Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Sewing Machine Conquered!

I transfered out of sewing elective in High School in the second week. It was all way to confusing for me, I hated the thought of cutting up the beautiful fabric. It was fine to me to keep it on the roll and just look at it, the pattern and the texture were more beautiful than anything I could ever make. I really didn't like the thought of cutting it up to make a skirt (our first assignment), mostly because I wasn't really into skirts, and secondly, the skirt pattern I had was way too daggy (ugly). Sewing with the machine was hugely daunting to me as well. The machine actually petrified me. The accelerator seemed like it would do a lot of damage, and with me behind the wheel, who knows what disasters would have eventuated if I had of stayed in that class.

I instead opted for Wheel Thrown Pottery as 2nd elective - Art was my 1st. Pottery was SO much fun, the teacher was awesome, and it was held in a large old weather board classroom, with a veranda out the front, down the back of all the other classrooms. It was far enough away for all the kilns to be fire safe. I have so many good memories of that class, I made some pretty cool things as well.

It seems like the sewing thing is working for me now though. I am enjoying creating things that are a lot different to what I would normally do. When we lived in New Jersey for a few years, I made all the roman blinds for our house, which turned out ok. I hadn't even thought about sewing until my sister pointed me in the direction of the Belle fabrics by Amy Butler. From then, I have had a little bit of a crush on fabric. I also really like the designs of Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner, Joel Dewberry, Prints Charming and Denyse Schmidt to name but a few.

I have now been able to conquer my first non-quilt pattern. We are going to Fiji in a couple of days for a nice getaway and I have made the Nappy Bag by Amy Butler, using a couple of the blue Lotus fabrics. I even lined it, used interfacing, and made pockets. It is a perfect tropical island beach bag - ready for our holiday.

I will catch you when we return!
Happy Days, Mon xo.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

A Big Box of Chocolate (Lollipops)

Wow, it has been a week since I last posted here. I have not been painting, I have been spending more time with Luca. My time has not been completely all about the little guy though. I have made a new quilt, I finished the top today. It took me 4 days to do. I worked on it while Luca had his daily nap. Next, it is off to my sisters house to get quilted on her big quilting machine.

The fabric is the ever popular Chocolate Lollipop by Anna Maria Horner, and I made the pattern up as I went along, it's pretty basic, but good for a beginner like me. I had 3 Charm Packs (29 Fabrics in each pack, each fabric 5inches square), another lot I bought off Ebay of 36 6.5inch squares, and a few mixed full yards as well. It is a little chaotic, but I like it. It will go well in my "white room". With this mixture of warm, then cold, then warm weather, the fabric colors make me just want Spring to hurry up. As you can see below, even the little fella likes the bright colors.

Although, he did ask me if the quilt was for his bedroom. When I said "no", he said "good, it's got too much pink"! How's that for a kid who knows what he likes and doesn't like. I think he is quite happy with his room just the way it is.

Time to cook dinner.
Happy Day. Mon. xo

Friday, 10 August 2007

Where Have All The Paintings Gone?

After a week of neglecting my child last week, trying to get things done around here, I decided to have this whole week "painting + computer free", and give my little guy some of my time. It is quite hard to juggle painting and playing with him. He has been SO good over the last week, it has shown me that I DO need to give him more of my time and attention because he is a nicer and happier person at the end of the day.

The weather has just been superb and we have been at the park for the first 4-5 hours every morning. He runs around using his most of his energy and getting some healthy, much needed sun, and so do I.

We had a few visitors early in the week on our railing on the balcony.

These Rosella's were close enough to touch, and very cheeky. I thought they were going to bite us. Luca wasn't even scared, unlike his mother who is afraid of crazy birds fluttering their wings.

They were sitting there for about a 1/2 hour. Luca eventually scared them away, he couldn't resist.

So my week has been all kiddy fun and nothing creative. I find it hard these days, since I started this blog, to go without creating something on a daily basis. I feel like I have to have something interesting to write about every time I post here. I want it to be a fun and happy place for people to read. I love showing what I am painting (only if it is worth seeing) and getting feedback on the things I put up here for the world to see.

Maybe next week I can do some more painting in the evenings, instead of reading books on real estate and investing, which hurts my brain anyway.

More house-hunting tomorrow...blah!

Have a great weekend. Mon xo

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

One Boy's Room

Little L is obsessed with transport of ANY kind. He seems to like construction vehicles, like cranes, cement trucks and bulldozers. We decided to do his room up a little, and add a few more elements. We already have these paintings that I did on the wall, which I finished the day I went into labour with him (almost 3 years ago - aaahhh!!!).

They were "inspired by" artist Simon Hart from the UK.

I found this really lovely appliqued quilt cover by Kas Kids, and put it on his bed. He just loves it, he pretends he is on the building site.

We have the big Pottery Barn Kids Transportation pillow that we got last year in L.A. (the quilt was too big to fit in our luggage). He got the STOP/SLOW sign from a guy at a building site about 2 blocks away from where we live, which now sits at the end of his bed. He likes to drag it around the house every now and then.

So, that's enough gushing about my beautiful boy and his cute new room. Time to do something constructive.
I hope the sun is shining on you too. Mon.xo

Sunday, 5 August 2007

A Winter Weekend in Paradise

The weekend we had was just beautiful, we did a lot of fun things. Saturday we spent house hunting which was slightly painful, but not too stressful. We found a few nice places, but none of them were great. We are still on the lookout for that elusive property.

Sunday we went for a really long walk up to Long Reef (that's where all the photos are from) and tried to spot some whales, but there were none. Little L had so much fun running and playing in the dirt.

The view from there is just superb. A house right on the end would do me fine, such a pity that there is a golf course taking up all the space.

It is such a nice place to walk to, the native plants and trees are just lovely. The pic below is a close up of some mosaic tiles painted by kids that they have incorporated into the sandstone pathways at the top of the hill.

We really do enjoy spending time outside on these lovely winter weekends, although, it makes the weekend go WAY too fast.

Hope yours was fun too. Mon.xo

Friday, 3 August 2007

My Favourite Materials of the Moment

::A page from my sketchbook in 2000::NYC::

I often think about where people get ideas on what to paint. I look at some artworks and think, how on earth did they come up with that. My ideas come from my experiences and surroundings and what is pleasing to MY eye. I then paint in MY style, which I have only just been able to see clearly as I have added photos of my artworks to this blog. I don't think I have much continuity in my work at the moment though, and it is quite disjointed. I think it is all to do with time, and my lack of it. I have SO many ideas and can't seem to get them on to canvas quick enough. I might need to start working on smaller canvases, maybe it won't be so time consuming. My smallest is about 1metre x 1metre, which usually takes about a week from start to finish (from making the stretched canvas to applying the final varnish).

Sometimes I cheat and buy primed stretched canvases, but they can become quite expensive and make the finished price of the artwork increase. Living in an apartment doesn't allow me to have much space to be a handyman with my electric mitre saw to cut stretcher bars for my paintings. So, I have a guy, a stretcher bar guy, who cuts them for me as I need them, if I am making the canvases myself.

After living in NY and buying art supplies at bargain prices at Pearl Paint on Canal Street, I find it so incredibly expensive to buy art supplies in Australia. It is so frustrating sometimes when I can't find things here that I had used for 10 years. I know, I should get over it, but I just can't, I like to vent my frustration every now and then.

Here are a few of the materials I like using at the moment.
::Acrylic Paint Tubes::

::Rembrandt Pastels::

::Various Other Acrylics::

::Tria Markers::

It's not as if I need any new materials right now, I just love collecting them. They come out of hiding every so often and make me create lovely things.

I hope you have a great weekend...

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

My Dad's Birthday

::Me and My Dad::
It's my Dad's Birthday today, and I have been looking everywhere for a gift for him. I am tired of buying him clothes. He is really into biking, and both he and Mum are going to be travelling around Austria/Switzerland/Germany by bike this time next year. So I have been looking for days in bike shops to try and find him something, and have come away with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! So he is getting a gift voucher to spend on himself. Boring I know, but he will be able to find himself something great for his trip.

While I was looking online for a gift for Dad, I found some stores that I have loved for years, but had forgotten about. I used to go and peek at them every so often, and buy a gift or two, they are great if you are looking for something different.
Remo General Store is SO fantastic to buy t-shirts and quirky gifts. I have bought from them since 2003. The other is Duck Soup Retro, which I found last year when we were in L.A. It has all types of wonderful authentic retro artifacts, I was in the shop for ages looking at everything, and had to be dragged out of there.

Happy shopping if you are shopping too!