Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Wild pincushions

I've made three of these kitsch "wild" pincushions to add to my collections for my stall at our local farmers market and pop up shop. I have eight more days of making left until the stall.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Crocheted toys

Crocheted toys by dette.k
Crocheted toys, a photo by dette.k on Flickr.

It's that time of the year again, and I'm madly making stuff for a stall at the farmers market at my school. at Christmas time they have a pop up shop for crafts people at the same time as the normal produce stalls. The cost of the stall is quite reasonable and I'm just making a bit of this and that as it takes my fancy.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Three wee dollies.

  by dette.k
, a photo by dette.k on Flickr.

Three dolls almost done this weekend. I'm thinking that if I pay myself twenty five dollars an hour and each one takes over three hours to make and that doesn't include materials...$80 at least, is quite reasonable. I havent boughht dolls for a long long time and wondered what people are paying now days. A massed produced baby born is $75, a barbie is about $50 (depending on the style/theme) and a hideous machine made raggedy Anne doll was $20 in the bargain bin at textile traders, so $80 is a good deal for something unique. The problem is people often devalue what is handmade and want you to sell it for nothing. We'll see.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Lace knickers and a crocheted hat. :)

She now has a crocheted hat and a friend with lacy knickers....time to sleep. I'll finish them tomorrow!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

She favoured a simple gathered sun dress. She would also like a pair of black Mary Janes

dette.k (24 minutes ago | edit | delete)
Today I wandered into a lovely little shop where the textile artist who owned the shop was working. We had a lovely chat and when I got home I ignored the mess in my bedroom (again) and the pile of marking I should do and pulled out my sewing machine. This is the first of five dolls that I cut out this afternoon. I think she needs a straw hat and a picnic basket. Somehow I think she is French.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

A sun burnt country...not sure I love it.

When I was traveling I actually didn't miss home, Sure I missed my kids and friends but my home town not so much. Recently I enrolled in an online art course called Ode to Nature to try and find inspiration and search out a new direction. I also thought that the idea of walking about drawing inspiration from nature would also give me a chance to exercise without really realising I was doing it as I have got fatter and fatter and am finding that I have less and less motivation to try to lose weight, it has been a battle i have had for my entire life and I'm tired of it!
Anyway back to the nature thing. I'm doing a hypnosis tape (for weight loss actually so I'm back there again!) and in it is asks you to go to a place, a garden where you feel relaxed, my mind can't seem to find one that is real I flit from one image to another of typical meditational babbling brooks grassy knolls. But I can't find a place that is familiar to me that I can draw on. So I decided that I have to create a place that I love in my front yard, not one for the kids to 'entertain' in or anything else just for me the way I like it. Now I am not really a gardener. I don't particularly enjoy it as such, I like planting new things and picking flowers but not the digging weeding and sweeping, although I have decided to think of it as "exercise time" thus killing two birds with one stone,
A few weeks I caught a bit on gardening australia about a park land in Whitegum Valley (near where I live) that has created  garden using plant species indigenous to the local area. Ah I thought to myself, I'll go and have a look and see what the experts can do with local native plants. Then I will take photos of the plants and jot down their names and try and produce a lovely but waterwise garden in my front yard that will fare ok with the intermittent watering it gets from me.
So tim and i went there today armed with sketch books and cameras.
This is what we found.

This lake was quite pretty with a family of ducklings paddling about. There were a few trees nearby and the grass was greenish

The shady part was quite nice as was this comfortable chair. I might add some sleepers to my limestone garden edging to make more comfortable seating.

We followed the path along with anticipation of learning somethng about the right type of plants to use in our sandy limestony coastal soils.
Hmmm....this is not what I expected.

So much dead,dry areas amongst those plants clinging to survival

 I often hear people complain about the few rainy days we get in winter and how they wish it would stop raining. We have only just come out of winter and one would imagine that this garden would be mostly greenish. But I was disappointed to discover much of it was dry and half dead or in some cases all dead!
This one has a sign telling you what not to plant!

This section looked a little more optomistic. Until I got close enough to realise that it was actually an olive grove! and a little further along some connifers and some chineese Tallow trees which I i already have in my garden. Perhaps the "Mediterranean Style" might suit me more.

 These poor old trees are growing sideways because of the "fremantle doctor" our strong sea breeze!
This sea breeze has had me running down the street after a market umbrella that I had in my front yard (twice in fact until I yielded and saw the wisdom of going without the brolly!) Maybe this year now that I have a couple of big trees grown up there now I may have a bit of a wind break.

 Here's the parkland looking back down on it from the high point near the road. Oh well I suppose I learnt what I didn't want in my garden and I had a lovely 40 minute walk with tim that seemd to go very quickly

Even now I am trying to keep an open mind and we are planning to go to kings park next week to see what's on display up there.

At least on our travels today we discovered my new favourite cafe! I love the crochet they have here and there and the tea cups I felt right at home!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Today's work


Today's progress. I would have done more but I have a dreadfully sore throat and my ears feel like they will burst. My friend who is having the baby is delighted with it so far. I don't know why I worry so much!

The good thing is that it is waiting patiently out in my studio till tomorrow so I can get straight back into it. No packing up or setting up required.

Studio bliss! *Sigh*


Saturday, 15 September 2012

Studio update.

Several weeks ago a friend 'dobbed me in' to do a painting for a lady we work with who is expecting a baby. I had been making a cute little owl toy as a demonstration for a class that was doing a textile project. We started talking about toys and nursery decoration and she mentioned that she would love a cute owl picture for her baby's room.

"Dette can paint you one!" ....indeed. I couldn't say no but in truth I felt happy to do it. Or so I thought.

I started to worry that she wouldn't like what I did.

That was weeks ago and I've had a hard time getting into it. I procrastinated and watched a complete 4 series of Sanctuary, did quite a bit of crochet. Finally i thought it was time to start. It was the impetus for the studio clean out and finally today I transferred the sketch to canvas an made a start at last.

It shouldn't take long to finish, just as well as the baby is now due in a week or so! The best thing is I can leave it all set up and ready to go again tomorrow.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Step by step, little by little

Today I had Tim help me finish sorting the stuff we liberated from the studio a few weeks ago. It has been sitting in unruly piles in the patio area between the lounge and studio. We sorted threw and donated the last of the junk that came out of my space. There is one little corner to sort still but it is actually quite a usable space now and I can now walk into my studio without distraction or guilt that I should be doing something else.

Once it was done I sat down and made a sketch of a painting I am going to do for a lady from work who is having a baby. I should have done it weeks ago but haven't come close to deciding quite how to do it but now I am clearer on the composition. She wanted a cute painting of owls, I'm going to do something inspired by the work of Rebecca Cool using floral fabrics glued to the canvas and painted around. Next Tuesday I'll aim to put paint brush to canvas.


Monday, 13 August 2012

It gets worse before it gets better

This is the mess I have created this afternoon. I'd planned to do it on Sunday but I had a bit of the flu and spent most of the day in bed. I didn't feel well this morning either so I spent most of the morning in bed, but by mid afternoon I started to feel better. I enlisted the aid of tim the toolman and braved the black hole of junk that was my studio

For a few years it has become the dumping ground for stuff no one wants to deal with right away. Like old stuff tim has well meaningly bought home...but truely I don't think I'm going to make my own sausages with the old home sausage making machine. Then the kids would clear up the patio area for a party and cram stuff into the studio - like some plants that looked a little less than well, certainly they were very unwell when I moved them out today. There were boxes of bits and pieces, I've sorted through them quickly and roughly chucking the real junk and doing a preliminary sort.

We've swept, dusted, fixed door handles and blinds. I used an axe to scrape a big dollop of dried up paint from my work table. Now the patio is a bit of a mess but tim took a trip to the Good Sammy's and there are piles of things that need to go in the garden shed or the storage shed, then perhaps a bit of a furniture shuffle and it will be ok.

I've even hung up some cute little flying birds above the door and made a very simple curtain to filter the harsh morning sun that has faded the floor rug. It needs a lot of work still finishing off the building, window edging and putting an insulated ceiling in. Because it is very very very hot in summer and a little cold in winter, though give me a Perth winter any day over the heat of high summer!

As it is almost my birthday tim has bought me an online art class, ode to nature by Alisa Burke. It is about finding inspiration in nature. Mostly for me I'm interested in it to use as a prompt to get me back into it. Also I could do with a bit of exercise so a walk around the park or river with a sketch book has got to be better than nothing at all! Then it won't be exercise it will be for art's sake. ;)


This clean out is the beginning . One of the ladies I work with is having a baby and has asked me to paint something for her baby's room. I should have done it weeks ago but I've had nowhere to do it! So hopefully I'll be able to post my progress at getting back to being creative here. I really don't want to waste my day off doing non arty stuff so having somewhere to work is important.

Now I'll have to be really firm about not letting anyone pile junk in my studio!


Saturday, 7 July 2012

Hooray for holidays!

Right I really have to figure out how to do this more successfully!

Take two.

I've been thinking that this is the first time in ages that I haven't felt really exhausted and a tad unwell at the beginning of my holidays. I think it's because I've made the decision to work the 4 days next term rather than full time. it means that I drop two classes that I teach subjects other than art so as I have a pretty good outline of what I want to achieve next term in art I don't have to spend a lot of time planning over the holidays, I can fine tune my art programme towards to end of the holiday.

I've also booked a couple of nights for tim and I away in this first week. We are heading north up the coast to the Pinnacles it's only about two and a half hours drive from Perth. On our big trip last year I realized how important it is to get away from home every now and then. Away from the house work and odd jobs big and small that call to you while you spend your holidays at home. Last year I bought a new car so that I could take mini breaks like this without having to worry about the car conking out part way there.

I plan to take some photos, maybe do some drawing and painting and read a bit. Not sure what I'll read just yet but I have a rather large stack of books to choose from. Reading is another pleasure that I am beginning to enjoy again, that's one of the things that told me I was really depresses and stressed. I loved reading and would devour books and since my depression got very bad and until I went to Europe I couldn't manage to read, I couldn't get into a story. I struggled through one book over months and months and left the last chapter unread, that's very unlike me! But I think I'm really on the mend. I read a book over the last month and I finished it today, relaxing in bed with a cuppa this morning. Definitely holiday mode!

This after noon I baked bread to have with soup for dinner tonight. I used a bread mix with lots of seeds in it. Mmmmmm, yummy. The kids were starving but I wouldn't let them eat until I took a photo of it. Bantam Boy decided to play stylist and added a pair of glasses to the loaf!




Saturday, 30 June 2012



Ok ...the last attempt didn't work at all!
Recently I bought myself an iPad. I really like the way it feels to hold and to flick through. I used to be quite addicted to magazines. I loved them, it was quite an expensive habit and I loved them so much I used to keep them all so I could flick through them whenever I got a chance but they threatened to overtake the house!
Anyway I haven't quite worked out how it works just yet.
I've also bought myself a new bright yellow couch and two red chairs for my loungroom. My old lounge had cushions and made you slouch and sit crookedly which was most uncomfortable and made my back ache! The new one is very comfortable and I love the colours, they are so bright and cheery. Luckily I bought them before deciding to drop down to 4 days a week at work.

I've had a couple of challenges at work that have been quite draining both physically and emotionally, it has consumed my thoughts and each week I would dread what was to come, I spent hours trying to problem solve and finally I've decided to drop some work time in an attempt to find some balance between work, running the house and my desire to create my own art work and nurture my creativity.

Work has been leaving me with very little left over for my home and my art has become a distant third after everything else. I am a little worried about the drop in income but at this stage it is a temporary thing just for the rest of this year so that I can see how we manage. The kids are all working now so they are able to look after their own wants and I've told them that they will have to be responsible for their own phone bills now so that will help. Most importantly I am looking forward to a little more space, not only in my lounge room but also in my head allowing me energy and balance in order to find a little more peace and balance in my life and hopefully a little more productivity.



Sunday, 6 May 2012

as time goes by...

The last little while has been a bit tricky for me...my grandmother passed away recently. This is a hand coloured photo of her when she was 21. It was a strange mourning time because she had Alzheimer's and has not been "Nana" for some time. She hasn't recognised me in years and more recently she had completely withdrawn and become unable to communicate in any way. So in essence you grieve twice and the grieving is done slowly over years. I felt a bit of guilt as I'd not been to visit as much as I "should", I also felt very nostalgic looking through the piles of photos for the power point presentation I made for the funeral. It's a time when you are confronted with your own mortality- Nana would have been 100 in November and up until recently she had lived a full life- but death is inevitable. I helped Mum plan the funeral and there are so many choices to make, I ended up telling my kids two songs I'd like for my funeral and told them to pick the cheapest coffin available- I'd prefer a cardboard box, Such a waste of money really. Even simple funerals cost a fortune! I'm glad that I've got life insurance to cover these costs for the kids when that happens...This post is tad morbid really, but that's where I've been of late. I've also been actually doing some organising and not thinking or talking about organising. As a result I've been a bit absent in the blog sphere of late...but I find I'm not the only one. And then when I get time to spend online I'm distracted by that ever so addictive pinterest!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

The case of the disappearing sheets ...and a way of solving the problem

With a house full of grown up kids with double and queen beds I have found that there is sheet confusion and "sheetnapping" occurring. So today I bought myself a couple of new sheets (the one sheet I could locate had passed it's prime and suffers from pilling hence it's uncomfortable and I threw it away.) I got out my embroidery threads and have put my name on my sheets...
 this should solve my problem.

Monday, 12 March 2012

mother and daughter weekend

We had a delightful time together. We thoroughly enjoyed everything we saw and did.
We discovered we have VERY different sleeping styles. Chicky Babe likes to sleep in a neatly tucked in bed, I on the other hand like to untuck the whole bed to be able to stick my limbs out in order to regulate my temperature. My bed is closest the window!
 This is the view from our hotel window- it was raining when we arrived. The boat you can see is the Queen Mary 2.

These photos were taken from the roof top pool area. The Hotel (The Holiday Inn Old Sydney) was an ideal spot for a girls weekend away. It was an easy stroll to the ferries and there was a taxi rank just outside the hotel. Plus the Rocks is such a nice place to spend the weekend especially with the Sunday market right on your doorstep!

The Rocks also has lovely old buildings, nice little cafes and interesting walkways.

All of the events we went to Sydney for had a No Photography rule so we will have to make do with our memories and purchased souvenirs. It was interesting to take a close up look at the costumes and props from Harry Potter and the Picasso exhibition inspired me with ideas for teaching the kids at school.
 We took the ferry to Manly and we had lunch with the lovely Fifi and her daughter.A beautiful sunny day spent at a very nice "hipster" cafe on the beach followed by a browse through the markets there and a coincidental meeting with a former student of Fifi's who had bought one of her paintings at an exhibition. So I had the privilege to see one of Fifi's paintings for real. Beautiful! She really is a magical fish!
 On our last day we stashed our bags in the hotel lobby and made our way to the botanical gardens for lunch and a walk.
 Look carefully - you can just see the bird having a bath in the fountain, he was having such fun!

Beautiful, shady, full of flowers...

and a gazillion flying foxes making a hell of a noise!

We hadn't planned to but we ended up walking all the way back to our hotel. We followed the meandering paths and before we knew it there was a sign saying Opera House 2mins. (Mind you we saw about three signs saying 2 mins to the opera house!) So we just kept walking. It was such a nice walk although by the end we were feeling a little burnt.

In all a lovely time.