Saturday, January 30, 2010

Attempting tonal clouds

I try and I try and I still cant manage to do clouds. I thought perhaps I would try a tonal drawing taken from the photo I took yesterday which is on my other blog, but it still looks nothing like it.
I havent really had time to go back to paints as I have a heap of textile stuff to get done made more difficult by the fact that my back really doesnt like me and I have trouble getting up from a chair. I have a couple more dolls under way but I have finished my textile tantrum, oh and forgot to take its finished photo, bother and it is all packed up now.
I had a lovely morning, I went to the market, and bought some plants, lettuce, basil and parsley, I usually have loads of parsley but in the heat it all died and there doesnt seem to be much viable seed.
These are all going in pots near the back door.
Instead of going straight home I did a wander up the side of the valley on one of the dirt roads and did a circuit coming back from the other end of the valley. I took some photos and decided that at some stage I must do on my other blog a bit of a history of the place as I remember it. After all we will be having our 51st wedding anniversary on the 7th of Feb so what I tend to think of as not terribly interesting may be to my children, eventually!
We are going out to dinner with friends tonight which should be fun, I do sometimes feel that the older we have got the less we see of friends, we all seem to be trying to cram so much into our lives!
John has just rung in to say Oscar will be pleased and we have a reasonable amount of fish so that is great. Oscar gets the fish we dont eat but they catch any way.
We had a late and not too long dinner last night as Millie hadnt had her afternoon sleep and Tabby's John was tired having just come back from Alice Springs and Tab was tired having had to look after the two babies, but it was good none the less.
Tonight the Haiku is by Shiki.
The thunder has subsided.
Evening sun on a single tree.
The cry of a cicada.

Friday, January 29, 2010

My computer specs and Oscar

I sat here wondering what on earth I could put up in the way of a sketch and sitting infront of me were my computer specs, which of course means I am wearing my normal glasses to do this, which is a bit foolish as the focal length is not as good as the others.
My normal glasses are a bit more with it than these ones, I recycled an old pair of frames.
Then last night there was Oscar reclining in "his" chair looking for all the world like an old gentleman at this club. He likes this chair and often watches the tv from it.
No sketch a photo is easier.
I am being barked at by dogs who want to be fed, they are getting older and want their meals earlier all the time.
Had a lovely walk along the beach this morning, if you go to my other blog you will read about it.
To nights haiku is another by Basho, not really relevant to anything.
Having spoken ill
my lips now
feel the cold of
autumn's fatal wind.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nother doodle

With not much time I sat and did this for a few minutes this afternoon. I have a lovely old piece of Bali Batik which is nearly falling apart and I sketched, sort of, the flowers on it. I have to say that at times my wonky eye doesnt see the whole picture, sometimes not even part of the picture.
We were in Adelaide yesterday and saw my mother, she was stuck on the loo when I got there, I honestly dont think the carers take a lot of nitice and she was pretty agitated when they finally got her out.
Not a lot has been happening, I am trying to get my act together to do a few textile things as we have an exhibition over Easter and this year I dont seem to have a lot to offer. Of course the patterns I wanted I couldnt find, very frustrating as I knew I had put them somewhere I could get at them easily. I did manage to tidy one work room looking for them.
I bought a cording foot for my little Pfaff hobby 2042 yesterday, of course it doesnt fit it as the new Hobby has a smaller bit for it to fit onto. I have tried to see if they have another but I was told it was an 'old' model, gosh its my newest machine and cant surely be that old? Or can it!
I do wish they would not change feet sizes, my very old Pfaff takes the same feet I suppose its because they got taken over.
Grump over here is my Haiku for the night by Onitsura.
As froglets
they sang like birds...
Now summer is gone
they bark like old dogs.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Australia Day

Here it is Australia Day and we have been in to the celebrations, well as John was a recipient a few years ago we go in to the morning celebrations we have here in the town. It was a lovely morning and those who were getting their Australian citizenships were a great lot and the this years recipients as Australian of the year for our district were full of good works.
Apart from a walk and a coffee and usual household tasks not much was done.
This little lady is badly out of proportion, I must get some bigger watercolour paper if I am going to do more, her arms are much too long for her body. I had almost finished when I realised what she looked like and I also ran out of time.
Surprisingly hot and humid sticky and uncomfortable.
Adelaide tomorrow. At least John is coming up as well as it is hair cut day too.
I have had a frustrating day trying to work out some textile stuff, I hope it all comes together later on in the week.
No haiku on short ladies with long arms! Instead one by Kikaru.
A baby warbler gaily
upside down
sings his first song!

Monday, January 25, 2010

More girls

I am into quick, not terribly good, figure studies at the moment. I am having fun and that is what I like about them.
Bear with me.
I have managed to change my eye specialist appointment for the 25th of march, which is an improvement. Early morning in Adelaide but that is ok.
My back has had a going over and I have managed to get a bit of textile work done so my feelings of achievement is helping the whole psyche.
Today in the mail came one of the books I had ordered through Amazon, a 2nd hand copy of The tribal arts of Africa by Jean-Baptiste Bacquart. I have a thing about masks and although I have no African ones, and would dearly love one this is satisfying a need for the moment. Such lovely and interesting stuff. No wonder I love what Robyn of Artpropelled does. Not only does she carve fantastic stuff, (I wont go into how much I want a piece) but she also tells about many other interesting blogs and artists.
To morrow is Australia Day and today John and I hung our flag in a small tree by the corner of the house, I would like a flag pole but well its another thing to wish for isnt it!
John is re reading poetry at night, I am hoping it might inspire him to write some more, he is very good but says he doesnt have time. He found this Haiku by Issa.
Oh, dont mistreat
the fly,
He wrings his hands!
He wrings his feet!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Three women

Well if I cant see this is maybe what I will paint instead.
We had a lovely day yesterday watching the 2nd to last stage of the Tour Down Under, the big Australian cycle race that is held locally.
Great fun and a time for many to get together.
We all had lunch at a friends place that was near one of the vantage points, so a long and happy lunch on a beautiful day.
This morning John and I went for a walk on the beach, very enjoyable and then I tidied the house and got stuck into a bit of the garden as it was such a pleasant day.
Had a fight with our provider, we are not sure what the heck is going on but our 3G keeps on not working when it has been happily working for ages, months and months before this.
I didnt realise how much I use the computer!
I have been doing a bit of sewing, I tell myself while I can.
The eye comes and goes a bit, this morning I couldnt read my book, this afternoon it isnt so bad. I really dont want to think about the possibility that I may be as blind as I was before the operation to fix it. Is this an on going problem? I suppose I have been lucky to have about 8 years and I suppose the other eye may compensate, but what about my sewing?
I have workshops I am going to, my independence!
Better get onto my haiku for tonight, this is a very evocative one by Soseki, I have seen this in Japan.

A rain cloud darkens
red maples
clinging to crags
by a waterfall.

Absolutely lovely.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Well at least I could see these, the pheasant shells look a bit as if they have taken a leaf out of an African war shield. They are one of our commoner shells and they come in a variety of shell patterns and I love them. I used to love watching them on the sea grass when I was diving.
There is a bushfire out of control a few kilometers away but I dont think is really any threat to us, although the wind change has sent it more into our direction but there is a lot of open farm land between it and us. I am not sure if it started in the pine forests and wether it was deliberately lit or not although there is a suspicion that we have a fire bug in the area.
At least it is cooler now, it was very uncomfortable this morning when I went in to shop.
I found trying to read the prices on the supermarket shelves a lot more difficult today, am I suddenly realising that I really do have a problem seeing?
So I came home and sketched and did some hand sewing, I have a lot to do and it is no good sitting around feeling sorry for myself.
I think maybe I have put up this Haiku by Basho before but it doesnt matter, it is a nice one.
Jewels of small shells
in ripples
of sand, tangled
with kelp and rubbish.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blurry sea scape

I have been having a lot of trouble with my 'bad' eye, everything has been blurry out of it so today I went to see my optometrist who tells me that there is a lot of thickening around the prosthesis they put in when I had a hole in the retina and it was repaired. The other eye is developing a cataract as well.
Oh joy!The soonest I can get into my eye specialist is the 18th of May. They may be able to do something with a laser apparently but until I see him I wont know.
So no wonder a lot of my stuff has been rather blurry and this little sea scape is a bit how I feel.
I wasnt a terribly happy person today, I can still drive but I have to say I am not terribly confident about it.
To top it off it has been very hot and humid, just the weather I dont really like.
The good side was a kiss and a cuddle with small Mason this morning, he is a beautiful child and loves a snuggle.
The computer has also been playing up and has either been terribly slow or non existent so I couldnt even lose myself on that.
So here is a haiku that probably puts it all into perspective, by Sodo.
Unmoved, the melons
don't seem to recall
one drop
of last night's downpour.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Could these flowers come from another planet?

I felt like a bit of mindless sketching and these are what arrived, not quite like the ones in Avatar but??
I have a book I bought many years ago called Views by Roger Dean, I call it my dragon book and I love it dearly and I have to say that after seeing Avatar I was quite convinced that he had a lot to do with the designing of both the floating Islands and the dragons as both seemed to me to bear a lot of similarities to his work.
It appears that he had nothing to do with Avatar, but then as this book was published in the mid 1970's perhaps those who did the designing had seen it and had perhaps, copied his style?
I dont know but some of his paintings seem very very similar.
Roger Dean did a huge number of some of the best record covers, now adays with CD's there is not the call there once was for such wonderful works of art.
I had a lovely day, a walk on the beach some things that have been calling out to b done finished and it is still cool and comfortable.
If you want to see more of what I did today go to my other blog here.
The crickets are singing well as the sprinkler system is on so tonight's Haiku is by Kikaku and is about a cricket.
Poor crying cricket
your little husband

was caught by our cat.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Young Pacific Gull

I did this when we walked over to Granite Island and had a coffee, this young Pacific Gull was sitting on a granite rock near the coffee shop.
If you look on my other blog you will see that we have some new pea chicks and that I got a little carried away taking photos of book shelves.
I havent had time to do much except iron today but at least it was cool, but there is still a great heap of stuff in the basket, maybe I will get it finished tomorrow but after at least 5 hours my back was killing me.
In the midst of that I got a new iron as the old one was throwing black all over the white clothes and I was not pleased.
I hate to say it but I think it is because I have been using that iron to put misty fuse on to textile stuff so it will stick.
Now the old one will be used for that and the new one for clothes only.
I am back to Basho tonight,

Do the tea-pickers
also hidden
among leaves
hear the cuckoo's song?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bull rushes

I walked this morning over to the dam and sketched a few of the bull rushes that are growing there.
We really dont like them in the dams as they tend to extend out into the water and send down their roots and so make room for less water.
I also cleaned the house and did a lot of washing, feel very tired but at least I can feel I can do things with a clean house. I dont know why I have this fixation, I can go for a week without cleaning but more than that and my mother is over my shoulder telling me there is dust and I need to be a good little housewife.
To tell the truth I hate cleaning but know it has to be done.
I didnt go to the horse show I should have gone to today, I did not look after my grand and great grand children. I told them all I was too tired, which I was but then that demon on the shoulder got to me.
I am glad I stayed home because now although tired I dont ache as much as I would have and nor do I feel as guilty as I have for not cleaning.
Oh Heavens lets get off this boring subject.
My Haiku tonight is by Yayu
When Spring is gone, none
will grumpily
as these chirping frogs.

I just love the grumpily grumble bit, oh and Will found a small toadlet in our toilet while he was here, none of us know how it could possibly have got there, yes the water comes from a spring but it also goes through a pressure pump.
It was rescued and put in the fish pond.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Busy day

Only time for a doodle of a fish, a nasty spiny fish but one that was fun to do.
Cooler, we walked over to Granite Island this morning after I had been more or less put together by the physio.
A roast and freshly peeled peaches and ice cream for dinner tonight.
Onitsura has some nice Haiku.
Even stones in streams
of mountain water
songs to wild cherries.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I saw this flowering Banksia by the side of the railway line yesterday when we took the cockle train from Victor to Goolwa.
It was a lovely run as a lot of it is by the sea.
Adelaide to see my mother to day and I am tired.
Probably because it is cool at last and damp so I just wanted to sleep this morning but had to be up and off early.
Evie and Will stayed with Tabby which was good for all of them.
Far too tired to put much up.
So this Haiku by Jurin really has no relevance at all!
When the nightingale
sang out,
the sparrow flew off
to a further tree.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Circular village

The weather has been so awful no body has done much and now we have had some rain but it is coming in from the north west and is so humid, about 20 mm which is more than we thought we might get and more than the weather bureau said.
Not a lot got done yesterday as we just closed all the blinds and curtains and waited out the 40 odd degree heat, I dont know what it got to but it was terribly hot.
Some fires around but luckily none close to here, still with the wind we watched.
Then blogger had a problem or firefox had a problem or something and I couldnt post. Maybe it was just too hot and the computer had a problem.
So I used some Derwent Inktense pencils and then a bit of water over the top. I was surprised at the way it seems to stand up.
The rain is an absolute blessing as the family is not used to the restrictions of rain water so the tanks are full again and the garden is positively smiling, although these long periods of heat do nothing for any one wanting to garden.
So nothing of great interest although this afternoon we hope to take the cockle train over to Goolwa and back, seems like a good day to do it.
Painting and drawing are really the last things I want to do at the moment.
We did see Avatar the other night, not in 3D but I think I am glad as I could well have been sick, the heights were quite dizzying and flying on the dragons amazing. Not much of a story but the visuals were terrific.
Onitsura has an interesting Haiku
Drift of ashes
from a burning field,
a wailing
wind sighing away...

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Blue wrens

The first photo is of a card by Nicholas Pike who lives on Kangaroo Island and does lovely paintings and cards of the Island birds.
I have blue wrens all over my garden, they are tiny and we call them the flying mice, but they are so quick they are impossible to draw or for my little camera to take their photos, so I have tried drawing them from various of his cards.
I think I am just trying to get into my head their shape. The Island wrens have longer tails than mine probably a genetic difference from being on the Island for so long.
I once had a cat who used to sit looking down at the wrens as they came to eat from his cat bowl, probably more the insects than the cat food but he obviously realised that they didnt make much of a meal and was not in the least bit interested.
I have several families living around the house, all with their own territories.
I can hear their tiny squeeks now as they look for insects.
We went in to the market this morning and then out to Tabby to see Celina and Millie as I now have Will and Evie here as their parents went home early this morning.
Tab rang not long ago to say some one had lit a fire by the side of the road just up from her and it had got into her front paddock, luckily there was no wind or she might have been in trouble with just her Millie and young Celina home. Some one had obviously seen it and called the CFS who were there before she knew about it.
As she said, when it is as hot as this you stay indoors and she was moving Millie into another room so was busy inside.
You really do wonder what motivates people.
Tonight I am thinking of cold, so this Haiku by Ransetsu may fill the bill, then again maybe he was thinking of something other than snow.
In stony moonlight
hills and fields
on every side
white and bald as eggs.

Friday, January 08, 2010

A family on the beach

I sketched this one yesterday, today I dont think there would be any one as it would be far too hot.
And at least 3 more days getting hotter and hotter. I have the grand children until next Saturday but their parents go home tomorrow.
I really dont cope terribly well with the heat so hope I have enough things to keep them amused in a very hot house.
The physio had a go at both my knee and my hip today and we will see what it is like in a week, it is as I thought caused by me not walking properly on the leg with the knee but I have to walk but not on rough ground and do some resting.
To be quite honest in this heat I do not feel like doing much at all.
The master Basho wrote this Haiku.
If I could bundle
Fuji's breezes
back to town....
What a souvenir!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Tree in snow

While watching a report on tv of the snowfalls in the UK a reporter was standing near a lovely composition of bare branches and snow so this is my sketch.
I must say that I think a lot of this is getting out of hand, one doesnt mind a bit of snow but for the amount that has fallen in some parts it really can be as life threatening as the heat can be here.
Today we walked the beach early and I really havent done much except tidy up after the family, wash dishes and do washing and battle the flies that every time some one goes outside they let in.
John has a swatter and it has been working overtime. They are nasty sticky little things that are also biting.
I did try to get a bit of a Holey Moley sandwich for the layers section done and I have to say that I am not doing much better now than I did when I first did sandwiches, and my new/very old Bernina didnt like me today when I tried to do some free motion with it so I have left it all alone for the moment.
Joso wrote this Haiku.
Snow whispering down
all day long,
earth has vanished
leaving only the sky.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Possibly a card

While doodling the other day this small surprised looking owl was born. I may use him for a card at a later date. I like to have a few cards on hand.
Our family bbq went off well last night and a good time was I think had by all. We dont often get most of them together, we were missing some who were in Western Australia.
My back only just managed to make it through to the eating stage when thank goodness I could relax and sit for a while with lots of children, babies and chat going on around.
They are all growing especially the two smalls, Mason looks like a real little boy and is walking, well running and the first thing he said to me was 'bow wow' and wanted to see the dogs. Of course they are all interested and a tiny bit afraid of the peacocks who were all preparing to roost in the highest trees possible.
Millie looked gorgeous in the dress I bought for her in York.
Will and Evie dont see their cousins very often and of course Celina who has the same birthday as Evie was unfortunately at a birthday party, but she will see her later on in the week.
Shiki is the author of this Haiku.
The speech of insects
and the speech of man
are heard
with different ears.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Pots in the garden

10 minute sketch of some of my ever increasing number of pots. I love pots and having them in the garden when I cant get out and do much more is lovely.
I am going to have a moan, so dont read on if it worries you!
I am having increasing problems with hip, back and knee and cant get into the doctor and the physio is also booked out for a few days. To top it all off I now have a boil at the top of my leg so where walking before was painful now it is not fun. I know all these things will go away eventually so as I have not made any New Year resolutions, perhaps I should resolve to be more positive in future.
There I have done it so no more moans for a while, I hope!
I have the Melbourne family here and for a big house it now seems very crowded with children and clothes and people but it is lovely having them.
I have decided to get a few of the rest of the family together for a barbecue tomorrow night, so 17 plus 2 babies, only salads to make so it shouldnt be too difficult.
the haiku tonight is by Ransetsu.
New Year dawning clear...
Cheerful sparrows
all day like people.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

They were sailing in the Bay this morning

So out came the sketchbook, I am not at all good with sails and boats and these were all racing so moving and changing direction at a pretty fast rate so if you sail, I am sorry if these dont look quite right.
We walked and then had a coffee and of course the town was very busy so cars went past just as I thought I had caught something correctly and by the time I looked again it had all changed.
The joys of sketching outside.
The Melbourne family are arriving sometime this afternoon so the beds are made and I have been flat out trying to get everything organised.
Of course I am not, organised that is.
I think the cold may be hay fever, I am not sure but it is not as bad as yesterday or perhaps I have just got off lightly.
Apparently we have another foal, I havent had time to go out and see it, a filly and very nice so I am told, this is by the wretch of a colt who got in with the fillies last year so now we will have to dna him and get him adult registered, more expense but if the filly is good enough all should be well.
There had been a lot of talk about a blue moon, here in Australia we dont get ours until March something to do with the timing.
My Haiku for tonight is by Saikaku
Some poor villages
lack fresh fish
or flowers...
All can share this moon.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

ten minute sketch

I have the beginnings of a cold and feel miserable. I thought it was hay fever or a blocked sinus but now I think it is a cold. My nose keeps running and I have a cough.
I dont get colds!
I did this last night, looks odd as there are only four toes but from the angle I was drawing I couldnt see the fifth one and my knee and calf look rather odd but it is a start, sort of.
John went fishing and I slowly changed sheets on beds and did washing and am almost there.
I am getting to the stage where I cant remember what haiku I have put up and what I have not, never mind if I cant remember surely you cant either.
This one is by Rogetsu.
A tree frog softly
begins to trill
as rain drops
spatter the new leaves.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Inner city

This is another sketch, this time an inner city scene complete with graffiti.
I have a friend staying and we are doing very little today.a s we were late last night.
Had a wonderful meal, pre dinner drinks and nibbles in the tennis house watching the kangaroos and the light across the valley, then various courses all of which went down well, and just about 20 minutes before midnight the lights went out, so we sat around the table with candles doing a count down to midnight, and we sat around for a while later to see if they would come on but they didnt.
We arrived home safely to find that our power was on and had not been out so I have no idea what all that was about.
I think as we get older we all wish for the same things, that we will be back next year and in reasonable health. I would love some wealth but the way things are looking that is not to be so we just manage the best we can, and lets face it we still have a roof over our heads and a bit of money to spend.
We did a bit of window shopping this morning as we went in to get the paper, watching tourists enjoying the cooler weather!
This Haiku by Yayu has no relevance to any thing, I just like it.
Beans from vines
growing over a
are easy to steal.