Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Coco Chanel

January is close to being over.  I confess to all you amazingly productive creative peeps, I haven't spent any time on any creative projects, but immersed myself in summer pursuits instead.  Lots of swimming at the beach and in the pool at our villa in Bali (yes we had a luxurious week in Seminyak) - so soul renewing it was fabulous.  I indulged in massages, manis and pedis, sundowner drinks by the ocean or pool, great food, snoozing, day spa-ing, some shopping, some tailor-made cowboy boot shopping, people watching. Absolutely divine.  I feel like a thouroughly pampered pooch! I would head back to Bali any time.  I now understand why people love it and go there over and over again.  It was hot, really, really humid hot, with lots of drenching downpours that simply soothed away the heat with their noise and smell.

The heat back here in Perth has been absolutely stiffling, without the relief of rain, so lots of flopping watch movies over the weekends has happened!  I'm sure I've watched more in this last month than I have in the entire past 2 years.  Evenings at Somerville, the outdoor movie theatre that shows foreign films from December to April.  A different one every week.  It's a highlight of summer in Perth, sitting in deck chairs under the stars and rustling pines, soaking up foreign films, preceded by a picnic if you choose.  DVD's etc on the couch at home

I became engrossed in a TV series called "True Blood" about mainstreaming vampires living in Louisiana.  It is hilarious.  Not usually my style at all.  It's great watching an entire series at your leisure, without ads and episode after episode so it really flows.  I don't watch commercial television, apart from cricket and tennis occasionally.

Anyway the real reason I was inspired to post was the movie  "Coco Chanel" with Shirley Maclaine and Barbara Bobulova.  I saw it for the first time on the weekend and loved it.  Watching her creative journey was really heart-warming and if you haven't seen it and if you're a fashion history fan, I thoroughly recommend the movie.  There are scenes where she is working on hats and then putting herself on the line, right out there with her creations and believing in herself.  In another scene she is asked "why hats".....I can hear people thinking out loud when they see my bags..."? why bags" ...who knows why we're drawn to specific mediums, we just are us creative peeps.  And we can jump from one to another to keep exploring and learning and buzzing!

I love hearing, watching other people's creative journeys as I just so get it.  Fame follows some like Coco, however, fame didn't drive her, her creative passion did.  Fame and fortune don't drive any creative people I know, their passion does.  And I love that at that base level we're all the same.

Friday, January 13, 2012



Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director, and producer whose notable career spans more than three decades providing breathtaking imagery for feature films, television shows, documentaries and commercials...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Kitchen

My sister Angela who lives in Chicago, mentioned that I have never sent any photos of my new kitchen which celebrates its first anniversary this January, so I snapped the following photos on my phone and emailed them off to her. 

Angela gave me the witch sign which I LOVE!

This side not finished - window yet to go in, but had to show you Christmas Tree Corner.

My cafe curtain for my "Mr Ed door". I swing the top half  open to let the fresh air in.
I love this fabric... "Domestic Goddess".... I am so not!!

So there you have it... the hub of the house.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Going Gluten Free

I've started the New Year on a gluten free diet - I started a week before Christmas.  I've had health issues for so long now I don't remember how it is to feel truly well and energised.  I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease.  It was diagnosed after the birth of my second daugther over 16 years ago and I've been on thyroxine ever since.  I have the slugg-iest metabolism around and I can't live without coffee.  Lately though it's as though I have sleeping sickness.  I have to nap at weekends and think I'll just put my feet up for 5 minutes and wake up 5 hours later.  I was so tired at work one day I put my head down and fell asleep.  I have a hoarse voice a lot and a slightly sore throat and swollen glands.  I have acute bursitis in my back, hips and legs.  I am sore to touch practically everywhere.  My legs burn walking up a flight of stairs, my arms ache hanging out washing, my back aches standing cooking in the kitchen, walking around a shopping centre is exhausting, I don't have the mental capacity to make a shopping list or plan a menu.  Things are dire.  I have been seeing a naturopath who has diagnosed extreme adrenal fatigue.  I have all the symptons of chronic fatigue.  I am desperate to get well.  I go to my GP who runs the blood tests and adjust my medication every 6-12 months and tells me I appear to be suffering or recovering from some low grade virus, but assures me the medication adjustment should help me out.  I would scream except I don't have the energy. 

So a few weeks ago in my desperation, I googled my (extremely common) condition and thought it was time to read up again and see what I can do to help myself or where to go for help.  I feel ANCIENT in my forties - how I am going to feel in my eighties, if I make it to them?

I stumbled across a blog of another sufferer, sarah wilson, and read this from Nora Gedgaudas

The primary issue at hand is IMMUNE function (specifically, a need for immune modulation).
Most if not nearly all cases of autoimmune thyroid are profoundly tied to gluten sensitivity and/or celiac disease (either as an initiating or complicating issue).  Avoiding ALL gluten and whatever cross-reactive compounds you have a sensitivity to should be 100%, immediate and permanent.  Nearly all available testing for gluten sensitivity currently is quite unreliable…so if you think you aren’t gluten sensitive you may want to seriously reconsider revisiting this though more in depth testing.  If it were me, I’d just assume an issue with gluten and avoid it like the plague.
Healing your gut is hugely important in this.  It will be impossible, btw, without generating healthy glutathione levels.
It was a light bulb moment...when you feel this crappy you will try anything, so I am.  So farThere is only one thing that has changed in the 3 weeks.  My oedema (swelling of the ankles) has reduced and family members have commented on my slimmer ankles!!  I still want coffee served intraveneously to function, but I am delighting in my slimmer ankles.
Here's a picture of a recent extreme case I had of oedema after a flight...
And here they are today....
This is the first I've read or heard of any connection between gluten and auto-immune disease!!!   Why?  In 16 years, not one person has ever suggested the connection or told me.  Not one medico/endocronologist, naturopath...not one!!  I've just felt pathetic and insane with my malaise and lethargy.  All of it is explained by a high level of stress in my life...working full time, divorce, financial stress, etc etc. I am seriously hoping it helps.  I know that it's not the only thing I need to do, but it is a start and it has given me the teeniest glimmer of hope for my future health. 
Í've debated long and hard whether to discuss health here on my blog.  I fear I will sound so whiny and miserable and pathetic, but I can't not mention this fact and spread the word.  If you read this and know anyone with auto-immune disease tell them.  They may already know, but they may not and it could be a vital tit-bit of information for them.
In my current exhausted state I've convinced myself that I'm useless at craft and don't know why I'm bothering.  The creative joy has left me.  That is the biggest sign of all that I am sick!  Perhaps writing about it will release my feelings and free me up to snap out of it and get back creating.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

My favourite Perth beach....

is Port Beach in Fremantle.  Every beach in Perth is divine...white sand, brilliantly clear sparkling water in the most divine colours and the water is so cool and refreshing.  The Indian Ocean is a couple of degrees cooler than the Pacific which I grew up with on the East Coast.  I'll never forget my first swim of the year way back in '93...I was 6 months pregnant with my eldest daughter and I waded in to the water to soothe my hot, swollen body.  The coolness took my breath away and my tummy muscles tightened around my belly as if on instinct they were protecting my little girl...saying you're safe and warm in here! The coolness and the weightlessness are so soul calming. In the heat of Perth summers the water is insanely refreshing.  It's such a contrast from the blistering heat we experience during our summers.

Yesterday I headed to my fave again... Port Beach.  The water was strangely devoid of swimmers...helicopters were hovering... people were standing looking out at the water.  Beach closed due to shark sightings.  There have been more shark sightings this year than I can ever remember and with (sadly) a couple of deaths of surfers the patrols are not taking any chances with any sightings, even if they are the harmless variety. Yesterday there were 2 sharks - one harmless, the other a human eating variety, but they were nowhere to be seen and eventually the beach re-opened.

While it was closed I did brave the shallows though - a couple of very quick dip and rolls to cool down.  And then snapped a few photos as I sat and lay there. The wind whipped up....last night as i opened my current novel in bed sand fell out everywhere!  The wind had deposited sand in it as it lay on my towel!  Perhaps this is why trashy throw away novels make the best beachy summer reads?

How I love summer days at the beach.

My view looking up

My view looking out...

Isn't it heaven?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Happy New Year!

OMG!! December passed in such a rush.  Our Christmas Day was lovely, and the week surrounding it wasn't dull.  Trips to the hospital emergency room on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day with my elder daughter.  On the mend now but suffering a nasty infection - she spent the night being pumped full of IV antibiotics.  Then another day spent fixing tyres after my younger daughter - a learner driver - popped a tyre on a kerb!  Consequently she had her first lesson in changing a tyre.  She and I managed it together and B is very proud of herself.... "Girls Rock!!" 

Now onto the second week of my Christmas break I'm hoping for a more relaxing finish to my holiday, although today started with poor Gypsy having one of her seizures on the floor beside my bed.  I don't seem to by managing her medication well enough, but I've dosed her up now and hopefully she will have a restful day snoozing in her favourite spot on my bed.  I'm worried she needs higher does of pills.  The vet has said it will cause liver problems in the long term and her life will probably be shortened by being medicated. :((

The dog is on heat so is banished.  That is a job for the next couple of months...off to the vet for her op!  I braved the dog beach yesterday with her.  I say braved because I have a love hate relationship with the dog beaches.  It's so lovely watching all the dogs have such a frolicking good time, and the beach is so so beautiful, but it goes hand in hand with the dogs that run straight over you - the ones the owners have no control over because the hounds are just so so excited.  I came home crunching sand between my teeth!!  Tilly did a number 2 in the back of the ute on the way down!!! and then jumped and walked it all over the place.  Then there's the ablutions of the dogs at the beach...right beside me yesterday.  Picked up, but there's a lot that aren't picked up and lie hidden in the sand. 

Tilly is so incredibly excited in the car, the whole car rocks around as she leaps in circles all the way along the ride.  Holding her on the lead is exhausting and you come back with rope burn on your hands.  Any tips on training a blind dog, gladly welcomed.  Trust me food doesn't work!!  She goes ballistic trying to find the treat!

Anyway here's a couple of pictures of Gypsy sound asleep on the kitchen bench....

Mirrors how one often feels after the over indulgence in food over the festive period, don't you think? 
That's exactly how I would like to spend a few days before the return to the out of control treadmill of my life......