Saturday, December 19, 2009

... on christmas!

Two weeks ago, the paddock where I usually nab a christmas tree from burnt out, so I had to look closer to home for an alternative.

There was a rather unruly sandpaper plant growing on the corner of the carport which looked promising. I took to it with my secateurs...
... and wrestled the trimmings into a circle, scratching myself to shreds in the process. (I found it's not called sandpaper plant for nothing!) I added my new string of clear lights...
...and then some decorations. Not a tree but... a christmas... circle?
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

... on clouds.

This week I bought a lovely ceramic cloud brooch made by Kylie Johnson, a Brisbane poet and maker-of-beautiful-things.
So, here's two of my favourite cloud photographs of 2009 to go with it. The first was taken looking straight up at a mackerel sky one evening whilst camping at Mount Barney, and the second from the top of Bald Rock. It really was a very oddly clouded day, that one.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

...on festivities and such things.

I've just had the most delightful time making christmas cards. This year I'd been determined to make my own, as last year I used bought ones. There's something lovely about making multiples of a thing, and busting out cards from a packet doesn't supply the same satisfaction. Lovely letterpress (which is what I used last year) does satisfy a certain craving, but just not the same.
Not. The. Same!

Monday, November 16, 2009

... on a parcel.

With only one exception in the early days, all of my customers have been women. It's not as though what I make is feminine - I would have thought the opposite, given the rusty old tin and the angularity of Arial Black, which was the font I used to use when carving my plaster letters.

So, when I started to develop a new version of my plaster letters, I thought about all these women who were buying my words. I deliberately chose a lovely full rounded font, which I thought would appeal more to these female customers. Yesterday, I've sold my first new word. To a man!

Off you go to Ireland, little parcel!

Monday, November 9, 2009

... on a good thing.

Oh Pinkysil! You've made it a joy to make what I make! You're skin safe and odourless! You're quick-setting and you WORK!

Monday, October 19, 2009

... on the best name for a baby girl.

Up and running! My first batch of cast Plaster Wall Words are making their way into my Etsy store. I don't have a full alphabet yet but my initial letter choice was influenced by wanting to make this for The Beckster.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

... on an asterisk.

I've just carved the cutest thing ever.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

... on a disaster.

All was going according to plan. I carved, and I enjoyed it.
When I was finished I sat the letters on top of my bookcase for a while to enjoy them.
Then I made some latex moulds of the letters. I painted on twenty coats, which took two weeks allowing for drying time inbetweentimes, and really ponged.

Possibly the mistake came in slathering a load of plaster over the top of the whole lot to make a 'mother' to support the latex while casting, because here's what happened when I tried to get the whole lot apart:
I had to pull so hard on the latex to dislodge it from the mother and the original letter that it distorted unusably.
...and I destroyed my letters too. Waaah!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

... on things that are good for the soul.

A box of chickens came to live with me on the weekend. These four bustling swishing ladies with their feathers that come right down to the ground and make them look like they are wearing long full skirts are absolutely entrancing, even more so when they trot about and occasionally trip over their own feathered feet.
I could sit and watch them all afternoon!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

... on shadows.

During the week I finally completed my red Fishie Beastie wall hanging. I hung it from the curtain rail, and yesterday afternoon I saw that a patch of sun had crept down the wall and was be-shadowing it in a very lovely fashion!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

... on not thinking about what you're doing.

See, this is what happens when you drink wine while using a template that has to be traced backwards in order for the thing to come out right!

Friday, July 31, 2009

...on an ampersand.

The other morning I was rueing the notion that it's hard, sometimes, to fit my desired life in around my actual life. 'Choose a new font and carve some new letters' has been on my to-do list since the beginning of the year, and every now and then I'll have thought 'I wish I had time to DO that!' So the other morning, I gave myself a mental shake.
"Stop that at once! You've got twenty minutes before you have to get in the shower! Do it NOW!"

Plaster dust all over my house again, and it feels GOOD!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

... on MORE fame!

Oooh! Today I've had a lovely writeup over on What a wonderful surprise! Thanks Steph!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

...on fame.

Many months ago I filled a custom order for the words 'bright idea' hand-carved in plaster. I was delighted, as I love custom orders, and I especially love sending them off to the other side of the world - in this case to New York. The notion that my fragile little letters can be whisked safely in their nest of bubble wrap to a destination thousands of kilometres away... it just makes me very happy!

Anyway, this customer had told me that she wanted the letters for a photoshoot, for the 'fall' (fall!) CB2 catalogue. I looked at their website... it looked like the US equivalent of a Freedom store. I then forgot all about them.

Then, the other day, I heard a green tree frog 'breeeEEEP!-ing' in the garden. I thought 'you're a tad early my friend, for it is the middle of winter!' and then suddenly the notion of 'fall' and the CB2 catalogue jumped into my head. I rushed online to see if indeed my letters had made the cut, as it were. I clicked though the catalogue, reaching the last pages and, having not spotted my letters anywhere, was disappointed more than I expected to be. "So that's why you didn't leave me any feedback!" I thought.

The next day I was at work, admiring the spacious real estate of my enormous Mac, when it occurred to me to use the big screen to have another look. After all, how much could I have seen on my 14 incher at home? Then, behold!

Okay, angled and almost illegible, but THERE! Hoorah!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

... on forgetting.

Recently I was invited to dinner by friends. The venue was a secret, and the instructions were to 'wear good stuff'. I got everything together: my shoes, stockings, my bag, my dress and my jacket, and C and I took off for his place, where we'd change later in the day. At around 4.00 I had a sudden realisation... I'd left the dress sitting on my table at home.


C and I live about an hour apart, and the dinner was an early one, so there was no time for me to rush home to grab the dress. There was only one thing to do - head to the local shopping centre. As I drove there I pondered on the unlikelihood of me being able to find something to wear, as it seemed several elements weren't in my favour. For starters, the local shopping centre contained exactly one unbranded dress shop. More worryingly, I'm a terrible shopper. I see something I like and it generally takes me a few weeks to commit to purchase, and as I so rarely see things I like, my wardrobe consists of lots of jeans and the one dress, currently draped gracefully on a table about 60 km away. And yet right now, I had one hour before the shop shut to find something to wear that night, and worse still - it has to be a dress or (gasp!) a skirt, to go with my black jacket.

Now, I don't skirt up well, as a rule. That's why I don't have any. My legs always seem too short, my hips too wide, and my knees definitely need to be out of sight.

I arrive at the One Dress Shop. I'm momentarily alarmed at the volume of embroidered PolarFleece within. This looks like the kind of shop that only ladies of a certain age and shape would go to. There was one of those ladies standing behind the counter. I went straight to her, and explained the predicament. She started to rummage on the racks, pulling out multitudes of black below-the-knee skirts with weird embellishments made from zips, and that kind of ornamental gathers-using-a-drawstring decoration that was fashionable five years ago. My heart sinks, so I take a quick look at the dress racks (AAAAAAH!) before committing to searching the sale racks with intent. See, that was the odd thing about this dress shop. Everything was hideously expensive. HIDEOUSLY. I found this skirt which was reduced to half price... it was $220. I grabbed a plain black shoestring nylon singlet ($70)to wear under my jacket and retreated to the dressing room. The skirt was... well, let's just say it was of a floaty chiffony patterned nature that I would have loved ten years ago, and it didn't quite go with the jacket. I thought 'well, it will just have to do' and took it to the counter.

I think it was the sight of the price tag ($440 REDUCED! to $220!) which provoked me to have one last look at the racks. I'd already been around the shop twice, but desperation (and disgust at the notion of forking out so much cash for something I didn't really love) drove me to try again. Jammed between an over-beaded bias-cut dress ($560) and a houndstooth jacket ($800) I found something that almost made me cry with relief. I'd found a skirt, a skirt so 'me' that I knew at once that this skirt was about to save the day. What's more... there was only one... and it was in my size.

It was a skirt made from soft black mesh, with these stripes of red all around it- layers of the mesh and the goodness of the satiny crushed dark red stripes adding up to something that gave off an air of circus tent, or hot-air balloon - I didn't care, because it was wonderful!
Oh wondrous circus-tent skirt, I know we will have many good years together!

PS. The dinner was lovely, the company excellent. The fact that two of my friends turned up in jeans a minor blot!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

... on weird hand colouration.

I'd been cutting out a school of fish from some red-painted corrugated iron. After a while, I saw that my fingers had gone exactly the same colour as the tin! The skin-colour of my fingers, combined with the paint dust and the graphite from the pencil I'd used to mark out the shapes on the tin... hey presto! Tin-coloured fingers!

Friday, June 19, 2009

... on finishing something that you start.

Years ago, one of my lecturers at uni told me that he thought I was the sort of person who really liked starting something, but that I wasn't too keen on finishing things. I was an 'ideas' person. The same year an industry-mentor-type person told me that he could tell from looking at my folio that I wasn't the sort of person who wanted to be sitting in front of a computer all day. They were both right, in some ways.

Still. I finished the necklace!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

...on donkeys.

A custom Beastie for a donkey-fancier. Happy Birthday, C!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

...on time.

Whoa. That's all... whoa. It's June already, I haven't posted since January, haven't MADE ANYTHING since then apart from this, and whilst being absorbed in that I've forgotten who I am!

Now, though, I've some holidays on. A few days in and I can feel thoughts of work fading. I've even stopped checking my work email. I'm floundering about a bit - I don't quite know what to do with myself. I had a mental list of 'things to do once June comes' but it feels almost impossible to start - like I can't get on with it until I've wasted a number of days being lethargic and lost without work!

So, to begin. I'm re-purposing some old bracelets that had broken, into one of those multi-stranded necklaces that hang beguilingly in the opening of one's shirt. Just how beguilingly is yet to be seen, but that's the intention.

Here goes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

... on more lovely things in the post.

Last week, this beautiful thing arrived in the post from Fray.
It was some days later that I realised that I'd hung it in front of a painting that matched it exactly!
It's going to be some months before I can wear this - I am NOT a summer person. Give me scarves and hot water bottles and red wine over singlets and sweat and bad humid hair anyday!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

... on an aberration.

I'm not usually attracted to making this sort of thing. But I must say - I had an old polyester blouse, a candle and some instructions (thanks Miss Lee!), and I wanted to see if it was as much fun it seemed. The answer... yes, OH yes!

I veered from the suggestion of using beads for the centres and went for heavily stitched instead. Happy!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

... on names.

For no other reason that recently I took these photos, it's time to explain where the name 'kuber' came from. This is Kubrick.

She is my very fine cat friend. I'm a big believer in 'interesting names for cats', and when she was a tiny kitten (well over 13 years ago now) she just looked like a Kubrick. So, she gets derivatives such as Kuber, Kube-ster, Koobs, and alternative names such as 'Miss Kitka' and thus, 'Squeezy Misssssy Kitka, Oh You Are So Squashy And Warm, Yes!'.

Later on I found that Kubrick-the-filmmaker was a big cat-lover, which seemed good.

So, as you do, you sign up for some online retailer in order to buy something (for me, it was a blue felted bowl by juliepersons) and then you find you're selling your own stuff with said online retailer, and you're stuck with whatever random name you entered - but if you're lucky you find that it's just fine that way!

"Oh Miss Kitka, what marvellous whiskers you have!"

Thursday, January 1, 2009

... on 2009.

First sunrise of the year. C and I woke up at 4am and drove up Mt Coot-tha to watch it. I'd expected it to be a beery gathering teeming with young-uns on their way home, but I was wrong - it was full of people armed with a Thermos and breakfast.
So I am not the only earlybird in Brisbane! Happy New Year!