Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Quick Fixing ....

Aimee over at Artsyville asked us about our quick fixes
which is rather uncomfortable for me 
as I kind of think my life is one long string of quick fixes
I am no Martha Stewart with a calender of things to be covered
and if I went down the road of things that literally need fixing 
then this list would be an endless litany of embarrassing household debarcles
so I decided that rather than concentrating on the negative
I would focus on positive quick fixes
things that make my day a bit brighter in a short time
and allow me to hold onto the delusion
 that the rest of the house isn't falling apart around me...

so number one is go and cut some jasmine to make my studio smell lovely
I will ignore the fact that the arbour which is groaning under its gorgeous scent
is held up with cable ties tied to a down pipe
which you can just see in the bottom of the photo below
and to get the photo I was required to venture amongst the triffid like foliage
that has taken over the side of our house
I felt like an explorer by the time I emerged
it was worth it though because now I can enjoy the aroma wafting through the studio
making all seem lovely and spring like
and as a bonus I used pretty paper cups in this gorgeous blue
which means I won't have to soak a little vase after they die to remove all the toxic sap
a lesson learnt after last spring when the pinterest inspired jasmine in cut glass crystal centrepiece had some unexpected consequences
not the place for details... just think disgusting sappy tinged drinks 
and a somewhat disastrous start to a dinner party a couple of weeks later

which brings me to another favourite quick fix for my soul
I love to cruise Pinterest and imagine I have actually cooked some of those meals
made some of those seasonally wonderful things, or have a house that is gorgeous
don't underestimate the importance of fantasy in maintaining a healthy self image people
if I sit and pretend it is a site dedicated to my wonderfullness for 15 mins
I float around for hours after
all I have to do is pretend that the house I happen to find myself in
is someone else's ...

but my favourite two quick fixes are a cup of tea
any tea, a stonking great mug or cup of the stuff
and a chance to sit and draw
just for a little while
it calms my brain and lets me escape 
into a few moments of line and colour
shape and form
light and shadows
it soothes my brain and makes all right in the world
it doesn't have to be perfect or finished
it just has to be there emerging on the paper
it is the greatest quick fix around ...

This is also my link up to APR with its theme of shadows
I figure that all my drawings have tone... therefore shadows are a given... sort of
talk about a quick fix!!!!

I would also like to take a moment to hope all my East Coast blogging friends
are safe and that the damage is easily and quickly fixed for them
sending you all lots of positive thoughts...xx

Links to my last two posts are here ...

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Time for the Winners to be Grinners....

Drum Roll please 
it is time to draw the 300 followers give away
so many entries were received we had to abandon the tea cup
and instead resorted to the fruit bowl... sans fruit of course

So question was how to draw it
Phantom was full of ridiculous fantastic suggestions
some of which involved complicated algorithms, 
and one half listened to suggestion in which the only words I caught 
were air compressor and catchers mitt ...
so Phantom was duly ignored, the entries were dumped into the fruit bowl
which led to how do we get them out in a fun way
air compressors were again mentioned
and dismissed
and then Mushu wanted up on the table to see what we were discussing
and the brilliant solution emerged ...

Mushu looked suitably worried at our dastardly grins but all was forgotten when Phantom
stuck a bit of dog treat in the bowl
that snout dove in there at warp speed
and he happily pushed out two names trying to get at that little morsel of wonderful

Congratulations to Tammie Lee for winning the Bowls painting...

To Nordljus for winning the paint tubes ...

Thanks to another treat buried by my assistant
Cindy Adkins has won the ornamental cabbages ...

and Sandra Busby gets the Pears
though you will note that the papers were getting a touch gross
due to an unexpected amount of dog saliva
which made unfolding them quite the gruesome task....

Because there were so many entries 
and because I was so thrilled and humbled by the response
I decided to also give away three A4 fine art prints of my header
and so one more bit of treat
and Mushu happily pushed out three names...

 so the following three poeple have all won a the prints
congrats to 
Katie R

I would like to thank you all for entering
I would like to thank Phantom for her useless wonderful suggestions
and Mushu for being an adorable little snuffling drawing machine
though this led to a diva moment
and he then spent the next five minutes continuing to gaze at me hopeful for more snacks
tough luck buddy you made me get dog saliva fingers
still grossing out over that ...

I will be in contact with you all to get your details so I can get these off to you
or if you read this then email me at

Thanks again to everyone for entering and being part of the fun... xx

Phantom has just read this and demanded a retraction...
there was no catchers mitt mentioned
rather it was a cone around the dog's head
I would like to apologise to Phantom for any distress this may have caused
not ...xx

my last two post links are here in case you want to check them out ...

Friday, 26 October 2012

A Pair .... And A Spare ....

Huge thanks to everyone for entering the give away
and huge welcome to the new followers
it is a little overwhelming that so many of you want to be part of the fun
but completely awesome too... it has made it all a great week
I will be drawing it this evening and will post the results in the morning
and seeing as so many have entered I decided I will also draw an extra three names
and they will receive an fine art print of the painting that is my header ...

but lets move onto my painting week
I have spent this week working on a commission and playing catch up
and fuelling the mad frenzy of work
and getting me through the madness that is our normal week
have been these new teas from Twinings
The packaging is totally awesome
and I spent a few spare moments sketching them up
and while I didn't quite nail the magnificence of the actual boxes
it was lots of fun to get in and paint them
and I will revisit them when the schedule lightens up a bit
but it was fun none the less

They taste great too
especially the Blossom one
and the Jasmine one
that pair are simply delicious
I am a total sucker for citrus and jasmine scented teas
and the lavender one is lovely
though not quite loving it as much
maybe the Lavender is a bit calming
and I soooo don't need calming
well actually I probably do as I have been running around like a headless chicken all week
and can I say it doesn't look right typing headless chicken
over here we would say headless chook
but I still remember the confusion of Sinus asking where to find the hot chooks
when we lived in Florida... the puzzled looks were a crack up
which is a shame as I love the word chook... you get to be crook as a chook
which probably makes no sense as I am not aware that chickens often get sick
but I love the saying none the less

So wishing everyone a happy Friday over at PPF
and at APR where I am sneaking into the pair themes by saying 
that I have a pair of new favourite teas... and a spare...

I am off to work out how I to best draw the paintings
the cup of entries is looking a wonderfully full ....xx

If you haven't entered then head over here and add your name
I will update this post and let you know if I have closed it
and done the draw ...
the draw has now closed and been done
I will be posting the results very soon...xx

the link to the winners post is here....

My last two post links are here ...

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Ear Flap ....

 You have to love a topic that gives you the excuse to flap your ears
and Aimee over at Artsyville gave me the excuse to have a good old snoop
when she set the topic Overheard for List It Tuesday

 I wish I had one of these spy bug gizmos that I saw online
because then I could have been bugging with bugs
and ovehearing from overhead
and all those other lame plays on words
but instead of going all high tech I had to go old school
so I got my sneak on, let my ears flap like mad and here is what I heard ...
I heard my daughter Jet Puff Phantom
 muttering about a pox on both their houses while making herself a cuppa
I was so not touching that one but I have been checking the house for pox ever since
just in case I was one of the "both"

On the subject of Phantom I also heard her and Mushu the wonder mutt
having the same conversation they have every day
she lies on her bed
he lies on her legs / book/ remote/ ipod
she tells him to move
he sort of growl/ talks
she tries to reason with him
he growl/talks some more, though at a higher pitch
this continues until she gets totally frustrated and rats him out to one of us
or he runs out of growlish words and gives up and moves
it would be hilarious if they didn't do it every single day... about three times a day

Phantom's revenge was overheard later
because the studio is next to the pool
and she was sweetly luring the bed hog dog nice and close
which was followed by a splash and a yelp
then hysterical laughter
now I would love to tell you he won't fall for that again
but sadly he fell for it at least two more times
and will continue to fall for it all summer
I also heard a lady in the grocery shop talking on her phone
about a rash her husband had in his nether regions
I kid you not... I steered well clear of the checkout line she went through

I heard my butt tell me it was going to get bigger if I ate more chocolate
I chose to ignore that one... I was just overhearing, not acting on anything after all

I kind of overheard someone say that it is possible to do some activity called housework
but as I was unfamiliar with that term and didn't have a dictionary handy
so I have no clue what it refers to and am going to ignore that one as well

and finally I overheard that I was having a give away 
and the 4 small originals in this photo are up for grabs
the details for entering are in this post if you are interested... xx

I also posted on Sunday and here is the link if you missed it...

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Sneaky Sketches ....

Sharing some sketches from my sketchbooks today
sometimes drawings just never quite make it out of that slightly ugly stage
they seem to just be a bit stuck being almost there 
and some weeks I just don't draw well
this week was one of those, but it never bothers me too much because it is temporary
and it is a hazard when you have a brain that is always going off in a million directions
sometimes I just can't focus for long enough to get my drawing together
while at other times it all comes together really quickly 
and at the end of the day
the weather is so nice I kind of can't be bothered being too bothered...

 So while drinking a cuppa the other day I stole a bit of time
 and did a little blender sketch
we don't have two blenders
it is that just the one on the left was a bit out of whack
the one on the right isn't that much better
but hey the tea was gone and it's not like the blender is going anywhere
so I moved on to something else ... can't remember what
quite possibly it was washing, cleaning or some such horror
The tea packet sketch was just a little drawing
sneakily done while good old Jet Puff/ Phantom Steve 
was trying to explain some maths concept to me
that kid just never gives up I tell you
and I certainly want to revisit drawing this packet at some stage
because the colours and all are just lovely
and cherry season is just around the corner 
so it will be only fitting that I drink a cherry tea

in fact I am thinking that may be just what I need now 
on this fine Sunday morning 
hoping you all get the chance to sneak in some sketches as well 
and maybe visit some fellow Sunday Sketchers ...xx

P S If you are wanting to enter the give away for these small originals on paper
use this link to go back to Jumping A Different Box .... 
and it tells you what to do to enter ...xx

Friday, 19 October 2012

Jumping a Different Box....

Hugest thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes last week
it made me feel special despite it being a box jumper of a birthday
during the week I actually hit another milestone of sorts
and jumped into the past 300 followers box
which is a big two hands in the air dance around the room type deal for me

It was this time last year that I decided to get in and do the blog a bit more seriously
well maybe seriously isn't the right word
but I wanted to make it a bit more like me 
and to give up trying to make it all professional
most importantly I decided to make art that I like, that reflects my life
and stop trying to do it all "properly" if you know what I mean

at the end of the day I used to find it all a bit tiring
blogging used to remind me of doing the half dressed school drop off 
you know where you put on a nice shirt, tidy your hair etc
but on the bottom half you are in pj's and bed socks
and you spend the whole time praying nothing happens
so you will be forced to get out of the car....

although one day I did see it happen when a student couldn't get her bag out of the trunk
and the poor mum had to get out and help her, but she handled it with complete style
despite the fact that she was wearing bright pink pj pants covered in purple love hearts
which clashed with her oh so perfectly business suited top half
and people were honking and laughing
she bowed to the crowd and drove off with head held high
she was my hero for days after that

anyway blogging used to feel exactly like that
I was trying to show the world the neat , tidy respectable me
which really is an illusion on a good day... some may even say a delusion
and one day I was totally over it all and figured I had nothing to lose
I did the equivalent of doing drop off in full pj's ,complete with bed head 
and it was hugely liberating and fun and easy
never under estimate the allure of easy
I love easy and there is no way I would go back ... not for a minute
So anyway
a year ago I set a bit of a goal
well not really a goal, because just typing that word makes me hyperventilate a bit
more a wouldn't it be nice if this time next year I could hit the 200 mark type thought
so it is very cool that I am over that... and to celebrate I am going to do a give away
my 302 followers give-away...
and the 302 thing is important because if I mention bodily functions too much 
I seem to lose one or two followers
which is cool, because lets be honest there is only so much snot we can all handle
but I wanted those two extras as a buffer 
in case I decide to write about rampant hay fever again soon

The four paintings up for grabs are the four I have posted here
and are all ink and watercolour, and are originals
they are unmatted and on paper that is 13cm x 19 cm
which is about 5 in x 7 1/2 in I think so they are only little
but you should be able to pop them into a frame easily to pretty them up
and all you have to do is say in your comment that you want to be in the draw
I will attempt to work a random number thingy
but failing that then names in a hat will suffice
and if you link up to this in some way I will throw in an extra entry for you
just let me know in an email or in the comment section and I will take it from there
I will close entries at midnight next Thursday and announce the winners soon after

thanks to all of you for your support and being part of the fun
you are appreciated  and good luck ... xx

 P S  happy Friday to all the Paint Party Friday people 
PSS ... Facebook people who don't have a bog... 
just message me that you would like to enter,
 or pop a comment on the status update and I will enter you in there...xx

the last two posts links are....

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Heavenly List Love ....

What I love about where I live
so here goes... 

I love that it is warm enough that I can drink tea like this all year round
I have no clue whatsoever how any of you live in a place
where it actually gets cold... 
just don't think I would ever man up enough to ever go outside
and would probably spend half my life putting on and taking off 5 million layers of clothes
just to take out the trash
for me it is fruit teas, sunshine and warmth the whole way...

I love that I live so close to the water
that every day on my way home from the dreaded school drop off
which is dreaded because it would appear that dads and drop off zones just don't mix
anyway ...
after experiencing the horror of dads who see the drop off zone
like some grand dodgem type experience
I get to drive home and look out over the gorgeous bay
and the sun is all glittering on it and all lovely
and if you don't look too closely you can ignore the mudflats if it is low tide

and I love the tidal swimming pool that is still a feature of the waterfront
after I have no clue how many years
and  people fish along the path
even though I don't think anyone has actually caught a fish there in years
it is just so hopeful... or delusional
depending on whether you are having a good day or a bad one
today is am going with hopeful....

I love that the jacaranda trees are all in bloom at the moment
so I get to drive across a carpet of bluey purple
I feel quite special driving as the trees strew their blooms in my path
only fitting I think

I also love the jasmine that is finally blooming
and making the whole house smell pretty special
and happily covering the slight tang of dust in the air
due to a bit of a housework strike that has been going on

last but not least I love that I live in a place
where the fruit is tropical and wonderful and fills everywhere with gorgeous smells
and the markets are full of locally produced wonders
at the moment it is all about the first mangoes, the tang of passionfruit
early red papaya and the last of the crazy sweet strawberries
any trip to the market is just a joy of sweet summery wonderful
which is absolutely heavenly... which fits in nicely with the Celestial theme over at APR
I am going for the tenuous link prize two weeks running over at APR...

so head on over to APR and Artsyville 
to see what heavenly lists are on people's minds...

My last two posts have been ...

and yes I know this is a kookaburra and not a chicken
read the post!!!!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Do Chickens Have Tongues?????

I don't usually draw birds
but I did draw this kookaburra as it is my bloody alarm clock at the moment
which wouldn't be so bad if it did what it was supposed to
Indigenous Australians believe that a kookaburra visiting 
means that good fortune will follow close behind
now I'm not sure if this one is just defective
and its constant presence means good fortune doesn't have a chance to visit
or perhaps all that good stuff is just still tucked up in bed because it is 5 freakin am
and to add insult to injury you have to wake up to the slightly off putting feeling
of something laughing at you

This is no gentle Cinderella wakening where the sweet birds
lay out your clothes and do your hair
no I get the raucous laughter from beady eyed carnivorous one
which is totally doing my head in

The family issues with the feathered ones has also extended itself to the dog
and doing Mushu's head in is the reappearance of his nemesis bird
Spring has sprung and this one bird is back from his regular winter break
it sits on the edge of the pool and refuses to move so he can do his laps
it sits on the chair and watches him while he is trying to sleep in his bed
and every time the poor thing closes his eyes it squalks and wakes him up
and to add insult to injury it poos on him
I couldn't count the number of times he has come in crying covered in bird poo
just the sound of its squalk drives him into a mad barking frenzy 
and he spends half the day running around the yard and looking up in the sky
it is one evil nemesis
but it only arrives at change of season 
and like the hay fever that is with us all for a week or two
he will soon disappear again until next year
but until then the mutt is copping it

Just as nemesis bird disappears then magpie season will start 
and it will be Sinuse's turn to have bird issues
he will be constantly swooped and pecked
and walking the dog becomes life and death obstacle course
personally I would walk a different route until the season was done
but not my dear man and mutt
perhaps they enjoy the delicious danger this brings to their daily ambles

Of course dear Jet Puff / Phantom has no real bird issues
don't think any bird would be game to swoop, laugh at or poo on her
I am thinking they probably find her a touch odd
clearly evidenced by her question to me just the other night
as to how big do I think a chicken's tongue is????
Like I would know that answer, and how do you even think of a question like that
I didn't even know chicken's had tongues???
I haven't been game to ask her if she found out, and can't be bothered googling it
so I am in a horrible limbo of not knowing 
my life is really very odd at times
Happy Sunday Sketches...xx

P.S thanks so much for all the Birthday wishes over the last few days
you all made it a very special day especially Kristin
who is a punny punny girl and who wrote an eggcellent post to celebrate it...xx

My last two posts have been...