Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Decorating

Christmas Stocking

Teasel has been getting over excited by Christmas so we've put her stocking up early. The snow-being in it was one of the first decorations that she stole from the boxes of decorations that were "secure" in the spare room...

Later she helped me make a wreath for our door - she found the holly on the pavement and added bite marks for decoration:

Welcome!

However, later still, she was caught red-mouthed with this present, the only one so far to have arrived by post... which had been put, we thought, out of reach:

Teasel on CCCTV

It is now even higher up in the boughs of the fibre-optic Christmas tree:

Damaged Present


Jim decorated it yesterday and found three cute reindeer decorations to put on it. I don't remember these at all... perhaps that's part of the fun of Christmas - the surprises in the decorations box!

This tree is currently in the hall.

In the past we've had it in the sitting room but those lights flashing all the time drove me so mad that I put a set of ordinary Christmas tree lights on it and kept the fibre-optics off most of the time! In the hall its constant twinkle is much better and more welcoming!

I may not have time to post again before Christmas - so Merry Christmas to you all!

What's a Dalek have to do with it?

Goats Butt...

Core - I see a face!
"Core - I see a face!" - I'm always seeing things...

Tinker and Leah suggested, in reply to my posting about the inscription in the book by Aviva Gold, that it was made out to Goat Lady - which certainly made more sense than Goat Judy! I was thinking about this today and wondered if there was more of a message for me in this... it had been "For April" and then I remembered the goats at Paradise Bottom earlier this year:

Tinkling Goat
"Tinkling Goat" - photo by Jim

Jim took this photo on March 21st and it was on this walk, after seeing the goats, that for the first time in ages, I really felt that being near an animal gave me something of its power. I was inspired to go up and down hills with far more energy and sure-footedness that day than usual. That was just a little bit before April... I looked through my archive of photos from April itself and on the 21st of April found this:



A water butt kit! And we all know that goats butt don't we... ;-)

Another goatish synch is that a friend of mine share's her house with an astrologer - I'd teased him for ages by not letting him know when my birthday was - I was most intrigued to find out what he thought my sign was, and besides not being into astrology myself I felt much happier with his not knowing - his first guess about four years ago was Leo - I think my hair might have been having a good day that day - this November he tried Capricorn - still wrong but maybe he was picking up on something else! Though I'd consider the message, if there is one, to be that I'm a water goat which isn't in the Western Astrologer's menagerie.

Okay I've stretched this one as far it'll go... unless someone else has some suggestions?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Power Dip

Painting From the Source

This arrived today - from the US - Leah recommended it last Monday and I'd only ordered it on Tuesday from a reseller on Amazon.com. Amazon had told me to allow until February 9th 2009!

As I was reading the first chapter we had a most unexpected power dip. I was just in the section where where she is describing her own journey to the type of painting she calls "Painting from the Source":
And I even had to say good-bye (power dip) to the fear of being connected and whole.
Which I must admit seemed significant to me at the time. There was a second power dip a little later when I wasn't reading - I was cutting up red peppers... I can't see any significance to that one ;-)

This copy is even signed, though its really hard to read, I think its signed by the author.

My best guess is:
For April,
Keep Painting, Goat Judy
Love Aviva Gold
Can you make it make more sense?

As I tried to post this I got a message saying
Conflicting edits

There was more than one attempt to edit this resource at the same time. This may have been because you double-clicked a link or a button or because someone else is also editing this blog or post.

Please hit the back button on your browser and try again. If the problem persists, please contact the Blogger Help Group. We apologise for the inconvenience.
Weird! I wasn't doing more than one thing at once...

Any suggestions for what that means also welcome!

Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards


This is what I made this weekend - in fact mostly on Saturday - it felt very productive to get them made (even if not written and posted) before the last posting day - something that doesn't always happen - indeed last year I didn't get around to making any new ones at all - so lots of people ended up without one from me - sorry!

I made these in a similar way to the ones I made in 2006 (first stage, final ones) and indeed looked at and was again inspired by this tutorial. I got carried away adding bits and bobs before they were all cut up which meant I ended up having to cut some of the shiny confetti pieces and of course add more later. I also found it much easier to tape them into the cards than glue them. Quite a lot of my potential cards didn't have windows so I used a square hole card punch to make them.

Last time I used stamps on tissue to put greetings inside and I did something similar this time - I like the effect of a couple of layers of tissue although it does mean more glue and mess! At least Pritt stick was all that was necessary for the tissue.

Anyone else making cards?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What's on the Outside of Your Fridge?

What's on the Outside of Your Fridge?

Andrea has asked what is on the outside of people's fridges - this is ours.

The monster on the left is something Jim and I made in our first year together using a similar method to the fish next to it. Jim's mother had made that for him some years before. She was inspired by Make Something Ugly...for a Change: The Definitive Guide to Papier/Cloth Mache by Dan Reeder. (Unfortunately it seems that this is out of print and people are asking ridiculous prices for the copies available.)

The green tortoise magnet was made for Jim last year by his nephew, Alex.

What's on your fridge? (Do post a link here if you decide to blog it!)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Life, Paint and Passion

My studio

Yes! I've finally got my studio back so I can paint again.

Last August Jim removed the old carpet (which had moths and had to go) and painted the floor - unfortunately the cement paint was VERY smelly so I couldn't go back in straight away.

Then we got Teasel and it was the best place to put her as it had a floor that wasn't precious... now she is (more or less) house trained she is inhabiting the upstairs more and I get the basement back!

I'm restricting myself to poster paints for the moment until I'm sure Teasel isn't going to take up paint eating. But that's no problem as I rather like them - they are cheap and colourful and I love their consistency and opaqueness. They are, incidentally, the type of paint recommended by one of my favourite art books:

Which I've recently re-read.

Its amazing how one can completely misremember a book.

The last time I read it and was inspired to paint by it I produced a whole series of paintings that were colourful weird and very detailed (though I used acrylic paints then as its what I had and knew). They formed the last exhibition of paintings that I did. That was in 1996. I blogged one 10 years after that in June 2006.

Now I realise that one of the things the book does is caution against showing this sort of art work to anyone!

Because its so personal.

I somehow missed that entirely before. Though I didn't try to sell them as I felt they were too personal to sell... but at the time I hadn't really worried about whether I might feel over-exposed by showing them... Looking back now I think that showing them did block me from letting myself paint more this way. As though I'd broken a trust with myself. So this time around I will not be showing them, not even here on my blog. (I have been painting on and off this year and not shown it here for the same reason.)

Also I'm sure when I first worked with the process in the book I felt that just splashing paint on "wasn't allowed"... hence the relatively tight and detailed work and yet the book is extremely clear about there being no rules... it makes suggestions that are not all mutually compatible because different things are going to be appropriate at different times. I think I must have got quite a lot of rules into my head when really the idea of the book is to free oneself from ALL the rules!

The idea is more about painting whatever it is appropriate to paint now; not to analyse it at any point, just to let it come.

So given that when I happen to tell Jim "this is such fun" and he responds "is it very messy?" this time around I will let the inner messy painter out!

This process is not about painting for those who intend to make a living from painting. It is about self-expression and painting for the sheer fun of it.

Michele Cassou has her own website - and the first thing that struck me about it is that her name was mispelt (Michell) on the cover of the Life, Paint and Passion book!

She has several other books, plus DVDs and CDs for sale there.

I would love to go on one of her workshops...

Anyone else used her methods or even been to one of her workshops?