TumbleDowns is on-line!

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A couple of you have expressed interest in seeing this so here is the link http://www.tumbledowns.co.nz/  It is not quite finished as I still have items to list but it’s up and running 🙂

I am very fortunate to have a most lovely niece and her hubby who did this all for their most hopelessly computer illiterate Aunty who has had them redoing everything she has tried to do herself. Gem and Dave, if you are reading, huge hugs and thanks for your most generous giving of time and skills…and never-ending patience xx

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Times are a’changing at Quarteracre!

All the best laid plans! We had a 3 year plan for what we wanted to do here but they have just become 3 month plans as Roger quit his job today, he finishes at the end of next week. No, he didn’t get the job he went for but he sorely needed to because he has had well and truly enough of his present one. I could go into the ins-and-outs but no need or desire to.

So our three year plan was 1) Wendy wants to make her soaps and stuff and sell them – she is on plan for this. 2) Within 3 – 6 months have the property set up for private precious pup boarding – we can have 3 at a time but only want two. 3) We ideally would like to earn an income from funked up junk but never get time to actually settle to this – the plan was for Roger to go down to part-time work in a year or so to help achieve this and hopefully open a cottage shop in 3 years at our home. Well…….!

Roger will be unemployed next week and I will continue to work part time, he will advertise to get contact work locally, just part-time AND h-o-p-e-f-u-l-l-y between us we can earn enough to pay the bills 🙂 We have food and are pretty skilled at living on little! Roger is well known in the area for his ability to kill gorse which I hate because it’s spraying chemical all day but it’s needed here, it’s the right season and we are hoping he can get enough odd farm work to get us through. He could go out and look for full time work but we have decided maybe we should just back ourselves and have confidence our plans will work for us. I shall keep you posted! lol I know it seems crazy in today’s climate but at the end of the day we want to make our place work for us and be our own bosses…that’s what we want.

A website will be set up for us and off we go, into the wide open… and unknown!

This is what I have been doing recently and what our home is starting to look like 🙂

Dandelions, kowhai flowers picked for infusing and forget-me-nots for pressing for packaging

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There are always petals drying in the front window and jars of somethings sitting in the sunlight

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Pansies and forget- me- nots being pressed into a jeweelery making book but how pretty the picture turned out!

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A corner of the hall I just spied

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Trialing Lotion Bars made with beeswax and the Camelia petal infused oil

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Lemon and Poppy Seed Soap, Rose-hip soap and Rosemary, Lavender and Sweet Orange Shampoo Bars

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Mark 11 trial of Rose and Frankincense Moisturiser which is gorgeous 🙂 (Excuse photo quality)IMG_3983

So, within a month or so I hope to be up and running. I have so many ideas I am nearly popping with brilliance lol. But for a girl who actually just likes making these things quietly enjoying her own company and hates being “out there” this is a brave move, one which involves much courage and confidence and feels rather scary, So WISH ME LUCK PLEASE!!!! lol

Projects and Happy Mail :)

I seem to be forever posting this past two weeks….nothing for months then too many.

The first thing I need to do is say “THANK YOU so much” to the dear, sweet blogging friend (who wishes to remain nameless) who trolled my site to get a link for a family member’s lavender farm and sent these as a most lovely gift. I am not sure what I did to deserve such a pressy but what a gorgeous surprise, I am truly touched. Big,big hugs to you know who you are 🙂

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I finished the bird house and Roger added a couple of old wood and cast iron handrails around it. These had been lying around for years.

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I am still working on these and will show before and afters when finished. Loving the map drawers 🙂

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Last weekend we went to a couple of garage sales. One was a tumbly down old garage full of boxes and old crates of all sorts of man stuff. But I did see some boxes I needed. Roger filled them with junk handy stuff to have and asked for a price. Only $10 for the lot. See the one in the bottom corner, it ended up in the basement and I need to find it, it’s fantastic (if you love old boxes)

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Emptied, scrubbed and dried, my new SOAP MOLDS!!!!!! What joy, they are on their way to being filled as we speak.

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In one of the boxes was a long chain which Roger knew I had been looking for to go with this plate I picked up years ago for just a few cents. It had holes in the sides, no use for much but being pretty but I did get an idea off Pinterest last year.

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A bird feeder 🙂

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 Funny thing which I must add just while I am here before I forget. Does anyone else look at the search engine part their stats to see what leads people to their site? Most find it through searching for Tumeric to  Whten Teeth…thousands. But one last week got me ” Rubbing soap on legs descise drugrunners”. Mmmm!!!!

Blog Hop Around the World

Pauline, The Contented Crafter invited me to take part in this blog hop. Pauline is a fellow Kiwi and a talented artist who sells her lovely work on Etsy. I won these beautiful cards in a giveaway when she first had them printed and I treasure them.

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She is also mother to the most gorgeous new wee puppy Siddy and a most precious ginger cat called Orlando (featured in this middle card above) and I read her posts of the antics between these two with many giggles. Pauline is a kind and generous lady with a great sense of humour. Do check out her blog, she’s a sweetie 🙂 I must admit to feeling anxiety when Pauline nominated me. As she wrote in her introduction, I don’t think of myself as being particularly creative. I used to be many years ago, I was always an avid knitter –  over different periods I made rag dolls, handsewn patchwork, did folk art and knitted tiny lacy layettes for antique dolls with crochet cotton. but I hadn’t done anything at all for years, I am only just starting to make “stuff” again.

 

 

So the questions I have to answer are:

 

 

WHY DO I CREATE WHAT I DO?

I have no one hobby that I am great at. Either, I have a desire to make something prettier (the little cabinet) I have a need for something in particular and would rather make my own (soaps, skin balms, lotions etc) Roger asks me to paint something for him (the birdhouse he wanted painted as a traditional cottage) I want to see if I can  (paintings and drawings) or I have something that I’d like to re-use (broken china from the quakes made into mosaics) seemed a good idea at the time (the cat bed).

HOW DOES MY CREATIVE PROCESS WORK?

Well it depends 🙂 I am confident in the kitchen so I guess that’s where I am most creative. Food holds no issues, making things with oils and herbs is something I enjoy and get “into”. Some things I will simply give it a go and be happy with an ok finish, some things I have collected materials or tools for but don’t know the HOW’S yet – I would love to try many different things. I draw pictures for my granddaughter and enjoy the fact I don’t have to do perfect for an 8 year old. Painting on the other hand gets me stuck but it’s the one thing I would like to do well…I get frustrated by it 🙂 I don’t want lessons,  I want to learn through my own processes but then get hung up on being unable to ever complete them. The painting above of the vase of flowers is something I have got wrong in some areas and still haven’t finished because I don’t know how to make them right. I can see what the problems are but…..!

HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF IT’S GENRE? How does one answer this lol. It doesn’t. I generally copy someone else’s ideas, recipes or pictures while I am learning and I have much to learn in many areas. A couple of ways I may be a little different are that I like to create pretty spaces and inexpensive decor from things I find in nature.

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I also love the look of rusty barbed wire, lichen covered recycled wood etc. Roger recently made this because I wanted one and couldn’t do it, HE enjoyed making it alot.

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These materials lie as scrap everywhere on the farm he works on so we would like to use it 🙂 He is now making a large celtic cross. My ultimate desire would be to make barbed wire and beaded corsets (about as “different” as one could be!) but I cannot bend the stuff. How very kind is my rather rugged man who offers to make the corset if I show him how I want it…..I probably couldn’t make him go through with that 🙂

WHAT AM I PRESENTLY WORKING ON?

The bird house pictured above and a small set of map drawers I am decoupaging. I have also just discovered soapmaking and have two batches curing and have plans for others.

So, that’s enuff about me.

I would like to introduce you to another two bloggers whose work I admire, Lois at living-simply-free.com  oawritingspoemspaintings.wordpress.com who unfortunately can’t participate because she is committed at present to other things but is happy for me to share her blog with you. Lois is a passionate environmentalist and I always find her posts enlightening and thought provoking. She also works magic on neglected furniture, saving them from landfills and restoring them for those who can use them. projectIcon She sews and does the most loveliest of crochet (and all sorts of other things!) for her grandchildren. princess dress

Photos copied with permission, thanks Lois

Oawitingpoemspaintings is an artist, a photographer 🙂 a poet, a writer, a gardener, a thinker. Photo used with permission, please do check out this great blog.

Living life to its fullest! ©copyright2014owpp

 

Micro-Artist Willard Wigan

I thought some of you might appreciate seeing this if you haven’t already heard of this incredible artist. His is presently touring NZ and his work absolutely blows me away.

Willard Wigan had a difficult childhood. He had learning disabilities and was teased and bullied by other kids, made an example of by teachers. He stopped going to school and stayed home…making tiny houses and castles for ants. Now he sculpts the most minute creations either in the eye of a needle, on a pin head or in a hole in eyelashes. See 60 photos of his work including a crown for the Queen and a Harley created from a fleck of gold in a whisker! and read listen to his story here: Micro Artist Willard Wigan

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My Visit to an Art Studio/Gallery – an inspiring artist

This has absolutely nothing to do with gardening and food but my love of art. I love to draw and paint however lack of confidence gets in my way, like many people I guess. There are those of us who have always yearned to be artists in some way, a lifelong desire that gets edited out for different reasons – we doubt our ability, too many demands etc.

Last weekend I was invited to go along with a friend to visit a Marlborough artist, Pete Rickerby. Pete has kindly let me do a post about him, I found him very inspiring- but I get the impression he would be the last person to think that about himself! Pete’s a man who appears rather shy but he has a wicked sense of humour. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing his art, his beautiful garden, being shown around his home, meeting his lovely wife, the wine 🙂

Pete had not painted since high school, he had done alot of cartoons though, many published ones. When Pete was diagnosed at 54 with MS he had a hard time with it. He worked in a diving shop, rode motorbikes, lived a full life. When he became depressed he sought counselling. His counsellor asked him what was one thing he had always wanted to do, Pete knew it was to paint. So he started. 3 years later he has opened his studio and is starting to sell his art – this despite his poor hand/eye co-ordination and other issues related to his MS.

I asked him why he left it so long, if his desire to paint had always been there then why didn’t he and he replied “I never thought I could”. He just started and grew. Learning to paint has helped in some ways with his brain and thinking processes, building new neuronic pathways his specialist told him. I wanted to show his art here because it’s good 🙂 and because it shows if you feel you want to paint (write, whatever) then you should just do it because it’s within all along, it just needs us to develop it. I am also posting this because I had a conversation earlier in the week with another blogger who wishes to paint and I told her Pete’s story. She suggested I write a post (thanks Robbie 🙂 )

This is Pete and a little of his work, just click on any image to bring up gallery of larger ones.

Pete is a charming host and would welcome anyone to his studio. He can contacted at The Lunatic’s Retreat, 15 Churchill St, Blenheim, Phone 03 5777145, email p.rickerby@xnet.co.nz

Now, for something very DIFFERENT :)

For some reason I decided my blog should be the perfect place to share a photo I took 🙂 Quite honestly this bugs the hell out of me because I cannot understand what on earth this is.

Now, I have studied psychology – I understand perception, illusion, delusion etc. I am very interested in the mind and also have an interest in some areas of spirituality (I don’t particularly believe in the afterlife etc but who knows I guess), I would like to think my mind is very based in reality however “reality” has brought me some very interesting experiences that defy all logic, basically what science has proven. I am not saying this photo has a mystical basis, I have no answers for this myself and would really welcome comments on it.

This is a very poor photo, it was taken in poor light at around midnight when I was working. The place of work is a mental health respite home. I was sitting reading and got that weird fleeting feeling someone else was in the room – most of us have felt that at some time or another? So I glanced across the room and strangely right at this rubbish bin, sitting on the floor. I jumped a foot because there looked to be a head in it, just as real as a plaster bust might look if it were sitting in a mesh bin. I sat there staring at it for a while and it didn’t change, no matter how much I blinked, stared, moved. Asking myself “what the hell is that” I went over to it, all that was in there was a supermarket bag lining it, 2 others thrown haphazardly in and a couple of wee bit of paper. I sat back in my chair, the face was still there and it occurred to me I should take a photo to see if I was going crazy and imagining it, or not 🙂 The photo is not great (taken on a cheap cell phone) certainly not nearly as clear as the object was, and it turned out bright green.

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I have had all sorts of comments from people I have shown this to ranging from “I can’t see anything” to “OMG!!” to”I don’t know that a ghost would present itself in a rubbish bin, lol” to ……someone must have made it to look like that (no, they didn’t, it’s random rubbish). Two thoughts of mine – the proportions are perfect and this is a face we see all the time in this field of work.

I invite yours 🙂