The Second Magpie

Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

The Art of Lying

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2009 at 17:51

lie ability

I am an excellent liar.

I knew the text from that parking ticket I saved would come in handy sometime, sooner than I thought! This collage was composed of letters I had cut out of a stencil, a parking ticket, a line drawing for a jewellery piece or copper wire drawing.

About Me

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2009 at 17:36



I’m struggling with writing vaguely serious bios. About me.

I’ve constructed two self-portraits from photos I took of china dolls posted here: and a photo of me. I wish these would do but what they say about me is probably pretty alarming. I don’t know.

At the moment I’m working on a book project and have a couple of contracts with fashion and clothing companies. They want to link me to their sites with some sort of bio. I suppose eventually I shall have to stop procrastinating and do something. Wish me luck or write it for me. What do you think about me?

I’ll stop the world and melt with you

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2009 at 17:58

My experiments with melting plastic continue. I did a lot of research into fusing, melting and ironing plastic in various ways. I read, watched youtube tutorials, all very informative but you really cannot learn anything until you do it for yourself. For example, when I first began printmaking I loved the trial and error, the questions and the fact that finding out the answers was so enjoyable and you even found answers to questions you hadn’t been asking in the first place! That probably sounds like a riddle. Im so passionate about printmaking it makes me gush.

Anyway, while watching tutorials on melting plastic I noticed several saying that if you were melting a bag with lettering on it to fold it inside out (to fuse bags together to create one strong layer you should have six to eight layers) or else the ink would come off. The fact that I took particular notice of that probably says a lot about me. When I set to work the first thing I wanted to do was break that rule and see what I came up with myself. Of course the tutorials were right, I had thought they might be, but the results were fantastic. I found that when I lifted the greaseproof paper (I used this to protect the iron from the plastic) it had lettering beautifully imprinted onto it, that would make great collage material. When I re-laid the greaseproof paper on another part of the bag it would faintly imprinted the ink back on, giving a lovely, delicate print. Testing the different plastic bags was a whole new adventure, each melted differently, I had to be careful with iron temperatures, I love struggling with something new and beating it.

One lesson I have learned over the past five years is to pay attention to rules and theories, and then go back and test them for myself. I don’t intend to be rebellious, I just don’t trust the judgement of others. Perhaps I go more cautiously if the rule I break may mean me getting my head blown off. But I think losing my head would be a small price to pay for something I love so much. More plastic adventures to follow.




The Queen Is Dead

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2009 at 02:23


So continuing with the collage…It’s quite nice to be able to kick back and do what I want for a couple of days. I’ve worked so very hard for a month or two now, I feel drained. Anyway, this came about because of an envelope I found on my floor….(where else would it be?). It had three British postage stamps on it I think. I steamed them off and began wondering what I could do with them. I cant remember why ‘target practice’ came into my head. I don’t normally think murderous thoughts about the Queen. In fact I wouldn’t mind being her, not if it means shooting her though. I decided the postage stamps wouldn’t work, being too angular and, quite frankly, too purple. So I gathered up my sterling change and decided on the two and one penny coins. I took rubbings with a pencil, but being H or HB it was too light, I then searched high and low for a black colouring pencil, finally found one and sorted out the problem. The outer ring of each target is collaged with scraps of paper I’ve used while printmaking, the background is half an old screen print that I had lying around. The screen was one that the emulsion washed out of in the middle, leaving only the threads I was exposing onto it at the edges. I still have no idea why that happened, though I have no doubt it’s entirely my fault for not having enough sleep that night or something. It turns out that screen has been used for much more than I would have used the intended one for, a ‘happy accident’ as we used to say. I think those words are very common amongst printmakers. I still have the stamps, Im sure they’ll feature in something I do sometime.

They wrote about The Death of Paris

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2009 at 03:59


Collage is a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle. Pieces often seem hidden under the carpet. Or I just havent found them yet. In this case I’ve had that pen stuck to those scissors for a long, long time. I knew it was to have something to do with the Eiffel Tower. At least that’s what came into my head when I first put the pieces together and I didn’t want to ‘waste’ it on something else. Make of it what you will. I’m not sure what I make of it myself yet. I’ve had to add pieces to it all evening, it was hell to arrange but I think it’s just about finished. Any more and it would be overkill. It’s all about making decisions and trusting my own judgement. I use up all of that collaging so no wonder my life is such confusion.

And no birds sing

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2009 at 16:54


Inspired by the previous post. I think.


And this is why I sojourn here

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2009 at 00:41


I think perhaps one of my favourite paintings is The Lady of Shalott. Maybe its even the reason I have my hair this colour. A print of the painting hangs on the wall of the room I’m staying in. Its quite easy to imagine you are in the painting instead of merely looking at it.

This morning I walked about mile photographing anything and everything. Especially the rhododendron flowers. The blue ones are my favourite.


I haven’t felt like painting yet. I’ve been reading a very disappointing book. So far the ghost hasn’t appeared and the sea monsters appearance was not that amazing at all. If it doesn’t get better soon Ill swap it for A Beginners Guide to Paganism or Witchcraft for Dummies. Other choices.

Yesterday I bought some fantastic fabrics and a couple of very magic jackets. It was raining. Its dry today but the mist hasn’t cleared from the mountain I should be able to see from my window. I can hear the two resident magpies though, so its looking good.

Picked up some awesome green velvet this afternoon and a book of knitting patterns. I think I might really start knitting at gigs. I also saw quite a few nice sculptures, not amazingly impressive but still nice.

I was reliably informed that I was 10,919 miles from Sydney, always good to know when I’m going round the world in eighty days.





The mountain still hasn’t made an appearance but I’ve just photographed a cloud with a gold lining….which reminds me, I picked up a copy of National Geographic today, The Adventures of Marco Polo. It has some quality collage material.

I think I shall wander into the local art gallery tomorrow and perhaps some antique shopping. Oh! I saw a pig today. I thought it was real but it turned out to be an ornamental pig. I ended the day with the hugest shooting star, obviously I made a wish, a selfish one, but that’s my new way of life.



Spent a rather interesting day at a reservoir, Silent Valley. No birds sing there, legend has it that they left when blasting began for the dam.

“And this is why I sojourn here, Alone and palely loitering, Though the sedge is withered from the lake, And no birds sing.”



The dam reminds me of The Great Wall of China. I sat down with about twenty ducks while they had their afternoon nap. One stood and slept in a puddle, reminded me of myself on one of those ridiculous tours I go on. Oh, I met a goat up the mountain at the dam. A Billy goat. Didn’t seem to mind crossing the bridge so there obviously weren’t any trolls hiding underneath. He was a rather disagreeable old thing with a wicked sense of humour.




I don’t seem to have any bruises since my fall down the stairs last night. How did I manage that?

I took far too many photographs today, mostly for research; never know when Ill need them.

I ventured to a rather cold beach, too cold for sculptures. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Sun maybe. The clouds have finally lifted off the mountain today.





Finally I have purchased a heat gun, I’m looking forward to lots of exciting plastic projects when I get home. I picked up some cool patterned feathers as well. Struggled with my conscience over them of course, I would prefer to find them and dye them myself, not that I’m a purist; I simply don’t like the idea of them coming from poor dead birds. I bought a pack of brightly coloured straws and proceeded to spend quite some time weaving them. Strangely, I found a sack of seashells. Not at the beach. The idea that the shells come from poor dead shellfish is not that appealing either but at least I’m not supporting a market by finding something.

This evening I walked up a track towards the mountain. I got distracted by an old cottage just off the track so of course, being curious, I wandered in. Its full of old books, those amazing old kettles and a range. The wardrobe still has clothes hanging inside. A beautiful cat made an appearance outside, I so badly wanted to borrow her for the next day or two. I miss intelligent company. Will probably visit the house tomorrow and take some books for collaging.

I finished that ridiculous book today too. Ill never get that time back. The sea monster trails off into oblivion. The only good thing and the author doesn’t make use of it. Whatever happened to story telling?



Its been a hell of a funny day. Picked up my beloved collage material from that cottage, old religious leaflets with graphic illustrations of hell. I must say it looks very attractive. I did attempt to visit the art gallery and antique shop only to find it closed and probably Not Very Good. To put it politely.



It was a beautiful day and the beach was calling. I did start a half-hearted stone sculpture, it might have become something if I hadn’t spotted a baby seal. I waded through a rock pool in my boots to get some good photographs of him. He was awkwardly flipping over rocks to get away. Maybe my hair scared him.



There was a great, yellow moon tonight. It made a rather lovely yellow path out to the edge of the sea. Or the horizon as normal people call it. I think I need sleep.