Thursday, July 27, 2006

Placing my mother into a nursing home

I have been away for 3 days in Adelaide, the first day wasnt too bad as I had the day to myself and went to the Museum and sketched ( on my other blog, see links).
Tuesday was awful and Wednseday not much better as we had very reluctantly decided that our mother had to go into a nursing home. She has never wanted to and was furious with us but she was a danger to herself on her own at home.
we have spent months looking for the right one, although I suppose there is never a right one but this one is new, bright and light, but I sketched my impressions on the left.
That night we had a lovely meal, to try to get me over it, but I didnt sleep that night again and felt worse the next morning when we had to start packing up all her china and glass collections.
Enough, I feel as if I have been run over by a bus.
Tomorrow my two sisters take over for the next few days as I will be away on a sewing retreat. (I may just retreat into myself.)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Mouth of the Inman River

Today John and I went to the opening of the Inman River cycle Bridge in Victor. The day started with breakfast, then a 4 km wlak along the dual use cycle walking track to the Inman. I didnt actually take a photo of the bridge itself, looks much like any other bridge but I loved this view from it.Looking across to Granite Island.
We had a lovely day, saw a whale in the distance near the Bluff, talked to friends, walked back again so I did at least 9 probably 10 km today (and I feel a bit stiff and sore).
Tomorrow we go to Adelaide for 3 days and this is my D day, getting my mother into residential care. I am not looking foreward to it. I will not be back until Wednesday night. Think of me!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Willunga Cafe

This morning John had an opening of a conservation centre to go to in Willunga so I went with him and headed over to the Farmers Market (sketch on my boots and sketchbook blog) and bought some succulents and a rabbit pie for lunch and then wandered up the main street taking photos and lookng in shops. I bought a quite funky loking little man made of driftwood who is hanging in the hall, I love the different things that people come up with. Talked to a man who makes leadlight and slumped glass ware and saw this funny little cafe, I presume it was at one stage a chapel from the door and window treatment (then again it could have been an expensive make over).
Willunga is a "historic" town and there was, still is a slate quarry just behind it so most of the old cottages still have slate rooves (or is it roofs?) and slate slabs on the floor, and they were built from local stone, lovely to look at but cold in winter and they can get frosts.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Textile Fun

This odd looking piece is a painted nappy liner ironed to a piece of fabric, stitched and then burnt with a hot air gun. Great fun, looks very old and scrunchy.
This is a bit of my Module 4 with Dale Rollerson's Playways on the net and I am getting going on this much sooner than I did Module 3. I just need room on my work table and time to get my head around it.
I am wondering if I am developing a cold, massive head ache this morning, and very stuffed up, but then again it may be that I havent vacuumed for a week and the dust thingys are getting to me!
Celina and Gaby left this afternoon to spend the week with their father, their mother is in Alice Springs for the week end, lucky girl, and I have spot the dog.
It was very cold again this morning, but not really a frost, and then the cloud came over and made it even colder, thank goodness for the fire. I just take longer getting outside to feed the ponies .

Thursday, July 20, 2006


This is my attempt at drawing my 9 year old grand daughter Celina, It doesnt look much like her and I had awful trouble with her eyes and body, so I have cut most of that out of the drawing!
She has been staying for a few days and tonight her elder sister Gaby arrived, Gaby is 14 and gorgeous.
I havent been sleeping well so am very tired but had a lovely visit from a friend who has been doing all sorts of lovely stuff with doll bodies and paint with another group, absolutely terrific. I must get out of this rather depressed state and start doing things, but at the moment the girls will be taking up all my time and then my mother.
I had a look at the residential care centre she will ( so long as we can get her there) be going into on Tuesday and it is all new and looks very nice but who knows. I am dreading the whole thing but she just cant look after herself any more satisfactorily.
Sorry this is a rather depressed post, hope for joy and time to paint at the end of next week.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Stormy seas

I have this thing about the sea and the rougher and wilder the better. I took this over the week end when we saw the seals, this is back across to Victor Harbor, looking at the town in the background, Granite Island and a little bit of Wright Island. We used to snorkel all around these rocks in the summer and not far out is the remains of the wreck of the Solway, she went down in a storm in the 1800's and there wasnt much left of her when we dived on her many years ago. This coast has lots of wrecks as it is shallow and no really good anchorages.
I have Celina one of my grand daughters staying at the moment, and at least the sun came out for a while and we walked. I havent had time to get back to the textile stuff yet, but did get some bookwork that has been hanging over me done.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Cold and grey

We have had several days of low cloud, drizzle and gloom, not like here at all, usually we have a few bright days in between in winter but at the moment I am finding it very depressing and obviously so were these crested pigeons who were all huddled up in the pear tree in the orchard. Usually we only see one or two but at the moment there are quite a lot around. They are dear little things with a tuft of feathers ontop of their heads and like most pigeons are sometimes too busy cooing and displaying to see the cat.
I have been making beads out of silk paper and having a bit of fun. I think John may be cross with me again for using my iron to stick things with and sometimes when he irons after I have he complains of sticky stuff on his clothes!(Not that he irons often). These beads were stuck with fusible webbing so that may be the problem, although I always use stuff between my iron and whatever I am fusing, well I think I do.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Port Adelaide sketchbook page

It has been freezing cold and raining all day so I spent most of the day baking bread, making soup, doing some sewing for my Playways Module and updating some of my sketchbook pages.
I am afraid that as these were done in pencil and not my usual ink they dont show up all that well even after I have played with them in adobe photoshop. The yatch cuddling up to the building was actually coming through the road bridge, the opening of one side is down at the bottom. The building is one of the lovely old buildings around the docks, I think it would have had something to do with grain, or flour or the mill that was nearer to where I was.
We had a lovely dinner out with friends last night, one of whom was having a Birthday, of course it was probably the furthest restaurant we could have gone to and coming home was to say the least interesting with the wind and rain.
I am slipping and sliding around in the paddocks when I go to feed the ponies too, so far I havent hit a fence!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

My dog found

I cant believe it but after 9 days we have found Maggie, down in the vehicle shed in the pit under a car that has been there for ages and none of us heard her or saw her but she finally barked at the right moment, and she looks in remarkably good condition. All she wanted was a drink and turned her nose up at too much food. I thought if we did find her she would look like a Biaffran.
Oh the photo! We went walking this afternoon and there were four seals close in by the track to the jetty on the end of the Bluff and I managed to finally get three together and one with a head up. It was so windy and rough I think they had come in close to the calmer water.

Friday, July 14, 2006


I havent time for anything but a photo today. This is the Back Valley Road and my part kelpie rescue dog Jake. Jake is my very dear friend, he talks to me when I come out in the morning, he steals people's food if he can find it but that is probably because he had a hard life on the streets before he came to me and dog heaven.
He is very offronted if he cant come with me in the Toyota to do the feeds in the morning, but cant and wont get on the tray at the back, has to sit infront with me.
He would like to be a house dog but all dogs of his size on this farm have a very roomy cage with a kennel in it for night but during the day, unless we are out he has the run of the place. At the moment while it is cold and wet the favorite place is on an old sleeping bag on a chair by the door to the wood box.
Luckily he has shown no interest in chasing cows ponies or sheep. He does love trucks tho and in another life he may have been a truckies dog.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Trees along the river

This is another painting I did in my class. I rather like the simplicity of it all and had fun doing this.
Learnt a lot about how to do reflections (hard to paint trees upside down!!)
I am back from my day and a bit in Adelaide, seeing my mother who is adamant she will not go into care, and I feel sick about the whole thing. A lot more thought will have to be given to this but time is running out as we have a place for her and it is so hard to find somewhere nice.
A meeting and then stayed with a friend, up early and home driving through the hills thinking. With no conclusions made.
As we have people coming to dinner on Saturday night I am cleaning up my very untidy house, a long walk with the dogs and now to get dinner, chicken Tikka I think.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Watercolour painting class

Today was the second day of my painting class with Lorraine Lewitzka in Victor, this is Second Valley, along the coast from here.
I was really pleased with the way it has come out, even tho I had no idea how to go about it at the beginning of the class but with some suggestions as to how I should go about it, and the odd happy mistake it has come together far better than I thought it would.
I love the cliff and hill lines along here, they are so geometrical.
Now to remember how I put it all together for the next one!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Finished mini Quilt

I have finally finished this little quilt for the decorative arts festival. I was really rather pleased with the way it has turned out. All hand done.
I have had a day at painting class today, only two in the class so we had a lovely day, rather social as well which is just what I needed after the pretty ordinary week I have had.
I have worked out that my left non seeing eye is making me not do straight lines so I am about to rectify that now I know. This class was called brush strokes and it was very interesting, using rough paper and fairly large round brushes used on the side to show up the whites when dooing water and using just a few strokes for trees.
I slipped over on a cow pat tonight while feeding the Cob stallion so am feeling a mite battered, and my jeans are certainly not wearable tomorrow!
Another class tomorrow, wonderful.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The whale tail fountain

This fountain is in the main park area in Victor Harbor and I see it often when I am in town. A wonderful bronze by Silvio Eponyi it does occasionally get filled with detergent and all sorts of other things.
I find Norfolk Island pines really difficult to sketch and I didnt get the proportions for the brick surround quite right but it does give an impression of what it looks like.
A cold week end and today a nasty wind blowing. We did hear thumps and booms all night from next door but not over the top and I think a good party was had by all. It did at least stop raining for them.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

At 4 pm today

This photo is for my friend Virginia who is off to the Greek Islands tomorrow. This is my version of a Greek island, Victor Harbor style. The view from my favorite coffee place Whalers Haven.
We had walked the beaches this afternoon towards Pt Elliott and came back here and even tho it was cold sat outside for our coffee. These wonderful aloes were in flower, there were honeyeaters about a foot away from us and this wonderful view of Wright Island and "shark alley" where we used to dive (and to be told by the local fishermen that a White pointer shark had been seen in the area for the past week!!).
The sun came out for a few minutes and I took this photo, it poured for most of the way home and we are only about 10 at the most 15 minutes away.
I felt very virtuous, I have dusted and vacuumed, made some soup stock and actually painted some bases for my Playways Module 4 stuff. I am getting over the loss of Maggie and now need to create.
I am not sure how much sleep we will get tonight as it is my oldest grandson Simon's 21st bairthday celebrations, over the creek and not far away.
I cant believe he is 21, seems only the other day he was a gorgeous toddler and now!

Friday, July 07, 2006


This is the lovely ATC that I was went from Jo Boyle of New Zealand in the playways swap. I think it is fantastic and love the story behind the bit of copper on it. It came from Namibia, from a mining museum and I feel very priviledged to have it.
I am going through a dreadful day as my black pug bitch disapeared yesterday from the garden and no sign of her is to be found. I wish I had found a body, at least I would know. Being on a fam makes it very difficult to know where to look and there are so many nasty things that could have happened to her. I didnt sleep last night and have felt sick all day worrying. I have looked and looked and called and called. I didnt hear any one come so I dont think she has been stolen but the gate was open and opened inwards which is rather odd.
The old male dog is beside himself that she isnt here too.
I am having trouble settling to anything.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fantastic rocks

Well I dont know how that sketch got on here, it is on my other blog but I guess it may as well stay there as I dont know how to get it off!
the rocks I photographed in the Giraween National Park in Queensland last year and I found this photo while I was sorting through some and loved the light and shadow and the way the rocks are positioned.
The sketch was done yesterday of the view from our back gate, trying to get the light and shade for a future painting.
Things are in a bit of a muddle here as the wretched pugs keep getting out and I dont know how or why, and the male has been scratched by the female and has another weeping sore on his back and has just been to the vet for about the 6th time this year. I am seriously wondering why I have them at the moment.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

New puppy on the block

This is Fenella, my oldest granddaughters new pup, she is about 12 weeks old and is a cream and white short coat border collie. Has the best temperament and talk about clever! She knows to drop, to sit and to go to her bed already and wakes Fenella if she wants to go out. An absolutely gorgeous dog.
I have had a "thing" burnt off my face today, not a skin cancer yet so I hope we have stopped it. I now have a very sore face and feel rather tired.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Textile work in progress

I have only scanned part of this but it is a work in progress. A small quilt which will eventually be used as part of an advertising string of quilts for our up coming decorative arts show. (well I think that is what it is called).
I have got a bit more carried away with this than I meant to, was going to be very simple but I liked the idea of the hand stitching making the texture.
It is keeping me busy at night.
I can just see a needle and thread in the bottom bit, so lots more to do.
It has been very cold and miserable for the last few days, nice to have the fire but it doesnt warm all of this large house, so an excuse to be near it.
I had an adventure with a fox yesterday but that is on my other blog.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Cootamundra wattle

It has been very wet and rainy so the wattles look a bit bedraggled. I walked down to pick some and see what my new Pitt pens would do. They are quite fun to use but as I only have 6 colours not a lot of contrasts so I cheated a bit and used ordinary felt tipped pens as well.
I have been so busy trying to get a textile wall hanging done that it has taken a lot of my time, of course I was going to use machine embroidery but decided I wanted the texture of hand embroidery so we sat and watched the Crows defeat Geelong in the football yesterday on tv after lunch, my excuse was that I could get some of this embroidery done.
I had been wanting a walk so we drove over to Pt Elliott to see if we could see the whales in the bay, we did but they are not very interesting but saw about 8 seals playing close to the rocks. I tried for some not very good sketches andI have put those sketches on my boots and sketchbook blog.
I must try and find time to do some more painting but this week looks a bit busy, again! I thought that one was supposed to have more time when one retired, not that I have stopped doing what I have always done, but we are nominally "supposed" to be retired. Probably a bit slower tho.
It is my friend Virginia in Germany's Birthday today, so Happy Birthday to you and I hope you have a great day doing what you want to do.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Family photos

While going through some of the photos at my mother's I came across these two that I couldnt remember seeing before. Unfortunatly the one of my mother as a bride has a crack across it.
The first one is of my grandmother taken in Harrogate UK when? I have no idea, probably early 1900's. According to my mother the feathers in the hat she is wearing were Bird of Paradise feathers.
The second is of my mother aged 18 on her wedding day in early February 1931, she was born in 1912 and will be 94 in October.
She looked so young and lovely.
I am interested in the clothing as a textile person. And the similarities in both of them to my grand daughters. The only other ones of my grandmother that I remember were when she was quite old and looked far more severe.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Cut work cards

I spent an interesting day with my mother trying to find a bit more about family history. I found these cards with no writing in them, in an album and she had no idea where they came from or whose they were but gave them to me. They have very intricate cut work designs in paper on them and sayings. I would imagine are probably Victorian or Ewardian, may be a bit later. But they were very interesting.
I have some research to do on my fathers family, John has lots done on his family and I feel I should know more than the hearsay about my fathers side. My mothers side is very hazy as no one really seems to know the truth of it all. (Several children, some marraiges and some not!)
I have gone into yesterdays adventures a bit more in my "boots and sketchbook" blog.