Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Snippets

Here are a few snippets of what's been happening this past week.   

Hubby testing out the bee smoker in preparation for when we have hives.


  We were out to dinner with friends Saturday night and I had a salad for my main meal so I would have room for this dessert which was mango Bombe Alaska with passion fruit curd and strawberries.  It was delicious.
 

Bungee soaking up the sun.  He's surrounded by birthday decorations waiting to be recycled and passed onto a friend of Genevieve's who will use them for her 21st later in the year.  Gotta love recycling.


My Sophie is getting old and is starting to have trouble with her back legs.  She's allowed to sleep on the sofa ONLY at night after it's covered with an old sheet.
 


Making muesli.  We go through this very quickly as hubby has a big bowl for breakfast every morning.


 Testing a recipe mix for a friend who is starting up her own business selling organic pre-mix baking packs. The one trialed below was Blondies.  First attempt was not so good, second attempt with new instructions, perfect and delicious.


I'm heading off to Western Australia again on Sunday to spend two weeks with Mum and to catch up all things farming, so my next post will be from there.

Anne xx

Monday, 25 August 2014

Wet on wet in oils

It seems the painting mojo has returned and I've been up in the studio playing the last two days.  In a bid to change my style of painting and try something new, I've been watching some tutorials on youtube.  It looks SO easy but it's so hard.  Having painted previously in stages, waiting for each layer to dry, working out how to paint well using the wet on wet technique without muddying the paint is proving a challenge.  The following two paintings were both done in one sitting.  I know this is not my best work but I hope to improve in time using this new to me technique.  I figure the more I paint and stop trying to be a perfectionist, the more I will relax and my own style will develop.  It's scary putting my stuff out there when it's a big of a dogs breakfast in my opinion, but I'm trying to be brave.




Anne  xx

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Blog hop around the world

I received an invitation from Joolz from the lovely blog Simply Joolz 
to participate in a Blog Hop.  This particular Blog Hop is focusing on 'creativity' and the participants have five questions to answer and a give relevant quote.

Before I get stuck in to answering questions and sharing photos, I encourage you to have a look at Joolz wonderful blog where she mostly posts about her wonderful food creations in the kitchen.  I truly admire someone who loves cooking and baking and I dare you to try some of Joolz recipes.  Her chicken skewers with satay sauce are to die for in my opinion.

O.k. so on with the five questions.  

 (Just to warn you, the first part of the post is photo heavy as it is difficult for me to explain the extent of what I do without sharing lots of photos.)

1.  Why do I create what I do?

The simple answer to that is for pleasure and because creating is a huge part of who I am.  I can only go a certain amount of time without creating before I get frustrated and need to be creative in some way.  My creative outlets are many including oil painting, sketching and doodling (squiggling really), crochet, sewing and gardening.  I've been painting in oils for about 6 years and dabbled in water colours before that. Here are some of my oil paintings.

This is probably the painting I've enjoyed working on the most so far as the subject material is very dear to my heart.  Namely my farming brother milking the cow and the whole farming scene where I grew up.

This painting took a long time to complete and I had a lot of help from my teacher getting the angles of the walls right.  I was fortunate enough to find this exact canal in Venice when we went to Europe in 2012.  A wonderful experience.

A very early painting.  I struggled with the olive leaves but the olives I was particularly happy with as it was the first time I could see how to paint to get that 3D effect.

I gave this painting to Mum.

I loved doing this painting, capturing the light on the blossom really made the painting come alive.

I love the colours in this painting.  The lady in the sari was difficult to paint, her face and feet the hardest part.  Painting the creases in her clothing was so much fun.

My love of owls had me painting this one.  I can see all the mistakes in this but I do like how the barbed wire turned out.

This lady is still a work in progress and you can see in the photo below I've completed the face in one of the paintings on the wall.  It's rather interesting to paint another painting.

Rather a severe looking chap.

My painting mojo has been absent for some time but hopefully it will return soon.  I'd like to try painting in a less detailed manner or what's known as a loose style.

Now we come to the squiggling, sketching, doodling part of my creativity.  I sometimes like to do sketches for cards or just for fun.  The banner picture on my blog is my work.  I do this work under the name Damelia which is taken from my maternal Grandma's name Amelia Dorothy.  Grandma also enjoyed painting.  She painted in oils but her best work was her china painting and I have some of her pieces.

Starting out with a simple sketch.


Finishing with water colour pencils.

Doodling.




This sketch was done for a birthday card.


I think this was turned into another card.





Another card, for Christmas obviously.

Fiddling around and having fun.




This was made into a card which Mum now has hanging in her own card making room.  Taken from a photo in France from our 2012 trip.
  
An attempt to create  picture from tearing up pieces of paper.  It's supposed to be a vase of flowers.


 I've always enjoyed creating and trying different forms of art.  This is a lino print I did in high school where I was exposed to the real world of art for the first time and I was in heaven.  The lino print is  roughly based on my Grandma's house.  She lived just across the street from the school, very handy for preliminary sketches.




I've also dabbled in making my own stamps with a product called Ezy Carve.

Preliminary drawing of my design idea.


 The carved stamp, very rough I might add but I think it was my second attempt using this material.

 The stamped image.

Crochet is something I only took up again fairly recently.  Apparently I did learn as a child but only have a vague recollection of doing so.  I'm not the best crocheter but I do enjoy having a project I can pick up for a few minutes at a time or a few hours. 







I based the colours of the crochet cushion above and below on the fabric used shown which I made two other cushions from.




Percy the penguin.  I made him for a school friend of Genevieve's who adores penguins.


My one knitting success, a beanie I wear on my winter walks.


A knee blanket.


 



A trinket container based on something Lucy from Attic 24 made.


Mini heart wall hanging in the bedroom.


Bunting in the living room.


A crocheted 70's style vest.


Kitchen cloths.

Then we come to sewing.  I made some covers to go over wire coat hangers.  Besides making them pretty, they stop your clothes from falling off.




 Lacy curtains made for Genevieve's bedroom.


Zippered bag to store my smalls in when traveling.  I made it for our trip to Europe in an attempt to keep my suitcase organised.  I use it every time I go away.

Jewelery travel roll.


Travel sewing kit.
Cover for my studio chair.

Studio curtains made from op shop find scarves.



The photo below is my purpose built studio.  Hubby snapped a photo of me working up there today.




Gardening is not only therapy for me but also a creative process.  I don't necessarily design my gardens, I have a very rough idea then plonk something in the ground generally in the right area and hope it does o.k.  I love my flowers and the myriad of colours they come in.
















2.  How does my creative process work?

  I suppose I see or think of an idea or get inspired by other peoples work and then find a way to accomplish it.  I'm stubborn, determined and find a way to make it happen.  That in itself is part of the creative process.  I'm hugely influenced by colour and when I see colours I love or the combinations thereof, I can only describe it as drowning in the colour, being overwhelmed (in a good way), absorbing it into me and being uplifted.  (Strange I know.)   I'm a perfectionist in some things and slap dash in others.  I have an excess of craft supplies and can usually find something in my stash if I want to make something.  I'm not patient and usually want to get on with it while I'm feeling inspired.  It was the huge and somewhat excessive array of craft supplies that partially led us to building a studio, to have a designated space to store my supplies and create.  It is an absolute luxury and privilege and am very grateful to my hubby for building it for me.  I helped him wherever I could which was very rewarding.  When I'm in the painting zone, time stands still.  Hours go past and I have no recollection of what went on other than what is on my canvas.  I'm totally and utterly absorbed and it's wonderful.  This is the only creative outlet where this happens to me.

3.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

A hard question to answer.  Perhaps it's the variety of crafts I'm interested in that may differ from others.  Some people are painters or sewers or crocheters or card makers and focus on one thing whereas I enjoy many different creative outlets.  Perhaps the downfall to being like this is I'm a master of none but that doesn't really bother me.

4.  What am I presently working on?

I'm still working on the oil painting of the lady in the photo above.  I'm also working on two crochet projects, a ladies shrug and another granny square  blanket in really wild colours.  I've also got some card making in the pipeline for upcoming birthdays etc.


5.  Who inspires me to create?

When it comes to crochet, Julie from Little Woollie inspires me with her amazing colour combinations.   (Initially it was Lucy from Attic 24 who first got me back into the craft though.).  She sells beautiful wool in her online shop too in the most wonderful colours.  In my quest for inspiration to paint in a looser style I found talented painter Carol Marine who endeavours to do one small painting a day.  Her online tutorials are fabulous.  I'm also inspired by the master painters Monet and Van Gough.  They painted so differently for their time, weren't afraid to take a risk and try something new.  Their use of colour is incredible and I find it inspirational.

The two links to the people above are not participating in this particular blog hop, I've just included their links for your interest.


 My quote

It is better to create than to learn! Creating is the essence of life.
Julius Caesar


Thank you Joolz for inviting me to participate in this blog hop and to those who have had the courage and endurance to continue reading to the end of this post.  As usual, I've had far to much to say for myself and I thank you for indulgence.


Anne  xx









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