27 February, 2010

Slam Poetry

On a totally different note - I loved the "Slam Poetry" of Shane Koyczan at the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

Here's what he had to say at the end of it all. An amazing wordsmith.

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Colour options

I'm working on a series of paintings (yes, Kym, you know I love a good series!) called 'Collectables' to be submitted to the Toowoomba Grammar Art Show, inspired by the home of a friend who is a true 'Collector'. This small painting is from a pic I took of one of her "Mamie" Cookie Jars that she loves.

I'm spending far too much time on this for the price I put on the painting (once again I've entered with painting names and prices and haven't actually finished the paintings yet - one year it will be different, I'll actually have paintings done before I enter and I'll be VERY happy!) but I'm not happy with my first colour-way, with the purple table (it was done in the very middle of last night), so have photoshopped up a few more options...


I think whatever colour I need to add some 'weight' and shadows to the table, but right now I'm thinking the red version at the bottom left.

What do you think?

19 February, 2010

Angel becomes Tooth Fairy

Late last year, the lovely Kylie from 3 sheets volunteered to test out my Angel Screenprints kit.

And she made one of the little angels more angelic than I could ever have imagined.

Her embroidery is amazing, and then she decided to sew it into a tooth fairy pillow for her goddaughter in Chicago.

Thank you for putting so much time, effort and talent into this project, Kylie!

My sister (who will probably be mortified that I am also posting a pic of what she did with the kit too) used it to sew a delightful cushion for her little girl, coloured with fabric paints and appliqued to some gorgeous fabric. Yours is fantastic too, Lozzie!


I'm sure there are plenty of things you could do with this print, and I'd love to see it when you do - it's $11 and available from here. I've printed it in a couple of other colours too (maybe for t-shirt appliques or bunting?), so will load them to the shop very soon.

18 February, 2010

My Creative Space

I can't believe that I actually have something creative to share this week! The Toowoomba Grammar School Art Show entry form is due tomorrow (the show opens in 4 weeks) so things have had to kick into gear.

I was inspired to paint one of the antique 'flying ducks' that I'd seen at our local Cobb & Co museum (there on a playdate) so raced down and took some photos and raced back and went to the movies (saw "Valentines Day" - excellent!) and then raced home and painted this. (I did feed the kids in the middle there somewhere...)


That was last Friday, but seeing as I intend to finish it tonight (and also do my tax figures, Jeanette, if you're reading this I haven't forgotten!) I think it makes it as a Creative Space.

I'm also feeling inspired to paint other 'kitschy homewares' and recently took some pics at a friend's place (she's an avid collector of beautiful things) of some 'black lady lamps', mama's head cookie jars and more ducks, among other items. I'd appreciate any other input - Is there a particular 'retro or collectable' ceramic homeware that you remember fondly?

My mum has a set of cream and green canisters (flour, sugar, etc) which bring back memories for me, but I'm still figuring out how I could compose a painting with them...

Thanks! And for more creative spaces head over to Kootooyoo.

15 February, 2010

Paper Cuts

This is wonderful to watch. And something I'd really like to try one day.



I also love this papercut work by Rob Ryan (as seen on 3 sheets lovely blog). Definitely inspiring me right now.

Do you know any other fabulous papercutters that you'd like to share?

On Golden watch


As you know, I really enjoy using the amazing Golden range of paints, and that's why I sell it in my Shiny Happy Art online shop, but I have to say I still get a buzz when I'm browsing blogs and I spy a Golden stash in a photo - and it's from the studio of an artist I admire.

The above photo is of David Band's Golden paint collection. His work is symbolic and abstract but I particularly admire the textures and techniques used for his colour blocks. And you can see the influence of Matisse (my favourite artist) in some of his line works.


More info on David and his art and design, see the Real Living blog here.

Bad taste?


Is it bad taste to go to an Elvis & Abba Party as "Elvis' Last Meal*"? (Cue ethical debate here. And admire the accidental pun.)

Regardless, it was a great party, and I have to say, a sandwich costume is very appropriate for people with body issues, even though it's a little difficult to eat, drink, get through the door, sit down... I'll leave it at that.

I loved wearing the costume, which really is more of a two day project, rather than a 'think about it for a fortnight and make the thing in one afternoon' kind of project.

I followed most of the instructions from here, but have to add that I think foam core board makes the best sandwich front (and back, obviously) and I didn't have any spray adhesive (I did have an empty can though, which was an interesting surprise when realised at the 11th hour), so I made do with craft glue held together with sewing pins (removed when dry). It'd be good to use gap filler or even hot glue to attach the foam 'crusts' to the fascias.

And best to make it a little earlier so the spray paint fumes can subside prior to the actual event.

Now I just need to hope that I'm invited to a food themed party sometime in the future. I'd love to wear it again. And D certainly liked that Elvis wig too.

(Here's a pic of me at Elvis' grave, at Gracelands, in 1993. What can I say? I am a fan.)

*for those not in the know, Elvis regularly enjoyed fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches. And sometimes partook in valium. As discovered in his post mortem. RIP Elvis.

14 February, 2010

DIY Valentines Card

In the spirit of today, here is my contribution to the HUGE number of DIY Valentines projects out there.

I did mean to get this posted earlier, but I've been covered in children! I think the pics pretty much speak for themselves. It's simple, to the point, and you've got a useful costume for other occasions - honestly, the fake nose and moustache is worn by someone around here most days of the week...

Speaking of costumes, I wore the giant sandwich costume last night, and photographic evidence will be posted tomorrow. Now that's a cliffhanger if I ever wrote one...

12 February, 2010

There's nothing to see here


But we have red velvet cake!

S has decided that red is her favourite colour, so seeing she has me figured out, this is what happened here today. It's a Martha recipe, using an entire bottle of Pillar Box Red food colouring, and I have to say, it's very yummy.

Due to babies that seem to not need much sleep, and adults that do, there has been pretty much NO arting or crafting around here lately. Last Sunday I did manage the hand stitching of the binding on the lap quilt I made ages ago and I have to say, it felt FANTASTIC to have it finished.

Tonight I want to work on a painting for a friend's 50th and tomorrow I plan to be making a giant sandwich costume for said friend's birthday - let's see how it goes.

Would love to post about something interesting one day soon!

06 February, 2010

Egg Couture

Now that we have our own BRILLIANT egg-laying chickens in our own backyard (feeling very rural now), there is the concept of how to store said eggs between laying and eating...

As my friends and family know, I'm a sucker for good packaging (and like to reward clever marketing... or I just like to shop for quirky things... best not to read too much into it really).

Getting to the point - have you checked out the variety of egg cartons available now? I love this black carton that holds nine eggs (they were yummy, but not quite as good as ours) and it will now be the storage container of choice for our eggs. It's neat, blends into the counter top, and holding only 9, will encourage brisk rotation of said eggs so they won't need to go in the fridge.

And it's much better than the daggy old Coles one we were using.

Who is it that said to 'have nothing in your house that isn't either beautiful or useful'?

It's a small thing, but it's making me happy today.

03 February, 2010

Observe and reflect


Monet said: “It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly.” “When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape, until it gives you own na├»ve impression of the scene before you.”

I'm tired tonight. But I'm going to do this as a painting exercise. Reading something like this is just what I needed tonight. Have you thought of how you can 're-see' what you're doing creatively? Break it down and build it back up. There may be a better way to do it.

01 February, 2010

FREE POSTAGE on all Golden Paints, Gels and Mediums

Yep, I haven't made a big enough deal about it - until now.

Tell your friends, tell your mum, tell your artist neighbour... Golden paints are available from Shiny Happy Art and there's no postage charge 'til the end of Feb 2010.

Quite simply, I was introduced to Golden Paints a couple of years ago by my dear friend (and artist who's work features prominently in my home) Nic Hohn, and I liked them so much I didn't quite 'buy the company', but through my Shiny Happy Art business, I became a retailer of a range of Golden paints, gels and mediums.

At the time, I was opening the studio in front of my house most Sundays (there are advantages to living on a highway!) and I had Nic and Kym Breeze helping me and selling their art also.

So I bought the whole kit and kaboodle. Display racks, lovely boxes of stock, all ordered from the US and taking months to choose and have delivered... and then, as the universe usually conspires to do, it was time to have my daughter who is now 2 and a half.

I kept up the pace for quite a while. We even had a joint exhibition up in the studio when my bub was just 3 months old. But with 3 kids at home, and then my husband heading off to Afganistan for 4 months and the website taking A LOT longer to get up and running than I had originally envisaged (another long story) the studio just got too much for me, my helpers moved away and/or got full time jobs, and things changed. And then they changed even more when my latest little girl (nearly 8 months old) came along.

Now, I'm not overly worried, because these beautiful paints can wait for their discerning owners. They are neatly displayed on their racks waiting... waiting....

And the studio will be open again sometime in the next couple of years! (We've just got to teach a couple of little ones that nighttime is for sleeping...)

From time to time people call or email a Golden order through, and I love having the paints here at my disposal, but I need to decide if I'm going to continue to reorder, or just sell what I have.

So, if you've ever wanted to try Golden paints, now's a great time to go for it.
  • I painted the paintings at the top of this post ('A Very Special Occasion' and 'Innocence') using Golden Paints. The gold colour on the green background of 'Innocence' is Golden Iridescent Gold Fluid and it is fabulous to use (and it should be for $35 - it is also a great gift for an arty friend - you can always find a good use for gold paint!).
  • Read glowing reviews of Golden Paints by other artists at the American Dick Blick's site here.
- the paint will last in the tube till the last drop. if you take care of your tubes, close them up properly...your paint will not dry in the tube.

- every tube has a hand painted color swatch on the tube so that you can see the color and the translucency of the paint...this is so valuable in choosing your paint colors...you have to be educated about the paints in order to mix colors properly

- I can honestly say that using these products have made me more passionate about painting again...the possibilities...the ways they are constantly pushing the limits and boundaries of painting is astonishing.

All that and the postage is FREE (in Australia) til the end of February.

So I hope I have what you want in stock. Even if you pick your favourite colour and then just pick whether you'd prefer 'fluid' (like runny cream) or 'heavy body' (like oil paint consistency), and order it just to play with, you won't regret it.

All orders are wrapped with care and I always try to include a little extra something for you, and I also draw on the packaging - so you can really look forward to receiving your 'Golden' in the mail.

If you're a Toowoomba local, you can come and browse for yourself! Just call me and we'll make a time.

OK, gushing Golden blog post is now over.

Tomorrow I may tell you about interesting things like the bottle of olive oil I dropped in front of the fridge (pictured below being mopped up with oats because I googled it and someone suggested 'oatmeal' would help, so I tried oats instead, and it worked ok) today... and we'll resume normal programming. (I do have a Valentines Card idea to show you - and I promise it'll be interesting!)


May the creativity be with you.
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