Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas decorations

I am making these little doo dads to give to people for Christmas, I usually give the beading group something small and add these onto my presents as an extra. This year this is what I have come up with, simple and easy and bright.
Very hot and windy today. I have started cutting out a pair of pants as I bought some bright and jazzy material yesterday to make a pair of 3/4 pants we sill see what they look like and what size I really am!
Hope my backside doesnt look too big.
Sarah rang to say she has had some orders for the bracelets I sent over with her to Werribee so I hope there is some money when she gets home. I need it!
Especially if I want to buy this new embellisher. John has just organised to get a notebook to back up the pc so we will see how all that works. More things I have to remember how they work. With any luck this will actually bring down our bills for the computer as we can go onto the new high powered connection with I think wireless. (Dont ask me I am not all that gadget literate.)
Cooler weather tonight but my garden is wilting quicker, I am just having to turn a blind eye to it. I am trying to use only 2 hoses at a time and then only in the morning and evening.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas bauble

For some reason this came out very dark but I think you can get the idea of what it looks like. Much easier than some that they were doing at beading and just as effective. I think it looks better on the red one tho but I will think about that for a while.
Today I did all the feeds that Sarah normally does and had a fit at the amount of hay we are going through.
Then I headed up to Colonnades which is a shopping centre this side of Adelaide to get some Christmas shopping done. Passed a rolled car with attendant ambulences and fire crews just out of Victor on my way up. It was still all blocked off when I came home about 4 hours later, some one was killed but it didnt seem to stop the idiots on our road who do 80ks in a 100 area and then speed up to 100 when they get to a passing lane and you cant get past. No wonder people take stupid risks, coming home was much better as I had the road to myself and put the car on cruise control.
I have collected Harry off the bus and done the evening feeds and am tired. I dont know if I have to cook dinner or not tonight as I was going out with John but now I have Harry I thought a gourmet pizza might be nice but I dont think they are open on Wednesday night. Oh poo!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Finished one sock

Here is one sock, now to get on with the other one and see if I can make it match!
I have today made three bracelets, finished off the beaded bauble that I will give my mother so she has something small instead of a Christmas tree and I worked out how to graft the toe of this sock.
I am also trying to work out how to make something small and quick to go on a Christmas tree, usually I make angels but I dont think this year I have time so I am fiddling around trying out something different.
Sarah and family are going to Werribee for the National Horse Show this weekend and my little Victoria is going to help wave the flag for South Australia, having now been leading rein pony at Champion of Champions and the Horse of the Year show here. Interesting to see how well we do.
They will be camping in the truck and keep rushing over to borrow stuff. How often did we camp in the float or in a locker when we were coming over with ponies. I had it all down to a fine art, but we never had a big horse truck with sleeping areas like they do. Many a Welsh Pony Show do I remember at either Melbourne Showgrounds, and a few at Geelong, now they are up at Tatura, so far to go and so hot I rarely get to them. Seems such a shame but new people, younger faces.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Westbury foal

I rather liked the look of this foal while we were in Victoria and have set in train the possibilities of buying him at weaning. So hard to find a colt whose bloodlines tie in with ours but are not too close. Not of course a good time to be thinking of buying, who knows where we will be in 6 months.
I am frantically trying to finish off some Christmas presents, so my back is aching and other things are not getting done.
I have nearly finished a Christmas bauble that I am beading, much easier than I thought it would be. Only the last step to do.
John has gone off to meetings today so I have been left to my own devises. I really would have liked to have had a sleep but good sense prevailed, not that any house work apart from dishes and sweeping got done. There is always tomorrow!
I went to ask about the new Janome Xpression, an embellisher that is being advertised far cheaper than the other ones, my local dealer here in town has one which she has said I can play with, what fun. I am seriously trying to find the money for it. Much cheaper as I told John than all the others.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Paint, xandaprint, heat, textile stuff

Today we were going to do something interesting but John's knuckles had blown up, part of his strange gout problem probably brought on by his bronchitis and temperatures and not being well. So I played with all this textile stuff, Xandaprint on a sandwich of painted tissue paper and felt and then the xandaprint stamped or put on through a stencil then painted and puffed with heat and on the fleur de lis some red embossing powder. There are a couple of others but they need some stitching done on them. Fun but I do think I need to get a respirator.
John fiddled around and didnt do very much. I walked around all the mares and foals. I really cant believe what the paddocks look like, more like February than November.
Weather was relatively cool but with a strong wind blowing again, drying things out even more.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Teri C said I should draw my silkworms as she hadnt seen any. Well they start off as tiny little threads of caterpillar's and grow to at least 2 to 21/2 inches long. I have some almost white ones and some with distinct stripes. Last year I got white and yellow cocoons and I wondered if the stripey ones had yellow cocoons but this year they both have white ones. My sketch of the cocoon looks pretty strange and not much like what it should. Really they are large caterpillars who spin silk.
While I was in Japan I went to the silk museum in Yokohama and they had a lot of different silk spinning caterpillars. Not just the two varieties that we have in Australia. They live on mulberry leaves and I am wondering how many leaves I will have left on the tree. I have made these a bit brown mostly so they would show up they really are a grey. I am leaving my cocoons to hatch out into moths in the hope that enough hatch at the same time to lay eggs for next year. I can still get a bit of silk off the cocoons if I want to.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Kingscote Jetty

I dont think I have posted this before, I did it on Kangaroo Island with the land across the bay. I seem to be into a black and white mode at the moment, probably becuause I have been so tired I havent had the energy to get out the colour, be it pencils or paint.
It has got hotter again today, and I decided I couldnt stand the house any longer so it got a thorough clean, as well as sheets washed and changed. Harry my middle grand son will be staying for a few days next week so I thought I had better get my act together.
The silkworms are in varying stages of growth, some have gone into cocoons and others are eating huge amounts of mulberry leaves.
I need to clean out somewhere to put all the succulents that have been in the sun room all winter as it is getting too hot for them in there.
Maybe tomorrow, although also maybe I will get on with doing some jewellery for Christmas presents.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Strange plants

I took this photo in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens because I didnt know what these plants were. I still dont. They were quite spectacular in a corner with grasses and strappy leaved plants.
My back and knees have ached all day so apart from doing the weeks shopping I havent done a great deal.
Repaired a necklace for Sarah and fixed Isabelle's dress she is wearing to a wedding on Saturday.
I have walked the dogs and watered the pots and have hoses on my dryest areas but I am being very careful where I water even tho we have got the springs, with a year like this we have no idea if they will suddenly run out.
So both John and I have been very flat today and not wanting to do much. I hope I have more enthusiasm to do things tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pages for Gail

I am sorry these are not the right way up, I forgot I hadnt turned them before I did them. These were done for my friend Gail in California who has been going through a very rough time, several of us got together and made set size pages and sent them off. I dont think Gail knew what they were for but does now.
Mine were all done with paper which is unusual for me but I think they worked out reasonably well. The theme of course was Friends. I had a lot of fun doing them any way.
Today was Adelaide and I was so tired I really didnt want to go but felt I had to see my mother, of course when I got there I found she had a gastric wog and was quarantined, so I left my flowers and went to collect John who had come too to have his hair done. He is still full of bronchitis but is now feeling a bit better, just tired now he has got some thing to attack the secondary infections.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Looking out over Ballarat

I am home from Victoria safe and sound although extremely tired. A day of driving and then we walked in the botanical Gardens there, lovely but a worry with the water restrictions they are having. Then the day judging at the Ballarat and Central highlands Welsh Youngstock show. The ground was very bare and dry, lovely big oaks around the grounds for the competitors to get under but very hot out in the ring for judges.
I think we did a good job, although neither Robyn or I could agree on our yearling champion and had to get someone else in to do it.
We then went out to Bunyong to Stephen and Jane Wiltshire's property to see his ponies and have dinner, not organised until the finish of the show as Stephen was going home! This is the view they see from actually a bit lower down than their house site. Ponies down the hill and then the plains and Ballarat far below. They had snow a few days ago. They have some lovely ponies.
We had a great night and then had to find our way back to the motel in the dark. Thank goodness the door we couldnt open after we had locked it in the morning had been opened for us so we could get in as it was well after 10.30 by the time we got back.
Yesterday was a long but uneventful drive home but it was tremendously hot, and fires around. I couldnt believe Victor because when I got there it was 20 degrees and at home it was 30 and very windy but we had gone through 38 in some places. The house was stinking hot as John has not been at all well and of course the cover was still on the airconditioner on the roof and poor man he had to get up to organise it. I dont think he knew what temperature he was but I couldnt bear it. I actually met him in Victor having just been to the Dr to get some antibiotics and he is definetly not at all well so was actually very pleased to have me home. Trouble is my feet after being on them all day on Sunday are killing me.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Gate Posts

This is all that remains of a rather imposing front gate on a lovely old house on top of the hill with magnificent views in Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, I just had to sketch it while I was waiting for John to finish his conference while we were there.
He has come home with some awful bronchial wog which is never good for him so I am hoping that all will be well while I am away. Always such a worry, and this is when I realise that he is getting older.
I probably wont get back to this until Tuesday.
I am having fun knitting my very stripey socks, I really should be doing all sorts of other things but at the moment I want to see if I can manage the heel etc and it is taking a while to get down the leg part, especially as I keep forgetting where I am up to.
The new foal is begining to straighten out and look a bit more respectable, the girls are calling him little Apache because of all the white on him.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bay of Shoals, Kangaroo Island

I did this little painting while wandering around Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, we had been to the winery which is the bright green splash of green the night before for a dinnerand I was interested to see how close to the sea the vineyard was. Bay of Sholas is what it is called, a very shallow bay with lots of sea birds and sandy shoals in it, lovely colour in the sea which I havent captured very well and so brown for this time of the year.
We did have some rain yesterday, but with it freezing gale force winds.
I drove to Adelaide to see my mother who looked very well much better than when I last saw her so that was good. I virtually drove up and home again, although a friend kindly gave me some lunch as I badly needed some "normal" company. John is feeling "off" so I hope he isnt going to get worse.
We had a poor little foal born this morning who wasnt sure which mare was his mother, but we moved them and they have now become inseperable. Another blasted colt, and I had sent the mare out to a different stallion in the hopes of a filly.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Kangaroo Island, American Beach

YOu can see how brown the Island was from this photo, there is a sandy beach over the sandhills and one year, many years ago we were dropped on this beach, two families, a pregnant pug, 5 children, two of them just walking and we camped there for several days and ate what ever the fellows caught out of the sea. Some one dropped off bread and milk every couple of days.
Magic and foolish! High summer and hot.
It is raining at the moment, lovely sound, after being so dry. I dont know how much we will get but too late for most people as far as crops and feed is concerned but will put water in the tanks.
I went to beading last night and am well on the way with the latest bracelet now, they are all making Christmas baubles, so I think that may be the next thing to do. What with beading and my knitted socks Playways is on hold for a week or so.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mary Beckwith Memorial

This wonderful memorial was to Mary Beckwith who joined NIcolas Baudin's boat in Sydney and was there when he went to Kangaroo Island. It sits by the sea on a fairly lonely beach, a few shacks around and not much else. I went there to sketch and a thunderstorm was out to sea with thunder and lightening.
We had a wonderful few days on the Island, although John came home tired after a 2 day conference and then a 2 day poetry workshop which he thoroughly enjoyed.
While I was there I caught up on a lot of sketching, reading and began my knitted striped socks which need some thought as I have never knitted socks before.
In Kingscote I wandered around the area as usually we only go in for a few hours so I had two days and a wonderful hotel room right on the front.
In Penneshaw we stayed with friends and had an equally relaxing time. So nice after the hustle and bustle of the last week.
While that was going on the results of the Local Government elections were announced and we now have a new young female Mayor who has never been on council, I dont envy her as it will be a steep learning curve I think, and several new councillors, but looks as though it will work. On the Island we went to a party for their Mayor who was re- elected with out much fuss and one of her new councillors, We had met Jayne (the Mayor) before, all these celebrations accompanied by a violent thunderstorm and very little rain and two lightening strikes which started fires. I have never seen the Island look so dry so that is the next big worry, fires as well as drought.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rivington Victoria

I am afraid this photo is a little fuzzy but this is my little Welsh Mountain mare winning champion leading rein/first ridden at our South Australian All Welsh show. I think some ont took this photo on my digital and it wasnt on the correct setting but at least it is a photo, we were all so busy over the two days of show that hardly any photos got taken. I am quickly checking in as I am packed and ready for a few days away on Kangaroo Island. I took my two Welsh judges up to their plane yesterday for another round of judging in Perth, they were so tired when they got to me they really didnt want to do much at all, but were absolutely charming and I now have a bed in Wales if I can just get there.
We had never met these men before and we had a brilliant show, Supreme Welsh A with the stallion Rivington Spring rain, who then went on to be Best Led in Show, Supreme with my Section B Welsh mare Rivington Sunday and Best foal with her foal and the girls did very well under saddle. Poor fellows as they didnt know who they were staying with were very pleased that they had liked our ponies. Some years we do well some years we dont, depends on what the judges like. I dont mind I take them home and hopefully give them time to see a bit of Australian life.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A mixed day

I received this book in the post yesterday, got through Amazon and supposedly 2nd hand although it doesnt look it. I am so pleased as it is out of print and only cost me under A $26. I love this book and was so pleased to find it and it arrived in record time.
I heard this morning that a very dear friend of mine had died last night after a battle with a brain tumour, I felt desperatly sad but have spent most of the day thinking of all the lovely memories I have of her. She was much younger than I am and wonder how her family is going to cope. We had hoped to see her next week when we went over to Kangaroo Island but it wasnt to be. She always reminded me of a small elegant sprite.
On top of that yesterday I had been to Adelaide to the craft fair, met a friend there and we had such fun, spent some money but not huge amounts and got home last night to a phone call saying I had won some more yarn at the wonderful Threads and More stall there where I had bought some recycled sari yarn to knit.
I called in and saw my mother who was tired but cheerful but on the way out met a fairly elderly woman who was obviously upset who told me her husband of 52 years had alzheimers and she had been visiting him, but how much things were weighing on her as she had no children and was left with everything to sort out on her own, I felt so sorry for her and not a mite depressed about the whole old age thing. Especially as I suppose I could be termed elderly myself, although I dont admit it.
So on the way home I called into one of the major hardware stores and bought myself a dremel which I have been puting off buying for ages, so now I can play with a light weight power tool.
This morning saw the birth of another foal, a little Welsh Mountain colt who I hope is destined for big things, we have been looking for another colt and he is one we could use.
So all in all a very mixed day for me.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Great pot

I think I have drawn this pot before but not perhaps in colour, they are magnificent pots in a favorite coffee place in McLaren Vale.
Because I missed out on my week end coffee we went over to the Vale, about 3/4 hour away to have a coffee and catch up on some art exhibitions.
David Dridan had a lovely one of some of his retrospective stuff, he is a friend and I would dearly love one of his paintings but never have the money. From there we went to one of the wineries that was holding a 25 th anniversay exhibition (of his death) of another favorite of mine. Max Ragless, I have one of his paintings but I would have loved one that was there in oil, mine is pen and wash. He was a friend of my parents.
On Friday evening we go to the opening of the Fleurieu Peninsula Biennale which is the richest landscape prize in Australia, always a huge highlight and we are going to be pushed to fit in all the exhibitions that will be held around it.
Normally we are not doing much and I can mange but this year!