Saturday 25 June 2011


Why did I choose COLOURFUL WORLD as the name for my blog?
I love COLOUR, I cannot imagine a world without all the glorious colours...
At home at least a wall in each room has colour - what the decorators call "feature wall".
Of course my paintings adorn all my walls, bringing even more colour to my home.

Many, many years ago I remember visiting friends of my husband, and they lived in this totally white house with not a single painting hung on the walls, and I thought it was the most boring home. How could anyone live without colour, without art hung on the walls?
I am no Picasso, but then I don´t even like his paintings, I like things that are "real", so although some abstract art is actually beautiful because of the colour combinations it´s not the type of art that I can paint or that I relate to.

Nafeaffaa Ipolpo Aka When Will You Marry - Paul Gauguin -
Gaugin´s original 
One of the pictures I painted is a copy of Paul Gaugin´s painting -  Nafeaffaa Ipolpo Aka When Will You Marry -  I chose it because I like his use of colour, although the people he portrays are a bit disproportionate. 
Actually my painting is my husband´s pet hate, he says that the women seem to have weird arms which is quite true, but I just copied it, so I wasn´t going to do a medical procedure on their arms....

My copy of Gaugin´s picture

My garden does´t have as much colour as I would like, but even the different greens and greys and now some browns due to the Autumn / Winter colour of the leaves, all add to the magic.

A corner of my back garden - a work in progress...

Last weekend right after my blog course I noticed the most amazing tree trunk with so many shades of green, brown, creams, and I was lucky that I had my camera in my bag, so straight away I took some photos.
One of my recent passions is photography, and although I have a modest camera, I click away enthusiastically at everything from our cats, the garden, flowers everywhere, friends gathered around the dinner table, well...any beautiful thing I see!!
Tree Trunk with lovely mix of colours

Hope I will be able to provide my readers with interesting snippets about my life in Perth.

Thursday 23 June 2011

Meandering through the Melbourne Alleys

Melbourne has some lovely alleys and little streets where you can meander through and look at quaint shops and cafes and tiny restaurants where you can probably seat half a dozen people.
Some of the alley walls have been painted with graffiti art and are very modern and colourful.
These lanes were first used as rear access to the properties facing the streets. Later they were reinvented and buzz to the sounds and rhythm of the city. Start your walk at Degraves street across the road from the Flinders Street Station.
Get a map from the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square and don´t miss this walk through the lanes. You won´t regret it!!

AC/DC lane - named after the known Aussie rock band
Union Lane


Busy lanes with restaurants and cafe´s at Degraves St
The Block Arcade
Gog and Magog - the Briton giants that struck every hour since 1892.

Mural at Flinders St Station
Public purse in Bourke St mall, in front of the GPO shopping centre
Delicious European style cake shop 
Detail of the arcade mosaic floor
Entrance to Royal shopping arcade
Quaint bicycle in front of a flower shop
Funny sign outside a cafe.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

A visit to Melbourne


MELBOURNE is the second largest Australian city with a population of around 4million. It's very European in it's way of life, fashion shops, restaurants with outdoor esplanades. The choice of restaurants is mind boggling, I 'm quite sure you would be able to eat typical foods from a different country every day of the month (maybe even more), without having to repeat a single meal.

I was quite lucky to be able to travel to Melbourne quite a few times during the 7 months my husband worked there last year. I called them "My weekend shopping trips".
The clothing shops are quite diverse and of course being a bit of a shoe freak I never came back to Perth without having bought a pair of shoes.
I buy shoes because they look pretty, unfortunately they aren't always comfortable, too high heels, or too tight, well but I still try to wear them when I know I will be sitting down most of the time and I won´t feel the pain...
Women are suckers for pain, aren't we?

The 4 hour flight to from Perth to Melbourne, plus the two hour time difference, would always leave me a bit jet-lagged, but I was always ready for a walk into the city centre, some dinner and late night window shopping. The city never seems to go sleep, there is always music, open bars, late night restaurants, even 24 hour food shopping, something I don´t think exists in Perth. But who wants to buy food at midnight anyway?

Bees - Eureka Tower
Eureka Tower

Night view across river Yarra
In front of the Crown Casino

I was lucky that hubby's company rented him the most wonderful apartment in the city right on the southern banks of the the Yarra river in Southbank, across the road from the Casino and near Melbourne´s highest building, the Eureka Tower - Freshwater Place.
The view from the apartment was amazing, and I loved sitting in the lounge at night in semi darkness while the city lights shone outside. What a wonderful sight!
Sometimes we would go across to the Casino promenade where every night there was an hourly fire show display spewing from granite towers, from 8pm to midnight. On those winter nights I could actually feel the heat!

Well those months flew by and hubby is back home and I'm back to my ground floor view of the park across the road. Not a bad view, quiet but pleasant, with bird sounds and sounds of kids playing after school or during the holidays.

Although I prefer the view from my kitchen window into my succulent garden, but I will leave that for another post!

Freshwater Place, Southbank, where we stayed
Modern pedestrian bridge across river Yarra

Monday 20 June 2011

Artistic heritage

My whole family seems to be quite artistic, although more in the music side - my maternal grandfather sang and used to train a choir, my dad was a singer, although he never had a record, he sang at dance hall concerts, an uncle also sang, his eldest son Jorge Cortez, (he now plays in a hotel in Algarve, Portugal) was at one stage a guitar player with Demis Roussos and Jorge´s two sons are also singers and play musical instruments.
The younger generation now sings rap, while the two elder generations sing more serene love songs, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan style of music.
The singing gene was not transmitted to me as I can´t sing to save my life!

But I´m artistic in other areas. I remember at the age of 12 I decided to use a sewing machine we had at home. My Mom was not the sewing kind, so it just sat there inside its wooden case. I threaded it and when at a certain point the thread got tangled in the bobbin while sewing, no one at home knew how to fix it! So the machine had to go back to the shop where it had been bought so they could see what the problem was, and from them I learned how to solve such mishaps.
At that age I started to show some interest in sketching clothes, colouring them in, but I never knew or tried to cut my own patterns. I could now be some famous clothes designer!!

My son wearing blue track pants and daughter wearing track pants and top in 2 colours made by me

Many years later when I lived in Germany with my husband, he gave me a sewing machine for some special occasion. So I bought some "Burda" magazines (don´t even know if they are still published), and I bought some cheap fabric and started to cut some patterns and sew my own clothing.
Nothing fancy of course, simple patterns was all I attempted.
By the time I fell pregnant with my daughter I decided to get some maternity patterns and proudly wore some of the outfits I managed to turn out.
I remember one Sunday at home, doing a photo shoot with my husband modelling all my "home made" maternity wear!
When the children were small I sewed them their fleece pyjamas and track suits using stretch fabric.
Knee holes were quickly repaired with some colourful patches.
I even used up bits and pieces in various colours and used them in sleeves, etc, as you can see in the second picture of my daughter! How clever was I?

Son wearing top made by me and daughter wearing top in various colours also made by me.
Of course, as soon as they were old enough to decide what they wanted to wear, my home made clothes were no longer very popular....

So I lost interest in sewing for many, many years and took up some other artistic activities instead.

Then Knitwit became popular, I lived in South Africa then, and my sister and I joined their sewing classes with their easy patterns and cotton stretch fabrics. Every week for a couple of months we attended the lessons, then we would go home and dutifully cut out and sew our outfit to be used and presented at the next lesson. That was fun, and we got a whole new wardrobe to boot.
Looking through my photo albums I can´t find a photo with any of those clothes, but I certainly wore them and they were actually quite nice.

In 1991, for my younger sister´s wedding in Portugal, someone was brave enough to trust me to make the dresses for the 3 mini brides maids (they were my daughter and two nieces). I made a little bow and sash for my son´s trouser suit as well, so they would all match. As you will be able to see from the photos, they don´t look that bad. Don´t know if I would have the guts to attempt something like that now!!

My daughter on left     -   My younger sister and her bridal party- my daughter and nieces, with my son in front. The white dress of the ring girl was not made by me.

Sadly my daughter did not get the craft gene from me, but has a wonderful singing voice, and my son is also very artistic, but not a singer.
More about my new craft interests will follow in another post.

Does anyone remember the Knitwit sewing classes? Do you enjoy sewing for yourself?

Saturday 18 June 2011

My interests and my first blog post

After an exciting day lesson at the University of Western Australia (extension), with the lovely Amanda - on "How to Become a Blogger", here I am writing my first post on my brand new blog!

I consider myself a world traveller - due to my husband's line of work, I follow him around, so I have lived in many countries - in Africa, Europe and now Australia. I consider myself lucky to be able to experienced different cultures, meet new people, see the world, and luckily I seem to adapt quite well to wherever I move to.

I live in Perth, a beautiful city by the river Swan on the West Coast of Australia. 
Some people consider it quiet and dull, but I love it; not being a social butterfly I prefer dinners with friends, visiting museums, walking along the river...

I am a very keen crafter, have done all sorts of art projects - oil, acrylics, watercolours, fabric, wood and glass painting. When living in Europe I ran a crafts group, but in Australia haven't been able to join one, as most clash with my working hours.
My new pastime is recycling fabric into jewellery and bags, and you will be able to see some photos of my recent work.
I enjoy photography as well, and usually carry my camera with me everywhere, taking pictures of monuments, beautiful scenery or people.

Working around the world has it's downside, because as soon as you make friends and your house is all remodelled and to your liking, it's time to uproot again, change jobs, sell house, make new friends...
Does anyone relate to this? How do you make new friends in a new country?
I hope you can join me and comment on my crafts as well.
Looking forward to meeting you all.

Gaugin - acrylic on canvas
Glass plate with gold leaf

Lady in Purple - oil on canvas