Fare Thee Well…not Goodbye!

My Premium WordPress subscription expires in 14 hours, so this may be my last post on Tao of Scrumble. :-/

I’d like to send grateful thanks to my loyal ‘Tao’ followers, who have supported me so wisely and kindly ~ particularly when my path became rocky. I feel as though I’m moving on now and that my world is opening up for the better.

But all is not lost. Since I made my decision to ressurect ‘Wightrabbit’s Blog’ I have become enthusiatic about the whole blogging process once more. I’m not sure why as it’s a bit of a retro~step and that’s not generally thought of as a good thing. It feels like the right move for me to make though ~ so I’m going with my gut feelings.

I’ve redesigned the theme, updated my bio and I’m already  drafting future posts in my mind. So, if you’d like to stay in touch, please follow this link and join me on my paradise island!

Looking forward to meeting you there!

🙂

 

Bring on the Golden Years!

It’s been ages since I visited the Blogosphere and now I’m here I’m not entirely sure what to say. I’ve made a couple of false starts but one thing or another seems to get in the way, and weeks go by without me typing a single word.

One of my biggest blocks is that I always like to be positive, glossing over bouts of chronic pain and the resulting ‘brain fog’. In fact I’ve been in denial that I do suffer from an inflammatory condition that affects my creative output, preferring to celebrate minor accomplishments ~ like being able to chop up an onion or pull a handful of weeds from the garden (seriously!) ~ rather than whinge about my latest flare~up. It’s not consistent ~ on good days it’s easy to believe I’m ‘getting better’ and to try and catch up on neglected tasks all at once. But I’ve discovered that pacing myself and taking frequent breaks ~ even if I’m feeling fine ~ is more effective in the long run than working to the point of collapse.

I’ve been learning to accept my limitations for a couple of years but there’s been one major change recently. Martin had to retire in March, on health grounds of his own ~ so we’ve both been adjusting to that.

It’s weird not having to follow a timetable ~ Martin’s work schedule used to affect how I organised my days. I’d do as much housework as I could manage, prepare the evening meal and walk Indie round the block while he was visiting clients, so that he could relax when he came home. Now we share the household tasks then take the dog for a stroll before choosing how to spend the rest of the day ~ artwork… gardening… riding out on the Harley?

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We both know how lucky we are and rather than bemoaning the disadvantages of growing old we’re celebrating what Martin likes to call our ‘Golden Years’, (although, considering the colour of our hair, ‘Silver’ might be a more accurate description!) And while our income has shrunk to a couple of small pensions, we’re ‘time rich’ and have more energy to devote to our home, the garden and creative pursuits.

At first we had to keep reminding each other that this isn’t just a holiday; that we don’t have to cram everything into a fortnight, that we have all the time in the world to do as we please. And we plan to take full advantage of that, for however long as it lasts!

Now that we’re settling into the new (lack of) routine I’m getting to grips with those tasks that I kept sidelining for ‘later’. Like learning to use new technology, organising my digital photo library and tidying up my email accounts.

I’d also like to publish more frequent posts on Wordpress, now that I’ve definitely decided that I’m not going to retire from that too! I apologise for my lack of engagement lately but I’m already looking forward to visiting my favourite blogs, tapping back into the on~line community and enjoying the friendship and support of other writers, like I have in the past.

I’ll let you know how that works out!

🙂

 

 

 

 

Kaboodle Doodle Number 6

When Gilly, author of the excellent blog Lucid Gypsy, read my last Kaboodle Doodle she commented that she didn’t understand the ‘chocolate box’ reference. So I thought I’d better explain.

Anyone who has ever given me a present knows that I’m excited by the wrapping paper and ribbons almost as much as what they conceal. I save them ~ not to wrap my gifts to other people, like my grandmother did (although if you iron them they can save the day in an emergency)  ~ but for future art and craft projects.

It doesn’t stop there ~ I think about the potential of all my ‘rubbish’, before (reluctantly) consigning it to the recycling bin. Plastic containers, glass jars and bottles, labels from items of clothing…..etc…..etc….. get stashed on shelves and in empty shoe boxes and ~ until they started charging us 5p for each one ~ plastic carrier bags. Which is why it takes an entire building to house my collection of art materials.

I’ve even been influenced to buy certain products, based on the desirability of the packaging ~ £1 shop chocolates being an excellent example:IMG_1799

Once we’d scoffed the contents, which tasted surprisingly good, the empty box reminded me of a deep~sided picture frame:

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So I masked the holes on the inside and papered over the cracks……

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…..primed it, painted it and added special effects ~ the one below (yes, I bought several more) has had a coat of home~made moulding paste slapped all over it and the protective material from some flat~pack furniture wrapped around the edges, to give it a more rustic feel:IMG_1806.jpg

So there you have it ~ empty chocolate box picture frame done!

Now all that’s left  is to decide what I’m going to put in it. Maybe it will end up with hearts and flowers, like Kaboodle Doodle Number 5.

Or perhaps it’ll turn out like this:

Kaboodle Doodle Number 6 ~ The Circles of My Mind

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The design in the middle was originally intended as part of a larger, Steampunk~themed project but when it didn’t fit in as well as I’d hoped, I decided to use it as a stand~alone piece. Martin created the background of cogs, which I distressed with used tea~bags; the studs around the edge are dead batteries and the washers, nuts and other round thingamajigs were simply lying around.

Putting it together was so relaxing that I didn’t have to concentrate too much. I could allow my thoughts to wander while my hands worked and suddenly it was done ~ hence the title, ‘The Circles of My Mind.’

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m just popping into town for another box of bargain chocolates.

🙂

p.s. I’m lying ~ I gave up refined sugar weeks ago, so the current ‘chocbox’ series will be a strictly ‘limited edition.’

 

The Return of Kaboodle Doodle ~ Number 5: My Valentine

Way back in 2014 The Artist and I converted a derelict outbuilding into an art studio, intending to share the space. But as soon as I started to gather up my extensive collection of recycled and found materials ~ squirrelled away in dark corners of the attic, beneath the spare bed and at the back of the cupboard under the stairs ~ it became obvious that it would be just large enough for one. So it became my Kaboodle.

Whilst I was busy moving my ‘stuff’ in, Martin painted the master bedroom deep blue and claimed it as his ‘man~cave’. Which works well ~ we now sleep in the quieter room at the back of the house, his trusty iMac remains indoors, where he can easily fire it up and I can make as much mess as I like without having to clear it away!

At the time I began to publish a series of blogs called ‘Kaboodle Doodles’, documenting  ~ for myself as much as anyone ~ the process of learning to work in mixed and unusual media. Scrolling back I can see that I only managed four posts, before other priorities claimed my attention ~ but that doesn’t mean that I gave up experimenting. Because that’s what this is ~ a challenging, exciting, liberating experiment in expressing something I know but can’t seem to put into words.

Finally the hours of sketching, researching and ‘trying’ to get it ‘right’, of dumping failures in the bin and starting anew seem to be paying off. Whilst the pictures and 3D objects I’m designing aren’t conventional works of art, they are literally ‘Works in Progress’, which satisfy me in all sorts of ways. And, as The Artist himself keeps reminding me, that’s all they have to do.

So, without further preamble and sixteen months after it’s predecessor, may I humbly present:

Kaboodle Doodle Number 5 

Heart My Valentine 

The content of this simple composition, with it’s traditional message of Peace and Love, is secondary to my original purpose ~ to discover whether I could create an ornate frame out of a pound shop chocolate box. Having said that, the papier~mache heart is also the basis for a more intricate design that is taking shape in my mind ~ luckily (but not surprisingly) I made several at the same time! As I said, ‘Work in Progress.’

It proved tricky to photograph, owing to reflections from the metallic finishes and shadows cast by the deep edges of the frame. So  a big ‘thank you’ to Martin for taking the time to make this image the best that it can be and for encouraging me to keep going.

He’s My Valentine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Artist and Me at the County Show

Even though this is our twelfth summer on the island, Martin and I have never been to the annual County Show ~ until this year, when I volunteered to help run a stall promoting The Crafty Bees, in return for free entry. (Well there had to be some perks!)

During the afternoon my lovely husband turned up unexpectedly on his motorbike and ~ in between chatting and handing out information to prospective new members ~ I took a stroll around the showground with him, soaking up the atmosphere. 

It was a sunny day with a frisky breeze, so not too hot. There were classes for the ‘best’ animals, show~jumping competitions, a dog show, various displays, a Women’s Institute tent, fairground rides, food concessions, retail stalls and so much more.

The Artist took some snapshots of his favourite attractions on my iPhone, not realising that he’d I’d accidentally applied a colour filter until we reviewed them. I guess that’s one of the drawbacks of using a touchscreen in direct sunlight but it actually it suits the retro~vibe of the show, reminiscent of my 1950’s childhood,:

  
A vegetarian restaurant in a converted Routemaster bus ~ from which I bought a filling and very tasty (but not exactly traditional) lunch of nachos and veggie chilli.

  
Two Classic British cars and an early delivery van.

  
A pristine working stem engine.

  
A long line of tractors.

  
Maypole dancers ~ better late than never! 

  
No comment. (In fact this better NOT be a comment, Martin King.)  

LOL! 😉

Wightrabbit Luck

A few days ago The Artist and I took Indie out to the West Wight. Although it’s only a few miles from the Island’s main town, the terrain is rugged and wild, with little habitation and tons of new smells for an excited terrier to investigate.

As we pulled into the remotest car park, I noticed this:

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I thought it looked like a cat, who’d strayed too far from home and was probably lost. My practical husband insisted that I had an over~active imagination and that it was simply an abandoned plastic bag.

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Although he didn’t think we stood a ‘cat in hell’s chance’ of rescuing whatever the mystery object might be, Mr Cynic slid out of the car and crept towards it. When he was close enough he took this snap on his phone:

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It was a rabbit!

When Martin took one step too close for comfort, the animal darted off into the undergrowth. But as soon as he backed off, it hopped casually back into view and resumed it’s interrupted brunch, oblivious of the fact that it was clearly visible to any predator:

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Now it’s a common British superstition to say, ‘rabbits, rabbits, white rabbits’ or variations thereof, on the first day of every month. Apparently it brings good luck.

So, as it’s the first of November, let me be the first (and quite probably the only person ever) to wish you:

‘Rabbits, rabbits, Wight white rabbits! From Wightrabbit!’
😉
p.s. ‘Wightrabbit’ is the pseudonym I chose when I first started blogging.

Kaboodle Doodle No. 4

Today, as promised, I’m going to show you some actual doodles!

Drawing is not my favourite art form ~ as you can see, it doesn’t come naturally to me:

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But I am working on developing the skill, with practical advice from The Artist:

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Here are some of the exercises he suggested, to help me draw basic shapes:

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And straight lines:

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Oh dear ~ epic fail! I’d better do that one again, (and again…..and again!) 😦

Martin’s input has definitely helped me to improve, though:

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And I’m satisfied with my progress so far.

My next challenge will be to sketch more complex subject matter ~ I’ll let you know how that works out!
🙂