Moments

I had a bit of a ‘moment’ on Friday morning, as I was driving Matty to the station. I’d woken up feeling irritated, sort of grumpy, a bit dissatisfied like when you’re really, really hungry and the only thing that will suffice is a burger and chips, so you go to a restaurant, and when your order comes, it turns out it’s nouvelle cuisine and your burger is  ‘deconstructed’: a few crumbs of dehydrated bread, a sliver of wagyu, a microscopic cube of pickle, and a light sprinkle of microherbs atop an artful smudge of sauce.


“I feel like I haven’t achieved anything,” I said to Matty.

Matty reminded me that indeed I had achieved things – not least in the last seven months: birthed a baby and written and edited not one but two magazines.

I wrote and edited this. The Edition, issue 1.

But that wasn’t quite what I meant. I’m not discounting the fact that I’ve managed to create a gorgeous, flame-haired, mini-human whom I love ferociously, or, that frequently, after putting mini-human to bed at 7pm I work happily on aforementioned magazine until midnight or 1am.

I gave birth to this. Marnie.

It’s more a feeling that I don’t have enough space, at the moment. Space to do the things I’d do if I had more time for myself: regularly updating my blog, for example, or painting again once in a while, or practising the piano so I don’t lose my very limited repertoire completely. I have so many ideas for the children’s books I want to write and illustrate and the jewellery I want to make and the sculptures I want to create – but there’s just no space. Not an inch.

I drew this. ‘Horse on Motorbike’, charcoal on paper

I feel overwhelmed by all the things I need to do: I have so many phone calls to make, to friends I’ve neglected as weeks have turned into months; there are a million clothes to fold and put away, but no matter how much I do, the mountain of mess gets bigger, not smaller. I’m feeling deafened by so much social media screaming for attention: the Instagram narcissists vying for likes, the Facebook braggers and the oh-my-god-you-have-to-click-on-this-or-life-won’t-be-worth-living clickbaits. (I try not to click! But I do, and then I fall headfirst into a meaningless internet vortex).

I painted this. ‘Tutti after chemo’, acrylic on canvas.

I’m exhausted. So exhausted. The baby never sleeps, and when she does, it’s in fits and starts. An hour here. Forty minutes there. She wants to be attached to me all the time. I’ve become a half-adult half-baby hybrid. Exhausted. Exhausted.

Even so, a very wise and dear friend recently reminded me that although life with a small baby can be tough, these are the years I’ll look back on as some of the most beautiful of my life. Just like the pain of childbirth, I’ll forget the crosseyed-with-tiredness delirium and the feeling of being suffocated by unfulfilled ambition.

Instead, I’ll remember how precious it was to have a baby yet unable to speak but so hilariously expressive. Who squeals with arm-flapping excitement when I walk into the room. Who has the juiciest, most kissable cheeks and hands you can’t help but squeeze; so small and pudgy, with dimples where her knuckles should be. I’ll wish I could hold her – as I do now – as her eyes flutter shut and she nuzzles into me like the sweetest, warmest, milk-drunk koala. Even for a moment. You see, the thing about moments is that they’re fleeting. They slip from our grasp and tick-tock away no matter how hard we try to hold onto them. So I know what I have to do. I have to lower my expectations of myself. I have to put down my mobile phone.  I have to be in the moment with my sweet little baby and remember that one day I’ll look back and wish I could be exactly where I am now. Right here.

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A Celebration of Love (and colour)

Tutti, the Guru, Matty, Marnie and I went to a wedding yesterday. It was truly lovely – a celebration of life and love and a brilliant excuse to get dressed up. (Not that one ever truly needs an excuse for that. Wear your best frock to the shops to buy milk, I say. Not that I do. I went out with Marnie the other day looking horrible. “At least put some lipstick on,” said Tutti, kindly ignoring the brooch of baby vomit on my T-shirt and my hair which looked at best like a curly, fluffy hair-nest, just waiting for a sparrow to take up residence.)

Anyway. We did what anyone does at a wedding. We danced and laughed and ate things and cooed over the bride who was wearing a sparkly, almost-60s-style shift dress and looked absolutely divine. In short? We had fun. But then, we almost always do.

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Here I am with my beloved Matty, wearing my Francis Klein glasses, outfit by Et Al Melbourne and flower corsage that I found in Tutti’s wardrobe (score!) Matty’s wearing his beautiful Clifford Gordon jacket that he last wore five years ago when we got married and skinny pants by ML Denim.

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What can I say about Tutti except that she is always a colourful feast for the eyes. I recently bought her that jacket from an op shop in Melbourne for the princely sum of $12 and yet it looks a million bucks.. Love her Miu Miu glasses, Alistair Trung skirt and bright sandals by Django & Juliet.

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Tutti the beauty.

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Giving good shoulder.

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The Guru and Tutti. I had probably just said something HILARIOUS.

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I art directed this shot. “Look romantic,” I said.

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Power pose.

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Even Marnie got in on the action, partying the night away. Well, until 10pm. Which is pretty rock’n’roll for a baby.

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Here are Tutti and Matty standing in front of a chalkboard of random words. #catatonic!

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Looking alert and economic. Apparently.

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The couple of the moment. Nathan and Elly. Wishing them a lifetime of health, happiness, laughter and all good things. It’s a bit of a photographic fail from an iPhone point of view, but you get the gist. They looked gorgeous.

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Three examples your child is a smartarse…

Ok, maybe that title’s a bit misleading. It should probably read three examples of me being a smartarse, when I was a child. There’s no denying that I had chutzpah in bucketloads.

EXHIBIT A:

A letter that seamlessly weaves together love, apology and emotional blackmail

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Dear Mum, Please don’t blame me if I am mean to Sonia. She’s been pretty mean to me and Im upset because you are so sad and crying. I adore you and want you to know I think your wonderful.

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On being a lady of (temporary) leisure

This morning, I woke up and thought it was Saturday. It might as well have been. Same as yesterday and the day before. You see, last Friday, I worked my last day at Prevention magazine before going on maternity leave. It was a pretty magical day.

There were desk balloons.

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There was home made cake.

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There was this incredible picture-perfect specimen of absolute beauty and deliciousness.

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There were pink-frosted cupcakes too, made by my friend Bonnie. But before I got a chance to take a photo, I’d shovelled them into my cake-hole with alarming cookie-monster-like ferocity.

There were flowers.

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There was this most spectacular leaving card.

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And there were beautiful presents, including a scarf from Seed (which is my new favourite thing) and some gorgeous clothes for baby once she comes along.

Anyway. It’s strange, having worked full-time since I was 15, to now find myself facing a small stretch of time doing not-very-much, which will soon be followed by a much longer stretch of time getting to grips with being a mother. At the moment, I’m loving the lazing, and the snoozing, and the coffees out with Tutti and the hanging out with Tiggy. It’s amazing how the days fly by when I’m just moseying around without a timetable or deadline in sight, waiting for that inevitable moment when the baby decides to make her (probably) excruciating exit. (Just give me all the drugs)

But I’m also getting excited about revisiting all my creative passions. I used to make sculptures.

Wire sculptures.

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Bread dough sculptures.

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I used to draw a lot and play the piano, and I would really love to get my children’s book off the ground.

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So the change of pace is going to be very interesting. A chance to see just what I can create next.

Besides the baby.

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How to tie a headscarf, Tutti-style

There’s no denying Tutti has amazing hair. It’s as pure in colour as a unicorn’s mane, defies gravity and grows vertically, like the spikes of a snow-white pineapple. But it’s her headwear that has people turning heads. For as long as she can remember she’s been tying all manner of scarves, donning hats and even in the ’80s used to thread scarves around these weird, padded headbands (see pic below, top left) which she still managed to make look fabulous.

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My weekend with Ari Seth Cohen

There’s no denying that social media has helped the world become a whole lot smaller. You can reminisce with strangers, forge virtual, international friendships, connect with anyone no matter how seemingly unattainable or powerful or famous they are.

And so it was, that somehow, I made contact with the inspirational photographer, author and blogger Ari Seth Cohen, whose blog, Advanced Style documents the stylish outfits worn by women over 60, for whom the street is their catwalk.

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Tutti, Ari and Me in Paddington. Photo by instagram.com/pelle4scarpe

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Big Kids

Happy Friday everyone!

Here are a few pictures I took last weekend when Tutti the Guru and I went to the first Mother Artist Network Forum at the Museum of Contemporary Art, hosted by two extraordinarily impressive women, Lilly Blue and Jo Pollitt, who besides having children, day jobs and a million other of life’s bits and bobs to juggle, are also the creators of Big Kids Magazine, inspiring creativity and a passion for the arts in little kidlets (and big kidlets) everywhere. (Phew! That was a long sentence!)

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Whose shoes are whose?

Issue six is out now and you should totally buy it. Why? Because it’s amazing and beautiful and because Lilly and Jo work their butts off to produce it. (I can confirm, they are both 100% butt-less, and it’s all for the love of the magazine).

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This is ISSUE SIX of Big Kids Magazine

Anyway, the Mother Artist Network Forum (which also included mothers-and-artists Emma Magenta and Emma Gale on the panel) was an absolutely fascinating, inspiring discussion about art and motherhood.

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Living, breathing art. Someone should install Tutti and The Guru at the MCA.

For example: What does it mean to be a Mother and an Artist? Is your practice enhanced because of, or despite having children? Are the two inextricably linked, independent of each other, or a little bit of both depending on the day? Is being an artist a luxury? A right? Or essential and unavoidable if you’re inherently creative and passionate about making marks on a page?

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Tutti: Is she a mother, or an artist, or an artwork? Or all of the above?

It certainly brought into focus a whole lot of issues I’ve been thinking about in the lead up to becoming a mother myself – not least how this next chapter of my life is going to manifest creatively…

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Pop art and stripes

After the forum we stayed for the Launch of Big Kids magazine Issue 6 (which, as already mentioned, is utterly brilliant).

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A marriage of multicolour

Then Tutti, the Guru and I did what any sane person would do. We found a colourful floor and lay on it.

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Where does the floor end and Tutti and The Guru begin?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On being funny-looking

For as long as I can remember, I’ve thought I was funny-looking.

I’m not the only one. The second she clapped eyes on me, Tutti, thought I was pretty funny-looking too. And once she realised that any criticism of her new baby sent The Goat into paroxysms of rage, my chicken-legs and I had no chance at all.

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