Sad & Lovely, Lovely & Sad

I wanted to share this performance piece by Neil Gaiman before I made the connection that I’m actually going to see Neil Gaiman in Melbourne this Saturday and I shared a quote of his on the blog just last week. I seem to have a slight fixation. But a worthy one. That’s the trick; obsession is actually quite healthy if you’ve good taste.

This post is actually about more than Neil Gaiman though. I wanted to share some things which are both lovely and sad: a favourite combination of mine.

Neil Gaiman “The Bed Song”

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

I’ll let these excerpts from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows tumblr blog explain what this exquisite, poetic creation is all about. These are some of the definitions of obscure sorrows that resonated with me the most.

sonder dictionary of obscure sorrows

midsummer dictionary of obscure sorrows

dictionary of obscure sorrows chrysalism

I adore this question and answer which simply and eloquently describes why I find these definitions so compelling.

icharos asked: “I think you could make a living creating words to describe such deeply intimate sorrows. It would be like going to a doctor but instead of prescribing medication, you give the torment a name, and suddenly tangled emotions fall neatly into place and with that quiet word, you can breathe.”

Beautiful idea, and my dream job. I think the act of naming something implies, very simply, that you’re not alone. We give names to things so we can talk about them. Once there’s a word for an experience, it feels contained somehow—and the container has a handle, which makes it much easier to pick up and pass around. Kinda comforting.

I know it’s been a while since I last shared some art so next week I’ll post some images of what I’m working on and tell you all about an exciting upcoming event!

What Happens When an Artist Buys a House and Doesn’t Have Anything to Put in it?

Settlement for our house is just around the corner – May 9th! – although we won’t be getting in until a few weeks after that. Having up and sold/got rid of our stuff to live nomadically in our mid-20’s, we’re in the very strange position of being in our early 30’s and not owning much adult stuff. We have a fridge and a washing machine and a bed but that’s about it. We don’t even remember what we stored when we left Australia but we’re presuming we kept our kitcheny stuff, such as it is.

It might seem silly, but ever since I was little I’ve dreamt of having my own home and curating every single item in it. I like that old adage of William Morris’ – “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” – but I don’t think it goes far enough. Something I feel strongly about is that there’s no reason practical items can’t also be beautiful. Even brooms can be beautiful. I also take enormous pleasure in well-made objects. So it’s actually pretty great that I’ve got a clean slate to work with!

“With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on” – William Morris

Since our offer on Piper’s Moon was accepted in January, I’ve very much been in this headspace. We’ll be living a very minimalist life for the first little while – nothing we’ve not done before – but I have been purchasing a few essentials. This is a hodgepodge of things I have bought or am hoping to one day buy for our home.

Mud Australia Ceramics Blog

If I had a collection of Mud Australia ceramics like this I would have nothing but open shelving in my kitchen and would probably have a hard time getting anything done because I’d be staring at the pretty all day long.

Bedding mosaic

Top: Evelina cushion, Left: Found on Pinterest uncredited, Centre: Knock Knock Linen, Right: House of Baltic Linen

I had my heart set on a luxurious looking deep plum duvet cover but couldn’t find any I liked so ended up settling on a natural linen look. I wasn’t sure about this aesthetic at all at first as i found it a bit too ascetic for a bedroom. When in doubt about a particular look I ask myself the question, “Will it make my house look like a witch’s house?” and if the answer is yes, then it’s a winner.

Writing Desk

I don’t have a studio table yet but I do have a writing desk! I’m thinking I’ll put it in front of the big picture window downstairs which overlooks our ginormous copper beech. Unfortunately I can’t share with you the link to where to get this desk because they’ve run out and they’re Australian-based anyway so it wouldn’t be relevant to most.

Possibly the only thing that excites me more than having a house whose every single detail I’ve curated is having a garden made up solely of plants I adore. That’s happening too. Wow. That’s another blog post.

Pretty Things be Mine!

Socks and Stockings

Centre image by Silvee van Toor

I discovered Sock Dreams way back in the Nettle days when buying online pretties was a distant dream. I pinned them instead and just the other day remembered all the amazing socks and stockings past me had wistfully pinned and went and bought them!

When the socks arrived in the post I was working on this painting and was struck by the similarity in colour palettes! Can you guess what my favourite colours are?

Socks and work in progress art

Etsy Coasters

Stone coasters by The Ends

It occurred to us that when we eventually do buy a house and move in it’s going to be a very empty house. We own all of the major appliances and a bed but that’s really it. We decided it would be a good idea to start buying things for our home now because I have been known to take months to find something to my liking. The only problem with this plan is that we can’t buy any big things like furniture because we don’t have anywhere to put them. Clearly we could live without coasters but… I don’t know what to say. I just wanted coasters.


The Emily and Meritt Bunny Alarm Clock from PB Teen

This was a purely spontaneous purchase, although I would like to have a collection of vintagey clocks one day. I’m not sure I’ve ever loved an inanimate object more except for maybe Beautiful Baby, a doll I’ve had since I was 6 months old.

Replica Industrial Lamp

Replica 1950's Swing-arm Industrial Architects Lamp by Timberson

I’ve been wanting to buy a daylight lamp for my studio table all year. Daylight lamps that are marketed as professional artist lamps are horrible, ugly plastic things but it occurred to me you can just buy daylight bulbs and put them in any lamp. Since this realisation I’ve been on the lookout for a lamp for the better part of a year. Did I mention I’m picky? There are plenty of gorgeous genuine vintage lamps on Etsy but I can’t bring myself to spend $500 or more on a lamp. When I found this replica 1950’s swing-arm industrial architects lamp on Etsy I knew I had found The One. I contacted the maker and was told he doesn’t ship to Australia. Tragedy. After this happened a couple more times I finally settled on the Pottery Barn lamps below.


Clamp Lamp

Green Jumpsuit

This green jumpsuit is truly a thing of beauty. I had mine made with gaucho pants as I was a bit worried I’d look like I was wearing pyjamas otherwise and I had the back made a bit less open. Kari of Clementiny Clothing is the maker and absolutely delightful.