments like these. And I was so grateful. 

Sydney Harbour bridge looking pretty

Aren't they just great.These moments we can cross off our list, experiences we can aim for.  

Big fat juicy moments of HAPPY happiness. Bring them on I say. Big ones,little ones,surprise ones, planned ones...random ones. Any of them. WOOHOOO! 

Vivid Opera House



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