Sunday, October 5, 2014

Art Giveaway

I'm excited to announce my first ever giveaway!

I am giving away one of my 'Mermaid's Coin' limited edition collagraph prints. I have only made 10 of these and that is all there will ever be. They are all hand-painted and unique. I even named my art business Mermaid's Coin after I read that it was one of the names given to sand dollars found on the beach.

The Process

Making the print is a multi-stage process. I come up with my design for a print and when I'm happy with it, I transfer it onto my printing plate. Then the plate gets sealed and then etched. Then comes the printing. I ink up the plate and put it through the press with my artist quality paper. When it is dry, I set to work bringing it to life with watercolours.

The Print

This print depicts a sand dollar and is printed in black ink then tinted with watercolours in turquoise, aqua and periwinkle. It measure approximately 10cm x 10cm and is signed and numbered by me, the artist.
It is protected by a cut mat board, all ready to be framed. It is valued at $90. (There's only a couple left in my etsy store)

How to Win

Instagram: 1. Follow @mermaidscoin. 2. Repost one of the two competition images (above) tagging it with #mermaidscoin

Facebook: 1.Like www.facebook.com/mermaidscoin. 2. Share the competition image.

For an extra chance to win, sign up for my eNews. Newsletters get sent out once every couple of months.

A winner will be randomly selected on 10 November 2014 and contacted via facebook or instagram. I'll post the print that week!
Good luck!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Beach Boho Style Birdcage

Beach Boho Style Birdcage

I've been slowly making my house a bit more my own. We've been here almost three years now and I always feel that you get a much better sense for how you use the space once you've lived in it for a while. When we moved in, it really felt like a 'grown up house'. So I really felt that I should use grown up, neutral colours that match the bones and feel of the house. We bought chocolate brown couches, a dark maroon rug and cushion covers to match. I even bought latte coloured towels. It just seemed appropriate.

We've been planning a second story addition and as I pinned my little heart out, creating a moodboard for what it would be like, I sighed and wished that the rest of the house could be light, airy, beachy and a bit boho. Eventually it clicked and I realised, why not? So I have stopped fighting my innate urge to buy everything in turquoise and I am going with it! Turquoise and white is the new colour scheme and I think it actually fits the place very nicely.

I really like the idea of not going all-out, no-room-to-walk, can't-swing-a-cat boho, but instead, making little tableaus of bohemian beauty. Little arrangements that draw the eye without cluttering up the entire room. While I love this look, it just isn't practical for the way we live.

Ok, enough intro. The Boho Birdcage. So many bohemian rooms bring the outdoors in and I've been looking for nice ways to have plants inside. Then I found this birdcage with our neighbourhood verge pick up. Perfect.

I have been collecting weirdly shaped vessels for a while now to hold succulents. A trip to Good Sammies and $3.50 later, I have some nice shaped pots. (The tall aqua one was $3.50 at K-Mart) I couldn't resist the turquoise Rustoleum and it worked a treat on the little pot in front. There will be more posts about what the rest of the can gets used for, I'm sure.
Some ferns from Bunnings, plus some maidenhair and other bits from my mum's garden....

To keep things neat, I'm not drilling holes in the sugar bowl etc. (If you want to do this, get a diamond tipped drill bit) Instead, I wound up buying some hydroponic expanded clay to put in the bottom of each pot. This way the roots won't rot from sitting in water. You'll need to be careful not to overwater though!

So... 1
2...
3...
Here are all the post getting readied.
My birdcage pots painted and planted up.
 Then I dressed them with some sphagnum moss
et viola!
La cage à oiseaux de bohéme



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lancelin Surfin' Surfari 2014


Wedge in the wind

























It's been a long time coming, but this was my first weekend away from both Rowan and James since Rowan was born. James and I spent a week in Bali recently, but it was great to escape for a girls' weekend.
It was classic Lancelin. Complete with flies, a crazy holiday house and all of the weather.

Flies in the Wedge Dunes
Our house was absolutely classic. We tend to stay in the same place, so we tried somewhere different this time. Right across from the beach. And everything about it was an after thought. The front lounge was a deck that had been closed in. The front bedroom was the verandah, that'd been closed in. The bathroom is kinda in the kitchen.... to get to the third bedroom you actually go outside and up some stairs. And the fourth? Back down those stairs, out the back gate, through the garage-cum-bbq-area and past the laundry. Oh, and it's tiled. So it was great. Very cosy though.

It was meant to be windy aaaaall weekend. When we book these trips, months in advance so everyone is free, we don't know what the weather will be like. So the weather was naff. We stayed up super late on Friday night, except for Tania, who wakes up at 5am and is tired at 8:30... So we weren't in a hurry to leap out of bed early to race to onshore slop. As it turned out, it was pretty good fun!

Windy Wedge
This is what greeted us. I took the 5'6 mini simmons and wondered if I'd even catch anything. As it was, we all had some fun rides and the reforms went all the way in to the beach. Managed to do some halfway decent duckdives - haven't done any in months and months as I'm always on the longboard.


So everything changed and this huge rip developed which is was paddling around in for half an hour trying to get in. But I went and had a cup of tea with some guys on the reef and they pointed me in the right direction to get in.

We had our customary BBQ bacon fry-up when we got back to Casa del Escher. We had a fun afternoon surf, did the trip to the shops and I squeezed in some geeky sewing before we walked to the pub. We look like a bunch of bogans (below) but I promise we're not. (They were next door at the house with the "peck deck" out front.


The weather came in on Sunday morning, although Lancelin missed the brunt of it. It wasn't worth the 80km round trip to wedge. We were super lazy and hung out and tried to stay warm. The deck/lounge leaks. We braided each others' hair, had a spa, wandered around in our jocks, but there was no pillow fighting.
Leaving orbit

Heaving. More wind.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

How to repaint your board


Painting your board can give it a new lease in life, it's fun and will guarantee it is unique out in the water. I planned this post about 2 years ago and am finally getting around to it! So many photos to sort through made me procrastinate. And, you know, having a baby, starting your own business, and a few other things!!

What you'll need:
Newspaper
Masking tape
Stanley blade
Old shopping bags
Acetone
Spray paint or Posca pens
Safety fume filter mask

Here's my first longboard that I bought in Noosa on a trip to Queensland in 2009. Fitting three longboards and two people into a campervan was an adventure, I can tell you! It was second hand when I bought it and a few years on I didn't have any reservations about having a go at painting it.

Here's what ya do...

1. Prep work
First you need to remove the wax from where you'll be painting. All of it! See my post: Removing wax.

 2. Sanding
You need to rough up the surface of the board in order for the paint to stick. Finished boards are sealed and buffed to be glassy smooth. The paint needs a tooth to adhere to. Don't go grabbing your dad's 80 grit sandpaper. The fibreglass needs a fine paper, around 240 should do it. Sand every surface that will be painted until the glossy sheen is removed.

The surface should look like this image (above, left), drinking tea .... Clean up all the dust with some acetone and a clean rag. 

3. Design 
It's a good idea to map your design out on paper first. Do some google image searches for research and inspiration around your theme. You may be a little limited by the colours available in certain products, so think creatively.

You can paint block colours with spray paint, do intricate line work with paint pens, and add shapes and patterns with stencils. 

The sky really is the limit with stencils. You can repeat them, overlap them. You can get a really sharp outline on something like a fish or a shark, or you can cut out a wave or diamond pattern and repeat it for a geometric look. I used a whole pile of cheap stencils I made from cereal boxes and transparencies and overlapped them to get a grungy look on the skateboard, below.


4. Masking
Masking is covering any areas that will remain unpainted. It takes a long time but is ESSENTIAL for a good finish if you're going to be using spray paint. The worst thing is realising you got paint dust all over a white part of your board. 

If you are painting the entire deck of your board, figure out where the design will end, say, midpoint of the rails, and then run masking tape NEATLY along this line. If sections of the deck will be unpainted, cover those sections with newspaper and tape it down. Spray paint gets everywhere. Plastic bags can be used to tape weird shaped areas. Tape along the edge for an airtight seal.

You may want to consider using masking tape to mask off the stringer and the legrope plug, or fins/fin plugs - if you're painting the underside. Plus any shaper labels you want to remain.


You may need to temporarily mask off areas you've already painted while you work on new areas. Just wait 'til they're dry first!

5. Spraying
Work in a well ventilated area if possible. And take regular breaks. It is worth buying a ventilator mask - around $35 - with a filter for fumes.

Things I have learned...
DO
* Read the instructions on the can.
* Use the same brand of paint for all colours.
* Shake cans well and for the amount of time listed on the can.
* Apply several thin coats rather than one thick one.

DON'T
* Paint when it is raining or humid - it does weird things to the paint
* Paint when it is over 30C degrees - different paints stipulate acceptable temperatures.
* Put too much paint on at once. You can't fix runs. Wait a few minutes and apply another thin coat.

There are several great brands of paint around. Most of them aren't any more expensive than what you'd find in a hardware store, but they're better for this kind of job. Molotow are great. Rich pigment, acrylic based, and UV stabilised. In Australia, check out The Butcher Shop for all your supplies.

If you are going to get really fancy, you can buy different nozzles to allow for a wider or more focussed spray. If you're using a lot of stencils, the nozzle that comes with decent cans is fine.

Because my board already had bold blocks of colour, I covered this up with a couple of light coats of white first.

There is nothing like seeing a pro to help you learn. Check out this video of Dan Duggan at work. It will give you an idea of the distance for spraying and other details.

Molotow have a great website with tutorials about spraying and using paint pens, and extra info about their products. http://molotow.com.au/ 

6. Adding detail
Once the spray paint is good and dry, you can add details with Posca pens.

7. Sealing
Belton make a great, non-yellowing, UV stabilised clear spray paint. Use this to seal your work. Work somewhere with good light, so you can see where you've sprayed and no dust/cat hair/dog/toddler or anything else that is going to foul up your hard work.

Again, don't do this when it is hot or raining. A cloudy clear coat is aggravating, to say the least.

Move quickly and apply several light coats. You only need to wait for 5 minutes between coats. Build up the paint slowly, rather than rushing and getting gluggy runs down your board.

This coat is the only thing standing between your masterpiece and the saltwater, sand and sun. If you're doing nice, light coats, then you might need 7 coats for it to be good and sealed. Use your judgement. It should look glossy and even when you are finished.

8. Finishing off
Once everything is dry, remove your masking tape and clear spray can nozzles by holding them upside-down. Give your paint a good couple of days to cure before waxing that baby up and getting it wet. Surfs better, doesn't it?


Monday, September 15, 2014

Exhibition of Printmaking this weekend!

Exciting times! I'll have work in this exhibition. Can't wait to see all of the work together!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ignite the Park in East Victoria Park

Lots of lovely things are happening and I've been busy like a beaver!
The weather is fining up and that means markets, and soon... the Christmas madness. On top of everything, we are about to start a second story addition to our house. We like to keep things interesting.


I've just finished a custom Mandala painted fin which will be heading off to Brisbane on Monday. Want your own masterpiece for your board? Go on. Spoil yourself.


Ignite the Park was great fun last week. Next week is the last night, Thursday 11 September. 818 Albany Highway, Vic Park, from 4pm onwards!

Here's a few shots of my pop-up shop last time.


I'm heading back into the studio next weekend and have an armful of new printing plates to print. There'll be some new artwork appearing online and at my markets over the coming months.



Hope the waves are pumping wherever you are!






Monday, August 25, 2014

Ignite the Park

I had a very lovely break in Bali at the end of July/ beginning of August. Surfed every day. Ate loads.
Here's a taster - there's more on my instagram or facebook feeds.



This week I will have a stall at the Night Markets as part of the Ignite the Park Festival.

Thursday 28 August 2014
4pm to 9pm
818 Albany Highway in East Victoria Park. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's Market Season!

Well, there's no rest for the wicked and after a busy three days at the Whalebone Classic in Cottesloe, I'm gearing up for the Made on the Left Art Market on 27 July.

I'll be in Bali, but I will have two lovely ladies manning the stall filled with my prints and other handmade goodies. The market is set to be a success with oodles of delectable goodies from Western Australian artisans and designers.