About thecontentedcrafter

Hello from New Zealand! The Contented Crafter is my blog containing random thoughts on every thing from the weather to the meaning of life, occasional mixed media creations, bead work, handwork and tales about a cat named Orlando and a puppy called Siddy. Swing by and say 'Hi' ......... I love to make new friends!

Another Month….

I’m turning out to be a bit you-know-what at posting recently.  I’m full of good intentions and then somehow I just wander off and get to doing something else.

I’ve been busy of course, Siddy now visits twice a week with his elder care friends – most of whom now remember that they know him, though some need to be reintroduced every visit.  He is learning how to walk beside a power chair so that a) he doesn’t get run over and b) doesn’t cause his friend to find herself suddenly toppled upside down on the grass – now that wouldn’t be good!  At the same time I am learning how to help when required and how to take over if required and of course also how not to run over a puppy or topple a lovely lady out on her ear at any time.  All this so we can go for a walk in the park or take off into town and do a pub crawl – who knows!  🙂

I’m joining in with Sheila’s Secret Santa this year, much to my delight – I’ve been making and hoarding for a while now and today began to wrap up some bits – I remembered to take a photo of this

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A delicious assortment of pure New Zealand kid mohair for the recipient to make something magical with.   I’m having fun making and gathering bits I think my recipient might like.

There’s a garden been planted up last month and it is now starting to come away – when I say ‘garden’ you all know I mean the very tiny courtyard right?  Let’s be clear it’s really not much more than a narrow pathway down the side of my tiny house – but it is all I have that is private so I like it to be pretty every summer.  Last summer was so very awful that it never got its annual make-over done and then a new fence was put in and the whole thing fell apart and we started again.  My wonderful friend Alys kick started me off with a generous gift voucher for my birthday which resulted in a miniature maple being planted up into an up-cycled trash bin which I use as my version of a water-wicking planter

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and lots of daisies – this was the year for going bonkers over daisies.  And Pukekoes – I’m trying to frighten off the slugs and snails with a little flock of wall art……..  Aren’t they the cutest things – rowdy little critters and quarrelsome too first thing in the morning so I’m quite glad mine are made of metal……

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Even the lemon tree which I nearly killed is making a come back and the perfume of those tiny flowers, mixed with the jasmine, is filling the air

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The Senior Sidd is almost disappearing already

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and Junior Sidd has chosen his chair

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So that’s it from me for now, just checking in to let you know I’m still going strong and absolutely ecstatic over our election results.  Oh, and what about this as an idea for our little town that time forgot – do have a look and let me know what you think.   Things are looking up!

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

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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:

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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 …….

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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

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Here’s where it is now

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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.

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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 …..

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

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

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

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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?

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

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So, of course, she got worse

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Before she got better – though still looking a little ghostly

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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!’

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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 ……

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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

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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

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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

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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:

inky-doodles-cosmic-time

 

 

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…..)

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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

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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 ……..

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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!