Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Me Made May

This is the third year in a row I have taken part in 'Me-Made-May'.  

Me-Made-May runs for the whole of the month of May and is a challenge designed to encourage people who sew, knit, crochet or refashion garments for themselves, to wear and love them more.  It's also an opportunity to discuss fast fashion, handmade and slow stitch.....especially when someone comments "Where did you get that dress?"  (I'm sure it was well meant.....I think).

You can read more about the challenge over on So, Zo...What do you know?

This year I'm really happy to report that I managed to wear something handmade every single day of May. Some days I had to resort to handmade leggings though as I had run out of clothes and my brooches had been 'done to death'.  Thankfully I wasn't ever asked to show off my leggings.

Here's my latest 'make'.  Another Esme tunic from Lotta Jansdotter's Everyday Style.  I really love her style.  

I think my hair is even starting to look like hers.  

Sorry Lotta.  


This dress is a touch short but that was intentional so that I can wear it over jeans for the Winter.

The fabric is linen from Spotlight.  I just love linen but there wasn't a lot to choose from when I bought this. Only about three plains and this print in either cream or navy.  I thought this was so gorgeous on the roll and couldn't wait to make it up, but now I get the feeling that it's slightly reminiscent of a 1970's sofa.  

I'm really giving the von Trapp family a run for their money now, after one of my other dresses was inadvertently made from curtain fabric.


I honestly don't know how people stand in front of a self timer and look normal.  I've tried to take my lead from other blogs I follow where the girls look so natural, carefree and happy.  Here I am, finally happy (sort of) with my plastic smile......but check out the feet!


Plus I look like I'm hiding a couple of wads of $50 notes in my pockets.  Ha ha....I wish.  

That'd make me happy wouldn't it?!




Monday, 1 May 2017

The ibis story.

We had such a fabulous time in Coral Bay, but I must admit it was lovely to feel the cool fresh air as we drove back into town.  Arriving home is always a bit of a relief really, after all the adventures on the sand dunes, the scorching sunny days, bugs biting anything that's exposed, grasshopper plagues and just too much food and alcohol, it's good to get home safely in one piece.

As we pulled into our driveway it really was lovely to experience the beautiful half light of dusk and see such a generous sprinkling of rose petals strewn across the driveway.  Awwww.....Autumn is here.

Waking up in my own bed is a bit of a novelty.   A big yawn and stretch.......followed by a leisurely wander out to the garden in the early morning sun.



Huh?

What's that?!

We have a scarecrow in our front yard?  With a lampshade for a head?

Oh.  I get it.  This is a dream.  Scarecrows, birds, rose petals, alcohol, sunshine, fun.

Erm.......maybe not.

They're not rose petals on the driveway either.

It's poop.  Ibis poop.  Set like concrete.

And the roof of the house looks like it's been snowing.

Omg.




Our yard has been taken over by a flock of seven renegade ibis.  Our neighbours have been doing whatever they can to deter them but apparently ibis can be very obstinate indeed.

They like it at our house.

They even like the backyard scarecrow.  They just sit on the pool fence and stare at him with glee in their little black twinkling eyes.


I have no frogs left in my pond either.  Ibis beaks are long and deadly.

I do however have friendly, creative neighbours and a willing and enthusiastic husband.


So this is the latest in hand crafted ibis deterrent technology.

Mick races out the door at a moments notice (quite often only in his 'shorts') and runs around the yard yelling like a madman, banging and crashing his 'ibis deterring hardware'.  

It sounds like a corroboree.

Looks like one too.

Isn't retirement supposed to be calm, peaceful, serene, full of meaning and fulfilment?  A simple life?

  

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Beginning a Nature Journal.

Just before we left for Coral Bay, I enrolled in Jan Blencowe's online Nature Journaling course.

Jan says that Nature Journaling is -
".....designed for those who love the natural world and want to form a connection with nature through art."
That sounds just perfect doesn't it?

She also asks you to -
"Imagine learning ways to fine tune your listening and observational skills so that you can deeply engage with the natural world. Then imagine that you have a repertoire of creative skills that allows you to quickly and easily sketch the beauty in nature, beauty that takes your breath away and fills you with a sense of calm and well being."
Hmmmm.....filled with a sense of calm and well being?  Sounds like bliss to me.

The course actually started a couple of days after we left home (Murphy's Law) so I just took my journal, started by myself and made it up as I went along.

Here are some of my pages -

Mostly I was just learning about my new Daniel Smith colours and trying to observe the sea and sky.



There's only one blue and two greens in the recommended colour palette, so I have a bit of colour experimenting to do.

I always thought there was just 'grass' on the sand dunes.  Nope.  I just didn't look properly.  There are even flowers up there on the dunes.






Don't ask me where this 'insightful insight' came from.  Mother nature probably.



We seemed to cram so much into each day and I tried to sketch a little snapshot of all the activities for one of them.  I didn't end up liking this page much - it's a bit too colourful and 'busy'.

The image on the bottom right is of the dog cemetery situated high on a hill.  This is the view I get at sunrise from our camper.  It's absolutely beautiful with the rising sun behind the little crosses.



This is my favourite sketch.  Such an amazing creature.  We put this jellyfish into a lunchbox of sea water so that I could do a sketch and the poor thing just kept pulsing and blobbing along while it was waiting to be returned to the ocean.  It was soooo creepy, (said with an Alfred Hitchcock voice).



This little frangipani tree was growing in sandy soil right outside the ladies ablution block.  It only had the run off from the drinking water tap to survive on.  The flowers were just as perfect as a well nourished tree in a tropical garden.  Amazing really.



The paper in this journal is just ok.  I wasn't able to get the recommended 'Stillman and Birn' journal so bought what was available locally.  It's mixed media paper which is quite strong but not much chop for water colours as it soaks the paint up straight away.  I tried a little sample of paper from a cheap watercolour pad I found....but that was worse!   





Both my thumbs were out of action for the first part of our holiday.  One got jammed in the shade sail that comes off the side of the car and the other was bitten by a crab while I was investigating an 'uninhabited' (!) clam shell.  Nothing compares however to being bitten by a 100 year old renegade turtle!















Now that we're back home, I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the Nature Journaling course properly.  So that means lots more time outside in the garden.  Sitting down too.  Goody.