Wednesday, December 22, 2010

... on the tree!

Feeling a bit sticky this year. This little paperbark sapling didn't recover from last year's bushfire so I've brought him home and covered him with my plaster seedpods, tissue-paper pompoms, some lovely paperboatpress ceramic ornaments and a few tiny glass baubles.
And I can never resist a good pile of presents! I'd stocked up on cord and ribbon from Pepe's Paperie in Canberra earlier in the year. Hooray!
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

... on plasternessing something

The other day I was sitting at work gazing idly about my desk, as you do when you're trying to figure out what you should be doing next in a busy week. I try to save the clutter for home, but over the years a collection of things has sprung up on the windowledge - a rock, a paper cricket, some prototype plaster letters and a couple of dry bits of foliage. My eye came to rest on a seedpod I'd picked up while coming back from a curry lunch at West End some months back, and suddenly I had a vision.
That lunchtime I went back to West End and had a rummage - I found three more. When I got home that night I mixed up some Pinkysil and went for it!
(Oh Pinkysil. I'm so delighted Barnes have opened a retail shop here in Brisbane!)
White plaster seedpod Pinkysil goodness HURRAH!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

... on the right kind of morning for it.

It's a funny kind of morning, this one. It's alternating cloud and sun, and blusteringly curtain-billowingly paper-flappingly windy. The jacaranda flowers are falling in drifts onto the road, and the chickens look perplexed.
There's only one thing for it. Close all the doors and windows, put the kettle on, let the dog sleep on the rug. Time for a photo-shoot!

Monday, November 8, 2010

...on markets ahoy!

It was Finders Keepers weekend in Brisbane, and I went, for the first time. It was held in the old Queensland Museum building, which is a destination all by itself.
Coloured-glass windows streaming afternoony light onto the tables full of handmade loveliness, and a brick veranda wide enough for both stalls and meandering.
Big tissue-paper flowers were hanging throughout all the rooms, which looked grand.
We finished off the day with a wander through the trumpet-vine house in the gardens - a fine afternoon.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

...on a word for the week.

Here's one - topical, given today's other post. It's a favourite of mine.

... on old news.

I don't know why I just took it into my head to Google the author George MacDonald Fraser, but I did, and I was saddened to find that he'd died. The Flashman books have been solid favourites of mine ever since I was introduced to them by my first boyfriend, who read the entirety of Flashman and the Redskins to me aloud. To this day I haven't been able to re-read it because when I try, I hear the whole thing in his voice, and he was such a **** that it's not a pleasant reminder. It struck me at the time that it was weird that a twenty-year-old girl should really enjoy what can be described as historical military fiction, and I sometimes thought about writing a letter to George MacDonald Fraser and telling him that although the boyfriend didn't endure, Flash Harry did.
Occasionally I find myself using Flashmanisms in my daily speech - the word 'gammon' is one, as is the phrase 'mealy little pimp' when someone cuts me off in traffic. The character is a dreadful lech but he is certainly very charming, and remains one of my favourite fictional men. So, I'm very sorry to find there won't be any more Flashman books.
Tally-ho, eh what?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

... on carving some more letters.

Had a spare couple of hours yesterday - set myself the task of extending the alphabet. My word possibilities will increase greatly with the inclusion of these two!

Monday, August 9, 2010

... on agricultural shows.

You know, some weekends, you just can't go past a good poultry display. Chooks patiently wait out time in their show cages by scratching optimistically in their straw and poking their heads out between the bars to see what's going on down the aisle. I saw lots of handsome roosters I'd like to borrow for my pekin bantams at home, who I am sure would be wonderful mothers...
...and I saw an excellent duck. Happy Brisbane RNA Show!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

... on little paintings for friends.

Aaah you Sunday morning! A cup of milky tea and a salty hard-boiled egg, a home-grown passionfruit and the sun making the curtains glow. A paintbrush among the toast crumbs... paintings for friends.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

... on weekends of bliss.

Last weekend, it was my birthday. There was cake, and there were candles, and both were had in the very early morning.
Later, there was a long drive up into the mountains, car loaded up with C and woollens and wine and a wagyu roast, to this place. It was lovely to see dear family friends, Richard and Rosemary and Madeleine, and Madeleine's two girls, Millie and Sophie.
There were walks over dry-grass hills and through vineyards and olive groves, log balancing over the creek through the rainforest, a Very Special marshmallow roasting bonfire, and only one leech.
Thoroughly wonderful all round!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

... on motivation.

I got a parcel in the mail this week. In it is a blank Moleskine notebook (the brown-cover sort) and some instructions. See, I've joined The Sketchbook Project, where I get to hold on to this Moleskine for a few months and fill it with stuff, which I then send back to America. It meets lots of other sketchbooks filled with stuff and tours the country. It's even themed - mine is 'The view from up here".
I'm not sure why I was attracted to do this - after all, you have to pay to do it, and I could have gone to the shop and bought the same Moleskine to fill and keep if I'd felt the urge. Maybe it's more about being sent a notebook and being expected to fill it - it's a motivating factor. I wouldn't be filling a notebook otherwise - and creatively speaking, it's promising!
How promising is a blank notebook? I can't resist!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

...on green!

I'm starting to get into this.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

... on a little more painting.

My box of paints has been sitting out on my table for a few weeks now. Every so often my Prussian Blue will call out to me, and I'll paint some more clouds.
Then I accidently dripped some water on a fresh pageful of blue, which made a nice cloudy thing all by itself. I added rain.
Clouds, rain, Prussian blue and my new favourite: an old tube of Oxide of Chromium gouache - all very good for the soul.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

... on a little painting.

It's C's birthday today, and he's impossible to buy for. He'd prefer to pretend he's not having a birthday at all, and as he's a bit anti-'stuff' right now, I can't buy him 'stuff'. So the options become 'get him something he needs' or 'get him an experience' or 'get him membership to the Queensland Donkey Society' - which is what I did last year.
This year, we're going to go shopping for a new pair of jeans, so I pulled out my box of watercolours and some paper, and did a little painting to act as the Official Shopping Invite.
It's been a long time since I played with my watercolours, and I really really enjoyed it! I may need to do some more in the coming weeks.

There's a story that goes with that box of watercolours. I was living out of home for the first time, working only part time, so money was tight. For some reason I had a scratchie - it was a Trivial Pursuit scratchie, I think they cost $2. I won $100 on that scratchie, and I went down to the local art supplies shop and bought $100 worth of Winsor & Newton Artists' Water Colour paint - about 12 tubes at the time. Bliss!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

... on an arrival!

Well, it was never going to fit in my car! I was delighted to find that a crate from London had arrived for me at work on Wednesday, and then disappointed to find that I wasn't going to be able to get it home and unpacked until Saturday. Until then, all I could do on my daily visits to the loading dock at work was admire some nice crate typography, and wonder Exactly What The Hell The Quarantine Guys Had Sprayed Into That Fume Port Before It Got Sealed Up.
Inside, aaaah!
This is my 35th birthday present to myself. For my 30th, my present to myself was a trip around the world, so I'm seeing the emergence of a theme!

Early this year, I saw an entry about Bellerby & Co Globemakers on, and clicked through to this article on Cool Hunting. The photo with the banana on the desk under the tray of paint made me laugh, and I was extra interested because I was starting to cast plaster myself at the time, and here it was being used to make big balls!

Talk about love at first sight - I was impressed by the notion that someone could be bothered enough to figure out how to make these beautiful things, by hand, and then make more. Then I found that someone was prepared to crate one up and send it to Australia - where it's come to live with me.

Oh thankyou, Peter Bellerby! I am absolutely delighted!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

... on plaster brooches... no.

Last weekend I decided that it was time to start accessorising, and made a couple of brooches out of my plaster asterisk collection.
During the week I tried to wear one and it was so heavy it... er... made the front of my shirt look very unappealing. So these won't be for sale, and will have to be For Big Winter Coat Use only!
Nonetheless, hoorah!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

... on something coming!

Something very lovely, very anticipated, and very much handmade will be making its way to me next week.
Sat 15 May update...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

... on the Black Kitten of Doom.

A couple of weeks before Kuber died, an odd thing happened. It was night, and I’d just shut the roller door on her and the dog. I clean my teeth, poke around a bit. Then I hear a noise coming from the garage – Kuber was growling, as far as cats do. I walk through, and see that she’s sitting, looking intently and growling at something behind the mower. ‘Uh-oh,’ I think. There’s a snake inside. Or a bluetongue or something. I approach tentatively – and was quite surprised by what was crouched there – a tiny black kitten, with white feet. I'm delighted! I've always wanted to be discovered by a kitten! I put Kubrick and the dog into my room, and then approach again. The black kitten runs off. I go after it, slowly. It bolts again. I’m talking to it in a high, friendly voice, offering it catfood – it just keeps running away. After half an hour I’m sick of chasing it and I need to get to bed, so I corner it against the wall behind a plant pot. I reach down to grab it – and as I put my hand towards it there’s this hissing explosion which makes me withdraw my hand quite swiftly! I put on a thick pair of leather gloves and try again. I reach down – hissing explosion. Such a huge noise from something so small! I was afraid that if I grabbed it, I’d have a snarling sharp kitten up my arm and attached to my face in no time. After a ridiculous number of attempts to grab it I give up. The thing was trying to kill me. I open the roller door and use a stick to chase the kitten outside, whereupon it runs off into the night. See, now I have a theory about that little feral black kitten. It was the cat version of the Grim Reaper, and it’d come for Kubrick. Only – it got trapped inside and had to leave without her!

Bloody thing came back, though.

Monday, April 26, 2010

...on carving again.

Today I spread out some newspaper and got on with carving something new. Not typography this time - spongy amoebic blobbiness hooray!
I can imagine a repeat pattern of these spreading out over my wall - we'll see!