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Being Yourself

Belated Happy Easter to you all ūüôā¬† Did you indulge in a huge chocolate-fest, or were you restrained and just¬†had a few little treats?¬† Did you spend time with family and friends, or take part in religious events?¬† Whatever you got up to, I hope you enjoyed yourselves and had a nice break.

I spent a lot of time with family and friends over the weekend, cleaned my house so it was fit for my Mum to visit and stay in for a couple of nights, and did some crafting.¬† I am still loving the Kelly Rae Roberts Unscripted series I have subscribed to.¬† It’s just makes me want to craft and create and DO STUFF.¬† I am nowhere near her standard of creativity and art, but it is very enjoyable just mucking about with paints and paper and having a go.¬† I am still rubbish at faces, but I keep trying and hope that some day I will get them just right!¬† If only people didn’t have eyes!¬† It would make everything so much simpler for me, at least in terms of drawing and painting (maybe not so much in real life though…) and I wouldn’t end up having tantrums, or just drawing a lot of people with closed eyes (which is my default position these days).

I had this little communion plaque (bought on a recent op-shopping trip for 50c) and I thought it would be perfect to paint over and repurpose.¬† It’s quite small – a little bigger than an iPhone – so perfect for me to do some crafting on!¬† Plus it had the little hanger on it so I didn’t need to worry about adding one myself.

I removed the picture that was already on it ( a communion poem and prayer) and sanded the wood back, then slapped on a layer of white Gesso, just to seal and give it a good working surface.  I then added paint in various colours to create a distressed, rubbed back look.  I used a soft green, some burgundy and a little bit of yellow Рjust dabbing and rubbing it on with my fingers.  When I was happy with the effect, I let it dry whilst figuring out what I was going to put on it.

I decided to draw my little lady on a separate piece of paper, paint her main features and then cut her out, to be glued¬†and finished on the plaque itself.¬† I didn’t trust my drawing/painting skills to just add her straight to the wooden surface.¬† I adhered her with gel medium and then added¬†flowers and wings cut from scrapbooking paper and vintage¬†books.¬† The words were cut from old books or stamped (when I couldn’t find the word I wanted!) and I’m not quite satisfied with them, but they’re stuck on there now!¬† I might go over them with a bit of colour, just to make them look less “new” and pale.¬† I outlined here and there with black and white pencils to give some definition.

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I was a bit heavy-handed with the lady’s¬†features – I was using a very¬†fine black marker, but it was still too heavy.¬† I will do better next time!¬†I’m happy with her top though – it came out very rustic looking and picks up the red colour in the background – and I’m glad I added the¬†“me” heart as it needed an extra little something.

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So, all in all, I was pretty happy with my little lady.¬† I am trying to be myself and be ok with who that is.¬† Even if it means I am not the world’s greatest artist ūüôā¬† I am still trying to find my “niche”, artistically speaking, so this is another part of the journey.¬† I will keep practicing faces and different techniques with paint and drawing and, in the meantime have a lot of messy fun doing it ūüôā

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Thanks for stopping by – may you enjoy the freedom of being yourself,
whoever that is, today and always x

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Bandy-Cute

Hello, everyone ūüôā ¬†I meant to post this a few weeks back but got sidetracked… My Mum turned 70 in November and she had several little get-togethers to celebrate. ¬†On the Sunday afternoon, we met my brother and his family for afternoon tea at a large garden nursery, which also has a delightful cafe and children’s playground. ¬†It’s a very popular spot and can get very busy so we were lucky to get a table for all of us in a nice sunny spot.

As we drank our tea and baby-cinos (obligatory for the four munchkins) and scoffed cake, we were joined by another guest Рa Southern Brown Bandicoot  (or Quenda).  These little guys are normally quite shy and tend to come out at dusk, to forage.  Our visitor is was well known to nursery staff, apparently making guest appearances on a regular basis, in order to pick up any table scraps and crumbs left by lunching customers.

img_4257He (I’m going with “he” for now) was happy to wander around our table, under our feet and chairs, and wasn’t the least bit disturbed by the children or my attempts to take photos of him. ¬†I even got to stroke him, which he didn’t seem to mind at all.

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He was wiry to the touch, and very solid (he eats well :)) and about the size of a small cat (with albeit shorter legs). ¬†Bandicoots have long claws, used for digging out underground food items (they are omnivores and will eat insects, fruit, lizards, seeds, mice – pretty much anything they can get their paws on!) and are marsupials (meaning they have a pouch that they carry their babies in). ¬†They live alone, rather than in social groups, and have a running style described as a “gallop” rather than a hop or a scurry.

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We were delighted to have his company and hope to see him again if we visit the nursery. It’s so nice to see wildlife, of any kind, and I’m always very grateful to be able to experience them close up and in a non-captive way. ¬†I guess these little guys are learning to adapt to being part of our community and losing some of their shy ways. ¬†Survival is survival, after all. ¬†I just hope that this particular fellow is healthy and protected and doesn’t come to any harm, being around human beings so much. ¬†He seemed happy enough though – very fat and not stressed at all. ¬†He’s probably living the dream and wondering why other bandicoots are bothering to hunt for their own food in the bush. ¬†As his “people” are solitary creatures, it’s unlikely he’s going to let anyone else in on the action. ¬†This territory is his and his alone!

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Have you had any close encounters with¬†a wild critter lately? ¬†I’d love to hear about it ūüôā

Thanks for stopping by x

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Love and Miracles

Just a short post today… A bit of a stressful weekend just gone, with my elderly Aunt in intensive care at the hospital due to cardiac issues, my friend experiencing relationship dramas, another friend in serious ill-health in another hospital, and life just chucking stuff at¬†everyone¬†left, right and centre.¬† I just want everybody to be ok ūüė¶

But I did fit in an hour or so of crafting.¬† I was determined.¬† Even one card is better than achieving nothing at all.¬† So I sat and made this one little card, which isn’t fabulous, but it is finished.¬† And it has a bird, which makes everything better.

I do so want to believe in love and miracles.  Especially at the moment.

x

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Something Fishy

A couple of slightly more masculine cards today (if I am allowed to use that gender-specific, un-PC term..).¬† I took a bit of a detour from birds and hats with these two.¬† I spent ages on the first card, agonising over what word or phrase should be added to finish it off, before I realised it actually was finished and didn’t need anything else.¬† Sometimes words get in the way anyway, right?

Hope your day is going swimmingly ūüôā

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Little Maids all in a Row

Little Maids all in a Row

Finally a crafting day!  I have been hanging out to do something crafty for the last few weeks, but was trying to get my house tidy and sorted, plus I had the dreaded rent inspection, so getting all my supplies out was not conducive of that happening.

But, today I got stuck back in, albeit gently and slowly with not much achieved. ¬†Also, annoyingly, I slept in, so I reduced my actual productive¬†time by a few hours. ¬†Whoopsie. ¬†I am having issues with my sleeping patterns right now, so sleeping in is a common occurence, unfortunately. ¬†It wastes so much time, but I just cannot get up in the mornings when I haven’t slept well.

Anyway, I managed to make three cards today (well, four actually, but the last one was rubbish so I’m not showing you, ha ha). ¬†My inspiration was a birthday card my Mum made for me a year or so ago. ¬†It is a simple little design but very effective and cute, plus I have been looking for a different style to try out. ¬†These ones were a perfect detour from my usual style. This is her card here :

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So, I made a template from a scrap piece of card, traced it and cut and folded a few cards to use as bases. ¬†Then I added different papers, ribbon, lace, buttons and embellishments, trying not to be too fussy or take too long on any one card (I’m trying, I’m trying…). ¬†And here are the results :

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What do you think? ¬†I was quite pleased with them, especially the last one for some reason (probably because it’s blue and has birds on it…). ¬†It has been a stressful, worrying week and I was very happy to just switch off and be creative and not think. ¬†Thinking is bad. ¬†Thinking leads to more thinking which, in my case, leads to less sleeping and more bad moods and ill-health. These cards gave me a few hours of zoning out, which I desperately needed.

Hope you have had a wonderful, switched off (or on, if that is your preference!) weekend and managed to get some creativity in.

Thanks for popping by x

Crimbo Doodles!

Crimbo Doodles!

Finally, after many weeks of not doing anything crafty at all, I managed to get in a few hours of creativity this weekend.  I was determined to do SOMETHING, even if it was just planning stuff out so I would have a head-start next weekend.

I desperately need to get started on my Christmas cards for this year.¬† I am so behind – normally I have some done by now but I have zero. Zip. Nada.¬† Which is pretty bad.¬† Especially since it takes me FOREVER to make just one and I need about 30 at least.¬† I don’t like resorting to bought ones, but the last couple of years I have had to.¬† And it irks me.

Anyway, enough waffling.  I sat down late on Saturday night and doodled a few little designs, so that they would be dry and ready to be coloured/painted on Sunday afternoon.  (Please excuse colouration of photos РI used Instagram and forgot to take any pics on my regular camera).

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On Sunday, after attending a lecture on “Anxiety across the Lifespan” (interesting, I enjoyed the information on how the brain actually works during anxiety, and learnt about the Hand Brain Model which is useful for explaining said processes in an easy-to-visualise format) and having lunch with friends (Yum…Beetroot and Haloumi Salad at Circa), I went home and got stuck into painting my little peeps.¬† I did them rather brighter this time, not giving them the more pastel/watercolour look that I have done previously.

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I added some elements (skin on face and hands, hair on some of them) with a Copic marker.

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Then I got fed up altogether with using paint at all (I was having a wobbly hand day) and tried just using the Copics.¬† I only have a few colours and many of them are drying up (Lord knows how old they are…I have had them ages).¬† I didn’t have a nice bright red – just a deep burgundy colour.¬† But it looks ok and wasn’t too streaky, although on the larger areas, such as the body, I did feel it showed a bit too many streaks and patches.¬† Probably more to do with my technique than the pen itself…plus I was using watercolour paper so it probably wasn’t the best medium to use the pens on.

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Finally, as it was nearly time to stop and pack up (ha ha – I say “pack up” like I am actually going to do that, instead of just leaving out for three weeks), I had an epiphany of sorts and decided to try paper-piecing instead of painting or colouring.¬† The result was the little lady below.¬† I kinda love her.¬† She looks a bit Charlie and Lola-esque but that was unintentional.¬† I really like the effect of the patterned paper and it was so much easier and less curse-word-inducing than painting or colouring in.¬† I still used the markers for the smaller elements (skin, hair, pom-pom etc) but used paper for the hat and dress.¬† Voila!

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¬†I have always liked paper as a medium.¬† I don’t know why I didn’t just do¬†it like this to start with.¬† I have a ridiculous amount of patterned paper, so I should be able to make a load of cards like these in no time.¬† Although, truthfully,¬†it will still take me forever, because I am picky about coordinating colours and patterns.¬† But still, at least I accomplished something for the weekend!¬† Last night I finished off the day by sitting and doodling lots of heads and hands, hat bands and pom-poms so that I can put them together with the papers at a later stage.¬† Hopefully not too much later.¬† I don’t want to go another month without creating.¬† It’s too important and too much fun and makes life much more enjoyable ūüôā

Hope your weekend was happy and creative and exactly how you wanted it to be x

This Week

This Week

It’s been a busy week, starting with last Friday night, when I stayed at my Aunt’s house. ¬†My Uncle is very ill in hospital and my family and I are taking it in turns to stay with my Aunt, just so she isn’t alone at night. ¬†She’s perfectly able to take care of herself, but she is worried and stressed and sad – much better if she has company. ¬†It was actually really nice staying with her. ¬†We got to chat and catch up, which is something we hardly ever get to do. ¬†She’s awesome ūüôā ¬†As children, we always loved her because she was the one adult who would always listen to us and not think we were silly¬†or whatever.

So I got to hang out with her and her pony (Fibber), her cat (Socks) and collie dog (Heidi). ¬†They’re all lovely and such good companions for her and my Uncle. ¬†Socks was a bit of a wildcat in her younger days, but has mellowed a lot in recent times.

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Heidi is a pretty, gentle girl who just wants to be with you all the time.

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On Saturday I went shopping with my Mum. ¬†We had lunch out and bought some presents for my brother (it’s his birthday this weekend). ¬†We also went op-shopping and I got some nice skirts and tops (which I drew into my art journal).

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On Sunday, I had a lazy day at home, pottering around, doing lots of laundry (as it was sunny and warm outside) and trying to tidy up my wreck of a house.  I finished off some jewellery a friend had ordered Рmostly repairs and revamps of stuff I had already made for her (that she will insist on wearing in the ocean and swimming pools so they fall to pieces).

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I must admit I spent some time on the couch, dozing a bit, too.  Sundays were kinda meant for that, right?

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I did go for several walks this week, so at least I can feel less guilty about my exercise routine. ¬†On Thursday, I went to my cousin’s for dinner. ¬†She, my two nieces, and I, went for a nice evening walk and then did a 7-minute home workout (she has an app on her phone that yells at you in a drill sargeant voice). ¬†I am so unfit, but at least I didn’t die or pass out. ¬†My legs and arms hurt though haha. ¬†I had a horrible migraine yesterday and I think it may have been from the tightness in my neck and shoulders (from attempting pushups). ¬†See? ¬†More proof that being healthy is dangerous to your health! ūüôā

I got to cuddle my nieces’ guinea pigs, Charlotte and Ella. ¬†They are adorable, and relatives of my own beloved Roderick. ¬†They are very well behaved little piggies – quite happy to sit on a towel on the floor, munching on a food treat while the girls pat them or give them kisses.

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Yesterday, in the afternoon, I went for a walk, to try and clear my head and get rid of the migraine that was threatening to split my skull open. ¬†My library assistant had recently discovered a path through the nearby bushland, so I decided to check it out and go for a stroll. ¬†In hindsight, probably not the best idea, going into the bush on your own – next time I will try and go with a work-mate. ¬†The day was beautiful – cool but sunny and bright and it was so peaceful and calm in amongst the true and other plants. ¬†I thought I might see a snake (as we had one outside work this week) but I didn’t, just heard some rustling, which could have been anything from a lizard to a mouse. ¬†Not a lot of wildflowers in there but a few pretty ones were spotted. ¬†The bright colours stood out against the brown barks and dried leaves, grasses and shrubs.

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The only wildlife I saw was a cheeky Willy wagtail, bobbing about on the path in front of me.

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It was a nice way to spend half and hour. ¬†Didn’t get rid of my headache, but still nice anyway. ¬†The path went for miles and miles so I couldn’t explore it all, but will go back another time.

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When I got back to work, I decided to head home early (with some pushing from my assistant) as my head really was splitting and I just needed to lie down in a dark room somewhere.  As I was leaving, I saw these two pink and grey galahs in the trees outside our car park.  They let me get quite close, to take photos, before flying off into the trees further into the bush.  We are so lucky to be surrounded by so much natural bushland and to experience a few visits from native fauna.

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I went home, took my migraine pills and then slept for 18 hours. ¬†Isn’t that terrible? ¬†I slept and slept and didn’t wake up until mid morning. ¬†Still a bit “foggy” in the head, but better than yesterday. ¬†Hope it will be gone by tomorrow so I can get on with some things. ¬†My Mum and I are staying with my Aunt again tonight and tomorrow we will visit my brother. ¬†Then the whole weekend will be gone and it will be back to work (boo hoo). ¬†I’m seeing a rheumatologist this week for my stupid painful finger and hand. ¬†I hope it is nothing nasty…

Hope you’ve had a happy, healthy week ūüôā