Monday, 30 January 2012

Chaos Unleashed

Finally I got in and had a go at lesson 1
of Doodles Unleashed
over at Strathmore Online Workshops
I was so determined to try to get at least one week done before the month was up
so I just squeaked it in...
still woefully behind in Lifebook
but hey these things happen...

Not so sure I enjoyed the process
and  at times it kind of felt 
as though I was having my fingernails
slowly removed
but there are parts of the finished mess that are kind of okay
and I think I will get in and do some more
so I can make them look more like me

It did make me get in and play a bit more and I started a journal page
just playing with pattern and colour
more my colours mind you...
and of course I could have used my colours in the lesson
but I had this weird sense that I should be good
and listen to what Traci Bautista had to say
maybe that good girl thing is what freaked me out a little bit
and maybe next lesson I will be back to my normal 
half listening, gazing out the window, get distracted self
and it will be a little more comfortable
So I got in and did some colour doodling
and black and white pen doodling

but haven't finished  either...
at least the painting one is
 pretty close but it's not quite there..

But I have the most fantastic excuse
you see I had the bright idea that my little studio
needed to be revamped
it had kind of been growing and morphing in a scary way
and it has moved beyond that eclectic
to just plain haphazard
and as I spend more and more time in here
and with my spectacular levels of un- coordination
I am falling over things 
and stubbing toes
 which leads regular yelps and hopping around on one foot
as well as much muttering and mumbling
and increasingly 
frequent bouts of unladylike cussing
which my ungrateful, thoughtless, oh so coordinated daughter
finds endlessly amusing
and as I am not here to amuse her 
action was called for...

So the long suffering Sinus Man has jumped at the challenge
and I am now sitting in what could only be described
as a bomb site
not a little piece of C4 going off
this is like a nuclear explosion of biblical proportions
I have supplies and bits spread over three rooms
the paint we thought was a match to repaint the wall 
which needed repairs after shelves and things were removed to gaping holes
well sort of similar
  but not quite right
but we are hoping it will blend in a somewhat artistic way
or that paintings and frames can cover the worst of it

and just to top off what has been just another
chaotic Monday
Sinus just called me with the wonderful news that
the hardware giant is in stock of every shelf known to man
the one we need
of course....
ah... Monday's are a joy!!!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Embracing Randomness

So I got this comment yesterday
or maybe the day before....

Its a good chuckle to read your blog, you come across fairly randomly at times! I do love your art though, it's always so fresh looking.

Now my immediate reaction was.... I'm not random
not even sometimes
I had a bit of a laugh and moved on
this lady has a great blog which I enjoy
and don't get me wrong
I wasn't offended or anything....
just kind of puzzled
especially as I thought I had played the post pretty straight
no talk of snarts or anything...

then while finishing off my painting for the 2012 Colour Challenge
and Paint Party Friday this morning
I started to stop and think about it a bit more
and started to assess some of the things that had popped into my head
in the last day 

So I have thought about the guy who hosts that show Dirty Jobs
is oddly attractive...
got to be the deep voice and laconic kind of charm....
even at 5.30 am 
which is relevant because it is usually on the TV 
when I stumble down the stairs on school days
stumble while muttering incoherently might be a more accurate description
but I start most school days with sound of his voice
describing some thing completely disgusting
very weird but he is rather compelling....

I had wondered what people who design buttons
have as topics at conferences
or do they have conferences????
and do they hate zipper people?????
Not quite sure where that one came from 
but kept my mind busy while putting on the washing
mind you came to no conclusions
button designers remain a mystery

Another was
Why don't people call their kids Gustav anymore
now I can understand not calling a girl Gustav
but kind of a cool name for a boy...
where that one came from is easy as Madame Bovary
is sitting on my desk as part of my painting...
It is a kinda cool name though isn't it....

Another thought was
Does Johnson's baby powder smell different in different countries
because Cadbury's chocolate from the UK tastes different 
from how it tastes here
or from South Africa
and yes I have tried them all...
so if they are the same product but different
does that mean baby powder smells different
so do babies smell different?
Now I used to live in Florida but for the life of me
I couldn't remember if baby powder smells different...
This one kept me thinking all through painting the teapot

So my conclusion from that scary little review of my brain is that
I am indeed fairly random at times
I did think I kept it mostly in my head,
but perhaps it leaks out
and seeing as my word for the year is 
I am going with it
and am now proudly sharing my randomness

Now you may have guessed that the colour for the colour challenge was
Orange, and no I didn't read the rules completely
and see you aren't supposed to use other colours outside of that spectrum
but I am going to pretend the paper had bits of blue and green 
embedded in it 
just where I wanted it...
I am such a rule breaker aren't I....
Luckily I haven't broken any rules
set by Kristin and Eva over at Paint Party Friday

at least I don't think I have
and I think I am pretty sure I am cool for 

off to make a cup of tea
and consider why when we have so many products
from other countries
one of them isn't Bounce Drier sheets
love the smell of those things...

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Paperweights and lazy rainy days

It has been a few weeks since I have played along with
What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday
hosted by Julia Dunnit over at 
partly because I was on holidays
and also because I have done very little
which isn't my fault entirely
okay it is 
but I kind of like the idea of being delusional sometimes

I am laying the blame
at the feet of the weather  which in the last few days
has been horrid rain and more rain
flash flooding and constantly wet dog rain
so that means it is reading and drinking tea weather
not sitting in the studio and watch the pool overflow weather

I started doing a painting of my desk yesterday
because that was a great project a few weeks ago and I liked the idea
of having a painted record of my desk for the year
But staring to paint in my orange coffee cup is about as far as I got
and I got distracted with making some paperweights
which I love by the way
but that rain just told me to go
and cuddle on the lounge with the dog
and a cuppa
and Book Four in the Song of Fire and Ice series of books

so the paint water remains
at that not quite science experiment stage

Paints remain untouched

I am still three weeks behind in this class
and soon to be four
if I keep going the way I am

and haven't even started these yet...
though I have watched the the weeks 1 and 2 lessons

I haven't put together the cards and gift cards
and notebooks 
to go down to restock my shelf at 
The Collective Store

in fact I am sure the only thing I will be able to say I have achieved is
going to visit some other WOYWW blogs
and hopefully I will be shamed into getting stuck in and doing some work

On a totally different tack
 I was lucky enough to win a draw over at

so there will be a zine by Andrea Joseph 
coming my way which is very exciting
and of course it isn't like I did anything special to get it
but just so excited because I never win anything

head on over and have a look at what Vicki is doing
I will post some pics when it arrives so you can all be jealous...
The lounge and book are calling...
Happy Creating...xx

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Most Glorious Sunday of the Summer

So it is that most glorious Sunday
beloved by parents all over the fair state of Queensland
the last Sunday of the Summer break....
tomorrow all the poor little sods
head back off to school
no more cartoon channel blaring at all hours
no more standing and gazing into the fridge
no more shrieking that if they don't get off the lounge 
you are going to staple gun them to it....
in my defence was only used after a particularly trying stint of MTV
and I am quite proud that this year 
I actually never hid the remote in the freezer
it turns out
is a very effective strategy for parenting both teenagers 
and annoying sport watching husbands 
of course if they are quick learners 
and as such
 the freezer proves ineffective
try the vegetable crisper in the fridge
cause we all know they never crack that sucker...

So by this time next week I will again be whining
about the nightmare that is
alarms going at ridiculous hours
school lunch boxes
and uniforms
 pick up zones and 
the fact that fathers have no clue how to work a drop off zone...
the insanity of school timetabling
juggling extra curriculas
the ridiculous idea that almost 16 year old girls 
are in fact human beings....

but for this one glorious day none of it matters
I happily hummed to myself as I moved the summer uniforms into the laundry
checked that school bag hadn't magically been 
swallowed whole by the broom closet 
over the last two
mind sapping
and at times 
nightmarish two months....

So I happily jumped in the car and headed
off to buy school lunch supplies
reassured that I wasn't evil for celebrating this day
by all the other smiling parents
and glum and down at mouth suckers...
the nightmare of the parking lot couldn't even touch my joy 
and barely able to contain my glee any longer
I sang all the way home
at the top of my lungs
and gloriously off key
after which I

 happily made my way to my studio to draw up my idea
the first

The challenge colour is this amazing orange
and so lends itself perfectly to a mixed media painting 
centring around
 my coffee mug, penguin classics and an orange teapot

Now because I was happy and relaxed
the drawing came together with lightning speed
almost like it knows that I will soon
again find myself in possession of time and
will be able to play in peace....
So I am linking this puppy up to Sunday Sketches
and looking forward to a glorious Monday where
 thanks to the wonder of time zones
I will get to spend  gloriously uninterrupted time 
checking out what drawings people have done...

The snart culprit himself
PS It would appear from your comments from
that Snart is the preferred terminology...
got me thinking that perhaps fluffy is an Australian ism....
In our house the question was asked as to
who let fluffy off his chain?
Curious as to what other terms people have...
not the most ladylike topic 
but my brain kind of works that way sometimes...

Friday, 20 January 2012

Snart or Snuffy????

So this painting being finished is actually a miracle...
now I know it may not look like it,
but believe me this is right up there
with all sorts of family miracles
like the daughter unpacking the dishwasher
without a reminder
Sinus Man not snoring
or me smiling and speaking coherently at 5am....

My day started nice and early,
despite it being the last week of holidays and by rights 
this should mean lazy sleep ins,
and even given  that I was actually relatively cheery...
made my way down to the kitchen 
and was waylaid by the adorable sight of Mushu spreadeagled on the lounge
just waiting for his tummy to be rubbed...
now maybe I was moving in stealth mode and gave him a fright
or maybe he was just being a dog
but no sooner had I placed my hand on his adorable little tummy 
when he did what may be the world's biggest
most snot filled sneeze ever...
now I am no stranger to dog snot, 
but this one came with a not so wonderful doggy exclamation point
from his butt...

So is that a dog snart, or a snuffy, or what exactly would be the term????
How do you combine a dog sneeze with a fluffy
or fart
depending on your family terminology in these things....
because let me tell you this needs its own term to describe the eye watering
cringe inducing disgustingness of it...
I do know that it is actually one of the greatest grump inducing ways to start your day
of course not helped by uproarious laughter from the daughter figure 
she is truly starting to get on my nerves
school can't come quick enough...
as punishment for her distinct lack of appropriate sympathy
 I have nabbed the necklace that Lori Moon sent me as a present recently
back from the ungrateful little wench 
and it is now residing in the studio where I can enjoy it....

Heading into the studio after that to tackle butterflies was quite a stretch
Inspiration Avenue have set that as the theme this week
and it took quite a bit of muttering and mumbling to get my head in a space
that would do justice to the delicate beauty of those winged creatures...

of course it did get me wondering what a butterfly snuffy would be like
maybe Rose Petals
or maybe it is actually pretty nasty...
maybe it is one of the great secrets of the animal world and there are
moths and critters sitting in an insect bar someone talking 
about the whopper that Monach dropped the other day...

either way I abandoned pretty and went a bit earthier
I  read The John Fowles book The Collector
when we were up at the beach 
and it was about a pretty freaky
butterfly collector
so it seemed appropriate to the tone of the day

are lucky enough to get to share the miracle with me
as much as I would have liked to share the snart with you all
I am just too nice to do that...

I am also sharing my palette with Tracey Grgic Potter over at Paint and Palette
and hope that many of you will do the same
and check out all these wonderful links
by people who probably didn't start their day the same way I did....

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Torture and Treasure

So I am posting holiday pics...
something I always swore I would never do
but hey New Year and all that...
of course
that's the torture part of the whole deal for you guys

there is nothing worse than someone else's holiday pics
even if the beach is perfect...

and the walkway back yields your favourite Pandanus Palm 
that you have drawn and painted them many 
many times...
so many times that you aren't sure you should inflict more of them on people 
I actually started another sketch like the one I showed in the last post
but it is just too unfinished...
and there is a limit to how much torture I am willing to inflict...

and further on
the walkway offers up lovely perspective
and gorgeous filtered light

which offsets the disgustingness
of your pride and joy
abusing a cup of tea by dunking a green snake in it
and then eating it
and then drinking the tea
she tortured me with this all week...
torture comes in many forms my friends....
many forms...

The other torture we endured
and torture is possibly a bit strong a use of the term here....
is staying in what was possible the whitest, most reflective house
in history...
If the blinds at the end of the wall were open you needed sunglasses
to stop it being so blinding you run into things...
and I couldn't take a shot
so I had to close the blinds
it was seriously that white
it was like someone forgot all the colour
and you kept seeing movement out of the corner of your eye
not ghosts...
just reflections of yourself
or the dog
or the snake girl...
very offputting... 
and weirdly unsettling...

summing up the whole week though is the fact that Mushu
spent half his time
sitting on the top step of the pool
I have like four shots and he is smiling in every one....
scruffily smiling....
but hey he has beach head after running around in the surf....
none of us look our best with beach hair...

Of course all thing must come to an end
even the torture of holiday pics...
As a reward for hanging in there for so long
I will happily share the treasure with you

I came home to this beautiful print of a photo
taken by the talented and lovely

This was one of my favourite images of Art Every Day Month last year
and we organised a Swap
and it is even more beautiful that I thought it would be
and looks so perfectly at home on the wall of my studio...
Lori also included one of her beautiful necklaces....
more treasure...
 yes I am spoilt...
though it would appear that Snake Girl has nabbed it
and I can't seem to get it back....
not even to take a proper shot of it...

So to see more of the treasures that Lori makes you will have to head over to

I am off to gloat at Snake Girl that she only has a few days left of Summer break...
payback for tea abuse is a beautiful thing...