All about books…

For this week’s List Prompt (details can be found here or here), the prompt was books you have read.

Thank goodness for Goodreads, that made this list very easy!!

Books I have readThe list reads:

  1. Eating fire: Selected Poetry by Margaret Atwood
  2. The Comforter by Helen Lehndorf
  3. The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman
  4. Fifty Shades Darker by EL James
  5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  6. A game of Thrones by George Martin
  7. This I know by Susannah Conway
  8. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

These are in the order in which they have been finished.  The pogo print on the other side of the page are the books I currently have out from the library to read. Poetry Books by Janet Frame, Sylvia Path, Sam Hunt, Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds, James K Baxter.  And at the moment I am also reading these books:

  1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
  2. Writing down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
  3. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
  4. Poem Crazy by Susan Wooldridge

I am determined to get The Artist’s Way of my list by the end of the year, but I have struggled to read that book more than contract law textbooks!!  :)


I can see a rainbow…

For the past couple of weeks these pages have been in various states of completion, with layers of work.  From paint, to sewing, to ephemera, pastels, crayons, pencils, inks, paints, watercolours.  I thought the pages were done, and then I saw potential faces in a few pages and once I started adding faces, I found faces on all the spreads.

Finally they are done.  All the colours of the rainbow, doing these pages made me ridiculously happy, and not just about using up ephemera out of my hoarding box!  :)  I didn’t intend for the faces to all be so different, but they are, and I like them.

I am also very glad they are now finished and can be crossed off my to-do list.








And I am linking to Paint Party Friday this week. Always so supportive and encouraging, and the inspiration is incredible!! :)

Rocking my world

Here is my list for rocking your world Friday.  A place to list the positives that we have going on during the week.  Hosted by Virginia, this practice is becoming such a blessing as I count up my blessings each week, and some weeks, like this one, it is especially important to me.

Firstly, my father in law is out of Intensive Care and now as of today out of hospital.  Yay.  They don’t know what caused him to collaped, so that is worrying, and I think we will have some decisions to make, or he will, but not today and I am beyond grateful.

My beloved has been away all week, and he is back, and I am beyond grateful for that as well.  Today was the last day of term, so Spring holiday’s are upon us, and he has taken the children and dogs out to the park and the house is silent.  I should be doing housework, but I am doing this blog post instead.  I am also noticing the silence.

The other day, I met a friend for coffee after dropping the children at school, and it turned out she had made other arrangements and effectively kidnapped me, and put me through the grueling process of getting made up by professionals.  Once I got over the mortification (it is so not like me, and not at all what I was intending to do with my day), it was a gift in more ways than one.

She also without my knowledge bought me the red lipstick I was done up with (which is divine and called MACs Russian Red), which I have worn most days since, even if doing nothing more exciting than walking dogs and picking up children.  It makes me feel very hot and undomestic and super on top of the world.

At that same engagement with my friend, she had also arranged for bubbles at lunchtime, and what she called a “Sex in the City” moment of eating fancy german sausage in bread.  In celebration of her birthday that has already happened, and my birthday coming up in November.  Once I got over the shock, and complete overwhelm of her lovely generous gift, (and embarassing tears), I had a delightful morning, until I was whisked back into reality very swiftly later that afternoon.

My son got in the finals of the speech competition at his school, and I was very proud of him.  And he bought home a certificate today that shows he has done very well in some external English exams.  So go Sebastian George.

My daughter came out from brushing her teeth the other night (the night of the makeover) and told me I was the beautifulest Mum in the world, and the best.  That even when I am mean to her and she tells me she hates me that really she thinks I am the best Mum still.  She finished by telling me I should always believe it.  I had been sitting down in the quiet before they went to bed, reflecting on the day, and missing my beloved, and goodness knows how I looked for her to give me such a beautiful little speech.  But I pulled her on to my lap and told her that she should always believe how special she is, and she told me she knows that already…clearly no confidence issues there at the moment.

While on the bus on the way home from School earlier in the week, Victoria and my niece decided to sit at the back of the bus, on the other side of some High School Boys.  I heard a lot of giggling, but I could not see that they were up to anything untoward.  So I left them.

When we got off the bus Victoria showed me the note in her bag that she had picked up off her seat, that said “I love you” which I am assuming one of the boys had written for one of the three groups of girls that also got onto the bus, before my daughter intercepted it.  She was delighted at the declaration of love for her.  I did suggest that I wasn’t sure the note was meant for her, but she is pretty adamant.  I do feel sorry for the poor boy that got up the courage to leave the note only to see it get completely misappropriated.

And I think that is it.  As I cast my mind back, these are the moments that stand out.  Though I would like to cast out a quick thank you to my children’s giggles, and Rooibos tea as well.  The oil on my wheels this week to be sure.

List it Tuesday

Aimee has brought back List it Tuesday and I thought I would get in this week, with her suggested prompt of Nostalgia.  I had this list last week, and another one is in progress for Tammy and Hanna’s collaboration.  I love lists, I have lists for everything, I feel more organised as soon as I put pen to paper.  Anyway, back to nostalgia (already distracted in the first paragraph does not bode well)!

Nostalgia List

I painted the background for my list this week. As I reflected back on the things that make me smile and think back to happy memories.  I take a pause here to admit I just opened up a tab to see if nostalgia is only happy things because when I think of ‘nostalgia’, I only see happy memories associated with that word in my head, but it can be both, interestingly enough.  Little word association tangent! :)

So…Nostalgia for me this morning was the smell of lavender.  When I pick the children up from school we pass several lavender bushes and my daughter always picks me at least one flower, that I smell during our walk to the bus stop.  I don’t remember lavender in my childhood, but the scent of it always makes me think of happy long ago memories.  Takes me to my happy place generally.  And the flowers always make me think of long ago old fashioned high teas, and purple rinses in my head, goodness knows as I read this why I include it on my list, but there you go!

Daphne Trees/shrubs, or actually the flowers.  Winter happiness, I LOVE the scent of Daphne, and we did have one when we were little and it does take me back there.  As soon as I smell one I start scouting for where the shrub is, little gorgeous winter blooms.

Freshly cut grass, which always makes me think of Summer, and I completely forget my allergies and that it also plays havoc with me.  But the scent of freshly cut grass…the scent of summer.  Getting ever closer over here in New Zealand.  :)

My next nostalgia memory to come up this morning was the children playing under the sprinkler, that always makes me think back to when my sister and I were little and romping around on hot summer days.  A longing for Summer is clearly going on this morning!

Macgyver.  Last month I saw a Macgyver rerun on one of the channels and I have caught it once since.  Instantly I was transported back to my younger self that thought I could marry that man.  It was a bit different to how I remembered it in my head (isn’t that often the way! :)), but I loved the little walk down memory lane.  It made me very happy, and even now, just writing about it, has made me smile.

The word ‘intermission’.  I don’t know what happens in other countries at the movies, I suspect maybe all about the same, but when I was little the deep red velvet curtains would close over the screen as the lights slowly came on and we would go get our choc-dipped ice cream at half time.  Now there is no intermission at the movies.  But when I see that word, I see the event that intermission was, to get your stuff, have a toilet break if you needed it and rush back before the movie started again.  reflecting on nostalgia this morning, I saw the word ‘intermission’.  And I saw the red curtains drawing to close as people got a little chance for a break and turned going to the movies into a real event.  Possible my nostalgia is also overstating the wonder of the intermission as well!!  haha.

Making daisy chains.  As I looked out the window and I saw the daisy’s on the front lawn that Victoria and I used to make chains for her fairy house over the weekend, I thought back to the crowns and necklaces we used to make when we were little.  And how much I loved sharing that with her over the weekend.  A little moment of quiet.

My daughter doing my hair was next up, which brings back memories of my sister and I styling my mother’s hair, though I am sure we made her look better than some of the frightful styles my hair ends up with!  I sit there through the tugging and pulling and spraying and scrunching into the hair ties and remember.

Listening to seashells and hearing the ocean with my children brings back the wonder and magic of listening to the whispers of the ocean when I was younger.

And the other item to make my list this Tuesday is reading fairy tales to the children.  I love that they are as into books as I was as a child.  And I love seeing their reactions to stories, and the different lenses that they filter stories through.  I have kept a lot of my old favourite book series, like Milly Molly Mandy, Enid Blyton’s, Pippi Longstocking, Anne of Green Gables, and have hopes that one day my daughter will read the books I loved.  My son so far has shown little interest in my old books!

And that is my trip down nostalgia lane.  As I sit here now, I realise I forgot about songs and music, because there are certain songs that bring back specific moments to me.  But this was my list today.  The top ten things that came to mind as I was doing the page and distracting myself from my father in law’s illness.

Nostalgia List close up

Celebrating Spring

So this week there was a little Prompty challenge of sorts put out by Tammy at Daisy Yellow and Hanna at iHanna’s blog!
The details for this week can be found here or here!  :)  This week was a list of 5 things you love about Spring.  Given I am living Spring at the moment I did not have to think hard, as I looked around me and found my top 5 loves that are making me love this season at the moment.

Spring page

My top 5 loves this week are:

  1. Magnolia Blooms
  2. New leaves on my favourite ginkgo tree
  3. Warmer weather
  4. The feeling of renewal
  5. Spring blossoms

I went out and snapped a couple of photos with my camera, the bottom one is my gingko tree with new green leaves budding, and printed them out with my pogo printer.
The frog was in my ephemera box which I am trying to remember to use.  And it seemed appropriate as I had just gone into the frog tank to make sure our frogs were safe and accounted for from their winter hibernation.  Which they all were, though they are still huddling down at the moment!

Check out the links galore that I have posted above.  There will be a new list prompt on Saturdays I believe.  I love lists!


Rocking my World this Friday!

My second post for Rocking your world Friday, where we notice and note down the positives during the past week.  Hosted by Virginia over here, this has been a very useful exercise in a week that I was not sure initially I had much to tell.

Spring is here, and is definitely rocking my world this Friday!  I love Spring, the feeling of renewal and new growth and warmer weather, blossoms all around, LOVE.  I also love hanging my washing out and knowing it will actually be dry when I get it in.

I finished the scarf for my baby sister’s birthday.  She turned 15 this week, and I left it to the last minute but I finally finished it after a very late night, and she loves it.  It is a gorgeous yarn, different shades of yellow (her favourite colour), but i didn’t get a photo.  I thought numerous times about taking a photo in progress, but just didn’t get to it, and then I realised after it had been given to her that I had no photos.

So I texted her to take a photo for me and because I am such a bossy big sister she complied!  :)  Most of the week was tied up with that scarf, because I am not a fast knitter, so I have done little else.  And I am proud that I finished even if it required some late nights and focus.

Birthday scarf

I have done a wee bit of playing in my art journal although because of said scarf I have a tonne of pages in progress but not yet finished.  Next week will be show and tell time of some finished pages!!  :)

This post featured the inspiration deck I made, and Jessica said the kindest things.  Really made my day, just thinking about it now, makes me smile.

Skull #1

I found a plastic skull, which I want to paint.  I didn’t realise initially that it was a light, and I have gutted it now and am in the process of plastering it as a first coat (which will also fill up the gaping hole I left!).

Skull #2

My children got their school reports yesterday as well, and Sebastian has done stunningly well, and Victoria is tracking along nicely, so I am very proud of both of them.

Last weekend we had my nieces staying with us and we took them 4-wheel driving to see some seals, I grabbed this photo of them altogether, which will make a nice photo for Christmas, particularly for grandparents I am thinking!! Though it was harder than it should be to get them all to look at the camera at the same time.

Children at the beach

I am also very thankful for the invention of antibiotics, which is clearing up my chest infection quick smart!

My son drew this picture of all of us, and apparently when he has children he is going to add them to the picture as well.  A keepsake that at least sometimes he loves his sister!  :)

Sebastian's drawing

Also this week Victoria had a school trip the local art gallery which I attended, to see the Lynley Dodd‘s exhibition, and see some of her original sketches and drawings.

The class then had a go at monoprinting, and I quickly snuck in a quick go as well.

The first is Victoria’s and then mine.

Victoria's monoprint


Inspiration Deck

Inspiration deck.

Jessica Brogan is holding an inspiration deck swap, the details are over here.  I did some cards for her last swap (which can be seen here) and she asked if some of us would do a quick tutorial of making some cards, so here is my contribution.

Last time I used a deck of cards, this time I just cut up some cereal boxes. You could use watercolour paper, or ATC backs or anything really.

Inspiration Deck #1

I then chopped the cardboard to size. The size is the standard ATC size of 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches. While it doesn’t overly matter if your card is a couple of millimeters out, for the most part, if the size is too much bigger there is an increased risk that your card will get ruined and bent if the card gets folded round the other same sized cards in the deck. While I can be a bit rough and ready with some aspects of my art, the front stages of this project, the measuring and what have you, really make the job much easier at the back end.

Inspiration Deck #2

I then glued the backs of the card to some scrapbooking paper that I had from another project. You can see in the photo the shapes that have already been cut out of it. I used gel medium to glue and burnished it quite well.

Inspiration Deck #3

Inspiration Deck #4

I then gessoed the other side of the cards.

Inspiration Deck #5

And when the paper and the gesso was completely dry I trimmed them to size. This was just to save time at the end when I will then just have to measure the cards and cut to the correct sizes. Last time I did all the trimming at the end and it was a HUGE pain, though I did have lots of leftovers that I used for this card.

Inspiration Deck #6

The first layer I used acrylic gouache.

Inspiration Deck #7

Once that was dry I scribbled over them with my Neocolor I’s.

Inspiration Deck #8

Then I scribbled a word on each card with my graphite crayons.

017Inspiration Deck #9

I then brushed some white paint over with a credit card.

Inspiration Deck #10

When that was dry I squeezed on some air brush acrylics and sprayed some water on each card and then I smooshed it against another card.

Inspiration Deck #11

I then dropped some ink on the cards and stamped some butterflies on the cards.

Inspiration Deck #12

I then sprayed on some gold webbing spray.

Inspiration Deck #13

Inspiration Deck #14

Inspiration Deck #15

I then splattered with some white acrylic ink, because splatter is my version of glitter, and I think splatter makes everything good. :)

Inspiration Deck #16

I then grabbed a white-out pen and doodled over the cards.

Inspiration Deck #17

I then used my graphite pencil, and did some mark making on the cards.

Inspiration Deck #18

I then cut the cards down to the correct size.

Inspiration Deck #19

I then used my round corner punch, because I prefer the look of the finished cards with those corners.

Inspiration Deck #20

This is a completely gratuitous shot of all the cards stacked up, because I like the photo! :)

Inspiration Deck #21

I then rubbed my ink pad around the edge of the cards, because I like the slightly grungy look and I prefer finished edges.

Inspiration Deck #22

I then did some research and found some inspirational quotes that spoke to me. I then compiled them into a word document, and applied my favourite font to them.

Inspiration Deck #23

I also made some detail boxes for the back of the cards, which I glued down with glue stick and burnished them.

Inspiration Deck #25

I then cut out the quotes and glued them down with matte medium. And outlined them roughly with a pigment pen.

Inspiration Deck #26

Inspiration Deck #27

And I am linking up to Paint Party Friday as well, which is so supportive and everyone should check out!!  :)