Bird O’Clock

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Sometimes when inspiration won’t come and I feel like I am stagnant and uncreative I know I need a reboot. I go on an outing, I did this with my last trip to the zoo and getting out and about is a great way to fuel those creative fires.

An opportunity arose to visit a bird aviary on my recent trip to Canberra.

My husband wanted to see the War Memorial, art galleries all the usual stuff the Capital city has to offer. We agreed to see as much as we could in the three days, whilst the kids were at school camp.

The aviary went way beyond my expectations. They had many species of birds from all over the world. The time passed quickly. I sat captivated. Looking up to the tops of the aviary I did feel a little sad. The birds were not free but most of them had only known captivity and would not survive in the real world. The caretaker told me sometimes hawks and eagles tear the nets and grab the birds. When the netting is open he mentioned most of the birds come back because they know they get fed and feel safe.

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When you walk through the gates with your bowl of food beware. The cheekiest lorikeets make themselves known. Using your arms as bar stools, they eat and bicker among themselves.DSCN7065 (copy)


I noticed the park also accepted birds that people no longer wanted. I overheard an elderly woman talking to her pet Lorikeet, saying goodbye. She told him he would meet some new friends in there. (broke my heart) She said she and her husband were not able to care for the bird anymore. At least he would have a good home. But I could not help noticing the sadness in her voice as she handed him over to the park owners. Me, yes, I felt her loss too.

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I think I must have taken at least a hundred photo’s on that day. But as usual not all of them turn out well, but these are a few that I love.


My only disappointment, I could not find the bird I love to sketch. The blue wren. The gardener said they escape out of the holes in the nets (which they fix daily) and come and go as they please.

The good news  I found some on my morning walk. They had made their home in the blackberry bushes, far away from my cats.

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So my message to you.

Go for that outing for some extra inspiration. You may only need to step out into your own back yard.

Ending with a little story….Why do birds make me happy? I don’t know, I only know that I feel a connection to them. I remember a day when I was young and my cat had climbed up into a tree hunting a nest of poor newborn sparrows. I scolded her, grabbing a ladder I leaned it up against the old gum tree and climbed high to get her down. My father laughed at me and said that the cat was just doing what cats do and if I loved birds I should not own a cat. It was on that day when I came home from a trip to town. I found an empty nest and a cat with a full belly; I realised I had two conflicting passions. Such sadness I felt, that I could not save those birds. My conflicting passions still haunt me today. I think my father was right all those years ago.


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The Magic of Virtual Friendships

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Jewellery By Mary From MagicsOfCreation her Etsy shop.

It really is a small and wonderful world.

I can get to know a person on the other side of the globe, without leaving my house. Learn about how they live in a matter of a few posts.

There are no limits to where I can go. I only have to extend my fingers and type a comment on someone’s blog and something magical can happen. Blogging for me began as a way to  journal about the things that inspire me to write or sketch.

But I did not plan on the many connections I have made with you, oh the people I have met. So many talented and unique people who inspire my creative mind to dig deep. (You all know who you are.) If I visit your site and follow you, then you are sharing something of value to me. Like Mary.

I met Mary through her visits to my blog and then we discovered we both enjoy art.

Mary is an artist I admire. Every time I visit her space I am in awe of her work. Mary helped me set up my Etsy shop. It still needs work, but having friends like Mary made the process easier. So I just wanted to say thank you MARY I appreciate YOU.

When I purchased one of Mary’s beautiful pendants there was a surprise. A stunning moon pendant had been gifted to me (above) . Mary believes we should make art our fashion. How could I not, with her wonderful designs. I hope you skip on over to her shop and take a look. I walk the town proud to wear her art. It complete’s me, knowing it came from halfway across the globe makes me smile.

If there is an artists shop you love who inspires you please share in the comments.

Below is my hand painted stone pendant that I will treasure always, it is everything I imagined it would be. Thanks Mary.

The link to Mary’s shop

Jewellery by Mary from MagicsOfCreation at

Jewellery by Mary from MagicsOfCreation at

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Follow Your Heart

Zebra (Mogo Zoo) by Kath Unsworth

Zebra (Mogo Zoo)
by Kath Unsworth

When you discover your gifts, those moments of inspiration take hold. The hours speed past, yet you feel like you are in a place where time stands still. A place where you feel complete.

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”

Joseph Campbell

I love that quote. I know that my art is complete if I listen to my heart.

You know that little voice or vibe you get in your very soul, it’s a creative itch that won’t go away, that’s your ticket to freedom.

If I force something  my work is never as good.

On a recent trip to the Mogo Zoo to entertain the children, I found myself inspired by nature, as always. I feel sorry for caged animals, but zoo’s play a very important part in educating us on how amazing this earth can be and the breeding programs alone, assure the continuation of each species.

A bunch of happy children ran wildly about the park soaking up zoo life. I found myself in a daze, captivated by the light and shadow. I imagined the art I could create with a handful of pencils and some good paper. But the luxury of sitting still and doing a couple of animal portraits, was not the order of the day.

This day was all about the kids. So with trusty camera in hand I collected the memorable moments to store for later. When I returned home the zebra called to me and I could not wait to sketch, there is something about that photo that inspired me. I don’t question why any more I just follow my heart.

After our visit (we walked the circuit twice) we all agreed that nature indeed is an amazing gift. Every visit I learn something new. My daughter and I adore snow leopards (below) but dream about seeing them in their natural habitat (brrr). We wondered if they were dreaming of the same thing.

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

When you do the thing that inspires you, wonderful moments float to the surface. I know my art is just a hobby. Yet it is leading me somewhere wonderful. To a place of completeness, where I peel off the layers of self-doubt and become my true self.

How about you, when you follow your heart does your heartbeat match the beat of the universe?

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Happiness is……..

Art work by Kath Unsworth FOR my MUM

Art work by Kath Unsworth

My joy is the silence, waiting and listening.

 I am grounded, within those small moments

Life in all of its complexities does not exist.

The birds song is the sound of happiness.

The real joy, is finding someone who shares that passion.

A recent trip to the Botanical gardens, a day out for my mothers birthday, I asked for a hint on what I could buy her as a gift. She said she would like one of my bird sketches. We stopped at the café, and ordered  hot chocolates before our walk. The first thing I noticed was the amount of wrens flitting about and jumping from table to table.

Happiness washed over me.

I cannot deny the simple fact that birds make me happy. On this particular day I did not have my camera with me. The children thought the cheeky birds were cute and fed them crumbs. I sat quietly grinning and savoured the moment.

I think we forget to enjoy those tiny moments. A wren sat on the back of my mum’s chair and we both smiled. My mum loves birds too.

My mum knows happiness and makes every day count. She is thankful for the sunshine on a winter’s day. She smiles at the children playing in the playground and enjoys her surroundings where ever we go, especially the birds. I feel blessed she handed her positiveness down to us.

Happy birthday mum you are my inspiration.

After that day in the gardens I decided I would sketch a blue wren for her birthday. I added a bit of extra charm by using newspaper and was happy with the results. The best way to express how much I love my mum is through my art.

Happiness is sharing my passion for birds with my beautiful mum.

I leave you with Mary Oliver, she really knew how to see and enjoy the smallest of moments. Her passion for nature shines through.

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
― Mary Oliver

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Discover your passion

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Sugar from the picture book Sugar and Spice By Kath unsworth

The picture book has taken a different turn AGAIN! When you think you know exactly where you are and then BAM! Something happens and you see an opportunity to grow.

Discovering how far you can take a dream is worth the effort. I’m in no hurry to finish. I want it to be the best of what I can produce. And so I took and online Craftsy course.

The Art of Picture books with Shadra Strickland

Shadra has opened my eyes to many issues with my layout, mood, perspective, the list is endless. I think its okay to take a step backward if it means you will learn. I’m making progress in more ways than I can imagine. Building skills I can put to good use over and over.

This week after many changes to my story I came across Susanna Leonard Hill’s post.


A competition for illustrators. The word DISCOVER is the theme.


does the illustration evoke a sense of story,
 – is the picture readable to a young audience,
 – how well does it show the character(s) and
 – is/are the character(s) appealing (character development),
 – originality,
 – skill.

My draft of Sugar the calf (above) discovering how frightful a day at the fair can be. Needs more work, I want to push it further I have submitted this image. I will be improving on it no doubt.

I am hoping to win the big prize, please wish me luck


I hope I filled the brief? What do you think? Would you vote for me after reading the brief?

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A Room with a View

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I will take you back a couple of weeks.

Life needs to slow down, sometimes we just need to cease.

Being told to rest after blood tests and many visits to the doctors, with no results about why I was fatigued and weak.

The word REST is not in my vocabulary.

The Specialist said I will probably never know what caused my illness. Maybe a virus?

I don’t like to talk about being ill. I believe it just feeds the negative but I have not had the strength to blog, sketch or even read books. That loss of energy and inspiration is nothing short of dismal, when all you can do is NOTHING.

My busy life of art, replaced with nothing but time and looking out the window.

Sitting there day after day, watching the beautiful Rosella’s come and go and watching my husband do all the work. You would think I could relax and enjoy the break. I found it so frustrating to do nothing.


It gave me time to think, it gave me time to worry.

Six months gone and I am nowhere near finished any of my projects. AGAIN you say. But after being unwell I had to take a new approach.

At the moment I’m happy just to be able to do my chores. I’m smiling as I put the washing on the line or making my kids a Vegemite sandwich for school.

I’m laughing with my daughter as we sit through a Harry potter Marathon (her suggestion to help me rest).

Happy being able to give a tasty dinner for my tired husband. He has been up every day working at 5am chasing cows and then coming home to run the house.

I’m chuffed to sit with my son and watch him win every race on Mario Cart.

I never appreciated being able.

And now that I have my strength back I give thanks for a wonderful supportive family. I have even more admiration for those who go through their day unable to do the little things we all take for granted.

I will leave you with a few images of my Sunday picnic at Brogo Dam. Soak up life people and appreciate the most basic of human needs.

To sit and do nothing if only for a while.

Appreciate the sun, the moon and the stars above but most of all appreciate you are still here and every day is a gift.

Picnic at Brogo Dam

Picnic at Brogo Dam

Kids playing

Kids playing

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You Can Do It!

Life challenges and surprises me often as do my two gorgeous children.

I am now armed with new prisma-colour blue drafting pencils. As I found my black ink outlines on the illustrations were a little too heavy and using these pencils I can change something if I need to, before rendering the image.

Yes I know I am fussy, I should have had these illustrations for Sugar and Spice done already. But each time I re-do them I learn something. It’s not easy making a decision to do them again, let me tell you. It hurts each time I don’t get it right. All that work, all those hours and countless copies of the one image.

This image below is a good example the cat (Spice) is coming along nicely, the kewpie dolls need canes as when I shared the draft on Facebook, people thought they were ballerina’s. The lines are too hard on the dolls and so when I do the next one I will use the new drafting pencils. I must deliver the best piece of work that I can muster and I will not settle for less. I’m getting closer now I can feel it.

Draft from Sugar and Spice

Draft from Sugar and Spice

My daughter inspires me to never give up. The other day she came home a little frustrated. She has been practicing the recorder now since last year. A few of the children from her school will be going to play at the Opera House with over 200 other kiddies. Last Thursday she found out, that she may be playing with the wrong hand.

“All that hard work.” she said “For nothing.” she said. I tried to console her reminding her no practice is for nothing and I offered her a challenge.

“You can do this! How about if you can play the three songs by August with your other hand, I will give you fifty dollars.” She huffed at that. But went away to her room. I heard her playing the songs over and over. Four days later she came to me and played this with her other hand. Not bad for a few days practice, looks like she will get that fifty dollars. I also told her brother that he can earn fifty dollars too, if he sticks with his new Karate classes. (Another story) So I may be a bit poorer in August.

Willow is also working on her picture book (The Magpie Tree). She is practicing sketching birds in illustrator pens, (such detail) each bird is created in fine dots. I have no doubt one day she will get to see her work published. It is such an honour to sit alongside her and watch her work so hard and have beautiful things to show for it.

Art by W. Unsworth

Art by W. Unsworth

And so I keep cheering my children onwards and they inspire me every day. I hope you enjoyed the music and our view from the deck. I hope we inspired you in some small way to never give up on your dreams.

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