Friday, October 31, 2008

Time out for painting...

Now on taking time out from mulberry picking and general veggie patch frolicking, I also, in my spare time (!) like to paint with my ridiculous children, as seen here.  Although I'm not sure we should have tried this at home!

Incase it was not obvious, we are pictured here making a costume for Sean.  Thomas the tank engine, his absolute favourite person, or train.

Happy Halloween!

Shell xx

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Heart

I went shopping today, to buy a feather for my hair, some nappies for the babies, and bits like that.  I chose a worthy feather, walked up to the counter and chatted with the lady as she served me.  It was during this conversation I of course told her I was a singer (la, di, da) and in my silly flamboyant way, managed to really make her laugh heartily out loud.  As I walked away I looked back on my short performance and was glad I had made her smile.  

I think that remembering to rejoice in life is the most important key to emotional, and probably most physical health.  So much worldly conversation is focussed on the negative, but I try to remember that this world was created by, and belongs to God.  And the good guys win in the end you know!  

I also think that no smile, or laughter that you give to others in your day goes unnoticed, it can always bless someone, and your happy heart will always bless you.

Shell xx

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hot days, quiet corners...

On a hot day,
It is nice, to go find a place,
A cool, quiet corner to sit and think about things...

Today I thought about my life,
And who I am inside my head.

I examined what is good, 
And what needs to be improved,
I asked for what I wanted,
And gave thanks for what I had.

I thought about the plans I've made,
For things ahead-
Trying, (in my fallen way),
To see that God has His hand on my life,
Like the wisest, most loving friend.

Hot days, 
with time spent in quiet corners,
Make me remember what I am striving for,
And realise how far, I already have come...

Shell xx

Monday, October 27, 2008

Being silly at the gig...

Cam, (Left: who plays guitar) remarked that we should have taken a photo of ourselves at every gig we've ever done.  That would amount to a lot of photos, a lot of memories to look back on...  

I know for the rest of my life I will never forget this time.  When there are gigs to be done, songs to be learned, and played, gear to be loaded, unpacked, set-up, broken back down, repacked again..!  There is so much work goes into it.  And you have to love it, otherwise the work would seem too hard.  The nights too long, and the gear too heavy!

I love it.  And I love these three boys who love it along with me.

Shell xx

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Today, I am smiling...

Today, I am smiling.
So happy about that new baby girl,
So delighted to have done a great gig last night, for such a lovely crowd.
So excited about this beautiful season upon us,
and all that happiness that goes along with it...
All the beautiful flowers blooming,
(I just couldn't help but put some in my hair!)

Today I am singing that song:
"Summer breeze, makes me feel fine,
Blowing through the Jasmine of my mind..."

Shell xx

Friday, October 24, 2008

This New Little Girl

I have been up all night.

Assisting the labour of my dear sister-in-law, Kathleen.  At 3am this morning she had a baby girl.  They have had four boys previously, so this was an absolutely amazing, and somehow extra special thing.  They thought they'd never have a girl...

I was so proud and honoured that she wanted me there to help her during that trying, but precious time.  I also realised I had never been a birth helper before, as I am usually the one having the baby!  So I just assumed myself as someone whose hand could be squeezed as hard and as often as necessary...  And someone to sit through, and "go through" each contraction, (and wish I could do some of them for her).

Kathleen worked so hard, was ever full of grace, and love for her child, ahead of herself.

It is a wonderful day!  I cannot wait to get to know this new little girl.

Shell xx

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day Dreaming

The weather today has been belligerent!  Windy and cold; so I have stayed inside my warm cottage and turned my attention to music... 

I usually sit at the piano to play in the lounge room, then turn and kneel at the coffee table to write down lyrics until my knees hurt!  Normally this is a late night activity for me, when there are no distractions, no children awake.  And as well as that, there is something that seems more spiritual about the night.  I feel more susceptible to inspiration.  Like I can review my thoughts and my heart more clearly.

I should be reviewing country songs for a gig of that theme on the weekend, but I am just sitting there, playing new songs, and imagining how they will sound recorded; and performing them live...  My mind is also on Monday, it was such a great day!  

*day dreaming*

Okay now, back to work!

: )

Shell xx

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Because I care...

...was the theme for this years Carers Week.  Do click the link, and see what I mean...

I have had a wonderful day.  I love getting up in the wee hours of the morn for a gig!  I love anytime for a gig really...  But today was one of those very special gigs, that you look back to, for all of your years.

We had the pleasure of mingling with some lovely caring celebrities, such as the legendary Bud Tingwell...

And I was proud to perform in front of so many of our country's Ministers, the leader of the opposition, and our own Prime Minister, (don't tell him that I voted for John!)  I must say, that his speech was warm and heartfelt...

And I cannot end without mentioning how breathtakingly beautiful Old Parliament House is.  It is the most wonderful Art Deco masterpiece.  Australia is scarcely old enough to have many really old buildings, so I enjoyed having the opportunity to be in those beautiful rooms...

But of course the thing I was most honoured by today, was that my song helped convey the message that Carers Australia were giving.  That people all over this great country are giving the gift of caring to their disabled partners, sons, daughters, parents or friends...  I love that this week is to formally acknowledge the people who do the hard "yakka" for those who cannot...

I am glad that my gift, was able to be of some little help today.

Shell xx

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Feet!

Today my feet cannot contain their excitement, and simply must be photographed in some of my favourite places!

Veggie Garden Feet!

Lavender Feet...

And pathway feet!

The path that leads to my door, my home, my favourite place.

Shell xx

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Beautiful Day

The Salvos Spring Fete at last was here today; funny to think that this day pictured below is all over now as I write to you with slightly sunburned skin...

We had a great time, I found it an honour to perform for such a kind, loving and giving family of Salvos.  Bless them all.

These are my beautiful musical accomplices!  Spiritual brothers, beloved friends I've the pleasure to make music with...

Rob and Jamie behind the mixing desk

Cam the man charming another of his many fans!

Shell xx

Friday, October 17, 2008

To pause, and focus

The end of the working week always feels exciting to me.  Husband will be home for a few days, gigs to be done, daylight saving upon us, and warm weather expected all the while...

Tomorrow the band will be donating our time for the Salvation army here in Canberra, their annual Spring Fete.  We will perform twice for their patrons and I expect it to be a lovely day.

I haven't forgotten about my 'just a thought' post from Tuesday, I am endeavoring to find a way to explain it better...  All comments very welcome.

I am to play another Coffee and Chords on Sunday, and then on Monday I am performing for the Prime Minister at Old Parliament House on behalf of The Carers Association

So I am taking the time just now to pause, and focus before this busy weekend; I am so blessed to be able to do for a living, what I enjoy and shine in.

In love,

Shell xx

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thinking on...

Preface: I always think better with a cup of tea in hand!

Where was I?
Thoughts of life and love.
And how to live and love you better.
Wider; deeper, stronger;
Bigger, further, longer;
I want to be a constant thing.
Like ship at sea-
No matter how harsh; storms around me,
I sail strong, and constant for the.

And if I am this ship, and life is the sea-
Then surely my thoughts-
Are the captain!
In order to sail safely home,
I must steady my mind,
And sail strong, and brave,
And far, and long.
No matter how harsh; storms around me,
I sail faithfully home, to the.

Shell xx

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just a thought...

This afternoon, the children and I went for a walk down the paddock.  We sat on mossy rocks under a tree, and while the children played about the with their toy cars and Emma drew in her notebook, I thought for a long time, about the art of thought.

That we have a responsibility, to oversee our own thoughts.  To do our own emotional house keeping!  What I mean is, if we can get past being enslaved by our emotions, then we are at liberty to release them completely into whatever creative endeavor!  We can relate to people more easily, and can bloom into who we were put on this Earth to be.

I am still a bit deep in thought about this, maybe I'll tell you my more of my maturing thoughts on this tomorrow...

Your thoughts..?

Shell xx

Monday, October 13, 2008

Musical Homework

When there is musical homework to be done, I confess it is never too much like work for me.  I enjoy learning songs for weddings that are booked for the band.  Even if they are not to my personal taste, and I would rather be playing my own thing; I think to myself, would I swap this for an office job? No.  Never.  So I try not to complain.  I love any work that involves music.

And so now, I had better get back to it!  I have a three gig weekend ahead.  What fun!

Shell xx

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sharp Frog Studios

Not many musos have their very own studio.  And fewer of them I'm sure, have their own studio converted from a wheat silo!  But I am one of those unlikely few.  Jamie built this (he says for me - sweet) but it is for the whole band, and the whole family.  It was indeed the farm's old wheat silo, and it is now the most gorgeous, completely round music space in the world!

We have named it Sharp Frog because it was the hilarious conclusion that a three year old Jamie came up with when Dad introduced him to his first echidna!  The story is legendary in our family, and now so is the name.  Jamie and Dad worked on the studio for the most part and so it seemed right to name it something strangely wonderful, and so the echidna lives there and greets all who enter by the wooden slab door...

I am delighted that we shall record our next album here.  After the spectacularly perfect Studios 301 in beautiful Sydney where Twelve Short Stories was made, this will be a more reflective album.  One that is written by a more grown up me.  By a writer looking back at a decade in the music industry...  

The songs are taking beautiful shape and I can't wait to finish rehearsing and start recording.  Lots and lots more work to do yet.  In fact I am only just starting to compile the story of the collection of songs.  This is what I was born to do, write albums of songs for sensitive souls to decipher!  And to record them at home, in that beautiful round room, will give the music made there an even more honest tone.

Shell xx

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Anything (Carers' Version)

Anything (Carers' Version)


Anything, from the Twelve Short Stories album has been re-released with different lyrics and is just today available on iTunes!

I was approached by the Carers Association here in Canberra to provide them with a theme song for the launch of their DVD last year.  You can find it here on youtube, I recommend watching this video if you are interested.  It is very moving, explains completely what the Carers Association is all about, and I feel so blessed that my song helps communicate the emotion.  

This year they have put together a new short film, and have asked for Anything to be featured on the soundtrack once more.  I will be performing it live also at this years launch which is to be held at Old Parliament House with the PM in attendance.  I am looking forward to it. 

Feeling like a very blessed songwriter today!

Shell xx

Friday, October 10, 2008

1 John 2:15-17

Do not love this world, nor the things it offers you,
for when you love the world, 
you do not have the love of the Father in you.
For the world offers you only a craving for physical pleasure,
a craving for everything we see,
and pride in our achievements, and possessions.

These are not from the Father,
But are from this world,
And this world is fading away,
along with everything that people crave...

But anyone who does what pleases God,
will live forever.

Shell xx

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Weep You No More, Sad Fountains

Another poem/song found in this delightful little book from Jamie's shelf.  You can hear it sung in the 1995 film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility by 'Marianne' played by the wonderful Kate Winslet.

I don't seem to poses the computer skills necessary to embed the youtube video onto my page (!) but if you're interested in hearing it sung (so beautifully I will add) then click here to watch...

Weep you no more, sad fountains;
What need you flow so fast?
Look how the snowy mountains
Heaven's sun doth gently waste.
But my sun's heavenly eyes
View not your weeping,
That now lies sleeping
Softly, now lies 

Sleep is a reconciling,
A rest that peace begets.
Doth not the sunrise smiling
When fair at even he sets?
Rest you then, rest, sad eyes,
Melt not in weeping,
While he lies sleeping
Softly, now lies

There is no author listed; just anon, which probably meant it was written by a woman.  I believe this was often the case in Elizabethan times.  Funny I thought the queen was a woman!

Shell xx

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sometimes I feel guilty....

...If I don't exersise heavily everyday,
If I don't get all the washing done,
If I have six pieces of chocolate,
instead of one;
But then I look at my heart, the way Jesus would,
And know that in all, my intentions are good.
And guilt is an institution
Of slavery!
Intended to keep good folk, in fear...
Of not having made the bed,
Of not having swept the floor...
When all that really matters,
Is loving with our whole hearts-
and thinking with our whole minds-
Living our whole lives, 
with the assurance that we are loved,
By a whole,
and loving God.

; )

Shell xx

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Wild Daisy

I have rather neglected Tuesday's Nature Appreciation Society of late, so this afternoon, Tara and I went out in the sunny, crisp Spring weather and picked some wild daisies...

And got tangled up in the Wisteria...

But it all ended in tears like things so often do when you're two!

Hope your day is full of flowers and sunshine!

Shell xx