Friday, August 31, 2007

Bracelets and more ...

These bracelets were made this past week. The top one I am calling a horizontal charm bracelet - there are two of each type of bead but even they are not identical. Of course the messy wire wraps and fabric beads are inspired by Nina Bagley.

This red bracelet is a mix of my paper beads, and fair-trade cinnabar from Nepal. I have aged them all and dipped them in shellac.

This copper set is my favourite. The stones are coffee rock collected on my walks at the Port. the stone fragments have been tumbled and smoothed by the action of the waves (after they broke away from the larger rocks below). I found them quite easy to drill and they are light weight so will be nice to wear.

This weekend I am planning on playing with paper, I have an altered book to finish working in and some ATC ideas. Of course on Sunday I will also have the pleasurable task of choosing a winner of the junk pin I am giving away.

Elements: Fire

My lounge fire chimney had a tendency to draw badly and fill the lounge with smoke on a regular basis, so after I painted the lounge last summer I decided to see how life went without my open fire. I missed the flickering flames, but had other sources of heat. My ever changing collection of candles make me smile, on the inside and out, alone and in company, and I don't have the mess... bliss.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Elements: Air

My aim today was to capture some birds as they soared on the air. Unfortunately my aim was not as quick as their flight (other than seagulls which I have already posted on this blog) so the first picture is a parrot resting in my lemon tree and the second a pelican as it flew away from me! How pelicans manage to keep those large bodies in the air is a mystery to me ...

Don't forget to enter the give-away drawn on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Elements: Earth and Water

Water droplets on the umbrella tree.
Shari is hosting a photo collaboration this week. It began yesterday, as did the rain here in the South West. This afternoon I came home from work disappointed, it was too wet to walk, and decided to see what the garden would yield.

I liked this rock, it called my name, and so I carted it many thousands of kilometers from the north of our state to the south. It is a chunk of zebra rock and the back is striped beautifully. Now it marks the final resting place of Gilbert, my first house cat, an adorable ginger boy.
When in England I became obsessed with earth dwelling moles. This one was cast from concrete and carted all the way home. These wet cold days my furry babies get as close to the heaters (wood, gas and electric) as they can. I have often wondered why they do not cook themselves and how they can be so close without burning. Last night was the first accident. See the singed fur on Phantom's leg? No damage to his flesh, but a dreadful smell.
Thank you to everyone who has left lovely comments and entered my 'give-away' (previous post), I am so enjoying seeing who usually reads my blog, and "meeting" some new people.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Give-Away and Goodies

Lately I have been reflecting on the goodness of those who surround me, the kindness and generosity. I have wanted to host a give-away here for a while, so last night I gathered some of the treasures already spread over my desk, took a pause from making bracelets and allowed my mind to wander. To wander over all the wonderful people, known and unknown, who surround me. And as I did I made this junk pin. Of course the knots are those learnt in Nina's class this past March, the fabric bead my attempt at those Nina and others do (I would like to have a lesson in this one - but I think mine look OK), the treasures I have collected in recent years, the top charm includes the word art, and the long bead is one of those I wrapped and dipped in shellac. If you would like to win this pin simply leave a comment below - and for fun, tell me your favourite hot drink ... I will do the draw on Sunday night (Aussie time).
This journal was my Mystery Muse gift from the talented and oh so kind Jane - she really has the knack of felting and not over doing it.
My Dad bought these stones back form a recent trip to the Kimberly in Western Australia. No they are not ancient arrowheads, but rather river stones from the Mary River. He wondered if I would be able to use them. Likewise the rusty tin of cold branding numbers below, given after a trip to a farm sale some time ago. I have used them to stamp with, and think eventually they will end up in a piece of art work or two.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Treadmills and Trivia

A sneak peak at three cards I made last night and one already given this week. I apply all my left over paint to a sketch pad - be it stamped, brushed, swooshed or splattered. I had four sheets in similar colours, a few stamps and some black ink and they were ready to play with.

Some bookmarks I made this week too. I have had quite a few requests/commissions for these and they are such fun to make, fairly quick and all different.

The treadmills? Real and metaphorical. I have felt for the past month that I was on a run-away treadmill, and yet somehow last week I took control, nothing has changed, I just feel like I am walking in time with my life again. And the real? My Dad is coming to drop one off this morning. Dear Archer is not as dependent on his walks and his portability means I often pick him up and take him to the beach, or to the park with a friend and her children. I am finding I do not walk as much as I like to, I tend now to amble, to take photo's and to chat to others. My parents had a good treadmill they were not using so I have asked to loan it. Perhaps a commitment to SBS news on the treadmill? I will have to see how it goes...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Nice Matters

Last week I was surprised to learn that the very kind and talented Judy had honoured me with this award.
Apparently this award means the following...
"This award will be awarded to those that are just nice people , good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!"
It goes without saying that Judy is one of these people. As to choosing just seven more, what a task... I love this blog world and the friends I have made, for this award I nominate:
Sandy (I dream of sharing a pot of tea with this wonderful woman), Dotee, Misty, Kim, Ro, Doreen and Dawnie.
And to all the other marvelous 'bloggers' who make me smile every day, thank you.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Finding Order ..

I'm almost finished the charm sorting and hanging that I began last weekend. I am so pleased with the four pieces of jewellery created. Three necklaces and a bracelet all showing off so many fellow artists work.
Last night I also finished sorting and filing a whole stack of photo's going back three years and more. I need to create these little spots of order when life is full ...
And then I played. The junk pin at the top of the post features some of the little treasures given to me by Leighanna. I had to make a new one as I sold the one I was wearing earlier in the week.
The sun is shining, I can hear little birds singing, and as it is winter I am going to grasp the moment and head outside.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A good day to be a teacher ...

Today I took my class to Lake Pleasant View. An aboriginal sight of great heritage value that has recently been returned to the traditional owners. This is a place where the males went as boys and came out men, in traditional times. The picture above is one of my students holding a tiny frog one of many native to the area.
This student is holding a piece of Tuart, the edge is very sharp and it was probably used for skinning animals. There are many flints and cutting implements in the area and the Elders were happy for the students to pick them up, look at them, and return the artifacts to the Earth. Aunty L was able to share the Dreaming stories to explain the areas topography with us.
The area is a natural amphitheater overlooking a swampy lake (my technical term). We had talks from the archaeologist who is very familiar with the site and two scientists who are experts in swamp animals and insects.
I love days out with my classes - time to get to know them better and to share on a different level. I had them pose for this almost faceless photo so I could introduce you.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Combining Addictions

The paper bead bug has got me and I have been happily cutting and rolling this week. These beads were double dipped in shellac and are ultra hard, but still light weight - perfect for combining with wire wrapping. That is if you don't mind wearing the secretions of the lac insect so close to your head! Anyway there are several pairs of these winging their way to friends and a couple set aside for Christmas, these two are for sale. The pair on the right have words added from vintage text, 'believe', 'dare', 'touch' and 'worship'.
I have been in many charm swaps, and loved each and every charm I received, but was not enjoying my charm necklaces - I had three that all looked the same, because they were all completely mixed charms. I have begun sorting. The links for this necklace were made by lovely Kim, and I hope she does not mind but I aged them before I added all my copper and antique gold charms. I have another pile sitting ready to make up with a silver theme and a smaller handful to make a wall handing. I also have a missing collection that is in a very safe place ... I am just nor sure which one. I know I will enjoy wearing this and that the charms will be shown to best advantage this way.
I am really enjoying a productive time in my art life. I am involved in an Altered Book Round Robin which will continue for just over a year, and then I will be able to show you both my work and that which has been placed in my book. I have 3 bracelets and some wire bookmark commissions to make, and half a dozen other projects on the go. Normally I would feel out of control, but I am simply enjoying each blissful creative moment individually, and joining them in that few moments before I fall asleep each night.
Enjoy your weekend, I am hoping to combine creating, chatter and school work ..

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Looking for colour and finding so much more...

On Saturday night I took the camera for a walk – oh yes, Archer was there too. My aim was to capture colour in the bush this final winter's month. For many years I have sent postcards to various relatives in England; I sent one to my Grandad each fortnight until his death in 2005 – at the grand age of 95. My Aunty and I shared one a week, for over a decade, until she too went to heaven. Now there are my Nana and her sisters left to write a few lines to every couple of weeks. How I love these ladies, two of my great Aunts have painted and participated in other arts – all are well into their 80’s now … understandably they have had all the postcards my area has to offer; I buy a handful each time I travel. However, mostly these days I stick a photo to card and make my own postcards. A quick few lines about the fur babies or the family are much appreciated. Scenery, birds and flowers are also popular; and as eyesight has become an issue I focused this walk on finding colour and contrast. Some I will tweak to bring out the colours, others I will zoom in on a single bloom and enlarge it. What fun.
Back to the walk – I returned with 65 photos and was happy with about 55 of them! So I guess I will have enough to share for a while. Archer was delighted to run back and forwards and asked that I tell you how good he was.
The wattle is always a favourite, drifts of yellow pompoms scenting the winer air. Flowers emerge by colour in general, the whites and then the yellows, followed by the blues and reds. There is a lot of white in the bush at the moment and the yellows are beginning their season.
Beautiful contrast between the dead twigs and the green background and then the most delicate flowering creeper. The red flowers are about 5mm (1/5th") in diameter.

I promise not to send this one to the Aunts, they will think their vision is getting worse - but I loved the haziness created by the blossom blowing gently in the breeze.
If you enlarge this shot you can see the plant is in flower. Below each flower shaped leaf arrangement their are fragile white stems with red petals.

A serendipitous shot: Archer barked and I glanced back to see the orange sunset reflected on the walls of the old quarry we had just walked through.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Meet Rachel - A Woman

This is Rachel. This piece has been sitting on my desk for months. My inner self was at war, try for the simple, understated minimalist look, or add, add, add - my usual style. In the end I let my muse have it's way and my head and my heart met in the middle. The skirt with its variety of circles within circles mirrors life and talks of all that is hidden under clothing. The simple torso (an old pair of pliers forms the heart shaped body) and brings the eye to the spark plug - which has the word champion showing through the rust. People are wonderful; women are heroes; so few realise it.
Some of the washers were built up with wonderful layers of rust, others were worn to paper thin layers and then there were the new. Thank you to Michael deMeng for teaching me to make paint layers look like rust (in the wonderful class I took in March). I left one segment open at the back of Rachel's skirt just so I could slide a small candle in should I wish.
The name you ask? She needed a name, and as I glued and painted and layered I thought of the women of Avonlea, of Anne of Green Gables, and the way the shoulders sit had me thinking about the character Rachel ...
It is a blissful to be in the middle of a sunny winter's weekend, enjoy yours -wherever you are.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Swap - to die, or at least suffer, for ...

well a girl only has one life. My fellow rust lover, and artist extraordinaire, Leighanna and I recently swapped art AND rust. I came home last night to this fabulous canvas - Leighanna let me choose and I chose this because if seemed to combine her quirky and natural art themes. There are so many layers on this and the texture is wonderful. Love it!
As to the rust, look at these goodies - spiky cogs, an old 'J' key and a nail. But not just any nail - this one has the number '27' on top (one of my lucky numbers) and I know how much Leighanna loved these when she found a small set recently.
What a joy the art world is, I so appreciate the generosity of Leighanna and all the other beautiful people I swap with.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

New friends and visitors.

Archer spent Monday at Pipey's house and came home exhausted, and wanting a cuddle. He clambered up onto my lap as I sat cross legged on the bed typing away, and fell, almost instantly, asleep. Some time later Charles wandered in wanting 'his' lap. After tapping Archer on the head with his paw - and receiving no response, he tried scratching Archer's head. Archer's sigh and attempt to snuffle further into my lap let him know there was no chance Archer would move. It only took Charles a few moments to decide he could cuddle on top of Archer! I had been downloading photo's and the camera was nearby, for which I was grateful as the blossoming of this relationship needed to be recorded.
Speaking of relationships, this 'bobby' ( a blue tongued bob-tail goanna ) has been living in my garden since he was about 3" long - he is now about 12" long. Poor fellow I always forget about him and Sunday's scene is a common one. Step into the garden bed ... pruning shears in hand ... feel eyes on me ... look down and ...
one grumpy, scared little chap. I must confess I teased him with a twig to get him to open his mouth for you. Bobby steals my strawberries occasionally, and the year I grew tomatoes he had his share, otherwise he is no bother.
Can you see how windy it was? These two popped in for a rest and struggled to stay perched on the shed roof. They did make me smile.