Sociable Saturdays and Slow Sundays

My weekends are proper weekends again. Hooray, and phew, only two days not working to do things like switch the sheets, hang out with people, paint, shop, get my recharging time in, blog, sleep late – I’d forgotten. Looking forward to Fridays is back on my radar! 

This weekend has been a fantastic combination of the social and the slow. As an introvert, I really enjoy people’s company, and I really enjoy, and need, big chunks of time by myself. 

I set my alarm for Saturday morning and headed to Carlton for a #BWPmeetup organised by the lovely Naomi. A group of eight Blog With Pip alums got together at Travelling Samovar, a beautiful tea house, where we sampled a range of iced teas, learned about cold infusions and a little of the history of tea, and we even got to blend our own tea to take home. We all had a wonderful morning in their sun dappled courtyard. 

BWP fun at Travelling Samovar

One of my favourite moments was chatting with one of the owners, Pascale, about the BWP community. If you read more than one Pipster’s blog, I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of praise for Pip Lincolne, and hand on my heart, without elevating her to sainthood, I’d say Pip’s greatest achievement as a teacher is fostering a truly supportive, encouraging, online community. This is rare! As we all know, the internet can make people lose their minds (and manners) a little, as anyone who spends time reading comments, message boards, or hanging out on Facebook and Twitter would have seen. 

I was so proud to be able to tell Pascale about our community, how those of us who live near each other arrange meetups and how some travelling Pipsters have arranged international meetups, and how I have friends like Rach in Auckland thanks to blogging. 

So Saturday started out with a fun and social vibe. A few of us went on to lunch a few doors down and we had a great conversation over pizzas and salads. I enjoyed a cheeky glass of midday wine! 

I was so happy that I got to meet a few new people, and enjoy a gorgeous summer morning with such quality ladies. 

The rest of the day was solo and quiet, which also suits me just fine! 

This morning I baked a KILLER loaf of banana bread using this recipe by BabyMac. I love that #sundaybakingsunday has become part of people’s routine. I love seeing all your delicious pies and cakes and lunch box treats on Instagram. 

Bev’s Banana Bread

Mmmmm… so good!


I’ve done a little painting, hung out online and am showered and wearing fresh pjs! For bonus points, it is Fresh Sheets Day. Ahh, life is good. 

Time is precious. 

Whether you enjoy it more in the company of others, or spending it alone, or a combo, time is a real privilege. 

We have only this moment. Today. 

I hope that thought inspires us to treat each other with kindness, to be mindful that everyone we meet has battle scars and victories that have shaped them, that the best thing to do if we feel unsure of someone’s intention is to ask, politely, and as appropriate, to engage more with each other. I wish I could look you in the eye as you read this. I truly feel like I’m entering into conversation with you here. I want it to be a genuinely open dialogue. 

So here’s to slow Sundays, social Saturdays and the simple joy of putting my head down on fresh sheets tonight. 

How has your weekend been? Got a story to share? I’m listening. 


Annette xx 



Good evening art lovers, 7/2015 of #paintisaverb is now open. May I offer you a glass of something cold? It’s a beautiful summer evening here, I hope your Friday night is looking good.


This week my painting took a 90 degree turn, when I took something I was working on and flipped it on its side to see how it looked from a different perspective.




I liked what I saw and decided that this piece should be vertical rather than my go-to horizontal…. could my love of sleeping have anything to do with that proclivity? Hmmm, something to ponder.

As well as painting a few things this week, I made another card, which will be posted this weekend, and took a trip to my spiritual home, IKEA. I adore that flat-pack paradise. I wandered happily and purchased some bright, inexpensive frames for some of my rapidly growing pile of beginner’s level masterpieces and missteps.

Though they’re not the works of a skilled artist, I got a kick out of framing a couple of my watercolours and rearranging things in my living room to find homes for each of them.

Only seven weeks into my first full year of painting, I’m beginning to have a new empathy for mums who are bombarded day after day with kindergarten, daycare or school artworks.

Each one demands fridge or wall space, and high praise, whether it is a sweet bobble-headed family portrait or a disturbing cyclone of black and brown finger-painting.

I’m curating my 46 year-old self’s early artistic adventures, and I like it!

Do you have kids that are prolific artists?

Are you a doodler, a dreamy landscaper or avid watercolourist?

I’d love to hear about your artistic endeavours, or have a gander at favourite pieces via an Instagram snap tagged #paintisaverb.

That’s all from me – I’m back in love with Fridays now that I’m working again. Happy weekend all!

Please feel free to leave a comment here, or you chat with me and other Verbs peeps on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. I’m a social media lover, so I’m there a LOT!!



PS. I might have spent an hour in Typo last night looking at pretty stamps and other crafty things… I might have! You’ll spot the evidence if you have a keen eye.

She works hard for the money

You can always tell it is Sunday night by the flood of memes about the Sunday sads, Mondayitis and sometimes LOL inducing complaints about going in to the office, appearing all over social media.

If I were to create a playlist for Sunday nights it would include Everybody Wants To Work by The Uncanny X-Men, Manic Monday by The Bangles, Material Girl by Madonna and She Works Hard For The Money by Donna Summer.

I work for the government. Well, technically, I don’t have a paying job, so the government provides me a benefit called Newstart while I look for work. I have been working for Our Tone (PM and gun Minister for Women) for a while, and frankly he’s starting to creep me out. I think he’s confused that I’m not at home ironing.

Once you have been unemployed for a year, your job services provider calls you in to discuss the Work for the Dole program.

My consultant Elise started the conversation with ‘It won’t be as bad as you think’. What a sales pitch! Where do I sign?

While I am pleased that I won’t be picking up rubbish from a roadside, the notion that I haven’t been working for the dole for the past 49.5 weeks really got me thinking about what we consider ‘work’.

Firstly, you’ll have to work out how to live on $326 a week.

Actually, once I put aside the rent, there’s only $124.

That $124 has to cover groceries, petrol, car insurance, electricity and gas, internet plan, home insurance, credit card payments, and the new 12 month phone contract you may have signed up for a week before you lost your job. I’m glad I don’t suffer FOMO when it comes to communication devices.

If you are super lucky, and find a job in the first month or so, it’s not too bad, as most of us have a well stocked pantry, and sympathetic friends.

If not, your work will include not allowing the seeming futility of sending out applications – week after week, often with no response whatsoever – to drag you down. It’s disheartening.

You’ll have to work at staying connected with people. They’re busy – at work – and if you’re used to socialising with them over drinks and dinner, well, refer to $124 above.

Depending on the season, you might have to work at setting utilities restrictions. Last winter I set myself incremental goals – no heater until noon, then 1pm, then 2pm. I’d make another cup of tea, or put another layer of clothes on. Some days it worked, some days were a bust, because it was bloody cold.

The work that may surprise you the most is the work of frugality. I’ve found myself comparing junk mail, looking for bargains, then foraging in the freezer and searching the dark recesses of the pantry to see what’s on hand – chickpeas and tuna and rice, oh my!

The most rewarding work is the work of perseverance. Even though it hasn’t resulted in a job offer yet, I’m pleased to say I remain optimistic, knowing this too shall pass, though there have been occasional tears at the sink and worries in the night.

Nobody chooses this level of subsistence. The notion of people ‘bludging’ if their only income is $326 a week is not only offensive, it’s impossible.

Perhaps that’s why Donna Summer’s voice has been reverberating in my head lately.

I work hard for the money too.


I wrote this about three weeks ago, as a sample piece for an internship. Given that I haven’t heard a thing, I decided to publish it here. It’s an important topic, and not just to me. 

I’m thrilled to say that I now have a casual job! That means I’m working hard for more money, which is awesome – and for the first time in over a year, I’m mentally fatigued at the end of the day. 



6/2015 52 Paintings Goes Postal


Oh my, where are the days going?  How are we up to 6/2015 of 52 Paintings already? Time flies when you’re having fun I guess.

This week I haven’t spent a lot of time on chilled out painting, I’d forgotten how much working for a living takes up my time! On a brighter note, I have been the recipient of some inspiring and crafty generosity.

In another win for the “kindness of strangers”, Denyse sent me a parcel that was literally bursting at the seams with craft supplies, lovely brushes and paper, even scrummy snacks – such good stuff!! Thanks so much Denyse ❤️

Yesterday I bought myself some snail mail supplies. I’m going to branch out into painting little cards and I think snail mail is a fab way to share my creative experiments with friends near and far. I’ve got stickers, sequins, glue, and a whole bunch of blank cards. Get ready for even more hashtagging as I launch #verbsinthemail.

2015-02-13 10.20.47

Here’s my first card, which will be winging its way to New Zealand very soon.

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I just love experimenting with paint and colour. It’s so much fun!

Colour Blocking
Colour Blocking

Here’s to the weekend folks! I’d forgotten how great it feels to make it to Friday — phew.

Stay crafty!



5/2015 – 52 Paintings

Good morning! 

Perhaps we should call this week’s painting part of the summer sessions, as Melbourne has decided to turn on some warmer weather for a change. 

It’s been a busy week for me, I started a casual role which is hurting my brain, so there’s been less time for painting. 

The lovely Emily from Squiggleandswirl sent me some fab watercolours earlier in the week. I’m looking forward to using them. 

Thanks Emily!

I was experimenting with layering last night, how it changes colours and the way the edges of the wash bleeds is really interesting. Here’s what I came up with. 



Do you like experimental art? That’s all I have for now as a beginner! I’ll pop a few more efforts on social media – look for #paintisaverb. 

Got to run, work calls! 

Happy Friday to you. 



52 Paintings – Week 4/2015

Welcome to 4/2015 of 52 Paintings, which you can find on social media as #paintisaverb. This week my little craft station has been coaxing me, “come play, forget about stressful things for a while”. It has been great to lose myself in the paints and brushes.

Sometimes when I sit down, I have a rough idea about shapes I’d like to create, or colours I want to play with, and sometimes when I put my jars of water down and rip a fresh sheet of watercolour paper out of the quickly dwindling pad, I have no idea what’s ahead of me.

It always starts the same way.

2015-01-29 12.04.50

This week there were some dreadful play dates, where nothing seemed to flow. I can see it so clearly when there’s no ease. Those works are destined for the recycling bin.

Luckily there were also times when things flowed easily.

My favourite work of the week was inspired by my bloggy pal Emily. You’ll read more about her in a bit.


I just love the way this one came out! 4/2015 made me happy. So cheerful and imperfect and bright.

I painted the squares and rectangles in a random order, choosing colours as I went along. I found my inspiration on Emily’s Instagram feed, and I love how she adds inky whimsy to her creations.

It was only last year that I learned that watercolours actually come in vibrant hues, as well as the softer tones that my brain had mistakenly thought “watercolours” was limited to. The things you don’t know until you do. Learning is awesome.

Here’s another couple of paintings from this week. I love the vibrancy of the larger one. I started out in wet on wet, then went over it wet on dry (that’s fancy artist talk!) and I am really happy with the way the colours pop.

2015-01-27 14.54.38

I thought I’d share a few of my favourite Instagram artists with you this week. These creative people create and share such great stuff – it’s kind of amazing to have 24 hour a day access to such a diverse range of online galleries.

@squiggleandswirl belongs to Emily, who I know via Blog With Pip. I love Emily’s artistic sensibility – her whimsical drawings and doodles, her colour choices and her pretty ink flowers. Emily has been such an encouraging supporter of my adventures with the brushes. Thanks Emily!

@tinniegirl is a Melbourne based artist and I love her style. I met Cathy at a groovy craft market last year and I’ve been following her ever since. She’s been kind enough to suggest some great art resources to me.

@tracyverdugo is an artist Cathy suggested I follow. Tracy’s paintings blow my mind. I literally don’t know how she does it – I’m just a beginner, but I love the layers she creates and the bold colours she uses. I’d love to do one of Tracy’s workshops one day.

@surfistatomato is where you’ll be blown away by Andrew, who is a super talented photographer. He has the best eye. The best. His architecturally driven photography knocks me out. I love his composition and considered simplicity.

Each of these creative people has taken time to respond to comments I’ve left them on Instagram, to answer a question, share a tip or a word of encouragement with this inquisitive beginner. How great is that! Makes me wish Jackson Pollock had Instagram.

I hope you’ll check out these Insta-heroes of mine.

Who are your creative heroes? Do tell.

Keep making time to play.

Annette x

52 Paintings – 3/2015

It’s Friday again, which means my weekly 52 Paintings post aka #paintisaverb time. Here’s 3/2015. It’s also the start of the Australia Day long weekend in only 8 hours. I should have painted a kangaroo or something else patriotic! Damn you beginner skill levels. 

This week I’ve been reading about painting and I am even more in awe of artists than I usually am! As I go from just liking paintings in a gallery, or now on my Instagram feed as I follow more artists, and realise what’s involved, it makes me think painting (done well) really is incredible. 

The layers, the choices of materials and mediums, choosing subject matter, finding inspiration and time, the practice… sheesh. 


I’m experimenting. I don’t know what’s working and what’s not, but I’m posting this because I really want to make sure I don’t fall into “that’s not good enough to share”. This is just me playing with paint, exercising my creativity, looking for my style or voice or whatever it is people look for. Or it is nothing but amateur and silly play. Either works for me! 

In fact, I think that’s something worth challenging – all the “good enough” noise in our heads. Who the hell gets to decide what’s good enough (or not) about my creative play? And why should I care? 

Well, there’s my humanity and desire to get a thumbs up or a well done every now and then. BUT I can’t live solely on external validation – not as a painter anyway! 

So, here’s 3/2015. 

And here’s to play being play, and that being my thumbs up for the week. 

I hope you make time to play this weekend – paint, doodle, throw a frisbee, make popcorn the old fashioned way, get your crochet on… do something that makes you feel good. 

Happy weekend friends.