Watercolours & Waterbabies

Watercolours & Waterbabies

Mum and I took a watercolour class yesterday hosted by the University of Western Australia (UWA), off campus at their Taylor’s College site.  We arrived bright and early (being ridiculously early is a habit of mine – I spend a lot of time waiting around outside venues and people’s houses, class rooms and doctor’s offices because I am always there, as I said, ridiculously  early) and had a bit of a wander around the lovely garden and old buildings.

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It was a bright Spring day – not too hot, not too cool and the birds were singing in the trees as butterflies and bees visited the rose garden and sampled the pollen .  It seemed too nice a day to sit inside but, as we had paid the fee (and not a cheap fee at that) we eventually found ourselves a seat in the class room and waited for the class to begin.

Our teacher was Debi Riley  and she guided us through 11 different watercolour techniques including wet-on-wet, charging, dry brushing and gouging.  It was a fast paced class and the time went very quickly, despite it being all day.  I have had horrible back pain all week and was dreading having to sit still for hours on end but, luckily, I was kept too busy to think about my back and we were often up and out of our seats to watch what Debi was doing in her demonstrations.

Debi went through all the materials and equipment needed with her recommendations for different products and supplies.  Mum and I baulked at the squirrel hair brushes – an ethical, synthetic version will be used by us – but it was good to know which paints are better than others and what paper we should use for the best results.

My Mum is not a novice at painting (although she told the class, during the introductions, that she had “dabbled a bit”) but I haven’t done a lot, other than the basic stuff and some folk-art.  I haven’t ever sat and learnt a proper technique before.  So basically my work was rubbish ha ha.  But it improved as the day went on and I think, perhaps, I might get better with a bit more practice. I was very pleased with one piece I did where we had to use a paint knife and “scrape” it on to very wet paper, until I realised that we were supposed to be creating a mountain landscape, not an abstract image.  Whoops.  Don’t know where my head was at when she mentioned mountains…

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Whoops…but I still secretly like it

I did do one mountain scene which looks kind of Japanese-y.  It still leaves a lot to be desired as a work of art though!  So we’ll call it a work in progress!

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Mount Fugi? Hmmm, maybe not…

I quite liked my trees and their greeny-blue mottled tones but I didn’t like the scratched trunks we were supposed to add (with out finger nail) – it looks a bit dumb.  But next time I will know what I am doing so maybe I will get it right then!

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Trees!

I think I was happiest of all with my gum leaves at the end of the day – I think, with some more practice, I could make a half-decent attempt at them.They were enjoyable to do as each one came out differently, adding to their natural look.

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Leafy!

So, all in all, an enjoyable day and nice to spend it with my Mum who is now all enthused about getting back in painting and art in general.  I found the class very informative and gave me some new skills and techniques.  I want to sit and paint now but I have no time and I am still getting
ready for my market stall which is in TWO WEEKS time (aaaghh!).

I am rather behind in announcing the birth of my brand new little niece, Amity Jane.  She was born on the 15th and is just a delight.  I am an Auntie again for the fourth time and am already thinking about putting my babysitting fees up ha ha.  Mother and bub are doing well (my brother’s partner, Anna, is AMAZING and the best Mum ever) and I am so blessed to have another little person in my life.  Her brothers and sister are also besotted.  And why wouldn’t they be – just look at her!:

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So cute!

Well, it’s time to make dinner and sort out my dining room and do some ironing.  At least one of those things will probably not get done.  I vote for ironing!

Hope you have all had a good weekend and got to enjoy some time with your family and friends.  That’s what weekends are for.  Well, that and crafting!

Have a great week everybody – thank you for visiting 🙂

Why isn’t there an Aunt’s Day?

Why isn’t there an Aunt’s Day?

It’s my nephew Deacon’s 6th birthday this week.  I made him a simple little card this morning (using Kaisercraft’s “Technologic” range) which I will give to him later in the week.

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Six!  Already?  How can that be?  It seems like just yesterday I was being introduced to his tiny 3-hour old self and gazing at him in awe (he was a BEAUTIFUL baby).  Now he’s a rough and tumble six-year-old with the attitude to match and a beautiful spirit.  He is into Angry Birds, robots and magic tricks (although trying to keep him still for five minutes to learn one is a lesson in patience and strength of will).  He loves to run and ride his bike and play lego.  He is kind (most of the time) to his younger siblings and is well-mannered and sweet.  He is super smart and constantly astounds us with his artistic abilities, an almost photogenic memory and an understanding of difficult concepts far beyond his years.

I am, of course, completely unbiased.  I love my brother fiercely and, so too, his offspring.  I could not love them more and they can do no wrong in my eyes (we shall see how this pans out when they are teenagers…).  I can be having a terrible day, tired and miserable, and a couple of hours of babysitting them pushes everything back into perspective.  They make me laugh and fill my heart up with love.  Reading a bedtime story (or three, depending on how far they wrap me round their little fingers) is a joy.  An interrupted, takes-longer-than-it-should joy, but a pleasure nevertheless.  As a librarian, it makes me happy that they love books and, even more so, that they like me to read to them.  There is nothing nicer than being a loved Auntie.  My brother and his partner are amazing parents – they have been through a lot (relationship-wise) over the last few years but have always put the children first and done their best to keep them feeling secure and grounded and loved.

I love being an Auntie.  I know some people feel sorry for those of us that can’t have children, but, for me, I think being an Auntie is just as special.  I get to be the one they will come to when they can’t talk to their parents.  I get to spoil them and love them and be silly with them. I can watch them grow up and don’t have to worry about the price of shoes or school uniforms or what subjects they will take at university.  I get to see them at their best and be there for them at their worst, if they need me.  I get to hand them back to their parents when they are being rambunctious and get to change just enough nappies for it to be a novelty and not seem like a never-ending task.  I get cuddles and laughter and games and bedtime stories, without all the homework and tantrums and illnesses (although I have dealt with all three in small doses).  I get to be an anchor in troubled waters and a warm hug when things aren’t going right. And, above all, I get to have a little person (or two, or three) love me and want to be around me just because I am me.  That is worth more than all the money in the world.

So, to all the Awesome Aunts (and Uncles) out there, I say give yourselves a pat on the back and know that you are special and important.  Give those little nieces and nephews of yours a hug for me and be super grateful that you get to be in their lives.