Articles by Caitlin

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Have you heard? will gradually be shut down – please adjust your bookmarks and links and come on over and join me at my new site, Caity Makes …

Time to…


I reckon every so often, you need to MOVE.  (Not just your body – although please, please PLEASE let the Oroxine work and me stop being such a slug!)

No, I mean, a MOVE.  Where things get sorted out and clutter gets thrown, and you get to actually organise and start fresh.

So – I’m packing (virtual) boxes, loading them into my (virtual) car and caravan (so cute!) and moving.  Stay tuned!

AHA! Went to the doctor today – my thyroid levels have gone quite wonky since my last lot of bloodwork.  So – I get to start on yet another medicine (Oroxine) – which hopefully will help with the constant cold, dry skin, and generally feeling like a particularly lazy three toed sloth.

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Our internet access is throttled so I’m spending a lot of time waiting for pages or mail to load (playing a lot of “mah jong” – it’s not mah jong at ALL, it’s like memory or patience or something, anyway…)

Did I mention that the Oroxine could well help with the thingummyjig?  You know, the bit where my remembery isn’t working terribly well?  Hmmm.

Must go now.  Cold.

Also – new  domain coming soon.  Wheee?

Sorry if my words are a little indistinct – I’m talking to you whilst eating (dreadfully rude, I know!) HUMBLE PIE.

(Thankfully, not Umble pie – because, you know, the origin of that? The umbles were the guts of the beast. I don’t care if that is venison, beef, whatever – it’s still OFFAL PIE. And I do not eat offal, it’s awful… (And to further parenthesize that statement, the joke probably only works with a certain sort of accent) (and can you tell I just re-watched The Pirates of Penzance on the weekend?!) (how many parentheses does that make?))

Not that long ago (see post HERE and here…, because I forgot I’d already done a rant about the same topic) I was VERY dismissive of scrap-booking and scrap-bookers. I believe the question “where’s the creativity?” may even have been asked, in ALL CAPS yet.


Humble, humble, apologetic pie. Because I have been doing some surfing online and maaaaaaaaan! What I saw! Yes, there are a lot of people out there doing ho – hum – follow -*to the millimetre* – what –  Simon – says (for “Simon” insert magazine/tutorial/teacher/whatever) – they’re not the ones I’m talking about. No, the really inspiring ones are people like Ali Edwards, Jen Fei-Fan Balzer, Dina Wakley

And the TOYS! I want a Cricut Expression (with the design software, please and thank you), oh, sooooo much. (And not just for its possible use in ummmmm… pirate stencilling, *wink*).

And spray inks! and oh, the pretty pretty papers… and grungey papers… and rub ons (not as dirty as they sound, you feeeeelthy minded person, you!).

And then there’s the digital side.. which has opened my access to whollllllllllllllle ‘nother world, even if I am still at the stage where I like to play with the images on the computer screen but then print and hand colour and cut and paste (nothing wrong with hybrid stuff –  – I mean, have you SEEN Marsha’s work? She makes beautiful wonderful art… and so does CD Muckosky – and so do many others, I’m sure).

And it’s not all expensive stuff – check out this tutorial (which I haven’t watched because our internet is throttled, arrrgh!)

Apart from the fact that ‘they’ tend to work on 12×12 pages, and generally use a few more photos than I do (although THAT will be changing, I’m taking LK’s Point and Shoot Journalling class in just over a week!) – where is the difference between what ‘they’ are doing and what I’m calling art journals?

Not a whole lot. I tend to use more handwritten text but even that’s not a distinguishing factor. So do ‘they’. So – (as I take another slice of humble pie) – I was WRONG.



SO what IS the difference, can anyone enlighten me? Between – hmmm, let’s call it ‘liberated scrap-booking’ (and hope no one else has already called something that!) and art journals – WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

”][click for big - be warned, LARGE so you can read if you want]

1001 am Sept 23 sky

Nope, not a sepia tint – this is really how it looks outside right now!

10 am sept 23 sky

[clicky for big on these images]

The air is full of dust.  Super fine red grit is all over everything.  And it tastes… dusty.  We’re both snuffling and sneezing and my eyes are watering (it’s going to be a day when I use a LOT of my eyedrops – I have chronically dry eyes anyway, so with dust in them? BLEAGGH!)   Planes have been diverted from Sydney to Brisbane (! ) and Brisbane planes are waiting for the dust to clear.

I’m going to be hiding in bed, possibly with my CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine running  – it has good filters and the humidifier really helps – I can feel my chest getting tight so I’m off to grab some ventolin (bronchodilator) .  Hope everyone else is ok!

Sept 22 prompt

[clicky biggy, yada yada]

Yep, my memory… what was I saying?

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A bit insular – behind tinted glasses (they’re those ones that go darker in the sun, but I won’t be buying them again – I think ordinary glasses plus sunglasses are better) and with my MP3 player blasting P!nk.

I was thinking about how most of my time is spent in the company of women … apart from Mr Beloved I have very few interactions with men.  Most of my doctors are female; most of the shop assistants I talk to when I shop – the only men (apart from Mr Beloved!) I talk to on a regular basis are my Dad (on Sundays, during the weekly phone call) and the Butchers at the shops.

It’s not that I’m anti-men, there are many good blokes around.  Just not that many around ME.

Most of the BOOKS I read are written by women. Most of the music I listen to is created by women. (Well, written/sung by , if not produced by.)

Ah, I’ve just thought of the exception: the radio.  I listen to ABC Radio National a lot, and on there I’d hear more men that women, every day.

As I was thinking about this, Ricë wrote a post about men & art.  I think I am stuck in a bit of an “all girl’s club”  – but to be honest, I’m grateful to find people who ‘get’ me at all, regardless of how they identify.

Thing is – I’m not very good at people right now.  Men OR Women.  I’m feeling pretty vulnerable, tired, fragile, uncertain.  Like if just one person comes along with a sharp pin that I might just explode – or maybe just sag away quietly, a soggy mess in the corner.

The visit to the gastroenterologist was… interesting.  Let’s say that she and I have very different values.  And because it was the first time we had dealt with each other, she didn’t really know (or take time to know) the back issues that got me here… ah well, I’ll take some of her advice, but I don’t think what she suggested is going to fix the problem.  At least she’s sent me off with a form for more blood work in January.

Meantime, I keep plodding along…

So I’m doing this online thing with Kelly Kilmer and it’s AWESOME, a painting prompt, collage prompt, and journalling prompt every day.  I think it’s really pushing me out of my comfort zone (layers of acrylic paint!) and yesterday I was happily painting the background when I saw this figure start to emerge.

(Be gentle, she’s not done yet, and I don’t normally paint  – ummmm – recognisable things! )


What do you think? I’m not quite sure where she’s going next, why there’s a bird on her head, or what she’s doing but we’ll work it out.

And now my confession: I LOVE ALL THINGS HALLOWEEN-Y!!

There, I’ve said it.

It’s not a holiday we celebrate down under (sadly!) so the very few bits and bobs of Halloween stuff we get in the shops tend to be of the very low end, cheap-nylon-witch-hat-with-attached-purple-wig variety.  (No disrespect intended to any cheap nylon witches.)

And alllll the arty blog girls are making AWESOME Halloween stuff – I mean, check out these bunnies who’ve decided that Bunnies aren’t just for Easter! And of course the SPOOKTACULAR stuff over at Cart Before the Horse (who BTW are having an awesome giveaway, go there now! Oh wait, DON’T, cos I want to win it! No, hang on, DO, because their stuff is WONDERFUL!).

Am I a lone Aussie in love with Halloween?





I didn’t forget to take my 365 self portrait yesterday – I just didn’t have my computer. It had been getting a wee bit unstable, as these things do, so it was time to save all the data and do a “nuke & pave” – wipe the whole box clean and install a whole new Operating System.  I must say, I LOVE LINUX MINT!!  Super easy to manage, (I did the install by myself! Try doing THAT with a w1nd0ws OS!) and the price is awesome (FREE!).  My computer is now back up to date and running faster – I just have to make time to trawl through all the backed up files and see what REALLY needs keeping.

And I’m very gradually learning how to do more things in GIMP – all the layers and brush tools and so on like ph0t0sh0p, but again – FREE!!  We love that price!

Today I had a lovely shopping morning with BFF Sue – I only bought a couple of very necessary T-shirts, booooooorrrring! Oh, and a small pressie that I have to mail off tomorrow for a friend in Oregon. (Tee hee! I will show what it is once she has hers – it was so cute I had to buy one for myself, too!)

Off to the gastroenterologist this arvo.  *shudder* Hope she can at least point me in the direction of some answers – I’m really tired of stomach/abdominal pain.  Ugh.

Open the door and come in

Open the door and come in

[clicky biggy, obviously]

And finally for this post – a book recommendation.  I’m a hyuuuuuuuuuge fan of Elizabeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody mysteries, but she’s getting on (both Elizabeth and Amelia!) and I dread there being no more new books. So I was delighted to read a new (to me) archaeological/mystery heroine – not the same as Amelia, no one ever could be, but quirky, completely in her time period ( I have been known to throw books at the wall for the sin of anachronism) and with delightful detail.  Barbara Cleverly is possibly my favourite new find this year!  I stayed up finishing the first book (Tomb Of Zeus) last night and started the second over breakfast this morning.  I’m hoping this will be the start of a looooong series of Laetitia Talbot books!


(Barbara Cleverly also writes the Detective Joe Sandilands series, but I haven’t read any of those yet.)

Right, that’s about it from me, gotta go find where I’ve put the papers I need to take with me to the specialist…

He’s 70 today but in this photo he was still showroom shiny!

baby dad

Look at that booful smile!  Look at those chubby cheeks! Who’s got wuvvy curly hair, then!  (You were a beautiful baby, Dad, who grew into a beautiful man, and I love ya!)

This was a postcard preview made by the studio photographer – on the back it has “Mrs Miller” and her address in Rozelle (A Sydney suburb they lived in , this would have been in 1940, and Granpa was probably already away at the war).  Then the scrawl continues:

1 Colour Panel, 2 Sepia Panel  11/6

Fair hair

Blue eyes

apple green suit

collect Nov 9th

deposit 2/-

When Nana gave me this photo she told me that the “apple green suit” was her first bit of knitting.  (She went on to become a PROLIFIC knitter!)

I don’t know if the colourised or bigger sepia versions of this picture even exist anymore.  We weren’t a big family for having photos up – probably because Granpa and Dad both used slide film up until they mid 1980s.  There are HUNDREDS of yellow boxes of slides sitting at Mum and Dad’s that need to be scanned and recorded (or tossed..)  – again, I’m really ITCHING to get my hands on them, but I have to be patient!

(If nothing else, all those potential altered slide mounts! Wheeeeee! But do I really need any more clutter?)

I’m hanging out for some photos of us all from younger days – as my memory gets worse (and yes, I have booked the tests to attempt to quantify this) having pictures seems more important.

By the way, I’m taking a class next month on using photos in art journals – L.K. Ludwig’s Point and Shoot Journaling.

(Bugger – does journaling have ONE L or TWO? I can’t decide and the spellchecker is not helping.)

I’m all set for the class to start – just need to find a better alternative to “Clear spray paint” (I assume to seal the images once we’re done working on them?) because that stuff a) totally sucks for the environment and b) flares up my asthma.  So does anyone have any suggestions for me, please?

Family Ephemera

So I’ve been thinking a lot about ephemera lately – finding it, and using it in my journals.   When my Nana’s house was cleared out, I inherited many interesting things – this is one of my favourites that I only recently discovered in an envelope full of saved stamps:

The stamp dates from 1936 and celebrates the Centenary of (the State of) South Australia, where my grandfather was born (and coincidentally, where my brother now lives in the very small suburb of Granpa’s birthplace!

So I love the handwritten notation “This is news to me.”

I have no idea who wrote it but it makes me laugh.

news to me

My parents are currently cleaning out their house of many accumulated things and part of me want to go down there and RESCUE it all and bring it back here!  HOW HOARDISH AND SILLY IS THAT?

(but look, you never know what cool stuff you might find….)

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An action shot today!  Yep, despite the low level migraine that’s been bothering me since early last night, I actually got some journalling done today.  (Of course, if you wanna see JOURNALLING, you must go check out Teesha Moore’s most recent posts – I am in AWE, always, of her work.)

One of the things I do when I get into a period of slump and self doubt about my art (dare I even call it that?!) is re-read two fabulous books by Peter H. Reynolds: (Who now has a blog!)

the dot


Both are wonderful stories about overcoming your fear of creating – Vashti’s teacher gets her to just make a mark in art class… and her creativity leaps from there. And Ramon’s drawings are not to his satisfaction, but his sister treasures them and says it doesn’t matter what it was supposed to look like – it looks (x) ISH!

*sigh* Love that.

I’m off to make DOTS. (Speaking of which, you might also like to see Jude at Spirit Cloth’s exploration of dots – really beautiful textiles.)

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Although it was previously thought that there were only two types of dirt: white dirt that shows on dark things, and dark dirt that shows on white things, recent experiments with sepia images proves that there is in fact another type – SUPER WHITE dirt that shows up on sepia.

(and hey look – all those books are right – the size of one’s hand IS just about the same as the size of one’s head! Useful to know to get proportions in drawing right…)

I fell asleep during the race this arvo. *sigh* I woke up just at the end of the last lap when Mr Beloved was shaking me “You’ll want to see this!” – poor Lowndesy was pipped at the post!! Never mind, we’ve got Monza to look forward to in a couple of hours – and LEWIS is on pole!!  WOOOHOOOO!

I’m sure most of that was gibberish to most of you, never mind, I will find other things to tell you.


Not so much going on with the art of late… I really should go up and paint now, instead of hanging about down here online.  It’s just that there is there rest of an utterly DELECTABLE rice pudding upstairs, and I am weak…. if I go near it, I’m sure another bowlful will mysteriously disappear…

Nope, I will be strong.  I need to go play with paint!

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Playing with settings on the camera.  I like sepia.

Another day where I was so exhausted and in so much pain I went back to bed at 4 pm and just stayed there til 9 pm.


Couldn’t even READ.

Tomorrow has to be better, if only because I want to watch the V8 supercars in the first of the enduro races…

(and a postscript: scrolling back through previous posts, I was amused by the similarity of these two images:

kindyme sept 5

4 (turning 5) and 41.  Scary!

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Yeah, it’s not going to win me any photographic awards, but I kinda like the dark foreground.  Me and Miss Kit Tern this arvo.

Also today – The Story Of The Printer.  Which Mr Beloved is writing up has written and he tells is much better than I do – I shall just say KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! And don’t buy a Kodak ESP-3 All in One multifunction printer. They suck.

For the purposes of where Mr Beloved originally sent the story, Caity is referred to as The Evil Vicar’s Wife (TEVW) and Mr Beloved is known as The Goat or as The Irreverent Mr Black.

Probably best not to ask why….

It came to pass, in those days, that TEVW did purchase a new printer for her photography and fiddly stuff, and behold, it was made by the Yellow Box Photo Stuff People. Here is its likeness.


It printeth not upon the square, and its rectangles were sort-of trapezoids with some curvature. Lo, its suckage was great. TEVW looketh upon the sites and forums, and crieth: “Bugger. Lots of people are having trouble with these. I shall send it back for a refund”.

She calleth upon the Children of Off-Us-Jerks. Verily, they sendeth her on telephone tag round their encampment, even unto the whole goddamn twelve tribes, until her call pitcheth forth at the tent of Tech Guy.

“Alas, O Tech Guy. My printer functioneth not as a printer, but melteth my images as if the demon Salvador Dali tormenteth it. This is a curse upon its kind, as written in the chronicles of the prophet Intarwub, and I wish to get my shekels back.”

The Tech Guy maketh the sound of the Hrumph, and reciteth he from a scroll by the phone, saying: “We refundeth not, nor giveth we credit. No, there are no exceptions to this rule, and we don’t care nyah nyah nyah. We sendeth thy piddly little piece of equipment to its makers beyond the sea and they fixeth it, for no fault attacheth to us and it is all out of our teflon-coated hands, so there.”

TEVW saith, “But surely the Fair Trading Act 1989, Section 40…”

But behold, he cutteth her off, saying that there are no exceptions to policy.

A certain Goat was close by, and heareth the woe of TEVW. He waxed, both wroth and the tips of his straggly moustache.

He strideth to the phone, and dialleth the tribe of Jerks, specifically Off-Us. His tone was as honey, and his pronunciation was as precise as an old-time ABC newsreader, for a very angry Goat must constantly remember to be polite.

“Good morrow, entry-level staffer. I am sorry, but I must speak with a manager, as our last call has been largely disappointing.” (words have been changed for archaic effect, but the tone is similar.)

And in due time, cometh the manager to the telephone.

The Goat, who was Black, recited the Litany Of Crappy Results, and brought the tidings that the tribe of ESP-3 was cursed by the peoples of Forum.

“We expected a printer”, he saith. “A distorter of images was not what we paid for.”

And lo, the Manager beginneth to read from the Scroll Of Store Policy.

Quoth the Goat: “Does the policy override Consumer Law, or is it the other way? Please remind me as I am a very forgetful Goat, and would not like to need to ask the Office Of Fair Trading which was more powerful.”

And behold, the Manager’s eyes were opened. Fucking wide.

And so it was that a refund was issued.

The moral of today’s sermon is to know your consumer rights. How the hell it is, that a store can have a “policy” which encourages staff to flout the law, and can continue to promote such a policy, is a mystery which is not to be unravelled this side of the grave.

(Note: Good service was given at the same store, and many of its staff are great help. It’s the policy that sucks donkey-spheres.)

So there you have it.  Good Triumphed over Evil and they All Lived Happily Ever After. What more could you want from a story?

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I had zero zip nada energy today. In fact, at one point Mr Beloved brought me in a cuppa and a bikkie in the hope it would wake me up.  I woke up several hours later with a cold cuppa on the table beside me and a shortbread with one bite taken out of it in my hand…


But NOT HAPPY, Telstra!


Not much to say tonight, have a picture or two:

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wooly Connie

Tuesday morning she was woolly…

And then in the afternoon she came home looking much more svelte!  Here she is today:

bare Connie

and of course now it’s supposed to be only 8 overnight (C, that is!46.4 F) so we had to dig out a jumper (sweater) for her.

Connie was Not Amused.


“These are NOT MY HAPPY EARS!”

Hiall,writing this from a kiosk( and trying not to breathe since the man nexttomehasa VERY different idea of personal hygienetomine…) and the spacebaronly workssometimes..

Ourphone line at homeisdown.  Grrrr bloody telstrainfastructure,this happensevery time wegetmorethan about3mm ofrain…. sono phone andNO INTERNETforgoodnessknows how long.


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Me, early-ish this morning.  I have Big Plans for today – yep, we’re going out. To the shops. To buy food.



“Doctors are up in arms over official Queensland Health Department guidelines which urge weary medics to drink six cups of coffee a day to fight off fatigue.”

Say WHAT? So, now not only are we likely to be treated in hospital for emergency care by some poor bugger who’s been up for 72 hours, they’ll be jittery on caffeine as well? Oh please tell me that this is someone’s idea of a joke… not more doctors, shorter shifts, nooooo, MORE DRUGS, that’s the answer! Why not just give them those Sooper Sekrit combat drugs that I’m sure various armies have developed and let them go until they COLLAPSE IN A SCREAMING JIBBERING HEAP, huh, Queensland Dept of Health?

You know, I’ve been pretty lucky with health care – touch wood – I’ve been able to go to hospital when I needed to.  And when I’ve been there, I’ve had excellent care.  But WHY would anyone WANT to be a doctor, knowing these are the conditions you will be forced to work under, at least while you complete the hospital part of your training? Is there ANY other profession that treats (ha!) people like this?

I am shaking my head in wonderment.

And considering not reading the news anymore, it’s just FREAKIN’ ME OUT.

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3 of 365 – not something that needed hospital care, just a slight burn to my inner right arm from hugging a hot water bottle.

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