Sunday, 23 November 2014


We sometimes expect a lot of kids. A lot of adults still don't know how they feel much of the time, let alone know how to express their feelings. So when my little boy expresses 10 different emotions all at the same time, I try to be understanding. Hugs are a good solution for most things.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Making stuff

What is this drive we have, to create something from nothing, to make concrete our ideas, to make stuff? I'm happiest when my hands are busy and my mind is focussed on solving a creative problem. It just makes sense to me to create what I want to see in the world.

I'm sure there are others who can relate to the tossing and turning at night when an idea just won't go to sleep and you have to grab your sketchbook and get it out of your head.

There are times when I have sat on the train, the rhythm and pace of the carriages on tracks lulling me into a creative mind space and my ideas flow out of my brain, through my hand and pen onto my sketchbook. It's one of the greatest feelings.

Other times I battle with the process, when I'm tired, or cranky or trying to meet a deadline that I've set for myself and it feels like hard work.

No matter where my life has taken me, I always return to the part of me that creates something from nothing. It's not always about making something practical or beautiful or commercially viable. It's not for praise or award. It's the way my mind works. A drive that I can't ignore, it's part of who I am. I make stuff.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Home made

They’re wonky. The jam is running down the side. No two are the same. They sit quietly in anticipation, waiting to be chosen.

The very best cupcakes in the world possess these qualities because they are usually made by someone who loves you. Or like these cupcakes, they are made by some very clever and dedicated women who make and sell them at various markets, community events and fundraiser cake stalls. These particular cupcakes were made for a small local community event some time ago, and I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the sweet edible treasures. Despite the very humble protestations from the women who made them, I could tell they were just a little bit proud that someone had appreciated their home made efforts.

Do not underestimate the power of a home made cake. It has the potential to warm your heart and make you smile even before you eat it.

Friday, 28 March 2014

I hate nice biscuits

Sometimes I don’t want to be nice. Sometimes I feel like kicking a tree or yelling at my noisy neighbour. There are days when I’m in shopping centres waiting in a long queue to be served and I swear I am going to scream.

But I don’t. Because I am nice. Also, it wouldn’t make me feel any better, in fact, I know I’d feel worse. Plus I’d make someone else’s day take a downward turn. And that’s not cool. People have always told me that I’m nice. I’d like to keep it that way.

Which reminds me. A friend once declared that he hated nice biscuits. How can that be, you ask, when the very point of biscuits is that they are, well, nice. Did that mean that he only liked mean biscuits? No, he meant to say ‘Nice’ as in the French town which sounds like ‘niece’. Instead he said ‘Nice’ which rhymes with rice. I’m not sure if Arnotts are aware of the confusion which this biscuit creates.

I wonder if Nice biscuits ever get sick of the pronunciation confusion around their name? Maybe while they sit innocently on a plate, waiting to be eaten, they’re looking forward to dropping crumbs and making a mess just to aggravate someone for calling them Nice instead of Nice. ‘Merde’, the biscuits would yell, ‘I’m French, don’t insult me or I’ll cut you.’

Well, I guess it’s OK to be nice. It’s what keeps the wheels of our society oiled. And it means that you get to have friends and birthday presents and other nice stuff.

Just don’t mess with the biscuits, I’m telling you, they’ve got issues.

(P.S. I’m not implying that the French swear and want to cut people when they’re angry, it’s just the biscuits talking.)

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The great icy pole disaster of Saturday afternoon

Two 8 year old boys were walking along happily enjoying their icy poles, on a warm sunny afternoon. ‘Life is pretty good’ said the look on one boy’s face. ‘I am totally living in the moment and I don’t even have to try’ said the look on the other boy’s face. Side by side, the brothers delighted in a treat that made a good day even sweeter.

And then it happened.

Half of the red icy pole had broken off and fallen with a dull splat onto the footpath. The boy didn’t notice at first, and kept walking. But when he did notice, his face fell, and the contentment turned to sorrow. He stopped. Paused. Half turned and kept looking backwards and forwards from the remainder of his icy pole in his hand to the now melting mess on the warm ground.

He stepped to go back, to do what? Retrieve it? But no, he knew it was a lost cause and so accepting his fate, he continued walking and didn’t look back again.

Loss is a harsh lesson to learn, especially when it’s unexpected, on a perfect and sunny summer’s afternoon when you’re an 8 year old boy eating an icy pole.

Monday, 10 March 2014

New greeting cards available!

I am very pleased to say that I now have some of my illustrations available as greeting cards. I've always found that the best way to express myself is through words and pictures together, and now you can too! I'll provide the pictures, but it's up to you to add the words! The cards are blank inside so that you can write your lovely messages to your favourite people. Also, you can feel good about yourself because the cards are printed on 100% recycled paper with a 100% recycled envelope too! Have a peek at my Apple Tree Cloud Shop on Etsy for more info.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Monday, 10 February 2014

Cat love

Here is my contribution to Valentines Day. The print is available in my Etsy shop which you might like if you're a cat loving, fish head giving, face licking type of person.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Yoghurt Yoga

I hope this has never happened to you, because that would be, well, you know, awkward.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Please rain

Dear people of Melbourne,
How are you today?
This heat wave is really
A bit of a pain.

Have you sweated in places
You’d rather not name?
Are you desperate,
Like me
For the sweet smell of rain?

It’s 41 degrees
Is it real? Is it true?
We don’t have air-con,
What about you?

We’ve run through the sprinkler,
Eaten icy poles all day,
Shut all the blinds,
Used a spray bottle for play.

Yes, summer is great
But I’m going insane
Enough of this heat wave
Come on now, please rain!