A Beautiful Day

I made a “stuff I actually want to do” To Do list today and it got me all giddy with excitement. I’ve had a myriad art & crafty projects and techniques I want to learn rattling around in my head and it was all getting a bit frenzied in there. Now they’re out, On paper, Organised.

As I wrote, ideas that have been marinating for some time became more fully formed and I managed to get them down on paper, despite my limited illustration skills, which often frustrate my attempts to portray what’s in my head. A lot of the inspiration came from words that have repeatedly popped into my head throughout my Europe adventure with my man over these past 3 months, namely “Together we are Courageous” and “None but you and me Little Bit” (actually a Buffy quote). Of course I also draw a lot of inspiration from other people’s artwork (too numerous to mention – see the BlogRoll!) and funky graphic design. I wanted to share a few of the pages of my sketchbook in which I was having so much fun and getting my list on (you can click to enlarge the individual pages):

Page 1Page 2

Page 3Page 4

I had a great time flipping through “Taking Flight” by Kelly Rae Roberts to re-visit projects and techniques I’ve been meaning to sink my teeth into as well as torn out pages from Somerset Studio magazines (I know, torn out pages! How could I?! It was a tortuous decision but half a dozen copies of Somerset Studio probably wouldn’t have fit into my backpack for Europe).

Really the time devoted to my neglected creative yearnings was the highlight of the day but a very close runner up is that I discovered Bowie.


Yes, David Bowie. How do you discover David Bowie in a motorhome in a little Sicilian village, do you ask? If you enjoy laughing and New Zealander accents, check this out, then watch the whole episode. I actually had an outrageous crush on the androgynous legging-clad bloke from the Labyrinth when I was a wee thing in the 80’s so it seems things have come full circle. I thought it was madness that Sarah didn’t join him in his goblin kingdom! It took me a couple of decades to be able to confess that to anyone but you know what, I’m pretty impressed with my 4-year-old taste in men. The man is a legend. I love his outrageous lyrics. I can’t believe Wade Robson hasn’t choreographed a piece to “Alabama Song” for “So you Think you can Dance” yet. If he ever does, I might just wet myself. Listening to songs from “The Labyrinth” gave me so much reminiscing-joy and inspiration! I must conjure up a painting based on these lyrics from “Magic Dance” : “What kind of magik spell to use? Slime and snails or puppy dogs tails? Thunder and lightening, something frightening”. Love it.

If that wasn’t enough joy for one day I should probably mention where we are right now. Nettle (our motorhome), Mike and I are currently in Casa de Franchis, Sicily, Italy.

Casa de Franchis.jpg

We’ve been travelling for 3 months throughout Europe at a fairly prompt pace. It’s been brilliant but we’ve both been yearning for the slow travel lifestyle we had in mind when we packed up/sold/gave away all our worldly belongings and trundled over to Europe. Up until 3 weeks ago we’ve had people to meet and places to be, which have all kept us on a deadline. Since then we’ve been hoping to find a place to settle down for a while and get stuck into our respective projects and generally just chillaxing. Finally, after 3 weeks of driving through depressing, run-down, litter-strewn villages in the South of Italy we have found our diamond in the rough. Casa de Franchis has turquoise waters, a beach that does not look like a rubbish dump and a cute little field of olive trees over-looking the bay to park Nettle in. She likes it here, I can tell.

Luckily Mike and I managed to pull ourselves away from our respective obsessions long enough to enjoy the beautiful day and go for a walk. Our stroll turned into a photography expedition for me as I’ve taken to carrying my little camera everywhere and my arty nerves were a-tingle. Is it just me or are these plants really cute? Can a plant be cute?


I love the elegance of these droopy lines:


I just thought this shot was kinda cool:


It feels so serendipitous that we’ve found a “home” just when I’m feeling my most inspired and motivated and ready to get stuck into it. I’ve often agonised over feeling a need to create but not quite knowing What I want to create. Of course that question isn’t going anywhere any time soon but at least I’ve got a few doodles to go on with.

2 Comments A Beautiful Day

  1. Pingback: Best of 2009 – Challenge, Album, Place, Food | Nellie Windmill

  2. Pingback: Happy Anniversary Nellie Windmill! | Nellie Windmill

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