Wednesday, 31 December 2008

A bit of a quiver

Linda commenting about me being so diciplined was like a red rag to a bull yesterday and I could hold out no longer, at precisely 11.58 last night I opened my first envelope! then it was a bit of a domino effect, you know when you eat that first bit of cake and can't stop yourself going back for more! but hey, it's the last day of the year and the deed is finally done!
After opening the first one I was however slightly concerned that I was undertaking some kind of psyco-therapy rather than completing an art journey (then again perhaps the two are closer than I thought) This one is dated 06.06.08 and is my head (aged 2yrs) on top of a rather 'lardy' sized angel/butterfly? with the words 'what's it all about' well... exactly!!
As for now, I'm just enjoying an awesome feeling of personal achievement, of setting myself a challenge that allowed me to step out of mothering for a moment and do something purely for myself.
Will get busy with the camera soon but for today I wish you all a happy festive New Year and a great start to 2009!!
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Monday, 29 December 2008

I've got post!

I emptied my art box last night and bundled together all my work from the past year, I'm only just resisting the urge to rip them all open and to be honest the waiting, allbeit a couple of days, is doing my head in!! However, having started on 1st Jan 2008 I do kind of want to finish on 31 Dec so I'll do my best to hang in there!
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Sunday, 28 December 2008


I hope you all had a fun-filled festive time, this year was one of our best with everyone happy, relaxed and well fed!

Lots of creative gifts from kindy and school, love these things!

And the dreaded Playmobil, I think construction of this small hospital took approx 4 hours!! eeek!! but so well worth it, both kids love this kind of toy, and I just wonder how long it'll be before the Playmobil family move out and Littlest Pets move in...
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Monday, 22 December 2008

a double celebration

At this time of the year our family celebrate both English and Swiss traditions starting with the arrival of Samichlaus and his helper the Schmutzli on Dec 6th. They first appear in the local church accompanied by music and stories, at the end of the service they give out chocolate and little bread men called Grittibänz. As a special treat in our town you can 'order' St Nick and sometime during the evening he will appear at your door. This pic was taken at a friend's house some years ago, this particular St Nick was very tall and consequently had quite an impact on the kids, two of which hid under the bed! . He then reads from his big red book what each child has done well during the year and occasionally a 'could do better' list (which Mummy has pinned to the door for him to collect on his way in!) Usually, the kid's leave their shoes outside and in the morning they are filled with hessian bags of nuts, oranges and chocolate.
The Swiss celebrate Christmas on the 24th and many still only then bring their tree inside and decorate it with real candles. The first year I looked on in horror having been brought up with Christmas taking place in New Zealand high summer and a lifetime of fire safety having been drilled into me!

DH's mother sends us all our for a walk and when we come back the beautifully decorated tree is in the living room and an angel known as the Christ Kindli has delivered the gifts. DH's family tend to have meat wrapped in pastry with various salads, followed by vanilla ice-cream and warm raspberry sauce, yum!

And last but not least on the 25th dear old Santa fills the stockings and leaves the good stuff under the tree which has been up for two weeks with it's electric lights! We have a late afternoon feast of roasty things and pud, the house smells fab and everyone goes a little bit mad in the head!

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Friday, 19 December 2008

done and dusted!

So with school out in less than two hours I've finally completed the last card for the year, yay and glorious yay! oh what a feeling. 52 and more envelopes await opening on Dec 31st. My original idea for the last one was to use the 'The End' symbol that appears in the old Warner Bro's movies but when I thought about it I realised it's actually the opposite, more like the beginning, of pointing myself in a new direction and finding my 'thing'. I settled for a purely egotistical congratulatory letter addressed to myself, well, what can I say? someone's got to do it!
More snow, except this time the city was totally unprepared. The normally vigilent snow patrol only realised shortly before rush hour that it had snowed in the night and there was rather a lot of it. Wednesday was chaos, both public and private transport suffered massive delays. I would've liked to have taken a few more snowy pics but didn't actually manage to leave the house
Poor old Big Jim got completly caught out, he spent the night on the garden slopes before being brought in by mummy mountain rescue early this morning AND he was in his swim shorts, what was he thinking??!! Tis the silly season afterall! speaking of which the doorbell rang the other evening and there was a bloke collecting for the local Yodelling group, I kid you not! DH found nothing unusual about this however, I can't for the life of me think what your average yodeller would need money for?? mountain? large field? mouthwash?
And now the rain and the roof slidding begins, always one to watch out for coming up the path!
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Tuesday, 16 December 2008

House challenge

This weeks challenge over at is a 'newspaper'. I collaged my house together, added some acrylic and antique ink. I sewed some ribbon on the reverse side.
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Monday, 15 December 2008

51 and counting

Well, we managed to get through the weekend without any more upsets, bit of a surprise really as this virus seems to be taking just about everyone out. Only one more week until school finishes and enough time to get the last card completed. Quite some feeling to have got to the end of this journey.
Patty, I just have to say about the church bells, my mother has visited on a number of occasions over the past 14 years and each time we were living in a different flat but always near a church, quite difficult to avoid in this town. She would always tell me the 'donging' woke her up! The bells ring every quarter hour then on the hour plus for whatever is going on in the town and quite a few daily celebratory rings. I've got used to it now and this flat is quite well insulated! In one apartment we were so close to the church that we'd have to go inside and shut the door when it really got going, couldn't hear each other speak! on the upside, I always know what the time is!
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Thursday, 11 December 2008

Calm, peaceful thoughts

In lieu of art today I bring you the Church at the end of my garden, no matter the weather it always manages to look special. A tummy virus is sweeping through the local Kindergarten and unfortunately it arrived at ours with avengence in the early hours of this morning. I'll spare you the details, suffice is to say it wasn't a lot of fun. I've now decided to replace the missing teapot with a mop and bucket, seems more appropriate somehow! J has conked out on the sofa and I'm hoping for a happier soul when he wakes. Fingers crossed it leaves the rest of us alone
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Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Miscellaneous ramble

My DH has decided to take two weeks off before Christmas which in principle is a lovely idea however it is cramping my creative opportunties a little. There are two things you should know about your average Swiss 1) they tend to like their world well organised and 2) they tend to like their world to be clean. Sometimes I wonder how on earth we got together as I hold neither of these characteristics in any great quantity and we waste a lot of time in silly discussions about the supposed merits of filing systems, Spring cleaning and the like. Anyway, DH decided he wanted to clean, good for him I hear you cry and yes the windows are looking rather glitzy and he has completed various tasks that I have no interest in whatsoever, bless him. However, I decided a spot of rebellious art would be my response to this cleaning frenzy and settled upon a pic of myself with teapot on my head ( I have my reasons...) ah, but where is the teapot stamp?? having spent over an hour looking for it I began to doubt it's existence at all until I came across the backing paper (below) it should have been attached to, hmmm..

Perhaps this fabulous set of drawers in the Museum in Ballenberg is the answer although knowing me I'd probably forget which number I stashed it under, kind of like not remembering where you left your car in the parking building
I bought this book sometime ago and had it for a nano-second before a friend borrowed it exclaiming 'oh it's so me' Having finally got it back I then lent it (duh!) to another friend as she wanted to make a present for her mum. Yesterday she returned it but the person I was with at the time promptly pounced on it saying 'oohhh I like that, can I borrow it please'' NOOOO!!!! enough is enough. If I was a bookseller I could have made the lovely Claudine a fortune by now!! great book for techniques and fab photo tutorials
The second person to borrow the book did however pop this little surprise in with it's return (Nathalie lol) it's true I can be bribed by Halloween sweets from The States, albeit a tad late, now I wonder what those curtains I lent her 4 years ago are worth ...
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Sunday, 7 December 2008

it's all about the bag

As I said earlier I visited the button shop in Strasbourg last weekend and the few things I bought were packaged in a small brown and red paper bag. Of course I've done nothing with the things I actually paid for but the bag has been put to good use! I ripped it up and glued it to one of my weekly cards (only 3 to go, yay!) then used it in the centre of the flower. I've made these circular flowers from fabric before but this is the first one out of paper.
I picked up an old French book in the market for altering, by the way 1633 is not the date of publishing!!
I used the bag again to cover the sides, this one also has quite nice lining pages

If you're looking for a fab xmas idea check out Robin's post from Nov 26 over at the shrines are so gorgeous!! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Tis the season

I found this on my typewriter the other day, surely this can't be my child talking about me...
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Tuesday, 2 December 2008


Having completed the earlier houses I've pulled them to pieces and started again, talk about making work for myself, but I have to say I like these so much better. The colours are softer and I'm pleased with see the effect created by the antique ink and brown Stazon, they now look like bits of wood instead of card
Oh no!! there go the upholstery tacks AGAIN!! and a couple of bits of ribbon from Strassy trip
I cut the heart out of some wrinkly card
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Monday, 1 December 2008


On Saturday I went to Strasbourg with a couple of friends to visit the Christmas market and soak up the atmosphere. Last time we were there we spent ages looking for a button shop we'd been told about, the only clues were a photograph of the button outside (very helpful!) and that it was somewhere near Grand Rue, not a lot to go on but super sleuths that we were we managed to find it.
This time minus my French speaking friend Hera, I walked around the block at least twice, in the totally wrong direction numerous times and finally stumbled upon it quite by accident, and yep I did have a map but it didn't have all the small streets marked on it, no really it didn't, honest...
The decor is very old, stone floors, wooden shelves and drawers and bottles of buttons like you would not believe. I wasn't allowed to photograph inside but managed to get a 'hint' of it through the window. Not only do they sell buttons, but wool, ribbon and funky jewellery to make yourself
The first visit was overwhelming but this time I was prepared! I even bought the pieces to make a ring even though I'm totally useless at putting these things together, we'll see. I also bought some ribbon and various other crafty bits around town.
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