maker week

Helena Fitzgerald calls the week between Christmas and New Year Dead Week. For me, it’s always the opposite — it’s the time of year when I go into a flurry of gift making. Given that most of my loved ones live on the other side of the planet, gifting requires advance planning. I love to start the New Year with a bit of hoard of future presents and cards, ready to pop in the mail at the appropriate time.

For a few years there, USPS wasn’t shipping parcels to Australia, which really put the kibosh on my handmade gift-giving. Even a card was taking up to three months to arrive. Ordering something from Book Depository to be shipped direct to the recipient just didn’t give me the same joy. So I’m thrilled that the mail service seems to be back to its pre-pandemic level of operation (still slow and expensive, but the goods get there within a month.)

All that to say … this isn’t Dead Week. For me, it’s Maker Week. 😊

corona blues

I spent the morning and half the afternoon happily working on a quilt, but noticed that my back was getting really sore. I stopped to stretch and make some tea and suddenly realised that I was SICK. Yep, after managing to avoid it for two years, I have caught the dreaded ‘rona.

Am I still going to feel like daily sketching as the virus runs its course? Of course I’m hoping for a light touch and a quick recovery, but we’ll see!


About 18 months ago, I made a name plaque for Niamh, and here at last is a similar one for her sister Róisín, inspired by Australian wildflowers.

I’ve read that the parcel mail between the US and Australia is flowing freely again, after a couple of years of major slowdown. Let’s see if this gets there in time for her July birthday!

oxalis ink

I thought this ink would be closer to the lemony colour of the flowers themselves, and it might have been if I’d checked in half an hour earlier. But I do love this rich orange. I thickened it with a teaspoon of gum arabic so it is more viscous than watery. I have no idea how fugitive it might be, but time will tell!