Friday, 29 June 2012

How Far Is Too Far....

I am kind of wondering how far is too far
and at what point does something you love
become one of those things 
that people get that freaky fixed smile on their face when you mention it
and you just know inside they are thinking you are a poor miserable sod
and they are mentally counting the minutes until they can make their escape

not that there is anything wrong with them for thinking that way
because I myself have pulled out the fixed smile and poor sod thought
 and it has seen me through various family and work functions over the years

I also firmly believe that as parents
it is our sworn duty to torture our children until they think that way
though in the teenage years this does seem to be more likely
to be accompanied by a noticeable sigh or some eye rolling
but with practice I am sure Phantom will perfect the smile/ grimace

The big question is whether to buy a tea lamp
it may just tip me over from poor sod territory
into crazy tea lady territory
I think I have been walking quite the fine line lately
if the teetering tower of tea in the pantry
and need for some extra shelves to house
various paraphernalia is an indication
but this lamp is a whole other teapot of fish...

I am sure it is an almost direct rip off from Liberty or some such store
and it is in a homewares store at the mall
which I have taken to visiting it with such alarming regularity
I am starting to feel like I am stalking the poor thing
and I have no where to put it, and the shade is dingo ugly
so added to the expense of buying the thing, then there is the new shade
and the extension because like I said
no room
so I will hopefully hold out until someone else puts me out of my misery 
and buys the darn thing so it won't be there when I visit
and in the mean time I will use Paint Party Friday to distract me...xx

The last few blog posts have been...

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Evil Hose Thingy....

I used to quite enjoy a bit of therapeutic watering
standing and aimlessly pointing the hose 
in the general direction of the garden
it was a few moments when I could connect with nature
then come back in the house and reward myself 
for all that gardening exertion 
with a therapeutic glass of wine

But after a few years of drought 
where the hose became a distant memory 
and the relaxation of standing and pointing
was replaced with lugging buckets and watering cans all over the place
we have had two years of crazy flooding rain
not just a bit above average rain
and trust me we would normally get quite a bit
but all year round drenching horrible mould inducing rain
if you stand still you mould up baby
and along with all that
our garden has become a jungle of epic proportions
not many flowers mind
which is a shame
because I love drawing and painting flowers
instead it is a solid wall of greens

I need one of those big cutty sabre things
 to get to the mail box every day
and we make sure we leave a note 
telling someone where we have gone into the back garden
just in case we get lost and need rescuing
you think I am kidding
but it is truly scary out there
and there has been little hose action as a result

which is just as well
because at some stage 
during the hoseless last few years
Sinus installed this hose reel thingy
which is truly the scariest piece of gardening equipment 
to ever grace this fair planet
this thing should be on the wall I think
because it rolls around as you try to get the hose out
which means you sort of have to stand over it 
with it clamped between your knees to hold it steady
while you try to pull the hose out, while it does it's very best to suck it back in
and take your hands with it

and yes it has this lever thing that is supposed to release it
but it never works
or it alternately won't feed the hose back in when you want it to
of course when you are washing the mud off the car 
 the lever decides to flip 
and the hose is ripped from your hands 
as it is sucked back into the holder at warp speed
spraying water over everyone and everything as it goes
this thing is garden evil personified
but nevertheless I am celebrating its complete contrariness
for this week's Artists Play Room
which asked us to use gardening as a theme
in the hope that it will decide to be kind to me next time
I am desperate enough  or stupid enough to use it...xx

Here is my last post in case you missed it...

Baseball Nut Green Tea...

Monday, 25 June 2012

Baseball Nut Green Tea...

It is entirely possible that karma decided a bit of payback was warranted
because I had been blithely flying through the winter
smug in my tea fuelled immune system
laughing in the face of colds and flus
and generally showing a lack of sympathy 
for those struck down by the dreaded lurgy

which, of course, made it inevitable that it would take me down
and take me down it did
we are talking almost man flu proportions here
I spent a few days lying around
having thoughts about buckets and kicking
and cursing the dog for not having opposable thumbs
and therefore not being able to make me tea
and bring me trashy magazines to read
cause nothing makes me feel better 
than stars without makeup

it was touch and go for a day or two there
but I have recovered and am feeling relatively human
and while I haven't quite forgiven the dog
for being such a sucky carer
I am happy to be back painting and playing 
with the Summer of Colour prompt
which was Baseball Nut
not quite sure how baseball fits with vanilla, black raspberries and cashews
but hey not coming from a baseball country
its not my place to question the mysteries of ice cream flavour names

Luckily for me I had recently received yet another shipment from the Republic of Tea
thank you very little Andrea from Falling Ladies for getting me hooked on this place
and one of the teas I ordered was a Black Raspberry Superfruit Tea
which was in a sort of soft green container
which somehow morphed into a bit of a vanilla colour
which I blame entirely on the cold and flu drugs 
which obviously messed with my sense of colour
but it worked out nicely for this week's prompt
and the tea also appears to have restorative powers
so it seems only right that it makes the grade for Baseball Nut
and will from here on be known as Baseball Nut Green Tea...

Can I say a huge thank you to all the people from The Summer of Colour
hosted by Kristin who have been visiting and taking the time to comment
and also say a happy very early Tuesday Tea 
to all my friends at Art in Red Wagons...xx

My other recent blog post was

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Bean There Done That....

I so used to love my 8B pencil
I had quite the thing for my 9B as well
but 9B was more of a fling pencil
and 8B did it for me
he was the George Clooney of the pencil world

and I had him so well trained
I had put hours and hours into breaking him down 
and making him do exactly what I wanted him to do
I swear if I had of had a bit more time 
I could have convinced that poor pencil to do the washing and cook me dinner
but like all doormats
he became a bit boring
and sending time with him was rather ho hum
so maybe George isn't accurate, 
because who could ever get sick of George

now maybe I wasn't giving him interesting material to work with
opening the fridge
and grabbing what was in the crisper may not be challenging
and when I set him challenges he always answered
this roadway saw us spend many weeks together 
because it was stupidly big
full A1 sheet of paper big
I know  I know
I have no clue what I was thinking either
but even when my hand was cramping 
and I was cross-eyed from looking at freakin leaves
8B hung in there

Which makes me feel a touch bad 
that I have abandoned him so thoroughly
so again George may have been a bad analogy
I really should have put a bit more thought into that one
but the truth is my microns are just sexier
they are fun and playful
and don't always do what I want
and they make me push my boundaries
they are frustrating, riskier and I make many more mistakes
but that is what I like about them
no ho hum with them
so while I acknowledge that 8B was good to me
I have moved on to more exciting pastures
I don't think it makes me a bad person
and if we had of stayed together 
I think we would have hated each other in the end
or at least that is what I tell myself when I am feeling guilty...

I am sharing this over at The Artist's Play Room
where the theme was monochrome
head over and see other monochromatic wonders....xx

I have been busy this week...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Tea with Chrissy....

Tuesday mornings find me thinking of all sorts of tea wonderfullness
I get that first quiet cuppa 
now that everyone is back at school and work
and the house is all my own
the studio is all quiet 
well almost quiet because the mutt is lying beside me on my work desk
and he has developed quite the snore

Snoring aside, it is great to share my latest little tea painting
which was done on a card for my Mother-in -Law Loretta
for her birthday on Sunday
and it matches the mugs and platter that Sinus picked out for her
I would have gone the teacups
but these lovely fine bone china mugs are pretty special too
and as an unexpected presentfor the rest of us
we had a lovely warm sunny winter's day
so I got to make a new iced tea
Green tea with jasmine, pear, cinnamon, apple and orange
and it was delicious
and the perfect drink while sitting back thinking of the exciting collaboration
that has come about this week...

There is an artist here in Brisbane
and she does all this gorgeous, colourful work
that is vibrant and full of life
and we are doing a collaboration 
which is just the most exciting and wonderful thing
and makes me squeal and squirm with all the possibilities

Chrissy, the clever thing that she is,
 makes not only gorgeous paintings, cards, books, and fabrics
she also paints these wonderful re purposed vintage teacups
and she is making one for me and sending it to me
and then I am going to paint it for her
her work is exisite isn't it...

You can find Chrissy's post about our news here
and her store is here
and her web site which is bursting with colour is here
I know that just by looking at these pics 
you can totally understand my excitement!!!

Happy Tea Tuesday all... xx

My last two posts have been

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Ice Cream Spoon....

It has been quite the week
it started with an unexpected bit of wonderful
when I opened week 1 hook up for the Summer of Colour
hosted by Kristin at Twinkle Twinkle
and saw that I had won the week 1 giveaway
I tell you I was so shocked
I checked it on my phone
then made Phantom check it on her computer
then her phone
then Sinus on his phone
before I started to dare believe it
and I can't send out a big enough thank you to Kristin
it is soooo appreciated....

because the truth was I had been coveting that spoon like no body's business
I have had a bit of a cutlery drawing obsession happening
and so all I could think about all week was that spoon
and now it is on its way
so obviously I just need to obsess on something hard enough and it happens
watch out George Clooney you are going to be heading my way baby....
 I now see huge bowls of ice cream in my future
and the added bonus of a wonderful vintage spoon to draw and paint
although I couldn't resist giving it a quick sketch in preparation
because I love having a sketch for Sunday Sketches ready
and in a stroke of genius I used this week's colour prompt
of mint choc chip colours so it can do double duty....

Which is just as well
because my planned drawing for the week has not gone smoothly
I had a comment on a recent blog post about chocolate biscuits
in which I discussed my obsession with Mint Slice
and Tammy from T's Daily Treasures said that she satisfies her mint choc cravings
with a cup of peppermint tea and a piece of dark chocolate
which has to be healthier right
and I do love tea
so I figured I would pop out and buy some peppermint tea and some dark chocolate
and try the rather unfamiliar healthy after dinner route
and then I could paint it up for the challenge this week

Now I have to say I thought I loved all tea
but I now must amend this to almost all teas
turns out as lovely as the tea smelled it is not for me
all I could think with every sip was toothpaste 
being washed down with a hint of shaving cream
I should have listened to Sandra who warned me about this
but I thought if I tried a peppermint tea by the company that made my favourite
green tea with jasmine and pear then I would be safe
turns out I was wrong
and I ended up eating a half a block of the chocolate to chase the taste out of my mouth
so not quite the virtuous option I was hoping for

and maybe this infected my drawing
because I just couldn't get it to work
and I didn't paint the peppermint tea in the cup
because quite honestly couldn't revisit that horror
so the sketch is not what thought it would be
but they don't always work out
and at the end of the day
I am still coasting on the whole
I won the spoon thing
so I can live with a slightly dodgy mint drawing

This week you may have missed....

Friday, 15 June 2012

The Ghosts of Breakfast Past....

Remember those days
many many moons ago
when you rolled out of bed
landed in the shower 
and then ran out the door with cold pizza in your hand 
and a handbag full of makeup 
that you would put on while you were in the car on the way to work
okay maybe you were all really really good and organised and things
but I loved those days

I confess that until I got married
breakfast was whatever smelt freshest in the fridge
so any sort of leftovers were fair game
and can I say nothing wakes you up quicker than sticking your nose
in something unspeakable
but as long as whatever it was 
was washed down with a coffee
or if I was a touch seedy
maybe a Berocca or two
the world was a great place
and for those who don't have the miracle in a tube that is Berocca
I have no clue how you survived a hangover

Of course those glory days 
are well and truly behind me
and now I find myself virtuously drinking green tea
Munching on multi-grain toast 
or some unspeakable fibrous and fruit filled breakfast cereal
and scoffing handfuls of vitamins 
to try to offset the ravages of a misspent youth
because it turns out that the occasional strawberry thickshake from maccas 
wasn't enough to meet my calcium requirements
and a hash brown or cold fried rice aren't on the healthy eating pyramid
go figure....

Luckily for me I got to pick the topic for the
Monthly Painter's Challenge this month
and so I chose Breakfast
because then I could celebrate
The Ghosts of Breakfast Past
and relive the glory days where I relished in my version of 
the breakfast walk of shame
and I can share it with all my painting buddies at Paint Party Friday
because I know there will be some people who have their own breakfast ghosts ... xx

Note to Phantom ... I was never drunk or hung over
and the walk of shame was something I heard about in the staff room
because I was such a good girl, just like you should be
but I had some less disciplined friends who shared their experiences with me
and I am using them here for the sake of making this post interesting...

Some other posts you might like to read...

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Doing The Lean...

Sketching and drawing were the topics this week
which got me flicking back through sketchbooks
and I was struck by how much they had changed recently
which got me thinking about what brought it all on...

There is a line that has become ridiculously important
when it comes to my artwork and it is

Lean Into Discomfort

no clue who said it
no clue where I read it
but I can tell you that I read it around a year ago
and it kind of made me rethink all my crap
which is kind of a big deal
because it isn't too often that I think about things too much
I am a bit of a shallow pool really

we all have moments of doubt
and trying to fit into different moulds and ideas
and finding our style and artistic identity and all that
and moving outside our comfort zone
makes us feel wobbly and freaked out
and for me it is because I don't like the struggle and fight
I am essentially lazy and so
it all just seems a bit like too much effort half the time

but leaning into it
that, I can do
just mosey on up and sort of recline up against it
kind of like subtly invading the personal space of discomfort
not yelling at it to get out of the way
or giving it is big push and shove
just giving it enough pressure that it feels uncomfortable enough to move over a bit
and after all it works on the rest of the family when I want the sofa to myself
so why wouldn't it work with my art as well

sketching and drawing are an example of me doing the lean 
I went through a stage
of being uptight about skills and perfect tone and all that
but now I am looser and freer
I tackle more interesting and complex subjects
and don't always panic at the midway point
I still panic every drawing I do and think it isn't going to get there
but the panic doesn't stop me diving in any more
and it recedes bit by bit with every one

so now my sketchbook 
which used to filled with pages like this

is now filled with more interesting pages 
like this

I am totally addicted to the lean now.
I lean into the fact that I am no domestic goddess, 
Martha Stewart or parenting guru
and that the word I would use to best describe myself is haphazard
and sharing that imperfection here is a bit of a lean.

I lean into sharing unfinished work
writing random blog posts
having drawings that look like a bit rubbish
and lack structure
and have shifting light sources
and have blobs of paint and ink
drawings that I might not always like
through to sharing work I love.

I lean into being me
and it is very liberating...xx

My latest blog posts have been...