Door tree (TBC)

This is an ongoing project, about a tree.

I love watching the nature around my home, and there is one beautiful tree that the squirrels particularly love to play in. I found an unused door in storage, so I thought I might give it some fresh life.

First I just started painting a heavy blue sky.


But then.... I changed my mind, and needed to visit the in-laws to borrow some power tools.

That's my beautiful youngest nephew watching me work.

So then I had a blank canvas again, and this time the grain of the wood was exposed. This time I applied the paint very lightly, so that the wood grain adds a hint of texture through it. I didn't take any specific photos of this stage, but you can see it, kinda, behind me here...

More than 6 months later, I've returned to this project, and the first layer of branches are now down.

To be continued...!

Lego friends

Two of our Dutch friends joined us for Christmas in Australia in 2014. I had a gift planned for them, but it didn't work out. So I painted this as a belated present. (Quite belated — I delivered it in late 2016!)

This couple took photos of their lego minifigs on their travels, so it seemed fitting to paint lego. The scenery is my family's home, where we stayed together for summery Christmas.

Balcony couch

My husband and I love to spend time on our balcony: enjoying the nature, watching the weather and spying on squirrels.

For summer 2016, we decided our cosiness factor needed to level up, so we visited the local Kierrätyskeskus (recycling centre) and bought a couch. It was kinda one of those times, when you don't expect to come home with a white leather couch for your weather-exposed balcony... but somehow it happens.

We obviously needed to protect the couch somehow...

I had a large plastic sheet that I previously used to protect the floor during painting sessions. But now we had a more urgent need!

I cut it to shape, and stitched it with fishing line. I used a bit of duct tape across the seams for extra protection.

The tape doubled as visual indicators for the front and edges of the cover — which makes it a lot easier to handle when removing and re-covering the couch. After some use though, we realised we could lift and push the cover up over the back of the couch, with no need to remove it entirely. That made life even easier!

Bonus pic, early autumn panorama... note the pool noodles, which provide cushiony comfort for our feet when we recline on the couch. :)

Snow heart

The winters in Finland are long and dark, so you sometimes have to find your own way to brighten things up.

In early 2016, my husband and I decided to 'tag' the snowy yard below our balcony. We put on our Tasmanian steel-toe gumboots, and snuck out into the darkness. The snow came up to close to our knees, and we had to stomp thoroughly.

We giggled the whole time, and hoped that our neighbours would appreciate our contribution to the landscape. :)

Pirate's treasure box

I'm a big fan of maps and treasure, so in 2015 I made a pirate's treasure box for my nephew's birthday.

I started with a discarded champagne box — first step was to sand back the logo names (although I kept the crown, that was kind of fitting).

I used watercolour pencils to draw the map, and coated the end result with a layer of varnish.

Inside, I recycled a puzzle mat into a felt lining, then hit the local opp-shops to find treasure and jewels. 

Of course a pirate's treasure also needs some gold, so I loaded up with chocolate coins. And a couple of confectionary snakes to guard the whole thing.

After I gave this treasure box, I heard from my nephew's mum that he refused to eat the chocolate coins — he needed to keep the whole treasure intact!