Monday, June 30, 2008

Extraordinary Monday - Dragonflies

Last week, a few very cool stationery items appeared on random desks at work. With it, a little note that carried a dragonfly icon. That got me thinking, I do like dragonflies a lot and I like to think that they are magical creatures. Many of us find them to be interesting motifs for patterns. BUT how many of us actually know much about these fascinating insects?

Here are a few facts:
- they spend up to 5 years (depending on the species) of their early life underwater!
- when the larvae is ready, it sheds its outer layers and emerge from the water.
- they eat HUGE amounts of gnats and mosquitoes. (I love this fact about dragonflies!!)

Anyway, so if you see a dragonfly fly past you next time, think about how extraordinary these insects are!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Eternal Recurrance by David Robinson

A good friend of mine just finished his latest painting and he has graciously allowed me to share it with you. He's also been recently commissioned so more paintings!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Extraordinary Monday - Peter Callesen

There is one thing I would love to be able to do well: paper sculptures. But I think I just don't have the patience and tenacity when it comes to creating beautiful paper sculptures. It must take a whole lot of patience and tons of trial and error before producing something perfect and awesome.

Now, Peter Callesen has all the talent required. Take a peek.

Okay, so some of it is just a tad morbid but there is a quietness about his work and the way he works with a clean white piece of paper. The narrative power in his work is immense. I particularly love his framed A4 work. You have to have to take a look.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Waking up tired

For the past week, I've been waking up tired. Not because of Amelia waking for her feeds but Zachary sleeping really late and sleep talking. He has been sleeping as late as 10:30pm! It's not like we don't put him to bed early. We do. Bedtime is 7:30-8:00pm but he takes so long to finally go to sleep. This means I don't get to do anything for that two hours or so as I have to lie in bed with him! When he finally goes to sleep, I only have that precious hour or two to do the housework and squeeze in some blog time or craft time. I am getting frustrated as you can imagine. Time for some drastic moves I reckon.

It is also really frustrating at the moment because I still have that big bag of goodies that I have yet to unpack.

I did, however, get some time two nights ago to get all the stuff ready for Amelia's next booties.

I'm itching to start but have had no time so all the little bits are currently being kept in a neat little package waiting for me to open it.

I'll keep you updated.

Now, to tackle that ever growing pile of clothes that needs folding...urgh...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Crafting with Zachary

One of the things I would love to spend more time doing is to craft with Zachary. I want to get him started early thinking in creatively. Hopefully, that will help him develop his lateral thinking abilities. I haven't been able to since I work full time and my home is divided between giving him and Amelia attention. However, a few weeks ago I did manage some quality crafting time with him and here's what we made.

We took a shoe box, in this case a shoe box with a connected lid, and created a diorama of a jungle. I had to keep it rather simple bearing in mind the fine motor skills of a 25 month old. To keep it simple, I chose to work with coloured paper and sticky tape. Zach did all the sticking together. Tree tops to tree trunks. The blue and green paper for the scenery. He particularly loved sticking on the clouds. I did all the paper cutting. He dictated where the trees and the grass went. I suggested the river and he was pleased with the idea as his turtle needed a place to swim.

I must say, it turned out better than I had expected. He enjoyed himself tremendously and loves playing with it. And the great thing about working with a shoe box with a connected lid is that the diorama stays pretty safe when it needs to be packed away.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Extraordinary Monday - blistery Perth

Today was a particularly blistery day and on days like these, I like to remind myself of the things I love about this city. Oh of course I do love its white sandy beaches and the 300 odd days of sunshine. But there are two things I love about this city: its BIG BIG skies and the feeling that this city is teethering on the edge of something great and exciting.

There is a certain feeling of anticipation in the air. The skyline of the city is changing. I last counted, as I drove by the South Perth foreshore looking back towards the city, about 30 cranes over construction sites in the city skyline. We're not talking about a metropolis here. We're talking about good old Perth in far away Western Australia. Our CBD centres on one main street and that street isn't very long at all! To have that many cranes in the city skyline is exciting. In 5 years, the skyline would be transformed!

South Perth Foreshore looking back to the city skyline

There is also an agitation for change in other areas of life in Perth. One of the big agents of change is FORM. A not-for-profit organisation that is pushing for a cultural paradigm shift in the people of Perth.

It's all so exciting. I want to be able to say I was there, in and amongst it all, when Perth grows out of its ugly duckling stage!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Untitled no. 1

During my last week of maternity leave, I transferred an image I had been carrying in my head for months onto canvas. It was the first time I had actually painted in so many layers but I thoroughly enjoyed watching the painting come alive in front of my eyes. It was also the first time I felt that I had truly developed a personal painting style. It has taken so many years but I think I am beginning to feel like I am now able to express myself in my own style. The priming of the canvas, a colour wash, a gesso layer, a thicker gesso layer providing the texture and then the colour layers. It was so much fun!

The painting, or rather I should say, the paintings (I had envisioned the image in two parts) are now on the most prominent wall in my kitchen/dining room. I do wonder if it is worthy of that position. Maybe in a few years, I could supersede it with something else. Anyway, it was the only place it could go and it fitted really well into the available space.

I have yet to name it so I have just settled for Untitled no. 1 for the moment.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mid week craft fix

I took some time off on Tuesday to do some much needed 'shopping-on-my-own' kinda shopping. One of the types of shopping under this category is craft supplies shopping. You simply just can't drag a baby, a toddler and your husband through the craft store. Your mind would be unclear and distracted. Craft shopping requires a certain quietness in the spirit and lightness in your thoughts to achieve the perfect palette for your next project.

Most of my craft projects begin as a vague idea and slowly develops as I walk through the aisles of the store. AND very often one project becomes ten projects, the longer I spend in the store. So on Tuesday, with a vague idea for Amelia's shoes, I walked in and savoured the excitement as the design of her shoes began to form in my head. I left the store inspired and armed with a bag full of 'stuff'. (Yes, the single project did become a few more because they were having a fabric sale!)

I haven't had a chance to start on Amelia's shoes yet but here are the bits and pieces.

Oh and watch this space as I slowly unpack the 'stuff' from that BIG shopping bag I came out of the store with!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I have a confession to make...

...some songs create images or scenarios in my head. It's like seeing music in pictures or hearing the music in scenes very much like music videos.

Today, as I was driving along listening to one of my current favourite songs, "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat (not because of those ads about Sally leaving Home and Away, which got annoying really), I kept picturing Khoa and got that warm tingling feeling when you think of someone you love.

Then, this occurred to me: you know you really love someone when you hear your favourite love song and all you can picture in your head as you sing along is your loved one.

Hmm...I'm all warm and fuzzy now.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Extraordinary Monday - Pining for the other half

I've christened Mondays as the days where I will post something odd or out of the ordinary in light of Mondays having such a bad reputation for being a drag. I guess it is my little attempt at bringing some extraordinariness to your Mondays!

My first ever Extraordinary Monday post has to go to this 100 year old Norfolk Pine which was so badly 'shaven' in the name of safety. Photo credit goes to Mel who paid it a visit last week.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ah, the joys of...

...being two and having your first pillow fight!
It wasn't such a good idea to have started one just before bedtime but it was SO much fun watching Zach completely losing it every time he whacked his daddy with his Thomas the Tank Engine pillow.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Doing the Karen Cheng

So I have a confession to make, I read a number of blogs religiously. Almost everyday. I hang out for their next entry because I know it would be either inspirational or entertaining. One such blog is Karen Cheng's Snippets of Life.

A few days ago, she started a facebook group called Doing the Karen Cheng. What a hit! The group has 432 members and counting! All just imitating what Karen does when she gets frocked up and finds herself in front of a reflective surface.

I thought long and hard if I was going to post a picture. And in a moment of carpe diem, I took a photo this morning before work and decided, "why not?" Life's too short.

Anyway, so here I am, in my most floral dress in my wardrobe, doing the head tilt and the pose.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

One of the things I love...

...about my job is that I get to be there to witness a pivotal point in a building's metamorphosis from a derelict or languishing element in the landscape into a fine example of adaptive re-use.

Today, I got to visit and experience the "quiet before the storm" in that metamorphosis.

A development proposal has been sitting on my desk for weeks and I have been struggling to understand the volumes and the spaces. However, today I got to go visit the existing building.

As we were walked through it, the architect painted his dream. And as his voice echoed through the space, the drawings I had been staring at in the office came alive! The proposed courtyards, the saw tooth roofs and most of all, the conservation and retention of these unique and beautiful timber posts structure. I could almost feel the walls quivering in excitement!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

what better way...

...than to start with the first pair of shoes I have ever made! I finished these last week using Heather Bailey's Bitty Booties pattern.

These were meant for Amelia who will be 13 weeks on Friday. I hurriedly finished them off on Saturday night so that she could wear them to church. most baby things go, it was already a little too tight and she had to go without. I did consider taking her tights off but that meant exposing her itty bitty legs to the cold because she was already dressed in a cute pinafore.

I don't feel altogether too sad about it as it was only meant to be a prototype. I'll try the next size up and am currently eyeing some beautiful wool felt to work with. I'm going to have to think more pink thoughts as this first pair lacks that girlie charm.

"flowers, love hearts, frills, ribbons, pink"

I'm drawing blanks at the moment! Oh boy, this is going to be harder than I thought! Okay...girlie thoughts, girlie thoughts, girlie thoughts....

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

so to begin...

I've had various 'blogs' of sorts throughout the years and never really stuck to one long enough or had focus enough in my life. Things are little different now.

So, for those who have been with me since my livejournal days, thank you for sticking around. For others who have just begun with me, welcome and enjoy.


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