Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Oh. Hmmm.

I have a kitchen in pieces and a bathroom full of dishes and precarious stacks of drawers, and a headache that won't quit. This early-on picture doesn't even show half the chaos.

But the end will be worth it!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Christmas Eve

Berry decorated her first gingerbread man.

"He looks a bit scary," she said. "Maybe he's having a bad day."


Thursday, 17 December 2009

Being an angel

Berry keeps referring to her preschool Christmas pageant as "the Little Jesus Festival".

I refuse to correct her.

Monday, 14 December 2009


We finally got the Christmas tree up.

Exactly two minutes later – in an unsupervised split-second – Man-show pulled it over on top of himself and earned some angry branch-scratches on his belly.

We calmed his howling, packed all glass and ceramic ornaments into our do-not-use box, and decorated the tree like this:

Please note the non-festive bottom half of the tree. It offends my aesthetic side but prevents trips to the ER, so I guess we're even.

The rest is pretty (see Hello Kitty sharing space with the Sydney Harbour ornament we picked up back home in April.):

And the 2006 Berry-picture-ornament is here, next to a really amazing soft doll ornament Nathan's mom sent:

My tree-decorating drink came in a bottle so pretty I wished I had a miniature to put on the tree – although it looks bizarrely like perfume:

I drank it instead, and all was well.

For those who've asked (and who have his leering image seared into their memories): NO, Feral-Rabbit-Angel did not get on the tree this year. The kids are just not scare-proof and besides, I don't like his attitude.


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Oh, bother.

I get off the phone to discover my 18-month-old stark naked and covered in pink Hello Kitty stamps. This is my life right now. And you wonder why I don't post more often...


Monday, 30 November 2009

The elderly

"I'm painting a really, really old man," Berry says. "He's twenty-four. He's really old."

Oh honey.

Friday, 20 November 2009

A Thanksgiving Thought

Berry came to me quite seriously and said, "Mommy, I changed my mind. I like turkeys. Just meat-turkeys, not animal-turkeys!"

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Yes! It's time for Christmas cards!

The Merry Sheep holiday greeting sets and the Let It Snow greeting sets are on sale now in the Pepperina Press shop at Etsy.

Start making that list and checking it twice...

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

On the Dinosaur Train

"He's the craziest pteranodon in the Mesozoic Era," Berry says, and she's FOUR, so I wonder if she has any idea what she's on about?

Sunday, 25 October 2009


After finally reaching the finish line with my letterpress art prints, I gave the press last weekend off and we went to Pensacola.

You can't see the evidence here but trust me – Man-show tried to eat most of the beach. On purpose. By the handful.

Berry was busy making friends with Natalie...

...and with the Forgione boys... and she absolutely insisted on "swimming", despite the cold front which had just swept in. Hmmm, icy.

Good to have the sand beneath our feet again.

(and in our car, and in our clothes, and in our suitcases.....)

Friday, 23 October 2009

Art prints

How could I forget to post these pictures here? This week has been that crazy.

These, my friends, are the first limited-edition letterpress art prints from Sweet Olive Press, released on Monday.

You can read about them here, or buy your signed and numbered print from the Sweet Olive Press online store.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

You can win these!

Hooray! At last, I've got the email newsletter system worked out for Sweet Olive Press! Now you can sign up for monthly(ish – depending how ambitious I get) email updates on new letterpress stationery and special offers.

Best of all, if you sign up before by October 16, you'll be in the draw to win two sets of these fabulous Pink Peony Letterpress Notes (above).

The winner will be randomly selected from all new email news sign-ups, and will be announced on the Sweet Olive Press blog on October 19.

{ In case the sign-up links above don't work for you, you can simply type this url into your browser: }

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Taking care of business

Today, Berry helpfully crossed off all the items on my to-do list, before I'd done them.

If only it were that simple...

Pumpkin Patch

Berry's preschool class took an excursion to the pumpkin patch across the road from East Beach, and Man-show came along for the ride.

What happened here?

I have no idea.


Sunday, 11 October 2009

Hatch Show Print

On Friday I drove over to New Orleans to see American Letterpress: The Art of Hatch Show Print at Tulane's Newcomb Gallery.

I was so, so lucky not to miss it, because although it's been at the Newcomb since August I only found out about it on Wednesday. On Twitter, no less! I felt like I'd narrowly escaped massive disappointment – the chances are slim for getting over to Nashville any time soon to see Hatch Show Print "in the wild". This is the closest I'll get for quite some time.

I didn't want to be the obnoxious girl using a flash in the gallery, so yeah – these images are a bit on the blurry side. (Just call it atmosphere, will you?)

It was incredible, inspiring, fascinating. I looked at every print at least twice, while Berry ran around identifying the letter A and the number 4 and any heart shapes she could see. Those were her favourites for the day, go figure...

It was brilliant in every way. I came away completely zapped with happiness and admiration and wishing, for a crazy minute, that I had been born into a printing family that stretched back more than a century.

I absolutely loved it.

For more on the exhibition and Hatch Show Print, visit the Smithsonian site.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Biscuits and being busy

You might think, since I've been a bit quiet on the work-related-posts front recently, that I've been slacking. Au contraire!

I've been printing like crazy – often at midnight, 1am, 2am – and being so productive I have to pinch myself. But all the results are things I can't show you yet.

The most Top Secret thing is my first letterpress art print for Sweet Olive Press. It has been complicated in every way, and time-consuming, and incredibly exciting. Seriously, I'm finding it hard to refrain from posting progress pictures here, I'm that excited. But I'm keeping it all in check because I know the piece needs to be seen with all four colours printed, the whole image complete.

When it's finished, you'll hear all about it. I can't wait.

In the meantime, a little creative accomplishment that does have a picture to go with it... my lovely friend Kate in Paris sent me an amazing recipe for chocolate chip gingernut biscuits (cookies, Americans!). They were so great I had to send most of them home with my guests so they wouldn't later call me, in a fetching manner, from the kitchen...

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Uh-oh, baby.

Admit it. You wish you'd dreamed up these nifty inventions.

Really, who doesn't want to suspend their baby precariously above a street full of busy traffic, or over an acre of rock-hard ice?

At least the infant in this second picture has the common sense to look perturbed. Unlike his parents.

{Both pictures from LIFE Magazine... Top: Baby cage, 1937, distributed to members of the Chelsea Baby Club in London who had no gardens; and Bottom: Baby Holder, 1937 – evidently a big year for dodgy ideas.}

Friday, 2 October 2009

Magic Kingdom

Berry is still talking about Disneyland, as you can imagine... although she has kept a careful and reproachful list of "scariest parts" that we accidentally exposed her to. Who knew that rides billed for toddlers would have such dark and startling bits? Oh boy...

"Why did you take me on that Pinocchio ride!" she asked, clutching a tragic tissue and clinging to Nathan's neck. "Why did you think to yourself, 'I know! I know! Berry would like to be so scared and to be in the dark! That's a good idea!'"

We could think of nothing to say for ourselves.

A postcard she dictated to her Grandma and Granddad in Australia:

"Dear Grandma and Granddad. I love you. I like to play with you. I saw Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger and Eeyore and I love to see them but it's weird Daisy Duck is not here. I went on rides. My scariest part was the Pinocchio train and my favourite part was Minnie Mouse. I like to be at your house. My other scariest part was the Princesses Castle. A scary pig came out. My other scariest part was the Nemo submarine. I got a new CD and my other scariest part was the Winnie-the-Pooh train. xo"

Terrifying Berry was not the birthday gift we'd had in mind. Fortunately the tally of scariest parts reached (only?) five in three days, and there were many, many thrilling encounters with fairies and Minnie Mouse and Winnie-the-Pooh to make up for that.

We waited in line way too long to see Tinkerbell, but the look on Berry's face told us it was completely worth it. She's still talking about seeing Tinkerbell flying up to light the castle during the fireworks on the final night.

And oh, Berry just about keeled over when two Disney princesses brought her a birthday cake – she was wide-eyed and mute, gripping her Minnie Mouse toy. Afterwards she said, "When I seed Cinderella, I almost shaked my ears! And I almost shaked my eyes!"

Man-show, on the other hand, was largely unmoved by the whole Disney spectacle.

He was most content hanging out in his stroller, sitting with Grandpa and Tine. His biggest excitement was going to the pool each afternoon.

He was also enthusiastic about chasing birds and trying to offer them bits of foliage from the Toon Town gardens.

The birds were most ungrateful.

We all agreed: the Mad Hatter's teacups were awesome.

A couple of days ago, I wondered if Berry's terror tally might have softened a bit with the passing of time – so I asked her, What do you think about the Pinocchio ride?

She shot her palm out in warning.

"No no no!" she said. "I don't want to talk about that. That's too scary."