Monday, December 17, 2012

A very special close up look at Hill End homes

I've been wanting to do this for so long and I can't wait for 2013 to roll through, so I've started the new year already, just before Christmas.

I thought it would be a really lovely thing to do and that was to document all the beautiful homes here in Hill End. All of them unique in their own way and all of them expressing their own styles in a very honest way.

Their not fashionable as such but enduring and timeless, you would still feel the same endearment to them in 50 years time.

The homes here really are very beautiful, beautiful in the sense of how they sit in the landscape here and how each of the owners are very dedicated to embracing the heritage of these buildings, they genuinely care about the preservation of these very old buildings, that are at the best of times quite a challenge to conserve and always the question of how far to take them without loosing there integrity.

A lot of very hard work goes into rebuilding them and at times one could cry and at times one can be over the moon with what you achieve each year, but they are always persistent in the attention given to them, which most of the times is very rewarding.

We all spur each other on.

Conserve is the main endeavour here as most don't need a personality change, they just need to be propped back up and one of the main aims is to get them as warm as possible for the long winter we have here.

They are small and intimate dwellings and there are not many of them but they are full of creativity and visual nourishment for whoever enters them.

The worn colours and patina,

It's all very human and all very special you see.

So each week I will introduce you to the homes of Hill End and hopefully recipes too.
Handcrafted wreath on the worn door makes  for an inviting welcome

Unique woodbox- a vital addition to any Hill End home
Hill End homes are full of very competent enthusiastic cooks
Mini Graff editioned print produced at Hill End Press and painter Julie Williams oil painting take pride of place  on the hessian walls
Sheep enjoying morning mist and rainbows
Objects found around Hill End always become something useful and beautiful
Copper insert in the floor for those leather boots we all wear
Hand  painted 1930's wallpaper
Apricots are dropping off the trees
Bird garland
Picasso finds a home
Balmain markets find
Painter Rosemary Valadon invitation to her Femme Fatale exhibiton peers out from the pewter
Mirror mirror on the wall
Painting by Luke Scibberas sits so nicely with the blue candle
Picasso and Sidney Nolan sit side by side on the mantle
Remnants of old wallpaper found on wattle and daub walls on an outside building
And to finish off, I was given a box of fresh cherries this week, straight off the tree from friends who each year deliver these gorgeous morsels that are sweet and tart at the same time and its very hard not to eat the whole lot in one sitting.

How lucky are we, organic just like that.

The apricots are coming into season too, dropping off the trees as I type, so the apricot tarts and jam making will be lining up for the stove tops and ovens very soon.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas wishes and thankyou's

It's been another big year, as we all hear echoing in our minds, but we got there, we learnt a lot and more, thank goodness we are learning I say.

Much better than standing still and with a worried wrinkle in ones brow.

OUr studio has started, that was a really good thing,  Bill is out the back as I type forming up for the concrete pour. Deadline was January but realistically it will be February.

Two beautiful new grandchildren, boys, came into the world, Arlo and Nashua. Another one on the way.

An enchanting wedding with my son Blair and Erin at a really lovely venue in Pittwater, the day was perfect and I don't think I had dry eyes all day.

Hill End Press had a successful collaboration with artist John Beard where Bill created a photogravure plate and series of prints for John's exhibition at the Liverpool Street Gallery.

A trip to Tasmania to see my Mum and for Bill to experience MONA. ( which is just across the road from Mum, perfect)

Exhibition for both Bill and I at the Damien Minton Annex Gallery with a successful opening night.

Getting ready for the launch of our new wedding stationery, its coming, very close indeedy.

Just finishing Virginia Woolfs' Orlando, a treat going to bed with a genius!  I so love this book and really don't want it to finish, they describe it as the most beautiful longest love letter every written.

Highly recommend The Hare with Amber eyes by Edmund de Waal and google up his ceramics (sublime) at the end, plus You tube on his presentation speeches in regard to his book, there you will see the home in Vienna, hard to believe it was a home, its about the size of Sydney's GPO. Worth reading and looking at.

Then all in between just getting on with things, you know how it is.

So all is well, very well at Hill End Press, with lots of projects for 2013 too.

We are inspired.

Pants on fire for Bill & I, but that's ok, we wouldn't be doing anything else.

Wishing you all a galloping fun Christmas and 2013 brings laughter and good health.

Thanks a million for all your support. XX

Christmas cards ready to post and deliver

The strawberries have been terrific this year, to the point of, as I water around the garden I grab little handfuls of strawberries.

The Love in the mist is going gangbusters, self seeding every where, as love does, the Santolina is out and the pom pom butterfly bush has just started showing off this week. Must get the pencils out and draw this one, its beautifully humorous shaped flower, pom poms all stacked on top of each other.
The first Globe Artichoke, I let them go to flowers, it must be me but I don't see what all the fuss is about with eating them, my joy is in this huge robust flower that comes out.