Wednesday, December 17, 2008

three good things

'three sisters'

Well a few more days and I will be finished work for the year... Can't believe how fast the year has gone!!!

A few days ago my print arrived from the very talented and clever Michele Maule...
It was such a delight opening it, the packaging and presentation was just beautiful. The print was so much better in real life then on my computer screen, she also included a thank you print that I love just as much. So thank you very much Michele.

I feel bad moaning again, this is supposed to be a blog about my creative process. But I am finding my creative process is going down the toilet at the moment. I think my brain is slipping into a slight meltdown... I can't seem to think straight and everything seems too hard. But I guess that is just the way the creative process is sometimes.

It doesn't help having a few upsets arranging Christmas and now, me who usually loves Christmas can't wait till it is all over. Sometimes life just gets in the way of the creative process... I constantly feel like I need more time, more time to paint, to think about painting and to try different ideas. It is so hard to be creative when you have to grab a few minutes here and a few there...

I have always said I would never give up my day job... It is just too perfect BUT now little thoughts have been creeping into my head (especially when I read on other peoples blogs how they have had a great day in the studio) imagine a whole day!!! Financially it is just too scary at the moment, and doing it while Ben, at 3 is around is not easy, he says "oh you doing your art work, I will just look with my fingers" In shops etc I tell him to look with his eyes not his fingers. Also I think I'd have to have some kind of support network in place? So maybe it is an option in a few years? Any thoughts, ideas or experiences anyone has on this will be greatly appreciated.

Anyway I have nearly completed a few commissions that have been waiting for a while a part of one is the above pic, so that is a good thing. The third good thing is today we are going out for our technicians lunch to the Cider Tree.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I am tired

Ben thought there was something behind his curtain last night making a funny noise... we concluded it must have been a hedgehog under his window. Now I can feel the lack of sleep in a little pocket of my brain, in the between my eyes region. I also think it could be a little bit of hay fever as well it usually gets me at this time of the year.

I just heard on morning tv that they think Jesus was actually born in June sometime. That would be interesting... having a winter Christmas and everyone in the northern hemisphere will have a summer one. You will get pool toys and beach towels as presents, you wont have a hot meal it will be cold meats and salads, your Christmas cards will have pictures of Santa sitting on a deck chair sipping an ice cold beer and best of all... it will be warm and you can swim all day (that is my biggest memory of childhood Christmas... opening presents and then swimming till my skin would look like I was 87. I would love to try a white Christmas one day though.

Anyway back to reality... I have a few commissions I am in the middle of at the moment (was going to post a pic but left it at home) as well as getting more stock for the Christmas sales ready. At this time of the year everyday there seems to be something on, Christmas parties and last get togethers before the end of the year. I think I am sorted with my Christmas shopping... Hannah just informed me she wants a blue streak in her hair for Christmas and Ben wants chocolate.

I will post some pics of the commissions next week... they both have multiple girls in them which has been interesting to do.

I have also been picked for the December pikapackage have a look here...

Better go we are off to lunch today for our Christmas work party.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I hate being me... sometimes

These three are now finished...

Well I have just added two pendants to my etsy shop... and am about to send three more off to Kura Gallery in Taupo and take 3 into The Gilded leaf in Napier. I am super nervous, I am not sure they are good enough or whether people will like them, it is driving me nuts, I hate being me sometimes.

I am about to go and buy some new summer shoes in Havelock North (the place I was born and grew up). I have been wearing my old faithful winter shoes for far too long now and as summer is here my feet are just getting too hot...

Monday, December 1, 2008

hot and sunny... with a cool sea breeze

We had a wee holiday at Waimarama Beach this weekend... was so lovely to get away, and the weather was perfect, hot and sunny with a nice cool sea breeze. It was my friends husbands 40th birthday and they hired out this wonderful bach for the weekend. Was hard leaving Sunday afternoon especially knowing I was coming home to a messy house (we left straight after work on Friday and I turned a blind eye to the mess around me as I was getting ready).

(Waimarama Beach)

(Bare Island... view from the bach)

(the bach... our home for the weekend)

(looking down the beach from our front lawn)

On the art front, well I haven't done anything much for the last 4 - 5 days... But I have had a few calls from galleries saying they want more, so I will be getting back into it tonight (Just when I thought I was on top of everything). I also want to get some of the pendants ready by Thursday, I thought I would start with maybe 3 different designs just to see how they go. I will send them to two galleries and add a few to my etsy shop as well. I am a little nervous about doing this, I do worry about sending new things out into the world. Will people like them, or in the pendants case, will they fall apart etc...

Some of the work I sent out last month has been sold already so that is exciting, they were a little bit new, as in the materials used, so I was a tad nervous of the response. It is a relief that people seem to think they are ok. One piece got sold to decorate the walls of a shoe shop and the owner said people are more interested in the art work on the wall then they are in the shoes... funny.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

just like me

Wow we have been having some very hot weather in the last week. It doesn't usually get this hot till January.

Here is a new girl, she has no hat, it blew off in the bout of storms we just had and she cannot find it.

I have made a few more pendants and have sorted out the backs of them so once the supplies arrive from treasuresntins etsy shop I can get on and make some more. I have had lots of people commenting the last few days asking where I got them from, such a nice feeling of validation.

It is a funny thing this creative life, I spend so many physical and mental hours thinking and making work, beating myself up and then every now and again I ask myself why? Why do I do this to myself? Why do I need to do this? Will this compulsion ever stop?...

Then someone I don't know makes a nice comment about something I have made and I reply, "I made it" and I fill with pride in myself. I am lucky I have this in me and I am lucky to have found a whole world of people who are lucky, just like me.

Friday, November 21, 2008


For a while now I have been trying to find a way to make some of my works into jewellery... well the other night I finally did it. I bought these glass gems a while ago and last week I found a source for some bails (the little silver thing that sits on the back of the piece and holds the chain). Then yesterday I discovered some glue (water based binder medium) that sticks the printed side of the picture to the glass. Most of the things I tried interfered with the ink on the printed image, would smudge it or make it go all see through .

So here is a pic of my new jewels... I wore them in town yesterday and got quite a few comments, one lady said to me "Oh they look like a Katherine Quinn picture" I said "they are thats me"!!!

I often see something in a shop or magazine and get these good ideas of something I can make. But more often then not I don't follow through with them and they end up as a scribbled thought in my work book. So this year that is going to be one of my new years resolutions... to follow through and try new ideas.

Monday, November 17, 2008

stamps, apple lollies and wisteria...

I got these lovely stamps the other day from the Trade Aid shop in Havelock North... they have been beautifully hand carved and I don't know if I really want to use them they are so lovely.

I have had a few people question me about my collection of apple lollies... well here are a few pictures of them. Apple has always been my favourite flavour of lolly, not only because of the taste but also the visuals of the apple packaging. One day I decided to keep the ones I had just bought and start collecting more... I never dreamed I would ever get over 70 different kinds! I think it might be the biggest apple lolly collection in the world?
the largest apple lolly collection in the world!

a close up of the apple lollies

This photo was taken so you could see my lovely wisteria, I am so proud of it... last year it was just a few stumps poking out of the ground and now look at it. We are building a fence soon around this side of the house to divide the car parking and the BBQ area so I thought I would take some before photos.

I have just taken the storm girls from my last posts to a gallery in Havelock North. I had them framed by Kathy at the Gilded leaf and she has done a great job (as she always does). I also took in my Christmas Sales offerings this weekend, I can't wait to see the gallery all set up with the Christmas stock.

I also got an email back from the woman who was running the exhibition where I got into the Next magazine... and she told me the painting sold so that is good news.

I still seem to be feeling a little odd at the moment, am not sure why, it is like a restless energy where I feel I should be doing things but nothing I do seems to be right? There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sometimes there was a storm in her brain

Spring is really and truly here... the sun is shining, people are busy and happy and it's not even remotely looking like a storm is on the way but here is the last one of my storm trio. Although I don't think it looks as stormy in this one, maybe the storm is passing.

I have just got a few more finishing touches to get done for the Christmas sales, which have to be in this weekend, and then I am all finished. I had an idea to round all the corners on the magnets, prints and postcards... it looked really good on the first one and once I did that I had to do all the rest! But I am pleased with the way they look, they are more organic and friendly... I have friendly magnets.

I had another clean out of my store cupboard last night... because I have changed the way I do things over the last few months, there are some things that I don't need anymore... like my inks (I will miss their smell), drying racks and copious amounts of folders (why I end up with so many folders I do not know). It feels good to have a clean out though, I think it is an important job to do regularly as I found a whole lot of stuff I had forgotten about. Like these little peg things I was going to use to make a game and these coloured glue sticks I was going to make these funky spiky balls of spikyness with and a whole lot of other wonderful things. I hadn't quite finished last night with my task but the night was nearly turning to morning so I had to finish for the day. Will hopefully get more done tonight... might get around to taking pics which I will post soon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh my!!!

I am honoured to be tagged by the very talented Michele Maule

Here are the rules...

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules.
3. Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
4. Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.
5. Go to each person's blog and leave a comment that lets them know they've been tagged.

1. Ok so the first one would be my need to collect apple lollies... I have 79 of them (when I started I never thought there would be that many). I keep them in a box and the best part is when you take off the lid and the smell that hits you is wonderful. Also the packaging of apple lollies is so visually lovely, that apple green with a touch of red.

2. One day I think I would like to learn to sail...

3. I had a heart attack about 10 years ago and found out I had WPW.

4. I have these really odd little toe nails... they are like cats claws... When Hannah was born the first thing my brother did was check her little toes... (he declared her normal).

5. I want to one day write and illustrate a children's book...

6. my favourite sandwich would be nice grainy bread, vintage cheddar, gherkins, lettuce and salami.

Ok that was hard... now I need to tag people.

Journey through my mind
Tangled sky studio
Carine B
Amanda Gryphon
Musings by Artslice
The Crafty Chook

will look forward to reading your lists...

I did these two last night... we have a pretty stormy looking sky today and it seems like last night the above pieces might have been a premonition as we were supposed to have sun today?

We are walking down to the Marine Parade this evening to watch the fire works for Guy Fawkes (will be very dramatic with the moody sky as a backdrop).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nesting time...

This is a sheet of images that are soon to be transformed into magnets for the Christmas Sales. I really love seeing them all together in this format.

I haven't done any work for last week or so, except getting things like the magnets and prints etc... ready for Xmas sales. I can feel this nesting thing happening now, it usually comes after I have had a break from creating and it is my body telling me it wants to do something, paint something, create something.

I feel an urgent need to clean my work areas and make sure I am stocked up on supplies, source more supplies, look at my inspiration scrapbooks. In my mind ideas are running around, getting ditched, being altered and reworked... I often have a vague look on my face and people think there is something wrong (I need a sign saying "it's ok I am just nesting" around my neck). A few days of this kind of thing and then I am into a new lot of work.

Now is a good time to be nesting and getting on with new work as I got a call this morning from a gallery to say they have run out and need some more work.

I am also thinking of having another show next year? will see how things go over Christmas and the new year.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I love Wellington

I had another wonderful time in Wellington... We were worried about the weather but it was perfect, a bit moody at times (I like a bit of that every now and again) but mostly sunny. We stayed in a cute back packers in Paekakariki where they have little penguins nesting under the deck. We caught the train into town to watch the Phoenix, they lost their game. Most disappointing as they tried very hard at the end but I think a bit more effort earlier in the game might have been a better result. oh well...

We went shopping and I bought this beautiful bag... I love bags.

it is red and orange on the back and has the perfect amount of pockets on the inside and a zipped closing one on the back, I am in love.

Was the best labour weekend in a long time...

Now time to get back into work again, I have nearly finished printing out all my work for the Christmas sales. They start November 18th so I have a bit of time to get things sorted and ready.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A long weekend...

Every year at the end of October we are more often then not disappointed... the weather has been so warm and sunny, you can feel summer just around the corner. So we make plans for the long weekend ahead, but Mother Nature steps in to remind us we are still in the middle of spring and she releases cool rain upon us as a reminder. Summer, like Christmas, is still a few months away.

We were planning on going down to Wellington to see the Phoenix (football) play an Australian team at the Cake Tin. But the forecast is for rain, rain, rain... so I am not sure if we will go or not. I don't fancy getting drenched but I do like to see the excitement in Stuart's face as we watch a live game (maybe that is worth getting drenched for)?

Anyway the above painting has a couple of cabbage trees... you find them splattered all over the place in New Zealand... a bit of an icon really.

I am really enjoying this process of working, it is most satisfying. Because I don't have much actual creative time in my day the speed I am now able to work at getting something finished is good. I don't have work hanging around for weeks waiting to dry... waiting to see whether an idea worked or not. So far I've not been worrying too much about colour, mainly keeping a similar tonal palette and concentrating on the process.

I am a little afraid of colour to be honest. My mind is keen but my hands keep going for the same tubes when I come to do anything creative. I dress in a similar colour palette to my paintings... sagey green skechers, dark green almost black pants, black top, sagy green (very similar to sneakers) cardi... BUT then I am wearing a bright rusty orange coloured rain jacket. The colour I like the best if I had to choose ONE would be red, out of all the colours of paint tubes in my paint box, I have 5 different reds, that is more then any other single colour (I haven't used any of them in the last 7.5 months though)... I don't know why I am rambling on about all this but I think it might be because I am ready to try a few different colours?... maybe.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Wild Food Festival went really well... everyone had a great time and the rain held off for pretty much most of the evening. My box looked good on the table with all the other dishes. It was different this year, not so many wild foods as such, there were more normal dishes with creatively wild titles. There was a live band, a dance floor and lots of people I knew. It was good to catch up with some I hadn't seen for ages and also good to talk to people I had seen every day that week.

The craft market went well, I had a slightly sore head and was rather tired (we didn't get to bed till about 2ish) so it was hard getting out of bed really early after a long night. There were heaps of people at the market, I meet a few from other parts of New Zealand that were keen to have my work in their galleries... it is something I think we should have more of in Hawke's Bay.

Started on a few new pieces yesterday.... oh yeah I didn't have to do my jury service as they had a case that they thought was going to take longer then the week (also it is a short week as it is labour weekend and Hawke's Bay anniversary day) so they didn't want to hold people up over the long weekend. Yay yay yay!!!

The new piece I have been working on features a few Nikau Palms...

(Nikau Palm endemic to New Zealand)

I have been quite busy lately getting works done for the galleries I supply, it is that time of the year I guess. But it is a good feeling being so busy in a creative way. I also have the Christmas sales coming up next month so have a lot to do to get ready for that.

Friday, October 17, 2008

wild food festival

Tomorrow is the Annual Wild Food Festival in our neighbourhood. It started out as a small pot luck dinner about 5 years ago and is now a huge 200 - 300 people event. The object is for everyone to bring a plate of wild food. They have had breast milk muffins, really strange stews and weird and wacky dishes based on local current events etc...

I have made this box and covered it with my paintings. The idea is that you have to put your hand in the top and you don't know what you are going to scoop out. The thought is going to be more scary then actually doing it as it'll be filled with marshmellows. To make them wild I am going to draw wild faces on the marshmellows with a food colouring pen.

This is a new painting that is now in my etsy shop... I have used it to make some new business cards (I love making business cards) for a craft fair that I am involved in on Sunday.

I have jury service next week, I am hoping I wont be picked.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Little Black Box promo

(I had so much fun putting together these samples)

Well I have finally got confirmation that my promos for the Black Boxes have arrived safe and sound... there was a while there where I didn't think they were going to make it.

Because I had decided to make 100 magnets and bookmarks for the samples, they were rather heavy once I had packaged them all together in their little box. I went to the post office and it was going to cost $68 to post the small box!... and ... I had to declare what was in the box and the very grumpy and unhelpful woman told me that magnets were not aloud to be posted... she suggested shipping them via boat, which will take a few months! I left taking the box home again, unposted and thinking all my work putting them together was wasted.

I then had a brain wave, if I posted 10 of the samples in 10 separate envelopes it would cost half the price and I wouldn't have to declare what was in them... Well that is what I did and now I feel like going to the post lady and saying poo to you!

You can have a look at my banner here at Little Black Boxes.

The Little Black Box is the perfect place for consumers to learn about our wonderful online retailers before purchasing. It's a handmade revolution! In past months we've had jewelry, bath and body, candles, bookmarks, keychains, buttons, magnets, luggage handle wraps, silk scarves, dog treats, stationery, photography, tissue cozies and much much more!

Put your product in our boxes and let the world know you exist! We feature everything handmade. No big box retailers here. Contact The Little Black Box for more info. GO INDIE!

(nice, good, sweet Ben)

This is my little Ben, he now has all his curls cut off and I think he looks naughtier without them. I feel curls make people look nice and good and sweet. All the people that see him now say 'Oh you chopped all his curls off'. I tell them that 'they will grow back, curls are like that'.

I took this photo to use his face to put with a super hero body for a t shirt for his Dad for father's day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back again...

It is good to be back at work again, although I feel like I have stepped into another persons life, having to get up so early and be organised this morning.

I had a good break, did a bit of work and a bit of nothing much too. Lots of socialising and sleep ins. Stuart took Ben to Palmerston to see his family and I had three days to myself (Hannah spent most of the holidays sleeping over at friends houses). I spent the first day creating and didn't stop till I felt a bit peckish at 8pm... was nice to stop when I was ready and not to have think about other people.

Anyway here are a few pieces I did over the break... they will be in my Etsy shop this afternoon.

These are two pieces I did in the last few days of my holiday (I did six others but sold them at some of my galleries before I had a chance to scan them) I put them onto these little wood blocks I got from The Gilded Leaf and they look really sweet. They are 100mm x 100mm, you can sit them on a shelf or they have a little hole in the back where you can hang them on the wall. I am wondering whether to sell them with prints on them, I do find it really weird the whole print vs. original thing... I think selling them with prints on the blocks will make the ones with originals less special.

I find it really interesting with galleries how some of them are really helpful are I feel they are working with/for me. Two of these are The Gilded Leaf here in Napier and the other is Kura in Taupo, really wonderful woman to work with and so helpful. Then there are the others that are not as helpful and I feel they are against me. Anyway...

Well I hope everyone has been happy and well, I am looking forward to catching with you all again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A few new works in my etsy shop...

After cleaning my very dirty stamps and brayers I piled them on my table. Looking at them made me smile, they are like friends to me, they are a part of a happy time in my day.

I am in the middle of restocking my galleries for the Christmas period... A busy time. We have two weeks holiday starting next week and then it will be the last term, which will be very hectic and then very quiet. So I am hoping to get a bit of work done during the next couple of weeks... whether it will happen or not is another thing.

So if you don't hear from me for two weeks that is because I am either very busy doing more work or very busy doing nothing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I got too excited and now I have a headache

New Zealand silver fern (koru)

We went to Boundary Stream on Saturday and had such a lovely walk (although I don't think Ben did too much walking) through the native New Zealand bush. It was amazingly cool under the canopy, very quiet and you could almost taste the quality of the oxygen. So many different birds chirping and singing and we saw bugs... I love bugs.

It has inspired me to add some of this beautiful flora and fauna around me to my work. The koru, which is often used in Māori art as a symbol of creation, it is based on the shape of an unfurling fern frond. Its circular shape conveys the idea of constant movement, and its inward coil suggests a return to the point of origin. The koru symbolizes the way in which life both changes and stays the same.

I have had a lot of comments in the past that my work has a northern hemisphere 'feel' to it. Which I always thought was kind of cool since I have never been further north then the top of New Zealand... but now I feel I want people to know where I come from, know who I am.

I am excited about the idea of giving my work and girls a sense of belonging... my brain is starting to work overtime and now I have a headache.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

There's a dream still in my heart

I did a bit of shopping the other day and found these cute little doilies stickers... you can just see one in the top left hand corner of this piece. I also found this new paper called cherish, it's just so beautiful, it has all the colours I love, swirls and heart shapes (hearts are very important to me, I had a heart attack about 10 years ago. There was an extra bit on my heart and I had to have an operation to fix it).

I used to have hearts in my work all the time, they were the final important part to a piece of work, but I have noticed lately that I've not been using them so much? This one above is the first in a long time.

I got the piece of work featured in the magazine from the framers yesterday, it looks really good, the Gilded Leaf always do a wonderful job. I will take a digi pic of it this weekend and post it here on monday.

This whole making art thing is such a roller coaster of a ride, lots of ups and downs all within a few hours, and sometimes minutes. One stroke of the brush can change everything. I really do feel that my daily mood depends on what is happening with my art work. I am not sure whether that is a bad thing or not? I guess it is just the way it is as it is a part of me and who I am. It is what truly makes me happy, it is my bliss. I couldn't imagine not ever being on that roller coaster.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My five minutes of fame...

A picture of my art work ended up in a magazine!!!

A funny story... I found an article about this woman's art exhibition called WAX and wondering whether I should enter or not I sent the coordinator an email asking all about it and also sent her a pic of one of my works... she emailed me some info and an entry form.

Well months passed and I had received a few emails from her asking if I was still interested. I was but there was a $25 entry fee for each piece and I just hadn't got around to doing anything about it.

Then yesterday I got another email asking if I could please enter as she had sent some images of works to the Next magazine (a NZ lifestyle mag) as advertising to put into the calendar feature of their magazine. Mine was one of the images she sent... and guess what it was mine they picked for the magazine!!!

So I kind of felt I had to enter now, and she said since I was picked for the magazine I could have free entry... wow!!! So off to the picture framers I went with my famous piece of art work and a smile on my face enjoying my five minutes of fame.

I will let you know how I get on in the competition.

(my famous piece of work hee hee)

Monday, September 15, 2008

32 good things...

(view from the car coming home from Wellington)

32 good things and a funny taste

we had such a lovely time
none of us wanted to come back
the weather was just gorgeous
good company, really good company
so much laughing and giggling
23 toilet stops
lots of walking... good for the heart
but not so good for the feet
we went to 5 galleries
and 59 shops
Iko Iko was the best
creative ideas were flowing
ate amazing food at amazing places
my favourite was monsoon poon
we drank vodka and cocktails
hair brained schemes were thought up
we saw a play at the Circa theatre
it was called 'some girls'
it was about a boy
I love Wellington at night
I don't love Wellington's water
we talked
then went to bed
woke up and talked some more
I snored (apparently)... but just softly
we visited an old friend
a rainbow followed us down to Wellington
we thought it was a sign so bought a lotto ticket
we had wonderful ideas of what we would do with
14 million
we didn't win the big one
but we won a bonus ticket for next week
I got confused about the Royal family

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Swirly trio

A lovely day today, nice and warm... spring is on it's way.Last night I did these on three little mdf boards with my new swirly stamp. Stuart said it looked like his Grandmothers wallpaper. I am taking that as a compliment even though I don't think it was meant to be (I might have over done the stamping a wee bit)? I have really been enjoying Kelly Rae's book "taking flight" it is a wonderful resource of ideas that you can adapt and apply to what you already know.

I am feeling a kind of anxious energy at the moment as far as my art is concerned. The changes I wanted and have talked about in previous posts are slowly starting to happen. It is all very exciting but I am anxious about leaving my printing inks behind... A few years ago I hated acrylics, they were so frustrating!!! But now I am able to get them to behave and work the way I need, to do the things the inks did but 7 times faster. I see all sorts of possibilities opening up before me, and that in itself is making me a little anxious too.

I am looking forward to going to Wellington tomorrow. I have decided to take the day off work and have a nice restful morning before I get picked up just after lunch. I am not really sure what we are going to see and do but whatever it is I am in!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

two by two

I started these a while ago and did a bit more on them last night... I had lots of fun and found the acrylic was so easy to work with, it dries fast and if you don't like a bit (if your fast) you can just rub it off. It is forgiving to a certain extent and you can add lots of mediums to create different effects. One thing I have found, is that varnish should really be the final layer. Paint doesn't sit on top very well once it has dried, although it's not impossible.

I have found that my family have been more helpful lately as far as my paintings are concerned. They are giving me their opinions on what they think and advise on changes I should try . Whereas in the past they would say it looks ok and that would be it.

This one has too much of a contrast between the hair and the rest of the painting... (this was Hannah's observation) I have lightened it a bit but think it may need more.

This one has an Autumn feel about it, with the colours and the falling leaves... I think the hair colour is better in this one as the dresses are of a similar tone.

There is a third one which I am going to attack tonight, it has more blue, grey, green tones so will be interesting to see what happens with that.

I am trying to loosen up a little, not be so tight and neat with my work. I think the acrylic lends itself to that as you have to work faster before the paint dries and there is not enough time to be too anal about it.

Monday, September 8, 2008


I had such a good birthday... Friday night I went to a monthly dinner with a group of fellow artists, we are planning a trip to wellington next weekend to look at galleries and a bit of shopping.

Then Saturday morning Stuart and Ben made bacon and eggs for breakfast and I got to open some lovely presents. Including my copy of Kelly Rae's new book... "taking flight" a truely inspirational piece of work... (I can't believe it arrived on my birthday)!!!. Ben spent the whole morning singing different renditions of "Happy Birthday" in his new found loud voice.

Then I went out for coffee with a friend to the Te Mata cheese factory. After lunch Stuart and I went to a film festival movie called "Empties" was really lovely. Then we went out for tea on the Marine Parade to a Thai place. Yum yum yum!!!
After filling our bellies we went to a house warming up on the hill and stayed out really late and meet up with people from years ago...

On Sunday we went to Havelock to get the kids... Hannah, Mum, Dad and I went to the Pukeora Estate craft festival... I got some lovely jewellery and so did Mum and Hannah, Dad got some whiskey and some smelly cheese... We were all very happy.

So far I am enjoying being 37, it feels good and I feel happy about the way things are going in my life, I feel I am heading down the right path, where I am supposed to be.

I completed this piece last night, spring has certinaly come to Napier... we have blossoms everywhere and the sun is getting some of it's well known Hawke's Bay heat.

I remember the feeling spring brings with it's arrival... feelings of new beginnings and possibilities. And that is how I am feeling at the moment.

Friday, September 5, 2008

37 tomorrow...

I think I am looking forward to being 37 tomorrow (only because they are both odd numbers). But it does feel a bit weird as I still feel in my early 20's. I seem to be living a lot slower then actual time is happening, if that makes sense?

I've got a nice weekend planned for my birthday with a film festival movie called "Empties", a craft festival, a night out without the kids, coffee with a friend and a sleep in.

I have done this piece of work below a wee while ago and have finally finished it but I can't remember what the memory behind it was? (Might be age creeping up on me)

Am thinking now that maybe this was a dream... I have never been on a house boat before?

Well I hope you have a good weekend...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

owning the sky

When I was younger I always remembered that we seemed to 'own' a lot of sky... my father was a keen astronomer and I used to love it when he would get his telescope out. He would find the moon and we would see the craters, then he would find a planet, Saturn was my favorite... you could actually see the rings.

Sometimes we would get our beanbags and lie on them in the driveway on summer nights and watch the sky... waiting for shooting stars, or satellites to pass by.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Just remember that I'll always love you...

We had a sunny weekend, so most of the works have dried (the clothes line was a stroke of genius)... I have three of the "memories" series in my etsy shop and there will be more of them coming soon...

But in the meantime I have been working on these above, which are on canvas. A new thing for me and I have had so much fun doing them... They are also in my etsy shop and I am working on a few more that feature two girls together. They remind me of the old photos of relatives from long ago that my grandmother used to call the battle axes. I loved looking through them as a kid, although some of the women in the photos were a little scary.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Just been to the doctor

And am feeling a bit better now that I have some antibiotics in me.

I am getting frustrated with our lack of sun at the moment... the inks I use seem to only dry properly in the direct sunlight. I can't leave them lying on a table in the sun as our cat likes to sit on anything new. In the past I have caught her with one of my girls faces stuck to her fur!!!

We haven't had much sun lately, the wetest August in the history of Augusts!!! I have my girls pegged to the clothesline in the sun at the moment... keeping a close eye on them, hoping they don't blow away? better go and check on them.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

look what I haven't killed

It is amazing I have kept them alive so long, two whole weeks...!!! (for people who don't know me that is an amazing thing, I have black fingers when it comes to gardening). And now this blooming glory has been the inspiration for my new business card I am doing after I found this post in the Etsy forum about 'The little black boxes'. A company that sells shops promo samples in a little black box... I will post more on that soon when I have finished my 100 samples.

But I just loved the colours of the chrysanthemum and it lead me to this below...

I had to redo it as I spelt stationery with an 'a' as in standing still... (my mother was surprised that was the only error). But I am really pleased with it, it looks clean and crisp. I like the way the new print has come out too, it has a New Zealandness about it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

more memories...

Thanks to Carine b. I have remembered the fun we used to have in our "forest" out the side of our house... playing games, having adventures and climbing the trees to hide away from everyone.

There used to be a fence in the middle dividing our property with the neighbors... they were old and the man used to call his wife Grumpy (which she was). Sometimes we used to be able to climb a very special tree on their side that was hollow in the middle, it was like a huge cathedral but from the outside you wouldn't know this just by looking at it.

And if we made a mad dash right across their property they had a bamboo grove on the other side (a good source for making bow and arrows). But it was very dangerous and we would spend most of the day daring each other to do it... if Grumpy caught you watch out!!!

I look at it now and it isn't a forest anymore, Grumpy and her husband have moved away and the new owners have subdivided the land and houses have been built where we used to play.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

back to whispered memories...

Ok... so I am back here again with my girls, I went home and had a play and well lets just say it didn't work. I am going to let things happen when they happen and not try and push things into directions that just aren't right.

Does anyone else have these internal struggles with their creative bent?

This is a memory of stealing plums from the neighbors tree, I know it sounds bad but we had no choice but to steal them. Our neighbor would eventually give us the plums if we waited... waited until they dropped off the tree and she would kindly bring over a bag of nearly rotten ones!!! I liked them when they were still a little firm, slightly crisp, tart and make you shudder on the first bite.
We got caught and told off many times stealing these blessed plumbs but one day I had a really cunning plan... a plan that was so cunning we never got caught again.
We would wait till 6:07pm the nightly news was well under way and the neighbors would be on the other side of the house oblivious to us scampering up the tree picking the precious plums.

This is a memory of my brother and me who thought our Aunty Laureen owned the beach she lived near... I remember many fights with the local kids bragging about our Aunts ownership (I don't paint boys so my brother is a girl).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

oh dear...

I am really struggling at the moment, just when I think a piece is working and I have done good, I take another look and I wonder what on earth I was thinking. I sit and stare at it, the more I stare the worse it looks, so I am telling myself maybe I need a break from making art work for a while...

A break!!! Good grief a break is not the answer, in fact the total opposite is what I need, a week of two of complete art making, living, breathing, doing with no interuptions. I am constantly frustrated trying to find time, a real good dose of time to get anything substantial done. I'm never able to follow through with any idea as I am constantly aware of wasting the time that I do get and I end up doing next to nothing. I am at war in my head, with myself, and I need to make peace.

I have been wanting to change the way I do things for a while now, I need time to play and experiment with different mediums and ideas. I have been using the same materials since I was at art school 10 years ago. I need a change... I feel my girls are wanting a change too, they are sick of having no hands and feet, they want to be able to feel the things around them, touch the world they live in.

A few posts ago this was my intention, to give my girls hands and feet. But in my last post I am going back to the same format of arms by their sides, it is what I know. So I am not really sure what will come of all this, whether the girls from my last post will even be used? But I am going home tonight and I am going to start changing a little...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chinese whispered memories

New faces... freshly dried and awaiting facial enhancements.

I am planning something a bit different with these girls, they will be in sets of three and the themes will be based upon memories, those memories from long ago, childhood maybe, or even some from last week. Where over time they get a little disjointed, they are there but not quite fully remembered (A bit like dreams). A bit like they have done a round of Chinese whispers.

I went shopping on Friday and bought two books, "The Dangerous Alphabet" by Neil Gaiman and "Tales from Outer Suburbia" by Shaun Tan. I love new books... Our local bookstore has a whole stand of slightly dark and mysterious books. It was like they were displaying them for me because they knew I was coming. Reminds me of a childhood thing were I used to think the people in the supermarket were there to keep me company.

This weekend I also did some weeding, cleaning, washing, planting, talking, cooking, and watching the Olympics. Was very impressed with our rowers!!! Rowing is an important thing in our house, my daughter Hannah rows in the summer time, and the Evers-Swindell twins and Emma Twigg trained at the same rowing club when they were at school.

I will post some progress pics soon of the girls and their memories...

Monday, August 4, 2008


I have changed my blog format a little, thanks to a helpful link on Kelly Rae's blog.

Things are chugging away nicely in my art world and I have got a few ideas for some new work, also some new different work, if that makes sense? It is just a matter of finding the time to give them a go.

We have had an interesting week... Hannah's arm is now in plaster, a hockey accident, she clashed with another players stick. I have a cut between my eyes at the top on my nose, Ben shut the door of the car on my head. He was more upset then I was I think.

I also now have a Trunkt portfolio as you will see on the right hand side on my blog if you scroll down... interesting to see how that goes.

will be back soon with some pics...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm going to where the weather suits my clothes

Here are four new girls, the other three are still under construction... I have also made them into postcard sets for my etsy shop...

This one is called, 'Lessons we haven't learnt yet'. I have always wanted to sail, and have a dream to sail around the little islands of Canada, whether it is possible I am not sure... and to be truthful I am probably too clumsy to sail?

This piece is called 'I'm going to where the weather suits my clothes'... she is my favorite one of the four. I love geese, especially after watching 'Fly away home'. I think they are very clever flying to where the weather suits their feathers.

The title of this piece is 'Saying the first thing thats in my heart' I wish I could do this...

The first time ever one of my girls has her mouth open... 'I know the stars that shine on me' I have a rotten voice and couldn't sing to save myself. But this girl can and it is all about knowing what you are good at or what you enjoy and doing it.

We were supposed to have the worst storm in a decade over the weekend, well my car decided to break down in the middle of it!!! Luckily for me by the time the storm made it to our east coast it had died down a little. I still got soaked waiting for the AA man to come and assess the damage, and my kind mother came to my rescue, and took us home as my car got towed away. We are due for another storm this evening, I do like a bit of moody weather (as long as I am not stuck in a broken down car)!!!

I have finally done myself a business card, I have had a few people asking whether I had one... so this is it.

As I finish these pieces of work I get worried, whether I will have any more ideas for another lot. Last night as I waited for sleep to come I could feel the little sensations of new ideas forming...