But then I might…


Another quick insomnia fuelled not-looking-at-page drawing. Can you guess who it is? (  and no, it’s not me, even though we appear to be hair twins. The title is a small clue. As is the fact that his name is in the tags ).

I feel the need to again add the disclaimer that only the initial biro sketch is done without looking at the page. When it comes time to add colour, I’m eyeballing like nobody’s business.

*biro, watercolour pencils, watercolour paper*

Musings of a Serial Dabbler



mini half-head is tired and full of regret


such useful: every home needs a shrunken half-head


If you’re confused as to what you’re looking at, that’s entirely understandable.  Be confused no more as I explain presently:

A few years ago, I thought that I wanted to make lovely, strange, stop-motion animations, using resin and silicone puppets and detailed sets a la Tim Burton. So I began researching how to make silicone molds and casts so that I could begin making my characters and creatures. It got off to a good start; it was challenging but fun, and I had bazillions of plans bouncing around my head like ping pong balls. Alas, the materials were SO expensive, and the “trial and error” thing too weighted on the “error’ side of things for me to be able to afford to keep going without compromising my ability to pay rent and eat. I had to postpone my animator plan…..and unfortunately ( but not surprisingly, considering my history) never went back to it.

The half face that you see above is a silicone cast of a little pointless sculpture I made using modelling clay. It was my first experiment with trying to get some sort of fleshy colour, but I didn’t mix the pigments very well, (as you can see by the little white “scars” he has there) and the mouth colour is very messy. But I wasn’t too displeased with it as a first attempt, and it was a fun learning experience.

So, ok.  But why am I showing you this? Initially, because I noticed this half-faced fella in my craft room the other day ( I could never bring myself to throw him out), and finally got an idea of how to use him in a creative project. I won’t ramble on about said idea. I’ll get to the second reason instead:

I’m a Serial Dabbler. I don’t “specialise” in anything. I’m interested in many things ( too many things, it could be said), and, as a result have dipped my toes into many subjects. This results in a person who can do many things passably, but not one single thing brilliantly. This has been, and at times, still is, a source of extreme frustration to me. I’d LOVE to have a solid direction in life; something to concentrate ALL my creativity and energy into. But realistically, I’m never going to just suddenly stop being fascinated with all the things I’m fascinated with. That’s not gonna happen. Furthermore, if I’m honest, I really have zero desire to limit myself to one mode of self expression. There’s no way that would suffice.

I’m well aware that I’m not the only one with this dilemma. There are many of us “Serial Dabblers” ( or “Scanners”; “Experimenters”; “People Who Can’t Make Up Their Damn Minds”- whatever you want to call it) out there. We probably all face similar frustrations and confusion. I haven’t found an effective way to deal with this dilemma, so I don’t have any suggestions to offer those who also fall into this Serial Dabbler category. And, whilst what works for one person won’t always work for others, if you’re one of the fortunate people who have figured out a way of managing a herd of crazed interests, please feel free to comment regarding what’s  worked for you. I’m open to handy hints!

In the meantime, I figure all I can do is try to accept that this just happens to be the way my brain operates. And really, is it all bad? It sure makes life interesting. You learn a lot. It expands your mind; gives you an insight into- and an appreciation of-  things that were once a mystery. Sometimes you’ll meet someone in X occupation, and be able to have a great discussion about it with them because you researched that very subject years ago ( just before you realised you needed to research Y, instead ). That’s kinda nice. Or, maybe, while out window shopping, you’ll see a jacket you like but can’t afford, but because you dabbled in fashion design years ago, you’re able to go home and make a similar jacket for yourself, for a quarter of the price. Or just be able to fix something yourself instead of paying someone else to do it. Maybe the insomnia inspired trawlings of “Instructables” or “Make” Magazine will lead to new knowledge regarding a project you were stuck on, ( which you will still not complete, because now you’ve discovered what you really need to do is build a guitar, make some shoes, create a cake that  looks like James Baxter from “Adventure Time”, and learn electronics). Or maybe, instead of finishing your own project, you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learnt along the way to help someone else finish theirs instead. Maybe you’ll end up finishing all your projects….just.. after about 20 years or so.

If there’s something I’ve noticed in life, it’s that some things that make  very little sense at one time, somehow manage to make perfect sense later down the track. Maybe the whole “I can’t pick one thing to focus on” dealy will be one of those things. Or maybe it won’t. I don’t know. Maybe instead of seeing incomplete paths as Dead Ends, I’ll be able to see them as scenic stopovers on my journey to who-knows-where as we hurtle through space in pointless circles on our little Earth ship. And when I zoom out and look at things that way, it probably doesn’t matter as much as I think it does.



T.I.P.P.P. ( Things I Phind Phunny on Phriday) #2

Yay! I’m doing something twice! Surely this counts as me being consistent? Maybe there is hope for me.

I’d like to share two completely unrelated yet equally funny-bone tickling things this evening. The first thing is a hilarious response to the feelgood ( yet kinda overdone)  “most satisfying video” trend. Behold The Most Unsatisfying Video In the World Ever Made:

I watched this with my 9 yr old this evening, and we were both in tears of laughter and frustration.

The second thing is something I’ve posted numerous times over various online incarnations. Because it just never gets old. It is the Guitar Lesson from ‘Snuff Box’. Whilst personally, I’ll always be more of a ‘Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace’ kinda gal, Snuff Box had plenty of golden moments, and this one never fails to crack me up:


I can’t get enough of the ridonkulous editing that these guys love to employ as a comedic device ( see Darkplace and ‘AD/BC: A Rock Opera’ 😉 )

Hope you got a giggle!

Much love xx

Insomnia self-portrait with bed hair and falling-off mouth (with bonus demon not worth facing)


*black biro ( not looking) and watercolour pencils ( looking)*

I can’t complain about not sleeping tonight, as I had a great sleep last night. Also had a fantastic dream that as I lay in bed, a garden of sumptuous, jewel coloured satin and velvet flowers began growing upon the ceiling. The flowers looked like butterfly wings under a scanning electron miscroscope, but much bigger, and as I watched, they began growing faster and faster- extending down the walls in glorious stained-glass-vivid vines. It was so beautiful that I felt I must get out of bed and show someone. But then the thought crossed my mind that the flowers- now growing at quite a pace- might grow over the doorway- locking me out if I left….. or, alternatively- if I stayed- trapping me within this  butterflyflower garden all by myself, with nobody to share it with. As I had this thought, some large ants, (which were running for cover from the flowers) trickled down the wall, and to my horror, one jumped into my bed. I woke up brushing invisible ants off me.


L8 E-star


Easter is never a big deal for me, but I’ve always liked the idea of painting eggs. They’re just such an aesthetically pleasing shape, and I love the idea of having nests full of strange beautiful eggsicles perched throughout my house. But the egg-blowing process always looked so involved and time consuming, so I never got around to it……..until now. This year, with my creativity gone walkabout in all the areas that I need it right now, ( it’s always the way) I finally got around to trying the egg emptying/drying/ painting process, just so I could feel like I was being *slightly* artistic, and… somewhat less melancholy.

Materials:  egg shell, foil, acrylic paint, food dye, paint pens, patience, mini nebula vibes from the E-star Universe

There are a few more that I’ve not yet finished ( I had to wait until I could buy el cheapo acrylic paints due to my good ones taking far too long to dry), which may or may not be blogworthy upon completion. Just like this post, they certainly won’t be super relevant insofar as the now-in-the-past E-star holidays go, but time always moves differently in my universe 😉 ( plus, there won’t be any bunnies or fluffy chickies, so hopefully they can just be ‘Art” )

Anyway ( god, I say that FAR too often), I’m really hoping to feel more inspired ASAP. I only feel half alive ( but 100% terrified) when the creative ideas recede. On the upside, I’m trying to learn some things on the piano* ( things which are way beyond my noob skill level but which keep me interested precisely for that reason), and fantasising about somehow acquiring a hang drum ( again…when will I learn that they are far too expensive for me?) so as to upgrade from my steel tongue drums ( which are honestly quite lovely anyway) and becoming the next Manu Delago. So I guess that’s good?

*old and dusty keyboard. But hey- beggars can’t be choosers!

A Wintergatan Wednesday….On Sunday

I’m a little bit in love with Martin Molin. As most of you would of course already know, Martin Molin is the GENIUS musician/ builder of extraordinary contraptions who designed and built that now-quite-famous Marble Machine;  an incredible giant-music-box type machine that makes music when you feed marbles into it ( there is a bit more to it than that, but that’s the basic idea) .

Because I’m TV free and have also largely removed myself from the world of social media, I’m ashamed to say that I only found out about the gorgeous Martin and his brilliance a few months back, thanks to my daughter’s awesome music teacher.

( If social media alerted me to more inspiring things like this, rather than petty arguments, general nastiness, endless selfies, and blow by blow accounts of people’s lunch/ train delay dramas,  I’d consider going back…)

Anyway, whilst scouring YouTube for Syd Barrett stuff, I accidentally discovered a video (below) that Martin posted a few days ago to mark the one year anniversary of the original Marble Machine video ( below below).  It features some covers  fans have done of the original track- complete with Martin’s genuinely grateful,  genuinely enthusiastic, feckin’ adorable, head-bobbing, smiling, reactions to them. It’s lovely, and just what I needed this otherwise glummish evening. So I’m posting both vids below now,  for those who want to be reminded of the magnificent Marble Machine, and also for fellow slowlings like me who don’t live in the actual world ( any of you out there?) but do appreciate the lovely things (and people) that can come out of it nonetheless.

Merry Sunday, and much love and inspiration to anybody who sees this.  I’m going away for a bit now.

Smoochies xx

Darling$ ( to be read in a piratey voice)


The above group of wordsicles came about thanks to this fun little thing Black Cat Alley has going. It’s called Whiteout Wednesdays ( or W.O.W.) and is basically the same dealy as a blackout poem, but instead of taking a black marker to the block of text to leave behind a previously hidden poem, you copy and paste that week’s assigned block o’text into your wordpress draft, and white-out the unneeded words using the ‘text colour’ feature. You can then reformat the words so that they’re more readable (but NOT rearrange/add words or punctation) , OR leave them all spaced out and strung out ( like I did.). This week’s text up for your literary obliteration/ creation is here. I do hope that you DOOOO EEEEET! ‘Cause it’s lotsa fun.

Paperclip Down

rabbits- acrylic on wood

“But why we gotta go NOW?” asked Ripkin, who was- somehow- clutching a beer; his blue paper bum making no impression whatsoever on the stained old faux-suede couch, but feeling oh-so-comfortable nonetheless.

A5er shot Ripkin one of his “Don’t crumple with me” looks.

Ripkin sighed. The cricket was on in 10 minutes and all.

A5er was small, but feisty. And sharp. Oh yes.  He could give the stiffest of bunnies a papercut with a narrowing of his eyes alone.

Marbiggles resented the authority A5er seemed to have gradually siphoned away from him over the past months. A5er had the enthusiasm, alright, but he was a cocky young buck; lacked humility; grace; class. Still, Marbiggles knew the kid was right. They had to go. And sooner rather than later.

“Bottom line is: we need some-”  A5er stopped and pointed his paper paw around the room.  “Look around; what do ya see?”

Ripkin’s eyes dutifully followed A5er’s paw around; the rest of his face blank as a fresh sketchbook. His blue paper bottom fluttered gently as a pocket of air escaped its careless valley folds.

“The three of us!” Spat A5er in frustration. “And that’s it. Strength in numbers, boys. And what’s our number?  Three. How the hell are we supposed to rule this place with an army of three? I’ve heard word from the chatterboxes up north that the Cranes are verging on one thousand now. To say that we’re  vulnerable to attack would be an understatement!  We gotta get our numbers up. Pronto. I’m talking kits. Baby bunnies, gentlemen. And without being crude, I think you know where baby  bunnies come from….and it’s not Ripkin’s arse, thank Christmas card.”

Marbiggles snorted in spite of himself. Ripkin continued blanking.

“So, ” continued A5er. ” We gotta Get Busy, if ya catch my drift. Find ourselves some fresh ream; get us some folds ‘n’ creases, yeah? Some mountains and valleys, ya get me? Some lady-makin’ for some baby-makin’. Some origaminion populatin’” He winked at the lads, leeringly.

Marbiggles winced at A5er’s crassness. He took a deep breath. When he exhaled, though, it was not without some staccato about it. Against his will, images of semi-transparent vellum paper and delicately patterned Washi bending and folding seductively flashed through his mind. He wiped his forehead before any lasting damage could be done.

Ripkin swigged a sip from his tinny. Beer dribbled down his front, making his chest soggy. His big, dumb eyes stared nowhere in particular.

A journey to The Stationary Cupboard sounded good in theory, sure. But…it was SO far away…..and none of them had even seen it. For all they knew, it  didn’t even exist. Reams themselves were probably nothing but a mythical fantasy. And if this were the case, Ripkin was perfectly happy to leave it that way. He had origami manuals and a right paw. Why mess with an efficient system?

“Can’t I just stay here?” He implored.

With a rustle, A5er  swiftly leapt over to the old couch and leant in until his nose was level with Ripkin’s. He lowered his voice to a whisper- oh, how menacing A5er was when he whispered- and, looking directly into Ripkin’s eyes said simply:

No. You can’t. You’ll do as the rest of us do, Rippikins. Or I’ll feed you to the shredder. And by ‘shredder’, I don’t mean Jimi Hendrix…… because he doesn’t eat paper, and is no longer alive. Just like you’ll be, if you continue. To waste. My time.

Ripkin still didn’t understand why he had to come along, but he wasn’t about to argue with a whispering A5er, especially when shredders were mentioned, no sirree. He clutched his tinny with an increasingly damp paw, and shifted the nonexistent weight of his increasingly damp, blue buttocks, wishing he could just flatten himself like a greeting card and go find an envelope to slide into for a while.

“Moving on…” came A5er’s voice- abruptly restored to its regular volume. “As luck would have it, a certain Napkin Swan (who shall remain nameless)  has most generously provided us with a map of The Biglands….” He produced a rolled up document from his left ear and held it victoriously aloft.

Marbiggle’s eyes widened. A cooperative Napkin Swan… that sounded too good to be true. Was this map the Real Deal?  He glanced over at Ripkin, but Ripkin was nonplussed, noticing only the rolled up map’s  resemblance to a joint.  Now that was something for a day like today…

A5er unrolled the map and stepped toward Ripkin.  “Give us a paw, Rips,”, he ordered, motioning toward the bowl of peanuts and the empty packets of kale chips littering the coffee table. Ripkin promptly obliged; sweeping the chip packets onto the floor, and moving the peanut bowl into his lap.

“Give us that,” commanded A5er- referring to the bowl. “And that,” he added, this time referring to Ripkin’s half empty beer can. Ripkin obeyed, and A5er carefully positioned the bowl on one edge of the map, and the beer can on the other, to prevent it from rolling in on itself.

“Now. The Stationary Cupboard lies beyond Mount Desk; east of Laptop. It’s accessible by foot….. but there are obstacles. Dangerous ones. Mount Desk is littered with dead pens, and other heavy junk which sometimes tumbles down the mountainside faster than a souped-up paper fighter jet . If you’re not quick on your pads, it’s wastepaper basketville for you. Now it’s also rumoured that a giant, whiskered beast with claws as sharp as thumbtacks roams the entire breadth of The Biglands, preying on anything that moves. So we gotta have our wits about us…”

Ripkin wasn’t really listening. He gazed wistfully at his beer, which was no doubt getting warm. He figured he could at least maybe grab a handful of peanuts without causing any undue drama. It’d make A5er’s talk less boring, at any rate. He reached for the peanut bowl, but as he did so, his generous, soggy girth dragged across the coffee table- knocking over the beer can and sending its warm, lightly foaming amber contents spilling across the map’s landscape like a golden tsunami, reducing  roads, rivers, and mountain ranges alike to a meaningless, smudgy blur. Utter annihilation. Total bevvystation.

The stunned silence was guillotined clumsily by Ripkin’s blunt voice.


A5er snapped, letting out a roar that almost tore his own body to shreds.


Ripkin figured that by “get ripped” A5er hadn’t meant he was gonna get killer cardboard abs and guns of foil. Especially as A5er was now hurtling straight over the coffee-table map-ocalypse towards him. This was it. He was actually going to get ripped into pieces and die. And he’d never even get to find out who won the Test Match.

“WAAAIIIT!!!!!”  Roared another voice. Thunder to A5er’s lightning.

Marbiggles raised his voice so rarely that both Ripkin and A5er had forgotten how formidable he was when he did.

Marbiggles prised A5er off Ripkin, and planted himself  between the two of them, his eyes wide as paper plates.

“Control yourself, damnit! Or I’ll do it for you. You’ll not touch a single corner on this lad’s head. THIS boy,” he continued,  gesturing towards poor, already half crumpled Ripkin,  “may be thick as 2 pieces of 600 gsm watercolour paper;  as idle as a ten tonne paperweight;  as useful as braille on the inside of a paper straw…. BUT! He has been loyal; like a brother to you- and a son to me-  all these years. I’ll not stand by and watch you scrunch him up like some worthless supermarket receipt over some dubious bloody Napkin map! ”

Marbiggles glared at A5er- nostrils flaring. All the resentment that had built up inside him of late was rising to the surface now like the waters of a blocked toilet.

A5er – almost frozen in shock- searched for words. The ones he eventually found were:

“You- you faded, dog-eared, pamphlet! You don’t call the shots around here anymore, old boy. A5er does!  I’m A5er. YOUR LEADER! STAND DOWN AND OBEY YOUR LEADER!”

“You’re no leader, ” continued Marbiggles. “No leader of mine! For all your posturing and prancing, you’re but a standard tyrant! Selfish; cowardly; without substance. Like a crumbling, overused tissue, bringing nothing but grazes to the nose that blows! You sir, are nothing but a common piece of one-ply generic brand CRAPWRAP!…….” 

(And here he paused dramatically)

“…And my finger’s just gone straight through……

Of course, Marbiggles didn’t have fingers per se, but the point was made- and now sharpened, as he drew a pair of scissors from god-knows-where and pointed them at the space between A5er’s eyes.

YOU will stand down, A5er….NOW.”

A5er quickly weighed up his options. He was expressionless for a moment…..then the evil crease of a grin stretched across his face.

“…Or what?

The grin widened.”…Grandmabiggles.”

It was a mistake. Marbiggles was getting older, sure, but not weaker. He was made of high quality parchment; stiff shit. A5er stood two chances: none, and jack. The scissor blades sliced him in twain before he could even process what was happening. His neatly bisected self fell, in slow-mo silence, either side of the map-mush, onto a rustling bed of empty Kale Chip packets.

Marbiggles stood motionless for some minutes as it sunk in. He’d wiped A5er like a serviette across the mouth of death. He was a murderer. Oh god! And Ripkin- the poor kid….he’d been close to death himself- then witnessed it. In cricket season no less. He’d be traumatised for life.

Ripkin- where was Ripkin? Marbiggles scanned the room. He must find Ripkin!


There’s wisdom in the old proverb: “Don’t run with scissors”.  Alas, old Marbiggles- noble, disgraced, Marbiggles- in his frenzy, had completely forgotten that he was still clutching the binary blades of doom as he dashed toward the kitchen door in search of poor, dumb, Ripkin. So instead of heroically rescuing the beer-swilling bunbun,  he’d tripped and fallen- impaling himself on the deathblades.

It seemed Marbiggles and A5er would have to work things out in The Great Stationary Cupboard in the Sky.


Ripkin, who’d managed to wriggle free whilst A5er  was distracted by Marbiggle’s monologue, was now safely in the kitchen, cracking open a new beer and a fresh bag of kale chips, oblivious to the gore beyond the door.

A half minute later, the oblivion vanished, as Ripkin exited the kitchen with his tinny and chips, only to be confronted by the dismembered forms of his ex-bunny-brethren.

Ohhhhh, man, this was not good. Not good!

Panic set in.

It was a mess. Oh, what a mess! And oh how Ripkin hated cleaning!

But…. hey…wait a minute. Now that there was nobody around to boss him about, he didn’t have to clean…

Panic subsided; realisation dawned.

He didn’t have to clean…. and he meant not to. Ever again!  He rearranged the empty Kale Chip packets so that they covered the two bodies. A shallow grave, yeah, but as A5er had always said: “paper don’t rot, bud”. They’d flatten down nice after a few kitchen/ lounge round-trips. Sweet as! What’s more- the map on the table had soaked up most of the previously spilt beer- so win win on the not-having-to-clean gig.

Ripkin settled his soggy blue bum onto the stained old faux-suede couch and took a gulp of beer. A little rivulet of it ran down his chin and onto his already soggy belly. It’d spring a leak soon, for sure.

Ripkin didn’t care. The cricket was starting. As for Cranes, they were probably just all off to a wedding or something. He munched down on some crunchy green salty kale goodness, and lovingly wrapped his soggy paw around his tinny. His damp nether regions  melded lovingly  with the couch- becoming one with the stained old faux-suede. It was oh-so -comfortable. Oh-so- stationary. Yeah, stationary. As if he’d ever want to be anything else.




Little dents in the ground have collected rain and become portals to other places. Better places. Distant places. I peer in at them with fascination and that familiar longing.

I wave to the tiny people I see, but I know they don’t see me. They’re the same as the big ones up here.

Unobserved, I watch; breathe. I want secret things and I know secret things. I hold the secrets of nothing and nowhere;  mapping the periphery of everything and everywhere.