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Sudden illness, slow gestating art…

May 2, 2017

I have no voice at the moment. Also, not much energy. It is very annoying.

On Friday morning I had a voice, and I felt fine. On Friday arvo I still felt fine but my voice started to disappear. By Friday night it was gone. And then I started to feel a bit more bleurgh.

Laryngitis apparently.

So I can’t go to work, don’t have the energy to go out or do much housework, and of course I can’t talk. So, what to do?

  1.  Read ridiculous amounts of books.
  2. Restock my My Etsy shop. Which I opened about 7 years ago (eek!) but have neglected for most of that time. But according to my stats people have suddenly started visiting my shop in the past few months, even though there has been nothing there. So, ever the optimist, I’ve restocked.

Actually it has been kind of fun going through my drawers of artworks and prints and imagining them going to forever homes. I really hope they do.

Plus I found an old unfinished painting from several years ago (four or five at a guess) and I really like it. Got to get back into the gouache and finish it sometime soon.

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Another item for my to do list!

Seven years to get around to doing Etsy properly. Five years to paint one picture. I really don’t rush things, do I?

Never mind. Years ago I discovered the line-work for an artwork of a couple of cats lounging on shelves in my drawers. It had been languishing in the drawer for years, but I dusted it off, painted it up, and it is possibly my favourite artwork ever, despite the long gestation.

Literary Felines

Literary Felines by Julia Marshall (and yes, you can buy prints of this from my Etsy shop now).

I have so many different creative outlets and hobbies and projects and dreams. I’m not very efficient as an artist. But hopefully as these things bubble along slowly at least some will brew into wonderful creations that were worth waiting for.

Philosophical ponderings while my toddler sleeps

March 8, 2017

Happy anyway

February 21, 2017

I wanted to post about how great and helpful the book Happy by Derren Brown is. I wanted to share a photo of the book. But WordPress is not co-operating today.

Well, clearly WP decided to co-operate in the end!


Oh well. Not a big deal. I choose to not let this bother me. Not because I’m “thinking positive” but because this trivial little matter is not worth it. And because I really am lucky, and life and all the precious things I value really are limited.

Thank you Derren Brown for providing an inspiring, thoughtful read for those of us who enjoy reading about how to live well.

Warming up a little

January 17, 2017

I am not a warm person. At least that is how it seems.

I like people. I’m pretty sure I usually like other people more than they like me. I wish others the best, always. I’m interested in their lives, and stories, worries and joys.

Yet I am difficult to get to know. I struggle to chat, or dive in too deep, or get overwhelmed and retreat. I am guarded, reserved, shy. I overthink and undertalk. People don’t take to me, at least in part, because they think I don’t take to them.

On the inside I am warm, I care. I’d like to talk, even more to listen. But how do I learn to say the right things, to gauge the right level of questions, or find mutually engaging topics? 

How do I turn my inside out? Is it time to try underthinking and over talking? That strikes me as potentially disastrous! 

What I know is that people matter and connection to people is the crux of life. 

Somehow I need to get better at connecting. I think my mission is this: take the warmth within me and wear it on the outside.

I wonder if I can?

S is for stylising, spontaneity and swiftness

January 15, 2017

I haven’t done much painting in my son’s lifetime (18 months now).

But I did paint up this S for my niece’s 1st birthday.

Although it was tricky to find the time to get it done it was a good reminder of how much I do enjoy painting when I get a chance. And the time constraints made me work efficiently in a loose, painterly, make-it-up-as-I-go way, which I think is a way of painting I should adopt more often. 

Less thinking, planning, sketching and prepping. More revelling in the joy of paint and shape and patterns and colour. Splash it out quickly. And if it doesn’t turn out, oh well, it didn’t take long.

Green Collective Rediscovered 

January 14, 2017

As we explored Yarraville today I was pleased to discover that a long-gone old favourite store of mine from Brunswick is alive and thriving in the West.

 Green Collective sell a lovely and eclectic range of fair trade, eco conscious, secondhand and recycled things including keep-cups, locally designed cards and wrap on recycled paper, fairly traded wooden toys, baby blankets made of repurposed old saris, and an extensive range of secondhand clothes and shoes. One of the best places in Melbourne for fair and eco shopping in my opinion.

We walked away with some handmade finger puppets for the toddler, several greeting cards, one keep cup and a pair of preloved leather loafers for me. And that was being restrained! Love this shop!

PS. In looking up their website to link to this post I’ve discovered they have another store in Braybrook. More ethical shopping fun for another day.

The Two Must-Haves for Every Stylish Woman in 2017

January 8, 2017

I’m sick of reading about fashion “must-haves”. There are all sorts of items that get listed: black leggings, red lipstick, white shirts, blue jeans, nude heels… Buy this, and this, and this, and these!

Enough! Must-Haves are a myth dreamt up by marketers.

We’re all different in our tastes, shapes, sizes and lifestyles. One size, or item, does not fit all. The “must-have” may be an appealing idea, a kind of magic pill for the dowdy, but the idea is misguided nonetheless. 

If you want to dress with style there is no magic formula. Looking to others for ideas and inspiration can be useful, but in the end we each have to work out our own individual way of dressing that fits our way of life, body shape and preferences. 

The only real “must-haves” for the stylish woman are her own sense of style and the confidence to follow it.