Sunday, July 10, 2016

My personal website

Ive published a website outlining the things I do now. Little  is not so little now. This blog is a beautiful trip down memory lane of the wonder filled first 8 years of his life, and my life as a mother. Now I am ready to get on with some other things that I have developed a passion for since becoming a mum.
I never expected that our travels to Vietnam when he was so young, and my discovery of my love for sketching and street food would have me in a place where I now am able to offer you all my services as a tour guide. I am excited to show you what I've learned, the fabulous places I've sketched in, and the delicious food I've eaten. Most interestingly, the connections I've formed over the years by going to the markets with a sketch book and a small child, have connected me to the women in the markets, the mothers, the families and the vendors on a deep and satisfying level.
I am taking Vietnamese language classes, primarily to enrich my relationships with the locals, and to understand the culture more thoroughly. I have learnt how to cook all my favourite Vietnamese dishes. My love for Vietnam and its people has grown stronger over the years, and its my pleasure to show you how wonderful, friendly delicious and exciting this country is.
Ive also listed my artwork and craftwork for sale, and connected all my social media to my website as a place where all that I do comes together in one place. Please go and have a look. I intend to add more content as time allows, and more details on my personal and group tours as they develop.
My website Art Food Culture
my personal family journal has been on Facebook since 2013, around the same time I stopped blogging here. This is the link. I hope to get them off Facebook and put them all here one day soon. If that doesn't happen, then go here.
Ive also got a private instagram account for freinds and family: messyfish1

Friday, March 06, 2015

ras el hanout

ras el hanout

4 whole nutmeg
10 dried rose buds
12 cinnamon sticks
12 blades of mace
1 tbs aniseeds
2 small pace or kris root
2 dried cayenne peppers
1/2 tsp lavender
1 tbs white peppercorns
2 pce galangal
2 tbs whole ginger root
6 cloves
24 allspice berries
20 white cardamom pods
4 black cardamom pods

Monday, October 14, 2013

we have been travelling!

My new love, Vietnam. The people, the street food, the culture! Oh my, I have a lot to share with you. Stay tuned... exciting things happening in this space!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Phat's Pho Restaurant

So I ask the tourists why they are in a tourist restaurant. Are they aware that the food place across the road is 5 times better and 5 times cheaper? They say they saw a picture of the Pho on the wall, and that they know what that is, so they came in. The restaurant across the road I  refer to is a pho restaurant. But they don't see that, because they are so accustomed to graphic design, rather than their common sense of observation to inform them. I remember being very confused in India for the same reason. No signs, no understanding on my part of what goes on... I used to think "India needs better graphic design". Now I think "thankfully I am going slow enough here to work a few things out".

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Washing up at the end of the day

This young girl washes up the glasses and equipment used during the day at the busy juice stand at the local market in Hoi An, Vietnam. Today was raining and it was unusually quiet. I saw her playing cards with her fellow employees. She was laughing so hard she nearly fell off her chair! Always sming, always trying to get little Messyfish's attention! They live kids here. It's pure joy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Our very favourite noodle stand at the local market! Mr Messyfish's favourite too! They all ask "where's your husband".  (he is in australia working and looking after his oldest son)....but i deliciously slurp down the goodness.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hoi An, Vietnam

Here to sit out Australia's winter. Enjoying the food, warm weather, people and lively markets.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Gum leaf

Coloured Pencil, 297 x 420mm, 220gsm acid free paper

Little things

We went on an adventure into country NSW, Australia with our local friends. I baked some almond raspberry cookies to thank the neighbours for feeding the pets whilst we were gone.

Sweet little biscuits made with marzipan and almond meal, piped into a mini muffin tin, then filled with heated and cooled raspberry jam

Monday, May 06, 2013


The bench seat in our local playground

Little boys taking the cricket stumps out for a sword fight whilst no one notices

Garlic harvested

Chocolate cookies baking whilst the fire place keeps us warm

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


Coloured pencils on (A3) 297 x 420mm acid free 220g paper

Friday, March 29, 2013

Baking again

Quiet day baking. We have no spare cash, so frugal living is in order. I firmly believe that children are better off with home baked cakes and cookies. Children love sugar. When we are all out of cakes and cookies, little messyfish goes straight for artificially coloured lollies and additive laden store bought icecreams. Supermarket chains have palm oil in there hot cross buns. Orangutans are dying for it. Chemicals and additives are in the cookies and cakes that are bought from the shops. What the hell is 471? There are no bags of 471 in my cupboard.
At home, I use flour, sugar, butter, free range eggs, lemon, cream. Simple. Cheap. Delicious. The house smells great, maths and science lessons occurred, fine motor skills, working together, helping each other, organisation, and well most important of all... Joy, happiness and freedom to be. Now that's one important day then hey?

Lemon Sour Cream Cake


Hot Cross Buns, fruit free, peel free and raspberry (not apricot) jam glaze, for little messyfish

Testing watermarks for my artwork

I thought I would be happy to post more of my art here, if I could easily apply a watermark. It turns out there are a number of apps that do it easily. So here is my first test. It only took a second, which is going to work nicely for me :-)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Scratching away the melancholy

Drawing day! What a great way to reconnect to self. How simple it is to lay down colour and use my hands to help connect to my heart... Because underneath all that intellectual bullshit lies the truth. Drawing is my meditation. It quietens the mind. Reveals the truth, alleviates unfounded fears, others fears.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Quiet home days

Lovely quiet days reading, cleaning, baking, creating, building, sculpting and playing with new secondhand toys that we picked up (via ebay) at the general store...

Autumn is here

We spent a magical day at the new local Steiner kindergarten. Little messyfish enjoyed joining in some of the activities, and I loved connecting with the other mums. Even grandma messyfish was able to met us there, where we enjoyed a delicious vegetarian lunch, and she was treated to a lesson all about turtles and snails by little messyfish. Best of all little messyfish had a great rough and tough and tumble outside play with sticks and sand and rocks and rope with mixed ages in the late afternoon, while mums were packing up.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Delicious and beautiful displays in the markets in Vietnam

Yes, there is also Lipton tea and Oreos being sold in a tiny cupboard behind this display, that has a broken latch being held together by an elastic band.... but the locally grown fruits, locally made sweets such as peanut and sesame brittle, and locally baked cakes and cookies are most prominent. It's so much easier to eat healthier food when the shops look like this! We barely eat any processed or packaged goods when we are in Vietnam. The cows milk products are not great here....mostly UHT and lots of cane sugar added. Most Vietnamese get their calcium needs met through eating the bones of small fish. I like to get it from the delicious nut and sesame snacks! The dairy authority have a big advertising budget back home, and promotes dairy as a great source of calcium, but you can also get calcium from sardines, salmon, prawns, sesame seeds, almonds, tofu, broccoli, brazil nuts, dried figs and a whole bunch of other foods.

Community Garden

A community garden is more than just growing. I love to paint vegetable gardens, especially when I can be part of the community.
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Friday, March 15, 2013

Sydney Botanic Gardens

Love guache, love sitting in gardens and drawing, here is a little snippet from my artists journal...