Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday shopping list - I've got a headache

I hope my headache goes away soon!!!
In the meantime I can always go shopping...

I think my headache has gone to my brain! What fun though. Don't forget to check out the other Saturday Shopping lists. They are probably a bit less... achy?!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A different kind of printing.

I realise I haven't talked about what's new in my shop for ages which may have lead you to thinking there is nothing new and that's not true! I have finally worked out a way to create glicee prints (reproductions) of my paintings - a way I'm happy with that is. I have added some fantastic quality Arches watercolour inkjet paper to my stores in the studio and been looking into the ink quality that my printer can use as well as the quality of the prints and I AM happy! The prints look great and they will last 80 years plus! What's not to be happy with?
It means I can offer my art at a more affordable price AND it also means I can offer reproductions of paintings that are sold and therefore, up until now, were no longer available. Win win. I made up this little mosaic of my paintings to show what is available but please note that the prints themselves are not square as shown above (that's just how Flickr Mosaics does it). Click on the links below to view the full image.
From Top Left...
Waiting For Someone Special (blue)
Helping Hand
Wish You Were Here (blue)
Middle row...
He's a Suitor!
Waiting for Someone Special (orange spots)
The White Glove
Bottom row..
Blue Vessels (will be in my shop soon!)
Wish You Were Here (orange spots)
Cups and Bowl I and II

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday shopping list - It's raining It's pouring

Flooding rains for the third time this year. Eh hem. We have had enough.
But looking for the bright side check out these great goodies on my Saturday Shopping List this week!

Check out the list of Saturday Shopping Lists over at fancypicnic. gretchenmist's list always inspires me!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flickr Favourites Friday

Today's 'F' word Friday is inspired by ArtMind's Flickr Favorites posts. Click on the links below to visit the artist's Flickr page.
1. Café, 2. burning bright, 3. structures on the beach, 4. szaza's portrait

P.S. What do you think of my new layout?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What Kind of Happy Are You?

Found this via Kyles (Thanks! - I sound fascinating!)

You Are Engaged

You feel completely absorbed and intrigued right now. You're cheerfully busy.

You're alert and completely involved with everything you do. You don't walk through life half-asleep.

If you're interested and engrossed, then you feel incredibly happy.

You are constantly curious and never bored. There's too much to be fascinated with!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Give... Give... Giveaway! and a bit of partnership building and network development

My friend Cath is having a giveaway! Lovely vintage fabric and crafty goodies could be coming your way. All you have to do is comment on her blog to enter. If you want to enter twice you can get that second entry just by following her blog (which I do already because she is such a lovely lady and interesting to boot!)

Cath only lives half an hour away from me but so far we haven't managed to meet. I'm hoping to meet her this weekend at the BELLO ART STIMULUS – Partnership & Network Development Forum being held at the Bellingen Memorial Hall next Saturday May 23rd from 10.00am till 4.00pm. Artists and craftspeople who are within cooee of Bellingen are invited to come along at a cost of $15 which INCLUDES lunch and morning and afternoon teas. Besides being a great networking event, the forum will engage artists and craftspeople with information about developing opportunities for online marketing and networking, local and other partnerships, gallery spaces and there will be a “speed dating” session with a gallery director to get advice about where to go next with your art or craft project.

The Bello Art Stimulus Forum will have presentations delivered by artists, gallery industry and marketing specialists. I'm not sure where I fit in, but I will be doing a session on Etsy and DUST.

For further information and bookings for the Bello Art Stimulus Forum on Saturday May 23rd contact Julia Morrell – BuildingBlox Project Coordinator on 0418 226 361 or (02) 6564 8947. Bookings are essential and close 12 noon Friday 22nd May. If you would like to be one of the 'speed daters' you need to mention this when you book and bring your portfolio on the day.

I hope to see you and meet you on the day!

The BuildingBlox: Developing the Mid North Coast Visual Arts & Crafts Industry Project is a project developed and implemented by Arts Mid North Coast Inc, funded through a partnership between the NSW Department of State and Regional Development and the Arts NSW’s Visual Arts and Crafts program.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shopping List Saturday - Bones

I'm a bit late with my shopping list this week but with my mum and her fractured pelvis it's been a strange week. I thought I continue the strangeness just a little bit longer even though my shopping list DID include a bone today - a ham hock for making baked beans!

lovely bone marina by monkeymeditates

Pet Chamois - Bad to the Bone by tlccustomcreations

Fish Bone Crochet Pattern - PDF from stripeyblue

Bronze Raven Skull Ring Crow Bird Head from Moon Raven Designs

LITHOGRAPH called Carotene by Orange Friendly

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fracture Friday

Why fracture? Well, because that is my mum did this week. Hence not enough time to work out a different 'f' post for today. Ah, but there is always next week!

Monday, May 11, 2009

8 things

I just got tagged by Cath and its a good one:

8 things I am looking forward too:
1. Getting my studio organised (again!)
2. Having a 'normal' week (last week was ridiculous!)
3. Having time to catch up with friends.
4. Seeing my friends who have been OS for a few months.
5. Painting. (I'm always looking forward to painting.
6. The weather cooling down just a little bit more.
7. My holiday later in the year. (I'll tell you about that another time.)
8. Meeting Cath who tagged me!

8 things I did yesterday
1. Got to see my niece who I haven't seen for 18 months.
2. Went looking for a new chair for my studio and decided what I really needed was a new table.
3. Had lunch at a new cafe I didn't know had opened. Delicious!
4. Looked at photos of our trip to Paris etc again.
5. Lay down a lot.
6. Decided to participate in 'Saturday shopping list' meme.
7. Doodled.
8. Tried out my new water brush.

8 things I wish I could do
1. Loose weight.
2. Stick to a fitness regime.
3. Get a really big studio.
4. Have more time for making art.
5. Actually, have more time for all the things I want to do.

8 TV shows I watch
1. Grand Designs (my favourite one too!)
2. The Cook and the Chef
3. House (it's a love/hate thing)
4. Scrubs
5. Becker (on DVD)
That's really it but we just finished watching these TV shows on DVD
6. The Sopranos
7. Deadwood
8. Dexter

8 people I am tagging
Oh, do I have to? Hmmm OK.
1. Erin
2. Sara who is renovating her blog
3. Gillian
4. LittleChrissy
5. Tiff
6. Chrisy
7. Jo
8. Jenn

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Some silliness

I've been doodling.

I used to doodle a lot.
But I haven't for a long time.

I decided to do more doodling.

And this is what came out. Not what I was expecting.

I'm not trying to be funny. It's ok. You are not expected to laugh. I didn't.
Once I fell in love with Monty Pythons book about the bad poet (I can't remember his name).
I did a lot of bad poetry for a while. I still do occasionally. It takes a different type of skill to write bad poetry.
I don't think it takes much skill to write/draw bad doodles. Ah, but that's the purpose of doodles!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Saturday shopping list - bowls

I like the Saturday shopping list posts on some blogs I visit, especially gretchinmist and decided to join in. A lovely visitor is coming to stay tonight and it made me think of making the place extra homely and cosy to welcome her. Bowls, ah, is there such a thing as too many?
Felt bowl from shanineal

Porcelain bowl from DishfulsOfDoodles

Trio of metal bowls from twobeans

Wooden bowl from Seasonal Vignettes

Friday, May 08, 2009

There's some good news and there's some bad news

Last week I asked if there were any good words starting with 'F' because I wanted to change the name of my Friday posts from 'Flaunt It Friday' to something more appropriate. Well, the overwhelming silence on your part has meant I've had to go and get down my own Dictionary and check it out myself. Thank you for that! There are lots of good words starting with 'F' as it turns out. So from now on my Friday posts will be tagged with the label 'Friday' and each one will have its own excellent 'F' word as a descriptive, starting today with:
Frontier Friday

Do you know Simon? Simon first attracted my attention with his blog title Paper Curious ~ I love it! I makes me giggle every time. He blogs about bookbinding and paper making and if you are curious, he makes some really interesting stuff, including little bank note books and shredded bank not paper. So clever! I know how clever he is because he generously sent me a little book and some paper. That's the good news.

The bad news is that my parcel was opened by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and three of the pieces of paper Simon sent were 'ordered into quarantine' (ie confiscated) for having plant material in them. When my parcel arrived it contained a letter from the AQIS, some forms and a brochure. It seems I have 3 possible courses of action a) pay $42.50 to have the papers irradiated (there is a warning that this may cause damage), b) pay $42.50 to have the pages returned to Simon and c) pay nothing and they will be destroyed after 30 days.

All this has brought our uniquely Australian 'problem' into my mind again, so I thought I'd remind you too. We need to think about this more now that our community is ever more global every day and the handmade revolution has us buying and sending goodies all over the place.

What can't be mailed to Australia? is the title of the brochure they sent and inside it has a long list including: meat and meat products, dairy, eggs and egg products, fruit and vegetables, plants and soil, seeds and nuts, plant material, live animals and animal products and laboratory material. It is the plant material section that got my paper 'removed'. It states you can't send these things to Australia: tea containing seeds, fruit skin and fruit pieces, remedies and medicines containing herbs, seeds, bark, fungi and dried plant material, dried flower arrangements and potpourri, dried herbs or leaves, handicrafts -including wreaths and Christmas decorations- containing seeds, raw nuts, corn, pine cones, grapevines, bark, moss, straw or other plant material, wooden items with bark or signs of insects present. I've looked longingly at many items on Etsy that would have been confiscated on arrival if I had bought them. It is something we need to think of before we buy.

But we also need to be careful when we buy things that do comply with the AQIS because how they are packed can also lead to problems. The brochure advises people mailing items to Australia to:
  • Fill out the declaration label clearly and correctly. Make sure you itemise everything inside the package, including any packaging materials you've used.
  • Do not pack items in egg cartons, wooden boxes or cardboard boxes that have been used to hold fruit, vegetables or meat/smallgoods
  • Do not pack with straw or dried plant material. Use newspaper or foam to wrap fragile goods.
There is even a section on "cultural and seasonal events and quarantine." Don't send:
  • New Year - ornaments made with straw, seeds and conifer sprigs
  • Valentines Day - fresh and dried flowers
  • St Patricks Day - shamrock plants and seeds
  • Easter - hardboiled eggs, painted eggshells and straw or hay
  • Chinese Moon festival - mooncakes containing egg yolks or meat
  • Spring - seeds and bulbs (northern and southern hemisphere)
  • Sukkot - etrog, branches of palm, myrtle or willow
  • Halloween - pumpkins, corn husk dolls
  • Christmas - decorations containing pine cones, vine wreaths, spruce; hampers containing prohibited foods
And let's not forget to mention the fines of over $60,000 for a breach. There is more information here.

Simon has taken the fate of his handmade paper well. I explained to him that because Australia is an island nation there are many pests and diseases common elsewhere that haven't reached our shores and we are determined (obviously) to keep it that way. His response was gold!
That's a shame. Something I'll have to bear in mind in the future. Don't worry, they're certainly not worth 43 bucks. Let them destroy them. Quite funny in a way, me producing items that could potentially bring down a whole continent!!!!

And if that wasn't enough the whole issue brings me to worry about the Community Sketchbook book I made Something of Value which I only just finished and blogged about last week. I'm kicking myself now because I did something I don't usually do and included some handmade paper in it that does contain plant matter. I know it is not a problem as I can send that to the US which is its next stop, but it probably means the book can not return to Australia (because how can they tell that it originated here?) and what if it comes up against the quarantine laws of other similar countries on its journey? I think I have only one option and that is to pull it apart, remove the offending paper and rebind it again. Now that is a shame too.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

...I simply remember my favourite things and then I don't feel sooooo bad

Making things, pattern, gentle rain, sleeping, old books
My latest entry in Clare's Moleskine for Moly_x_25. It's part of Moly X: An International Moleskine Sketchbook Exchange. This one is nearing completion. Look how full Clare's gorgeous book is now.
In fact, this one is done all bar Clare's own final entry. What a ride this book has had!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Williams

Finally I have some art to post here!

My second entry in Tracy's Moleskine is titled "The Williams." Tracy's Moly-X-25 did not start with a specific theme but from day one has been destined to be a book exploring our favourite artists. "The Williams" is a homage to William Kentridge, William Morris and anyone named 'William' in a Boys Own Journal.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Flaunt It x Phrenology x Frenology Friday

Are there any good words that start with F?

I've gone off the idea of calling my Friday posts 'Flaunt It Friday'. I only chose it on a whim because it had a nice ring to it. Now I feel a little silly putting up a post that is categorised as flaunting every week. But I just don't know what to call it! These posts are a little dip into something behind the scenes. Well that is what I originally intended. Turns out that in the ensuing weeks very little has occurred behind-the-scenes what with my back, visitors and trips away. So today when it came time to flaunt something from behind-the-scenes, well, there is nothing.

Definitely time to change the name of my Fridays! But what to? While I was away I found a Phrenology head. I love it! So here is a post from in front of the scenes (now I know why that phrase has never become popular) but you must notice my phrenology Frenology friend in most of the shots!

The really avid reader may recall a very long long long time ago I excited announced that I was make THE book for Community Sketchbook's foray into the analogue world. This book will be sent from one sketch artist to the next where it will be slowly filled with eclectic sketched delights. Slowly over time it will be come something of incredible value, to the artists and hopefully the viewers too.
It is finally finished. I'm quite embarrassed at how long it has taken. Ah, but I'm very happy with how it has turned out! It has been made by rebinding a 1955 edition of Robert Ruark's "Something Of Value" published by Hamish Hamilton Ltd, London. The particular book was chosen for it's title, the size of the book and the fact that it was in reasonable condition. I have never read the book and don't really know what it is about! But it seemed apt for this project to me.
I began by disassembling it, removing the original book block from the covers and reinforcing the covers to help it to last its future journeys. Then I separated each page from the book block. Unfortunately it didn't contain much of interest (to the sketch artist!) in its pages, so while I selected a few to go back into the book later, I also dipped into my stash of pages from other old books to add a bit of visual interest with different sizes of papers and different subject matters. I cut the new pages from a variety of art papers - Arches 185gsm, both hot and cold press watercolour papers, my favourite sketchbook paper Art Spectrum Draw & Wash, Canson Montval watercolour paper, Stonehenge drawing paper, Canson acrylic sketch paper and some found papers including grid, exercise book and pages with writing guides. I stitched the new book block together with waxed linen thread and I am happy to believe it will make a wonderfully eclectic basis for a wide variety of sketches. Artists will be able to select a page that will support their kind of artistic expression. Text pages can be gessoed over or collaged onto. Watercolour pages can take other wet media and the drawing papers are very versitile.
I added 2 ribbon page markers to the book and new endpages. These I made from some really rustic handmade paper I found in our local artisan market down by the harbour. I really wanted to leave their deckle edges complete but they were just slightly too large for the book. A little bit of exercising the grey matter later I came up with what I think is an ingenious solution! I used the excess width to create a tab that I could sew envelope pockets onto both front and back. I made the envelopes so they still function well even after sewing. They will be great for artists to slip their cards, notes or info into so it is all kept together as the book travels the globe.
Once the book was firmly reattached to its covers I added a little pocket that holds a card of mine that documents the rebinding. I usually make these envelopes out of discarded pages from the book itself, but this time I was lucky enough to have the crumbling remains of the original dust jacket. I used the spine section with the title showing. To me it's a lovely way to keep in mind the origin of the sketchbook, which over time will look less and less like a novel and more and more like an artists sketchbook! I really can't wait to see what happens to our book now!

Check out the Community Sketchbook project blog and Flickr group!