Thursday, 27 May 2010

Just because...

My friend sent me a link to some gorgeous art work and then I saw this photo
which lead me to this!
Just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


I agonised a bit about what to call this post but I've decided on a practical statement even though there is an abundance of sentimentality, love and creativity rolled into the object of this post.

Are you mystified already?

So have you heard of upcycling? Upcycling, according to Wikipedia, is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. If you Google 'upcycling' you will find the most exciting and inspiring things. Well, I was excited and inspired! Particularly by Jean Shin, a woman after my own heART!!!

Some of you might know that I have been collecting holey-knee-ed jeans, the topic of a layout once, for years now. Occasionally I have broken into the stash and made something - like this handbag.

Well, last year some time I started cutting out squares and rectangles on the bias with a view to making a patchwork blanket. Also some time last year I started being inspired by Jude Hill and her beautiful hand-stitched quilts.

On various occasions I took my washing basket full of holey-knee-ed jeans with me to spend my time purposefully rather than just spending it and continued cutting out denim squares and rectangles.

Finally I decided to make something. A sample, a tester, an inaugural patchworking as a trial run for the eventual blanket. And what better purpose for the 'something' than a present for a very special friend whose birthday happens to fall on the same day as my mother.

I'm a deadline person but starting this 'something' one week before said birthday was a little... what's the word?... pushing it, anyway. Ambitious! That's the word. Thanks DH.

Okay, so without further ado, here are a few (read, lots) of photos of the finished 'something', the identity of which was ascertained in 16/20 questions, and which was finished just before my father's birthday (not that that means anything at all!!!)

I started with the 'Today'

and finished with the tag.

Half way through the stitching I decided that I was silly. Why had I written the letters so small? Why did I use such thick thread? I persevered.

Yes, I did plait those threads myself. I do not take credit for the idea - I saw it on Jude's blog and just had to do it.

And here's the back of the cushion.

The end

Monday, 24 May 2010

Some "Enchanted" Scrapbooking

On Saturday I was inspired by Peg's scrapbooking and her mini challenge of getting 4 layouts done by the 25th for the Enchanted Scrapbooking Dream a Little Dream challenges. On Saturday night I printed up the challenges, picked and printed my photos and had it all set for a relaxing and very satisfying day in my art room. First I had to clean it up a bit.

So here goes....
Challenge 1
So I was inspired by the eye and Hudson seeing Sydney Tower. I think I managed to get the colour palette. I Glimmermisted the train ticket to make it more pink and it serves to be the date for the layout.

We went up Sydney Tower a few weeks ago - a very enjoyable experience - and Hudson was probably the most excited about the whole excursion. A week or so later Hudson spotted Sydney Tower from Hyde Park (I actually pointed him in that direction with the intent of capturing his face). As you can see from his expression - he was excited. His exclamation... "I love Sydney Tower!"

Challenge 2
I knew what I wanted to do with this layout and it all came together amazingly. It was a fun, no-agonising layout that says what I want it to say.
At first I wrote out my journalling on a scrap of paper saying something about us not using text books for science because science just happens. Then I was going to make a book-like journalling spot so I fished out one of my old books and it happened to be "The Australian School" by A. G. Austin (an interesting biography there) which I use to soak up excess Glimmermist and other colourful bits not to be wasted.

So here I am browsing the pages and thought I might look for something related to science and what do you know!!!!?

Here's the quote that is stuck at the bottom of the layout.
'If teachers work in harmony with the spirit of this programme,' the Director wrote, 'school work should gain in reality, in interest, and in genuine power, and there should be a consequent absence of that bookish information, which may be useful enough for passing examinations, but which is too far divorced from actual life interests to ever become that knowledge which is power. Teachers should constantly test the subjects of the syllabus by asking whether a given subject is introduced as a means of stimulating and developing power of thought, or whether it is introduced to develop power of expressing thought, or whether it is designed to subserve both ends.'
These were disturbing instructions...

And it goes on to say that teachers were disturbed by the radical changes that were to be made in nearly every subject.
This was all pre Education Department.

Hennyway - that was exactly what I wanted to say!

Malachi found his soccer ball with its innards sticking out and expanding with the heat. Ding!!! Science experiment opportunity. So we measured the protrusion and then I suggested we put it in the shade and leave it over night and see what happens then. More measurements and a conclusion that if we left it in the hottest place possible it might explode. So that's what Malachi did. The explosion wasn't as dramatic as the time the soccer ball was left next to the space heater in Uralla (it burst, sending rubber into the heater which then started burning which set off the smoke alarm!) but pop it did! Ta dah. So much fun. As was the layout.

Challenge 3
Okay. My inspiration from the photo is two-fold. Firstly, Caitlin's hair hanging down was kinda like the dandelion flower thing. And secondly, the dandelion photo has been desaturated except for the ladybird. I slightly lowered the saturation of my photo so that it wasn't too stand-out-y. :)

This was my favourite layout of the weekend. I think, because it is pink :) but also because I am inspired by Finnabair and her beautiful layouts like this, this and this.

I had great fun using my new found knowledge of Glimmermist - spraying through lace. What a fabulous and fun result. And I "embraced the dreaded dots" (Heidi Swapp) that happened because, for some reason, the darker Glimmermists seem to clog up.

So there it is - Caitlin hanging upside down at Cooper Park in Engadine and a happy verse from the Bible - Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4

Challenge 4
For this last challenge I decided to be inspired simply by God's creation. And it wouldn't be the first time (see Clouds by God). I rotated the sketch 180 degrees and scrapped our (Glenda, Jessica, Caitlin and me) scrapping! And I added another verse - "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things and by your will they were created and have their being." Revelation 4:11

It's amazing what a deadline can do and being just a little prepared. All that in one day!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Let's Play Pictionary

So, in my last post you saw this picture of Hudson with rather an odd contortion of his mouth.

Now I will explain.

Hudson and Declan have a silicon trainer as the starting point for treatment for their teeth.

Both boys are comfortable, after a couple of days of gagging and dribbling and much bribery, with the trainers in their mouths during the day. And that is the reason for the funny face.

So while Hudson has his trainer in he has taken to miming while making sounds like "mmmm" and "mmmmmhmmmm" and "mmmm.mmmm.mmm" etc. Obviously the actions help to determine what is being got at but there are moments where my charades experience just falls short of getting the message. On one of these failure occasions I told Hudson to draw (or write if he felt the urge) what he was saying.

So, let's play Pictionary.

First Hudson drew this.
Any guesses?

Flower? Tree?

Then he added this.


How 'bout if we add this?

Ah, legs!!! (that's no)
A tree!!! :)

But wait there's more.

It's a person?

It's a person!!!
Much nodding of the head and positive grunty sounds.

By this stage I got it.
I bet you haven't though.
But I knew some things that you don't know.
I'll give you a hint...
Hudson was sitting at the computer and he wanted me to get him to somewhere.

The answer is "Brain Games". That flower looking thing is a brain!
I was impressed. Oh yes I was.

Now we are working towards the boys keeping their trainers in at night.
Then we'll work on keeping their mouths shut.
Oh, the fun!!!

Now you see it!

Today (which was yesterday cos I'm writing this today but not the today that I am talking about!)... Hudson woke up and he still had his plaster on. Not surprising really.

Here's Hudson looking pretty chuffed with his plaster.

Today was the day the plaster came off.

It took longer to find a parking spot than all the time I spent at radiology and the doctor - which was surprisingly quick. If I was paid the amount the doctor gets paid per minute to find parking spots for people I'd do it for a job!!!

Speaking of which... I thought of a job idea for Hudson. It's a good 'un. More about that another time.

Back to the topic at hand. Sort of.

While we were waiting (not nearly long enough) I decided to practice drawing people. Rather than trying to sneak glances at the subject and hoping that they don't catch me I decided to draw Hudson. Also, I can ask him to sit still or move back to the position he was in when I first started drawing. :)

Here's my renditions - very quick sketches cos seriously... we hardly had to wait at all.

x-rays revealed a healed bone, the doctor removed the plaster with a warning to refrain from activities that involved height or speed for a few weeks, and we were out of there.

"You were wrong!"
The doctor (and many other people as well) warned Hudson that his arm would be skinny. It seems they were wrong.

You may wonder why Hudson is pulling that funny face. More in the next blog post - coming soon.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Reuben's Happy Birthday

Reuben very graciously shared his birthday with Mother's Day today. We started the day with presents and finished the day with birthday cake with a shared middle - how 'bout that?!

Here's the happy 12 year old.

And here is the 'keck' made and decorated by.... guess who?!

Here's the best photo of Reuben blowing out his candles - he's hard to capture.

And last but not least (I have a strange feeling of déjà vu ) - The Surprise - which, I reckon, looks extremely much like Edvard Munch's The Scream except for that happy glint in Reuben's eye!

Happy Mother's Day

Here's a quick post to say Happy Mother's Day, firstly to my dear Mother and then to all my dear friends who are mothers too.

Here's an ordinary photo (much fiddled with in Photoshop) of some of those who call me Mum.

And here's just a little sneak peek of a little present that I will give to my Mummy. It's not finished yet. (That seems to be the story of my creative life at the moment)

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Hudson's Happy Birthday

There's nothing more satisfying than giving a present that is heartily received and for Hudson there's no present more heartily received than toy cars. Hudson had a very car related birthday and he was happy.

Here's happy Hudson with his toy cars.

Here's happy Hudson with his movie that has car characters.

Here's happy Hudson talking to Grandma telling her that he bought cars with his birthday money :)

Here's happy Hudson with his car cake.

Here's a close-up of happy Hudson's car cake (99% made and decorated by our resident Master Chef - Caitlin)

Here's happy Hudson trying to blow out his candles (I'm not sure what was with his blowing!!!).

And here's happy Hudson with his Monster Truck Wii game.

And last but not least, the 10,000th photo on my camera!

I was getting Hudson to talk so that he didn't have the cheesy 'smile' like he had in my 9,999th photo - not sure which is better. Whaddayareckon?

Monday, 3 May 2010

The last pages of my sketchbook

I am ever-inspired by the artists who submit to Urban Sketchers, especially those who do amazing renditions of faces or excellent executions of architecture. I'm not good with proportions and/or faces....! I realise that I need a lot more practice.

I have just come to the end of my sketch book and so I thought I would show you the last few drawings - disproportionate and all!!!


Happy birthday Mum :)
(and Janelle)