Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Meet Maurice

During the holidays i found myself sketching this hybrid rabbit dog. (Does that make him a rabbog or a dobbit?...) Anyway he is now known as Maurice. He went through some mixed media and digital collage. He has been professionally printed onto a matte postcard, he has lovely soft tones. Sometimes he like to step out, and sometimes he's a wee bit unsure - and frankly other times he is just plain frustrated.
He is also now available.

'Altered' Book Club

Sooooo an update... for just over a year now I've been part of an altered book club. 5 of us kind of all stumbled across each other and formed this group. We selected our own books, and began, by altering the cover and the 1st spread. You can see a little more here over at Shelbyville.
I must admit it has its moments of pain and suffering, as in "Good grief! it's this weekend and I've done nothing!" But then, once you push through that it's great to see what can be done. Also the revealing 'ooooh' moment of meeting up and seeing what everyone else has been working on.
I had the 'Larkin' this week, the pic above is Michelle's alteration - which responds to a Tom Jones reference on the page.. her alteration then crept over the page to which i altered with this..

which was a response to "Larkin looks into England". The post box was from a vintage childrens' book. The bus is a handmade stamp, the rest just painted or drawn. (it was 40 degrees while i was painting this).
What was interesting was observing the process - how it all just evolved and how freeing this was.. I wish i could do journal pages like this..

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Earning the bread and butter

Hello! Hope your week was pleasant enough.. My first week back seemed to last longer than 5 days, it went reasonably well - but the age of 'uncertainty' made it to our office and I guess that as long as we can keep turning up that is all we can do.. soooo then it was time to catch up with friends, take the kids for pancakes, check out "Hotel for Dogs' AND .... spend Sunday afternoon doing a miniatures class..

I took Miss R and her friend to investigate Lulu's Miniatures at Chatswood. Our Bread Basket 2 hour workshop was an introductory offer. The class was held in the Buddhist Centre (just to use the space..although i felt like i needed to take a few deep breaths after dealing with the labyrinth of the car park) .. but this space added a really peaceful backdrop to the creative atmosphere. I enjoyed the subtle wafting of incense and music. For a few minutes i also saw a performer practising his dragon dance (with dragon head) in preparation for Chinese New Year..
So we were shown how to use this oil based clay - which was fantastic to work with, we added paint and effects - then put it all together in our baskets.. they really are very tiny - the plate in the photo is button size.
A lovely Sunday afternoon indeed!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

And they played on..

It's been a few days of the kids going to sleep overs, having friends here, little trips out and pottering around.
Unfortunately we didn't quite time both kids out at once.. so no night off. Then it's cranky pants all-round the next day, as everyone tries to catch up on those extra hours.. aaaaah holidays!
One morning Miss R , her friend and i tried this cupcake project I'd seen in an issue of clothpaperscissors magazine. Basically you source a ceramic cupcake shape (from a $2 shop or similar) put in a bit of scrunched up newspaper, lay a bit of air drying clay of the top, add some tissue paper and some decorations.. voila!
The duck is one of Miss R's pics from a late afternoon jaunt to the damn. The scarf is a vintage find from an afternoon spent wandering Newtown.

Something else i've recently enjoyed is the sharing of a crafter-noon (not my original concept).. instead of drifting round cafes and shops, friends have popped over with a project in hand. Usually there's chat, a hot drink and a sweet thing too. This week i was working on my diary cover ... concentration was proving a little difficult and i did nearly chuck it all in several times.. BUT on i went and patch worked together some bits from my fist felt course (which was a very narrow piece - hence the thinking involved to measure it all)... I added the elastic to stop it opening in my bag, a treasured ceramic button and a little charm for a bookmark...so all set to plan my year!

It's been lovely - hope you all have enjoyed your holidays too... but now i must pack my bag ... think of me on the 7.47am back to the office in the morning... x

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Animal farm: wish list

Just before Christmas I came across these amazing pieces by Australian ceramicist Gus Mclaren who created pieces with a mid-century folk feel in Australia in the 50s and 60s. I love the shapes, the patterns and the colours. Unfortunately Santa didn't quite get round to leaving one under our tree. But you can pop into the Outre gallery to pick one up. Meanwhile i amused myself with some air drying clay and attemped an animal friend of my own. ..But er.. not quite the same feel as a hollow beautiful Mclaren piece ..so I'll go back to dreaming of the real thing..

great to curl up with...a..

well perhaps in front of your computer..
You probably have seen this online FREE (amazing!) magazine before: Blanket, but it's worth keeping updated and now they have a blog too. Call me 'unrealistic' but when i have my morning coffee i can't face the paper - all that bad news and misery.. So i find myself at the mac catching up on blogs and inspiring creative stuff. Issue 13 of blanket came out recently and it's great to flip through art, design, interviews and new creative stuff. They also have a donate button which i think is a great idea - an opportunity to show your support in turn for a great browse (let's face it you can't always get stuff like this at the newsagent).
BUT better still you can contribute - download the latest pdf issue here and check out the back page.
You have til the 15th choose from their next theme: BLUE or submit to the gallery.
I found myself doing this.. on a bit of packaging cardboard..

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Rolodex project

Sometime ago I came across the Rolodex Project while reading the lovely Applehead's blog here. So I decided 'Yes! that sounds great, could I play?' So went to the source at Leafcutter Designs. And my little cards arrived in the post. Then I just needed to draw a couple of objects.. so here's what I ended up with. One is of a white money box gnome my Christmas present from the kids. Then: the lint removing brush, which regularly gets used to clean up Elvie's long white hair. I guess the vintage Rolodex then becomes a portable gallery with everyones collection of drawings. See details here.
Lea has some fantastic projects on the go, definitely an amazing artist - go for a look.
I love that aspect of the internet community: participation.
Although of course the trap, is to want to join in lots of things!!
HHhmmmm what could I start????

a few more days of holidays

So it's been lovely just watching the days roll on and on and experiencing a real 'summer holiday', no big plans - just one day at a time.. I've seen some movies: 'Slum Dog Millionaire' (incredible, a definite must see!) 'I've loved you so long' (rich, sad). And yesterday went snorkeling at a beach 10 mins down the road AND saw fish, wavy seaweed and a whole underwater world. I can't ever remember doing that before...

A few days ago i found some remnants and made myself this make up bag.. I loved using the Lotta scraps they did sew + iron beautifully.. oh then HAD to have a hair cut.. found some nice reference.. BUT not quite sure how I always end up with something similar, am now feeling a bit like i have a koala on my head, but oh well..

Meanwhile the boys have been taking it easy - see Elvie (that's the big fluffly white blob) here assisting with Lego but then being slightly more interested in the cars whizzing past!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


So being in my thirties means i have a recollection of this song... which spent 10 weeks on the chart with 3 weeks at #1.. in 1975 ( i was young..)

January, sick and tired, you've been hanging on me
You make me sad with your eyes
You're telling me lies
Don't go, don't go

January, don't be cold, don't be angry to me
You make me sad come and see
Oh January

so yeah, (as the 10 year olds say).. There is something about January that i don't like. Yes it is a holiday time.. but yet for me there is the expectation of the year to come... the best i can explain this is:
how is it possible to live in the present without angst about what should or shouldn't be planned for the future? How much can you trust that things will just happen?
How can you avoid the feeling of 'ergh! i should've/could've of..' that comes with reflection. I don't have any regrets for 2008 - becuase i did what i wanted to! but January always throws up 'what do i want to do this year!' My usual approach is to just put the ideas out there into the universe ... and then things will happen...
So my first question I'm putting out there is - how do you start the year?

Happy New year folks!

So here we are at the start of a whole new year.. more on that soon. Here's a recap.. this was my christmas present from Mr R. A new deck at the back of my studio ... so it did lack the 'under the tree' surprise element, but of course it is the gift that will last! I tried not to seem ungrateful...at his lack of Christmas shopping and feeling appreciated... and of course i DO LOVE my deck..
It always amazes me just how long it takes to wind down and get into that holiday mode, realising that we don't HAVE to DO anything, yet that is quite tricky for me.. I have had some playtime.. making a bear as a gift for a friend's 'new' baby... BUT the thing i most wanted to do was work on some new designs including ideas for fabric. Yesterday I spent far too long trying to work out how to 'tile' a pattern correctly so that it repeats ARGH!!!!!! anyone have any tips??? ( i found a few tutorials - but haven't cracked it yet..) while Master R worked on his base for his new Warhammer set up..

THEN after what seems like a few days hanging around the house we ventured out to the beach. (That's me below - post surf, i was doing nothing.. but then couldn't resist a magazine flip through..) I am a little addicted to the thrill of the WAHU, (the inflatable boogie board/surf mat). Nothing beats seeing that wave approach, jumping on it and whoooooosshhing towards the shore... Miss R was practising her handstands.. then after dinner one night i spied this couple watching the waves at Manly beach - it was too good to pass up!

My other 'holiday' 'to do' was to install (well strongly suggest to Mr R) an inspiration board for my desk.. very pleased with the result.. blinds will be on my list next...


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