Sunday, February 28, 2010

Illustration Friday - Perspective

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This weeks illustration topic brought to mind two aspects of Australian life that I have tried to represent. One being our dismal failure towards our native people and the universal experience of tragedy.

A year ago this month Australia was hit by the worst bushfire season on record.  Homes, livestock and people were lost on a day that is now known as Black Saturday. This tragedy is a grim reminder that one and all,  no matter our race, religion or politics we suffer loss and sorrow. Events like this one tend to put the small annoyances of life into perspective.

Secondly, an older tragedy that affects our country is the terrible destruction that has been inflicted on our Aboriginal people. Wether through ignorance or hate the long reaching results of the injustices that have occurred continue to resonate throughout our society.

This quote from Desmond Tutu

“If I demean you, I demean myself”

When we let hate rule us and our actions then we destroy ourselves in the process in fact I think the damage is greater to the one who is hating than to the one who is the object of our hate.

“As I begin to see from your perspective, I see we are the same”

This is when true reconciliation begins, and from the ashes we can rebuild.

Smoke gets in my eyes…

I must have been a stoke broker in a previous life!
Why, you may ask? Well, I love to spend but I love to save.

Looking through a chuck out bin at the wool shop the other day I found three balls of pure merino/silk blend wool in this delicious variegated smoky grey. I’m thinking ‘What nice wool.  Something with which to make a nice scarf.  Wonder what the price is? One dollar!!! NICE.

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I just had to pose it with this lovely birdy gift from my dear friend April. I had just texted her a message indicating I was having a crap day and the next thing I know here she is on my door step with a gift. What would we do without our girly friends?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Illustration Friday-Propagate

Well I’m using a computer from Noah’s Ark but it’s better than no computer at all. Still I have no image editing software, printer disk drive or scanner…so please excuse image quality for a little while.

This weeks theme is Propagate…hmmm

What would a Mermaids garden look like? Or should we just propagate a myth?

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The colour in this looks nothing like the original and you can’t see much of the detail as I had to photograph rather than scan it! Oh well.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stay tuned...

This is my computer...is sick.




This is me without my computer...

I be back blogging soon.



Friday, February 19, 2010

I have spots…

In the interest of keeping it real I thought I would share the not so pretty, stylized view of my life….eeek!
I’m not sure about you but I seem to break out in spots occasionally like a pimply teenager. They tend to be areas of my house that have children in them or corners or shelves that seem to attract, like lint, the odds and sods of things that seem to have no home.

So,in the immortal words of Lady Macbeth ‘Out out dam spot’!

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This would be my childrens ‘spot’ ONE DAY after spending all morning cleaning it!!!!!!!!

Out damn spot

The spot by the back door

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The spot in the hallway.

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The spot in the kitchen.

I am setting myself a smallish ,Ok get real here, largish task of dealing with the ‘spot’ problem and may even follow up with some after shots. Don’t hold your breath though I’m like a salmon swimming upstream with the current of my family flowing against me…NEVER RETREAT OR SURRENDER, TALLYHO!

Simplicity

I have an ongoing conversation with my mum about simplicity, It’s something we are both striving for in our lives. Mum has decided that she wants to cut back, live with less and keep things to the bare minimum, as such she has been doing a lot of cleaning out and giving away and I applaud her for it. I have moments  where I would like to do the same and I start to go through my possessions and cull out things that are unnecessary or superfluous….hmmm.

Hmmm means, I CANT DO IT!!!! I have had a couple of bags of things to give to the salvos in the back of my car for a good six months and today I gave in and brought them back inside. Here’s what I almost gave away…welcome back!

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It all comes from reading my new book ‘etcetera’ which talks about being the ‘curator of your own life’. I guess I’m not ready to go minimalist yet my ‘stuff’ is the evidence of the past lives I have led over the years, they are touch stones of memory. I just have to face it I’m a hoarder/bowerbird/collector and that's who I am, and you know what?  That’s OK.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Your Place and Mine - A Revelation

I was going to play Punky and Me’s meme this week but it was about my kitchen, you know, what’s your favourite thing. Well, I couldn’t do it because really there is nothing I particularly like about my kitchen! (I have since decided to play anyway maybe I’ll get some inspiration)

It actually came as a surprise, because we were the ones who put the dang thing in. Analysing it I initially thought that it’s probably that I don’t like cooking (I know, don’t gasp. I’m actually a good cook too but I don’t like it!), and that it always needs cleaning and the bench tops are a pain to keep looking good etc etc. But now that I think about it I think what bugs me about it is that it is new! There are no odd bits or strange arrangements or interesting features it’s kind of bland. So I am setting myself yet another project to spice it up a bit. No more meat and potatoes I want curry!

I’m thinking colour. I’m thinking a butchers rack with interesting hooks and chunky brackets. I’m thinking interesting rustic shelves. Yep I’m thinking!

So in the process of thinking I went shopping….op shopping.

 

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These chairs I found at our local rubbish tip recovery yard, ugly I know but I have a plan so stay tuned.  Next I found this home made shelf of some kind which is a bit dodgy but I also have a plan, I promise I’ll share soon. Oh and behind the shelf thingy is a clothes horse I found at the op shop, my old one died last winter so this is very handy, all this for next to nix.

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I’m actually starting to feel excited about my kitchen now.

Look what I found!!!!!

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You have no idea how excited I am! For about a year now I have been on the look out for a new bedspread/doona cover, whatever type thing for my daughter. The criteria had to include blueness (no girly pinks for my girl, I think I over did it when she was little) no too old, not too young, it had to be just right. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find something for the pre teen? Impossible!
So here I was today at the op shop and lo and behold (choirs of heavenly angels sing) there it is for 10 dollars, mine!

How cool is it? So retro and made in Spain no less so now it has been freshly laundered and is hanging on the line ready for my girl when she comes home. I wonder if it will inspire her to keep her room tidy,yeah right!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Granny a day cont.

I haven’t shown my granny progression for a little while, I took a break from the squares for a bit and made this bunting and then I started back on the blanket which is starting to actually look like a blanket. Just gotta keep going…

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What to do?

This little cupboard has been sitting neglected a while now. I promised myself I would finish fixing it over my holidays which are now rapidly finishing, so….

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TA DA, it has begun. I bought a can of water based enamel from the mistint section of Bunnings a week ago and have started to give it a coat of paint. Then I’m going to very pleasantly snuggle my husband and ask him if he could cut the back and shelves for it. These I am going to cover with some material which I haven’t bought yet and then….

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…I am going to attach these beautiful wrought iron panels to the doors and add some tear drop handles.  This will then be my bedside table and hold my scarf collection, YAY!

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I will photograph the finished project soon. So exciting.

 

Has anybody any idea what these are?

These were given to me the year before last as a Christmas present they really are beautiful and I thought I might use them for pot plants however they have no drainage and are quite shallow. They are cast iron and extremely heavy and have been sitting at my back door collecting spider webs. Has anybody got any suggestions how I could use them?

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tutorial fleece angel 004 tutorial fleece angel 003

Monday, February 15, 2010

What I am Reading…

Etcetera-Sibella Court

I have just finished lay-buying this amazing book which I just had to have. It was one of those books you pick up and it immediately speaks to you and makes all those creative, imaginative juices flow with fresh ideas. It’s not only full of beautiful things to inspire but even the way it has been designed it beautiful. The texture of the dust jacket, the feel of the pages and the smell of the printing dyes (which I think are the enviro friendly soy based ones)…sigh!

The back of the book reads;

“Stylist Sibella Court has only one rule: seek out beauty and meaning in everything, then embrace and display it. She combines contemporary elements with antiques and junk-shop finds, textile fragments, wallpapers, collectables and ephemera, to create rooms full of colour, texture and imagination. ‘Etcetera’ provides simple suggestions for styling your space. It is not about expensive renovations or a directive to go out and buy everything new, it is about becoming the curator of beautiful and evocative interiors.”

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This book makes you want to just tidy up and make things look pretty no matter how pointless it is when it seems to only last the 13 seconds three kids need to demolish it!

Finnikin of the Rock – Melina Marchetta

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This is a captivating read leading you into a fantastical land full of mystery and magic, not one you can put down easily!

Marchetta is just one of many talented Australian authors currently releasing excellent reads of the fantasy genre.

I couldn’t help myself I bought another fantasy novel today ‘The Youngest Templar’ will let you know if it’s a winner.

Illustration Friday - Adrift

This weeks Illustration Friday theme is ‘Adrift’.
I have chosen the story of Moses set adrift on the Nile to escape the infanticide of Pharaoh.

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A mothers love
Deep as the sea,
Sets me adrift
My life to save.
Among tall grass
Rocked to and fro,
Safe from mans harm
Dark days escape.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Postcrossing

More Postcards from around the world via the Postcrossing web site.
San Diego USA

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Minnesota USA

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Taiwan (postcard purchased in China)

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Far away places with strange sounding names are calling, calling me…

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine

Last year I created these images for a set of very special greeting cards.  An appropriate Valentines theme don’t you think?

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What is it about Love
That brings me undone
like the back of my dress
As your fingers
touch my skin
Unzipping
Exposing
Undoing
My heart

 

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Our Lovemaking is a Poem.
Words fall out of
my mouth
along with kisses
Laughter
Cries
Yes, Yes, Yes.

Our Lovemaking is a Poem.
Love falls out of my heart
along with kisses
Laughter
Cries
Yes, Yes, Yes.

Our lovemaking is a Poem.
Yes, Yes, Yes.

 

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I walk to the edge and step
Into your eyes
And just for a moment
I see
The world
As you see it.

I run to the edge
And fall
Into your heart
And just for the moment
I feel the world
As you feel it

 

How beautiful are these poems?  Ah, love! Happy Valentines Day!

Words by Carolyn Wiggins. Artwork By Kylie Knott
Available for purchase.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Creative Space

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This week I have been working on a Granny Triangles bunting! See here
Nothing like working outside the square!

The carved wooden box was a garage sale find that I store my crochet needles in and I have recently been given some vintage craft books on weaving and macramé. I remember doing macramé at school back in the seventies lots of fun, and you may notice the ‘Meet Me at Mikes’,  book I found it at a Susanne store slightly reduced as it had a bit of wear Yay for me!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Illustration Friday - Muddy

This weeks theme is muddy…hmmm?  I thought about it for a bit and decided that a Dryad would probably appreciate the mud, what do you think? 

I also wanted an excuse to draw something fantastical and practice my CG skills.  After an initial sketch I placed my line work into Photoshop and colourised it.

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I really wish I could get the skin tones right I’m still not quite sure what I’m doing half the time. Must do some tutorials…

Oh a quick question, I’d like to know how much time do you set for an illustration? I have been trying to be a bit economical with my time and try to get these exercises done in one afternoon or evening, I could spend a lot more time on them but I’m trying to see how finished a piece I can produce if I was pushing a deadline.

Home Sweet Home #2

I think it’s only fair that I tell the tale of the other city in my life. I have blogged about Bendigo here so now I will give a virtual tour of Mildura.

Mildura is situated on the banks of the Murray river and is primarily a produce growing area exporting grapes and citrus which are grown with the use of irrigation. However due to the ongoing drought here in Australia it is becoming increasingly difficult and a lot of growers are letting their vines and trees die or selling off their farms, what we call ‘blocks’.

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I know the grapes look pretty and a lot of tourists come here thinking ‘how wonderful to work in a vineyard’ but believe me there is nothing romantic about picking grapes!  It’s dirty, backbreaking, exhaustingly hot work, DONT DO IT, RUN I SAY RUN!!!!!

We also rely a lot on tourism which focuses on the river. House boating is popular as well as skiing and camping.

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All along the river are wonderful River Red Gum trees. However with the drought they too are struggling. It was always impressed upon me growing up not to camp, sit or park your car under these giants as they had an unfortunate habit of dropping branches for no apparently good reason.  Not very friendly!  WORMS EYE VIEW

The Chaffey family moved from California USA in 1886 and settled this area  using  irrigation to create the oasis in the desert that is Mildura.  All around Mildura for hundreds of miles is very arid ‘mallee scrub’ or dry land farming like wheat which is very harsh.  Unfortunately the use of unsustainable farming practices over the years has caused the problems we have now.

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We are situated a loooong way from everywhere in the top corner of Victoria, bordering New South Whales (NSW) and an hour and a half from the South Australian (SA) boarder.  We have seen rapid development in the past 10 years and have become a hub for transport all over Australia.

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Over the bridge into NSW are the towns of Buronga and Wentworth.  Wentworth is famous for being the gateway to the Sunset Country and the Perry Sand Hills.
Many a night has been spent running up and down these sand hills playing spotlight tiggy or sitting around campfires, much fun!

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Mungo National Park is 110 kilometres from Mildura and is a World Heritage Area.

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images: www.petedobre.com

I have a great love for Mildura and it’s laid back lifestyle, it is very family friendly and it’s isolation has blessed us with the ability to ‘make our own fun’. While the isolation can be inconvenient at times, and the weather is extremely hot in summer and frosty cold in winter I am always filled with a sense of nostalgia for the town I grew up in, many memories and friendships have been made here, it’s the place I call home!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Your Place and Mine – What’s in Your Bag

I haven’t played the Your Place and Mine meme for a while then I spotted this weeks theme…Oh dear!  OK it’s confession time, my name is Kylie and I have a bag problem!IMG_2574

Really it’s not a case of what’s in the bag but more what’s not in the bag. I have bags for everything and I am always on the look out for a new bag or one to make. It’s kind of like a quest for the perfect bag, one that I can find things easily in, is roomy enough for all the ‘essentials’ and that sits comfortably on the shoulder, then of course in has to look good and go with whatever mood I’m in, I’m not asking much…really!

Under the essentials heading comes;
purse
keys
phone
lip gloss
pen
notepad
my little pharmacy bag (panadol,bandaids etc)
and then all the incredibly odd things that kids ask you to hold like pine cones, various drawings and crafts, snotty hankies, armless action figures, half eaten food…you know just the messy stuff of life.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Getting there with the granny’s

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It’s starting to come together!!!!!! Had to buy a little more wool yesterday, it was a little trickey as the shelves at Spotlight were quite empty. I think I might go for an op shop crawl and see if I can nab some throw outs YAY!

Encouragement, Sweet like Honeycomb

I read this story today…

One day a principal called in three teachers and said, 'You three are the finest in the system, so we're giving you 90 high-IQ students to see what you can do with them.' At the end of the year the students achieved an amazing 30% more than the other students in the school. The principal called the three teachers in and said, 'I've a confession to make. You didn't have the most promising students: they were run-of-the-mill. We picked them at random.' The teachers naturally decided that their exceptional teaching skills must have been the reason for the students' fantastic results. 'I've another confession,' said the principal. 'You're not the finest teachers in the system; your names were the first three drawn out of the hat.' So why did those students and teachers perform at such a level? Because they were encouraged to believe they could!

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Image http://www.jonco48.com/blog/words.jpg

I was having a conversation with my daughter the night before school went back (much sobbing and mournful wails were in full flight) and I said to her how important it is to “Think about, what you think about”. I explained to her how our thoughts can very much affect our feelings and if we keep thinking negatively our feelings will follow!  I then proceeded to tell her how well I believed she was ‘going to do this year, that she was going to have a wonderful year, she was going to be really happy and love her teacher’, and it was amazing within a couple of minutes she had calmed down and was almost asleep. The next morning she was even excited about going to school and if you knew my daughter this is a miracle! The power of words is phenomenal, especially the ones we tell ourselves!

Just wanted to say thank-you to those peeps out there who have offered encouraging words it really means a lot!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Family Quilt

Recently friends of ours celebrated 50 years of marriage, an amazing achievement I am sure all would agree. These two lovely people have been the surrogate parents of my husband for many years now when his own parents basically abandoned him when he was quite young. So you could say we love them to bits!

So, Mum and Dad Fields are quite the crafting team, they work together creating unique and sometimes quite cheeky quilts. Dad does the beautiful machine embroided panels and Mum patchworks them into quilts. They have started selling them at the local markets so I went over the other day to photographically document their work and sometime in the future create some web pages for them.

Just a very small sample!

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