Happy Tuesday Friends!
I was inadvertently offline for most of last week, well not really inadvertently, I just had a break that was longer than planned – consequently I only just got last week’s commenting done yesterday and approved all the comments that were left on my blog last week. I don’t really have a reason for it except that I think I just needed a rest. I watched two seasons of The White Lotus and the Under The Banner of Heaven mini series (based on a true crime story about a LDS murder in Utah – eyeopening!). I also did some reorganising in my art room and other rooms upstairs which resulted in Miss Lily finding somewhere to nap that was very high up. I don’t really know how she managed to get up there, but I was worried about her getting hurt trying to get back down, but she seemed to manage it just like a cat of course.
We have some things to celebrate this week, Lunar New Year, Burns Night and Australia Day, which I will get to later down the post. But first… last week I mentioned that I had won the December challenge on Country View Challenges which came with a £20 voucher from the shop. I did some shopping, picked out some products and they arrived last week:
Sorry it’s a little blurry, I took it with my phone and it’s temperamental when it comes to photos. All the products are by Aladine Inks, who are a French brand who have been making inks for 100+ years, and these products are a collab with Seth Apter. The top row are all acrylic inks in little bottles like nail polish bottles and the bottom row are pouches filled with pearly or translucent gels which can add glazes or work like texture paste. I would not normally be able to get this many for £20 but they happened to be in the January sale so that was a bonus! I already have some of these products so I was just adding to the range of colours I already had as I like working with them.
Today’s Art . . .
Today’s art is actually two things, or maybe three things. The first is an exploding book that I made last summer and then lost! As I was moving things around in the art room yesterday I discovered a bunch of things that I’d forgotten existed. I have some photos of it but to see how it works there is also a short video – BTW it’s not exactly “art” but the arm-warmers that I am wearing in the video are some that I made from a pair of old socks!
Art 1 – Exploding book
Last August I made a cat birthday card with some watercoloured cats, and since I painted way more than I needed, I thought I would turn the leftovers into an exploding book. I was planning to write a little story or perhaps a poem inside along with the pictures but then it disappeared in the sea of stuff lying around in the art room and I only just found it again yesterday.
Here’s the video so you can see it opening and closing… (29 seconds)
Design by EOTC
Art 2 – #JunkJournalJanuary Day 24 Scenery
For today’s prompt I used this photo of Glasgow taken from a magazine. Normally I would think of something else when thinking “scenery” but then I saw this photo today and it spoke to me and I wanted to use it. Maybe it’s because I am thinking of Burns Night tomorrow or maybe something else entirely. Since it has a photo on it, I am also linking this page to Art Journal Journey where the theme is to use a photo. (links at the end).
I took this photo before the paint was dry but I was running out of daylight and didn’t want to wait any longer. Notice also the cup of tea from the tea packaging and the Pukka tea label which are my tickets to tea this week.
T Stands for Currently Reading . . .
I’m currently reading this book by by Val McDermid. Val is a Scottish author of crime fiction and this is book 11 in the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series. This series was also made into a TV show a few years ago. Both are good, though can be a bit on the gruesome side.
TOTAL for 2023
T Stands for Lunar New Year – Year of the Rabbit 22nd January
AKA Chinese New Year. Some years ago I studied Feng Shui under a Chinese master, along with a friend in Melbourne. We completed 2 of the 5 levels on our journey to becoming Masters ourselves. Level 3 involved a trip to China with the student group and my friend changed her mind and didn’t want to go and so I decided not to go either and so we were permanently stuck at Level 2. At that time we did a lot of research into Chinese astrology because of course it has a bearing when it comes to consultations. You can’t really give someone a feng shui consultation if you don’t know what they are.
I am a Rabbit, there are five different types of rabbit, as with the rest of the 12 animals: The elements are in this order for these reasons – Wood starts a Fire; Fire creates Earth; Earth holds Metal; Metal carries Water; Water feeds Wood. Although each animal sign comes around every 12 years, your own elemental sign only turns up once every sixty years. In 2023, people who are born in the year of the Rabbit, Rooster, Dragon, Rat and Horse are Fan Tai Sui (which means clashes with Tai Sui who is the legendary God of age). It is a year to be careful and cautious and something that is taken very seriously in Chinese cultures. It’s better to avoid big changes, like getting married or starting a new company. It is also suggested to wear red, especially red underwear and socks to reduce bad luck. Red is not a colour that I care for but I am in fact wearing both! I am also trying to take better care of myself, even just in small ways like drinking more water, being more healthy etc. To that end…
Yoga with Kittens
I always start off really well in January joining in with Yoga With Adriene for the month of January every year, and so here we are again in January doing daily yoga. It’s not all plain sailing though, I do have some obstacles to contend with on a daily basis…
T Stands for Burns Night 25th January
Tomorrow is the time when we in Scotland and other places around the world, celebration the greatness of our most famous poet – Robert Burns. I live in the middle of “Burns Country”, he was born and lived just a few miles away.
Burns Suppers will be held all over Scotland tomorrow night where Haggis will be served and Burns poetry will be recited. The Haggis is always piped in by a piper in traditional dress and then Address to a Haggis is read before it is eaten. I have tasted Haggis but not for many years since I no longer eat meat. I have also had vegetarian Haggis but also not for a long time as I don’t want to eat things that remind me of meat (may as well eat meat IMO). From what I can remember of it, it tasted ok but it does need to be well seasoned with salt and pepper otherwise it is pretty tasteless. So I will not be eating Haggis tomorrow but I may well read some poetry.
(click for bigger photos)
T Stands for Australia Day 26th January
Australia day is a public holiday celebrating the official national day of Australia. It marks the 1788 landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove and raising of the Union Flag by Arthur Phillip following days of exploration of Port Jackson in New South Wales. In present-day Australia, celebrations aim to reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new members of the Australian community.
Once upon a time in Australia, I used to collect stamps, in particular, I collected first day covers and special stamp packs. Unlike the post office here, they made it really easy to collect the special commemorative stamps in Australia. I thought I would show you some of the special ones that were produced for Australia Day. As I mentioned above, Australia Day is now celebrated more about being an Australian rather than celebrating when it was colonised by the English, but in 1988, we celebrated the Bicentennial (200 years) anniversary of the First Fleet landing at Sydney. In the above photo there are also stamps celebrating the original Australians and Australian flora and not just colonisation. Just click the thumbnails for a better look.
And the following are various other First Day Covers celebrating Australia Day from different years….
And a joint issue in 1988 with the USA
Wow that took me such a long time to put together, I hope you enjoyed reading it. Let me know what you think in the comments. As always, thanks for reading and Happy T Day! [edit: Mr Linky told me my URL was too long so I had to change my post title – what cheek!]
recycled stuff, junk, collage etc. food packaging, acrylic inks, pitt artist pens,