Sunday, June 16, 2019

10 year anniversary + giveaway

10 years.

I was surprised when I went looking a few months ago, to discover that on this day 16 June, in 2009, I posted my first blog post!

Here's a quick look at it...

Back in the day you could only add pretty small photos; and it was definitely brief, but it was a beginning. The subject was a collaboration amongst a few of us local artists.  It was the first time I worked with the words of a local poet Robyn; and in a lovely symbiosis I am working with her on another poetry book at the moment!

Nice to see that the relationship has blossomed and continued for a decade.

Also interesting to see that I was reporting on a workshop I ran; and this weekend I have again been teaching a workshop, this time in Toowoomba (and more on that soon).

So as part of my anniversary meandering I decided to take look at the blog post each year, that landed on or closest to the anniversary date.  Please bear with me as I take a decade-long wander down memory lane...

Here we are on  13 June 2010. This was the first year of A Letter a Week and I was nearly at the end of my first alphabet! That was a great project which ran over several years, culminating in a beautiful exhibition in 2013

The anniversary date coincided again and this is a Thursday Thought on 16 June 2011.  I began doing my Thursday Thoughts in July 2010 (here is my first thought!) and they have remained an enjoyable part of my blogging week.

In 2012, the closest date is Saturday 15 June with the opening of an exhibition I was the 'lead' in - Tread Lightly. The rainbow stack is taller now and hits the ceiling in our house; the book Learning my Lines is now in the collection of the Sunshine Coast University, some of the other works have been sold and generally speaking its fun to look back! Pictures can be bigger now.

In 2013 I must have realised I had a blog anniversary as I posted and offered a give-away on Sunday 16 June 2013. The blog post is about Susan Bowers and I getting together to work on some of our collaborative books - which formed part of our exhibition Pas de Deux in 2015.  We had a lot of fun getting together over the years to make and create 20 beautiful collaborative books which are now housed in a fabulous private collection in Melbourne. Ahhhh memories.

Tuesday 17 June 2014 saw me posting on sewing a skirt.  It seems very apt that I have picked upon a sewing post all those years ago, given it is now such a gorgeous part of my making life!

Tuesday 16 June 2015 saw me pottering about with hearts and hands - one of those blog posts not about making, but about noticing...

I still love hearts and hearts!

The anniversary date fell on another Thursday on 16 June 2016... Which makes sense in a way - Thursday Thoughts are after all, a weekly occurrence and the odds of them being the nearest blog post are not too long.  This one is about books and rain - both still a big part of my life!!!

How funny that I wrote about the frequency of Thursday Thoughts landing in the previous description - because here is another one on Thursday 15 June 2017! I love this kookaburra on one of our railings, looking so chill and relaxed.

Almost there - thanks for hanging in!

Here we are on Sunday 17 June 2018 - just last year, pottering about. It was interesting to see this post again as the first work featured never really went anywhere; the thank you cards all went and I made more like them; the bunches of flowers I was playing with have become an important design in my grief cards; and the touching base letterpress is also part of a series of four postcards. Just interesting.

So...thanks for your time and for your companionship along the way.  It hardly feels like a decade, but a decade it is.  I have enjoyed the world of the blog so much.  I have found and made wonderful friends (and even actually met some of them!!).  The generosity, care and kindness fo my blogging buddies is marvellous.

A couple of other really valuable things I have found from blogging - having a routine and commitment to blog has made me look at art differently, the gardena and the wider world differently - seeing beauty and noticing it and occasionally reporting on it.  It has also made me go and make art - because then I will have something to blog about!  In tight and weary times blogging has been an impetus to make - a lovely thing.  And lastly, but not leastly, paperponderings has become a record of my journey as a maker and creator.  Nearly all my main work can be found here one way or another and I love that it really is a bit like a diary of it all.

What a time I have had.

And now to the anniversary giveaway - I mean what would an anniversary celebration be without a give away???

So I am giving away one of my recent "Pockets are Political" posters.

To take part, I'd like you to leave me a comment telling me about a lovely moment of kindness you have experienced - somebody being kind to you, you observing a kindness by others; or of you doing a random act of kindness.  I think I'd like to hear about kindness...

To be in the draw, you need to leave a comment by 6pm AEST on Saturday 22 June 2019. I will then do a random number  generation and select the winner and let you know next Sunday 23 June 2019.

Thanks and go well, Fiona.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thursday Thoughts...

“Select the right words and put them in the right order and you can run a cable into the hearts of strangers”. 

Mark Haddon

What an amazing minds eye image of a cable straight into the heart of strangers!

I think that is such a great way to express how words, when put together thoughtfully, can connect and communicate with people you have never met, and become powerful and meaningful things.

I wonder if that is how Mr Haddon thinks about writing his books, that he feels as if his goal is to reach into strangers' hearts?  I imagine it would be a pretty good motivator and a way to judge or assess if you were putting in enough effort or if you're doing something worthwhile.

Asking yourself the question "would this reach a stranger's heart??" is probably a good way to think about our own art as well - have I made something that might have a positive impact on people? could be a good measure of sorts.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A different Go Girl!

A blog comment from Louise asking if I had ever made GoGirl! cards - like small business cards - made me think I should definitely have a go!

One of the things I like about my other Go Girl! work is the wood type - the honesty of it and the history of it being there in its marks, so I wanted to continue to use wood type if I could.  But of course, getting type and exclamation marks small enough to print on business cards was always going to be fun.

But I managed it, just!

So with a bit of left over ink, I added some white to the purple-black I had dreamed up and before I knew it I had a nice shade of purple to go forth and print with.

As ever, I use off-cuts from my nice papers to print on the business cards, a mix of this and that, and a nice mix of things I think.

I decided at the last minute to turn the 'o' around on the third one, and I think its sideways nature adds to the energy.

The wood type did its thing with the exclamation mark on this one - I love that you can see the notch that has been worn or chipped off.

I put one of each style in a bundle and tied the three with some lovely white habu thread and ta-da! There we have them.

Thanks Louise for the idea!

You can find the card sets over at deckled edge press

Sunday, June 9, 2019


I woke in grey light this morning but could see through the dimness that the valley was filled with cloud, so I went out to see if I could capture the soft mood of the morning.

Things changed over the half hour I stood on the back deck, clouds formed, reformed, and moved along... the mist moved along the dips of the valley and the light graced the sky.

What a peaceful, gentle start to the day...

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Thursday Thoughts...

Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals… 

Henri Nouwen

Such an interesting thought, such an interesting notion to explore.

I am always impressed when people consider the absence of things; the emptiness or the space, rather than the thing.  Words without silence become meaningless.  Silent spaces allow the words to be themselves; and for their meaning to be held and understood.  Without those moments of silence, words are blether, a continuation of sounds where you can't capture where one ends and one begins and everything, but everything, is mangled.

That makes intuitive sense to me; but then M. Nouwen take its further and applies the principle to the quietness of listening; and how much it adds to the value of speaking.  Without a listener; perhaps speaking can also become meaningless?

Listening is such a great gift.  It allows us to feel heard, and sometimes that is the main game.  To know that someone spent time and listened to you. Being listened to when you speak can be very very healing.

Silence gives us space and meaning...

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Cards and more cards

One of our lovely local shops Maleny Additions has been selling my grief cards of late.  I was asked recently if I had any wedding cards?  Weddings remain big business up our way, so it would probably make sense given that folk often arrive for the weekend and buy the card on the day, so I thought about a few designs...

Aussies will probably get an ear-worm out of these ones!

And this sort of says it all without saying it too loud...

Then I was asked about baby cards - so I had a think about baby cards was well. I trialled smooth and textured paper - will be interesting so see which folk prefer.

And just because I like them, I made some (((hugs))) cards as well.

I am heading to Fibres West in July and will have a stall at the Bazaar there, so thought a bit of stock like this might be worth taking west as well.

Here they are all printed but still waiting to dry, have deckled edge press de-bossed onto their back and be illustrated.

So much production!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Books and more books

I love having a local book shop that knows you.  We often describe the coffee there as the most expensive in town, because we always come away with a book or two each time we have coffee.  Rosettas is a legend in Maleny, and is onto its third main owner (there was a short period in between two owners I recall so I think there have been four all up).

The last owner Anne always knew the sorts of books I would like; and never failed to find them a new home with me. The new owner Jan, seems to also have a sense of things, so I bought Rachel Hazell's  book "Bound" the other day.

Barry said - but can't you do all those bindings?  And I said yes, pretty much, but its nice to see a few ideas and if there's a gem in there it will all be worth while.

One rainy afternoon I sat down to read it from cover to cover, and found myself getting all enthused about making some journals.

I decided that given we are headed back to Scotland for eight weeks later in the year and maybe it would be fun to have a little book fill each week. I decided on the eight books I would try to make and happily whiled away some random moments in the studio making books.

And here they are.

A simple pamphlet stitch but using a ribbon - a good reminder of a simple stitch made a little bit more interesting.

I didn't know this one, and I like it!   The cut outs on the cover hold it together, and appear in the centre pages. I could think about better or different placements, length etc in future ones.

I've done this before but still, I like it - chain of pearls.  Pretty simple and yet rather lovely.

A chain stitch which I also like.

The Turkish Map fold.  This one will be interesting to fill!

The good old make a book from a single sheet of paper book.

This was also a fun one with slits and slots - unfamiliar but definitely worth doing again.

I didn't like the flaps flapping, so I trimmed them down and tucked them inside - much better and tidier.

This was supposed to be single running stitch, but I doubled back and did two runs so to speak (mostly because I did an odd number of holes when I should have done an even number!). You can always make something of your mistakes...

 And all together again. It makes me feel like holidays already just looking at them there. You can see I chose the same ink to decorate the covers - again, following on with suggestions from the book.

All in all, a great little reminder to play, have fun, try a few new things and just enjoy yourself.