Thursday, January 29, 2009

Waiting for the fall.

The Winter of Our Modern Discontent

It is hot here in Australia. I don't just mean open the window and get yourself a lemonade, I mean HOT- Vulcan's breath. Hades with the thermostat on high. Temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s (Celsius, that is) have been a bit of a hindrance to me.

Ack- let's not beat around the bush. I'm shattered. I can't think straight, I don't want to think straight, all I want to do is lay on the floor and complain! I can't sew properly, I can't get photos to come out right -hot weather equals short temper, plus I'm learning my way around a new camera, so twice the stress! Because I'm not happy with my images, I can't update the shop -even though I have plenty of new treasures to offer made back when the weather was civilised.

The only image I've taken so far with the new camera that I'd even consider using.

I don't like to fill my days with nothing. The occasional bout of 'deliberate laziness' can help unwind the mind, but I'm always doing something. Years ago when I was young and nothing seemed to matter I'd piss time up against the wall, because you never think you're going to run out of it. I don't like to do that any more because I'm old enough to know that every minute passing is one I'll never get back. But it gets to the point where it's 3am and the sweat is still dripping off you and killing time seems your only option, because it's just too bloody hot to do anything else, including sleep.

Villain Rag Dolls by Junker Jane

All we can do is spend the bulk of our days in the local shopping centre, watching the people (eyes would be better put to use watching the wallet, but we can't do everything). I slump in front of the computer waiting for a cool breeze to creep in the window while I linger over images of snow, ice and fog that it seems everyone but me is surrounded with right now. When you're shivering and shaking and huddling for warmth, spare a thought for me- a send me a box of snow!

Wah wah wah. I guess this is what you call 'blogging the shadows'. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wherein a girl becomes Ebeneezer

My mother sent me an email the other day confirming I should 'get my skates on' re: saving money, as we will be going to England in December!

Crossed Wires by Art Crimes

I am very excited about this- I went to England 9 years ago- the moment I had stepped onto the ground at Heathrow I said to myself 'I have been on holiday in Australia for 26 years, finally I am home.' All my life I've never felt so close to a country as I have to England, something in it knocks at my soul, wrenches at my blood, pulls at my heart.

The plan is to go for Christmas as my younger brother is currently there. I don't know how long Mum plans to stay but I've saving with 3 months in mind. I aim to treat it like some sort of Artist In Residence plan- I'll still be running the shop while I'm over there, making Fagin treasures with nothing but what I find after I get there. There will be photography too, oh yes!

From my last visit- Stonehenge

In an effort to get my skates on re: the saving up, I've set myself a goal to have 8 grand by December. A ticket to England costs a massive amount of money, and then there are other expenses. Likely as not, I'll spend all my money on antique textiles and market-found bits, and I'll have to get a job at some point. I don't mind pulling beer at a pub, since I'm Aussie and that seems to be our native habitat in the UK! (My brother runs one over there, if that's any kind of proof.)

Recently purchased wooden keys from pork chop show.

As a consequence, every dollar that goes into my Paypal from now on goes toward the England fund. Well...occasionally I might have to buy supplies. I mean you can't just put the Scrooge on everything, can you? A girl needs supplies. These beautiful keys- carved from wood; a spin on something that's become a craft-world staple) above are for a new line of products I'm working on...all will be revealed soon enough. (I say that alot lately don't I? I'm such a stinker.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Lovers Archaic

An update in the shop...

A new banner for the blog...

Inspiring Victorian spirit photography...

A wonderful brooch recently purchased from Third Planet...

A wonderful blog just discovered....

A new Flickr mosaic...

And a secret, soon to be revealed. No pictures for that one, it will spoil the surprise!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Studio Sunday

Cleaning, sorting, many treasures, all who must be judged deserving of a place in my studio or cast out to the lands of de-stash, in preparation for the Great City Adventure...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Think think think, that's all I ever do- and then there's you.

Being that I've been out of the studio for two weeks, my mind has been firmly set on my other big life project- the re-assessment of myself. It started about a month ago with a simple overlooking of my life; old habits, outdated ways of thinking etc. I ended up completely un-ravelling my identity, leaving myself a tangled mess of uncertainty. I didn't know what I wanted out of life, who I was, what I believed. Luckily I was strong enough to know what I didn't want for myself, and via a process of elimination managed to build myself back to the foundations.

Being an artist, one of the foundations I use to define who I am is my visual style, so that's been given rather a bald spring clean. I've not been spending too many moments thinking about my art work but I think that's because I've not seen the studio in the last fortnight. In my head I see my ideal works- unfortunately not in the sharpest detail so I can't easily copy them out into reality, but i do have themes colours etc. Scrolling back through my sold section on Etsy I realise I've been making stuff that I love dearly, and that is aligned to my personal style...but not purely so.

So I was going to have a huge clean-out and get rid of loads of clutter I don't really need, get back to the purity that I want. But just when I thought I was straight and narrow, someone came along to make me think. I have recently become enamoured of a British TV presenter who also writes books and newspaper columns, and I find him so critically interesting (as well as terribly handsome) that everything he talks about makes me think.

Image credit

It's a little bit odd, but it's been rather a long time since I've known anyone who can make me think so much purely on the strength of their opinion...I really have never met anyone like it, actually. Never have I know someone to so radically get inside my head and make me want to see things in another way. Not necessarily in agreeance, just... to think. I feel once we meet, (as some day we surely shall) I'll want to talk and talk and talk, and my head might blow up from wanting to know his thoughts on everything in the universe, everywhere, ever. It's most infuriating, seeing someone on TV and hearing all their ideas, but not being able to get to them and they're so...interesting.

Anyway- he recently talked about his love of colour and the brilliant madness of the way nothing in his house matches. And suddenly I find myself remembering how I love the way Indians decorate their trucks, and the Mexican way of hot pink and volcanic orange...and once again I am lost.

Not such a bad thing, though.

* Most of my inspirational links have been via my most recently discovered blog, but I can't remember for the life of me which one it is! This only serves to illustrate how chronically absent-minded I am, because it's a beautiful blog that I trawled all the way through, loving everything. Tell me if you think it's you!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gather your articles; twigs for your nest

An amazing site with interior photography- not your average 'shiny mag' homes, but real, soulful, eclectic, jumbled, tangles of creative homes. It blew me away. One of the projects I've always had in the back of my mind was to start a home decor magazine that was all about handmade homes- real, artistic, eclectic, jumbled...

So many people I know live in places like these, they're true nests, places that don't cost thousands of dollars to create, where most of the decor is junk found on the side of the road, where someone in a rollneck jumper hasn't come along with big books of samples and the latest B&O catalgue. The kind of people featured on the Selby are the true heros of home decoration.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ever onward

It's here

Were we all looking forward to it? Welcome 2009, a new year, a new adventure.

Thank you very much to all the wonderful and heart-felt comments on my last entry, it really made a difference to me to see all of your words. :) I am feeling better lately- a combination of having a holiday from the shop (haven't really had one since I started, so it's probably wise!) and staying with friends.

I'm probably the only person in craft blog land that doesn't get particularly excited about Christmas. I love the imagery, but I'm just not with it enough to get in there with handmade decorations and what have you (all of you who do manage impress the Dickens out of me). I didn't even hand make any presents this year, I was just too busy developing the shop and to be brutally honest too self-absorbed in my own mind. This year was the first Christmas where my depression made it hard to deal with things...usually I can just shunt it aside for a day or two, but this time around was a real uphill battle.

Never-the-less, I did enjoy the day immensely; good hand-made fresh food using all organic and natural ingredients courtesy of my wonderful Aunty and her girlfriend- domestic goddesses to no end! My Dad set himself firmly at the top of the pile, gift-wise (though we say every year 'no presents') -by giving me a banjo!

I'm so excited- I've wanted one for ages but only actually mentioned it to him once, I'm surprised he remembered! It's a lovely creature, 5 strings, super shiny black finish and the most glorious sound. It's mildly frustrating not being able to break into the Foggy Mountain breakdown right away but these things take time. I need to find myself a decent beginner's book and I'll be off and away.

I've spent the whole period from Christmas Eve to now in the city with family and friends, and taking a break from the shop has been very strange. Not going to Etsy every day, not being in the studio , not listing and selling and stitching... It's as if I've been thrown into a different world; like the fantasy films where children are a part of a magical adventure, and then are eventually delivered back into the ordinary world...a pauper once a prince. I have enjoyed my break though- not seeing my studio for over a week I'm looking forward to getting back to it tomorrow, hopefully to see it with all new eyes.

As an aside, I was contacted this week with a very exciting new project in offer. I'm very much looking forward to doing it and will reveal more when appropriate. :)