Sep 18, 2014

Illustrated List | Things I Always Wanted When I Was A Kid

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When I was growing up we didn't have very much money, so making our own fun was of utmost importance. I drew and read a lot and we swam in the creek and only got two TV stations. I remember getting out of date teen magazines from the rectory book sale in the tiny town I grew up in and looking wide-eyed upon all of the trends and must-have-items of the time. These were a few things I can remember childhood me really pining over. I remember my friend Eve had a Furby (and basically every toy a kid could ever want) and I was so jealous.

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What's something you can remember asking your parents for or wishing for in secret?

Sep 16, 2014

Dear So and So

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Dear older lady wearing amazing handmade floral overalls,
I am so glad I stopped to compliment you on them and am sad that you were feeling bad about your weight since putting on 10 kilos while in hospital. You looked fabulous. Thank you for posting us a couple of pairs of shoes for Theo. I really want a pair of those overalls now.
Yours, random girl on the street.

Dear Theodore,
You are a walking, talking, cat-chasing, dancing, delicious-smelling, cheeky little ball of wonderful.
Thanks for bringing so much joy and mess to our life. Please stop eating cat food.
Your mother and father, who will never get the house totally clean again.

To my sister and brother,
We should do a collaborative art project at the end of the year - a zine and/or an exhibition. What do you reckon?
Love, your middle sister (who feels very lucky to have such clever, creative siblings).

Dear wisdom teeth,
Please stop squashing all of my teeth together and causing me discomfort. Please don't make the dentist take you out on Friday and cost me a million dollars!
Yours, with a sore jaw.

Dear Self,
Please stop procrastinating and do your uni work! You only have six weeks left! Those essays won't write themselves!
From your conscience.

Dear Mindy Kaling,
Thanks for writing such an upbeat, funny, clever show. It brings me a lot of joy.
Yours, I-just-binge-watched-the-second-season-in-two-sittings.

Dear customers at work,
When I repeat over the microphone over and over that the store is closing and you wait until it's exactly 11pm to bring your full trolley to the checkout, it is very difficult to be nice to you. I don't get paid for that extra 15 minutes it takes every night to put your groceries through!
Yours, enraged check out girl who wants to get home and go to bed.

Dear man in wheelchair, without a shirt on, smoking a cigarette, wheeling himself up a hill in the rain,
I only saw you from afar - I hope somebody helped you get up that hill!
Yours, confused onlooker.

Dear neighbour,
Please don't leave an anonymous note in our letter box claiming to be from the entire street, accusing us of being bad pet owners for letting our cats be outside, alleging that they have been damaging property and gardens and threatening to have them taken away and 'placed into more responsible homes' if we don't lock them inside. Please approach us in person so that we can discuss the issue.
Yours sincerely, annoyed cat owner neighbour.

(We ended up writing nice notes with drawings of cats on them, apologising if our cats have caused any trouble and folding them up with a little packet teabag inside to drop in the mailboxes of our entire street)

Dear Atticus and Tintin,
I am sorry that I have locked you inside as punishment today. I will let you out to play soon. Please don't wander off into other people's yards and bother them. Be good boys.
Your loving human mum.

Dear Mail Man,
Please deliver all of the awesome creative books I've splurged and bought late at night on Book Depository.
Yours, with a sad bank account.

Dear family and friends of Alderman Jeremy Ball,
I am so sorry for your loss. Jeremy was a really nice guy and a great advocate for Launceston. Vale.
With sympathy, Bianca.

Dear C,
I hope that you find some fun, fulfilling creative things to do so that not all of your time is spent cleaning up and chasing Theo around (even though I know you don't mind doing that too). You are very clever and creative.
Love, your wife.

Dear lady in local boutique who told me if I wanted to fit into one of the dresses I'd tried on that was too small I could just "lose weight",
This is really not the way to sell more clothes. If you stocked a realistic range of sizes, I might have given you a lot of money. Instead, I won't be coming back.
Yours, peeved.

Dear lady in cafe who came up to me shortly after the previous conversation to tell me I looked "gorgeous",
Thanks very much, I appreciated it.
Yours, girl in red.

To people who have written me lovely notes, emails or Etsy feedback regarding my zine,
Thanks so much. I am so pleased that you enjoyed it and got something out of it. It is lovely when you can send something out to people that you put a lot of yourself into and it has a positive effect on people.
Yours, I-wish-I-had-more-time-for-making-zines.

Dear Launceston City Council,
Why haven't you installed my decorated traffic controller box yet? It has been almost a year since I painted it and I've still not spotted it!
Yours, confused artist.

Dear Taylor Swift,
Why are do I keep waking up every day with 'Shake It Off' stuck in my head? Am I having Taylor Swift dance parties in my sleep?
Yours, closet fan.

Sep 15, 2014

Bits | Lately

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Life is about to get really busy. I am in the last month and a half of my degree and I'm trying to develop strategies for getting everything finished by the end. I have a lot of work to do but is such a relief to be finishing. I have had mixed feelings about this degree as a whole and have had to really try to get something out of it at times. My presence here will be a bit limited until the end of semester, but I'm working on a few more illustrated lists. Here are some pictures from lately.

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Being able to walk around confidently now means that the backyard is a place of adventure and wonder for Theo. At the moment he's really enjoying chasing the cats around the yard and helping C to water the garden. He went and got the watering can by himself, dipped it in the pond to fill it up and tried to pour it on the cats, laughing maniacally!

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This is a little peek at my backyard studio. The plasterboard on the walls needs to be filled, sanded and painted and there are some gaps and things to tend to (but I lack the know how) so hopefully when my mum visits at the end of the year I can fix it up and do a big reveal.

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Spring flowers are popping out everywhere in our garden.

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Theodore had mixed feelings about his first experience of painting.

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Atticus enjoys drinking from the bird bath.

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Theo's sweet little boots with scuffed toes.

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A waratah from my garden getting ready to bloom. This is what it will look like when it comes out.

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We recently bought a new record player and the records (which C meticulously alphabetised last week) have been coming out every day for a spin. Theo is also starting to really like dancing, so C has been playing a lot of upbeat tunes (his favourite is Taylor Swift's Red - C has a big crush on her!) and we've been dancing around our lounge room.

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Some sweet mail from Emma and Garci.

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Theo and I standing outside my studio. Now that the weather is getting warmer, the backyard is really nice to be in and when C lets him, Theo often wanders out and visits me in my studio.

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Another sweet flower from the garden - I only wish I knew what they all were!

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Some library books I've been reading lately.

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The heavy curtains that were on our dining nook windows started looking really terrible, so I took them down and threw vintage floral sheets over the curtain rods. At first C thought they were a bit twee, but I think he likes them now.

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Flowering rosemary.

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Some doodling I did while watching Mindy late one night.

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Irises.

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I splurged and bought a Filofax a few weeks ago and am really enjoying using it. I have been downloading free printable pages to put into it and designing some of my own and using it is really helping me to keep organised. I've been trying to write a paragraph in it at the end of each day, just trying to keep a quick record of goings on.

Sep 11, 2014

Mail Tag

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When I was in high school I started playing a little game called Mail Tag. I was inspired by a great little Canadian TV show called Our Hero - Kale and her friend Gordon would send postcards to each other and request something of each other - usually it was pretty abstract.

I played Mail Tag with several friends in the mid 2000s and we would send each other letters with requests to respond to creatively. My friend Doug and I got a bit obsessed and would be sending something back and forth to each other every day or so. It was great fun.

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In 2009 I wrote up some rules for it that people could print out. I wrote a lot of letters and played a lot of Mail Tag. It is a really nice getting-to-know-you kind of game and can often be quite exciting and challenging filling people's requests.

Though letter writing and Mail Tag have taken a backseat for me these days, other people keep it going (the #mailtag hashtag on Instagram has over 2000 posts) and it is so lovely to see that it has caught on and makes people happy and helps to keep the mail flowing.

I thought it was time that I redid those rules and made a nice new printable for them. I started making a new printable and then I thought, why not just make a whole website for it! It was really fun to make and I am still thinking of things I might add to it.

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The website has info about how to play Mail Tag, links and printables and my favourite part is this 'Random Mail Tag Request Generator' button. Clicking on it will provide you with a whole bunch of ideas for what to ask penpals.

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Here are the printables I made. Feel free to download, print and share them. If you click on the images it will take you to a bigger version of them to download and print.



I also thought it would be fun to make a 'Penpal Survey'. Jane sent me one of hers once and I really liked the format. Sometimes it is nice to let that kind of information flow naturally through letters, but knowing some of the essential details can be good too and a great starting point for future conversations through letters.



Sep 7, 2014

Tasmania | Brady's Lookout

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Today was a beautiful Springy day, so we went for a little drive to Brady's Lookout with C's mum. I've been in my backyard studio working on some commissions all of this past week, with what I think is an ear infection, so I was keen to get out and do something in the nice weather. It was also Father's Day, but C insists that we don't celebrate it!

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Brady's Lookout is beautiful on any day. Theo walked all the way from the carpark to the lookout and then all around the lookout, not wanting to be caught - he's getting very confident at this walking thing (a little too confident sometimes, considering we were nearby to a huge drop!). He has been enjoying exploring our little backyard lately, so wide open spaces make him very excited.

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I found Theo's cute aqua coloured Pumpkin Patch boots and sweet handmade jeans at an opshop last week. My dress and top are from Dangerfield who conveniently had a sale on when I was in Hobart last week.

I hope you had a lovely weekend.