Sunday, 21 September 2014

Spring Holidays!

Stone herb labels for the garden, hand-painted in white ink on local river pebbles.

A portrait of a boxer in acrylics on canvas, finished this weekend & mounted up today.

Rogue Gallery in Culburra. My wrens and some watercolour flowers for sale there.

The windows of the Bayside Emporium in Huskisson. Painted in white, with 8 "re-" words, relating to spring, and lots of decorative, spring-themed illustrations in acrylic on glass :-)

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

So much more awaits!

So claims an email message to me from The Universe, "There'll come a day when you look back and call these your 'warm up years' ". I love the idea that a junkyard collection of everyday experiences takes some solemn order in the eyes of a fantasy future-us looking back on it all. 
But for now we stumble along...

I finished a bunch of things, which feels really good. Like cleaning my house - though it needs doing again by now - it helps with feeling on top of things. I created this deer piece on a board that's been waiting a long time and which once held the letters spelling "bat  room". The deer is all brown and earthy, and the flowers looked a little bright so i painted them over with tea, and drank a cup myself. How happily it sits on the dining room floor with my yummy bag collection, ready to head to the shop. 

Thie blackboard originally had poorly-drawn dogs  painted on it. I love the little heart-pegs and wanting to tie in birds and hearts I painted a folky design thing.

These bookends have been waiting forever in a box, in bits. Today I got my new sander onto the timber and glued the little ceramic children in place. They are way wonky and naive. Somewhat deliberately, but also because I'm just not very good at wood work.

The teddy bookend just needed a couple of coats of paint and a hit with the sander.

I finished a wardrobe for Jindyandy Antiques (this is a dodgy iPhone pic of the bottom half)

Also finished another sign for Revival Wares on MDF painted with chalkboard paint
and mounted on an old trestle.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

New Things at the Emporium

Ever since I saw Pauline's (of Pauline's Natural Crystals at the Bayside Emporium, Huskisson) Moon goddess charms, I have been thinking about peaceful faces, and drawing them, and looking for reference images, and thinking about how faces have been a theme in my work for many years. 
Travelling is such a luxury - to be away from the musts and shoulds, to completely mix things up so that there's no normal, and be gifted with time to process the crazy world we live in - reassess what's important, or exciting or meaningful.
Very soon after arriving home I needed to ready some new products for the Arts Centre, so I went into a crafting frenzy for a few days and some pretty random things came out of it, I'm dying to work on some more when I've cleared the mounting pile of to-dos. 
The draining heat of Cambodia has made me appreciate the brisk, clear air of Huskisson, days of infinitely-blue skies and the sun so warming. Perfect for bundling on your boots, big coats, scarves and beanies, have some coffee or soup, or a chilli con carne pie from the Husky Bakery. Go for a solid walk in the eucaliptus-scented bush or along the weed-drenched bay shoreline. Then come in to the Emporium, out of the icy wind and be inspired by all the lovely old and hand-crafted things! 

Fair trade products from our trip to Cambodia now available!

Hand-cut leaf bookmarks with bead dangles

Denim buntings made from old jeans

Recycled doily pendant necklace

Clay doily-press pendant necklace

Moon goddess face hand-sculptured &
wired with beads

Moon goddess face, hand sculptured
with feather charm

Wire pendant with glass beads, adjustable velvet choker.

Arts Centre Restock

watercolour painting

butterfly bookmarks

hand-cut watercolour feather bookmark

local pebble adjustable necklace

timber trivet bead adjustable necklace
New stock for the Nowra Arts Centre who are doing a huge makeover of their shop, doubling shelf-space, as well as a massive web page redesign which will better promote local artisans. There will be a much larger card display, which will be great, as I have around 20 different cards available and they seem to be well received.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Sunday Drive

The most beautiful winter's (solstice!!) day yesterday, I had my pretty learner driver take me through the dairy lands and coastal villages of Pyree, Callala, Culburra, Greenwell Point... all the while a chest of drawers teetering over in the back and resticting the rear view. We delivered 2 signs to the boys at Jindyandy Antiques, which are now displayed in their fabulous new store there. So many beautiful old things in there, we decided the white rabbit chest, with it's poorly functioning drawers, was not a good display piece for my art-furniture. I bought some fabulous old postcards.
Then on to a new gallery in Culburra, "Rogue", where six pieces of my work are now on sale.
Then, sadly, to Callala tip where we left the White Rabbit to find itself a new home.
We finished the day at home with a fire in my new birthday brasier and cooked delicious roti on the hotplate.

A couple of other little projects this week was a wire lamp I made to light my crockery in at the shop. And a frame I embellished with a faded vintage print of native plants.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Working with Wood

This week I've been working with some  lovely old timber things, renewing their spirits and  giving them a fresh chance at life. The little key cabinet has a map in the prettiest colours, and is lined inside with old book pages. The key hooks are stamped with numbers from an old stamp set I grew up with.

A letter-holder or remote control holder in a pale blue, I matched up with maps of the antarctic.

 A tray "tiled" with those timber wedges that are supplied when you buy a canvas to paint on. I feel like I should know what to do with those things, but they've just been accumulating in a drawer, and have now found a new home.

A lovely old tray, which looks like it's had a lot of handling and use, embellished with a print of a bird-themed sheet music. I white-washed the timber to freshen it up a bit, and then gave the lot a coat of clear polyurethane finish.

Painted for a store in Nowra in the Kinghorn Traders. An inspired idea - to paint on the back of a found mirror. Instant rustic, chalk-board style signage!

After a (bad) full day on Wednesday trying to make my shop area look orderly - and manage neat stock storage - to no avail, Andy has built me a beautiful new display system which we delivered in a whirlwind today before he drove to Bulahdelah.
I've finished making a neat calico cover for the huge table, which will sit nicely with the fence paling islands, which eventually I'd like to white wash... but will remain natural aged timber for now. I'm very excited about the extra display space and (gasp!) storage underneath.
Also I've allocated myself a desk workspace and would like to hang my shingle there: graphic design, illustration, paper crafts, fine art. And actually have some work in progress happening! Trying to get a bit more of a workshop/artisan feel to my little area.
I found the cutest little old blue-painted timber chair (at the tip), which needed mending - so it's glued, clamped and strapped in the garage til Monday. So sweet, I so hope the glue holds, it's really chair-love with this one, it will be my desk-seat if all goes well.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Winter wood

Shorter days, less precious hours of natural light, icy breezes in the big Emporium roller-door, and the light is so cool now in my pictures. Weather for warm soups and various teas in pretty teapots, cake on lovely old plates, curling up with a good book. 

I found this little old trolly dumped in the bush at the back of our place and was going to repaint it - but the sanded-back blue had perfect wintery tones and I pulled pages out of one of our old books to gussy up the tray areas and then wrote "books" on the side. Signs and stencilling seems to be a theme at the moment. It looks so sweet in the shop with a little bunch of grasses sitting on it. If I had endless free hours, I would love to draw and record every kind of grass in our little bit of bush. There are so many and all quite different, with their lovely various seed heads and thickness of stem and wildness of leaves.

I made some more paper-cut pieces and framed them in comforting colours, with tea-stained backing to contrast the white. These two are quite small and detailed. 'Tea' is only 10cm across and 'big dreams' is about 15cm. They are cut from one sheet of 110 gsm cardstock with a very sharp and pointy little knife. Both are my original designs which I have created on the computer, then print out in reverse and hand-cut.

I've been making signs and embellishing some collected little timber things, somewhat prompted by complaints from Andy about how long the pile has been sitting in the way. The clutter of my various projects is a lot to bare for our little house at times. There is a wonderful tray I have "tiled" with the little timber wedges supplied with artists' canvases, and wound string around the handles; there's a little key cabinet with a map and numbers printed with stamps from my childhood. I've forgotten to photograph them and sent them into the Emporium already... I will have to bring them home and take some pictures before they sell.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Art in the Park, Huskisson

Thanks to From Nepal I was invited to participate in the SeeChange festival's Art in the Park. It's a little bit of a dream come true for me to be at an event like this, and the culmination of some very busy months of working/making/stressing. And what a beautiful event! We were positioned right in front of the stage which featured open mic performances by fabulous local artists, the weather couldn't have been nicer, the customers were so sweet and positive, and there were some really interesting and interactive stalls. My daughter came along to help despite her half-yearlies starting on Monday, and she was given the opportunity to play a few songs on the main street of Husky, which was a big step for her, and very sweet of Daniel, the awesome guitarist/didge player who set it up.
Thanks to the beautiful organiser Sue for making all that possible. xoxoxo

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Ships and Signs and Six

Have you made a paper boat lately? They are so elegantly simple, flip and turn like little magicians and then snap themselves into form at the end with surprising ease. I made these ones for Art in the Park, they've got little quotes about boats and the sea scrawled on them and little bits of nature-y things attached. Im not even going to pretend I don't use the word "nature-y" any more.

 This is a number 6 painted on a canvas in acrylics. I left construction lines on and did some smearing for an industrial sort of look. I also have a number 3 available. 

Did you make tissue paper flowers when you were a kid? These ones are made from 3 sheets of concertina folded tissue paper about 50cm long. Then a shaped the ends with scissors, dipped them in tea, and left them to dry. I really can't imagine life without tea... Anyhow, then you just wind some wire around the middle and tease out all the layers of tissue GENTLY. Have you ever had pet mice or rats? The sound of separating the layers reminds me so much of little critters nesting, and the little finger movements required are probably fairly similar, so if you want to get in touch with your inner rodent...
How pretty they are is a real joy to me, and I chucked them in the picture when i was shooting this sign I just finished for a customer (fingers crossed, hope they like it!), and also a bunch of native grass Andy just happened to prune from the garden ("Do you want this?" he asks).

Here's the sign sitting on my kitchen breakfast bar. I'm a bit embarrassed about the chest of drawers being there. It's on the way out, but there was no other space to put it. I bought it for my daughter but the drawers jam, so I found her a better one at the tip for $5. There was a handle missing so I had to buy a handle from Bunnings for $6.20, and it matches nicely. Anyhow the old one is still hanging around and I'm thinking of transferring some kind of image or design onto it. So that's why it's still there. Sigh.
Anyhow the sign is made from old fence palings and painted in acrylic. I do pretty dodgy wood-working, so Andy is making some more sign-things for me to paint on. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014


I was thinking I should maybe get some more greeting cards printed for Art in the Park, and looking through my scans I found these from a little while ago. Painted for Dawn who adores the tiny Spotted Padalotes that nest around her little section of Jervis Bay, and fights passionately for the protection of their habitat. The one with the butterfly is still available in the Emporium.

Wedding Cake Birds

I've just received some beautiful photos from a wedding for which I made a pair of bride and groom birds, and wanted to share them. I'm working on some new pairs for the Emporium with the grooms in black or brown and the brides in white, calico and pale antique green. The groom's hat is crafted from black cardstock with a sharp little knife and careful glueing, the hat alone takes nearly an hour to make.