Friday, October 30, 2009

Weekword: Transportation

After a hiatus of a year, I have started meditation practice again.

Some will get there faster than others ...

Lovely Leenie (who paints and writes poems and takes trips and tells a good story) chose this week's word, see her blog for other participants!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Not quite a clone.

Art journal page - painting by Tamara de Lempicka, drawing by me.

PS Weekword is transportation - chosen by Leenie! Leave her a comment here if you are going to play along and post on Friday!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Water - a story.

Yesterday we were without water again. For the entire day. And on Saturday the water was cut off for half a day as well. My mood was not good. Although we have become used to water problems in our area (something to do with an old system of pipes that cannot handle the load), this was the longest we have been without water. We ranted and railed. Not being able to shower and wash my hair puts me in a vile mood. L'Usband felt there was not enough Information about the problem given through to us. Information! he grumbled, Information! At about 9 pm we got a call from the technical services department. With Information. Sorry, the problem persists, they are sending out a water tanker to the neighbourhood with water. By this time I had accepted the waterless day and my grubby state. Actually, I was beginning to see it all as an adventure (a bit late in the day, I admit). We took our three pails and marched up the hill in a roaring wind and pitch darkness - our area does not have street lights - to find the tanker. And two very friendly gentlemen to help us.

L'Usband shivering in the wind, waiting for the pails to be filled ...

... and the two very helpful council workers. Full of smiles. I was beginning to feel quite bad about my attitude. For one day I felt what millions of South Africans without running water in their homes experience every day.

We struggled home with our three pails of precious water. Against what seemed to be a gale force wind. When we got home, the water was on. Yes, the water was running through the pipes. And a little later there was thunder and almighty lightning flashes and the water came pouring down from the heavens, I kid you not.

I did not know what to make of all of this. I still don't know. But this morning, as I was clearing out my bookshelves to make space for new books, I came upon a book by Beverley Nichols called Merry Hall. I got it a few months ago at a car boot sale and I just bought it for the cover which has a lovely illustration (by William McClaren). I have never opened this book. I opened it. It fell open at this page -

I kid you not.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Candace is having a Mad Hatter's Tea Party (here) and I made a hat. Now I have to admit that my hat is probably more suited to a Garden Party or a day at the races, but here's the thing - the original hat that I conceived and planned never made it past the two-dimensional draft on paper. It would have been constructed entirely from toilet paper inners, a 188-tube engineering feat. (To be precise.) But my visionary attempt at surpassing all previous efforts, at becoming a Truly Mad Milliner Par Excellence, would simply have taken too much effort and time. Hour upon hour of painting, punching holes, threading through wire, shaping ... no, I don't think so!

So I made this one - took me 10 minutes flat. Old straw hat, a bit of tulle, a piece of fabric from an old Indian skirt, and lots of fabric flowers and pins.

Happy Mad Hatter's Party everyone! I hope Candace will post soon and bring something to eat, because I'm starving. And I'm feeling a bit conspicuous in this pink and green outfit, with all these flowers, so very much not me. Is that a bee I hear buzzing around my head??

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekword: Browse

Anne chose this week's word. For other participants, see her blog, frayedattheedge. Have a great weekend all! I will be browsing a few blogs, browsing my bookcases to decide what to give to charity, browsing through the programme at the play tomorrow night, and perhaps browsing the rails for some new summer clothes!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


The car guard usually sits on this upturned milk crate. But today he was absent.

UPDATE: From the comments it seems that the ubiquitous car guard is a curiously South African phenomenon. Here is a short explanation. Some car guards are appointed by local businesses to look after cars in streets and parking lots. (We do have a lot of crime, including the more petty kind such as car break-ins and car thefts.) Other car guards (probably most) are self-appointed. Yes, it may be a glorified form of begging, and I am not sure what a car guard will actually do if someone breaks into my car (in most cases, nothing, I suspect, and I do not blame them - why become involved and possibly risk your life for a few measly rand that you may or may not get from the car owner?), but I guess they can act as a deterrent. A little bit like locking your front door when you go out - it makes you feel safer, and prevents a chancer from just walking in and helping himself, but it is of course useless if someone really wants to break into your house. This is my take on it - the car guard feels that he has a job and I feel that I am helping to support someone. It annoys me very much when locals say that car guards should get "proper" jobs - there are very few of those around here. Proper jobs, I mean.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Power of the Other

I really enjoyed reading your interpretations of my previous art journal page. I call this one The Power of the Other after these two words popped out at me from the text on the page. Let me know how you interpret it. Again, I had something specific in mind as the page developed, which is really explained by the title!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Summer doodles

Summer is here! 31 degrees, sun shining, what more can I say?

PS Anne from Frayed at the Edge will be choosing the new Weekword for this week. Leave her a comment if you would like to play along!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weekword: History

A (quick) History of the World - mine. Starting at the top with grandparents on both sides; my mom, a student teacher, meets dad, a dashing fighter pilot in WWII; me in high-chair and as a toddler, the littlest of three sisters. A brother was later added to this ménage. Unfortunately this union (my mom and dad), no doubt a romantic and happy one to start off with, did not last. Such is life. The rest (from toddler to now) is not included - it is not history, it is my life.

For other participants, see:
Linda Sue, Sarah, Leenie , Anne, Valentina, Aris, Aimee, Esti, Alexandra, Veja Cecilia, Nicky, Sarah the jeweller (who is having another amazing giveaway of a beautiful pendant), Line, Cindy and Fruenswerk!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekword - update

I'm late! I'm late!! I am working on a project, and in the midst of this did something very naughty: I slipped away for a few days, partly to visit this place, which is indeed part of my personal history - my dad grew up here:

So I am not at all ready for weekword yet. I hope to post mine on Sunday evening. In the meantime, here are the other participants:

Linda Sue, Sarah, Leenie (possibly), Anne, Valentina, Aris, Aimee, Esti, Alexandra, Veja Cecilia, Nicky, Sarah the jeweller (who is having another amazing giveaway of a beautiful pendant), and Line. Also Cindy!

Have a great time visiting their blogs. See you a little later!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Processed - Not Transferable

I found these two office stamps at a sale, and they were ideal for this page. Hmm, the subject is something I have been battling with, but I won't comment on it. I'd be interested to know how you interpret it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Two things

Firstly, the new weekword! It is history. I know, I know. It seems like such a boring word, especially if you are like me. I fully agree with Jane Austen's character Catherine Morland, when she laments:

"History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in ... I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome."

But I love personal histories - the story each person has to tell of how they became what they are now. Everything has a history - people, objects, concepts. And of course, what we do right now will become the history of the future. So, all in all, perhaps not quite such a boring word. I would love to see your interpretation of it! A photo, a drawing, a poem, a crafty thing, any creation really. Let me know if you want to play along by leaving a comment on this post, and post it on Friday or the weekend.

Secondly, I was invited (well, actually, I invited myself, and so can you!) to Candace's Second Mad Hatter's Tea Party on October 24th. If you want to go along, drop her a comment. I am busy making myself a magnificent hat. A magnificent hat!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weekword: Twilight

From the beautiful poem Clenched Soul by Pablo Neruda. Cindy chose this weekword; look at her lovely blog Quaint Handmade for other participants.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Contrary love

Update: I found these words by William Blake:
"Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion,
Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence."
An art journal page I finished earlier this week. I am not ready for weekword yet - will hopefully post my interpretation of twilight by Sunday. I have been asked by Cindy of Quaint Handmade (Oh, I LOVE to discover new blogs in this weekword way!) to choose the new word and I will post this on Monday. In the meantime, have an amazing weekend. Be a little contrary! Following the rules and the expected notions can sometimes be quite, quite boring.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Word Creatures

I have finally figured out what to do with my cupboard full of tp inners. Inspired by William Kentridge's Nose and the wonderful, whimsical art of Andre da Loba I have created this little critter. He loves words and reading and dictionaries and books of all sorts.

I am thinking of illustrating an entire novel with Word Creatures. I am kind of thinking Charles Dickens - Bleak House perhaps (which I am currently re-watching); his novels are peopled by such wonderful characters, don't you think? Any other novels/plays/movies that spring to mind?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Weekword: Treasure

Asiye chose this week's beautiful word - treasure. See her blog for other participants.