A box of Christmas…

A box of Christmas. #makingchristmasdecorations  #weddingpresent

Last weekend I went to the wedding of a very good friend.  She is gorgeous and lovely and special and hates crafts with a passion (that becomes relevant information!) and I had been pondering what to get her for her a wedding for the last few months.

She LOVES Christmas as much as I do.  Not for the gifts, (or at least only the gifts, because I also love gifts, though I love thoughtful little gifts that show you know me and have thought about it, rather than a big present that I will never probably use), but the whole magic of the season.  The decorations, the baking, the scents, the music, the stories and traditions, EVERYTHING.  And she had been looking for decorations to celebrate the first Christmas with her husband and had been unable to find any she adored in her budget or to her taste, and she asked me where I got mine and promptly died a little death when I told her I made most of mine (because she HATES CRAFTS WITH A PASSION).

And I went on pondering what to get her for her wedding.  A couple of days later I was talking to her mother who is also a very good friend of mine (and who LOVES crafts and is the Queen of knitting and crochet and crafty goodness, and who despairs at her daughter’s lack of crafting passion), and she suggested making her some decorations since we had similar Christmas sensibilities, and I enjoy crafts.  I phoned the Bride to be and did some word association with her to make sure we were on the same page and I went to town.  Making a box of Christmas.


Painting baubles, making paper chains to deck the walls and a mini one to dress the tree, dreaming up other Christmas tree decorations in my head and giving them a go, playing with hessian/burlap, paper clay and twine.  It was a good intro into the Christmas season for me, because I am not one to believe in squeezing the joy of Christmas into only one month.

(Says she who one year set up the tree and decorated the house in October, so as not to squeeze the joy of Christmas into only December much to my beloved’s surprise when he got home to Christmas CDs and a decorated house!!, whereupon ever since that year the decorations and the tree are kept hidden from me by my beloved and he brings them out in December).

So this was a great little excitement producing intro into the season and gave me a great deal of focus and motivation.  Which I have been needing.  A transition.

And this is what I ended up with…or rather what she ended up with…

A paper chain to deck her walls…

Paper chain to deck the walls. #makingchristmasdecorations

A mini paper chain for her tree (and that is sitting on the top of the box that these were all contained in!

Paper chain to dress the tree. #makingchristmasdecorations

Burlap/hessian baubles (as an aside it was in making these that I realised the value of a glue gun for the first time in the decades I have had mine and not really used it)…

Burlap baubles. #makingchristmasdecorations

Twine baubles…

Twine baubles. #makingchristmasdecorations

Star baubles…

Star baubles

Holly baubles…

Handpainted Holly baubles

Wire and tissue paper baubles, because these are tissue paper they are translucent and I painted them with Watercolour to keep that quality so when they are lit by tree lights they will GLOW!!! Like magic. I also made a glaze up with some mica paint, so they are also luminescent.

Wire and Tissue paper baubles

Wire and book text painted baubles…
Wire/book text handpainted baubles

Paper clay stars, these have a slight (very slight pink tinge, just off white), and in the glaze I added a little mica paint, so they are just the tiniest bit luminescent so will glitter just a tiny wee bit.

Clay stars

Handpainted angel baubles…

Angel baubles

Paperclay hearts, to celebrate their first Christmas, a wee personal touch with their initials and the year, painted the same as the stars so a slight pink tinge and a some mica paint in the glaze for a slight sparkle under lights.

Clay hearts for the married couple to celebrate their first Christmas as husband and wife. #makingchristmasdecorations

And while I have had the Christmas decoration production line out I decided to make a few more and try and sell them (here), because you never know and the worst to happen is that my tree will get more than the duds and I know what my children’s teachers will be getting for Christmas!!  :)

I was going to load them on Etsy but I thought with postage timeframes at this time of year I wasn’t sure they would get there, but I will be more organised next year, so have only listed them on Felt (New Zealand’s version of Etsy), but fingers crossed!!  :)

And in the meantime…I made a Box of Christmas!!!  Very happy making and it looked so beautiful all done up. I wanted to keep it for myself!!


Summer Fruits

Summer FruitThis page was created with Tammy and Hanna‘s list prompts as inspiration.

I quickly drew the fruits with my prismacolors and then stuck them onto an already prepared background where I used more paint and neocolors.  Just playing.

We eat a lot of fruit in this house.  Spending a ridiculous amount of money on fruit in fact.  But I would rather the children were eating Mother Natures sweets than the kind filled with sugar.  :)  Though doing this list it was hard to stop and have to pick through what fruits would be on my list.  I kept adding them.  This list is not in order though or it would probably be HARD nectarines first. As soon as they go soft and drippy I am not interested.  I made my beloved drive for hours to find some for me while I was pregnant and I became obsessive about them.  Now my daughter sniffs them out and I do actually hide some when they come into the house.

The list, of my favourite fruit is:

  1. Cherries
  2. Mangoes
  3. Hard necatarines
  4. Raspberries
  5. Blackberries
  6. Strawberries
  7. Pineapple
  8. Plums
  9. Apricots
  10. Peaches

I note now that Grapes were left off, and that this is clearly a summer list because in Autumn I am excited when feijoa season begins (I think they are called pineapple guava in some places). Just in case my feijoa tree feels begrudging and does not produce a bountiful crop this year! :)

I would also like to add a quick note and say thank you for all the kind words in relation to my post about my depression coming back.  Your words touched me more than I could say here and I so deeply appreciate the thoughts.  I felt so surrounded by kindness and support.  So thank you!!

Creative things I can do in 15 minutes

Creative things I can do in 15 minutes

This page was done in reply to Aimee‘s post over here.

This page was painted over another page, that I had done and hated, as part of a workshop I did last year.  The “prompt” was not really something I felt, a bit left of center for even me.  So it felt weird following the prompt, let alone making the page.  And that weirdness stangely enough was very present on the page.  So much so that I never took a photo because I wouldn’t want anyone to see it.  It just stayed there, and I cringed when I saw it.

Finally I decided to just gesso over it.  And do something else.  This is what I had done when I saw the prompt from Aimee.  And it was a busy week if I recall, so this page was pretty much done in 15 minute increments here and there.  I don’t know why it was so hard for me to paint over the previous spread, when I love it so much more now.

This list is a good reminder for me, as I look at it again (Particularly #4 at the moment!).  The list reads:

  1. Paint a background
  2. Paint or create with the children
  3. Sketch or draw
  4. Process and load photos
  5. Journal or poem
  6. Write
  7. Knit a row
  8. Get out the sewing machine
  9. Ice a cake
  10. Work on an art journal spread
  11. Glue things onto an art journal page
  12. Meditate
  13. Dance
  14. Laugh
  15. Play
  16. Read a book
  17. Watch an art video
  18. Make a book
  19. Stitch some paper
  20. Clean my desk or declutter

The journalling reads: Really I can do anything in 15 minutes, just set the timer and start.  Everything is creative.  How true that is. And this post was just written in 15 minutes as well!!  :)

Places that I want to go

I have had this post half written for a month.  I don’t know where time has gone.  Sucked into the vortex of depression I imagine.  So much so that appointments have been made with doctors and happy pills are on the menu again.  Finally tears and the feelings of alone-ness and uselessness are beginning to abate.  I am back here again to begin sharing the pages I have to share.

And more besides, but small steps!  :)

Tammy and Hanna and Aimee with List it Tuesday have been giving list prompts and I have been working on them each week since they started.  Soul saving sometimes.  The constant to hold on to and keep me plodding along.  But I have not been sharing.  So I have plenty to share now, though I am going to learn how to schedule posts and schedule a new one every few days rather than turning this into a behemoth post that is never ending!!  You may now have a breathe a sigh of relief!  :)

So this is Places that I want to go.  Which was way back here (and is another indication of how many pages I have done and have to share!)

Places that I want to go

I made the background in Tammy’s art journalling class (which is now closed, but keep your eyes peeled for new offerings because both of her classes have been fantastically inspiring) and it sat there unused.  Then when I saw the list prompt I knew exactly what background I was going to use.

So my places that I want to go (and not in any particular order):

  1. India
  2. Italy
  3. UK
  4. Germany
  5. France
  6. Sweden
  7. USA
  8. Samoa
  9. Rome
  10. China
  11. Thailand
  12. Bali

Another page will be up in a few days…and THREE MORE SLEEPS UNTIL MY BIRTHDAY!!

Today is a good day.

Recapping lived-in October

Wow.  A month.  Over a month.

At first I was running late because I was focused on Spring holidays with the children.  Which went really really well as an aside!  I had posts planned, and written in my head, but when it came time that I had a chance to sit down and write I just didn’t have anything to say.

But life was good if quiet.  Nothing bad, some gentle unraveling and abiding.  Introspective.  Healing.

And then the last few weeks hit.  It has been a firestorm of shedding layers and there is a tonne of raw emotion, that has been journaled, and arted if not fully resolved.  But all the good stuff that comes with self reflection and growing.  Life lessons abound.  Thank goodness for the quiet peace I had before that storm struck because it caught me unawares and I floundered for a week before I began to slowly find my feet, only to have the ground move again.  Now the ground underneath me feels more solid than it has in a long time!  I said to my beloved in the middle of all of it, that I wasn’t sure if I was just sad (because I couldn’t stop crying), or cycling into depression again.

On the other side of what I hope is the worst of it, I can say I was sad.  And I faced it, lived with it, surrendered to it, and I have come out stronger than ever in November!  (She says ever so hopefully!)

So that pretty much sums up October.  Quiet and peaceful and then sad, tumultuous and giving me a tonne of lessons to learn.  :)

But over all I kept my shite mostly together, so I am here feeling pretty proud of myself! Because the bad is only part of the experience, not the ENTIRE experience (and there has been plenty of good as well).  A lesson I need to keep reminding myself when I want to just hide under the covers and sob my days away.

My girl and I had a night without the boys and she had her first spa night with facemasks and painted nails which she loved!

Her first face mask

There were plenty of hiking and trips to the beach:
Some days it is only one foot in front of the other and faith.
Finding space
Feeling the magic and grounding.
Meandering streams
Surrounded by magic
Seeing faces in the trees
(Isn’t that tree in the middle a great haunted forest tree face???)
Soaking in the view...
Noticing the magic of the light...
Waves crashing onto the beach... Making the most of the sun before rain set in...

Rockets were made and launched and flew over 100m into the air.
Ready for launch...

Sunsets and sunrises were witnessed gratefully:
Flaming skies...
Farewell Friday.
Noticing the sky as I am getting dinner.

Road codes were opened…
I would rather be reading poetry...

Notes were left and found:
Post-it note left on the bench last night from Miss 5.  The translation is "I am not in the lounge. I am in bed. Get my hottie". #demandingbutcute #subtlelikehermum

I updated my August “vision board” (which still applies to right now as well, so I am being inspired by two!!)…:
August 2012

To this:
October 2012

So much I love in both of them, and in both things I was drawn to and don’t understand why yet. ALTHOUGH just as I type, my October one had an empty room with a scorpion, so maybe I should not have been so surprised by events that transpired towards the end of October!!

Halloween was celebrated with a special dinner, a dance party and trip down the road to a friends house…
Webby muffins to be served with maggots and brains, sheep hearts, blood worms, monsters eyeballs, Frankenstein's fingers, minced arms and Witch's wee...anyone else coming for dinner? :)
We dressed for dinner....

And love was had and witnessed.

They do love each other after all...

A full lived in month (and that is without the art journals and art that will come in a later posts because this is long enough now!!).

I am so ready for November, my birthday month and Spring and fresh asparagus.

Bring it on.