Monday, December 13, 2010

HO HO HO ... Well Christmas is nearly here and I have a couple of messages for you all. Firstly THANK YOU to all the Hearts and Minds Art supporters out there who have spread the word, bought the product and visited the stall. Appreciate it! Secondly MERRY CHRISTMAS and a safe holiday break. Give all your loved ones a big hug and kiss. My gorgeous boys are in Melbourne but I'm thinking of them every minute. Love Julie X

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

DREAM - BELIEVE - INSPIRE. May your minutes be full of trust, your hours full of wonder, your months full of joy. Your years full of laughter. A lifetime of fulfilment and love.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Okay, so it's still November, but Hearts and Minds Art has started its festive season. Check out our marquee at South Bank Lifestyle Markets (Brisbane) each Friday night, Saturday and Sunday as well as Eumundi market on a Wednesday. We have lots of new images, peg frames, movable art photo jewellery, magnets and brooches (fantastic for Kris Kringle or stocking fillers at only $4.95 each!). I also have an expanded range of my inspirational Tree of Hearts frames - thank you to Harry R. for purchasing one of these on the weekend for all his nurses, and I hope you are feeling AI again very soon, and ready to return to Goondiwindi. HO HO HO!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

If you are unsure which rambling road to take,
if you feel so very alone.
If the fog is taking over, and you cannot open your mind,
just ask.
The gate will open, the embrace will be offered.
Your soul, once again, will take flight.

(Julie Holland 2010)

Monday, October 18, 2010

One of my hats is as a proofreader. In the past this has been restricted to the corporate world (in-house magazines, school yearbooks, property brochures etc), but over the last few months I have been having a wonderful time proofreading two novels.
First of all, Bud Higgins's first novel AFRICAN EULOGY - what a privilege it was to be involved in this wonderful story that spans South Africa and Australia, and is dedicated to Bud's son. The other book, Ann Rickard's sixth novel, is called THREE IN A BED IN THE MED - lots of laughs amidst the beauty of France, Italy and Greece.
Both novels were launched in great style in Noosa (Queensland) last week so hunt them down in your local bookstore.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sometimes you just have to walk down the other side of the street - who knows what you'll see and learn, who you'll meet or happen upon. I don't usually take this kind of image (lack of a macro lens for a start, damn it!), but saw it, took it, liked it. And really, how more Aussie can you get than a fly on a barbed wire fence with a bit o' hay wisping in the wind. Feels good to try something different.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "A good photograph is knowing where to stand" (US photographer, Ansel Adams

Monday, September 13, 2010

As I have mentioned before, it gives me such a buzz when my words or my images touch people in some way. Maybe make their life a little bit better somehow. Last weekend a lady visiting from Singapore bought one of our pegframes that contained four images of water and piers. All the images were taken near where I live, along the beautiful Noosa River (Queensland). She said she had quit her job to take the holiday to Australia to visit a friend, that she wanted a new start and that the images were a message to her to look forward. I hadn't looked at them like that until she shared her feelings. Thank you.
On the cruise ship of life, does your deckchair point to where you are going or where you have been?

Monday, September 6, 2010

NOT SO STILL LIFE: I decided to try a bit of still life photography (oh for a macro lens)so collected a pile of these orange fruits that fall from our palm tree and muck up the front lawn. I quite like this shot - it looks like they are just waking to the dawn, almost like quivering little chickens about to hatch. I feel like I should almost give each a name. I'm not sharing the other still life efforts yet, but for other images of mine please visit Would love your comments.

Monday, August 30, 2010

TRAVEL ... there a more exotic, fascinating city? A postcard arrived from Kimberley (step daughter) today and the memories flooded into my kitchen with it. The Fenice Theatre brought to life in John Berendt's 'The City of Falling Angels' makes you go, to experience its magic:The silver-haired stranger who whisked us to our tiny hotel in his wooden outboard then rescued us during the water transport strike, getting lost in the endless winding alleyways, devouring crispy calamari in a different campo every night,lusting after a fortuny light but having no room and less money, experiencing the silence of a gondola ride with only the gondoliers' calls echoing in the distance,being aghast at the advertising erected around the Bridge of Sighs and sighing at the stunning Collezione Peggy Guggenheim...and so much more. Heaven.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

If you were a rainbow, what colour would you be? A slice of yellow sunshine or a girly summer pink. Perhaps you are a 'greenie' or a menopausal purple. Maybe we should try to be a bit of everything. Not to be "all things to all people" but to have a beautiful balance, the satisfaction of being "a little bit this", "a touch of that".. and then we can be true to ourselves yet colour the world around us. Bring the heat of red to those feeling the chill of loneliness, to be the bluebird of happiness to those who are sad. Let's all reach out tomorrow, cross that rainbow of dreams and help colour someone else's world.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: THANK YOU... my South Bank market friends for helping me get it together; to Deanna and Ahmed for the machine; to the fellow who came back to say how much his friend liked my 'Friends' words; to the lady who teared up when reading my angel words and bought it to remind her of her late mum; to the photographer who gave me praise and advice on my images; to all those others who bring me joy when they 'get it'; to sister Di for the Country Style subscription; to Greg for being there; to Roxy and B for the doggy hugs. My life is so full of wonderful people. Thank you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

NEW RANGE: Hearts and Minds Art has introduced a range of jewellery which features miniatures of my photos. It is called Jewellery by Croucher (after my grandfather Jordan Llewelyn Croucher who was a watchmaker and jeweller in Brisbane)- which makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
Thank you to all those who have visited our stall at the BRISBANE LIFESTYLE MARKETS at South Bank and have given such wonderful feedback to the range. We have sterling silverplate rings (round and oval) and pendants (small, medium and large). The pendants have the option of brightly coloured silk thread with two sterling silver balls.
I have included a few images here (until I manage to get a whole page of beautifully photographed product), but be assured they are really gorgeous. Most popular so far are the black & white 'Streets of Paris' scenes but we have lots of architectural images, beaches, colourful Murano glass, flowers, patterns etc. The round ring above features the knocker from a cathedral door in Paris.Each purchase is snuggled into a chiffon gift bag and a tag with original words (mine) is attached to complete the story.
Contact me at if you'd like to know more.

Monday, July 12, 2010

MOTHERS ... It's my mum's birthday this week. 81 - wow! Having a loving mum, being a loving mum seems so easy but it's really hard. From the moment you 'have' to get the breastfeeding right, to taking your children to the 'right' swimming school, to wearing a 'cool' outfit to their graduation. It makes me exhausted just thinking about it and the silly thing is that it's only after all those expectations are behind you that you realise how unimportant they are. Oh if I'd only been a little bit truer to my own thoughts, but hey that's 20/20 parenting for you. At my last big '0' birthday one of my sons gave a speech. He thanked me for "always being there when he and his brothers needed help, and when they didn't." I took that as a compliment. And I guess that's what I can say about Joan, my own mum - she has always been there for me when I needed it. And when I didn't. Happy Birthday mum. x

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's that time of year along the east coast of Australia when the mighty Humpbacks travel north to breed, before returning down the coast in a few months time. One of the most memorable things I've ever done was to go whale watching (Port MacQuarie, NSW). With tears in my eyes I couldn't decide whether to snap away with the camera or just silently watch these majestic creatures as they swam under our boat, surfacing within touching distance. Unbelieveable. Save the whales NOW.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A visit to the 'old town' (Melbourne) for my niece's wedding. How would I feel - would I have an overwhelming desire to return despite the cold, would I sit on a tram and think 'OMG What have I done moving to Queensland', or would I think 'It's OK, I'm happy with the move. I'm glad we're trying something different'. As it turns out it was the latter. Yes, I miss my boys. Yes, I miss the city (despite having moved from the Mornington Peninsula)and its buildings and its culture and Fed Square. But, hey, it's only a flight away. Relocation is interesting. I have been asked to put pen to paper re my thoughts on this (Sorry Gillian, I am getting to it) and now feel I can do so with a bit of experience. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

'For every blade of grass there is an angel looking after it, bending over whispering "Grow Grow .."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If you're down Noosa Marina way (Tewantin, Sunshine Coast), then call into a couple of the restaurants on the marina there to view my photographs. Thank you to the following for including my images: Nicole at Cafe Vin Cino for hanging 'Change of Focus' and its verse plus two 1 metre photos on canvas, 'Red Dinghy I & II' (see pic). Thanks also to Julia at Trios for using our pegframes all along one wall and including my images. Good on you mates!
OK, so here's the thing. Apparently shoes slung up onto wires has some kind of 'drug' message. (It took a lovely young couple buying my cards at South Bank market to inform me of this). Checking with my 3 sons to confirm said connection, I am told it is so. BUT.. I like my pic and it's staying. No drug connection intended. Take it as you see it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Don't get hung up about the small stuff - just do it!
(Image taken at Noosa Marina).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

TRAVEL ... It's a funny old world. Who would have thought that when we travelled OS this time last year that our images of our wonderful travels would be in demand! I get such a BUZZ when someone I don't know stops to read my words, look at my images and purchase something. Whether it's a greeting card or a canvas I love it when people 'get it'.
We figured we needed another vehicle to bring the world to Australia so we have launched our 'Jewellery by Croucher' range ... so exciting! Will bring you pics soon, but in the meantime let me explain. Imagine a winding Paris street, maybe around Montmartre, black & white; or a section of colorful Murano glass, or even a little section of Venetian canal. We have used these, and more, in sterling silverplate rings and pendants and (unashamedly) they look brilliant. Thanks to all our South Bank market visitors who think so too.
On another note, re the recent Bangkok uprisings, our love and good wishes to the beautiful staff at The Eugenie Hotel. I hope you are safe and that the stunning hotel is still in one piece (see pic). Julie

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hearts and Minds Art is moving to a different market and will not be at the Noosa Marina market for a while. As of this week visit us at Brisbane's South Bank Lifestyle markets - Fridays 5-10pm, Saturdays 10am-5pm, Sundays 9am-5pm.

We love the markets - the other stallholders, the visitors, the coffee aromas, those who can't make up their minds and those that instantly 'get it' and buy something. Love those! A card may only be $4 to me but to have a young boy clutch a Mothers Day card, a woman choose an image for a lifelong friend, to have someone read my words and say "that's beautiful" - makes it all worthwhile. Thank you to those who 'get it'.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Look beyond the surface. See what treasures lie beneath. This image is of a beautiful frangipani branch, but take the time to focus behind it and who knows what you'll find.
I have just come across a really interesting blog: Its writer, Annabel Candy, spreads its message of living positively and in it she has a neat idea - How to Make a Wish
1.Come up with some wishes of your own or at least one of them.
2.Write your wish down. Committing your wish to paper which will help you commit to it in every way.
3.Now work out what’s standing between you and your wish. Is it fear? Anxiety? Doubt? Laziness? Time Constraints?
4.Whatever it is bury it for good. Lay those mind sets to rest and make your wish come true.
Mmm .. what is your wish. I'm sure we are all tempted to say such things as world peace, end to animal cruelty, no more famine or child pornography etc. They would certainly be on my lofty list and I work towards supporting their end in different ways. But on a purely selfish, now/today level what would it be. For me, to have another book published. I have started (which is good), but I have several on the go (which is bad) so I have to pick a favourite and get it out there (which is daunting). But now it's committed here so I WILL DO IT. Keep you posted, and please keep me posted on your wishes. (In the meantime sign every 'Save the Whale' petition you can find!).

Saturday, May 1, 2010



You smile and a spell is cast.
It dazzles the moon, outsparkles the stars
It makes the wind breathless,
the birds full of song.
It beckons the angels to take a quick peek
then settle in forever.

As you skip through your days, from time to time
You'll hear a soft whisper from somewhere behind,
feel a sweet breeze gently pass your cheek.
And you'll know angel wings are waiting, unfurled
To catch a sad thought or soften a fall.

Because one day you smiled, and a spell was cast.

(c. Julie Holland)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Am I the only person in this world without a tiny butterfly on my ankle, angel wings spread out across my back, a love-loop or barbed wire around my arm ... any kind of tattoo?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

TRAVEL POST : In your own state.
Hi all: Queensland - beautiful one day perfect the next! Today was such a day so we took a drive down to the 'big smoke' of Brisbane. Southbank was stunning with lots of young families swimming at the 'beach', lying on the grass, licking icecreams or just taking a stroll along the river. Being the Anzac Day holiday the cobbled backstreets were quiet which actually showed up the history of the area. Take a look at this old corner building (circa 1885) and aerial cyclist - if he was real he might even be in competition with my beloved mime. Cheers.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 : Check out my artwork and writing pieces here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hi everyone: As promised here is an image of the Hearts and Minds Art stall at Noosa Marina Market, Tewantin. You can take a gorgeous ferry ride up the Noosa River from Hastings Street and visit us every Sunday (8am-2pm). I love seeing my regulars and chatting to new faces about our wares, photography and words. I get very excited when customers buy my work as gifts as I am thrilled to be able to create something that someone else loves. Look forward to seeing you soon, Julie

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

PLACES: If you live on the Sunshine Coast (Queensland, Australia), particularly around Noosa as I do, you will know the Bush Turkey (pictured). We call it the Bush Chook. 'Locals' see it as a pest because it scratches up garden beds and spreads mulch from one end to another, but I find it rather amusing. They strut around the undergrowth, make a dash across Hastings Street like something out of Roadrunner and climb trees to bed down for the night. A bird with attitude!

Feeling sad today as I've just heard of the death of an acquaintance's son. As a mother of 3 boys I can't imagine the grief his family must be enduring. Too many accidents that take our children. Too many 'what ifs' and 'if onlys'. So so sad, and such a loss of a life to be lived. I'm not a religious person but the phrase God gave us love but those to love he only lent maybe gives a tiny piece of solace. My love and thoughts to James's family and may angels' wings gather around their boy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Live like someone left the gate open ...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

On the Sunshine Coast at the moment there are millions of butterflies, all sizes and colours. It's quite beautiful driving along the coastline with butterflies flitting in front of the bluest of seas in the background - hard to keep your eye on the road. Of course I hadn't listened to myself and didn't have my camera handy so missed the moment. But today I did have my camera at the ready when this beautiful little bird - a Magpie Lark? - sat beside me. He paused while I took the shot then just flew away.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

QUOTE OF THE DAY: She said "I'll love you until the cows come home". I think I just heard a 'moo'." (Credit to the comedian on Spicks'n'Specks recently who sang a song with this tag about lost love).

This beautiful Frangipani is one of my many images you can access at Let me know what you think of my art and writing!
I love markets - flea markets, book markets, farmers produce markets, arts and crafts markets. When we relocated to the Sunshine Coast late last year my creative juices got flowing and with them the big decision to devote more time to photography and writing. But I had to share, so... every Sunday we have a Hearts and Minds Art marquee at Noosa Marina market , Tewantin (pic to follow soon) where I sell my photos, canvases, words, frames etc. Such fun and a wonderful way to meet new locals. Last Saturday we branched out, got up at 2.30am (yes 2.30am) and drove down to a new market south of Brisbane. Had a loooong fun day - we met a lovely couple and drank too much coffee and came home late. Come and visit us on a Sunday!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

RESTAURANT UPDATE (ITALY): Dying to know the two local restaurants in Chianti? Villa S.Andrea put us on the trail of the following two local haunts - was the bigger adventure finding them or dining at them? Not sure as you certainly wind your way around the beautiful hills in this area of Tuscany and at night you can be lost for hours trust me! The first is the only seafood restaurant in the area, La Trattoria del Pesce,, which is within a very modest roadside building. We try to order in the local language (without any real knowledge) or a combination of waving of hands - without success here so our gorgeous young waiter ended up presenting us with a huge poster picturing all the local produce (like the ones in biology classes) from which we could make a selection. Large generations of local families arrived around 9.30pm with toddlers in tow so the noise level was high, the atmosphere buzzing and fun. The second restaurant, La Fattoria, sits high on a hill with a rustic courtyard. Once again our Italian wasn't great but the resulting choice of amazing Tuscan beef and lamb (la miglirore carne del nostro chef)- served without anything but the meat on a wooden chopping board arrangement - was divine. A bottle of local Chianti and it was heaven on a stick. (

Monday, March 29, 2010

TRAVEL TALE: A VINEYARD TO DIE FOR - Driving around Italy ... like being in a pillball machine ... but it does take you off the beaten track. A half hour out of Florence is a fantastic vineyard called Villa S.Andrea ( in the Chianti Classico region. Picture a huge old stone farmhouse on 1300 acres, olive groves, ancient cellars and quiet hills. We stayed in the huge B&B apartment in the main farmhouse (the bathroom bigger than our entire room in Venice) and took Marika's advice on two fantastic restaurants where the 'locals' go. We booked for 7.30pm, oops, so when we arrived on both nights the staff were still finishing their own dinner - antipasti, huge bowls of pasta and salads and wine set up under the trees outside. They waved us in, gave us wine then went back to their dinner but who cares - we soon learnt we were the early ones. More on these restaurants and getting lost at the Paradise Hotel another time!
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Be true to yourself. Plant your own garden, decorate your own soul.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

GIRLFRIENDS ...One of the peg frames I sell at Noosa Marina market has these 4 photos in it and I've dedicated it to the world of 'girlfriends'.Having relocated to another state in Australia I miss my 'southern coffee pals' and have dedicated this frame and these images to them. 'Cos girlfriends : Make time for a coffee and a chat - Offer you shelter and protection when you need it - Look beyond the surface to see the beauty underneath - Are all individual, like gifts from the sea. Thinking of you gals.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

ADRIFT : Sometimes it's just nice to be adrift in your own little space, with your own thoughts, familiar surroundings ... and a glass of wine nearby. Going nowhere, talking to noone. Adrift in Noosaville, Queensland.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wondering about the little fellow under 'Followers' with the 'come hither' look? I photographed him, a mime artist, at Montmartre. This is the area (for those who haven't been lucky enough to visit) where a lot of artists are, at the back of Paris. Full of cobblestoned steep streets and lots of atmosphere if you wander away from the main tourist streets.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Travel is a marvellous adventure, whether it's to a foreign land, another state or just to walk down the other side of the street. Keep your eyes open so you don't miss a thing, or a second of your adventure. The photo of the boat moored outside a fantastic old building (accompanies the Sail Away with Me poem below)was taken at the back of the island of Murano, Venice. We walked out of one of those pressure-sales glass factories and there it was on the other side of the canal. I've since had the image printed to canvas and it was bought by a fellow from my market stall who said it was a very expensive Benetol First yacht. And yes, we were sucked in at the glass factory when we bought a gorgeous multi-coloured bowl!


If we leave now we'll catch the wind
To take us to the tomorrow of our dreams.
Of pleasure, adventure, courage and love
Upon a sea of peace.

We will ride the waves under the Milky Way
And float upon the moon.
We'll pull into the cove of promise
And anchor within each others arms.
Sail away with me ...
(Julie Holland)