Saturday, February 27, 2016

52 in 52 - Book 9 - The Princess Bride - S. Morgenstern, abridged by William Goldman

Ok! The Princess Bride is one of my favourite movies ever! And u was a little sad when I picked up this book and found it was abridged, what had they done?! But!! I quickly discovered that the movie was only the way it is because of the abridging! 

A classic tale of true love and high adventure. I loved it. Easy read, good fun. I love it and want to watch the movie again now! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Life Left Behind

Not only have I read The Life Left Behind by the one and only Edith Copeman, but I'm seeing more and more people read this book, I'm so proud and excited! 
The Nort West Telegraph did a write up in today's paper! 

Thank you to Courtney Fowler for the great article! 

So by all accounts, you should grab a copy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

52 in 52 - Book 8 - The Best Yes - Lysa Terkeurst

This book has taken me a bit longer to read, it's so meaty and I really feel like I need to read it again and again to glean every last bit of wisdom from it so that I may live my best life. 

Wise decisions in the midst of endless demands is certainly something that we need to do more of in the face of our endless schedules and FOMO (fear of missing out) mentalities. About 250 pages, but every single one challenges our normal decision making processes and really start to live our best yes- not overdo life, not say yes from guilt or fear, not say no for selfishness or laziness, but to analyse each and every decision, and consider all possible outcomes. 
Highly recommend this book, I will read it again and hope to have it around to look back at for many years to come! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Douglas Kirsop painting workshop

I was both excited and nervous to take Douglas' workshop at the Port Hedland Courthouse Galley on the 6th and 7th of Feb, having never had success with water colour paints, it was daunting, but I am very keen to learn new skills and further my abilities in all areas. So along I went and loved it!
We spent quite a bit of time watching, listening, and observing the techniques used. We played with colours, colour mixing, and the power of white gouache to stabilise and solidify a colour when the painting is too wet and the colours keep bleeding. 
Our first afternoon we had an attempt at copying what we could see in Douglas' paintings, something that took a lot more skill than expected, the base colours are used as a wash, then the light colours need to be laid down first, with increasing layers of darker and stronger pigment. I was fortunate enough to have quite a bit of help with the composition, after a bit of a shaky start... I learnt the importance of sketching, it's a map that holds the composition where it needs to be. 
West further work can be done once I have purchased my own water colours, this is the piece I ended up with...

Early morning outing on Sunday to sketch and watch Douglas paint what he could see, in the same way he would as a 'sketch' for an oil painting of a landscape, it allows colour, shadow, light, and tone to be captured as a reminder for when you aren't in front of the subject. We got some great photos, but the experience of being there was really beneficial. 

So the painting I came up with....

I'm pretty happy with it, I wasn't overly happy at the time, but as it dried, and I took some time, I am now quite happy, I really am looking forward to forming a habit of making a water colour sketch before painting, I'm sure it will increase my technical ability and make for more beautiful and exciting paintings. 

I am also looking into the possibility of studying under one of the artists I truly admire the work of, Sarah Nightingale. I would really like to have my art space set up properly first, as Skype lessons will require lots of effort on my part, and her teaching deserves me to be the best I can be. 

I am really excited about all 2016 will hold, it has already been pretty incredible.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

52 in 52 - Book 7 - The Life Left Behind - Edith Copeman

I was privileged enough to be the first one to read the first draft of this book, written by none other than my sister. My real-life-author, little sister. I am so proud of her. I read this as a ebook from iBooks, but it's also available to order online as a paperback or beautiful hardcover book.

This book tells a fictional tale on a very non-fictional topic - Mental Health. In Australia, and from what I understand many other countries and cultures around the world, mental health is stigmatised enormously. This actually exacerbates many mental health issues, balloons the issue quickly as the person doesn't feel they can get help to deal with it without judgement or being ostracised by those they love... And often times they are right.

The Life Left Behind covers addiction, depression, anxiety, guilt, and much more. I know more than a couple of John Green books grace the author's library, and his very raw and relatable style is echoed as the characters come to life on her pages. 

I wouldn't give this book to a child or young teen, but I urge everyone else to read it. We need to embrace those around us who need our help, and that means the mental health stigma needs to go. There is no place for it. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Farewell with Water Dreaming

 In a transient town, it's always sad to see people go, but even more so when it's been more than a few years that they have been around. 
We said see you later to our friend, Brad's boss, who has made it to over 4.5yrs, but needs to be in the city with her family, so unfortunately that means saying goodbye. 

With my beautiful Nina ready to go, I (last minute, of course) decided it was not proper if she left town without a beautiful purse, it's almost tradition as her boss received one too! 
So late night fabric stash raiding, turning the place upside down to find enough supplies (mental note: write down what you've run out of... Saves time when searching... And frustration when ordering...) 
And the wheels were in motion. Life doesn't get any less busy just because you decide to make a thing... Oh no, it's still full of commitments. So there were a couple of frustrating late nights in which I was far too tired to do anything very productive, but I did get the fabrics cut out. For some, that's the hardest bit. 

I ordered two fabrics from Alice Springs a couple of years ago, both Indigenous artwork prints. They are stunning, this one is called Water Dreaming. And the blue/purple is the remainder from another purse lining... Just enough, but it was such a stunning contrast! 

I had my first upset bobbin with Nina, making loops upon loops of thread, without the bobbin thread being engaged at all... I must have been too frustrated at the time because when I went back to it later it was an easy fix. 

So off we went, Nina proving that her price tag was testament to her quality, she is lovely to sew with. In "no time" it was coming together! 

Another decision- which purse closure to use?! Boyfriend to the rescue! He chose one that looked great, however it worked differently than any other closure I had inserted, and required the cutting of a much larger hole in the purse... Never something easy to do when it's practically finished and looking amazing...

But while I was cutting, fray-checking, glueing, and screwing, Brad was cooking dinner. This is powerful motivation to finish the job! 

So I present to you, NCW number 37: 

Front - you can see the lock folds down (usually I use twist-locks)

Inside. The colours came together beautifully. 

And beautiful Vron, you will be missed! 


Thursday, February 11, 2016


My birthday and Christmas came all at once when Mum and Dad decided they would like to buy me... A sewing machine! Mum has always had Bernina machines, and my Elna was made almost a decade before I was born, so a little upgrade is VERY EXCITING! 

She has yet to be named, I had a little play yesterday, however most of my sewing room is in boxes at present! 

Out came the scrap bag and a little wool pouch. I played with the stitch settings and she sews like a dream. A couple of orders have already come through for this year, as well as one that needs finishing from last year, so she's going to be a busy little machine! 

I'm so excited for all that this year holds. 
God bless!