Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Colour Purple

The top that started it all

Magical tie-dye

My lovely purple top - which I will wear!

I absolutely had to show you the results of my tie-dying project, which I started yesterday evening. The instructions tell you to immerse and agitate the items for dying for 30 minutes but I like to leave the dyebath overnight so the colour can really sink into the fabric. Then like the big kid I am I skipped into the laundry this morning to untie the wool from my fabric bundles and see the magic happen!

The fabric is simply calico, which I had intended to use for bags, but now I have the desire to make a groovy skirt with it. We'll see ... The top with sequins was beige (arrgh) and gave a rather 'nude' effect so I never wore it for obvious reasons! My hippy top is the one that motivated me to dye - it was very faded - my sister had given it to me years ago (or I may have 'borrowed' it) and it's very sentimental to me as well as being great protection from mozzies in the evening. So it has been resurrected. I'm rather pleased with it. Purple is my most favourite colour, and this shade is just gorgeous. It's called aubergine by RIT, and I buy it from Zena's in Lesmurdie (brill shop), though I guess you can buy it in most craft stores. I remember my friend in primary school wore a purple paisley dress once - it was a true 1970's design, but I was so envious. I still remember it to this day, whereas everything else is a faded memory. See, that's the power of purple!

Perth Skyline

This post has a bit of a timelag - these pictures were taken on Boxing Day. We had a real treat and booked ourselves into a hotel for the night. The kids had asked to go to the Boxing Day sales (first ones ever in Perth city apparently!) and as we hate going to sales and all the busyness that ensues, we thought we'd have a refuge to bolt to after the event! We needn't have worried really as by the time we arrived at 3pm, most people had grabbed their bargains and it wasn't any busier than a normal day in the city. Good fun though, the boys went and did 'boys' stuff' at the model shop, and we girls went off shopping to the Japanese shop and book store.

As the sun went down, I gingerly walked out onto the balcony (8 floors up) and saw this amazing sunset. I really see myself as a country girl, but this time I could appreciate the cityscape for its industrial beauty. It looks like it could be on a different planet at dusk. Also it's further proof that no paint created can match the colours of nature. We don't often see this view of Perth. Must admit that although we enjoyed our adventure in the city we were glad to be back in our haven in the hills the next day!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to one and all!

The beautiful lilies I received yesterday from my husband as part of my Christmas gift. They are presently filling the house with heady and exotic floral scent. Mmmm...

Out in the garden today, relaxing with a cup of tea, barbecue in the background.

A Lego man is overwhelmed by the whole Christmas experience.

Firstly, a Happy Christmas to everybody! May you be enjoying the festive season wherever you are in the world.

Secondly - what a lovely day to reach my 2009 goal of 250 blogposts! Hurray!

We've had a very peaceful Christmas, enjoying each other's company and eating a healthy Christmas dinner. It's true! We just can't party anymore as much as we used to when we were younger. We have to be kind to our bodies! My best present has probably been getting to talk with my family overseas and hear how different their very cold Christmas is - whereas we've been in the pool as it's so hot here. Which is probaby where we'll want to be tomorrow as we're venturing into the city - always looking for adventure!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snowman Part 2

Here's our newly renovated snowman - and he looks gorgeous if I say so myself! You can't really see the glitter on his hat and scarf, but believe me, it's there. I even painted his mittens a lovely purple, rather than re-painting the old black. The children were well pleased and rushed out into the garden to re-instate him. That's the biggest compliment of all I think. Our neighbours will also be happy as they were the ones who motivated me to do something about our broken snowman because they'd noticed we hadn't put him out this year and they missed him! So everybody's happy. What a great ending to my little story!

Only 3 sleeps to go! ...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snowman Part 1

Here is our poor old snowman sign looking worse for wear. One of his mittens fell off last Christmas and I only found it when weeding in the garden this October! My project here is to rebuild him and give him a bright new coat of paint. It also heralds a new section to write under, about recycling or renovating items to give them a new lease of life; I'm going to call this new section 'make do and mend'. I know recycling is the word of the moment but I wanted something more zingy and less serious sounding! I'll post a pic of the snowman in situ tomorrow - he's still on the kitchen table being painted at the moment.

I must be getting excited about Christmas and wishing it would get here quickly - I'd just put the bins out at the bottom of the drive when our neighbour pointed out that it's a day early. The bins are staying where they are. He was very nice and said he could put his bins out today too so I didn't feel so silly, though I told him that wasn't necessary. Kind thought mind ...

Righto, off to put some glitter on my snowman - bling, bling!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Moments of stillness and crafty goodness

The other day one of the children cried excitedly that there was something on the roof - being the wonderful mother I am I replied 'oh yes?' in my knowing tone, then had the surprise of my life when I looked up and saw the beautiful lizard you see pictured above, sunning itself on our skylight! So we sat there and did nothing but watch it for 5 minutes, and a blissful 5 minutes they were too, just simply being and enjoying each other's silent company. A good antidote to the rushing about I wrote about in my last blogpost.

I also did get time to do some art in the last week. Tuesday didn't quite pan out as anticipated but I spent the morning planning a doll for a competition I have entered in the mixed media magazine, 'Cloth, Paper, Scissors'. It almost didn't happen for me; this week has been flat out with Christmas activities and it came to the evening before the deadline and I still wasn't finished. Just when I was about to admit defeat my husband pointed me in the direction of my art table and said "just do it!". I did as I was told and lost myself in my inner art world and the feeling on completion was fantastic! Even if my piece doesn't get chosen for the article, I am still immensely proud of myself for completing something I wanted to do, by a deadline. At one point I did give myself a stern talking to - I realized I was making excuses as to why I couldn't complete my project, I was talking myself out of something I really wanted to do! How silly is that? Anyway, my Mother Earth doll is now sitting on my sideboard and the photos have been sent off to Interweave - check out their website, they have all sorts of resources for knitting, crochet, mixed media, quilting, etc. I won't post a picture until I know the results, seems improper to show her off before the magazine has had a chance to see her!

Today is another sweltering day - we gave up looking at the thermometer when it hit 35 degrees at 11 o'clock this morning. Yuck. Time to jump in the pool methinks. At least by that time we'd already been to Spotlight and spent ages choosing fabric - my next project is going to be the divine Emmeline apron - I received the pattern last week and I'm dying to make it. Of course we spent ages in the crafting paradise and had to extracted by the rescue party (hubby). He of course had finished all his Christmas shopping in the same amount of time. Anyway, this apron is very hip and trendy, and looks more like an item of clothing when it's on. I plan to make one from the lovely fabric (at a bargain sale price! Yay!) I bought today, and one from calico which will be my work apron; the decor will increase with time as I keep splodging it with paint.

There you have it, although it's been a very busy week I MADE time to do arty and crafty things, and do you know what, my spirit feels all the better and lighter for it. Art is definitely on my list of self-care activities - put it on yours too!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Remember your self-care!

Today has been very busy, catching up on the final bookkeeping for the year, visiting a friend who not long ago had a baby (gorgeous, lots of cuddles!), swimming lessons, writing some of my Christmas cards (not handmade this year alas, I ran out of time) - interspersed with normal 'mum' type chores. I'm exhausted!

One of my little pleasures is buying UK magazines so that I still get my fix of the home country. This week my magazine of choice had a free 2010 calendar with it, pictured above. I was so pleased with my gift - lovely, simple, bright pictures which capture that quintessential English-ness I love. It will also make me remember when the British Mothering Sunday is! Mum will get her card on time next year.

I received an e-mail from the facilitator of the dolls course I'm undertaking - she was writing about the importance of self-care, especially valuable at this busy time of year. I suppose enjoying browsing through my magazines is one such activity, and when I thought about Barb's words I realized I haven't been doing anything very arty recently and I am indeed feeling somewhat 'empty' because of it. Tomorrow is my quiet creating day, so I'm hoping to sit and complete some art. I was also quite determined to write my blog today because my journalling on-line is also a form of self-care, I like getting those words out onto the page!

Tomorrow's blogpost is already half written - I was sitting around waiting for someone and had a flash of inspiration, got out my notebook and started writing. Usually I think I'll remember my thoughts, inevitably I forget and a brilliant piece of writing is lost forever! :) Actually such sensible behaviour is very uncharacteristic - maybe the hot summer weather is affecting my brain ...?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bushfire links

I wonder if Dr Who ever feels like time is running away from him and there's no way he can catch up? Because that's how I feel at the moment! Christmas is rightfully called the silly season, and with the hotter weather over here we have more reason to behave in a silly manner! I feel like I'm running all over the place searching for presents, cards and trying to remember everything I still need to do before the big (one!) day, when all I really want to do in my heart of hearts is relax with my family and just BE with them.

So, I have an enormous list of things I want to write about in my blog and so much to share, but little time to write about it all; I have decided to honour the maxim 'there's no time like the present' and tell you about the meeting I attended tonight about being prepared for bushfire season which has already started in Australia. The whole shire had been notified of a fire safety meeting, and in the very small hall it was standing room only, surprising everyone who turned up late (yes, us!) and FESA and the fire department as well. Anyway, we learnt how to protect our homes but most of all how to survive in case of a bushfire. My blog is going to be really useful tonight, as I'll pass on a couple of links we were given. The first is a phone number: 1196 which is the meterological department and gives out weather forecasts, temperature, UV rating for the day and the level of fire danger. I've phoned it tonight and I know it works! The other link is a site that enables you to register your mobile and e-mail address so that you receive an alert of a fire if it's in your area. Of course there is also the central FESA website with lots of excellent information for all of the emergency services.

I don't know why I chose the picture of Busselton jetty for this post, but a couple of reasons could be that it is one of the most photogenic places I know and that water is the perfect antidote to all this talk of fire. We left tonight's meeting more informed about the right behaviours and planning involved in surviving a bushfire, and are now determined to make our property firesafe. If you live in WA (or anywhere in Australia for that matter) take a few minutes to check out the links above - they could help save your life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Creating for Christmas

A little pictorial clue as to what I've been creating today. I love working with red and orange - such energetic colours! Look at that sunshine on the chair - a beautifully light day! I'm busy trying to finish Christmas presents so that I can post them. This really is the silly season ...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

After the holiday comes the dreaming ...

Beautiful colour of nature

Myself looking very co-ordinated with my surroundings at the lighthouse in Augusta

Struggling a little to come back to the real world after a gorgeous and relaxing break in Margaret River. My creativity today has been in the form of cutting out pictures for my 'vision board'; images symbolizing my perfect day and perfect job. Needless to say there are plenty of pictures of paintbrushes, artworks and paints! At the moment the board is sitting on my sewing table with pics spread around on top, but not glued down so I'm praying that no-one goes up to it and tips it up! It's really encouraging to look at pictures of things, feelings or people that make your heart smile. Vision boards seem to really be an object of the moment, if you type the words into Google you'll get lots of results. My motivation to actually sit down and make my board came after reading 'Spiritual Business' by Kate Forster. The book helps you make a business plan using your intuition and spirituality - I'm sure my more logically business minded friends will be shaking their heads in amusement, but this approach has worked for Kate, and being the whimsical headed artistic dreamer I am I'm willing to give it a go. I just can't do logic! I'm determined that the year 2010 is the year I stop being scared to chase my dream and really move forward towards making a living out of being an artist. So watch this space! ...