Yesterday I ironed the calico that I had dyed, found some pretty contrasting material strips and made a few bags as a test. I used grossgrain ribbon on a couple as handles, and made a handle for one out of the material. There is no doubt that the grossgrain speeds up the process, so I look forward to recieving the roll of bright green that I have ordered through the Caloundra Sewing Centre – who have been wonderful; letting me buy wholesale through them and helping with tips when I get stuck or my sewing machines aren’t behaving the way that they should. Who would have thought that just changing the needles would solve so many problems!

I also made two dresses, but haven’t put in the elastic yet.

I washed some more of the fabric and found a long piece of denim! Thank you Tracies mum!!! It will make wonderful strong shorts for the boys!

I was up at 5 this morning, looking for free t-shirt patterns. I have only made one t-shirt so far, and it was a girls pattern and I wanted to see the difference between boys and girls. The difference is in the shoulder width – that’s all. So now I’ll make a few t-shirts and shorts.

Here are the 5 bags I’ve made so far. They only have to be the size of an A4 paper, to fit an exercise book and pencil in. These are a tiny bit bigger.

5 bags

If you would like to donate to help post all these things you can do so through kickstart – thanks!

New dresses – with sleeves

Some of the countries the clothing are sent to require sleeves for modesty. It actually feels good to sew something beside the “pillowslip” style.

I’ve also recieved three HUGE donations of material! I’m not sure they will make ALL the clothing – but they certainly will go a long way towards helping!

Thank you so much to the wonderful people who donated the material as well as the two lovely ladies who are helping me by doing a couple of loads of washing! All material has to be washed before it can be used. One lot had been packed away for 10 years! It will see the light of day in countries we can only imagine!


Charity project – 100 dresses for “dress a girl around the world”

I looked at a lot of different charities before picking this one.  I like this one because they don’t just send to one country, but send parcels anywhere that is needed.  It’s all clothing – all brand new and made by hand with love.  Mostly it’s dresses, but also clothing for boys.

What got me was when they said “Make the dress with care as it might be the only dress a girl will ever have.”

I’ve made these so far…

I’ll put pictures of the dresses up here to show you.


The Elements

The Elements
24″ x 36″
Oil on Canvas
$1200 + postage – contact me if you are interested

This months painters challenge was a huge challenge, because I decided to use one of the larger canvas’s. I knew what I wanted, Mother Earth in perfect balance with the 4 elements (wind, fire, water, earth) but could I pull it off? And could I do it in a month?

I’m not really all that pleased – it didn’t turn out like it did in my head. But then, I’m my worst critic and everything looks better inside my head!

I also had a lot of trouble photographing it. I’m not sure if it’s because of the size, or the changes in contrast, but the camera will insist on making it fuzzy.

The Elements

Some close ups

close up of face

Close up of fire

Close up of sky

Black and White

Many years ago I did a lot of scratchboard (information about what that is soon). This month, on the “Monthly Painters Challenge” group on face book the subject was “Black and White” so naturally my thoughts turned to scratchboard.

Scratchboard is a medium where a piece of wood (or paper) is covered in white clay, then sprayed with Indian ink. The ink is scratched off using various mediums to show the white clay, and is either left black and white or coloured.

Without more ado I’ll unveil my challenge piece for this month.

Girl with feathers in her hair

And some close ups…

Close up 1

You start to get an idea of how many scratches goes into work like this.

Close up 2

We timed me several times, and I average 135 cuts into the black ink per minute. This picture took over 50 hours. So, on average, this picture is made up from 405,000 scratches. I used a very fine exacto knife for most of it, for some sections I used a needle in a holder.

Although the theme is “Black and White” I’m considering painting her lips and the feathers and maybe her eyes.

The size is 16″ x 20″ and it is for sale for $3,500. If you are interested please email me at


Vegie gardening has become a bit of an obsession, which is a problem at the moment as damaged ligaments in my knees are stopping me from weeding! Well, the weeds will just have to grow for awhile until I can kneel again.

Somewhat surprised at the shape my cucumbers are growing, until I realise that they were mislabeled and what I have is more likely to be butternut pumpkin. Perfect shape for them.

Hopefully the “other” cucumbers will actually be cucumbers. Lots of flowers but no fruit yet to let me know either way.

I don’t have an elephant to measure it with, but the corn is almost as high as the house. Next year I’ll plant more of it, once the hedge is gone.

The zucchini out the front are incredible – every day I’m picking 4 or 5 – and if I miss one day then they are HUGE. Giving them away and making a lot of zucchini bread.

I have green and yellow. The yellow taste the same as the green, but are prettier.

The beans are still producing well, but it looks like the plants are dying back a bit.

Citrus fruit trees

Rose Dreaming

This is my painting for the monthly painters challenge.  The subject was “something beginning with “R”, which is pretty “random” (groan)

Red Rose was pretty obvious, so I decided to do that.  Well, by the time it’s finished there is a red rose – be patient!

To start with, this painting is a grisaille – which means it’s monotone until you glaze colour over it. I did it this way because lately I’ve been painting alla prima and wanted to do something different.

Step one, the composition, I forgot to take a photo of. I never think to take photos until I’m half way though. Never mind. (clicking the pictures will open a larger version in a new window)

About this time I realised I should have been doing this on a very smooth board, not a canvas panel, but too late to start again now.

I had to let that dry a few days so that I could go over the whites, which were starting to blend in too much.

The “finished” monotone.

Then I had to let it dry completely – 10 days – before I could touch it again. Just as well I started early in the month!

At this point I have two focal points – the “rose” and the girls face. This could be a problem. But my thinking is that this will change once I add colour.

First glaze.

It actually took about 5 glazes, leaving a day or two in between. But to make a long story short – the final picture. “Rose dreaming” – but is the girl dreaming of the rose, or is the rose dreaming of the girl?

And if you would like to buy this – $200 + postage and just leave me a comment here, or on my facebook

I am Icarus

I kind of lost this one half way though, because mum had to go back to hospital. Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

I was born with wings, but afraid to fly
My wings would draw attention to me,
You can’t hide when you have wings.
The conflict – I want everyone to know me / I want to be alone
My wings are my talent, my fear is success…
or is it failure?
If I never try, then I can’t fail.
But my wings exist, and I have to use them, even if I only fly alone.

Eliza Leahy

Gardening, not painting

Naturally there are times when I don’t paint.  One of the other things I do is garden – for food.  I would love to pull up all the lawn and plant food instead, and one day I probably will (alright, not all the lawn!)

At the moment, however, all my vegies are in pots.  So, here are some photos…

Two rows down the side of the house, it gets about 7 hours sunlight in summer, a little more in winter when the sun is lower. Silver beet, onions, lettuce, parsley, eggplant and beans.

The cluster around the water tank – mint, sage, capsicum, chillies, basil, errr, other things

Cucumbers and onions outside the front door. I’m sure I’ll put other things here as well eventually.

One bit of passion fruit trellis, which will no doubt grow as the plant does.

A row of dwarf beans – with a pot of sage in the middle. To the left is a young zucchini

That same zucchini from a slightly different angle, with a lemon tree and a “bulls heart” tomarto (just planted yesterday)

Tomato corner. The one on the left is a “pomato” – it is a tomato grafted to a potato!

The back wall – potatoes and an eggplant. Oh, and that huge hairy thing is called “vitamin green”.

Another type of passionfruit


And a few things planted in the garden for good measure, silver beet, rosemary, strawberry and onions.

Around the back (no photo) I have more silver beet, beetroot and spinach, but it doesn’t get much sun, so I’m not sure how they will go.