Saturday, April 29, 2006

Family History

Today John went to Adelaide to make a speech and help unveil a plaque to his family's original home, Stonyfell in the Adelaide foot hills. John is the youngest of his generation left, His father was the youngest of 12 and didnt marry and have John until he was 54 so there is a huge generation gap. He also spent a lot of his weekends there when he was at Boarding school and wrote a rather wonderful poem about it. His maiden aunts and one uncle lived there, with a wonderful garden, had jersey cows, chooks a terrific vegetable garden etc. I went there in fear and trembling when I first met John aged about 16 or 17 and had "afternoon tea" in the drawing room on Sundays, they were a fromidable lot but I grew to be very fond of them, the house and the garden. I think if you click on the plaque it will enlarge and you should be able to read the history. The other photo is of John and the present Mayor of Burnside Wendy Greiner unveiling the plaque.
I have just loaded another image of the house itself probably taken around 1940 and this is as I remember it around the late 1950's. Now very heavily built over and the house itself "restored" in a way that the aunts would have had a fit about. I could go on but this is a small taste of it all.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Sketches from my journal

This is a page of sketches I did while in our basket making class in Horsham, we had various exercises to do and one was to arrange several collections of things we had brought into pleasing shapes and then sketch them. I did leaves, pinecones, the flower covers of a eucalypt and all the little things at the bottom are tiny sea shells called periwinckles.
I have had very little time to put anything up and remembered that we had done this.
Yesterday was Adelaide to have hair cuts and see my mother, she had forgotten about the brandy by the time I got home and rang her but had found it today.
Today my very pregnant pug bitch went off to a friend who always whelps them for me. I hope all is ok. Another friend came for lunch and we had fun chatting and I finished off my ATC's while she stuffed a doll. It rained last night so the garden is looking fresher, but lots of bright coloured leaves have fallen from the Glory vine.
Well off to make Tom Yum for dinner.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Textile ATC's

These are nearly finished, I just need to buttonhole around the edge, 5 are going to The Thread Studio hopefully for the display and swap at Darling Harbor in June and 3 will go for the Stargaze Tome swap. I had a lot of fun with them, the bases are up a few days ago.
I am so tired, I dont know if I will ever get away, going away, coming back and off again is no fun. I have at least finished cleaning the house, floors washed today and the ironing all done.
I also managed to do a bit of cleaning up in the garden and potted on a few succulents. I have so many I thought I might have a go at selling some.
I was so tired yesterday after doing a thorough dust and vacuum I didnt even get to my blog.
Tomorrow we go to Adelaide to have hair cuts and see my mother, I have bought her a bottle of brandy so dont know if my sisters will yell at me or not. I have also got a few goodies for her. At 93 she has few enough pleasures and a small brandy and soda at night wont hurt.
I dont know when I will have time to sketch, I am feeling awfully guilty about it but the next few days are so full it could be a problem.
Hearing about what we are doing in Queensland I dont think I will get much of a rest there either.
Getting old is a pain.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Olive grove and sunrise at Horsham

The sunrise I took on a very cold morning while I was walking at Horsham. The small pen and wash was done in the olive plantation at the college, not very good, I found it hard to find somewhere that gave some perspective, I was sitting under one of the olives only a few feet away. There were only about 6 or 8 trees in a row and it was very dark underneath them..
I am having trouble getting back into drawing and painting, I am so tired and my back has been killing me, so much to do at home before we leave for Queensland next week and I think I have some one staying on Sunday night, dont know how many or if it will happen but a bit of a nuisance as I have to get bedrooms clean and tidy and at the moment they are repositories for goodness knows what as well as think about feeding them.
Will have to wash floors tomorrow after this mornings exercise of de frosting the freezer, a terrible mess everywhere and I havent the energy to do any more,
a bit at a time at the moment is the way I am going.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Back from Horsham

I drove home from Horsham yesterday, a 5 hour drive. Very tired when I got home. I have put in two photos, one of the sort of country we were in, very flat backed by low mountains. I love it but not to every ones taste. Farming cropping country. The other photo is of some of the baskets we were making. It was a very interesting workshop, using very traditional methods using natural materials. The little brown one is mine. I will have to make more baskets it is such fun. Only four in the class and so lots of help for me, the others had all done baskets before.
I didnt have much time for drawing, these things are so full on, every hour of the day is full. More perhaps tomorrow.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

fabric ATC's

I havent finished these ATC's but I will take them away with me and hope I have time to work a bit more on them. They have been fun to make, using the method Dale Rollerson did in a past Cloth Paper and Scissors, felt base and then fabric and sweet wrapper bits and pieces, lots of free motion embroidery, stamping, chiffon scarfe over, more free motion and then zapped with a heat gun, a large piece then cut up. Some things I thought would burn didnt and others burnt more than I thought. All very interesting.
Yesterday we went to see the house my youngest daughter is renting, it is large, has no cupboards, but has a nice feel to it, on a very nice farm property so she will feel at home. It was freezing cold so lovely that they have a wood stove in the kitchen. The children seem to feel happy there too which is great.
I am off in an hour to drive to Horsham for the fibre forum there. So nothing will be put on this for a week.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Odds and ends from my sketchbook

These are definetly odds and ends, I sat the other night, tired and wondering what I could draw, looked around my sitting room and picked out a few things. I started with the Japanese tiger, given to us by the Mayor of Yatsuka village when he stayed with us. He looks most odd from the angle I drew him, all mouth as you really cant see his head. I went from there to the scales and added the table under them and then on around. It isnt very good but was a lot of fun to do.
Yesterday was wet and cold, we went to lunch at some friends adventure park which was closed for Good Friday, a lot of fun and chat but so wet that the only thing anyone did was some archery, John hadnt lost his skill learnt as a child with a huge New Guinea bow some one had brought back to his family home. I cant see well enough to line things up.
We came home and it was so cold we lit a fire. I unpicked the first bit of the knitting I am doing, I am not used to circular needles but have it underway properly now. The next challenge will be changing up a needle size.
I am also working on the ATC's I am doing, they look better now the larger piece of material has been cut up into smaller bits. Still a way to go with them.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Autumn in the garden

I have had such a busy few days I thought a few photos of the garden looking misty and damp with the glory vine would be better than my piece of base material I am struggling with for some ATC's. As you can see I am a bit of a pot fanatic.
I once more have had no time for sketching, I had a major shop this morning, and finally found a pair of jeans that dont sit on my hips and feel uncomfortable. I am of an age when one has to feel comfortable.
I had a long walk with the dogs again tonight, I dont think my back likes these walks but I must do it. I did come back with a heap of string and some more melons, the more you go over these paddocks the more you find.
I did do a heap of free motion machining on the piece I am working on but the xandaprint I put on my stamp has not bubbled up as it should and I dont seem to be able to get it thick enough. More work on that I think.
Poor Tabby came in to collect Celina this afternoon and looked worn out, she is trying to move house, work and clean the other house. John had collected Celina from school as they broke up early for the holidays. Celina seems to think this house is pretty good so that is a help. I hope to see it on Saturday as other wise it will be over a week before I see it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Echidna in the scrub

This strange lookng thing is an Echidna or spiny anteater, he was crossing the road and I took his photo, it was amazing how fast he could move so was busily burying himself by the time I had the camera out. This one was taken in December while we were on Kangaroo Island but I was reminded of him when John came home yesterday to say he had seen one crossing the road not far from the house. he reported that this one was either very hairy (as well as spiny) or we were heading for a very cold winter. Some have more hair than others amongst the spines.
I have just done the just ofer 3 hour round trip to Adelaide and back to see my mother and feel very very tired. The traffic which is building up for Easter was heavy, although I went the long way through the hills which looked lovely, full of autumn colours and no where near the traffic if I had gone through the suburbs. For a change it was quicker too.
Bought a quiche and salad for my mother as the carers dont seem to vary her lunches very much and I think she gets bored with them. She seemed very well, not quite so vague today.
I usually go up when John has meetings in town but as I will be away for all of next week and didnt see her last week I thought I had better do it.
I go to Horsham on Easter Sunday and will be back on the following saturday.It is about a 4 hour drive so I hope there is very little traffic around. Looking foreward to it all.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

EDM Challenge 23 Draw my foot

I couldnt sleep last night so I got up and wandered the house. I finally decided to do some thing and drew my foot. I have pretty odd toes, so they look about right and the angle is a bit difficult but it does look like my foot. (Much better than my self portrait!)
John said he wouldnt like to tell people that his wife draws her foot at 2 am!
I am still a bit stuffed up so I am making rattattoui (spelling!!) again as it freezes well and I like to add it to casseroles through winter.
My dear little hens gave me two eggs again yesterday, I dont always get two eggs so I was very pleased with them.
Oscar spent half the night out last night, I think he uses cat telepathy or something because I would never go to the front door normally in the middle of the night, but there he was waiting to be let in, he isnt supposed to be out at night at all wicked cat.
The sun is out today and it is suddenly a bit warmer, lovely as it has been so cold for the last few days. A bit of a wind is up tho', but we have to expect that in autumn here.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The finished bag

When I look at this small bag I cant believe how long it took me to make and what a performance it all was. Any way it is now finished and all though the scan isnt brilliant it does more or less show what it looks like.
I have spent most of the day doing very boring book work, it is amazing how long it takes to register 18 pony foals. And how much it costs. I just hope the few buyers that are lined up will actually buy.
It was freezing cold this morning and I have been snuffling and sneezing all day again, so I suppose I have a cold. The sun has come out for a little while but more showers are forecast.
My knitting needles arrived today, I am going to be very ambitious and try to knit a tam o' shanter, on round needles, not sure how I count on round needles but I have knitted enough easy things in my life to try something a bit harder. We will see. I bought my needles on line from a place called the Wool Shack in Western Australia, they arrived very promptly.
Well I am off to walk and then feed the pugs, Maggie who is pregnant is getting rather large and she huffs and puffs after me like a little grampus. She is black so it will be interesting to see if she has black or fawn pups, last time they were all fawn, easier to sell but I love my blacks. I must take a photo of them but they are never still and the male dog Tuppy has had another (expensive) hot spot so has a shaved area. I keep trying to sketch them but they are not easy to do.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Tyvek beads

John was fishing for most of yesterday and the weather was still cold and damp so after I had fed the ponies I came in to get more done on the bag I am making. It needed some beads so these are some of the Tyvek beads I made. They are great fun to make and very easy, painted tyvek, wrapped around a satay stick, glitzy thread around them to hold and then zapped with a heat gun. Very satisfying.
I also made some leaves and some machine made cord to use on the bag, now to find time to get it all together.
We had lovely fresh fish for dinner last night, but before I could draw any he had filleted them all.
Today I did mundane things like cleaning the house,(definetly in need of it!) although it is sunny outside so I sneaked out to cut back a few branches that have been obscuring the windows, now that the days are darker I need as much light in the house as I can get.
Yahoo is driving me nuts as I have not had any daily digests since Wednesday for Everyday Matters and Playways. Reading off the site is a pain.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Pine trees

While I was feeding the ponies this morning I looked up when I got to a gate and saw the pine trees against the sky. I did a very hurried sketch of the outline in my sketch book that resides in the old Toyota tray top. When I got home I laid down the wash for the sky, it is so nice using the rough Arches watercolour paper as against the other stuff I use. Then came back to try to capture it, the darkness of the trees with a solid top, bits of sky showing through the trunks and the edges of the trees still flowing down, most of the trees have had their branches lopped prior to harvest. Some bits I messed up but felt relatively pleased with it.
I have at least got the paints out again and am having a go which after the last few days is something.
I am still getting over what ever virus attacked me, feel very tired but have so much to do I cant sit around and feel sorry for myself.
John has gone fishing so I am tring to finish off my fabric bag, it is taking longer than I had hoped.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Blue Wrens

This tiny pair of blue wrens were snuggled up tight when John took the photo and I had to blow it up so we could see them. We call them the flying mice as they are so tiny, generations upon generations have bred in my garden and you almost have to push them out of the way when I am weeding or digging as they are underfoot looking for grubs, they also love biscuit crumbs, but so does the dog.
Talking of dogs I picked up a small fluffly one the other night on my way to beading, on the road and not at all sure about things, brought her home and rang the number I found on her collar the next morning, they were a firm that grooms dogs but knew whose it was and a very relieved owner arrived on my door step yesterday morning, turned out to be some one I know.
Feeling very off today, vomited in the night and so one sick grand child and I felt off together.
My mother went to see the nursing home we are hoping to get her into today, and was surprisingly ok about the whole thing so my sister reported, of course it could be different another time, this was just to book her in, goodness knows when there will be a vacancy.
Still cold and wet, you would think it was winter already. Smelt nice outside tho, all damp and cool.
I did work out how to get the lining on the bag I am making, after I made a small prototype to see if it worked. The instructions were hopeless, so I am slowly getting that done. Will post a photo when I do finish it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Some days shouldnt happen

Some days just shouldnt happen. My sister has just rung to say that she is taking our mother to look at the nursing home we hope to get her into. She is in an absolute panic about it. I dont blame her as we have a very dominating mother and we know she will not want to go into a home but unfortunatly the time has come. As it is this is really only an assesment and then the waiting could be ages.
One of our workmen came off this motorbike on Friday and has been in an induced coma ever since with bleading in his brain. No one knows what his prognosis will be. Of course he wasnt wearing a helmet, what farm worker does, they impede your view, are hot, heavy and you cant hear anything. Not much use when you are working stock, but....
One of my daughters has a big fibroid and cant see a specialist until early May.
It is cold and wet and I have a fire, at least that is bright and warming.
The purse I am making is not working and I am not sure why!!
To end on a more chearful note, this is a sketch I did of my youngest daughter, I found a photo of her when she was about 8 or 9 holding this goose so I sketched it, Quite like the goose but I am not sure about daughter.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Making a new material

I spent most of yesterday making up this material for a bag. I am not very good at bags but we will see what happens. On a base I placed torn strips of material and using stitches from my machine stitched it all down. As it looks a bit bright for what I want I have placed a piece of organza over it and when I get some light weight pellon, I hope this afternoon as I have to go into Victor, I will pin it all together and then do some random stitching on it before making the whole thing up. I have also been making some fabric beads so they may go on it as well.
I finished off one of the dolls last night, two more to do. I would like to try and make a small book cover as well before I go to Horsham but I may be running out of time.
Two new books arrived yesterday, Margaret Beal's, Fusing Fabric which looks great, and David Taylor and Ron Ranson's Solving the Mystery of Watercolour, a wonderful book but am I ever going to get time to do more watercolour?
We have had more rain and yesterday was freezing cold, maybe because I am stuffed up and have a headache, hope its some sort of allergy and not a wog. Still it is nice to be able to get out and not feel hot and bothered, but I am back in rubber boots again,

Monday, April 03, 2006

I was weeding in the garden yesterday when I found these, I havent looked them up but I think they are arisaema japonica. I love the silver splotched leaves and the funky looking flowers. So in some came for me to draw. I used pen and ink and my watercolour pencils. I find I am having trouble seeing small differences, my eyes are in some sort of trouble and more than I had realised. On Saturday a friend and I went up early to Adelaide to go to the bead and gem show, we had a lot of fun, didnt buy much but its amazing how it mounted up. We then had lunch, a wander around Glenelg and then some galleries on the way home, very pleasant.

Yesterday John and I went into Victor for lunch and then a walk and I rescued a piece of driftwood that as it was very wet I stashed away and hope will be there when I get around to getting it home.

We went on to an opening of an art exhibition that a friend was having, she does some very interesting stuff, and then home a pleasant day but not much got done.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Autumn calves

This to me is the sound of Autumn. I wake every morning to the sound of calves bellowing, waiting to be fed. We live on a dairy farm milking about 400 cows so in late March, April and May this is what comes from the yards below the house. They are almost impossible to sketch as the minute I appear they all crowd around saying, food food! So I walked down to the paddock to take some photos. These are the first that are out in the paddock having been taught to feed from a teat they then move in to the larger paddock with a shelter, hay and their milk feeders. They have dreadful legs to draw the expression calf knee's in horses is a very derogatary one! Also foreshortening is the word for trying to draw their active little bodies. These will grow up to be very good milking cows.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

EDM Challenge draw a car my MG TD

When this challenge came up I really couldnt do anything but find the 1977 photo of my beloved MD TD and then attempt to draw it from that. I finally sold my MG as the boys were getting to the teenage stage and probably would have wrapped her around a tree so I sold her to someone who would restore her and love her as I had. I added the photo, the only one I could find of her which isnt very good but gives some idea of her elegance and lines.
Interestingly you would not know the back ground any more, trees have grown, things moved, I was quite surprised how different it all was. A pair of kangaroos lived where the pony is.