The day of The Great Self Portrait Exchange between printmakers dawned bright and clear… golden sun in a high, blue sky.

Quite different from the midnight deluge that had me scrabbling in the dark to clear rain pits again. Yes, I did have house lights on. And yes, I had grabbed a flashlight, but, as its **** battery died …you don’t dither with batteries in these circumstances.

Drains cleared as much as possible, windows adjusted, wet clothing and towels dumped in laundry, the bi-peds eventually got back to sleep. The cats? Well, what did they care?

So I was not at my brightest when I headed off to my meeting!

Did I mention it was the Annual General Meeting? God! I must stop going to these things. All we did was swap “hats” yesterday!

And portraits. Here’s mine, titled  “Botox, anyone?”


And don’t forget, if anyone would like to attempt a self portrait lino print, go for it! Post the result and let me know when you do. There might even be a candy bar for the best effort! Me? Well, I think I’ll leave the lino well alone. At least for a while.

While there is NO WAY in the world I’d have this scary toxin injected, I must say its structure is very pretty! Girls (and guys!) if you want to give yourselves the shudders, Google  “botox.”


Something else occupied our time Chez Idle Thoughts this weekend…


Next time we see it it will look pretty. And, quite accidentally, I took a 14 seconds movie of the 25 minutes trip to the paint shop!

In a queue at a roundabout, I got the camera out of its bag without looking at it. Must have unwittingly set it  and then, when traffic began moving, just aimed over the steering wheel and went “click.” Great shot of my left knee and the rear view mirror!


Well, a wrinkled old visage and a rusty old car aren’t much to tempt you so have one of these…

strelitziamackay-marina…a Strelitzia, called Bird of Paradise. Although, I’ve never really known why, since they come from different places and are (of course!) different animals altogether. Maybe I’m just picky.

This is a young cuckoo. The poor “mother” bird is slightly smaller than this feathered lump! Not a very clear shot, but I was ankle-deep in muddy water and didn’t want to go closer and scare the little chap as it still can’t fly.


The (probable) surrogate parent.I didn’t see it, but could hear one nearby.

There’s a link in comments, below.

And now…I still have work to do…


  1. If you’re that smiley you don’t need botox 😉

    I thought we were going to see the movie…

    The cuckoo’s so pretty, what sort of bird is it’s mum?


    PS not sure if I’m taking the self-portrait challenge!


  2. I like your lino print. I don’t know a lot about the process of making those, but they seem difficult to me. Glad you didn’t wash away in your gully washers. I know what a mess they can leave. The car’s looking good!


  3. celia…thankyou. Try this link:


    as I’m pretty sure momma is one of these. I call them “Cleopatra birds” on account of the “eye shadow.”
    See the movie? I don’t know how to do that! And anyway, I don’t even know where on the hard drive it’s hidden itself.

    You’d have no trouble doing a S.P. Aww…c’mon!

    iltv…I don’t think I ever heard cuckoos in town, either.Has anyone written to The Times yet!


  4. kate…we were lucky this time. But the windows which I cleaned the other day are filthy again this morning. They can stay that way til the rain passes!

    andrea…definitely not sideburns! I like to call them laughter lines 😉


  5. Amazing birds. If there was Botox then you’d lose that wonderful expressive smile! I’ve noticed a famous Aussie, a certain Ms. Kidman is losing a lot of her ability to facially express herself from an overkill of botox. Oops, turning ‘Idle Thoughts’ into Hello magazine, I’ll stop now.


  6. ellen…I knew a woman who’d had “surgical enhancement.” Several times! But it was before Botox. I don’t fancy either procedure. Ah, what the heck! I earned these lines.


  7. I think the self portrait was an enormous challenge and your result is really impressive. It’s full of character and life and the texture of the hair is wonderful. I’m fascinated by the layers of ink under the image. How did you print this?


  8. anita…thankyou. I’d like to see what you can do with a blade, but heal that shoulder first!

    robyn…thankyou. The hair is, perhaps, the best part! How did I get the ink layers beneath the print? I just ran the roller over the plate several times, altering the direction!
    (In case anyone wants to try this, it’s not rocket science, but you do need to be careful not to over-ink.)


  9. tara…thankyou. Today is just a “soft rain” day so no one is panicky!
    As to my artistic persistence…hmmm. Sheer cussedness is what some would say! 😉


  10. laughter lines! Apparently lines show character – hmmmm – I’m looking for a plastic surgeon for my 3rd husband! You, on the other hand look gorgeous!


  11. Thanks for explaining, Dinah, I see now you must have used a generously sized piece of lino. I’m really mean with lino because it’s so expensive here. I love your result though.


  12. ziggi…have you mentioned this to Himself???

    robyn…this was an A4 size cut from a larger piece. Yes, it is expensive, but I was lucky enough to get this from a discounted roll. I have one 12’x12′ left and after that I’ll be doing collographs-on-cardboard!


  13. what beautiful birds. and i’m kind of tempted to try this lino sp challenge, but it’s very cold in the upstairs studio (though i suppose that would help staunch the blood that inevitably flows whenever i get near a carving tool).
    also wanted to stop by and send you to this blog if you haven’t been there yet:
    she and her husband have just spent a month+ hiking and taking photos in south africa and her accounts of it are amazing. i think you will enjoy reading it and seeing her photos. south africa is now just under japan on my travel wish list and i see the ny times travel section did a piece on it today as well to further whet my appetite. not that travel is in the budget here anytime soon 😉 !


  14. m.heart…funny how blog paths cross! I have been reading Marie and her cat and her husband for some time!(I think I directed her to your blog.)

    M., if you can get to Japan you can get to Australia and then it’s a short hop across the Indian Ocean to the Dark Continent. I’ll come with you! I even have a spare solar topee!

    And I’d love to see what you can do with a lino print. Your camera SPs are pretty stunning!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.