Saturday, December 15, 2012

Necklace Wall-Hanging is Complete!

Yesterday I was at my easel working on the wall hanging for my necklaces.  I wanted to get it finished and done before Christmas; and so I could also get it all done up and complete before the New Year.

Besides, I wanted to see if it worked.

Anyway, I worked through the afternoon on it until dinner.  Then, I took an hour's break and got stuck back into it and didn't stop until it was finished completely at 10:30pm.  Wow!  What a long time to be painting!  But then, I also sat through 'The Santa Clause 2' - a funny Tim Allan movie - to help me keep going.  Well, Here are the photos to it.  Hope you like it as much as I do.

Necklace Wallhanging1 

Necklace Wallhanging2  

Necklace Wallhanging3  

Now, all I need to do is hang it up on the wall in my bedroom and put all my necklaces on it with the Alligator clips.  I'm so thrilled at how it worked out.  Until my next post - and project - keep creating!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Is All Wrapped Up

I must say that this year hasn't been without it's problems; especially now.  As some of you know - from following my other blogs and knowing me in Real Life - I've recently suffered a loss of a dear feathered friend over the weekend.  
But I find that if I delve myself into my work, I get through grief and loss better.  So, I found myself working through the rest of Gabe and Kat's Christmas present faster than ever before.  I got around 8 pegs painted each night over the last 3 nights and before I knew it, they were finished!  This morning, I varnished them; and here is the next set I did this morning.

Painted Pegs for Gabe & Kat1 

Painted Pegs for Gabe & Kat2 


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Arty Pegs for Chrissy Pressies

I've got about three weeks until Christmas Day; and I have finished all of my present shopping.  Yep, I'm that organised!  But I'm taking my time with one lot of the family presents; and for a good reason too... it needs a lot of patience and detail.  Fortunately, I have that in spades.
I'm painting up a set of clothes pegs for my brother and his partner so they always have enough to use.
I thought of making them some - personalised ones - while I was minding their place at Brighton in October.  Thought it would be a fun thing to have on their clothes line... and a very arty thing to add to their house if they use them on their clothes horse too.  I've taken a few pictures of the ones I've gotten done so far... nice don't you think?

Personalised Pegs1 

Personalised Pegs2  

Well, Until my next post, keep creating!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Presents Artwork

I love doing arty things for Christmas.  And this year, I'm going to cover two present for the price of one.  I have begun painting up two different types of clothes pegs - the ordinary pegs with the metal springs in them, and the dolly pegs.  And so, what I'm going to do is split up the sets and give them to two different parts of my family who are in great need of new clothes pegs.

Mum and Dad's pegs are brittle and need updating.  I thought it would be wonderful for them to use the ones I have painted up outside; as they bring them inside each time.  I'm also giving my brother and his fiance a set for when they move into their house over Christmas; as when I was house sitting over the first week of October, I found they didn't have enough pegs for a full load of laundry (and Dad noticed this too).  And a lot of their laundry ended up on the ground on a windy day.

So, I'm looking forward to having these done, boxign them up and giving them to their new owners on the Big Day.  I can't wait!
What are you doing - which is arty - over Christmas?  Are you giving some art work to family or buying something arty for a family member?  Until my next post, keep creating.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Life Drawing Masterclass

Yesterday, I was off early in the day to attend a Life Drawing Masterclass.  It was a full day - from 10am until 2:30pm - of learning the basics of Life Drawing; with a model there as well.  
I arrived there about half and hour early because my bus was either going to make me early or late - depending on with one I caught.  This gave me a chance to walk around the 'Artwaves' exhibition and to vote on the one I loved the most (which was Identity by Chanel Tanent in Gallery 3).  By the time we all signed in and had picked our places, the teacher was ready and the model had arrived.
Kay Kane works at Griffith University teaching students how to draw with pencil and charcoal and she also teaches animators drawing as well.  The model we had was somebody known to me as I had drawn him before at Southbank last year.  The funny thing was that I didn't really know him until he disrobed and posed that his name popped into my head; just before the teacher told us his name.
We learned how to use the cloud technique with drawing peopleThis is when you use the side of your charcoal to shade what you see of the model; starting at the centre of him, then going up and filling in where the arms are and legs.  It was a great exercise for us to do.  By the end of it, we had to draw a fixed line around the cloud with the pointed end of our charcoal and then fill out where the arms and legs would have been.  And believe me!  Mine didn't look anything like what he didIt was a mess.  We had a break and I went and said hi to the model - seeing I knew him - and caught up with him.  Then, the teacher worked through until around midday - lunch time - and we worked for another hour or so and we had a few more exercises to do before going back to clouding again; but we found we had all improved on that morning.
Kay Kane then talked about her doctorate and what her main piece of work was and how long her current works took her to do, where there's other Life Drawing classes and asked if we'd like to attend another class like this one at the Logan Art Gallery.  Most of us wanted to know faces and heads - portraits - and she was pleased to see we wanted to get into the nitty-gritty of all; and said she'd love to do another workshop in the future.  This is something I will definitely be looking out for!  
I got home at around 3:30pm - when Dad picked me up - and as soon as I walked through the door, all I wanted to do was go to bed and sleep until this morning.  My feet hurt from standing in front of that easel for 5 hours.  My knees hurt from not being able to sit once in a while; and I was so very tired from looking at the model, then looking at my work, then looking back at the model again.  But you know?  I'd do it all again because it's the passion of working with the human body that keeps me wanting to learn more about how to paint it and draw it.  Until my next post, keep creating!  

Life Drawing Workshop 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's Finished!

After 7 months of working on it, my self-portrait is finally finished and signed.  I sat down yesterday and did up the finishing touches on it within about an hour and a half and I'm pleased with it all!  

However, it hasn't all been plain sailing with this complex works.  I have never done a nude before and I've never painted a self-portrait of myself where I'm a full-sized figure.  So, these were the main things that threw me; and why it took so long for me to complete it.  I also enjoyed the learning experience so much I almost didn't want to finish it.  But I had other things that were on my mind, so I had to complete it.

There were other faults with it, but if I didn't sign it, I would've been picking at it until Christmas.  So, I thought to keep it the way it is now and sign it - faults and all.  Besides, it's the faults that make a painting, if nothing else.  Well, I'm happy it's finished and signed now; and I can work on something else.  Until my next post, keep creating.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm Being Interviewed!

I've got a big interview coming up next Wednesday and it's going to be with the editor of the South City Bulletin which covers Logan City.  The editor, Wendy Johnson, has asked me to write a piece about what other hobbies I do besides writing and I thought to tell her about my painting and interests in the arts.  Well, writing the article took about two days and half a day of editing.
Today, she read it and asked if I had any photos of myself and my art.  I didn't think I'd make the cut for the Bulletin; so I didn't put in any photos initially.  So, this afternoon, I spent about an hour looking for photos of my works that I had spent the last year on; then looked for my first painting I had done when I was 24 and photographed that and sent that along with the others.  
Well!  Wendy e-mailed me back and said we should get together for a coffee and she wants to see my other pieces I've been working on too.  This will be a good boost to my portfolio and profile online too.  I can't wait!  I'll keep you all posted about what happens.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Necklace Wall Hanging

As I've been talking about, I have begun my next new project.  I've been so excited about this that I started it yesterday afternoon after I returned from the doctors.  And, once I finished dinner, I set myself up in the living room and kept going for another hour or so.

Necklace Wall Hanging - Part One 

I hope this works out the way I have planned.  If so, I'll make another one for somebody in my family. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

A New Project!

As I mentioned yesterday, I have an idea for something around the house; for my bedroom actually.  So, instead of sitting on it - mentally - I thought to head out to Garden City and see what I could find at Riot Art to make my idea a reality.

They had all kinds of things there; and I'm proud to say that - after about half an hour of mulling over scrapbooking split pins and jewellery chains and alligator clips - something clicked in my head!  I'd work on the painting... make it look great!... then, I'd attach the chain to the painting in strategic places with the split pins - putting them through the chain.  Then, I'd slip an alligator clip through between each split pin.  These alligator clips will hold my necklaces nicely and securely without destroying the chains or weakening at any point because they're metal.  The way I know is because I wouldn't attach my necklaces with the teeth, I'd use the little hole left just before the teeth begin... in between the jaw of it and the teeth, there's enough space for a necklace chain to go.

I know it's all in the planning stages right now, but I can see the finished product in my head.  This is my next project.  I know it will work; and I'll let you guys know when it's finished - complete with photos of how it's going.  Until my next post, keep creating!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Designing Things

Have you ever thought of designing something that you've never seen anywhere else?  Of course you have... you're an artist. 
Over the last week or so, I've been clearing out my duchess and tidying up my jewellery boxes and finding lots of necklaces that I'd love to wear if I only had them out to see.  So, what I'm going to do is design a hanger for them.  

Tomorrow, I'm going out to Riot Art at Garden City to buy a canvas to paint a lovely design of flowers on it.  At the centre of each flower is going to be a hook so that my necklaces hang off them.  Then, I'll be hanging this art piece off the wall.

All my necklaces will be out on display for me to look at and decide upon and not cluttering up my jewellery boxes or the duchess itself; making cleaner and easier to keep tidy.  I'll be able to dust it better too.

Have you designed something that has worked for you that you've never seen anywhere else?  If so, tell us about it by leaving a comment.  I'll keep you guys up-to-date about how mine is going.  Until my next post, keep creating!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Family Photo Collection - Progress Report

I've been working hard on the family photo project.  It's hard when you're trying to surprise people in your family; and yet you need their opinion on things.  
So, over the last few fortnights, I've bought some great frames at K-Mart for well under $10 each and they're working out great!  Then, last pay, I bought the big, family-sized, multi-photo frame.  It cost me only $12 and looks great!  It fits 8 photos and I'm very pleased as it'll fit Mum, Dad, Gabe, Kat, Riley and Little Miss Stevie (my budgie) and Jay (Kat's dog); as I'm hoping to put individual photos into that one.  This photo frame will be the first one done and hung.  I've already sugar-soaped the wall (and that came up cleaner than I expected!  And seeing I've been living here for 10 years, that's something!).  I've also made it habit lately no to lean on that wall so I won't bump any of the photos once this collage is finished; so that's something sorted out.  I already have an idea of where the large picture frame will go so I can build around it with the other smaller frames with other photos of family in them.  I do look forward to doing those gradually - seeing I already have the frames; and I'll buy the Command Hooks for a couple of them every two weeks as I order in prints as well.  Then, by Christmas, a majority of the collage will have been done!  

But today, I took the usb drive to Mum and Dad's place and told them what I was planning.  You see, Dad doesn't like his face showing up on Facebook - and for a good reason.  He thinks it's not a great thing to be too public on the internet.  Being a blogger, I'm a public person, but he's not so public with the net like I am.  So, I thought to make sure I don't put up too many photos of him on the net and this year, I did a Christmas present the whole family can enjoy whenever they want at my place.  And when I miss my niece (who lives about 2 hours away from me), I have all these photos on the wall to make me happy.
Well, I plugged the usb drive into the dvd player while we were sitting having something to eat and a cuppa.  Well, the giggles and laughs I got out of Mum and Dad were great!  They told me which photos were good and which ones for me to remove - and I will - and we ended up watching all 30-something photos twice over for another laugh.  There was even a funny one of my late Uncle Allan swimming with Mum in his pool where they were both pulling the same funny face and I happened to take the photo at the right time.  Mum loves it; and I think I'll give that photo to her in a nice frame separately.

Well, that's all for the family photo collection right now.  It's been hard getting the editing done online... seeing I had to put it off when my last computer broke.  I'm so glad I found time yesterday and today to get some of my family to look at the photos I've got so far.  I'm looking forward to getting something up on that wall and making it look like something of an art project in the making.  Until my next post, keep creating!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pop-Up Musem Found On A Fellow Blog!

About a week ago, I was thrilled to have found a photo or two of the Pop-Up Museum on a fellow Blogger's site.  And I haven't had time until this week to post about it!  

Take Me Home

My book is the third or fourth photo down... and well-photographed I think.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Plans September - December

I plan - like anyone does - and I hope that my plans work out.  But if I don't plan, I feel as though I have nowhere to go with my art.  And seeing the Home Festival was last weekend - and was a great success - I can work on the plans I have on for the rest of this year now.

For the last few months, I've been purchasing cheap - but nice - photo frames to make a family portraiture in my stair well.  It'll be of immediate family and pets; and so it'll take up the whole wall and consist of around 40 photographs.  Once I get the photos off the hard drive of my old computer from this year, I'll have something solid to work with and know exactly how many I'll need.  But right now, I'm looking for a retro-80's photo collage frame - one that holds a large number of smaller photos.  I hope Mum hasn't thrown hers out (I remember we had one once) and I'd be able to use it.

I also have some paintings I need to catch up on.  There's my self-portrait I need to finish the background of.  It's looking good and ought to be completed this weekend hopefully.
After that, I'm hoping to begin working on a new set of tiny paintings.  They are going to be tiny paintings of big things.  For example:  a tiny painting of the front grill of a Mac Truck... or a sky scraper of Brisbane reaching to the sky, or the Great Barrier Reef.  All on tiny, small canvas'.  So, I'll be needing to cut down some of my older brushes and getting one or two new detailing ones.  I do have photos of buildings of Brisbane... now to get them printed up at K-Mart - that won't cost much.  I'll get them done at the same time at the family photos.  I'm no in any hurry.  I'm hoping to get about 10 of these done by the end of next year and do them under a magnifying glass (I'll borrow one off my brother; as he has a few my Grandpa used to own in his older years).

Otherwise, I'm finishing up the larger blue blanket for friends who are having a baby and I'm hoping they'll like it.  So far, I've knitted up 3 little hats, 1 new-born hat, a green scarf, a red blanket and now this blue blanket... not bad for 5 months' work. 

So, what are you working on that has kept you busying this year - and will keep you busy for a while (like me?).  Until my next post, keep creating! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Home Festival

What a day it was yesterday!  I was up by 7am and out the door by 9:30am.  All my gear fitted in my bag and my little blue trolley.  The day was nice, clear and fine - just as we had hoped it would be.  And it wasn't a scorching hot day either.  
The Art Installation was called 'The Pop-Up Museum' (I didn't know it was called that until yesterday afternoon) and it attracted a lot of attention from the public. People were reading my book and enjoying the pages in the trees as well as the other artist's collections.  It turned out to be a great hang-out spot for a lot of people.  And as the day wore on, and the sun moved, there was plenty of shade thrown by our tree and it was used by the performance poets and community choirs.  People enjoyed the shade and basked in the sun as well; lazing about under the tree with the extra plastic leaves, reading my pink/red leaves and the larger ones of green that Doug Cartwright had put up.  
Too soon, though, it had all had to come down.  We were all tired from the day, eating and laughing.  I had gone to the jumble sale and bought myself plenty of goodies to add to my various collections and scored myself a first edition of an American poet from 1968 - which stunned my fellow collectors - for only $2.  My brother, his fiance and my niece were there to see the installation; only to unfortunately take off and not able to see the rest of the festival.  Oh well, there's always next year's.  I hope you enjoy the photos below I've put together.

Jumble Sale Scores 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Christmas Presents

Yep, you guys read right.  I'm beginning my hand-made presents now.  You see, from now until Christmas, the months seem to zoom by and I find that it's a lot easier to get in and begin my Christmas presents bought and paid for now than at any other time - plus I can sit back in December and have nothing to worry about except the grocery shopping.

This month, I've begun a set of dolly pegs for my brother and his fiance.  They're going well so far.  And I'm also knitting up a storm for a married couple I know who are having a baby in December - but their baby shower is next month - and so I must get their bits finished soon.
I'm hoping to get my niece an easel for her art works this year for Christmas to use from IKEA.  I bought one from there and I hope I can get another just like it so she can paint outside, inside or wherever she wants.
I'm not sure what to get Mum and Dad for Christmas... well, not yet anyway.  But the family gift is the family album on the wall of my home.  It's been fun to do and I hope it works.  I'll keep you all informed in how it turns out in the end - which will be closer to Christmas.  Well, until my next post, keep creating.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Baby Goodies

I've been busy over the last few months knitting baby goodies for friends of mine.  From the moment I found out, I dug out all the knitting patterns I had and found bonnets, hats and any yarn that looked lovely and tri-coloured to knit something original and useful.  

And now, I'm up to my last piece:  a second baby square.  I've knitted up one and it looks lovely and cuddly and very much something a parent would use to spread out on the ground to keep baby off the dirt for a moment to change their nappy or to put into the bottom of the pram to add a little more warmth over a cooler day before other covers over their bundle of joy with more covers to keep them warm.

I've also knitted three 6-month hats with a loop on the top so it's easy to pull the hat off if they need to.  And there's one sweet little new-born hat with a loop on it too - just in case when little baby's born, the weather is cooler than expected (as their little one's due in December; and if you remember what Christmas in Brisbane was like last year, you'd all agree it was a little on the cooler side).
I hope you guys enjoy seeing the almost completed pressie I've got for my friends.  It's taken me over three months of solid knitting at night - and during every afternoon (including weekends) to get this all done!  The baby blanket/square too me around 6 times to get started; with the stitch I wanted to use.  And it's turned out wonderful!  

Baby Pressie - 4

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Art Opening At A Hair Saloon!

How cool does this sound?  Yep, I went out to a very cool art opening at Retrograde Hair Saloon at Holland Park tonight; and the artist was Sandra Hosking with her 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun' exhibition opening!  And what a success it was!
There was so much food and drinks and great people there I loved it.  Mum and I totally enjoyed ourselves as we took numerous photos of the large paintings that were hung around the main front room, the wash room and out the back.  There was even a back area for the smokers - or for people to get away from the crowds - where there were braziers all lit up and hot to keep us warm while outside in the safety of a fenced off yard.
The atmosphere of the opening reflected the style and feel of the mixed media of the paintings which have been put together with feathers, hats, false eyelashes, buttons, paint, resin, lacquer and glitter... as well as other things I've missed, but Sandra has used a lot of things to express how much girls love to dance, shop, dress up, party and have long soaks in bubble baths as well as flirt with guys.  One artist who is most definitely worth looking out for!  

Girls Just Want To Have Fun Exhibition  

Home Festival Postponed!

Over the last few days, I've been informed that the Home Festival has been postponed from today to 25th August.  This is because the weather has been unpredictable and wet; and the park wouldn't be any good to anyone if it's a mud-city.  So, they're hoping it'll dry out well enough for the festival to take place a week after the RNA Show here in Brisbane.
As for my art works?  Well, the Altered Book is now complete and ready for show.  The pages I've laminated are ready - except I need to buy fishing line and that's it.  So... that's all there is now.  Just that fishing line.  I punched the holes in the tops of the pages last night with a single hole-punch last night after dinner and set the rest of the pages to one side.  And below is the the collage of the Altered Book!  I'm so excited about it! 

Altered Book - Complete! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Finishing Touches

Over the weekend and the last day or so, I've been working on the Altered Book like a crazy person.  I have gotten off here and been sitting at the kitchen table for 2 and 3 hours at a time without a break just to get it finished before the deadline.  How exhausting!
But as of today, it will be finished!  I have just one more page to finish gluing up and then I can paint up the rest of it!  How cool is that?

Right now, I've glued up the last lot of pages together and organised the last piece of paper to write on to go into it.  The paint plate is in the fridge ready to be used and I'm going to paint all afternoon today.
However, I'm so happy I've gotten as much done as I have over the last week.  Here's some links to the work so far:

Over the next day or so, I'll upload more photos and show you all how it finished up before I send it off to the Logan Art Gallery to be dropped off for the Collector's Exhibition.  I have uploaded other photos into the album on the side bar; however as usual, Photobucket isn't behaving itself.  So, I'll upload some links here as well.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gustav Klimt at 150 Years Young!

This morning, I was cooking breakfast when I received a phone call from my folks letting me know of Gustav Klimt's 150th Birthday this year.  Personally, I haven't heard of him, so I noted down the site Mum told be, ate breakfast and jumped on here to look it up.
And I'm totally amazed at the paintings this man did!  How beautiful!  How modern!  How do I put my amazement into words?  I can't.  Instead, I'll leave the link here for you all to click on and you can have a look for yourselves at this amazing artist's work.  I just find it hard to believe a lot of these works were done over a century ago.

Gustav Klimt 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Progress Report

I've been busy with the Altered Book and I thought to show you guys some photos of it.  But some apologies about the album.  It's not organising as it should; so I've put in the numbers of the photos to look for.  Just put your mouse over the photo until you find it and it should have the number already on it... Photobucket can have its problems.

Anyway, I have come to the last stretch of my Altered Book.  It's almost finished and I've been painting a rainbow through it - to keep the people who pick it up reading it, following the colours through it and the children's eyes occupied as well with pretty colours.  Otherwise, there have been some setbacks; such as the weather.  It's been wet and cold here, which means it's been taking longer for the glue to dry.  Oh well, beggars can't be choosers.

Photos for this post:

Altered Book Thus Far


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I've been busy as anyone can get.  In between catching up with my housework, grocery shopping and cooking, I've been doing my art project for the Home Festival.
I've been fortunate enough to avoid the colds and flu going around (touch wood!) and so have been working on the Altered Book this week.  So far, I've worked on two pages in the last two days, and this morning glued three pages together in preparation for the next lot of artwork to do this afternoon.
I've been able to work on this project for about 2 hours each day after figuring out what I want to say.  But first, I'll glue four or five pages together in advance, then further along in the book, I'll pull out a couple of chapters so it'll work better, the book will be shorter - but the spine isn't damaged - and it'll keep up the appearance of being a proper-looking thick book. 
By the end of this week, I hope to be getting into the painting and fixing up the exterior of the book; as it's a black hardcover; and I don't want its appearance to put people off.  Well, until my next post, keep creating!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Collector's Workshop - Week 4

Today, I was away early and catching the bus by 11:25am.  I wanted to get there by midday, eat my lunch and jump straight into working on my altered book.  When I arrived at the Logan Art Gallery, I was the first to show!  I thought we had agreed to meet at midday; but everyone else didn't.  Oh well, I got into working on my book after my lunch of Ratatouille and a nice hot Milo.
I unpacked my backpack, pulled out old 'Good Reading' and 'Writer's Journal' Magazines and found a pair of scissors and picked through them over the next hour or so until everyone else arrived.  And before I knew it, they all did - one by one - and so did the people who were bringing the laminating machine (which I've never used before).  Once we got it to the right setting, which was the hotter setting, I started slotting my painted up - ready - pages into the pockets and feeding them into the machine.  They came out better than I thought!  And now all I have to do is get a pair of scissors and take off the excess laminate.
I went through my magazines another 3 or 4 times and still brought them home just in case I missed something in them.  But I didn't glue or paint anything.  So, tomorrow, I'll be working on the next phase of my story in them.  After I've got the whole story finished up, I'll work over it again and paint the background with a detailing brush and some bright colours.

Photos for this blog post:

2 photos of the desk full of work and laminated pages - No. 054 & 52
1 photo of a laminated page of my work up close - No. 53
1 photo of the laminating machine - No. 55

Friday, July 6, 2012

Busy Friday

I haven't been working on the pages or the altered book over the last two days.  However, there's a good reason.  On Wednesday, I had to do my shopping and catch up with my mail and bills.  And yesterday, I had two doctor's appointments which had me out and about all day until sunset.
Today, though, I'll be off the net at midday and back at work with my pages; and this time I'll be writing on the backs of them, preparing them for lamination.  And once they've been written on with words of inspiration about reading and imagination, I'll be working on new pages again, cutting out more stuff from magazines for the altered book and work on the book tomorrow while the pages get laminated.
I hope to have more work done by next week - as I'll have a freer week than this week.  I'm sure this will work out really great.  I just wish we had more time to work on our gear; as it would have given us the time to get together the things we wanted to get done.  I guess the best laid plans don't always work out.  Until my next post, keep creating!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Working From Home

Today and yesterday, I was very busy catching up with housework and working on the art I'm contributing at the Home Festival.
So far, I've got 9 pages fixed up where I've wet them onto sketch paper, painted them up with red paint - smudging them to look like they're bleeding a little - and then letting them dry and pucker; and not gluing them.  On the back piece of sketch paper, which is partially attached, I'll be writing a line of why I collect - or a word - to let people know in as little as possible of the reasons and purposes for my collecting.  Tomorrow, I'm hoping to get around the same amount of pages done again in the afternoon.

Then, tonight, I worked on another two pages of my altered book.  This book will tell the story of how my passion for reading and books turned me into the writer I am today through pictures and collage.  I've made up 4 pages already and tonight did another 2 of them; but they still need more work.  
The book I'm using is 'The Dark Half' by Stephen King in hardcover and so, seeing it's black, I'll be doing up the cover in different colours, styles of things and items to make it attractive to people at the festival; to make them pick it up and read it.  It will still be called 'The Dark Half' (as there's no copyright on titles) but it will be about how writing is a craft that is honed, it can also be used to be something to hide in from the world too.  So, my story inside that book will have a moral as well as be something about me.  I hope the pictures can speak about my passion as well as my words; as my writing has helped me through a lot of pain, problems and personal issues.  However, my art is something else that has begun to bring something out in my life - something visual - that my writing can't do.  Bringing them together is difficult, but I've found it's something I'm enjoying.

It's only been two days and I have paper and scraps from one end of the lounge room to the other... something I hope will be gone by the end of the week!  Well, I am hoping... anyway, until my next post, keep creating.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Collector's Workshop - Week 3

Yesterday, I wasn't feeling all that great.  I had had a broken night's sleep as I was woken in the middle of the night - twice! - by my landline only to find somebody out there had mistaken it to be a fax machine!  Not a great thing to do.

Well, I made it to my workshop in plenty of time, got changed into my painting outfit - as I was working with paint that day - and started on my project.  The first thing I did was lay out all my gear that I was going to use:  4 books, the large sketch book, sponges and notebook.  Then, I searched for paint, brushes, water, tea and anything else I would need for this afternoon to work.  
First things was first!  I began tearing the pages out of some of the books.  This caused everyone in the group to scream at me to stop!  I looked up and asked what was wrong?  They stared at me in utter shock... what was wrong?  Was I nuts?  I was tearing in to the pages of something I loved and collected and treasured!  Smiling, I held up one of the books and said I had bought them from a thrift store for .50c each; none of them were destined to be a part of my collection any time soon.  A lot of them were still a bit weird about how easily I tore into the books I had in front of me; but after they saw what I did with those pages - and heard my proposal of how I was going to display them at the Home Festival - they were amazed how pretty they were going to look.
We had ideas running around the place at how things were going to appear at the festival this month; from fridges to a bedhead, cushions and a bedroom kind of scene to a bookcase where we could all display books... and I could make an altered book about my why I write - if I wanted to.  I said it could be done.  
And today, while I was getting some housework done, I found backdated magazines of 'Good Reading' from 2009 and 2010 sitting underneath Little Miss Stevie as though waiting to be discovered just for that altered book project!  How good is that?  I'll be getting into that very soon.  
So, that was yesterday's workshop, and today's ideas for what I'll need to get done.  Next week, we'll have a few laminating machines working hard to get my pages laminated and ready for the Home Festival.

Collections Exhibition Workshop 2012 Album

Unfortunately, everything I'm saving on Photobucket is showing up all over the place... I have tried saving it oldest photos first; but it won't do it.  And I did put in descriptions; but it won't save that either.  So, I don't know what is going on, but Photobucket has got a lot of problems.

The photos you're looking for are sketch books, a page with a red border, a group of people talking and a young lady sorting out a set of speakers on a cd; then a close-up of the same photo of her.  These might come up first or last, who knows.  I have tried to work out photobucket, but it's not working the way I had hoped.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Knit... knit!

In the last week, I've been attempting to knit a baby blanket for a couple who are pregnant. The amount of stitches I've cast on is 100 onto 4.5mm needles (nice long metal ones that can take the yarn well).  However, somewhere in the beginning, I've dropped a stitch and have had to pull it apart within the first 6 rows and start over again.
This drove me nuts until tonight when I got to the end of the second lot of the Irish Moss Stitch and found I actually made it all the way through!  Yay!  Now, to make sure it'll work for the next month or so - until the ball of yarn is used up - and I've completed the blanket.  I'll have to make sure that my knitting is accurate and that I'll have it well-counted out.  

Here's hoping.

Well, the other lots of knitting is complete.  This means that the 3 hats and little green scarf are finished.  I left the blanket until last so I could take my time to finish it up.  I'm looking forward to the time where I can give these sweet things to my friends and they can use them.  I'll have to take photos of them soon and show you all the completed results.  Until my next post, keep creating!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Collections Workshop - Week Two

Today, our workshop was off to the city by mini-bus.  We all arrived there about half an hour beforehand and and chatted amongst ourselves, then piled into the bus, and were off!  It didn't take us long to get into the city and parked outside the GoMA, State Library of Queensland and Museum and Art Gallery.  All of us walked to the old section of the Queensland Museum and found that a lot of it hasn't change; and it was soon to be undergoing new construction.  However, a lot of it has changed.  We were taken to a section of it that hadn't changed in around 20 years and shown how our exhibition could be at Pineapple Park in a few weeks.  I took some photos for ideas and then, we had some lunch at the new cafe for half an hour before meeting up again for a brainstorming and the workshopping part of afternoon out.
We sat in an area away from the milling crowds that were there to see the Egyptian exhibition (which was every man and his dog!) and we worked on what our collections meant to us in drawings.  First, we drew our collections with our eyes closed - as a visualisation technique - and then we were asked to draw it upside down on a separate piece of paper.  After that, we were told to put them both up on the opposite wall and explain, one by one, what our collections mean to us.  We more or less said the same things:  we began collecting our things in our childhood, we associated our collections strongly around our families and when we were around our collections, it immediately took us back to our childhood or times of strong memories surrounding our friends, family, travel or childhood.
So, our exhibition is going to be about just that... our collections and when they started and how they affect us now.  But it was a great day out; I totally enjoyed myself and really came up with some great ideas for next weeks' work.
Peter - our train enthusiast - needed the noises of a train.  But nobody could think of how to get anything like that without paying for it off iTunes... not until I said I had a sound effects cd that had those kinds of sounds on it which I had had in my collection for years we could nab the effects off and put them on a loop.  The organisers were amazed that I had that kind of thing, until I said that some of the noises I needed were of pub noises, parties, storms and battles and sword play for my books.  These were just noises I used for effects so I could close my eyes and write a good scene for a chapter.  They thought it was genius I wrote that way; however I've been using sound effects for years.
I have gotten so many ideas for my exhibition, I can hardly keep up with them here or on paper.  But I do need to go to the Thrift Store down the road and buy some old books that I can take apart and use... and I need to soak some of the caffeinated tea bags Mum left behind at my place to age the pages I'm going to use next week.  Yes, there's going to be a lot of preparation done before next Saturday's workshop; and I'll keep you guys fully up-to-date.  Until my next post, keep creating!  

Collections Exhibition Album - The excursion 23/6/2012 

NB:  I've tried three times to get the photos on photobucket to organise in the right order, and it won't do it.  I'm sorry if they're backwards, guys, it's just how the stupid program has worked out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A New Idea Taking Shape

For a few months now, I've been wanting to get into working with a part of my house that's in great need of a fix-up.  I have hundreds of photos on my computer that are of my family and animals; and I'd love to be able to have some of them in a public album in my house and not on facebook.  

So, what I've begun doing is buying and finding picture frames that will become the album of my family's life.  They'll be in three different colours and all types of sizes as well to make this wall collage appear random - and yet it's not.  So, far, I've bought 5 frames from K-Mart at a great deal and I'm going to look through my photos over the last few years and pick out the ones that are going into this wall album.
Then, I'll be figuring out the sizes I want to each of them to match the frame they'll be going into and then, I'll put them all onto a blank usb stick with the size I want in a notebook.  Then, every now and then, I'll be getting together some of the photos I want done, going to K-Mart and getting them printed up and hanging the photos within the week.  
This project should take until around October or December to complete; and the whole wall of my stair well will be climbing with an album of my immediate family and pets.  Hopefully by then, it will have a life and storyline of its own.  Have you ever done this kind of thing?  If so, do you have any pointers you could give me to make this easier for me?  Until my next post, keep creating!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Collector's Workshop - Week One

Yesterday was a long day for me.  I was out from around 9:30am until 4pm; as I had to work a morning shift at the Logan Art Gallery, and work it alone at that as my partner in crime at the desk was off with the flu (am I the only person who doesn't catch the darned thing?).  
Well, once we had only 11 adults and 6 children come through for the morning, ate lunch and answered a few phone calls, the workshop people showed up and I had to get my gear together to join in.  I packed up my knitting, and lunch bag and put those into the back office and grabbed my blue trolley and green Bookcrossing briefcase, and headed off into the workshop.
We all set up on one table and I put out my books - placing them onto the t-towels they came wrapped in.  I also put out a few pairs of gloves in case people wanted to look at them beforehand (but nobody did) and I had one pair out I wore already undone and ready to wear.
Pip from the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane sat and talked about what this project was about.  She was thrilled that there were 11 of us who had shown up to this first workshop to talk and brainstorm.  We were soon talking with a digital recorder going in the middle of the table, one by one chatting about what we collect, why we collect and how we come across our items.
As collectors, we collect for more or less the same reasons, however how we started and why are for different reasons totally.  For some of us, it was something that kept us connected to places, for others it was because it was because we didn't have money and it was a way to possess something permanent.  However, for one lady - who collected small containers - she told us that nobody in her family had anything in common; so she felt as though each family member's life was in a box of its own, yet they were close.  But her husband has never understood how she sees the family like this; and so doesn't understand her collection.  
When it came around to me, I felt I needed to stand up as I was the second to last person and had been sitting for over an hour.  Besides, I wanted to hold up my books to show everyone my books properly.  As I put on my gloves, I heard somebody quip:  "And for my next magical trick..." and I answered:  "...and with nothing up my sleeve..." everyone burst out laughing!  It was a good ice-breaker to start my talk.  I didn't start out the same way as everyone else, though, at the age of when I began collecting.  I started on my first book and where I found it and how old I was when I bought it; and how I accidentally found my first out-of-print book... and how exciting it was to have something so precious in my possession.  I went on from my first book ('The Letter of JRR Tolkien' in hardcover format) to the first edition of Alfred Einstein's book about Mozart I found at Mullimbimby's The Book Barn.  As I spoke, I found talking about my passion for the written works of any author - no matter who it was so long it was a first edition or signed book - was just as valuable in any language now as it will be in the future.  After I put down a little-known author who had signed her book very strangely, I then talked about how I found my passion for the written word; and how it was an escape for me when I was little as I was a sickly child with childhood Epilepsy and escaping into a book was the best way I knew to deal with it. However, as I grew out of it (as it sometimes does happen with the condition) and I was re-diagnosed with it aged 19, I didn't try escaping from it anymore, I just dealt with it and kept on reading as I found it moved from escapism to a passion... preserving the written word was something that kind of came with the territory of enjoying it.  And becoming an author was another aspect of it too.
They all asked me so many questions about books, first editions, the Life Line Bookfest and publishing and writing that I found it fun!  I could answer all their queries and they were amazed I knew so much about my collection and how young I was when I began collecting these kinds of books - 23 years old - and what will happen to my books if nobody in my family wants them in the end.
Well, this first Collector's Workshop was a blast!  Next Saturday, we are meeting up at the Logan Art Gallery again to take off into the city via a bus to look at art spaces and how they are used around the place.  I'll be taking plenty of photos and uploading them onto links for you look at here.  Until my next post, keep creating!

Photo to look for:  Collector's Workshop - Week One 16/6/2012