Sunday, 22 June 2014

It's a little number that's a big deal

First birthday celebrations

We recently marked the last of the first birthdays in our household.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Seven skirts in 7 days

A-skirt-a-day-for-7-days Challenge

Over the past week, I've been undertaking this wee challenge.

Monday, 21 April 2014


Hope you've had a good Easter - perhaps one day left of the long weekend for Southlander's marking Anniversary Day - and of course for those of us embarking on the school holidays... here's how our Easter unfolded.

The Penny Drops kicked things off with an Easter giveaway...

We peppered our home with some Easter bunnies...

And baked some Easter goodies in the kitchen.

Our Easter cookies cutters got some further work at breakfast time, making some eggy bread.

On our sole outing, we hopped over to the Catlins to visit friends...
 There's also been a bit of time to restock some Penny Drops' old favourites...

Your chance to grab a new crown is pending: details soon....



Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Big is good

If you're not already convinced of the merits of size, check out this conversation from Facebook below: 

Awhina Russell Fine Art Photographer
I have been getting up to date with my work-load, I've just sent a huge order to my printer..... one has an amazing A0 sized Canvas in it....... (HUGE)... and it has the ocean in it.... and this is how my work is designed to be printed - it makes me happy when clients order big prints - exciting. 

My comment:
A0 is fabulosity. I have a frame that I regularly fill with an A0 print (photocopy quality but its ok for short rotation) and change up for big impact. But a canvas with one of your pics would be sensational!

Awhina replies:
An A0 Framed print is next on my list for my home  it’s a great idea swapping the print around! When I restructure - it will be more about 'big-prints' my work is meant be be printed big!!!!! to get the full impact. I have an A0 Canvas on display in my lounge, its magnificent!
 Fine Art Canvas too - delicious.

It's an op shop find. I fill with a print which I change every couple of months depending on season or whose birthday's in the family...

I need something made - so I can potentially sell it* and the print - I want non-reflective glass - I'll have to get some quotes around town*. 

Non reflective glass would be fab. But I don't suppose I can be too upset with my (bargain) find not being *perfect*. Have sent you a pm

We picked up the conversation here:

Sorry - didn't mean to hijack your post so will send this privately! Then afterwards i use the image to make bows etc...

...big has so much more impact. I sell everything that’s on display on my walls - so I really want to get a big framed print up….
That is a beautiful landscape is it one of your own photos?

The pic is at curio bay - in the foreground are my hubby and baby (getting his first look at the ocean) - they would be completely lost in a smaller print of this image. Big is good Without them, it would probably be quite a boring image.

I often feel that way (people get lost in my pics) when they're printed small. That is a really special pic!!!!! Not boring it has sentimental and emotional value attached to it which all good pictures should*

Just thinking excerpts of this conversation about pic size would make a good blog post...?


So there you are. Long story short: go big!

(Especially if you're fortunate enough to have an image taken by the seriously talented Awhina - if you haven't already - go. see. her. work. Amazing!!)



Saturday, 15 March 2014

Explorations and inspiration

Summer's over, but memories linger.

We live in a beautiful part of the world.

It might not be conventional, but there is definite beauty in the rugged, windswept coastline of our 'neck of the woods'.
(Even the grass grows sideways at Slope Point.)

But there's usually shelter to be found somewhere - to enjoy your first taste of the beach.

The architecture is picture perfect - so long as you like a bit of crumble, decay and flake.
And the locals are an inquisitive sort.
Inspiration abounds long after the exploration. 



Thursday, 6 March 2014

On my walls

A big week at The Penny Drops' HQ - the call went out on Sunday to rally towards 1,000 Facebook followers - and by Monday we were there!

So grateful to everyone who 'pitched in' - and have some giveaways up at the moment - closing Sunday, so be sure to head over to the Facebook page to check it out...

Meanwhile, the circle pieces from my last blog post have been really popular.

Today I've been playing around with how I'd use them in my home - in the unikely event I get left with any for myself...

One of my favourite wall hanging modes is linear - as depicted below in these Origrami prints of European travels from a lifetime ago:

Love to find a narrow space - either horizontal or vertical - and lining up a sequence of pieces; be they photos, paintings or any other of the many forms art can take.

These narrow spaces are everywhere in a home (alongside a doorway, above a window...) and can be fun to play around with - using blu tac makes it easy, noncommital, flexible and adaptable.

Sometimes just one can fill a space:

I've also shared the work in progress of this quote during the past week, so thought I'd share where it ended up:

(That's a kitchen wall, facing my little ones as they eat their tea - being sure to eat their greens of course.)



Monday, 24 February 2014

Round in circles

I'm flat out making these:

But have managed a break or two to drum up some new pieces.

Circles are my favourite shaped art at present.


This one was inspired by my 'need' to replace the Christmas decoration still hanging on the front door.

But this may be my favorite.

Looking good in a cluster as well. Loads of fun to be had selecting a few pieces and arranging them as an installation.

Here's one idea: +

I expect I'll be painting some more soon. But many more of these to make yet...


Saturday, 1 February 2014

Bringing back the love

Having relocated mid-way through 2013 and playing *significantly* forth fiddle behind three kids - one being a new baby - my poor shop was feeling - and looking - somewhat neglected.

I declared to my mother-in-law a coupe of weeks ago that it needed a bit of a refresh.

The transformation is now largely complete.

Today my 'baby' had her first outing...

Sporting a new garden: still very young for now but will be a nice wee triangle of garden when it grows up a bit, filled with scavenged plants divided from overgrown clumps around the home garden - mondo grass, agapanthus and alyssum.

 Free plants - look out for them in your garden!

A new sign - featuring very genuine 'distressing': no sandpaper created this effect, 100% authnetic weathering.

A few skirts snuck into the inventory (!) - a simple hanger on the porch made from flax stems: strong, lightweight... and happen to grow in abundance at the end of my driveway.

Blackboard painted door.

A new selection of prints - available for the first time, as an option, framed.

A strip of fabric rings the room - or it will, once more arrives!

And it was father-in-law to the rescue when this previously very rotten floorboard gave way during the week. I've decided to make a feature of the new board by gluing some decorative paper on, then sanding it back to distress it.

Had some fun in the sun this week, with a bucket of dye and a 2m length of fabric to create this dip-dyed tablecloth. Has dip-dyeing/ombre had it's day? I was inspired by all the shibori dyeing I've being seeing on Instagram lately.

Letting a little more wall space shine through, with a less is more approach to displaying.

More new frames - letting this very popular 'ABC' print shine in its own frame.

A good selection of cushions (and some great fabrics still to come!). Inners now available as an option - by popular request.

The empty frame strung as a display - not an original idea by any means, but very effective and orderly. These newish earrings are proving very popular.

Topped off with this lampshade crocheted in a lovely duck egg coloured wool.

Oh - and electricity! A simple pleasure that had been lacking since we moved sites.

I hope you'll come see for yourself soon.



Thursday, 2 January 2014

The evolution of a thought process

I woke up this morning with the words of Emily Dickinson in my head:

"Hope is the thing with feathers..."

And so, I wonder, what is love?

And then all sorts of cloud analogies are swirling in my head... and what happens to our fluffy white cottonwool when storm clouds gather?

Afterall, what is a piece of writing without tension or conflict? And a cliche or three ;)

Forgetting not the importance of a good cleansing downpour.

"Upon the sky my eyes do rest and study all the forms
Fearing not the dark clouds gathering, but welcoming in the storm.
To nourish and cleanse our soul and earth, to grow and multiply,
The rains that fall and winds that blow, do good as they pass by"

Over the Christmas break, I had the chance to reconnect with Pinterest again (it's been a while!).

And happened upon the most beautiful, moving, powerful piece of art I think I've ever laid my eyes on.

Enjoy - not quite the sentiment, but you'll see...