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


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

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Zentangle - WIP

Thought I'd try a zentangle as I've heard about them a lot, and presume they may have the same meditative effects as mandalas, which as you may know I love.  I'm not too sure what the 'rules' or conventions are, but I think you draw a random shape, break it up into several smaller random shapes, then fill each shape with doodles.  Also that they are usually worked in black and white.  Or at least, these are the guidelines I'm using, and so far it's looking promising.  Can't wait to see how it progresses.

Friday, October 14, 2011

This why I love tea ...

because sometimes you find a little gem ...

like this quote from a pack of tea we bought in the UK ...

"Wouldn't it be dreadful to live in a country where they didn't drink tea?"  - Noel Coward

** apologies to all the people out there who don't like tea, you can always substitute tea with something else like coffee or your favourite beverage ** 

Been saving that quote for a quietly non-creative day like today.  Thinking about my next creation and browsing through crafty mags is just as much fun though ... always look for inspiration!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Creative Space: Finally finished my Central Park Hoodie

Here's my Central Park Hoodie I started last winter - knitting takes a bit of time around here.  Too many projects going on at the same time :)  It's really comfy, and I love the yarn I used which is a recycled polyester and acrylic mix by Red Heart.   

I was going to put toggles on at one point but look:

Hole-less ...
How did I miss that????  How did the shop assistant miss it?   What am I going to do with it?

Remember to pop over to Our Creative Space for more creations and off to Tinniegirl for other bloggers taking part in Blogtoberfest 2011 - so much creative goodness it's enough to make you weep!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Making my muse ...

Ima-jjn on paper
I'm preparing a doll pattern for my crafty day with a friend tomorrow.  A while ago I drew my muse Ima-jin, and now I want to make her into a doll!  So I'm matching up the colours I gave her the best I can and am hoping to make her with jointed legs and arms, and complete her little red glittery boots.  Not quite sure how yet, but she needs to have them!

Ima-jin personifies the arty part of me, but she's also much more confident and risk-taking, plus she can fly!   I'll post pics of her as I go ...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Blissness Card

During my ARTbundance(TM) Training we undertook our own ARTsignments, which were great fun.  One week we had to design a Blissness card (reprogrammed business card!) which demonstrated who we are and how we envisage our business to be like.  So, I made a small quiltie - it folds up into a normal business sized card - which incorporates all my elements. 

Hope you like it, and can garner a little info about what my business is going to be about :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Building with bricks ...

You might think our family is a tad obsessed with Lego and similar building materials - well,you'd be right!  Today Little Man received a present from his Aunty and we spent what seemed like hours making it.  Great for hand eye co-ordination, learning to follow instructions, having patience, imaginative play, engaging child and parent - but most of all it's just plain good fun!  And exceedingly creative ...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sharing more about ARTbundance™and the giveaway ...

Righto, I've had 2 people sign up for my giveaway so far, but I would love to share some more with you about  ARTbundance™ and how brilliant it is and hopefully more people may be persuaded to have a go!

ARTbundance™ is heart-centred
ARTbundance™ is fantastic for coming to decisions on issues that may be bugging you.  For example, you may want to work on the fact that you have lots of ideas, but can't decide which one to focus on first.  Using ARTsignments™ we can look at the issue together, and use artful activities to help your intuition find its voice and let you know what your focus will be.  It's an exciting process, and so empowering to discover that the answers actually are to be found within you!  If I do get to work with you, the first thing I will ask is "what do you have on your mind today" and we can go from there.  I promise you it is a non-threatening and safe environment, details are shared with no-one but ourselves and I love to encourage others.  It's a win-win situation, you get coaching for free and I get to practise doing what I love!  So if you've been wondering whether to sign up - follow that inner voice and leave a comment!

I'm happy to either phone you or skype, whichever is easiest.  A comment gets you one chance to win, if you are already or become a follower you get 2 chances.

Look at my previous post here for some more details on how ARTbundance™ works.  As part of our training we complete ARTsignments™ ourselves, so we live what we share with you.  If you haven't already guessed, I'm a big fan!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

On the orangey planet of Yarn

Well, here are the Stormtroopers - in a very orange light, transported by TARDIS no less to the planet of YARN ...

A good lesson in how changing the size of a crochet hook really affects the final project - Mr Big was made using the 3.50 mm hook as per instructions, and Luke Mark II is made using the 3.00 mm hook after I realized my tension is way too loose.  (Remember the line from Princess Leia on how Luke looks rather small to be a Stormtrooper when he's rescuing her in the first and very best SW movie?)

The pattern is by Lucy Ravenscar who has lots of patterns for sale at her Etsy store.  Needless to say I have a few - Yoda is next, complete with cloak.   Who said life is boring? :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Where have my Stormtroopers gone?

I was going to post about my Star Wars amigurumi Stormtroopers tonight, but unfortunately they were called on a special mission to accompany Little Man to bed.  So there will be pictures tomorrow.  They're very cute ... 'til tomorrow ...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Art Dolls in the makings

Thought I'd just give you a book reference tonight as my long-lasting virus has now morphed into earache and I'm feeling like pants!  Anyway, it's my plan to make a couple of art dolls before Christmas and one of the most amazing and brilliant books I've come across is 'Creative Cloth Doll Collection' by Patti Medaris Culea.  As it's also Blogtoberfest, maybe you could pop over to her blog - her blog banner features one of her dolls.  There is also a button for Amazon where you could get a peek at her book. 

Off for a refreshing sleep, and hopefully painless ears tomorrow :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ship Ahoy!

Still proving that creativity comes in all forms - here is the ship of cards sailing on the Sofa Sea!

Little Man asked me to help build it - he started off really well, sorting cards into piles and stacking them neatly, counting out the required cards for each stage - for about 5 minutes before he became distracted by Lego!  Still, I was glad to see that the Lego people did become part of the crew.  (They can't be seen here as they've stopped off in Port Cushion for supplies).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pasta and Photoshop

Creativity today included making pasta for tea - yummy!

And mucking about in Photoshop to produce a purple pencil drawing of my pasta machine.

Creativity comes in all shapes and forms!

Monday, October 3, 2011

My ARTbundance™ Training finished and a Giveaway!!

Since April I've been doing my training to become a certified ARTbundance™ Coach and Practitioner, and I graduated last week after completing my practise coaching sessions and teleclass presentation to a group of people.  Yay!  And what does all this mean?

An ARTbundance™ Coach and Practitioner is a unique hybrid of inspiring coach, creativity teacher, workshop leader, and spiritual guide.  This unique training allows me to greatly assist clients in accessing and using their creativity in powerful ways to catalyze greater awareness, joy, prosperity, and meaning in life. 

At the heart of my practice is the use of ARTsignments™, which are unique creative tools that access your imagination and intuition, allowing you to make powerful life changes, quickly and joyfully! Through ARTsignments™, you'll create inspiring art and writing projects as you engage all levels of your mind, imagination and body. This allows concepts to sink in on deep, visceral levels, bringing forth new layers of understanding and transformation.

What I really, really love about this coaching method is that it isn't my job to give you advice about the issue concerning you, rather I am a guide helping you to engage your inner wisdom when it comes to making the right decision for yourself - using art - isn't that exciting!

And the really good news is that I'm going to have a giveaway for a free 30 minute coaching session - I am happy to phone anywhere in the world, so everyone can have a go!  Simply leave a comment on this post to be entered into the draw.  If you become a follower, or are a follower already, you get 2 chances to win.  And, if there are more than 20 comments, I'll be giving away another coaching session to another lucky person.  So the more people who enter, the more chances to win!  (I'll need your email address too to make sure I can contact you - you can email me from my profile page).  Entries close noon 18th October 2011.

So good luck everyone, honestly, if you've never thought of or tried coaching before, this is a fantastic opportunity to try ...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Intuit Into It - stiffened felt pot

I hope you've been able to pop across to Tinniegirl's blog to visit some of the others who are part of Blogtoberfest.  I noticed I'm number 88 in the list - I smiled and thought of two fat ladies :)  Quite like that for some reason!

Anyway, this Blogtoberfest has got me thinking about what I'm going to post on a daily basis.  And I thought it would be good to share some of the art projects I did for my ARTbundance(TM) training* as they really got the creative juices flowing.  So today's show and tell is about my Intuit Into It vessel.  Our brief was to create something to put little notes or reminders in whenever we felt we really were in contact with our intuition.  Well, I love felting and thought I could make a pot out of felt. So I did.  I used a small child's bouncy ball, which was a bit squishy which really helped when I had to take the bowl off of it!   When the felt had dried I sewed some tiny seed beeds onto the outside.  I'd also felted some silk threads onto the outside, not sure if you can see them in the picture.

One of my own criteria for the project was that the pot wouldn't be too floppy, so I had to stiffen it somehow.  In the end I used PVA glue mixed with water (about half and half), and really soaked the pot using a big brush.  It didn't seem to work too well after the first coat, so I did a second which did the trick.

Not quite the same comforting feeling of handmade, soft, woolly felt, but I love that it's a pot created from unconventional materials, and it's gradually filling up with little notes of my intuitive whispers so it's all good :)

*  Tomorrow I think I'll share what my ARTbundance(TM) training is all about and where it's lead to - very exciting!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

B-L-O-G-T-O-B-E-R-F-E-S-T 2011!!!!!!!!

Yay!  It's that time of year again!   A challenge to blog for the whole of October - which I could do with doing to get back in the habit.  So, I'm heading off to Tinniegirl to sign up - you can too.  It's great fun and there are loads of new blogs out there to discover.  Oh and grab a button ... do you want to play?