This is how I've spent some of this mother's day, stacking firewood into the "woodshed". This little structure was one of our first building attempts out here. It was intended as a "temporary" solution to our firewood storage needs and is built with bush poles, scrap timber and old roofing iron. It has stood nigh on thirty years! Not so bad for a temporary building. It is a little swaybacked and it has a definite lean in a south~easterly direction and quite frankly I'm surprised it's still standing! We keep thinking it will do for another winter....and another....and another and still it stands! Being "off the grid" for everything this is a vital part of keeping things going out here, a good wood supply. Our kitchen wood~fired stove also heats our water.......so no wood, no fire, no hot water. We like it that way, being totally in control of things, but it can get very wearying at times, and as we get older it's getting harder. I guess the time will come when we will really need to re-think things and find some "simpler" solutions. Meantime, our little shed serves our needs.
The other thing I've been doing today is playing with paperclay. I've been sculpting this doll's head, it started out as a styrofoam egg over which the clay has been added. I have been following a guided tutorial by Sue McFadden (Blueprints in Felt Doll Making), and I have been enjoying it immensely. I have dabbled in dolls from time to time and played in my sister Susie's studio, but I always come unstuck when it comes time to paint! If I fiddle about long enough I can get a reasonable looking sculpt, but me and paint? Ugh! When I saw this tutorial I thought it was much more manageable for me as there is minimal painting involved! I love the tactile look of the wool felt over the paperclay sculpt, it somehow feels closer to bearmaking for me. (Now getting the felt to sit nicely over the sculpt might prove to be too much of a challenge for me, so stay tuned for an update!) I still have quite a way to go with the sculpting but it's getting there. I suppose I should really put it aside and get some bears made, it's only a few short weeks until the Gold Coast International Teddy Bear Fair! You might like to take a look at Sue's work, her dolls have such gentle souls, and are quite whimsicle, you'll find them here
I am a textile artist, I spend my days creating bears for collectors. It gives me the greatest pleasure to see the smiles my bears bring, to collectors, and I love the reactions from children! They are so honest!