Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The winterless North

We were lucky enough to have a day of pottering around in Dargaville on Monday, after a wedding and a show at the lovely Funky Fish in Bayly's Beach.  There was river walking; a bit of sleuthing as we tried to find the place that one of Shackleton's boats was built; all the op shopping that Mr. Millicent Crow could stand; a museum with great dioramas; a drive to Te Kopuru, the end of the line, and ice cream at the most Kiwiana dairy.  Lovely. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Left behind again

This week I didn't buy at the op shop:
Seeing as my house is starting to resemble an op shop, I thought I should put myself onto a bit of an op shop diet.  So far I've been having fun writing down all my op shop tempations and saving them to draw in a quiet moment.  I don't think I'll be able to go cold turkey though, I'm going to Dargaville soon and have heard it's a bit of an op shop goldmine!  Any Dargaville op shop tips gladly received!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Creative Space: a Valentine's Day giveaway

Happy Valentine's Day!  I'm having a bit of a giveaway today, but first up, some blankets.  I've been working on some paintings of old blanket labels and finished this Onehunga Woollen Mills one this morning.  Then in a nice bit of synchronicity I found another Onehunga Woollen Mills blanket at the op shop this afternoon.  For the princely, or should I say princessly sum of $7! It is very gaudy in real life, with almost fluro pink stripes, but it looks much more tasteful in photos!  I think this "Princess" label will be one of my next paintings. 
And now for the giveaway!  I was hoping to have some Valentine's Day cards printed from this fox picture I drew, but I haven't had time to print them.  This gocco print is probably the most romantic thing I have in stock, what with an anatomical heart and a sacred heart dripping blood!  So if you would like to win a copy of this print, just leave me a comment telling me what you're up to for Valentine's Day.  I'll draw a winner from a hat next Wednesday night, and I'm happy to post it anywhere in the world.  
 Oh and what am I up to for Valentine's Day?  I'm hanging out at home with my cat.  That's cool, she's pretty cute!
 Joining in with "My Creative Space" over here today.

Happy Thursday to you!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Left behind

Last week I didn't buy from the op shop:
I was tempted though.  Thinking about cutting off my toes to fit into those witchy pointy shoes made me remember how terrified Roald Dahl's The Witches made me when I was a kid.  Not the witches themselves, but the way the boy turned into a mouse...I spent a whole summer terrified I would turn into a mouse at an inopportune moment after my great aunt gave me some chocolate.  Not sure what an opportune moment to turn into a mouse would be, but I was too scared to tell anyone, and was particularly worried it might happen in the swimming pool.  I remember when the movie came out lots of people were scared of the way the witches looked, but it was always the fear of turning into a mouse for me.  Maybe that's why I'm not a big chocolate eater to this day. 

How about you, left any tempting goodies behind at the op shop lately?  Had any good op shop finds lately?  Were you similarly traumatised by that book?

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I finished off my first blanket label painting late last night, it's gouache on watercolour paper. 
I wonder if one of these ladies made the blanket, they're workers from the Petone Woollen Mills, wearing beautiful coats that were made at the mills.  You can click on the image for the source. 
The next blanket label I'm painting is from an Onehunga Woollen Mills blanket...a bit closer to home! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My creative space: my type

Those beautiful old woollen blankets with labels like "Onehunga Woollen Mills" or "Kaiapoi" seem to be getting few and far between.  Sometimes you can find some gems at one of my favourite op shops, but they're often relegated to the "dog blanket" bin, holey and a bit manky.  I really love the typography on the blanket labels so I thought I'd set myself a little project of making some blanket label paintings.  I'm only part way through my first one, here it is so far:
Scuse the badly lit after work photo
And here's one of the lovely blanket labels in question
 Speaking of lovely typography, I've got this book out of the library at the moment:
It's got profiles of amazing painters of hand-lettered signs, something that like blanket labels is becoming a bit of a rarity. 
I love these ones, they're by Caitlyn Galloway.    

And my Antarctic Explorers are still touring around the South Island.

Joining in with My Creative Space today over here.  

Happy Thursday to you!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


 I've just had some Antarctic-themed postcards made up for Mr. Millicent Crow to take on his South Island tour.  They're some of the illustrations I did that will be projected behind the band while they're playing, and yes, those crazy explorers really did take a gramophone to Antarctica!

 I designed an old-fashioned back for it - it's a wee bit blurry here but the place where you put the stamp has a tiny picture of Shackleton's ship the Endurance
Coming soon to a bar near you!