Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Kiwi as...

There is a moment, in the unimaginably vast monster that is migration, when you suddenly stop and wonder if your new home is going to be anything at all like you imagine it to be... in our case, I had never seen the US, and yet, had decided to get rid of everything we possibly could, and start over, with a suitcase, a knitted blanket and a great teacup... and, naturally, my two very necessary companions...

I wonder if my sister had these moments, having made her move the sensible way and at least visited New Zealand before committing her future to the place. We spent Christmas and New Year falling in love with her, no longer new to her at least, home. I have always proudly told people that South Africa is the most beautiful place on earth but was proven quite definitely wrong by the magnificently vast small town of New Zealand in the last couple of weeks, and as my sister persistently reminded me - I "didn't even get to see the pretty part"

We started off in Auckland, falling semi accidentally into the jungle that lies hidden behind the adorable suburban china cupboard jumble of homes that is Birkenhead, having asked my sister to take a walk with me, I presumed I would be wandering the streets looking at the houses, marveling at how different they are to what I am used to in the US, and SA... when she suddenly veered off to the right, taking a footpath between houses into the set of Tarzan. Imagine lifting your perfectly lovely rose patterned china teacup and falling headfirst into a mossy, sweating wonderland of ferns and forty foot tall trees with spongy trunks, each boasting their own colonies of fungi shelving and loud obnoxious greenery, like its not enough to simply be a plant, these trees adorn themselves with further plants, entire nations of other plants holding their own celebrations up and down trunks and branches, amidst the constant confetti of gentle, warm rain. Walking the perfectly maintained, beautifully installed, almost polite, wooden footpaths through this chittering theme park was completely overwhelming. Everything stretches beyond sight, into a sky almost completely obscured by the natural canopy, the ground is far below, decorated with streams of trickling water, always running crystal clear over mud, in vibrant oranges or browns so rich and thick and enticing that it becomes hard to resist throwing yourself over the edge and into the swamp of it, rolling in its warmth and becoming completely absorbed in the fecund sticky mess that is, well, sort of Tanya's back yard.

I was hoping to write about the whole trip, but there is just so incredibly much to share, and I haven't yet finished wandering through my memories of day one, so this will be a slow and meandering description of an extraordinarily full two weeks that I am very sad to have waved goodbye to yesterday....

(Picture by Jason Meintjes, of course.)

Friday, November 23, 2012

sweet potato flapjacks

I painted this wee lion for my rather extraordinary father in law six odd months ago, and he remains my favourite imaginary friend today, on the birthday of my lovely husband, so thank you, Sir Pablo, for giving me the aforementioned lovely husband, and then allowing me to steal him away....

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Weather noodle soup

I am in love with the wounded light of a rainy afternoon, swoony, embarrassing, Jane Austenesque love.... staring longingly out of the dining room window, trying to catch just a wee glimpse of a bruised cloud, a hint of cool foggy morning. I lie in bed with my eyes closed, long minutes after waking, hoping against the evidence presented by the rhythmically beating blades of our ceiling fan, to open them to a lush blanket of wet mist, believing in my half sleep that if I can taste it just for a moment, I will open my eyes to a day not suffocated by the bullying heat of a Southern California summer.
Somehow, I need to find a way to live somewhere green, somewhere with yodelling, and the odd goat-chicken, and maybe a cat in a bay window, basking in the gentlest fingers of occasional honeyed sunlight...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

enormous tiny mouthfuls

I have started framing my wee pieces for eta (http://enormoustinyart.com/) after several very tiny, and completely unnecessary, panic attacks over framed size vs piece size... I am most excited to ship these guys off on their own wee adventures, here is a sneak peek....

Friday, July 6, 2012

Burnt toast and marshmallows

I was lucky enough to have my darling husband home with me for July 4th this week, so we decided to take a wander down to the beach early in the morning before it got too full, to photograph my recently re-aquired candyfloss hair, and brand new perfect specs (http://www.bonlook.com/ - I officially love you guys) Having my crazy hair back really makes me feel like a whole new person, and I have found the confidence I thought was lost and gone forever - whoop!
He posted a handful of pics on his blog, which you can see here - http://jasonmeintjes.com/wordpress/pink-lady/

Summer is a really good time for us, more time together, more time eating s'mores with friends (homemade graham crackers? - wowzer!), longer days, walks in our beautiful wee neighbourhood and much more painting inspiration in terms of the odd that surrounds us all. Here is a peek at what I have been working on most recently....

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Spaghetti and Noodles

School recently closed for the (long.long.long) summer and I was lucky enough to spend the first week of it with my wee James, there were days filled with rollerskating, swimming, beach wandering, dock jumping, hat shopping and many movies we have been looking forward to...
We saw Rock of Ages first, and my poor wee disappointed heart has just packed its mis-cast, mismanaged bucket of sad where it belongs, so we will leave it at that. Then we saw Brave, which was beautiful and lovely and wonderful and thrilled my wee fairytale loving heart - the animation is delicious, the story is lovely and its just a really enjoyable experience, I am glad I had an eight year old to take with because the spotty sections of old men taking in the movie all alone were like small islands of lonely lepers in the kid filled cinema, shame, I felt sorry for them.
Then, we spontaneously agreed to double up our movie day, watching moonrise kingdom at the art theatre with some friends and if there had been another show following the one we attended I would have been right back in the ticket line. As somebody who doesn't relate to Wes Anderson in any way other than the visual, I often tell people to watch his films with the sound off - I am so glad I saw this in all its glory. The casting, acting, colours, scenery, in fact, the entire package was utterly perfect, and the moment where the two leads are dancing awkwardly on their perfect beach was up there with one of the best moments of my life. Stop reading this stupid blog and go get in that ticket line.

Friday, June 1, 2012


I drew these bears about a million years ago, and havent coloured them until now, today I finally worked out a way and I'm quite happy with the final result - yay!
I also submitted another design to threadless, I will be sure to bother y'all to vote as soon as it goes up!

Its the weekend again, I am super ridiculously thrilled...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mushroom pizza of yum.

We had the best mushroom pizza in the world the other night, super thin puff pastry crust, with creme fraiche and emmental all gooily melted, and then covered in thinly sliced mushrooms and showered in delightful salty parmesan... I wanted to take a nap inside it.

I also painted this lamb today, I love her frou frou ballet dress and arched back, her gentle colours and wiggly lines... Yes, I like her.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Peanut weirdness

Today I got hives, presumably from the peanuts in the pad thai I so enjoyed at the most awkward surprise birthday dinner in the universe ever© I also got a tiny and thrilling mention in my favourite magazine's (huge Frankie dork) newsletter. I am spotty, itchy and dancing around my bedroom in my pyjama's right now.... it is awesome -  80's hairband, journey soundtrack awesome!
I created a wee coupon code to go with the newsletter, but it got lost - so if you happen to spot this before placing your order "FRANKIE" gets you 10% off in the webstore.

Wedding cake

I was lucky enough to be asked to design wedding invitations for one of the most in love (and otherwise just lovely) couples on my small planet recently, and had a lot of fun playing with their very relaxed brief. Here are some pics of the final product, which they sent out along with a shot from their engagement session, taken by my lovely Jason (who also shot their wedding - I cant wait to see the pictures!) For some odd reason he doesn't advertise his love for wedding and engagement shoots but he really does adore them - you should totally get married so he can take awesome pictures for you...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Picnics and Rooftop Taco's

We spent yesterday wandering through the enchanting maze that is LACMA, rediscovering german expressionism (which has always inspired passionate hatred in me but has suddenly become fascinating) falling in love with Hermann A Scherer, and just absorbing the extraordinary beauty that is within our grasp in the marvellous place we now call home....

Today I delivered a commission I recently did for a local salon, they are called Bouffant and Dana is just delightful, we combined the delivery with rooftop taco's and a swim, I am now sun tired and collapsed on the couch, getting up every now and then to check on dinner - perfect Sunday afternoon somnambulism...

wee updates

I made a new exhibition schedule and it came out looking really pretty - I have to stick these up all over the house or I forget what is happening when - slacker ;)

Here it is!

I also recently did a bit of work for the lovely gents over at fotofafa, which I have been spotting on pretty wedding blogs all over the interwebs - yay!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pot Luck

This is a bit of a pot luck post, I have been meaning to post these bits for a couple of days but have been absorbed in painting and dreaming and twirling and indulging in very useful anxiety attacks.
I am trying to figure out what to do with my less than thrilling website, I have an idea, but getting it to actually work is going to take some time, so for now, I guess it stays - this is a wee snapshot of the idea - suggestions are always welcomed....

We are enjoying our long weekend, with plans to head off to LACMA today for a wander, we havent visited in a month or two and I am looking forward to it! Last night was Jamie's parent date night, we took her out for dinner and a movie, of her choice, and she got all dressed up - as Morticia Adams.

I know Dark Shadows has been getting pretty terrible reviews, and from the people around me in the cinema, guess its not everyones cup of tea but it was extraordinary, I wanted to turn around and watch it again, or lick it. The styling was delicious, the sets incredible, the story fun and light and gently gory... it was a big gorgeous parcel of "again, again"  and I loved it.

The ghost chandelier moments reminded me so much of the haunted mansion at Disneyland...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fish and Chips

We moved to the US to travel, and see the world, and offer our child a picket fence or three, but have gotten quite wrapped up in working and trying to create a something, and we dont travel nearly enough... We did recently take a spontaneous trip down to Laguna Beach, where my darling husband took some very pretty portraits of my James and I - here are a small handful....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Threadless submissions are not at all edible

so I submitted my first design to Threadless tonight, its up for voting for seven days, please go vote for it! It is in their Vote Bright challenge, in which we were tasked to design a politically themed T for gap, i tried to go with something humorous and wearable and not too heavily politically themed... yay. http://threadless.com/submission/424862/Rock_em_Sock_em


My boxer pic is going to be shown in a portrait exhibition in downtown Long Beach during June, yay! I also got word this week that I will be taking part in the next ETA exhibition in New Hampshire during September this year - extra yay! This little guy is one of the pieces I will be showing, all the pieces will be for sale...

I have started working on the commissions I got at the opening last Friday, and will keep you updated!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A book, a book!

This button will take you to a very small quirky book, you can buy it in several incarnations, it might even make you smile....
By Agnes, while Lara ...

Mimosa Twirls

So, its been quiet for a while, I have been completely buried under a mountain of ink and paint, preparing for my little exhibition opening, which finally happened on Friday evening and was absolutely perfect.
Here are a few wee pictures taken by my friend Claudia, we sold 12 paintings, got a handful of entertaining commissions and drank far too many mimosas!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

French toast grilled in the oven of a million questions.

So, my sister tagged me in her blog the other day, and, being that a little procrastination is suddenly in order, I will be answering the questions - yay! You can find her original post here - http://intermittentblogger.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/ive-been-tagged-in-11-randomness/

First the rules:

1. Post these rules.
2. Post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in your tagger’s post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers YOU tag to answer.
5. Tell the bloggers you’ve tagged that they’re it.
6. Oh, and no stuff in the tagging section about “you’re tagged if reading this”. 

11 Random Things about myself
1. I am a hopeless dreamer, always coming up with a new project, plan or idea, and my follow through needs A LOT of work.
2. I hate folding washing, and will do seventeen loads before I fold anything or pack it away, so there is always a mountain of clean clothing being shifted around the house. This probably relates to that lack of follow through...
3. I want to go EVERYWHERE.
4. I am the most socially awkward person I know, not that I know that many people.
5. I love dorks, dorkiness is irresistibly attractive, always has been, its like cheekbones, an accent, and a guitar. combined.
6. I am addicted to coffee table books, and I don't even have a coffee table.
7. I loathe exercise. (I stole this one from my sister)
8. I wish I didnt loathe exercise. (yes, this one too)
9. I have a really difficult relationship with my dad, which sucks, because it used to be great. Also, this really bothers me.
10. I am obsessed with white chocolate, and Beacon Easter eggs, and Woolworths fudge, and Amanda Laird Cherry, these things make me happy. and homesick. and happy.
11. Sometimes I think everyone is completely insane.

Tanya said;
"I’m answering Cyndi’s questions as well as my own, and if I’ve tagged you then you should too  …"
so I will...
Cyndi’s questions:

  1. What is the movie you enjoy watching the most and why?
    This question is difficult, I LOVE movies, I think the one I enjoy watching most is Rocky Horror Picture Show, it has everything - awesome music, great styling and thoroughly awkward outfits....
  2. Where is your favourite holiday destination?
    I love going to the UK, because my favourite people to visit are there, and I love my people, I like exploring new places too though...
  3. Coffee or Tea?
  4. When you were at school, what was your favourite subject?
    Art & History (woah, another thing I didn't even need to change)
  5. What is the one thing you hope to achieve this year?
    Jason and I need to change our work situation, more drawing, less accounting. I also really need to see my sister, and move somewhere with space, and chickens. Wow, that's a long list.
  6. What have you done / achieved (to date) that you are the most proud of?
    Getting through emigration in – mostly – one piece (Thanks T - couldn't have said it better)
  7. What did you like most about today?
    Hugely overindulgent breakfast with my husband at a diner we have been meaning to try, and our very necessary walk to and from the diner....

  1. 8. What happened in 2011 that surprised you?
  1. I fell completely in love with ceramics...

  1. 9. What is your favourite colour;
  1. To wear: Black / Grey
  1. To look at: Grey / Black

  1. 10. If we had to do something together today what activity would you choose for us to do?
  1. Considering that this came from Tanya, a walk to the beach and then she could teach me to make salted caramel pillow cheesecake, I should add that I am the worst baker on this planet to my random list.

Tanya's 11 Questions:
  1. What is the hardest thing you have ever done? Living in Joburg with Jamie while Jason was in LA.
  2. What is your dream job? I’d love to work for myself as an illustrator or textile designer.
  3. Who would you most like to have dinner with (dead or alive)? Right now, my sister. In fantasyland, Neil Gaiman.
  4. What did you do that got you into the most trouble at school? Probably the not going thing.
  5. Who is the most important person in your life? My family. (Ditto)
  6. What hobby would you take up if you had no time or financial limitations? Travelling, collecting stories...
  7. What is your least favourite food? That you eat anyway. Chinese.
  8. What is the farthest you’ve travelled? From SA to the US
  9. Use five words to describe yourself. Creative, Temperamental, Dorky, Demanding, Awkward
  10. What is your favourite song and why? Its difficult to choose and depends on my mood, at the moment its Foxy Shazam "Killin' It" but its tied with The Tallest Man on Earth "The Dreamer" and for the longest time its been The Darkness "I believe in a thing called love" "Cigarettes" by Russian Red kills me too - I'm obsessed, see - I should add "Indecisive" as a sixth word to describe me.
  11. Where would you live if you could live anywhere? somewhere quiet, where we could buy land, somewhere with rain and tree's, maybe Oregon...
Lara's 11 Questions:
1. Band you would cross the planet to see? Queen, yes - I know. One that might actually happen? The National
2. Favourite Writer, and book? Neil Gaiman, American Gods.
3. Favourite thing in your wardrobe? Amanda Laird Cherry skirt of happy flippy fabric .
4. Thing you wish was in your wardrobe? Amanda Laird Cherry Shwe Shwe Coat, and Alexander McQueen Queen Dress....
5. Worst Habit? Interrupting people. Constantly.
6. Favourite Blog? I like to stalk this one, http://www.the-brick-house.com/ , for decor and this one, http://luckypony.co.za/ , for randomness
7. Best thing about your partner? Speaking the same language, Jason gets me like nobody else ever has....
8. Favourite place in your neighbourhood? Viento Y Agua, and walks to the beach
9.  I don't have any more questionny / answerryness in me. Nor do I have the energy to proofread this monster.

I don't have bloggers to tag, so I'm tagging people, start a blog already.
Cimone, Erin, Cate, Julia, Melissa