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Thursday, June 25, 2009

John Hegley

Who knows of John Hegley? I've been to see him a number of times when I lived in Edinburgh and it's always a treat. He grew up in Luton, near the airport, likes dogs and potatoes, hates his brother in law and disrespects people who where contact lenses.

Relaxing with Taxidermy

When their chihuahua got stuffed
they were really chuffed,
no need to feed her
or walkies on a lead her
no more poop to scoop
and doesn't she look smashing on the mantle piece?
She'll always look at the camera now.
I don't know why we bothered having her alive at all.


An Owner's Complaint

I've got a dog that's more
like a carrot than a dog.
It's hairy,
but only very slightly.
It's got no personality
to speak of,
no bark to bark of,
no head
no legs
no tail
and it's all

and here's the song/ poem I 've been trying to find for ages, I just found it tonight on youtube.

here's his website with some more poems, but really, you've got to hear him say them. He does it best!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Last Friday Jeremy and I went on a little getaway. We had been told about Clunes, an old gold mining town which had hardly been touched since those days. It's not far from Ballarat and only about 1 1/2 hours from Melbourne. It's also close to Daylesford which was important for us because we had to have dinner one night in the wonderful Breakfast and Beer. This is the town they filmed Ned Kelly, Mad Max and some beer ad apparently!

This photo is from the bottom of Fraser Street looking up.

And this photo is from the top of Fraser Street looking down. We stayed in a comfortable B & B called Dukes at no. 19 Fraser Street where they even have their own wine label and served up a wonderful breakfast of homemade toasted muesli and a great home cooked breakfast.

Most of the shops are only open at the weekend and a lot are empty, but there is still an undeniable charm about the place and a feeling of potential. I couldn't help imagining myself opening a gallery in every empty building we went past! There is also a lovely silence to the town.

We had a bite to eat in the strangely named Widow Twankeys. We were slightly put off by the lurid pink walls, but we were wrong! That was one of the best sweet potato soups I'd ever had and Jeremy's vegie tart was 'incredible!'

We just spent the day wandering and wondering about the town.

Then we stumbled upon the old school which has been converted into the Bottle Museum containing the largest collection of bottles in the southern hemisphere! They are in the process of renovating it, they need a bit of work on the gift shop too, but it was nonetheless quite an interesting little $3 spent.

We continued walking and discovered one of the old gold mines. The little hills in this photo are results of the mining. It's hard to imagine how busy this place was back then. Clunes was the first gold mining town in Victoria, gold was discovered in 1851.

We then pretended to be trees.

and I told Jeremy to be a train at the old train station where they filmed Mad Max. He didn't want to, but I made him and as you can see he actually quite enjoyed it.

DINNER! Now I'd like to say that we had our dinner here, but sadly we took some local's advice and drove to Crewswick and went to the American Hotel and had a horrid chewy steak and dried chicken in a pub bistro decked out with plastic chairs and domdomdom music. I admit I am a restaurant snob (my family's fault) and Jeremy had to put up with complaints under my breath for the entire meal. So to cheer me up we decided to have dessert back in Clunes in the only place open for dinner. The pub was open but only serving pizza and pasta, not great for dessert.

So, what is this little gem of a place called, well, we're not sure. It seems to have three different names depending on who you ask. I thought it was called 'Hardware and Fancygoods' taking on the name of the lettering on the windows. Someone else called it 'The Fig' I think maybe this is what the place used to be called. A man at breakfast in the B&B said he saw a sign over the door saying it was called 'The Flea.' So who knows! But it's not hard to miss, it's the only real place to eat dinner in the town and we wish we had eaten there because the menu looked delicious and if the baked cheese cake was anything to go by yum yum yum!

Us happy to be in such a lovely place, and the next night dinner in the best place in Victoria - Breakfast and Beer!

Monday, June 15, 2009

At Market

My friend Christina who has a stall beside me at Rose Street Artists' Market just sent me these pictures of my market stall. Market is such fun, even if it is freezing cold in winter and so hot hot hot in summer! Working from home can be so isolating, I think I would go a bit insane if I didn't get to see everyone on Saturdays, and then we all go to the pub for a nice meal and a glass of wine after.

Me at my market stall doing something on the phone.

  The necklace colony

 The brooch area
Me in a dress I bought from a fellow market stall holder.


I've been waiting for my printer to print out lots and lots of pages and while I was waiting I thought I'd have a little look on youtube. I really love all the flashmob videos, like frozen grand central station and the liverpool street station dance, but I've just seen this improve musical in an american food court which really made me chuckle. I though I'd share them with you!

Now my printing has finished, I'd better get down to some real work.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Just Playing

While I sit in the gallery where I work, I sew.  I make most of my fantail brooches while at work. I don't know what I'd do otherwise! Today I was just finishing off one of my brooches when I had an idea, so I started playing with what I had and these are the outcome. I like their simplicity.

I've just finished watching 'Who do you think you are?' the program on SBS in which famous people find out about their ancestors. I find this sort of thing fascinating. Today it was Stephen Fry. It was a very sad episode because he found out all his great aunt's family were killed in concentration camps. I feel it will be something that will linger with me for the rest of the night and probably into tomorrow. It was very poignant and, as is everything that Stephen Fry does, very eloquent. 

I think this program would be equally as interesting if it were about  normal people off the street. I'd certainly put my name down for it. I don't even know my father's mother's first name, but I'd love to know.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Hatchings

I've been neglecting my bridbird etsy shop recently so I thought I'd make some new screen prints for it. It's also good to have new work for market so I got down to it and created these. I didn't make them as quickly as I would have liked because I realised I didn't have any black ink and had to wait a week until my ordered ink finally arrived and I could continue.

I made them in 4 different colour combinations and also as single birds. You've seen the fantail on the left before, the one on the right is new. I've listed a few on etsy already and will be listing the rest over the next few weeks.

I also managed to get a day in printmaking last week and editioned "Fitzroy Birds" I'm hoping to get into my studio today and print another two plates I made yesterday. It's so cold in there though, the thermometer on our alarm clock says it's 8.5 C. :(

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What have I been up to?

Recently I've just disliked sitting at my computer, hence lack of blog posts etc. I always feel I should be getting on with something else. Here are a few of the other things I have been getting on with instead.

The Crows.
I started playing around with unique state prints made from two plates and various scraps of fabric. I found it all a bit stressful, which sounds silly, I should just immerse myself into 'playing' but constantly at the back of my mind I keep thinking 'deadline, I've got a deadline' and should concentrate on work that I'm more sure about for my exhibition in September. I do like the deep red crow with black lines on top. He was made with a collograph plate painted with PVA and grit inked up in red, then a dry point plate printed in black over the top. I really like the deep rustiness of the red colour.

Sketch Etchings
These are dry point etchings, the plates of which I made at Wye River in January. I decided to sketch straight onto the plate, rather than make the plate in my studio from drawings in my sketchbook. I like the immediacy of this way of working, but it is a bit nerve wracking because you don't want to mess up the copper plate.

I must also mention the winner of my may giveaway was Stef of Distracted Muse. I'll be posting her little felt brooch to her this week! Thank you to everyone who took part. I'll have another giveaway soon!