Hello! Lovely to see you! Here you will find random posts about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator. I create, take photos, faff, collect, teach. Watercolour, collage, colour, cheese, travel and dreaming are my faves. And Turkish delight. And cushions. And gardening. And op-shops...

Friday, 8 July 2016

MISSING IN ACTION... from Blogland (A mental health Holiday)

MISSING IN ACTION
from Blogland...
 or a Mental Health Holiday

looking down

 Oh me. Oh my. It astounds me how fast, how expedient time is. 

A blur.


I seem to be busy busy busy busy, doing a zillion thongs. And not much. Juggling lots of great stuff as well as the ordinary things too.

                Feeling overwhelmed as things stack up?

So when I went into this little space to write a new blog post(feeling fizzy and excited to do so) and wrote about being Almost Famous, back a few weeks ago, I was a bit chuffed that I had carved out the time to do a blogpost.

Then... it went away, I killed it somehow, accidentally. I actually made it die. (And yes I wrote a blogpost about how I killed it...

It meant that in my blog posts it  said my last published post was in MARCH. What the!? How did that happen? Where did that time go to?

The forest for the trees

And it got me thinking. Should I fess up? Do I need to confess about why it had been such a long time between posts? Do I share? Do I make up some great story about having been lying in hammocks and eating peeled grapes by a peaceful tropical beach? Or do I tell the truth and wear my heart on my sleeve(or blog?) And of course, does anyone actually really give a shit anyway?

feeling blue

Well, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I am not a closed book. I could never play poker. I cannot lie. I go all twitchy and shake my leg. 

So the truth. The truth is time went by without me blogging because... I just really needed a break. I really needed to concentrate on other things going on in my life. In my mind I was blogging lots, waking up with ideas for posts, and in my mind all over it. Yeah baby. 

But in reality, life was hectic. Good, great, fabulous, difficult, worrying, sweet, miserable awful, and everything in between.

There was setting up my workshops and investigating prices and costs, emails to the ladies I was collaborating with. There was a few art commissions to do, and chasing up leads. I had an art exhibition, and worked my butt off painting, framing, prepping. And in one supremely completely shitty week my phone was stolen. And then I spilt a cup of tea on my laptop and killed it.GAH!

Then here was a whole month of lurgy germs in our house, a family tag team of snotty and red raw noses, aches and pains and heads full of yuk. A container load of cough drops, tissues, olive leaf extract, vitamin C's and the usual paracetemol. It was not a pretty scene.

Then there was a bit of an emotional breakdown. 

Yes, it was too much. I felt so overwhelmed. Fear and panic that the creative life I have struggled so hard to have was really just me kidding myself. A sense of not being where I want to be, of not achieving, of being an imposter and others around me seeming to do so well. I contemplated closing up rare pear studio and giving up. I just had nothing left in the tank.

heavy skies, heavy heart

I cried, and sobbed, and curled up in bed. And there I stayed. I found it hard to get out of it, and spent days feeling like I had mercury in my veins, inertia making everything dull and difficult. My old friend depression decided to stay and play for awhile. The sky felt heavy, my heart felt heavy. I just could not get traction.

Then a bit of magic happened. Then universe gave me a little nudge. I made enough money from the art exhibition that I had done, that I had some cash to play with.

I saw a chance. The chance to fly up to QLD and visit some friends I adore. Lady friends, people who I met online but had since met in real life and loved even more than I thought I would. And I needed a treat, something to remind me of why I work so hard, and of the good things in my world.I needed a little adventure. 


And the sun came out again, and depression and anxiety found somewhere else to play. 

finding the rose coloured glass again

So yes, I had some time away from blogging, to find my mojo again.
I did that thing called living life. 

And I realised that I did miss writing after all. That I am not an imposter. That I have to create. That it is okay to just down tools sometimes and breathe again. In between doing the washing, preparing food, being a parent, being a mum, being a teacher, being a friend, being a functioning adult.

So that is why I was Missing In Action. Nothing too exciting, nothing too awesome. Just life. Hmmmm. Which I guess... is actually pretty awesome... and exciting. And simultaneously bloody boring too. But I am here again now, and glad to be so. 

the magic amongst it all


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

BOOOKMARKS, ICEBLOCKS,WHIMSY, CRAFTING, TAPE, CREATING, MAKING, COLOUR, WOOHOO!

BOOOKMARKS,ICEBLOCKS,CRAFTING, TAPE,CREATING,MAKING,COLOUR, WOOHOO!





The other day, I posted a blog about some up-cycled magnets that I made. I was not completely honest when I did that post. What I failed to mention was that I got so into the whole craft-zone happiness, that I just kept going! 

Yes, faced with yet ANOTHER day inside, with rain and cold, no gardening possible, the TV  melted from overuse, and all devices are BANNED because of wifi drain and a distinct lack of real life interaction, cleaning had well and truly lost its fun (sarcasm rules) creating, making and reading areaways my preferred pastimes. This little project became a perfect cross-pollination of the two! 

Yep, inspired by my lovely colourful stash of Scotch Expressions tape, and an ice block my Miss 9 ate in front of me, I came up with this idea. All by myself.

Now you should know, I am not a perfect crafter.Yes I can draw, and paint and take okay photos.BUT I am not a hugely dedicated maker of craft goods. I cannot sew, crochet, knit, macrame, quilt. So if I can make this, and my kids too, anyone can. You can. Trust me.

So what did I use?

  • Iceblock sticks (I had some from a discount shop, but you can get them at lots of craft shops too, even newsagents)
  • Sheets of white cardboard - I used common old A4
  • A pencil
  • Scissors
  • and tape...of course!






So how did a create these little whimsies?


The first thing I did was to draw up a quick outline shape of an ice block.  For those challenged by this, but I assure you, it is SUPER EASY to just draw it up yourself. If you rub it out, just rub it out and start again!
HINT: I lay my ice block stick on the white card when i drew my shape to get the proportions correct.

When happy with the shape, I folded my cardboard over, so that whenI cut out my shape I got two for my effort! These are the pair of shapes that will make our bookmark. So do this for as many bookmarks or ice block whimsies as you would like to make!

Then using Scotch Expressions Masking Tape, I laid a stick in the middle of one of the shapes, and stuck it down. then I got another piece of tape, made it stick in a loop shape,and stuck this to the stuck down stick! Got it?! See the picture below! 



I stuck on another loopy thing too, just for good measure at the bottom too. See above!

Then I stick the matching ice block shape card to this. VOILA! One plain white ice block. Clever,  but downright DULL. So then came the fun part. The tape decorating!
I started down the bottom, with a piece of tape that was the right size to stick so that it met at the back. Really, I just played, there was no grand plan. I kept going till I got to the curvy bit at the top.





Once I got to the top, I stuck my chosen tape over the FRONT SIDE  of the ice block, then flipped it over, stuck more tape on the back side, and stuck the tape together. Then I carefully cut out around the curves, using the card inside as my guide. See photos below! I promise, it was not hard.






And there you go,one iceblock bookmark!
Now, just make as many as you like, trying out all the colours and patterns as your heart desires.








VARIATIONS ON A THEME...

As per usual, after I made these, my brain went into overdrive, thinking of other things I could use them for. So here are some of those ideas...

  • You could make the front of the ice block, no back, and stick this onto blank card stock to make COOL CARDS, for birthdays, party invitations etc.
  • My daughter suggested punching holes with a hole punch in the top, and stringing/tieing them together to make an ice block themed bunting garland for her room (clever child). She also suggested that you could use an embroidery hoop, and hang them with nice string from them, to make a mobile. ( I see a weekend of crafting in her future...)

  • At Party Time...For those who have magical themed and colour co-ordinated parties, you could make the garland, use the bookmarks as party favours (in bags decorated with the same tape???) use others as cake toppers too.


There are so many possibilities, and because there are HEAPS of colours, styles and patterns in the range of Scotch Expressions tape, you really can colour coordinate and just get creative and see what you can come up with. Have Fun!