Friday, July 31, 2009

Weekword: Reinvent

It is not that I have anything against evolution. Neither would I think of criticizing the design credentials of a possible creator. But honestly, if I can reinvent my hand, I would do it.
Like this:

Fig. 9: Reinventing the hand.

Oh, yes, and they would all be retractable.
(For other participants, see Valentina's blog. PS Her interpretation is truly beautiful!)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I leave you with these two images which I took last week. I'm busy with a new proofreading project - which will take up most of my time for the next week or so - so posting might be thinner on the ground than usual. I also have almost no time to visit your lovely blogs - very sad for me, as they are my daily required dosage of Creative Inspiration! But I'm going to try my best and do something for Valentina's weekword - reinvent on Friday. If you want to join in, please leave a comment on Valentina's blog!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Brodie Mack Correspondence Art School

I've always wanted to take drawing lessons, and at the last car boot sale I got just the thing - an original Brodie Mack Correspondence Art School poster. At 50 cents (which translates to about 5 US cents) it was a bargain! I mean, have you priced art lessons recently? Nope, I think I'll stick with Brodie Mack.

Let's start off with some pen practice - and remember to draw slowly until you acquire speed!

Got it? Okay, now we will move on to the eyes. The most important thing to remember here is that in cases of terror or surprise, the eyes are dilated. Come on guys, dilate those eyes! DILATE!!

Now that you have that under your belts, we can concentrate on the real stuff - figures. I give you this gem of advice, from the lips (or rather pen) of Mr Mack himself: "Remember that underneath all clothing is a living, breathing human form that is similar to other human beings when in the nude." I kid you not!

And finally, we come to highlights and depth. With Mr Mack I have to urge you to note how the girl's eyes convey expression. (An expression of what? He doesn't say, but I have my own opinion on this ...)

I hope that you found this useful. I am planning to use my new-found skills on this week's weekword, which Valentina will choose. Happy drawing!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


The lovely Anne of Frayed at the Edge (that is such a clever blog name, I wish I thought of it. Although of course Anne does fantastic sewing and quilting and knitting and stuff, so there is that needlework connotation, whereas I just feel (and look) frayed at the edge most of the time) ... oh, let me get to the point ... and now of course I've lost my thread, which is as close to needlework as I'll ever get.

Okay, she gave me this award - thanks so much, Anne! I love the fact that I meet new and wonderfully creative people here all the time, and I sometimes wish that I can permanently emigrate to Blogland. People just seem so friendly here - giving, sharing, supporting, advising without harsh criticism - it is the kind of community that I want to build in RealLifeland ...

I am passing the Circle of Friends on to some lovely people I've met recently: Lady P, Nathalie, Trinsch, Valentina, Lea and Candace! There are so many more, but I am limited to five. Oops, I see I have chosen six. But the great thing about Blogland is that no-one will mind if I bend the rules just a little! No fines, no jail sentences, no dirty looks or swear words or rude hand signals.

That is it, I am emigrating ....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Weekword: Time

Update 27/07: Valentina will choose the new weekword!

I was not really in a drawing or picture-making mood this week, so for this week's word I decided to build something; to use my considerable scientific skills and to exercise my left brain a little.

Dear friends, I give you my Time Travel Machine (TTM).

Fig. 8a - Anairam's Time Travel Machine

In the spirit of open-source I will reveal how easy it is to make your own:
Equipment: You will need an empty cereal box, scissors, tape, and any odds and ends that you have lying around. You obviously need some kind of switch to activate the quantum generator that will kick the machine into life; I used the inside of an old light-switch. The interesting thing about quantum energy is that as long as there are some wires and stuff sticking out, it will work. See Figure 8b below.

Fig. 8b - Quantum Generator Switch

Instructions for building: Cut the cereal box into sections and tape together again. The size must allow you to comfortably sit in it once you have transdimunified(*) yourself. Cut a hole in the top for the hatch. That is where you will get in and out. If you use a detergent measuring cup as I have, it also makes for a neat observation bubble. Stick all the other bits to the box. (See Figure 8a above.)

Important Note 1: Do NOT put labels on your own TTM - I have merely added them in the picture for your edification. The labels burn off when the TTM enters black holes and quasars and this can severely affect the direction of your machine. Which means that instead of landing up in the Future, you may land up in the path of a herd of dinosaurs charging across the savannah. Trust me on this.

Important Note 2: I am not sure that the exhaust is necessary, but I had to use up at least one of my considerable stash of toilet roll inners.

Important Note 3: I haven't quite refined the Time Selector yet - so at This Moment in Time (haha!) you can choose between Future and Past, but where exactly in the future or past you are going to land up, is anyone's guess. I have managed to get a sort of fine-tuning thing going though. (Yes, I know what you think that blue disc is, but no, you are wrong. It is the Fine Tuning Dial.) You can therefore select to end up on a particular weekday (out of a set of four) somewhere in the future or past. I think that can be pretty handy, don't you?

Important Note 4: Be sure to cut a little hole in the box and mount the quantum generator with the switch on the INSIDE. This is for obvious reasons, and if you can't work out why, you had better drop your dream of becoming a serious scientist. Rather spend your time lying on the couch watching old StarTrek episodes.

Instructions for use:
1. Set the time selector to where you want to go in time, and fine-tune using the blue dial.
2. Transdimunify(*) yourself.
3. Get in, close the hatch, and press the switch of the quantum generator.
4. Wait a couple of seconds, open the hatch and get out.
5. Enjoy yourself. Make field notes. Take your time!!
6. Remember to come back (and tell me where you landed up).

(*) Okay, here's the thing. I haven't designed the transdimunifying unit (which is to reduce yourself) yet. Thus far I have only tested my TTM on a couple of ants I found in the garden. From the dazed and confused expression on their little ant-faces when I let them out again, I conclude that my TTM is a great success.

For other interpretations of time, see: Linda Sue, Anne, l'atelier, e, Sarah , Thereza, Trinsch, Valentina, Lisa, Fruenswerk & Nathalie & asphaltair & lea & aimee &esti! (If I've left out anyone, please let me know and I'll update the list.) Fantabulous - I can't wait to see everyone's entries!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I have decided to join Misty Mawn's self-portrait Wednesday. Just for this week. I find it quite terrifying to expose myself in this way. Psychologically speaking, I mean. I have also discovered that the desire to look pretty, good, attractive, or at least to present one's best profile, does not diminish with age. I have discarded the first pics I took, which were all meant to show me in a more desirable light, and kept the bits that I think are brutally honest. Well, here you have it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A drawing.

What a pleasure to wake up this morning to a beautiful drawing

made specially for us

by our Artist-in-Residence.

Thank you Mr Snail.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Kristi asked me to choose the new weekword! So here goes: it is a simple word, but oh so precious; something we all want loads and loads of, but unfortunately we each have a limited amount only. And we can't buy more.
The weekword = time
So if you have time this week, you are all invited to play along! Leave me a comment on this post, and post your interpretation on your blog on Friday (or the weekend). It can be anything you have created: picture, drawing, photo, object, poem, story ... Have fun with it!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Weekword: Fantabulous

Kristi chose a wonderful word for this week. Fabulous is such a lovely 60's word, isn't it? And fantabulous, a blend of fantastic and fabulous, is even more ... well ... fantabulous!
(For other participants, see Kristi's blog)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jacci's Jotters

I met talented Jacci last week to pick up my order of jotters - and I have to say they are even better in real life! Lovely front cover designs, great paper inside - just perfect for doodling, journal-keeping, note-making and lists. I ordered them as presents, but ha, ha! I have already appropriated two for myself. Jacci is having a giveaway on her blog, hop on over and enter!

(PS ... despite warnings, I have caught L'Usband's bug - head pounding, snuffling away, dripping on the keyboard - you can all be very glad that you are satellites away from me.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sick ...

Poor L'Usband has the flu and I am nursing him back to health (poor L'Usband, indeed!) No, actually, I am quite a good nurse - very patient and supportive and all that. Fluffing up pillows, making hotwater bottles, timing medication, taking temperatures - that kind of thing. So much so, that blogging will have to take a backseat until he is better ...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Weekword: Laziness

I know, I know ... But I just couldn't resist! If I have a less lazy interpretation of laziness I will post it later this weekend. But I doubt it. (I am lazy.)
Nathalie chose this week's weekword; for other participants, see her blog.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Doodling ...

I warned you that I was addicted!

Doodle ...

Leaves ...

Today feels like spring ...

Flowers ...

Love ...

Inspired by Esti's stones ...

We went to Sea Point on Sunday - what a glorious day! - sun, walking on the promenade, people-watching, sitting on the veranda at Winchester Mansions sipping white wine. But I forgot my camera which is why I doodled you this little picture.
For inspiring doodling by others see Linda Sue (here), Esti (here), Fruenswerk (here), Aimee (e.g. here) and Valentina (here)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Art journal

Some new pages - not quite finished ...

Karoo blossoms

Discovering the world through words ...

Doodles - I have become obsessed by and addicted to doodling ... (this one has already changed since I took the picture.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Sections of my new insert, called F-O-U-N-D. I am still deciding how to attach them to the backing cards - I am thinking of 'sewing' them on as I did with the broken crockery piece in Anatomy of Love. Also, the paper that I chose for cutting out the backing cards seems quite dull, I may change this. And I am going to add the letters FOUND - I just have to find the right font - or maybe I'll draw them by hand ...

Most of these were picked up on my walks, although the antique marbles, the section of rosary chain (not the crucifix) , one of the pottery shards and a piece of iron were 'dug' up by moles in our garden.
Sometimes you have to look down to find a treasure ...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wearable Art

Last week I posted about my new wearable art T-shirt (by artist Ian Hunter). What I didn't mention was that Ian's T-shirts are all limited editions, signed and numbered on the inside.

I've now changed it into a skirt! Basically by cutting off the sleeves at a kind of angle, cutting it straight at the neckline and sewing on a length of fabric at the top to tie it with (at the back). I am no seamstress so stuff like zips and button holes are not in my repertoire. Anyway, I never wear tops tucked in, always hanging over, so that is okay. A multitude of sins can be hidden that way...

I love the way it came out - the bottom of the T-shirt (with the black strip) is perfect for translation to skirt, don't you think?

Friday, July 3, 2009


This has indeed been a week of GOODies! Yesterday I received this beautiful origami box that I won in Denise's competition at Freshly Found - it is so perfectly me - in its colours (creamy white and black with a splash of red) and lettering (aaaah, you all know how I love letters ...) and of course the fact that it provides storage for stuff!

It came with a most beautiful tag - made from old book pages and a bit of vintage tie ...

Freshly Found has all kinds of delights waiting to be revealed - keep an eye on Denise's blog for information!
(I will soon be posting some stuff I'm working on: my T-shirt-skirt is finished, was worn last night, and it looked pretty good even if I have to say so myself; and another insert is on its way to become something for my wall ...)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

From a Shy Girl to a Sweet Girl - большое спасибо!!

It seems that this blogging week is one of objects - of beautiful things I bought or that some very special people gave to me!

I saw Svetlana two days ago - we had some business dealings (all very hush-hush; her granny in Birsk has KGB connections, as you know ...) and she gave me the most beautiful belated birthday present! One I've actually blogged about many moons ago (here).

Oh, dear Svetlana: большое спасибо!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Market buys ...

I visited the Tokai Fresh Food Market on the weekend, and for once I did not stuff my bag (or myself) full of edible goodies (although I did succumb to a delicious pecan chocolate brownie), but focused instead on the wearable goodies ... and got myself these:

... a sweet felted heart brooch by skaapie (her creations also sell at Blossom and Beatnik Bazaar - both in Kalk Bay)

.... and a great T-shirt with original designs by artist Ian Hunter of Signs and Wonders, based in Muizenberg. This design is called General Apathy and Major Boredom - I really love the idea of wearing someone's art (although I do not think the name is applicable to me - at least, I hope not!) The T-shirt is quite big though, so I am thinking of changing it into a skirt ...