On Light Catchers and Other Things

I found the ensuing post in my drafts folder.  It was written in October 2017, just before I fell over my own feet and the legs of my easel and started the ball rolling on three months of ‘failure to stay upright’ events for myself and my family which you mostly know about and suffered through with us.

Now safely on the other side and having been uplifted by the wonderful community that gathers about this blog throughout, I want to share this news, aged as it is, with you and introduce you to some great folk, whom I do hope you will wander off to say hello to – tell them I sent you and you’ll be in like Flynn  😀

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Some months back, deep in the heart of my winter, Susanne and I got into a bit of a discussion on her blog about patios and light catchers and weathering and as a result of that conversation I sent a light catcher off to Canada.   Susanne was going to hang it in her little summer garden and we were going to undertake an experiment, observing how the components behaved in an outdoor situation.   It never arrived.   Please do go here to read her beautifully written and wickedly funny piece on time and tides and missing light catchers and what eventually happened…………

While waiting to hear from Susanne – and expecting the worst – I made more light catchers.  This is the only one that made it into the gift shop.  It’s called ‘Summer Garden’ and I love the colour mix…….

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The others were given away.  And eventually I even received a commission from Luanne to make a coral one – you read about that in the previous post.

Also included in the long forgotten draft was a little story about the inspiration for she who is variously known as YD or the Official Photographer or even by her own lovely name of Danella – the inspiration for her living-room do-up.  An event that some of you may recall from last year.   It’s important to still post this as I promised Derrick I would and life got terribly in the way of me keeping my promises for the past four months…….   

Any hoo – the inspiration came from a photograph my friend Derrick sent me of his beautiful garden.  (I say ‘his’, but the garden designer and curator is really his wife, the lovely Jackie, and Derrick’s role is, I am led to believe, chiefly that of flower dead-header and chief photographer and eater of lovingly prepared evening meals.)  I requested a copy of one particular shot that had captivated me and Derrick kindly and generously sent me three different prints.  At first sight of a particular one, YD’s eyes lit up and per-ping it was off to live at her place.  Here it is seen on the wall in this previously unrevealed view of her living room, taken from the sofa

Ds room 2

And a closer up shot, in case your eyes are as poor as mine……

Ds room detail

Which, on reflection, I see doesn’t help at all – the light being on as it was a dull morning when I requested the photo be taken STAT!  Any how,  that lovely pink and green photographic print was the inspiration for all this

Inky Wall 4

Which I’m sure you recall…….    Various comments about the state of depletion of the wine rack not withstanding, this lovely room has been almost entirely her only venue of residence since breaking her leg and fracturing her ankle on that unfortunate night at the end of last November.  And said wine rack has been variously refilled and emptied and refilled again  – so it’s just as well we had made it pretty for her.  All thanks to Jackie and Derrick’s fabulous garden inspiration at the Old Post House in the UK.  Please, allow  me to urge you to pop in and say hello to these two charmers, Jackie’s already begun planting up her spring garden and the first daffodil has shyly bloomed and Derrick has his camera ready to capture whatever comes next.

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Now we are back to the present day.  We’ve had a largish fire, whipped up by a violent wind that preceded the arrival of a weather conflagration that was somewhat alarming as a tropical storm moving south through the country met an elongated east-west weather system originating from Antarctica right over the South Island and dumped an extreme amount of water in a relatively small area over a 24 hour period…..  It put the fire out (yay!) and flooded the usual places (boo!) and cooled the air down (yay!).  It went from 35C to 16C in 36 hours.  So, this is the new look Summer here in the Riviera of Antarctica folks.

Now that it is summer here and winter there, my friends in Alberta, Canada and Virginia, USA and San Jose, USA are busy rifling through their wardrobes to find some appropriate clothing to pack into their suitcases …………..  Come prepared for anything I say!  Three weeks to go and we’ll have kicked off our little bloggers reunion gathering!

And that my friends is a very big “YAY!!”

Here’s Siddy, before the storm,  wondering what that delicious aroma is floating through the air, from somewhere not here ………..  Mmmmmm B-B-Q!

Siddy smells barbecue

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

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About Pets and Blogging Friends

I know, I know – it’s been a while…. I am a poor blogger, incapable of keeping to a schedule, or even regular posts.  But as most of you know, this is supposed to be a blog about my arty-crafty output – and my arty-crafty life has been severely curtailed by a bouncy little fat puppy who LOVES the work room because his mumma zones out somewhere else altogether and he gets to rearrange and change up – or down – all he likes until she eventually becomes aware all is not well ……..  usually by picking up on the fact that it has been Q-U-I-E-T for a long time…………

Last time I zoned out and was concentrating on a work in progress he removed all the paints from the shelf at the back of the easel. took them into the lounge and chomped holes through two of them leaving artistic stripes of blue and red – and therefore purple too – along the bottom of my lovely white door curtain……….. Oh, look – another excuse to change up the decor.  🙂

For me it has been interesting to discover that when I’m in the zone, artistically speaking, I hear nothing.  I am totally immersed.  Totally in the moment, totally zen  🙂  Who knew!

Right now I’m not though.  Right now I’m typing this with a little round puppy sitting beside me doing his best Marx Brother impersonation with a chew stick poking out the side of his mouth which he is chomping on most enthusiastically while occasionally leering up at me and giving me a gentle nudge.

Don’t you love this photo?  Does it make you smile or laugh out loud?Marx Bros 17 8 14

Orlando is asleep on the table which has become his new residence and which he shows no signs of being prepared to give up.  Anything for a quiet life – I don’t host dinner parties any more any way.

Tig 9

 

Life these days starts with Siddy and me going for an hour long walk, which includes a good twenty minute romp at the dog park.  Except for two or three mornings when the bitter cold Antarctic blast sent all us wimpy puppy owners running for home. While our usual claim to be the Riviera of Antarctica suits us pretty well, sometimes it feels like we are right down there at Scott Base!

Due to any outing being curtailed we must then come home and, after his breakfast of porridge, milk kefer, DE and savoury yeast, its a rambunctious game of fetch up and down the hallway.  Then I can get on with my tasks – but always constantly accompanied by a keen and eager little pup – ‘Whadda we doing now?” “Where we going now?”  “This way?”  “That way?” “Where now?”  “Whadda we doing? Whadda we doing?  Where are we going?”

But I have to say yet again – he is probably the best little puppy in the whole world!

Here are a couple of shots so you can see how much he has grown – I know you want to know!  It’s the same toy in both shots, the first one taken when he was about 9 weeks old and the second one today and he is now 19 weeks old.

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We have had our up’s and downs since last I graced your lovely reading spaces – YD’s beloved cat Stanley became unexpectedly and quite seriously ill and was eventually diagnosed with feline aids, picked up many years ago most probably in a fight [he always was a bit of a bovver-boy]  Stanley is a rescue kitty, adopted when he was grown and therefore most likely spent the first three years of his life living in kitty poverty.  Nobody knows for sure.  A cat of much charisma, great charm and friendly demeanour, YD had said a while back, ‘He is not the boy he used to be!’

Stanley

It was devastating diagnosis.  Getting medication into this cat has always been claimed by his mumma to be an impossibility.  Our slightly raised eyebrows and quiet disbelief in this claim was blown completely away when we found out it took the vet and two practise nurses to hold him down and administer an oral dose. The vet was preparing us for the worst and I was mopping my baby girl’s tears.  But Stanley is not a boy to take anything much lying down, including dying.  He fought back and after three days was on the mend enough to go home.  The vet whacked an intravenous shot of antibiotics into him and since then he has spent most of his time sleeping, waking long enough to eat – and eating more and more every day – then back to bed again.

We got lucky and have more time with this lovely boy.

Recently my dear friend from Serendipity Farm, the lovely Fran aka narf77 had one of her dastardly good ideas and announced that I was to become the proud owner of ‘A Dangler of International Happiness’  This all came about because I admired her dangler in this post.  If you go on to read the comments you will see how she coerced encouraged our shared friends to take part.

A few days back I received a wee package from Hawaii with the first items enclosed.  It was most fortunate that they got through NZ Customs who are notoriously anal about allowing foreign flora into our country in case it grows legs in the middle of the night and eats us all in our sleep …… and look, an original stick figure sketch from the BO exactly as they appear in this fabulous blog ‘Farmlet’ subtitled ‘Living cheaply and richly on an acre in Puna, Hawaii’.

HM Christi1

Christi is a writer, married to the Bearded One, who, it appears, is master of anything that needs doing and cartooning as well.  They recently relocated from Washington State to Hawaii and are busily involved with preparing to live as much off the grid as possible.  These are good folks with huge hearts – I love them to pieces!

I have more for you too friends – take a look here.

I admired these on The Twisted Yarn ……………..

storkscissors

and next thing I know I am happily cutting threads with my very own pair of stork scissors sent all the way from the UK.  Aren’t they gorgeous!!  Phil made the pretty cover and I now have a sample of her so neat crochet work  🙂   If you are into things like crazy good knitting and yarn bombing go check her out and see what she gets up to when there’s a break from paying attention to her toddler twinnage, her day job or her allotment!  I know you will enjoy her as much as I do!

HM StorkScissors

I am working in my art room, just small projects that can be worked at without me losing track of the doings of one little puppy.  I hope to have something to show you next week.

Oh, and just in case you are wondering how the detente is going – I now have a daily ritual of a purring cat on my knee with a quivering puppy trying very hard to contain himself beside us – and last night both of them were cuddled up in bed with me for about an hour.  Orlando teases Siddy, Siddy ‘bites’ beautifully and usually gets wapped for his trouble.  It’s great fun to observe 🙂

I’ve requested a ‘family portrait’ for my birthday.   We’ll see.

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

Where Have I Gone?

Today I got a message on my last post made 19 days ago.  The message was from my blogging friend katyoparty over at ArtOutWithYourHeArtOut   The message said: “Where are you?  I’ve missed your posts!”  

What a good question – where am I?

As I pondered what to say in response I rejected all the reasons I might normally give – busy with clients, busy in the art room, busy reading, busy listening to self improvement CD’s, busy with family, busy with Orlando, busy playing slotomania on facebook …….

The truth is I’m not busy, I’m evading.

I’m evading the season, the weather, the emotional pulls that revisit at this time every year,.  I’m in survival mode.

And I’m barely making it.

My work as a life coach means I help others find a path through their troubles, I teach them how to change their thinking from glass half empty to glass half full.  I encourage, I make them exercise their emotional muscles, I give homework and never accept excuses when they try to fool themselves or feed me red herrings.  They tell me I am a good life coach.  I know I change lives, I am their mentor and none of them know when I am wobbly.  I don’t let them see it.

But it’s really hard to coach yourself!

Having chosen to leave my ultra busy and over extended previous existence to become more quiet and contemplative in my daily life, I live far away from my life long friends and I have no family except my two beautiful and loving daughters.

I’m struggling with a question that goes something like this:  how do I remain grateful for all I already have while wishing for something more?  The longing for my family to be closer geographically tips me out of my contentment with what is.  I become impatient and discontented with my situation.  I lose the art of living in the moment, which is my greatest treasure.

Katy’s caring comment went bang straight into my heart.  It came at a moment when I was feeling especially vulnerable having just read a couple of posts.  One on dealing with loss and the other a really good Johnny Cash quote which hit home quite strongly.  

I was on the verge of making the decision to pull myself up by the shoe laces, white knuckle it and get over myself.  At a time when I felt really alone and really tired of being alone and really fed up with yet another year when the shadows from my past start to gather about and attempt to drag me back to a place I left long ago.

And somehow that question made it all alright.  In this strange and still somewhat alien blogosphere someone notices your absence, someone cares enough to say hey, how you doin’?  And a shaft of sunlight blazes into the place where my heart huddles coldly and reignites it.

Thank you for caring enough to send that message Katy.  I am here, and I will be just fine now.

And I bet you never expected to get a response like that to your friendly enquiry!  🙂