The Goods Shed: Painting Power. Ritual, Art & Land

19 May 2017

Painting Power, at The Good Shed

This week, I popped over to Claremont to The Goods Shed, a new creative space for art exhibitions, installations, artist residencies, community and learning events.

It occupies a renovated heritage railway building – which is very cool – a little landscaped garden, a cafe and an outside sitting area.

I went to an event there a few months ago and I loved the space! So I followed them on Instagram and have since received little updates on events… including this art exhibition, which caught my eye and made me immediately scribble the details into my calendar:

Painting Power | Ritual, Art & Land.

It is a collection of paintings by Indigenous artists from the remote art centres of  Tjala Arts, Warlukurlangu Artists of Yuendumu, Ikuntji Artists, Martumili Arts, Mimili Maku Arts and Munupi Arts.

According to the information panels: The exhibition explores the relationship between the power of nature and the energy of ritual traditions. It considers the significance of art to Aboriginal life and its role as a bridge between the physical and spiritual realms as a way of expressing belief, tradition and contemporary life.

I thought the artworks were absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

Painting Power, at The Good Shed

Antara by Puna Yanima (From Mimili Maku Arts.)

I think this was my favourite. The selection of colours were stunning and shapes were just full of movement, dance and song!

Antara is a well known and significant rock hole, where women perform a dance ceremony to make witchery grubs for everyone to eat.

Painting Power, at The Good Shed

Kuruyultu by Eunice Napanangka Jack (from Ikuntji Arts)

The artist paints her father’s dreaming story about a group of ancestral men chasing an owl ancestor with a spear and hitting the ground with a digging stick.

I couldn’t quite see the story captured in the painting, as it was a bit abstract. But it was an amazing painting nonetheless!

It was so therapeutic to look at and filled me with a soft, gentle, relaxing feeling, like when I comb my hair or the dirt. Totally not related to the story though haha.

Painting Power, at The Good Shed

Seven Sisters, by Janie Kulyuru Lewis (from Tjala Arts)

That vibrant red is mesmerising. It looked like living, moving blood (not in a gruesome way, but in a life-giving way), or the heartbeat of the earth from above.

Painting Power, at The Good Shed

Untitled, by Mona Mitakiki Shepherd (from Tjala Arts)

Ahh, yet another gorgeous painting with universal appeal. How amazing are these colours and speckled patterns?!

They remind me of the ocean, or fields of flowers. So happy, energetic and full of life.

Painting Power, at The Good Shed

This is the lovely art space of The Goods Shed.

I love the old surfaces of wood and the exposed textures mixed with the clean white lines.

The Good Shed, Claremont

This is outside of the building, where you can grab a coffee from The Coffee Pod Cafe.

It was so nice to sit on the little table and chairs and enjoy the sunshine.

Painting Power, The Good Shed

But this is me with my takeaway coffee about to head back into the gallery for a second look at the paintings. This time I’m not taking photos on my camera or my phone, I’m just looking at them with my own eyes to soak them up properly!

The Goods Shed
Cnr of Shenton Rd and Claremont Cres
Claremont WA 6010

Operating Hours
Monday to Friday: 8am – 3pm
Weekends: 9am – 3pm


What I Wore: Blush Off Shoulder Knit

17 May 2017

Blush Off Shoulder Knit

A big trend for the new season is… the statement top.

Think big sleeves, flared sleeves, big ruffles, voluminous shapes, off shoulders, one shoulder, stripes, florals, tassels, bright colours, sheer panels — it’s all about going over the top.

But winter is coming in Australia, and I’m not really an OVER THE TOP kind of person when it comes to my daily dressing.

So here’s how I keep my everyday look fresh — with a Blush Off Shoulder Knit from Majorelle, courtesy of Revolve.

A few weeks ago, I featured the WHITE version of the knit here, and I loved it so much that I picked out the same top in BLUSH.

Strangely, this is a size XS (the white was also XS) and this runs a little big. So the sleeves were a little long and one side tends to fall off my shoulder.

I have to roll up my sleeves and roll up the length for a more polished look, otherwise it looks a little sloppy and slouchy, which is a different look.

Blush Off Shoulder Knit

Other than that, it is a gorgeous trans-seasonal knit!

The colour is just beautiful and so many people mentioned how nice it was when I wore it out. The fabric is soft and luxurious. It drapes and sits really nicely. The clinginess is nice too, it hugs all my curves and looks very flattering.

It’s very easy to wear. I just wear a strapless bra underneath. I give it a gentle hand wash and dry it flat in the shade. I’ve already washed it 3 times and it hasn’t buckled, loosened or lost its shape.

In terms of looking smart for an everyday wardrobe, this Blush Off Shoulder Knit is a winner!

I’m also wearing: Grana Silk Ankle Pants, Stuart Weitzman Heels, A.P.C Half Moon Bag.


Steamboat for Mother’s Day

16 May 2017


Steamboat - Mothers Day 2017

My husband’s family comes from a conservative Scottish/Anglo background, where dinner is a meat and 3 veg, eaten quietly and properly, with long, slow, in-depth and eloquent conversations about politics, the state of the national education system, Scottish poets, the history of modern customs, or the latest discussions on Q&A.

(Haha I’m slightly exaggerating.)

Whereas my Chinese family is the complete opposite. And there is no better example than the “Family Steamboat Dinner” to illustrate just how completely opposite our families are!

Our dinner table is WILD with sizzle, noise, smells, loud talking, Chinese tea, crazy cooking action and 4 random conversations happening at once, mixed with selfies and sharing silly videos.

While I like the best of both worlds, and try to create a mixed cultural experience for my own family and kids… I still consider my parent’s steamboat dinners to be home.

I took this photo on Mother’s Day at my parent’s house. We were having a steamboat dinner for 13 adults and 7 kids on a separate table. Unfortunately I took it before all the sliced lamb, sliced pork belly, and sliced ox tongue came out… damn, it would’ve looked much more epic!


What I Wore: Spotty White Dress

15 May 2017

Shen Spot Dress

A few weeks ago, I featured a pretty, floaty off-shoulder dress.

This week I want to show off a more affordable option and picked out this Spotted Off-Shoulder Dress, courtesy of Shein.

It is a super pretty dress, that is comfortable and fits really well. It is lined throughout (not in the sleeves though) so it isn’t see-through. I received a lot of compliments when I wore it out the other day.

Best thing about it: I didn’t have to iron it and it doesn’t crease easily. I love that! I just pulled it out of the bag, aired it a bit, threw it on and it looked fantastic!

Not so great thing about it: The fabric looks a bit cheap. But the whole garment has a good weight to it, the stitching is good, and the fabric feels nice and soft… so it doesn’t FEEL cheap.

There might also be too much fabric at the waist, because it bunches up and makes my hips and bum look a bit bigger than they are haha. Maybe it would look better if I was taller? Because it doesn’t look that bad on other customer reviews on the site. Or maybe I’m just imagining it because it’s such a flowy and ruffly dress?

I’m wearing the XS and I’m usually a Size AU/UK 6.

Overall, it’s a lovely spring or summer dress to wear to a special occasion.

Check out more Off Shoulder Dresses from Shein. They have lots of cool and affordable styles!


Shen Spot Dress

I have to be honest, Shein is potentially quite hit and miss, because their product photos tend to look much better than the actual product. They do have sone good stuff. But you have to look REALLY carefully at customer reviews, customer photos, product photos, product measurements and fabric details. Then google the item for more customer images or blogger reviews.

Shipping also takes some time too. And I’ve read that that returns can be a bit of a headache.

Personally I’ve never had any bad experiences, in fact, I’ve only had excellent shopping experiences and customer service when I’ve bought from them in the past.

I also wore: Meli Melo Rosalia Bag and Tony Bianco Heels.


Flowers, Chocolate and Hugs

14 May 2017

Mother's Day 2017

This Mother’s Day, I told my kids that I didn’t want/need a lavish spoiling that took up 5 hours of my weekend!

All I really want is a small, genuine hug from each of my children, every day.

And I already get that. So I’m already pretty happy.

I get a hug and a quick : I love ya mum! Or I appreciate everything you do! Or Thanks for doing all that stuff for me! Sorry for driving you crazy! Thank for filling out those forms! Sorry for that outburst, let me make it up to you. Can I take out the rubbish bag? Thanks for making that milkshake for me! That was a yummy dinner!

In the end, I did get a cooked breakfast (bacon omelette, just how I like it!), some crafty cards, flowers, chocolates, and a deformed lemon coconut  cupcake. Except that it wasn’t a cupcake, it was a BATH BOMB!

Haha it seriously looked like a cupcake to me. I almost ate it!!

As I wrote on my Instagram, I didn’t have a completely stress-free and relaxing day. I still fought with my kids, made them do chores, shouted at them, took away their devices, I still had errands to run, work to catch up on, kids to manage, meals to cook, activities to plan. It was the mum-life as usual. But that’s ok. It all balances out in the end, I’m not too fussed.

Hope you had a great weekend!


What I Wore: White Silk Pants

12 May 2017

When I was a Stay At Home Mum to my little boys… I used to go to the park every day, sit on the grass, brush past my dusty car, sit on dirty park benches and have my boys wipe their tomato sauce fingers (or drippy noses) on my pants!

Suffice to say, I almost never wore white pants.

So NOW whenever I wear white pants, it feels like a super special occasion!!

Woohoo, look at me, all grown up!

Grana Silk Pants


Anyway, I’ve been looking for some nice, cropped white trousers, with a slight cuff. I tried on a few at Witchery and David Jones, but they weren’t quite what I wanted, in terms of fit and fabric.

It occurred to me that I already had a pair of white Silk Ankle Pants from Grana that fit really well.

So I wore them out the other day, rolling up the cuffs to make them look a bit more like cropped trousers. It worked out quite well!

I’m wearing the Size XS “Regular” in Off White. They are more Off White (with a hint of Cream) in real life, not a “bright white” as it looks in this photo.

They fall to just above my ankles, which is a really good fit for me. They are nice and comfy around the waist, and not too tight. Here’s my original post about the silk pants.

They are double lined, 100% silk, not see-through, comfy elasticised waistband, not staticky, lovely to wear… and uh, honestly a bargain at AU$99.

They are also a social conscience brand, believing in being transparent with ethical manufacturing, their low cost business model, their markup costings, and upholding a code of conduct when it comes to their apparel supply chain.

(Omg that sounded like such a hard sell, sorry! I’m not getting paid to say any of this! I genuinely love the brand. They occasionally send me stuff to review. I occasionally get some referral credit too. And I keep buying more stuff because it fits me and I love the quality. Plus I’m slowly heading towards finding brands with an ethical fashion conscience… but more on that another time.)

I just checked on the site, and Grana are now offering XS with a “Short” leg length, which is 5cm shorter in the leg, and would be more like cropped pants for me.

(These silk ankle pants are different to these silk culottes for AU$142, which – I believe – have a more satin like silk.)

Anyway I’m not buying another pair for myself – I really like these pants rolled up in this way!

(If you’re keen, you can use my code to get 10% off your order and free worldwide shipping, just use the code “KARENXGRANA” and head to this page!)

Outfit details:

Hello Parry Off Shoulder Top
Melimelo Rosalia Bag
Habbot Studios oxford shoe (old)


Digging Up Treasures

10 May 2017

Over the last few weekends, my husband and I have been sloooowly cleaning out our shed.

1 hour here. 2 hours there.

We have boxes and boxes of stuff that we have to sort through and to decide whether to THROW or KEEP.

We are not very good at throwing things away. We like to keep things.

So the whole process has been embarrassingly slow.

But…. we have turned up some good stuff! Behold!

Callum Drawing

These scrappy drawings were done by my oldest boy when he was about 7.

I had tucked them loose into a file full of HILARIOUS drawings he had done at home.

They were drawn on used copy paper from my husband’s office, so they were pretty scrappy.

Callum Drawing

Two questions come to mind.

Why was our 7 year old watching Indiana Jones??

And why did he not draw the Temple of Doom?

Haha I love these so much, but I don’t really know what to do with them.

Um, so I just tucked them back into the file for me to discover next time!


What I Wore: Mellow Yellow

9 May 2017

Privacy Please Dress from Revolve

Hi everyone!

A lot of people tend to stay away from yellow, because they say it looks terrible against their skin colour.

But I’ve seen gorgeous girls with pale, porcelain skin and girls with beautiful, dark skin ROCK the colour yellow and totally own it! Seeing and knowing this has helped me be more comfortable wearing yellow over the years.

So I think it’s all about confidence and feeling good in a particular colour.

It is certainly a bold, vibrant, happy, confident colour!

And you definitely have to be in a certain mood.

Generally, I really like wearing yellow, even though I haven’t worn it in a while, because these days I tend to reach for my black, white and neutrals.

Privacy Please Dress from Revolve

But every now and then, it’s fun to wear something that POPS with colour and fun.

(I wore this outfit to the circus last week.)

I picked out this dress by Privacy Please (courtesy of Revolve) and it is exactly the same style as a dress I featured previously here, only in a different print.

It’s called the Delta Dress in Mustard.

It is a wrap style dress, with a pretty, delicate floral print – it’s so cute. It is lined, drapes nicely and is such a lovely quality dress. Unfortunately, this style is sold out.

But you can get the same print in different versions in this: maxi dress (super pretty), short ruffle skirt (on sale) and cute romper (very low v-neckline though).

Revolve are having a special sale for AU/NZ customers, where you can receive 20% off your whole order by using the code “FALL20″. Sale ends 12 May and there are some brand exclusions.

Privacy Please Dress from Revolve

I was talking to a girlfriend about yellow dresses… and about 5 years ago, yellow/citrus/fluoro colours were very popular.

I had LOTS of yellow in my wardrobe… so I hunted down some photos of me in a few bright yellow dresses and even a gold dress haha!

These were taken in around 2012 – 2013. Look how long my hair was!

Yellow Dresses


Koozå by Cirque Du Soleil

5 May 2017

Kooza Cirque Du Soleil

Last week, I was kindly invited to watch Cirque Du Soleil’s latest show in Perth, Kooza!

Kooza is a return to Cirque Du Soleil’s origins and a homage to the traditional circus show. It has a strong focus on acrobats, performances and clowns, but still features a little story arc.

I was a bit nervous… because I didn’t know what to expect, aaaaand I don’t really like clowns (especially the bit where they walk around the crowd to find a “volunteer” from the audience to come up onto stage)!

But I was completely blown away by the whole show.

Here’s a few photos from the Cirque Du Soleil website.

Koozå by Cirque Du Soleil
(Photos courtesy of Cirque Du Soleil. Photo by M. Beard.)

There were tightrope walkers, contortionist-type acrobats, a guy who balanced on 10 stacked chairs, 2 guys on a spinning wheel thing, jumping acrobats… and more.

When I write it all out like that, it sounds a bit unimpressive. And it sounds like you could see much cooler stuff on TV or YouTube?

But no! To see it IN REAL LIFE was just mind blowing! These guys were doing the most AAAAMAZING tricks, with such talent and skill, I was frozen with terror, wonder, astonishment and relief!

My mouth was open from utter disbelief for most of the show. My heart was pounding, leaping out of my chest, or stuck in my throat. For some parts, I had to cover my eyes with my hands and peek through my fingers. And other parts, I laughed out loud with delight.

It was true, traditional, entertainment of the senses.

Real Life definitely beats YouTube!

Kooza Cirque Du Soleil

After the show, my husband and I were invited for a backstage tour. We were lead out to a very large tent out the back, where the performers worked, trained and relaxed.

Those things hanging from the ceiling are all the feathered head pieces used in the show, hung upside down for storage.

Koozå by Cirque Du Soleil

I met one of the performers, who was just lovely!

I had instant arm envy.

Kooza Cirque Du Soleil

We took a peek at the costume wardrobe, which was enormous. Just imagine taking this photo above and laying it out side-by-side four times and you’ll get an idea how many costumes there were.

Interestingly, we were told that a lot of the costumes get damaged after every show and have to be repaired.

Or sometimes some of the performers gain or lose weight, so costumes have to be adjusted to fit. Hence the sewing machines in the foreground.

Kooza Cirque Du Soleil

Here’s a close up of some hats.

I loved the little details!

Kooza Cirque Du Soleil

In the days before 3D printers, specialised spare parts for the costumes used to be sent in from overseas and would take weeks to arrive.

But now the travelling team can print out their own spare parts!

Kooza Cirque Du Soleil

And here’s something that caught my eye.

A wall full of labelled cups to remind me that despite the “magic of the big top”, acrobats and performers are normal people with jobs too.

A big thank you to Cirque Du Soleil for the wonderful experience!

Kooza runs in Perth until 11 June, with tickets starting at AUD$60.

You can also get Family 4-Pack tickets or Premium Tickets with a Backstage Tour. Parking is an extra $15 and refreshments were a bit expensive, so make sure you pack your own if you take your kids.



Fitness Update: Maintenance Mode

4 May 2017

Fitness Update

In the last few weeks, my fitness has become less of a “fun activity” and more of a “chore that has to be done”.

I still go to a yoga class once a week.

I still run 5km once or twice a week.

I still do HIIT sessions at home.

But I don’t love it.

I don’t hate it either.

I just do it. Because I know if I don’t, I’ll feel like crap.

Exercise, (even just a gentle walk in the park) releases endorphins that make me feel better and sleep better.

It’s just maintenance for my body and mind.

I don’t know that’s a good thing or a bad thing!

It’s just where I am right now and I’m cool with it.

(PS. I’m still loving my Adidas by Stella McCartney sneakers – so proud and slightly embarrassing that I can keep them so white by religiously cleaning them every time I use them haha!)


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