Sunday, May 31, 2015

Winter Days - A reminder that it's not all grey

It's easy for me to fall into gloom when the weather turns grey and the days get short. So I'm making a reminder that winter isn't all bleak and dark. I will try to remember to come and look at this when the hair on the back of my neck rises, warning that that damn black dog is creeping up behind me.

 On a crisp morning the sun rises promising a beautiful day.

 The frost outlines the grasses
 and keeps the bees inside their hives.
 I love the way the frost draws me in to notice the shapes and patterns, suddenly unfamiliar.

 The nasturtiums are not so enthusiastic,
 and my hands are gloved for the first time this winter.
 I love our view of Mt Karioi
 and even when it's cloud covered, I can still see it in my mind.
 Colour - the blues and greens, lemon-yellow and guava-red.
 Fifteen minutes drive away, my favourite place to walk - Ngarunui Beach.


 Then a trip to the farm in Waitetuna for our weekly milk supply.
 Home, to be greeted by the pukeko family
 who insist they have right of way.

 First year the camellias have flowered - so perfect.
And another glorious day over.

The black dog cannot approach when I hold this glory in my heart.

Monday, May 4, 2015

April Reading

It's been a while since I wrote about what I've been reading - mostly it's been craft books. And I now have another pile of those sitting, waiting to be browsed.


Rachael's Gift by Alexandra Cameron
Rachael is 14 and a 'gifted' artist, but also a gifted liar. When Rachael accuses her art teacher of sexual misconduct, Rachael and her parents, Camille and Wolfe, are drawn into a deepening web of distrust and confusion. Set in Australia and Paris, the story encompasses the secrets and lies of four generations and, for me at least, a surprising ending. Worth a read.

Stonemouth by Ian Banks
Having heard Ian Banks mentioned a number of times at my book club, when I saw one at the local library I had to try it. I found it to be well written, and despite the world of Stewart Gilmour being one I have never had connection to in any way, believable. However, it is a bleak and sordid world, and although it was satisfying in the way a well written book is, it left me with a feeling of grey dreariness.


The Artist Unique: Inspiration and techniques to discover your creative signature by Carmen Torbus
I had this book out of the library several times and found it so inspiring and helpful I finally bought it. It includes the work of seventeen artists whose favourite techniques are explained in detail. There are workshops' to help you, and details of material. I love this book!

Making an Impression: Designing and Creating Artful Stamps by Geninne D Zlatkis

I think I may have to buy this book too - I love it, and this woman's work to the degree that I am following both her blog and her Facebook page. Her stamps are gorgeous and she shows how to make them. My main problem is that I can find only one shop selling over-sized erasers, and even that has only one size. I've been having lots of fun with erasers and lino cutting tools.