There are some little signs of spring, even though it is still a muddy swamp out there and last night there was thunder so loud I thought a bomb had exploded. The jasmine is out. Pale yellow freesias are growing wild by the side of the road. The birds are sounding a lot happier. And I am starting to look around the house and seeing how grubby everything looks. When the urge for home decoration hits, I know that spring is on its way, and that is a marvellous thing.
August 30, 2010
August 26, 2010
Illustration Friday: Atmosphere. Now we all know what kind of atmosphere a moody person can create around them. Not that I'm ever like that, of course. Haha. This bad-tempered mouse was originally part of the Thing-a-day project earlier this year. I had fun reworking the drawing in Illustrator. Every challenge teaches me something new, and even if I don't always like the result, I'm getting better at enjoying the process for its own sake.
August 24, 2010
Newly six, and suddenly losing teeth. Objects of desire: a working lightsaber, infinite amounts of Lego, and a Zhu Zhu pet. For those of you lucky enough to not know what that is, it is a toy hamster that rolls around and makes little chirping, squeaking and even chicken noises. They have names like Fluffy, Stinker, Spotty and Yo-Yo. I snuck in two new Oliver Jeffers' books, because I think it's important to have beautiful books that aren't at all educational. I still have lots of books from my childhood and I treasure them, so I want L to have the same for himself one day. Happy birthday, Mr Six!
August 22, 2010
It's been a busy weekend, rushed and inspiring and different. Semi Permanent, a sixth birthday party, and thirty two cupcakes! Semi Permanent (more about the party another day) is a design conference held each year in Australia and New Zealand. 'Conference' is kind of the wrong word - it's not that stuffy or formal. My third time, a great time, and a big thank you to my friend Anna who is producing it; if she hadn't told me about the event I would probably have never known it existed. Basically you, and two thousand other people, sit (for hours on end) in a dark auditorium and watch/listen to a series of presentations by a series of other people who are generally pretty passionate about what they do. There's a broad range to that thing called 'design,' so you get to hear about animation, illustration, film, sound design, graphics, product design, and more. I love it, and even if I do feel as if I have been whacked over the head with a big stick and that my eyes are falling out, it's in a good way. I thought I would write a few upcoming posts about some of my favourites. There are some short interviews you can see at Design Daily, and info about the event at the Semi Permanent site. And now I need to go and lie down.
August 17, 2010
Illustration Friday challenge this week: Star Gazing. Pen and ink, 4B pencil and mucked around with in Photoshop. How often do we actually go outside and look at the stars? Not very often, I've just realised.
August 13, 2010
Spotted today through the door of the Red Cross shop and swooped upon like a starving seagull (me) - a set of Cornishware china, none of it matching but in splendidly shiny condition and reminding me of spring. I've collected Cornishware for years, not as a proper collector but picking up pieces one by one, when I've seen them hiding in opshops and markets. It was first produced in England in the 1920s and is still being made, but some pieces are highly sought after, like vintage named jars (the ones made for holding salt, spices and so on). Very rare, for example: Apricots, Borax, Curry, Dripping, Herbs, Lard, Margarine, Marjoram, Pimento Seeds, Table Salt and Washing Soda. You can usually date the pieces from the backstamp, and the set I found today is probably quite young, from around the 1980s. I love the fat little eggcup, and the big jug is now in charge of a basil plant. I was very excited to get it all home and put it in its rightful place!
August 11, 2010
August 8, 2010
L will be six in two weeks. He thought this would be a good photo for his party invite (a Michael Jackson dance party; gone are the days of Bob the Builder and Dora). New words have appeared in his vocabulary since starting school - awesome, ugly, BORING, cool, wassup, far out, dumb. Of great importance is 'looking cool', so I'm not sure why he would want such an uncool photo seen by any of his friends. There's no logic where these things are concerned, as I am beginning to realise (I'm a bit slow sometimes). Life with him is sometimes such an emotional rollercoaster - from completely barmy to hysterical to furious to desperately sorry. How can they shapeshift so quickly, from giggly standup comedians telling bum jokes, into hitting spitting kicking snakes? Sometimes it's as if a whirlwind lives in this house. I think I need a holiday.
August 5, 2010
Dear Rain. Please stop falling now. I am tired of muddy hems on my jeans, soggy shoes and feeling damp. Please stop so I can do some washing and put it out on the line to actually dry instead of hanging there in a sad sodden row for days on end. I know you are important for the plants and flowers and to keep up the image of a lovely green New Zealand, but enough is enough. Stop now, and I will be happy and grateful. Thank you, and goodbye.
August 2, 2010
I just bought a pile of old Giles annuals off TradeMe (our Ebay). Carl Giles was a cartoonist for the Daily and Sunday Express newspapers in Britain for many years. Those books were part of my childhood, and though I wasn't supposed to read them I would sneak them into my room for a really good look. I liked the family the best, with the little kids and heaps of bald babies, and the naughty things that went on in the backgrounds. His eye for detail and character was incredible. I used to love the Englishness of it, and even though I had never lived there I thought I might quite like it - not sure why, because in a lot of the pictures it was always either raining or snowing and looked downright depressing. L likes them now too. I found him reading one yesterday. Of course he had managed to find the one page containing a picture of a bare bottom, and thought that was just great. Lots of links about Giles, with interesting info if you're that way inclined - here are some of them: A Celebration of Giles, the British Cartoon Archive, and the Giles Tribute Pages.