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Dream Queen

I managed to do a few paintings / collages on the weekend, after my crafting ban of the prior two weeks.  It was actually good to have a break from it, to clear up a bit (a bit…) and also refresh my brain and start on something different.  I am trying desperately to get better at painting – my Mum and brother are brilliant but I, sadly, am not – and find a style that sits comfortably with me and my abilities (or lack thereof).  I’m also trying to just DO, rather than over-thinking things.

So, I started this painting, which turned out to be a mixed-media piece in the end with the addition of some collaged “extras” and, although she’s not perfect, I’m fairly pleased with her.  I’m trying so hard to not judge my work too harshly, because it hinders the process and makes me have unnecessary tantrums.

This lady got a nice lace collar….

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…and a bit of a rotund face.  A bit too round for my liking….

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…so I trimmed it down a bit, so she’s got a more angular look…and she got a crown too, and some wings (naturally)…

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…I added a stamped border and stamped “dream” letters, anddid a bit of outlining to highlight some details.

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…and she’s done 🙂

I’m still not very good at faces (and I kinda wish I hadn’t made her face less round now), but I am hoping the more I do, the better I will hopefully get!  My other plan was to give up entirely and just paint/draw all my people facing away from me, thus negating the need for faces at all!  Hooray!  But that’s cheating, right?

Thank you for dropping by and having a look at my funny, imperfect art 🙂

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Love the Moment

Hello everyone 🙂  I have been on leave for a couple of weeks and placed myself under a strict no crafting ban.  I knew if I got stuck into making things (and, therefore, making a mess) I would never get tidy and organised.  So I had two weeks of sorting and culling and making my home fit for human habitation.  My craft room was going to be last on the list as it is an area I close off anyway and doesn’t get seen unless I want it to!  Needless to say, it is still in a mess.  I just didn’t time to complete the tidy up in its entirety.  But the rest of the house looks good now.  I even had some visitors during my leave and I wasn’t embarrassed to have them in my space.

On my final two days, I let myself do some crafting.  I figured it was my reward for doing adult stuff like dusting and ironing (ugh!).  I started with this canvas – a freehand painting with acrylic paints.  I drew a design straight on to the canvas, which is something I don’t normally do and did not incorporate any paper or mixed media elements.  I decided to just go with the flow and not think about any of it too much.  The worst thing to do is start comparing your work to someone else, so I tried really hard to just enjoy the process, regardless of whether the finished piece was good or not.

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I was pleased with the final outcome.  I don’t mind that she’s got a big head and ridiculously long neck, or that her hair resembles a teddy bear hat.  I am just glad to have had a go and not fussed over it all too much.  I’m not normally brave enough to put a design straight on to the canvas, so this was new for me.  Normally I draw it out first and often draw and paint the person on a piece of paper, before cutting them out and gluing them to the canvas, after I’ve worked out the background.

I had some issues with the wording – it took me forever to decide on the words and I just couldn’t make anything work.  I had this “Loving the Moment” stamp that I had picked up in an op-shop, and it seemed to fit the space perfectly.  The design itself didn’t stamp out very well, due to the non-flat nature of the canvas, so I had to fill it in afterwards, but it looks ok.  I’m not sure exactly what “moment” she is loving (best not to ask a lady these things!) but I’m going to say it’s representational of me just enjoying some peaceful, creative crafting time, all to myself.

So, I am pleased with this one.  It isn’t perfect, but that’s ok.  I’m going to keep practicing and trying to find my own style.  It’s the only way to get better.  And, in the meantime, I am enjoying the process and the moment 🙂

Thanks for stopping by x

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Spring Sings

Spring is one of my favourite times of the year.  All those beautiful flowers blooming, baby everythings everywhere you look (finally got some GORGEOUS broods of cygnets at the local lake – I just want to squeeze them!), blue skies and glorious sunshine (well, some of the time anyway…so far we’ve had a pretty cold and wet Spring).  I love how the evenings change – there’s that particular feeling in the air.  The feeling of change and of warmth coming.  The days are longer and the mornings brighter.

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My garden, such as it is, also changes with the coming of Spring.  The majority of my plants are in pots – I just haven’t had the money or energy to create a proper garden yet.  I mostly have weeds.  Lots of weeds.  I’m a bit ashamed of them, to be honest.  My neighbour’s gardens are all pristine, well-manicured and tidy.  Mine is the feral one.  I try not to look at it.  My back has been playing up such a lot lately that I daren’t do any weeding or any activity that requires much bending in the garden.  So, weeds it is.

This weekend I was surprised to find this glorious bloom in my courtyard.  An Apostle’s Iris.  So pretty!  I got this plant about 18 months ago at a Quiz Night and had no idea what it was.  I figured it was probably an iris of some kinds, but I wasn’t sure.  I have neglected it totally and haven’t even repotted it into a decent sized pot.  Then, yesterday morning, this beautiful flower appeared.  The plant also has a baby that has taken root in another pot, so I’ll have two plants soon.  Yay!

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My pelargoniums are always cooperative and do very well, even with my slack gardening efforts.  I have had this one for a few years and the flowers are just gorgeous.  So bright and cheerful, and long-lasting.  I’ve taken lots of cuttings over the years and so the original plant is now growing in lots of different pots and other people’s gardens!

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I often go for a little walk during my lunch break and the bushland nearby has lots of pretty natives (and a few non-native interlopers) blooming.  I love the bright and cheery wattle – I don’t suffer from hay fever like so many other people – and the colour is always so lovely against the greens and browns of the bush.

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I believe this lovely purple climber is called “Happy Wanderer”.  It’s from the pea family, so it creates its own food by bringing nitrogen to the soil.  It’s so pretty.

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This bright pink beauty is a type of wild geranium.  It grows pretty prolifically and is common around coastal areas as it is very hardy and doesn’t mind a bit of salt air.

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And then we have good old freesias.  I LOVE the smell of them.  I pick lots and lots in Spring time and have them in the library.  Their scent is so gorgeous and fresh.  They are not a native, and in some states are considered a pest.  So I can pick as many as I like 🙂  I even had them in my wedding bouquet, a million years ago.  They make me happy.

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The best thing about Spring, besides the flowers and baby critters, is the promise of Summer.  THAT is my favourite season.  The heat, the sunshine, the balmy nights (that everyone else complains about but I love because it’s warm, warm, warm) and the blue skies.  But, Spring is a pretty close second.  It’s Mother Nature’s party time, her extended prom night, her chance to show off a bit.

Do you have a favourite season?  Does spring bring you joy or does it spell runny-nosed-sneezy-wheezy hay fever hell for you?

Either way, hope you’ve got some spring in your step today (or some Autumn Attitude for our Northern Hemisphere pals!) 🙂

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Nourish (Because Sometimes Doorknobs Just Fall Off)

It’s late at night.  You’re hungry.  You know you shouldn’t raid the pantry but to hell with diets and the whole “don’t eat after 8pm at night” nonsense (what am I, a gremlin?).  Time to check out what snacks are available to us.  

Enter kitchen.  Attempt to open pantry door.  Door knob falls off in hand – DISASTER! 

What can you do?  a.) Forget about the whole thing and go to bed, sad and unsatisfied?  b.) Try the fridge instead?  c.) Rummage through your handbag to see if there’s a long-forgotten mint or something?  d.) Wrench the pantry door open with a knife and vow to put a new door knob on tomorrow?  If you answered “all of the above except A”, you’d be correct.  Let’s face it, A was never an option. 

My house has many features that are, through age or just crappy design, falling off/breaking down/not performing so well.  Doorknobs are one example.  I’ve replaced several now in different rooms but, for the kitchen, decided to go with something a bit more jazzy.  I probably shouldn’t draw attention to my pantry (it’s not like I’m not VERY FAMILIAR with it already!) but I wanted to do this little project and not have to open the door with a knife 🙂

These little wooden doorknobs are currently available at Kmart, in Australia, for $1.00 each.  One dollar!  I do not want to know where the materials were sourced from at such a price – it would probably hurt my brain.  They had different shaped ones too, but I bought the regular round one.  I collaged on various scraps of patterned papers and washi tape, then (using a stencil I had made) draw on a heart shape.  I then painted the doorknob all over in blue, leaving out the heart-shaped area.  Details were added with permanent black pencil, a white paint pen and a bit of stamped text.  The whole thing was sealed and varnished and voila!  It was done.  (It looks a bit “cloudy” in places because I had literally just finished sealing it so nothing had dried before I took the photo).  I sanded back the edges slightly too, just to give a bit of extra detail.

So, an easy, inexpensive little decorator project that could be applied to lots of furniture and household items.  I’m still thinking I should have stamped “DO NOT ENTER” instead of “NOURISH” on my doorknob, but I will try and have some willpower of my own, instead of expecting inanimate objects to guide me and tell me what to do (or, in this case, what NOT to do) when I get the midnight munchies.

🙂

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Earn Your Stripes (Collage)

Wasn’t too sure about this one.  Possibly because I was working on it at midnight and was half asleep.  It’s only a little collage – another 4 x 4 ” box canvas – but had lots of bits and pieces plus the lettering, which went a bit off course and smudged in places (a bit like me at midnight – wonky and smudgy!).  I was watching Wife Swap for some unknown reason and there was a crazy religious lady who kept screaming “She’s not a Christian – aaaghghghghgghg!!!” in a voice that suggested she was, in fact, in dire need of an exorcist herself.  This may have caused me to craft a bit haphazardly.  Who knows?  I was just determined to get it done and worry it about it in the morning.  This is my new plan – just get it done and stop procrastinating!!!

And, if all else fails, stick a flower or a hat or some wings on it!

Hope you are all well and that life is being kind.

🙂

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Bloom Collage

Hello everyone!  How was your weekend?  Did you get up to something nice, or did it fly by before you had time to even wind down from the week’s efforts, and before you knew it, it was Monday again?  It sometimes seems like it is always Monday, doesn’t it?

I had a mixed-bag weekend.  It started off with a migraine, then there was a funeral (not related to my migraine!) and an MRI (very much related to my migraine), a lovely craft show, some op-shopping, and ended with a relaxing afternoon at home painting and collaging.  My Mum stayed with me (the funeral of a long-time friend had been upsetting and she didn’t really want to be on her own) and we talked about lots of things, drank far too much tea, and tried to stay warm (it was freezing this weekend!).

I managed to complete a couple of little canvases, that I am fairly pleased with.  This first one has been a while in the making, as I painted the lady some time ago but couldn’t figure out how I wanted to use her.  She was a bit darker than some of my other ladies, and none of the backgrounds I tried worked with her.

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Until I found this charcoal-coloured, wallpaper-like paper.  She seemed right at home there so I stuck her down before I changed my mind, gave her a crown, added some paper flowers and a bit of detailing, and finished it off with some bunting.  A tiny bit of text and she was all done.

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So nice to get something completed.  I haven’t been doing much due to my headaches and general feeling of blah.  Must try harder.  The craft show we attended on the weekend gave us lots of inspiration and ideas and we stocked up on supplies and arty goodies, so I have no excuse for not getting stuck in.  Watch this space!

Hope we all manage to bloom just a little bit this week 🙂

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Let Us Have Hope

Hello everyone.  A little quickie post today.  I made this small (10cm x 10cm) block canvas very quickly last weekend, when I was struggling to get my creative mojo to cooperate on some of my other pieces.  I needed a distraction – so a wee little collage was done and dusted in record time.  I can always rely on butterflies to inspire me (translation : save me when I can’t figure out what to do, or need to cover something up when I have made a boo-boo).  Wings make everything better 🙂

This piece was just roughly torn pieces of text and patterned papers, a vintage image and some words cut out of book, outlined with a permanent pencil for a bit of definition.  I added some wonky scalloping on the bottom and top too.

The world needs lots and lots of hope right now.  It seems like it is all we have to hold on to some days, doesn’t it?  And hold on we must.  Otherwise we are lost.  It does get rather hard to summon up even a tiny speck of hope though when you turn on the news or read the papers.  Or watch reality TV.  Ugh.

Nevertheless, I hope for great things.  I wish them for you too 🙂

Thanks for dropping by x

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