Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Going round and round in circles...

....and definitely not looking as elegant as these girls! Yes I know I've been away from the blog for weeks. It wasn't intentional. My place here has been on the market and rather than hang around keeping it pristine I took on a housesitting role on an acreage and there my laptop died. Although I'm still alive and kicking, I did develop pneumonia at this time which has necessitated much laying about. Now, my place here in Brisbane has sold which finds me going round in circles packing, cleaning, throwing stuff out, and looking for a house in Toowoomba. Maybe I could find one with a little fountain to slip my tootsies into....


visit Etsy for some inexpensive but classy duds

Thursday, September 16, 2010






Art and poetry to get lost in - Mixed Media on Canvas from Damien Kamholtz and a poem from Rumi. Thank you to Elise and Janet for sharing these with me.


Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like somebody suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You’re covered with thick cloud.
Slide out the side.
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you’ve died.
Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.

The speechless full moon
comes out now.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Surrealism in the great outdoors revisited

Photos 1 and 3 by Lucy Nieto

I suppose that we all titivate our gardens - some more than others. While watching the ABC series, Around The World In 80 Gardens I saw this garden and it really got me thinking - about art and immortality, art and money, art and power, art and the notion of beauty, art and labels. All this thinking of course just gave me a headache and the realisation that if art mirrors life, then the politics of it will do likewise - whether we agree with it or not - and we each just have to do what is right for us.

The British multimillionaire Edward James made his name between 1920 and 1930, as a surrealist poet and collector or surrealist art - he was a patron of De Chirico, Magritte and Dalí - he collaborated with Dali to produce the Lobster Telephone and the iconic, red-satin Mae West Lips Sofa. But it’s through his own surrealist art work, the gardens of Las Pozas, Xilitla, Mexico that his name lives on.

In 1948, after spending most of the Second World War in Los Angeles, James went to Mexico with a friend to look for a site to house his growing orchid collection. The travellers came across the pools of Las Pozas, and James's friend immediately stripped off for a swim.

As he sunned himself afterwards on a rocky outcrop, a cloud of smoky-mauve butterflies appeared suddenly and covered his entire body. James took this as a sign and purchased the land. Over the next 20 years, he paid annual visits to Las Pozas, constantly adding new orchids: by 1965, he had 18,000 plants. But a freak three-day snowstorm killed the whole collection.

So James began instead to cultivate giant plants made of concrete - to say nothing of towers, obelisks, pavilions, bridges and spiral staircases. Hidden within the rainforest is a surreal concrete jungle - enormous man-made trees, bamboos and flowers –that range in height from 1.2m (4ft) to 9m (30ft), designed by James and built by Xilitla men. James was also wild about animals of all sorts, travelling the world with snakes in his luggage, and many of the garden pavilions were designed to hold an aviary or a menagerie.

A poem written by Edward James, prior to his death in 1974 -

I have seen such beauty as one man has seldom seen;

therefore will I be grateful to die in this little room,

surrounded by the forests, the great green gloom

of trees my only gloom - and the sound, the sound of green.

Here amid the warmth of the rain, what might have been

is resolved into the tenderness of a tall doom

who says: 'You did your best, rest - and after you the bloom

of what you loved and planted still will whisper what you mean.

And the ghosts of the birds I loved, will attend me each a friend;

like them shall I have flown beyond the realm of words.

You, through the trees, shall hear them, long after the end

calling me beyond the river. For the cries of birds

continue, as - defended by the coretege of their wings -

my soul among strange silences yet sings.

Read more about the interesting background and life of Edward James here.

I find the Las Pozas gardens fascinating, and would love to visit them, to see them up close, to photograph them. Another that I'd love to visit is the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall, in the UK. The beautiful contemporary piece Mudmaid is installed there.

Photo from JohnnyH

Definitions of any kind can be limiting, and confusing. There's a simplistic easy to understand definition of ‘surrealism’ here and a not so easy but interesting one - an Andre Breton lecture - here.

Below are a few 'surrealism in the outdoors' artworks from the ever inspiring artists of Etsy.

Groundhog Hair Print by
Amber Alexander

Not All Good Journeys Are Bad Print by Bryan Collins

Beginnings Print by David V Moore

Black Rose Cameo Brooch by
Lush Punk

The Night Belongs to Them Print By Jaime Best of
Best Art Studios

Eggplant With Chicken Legs Sculpture by Melissa Sue

[still squatting here in toowoomba and visiting the place for sale every couple of weeks...real estate is starting to pick up so hopefully it won't be long before i sell and can settle in here...with internet access! so a revisiting of a post from last year. i send loving kindness to you all, chrisy]

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What's that sound in the bushes...


body art by Pashur, photograph by John Overton

Her umbrella was filled with rain she had collected in her travels & on hot summer days she would open it up for the neighborhood kids & we would splash in the puddles & then it would smell like Nairobi or Tasmania & later on we would sit on the porch & eat ice cream & watch for tigers in the bushes.

[via story people]


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

All the colors of the rainbow and then some...




Brightly colored art work, placed on neutral colored walls, does it for me. The colorful paintings above, by Heather Galler (available here and here), with their inclusion of black and white, and their abundance of pattern, are perfect for lifting any space. I can't imagine ever tiring of looking at them.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My place


Above are a few photos of my place here in Brisbane, all neat and ready to be sold to a lucky buyer. With the river and ferry a few steps away, Oxford Street around the corner, the pool, the glorious gardens, it’s been easy to be content here. I enjoyed decorating with 99.9 percent thrift/secondhand store finds and am happy with the look I’ve created here. But it’s time to move on and head up the mountain to ‘home’, to the support of family and old friends, and to a place with space for out of town friends to stay over, and a garden, and room for arty activities, and (oh the excitement) a clothesline!

A Letter from Home by Mary Oliver

She sends me news of blue jays, frost,
Of stars and now the harvest moon
That rides above the stricken hills.
Lightly, she speaks of cold, of pain,
And lists what is already lost.
Here where my life seems hard and slow,
I read of glowing melons piled
Beside the door, and baskets filled
With fennel, rosemary and dill,
While all she could not gather in
Or hid in leaves, grow black and falls.
Here where my life seems hard and strange,
I read her wild excitement when
Stars climb, frost comes, and blue jays sing.
The broken year will make no change
Upon her wise and whirling heart; -
She knows how people always plan
To live their lives, and never do.
She will not tell me if she cries.

I touch the crosses by her name;
I fold the pages as I rise,
And tip the envelope, from which
Drift scraps of borage, woodbine, rue.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Unravelling - separating & clarifying the elements


paintings above by virgo paraiso; below by mikel glass. all via beinArt

[extract below from The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith, 2010. i've read all his books and particularly enjoy the meditative quality of those set in botswana.]

Mma Ramotswe thought about this. Having the right approach to life was a great gift in this life. Her father, the late Obed Ramotswe, had always had the right approach to life - she was sure of that. And for a moment, as she sat there with her friend, with the late-afternoon sun slanting in through the window, she thought about how she owed her father so much. He had taught her almost everything she knew about how to lead a good life, and the lessons she had learned from him were as fresh today as they ever had been. Do not complain about your life. Do not blame others for things that you have brought upon yourself. Be content with who you are and where you are, and do whatever you can do to bring to others such contentment, and joy, and understanding that you have managed to find yourself.

She closed her eyes. You can do that in the company of an old friend - you can close your eyes and think of the land that gave you life and breath, and of all the reasons why you are glad that you are there, with the people you know, with the people you love.


transitive verb unraveled -•eled or unravelled -•elled, unraveling -•el•ing or unravelling -•el•ling

1a. to undo or ravel the knitted fabric of
1b. to separate (entangled threads)
2. to separate and clarify the elements of (something mysterious or baffling); solve

intransitive verb

1. to become unraveled

A personal update: I’m in the process of selling my place here in Brisbane and moving closer to family/friends ‘up the mountain’. As you can imagine there’s much culling of possessions and general cleaning. Who knows how long the selling process will take. It’s mid winter here and the market is slow. But that’s fine; it’s just the way it is. I’ll post some photos of this place in a couple of days. There's also a bit of separating and clarifying in my thinking going on as well. Tis lovely. My best wishes to you all. Be kind to yourself.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just Imagine Living In A Shell Revisited...


just imagine living inside a sea shell with your love just imagine catching a glimpse of the moon rising over the sea at twilight and later lifting your eyes to a sky full of stars diamonds strewn on black velvet just imagine being cocooned in curves taking a bath in a hollow under a shell fountain just imagine going to sleep to the sound of the ocean’s breath waking to the same sound and glimpsing azure through a curved space feeling the gentle caress of the sea breeze on your skin just imagine the touch of your lover's hand in yours as you go padding out in bare feet past the private pool and down to the sand feeling it between your toes just imagine knowing that this sand has travelled and been shaped for eternity just imagine pausing to examine gifts of shells and corals


Conch Shell House, Isla Mujeres, Mexico via Unusual Architecture

just imagine your love discovering this crown and placing it gently upon your head

Mermaid Wedding Crown from Faerie Majikk [visit and search for shell tiara for similar]

and these sandals upon your feet

Beach Wedding Sandals by Princess Allure

and just imagine looking down and discovering this little creature

Hand Sculpted Mermaid by Dust of Enchantment [visit and search for mermaid art doll for more little treasures]

..........just imagine


1, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11 via Country Living 2. Vintage Glass Domes with shells, coral, and mermaids in my bathroom. 3. Lights made by Carol Lasitter and with instructions at Beautiful Details 5. Shell Wreath from Black Star 5 on Flickr 6. Shell Encrusted Florida Vintage Condiment Set on Etsy from Carmen and Ginger 9. Seashell Cross on Etsy from Sandis Shellscapes 12. Table Centrepiece from Completely Coastal 13. My Red Coral Sculpture that serendipitiously began as an idea for a freeform necklace but became a mounted, wire threaded and stuffed sculpture.

[I'm still away from home staying with family and friends and concentrating on wellness...hence a revisiting of a previous blog entry from this time last year. Compiling this at an internet cafe and don't have access to any of my photographs or draft writings...but...I'll be back to regular posts soon. Thank you for your patience and good wishes. I wish you love, and wellness, and all good things.]

Friday, May 28, 2010

Being anywhere you want to be...


He kept a piece of algae behind his ear to remind him of his roots. A million years ago every place was a little place by the sea, he would say and


my mind would go blank and I would swim through the day without a care in the world;


it all seemed so familiar that I knew I would go back someday to my own little place by the sea.

[black and white 'swimmers series' photographs by laurie coppedge and text via storypeople]

A heartfelt thank you for all your comments on my last post. The last few weeks have been spent recovering gently. I'll be visiting each of you over the next couple of days. In the meantime, you're welcome to take a seat with me and drift away to this meditation music from Painting The Ocean by Robert Norton.


[beach house, terrigal, sydney, designed by jorge hrdina]