what we did in lockdown

A little bird reported on a comment Cecilia Yeomans made on a walk they did in the bush at Leura Park recently.

Oh look, someone made some little rock sculptures. Most of them are now falling down. I should rebuild one of them:


Maxine Mackellar has sent her latest creation. “After creating two art journals (one with quotes and the second one about my daily activities), I ordered two books online from Eckersley’s. The top one is a Winsor and Newton hardback visual journal that contains 300 gms cotton pages for watercolour painting, and the second is a Strathmore mixed media visual journal with 190 gms cotton pages with vellum finish. As you can see, I’ve done one painting in each book so far. I did them this week when it felt too cold to go for a walk! The top one is watercolour and pencil and I called it Windows and the bottom one is watercolour, soft pastels and acrylic and I called it Sprangles


Deb Wells has sent a few more photos (see her entry below), adding “This rug will go to a family who lost their home in the fires.”

Marilyn Ecob sent images of the paintings she’s done over autumn:


Hilary Hughes sent these three photos, with the comment “The tidiest my office has ever been!! Yeh!  And some nice bright colour on the walls!!”

After the last tenor rehearsal at Hilary & Gary’s, Mick O’Neill noticed they had decommissioned a three-door wardrobe: it was awaiting a trip to the tip. He knew that Lee Louise, who had recently purchased a house with no built-ins, would love to recycle it. (Many of you know Lee as your Blackheath hairdresser who is also a fine soprano with the Phoenix Choir.)  A couple of days later he picked up a decommissioned kitchen cupboard in perfectly good condition from outside a neighbour’s house. Both wardrobe and kitchen cupboard made their way to Lee’s place. After a suitable two-week isolation, both Mick & Lee began work, and a new wardrobe finally emerged with Lee’s design flare.

Lee now wonders if a local carpenter would take her on as an apprentice: if Lee is your hairdresser, I suspect you have nothing to worry about!

at Hilary & Gary’s

now redesigned at Lee’s

the left-hand hanging space

with shelves in the middle

storage cupboards added on top, and

left-overs used in the laundry

Deb Wells sent these photos of her creative lock-down work, adding “My Grand-dog Lexi feels the cold terribly so I knitted her a jumper out of left-over woolly bits and pieces.”


You can see how Deb can multitask!

Nicky Chilavo‘s sister Jeanine reported that Nicky was quite busy and comfortably productive on her verandah:

Julie Brackenreg writes: ” have been taking a few very isolated walks to places in the bush we never really saw in full before the fires as they were covered by trees, bushes and often exotic weeds. Now all that stuff has been cleared away we can see and appreciate rocks and land forms that are often ignored when covered by vegetation. Yesterday I clambered to the top of Hat Hill and thought about life as I looked down on a very much changed scene. In my clambering I discovered the new life that is appearing in many places.”

Julie adds: “Other than that I have been working in my garden – today’s effort was to clear around my irises, plant anemones and ranunculas and add plant food. While doing this I discovered the first daffodils peeping through and possibly the last rose of summer.”




Phylia Portelli wrote a colourful description of how she and Frank spent their Anzac Day: “Frank and I started our day early, then slowly indulged for the rest of the day.To read more, we have composed a little contribution. Cheers to Country and Glory,
Bottoms up to Humanity and Kindness.”

Click to read about Phylia & Frank’s ANZAC Day 2020.
Click the back button to return to this page.

From Cecilia Yeomans: “I have managed to do bits of sketches here in my new surroundings and I wanted to share them. I really loved what people has posted as it showcase what a vibrant and creative group we all are. I am a bit limited at my current place on tools of the trade, however, the little tree in colour is just in front of my balcony and I really tried to capture the stunningly beautiful Autumn colours of its leaves. Some of the oil pastels in the photos are just little impressions of leaves on the ground. The black images are simple pencil studies.”

Margie Tubbs writes: “We’ve completed a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle with an Aussie cricketing theme during the last few days. As you can see from the photo, my husband Rod is taking most of the credit!”

From Sabine Erika: “I have kept a lock down diary. It includes my reflections on the news and my daily tasks. Each day we practise our instruments, we have never practised so much! We go for a walk and comment on the houses and gardens we pass. Myra cooks a delicious dinner  which we have sometimes with a glass of red in the middle of the day. We have done some repairs and painting, two tables and some wind chimes, all jobs which have been waiting for a long time. I restored a little side table for our Coco Chanel play I am directing which will now not be performed till next year in May. Each day, mostly, I do a little gardening, I read, I rest and I do jigsaw puzzles on my ipad. I have met with my sons and families in the UK and Canberra on Zoom. It is fun to watch the progress of my great grandson who is now 4 months old. Most fun has been our Saturday evening Zoom cocktail parties with dressing up. Last Saturday we celebrated a birthday at the cocktail party with decorative masks, 8 attended. At night I read to Myra and we watch TV. The news is depressing but I watch or read it most days. Two books on the go, Behaving As Though The God in All Life Mattered by Machaelle Small Wright and Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang.”

Newly weds are allowed to brag, here they are in all their finery (clearly they’re gazing intently on their 4 month old great grandson):

Belinda Rigby sent images of felt & polymer clay jewellery she made last week:


while Jenny Fisk reports spending her time painting her shed:


Victoria Jeffreys emailed: “Each day I try and do a little sculpture – whether I am on a walk or just at home. It slows me down to focus on the small and pretty things around me. I don’t think too much about them – they are spontaneous and I leave them where I do them so perhaps someone else can appreciate them when they walk by.”

From Margaret Hamilton: “Those of you who do Facebook might have seen this on the Blackheathens page but I’d like you all to see it. Chris has suggested we share projects we had done during iso. This is what Max and I produced this week. My post on Facebook went something like this:

Hey Blackheathens. Outside Pinerolo, the Children’s Book Cottage at 116 Shipley Road, you will see our Little Free Library. If you are home schooling and have kids desperate for something to read they might find something here to borrow. With schools, libraries and most bookshops closed, this is our gift to the community during these challenging times.”

Cat Tanaka writes: “I’ve been working on the garden a lot – working on a food forest, veggie patch, on a Japanese inspired moss garden, and a secret garden (all on our land here at Mt. Vic).  I’ve also been working on renovating a cubby house and turning it into a meditation hut.  Have also written a song on the guitar as well.  So lots to keep me occupied.”

food forest

secret garden

veggie patch

meditation hut

moss garden

Maxine Mackellar has been very prolific. “Here are a few pages from my art journal. I learnt how to do this at Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre when they had mini courses for lonely people just after Christmas one year. I’ve only been doing it the past couple of weeks for something to do. It’s not that exciting, but you asked for it… lol!

You just cut things out, draw things, etc, and add quotes. Some people make very complex pages, but mine are simple.

Maxine adds: “Every time I go for a walk, I take photos with my phone. Here are a few. I normally walk alone, but Cecilia is in one bunch of photos, as she knocked on my door one day last week requesting a socially-isolated walk together.”

Again, from Maxine: “PS. I just wanted to add to this, that walking is completely new to me. I never go for walks. My interest lies in eating in coffee shops. I can’t do that now, and I’m not game to get takeaway either, so I am now a ‘walker’.”