Saturday, 28 December 2013


Olivia is 10 years old. She has been with me for many months making a large house.
The idea of creating this house is to get it to a stage where she can take it home and finish it in any way she sees fit.
This is the basic gourds that have been used
To build the base of the house it is necessary to place three large gourds with a plastic ridged pipe going up the middle. It is then glued together with liquid nails. In the three valleys created by the three main gourds smaller gourds have been placed to fill the gap.

The gourds are covered in cardboard which is either glued in place or stapled together. It is necessary to use products that are light. It is amazing how heavy these types of houses are when they are finished. A ton of feathers is still a ton!

The photo to the right shows the approximate location of the clear plastic tubing that will made into vines but actually hides the wiring for the lights inside and out.

This photos shows you what the vines look like once they have been wrapped in 'bark' like fabric and string then painted. The 'moss' is two types of wool finger crocheted together. See the cream coloured flower in the top left corner, that has a light in the center of it. So do the large flowers in the photo below.

The outside of the house has been covered in lots of plants and fungi. It also has flowers that light up. Olivia has soldered all of the lights herself.

Two of the gourds have been opened so that Olivia could make a bedroom and a lounge room. Again only the basics have been added so she can add other 'thing's later as the whim takes her.

Olivia's cool cat. Isn't he great?

Olivia has built an astronomy tower. I am very pleased with the telescope. We used an old atlas to help with accuracy of the drawings of the planets on the back wall. There is a string ladder leading up to the tower.

As more work is completed I shall add more photos.

Friday, 27 December 2013


I met Charlie at the Mudgeeraba Show where I was displaying my models. I was very pleased when later I had the privilege of having him attend my classes. He is 10 years of age and has passion for creating things, lots of them.
Charlie choose this pre-made gourd.

Charlie decided to make a bakery.

First he made an oven. It was made from 1/2 a ping pong ball and covered in air drying clay. Inside the base of the oven - the fire- is an orange flashing light.
He then placed a fake door at the back (this was later be be replaced with a sink). He also built a table.

The internal makeup of how the shelving was to be placed was changed several times but it the end he ended up with them as can be seen here. The long white sausage like object is clay to the height of his character. This was to help with the scale of the furniture.

As can be seen by this photo the door has been removed and a sink (with bubbles) has been located at the back of the bakery.
Doesn't that cake look good enough to eat! All we need is garlic and we are set with the lovely french loaves.

There are several items here (at the back of Charlies house) that he has made himself - the green flower on the ground and the orange one on the left hand corner, the rest were made by me and like all my students they can use them. Charlie liked to have lots of plants all over the outside of his house.

The photo of the finished house will be forthcoming.

STUDENT - Badger House -BH

STUDENT:-Badger House - BH (psuedo name)
BH is 10 years of age. He decided to build a two story house in the pre-made gourd he choose.
I do what I always do get too excited and then forget to take photos. This is the pre-made house with the attic BH has added.

BH's attic is filled with an old couch and boxes plus a small ladder.

The back of the house has been decorated with all manner of 'things' including a large dragonfly. The 'moss' helps cover up the wires for the lights.

Inside BH's house there is a flat screen TV, a play station (the controls are sitting on the chair), a Japanese style lamp a fish tank sitting on the small cupboard plus a bed and clock on the wall.

The lamp was made from piping with a paper doily glued to it. The fish tank was made from the packaging of batteries with sand (mixed with glue) in the base and fish drawn on to strips of plastic and strategically placed within the sand so they look like they are swimming.

Isn't the badger fabulous. I like badgers. Using some photos of real badgers I took when i was in England earlier this year BH made his. He used aluminum foil as the core and polymer clay over the top. The badger was then cooked.

The house has three lights in it. The battery packs (2) were placed in the base.

Not content to decorate the inside and the back of his gourd BH decided to put in a swing and a waterfall section. This photo was taken while the 'water' was still wet.

It took BH 32hrs (made up of 14 x 2hr lessons) to build and decorate his house.
The cost of the pre-made gourd was $35.00. The lights cost $15. The materials cost $15. The cost of the lessons were mostly $10 an hour but there were four hours at $15 each hour due to the other students finishing their houses and BH decided to continue adding more and more.

I am extremely pleased with this house and the imagination that has gone into it.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

STUDENT - Penguin House - KH

I have three new students. Three boys! This is a really interesting challenge. I have never really had to deal with boys. I had two girls of my own which of course are all grown up.

I am finding it fascinating how different each boy is. The way they do their work, the ideas they have come up with. It is really interesting.

I am also very pleased to say that they are all doing very well. Two boys are aged 10 and the other is 8 1/2. I was unsure about having someone so young (as I had never dealt, in this capacity, with someone of this age before) because we are dealing with knives, saws, a soldering iron, drill etc but I am pleased that the young lad, as with the other two, have handled them with ease. 

Their creativity is soo different and I can't wait to see the finished projects and put them up on my blog for you all to see.

 PH, who is 8 1/2years old, was the first boy to finish his house. He wanted to build a penguin in a workshop.
This is the pre-made gourd

He wire up a box with a blue flashing light. Made a table and a tall cupboard.

 He made an amazing penguin using aluminum foil as the core and then covering it with polymer clay which was then cooked.  
This PH's finished house with the blue flashing light on

This is it with the light off. Notice the red tool box and the clock on the wall

The cost of the gourd was $25.00. The Materials$15.00. The Lights were $15.00 and the classes were $10 an hour.
It took PH 24 hrs made up of 12 x 2 hr lessons.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Prana Writers Gold Coast Antholgy

Prana Writers Gold Coast Antholgy

I am pleased to annouce that Prana Writers, who I am a member of, have released the Cold Coast Anthology webpage.

The idea is to encorage people to submit their written works and the chosen ones will be published.

There is also a facebook page.!/GoldCoastAnthology

Submissions Open 17 June. Closing 31 August 2013
One of the many images people can choose to write a story about. Come and see what else there is.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

STUDENT:- BIANCA 2nd model

STUDENT:- BIANCA 2nd model
Bianca wanted to create another model and due to lack of time as it needed to be ready for a birthday of a niece she chose to use a pre-made gourd.

Bianca has started with pre-made model. The model was painted
 black before I remembered I was suppose to be talking a photo.
Bianca's idea was to have a fairy and books because the little girl who was going to be receiving this gift loved both.
Now to ensure that the fairy, with its wings, could fit into the house it was necessary to have it sitting. She also made the legs sit to the side this made the whole fairy fit the space.
This also allowed for some furniture in the back ground.

Bianca added one light (overhead) which shined down onto the book the fairy was reading.

This is the finished inside of the model. It has
one light inside and several optic fiber plants
on the outside.

This is the finished outside of the mode.
Can you see the spider made from a
pistachio shell and the snail made out of
a Christmas bell?
This house was given as a birthday gift to a little girl who just loved it.
Isn't that just brilliant!

This house took 27.5 hrs to build from a pre-made gourd house.
The cost of each lesson was $15hr.
The gourd house cost $25.00.
Lights cost $10.