Wednesday 28 July 2010

I'm still here.....

Hi everyone,

The past couple of weeks have been quite busy and worrisome with life in general, doctor's visits and a trip to hospital emergency which resulted in Brad ending up in hospital overnight.  Some weird things going on there. For reasons we don't know, Bradley can no longer carry a cup of tea from the kitchen bench to the dining table (just under 3 metres away) without his right leg going all weak, shaky and then stiffening up to the point where he feels it is not going to support him.  Bear in mind, he has been carrying cups of tea for years with no problems at all.  The odd thing is that, as soon as the cup of tea is taken from him, his leg starts to return to normal and all is well again. It does seem to be an intermittent thing too although it happens more often than not. Brad has a few tests lined up via the Neurologist including an MRI of the brain.  We are all praying that it is something minor and treatable.

I finally plucked up the courage to draw in one of my new Moleskine journals.

I've never used a Moleskine journal before but I noticed that many art journalists praised them so I just had to get me some too.  I LOVE THEM!

I have been getting some more art done on Pay It Forward gifts but I can't post pics yet because I want it to be a surprise for the next recipient, however, I can show you how much I've progressed with the baby shawl I'm crocheting for Michelle's baby.  Michelle has recently started a blog to record her journey through pregnancy so, if you are interested in popping over to say HI, here is the link - Where the Heart Is.  I know she would love to hear from you.

I've very happy with how much I've done so far.

I've fallen behind in reading everyone's blogs but I plan to catch up over the coming days.
I can't wait to see what's been happening in your world ~ :)

~ Love, light and peace ~

Saturday 17 July 2010

Another Pay It Forward gift received

It's been a fairly busy week with a few doctor's appointments and car repairs thrown into the mix so I haven't had a lot of time to post, visit blogs, or get any art done for that matter.  Maybe in the coming week things will calm down a little.

A few days ago, Tabitha let me know that she received her gift from me.

Tabitha told me that her favourite flower was the daisy so I painted a small daisy canvas for her.
That little daisy notepad has a little pen/pencil that slots into the spine area....too cute.
As with the last Pay It Forward I painted, I took some progress pics of the painting process.

I used some Atelier Binding Medium to adhere some decorative paper to the canvas
then blocked in the petals of the daisy with several layers of gesso.
I also washed a little Pthalo Blue over the paper to push it back a bit.

I did some shading and detailing on the petals,
roughly patted in the daisy centre and
deepened the top left and bottom right corners of the background

I painted in details on the daisy centre, added some highlights to the petals, and deepened the shading closest to the flower centre.  I also darkened some of the liner-work on certain petals to add more definition.

Another wash over the whole background and
some fine-tuning on the daisy

Tabitha focuses a lot on being grateful on her blog so I added the word GRATITUDE. I also rubbed some Jo Sonja Burnt Umber around the edges to kinda frame it and it's also what I painted on the sides of the canvas.
Daisy - acrylics/mixed media - 6"x6" gallery wrapped canvas
© Serena Lewis

Sorry about the blurriness in some of the photos, it was really tough trying to get decent photos at all as we were having very overcast days at the time. I don't use the camera flash when photographing art as it washes out colours but any slight movement will cause blurriness.  I could have set up an tripod, I guess, but I was either too keen to get onto the next stage of painting or too lazy...take your pick.  Anywhoo, I hope you enjoyed seeing the painting process.  Three down, three to go......there were only five Pay It Forward recipients in the challenge but, as I received interest from six people, I decided to gift the sixth person also.  This person said she loved the idea of Paying It Forward so much that she intended to Pay It Forward whether she was chosen or not which I thought was very sweet.

Today, I'm hoping to get some more art done as well as some sketching in my journals.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

~ Love, light and peace ~

Monday 12 July 2010

Have you ever bought a novel purely because of the cover?

Call me crazy but I have....

A couple of years ago, I spotted this set of books for sale but it was actually the artwork on the covers that sold me on them.   I guess I should apologise to the author because I didn't even look at the summaries until later at home.
The author - Arlene J Chai - was born in Manila and migrated to Australia in 1982.
The cover illustrations on her first three books were done by Julie Quinlivan.

I recently finished reading, The Last Time I saw Mother, and I was quite impressed! 
It is the story of Caridad, a woman given away as a child and whose past has been denied her.  It is the story of three keepers of the truth, each of whom failed to keep her.  The telling of their stories threatens the fragile ties that hold these women together and yet they find, to their amazement, the healing power of truth.

I am now reading - Eating Fire and Drinking Water - and it's already off to an interesting start.
This story is told through the eyes of reporter, Clara Perez, who went to Calle de Leon to report a story but found herself caught up in another story and discovered her missing history in the process.
This is the story of a country whose people eat fire and drink water, and of an oppressive regime whose decline is foretold by the singing of the river.
It is about how one man's act of kindness changes the lives of many, and of a woman who bleeds from the wounds of Christ and a man whose name is Pride; a leader corrupted by power, a colonel who is an artist of pain, and charismatic young man who dies only to live again.
So far, I have found Arlene J. Chai's novels to have a wonderful sense of depth, interesting and heart-wrenching historical facts and a good storyline.  I'm glad I have finally made time to read them.

Do you have any books that have just been sitting on a shelf for far too long waiting to be read?

~ Love, light and peace ~

Thursday 8 July 2010

The baby blanket/shawl is under way...

As promised, here are some pics of the baby shawl I have started crocheting for Michelle's baby due in December. 

This is the blanket/shawl pattern I am following.  I have kept this pattern book for over 27 years now as I made a few different baby things from it for Michelle and her brothers when they were babies.  It makes me so happy that I am now making something for my first grandchild from this very same book.

Michelle chose baby yellow for the colour because, as yet, we don't know what sex the baby is.

~ Love, light and peace ~

Wednesday 7 July 2010

A quick sketch in pen

My sketch journals have been calling to me for days now but I just hadn't managed the time to give them any attention.  Yesterday, I couldn't ignore the call any longer so I grabbed one of the magazines my Mum had left for me to read the other day and browsed the pages looking for something to draw.  I'm not comfortable drawing people but that's what I ended up sketching....practise makes perfect, right?   I am beginning to enjoy working without a pencil and I'm hoping it will help me loosen up a bit with my drawings.  Shading with pen is quite a challenge but I hope to improve on that too.  Too big a chin, nose too's far from perfect but I was happy that I had filled another page in my art journal and I really liked how the hair turned out.  I so want to get into the habit of daily drawing!
Pencil Free sketch in A5 sketchbook
just a tad coloured pencil was used on the cheek and lips

Today, I started to crochet a baby blanket for my first grandchild due December 21st and will post pics of my progress tomorrow.

~ Love, light and peace ~

Sunday 4 July 2010

An apology to Eden from guilt-ridden me

There I was browsing through the photo files on my computer this morning when I paused to admire a pic I had taken of a Giveaway I had won on Eden's blog a few months ago.   Wait a minute...I had thanked Eden privately when I received the gift but I suddenly realised that I had unintentionally neglected to post about it on my blog.  I'm so sorry, Eden.....I know you never expected a shout-out but I always like to acknowledge such generosity on my blog and I felt terrible that I had let this one slip past me.   So, I guess it's better late than never, right?

Eden's blog is so full of colour and inspiration and well worth a visit. As a matter of fact, I will be popping over there as soon as I've finished this post.

From the giveaway, I won a beautifully designed 'word' of my choosing.
I chose the word - JOY - isn't it gorgeous?!!

Eden was so generous as to enclose an extra word which
suited me perfectly - ART!

I love them and keep them both pinned on the inspiration board in my bedroom so that...

...each morning when I wake, I am reminded to keep joy and art alive in my life.


~ love, light and peace ~