Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A day to remember

My little (big) girl is 5 1/2 and will be heading off to school next year.  Yesterday she had her first orientation at Primary School.  Yep, that's right - big school! She got to meet one of the teachers and stayed in the room for an hour and a quarter while Sophie and I had morning tea in the staff room.  She was very excited when she saw one of the girls from her kinder group was there too.  I knew a few of the mums from last year or this year at the kinder which was nice.  Here's Emily before we left home yesterday morning:

I'm really glad she is excited about school.  It makes my life that bit easier.
Bring on next year!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ticking things off the list

I am so bad at starting things and not quite finishing them.  Remember this post? Well, I finally got around to getting some matching ribbon for the ties and finished it.  Did I say a week?  Try 4 months!


This is the first time I have done buttonholes using my sewing machine. I was so impressed!  Sure beats the old dinosaur mum has where you have to measure the button then manually select 4 different stitches, only to find either it's far too big and the button doesn't stay done up, or it's too small and the button won't fit in it.  This one-step buttonhole is a pure genius (you can tell I don't sew much) - you put the button in the slot, lower the lever and press start.  Job done!  The only thing it doesn't do is cut the slit, but that's easy fixed.

How about this one?  Um, yep it only sat on my desk for a good few months after this before I finally finished the insides.

And on a much more positive note, I have finished my canvases!  In less than a week - that has to be a new project record... now I wonder how long they will sit around waiting to be hung on the wall?

You can't tell from the photo that there is texture on there - it is a lot more noticeable in person.  It is a bit hard getting a decent photo when they are sitting on the dining room floor and the table seems to be in the way if I get too close.  I did try painting the flowers, but they looked hideous, so I covered them back up, so you can just see the texture of them.  I suppose that's the brilliant thing about paint - if you don't like it you can just paint over it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Three on Thursday on Friday

1. Canvas x 3
2. Gesso x1
3. Paintbrush x 1

Now the annoying part of waiting for the gesso to dry so I can paint on it with acrylics... I'm so impatient!
I couldn't find impasto locally so the best I could do was the gesso - it seems to work ok.  I think the impasto would have been a bit thicker - but that also would have meant I would have had to buy more of it.  The bonus is that I bought 2 tubs of the gesso so if after it dries I dislike what I have, I can always give it another coat and cover up what I have.  I'm not sold on the flowers but it looked too plain without something there, and I'd like some texture to whatever it is.  I could have gone with circles... I still could if I decide against the flowers.  I'll be adding some Adirondack paints in creamy fawn colours (Lake Mist and Pebble), with a mid blue and a darkish blue (Pool and Stream), plus some pale green (Juniper) along with some silver highlights.  I just hope it turns out like I have it pictured in my head!
Please leave a comment - should I stick to the flowers or ditch them for some circles (overlapping different sized - kind of like bubbles)?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Motivation Musings

How many of us (or our parents) have old photos of people we don't know?
Wouldn't it be sad if some time in the future someone found a photo of your parents or yourself and they had no name, no date, no idea who you were?  Due to the nature of technology, would this scenario even be likely?  Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and social networking had meant that we can access millions of photos and people can do the same of us.  We share what we look like, what we think, what we feel, what we are doing, what we are cooking as if someone actually cares..  Do they care?  If we keep a blog, people can also learn about us - our interests, our happenings, our family, our talents, our life.  Do people read what we write?  Does it matter if they do or not?  How much of it is about getting it out for our benefit vs sharing with others for their benefit?
Scrapbookers are the historians for the future.
Tell the story of what matters to you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three on Thursday


1.  I am loving our new "deck" under the front porch.  The concrete underneath was poured with the slab of the house (standard gray), and I love the exposed aggregate we chose for the path and driveway but it looked a bit odd that they didn't match.  I didn't really want tiles or pavers to cover it up, then thought we could use some of the leftover timber from constructing our side fence to build a deck to cover the plain concrete.  I wanted it to be at the same level as the front door step but thought that the likelihood of that happening was very remote, so I was expecting a slight difference between the door step and the deck... it turned our exactly the same!  What are the chances?  It is now finished but we are considering whether to install some solar lights onto the edge near the entry.  Solar because we don't have a powerpoint out the front to run electricals and they not only come on automatically when it's dark but they cost nothing to run.  The garden is still a work in progress, but I don't think a garden is ever "done" - it always needs something doing.


(it didn't take long to get dusty)

2.  My baby girl is 18 months old today.  I can't believe how grown up she is.  I love that she is developing her own little personality (which at the minute seems a lot more outgoing and boisterous than Emily).  She never ceases to make me smile or laugh - especially last week when the 2 girls emerged from Emily's bedroom each with a handbag over their arm and wearing sunnies.  They were going shopping of course!

One of Sophie's favourite words at the minute is "book" (which comes out something like "booh").  She loves books!  She has a couple of sets of mini board books that come in a cardboard case, and she will spend ages pulling the books out just to put them all back in the case again.  I stealthily took this picture when she was quietly reading in her room last week.

3.  I want to get into some art for our walls.  We have a large wall in the dining room that is bare and I think it needs a nice big artwork to hang there.  I saw a gorgeous canvas set in Melbourne when we last went to the market and it got me thinking of what I could make (instead of buy).  I am thinking that a set of 3 vertical canvases to make up a large rectangle would look fab.  I have dabbled with acrylics on canvas before but this time I'm going to embrace the 3D and get some impasto happening as well.  At least I can guarantee whatever I make will be a unique, one-of-a-kind, original artwork (and I'm hoping that's in a good way, not a cringe way).  I think slightly abstract will be my style - I was never very good at impressionism or still-life.
This was my initial inspiration in the shop window (bad glare I know, but I only had my iPhone with me):

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Monday Motivation on a Tuesday

Life is too important to be taken seriously.
- Oscar Wilde

I am a bit behind on my blogging and crafting at the moment and have had zero spare time for craft related pursuits.  We are concentrating on doing some more in the garden while the weather in nice - after the long cold winter and before the scorching summer hits.  I did manage to do some painting, although it was staining the new decking we built under the front porch, not anything craft related.  We also had the pleasure of my niece visiting this weekend, so we had some family time too.
I should be back for a 3 on Thursday, but I'm skipping the Tuesday Technique this week (and it was Melbourne Cup Public Holiday last week - when we were constructing the above mentioned deck) but I promise I will be preparing another video tutorial for next week - so thanks for being patient.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Three on Thursday

You can never have enough...
1. Time.  Why is it that there is always something else you should be doing?  Something along the lines of "Hmm, I feel like making a card or doing a layout.  Oh, but I need to hang the clothes, do the dishes, wash the floors, change the sheets, weed the garden, make the dinner, bath the kids," you get the idea.  I'd like to have that remote in the movie Click so I could pause the rest of the world for a few hours each day.
2. Pens.  I have to admit that even before I knew the wonderful world of papercrafts I loved stationery.  Pens in different colours - gel pens, fountain pens, calligraphy pens, felt tip pens.  And funny as this may sound, I write differently depending on the pen.  Give me a felt tip pen and I tend to adopt a soft slightly cursive writing; give me a ball point pen and I write in a plain lowercase print.  I often also go over my writing - especially on a scrapbook layout, just to make it darker and 99% of the time it is exactly over the previous letters.  I've always loved handwriting, and my love of pens has come from that, and you can never have enough pens.
3. Stamps.  If you had told me 5 years ago that I would become a bit of a stamp addict I would have probably thought you were talking about postage stamps.  I love rubber stamps for many reasons, although I think the number one reason is versatility.  They really are an investment and you need to consider how much you would use them.  I tend to choose stamps that have more than one application, eg. background stamps that can be used on a range of card themes or layouts, or images that can be used for a range of themes.  This way I know that I will be getting value for money and I will use it over and over again without repeating the same design.  That said, you can still never have enough stamps.

Monday, November 01, 2010