Sunday, 17 May 2009

Amicable Takeover of dh’s unused office Proceeds Apace!

Last year, while he was overseas, I shifted dh’s office at university from a cramped unfriendly space on the fourth to a big warm office on the fifth floor, decluttering madly and making room for him to finish his book.

His “home” office, mostly unvisited during the past year, has been beckoning, suggesting expanded workspace for my ever-widening art interests. At long last dh has capitulated, and even assisted in my amicable takeover of his defunct home office.

Urging me on [f*ck! #)$$%*&^ f*ck!, etc], he helped shift furniture and a heavy, moth-infested carpet, so that now he has computer access at the front of the room, and I have a BIG worktable under the window at the back, with heaps of shelving. Go me!

I have shifted my jewelry-making operations into this new space, leaving the sitting room free for, well, sitting!

I also shifted heaps of stuff out of my current art room so that I actually have elbow room now.

Looking forward to arting in my new space!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

New Stencils!

Yesterday the gales died down a bit, and I grabbed the opportunity to test my new stencils :-D

I only got one sheet sprayed before my fingers iced up, but here it is:

This includes three of Gary Reef’s birds, my newspaper dancer, my chrysanthemum, and my plum blossom. I also tested several new doilies.

Before testing my handcut stencils I cast a set of plastic letters and numbers across the sheet and sprayed over them. I shot the resulting white letterforms with my New Colours: orange, turquoise, and purple!

Haven’t decided what to do with this just yet.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Hand Cut Stencils!

Woo-hoo!! I’ve spent two fun afternoons cutting stencils, both with an exacto knife and with a stencil burner. Great Fun!

Here are some of my products:

The birds (thanks to Gary Reef!) and human figures were cut with an Xacto knife:

As was this, cut from a picture in a newspaper article:

This is my most “complex” stencil to date; I used a stencil burner to cut this one:

The Chrysanthemum is one of the emblems of the Japanese royal family; I plan to use this in my “Japan” Altered Book.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Makin’ More Art!

I got tired of making Resolutions and Intentions to Make More Art — so I just started Makin’ More Art!

I’m taking 2 online courses: Stencilry with Mary Ann Moss, [closed]

and AB101 with Elizabeth, [closed]

so have been Playing and Experimenting and Messing About! And I’m having more fun than a pile of kittens with a ball of yarn!

I’m Pushing my Envelope in Myriad Ways — I try not to Think about it so I don’t seize up ;-)

Check out my flickr for more pix.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Crossed Structure Binding by Carmencho Arregui

Recently I attended a Hutt Calligraphers’ workshop on the Crossed Structure Binding by Carmencho Arregui, taught by Teresa Francis. This unusual book is sewn to the back cover; self-straps on each cover cross the spine and are slotted into slits in the other cover. You can choose to expose, or to hide, the straps.

The cool thing about this book is that you can add signatures later!
More pictures can be seen here.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Haven’t posted lately...

but I have been making art! With a little push from Cathy Johnson, I have begun sketching again. These two were done with Rotring pen and WN watercolours in the Hotel Bristol, Cuba Mall, Wellington.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

S92A has been scrapped!!

Prime Minister John Key has announced that the government will throw out the controversial Section 92A of the Copyright Amendment Act and start again. Section 92A has been scrapped.”

This is fantastic news, and it’s great that Prime Minister John Key has taken a stand on this important issue.

Now we need to help make some sensible copyright law that will protect artists as well as all New Zealanders.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

We’ve almost won! NZ Government delays copyright laws!

The online protests of ‘blacked out’ websites attracted international attention, and culminated in a petition to parliament.

Now the Prime Minister has told the law’s backers they have a month to figure out how they can make it work, or it goes. “Let’s see if that code of practice can be achieved. They’ve been promising it for some time, they say they’re close, we’re giving them another month to do that,” says John Key.

See TVNZ link here.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Join The New Zealand Internet Blackout to protest against the Guilt Upon Accusation law 'Section 92A' that calls for internet disconnection based on accusations of copyright infringement without a trial and without any evidence held up to court scrutiny. This is due to come into effect on February 28th unless immediate action is taken by the National Party.

Save the Net, Sign the Petition!

Sign the petition to support this statement:

I don't want Guilt Upon Accusation laws that will force the termination of internet connections and websites without evidence, and without a fair trial.

7,569 people have signed so far!

In case you were wondering, artists and non-artists alike can sign.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

28 Mar 8.30 pm Turn off your lights for one hour

On March 28, 2009 at 8:30 p.m., local time, World Wildlife Fund is asking individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour -- Earth Hour -- to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate their commitment to finding solutions. Turn out. Take action. Be part of this historic event.

OWOH Winner!

And the winner of Red Black One Love, selected by, is Nikki Wheeler of My Life as an Artist. Yay Nikki!

I want to thank all 329 of you who left appreciative comments -- y'all rock my world!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Are you Eating?

If so, you will want to give a donation to animal rescue shelters that are in dire straights in this economy.

It’s a no-brainer — less money buying fewer goods means we’re all cutting back. We’re eating cheaper, growing our own veggies, and looking to cut costs across the board.

Animals rescued from Death Row at SPCA and other shelters don’t have a choice. And the saints who run the shelters are, themselves, in need.

Please. Donate to your local shelter. Now. Before it’s too late for an innocent fur-person.

your local shelter or A Place To Bark

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

One World One Heart Update

WOW! Fully twenty-six per cent of those participating in OWOH have signed up for my giveaway funky bracelet! You all are outstanding!!

Thanks so very much for visiting me, and do come back later in life :-D

Wednesday, 21 January 2009



One World One Heart Giveaway is all about making connections!

Between now and 11 Feb 2009, leave a comment on this post for a chance to win! The prize is a handmade, one-of-a-kind, unconventional, funky charm bracelet titled “Red Black One Love”.

This piece of art is composed of a variety of ordinary objects: a watchface, bulldog clip, pencils, dominoes, glass beads, lampwork beads, letter beads spelling out LOVE, an eyes milagro, a glass vial filled with tiny beads, a stamped UTEE house shape.

My unique bracelets have graced the wrists of many awesome folks, including Molly Gordon, of The Accidental Entrepreneur fame.

You are also invited to visit my shop, Funky Body Décor, and its blog for more funky jewellery and another chance to win!

At the end of the day on 11 Feb a random number generator will choose the winner. Good luck, and enjoy your trip through the OWOH blogs!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Is Procrastination eating your life? Check your motivation!

I had the Very Best of intentions, a mile-long “To Do” list, a five-week research & arting trip to pack for, piles of Clutter I planned to tackle “soonest”, and a shiny new business that was slowly sliding into obscurity, but there I was, hiding from it all with the covers pulled over my head.

Can you say “Procrastination”? Caught out, I felt profoundly guilty.

Deciding [after 50-some years] to tackle this monster head-on, I went to the internet for help. Typing procrastination into Google, I watched in dismay as it produced 4,650,000 hits. There are websites that promise to Cure it, Stop it, Overcome it, Manage it, Study it, Research it, Make War on it, take a Quiz to see if I Have it, distinguish the Good procrastination from the Bad, discover Why I have it, Prime Myself for “concrete thinking” — even learn a Mathematical Equation for it!

Gaaah! This was clearly no place for DIY; I decided to take my moral bankruptcy to a professional.

Imagine my surprise at being told that solving procrastination is Way Easy! Caused by insufficient motivation to produce the desired behaviour, one need only discover sufficient motivation!

Well, d’oh! That wasn’t very motivating.

It was mid-November, the business I had created to fill the income-gap from reducing my hours at my day-job should be busy filling Christmas orders, but I couldn’t seem to get new items loaded to my shop or do the mandatory marketing! Whenever I so much as thought about doing it, I felt as if I were pushing against the well-known “immoveable object”! What was up with that?

It wasn’t difficult to find the obstacle: I had run into a glitch when my host changed its software for uploading images, and a flurry of emails to customer service failed to resolve the problem. The pictures of my jewellery meant to lure customers were showing up as thumbnails and couldn’t be seen without a magnifying glass!

It took Two exhausting Weeks of clicking every single button on every single page of the application to find the problem, and when at last it was fixed, I couldn’t stir up the energy to load new items. For even when the application was running well, it took me ten or more minutes to input the information for each item, and too often the app would time-out, losing ALL the data I had input!

No wonder I was procrastinating! My motivation to avoid annoyance and frustration was Greater than my motivation to get new pieces up on the site!

The professional and I considered my motivation to earn income from the site and concluded that it was insufficient to balance my annoyance-avoidance. However, a little more investigation showed I was Highly motivated to keep my day-job limited to half-time but might not be able to do this unless I received income from the site.

Well that was easy! End of website procrastination. As for the rest, well…when you’re not motivated, you’re just not motivated!

I wonder if any of those 4 million websites tell you this.

(image courtesy of Wordle)

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Play for the Cure! Stop “Self Improvement” Now!

Self-help is not a new concept — and self-help books have been around for a very long time. Samuel Smiles published a book titled Self Help back in 1882 (available as a free download from Project Gutenberg). Smiles writes:
““Heaven helps those who help themselves” is a well-tried maxim, embodying in a small compass the results of vast human experience. The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual…Help from without is often enfeebling in its effects, but help from within invariably invigorates.”
That an enormous population believes wholeheartedly in this spirit is obvious from the tremendous growth of the self-help industry over the past three decades. According to a 2006 Marketdata Enterprises report on the US self-help industry alone:
The total self-improvement market (incl. revenues of
weight loss programs) was estimated to be worth $9.59
billion in 2005. The market grew more than 24% between
2003 and 2005. We expect 11.4% yearly growth through
2010, to a value of $13.9 billion.
Now please understand that I have no quarrel with Self-Help. I am a believer in its spirit and have contributed thousands of dollars to the growth of the industry myself!

What I object to is the underlying assumption of Self Improvement that there is something about us that is fundamentally wrong and needs to be changed or fixed or improved!

How can this possibly be so? Here we stand, children of the Universe, packed full-to-the-teeth with a lifetime of experiences and understanding, beliefs and ideas, some of which work for us and others that do not. How can this possibly be improved upon?

We are, each of us, now, today, in exactly the right place to grow and learn as we need to! And what helps us help ourselves is good. Beating up on ourselves because we wish we were some other way is not only not helpful and argues with Reality, but actually impedes our growth by misdirecting our attention and thoughts to the imagined imperfection!

D’oh! Why would we want to focus on our perceived flaws when the Universe conspires to give us more of whatever we focus on??

Today at, Michael Neill addresses self-esteem as the catalyst for success, and offers Today’s Experiment:

1. Take the week off from working on yourself in any way. Don’t try to change, improve, or fix yourself — just enjoy hanging out with your work, your hobbies and your loved ones.

2. If you can’t bring yourself to take the whole week off, take a few days off. If you can’t get yourself to take a few days off, just take one. If you can’t even take one day off, repeat step one.

Do this experiment yourself, and let me know how you get on!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Self Improvement Sucks!

Tired of feeling you need Fixing? Stop trying to improve yourself!

Read this inspiring and compassionate comparison of Self-Help vs Self Improvement at Carol Skolnick’s Soul Surgery and join me in jumping off the Self Improvement bandwagon!