Sunday 28 December 2008

Happy New Year

I haven't had time to do very much art in the past week with Family and Christmas taking over. We had a lovely Christmas day spent with family and friends, and beautiful weather. We spent much of the day lazing outside in the garden, eating, chatting, drinking wine, more eating. Every year my stomach wishes it had stayed home, but it never learns. It's wonderful to see the grand children's reaction when they open their presents, that's the best part, little eyes light up after the wrapping paper is frantically torn from the present, much impatient jumping up and down as parents struggle to remove the bucket load of tie wire used to hold the toy into it's packaging, to prevent theft. There's usually enough wire at the end to tie up all of Australia's tomato crops for ten years(slight exaggeration, maybe only five years).

I did manage a few more background pages for my new scrap paper journal, I need to actually find time now to write in it.
I managed to complete a couple of jewellery orders and make some earrings to be added to my etsy store this week. I also made myself a bracelet using memory wire, that was fun.

Thank you all for visiting over the past year, I REALLY appreciate your visits and comments. I hope you all have a very happy new year and that next year holds everything you hope for with lots of time for art.

Monday 22 December 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We were very late decorating the tree and the house this year. No sooner was it the beginning of December then it was three days before the big day. We only bought the tree over the weekend. The lovely smell of the pine is wafting through the house. There is a Christmas tree farm just around the corner so it's very handy.
I spoke to my six year old grandson tonight, he's so excited it's only three sleeps til Santa comes.
I've been visiting some blogs recently with all lovely images of the snow, while we sit here sweltering. They do predict a pleasant 26degC for Christmas day though.
It's late in the evening as I write this, all the windows are open and a gentle breeze is drifting in through the house, ah summer's here at last.

Monday 15 December 2008

Christmas is coming

I start to realize Christmas is close when it's time to make the Christmas puddings. It's hard to find a continuous six hour stretch when I'm going to be home for cooking them, that doesn't include the preparation. I made them for years, then my father said he would like to give it a try, so he and my mother took on the task for about ten years. He asked last year if I'd mind taking over again as his arms aren't quite up to the mixing. I couldn't complain considering he was eighty seven last week. The small pudding is for them as a they are the 'official taste testers'.

We had some much needed rain over the weekend, it's hard to believe looking at this photo that it's summer. My poor roses were swamped with the deluge. The garden is now taking on a tropical feel, when the sun comes out, with all the lush new growth.

I'm trying to add some stock to my Etsy. I've added another small hand made journal, some more fabric and button kits, although I see one has sold which is great, Thanks Shirley.
I've had requests for my hand carved stamps in the past so I thought I'd give them a go too. The leaf one below will be in my store shortly.

Sunday 7 December 2008

Journals plus

I've been impressed for quite some time now with the journals made by Mary Ann Moss. Take a look at Mary Ann's blog if you haven't been there before, it's well worth a visit. I'm not sure how Mary Ann makes her journals or what she uses but I decided to make my own version, using old envelopes, very old book pages, heavy duty brochures, left over bought papers, fabric scraps and anything else I could find that could be sewn into the manilla folder spine. I will make hard covers later. I'm really enjoying the process and I'm looking forward to working in it. It's the ideal place to add those special pieces of paper and cards that come with swaps or from fellow bloggers.

The red paper and the beautiful hand made card above came from Jo along with the fabulous red brooch below that she was giving away on her blog. I was a very lucky winner indeed, it's gorgeous.

I still can't show you the pages in my altered book that's been travelling for the past eighteen months, as some of the contributors may be having their work published, so I'll just tempt you with the ends of the pages. I'm still amazed at all the beautiful work it holds.

Finally I've decided to make up some extra kits of fabric strips, buttons and beads and add them to my etsy store, I'll be adding more as I make them, they are very time consuming. They can be added to hand made journals or store bought spiral journals to give them a lift. There's enough of everything for two eight inch high journals.

Monday 1 December 2008

Fabulous group

What a fabulous experience I had on Saturday, teaching this wonderful group of students in my first workshop at home. The workshop was decorating papers then turning them into a hand made journal. There's quite a lot of work to do in the day and these ladies excelled, all taking home completed or almost completed journals.
I had a wonderful time and hope to hold many more classes at home.
I must thank my wonderful husband, I couldn't have done it without him. He made the fabulous tables, four and a half metres long in total, working until all hours Friday night to get them just right. He also did much of the cooking, setting up the meals and washing all of the dishes. Thanks Darling.

This is the group.

The lovely Samm, what a treasure she is. Always smiling and very talented.

Two very talented ladies who I've bumped into at previous workshops Carolyn and Janette, who's just started her own blog, it's well worth a visit.

The lovely Rita who attended one of my previous workshops.

You may know Jo already, she has a wonderful blog. Jo very kindly passed on the details of my workshop to her friends, so I'll be organizing another one in early January as this one filled up very quickly.

Nicky's also a regular, she's taken quite a few of my workshops and is such a lovely thoughtful lady.

Sisters, Jacky and Lee, what a lovely pair, Jacky has been to my workshops before but this was Lee's first ever workshop, she loved the way we just splashed paint around and could let yourself be really free.

This was also Christina's first time in one of my classes. Christina has her own online store with lots of wonderful glimmer mist paints, that create wonderful effects on the papers.

Anne is also one of my regulars, she's very talented and loves to experiment with lots of different techniques and materials.

Finally we Aussies had a lovely smiling moon tonight. Jupiter and Venus were lined up very close above the moon creating a wonderful smiling face in the night sky. The advantage of living in the Southern hemisphere is, we see it the right way up, even though we're 'down under'.

Thursday 27 November 2008

Quick update

Busy, busy. My journal workshop this Saturday is booked out which is wonderful, I have three people on the waiting list for the next one.
One of the time consuming parts of the class is cutting up fabric for the trim on the spine, so I've been busy cutting up fabric and putting them into packs, colour co-ordinating them with some very old buttons that I have, along with beads and charms. These will be available for purchase on the Saturday.

These are a couple of pages from my journal made from old manilla folders. The front of the post card is advertising a fruit and vegetable festival, it's very colourful.

Monday 17 November 2008

Beads, beads and more beads

Last Friday I went to the Melbourne Bead show in Moorabbin, what a selection available, as you can see I came away with enough to keep me going for quite some time. This is just a small sample of what I bought. I'll have to start making and selling more things to recoupe my costs. It's very addictive, you HAVE to have one of these and one of those and that one over there. Thank heaven it only happens once a year, I don't think I could keep up.

I said good bye today to my last book in our marathon altered book round robin. It's titled 'Faces' and belongs to the very talented Karen. It's now on it's way home after travelling Australia and the US for the past eighteen months. My book should arrive home later in the week. I'm getting very excited. I'll be able to show it to you in all it's glory soon and not little peaks. That being said, the little peaks above are from my pages in Karen's book.

Thursday 13 November 2008

A Visitor

I had a great weekend catching up with Judy and Jen. Judy was in Melbourne to teach a two day workshop, we managed to catch up in the evenings along with Jen and Sarah. I dropped into the class and saw some of the magnificent work the students were producing. I also bought some fabulous brass castings from Judy. On the Friday night Jen, Sarah and I were in brass heaven checking out Judy's things, this girl does nothing by halves.I now have to work them into some of my jewellery.

I've been busy all week working on things I can't show just yet. I'm working in the last of the books for our marathon ABRR, the books have been going around Australia and the US for the past eighteen months. Our babies arrive home at the end of the month, can't wait. I will reveal all then.

Tomorrow I'm off to bead heaven, it's the Melbourne bead show so I expect to have some goodies tomorrow night.

I can't not show some art it wouldn't be right, here's a painting I really enjoyed working on, it's pastel over acrylic on matt board. I was able to be very free using this style.

Saturday 8 November 2008

Take a look

Take a look at Margaret's blog. Margaret saw the photo of my verdigris teapot in my previous post and asked if I would mind if she did a watercolour painting of it for her journal. She's done a wonderful job, better than the original photo.

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Back to work tomorrow

Why do four days at home doing art go so much quicker than four days at work? I've really enjoyed my break and been productive, but it's gone way too fast.

I was taking photos of some of my jewellery out in the garden and noticed what a wonderful job mother nature does of aging things naturally. This old copper tea pot has been sitting in the garden for about a year now turning a lovely shade of blue/green, something we pay money for at the hardware store. The timber is gradually rotting away while this lovely mossy coat is slowly growing over it and holding it together.

This is one of the necklaces I made in my break and is now on Etsy
I made all of the rings and soldered them a la Stephanie Lee. Whenever I've soldered rings in the past I've made sure that the soldering is very neat and not visible, but I like the way Stephanie uses the blobs of solder as part of the decoration.
I also made the wire circles with the czech glass beads as part of the chain. The whole piece was fun to do and is very light.

I also finished this necklace too and added it to my Etsy. This piece was at my exhibition but I've changed it slightly adding the silver spoon instead of the piece of wooden ruler I had before.

I've now finalised the hand decorated papers/journal workshop. It will be on the 29th November, only about three weeks away. It will be at my home in Belgrave. I now have all the information so if you would like to attend please email me for details. My email address is in the side bar. Lunch, morning and afternoon teas, materials and a kit are included in the price. Below are some photos of the typical papers and journal we'll be making.