Reflecting and Projecting 

Art is my mediation and today I’m looking at the very first watercolor I created. It came to me naturally without the boundaries of formal instruction. That’s not to say that formal learning of techniques isn’t good, it’s essential for progress, but there’s something to be said for creative moments that spring unannounced from your being. 

 Paris ’98 
I did carry on with being unschooled in this artistic medium, and sketched many scenes that caught my eye and spoke to my heart. I also remember vividly this year of being jobless in a foreign city. I was lost and art saved me or found me rather. I stared in the mirror each morning and whispered to myself “so really, who the hell are you without your higher education and your books?” Despondent, once I stopped burying myself in science assignments, projects, and exams, I came up empty. Chris (husband/best friend) was happy and working, and never lost himself. Le sigh.

  
That first year in Paris I turned myself upside down, inside out, insane, and exhausted searching for meaningful work. I wanted the job that would make me sing each morning. Nevermind that I had no work visa. I reasoned that if I got the job, I’d get the visa somehow. A year went by….no job, but my sketching and painting were taking root nicely. 

 Corsica ’98  
 Etais La Sauvin (Steve’s House) ’99  
L’Hirondelle, France ’99

 These sketchers are part of my travel diary. There’s many, but I loved these places the most. They are only second to my precious island; Newfoundland.

Here is the most precious place in the world to me! It was my place when there was nowhere else I could go. It grounded me so that I could dream freely here.

Middle Cove, NL ’02

 My partner Chris asked me to marry him here one cold July evening, five years before I painted this landscape, as we lay on the cliff -pictured in the middle distance here. Star gazing in the grass and wrapped together in love my best friend and lover thought he would like to stay forever with me. I agreed wholeheartedly. It was magical. 
The journey to find myself and silence my ego had begun without much time to blink. Did I enjoy this task that was shoved in my face? No. Was it critical for my true self to emerge? Yes. Was it painful? Most definitely; lots of pain. Have I found myself? Partly. Am I finished with this intimate seduction that my dark side, my ego keeps thrusting on me? No, but I’m so close! So very close.

  

Love, so simple. 

XArby

Silence : no Om

  
A space in my crazy life for enjoying silence. I like to call it the “Oscar Wilde” corner…you know…drink gin martinis and contemplate beauty. While in job limbo, I have had time to get domestic, clean up, decorate…my garden never looked better! I call it procrastination 😎

How does your garden grow? 

I’m guessing if you work and have kids, not too well! Now with my extra time life flourishes all around me and, if truth be told, it’s making me creative! Translation: I start a print-making art course on Friday! Six weeks of intensive print making!! It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time for, or money. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to finish my illustrations too. They’re constantly evolving and taking my writing in a different direction. I had no idea that writing a kids book would take soooooooooooo looooooooong! Actually the writing isn’t taking as long as the drawing. Illustrating is tough! Painting still life is easier by far!

Ok. You know what the irony is of creating a place to soak up silence? People (i.e. My family) are instantly drawn to it! Oh well, I think a place for cocktail hour might work better!

My cocktail creation (see….creativity!) 

Newfie Fog martini: 

2 shots of the best gin you can afford, a splash of Indian tonic, a dash or two of bitters, only a scant dash of sweet Italian Red vermouth “Rosso”, a twist (and a wee squeeze) of lime, and a wedge of watermelon on a toothpick to stir up the fog! 

Sip slowly, enjoy life, and share with someone who makes you laugh….until your stomach hurts! 

Tea and Squares anyone?

I didn’t  post this one because it was a gift. But…Gift given now! So here you are….

 I must admit that generally I don’t do crochet tea cosies or placemats for my younger gift recipients because they do have that older nana appeal. However, I found these cute patterns with a modern edge and the colors were definitely retro cool, which, I find, younger hipsters can appreciate. Plus, I believe they showed off my vintage tea cups and 100 year old Spode plates devinely! Don’t you think?

  

The egg cosies might be a little overkill, but at this point I thought “I might as well go all in!”   The button I created with 2 buttons. The small blue one fit snugglely into the center of the red one. One plain or patterned button just didn’t seem to bring it all together! Et voila! 

 If you are interested in the patterns I can look it up and let you know where I found them! Enjoy!! XArby

Another gum nut hat; for Ashton

My signature hat! It’s gaining popularity with my mommy friends and friends of friends! My ballet instructor has her first grandson and I made him this cutie….

  Apparently, it’s his absolute favorite!
Ok!! I’ve been a busy little mommy and career woman lately! My blog is sorely neglected. I’ve also been dancing again, both salsa and ballet for a year now! Dancing; my other joy! I don’t think I’ll get back in my old pointe shoes, but I’m feeling the sweet burn of pirouettes and releves (insert the acute accent please!).

I’ve been painting, drawing and crafting along with swinging my hips and pirouetting. In fact, I finally submitted a pastel piece in the Fremantle arts center’s student exhibit coming up in September! Plus, I’ve finally, FINALLY started my illustrations  and text for that children’s book I’ve always wanted to publish! 

So, I promise I’ve got more stories to tell, do check back in a week or so and let me know what you think! 

I’ve got to settle in now and catch up with all the gorgeous bloggers I’m suppose to be following! I’m sorry to have neglected you all too! 

Make my way back home

When I learn to fly….high! (Got to love the Foo Fighters)

Still figuring it all out and riding the ups and downs of life. Trying to create pieces of “happy” as I go. If this is the year of “finding myself”, I can say with certainty that it’s definitely bringing me back to myself, if that’s even the same thing!?! lol Not exactly what I thought would happen, but if we don’t actually lose who we are, then it makes perfect sense that we go back to who we are. It must be my age!! Hahaha! Happy days!!

So this little cotton dress is blissful! Both to make and to look at, and the wee girl it’s for is just gorgeous! She had a 3rd birthday party yesterday; she ended up in her birthday suit! Hopefully this dress will inspire her to keep it on!!! Ha!!! It’s a pattern I got from Australian Knitting, and as usual I put my own embellishments on it!

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On a lighter…

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and whiter note….

Betty Cole is busy! She crocheted this beautiful table cloth for her sister Nancy and brother-in-law John.

With a 1.5mm and 10 cotton yarn she constructed the table cloth using a flower square pattern and then kept adding them. I’m so impressed with Betty’s efforts and patience, and the exquisite results. I definitely do not have this level of patience, but aspire to it one day.

I love simple and clean white.
Thanks for sharing your work with us Betty! I just love it!!

Once a ballerina….

Always a ballerina!

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I think I’ll go paint…..and dance and sing! At least, that’s what I’m always doing in my head.

Choose your fav flower pattern, quick!

Crochet 50 chains on a 3.5 hook with some sparkly yarn, 4 ply. *Sl st 1st chain from hook, and in the back loop of every chain to the end*. Sc in same last chain as last sl st. Chain 49 again! (Double band remember!) and then repeat from * to *. Chain long enough to fit your head (this is the loop that goes around the back of your head) and attach this series of chains with a sl st to the two ends of the bands that sit on the top of your head.

Attach your pretty flower and feel, well, PRETTY!!

Now, about that painting…..

Be happy!!!!

Purple Haze

I’ve just started crocheting a case for my Mac Air. I’m not a lover of Aubergine or “eggplant” purple, but something about this organic cotton yarn caught my eye in this tweedy purple color.

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The plan:
Aran yarn
5.5 hook
Chain 45
Slip stitch in first chain from hook
Sc in next st
Dc in following st
Continue alternating to end chain (should end with dc)
Turn
*Chain 1 (not a st)
Sc in dc and dc in sc to the end (should end with a dc), turn*
Repeat from *to* until length is double the length of the laptop.
Continue in pattern until desired length of “flap” is achieved.
Sl st to middle of work in the back loop of sts.
Chain 28
Sl st in beginning st of chain to form a loop.

Fold piece lengthwise to fit the laptop and sew up the sides. There ought to be enough left over to act as a flap that goes over the opening at the top.

Sew large wooden button to the front of the case so that the loop on the flap fits easily around it.

I may decide to do a crab st edge around the flap…humm…..

Well that’s the plan! I’ll update to let you know how it worked 😎

Life is full of Joy and happiness!!

Happy

Up early today, since 4:30am, and I’m determined to enjoy the day before it gets too hot.
I’m presently sitting in the shade of a circle of Gum trees and I can smell the eucalyptus. The leaves are heating up and the scent is so amazing. It makes me happy! Is it the eucalyptus or is it just me? Maybe both.

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I’m reminded to embrace each day and be happy and content wherever I be! I’m especially happy and content that I have this insight in my 40s!!

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What makes you happy and content?

Jumper: cables

I love how the Australians call sweaters jumpers. It’s not at all logical, but when you think about it, sweater doesn’t seem to have much logic either. I don’t need a lot of jumpers here, but I sure love making them!

I made this one for one of my favorite people in the whole world. It’s full of cables and was super easy. I love the touch of the tattoo band on the arm! Like a real Irish fisherman’s sweater. The pattern came from “stitchn’ bitch” for men.

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