Luckily I took my phone with me on this mornings walk along Blackmans Bay foreshore. The sky was full of luminous breaks in the steely grey clouds and now and then the water was lit by a sliver of silver on the horizon. White sails flapped in the breeze and a few fishermen were out on the rocks to add scale to the huge sky and dark waters.
I noticed the light changing whilst painting last evening and when I stepped out my front door the clouds were beautiful warm yellows and pinks. The climber was silhouetted against the sky and it’s pink trumpet flowers really echoed the pinks in the clouds. Serendipitous moment!
I’m a big fan of the vertical photo format and I really liked the expanse of dark water filling the bottom 2/3rds reflecting the stormy clouds. Water is all about patterns, fluidity and reflections for me. The red and blue reflections add a bit of zing to this otherwise sombre scene. I’m lucky this dock area is a 5 minute walk from my workplace.
I spotted this shiny bike while out on my lunchtime walk. I bet the guy on the black bike is thinking he’d rather be riding this red and chrome beauty!
Home is family and this family bookcase tells the story of those who live in my home. Our individual and collective interests sit side by side on the simple white shelves.
On the top shelf lie the heavy tomes of architecture – an absorbing passion of the Writer.
The next shelf holds art catalogues, travel stories and some language dictionaries – the Writer and I travel every year, love seeing great art and have taught ourselves some French and Italian. The Writer says he’s speaks 4 languages, English, French, Italian and fluent gibberish!
In the corner is the little ceramic cat that our then 12 year old son choose as a souvenir in France where he befriended many a cat – enticing them into our holiday homes with scraps of ham and saucers of milk. At 20 he rescued a kitten that had been dumped and she’s become a loved family member.
Then there’s the shelf with the speakers – our home is filled with music from the moment the Writer gets up to the moment he goes to bed. We have R & B, classic, baroque, rock and jazz – and a library of 4000+ CDs to choose from. He carefully curates a sound track for all our holidays and particular songs are irrevocably linked to certain places and bring back sharp and clear memories every time I hear them.
Then there are the family photos of parents and grandparents no longer with us – their memories cherished, stories told and lives remembered.
Also a few simple ornaments that bring back memories of far away destinations.
Stashed on the bottom shelf is a collection of classic reads enjoyed by us all- Wodehouse and Christie. Some of these have been read and reread over the years. We’ve spent many a night chuckling over a Bertie and Jeeves video or guessing “who dunnit”as we watched Poirot unfold the clues.
A few tubes of paint hint at my passion for painting.
A trio of games are the flow over from a huge stash of boardgames which are the glue that bonds our family together in difficult times, when we need to destress or to celebrate someones achievments. The eldest son owns many of these – he eschews spending money on frivolities but feels games are a basic necessity of life.
So there you have it – my home on the shelves of a bookcase!
I love a beautifully packaged gift but I hate the waste of paper and card it generates so I had a bit of a dilemma when I decided I would like to package some of the handmade items I sell in my Etsy shop. It wasn’t just the aesthetics I was after it was also something sturdy enough to keep items in good shape while making their way around the world to their new owners.
My solution was to use scrap cardboard used in packaging disposable items from my workplace. The card is a really good thickness and size with a white side and a natural cardboard side. The sheets have no writing and a great for making all sorts of packaging.
Because I use various handmade stamp designs to print on my fabric bags and cushion covers I decided to coordinate the packaging by using the same stamps on the boxes and envelopes . I also do a range of hand painted cushion covers and I draw a mini design to match on the cardboard wraps.
… and then I thought why not make little folded cards for my earrings using the same dragonfly stamp.
I also made an early decision to keep any branding to a bare minimum and never tape closed a box. I’ve come up with some creative ways to fasten boxes and envelopes so that the recipient can recycle the already recycled gift box or envelope to pack their own gifts.
As time goes on I’m finding more and more ways to fold and fashion minimalist yet stylish recycled packaging. Packaging can be art too!
Stay tuned for an easy to follow demo on how to make the dragonfly box. I’ve got it in the pipeline for next week.
Seeking higher ground.
Sometimes the fog rolls in,
the rain beats down
and I cannot see the way.
At times like these I seek higher ground
the distant vista opens out before me
and I am found again.