Sunday, November 30, 2008

Surface Design Class

Today I held a small surface design class with some of my old friends from Lyttelton Quilters. I took my camera but totally forgot about it until the end, so only have pics of my own work. We started with monoprints using thickened dye. Above is one that was printed 3 times - in red, yellow and then black.
In this print, I smeared paste thickly over the plastic backing, and combed it into swirls. Then I painted the dye over the paste.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rust Madonna #2

Here is #2 in the series. These are fused but not stitched - I have promised my artist friend not to stitch them as she thinks I should frame them and get a gallery to sell them. I am in 2 minds about that. In the meantime, I have a third one planned that will black and white and rust.
For comparison, here are #1 and #2.

I know that I have been a bad blogger and blog-reader lately. This is because I have a lot going on in my other life - namely the "day job" that pays the bills. Because of an ongoing health problem, I decided to sell most of my financial services business effective 1st December. While this will help reduce my large mortgage, it also reduces my income considerably and I do not yet know what I'm going to be living on.

I intend to have December and January off, as there's little work for financial advisers over the Christmas and New Year holiday period anyway. Here in New Zealand, that is traditionally the time that people take their annual holidays, with schools are closed for 6 weeks and many businesses closed for up to a month.

Hopefully, I'll be able to spend more time on my art during this time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's official! I have character!

I've just done a test on the Authentic Happiness website, called 24 Signature Strengths. It's not one of those lightweight tests you get for blogs, the sort that only has 6 questions - this has 240 questions so is a bit more ...well...authentic. Below are my results - which seem pretty accurate to me:

Your Top Strength

Love of learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

Your Second Strength

Creativity, ingenuity, and originality
Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who you are. You are never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.

Your Third Strength

Appreciation of beauty and excellence
You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

Your Fourth Strength

Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.

Your Fifth Strength

Fairness, equity, and justice
Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Does anyone else find this disturbing?

You can see a larger (and even more disturbing image) here. - you need to scroll down a bit to reach it. This skyscraper is in Dubai. Currently it's 707 metres (that's 2320 feet) tall and 160 floors, and growing. The big image gives you a better idea of the scale.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dear Universe...

Taking a leaf out of the Yarn Harlot's book (although she's much funnier than I am), I thought I'd mention a few things to the Universe that aren't working here. Though my experience with the Universe is that it's definitely male, because it doesn't usually listen to me.

Here's a small list of things That Do Not Work:

1. When you're sending heavy rain over the country, please remember that the east coast of the South Island (our ancestors were SO original in their names) exists. We actually need the rain. The west coast doesn't.

2. The yapping spaniel that drives my dogs mad. Could you perhaps make it mute? Currently it yaps from the minute it leaves its home, all the way along the street. Or better still, get its owners to move away.

3. Birds getting trapped in the roof. Somewhere. I don't object to the rich variety of birdlife living on my roof - after all, it's the tallest building around - and the fact that the birds are having sex up there too - but can you please prevent a repeat of what happened last year? My houseguests objected to maggots falling out of the ceiling onto their pillows. For some reason.

4. And while we're on critters, perhaps you could arrange for some of my neighbours to have gardens? So that every cat in the immediate vicinity is not using MY garden to crap in.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Did you miss me? And the Rust Madonna moves on.

Not that I've been away - just without my main computer for 2 weeks. I also have a work laptop and a wee netbook, but all my dye business software and a multitude of documents as well as photo formatting software are on the desktop.

Here are some more lovely pinks and reds from the garden, as we approach the start of summer.
This is a completely gratuitous shot of Grizabella, for no other reason than she doesn't feature much normally. She is Seven's daughter, and a long-tailed Manx (Tailless) cat.
My vegetable garden is flourishing - this is lettuce, rocket, mesclun and baby spinach.
Of course, I haven't been idle. I'm playing with knitting fabric - hand dyed of course!
I also made a couple of changes to the Rust Madonna. My friend who is an artist (the painting kind) enthused over this, and wants me to frame it as is without stitching. Currently, I'm making a second version in different colours which I'll show within the next few days.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Still waiting......

....and being a bad blogger in the meantime - I am just so focused on other stuff, like what I'm going to do for a living after selling most of my financial services business (the "day job") that I have hardly read any blogs lately.
My daughter Sophie has just returned from a holiday in Samoa - you can see how crowded it is in the photo...I mean, there's another person on the beach!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Normal transmission will be resumed....

...once I sort out my desktop computer which has gone into cardiac arrest. In the meantime, here's a photo of the twins lying in front of the fire after their spring haircut, which happened to conincide with a frosty day earlier this week. Here in Canterbury, we can still get frosts in early November, which plays havoc with orchards and vineyards, as well as home gardeners who have already planted their vegetables out. Fortunately, mine were covered.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

More of the spring garden

Some images from my garden today - clockwise from upper left: Aquilegia, Phlox, Campanula, Rhodohypoxis.
And a lovely Austin rose to finish with.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


"Don't put this on your blog!" she said, but I am anyway. I spent a pleasant morning with Sophie (aka Fifi) before dropping her in Christchurch. Because she' s cute.