Thursday, May 31, 2007

Full Days

I seem to have spent this week's art time preparing for art. I finished cutting out the pages for an altered book round robin, made some charms to turn into jewellery and designed some charms for a swap. I know this weekend will see some projects complete - and I pick up my new camera tomorrow. I do hope I get to know it quickly. I am so excited and blessed to be going to art camp with my good friend K and to have so many wonderful art buddies to catch up with.

Speaking of getting to know each other (well we were a moment ago, weren't we?), isn't this adorable. Phantom and Archer both asleep in front of the fire. Phantom is clearly bigger when they stand up, and weighs more!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Looking Forward

Six more sleeps and I will be off to art camp - Yippee! Camp is at Busselton at an old camp site by the sea and last year it changed my life. At camp I put faces to the names of women I had traded art with for years, women I admire so-so much, Kelsey, Dotee, Jane, Shirley, Ev, the bestest roomie - Nikki,Elaine, Carmel and so, so many more talented and wonderful ladies. Not to forget our very talented, warm and real camp Mum, Sally.
I met Dawn for the first time, we shared camp through the fog of terrible colds, and yet this little lady lit a fire within me and changed my path. I was terribly embarrassed when Dawn introduced me to people saying, "This is THE Julie H- - - - ". And yet for the very first time I realised that other people might appreciate my art, for six years I had swapped art, but created for me, never imagining others saw value in what I did, or who I was as an artist. That confidence has led to me exploring so many new art forms and styles, to starting this blog and to meeting so many more wonderful people.
Sulea is going to camp and I will meet her for the first time!
Maggie is going to my friend G's, Archer is going to my brother and his family's and the boys (doesn't sound right when there are just two) will stay home with a carer visiting twice a day. My wonderful friend Rae gave Maggie this Garfield years ago - Archer "borrowed' him from Maggie's bed and has yet to return the toy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A piece of home.

You may remember I took some photo's on a day trip to my parents farm, the charms in this necklace were made by altering one of them. I actually took the photo of this tree while lying almost flat on my back on the straggly grass. It had been drizzling and I could only lean on one elbow as I was avoiding cow pats. The lengths we go to for art ...

While the perfectionist within is still not completely happy with my soldering I did wear this necklace today. I wore it with a woolly jumper and it did not catch at all so I guess it is not too bad.

For those of you in need of a giggle I have kindly provided another, I am a dill, moment. As the washing whirled around inside my front loader, on the weekend I heard some clunking. I was too busy looking for the phone to check out the noise. Result: I have learnt that cordless phones, no matter how well bundled up in bedding, do not like to be put through a full cotton cycle with hot water. As to other temperatures and milder washes - you will have to check for yourselves, I am off to buy a new phone.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Moment in a Day

In a day full of outings, friends, and yes some furry people, this Magpie took the time to pose. I took a whole series of photos as he twisted and turned on this 3m pole angled into the back lawn.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Swaps, Gifts and Art

I recently hosted an altered canvas Round Robin, on INKrediblyRT and Australian Yahoo group. 16 ladies participated and each canvas had 4 people add a layer. Dawn, Peta and Kelly were in my group. My canvas is above and Kelly's below. This swap was inspired by a much larger one featured in Cloth Paper Scissors some time ago. It was a challenge to work on someone else's base, but the letting go and not finishing was even more so.
My beautiful friend Sandy sent me a package of vintage wall paper and other goodies last week. What she did not know was that for many years I had a dream of becoming a wall paper designer - and felt that I had been born in the wrong era (very little wall paper is used here in Australia).
You may remember I hosted a charm swap through my blog. Most people have received their charms now so I can show the amazing results here. Do you see that Kim made me a copper bracelet to hang charms on? And I did not know you could print onto shrink plastic. The soldered and beaded piece in the middle right is by Grant - yeah to having a male participant, along with his wife Charmaine. If you would like to know more about any of the charms just ask.
Finally this beautiful fabric/transfer charm and pendant were also from Sandy. I was so spoilt.

A final word...

Thank you so, so much to all of you for the love you shared both here and by e-mail over the last few days. It means so much that you care, and that you 'knew' my boy. My heart shattered into a thousand pieces and my body spasmed (is that a word) for most of yesterday. I have cried and howled and now there is the ache. I need to speak out my heart - and as I am not journalling at the moment, this is where. Please do not feel you have to comment again. And, I will be posting art almost immediately afterwards.

Hamish was special. He slept right by my pillow,between me and the alam clock - and was a deaf to it as I am. Often at night he would pat me on the face to wake me, a quick cuddle and we would both go back to sleep - sometimes paw to hand for the rest of the night. Of course he also cleaned there and I sometimes got his grass seeds in my hair.

Hamish would bound up with me in the morning knowing that feeding Maggie was our first task - and most mornings I tripped over him as he wove around my feet. But always he got his three pieces of dog kibble on the laundry floor. Then he made his way to the table ( I know, I know - no animals on the table) and waited for his two squares of toast, one from each of my slices. This morning I cut his - the corner with the most butter, then realised he was not there.

Hamish loved to be in the lounge with me and slept on his couch, until the tv went off ,then he would get up and follow me, sometimes, more often he would simply stretch and look at me - waiting for me to pick him up and carry him through - head nuzzling under my chin, body relaxed against mine. He slept in the study while I created and spent more time on my bed than I ever have. He also rushed to meet me at home each afternoon - that was what he was doing when he was hit on Wednesday afternoon.

I have battled guilt, he would not have been across the road if I had not brought Archer into his life - they were only just beginning to relax with each other. But I have to let go of that too. As much as I want to rush to the garden and dig him up - just to see him one more time, as much as I want to throw myself prostrate before God and give my house, my leg, anything - there is a reality.

So many stories to tell, so much love we share. Hamish came into my life in a very special way. My very first cat as an adult was Gilbert - a beautiful short haired ginger tom. He was just over a year old when he was savaged by a dog. Hamish was born to the same mother the day he died. The timing for Hamish's entry to my life was perfect, I have to believe it was his time to go. Whatever the case, I am so, so grateful that he was in my life, that he loved me and I him.

Maggie is such a comfort through this. Charles is in shock - they came into my life within a week of each other. One winter the wind chime was their toy - I have pictures of the pattinf it back and forwards to each other on a still night - Wind Chime Tennis. Another memory.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hamish (2 March 2003 to 16 May 2007)

No words at the moment, it is all too raw and new and hurts too much. He was hit by a car.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I promise art next post, but ...

... this is a sight to warm any mother's heart. Archer has had a big 24 hours. Last night this little 'man' found himself in the mirror - and was happily chatting to his new friend - when he spied Charles approaching. What does a brave dog do? Decide to protect his mirror friend. That's right he dove for Charles and smashed his little nose into the mirror. Oddly he is ignoring Charles today; Hamish wishes he were so lucky!


Doreen tagged me to list 7 random things about myself, so here goes:

1. I am vegetarian, and gave up lamb as an eight year old followed by chicken and then all other meats, but in my past have tried crocodile, smoked eel, snake and other oddities.

2. I read a couple of books every week and more when I can.

3. I don't drive unless I have to, hate flying and yet love travel - for the new destinations.

4. I am inspired by nature, and wonder how any human can match the beauty God created for us.

5. I love baobab trees - and will hug them.

6. My first cat was a ginger female - Peggy, and I have loved ginger cats all my life.

7. I was living almost 2000 kilometers away when my pet sheep, Billy, died. He was 14 and I was eighteen. I dreamt about his death and rang my Dad who confined he had found him that morning.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Meet Archer

The rather adorable Archer is the latest furry 'H'. Archer thinks his name is Woofy so for a little while he will be called Woofy Archer. This little man is 11 months old and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. After having Emily to visit I had decided to put my name down at the pound and shelters around WA for if a CKCS or KCCS came in . And then, a serendipitous miracle. A friend mentioned that her daughter -in -law had paid $650 for Woofy as a pup and found that she did not have time to train him, he was living outside and while loved was not well looked after. They had hoped to find an owner for him 'like Julie' - not knowing ...
Tonight Archer came to stay. You will notice he got an ear trim quickly - I didn't mind the food attached too much, but when he sniffed Maggie's droppings ... The lovely little man found his bed quickly, eats well and seems to like Maggie, who is rather indifferent to him. That is except when Archer barked at Charles and then Miss M gave him a rather loud telling off.
I imagine the next few weeks will be quite intense as Archer is house trained and cat trained (the two priorities) while giving Maggie girl all the extra time she will need. But, oh it feels so good and so right.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Managing Time

These are some bookmarks I made recently, I made a couple for Mother's Day to go with book vouchers as both the Mum's I buy for are in the process of moving house. I seem to have quite a few 'practice' charms that I will not make up into jewellery but do not want to waste. The first is a soldered page pebble, the second two 'beaten' book plates riveted together.
My head continues to buzz with creative ideas and yet time is finite and I must manage it - without beating myself up. A couple of times lately I have decided there is too much to do - so I won't do anything on 'the list' and have instead thrown myself across the bed with a good book, bliss. Today the sun was shining so brightly, after forecast rain, and I HAD to spend an hour in the garden, then catch up with some friends who live just out of town; far enough that the air is clean and quiet and the sun makes the damp earth give off it's own aroma.
Enjoy your week friends.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A visitor made me clucky.

On a wet and cold afternoon, as Maggie and I trudged over a large granite rock, we met Emily. We knew this was Emily because her heart shaped tag said so. We knew she was loved - the pink diamante collar with two heart tags was a give-away. We also knew all was not right in Emily's world - she was alone.
After standing huddled together in the drizzle for some time, calling for Emily's Mum, we decided to go home and phone her. Emily came happily and settled down quickly with one of Maggie's old bones. Then we hit a snag - an answering machine - not a doggy Mum. And so Emily got ready to spend the night - Maggie encouraged her through the flea treatment I deem essential for overnight guests who wish to sleep inside, blankets were laid in a basket and Phantom moved to the right of the mat in front of the fire - creating room for one little beagle with a very active nose.
There began three days of surprises. Emily sniffed a lot! She would need at least another week to finish following trails in my little house. Phantom loved her. Maggie was OK about her, and Charles my warrior, was terrified - perhaps because she ignored him. You can see Hamish's reaction below - just have to kiss that squishy face (BTW do you see the pillow - came, purred, conquered?) ...
And then this morning, the call, Emily's Mum was home and a happy reunion occurred soon after.
I am now clucky, I realised it is 2 1/2 years since we rescued Phantom, Hamish and Charles came as 5 week old kittens - over four years ago, and Maggie was a pup a decade ago. Umm ... will we give in?