Monday, August 30, 2010

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and Sharks, Yellow Roses and Sophie Dahl

I spent the weekend working on a crime short story for the annual Sisters In Crime competition. The sunshine was as glorious and light-filled in Sydney as my story was dark.
Here are some lovely things inspiring me as I start my week.
Vintage-style yellow Rose Wallpaper. This lovely paper was recently in the latest Australian Notebook magazine. I do love yellow roses. I've sent for samples of this one (Eglantine) as I'm planning on papering our laundry area and our outside writing shed (Sparrow Chateau). Regular readers will know we've built an outdoor writing shed in our small terrace backyard. Because I've been working on Poets Cottage, I haven't had a lot of time to decorate it. However, we are going to take down our old Hills Hoist line in the next couple of weeks and install an old-fashioned Granny line to open up the space before Sparrow Chateau, so watch this space. I've also ordered the pink and red floral Eglantine for our bedroom. I do love vintage style floral wallpaper. And this one is so beautiful: olde-worlde but with a modern twist and snap.
The Scribe never fails to inspire me. He recently returned from diving with the Great Whites for a story for his magazine. Here is about to enter the shark cage. He went down with the sharks not once but five times and in very choppy conditions as well. He was safe from the sharks (some who he said were bigger than cars). However, a tuna did take a bite out of his finger.
If you care to see a short footage of one of the sharks, it's on his Blog here.
And I can't wait for Sophie Dahl's Cooking show which is coming to Foxtel on September 20th. I think she is the prettiest woman alive, she has the greatest cheekbones. The show sounds wonderful with its literary references and nostalgic blend. I loved her book, Playing With The Grown-Ups.
I hope your week is filled with old worlde glamour, creative and thrilling adventures.
Thank you for visiting me. xx
wallpaper eglantine image source:
sophie dahl image source

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fabbo Friday and Inspiration Boards and Daisy Lane

I'm just about to start my new book which is a Young Adult. I always like to assemble a mood board filled with inspiring images when I begin a new book. The images of course aren't meant to be taken literally but rather suggest a palette of colours and energy I'm trying to create.
I can't tell you what the book is about for obvious reasons. I can tell you what it's not about.
There are no vampires.
It is not a dark, psychological brooding mystery with a murder or suicide at the base.
It contains no wizard or witchy schools.
It is not a historical novel.
The idea for this one has been simmering away for about a year as I worked on Poets Cottage. It's always a very exciting time when I start a new book. It really is a lot like giving birth. I like to create circumstances around me to help the book emerge as smoothly as possible. We are coming into a waxing moon at the moment which is very good for starting new ventures.
For the next week or so, I'll take a break from the Blog to get my word count up as high as I can whilst the Scribe is away swimming with sharks.
And for my Fabbo Blog post this week it does not get any fabbier than Allison from Lark. Regular readers will know how much I love her online store and Blog. She has recently begun a new line called Daisy Lane. (How totally perfect!) Her Blog post here explains all her detective work in beginning Daisy Lane. Allison is a woman of vision and I'm so happy that people like her are out there changing the shape of business and how we shop.
And signing off with another man I'm always glad is a part of this amazing planet at this time: Mr Johnny Depp
May this be a time of luminous new beginnings for you wherever you are in the world. xx
All Daisy Lane images via Lark
Johnny Depp images via Depp Impact
mood board images via Google Images

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chit-chat Wednesday and A Cup of Sunshine

The light was so beautiful in Sydney over the weekend. Cups of sunshine sprinkling the inner-city. We played family board games, op-shopped and fed wild pigeons. I watched the new Miss Marple and we fell asleep through Prime Suspect. I met my women's spiritual group. We baked chicken, apple crumble, went to swimming lessons and looked for pixies in parks. It was a weekend of little happenings but perfect. Midweek it is raining again which is my favourite weather. I am working on my crime short story which has to be my lightest one yet. The sunshine on the weekend must still be with me. All week I am humming a little tune and feeling happy inside. The Scribe is leaving next week on a work trip to look for sharks. I shall miss him. I plan to throw myself into my new book so I don't notice his absence. And I have been watching a lot of Charlie and Lola. xx

Monday, August 9, 2010

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and Mirka Mora's Beauty Tips

Mirka Mora, keeper of the snails, acclaimed artist and boho Melbourne legend is one of my favourite ever inspirations. At art school, my lecturers compared my work to hers (purely for their bright colours and whimsical subject matter - not in terms of genius, I hastily add). I chose to paint with words upon leaving art school, whereas Mirka is an artist through and through.
I have a vintage book on beauty called Australian Women: Successful Lives by Fiona Holt and Maurice Rinaldi. Mirka is one of the featured woman and her beauty tip is
"If my skin is still very young its because I still play with my dolls and suck my thumb before I go to sleep. I wear little girl's shoes and I still play with my dolls and teddy bear. I think you have to know your brain but you have to fool it too."
It must work as Mirka has the most beautiful, glowing skin. Some schoolgirls interviewed Mirka at her cluttered tiny house. It's worth a read as she talks about her pet snail and love of dollshouses. You can find their account of their meeting HERE.
If I was able to buy an original artwork, Mirka's would be my choice. Inside her chest in place of a heart, I think there's a little angel. Melbourne is fortunate to have her.
I always feel more comforted that souls like Mirka are on the planet at this time and so hail Mirka Mora on this sunny Monday morning! xx

"When all is said and done, people are the best thing in the world," Mirka Mora

images of mirka's paintings source

young mirka image source

older mirka image source

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fabbo Friday and Fab Fairytales and Minnie

All week I've been excited and happy about my agent liking my Poets Cottage MS and setting the ball rolling quickly as she has done. The dreary grey skies over Sydney have been replaced by patches of sunshine. My daughter is well enough to return to school.
I read a book filled with patches of blue, yellow and exotic colour recently for my bookclub (The Magic Hat Bookclub). If you like Mexican art, Frida Kahlo, and words that shake and shimmer with poetry and sly flashes of mysterious beauty then I highly recommend it. Funnily enough I was the only one of the Magic Hatters who loved it to bits. It's a terrific read and the main character, Harrison Shepherd, is a guy I really loved and related to. Reviewers disliked him for his self-effacing, introverted writerly ways but I loved and got him totally. And so The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver is my fab book choice for this week.
My fab and favourite Blog posts of the week – again, far too many to pick easily but I did love two fairytale cottages that went around the Blogs.
The very stylish Marie Nichols, a talented stylist from the UK currently residing in Sydney, featured this beautiful fairytale cottage on her Blog wholelottalovely. To me it looks like Rachel Ashwell and Princess Aurora are sharing the space.
The other house is my daughter's favourite and I have to admit, I love it too. It looks as if it was designed by my daughter as she is mad for pink, purple and lovehearts - Minnie Mouse's Disneyland House from the Blog Hooked on Houses.
Do you like them? Which one would you pick? Are you a Princess Aurora or Minnie Mouse? I think it's too hard for me to decide as I’m a bit of both.
And to complete the fairytale sign-off here's Johnny looking at some part of Edward Scissorhands. I do love a man in braces.
Enjoy your weekend. Hope it is filled with fairytale loveliness. Thanks for visiting me. xx barbara kingsolver image source

johnny depp source

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chit-chat Wednesday and The Wish Box

This has been a shaggy, dreary and harsh winter. We've all been sick in our inner-city abode constantly: the Scribe since March when our dog died (although we think his health may be related to a dive he did), and Daisy hasn't been at school for over a week so we get to play together at home.
Here is a Magic Wishing Box she made where she placed all her wants and wishes into it. (Many more wishes than I photographed here). Her wishes are always for very cute things such as bunny rabbits, eleven sisters and a Prince to kiss her and take her to a castle.
I have some good news. My agent has read Poets Cottage and is happy with it. Now she's going to start offering it to publishers.
My Wishing Box is blowing a trumpet, dancing on spindly glittery legs. Unlike my daughter, I only have a few wishes inside my box.
I do feel as if something good is going to happen.
Sniffs and Coughs from Brick Hospital. Thanks for visiting me. xx

Monday, August 2, 2010

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and Kate Bush The Last Angel

I cannot enter into August without bidding the wonderful Kate Bush a Happy Birthday for July 30. I loved the June issue of UNCUT magazine which payed tribute to Kate's album Hounds of Love and contained quotes from musicians paying homage who had worked with Kate. Fascinating to read behind-the-scenes of her vision and creativity.
Here' a quote from the mag about Hounds of Love: “The album distils many of Bush's recurring obsessions; water, witchcraft, death, the power of the senses”.
There will only be one Kate. She is the original and the pure. All the others are the imitators and don't hold my interest for very long, no matter how talented they may be.
And here's a quote from UNCUT from Lee Scratch Perry: "The music industry is full of devils. But Kate Bush is the only angel left. Music must have a pure heart. It must have madness. It must have genius. That is why I love Kate Bush.”
That's also why I love Kate Bush. She is the last angel.
In Australia we have just passed Imbolc/Candlemas and we are turning towards the light. Spring is coming after a long and harsh winter. Kate Bush and I also share a love of washing and washing lines and so I've posted a picture of a lovely washing line above to herald Imbolc. The light is coming!
You're here in my headLike the sun coming out -Ooh. I just know that something good is going to happenAnd I don't know whenBut just saying it could even make it happen. Kate Bush - Cloudbusting.
images of Kate source
washing line image source