Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last post for 2014

I drew the gladioli that were in a vase last night, added a bit of colour with aquarelle pencil and then drew a few bugs at the bottom of the page for good measure! I dont seem to have done a lot over the last few days, but I have been busy and yet not. It has been lovely weather and we have walked and I have played a bit in the garden, but the next few days will gradually get hotter and hotter, up to the low 40'd I think although it might be a little cooler down here. We are out tonight for dinner with friends to see the New Year in, so a rest this afternoon. I will sit and sew while I have no doubt John will snore, we are not used to after midnight outings any more! I have been trying to think wether this last year was good or bad, I think I would say it was a mix, and next year with a shoulder replacement in the offing doesnt sound very good either. We take what we can at this stage of our lives. I have been reading Kate Llewelyn's latest book, "a fig at the gate" and smiling to myself about her comments on ageing and how it can suddenly come as rather a shock, even if you do look in the mirror, what you see isnt always what you think you see! I am slowing down and finally realising that this is part of it all, This year the farm, will we hope, sell and get the banks off our back, although how we live or where is still in the future. Maybe we can still have the house and some land but I am not building too much hope on that thought. I have some lovely workshops planned in the next few months I am not sure how I will cope with them, probably not get as much done during them, but more later on when I have time at home. It is all in the planning! I hope all my readers have an exciting and fun filled 2015.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

I hope all the readers of my blog have a very Merry Christmas and a New Year full of wonderful surprises. I do hope that next year I will have more time and energy to sketch and paint, I feel this blog has been rather neglected in favor of the other one. My gladiolus did well for us this year, bringing color to the house and the vegetable garden. Hey Ho and on we go.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pennington Bay

I finally found time to do a small and not terribly good painting. we were not going to do this today, but the weather sounds as if it may not be so good tomorrow and John has been desperate to go fishing, so over to one of the loveliest bays in this world, and there was a good gutter and he caught three sea salmon so fish for dinner tonight. I walked the length of the beach and back and then climbed up the very interesting stair way and sat in the car and painted until he came back. so we were both quite pleased with ourselves. I am on my fourth Christmas cake, just waiting for it to finish cooking and then for a much needed nanna nap. we had friends in for drinks last night, so lovely to catch up as it only happens once a year, and more in tonight, It should be dinner but drinks in a lot of ways are easier and I have plenty of nibbles and not much in the way of real food! Yesterday John managed to make 10 mugs of pate, as you can see, no real rest for the wicked we seem to have done nothing but cook and entertain! We were going out to lunch today, but somehow I think it will be tomorrow, well we have already eaten lunch, thank heaven for the ham and my bread maker, ham sandwiches have been going down well and I will turn the fish into a baked fish plaki, ala Elizabeth David, tonight.I will be glad of my comfortable chair when I get home though.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

By the ferry landing at Cape Jervis

I usually sit up the top of the ferry waiting for it to go over to Kangaroo Island and sketch, not sure how many times I have sketched this scene, probably most times we come over. I havent had time to do any more sketching, we have been so slack, but I am painting some paper for my blobanimal books I am doing with an online class with Carla Sonheim, slowly, very slowly, if you look at my other blog, back valley seasons (on the side bar) you will see why! Age is catching up and it takes us longer to do things these days. Maybe before we go there will be more.v A huge and noisy and right over the top of us thunderstorm last night, we didnt get a huge amount of sleep so a little slow today although we are aiming to go out to lunch further to the west of the Island after I have boild the fruit for the first of the Christmas cakes, the fruit is soaking as I type. Manyana!

Monday, December 01, 2014

Pencil sketch of alstromelia

I had a lovely bunch of these that I had picked from the garden and as they were about to be thrown out I did a quick sketch of them last night. I was feeling pretty tired so just grabbed a pencil and paper instead of using colour. I don't often use pencil, prefer a pen but I was just happy to be drawing anything.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


A pencil sketch of some shells I had picked up a day or so ago. Not brilliant but something to play with.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Black and white from my sketchbook

I have been really slack and havent posted to this blog as much as I would like, my back valley seasons one is used more at the moment. I havent had a lot of time to sketch or draw, and certainly no painting. I find that my shoulder is not terribly comfortable and painting at the moment is not a top priority. Too much to do pre Christmas, as usual and we will be on the Island before our usual time and home for Christmas so its a bit of a muddle. I sat last night with a pencil, then pen and did this little design, wall paper perhaps? Any way at least it was doing something. I have to have the shoulder replaced but I will not have it done until next April, too many workshops on that I have organised until then, I can more or less manage the pain unless I do something silly, like moving a bed and mattress, which I did but these things have to be done. I am still slowly trying to clean out cupboards etc, the farm is on the market but if and when it will sell who knows. We may be able to keep the farmhouse and a few acres (sorry, showing my age, hectares) but at the moment it is all rather in the lap of the gods. Up until yesterday we hadnt had much rain to speak of for months and going into summer everything has dried off, we did have about 12 mm over the last few days, which was great, but things are still awfully dry looking and apart from filling the rain water tanks a bit and helping the dams its too late for some pasture. Although for some reason the garden is looking better than it has for years. Perhaps because John is watering it and not me!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

black and white

The crows have babies and are quite often around the house where I put out food for the dog, I just felt like a bit of black and white play last night, dont seem to be able to settle to a lot and the squiggly trees just came from no where. We had some misty drizzle this morning but hardly enough to measure. To day is the Melbourne Cup, the race that stops the Nation, so they say. Sometimes I go to a lunch with friends but today I will sit quietly and watch the race here on the television. There is a grey I quite like.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Sandra Brownlee workshop

I was incredibly privileged to have a 5 day workshop held almost locally over at Goolwa, so every day was an adventure, first getting there early in the morning and then again home at night, and during the day it was the best workshop I think I have ever had. Relaxed, lots of poetry reading, sewing a line drawn as we walked, going a block down to the river and listening to what we heard and drawing what we saw. Then writing about it afterwards. India flint and her side kick Ros produced wonderful meals out of the shed, we became a cohesive collection of women doing things we enjoyed.These are my river drawings. I am still recovering and have had another small play in my notebook today. yesterday it was hot and windy and there were fires, not close but one man died, today it is cold and windy. I was supposed to go to our Welsh Pony Show but 2 hours driving and another 2 back was more than I could face. I think a small nap might be in order!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bad blogger, feeling silly

I havent been well and although it has only been a cold it seems to have taken for ever to get over it. I hadnt realised I hadnt blogged on this blog for so long. I had my 75th Birthday on October 4th and from there on it was all down hill. So now I am feeling silly and these two very silly offerings are about as good as it gets! So much is going on, the weather has gone from very hot and windy to cold and windy with no rain at all, we are busy foaling and in the midst of shows as well with the ponies. Looks as if the farm will be sold, so many worries over that one that I cant begin to even do more than start trying to get rid of 'stuff'! I have lived here for 55 ye3ars and before that Johns family since 1909, and more has come in than gone out. So if I am distracted and dont post for a while that will be why.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Last few sketches

Well there is one more to go before the end of the month, but then I will have to go on and finish the book. Random things that I sketched, a tomato and a feather, a fabric house that didnt scan very well and a wine glass. Very quickly done. This morning John had an appointment with the eye specialist, he is on a list to have his cataract off, goodness knows when, while I waited, had to drive him home as he had drops in his eyes. We had another foal overnight and one in the afternoon yesterday, all really nice. Today is Mason (great grand son) birthday, he will be six and we are going to a barbecue for him tonight. It is school holidays so nice to be able to have it on the actual day. Trouble is it has turned cold and windy with the odd shower of rain, not exactly bbq weather but I dont suppose he will mind. Off to make the potato salad for tonight.

Friday, September 26, 2014

More dailty sketches

Things that sit around on the table next to my chair, a large ball of thread, a cork from a bottle of bubbly, my pin cushion and a few pills. Nothing at all exciting but thins I can take a few minutes to draw. Shopping this morning and then a walk in a small amount of drizzle, home to unpack and put away and then sew more of a little fabric house. I am not sure if I will make more as they are fiddly and time consuming but I will see. Waiting for a new foal, I thought she would have it last night but she is still hanging on, probably tonight.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

More sketches

These are very quick, a crab claw I picked up off the beach the other day and my mother in laws very old darning mushroom, I do every so often darn my socks when a favorite one gets a hole in the toe. I didnt ever know my mother in law as she died when John was eleven but there are several bits and pieces of hers here, she did a lot of very nice embroidery. A lovely walk this morning and a beautiful, rather too warm day, but they are saying we may get some showers. I hope so it is too early for the rain too stop. Look on my other blog ( on the side bar) for a quick wander around the garden.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A little late

I am a bit late with these, a pair of ear rings that I made from aluminium flashing and a lovely broken whelk shell I picked up from the beach a few days ago. I have spent quite a lot of today potting up a few things and weeding, it is a beautiful sunny day and I feel, hay fever or not I have to do a few things in the garden. A friends 75th birthday in Adelaide a lovely deal, great to catch up with old friends, and beautiful setting and food. Today I am a bit tired but trying to get stuff done. A new fabric project.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Keys and broken shells

We walked this morning over at Pt Elliot and I searched amongst the shell debris, John found a cowrie but I was looking for something interesting to sketch and found these broken shells. cool and windy today and some rain over night, thank goodness. I think from here on in we start to warm up and stay dry. I am not doing a lot, housework and reading and doing more pages on my altered book, getting a little more adventurous but not sure I am liking what the end result it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

More sketches

A couple more sketches, a small pair of scissors and a pill bottle. I was supposed to be away but it all fell through so I am home doing mundane things, we did have a walk this morning but there has been a change in the weather and some drizzle and its quite cool and windy. Very pleasant falling asleep by the fire over a book after doing the ironing, and some washing.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Another two sketches

A wooden heart that hangs in the sun room and a triangular book I made ages ago in a Maggie Grey on line class (I think) Beautiful weather, I went marketing this morning, John has gone fishing. I need him to dig a couple of holes to put some plants I bought yesterday in, spring is coming here with a mad rush, before we know it it will be hot summer so apart from the hay fever I am enjoying it while I can.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Two sketches

Still doing quick sketches, a reel of cotton and an apple I had just taken a bite out of. I think maybe I over did the auto contrast.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Three days of sketches

I am still having problems trying to get the correct photos up from my tablet. I will learn in time I suppose. My love y pale green cymbidium orchid got aphids so I cut off the flower spike, only room for one flower in this tiny sketchbook. I sketched the lovely tree that Robyn Gordon carved for me, and also a sketch taken from a photo as we drove through a Victorian country town the other week. We have been busy and the weather has been all over the place. The girls are home with the ponies after a very successful Adelaide Royal Show, all tired but pleased with themselves.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Three days of sketches

Very small and not brilliant but I am somehow managing to get them done, a pony, a frog and a netuke rabbit, actually it may be a hare with amber eyes, it has goldy coloured eyes. The sketchbook is tiny so they are small too, done in pencil which I dont like to use, I may go back to a pen. Beautiful weather, and John tells me we have squid either for dinner tonight or tomorrow. yum.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Fat little bird

I bought this little painted fabric bird from Sally Lampe at Coffs Harbour this time last year. Drawn in pencil today in my little hand made sketch book.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

A sketch a day

There are a few blogs out there, Gina Ferrari being one who are doing a sketch a day this month. I thought I might try to as well, we will see how I go, this is in a tiny hand made book I made years ago in a class and have never used.Time to have start it. Some prunes blossom seemed appropriate for the first day of spring, yesterday I think, a bit out of touch with things.

Monday, September 01, 2014

A few sketches from the last week

I did manage to sit one lunch time when we were at the Art is You day and sketched the clock tower at St Kilda, just below the Novotel Hotel. Filling in time while waiting, not sure what I was waiting for, a mad bird and this morning a leaf design, I might use this for something in the stitch line. We had 8 mm of rain over night and although we had a lovely sunny morning, it is now clouding over again. We need the rain desperately. I am being slow, but getting a few things done, clearing out bookshelves is one and John washed the kitchen floor this morning after he spattered oil all over it last night trying to do crispy skinned fish, they were ok but not really crispy skinned.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sketching and gallery visits

Hog weed, lovely to sketch and play with, done last night while I was watching tv and feeling rather tired. I think the wandering we have been doing over this month is finally catching up and I am only just getting over it all. While we were in Melbourne we went to see this magnificent exhibition they are paintings from the Prado in Spain and I have to say I think they were the best I have ever seen of the overseas gallery exhibits that have come here. Not that we see all of them but we try to get to the ones here and in Melbourne. The faces were amazing. This was taken from a flyer but I did buy the book and am so glad I did. When we got home we went to Adelaide to see the Dorrit Black exhibition, she was some sort of relative of John's and I also have a small painting of hers my father bought, it was interesting to see her work, but I really liked her cubic style paintings best. I also have the book, so we have been pretty exhibited out. In seeing the Dorrit Black we also saw the Mortimer Menpes exhibition, which I found hard to see as my wonky eyes have problems and there were a lot of small dark drawings. The Waterhouse Natural science prize was also in its last few days over in the Museum, this has a lot of different categories and it was confusing trying to work out what went where, on the whole I was a little disappointed this year although there was a wonderful piece of basketry by Garnbaladj Nabegeyo from Gunbulunya in Arnehm land which I think could have merited more than just being a finalist. But then I suppose basketry is not such an important part of art and I loved the Tjanpi piece as well as I had done some sculpture work with them a few years ago. Off to play on my altered book.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

From my small sketchbook

I always carry a small spiral sketchbook with a pen in the spiral in my hand bag. These are a few of the sketches I did while flying or waiting for people. The first two were done as we flew from Adelaide to Coolangatta. over the River Murray and over the hinterland behind the Gold Coast. Then while waiting for a coffee on Tedder Avenue, a flowering Gymea lily and from the Botanic Park some lichen on a tree trunk. No colour but a nice reminder of the time away. At the moment I am trying to sort out all I have to do before going to Melbourne tomorrow, instructions for the house sitter, cat to the cattery, pack and hope I have all for the classes at the Art Event in Melbourne. Still lots to do, not sure how much blogging I will manage while we are away.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


A busy day and while I was having a breather I drew some of these little things and coloured them in. Maybe useful for my altered book I am doing next week end with Ro Bruhn. I am really looking forward to my two classes with her, both different but at the moment I am still trying to catch up after the two weeks away. I find it takes me longer to get on with things these days.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


We went walking in the botanical gardens again this morning and brought this lovely gum leaf home, battered and worn but a lovely thing to do quick pencil sketch of. Our last day up here, we leave tomorrow around midday but have hair cuts before we head home so it will be a long day and no blog. We will be sad to leave but think J will now be able to manage on her own.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Feather from the beach

A bit slow posting, actually a bit slow doing anything as we seem to be rather flat out, between visitors, physio and doctors and trying to keep the patient under control. I found this feather on the beach the other day and finally had a few minutes to paint it. As well as the above a bit of relaxing has been going on.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Coffee on Tedder Ave

Sitting this morning watching people and loving the gardens as we had coffee this morning, a quick sketch.

Saturday, August 02, 2014


Palm trees are every where I look, such a statement in many gardens and fun to play with on paper with paint. We are having a busy time, walks, lunches and so far I have caught up with a lot of the stuff I brought up with me to play with. Mostly while the 2 J's are having a rest, I rarely sleep during the day. Still sunny but cooler and windy, so not as lovely as the past couple of days.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

From the balcony in Queensland

We have arrived safely, rather tired but it is warm and sunny and lovely. J is moving far better than I was at the same time. Friends caught up with and J taken to have her staples out. A lovely lunch on the balcony and a very quick splash of paint with smokey the cat. I have just worked out, I hope, how to do this from my tablet. Yay.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Yesterday the aloes at Pt Elliot were almost all out and looking magnificent with a back drop of the sea behind. I love their vibrant colours during winter, they have been planted all along the coast as they do so well. Originally from South Africa. We have so many plants from there, thanks to the ships calling in on their way from England to Australia. Some brought on purpose, some in soil used for ballast. A fun thing to sketch and then paint.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gold fish

I have a large fat goldfish with swim bladder problems in a big chinese pot by the front door. Here he is when he has managed to right himself which he does when i feed him. Poor fellow. We walked this morning, over at Pt Elliot, there was a northerly wind blowing the big southern swells back on themselves. A nice walk.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Some where, I think possibly from Ro Bruhn I saw a method of using the insides of business envelopes and doing simple drawings on them, fun and addictive, I have used a simple sharpie fine point pen to outline and the cheapest of the felt tipped pens I have as they dont go through the paper like the more expensive ones. I have had a fun day doing very little but play. Well we did walk this morning and I have had an X ray on my knee, and finally the sun came out and I pulled weeds in the garden!! I feel better.