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07 November, 2012

By The Seaside With Pride

Finally I'm able to indulge my love of art by taking some wonderful on-line oil painting lessons with Rod Moore from Moore Arts School.  Rod's an Australian artist who is a wonderful teacher, very patient and fun to work with.  I'm having a great time watching him paint and learning some of the basic beginners painting techniques ~ this past month is the first time I've ever used oil paints [except for two face-to-face classes I've taken with Rod this year].

I love the ocean so what better way to celebrate my new found freedom and yearning for art, than learning to paint seascapes.  I'm totally over the moon with some of my work yet and others will not see the light of day.  Here's one of four efforts that I'm comfortable to put on show.  Who would have thought 'waves' could be so challenging?  Not me, until now that is.

As for 'people in the distant' dare I show my efforts there?

Well, yes I must because I'm learning and I have to be brave and show the good and the bad.  The figure in the front of this painting below looks like she's going to the Melbourne Cup races not frolicking on the beach, but that's how it turned out.  Oh well, I've still got a ways to go with 'figures in the distant'.  There's a couple more painting completed but only my teacher is going to see them.

So; four paintings completed and I'm guessing maybe ninety-six to go before I have something to hang on the wall.  That's a lot of canvas.  Thank goodness I discovered Gesso the great cover-up.

Thanks for visiting my humble blog.

27 October, 2012

Something Crooked

Joining in today with Deb at Ramblings of a Square Peg in a Round Hole for a photographic scavenger hunt. 

Crooked pier and very wobbly - this is in a place called Au Nang near Krabi  in Thailand

Crooked rice terraces in Sapa North Vietnam

Crooked smile - taken in a local market place in North Vietnam

05 October, 2012

A View Down My Road

Joining in today with Deb at Ramblings of a Square Peg in a Round Hole for a photographic scavenger hunt. 

View number one - My driveway is my street

This tree is home to two very noisy and robust kookaburra's and it's a mighty long walk from the house to the letterbox

View number two - Retirement

This is where I plan to retire in about four years time.  This is the view standing directly in front of our beach shack.  Wish I could get rid of those power lines!!

View number three - The Beach

This beach is a two minute walk from our shack which is closer than my current letter box

29 September, 2012

Scavenger Hunt - A Solitary Tree

Linking up to Deb's weekly photographic challenge at Ramblings of a Square Peg in a Round Hole

These glorious trees are within a short walk from my home. With trusty camera in hand when I come across something so beautiful I just have to capture it.  Not always easy with two hyper-active dogs on a lead.  These photos were taken last year in Autumn. 

The dying Gum tree still stands grandly.  I wish I could see the same view from this tree that the Rainbow Parrots were enjoying the other day.

22 September, 2012

Scavenger Hunt ~ On My Shelf

Well, I've lost my dinky camera so I've had to resort to my iphone for the photo challenge today.  Maybe my camera is somewhere on one of these shelves.  Hopefully it will show up when it's good and ready, I know it's in the house somewhere.

My Bear and Book collection 

The shelf in the Loo

The only orderly shelf in my Craft Room

My softies resting on a shelf guarding one of my very amateur paintings

A messy corner shelf displaying creations by me, the 'Wanna Bee Artist'

Linking up to Deb's weekly photographic challenge at Ramblings of a Square Peg in a Round Hole

15 September, 2012

Scavenger Hunt ~ What Happened At 6 O'clock

The evening sky puts on a beautiful display after a lovely Spring day.  The cold seeps in and it's time to close the windows and doors, draw the curtains and turn on the heater for the day is coming to an end.

The 6 pm view from my backyard

It's time for the little ones to come in from the cold and rest up after the exhausting events of the day.  
Goldie and Lilly say goodnight dear visitors.

Linking up to Deb's weekly photographic challenge at Ramblings of a Square Peg in a Round Hole

09 September, 2012

In My Garden Today

~~Pink with a dash of Purple~~

I've got a half acre of garden to look after ~ here's one corner

My garden would never be complete without lovely lavender

This is my beautiful nectarine tree just starting to blossom

These dashing daisies worship the sun

Photographic Scavenger Hunt - linking up to Deb at Ramblings of a Square Peg in a Round Hole

Thanks Deb ~ happy, happy weekend everyone

                                                                                     Source: via Golden Lilly Crafts on Pinterest

31 August, 2012

View from my kitchen window

Photographic Scavenger Hunt - linking up to Ramblings of a Square Peg in a Round Hole.

I'm no photographer but I never go anywhere without my little camera.  She's an Olympus digital baby camera and does a good job for the very amateur Miss Snap Happy. So drum roll please ~ we have here view from my kitchen windows taken on a very cold, wet and windy day.

Below is a bougainvillea plant not far off flowering and home to a pair of spotted doves whom I call Romeo and Juliet.

Yes, the sun did shine randomly throughout the day when I took these photos and this pool is very popular during summer.

Here's the happy couple enjoying some special time in the sun, they are always snuggling up to each other beside the pool when the sun comes out.  They've been living here for two seasons now but I'm yet to see any off-spring.

Thanks Deb for hosting this fantastic photo challenge, see you next week.

My Little Empathy Monster

This strange creature is a result of an on-line class I did with Tamara Laporte over at Willowing Love.  I'm enrolled in several of her classes and the Empathy Monster is part of her Art, Heart and Healing course which is free.  I gave little guy to a special friend and she named him Maximilian.  Max has lots of hugs to give and I'm sure he's happy in his new home.

Whilst sewing is not a new craft for me, drawing is and I love the challenges I face every time I pick up a pencil or paintbrush.  I just wish drawing and painting was as easy for me as pushing material through a sewing machine.

See what I mean ~ there's always room for improvement.  Whoever said that was very wise.

17 August, 2012

Frivolous Friday

Now that I'm all grown up and semi-retired I refuse to let guilt get in the way of taking advantage of a wet, cold and miserable day.  This is what I did on this very frivolous Friday and it's the most creative full day I've ever had.





















Well, I did do the ironing before I made a start, just because there was a little bit of guilt creeping in.

Do you ever get a full day to play?

14 August, 2012

Sukeshi Doll and other fun stuff

Sukeshi Doll - She's as light as a feather and she's my little treasure

Last month I attended a workshop in Tasmania as part of a trip to visit my in-laws.  It was hosted by Susie McMahon and this little treasure below is what I made.  If you go here and here you will see more of Susie's Sukeshi dolls and just how clever she truly is.

I had a lovely creative day at Susie's place snuggled in her warm and cosy studio on a very cold, wet and wintry day.  I went with my special friend Di who creates and makes the most wonderful art dolls. Quite a few ladies attended the workshop with everyone working on different projects and generally having a nice time away from the hustle and bustle of every day life.  I courageously showed Susie a couple of drawings I was working on and she helped me with the shading of the face which I have no clue how to do.  Basically it was a show and tell day and Susie was there to lend a helping hand and share her expertise in all things arty.

She's a cloth doll, firmly stuffed with wadding then painted with a coat of Gesso.  Then she got a coat of favourite acrylic paint and then when the inspiration took hold I painted her with a whimsy design.

Percy Pig is other fun stuff

The evening before Susie's workshop, I stayed with Di and her husband Gerald who live in Westbury and we had a wonderful evening by the wood fire eating chocolate biscuits and watching videos.  It was here that Di introduced me to dry felting using the wool from her beautiful and precious sheep which she rescued as abandoned babes.  They've grown into miniature horses now and their home in Westbury, Tasmania should be called 'Sheep Heaven', really those sheep are so spoilt and Duke the cat, well let's just say he's the Boss, you know what I mean.........

Percy Pig
Dry felting is as close as I will ever get to sculpting and what I like about it is that you make it up as you go so every project will be a 'one of a kind' that's for sure. My first attempt was a very bad rabbit [too embarrassed to show rabbit here], but then later I  successfully made a pig called Percy [not too embarrassed to put Percy on display] and now I'm having a go at making a bear which will be another post for another day when said bear is finished.

Dry felting can be painful if you're not watching what you're doing.  The needle is super sharp and you can imagine the wake up call you get when one is dreamingly felting by a wood fire, drinking tea and eating chocolate biscuits.  It's always going to be tricky to keep chocolate off fingers whilst felting and making sure sticky fingers avoid the terrible pain from a sharp needle, but it's worth the pain because I can get my crafty self into a very nice reclining position on the couch with wool, needle, chocolate and video all happening at once.

Thanks Di and Susie for a wonderful weekend 

Photo taken at Evandale Tasmania - Sculpture of an artist

05 August, 2012

A Worthy Cause

I'm responding to this post here by Jenny at Amitie Textiles and this post here by Karen from Sew Well Maide and I'm making some star blocks which will be used by Jenny (owner over at Amitie Textiles - a patchwork shop in Melbourne, Australia) and her team to make a quilt to be auctioned or raffled off at Melbourne's official Somaly Mam Foundation launch party.  If you'd like to read more about this worthy cause, then I suggest you click on one of the links above.

This is my humble effort ~ some wonky bits 'cause I'm still learning!!

(The description below taken from
The Somaly Mam Foundation is a nonprofit charity committed to ending modern day slavery and empowering its survivors as part of the solution. Human trafficking, a multi-billion dollar industry, is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. With over two million women and children sold into sexual slavery each year, it is a global crisis that must be stopped. More resources are critically needed to support the rescue and rehabilitation of these young victims.  Co-founded by sexual slavery survivor, Somaly Mam, the Foundation works to eradicate human trafficking, liberate its victims, and empower survivors so they can create and sustain lives of dignity. The Foundation supports survivor rescue, shelter, and rehabilitation programs in Southeast Asia, where the trafficking of women and girls, some as young as five, is widespread.

Since I'm on the subject of Quilting, I've not long ago finished my first single bed quilt using the crazy patchwork pattern and then I did the free motion machine stitching that never in my wildest dreams did I think I could do. This quilt has found a lovely home in Tasmania adorning my MIL's bed. 

Not the snappiest pic in the world but it does show the machine quilting.  It's so cold here in Melbourne today my fingers are about frozen to the keyboard.  Time to go.


30 July, 2012

Bloomin' Marvelous

If I planted a flowe

Every time I thought of you, 

My garden would bloom forever

26 July, 2012

All It Takes Is Practice

I'm doing the Fabulous Faces course with  Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts and after many hours of practice I think the work is paying off.  If I never get any better than this I don't care.  It's been so long since I've been able to post something that is me ~ all mine ~ yes siree she's fabulous.

And ......................... I've finally learnt how to put a watermark on my photos.  Double bonus.


06 June, 2012

Just Loving Learning

Happiness can be painted in any colour, shape or form

If you can live your imagination, your life will be a dream come true

I'm having a great time learning to draw, paint, collage, art journal and create artful letters.  All online courses with a bunch of wonderful people. 

"With love in my heart I bid thee farewell"

20 May, 2012

Asleep On The Job

My Guardian Angel decided to have some time out from me this past week so I made the most of the opportunity by trying to capture her on canvas.  Look, I know from an artistic perspective it's not a great work of art, but she's mine and that makes me happy.  Read on to find out why she is sleeping.

Well, against all her protestations I purchased an e-copy of "Fifty Shades of Grey" and my Guardian Angel has been in a state of angst ever since.  Seeing I chose to ignore her words of caution, she slept whilst I read.  I was intrigued by all the hype about this book and I also thought a little bit of exotic sex might be good for my soul or good for something.

Simply put I found the book to be annoying, tedious and apart from rocking my boat for about 2 minutes when a raunchy sex scene appeared I thought it would never end plus it was peppered with grammatical errors ~ that was the annoying part.

BTW, there's "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed" but you probably already know this, I just found out.  I hope they employed a new proof reader for the follow-up editions.  I would be curious to read them just to see if the proof reading skills had improved.  Maybe that was just the kindle version with all the errors.

I've promised Ange [first name basis with Guardian Angel] that I will do my best not to get 'sucked in' to buying the next two volumes.  I need her because I get myself into too much trouble when she's not looking out for me and for some reason I had a really unhappy week when I was reading this book, the good things I wished for didn't happen.  Oh, well life would be real dull if every day was perfect.

P.S.  I'm reading 'The Hunger Games' now 'cause I just need a change of pace, so I sure hope this doesn't get me into any trouble with her Ladyship when she wakes up.

"With love in my heart I bid thee farewell"

07 May, 2012

I Love Whimsical Letters

I've been taking Joanne Sharpe's Letter Love 101 Art Journal classes [29 lessons all up] of which I've been working at for close to a month now [!!!] and this humble attempt below is from lesson 14 and all my very own work, I might say.  I even signed it.  I can't believe I did that but well I did.

There's quite a few hours work in this lovely [get it] drawing.

 For this lesson we were asked to create a 'love' themed illustration with words and quotes [I forgot the quotes] using our new lettering techniques. [My techniques are scratchy 'cause I've skipped a few lessons ~ apologies Joanne.]

We had to keep the colour palette exclusive to reds, pinks and purple.  Well, I slipped in some orange too and not much purple.  In fact, I stayed away from purple because I tend to go overboard and I really wanted this effort to work out well ~ not end up in a crumpled ball on the floor.  My mantra should be "Keep it simple Christine", but I don't know how to do that. 

The tree of love ~ by Christine Kemp 2012

I've been struggling with drawing and painting for months because it's not something I do well ~ but it's something I so desperately want to be able to do!  I'm really clueless even after having had some face to face painting lessons [won't say how many] and participated in a couple of on-line art journal classes.

If you could glance in my craft room [one day I might call it a studio] you'd think I was a world class artist, when in fact I usually sit most days and stare at my stash of paints and stuff because I don't know what to do with them.  Yep, even with all the lessons I've attempted I still can't make a real start unless I have someone holding my hand and telling me 'it will be okay, Chris really'.  I can be a real basket case [or attention seeker] ~ depends how you look at it!!!!

Now it's not all doom and gloom.  I've found the courage to post my most recent artistic endeavours into the 'WORDS OF LOVE' on my blog and I give myself a big fat C+ for effort.

I'm off to find out what lesson 15 has install for me and see how much paper I can destroy and paint I can waste before I once again come back to this humble blog with something to share.

'With love in my heart I bid thee farewell'

17 April, 2012

Easter Swap Surprise

Patrick from Cre8ors Touch invited fellow Hive artisans to choose a Vintage Easter card of their preference, replicate it into a 3-D form either 3 dimensional painting, sculpture, doll, dream scape, dia-rama.  The challenge was to translate the feeling of the card chosen into a 3 dimensional piece.  At the conclusion of the challenge participant names were swapped using the number generator and then we shipped our creations off to new homes.

This is what I received:

This beautiful paper clay sculpture was designed and created by Gloriann who has an amazing blog and shop called Little Garden Crafts.  Her precious gift to me has pride and place in my family room, I just have to make sure when someone takes a look at my gorgeous bunnies they don't touch.  These bunnies have travelled all the way from New York to Australia without harm, so I intend that they will live a happy and carefree life without any mishaps.  

Gloriann's design was based on this Vintage Easter Card

This is what I made for the challenge:

My creation is made from felt and hand sewn.  Each bunny has moving arms and legs and the basket was made from felt and hand sewn into shape.  Each bunny has different characteristics ~ I designed a different pattern and shape to try and give each a unique pose in an endeavour to replicate the card more accurately.

My design was based on this Vintage Easter Card 

Sincere thanks to Patrick who hosted a fun Easter Swap Challenge for 2012.

12 April, 2012

Always Believe That Something Wonderful Is About To Happen

Yep something wonderful has happened here..  I produced this creative canvas, that's what!  I subscribed to the March 2012 Creative Canvas Workshop by Donna Downey and had a blast making this.  Donna is a truly over the top fantastic creative soul.  I can't get enough of Donna.

So now I have my very own piece of art to hang and I will be proudly displaying it above my bed.  Which means that I have to give my bedroom a make-over.  One thing always leads to another.

Today I am co-hosting Katherine's Corner blog hop, which is a brilliant way of discovering new friends and interacting with a variety of blogs from around the world.

Katherine from Katherine's Corner is an absolute inspiration to me and well now, she could really do justice to my bedroom makeover.  This lady has it all worked out when it comes to everything fancy and beautiful.  You should treat yourself and visit her blog, unless you've already come from her blog then you'll know what I'm talking about ~ in which case stay awhile here and have a look around.  Go on, grab a cuppa and enjoy yourself.