Fun things to hang on your walls (with Curious Ruby)

Burst Watercolour and Ink print by Curious Ruby

Ever since I moved out of home, I’ve been collecting things ready for decorating when I stop renting and move into my “own” home. From paintings to glasses, I’ve had all kinds of things stashed away waiting for the day I live in the type of carefully curated home you see on Pinterest.

I recently realised that was NEVER going to happen (even when I do one day live in a place of my own, I just know it won’t look like the inspiration boards!) and that it was crazy to keep such pretty things locked away, so I’ve started making a conscious effort to make this place feel like my own.

One of my favourite places is a corner in my lounge where I’ve hung a bunch of artwork. They’re unframed, they’re kind of haphazard, and it’s a work in progress – but damn, I love it. It’s my little happy place and I find myself looking to it for inspiration all the time.

So when Curious Ruby emailed asking if I’d like to own one of her specially selected prints, I jumped at the chance. Her gorgeous pieces are bright, perfectly sized, and look fantastic on my wall. She was generous enough to send me an additional print, along with a super cute limited edition certificate. I can’t tell you how happy I was when this beauties arrived in the mail!

wall art Curious Ruby artCurious Ruby certificate

I thought I’d take the chance to find out a bit more about Curious Ruby – and if you like what you see, please do check out more of her work.

Who is Curious Ruby?

Curious Ruby is an adventurous girl, finds inspiration in all her surroundings, falls in love every day, draws how she feels, takes photos of where she’s been. Curious Ruby explores, creates, dreams, and remembers.

Have you always been interested in art, or is it something you’ve only delved into more recently?

I have always loved art and been drawing occasionally, but I only seriously started to draw again after a loooong seven year break. When I thought I didn’t need such a thing as a hobby (pffft…waste of time I thought) – until one day I picked up the pens, spent four days sitting on a boat with nothing better to do than to draw. Hello there, Curious Ruby was born (it’s a girl).

What are your favourite materials to work with?

Watercolours!  I love them because I feel they are more versatile than, say, copics…but they are also more compact and easy to travel with – you only need a little water!  I have a little 24 half pan Winsor and Newton Artists quality set.

What is your creative process like?

It all starts with a cup of tea in the morning! That helps sets the day nicely and extends the call of the mattress, while still fooling myself into believing I am being productive! I usually have inspiration bouts, where I can just draw for three hours straight and everything that comes out I love. Other times I sketch out a design then put it on the shelf and wait. Sometimes I can wait for around three months before I feel I can finish a piece. After the initial sketch then I decide whether it’s going to be monochrome and just ink it in, or whether I’ll lay down some colour. There is no really method though!

It sounds like travelling is a huge inspiration to you – where have been your favourite places to visit, and how does your artwork reflect the places you have been?

Iceland. Hands down. I love the feeling of isolation and being surrounded completely by nature totally untouched by human hands. You become more in-tune to your surroundings, you study the little things, realise that there is so much wonder and diversity in the natural world. If it was artistic inspiration – then Czech Republic wins. Artist Alphonso Mucha…need I say more. I really want to use more of his style to influence my drawings.  I actually just made a YouTube video, which you can view here, that was inspired by his work. And I’ve started listening to classical music after walking through the woods of Antonin Dvorak’s home – again the beauty of nature and isolation was so lovely!

What projects are you currently working on?

I have a project called ‘Curious Postcards’. Since I travel, postcard sized paper is the most convenient for me to carry around any materials. I will have them up for sale in my store shortly once the sets are complete!

Outside of drawing and painting, what are a few of your favourite things?

I love hiking and the outdoors, being in nature, whether it be in the forest or by the sea – it doesn’t matter! I love to try new foods, I’m not fazed by anything! I’ve eaten so many grubs and worms and unusual animals in my travels, and honestly, some of them aren’t half bad!

Where can we find out more?

Pop over and say hi on my Instagram (@curious_ruby) and tell me what you love and how you feel – I love finding out what other people are inspired by! wall art

Thanks, Ruby!

The other prints on my wall:

Nick Cave lyrics

Slaughterhouse Five quote 

Kat Abdy


Nina Marlena skull

Hungry Deigns deer postcard

It’s the little things: Christmas countdown

skull candle

Oh Sunday evening…that time when you look around the house after a great weekend and wonder where all the time has gone! This week seemed to fly by, but I was really excited to see a former colleague’s band play during the week and get dressed up for a Joss Whedon themed party (see the photo below – I went as Buffy from season three’s The Wish episode. So! Much! Fun!) The good news is I’ve only got one more week (that’s four days!) of work left before we go on Christmas break, and I get to round out the week getting a new tattoo. I’m so excited, but at the same time I just can’t wait for 2014 to be done – and it’s getting closer and closer to being over!

Skullandcrosstales Buffy costume

The little things I’ve loved lately:
Brian’s Molko’s Selected lyric book ~ Coconut everything ~ An air conditioned bedroom ~ Counting down until the Christmas holidays ~ Hula hooping ~ Lunches in the park ~ Dark nail polish ~ Popcorn ~ Sons of Anarchy season finale (it’s the end of an era!) ~ Friends you can be embarrassingly honest with ~ Laughter ~ Sodashi’s calming rose face mist ~ The best work friends in the world ~

Brian Molko

The links I’ve loved:

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart; I am, I am, I am.”

“Sometimes I can feel my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”

“The curves of your lips rewrite history.”

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”

“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”

Skull of the week: 

skull bag

Who else is counting down until the holidays? 



She smiles because…


…she can still dance

…when she goes at sleep at night a dog fits himself into her arms

…her friends smile when they see her and it lights up her life

…she knows she is strong, even when she stumbles

…there is music in the world


…she feels young and free, wild at heart

…because she has a whole lifetime still left to live

…there are so many books with amazing stories still waiting to be discovered

…even though her heart was broken she still believes in love

…she won’t give up

…she knows she’s got this

…it feels DAMN GOOD to smile!



**This post was written in response to MJ Valentine’s 40 Ways to get happy right now – thanks for the prompt MJ!

Tell me, what makes you smile? 

Tattoo Talk v 5

Welcome to Tattoo Talk, a showcase (and celebration!) of women with tattoos. Today’s very special guest is Bec, a Melbourne-based foodie with a penchant for brunch. Her blog, Dancing Through Sunday, has lots of delicious-looking vegetarian recipes that I can’t wait to try out! 

dancing through sunday tattoo

Name: Bec Thexton

Age: 22

Occupation: Food blogger/writer

When did you get your first tattoo?

The day I turned 18! I was certain I wanted tattoos

How many tattoos do you have, and which is your favourite?
I have eight tattoos – four big ones and four smaller ones. My favourite is either the anatomical heart on my ribs or the large rose on my thigh. They are done so well – big, bold and beautiful!

bec tattoo

Do you tend to get tattoos that are very meaningful, or tattoos that are purely aesthetical?
My first tattoo was purely aesthetical and I don’t have much of a story about it apart from ‘I wanted it’. That itself mean something to me – I did what I wanted at the time but I made sure that every tattoo I got after my first meant something. Weather it’s a simple personal value, album, person, memory or time on my life I want to remember; each tattoo (minus my first) means something to me. I am reminded when I look at them!

The last tattoo I got was with my little sister and Mum in Rome on a Euro trip we did together – I took my 53 year old mum to get her first tattoo! How cool is that. I’ve converted her…muahaha

Bec tattoo

bec tattoo

Are there any tattoo artists you particularly admire?
Emmet Jace

Matty D’Arenzio

Ben Fraser from Good Luck Tattoo

What is the most interesting experience you’ve had relating to your tattoos?
So my first tattoo was an owl (holding an umbrella?!) and since I got that tattoo the ONLY gifts I received was owl gifts. Owl statues, pencil cases, t-shirts, owl this, owl that. I didn’t have the heart to tell my family I don’t love owls THAT much and just kept receiving owl gifts all the time.

I then met a new friend and went over to her house. I noticed in her room she had owl statues, candles, posters and I asked her if she had an owl tattoo. She replied “YES!” and showed me and said ‘My family thinks I LOVE owls and I have boxes of owl statues but really I just wanted a cool looking tattoo’. I was the exact same! Needless to say she is still an amazing friend with awesome tattoos.

bec tattoo

What are your thoughts on the relationship between tattoos and fashion?
Tattoos can look really, really cool. I like how they can add an ‘edge’ or a bit more depth to a person’s style. They show a glimpse into the person’s personality. Sometimes I don’t show my tattoos (mainly during winter) and its odd how people meet me in winter then summer comes around and they are shocked that I have so many!

What advice would you give to someone planning their first tattoo?
Make sure it means something. It doesn’t have to be a quote or anything but make sure it’s something you like. I have friends who have amazing tattoos of a tepee, love letter, their cat, a flower they like– anything. A person, place, memory or time in their life but make sure it’s something you are fond of.

Do you plan on getting more?
I do! I usually get one a year around my birthday but actually don’t want anything specific at the moment. If I do, I think about it for a month or so then organise it with a tattoo artist I like.

bec tattoo

Thanks, Bec! 

You can follow Bec on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter 

If you’re interested in being featured, please send me an email: skullandcrosstales AT Hotmail DOT com

On the bookshelf: an A-Z book survey

Typrewriter by Florian Klauer

Ever wanted to know my top three favorite books, what I drink while I read, or which books kept me up at night? This A-Z book survey has got you covered.

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Probably Laurell K. Hamilton – there are about a million books in the Anita Blake series! I haven’t read them all but I’ve made a fair dent into them.

Best sequel ever:

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I was heartbroken when Katniss realised she’d have to do it all over again. This is also the first series that made me want to write a YZ novel of my own. 

Currently reading:

The Tea Chest by Josephine Moon.

Drink of choice while reading:

Diet Coke or a glass of wine.

E-reader or physical book:

Physical book. I do have an ereader but I have only ever used it to read one series of books (Diana Gabaldon, in case you were wondering).

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school:

Any of the broody, moody, bad boy types from YA novels.

Glad you gave this book a chance:

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera – one of my faves!

Hidden gem book:

One Foot Wrong  by Sofie Laguna. Oh the feels!

Important moment in your reading life:

Discovering Stephen King in my early teens and realising that not all books were about clicky groups of friends. Then reading The Green Mile and having my heart ache from a book for the very first time.

Just finished:

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. My thoughts on that one coming soon!

Kind of books you won’t read:

I’m not a fan of romance or chick lit, especially when it has been edited poorly.

Longest book you’ve read:

The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. They’ve definitely taken me the longest to read, especially considering how much I like them. I’m currently only halfway through the series.

Major book hangover because of:

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult – I stayed up well into the early hours of the morning to finish it!

Number of bookcases you own:

One when they’re pushed together and take up a whole wall, three if you were to separate them.

One book you have read multiple times:

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. So much love for this. So much.

Preferred place to read:

Lying on the couch, with a cat or dog napping on my lap.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“You are mine,I am yours; you may be sure of this. You’ve been locked inside my heart, the key has been thrown away; within it, you must always stay. ” – The Gargoyle

“You’ll swoop from incredible highs when you’re just glad to be alive, to those lows when you wish you were dead. And just when you start thinking that you’ve accepted who you are, that changes, too. Because who you are is not permanent.” – The Gargoyle

“But when the strong were too weak to hurt the weak, the weak had to be strong enough to leave.” – The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Reading regret:

I can’t really say I’ve regretted anything I’ve read – even the books that I haven’t enjoyed have taught me something. 

Series you started and need to finish:

Outlander. I’m trying, I really am!

Three of your all-time favorite books:

The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak

The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

Unapologetic fangirl for:

Patrick Ness, Laini Taylor, John Green, Scott Westerfield, Jodi Picoult, Margaret Atwood, and Marissa Meyer.

Very excited for this release more than all the others:

The next book in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles…and also The Seeker by Stephanie Meyer, and Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak.

Worst bookish habit:

Folding page corners, leaving piles of books in random places, not reading the books I buy.

X marks the spot. Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski

Your latest book purchase:

Paper Towns by John Green, Sins and Needles by Karina Halle, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Fowler, and My Favourite Mistake by Chelsea Cameron (and I’ve read all but the last one).

ZZZ-snatcher book that kept you up way late:

Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Laini Taylor.

Phew! Some of those were hard but I’d love to hear your answers – leave them in the comments below, or link me to your own post. 


Image by Florian Klauer 

It’s the little things: introspection & gratitude

Jelly fish lights

Things have been feeling a little flat around these parts lately. That’s not to say they’ve been quiet – I’ve had a crazy couple of nights down in Cow Town, where we crammed the Sou’ West Vintage Fest and a wedding into one day; a wonderful boozey Tuesday night exploring small bars in the city; dinners with friends; after work drinks; lots of loud music and singing along like no one is listening. And yet, I’ve had the feeling that something is missing.

I put it down to the time of the year – work is busy and stressful, the holidays are almost here, changes are afoot once again and I’ve been feeling a bit introspective. It’s as if I’m just waiting for the holidays so I have a chance to breathe again, you know? I need to pull myself out of it, and what better way to start than with some gratitude?

skullandcrosstales @ vintage fest

The little things I’ve loved lately:

Resting my head on a purring cat ~ False eyelashes ~ Someone to apply the false lashes for me ~ Cupcakes ~ Singing (loud) ~ Finally getting a new phone and remembering what it is like to have the battery last for more than a couple of hours ~ Spending way too much time on Ebay ~ Sister time ~ Family lunches ~ Hours spent watching Buffy ~ Staying up late and sleeping in ~ Stretching ~ Naps ~ Sunshine ~ 90s music ~ Puppy kisses ~ Koko Black chocolate deliciousness ~ The bestest of friends who I love so so much


The links I’ve loved:

Skull of the week: 

Betsey Johnson necklace

 Have you started the countdown to the Christmas holidays yet? 

20 things I have done since NaNoWriMo started

Mack the pugalier

Things I have done since NaNoWriMo started:

  1. Cleaned up what was either the world’s largest furball or the world’s hairiest cat poo
  2. Googled how to prevent furballs in cats at 12am
  3. Contemplated feeding cat Vaseline at 1am
  4. Impulse bought a hardcover by Brian Molko based only on that information
  5. Taken my bra off at the dining table
  6. Transcribed about 6000 words and wrote two feature articles
  7. Realised I was 10 years old when Bush released Glycerine
  8. Made a new batch of kefir milk
  9. Had the best intentions to actually drink kefir milk
  10. Got sunburnt on the back of my legs
  11. Lost $20 at the races
  12. Bought a hard drive to back up my novel
  13. Failed to remove hard drive from packaging
  14. Cursed full moon fever for my lack of sleep
  15. Drunk a flaming shot of black Sambuca and chartreuse
  16. Spent 20 minutes on hold to Medicare
  17. Dyed my hair twice
  18. Threw out receipts from 2001
  19. Hula hooped
  20. Ate some really good sandwiches

Things I have not done since NaNoWriMo started:

  1. Started writing my novel