Making diamonds from paper

l’m sure you’ve all seen book sculptures before and if you’d like to make one just do a search for “how to make a book sculpture” and you’ll find lots of different tutorials. I’m not going to do a tutorial here because I forgot to take photographs of steps as I went along.

Now I know that some of us feel terrible if we tear up, fold, cut or paint on old books. It’s because we were taught how carefully to turn the pages, how valuable they were and how much we could learn from them. All of this still applies to books and I would never just damage a book for the sake of it. There are many books I have at home that I hope to keep always; books that were given to me and inscribed by special people in my life. I still have my Enid Blyton books and my Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (which sadly has one book missing from the box).

I don’t feel guilty though, folding an old paperback into a lovely diamond shape. I did this with a group of disengaged teens and they really enjoyed it. Two boys raced to see who could finish first, but the rest of us, just carefully folded and folded. It felt meditative and we found it a lovely quiet soothing task.

Making diamonds from paper

Making diamonds from paper


Hello there

I have been away from this little blog for a while but I have been busy living. I hope you have been well and happy and I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to.

Last year saw lots of changes in my life and I lost my creative spark. Well, it’s back. I have so much to show you and tell you. First, I was lucky enough to have a much needed holiday in Fiji. This is the painting I did after that holiday. When I look at it I can smell coconuts, frangipani and the warm sea breeze…


Coconuts, Frangipani and a warm sea breeze

Fiji Time 75 dpi for etsy

Fiji Time


Something to make you smile

I challenge you not to smile at my latest thrift shop find. I couldn’t believe my eyes, when I saw this flower faced doily, smiling up at me from a pile of linen. It’s very kitsch with its bright, happy 50’s colours. I like to imagine who made it, putting so much care into their work. This is one doily, I shall definitely not be chopping up, to use in other creations. In fact, I’m tempted to frame it.

happy doily 1

Smiling daisies

doily face 2

Go on, you know you want to smile…

Twas the night before Christmas

Well, it’s nearly the end of the year and I have so enjoyed writing this blog, reading your lovely comments and sharing bits of my life with you. One of the things I have most enjoyed, is getting to know so many people. Sometimes I wish you all lived a little closer, so that I could get to meet you in person. But then, it wouldn’t be as much fun complaining of boiling hot weather to people covered in snow and vice versa.

It has been very interesting popping in to visit other blogs too and seeing what you are up to. One blog I love to visit is Gentle Stitches. She makes lovely little amigurumi crochet creatures and patterns and I love the way she photographs them too. She also has a Ravelry store you can visit. The lovely Gentle Stitches made a beautiful Christmas mouse for me and I have done a photo shoot with him to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season. Thank you all for coming to visit me here,

see you next year,

Jen x

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With thanks to for supplying the model

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Three black ravens and a pink cockatoo

Does it portend anything when three black ravens fly over your head? I sincerely hope not because it happened to me today. Please don’t write in to tell me it’s a sign of bad luck as, I’m going to think of it as an opportunity to enjoy their glossy black feathers. Perhaps I have been thinking about Halloween projects for my classes too much.

My last three posts have featured the colour black, so here is a blast of colour to change things up. I’m hoping to do a series of Australian bird paintings, here is the first one. It features a Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo. It is the only Australian Cockatoo that is salmon pink below and white on top. It also has a sneaky crest that appears to be white but has bands of gold and red when unfurled. It’s larger than one of my other favourites, the Galah but not as big as the Sulphur crested Cockatoo or Cockie as we like to call them in Australia. I hope you noticed that I also snuck one of my other favourite things in, the doily.

The black rabbit

A couple of weeks ago, I expressed my frustration with a painting I was doing of a black rabbit. A lovely fellow painter and blogger Violet, suggested that the rabbit might like to be accompanied by yellow daisies. So thanks to Violet, I now rather like this little black lop eared bunny. Although, my fifteen year old son suggested that it looked a bit like a pirate as it only has one eye….

Daisy chains reduced quality

Daisy Chains available in Winter Owls shop

The Magic Pudding

When I was a child I was given a special book, The Magic Pudding. I remember it had a hard cover, black and white drawings, as well as some special coloured illustrations. The Magic Pudding both enthralled and frightened me. Written by Norman Lindsay in 1917, it told a tale of Bunyip Bluegum, Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff, the penguin bold, and a very grouchy Puddin’. It was a most unusual pudding that could be steak and kidney, or apple dumpling or other delicious delights as long as you whistled three times and turned it around. Best of all it loved nothing better, than to be eaten. “Eat away, chew away, munch and bolt and guzzle, Never leave the table till you’re full up to the muzzle,” would say the pudding. It never ran out either, a marvellous idea really. Unfortunately though, pudding thieves were always after it, I think this must have been what I found frightening, apart from the cantankerous pudding itself. At the Royal Melbourne Botanical Gardens, there is a garden that was especially created for children. Who should be there but the heroes from The Magic Pudding. Thankfully, the Pudding Thieves are nowhere to be seen.

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The Noble Society of Pudding Owners accompanied by the Pudding

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Albert, the cantankerous pudding

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At the entrance to the children’s garden

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In the vegetable garden, the pumpkin reigns supreme

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A rather disreputable looking scarecrow

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I can quite see this gate in my garden…