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!

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!

Inky Doodle Note-Cards, the Winner

Thank you to all my friends who commented and did the poll thingy on the last post.  Of the fifteen who voted, fourteen went for option 1: no envelopes.  It was a low voter turn-out, but given the way voting has gone globally recently, who wants to vote any more?

Alys, in a private email, persuaded me to offer an ‘envelopes included’ option in my shop for those countries who have  a different measuring system to the one I use.  So that remains an option in the shop along with the no-envelope option.  They are up, you can see them here.

However, in my next post I shall show you how to make a custom fit envelope for those odd shaped cards we sometimes end up with and wish to send.  It’s easy and gives you the opportunity to make your card, or letter, or any odd thing you wish to send, entirely original and you maybe won’t have to purchase another envelope, ever!

So, I carefully wrote out all your names, cut them into neat little slices ……


…….and threw them into my favourite coffee cup – emptied of coffee I hasten to assure you and newly washed and dried…..

The cup was shaken, vigorously, but not stirred and then I hooked one piece of paper and tried my best to photograph the action simultaneously



Sometimes a third hand would be very – er – handy!!

Congrats to the inestimable author Geoff who blogs at TanGental.  A pack of note cards will be winging its way to you as soon as your preference is known and your address too please.  Also everyone else – do pop over and read his latest offering  You’ll be hooked!  😀

Here’s a pic of Siddy and his newest friend whispering secrets into his ear at the dog park


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



Inky Doodle Note Cards


Do you remember a couple of posts back I mentioned a give-away?   And  where I showed you the beginning processes in the creation of my new line of Note Cards.  Yupo paper, alcohol inks and hours of doodling went into completing four A4 sheets.  Each sheet was then cut into four pieces and, when the note cards were all made up there is a grand total of 16 different designs.

I already showed you the first four completed cards.  When Susanne made a comment on that previous post about them reminding her of ‘Swinging London’ in the 60’s their name was born.  Here they are again, sporting their new look.  Meet  ‘Note-Cards ‘Carnaby Street’

Hisilicon K3

Here is the second sheet of Inky Yupo paper

And here the doodling work is completed


Here are the four cards that utilise that design ‘Note Cards Summer Garden’

Hisilicon K3

Here is the third ink dropped sheet

Doodles completed


And here are the four cards ‘Cosmic Time’.  I think this is my favourite one

Here is the fourth sheet, remember I had started the doodling work

This one took the longest to complete, there is more than 15 doodle hours here:


And here are the four note cards ‘Evening Garden’

You can use any card upright or top hinged, it is purely personal preference.

Every A5 note card comes with a writing paper insert, allowing you to write fully on three leaves.  After much experimentation and contemplation I decided to stay with white card and ordinary printing paper for the inserts.  It was simply easier and more affordable.

Every note card is hand made by me.  I cut the card, slice the original design into four and trim it to fit the card.  I ink the edges of each little printed design.  I alone score, crease and fold the card into shape, wrestle with my double sided tape gun (which is being extremely temperamental at the moment) and adhere the card and printed paper together.  I then cut the paper insert to size, trim and finally adhere that inside the card.  Slight variations and imperfections are inevitable.

Now to the give away.  Which isn’t really a free thing at all, I’m asking for your advice and in return your name goes in the draw for a set of note cards, design of your choice.   So, to enter you must humour me and help me solve a terrible conundrum.  Please do read on if you want to play…….

Will you pretend with me that you want to purchase a set of four note cards.  You are ready and champing at the bit to get into letter writing again, these doodly cards are the perfect size for a chatty and cheerful note to get the ball rolling.  You feel that the cost of $NZ17 is affordable, you know, that’s just $4 per card and 25c per envelope, cheaper than most mass produced cards.

And then you check out shipping costs.  (We’ve been here before recently, yes? Well, here we go again!)

You discover that four note cards with envelopes costs $17 + $15 shipping for International customers and $5 shipping for domestic customers.  Suddenly the cards from the corner store are looking way more appealing!

The thing that pushes the cost up is the size of the envelopes, they take the packet from letter rate to small packet rate, which is the same rate I send small light catchers around the world for.  And there’s a big difference in size and weight between 4 note cards and a triple strand light catcher!

So what if you just bought your own envelopes from the local store?

Four note cards with no envelopes costs $16 + $3 shipping  – anywhere in the world.

Which scenario would you prefer?

Hit your option choice in the poll box

*$NZ16 = $US11.50 / $Ca15.11 / $Au15.05 / UKP9.20

Double your amount for total cost inc shipping of option 1

But talk to me too – I love you to talk to me  🙂

Do you have a favourite design or colour way?

All regular chatterers will go in the draw, your choice of note card pack:

*Carnaby Street

*Summer Garden

*Cosmic Time

*Evening Garden

*Mixed Notes {one of each collection)

And finally, Siddy says “Helllloooooo!” to his fans

March 16 3

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

On Being An Artist/Designer

Well, it’s partly exciting and partly not…..

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from an on-line designer store named ‘Vida’ inviting me to become one of their designers. They had seen my art work the mail said and were very excited by how it would translate into bags, cushions, scarves, wraps and tops.

I, of course, was hugely flattered and not a little sceptical and asked three people whose opinions I trust implicitly to check them out too.  Two were my daughters and the third my friend Alys.

The daughters were spending time together in Wellington and a couple of days later sent me this ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek response:

We think it looks very professional and very inviting.

We think it would be a very exciting thing to be a part of! We love the idea that everyone involved in the process matters equally and is remunerated accordingly.
Regardless of whether you do sell anything this is a great opportunity to showcase your artwork to the world. Also we think your artwork would stand up very well against anything else on the website currently.
And some of your pieces were made for this medium.
Do it!!!!!
Alys responded:
So, I’m pretty excited for you after reviewing this site, checking out some of the press and following them on Facebook…………….
She went on to give an impressive breakdown of the companies background and the legalities involved in being a designer for them.
With such thorough researchers and information like this who would not hit the ‘sign me up button’ and throw themselves in boots and all?
I was really impressed by the fact that the company stated they treat everyone involved in the process equally.  Items are made in Pakistan and the workers have access to literacy and numeracy programmes as part of their jobs.
This morning I received a note from Vida with a $15 discount code attached which can be used by anybody purchasing anything from my collection, from now until the 12th of February.
I was keen to buy a ‘Small Things’ tote bag, a great way of advertising my work I thought, plus I still like that painting even though it is now three years old.
Small Things
There’s no perks being a ‘contributing artist’ to Vida, in fact one is invited to spend up to $US250  purchasing samples of ones own work to show potential customers when touting ones wares….
Any how, I went through the check out process, obtained my $15 discount from my $60 tote and it all went rather swimmingly until I hit the shipping bit.  $US50!!  But, that’s more than my purchase!!  That is ridiculous!!
In short – I  can’t afford to buy my own stuff  🙂
C’est la vie!!
Below is an example of my Inky Doodles ‘Summer Garden’ transformed into a simple top.
Summer Garden
Update 16th February 2017
After working with ShopVida for just two weeks I decided to delete and close my collection with them.   Nothing that was stated as the support given to their artists was forth-coming.  Help was not forth-coming even when asked for.  The demands made on my time became ludicrous and there were multiple and contradictory emails sent to me by several different people, none of whom seemed to know what the other had said or done.
The final straw was broken when I received an email that stated that even though they did not have a high resolution file (they did) for an item that had been sold, if I did not supply one withing 48 hours the item would be made up and sent to the customer ‘so they would not have to wait any longer for your lovely art work.’
I blew my top and sent an email listing all the questions I had previously asked, all the assistance I had previously requested and ended by saying


If you got this far, my thanks for reading.   I’d like to think the three items that have been sold can be sent to the people who purchased them as high quality products, otherwise I would hope you would refund them their money.  And then I would like to remove my work from your site.
The reply to that email contained an apology: yes they had the files; an excuse: he had been sick and omitted to tell any one he had the files and a cajoling plea not to leave
We definitely value you and will work on to provide better support since we don’t want lose a talented and valuable artist as your self. Please let me know what I can do to alleviate your frustrations with the company that I caused and I’ll do my best to work it out.
I momentarily felt sorry for him, the poor bloke had been told to fall on his sword!
But, as I had, on several occasions, stated what I required from them to feel supported and reiterated it in the email to which he was responding, I didn’t feel like going through it all again and never replied.  I deleted all my designs from the collection except for the three that had sold.  And those will be deleted as soon as the orders are filled.
There’s more, the incompetencies continued even after that, but I won’t bore you with the details.
So that was an interesting little sojourn into a modern pyramid selling scheme, one where the artist gets to figure it all out by themselves, do all the work required in uploading their art, placing it on the ‘designer clothing’ advertise the company, market their own products, purchase their own samples and respond immediately to every demand the production team make of them.  All this, while (I imagine) the entrepreneurial folk  swan about in their airy and bright offices spending all their time searching Google on their iphones and ipads for uplifting and inspiring quotes, writing wonderful treatises on how the company values and supports their contributing artists and makers and having excited and voluble conversations about how they are changing the world over long and tastily trendy lunches paid for out of the gross income earned by the hard work of the artists and makers.
My plea – don’t buy from ShopVida or believe any of their beautifully worded and presented ethos.  In my experience there is not a word of truth in it.
Gah!!  I should have known better!  My work will continue to sit in the little shop on my blog if you ever want to own any of it.  Otherwise I will do as I have always done – make for the pleasure of making, tell you about it and give it away when I think it might bring a bit of light to someones life.

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