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Adventure Eagle Card

Hello everyone and welcome to my very sporadic and hardly-ever-updated-these-days blog. I have no excuses – just busy with life and whatnot. Lots of whatnot. Unwanted whatnot, to be honest, but I guess that is just what being an adult is all about. Sigh… So, apologies for the irregular posting. I will try to get back on track, but I am not making any promises!

I thought I would get back into things by posting this card I made recently for my boss. She had a birthday this week and was also heading overseas for a holiday in Europe (lucky thing!) so it was an birthday / bon voyage kind of card that was required. I had had a couple of weeks to make it but had completely forgotten about it, so I found myself getting it done at midnight the night before her birthday morning tea at work. Not very smart. But, I was very pleased with how it turned out, so maybe I should do all my crafting in bad light when I am half sleep 🙂

I had a book on “Birds from the Bible” that I had picked up at a second hand book sale, so I cut out a nice vintage eagle image from it and added some butterfly wings over the top of the original wings, just to give it a bit of added interest and colour. The crown I had bought only a few days prior – I hadn’t really known what I was going to use it for but it was perfect for this project and I think it looks pretty awesome .

Then I just needed to stamp “Adventure” on to the backing paper and, voila, all done! I was quite chuffed with it because it really didn’t take me long, in comparison to the usual RIDICULOUS amount of time it takes me to finish one card. I got everyone in our team to sign it and then it was ready for our boss. She really liked it 🙂

So, that is my first post after how many months? Like, seven or something? So bad! But one is better than none, right? Hopefully, I will lift my game from now on and post more regularly. Hope you are all well and happy in your little corner of the world. x

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Quietest and Most Constant (Collage)

Another day, another collage!  I actually made this one a few weeks ago but forgot to post it.  I really like the sentiment – books are constant friends and, for me, a house without books is just not a home.  Of course, being a librarian, I am surrounded by books all the time, so it is hard to imagine a life without them.  My house would probably be a lot less crowded though…but that’s another story!

The bird-lady in my collage has a lovely dress (from a Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone book of prayers) and her head is from a vintage book of bird illustrations.  She’s a Eurasian Hoopoe.  And she’s pretty fabulous with her freaky-deaky feathers.  You can read more about Hoopoes HERE.  They’re quite delightful.

The quote is from Charles William Eliot

Thanks for dropping by 🙂

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Black Swan

There is absolutely no point to this post, other than to say I love black swans.  Most days I go walking at a big lake on the way home from work, and I love watching these guys as they paddle about on the water.  They are majestic and comical all at the same time.  At this time of year, when they are not consumed by the breeding urge, they are friendly and inquisitive, quite happy to waddle up to you and graze nearby or check out what you may have for them.  Sadly, I don’t bring them food because I know it’s not good to do so (especially bread) and so I am a bit of a disappointment.  Still, they seem to know me now and will hang out for a while if I sit on one of the benches or on the bank.

I love their little honks and whistles, their head-bobs-in-greeting and their lovely big feet.  I love their upside-down feeding when their in bums are the air and their heads are underwater, feet paddling like crazy.  I love their ballet stretches and their sleepy eyelids when they are dozing off.  The way the water beads on their blue-black plumage, and those bright red beaks.  Just beautiful.

I read this today, on the Australian National Geographic website :

“…Our bird plays a starring role in all this owing to a belief in Europe, dating back 2000 years to Roman poet Juvenal, that swans are invariably white. Like purple cows and flying pigs, the black swan was a symbol of what was impossible. In medieval Europe, unicorns had more credibility. Dutch navigator Willem de Vlamingh, by finding black swans in Western Australia in 1697, showed how risky it is to declare something impossible…”

I’m glad they ARE possible, and that I get to share their space with them.  Come breeding season they are less inclined to be so welcoming but, even then, they are accommodating and patient, allowing a certain amount of intrusion into their little family groups.  Cygnets are the most adorable things on the planet.  Grey balls of fluff – it’s hard to imagine they will grow up to be something so tall and glorious.  Don’t get too close though – you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a Mummy Swan’s wrath 🙂

Thanks for visiting.

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Black Swan – Look at those feet! 🙂

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Brave Day (Collage)

Hello everyone.  Another work week begins and I would much rather be at home in the warm, in my craft room, making a mess and creating some new “art”.  I say “art” (in quotation marks) because I’m not yet ready to call what I do Art.  Which is weird, because I follow lots of other artists who make collages and mixed-media pieces and I call their work Art.  But then, I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t a bit insecure about everything I do.  And that’s why you love me, right?  Right? *looks insecure and nervous*

This weekend I played hermit and stayed at home and crafted.  It was lovely.
I made quite a few pieces, one after the other, which was so satisfying – normally I faff about for ages on one thing, not even finishing it, and getting very frustrated at my lack of creative oomph (ie talent).  But this weekend I was on a bit of a roll.  If something wasn’t working, I moved on to the next idea, and tried not to get bogged down in any piece that refused to cooperate. Sometimes you just need to put things aside and start fresh on something else so your brain has time to fire up again.  This also stops you from swearing too much or throwing things in the bin (or at the wall, or down the stairs) in anger and disgust.

So, this piece came together relatively easily and with minimal crankiness on my part.  I have used this little bird often, on other projects, and he is a bit of a muse for me.  He just always works.  Maybe it’s because he’s blue (my favourite colour), or because he looks so darn sensible and down-to-earth.  He has a calming influence on me, bless him.  I do curse a bit whilst cutting out those tiny little toes and claws, but he is otherwise an easy guy to work with and never fails me.

He needed a crown or, rather, deserved a crown, so I added a fetching royal number (which I might add some bling to later…) and I think the red adds a nice contrast and detail.  It took me forever to decide on a word or quote – I have so many books that I cut up for text, but it is hard to find exactly the right phrase or word in the right sized font. I have HEAPS already pre-cut, but do I ever find one that is just right?  No, I do not.  However, I felt that “‘Tis a Brave Day” suited this little fellow, and hoped it would encourage me to be a bit more courageous myself.  Maybe.  Basically, I just needed some words and these ones fit 🙂

Anyway, I was pleased with him.  It was a good start to a crafty weekend because it encouraged me to do more and keep up the momentum.  I am enjoying working on canvases instead of cards for change and finding the simple, one-dimensional form (rather than many layers and embellishments as on a card) to be a lot less labour-intensive and time-consuming.  There is great joy in not having to trawl through boxes of ribbon, lace and buttons in order to finish something.

So, ’tis a brave day indeed.  Less is more.  More or less 🙂

Thank you for dropping by x

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Lake Lovely

When I am feeling energetic (and, quite often, when I am not) I go walking after work.  I wish I could say I am diligent and do this every day, but I would be a liar.  I usually manage about three times a week, which is a bit pathetic, but it’s better than nothing.  This is what I tell myself anyway.

Some afternoons I go walking along the beach, which is lovely and scenic and blows the cobwebs of the workday away;  most days, however, I walk around the local lake, which is on my way home and provides me with a nice, easy, 3.5km route.

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Because I am generally quite lazy, it is good to have a circular route to walk – it means I just keep going until I get back to where I started.  I don’t have to think about it.  I don’t get tempted to turn around and head back either.  The lake also has multiple paths; some of them meander through the bush so you can jog a bit and no one can see you ha ha.  I don’t run in public unless I can be sure I don’t have witnesses.  No one needs to see that.

The lake is populated by LOTS of birdlife.  Swans, ducks, moorhen, and herons, as well as my favourite, the pelicans, and some long-necked tortoises, which I am yet to spot.

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As it is breeding season for many of the birds, there are cute, fluffy bundles of downy joy dotted around the lake, following their parents around and getting up to mischief.  There are plenty of reeds and other plant life to provide happy nesting spots and hideaways for the vulnerable babies.

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I am dying to see some cygnets.  I love the black swans – they are so majestic and beautiful.  There are a couple at the lake that have allowed me to get quite close – sometimes they waddle up to me of their own accord.  During breeding season, they can become a little bit aggressive and protective of their offspring, which is totally understandable.  It’s best to keep your distance at those times and give them their space.  Even if you do want to run headlong into those gorgeous, grey, fluffy cygnets and squeeze them in an adoring cuddle.  It’s not really recommended.

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There are also lots of cormorants.  I adore them.  Those funny webbed feet!  The fluffy, shaggy feathers on their plump bellies and chest!  The almost bat-like wings!  The way they dry themselves in the sun, holding up their wings like laundry!  The way they hiss at me when I get too close and annoy them with my photo-taking! 🙂

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The lone egret is a tricky individual to photograph.  He doesn’t like being bothered and you can’t get too close before he flies off.  It could also be because I have mistakenly been calling him a heron, and he’s not.  I have offended him and now he doesn’t want a bar of me, or my camera.  So all my shots of him are blurry (because I am far away and have zoomed my camera in).  It’s very inconsiderate of him, to be honest.

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Towards sunset, the lake takes on a magical quality.  I tend to keep stopping to take photos, which is not really making efficient use of my exercise time, but hey, the sky and water is so pretty at night!  It’s hard to take a bad photo, to be honest.

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I am always on the lookout for new places to walk ; it’s nice to have a change of scenery and some different landscapes/wildlife to look at.  The lake, for now, remains one of my favourites.  Easy to get to, easy parking, lots of people around (for safety’s sake) and lots of lovely birdies for me to photograph.  I am lucky to have these spaces to utilise and enjoy, and get that much-needed exercise.  That egret will just have to get used to me because I’m going to keep coming back 🙂