Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Etegami, Colour, and the words of Van Gogh.

On my morning walk I was confronted at almost every turn by this rambunctious vine, Pyrostegia venusta or Brazilian Trumpet creeper. This enthusiastic late winter bloomer is a jarring sight clothing many drab tumbledown fences, draping them in brazen colour,  livening up the otherwise gentle tints of spring. Brazen it may seem but on a blustery cold day it does lift my mood. The dog only blessed it in his usual manner and passed on.
My present preoccupation with the letters of Van Gogh helped to  find a very apt quote to go with my model, a snippet I stole from a neighbour, an unknowing patron of the arts!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vincent again.

Another etegami celebrating the wisdom of Vincent Van Gogh and the coming of spring.

The whole quote is "There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people" but here it can also encompass nature something which moved Vincent Van Gogh to make some of the most wonderful works of art 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Now, I'm not a cat person, but

Sometimes I look at the cute photos of kitties 'littering' the internet and I  momentarily forget that I am a dedicated dog person and fantasise about owning a cat. Our family did have a cat once, a white cat named unimaginatively Simba for the cartoon character Simba the White Lion. On one of our sabbatical trips overseas Simba was left in the care of a neighbour who lived on a rural property where I thought he would be safe but he was not happy and went feral,  by the time we returned a year later his health was failing. Sad story but we made his last days happy when he was able to come home again.
Cats are among the most popular subjects for etegami so I thought I would express a little about what I felt about them.  I have plenty of cat loving friends who will be happy to have the cards.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A purply, mauvey kind of day.

Interesting fact about the dye colour  mauve, it was the first of the aniline (artificial) dyes to be invented in 1856 and gave ordinary folk access to a colour previously restricted to royalty and extracted at great cost from the murex shellfish. All of which has little to do with this post today except that it is interesting to note that like almost every other good thing, nature thought of it first. I have been noticing a lot of purple tints appearing in our late winter/ early spring flowers and fruits.
The Lillipilli is a subject almost begging to be etegamied, those luscious mauvey, purply, reddish fruits that while not the most tasty of fruits, are generally edible and look for all the world like strange coloured cherries.

Another pale pink almost mauve flower anticipating spring is the lovely star magnolia which looks so fragile but which withstands the wintry weather for a few days at least to cheer us up.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Everyday matters Day #4

The challenge for day four of Everyday matters is to paint your cup. This cup is from a set of willow pattern by Johnson Bros., a cheap little cup but it has the kind of shape that cools your tea in just the right way and the handle is comfortable, attributes beyond price!
The words pose a question often used as an accusation and much overused, but however they still bear thinking about. No, the cicada is not about to dive into the tea, it is one of those etegami Ooopsies! (we do have flies here who try to commit suicide in alfresco teacups though.

A presumptuous sunflower.

Who can presume to paint a sunflower except in hommage to Vincent Van Gogh? Perhaps the only excuse is to pay homage to Nature.
The sentiment on this card written by Vincent to his brother Theo voices the wish I think that is within all of us. The beauty that surrounds us is surely worth noting and memorialising, I have often thought that the beauty that is in Nature is wasted on us if we do not attempt to notice it in some way, however humble and this perhaps is what separates us from the rest of creation.
Thank you Vincent.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Go gentle...

I have been re-reading the letters of Vincent Van Gogh and lusting after the complete edition of his letters but at around $500 for the boxed set I think I shall have to content myself with other people's selections. These selections invariably focus on the more sensational aspects of his life, his religious mania, his famous self mutilation and finally his suicide. However,Van Gogh was more than a madman and an artist, he was a writer and in his letters to Theo his brother there are many pearls of wisdom and observations about art, life and his feelings.
I was moved to illustrate the quote  on this etegami as I have often thought that flowers accompany and evoke our most tender feelings for others and among flowers the cyclamen is one of the most gentle.
Weddings, bereavements, birthdays, sickness, flowers accompany our feelings in all.

I have used a new tool in making this etegami, my friend Fumiko has sent me this very useful small bamboo instrument which works beautifully with the absorbent etegami cards and gives a satisfying amount of "blobbiness".

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The BIG question.

An etegami for an online friend who is about to be a mum (squeal!)
Not only is this a wonderful thing in and of itself but even more wondrous is that the Etegami Fun Club on Facebook is made up of primarily ladies and gentlemen of a certain age, so it is quite an unusual event for this stately group of mainly retirees to hear of a member actually procreating.
The big question is of course is it a boy or girl? at the moment it is called Pumpkin or some related vegetable but we wait with bated breath!
Whichever comes, good luck Char.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tender thoughts of long ago.

Today I remembered my Nanna who was my closest friend and ally until I left home to marry at the ripe old age of eighteen. I saw little of her for the last few years of her life, I was in America, she at home. Her last years were difficult, she had the same kind of lung problems as I do but from a different cause, a further bond between us.
Whenever I wash the china teacups on the shelves in my kitchen I remember her insistance that I have a proper trousseau, something she began with a half dozen bone china cups and saucers. Of course this gathering together of household items is an outmoded custom, in fact most couple have a full household  of goodies by the time they decide to tie the knot.
In any case, my teacups do hold more than tea, they hold memories, something I would like to pass on to my granddaughters. who sometimes take tea with me out of the very cups my Nanna gave me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day three.

Day three of the 'Every day matters" drawing challenge to do a drawing a day. Today's task is to draw a bag. I have illustrated the last part of a quote by Benjamin Franklin. In full it reads;

"Poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue; it is hard for an empty bag to stand upright".


It is a little at odds with the colourful bag but then poverty comes in many guises.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An etegami a day...keeps the sloth away.

The challenge thrown out by a  member of the Etegami Fun Club on Facebook is to do an etegami each day on a set subject, this should throw up some pretty weird topics, but I'm game!
The first topic was "Draw a shoe".
I love these slippers, they cost a ridiculous amount of money but I do spend a great deal of time in the hospital where stylish footwear is de rigeur, so that completely justifies the expense in my eyes!
The second challenge is to "Draw a lamp" and how could I go past my fantastic Tolomeo lamp. It sits on my bedside table and contorts itself at my slightest whim, you want romantic lighting? point me to the ceiling. reading, give me your full attention..., you get the idea.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday-stamp day!

I have been thinking about an echidna stamp since my exchange of etegami (and words) with Dan from Shropshire on the subject of feral echidnas in Shropshire (don't ask!), so a bit of Saturday afternoon silliness is the result.
 Give it a funny accent though and it could pass for a Kiwi!
This one is me being spontaneous.

Little boxes.

Miss Curlytop, my third granddaughter, is the only one of my four granddaughters who seems to be interested in many of the little hobbies and crafts I waste my time on. She picks up the skills easily and unlike her grandma has a retentive memory. During our weekend together she taught me how to make these little boxes and like potato chips, it is difficult to stop at one!
A good way to use up those origami squares that are less attractive, combining them makes a more interesting object.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The calm AFTER the perfect storm.

Yes, things have returned to their dull normal routine here today, second son has been farewelled, granddaughters delivered back to their parents and it is time to catch up on a bit of etegami-ing.
Last week, knowing that I was struggling a bit and worried that I would not make it through the weekend, my good friend Jan (remember Jan?, she bakes) gave me a bunch of gorgeous roses to cheer me up.
I did so want to send her a card but roses are the most difficult flowers to draw, never mind, it's the thought that counts and as Debbie always reminds her disciples,"clumsy is okay"'

And an RSVP. The person asked for an email but that is so boring isn't it? Good old snail mail!!!
Very fond of this snail I am Precious. Hope it reaches her in time.
By the way, a couple of these etegami are sporting my new stamp, "St Cicada" patron saint of tinnitus sufferers, ah you have to laugh or you would go nuts!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My cup runneth over.

A magical weekend!
Our son from Singapore took advantage of a fabulous deal on the new Singapore Airlines budget carrier Scoot! to fly down for the weekend for a visit. As a bonus we are taking care of our three granddaughters for the weekend also and this meant that they were able to spend some rare time getting to know their uncle. As I write this they are out Laser Skirmishing with him and grandfather while I catch up on 'housework'...(read etegami and blogging!)
To keep my hands busy while chatting and catching up I have been using some of the precious pieces of chirimen silk I bought from Japan to copy a little bag in the shape of a cicada that I purchased in Japan six years ago.I have wanted to do this for a long time but was unable to buy just the right kind of fabrics. Even now I have used more colourful fabrics than the beautifully understated Japanese original, however I am pleased with the result.
I also made another set of otedama with the small offcuts and I am enjoying them, they make great 'worry beads'!
To top all this off there is the etegami of the finished little bag which measures only about 10cms.
For the etegami I have used one of the new cards my son ordered from Japan they do not have bleed as such, more a kind of blurr, shall have to work with this to find the best medium to use.

The original Japanese bag (or pouch really).
 My versions.