Friday, December 31, 2010

happy new year

oh what a neglected little blog. .......have lots to tell everyone and now christmas is over and holidays are in full swing i make a commitment (in writing) to post more regularly ....

hoping you all have a fabulous,wonderful 2011!
love from jane

Saturday, November 6, 2010


It has been soooo long since i have been here i thought i just better put fingers to keyboard and get something new up before my blog becomes totally redundant.

Life is a frantic flow of work with a little trickle of art at the moment.....That is not always a bad thing as long as there are times when life is a frantic flow of art with a little trickle of work.....And we do have our big five week (Christmas Holiday) approaching......full of promise.

It dawned on me how lucky i am to enjoy my job so much....even as difficult and challenging as it is....with my office sandwiched between the two deputies and across the hall from the head teacher welfare  and being the only woman of the four i am often called in to interview some of our more difficult female students and this week has been a real doosey (spelling anyone?).........With one student telling me and the deputy to do sexual acts to ourselves... another calling us racists......another telling us to suck on her "you know what" (go figure)....and last but not least being called a "*******" old B.I.T.C.H.'

The last one really hit home....'old'....'old'... !!!!at 46, I was more than mortified.

Anyway it was still a good week....and i do love my job....To put the above outbursts in perspective this week had some really great moments...... a student who i have been mentoring for a long time actually passed everything required to get her school certificate  (18 months ago it didn't look like she would even come close) unstreamed year 8 English class made it to the hall to do their yearly examination and not one of them got kicked our of the exam (yipee) year 12 students have been wandering in to get their leaving forms signed and to tell me how 'easy' the exam was (which in fact it wasn't....but ...confidance has to be a good thing right????probably not) but lovely just seeing their relieved faces............finally on top of all this i have just  heard i 've been given the  allocation to teach extension english for the hsc in 2011, (a coveted and somewhat closeted position at our school)...SCARRY ...and lots of work....

but TODAY i am off to the studio today to make some very youthfull looking art.
 ........just after i  do 30 minutes on the exercise bike and apply some makeup!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


louis band has been unearthed by triple j.

he is still working in the snow at the moment but is coming home to play in the Indent concert supporting urthboy at the bega showground pavillion on the 8th of october.

ned, louis, jim and riley - Cried Wolf

it is so exciting . u can listen to their music here

Sunday, August 29, 2010

the walking track at the back of my place

the walking track at the back of my place hugs the coast and leads the eye south to the antarctic.  yesterday it felt like the southern ocean lives right on my doorstep with ripping winds and icy ocean spray tearing up the cliff face.  i couldn't resist getting the camera.
 i realized i haven't given much of a description of where i live - here it is......

to the north

to the south

down into the sea

south again

The track was made a few years back (by a local man, as a community project he undertook instead of going to jail). At times it loops dangerously close to the cliff  but offers mesmerisingly beautiful views of the seascape that forms the eastern boundary to the town. 

 If you turn west from any of the above scenes you face about 50 metres of  tea tree which acts as a buffer between the ocean the township of Tathra - about 1600 of us. 

on the other (more fashionable) side of town a beautiful, safe family beach with pristine surf and sand is sheltered in pretty bay.  but i love my side of town with its jaggered wild outlook.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

King Lear - The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

just on the subject of king lear...these socks are very good....

king lear

my yr 11 english class is at the moment studying king lear as their shakespeare module..... 
at first this was a pain having to prepare a new module as i have taught macbeth for the last few years....
but now it is a joy
as shakespeare ALWAYS is......
those of you who have read the play ....
or any of his other big tragedies .....
will appreciate the puzzles and anomalies and treasures
found within
the jewels of language and ideas.
we are particularly enjoying the fool and developing some ideas about how to play him when we begin to act  it out........

the truth and conscience of the play...
able to speak without retribution.....
the fool is a wonderful  shakespearean convention ... speaking nonsense and riddles leads to truth and honesty.....and how to portray him ....young, old, fat, thin, serious, silly, male, female????
we will have a lot of fun deciding!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

painting at tafe

I have started doing an evening art course at tafe  with Veronica O'Leary  teaching (this link shows two of Veronica's paintings if you scoll down).  I did a similar course with Veronica 2 years ago and it was great fun and Veronica is a wonderful teacher.  When i turned up to the class last week we were given a painting by Matisse to use in our first activity so you can imagine my excitement - it already matches my new blog banner!!!  i haven't got far with it yet but want to share some of my favourite Matisse images.



Monday, July 12, 2010

op shop books

I have had a wonderful time scouting the local op shops while I've been on holidays and mostly scoring books. 
I always plan to cut them up and sometimes I do but i must confess i've become a bit of a book horder and I've got a feeling these new additions will not be made into anything in the near future.

Check out this wonderful old collection of encyclopedias.(sorry about the photo) Now i know they are a dime a dozen but these are a real treasure - 1934 - The Modern World Encyclopoaedia - 8 volumnes -
with some really fabulous line drawers scattered throughout.

They remind me of the projects we use to do in primary school - something I use to love doing.  Not much 'higher order thinking' (one of the buzz phrases in educational circles at the moment) but lots of fun and I suspect a fair bit of learning was accidentally happening....I can feel a project coming on!!! could be a great idea for a book without actually cutting them up.  some of you might remember when photocopiers first made their way to school libraries and some (kind) teacher use to photocopy pictures for our projects, they were shiney and the paper slippery  and when coloured with  textas glowed like some dead sea creature...weren't they great!!.

Another book I found today at the Salvos in Bega was a copy of Mother Gooses Nursery Rhymes.  some of them are a real laugh, mainly because of their political incorrectness. Thank god for mother goose, although I don't think youll find too many parents, now days, reading the following to their little darlings. ....tut, tut, tut.

some I had read before,although i don't remember the second stanza of Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater......

but others were new to me....


and i dare anyone of you to explain that a Dick Redcap is actually a riddle
 ....and keep a straight face

Happy mother goosing till next time....there are plenty more!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


The snow was virtually non existent.  i don't know why but i expected to drive into a snow covered landscape of chalets and pine trees glistening with white awnings and snow covered branches.  i now know that i was being very naive - apparently snow very rarely settles on the ground in jindabyne let alone creates the snowland scenes of christmas cards that i was so anticipating.   anyway it was good to catch up with louie and have a look around jindabyne. 

It wasn't what i expected at all.  i hadn't thought about what a young town it is - both in terms of population and physical existence. and it does really show.  i stopped counting both the number of pubs and the number of ski clothing shops. the place must be so different in summer, i couldn't help but think those shops must close down.  i suppose it is a little bit like tathra but in reverse, we get an influx of tourists for the summer months but we only have one pub and zero clothing shops even then. 
but apart from the number of pubs and clothing shops  what really bothered me was the lack of anything else. i'm sure if i'd  had longer to explore i might have found an op shop, or a wool/textiles shop or a cute little gallery hiding ashamedly in a back street somewhere. but the few hours i had to entertain myself (while the boys were doing car stuff) i couldn't find anything.... except there was a fabulous book shop (and one shouldn't complain as long as there is a bookshop)

and i could of spent a fortune....especially since it had a great kids section full of wonderful picture books (for me of course)...however i did refrain and only bought two books - 

Taller When Prone  by Les Murray

Gravel by Peter Goldsworthy

We have a bookshop down home, and it a particularly good shop too, but contemporay poetry collections and short stories are not usually on the shelves for browsing. so it was wonderful just to pick these books up and  flick through. 

.....and to read anything by mr murray is a delight.... and this collection has a number of little descriptions that vividly highlight his lucid perceptions..... such as this one;


This police car with a checkered seam
of blue and white teeth along its side
lies in cover like a long-jawed
flat dog beside the traffic stream.

I have only read one of Goldsworthy's stories, Shooting the Dog, but if that is anything to go by i can't wait to read the rest......
but for now ........

 back home and still 10 days of to the studio....lucky, lucky me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

off to the snow

we only live 2 hours from the snow but i very rarely visit. but today we (bill and me) are going up to see louie who is working there for the winter. i am as excited as a kid at christmas.  i hope it's snowing!! at the moment it's raining here so that might  a bad sign.  maybe its a good sign.  i know nothing about snow. 
anyway off to rug up in long johns, scarf and beanie and head off to a white fairy land.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

snap short film

thought to share this quirky short film snap but accidently posted it to BAO. Head over for a look.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


It has been too long since i've said anything here that I am just putting fingers to keyboard so  it actually looks like the blog is not defunct. 

Work is getting crazier by the day and I am beginning to wonder if I made a mistake becoming a head teacher.  I did know what I was in for, and most of the time I do enjoy it but i am tired and overworked and getting frustrated....the holidays are not far away and I'll be able to regroup  and do some making. 

I have made very little lately and am looking forward to the next BAO project to spur me on. .....

I did knit a little teddy bear last night while I was watching, my only compulsory television since American Idol finished last week,  - Doc Martin and The Bill.

He was fun to make and is knitted in one piece with a fold at the top of the head and seams sewn down the side of the  body. You can find the pattern here.

Here he is with the fruit and veg and a scratchie that won $9 - ( Yes, I did resort to gambling as an alternative retirement plan!! and Yes, $9 is going to last for about 2 seconds,   so.......... i am going back to work on Monday )

Here he is on the window sill watching me wash up......lazy teddy!

Here he is with oldest son,Jack's  thermos, ready to head of to work.....plumber teddy!

 Here is a photo of teddy with a picture of Louis  (youngest son) who is off to the snow to work next week....cold teddy!!!

Here he is in my sifter.....baking teddy!

And finally here he is playing the guitar .........Teddy Santana!!!

I hope this counts as a blog post!! Really a lot of nonsense I know but.....

 it has stopped me worrying about work for a while ................but I better get off and do some for now.   
I am promising to post a book next week!!!

cao for now.  

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I Love Fairy Tales

It's true, I do.  I know I'm not alone.  In fact it is probably a tad cheesy now days to be stuck in the 1980s and confessing to continually reliving a neo-Jungian/Freudian preoccupation with our mythical roots. But I don't care.  I love Fairy Tales. 

My most recent reliving of this passion was one of those '6 degrees of separation' type thingies

1) I  found a copy of the The Complete Illustrated Stories of Hans Christian Anderson (a facsimile of the 1889 translation), in Vinnies in Bega and with the wonderful illustrations by AW Bayes. Had a bit of a flick through and put it away promising to read from cover to cover (948 pages) when I had a spare moment. (please!!!)

about 2 weeks later........

2) I went to the ETA conference (for English teachers) in Sydney and did a workshop on Visual Literacy and one of the picture books studied was Anthony Brown's Into the Forest - a wonderful picture book that pastiches a number of fairy tales.

came home and ...........

3)Bought a copy of Into the Forest, promising to develop a Unit of Work for my Year 11 English class.


3) Hunted out my old copy of JC Cooper's Fairy Tales Allegories of the Inner Life. (1st year psychology 101 - 1983 -  luckily for everyone I went down the English/Philosophy route and didn't continue with 2nd year psychology 101)

A couple of months went by and....

4 ) I found three (please remember three is a very symbolic number in Fairy Tales) kids board books at a jumble sale at Tathra Country Club  and thought they would make great altered books....plonked them in the studio (as you do)  and promised to get back to them

Another couple of months go by.....

5) Making a card for a friend who loves witches and searching for a picture found an old copy of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs .............

and finally ...........
click, click click..........(yes that was my mind)
click click click....

had an epiphany (I know you don't have to say it........)

6) Ran around like a mad woman.....(I know you don't have to say......)

 Every book in the house that had any link to Fairy Tales .....Hans Christian Anderson, JC Cooper, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Classic Fairy Tales, Into the Forest, Dictionary of Symbolism, etc. etc etc.....spread out on  the dinning table, sharing my bed, in the toilet, in the car, in the classroom, in the office, staffroom....


so much for marking, prepping, cleaning, cooking, conversing with family, patting dogs, weeding weeds.....

there are so many ....and so may new ones .....the Hans Christian Anderson book is an absolute GEM.

As is the JC Cooper Fairy Tales Allegories of the Inner Life.  I love trying to find meaning in everything, maybe that is why I love Fairy Tales so much - they are so symbolic, allegorical and archetypal.  There is one chapter in the book that deals with Time and the Sleeper and starts with a discussion of the ritual opening of  of a fairy tale - Once upon a time......the purpose they suggest is to '....take the narrative out of time and into a state in which events are no longer controlled by the normal, so that ordinary standards disappear, or lose their values....."

 ...yes please.

Anyway my obsession has settled down a little ......I did manage to cook a meal and clean off the dinning room table enough for us to eat at it ........but it has focused itself in an appropriation of Snow of my all time favourites ..I love apples and I love sleeping ...and hopefully will be able to share some images and words with you soon but in the meantime it has been   ..... lovely to revisit old friends....make new connections ......and generally have a few moments of madness, and irresponsibility.

PS I still haven't read all of Hans Christian Anderson but i really enjoyed a story called The Aunt .

If you have a fairy tale you love please let know about it.

PSS please excuse my 'six degrees of separation'!!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cleaning up, I found this book/magazine from 1952. It was on B's bedside table. I think it was my father-in-laws (many of the 'ideas' remind me of gadgets he often made).

Check them out:

This one is an absolute necessity, I am surprised I haven't requested one before, to file away clippings and recipes 'in alphabetical order'.

Now this one, a ticket dispenser, is a bit of a worry. So far we haven't had to issue tickets at our house for anything?? Am I missing the point somehow or are we forgetting ourselves when we invite people around?

This one I seriously want. Check out the scrubbing brush attached to the side of his desk to hold his brushes!!! Brilliant idea.  Almost as good as the cotton reels nailed next to each other on the  inside of a cupboard door to slot knives in between.

This one is my favourite and I can't wait for a tree to die so we can try it out. "A novel lawn ornament which affords a welcome spot of shade can be achieved by disguising the trunk of a dead tree to look like a giant toadstool.....Both the trunk and the wire mesh top are coated a a mortar-like cement mixture to give a stucco effect."....I am actually lost for words....just a little anxious for the safety of the children in the photo.

This one is the fore runner of those wine glass charms everyone got for christmas 2 or 3 years ago (I actually loved them)....... "you can be sure guests won't pick up the wrong one by giving each guest a peronalized glass marked with his own initials.This is done easily by hand-lettering the initials on the side of the tumbler with a china marking pencil....After the party just remove the initials with soap and water." 
Just think in 1952 this was an 'idea'. I think it goes to show that 'china marking pencils' were a real novelty back then.

This one is titled DECORATED STATIONARY GREETS EVERY SEASON and is encocuraging all  young housewives to marble their paper and envelopes in colours 'in tune with the season'.

There are hundreds of ideas in this treasure of a magazine...too many more to share. What an insight into what life was like...some of the ideas are very sound and make our attempts at reusing and recycling timid and pathetic. 

Louis' band have been getting a few gigs lately and i'm just wondering if I should.......

Back to work tomorrow...might be a good thing!!!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

book review

Holidays are almost over and head back to term 2, tomorrow. I have had a fantastic break. I didn't go anywhere so actually got a bit done around the place and spent a bit of time in the studio.

Last term I bought some pretty cool books on book making, and have had a chance to have a good look at them:

by Kojiro Ikegami

and Esther K Smith

I love Smith's style - both her layout, the images she uses and the type of books she makes.  She takes the simple books from childhood and gives us permission to use them at the level of artists book.  She has an example of the turkish map fold i used for BAO, (she calls it a pop-up map fold). Some of the other book types she talks about are pocket movies, origami star, shaped pamphlet and, my favourite, cross stitch star book.  Her diagrams are a little hard to follow but you can get them with a little bit of imagination. This book is definitely worth a look.  It took me back to primary school in a grown up sort of way.

Ikegami's book on Japanese book binding is a very different animal. Slick and informative it requires focused ready.  But it is well worth it. If you read the debate on Amanda's site about stab binding you might find it worthwhile to take a look at this book.  It does not try to bring the Japanese binding styles into the 21st century but it doesn't have to. It simply gives clear instructions on things such as four hole binding (kangxi, hemp-leaf, tortoise shell, chinese style, Yamato) Accordon books ledgers, scolls and miltisection book.  

It has very detailed. If you like lots of coloured pictures of examples and varitations of the styles (something i usually do) this is not the book for you. but i appreciated the information that was shared.  It certainly increased the already huge respect I have for stab bound books. Again definitely worth a look.

I am in the process of altering some board books I bought at the op shop last term.  have spent a lot of time gessoing and covering them and am now doing a lot of writing and drawing to fill them. Great fun!
Covered this one with an old butterick dress pattern, one with a old typewriting excercises and another with a maps from a jaranda school atlas.

have also done a couple more stick trees ....

ciao for now!