Friday, 10 November 2017

the peace dove

Yesterday I went with my dog Ollie and my craft supplies to the rest home and hospital for the elderly.
I am visiting every week with Ollie, he is trained as a therapy dog.
 I write about his adventures on my other blog:
Twice a month I teach some art or craft at the hospital or dementia ward, while Ollie keeps an eye on the residents and goes for pats and cuddles. When he gets tired, he disappears under the piano and sleeps.
Decorating with glitter
 This time some of the elderly made paper doves for the Christmas displays.
I prepared the patterns of the doves at home and brought enough glitter, paper doilies, stamps to decorate the doves and then they got cut out and assembled.
 It was lovely to see staff and residents really enjoying the craft activity.
The elderly who couldn't participate were still part by watching us working.

Nearly ready to assemble.

When I got home with a tired Ollie dog and after putting my craft supplies away I picked the first bunch of roses and jasmine out of my garden. Summer is nearly there.

Friday, 3 November 2017

More botanical drawings

This week I finished my drawings of the Plantain plant and Calendula flowers.
I dyed the water colour paper with teabags to create a vintage look.
Both plants I use in my Plantain Calendula balm for itchy skin and insect bites.
I have been making this balm for about half a year now and got really good feedback from people who bought the balm and how it really works for them.
I use the balm after working in the garden when I end up with itchy rashes from pulling weeds and long grass. Plantain a plant growing in most gardens and paddocks is amazing to reduce swelling and itchiness, a bit like  the aloe vera plant for burns.                                                 
A local shop in Mapua is selling my balm for $12

Yesterday I went to the Copy Art shop in Richmond and asked if they can print greeting gift cards and labels from my botanical drawings.
I hope they will be ready for the Mapua makers market.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Botanical drawings

On the 3rd of December I am part of the Mapua Makers market and I will sell my Plantain Calendula Balms for itchy skin and insect bites, also a natural insect repellent and a face/body cream for mature skin.
 I like to draw botanical pictures for labels to attach to the products and also to decorate my stall.
I really want to make my stall attractive and personal,so working hard to get all the illustrations finished and printed on time.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Decorated fence palings

A great art project for children is painting fence palings for the garden.
The fence palings are normally used for low garden fencing and can be bought in most hardware stores.
I bought my fence palings at Bunnings in Nelson.
Before the art class I sanded the palings and gave them a quick undercoat with white acrylic paint and then sanded the palings again to achieve a smooth surface for decorating.

The finished fence palings all different
 Before the children started to paint the palings I asked them to draw a design on paper first and incorporate all the different ideas for the fence paling.
Then the children used a coloured pencil to divide the paling into sections like head, body, legs.
The children started to paint the background first and the following session we added all the details.

We let the paint dry and then I sprayed the artwork with varnish so the finished fence palings can be placed in the garden.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Printing class for children

 A few weeks ago my children's art group did a printing workshop again.
The printing was done on a gelatine base, the recipe for the gelatine base is in one of my older posts about gelatine printing.
The printing workshop was done over two weeks; the first week the children printing backgrounds and the second week the children used the prints for art works.
The printing was done with different materials: bubble wrap, feathers,leaves etc.
the back ground prints

Finished art work

 The art cards are finished with stamps of birds.
The printing in action

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Summer or no summer

Shells from the beach
The month of January should be the hottest time in summer, but not this year.
We are still having strong winds like we normally get in spring and summer storms with lots of rain.
The vegetable garden is not producing a lot, we have no beans yet and the cucumbers are just coming into flower.
Luckily we eating our potatoes and one apple tree is producing a good crop, so coming week I can bottle some apple sauce.
I started a part time job picking strawberries 3 times a week. The strawberries are grown hydroponic on bench height, so easy on my back. The picking only last for 2  to 3 hours in the morning, because after the picking the strawberries are getting packed and delivered to the customers.
The picking job will last till the beginning of May.
The Nelson area were I live is for many a holiday spot and the beaches are always popular with swimmers and water sports.
Most beaches have lovely shady spots under the big pohutukawa trees, the New Zealand Christmas tree, now in flower with big red fluffy flowers.
I love these big beautiful trees and for me they symbolize summer with lazy afternoons swimming and reading a good book in their shade.

The native pohutukawa tree in flower
Ollie our dog got his favourite toy for Christmas and he is unpacking his tennis balls out of the wrapping wearing his little Santa suit.
Ollie unpacking his tennis balls.

Beach in Golden Bay
I started the art sessions after the Christmas break in the rest home and hospital and we painted watercolour butterflies and a background with charcoal.
Two lovely ladies in Motueka donated lots of art materials for me to use and here we are using the watercolour paints and the paper. So a big thank you!

Art session in the hospital
I am part of Sunday Sketches