Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Edwards Point

As I flip-flop from house-sit to house-sit here in Melbourne I often have nightmares of looming homelessness. So far that scenario has not eventuated and I'm lucky enough to live in a social strata that means I have enough friends to call on if I'm "in between" houses.
Some of my truest and most trusted friends are Ruth and Ian (and of course Lady the dog)
They live on the Bellarine Peninsula at a place called St Leonards and have always embraced my presence graciously. They have calmed my fears numerous times, saying that I can always come and live with them.
And who wouldn't want to live in this beautiful little corner of the world.(To all my northern hemisphere friends this must look like heaven; and it is)

 Unfortunately this little corner of heaven is 2 hours drive from Melbourne and work. So what I'd gain on the roundabout of idylic beach-side living, I'd lose on my money making swings.
Luckily last November, I had a big job of a whole house full of curtains which gained me a little bit of money to see me through over the summer break so I could spend a bit of time with these darlings without too much anxiety about my finances or place of abode.
I've been so lucky to be able to spend time with lovely people in a spectacular place. As my counsellor says "You always seem to land on your feet". Just look where those feet landed!

But now that Christmas is over & thoughts return to regular life, I find myself worrying afresh at my state of home or lack of. My photos start to all be of pathways
and me on them...

or living question marks...

BUT, I've had an idea! and you will have to wait for the next exciting instalment to find out just what that idea might be.....

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The one that got away

Last week my sister Sue called me to say a nice man named Todd had contacted her about a cushion he'd seen at the Montsalvat shop that he wanted to buy for his wife's 40th birthday. Unfortunately it had sold!

So, the next day she organised to picked him up from the Eltham station, took him to Montsalvat and went through all my fabrics, arranging them until he was happy with the combination of colours and size.

I made the cushion up the next day and called him to say it was ready. It was 7.30pm and I heard his wife's querulous voice in the background as he told her he had to go and "pick something up". I felt as if I were having a clandestine affair with a cushion lover.

They both loved the cushion and recently sent me an email to say how pleased they were with it.
What a man is all I can say. To have noticed that she loved the cushion in the first place & then to go to all that trouble to get one to her.

There are photos of the finished cushion coming but this is a photo of the one that got away.
Here's his email ...

Dear Jo,
I hope you will forgive this very belated email to say a huge thank you for the fantastic cushion - J. loves it! And it was a huge, wonderful surprise for her!
We both think it is very beautiful and love that it was hand made, unique and there is a history to each of the fabrics, not to mention its creation.
Thank you so much to your self and to Sue for being so lovely and guiding me through the process!

With very best wishes,


Friday, January 31, 2014

Hot sun and squashed lemons

It's been a long time since posts gang I know, I know. I've been hiding from the heat down at the beach with friends.
I'm sitting house at a gorgeous place now though, owned by a gorgeous woman in Northcote. She has GREAT taste and I love staying here. It's cool and quiet, with an incredibly productive lemon tree and nice neighbours.
While I'm travelling & keeping my options open, I'm loving not having many possessions to cart round but occasionally I come across a house or a place that makes me think settling and buying "STUFF" again might be a good idea. 
 There are beautiful things to ponder in every room, like this tender combination of snake's skin and black & white baby photo, with tiny pieces of dried seaweed.
 A collection of Albert Namatjira's beautiful paintings as prints.
This painting in the bathroom that speaks of safety under water with your clan. 
 This clever use of seed pods from a date palm that lives in the back yard.
 Every room smells like lemons and I'm struggling to use them all. If you'd like some, give me a hoy and I'll bring them 'round exocush@hotmail.com (it might take me a while for me to get to East Harling, Norfolk though)
 Just one more beautiful combination of things for you to lust after.
I love living in Northcote, it's full of surprising things and great food and coffee. Graffiti everywhere and amazing tattoos on even the tiniest girls.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An extremely Exotic location

Exotic cushions has fallen on it's feet again!
Really? where?

 In there?

Yes, I've been blessed again with friends and sisters in high places and have found myself on my feet at Montsalvat, the artists colony in Eltham, Victoria, Australia.
Sue (my sister) and I had an open studio recently to show our wares.
Here are some photos of the surroundings I'm lucky enough to find myself working in.

 Montsalvat was built in the 1930's although it looks much older and much more French.

 There are many fascinating nooks and crannies where artists create beautiful things. Here is David Brown's studio where he makes violins and shakuhachi flutes and is a maker of international reputation and calibre.

 There have been some wonderful yarn bombers here as part of the artists in residence programme.
 I'll keep you informed as to what transpires. For now it's goodnight.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Beach bum days and Forest walks

 Well it may seem as if my life is one big trip to the beach but if you look carefully at the dates between the last post and this one you'll realise that not much beach or anything else has been going on since the middle of June. Mostly it's been a round of fear and loathing in suburbia. (Well maybe not too much loathing)
Yes I'm back in Australia and have been since December 6th 2012, when I migrated back to home base. (Albeit with a one month trip back to the UK in May and June; see last couple of posts).
This post is about that incredible Isle we're so lucky to have so close by; Tasmania. In just one hour you can be breathing pristine air.
I was lucky enough to be able to stay with a friend in a small town called Low Head at the northen edge. It's well worth a trip.
Don't you just love a red and white lighthouse?

Or any red and white object really?

One morning we got up at 4am and drove to the North eastern corner of Tasmania to Mt William National Park to watch and photograph the beach at sunrise. There was so much wildlife on the road.  It was a miracle we didn't hit any wallabies as they bounded and swerved beside us. At one stage a huge eagle lifted off some road kill incredibly close to the car. It seemed as big as a calf.
At first there was scarcely any difference between the sky and the sand.

but as the sun arrived so did the colours..


We found this incredible midden; so thick with shells. The rest of the beach was clear but here in this sheltered little cove was treasure indeed.
A sad reminder that us "Civilised" white folks culled all the aborigines from this area a long time ago. No one now to sit and yak and eat shellfish by the hundred.
The day after our beach exploration, we set out on an adventure to find some friends of friends who live in heaven. Well this little slice is called Forest walks Lodge at Jackey's Marsh near Deloraine. Sean and Rosemary run this incredible place completely off the grid. Next to an escarpment in a hidden valley where grazing land meets the bush. We didn't have time to do any walks but we did have time for Sean to feed us an incredible lunch of local smoked ocean trout and wonderful Tasmanian wine. If you're thinking of going somewhere amazing in Tasmania go here, go here!!!
These guys have been working for 30 years to keep this area pristine. They've recently been given World Heritage listing for outstanding environmental values.
There is a festival every two years and next year will be a big one to celebrate the recent World heritage coup from January 24th to 27th. Tempted??? They're in the process of building the site.

The air here is so clear, you can see for miles. It's a truly incredible place.