Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mid-week Art

I found this picture of a tri-colour Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in an old Readers Digest Condensed Book. In the picture a lovely old lady is holding her CKCS on her lap. Somehow framing it gives the look that 'he' is about to be strangled. Ummm I do understand that feeling, at least once a day - between cuddles.
My Mum commissioned this Cat Food Tin Lid People Posy for a friend; she was pleased with the way this one worked out. I am all done with Christmas commissions now and have one or two special projects I want to complete - then it will be free play for a couple of months, YeeHa!
I have received a lot of amazing art and treats in the mail this week and will make my next post a celebration of arty friends.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Intention, Obsession and Reality

I have been buying typewriter keys for years; how I wish I was in the UK or the USA and could buy whole typewriters cheaply; but I digress. This was the year, and this was the weekend. I was finally going to whip up a batch of earrings, the odd bracelet and ... well who knows. But of course I decided I needed to pull the letters for the first pair apart; they needed cleaning. Then I figured I might as well do the whole set.
It became and obsession, I now have three sets of keys in piles like this on my desk. I am ignoring the others, they are hidden in a drawer again. Perhaps I should sell them, then their dirty glass would not haunt me, but they are so beautiful. Who used them? What messages did they send?
So now I have three sets all clean and ready to put together, a free (except for the vacuum) Sunday afternoon and an overcast creative day. But, now I have decided I might as well drill them all as I put them together - at least 150 tiny holes, the ones in glass with a fine diamond drill bit...
That jewellery might end up gifts for 2008 and you might find chocolates inside this years wrapping paper. I kid you not. I have already given up on Christmas cards and decided to send Happy New Year cards - again - it happened in 2005.
Why couldn't I have just made a set of earrings? I guess the answer is simple, that is not who I am...

Friday, November 23, 2007

A visitor and more

There have been a lot of spiders this year, and I really don't mind them - outside. This one was too close for comfort as I groggily reached for the tea canister this morning. I know he is harmless, I know he eats the flies ... but that does not mean I want to live with him.
So, after the obligatory squeal as my fingers brushed his back I stood up looked around and realised I was alone. Archer could not reach the bench, the boys would not. Bravely I gathered Mr Hairy into a glass, tiptoed outside and released him, over next doors fence.
Note to self: Next time check a) The neighbours are not having coffee on their veranda and b) That I have clothes covering all 'bits'.

These teeny tiny junk pins are 1" wide and were such fun to make. If you know where I can source more of these little kilt pins please let me know.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A little more play.

If you would like to see more of the detail in these ATC's then click on the image; they should enlarge. Thank you so much for the encouragement and comments after I posted the first five in this series. I framed up the images for these last weekend and tinkered with them for the rest of the week. I have used some more images of my father and his brothers - all spares from a memory board I did for Dad's 60th a few years ago. I used some pictures from my collection of strangers too.
Thank you also to those of you who have bought some treasures from my Etsy clean out. I am going to put some bigger items on e-bay soon. For now there are some buttons on Etsy.
I have a button addiction. I admit it. I sorted my buttons into colours a few weeks ago. After I had filled one compartmentalised container 20" x 12" and had half filled the second I realised I had more buttons than I could ever use. I have made up a dozen bags of 50+ and will put them on Etsy today.
Look at this fabulous collection of art and ephemera, it was a gift/trade with Sherry. What an amazing lot of thought has gone into this gift, two beautiful pieces of art, some vintage Sunday School lesson cards, ration vouchers from Sherry's family during the war, old photo's and more. Archer got his own little bag of goodies... I truly treasure each and every piece. Thanks Sherry (my e-mails to you are bouncing...).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Play Time

On Saturday as I was cleaning and sorting in the art room I kept coming across little bits and pieces that were in the wrong containers, did I put them in the right containers? No. I started to play. I thoroughly enjoyed losing myself in the little pieces.

I have a few pieces of jewellery on my Etsy, with the excess of embellishments I have begun to list. But, I think the focus on paper has come from jewellery commissions I have to complete this week. Does that make sense? I read Misty’s latest post and thought, oh yes, that is me – best under pressure and last minute … now if only I could create art which ‘talks’ like hers.

By the way, I don’t normally use family pictures in my work, but the three little boys in the top ATC’s are my Dad and two of his brothers! Weren’t they cute?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Trading Treasure

I lugged this lot out to the verge this morning, and tried not to be irritated by neighbours scavenging before I had my pile just so. After all, I am planning on driving around a few streets just to see if there are any pet baskets or suitcases lying around. Naturally I lifted too much and did something to my neck, so decided to head inside to put away all the art goodies I bought last weekend.
I was just about to dash back out for more storage containers when I realised I had more charms, stampings and bits than I will uses in several life times. I am a dreadful shopper - always buying in bulk - after all it is cheaper - umm, not if I just keep the goodies. I have started listing some items - mostly in mixed bags - on my Etsy. Hopefully some of you will make my excesses your treasure.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Art, Bargains, Gifts and an Update

Archer is sleeping happily on my lap, and seems to be well on the way to recovery so I thought I would share some goodies. The photo above demonstrates my families relatively new understanding of what makes me tick. The escutcheon, beautifully tarnished and genuinely old was a gift from my brother on Sunday. The rusty bottle cap from my English Aunty, here to stay for a few weeks, she spotted it when our walking. All the other goodies in a little bag from my dear Dad. Just precious, and I must remember to ask him what the fantastic round holey thing on the left is.
I had to make another Vintage Posy, just for the pleasure of assembling the pieces. This is the result viewed both in bright mid-day sunshine and inside.
When I met with Dawn last week she gave me a blank round canvas, I was itching to try working on a round base and took a little time to play. Kylie do you recognise the flowers?(another gift from a talented friend)
The delicious goodies below are purchases (and gifts) from Judy, at Red Velvet Elements. I am just itching to get going on the projects I have in mind for these and yet I am determined not to whinge about lack of art time, or at least to whinge less. A recent letter from a child I sponsor in Rwanda reminded me that she spends all day surviving and that play time is not just a treat for her - it is unknown.
While searching for some more oxidising patina on the weekend I spent a blissful half hour in a local non-franchise, owner run hardware store. My squeals of delight amused both the father and grandfather (of two of my students). The escutcheons are brass and the dear man wanted to polish them for me - I suggested that touching them with a polishing cloth may lead to violence and he backed off - shaking his head in bemusement. I bought wonderful little nails - that were weighed out on antique scales too!
I do love to shop locally, but an art addiction of mine is the copper mesh below. Super fine, it can be folded, cut, torn, heated, aged etc, etc. The only place I can find it in Western Australia sells the mesh in 12" x 6" pieces for $15. This roll (OK, I confess I bought two) is 12" by 36" and cost US$11 in Michael deMeng's store. Even with the exchange rate and postage I am getting a complete bargain - six times as much for almost exactly the same money. Which of course justifies the other goodies I bought, including these gorgeous nails with raised numbers on their ends - I don't know if I will be able to actually use them, I just like looking at them in the cute little glass jar.

The pumpkin hour as arrived and so off to bed I go. Can you guess what I will dream about?

Macadamia Toxicity in Dogs

I heard that Macadamias were bad for dogs, just as I had heard that onions and chocolate were bad for dogs. Our farm dogs ate a lot of Mum’s stew (full of onions) and were healthy old darlings. Most of us have snuck a piece of chocolate to our dog and it has been fine too. As few as 6 macadamias can send a dog into toxic shock.

On Saturday my fridge moved on to that great hole above which the seagulls circle, after 19 long years of service. It was a sudden end. My brother lent me his old fridge so I would have time to choose a new one – what a star! I dashed out to replace my vegies without securing the house from the canine Hoover. He found a bag of macadamias on a side table – and I guess the smell called him; he ate a lot, about a cup and a half!

By early evening Archer was choosing bed not my company. By late evening he was staggering his back legs unable to hold his weight, had a temperature of 39 deg C (yep I have a doggy thermometer for that place) and his little body was wracked with tremors. I Googled the Macadamia nuts and was shocked to read that this was a normal reaction. A late night trip to my vet was frustrating – the vet on call-out had not heard of the problem and could not get any information from sources she considered reliable.

A chat to my regular vet this morning has confirmed my reading from last night. I must keep Archer’s temperature down (to prevent organ failure), or he has to go in and be on a drip. The rear end paralysis/weakness, tremors and major signs will resolve themselves with 48 hours. The associated depression could last a little longer! Lucky for Arch’ the garbage guts had actually swallowed most of the nuts whole – don’t ask me how I know that, but as he can’t hold his own back end up to ….

As we come up to Christmas with bowls of nuts sitting around at parties this becomes a real risk. My past posts have led me to a sisterhood of doggy Mums who despair at their eating habits. Please take care and let anyone with a dog know about this one.