sea rope basket

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Things have been a bit all over the place lately, which is my excuse for not posting more often. I thought I’d post while I was on Syros while Lainee had her second operation, but I just couldn’t drum up the enthusiasm for it.

Lainee is doing fine though. She was hungry one hour after waking from her surgery the vet said, and had the staff wrapped around her little paw the whole time she was there. She came out raring to go. The only thing that slows her down is the heat. She really doesn’t do well in the heat. The vet said that’s cause of her heart murmur. So I keep her out of the heat as much as possible. I’ll have to start carrying her back from work when its hot so she doesn’t become tired or overheated.

Meanwhile I started work, in a way. I only had 5 days worth of work to do, then I have to wait for more stuff to do. I hope my job becomes regular soon as I need the income naturally. Though I must admit, I love being a lady of leisure in summer.

So, taking advantage of the not working times I have been working on the tons of projects I have that need finishing (or starting!). I finished the little green cabinet I shared yesterday and have been working on the bigger cupboard I got. That should be finished and back home today if the guy who’s helping me with it can bring it.

Today I thought I’d share the latest finished sea rope basket. I wanted this one to be a bit bigger than the last ones which I made to hold smaller stuff like keys or glasses. This one I’m currently using to hold fruit on my kitchen counter.

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These baskets are easy to do, they just take a lot of time. I have a callus on my thumb to prove that. First I have to collect bits of rope from the beach (usually over winter)… most of the pieces I find are only small, between 2-5 inches long. I bring them home, wash and dry them, then put them in a bag near the couch. I pull out the bits I want as I work on a basket. I work on the couch while I watch something on Netflix. Stops me from wanting to snack all the time.

I’ve already started another one, totally different this time cause its from roadside rope. I will share that one soon as its finished. I enjoy doing them. I like having something for my hands to do.

z

walking dead dolls

I know I’ve shared a couple of my Walking Dead doll remakes, but I found I had this post in my drafts folder and it includes one previously unshared doll: Sasha.

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This is Sasha in the show:

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And this is my Sasha, complete with a high powered rifle with moving parts.

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Remaking Sasha included a total repaint of her face and a new hair style. I made her singlet top and she wears Bratz jeans. I bought her gun on ebay as I’ve bought various other accessories at times when I can’t make them myself. I already have a crossbow to make Daryl… I just have to get there.

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Let’s revisit the other girls… Firstly my all time favourite: Michonne. This is how she began, a very messy Bratz girl I bought in an op shop. That’s one thing I miss here (among other things…) No op shops. I’ve never seen dolls I can remake for sale anywhere for instance. I’m glad I brought a ton with me! When I eventually get around to re-making some again.

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This is Michonne on the show…

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And this is how my interpretation, complete with a katana and a chain to hold her pet walkind dead.

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In Michonne’s case I had to do a total overhaul. I had to remove her hair and make dredlocks by wet felting a combination of wools. I made her top, including a leather vest plus a studded belt. Her jeans are original Bratz jeans as they’re just too hard to make.

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Last but not least, Carol. This is Carol on the show:

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This is what the doll looked like before I started. A typical overdone Bratz doll with wild hair.

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And this is the finished Carol, complete with a gun, a military warrier knife and bag.

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In Carol’s case I did a repaint of the face, gave her a haircut and coloured her hair grey. I made all her clothes and made a pair of Bratz sandals into boots by painting and adding laces.

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I miss remaking dolls. Its one of the things I planned to work on in winter but never got around to it for two winters in a row. This winter I was working on sculptures and last winter who remembers… All I know is that time never seems to be enough.

And I get bouts of laziness and inspiration blocks.

I should really be working on things like this constantly but instead I spend hours doing all sorts of things instead of creating. I really work best when I have a ton of projects going at once cause then I can pick what I want to work on at any given time. Space becomes an issue in a 2 room flat.

Last night I was up till 12.30 working on one of my new (old) cabinets. I didn’t even realise what time it was till I saw it was pitch black outside.

I love it when I’m in the zone like that.

z

lamp resurrected

A friend of mine sent me a photo of his lamp. He’d knocked it over and wondered if I could do anything with it, since we both belong to groups about recycling and not buying new.

I said bring it over and I’ll have a look.

I had envisaged a japanese gold fix KintsugiĀ but more than halfway through glueing pieces I discovered there a couple of large pieces missing.

I had to rethink it. I had to make up the missing pieces somehow. I used air dry clay but it looked awful. So, I started to play with it. And this is what I came up with.

An octopus is now holding the lamp together. You can’t actually see him cause he’s inside, but his tentacles come out of the ‘holes’ and wrap around the base.

I hope he likes it when he sees it!

Meanwhile Lainee is doing great but the news isn’t good. The lump they removed in Syros at the vet hospital was malignant. I don’t have the details yet, what type of cancer it was, but they recommend I let her recouperate from this surgery completely and take her back to remove the entire row on mammary glands on the other side too. There are lumps there as well. Tiny ones, but since the big one was malignant they don’t think I should take the chance of leaving and watching them.

I guess I wait to get the full biopsy report and do some research. I want her happy and healthy and if that means another surgery, then I’ll do it. I’d rather do it now, before she gets any older… She’s 12 now and if any of the other lumps begin to go ‘bad’ she won’t have to face surgery at 13 or 14. I want her to live to be a very old lady.

Meanwhile I’m waiting to hear back from the doctor in Athens regarding my stent removal. And waiting to hear about my job this summer. And generally just waiting. Seems lately there’s a lot of waiting involved in life.

z

upcycled cabinet door

Well, I finally finished another painting. I’ve been spending more time on handy work than on painting lately… Not that I’ve done any handy work at all on my two re-do cabinets…

This piece is a sort of natural progression from the fish I painted on old wood a couple of weeks ago. While looking for old wood to paint on I found this cabinet door just sitting around doing nothing, begging to be made use of.

Yes, there is a hole in the large urchin. Came in handy!

I had planned to paint mostly white on white and shades of white, but in the end I put in more colour. Not sure what I’ll do with this but I have time to decide.

I’m planning/hoping to have an exhibition this summer and almost all my work will be recycled and art from trash type of works… (dog sculptures, plastic bottle naked ladies, sea rope baskets etc) This fits in with that so maybe it will be included… or maybe I’ll list it for sale on Facebook. Who knows…

z

re-recycling rusty wire

Second life for this piece of wire I found on the side of the road. Its first life (with me) was when I used it as a planter by putting it around a plastic pot on the front porch.

But the plant died and I wasn’t really sure what to do with it so I just let it sit there a while.

The floor lamp I use it as my work lamp has a broken ‘neck’ and won’t stand up when it has the lamp shade on it – too top heavy. I removed the shade and have been using it with a plain bulb. But I had this brainwave and now this is what the lamp looks like.

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it doesn’t overbalance any more and the wire shade doesn’t interfere with the light.

I’m happy.

For now.

z

fish – lockdown 2 day 161

Just a quickie today as I have a trip to Syros to get ready for.

This is the commission I had to have ready by Easter. Its a pic taken as I worked on it. I painted directly onto a couple of pieces of weathered timber I sanded down for that recycled rustic look.

Stay tuned to see after pics of the unit with this on the wall above the bed.

z

searope basket – lockdown 2 day 145

I’ve been a day behind on the blog for days now so today you get 2 posts so I can catch up. At least I think this is catching up. I may be 2 days behind… hmmm…

Anyway, I’ve been working on art sporadically but seem to have spent most of my time lately doing things other than creative work. Like cleaning up the courtyard out the back, planting seeds and other such stuff. Considering I’m planning to have an exhibition this year, I really need to get cracking on art.

One thing I began and actually finished this week was another sea rope basket. I’m now officially low on sea rope so need to go for a walk on the beach to gather more. I had to buy more thread this week too as I finished the last spool. I like to use a crochet thread in a natural colour for my baskets.

Making these little baskets is kind of zen, I can do it while sitting quietly with my thoughts (though my thoughts tend to get loud at times…) or while chatting to someone or watching TV… They take a while to make and I’m getting calluses on my thumb from pulling the needle throught, but hey, you gotta suffer for your art.

I love finishing off the edges of these little guys with loose bits of rope, in this case knots I had to cut off the bits of rope in order to make the basket. It gives them a sort of whimsical feel…

They’re not really big. I’m considering making a bigger one but it will need a whole lot more rope…

Anyway, its time for another beach scavenger walk…

z

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more sea rope creations – lockdown 2 day 133

I finally finished the latest sea rope basket late last night. Sometime after 12am. I’m now officially low on sea rope and need to go searching for more. Easy enough… There’s always tons washing up on the beaches near here.

I couldn’t get to sleep last night. I went to bed later than usual which should have meant easy sleep, but no. I’d been watching season 13 of Grey’s Anatomy on Stremio (the wonders of which my niece introduced me to) but could not stop my brain going flat out. I couldn’t find the off switch. I tried some deep breathing and meditation at one stage but it was like trying to hold back a tsunami with a paper towel.

Do you ever have nights like that? I do. More than once a week. Its like all the thoughts I managed to damp down during the day come back with a vengeance. Especially creative thoughts.

During those nights I often build the linen cupboard I want to make out of pallet wood for the alcove near the bathroom. Last night I added in the twist of getting a metal cabinet an uncle made for us many years ago as a shoe cabinet. Forget linen. That can stay in the bedroom wardrobe where it is now… I definitely need shoe storage! I wonder if the metal cabinet will fit? I have the measurements somewhere, I looked into that idea a while ago before deciding I wanted to build a cupboard… I must search my notebooks and see if I have it in one of them. Why do I have so many notebooks? Cause I like notebooks of course, especially pretty ones, and its useful to keep notes on stuff (like the size of the metal cabinet) instead of writing everything on bits of paper you lose. I have a diary I got last year but really never used… I can use that as my next notebook since the one I used before I now keep at home with ‘important’ stuff in it I can’t risk losing. And I can’t keep everything on my phone. If I lost my phone I’d be stuffed. I mean, phones keep so much of our lives on them as it is! I don’t remember anyone’s phone number any more. My mom, who is 88, remembers so many phone numbers. I used to. I used to know my credit card numbers off by heart too. How would I make that footstool I decided I can’t live without? Cut the timber pieces I have for legs – straight or at an angle? An angle would look best, but much harder to screw in place so its sturdy. Guess I could YouTube it… but straight would be easier for sure. Make a square frame, screw each leg on two sides in each corner. Maybe even put a screw down from the top in the middle. Then find something to cut a round top (do I have any boards I can use?)… I can’t make a square foot stool to sit next to my round coffee table. Wouldn’t look right. Then buy some foam cut to the right size/shape. Find some nice fabric. Do I have any fabric I can use… Wait, I have those small round boho style geometric black and white rugs… they’d be ideal! Get some wadding to soften the look of the foam. I have an electric staple gun. And hot glue. Man, I wish those clothes I bought online all fit. That black dress is hideous. All I need is a burkha and I would fit right in in the middle east. I can cut the sleeves… and raise the hem… but in order to make it fit decently I would probably have to open up all the seams and re-sew them to make it look decent. Could I be creative with it? Or the other things I bought? I love mending my older tops which have holes or where seams have come loose. I have the two summer overalls I ordered too… way too big, but that’s ok, they’re overalls after all, easy enough to take in down the sides. They basically just need the straps shortened. That might be enough. I’ve lost weight now and I’m loving becoming reacquainted with my rib cage. I need to keep it off now. Which means I need to start exercising again, walking at least. The doctor said only remove the tube when there was nothing coming out for a full week. There was still something coming out. Only about 10-20ml in 2 days, but that’s till something, right? Could I have fluid building up in my abdomen? What happens to it, even if it is just a little bit? Does it get absorbed? Is it going to poison me? I need to plant those sweet pea seeds I soaked in water. I want to take some to mom, put others in where they can climb up the scrap metal trellis I made out the back. They need to go in pots today. I planted the lupin seeds. I thought I have more lupins, blue and white ones… but I must have planted them and they died. I have one single flower on one of the plants, a pink one, the other surviving seeling is still small. And what about the unfinished dogs…?

You have some idea of what it is to live in my brain.

Exhausting.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that not only did I finish the basket, I also stitched up one of the felt cat toys I want to give away and got back to work on a broken lamp and the naked ladies made from dishwashing bottles. Maybe starting back on my creative projects sparked this avalanche of thoughts. But you’d be wrong. This happens whether I’m being creative or not. More if I’m not creative in fact, as its like all the creativity I’ve suppressed all day breaks out at night to swarm me like a pack of mosquitos on steroids.

I’m a bit late publishing this one. I’ve been having internet connectivity issues with the laptop. Odd. Anyway, better late than never!

z

naked ladies – lockdown 2 day 74

To be honest I’m not sure I should be calling this a lockdown any more. Schools are back in session for the most part and retails shops are open. The only things that remain closed are restaurants and cafes. We still have to send sms when we go out and wear masks and abide by the safe distance rules, no large gatherings, festivals still cancelled, limits on how many can travel in one car, still not allowed to travel from one county to another… but is it still a lock down? This seems almost like back to normal life… funny what you get used to.

Should I continue to number my posts by lockdown days?

Anyway, thought I’d share another of my projects… I’ve started making naked ladies. I’ve done something similar to this before but not the same. I’m going with a sort of greek statue-esque look. Maybe some will be more fertility goddess looking… for now this is the first one ready to share.

And for those of you who haven’t clicked yet… given I love art from trash and recycling and using everyday things to create art… Can you guess what she’s made from?

She’s made using a dishwashing liquid bottle as the base with DIY paper pulp, recycled cardboard and air dry clay.

Not bad for an old dishwashing liquid bottle huh?

z

mom & dad memory box – lockdown 2 day 10

I’ve had a bit of a lazy day today. Well, a lot lazy. I didn’t do much of anything at all. One thing I DID do was finish something I’ve had on my To Do list for a a long time. I finished a memory box for mom and dad. Something similar to the one I made for my grandparents.

I’d found this glass fronted display box at a second hand store last year and had always planned to use it to do this, I just never really got around to it. I did give it a coat of paint but sort then sort of got stuck…

Mainly on what to use as a background. I knew I wanted something romantic looking and about a month ago I ordered some pretty rice paper I found when shopping for art supplies online. Once I finally put the paper in the boxit was easy to sort through prints of old photos of mom and dad courting and on their wedding day and pick the ones I would use. There are so many photos it was hard to pick, and mom was so gorgeous…

You can click on the images below to see the steps and close ups of the photos I chose.

I wanted it to be romantic so I picked some lace to include, a rose and a lovely old bracelet of mom’s for a bit of bling.

It was still missing something so I found a rusty bit of wire and twisted it into a heart – perfect! Painted shabby wood, pretty paper, vintage lace, old photos, bling and rust. Can’t get better than that.

I’ve hung it by the door in my bedroom, on the same wall as the box for my grandparents and the photos of dad displayed in the old radio face.

It occurs to me I have the perfect white, lacy, shabby, romantic girly bedroom. Finally. After so many years of black furniture and dark colours. Funny isn’t it?

z