Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Seasonal effects
Things are getting a little festive too early around here.
It's actually quite hard to think about the C word so soon, but I'll persevere as I'm hoping to get some C-cards done nice and early in hopes of printing them and selling a few.
Work later this arvo, so back to the board while I still have two good eyes and half a brain ...

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Goodbye to all that
Yeah, well ... the Saints caved and Geelong won.
Nicky cried, and so did a few of the other Saints.
I hate that.
Yesterday, I had lunch with my friends, Shelley and Deb, while David watched the Grand Final in Mosman Park, with other friends.
On the drive to his Grand Final do, we'd been listening on the radio to the pre-match rambling and raving, laughing about what cliches the AFL would trot out in the pre-match "entertainment" at the MCG.
We were pissing ourselves as David started: "You watch: they'll have Mark Seymour doing The Holy Grail."
That song exactly started within a second.
"I'm on a roll," David said as Holy Grail wound down. "Now it'll be Jimmy Barnes with Working Class Man."
Jimmy Barnes duly started his throat-closing mono-tone rasp ... but it wasn't that song (praise be ...) but something poor old Jimmy could scream through on his capillary-bursting one and a half notes. (Note to Jimmy: professional singers have the grace to retire when their voices go .... hint hint).
We were hooting.
"Now it'll be Johnny Farnham, doing The Voice."
Sure enough. Yawwwwwwn.
By this time I'd dropped David and was on my way back into Subi for lunch — when that sickeningly hoary old chestnut, I Still Call Australia Home, began with those simpering brats ... but I switched it off. I felt sure David would have picked that as well.
After the match, on the way home, we were joking about what tired old boring old dead old cliches would be on the cover of the dead boring old Sunday Times this morning.
"'Year of the Cats'!" David ventured to my disbelieving groans.
"Or — wait for it — 'Cat Empire'!"
I insisted no paper would stoop so low, not even one so hideous as the Sunday Times.
How wrong am I!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Go Saints!
Only cos whenever the poor old downtrodden Docker darlings played Geelong at Kardinya Park, in the freezing mud and the rain, with all those jeering Geelongalongs hissing and booing, we'd get beaten to a pulp.
Lesley never forgets.
And I don't want to see little Nicky Riewoldt cry ... again.
Wish I was at the Bondi tonight!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Ninety-eight per cent finished
I'm meeting a few of my best friends for lunch tomorrow, and I want to have this one ready to give Shelley.
I asked Will to get me some fresh X-acto knife blades from the art store near his TAFE college and he mistakenly bought ones for surgical scalpels. Having run out of X-acto blades, I tried the surgical ones and wow! They are fantastic — super-sharp and a teensy bit flexible. Big discovery.
This picture will just need a few lines to be smoothed out here and there, and there are one or two little breaks that I'll be able to fix invisibly.
Next project is a papercutting for a wedding present, and some Christmas cards, which I'll get printed.
Hey there, Chickenblog fans!
If I'd known you were coming, I'd have baked you a cake ... or at least had an up-to-date post for you to look at.
In the meantime, here's my gorgeous, gorgeous grandson feeding the twenty-eights, which are parrots that live all around us.
Come again soon!

* That's a traditional call that can be heard for great distances when you're in the bush!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

A snip too far
This one went wrong — but I do kind of like the vaguely sixties look, and will have another bash at it.
It was an idea I had for a friend of Shelley's, who has a big milestone birthday. Her name begins with K, so, liking the shape of that letter, I thought I'd try to incorporate it into this flowery design.
But I was being way too smart-arse, and when I got to cutting the bits around the K, parts of the design that were not anchored (duh!) fell off!
Anyway, after a night at work, I don't have the eyesight to cut today, so I'm on to the sewing machine.
Or maybe printing.
Certainly not dusting, hoovering or cleaning the loos ...

Friday, 11 September 2009

One and three quarters
I've almost finished cutting Edith's flowery bowery, and Marnie's birdie is now all ready and framed for her birthday tomorrow.
I did ... ahem ... leave the framing until the very last possible moment, and I was so fricking sure that the exclusive Swedish design boutique where I went to buy the frame had the perfect-sized square one.
But no. But this one was the next best.
:: It was a rainy old windy old drive out to Little Sweden — does anybody else drive with men at the wheel who are utterly reluctant to put on the windscreen wipers until the last possible moment? David waits until the view through the windscreen is an entirely sodden, dripping blur and I am just about cross-eyed in the passenger seat. And even then, with torrential rain drumming on the roof, he'll use the intermittent cycle.
What is it with the wipers?

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Come for a walk in 'my' park.
What a joy it is to have all this at the bottom of the garden.
I love all the stuff that hangs over the back fences of my neighbours and those on the other side of the park.
The beauty of these old, established suburbs is the old established gardens.
Some of them get done over in the mode du jour, but luckily a lot of the big stuff that gives privacy and shade along the back fences survives these make-overs.
The big old fig tree in my neighbour's garden is thrusting forth strong new leaves and even little baby figlets.
Plunge pools, chimineas/chemineas and loggias may well be de rigueur, but who'd rip out a tree that gives all this lemony goodness?
Nasturtiums and morning glory are making tentative appearances now we're officially in spring.
Such a very-Perth thing, especially creeping out between sunbaked old jarrah pickets.
Meanwhile, the gum trees are exploding into blossom,
much to the delight of the twenty-eights, rosellas, honey-eaters, and wattlebirds, accompanied by magpies, willie-wagtails and kookaburras.
The cape lilacs look at their very best, I reckon, when they are devoid of their leaves and have their many clusters of golden berries. They are almost universally hated as an exotic tree that does very well here.
The same cannot be said of the jacarandas, which are similarly exotic. Must be because they are so beautiful. While the cape lilacs are about to get all their bright new leaves, the jacarandas are still losing theirs.
Within a few weeks, the cape lilacs will be all green and the jacarandas will be clouds of mauve. From my back windows I can see about seven big jacarandas — I shall have to have a party to celebrate all that purple loveliness.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

I've finished the mother-wren for Marnie's birthday. It just needs mounting and framing ready for the weekend party.
After all the deliberations about the border, I decided on simple leaves. And in the bird's breast is an image of her two little ones in the nest!
Today, I started the flowery pic for Edith at Mum and Dad's village.
I can work on it for two to three hours then I need to get up and move about, so Yoshi's getting lots of walkies in the park between sessions.

Friday, 4 September 2009

And she's off ...
Who is that old lady with the wrinkly hands? She keeps getting in my pictures.
Anyway, I hand-printed my first length of calico today.
I cut a very simple stamp, as today's endeavour was really just a look-see. I had no idea about how the paint worked, and it took a few rows to find out how much paint to mix up, and how to make sure the stamp had enough colour on it.
It was addictive. So much fun.
And as I was doing this one, my head was spinning with ideas for better, brighter, bolder patterns.

This one's very, very simple, but I am really pleased with how it worked out.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Bag day
It's a bag day. And I have new goodies to play with.
To begin with, there are some gorgeous coloured papers to inspire lighter, brighter things on papercutting days.
I'm kind of extending myself into the territory between papercutting and bag-making here — fingers crossed — by attempting to design and block-print my own fabric from which to make bags.
So I have got out the blocks of printing rubber that I brought back with me from San Diego, for just such a time. And I've bought fabric paints.
And, spooky cosmic coincidence: on Sunday, (elder son) Simon called by with a bag of stuff he found in his shed that he thought I'd be needing, including my right-angle clamp and my old brayer, the roller I'd used years and years ago to make early lino-prints from a clip-art rocking horse.
Some of you may remember getting these as Chrissie cards about 15 years ago!
Okay, I'm all set to start. Just doodling, getting ready to make my block, while I wait for a load of fabric that I've washed and stuffed in the dryer, then I'll be off.
I may be some time ...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Yoo hoo and yee ha
There I was, working assiduously, trying to design an all-over birdy pattern, when Mum rang to tell me that Edith, one of the lovely ladies in their village, was very impressed by the papercut picture I gave Mum for her 80th birthday a couple of weeks, ago. And would I please ring her, straight away.
My first sale! I have to make one the same size as Mum's, but slightly different. Edith would like flowers, perhaps.
I am just thrilled!
:: The day had started sadly, with a phone call this morning from the quarantine station in New South Wales informing me that Nipper's ashes were — finally — on their way to me.
Good dog. Coming home.