Thursday, June 29, 2006

Melbourne houses

I rather like this and hope to make it the basis for a painting later on. I drew it while we were in Melbourne from our bedroom window. I liked the teir on teir of rooves I couls see.
Today I went to have lunch with a friend and to talk textile stuff. We had a great day and I got some sewing for a banner done. In September we have a decorative arts festival and need to get a few things done for it.
I did draw the view from her front garden while I was there and that is on my other blog withmybootsandsketchbook
I had hoped to see some whales while I passed Middleton as there are supposed to be two mothers with calves but nothing was there, they do move around the area so I guess they had moved a bit further up the coast.
We are hoping for more rain in the next couple of days, we really havent had any for weeks and I even had a sprinkler on yesterday as one of the camellias was looking a bit sad. It is still very cold. Tomorrow it is Adelaide and see my mother then babysit two of our grandchildren.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cup gum

I was feeding the ponies this morning and saw that the cup gums were flowering so walked across the paddocks to get some of the flowers and some of the seed heads. I was so busy looking at the tree I didnt notice the two kangaroos who were underneath until they stood up and looked at me, by then I was about 6 feet away from them. The younger one then took fright and hopped off while the older doe still stood looking at me until I spoke to her and then off she went.
Unfortunatly they are becoming a dreadful pest as we are not allowed to cull them and there are far too many of them. We have provided good food and good water and as they have a joey at foot, one in the pouch and another in utero waiting to form if one of the others die it means an awful lot of kangaroos, and down here we dont have the droughts and very dry weather of the inland which causes natural deaths. A large problem and to be quite honest they are eating more grass here than the cows, and then we keep on growing more grass and so it goes on.They can move around, our cows cant. They are more and more a problem on the roads too, and make an awful mess of your car when you hit one.
I do like to see them but I also worry about our livelehood.
Enough of my tirade!
I love the cup gums, they have one of the largest flowers of our local eucalypts.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Playing draughts

This sketch is a bit light and dark in places it shouldnt be, but I was trying to get John and the children playing checkers. I need to practice more with people as I am not in the least bit confident , I always make John look odd and dont get his beard right and although the cildrens attitudes look right, especially Evie. Will's hands look very odd, although he was leaning on the table with them more or less like that.
I need time at the moment to practice and it isnt happening. My sister spent about 2 hours on the phone today telling me about what she had found out for my mother, she is seeing the place tomorrow and then we have a month before she has to go in. At least we have a date, not like waiting around to hear and then a day or so to get her organised. just dont know how to tell her that the time has come to move to a more secure place where she will be looked after as we would like her to be. She is very independent but really not now capable of being on her own.
I feel very depressed about it all.
I dont know what happened to my blog yesterday, I lost one did another and then they both came up. The mysteries of the computer.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Evie and Will

These are some of the photos I took while we were in Melbourne. The first one is at the zoo and John is there with Evie and Will discussing the zebra's that are behind the giraffe. I am not sure how these go in order but the next one is of them at the beach looking at a pair of black swans. I tend to be surprised when I see swans in the sea as I think of them as fresh water birds, but of course they dont mind any sort of water. It was a lovely still late afternoon, hardly a ripple on the water. They are so lucky to be so close to the beach.
The last photo I put up is of them playing cricket in the front garden. As the house is in the process of renovation there isnt at this stage much of a front garden but they had a lot of fun, as did their father and grandfather and didnt lose a ball in the process which is some sort of miracle with players of such different abilities. 6 year old Will is remarkably good and Evie at 9 was no slouch either.
I dont think this is the order they will come up.


These are a few of the photos I took of the children, Will and Evie, the first one is at the zoo with John looking at a giraffe and discussing the zebra's which were hidden at the back.
The second one is at the beach looking at a pair of black swans, I always think it odd to see black swans in seawater, I suppose because I think of them as fresh water birds.As you can see the sea was very still and it was lovely, although this has come out a bit darker than I had hoped.A wonderful place to live so close to.
The third one is playing cricket in the front garden, as the house is being renovated not much is being done to the garden. They had a wonderful time and no balls were lost to the neighbours which I thought was pretty good.
I have had a terrible day as my younger sister is trying to get our mother into a nursing home and she (my mother) is adamant that she is not going, at 93 the time has really come, so I am waiting to know when I go up to try and talk her around. I am not looking foreward to it one bit.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Stargaze ATC Swap

I came home from Melbourne late last night and found these three ATC's waiting for me. Absolutely wonderful, the top one is Patti Culea's in her lovely bright style, Patti runs the Stargaze tome site. The left at the bottom is from Dianne McGrath of Australia and I love this one and the third one is a stunning one from Deb Jensen in America. How did you know that I was a diver? It is fantastic Deb and I love it.
All so different and so well done.
ATC's are artists trading cards, an only be traded not sold and should be the size of a playing card, they are great fun to make and better to receive!
I have cleaned the house and got most of the washing done, now to walk the dogs and think of dinner and bed. Nearly a week away, it was great but tiring lovely to see the grandchildren but at 6 and 9 they are very full on. I took loads of photos so will try to get some up this week.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Treble Cone New Zealand something I fear/painting class

This is the second of my painting class paintings. I found this photo of one of my scary skiing places in New Zealand, Treble Cone. My teacher thought I was taking on a bit much with this and except for saying subtle colours except where the darks are left me to it. I love this sort of painting and really didnt think I would be able to do one like it and I am sooo pleased with it. The little black spots on the lake are ducks.
I have always loved this area on the South Island of New Zealand and felt that although to me Treble Cone is one of the scariest places to ski, (I suffer from vertigo and when you ski there you look all the way down to the lake and I always freak out) I just had to paint it. the shadows were such a challenge, not put in too much, just enough.. Perhaps this could be my version of the EDM Challeng something you fear!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

class, using white

I had a one day watercolour class today and had a terrific day, the theme for this one was "using white" and we were told to bring a reference photo. We first did tonal sketches and then not using a drawing painted what we could see from the drawing and the photo, a very testing exercise, we had done something similar with the flowers we did a few weeks ago but this was rather different. I was very pleased with this final rendition of a boat I had photographed at Coffin Bay a few weeks ago.
Came home very tired and quite late a quick walk to put something on my other blog and now to think about dinner.
I am quite excited about this painting business.

Friday, June 16, 2006

flowers from my garden

I thought I should spend a little time remembering what we did in our flower painting class a couple of weeks ago, there wasnt much in the garden, less now after the frosts, but I did manage to find some colour and painted this direct, no pencil lines! I was quite pleased with it but think that practice will make well not perfect, but better.
My daughter in laws birthday today so as I didnt have anything for her and money is tight this week I went looking in my bead stuff and made her a necklace that I hope she will like. Forgot to scan it before it went too.
We had rain last night, just what John had ordered so he was pleased. It was so much warmer we were throwing bed clothes off, a few more showers today so I hope that keeps the frosts at bay for a while.
One of those messy days today, I did the weeks shopping and as usual came home later than I meant to. The house is a disaster so I hope I can clean that up before we go to Melbourne on Monday for a week.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

potted succulents

I wanted to have a bit more of a play with pencil today so sat in the sun in my sunroom and sketched some of the succulents that are in there, escaping the awful frosts we have been having. There is quite a lot of damage in the garden showing up, my precious white and deep pink tree dahlias are definetly looking sad. I did manage a shower this morning, at about 9 am as the pipes were frozen again, but we were lucky as there has been widespread damage and houses with burst pipes. Adelaide hasnt had frost like it since about 1989.
I had a lovely walk in the neighbours paddocks today, the results are in my other blog.
I must try to have time to get back over some of these sketches in colour but getting the time is the operative word, I dont know what I do but I dont have much time to sit.
I would have thought that with all the walking and eating healthy (but boring) food that I was losing weight but I dont seem to be. Frustrating.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Evening light

I took this photo a week ago and thought it was quite good, very hard just to get the sun and clouds right.
We had a freezing cold morning this morning, frosts up to the top of the neighbours (high) hill and no water in the pipes unfrozen before 9.30 am, it hasnt been like that for so long, but again I think is a bit more normal than usual.
I got out my watercolours and had another go at doing some flowers, I am relatively pleased with them, not quite finished yet I need to think about it for a while. I am doing another class on Saturday so thought I should brush up a bit on what I was taught last time.
Some people came out with a pony we bred about 15 years ago to have her identified as they have no papers to go with her, my brands were very obvious and she was very like her mother so yes she is who they hoped she was.
I think it may be another cold night, we are really not set up for cold, a fire a couple of oil heaters and a large house with lots of cracks and air vents! I really dont want to get out of bed too early and this morning snuggled down and read my book, a Peter Robinson whodunit.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Fabric pages

My scanner really does leave shadows on these small pages when I scan them. I think these may be the last ones for this book. I had fun doing them, and was quite pleased with the way they have turned out.
Well we won our first match at the World Cup Soccer, and the whole country seems to have gone mad. I think there is a long way to go before we do anything else but it is nice that the last goal scorer John Aloisi is a local boy.
Today I got lost in the small windy roads in the Adelaide hills, both getting John to his meeting and getting down to Adelaide, I was feeling quite car sick by the time I had negotiated the Windy Point road. I spent the morning with a friend and we went down to Pt Adelaide to look at the developments, must spend more time there, my other blog has a tiny sketch, all I had time for while we were there. Then I had to re find my way back to John through detours etc, actually it was easier than I thought but I was late.
I seem to spend my entire time feeling tired so I hope that I can stay home tomorrow and get some jobs done.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Beach shack

I have used a black pencil with this sketch instead of my usual pen. I quite like the way the pencil does the Norfolk Island pines behind it. This is another of my favorite little beaches around us and this bech shack has the prime position. I dont think I have ever seen it being used but then I do tend to go walking there on hot summer days.
Today we spent an enjoyable day at McLaren Vale at the sea to the vines festival, wineries have various cafe's to make food for them and you buy a glass, a glass of wine and a meal for a resonable cost, there is always good music as well. As the winery owners are some of the ones we fish with it is an enjoyable day to get together at their wineries and taste both food and wine. The food is mostly seafood which I love.aThey all also have great bands. As the designated driver, I get a wrist band and a bottle of water and a list of wineries where I can get a free coffee or tea. No drinking the wine for me but it really doesnt matter and John and I had another lovely day. A bit more about it on my other blog http://penny-withmybootsandsketchbook
The vines are all turning the most incredible gold and as we drove home the gums at the end of our valley were looking lovely. Very cold and overcast tho' and getting dark at 5 pm at the moment. fI was glad I wore my lined wool pants and silk skivvy and wool jumper and scarf. I did have a jacket in the car but didnt need it.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Windmill and style

The windmill photo was taken at Longreach in Queensland, I loved the way the evening sun caught it against a darkening sky.
The sketch of the style I did this morning as I was feeding one of the pony stallions, I really dont know why there is a style there as the gate next to it is much easier to open and there is a barb wire on top of the wooden fence strut you have to climb over.
I have been meaning to walk down there again, I usually do at this time of the year, it was the old Back Valley road but is now part of the Heysen trail when the road was re -done many years ago. The Heysen trail is a brilliant walking trail that goes from Cape Jervis all the way up to the Flinders Ranges. I dont know how many kilometers but a huge number. People walk sections of it and some goes passed our property.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Umbrellas furled for winter, fabric page

I sketched these abandoned looking umbrellas and chairs from inside the coffee shop yesterday, it was cold and the wind was blowing off the sea. I didnt have a lot of time to do them as I was between shopping and the physio appointment. My back feels much better but I am feeling extremely tired today and have done not a lot but relax by the fire and read, with a quick walk out with the dogs and John.
The house is so cold I have the fire roaring which means more wood of course. This house has so many cracks and crannys that the wind can get in.
We have had so many mild winters that it is a shock to have one like this, I believe there is snow in the alps for the opening week end of the ski season,very often there is nothing, once we would have been there, snow or no snow, not now.
I have also put up another back to back page for my little fabric bood and I am working on the last one, one side done now to get the other finished.

Friday, June 09, 2006

aChair and Margaret Preston exhibition

Yesterday we went to a wonderful exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia of works by Margaret Preston, one of our Adelaide born artists (1875 -1963) my parents had bought one of her linocuts and I have always loved her very bright oils of our native flowers. Her flowers just pushed themselves off the wall at you. Wonderful.
We had lunch, hair cuts, saw my mother and John saw the accountant, had coffee with a dear friend and headed home through the Adelaide hills, the light was quite incredible almost purple and the last leaves on the elm trees were glowing while the trunks of the gums had this wonderful shadeing on them, white and purple and grey. Yummy moments and no camera!
The sketch of the chair I did in Queensland, not very good, I have trouble with the legs but I keep on trying.
I have some other sketches on my other blog, withmybootsandsketchbook see lthe links on the side, I have been trying to keep up with the walking and sketching and it is a great incentive.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Sailing and fabric page

About this time last year we were in Melbourne and my son took us sailing, it was a perfect day, thank goodness as I get terribly sea sick. I am the one in front and my son is at the back. Cant remember if I have put this one up but it is nice to see him occasionally. We should be in Melbourne near the end of June and stay for 5 days.
This is another page of my fabric book, I am working on one more page at the moment but it wont be ready for a few days.
My back seems to be getting better although this morning you wouldnt have thought so, I was in an awful mess by the time I got in from doing the feeds, this time other granddaughter Fenella helped, I just wish she could drive a manual. Painkillers are helping but I hate taking them.
Fenella is home between school and Uni and has been learning quite fast how to clean the house and she can now cook three meals she tells me, all casseroles but that is ok as at this time of the year they are warming and filling.
We had a frost this morning and the house, even with the fire and heaters was so cold. Only good thing was that the sun was out and we had lovely blue sky.
I have been walking and sketching in the late afternoon and these are on my other blog "withmybootsandsketchbook". You can get to it through the links (I hope).

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

More Fabric pages

I am actually having a lot of fun with these pages, thought perhpas it would be all I would do but now I am thinking of all sorts of fun mini quilt possibilities fusing stuff on. I dont quite know how the fish one gets into the theme except I had this nice fish and material, doesnt quite go with hands and dresses and lovely ladies!
I had one of my grand daughters at home today as she was 'sick' I think just needed to see her grandmother, but she helped do the ponies this morning which was nice. At 14 I think her mother finds her a pain but I find her charming and fun. One of the perks of being a grandmother.
She spent quite a lot of time trying to redesign my workroom, while I tidied it up. How do I manage to accumulate so much paper, patterns, ideas, drawings, paintings, beading, knitting. I should just stick to one thing.
No then life would be very dull and as my back is still not feeling brilliant at least I can find something to do sitting down. (Once I can find it that is).
I was greeted from my evening walk by Oscar, our large orange cat who bounced like Tigger out of the bushes and wacked the poor pug on the nose. (Perhaps it should be whack? I am not sure, as a child who could never spell and taught myself I am always a bit thingy about spelling.)

Monday, June 05, 2006

Fabric Book pages

These didnt scan very well and are only two of my completed pages, They will not necessarily go together in the finished book. They are about 4"x4" and the various components have been fixed in a variety of ways, mostly vliesofix and then sewn around but some are double sided and then stitched on, I was limited by what i took away with me to add onto the pages, and only had a vague idea of what my theme would be. It actually will be called The Blue Book as all the backgrounds are blue. I started thinking people friends and wandered into clothes and animals a bit, well cats are mostly people friendly. It was really an exercise to keep me amused and no one else!
I have a physio appointment in a short time, my back is really falling apart, as I just had to take who was availbale I dont know how much help she will be, I hope a lot but am not holding my breath.
So no Adelaide and no seeing my mother until Thursday. Will have to get my grand daughter to throw the hay off and open the broken gate tomorrow, I think it was the gate that finally made this a lot worse. I probably shouldnt be so determined to do it all myself. I feel so annoyed as I have so much to do and it hurts to move. Times like these I dont enjoy getting older.
Its amazing in times like these that when you go to find something it falls on the floor or is in the most awkward corner. The time is coming to reorganise.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Being a home town tourist

The replica of the 17th century Dutch ship the Duyfken which did some of the earliest maping on the Western Australian coast arrived in our port yesterday. Not that we really have a port, but she was there and we walked over to Granite Island to get a better look, we were late in the day, about 4 as it had rained heavily after lunch but the sun came out for a brief time and I managed to get this photo, I have a sketch up on my other blog, which last night I put the wrong link in, I am still struggling to get a link that works up. I think this is it If it is not I will try again!! (I have had the most fustrating time ever trying to get my links up!!).
The other photo is of the two horse trams meeting on the Island just before they pass each other. We are one of the few towns who still have their historic trams running. I could have done without the bystander but thats what happens. We had a lovely walk, had a coffee, saw a young seal cavorting around the rocks below where we had our coffee and walked back to the car.
It has been very damp and cold, so what is new, its been like that for ages and I must not complain as we need a good wet winter for a change. Just that my back is playing up with the cold.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The last of my flower paintings

This one didnt fit very well under the scanner so bits have been cut off. I liked this one best but then the colour has sort of faded so now I am not sure.
It has been raining and raining, we went to the funeral yesterday and the heavens opened, luckily after we had got into the church as we had to park the car a long way up the main and windy road. John had insisted that we leaft nearly 3/4 of an hour before for a 10 muinute drive and just as well, there were so many people. He was from an old and respected family in the district, not so many of them left any more, we are now surrounded in hobby farms.
Although we now milk in excess of 400 dairy cows when we were first married we had a small dairy herd and far more sheep and bought rams from them. I loved the sheep days, now the farm is rather like a factory.
A lovely old church set in near the river and with a back drop of red gums. I must go and investigate it a bit more.
I spent quite a long time setting up a new blog, there must be loads of blogs out there now as I had awful trouble getting a title, it is called
and I am joining Julie Oakley and a few others in walking and sketching daily, well I hope daily as now that winter has set in sketching in the rain may be difficult, but the dogs need walking everyday.
I think I am going to need more hours in my day.
My back is killing me at the moment, not sure why but probably caused by the dreaded vacuum cleaner combined with bouncing out to feed the ponies in the old toyota. Dont really like to take pain killers ontop of anti inflamitories (spelling!) but am having to at the moment. Hope to gently exercise it back into some form of normality instead of going to the physio.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Coffin Bay sketches

I thought that as we were still at Coffin Bay this time last week, and I think I sat and painted these little sketches then I would put them up. Was it only last week? Gosh we have managed to do a lot in the last few days. Again I was trying to do water, not very well and I notice that my horizon is not straight in the first one, funny I thought it looked ok in the painting.
We are off to a funeral today, for a lovely man who bred sheep and one of the bits in his funeral notice says,"Now swapping notes with the Great Shepherd." It will be held in one of our small country churches in a beautiful setting.
It has been quite wet and cold again, I took out 18 mm yesterday morning, so I am making soup and nice warming meals, then I totally cleaned the house, a task I hate as I get such a back ache and so tired and know that I will have to do it all again next week. I would love someone to clean for me. At least at the moment all the household chores are done and I can go and play for a few days.
I am considering setting up a new blog to join the group that are walking and sketching daily, I do walk most days, sketching in winter may be difficult and as I live in the country not always feasable but I think I will see what I can do. Just finding the time to set it up and work out a name that is available!
I guess I can get up earlier and get on top of the computer using, with it being John's work computer as well sometimes it is not easy to gain access to it.
Another page done in my tiny fabric book, three more to go and I can put it all together.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

EDM Challenge Shoes and some more flowers

The power went out last night and when it finally came back on the internet connection was so slow I couldnt get anything up, so I am doing this early morning, of course now John wants the computer, it is always the way.
The flowers were another one in my flower painting course, lovely yellows in this bunch. I have trouble scanning a 1/4 size piece of watercolour paper. but I quite like this one too. we had a 15 minute exercise to first paint without drawing and see how we went and then draw in the flowers. I think I kept losing the white daisies in this one.
The shoes were Jill and my walking shoes from Carnarvon Gorge, washed and drying in the sun when I sketched them I thought theywould be dreadful to do but found them quite fun. They were done in my sketchbook with a pen.
We had a lot of rain yesterday and it has been cold, coldest for ages but I think it is a bit more like a normal winter, just goes to show how long since we had a normal winter for here.
I spent the time with the power out winding wool from a skein, and it was a difficult skein to wind so I had all sorts of problems trying to do it by candlelight.Makes you realise how difficult it was when candle power was all there was, we had about 8 big fat candles around. Also know why people went to bed early and made babies!! At least we have a lovely wood fire so it was warm.
(that sounds a bit odd oh well, and I am too old to make a baby!)
Of course the power came on just as we were half way through cooking the dinner on the barbeque outside in the cold. Steak and salad seemed the safest thing to do.