Back On-Line Again

Surely there’s a song in that title – the closest my in-head song repertoire is coming up with is Willie Nelson et al being ‘Back on the Road Again’  – can you do any better?  Share a link in the comments if you can.

It’s been an interesting few months – regular readers and friends on Facebook have the gist of it, with a lot of falling over that began at the end of October (me) and continued on at the end of November (YD) dealing with the results of those, Deep Vein Thrombosis (me) and breaks and fractures (YD) –  interspersed with losses and Christmas and slow healing and excessive and unusual heat, plus thunderstorms and downpours more suited to the tropics than the Riviera of Antarctica…….  and let’s not forget a laptop that completely gave up the ghost on Christmas Day followed soon after by a mobile that went out in sympathy leaving me briefly but entirely devoid of any contact with the outside world.

When life goes south on you it is always a wonderful opportunity to become mindful of how many ways you are loved and supported.  We have had many opportunities to be mindful and grateful.  At the top of my list is my eldest daughter who dropped her life and flew in to care for her sister for the first week she was home from hospital.  And when my phone was declared deceased immediately funded a new one.  Second is the phenomenal rallying around and support offered to YD by her friends and work place as she recovers and after 50 days at home begins to take her first tentative steps back into the world in a moon-boot.

Next comes my phenomenally generous and kind ‘friend who blogs’ the amazing Alys over at Gardening Nirvana who sent a note that left me speechless along with the money for a new lap top.   I was left silent and humbled in the face of such powerful generosity of spirit!

I’m also grateful for an understanding of therapies and foods that feed the body and soul and hasten healing.  I’m grateful for the ability to look at incidents like this and see a bigger picture.  I’m happy that YD and I can laugh at ourselves and support each other even if it is like a couple of old crocks.

But my goodness after almost three months of on and off trauma I was tired out and so was poor Siddy – he has been so busy with visiting and caring and helping out, his little eyes just droop as soon as we get to a ‘sitting’ or ‘waiting’ part of the day.  We were both longing for a day at home in cooler temperatures.  And today we got our wish at last.  Good things ALWAYS arrive if you are patient enough!

So here we are – to say ‘Happy New Year’ even if it is three weeks late and to thank you all for those comments, emails and messages that have kept me buoyed up and forward looking even on days when I wasn’t.

The tiny courtyard garden has thrived this summer and in a few quiet moments we have enjoyed visiting it no matter the weather or time of day.  This was us taking a short break one evening just before getting the hose out ……..

Siddy Jan 18

garden 2 Jan 18

garden 3 Jan 18

Siddy’s new safety gate arrived and was quickly assembled so we can have the kitchen door open and enjoy any passing breeze (and passing people won’t get mobbed and harassed by an over enthusiastic puppy who is convinced they are there just to see him).  Orlando doesn’t think much of it however

O at door Jan 18

I also found time to gather, combine and make up a light catcher and sent it off on its journey to its new home – a delicious combinations of pinks and oranges and coppery hues; sea jasper beads, tiny coral beads, seashell pieces and masses of crystals

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And as days return slowly to a normal rhythm I have even begun to work once more in my art room, stay tuned for anything coming out of there.  And my mind turns also to the upcoming reunion of friends who first met up in Washington DC almost three years ago and who first met through reading each others blog posts here on WordPress.  Stay tuned for more on that…….

Thanks for coming by today and catching up with us here, I love that you do!

 

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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!

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 …….

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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!