Creating Bunnies – A Work In Progress

It’s been a busy week. ¬†We had one of our favourite visitors who needed to be loved to bits especially because she always leaves a little treat ūüôā¬†&Danella 8 July 2014¬†There were many walks to be taken. ¬†We went to the dog park and the beach. ¬†We made new friends and met up with some old ones too. ¬†We did training. ¬†And despite all this busyness and exercise, Siddy keeps right on growing. ¬†He now weighs over 4 kg. ¬†He is becoming a ‘big boy’. We’ve been concentrating on trying to convince puppy that jumping, biting, licking and whining at every one who enters the house is not a good idea. ¬†Cries of “No, stop, cease, desist!” just weren’t working so we were forced to listen to the training experts and do the whole tuck hands away and ignore procedure. ¬†It worked remarkably well and Siddy has learnt to wait mostly patiently for whatever attention or activity is about to be offered. ¬†Life is slowly gaining some order I thought to myself smugly. Then Siddy surprised himself – and me most of all – when he discovered he could jump onto the lounge chairs. on a chair 18 7 14 Once he was on a chair, things that once were safe became decidedly at risk

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Orlando is cool with it all though.  He has his trusty right hook and knows how to use it!  Wap, wap wap!!  We have head butts and nose touches and even a little leaning in for a nuzzle first thing in the morning.  Puppy has lowered his energy and is calm and quiet [mostly] around the cat.

In the evenings I have been busy learning how to make knitted bunnies for a project I am working on. ¬†[Teaser: The project is a very long overdue secret gift for two blogger friends!] ¬†As this particular creative process wasn’t anywhere on my radar until it was suggested, my crocheted mandala is still on the back-burner – well off the stove altogether if I am honest – as Siddy found the beginning rounds I had made and disappeared with them under the sofa, where I eventually discovered them chewed to a felted, matted mess.

The suggestion and¬†pattern link was sent to me by my new friend Gallivanta at Silkannthreades¬† I got the germ of a good idea and another great blog to follow ¬†ūüôā ¬†Heaven! ¬†First I made this bunny as per the recipe

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So cute huh? ¬†You just knit a square, run a few stitches and voila¬†a bunny ūüôā ¬†But way too big for what I have in mind. ¬†I wondered if a crochet bunny would do it – so I made this one

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Sorry about the very poor shot – Suffice to say it didn’t work. ¬†The crochet left too many gaps and the bunny was still too big – and anyway this is what happened to him

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Next I made two much smaller bunnies and finally arrived where I wanted to be  РMeet the little Hug Bunnies

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I haven’t made pom-poms for many years, but it’s a bit like riding a bike and a happy hour was spent making bunny tails.

And finally, the second successful set – even smaller:

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I’m quite pleased with them, they look really cute and are completely unsuitable for anything else except looking cute!

So that is step one of the project completed, the next bits should be quite straight forward.  Stay tuned.

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

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Blog Hop Around The World

‘The meaning of life is to find your gift. ¬†The purpose of life is to give it away.’ ¬†– William Shakespeare

My friend Boomdeeadda invited me to join in the fun and made a lovely introduction for three of us in her last blog post.  Boomdee is a Canadian blogger with an amazing eye for colour, form and detail in her paper crafting.  She once sent me a gift that included a handmade paper bag that was so intricately made, full of fine detail including special words and images that fit me perfectly Рit was awe inspiring Рreally!  It still sits on a shelf in my art room and is often picked up and admired!  Boomdee is genuinely sweet and kind and generous and is much loved by her many followers.  If you have never met her you really must pop over and say hello and tell her I sent you!

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Gift Bag from Boomdeeadda

I have to answer four questions for this Hop – so here we go:

Why Do I Create What I Do?

I have spent the past few years working as a Life Coach. ¬†Much of my life has been spent helping others move from despair into positivity and contentment and healing. ¬†First, of course, I had to start with myself. ¬†Part of my personal process was painting. I painted huge landscapes, often empty, but full of potential. ¬†I painted the sea – it’s changing colours and patterns and the vast sky above it with all its changing colours and moods. ¬†I painted for a year and In a manner of speaking I painted myself back to health. ¬†I put it away for a time, and went back out into the world but then as life began to slow down and as I prepared for retirement, I found myself returning to it. ¬†This time I started painted whimsical faces and little mantras, sentences that mean something to me or are especially formulated for someone I know who would benefit from this thought. ¬†Some are quotes from others, some are my own words. ¬†It just depends.

How Does My Creative Process Work?

There is no one way into a painting. ¬†Sometimes I have a quote I want to use and that is my starting point – I simply lay some colour down and see where it takes me. ¬†Other times I start with a painting and wait for the quote to reveal itself. ¬†Sometimes I collage a background first, other times I paint the face then create the back drop as an after thought. ¬†I have favourite colours that I return to again and again – and then I will challenge myself and pull out a different palette to see what emerges. ¬†Again, it just depends……

How Does My Work Differ From Others of It’s Genre?

‘Beauty is not in the face. ¬†Beauty is a light in the heart’ ¬†– Khalil Gibran

I have no idea how to answer this question.  There are a lot of women working in a similar fashion to me, some are really well known.  I am not. I wonder if my intent makes my work different.  I want my painting to offer something deeper than just a pretty picture РI want it to wake you up, touch you in some subtle way, lift the spirits, speak to a quiet hope.

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Selection of mixed media paintings

What Am I Presently Working On?

I am currently finishing off some organisers to put in my Etsy Shop. ¬†There won’t be any more – these have been quite a challenge to get made! ¬†I have begun work on a small gift idea that I picked up recently from another of my favourite bloggers which keeps me busy in the evenings and am re-finishing a small book that just needed a little something extra – I am terribly sanguine in my creating at the moment – blame it on ‘puppy brain’ – there must be such a thing!

I am mumma to a new puppy and it would seem that he is my current work ¬†He certainly takes up the majority of my time. ¬†I have two more paintings currently sitting in my head and several more little craft projects I really want to get on with too – but……. time is scarce and here is why:

pizap Siddy

Siddy the Mi-tzu Pup

The delightful Siddy who elicits the excited cry which all fans of ‘Despicable Me’ are familiar with “He’s so fluffy I could die!” ¬†[And please, we mustn’t forget Orlando, the beautiful boy who sits on the header to this blog – currently very hard done by and not very pleased with the way his home and mumma have been usurped.]

Enough about me and my pseudo-grandbabies, let’s move on…… ¬†because now it is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to two more ‘down-under’ bloggers both of whom I really admire.

We are popping over to Australia first – to Tasmania actually, where the redoubtable narf77 – otherwise known as Fran – writes a weekly post about her life and escapades in her totally random and vastly amusing style in her blog ‘The Road to Serendipity.

Fran’s writings often feature her husband Stevie-boy, no slack hand with a whittling knife and a guitar, and Earl and Beziel their poor benighted¬† energetic dogs. ¬†A student of something which I really don’t understand,¬†a pretty knowledgeable horticulturist, permaculturist,¬†gardener, avid shopper for exotic foodstuffs, ¬†keen cook and pinterest surfer, Fran’s blog is never without a cup of humour, a dash of introspection and more than a tablespoon or two of common sense.

NB:- These pictures don’t show the ‘common sense’ aspect:

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Used with permission from Serendipity Farm

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Used with permission from Serendipity Farm

If you want to know what these photos are about pop on over. ¬†If you time it right – and maybe even if you don’t – there is sure to be a glass of wine or two offered …….

Next we will zoom back to New Zealand and visit the top of the South Island where Wendy resides on her quarter acre piece of paradise with her husband and cat.

In her blog Quarter Acre Lifestyle, Wendy posts about living frugally, recycling and growing and preserving as much of their own food as possible. ¬†She shares recipes and how-to’s, brings our attention to different life-styles, choices and options and wings her way into our hearts with her kind and caring heart. ¬†Wendy is also a talented crafter and artist – though I know she will deny that.

This is a Wendy do-up and make-over:

Used with permission of Quarter Acre Lifestyle

Wendy’s latest post is about her first attempt at soap making – it seemed to go quite well, except for the part about the cat……….. Looks good enough to eat don’t you think?

Used with permission of Quarter Acre Lifestyle

I do hope you will pop into Wendy’s place for a visit – she is a treasure and is sure to offer a cup of tea and show you you her amazing stash of preserves and alcoholically dazed fruits. ¬†Enjoy!!

That’s it from me and my little part in the great ‘Blog Hop Around the World’ – which was I know just a sojourn in the southern hemisphere – my northern hemisphere choices were AWOL, I expect it’s all that lovely summer weather they are enjoying! ¬† But, please do pop over to these two blogs next Monday and see where they take you next.

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

The Path to Friendship

First there was a tetchy cat and a leaping puppy

The tetchy cat batted at the puppy’s nose.

The puppy whimpered and sat down – and became still.

The cat was amazed and hit him again.  And again.  Wap, wap, wap!

The puppy became very quiet. ¬†The cat was no longer tetchy, in fact he was quite pleased with himself………

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Until the puppy became just a little too keen and eager again………..

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

 

When opposites collide

I’m putting this post up for you all my dearly beloved readers for two reasons: Reason one, the post is partly about us here at the Contented Crafter and amused me greatly ūüôā Reason the second: If you haven’t ever come across the mighty narf77 and her side-kicks the highly talented whittler and quietly long-suffering husband Stevie-boy, Earl the ADHD dog of unknown parentage and Beziel, the older, longer-suffering first dog of Serendipity Farm, then you are missing out! Fran’s weekly posts of life at Serendipity Farm in Tasmania are filled with their random exploits, her philosophical musings and a good dash of wicked humour and general hilarity – this post is no exception. Enjoy ūüôā

theroadtoserendipity

Hi all,

This blog post is late. It is late because we have been studying hard all day and only just realised that I had to post my blog post today! EEK! The images of Sir Stevie-boy and Ms narf taken in homage to Ms Pauline, Mr Orlando and Sir Siddy are the result of very tired students who are three sheets to the wind as they haven’t had their dinner yet but have certainly not missed out on some wine…here’s hoping Ms Pauline is amused rather than mortified ;). On to the actual post…

We all have this ‚Äúthing‚ÄĚ where we look at other people‚Äôs lives or what they do and we add a little touch of fairy dust and ‚ÄúPOOF!‚ÄĚ that other person‚Äôs life is suddenly SO much better than our own. That old saying ‚Äúyou can‚Äôt truly know a man till you walk a mile in his‚Ķ

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Another Update, In Which Siddy Goes To The Beach

As his twelve week birthday approached, young Siddy seemed to suddenly get the hang of several things. ¬†Most importantly, potty training got finally sorted when he understood that weeing in general didn’t earn a treat, but weeing in a particular place did. ¬†That bit of penny dropping quickly extended to pooping – I am escorted proudly to the spot by an excited puppy who trots around in ever decreasing circles waiting for the reward that is rightfully his. ¬†We are all most pleased with this new found clarity ūüôā

22 6 14 TheEye

We visited his friends at the vet’s where Siddy got his next lot of shots and a check up and weighed in at double the weight he was on his previous visit a month earlier. ¬†At this rate he will grow up to be a proper sized dog!

In this land-mark twelfth week we also learned how to be mostly nicely behaved in the creative room.  This allowed much progress to be made Рhere are three teaser shots

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In his thirteenth week Siddy finally understood that sitting as quietly as possible when Orlando came by earned him a nose to nose meeting. ¬†Unfortunately for Siddy, Orlando doesn’t always choose to acknowledge the seated and barely controlled little pup waiting hopefully for his morning kiss. ¬†But we all live in hope that Orlando will climb down from his high horse of indignation at some stage and gracefully capitulate and allow the little fellow to shower him with love.

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At around 8 every evening a little ritual takes place that I hope to be able to capture on film when the light is better.  Pup gathers, one by one, his favourite toys.  They get a vigorous shaking and are placed in carefully chosen spots at the base of which ever piece of furniture Orlando is seated atop.  This is accompanied by much growling and excited whimpers and dashings to and fro.  Orlando leans forward in an interested, but dignified manner, keeping an alert eye on the minutiae of the operation.  When enough toys are arranged and pup is pleased with his work, he gives them all a final dust-up, an encouraging growl and then abruptly sits down and looks up at the cat.  At which point Orlando pretends to be not at all interested and Siddy lies down to wait for his gift to be accepted.  Generally nothing much happens for the next five to ten minutes, then Siddy gathers up all his toys and returns them to bed and basket, or scatters them about my feet.  I am appreciative and he soon perks up.

But you can see from this, that Orlando has still not relented his stand – however, we are undeterred and Siddy and I live in hope.

In the time Siddy has been here our daily walks have extended from half blocks to full blocks, two blocks, three blocks.  Then we started measuring in terms of how long we were out for. First walks of five minutes extended to fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, thirty minutes. We explored our immediate neighbourhood thoroughly and began to go further afield. Walks of forty-five minutes took us quite far and finally an hour saw us venturing past the local shopping centre and up the hill.

As he got stronger, he got faster.  Our slow perambulations became brisk walks.  Siddy knew his routes, he was in charge, I was hanging onto the lead and being towed along behind.  I heard myself considering getting a pair of roller blades so he could tow me. My wee fella was ready for a new adventure.

With YD and her posh new camera in tow, two days ago on a warm almost summery morning, we set off for the beach.

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Siddy discovered seaweed

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And met his first other dog, a noble and gentle role model

 

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and another, bouncier friend came to say ‘Helloooo!’ and beam for the camera

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We walked through ‘the sticks’ all that is left of an old pier. ¬†I was heading one way

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but Siddy went the other

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The outing was a huge success!

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It was so grand that we went back today, in quite different weather conditions and walked mostly off leash for an hour and twenty minutes!  Pooped puppy, pooped Mumma!

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