Thursday, 3 November 2011

30 Days of Joy and Thankfulness

At the end of October I thought about the times I have done a-photo-a-day and wondered if i could manage taking a photo a day in November. I decided that I couldn't.\
But then I saw Meredith's post about keeping a record of the things that bring/give her joy and I was inspired to do a similar  thing. So each day I will force myself to take a moment to record at least one thing that brings me joy or for which I am thankful.
So far so good.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Sketch Diary Update

I thought I had better upload these* before the fun of relocating internet services begins.

See the spiral thing? I was inspired by Hudson's doodling. He, then, was inspired by my doodling!!!

* I don't know why, when I select the photos in order, the photos upload in random order.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Sketch Diary

In the last few weeks I have had quite a few opportunities to sit and wait - doctor appointments, a hospital stay, and sitting outside the houses we were going to look at. These opportunities are dwindling and I am starting to feel the urge to scrapbook again. So here are the latest pages. Who knows? They might be the last for a while.

If you have been following the links to my inspiration you can probably work out who I am influenced by.
Martha Lever, Lori Vliegen, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and lots of doodlers! And there's just a little bit of me in there as well. :)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Manga Belle

It has been a long time since an update. There is plenty that I could show you but I am choosing just one thing (in two parts).

Many weeks ago now I was inspired by a friend of mine to do a manga-type drawing. She didn't say "I think you should do a manga drawing." She was the inspiration.*

Manga Belle #1 - I coloured this one with watercolour paint.

Manga Belle #2 - I coloured this with Inktense watercolour pencils. I also lightly coloured the face.

Both of these pictures are rather large. Next time I will do something a bit smaller and have a go at using coloured pencils and a blending stump.

*My model really did have this coloured hair. It is a really fun colour and suits her tremendously.

PS I was working from a rather poor, quickly snapped photo of my model. One day I'd love to do a proper photo shoot. hint hint :)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

More Sketch Diary Pages

I saw this Op Art link the other day and knew I just had to try it, so while we were sitting around in hospital last week I drew around Hudson's hand with a pencil and started drawing my lines with a black pen. Isn't it cool?! I like the effect and will probably try it with all sorts of shapes. Actually, I might even get the kids to have a go too.

It is not often that I get to sit around with nothing much to do but lately it seems that it is becoming all too often. I wouldn't so much mind the opportunity to add to my sketch diary if it didn't include a broken arm or a flat tyre but that is the way it is. Can you tell I was inspired by the huge walls covered in wheels at the tyre place.

We went home between the x-ray and the appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon because I didn't want to kill the hour or so just sitting in the car. We got back to the doctor appointment about 5 minutes before time and then waited for an hour in the waiting room - another page in my journal well and truly done.

Where do you go for inspiration? If you ever need a little art class then check out shine brite zamorano - there is a wealth of inspiration at this blog.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Starting With a Blank Page

I love this.
I have seen it in booklets before - normally government-produced booklets.
But that is not what I am writing about today.

What I am writing about is starting with a blank page in my art journal.
I have done a few art journalling classes and heard others talk about art journalling on blank pages.
For instance, Julie says that journalling on a blank page can be intimidating. That seems to be the general theme for many.
I love doing the ink splotches and the watercolour washes, I love scraping paint down and across the page with an old credit card, but in the end I don't know what to do with the page. I just realised today that I actually prefer to start on a blank page.

Even though my pages are not actually blank - an old diary - I treat them as blank pages. I am always to tempted to buy brand new art journals with lots of clean white pages - I love them. But I have such a huge supply of paper at home that I usually withstand the temptation and remind myself of my stash.

Right at the moment I am working through a gold-edged diary from 2009. Only 3 months to go and I will be moving on to my next journal. I haven't decided what it will be yet. I am thinking it should be my SMASH journal except that it doesn't have blank pages. Maybe I should pretend they are blank pages too - that will be tricky. Let's call it a challenge.

Lately I have been inspired most by...
Julie Fei-Fan Balzer - I love seeing all the wonderful things she puts up on her blog - Balzer Designs.
Lori Vliegen of elvie studio - I just love her lettering and watercolour fun.
and Martha Lever - her blog, Art du jour,  is full of inspiration - from watercolour painting, to journalling, to lettering, to acrylic painting and more.

So, do you like art journal on a fresh, clean, white, blank page or do you like to shabby the pages up a bit with ink and paint and texture and collage and stuff first?

Who inspires you?

PS: Those two pages there were done (mostly) while I was in hospital with Hudson. I was inspired by such pages as this, along with a bit of doodling, scripture and whatever.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Colouring Inside the Lines. Or Not.

The other day, while Hudson and I were in hospital (Hudson with a broken arm waiting for an operation, me being the parent who stayed with him), I let Hudson play on my iPhone. The only things on my phone that the kids (and I) have to play with are word games, arty type things and photo fun things* so I introduced Hudson to Wreck This Journal app.

A while ago now a friend of mine, my twin-who's-not-my-twin, gave me Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal. Because we think alike, my twin-who's-not-my-twin thought that I would like it. And indeed I do. I haven't finished wrecking it yet. Actually, it might be some time before I do, although I am looking forward to dragging it around on a string one day, and taking it in the shower with me. :)

Because I enjoyed Wreck This Journal so much I decided to get the Wreck This Journal app for my iPhone. Now there's a great app!

It just so happened that the page that Hudson went into was 'Colour outside the lines'. Hudson was busy colouring furiously (as furiously as one can with a finger on a screen!) all over the page, inside and out of the lines, with gay abandon, when the nurse came along and exclaimed with such surprise "That's not colouring inside the lines!!!" She had a smiling tone of voice that suggested that Hudson was being terribly naughty, but in a nice way.

Hudson quietly continued, unperturbed - he has never heard the rule about colouring inside the lines. I smirked a quiet smirk and started writing this blog post in my head.

I don't know whether it is good to encourage a child to colour inside the lines or not and I am not sure that I really care either. I'm pretty sure that a child colouring in happily, inside the lines or not, is a good thing. The general consensus between people who like to colour outside the lines, or at least don't like to be told to colour inside the lines, is that it is to do with conformity - doing what the government says, what the teacher says, what the boss says. With this conformity comes a bit of security but at the same time you risk losing your ability to think critically, to take calculated risks, or to pursue your dreams and aspirations.

What is colouring in for, anyway? Well for me it is for fun. It makes me happy. I like colouring in and I must say I do like colouring inside the lines most of the time. But there are times now that I actually don't mind relaxing a bit and realising that the lines are just there as guides rather than rigid, uncross-able boundaries - going outside the lines is no big deal and not worth fretting about.

If I am going to conform to anything I will take up the challenge of the Apostle Paul when he wrote
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:2

Do you like colouring in?
There are plenty of places to find great colouring in pages - here's one example.

What do you think about the rule of colouring within the lines?

*one day I'll get a sudoku app and other number games. Any suggestions?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Hudson broke his humerus but it ain't funny!

Who'd have thought that the toy that brought Hudson so much joy could bring so much pain in the blink of an eye.

This is a very happy Hudson riding in his brand new toy car (what do you call it? Dinky car?) at Christmas 2008. It was worth the money we spent for it and Hudson played with it up until this year. For a few months now it has been tucked away in the shed at the back of our place. Only the other day I saw it and thought we should get it out for Moses to play with.

As it turned out, the dinky car caught the eye of Mo's Mum and out it came. But I think Hudson and Declan claimed possession pretty quickly and took it in turns to push each other along like maniacs, screaming and shouting in such a way that it was hard to tell if they were having fun or hating every moment!

It wasn't long before disaster struck. Declan was pushing Hudson. Hudson was yelling "NO!" in a way that could have been interpreted as "This is fun!!!". The car skidded and tipped over. Out went Hudson's arm and the roof came down on his arm and broke it (although we didn't know it right then) just above the elbow.

One look at his arm told me that all was not right and we went straight to the hospital.

We didn't have to wait long for pain relief, x-rays, and decisions to be made. The pain relief worked, the x-rays showed a break just above the elbow, and the orthopaedic surgeon said that Hudson would need to have the bone wired together so that it healed in the right position.

Hudson dozed, chatted, tried to but couldn't play I Spy, and dozed some more.

He was very happy to get an ER teddy bear which went with him to and from the operation and home with him as well.

It's a long wait, watching the door, hoping it will be the doctor coming to tell you that it is all over and it all went well. And that did happen about an hour after I kissed Hudson's sleeping cheek. Even though I have been through it quite a few times myself, watching my little boy fall under the spell of general anaesthesia was a little daunting. I kind of had to hold back a tear.

It was a definite relief to be there to watch Hudson's departure from La La Land, albeit unwilling, and arrival back to our world.

We're home now. Hudson has wires sticking out of his arm which is protected by a back slab, bandaged, and held up with a collar and cuff. Taking life easy, avoiding bumps and measuring out the pain relief carefully to avoid overdose are the call for the next few weeks interspersed with visits to doctors and radiographers.

Considering Hudson has broken his arm before, I really hope he is not going to go for a hat trick. And to quote myself...
"Here's to happy healing (and finding a decent parking spot when I have to take Hudson for another x-ray and to see the Orthopaedic Surgeon at the end of the week.)"

Actually, just remembering, I think the dinky car is called a Little Tykes Coupe or something like that..

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Ah, but I am not saying goodbye.
Many years ago when Soph was a youngster she asked "When you've finished the paper towel, can I have the toodle-oo*?"
I thought that was cute and we have called the inner cardboard tubes of toilet paper, paper towel and the likes toodle-oos ever since. And, if you happen to be the one (usually me) who uses the last sheet of paper towel, or the last bit of aluminium foil (rare) then you can hold it up to your mouth and trumpet a "toodle-oo" into it to announce its presence!

This is what you get if you put a creative creature in possession of a collection of toodle-oos - a parliament of owls!!! (For other collective nouns for animals check out this link, or this link, or the good old Wikipedia for more than just a collection of collective nouns!)

* I have chosen to spell it this way for Internet safety reasons.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Three weeks

Three weeks in blogland is a very, very long time.
Three weeks without doing anything creative is an eternity!

Fortunately, I have been able to snatch little opportunities to create.
Here are the latest entries (in no particular order) to my sketch diary thing that I carry around with me everywhere.

 So, I actually did this one yesterday. I had fun making this one up and will certainly have a go at doing it again.

 When all else fails, draw fruit. I was relatively uninspired while sitting in the waiting room at the ultrasound place. I really wanted to use my watercolour crayons so after the chair I branched out to the fruit.

 A bit of doodling while listening to a message on Psalm 1 at our church camp. I just wanted to try out the watercolour shading that I have seen lately. Mmmm. I like it.

 My creative response to Psalm 23. I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I saw Psalm 23 on the list of Psalms we were going to look at while at our church camp. As it turned out this was THE BEST talk and it was SO meaningful to me right at that time. SIGH.
Edited: Actually.... This is my creative response to Psalm 1. I didn't do a creative response to Psalm 23 - it was enough to hear the message and soak it in.

 A reminder from Psalm 116 to testify to myself. Yes, the Lord has been good to me!

 A need to do something and very little inspiration about - feather in my crayon tin (drawn before, I am sure) and Hudson's football. My black pen had run out so I was testing to see if Susannah's pen was waterproof. It was.

Just some random, quick and easy doodling.

So there you go.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Words for Life

Last month I participated (for want of a looser term) in the Big Idea Festival over at Big Picture Classes. Each day for 12 days a BPC teacher gave a word and a sample layout of their word. I did the same but I decided to do watercolour pictures and Bible verses instead of journalling. I tried to use at least the idea of the word in each verse but there was just one word that I changed - nest to rest. There was lots of inspiration, it was fun to have a different BPC teacher every day and it was FREE. I'm looking forward to doing it again next year.

Now to bind them all together into a little mini book.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Birthday Girl, Birthday Boy, Birthday Cake

One day I happed upon this recipe - Brown Sugar Sponge Cake With Caramel Pears - and I immediately decided it was to be the next birthday cake because, as you may already know, it's not a birthday without a birthday cake in our family.

It just so happened that the next birthday cakees were Susannah who turned 16, and Moses, my grandson, who turned 1 on the same day.

Well, making the cake was a learning experience. I didn't beat half of the mixture anywhere near enough and ended up with two 1cm think omelette-y pancakes to be sandwiched by the two sponge cakes that I did mix enough.

Also, crème fraiche is different to sour cream and did not respond in any way like it was supposed to. Not only that but we did not have a big enough bowl (our big Sunbeam mixer bowl was broken and I miss it deeply) and this is what happens when she-who-shall-not-be-named got to work in the kitchen :).

Enough of the cake! Where are the birthday cakees?!

And if you want to see a photo of Moses eating his first bit of birthday cake (and maybe his first bit of cake?) take a look here :)

PS I'll be making that cake again! I'll do it the same, but better!!!