Friday, April 30, 2010

tiny post

I've been working on my dastardly plans to take the arty world by storm - you can view some of my artwork at Deviant Art - look for 'artycrone'.  It's quite a confidence booster when other people add your art to their favourites.  Some of the pictures have been used already for this blog; I'm also intending to put newer paintings up as they appear!

It's been a bleak few days for me this week.  Although I have strategies for dealing with my depression, it still manages to creep up on me occasionally.  Got a couple of good ideas for artworks from the experience though.  Inspiration is everywhere.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Drawing a face with pastels

I bought some fantastic pastel pencils at the weekend that are skin tint colours, 12 pencils in all, made by Mont Marte.  This picture is a doodle I drew whilst waiting for the kids to get ready for school.  Actually I'm quite pleased with it - whilst I love drawing faces I still find them very difficult, so I need all the practise I can get.  I'm going to pinch a piece of my daughter's pastel paper and have a go at a bigger picture.  This picture was drawn on normal cartridge paper so produces totally different results than if you use proper textured pastel paper.

Short and sweet tonight.  I've been looking after a friend's little girl today, and I'm absolutely pooped.  She really brightened up my day, especially when she gave me a huge hug and told me she loved me!  Need to regain my strength though, I've forgotten how much energy you need when you have little ones around! 

Monday, April 26, 2010


This picture is aptly named - I've just had a few technical problems and now my head is hurting.  I'm writing this on the family pc because I wanted to scan my picture (first technical problem) and now I realize my links that I promised the other day are on my laptop.  Bum ... 

I've been handed a glass of Pimms and lemonade.  Head starting to feel slightly better now.  :)

Where was I?  Oh yes, scattered!  My thoughts are everywhere at the moment, what feels like squillions of creative projects taking up lots of room in my head and jostling for pole position.  I'm also going through the 'what am I going to do with my life' questions, which is a tad silly as I know I want to be an artist and get my message of 'creativity is for EVERYONE' out to the world.  It's just, how to do it?  So I've been ruminating on that as well.   Amongst other things that are simply too boring to write about here, but are hugely important to our lives and where we will be in the future (geographically speaking).  No wonder I'm feeling all over the place!  Out of all this confusion appeared my mandala.  I do love mandalas.  My son asked what it was about, and I said 'no idea' but we both thought it was very pretty.  And colouring is so very, very therapeutic.  

Oh woe, my Pimms has gone.  :(  Need a cup of tea now.

Back to what I originally was going to write about.  It's cooler weather now (yay!) and this seems to have an effect on how much notice my husband takes of my crochet projects.  The other night he asked me why I was trying to work on 4 afghans at once, when it would be easier to finish one before moving on to the other.  I looked at his face and realized he WANTS me to finish my lovely pure wool afghan so we can put it on the bed because he's cold!  So, I'm working solely on this afghan now, which is 120 squares in total (only 60 to go).  He's also quite enthusiastic about me making him a pair of slippers - so tomorrow I'm off to Spotlight to source some manly coloured merino wool fibres to make a sheet of felt that I can cut slipper pieces out of.  I'm going to pull apart his old slippers so that I can use the soles.  I'll let you know how it goes!!

Well, I've written more than I intended, hope it hasn't got you too scattered!  It is a full moon tonight, perhaps that's having an effect? 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Inspired to crochet ...

Ooops - I meant to write this blog yesterday, but it was my husband's birthday and we ended up going out for the evening with the kids (stayed in a hotel near the sea, beautiful).   Well, here I am posting now.  As you can see, my crochet is still going well.  Actually I have to thank Sally at Virtu for inspiring me to carry on to get to my 120 square goal to finish one of the afghans.  I also spent a few minutes today planning another afghan that up until now was going to be completely random - but I didn't really like the idea, it felt like something was missing.  After a day at the seaside to clear my head I drew up a plan this evening that allows my elements of randomness to be tied up in an orderly fashion.  My teenage son came in to have a look at what I was doing, and even he got hooked up in the mathematics of planning my squares, he was really quite enthusiastic and didn't look at all bored!  See, crochet is exciting for everyone! 

I also have another project simmering away in the back recesses of my brain - today at Hillary's Boat Harbour I saw some genuine Ugg boots, which were a little pricey but totally gorgeous.  I so love having toasty feet in the winter, and I've been hankering after a pair of Uggs for a while.  But now I am thinking of ways I can make my own pair of especially warm boots and have a few ideas; making some felt and cutting out pieces to sew into a boot, knitting then felting some boots and finally making some boots out of a sweater and some cheap shoe soles!!  I do have some links but they are on my laptop which has decided it doesn't want to play the internet game tonight. :(  If I remember I will post them tomorrow as there are some brilliant sites out there with ideas for making your own shoes.  I'll give anything a go if it gives me an excuse to be creative!

Oooh - and it's day 114 of 2010 and I've done 105 squares, nearly caught up!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tubers ...

OK, I do have some weird habits.  Such as leaving sprouting tubers around as pieces of art.  But just look at it - it's amazing!  You can tell which shoots had started sprouting by their curly and twisty tendrils, which were growing when it was squished in the veggie box in my pantry.  The shoots are a lot longer and straighter now having grown the entire width of the kitchen table.  My family are very tolerant of my idiosyncracies, not saying a word about the vegetable which keeps us company at mealtimes, although my daughter did move the sweet potato to my side of the table because it got in her way.  It's quite hardy - it's been caught up in the venetian blinds a couple of times when somebody put them up (not me - I'm very kind to my vegetable!) and it's surviving merely on air at the moment.  That's what I find so fascinating, nature's ability to survive whatever the odds.  I suppose I will have to put it in the garden eventually when it threatens to take over the kitchen (we had one that almost took over the laundry room in our old house, the kids were too young at the time to be able to recall that one), but for now I am going to enjoy it in all it's glory.  Creation in it's most natural state!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I love my camera!

Last year I made public my hopes for an SLR camera for my 40th birthday - a dream which did indeed become true, and here is the beautiful object!  I've been practising before putting pictures taken with it on my blog, the first photo being the picture of my lovely rag doll Immogen that was posted yesterday.  I thought I'd post a picture that I took during the big storm in Perth last month - just before the rain hit us up in the Hills.  It's now my camera of choice as I'm getting more confident using it.  I'm having so much fun with the camera, and I'm not short of subjects for pictures.  As soon as I appear with my camera, my children emerge out of thin air to muck about and pose in front of the lens.  What a vain lot they are!  (Love 'em ...)

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Kalamunda Show ... and the 300th post!

What a lovely way to celebrate my 300th post!  These pictures show my prize winning doll Immogen (you saw her bloomers the other day!) who got first prize in her category.  I made her hair from embroidery floss - the ringlets are simply 15cm lengths of the floss twisted tightly, then folded in half - the threads then twist around each other.  I usually feel a bit anxious when making doll's hair, and come to think of it when creating the face.  Bad hair and a hard face can ruin a doll!  So much so that I'd hoped to make this doll for the last show I entered back in 2007, but I chickened out and only completed her on the morning I had to take my exhibits to the village hall last week!

But that's not all!  I also got 3 x second prizes and a third prize - quite a respective prize haul.  (The dress I made for my 40th party won second prize in its category - I was so pleased!).  All so unexpected, but I'm proud of my achievements as I worked really hard to complete everything on time plus it's a real confidence boost.  Also a lesson to us all not to hide our gifts/talents - if you introduce them to the world you  never know what might happen.  Go on and unearth that hidden creativity ... get out of your comfort zone.  Because yes, even on the way to the hall I was feeling nervous and could hear that voice of self-doubt saying 'what makes you think you're good enough to enter any competition?'  It's sobering to think that voice can stop you from doing something you love.  Don't let it!  ;)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The joy of yo-yo's

Off I tootled to Kalamunda Agricultural Hall this morning with my exhibits for the craft show.  I love having a look at all the other entries, 1- because I'm very nosey and 2 - because it's so heartening to see all that creativity in one place.  There are a lot of talented people about.  I had to laugh though as for one class I was the only entry (for my hand built plant pot).  My son said at least I'll get noticed.  Hmm ...

When making one of the aprons I discovered the joys of making yoyo's - that is, the circular piece in the middle of the flower.  They are so easy to make and look absolutely gorgeous.  All you do is cut out a circle of fabric, this one was 13 cm in diameter, turn a narrow hem with running stitch, then pull the threads until the hem gathers up.  You're left with what looks like a very small bag which you then squash flat into the circle shape (after having tied off the ends of the threads so it doesn't all unravel!)  It looks pretty with a button sewn in the middle which also hides the threads.  I think if you used a really groovy fabric and colourful buttons it would make a really great brooch or decoration for a bag.  Now there's an idea ...

I collect the exhibits on Sunday and I can share pics of them then.  Not that I'm superstitious :) but it felt unlucky to share images before they went on show.  A couple of years ago I got a highly commended certificate for a bag with patchwork - I wonder if I can beat that this year? :)  My daughter took one look at the apron above and said my style and personality were bouncing out of it - compliments are much better than certificates (though they are good too!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Busy creating ...

Hello!  Still here, but I've been busy finishing items off for the Kalamunda Show.  It's been a blissful state of creativity for me, but no-one else has seen much of me!  Time for bed - all this creativity makes Lara a tired girl - but a very happy one!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bloomers ... and a lesson for me

Crumbs - I can't believe it's a week since I last posted.  Last week was not a good week for me, I was not in a good place!  Our neighbours kept playing really loud music several days in a row, I could hear the lyrics in our lounge, and their dog always barks at us whenever we go out - it just got to breaking point and I felt like a prsioner in my own home.  At one time I even marched to the end of the drive to go and have a word, but stopped before I got to their house as my rational head was saying, 'calm down, go back inside, you are in the sort of mood where you'll say something in anger you'll regret later and you'll have to go past your neighbour's house for evermore with a paper bag on your head'.  So I listened to reason and went back indoors.  Now most of the 'Mrs Angry' feelings I must admit were hormonally induced (hope my husband doesn't read this, he'll give me his knowing smile) but I hated the feeling of insecurity in my own quiet haven, and also the way the anger made me feel.  Sick, sick, sick!  I would never advocate trying to bury anger as that causes damage itself, but letting it build up and getting hooked up into it is toxic!  I needed strategies to cope with it ...

The therapy included - going for a walk in the cool evenings, exercise is so fantastic for releasing those feel good endorphins; I looked for advice on dealing with noisy neighbours in WA and found a forum where a man described his awful situation and asked for advice on dealing with it - wow, the replies ranged from the very sensible to the sublime, some things you'd get arrested for but it made me feel a whole lot better!

Needless to say I'm feeling heaps happier now, the best strategy was realising I was the only one who became really miserable and whose life was being affected. It also helps when I play my own music just that little bit louder too ... ;)

Oh, and the bloomers?  They're for a rag doll I'm making for the Kalamunda Show which is this weekend.  I may have been a little optimistic about what I will be able to finish in time.  I still have a bag and 2 aprons to make; at least it keeps me busy and my head in a good place!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm a little behind with my creations!  Here are some Easter eggs I made from fabric scraps; the healthy option!  Don't ask me how I did it, but one egg is about half an inch bigger than the others, using the same pattern ...  The little chick is from a free crochet pattern from Spotlight.  You're supposed to use polystyrene eggs for the shape, but I couldn't get any so used toy stuffing instead; a bit tricky trying to squidge the stuffing into the right shape and use the crochet hook (I did keep getting tangled up with the fluff) but I got there eventually.  I love the way you can pop the chick into the top and bottom of its very own eggshell.  Cute.  Definitely one to keep for each year.

We've just finished watching a programme called 'Britain from Above'.  It was fascinating to learn that the demand for power is so high after people have watched Eastenders that extra power has to be brought in from France - and it's all because of people boiling kettles to make a cuppa!  Apparently it's the only country in the world where this happens.  So, the rest of the family can't make fun of me for drinking copious amounts of tea anymore - it's in the genes - it's more than that, it's a cultural thing ...

OK - for some reason my picture has rotated without me asking it to and I have no idea why!  It doesn't always happen either - all I know is IT'S REALLY ANNOYING!   Hmph ...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Remembering healing

Whilst tidying up the other day I found some of the art pieces I made when I was working with an art therapist last year.  Some of the pictures I felt I could let go of so I tore the sheets up into smaller pieces which I'm saving to make  scrapbook/journal when I get the time.  Ha ha!  The other pictures brought up some emotions and feelings that I'd like to keep hold of for a while longer so I'm keeping those safe.  Mainly I felt contented and happy that I've worked through some tough issues, and it's good to be reminded of the healing power of art - that we contain everything within ourselves to heal ourselves.  I can't recommend art therapy enough, here's an art therapist link for those of you in the Perth area.

A couple of my favourite images:

Happy Easter!

Well,  I hope you're all having a good Easter weekend and have had plenty of Easter egg hunting!  One of the good things about the holidays is that everyone goes into cruise mode in our house and finds the time to build something awesome like the above ship.  It's not actually 'proper' Lego but a lego wannabee - still looks good though.  The builders took about 6 hours to complete the model then went off to their room and played with it for a good couple of hours.  Many a contented torpedo boom and big gun noises could be heard down our end of the house.  Lego (and its wannabees) keeps kids entertained forever.  And it lasts forever - our big crate of the little plastic bricks contains some Lego that my hubby and I used to play with when we were young.  It's a family heirloom.

Yes, the camera did turn up.  I'd put it in a really silly place and my husband found it, quickly realizing I'd 'mislaid' it.  He doesn't miss a thing!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I've lost it ...

Ach - I am annoyed with myself as I'd taken some pics of a fantastic lego ship built by my talented lego builder and a hat 'form' I carved out of foam so that I can needle felt a hat.  But I can't remember where I've put the camera.  Aaaargh!  And I've got my sleepy head on now so I doubt I'll find it tonight.  Better luck tomorrow when hopefully I find the blessed thing.  And I don't usually misplace anything ... :)

So for your delectation and delight I've found a photo I took of Auckland from a yacht in the harbour, trying to be arty and taking the shot through a lifebuoy.   Lego and hats next time folks ...