Carla Linkous Maxwell

Thursday, October 8, 2020

My Beautiful Australian Family

COVID-19 pandemic lockdown time has given me extra months in Australia. With intermittent visitation clearances by the Australian Government, I've been able to have a few precious moments with my Australian family. I'm so thankful for that! 

I'm sharing a few Australian-family snapshots that show why I'm thankful for the privilege of living in two countries....even during a pandemic.

That's little Philip with his parents, Jake (my step-son) & Nicole (beautiful daughter-in-law), in the photo above. It has been a blessing to get to see even a bit of Philip's first year, as I have been "stuck in Daylesford," due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its partner, social distancing/isolation. The few moments I've had with my step-children and this beautiful little guy have been so special....priceless! 

Even before his first birthday, Philip not only started to walk but he ran and kicked a ball before he was a year old! Look at him go!

There are so many beautiful moments to be thankful for in life! Whether I'm here in Australia or in America......Life is precious and events that make us joyful should be remembered and focused on.....especially during a pandemic!

I hope I will never forget watching Nicole and Jake teaching Philip about his birthday party process....making a beautiful piƱata filled with lollies, preparing food for the whole family to enjoy at a picnic in the public park, dressing up for his special occasion, seeing people he loves and trusts, eating the delicious food, laughing and sharing, and creating memories to cherish! You know, regular family stuff! It's beautiful. I hope you see that in my photos.

During this time of social distancing, Adrian and I have enjoyed sharing time in our own garden with our family and a few dear friends. Although we were forced by the pandemic to change how we gathered (normally around a dinner table in our small cottage), we still wanted to continue enjoying time together in good health. The answer to the social dilemma, spending time with family and friends outside, has been a joy. 

I am so thankful for time spent with Adrian and my two step-sons, Jake and Lee, and with my lovely daughters-in-law, Nicole and Mel, and of course, with our littlest (biggest!) blessing, Philip!

Sunday, October 4, 2020

I Have an Art Studio!

In these past few months of lockdown (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), I've been thankful for my new art studio. It's now a part of my heart and everyday life: a place of my own; where I can make art, or acquire skills to hone, or sit and stare, or make snacks and share, or think hard and stay all day and enjoy the garden. (Sometimes, I do all those things in a single day.) Wow! I can't believe I haven't already written about this. I am really thrilled with my "new" art studio! 

During 2020, a year of finishing old projects and starting new ones, our family's storage space (which is an old shipping container) has been refurbished and has come to life as my adorable little art studio. I want to say thank you to my husband, Adrian Kosky, and to my step-son-tradie, Jake Kosky, and to friends and all the other tradies who helped complete the container project!

While I was trying to select photographs and gather my thoughts to write this blog entry, I became filled with self-doubt about whether my art is "good enough" for me to refer to this refurbished shipping container as an "art studio." Ever since I moved my art supplies into it in May, I have been hesitant to call the old container an art studio. There has been a thought in my head about professional artists being the only ones who can or should have an "art studio." I've been calling my studio the same thing I have been calling it for years: the shipping container. Yes, it's a shipping container, but it is much more than that now, with its new's definitely an art studio (complete with kitchen, washing machine, toilet, and shower!)....whether my art is studio-worthy or not.  

The two photos above are pictures I took the day the container arrived in the garden. Here are a few photos of the popping out of the container when it arrived and of the inside of the container when it was first set-up as a place to camp-out in the garden and before it became the filled-up/no-place-to-sit-down guest/craft room that nobody wanted to visit.

Since I've been taking photos of my backyard garden and the wildlife in it for over a decade, my "studio" has been featured in my pictures many times. It was, however, sitting as a filled-up storage space (like so many guest/craft rooms inevitably become), waiting to come alive in the background of my snapshots.

Now that I'm happy to say I have an "art studio," I'm also happy to share photos of the comforts inside it. 

I'm so pleased with my art studio, and I'm thankful for it. I'm even thankful for the extra art time provided by a COVID-19 pandemic lock down! I'm reminded that ("....all things work together for good...." Romans 8:28) 

Here's something that I have been reminded of, just today: no matter how spectacular (hahahaha) I think my art might be inside the container, it is NOTHING compared to the spectacular things that are happening in the garden outside.