Two for January

I’m just going to squeeze in another post for January……..  Even so, I can’t be accused of being a prolific blogger  🙂

I haven’t achieved much in the art room, but did settle for a bit to play with some inks, pens and a little stamp.  Clearly early morning walks by the ocean are having an effect

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these first two are blurry thanks to my inability to keep the phone still……

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It’s basically playing with colour and shapes and doodling.. Like everything I do these days I tend to make two or three at the same time and then turn them into cards.   So…

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And just to change it up a bit I did two of these, but one has gone away already

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I love the colours of them all – inks are so much fun – the watercolours and acrylics are still languishing…..

How has your January going, going, gone?  It’s either overly warm here or it’s – not.  It’s hard to make plans for a picnic that’s for sure.   Siddy and I continue to pursue our daily goal of leaving random people happier for having met us on our walks – he has such an assortment of fans it’s quite delightful.

This is him at the window, greeting his two favourite special people  –

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Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did.

A Christmas Retrospective and Secret Projects

Greetings friends from a warm and sunny city in the far southern reaches of the globe.

I know a few of you are waiting to see the secret handwork projects that I was beavering away on in the months before Christmas.  So here they are

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Oh no, that’s just Siddy showing off his sparkly festive outfit – and can you see the piles of parcels?  That’s how the King girls roll when we get to spend a bit of time together alone at Christmas………..

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Oops, no –  that’s just me and Siddy taking our very early morning Christmas Day walk on the beach………..  7 am on a perfect morning.   Bliss!

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Ah, here we are.  A Persian Tiles Blanket for my ED, Joanna, in her favourite colours

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And a detail shot if you are interested.  I went for a 3-D look on the leaves by keeping the hook size the same and adding an extra double-treble……..  And I really like how it turned out

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And Orlando on pressing duty

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Now, for YD, Danella, this is ‘Winnie’s Wonderland’ from Emily Littlefair’s book ‘ Round and Round the Crochet Hook’ adapted from a square throw to an elongated bed end throw.  This is the centre – loads of texture and interest, I really enjoyed making this one

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Here ’tis as it grew bigger

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and here it is in-situ – the green is matched in her headboard which you can’t really see

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Finally a pair of baskets, one each for the daughters, made from tee-shirt yarn to hold work in progress and containing all kinds of goodies that are essential for handworking

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And the boys got presents too –  it was a good day, loads of fun and everyone was quite worn out  by early evening ………

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The year is off to a grand start.  I’m on a get healthy – stay healthy kick and with a new pair of headphones I’m well into meditating with Dr Joe Dispenza.  And there will be watercolour paintings this year!  How’s it going for you so far?

Thanks for coming by today, I’m happy that you did!

 

Christmas Gnomes

Last year my ‘Secret Santa’ pal from South Africa, the lovely Joey,  included in her present to me two of the cutest little  gnomes I have ever seen.  Here’s a glimpse of one of them, nestled in this years table wreath created by the talented Danella

XmasGnome detailIsn’t he cute!  They are very tiny, being about 7cm high (2 3/4″)   I love them.

ChristmasWreath 2018Then my friend Sue arrived for her annual visit and with her arrived two more gnomes -even tinier and every bit as enchanting.

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davAt the time I was putting together a Christmas bag for Siddy’s favourite courier which included a bottle of wine.  The bottle was taller than the bag it was destined for and I hit on the idea of making a bottle topper – so a gnome was created that fit just right and peaked out of the top of the bag.  Of course I forgot to take a photo of it, but the courier was delighted.  Luckily my first attempt at a bottle topper gnome was too big and he has been photographed

davHe is with a friendly pukeko who also lives in my house.  This gnome was made for grander things than being a leaning post for an affectionate swamp hen however and soon took up residence in The Green Room 

Christmas tree 2018While all this collecting, creating and curating of Gnomes was going on there was also an excess of cards being made.  Some have been squirreled away for later, some have been sent out already.  davThese are ‘S’ Fold cards.  My friend Alys gave me the pattern a while back and I had fun playing around with the idea.  The first card is a simplified version.

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Gnome gift card………. almost open ……..

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Then of course many more gnomes were called into service – this is just a few of them

davThese were a conveyor belt, multi step process that was both time consuming and daunting – but thoroughly worthwhile.  It produced cards that are sparkly, texture rich and fun.

davAnd of course we must finish with Siddy.  Not quite a gnome, but trying very hard to be a good reindeer.  Here he is, trying on his antlers,  ready to help  Santa if required

davThank you for coming by today, have a  happy and blessed Christmas, Mid-Summer. Mid-Winter, Hanukkah and or Kwanzaa.   Wherever you are in the world and however you spend this season, be happy, make someone else happy and remember you have the power to change the world with a smile.  With love and thanks for all the times you have made me think, made me feel, made me smile.

A Green Room

Hello there my lovely friends!  I thought I’d pop in briefly to say ‘Hi!’ before I disappear for a summer break – like I haven’t been taking a break from blogging already.   But you know, I’ve been busy making stuff, and keeping up with all of you regular bloggers and getting on with life and of course coping with the most dismal spring weather EVER!!

The really good news though is I finally managed to get my green room made.  What you may ask is a green room – no, it’s not the place I keep all my celebrity friends waiting.  I don’t have any celebrity friends……  maybe its a ‘garden room’ but that’s not quite right either.  If you get to the end and have a suggestion feel free to let me know what it should be called.

Here’s the back story:

My tiny house has the most inconveniently placed and useless ‘conservatory’ attached to it that you can imagine.  I have no clue what anyone was thinking when someone thought it would be a really good idea to attach a single thickness glass and metal corridor to the side of this tiny house.  But they did and I have inherited it.   It scorches in the summer and freezes in the winter and, at 150cm wide by 200cm long, is good for nothing much more than hanging coats and storing containers of tools, dog gear and shoes and that’s about it.  It also serves as an entry foyer when you enter by the front door.   It is fully visible from the sofa in my sitting room and from the dining table as the long wall of the living space is all ranch slider.  Talk about living in a gold fish bowl!  As said ‘conservatory’ looks directly at a 2m high corrugated iron fence and the white stucco wall of the cottage next door I have always kept it curtained.  The curtains take up space visually and are difficult to keep clean and tidy.  It may be a utilitarian area, but it is visible and I needed for it to look vaguely attractive.

You all know by now I don’t have a garden to speak of here, and what I do have can’t be viewed from inside.  I miss trees terribly, so an idea starting fermenting a year ago from conversations with my friend Alys.  Then my daughter Danella added her ideas and it took shape and form and eventually all the necessary bits were gathered and voila – just in time for Christmas we have a fabulous green room.

Have a look, and then I’ll tell you how I made it.

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I applied an opaque window film to the glass wall.  Over that two bamboo garden trellises were stretched and wired together.  The existing curtain rod was handy for attaching and tying and hanging all the separate components.   Fabric ivy in three different varieties was threaded through the trellis and the back wall was ready to go.

The open shelving unit that holds my box of tools, another of gardening equipment, Siddy’s not unextensive wardrobe and shoes for walking in all weathers was given a fabric curtain in keeping with the green theme and various faux plants tastefully scattered about.   The green cat has been a friend for at least 20 years and now has a lovely new resting place

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As it is Christmas, a small tree and lights were gifted to me by Danella and suddenly it is magical

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That’s a gnome resting on top of that tree.  I don’t have a star of the right size and he had been made and had nothing to do so I popped him on top and he seems quite happy.  Christmas gnomes are a bit of a theme here at the moment.   Maybe I’ll tell you more about that in my next post………

Here’s Siddy posing for you in his lovely new collar and kerchief all the way from Le Belle France and the very kind and lovely Tialys who also made me a rather fabulous pinny for my art room…….

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He’s really rather be having his dinner……

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did!

October Went By In a Blur ……

Time is shooting past isn’t it.  Danella, aka The Official Photographer, went back into hospital and finally, almost eleven months after the initial accident had all the screws,  broken and entire, removed from her leg.  The steel plates however are left in.

Due to the extraordinarily long wait period, Danella was booked into a private hospital.  We reported to Mercy Hospital  at 9 am on the 21st and she was  checked in and ready to go off with her handsome American surgeon within the hour.

I received a call from said handsome American surgeon an hour and a half later, immediately following the surgery and given full details of what had been done.  We had a prolonged and congenial discussion about whether he was a surgeon or a car mechanic after he described having difficulty getting one of the screws out from behind the metal plate and having to use his screwdriver to ‘ping it up’.

It was an almost shocking juxtaposition from the event a year earlier when the Dunedin Hospital had lost my daughter for two hours and no-one could tell me where she was or what was happening to her, followed by the lack of communication over what had been done to her in surgery.

I was incredibly impressed with the quality of care and attention given by the nursing staff at Mercy and by the calm, serene ambience of the reception and the ward.   She was well tended to by her nurse throughout the day and I was encouraged to be there, and  be fully  informed throughout the process.  By 4 pm that day I was driving Danella back home and tucking her in.  Within two days she was up and about and caring totally for herself and was back at work a week later, having been at my place the day before cleaning my hard to reach windows.  🙂  It was, all in all, a really great experience.  I do love it when life serves us up the very best possible outcome and puts bells on it too.

We’ve been enjoying some lovely weather.   Siddy and I took it into out heads to take an extra walk in the evenings as dusk was falling and the streets were a bit quieter so he could practise his off leash walking.  Orlando took it into his head to come with us, each night coming a little further.  So there we were last night, all three of us, heading off for a stroll round the block.

I say ‘stroll’, but the thing that got me was that the puppy became quite serious when he saw that the cat stayed with him.  He didn’t stop to pick up or leave messages as usual, but trotted along, not deviating from the path as is his usual style, as if he needed to get his kitty back home safely as soon as possible.  The kitty trotted along just behind Siddy, tail held high and clearly not bothered.  I was quite puffed as we completed the block in record time.   I’m kind of hoping it doesn’t become a regular occurrence and I kind of wished The Official Photographer could have accompanied us, it must have been quite a sight.

I’m still managing to create at least one card every day and a series gets completed in about three days.  Here’s a few of them.  I do love my owlsimg_20181011_163128.jpgThese are fun and will appeal to certain people in my circle of friends and familydavThis one isn’t a card, I made it for me to put on the fridge just to remind me I don’t need to buy any more crafting supplies – I gave myself an intervention  🙂   I’m not sure if it’s worked…..davI designed a Christmas card and blinged them up with an increasing amount of diamantes and glitter, which you can’t see here, but believe me they sparkle and shine  – these are just the first two, there’s several more….davThen, with the next series, the pets got in on the actimg_20181022_091111.jpgSomewhere along the line I found some unused inky splatter backgrounds and added these gnomes to them  – this made me happy!  They are so useless and cute and I must make moredavdavdavdavAnd to finish a design still in process davThat’s it, that’s October almost done and dusted.  Is it seven weeks til Christmas?

Here’s Siddy getting his aunty Jo’s bed ready for her Christmas visit.  If you look closely you might catch a glimpse of his ‘Superdog’ harness.  He’s looking a little porky on account of too many treats, so not really capable of flying ……… davThanks for coming by today, I love that you did.

Out now: Song of Paper

For all the friends of Cynthia Jobin, new and old – here at last is the news we have been waiting for. The second collection of her work is now available.

Bennison Books

CJ social mediaCynthia Jobin’s poetry is honest, piercingly intelligent and intensely moving. Her posthumous collection, Song of Paper, showcases the poems she was writing at the height of her powers.

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I Decided to Make Some Cards

On a grey day there is time to do a quick catch up of the latest makings from the craft room – I just thought you might have missed the playing about with inks and stamps and doodles ………  I do hope I’m not being presumptuous, but you know it’s all been about Kakapo’s and free books in recent weeks…….  I haven’t been at all idle.  In between the doing up of the conservatory to make me a forest like feel in the middle of the city and much yarn work, there are  at least 60 – yes SIXTY – new hand made greeting cards packed away.  Christmas is all but taken care of  😀

First up is a pile of new inkies, neatly packed up into assorted colour packs of six cards, no envelopes. There’s about 40 of these, ready for anything that comes my way – this is a small selection of colours.  For some reason I did not photograph any of the mauve, yellow or green combos of colours …….. but you get the idea and, anyway, you’ve seen these before

 

When I got tired of those I went on to playing with Distress Inks and die-cut silhouettes, also all neatly and individually packed up, complete with envelopes – this is a small selection

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Then I discovered some old serviettes that required something doing with, so they got made into cards too – complete with their own hand made envelopes because the finished size of the cards was inconsiderate of mass produced envelopes

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dav Next, I went here.  Here is playing with pens and pencils and inks and stamps and doodles and seeing what comes out in the end – again a very small selectiondavAnd just in case you missed him here is Siddy in his new bandanna, looking rather coy ….

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Finally, I’ve been watching Jacinda via YouTube make her way through the UN and American talk shows.  It’s so nice to feel proud of the person who represents our little country.  I don’t believe I’ve ever felt that before from preceding Prime Ministers – not even the two women who previously held the position.  Her maiden address to the UN ended with this:

 “Perhaps then it is time to step back from the chaos and ask what we want. It is in that space that we’ll find simplicity. The simplicity of peace, of prosperity, of fairness. If I could distil it down into one concept that we are pursuing in New Zealand it is simple and it is this.  Kindness.  In the face of isolationism, protectionism, racism – the simple concept of looking outwardly and beyond ourselves, of kindness and collectivism, might just be as good a starting point as any. So let’s start here with the institutions that have served us well in times of need, and will do so again……….. “

Pretty cool intro to the world huh!

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did!