Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sketchy progress.

I have decided to make Friday or Saturday night 'blog night'. It is a chance for me to reflect on the week and by writing things down I can hopefully quantify what I have achieved rather than thinking of all the things that I haven't finished yet. I did spend some time this week on a new black and white drawing but most of the week was taken up with admin and computer stuff as I continue to work out how to reproduce my work and then package it. I narrowed down my choice of 12 kinds of paper to two that I really want to work with. Firstly, I have chosen a bamboo paper which is only 10% cotton and 90% bamboo and I think I will use this for colour prints. For the black and white prints I have chosen the Hahnemuhle Museum etching paper. In all honesty the prints probably look better than the originals.
So I ordered more paper and was strangely nervous doing so. I have spent thousands of dollars over the years buying silver and other materials to make jewellery and yet spending a couple of hundred dollars on paper felt very indulgent and for a minute or two the old doubt bug crept in and I wondered if I would end up with a stack of very expensive paper that I would end up having to cut into squares to write phone messages on.

Pushing that feeling of doubt aside, I have moved on to retouching the scanned images for the drawings I have from last year just to remove the odd specs of dust that sneak in; so soon, very soon I may have something new to put into my etsy shop. Next week I will have to work out postage costs and order supplies for packaging and hopefully above all else try and finish my first little black and white for the year. I will finish here and upload some of my sketchy progress.

Floating and thinking.

A good few years ago now, I was very devoted to attending yoga classes. At one stage I even had all the paperwork ready to begin the yoga teacher training course. But life got filled up with many other things and although I have practiced on and off it hasn't been consistent. I started this new year enthusiastically trying to do a little each morning and while it is often only 5 minutes and sometimes ends with a little one jumping on top of me, it feels good to stretch and begin to reverse my stiff and hunched posture that has started to set in after cradling babies and doing not much more than general household chores and strolls to the supermarket for the last 3 years.

When I first began doing yoga, I was purely interested in the physical benefits and didn't realize how good it would be for the mind as well. This is one of the things I have missed most I think. Today, I spent some time in my parent's swimming pool and after a few laps, discovering how very unfit I am, I simply lay back on the floating foam tubes that we had been playing with earlier and just gazed up at the big blue sky. There was a tall gum tree in the neighbours backyard and the sun was shining on the white branches and I was just looking at the shapes the leaves were making as they were clumped together. Later, my husband commented to me that floating had been good thinking time and it had been. And for me it was also a short time to quiten my mind from everything it is filled with. And it felt good. It reminded me we need to take that time out even if it is only short. So while the weather is warm I hope to do more floating and thinking and then thinking nothing at all...

Saturday, January 22, 2011


What can I say? Progress is slow but there is progress at least and my goal is to achieve more than I did the previous week.

I am venturing into the 2D world. A few kind people (naturally family and friends) have said "make prints"! It feels like it should just be a case of pushing two buttons: scan and print. But it is not that simple. In creating a print I am trying to create something that is as close as possible to the original and maintains the same essence. So with the help of my husband I have spent my week photo scanning, document scanning, and photographing original drawings to compare the digital data and the subtle differences that each method produces. In addition, I have 12 different varieties of beautiful Hahnemuhle fine art paper to choose from to print on! I then need to consider how I will package these prints and the cost to ship to different countries. It all takes time.

I am not feeling extremely confident with the work I have done so far but I keep moving forward with the line in my head that , "everyone starts somewhere. There will be room for improvement. I have also managed a little time to work on a new drawing this week. IT has basically gone from a small thumbnail to pulling that apart and trying hard to work on each section. I hope to have more to show by next week.

And the loveliest progress of all this week: a little sale to a friend in Melbourne. I think it would be nice to keep a little world map pinpointed with all the places my jewellery has found homes.

And so one step at a time I keep on going....

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Yes it is mid January already - about the time I realize that the new year has started and it is time to get moving on all the well intentioned goals I have for the year. I have begun the year with renewed enthusiasm, renewed inspiration and renewed motivation. About a week into the new year however I realized that in fact I have been given no extra time to work on all the things I want to achieve. In fact with all the out of the ordinary outings and visits plus the stretched evenings with daylight savings enticing us outdoors in the evening for a stroll or playground visit - the little ones have been going to bed way too late and I actually seem to have less time than usual. So I have decided I have to make more efficient use of the time I do have and remain focused on what I want to do.

One of the things than greatly inhibits the progress of my Etsy shop is the fact that almost every piece I have made is different or a very limited production so that requires me to photograph every single piece and write a different description for each. I did study photography at uni but it was neither my favourite or best subject and while I enjoy looking at other people's photos I find it a real chore to take them myself. I have been very lucky to be married to a professional photographer who helps me incredibly with this side of things but my etsy shop is something that I want to do without taking away his time for other things he needs to be doing.

So one of my favourite things to do is look through all the photos we have stored on the computer and sometimes I am lucky enough to come across one that I have forgotten that my husband has taken that I can use for my Etsy shop. Such was the case this week when I found my rather poor images of a moon pendant I had made a while ago and then came across an image shot with stars in the background that Hiro-san had taken for me which I could use to list a new item. Yay! My Etsy shop was barely breathing when I checked in on it at the start of the year but with continued effort I hope to bring it back to life.
Happy New Year. I hope it is a great year for all.