Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nesting New Year

I've spent the last few days drawing a bird's nest. Why? Well, I'm not sure - crazy perhaps... just wanted something relatively mindless to get stuck into during this unsettled Christmas and New Year period!
It's turning out OK, however I woke up this morning with a very sore thumb and wrist and a crick in the neck. This drawing must have been a little bit too intense huh? I think I'll push through the aches and pains, just a little bit more shading required me thinks...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lettering from Home

I received the sweetest card from my Gran and Grandad today with best wishes for Christmas and our engagement. And as lovely as the card itself was, I am mesmerised by the envelope it was posted in!
I think I want to hold on to this for dear life - look at the beautiful, formal handwriting that my Grandad has. It seems that no one writes like this these days. To me, this lettering speaks of history, memories, of traditions, and of formalities that we no longer take any notice of.
One day, the flicks and curls and swirls of these letters will be gone, lost to the typed and printed address label.
No thank you, there's nothing like a handwritten letter, don't you think?

OK I Think I'm Done...

There's a few bits here that I over-did a little, a few that I'd kinda like to work on a little bit more, but I think the painting is at that stage that I mentioned a couple of posts down. Time to stop. But I'm happy, it actually really looks like my Grandad!
Meanwhile, I need to buy some more paint - this painting is 1m tall, my supplies are getting low!

Friday, December 18, 2009


What a way to spend an un-employed Thursday; at the beach with friends. Bliss.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Painting Grandad

I often find with painting that there's a point I reach part way through the process where I'm tempted to stop. I get to the stage where the essence of the person, object or scene I'm painting has come through enough that it is recognizable as it is. This can often signify a time where you need to slow down and be careful that you don't over work it too.
I am at that point with this painting of my Grandad, but I think I will push forward.
Lots more layering and tidying up to go, but he's starting to show through. Quite funny really!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas To Me

Or maybe it's an early birthday present... oh dear, seems I've broken my own rule about no new toys. Well, I did order this ages ago, does that still count?!
Bought myself a little replica lomo style camera to play around with. It arrived in the sweetest little wooden box, wrapped in the cutest paper and came with a little book, instructions, film and other such goodies. Bugger the camera, I just loved the packaging!
Well maybe not bugger the camera, I will have to see what comes out once I get the films developed. There's something quite exciting about waiting to see what turns out at the end of the film, reminds me of 6th form photography classes, squirreled away in the darkroom at lunchtimes... man I sound like I was such a dork!
Perhaps, if things go well, you'll be seeing some of these photos here, fingers crossed!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Operation Beautiful

I came across this site via Facebook over the weekend, and thought it was such a neat idea I would share it.
Operation Beautiful, an initiative originally started in New Zealand but now making it's way around the world, encourages anyone wanting to participate to write 'feel-good' notes and leave them in prominent places to be read by anyone, inspiring a little boost of self-belief, or even just smile. In particular, the idea was sparked to reinforce to young women that they are beautiful just the way they are, both inside and out.
I think this is such a sweet idea, jump on the band-wagon and post a note somewhere, and know that it may brighten someones day!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Potato Stamped Christmas

I just whipped up these wee gift cards using a potato, some paint, a pen and some left over card ... sweet and easy!
Just about got everything ticked off the pressie making list, now to get everything packaged and to the post office to send in time for travel to NZ...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Got It Covered

Check out these cute notebook covers that I made from some of my IKEA fabric (see a few posts below). I'm really pleased with how they turned out!
I followed the tutorial on Craftblog.com.au, and tweaked it a little by putting iron on seam tape over the raw edges in the middle, top and bottom (pet peeve = raw finished edges). I've also been making wee animal silhouettes from some leather scraps that I have stashed away, so I made two deer and glued one on the front of the first cover, and one on the inside of the second, as the fabric is so busy on that one it really didn't need a poor deer lost in the forest!
The covers have pockets on the inside faces so are perfect for all those bits of paper you collect and need to hold on to. I made these to fit an A5 size diary, but you can make them to cover a book of absolutely any size. So sweet, and great pressie ideas!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hand Drawn Calendar

Lately I've been admiring all the gorgeous 2010 calendars appearing on various design blogs around the place, and wanted to make one for myself.
I was inspired by one of my favourite illustrators and artists Julia Rothman and have started to put a calender together in a similar vein.
Still a work in progress, but quite fun to do a little bit each night. The hardest part is getting all the dates and days written correctly down the bottom!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Colour Me Pretty

A very early memory for me is going through my Mum's handbag and coming across her little flip folder of 'colours' - the colour swatches she would use to go shopping with to ensure she bought the clothes and colours that suited her best.
I have always wanted to have a flip folder of my own, always been curious as to what colours work best on me. People have often said that if I am an interior designer I should have no problem knowing which colours I should wear, but it really is a whole science in itself, there is no link between interior colour knowledge and self styling what-so-ever!
Well my aunt gave me a voucher to get my colours done a few weeks ago, (it is definitely not a cheap excercise) and I was thrilled to bits, waiting anxiously to see whether I had anything in my wardrobe that hit the mark or not! The day finally rocked round yesterday, and my appointment took two hours for them to go through the four colour 'seasons' and determine the best colour set, make-up tones, jewellery colour and glasses frames for me, taking into consideration my skin tone and hair colour.
Turns out I am 'summer', and I must admit there are some colours that I should be wearing that I would NEVER have thought would suit me, ie. lavender, lemon yellow and baby pink.
There are some colours that I wear already which is a relief, like apple greens, navy and fucsia.
However apparantly I should never wear black or crisp white! Well I laughed at that one, there is no way I would give up wearing black. NO WAY.
So when I'm next heading off to buy new clothes, I think I will take my swatches with me and see if I can stick to my colour chart. Something tells me this little swatch book will be a handy guide in my handbag, but I don't think I'll ever take it as gospel. Sometimes when you love something you just gotta have it, doesn't bother me if it's on my colour chart or not.

1 Year in Australia

Scarborough Beach, Perth, WA
Yesterday marked exactly 12 months since C & I hopped on the plane in Wellington and flew to Perth, Australia. Jeepers that was a teary morning! My family means everything to me, so it was a big step to tear myself away, knowing I may not see any of them for a long, long time. But I managed, and though the first month or two were pretty rough, I'm now OK with the odd skype call and the myriad of emails that get sent back and forth!
I've been a bit reflective lately, and remembered during that 7 hour plane journey how I began wondering where we would be in 12 months time. Now I'm wondering where we'll be 12 months from today. The truth is we have NO idea, we may be back home in NZ, or we may be still tiki-touring round Europe somewhere, or perhaps still in Canada. For someone like me, who likes to be very organised and plan ahead, this brings a range of emotions, from anticipation and excitement, through to a little bit of nervousness and terror!
All of that aside, I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to get out and see the world - you really do forget how small and iscolated lil' old NZ is until you really get out in the world on your own.
Still, I can't WAIT to see what the next 12 months brings... hopefully an abundance of adventures and good times... we shall see!