Getaway in Emerald and a Little Bunny.

There’s a reason why there has been a bit of a break between posts.  My husband and I went away for a little getaway last week.  With the hectic nature of our house, what with my night shifts, our kids, the work load of keeping up my blog and Youtube channel and answering the many many questions I get through them, we’re a bit like Navarre and Isabeau in Lady Hawk, only catching a glimpse of each other between at sunrise and sunset.  So every so often we take ourselves off together for some us time.  This time we went to a little town called Emerald nestled in sub tropical rainforest on the eastern side of Melbourne.  Emerald does live up to the mental picture you would get from such a name.  So much green!


Evening walk down the main road of Emerald on our first night.

We stayed at a bed and breakfast home stay called Billy Buttons.  A beautiful house with views to die for.  Jennie, our host, was just lovely, friendly and ready for a chat but also discreet when we wanted privacy.   She has a little bunny theme going through house so I decided to add to it with this original bunny drawing I completed on the second night there.  This tubby little bunny was drawn on Strathmore grey toned paper with Polychromos pencils and a white Prismacolor Premier to get the white fur looking really white.


The view of the valley from the front of the house. In the morning the fields were covered with fog leaving only the tree tops visible. Very magical.


The view from the back door. More lush green forest and a sweet rambling garden.


While there we took a day trip to Sassafras to browse through the knicky knacky type stores that lined the tiny stretch of main street.  The weather was awful pouring rain all day but the lovely variety of stores gave us plenty to do out of the rain.Of course we sat and had lunch at the famous Miss Marples tea rooms.  The plowmans lunches they served were huge and we followed it up with bread and butter pudding for my hubby and a Devonshire tea for me.


Ploughmans lunch at Miss Marples. You don’t leave hungry.

The next day we visited Healseville Sanctuary.  A large animal sanctuary specializing in Australian natives.  I hadn’t been there in almost ten years.  We marveled at how much it had grown, it looks quite world class!  So many walk through flight aviaries to wander around.  I had my first close encounter with a lyre bird who performed a range of mimicry, as they do, singing perfect imitations of many of the birds in the sanctuary including a spot on kookaburra. Lyre birds can also imitate perfect cell phone rings, chain saws, water falls and just about any other noise you can think of.  This one wasn’t shy about humans at all and dashed across the path a few feet in front of me to dig out some worms from underneath an information bench.


A frilled neck lizard perfectly posed in the reptile house.

On the way back we dropped into The Art Shop, an art supplies shop in Bayswater with a good reputation for pricing.  Actually we stopped there on the way as well but I wanted to get more Polychromos pencils and Inktense pencils to fill out my sets.  My wonderful husband surprised me by purchasing a full set of Luminance pencils that I have been drooling over for ages.  (I didn’t know until we got back into the car and there they were sitting on the front seat!)  I haven’t had much time to play with them yet but expect an up and coming review in the near future.


One wall of many with a huge range of open stock pencils at The Art Shop.


  1. Paula

    Beautiful pics, Peta! I’m glad you had such a wonderful trip. 🙂 I just love the bunny drawing you did, it’s so sweet. Congratulations of your new Luminance pencils too! I recently picked up a small set myself and have added a few open stock as well. I’m currently obsessed with the spring green color. hehe. What a sweet hubby you have to get them for you. I’m excited to see your review about them. 🙂

  2. Sharon

    So glad you and your husband could get away for a while. Looks like a beautiful place! Thanks for all your help…I feel like a whole new world is opening up for me. I never knew I could do this. I have always did cross stitch, sewed, or crotchet but never used pencils and markers to make beautiful art work. I love it!

  3. Theresa Petermann

    The green of Emerald looks so appealing from north east Wisconsin, USA were we are still going through fits of snow and rain, trying to let spring come to our farmlands. Just not here yet. It sure looks inviting from the photos you shared. I love the names of the places you visited. Lots of places here have Native American names in origin (Oconomowoc, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Pewaukee). What a great gift from your hubby! Can’t wait to see what you do with the Luminance pencils. I have to get a lot better at coloring before I try those pencils. Have to save up for them too. Love your bunny drawing. thanks as always for sharing.

  4. Clare

    Glad you were able to get away. What a sweet surprise from your DH. Looking forward to seeing more coloring. I have learned so much about shading in the few weeks I’ve been following you. Thanks for sharing your talents.

  5. Julie T

    Hi Peta, great to see a place I recognise and to hear you had some time to unwind! Emerald is a wonderful little getaway. Did you try the village bakery? They have so many delicious things there. I will have to check out The Art Shop when I’m next in the area. Hope you get a chance to get a proper play with your new pencils soon. Thanks for sharing and all the hard work you put into your videos – I’ve learnt so much from them!

  6. Phyllis Stuart

    What a great trip & sweet romantic & thoughtful surprise from your husband with the Luminance pencils! That earns him extra points in my book! The area around Emerald is so pretty. Mississippi is a very green area too. I’m happy ya’ll were able to get away together. It’s so important. I’m looking forward to your review of the pencils & love the cute little bunny also. Oh yeah! I love the reference to Ladyhawk! I loved that movie!

  7. Michelle Wadeson

    Thank you for another great post Peta. Beautiful pics – bunny included. Emerald looks very pretty – just love Australia – so many awesome places to enjoy and cherish nature ? Peta, you must have been in heaven visiting The Art Shop – IMHO simply “The Best Art Shop in Australia!” Huge selection of quality products, great prices and fantastic customer service.

  8. Naomi Gueit

    Emerald is my hometown and I also regularly visit the art shop! Such good prices. Love your work 🙂

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      You are so Lucky! Emerald is beautiful. 🙂

  9. Michelle Wadeson

    Thank you Peta for an interesting post – both art and nature included ? Emerald looks very pretty. Never knew that about Lyra birds. You must have been in heaven at The Art Shop ?

  10. Rebecca McMahon

    You’re making me miss Australia!!!! Can’t wait to hear all about the new pencils!

  11. Nido

    Hi Peta, reallly like your bunny drawing, its so cute.

    Cant wait to see the review of Luminescence, hope you can compare it with Polychromos,
    And Luminescence seems to be much rarer and more costly then Polychromos.

    1. Paula

      I have both pencils, (full set of polychromos and a small set of Luminance) but I’m still curious to hear her personal thoughts of comparison between them. I love them both, but the Luminance are just so darn pricey.

  12. Joan

    Peta: I am new to your blog and You Tube videos and I love them. I just finished your 5-part coloring series for the duck pond, and I learned so much.

    I was interested what you wrote above about the Luminance brand of pencils. Since you just purchased them, they were not included in your “what kind of coloured pencils should I buy” You Tube video. It sounds like you have wanted these Luminance pencils for awhile. They are not cheap! I just checked them out on Amazon and EBay. How do they compare with other artist-quality pencils you have?



    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Hi Joan, I haven’t had a moment yet to sit down and give a good test drive. My initial little play has shown me that they are super dense packed with colour. They are very soft as well. I’ll do a proper review sometime in the near future.

    2. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Hi Joan, I’ve only just started testing them but I am already very impressed. Will go into more detail in a proper review when i know more.

  13. Gill Tovey

    What a lovely place for a break. I tend to think of Australia as a dry arid place, compared to the UK that is, wonderful to see such a lush green area.
    You’re ploughmans lunch (note UK spelling) looked delicious, not quite the same as a ploughmans here though.
    Will be interested to see your review of your new pencils, especially comparing them to your trusty polychromos and Derwents. What a great art shop, full of envy.

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Thank you. I’ve started a piece with the Luminence pencils and I can’t fault them, they are amazing. That ploughman’s lunch (Yes we spell correctly here 🙂 ) was a bit light on with meat, usually there is a generous serving of cold meats in most tea rooms I’ve had one. And Australia is mostly scrubby red desert but around the coastal areas and some inland but it is a HUGE country and there are all kinds of environs. We even get snow on the mountains in Winter but I’ve never seen snow where I live.

  14. Reva Sharon

    Hi Peta, So nice to read your email about your trip and to see the photos of that inviting green area that made me think of fairy tale landscapes. Especially with the addition of your bunny. Great news about the Luminance pencils. Someone advised me to at least get the white Luminance pencil because ir os very opaque and can be so useful. I am glad you and your very caring and supportive husband were able to get away to such a lovely place. And then his surprise of the Luminance pencils. You must be delighted and I would guess he is too seeing your delight!
    I thank you once again for all you give through your videos and kind giving spirit.No questions today, just lots of good wishes. All the best,Reva

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      I love using the white Luminances (I have single white Luminence pencils) to lighten and bring out highlights when colouring with markers. Try it… it’s addictive!

  15. Angie

    Just wanted to leave a comment to thank you for sharing your trip pictures. Australia is on my bucket list and my hubby was just talking about making future plans to visit your beautiful country. I will be sure to show him these pictures. By the way,
    I just purchased the Percy adventure coloring book. I’ve been dabiling in markers lately as well as pencil. You are a bad influence lol. Enjoy your Luminance pencils ! They are wonderful! Lastly, I suggest you check out, malarbok: Blomster mandala from the pen store. Just got this book. Just as much a beauty as Hannah’s books. Best regards- Angie from the US.

    1. Melvina Grose

      I agree! Peta is a terrible influence, but in the greatest of ways. I admire her more than I think she has any idea about. 🙂
      I also just ordered myself this book you mentioned. I can’t wait for it to get here to me in Minnesota. I just LOVE coloring. It is a new addiction I can not tame. LOL

  16. Melvina Grose

    I have always wanted to come and visit Australia. Since staying in connection with you and following your blog, I have an even more desire to come to Australia. I am amazed at the beauty I have seen in pictures that I have seen. You are very lick to live in Australia and to be able to experience all of it’s grandeur there. Way more beauty than what I have seen in Minnesota. That’s for sure. I am excited to watch your review on your Luminance Pencils. I also have been drooling over them but the price is just way over my head at this time. I have already spent a fortune on the pencils I have currently purchased already.
    P.S. I just want to let you know that I have finally purchased my first set of 36 Micador Pencils and they are on their way to me in Minnesota. By the time they get here they would have had a long trip, but I am more than excited for their arrival. They were quite pricy but that’s only because of the shipping. It will be all worth it in the end when I finally get to be a proud owner of the magnificent pencils you have been raving about for so long. 🙂

  17. Tracy

    Greetings from another Emerald City (Seattle) 🙂 It was lovely to see your photos in this post – how beautiful the country is there! I am so jealous of an art store with that much open stock available! WOW.

  18. Susan Toper

    What a wonderful place. I live in England so though there is plenty of green we don’t get views like that. The Art store had me gasping in wonder. We used to have a really good art store locally but when the owner wanted to retire there was no one to take it over so it closed. I purchase most of my art supplies on line but I’m still looking for an art store that I can get to. Loved the bunny picture


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