Thursday, August 31, 2006

Smarta** Photo

I've installed a mirror on my hotwater cupboard door (which is in the living room) and it catches the reflection of the sunrise through the little window in the corner. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Technically, it's still winter

..but who'd know it from this photo? Here's my lovely daughter Sophie and her partner Erlo sitting out on the deck in the sun this morning. I went walking early with the dogs, and the pink of the sunrise reflecting on the distant snow-capped mountains was so beautiful. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 27, 2006


The sewing table is at least visible.

The guest room is ready, the dogs have given up worrying,
the fridge is clean and full, and the chocolate chip cookies are cooling.


Cressy : "Frodo, I'm scared! She's....she's CLEANING! What does it mean?"
Frodo : "Huh?" Posted by Picasa

And did I mention?

...that my million dollar views are from a property worth around 53,000 British pounds (or 100,000 US dollars)??

Wanna emigrate?

A beautiful day....

...the sort that lifts your spirits. How lucky am I to have been born in a place with scenery like this? Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 25, 2006

Inspired, and I can make a picture of it too

Thank you all (or y'all for American readers) for your helpful comments. The sun is shining, spring is on its way, and I'm feeling quite inspired to rip into my clutter. Though I think Deb R hit the nail on the head - other people's clutter is always SO much more fun than your own. Damn.

Here's a little gem I discovered - knitPro is a web application that translates digital images into knit, crochet, needlepoint and cross-stitch patterns. Just upload jpeg, gif or png images of whatever you wish -- portraits, landscapes, logos... and it will generate the image pattern on a grid sizable for any fiber project.

How cool is that?

And in case you haven't seen enough photos of my view, here's the harbour with my neighbour's house in the foreground.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Clutterella and the four furballs of the Apocalypse

One of the blogs I read daily is Crazy Aunt Purl. She is soooooo funny and adorable, and I've stolen her blog title because I think it's so good. In fact, most of her blog entry today so applies to me that I've shamelessly pinched the whole idea. Damn! Why don't I come up with these great ideas? Maybe because I blog more about art than personal stuff, cos that's what I think my readers are interested in.

Annnnnnnyway, here's my take on clutter and cleaning - an issue that I know is dear to many an artist's heart:

Dear People Who Clean House A Lot,
Want to come over? And clean house in a new, exciting place that has interesting, exotic wildlife and many nooks and crannies?
I have wine.
Your friend, Shirley

What has happened to my house? I blame my fallen housekeeping standards on my prolonged stay of houseboundness, when everything I did and used had to be close at hand for me to reach them while I was being a flamingo and using one leg only. Maybe I could blame my mother as well, because that is always convenient! And my ex-husband, who never raised a finger around the house. So we have all the bases of blame fully covered.

My house is a mess.

Every day I blame this mess on the aforementioned issues but really it might also kind of have to do with the fact that I live in a teeny tiny cottage with a whole lot of stuff and 2 cats and 2 dogs who don't lift a finger to help me out.

A few months after I moved into Chez Clutterella, I began the long and arduous process of Sorting Out my stuff. Well, it was a necessity, really, since you couldn't move in the stockroom what with boxes stacked floor-to-ceiling and I couldn't find anything, and I worried that if anyone came to stay in my B&B guestroom that they would take one look at the living room and back out the front door with a look of desperation on their faces.

In the 10 months since I have lived in this little cottage, which is over 100 years old, and from an era when people had Nothing Much by way of consumer goods so didn't need double closets in every room to stack stuff in, plus a huge linen cupboard plus extra storage units in the bathroom, I have managed to find places to put most of my stuff. Which I had already pared down before moving here. I sent half my linen cupboard to Sri Lanka for tsunami victims. I ruthlessly disposed of clothes that I now want. And I still don't know where some things are because I just haven't found them. But although my 55 boxes of paints, dyes and other business stock have reduced, the fabric seems to have been breeding in its boxes, and I have half-finished artwork everywhere. No, really, I do. I wish I could stand still for a while without junk nibbling at my ankles.

Now my daughter Sophie and boyfriend Erlo are coming to stay again. This means I have had to look closely at my house for the first time in months. I am really busy with work and have no time to clean house plus I have had a bad cold and felt rotten for the past week, so I'm stressing myself out about the level of ick and dust and mess. Sophie is much fussier than I am. In all respects.
She also doesn't make stuff or have pets, though she's grown up with them. And is allergic. I need goals! Goals keep you moving ever forward, zenward, clutterlessward!

This Friday and Saturday I need to have an anticlutter session, to toss the huge pile of Stuff To File somewhere that isn't on the floor; to put away some of the books on the coffee table - because we often eat off it, y'know, the big table being for working on, not eating; and pretending that I don't have 237 unfinished pieces of quilting and painted fabric on the OTHER table where the sewing machines (plural) are. Ok, maybe I haven't counted them, but it LOOKS like 237.

And if you want to come over and clean, hey -- I wouldn't turn you away. Cabernet with your clutter? I can provide. Feel free to dust the exotic livestock, to paint the lawn and do anything else required.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Out of the woodwork

Awwwww, thank you all for commenting. Deb R, I guess you're right - I read your blog every day but don't always comment. I guess my comments as a proportion of blog visit numbers make me "average" then! Janet, I only look at my stats cos I can see these red spots on the Clustr map, and they intrigue me. I still don't know who all those exotic visits are from, as these people haven't revealed themselves.

And I agree with you, Pixie, about how good blogging is. Living alone, as I do, and in a town where I hardly know anyone, I have relied on my blog friends for social contact. Not that people are unfriendly here, but with 3 months of being housebound, my plans of joining clubs and groups at the beginning of the year didn't happen. I would have gone crazy alone all day (apart from the critters, but they're not great conversationists) if I hadn't been able to "talk" to others on the net.

Viva la blog!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Leaving Comments

According to my Clustrmap (down on the right-hand side, shows where the people visting my blog originate from) I have had 5460 hits since June, and yesterday there were 55 visits.


Please, please leave a comment when you visit my blog. OK, if you hate what I've made or find it uninteresting, that's fine, skip the comments! But if you like what I do, please say so; if I'm not reading your blog and you'd like me to cos we have things in common, let me know! Comments are the lifeblood of blogging, and what makes our bloglives so interesting. I love to hear from people in other parts of the world. New Zealand is a loooong way from everywhere else.

I am dying to know WHO is visiting my blog from Africa, from Asia, from India, from the Middle East, from South America, from the middle of the Pacific Ocean! Who are you all? Tell me!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Turquoise Mood

Unfortunately, it's still too cold here for turquoise to come out well, and my outdoors dyeing technique doesn't help to retain depth of colour. I will have to work on refining it, as the fabric lengths I dyed today are waaaaaaay too pale. The other pieces are painted. If you go here to Vernon's blog and scroll down a bit, you'll see the digital image I was trying to interpret in paint. Vernon has Parkinson's Disease, and while this limits his life, he produces art work and expecially wonderful digital images, full of beautiful colours, that I've often wanted to reproduce in fabric. It's hard though! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I am an avid reader, and get through2 to 3 books a week. Why? Because I love them. Books have the ability to transport us to other places and times. Now, i don't usually do memes, but I saw this Book Meme one on Pixie's blog, and it came to her from Ampersand Duck (Love the name!).

1. One book that you've read more than once.

The Hobbit. I love Tolkien's work.

2. One book you would want on a desert island.

Hmm. Only one? Encyclopedia Brittanica. that's probably about 20 volumes! Good for starting fires with after you've read it. Err....and probably some other uses too.

3. One book that made you laugh.

Anything by Terry Pratchett.

4. One book that made you cry.

Desert Flower/Desert Dawn by Waris Dirie. Female genital mutilation does that to me every time.

5. One book you wish you had written.

I have to say "Harry Potter" here.

6. One book you wish had never been written.

I found Nevil Shute's "On the Beach" really shocking. I couldn't even finish it.

7. One book you're currently reading.

The Penguin History of New Zealand by Michael King, who was tragically killed in a car accident a year or 2 ago. Far more interesting than I would have ever thought.

8. One book you've been meaning to read.

Can't think of one.

9. One book that changed your life.

Selfhelp for your nerves - I can't remember the author, but I was close to having a nervous breakdown while away from home in hospital with my terminally ill daughter, and this book helped me step back from the brink.

10. Now YOU do a book meme!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Take me to Kansas

My new red boots. Eat your heart out, Deb R. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 13, 2006

More toilet art

Still a work in progress.... Posted by Picasa

Toilet art

No, I'm not referring to the crude drawings you are likely to encounter in less than savoury public toilets. Those of you familiar with the wonderful lively art and architecture of Frederick Hundertwasser may not be aware that he is also famous in New Zealand for a slightly different reason, namely this. Yes, these are possibly the best and most artistic toilets in the world. And while I'm not in the same league as Hundertwasser, I too am indulging in toilet art.

When I bought my little stone cottage, the main rooms had been nicely painted. The bathroom and toilet, however, had not. And they were quite rough. A friend urged me to be arty, so I started painting flowers and suchlike on the toilet walls, but rapidly realised that this was not my forte, so I stopped. Recently, I was in a hardware store (I'm a hardware kinda gal) and saw test pots of paints at 2 for the price of 1. I bought a bunch, and today I started. Here's an initial peek - bearing in mind that this is only a part of it, and is just one coat. The designs continue on the other wall and across the back of the door, but are too difficult to photograph.

If I really don't like the end result, I'll just paint over it some more. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Full moon

The full moon over the harbour tonight. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Random schizzle

Mending jeans, reading and gardening don't make for exciting blog topics, so photos is all I have. Here's Grizabella, one of my Manx cats, looking like a fearsome critter with her big winter ruff. The necklace of amethysts and other purple stuff was made for me by the lovely Hattie, my son's girlfriend. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Once upon a Laurel Burch time

I know Laurel Burch designs have been done to death, but back when they were fresh and new, I made this quilt as my coffee table cover. It's a bit more purple than the photo suggests, and I made it to match my lounge suit. No prizes for guessing my favourite colour! Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 04, 2006

Snow dogs

Hmmmmm, clearly bloggers are into obsession but not passion! Interesting........

In the absence of creative work, here are the poodles in their big winter coats - Cressy lounging on the settee (yes, they ARE allowed) and Frodo actually managing to sit on command. He is not very bright. Behind Frodey, you can see the Persian rug that my husband and I hand-hooked many many moons ago. When he was still my husband. It's 6' by 4' so you can imagine how long it took. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's all about passion

Bloggers - don't you love 'em? Bloggers like us, I mean. Thanks to all of you who've replied to my last post - though I think I should have said "passion" rather than "obsession". I like passion. I like people who have strong feelings about things, and are enthusiastic about what appeals to them. Passion implies that these feelings are positive and healthy, whereas obsession has moved into the realms of unhealthy.

Can you understand people whose lives involve nothing more than going to work, coming home and watching TV? Or similar? No hobbies, no interests, no passion.

As artists, we are infused with passion. We probably even have passion genes. Ok, at times our flow of passion runs thin and then we struggle to create anything. But it's still there. Viva la passion!