Thursday, January 27, 2011

There's no place like home...

After 3 weeks away, that felt like an eternity, Little miss has returned home from adventures abroad with her Yaya and Grandpa.

I don't think I had one nights slumber that was restful and complete. Not from worrying, just from knowing my house was incomplete. A little piece was missing.

But we are whole again and my little girl has had some amazing adventures.
Opened up her eyes to whole new cultures and ways of being.

and after weeks of exotic foods, fresh fish and hotel breakfast banquets....

What do you suppose was the number one request for the first meal at home...
Some Vegemite toast!

There's no place like home.
Jay xx

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Shiny silver jools...

I finally made time to hit the studio and get started on a range of sterling silver goodies for the shop.

It has been a long time coming, my venture back into working with metal, but as with all and money come in to play.

After I finished my advanced diploma of engineering technology jewellery ( what a mouthful) back in 2005 I was very eager to start working in the industry as soon as I finished. I just didn't realize that the cost involved in setting up a studio would be so huge. So I've been buying little things here and there and slowly creating a space with all the bits and bobs i need to get started.

So far the range is very small, but it's there. That's all that matters.

Sometimes you just have to start these things, just for the sake of breaking down the barriers and insecurities that manage to build up in the time between drinks so to speak.

Six years away from a torch and coping saw is a long time.

But slowly and surely, I'll get back into it.
It's just like riding a bike!
Jay xx

Monday, January 10, 2011

Smellin' the flowers...

Smellin' them, painting them...same difference.

Truth be told I was supposed to cutting out new skirts, but the lure of my new screens was too strong.
In waiting, was a fun new thing for me to do. Printing two color images.
So how could I ignore.
Rather then procrastinate over the perfect colors to combine I just pulled out my favourites and gave it a whirl burl. The best way to find out, is to try it.

So first I did a white base layered with red flowers.

Printed on the black bag tis' very striking indeed.

Next, I kept the white base and tried teal flowers. Lovely.

My favorite I think.

and lastly I tried a red base with blue flowers. noice...different...

Imagine the possibilities. I had to stop there. I could have gone all day.
Orange and red, brown and blue, khaki and pink...

Next time..

Might start thinking of placement and what type of garment it would suit, till then, I must finish those skirts.

Jay xx

Old dog new tricks....

In youth we learn, in age we understand. Isn't that what they say?

Well I couldn't agree more.

In age we understand, we have patience, we are open to new things and we possibly retain information a bit better then in our youth. So yes, we start to understand some of the lessons from our youth but I think we are also the perfect level of maturity to be fabulous students.

As an adult I have taken on many classes, from night schools and Tafe to community centers and local art and craft groups.
When I first started to venture out into adult learning, I was quite anxious. The whole meeting new people and placing myself in a vulnerable position was scary. The notion of being a fumbling idiot that knew nothing of the subject before me beyond a little literature and admiring the end result, was always a nerve racking venture. But as time goes on, you realize your all in the same boat.

Just people hungry to learn, eager to expand their world and fascinated by the way things work.

Thank god, there are beautiful patient people out there who become teachers. Who take the skills they have learned and share them with us all.

My most recent class, was part two in screen printing down at Olive Grove.
I did part one ages ago, which is basic stencil cutting and learning the technique, the paints, the possibilities... it has most definitely captured my heart and kept me occupied the last 6 months.
But it was time to move on. So today was all about Photo exposure.
Learning how to permanently expose your own screens. From the equipment required, to the many methods of creating a film to expose.
Wow ... is all I can say.
It always blows my mind a little to suddenly understand all the complexities of a new subject. you just wanna run out and buy all the bitses so you can create to your hearts content.
In my eyes, that is a successful class.
You walk away inspired and so full of ideas.

So the best part of all, after going through all the processes, is having something you can bring home.
Of course I had some screens to bring home with my own artwork on them, so I could screen away to my hearts content. But I also finished a bag a tea towel and a piece of artwork.

It's so nice to hold something in your hand and say look what i did today.
All by myself ... like show and tell in prep, all over again.

So today for show and tell I have:

My new bag.

I created the images by scanning doilies around the house, then circle or oval cropping them, zooming and shrinking them and laying them out to look like a flower bed.
The screens and print turned out perfect.

My art piece.

I loved it so much that I stretched it over a canvas when I got home.

It's a generic deer head taken from a copyright free collection of animal images I have.
I was worried it look like a prize head, so I layered in some branches, hoping it seemed she was poking her head out the bushes...alive and well.

...and my screens

These are two of my finished screens, permanently exposed and ready for zillions of prints to come.
The front one was created using rubylith which fortunately Thea and Sami explored over on her blog today for you all to see.
The blocky looking one at the front will act as screen one in a multi color print, with the more detailed flowers going over the top. I've never done two color prints before, so I see many lost hours of color experimentation coming up.

Very excited indeed.

If you'd like to learn screen printing too, and you're in Melbourne check out Olive Grove Studios.
For classes in Queensland, who else but Thea and Sami.

Never stop learning.
Jay xx

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Going to the movies...

Going to the movies, is an outing that has changed over time.
From the gaggles of girls catching a bus with pocket money in hand to buy a choc top for the show, to first dates and finally, family outings.
Well that's not the finale... there will be senior day specials to move on to next.

But for now we are at the family outing stage.
We sometimes get a babysitter for both kids and manage to steal a few hours to ourselves but an easier option is to take them out too.

Lucky for us, we live close to an old fashioned drive-in. They are far and few between these days, but are the perfect option for satisfying different age groups without driving other patrons crazy.

We can take our own in car picnic, blankies and pillows. The kids can jump and sing and play cars in the back and the fellow movie goers don't hear a peep of the shenanigans.

So last night our movie of choice was Gulliver's Travels... Not so great, but you know, it's just nice to get out sometimes.

I remember going to the drive ins when i was little. Mum and dad would squish the 8 of us in the station wagon, smuggling a few under blankies in the back. Yep two adults and 3 kids they'd say.

We'd be off to see such cinema gold as the Leyland brothers on tour.

Didn't really matter what was on the big screen, it was just a blast to be at the drive -in.
Popcorn, hotdogs dripping in tomatoe sauce and the speaker hooked over your door.

These day's they still have the diner with all your typical drive-in grub, but technology has advanced so that you just tune in your radio for sound. Saves you from having to keep the windows open and be eaten alive by mossies.

For the first 20 minute's of adds Mr.Finn generally bounces around, excited by the freedom of being in a car and not strapped in,

but after some warm milk and the sun setting, he settles for at least half a movie before he falls asleep.

I'm always surprised at how busy it is, which is a good thing.

Keeps it going strong so we always have the drive-in experience to come back to.

Long live summer and the old drive-ins.
Jay xx

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New year, new adventures...

Another year over...what a blast it has been.
All the usual highs and lows designed to keep one on there toes, with a few major things ticked off the 'I'd like to achieve this year' list.
So it's been a great one.

Next year... I'd like to learn more, make new things and maybe I'll try and eat a few less cakey cakes and bready delights, my kryptonite!

But the focus at present is not about me and my adventures for the year to come, more so about my little girl, who's not so little any more.

Tomorrow, she'll be heading off to new adventures on a fabulous 3 week trip to Vietnam with her Yaya and Grandpa.

Ever since the tickets were booked she has been counting down the days, and we finally closed the lid on the bag yesterday, all packed and ready to go.

What will I do without my little girl,

No catching the train together,

no big sis to read bedtime books for mr.finny,

no-one intermittently posing zany questions, like..if you were trapped on island what book would you make sure to take!

But I know she'll have an amazing adventure with two of the most loving and caring people, who just adore everything that she is,

from her messy hair, unkempt fashion sense and desperate need to have a novel on hand in all situations, to her compassionate nature, her creative genius and her big ol' smile.

I will miss my big 'little girl'...but know we'll make some new year plans together when she gets back home.