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Friday, December 30, 2011

Become a Mystery Muse in 2012!


Start the year with art!  Become a Mystery Muse - click here to sign up - the lovely people at Artella are organizing a Mystery Muse 'swap'.  You have all through Saturday to sign up - then early in January you'll receive details of your swap partner by email, with whom you'll swap 2 pieces of creativity throughout January.  What a lovely way to spread creativity across the world and connect with likeminded spirits!  Don't just take my word for it - visit Artella and get the full details!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas

Top decoration totally self-designed and made by Little Man
I want to wish you all a peaceful and joyful Christmas, wherever you are in the world and however you celebrate the season.  Love is the biggest and best gift you can give, so give someone a hug, or a phone call and let them know you're thinking of them.  xxxxx

My very best wishes for you all and oodles of love too!  :)

My eldest still thinks this is the best Christmas tree in the world ... xxx

Monday, December 19, 2011

Baking to relax

Hectic!  But finally a day when I can calm down and do some cooking instead of rushing around doing Christmas things. 

Today I made a birthday cake - a little bit late - but what a cake!  Using my friend's recipe for the best ever chocolate cake, topped of with lots of cream and strawberries.  As it turned out to be quite a light cake I thought I'd go for the torte type.  Really pleased considering at one point the mixture looked curdled at the end and I thought I'd blown it - still don't know how I managed to curdle the mixture when it's an add everything and mix recipe.  Tastes great though and the recipients were very pleased :)

Thanks to my assistant Little Man who helped with cream and strawberries - nothing to do with being able to eat the leftovers I'm sure xxxx

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Middle of December already!

Is it only me, or has Christmas sneaked up on us this year?  I'm feeling like I have no time left!  I'm frantically making last minute pressies, and sending them overseas on a wing and a prayer and hoping they get there on time!  Rush, rush, rush and I thought it was a time of peace?  But it is all a choice, I don't need to be rushing around or stressing out - I can choose to be peaceful.  And that's my wish for you all tonight, a few moments of peace amongst the rush.

'night, 'night.  :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hearts and words ,,,

Hearts because I love them, blue because that's how I was feeling at the start of the day :(   Better now - listening to my body and having a sleep in the day helped, but my best therapy was writing - the old fashioned way in a journal with a pen :)   Mostly gobbledegook, a list of things, annoyances, feelings and so on, it won't make sense to me, let alone anyone else in months to come.  But wow, did I feel lighter!  I even managed a small sketch for an art quilt I want to make at the end of the blah, finding a way back to my creativity ...  It's something I'd recommend to any of you struggling with what you want to say, how you are feeling - write, write, write ...  It's a great idea to write a letter and put down your thoughts and feelings - you don't have to send it.  It's just important to get the words and your feelings out!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Creative Space ...

I'm still plodding on with my teeny granny squares - I like to have a pot to chuck them in as I make them.  I found a slightly battered biscuit tin in the laundry, so I hammered out the worst dents and covered it in pretty wrapping paper ...


treasure revealed inside!
And look what the postie left on my doorstep today, a very cool amigurumi crochet calendar for 2012 by crochetme.  So fabulous you can even download all the patterns - looks like I'll have at least one crochet project a month for the next year :)


Check it out here to see other creative spaces ...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Housework won't kill you ... but why take the chance?

Tidying is tiring!  I've spent the whole weekend having a spring clean as we have a few visitors before and during Christmas, so now the house looks shiny and new - and I feel like I need a holiday!  But time waits for no man (or woman) so I'll be right into making Christmas pressies over the next few days.

Apart from that, I have nothing to write about - all that tidying has burned out my circuits ... :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Creative Space

Patchwork!

Look at my messy cupboard, alas with no door ...


Patchwork comes to the rescue ...


Doesn't that look a whole lot better; so simple yet so pretty and I made it all myself!

Someone always has to come over to have a look at what's going on ...



Wondering what else is going on in the creative spaces across the globe?  Check it out here ...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Body Image - journalling


I was given a journalling exercise the other day, asking me to think about my body - all the things it does right, or on its own without being told what to do!

So it got me really thinking.  I usually look at my body and only see what's wrong with it, what I would like to change, and even see it as a separate entity sometimes!  But after brainstorming and putting everything down on a pretty piece of paper I can happily say I see my body as an important part of what makes up me, and that it's not so bad after all!  My favourite discoveries were that I feel my body enables me to experience the physicality of this world, to act out my feelings, to express myself.  Also that I like to move, whether it be to music (belly dancing!) or walking with my dog in the woods.

It's great to look at the same old, same old from a different perspective - it's like a breath of fresh air.  (Try it and see!  xx)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More doll happenings!


Last week I was lucky enough to get tuition from a friend who is also a very talented doll maker.  She showed me how to needle sculpture a doll's face and this is how mine looked at the end of the lesson.  So now I have more doll pieces hanging round the house - it's starting to look a little like Frankenstein's laboratory here!

Lots of doll stories to share for the future ...

Monday, November 21, 2011

a little visitor ...



Sorry for the big gap - technical problems again with internet and computer!  All fixed now I think.  I don't do the fixing, just the waiting and getting impatient :)

But I have been busy in my absence and have a few things to share over the next few days.  Lately I've been going patchwork crazy, sewing lots of squares together, and marvelling at the beauty of such simplicity.

Also been trying to catch up with finishing off some bags which have been in pieces for ages and needed sewing so that I can put them on my Made-it store.  I'd forgotten how to make one of the variations and was sitting on my bed looking for the instructions when the little fellow above scuttled across the quilt.  Don't know who was more frightenend!   After the initial shock (well, would you expect a tiny lizard to scuttle across your bed when you're surfing the net?) I rushed to get the camera and snapped away whilst the poor little thing tried to get out of the window in vain.  He's safe now and back in his home :)  Love living in the forest xx

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Creative Space: More macabre happenings in an art doll's life ...


Here it gets creepier - some more body parts of my lovely doll Ima-jin are slowly being made.  This time I've been working on her legs.  They are quite amazing really, jointed by using a big wooden bead.  The arms will be made in the same way.  It's interesting journalling the progress of my doll in this way, watching her come together piece by piece.  If not a little weird ... ;)



Check out some more creative happenings here ...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shopping at Guildford Pottery


In the recent holidays Little Man was lucky enough to do a pottery workshop and today I was able to pick up the lovely dragon he made (and 2 little dishes he made on the wheel - very impressive!).  The classes are held at Guildford Pottery, phone up for details.


I also had time to look round the shop and did leave with a few treasures :)  The beautiful blue sugar bowl and the little gumnuts were made by one of the teachers at the children's class, that's what I love about buying from the galleries - you get to meet the people who made the objects you love, it all makes it so much more special.

 


Check out the gallery if you're passing through Guildford!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ups and downs - the weather and me ...

Strolling along the beach at Shanklin (unless you're Little Man of course xx)
Not really sure what to blog about today.  I think we may all have a brief and temporary episode of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  See, it is meant to be almost summer here, but today has been like winter, and although I do love winter and have a few problems with the heat, I do like the weather to behave and the seasons to be seasons - all should be correct and in its proper place.

But that's not the reason for my lack of inspiration.  I'm still beating myself up about this weekend's minor setback in my plans and letting other people's opinions influence me (it makes it harder to carry on regardless when it is people you value too).  Getting myself into a right old muddle!

Dunc asked me what the matter was earlier as I was so quiet and obviously miles away, and I had to admit that I was thinking of a time back in the UK this year when we were all wandering along the beach at Shanklin one evening, and how lovely it was to be in one of our old haunts.  So, I found the pics and have been thinking of the happy times we had on our holiday and it's cheered me up.  I'm grateful for the time we had together and have lots of fond memories to sustain me, lovely, lovely!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


You know when you have an idea you've been playing around with, you get all excited, then you tell your friends, then they don't react in the way you expected and you start to doubt your idea?  Well, that happened to me this weekend.  So now I'm doubting my idea, which I really liked before chatting with my friends - I just wish sometimes I could make a decision and stick to it!  Do you think sometimes it's better not to share?


Now I need to get my vision clear in my head again, and find a balance between anxiety about moving forward with the desire for something better as seen in my vision.  OK - self-coaching session over!  Always follow your dreams folks, and if it's your intuition calling the shots - it's probably right!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

ARTbundance™ in Australia!

My profile pic

Well, I've been working on my entry in the Artella directory for ARTbundance™ Coaches and Practitioners and thought I would share mine here with you!  So here goes:

"I live in the wonderful hills of Perth, WA with my beautiful family and gentle dog.  My life consists of embracing creativity everyday, whether it be through my crochet, knitting, sewing or mixed media art as well as taking care of my family which I also see as a creative act!

It's a passionate belief of mine that everyone is creative and I would love for everyone to embrace their own innate creativity.  I look forward to meeting many more creative spirits and sharing in your stories ...

To me, ARTbundance™ means undertaking the journey to finding your authenticity, using creativity to help come to healing and wholeness, and learning the way is inside yourself.

My own unique specialty is to help you embrace your creativity in a very gentl way by providing you with a safe space to do so, a listening ear and inspired wisdom gleaned from you sharing your story - I am a nurturer!  :) "

If you'd like to find out more about this method of coaching or the training itself, I'd be happy to answer any questions by email (just look for the contact button on my profile page).  I'm very happy to do coaching by phone or skype.

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend ... 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Creative Space: hexies, squares and blankies


Here's my little offering for today - some more of my teeny tiny granny squares for the random multicoloured afghan I hope to make one day :)  I love these for summer crochet - no huge, heavy pieces of warm knitting sitting on my lap!  Another perfect project for summer small pieces is the hexipuff - discovered these during Blogtoberfest - little hexagons you knit in the round, then stuff with a little wadding before binding off!  (It's a project called the 'Beekeeper's Quilt')  I haven't stuffed any yet as I'm not sure I'll ever need anything that warm in Oz, but when I looked at Tiny Owl's site just to check out the finished item once again, for inspiration - it's gorgeous - I was tempted to fill a few as they are so perfectly squishy and squashy.  Might make good ornaments for the Christmas tree?



When the kids asked what I was going to do with all these hexipuffs and squares, I answered 'make blankets' and they rolled their eyes with a 'not more blankets' kind of look.  Well, I might as well admit it now - I am a blankie addict - I can't help myself.   They are so comfy and nuturing.  And I think imagining what the finished article will look and feel like is part of the fun.

See what other craft addicts are up to at Our Creative Spaces.  xx

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dos de los muertos

Frida Kahlo

Today is the second day of the Mexican festival 'Dos de los muertos' - Day of the Dead.  Rather than being as spooky as it sounds, it's actually a time to remember those who have passed on - children on the first day, and adults on the second.  Skulls are a prominent symbol and symbolize both death and life - the Mexicans celebrate by making fantastically colourful shrines and special foods.  You can find out loads about it if you Google it.

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who used the symbology of skulls and skeletons in her work.  She was an amazing woman and her work is thought-provoking and sometimes brutal, but for me very inspiring too.  So I remember her today, and my grandparents - and also the lovely people who are still with me and bless my life.


Thinking about Death (1943)

Frida's artwork is available to be viewed at sites such as this one and I found the photo of Frida on the Library of Congress website, which looks like a huge resource for all sorts of images.   And click here for what looks to be another good site for art research (it's where I found the self-portrait).  Places to start your research if you so wish!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Something Different


I appear to be experiencing carpel tunnel again - too much knitting and crochet!  So I decided to take my creativity in a different direction today - and simultaneously made my kids' dreams come true.  We've been lucky enough to be gifted with a huge bag of lemons by our lovely friends, which resulted in me making a double sized lemon meringue pie!  My offspring's absolute favourite dessert of all time.  We actually, unbelievably have some left, so guess what's for lunch tomorrow!  :)

(FYI - the recipe is from Delia Smith's 'Complete Cookery Course' book xx)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Last day of Blogtober

It's my last post of Blogtoberfest 2011 - and it's been fabulous!  I've found other blogs to follow, yet another project to start (featuring hexagons - yay!) and found my blogging mojo!  Woo-hoo!

It's a funny old time - today is Halloween, a tradition I just don't get, and tomorrow is Melbourne Cup, which I am sorry, I really don't get.  But I suppose the important thing is that everyone has fun, even an old bah humbug grouch like me :)

So in the spirit of strangeness that abounds I thought I'd close my Blogtoberfest with a quote from the ever brilliant Jasper Fforde, from his book 'The Well of Lost Plots', featuring the gorgeous Thursday Next:

"I kicked off my shoes and flopped on the sofa next to Gran, who had fallen asleep over a sock she was knitting.  It was already a good twelve feet long, because, she said, 'she had yet to build up enough courage to turn the heel'."  

I know how she feels!  And if you don't get it, that doesn't matter, it made me chuckle and that's what counts xxx  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oooops, missed a day!


Can you believe it!   I missed a day of Blogtoberfest!  And I have no excuse apart from I watched 'The King's Speech' late last night, then fell straight into bed and fell asleep.  But it does fit in very well with my 'doing nothing much' post which I was going to blog about yesterday ...

You see, it's a long weekend over here in WA, and I thought my kiddies might like a few activities to keep them amused.  But no, I have home bods for offspring and we all had so much more fun staying in at home, watching DVDs with the sofa bed set up for comfort while we watched :), walking the dog so at least he didn't get bored, eating yummy bread, strawberries and lollies, walking the dog again, then settling in for the evening.   The most energetic thing I did was make a lemon drizzle cake (pictured), but I must say there's a lot to say for doing absolutely nothing at times, we've all been a lot more pleasant to each other and our days have been less stressed - it's going to be a pull to go back to normality :)   I'd thoroughly recommend taking some time out occasionally to just smell the roses (or the lemon drizzle) - your family will thank you for it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Kind heart


Here's a little giftie from me to you xx   I've been shown a lot of love and friendship for the past few days, by seemingly small gestures, but they mean the world and I want to pay it forward!!  I have a lovely bunch of roses on my kitchen table from my friend's garden, we were just leaving her home when she grabbed some secateurs and cut a huge bunch for me.  The same friend made me a cup of tea today on the rocks by a stream near our house, as our children and dogs played close by.  It's the best cup of tea I've had in a long time xx    And we also visited our neighbours today, as Little Man has been promising to drop in for a few days now.  They stopped what they were doing, got us both a drink and we sat outside under their verandah and chatted happily for an hour.  Little acts of kindness that mean a great deal.

During my browsing of the net this Blogtoberfest, I stumbled across this lovely blog, take a look if you have time, the title says it all 'Kind over Matter'.  I wish you a lovely weekend, filled with special moments of pleasure. xx



Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Creative Space - My doll in bits and pieces ...


Face in detail
It might look somewhat macabre seeing pics of my doll in pieces, but this is how she's progressing!  You can see the drawing that's my inspiration here.  I'm really pleased with the face, it's the first time I've sculpted a face using a needle - can you see her tiny nose?  The pattern features a really long neck, but I'm going to shorten mine - it just doesn't look right for my doll.

I've used the book I've mentioned before 'Creative Cloth Doll Collection' by Patti Medaris Culea and mixed up a couple of patterns.  One tip Patti gives is to cut out the larger pieces with pinking shears - that way yo don't have to clip the curves before sewing.  My doll's going to have jointed legs, using big wooden beads.  Another first, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Will post more pics as she progresses - I'm trying to finish her before Christmas.  As well as making several Christmas presents - it'll be interesting to see how it all goes!

See what other people are up to on the creative front ....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WARNING: take regular breaks when working at your computer!

My eyes hurt :( after yesterday's marathon of email inbox uncluttering.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A day for tired eyes

A cup of tea in a camper always helps

How embarrassing - I put Little Man to bed tonight at his usual time, and ended up falling asleep with him!  Woke up with a dog's nose in my face, obviously wondering where I'd disappeared to :)

I think the reason for my early night could be over exposure to email!  I decided today to sort out my account as it's got a bit silly - over 450 unread messages, plus twice that of read messages means I've been missing something - either emails I've not opened from people, or replies to one's I have opened which have got lost in the email mountain that was my inbox.  Several hours later, I'm down from 50 pages and over 1000 emails to 1 page of 4 emails, and the ones I wanted to keep all stored away in named files.  I'm either suffering from shock that I've been so organized or tiredness from not taking enough breaks from the screen.  Possibly  both.  Whichever, I've now got square eyes, so the lovely comments I've been meaning to reply to will be answered tomorrow - will I be able to take 2 days of organization in a row, or will it simply prove to be too much for me ...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Return to the orangey planet of Yarn

I've managed to turn my heel!


Wow, what's going on with the weather?  It's presently raining so hard you can't hear the TV (not that it's a major loss).  And it's always good to have rain, but the weather's just weird ...

Look at the socks!  I am so impressed with myself!  :)  Mostly because I'd convinced myself that I would never be able to knit a pair, but I had a go anyway when the sock yarn was on special.  It's great - it knits into stripes and patterns all by itself!  Magic yarn.  Is there something you think you can't do, but would love to have a go at?  Well, take one step at a time, and you could well surprise yourself - it feels great! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

These precious moments ...

My little sparkley notebook stuck on the fridge door ...
I was going to write a post about my knitting and crochet from last night - had a bit of a catch up with my small squares and am progressing with my sock!  But then I found something infinitely more beautiful and heartwarming, something I discovered whilst watching the rugby world cup and making hot chocolate for the kids (they pick their moments!)

Lurking around the door to watch telly whilst watching the milk to see it didn't boil over I took a look at all the stuff on the fridge door - certificates, photos and such stuck on haphazardly as in many family homes.  My little notebook was a pressie from my hubby whilst we were in the UK - don't know what prompted me to open it, but look at the gorgeous message I uncovered:


Little Man even drew a Union Jack for me :)
How loved did I feel and how special that it was meant as a surprise for me.  When I told Little Man how happy it made me feel, he informed me that it was especially for writing nice things in.  Moments like these stay in the parent memory files for years and years.  :)   Bless xxxx

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blogging thoughts from my own little blogging space

What can you do to get more people looking at your blog?   I dunno, so I'm going to carry on as I am because I enjoy it!  Which is quite good coming from me; I still cringe at the thought of those 'no-one likes my blog as much as other blogs' kind of posts I have been known to write.  Now I've learned it's cool to write my thoughts down, it's great for keeping in touch with my family and friends back in the UK and it really helps my creativity - it's almost like oil for the engine, it keeps everything moving!  Really great reasons to keep on blogging, so I will.  Blogtoberfest has helped so much in getting me back into the habit and I've been visiting some other lovely blogs and won't leave until I've left a comment, even if it is something simple like 'hello', it seems polite to let the owner know you've been there and appreciated their work :)

So yes, I feel more content about my blogging and not so attached to the outcome; less of a struggle and it makes me happy.  And sometimes it's nice just to write about being content.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Away with the fairies

We saw these fairies in Devon ...
Hot.  Busy.  Errands.  Shopping.  Chocolate brownie - yummy.  discovering.  sleepover.  Clone Wars.  Reading.  Conversation.  Laughter.  A good day.  :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

And the giveaway winner is ...

Nothing says "hurray" quite as well as a sunflower ...



Yay - we have a winner! 

Janet from Caribou Crossing (and other blogs of quilty goodness)!!!!  Well done! 

What a lovely way to finish a sunny spring day.  :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Puddles, strawberries and Eton Mess ... ?

A diverse selection of pics today!

Who'd have thought it after a hot day of 30 degrees +, that today would be like winter again?  It rained so much puddles appeared everywhere - take a look!



Tried to make it feel like summer by buying strawberries and cream and making Eton Mess for dessert.  YUMMY!  And simple too, chop up your strawberries, whip the cream, smash up a few meringues and mix altogether.  Truly decadent and delicious.

Digitally enhanced Eton Mess
And we found a treasure amongst the strawberries - suggestions?  Butterfly, love heart, angel, Isle of Man 3 legged symbol (? how?), moth ... amazing what the eye sees.  Never hurts to have creativity with dessert.


PS  You still have a chance to enter the giveaway - just to remind you, the coaching can be done by phone or skype.  Winner announced in tomorrow's post.



Monday, October 17, 2011

LAST CALL!!!!

Hi - it's my last call for my giveaway, which you can read about here and/or here - remember it's a FREE 30 min coaching session with me, using simple but effective art activities to help with your decision-making.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!  xxx

You know I like quotes - well here is a great one I found as I unwrapped my last Dove chocolate!

"Happiness is an inside job".   Another reason to love chocolate!

Go on - all you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this or the posts referred to above, and I'll draw the winner on Wednesday.  (or you can email me - contact button on profile  page).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grass Trees

Wow - was it hot today!  34 degrees, seemingly out of nowhere!  How best to cope?  Sit in the shade with a lovely cool glass of white wine, wearing a lovely cottony summery skirt and top, bare feet and good company.  I managed ...


C-Dog - he's all grown up now
This was after we'd attended a photography workshop in the city, which was very useful.  Dad had taught me very well in my youth, and everything the teacher spoke about I did know already - it needed a bit of a jog to come back to me though :)  So I was all enthused when we got back home, and when we took our dog for a walk I took a few pics of sunlight on grass trees.  Summer's nearly here ... not totally sure how I feel about it at the moment ...  but it is nice to feel warm ...

Some grass trees look like Dr Seuss characters ...

Sunlight over xanthorrea