Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturdays and spoons

This morning we went exploring in Bungendore NSW, which is about 45 minutes drive from Canberra.  We had a lovely time looking through antique shops, and galleries.  I always find art galleries refreshing and inspiring, and walking past antiques that have history bound up in them - I want them to tell me their stories...  

We had lunch out, which we hardly ever do - it was really special.

We walked through the Wood Works Gallery, which "specialises in exhibiting and promoting Australian wood art, sculpture and contemporary furniture"  says the little card, and while I was in there this little spoon winked at me ; )

And just $26 later it was my little wooden spoon!

Quick note: I have this thing for spoons!  I just think they're lovely, and so useful and friendly in the kitchen, so willing to help out with the curry, or the soup, or the chicken pene'....!

I'm off now to think and worry about my performance tomorrow!

Shell xx

Friday, May 30, 2008

a grateful recipient...

My daughter and I received a beautiful package in the mail this morning.  A print from a Sydney based artist which we purchased on ETSY, which I believe is a site that hosts the selling of hand made goods.  

It is the most beautiful piece.  I have this amazing respect for artists, their canvas is my song...  I can feel the spirit from their art when I look at it...

One of my other favourite artists is GW Bott, look her up, she's wonderful.  I know her well as a person, and her art has inspired many a song of mine, and nicely enough she has complimented my music before too!  

So this week I have been a deep thinker about seasons, artists, autumn trees, and every good thing!  I hope you feel inspired now too!

Shell xx

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I can't get enough of these yellow leaves in autumn!  I just want to take as many photos as possible to preserve them before they all fall off in winter.  And winter is only a few days off...

It is the time of year that you savour every warm sunny afternoon, as you know soon they will be gone for a little while...

This brings me back to thoughts of seasons...

It's a season in my life when my children come up to me and ask questions about everything under the sun.  Sometimes I am working away at something and I wish they would find something else to do, but then I remember this season won't be here forever.  There won't always be a time when they are here to ask me 'how far could a chicken fly?' or 'how many people live in Australia?' or just 'what's for dinner?'  

I have been assured by wiser women than I,  that it feels like only ten minutes or so go by and your children have grown and are off living their own lives, and you will wish for those cuddles and conversations once again...

So I am remembering to savour everything, and everyone while it is still the season.

Shell xx

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

International hug a musician day!?


Although I haven't yet been hugged! Mind you I haven't hugged myself yet either. Maybe that's what's going wrong...

In other news, I have fallen in love... with a dress... I am very excited today because I am having one made as a birthday present from my family. When it's all finished I will post a photo of it!

In the meantime I am singing Paul McCartney songs in my head and hanging out washing and feeling nervous about my solo gig on Sunday - and excited!

Shell xx

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

introducing Twelve Short Stories

This is the cover of our album. It's called 'Twelve Short Stories.'

We recorded most of it in Sydney, and some vocals and overdubs in Canberra.  It was the most fun I've ever had doing music.  The photo of the cover is a photo of a mirror, and we're in it's reflection.  Then more white mirror frames have been added on the computer...  Cool hey!

In the photo as well as myself is Jamie, grooviest bass player, awesome song arranger and best friend!  Then the most amazingly gifted guitarist in the world - Cameron, my bother-in-law.

We started this band, Jamie, myself, and Cameron, in 1999.  We played almost all Celtic folk music to begin with, we were sweet!  Then I started adding music I had written to the mix and we ended up with a unique sound I think.  In about 2000 my other brother-in-law joined the band, he was only about 19 at the time - and he played the drums, without ever a lesson.  He also went on to write, and arrange within the band, he has an amazing musical gift.  At the moment he lives in Nashville USA, he wasn't able to get back to Aus for the recording of this album, which was a shame but I know there will be plenty more recordings for him to play on!

We are releasing Twelve Short Stories on iTunes this June/July and I hope people enjoy hearing it, as much as we did making it.

I'm off to the piano now to write some more short stories...

Shell xx

Monday, May 26, 2008

A deep thinker about seasons.

Happy Monday to all!

Now as well as music going around my head, there are always words as well...

Maybe because we are very soon to be calling it winter, I am thinking today, about the seasons. But not just the weather, and time of year, I'm also thinking about seasons in our lives...

The way sometimes a whole pile of things seem to come to a close at around the same time, and new opportunities, or new problems seem to emerge all at once. The way you look back on things that happened seasons ago and realise how much you have since learned.

So today I'm a deep thinker about seasons. I think the weather does play a part in how we feel though. I always try to remember to look out the window when I'm inside for a long time and keep in touch with what the sun, clouds, wind or rain are doing - it seems to keep you in reality.

I'm cleaning up after babies, and playing piano today in preparation for my gig on Sunday. I'm looking out the window and thinking about going for a walk as soon as I can as well! Hope this is going to be a prosperous winter for all.

Shell xx

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Came, saw - cooked!

Back from Ablury cooking safari and feeling great!  We had a wonderful time and everyone loved the food.  We didn't make any money, just broke even, but it was a great experience and a nice thing to do for the cat club - who were all really nice people.  It was fun to be with my family cooking up a storm!

Back at the lovely apartment where we stayed, I couldn't help but capture this weeping tree in the beautiful Albury afternoon sun...

And across the road this amazing autumn delight...

So a good time was had by all.  My sister-in-law and I talked all the way there and back in the car about life, family, the universe and everything, which was really special... you don't often get the chance in everyday busy life to sit and talk to someone for four hours in a row so that was a treasure...

And on another note, it's raining outside in Canberra tonight, lovely.

Shell xx

Friday, May 23, 2008

Road trip

I am off for a road trip today to Albury.  I love going for long drives, looking out the window watching parts of our amazing country go by...

Then stopping and getting coffee at little coffee shops along the way!  Or even at McCafe these days, as long as you get an extra shot, then it is more likely to taste like coffee!

We are going to be cooking for this cat show in Albury, and I'm looking forward to the experience.

I will write again with pictures and more short stories upon my return.

Shell xx

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just a little poem

Today feels like a day I'm gonna remember,
today feels like the past, it feels like a picture...
Today feels like the world is slightly off centre,
Today feels like the lights are stuck on amber...

Just a little poem,


Shell xx

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Been shopping...

This morning I had to go out and get some supplies, when I got home and put them all on the table, they looked so good I decided to take a photo of them - don't they look yummy!

Also, my cute little purse must have snuck into the shot so as to appear in my blog!  Cheeky...

I have had a lovely morning, taking out all my children, with the wonderful company of my mother-in-law, & sisters-in-law Kate & Anna.  We all go and have coffee and talk about everything, and laugh and have a great time.  It seems that we must have been too happy for some people's social acceptability today, we were verbally abused - twice!

Who can believe it!  I was called to the front of the cue at McDonalds by the girl behind the counter, and a man in the que next to me decided it should be his turn instead, so he started yelling at me!  Now, I get VERY passionate about injustice - so I spoke back to him.  Which abusive people don't want you to do, you're supposed to bow down and cry - not me...

I turned and spoke to him like I would any misbehaving four year old and said "how rude!"  Well this incensed him, and he yelled again and called me every four letter word under the sun!  I was shaken inside, but I didn't show it, I won't let someone like that control me.  I carried on and just continued ordering the juice for the children, and the staff were very nice about it all.

Then later on someone yelled and swore at my mother-in-law because apparently Sean, my cute little blonde three year old was in his way.  Even if he was, (which he wasn't) I ask - was this an incredible failing on Mum's or three year old Sean's part?  A failing so severe that she deserved to be yelled at and called names?  No... 

Later I was thinking, this is a small unpleasant thing really, but there is a BIG principal.  There's often going to be someone in the shops who is rude and abusive when things don't go exactly their way.  The wisdom I have on this, is they cannot control the way I behave in response.  Sometimes it is best to ignore them, but today when this man started shouting at me and calling me names, I thought it was best to respond and show him that he could not make me be a naughty little girl.  He was in the wrong, not me.  This response I warn you, makes them angrier...  But as I said earlier, I have a lot of passion for justice, and I feel  that sometimes you have to speak up.

I even stuck up for a girl behind a counter once when a man started shouting at her because he reckoned something should be a different price....  

I figure if I let wrong happen in front of me, then perhaps I am condoning it...

Shell xx

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Different and challenging

I'm getting ready for a couple of slightly different sort of gigs this week.

Firstly I have a cooking gig!  I am going to be Sous chef for a catering gig with my mother-in-law & sister-in-law in Albury this weekend.  I'm excited!  I think it will be different and challenging to be doing the professional thing in the kitchen, different to my daily domestic majesty!

My mother-in-law is an AWESOME cook, so I love seeing her work, and my sister-in-law Kathleen, is fantastic in the kitchen, she can make anything!  So we are preparing for that this week - fun!

The other gig is a solo piano/vocal gig, well a series of them really at a local coffee house.  I'm really looking forward to it, but I'm a little bit scared as well.  Normally I am in a band - so this too will be different and challenging!  

I think that trying something new is good for you if you can handle yourself, if/when something goes wrong.  So I'm excited!

Shell xx

One week in and I'm already trying new things!

Well, I'll be honest, I'm not sure what I'm doing but I am giving it a tentative go....

I am currently writing this from Facebook!  I just spotted an application which will let me post both from blogger & from here!  Feeling a little confused!  May need a cup of tea and a break from the computer, this is all getting too technical!!!

I will update again a little later today!

Shell xx

Monday, May 19, 2008

Me and Mt Painter

The sun is shining today, I've been for a walk up Mt Painter...

I love walking.  Nearly ten years ago, I lost over fourty kilos by walking up Mt Painter everyday.  So me and Painter have a special bond... 

 I still walk everyday, partly for fitness, and partly for the chance to be alone, clear my head, breathe in the air and to listen to the quiet voice...

You know, the voice in your head which is quiet and soft.  So quiet, that you have to listen very carefully...

If you don't know what I mean then shosh! ... just listen, and you will hear it...

I like that in life, all you need to do to have a heart, a depth of mind, and thought is to choose it.  
No matter your race, colour, or social background, you may live in the light if you want to.

Smell the flowers, look up at the sky, treat others as you would want to be treated.


Shell xx

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Music in my head...

This afternoon I have soup on the stove, and music in my head.  

There is a little bit of Powderfinger (?) - because it was playing in the shop where I was waiting to be served earlier today.  There's a little bit of AC-DC - I don't even know where that come from! 
"...It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n roll.."
He he!

It is amazing what music your mind absorbs!  I don't know about anyone else, but there is always a song plying in my head.  I can remember bits of my childhood from the music that was playing at the time.  I can see it's almost that my brain was wired to feel life through music.  

I can remember being a little kid and hearing Credence Clear Water Revival being played really loud at night while I was supposed to be asleep in bed...  I can remember Phil Collins playing on the radio while I was sitting in the back seat of my parents car, the words
"I just wish a could have told him, in the living years..."
making me long to know what that song was about...  I can remember the first time I looked through my fathers record collection and found Pink Floyd - never to be the same again was I after hearing that, in the best way!

The song which shaped me as a listener, and then later as a writer is The Long and Winding Road, by Paul McCartney...  Ah.... I put that record on, and everything went still.   It's the honesty and beauty of that song that I endeavor to achieve in my own...

* * *

I'm in the process of working out how to add an Mp3 to this blog every now and then - in the meantime, I'd love to play you a song from my Facebook page, or from Myspace.  

My soup is ready now!

Shell xx

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hot tea, cold morning..

There is nothing like a Saturday morning that awakens you with energy & readiness for the day!  You open the curtains to find it has rained a little bit, kettle is on and the tea is on it's way!

I love mornings, always have since I was a little girl -  I feel excited to get things done, to jump in the shower and wash my hair, and think about what treasures I will make out of the day!  

I find the older I get, the less I worry about.  I come from a family history of anxiety, so I make it my everyday challenge to overcome.  Sounds a little corny but I really believe success starts with a smile and a positive attitude!

So I am smiling this morning - it is quite cold outside which is kind of cool (excuse the pun!) because I get to put on one of my nice winter jumpers.  There is hardly any cause for jumpers and jackets in Australia really, when you consider cold countries like England, or Canada or Norway (it may be a little too early in the morning to talk about Norway I realise, sorry!) so I relish the chance to dress cosily!

I'm reminded of a song we sing to the kids at home church.  I'll sing it, and you can read the words (your singing is optional, but encouraged!)

This is the day, this is the day
That the Lord has made, that the Lord has made
We will rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it..!

This is the day!  Remember to smile : )

Shell xx

Friday, May 16, 2008

A love of trees

It almost rained in Canberra today.

When I got up there was some water on the ground which may have come from the sky, but one can't be too sure!  I cannot remember the last time it rained in Canberra...  Shockingly dry.  Such a beautiful, dry country which sometimes we try to make look like Europe.  I love Australian trees though, I love all trees really, I also love european trees, big oaks and pines, I hope they survive the Aussie drought...

I must write a song about trees... mmm that's a thought...

Shell xx

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Drawing pictures with words...

I have always loved words.

When I was a little girl I used to write poems about everything around me.  I loved paper, I would stand in the news agency and beg my mother for a new writing journal every time.  You know those black ones with the red spine and corners?  When I was about seven I thought they were the best things ever!

I also loved to draw, only problem, I was no good at it!  Even getting the proper pencils, paints and paper made no difference! 


I like abstract painting - you know the kind that just makes a mess of colour on the canvas? That's right up my alley.  But I wanted to draw pictures!

I have grown to understand that I draw pictures through words and song.  Here is one...

From my precious book of songs.  This is the first song from my new "batch".  They seem to be written in batches.  I tend to write a lot of songs at once with a similar theme to them lyrically.  The words are always what I feel passionate about, but not always what is in reality.  I can never really describe what the whole song is about - I want to leave that up to the listener - the song is for you, and whatever it says to you is the right answer - it's art, not science!

Tell Me The Time...

Tell me the time, tell me the lies I've been hearing,
Are nothing more than truthless, and to keep my eyes on you...

Tell me the date, tell me what day it is and I'll be disbelieving,
I don't know where time will take me and I surely don't know where it's gone...

To think, you've been hanging around here, for years,
Since I was born!

Can you tell me the time, tell me if our time is over?
And if you've got a moment, could you tell me why,
I'm always too young, then I'm too old?
I'm too shy, then I'm too bold?
Too dark, then I'm too pale?
...and I want to go home!

Can you tell me, the time?
I don't know where time will take me, but I hope that you will come along...

Shell xx

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Busy busy busy

I often think to myself that there simply aren't enough hours in the day!

I am someone who usually gets up before the sun, and goes to bed in the early AM hours.  And yet, there isn't enough time to do everything I want!  I don't mean to sound complaining - I am also someone who doesn't like to complain about anything.  We are just so blessed here in the first world - we have nothing to complain about do we?!

I wear a lot of hats in my life.  I wear the mother hat, I have four children - which people can never believe because I have only just turned thirty!  I wear the housewife hat - which I really enjoy actually!  I happen to love washing, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, washing, cleaning, more cooking, then more cleaning!  He he!

...I wear the wife hat - I am lucky enough to be married to my best friend.  The sister & sister-in-law hat, then the musician hat, the poet hat... the list goes on...  No wonder I feel there isn't enough time to fit it all in!

Shell xx

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New! Like the morning!

I have been thinking about it for a long time...

A place to write, and share. A place to express
more than just 'hey, I'm a singer, you should buy my album.' A place that is more than 'Twelve Short Stories."

* * *

I got up at 5am this morning with my husband who had to be on set for an acting job. After I saw him off I sat down here and thought, right, I am going to be a blogger! So I have spent the morning creating an account and getting excited and nervous all at once! This is a big gig for me! I am a shy person naturally, so I am partly doing this as an exercise in self confidence - and I'm ready!
I hope you will stay with me and read these short stories each day. I promise to keep it interesting - I have a very interesting life based around family, strong beliefs, really big earrings (!) and of course, music - my most faithful gift... I am a songwriter, and a singer. I have had the privilege of working in a band with my husband and brother-in-laws for nearly ten years now - we rock, don't you worry! I will tell you more as we go along...

So here it is, my first post. New, like the morning! ...and it's going to be a beautiful day!

Shell xx