Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Spirit of Christmas....

I've been so busy I have neglected my poor old blog.... I have been doing some art though for Christmas gifts. Below is a stamp that I carved for my Christmas tags and Christmas cards.
Plain tags without the background and my handcarved stamp.

I have been receiving some lovely comments, cards, handmade gifts and emails with Christmas wishes from many of you out there in blogland are very generous and I really appreciate your friendship and thoughtfulness. I can feel the Christmas Spirit is alive and well.

I wish you all a Wonderful Christmas surrounded by family and friends and I hope that the New Year is filled with Peace, Happiness and good Health.

"Somehow, not only for Christmas, but all year through, the joy you give to others is the joy that comes back to you."
- John Greenleaf Whittier-
Wishing you much JOY at Christmas and always.
Jacky xox

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sensory Overload...

My Friday morning art group recently had a visit to the studio of artist Greg Irvine in South Melbourne. His home is soooooooo awesome - a visual feast. Little still lifes presenting themselves everywhere. I would have loved to take some photos of his home, full of antiques and amazing bric-a-brac not to mention his wonderful art. Lucky for us he is currently preparing for an exhibition and we were able to see 12-15 of his latest pieces for the exhibition. Such wonderful detail and colour. I cant wait for the exhibition now!!! Meg, Coral and Maz all painted in the indoor studio, whilst Josie and I opted for the little outside studio.
Below are photos of the girls from my art group, Gregs home and some of our art. Still life indoor studio.
Maz (in red), Greg and Meg...busy at it! See the snippet of one of his current works in the background. They are huge and so much detail!!!

Megs WIP.

Still life in outside studio.
Josie and myself opted to work in Gregs outside studio...again filled with wonderful bits and pieces and glorious colour and shapes. The above was our still life for the day.

Peeping through the red door into the outside studio. My WIP is in the foreground and Josies behind. We had such a wonderful time and I have never painted so *big*. Scary, but I loved it!!!

Closer view of our painting in progress. Check out those colourful palettes along the window.

And what bliss to eat our lunch in his mosaic garden (I thought I was in Barcelona) and to eat off these gorgeous tables that Greg had painted. Click for a closer look. Greg and his son built this mosaic garden from crockery they salvaged when they were working on Albert Park Lake in Melbourne. Everywhere you looked...colour and beauty. I wanted to come home and mosaic my back steps...needless to say that hasnt happened!

And these are the girls.
We partook of a coffee and pastry before we went to the studio.

This gorgeous old facade was directly opposite the cafe...what a view.
We girls had the most amazing day and we are going to go back and paint with Greg again in Febuary...hope I have my painting finished...he hee!

Christmas is not far away now... last weekend my sister and I visited Malvern to check out the Christmas Market. I loved the beautiful wreath at the front of the Town Hall. "Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas......" Lots of wonderful handmade goods to be had.

Some little Festive Hearts I have made for art friends.

Give away from the blog of Marilyn Rock.
I was sooo lucky recently to win a Give Away hosted by the lovely Marilyn Rock. What a wonderful suprise when it arrived in the mail. The book, Nature Inspired, is fantastic...I truly have been inspired by the lovely art within. If you can get your hands on a copy it is a beautiful book and one I am sure I will look at again and again.
Also received these beautiful handmade out journal...I think a few of these will be finding their way into my current journals. Thank you Marilyn! I also won a beautiful bag from Parisa in Tehran...I need to take a good photo to show you...I will get that organised for my next post. I've been very lucky lately. Thank you to all of you wonderful fellow bloggers.

I also received these lovely tags from Debbi of Vintage Moon. More wonderful images and goodies for my journals. We both took part in the tag swap hosted by Lawendula. In January Lawendula will host a card swap... visit her blog if you would like to play along.
Its been a long one hasnt it? so much news to tell you all.
Of course I must leave you with some Sark...
Wake up to see the other souls around you.
Let them affect you.
Live in the center of your life.
Take care and have a happy week!
Jacky xox

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Awash with art (and rain)....

I have had a wonderful, artfilled weekend. On saturday my sister Lee and a girlfriend Jen went into Melbourne to see the Cressida Campbell Exhibition at the Sophie Gannon Gallery...a must see if you live in Melbourne! Beautiful woodcuts and woodcut prints ...we were all in awe of her wonderful art (photos are at the bottom of this post...blogger putting photo on in reverse order today!). Banner made from mixed media tags.

I have been doing a little art of my own though. I am taking part in a tag swap being hosted by Lawendula and this litle banner was part of the package I sent. The little white christmas trees are gorgeous little porcelain ornaments from Denmark. I thought it might look nice strung up for Christmas.

Gertrude St. Fitzroy.

I love my trips into Melbourne to visit my sister. We always visit the best shops. On our list for the day was Artisan Books. We spent quite a while perusing all of their wonderful books. I left with the latest edition of Selvedge and Cloth Paper Scissors (and quite a few ideas for my Christmas list).

Fitzroy Library and Town Hall (hope you all enjoy the streetscenes and architecture of Melbourne as much as I do).

From Gertrude Street we walk around to Neil Wallace Art Supplies and came across this lovely old building. I enjoyed the Art Supplies and stocked up on a few Sennellier oil pastels, gold leaf paint, a woodworking tool (want to have a play with woodcuts!). Such an Aladdins Cave...I could have stayed for hours. Definately another trip needed in before their Sale finishes.

Jenni (left) and my sister Lee on the steps of the library.
They are so patient with me and my art fetish.

Amazing street art in one of the back streets. So much fantastic street art adorning the streets of Fitzroy! (click for closer look)

View from the cafe window, looking down Brunswick Rd.

After the art supplies were all bought we headed off for a coffee before heading back to the car. I love this area!

And now for the stunning art.

These first two pics. are by Judy Drew. We were going to visit this exhibition also, but found it was closed on Saturday.... drat! I so wanted to see her work in person. You never know. I might get a chance to get back in to Melbourne to the Melbourne Fine Art Studio before it finishes. Check out the link to see more of her work.

Woman in Gold Satin Gown - Judy Drew

Still Life with Patterns - Judy Drew

Daisies and Camellias - Cressida Campbell.

Apple - Cressida Campbell

Interior with Red Ginger - Cressida Campbell.
As you can see. We were immersed in some wonderful art and all came away feeling uplifted by the beauty of it. Check out this link to see more of Cressida's art...Sophie Gannon Gallery
Sorry its such a long one today... just so much to show you. I hope you will click on the links and visit the sites to see more of the work of these two amazing Australian Artists. And now from Sark...
You are enough
You have enough
You do enough
Have a great week.
Jacky xox

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Journalling fun & games...

I had a lot of fun on Saturday doing the Junk Journal workshop with Ro Bruhn. I have been wanting to learn the technique that Ro uses for her amazing journal covers for ages and the time had come. Loved this technique of layering and stencilling. These covers were FUN to make. Covers for my Junk Journal...unfinished as I have yet to paint & embellish the spine. I am looking forward to playing around with this technique many possibilities.
These were two of the inside signatures I made using the stencil made for the covers. Rather patchy and blotchy at the moment, but these will be painted/embellished even more. Will show you again when they are finished.
I was in klutz mode though when it came to the binding of the signatures....luckily Ro is a very patient person and gave much assistance...we laughed until I had tears streaming down my face.
As always a lovely, personal class at Ro's and we are very lucky to have Steve feeding us the most amazing food all day...his Passionfruit Panecotta with honeycomb crumble was to die for. I think Ro should do a book of her wonderful art and techniques with Steves yummy recipes in it too!!! They are a great team.

Two cheeky owls...the one on the left belongs to my friend Dot and the other little fellow is for an Art Exchange swap.

Pages for Altered Book Round Robin. The theme is still life so I have been incorporating some still life sketches/paintings with my collage mixed/mediawork.

Another spread for Samm's Altered Book. A still life of a lovely little asian cup and saucer given to me by my dear friend Jenni.

Meet my muse! This little fellow was made by Elizabeth Armstrong...I just love the quirkiness and brightness of him. He will live in my art room and watchover my *art play*. The gorgeous fabric in the background was from my art buddy Dot...a friend of Dots from work recently visited India and Dot organised him to bring back some truly scrumptious sari silks for us! What a treat!
Another wonderful week... lots of colour and friendship!
I am still enjoying Sark, so here is this weeks quote :-
You are seen
You are known
You are loved
Take care all and have a creative week.
Jacky xox

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ruby Red and Black Schwarovsky....

Will you look at the Ruby redness of this gorgeous bird that my art buddy Dot gifted me last weekend....isnt she gorgeous!!! Click for a closer look at the luscious sari silks and beautiful beading. I just love the scrumptious fabrics....thank you Dotee. Another wonderful gift! I recently won a giveaway on the blog of the lovely Lisa. The packaging was so beautiful and elegant.... giving a hint to what is inside!
These amazing handcrafted sterling silver and black schwarovsky crystal earrings. The quality and craftmanship is truly amazing, such a clever woman. I have a new velvet/silk vintage jacket I recently purchased and these will go perfectly for an evening out. Beautiful, beautiful earrings....pop over to Lisa's blog to see more intricate jewellery she has been crafting.

And also with the package this beautiful velour/cotton yarn and a pattern for knitted face cloths...such a luxurious yarn. I will enjoy knitting this up. I have really rekindled my love of knitting (plain basic knitting is all I am capable of though). It will be lovely to have a hand knitted face cloth in my bathrooms.

Last Saturday was spent with my art buddy Dot at the farm. We decided rather than just lunch and chat.... we can spend hours that way, that we would actually make some more felt...we just love the process.

This jewel toned piece was my effort for the day. Dot supplied the lovely red silk backing fabric and between us we got together these rovings. I was happy with this spring coloured piece. It reminds me of the riot of colours in peoples gardens at the moment.

I've also been sketching and painting. The above sketch is awaiting some paint as it is part of an altered book round robin I'm part of. My pages have an asian theme and the theme of the book was still life. I am going to work on my perspective, but absolutely loving still life.
The Sark quote for this week.....
"All your dreams are already coming true."
Wishing you all a week where dreams come true.
Jacky xox

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An October Owl .....

I have busy a stitching again..... I have missed it! This a little "October Owl" that I have just finished to send to a blogging friend overseas. As you can see, they are quite small these little fellows.....he sits atop a cotton reel. I do make a larger size too, but this is the little owlet. I love things in miniature. These are a few pages from my 10 minute collage journal... I like to share some of these with you all from time to time. I love these quick collages, I find them very satisfying, and I love to ponder why I might have chosen the images or words each day.

Page from 10 minute collage journal.


The above were just a few images that I wanted to keep in my journal. Not exactly a 10 minute collage, but they were all appealing and I wanted to keep them for later reference.

I am enjoying Sark at the moment, so thought I would share some with you all.

Let's share outrageous stories and eat impossibly delicious cake.

- Sark-
I love this reminds me of the days I spend in the company of my girfriends .... fun and decadent! So lovely to sit with a girlfriend/girlfriends and share a coffee and some beautiful cake.
Jacky xox

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Clear and sunny ......

Firstly some photos of pages I recently completed for an Altered Book Round Robin I am taking part in. The pages for this book are quite small, a little larger than ATC size. The theme was trees/forest/nature. This is the first page with a collaged image of a painted parrot (I'm sorry I dont know who the artist was....). We are being visited by many parrots of late so I thought it appropriate.
In this second spread I have used images of trees found in an agricultural newspaper with painted and collaged background.
Any my final page a Spring Spirit...imagining the buds opening and the leaves unfurling with the warmth of the Spring sunshine.

Today whilst checking out some of my favourite blogs I noticed the tree outside my kitchen window was full of grass parrots (thats what I call them). As I snuck up to the window most of them flew away, but I did catch this fellow for you before he took off too. You will have to click on the photo to get a closer look at him. They are very colourful.

The reason they are all around the house and in the trees is the Cape Weed (see pic. below). Our hills are covered in cape weed this year...this hasnt happened for nearly 20 years. It must be the season for it. Luckily the cattle dont mind the cape weed and will quite happily eat it...cant say the same for the horses though!

Close up of cape weed....all the parrots were ferreting around for hours out there today (so I kept the kitties inside for the day).

Meanwhile...whilst everyone was enjoying the sunshine I came in to find Leroy curled up snoozing on the couch. He very nearly takes up the whole couch all 40kg's of him. He's such a big sook.

I hope you are enjoying your weekend, having some quality time! I am going to work in another altered book and do a bit of journalling. I will leave you with this quote from Sark, and maybe you will want to journal too.
"The Book of your Life is rare and marvellous.
Write your life so that others may be illuminated."
- Sark -
Sending health and happiness to all.
Jacky xox

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Home again, home again ......

It's lovely to be home again.... I have been away visiting my mother in law in Dubbo, central New South Wales. Over the next few months Norma will be having treatments so there will be a few trips over the coming months. Norma is a very artistic woman, so we had a lovely time together. So if I'm away from my blog here and there.... I will only be visiting with Norma. Spring tulips and freesias.
We are having some wonderful spring weather down here in Australia (and some very wet and windy days too). Just wanted to share these beautiful springs blooms with all my blogging friends...I took this photo in one of my still life classes. So beautiful, I can just about smell them looking at this picture again.

I havent been creating this past week or so, so I thought I would share this photo of the very first art doll I made for a swap about 2 years ago (my friend Dot owns this little girl). The theme for my doll was spring so I thought she needed a showing this spring. She is a pretty wild girl with that hair and her little crocheted scarf. Lovely to look back....
I hope you are all enjoying this mild season (whether it be spring in our hemisphere or autumn the other side of the world).
Sending lots of love to all.
Jacky xox