August 2012

Hey all,

Thought I’d pop in and give you a quick update. I’ve been busy trying to heal and recover (and quickly rebuild a website having had MEGA issues with our hosting/site managers. It seems the Red Olive website was spending more time down than up – not cool when you’ve launched online shopping huh!

I did it. It’s been hell and back, and back, and back. I will put a more detailed post soon, but just wanted to let you know that because of a complete stranger ‘Klaus’ who donated his wonderful strong powerful stem cells, I have another shot. I’m in remission and I just passed 100 days on Saturday. My Dr tells me (constantly) that I still have a loooong way to go, but I’m trying to celebrate the victories wherever they are. I’ve come off steroids, and most of the pain medication – and it’s shown up a lot of damage which the drugs were hiding. Some hip, nerve damage – hopefully not permanent. Graft vs Host disease has reared it’s heap this week, but with each bout of nausea, or cramp, or debilitating lethargy I’m ‘trying’ to be grateful for the little German cells raging war inside me, and forgiving them for the good cells they’re destroying on their hunt for the bad one. Imagine being a lovely German bloke, then being born, and waking up inside a mad kiwi woman!

Have I told you that my blood group will be changing? I go from being ‘A negative person, to A positive person’ Get it? A- to A+ hahahaha. I think it’s well funny, but it didn’t get a laugh from my Dr. though perhaps he’s heard it before…?

My team at RNS Hospital are second to none, and if I had to do this bollocks of a journey, I’m daily thankful it’s with them.

Unidentifiable but listed: Matt, Lisa, Barb, David, Ian, Taz, Cassandra, Donna, Lynnie and the AMAZING Nurses & team at both 12D and 12A. You took me in when other had given up, when the priests were trying to read me my last rites (WTF?) You nurtured me, and believed in me enough – and have continued to fight with me for my life. We all think what we do is so important professionally, but none among us have more value in our daily lives than this group of people. Not only do they save lives, they remind us why we want to fight for them.

The miracle of science and nature, and the will to live huh?


+ MEGA update for Artists!




Hey fellow Artists, Creatives and more importantly brave souls.I think one of the bravest things is being an Artist – of any kind. You’re exposing a part of yourself so publicly that hell, most people don’t even connect to, let alone try to share. You can’t stop it though can you? Be it any medium – Painting, Writing, Singing – it pushes til it finds it’s way out. That’s why I set up the underground ARTspace. Having not had a very easy time of it generally in my life – this ARTspace journey was about making it easier. The whole thing began after an entire year of looking for studio space after my own creative journey shifted from Interior Design – specialising in colour – Art. My love of colour found me trying to communicate schemes with colour on canvas, which ultimately often ended up as someones (often not mine!) definition of Art. And so we began…I have to admit, I’m an instinctive emotive painter – not a technical one. I do it because I HAVE to. It’s a purge I guess. Even in hospital last year, I found myself drawing over tissue boxes, folding and weaving my medical reports and changing the rooms around with the help from the very amused orderlies. Creative people ARE creative people always. It’s ultimately an expression that needs it’s way out, and our journey I guess is about finding ways to do that.

  •      underground ARTspace – the physical address…     

I remember not long after I moved here, I went with my (then) new boyfriend to a friends place for dinner. After dinner our friend took me downstairs to his Studio – which even in my mind today, was one of the coolest Studios I’d ever seen. I was gobsmacked. Firstly, I didn’t know he was an Artist – and he (hopefully involved in this project I’m slowly leading to) has this incredible way of communicating a specific feeling or emotion in his work. To this day, I’m not sure Ben (and Jane) Saunders really understand how pivotal that night was in my own life, and my own creative journey. To see someone giving themselves not only permission, but creating a space TO BE CREATIVE. It was life changing for me. Ben’s work is still a stand out – and I hope he still allows himself that time and space to create. His Art was the first large pieces I ever bought (it was the very beginning of me buying Art and pretending it was purchased as a gift for Adrian…) so it’s always going to be a special one.

Anyway, I (often) digress. The ARTspace, my happy accident I stumbled upon has become perhaps the best creative step ever taken. It was HUGE. It was EXPENSIVE. It was months and months of HARD WORK. So.. me being me, OF COURSE I had to do it. Could it be? Light, creative space that was mine. Was I finally – I’m talking a good 12 years plus after that night at Ben and Janes – going to give myself permission to create??? It seems I was – me and a lot of others. I figured (well, I hoped, prayed and took a huge gamble) that if I had been searching for over a year, then maybe others were. I’d even gone to the extent of considering hiring a space in a storage facility as I had a bg show looming with big works – and lots of them. (Turns out they are TWICE the price of my biggest studio space – and half the size, with none of the perks and facilities) and there was the ARTspace. So off we (and many incredible others) went…

It’s had the most amazing crew every step of the way, I’ve witnessed some amazing creative journeys – Adrian and I consider it a privilege and an honour. And we believe more and more with every sale that we are not only providing a service for the Artist – that’s a given, but that we are introducing ART in all it’s soulful, colourful, and raw expression into peoples homes and lives. THAT’S why we’ve fought so hard to keep the ARTspace going all this time, through all this heartache, illness and Global financial concern. Because we believe in, and love the ARTspace. When we opened, I used to talk about how it was a place to heal – having no idea how desperately I myself would need it within the years ahead. But, maybe I did, on the level that makes us Artists. Maybe that part of SELF knew?

So now, like a Phoenix – the ARTspace – having opened with more success than we could’ve dreamed will rise again. We’ve primped, cleaned, painted – and we’re ready to show again. Instinctively (as I’ve not heavily promoted the space) the Universe knew. Never before have I received as many enquiries for Solo shows as I have in the past three weeks. We’re ready to show again! We’ve always prided ourselves on being a really flexible space. We’re transparent with our costings (they are broken down into Space Hire – Staffing – Curating – Cleaning) – and reasonable with our time frames. Your shows will be manned by ARTISTS! If not us directly, one of the people within, or heavily involved with the ARTspace. Once we know you well, we even offer the opportunity for you to man your own shows. (Being mindful of all the Studios, and peoples private creative spaces – this is only an option if we know you really well.) Basically – if your work doesn’t sell, we don’t make a profit. It’s not like the old days when Art sold at high prices and often – and I wonder if that’s because there has NEVER been more Artists, and Galleries – the consumer is spoiled??? But I feel like I’m taking the risk with you – and I’m ok with that. I wouldn’t be accepting your show if I didn’t think your work would sell. SO…if you’ve been putting it off – don’t! Email me, come in and see the space – and make a booking!

  •      ARTspace WEBSITE – NEW!!!  

Here’s the simple version…Basically, I want to promote Aus and Nz artists online so there are no gallery fees and the Artist doesn’t have to part with the work – and is free to exhibit elsewhere (  we’ve never bought into the exclusive thing anyway!) I want to get it up and running in next month or two. We’re lucky enough to be a part of the Manly Arts Festival again this year and I really want it full of Art and ready to promote by then. Basically each of you upload your own work as it’s available, and take it off if it sells elsewhere. We will be charging a small annual fee to help with running, marketing and advertising costs etc. On top of the Art avenues, I want to try target design & decoration mags & stuff – affordable ORIGINAL art online type hype. We all know renovating is a growing market – people are becoming more aware Art again. Anyway, the plans are big and plenty. Email me if you’re interested!

  •  Open Studio Weekend 15-16th Sept

It’s a wonderful time to be an Artist in this area, and every year I’m grateful to live in a community that supports its Artists. We will be opening the Studios/Gallery the weekend of the Arts Festival. We will have the works of our Resident Artists and a couple of other favourites, so pop in and say Hi, have a cuppa etc.

So, I shall bid you farewell. Don’t forget to have a sticky at the under construction Artspace website too. You’ll notice the Red Olive website has changed. I kept having issues with the previous hosts, more often than not you would get an error message when emailing me (even when I was getting them) and half the time site was down. Not cool when you’re trying to move the retail side of things online!!!  It’s temporary, but if I do say so, I didn’t do a bad job in a hurry on a site I’ve never used.

So, that’s it for me. Aren’t you glad I don’t write often? Believe it or not, I do try to be short and sweet, alas a long lived failing…

Happy to still be yours, in all my colourful glory!




Blogs from Previous Website as at Feb 2012

Continue reading “Blogs from Previous Website as at Feb 2012”

Welcome to my NEW temporary website…


Ok, so bare with me – I’m finding my feet here. After months of issues with our previous IT people, months upon months of emailings bouncing back and website crashing – we just had enough! We’ll be building it up over time, but hopefully this is the start of a beautiful friendship x

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