Saturday, 29 December 2007

so sad...

I made this little french chick this afternoon from a strange little drawing I had seen. Just the thing I needed to make me smile.

This morning about 11 I took chicky Babe to work. I dropped her off and started on my way. I heard an ambulance coming up behind me so I pulled over to let it pass. It stopped about 200m up the street. As I passed I saw a poor old woman crouching over the very still figure of an old man. There were two cars parked by the roadside and a young woman and man were also there.

The young woman was attempting to comfort the old woman gently stroking her back. The young man was slowly walking in circles with his mobile phone to his ear. I saw all of this as I drove past the moment suspended in slow motion. The scene has stayed with me all day actually. I cried as I drove past so powerful was the grief and anxiety that was conveyed in that brief moment.

It was like viewing an artwork, in that the image told a story and you can connect with the emotions with the people in the scene. It evoked a strong reaction in me much like the sculpture at the WA art gallery of the aboriginal mother trying in vein to protect her daughter from the cloud of radiation following the atomic test blasts.
It didn't look as if there had been a car accident.

The old man was dressed in beige and brown. There was a dark brown hat on the ground. The old woman wore a light blue day frock. I imagine they were out walking and her husband collapsed. In my mind I decided they had been married and in love for 50 or 60 years and how awful it would be to lose someone you had shared your life with like that, but then how lovely it would be to have had that in your life. I felt compassion for them and thankful for the young people who stopped to give assistance. I hope he is Ok. Throughout the day I have felt teary about it.

Hence the funny french chicken. I needed to distract myself! (Craft, art and reading can be great 'distracters'- whether it is good or bad!)

On Thursday Chicky Babe and I went shopping, to spend the money and vouchers she had received for Christmas. We were browsing through the book shop and came across a book of soft toys. She expressed a desire to be able to make some toys like those. hooray! I'd love to teach her how! So when I dropped Bantam Boy at work this afternoon I headed to Spotlight to pick up some toy stuffing and then picked Chicky Babe up. Yep! I am at the mum's taxi time of my life. (Except for yesterday when I went out for lunch, after checking first to see that no-one required ferrying to work and back. She then realised that she needed to go to work. By that time I was well on my way through my half of a bottle of champagne! So I was no good to her plus the hotel/ restaurant was so noisy that I didn't hear the calls- all 8 of them! I felt like a heal when she told me she had been crying , she was so worried about how she was going to get to work and that I was not there to help her. What happened in the end! Grandmother to the rescue. So I guess it never stops hey? Lucky she was available to help!)

When I was part way through making the toy, Chicky Babe got out her sketch book and started to design some toy prototypes. I took the time to show her some techniques which she attended to distractedly.

"I'm just showing you what to do so that you'll know when you come to make your toy"

"I"M NOT MAKING IT! I'm designing, your making!" (That's my girl!)

So anyway the toy amused us all- goodness knows what I'll do with it my 'babies' are 16 and 14and a half! "We" have an Idea for a giraffe, a cow and a strange big footed creature. I am working on another handbag in my mind and am just searching for the right red spot! Plus I've made a vow to spend some time working on making some clothes for me. That won't get done if I spend too much time doing this!!!!

and so that was christmas.

Christmas decorations made from wrapping paper.

My christms turned out to be OK after all. I was a little afraid I would spend it on my own as Chicky Babe and Bantam Boy's father threw a spanner in the works at the last moment (well 2 and a half weeks prior to the day!)

Fortunately I had been running far behind my usual timetable, Starting a new job this year meant work had taken priority to general life. Anyway I had not yet decided exactly what I would be making for dinner (the last few years it has been a rolled turkey breast stuffed with a herb, fruit and nut, coos coos stuffing)and had not yet ordered the turkey, then out of the blue I was told the kids were going to have dinner with their other family. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we had a small family christmas morning breakfast instead.

I made ricotta hotcakes with berries in syrup with brandy butter along with "pastryless" egg and panccetta pies, quiches? and this all cost less than the price of just the turkey. The kids had a great time catching up with their cousins and grandparents. Once I got over my disappointment of not having them on christmas day I realised christmas is really all about the kids.They are young for such a short time and soon christmasess will be further complicated by their desire to share it with a boyfriend or girlfriend's family as well!

I bought a better digital camera with the intention of recording aspects of the seasons celebrations but promptly forgot to do so then when I did decide to take a picture of the yummy pancakes and beautiful berries the batteries were dead in the camera and we didn't have any more. What about the charger for the rechargeable batteries that came with it? Your guess is as good as mine! The kids have put it somewhere and are not sure where. Well we have a few weeks of holidays to locate it and several other missing items.

Christmas was almost unbearably hot and boxing day was over 42 degrees c. We went to visit my sister and her family in the country. It is generally about 2 to 3 degrees hotter where she is. Luckily she has an air cooler and a pool.

These are some photos I took from the car as we were driving along at about 100k per hour. It is a mystry to me that these can be so clear taken from a fast moving vehicle and some others when I'm standing still are so blurry. Oh by the way I was sitting in the back of the car with my kids. My mum was driving!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Still not feeling christmassy

Ok I might not be feeling it but I'm trying hard!

Our christmas tree. Yes a real one Chicky Babe decided it would be a good idea after all! We made the little ceramic doves and hearts last year and she decided we would stick to a simple theme of the red and white, using a fraction of our decorations rather than the poor tree groaning under the weight of all the decorations usually added!

Christmas carols on the lawn at the school where I teach. With daylight saving there was not a candle, torch or lighter in sight. It was still daylight by the time most of us left.

We also found some cute little clip on birds at the garden shop where we bought the tree. They are bright red with real feathers stuck on for tails and crests.Sorry the photo is not clearer. I will work on that.

Even the elves are helping to add christmas cheer, hanging the lights on the curtain rail!


I hope that your christmas was merry, I saved this rather than posting it. Better late than never hey?

Sunday, 16 December 2007

No Tree!

Browsing through blogs of others I realize I am far behind in the Christmas cheer department. This picture is from some time ago. There is not one decoration in sight at this point. I am debating the pros and con's of a real Christmas tree this year. Bantam Boy and I both like the little grow in the pot variety. Chicky Babe likes (Well used to like) the fake one that was so much taller than she was, especially when it stood on the table in the corner of the lounge. I like the look of a real one- (that has been chopped down) but they have a tendency to look a bit dry and bits fall everywhere. Maybe it is our hot climate that is responsible for this. Or my decidedly ungreen thumb.
Chicky Babe has just started a little part time job (after school and weekends) I cried when she put her uniform on. I didn't cry at the normal time like the beginning of school or at the end of primary school. (As a teacher I've seen many mothers do this) But to see my baby in a work uniform I realized that she was not a baby any more and I now have Two almost grown children. With this the magic that used to come with christmas has kind of gone. I think I need to make an effort to try and recapture the 'Christmas Spirit' perhaps taking time to reinstate some christmas traditions might make christmas seem more christmassy.

A taste of christmas past. This is from when the kids were little. In our old house. Ahh. I remember those huge stockings. I used to be able to fill them realatively inexpensively. Now they want new "toys" a less than one tenth of the size but more than ten times as expensive!!!
Tomorrow I will do something to remedy the situation.I can't find a picture of my current house and I dare not post a picture of what it looks like just now. It is too messy. I've been trying to remain sane with the end of year workload (reports, graduation & some very excited children) as well as trying to make enough stuff to put into the stalls I have had recently. So the house in general is lacking a bit of TLC. Tomorrow...Well Today actually Lets see if Bantam Boy & Chicky Babe can be enthused about a late Spring clean.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

To market to market

I love bags! So much so my friends have been known to call me the bag lady. I made these from some of my favorite fabrics. They are lined with little pockets inside to keep important things like your phone in.

Crocheted and embroidered textile brooches. I used some cute little retro buttons on the flower centers.

My girl modeling one of my favorite aprons.

Well, I gave it a go. A friend and myself shared a stall and sold a few things. I am considering different avenues to sell my things. As a single mum working full time trying to produce enough to have a stall all to myself is a bit overwhelming. Also finding the right market is also important. I don't want to give my work away so with that in mind I curbed my creative desire to spend hours on a single piece to create fun pieces more quickly. However I refuse to glue brooches together. Even if it would make the profit margin greater,I think they look better and last longer if they are made properly.
I have a new camera that I have been using to take some photo's of the things I've been making but I don't know how to put them on here. I'll give it a go.....
Somehow the photo went back up to the top of the text.I don't know why. How do you people put the photos and then the text and then more photos?
Ah ha! that's how. Lucky I am on holidays now so I can figure out this new medium!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Sometimes I feel like the little red hen.

The Little red Hen found a grain of wheat.
"Who will help me plant this seed?" asked the little red hen.
"Not I!" said the duck.
"Not I!" said the dog and the cat!
No one volunteered to help the little red hen until it came time to eat the bread she had baked from the fruits of her labours.
And yes sometimes I feel like that little red hen. As I scanned the computer for images of the little red hen I found out that the Rhode Island Red hen is a "heavy" hen that have a good constitution they are"Relatively hardy, they are probably the best egg layers of the dual purpose breeds. Reds handle marginal diets and poor housing conditions better than other breeds and still continue to produce eggs." I thought that all round this image suited me.

I am maternal and have been known to be clucky, I am a teacher and a busy single mum who needs to do much for herself and children. Following a recent trip to the hospital with chest pains that turned out to be stress related panic attack I was resting and asked Chicky Babe (my girl) to do the dishes. "Why should I? was the reply,"you're not doing anything." Oh! OK! In fairness to those arround me who have been a great support I know some of this exists purely in my head. However somedays it all feels a little overwhelming.
Often this is a result of my own restlessness and drive to fill most of my waking moments doing something. I love to sew, make jewellery, paint, plan and design my house renovations. When I'm in the mood I love to bake, though I've not had a dinner party in an age ( Most likely due to a crumbling social circle due to a number of break ups and changing friendships- not necessarily related directly to me.)
A friend of mine introduced me to blogging- well reading other peoples blogs and looking at all the lovely things people create. They become quite hypnotic or addictive. I look at them with mixed emotions, a tinge of jealosy actually. I looked a the beautiful photos of peoples lives, their lovely studios and lovely crafts. I lost my studio in a racent house move. The new house is in a better position for the children but did not have space for my studio any more. So my thing have been scattered around the house shoved in cupboards and boxes and i have not done alot for about 2 years. So...I have been inspired to pick up my needles and threads and have begun to create fabric and crocheted brooches. I love to combine traditional techniques and old bits and pieces to reinvent or rejuvinate something and give it life in a contempory setting. It's a bit like myself really, reinvent the old, keeping what has merit and trying to let go of what is no longer of use.
Although I am supposed to be writing reports (they are nearly done I promise!) I have decided to sell my newly made Brooches, aprons and bags at a local artists market- next weekend. I will have to take some photos and find a way to post them. Just to add to my list of things to do and learn I've decided to do this blog.
Why? you ask. Well I'm asking myself why too. So many others do it and seem to get joy from it. I am already finding it a very interesting exercise about what it is I want to share with others and why I would want to do it. I have kept journals over the years and promptly burnt some of them- Note to self don't over share! But this is quite anonomous so it is a bit liberating too. And who knows, someone may connect with what I am saying or doing. Writing is a means of communicating and like art the audience is important, it is something to be shared. I also liked the look of the images attached to the site and am looking forward to trying those things out too. I have been thinking of buying a better digital camera as I used to like using my Dad's old propper camera but it is not so convienient in a digital age and I couldn't afford the cost of the film development. Especially as a large percentage of them were not the best. So here I go about to post my first blog.
Oh My God. I do talk alot. Bantam Boy (my son says I type too much in my E-mails!!!)

Hmmmmmm! Just looked at the post. Lots to learn but now I have to make dinner