Sunday, June 24, 2012

A lovely visit.

A lovely visit from my younger brother, his son and granddaughter all of whom I have not seen in over a year. He lives a long 7 hour car trip away, a distance that defeats me and I was so pleased we could see him on his way on a visit to two of his granddaughters.
I was inspired to make an etegami of the fantastic tomatoes that they arrived with and which they picked at a hydroponics farm on the way. Rich, red and lustrous, they were too beautiful to eat with out memorializing them in some way.
It still surprises me in this time of the 'Global Village' to see fruits and vegetables out of season from far away but even more so to see them grown closer to home in hothouses and to find them so lovely.
Thick sliced tomato sandwiches seem like a good idea!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Not an etegami but...

..........inspired by an etegami on the Facebook page Etegami Fun Club.
One of the members, Linda Bachrach posted a charming etegami of some otedama or Japanese jacks which were a traditional Japanese toy, rather like little beanbags. The game was similar to the American 'Knucklebones' and 'jacks' which is what we called them in Australia. I certainly played the game using boiled and dyed sheep Knucklebones! These little otedama are much nicer. Larger versions are used for various other games such as juggling and they were often made from scraps of kimono fabric.
These little ones tried my dexterity, sewing on tiny scraps of slippery fabric but I did try a cotton one which was much easier.

           The little cotton one;

A fun distraction, thanks Linda for the idea.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What can I say?

Yes, feeling sentimental, maybe it is just having come through a rather grueling week, but it occurred to me that like a boomerang returning to the thrower, love is never really thrown away. Sometimes it may seem that way but I believe that at the final reckoning, the more love you have spread around, the more you will receive. (Yes I KNOW boomerangs are for killing things, but let me have a little poetic licence here!) So, another rather simple stamp.
At this very moment I am full of soup, bread and contentment having just returned from a Labor party fundraiser in a member's backyard. Nice food, nice folk, sunshine and my family about me. Aaaah!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A BIG day.

Yesterday was a big day in our lives, the Prof fortunately came through the procedure he underwent. Atrial tachycardia or 'flutter' as it is called (an almost whimsical term for a potentially very dangerous condition) was his problem. The surgeon performed an ablation of  the nerve and it was successful,  hopefully for a long time. All seems well and he is home again in his big chair, TV remote in hand and looking forward to exercising a little more in a few days time, at least that is my view of the future!
Still carving stamps but now they are getting bigger I wonder if I could presume to call them prints?
The artist Frida Kahlo has long been interesting to me, she battled very severe injuries which affected her for the whole of her life but nonetheless she went on to create works of art that still resonate today.
Monkeys too feature in her work and it seemed a logical step to combine my recent monkey preoccupation and an image of Frida.
Frida Kahlo's vivacity and lust for life is the stuff of legend, her affair with Trotsky a strange footnote to the Russian Revolution. Viva la vida Frida!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sock it to me!

An etegami celebrating that most American of toys, the homemade sock monkey and the '60's TV show, Rowan and Martin's "Laugh In". Pun intended!

Yes, it is another stamp!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Lizzie! and an etegami.

Sitting at my computer enjoying a holiday thanks to Her Gracious Majesty Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth the Second's the Queens Birthday weekend! I must write to thank her for the holiday but I guess Her Royal Irrelevance would be too busy with the celebrations taking place right now in England for the Royal Jubilee to notice a missive from the colonies.
In holiday mood yesterday we took ourselves to an Art Bazaar at a nearby town, met our son and his family and had a lovely lunch to celebrate his birthday, surrounded by art. Strolling through the Bazaar later these bowls caught my eye.

The card is self explanatory. I am a little red faced, having lately declared a moratorium on buying 'stuff', but hey, 'ars longa vita brevis' as they say, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Also this weekend, another rather brown etegami in response to a call for an "American" etegami, rather predictable this one but I was having a hard time thinking past Hollywood and the gun culture.
I have lived in the USA for a total of five years many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the people there but coming from a country where gun ownership is not the norm the number of firearms in people's hands the US is frightening, so, Apple Pie it is!
Very brown offering today but they match the grey weather. In any case, Toodle pip!

Friday, June 8, 2012


Prompted by an etegami made by Debbie, I took up the challenge to make one based on a nonsense rhyme. So many to choose from! While everyone is familiar with the works of Edward Lear and Lewis Carrol, I thought a more contemporary author might be fun. Poor old Spike Milligan has departed this life  (his tombstone sports the fabulouse epitaph, "I told you I was sick!") but he lives in the memory of many in the English speaking world for his work on the BBC's Goon Show.
It seemed like a good idea to indulge my new found passion for stamp carving, that way I can send the cards I make to more friends, and carve a couple of cheeky monkeys. I hope Spike approves.

My second one is based on that nonsensical game 'Barrel of monkeys' which many of us remember from our or our children's childhood.
Last Wednesday marked the official opening of the etegami exhibition in the hospital and the Prof and I trudged along in atrocious weather to see the works launched. They have been hanging for about three weeks already and the lady who organizes these exhibitions made a very nice speech telling how they were entertaining passersby and patients who often stopped to look and read.
Even my friends who had seen many of the works in isolation remarked how well they looked hung together.  It was nice to talk to the people at the opening to explain a bit about etegami and the way it is becoming not just a way of doing art for art's sake but as a means of reaching out to others.
All in all a good week.
Next Wednesday the Prof has his medical procedure so I shall probably be a bit preoccupied with that, hopefully another good week, fingers crossed.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Take two on the new etegami cards.

A strange morning, out of touch with the cyber world and colliding with the 'real world'.
Our electricity supply was interrupted for several hours this morning, no hot shower, no TV and gasp! NO INTERNET!
The reason for the interruption was the tree removal happening in the park across from us.
Sad to see one of the venerable old ficus trees go but it was clearly diseased and posing a risk to the park users.
The removal took longer than usual as protesters turned up 'stormed the barricades' and had to be removed by police. Tree removal is an emotive issue here in Newcastle, several iconic trees have recently been cut down in the city center and now protesters have been sensitized to any tree felling operation, warranted or not. I am somewhat relieved it has gone, hopefully its replacement will provide shade for the next generation of picnickers in the park. So much excitement  in our quiet backwater, I think I shall have a little lie down.
To show my bona fides I thought an etegami celebrating trees would be appropriate.

This card is one of the No 10 quality ordered from the Rakuten site. A little difficult to get a handle on the nijimi factor but quite a serviceable card.
 Another No 10 card celebrating the best autumn display we have had in years in our mild climate.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Testing, testing...

I was pleasantly surprised today when some cards and replacement paint pans that I had ordered only a few days ago arrived from Japan.  Keen to try out the cards I did this etegami.
 I am quite happy with the cards, they are thinner than the ones I usually use but okay for mailing in an envelope.
I am posting the link here for any English speakers who are having trouble sourcing etegami cards or paints.
Just copy it to your search engine. As usual the cost of postage is quite an impost but these cards are not really readily available except in Japan.