“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Friday, 30 March 2012

Autumn - I think not!

I feel I've been neglecting my ordinary posts lately, over my arty ones. Many due to having to cajole my artistic mojo to stay put and be productive...like a demanding child it appears to have taken over slightly and calling all the shots! So a firm hand maybe needed to balance everything.
To help maintain that balance how about this shot on my early morning walk today? When I was a child we used to call this light effect 'the fingers of God'. I stopped in my tracks quite literally to capture the moment. Click!


 Unfortunately the camera didn't really do it justice but it gives the idea. 
Did I say it was autumn?....but we've had temperatures up to 27C. How crazy is that? But I'm not complaining...its perfect. 

I had an appointment this morning which was the reason for the earlier walk ~ Muffin was hardly awake when she heard the rattle of her lead... It didn't deter her though, up she sprang, she wouldn't miss out, on anything especially her morning walk!
My appointment was near to where we used to live when we first came to Melbourne, so it was good to see some of my regular old haunts. This park pictured below was the first real park, grass, trees, off leash area, that Muffin had ever seen, once she escaped quarantine. Not literally obviously, but she'd done her time.

It's a priviledge to walk around some of these parks here in Melbourne and today was no exception. The grass cutting tractor was busy too...(big breath in....ahh that smell) I wonder how many more grass cutting days are left?

 The climate today as I mentioned (I did mention it didn't I. sorry don't want to rub it in ;D) was perfect for a workout in the open air. Not that I did, with having an appointment...otherwise I might (yeah...right)
There are very often groups or individuals exercising in the open areas. If you look closely in the background of the photo below you'll see one lady being put through her paces. I didn't want to get too near with the camera ~ it doesn't seem fair to capture someone in their sweaty, vulnerable state. I know I'd want to swing my dumbbell if anyone tried to photograph me doing my work out!

 Just a quickie today to let you see that although it's classed as autumn, we're not suffering in any way ;D
In fact we're doing mighty fine!
Busy weekend planned but whatever you're up to enjoy and keep smiling :D

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

What's On Your Workdesk....WOYWW

 How can it possibly be Wednesday already? I've checked the calendar twice just to make sure and yep it is.
There doesn't appear to be a lot of change on my desk this week but I have been visiting whenever I could manage.

The little drawers beneath the windows have caused some comment on my previous posts, but I have to confess that they aren't really drawers ~ they are vents. I'm not sure what the original studio was used for when the house was extended but it needed ventilation. I'm not too bothered that they aren't drawers because there is an amazing amount of storage cupboards and drawers anyway.
Here's a photo to let you see the vents....

 Even though I'm in Australia these vents make the studio quite cold during the winter months, so now that I'm using the room I'll have to organise heating.
And so on to what I've been busy working on....more doodles (or zentangles)...


There appears to be a theme going on here....unless I was hungry whilst working?

I also decided to redraw the original leaf that I did at the line drawing workshop. 
It wasn't on particularly good quality paper with it being my first practice peice but now I'm happy : D

Here's the one I'm working on today.....

 
I've got some other ideas planned, but I need to allocate the time in order to complete them....ho hum...

So if you haven't a clue what I'm on about or visited What's on your workdesk Wednesday (or WOYWW for short) before, then nip across and visit Julia.
Take a peek at an incredible amount of interesting idea's, creativity and a whole great bunch of arty people! It's fun....
Thank you for your visit here today and I hope you come back soon. Next time I'll pop the kettle on....
Enjoy :D

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Tuesday 27th March 2012 (I know it's usually Wednesday but below will hopefully explain)

Outside my window...there are two spotted doves (Streptopelia chinensis) checking to see if there are any tasty pickings on the patio. I'm sitting at the kitchen island looking out to the side of the house and the entertaining area. The air is cooler today but thankfully the sun is still here with us. Autumn has certainly arrived with all the trees gently blushing, but we've yet to see the full colour display of autumn. The lime tree looks healthy but I don't have one single lime! But the lemon tree is heavily laiden thankfully. There are flowers on the strawberry plant, so hopefully we may get to even taste one (that is if we're quick enough before the birds get there). My christmas  poinsettia that I placed outside is obviously happy because it has all new shoots and leaves.
 
I am thinking...how can the packet of Cadbury Creme mini eggs be empty, when there's only me in the house? It's a complete mystery!

I am thankful...that my mojo has returned from wherever it went for the last 12 years!

In the kitchen...its a bake free zone and has been for weeks. It seemed to stop when my OH was due a medical and since then although thankfully everything was fine, the baking hasn't resumed to it's past level.
I'm thinking I would like to bake today ~ it seems that kind of day, so we'll see what happens.

I am wearing...blue jeans, black vest, black fluffy long sleeved cardigan, blue pashmena and my ugg slippers.

I am creating...line drawings or zentangles. This is the reason why I'm posting my daybook today instead of tomorrow.  Whats on your workdesk Wednesday obviously needs a post on Wednesday and last week I did post the two on the same day. I'm not sure that worked well, so I'll change the day for my journal.
If you would like a peek at my desk then click here. By joining the WOYWW group it ensures I keep my mojo on track and there's so many talented people who provide inspiration out there. They're a great bunch so have a peek ~ they won't mind, honest!

I am going...nowhere today apparently as I'm having to wait in for the pool company to come and assess my equipment!Sounds dodgy doesn't it? 
I think the main pump filter needs cleaning and I'm wanting one of those creeper things that go along the bottom of the pool doing the work without my help. The contraption I have to use at the moment takes hours it seems and I'm dreading the autumn leaves landing constantly because I'll have to live out there.
 
I am wondering...where all the Cockatoo's where heading this morning? They've been in the neighbourhood for over a week, but this morning as I was walking they were all flying up in circles on the air currents making an incredible noise. If you imagine the starling’s ritual of flying around like shoals of fish before they roost at night, then you can imagine what this sight was like. Their white wings catching the sunlight. I think they were having heavy discussions on whom should lead the way and which route they should take...(must have been male cockies! LOL)
 
I am reading...  'The Dovekeepers' by Alice Hoffman
Over five years in the writing, Alice Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing novel ever, a triumph of imagination and research set in ancient Israel. 


At this point I normally write about the book and author, but I think the best idea might be for Alice Hoffman tell you about her book herself....


A few of the girls from my book club have read this amazing book already and are euphoric when talking about it. One of the girls is a prolific reader but couldn't read another book straight after finishing this...she said she needed time to appreciate fully what a magnificent piece of literature she had just read. Reading quite a few reviews I think I'm in quite a wonderful read. 

About the Author: 

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston and New York.

I am hoping...that I'll be able to finish my book in time for the next book club meeting. It's normally not a problem but I'm struggling juggling my time at the moment. I want to keep drawing and hope to progress to painting, plus I'd love to organise an Etsy shop, but that's a whole new experience for me. There's never a dull moment and always something new to learn.  

I am looking forward to...the weekend. Not sure about some of the plans, but I know it will be good.

Around the house...Everything is neat and tidy. The boys have both been away this week so everything has stayed in its place. Not that I'm blaming them of course ; )

A favourite quote for today... If you cannot teach me to fly, teach me to sing.
~ Sir James Barry Born May 9, 1860, Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland
Died June 19, 1937, London, England
Dramatist and novelist who is best known as the creator of Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up.

One of my favourite things...is going to the cinema to see a good movie. I recently went to see 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' and really enjoyed the film. If you haven't heard about it's about British retirees who travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
There's an incredible cast of actors with some really funny one liners.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Work, rest and play but not necessarily in that order : D
 
A peek into my day... whilst walking this morning I passed this unusual postbox or was it the doorbell? The glass had gone, but I wasn't brave enough to press the button to see what would happened. Imagine if the garage door whipped up and a fire engine came screeching out!
 
 I'm a day early this week due to having to post another topic on Wednesday's. If you regularly read my Daybook on Wednesdays (thank you) I hope I won't confused you with the days....I know I probably will be (:-*)

So that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to pop over to The Simple Womans Daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have fun : D

Monday, 26 March 2012

Pets in the Park.....Zac and Muffin's Grand Day Out

Zac: Hey Muffy I'm bored...what do you say we go out for the day? 
Muffin: That sounds like a good idea but where shall we go?
Zac: I've heard that there's a great event that happens every year called 'Pets in the Park' and it's on now!
Muffin: Okay that sounds brilliant...lets go! ^..^
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So what was in store for our pooches at the Stonnington 'Pets in the Park' event at Central Park in Malvern East.
Here's some of the highlights of the day....

  • Pet Q&A with Dr Jack Ayerbe from Radio 3AW
  • Jack Russell Terrier races
  • Pet competitions with a range of fantastic prizes donated by Stonnington Leader, Pookinuk and Pipsqueaks Photography
  • Announcement of the winner of Stonnington Leader’s on-line ‘Best Rescue Pet’ competition
  • Discounted microchipping
  • Children’s entertainment, activities and rides
  • Entertainment on the main stage
  • Demonstrations by pet obedience clubs and trainers
  • Snake handling
  • Responsible pet ownership tips
  • Information from animal welfare groups and service providers
Even Channel 10's weatherman, tv personality Mike Larkan was there, so we knew that the weather would be good.


Zac was certainly on form and even took on the Jack Russell races to impress his girl. 

 Come on Zac...!

Muffin thought she'd have a go too....

But alas Shih Tzu's aren't made for racing...they're not in the least aerodynamically built.
Looking cute is her best sport!
(in a hushed voice....just between you and me, she came last) But then it's all about taking part, isn't it?
She came out of the trap like a whippet, but then became confused...
Meanwhile Zac was a greyhound in disguise....who would have guessed....here he comes on the outside...
Watch him go!

There he was gone...!
By the way...the dog that's in the lead didn't get to go into the traps due to his size, so I think Zac was indeed the true winner.
The prize ~ a well deserved favourite chicken treat ...

Hero of the day...not bad for a 12 year old eh?

There were agility tests too but Muffin was suitably impressed with the racing, so Zac thankfully could relax.


There was so much to see, eat, drink, ride, and read.
Here's some of the things that we saw...a face only a mother could love, but it did make me feel slightly better about my wrinkles.






 I've been interested in the work of Guide Dogs Victoria for sometime, even contemplating being a puppy raiser. They do such amazing work, so please take to look into their website at Guide Dogs.
There were other charities at the event, such as Oscars Law  which I've previously posted about on my blog
Then the kids needed fun too...face painting, art workshops and of course 'Thomas the Tank Engine' rides.

  Home produce stalls, plants, pet equipement, even microchip services and health advice all available plus the Chadstone/East Malvern Rotary barbeque and tea/coffee shops.

There were also so many information banners with fantastic photographs. I could have taken all day just looking at these alone.

If you missed this great event then make sure you mark your diary for next year.
A great day was had by all....and Muffin had eye's for no other ^..^

Enjoy your day : D

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Cockatoo calling.....

Today the weather couldn't decide what to wear...so it wore nothing. It wasn’t cold nor warm, sunny or dull. There was a stillness and a peaceful quietness...well that was until the cockatoo's came to call.
Not long after moving into this house last year, we were invaded one Sunday morning by a huge flock of cockatoo's landing and taking over the neighbourhood for a few hours. This Sunday they returned.
Imagine the Hitchcock movie 'The Birds' and you'll get the idea, although these birds are white and not at all sinister.
I'd heard their noisy cry's a few times over the last few days, but hadn't actually seen them. They can make an incredible noise. A little like excited teenagers on a night out...the volume control seems to be stuck on full and they're oblivious to the fact that they might actually be disturbing others!
As I was walking under this particular tree I suddenly became aware they were all overhead. Here's a photo...how many can you count?...I counted 12...


But then as I walked further up the street and turned back for another shot, I realised that there were many more...and this was just one tree.


I sometimes forget that I'm actually in Australia, but then when I see a spectacular sight of this kind, there's no doubt.
If you haven't seen a previous post about the cockatoo that came to my birdbath and liked it so much he invited his friend then click here.
Well that's the weekend done and dusted (sigh) so I'll wish you a good week ahead...Keep smiling :D 

Friday, 23 March 2012

Having A Hoolie Day.....

Its batten down the hatches today...with a hoolie blowing in and I have heard the words "be prepared for hail" and unbelievably 'snow' was even mentioned.
So does this mean that summer has finally packed its bags and headed off to visit some other part of the world? Hopefully it may be where you are...but don't forget to send it back!
I'm going to miss it terribly, but I know they'll be lots of other things to keep me busy whilst its away. Plus all the autumn colours haven't really arrived yet...

 I do love to see all the changes that each season brings as I've mentioned before....living in countries previously where there are little changes from one month to another, except from hot to hotter weather, or dry dusty conditions to a few droplets of rain that hardly meet on the tarmac, can leave you wanting.
Although most of the trees haven't got organised yet with their new autumn wardrobes...my potted grapevine has really pulled all the stops out.

 There's still so much happening in the garden and I was thrilled to see that the birdcage plant has flowered. I wasn't really ready, but it decided to bloom without much help from me.

Plectranthus Oerthendahlii (Brazilian Coleus)
I'm really pleased that it feels so comfortable and at home here with us :D

I came across one of the flowers that I'd featured on a previous blog...well it wasn't the flower that featured but the seed pods that looked like little aliens and someone had asked what it was...I knew I'd got a photo of the flower somewhere in my files, but gave up trying to find it, as it liked hiding! This little specimen must have been feeling very brave to be still on show...

I now know its a Butterfly Iris! (there's always something new to learn in blogdom)

I also passed my tree today, I say my tree because I helped to plant it along with lots of other plants way back in September 2010...and what a fine specimen its turning out to be...  

 LOL....I bet that got your attention....obviously this isn't the one I planted, but I have great hopes for my little treelet! Isn't this tree incredible? So tall and straight....
Here's the real one that I planted...modelled beautifully by my extremely exclusive models. Thankfully Zac and Muffin didn't christen the tree by marking it as theirs! For that matter nor did my friend!!!! ;D


I hope you can make out which tree it is...it's central in this photo.

The sun is shining so I think I should wrap up, tie the hair away and get outside to get on with some of those gardening jobs...I want to replant my hanging mangers to a winter display with plants that will be happy through the cooler months...but then the studio is calling me...oh decisions, decisions....

Good Luck to everyone who has entered into the 'The Iron Man Triathlon' on Sunday here in Melbourne ~  I'm sorry I couldn't enter this year...I'm so disappointed as you can imagine....but its my ankle, knees, hips, shoes, wind direction, well you know how it is?....who knows I may be free next year :-$

For everyone else not in the race...have fun this weekend and keep smiling  :D

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? (WOYWW)

I hope I don't have to apologise every week for not getting to visit you all, but I'm afraid I'm having to this week...seriously but where does the time fly? 
As well as seriously indulging in eating out numerous times this last week, I did manage to sneak into the studio and produced two new line drawings, doodles, zentangles or whatever you like to call them. 
I know my desk is still looking so bare, but I hope to slowly fill it...I'm not wanting to rush and frighten away my new found creativity ; D
There's also lots of cupboard space, so I may be able to keep organised and tidy...LOL yeah right!
 
I thought I'd transform some of my own photographs this week....so although some of you who follow me already may have seen them before, but I hope you don't mind.
The rosebud was taken outside my bedroom window and the hibiscus is actually a cutting taken only last season and resides down the side path in a pot at the moment, yet to be planted into the garden.

I'm quite happy with the hibiscus but I wasn't sure if the rosebud was finished or not...I decided to leave well alone. That's the hardest part actually, knowing when to stop! 
It's just as important to have the clear, white, blank area's as it is to have the patterned.
Here's the original photos...



I'm hoping to enlarge my garlic drawing in the coming week to an A3 size. I have just the place for it in the kitchen and thought it might be ideal for that space. Black or white mount with black frame?
I'll let you see it if I get that far...

So if you haven't a clue what I'm on about or visited What's on your workdesk Wednesday or WOYWW before, then nip across and visit Julia over at  http://stamping-ground.blogspot.com/  Take a peek at an incredible amount of interesting idea's, creativity and a whole great bunch of arty people! It's fun....

Thank you for your visit here today and I hope you come back soon. Next time I'll pop the kettle on....
Enjoy :D

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook




FOR TODAY ~ Wednesday 21st March 2012

Outside my window...There's an urgency to the wind this morning...it's in a hurry to get to somewhere, making the trees dance like there's no-one watching! The sky has just changed from an orangey/red glow to a whiter light. There are wisps of grey clouds up high so maybe if they get together for a chat we may have some rain?
It's still really quite warm. My bedroom window is open and rattling with the warm breeze that's come to visit. I think the birds have decided to wait keeping safe on their perches...there's not a lot of birdsong yet. The wind chimes have decided to untether themselves and are gently singing. I knew that the winds were coming to call today so decided that I'd tie them up so that the neighbours wouldn't be driven mad but they had other plans. Personally I love to hear them tinkling away.
 
I am thinking...I better get a move on this morning if I'm going to fit everything in...but Muffin doesn't look like she's ready to start the day...she's still curled up and gently snoring. Yeah its a dog's life ^..^

I am thankful... for Nature and all its splendour.

In the kitchen...standing in a corner is a bunch of twisted willow branches. I know it seems a strange thing to have in the kitchen but they aren't quite dry yet. It'll be a future project...although I'm not sure quite what that project will be just yet.

I am wearing...bedcovers (again!) I know but it is so much better if I write this daybook early before the day takes me wherever.

I am creating...line drawings! Whoohoo...still really thrilled with myself that after 12 years I'm finally doing something creative again. Silk painting is also knocking to come in...and maybe I'll get to answer soon.

I am going...it was going to be the Dentist but I decided to reschedule that appointment. I've got lots to fit in and the Dentist always seems to be put on the back burner...I wonder why that is? :-$
I am wondering...why my body (especially my waistline) thinks I'm going to hibernate this coming winter? I hadn't planned to hide away and lie dorment for the duration, but maybe it know's something I don't?
I need to seriously up my game and get moving!
I am reading...  'The Dovekeepers' by Alice Hoffman
Over five years in the writing, Alice Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing novel ever, a triumph of imagination and research set in ancient Israel. 


At this point I normally write about the book and author, but I think the best idea might be for Alice Hoffman tell you about her book herself....


A few of the girls from my book club have read this amazing book already and are euphoric when talking about it. One of the girls is a prolific reader but couldn't read another book straight after finishing this...she said she needed time to appreciate fully what a magnificent piece of literature she had just read. Reading quite a few reviews I think I'm in quite a wonderful read. 

About the Author: 

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston and New York.

I am hoping...that I can get everything ready and plans into action before my SIL comes to visit. There's always so much going on in Melbourne that I need to come up with a strategy so that we can maximise her time here.

I am looking forward to...making a trip to the garden centre to buy bulbs. I'm going to put some into pots so that when spring arrives, I'll have wonderful surprises. I also want to change the hanging flower mangers to winter plants. They really did well this last year and I've been really pleased with them but they look like it’s time to renew. But I'll be able to save the fuchsia, ivy and germaniums for next spring’s replanting (I hope).

Around the house...There seems to be lots of clothes that need to find their way home. One of the things about living in Melbourne and it's ever changing weather you need to have layers...depending on what I get up to during the day I can have numerous changes...from dogwalking, to chores, lunches, gardening, etc and it's obviously not practical to wash after only a few hours of wearing...so a chaise lounge comes in handy...too handy in fact!

A favourite quote for today... There is more to life than increasing its speed ~ M. K. Gandhi

One of my favourite things...writing this daybook although some times it can be a challenge. I am having such a brilliant time writing my blog and can't quite believe how rewarding it can be. Also the fact that so many visitors come to take a peek and some are even brave enough to leave me a comment : D 
I'm so excited and thrilled to see everyone and from all the four corners of the world too. So don't worry I know you're out there and am so happy that you choose to spend a little time out of your busy lives to visit. A huge thank you to you all.... X

A few plans for the rest of the week: Work, rest and play but not necessarily in that order : D
 
A peek into my day... well more into my last weekend really. Here's one of the chef's from Kobe Jones  Riverside Restaurant here on the Northside in Melbourne. It was a great night and we had 11 courses in all!
For anyone not too familiar Teppanyaki is a traditional Japanese cuisine. The word teppanyaki is derived from the word teppan which translates to iron plate and yaki which means grilled. It was so entertaining sitting in from of the chef's and watching their skills at work. 
If you would like more information just visit Kobe Jones to check out their restaurants.
We also went for dinner another evening to Neil Perry's Rockpool Restaurant
but I may post about that visit later in the week. 
Now you can see why I'm spreading like a chestnut tree....!
So that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to pop over to The Simple Womans Daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have fun : D
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...