Thursday, November 30, 2006

The wait is over!!

What a long day it has been. Miss Maggie had surgery today - if you are not too fainthearted she is flashing her chest for you.

I woke early and gave my Girl her pre-meds, here at home, and I resisted her longing looks at the food bowl.

Two hours later, my Mum and I got the news that the lump in her chest was just fatty tissue, can you hear my heart sing? It is. I was so afraid of the big 'C'.

X-rays show that her heart is not quite in the right spot, her airways in her lungs are thickening, and she may have some free fluid. She also seems to have some nerve damage in her chest area - which may have been the cause of the pain - not the fatty mass. I have a long list of things to look out for, but it is possible that her pain and chest problems are all due to old age (Humpfff we say - we are not ready to be old) - even the increase in allergies. So Maggie is ending the day as she began it ...

Wishing for food.

I didn't realise until I got home (and read the post-operative care plan) that they were going to suggest broiled white meat as a meal - so I am preparing the vego option - an egg white omelette. I hope that is OK, I seem to recall that's what I did when the boys were sterilised.

Jean Lussier

I have googled away the mystery of my Niagara Falls "hero".

Jean LussierJuly 4th, 1928
Jean Lussier, a native of Quebec, designed a six foot rubber ball composed of 32 inner tubes and a double-wall steel frame. One of the biggest crowds on record saw the stunt on July 4th, 1928. The ball took some hard knocks in the rapids but the skip over the Falls was perfect. About one hour after entering his ball, Lussier stepped ashore none the worse for wear. For many years he displayed his ball at Niagara Falls and sold small pieces of the inner tubes for souvenirs at 50 cents a piece.

Apparently Jean invested his life savings of $1500 (a lot of money in 1928) in the construction of the ball. By 1928 attempts at crossing the falls were illegal. He sounds like a real character.
My 3 signed photos are fantastic memento’s of this event, and his later life

Monday, November 27, 2006

Challenge and History

I signed up for an ATC swap on one of my groups, the challenge to produce 4 different ATC's using a technique from Somerset Studio. These are the results from "Pencil and Stencil", as taught by Jeannine Peregrine in the May/June 2006 issue.

The technique was not quite as simple as it appeared, but once I got into the flow a lot of fun - and one I may try again.

As to the history, the athlete featured here is Jean Luc__, he went across Niagara Falls in a large rubber ball. I know this because there were three photo's of him at different ages in a set of canbinet cards, I bought a little while ago. There were only a few words and he had signed all the cards. Gifts for a fan? A lover? A friend... How I would love to know more.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sleepy Crafts

I have slept more this weekend than in the entire previous seven days, and it is only 2.00pm Sunday. It feels fantastic!

Last year I made extra Christmas cards to have ready to send to my overseas family - there they are above, and yes they are now written in, and ready to post. So next week when I am making the Australian cards I think I will do the same again, extras I mean.

By the way, if you are worried about the flies on the top left card - don't be - no flies were injured in the production of this card. Last summer my English cousin and her boyfriend were with us for Christmas. I have never met anyone as bothered by Aussie flies as this boy - so I could not resist adding a few plastic ones to their card.
These are the very simple cards I have made for my classes at school - if any of my arty kiddo's are reading, this is why I wanted the old music, as you cleaned the music room. I think there are 60, and I am embarrassed to admit I did not have to buy a thing. I have only bought about 50 sheets of paper/card in the last two years and still I could open a store. I must confess that while I am resisting paper my will power when it comes to rubber, beads, paint, wire, etc in non- existent.
And finally, I had a 'TA DA' moment on Friday. For years I have struggled to find nice collars for Maggie. She is quite large and not particularly feminine looking - we get offended regularly as fellow walkers refer to my baby as "HE". Large collars seem to be black, blue (both too masculine), red (imagine the clash) and hot pink (ditto the clash). My poor bubby has been wearing her purple collar with silver flowers for about 4 or five years now, it really had seen better days. Then I clicked - eyelets! This is version 1.0 as I experimented. Make a hole, use a match to seal the fibers, set eyelet with washer. Easy. I sense a new wardrobe coming up!.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Just Looking

is the title of this ATC destined for my friend France, as I begin to peek out of the chaos of past weeks.

It has been a glorious sun-shine filled day, here in my part of Australia, I have had a 'nana nap' and have plans to spend time with good friends. What more could any girl want?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

An hour in my gym ...#2

I have not had time for art this week as it is "the" week for writing school reports and marking year 11 exams. These photos are from the walk on the weekend, however, Maggie and I have had time to fit a few more walks in. Thank you to everyone who has checked in to see I am ok; I am getting better every day.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

An hour in my gym ...

... with my favourite exercise equipment. I live on a hill, almost in town, and yet a hop, step and a jump - more specifically less than a hundred meters- away is paradise. Maggie and I have been walking here her whole life; one of the reasons I chose to buy in the same area I rented. Today we thought you might like to join us...

I actually snapped the photo above quite spontaneously, as Maggie turned back to see what I was doing. Photographing a flower for you actually. I rarely take a camera with us and she wondered if her Mum was ok.
The lovely thing about out paradise is that it is full of interminable contrasts, tiny native flowers no bigger than your little finger nail, and towering trees; wide paths where we can meet walking friends and animal tracks we have tramped for years without meeting anyone. The old granite quarry is a favourite spot and the first glimpse of it always lights up my soul. There are parts of the quarry which take me to my beloved Kimberly (the region in the far north of Western Australia). Can you see the bitumen road? We walk through my cul-de-sac, across this road and into wonderland. We also exit this way.

Many evenings all three cats greet us at the top of the street ( I am the second house down) and walk home with us. How funny it must look, as if I have taken all four of them walking. Charles, the scallywag, will wind his way through my feet and then Maggies', tempting us to tumble down the hill. Then begins the rolling, he wriggles cross-ways, on his back, down the road in front of us!! Tonight he hit the side.
I took more pictures, this is the maximum blogger will let me load so I will save the rest for another post, perhaps tomorrow. I have a little old Kodak 2.1 megapix' camera, my trusty friend, has been dropped so many times that all photos have to be framed with the assumption that anything in the top left hand corner 'should' end up in the middle. Tonight it has once again served us well.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Afternoon Fun

I just came home from a spontaneous lunch with 5 of the Scrapbook Designs girls, I popped in to shop for art 'must haves' and lunch out for two turned into six of us (thanks K and E for letting us in - and changing the venue!). Albany has a wonderful Japanese restaurant on the beach, and we rocked it. We laughed, ate and talked art, for an hour and a half - then went our own ways all enriched, uplifted and ready to face out afternoon chores.

When I came home this little collage made me smile - don't you love it when your own art has that effect. I often take my blog pics in the kitchen as the light is good. See here: brushes drying - I love paint brushes, the top of a wonderful assemblage/collage made by my friend Dawn, a Kelly Rae Roberts print in the background and all that lovely light coming from huge windows/doors. Maggie and I are off for a nice long ramble.

Most of the color on this collage is Twinkling H2Os, a little Lumieres in places, and of course the head and torso are my Krafty Lady art moulds.

Friday, November 17, 2006

This world can be a confusing place ...

In year 12 I used the quote, "Order is Heaven's first law" from Alexander Pope extensively. It was a good one to fit most essays. This week it has returned almost as a a prayer.

Several situations both at work and home have left me bewildered. Why can't people be honest with each other? So much confusion arises when people use lies and half truths ...

Anyway this 4" canvas came out of my frustration, and the hope I feel as I step back. The background is so simple and organised - not my usual style at all. I picture my lady rising above the confusion and letting go of her concerns one by one.

This one is painted using Lumieres' acrylic paints and Glaze Pens. The punctuation is Making Memories rub-ons. Both molds are by Krafty Lady.

I'm back ... And having fun.

Thank you so much to all my blog, and blog visiting friends, I have felt your waves of care and love here in Albany. I had an awesome meeting with my doctor, and friends right here by my side, who have cleaned - and offered to clean, given me meals and spoilt me beautifully.
What a journey that withdrawal was and it so nice to be back in sinc with my life. The only lingering effects are waves of tiredness; and some lovely warm fuzzy feelings - from all the kindness.
Last night I sat and played for a few hours and everything I made seems to be bright and cheery (there are some canvas' drying too). Carmel, do you recognise the scrap I used as a dress?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Woe is me ...

Here is my lovely Phantom curled up in bed with me on the weekend. Poor little man had a tummy ache (the noxious gas he emitted regularly was proof of that). He is back to his usual gorgeous, and sweet smelling self, I am not.

Note: IF you are looking to hear from Miss Positivity and Light I can suggest some terrific blogs. Avoid the rest of this post.

After a month of weaning myself off a prescribed medication I am now off it completely. The withdrawal effects are hideous. I have headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, the shakes and sometimes staggers, pins and needles in my face, shocks (like little explosions in my head), nausea and so much more. The all over body rash I had last week seems to be going (When I say all over - think inside mouth, ears, nostrils and all exposed parts too). Needless to say there is very little art happening at the moment and 'keeping up appearances' in terms of my day job is proving difficult.

What is scary (I think that may be an understatement) is that while I may 'get away with' being medication free for a time period, it is unlikely to be a realistic life option. I chose to free myself from the medication because the side effects on it were not so great either.

So, woe is me, for the night, and tomorrow I will again lift my eyes - focus on Jesus - and in doing so see all that is good in my life. I will also meet with my doctor, and again examine options.

Can I say, if you see someone today who looks like they might need a hug - give them one. Better to have one too many than one too few.

Friday, November 10, 2006

ATC Files

I finished this "industria" inspired file last night. I am quite please with how it worked out - on the old jig-saw board. I have all my ATC files standing together on my hall cupboard, it is now automatic for some of my friends to pick up the latest one as they enter my home.

Funnily enough my lovely family, can walk past weekly (at least) and have never even acknowledged their existence??? No problem, just interesting ...

I like that the files are all different and represent different facets of my personality, and different stages of my art journey.

By the way, two of my lovely classes had three pieces of candy corn each yesterday (about 45 children in total) - and I still have a lovely big handful left. That sure was a generous bag!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Parcel with Heart

Just over a week ago I asked Kim what the Halloween Candy tasted like - I promise I was not hinting - just wondering why my American friends loved it soooo much.

Look what arrived in the mail today! A beautifully cuddly Halloween bear and an enormous bag of corn candy all packed in the most amazing box. Kim had covered it with candy history and Halloween images.

Well as you can see I have tried the candy! Ohhh bliss and yummo!

As to the taste -what a shock! The moment it hit my mouth I thought - Jersey Caramels - with a hint of maple syrup (corn syrup according to the ingredient list). After 4, or perhaps 5, taste tests I decided that it was not as sweet as J.C's and had more flavour. I thought the candy was hard! My goodness - my mouth was in a state of euphoric shock. So, thank you Kim.

I have to say that it was the perfect day for a thoughtful gift as I feel a bit weighted down by the world around me at the moment. Tomorrow I will take my candy to school and let my year 9 class have one piece each. As you can see there will be plenty left for me.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Inspired by you!

Well, yes, YOU! Chances are if you are reading my blog I have read yours, or seen your art at some time.

This is my first 4" x 4" collage (thanks Carmel , for the canvas).

The piece has photographed very true to colour except for the face which does not have the yellow tinge. The background, twinkling H2Os, was inspired by Holly. I am sure I have seen alphabet hair somewhere, the hair shape is very Kelly Rae and, believe it or not, the shadow flowers were inspired by Claudine Helmuth.

While I loath the thought of copying another's work I am becoming more and more aware that very few individual components, within my art, are unique, rather compositions. I am not sure I like that ... Then again what an enourmous ego it would take to imagine a part-time, beginning artist could create something totally unique. What I am sure of is that on this journey to express myself, and perhaps to one day find my own style, it seems necessary.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Putty Cat Collage

This cat collage/assemblage is a gift for a gorgeous friend. I have started making Christmas presents, for specific people, so I wonder which of my cat loving friends will receive this one in the mail?