30 December 2010

Watching the clouds go by...........

 Xmas passed smooothly, being a wonderful catch- up 
with relatives. Lots of laughs, chatter , good food and fine company.
I feel very fortunate to belong to a loving and accepting family.
Holiday time for the kids and the living is easy.

 The weather has cleared and it finally feels like summer is here.
Today, a mild 25 degrees, conditions just right to relax out in the backyard
under the shade of our tall gum tree with the company of the local birds.
Among these were Noisy Miners, Sulfur Crested Cockatoos and Musk Lorikeets
twittering high above in the tree top, all the while I, reading a little natty book
I picked up long ago for 20 cents, and a favorite ever since. 
I have learn t much from this humble little publication.
 Proof that the best things in life don't cost money but instead, feed your intellect -
which I think, is priceless.
With loads of information on cloud formations and weather patterns,
I have been able to study and 
document some of the cloud species found drifting past over our neighbourhood...
all conveniently photographed from our backyard.

A few retro looking diagrams from
the little book published in 1971 by Green Ltd

Eucalyptus in the backyard
lorikeets hiding in the uppermost branches....

Windswept high altitude Cirrus clouds indicating more fine weather on the way.

Cirrostratus - high , windswept clouds made up of  mostly ice crystals

and Alto Cumulus or 'Mackerel Sky'.

And like so many artists before me, the sky is a source of inspiration.
Hence the paintings that I am currently inspired to create.


20 December 2010

Early morning here in Australia.
A ridiculously cold 13 degrees outside.
The weather has been really cold of late, and this is 'summer'.
Hail yesterday at midday. My little girl so surprised,
she yelled out 'SNOW' at the top of her voice.
You know I wouldn't be amazed if that did happen,
given the global weather uncertainties now.
Anyway, we bring in our Xmas tree a week 
before Xmas day, as it is a living tree that we nurture outside
in a pot all year round. We have had her now for 11 years,
and she started out as less than a metre high.
She now stands at nearly twice that height.
At the base we arrange the nativity scene, and presents
for friends and relatives.
Lots of hand made toys and dolls clothes for my neices.
I am sickened at the amount of plastic produced by 
the large corporate companies, and my hnad made creations
beat them hands down anyway, in terms of quality and aesthetics.
Today, off to the shops to meet Santa and buy some ingredients for
a gingerbread house.....

6 December 2010

Christmas is a wonderful time for children especially.
Here's a line drawing that my youngest has pasted proudly 
on our front window.....
I rather like the detail.

The garden is flourishing at the moment, and I especially love white flowers
indoors, but these one's I must confess make me sneeze a bit.

We've been making hand made stars from clay,
to give to little friends.....

And finally some photos taken outside......
these will inspire my next painting.
There's nothing I like more than a good summer storm,
and we've had no shortage of them the past month.
Infact , we've had the heaviest rain since records started 
early last century......no doubt climate change is partly to blame.
And as the human race continue to live without a concern for
their offsprings', and their offsprings' future,
things will only get worse......not being pessimistic but realistic.
Still , these alto - cumulus clouds reaching for the heavens
just blow me a way, and I love a thunder storm such as this.
One loud and wild enough to tell us 
- who's boss.

27 November 2010

Old suitcases and other stories

A rainy day indoors today, but for a short walk around
the corner to the nearest polling station to vote in the state election.
Camille and I made a few christmas stars today using clay, white paint 
and silver glitter . I may post some photos when they are finished and dry.
But for now, I wanted to show you some areas around my home,
I've had this cupboard for 15 years or so, simply painted in a watered down white
paint. I love collecting old suitcases. They are invaluable for storage 
and look good. Occasionally they need a bit of a lift with a lick
of paint such as this one here.
My hand-knitting is salvaged from old towels that they once
adorned and serve as decoration until they find use again.
And just little things , like old crystal buttons and embroidery scissors
found on ebay , make me smile. Simple joys that gladden the heart.

12 November 2010

Pottering about indoors.......

Well, I've just come home after a spell of shopping.
My eldest son is suffering terribly from hayfever at the moment 
and top of the list of necessities to buy this morning was hay fever medication.
I too,  am staying indoors until the wind has settled down
in anticipation of the rains that should come tomorrow to give
us all some relief. 
As well as painting and working up to my next exhibition
at Burrinja Art Gallery next year, I like to busy myself with 
vintage paper crafts. They look really beautiful
dotted around the house amongst pristine white roses from
my garden. These little details are important
in giving a home a lived in, loving atmosphere. 
Here's the story behind the blouse a friend of mine gave me that she found
in a charity shop - she was displeased with the bulkiness of the fit.
 So I deconstructed it, and sewed it up into a simple summer top
with vintage lace detailing around the collar and sleeves.
I'll ask her if she wants the blouse back now.


30 October 2010

Pure and simple soap making.

Mild sunny days spell good weather for soap making.
This, my second batch so far this season.
I so enjoy crafting handmade soaps, but, as always, immediate attention
is the order of the day. Not one of my batches has failed yet in the course 
of my ten year practice, nor do I intend to make any unsuccessful batches
as it is an expensive hobby.
 This recipe, is based on a basic moisturising soap recipe, containing the ingredients
coconut oil, olive oil, distilled water and lye. *Palm Oil, of which I used to use, is
no more on my list of ingredients, as the habitats 
of orangutans are being wiped out due to
the extensive plantations of palm oil trees. 
To this mixture at trace
I add supplements such as oats, essential oils , decorative flowers and further beneficial
ingredients that may complement the therapeutic values of the soap.
I prefer basic , handcut blocks - nothing superfluous or fancy-
just honest and simple.
 A bit of a reflection on my outlook on life as a whole.


25 October 2010

Daily snapshots from around the home.

.........images from around the home...
detail of old 40's window handle,
newly poured kelp, bergamot and oatmeal soap,
vintage Charles Dickens books on coffee table, 
(my art in the background)
and still life of heavenly scented lilacs in a glass vase on the dining table.
Moments in time captured during the pleasant , warm days of October .

16 September 2010

sakura - cherry blossom

                   sakura petal
                                                 floats in the breeze
                                                                                         as evening clouds gently drift -


                                     we sip tea
                                                                  in afternoon silence
                                                                                    distant bird call-


                                                           pristine blossoms white
                                                                                in rows on rugged twine
                                                                                                  beauty and the beast -


                                                    sakura path beckons
                                                                     tired and weary soul
                                                                                                 rejuvenate in morning sun -

                                                             moist clouds of pink
                                                                                    white scented petals drift
                                                                                                            under heavy rain coming -

Some photos from my backyard
and my haiku poetry.


8 September 2010

A garden study in purples

Well, today is starting to look a bit more like the start of Spring.
I was beginning to wonder if would ever arrive as the weather has
been so chilly and wet of late.
This morning, the sun was beckoning me to venture outdoors.
The flowers around the garden look so vibrant and fresh,
many of the purple and violet variety. 
As seen above, grape hyacinth merrily dancing along 
our garden beds. 

And although I'm not sure what the botanical name for these sunny faced
daisies are, they deserved a mention in this post today.


Violets are popping their little droopy heads up everywhere.
They seem a little shy to have their photo taken
as their faces drop towards the ground below......


But Lavender, I would have to say , is one of my favorites.
Their scent is refreshing, not overly sweet, and the plant has a myriad of domestic
uses. I add the florets to my hand made soap, fill little bags to use as drawer sachets
 and I also like to bring it inside to display. One way is to make 
lavender wands where you simply take up to ten flexible young stems,
tie just below the florets with string, and then pull the stems back over
the florets, spacing them evenly. Then, with some ribbon, tie a decorative
bow just below the florets, and neatly trim the stems to the same length.




I think they look really charming;
their soft purple hues set off against my blue and white china.


Herb crafts are another really good excuse to wander around
the garden , and play with mother natures offerings....
to slow down, contemplate, and revel in her beauty.
 This is the elixir of life.