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Incredibly Precious (and Frustrating)

Sometimes you work on a creative project that comes together like a dream.  It all just WORKS.  You are filled with inspiration and artistic amazingness.  You are in awe of your own raw talent.  Every brush stroke is a masterpiece, each element a triumph.*

Then other days you just screw everything up and make a million mistakes and can barely draw a stick figure, let alone create an artistic rendering of the human form.

Take this little lady, for instance.  I have never sworn so much in all my life.**

Everything went wrong with this piece.  First of all I did the design on the wrong side.  That hole at the top?  Shouldn’t be there.  It should be on the side, so that when you thread ribbon or string or whatever it will hang from, the picture will be on the side facing out, instead of turned on its side.  Duh.

Then, I stuffed up the face several times and had to keep painting over it.  This meant that the paint underneath got lumpier and lumpier and, me being me, didn’t let it dry sufficiently before trying to repaint it so it ended up lifting off and making the lady look like she had some sort of pox.

Then I smudged her features (eyes etc) and had to repaint AGAIN.  Then I tried doing blushed cheeks but made such a mess of it I had to stick a butterfly on her face to disguise what looked to be very bad acne.  Whilst sticking the butterfly on, I tore it slightly in a couple of places, but had to still stick it down because it was the only little butterfly I had and part of it had already adhered.

THEN, I attempted to glue the text on.  Positioned it perfectly.  Then realised I’d put the words on in the wrong order.  The original wording was “incredibly dear”, and I had glued “dear incredibly”.   So, after having to scrape off what I could of the words, I had to find replacements, which took FOREVER.  Eventually, I got the new phrase stuck on, in the right order and without too much fuss.

So, this little lady was a right madam and I was very glad to finish her.  But I kinda liked her, in the end.  So she was high-maintenance – who isn’t, sometimes?  I’m really annoyed about the hole at the top being in the wrong place but can’t do much about it now!  Each project is a learning process and that includes all the mistakes.  I’m also learning (the hard way) to be more patient and not be in such a rush to get things finished, because that’s when I do silly things that end up costing me lots of time.

Hope you experience success in all your endeavours today – thanks for dropping by 🙂

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* Granted, this doesn’t happen very often.  Not to me, anyway.

** Probably not true.  I am a bit of a potty mouth.

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Just Be You (That’s Enough)

Howdy, folks!  Here’s another little canvas I’ve been working on.  It’s only small – about 6″ x 6″ – but I packed a lot in to it 🙂  The background is a little bit too busy but I tried to use colours I would normally not be drawn to and add a bit more texture.  My faces still leave a lot to be desired, but I figure the more I practice, the better they will become (hopefully).

The butterfly at the top right hand corner is actually brighter than it appears in the photo, so it does stand out a bit more.  It’s more like the colour of the wings on the girl.

The text – sigh – gave me problems, because half way through I realised I didn’t have all the letters I needed (I was using rub-ons).  So I had to make a couple up by cutting into different letters to form new ones.  It worked well enough, I think.  The smaller font is done with little rubber alphabet stamps.

I used a scrap piece of bubble wrap, as a stamp, to make the splotchy white detail in the background, and a piece of vintage dictionary for her crown.  Otherwise, just paint, paint and more paint.  I probably painted over the whole thing about four times.  I’m kinda enjoying that process though – keeping going until it’s right.  There’s less room for error when you’re making cards, so these painted canvases are a nice change.  I’m going to be brave and do some larger ones soon.  I have a tendency to always go small.  My eyes, if nothing else, are starting to complain about that particular trait of mine, even if I have been good and do remember to wear my specs (some of the time).

This canvas is dedicated to the little voice in all of us that says “I’m not good enough.  I need to be like everyone else…”  Don’t listen to that voice – it’s a bully.  You’re ok the way you are and your uniqueness is important.  Don’t try to be like anyone but yourself.  You are more than enough (and anyone who says otherwise is just a big meany head!).

Thank you for dropping by.  Take care of yourselves x

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Quote for the Day : I am the Hurricane

“…I am not a Sunday morning inside four walls
with clean blood
and organized drawers.
I am the hurricane setting fire to the forests
at night when no one else is alive
or awake
however you choose to see it
and I live in my own flames
sometimes burning too bright and too wild
to make things last
or handle
myself or anyone else
and so I run.
run run run
far and wide
until my bones ache and lungs split
and it feels good.
Hear that people? It feels good
because I am the slave and ruler of my own body
and I wish to do with it exactly as I please…”

— Charlotte Eriksson

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Crazy Amazing Friend

Finally, after many months of doing not-much-at-all (craft-wise), I made some cards this weekend.  My craft studio is now a total mess, but that’s ok.  I am not going to beat myself up about it because the whole point of having an area dedicated to art is that it can be as messy as I need it to be and not impact on the rest of the house.  I have been very good and haven’t taken my crafty supplies downstairs into the lounge room (my usual habit – watching TV and making things at the same time).  I’ve left the mess upstairs.  And it’s been great.  I sit up there for hours and time passes happily but very quickly.  I have a big cup of tea and avoid the fridge (my other habit – eating too much).

Anyway, despite a nasty headache and some eye problems, I made a few cards I am pleased with.  Was kinda hard to get back into the swing of things but once I got going, it was happy days 🙂  I’ve missed it.

So, to start, here is one of the cards I completed.  After I took this photo I actually added some string to her little sign – so it doesn’t look like it’s just stuck there on her front.  She’s wearing it around her neck instead).  I  like her – she’s a bit wacky.  The arms/hands made me laugh and just look at her jazzy shoes and stockings!   I made her up of all different bits and pieces – vintage paper dolls, gift wrap and even a chopped-up doily.  Anyway, I was happy with her – so nice when that happens!  I’m easily discouraged, so it’s really a relief when I create something I am satisfied with.

I have been invited to participate in a Christmas Craft Market in December so I am now madly getting stock together. I am seriously low on everything and I don’t want to have a table with nothing on it! I don’t have a lot of time and pesky work gets in the way.  I am trying to utilise my evenings better and not waste the hours just watching TV or faffing about.  Now the weather is a bit warmer, I can sit comfortably somewhere other than right on top of the heater, and get stuff done.

Hope your day is happy and creative x

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Blogging Challenge – Day Nine : What’s in My Bag?

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My bag (or, rather, bags – I have too many of them) generally contains more than it should.  I am a hoarder in all areas of my life, why should the contents of my handbag be any different?  I am terrible at clearing it out regularly and it usually has about six months’ worth of receipts in it.  Also, about eight hundred tissues – used or not, who can tell? – and at least three pens, possibly leaking or not working at all.

So, today’s bag-hoard contains :

  1. A Pair of tongs –  This is because I cannot reach those stupid ticket machine thingies in the car parks (when you have to lean out your window).  Whose arms are that long?  Certainly not mine.  I usually end up putting my neck out.  So, I have tongs.  I will take them out of the bag and just leave them in the car today though.  Promise.
  2. Concert ticket – A couple of weeks ago, in the midst of my house-buying anxiety, I went to a concert with my cousin.  I had been looking forward to it for months but was so not in the mood to go that night.  In fact, an hour before hand, I was having a major meltdown and crying so hard I gave myself a massive nose bleed.  Over-dramatic much?  Anyway, the concert was AWESOME!!!  It was called “Totally 80s” and featured lots of one-hit wonders and some more successful musical acts of the 80s.  Wa Wa Nee, Martika, Berlin, Real Life, Men Without Hats and Paul Lekakis.  It was great.  They were all SO GOOD and sounded amazing.  It was a nice distraction for me and, predictably, I have held on to my ticket.  But it is going in the bin today. Really and truly. Pinky swear.
  3. Purse – Well, obviously my purse is gonna be in there.  It contains no money but does have lots of receipts and a tonne of other crap in it.
  4. House-buying documents and whatnot – I am currently carrying all my documents and forms and everything to do with my new house around with me like a pack horse.  I am paranoid something dramatic will happen and I will need the information immediately.  This is unlikely now, with settlement a week away.  But I am not very smart and apparently like to lug stuff around.
  5. Gloves – I feel the cold.  We all know this.  I have a pair of black knitted gloves that have skeleton bones printed on them.  They are children’s gloves.  I have tiny hands.
  6. Bandaids – my dermatillomania is kicking my butt at the moment so I am trying to keep it under control by keeping my fingers covered.  I keep bandaids on hand at all times.  I buy bazillions of them.
  7. Numerous set of keys – I have house keys, car keys, my Mum’s house keys,  friends’ house keys, lots of keys to work etc.  Basically I jangle when I walk.
  8. Phone – The dreaded mobile phone.  I am not one of those people who is constantly on their phone.  I forget to even look at it half the time and mostly use it as a clock.  I HATE talking on my mobile and I never answer it when I am driving.  Don’t text and drive, people!  I actually bought a new iPhone about 6 months ago.  I haven’t switched over to it yet (because I am a chronic procrastinator) and am still using my extremely ancient iPhone that has multiple issues.  Basically, it is dying, poor lamb.
  9. Teabags – Um, yes, I carry teabags around with me.  Mostly green tea and lemon ones.  Just in case I go somewhere – to someone’s house for instance – and they don’t have any tea.  Who would such a person be and why I would be friends with them, I do not know, but it’s just in case.
  10. Lip balm – I have a lippy in every bag I own.  Cruelty-free ones of course.  If they smell nice and taste a bit like fruit/chocolate/cookies, even better.

That’s pretty much it, except for the usual “lady” products and scraps of paper and general junk.  I should probably clean it out.  Today even.  Or tomorrow.  Or in three week’s time when I move.  That seems like a good idea.  Then I will have a new set of keys to put in it!

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Genuine (Art)icle

A crafting weekend is a good weekend.  Unless everything you try to make fails badly.  I didn’t have the most creatively successful weekend over the last couple of days.  I made a few really dodgy cards (probably won’t show you those) and a couple of OK ones.  This ones comes under the OK heading, I think.

I wanted to do a quirky card.  One that would make someone smile.  Something with a bird image (naturally) and probably a hat or a crown (goes without saying).  I also wanted to go with a different colour scheme to the ones I would normally use.  I have SO MUCH paper and I use SO LITTLE of it.  I just always go for the same colours and patterns/themes.  So, I stepped out of my comfort zone here.

I’m happy with this one.  Cutting out the tiny wee feet drove me batty but I succeeded in not snipping any toes off, so that’s a good thing.  Her crown is a little wonky but that’s ok.  None of us are perfect 🙂

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BFF Weekend

BFF Weekend

A couple of weeks ago, I treated my best friend of 34 years to a weekend away.  CG and I have been friends for so long now, we’ve really become sisters.  I think of her as family.  She’s more important to me than just about anyone.  She’s always been there for me and I can always trust her to support and believe in me.

When we were seven years old, her family built a house on my street.  Long story short, we became neighbours and best friends in a very short space of time.  We saw each other every day, went to school together (our Mums took it in turns to take us to school and pick us up), and then hung out together every afternoon.

In truth, we were, at least superficially, very different people.  I was short and awkward, clumsy and hated sport.  CG was tall and athletic, captain of the sports team, good at everything.  She was fashionable and pretty, I was dorky and a bit clueless where clothes were concerned.  But we bonded over books and toys, music and a love of tadpoling.  We shared hobbies and interests, celebrity crushes and talked about everything under the sun.

I’d never met another kid who knew how to play.  I didn’t have to explain the concept of playing “shop” or “detectives” or anything else.  She knew how to do voices for her Barbie doll and didn’t feel silly doing it.  She was happy to play with baby dolls and Star Wars figures equally.  We built cubby houses together and miniature cities for snails (not one of our best ideas, I have to admit) and dressed our dolls in clothes made from scraps of fabric or tiny sweaters knitted with fine wool on toothpicks.  I had my first proper tea party with her and countless sleepovers.  We sang and danced in my lounge-room with my brother and stayed glued to our radios at night, listening to the Top Ten countdown of chart hits.  We watched “Grease” approximately a million times.  We cried when Johnny Depp’s character was wrongly convicted and sent to jail in “21 Jump Street”.  We stuck posters on our walls and wrote in our diaries and talked about boys.

In year eight, we went to separate high schools.  I thought my world had ended.  I was lost and frightened and lonely and felt sure all my primary school friends would forget about me.  But not CG.  If anything, we were even closer and now had even more to talk about.  We still saw each other most afternoons and started the process of growing up and changing and navigating the trials of teenage-hood.  Throughout high school we remained best friends, even though we had our own separate groups of buddies in our own respective schools.  I was very lucky to have a wonderful group of friends, that I am still close to to this day.  But CG was always by best friend.

Fast forward a couple of decades and here we are – still best friends but with different lives and trials and realities.  CG got married quite young, to her high-school sweetheart (luckily, I approved of him, much to her relief) and went on to have two gorgeous kids.  I did the opposite and got married 15 years later, divorced and remained childless.  But we are still close.  I often say we have nothing in common but, truthfully, we have one major thing in common : each other.  Our core values are the same and I think our hearts beat to pretty much the same rhythm.  Our mothers have remained firm friends over the years and have moved away from each other, only to very quickly move to the same neighbourhood, just streets apart.  My Mum sees CG as another daughter, and I know CG’s Mum feels the same way about me.  We all see each other at Christmas – usually spending Christmas Eve or Christmas night together.  It’s been that way since I can remember.

So, this weekend was a celebration of that bond.  We hardly ever get to spend time together these days.  CG works extremely hard at two jobs, plus she has to coordinate the sporting and social arrangements of her children, one of whom competes at a National level in her chosen sport.  It’s not easy for us to find a window of time that can be spent together.  I wanted to spoil CG and give her a relaxing break and enjoy some time together, like the old days.  This was also a gift for her 40th birthday (which was in December) – I figured the thing she needed more than anything was a rest and some indulgence.

We stayed at the Hotel Rendezvous in Scarborough, overlooking the ocean.  The view was lovely, even if it was too cold to actually go out on the beach itself.  We watched the (crazy) surfers out there on the water and enjoyed the sunset.  We went out to dinner and ate our bodyweight in desserts.  We stayed up late talking and catching up, in our PJs of course, just like we would have done 30 years ago.  We drank tea and relaxed and bemoaned our ever-increasing age (although we think we look pretty ok for two women in their forties) and slept in.  We went to a movie and had afternoon tea (there was a lot of food involved in this weekend – can you tell?) and a delightful couple of hours in IKEA looking at all the pretty things we wanted to buy but didn’t really need.It was so nice just to hang out together with nowhere to be and no one to bother us.

I am so lucky to have had a lifelong friend and I hope we will always be close, no matter where life takes us.

To CG, I will say this : Thank you for always being my friend, through all the ups and downs, through boyfriends and heartache, from childhood to adulthood and beyond, through weight gain and weight loss, from illness to health, babies and career changes – I love you lots and wish you nothing but happiness and contentment all the days of your life.

With love xxx

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