Monday, 27 April 2015

april showers

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For the last week Sydney has been in the grip of crazy wet and windy weather which extends up and down the coast for miles. Its left damage and destruction in its wake, though we were lucky to be spared any damage here. p.s. I started writing this post before Saturday's crazytown hailstorm which blew up out of the most beautiful sunny autumn day. Its been wild!

Its also made me feel even more blessed that on our getaway to Jervis Bay we lucked such lovely autumn weather. Somehow we slotted our week in between a wet Easter and the following drenching windy two day storm and afternoon hailstorm.

In contrast on our time away It was warm enough to swim and we only had one wet and windy day.

Its a tradition to spend time at our favourite little 70s decor beach house each year, and a tradition to post my photos from our time down south here on the blog. Here are some previous trips to our magic beach. here, here, here and here.

It is also one of the lovely things about having older kids, making these family traditions which live in their imaginations. They love this place and it is layered with memories for them and for their father and I, who can remember walking this bush track with a double stroller!

Luckily my camera was fixed just in time to take it along. This place is so photogenic it would literally be torture for me without it!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

the clayer

the clayerlooking through old sketchbooks tracing images...homeworkthe clayerhandbuilding fun! #slab #pinch #coil #clay #ceramicsthe clayerthe clayertiles

I'm often surprised looking back through my photos to see the little bits of making I've managed to sneak in to a busy period even when it feels like I get no time to create. Often its only when I make my year end mosaics I realise how much I've managed to cram into the year.

My blog is a nice record for those days when it feels like I've got nothing done, it helps me see that somehow I always manage to squeeze a little bit in!

The last few months have been no exception.

In February an online course I'd booked into on a whim last year suddenly came around. I'd signed up to an online Clay decorating course called The Clayer, with the lovely and inspiring Diana Fayt, something I'd been wanting to do for a while.

But then I wasn't feeling even slightly prepared when it came due!!

Luckily the fact that my pottery wheel was stored away for the renovation didn't matter as Diana's projects all used handbuilding. This is something I hadn't done much of in my short ceramics career, so it was good to start with her detailled videos to guide me.

Decoration though is something I've experimented with and it was nice to have Diana's weekly inspiration videos to fuel my making with Mishima, painting and sgraffito.

Due to my basic lack of time I decided I would concentrate on small tiles rather than the footed platters Diana used. That way I could get a few ideas on clay quickly. Her idea of tracing designs from sketchbooks proved a great way to rediscover and play with sketches from over the years.

About now I am really feeling the lack of a kiln and I'm hoping this year is the one I finally get to play with my own. I haven't had a chance to fire these pieces or do the painting techniques that need bisque fired pieces.

And I didn't get round yet to her ideas about stamping clay designs, something I'm really looking forward to that because it will combine two of my favourite crafts - ceramics and hand carved stamps!

Please excuse the ipad and iphone photos. My poor little camera is finally at the Camera Doctor. I've been missing it a lot .

Friday, 13 March 2015

decked - reno part 1

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I've been promising renovation pics for a while now. I was waiting for those perfectly styled 'after' shots, but who am I kidding! Heaven knows when that will ever happen, we actually have quite a lot of stuff still to do, so I'm giving you a progress post instead.

I love seeing other people's before and after renovations, so I hope you enjoy them too.

This montage of progress shots show how the back view of the house has changed, dramatically, over the course of the renovation from our initial daggy cement porch and metal stairs through to the new wooden deck and lovely blue gum stairs.

Most of the building happened last year, which explains why I've been less active as a blogger and maker than usual. Having builders in the house when you work at home is a big thing. Luckily our builders were lovely and they managed to partition off our kitchen and leave our dishwasher working for the whole time. So we were pretty lucky.

Below stairs is the part that still needs most work. Those downstairs doors were a fortuitous Ebay find for less than $200! And while they aren't actually installed yet - just propped in place so we can dream about how they will look when its finished - it won't be long.

Upstairs the deck is painted and oiled. That took us about four weekends of 8 hour days but its very satisfying to see the final product. I've bought some inexpensive furniture for the deck and we are spending lots of time out there now. Its great for catching a cool breeze on these hot muggy days and lovely to eat dinner in the outdoors.

During the day the birds and butterflies float around this space as I hoped they would and if you follow my instagram you will see that a baby dove even slept there for a day!

We are loving the extra space in our tiny kitchen too, which was doubled in size. It was tiny and its a luxury to have more room. We also have more dining room too and now it opens through bifolds to the deck.

More photos to come as more gets finished!