Two Months – Really?

Doesn’t time go past fast when you are having fun, or prevaricating – er, sorry – incubating new directions in your art work………

The large work in progress on the easel remains just that, a large work in progress on the easel.  I shall probably finish it just because I am tired of skirting round the thing as I try to get at other supplies.  If you are new here, (and there have been so many new follows since my last post, and I am inordinately grateful to have you here, thanks for coming by and please do feel free to jump into the general chat, we love that!)  here’s a link to where we were at two months ago and where we’re pretty much still at as far as this particular piece goes……..

Now to catch us all up.  It, the painting, got neglected due to the fact that other tasks called me.  I’d call them commissions, except no money changed hands other than between me and my art and craft supplier  🙂   I am repaid in love and in a hundred other practical ways including the majority of the photos in this post, so lets just call it Creating Happiness and Fun Everywhere or CHaFE, which is somewhat of an unfortunate acronym  ( I wish I could input a belly laugh emoji here)

First there was a living room do-over.  From this:

Before 1

To this:

Inky Wall 4

YD did the couch covering job while I was involved as colour and pattern consultant, chief cushion maker and this arty creation

Inky Wall 2

A wall of Inkies doodled and undoodled, framed and artfully hung to make a colourful backdrop of YD’s favourite colours over her newly covered cream couch.

Inky Wall 3 Isn’t it lovely!  I think even if you don’t like pink particularly (Marlene I’m looking at you) you’d have to admit it is a lovely transformation, yes?

Picking up on the colours used in the wall art, I also made a sooper-dooper large lighcatcher to fill the room with sparkles and rainbows

Danella 1

Danella 2

While I was at it I made four more catchers, including a very special one for YD’s friends who  lost their little dog in a road accident and who just a bit later farewelled their beloved, aged cat.   So, for Karen and Craig, a commemorative lightcatcher for Ruby and Bear which will twinkle and glimmer whenever the sun shines and remind them of happier days with their four-footed friends

Ruby and Bear

The other three are to go into my shop which is having a bit of a do-up itself and I’ll show you them in the next post.

I also am involved in making lots of cards as I work my way through my huge back-stash of crafting goodies.  I received a lovely birthday gift from my friend Alys, a stamping platform, and now can use my stamps with impunity.  Here’s a small sprinkling of what I’m creating – a bit faded I’m sorry.  The sun disappeared and gave me a thunderstorm just as I got them ready for their close-up …….


Of course life contains many more interactions and activities than is revealed here.  Siddy and I continue to walk every day – not one day missed this year – and I continue to enjoy my moments of quiet contemplation interspersed with a chat to a favourite tree or a person we meet along the way.   This walk very often serves as my daily meditation and I have added in a really gentle yoga programme, to accompany my friend Robin over at Breezes at Dawn on her 40 day programme.   We are over half way through and I have the feeling I’ll just keep doing these gentle bends and sways and holds.  #FeelingGood

We need to feel good these days don’t we – as the world bends and sways under the weight of lunacy and egos and ignorance.  The only valid way to respond is with more peace, more calm, more thoughtfulness and more compassion.  Starting with ourselves and moving out through our circles of loved ones, colleagues, neighbours, out further to those who suffer, those who are lost and eventually to those who incite hatred out of their own need to raise themselves out of their own personal hell.

Create beauty, spread it about and smile at a stranger.

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!


What’s on the Easel: 4

Here’s where it was four days ago


Here’s where it is now


I think it’s fair to say this piece has been influenced by current world events.

It’s not quite finished – but shouldn’t be too long now.

As always your comments, thoughts, questions and critiques are welcomed.

To finish, here’s Siddy giving you a wee flirt just in case your spirits need a little lift.


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

What’s on the Easel: 3

We left it here

And I continued on with the face – still not happy, you can see the charcoal lines I’ve put on to mark where I want to shadow more.  I’m happy with the hair and the light on her right shoulder – and the appearance of the cosmos delighted me …..


Which really started with this bit, just to the right of her


and this bit where water and cosmos meet and there’s even fire ….. which makes me wonder if there might be more yet


Here ’tis – so far.  The centre and left have barely been touched……….


Please do share any thoughts or questions – or critiques if you feel so inclined.  It’s taking longer than I had originally thought, but it’s also going places  I’m quite excited about.

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

What’s on the Easel: 2

We left it here do you recall?


There was a lot amiss with it – the face bothered me…..  The charcoal lines indicate where changes needed to be made


So, of course, she got worse


Before she got better – though still looking a little ghostly


There’s lots happening around her too – can you see it?  The other half of the painting barely got touched thoughhdr

The water is still there, but it’s changing…….  I wonder what will happen next…..

What’s on the Easel: 1

Less a mystery and more a what happens next – mainly so I can keep track of my progress……  And hopefully shorter than the last ‘Mystery on the Easel’ that so many of you loyally followed along with.  (Thank you 🙂  )

Here’s what we started with, from the last post.  It’s a big board for me 1200 x 900 mm.  My main thought whenever I look at it is ‘I hope I don’t muck this up!’


After two coats of gesso and a bit of fiddling it looked like this.  Why I chose yellow and then mixed orange with white to make peach – I have no clue.  Terrible colour palette!  But I quite liked the way the lower half of the canvas looked ……


I had no real idea where I might be going – except for the vague thought I might like to see if I could paint light …..

I threw a bit more paint around the following day but forgot to photograph it.

By the time I lay the brushes down today this had appeared


Let’s see where we go from here – I’m not seeing much light yet and who knows what might happen next!  You old hands know that anything can ……..

Any thoughts?

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!


Inky, But No Doodles

Hello lovely friends!  The rain eventually dribbled itself to a stop here, though the unpaved ground feels more like trying to walk on jelly than firm land.  The sun shines, the wind has dropped away, even some daffodils are determinedly blooming in a few sheltered areas.  The light catchers are sending multitudes of rainbows around almost every room in the house, which delight me because the light catchers work best as the seasonal equinoxes approach.  And the coming season for us down here in the Riviera of Antarctica is SPRING ~ Tra-la-la-la – la-la!!

This is a photo from a year or two back, it’s not only me who is so happy this season is coming round again

daffodils5 13 9 15

YD (for all my lovely new readers that is Youngest Daughter, also sometimes known as the Official Photographer) wants a large inky doodle.  A large pink inky doodle.  For a particular frame.  She gave me the frame and I cut a piece of the precious A2 Yupo paper to fit.

So, with the art room all warm and sparkly and sunny I set to work and an hour or so later had the first layer done

DK1 cropped

And that was it – YD likes it as is – no doodling required.

Part of me is disappointed, there goes lots of meditative hours  spent happily doodling.  Do you think it would look nice doodled too, or do you, like YD, prefer it unadorned, sans doodles so to speak, like this?   Here’s an earlier doodled effort to remind you in case you have forgotten.  Inkies:

Inkies Doodled:




The other part of me says woo-hoo! This unexpected freedom means there’s lots more painting hours available.  Because, you see, there is something new sitting on the easel ….  do you want to see it?  (That was entirely a rhetorical question you understand, as you are about to see it right now…..)


That is one big board Yes?  1200 x 900 mm!  Those white stripes are sunshine (SUNSHINE!) through venetian blinds and little comet rainbows  are from light catchers.  And to put the size of the board into perspective here it is with the last ‘mystery on the easel’ painting resting against it


And off to the side, the’ inky, no doodles’ is drying and curing – and a dog – who has just had his hair cut – wondering if ‘inky, no doodles’ is edible ……..


That’s all for today, there’s a big empty board that is crying out for a couple of coats of gesso.  Thanks for coming by, I love that you did!

After The Rain ….

We just had our second annual ‘100 Year Weather Event’ when the rain starts and forgets to stop and dumps three months worth of rain in a 48 hour period……  Coming down onto ground that is already sodden from a very wet Winter.   Coming down onto reclaimed flat land that lies at the base of the seven hills of Dunedin, land that edges up to the mighty Winter roaring Southern Pacific Ocean.   There’s really nowhere for all this water to go – except up.

So up it went.  Roads closed, properties flooded, families were evacuated and I was in my tiny home, with the blinds down, the lights on, keeping cosy and warm, with the music on and the paint and ink flowing and the kitty and the puppy alternately rocking it out with me or snoozing quietly while I worked.

I was playing with water-colours and something called an ‘Elegant Writer’ a pen that when moved with water bleeds pinks, blues and purples onto the paper.  Here’s my first, second and third attempts




As you can see, there’s plenty of room for improvement yet.  It’s a fascinating process and I was challenged trying to add just the right amount of water in just the right place to get the pen to move as I wanted it to.  Still, given the outside events maybe me having trouble with directing water inside wasn’t that unexpected………..

It wasn’t until the morning of the second day, after a night listening to the sound of sirens passing in the near or far distance that I thought maybe all wasn’t quite as well as perhaps it should be in my little corner of the world.

So we got up and went out for our morning walk.   We haven’t missed a morning walk yet this winter and Siddy is quite keen that we keep this record up.

We missed two days last year; one during our first annual ‘100 year weather event’ and the other on a morning of severe frost and ice when I really wasn’t prepared to risk finding myself upside down on a pavement again.

Siddy wasn’t terribly impressed with either event.

It’s a bit sad when you see your otherwise keen and happy puppy hanging over the edge of a chair, hanging his head down as far as he can, because really life as a puppy knows it has come to complete and utter stand still.  Personally I’d rather pull on the pink gumboots, envelope myself in my windproof-waterproof jacket, wrap my long crocheted eternity scarf twice around my neck, pull my hat down over my hair and the rain hood of my jacket up over said hat, put Siddy’s raincoat over his thick white fur and his harness over his raincoat, attach his lead to his harness, pull on my gloves, stand erect and – whew – leave the house and meet whatever is waiting for us.

On this particular morning the world seemed quiet.  Except for the sound of the rain pattering on and, in the not-too-far distance, the sound of some kind of mechanism working.  I walked the three houses to the corner and looking further down my street, just past the  slight rise in the road that lifts my end about a metre and a half above the rest of the street I saw a gently moving slough of water making it’s way inexorably along the street and into properties.   Several trucks lined the roadside and the sound I could hear was their portable pumps pumping the water from some of the homes at the posh end of the street.

Siddy and I made our way to the park.  Here I could either practise my skills of  bog treading or walking on water.  Even Siddy was somewhat uncertain of how to procede after his first dash along his usual route abruptly became a tummy high cold bath and an opportunity for him to practise his skill at dog-paddling.  We decided to stick to the path and treat all puddles as potential water traps.

Meandering quietly along, just us and the rain, I became aware that I could hear water running along beneath my feet.  Coming to a storm water drain that was spurting and spouting like a baby whale practising breeching, I could hear the louder sound of water rushing and tumbling through the subterranean drains. Drains that were clearly only just holding their own against the onslaught.

Needless to say that after one perambulation around the outskirts of the park we returned home, somewhat sodden, but none the worse for wear.

Once there, with the dog dried off and our gear hung up to drip dry over the bath I turned my attention to Mr Google and requested information on the weather.  This was when I found out about the state of play.   Due to the widespread flooding, the City Council had run out of road closed signs.  Sixty-eight roads had been closed due to slips or flooding.   The main highway was closed in several places, nothing had been coming in or getting out for several hours.  A civil emergency had been declared.  Homes were being evacuated throughout the low lying parts of the city and surrounding towns and countryside.  A major slip had endangered homes in the hillside suburb of St Clair.

And there we were, one and a half metres above and twenty yards away from, at the worst, chaos and at the best, discomfort and inconvenience.  Sometimes I find myself having the opportunity to experience pure untrammeled gratitude!

Yesterday the sun shone and the temperature warmed up.  While myself and my immediate neighbours had all come through unharmed, three houses around us had men working on their roofs – I assume fixing leaks.  There’s that flash of gratitude again!  The empty house opposite had plumbers working inside it for most of the afternoon.   The sound of the council trucks clearing roadside gutters, ditches and drains rumbled around us for much of the day.

The sun shone again today for most of the time, but they tell us more rain is coming tonight.

I looked up from my blog post reading this morning and saw this, if there’s a sliver of sunshine to be had……O in sun Jul 25

Orlando King will have it, thank you!

O 2 in sun July 25

And they say there’s no show without Punch – or in this case, Siddy……

O&S July25

Making the most of it – as always!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!