Friday, 27 May 2016

My Gloriously Messy Week...

I would love to be sitting here telling you I have had this amazing, productive, organised sort of week that is Pinterest worthy... or instagrammable
you know what I mean right, all pretty, carefully curated and collected
and looking like I have sailed through without a hair out of place
 hitting the end of the week feeling nicely accomplished and deserving of some time off
and perhaps a pretty drink with an umbrella in it
but nope I am skidding in with my butt bouncing on the floor
my hair is more akin to a person testing electrical sockets with damp fingers
the studio looks a little like I have held a rave followed by a toddler's birthday party in it
and despite the rest of the house looking surprisingly neat, tidy and visitor ready
I haven't been able to find my left sneaker for two days
and I suspect there is something in the back of the fridge that may actually be growing an appendage... or maybe it is a stray leftover lamb shank 
either way I'm not checking it out and risking it being gross
Sinus can do the honour of delving into the scary fridge leftover zone when he gets home
So despite the deplorable state of the world I inhabit do I get in and put it to rights
nope I am sitting carving a lino block

so let's look at the week shall we
hair was cut and coloured so it looked great for a day
and then old einstein hair made a reappearance
happily a nice fresh light colour, but einstein none the less

Phants turned 20 which is uber scary
not just because she is actually 20... which is seriously grown up
but it also meant a quick trip to the transport department for her to get her learner's permit as she had always thought she would get it before she was twenty
snuck that one in with hours to spare!!!
we have even done our first drive and car, nerves and sanity are all intact
in all honesty she did fabulously well and we only have 12 months and 99 and a half more hours to log before she can sit her test
she also managed to change her profile pic from here twelve year old self to an actual recent photo... Phants is not a huge one for social media you see
so this is big... like momentous big... friends phoning to congratulate her big

Last night we had a birthday dinner which meant lots of cooking, baking
and decorating the dining room which is always fun
even if it is a little fraught with danger as it requires climbing on things to hang those giant paper flower, ball things and other stuff from the ceiling
well I have to cover the scorch marks from the poorly thought out idea to cover the ceiling in fairy lights a few years ago... they looked glorious until the scorching stared though

We also got new curtains which necessitated Sinus using tools
and some light cussing and a couple of hours later the main bedroom is transformed
okay maybe not transformed
but it certainly looks like grown ups live there now
of course Sinus nixed the idea of attempting a ceiling covered in fairy lights up there
despite my assurances that I think I know where I went wrong in the dining room

I have done all sorts of fun-ish work projects
snuck in some sketching time
and eaten ice blocks in the endless summer warmth
we have walked the waterfront and marvelled at the perfection of the 
sky and water at this time of year
and have discovered that Barry the cat  is somewhat scared of certain vegetables
cauliflower seems to scare him, though it turns out broccoli isn't a problem
carrots freak him out and make him hide, but beans just make him curious
cats are weird

So quite frankly you can keep your pinterest, instagram perfection
I like things just as they are
happy painting all...xx

PS thanks to all of you who sent me photos of your cups and mugs for my Cuppa with Friends Project... they are all printed and on the pile waiting for painting to begin

Friday, 20 May 2016


 This week has been all about painting up food
 all of which was quite delicious to draw and paint
 and it was food I would normally eat
 which is great as you can eat your models!!!
 well the burger isn't something I would eat actually, not even close
and I'm not even sure where it came from except maybe as a reaction to all the healthy stuff
which is kind of weird when I think about it as most of the time now 
 I veer towards the gloriously hippy dippy, raw chocolate, wholefoods, courgette noodles, drink your greens end of the spectrum which I love quite frankly
so the burger was a weird blip on the creative radar perhaps

The good stuff for one job was creating illustrations 
for recipe templates for a tortilla company which is a bit of a dream job really
which reminded me that wanting to maybe illustrate a recipe book of my own
 is a good dream to have and maybe I would have  a great time creating one

which then got me thinking about all the things I would like to do one day

like learn to ride a unicycle
no clue why but it kind of defies the laws of all that is possible in the world 
and I like the idea of carrying one around on trains
not saying any of these dreams are normal... they are dreams after all

I would also like to be able to own a mini horse
or perhaps babysit one
the idea of watching tv in the evening with a mini horse curled up at your feet appeals hugely... cleaning up after said mini horse not so much
so perhaps I should be more specific... I would like a house trained mini horse

another dream is to be able to do a backflip on a trampoline
I mean who wouldn't
and this one gets stronger the older I get because being able to rock up to someone's house as a middle aged chickie and then just pop a backflip on the trampoline 
it would make you cool in anyone's eyes I believe

 I would also like to be able to understand and work bloody snapchat
see a drop bear in person
drive a mini dump/tip truck... you know like they have for delivering small loads from the sand and gravel supply places
grow an extra toe... just in case one fell off... I always thought we should have a spare
 and to be able to whistle

and one day... maybe one day I would like to have a book published of all the cuppa paintings I have done for my Cuppa With Friends Project
ICAD 2016 is starting up on June 1
and I am using it to get me to the 150 mark of cups and mugs painted
i am at about 100 now and I figure as the queen of the half arse if I can get 50 more in over the next few months I will have done great
so if you haven't already done so then send me your photos of your favourite
old or new, fancy or funky, chipped or pristine
send my a nice clear photo and I will add it to the pile
there are more details up the top of this page
or maybe you want to share your dreams in the comments... surely I'm not the only one who has such thoughts am I?

happy painting all...xx

Friday, 13 May 2016

Hot Stuff...

I have been a touch quiet on the old blog lately
 work and life have all gotten in the way a bit
 which kind of sucks but it is also great in other ways
in that life is busy and full and work is challenging and fun
Not so fun and also getting in the way of things is that it has been an endless summer
 now for some of you the thought of an endless summer probably sounds fabulous
 but when you are walking around in a near permanent state of hot flashes
 it is not so great and does wear thin after 6 endless months of it

The big problem is I am fine one minute, cruising around looking cool and calm 
and the next minute I am  like a walking furnace
beet red face, damp and dewy skin, or perhaps looking like you have just had a swim in your clothes if it is a bad one
I tell you if I didn't live such a blameless and perfect life I would be worried that I was being hit by punishing bolts from above or smited left right and centre for my sins 
Sometimes I even wonder if in in my menopausal brain haze
 I decided to go stand in a furnace/ oven / kiln
or if I ate chillies instead of chocolate
and of course because cancer induced menopause is the gift that just keeps giving the oncologist informed me last week that I am now postmenopausal which is a great thing cancer wise, unfortunately means the hot flashes continuing are from ongoing medication.
I am facing this joy for another nine years... and you can't take anything for it... all the bloody treatments involve oestrogen raising, and that is the worst thing for me...ah the joys right

so after a few days of cursing the oncologist's every utterance and the bloody horse he rode in on I started to get my head around it all

Because there are advantages to the spontaneous furnace impressions
and that is because this week Autumn has arrived
well at night anyway
so while others are shivering and feeling sorry for themselves 
hauling heating out of garden sheds and wondering if using it will short the wiring
washing and airing blankets while wrestling the unwieldy things onto the clothes line
I am sailing through it all with a smile on the dial
I am getting out of bed without a goosebump in sight
stepping out of the shower with abandon 
and not a shiver is felt as I step onto the deliciously freezing tiles underfoot
plus I am walking around in summer nightwear 
reveling in the cold nights as an instant hot flash buster
bonuses left right and centre it turns out
I just needed summer to take off and leave me to the blessed cool
it is all about the timing it would appear
got to love an upside!
happy painting all...xx

PS how cute is the Barry checking out my new lino block... other than the cat hair everywhere, it is fun seeing how curious he is about everything

Friday, 29 April 2016

Lino Love...

I have had a busy week with work and a million other things
 the flu included... we are officially the house of snot I tell you
even poor Barry was almost buried in the great kleenex avalanche of 2016
  which means I am squeezing in some lino play where and when I can

 I started filming my new upcoming online class last week 
 and am slowly but surely building it up and it is such a pleasure doing it and immersing  myself in all things relief printing after so many years away from it
 but I keep getting distracted
 for example I am loving the idea of putting down panels of colour behind lino prints
any way to infuse colour into them is a good thing
and I really want to print some using coloured inks... and so many other things 
it is like my brain is on fast forward and all my thoughts are sounding like they are in chipmunk voices 

 In fact I am generally in love with the whole process really
I want to play with some hand colouring as well
not to mention some two piece blocks
and some reduction prints
the mind is boggling like crazy
it is a bit weird how our creative brains fixate on things at times
but it is a nice break away from illustration work
and some watercolour commissions
though the more I do it the more obsessed I have been becoming 

These two blocks are my latest project
and happily they are all drawn up and ready to carve
in fact I even got some carving done this afternoon
and I am really impatient to get to them over the weekend

 and of course there is printing an edition of this one in the work queue
so I can get it into the online store
and  then I want to do a similar one that I can hand colour
so many prints and so many idea and so little time

Happy painting all...xx

Friday, 22 April 2016

Buchi Mama...

 Did I buy the tea above because the packaging was awesome?
 Of course I did. It was just what I needed to brighten the place up 
  and get me all inspired and keep feeding my lino printing obsession.
  Those seed pod designs inside are all sorts of wonderful 
 and make me think of a good friend's love of all things pod related
 so put that together with the designs that look like they were printed and it is just awesome.
 As an added bonus the tea is lovely. I love it when it works out like that.
 Nothing worse than having something wrapped up in gorgeous packaging 
 and whatever is inside tastes like a trucker's armpit...or ear wax...  
 I hate earwax... it is just gross and weird

There were lots of wonderful non ear waxy things this week though...

Phants had to endure a train ride that saw a baby/ devil child
lightly, and creepily stroke the back of her neck the whole 30 minute trip
she is still shuddering at the mere mention of it a few days later
and of course leading to all sorts of shenanigans while we put ninja skills to use
 and touch the back of her neck at every opportunity
it has been fantastic fun all round really so thanks you creepy devil baby for giving me a new fun weapon in my tormenting Phants arsenal

I also got to see a bloke's car getting glad wrapped
or saran wrap, cling, plastic, or sandwich wrap or whatever other bloody names it has
it was inspired... the entire car was being completely covered and snuggly wrapped in an entire roll of the stuff by a young guy outside a construction site as I walked to the post office. He was laughing like a madman as he circled the car and obviously having a great time doing it
and as a bonus I got to see the bloke who owned the car come out and promptly turn purple and start losing it as I made my way back from said post office
made my whole afternoon

I have also been busy drinking copious amounts of Buchi kombucha
while I await the arrival of my very own scoby/mother from that very company
when it arrives I can start making my own 
and save me from bankrupting us buying the stuff
I can't tell you how excited I am at the thought of having my own baby scoby
I have already started thinking of names for the scoby/mother
I am wavering between Buchi Mama or maybe Alice
I considered Scoby Doo but that just seemed too obvious
I only have a few days before it arrives to work out a name though
so the pressure is on

mugs from Mitchell powell, Mixed Media Monkey and Brigitte
I also got a few more cuppa paintings done
some illustration work sorted and out of the way
plus I started filming for my upcoming lino printing class
which launches in mid May
of course I got a bit distracted along the way with that filming
and made a video about all  the different types of lino I have tried in the last few weeks
It is below if you want to have a squizz

So all round a fab week
I am off to consult a names list to find a suitable one for buchi scoby
of course if you happen to have a good one in mind let me know
Beryl perhaps...or maybe Felicia...?

happy painting all... xx