Learning and growing

photo[25]This year I am studying Surface Design at the International School of Colour and Design here in Sydney, and I am learning so much! The course teaches the technical aspects of how to create your art so that it can be applied to surfaces and products. I am loving it! So far we have created designs for tea towels, swimwear fabric, bedlinen and currently, patterns for the outer surface of candles.

One of the things I love about the class is seeing each different person’s interpretation of the same brief. I am always interested to see all the variety styles that are presented, each one representing the artist’s “look”. It is lovely to see the range of unique handwriting for the same assignment.

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New York, New York!


Me on Brooklyn Bridge in 2013

New York seems to be the place where so much happens for me. I have travelled there at least twice a year in the past 30 odd years (yes, that makes me feel old typing that!). In my corporate roles, I travelled there for fashion inspiration, and then when I started my own fashion business, pink zebra, it was where I went to research the market and select the fashion labels I wanted to range in my own boutiques. That was pretty exciting! Nine years ago I flew to New York and managed to secure ALL of the labels I wanted for pink zebra, and had exclusive rights for them in Australia. Oh happy days! Since then the internet has made any and all international labels available to Australians at the click of a button, but they were good days, pioneering bringing those US fashion labels to Australian shores.

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My creative life – past, present and future!

IMG_3711I mentioned at the end of my last post that I would be writing about “my creative life”. So I thought I would fill you in on the story of my (very short!) creative life to date. Some of you might think I have always been a painter, so the following may surprise you …

This photo shows me at kindergarten, aged about 4, painting a glorious creation! In all honesty, up until recent times, that was the last time I can recall immersing myself in painting or drawing or any kind of artistic endeavor. Yes, I have expressed my creative self in some ways through my business experience, whether through dreaming up a marketing campaign for a brand (I held various marketing/ management roles in a number of big companies in my career) or a new store concept for my own fashion business. But I never really knew I had any kind of artistic talent, at all. Somewhere along the way I must have shut it down, considering it “babyish” or frivolous, and that I really wasn’t any good at it. Along with many other children growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, we were actively encouraged to choose our careers in vocations that would “make money”, and art was certainly not considered to be one of those!

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Slowly and steadily – we can rebuild!

butterfly w quote JPEGEight months today and counting since my surgery. Progress continues, slow and steady.


There have been no radical changes in the past month, but I do feel like I am inching along in the right direction. As well as taking the Gotu Kola capsules daily, Bas, the lovely man who does my lymphatic drainage massages, is also a naturopath and has made me up an ointment with Gotu Kola, Vitamin E, zinc and primrose oil in it. It seems like my scars are slowly fading with twice daily applications of that. While I am still very conscious every day of my uncomfortable stiff, numb stomach and sensationless but softening breasts, it feels like my old body is becoming accustomed to the new bits. The old is accepting and integrating with the new!

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Even better … FREE SHIPPING!

7503213_10706960-bagtote16_bFor those of you contemplating an order with my watermelonhearts store on Society6, I have good news – they have just started a free shipping offer until Monday December 2 on everything except Framed Prints, Canvases and Throw Pillows.

So that means you can buy all of the following, with FREE shipping:

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Art for everyone!

Spring Garden mug - $US15

Well, I promised I would be exploring my art from here on in … and here’s what I have created already! I’ve discovered a website where you can sell your art printed on to an assortment of products called Society6. (Thanks  to Monique for telling me about it!). So I’ve uploaded some of my paintings, and I have to say I am quite pleased with how they look on products – cards, mugs, cushions, phone and laptop covers, tote bags etc. And they will frame and post the art prints too. Love it!

This is the link to my new online store:   http://society6.com/watermelonhearts

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Art for the Heart


Eleven weeks post surgery, and I’m finally at a point where the whole breast issue is not top of mind for me. Thank god for that! My recovery is continuing well. I’m moving much more easily, and sleeping better. Slowly my energy levels are returning and discomfort levels have substantially reduced. My scars have settled down a lot, looking much less red and raw than they were. Life is slowly returning to “normal”, whatever “normal” is going to be for me!

For almost all of this year the surgery has preoccupied my thoughts for just about every waking moment, particularly in the last few months, so it is really refreshing to have new things to think about! And of course, one of these is my art.

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Happy 21st birthday Holly!

wild & precious life a 09 13Here is the artwork I created last week as part of the card I made for our daughter Holly’s birthday today. A big day in the life of our family – 21 years of parenthood for me & my husband today too. Judging from the lovely people Holly & Tom have become, I think we have done a pretty good job!

All of us are wiped out today. Me from just being out in the real world yesterday, and Holly, well, she has not yet emerged from her bedroom yet after a BIG night out celebrating with her friends, as all good 21 year olds do. Congrats to her!

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Going gently … (one month post surgery)


Tomorrow it will be one month since my surgery. Seems like a lifetime ago in some ways. I’m so relieved that the shadow of the upcoming surgery that was hanging over me for so many months is now gone. I must say that the operation and hospital experience was  much more painful, scary and intense than I thought it would be. I really didn’t like being so dependent on others for just about everything – getting up, food, medication, dressing, bathing, everything!. The scary part was sometimes I’d press the buzzer and the nurses would be busy so it would take quite some time before I actually received my medication. Agony! And that would make me so anxious in itself, not knowing when the pain relief was going to arrive … It’s all just a swirl of emotion now and I’m so glad that bit is behind me!

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