Friday, 26 February 2010

Sketches and....A WEDDING DATE!!!

This is a sketch I did in my Nature and Animal journal of the injured crow we rescued on February 8th.


Watercolour, Pigma pen and coloured pencil in A4 sketchbook

Click on any image to enlarge


A quick sketch (below) in my Every Day Matters journal. Task #29 was to Draw something architectural. I had the opportunity last weekend to take some photos of a Buddhist Temple and Pagoda so used the Pagoda as my subject.


Pigma pen and coloured pencil in A5 sketchbook


Last Sunday, Michelle, Alex, Aaron and I went for a drive to check out a park that will be the setting for Michelle's and Alex's wedding ceremony....YES....you read right! A date has been set for their special day - October 2nd - which is during our Spring season. Excitement rules!

Just down the road from the park is a magnificent Buddhist temple so we went to check it out. The Chung Tian Buddhist temple lies inside this complex but, understandably, photographs were not allowed past these walls.




The gardens were beautifully manicured and landscaped






The statue below was one of two on each side of the entrance to the magnificent Pagoda.




.....and the Pagoda (below).....

It was huge and was quite impressive with its bright colours against the bushland backdrop.




I hope you have all been enjoying a wonderful week. It's been raining on and off here but there have still been some hot and humid days to deal with regardless. I'm quite excited because Reece arrives home from Thailand tomorrow!!!! YAY! He has been keeping in touch by email which has been great. Hopefully, he has taken lots of pics for me to show you all.

~ Have a wonderful weekend ~

Love, light and peace

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

MONDAY PHOTO-A-WEEK - I made this!

As the post title implies, our photo theme this week was to photograph something that I've made.

I've made many things over the years. In my early adult years, I would sew and knit clothes for my kids as well as my Mum, my sister and her kids. Then around 1994, I found art, and sewing and knitting quickly took a back seat in my life.

So, for today, I thought I'd share some of the Native American ceramics that I made between 1995 and 1997.

I would buy the greenware which is an already shaped clay piece which has been cast from a mould and air-dried. The greenware pieces have seam edges and flaws which need to be cleaned up with special scrapers and stiff brush tools. Greenware is very, VERY delicate and easily broken so must be handled with great care.

Some people hate cleaning greenware and see it as a chore but I used to love cleaning greenware. I found the process relaxing and quite therapeutic. The cleaning process required the gentle scraping away of all the rough seam edges and any surface flaws, then gently sanding the surface...then wiping it over gently with a small, damp sponge to bring it to a lovely smooth finish.

Once the greenware was cleaned up, I would take it back to the place I bought it from and they would fire it in their kiln. Greenware can be various shades of grey before firing but, after firing, it is white and much more sturdy. Fired greenware which hasn't been glazed is called 'bisque ceramic' and it's as fragile as any other breakable. The next stage is painting and finishing it.


In keeping with the Native American theme of this post, here is a pic of a counted cross-stitch I did back in 1996. The frame size is 17"x21". This was only my second cross-stitch and I was so pleased with the results. My first cross-stitch was a couple of Pandas and it now resides at my parents' place.

Counted cross-stitch is where you start off with blank material, no pre-stamped design, and then you count your way to the required spot. The count is determined by the holes between the weave. I used 18 count Aida cloth for this piece which means there are 18 holes to each linear inch.


I actually pulled all of the above pieces out of storage a couple of weeks ago in preparation for this week's photo theme and it sure brought back some wonderful memories. Aaron quickly grabbed a ceramic golden eagle for his room because he collects bird ornaments. I'm so happy that my kids enjoy my art too.

Love, light and peace

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Things are not all as they seem

On Wednesday, we visited this lush lagoon....



...an Ibis preening at the lagoon edge



A dragon lizard was nearby



A fountain pool facing onto the Brisbane River



At the head of the fountain stands this large statue of Confucious which was gifted to the people of Queensland, in December 2009, by the Ji'nan Municipal Government, Shandong Province, People's Republic of China to celebrate Queensland's 150th Birthday.



Just down the way is a pool and, just beyond that, a manmade beach. The beach is quite impressive but I didn't take photos because there were a lot of young children swimming there and laws are in place about taking pics of children in public places. I'm sorry that all the pics are dull....it was an overcast day and threatening to rain.



All of the scenes in the photos above are smack bang in the midst of Brisbane City. It feels kinda surreal when we can clearly see skyscrapers not that far away.

Serenity and peace amidst the city chaos

Gotta love that!

Love, light and peace

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Art Book Yumminess!!

Over the past couple of weeks, I've treated myself to some new art books...well, you can never have too many, right?

Click on any image to enlarge


I ordered An Illustrated Life online via Fishpond after having my beady little eyes on it for some time. An Illustrated Life draws inspiration from the private sketchbooks of various artists, illustrators and designers. As I've been focusing on visual journaling, particularly over the past four months, I found myself glued to the pages as I browsed each artist's thoughts on journaling and what it means to them. Sooooooo interesting! I also like that the artists share their favourite types of journals/sketchbooks as well as their sketching tools. So you don't get the wrong idea, note that this book focuses on sketchbooks, not art journals. In my view, money well spent....I love it!



I was lucky to come across the following two books when I went to Lincraft to check out their sketchbooks and noticed the Sale table instead. I couldn't resist having a peek and the first book to catch my attention was - Realism in Watermedia - and, at half price, I quickly grabbed a copy for myself. It has a protective hard cover with spiral-bound pages inside and covers 18 painting techniques for achieving realistic results with watermedia. It has great demonstations, tips, and lots of helpful information.



I couldn't believe my luck with - Watercolor for the Fun of it - because when I went to pay for it, the register wasn't recognising the bar code. When the attendant typed in the title, it wasn't even registering that they had the book in store. He went off to check with his supervisor and came back to tell me that, although it was already half-price, they were going to drop the price by another half!!! Don't ya just love it when you get a bargain on top of a bargain?! I was stoked!!!



Watercolor for the Fun of It is a weighty, hard-cover book filled with a wealth of information throughout its 477 pages. It's actually FIVE books in one and, when I tried to find this particular book on the net, I could only come up with the five individual books. Lots of pics, lots of demos, lots of info......perfect!



My verdict - I would highly recommend any of these books!

Love, light and peace

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Some visual journal entries

I finally found some time to do some drawings from photos I took at Forest Lake.

You can click on any image to enlarge and make the text easier to read.


Watercolour, pen and a little coloured pencil in A4 sketchbook


Watercolour, pen and a little coloured pencil in A4 sketchbook



Graphite and pen in A5 sketchbook


An EveryDayMatters challenge

Pen and coloured pencil in A5 sketchbook


Love, light and peace

Monday, 15 February 2010

MONDAY PHOTO-A-WEEK & .......

Firstly, I want to thank each and every one of you for your care and concern for Michelle. Thankfully, she was not facing a life-threatening condition and is doing much better now. She just needs a little time to heal emotionally. Michelle was very touched by all your well wishes and hopes to return to blogland in the near future as she does miss all her blogging friends. Thanks again....xo

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MONDAY PHOTO-A-WEEK

This week, Mary chose - CLOUDS - for our photo theme.


I adore Cumulus clouds and I LOVE cloud-watching! I remember when the kids were young, we would often try to see different shapes in the cloud formations. I still do that. In the lower half of the pic directly below, I can see the upper half of a flying dragon. Can you see it?



Click on any image to enlarge


If you're interested in joining our weekly photo group, feel free to check out the picture link under 2010 Happenings in my side-bar.


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WOW! What a busy week it has been!

We have some unwanted visitors staying with us at the moment....TERMITES!!!....AGAIN!!! The tradesmen only just finished doing all the repair work in December from the last lot. The bad news is that the particular variety staying with us now are the bad ones....the ones that can devastate a house within three months. YIKES! I notifed the Property Manager on the 4th as soon as we discovered the soft wall....the termite guy came to check it out on the 9th to confirm. He said would come back on the 12th to treat the termites and do a full house inspection provided his superiors gave the OK. I'm still waiting to hear back and it's now the 15th! All the while the termites are merrily munching their way through the house. A piece of trivia about termites that I never knew - They actually munch a lot faster if you have rock music playing. Who knew?! Needless to say, all loud bass and drum music is currently banned from being played in the house.

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On Monday, we rescued an injured crow.


Beau had spotted him/her near the bus stop on his way to TAFE so gave me a call. While many people see them as pests, I like them, and I just can't turn my back on an injured animal or bird so I went down and picked it up. It made no attempt to fly away and I couldn't see any outer bleeding so I figured he/she may have been hit by a car. I phoned the RSPCA and they told me to drop the crow into a veterinary clinic where it would be assessed...so I did. All local vets take in injured wildlife which are then hopefully treated and passed onto wildlife carers before being set free again. The vet said that they would do their best so I can only hope he/she survived to scavenge yet another day.

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Over the past couple of weeks we had A LOT of rain which actually caused electrical problems and flooding in some areas. Our back yard is flat so doesn't drain well at all...there is one little drain in the middle of the lawn which does nothing so our back yard always becomes like a swamp when it rains. Even now, five days since it last rained, my back yard is soggy and waterlogged....and smelly from the stagnant water. You can see the water just sitting on top of the lawn......I'm sure the mozzies will be having a hey day!


The Sacred Kingfishers are also having a hey day as the waterlogged lawn attracts lots of insects, such as dragonflies and mozzies. We have three Sacred Kingfishers that come and sit on our fence numerous times throughout the day, all with a keen eye on the lawn...then suddenly they will dive down to catch their prey. Sorry the pic isn't the greatest.....these birds are quick on the uptake and fly away the moment they see any movement so I had to take the pics through the flymesh screen. You will see him/her more clearly if you click on the image to enlarge it.



One night last week, we had another period of heavy rain and I forgot to bring my potted lavender plants undercover and it poured all night. The pots don't have holes in the bottom so this is the mess that I found the next day. I was so upset.



If you look closely you can see the level that the water is sitting at in the pot and I know that lavender hate wet feet. I drained it as best I could without losing all the soil with it. Note to self - Drill holes in the pots so it doesn't happen again.



There's a lot of new growth so I hope they will be okay as it will take days for the soil to dry out.



I was going to post some pics of sketches I've done this past week but, as this post is already photo-intensive, I will leave it off for another day.

On another note, Reece and his girlfriend, Sarina, left for a holiday in Thailand this morning....how exciting! I wish it were me. They will be staying in Phuket, then Bangkok, and will arrive back home on the 27th. I miss him already!


~ I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful weekend ~

Love, light and peace

Monday, 8 February 2010

MONDAY PHOTO-A-WEEK, sketch & ......


Hi everyone,

I apologise if I haven't been around to visit or comment much on your blogs lately. Life has sure been up and down over the past few weeks.....an emotional and tearful rollercoaster ride would be an apt description. My daughter, Michelle, has been going through a pretty rough time and naturally, when my kids are hurting, so am I. That said, things could be worse so I am trying to focus on the blessings that surround me each and every day too.

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This morning, over on Caroline's blog, I watched this YouTube video which had me bawling my eyes out. Gabrielle Bouliane sure puts life into perspective.



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MONDAY'S PHOTO A WEEK

The theme for this week was hearts and flowers

Click on any image to enlarge


I've only seen the walls of medical centres and hospitals this past week so not a lot of hearts there....well not the type I was thinking of anyways. The other day, I noticed this heart from nature which happens to belong to my sweet potato vine.



As for flowers, the theme this week was perfect timing because, the orange jasmine shrub in the front garden bed is just starting to open up her blooms.




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We had a lot of rain over the weekend and I'll post more pics on that tomorrow but, for now, I thought I'd show you another EveryDayMatters challenge completed.

Pigma Micron pen, graphite and charcoal in A5 skecthbook


Stay tuned for more pics tomorrow....

Love, light and peace

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Medium and Dean Koontz


I managed a couple more sketches over the past couple of days....I'm very pleased with the dent I'm making in the Every Day Matters challenges.

EDM challenge #51 - Draw you TV AND your favourite TV show on the screen


Graphite and Pigma Micron pen in A5 sketchbook
Click on any image to enlarge

My favourite TV show would have to be Medium and I'm very excited that tonight (Thursday) is the start of a new season! I LOVE all the paranormal/psychic stuff!


EDM challenge #27 - Draw a book

Pigma Micron pen, coloured pencil and graphite in A5 sketchbook

The text on the journal page speaks for itself. I AM a huge fan of Dean Koontz novels and have been since my early twenties.

WATCHERS - They escape from a secret government laboratory: two mutant creatures, both changed utterly from the animals they once were. And no one who encounters them will ever be the same again:

A lonely widower; a ruthless assassin; a beautiful woman; a government agent.

Drawn together in a deadly hunt, all four are inexorably propelled towards a confrontation with an evil beyond human imagining.


Love, light and peace

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

MONDAY PHOTO-A-WEEK

Mary is choosing the photo themes for February and this week the theme was -

"From my window"

Unfortunately, we live in the suburbs so not a lot to see from our windows but, if you're interested, feel free to click on any image to enlarge it.


This pic was taken through the frosted glass window AND the security fly-mesh screen of my ensuite/bathroom. Just in case you can't tell, it's a butterfly.



The photo below was taken from the window in my lounge room looking to the left where you can see the front entrance. I make no apology for the dull greyish pics because we've had some days of rain which cooled down our raging hot, humid temperatures substantially and I've been lovin' it!


I haven't been able to mow the grass because of the rain but these magpies didn't mind. The pic below was also taken from the lounge room window looking straight across the street where you will see a neighbour's weeds growing merrily along their side fence line...

...believe me when I say that the pic above was taken on a good day because he had only recently mowed down the rest of the weeds which had been like a veritable weed forest. I guess he couldn't be bothered mowing the edge. You may notice a hint of sarcasm but it truly makes me mad when people let weeds get out of control. When the winds come, all those seeds get blown over into my yard and I'm forever picking weeds out of my lawn and garden.

On top of that, the garden bed in the pic below (also taken from my lounge room window) is halved by the property line although no fence separates it. I could not believe my eyes one day when I noticed that the young couple responsible for the other half of the garden bed had actually sculpted out a front hedge with their weeds...I kid you not! He even lets Cobbler's Pegs (Bidens pilosa) grow with wild abandon. I feel like I'm waging a one woman battle to keep their weeds from infesting my lawn and garden.


The pic below was taken from my bedroom window overlooking our back fence-line. As you can see the bushland behind comes right up to the back fence. There are a couple of huge trees (not seen in pic) sitting right behind the fence that I always worry about during our storm season but, so far, we've been lucky.



If you're interested in joining our Photo-A-Week group, please check out the picture link in my sidebar under 2010 Happenings.

Love, light and peace
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