Hippitedy Hoppitedy

I’m glad I made so many of you laugh at my magpie predicament in my last post. Thank you also for sharing your swooping adventures with me. Baby magpie has matured very quickly as birds do, and is now able to perch high up and so, mother and father maggie have relaxed a little and are no longer in attack mode.

Being inside did give me lots of time to make a special order request from my Winter Owls Etsy shop.I was asked to make two of my bunnies in sleeping bags for twins. I made them from lovely angora/ wool jumpers in pink and yellow. Their sleeping bags were made from vintage blankets. On one side, they are asleep and on the other awake. I think I love making bunnies because I had (still have actually), a much loved Miffy toy. She still makes me smile.

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Awake

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Asleep

A little Madness in the Spring

“A little Madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King.” Emily Dickinson

It was with great amusement, that we have been watching some rather unusual behaviour from our neighbours. We observed neighbours exiting and entering their house under large umbrellas on a sunny day, a business man, whirling his suit jacket wildly above his head, people ducking and weaving, a woman holding a clipboard on her head and my father, visiting with magazines atop his head.

It was all very funny, until, the swooping magpie parents, turned their attention to our side of the street. Going out to check the mail box has become a thrill seeking adventure. You cast your eyes about, then swiftly run to the mailbox. To your horror you hear tck tck and feel a brush of wings stir your hair. I now wear a hat to collect the mail.

In order to share my experience with you, I have been fairly brave. I stood photographing the magpies, standing my ground, until the last moment, I ran shrieking inside.

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A magpie in our tree, with me hiding under the safety of our porch.

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Magpie pretends not to be observing me.

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Here she comes, I hold my ground.

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A blurry magpie but I was not going to stand and focus.

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Hidden safely in the shrubbery, the prince or princess awaits their lunch.

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Ah, lunch is approaching…

 

Advice of the day, just revel in it

When I was younger, I was far too concerned about what people would think. Now, I’m much less self-conscious, much to my boys’ embarrassment at times. Sometimes, they’ve even applied the label “weirdo” to me. Oh well.

I still wish though, that I could completely get lost in a moment, just revel in it like my Ruby does. Here she is, fresh green grass, spring sunshine. She just looks rapturous. I would have joined her if we weren’t at the Botanical gardens, with me in a dress, surrounded by people, one of whom was, my sixteen year old son….

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Lemon and lime

Presenting Budgie number 2. This is the colour of the wild Budgerigars in Australia that fly freely in flocks in dry and arid areas (of which we have much of). They like to nest in small cavities and hollow tree trunks, especially in Eucalyptus trees near dried up rivers and billabongs.

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Hello my Pretty 2, from my series of 50.

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Hello my Pretty 2 is available here: Winter Owls Shop

Getting my creative drive back

This year, I’ve been feeling a little down. It has really flattened my ability to dream and get in a state of flow through my art. So, to try and kick start the process, I purchased a beautiful pad of 100% Cotton Rag Water Colour paper and some artists’ inks which I have not used before. They sat in a paper bag for a few weeks. I peeked inside occasionally but didn’t take them out.

On Monday, in my art class for people with Intellectual Disabilities, my 80-year-old volunteer Judith, brought in a book of nursery rhymes from her childhood. It was beautiful. The rhymes were on the right side of the book, on the left were illustrations, all surrounded by lovely borders of tiny flowers and curlicues. I don’t know why, but into my head popped the idea of drawing Budgerigars or Budgies as we call them in Australia, bordered by a lovely edging.

I have decided to set myself a goal of creating 50 of these. The first one I abandoned half way through as I managed to smudge the pen and I wasn’t really happy with the oval shape. You can see my first completed effort below. I wish I was a speedy illustrator, this took me rather a long time. A feathery look was quite challenging for me, I really wanted to capture the softness of the little Budgie. What colour should I paint next?

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“Hello my pretty” 1 in Winter Owls Shop 

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I planned the border first, then I painted a very soft pink background and sketched the Budgie in pencil first.

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I’m quite happy with this for my 1st effort, stay tuned to see the next 49!

My favourite Tea Towel find

On Thursday after work, I popped into my local Animal Aid Op Shop as a reward for surviving my art class with my group of disengaged teenagers….Actually, it was quite a successful class. They drew sugar candy skulls using  Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) as their inspiration.The Mexican holiday gathers family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. I think it is a lovely tradition and one I would like to see one day. Dia de Muertos isn’t until October 31st but in desperation to find something that would interest them, I decided to do this activity early. It was lovely to see them all focused and absorbed.

Oh yes, the Op Shop, I hear you say. I found a beautiful pile of linen tea towels, vintage and unused. They are too nice to chop up and use in one of my creations. There were several Indigenous Art of Australia ones which I am going to put in my shop. The one I am keeping for myself though, is pictured below. It celebrates the Golden Jubilee of Country Women’s Association of Victoria 1928-1978. This non-party political, non-sectarian volunteer organisation  states that “Whilst the focus has often been on tea and scones, there is so much more on the menu of this dynamic Association which aims to improve conditions for women and children.”  I love the patchwork design of this tea towel. Even my nineteen year old son said, “Cool tea towel”. Can’t ask for much better than that!

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A mess of buttons

After showing you my organised cupboard last week, I find myself in a mess of buttons, threads and doilies. The table is covered with little hills of vintage purple, gold, blue, cream, white and red buttons. Fine velvet ribbons curl around each other and doilies lie piled up like pancakes. This is my favourite part of the creative process. I sort and swap, arrange and shift, pick up and put down. When finally I’m happy, I start to stitch.

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An upcycled doily, with velvet ribbon and vintage buttons,

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turns into,

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a lovely little necklace. Available in Winter Owls Shop.