Monday, 20 January 2014

I got KISSed twice this week.

Yep the big old KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid..... or Sweetie if your saying it to someone else) smacked me in the head last week.





I've been making brooches for years and normally just use the commercial brooch clip with the little safety wheel that secures it in place. They're great but are made not to be seen.  The one I've been wracking my brains about lately is a clip that can hang a dangle from, like an old fashioned nurses watch. I've had this concept in my head for a while and have made several drawings. And of course I was getting in my own way making them way too complicated and time consuming.



I mucked around making my own pin and spring then tried decorating a ready made pin. Then it dawned on me..... use the normal brooch pins solder on a jump ring and stamp the front. It was one of those weird moments that you feel wonderful, it's simple, cost effective and looks good. And then I also felt stupid, like I'd wasted so much time. But with a couple of days separating the event, I can see the other pins are interesting and with a little more work could look really good.
hand made + hand dyed paper embedded in resin with a little typewritten word

a good learning experience, still needing a lot of work




My other kiss moment was over the weekend. I went to my local craft shop 'just' for some cello bags and fell in love with a ball of wool. It was sitting all on it's own at the end of an isle and seduced me with it's colours. So I left the shop with five balls of wool, a meter of check flannelet, a bottle of mod podge, some sculpey glaze, one gold metal button and (thank goodness I remembered) the cello bags.




Sunday was a lovely cool raining day and I set myself up in my favorite room, the veranda, and started playing with the wool. First a granny square, then a five sided motive, these were a little stiff and didn't show off the colours the way I wanted. So I persevered with a larger hook and a zigzag pattern and finally got the right hook size and a single stitch, straight pattern. The colours looked good, it was soft to touch and the sample allowed me to estimate the end size for a knee rug.


a granny square and star above the zigzag and the 'yes' sample to the right

Ah Pretty! A rainbow on my crochet hook




just enjoying myself


It's funny the knee rug was a Keep It Simple 'Sweetie' moment. The difference was I didn't put myself under any pressure, the rug is for me. Where as the pins were for last Saturday's Market. Ah life, it's full of learning bumps, just some bumps are more fun than others.

Enjoy x Luna


Friday, 10 January 2014

Something New for this little birdie

I'm so excited. I'm in the pages, quiet literally, of one of my favorite magazines. Published by  Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine , I've been a fan for many years. I found it by chance in a wonderful Stirling newsagents up in the Adelaide Hills. It's one of those amazing stores that not only has a great selection of magazines it also has an art supplies up the back so I never left empty handed. The magazine was sold only quarterly back then I think, so finding it again was crazy hard (I only found it once more) so I saved up (I was still art student back then) and subscribed, I just didn't want to miss out. So many great artist, so many great techniques, so many wonderful materials and equipment. drooling. 
 Here is the cover and the title page of my project page 13. The girl with white hair on the cover is Jane's book.
I'd always thought how lovely it would be to be one of those artists. I kept on dreaming, then one day they advertised for submission for a new publication 'I (Heart) Paper' so that gave me a deadline and I sent in a proposal. I was so excited when it was accepted, but the panel had thought that my project would be best suited to  PAGES magazine  . Described as 'The Creative Guide for Art Journaling & Bookmaking', sounded perfect. So factoring in time to ship all the little butterfly books and steps in between, I only had a few weeks to get it all polished and labeled and off they went to America to be beautifully photographed. I'm in wonderful company with great artist and their fantastic projects including a fellow Aussie Jane 'danger' Davenport I've done a few of Jane's courses now and have my eye on a few more (all of them really), they are a lot of fun, she is a great teacher.



I even made the contents page


I love photographing these little guys.....
there are so many great angles


I first exhibited these little books back in 2005 in a group exhibition called 'Leaf"in the Promenade Gallery, Flinders Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia. I made six different butterfly shapes and they all had way too many pages. So I have refined them over the years. 


the different stages of making the book

Some of the different coloured pages I do

A flutter of Butterfly Books, what a lovely collective noun.


If you would like to add one of these little books to your collection, click on Butterfly Books  and it will take you to my etsy shop.

Enjoy x Luna

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Looking back at 2013



And I'm sitting on my back veranda with thunder rolling in the background, the rain lightly falling, the humidity has dipped slightly and there is an earthy smell in the air.

I dyed my hair teal (blotchy blue) in February for Ovarian Cancer Awareness

It has been a pretty packed year with a lot of rest and recuperation forced on me. As some of you know, end of 2012 I had surgery for ovarian cancer (you can catch up on that here http://lunabirdart.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/the-lucky-find.html and more info on symptoms here http://lunabirdart.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/clueless-i-had-no-idea.html ) Lets just say it took a whole heap longer to recuperate than I had anticipated. I couldn't beleave every little movement seemed to be attached to my stomach muscles. But hey I have a really cool scare and I'm alive, so not a bad payoff.
my handmade market stall goodies

We haven't missed a Saturday market this year and even threw in a few specialty Sunday markets to boot. It's been a lot of fun and have meet some really great people. I got to expand my stall size recently which has made a huge difference to my display. The fudge is doing really well and developed more flavors.



busy serving these lovely ladies a couple of weeks ago, got my Christmas dress on

fun in the studio

Miss Mary and I had our eighth Artist Book Exhibition named 8(ate) at Matilda Book Shop in the beautiful Adelaide Hill town of Stirling. boy I miss that place and my art buddies especially Miss Mary.

8th Artist Book Exhibition me and Mary consuming books
I joined Etsy Territorians , the lovely Fleur of https://www.etsy.com/shop/fleurelisedesigns and https://www.etsy.com/shop/fleurelisebridal got the group started. Great group of girls, we have had excellent coffee and art mornings.
Etsy Northern Territorians Helen, Isabel, me and Fleur gallery hopping


Marrara Christmas Craft Extravaganza Fair
As well as all the art stuff this year, Hubby and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with a trip to Kakadu (mid-week of course so we didn't miss a market) http://lunabirdart.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/kakadu-adventure.html and our eldest turn 18 and finish High School, wow where did that time go.






mother daughter camping trip out to Berry Springs + Tumbling Waters



Now if you live away from your family or loved ones this New Years or anytime really, then use the mOOn satellite to send your good wishes to each other. I suggested this to some friends back in 2000.  Organize a time when you both look up at the mOOn (for example my mum lives in a time zone 1/2 an hour ahead so I look at the mOOn at 11.45 and my mum looks up at 12.15) and say your good wishes to each other.

Happy New Year

Enjoy x Luna 


keep on creating

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Hip Hip Horay for Kelly Rae

What an amazing start to December. I have so much to tell you I think I might burst. But first today (12 December, USA time) is your last opportunity to register your chance to win one of the great giveaways from the ....


Hosted by Kelly Rae Roberts. Use the link below to have a look.
http://kellyraeroberts.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/its-hip-hip-hooray-holiday-giveaway.html

I really am honored to be apart of this promotion and find myself amongst some amazing company. Wow there really are some great opportunities and gifts there. I've provided two of my little guys, Puss Puss and his best friend Woof and Puss Puss's first book 'The Wrong Bed'



I first read about Kelly Rae Roberts about 4 years ago-ish. I purchased her wonderful e-book
 http://kellyraeroberts.com/ecourses

This is my one. I printed my book out so I could read it in bed. I use it as one of my creative business resources. It is set out really nicely with heaps of her artwork in there. You'll find within the pages a lot of  'A ha!'  and 'Oh yer!' moments. She has a great story to tell as well as valuable information. Totally recommend it. Now waiting for her Mixed Media e-course to come out. To much art not enough time.

Good luck, fingers crossed you win, please let me know if you do.

More exciting news to come, I'm so happy can't wait to tell you.

Enjoy x Luna




Sunday, 10 November 2013

Kakadu Adventure

Part One

Wow what a crazy couple of months of adventures! I got to tick off a bucket list sort of thing I suppose. Just an easy three hour drive from Darwin we head south east to Kakadu National Park. I've wanted to go to Kakadu since I first heard about it as a little girl, so TICK.

Mid September is hot and dry here. That's one thing I didn't expect moving to the top end was how dry it gets here. Fair enough the inland desert area but I thought the coastal fringe would be tropical lush all year round. There are two main season Wet (summer) and Dry (winter) There is still quiet a bit of water in the rivers but the earth in between is parched.

 The dawn Yellow River Cruise is an absolute must experience. We had a foggy morning which is rair at that time of year but absolutely beautiful. The wet lands are just gorgeous. It was like the land scape was posing to be painted or photographed.
 Amazed by the reflections too.

 Crocodiles scare the crap out of me and this big guy was way to close for comfort.
 But I do love the place he lives in.

Monet would be impressed in the waterlilies here.
With 20,000 square kilometers of iconic, must see National Park, a great way to experience as much as possible is from the air. So in the afternoon we took a sunset scenic flight with Kakadu Air. WoW! What a great way to see the place and get a real feel for the terrain.
 This photo is a great example of the billabongs left at the end of the dry season. In a month or so time this whole scene will be sparkling water.
  A lot of the Northern Territory is pretty flat so I was so happy to see hills and escarpments and I love a good boulder (I really do miss hills and mountains, weird I know). Next time I really want  to try the helicopter tour and get in close. The rock arch in the middle of the above photo was amazing.
A totally amazing place, can't wait to show you more. Until next time

Enjoy x Luna

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Crumpets Anyone

I have a few recipes waiting in the back of my mind. You know the type, the ones that seduce you with their glossy photographs. You've either torn them out from a magazine or bookmarked the page but never quiet got around to making them. Well the crumpet recipe goes back years for me it was in my mothers 'Women's Weekly Everyday Cookbook' The image looked amazing and I always had that 'I must try them one day', but with a good supply of fresh commercial bakery crumpets I was never pushed hard enough to make them until....


I moved to Darwin and the ones here have been frozen, trucked a ship load of miles, then left to thaw out on the supermarket shelf. Mmmmm appetizing, not. So I just stopped buying them.

I was searching my recipe folder a couple of weeks ago for a birthday treat request when I came across the page and finally made some. Oh my giddy aunt they tasted so good, they had the little holes in them and everything.

a crumpet cut open to show all the gorgeous holes

They are so incredibly easy to make and taste amazing. Fresh really is best.

Now this is my recipe, I changed it a little to accommodate what I had in the pantry but I will put the original ingredient list at the bottom.

Ingredients
4 cups Self Raising Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
15grams dry yeast (two sachets)
spray oil

Method
  1. preheat a frying pan or electric frypan to a low heat (160 Celsius/ 250 Fahrenheit). I use my pancake maker by Breville (Pancake Creations) A good even bar-be-que plate would be great too.
  2. sift the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl
  3. dissolve the yeast in the water
  4. add liquid to dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Note the mix will be quite viscous and it will want to creep up your beaters
  5.  Pour the mix into a large jug. Don't leave it too long as the yeast activates the mix will increase, a bit like the magic pudding.
  6. spray oil a little onto the pan surface and egg rings. Note I don't own egg rings so I used my circle cookie cutter so my crumpets have different size diameters
  7. 1/2 to 3/4 fill the egg rings (if you have a narrow toaster only 1/2 fill)
  8. Allow them to cook for about 10 minutes or  until the surface is covered in holes. 
  9. Cover the pan with a lid (I use a cookie sheet) and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes or until the surface has set. So that it is not sticky on top.
  10. Cool on a wire rack  



These guys are slow and steady but well worth the wait.

Store them in a air tight container, I don't know how long they last, mine seem to be eaten within 24 hours.

But there is one more step.
Now if you have never had crumpets (stop laughing you English & Aussie people) They still need to be toasted. So just before you sink your teeth in, toast them to golden brown on top. I recommend the crumpet/bagel setting on your toaster, that way the bottoms don't over cook.

Serve them hot, traditionally with butter and honey. They are also good with Vegemite (stop wrinkling your nose up you funny Americans you, the secret to Vegemite is to use just a smear)  and I had some the other day with avocado & tomato with a little salad dressing that oozed into the holes...yum



How ever you like them, get into fresh crumpets, I can't beleave I waited so long.

Enjoy x Luna

P.S.
the original recipe, 4 cups plain flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 3 cups water, 15 g (1/2oz) compressed yeast.