Industrious {making}

Today was a studio day, the weather was glorious, the music was Brazilian chill, the dog was by my side, rather than her hysterical human licking obsessed self, the chickens were digging in the garden. The conditions were perfect.
And, there was a tradesman arriving, we all know how that goes. An entire day is wiped waiting around for the knock on the door, announcing they are here – just 3 hours later than expected.
My story was a happy one today, after 6 weeks of tardy arrivals, today 8.30am did really mean 8.30am.

I revisited this old mosaic and got stuck into the background with some black gouache. And I was instantly happy, I may have found my aesthetic. Finally. Mixed media. I love that this marine ply had been something else, repurposed. Then once the black paint hit the bumpy, flawed wood – I felt like I had finally found it. Something I would like for myself.

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Then I started on this glass panel. This door is over 100 years old and comes from a sweet country town. It was brought to me, to love. Which I do. I built it into my studio as an exterior wall flanked by full glass windows.
One of the yellow panels loosened on the trip, and smashed into pieces. Rather than repair I decided to stick a clear panel into the space and set about filling it with glass bits and pieces. A work in progress.

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Mosaic mural {making, treasure}

I did this four years ago, at my children’s old school.

It’s pretty big – I worked it all out on the floor of my studio at home, glueing sections at a time onto mesh.

Then I transported this sucker to the school where I reattached little bits and pieces that had fallen off in transit.

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I hid coins, and lady birds, snails, frogs, bits of broken crockery, a spoon, a key and other little bits of treasure within the glass tiles, (and of course I jazzed this baby up with mirror, this is a given – in any mosaic I make) with the hope of it being a place of constant discovery for adults and children.

It turns out, this has worked. I still receive comments of children being transfixed by the mural, and noticing details that us older folk may have overlooked. Children enjoy the textural feel of the mosaic, and run their hands along the mosaic as they walk through the corridor. I had considered the tactile nature of mosaic when making this, and had purposely included quite a few lines of unbroken white glass beading. I think this may be visible under the two large fish you see here. So anyone travelling with an obsessive disorder would be fully satisfied every time they pass this ‘sure thing’ in the hall way.

Of course time is a great teacher. I would have done things differently if I was given this time again. However, I don’t over think it, because my brain can be lazy at the best of times, to be overly critical. Also because of two things I do know;

1. Mosaic is hard to get off a wall, so even if  I wanted to change it –  good luck with that Emily!

And, 2. I know I’m the only one that notices the flaws in the mosaic –  it makes people happy.

So I’m happy.

A new project {making}

This was practice.

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For something due to happen closer to the start of Winter.

The difference will be the medium used, and she won’t be so big in the next installation. (My feeling is, go big or go home – I’m making an exception this time.)

I will be using acrylic paints – and hoping ‘Hebe II’ turns out just as grand as this little lady.

Stay tuned…

The nest {making, collecting, treasure}

We made a nest, from silver birch twigs.

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We went walking to collect materials to weave within the birch. A piece of electrical wire was found, a bright red strand. This was woven through the twigs with great skill. We decided birds are very clever, they don’t have two hands to bend, twist and manipulate the twigs into the right place.

Just a beak. No opposable thumbs.

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Henry decided the birds would be more comfortable sitting in feathers from our chickens bottoms, rather than scratchy sticks. So, we gathered them up, along with violets and jonquils – (a sort of bird aromatherapy, if you like) and placed them in our nest.

Funnily enough no wayward birds arrived to take advantage of this ready made haven.

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Regardless of this, we now have bird nesting skills. Something to add to our can-do list.

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‘A Falling Through’ {making}

I made her in January.

A knee jerk reaction to Summer, swimming, and polka dots (of course polka dots).

I spent a weekend almost by myself, driving – which to me is my definition of heavenly. Driving my car, listening to my music, shirking all responsibilities for 48 hours. An amazing sense of freedom.

I bought some vintage dominoes, and I sat on the side of an ocean pool, dangling my feet in the water. It was the most beautiful day. I wanted to jump in with gay abandonment. I didn’t. I watched other people enjoying the freedom – I hadn’t come prepared. The water was beckoning. I have a reputation of rebellion when it comes to the costume constraints surrounding water, and have in the past just jumped in anyway. Clothes and all, This time I couldn’t. I was being careful, watching myself, and I had to get back on the road and continue my journey. The further away I got from this pool, the more I had to fight myself not to turn around and just jump in that damned water! I really wanted to, and I felt the conditions would never be the same, never that perfect.

Anyway, I carried on, and had the most jam packed amazing weekend surrounded by people I love, reconnecting with the city that was my home BC (before children). I ate, I drank, I was merry – and topped it off with an amazing haul from Rozelle markets.

Even with all that distraction, this image didn’t leave me.

I knew this was my next piece.

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I had to sit on my hands until the festive season was over – there was a lot to do, as the ‘festive’ with extended family was happening at my house.

Every now and then I would sneak half an hour with this girl.

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She still wasn’t finished.

After Christmas the ocean calls.

So, down the coast I headed with a gaggle of children, and m’lady tucked in amongst the beach towels.

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I snuck in some time to stick the last few pieces on.

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Then with an audience of at least 10 friendly caravaning kids. I grouted.
And here she is.

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The weekend {making, treasure}

I started drawing. I had found a tin of pastels given to me by my parents when I was just 16. I treated them like gold, and didn’t like the idea of sharing them just incase there might be an accident that involved one of these babies snapping in half. I moved to the side wall of my house with this tin in my hands. I opened it, remembering the feel of these familiar friends.
I spent hours drawing as a child – and it’s been a while since I’ve drawn something of this scale.

I didn’t actually mean for this to happen. It just did.

Eyes, nose, mouth, freckles – she must have freckles. I have freckles.

Them I added a flower, and another, and another. And then some more.
I love her. When the rain comes – she’ll be gone.

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Hebe – the Goddess of eternal youth and Spring.

Yarn bomb {making}

It was rotten weather during the last school holidays. So we knitted with the intent of bombing some trees in our yard.

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One small problem. I never quite got the hang of casting on. Or off. I was too busy looking at shiny things I imagine.

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It turns out, I get by with a little help from my friends. My little friends.

A call was made to my big sister. She in turn showed my kids how to cast off.

Well, we can’t be good at everything, can we?

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And another one…

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Surprisingly satisfying, and lovely lounging about. Together. Taking turns. And talking.

This happened {making}

Easter time. This happened.

We decided to stay home for the weekend, instead of our usual stint visiting the coast.

4 whole days. Bliss.

What is a girl to do with 4 whole days?

I was hanging out some washing, always a good start to feeling organised and on top of things. I had hung the clothes out, the sun was warm, and for the first time this year all 3 children were in the sandpit. The dog too. Digging for treasure they buried for her. There were an assortment of exploding volcanoes, sand pies, and then things took a turn for the worse. T-shirts were stuffed with wet sand, laughter erupting around me. Then came the hose, spraying walls, dogs, kids. Then the sand throwing. Everywhere.

I was aware all of this was happening around me, and was happy in my bubble of bliss while the blood curdling shrieks of three small people were spirited and happy – and the sand wasn’t landing in my mouth, the world was fine. Bleeding eyeballs and tears were the only thing that could bring me out of my trance.

While all this was happening around me. I had found a stumpy purple pencil at my feet (I cannot stand purple, I adore violets – but the colour is always the last I would choose in a line-up of the rainbow.) I had picked up this pencil and started drawing on the wall of the house. Swirly lines, flowers, a vine of sorts in a deco style. I love my deco.

The noise around me still loud with laughter. A good sign. I grabbed my nippers. I started cutting little green pieces of glass for the stem. Bits of mirror too – because we all know I love sparkle. I glued over the purple line. Two hours had passed with no child related incident. In fact the smallest one had joined me and asked if he could stick the green bits, green is his very favourite colour.

Terrific, I had a personal assistant for my project!

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He stuck around for at least two hours. The vine was nearly done. Then we started on the flowers. He stuck on all of the flower stamen within reach. One. Two. Three.

Then the inner petals. Then he cut and run, he went for a bath.

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I carried on over the next few days with eager assistants, until the sun went down.

This didn’t feel arduous.

This was as relaxing as a bath, as relaxing as a weeding funk,

as relaxing as floating on my back down the river.

All in all this was a very organic process,

my planning skills are severely lacking as any friend will tell you.

Picking glue off my fingers has always a moment of pure zen for me.

Flying by the seat of my pants has always been my mode of transport.

I had sand, I had water, I had squealing around me – and look what happened.

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 {work in progress}