Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A note on note-taking

Even notes can be creative ... my inner dialogue which has been running all day ...

I mentioned last week that I like to use different coloured biros to make my notes and writing more interesting.  Using different colours, as Sark does, helps me to remember things much more easily.  Have a look at Sark's website for some informative and upbeat life coaching!  I have a couple of Sark's book including 'Living Juicy' which I like to dip into for some spiritual, creative, crazy uplifting!! :)  It's a day by day guide on how to nurture your creative soul.  Hmm, maybe I could use it in conjunction with my creative notes?  Hmmm ... IDEA!! 

So, I've decided to do a week's worth of coloured notes to myself to accompany my blog and to show how creative and memorable note-taking can be.

Do you like the stars?  I made a stamper out of a cork from a bottle of Asti!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A little reminder of summer

The kids went out to play in the garden on Friday and came back in, all whispers and secrets, then 5 minutes later presented me with this beautiful posy of roses in a glass vase.  The two little roses were still mere buds 3 days ago, but here they are now in all their glory.  Aren't they extra specially gorgeous?  I love it that although it's getting colder day by day, my last rose in bloom is making a last stand against the winter.  Even roses have attitude - isn't that great? :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Workbag

Today I wanted  to pop across to the shops from work, so I decided to empty out my bag in order that I didn't look like a suspicious shop-lifting type person as my bag was bulging at the seams.  I wonder why?  Look at it!  I carry around my sketchbook, notebook, colourful biros because I think black and blue ones are boring, a box with drawing materials, fineliners in a pencil pot, spectacles and some knitting for the quieter times at work.  Oh and yes, my protective evil-eye keyring a friend brought back from Greece, which I like because of the colours and glass beads.  The bag doesn't look big enough does it?  Must be the TARDIS model.

Work was varied today and I found time to clear out my little room which has been reserved for me as a studio.  Typically for me I got distracted by other things and haven't used the room myself so it's been filled with other people's clutter.  Now it's looking emptier, and I'm looking forward to filling it with arty materials so I can start creating in my own space.  At long last ...

Here's my little shop window - bringing back memories of the summer (I was absolutely boiling when this photo was taken!)  Lara's art space is finally happening!  :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

One hundred!!!

Nothing much to report - except that I've just this minute completed my 100th square for my first afghan of the Granny a Day Challenge.   Only 20 more squares to go.  Yee-hah!

Apart from that I am still adjusting to being a working mum and still trying to fit in everything I did before starting work again. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Portble creativity ...

Yeuch - you can tell what sort of week it's been by my little pencil drawing.  This picture serves another purpose in that it demonstrates you can be creative anywhere.  I've taken to carrying my wee sketchpad around in my workbag, and I drew this picture whilst waiting to see the doctor on Tuesday.

 My little world became very confused early on Wednesday morning (it doesn't take much these days) when my husband told me Nick Clegg had been made UK Prime Minister.  The children and I had a very interesting conversation on how weird it was that the man who had come third ended up with the top job.  It really was a bad combination - I was still sleepy in bed  when I heard the news, and my hubby always gets names muddled up!  My world suddenly made sense again when I read the internet news and realized I'd been misinformed!  Moral of this story I suppose is - always check your facts ...

I was going to blog last night, but I had a really weird allergic reaction to our part-time cat (story for another time!) and my eyes swelled up and I couldn't open one of them!  When you could see what was going on my eyeball was all 'blobby' - the children kept asking to have another look and their faces were a mixture of amazement and revulsion.  How loved did I feel ...

So, I was spotty last week and blobby this week - I definitely need to put a choccie bar or two in the shopping trolley tonight.  It may not help the spots, but it will soothe the soul!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More tweeting ...

After yesterday's post I think I may be addicted to creativity - don't know if that is good or bad :)

While I ponder that I 've got more work and bookkeeping to keep me busy.  Oh goody.

Monday, May 10, 2010

More of a tweet than a post ...

Blah - work and then bookkeeping.  Boring.  Need some creativity!

Bored, bored, bored ...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Here are the gorgeous pressies my little man made, as well as the flower and necklace we made together at school on Friday.  I was going to get a picture taken of myself wearing my beautiful jewellery, but I have the most amazingly massive spot on my chin and you wouldn't know whether to look at my face or my spot because they are both the same size :)

I've spent the day, which began with tea and brekkie in bed followed by Tim Tams, sewing my hexagons for my quilt and crocheting squares for my afghan.  I've been left alone to craft all day which has been lovely and even dinner was cooked for me.  Later on when I was lying on the lounge floor, my head on a beanbag, my little man put another cushion under my head, lay a blankie over me and I promptly fell asleep for half an hour.  I tell you I can sleep anywhere and through anything - my hubby was playing AC/DC in the same room and I was totally oblivious!

What a lovely day, filled with hugs and kisses.  I feel very special!  I hope all you mums out there had a great day too - where would we be without you?  I know I want to say a big thank you to my mum for everything - you're the best!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, May 7, 2010

End of the week ...

Phew - I've only worked 3 half days this week and I'm worn out!  I don't know how working mums do it!  All power to you!

I spent this morning up at school with my little man as it was Mother's Day Morning - we all did activities with our kiddies and had morning tea.  It was a very special day and little man and I created some awesome things - I'm waiting until tomorrow for better light to take the photo of our creations.  It was such fun.

We've just finished watching Pink on DVD - the Funhouse tour which we saw live  a whole year ago!  Time flies.  What an amazing show, still makes me want to get up and dance (Little Man did!) 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bubblewrap - a Felter's Best Friend (How to make felt)

Best laid plans and all that.  In the interest of environmental kindness and the fact that I want my last day of freedom to be spent doing fun 'me' things I stayed at home today, and will be going to Spotlight tomorrow instead.  It is in fact just across the road from our store, and I may as well pop into Midland once rather than make two trips.  So, I have spent the day felting instead and putting more content into my website.

Thought you might be interested to see how I complete a sheet of felt, although there are numerous very good sites on the net, simply type 'how to make felt' into Google and see what comes up.  My method is probably not very strictly traditional, and I'm sure a lot of felters would curl up and call me names for my technique, but it works (as you will see), so here goes:

The 'manly' coloured merino wool fibres and feltable knitting yarn I'll be using for the slippers.

1.  I make my felt at the kitchen sink, as I can lay the wool fibre out on the draining board, and if I make a mess I can clean it up quickly.  The laundry is also a good room.  Firstly I lay a sheet of bubblewrap on the draining board, then begin to pull off little pieces of the wool and lay it in on the bubblewrap - imagine you are tiling a roof - one direction for the first layer, the other direction for the second layer and so on.  See my cleverly designed photo below.  I used four layers of wool, swapping direction with each layer.

2.  The next REALLY IMPORTANT bit is to get all the air out from between the fibres.  How I do this is to gently pour very, very hot water onto the fibre in pretty patterns, then I lay another sheet of bubblewrap over the top and gently press and squash the air out.  You'll find the water squishes out from the edges when you do this, and spreads through the wool.  This is good!  You may need to keep adding water.  Keep pressing until all the air has been squashed out.

3.  Lift the bubblewrap and squirt a few blobs of soft soap onto the wool.  Don't use anything with harsh detergents.  Not good for the wool or your hands.  Add some more water.  Lay the bubblewrap on top again and then making circular movements with your hands, rub over the whole sheet.  Now it gets lovely and bubbly.  Keep rubbing.  This is the stage where you need to be fairly careful as the wool hasn't bonded together properly yet.  Keep checking under the bubblewrap to see if the wool is pulling up, do this by trying to pull up a few fibres between your finger and thumb - see pics.

Here you can see the soap bubbles under the bubblewrap - and the fibres are still quite soft at this stage. 
Wool fibres pulling up too much - fibres still too soft.

This is just about right - it's very difficult to pull the fibres up.  Now you can be rougher with your felt.

4.  When the wool isn't pulling up very much, you can now get rougher with the fabric!  This is when I roll up the felt in the bubblewrap and roll it backwards and forwards on the draining board.  You can also squeeze the roll of felt and bubblewrap.  The more friction the better.  Another good thing to do is to keep it wrapped in the bubblewrap and roll it backwards and forwards in a sink of hot water (best wear rubber gloves).

5.  The felt should be feeling much more rigid at this stage, then you can alternately rinse it in hot then cold water to help the 'fulling' process, and basically do all the things you were told not to do with that beautiful 100% wool sweater by your mum.  At this point I was wringing the felt out then flattening it on the draining board each time to see how it looked and 'felt'.  Hmmmm ....  anyway, when I thought I'd fulled the felt enough I rinsed it out finally to get rid of all the soap suds and lay it outside in the shade to dry.  Voila - one sheet of felt!  And it's so much nicer than the acrylic felt you can buy.

The finished product - look how much it's shrunk in the fulling process.

Feltmaking is so much fun because it's so hands on.  I used merino wool fibres that you can buy in any craft shop - for this project I used an 80g bag of merino, which costs around $10 at Spotlight.  You need to make time for about 1-2 hours of rubbing and wringing, but it's worth it, I promise.  Next thing I have to do is make a pair of slippers out of the felt for my husband.  That could be fun!

And if all that was as clear as mud and you would like further help or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at my e-mail address which is in my profile info.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Busy bee me ...

Spent my day working on a website for my paintings.  Having such a lot of fun.  I'm only using a ready made site-building template, but it looks quite good.  I'll let you know when it's fully up and running.

Tomorrow is my last day being a full-time at home mum :(  I'm going in to help my husband with some admin work as from Wednesday as everyone is feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work and I'm quite happy to sit and do the routine, labour intensive tasks.   Just don't ask me to answer the phones and do the sales routine - I'm pants at that!  We tried before and it was a disaster, so I'm going back on the condition that I don't touch the phone (my husband's work condition, not mine!) 

So, I'll be rushing into Spotlight tomorrow to pick up a few things for my crochet and knitting projects currently on the go, as well as a pair of suede sole for some slippers.  Then off to the shopping centre for some props for my website.

As you can see, I managed to fit in some time for some craft this evening.  Still going strong on the afghan - finished 74 out of 120 squares.  Determined we will be warm this winter!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Well done boys!

Here's my lovely boy who along with his dad walked over 50 laps at the 'Relay for Life' this weekend.  It's a fundraising event for the Cancer Council of Australia, held at the Challenge Stadium in Perth.  They were part of the relay team of Mr Rental WA.  I'm so proud of them.  They did fantastically - I only did a measly 5 laps!  True to form I managed to find a creative activity and decorated a bag to put my tribute candle in (for Grandma Chandler and Grandma Underwood - love you).  At 8 pm last night there was a candlelit vigil when victims of cancer and their loved ones were remembered.  I thought of my maternal and paternal grandmothers who both lost their lives to cancer, and also thought of my mum who had to nurse her mother when she was ill.  Our family got split up for a while, so I was standing with 2 of my kiddies and we just hugged each other close and counted our blessings that we had each other and our health.  An emotional evening, but a priceless experience.

Needless to say, the two walkers have aching legs and a ton of respect!