Friday, 16 December 2011

Festive on IA

This weeks IA challenge was a hard one for me.
The challenge was festive, 
but a northern hemisphere festive,
you know the type,

 short, dark, cold days,

icicles hanging from the eaves,

sitting around the open fire

and so how to make that festive

but add an Aussie touch.

So I took the short dark days and

the Aussie equivalent is a moonlit night.

The icicles hanging from the eaves

are festive lights hanging from the beach huts.

Sitting around an open fire, what else but

sitting around a bbq on the beach.

I put this all together in a little painting.

We tend to be a lot more relaxed in Queensland
and this is our perfect
festive Christmas,
sitting by an open fire.

I must apologise for the quality of this painting, if you check out
this post of mine you will understand why.

I would like to send everyone in
the northern hemisphere a little
something that will bring you some festive cheer
on your dark days.

Some good old Aussie sunshine.

Have a great Christmas and relax and enjoy.

Again, apologies for the quality of these pics.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Work desk Wednesday with a view

It's school holidays and so my room is empty.

But there is something new on my door and the floor.
Little miss Auds made a sign for my door and

you can see a box on the floor in my room.

That is my new Pixma printer, which is my Christmas present

but I can't have it until Christmas.  So unfair!

I have to work under extreme duress,

watching Audrey in the pool while trying

to paint, oh the hardship.

It is hard really, I have to keep looking

up all the time to check

on Auds in the pool and I

lose my train of thought, which

in turn makes the picture pretty ordinary.

not a lot really.   I did a doodle in my journal

but it didn't really go as planned.

I planned to have all these creatures

coming out of the crayons

but had to throw some

toy sharks into the pool for Audrey to

dive after and when I got back

it just didn't happen.

I also did a painting for the IA on friday

but that turned into a cartoon

more than a painting, sorry can't

show that yet.

So at last here is my desk today,

wouldn't paint anywhere else right now.

My sincere apologies to those of you in the northern hemisphere.

At least you can have a white Christmas.

Have a great week and if I don't manage to

do a blog next week (I might be in the pool too),

I would like to wish everyone and their


a very merry Christmas.

Friday, 9 December 2011

What's in my Christmas Ball on IA

This weeks challenge on Inspiration Avenue is

What's in your Christmas Ball.

I had a good think about this and then, while drinking a coffee,

I looked up and there was Bubbles

with his light up Christmas tree and light up presents.

Bubbles is Audreys' pet siamese fighting fish and

a very spoilt one at that, I mean how many fish have their own 

Christmas tree.

Getting back to the bauble thing...

I thought of Bubbles in a bauble and so 

here is my Christmas ball

and to show you the real Bubbles ..

Not a great photo but you can see his light up tree and presents.

Hope the weather isn't too bad up in the northern hemisphere, 

ours is getting back to normal

after having the coldest December day in 100 years! 

It went down to 21 here and only 19 in Brisbane,

see my last post.

Don't forget it's summer here.

Have a great week and thanks for visiting

I really appreciate your wonderful comments.

I have to go and play with Audrey now, 

don't you just love school holidays....

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Wet, Wet, Wet, WOYWW

Well what a difference a week makes.
Last week it was wonderful and hot 
and this week
it is freezing and wet, wet, wet.
We are having the coldest december 
for years and I am in a jumper and jeans
when it should be shorts and tank top.
What is going on???
I know I said I wanted rain (it is the start of the wet season)
but I never said cold, not once!
If this keeps up, we will have a white Christmas!
It is only 21 degrees, it should be 10 degrees hotter!!

Anyway that's my whinge for the day now on to my desk for woyww.

I did cheat a bit as the first pictures were taken earlier this week.

Audrey finished school for the year last thursday and
I have to do what I can when I can.

I decided to have a play in my journal and started some little fish.

They were quite cute....
so while we were out Christmas shopping, I decided to buy myself
an archival ink pen to make it stand out more.
The problem was, I didn't get a thick enough one
and so tried Audreys caligraphy pen, big mistake!!
I made a complete mess of it

and so, yet another lesson learned,
buy the right pen in the first place and 
you might do a good job.

I did get some time today to do a quick picture for the IA Challenge, whos theme this week is

What is in your Christmas ball, so here is a sneak peak.

Didn't think I would let you get up close, did you?

Gee, I hope I have time to do the IA blog now.

Have a great wednesday, I am going to get Audrey in from the rain, before 
it starts snowing!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

What a week, not much for WOYWW

I haven't been able to get to much this week for my WOYWW. 

Apart from the fact that it is the last week of school for little Miss Auds and there are tons of little shows and parades to go to,

we have had a spate of things breaking. 

First the motor went in my cars driver side window (getting that fixed next week), 

then our security door refused to lock (got that fixed). 

Our pool filter isn't working properly and in this heat it is a must

(they were coming out at 9am today and it has gone 10am, still no sign of them) 

and my eldest daughters airconditioner is refusing to blow cold (that is being fixed next week).  

Everything seems to go at once and to make it worse, I almost had enough money saved up for my new kitchen and you can guess where that money went. 

Needless to say, I am not very happy this week.

Still keeping the room tidy.

One good thing did happen.  I have done my very first painting in my very first art journal.

It's not much but it is a start.

I also bought myself a plain paper journal, so that I can draw and colour.

It just has a plain black cover so I will do up a nice cover for it.

Plus I am left handed so I will have to use the book upside down.

I can't draw around the coily thingy.

I started the daffodil the right way round

and I am having heaps of trouble getting over the bump.

I started this daffodil just before school pick up yesterday. 

I don't have an ink pen so used a ball point, how sad is that!!

(I hope Santa brings me some art supplies for Christmas)

Not sure how often I can blog for a while, 

will try to slip into my room as often as possible.

I am sure most of my time will be spent poolside,

hopefully with my journal in hand,

watching little miss swimming with her guinea pig.

Still waiting for the pool guy finished my picture

and discovered

that you can't use water colour on a drawing journal, oops.

It is now a very wrinkled mess.

Might start another one.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Aged beauty IA Challenge

Yet another hard challenge for me, this weeks Inspiration Ave theme "Aged Beauty"
(don't forget to go across and check out the other IA entries). 

I had this covered  up all mysterious for What's on your work desk wednesday, 

so I hope it lives up to the hype.

I love everything modern and so this was foreign to me.  I don't have anything old (except my husband), that is pay back for suggesting I do a self portrait.  People are not my forte, I can do a stick figure, with dots for eyes but that is about my limit on people, so an old person was out.

Old barns and houses are not me, so I had a bit of a dilemma. 

Spent all day tuesday thinking about what to do and then it hit me.  I love animals and so an old animal may do.   Thinking, thinking, what says old and beautiful in animals, there are a few but none more so than my entry.  This is what I think of as aged beauty.

Before I show the picture,

it has been very cloudy this week and I just can't get a good picture of my painting

(plus it's a blonde thing with a camera) so I have a few, so that you can get the gist of what I was trying to portray.

This was with a flash, so a bit harsh

Or maybe this one is better?

How about a close up?

Or two..

Here it is on my desk

It really is a cute painting in acrylic on paper, if only you could see it in person
or I could take a decent photo.  

Many things wither with age, but I think the old tortoise is the most beautiful thing. 

They really do age with beauty.
Have a great week and I hope next weeks IA is easier.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

It came!!!

Just had to let everyone know that my beautiful journal arrived today. 
I am sure it arrived today because everyone sent messages willing it to come. 
Thankyou to all who sent good thoughts. 
Here is the journal

Fooled you, that is just the wrapping, here is the journal

The photos aren't great as it is really dark and cloudy (but it still won't rain, just teasing us).  The colours are really beautiful and the watercolour paper is really good quality.  No more cheap shop paper for me, I might even do a decent watercolour now.

I got the journal from Joy Studio via etsy.  I met her through the Poppy Spree and I will no doubt buy from her again, even if the post does take forever.

Only problem is that I have to go and pick up miss Audrey soon and I won't be able to use it for some time.  Tomorrow is her speech night and I have to take her to the hall in the morning to practise and then bring her home at lunch.  Have to clean the house in the morning.  Might sneak something tonight.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Mysterious woyww

Last week I shared my entry into the Inspiration Ave challenge, so this week I thought I would be a little more mysterious and only show a little bit.   Here is my workdesk today for woyww

It is a little dark as we have cloud cover and hopefully a storm this afternoon (haven't had rain for ages).

This weeks theme for the I A challenge was aged beauty, which gave me yet another hard one to come up with.  Dear husband suggested I do a self portrait, the cheeky devil, but I can't do people so that was out and I like modern things so have nothing 'aged' to paint.  My house is full of glass and chrome and bright coloured furniture, which was a huge problem when my husband first moved in with me.  He had come from an old fashioned Queenslander, with heaps of wooden colonial furniture (eek).  Needless to say most of that has been disposed of and only one bedroom has the wood furniture in it (not ours).

I thought everyone would be doing the old furniture and face thing, so I have tried to think of something else and you can see just a snippet of it under the paper.  The frogs are just some practising I have been doing to get used to this paper so no clue there.

I have to say I am quite proud of this painting as I did it in just one day, it is very small but very detailed and if the clouds go away by friday, I hope you will like it too. 

It is amazing the picture was done at all as I had a bit of trouble getting started this morning.  My paints are quite old and I am lazy and don't wipe the tube before putting the lid on, plus I usually have a paint brush or two in my mouth, so speed is of the essence.  To get the paint out I often have to use pliers to twist off the lid but this morning I had a slight accident and the whole top of the tube came off, emptying half of the paint all over my hand.  Then when squeezing another tube it developed a crack down the side and again with the handful.  Should have done some finger painting!!

I got there eventually and now I have all day tomorrow to play with the frogs and start some other things. 

I still haven't received my journal that I bought from USA. It was posted on 7th Nov, so I shouldn't expect too much from Australia Post.  You would think we lived way out in the bush with how long it takes to get a parcel.  So Mr postman if you are looking, please hurry up and bring my journal, I can't wait to get started on it.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Summer must have.

I was reading a blog by my favourite blogger, Tracey Fletcher King, and she was instilling the virtues of summer in our wonderful Queensland, when something struck me.  Tracey had left off the most important must have for summer around here and that is pictured below.

Okay, so not my best effort at watercolour, but it is on drawing paper and I did it by hand, hence the bent can.  Sorry, I digress.  For those not familiar with this can, it is the one thing that keeps us Aussies sane through the long hot summer.  It keeps those pesky mosquitos and sand flies at bay, without this we would spend our entire summer, swatting and scratching.  Both Tracey and I live on the coast and that makes those pests worse and I'm sure they are bigger. 

Tracey was talking about pine lime splice (the ice cream) and what memories that brings back.  For me it was hanging out the back window of the car while eating them on the way back to high school after lunch.   It was the 70's, so you could hang out the window, plus we were in Phillips (high school mate) car and his window didn't wind up, so it made it easy to hang out.  Life was so much simpler then, shame the kids don't know the value of that piece ice wrapped around the ice cream.

I am now much older and I can still enjoy the little pleasures in life......
this is what I wake up to every day, it's the view from my bedroom window (taken at 8am on sunday morning).  We are very lucky to live in this great country, sorry to all those who have snow at the moment and thanks to Tracey for bringing back all those memories via the Pine lime splice.  Think I might go and get a box.....

Friday, 18 November 2011

Inspiration Ave Harlequin Challenge

I think someone has it in for me with the Inspiration Ave weekly challenge.  I finally decide to enter and last week it was the Seamstress and I hate sewing, then this week it is Harlequin.  What is the first thing that comes to mind, clowns and I hate clowns.  Sewing machines and clowns have something in common, they are both very mean beasties.  I have had a dislike of clowns since I was a child, don't know why, just feel very uneasy around them.  So there was no way I was going to scare myself and paint one of those awful things.

One thing I do love are fish, and there is a harlequin fish, so my entry this week is a harlequin fish with a border of harlequin patterns.  My normally very square husband (he is a maths teacher, so that says enough) suggested I blend the pattern with the fish and that is what I have done.  I got two surprises, one that he thought of it and two that it looks quite effective.

Mr H (as I now affectionately call him) is painted in acrylic on textured paper and the harlequin border is just a print out on copy paper and stuck on with double sided tape.  You didn't think I was actually going to paint all of that patterned stuff now did you?  I did paint the pattern within the border and the bottom right pattern is darker on purpose, to look like it is in shadow but it looks more like I messed up.

The top photo was scanned in using my hundred year old scanner and this picture is with my camera and is a better colour match. 

Had a busy week out and about so not much art has been done, let's hope next week is a better one.

For those of you cold in the snow, my latest post  about summer, may be a bit upsetting :)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

What a day for woyww.

It started out as a day of good intentions.  I had thought about what I was going to do, painting wise, while in the shower this morning (only time I get to myself).  I had planned it in my head and just had to print out a few things and then get going.  You see today is What's on your work desk wednesday and also the only day I am home this week, so I was going to kill two birds with one stone and paint the painting for the Inspiration Ave weekly challenge and make it the what's on my desk as well.   I am one of those podantic people who want's everything just right and  I usually take months to complete a painting, normally a large canvas, so how hard can it be to do a piddly little A4 one, BLOOMIN Hard.   The paint reacts differently on paper to canvas and it is very hot in Queensland at the moment, so the paint dries really quickly on paper and knowing that I only have from 9.00am until 2.30pm to do it was playing on my mind.  The result is not good, if I had one more day I could get it to look halfway decent, so hoping some miracle might happen and I will get to play before I have to enter it into the weekly challenge.

Here is my desk today, looks pretty reasonable and (for Tracey) it's a little bit neat too!!

It looks okay from a distance, but close up, I'd pick the pallette over the painting.

Let's hope I get some time to sneak in and finish it before upload time.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge

I have been following the Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge for a little while now and when I saw this weeks challenge (The Story of the Craftswoman and the Seamstress) I knew it was time for me to enter.  Now I am absolutely, positively not a seamstress or anywhere close for that matter.  My Idea of an excellent sewing machine is pictured below:

Yes, it is my trusty stapler, perfect for a quick hemming job and saviour of the split seam.  All of my hight school dresses were held together by this little beauty.  Can't do it with my kids as they went and go to private schools and for some reason they frown upon the good old gleaming staple hem.  So to the reason why I wish to enter, well I am in awe of anyone who can tame those nasty beasties called sewing machines.  I have tried many times and failed miserably.  Those evil things just love to watch me as they break the cotton half way through (if you look closely you can see them smirking) and the enormous tangled ball of cotton that comes from the bobbin area.  My mother could sew, she made all my clothes when I was little but that gene was not passed onto me.  She can knit too, but not me, I get holes where there shouldn't be holes and it goes in and out on the way down.  So yes, I am in awe of those special people who can knit and sew.

I have done a little pencil sketch to show my appreciation of the people who make the clothes that I wear.  I apologise for the quality but it has been quite some time since I have found my pencils to practise my sketching.  Now my room is tidy, I can start drawing again.

During the week I also made some more brooches, they are just right for spring.

I won't get any art done today as I have to go and find a birthday present for no. 1 daughter who is turning 20 at the end of this month, can't say what I'm getting in case she looks at this.
No fun on the weekend either, since it is spring, I have to get outside and pressure wash all the patios, oh what fun.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

My workdesk wednesday

Today I am going to join  what's on your work desk wednesday, because at last I can enter without the fear of causing someone a heart attack at the mess.  You see I am a grot, can't help it I was born that way. Then I met a wonderful lady called Tracey Fletcher King and she is slowly transforming me into a neater (not neat) person.  I keep looking at her work desk and then looking at mine, no comparison really.   Last week or was it the week before, times flies when you are getting excited, I decided to go to Ikea and get some plan drawers to put all my bits and pieces in.  Then came the enormous task of cleaning up the mess that was my workspace and today I am proud to say that at least half of my room is tidy (hey, it's a start).

I must warn you that the following photos are not for the fainthearted neat people, so skip this bit and move on to the better pictures below them.

These are the before photos:

You can look now, these are the after photos:

I can't promise it will stay this way but at least for a while it is a wonderful sight.

Now back to work, finished with the clay for today and I might do some drawing because I can find my pencils now.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Wonderful Award

Last Wednesday  Tracey Fletcher King gave me a Tell Me About Yourself award and what a wonderful award it has turned out to be.  Tracey I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am new to blogging and had to ask Tracey how to even find other bloggers and thus started my journey into the blog world.  I have spent a few days just looking and journeying around the world with wonderful art people and what a journey it was.  There are so many different types of art out there, I have learnt a lot just from browsing and will continue to study them more and more.

For those of you who are not familiar with this award, these are the rules.  I have to tell you seven things about myself, that you probably won't know and then send this badge to fifteen other bloggers, who I think deserve it.

  Here are my seven things:

  1. I am blonde, so that explains a lot for a start.
  2. I love everything to do with the ocean, except for being on it or in it.  Just looking suits me fine.
  3. I'm English born but Australian bred.
  4. Not at all good with the internet, still scared of Facebook, much to Traceys annoyance.
  5. Would love to be able to paint well enough to have my bigger paintings for sale in galleries.  Okay, would just like to sell a painting!
  6. Live in a big house but hate cleaning and cooking, so why did I get a big house?
  1.  Have unconventional pets, Long billed corella (parrot 21 years old), guinea pig, chooks, a 17 year old duck, gold fish, siamese fighting fish and tons of wild birds and parrots that come and stay with us all the time, plus a blue tongue lizard who lives under the wendy house.
Plus one more, I can't figure out these crazy computers, no. 7 is now no. 1 and I can't get it back to 7 (must be a blonde thing).

15 blogs I like in no particular order are:


 It took me forever to figure out how to get those blogs on here and now I haven't done any art today, so here is a picture I painted a while ago of my boy Charlie, the long billed corella.

Yes he is that fat!!!  He eats what we eat, plus seed and if we dare to eat something and not give it to him as well, he screams until we do.  Gotta love him.

Now I am going to enjoy looking at my clean room and might even get out a sketchbook.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Getting there.

I didn't do any art today but I did get started on my room and it actually has a floor and desk space now.

I haven't seen my drawing desk for so long I had forgotten what it looked like.  My new Ikea drawers are brimming with all my goodies and each drawer is a different task.  I found the kids label maker, never used it before and discovered the hard way that you need batteries for these things (didn't need batteries in my day).  Then I discovered that the kids had used up all the tape and forgot to tell me, so I'm afraid the drawers are not labelled and I still have to keep opening them until I find the one I want.  I will get batteries and tape as soon as I can though.

I worked hard all day but I haven't finished the room just yet as you can see there is still quite a bit to go, but that is for another day.
I did stop cleaning up for a little while and I put my poppy picture into a frame and yes it was from Ikea.  Came up quite good.

My sneaky five minutes to write this have ended, they have found me and are driving me nuts, so I hope my next blog will be minus children and with some art that I have done on my clean desk.