Wednesday 30 November 2011

Homemade gifts

As I approach Christmas I think about all of the wonderful presents I would like to make for my loved ones.  I have superb ideas but never the time to get through them all.  I have made many presents in the past and I have really enjoyed watching the delight on peoples faces as the have opened them.  But I have found the older my children have got, the busier my life has become and the less gifts I have had time to make. Even though it is the thought that counts I really feel a bought gift doesn't quite measure up to a homemade gift.

 I have been given many thoughtfully made gifts in my life.  The most precious of these have been made by my children.  I love their handmade cards,  toilet tubes covered in glitter and their hand prints dipped in paint and printed on card.  They are just so priceless and beautiful. When I receive a thoughtfully created gift I love to think about the thought, love and time that has gone into this gift.  The blood seat and tears that have been given to give me this joy. 

My children have all gone through Playcentre for their early childhood education.  This organisation is quite unique to NZ.  It is run by parents who are given education to be early childhood educators.  It's focus is on learning through play and learning about the world around them.  Creativity is really encouraged through many mediums.  My children have made me many gifts at Paycentre.  It is great to encourage our children to give to others and to have their work valued.

My eldest child started a tradition a few years ago in our home.  We each draw a name out of the hat and then we have to make a handmade gift for this person.  My daughter saves all these gifts under the Christmas tree till last and then we each take turns to unwrap our present with everyone watching.  It has become a favourite tradition in our family.  Each year the presents change but the love never does.   I am going to start my gift this week and I am so excited.  I am so looking forward to sharing the christmas season together.

Saturday 26 November 2011

Photography this week

These are some photos of The New Zealand temple.  This is a special building to my religion and to me.  It is set on a hill overlooking lush farmland in the middle of the Waikato in the North Island.  It is one of the most peaceful and tranquil places to visit.

Reflections on glass in the visitors centre. 

Thursday 24 November 2011

Skechbook challenge: 7 days of drawing

This week has found me drawing and painting more animals from photos.  I am slowly finding this subject easier with more and more practice.  I am actually enjoying drawing animals now!

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Finding your quilting style

I have moved through a variety of styles in my art and quilting.  I started as many people in traditional applique and crafty projects.  As I moved along this road I realized this was not fulfilling me enough then I discovered art quilting and I was hooked line and sinker.  It challenges me in a way that no other medium has.  I love the flexibility and experimentation involved in art quilting.  I love being able to express myself freely.

Being able to use a variety of medium  for a person who is a collector and a dabbler is an added bonus.  I love being able to put my heart and soul into my work so expressively.

But how do we find our own style of work.  Some people seem to figure this out quite quickly in their journey but others, like me,  need a little more time to find this out. It is a quietly evolving phenomenon. What is our style today may not be our style in 3 years and what we like may take a lot of work to discover.

I am still very much in the experimental phase with where I fit on the continuum.  I still am trying to find out what I am in art.
I have some identifying features in my work now though. 
I love bright colours and strong lines.

I like my work to be cheerful and positive.  I love to work with different patterns and textures.

Full of fine details that eyes can come in and look at.

and lots of quilting detail. I have found it useful to look at others work and analyse why I like them and what draws my eye in.  I have chosen  to spend quite a bit of time analysing the design aspects used in others art to help me to develop as an artist and find my

It has taken alot of experimenting to find out a little more about what I like and what view I have when I create.  I have been going along this path for a while and I think I will be on this journey for my whole life.

Saturday 19 November 2011

Photography this week

We have just had our yearly Guy Falkes celebration.  Our family loves to have a bonfire for this night and time with family.  this year we had my twin sister's family over and boy did we have a great night.  We cooked sausages, bread, potatoes and apples over the fire and finished off with brownies (in the oven just too hard on a fire) strawberries and vanilla cream.  Vanilla cream is so yummy and so easy

Vanilla cream

Mix together equal parts of plain yogurt and coconut cream. 
 add vanilla essence and sugar to taste. 

Use it to go with cake, trifles,  brownies  and fruit.  Just yum

I like to my camera to capture the elements of an evening to tell a story of what happened or to capture the essence of the night.  This is a great way to remember celebrations in years to come especially with a memory like mine!

Gathering together to bake our dinner

Embers to cook over

Cooking sausages (gluten free of course)




Having a sing song.  Nothing like singing the old scouting and guide songs around an open fire.

Close up of the fire again

Sparks flying

Pure enjoyment

Sparks flying captured on a long shutter speed.



Making shapes with sparklers

More shapes

Dancing around the fire and singing loudly.  Even the teenagers joined in.

A great evening recorded now for history.

Thursday 17 November 2011

Skechbook challenge: 7 days of drawing

A new week and 7 more pages. 
 I have found animals extremely difficult but a positive challenge. 
 I love animals but putting it down artistically on paper is quite hard. 

Cute frog I ofund on an advertisement....I just had to draw him!

Gannet...the elegant flyers of the seas

Emperor penguin.......her highness

Chameleon.........The master of disguise

Golden eagle



Tuesday 15 November 2011

Quilting competition

Last week I won 2nd place at the Auckland quilting guilds annual competition.

It was for the mixed media section of the competition.  It is the first time I have won any thing in New Zealand and I am thrilled.

I entered my entry into the Cloth paper scissors artisan challenge remade into a prism box. 

This piece of work is made from paper cloth.  A wonderful technique to use.  It is lots of fun and very open to embellishments and stitching. I learned how to do this techniques form Kelly Nina Perkins book  
 Stitch Alchemy.  You can find out more about this amazing artist by clicking on this link

After the cloth was made I added Angelina fibres,  applique, stitching,  paint, stamping and a fibre I make from tinsel.

I stiffened the fabric with a heavy pellon.  and edged the box with braiding.  I ended up with very sore fingers after making this piece of work as I lost my thimble!!!1

I know that winning at competitions is only the icing on the cake but it still very sweet just the same. 

I now just have to work out what to spend my prize on :)

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