Monday, 15 January 2018

Simply Neutrals #29 - Cherish

Hello friends, 

A big 'Thank you' to Wen for hosting 'Simply Neutrals Tuesday'. 

Today I'm sharing a card I made a while ago for my sister. I saw it hanging on her cupboard door when I visited her recently just before Christmas, and took this photo.

collage - Sisters by Lace Age Girl

And a card I made for a friend's first baby... I love the word 'cherish' - it calls to mind the precious smell of a baby and all those sweet moments that seem to pass so quickly.


I love the daisy peeping over it here:


Lastly, an angel I picked up on sale because it was broken. I managed to fix her broken wing with plaster of paris - she's as good as new... she's my guardian angel representing peace, along with a beautifully scented candle of tranquility and serenity.


Have a creative and productive week, my friends. Don't forget to check out the other participants of 'Simply Neutrals Tuesday' on Wen's blog here.

Love and hugs,

Jesse XXX

Monday, 8 January 2018

Out of Hibernation...of Cats and Christmas

Card by Lace Age Girl

Hello my friends. Sorry this is late for Christmas and New Year, but I'm on Slow Time. 

Happy New year Lace Age Girl

It's been so long since I've visited my blog, or even anyone else's. I've been in hibernation, recovering from PTSD and depression. The time had come for the past to erupt and be dealt with...I became immobilised with sadness and pain.

It's been a long gradual journey, trying various strategies and medicines. Some medications didn't help, and side effects were a problem, but I found an anti-depressant to lift me up enough to reach the rope so I could pull myself out of the deep well of darkness. After a year and a half I'm feeling much better, with better sleep and exercise, good counselling, life and attitude changes and mindfulness. 

Through it all my dear ginger tabby cat Gypsy was beside me, purring her good vibes into me every day when I sat in my armchair to read or be mindful. 

Gypsy was the second cat we adopted 4 years ago from the RSPCA (animal refuge). We had a few weeks previously adopted Willow, a tiny traumatised kitten (who has remained traumatised despite our love and care), and Gypsy came to us after being abandoned too, but she was a robust and confident trickster who stole our hearts and helped Willow settle down. How could we not keep her???

Willow and Gypsy cats

I still feel teary as I write this. Sadly, Gypsy got cancer (at the age of only 4) and passed away. We had 2 days to say goodbye after I took her to the vet when her breathing seemed laboured. Otherwise she seemed her healthy robust self, jumping up onto our roof to hunt birds in the treetops even the day before.

It was such a shock to learn in November that she had fluid on her lungs and though it was drained, the cancer was everywhere in her body and too advanced to save her. It was so sad to hold her as she was euthenased; I couldn't believe the depth of my feelings for her. I chose a special rose to mark her grave in our garden, an apricot colour. 


As I laid her in her grave and covered her with earth, lastly planting her special rose, I wept for my little friend. The grief I felt was cathartic, and released so much old stored up emotion. In the days after her burial I felt like a load had lifted from my shoulders, that somehow the deep emotional outpouring was cleansing. But there was a hole in my life, and my chair was no longer a happy place to sit. Keeping busy was preferable.

After a month of missing Gypsy's presence (Willow had bonded to our daughter and only tolerated the rest of the family!) I felt the need for another cat to fill the gaping hole in our family. 

So now we have rescued another abandoned kitten - Jasper. His mum and her litter of four were handed in to the Animal Welfare League, and they were looked after beautifully until he was weaned and ready to be adopted. My daughter (12) and I visited to play with all the abandoned kittens to help them be socialised, and we fell in love with Jasper. We hoped that a kitten would have a better chance of being accepted by our poor fearful Willow. 

Jasper my new kitten by Lace Age Girl

Jasper was a wonderful Christmas present...He settled in quickly and was at home with us all, enjoying the refuge of a lap for a snooze, or a romping play with anyone patient enough to endure tiny claws grasping and constant skittling across the floor. He loved the Christmas tree...


Jasper by Lace Age Girl

and the tinsel...
         
                           
          Jasper by Lace Age Girl
Jasper by Lace Age Girl


Jasper by Lace Age Girl

It will take some time, but the two cats are gradually getting closer. 

This year I only made five Christmas cards. I love how they turned out, but they took me so long! The four below were made in my sister's studio - I spent a wonderful week with her in early December. 

       Card by Lace Age Girl

          Card by Lace Age Girl

    Card by Lace Age Girl


               Card by Lace Age Girl

 The final one I made for my friend Amanda. She has been such an inspirational artist for me,as well as a great conversationalist. Her shop is called Amanda's of Mogo - one of my favourite arty shops...


Christmas collage by Lace Age Girl

Christmas collage by Lace Age Girl

Wishing you all more sleep. more health and more happiness!

New Year by Lace Age Girl


Love and hugs to you all,
Jesse XXX































Thursday, 14 July 2016

My Creative Space - Where Women Create Tour 2016

Hello and welcome to my creative space. My DH calls me 'The Queen of Clutter'. I love to surround myself with inspiration, and I enjoy changing my displays when it's time to dust them.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

As you walk through the double sliding glass doors, I have divided the room into an area on the left which contains my computer area and opposite that is my sewing machine area. I use the same chair for the sewing machine (opposite) as it's height-adjustable and ergonomic.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

My creative space opens onto an open living/dining/kitchen area. When the children were toddlers I kept the glass doors closed to allow one room to remain non-baby-proof. During their daily naps I would escape to create for a while. Now that they are older, the doors are mostly left open.  

First I'll show you the left side...the sewing bench with shelves above.

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

The room is a work space as well as a creative space. It's used for card-making, collage, making fabric collage wall hangings and books, embroidery, sewing, mending, quilting, making teddy bears and dolls as well as lining flute cases, using my computer for book-keeping, organising and editing photos and music. Pinterest is a favourite activity, too.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Our home faces a wilderness of dry schlerophyll forest which surrounds us with peace and birdsong, with the ocean waves in the background when the surf's up. 

On the left (below) is my computer desk. 

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

I spend quite a lot of time at the computer doing work-related activities, so I enjoy displaying things on my workbenches when I'm not using them. When I sew, I set the ironing board up just outside the doors, and it only takes a few moments to move displays to make free space on the benches. 

The work bench for my sewing machine is an L-shape of 19mm craft wood (MDF) which is screwed over several 'op shop' drawer units. 


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

The sewing machine sits on a recessed shelf so I have a level surface for quilting. I made a simple thread bag to catch messy offcuts. 


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

It's tied around the machine, and uses velcro to shut it when not in use.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

I made a beautiful patchwork sewing machine cover, but now it's covered with a display of my favourite doilies and laces.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Over the years I've collected quite a few tarnished pieces of old silver which isn't so fashionable any more - candlesticks, bowls, and trays of different shapes and sizes. 


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

I like to glue pieces together to make tiered displays for lace, sewing knick knacks, old jewellery, ribbons and pin cushions. Tarnished silver and vintage lace go well together.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

A close up of an embroidered pin cushion I made years ago...


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573


Gorgeous porcelain roses...


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573


 I've made many a teddy bear over the years. This one was fashioned from an old woolen coat. In the early days I couldn't afford mohair, so I would look around for cheap old fur coats from op shops and get 3-4 bears out of a coat. This is Edwina, and she is wearing a small baby dress I smocked.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

One of my favourite pastimes is hunting for old furniture to re-purpose. This is an old library card catalogue (which I think came from Dee's Funk'nJunk at Ulladulla). It now holds coveted quilting fabrics, sorted by colour. I covered the front of the drawers with special quilting fabrics.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573


This set of sewing drawers came from a dilapidated old Singer sewing machine cabinet in a junk sale. I rescued the drawer units off it and put them together using part of its top for a base, and adding a new top. I decided to paint it shabby chic white and distress it to hide the new timber top. It's great for storing ribbons, stationery and sewing scissors.

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573




Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573


Small drawers attract my attention at junk sales. They are great for displaying bits and pieces... the more worn-looking, the better!


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Doilies are something that bring joy to my heart - the loving work of women who have spent their time and talent to make their world a more beautiful place. 


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace treasures spilling over like a waterfall...


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573



I take great pleasure in creating vignettes of pretty lace and objects. A favourite quilting book is draped with an exquisite piece of lace, a Birthday card from my Mum and a piece of wool I embroidered years ago. It was on a bear's belly, but I've decided to give it a new lease of life - probably in a future fabric book.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573



Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Vintage scales (broken!) displaying sumptuous laces...


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573


Vintage books are another passion I enjoy. They feature in my displays around the house, and I love to browse their musty pages, too!


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Now to take a look at the paper crafting area to the right...


There is a high bench I can stand to work at or sit on the tall stool. It used to be a nappy changing table but I added a large MDF top to extend the bench space, and the large cutting mat is stuck on with double-sided tape so it won't slip. I use it for cutting paper as well as quilt blocks.

At the right you can see CD covers which contain clear stamps, labelled on the spine with tape. The small drawers contain shells, buttons, ribbons, found objects, paper flowers and other tiny bits used for collage.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

On the tall chair is a vintage photo of a baby called Lorraine. She is a treasure given to me by a wonderful vintage shop dealer, Dee of Dee's Funk'n'JunkShe was sad that this picture had been abandoned in a clean-up after Lorraine had passed away at a ripe old age, with no children to pass on her precious mementos to so they'd be appreciated.  Dee knew I would cherish it, so she generously gave it to me - and made my day :)


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

I'd like to share her with you (to use in your artworks, not to resell) as my first give-away... I'd love to see what you make with her. If you left click on her, then right click, you can save her to your computer at a higher resolution.

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Vintage sewing machines are works of art, and I have just two - this lovely Jones which came without its cupboard sits in pride of place in my crafting space. I also have  a Singer treadle from my grandmother which I'll share with you another time.

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573



Here are some of my creations, collections and flowers from my garden...

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

I live on the South Coast of NSW, Australia, with my DH, three children and two RSPCA rescued cats, Gypsy and Willow.  Gypsy is the bold, naughty one, while Willow is the timid grey one. They enjoy the comfort of drawers, quilts, pillows and laps.

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

When our children grew out of their bookshelves I decided to add them to the back of my sewing bench for storage and display. These baskets contain doilies, scarves, fabric scraps and lace cut from second-hand clothes, sorted by colour, with the prettiest on top. I've hung some special doilies on the front of each basket just to appreciate them every day...


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573



Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573


It can be a challenge to find things when they are tucked away in various pretty boxes or drawers. I try to keep tools and materials together near their relevant work space, and  I like to label them where possible. The higher shelves where I can't reach easily are for displaying things I don't need to access much.

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573


Here are some yummy seam binding ribbons which I mounted on a dowel glued into a round craftwood base. I just unwind the ribbon in their place as I need a piece.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

A needle case I embroidered nestles among vintage lace, sweet pink tape measures and a velvet rose...


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Here it is in another vignette with old wooden cotton reels and huge old pinking shears on a box I covered with quilting fabric.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573
Fairy children and babies populate my creative space. I cut them from cardboard and give them butterfly or moth wings and a cardboard stand. Next I add glitter, feathers, jewellery, lace and found objects. Wings symbolize freedom, and babies have been a source of inner healing and growth for me.

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573

I've always been interested in the past and pestered my parents to tell me about 'the olden days'. It's my good fortune to be the caretaker of both sides of my family's family tree photos and info, and this has fostered an appreciation of vintage photos and the memories and stories attached to old worn things.


Lace Age Girl Studio Tour 2016 https://lace-age-girl.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/my-creative-space-where-women-create.html?showComment=1468574219804#c445309567340364573


Thank you to Karen Valentine for hosting 'Where Women Create 2016'. Drop in to her blog My Desert Cottage
and browse the other creative spaces on the 2016 tour.

I can't wait to enjoy this year's tour...
cheers,
Jesse