Friday, January 29, 2010

The Draw!

Congratulations, Nathalie - you have won the Three Roses chain. And congratulations L'Atelier - you have won the Sea pin. Please send me your postal addresses - and I'll pop them in the post next week.

Happy Weekend everyone - I wish you all the fragrance of roses and/or a fresh sea breeze!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Reminder ...

to everyone in my life.

(Stationery store ink stamp).

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Cup of Tea and a Corner Cafe.

BC #8 (of a painting by Ken Rees-Gibbs from a solo exhibition  - June 2007)

BC #9 (of a painting - District 6 - by Sydney Goldblatt - August 1991)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Declutter and Make Something. And then Give Something Away.

Somewhere (I think it might be on Frayed At the Edge) I read about a challenge to use one's stash of whatever bits and pieces one hoards, and actually make something. I love picking up bits and pieces on my walks; I keep broken jewellery; sometimes I buy odd bits from car boot sales or junk shops, because I "might be able to use them for something". So I took out my boxes of bits, and made myself some chains and a pin ...

This one is called Red Mary. (Glass beads, wooden beads, round plastic disc picked up on one of my walks, a piece of an old rosary - with Mary medallion - found in a molehill, and a bit of broken earring.)

The Three Roses. (Vintage marcasite earring, opaque stone bead, silver rose clasp from 1940s bracelet, pink rose pendant, silver rose from broken earring, silver bit picked up on walk.)

Not quite finished yet - this one is called Angel's Harvest. (Small piece of painted wood broken off wooden Indian angel mobile after a too vigorous dusting by moi, small medallion, wired bead from broken earring, piece of rosary found in molehill, glass grapes bead, bee charm from old jewellery.)

The pin is called Sea. (Piece of old vintage chain, glass fish, sea horse charm, polished shell discs from old bracelet, key chain clasp found on a walk, sea shell picked up on our local beach.)

I am giving away the Sea pin and one of the chains. Leave me a comment and tell me which one you like best and why, and on Friday 29 Jan I'll pick the two winners!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Birds.

I was reminded by a post of editor of my love of Hitchcock films. I have seen most of them - many times. My favourite is  Rear Window. Just love it. I could never quite get into The Birds though. I read Daphne du Maurier's original story - bleak and nightmarish. And I am pretty sure it, and Hitchcock's film version, are partly responsible for my aversion to birds. They scare me, especially crows and city pigeons and  starlings. And I have to add that Snous and I were attacked (!) by two mean-looking seagulls a few weeks ago ...

Art journal page (drawings and magazine cutouts).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Reduce Clutter - Create Space - Update

As you may have seen on my sidebar, I have been following Shannon's inspirational lead in getting rid of clutter and creating space. This is what I have done so far:
  1. Clothes cupboard and shelves - got rid of two bags. It would have been more, but I did the clothing exercise twice last year.
  2. Photos on computer - I worked my way through hundreds of digital pics, organising them into meaningful (I hope) folders. A few duds were deleted, but I still have loads of below-par pictures. I should spend more time in deciding which to keep, and which to dump - maybe next week.
  3. Top of my desk - I didn't really get rid of anything except for a few pens that don't work anymore, but I did reorganise to make better space for my laptop, scanner, and writing/drawing materials.
  4. Sock and tights bags - got rid of a bagful, put some aside for mending, and reorganised.
  5. Envelopes - I have a bad habit of keeping envelopes that people send me (with their return addresses) so that I can contact them again. I made a list of addresses I wanted to keep, retained the envelopes that are reusable, and got rid of the others.
  6. And the piece de resistance of this little list. Yes, dear friends, get ready to congratulate me. Especially those of you who know of my sad addiction to paper towel and toilet paper inners. I got rid of them. It took a lot of courage though. As the local recycling run takes place on a Tuesday only, the enormous bag is still down in the garage. I am fighting the urge to go down and save a few as we speak ...

Friday, January 15, 2010

The girl I used to be.

Art journal page (collage with catalogue image, drawing, magazine cutouts, paint, plastic toy).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A story.

#27 of Keri Smith's 100 Ideas:Read a story out loud to a friend.
Most of my friends will kill themselves laughing if I attempt to read them a story out loud, the others I suspect will consider me having finally gone totally barmy. But when I do a project (such as 100 Ideas) I get a bit obsessive. I have to do each task, there is no skipping or passing things over or putting them off or thinking that I will do it one day in the distant future, perhaps when I have a grandchild...
So I decided to record the story and put it on the web, where friends and enemies alike may listen to it (or not). It is one of the first books I got as a 6-year old, and I still have it. Called Tafelberg se Wit Karos, it is the story of where Table Mountain's silver trees come from, and how the mountain got the white blanket of clouds that we sometimes see rolling over with a South Easter. It is a lovely book, published in 1964, written by Pieter W. Grobbelaar, with gorgeous illustrations by J.J. Bredenkamp.
Listen to it here.
Oops. I forgot to add that I am reading in Afrikaans, so most of you will not understand it. Also, it is quite long - about 15 minutes. But I have added some pictures, so let's test that old adage of a picture being worth a thousand words ...
(All illustrations by J.J. Bredenkamp.)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Shy Girls ...

In my postbox today, these beautiful ladies! I love the feel of the wooden block in my hand. I love the  expressions on their gentle faces. I think they will be good company - I have a feeling that they have stories to tell. I hear that they are good listeners too ... they can keep secrets ... (although I do imagine that they might perhaps whisper amongst themselves and discuss the latest follies and foibles of Anairam).

From the lovely artist Aris at Peekadoo. I can't wait for her to open a shop!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


The prints that I ordered from Valentina arrived this Friday - aren't they beautiful? I can't wait to get them framed!

See her shop here for more lovely art!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Do you sometimes have nightmares?
(Collage with magazine/book cutouts, polaroid, paint and found object. Polaroid  by Sarah Wallis.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Travelling ...

This started out as an art journal page about wanting to travel, not necessarily literally and not necessarily to a geographic location ...

Through a series of coincidences, it ended up being about Mary Kingsley, a British woman from the 19th century, one of the few women to travel independently to exotic locations, in her case, West Africa. I did not know about MK before. I was merely looking for a picture of a female traveller, not necessarily from that period, to use in my collage. Via some hops, skips and jumps I landed up with this picture. The face intrigued me. I read (online) part of the book she wrote,  Travels in West Africa.  (I incorporated the first few sentences on the collaged map). Then I decided to find out more about her. Here is the interesting thing.  Mary Kingsley, aged 38, died in Simon's Town, about 2 km from where I live now. She died in 1900, from typhoid fever, while working as a volunteer nurse, treating Boer prisoners during the Anglo-Boer war.
A bold woman ...

Monday, January 4, 2010


I decided to choose a word for this year ... bold.
No ... bold.
No ... BOLD.

Because I am quite a bit taller than average, people think I am bold, fearless, someone to be reckoned with. Also, I have a strong nose, inherited from my father. And an embedded frown, which I suspect people think is bad attitude or sullenness. Actually, it is because I am fair-skinned and blue-eyed and from a very young age I can remember the sun hurting my eyes. So the frown is really a squint against light. Someone I worked with once told me that I inspired awe, marching down the corridor, coat-tails flapping, frowning fiercely...
But truth be told, I am as timid as a mouse. 
Squeak, squeak.
I don't speak up. I don't really stand up for myself. I avoid confrontation when I can. I am always afraid of offending people. I am sometimes too aware of What People Might Think. I am embarrassed to show people the things I create.
Instead, I hide. I belittle my own efforts, making a joke of it. I compromise. I bend over backwards so far that you can tip me over with a tap of the forefinger. A pushover ...
Blogging changed some of that. I am not afraid of showing like-minded people my journal pages and doodles and drawings anymore.
Also, reaching this milestone helped. I started not caring as much what people think of me - my opinions, the things I do and make and wear and think.
A start.
This year, I hope to live more boldly.
I hope you do too.

Friday, January 1, 2010

My New Year's Wishes for You.

I have redone my mood board especially for the New Year. And so, dear friends, I wish for you ... (click pic to make bigger)

1. A happy and creative home (photo by Asiya of l'Atelier)
2. A comfy chair to rest in when you are weary (Humphrey Ocean)
3. The love of a good person (magazine advert, photographer unknown)
4. The courage to do what needs to be done (sculpture by Angus Taylor)
5. The means to travel - also beyond your comfort zone (Sally Chance)
6. A creative, stylish sartorial year (female festive jacket, British Museum)
7. A job that you love (Edward Hopper)
8. A view (David Bloomer)
9. A friend to grow old with (birthday card, photographer unknown)
10. Books, books, lovely books - and the time to read them (Tom Cullberg)
11. A pot of tea, a bunch of flowers & the love of a dog when you most need it (artist unknown)
12. Good food (Carol Mangiagalli)
13. A healthy body (Claudia Donaldson-Selby)
14. The ability to see beyond the obvious and below the surface of things (Brett Shuman)
15. More good hair days than bad ones (Lucy Pooler)
16. Peace. Everywhere. (schoolchildren from Cape Town and Devon)

A New Year ...

And so a New Year beckons ...

I hope it will be a sparkly one for us all!
(My full list of New Year's wishes will be posted later today - at a more reasonable hour.  For now it will be a cup of tea, then bed ...)