About Elizabeth


I’m Elizabeth, an Australian girl who grew up living all over Queensland, and then took off for new adventures in Melbourne. Scarlet Words is my blog, and mostly exists to share stories and links to interesting stuff I encounter in my online travels. I love discovering interesting blogs and bloggers from around the world, and reading feedback of the people who find themselves at my site. If we haven’t met yet, I hope you’ll say hello.

I’m a singer and pianist, with a particular interest in contemporary/pop styles and jazz improvisation. I am an eternal beginner guitarist, and play many other instruments with varying levels of success. My collection of instruments is constantly expanding, and a wonderful source of inspiration.

Photography is my other creative passion, and I love to share the images that I capture on this blog. My photography portfolio site lives at Scarlet Arts, and I keep a badly-neglected account over at deviantART too. I like to dabble in painting and sketching, although I don’t think I’m very good at either, and other crafty pursuits. I keep paper journals, and have a potentially unhealthy addiction to specialty papers. I love to make handmade cards, beaded jewellery and altered books.


Things I love

Rain, puddles, cold weather and Winter clothes. Boots and nude platform heels. Fresh air, water and vegetables. Novels and art books. Design and B&W photography magazines. My iPhone. Mellow, acoustic songs. Melody, harmony and modulation. Originality, bravery, integrity and honesty. Jewellery – chunky silver, fine gold, and czech glass beads. Chocolate. Coffee and home-made bread. A perfect steak. A perfect beer, or glass of red wine. One-on-one time with my friends. Markets, and op-shopping. Galleries. Window shopping. New pajamas, and fresh bed sheets. MAC makeup, Issey Miyake. Sushi. Altered books. Spring, Autumn, snow, and bare trees. Seasons. Singing. Melbourne, Boston, Byron Bay, Cairns, Pt Douglas, NYC, Nassau and New England. Clam chowder. String cheese and curly fries. Tulips and roses. Warm, bright pink nails on my fingers and toes. Candles and thunderstorms, especially together. My puppy’s warm belly, and his tiny wet nose. Stationery shops. Fountain pens. Fishtanks. Framed photographs. My monochrome Melbourne uniform of blacks and greys and navy blues.


Tools of the trade

I love to read about the tools and processes used by other creative people. Here’s what I use.

  • Music: Fostex MR8-HD digital recorder, Audio Technica condenser mic. Yamaha U2 upright piano, Roland and Yamaha keyboards, classical and acoustic guitars, xaphoon, violin, viola, nagori drums, bongos, harmonica, tenor recorder, melodica, mandolin, and more hand percussion than any one person could actually need.
  • Photography: Nikon D800, Nikon F80, Nikkor lenses, Cokin/Hoya filters. SB-600 Flash. Fujifilm Instax mini 25, Diana+, Lensbaby Composer.
  • Art: Oil, acrylic & watercolour paints.  ArtGraf black carbon.  Prismacolor coloured pencils, Prismacolor Verithin pencils, Prismacolor markers. Soft pastels, charcoal.. Specialty and scrapbooking papers, stickers and magazine cuttings. A5 journals, especially Moleskine, Milini and Roma Lussa. Ephemera of daily life, such as receipts, brochures, labels and notes.


100 things about Elizabeth that you didn’t really want to know but she just went right ahead and told you anyway.

(A work in progress)

I have favourite shades of many different colours. One day, when I am running the world, there will be lots more colours.
If my house was on fire I would take my dog, my journals, my external hard drive, my camera and my sapphire ring. Most of my sentimental stuff gets pasted into my journals, or ends up there in the form of a photo.
I am accident-prone, and am always bumping into walls and doorways. Luckily, I don’t bruise easily.
I adore thunderstorms, and love to turn out the lights and listen to the rain. Unfortunately, I always end up having to put loud music on to distract my shivering dog from the thunder.
I wish I could sew. I would make a lot of bags, skirts, and stuffed toys.
At any given moment there is a song stuck on repeat in my brain. This ranges from Awesome to Seriously Annoying, depending on the song and how long it’s been looping.
I am a girl who needs 8 hours of sleep each night, or I turn into a green-faced, wart-covered troll that eats children. It can be awkward.
I have an unhealthy addiction to specialty paper. I’m not all that keen on scrapbooking in the traditional sense, but I love turning beautiful paper into cards or pretty pages in my journal. The spines of my journals hate me.
Unless I can find the perfect card in a shop, I prefer to make them.  I never know what to write.
I am afraid of big harmless spiders, but not the little deadly ones.
I drink 2-3L of water every single day. I’m pretty sure I was chronically dehydrated for most of my teens, and now I can’t drink enough of the stuff. I carry a water bottle with me wherever I go.
I wish somebody had taken me aside at the age of 14 and told me that that perm was probably not such a good idea.
I’ve never found the number 13 to be unlucky. I’m not particularly superstitious at all.
I’m not big on astrology either, but I do fit the description of a textbook Pisces.
I wake up at 5.30am every weekday.  On the weekends it’s rare for me to wake up before 9am, and I generally don’t budge until I’m holding a big mug of coffee.

Gardening makes me really happy, unless I have to do it.

I wish I was vegetarian, but I just don’t want to live in a world without steak and bacon.
My life plan is simple: accidentally invent something really cool that financially supports me for the rest of my life.  It’s not going well so far.
My favourite things to drink: water (sometimes with lemon juice) and milky coffee with no sugar.
In highschool, my best friend and I kept a list of words that sounded funny. Like snorkel.
I am a night person. I become creative, inspired and productive after about 10pm and end up sleeping too little, or too late.
I am in a perpetual state of de-cluttering and purging. A couple of times a year I will get rid of a huge pile of things that I don’t need, but I still own too much “stuff”.
I am scared of big insects that fly, like grasshoppers and QLD’s giant cockroaches. It is partly due to a dream I had when I was five years old.
I dream very vividly, especially just before I wake. Sometimes I have conversations with people and have trouble remembering later whether it was real or imagined.
Despite the way that came out, I am actually quite sane.
I take the Myers-Briggs test every few years, and my results fluctuate between ENFP and INFP.  Right now, according to the Internet, I am the latter and I’ve noticed that some aspects of this personality profile have become more obvious as I’ve gotten older.
I prefer Coke to Pepsi. I prefer water to either of them.
I want to learn how to play upright bass. This probably won’t happen, since I have tiny little hands and they cost a fortune.
I want to learn how to play the clarinet. However, seeing as wind instruments send my dog into a fit of spontaneous howling, this probably won’t happen in his lifetime.
I think I’m a pretty good cook, and I enjoy it when I can take my time.
I wear glasses sometimes, because of a slight astigmatism. My vision is a bit blurry at all distances, but I can get by without my glasses without any trouble.
For her 100th birthday my grandmother got a letter from the Queen, Governor-General and Prime Minister. She lived to be 104.  Let’s hope I got those genes, hey?
I am a slave to shoes. And bags. But mostly shoes.
When I was a teenager I fractured my coccyx. One of my friends pulled my chair out from under me as I went to sit down, and I landed hard on a concrete floor. It’s okay, we’re still friends.
Aside from that, I’ve never broken any bones.
I’ve never had any fillings or braces either – I’m really lucky to have straight teeth.
I let my parents think that I believed in Santa for at least 3 years after discovering the truth. It seemed profitable.
One year my brother gave me a dirty brick for Christmas. It was wrapped in about 30 different layers of paper and boxes, and he really made me think that it was going to be something special.
Ten years later I reciprocated with a CD that I found for $1.50, Pan Pipes Play “The Bee Gees”. He tells me it is now holding up a grand piano somewhere.
I have somehow made it to this point in my life without ever taking a drag of a cigarette.
I don’t like to gamble, and I find casinos tacky and sad. Even the “good” ones.
I can confidently say that I will never skydive, bungee jump, or do anything else that involves me throwing myself from a great height towards the Earth. I think my fear of heights is completely rational.
On the other hand, I’m obsessed with hot air balloons and every morning I check the sky for them through my kitchen window.
I am really clear-headed and rational in an emergency. I’m good at taking a deep breath and seeing what needs to be done.
I think grapes are pretty awesome, but I like them best when they’re frozen. I keep a stash in my freezer.
I would rather be too cold than too hot. I go into mourning when Summer hits.
I love IKEA more than I like to admit.
However, I love balancing it out with things that have a story. Etsy is my playground when I have some cash to spare.
My favourite musicians are storytellers, like Lior, Ben Folds and Regina Spektor.
I wish I had been exposed to jazz from a young age. I think I’d have pursued my career in music further if it had already been running through my veins.
Sometimes I wonder how I’d have turned out if I had been born 100 years ago. I honestly can’t imagine life without a mobile phone or music in my pocket.
One of my teachers predicted that I would one day be a foreign diplomat.  Instead, my job requires me to be extremely diplomatic.
There are enormous gaps in the literature I have been exposed to. It’s something I hope to correct, just as soon as I figure out where to begin.

I can’t really read in bed, because it puts me straight to sleep. It’s really annoying.

It took me a year of catching public transport before I could finally read on trams and buses, or ride backwards, without feeling sick.
I am a big list-maker. There are examples of this all through this website.
I am really sad about my cat allergy because I really love them from afar.  However, I’m definitely a dog person.
When I am wealthy and eccentric I will have a pet piglet.  I already have a shortlist of names prepared.
I’d rather have a cosy cabin in the mountains than a beach house.  But it would be nice if my mountain cabin was driving distance from a beach.
I’m more of a ‘glamper’ than a camper, but I once baked a chocolate cake on a camp stove so maybe there’s hope for me yet.
I am in training to become a ‘morning person’ and so far I really love the changes in my health and habits.
I was one of those people who thought they just couldn’t run.  Then I discovered Couch to 5K and everything changed.

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