Sunday, June 24, 2007

a mixed bag...

(You'll get the pun as you read on!)

Firstly I have to say I love the internet, a huge and important hole in my knowledge has been filled! In my last post (no, that sounds maudlin... in my previous post) I commented that I never understood the words of "brand new key" because I never knew roller skates used keys. Well if you read the comments, you will see that between them, Deb and Terry have enlightened me. Terry even posted a photo of hers. Thanks girls!
I guess growing up in a landlocked country (Zim) that is the subject of punitive international trade sanctions leaves a serious gap in your education about the good things in life. (We even used to battle to get a decent block of chocolate, the locally made stuff tasted like a bar of soap, and so holidays in South Africa were used for stocking up on as much of the good stuff as hectic foreign currency allowances permitted!)
Secondly I want to tell you that we just adore being grandparents, and are very excited about the pending new addition to the family, and so a trip to the shops yesterday, because we needed coffee and a few veggies, turned into a small credit card frenzy when we went past a kids store.... we were looking for the perfect teddy bear, because it has become something of a family tradition to welcome newborns into the family with a new teddy, and we need to find one for "the shrimp." (Ian and C's little girl due in a few months, who we have already seen in unbelievable detail, thanks to the miracle of modern scan technology)
This is newborn Ethan with (from left) Karen's birthday bear, his own, and mine! (Looking as old and haggard as me, hee hee)

Anyway the bears were lacking just the right character, but in looking around, we saw that the store had adorable little newborn clothes!
Before I show them to you, I need to give you some background..... C has 2 adorable nieces who she calls 'the pink princesses'. She loves them to bits, but finds their overwealming girliness a bit daunting, and so it has become a family joke that the shrimp will not be raised on Barbie dolls and all things girlie. When Ian sent the scan picture to all and sundry, he said "Any of you buy anything pink for her and I will break your fingers! hehehehehehe."
weeee-ll doesn't that sound like a dare to you? and who can resist a dare?
So this is the first babygro we chose....not overly girly, quite funky really!
and then there were more......but after getting the pink out of our system we decided to behave!
There is even one with little aeroplanes on because her daddy is a pilot!
This is such fun, I think we need to stay away from baby shops for a bit! (Not that it helps, we got 3 more adorable things in the supermarket too...)
Speaking of the supermarket, I spotted this sign while I was there, it seems the sign writer could do with a bit of the literacy training too! (Actually, if you have ever heard accessible pronounced in a strong Eastern Cape accent, you will know exactly how this blooper came about!)
I also succumbed to temptation when I saw some of my MOST FAVOURITE flowers, surprising since they are spring flowers and it is mid winter!
They were still tight buds when i bought them,
but by this morning... wow!
Which leads me to explain the wine bottles... it's all Kirsty's fault! If you haven't met her yet, do yourself a favour and hop across to two lime leaves, she is a cool Australian chick (or should that be chook? Probably loses something in the translation! Here, when directed at one who is really a grown up chick rather than a chicky one... it is a term of endearment and not a horrendous politically incorrect insult!) and every Monday she does a mosaic of colour, photos that depict a specific colour in all its glory! Well this week it was another of my faves, Royal blue... as you will have seen in past posts, I have a THING for royal blue glass! So the pictures reminded me that we have a wine in South Africa that is bottled in blue. Because we don't drink, we never buy wine, but I always beg our friends to get that brand, so I can keep the empties. Well yesterday, at the supermarket, I saw that they had the right brand in stock, so I bought 2. If you visit us, you will be offered some rather nice red wine! But you will have to drink up, I want that bottle empty!

So, all things considered, it turned out that the coffee we went to buy was rather expensive! The credit card is still smoking..... but that's not all..... it also had to do duty at the art shop...

When I started painting, it was with a total lack of a) formal training b) discipline! I just pile in and paint, i sometimes don't even draw it on the canvas first. But I have been learning a lot, and i know i need to work on my sketching. Because it is seldom practical or safe to sit out in the open here for the time it takes to do an oil painting, i have so far not done much plien air painting, but i am aware that painting from photos can lose something in the translation.

I discovered a solution from 2 sources. 1) Sarah's fabulous blog... if you have never visited, do yourself a favour, she is a brilliant artist and generous with her knowledge. She hasn't had time to paint lately, but still does daily watercolour sketches, to use later as the basis of paintings.
2) A friend has been lending me back copies of a wonderful magazine i had not come across before... it is so good I have subscribed and am waiting impatiently for my first one to arrive! There have been several articles in there about various ways of making quick sketches.

That has all got jumbled up with my current research into the fascinating history of this old part of town, and a chat with a lady who is on the committee which is working to preserve our heritage. I thought a brilliant way for me to learn to sketch, handle crayons and watercolours, and generally stay enthusiastic instead of seeing it as a daily discipline, would be to sketch the historic buildings around here.
So off I trundled to get some suitable materials, being a rookie it will take a while to figure out which will suit my style best, and I may end up using only a few of these, but anyway, i got....

And finally a bag to hold it all, (mixed bag...geddit?) Fergussen helped me pack it!

Since Fergs was being so helpful, he became the victim of the first halting efforts....

And now for something completely different..........

As I was locking the door to go shopping, I spotted K and E across the park. He was on the slide when a woman arrived with a Rottweiller and 2 Jack Russells. You may remember that he was involved in a horrible incident with a Police dog a while ago, and since then he has understandably been a bit wary of dogs (ok hysterically afraid may be more accurate!!)
Anyway since he got a cat recently, (a delightful redhead called Lucy!!), he has calmed down a bit. When the dogs arrived yesterday K explained his less than delighted reaction to the woman, and she gently introduced him to her 2 smaller dogs, he seemed to relax, so maybe that will be a breakthrough and he can learn that, like people, not all dogs are bad, just because some are!
well, that turned out to be a marathon!! Cheers!


kirsty said...

Oooh, yum! Art supplies!!
And, yeah, I'll put my hand up to being a chook :)

RUTH said...

Great Post! I felt as if I were sitting across the kitchen table to you, drinking a cup of (very expensive) coffee and having a good old chin wag (do you use that means a good conversation). Shame I'm not nearer as i enjoy a glass of wine and would happily help to empty a few bottles for you...LOL
Stay well

Suzi-k said...

well ruth, the offer still stands... you just need some miracle to get the air ticket!
And yes we do chin fact i am thinking of a post about the different way words are used in different countries....

Janet said...

Oh, I'm positively drooling over all your new art supplies! And I love the flowers and the wine bottles. Actually, I thoroughly enjoyed this whole post!!