March 30, 2007

Illustration Friday - I Spy

The obvious....'I spy with my little eyes' was something my sister and I always played during road trips. My boys are still way too young for this game but they are pretty observant.

I also thought of my grandmother because when they were living in Australia they lived in the inner city and in a beautiful Victorian house adjacent to an old corner pub. Back then it was way before the police got tough on drink driving laws so most Friday nights my granny would spy through her curtains if there was comotion spilling out of the pub....sometimes drunks would stubble across the street and steal fruit from her front garden!

March 29, 2007

Its all Black and White.......

Gosh its Thursday already!
Ive just finished some Black & White ATCs for a swap

This one ive named 'A Virus called Love'

The one below is ' Im seeing spots'....(well if you slowed down with the booze lady you'd be fine!!) Im like that these days, a glass of wine is enough to make me giddy....

This one is 'Surrender to the Music'

and this one 'Yeah Whatever!'....I dont even know if you're meant to name ATCs but its fun anyway.

A few months back there seemed to be Black & White goods in most of the home decor shops....plates, frames, vases...its quite dramatic isnt it? I love toile fabric but prefer Black/cream or red/cream toile is beautiful too!
Another thing I love is silhouette drawings - this one below is from a children's book 'The Kingdom under the sea' by Joan Aiken (1970) and illustrated by Jan Peinkowski.

March 26, 2007

Home Comforts......

Today for the first time in many months I wore a cardigan.

I dont mind as I actually love cardigans ( I told ya I was into granny chic) and Im even happy to say goodbye to the warm weather and send it off on its off you to my friends in the northen hemisphere who are so eagerly waiting for you with open more crazy coloured Vodka cruisers during lazy sunny lunches , or cold coffee frappe and chilled beer ...

anyway this change in the weather caught us off guard and totaly ruined our weekend plans (all outdoor activities) so we stayed home most of the time, ordered spicy Thai takeout and watched 'The comedy channel' (and the rain)....

Last night I glued some pretty pictures in a blank journal....nothing fancy just some images that I liked the look of.

Im so thrilled to be involved in Cruststations home project along with some very inspiring woman. I cant wait to start thinking of and planning my room but I do that all the time anyway...

we hope to move within a year or so and I spend a lot of time dreaming about turning a new house into a home.

Its a little scary too as I know my taste changes often and I cant really say I have a decor style as a lot of different looks appeal to me.

Home decor is so trendy these days and there are always new things to 'ohhh' and 'ahhh' over....Id say Im more a classic contempary fan and love accents that have a vintage feel thrown into the mix.

I know Im not a fan of modern homes as I much prefer old homes with strong bones, beautiful features a feeling of warmth, love and lots of history. My man on the other hand loves the modern look...clutter free, open spaces, glass, metal....its going to be a challenge but Im happy to face it when the time comes!

March 22, 2007

Illustration Friday - Total

This week's topic had me stumped, I had no idea what to draw ...but here is my take on the topic.

Total for an Engagement ring!

I made some of these postcards last night....a little experiment using scrapbook paper on card stock and some decorative paper napkins...I found these black/white napkins at the dollar store and they are quite sheer when you seperate the layers....add a little modge podge and a trim to size...Voila!

March 21, 2007

Day Dreaming.........

Its days like today that I dream of far away places….a break from the normal routines in life and being as far away as possible from distracting phones, emails and whining colleagues!
Ughhh! Work is killing me, my workload is crazy!!!
Im so glad the day is over now and so is the working week for me ... Im home now in my peaceful, safe haven.

I cant believe it was 6months ago that we were in Cyprus having our Summer holiday, visiting family, swimming, eating, driving around in the hot heat....I long to be at my grandparents house again...sitting on the cool tiled verandah with the scent of jasmine infused in the air, having a good old chat and laugh together....
I’ve been thinking about them quite often lately. My grandmother is in early stages of Alzheimer’s and its breaking my heart that we're so far away. She is a stubborn old thing too! refusing to see her doctor and my grandfather noticed she was taking her medication at the wrong time and in wrong doses! Ughh! I worry so much for their well being….

here are some pictures from my Cyprus trip ...its such a beautiful island and not only does it have stunning beaches and a wild night life but its rich in culture, history and tradition. Its the island of love as legend has it, Aphrodite rose from the foam of the sea.....When I miss it, I go to the flickr group 'From Cyprus' for more!

* Top pic is of an old village house, the old lady living there was drying chickpeas in the sun
* Bottom left - Tombs of the Kings, Paphos
* Bottom Right - Legumes and Grain sacks at a village market

March 19, 2007

Clean out Time........

I spent a good portion of my Saturday cleaning out the spare room which is being used as a study/craft room.
Well I don’t actually craft in there, I usually craft on my dining room table late at night after my boys are tucked in for sleep. My beautiful solid oak wood table has plenty of scrapes and scratches now but that adds a little character don’t you think?
Anyway, the craft room was getting out of control especially when I just couldn’t find what I needed!
I had piles of books everywhere, magazines all over the floor, bags full of supplies so it was definitely time for a little re-organising.
Its still looks pretty bad…so no pics to show off (as yet!) but I will get there….

I have such a funny habit of saving pretty boxes and tins, but after reading many blogs maybe its very normal to horde these kind of things haha!
The packaging of products is part of the appeal for me and these were definite keepers – the round box housed some lovely blue mugs that were on sale and that we now use for breakfast, and the yellow heart box had 6 espresso cups & saucers – super sweet!
Andrew almost threw them out and I had a little hissy fit..
’No! I need them for storage’….so he responds…
’More clutter??!!’
Well Humph!!….

Remember that vintage tin I found, I lined it with pretty paper and its now a home to some ribbons and trims, and another recent vintage find is this 50’s pink celluloid box made by Hoadly Chocolates (Melbourne)….I keep embroidery threads and buttons in this one!

I cannot believe its almost Easter…wasn’t it like yesterday we were celebrating the New Year!? One of my goals this year is to open an Etsy store, you can see some of the things Ive made for swaps and blogging friends here but I really need to take some time to make some banners, cards and paper goods for my future Etsy shop …a shop of my own! I love that idea!

Two talented and creative blogging friends opened their stores this week – check them out!

Vanessa - a Facinful twist
Love her dreamy girly paintings and whimsy illustrations!

Paula - Otchi Potchi
beautiful clothes and tote bags….

March 18, 2007

Sydney Harbour Bridge 75th Birthday

Another special celebration!

Today we along with many many others, walked over the Sydney Harbour bridge (The coat hanger) to celebrate its 75th birthday!

We had to pre-register online what time slot we would be walking and I really thought it was going to be complete mayhem but it turned out to be such a smooth carefree 45 minute walk from North Sydney towards the city.
They gave everyone a neon green cap and it looked like a sea of green from above. Lots of media helicopters in the air, everyone was waving madly!

The clouds were gray and we thought it was going to pour down with rain but lucky for us it didnt! Its raining now but its 10.40pm so Im heading off to bed....
Sydney' Famous Arch

My favourite view of the Bridge is from Observatory Hill

After the walk we headed down to
'The Rocks' for lunch.
Some vintage beach life guards.
Love the zinc cream!

March 15, 2007

Illustration Friday - Wired

I hope those wires are wired down properly......

I was about 6 yrs old the first time I visited a real circus....I can still remember it vividly in my sister and I were so excited and were waiting anxiously for the day to arrive!
I loved the clowns and the huge elephant the most....

March 13, 2007

Folk-ish fun.......

.......A post inspired by a song.

Im really loving the song, 'Take me Back to your house'
by Basement Jaxx, its getting lots of radio air time and the video clip makes me and my boys laugh.... the russian dancing men are a hoot with their cheesy costumes and moustaches. It has a catchy tune too! Check it out here

I drew some Russian girls for the occasion and I love the inside cover page of this Vintage Children's book 'Deans Gift book of Fairy Tales' 1967....there's Gretel!

A beautiful Russian inspired limited edition print by Melbourne designer Beci Orpin

and I love this decorating project by Purl Bee, simple but stunning effect...get those vintage fabric pieces out on display!

March 12, 2007

Mushroom Crazy.....

Every year we organise a day trip to Oberon, about two hours north of Sydney, where we go deep into the lush forest in search of field mushrooms.
We left it a little late this year as we normally go in February but it hadn't rained much so we waited until now. We were quite lucky to find so many and the whole bottom shelf of my refrigerator is now full of mushrooms whilst Ive spent a couple of hours last night searching for new Mushroom recipes in my cookbooks and online.
I didnt get into it too much this time as I had to look after Neo who refused to hold my hand let alone be carried so I headed back to the car, set up a picnic blanket nearby and entertained the kids.
This photo of my proud father makes me laugh as we have similar photos from the late 70's to now of our Mushroom picking days with my family members happily displaying their mushrooms...the bigger the better!

There was quite a few of the beautiful but poisonous red polka dot mushrooms just like Julie's collage piece, and some people pick the white ones but we go for these wonderful orange hued mushrooms most half hidden under pine needles. The flavour is quite strong and they taste so good...the smaller ones are perfect grilled with salt and served with lemon juice. I usually chop the larger ones and add to savoury pies, stews and risotto. I think we'll be sick of mushrooms by the end of the week.

March 9, 2007

What a week so far…
Work has been chaotic!! A collegue resigned this week, she was so pissed off she just got her handbag and left – very courageous on her part but bad for us as we have to sort through her paperwork and unfinished projects.
I was a sad to see her go so upset like that as she had been under a lot of pressure lately….Isnt it funny when you work hard to have a better quality of life but sometimes work takes over your life and you forget whats really important…Lucky I don’t have that problem haha...

So I started on my root canal treatment this week, no fun there!
I had a lovely little scenario in my head that I'd drop the boys at my mum’s and get to my appointment a couple of hours early, sit in a nice cosy cafĂ© reading my book and eating something delicious and sipping my tea nice and slowly.
…nothing like that happened of course…I was so rushed off my feet that day that I missed out on eating altogether and then my tooth was extremely sensitive that I couldn’t eat until very late at night – I was starving!!

Here are some lovely craft images from my new Japanese craft magazines – my friend Helen got back from Japan last month and bought me 6 books + 3 magazines! I have yet to sit and really look at them properly but the Japanese style is really calming and I love the basic, simple designs and styles. Very clever those Japanese!!
Helen is planning to move there next year so I guess I might just have to pay her a visit!

Andrew bought some duck eggs home the other day – one of his staff members has a hobby farm and was selling them $1 for a dozen– they are quite large and very heavy and I made a delicious ham and cheese omelette last night, it was really good!! … what else can I make?

This is what Ive been working on the past couple of nights. 1 inch square collages….this is for a swap hosted by Renmeleon and the theme is Green Monotone. I
had seen these teeny tiny collages on Lia’s blog as Lia is the queen of 1 inch collages – she is aiming to make 1000 of them, you can see her progress here!

I made mine with different shades of green paint then using green shades of twinkling H20 paints I rubber stamped some floral images, I added green paper here and there, then cut them up into 1 “ squares….now I need to finish by adding images and embellishing. I had an old Sotheby’s catalogue with lots of miniature images so cut out some of those and I had a few vintage comincs so used some of them too….I’ll give them a thin wash of green ink and add some more green details. If you click on my picture you can see it in greater detail.
You can see Lia’s tutorial on how she makes hers here
Have a great day!!!

March 7, 2007

Illustration Friday - Hide

Lets play Hide and Seek!!

March 5, 2007

Step back in time.....
My sister rang me Saturday night to let me know about an 'old and rare' book sale that she spotted in the local newspaper...Im so glad she did as I missed this annual book fair last year and sulked for days!!!
Its organised by a local senior citezns club and all proceeds go to charity so all for a good cause....

So Sunday morning I drove overthere and headed straight for the 'Children's books' section - so many great bargains!
Not many people were interested in these so all the better for me....most books were 0.50 cents to $1.00 each!! (Squeal!!!!) I was in complete book heaven!

Such beautiful illustrations....
Little swans from 'Swan Lake'

'Wizard of Oz' by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by Maraja 1958
(0.50cents!!! oh my.....)

also illustrated by Maraja is 'The Splendour book of Ballet' by Shiley Goulden 1962


Humpty is from 'Mother Goose Rhymes' , 1950 and Illustrated by Eulalie

A-B-C book 1966

From 'The Bells of London Town' illustrated by Molly B Thomson

I got 6 of her books for $1.00!! Im going to google some of these illustrators as I dont know much about them!

I'll also be scanning the images and adding to the Flickr group Vintage Children's books
Next week there is a 'damaged and old' book sale - Im SO there! I hope to find images for collage craft!

March 3, 2007

A drive out of town........

This morning we headed north out of Sydney to Katoomba in The Blue Mountains, an hour & a half away.
Its so breathtakinly beautiful....
we got there early but there was lots of tourists and locals around already.....its always a popular stop.
Here is a pic of The 3 sisters.

As you approach Echo Point lookout there are stones along the way that have carved poems
this one says:-

When I reached the lookout at Echo Point,The light was thick and golden
As if it had passed all day through,
A butterfly’s dusty wing.

Lovely huh?
We wandered through Katoomba village, had some lunch and then drove to Leura the next village and walked around, ate icecream and peeked in the quaint little shops. We're so lucky to have such beautiful areas close to our busy hectic city....its nice to just hit the road and escape.
Next week we plan to head up that way again to Oberon forest for some Mushroom picking. Hope we find some!

On Friday I received these lovely ATCs in the mail from Marianne at Applehead,
they are adorable!!! Check out her 'small people' cute!

Last week I also received the Autumn and Winter 06 editions of 'Marie Claire Idees' magazines from Paula all the way from Portugal.

I then received the Spring 07 issue as part of craft mag swap I was involved in so now I have 3 issues and Im definetly hooked - what a beautiful magazine!!
Its in French but if you read over and over you sort of get it...well sort of. My mum also knows a bit of French so I'll be asking her for are some inspiring pictures from the magazine! I love that tote bag....I'll be giving that a go....

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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