12 Days of Christmas, Day 10 – Lesley Vamos

And now for Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas and introducing Lesley Vamos. Lesley lives in Sydney and creates her own unique art, both digitally and traditionally, and jewellery too. A description of Lesley is best given in her own words … “Lesley is short, freckled, has an unusually high voice, silent laugh that makes her look like she’s crying and is not ticklish on her feet. She loves telling stories, making things up and eating eggplant. She doesn’t really cry but laughs all the time and has been told she gives rather a good shoulder massage.Her first book – the Anything Shop – was released in October 2011 and she has been doing a heap of other wonderful art too.

Now read on for Lesley’s very travelling Christmas Memory.

Christmas as a kid was less a time of relaxation and reflection and more a crazy cram of family festivity. My parents divorced when I was young so normality for me is visiting four families in two days. It started with my mum’s partner’s side …

I remember the Hailes’ fondly with the doorbell that chimed Big Ben’s bells. The house was always lavishly decorated and the garden immaculate and appropriately themed. We would sit at the white, floral-adorned, outside table feasting on delicate gourmet delights in-between taking turns on the tire swing at the back of the garden, sneaking peeks at Sid’s ride on train and taking Pat’s hand to visit the horses across the road. After choosing one present to open in the car we were bundled into our tiny, badly dinted Honda for the two and half hour drive to Lemon Tree, a journey that seemed to take the entire day and comprised singing competitions, rousing and often controversial games of eye spy (no you can’t SEE a holiday) and the occasional vomit.

Christmas in the Passage was amazing fun. We stayed with my aunty who always had the house crammed with home-made magazine-inspired decorations and treated us like the girls she never had. We’d spend the night at my grandparents playing darts, eating hearty English inspired finger food and taking the golf buggy out for a spin on the course. After being woken up by our cousins and opening our respective pillow cases of presents we would say our ‘goodbyes’ and head back to Sydney to our step-mum’s Baulkham hills BBQ bash.

The Chebaia family was always incredibly welcoming and there is nothing like the food at a Lebanese Christmas. If you’ve never tried it, head by a Lebanese house after Christmas. I guaranty left-overs.

Mornings on Boxing Day were spent making tummy room for the Hungarian lunch put on by my Nani. I’m still amazed at my ability to eat 7 chicken schnitzels in one sitting! The day was spent lazing around the balcony over looking St Ives and listening to my dad and uncles one-up each other with jokes that had you red in the face and lying on the floor in agony. Riding home squished between presents and leftover orange potato I remember feeling that level of happiness that only comes with a full belly a new toy and the love of your family.

Lesley studied at the college of Fine Arts, receiving a Distinction and animation honor in their Bachelor of Digital Media. She spent the next year in LA getting experience and is now working as a Freelance illustrator and graphic designer, spending time both in Australia and abroad.
Do drop in and have a look at Lesley’s new website, the home page is filled with unique characters. I couldn’t find me although I was thrilled to see her rendition of me for our PaddleDuck team poster! And check out her blog too.

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