Monday, December 31, 2012

More mad birds

 I hve Carla Sonheims book drawing animals and in one bit she suggests that you start with an eye, so I had fun doing these silly little fat birds using my pen and a graphitint pencil and water to shade with.
Things have been terribly busy here, we got back from the Island and late in the day after lunch the family from Melbourne arrived, so we have been catching up, making food, and I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed but enjoying it all.
we had a family bbq for 14 last night, not all the family as some are over on Kangaroo Island but about as many as I can have without searching for extra tables and chairs.
So a day of salad making and organising and thank heaven others did the dishes at the end of the night.
There are some photos of some of the grandchildren on my other blog here.
I hope this works!!
I havent had time to think of New Year resolutions, I dont normally any way but I guess not to sit back and feel old but leap up and sketch daily and blog reasonably often and try out new things, have to feel suitably stimulated and not in a rut.
I hope every one has a safe, happy and healthy 2013.
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Greetings

A wreath, a photo of one of the beaches we have walked over here on Kangaroo Island, wonderful beaches, we walked so many, its been good weather, very hot yesterday but cooler today and for c\Christmas day. lovely, a bit windy but thats ok.
I thought another mad bird would add to the holiday season fun.
a safe and Happy Christmas to all my readers.
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kangaroo Island sketches

 We are being in holiday mode.
One late afternoon we went out to the Chapman River, a lovely place and I fed the little bream with bread crumbs but John didnt catch any. I drew one of the paper barks on the bank.
Today I painted the obligatory agapanthus, they are in flower at the moment and I love them.
we have eaten well and probably drunk a bit too much, visited friends and organised to go for drinks and people to come here.
I am doing a bit of walking, some sewing and visited the numerous galleries.
I am also playing with making flowers from egg cartons, a long business but the painting is slowly getting done. I only brought over 3 coloured and 1 white in acrylic paints so they have to do, for some reason I didnt put in a blue, very silly.
We have P staying it is quite obvious we are getting older, a glass of wine with lunch and then we need a nap! Hopeless.
I didnt send out cards this year, but we may get some emails out, if not, and I dont get onto the computer again, have a Merry Christmas and a superb New Year, and think of us on Christmas day in the sun eating bbq'd prawns and yummy salads and fruit and then christmas cake and brandy butter, oh and a lot of good wine.
Decadent and something to do while we can!!
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Panic is on.

 Yesterday I lost our Christmas cake!!
 John went off to deliver presents to our son and grandson and was told what to take and what not to take! I dont think he listened and he took our cake as well, it wasnt wrapped so how???
I was not home when this happened, I was grocery shopping and getting mail and papers.
I searched high and low yesterday for it (he was fishing!) and he denied all knowledge of it (He did have to go to a funeral after delivering them but still...)
We couldnt contact the son until this morning after I had gone into total tired and cross mode, we do now have it here and I dont have to bake another one, thank goodness.
I spent all day yesterday, going into the market, doing 3 loads of washing and baking for 6 hours (biscuits this time).
I needed to calm my fury so finally totally exhausted, I sat and drew crazy birds and other things in my small sketchbook and so these are the result.
We head over to Kangaroo Island on Wednesday so I have to have all presents delivered, have the house relatively clean for the house sitter.
 The cat who is due to go into the cattery vomited all over the place this morning so I just hope he is alright.
Tomorrow we go to Adelaide to deliver some presents, more on Tuesday so I have to statt thinking of packing.
We had a lovely walk on the beach this morning, and suddenly it is raining again, we have had a few showers over the last few days, not amounting to much but at least the garden doesnt need hosing.
I hope to get the odd blog post done while we are away, say safe and cheerful in the lead up to this stressful time of the year.
Thinking of all those in the US over this dreadful time.

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Thursday, December 06, 2012

I have not been a good blogger

 I dont seem to have a lot of time at the moment, the weather was stinking hot and humid, then we had a cool change and all I wanted to do was sleep.
The aches tend to come back when the weather changes.
I did this tiny little painting the other day I havent done any thing about Christmas cards, and am not sure I want to, and this was a prossibly it might work, no I dont think it will bit of play.
I am sewing quite a lot of, as usual last minute presents, we have so little money this year, dairying is not much of a paying prospect at the moment, so I am back doing 'stuff' but it all takes longer than I think.
I will start making the cakes next week.
I shouldnt even be on the computer as I need to get back out there, to stuff an angel!!
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hot and windy

 This was not done on the best paper. just a small fiddle with some water colour. I have been mostly at my sewing machine but I needed to throw a bit of colour on something.
Up early to do the feeds and I need to do the night ones a bit later tonight.
It wasnt as bad a day as the forcasts and inside has been reasonable even without the airconditioner and a couple of fans but the sky looks very dark and threatening outside.
There is talk of thunderstorms again I hope not. They terrify the dog and cat and me as well. Mostly I worry about the threat of lightening strikes and fires.
This is such an awful start to what is not yet summer. To think we have months of this to look forward to ahead.
Better go and feed the dogs and then put on walking shoes and a long sleeved shirt so that the grass seeds dont get me.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Missing sketch

 I am not sure what happens to blogger but every so often I cant get stuff up, look and see it has gone to drafts, which I thought had been discontiued, do it all as I should, go look at the blog and the photo whatever is there, and then next thing I know people very kindly tell me they cant see it.
Another blogger mystery, I hope this works.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When in doubt draw some leaves!

 I havent been sketching much as I have been mostly on my sewing machine.
J is watching question time in parliament, why he would want to do so is beyond me, also beyond me is why we have the  PM that we have.
It has been hot, then cold then we have had thunderstorms which have terrified Max. A small amount of rain, the paddocks with summer crops in them are looking pretty parchedd, the weather burea keeps on promising rain but it never seems to come.
I dont really want floods either though, seeing areas of the UK inundated look very depressing.
I am busy trying to get a lot of odd sewing done with Christmas getting closer and not a lot of money to spend my family will probably get stuff they dont want and have no idea what to do with!
Next week I get on with making fruit cakes for them all.
At this time of the year our gum trees start to shed their leaves, late spring here in Australia, but I see dozens of lovely red and bronze leaves on the ground as I walk and I just have a bit of a thing about sketching them. Somehow they are so satisfying.
Back to the sewing machine.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Roses on the terrace

 I have been doing things and this poor blog has been a bit neglected.
Not a lot of painting or sketching has been done but I have been a bit more productive on my other blog here.
The little single rose on the front terrace has been smothered in flowers and last night before the light went I sat and fiddled with my pen and then a little bit of easy colour.
Christmas seems to be advancing rather fast and I have so much to do, have had people for lunch, not been home for various reasons, and so it all goes.
I am slowly getting stuff organised for Christmas presents, I always worry that my family think what I give them is not what they want, but its done with love and this year is all I can afford.
It is a pain getting older and poorer as well!
Dairy farming is not much fun and we had people out to talk about what we wanted in 10 years, well by then I will be 83, if I am still alive!, and as I explained of course we are going back wards financially, you are at the mercy of the grain and fodder people at one end and what the dairy companies want to pay you at the other.
Not to mention the weather. Several years of drought hasnt helped, great that the grain guys are having a good year but we have to feed cows all year around, and we get paid as little as possible for our product.
Often it doesnt break even.
Enough of my moaning, not so bad when you are young but we are getting older fast and it becomes a worry.
On a good note we had a lovely walk along the beach this morning and the roses in every garden are spectacular.
I am enjoying them while I can.
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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Playing, die cuts. paint, stamps and stencils

 I am not supposed to do too much with my hand (the one with 4 stitches in it) today so I did a bit of background playing with paints etc and as you can see I started with a die cut of flowers and then on with layers of paints and home made stamps of leaves on a layer of stencils using moonglow sprays.
Not sure what I will do with them but it has been fun.
Using up the left over acrylic paint was fun too.
Probably end up as a few pages in a new book.
My work top is a disaster but at least I did something.
We had a new foal early this morning and not the one I thought would foal, so I will be up and down again all night watching her I suppose.
The one we had was a maiden mare and she did it all by herself and we have a beautiful foal, a colt of course.
One down and 2 more to go before the week end I hope.
If none of this makes sense go and look at my other blog here

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Monday, October 22, 2012

While working in the garden I kept having thoughts about Japan

 It is quite a long time since we were last in Japan and I love the very stylized trees and gardens. I went searching for my lantern to see if I could put it in the space by the back door but I had forgotten that I only had the top and not the bottom of it.
So instead I did a few sketches of things as I remembered them.
We have been very busy re doing parts of the garden, the more manageable areas, a lot of the rest will just have to be let go as it is all too much.
As usual pots are playing a major role in what I am doing. I do find it easier and now I have sewn up the shade cloth over the paving by the back door and that is up and my little water trickle is going and the windchimes have been re done I feel much better about what is actually the main entrance to the house.
After all only salesmen seem to come to the front door and I cant open that any way (too many indoor pots are taking advantage of a nice sunny area)!!!
We are having lovely Spring weather, although the sprinklers have come out today as we have had no rain for over a week and the sun has been quite warm. My deep sand tends to dry oput rather fast once we are into October.
It has been a joy to sit out under the sprouting (and flowering) glory vine and watch the birds and enjoy the blossom and the flowers that have all suddenly decided to come out.
A nice place for a coffee and to read the paper.
Then get on with a bit more hard work.
So not a lot of painting or sketching being done but something I havent felt able to do for such a long time, and it is very satisfying.
I am just not looking forward to really hot summer days, or wind, or flies!
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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lady in the red hat

 Here is my supposedly better painitng of the lady in the red fhat, her left eye needs work but I dont think I will bother.
I dont do portraits and this one looks nothing like her photo.
If any thing it is colder today, snow on the hills(not near here though) but hail and rain and miserable.
I did go out and pot up a few geraniums this morning and scared the ponies with my umbrella.
I had to check on the foal with the stitches in his head, he looked ok apart from having the mark of Voldemort on his head. Why did they call him Harry Potter.
I am going back to the fire some new meds I am taking have upset my tummy a bit.
There is always something.

Monday, October 08, 2012

More from my sketchbook

 I cant remember if I put the boats in before! If I did I am sorry  but here they are again.
then the base for my portrait, I will put her in later, and more flowers.
Today it has warmed up, we have installed my water feature by the back door but still lots to do.
My knee has been playing up and all my GP could say today was go swimming! Huh, I told him I didnt have the money to sign up for a gym , or the time, or to buy a wet suit to go swimming in the sea, I asked him if he could imagine me trying to struggle into a wet suit with a gammy knee.
Sometimes men have no idea.
So I have bought another knee support and hope this may help.
I need to walk more.
He also asked if I was depressed, I said of couse I was with the way the farm was having problems but no I did not want pills.
I shall go around singing and laughing to myself and every one will think I am mad.
No honestly, things are not brilliant and I have had to go back up on the cortisone but at least I am now not in the pain I was last week. It was stupid of me to think I could drop down a mg when I did.
Tomorrow I hope Max and I can go for a long walk, this morning we slept in, daylight saving is mucking up when I wake up, what was 6.30 is now 7.30.
Thank you to those who listen to me moan!
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Saturday, October 06, 2012

From my sketchbook

these are some of the watercolour samples I did, sone with ink first and some just placing the colour on the paper.
They were fun exercises in the use of the brush and quickly getting an impression down.
I did a lot of these as I was trying first to see what things looked like before I put it onto good paper.
Not quite such a busy day, cold and damp and thank goodness for the fire.
I was really worried about the mare this morning but she seems bright and eating although there are a couple of things I am still not happy about.
I did buy something to supplement the foal with if I have to but as all the crew are at the local show and they help run it they havent been around.
We didnt get to the show as I am still aching all over and John has a badly swollen knuckle and hand which may be a re occurence of his gout problems.
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Friday, October 05, 2012

It was my birthday, a short post

It was my birthday yesterday but as half the family forgot it and I was at the last day of a 4 day painting class and was so tired I could hardly move, the fact that a very favorite mare was up in Adelaide being treated for something, toxic but what it passed in a blur.
I even had to cook dinner!
I wont go into it all but the mare is now home and I hope going to be ok.
These are a couple of my not terribly good paintings, the first a 15 minute quick exercise and the second a not terribly good exercise in? I cant remember. I find boats very difficult to paint.
Oh but John did give me a gorgeous pair of earrings he found in Darwin, now that was a plus as he very very rarely buys me jewellery, he says because I make so much my self.
A frantic trip to Adelaide today to collect the mare and foal, traffic was horrendous and road works every where, and it is school holidays, I just want a drink and bed but I had better make dinner first.
Really just to say I am in the world of the living and havent disappearedd.
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Meat tray stamps

 I had cut up a couple of small meat trays to take away with me, didnt have time to do anything with them while we were away but when I came home I drew these two 'rock art' look alikes and printed them in my book.
So much fun to do, simple and easy.
I have a flat out week next week with painting lessons from Monday to Thursday which I think I am looking forward to, I havent had time to think about it!
 Tomorrow my great grandson Mason has a 4th birthday bbq lunch and P comes to stay (she is to do the lessons too) in the evening.
I think I am more or less organised.
Up to Adelaide this morning, these 3hour round trips do get a bit tiring, especially as it is school holidays and the driving at times is appalling.
Caught up with friends from WA and had a late lunch and collapsed infront of the tv to watch the AFL Grand Final, the team I favoured won but it was a close fought match.
I have made a casserole for dinner, now to wait for it to cook.
Off to do a bit of handstitching.
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Friday, September 28, 2012

From my sketchbook

 The top one was trying to get on paper my impression of the dry creek beds and sandhills we were flying over on our way to Darwin, done in the plane while the landscape below kept on changing. So I had to remember what I had first put down before I filled in the pieces. I would like to translate this into a painting. I will see how I go, my translations dont seem to look as nice as my sketches.
The second one were of the little things I saw around E and W's garden, the bells, hanging lanterns, water lilies, windchimes, water features and bird cages (they were for decorative purposes only, no birds in them.)
We have had 2 hot days, now we are back to cold and wind, with a little rain. Not a terribly pleasant day.
I do feel virtuous though as at least I have dusted and vacuumed, I would like to wash the floors but not in this weather, they will just get muddy.
I have to go into the surgery to have my annual (now I am over 70) drivers license check up, a pain as my usual GP is away, and I have to see another and have an ecg as well. I will be glad when it is over.
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A bit of catch up

There will be more of these but 2 a day is about my limit.
We are now home and I have packed a lot into the last few days, unpacking and washing and tidying up and today a round trip to the hairdresser, 8 ish start and home a bit after 12.30 having collected the papers and the mail and some groceries I forgot yesterday. Not enough hours in the day.
I really loved the red stemmed palms in E's garden, this is not a very good sketch but we seemed to be on the go all the time.
I did the crocodile on the way home in the plane, had to do something during a 3 1/2 hour flight.
I am trying to catch up on all the emails etc from while we were away.
really I would just like to sit and think!
It was a fabulous trip, so much to see and do and we packed in an awful lot.
Yes it was hot and towards the end humid but we coped, we ate at lovely places, we stayed in a glorious house with the best hosts, we were shown stuff we may not have found by ourselves. I bought lots of lovely baskets made by the local aborigines, saw rock paintings, lots of different birds, crocodiles came back with books and paintings and so much paper stuff it will take me ages to catalogue it and made some great stuff in the workshop I went to.
Whew, and of couse life is getting hectic here at home too. I will be posting on both my blogs so go here  to see what else I have been dloing.
Off to get some more 'stuff' done.
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Not a lot of time for painting

 I am doing a lot of writing and pasting images in my home made book but there has been very little time to paint.
we are having a bit of a lay day today, an early morning walk and a dinner ncruise on the Katherinr river up the gorges.
I did the first one while we were still in kakadu, some of the dyed parndanus used in weaving I was gicen at Oenpeli in arnhemland and a sketch of the spirit woman which was in our room, just pencil over a background of a tea bag.
The leaves I picked up on my walk this morning and usinf them as stencils I put a mix of tea bag and coffee over them and then painted in the details a lot of fun but all this travelling and walking in 37 degree heat gets a bit much for us old people!
For photos go and look on my back valley seasons blog.

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