Thursday 25 October 2012

My beautiful sister

I am blessed to be a twin.  I have a twin sister who is such a delightful and talented lady.  She is always willing to give a hand,  to talk with me,  to be a friend and to dedicate her life to serving others around her.  She is a great example of love to everyone she meets.  Her life sometimes (I can hear her saying "only sometimes" :)  can be very challenging but she rises above the challenge and still is there for me and alot of other people around her.

Today I want to show you some of the special things she has made for me.  Sue is a very talented doll maker and needle woman.  It never ceases to amaze me what she can do with a needle.

This is a free form embroidery she made for me.  I love the colours and patterns she has created.  Every time I look at this I am reminded of autumn.  I can recall us both crunching in dry leaves (actually I haven't grown out of this yet.  I still love it!) together in the autumn and throwing them up over our heads.

This wee teddy is a little fairy ted.  I love it's little halo.

I love the wee face

When we were growing up I made quite a few soft toys.  I loved Jean Greenhowe's stuffed toys the best.  Sue was the recipient of a horse I made for her which came complete with a saddle.  I think she still has it today.

When I first saw this doll I couldn't believe how detailed the face was.  I just love the open big eyes and the luscious lips.  Sue had asked be what sort of doll to make so I suggested something out of her comfort zone.  She loves browns and neutrals so I gave her the challenge to create a doll with lime green and fuchsia.

She found it so hard to let go of the colours she was used to but said she would give it a go.

She really enjoyed making this doll and trying something new.  I think the fingers are incredible.  They are all individually wired and can be posed differently.

What I didn't know while I was pushing her into new colour schemes was that she was making her for me. When I saw her finished and found out she was mine I felt really emotional. 
It is such a privilege to be able to have this doll.  But more importantly is is a real privilege to have Susan as my sister.

Thursday 18 October 2012

Photography this week

We spent a few days on Palmerston North last week.  We had a wonderful time with our daughter.  It was so nice to see her and see her so happy and settled.  It is wonderful to see our children grow into independent wonderful adults.

While we were down there we we visited a wind farm. It was a spectacular day,  cool but sunny. 

I took photos for different angles to show how tiny they looked from a distance and how huge they were close up.  It was a wonderful trip.

This could be a great stamp or stencil

Can you see the kids behind the car.  They simply were huge.  A good way to show how big something is, is to put a person in front of them to give it perspective.
A great day


Tuesday 16 October 2012

Artist-Dave Sotogi

I seem to spending more time trying to do something art related than actually doing it.  My posts have been very sparse at the moment as life has been quite a challenge. 

The past week has found my hubby on bed rest with pneumonia.  He was first diagnosed with a chest infection but none of the medications seemed to be working so it was back off to the doctors and onto some stronger meds.  He is not one to rest so the past few days have been a challenge for him.  It has been a long time since he has had to rest this long.  Sometimes I think these illnesses can end up being a blessing of sorts,  they certainly change perspectives.  Sometimes the only way we do rest is by forced rests.

Amongst all this I got the opportunity to go to a business meeting on Friday night and hear Dave Sotogi speak about his journey as an artist.  He was very inspiring and very informative.  His work is amazing and can be seen at

He is a New Zealand artist who works in oils.  He is a very versatile artist.  He can paint beautiful realistic portraits and abstract work.  After his presentation I was able to speak to him for about 20 min and to gain some insight into how to progress as an artist.
I came out of the meeting feeling inspired,  recharged and motivated. I want to share some of his advice with you if you want to go further with your art
  • Fake it till you make it.
  • Work hard at what you do
  • Enjoy what you do.  
  • You have been given a talent....use it
  • Think outside the box
  • Know your market
  • Don't buy into snobbery,   rise above it
  • Keep your life in balance
  • Keep practicing
  • Have your own space if you can
  • Believe in your work
  • Know what you want from your art
  • Make it happen,  only you can
  • Have supportive and talented people around you
  • Live your dream

Sunday 7 October 2012

Last month I sent out a challenge to you all to do something kind every day.  I did do that but forgot to write them all down......sigh I think I need to be kind to myself more so I can remember to do things. 

The rewards of being kind every day were huge

  • A better attitude to wards myself and others
  • A happier house
  • More loving feelings
  • Feelings that I accomplished something each day
  • A sense of bonding with other people
  • A feeling of peace in my heart
Some of the things I did were
  • I wrote a letter to each of the best children in the own
  • I didn't retaliate when someone was mean.  I gave service back
  • Told someone they looked nice
  •  Remembered to ask a friend how her appointment went and listened as she told me about it
  • Make baking for a family in need
  • Visited with a friend
  • Sent an encouraging e-mail
  • Sent a text to a family member to see if they were OK
  • Let someone tell me about all their business ideas
  • Gave thanks to the Lord
  • Gave thanks to my mother
  • Phoned a sick relative
  • organised the kitchen cupboards (a real kindness to our home)
  • Went tobogganing with my children (my legs didn't feel to good the next day though:)
  • Discussed a scripture with a friend to help them through a problem

M Russell Ballard said a honey bee only gives 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its entire short lifetime but this small act of service contributes to a large pot of honey, enjoyed by many.   Collectively together our small acts of kindness make huge differences in many peoples lives.

Can you do one thing a day to be kind to another?

  I challenge you to do so this month. 

Please let me know how you get on.  I love to hear from you. 


Thursday 4 October 2012


My sketching has been quite spasmodic over the past couple of months.  I am really missing it but I am struggling to find the energy to do it.  So I have decided that I need to simplify how and when I draw and not expect so much of myself.  The task need breaking down into small manageable chunks. When I first of this idea I found it hard to think of breaking something down that was already quite a small project.  But after a bit of thought I found there was a few ways  I could do it.

  • Buy a small sketchbook.  It isn't so intimidating or hard to fill
  • Draw only part of something
  • Use water colours with a water pen so it doesn't take so long to set up or clean up
  • Use inktense pencils and then add water another day
  • Draw the outline of a sketch one day.  The next day add more detail and the third day add the colour
  • Draw a simple design and re work it in 3 ways
  • Go through the book and add colour to each page so opening the sketchbook isn't so intimidating
  • Break down the sketch into a few parts that can be come back to through out the day
  • Enjoy the moment that can be grabbed rather than worrying about the lack of energy or time.  Do what you can
  • To save time choosing a topic choose a theme to work on per sketchbook and stick to it. 
  • Plan the night before what you are going to sketch the next day.  Making a choice the day before saves energy thinking what to do the next day

How do you manage to fit in you sketch booking? 

Let me know I love getting your comments :)

Tuesday 2 October 2012


Do you find that that you have lots of bits and pieces left over after a project?  I always end up with strips of quilted bits,  bits of stuffing, and lots of left over fabrics.  They all look wonderful so I never want to throw them out. 

When I do a scrapbook page I use all the left overs for making cards with or saving for the next page.  It never seems that easy with material yet it can be.  The last 2 Mondays I have shown you two ways to use left overs.  One was to make little patchwork blocks and the other to make a quiltlet a day to machine quilt on.   What other ways can we use little bits of fabric and left overs?

  1. Make new fabric from little bits and pieces. 
  2. Mini quilts
  3. To applique onto larger material
  4. To crazy quilt into larger fabric that could be over dyed or printed onto or appliqued onto
  5. To gift to children to use for their many artistic projects.
  6. Collect all like coloured bits and pieces ad put into jars for future projects
  7. Cut into snippets and iron onto vlisofix for backgrounds for quilts
  8. To catch into pockets on a cushion or another project
Over the next few weeks I will go into more details on how left overs Can be used. 

How do you use your left overs?

I love to hear from you! So please leave a comment so we can collect more ideas!!

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