Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The best fun ever

We are right in the thick of it now, us retail monkeys. Thus begins the next level of retail hell; the late night trade. Everything gets a little more frantic past five'o clock, a little more desperate. But today, I don't want to focus on that (says she who begins her deep descent into the late night trade), today I am trying hard to remember what it is that I used to love so much about Christmas, and I reckon it all goes back to when I was a kid and I'm pretty sure Mum, you are the main key here, so you sure did good kid so why don't you treat yourself to a big punnet of raspberries? (My mum doesn't really drink ok? she prefers expensive raspberries, go figure..)

My memories of Christmas as a kid are off the hook! It's kind of hard to know where to begin!! Seing as my dads side is Polish we always used to go down to his house and then to my Babcia's to have Christmas with the traditional Polish xmas eve dinner. This in itself was pretty good for a kid, getting to have two christmases. My Mum would then come pick us up late and we would always spend the night at my Nan and Pa's on xmas eve to wake up there for the big day. On the way home I can remember always counting the number of trees we could see lit up. For some reason me and my sister always shared a room on xmas eve and sometimes when more of the family were crammed into nan and pa's, even a bed. We would be beside our little selves with excitement and really not sleep at all. To help us try and sleep we would usually play a game which we invented called "celebrity pet". Kind of like 20 questions but it had to be a famous animal. Think Napolean, The Real McCaw, Milo and Otis. (I know, we were weird little kids.)

We would be up AT THE CRACK OF DAWN. Maybe the earliest time on record was in the 4am bracket. Nan was an excellent one at facilitating this, even now she is the first one up trying to rouse surly older grandchildren. She would let us sneak up ("Go and see if he's been") and grab, you are going to love this, our "little" sack of presents (it was a pillow case!!) to open in bed with her and pa. We then would then creep up the stairs (all three of them) and make our way to to the main event; the tree.

"HE'S BEEN!!!!" We would shriek and see in all it's glory the amazing delectable loot that Father Christmas had left. My memory is pretty sketchy at the best of times, but I always remember just seeing like a sea of presents under the tree, dwarfing the little plastic christmas tree. It was awe inspiring. There were a lot of us I guess but to a little kid those presents just seemed to go on for miles and miles. It still remains one of the best things I have ever seen.

Pa would also go to elaborate ruses to keep the Father Christmas jig alive. One year he got his hands on some horse poop and left it round the pool. "Look what those damn reindeer have done to my garden!" By now everyone would be up and tearing into presents. The rest of the family would be on the way over and Christmas would be in full swing by now. This is also in the days when Christmas day was HOT. HOT! Who can remember that? I can remember one year there was an awesome progression of about six of us kids going absolutely beserk doing a progression of cannon balls one after the other for a good hour or so. (By the next day Pa's pool levels were considerably lower...)

Lunch was always (and still is) amazing. Ridiculously delicious. There is everthing under the sun, paper crowns, bad jokes and of course the famous ice cream cake. Again, one of nan's inventions. Three layers of different ice cream flavours all with a magic ice chocolate top. It changes every year but goes along the lines of peppermint with peppermint pieces, apricot, cherry ripe or violet crumble. So, so good. Everyone fights for this. But then as a little kid you are torn because you know if you get pudding there is likely to be money in  it and what little entrepeneur of a kid doesn't want cash? (you usually end up getting both and just fishing the coins out of the pudding. Somehow Pa always got the gold....interesting...)

So as you can imagine if you are up at 4am, hyped up on sugar and present overload, you are pretty cranky come two o clock. The day is so exciting you dont want to miss a bit, but trust me mum wants you to take a nap badly as your crank level is through the roof.

Christmas day really is the best ever. I know this from my excellent childhood. I only hope that I can create these if I have kids. Or maybe for my friends kids, save me from turning into the grinch. So today (last night I actually dreamt about work, just pick the god dammned tea already!!!) as I grimace my way through another ball breaker of a day, I'm going to cram another xmas pretzel in my mouth and remember the memories of being a kid in my family over the christmas time.

Well thats the plan. Lets see what really happens and who feels my wrath today.....

Friday, December 6, 2013

the end is nigh


It's right around the corner. If you have been listening to any kind of retailer they will have been telling you exactly how may days there are to go till the fat man hits the town, having us all on some kind of demented countdown till his arrival. There will be lines upon lines. There will be screaming fits thrown (and not necessarily by the toddlers). There will be god awful christmas carols pumped out across the airwaves. There will be bouts of insane shopping madness. There will be my sanity walking out the door. And if you are very lucky you may even get to see it happen.

It will start innocently enough. Start of an especially long ball breaking shift in retail, my spirits will be high and sugar induced but it won't take long for reality to come crashing in. There will be a line snaking around the store for gift wrap, a ridiculous division of who wants what gift wrapped and in what colour, someone WILL yell and abuse you. Tea WILL be spilt. Teenagers will swarm through the store much akin to locusts, eating you out of house and home all while reminding you of just how uncool you are. There will be the ass that enters the store at 2 minutes till close then demands giftwrap on 27 items. There will be the ultra rude woman who insists on being on the phone while you serve her. She will mouth "sorry!" to you but both you and I know that is utter bullshit and you aren't even a glitch on her radar. You are just the sales robot. Greet. Sell. Add on. Wrap. Repeat.

Soon it starts to get louder in there. There is no clear path to walk in the store, you are constantly crab walking your way through the store, or my personal favourite, 'ghosting' the customer as they walk at a snails pace as you have a handful of six full tea pots, trying to make it to the hungry locusts. Pretty soon that apron you are wearing starts to weigh you down, you feel the oppression of your sisters in sales before you, is it hot in here? (of course it is centre management are tight arses and the air con is off), you start to sweat. All of a sudden, before you know it, you are lowering yourself behind the counter, cramming your fist into your mouth in the silent scream, teapots are crashing down around you, the giftwrap has gone to hell, who knows where Aunty Glenda's gift is anymore, the ice machine has spontaneously combusted and the sirens are going off (of course no one heeds these piercing alarms going off but customers scream over the top of the wailing "does this come with an infuser?!"). Get out save yourselves, the christmas apocalypse is here.

So spare a thought for your brothers and sisters out there doing time in retail. Give em a break. Don't bust their balls. It's a pretty simple equation here, you be nice to them, they be nice to you. Don't be a christmas jerk. In the words of the great time travelling man himself, Rufus;

"Be excellent to each other".

It's that simple.

Oh and by the way, I wasn't always this jaded about christmas. Trust me, I want the wreaths, I want the sparkly ornaments, I want to gorge myself in gingebread and I want the scent of pine needles so far up my snout I'm breathing needles for weeks. I want all that I do, and there was a time when it was all that and more, but thats another story for another day.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Design Files Open House 2013 and the time I got to meet a Super star and NOT embarrass myself

Unless you have been living under a rock or maybe you have decided to shun the interwizzle (and in that case I'm not entirely sure how you would be reading this) you would know (and have marked it in red in your little diary) that The Design Files Open House is on and running at this very moment! Lucy's amazing creation comes to life for 4 days only and then again for the very first time in Sydney early next month. Open House is such an awe inspiring feat of strength. To have the vision and then the muscle to pull off such a successful event is beyond me. But she does it and people go crazy for it!

I was lucky enough to go to the opening on Wednesday night and drag my sister along. It was so much fun. Ridiculous amounts of fun. Imagine having the most beautifully styled house full of all these exquisite made objects, flowing champagne and the most impressive cheese plate you have ever seen in your life. AND the Dulux dog! THE DULUX DOG!! (Her real name is violet and she is gorgeous, but man she had these really human eyes that did creep me out a little...) And then this party is filled with all the makers just hanging out. I finall got to meet Beci Orpin in the flesh, Iwas pretty chuffed about that. She is all types of rad let me tell you.

And the domes were EVERYWHERE!! Just about in every room and a massive spread on the dining room table, I couldn't believe my luck! I even got a cute little write up in their print out newspaper. I am super stoked with the colour scheme, they seem to complement the house so well. Lisa (Lucy's right hand lady) has done such an excellent job of promo for them. I kind of feel like she is my own personal hype lady. I wonder if I could get her for all aspects of my life??

People have been going nuts for them!! I can't believe it! I woke up to a message this morning from Lisa, something along the lines of "Omg, only four left, having to break into the Sydney stash!!" Amazing. Makes me so ridiculously happy that people are enjoying the work so much, makes my heart kind of go all full and stuff. (Also makes me glad that Syders will have Yumemiru to fall back on if the domes are needed in Melbs...)  I just wanted to say a big, heartfelt thank you to anyone who may have purchased one at the open house, it really does mean a whole bunch to me for your support in my work and what I do. You guys are THE best. There was one in the bedroom next to the bed and weenie and I were joking with each other what you would keep in there, I said teeth....and that maybe we should give one to our Nan.. she is also the best.

Selling large quantities like this gives me hope that maybe, just maybe next year I won't have to be in retail next year for christmas? I feel like each year my soul breaks just a little more. Retail is fucking nuts at christmas time. People turn into these crazed shopping machines who are so rude and just want to make you cry. Makes me kind of, not hate christmas but not get to enjoy it as much as I would like. At the end I'm so over it I just want to curl into a ball and rock back and forth while simutaneously cramming gingerbread and cherries into my mouth while crying. Merry Christmas to me. I got just a little taste of it last night at a Vip shopping night. The only thing that makes it bearable is the awesome team of women I get to work with. We just had a new favourite of mine come on board and it just makes everything fit. She is outstanding and her enthusiasm for happiness is catching. I think we are going to be great mates. 

But mine and Andy's studio is coming along nicely and that teamed with awesome sales gives me that glimmer of hope that this could be my last xmas in retail? God, lets all take a minute to drink that in. What a treat! Who knows, crazier things have happened I guess. At the moment Andy and I usually meet up on a Wednesday and spend the day together at the studio. It is by far my favourite day of the week and my little heart just sings getting to be in that studio. I feel like we are really creating a beautiful making space that I am so excited about. This week we made a cute little shelving unit.

Started construction on the peg board of my dreams.

And Andy let my buy this peach.

Which I LOVE. Andy is so great, he indulges all my little nutty whims ("Should I buy this fake aquarium greenery?" "Of course you should Amanda its brilliant.") and I have such a great time hanging out with him in our little space together.

So to finish it has been a productive couple of days. And here is my proudest acievement, getting to meet Clare Bowditch.....SQUEAL!!!

Oh you know, here we are, just us gals. Me, Lucy, Lucy's mum and CLARE BOWDITCH!! God she is gorgeous and about the nicest most awesome chick you are ever going to meet.

Le Sigh.

Oh and I also wanted to mention I have put a couple of super nice new Yumemiru in my etsy shop if anyone is interested. New colourways of violet, gold, pink and grey. So nice! Maybe a xmas gift for your sweetheart so you can avoid the shops and me turning into a snivelling post xmas mess??

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Halo! I have so much to tell you I don't even know where to begin!! Lets just begin with the most recent and work our way back, sounds about right.
My biggest and most exciting news is that The Design Files (THE Design Files) did an interview on me!! A whole big Friday spread on little ole me. (Trust me, I can't believe it either...) I am just pleased as punch. Lucy wrote such nice things about me and it received such lovely comments from her readers that it made me turn another shade. Feeling so grateful (and am I allowed to say this?), so PROUD. I work like a little demon most times (as my patient husband will attest) and sometimes I have doubts and wonder if I am on the right track at all. But then an amazing opportunity like this comes along and I just feel like I am totally walking the path, if that makes sense. Anyways, you can make that decision for yourselves and check out the interview here if you like. I'm hoping it leads to BIG things....

Another interview that was recently run on me was one by the fantastic Brad from JamFactory. He took some sweet shots of me and my team in the shop. The link for that one is here. Its really nice to have such a spread to promote all the work I been busy making lately. A couple of weeks ago I trekked to Adelaide to make all my Design Files work for the upcoming open house. If you are in Sydney or Melbs you should really check that out its going to be MASSIVE. 

So in four sessions we roughly made 85 units. I think that is pretty amazing. The majority of what we made was the new display domes for the Open House. Was quite a bold (potentially stupid) move on my behalf to go into full on production mode after only really one prototype session. But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do, and this time I lucked out. Huzzah.

The next part of the trip was the big workshop for the JAm that had been almost a year in the planning. I had managed to get Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and Jasen Johnsen over to teach a week long class and somehow I managed to weasel in my way to TA for them. So amazing. They are such phenomenal glass sculptors. It was a crazy week. We made like a candy day of the dead type skull with birds and flowers, an antelope, balinese mask, oh, and you know just two dogs on a beach with a palm tree and a parrot, no big deal. 

In between all this me and Andy have been putting together our studio. We are so close to moving in. SO CLOSE. We now have walls, big ups to T-Bird and Darryl, we also have a door, Andy deserves all that credit, and now we have painted walls!! So exciting. I just want to move in already. HAs been such a long process, but thats ok, don't good things come to those who wait?

Probably one of the best things to happen on my last trip to Adelaide was a surprise party for one of my dear friends Deb Jones. Deb had recently just bought herself a shipping container and the girls at Gate 8 studio decided to surprise her and fill it with 800 balloons!! 800!! It was the most beautiful joyous thing I have ever seen! There were kids running around in there losing their minds and because of all the static i think they were popping left right and centre, just imagine the acoustics in there!

Look how happy everyone is!


And during this time I was also apart of two exhibitions. Lets just say some lessons were learned...

So it's been a crazy month or so with lots of goings on and lets hope more to come.

(And heres a picture of my cat with colour samples for the studio...)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bizay Pete

Woah. Just Woah.

So much is going on its just nuts! So many balls in the air its hard to see whats what! maybe thats why i  havent blogged since the ice ages?

alright, lets just spew it out, always easier that way...

. got a new studio, woo! have taken on a warehouse in brunswick with 7 others from all different backgrounds looking to make something amazing from an abandoned warehouse just off sydney road. she needs some work, ie partitioning, ripping up floors, busting down walls and building new ones (or in my shonky carpenter ways, just ripping down one and transporting it to another place. i call it franken wall! don't see any chippies knockin on my door anytime soon...)

. had a couple of orders come my way, always nice

. did a mini stint in radelaide to make some work, always a blur but always super productive. love that rockabee kid, she is the bomb.

. workin a bit more on the bottles, new work say "ooooooooohhhhh"....

. got a group show "artisans in the garden" coming up in Sydney, gotta freight the work next week

. got a show opening this week!! its at Fort Delta, shop 59 Capitol Arcade, 113 Swanston St, Melbourne. Its a group show put together by the pozzible peeps. you should come along if you are in melbourne town (i hear theres talk of a mobile creme brulee truck being there....that alone should be enough to get anyone there.)

. BIG NEWS: i'm apart of the design files open house again!! this time the extravaganza will span over sydney and melbs!! super pumped lucy has asked me to design something especially for the houses and together we have collaborated to come up with something awesome! i'm pretty excited to launch these bad boys, can't wait to take my work to sydney, hopefully make some new pals (stockists, buyers, $$!!)

check out the link here

. in a couple of weeks I will be off to adelaide again to make the work for the design files with my dream team AND get to assist the most awesome lady in glass KAren Willenbrink Johnsen!! Can you believe it? My persistant weaseling looks like it paid off, together with the JAm we have managed to get Karen and her equally talented husband Jasen to come a teach a work shop in Adelaide, alllll the way from the states. so excited. so terrified (what if i wreck something or stuff something up??)

so yeah, its biz-zay around these parts!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


If there is one thing I am really REALLY good at, its procrastination. Even as I write this I know full well there are much more pressing things I should be doing. I am so good at procrastination I can even spot other like minded individuals and call them out when I see them red handed. Just yesterday I saw a friend post up a pic on instagram, something like a stack of dull looking papers, real dry stuff, a smiley face made out of lollies and the caption something like; "Staying positive about studying corporate law this semester". The majority of the comments went along the lines of "you can do it!" or "best of luck!". Not me, BAM! "I know procrastination when I see it." And I do, it's true. I too would probably make smiley faces out of candies if I had to read some dull law documentation.

This current procrastinating revolves around a group show I am apart of this October. It is in Sydney and I just don't know why I can't seal the deal. I even have the work made god damn it! The thing that seems to be stopping me with the paper work (and oh, the relentless paperwork) is I'm not really certain how to display the little buggers. And I'm not sure which ones to send. And I'm not sure how much to price them. And I'm not sure what to eat for lunch.... And, wait, there I go again. So what is the dealio yo? How do I fix this?

I really don't know where to get a little stand welded up for me, but yet I don't know if that is right for them. I kind of just planned displaying them in a cute little basket. What to do, what to do?!!! Halp, halp!!

This brings me to the most exciting thing......


Behold, in all their glory:

I had the absolute pleasure of working with  the extremely lovely and talented stylist Bec Vitartas and the super skills (more striking than lovely..) of photographer Haydn Cattach. These two are the dream team and I feel so lucky to have gotten to wrangle their collective skills for the shoot. I was really interested to photograph glass differently not the usual white or grey background with reflections (snore zzzz). I would never have chosen these colours and I think they look fantastic. I'm so excited with them I might just pop. Now to get them out there. Let the people see them. Let them lead me to the next big thing...restaurant fit out, lobby installation,  trophies for masterchef?, residency in New York?..... 

Come on! Come at me world, I'm ready.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Etsy Ahoy!

So I decided to put some pieces on my poor neglected etsy site. I thought I would trial a cute little set and see what response I get. Sometimes I want so hard to cut out the middle man, but I guess I might need that middle man more than I know? So lets see what happens! These are the guys up for grabs:

They are available for individual sale but it would be super sweet if they were purchased in a family. What I would like to do is put up a different family up for grabs each month. Maybe I could just run it off my blog? Hmmm, what think?
If you are interested in these guys you can check them out here. Tell your friends!

Or if you are interested in anything you can always contact me directly, but you knew that right? Right?  I'm here, I'm all ears! I love a chat, I'll put the kettle on, lets talk why not?

Well, let the great etsy experiment of 2013 begin! 

(If it were a ship I would be smashing a bottle of champagne on its nose right now. Really, A nose? Is that the best you can do Amanda? For shame. And in all honesty I'm cheap so it probably would not be champagne but probably just some soda steam I had made myself and funnelled into an old champagne bottle. No use wasting the good stuff on some imaginary boats beak.)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Welcome back Cotter


It's me! Me, the writer of this blog. Me, the little bird with he big chip. Me, the absentee.

So whats new? Stuff and stuff? Yeah, me too. Turns out there is quite a bit of stuff going on lately. Like my window show at Craft Vic! Surprise! (i really was behind the 8 ball on announcing this one I know but the good news is its on for a whole month.) On show is an installation of my Ikebana works for all to see. Had some help from my little pal Green Trick (better known as the little puff, or my sister). LP (little puff) really pulled out the big guns and did some super fantastic flower arranging for me and crammed in the tiniest of window spaces all for me. Thanks kid, you did good, Real good. I was interested to see how two wookies would fit in a tiny window space...

Look at all that mess we made. Fabulous.

Look there she is! Little Puff. Little puff while Big Puff is on the other side of the glass hollering orders. "No this way. A little to the left. Yep. Nup. Yep." We are a solid team thats fo sure.

The show is up till the end of the month and you should totally go check it out if you are in Melbs. The address is:

Craft Vic
31 Flinders Lane

Going to go back and take some snaps at night. Which reminds me, there was no official opening so I'm rallying some goons to come down and have a peek, loiter around and generally get up to no good (maybe I'll smuggle in a box of wine complete with plastic cups?) this Friday nite, so if you are in the big smoke come say hi and we can have our own shmancy viewing.

Today I did some rad stuff. I mean really rad stuff. I can't wait to share the fruits of our day with you....til next time yo'....

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I made it. I made it home in one piece. One crumpled, sleep deprived piece, safe and sound. And do you know what else made it? My crate! My beloved crate of six weeks of work. Thank the big glass god in the sky!! God that was stressful. Everything about that was stressful. Building the crate, packing the work, organising the freight, them not scanning the crate when they picked it up so essentially it was "lost" for 4 days (how can you lose a 60kg fucking wooded crate?! I screamed down the phone, wailing in tears.) then to arrive like an old friend looking a little worse for wear like myself ("thas a lot of boot prints on your crate" "yeah it is, what the flip?") right on my door stop. Sigh of relief breathed. (I think i was so freaked out because they would not insure "glass art". I was thinking for breakages, I had not even considered for loss. Again, who loses a 60kg fucking crate??)

So now I'm home, battling jet lag and trying to get my life in order. I'm trying to be a little easy on myself this time. I have got two back to back sessions booked in the studio for next week that I am super pumped about. It's real nice to have bonsai orders to come back to make. And I get to work with my dear friend Andy. We havent worked together since uni! Gonna be so much fun. I just wanna say, I know there must be people out there reading, not many comments but while I was away I received the most lovely emails from people commenting on the work and wanting to place orders. Every time I got one it just made my little heart soar! Thank you so much. I really appreciate it and I am always super pumped when someone contacts me with a custom order. I am always stoked to hear from someone who likes my work.

This trip, the emails and stuff in general has just got me thinking. I am just so pumped to be living the life that I got dealt. I have done some fucking rad stuff so far and I'm not even half way!! Just imagine what else is in store for me!! I got to go to the Jam, I have travelled the world, some for glass, some for kicks, been to Japan 3 times, Turkey, London, New York and Scotland, got married to the most awesome person I know, just completed the residency of a life time, been to Pilchuck, got a super rad family behind me and this is only scratching the surface. I feel lucky thats fo sure. I also feel excited to keep this feeling and momentum going. It's easy to fall under the black clouds, start to doubt yourself and feel that green monster of envy on your back so I want to make a conscious decision to focus on the good. I want to remember that feeling that I make work that makes others smile. That I have the ability to bring joy to others. I fucking love that. Who doesnt love a glass beet??

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

First night away from the fam

So just like a lil baby bird, tonight is my first night out of the nest. My first night away from my family. The rest of the crew have one more night then they too will fly the coop. You know what? I'm really going to miss those goons. For six weeks we were a tight knit crew. We worked together, learnt together, cooked and ate together, drank cocktails together, lived together and laughed together (some more than others...thats me, until now I had not really recognised the impact of my laugh. I mean I knew it was loud but apparently it is often. Jeff told the girls they had to laugh more on their last day to fill the gaps). 

It's really just like a big experiment, throwing these four totally different individuals together and see what happens. Will they get along? Will they be at each others throats? Will they burn the hot shop down? Will they make work? In such an isolated situation I think you have no option but to form close relationships. It's funny when you start working with someone so closely and for so long, I kind of feel as though you start to take on a bit of each others traits. Or sometimes you switch who is who. For example one week I would be totally organised with a list of what I wanted to make each day and Jeff would just fly off the cuff. Then the next week it would be Jeff that was super organised and me that was all scrambly. I felt like George and Elaine switching places.

It feels strange to be apart from them. I know last week I was ready to come home but now that it is happening I am starting to miss them already. I feel pretty lucky to have met such fantastic people. My last night in Lybster was killer. We closed down the bar, drank whiskey, rocked the juke box then stayed up till dawn to watch the sun rise through Jeffs piece on the cliffs. It looked spectacular!

I feel like I want to blurt out a whole lot of things before I forget them! My memory is terrible I have numerous people to vouch for this...

I will always remember:
- our mascot, smashcot, a poor little squished mouse who you saw everyday on the way to the studio. somedays i look at him, sometimes i don't..
- the constant clicking of the millions of kilns Anna seemed to be firing at once
- sunday night bingo
- the beautiful and mesmerising sounds of trish's installation
- friday night fish and chips
- the amazing light of lybster
- patting foxy for the first time
- apple bombs
- unihorn
- watching the world of lybster roll past the studio doors like clockwork everyday
- charlton heston, the cat
- sinclair, the tescos cat
- our kitchen table being covered in a fine layer of salt at all times
- dragon mondays
- jeffs love of 'the power of love'
- our trip to the awe inspiring dunbeath castle gardens
- the first time i made a golden beet
- a lot of double parking
- my very first lucid dream
- blowing glass in the snow
- communication breakdowns with jeff; whats a pushie?
- seeing criss cross rain
- seeing snow form on the mountain tops from the bathroom window
- carving it up in wick
- shrinking all my clothes in the dryer
- subbing in for grace's pool team
- winning the bowls raffle
-having the fucking time of my life all thanks to blowing glass.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Almost there

Holy shitballs, where did the time go?? I leave on Tuesday (lucky i actually checked my ticket, i thought it was wednesday...ahem.) I just can't believe it. It really feels like I just got here yesterday. I just can't believe it. The last two days have been both ridiculously stressful and hilarious. Packing is always such a nightmare, throw some glass beetroots in and you have no idea. I decided the best way to go would be to build a crate and ship the works home. I am not a carpenter. She is one dodgy, burly looking crate but as long as she gets my wares home in one piece thats all I care about. I just couldnt get my head around building this thing, sizes, lengths, blah, blah, blah. It probably took me a good three days of worrying. Then I finally bit the bullet and sawed some shit up. I think it took me like a solid 5 hours to build all while grossly hung over I might add. At one point I had worked myself into such a state, hadnt eaten all day, almost on the verge of tears and my leg wouldnt stop shaking. Alright Amanda, you are just going to have to ask for some help. In walks the tech, (who is amazing), 3 minutes later, voila. Thanks Michael, you really saved my ass.

Then comes the nightmare that is packing. Bubble wrapping, foam cutting, box mangling. (Again all done grossly hungover, although not as bad as the crate building incident.) So heavy! Maybe 60kg?? Now comes the shipping nightmare, again probably a solid 6 days of worrying. I tell you one thing I surely have more grey hairs now after this residency... but its almost the finish line. Tomorrow I will book the freight and hopefully relax a little.

These are the more ridiculous things I have done over the weekend which resulted in said hungovers...
- played a ridiculous amount of bingo (Jeff bloody cleaned up with the killer round at the end)
- played pool on the most giant table I have ever seen, it was like the size of 4 lybster tables
- ate haggis (actually kind of delicious, thanks Bunty)
- sent myself deep into a shame spiral by learning the hard way that Michael Jackson's Wanna be startin something is a HORRIBLE karaoke song... in all fairness i didnt even sign myself up, again thanks alot Ballard..
- danced like a moron in the most hilarious club in Wick
- almost got myself (well it was my laugh apparently) into my first bar fight with some chav
- saw about 5 people fall over at said club
- felt so tired that i could see through time
- realised how much money i have spent on bingo
- made terrariums at midnight

This residency has been one of the most amazing things I have ever done. I feel so lucky to have been chosen. I also feel extremely lucky to have made such great friends with the other artists. We all get along so well for four totally different individuals, we are like a little family (you know they are family when one family member eats another family members left out breakfast...without asking...and 5 hours later...thats family). 

This residency has challenged me in so many ways. I really think it is one of the bravest things I have done and has reminded me that I can be tough when I need to. It's important to have these opportunities to get you out of your comfort zone, test you out a little bit and make you appreciate the things you have. The ups and downs have been crazy. One day awesome, one day worthless. I think lack of sleep played a factor here too. I'm pretty pumped to get back home and start making some work. I feel proud of what I have achieved in my time here and am excited to hit the ground running.