Saturday, June 30, 2007

Peaceful moments and a giggle or two.

Life currently seems to be a series of moments, or links in a chain; rather than a flowing river. Perhaps that was the inspiration for these two beaded charm bracelets. I was so relaxed and at peace as I chose beads and twisted wire for these two. In case you are wondering I have made the hooks for the closure but left the eye's until the wearer gives me a wrist measurement.
Of course in a house which still has three furry people the experience could not be totally relaxing - Archer managed to eat a chopstick, some tissue paper and several beads during the creation of these bracelets. Each new find accompanied by his mad dash out of the art room through the cat door and out to the back of the garden. I managed a straight face as I corrected him, but he looks so ridiculous as he escapes with the latest treasure their are a lot of inner giggles to accompany my sighs of frustration.
While my tulips continue to delight a friend gave me these three simple stems of jonquils yesterday and their scent is filling my home, just looking at them makes me smile.
I had to giggle though. I said to one of the men who shares my office, "I do love these, Mum hates them in the house -says they smell like cat pee." His response, "My wife thinks the same, we always have them in the house." The mind boggles. I love the scent and their delicate little cups.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gifts and Giving

I came home last night to find this glorious bunch of tulips on my table – a gift from my brother and SIL. I adore tulips – more than any other flower they seem to hold secrets within. I can never wait for them to open before I begin to be peek; I can be found peering regularly through pinhole size openings where the petals meet at the top of the flower. My aim: to glimpse their kaleidoscope of stamens and colour within. I have a waking-dream which sees me in a field of multi-coloured tulips - that never wilt or drop their petals, bliss.

This pin has arrived at its new home, it did not photograph well, but I liked this one because it was less cluttered and each of the charms have their own space, thier own story - and sometimes that is more than the collective.

Another art work which should have arrived home ... these door hangers are made of balsa wood and were 79c at Macro when I was on camp. I only bought two and wish I had grabbed a handful as my head is still buzzing with ideas for them. I think I will have to cut some out myself. This one had a crackle background, some texture paste, transfers and lots of washes with Golden colour before being over stamped.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Winter Wire Work

bookmark on etsy sold
bookmark on etsy

Sunday was an exceptionally cold, wet and windy winter's day here in the South West. I was determined to spend some time at home (something I have been avoiding since Miss Maggie's absence is so obvious here). What better day to sit and twist wire - and perhaps head towards paying some vet bills. I really find the whole process quite soothing and was pleased with these three items. I also managed to package and post some swaps, IOU's and gifts that had been sitting on my desk for the last week or so.

The 'Friends of the RSPCA' are looking for temporary carers for animals and I have made initial contact today towards becoming a carer - hopefully we will be able to help some sad animals adjust and find new homes. I have such a lovely big backyard - not burdened by expensive plants or landscaping and just perfect for dogs to run and play.
The hail looked like snow drifts on my neighbours roofs. The thunder rumbled and growled for most of the day, while lightening cracked overhead. While Maggie was on my mind and in my heart I was so grateful that if she had to pass it was before this storm - she was so afraid of the thunder and would run and bark, leading to sore joints and a swollen throat - all the while looking at me with the expectation I could make the noise go away. She has no more pain, and I can not regret that.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Thank you friends

Thank you to all of those who have left comments, e-mailed me and offered prayers. It does help, it really does. I have posted a tribute to Maggie below - I needed to do that, it helped when I lost Hamish so very recently. I am allowing myself to talk endlessly to gracious friends about 'My Girl' (yes, all the other furries are/were boys), it stops me collapsing inwards.

I have also thought about this blog over the past few days, and have decided not to feel guilty that is is divided between animals and art - I love both. Some of you will read the art posts only, and some the animals - that is OK. There will be art soon, over the past couple of weeks I have worked spasmodically on a couple of jewellery commissions and a couple of gifts - as soon as they have been received I will share.

Again, thank you.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Beautiful Maggie - Thank You

Maggie 2 February 2007 to 20 June 2007

Maggie (Margaret Anne H _____) was born on the second of February 1997, and came into my life eight weeks later. I still remember our first meeting, a pet shop in Perth. I took Maggie from her cage and put her in the little play pen they had nearby, a Chihuahua pup in the same pen barked at her – she ran and cowered behind my hand. I fell instantly in love.
The fear and timidity Maggie displayed at the first meeting plagued her for her whole life. Strangers were scary, and barking at them seemed to make them go away – of course if they came too close she would either make friends or cower miserably under the table (or in the wardrobe). I would warn guests to ignore her - and wait for Maggie to approach – left to meet people this way she made forever friends. Rach’, Rae, Colin and many others all loved her (and spoilt her) – how grateful I am to those who loved my girl. Maggie’s other friend was Gilbert – a beautiful ginger tom cat who shared our lives for a little over a year, later Charles became her friend too.
I now know not to get puppies from pet shops and that fearful dogs are hard work. I am certain that had I not chosen Maggie she would have struggled, she (and her fears) controlled so much of my life. However, not for one minute do I regret choosing Miss Maggie. She gave unwavering devotion from the moment we met; we bonded on the long drive back to Albany, 5 hours with this cute puppy on my lap as I drove. While she gave up trying to sit on my lap, in the car, she never gave up sitting on my lap when I sat on the floor at home –all 32kg’s of her.
Maggie was a one owner dog, it did not matter how well others cared for her she would always cry miserably as I left and almost turn her self inside out with excitement when I returned. She had a couple of hunger strikes while I went away and was well known for trying to break into my car, if I stopped for coffee ,with the kind people who had cared for her in my absence.

... with Charles

I can not begin to imagine how many kilometres we walked over the decade we shared. Most nights we walked an hour, some more some less, only in this past year did we drop back to 20 minutes or half an hour. Oh, how she loved her walks. We loved the hill where Maggie posed for some of these shots, and the cooler tree lined paths on warmer days.
We also walked a million miles emotionally – sharing tears and laughter, mental anguish, overwhelming joy, fear and depression, friendships and loneliness. Through it all, Maggie walked beside me – head tucked into my chest – or nuzzling my leg.

...with Gilbert

... with a friends' daughterTonight I cooked for the first time in nearly two weeks – and as I prepared the vegetables I cut the broccoli leaving lots of stalk attached to the stem and turned to give this ‘treat’ to Maggie, a few seconds later I was sobbing at my sink. My funny girl who loved her vegetables, watermelon and oranges is gone. My faithful, tripped over a million times, friend is not beside me anymore, already I miss burying my face in her coat and breathing in her dusky doggy aroma. I miss hearing her snore quietly in the night, and feeling safe in the sure knowledge she was listening out and would bark if the bumps in the night were baddies.

Mummy's Girl - I love you, thank you for taking such good care of me for so long. I always felt safe with you, your unconditional love and trust made me whole, and kept me steady so many times.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Thursday Morning: My beautiful girl, Maggie, has gone home to heaven. I'm Ok, just going inside myself for a little while.
Thurdsday Night: A friend found my purse where I had dropped it in a car park - and I am getting everything back, including the cash. I had not even cancelled most cards.

I started this blog to focus on art and animals and with the aim of focussing on the positive. This week is beyond blah so I will simply give you a quick update and be back when the wheel turns.

Maggie has had two feet of bowel removed yesterday in major surgery. Apparently the improvement we saw on Sunday was a result of the relief felt when her bowel perforated. The vets said if she survived last night she had a 50% chance. I have just left her tonight and she is as well as can be expected - but they won't improve the odds for at least another 5 days. The perforation led to peritonities (sp?) - that is a lot of infection.

To add to the blah I have managed to lose my purse today. At a time when what will become thousands of dollars are being committed to Miss M, this is a huge issue. I don't think it was stolen - I think in my tired haze I have left it somewhere silly. However I am going to have to cancel cards if I do not find it soon.

I am spending as much time as possible sitting in Maggie's cage at the vet, and trying to give little Archer time too - while turning up for school occasionally. Life is busy.

Those of you who pray, then please pray for my Maggie, for the irritating cough I have, for finances and that I would find my purse. Please also give thanks that Maggie has made it this far, that there are wonderful vets caring for her and that so many lovely people are helping out walking and dog sitting Archer.

Goodnight friends

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Finally some play ...

I made this pin today and did the backgrounds on some door hangers. The pins was lots of fun to make, I like the contrast between Making Memories hardware and the rusty washer, and between the bead head and the Queens head on the coin. I think the background on the door hangers is Misty Mawn meets Michael deMeng, I will have to see what you think when they are finished.
I will wear the pin to work tomorrow - I like to wear everything once even if it is a gift or for sale - that way I can check there are no pieces to catch on clothing and that each items dangles the right way when worn. Some of my students even get cranky if I don't have a new piece to wear on Mondays!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Does Goldilocks give lessons?

When I awoke yesterday morning I did find it difficult to believe that either Maggie or Archer thought that they had found the "just right" bed.

Maggie had a severe bout of pancreatitits this week, and I caught the lurgy so we have spent a lot of quiet time in bed. Now my art room is calling and I have put the heater on, set the kettle to boil and taken the phone off the hook ... See you soon.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Camp - Part 4- Gifts and Friends

Dotee made this very beautiful altered book for me. The pages are rich in texture and colour, and resound with her love and care. The rail top was not wet when I took these pictures, but the droplets hanging beneath will show how eager I was to get out and photograph this treasure for you.

The tallest people on camp (not), but definitely two big hearts, my dear friend Dawn and my new friend Jacky.
This is my sweet and kind friend, who drove me all the way from home to camp and back. I am so glad that we got to share this experience and get to know each other a little better.
Dotee and I, not a perfect photo of either of us, but I think it shows how happy we were to spend time together and the joy we share as friends.
And this is a precious gift too. I fell to my bottom in front of these bikes and snapped them quickly - a little self conscious and yet determined. Determined to capture the innocence of country kids in a fairly safe country. Where were the riders? I do not know - they were not within sight and yet they felt safe leaving their bikes.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Art Camp - Part 3 - Some of My Art

I had a lot of fun making this junk pin and will make more when I have time. The key is from my first suitcase, the black buckle from one of my old bra's, 'be' is from my first attempts at resin and the rest of the trinkets seemed to gel.
I painted this apron in Jane's fabric painting class at camp - what a lot of fun!
The button bracelet is very similar to one I saw in Step-by-step Wire Jewelry I have loaned my copy out and can not remember the name of the artist. Watch out for an edit to this post.
This is one of my designs and features recycled hooks given to me by the kind and talented Doreen.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Art Camp - Part 2 - Overwhelming Gifts

These are some of the wonderful gifts I received at camp, I was humbled and blessed by the time and effort that had gone into treating me. The very talented Jane blessed me this felted hat, an extra special treat as I have a very large head and can not often find hats to fit.
Jacky created this beautiful felted quiltie and made a gift of the rusted heart wire, what a treat it was to meet this warm and talented lady - who managed to convert us all to hand felting within minutes of our arrival.
Each month there is a Mystery Muse on INKrediblyRT, the group linked to this camp, this was my May treat and I am yet to find out who the talented collage artist is.
Kelsey whipped up this stunning ATC at camp - featuring Sheer Heaven transfers and stamping, I do love the quote!
Nikki, Dotee and Shirley demonstrated the wide variety of styles at camp with these ATC's.

I met the very talented, kind and insightful Sulea for the first time, I was left without words after she quietly handed me a small bag containing this marvelous Gothic arch assemblage and the beautiful jewellery set below.

And there was more, a couple of glossy items I need daylight to photograph and some I have yet to unpack. My heart swells as I look at this collection, I see not only each items beauty but the time and care that went into their making. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Art Camp - Part One

Art Camp 2007 is over ... and my heart is full of joy - oh not that it is over, but that it was as wonderful the second time round as that first magic long weekend, last June. It was the first weekend of winter and the sun shone brightly through four still days, the birds sang - and some enthusiastic children, at the next campsite, spent an afternoon with a karaoke machine (oh well, we needed a reminder we were still here on Earth).
Four days and three nights with warm, kind, witty and oh so talented women - the time passed so quickly. There was art chat, friends to hug, gifts galore and side trips to the hardware store, salvage yard and second-hand shop. I managed two beautiful walks on the beach, one alone and another in the company of friends.
Over the next day or two you will meet my friends, see the gifts I received and some of my art too.
On Saturday morning Jane very generously taught us some fabric painting techniques and we painted our own aprons. See the beautiful Sulea being photographed above, click on the picture to see more of the detail on her fabulous apron.
Here are some of the artists, all poised to stretch after many camera's snapped this end of camp picture.