Some Odds and Sods

A few bits and bobs, odds and sods for you today.

I was procrastinating about the second square for my sister’s grandson’s quilt. I got some excellent ideas from many of you. Thank you for your helpful suggestions and ideas; in the end I went with a stylised car.

Can you tell that I had a little trouble appliquéing smooth curves? I wouldn’t want to travel too far with those wheels!


If you read my fortnightly newsletter (and the next one is due this weekend, sign up here if you would like to know more about my art) you will know that I have two collages accepted into an exhibition at our council gallery. It is a community based exhibition, designed to celebrate the opening of the gallery.

My two works are abstract representations of the wetlands that I have become fascinated with over the last few months. You may remember my post about it.

Both are so different to the fine, detailed realistic work of my previous botanic art. However, I have been moving in this direction over the last few years.

The paper for the reeds was created by smearing acrylic paint around on photocopy paper, mainly using an old credit card. Then I cut around the shapes that look to me like reeds. The papers for the sky and water were printed with my gelli plate.

If, by chance, you are around Moonee Ponds at any time soon, drop in. The exhibition opens next Tuesday, 23rd June at:

The Incinerator Gallery

Holmes Rd

Moonee Ponds

You may wonder about why it is called the Incinerator Gallery. Check out their website to find out more, including opening hours and social distancing measures.


The other news is that we sold out caravan the other day. If you have been reading my blog for a few years you might remember some of the trips the Fella and I did in our little Avan. The last big trip was the dash over the Nullabor Plain to Western Australia. Unfortunately it is a few years since we went travelling, and when we did it was obvious that it was becoming more and more difficult for the Fella.

We had tossed around the idea of selling it. However, whenever we thought about it, the problems associated with getting it ready were too much. The big issue was that it is difficult to park it in our suburban street and we have no off-street parking. To get it ready for sale would mean having outside our place for an indefinite period, irritating the neighbours, the school over the road and the parking inspectors. It was easier to leave it out the back of our friend’s large country block.

Then we got a phone call out of the blue. The buyer, John, is a friend of the friend in the country. He had seen the van, understood that maybe it needed a new battery, regassing of the air-conditioning, new seals etc, but offered to buy it without even going inside. An offer too good to refuse! It got better when he was happy to do all the paperwork and clean it out.

So now our little van is off on different adventures.

Will I miss it? I miss the idea of being able to take off. There were still lots of places left to explore, and I never did get to travel up to the Kimberleys. However, I know that currently it is not realistic. So I am glad there is one less thing to sort out, one less little niggle to be dealt with.

What will I miss? I will miss the chance to immerse myself in different habitats, being able to wander; but you don’t need a van to be able to do that. I will miss the quiet and stillness, especially in the evenings. The Fella always goes to bed way before I do, so evenings in the van were a time to read, sketch, journal, catch-up with myself, to listen to the night sounds.

Camped at Moody Bluff Rest Area, Nullarbor Plain, New Year’s Eve, 2016 (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

And lastly, a photo of the framed collage I dropped to the Incinerator Gallery. It is being guarded by a snake, created by my talented brother. His iso-art has been to create mosaic snakes!

Introducing Alice

For our first trip to Menindee the Fella and I decided to camp in a tent. We scoured camping shops to find the right one. For me the main consideration was that it be easy to put up and take down. We eventually found one. October came, we packed everything in the back of the ute and took off. Well, the result of us camping in a tent was to decide to buy a caravan!

My main memory of why is of the packing up. We would begin early and still be putting things in boxes, taking them out of boxes and getting frustrated with each other, while caravans smoothly hitched up and went on their way. Also there was no proper lighting in the tent, and that didn’t help either. Thank heavens for the back lighting on my iPad.

The tent
The tent (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)

So Alice the Caravan came into our lives. We looked at lots, in fact an overwhelming number. We quickly decided that we didn’t need three rooms in the van, nor a washing machine. I decided that I didn’t like most of the interior decoration and colours. You know how it is when you are looking for something, nothing seems right. Then a friend told us to look at a van in the front yard of a place near him. And there was Alice!

Alice at the Flinders Ranges
Alice at the Flinders Ranges  (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)

Like us, she’s not young, but loves an adventure. She doesn’t have an indoor shower or loo, and sometimes, at night, that’s a nuisance. Nor does she have a washing machine. But she does have a little wardrobe with a mirror, and lots of cupboards, a microwave and a dinky exhaust fan over the stove. Everything is very compact. When we are sitting at the table we can reach the sink and the fridge without getting up!

There is a good light over the table. It is a great place to sketch and write. And her crowning glory is her colour scheme — light blue and grey. Not the horrid salmons and pinks of other vans. She has the cutest little blue curtains, with ruffles along the top. Awww…..

On the road. An art-farty shot of Alice travelling behind us. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)
On the road. An art-farty shot of Alice travelling behind us. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012

The view of Copi Hollow Lake, Menindee, taken out of the window.  (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)
The view of Copi Hollow Lake, Menindee, taken out of the window. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)

Why did I call her Alice?

After my grandmother. My grandparents were early caravaners. My grandfather made his own and took the family away to have adventures down at the beach or up in the bush. My grandmother loved travelling, and nothing would faze her.

“Alice, let’s go to the beach,” Grandpa would say, and Nanna would pack up the van and the kids.

Her spirit is strong in Alice the caravan. The name seemed right, from the first time I thought it. I love the idea of saying to Alice the caravan “Let’s go to the beach…the Grampians…Menindee” and her saying back “Yep, I’m ready. Let’s go.”

So let there be lots more adventures!

Alice's name is the icing on her cake. This was cross stitched for me by lovely sister.  (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)
Alice’s name plaque always brings a smile to my face. My lovely sister cross-stitched this Christmas present for me. :))    (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)