While living in the tropics has many advantages such as great weather (cyclones, monsoonal rain, relentless heat, egalitarian mold everywhere) and fabulous neighbors (crocodiles, sharks, rather big insects happy to spread horror whenever they can assist and that not-s0-refined Australian Male with Enormous Beard But Questionable Charm) finding suitable supportive underwear clearly does not happen regularly. In fact, one gets ‘down south’ by means of air travel to regain the satisfying hold only a decent bra can deliver. By no means being opposed to general DIY – after all, we make shoes! How hard can it be to make a bra?! – we have tried to embrace existing resources by learning weaving with natural fibers all those years ago hanging out with the entertaining ladies in Gumbalanya. Determined by nature and only mildly hindered by additional German stubbornness I do remember  high levels of amusement (them!) and a rather annoying rash/ itch (me) – Pandanus looks splendid when woven into mats/ bags/ fish traps but does not rival say a nice silk from Paris. And no, connecting two pleasing bowls does not make a fetching bra…So that was that.

These days I buy a ticket to Santa Fe. There will be bras. Nice bras. Many nice bras. This place is now 8 bras down as I hauled my overweight luggage back to Australia end of  November…Job done. Let me just say that designing shoes is a hell of a lot easier while wearing decent underwear.

‘Buying bras in the presence of owls’ – Acrylic/ collage/ mixed media on round canvas cardboard. Santa Fe November 2016

Over the last couple of months owls started invading my live – see last month’s blog for the full bird drama here…and after returning from Mexico to post election Not-So-United States all we could do to deal with the trauma inflicted by that Monty Pythonesque charade the Americans consider their voting systems…well, all we could do and started doing was getting right into MONSTER PAINTING again…for about two weeks a tight schedule of inhaling soup and chai at ‘Counter Culture Cafe‘ just before closing time, raiding an artist supplier and ‘while on the way let’s just go to Savers shall we?’ was observed before heading home and making some food…avoiding certain GREEN food items trying not to freak out the gracious host Mr Snyder…he of the utmost bizarre food phobias…impressive! Never met someone before who so passionately opposes to innocent little peas…timid goats cheese…polite anchovies….the list goes on, the mind boggles…rejected peas softly crying in the background…sniff.

‘Why Goats cheese is good for you’ – Acrylic/ collage/ cut up sequins/ mixed media on board. Santa Fe November 2016

And then…straight into Steven’s studio invading his fabulous space…and not only occupying his couch for more than a polite length of time…but also making use of his 39684 different tubs of paint…bliss. BLISS. Another heartfelt THANK YOU from the other side of the world…couldn’t imagine a more pleasant way to while away those Santa Fe nights but in the presence of my two house mates each doing their very own thing…throw in one or eight movies (some better than others…) and the occasional grunt from your fellow artist and it hardly could get any better…wearing tasteful leopard print flannel pajamas of course while occasionally – well once… – it snowed outside….

Steven’s Artist Shed For Wayward Women…I am already enrolled in next years’ program (I hope…) … with Kay and Steven…

My last day in Santa Fe coincidentally fell on Thanksgiving…flustered and distraught and mostly dead turkeys everywhere. What an onslaught. A bit like Australia Day which is Invasion Day as we all know…similar concept! Flight attendants wearing odd contraptions on their heads (roasted turkeys? Really?!) and being jolly…must admit I did like the overall atmosphere minus the animal slaughter… I arrived during Halloween (think witches demonstrating how to open the exit doors to escape via your broom…fantastic!) and my plane window sported pumpkin stickers….STICKERS! So while America is by now very close to being ruled by an Uber Moron I did encounter – again! – an astounding bunch of friendly and enchanting Americans wholeheartedly embracing any chance of donning a costume even it is a leg of lamb…even the ones without bizarre headgear rather enchanting in New Mexico. Grumpy Australia, pull your socks up…

Awww. A month flew by and will be remembered. By bras, naturally. Among other things. I had to leave my hot water bottle behind as they do not seem to have that there and how on earth will my friend survive winter without it? (Despite that she has managed for half a century already).

Next time might have to drag the odd Hills Hoist along…for the non-Australians: this translates into CLOTHESLINE. They don’t do clothes lines over there. NO CLOTHESLINES. But voting for an idiot for president. I suggest they get rid of him and start importing proper washing contraptions. Seems less scary and globally more sustainable.

‘Panda For President’ – Acrylic/ Sequins / Collage / Mixed Media – Santa Fe November 2016

Ok. That’s it. It’s the very last day of 2016 and I am glad it is over. Still busy recovering from overall fatigue and then on top of that lovely Dengue Fever..but not giving in…yet!

House if full of kittens (5 plus one big one), lots of food is waving at me from the table and nice company awaits to shoo THAT YEAR out….sod off! You who took Leonard…and David…and and and…the next blog will be FULL OF SHOES as we’ve come up with a nice new pair of boots…photo session is on the cards tomorrow….meanwhile have fun exploring the work of Sue Engels who currently works out of New Zealand….my link for you – another shoe designer!

So there.

Wishing you all an exiting next year…with lots of creativity to counter balance all the shit hitting the fan right now… xx

Myrtle wishes you a dryer year than she is having…she wants to let everyone know that by now she has mastered ‘Eating For Dummies’ and does not NOT NOT need a bath after every meal…now this is progress for both of us! Happy new year!!!! xx

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