Going dotty

24 04 2022

I’m still practising dotting art on black art paper. Yellows don’t come out well—they tend to turn green and I have to redot them after they are dry. I’ve yet to try a surface I’ve painted black—I would really like to use yellow without having to go over it every time. But I won’t try on those black painted surfaces until the set of dotting tools I’ve ordered arrive (I ordered them on 31 March, and it’s now 24 April and they still haven’t arrived… they first went to Tampa then to Miami [2 days], then it was another 5 days to New York, another 2 before they checked back in, in New York. After their holiday in New York, it took them another 4 days to fly to Japan [why Japan??? Australia’s borders are now open] where they had a mini holiday for 2 days before arriving in Brisbane. They left Brisbane on 20 April, but haven’t been checked in anywhere else yet. We have a long weekend this weekend, so I’m not expecting to see further tracking information until Tuesday. And this is despite paying $22USD for postage for a small parcel! Between them, USPS and AusPost are pretty bloody inefficient!)

The top two are a small gift card size; the bottom two are suitable for framing and are not made as cards. The bottom right one is on a 6 x 6 inch square piece; the left is slightly bigger and rectangular.

Trying dotting

15 04 2022

I’m trying dot art for the first time. My initial attempt was a few weeks ago, but I’ve learnt a bit more now (thanks YouTube!) and have practised some techniques. Doing these mandalas is very focusing, so it’s good for mental health. I still have to get the paint consistency right, but these were some I did yesterday and today. All are on one half of black card suitable for a greeting card. Some were still wet when I took the photos so the chalk registration marks are still visible—I’ll erase those when the paint dries, and likely add more dots on top of the existing dots. The one with the page fully covered is from earlier in the week, and I added more dots over the other dots, pretty much filling the black card. The hardest thing at the moment is getting that centre dot perfectly lined up. More practice needed there, as the position of the centre dot dictates how accurate the placement of the others dots is. At the moment I’m using mainly the ends of things I already have — various paint brushes, pencil eraser ends, satay sticks, and a set of dotting tools for nail art, which create VERY small dots. I’m waiting on delivery of a range of tools developed just for dotting, in a range of sizes, and I think I’ll mark registration marks on the bigger tools so I can centre more precisely. I’ve also been using some quilting stencils I have to get the shapes 🙂 And I haven’t yet put anything on canvas so it will be interesting to see how prepped canvas takes the acrylic paint compared to the mixed media black card

Update a day later: I’ve added photos of the updated mandalas after adding further dots and erasing the chalk marks, plus another non-mandala—a free-form one that I think of as a cell (it was still very wet when I took the photo, so I may have to go over some of the yellows as they fade into the paper).

My first house

10 04 2022

This was not the first house I purchased, but the first I ever lived in! I’ve recently been in touch with someone from the historical society for the Western Australian country town where I spent my life from birth to the day I turned 13, and she just happens to work for the local Shire and has access to old building plans. And she found these plans of the first house I lived in (until I was about 7 years old), which was commissioned by my grandfather to be built for my parents just before they got married.

These were certainly simpler times, as evidenced by the degree of ‘detail’ in the plans (just the 2 pages to get approval to build!) and the design of the house—a simple 4-room house. The price of 2000 pounds (equivalent to $4000) seems ridiculously low, but for the time it was a lot. However, using an online inflation calculator (https://www.inflationtool.com/australian-dollar/), that $4000 is equivalent to around $80,000 today, a vast difference to the cost of building a house in Western Australia today. That said, today’s houses have a LOT of bells and whistles—and rooms—and this one certainly didn’t.

Take a look at the materials used in the building—compressed asbestos board was used for the inner and outer walls of the timber-framed house! And according to Mum, lino was the floor covering of choice for the kitchen and later the living room. Lino in those days was full of asbestos too. Mum remembers the other floor coverings in the house too:

    • Kitchen – lino on the floor (more asbestos!)
    • Lounge room – wooden floors until my sister and I started crawling, then cheap lino; no furniture in this room bar a radiogram and my other nana’s treadle sewing machine, which mum would put the playpen over when she’d finished using it to stop us from crawling into the mechanism!; the fire surround was brick (likely red brick)
    • Main bedroom (front of the house) – Feltex carpet (very cheap)
    • Our bedroom – they think it was a wooden floor (and by wooden, probably not polished boards, but plain wood, perhaps oiled)
    • Bathroom – they couldn’t remember, but likely concrete
    • Laundry – red concrete; copper in the corner (the round thing in the laundry); back steps – no handrails
    • Front verandah – red concrete.


The same house after it was built and after I was born—I believe that’s me in the pram on the front verandah, so I was likely less than 12 months’ old, just a tad younger than the house.