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Never Mind the Rest (Collage)

A post-Easter bunny for you today, with a quote from Beatrix Potter.  This collage came together so quickly, with a minimum of fuss.  I panicked a bit, towards the end, thinking I was going to get all the words on.  But I managed to just fit them all in (I really need to get better at mapping these things out before I start them…).  I love the vintage bunny, and it was a change to work with the pink tones too.

Have a good day – thanks for stopping by 🙂

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Life Balance (Collage)

Hello everyone 🙂

This collage was inspired by some of the changes and decisions I am having to make this year.  Trying to work out what works best for me, how to manage that pesky work/life balance, and making decisions about the future.  All things I would rather procrastinate about with my usual head-in-the-sand attitude.

I’m not good at making decisions.  I have trouble deciding what colour underwear to put on, let alone making decisions about employment or whether or not to buy a house.  While I have been a brave girl (sort of) and managed to buy my first home, I still struggle with the career side of things.  What am I supposed to be doing?  Am I doing what makes me happy?  Is it more important to be fulfilled and content in your work, or should paying your bills come first?  So tricky.

All I know is that I am calm and settled when I am crafting.  That is one part of the life equation I don’t want to give up.  No one else has to judge it or even see it.  It’s doesn’t have deadlines, most of the time, and no one will get fired if it isn’t done right.  It gives me a sense of achievement, and if I don’t like what I’ve made, I can just paint over it and no one else needs to know.

How do you balance your creative side and your needing-to-work side?  Or are you lucky enough to combine the two and make a living from your art?  I’d love to hear how you make things work for you.

Thank you for dropping by x

 

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Find Your Tribe

Hello everyone.  Another collage today (this is an 8 x 8″ canvas), with no hat-wearing birds in sight!  Instead we have some playful ruminant-people hybrids doing their thing.  I’m not sure what the fellow in the middle is doing – he seems to have stopped, mid-dance, to inspect an m&m he’s picked up (I’m hoping it’s not a goat dropping…).  Maybe it’s an olive or a nut or something.  I didn’t give it a lot of thought, clearly.  The little antelope girl is carrying a stick but appears to have lost whatever is supposed to be attached to it.  I hope she wasn’t planning on running away with all her worldly possessions bundled together in a hanky or something.  Because, if that’s the case, she has dropped them somewhere.  But she has a stick and that is probably important.  Maybe it’s a magical wand or a conductor’s baton.

The fiddler on the left seems to know what he’s doing, so at least someone is on the ball.  At the end of the day, they’re all a bit weird, and that’s ok.  They belong because they don’t belong.  It’s important to find your tribe, don’t you think?  🙂

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Christmas Cards : Button Edition

I don’t know about all of you, but I have lots of buttons.  LOTS. OF. BUTTONS.  Jars and jars of them.  Despite this, I can never find the one I need for a particular project.  I think every crafter knows this dilemma.  You need a pink one, but it needs to be a rosy pink, not a baby pink.  You need a green one, but all you have is yellow-green when you really need a forest green.  Or you need big buttons when you only have teeny ones.  Or visa versa.  It’s a conundrum and wastes lots of time.

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So why would I decide to make lots of cards featuring this nemesis of quick crafts?  Because I am a crazy person and I enjoy having a floor that is covered in buttons (which mine now is).  Because my hands can be dicky (thanks again, Meningitis), I often drop things, so for every button I successfully pick up and glue down, there’s at least three that have escaped and are rolling about under tables and in between couch cushions.

I have been scouring Pinterest and other internet sites featuring all things craft-tastic, and have been very inspired by the clever designs people have come up with, using buttons as the main element.  And then I basically copied them.  Because I am, as I said before, very short on time and energy right now.  I’m also not selling these cards so I don’t feel so bad about purloining a few ideas.

Buttons are an easy way to add interest, colour and dimension to cards and can be just the right finishing touch.  Most of these ones below were made simply by drawing on lines with a pen, gluing on a button and then doodling some little details like bows and the tops of the baubles.  A stamped sentiment completes the look.  If I was feeling extra energetic I punched out some circles of pretty Christmas paper to stick down before the buttons to make them more colourful and chunky.

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So now, after mammoth card-making sessions, I now have to get stuck into mammoth card-writing sessions.  There’s only so many ways you can say “Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year…” but I try to mix it up a bit.  By 11pm last night I was getting my words all doolally and not making a lot of sense.  Plus I had a blister on my finger and a cramp in my hand.  AND my pen ran out!  Gah!  But, I am lucky I have so many people in my life to give cards to – so I am not complaining at all.  I know a lot of people don’t give cards any more, but I still like to.  It’s a way of telling people they are cared about and wished good luck and health and happiness.  I know quite a few people who are on their own, not just at Christmas but all the time, so a little card is the least I can do to show them they are not alone, and are being thought of fondly.

Hope you are having a crafty, creative day today and are surrounded
by people that make you smile x

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Christmas 2017
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Easy Christmas Trees

I am still madly making Christmas cards and am trying to have lots of different ones so there’s a decent selection for me to choose from.  I don’t like everyone to have the exact same card and I get fed up with making the same ones over and over.  But I am running out of time and “oomph” and so I am getting simpler and simpler in my designs.

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These cards were inspired by some I saw on the internet, where the artist had used buttons on a stamped image of a tree.  It looked very effective, but I don’t have a tree stamp and I knew I would drive myself nutty trying to find the right buttons and then having to glue the little buggers on to multiple cards.

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So, I decided to draw the simple tree shapes and use Liquid Pearls instead of buttons.  It worked a treat.  Even when my drawing went a little bit bodgy and my trees were weirdly deformed or botanically incorrect, it still looked pretty good with the liquid pearls dotted over it (to represent snow or leaves or, um, I don’t know, dots).

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Very easy to do and something I could whip up sitting in front of the telly, which is the only space I currently have left (the rest of the house being covered in craft materials, Xmas gifts and wrapping paper).

Thanks for dropping in 🙂

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Oh Deer!

Aghhh!  It’s December already!  Which means it’s time to panic about getting Christmas cards made in time!  Every year I do this to myself.  I swear I am going to start making some in June so I have lots ready by the end of the year, but do I ever do that?  No, I do not.  I guess I am just not in the mood in the middle of the year and want to do other things.  And Christmas seems a long way off then too.

But, here we are in December and so the card making frenzy must begin.  I’m not feeling particularly inspired at the moment, and I don’t have a lot of free time, so I wanted to create something that would look cute and effective, but also be fairly quick and simple.  I like reindeers – they make me smile and their overall shape and design is fairly easy to replicate.  You can’t mistake what they’re supposed to be once you have those antlers on!

So, I present to you Christmas card design (for 2017) number one!  These came together really quite quickly, although they are a bit fiddly (gluing on those antlers – aggh! There’s no surface area to put glue without it squishing out the sides so I had to use teeny tiny dabs) and I nearly went insane looking for the right buttons to use for their snozzes.  Turns out I don’t have many red buttons in my collection…

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Using the mottled/patterned papers gave the reindeers an almost printed quality, which I kind liked.   It made them more “organic” than if I had just used a plain coloured paper or card.  I just cut the head and ears out from the paper, free hand.  The antlers are actually made with a branch-design paper punch (which is rapidly becoming blunt now – this makes me very sad).  I drew in the little eyes and stamped one of two sentiments underneath.  I actually bought a stamp set on the weekend that had “Oh Deer” on it (as part of a Christmas theme) and I thought that was cute, but I didn’t like the font and size.  So I used another set of stamps (a really nice alphabet set I also bought that day) to make up the words myself.  I like how it turned out 🙂

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So, ten cards down and about fifty to go…  I will be making up another design now – I soon get bored of doing the same one over and over.  I should probably try and do something more Australian –  a Christmas koala perhaps?  A platypus pudding?  Hmm, I will have to work on that I think!

Thanks for dropping by – hope your festive season is shaping up to be a happy one 🙂

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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!) 🙂