Saturday, December 31, 2011

Epic Fail (s)


As the New Year approaches I thought I’d look back at my post for 2010 and see whether my resolutions (intentions) manifested in any way, shape or form and I’m embarrassed and ashamed to admit they didn’t.

Intention # 1.  Who was I trying to kid!


1.  My intention this year is to try and enjoy cooking more. Despite the fact that my children often post cruel and disparaging comments about my cooking on their face books, I will try to like it more. Once in 2001  I did……… I went all Moroccan and quite enjoyed it but no-one else was terribly enthused, so I quit.

Still hate the whole cooking thing.

Intention # 2.  Like this was ever going to happen.


2.  I intend to finish what I’ve started before I go onto the next thing. Even if some fabulous idea pops into my head I will not stop working on a project and start a new one. I’ll allow myself to quickly write the idea in a journal and then carry on. But then I might get an idea for a really wicked new journal and start on that before I’ve even put the original idea in the first journal. See what I mean?

Nothing is finished and still no journal


Intention # 3.

3. Try to keep a tidy house. Ha ha ha ha ha hee hee hee….oh dear!

Nothing to say about this really!

Probably the best resolution I could make is this………



……….destroy all horrible photos of myself so awful people (namely my son) can’t upload them to face book with the caption “Hair Dooooooo”.

Crumbs, I look like I’ve got a lamp growing out of my head and that hair is something to behold. That was back in my fabric painting days and when I used to put rollers in my hair and use a blow dryer. No blow dryer or rollers in this house now…..I’m strictly a wash and wear girl.


So I would like to wish you all a happy, healthy and creative New Year with many a good hair day.


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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jewellery Stand

Remember these? Well I had a bit of play this morning. Went to Bunnings bright and early and picked up these.


I wanted to make a portable jewellery stand that would be easy to pack and hopefully stackable and with the option of leaving the necklaces on the stand.



So I attached the self adhesive velcro strips to the brackets and the back of the place mats. As you can see I still haven’t painted the mats yet. I wanted to make sure the idea in my head would transfer to the mats before I went to the trouble (fun) of decorating them.


Now I have made a slight boo boo, I should have bought brackets that are much longer. These are about 5cm (2”) long, just not really long enough to support the placemat when it has necklaces on it. But that’s easy fixed……just another trip to Bunnings Hardware.



Now the reason I used velcro and didn't glue or screw the brackets to the mats is so that the brackets can be pulled off, allowing me to stack the mats flat in a container for easy transport.


And possibly having elastic straps tied around the necklaces to save time taking them on and off.



So now all have to do is find a bloody market here in Perth. If you know of any I’d love to hear about them.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Recycled Mirror

Well not so much recycled as re-vamped some what. I made this during my mosaic period quite a few years ago. It’s been hanging in the hallway opposite the door to the bathroom . Well the hallway had a bit of a paint makeover a few weeks ago and when the mirror was taken off the wall all the grout started to crack. I obviously hadn’t prepared the substrate very well. So I managed to lift all the tiles and the grout off the backing.


And was left with this fabulous texture.


So after cleaning it up a bit and some judicious sanding I painted it with black gesso.


Just kind of slapped it on without worrying too much about perfect coverage.



Then I got out my trusty Viva Gold solid paints.


And just smeared a few of the colours over the raised textured areas (where I’d lifted off the tiles and the glue residue was still there).

And ended up with this.


Not all that excited about it anymore. Nothing like the image I had in my head. The men of the house really liked it, dunno, I think it needs spot of gold (I used silver and platinum paints) here and there just to lift it a bit.

A close up of the texture although the silvery highlights aren’t evident in the photo.

Absolutely nothing to do with mirrors but I like how these photos turned out. Late afternoon sun in our garden.



Well the shopping is done, the presents are wrapped and I’ve cooked what I needed to cook, so now it’s house cleaning and tidying my very messy studio.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

This Post Contains Mature Content

No, not the kind of mature content your thinking of. I found the loveliest blog the other day called Advanced Style by a young photographer named Ari Seth Cohen. Ari wanders the streets of New York photographing men and women of a mature age who have style, grace and a wonderful sense of fashion.

Now some of the ladies are a little “mutton dressed up as lamb-ish” I have to say, but for the most part they look wonderful.
Like this lady. She makes me want to grow my grey hair long and have a French twist and start wearing lipstick again.


Isn’t she elegant and still has a twinkle in her eye.

And this Lady.


She is 100 years old and lifts weights and goes to pilates class once a week. Lord….when I read that I felt like a lazy, overweight slob. Just the thought of walking out to the letter box overwhelms me some days let alone going to pilates class.
Read her tips for staying young.

And this elegant lady.


She also has some tips for keeping young. I particularly love her tip about shoes.

Just gorgeous.


And so chic.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Well I Never

I never, ever thought cooking and recipes would ever darken my blog door. But there’s a first for everything I guess. I’ve been a cooking machine today in readiness for Christmas.


Chicken deboned, stuffed with sundried tomatoes, wholemeal breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, basil, egg, salt and pepper then rolled and covered with strips of bacon and tied up and baked. I’ve made 4 of these in the last few days.

The most divine, decadent and delicious Apricot, Macadamia and White Chocolate Christmas cake. It’s cooling on my kitchen bench as I write this. I’ve made this a couple of times for Christmas instead of the usual traditional (and sometimes boring fruit cake)  we usually have.


It’s about the only recipe I make that actually looks like the photo accompanying the instructions. It’s  well documented on this blog that I hate cooking with a passion.

Here’s a little anecdote that will showcase my lack of any cooking gene. My future DIL Erin was having dinner with us the other night when she said she had to ring her mother and ask her to make some cupcakes for Erin to take to work the next day. My response was if one of my children rang at 7.00 pm that night asking for cakes to be made for the next day I’d just laugh and hang up. So she was telling her mum the next day what I’d said and then in the next breathe she said but I bet if Michael rang at 7.00 pm wanting a handmade birthday card or a piece of jewellery made she’d get on it right away. Oh Erin……you know me too well!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Some Unexpected But Happy News

So my son and his girlfriend flew over to Sydney last Thursday for  (of all things) an Eminem concert. Late Saturday night the phone rings and I here this voice say “MUM”, now he never says hi mum it’s me, just “MUM” and immediately my heart drops to my stomach. They’ve had an accident, I have to fly over there and bail him out of prison, he’s been mugged…..all of these thoughts went through my head at the speed of light. So when he said “we just got engaged” I didn’t believe him. He tends to play little tricks on me every so often like ringing me and asking me to pick him up and when I ask where he’ll say something like Bunbury, a 170 kilometre 2 hour drive then he tells me he’s only joking he’s at his girlfriends, a 5 minute drive away. So of course I thought he was joking and it wasn’t until I spoke to his very excited girlfriend that I knew it was true.

So once I was over the initial excitement, it suddenly occurred to me…….OMG…….I’m going to be a Mother-in-law! I think I’ll be an ok MIL, not one of those interfering, needs to butt out of their lives, type MIL’s. At least I hope not.

It’s been awhile since I posted to my blog as I’ve been a little busy with work but I have managed a few things in the past few days.

Bird and flower brooches 

I’m on a brooch kick again.


Even added some cane slices. Canes aren’t my favourite things, I find them so time consuming and fiddly and I take my hat off to all of the extraordinary cane makers out there in polymer clay land.


I love this one. It’s such a whimsical image.


I think the next brooches I make with this image and shape I might try adding some words. Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Not a lot to show for the past week even though I’ve spent a fair amount of time in my studio (I love saying that!!!). Just experimenting with shapes and colours some of which turned out and some of which are real duds.

This is a brooch I made using translucent clay mixed with red for the bird. I was hoping it would appear more of a deep red but instead it’s a more watermelon shade.  But I like it against the dark silver clay.


It’s about 3.5 cm in diam. and I’ve attached some random pieces of chain and a single bead. Harking back to the old days when a lot of brooches had a safety chain attached, only these chains are decorative.


Here’s a necklace I made a few days ago.


Again using translucent clay mixed with alcohol inks. I haven’t used trans clay much so I thought I’d try my hand at mixing inks and different coloured clays through it.

It’s a stinking hot day here in sunny old Perth. Terrible bush fires down south in Margaret River with the loss of about 20 homes and hectares of beautiful forest gone up in smoke. The worst start to summer ever.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Plentiful Pendants

I have pendants coming out of my ears. So I’ve listed these on my madeit store.

Black clay with silver highlights.


Ivory clay with pale gold highlights.


Denim blue on suede with silver highlights.


and this is my favourite, pewter clay with light silver highlights.


Now see these………


……I see trouble and grief heading my way. They look good but I know when I bake them awful things well may happen and I’ll tell you why. See the white markings along the branches (not the white dots, they’re fine) well the patterned piece is a very thin overlay on top of dark clay and because it’s so thin I couldn’t get it flat against the base clay without squashing the texture, so those white markings are probably going to turn into bubbles. I’ll let you know how they turn out. It’ll probably end in tears!!!

Just as I suspected……..trouble and grief.


I just cooked these. The top photos are the baked, bottom unbaked….shame the bottom ones looked pretty good.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

…….and Action!


Here’s a couple of short videos I made on my ipad with the help of my wonderful friend Carmen. I’m demonstrating Viva Decor Inka-Gold cream paints which I just love while Carmen is holding the ipad.


The first very short video is a bit of a dud. My vanity got the better of me.




The second video is marginally better with a bit more of an explanation and some samples of what can be done with these lovely paints.



But I do need a lot more practice at this video caper. Like holding things up properly and for a little longer so you get a better view of the sample piece. And remembering to take my bracelet off so it doesn’t clang and bang on the table, and not to sniff (it’s hay fever season here at the moment……sorry). And possibly getting the camera operator……yes, you Carmen…… to ask some insightful and pertinent questions about the product.


Rolling credits:


Demonstrator:  Davinia

Camera operator:  Carmen

Director:  Carmen

Producer:  Davinia

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Circles and Dots and Squares

I’ve been playing around with my rather substantial collection of paints. I had some scraps of clay on my desk that when mixed together became a very pale grey. So I rolled it out and just started dabbing different colours of paint over it. I used Golden green and silver and Josona’s pale yellow.


Once the paint was dry (well almost) I textured the clay with squares and dots.


Then I cut out circles and used the inside cut-outs as well to create the overall shape using Liquid Translucent Clay to stick them together.


Once it was baked and cooled I smeared Folk Art Black metallic paint over the whole lot and before it was dry I wiped most of it off with damp paper towel.


Gunmetal embossed chain and a toggle and clasp finished it off and I have to say I like it. Something a little different and with a slightly contemporary feel to it.

It’s 12 cm (5”) across by 5 cm (2”) high so it’s a reasonable size and just sits nicely below the collar bone.

What do you think?

Monday, October 31, 2011

When the Queen Came to Town and the Duke Put His Foot In It……Again

The Queen has come and gone and the great Aussie barbeque she and the Duke attended on the Swan River was a huge success by all accounts. I didn’t go because the thought of battling the crowds was too much to contemplate.


Prince Phillip is renowned for making gaffs and here’s a couple of pearlers.

On meeting a young man with cerebral palsy in a wheel chair he asked him “how many people have you killed in that.”…….oh dear!
And when told  a group of students were the head boy and girl of their  respective schools he said “it’s obvious they didn’t choose the attractive ones then”…….ouch!

Here’s some pretties for you to look at. Love this yarn holder.


What a great idea, it’s from red hot pottery.

Get out your old Tshirts and make this.


You can find instructions on Ninth and Bird blog.

I might make one of these and put it in my new studio, did I tell you I have a studio now?……I did?……just checking.

paper tree

This is from everydaymomideas and you can find the instructions on her blog.

Hopefully something amazing will emerge from my studio this week. The millions of ideas I had when I was tucked into the small corner of the family room that I was dying to try once I had more room have now deserted me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Reason I’ve Been AWOL………

…….is this…..whoohoo!

Also another reason I’ve been absent is because I’ve started a new on line store with an Australian online handmade craft site. So I’ve been busy finding my way around it and uploading photos. I’m still called Back Pocket Designs like my Artfire store but I have taken a couple of items from there and put them into madeit. I’m probably going to downgrade my Artfire store to a basic seller instead of pro. I’m just finding all the changes they have been making (and I know they’re for the best) a little hard to deal with. I’m one of those baby boomers who don’t like change, especially any changes to do with computing. Pathetic I know, and don’t get me started on all the Facebook changes…..sheesh, I couldn’t even work it properly before the changes, now I’m completely bamboozled and flummoxed.

So any way, that’s what’s been happening in my small world of late. I love, love, love, my new studio. It’s great to be able to work on something and just walk away and leave it all there until the next day and not have to pack it all away. That was so annoying and would often stop me from trying new things and exploring my clay and generally being creative.

These are a couple of pieces I’ve listed in madeit. This one made the “New Finds” page on my first day and had over 90 views, so that’s encouraging.

Edited to note: This necklace sold about 10 minutes ago. My first sale on Made It.


Wish me luck on my new venture.