An Experimental Life

Monday, November 21, 2005

Just sad

OK, I know that regularly keeping up to date with things is not my specialty in life, but there are reasons I haven' t posted in weeks.

I haven't journalled in a while - haven't even opened it - and this tends to happen when life throws curve balls at me. Although I think that journalling at the moment will probably help me with where I'm at, I just don't have the motivation to put anything on paper.

It looks like our beloved cat Minou is quite close to dying. She has FIV, the feline equivalent of HIV, and is just going downhill rapidly, with no immune system to kick in and fight whatever infection is slowly taking her away. She was only diagnosed a week and half ago, and hasn't eaten a thing in that time, and only drinking as much water as we can give her through one of those plastic medicator syringe thingies. So it's quite likely we'll be having her euthanised this week (we're giving things one last shot with a naturopathic vet but her chances are slim), and the thought of it is just really taking its toll on me, especially since we had to have Muffin, another of our cats, put down in August this year. It's all happening so suddenly, and I've never known any people who've died who've been as close to me as my cats are. We still have two others, but it's just not the same after you lose an animal that's been a part of your family since childhood. All our cats are 13, so they're not even that old - I was 12 when we got them, and I still remember the days we brought them home, two of them in May and the other two a few months later.

I know at some point I will probably create a journal for all the memories I have of our cats, but for the moment, it's just a bit too hard to face. I'll have some more scans of various things posted soon.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Random weirdness

I honestly don't know what I was thinking about when I put this page together. I was flicking through magazines looking for anything that inspired me for the first oxymoron prompt of the month, when I cam across a picture of half a horse. It was just too hard to resist using it for something, although the page is kind of silly! :o)


Getting gluey

I spent some time this afternoon playing around with things in the sidebar - it took me ages! I'm rapidly teaching myself html just from playing around with what goes where and seeing what it does, and I'm pretty happy with how it looks considering I started this crash course... oh... 2 days ago? I know there's more I could do with it, but I'm taking the baby steps approach.

Some more gluebook pages...

One of the things I like about the gluebooks group are the daily prompts, not that I get a chance to do something everyday, but it forces you to put a creative spin on something that might at first seem kind of ordinary. Gradually I'm getting faster at doing these quick collages, but the slowest part is going through magazines looking for that ever elusive 'perfect image' to use. I usually sit and watch TV or listen to an audiobook while I work, though some days I just clip pictures and phrases to use another time. Some days I have to be quick to grab the glossy mags that come with the newspaper before Mum puts them out with the recycling!

These are pages just from the prompts, though I often do unprompted spreads too.

The prompt for this was 'woods'. Because we don't usually say woods in Australia - it's usually forest or 'the bush' - when I hear the word woods I think of fairy tales: Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, plus a million others I'm sure. Also the song Teddy Bears' Picnic which I remember from my childhood - we had a cassette tape of fun kids' songs that was well and truly worn out! "If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise..."

This was for the 'fire' prompt, although I'm not really that happy with this page. It just lacks something. But I had fun ripping up the cellophane (which has been stashed in a box probably since I was in primary school).

My 'weekend challenge' page, using only things that played a part in my weekend (a couple of weeks ago now). I visited a tiny art gallery in Dandenong that was featuring an exhibition of digitally altered photographs which had been printed onto either canvas or silk. Some of them were really effective with beautiful luscious colours, although my favourite ones were those that you couldn't tell were photos of anything since they'd been altered so much. I also did the Sudoku in the paper (a Saturday morning ritual), sang at a wedding on Saturday afternoon (you can't really tell, but I included some of the nice paper used for the order of service - I didn't know the bride and groom so I didn't feel that guilty about tearing up the booklet!), and went to a scrapbooking party on Sunday afternoon. The Toffee Crisp pretty much speaks for itself...

Prompt: moon. I found this picture totally by accident, but I love its shimmer and mystique. It didn't scan that well unfortunately, but I love this page, even though it's so simple.

Another page I liked for its simplicity; the prompt was 'bare branches'. I had been looking for interesting pictures of trees in winter - one of my absolute favourite things, as you can quickly gather from my Tasmania photos - but when I saw this picture, I knew it was the right one.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Seven cats, two rabbits, a dog, two fish, and a confused leopard

I'll post more pics once I get used to using Blogger, but for now, here are some recent journal pages from the last few days. I don't usually average this many pages over a weekend, but since I joined the Yahoo gluebooks group at the start of October, I've been doing a bit more in my art journal.

Some friends of mine were away for the weekend on a church camp so I fed their animals while they were away, as well as feeding our own cats and rabbits. The total came to: 7 cats, 2 rabbits, a dog and 2 fish!

I recently finished Robert Dessaix's beautiful novel Corfu, set on the wonderful Greek island. It's all about a young gay Australian actor who goes to spend a couple of months there on a whim, responding to an ad for a place for rent while the occupant is travelling. The character (whose name we are never told) gradually discovers more about the person whose house he is living in, through meeting his friends and neighbours. I know that doesn't make the plot sound very interesting, but there are big themes in the book - travel, the idea of coming 'home', making an extraordinary life out of ordinary circumstances, and the timeless search for love and relationships. Plus Dessaix writes beautifully, so I was inspired to create a journal page about the book. I find that I remember books so much more clearly, and lodge them deeper in my subconscious, when I create something to respond to how I felt when reading it. (Oh, by the way, I cheated a little with the picture on the spread - it's not actually Corfu because I couldn't find a nice one the right size, so actually it's Santorini! Which is not really very similar to Corfu, but the photo is prettier... but like anyone's gonna know, right?)

I finally did my tax last Friday! In Australia the end of the financial year is 30 June, with tax returns due by the end of October, and even though I always say I'm not going to leave it till the last minute, I always do. But then I am the Queen of Last Minute Things, so it's hardly surprising really. I love the glazed expression on the leopard, and it fit so beautifully with how I felt after wading through the forms. I had a minor heart attack when I thought I was going to be slapped with a bill for $200 instead of getting money back, but fortunately my dad calculated it wrongly - the ATO website estimates that I should get some back. Not heaps, but enough. Panic over, crisis averted...

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The obligatory introduction post

Once upon a time, I used to have a blog. It sort of faded into obscurity, but no one was reading it anyway so it didn't matter much.

But since getting back to journalling again after an on-again, off-again routine of several years, it's nice to have somewhere to post scans and share things. For 12 years, all my journals just consisted of page after page of writing, much of it teen angst stuff that I wouldn't want to burden the world with having to read. Venturing into art journalling has been wonderfully liberating though, and now I actually like looking back at things I did a year or so ago and it spurs me to keep going. It may not be brilliant art, but it's fun and therapeutic and feels good.

So you can hopefully expect to see some scans here at some point, plus a certain amount of me rambling on about nothing in particular. You're unlikely to find anything particularly profound here, but if you read or see something that resonates with you, feel free to drop me a line to say hi.

Well, that's enough of a first post. Bye for now!