Goodbye Sandra

Photo from Metal Magazine
I first met Sandra Eterovic at a party almost thirty years ago. My best friend had been raving about what a lovely person she was, and I was jealous and determined not to like her. However, after a few minutes' conversation, I grudgingly had to admit that she was indeed completely lovely. She was wearing a pair of trousers that she had made herself. Before long I learned that not only was she an accomplished sewer, she could also paint, draw, knit and cook, and much more besides.

Sandra had two exceptional gifts. She could make almost anything. The name of her Etsy shop was I sew I draw I knit, but she also painted, built models, designed clothes and cushions and prints, made cards and stickers and mirrors, and illustrated books. Her designs adorned Strike bowling alley and Seed children's clothing. Her art appeared in galleries and magazines and on The Block. It was a standing joke among us that there was nowhere in Sandra's house to sit down and relax -- she was always on her feet, making something.

 But what she was especially good at making was friends. In the days before she died, her hospital room was so crowded with people that the staff had to shoo us away. She never neglected her friendships, cultivating them with the same love she devoted to her garden. She always arrived with a gift in her hands -- wine or muffins or a book.

Sandra was a part of our family. She was Michael's high school girlfriend, and they remained close, affectionate friends. She was the closest thing our daughters had to a godmother; they both slept beneath a cot quilt Sandra made. Our house is filled with her art, including the beautiful painting she made for our wedding invitation, which hangs above our bed. Alice wears skirts and shirts and jackets that Sandra made. She and I would compare notes on the ups and downs of the creative life.

Sandra has left an incredible legacy of art, but more, so much more than that, I will miss her laugh, her generosity, her compassion, her friendship and her love. Goodnight, my darling friend.

To see some of Sandra's artwork, visit her website here.


  1. Hi Kate, I didn't know Sandra but loved her work and felt weirdly bereft when I heard she had passed away. Her work was witty and alluring and her book cover illustrations were gorgeous, with a real power and sense of mystery. Condolences to you and yours.

  2. Thank you. She was a unique talent and a beautiful human being. I'm going to miss her so much.
    Lots of tears in our house this week.

  3. I first discovered Sandra when I stumbled onto her knitting pattern on Etsy, I made a horrible scarf, but her response to my attempt was glowing. I still have it in my wardrobe, 45 degrees out of alignment.

    I lost touch with her when I moved around the world, and I am so sorry to find out she passed away.

    I will treasure my watercolour 'An Empty Man', and finally get it framed in the circular frame we talked about back then.