Sunday, May 29, 2011


Noun: pentimenti
A visible trace of earlier painting beneath one or multiple layers of paint on a canvas.
(from Italian-literally repentance)

I have certainly changed my mind many times in life and it seems almost that nature does too, shedding the old leaves in Autumn and redrawing nature in Spring.
Gathering up the 60 or so bags of leaves our massive Liquidamber tree sheds in the Autumn gives me plenty of time to muse on past deeds and future resolutions...stay posted.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A timely postcard.

Thanks Debbie for this cute card, I sure could use some help to make me run fast!
The fruit is called in Japan, Crow Melon and I can only guess why it is considered a charm to make you run fast. Although,.. as the English name is Snake Gourd,  I would run away from it! Both rather sinister names for such a decorative plant.
I tried yesterday's etegami in a different colour and I think I like it better, any opinions?

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Sometimes I am convinced that I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder even though our winter is laughably mild...grey gloomy days really make my mood take a nosedive. Layers of clothing, shut up rooms, sniffles and cold weather  are anathema to me.
I dream of beaches (where I never usually go), bare skin (which I hardly ever show) and ice cream (which makes me throw (up)) Can you have double parenthesese?
All this is leading up to today's etegami which is decidedly gloomy and was prompted by news of yet more natural disasters this time in the US.
Thank goodness that Pandora's jar (Box?) had a lip where that little bit of trembling hope became trapped.  I am sending that hope, to all the people of the affected areas, on the wings of an origami crane, traditional bearer of hope.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chrysanthemum etegami

Still being inspired by the lovely bunch of 'mums and lillies given to me for Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Etegami for my mum on Mother's Day.

Finally feel I can post this, the poem seems to say it all.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I love swaps!!!!!!!

My new friend in Tasmania, Gay Mckinnon (silvergum studio) who is an amazing glass artist and accomplished illustrator was kind enough to agree to a swap of works. I love her illustrations and asked if she could as a special favour make me one of her glass pendants using her avatar of a cute koala. She agreed and I sent her a couple of my cards and some etegami she had admired.
Although she was not very happy with the koala, I love him and the shell pendant she sent along with him, I think it is so special to have something made just for you so I will treasure them always. They were accompanied by one of her cards, can you find THE koala?
The problems in Japan have not gone away even though the media have moved on to other news but they still trouble the minds of etegamists ( if there is such a word) and I recently received this one from my friend Mayumi expressing the hope that we will all support the Japanese people through their troubles. It was accompanied by this whimsical rabbit (it is the year of the rabbit) card.

Now about that government watch list I am I am not an agent for a foreign country but I do have friends who send me postcards made out of material other than bleached paper (the owls above are a case in point) and this makes the Quarantine Service very nervous. In Australia we have very stringent quarantine regulations in order to preserve our isolation from many of the bugs, animals and plant diseases that plague the rest of the world, consequently I have had quite a lot of my mail opened. As traditional Japanese aesthetics embrace a rustic ideal, in many cases some of the materials I have been sent are in their natural state and that makes them interesting to the quarantine sniffer dogs. Quite a bit of my mail has arrived with bright yellow stickers on "opened by the quarantine service". I hope they are doing as good a job with other substances, though I guess the people importing the 'other substances' get more than a yellow sticker! 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The new reality

The new reality is that I am a 65 year old orphan...Blessed to have my mum for all of that time.
We buried her on wednesday in a short but moving ceremony held at the graveside. The day was sunny and cool and as with most funerals, relatives whom we had not seen for years appeared. At the wake we were able to catch up on the news happening in their families in the intervening years. Our son made the trip from Singapore and is staying for a few days which is lovely.
I returned home to the sight of my Tree Dahlia blooming in all of it's glory, something which will no doubt remind me of this time . Usually the plant is anything up to 4 metres high but this year it blew over in the wind and became tangled up with other plants to create a glorious mess. The dinner plate sized blooms last for a short time but are worth the wait.
I am keen to post some of the wonderful etegami etc that I have received recently so check back soon

Friday, May 6, 2011

All things must pass...

My darling mum was taken from us last night after a terrible few months of suffering. I am glad she is no longer in pain, the pain is now in our hearts.
Thank goodness I have a younger brother who has shouldered the responsibility of being with her everyday in hospital which is far away from me. My other brother has been a stalwart in later years always being there for mum who was blind and remained in her own home.
I was lucky enough to see her while she was still barely conscious but she deteriorated rapidly after that. Here she is as a very serious 13 year old fashionably coiffed with rolls in her hair.
And here in later years, laughing at her solution to walking in the wet grass in my backyard.

Vale mum.