Monday, 29 October 2012

Lady Denman Markets, Huskisson, Saturday Nov 3

Working on some more A5 bird watercolours
Hand cut paper ornaments to go on Christmas cards
I'll be setting up at Lady Denman Markets this Saturday morning, in the centre garden.

A couple of people have asked me about Christmas cards, and i'm quite excited about this range I've designed which feature a hand-cut paper-cut ornament. The ornament will be suspended on the front of the card, and also be removable to hang on the tree or in a window. If you've never seen hand paper-cut artworks, please come along and have a look as they are very lovely and lace-like, delicate but not too fragile, and delightfully tactile. 

I've also been working on some more A5 watercolours of local bird species. All the birds around here are building nests and stealing coconut fibre from our hanging baskets and flying about with bits and pieces in their beaks.

Andy brought me home a new nest he found on the ground in Sussex Inlet. This one much bigger than the honeyeater nest, similarly messy with grasses lining the inside and strips of bark on the outside. I'd love to know what species of bird it belonged to.

Also we had a (perhaps slightly deranged) bandicoot wandering about our yard the other day. Our dog spotted it and chased it - it's not often we get to see bandicoots in broad daylight. It was the size of a small rabbit but looked a lot like a big rat with it's curved back, long tail and pointy nose. Usually we just see little divots in the lawn in the morning, evidence of bandicoots night-time food-hunting.

Anyhow, do come along if it's a sunny morning on Saturday. The gardens at the Lady Denman Complex are quite lovely, there's a boardwalk through the mangrove where you can see the crabs going about their business, and the pond has enormous flathead fish which you can feed.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Kiama Seaside Markets

Just a post about today! Kiama Seaside Craft Markets is a big market with about 200 stalls. It's really a perfect place to shop for something unique and hand made. Having met several stall holders today I would say there are opportunities for amazing bargains if shoppers look carefully at the lovely products, ask questions of the stallholders and consider the costs of production involved. 
It is very humbling to meet so many talented and passionate people, and although we are all in competition to some degree, there is a fabulous and unifying sense of community. What a great experience this was for my children, and also my son's friend (who has developed quite an interest in markets) who teamed up with another young stall-holder to create and sell bead-bracelets. 
Mickey & Bruce, my knowledgable and creative friends from Camperdown, Sydney, came down to give some great advise on stall presentation. Their beautifully-behaved English Setters helped to man the stall!
It really was a fabulous day, with success measured by experiences.
I returned home to Andy, who is days away from completing his Masters in Environmental  Management, unloaded the car and checked on our chickens who were having a graze on the bush reserve at the back of our property. Our two brown hens mix uncomfortably with a neighbour's black hen who has the same freedom (but being black, seems to take on the persona of an evil lurking spy-type of hen) and I have to cajole them back into their enclosure on our land, where they have scratched away every sign of greenery. 
Blue wrens, both the blue iridescent male and the plainer brown female, flit about in the last few angular blades of sunlight. A neighbour has a fire going on the reserve. Like a campfire with the residents otherwise engaged, it crackles on unattended in the late afternoon. A scrub wren leaps from ground level to the tops of grasses, to feed in an overgrown area gone to seed. 
I reflect on the beauty and peace of this place and the happiness it brings me. I guess it wouldn't suit everyone to live here, but for me there is a great satisfaction in having found this unspoilt place to call home. :-)
Love Birds! This pair have found a new home.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Kiama Markets Sunday October 20

Suncatchers with bird charms and recycled chandelier crystals
Some lovely new things ready for the markets this weekend. I've been thinking about making up some sun catchers for ages, and then I finally found some perfect bird charms.
Our house is full of little rainbows. They're priced from $15 to $25

The windchimes are made from shells I picked up from Little Bay years ago, and I've matched them up with handmade beads which came from Sumbawa or Sumatra or somewhere on my travels. I love the way the sun shines through the shells. They're $15.

And here's a photo of the Peace Bird Mobile when it's out of it's pack. We hung one up on a tree at the Artisan's market. 8 Hand cut double-sided paper birds hand-glued to a white ribbon. You can't see, but there's a little bell at the bottom of the ribbon. I think they'd be so lovely at a children's party blowing in the breeze on the patio, or in a baby's bedroom on the wall. They sell for $12.
Shell Windchimes

Peace Bird Mobile

Thursday, 18 October 2012

A5 Watercolours

Here are some of the latest watercolours. All are on A5 size, 185gsm Arches medium watercolour paper, painted with Winsor and Newton Watercolours. They will be mounted in an A4 white matt with a window of 100 x 150mm, a 3mm backing board and enclosed in a cellophane bag. Beautifully presented and lightweight, perfect for gifts. They'll be priced at $40 each for sale at Kiama Beachside Markets this Sunday.
Crimson Rosella detail

Rose Robin detail

Open Leaf Gall detail

Hakea Pod detail

Wattle Pod detail

Crimson Rosella

Rose Robin

Open Leaf Gall

Hakea Pod

Wattle Pod

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


I was very honoured to be invited to a link by the Shoalhaven Visitor's Centre, and asked to write an "about" statement, an interesting process with this project still so new. So here it is, as things stand, right now:

Pebbles and Pods - art and craft items celebrating the natural environment of Jervis Bay in all its little details.

Delicate little watercolour paintings of local bird species, native plant details, shells, feathers and pebbles, reflect a love of nature and encourage observation of the beautiful natural world around us. Alongside are crafted items like hand-cut paper cards and artworks, bird-themed mobiles and sun-catchers, elegant and hand-made.

Pebbles and Pods is the project of Graphic Designer/Illustrator Lisa Friebel who lives in the Shoalhaven with her partner – an environmentalist and keen bird-watcher, and her two children.

Her goal is to create relevant, reasonably priced, locally-made gifts that celebrate the true beauty and delicate nature of our environment and allow us to bring it indoors, to the city, or wherever we go.

Update: I'm on the Visit NSW website! to visit click here

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Online Shop

It was a lovely day at the Shoalhaven Artisans Market on Saturday, after what many called "snow" late last week (I think it was an overnight downpour of hail which left drifts of ice) the weekend weather was warm and sunny - miraculous. So many creative people and stalls of beautiful things, and I met some really interesting and wonderful people. The next one will be 10th November. 
In the meantime,  I've listed some of the remaining pieces online if anyone is interested.
It's a bit new yet, so if there are any problems using the site, please email me directly.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Seasonal Shells?

Shell family - Watercolour on A5 Arches
At the beach the other day I suddenly noticed a type of shell I don't remember seeing before. And not just one but lots of them. They're kind of flattish like an abalone shell but without the holes. Certainly Lily didn't collect any of this kind in her little bag when she was here in July. Although I'm not an expert on shells I have been an interested observer from the time I holidayed on South Mole Island as a kid and learned that cowrie shells were once used as money. These days I prefer to leave shells on the beach, but back then I thought of them as found treasure and kept the shiniest to take home.

I have a small collection gathered from travels all over the world in a little shadow box on the wall. Andy has some beautiful shells from Cape York, and various diving and snorkelling adventures and they form part of the wonderful clutter of nature bits and pieces scattered around our house.

Back to these shells though, I'm wondering if they're seasonal? I was so busy checking the sand for them that I didn't notice the dolphins playing just metres away. So much going on in the water and we land-folk just get a few hints washed up on the shore. There was some very beautiful seaweeds, too, so i'll have to take the sketchbook next time.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Mirror (Again)

Paper-Cut 18 x 27 cm
Two small birds have met their end after connecting with the glass sliding doors at the front of our house. These doors are right beside my desk and it's quite upsetting to hear the stomach-churning thud, and then find the poor little creature unrescue-able on the front deck. I think the glass is reflecting the big spotted gums in our front yard, and therefore looks like a safe place to dart into when you're being chased by a spinebill... or whatever they were up to. I've since hung suncatchers in front of the glass to try and stop it happening again. 

Anyhow, that's the story behind this paper-cut design, which if you can imagine a little, is a magic mirror that reflects the trees and also allows small birds to pass through and find refuge.

Sunday, 7 October 2012


Illustration Friday submission for the theme 'mirror'. This reminds me of a joke, something about how you can tell when your sister has been driving your car - when you look in the rear vision mirror and see your own reflection. 

I never fully trust the r.v. mirror and always twist around to check if there's any passers-by or kangaroos in the driveway before reversing out. But then when I'm a passenger and I want to see the car behind me, I still look up/left for the mirror and of course it's never in the spot it's meant to be. 

Mirrors are really handy for checking if your artwork is lopsided. Some issues of symmetry which may not be apparent right way round can suddenly be obvious when viewing the mirror reflection. This piece has a couple of symmetry issues but I think it still has enough impact to make it work.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

The First Shoalhaven Artisans Market

Next Saturday October 13 from 9 - 1 is the first Artisans Market in Nowra, I'll be one of the stall holders in the sunny courtyard. 

I have about 40 watercolours of birds and nature subjects mounted up and ready to go, and alongside those I've made some extra little things for interest and fun. 
Paper-cuts for mounting, paper-cut cards, soft fabric birds, bird mobiles with bells and some tags. 

The little nest fridge magnets are made from felt. The eggs are made from these little things I found on the shore of St Georges Basin. I'm not sure if they're a plant or remains of a sea creature of some kind. I've tried to find them on the internet but no luck. Anyhow there are heaps of them, so I don't think there's any environmental damage collecting just a few. 

Everything is looking very lovely in cellophane bags and it will be nice to see them find new homes.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sketching & Camping

Sketchbook page - fungi
We've just been camping at an old gold mining town called Yalwal, by Danjeera Dam, and suddenly it's like summer, the sun is hot early, the sky is goes-forever blue, and the red soil dusty dry. Arriving just after the labour day long weekend, I was cleaning up some cans etc from previous campers in the surrounding bush when I found this dry little collection of fungi. All subtle stripes of earth tones, I lay in the grass and sketched it til I lost the feeling in my toes.

It's good to be back home, just about a week now til the Shoalhaven Artisan's Market  (13th). I have lots of mounted bird watercolours ready, and some bird-themed cards and paper-cuts. As well as some pretty, soft fabric birds to add colour and interest to my stand.