Monday, March 29, 2010

The Rabbit In The Moon


photograph by Albert Watson

Rabbits and the moon, now that’s a nice combination. There’s a little story about this combo to read below. Or better still get somebody to read it to you while you loll about. But first I want to show you a painting of Mr Rabbit that I’ve made this week. No not the one above, I'm not at that stage yet, the one below. It fits nicely I think with the Three Muses Challenge for this week - You are what you eat. Chosen for a couple of reasons. One because strangely, as I get older, my shape is moving more towards a rabbit one, and two I’m mostly vegetarian. I say mostly because I am vegetarian except when I visit my Mother who believes that if you don’t have meat or chicken it’s not a proper meal. I love her so I eat.


Yes we have another incognito character. It didn’t start out that way. Mr Rabbit had eyes, but his eyes looked scarey, so the idea of the sunglasses seemed an easy solution. Mr Rabbit doesn’t have the glam of Miss Redhead but he knows he’s bigger. Gosh he was hard work tho. I’d paint in the black lines, then I’d have to repair with white, then the white would be crooked so I’d have to repair with the black. And on and on it went. Hour after hour. Simple things aren’t always the easiest are they?


photograph via deviantart

And now for your little bedtime story. Once upon a time, the Old-Man-of-the-Moon looked down into a big forest on the earth. He saw a rabbit and a monkey and a fox all living there together in the forest as very good friends."Now, I wonder which of them is the kindest," he said to himself. "I think I'll go down and see." So the old man changed himself into a beggar and came down from the moon to the forest where the three animals were. "Please help me," he said to them. "I'm very hungry." "Oh! What a poor old beggar!" they said, and then they went hurrying off to find some food for the beggar. The monkey brought a lot of fruit. And the fox caught a big fish. But the rabbit couldn't find anything at all to bring. "Oh my! oh my! what shall I do?" the rabbit cried. But just then he got an idea. "Please, Mr. Monkey," the rabbit said, "you gather some firewood for me. And you, Mr. Fox, please make a big fire with the wood." They did as the rabbit asked, and when the fire was burning very brightly, the rabbit said to the beggar: "I don't have anything to give you. So I'll put myself in this fire, and then when I'm cooked you can eat me." The rabbit was about to jump into the fire and cook himself. But just then the beggar suddenly changed himself back into the Old-Man-of-the-Moon. "You are very kind, Mr. Rabbit," the Old Man said. "But you should never do anything to harm yourself. Since you are the kindest, of all, I'll take you home to live with me." Then the Old-Man-of-the-Moon took the rabbit in his arms and carried him up to the moon. Just look and see! If you look carefully at the moon when it is shining brightly, you can still see the rabbit there where the Old Man put him so very long ago.


photograph at Tucson AZ

I’m heading off for a week or so over Easter so it’ll be a bit quiet around here until I return. I hope you all have a happy holiday. I appreciate you so very much. When I think of blogging I’m overcome with warm loving supportive feelings. Thank you all.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Deer Dancer


custom made blythe deer doll from sammy doe

I wish we were all sitting in a room together with one of us reading this poem to the others. And then we’d talk about it sharing insights and experiences. Maybe we'd laugh. Maybe we'd cry. Or both. No matter what, it would be so nice to share with you. Each of Joy Harjo’s poems is a beautiful work of art. The use of storytelling sucks me in; I need to keep reading to find out what happens next. The language. The images. They trigger unexpected thoughts, take me on little internal journeys. Harjo ignores the constraints of grammatical correctness, and she makes it work, crafting each poem into an individual gem. I hope you like this one titled ‘Deer Dancer’. For the complete unedited text visit here.

Nearly everyone had left that bar in the middle of winter except the
hardcore. It was the coldest night of the year, every place shut down, but
not us. Of course we noticed when she came in. We were Indian ruins. She
was the end of beauty. No one knew her, the stranger whose tribe we
recognized, her family related to deer, if that's who she was, a people
accustomed to hearing songs in pine trees, and making them hearts.

The woman inside the woman who was to dance naked in the bar of misfits
blew deer magic. Henry jack, who could not survive a sober day, thought she
was Buffalo Calf Woman come back, passed out, his head by the toilet. All
night he dreamed a dream he could not say. The next day he borrowed
money, went home, and sent back the money I lent. Now that's a miracle.
Some people see vision in a burned tortilla, some in the face of a woman.


dress from louise black

This is the bar of broken survivors, the club of the shotgun, knife wound, of
poison by culture. We who were taught not to stare drank our beer. The
players gossiped down their cues. Someone put a quarter in the jukebox to
relive despair. Richard's wife dove to kill her. We had to keep her
still, while Richard secretly bought the beauty a drink.

How do I say it? In this language there are no words for how the real world
collapses. I could say it in my own and the sacred mounds would come into
focus, but I couldn't take it in this dingy envelope. So I look at the stars in
this strange city, frozen to the back of the sky, the only promises that ever
make sense.……..


print by iris schwarz

You would know she could hear only what she wanted to; don't we all? Left
the drink of betrayal Richard bought her, at the bar. What was she on? We all
wanted some. Put a quarter in the juke. We all take risks stepping into thin
air. Our ceremonies didn't predict this. or we expected more.

I had to tell you this, for the baby inside the girl sealed up with a lick of
hope and swimming into the praise of nations. This is not a rooming house, but
a dream of winter falls and the deer who portrayed the relatives of
strangers. The way back is deer breath on icy windows.


photograph via visioluxus

The next dance none of us predicted. She borrowed a chair for the stairway
to heaven and stood on a table of names. And danced in the room of children
without shoes.You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille With four hungry children and a crop in the field.

And then she took off her clothes. She shook loose memory, waltzed with the
empty lover we'd all become.


top from ruby pearl

She was the myth slipped down through dreamtime. The promise of feast we
all knew was coming. The deer who crossed through knots of a curse to find
us. She was no slouch, and neither were we, watching.

The music ended. And so does the story. I wasn't there. But I imagined her
like this, not a stained red dress with tape on her heels but the deer who
entered our dream in white dawn, breathed mist into pine trees, her fawn a
blessing of meat, the ancestors who never left.


print via serpent mandalas

While we sat together talking poetry and art and life, we’d sip on champagne. The very best of course. Or tea if that’s what you wished for. Use this doiley as a coaster. Go on! I've reworked a vintage doiley for this weeks Three Muses Challenge - 'A Nice Cup of Tea..' (Sometimes I go out for a ‘cuppa’ or a coffee with a certain friend, and inevitably these beverages get dismissed by her and glasses of bubbly stuff is soon sitting in front of us. Well what can I do. I can’t offend her can I. I just have to drink it. I think she’ll like this reworked doiley as a gift. She won't mind if it's been lightly used.)


And as we talked, and sipped, we’d want to be as comfortable as possible. So I’ve revamped some footstools for us. Last week I purchased these footstools from a local thrift/op shop. They cost me AUS$4 for the two. Just perfect for some glamorous lounging about. With left over red paint and some purchased fabric (one metre for $14.95) it wasn’t a difficult task. I had a bit of help with the stapling. Now…Comfy dears? Stay as long as you like. It’s lovely to have you here.


We'd raise our glasses too to the Etsy artists whose work appears in this post. And we'd visit their stores and buy whatever we wanted. That's what we'd do.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Incognito in Wonderland with Big Hair


The Three Muses Challenge this week is 'Incognito' and this flame haired lady is my effort. I'm really pleased with her! To get the textured base I used a mix of impasto and pink acrylic. It was just like mixing icing, and then it was just like icing a cake applying it to the 8" x 8" x 1.5" canvas. A neglected Redhead Matches box with its iconic figure was used as a guide. The sunglasses ensure her 'incognito' status.

I hope you're not weary of Alice in Wonderland themes. It's just that these pics just fitted right in here with their undercover personalities....and they're so lovely.


Row 1: Fabulous Magazine / Alidra Alic / model Sarah, photographer Rebekah Lyn Row 2: The Seamstress of Avalon / Frankenkitty / Andreas Stavrinides Row 3: Fabulous Magazine / Andreas Stavrinides / Andreas Stavrinides

Over the last couple of weeks I've been plodding along with this embroidery, on a linen table runner, of the words from the latest Tim Burton Alice movie You're mad, bonkers, off your head -- but I'll tell you a secret: All the best people are. I quite identify with this quote as I'm sure many of you do. I made the mistake of sewing the letters in chain stitch. It took forever! Might try split stitch for the next one.


And I stumbled on this treasure somewhere in the bloggosphere – the very first Alice in Wonderland film - made in 1903. With a running time of just 12 minutes, 8 of which survive, this was the longest film produced in England at that time. Film archivists have been able to restore the film's original colours for the first time in over 100 years.

And finally darlings, to get the nice puffy haired look of the Matchbox Redhead try Bumpits. I got some of these from ebay, delivered, for less than $10. There's been much laughter as I play with my new toys. Yes, they do work, but unfortunately with my fine fluffy hair they don't look so good for anybody who stands behind me. But hey I figure it gives the viewer material for dinner table conversation. (Check out this ad, it's hilarious.)

personal postscript: I had an ‘angry’ day on Tuesday. Anger about Renee and what she had to endure – and now what her family is going through. Anger about the peripheral neuropathy pain which has affected every facet of my life. Anger with the doctors for not ever warning me about the possible side effects of the chemo type iv drugs I was given for my lung condition. It was a horrible feeling this anger. I’m pleased its fire only lasted a day. Anger can be noxious, but it can spur us onto action. So now I’m contemplating what I can do to channel this anger productively….

Monday, March 15, 2010

Renee's Salon of Beauty


Thank you for making us all more beautiful sweet Renee. I miss you.

We're here to end it,
I said & she said, No,
we're here to begin it
& then she turned &
opened her arms
& everywhere I could see,
there were people,
like bright birds, calling
with a thousand voices
& suddenly I understood.

Here is where it begins.
With all of us, together
giving our daughters
a world worth loving
for a lifetime to come.

Poem available from Story People as part of illustrated print with all profits donated to breast cancer research for as long as it takes to find the Cure.

Top photo from S Jones, photos in slide show from flickr.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tea n Newspapers n Giveaways


I think that there is far too much work done in the world, that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial countries is quite different from what always has been preached. Bertrand Russell, 1932


Amen I say Mr Russell. There's nothing like putting the work aside and settling down with a nice cuppa tea and a pile of newspapers. Who knows what bright ideas will come to mind...


left to right: row 1 Newspaper Kindle Sleeve from Sakizome, Foating Tea with Cream Ring from Sou Zou Creations, Granma’s Teacup Lino Brooch from Betty Jo Designs available at Georgie Love, Encaustic Mixed Media from Don’t Orbit Me row 2 Tea Cups on Newspaper Note Cards from Ebba Handmade, Tea Chair from Vintage Renewal, Tea Cup Chandelier from Madeleine Boulesteix, Teatowel Skirt from Grevillea Design row 3 Newspaper Tote from Margarida Godinho, the last three pics from Loani Prior, Queen of the Tea Cosies has a new book being released on 1 April. Visit Loani's website for more details. There’s a gorgeous free pattern on there. It’s on my 'to do' list.

This post was prompted by the Three Muses 'newspaper' challenge. Head over to their place and you'll find links to diverse art works inspired by this week's theme.

Now a giveaway! If you want to be in the draw for this crossword newspaperesque paperweight/art cube, just leave a comment. If you don't leave a comment anyway! I’ll do a random number generation after midnight on Tuesday 16th March. Open to worldwide blog readers. And if you like the odd giveaway come over and join this facebook group that I've just started - Blog Giveaways. List your own giveaways and find out about giveaways others are hosting.

But wait, there's more! This year the BrisStylers are adding a twist to their monthly giveaways. Go to their website where you'll find links to giveaways hosted by members. These are continually updated so visit often.


The three paintings in frames are of course by Mark Ryden. Some artworks can lose their appeal over time but, for me, not Ryden's work. It's beautiful. It's intriguing. It's timeless.

ps I clicked the publish button on Wednesday morning (we're a day ahead here in Australia) and then checked my sidebar for updates from bloggy friends. There I found the dreaded news about Renee. I wasn't sure whether or not to take this post down; would it be a mark of disrespect to leave it up? But I know what she would say and so I'm leaving it here.
Congrats to Abby. I'll be in touch! I excluded the spam entry from the numbers. And thank you all for entering. Remember to do something nice for yourself today.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Next Time / From Now On

Next time what I'd do is look at
the earth before saying anything. I'd stop
just before going into a house

and be an emperor for a minute
and listen better to the wind
or to the air being still.

When anyone talked to me, whether
blame or praise or just passing time,

I'd watch the face, how the mouth
has to work, and see any strain, any
sign of what lifted the voice.

And for all, I'd know more -- the earth
bracing itself and soaring, the air
finding every leaf and feather over

forest and water, and for every person
the body glowing inside the clothes
like a light.

Next time / From now on I’m working on following the example set by my precious friend R.

photographs from the Smoke Works series by Mehmet Ozgur/ poem Next Time by Mary Oliver

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A wedding...


recycled lampshades at Flossy and Mr You's wedding feast

Well that heading got your attention didn't it. No it's not mine. I’m not usually a weddingy person and don’t have any intention of starring in one but just reading about Flossy P and Mr You's wedding has been so lovely that I got inspired to do a little wedding post. I highly recommend heading over to Flossy's place, taking a pew, and enjoying the wedding. You'll go away feeling uplifted - and with fabulous decorating ideas as well.


all under $50, from top left clockwise: 1. maternity bridal gown from lady elizabeth designs 2. vintage pink with shawl collar from dollyrocker vintage 3. vintage green formal dress from yellow dog vintage 4. girls attendant dress from the bitsy bean 5. short white dress from aptvwt 6. short maroon velvet dress from sunny sunday vintage 7. caramel velvet from popettes 8. cream long sleeved vintage dress from nod to mod vintage 9. floral halter from the grace boutique 10. mens jacket from vintage suits 11. square neck black dress from vintage suits 12. black halter from nicole kimberley

So, for my wedding post I gave myself the challenge of staying at $50 or under for clothing or accessories. There were so many fabulous inexpensive ‘gowns’ and men's outfits to be had on Etsy. Or you could just skip the new outfit and wear any old thing coupled with one of these accessories and nobody would notice the outfit.


all under $50, from top left clockwise: 1. earrings from realisation creations 2. lace belt from chez kevito 3. black lace necklace from white owl 4. poppy necklace from luxe deluxe 5. veil from mariso lapiricio 6. peacock hair clip from nyjole jewellery