Thursday 25 April 2013

ANZAC DAY - Lest We Forget

Fields Of Red - © Serena Lewis
2½"x3½" ACEO - Matisse Acrylics
In Memory of Soldiers Lost

ANZAC DAY is one of Australia's most important national occasions. While red poppies have been more associated with Remembrance Day in the past, they are increasingly used for ANZAC DAY too because poppies are seen as the symbol for sacrifice in blood shed. On this day, we remember the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp who fought so bravely during the Gallipoli campaign in the First World War. Australia lost over 8000 soldiers. To read the history in more depth, please visit this link.

I would also like to express my deepest gratitude and thanks to the soldiers who still continue to protect us at risk to their own lives, on a daily basis, in foreign lands. They deal with terrible hardships on a physical and emotional level and I pray that they return home safely to their loved ones. Whether you are for or against war (I am pro-peace), there is no denying that these men and women sacrifice so much on our behalf and they deserve our utmost respect.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old;
age shall not weary them nor the years condemn,
at the going down of the sun and in the morning,
we will remember them.


Friday 19 April 2013

My name is Serena and I am a bookaholic!

Hi everyone!

It's been another busy week with Aaron 
starting back at school for another term. 
I've pottered around at home and, 
since getting my new glasses, 
I've found myself being a bit of a bookworm again
and loving it!
I have missed reading books regularly.

James lives hand-to-mouth by busking 
on the streets of London. 
He is also a recovering drug addict and,
one day, he finds a ginger street cat 
which is injured and in a poor state of health.
James named the cat, Bob,
and the two fast become inseparable. 
James shares their adventures together and 
how it transforms both of their lives.  

This is a true and heart-warming story.
Being the animal lover that I am and, the fact that my heart always goes out
to the underdog, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
It also gave a busker's perspective of how things work on the streets.
It has certainly given me a higher appreciation and respect for buskers
 and I'll no doubt be wondering about their personal struggles too
the next time I see them performing on the streets of Brisbane.
I loved the fact that I was able to track down 'James and Bob' on YouTube.
I wish them all the best.


Despite the tumour-shrinking miracle drug that bought her a few years, 
Hazel has never been anything but terminal since the time of her diagnosis. 
However, when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears 
at the Cancer Kids Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be rewritten. 

This book was recommended by a  friend on Facebook and
I'm very glad I followed up on the recommendation.
It made me smile, laugh, and cry!


I've been re-reading a few of my favourite author's earlier novels lately and
I was thrilled to see that Dean Koontz also has a new book 
on the shop shelves which I quickly snapped up! 
I confess to being a little disappointed in his last novel -
Odd Apocalypse - but I'm hoping this one makes up for it.

From the inside book cover -

In a sinister encounter with a rogue truck driver, 
Odd - who has the gift of seeing the dead and the soon-to-be-dead
has a disturbing vision of the slaughter of three innocent children. 

Across California, into Nevada and back again, 
Odd embarks on a road chase to prevent the tragedy. 
But he is to discover that he is not up against a single twisted sociopath 
but a mysterious network of evil men and women whose resources 
appear supernatural.

Luckily, in this world that Odd finds so beautiful and full of wonders, 
and deeply odd as well, he meets a collection of like-minded eccentrics 
who will help him to take the next giant step towards his destiny.

Odd is a recurring and likeable character in a few of Dean Koontz's novels.
I'm enjoying it so far.....


In the images above, you can see my new coasters.
They are the Boathouse series by Australian artist, Sarina Baker.
I love her beach/bayside themes!

Here is the whole set of coasters

This framed picture is on the wall behind my computer desk.
I cut the picture from a calendar I bought featuring Sarina's artwork some years ago.
It was a little hard to get a decent photo with the glare from the glass but
I love that I happened across the matching coasters this week.

Have a beautiful weekend!

~ Love, light and peace ~

Saturday 13 April 2013

This handywoman RULES!!!

We have been replacing some of the hand-me-down, mismatched, falling-apart furniture we've received from family over the past 20 years.  The furniture served us very well over those years and I was very grateful to be given them but the time had come where we decided to spoil ourselves with some new matching stuff. It's budget flat-pack furniture but it has nice, simple lines and it MATCHES!!  That's where the handywoman part came in as I had to assemble numerous flat packs! My back, legs, hands, and wrists screamed with arthritic pain but I persisted until the job was done. 

This bad boy was the biggest conquest with it's gazillion parts and pieces. 
It took me just under THREE hours!!
The BEFORE photo.

The AFTER photo.

I love my new white desk!
More assembled flat-pack furniture below.
While I can admire it in other people's homes, dark wood furniture just isn't for me. 
I LOVE white furniture!!! 

The other part of my handywoman skills came in yesterday. 

Firstly, I had to remove and clean the shower drain when Aaron said the water was very slow to drain away. It's amazing how much hair and grime gets caught up in those things!  An icky job for sure but some poor sucker had to do it, namely me.

Then, later in the morning, I was brushing my ear studs with toothpaste...yes, you heard right.  Did you know that toothpaste and a toothbrush work great to clean, freshen, and add sparkle to your jewellery?!  Well, it does, but the trick is NOT to drop little ear studs down the drain hole in the sink.  Yep, that's exactly what I did.  Normally, I would lay a couple of tissues over the drain to catch any wayward pieces of jewellery but, I'll admit it, I was lazy and skipped that step yesterday.  So, I had the extra job of dismantling the S-bend under the sink to retrieve my ear studs and, while I was at it, I did a little more cleaning there too.  More icky!!!  I can also give a 100% guarantee that no plumber's crack was on show at any stage whilst I was carrying out said tasks.

I'm happy to report that,
water is now running freely again in the shower, 
ear studs were safely retrieved from vanity sink drain, 
bathroom drain interiors are now nice and clean, 
and my ear studs are sparkling!

All in a day's work for this handywoman.

Tuesday 9 April 2013

I'm a lucky girl!

This is the beach bag that Michelle and Alex bought for me 
a few years ago but, being that I rarely get to the beach, 
I find it perfect for holding my crochet projects. 
I love it because it's nice and spacious!

Well, a few weeks ago, I received a lovely gift by mail
The colours are so ME!!

 Here it is rolled out. 
Isn't it lovely?!!

It's a crochet hook holder/roll 
and I LOVE IT! 
It's beautifully sewn and just perfect!!

It could be used for pens or brushes too I guess but 
I was in dire need of a crochet hook holder because, up until now, 
I'd been using a small plastic bag to hold my crochet hooks.
How on Earth did Tracy know this was just what I needed?

My crochet hooks are now dressed in style and LOVIN' it! 

Thanks so much for such a lovely and thoughtful gift, Tracy.
It made my day!

By the way, Tracy creates such beautiful things, and
you can check out her online store HERE.

I am also the proud owner of one of her necklaces too which
I bought a couple of years back.

I've been quite busy this past week but will fill you in more in the next post.

~ Love, light and peace ~

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Colour swatches and sketching....

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend!
Aaron is currently on school break so it will be nice having him home for the next couple of weeks.
It's hard to believe the first term of school is already over.

The other morning I woke to a beautiful dawn sky with pink clouds.
It was so pretty!

You may remember that I treated myself to some art goodies a month or so back.

As it's hard to tell what the watercolour pencils will look like once they are activated with water, I decided to create a colour swatch chart for them to make life a little easier.

Now, I will be able to tell at a glance which colour I need to use.

The chart was created on a sheet of A3 CANSON Montval Watercolour 300 paper (300gsm).

I haven't been sketching much since my last post but I have been doing a lot of reading. My copy of 'An Illustrated Journey' by Danny Gregory finally arrived and it was well worth the wait. This book makes a wonderful companion to 'An Illustrated Life' which I bought a couple of years back. I LOVE sneak peaks into the illustrated journals of other artists!  SO inspiring!

I actually did feel inspired to do a quick sketch yesterday.

I sketched my new stainless steel water bottle using Faber-Castell PITT pens, watercolours, and watercolour pencils in large Moleskine sketchbook.

Hopefully, this sketch is a start to many more.