Thursday, 27 December 2012

Greenery Galore

I hope you all had a safe and happy Christmas.  All went well for us.  But as per usual, after it had all died down and the the relatives went home, I got a bit reflective on 2012 as a whole.  And you know was a pretty brilliant year family and work wise :)  
The only glitch was the realisation that I got so wrapped up in trying to find a balance between work and family that my home got a bit neglected.  Not the nuts a bolts of the place - things like cleaning, maintenance etc, but the feel of home and being home.  So much time was spent moving from one thing to another that needed doing, going to work, juggling kids activities and a whole lot of everyday things that some of the things that I use to dream about doing at home just got forgotten.  So as 2013 draws near, I thing a to-do -list is in order.  Not that I am going to bore you here with that list (not yet anyway)  but one of the things that will be on the list is get the rusty old green thumb back into working order.
As I have previously posted here, I started a balcony veggie garden awhile back, so here are some update pics.  I have a decent backyard that with some (read *a lot*) of work could be a really lovely place, so stay tuned.

 Pots, pots and more pots, plus a large styrofoam box.  Most of the vegies have been grown from seed. 

 Tomatoes, capsicum strawberries and parsley

 Cherry tomatoes and capsicums

 Oregano and parsley

Saturday, 22 December 2012

I was just doodling......honest!!!

With all of the orders out of the way and all of Christmas organised, I thought I would treat myself and just sit for a while and doodle - as per usual,my doodle had a life of its own and ended up an A4 size image that I was really happy with.

I really enjoyed adding all of the patterns inside the outlines so thought I would do another one.  Here is how it progressed.

The first step is to get the idea out of my head and onto paper.  I used a compass to make the outline of the design and then filled it in with flowers, leaves, swirls and the bird. 

I use fine line markers to go over the pencil design and then rub the pencil lines out.  Then the fun begins as I add the details and patterns.  For some reason, I always do the leaves first and the large flowers last.

Until I actually put pen to paper I don't have a specific idea of what patterns are going to work where, I just go with the flow.

And this is the finished work.  I think it would work well as a print or even an image on a T-shirt. What do you think?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

White Christmas anyone?

What do you do when all of the Christmas orders are done and all out the door?  You down the pencils and have a bit more family, home and getting ready for Christmas time.  Well, that is what I have been doing over the last week or so.  The Christmas presents are all bought, made and wrapped and the neglected housework is all (almost) caught up on.  And yes, I will admit there has still been some drawing happening, but just doodles (really!!!)

My nine year old and I made a HUGE batch of White Christmas and then divided it up, put it in really cute plastic noodle boxes and gave it as Christmas presents.  Below is a photo and recipe for it but no photo of it in the decorated noodle boxes as they flew out the door quicker than I could pick up the camera - sorry, maybe next year :)  I found it a great recipe for us to do together, as she did all of the measuring and mixing, and all I did was melt and pour the copha.  She had a huge smile when she gave it as gifts and informed everyone that she had made it.

250gm Copha
2 cups Rice Bubbles
1 cup coconut
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup mixed fruit
1 cup icing sugar

Melt copha, then add to other mixed ingredients, mix well, set in tin in the fridge for a couple of hours.  Cut into squares when set.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Green, green and green

I did the happy dance around the lounge room this afternoon (the cat thought it was funny!!)  Why, because I finished all of my pre Christmas orders and on Monday the final one will be out the door.

I have loved the chance you wonderful people have given me to create for you.  And I have been completely blown away with the amount of my work that has sold prior to Christmas.  Who would have thought that 40 of my diaries would have found new homes over a space of two months.  So to all of you I say a very big THANK YOU.

On the flip side, I now have just 10 days to make presents for my family and friends :)  But I think that deserves a post of its own later in the week.  

The calendar below is one I did just for the fun of it and the colours were inspired by Nina at Hoopla (Creations) Not her style, but a comment she made about a previous post on facebook.  This one is created using just three shades of green.  Then I used fine line markers to add the details and decorations.  I was thinking of doing another image, just using pinks, or purples, or blues get the idea lol

First I print the calendar part onto scrapbooking paper and then used lead pencil to draw the design on.

The design is drawn over with fine line marker and then the colours are added.  In this case, 3 layers of different greens.

  Once the colouring in is done, the decorations are added over the top with fine line marker.

  And there you have it, another calendar all finished :)  I like this design, as much as I love drawing flowers, I did enjoy not having some on this one.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Reading anyone?

Do you like to read?  I love it.  It is a carry anywhere form of escapism that fills in time while waiting on kids, a quiet interlude before dropping off to sleep at night and something that my whole family is really into.  So I was super excited when Rachel over at the lovely Little White Dove blog announced her 13 in 13 reading challenge.  Just click on the link or the grab button on my side bar to join in the fun.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Tweet Tweet

Oh what fun!!  I put down the pencils last night and dusted off the jewellery making bits and bobs 

I made some really small love birds out of polymer clay a couple of months ago and finally made them up into earrings.  I think they turned out to be pretty cute.
If you would like a pair they are for sale here on my facebook page.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Garden Dreams

I got to thinking a while ago about all the spare time I would have once the creative Christmas rush was over and what I might like to do with that spare time - You know all that spare time you have once you have worked 5 days a week and looked after a family!!!!

I wanted something that would get me out of my work area and sitting for long periods of time.  Something not too expensive, and also something that would interest at least one other member of my family.  So inspired by Rhonda at Down to Earth, a small collection of other lovely bloggers, and my husband complaining about the cost of tomatoes, I thought vegie gardening might be interesting.  

We have a largish back yard, but most of it is in the shade most of the day, so that wasn't going to work.  I also had to restrain myself and not go overboard and make it a bigger undertaking than it needed to be.  So vegie growing in pots on the balcony was the winner.

 I already had some pots tucked away in the shed, so all I had to purchase was some potting mix and seeds. Seeds aren't as instant as seedlings, but they are a lot cheaper and so much more fun.  And the really big bonus was that my 9 year old has taken a big interest in it all as well :)

These are my little baby tomatoes just starting to stick their heads above the soil.

And these snow peas were my first failure.  Since this pic was taken all but two have passed away :(

This was the plant that started it all off.  It was a school project
that survived long enough to make it home and thrive.  Just waiting for the tomatoes to ripen.

Cherry tomatoes and capsicum in one pot.  Another week and the capsicum will be ready.  We love them in salad.

The 9 year old and I go out in the afternoons to water them, check on them and see how they are going.  It only takes about 10 minutes but we both find it really enjoyable.  And it is thrilling to sit down and eat a salad that has a few things in it that you have grown.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Giveaway Winner!!!!!

A very big thank you to everyone who entered my latest giveaway and for all of your lovely comments.  I wish I could sent you all a calendar, but as they say, there can only be one winner.  And the winner is......

Mrs Lucky from Home of Homemade Treasures......Congratulations!!!!!  If you could please contact me, we can arrange delivery :)

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Christmas Gift Giveaway? (or keep it for yourself)


Yes I know, you don't hear from me for a week and then it is 2 posts in one night :)  But I promised a giveaway just over 900 pageviews ago and I thought it was about time I delivered.  So here it is......

This giveaway is for a 2013 hand drawn and hand coloured Sugarbird Calendar.  It is A4 size and uses fine line marker and colour pencil on acid free paper.  This calendar would make a lovely (and practical) addition to any fridge, office or work space wall.  It would make a great Christmas gift for someone you love or as a special gift to yourself.

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post.  I will randomly pick a winner and announce who that is next Tuesday evening (4th December 2012)  This giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Busy busy busy......

The next person to tell me how long it is until Christmas will see me running away screaming!!!  It can't nearly be Christmas, I am just far to busy and I am so not ready.

I am still working on orders, all of the diaries are finished and have found good homes, but I am still working on calendars and love birds.

And the spring cleaning was still plodding along nicely until I started on my work area........and then it came to a grinding halt.  Who knew there was so much "stuff" in such a small space.  But I do have to get it finished, because I think my family aren't too happy with me turning the lounge room into a craft room in the mean time :)  

Here are some of the things I have been working on over the last week....

 Lotus Birds Notebook

Purple Petals Calendar 

 Spring cleaning my work area - it is an on going progress 

 Field of Flowers

Pencils, pencils,pencils - what a beautiful sight. The ones at the bottom of the shot are my new ones and they just look too pretty to use :)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Last post for 2013 Diaries

Yes, I can hear that sigh of relief and I know that there are only so many diary covers that I can bore you with.  But I must say that I am pretty impressed, very happy and so grateful to you wonderful people. 

You see, a few months ago I ordered 40 blank diaries, to put my original drawings on the covers of.  I thought at the time that I was being optimistic, but hey, at the worst all of my family would get diaries for Christmas!!!  

But amazingly, as of this week, they have all sold.  I still have a few orders to finish and then they will all be gone to their new homes.  It has been a lot of fun designing and colouring them and just as much fun working with you wonderful people to give you the images you want.

So as the final (I hope) diary post, I thought I would show you some of my favourite ones :)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Roll on 2013

No, I am not wishing my life away......but I have been spending a lot of creative time lately working on diaries and calendars for next year, so I thought I would share some of the calendars with you.   They are a lot of fun to make and I am going through colour pencils at a great rate of knots.  I have just ordered some new ones and I can't wait to get them.  Is it weird for a forty something woman to be eagerly waiting for her colour pencils to arrive????

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Quirky Cats

My spring cleaning is still on track and at the moment I am knee deep in the 13 year old's room - yuk!!  And as promised I am not going to bore you with the details.......

I am still working on orders, which is so great.  I now have 4 diaries and 1 calendar to go.  But I had to take a break from them last night because there was an image running around in my head that just HAD TO come out.   It was inspired by Ms Midge's cat post, which you can read here.
I am really happy with it and think the cats are quite cute, especially with their hearts and tails :)  What do you think?

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Spring Clean...the beginning

So, what do I do when I am not being a Mum, a wife, an employee or an obsessive crafter?  Well, at this time of the year I do what my mother taught me to do........I spring clean the house!!!  

But this year with limited time, energy and enthusiasm I am changing the way I do it.  Instead of spending a whole weekend (or two)  up to my eyeballs in dust and stuff I didn't even remember I had, I am doing one part (not even one room) each evening.  I know that as a whole it will take longer to do, but each part gets a really good going over and it doesn't seem like a never ending chore or bore.

I obviously won't blogger bore you with every evenings cleaning (I can hear that sigh of relief from here) but I did want to share the start with you.

                                  Before                                                                        After

This is my bedroom wardrobe.  I am very fortunate, and appreciative to have a Mum who makes beautiful quilts, so we have a HUGE collection of them.  It took a lot of man handling and a step ladder  to get them all sorted out.  The kids, rather wisely< fled the house when they saw the step ladder :)

These are the quilts for our bed, and the 9 year old's bed.  The 13 year old's quilts are in another wardrobe in another room.  I will (eventually) get to them.

                      Before                                         Before                                              After

Now, as long as no one needs a quilt for the next year, this is how the wardrobe will stay.......not likely I know, but I can dream.  

I am planning on starting in the kitchen tonight, and as promised I won't share that with you.  After all, how exciting can egg cups and (empty) muffin trays be?????

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Hoot Hoot

Owls......why does everyone love owls (including me)?  I don't know the answer, but I am really glad that they do because they are so much fun to draw and colour.  Here is my latest calendar and it has not one, but two owls on it!!  Each petal and feather have up to 4 layers of colour on them and then they are each blended with an overlay of white pencil.  This method is extremely labour intensive, by well worth the effort.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Not a diary post

I kid you will not see a single diary image in this post.
Instead let me show you the first of 6 calendars I have just finished.  I started making calendars last year because I needed one for my desk at work and as per usual it just all went from there.  I think, from memory, I ended up making about  12 last year.  Some went to friends as Christmas presents, but most got sold.  I like to think of them as practical artwork to brighten up anywhere you want to put them :)

This one is called Citrus Birds......I hope you like it.  The colours just seem to pop and are very vibrant.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Linda's Order

Woo Hoo!!!  Another order all finished and ready to go.  And yes, it is MORE diaries.  I have 5 more to do and them (maybe) I will have finished all of the orders that I have.
I still have 9 blank diaries here if anyone would like one :)  Or I will be decorating them and putting them in my madeit shop, for those who would like one, but not sight unseen :)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Christmas shopping anyone?

Hello and welcome to the final x amount of weeks before Christmas!!!  Are you excited or just plain scared!!!! 
In the interest of your sanity please let me remind you that I have handmade goodies available for sale at very reasonable prices in my madeit store :)  I would love for you to pop by and have a visit :)

Or if you are mega organised and are making your own presents I also have craft supplies available in my craftumi store :) 

Here are some of the things available and I have now finished self promoting for today - it is hard work and I am not very good at it lol

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