Tuesday, December 30, 2008

... on fowl.

The Beckster asked me to make her a couple of Beasties, a hen and a duck. The chook is a bit of a weirdo but I'm quite pleased with the jawline and tail curl of this duck. I might make some more of them in the new year. It's odd how I never really know how a Beastie will turn out, even though I work from a sketch and draw them out on the tin before I cut them. I should know by now - I've made a stack of Crabby Beasties over this past year, and every one of them has a different character!

Monday, December 8, 2008

... on wall hangings!

Seems like I'm in wall hanging mode at the moment - I can't stop! I've finally made those little Fishie Beasties into something, and now I want to make more. When I was photographing this yesterday I had my big industrial fan on and the little fish were clanking together merrily in the breeze, and it made me happy!

Friday, December 5, 2008

... on shells and thread and little pink beads.

I just made this wall hanging thing for C. We collected the shells together on our first proper grown-up weekend away, up on the beach on the Noosa North Shore. We spent a whole day lying on a blanket under a pandanus tree up in the dunes: reading, eating cherries, napping. Bliss!

Friday, November 28, 2008

... on stars.

I've just made some tin stars to throw in with my christmas cards. This year I resolve most firmly to send out christmas cards! As I haven't been making anything for yonks (so much so that all my tinsnip and scalpel callouses had gone, to be replaced by mouse-using RSI in my index finger!) it felt good to get some tin splinters under my fingernails again. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

While we're on the subject of resolutions (for I quite like to make them throughout the year) I also have vague and hastily-formed ideas to A) not spend quite so much money on flowers and B) to play my piano a bit more, soon.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

... on something lovely!

My day was made,yesterday. First thing in the morning, and I'm at my desk. Leah, who sits next to me, arrives and some minutes later she's just about jumping up and down with excitement as she carefully presents me with a gift. For starters it was funny because she'd wrapped it in a printout of one my rejects for the cover of this book I'm working on. It was a watercolour of some skulls, repeated - I noticed she'd added a bow to the side of one of them! Anyway, inside was this:

A most beautiful red doily, which she had crocheted the previous night. Leah is an excellent crocheter - we share stationery and she had made us a blue crocheted bowl to put our paperclips in. So, when I admired the blue bowl, she made me a red doily.

I'm delighted. Absolutely delighted!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

... on workspaces.

Seeing where someone else works is always a bit delicious, isn't it!?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

... on something new two.

Yesterday I listed these leaves. I photographed them late in the afternoon and my hanging branch thing just looked so lovely in the afternoon light, and there was this little block of sunlight making its way up the wall as the sun went down.

These leaves are something new for me - I was inspired by a deciduous tree outside my house which only loses all of its leaves when it's been a very cold year - right now it's bare, and I'm wearing four layers inside!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

... on my middle finger.

I made a couple of Beasties today. The smaller circle above is from when I was getting a bit confident with the vice and, undoing it, pinched my finger between the two undoing thingos. The larger circle is where my big callous is from using my scalpel to carve letters. My scalpel is NOT ergonomically designed, apparently.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

... on clouds.

I was busily applying myself to making more clouds the other day when I looked up from the table and saw this volcano drawing I'd done on my noticeboard. Now I understand why the cloud thing seemed so . . . familiar!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

... on k.

Recently I made my first 'k', as part of a custom order. I like the awkward sort of angularity about this k. I like it so much I think I'll do some words specifically because they've got k's in them. I'm thinking first of 'kiss me' as that's a fairly saleable expression, but then I'd like to do 'knuckle'.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

... on an outdated term of abuse.

I wanted to use 'Go to the devil.' today.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

... on something new.

I started making something new this weekend. I had in mind a set of puffy white plaster clouds. Initially I thought I was doing okay.

Then I went overboard on the finishing.

I realised then that I'd really liked the effect of the scalpel marks I made as I was removing the cardboard, and that by getting rid of them and smoothing the surface, the cloud was losing what I felt made it interesting in the first place - but I didn't know it at the time. I think I'll toss out the over-finished one and make a set of three. Templates are ready to go!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

... on how to smooth a Rough Patch.

It has occurred to me that this Rough Patch came as the result of a disappointment. The disappointment, I now realise, was the last in what had been a string of disappointments, knitted together into something full of holes and dropped stitches. That could be the end of it: I've grown out of this particular garment.

These files were my grandfather's, and they're what I use to smooth the edges of my Beasties once I've cut them out of corrugated iron. Useful for taking the edges off Rough Patches, too.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

... on graphic representations of a Rough Patch.

Here are three ways of looking at this rough patch business. Arrows indicate direction of travel.
In all cases it is advisable to wear a stout pair of boots to combat stubbed toes, twisted ankles and burning feet. In the case of the third, the use of a gas mask will help protect against further perils associated with the rough patch, and once the patch is safely traversed normal travel can continue.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

... on a Rough Patch.

I wish the durability and consistency of a Rough Patch could be accurately predicted. Will the Rough Patch change in texture along the way? Is it solid, will it start out very lumpy and chunky, and gradually decrease in grain? Is it more like gravel, in that it's generally all-over gravelly but sometimes when you're walking through it you'll hit a larger stone that may turn your ankle, and even if you don't do that you're still likely to find little rocks in your shoes afterwards? Is the best solution, when experiencing a Rough Patch, to let the roughness cause a callous, or it is better to get rubbed raw so a scar can form? Will the Rough Patch be smoothed by external forces, or do I have to get at it with the sandpaper myself? Will it erode naturally, or will it erupt again and spew layers of new hard roughness over the surface of the old?

If only I could tell.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

... on buying in bulk.

There's something reassuring about having a LOT of something. This box of PostPaks, these business cards, even my 100 scalpel blades, they all speak of possibility, of the promising notion that one day they might be all used up and I'll be needing to buy some more!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

... on reading.

This is what I saw and what I thought I saw while I was in the shower this morning. Gah!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

... on a school of fish.

I've been making these little Fishy Beasties when I've got an offcut the right size. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet - maybe a Fishy Beastie Wall Hanging?

Friday, May 23, 2008

... on the Curious Bruise.

Left:: I was cutting some wire yesterday and I accidently poked my left index finger with the end. It bled quite a bit but you can hardly see the puncture, now.

Right:: This is the bruise that has come up on the other side of that finger. How about that!?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

... on the broken w.

Look what just happened when I was photographing 'wheelie'. I'm inclined to think it's a sign I shouldn't list 'wheelie' but I'm going to ignore it.

How did I break it!? For the purposes of photography I Blu-Tack the letters to my wall, as it's only temporary. For large letters like 'w' I use three little knobs of it - which of course, now that I think about it, can put undue pressure on the middle of the letter when I'm pressing it onto the wall. It acts a bit like breaking a stick over your knee, and from now on I'll be using two knobs max.

... on mould and fungus.

A Photoshop restoration. This slide of my parents and brother was dark and had mould/fungus growing all over it, but I really loved the photo and set myself the challenge of restoring it digitally.

My mum told me to airbrush out her bra strap but that's one of the things I love the most about this photo, so I didn't.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

... on hope.

This was my first Plaster Wall Word. These first letters were pretty rough, and unsealed. I glued them on using contact cement and 5 years later they're still stuck firmly.

I chose 'hope' because I wanted something on my wall that would remind me that however bad I was feeling about something, it was a pretty good idea to have some kind of notion that the future could be good.

New 'hope' (carved way more carefully, and sealed!) may be found here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

... on unexpected lettering.

The office I work in had moved to an industrial area. On the chain-link fence was an old sign, which looked like all the lettering had worn off it. It was just a rusty orange piece of tin that I thought would be great to make into some Beastie Sea Creatures.

I knew I had to have it, so I gave G*** my pliers and got him to snip it off for me one night. He put it down the side of my desk during his night-shift and I transferred it, wrapped in paper, to my car the next day.

When I got home that night I tore off the paper and gleefully ran my hand over the lovely surface, imagining it as a Lobster Beastie, definitely a Crabby Beastie. I turned the sign over to check out the other side - to find this beautiful weathered lettering: the sign had been facing 'out' through the fence, not 'in' as I'd assumed!

How can I possibly take my tin-snips to something so beautiful?

Monday, May 5, 2008

... on little sharp bits of tin.

Dave came around the other day, and saw these little offcuts from making a Beastie sitting on my table. "Em!" he said, poking dubiously. "Have you cut your toenails again?!"