Friday, December 31, 2010

Mmmm textas.

Let this be a reminder to all of you party revellers out there - don't overdo the coloured textas!  Especially the black ones, as I've heard they're very addictive.  Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kids Art & Craft Coming Soon!

A couple of us Brown Owls thought it might be nice to have a kids craft morning during the holidays, (because we are soooo mean not to let them come on Tuesday nights!).

So pencil Tuesday the 11th of January in.  More details to come.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

How good were you?

I hope you had a nice day. How exhausted are you?  We've had a late night, an early morning and it's now Christmas night. I can see an early night looming.

I'm now able to show you some of the gifts I bought for my mother and my niece (without spoiling the suprise) from Finders Keepers.

This is a colouring book I bought for my 18 year old niece, along with some nice new pencils.

Yes, I know buying a colouring book for an 18 year old might seem a little odd, but I figured she's just finished her HSC (Band 5 in art!) and it might be nice to just relax and add a bit of colour to these beautiful drawings without having to get too conceptual and theoretical. 

They're by flossy p and I loved her grown up colouring in book (and so did my niece).

For my mother I bought a really beautiful hand painted porcelain necklace from angus & celeste.  It was hard to part with but it did look very nice around mum's neck.

Well merry Christmas and I hope Santa was good to you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's starting to take shape.

Yes, the toilet rolls have begun to be turned into an interesting organic sculpture piece.

I know I said that it would be a great holiday activity (meaning for the kids) but I've actually started this one.  Not sure about the 'Quilton loves ya bum' written on the inside though. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

On a roll.

I know, I know - three postings in a day! 

Would you look at this. It's an amazing installation/artwork made out of toilet paper rolls! It's from a blog called Growing Up Creative and another called Myrtle and Eunice which I found via one of my followers 'Adriana' (thanks). It looks fantastic and I'm sure it will be a fun holiday activity to try out.

Little Monster

On our recent trip to the Finders Keepers Markets in Redfern, I bought this little drawing book for my kids.
It's called the Collaborative Monster Collective, and it's basically little black & white splodges. The artist then uses their imagination and turns the splodges into little monsters. 

My kids loved it!  You can download more of the pages from here.  They are the creation of Emma Kidd. She does some very creative and unique work, have a look.

Talented Girl

I recently ran into an old friend of mine, Simone Darcy who I hadn't seen for about six years. 

When we last met we were both at The University of Newcastle studying Fine Arts and it was almost Christmas (alot like now).  We were both working in David Jones in Newcastle, employed as Santa Photographers.  Alot has changed since then and it was great to hear that Simone has her own photographic business, Simone Darcy Photography.

Have a look at her beautiful photographs, and as she says I offer unique portraits that are personal, real and sometimes odd; black and white's that are timeless and poetic; colour that is real and not over saturated; art for art sake with no cheese . . . .

Sure wasn't like that back in the Santa photography days!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hanging around at night.

I have shown this mobile before, but it was daytime and hanging outside - natural light and all that. 

For a while it hung in my loungeroom but little Hamish kept attacking it, so I eventually hung it by my bed and each night when I go to bed I love to look at the shapes, shadows and silhouettes it makes when the lamp is on. I can kind of understand why babies love the hanging mobile.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Baby Bunting.

Baby bunting because it's smaller than the usual size I do, oh and it's for a baby too.

It's been a weekend of sun, surf and sewing - all in moderation of course.  Although I am feeling that familiar warm feeling on my back?  Anyway I finally finished sewing the baby bunting today after a day at nippers. 

I used all materials that I've sourced from op shops because of their colours and patterns. The bunting is for a girl so I tried to use neutrals with a hint of pinkish florals. I think that's my favourite part of making - the thrill of finding some lovely old tablecloth or sheeting that can be reused in another way.  Anyway another gift done.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's been a long couple of weeks.

TGIF - Yes, Thank God it's Friday.
I've been working five days and it's exhausting!  Two days teaching high school and then three days primary school teaching.  Both exhausting for completely different reasons.  I must admit though I am enjoying the enthusiasm the primary and infants students show. 

Anyhow, I thought I'd show a drawing a seven year old boy gave me as a present today.

 This is his dinosaur drawing.

 And these two are of the Newcastle buses. He called them his '3D' drawings. I thought that they were lovely simple drawings and would look great on at t-shirt.

So as you can see I've been helping others do creative stuff, so I haven't had alot of time to do much myself - but I am in the middle of making some bunting for a Christmas gift.  So it will be appearing soon, I promise.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Paper Owls

Paper rustling could be heard in the Nords Wharf Community Hall last night as we redid the paper workshop we experienced in Sydney at the weekend. Here's what we got up to.
Some flowers were made, joined and strung up.

 And there was more lino carving.

And we ate some of Wendy's fruit cake. 

Brown Owls Resting:
So as we are all well and truly aware it's the busy season so we thought the Brown Owls would have a break for the next month, and return late in January.
We are planning a parent & child craft workshop in January though. 
So I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Finders Keepers

Today my friend Caree and I headed south to the Big Smoke to check out the Finders Keepers markets at the Carriage Works in Redfern. It was a great day out!

There were lots of stalls and interesting works.

I loved these Christmas Trees.  They were made from fabric shaped flowers which were padded and then attached to a chicken wire frame (it was also covered in fabric).

And we also did a quick workshop with Lisa from Paper Convention Collective.

Each hour they did a new activity.  We joined in on the paper flower activity.  You can see the amazing ones they had hanging from the ceiling above.

No, this isn't us, but it's some lovely young girls who were also enjoying the workshop and turned theirs into headwear.  It was a gold coin donation. 
How cool was that!

Speaking of cool . . . there was plenty of that.

And the coolest stall of the day was definitely these two ladies from Sirens Swimwear. They looked gorgeous.

We didn't try on any swimsuits but we did lots of looking and touching and 'ooohing'.  Porcelain jewellery and brooches seemed to be most common item that we saw.  Lots of children's book imagery too.

So because it was such fun, we thought we blatantly copy the paper workshop idea and do a similar thing this Tuesday night at the Brown Owls meeting.

Yes it's on again, this Tuesday night, 7th December, Nords Wharf Hall, Marine Pde, Nords Wharf, 7-9pm. 
 All we ask for is a gold coin donation to cover hall hire. 
Bring your own craft along, or join in on one of our many activities.
See you there!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The arty dog gets a dog.

I know, I feel like a bit of an imposter - calling myself the arty dog and not actually having a dog.

We've been without a dog now for about two years and after a long search, my daughter fell in love with a grey hound cross whippet, (which we called a 'grippet') at the RSPCA.  After two long weeks of waiting we found out she had a spinal injury and was no longer able to be adopted.

 We then found this little girl at Sommersby RSPCA

We haven't agreed on her name yet but she's a terrier cross, 12 weeks old and very sweet.

So after one night . . . well she now thinks all of those toys that get left on the ground are hers to chew, she hasn't worked out where to go to the toilet, she didn't make a sound during the night, and is very licky (and lucky).  So lot's of training to do, but we have our dog.

Just adding to the chaos!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

snowflakes in summer

Well it's almost December and I thought I'd finally use some of my stiffened doilies to make another Christmas decoration. 

They kind of remind me of snowflakes and I'm keen to do a wreath with them.  I do think the white theme is very stylish, but unfortunately with three children there is no chance of stylish for some time.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


The best things by far that I've helped create are my kids and I don't like getting too cutsie-pie but I thought I'd share these funny little 'coupons' my daughter gave me yesterday.

The one in the middle is supposed to be a massage.  I would also like to see coupons for 'one free hang up your towel', or 'one free pack away my toys' as well.  Can you think of any you'd like to receive?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Plenty of Space.

Wedding anniversaries, relatives over from England, moving into a new home, getting back from holidays, about to go on holidays.  Well it was a quieter night last night and these are some of the reasons, but it was still soooo nice to get away ourselves, even if it was only for two hours.

We still had a very productive night.  Even Wendy came along with her newly broken foot!

Fiona finally got to print her striking 'leaf' and her art deco inspired designs.

For someone who hasn't done lino printing since about 1984??? WOW. They were pretty perfect.

James came along to enjoy the food, and tell us about the Newcastle Art Bazaar where you will get to see the handmade jewellery by his partner,
Clare Weeks.

Caree had a very productive night.  She worked on an owl softie, carved out two linos, then printed them both onto a t-shirt, and worked on her Christmas decorations.  I wish I had taken a photo of her t-shirt printing because it looked great.

I managed to do a bit more hemming of my tea towels on the sewing machine (yes, we even bring along a sewing machine!).

So another enjoyable night, and the best part is sharing what you're doing with others - and solving the problems of the world.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Brown Owls at Nords Wharf

Have you checked out what other Brown Owls are doing?  Skip over and have a look at all of the other amazing folk out there getting together and making. You'll even be able to see what we've been doing at the Nords Wharf chapter.  Or, you could come along tonight and see for yourself.

Nords Wharf Brown Owls is on tonight at
Nords Wharf Community Hall
Marine Pde, Nords Wharf, 7-9pm. 
All you need to bring is a gold coin donation, but if you'd like to bring your own art and craft, great, if not we have plenty of materials, inspiration & activities to get you going.
Oh, and a cuppa  & slice of course.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

tea towels

Who loves washing up!  Yah!  Nope, not me, but I thought I'd like to make some handcrafted tea towels to practice my screenprinting.

First I began with a stencil design I found via Kristen at domestifluff.

Then I bought a nice thick white single bed sheet from my local Salvos store, which I cut up, using an old tea towel as a template.
 And then I screen printed the kitchen utensil design using red ink.

Ta, daaa! 
I varied the amount of times I printed the image on to the tea towels, just to vary it a bit. Some have one set of cutlery, others four.

After a night of drying I then heat set the ink using my iron. 
I then hemmed each side. 
I am going to wash one just to make sure the ink doesn't come off. 
Who knows, perhaps they might make a nice Christmas gift?

And just a reminder . . .
we'd love to see all you arty and crafty
types this coming Tuesday night 23rd November. 
The Nords Wharf Brown Owls meeting is on again. It's from 7-9pm, at Nords Wharf Community Hall. 
Cost is a gold coin donation and we have plenty of materials (& chat) 
to get you started, or byoc.

Monday, November 15, 2010

When you wish upon a star.

Hmmm . . . what if it's a wonky star?
Yes, this one is a little wonky and I thought twice about putting it up here but hey that's what handmade is all about. Also made me think about how we all feel just after Christmas - a little over stuffed and a bit wonky.
I did like the way that it matched the map of Australia in the background. Maybe I should do some Christmas bunting that says 'Oi, Oi, Oi', instead of 'Ho, Ho, Ho'?