Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Life and death at the lake

On Sunday, we took a short trip to Forest Lake which is one of our favourite destinations.

Pic below - Aaron walking Bobby, Beau's dog — we are doggy-sitting while Beau (my son) and his partner, David, are taking a short holiday in Singapore.

 We spotted some Australian Water Dragons on our walk around the lake. They are quite large.


I was thrilled to see pelicans at the lake! They haven't always been there so word must have got around. There was like twenty of them, at least. I LOVE pelicans!

An Eastern Great Egret on the prowl.

Ducks.

Ibis. You can't see them in the pic but the family of four black swans were on the little island in the middle of the lake just across from the Ibis.

Lots of birds on the water. You can see blue-green algae in the foreground of this pic.

A Purple Swamp Hen. When the light hits their feathers in certain ways they glisten a purple blue colour — not apparent in this pic.

Now to a sad part —
We were last at the lake in early May for Mother's Day and, back then, we noticed a lot of algae forming in areas around the lake edges. This time, it was worse and I'm very sad to say that there was so many dead fish floating in the water. There would easily have been over a hundred — carp, cat fish and no doubt, other species too. The smell hit us before we saw them.

The white blobs are more dead fish....broke my heart. This was just a small section. This sight was everywhere around the edges of the lake.

There were signs warning visitors that blue-green algae is toxic and to avoid contact with the water. The smell of death was horrible and naturally I'm concerned for how this will effect the bird and animal life at the lake too, including the turtles. I pray the local council will get out there and do something sooner than later.

Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides. 
— Lao Tzu

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To end on a more pleasant note, I thought I would share a quick ballpoint pen sketch I did of one of the Australian Water Dragons we saw. It is not finished — just the rough outline for now. I sketched this big guy for the Moment Sketchers challenge held on the first full weekend of every month.

Yes, my hip and back did flare up in pain after our big day out but it was worth it. I do love getting out in nature but I'm still very saddened by the death we witnessed at the lake.


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Okay — so where am I going to sleep tonight?!  Ahhh...the joys of doggy-sitting. hehe Maybe I can squeeze into the narrow spot beside Bobby's head?

Wishing you all a beautiful week!

Monday, 30 July 2018

Starting a new bullet journal

I've always loved starting a brand new journal! Initially, I have a little fear that I might spoil it within the first few pages. I try to start out perfectly neat but I do get less paranoid about that after I make the first few mistakes. In a couple of days — end of July — I will have finished yet another bullet journal and will get to start a new one for August.

I'm so grateful to my friend Rita for telling me about Bullet Journals to begin with. I've been using them since 2015. They are the only journal/planner that I have been able to stick with religiously. With all other types, I'd be lucky to get as far as April before I'd fizzle out. Not sure why that is but I do love that I can use my bullet journal to suit my own preferences. It works perfectly for tasks/events and things that I want to keep track of. The formula is different for everyone.


My bullet journal layouts are very basic and simple. I LOVE vertical columns! I mark in the month vertically too.

I like to keep it at two days to a page — vertically, of course. I record my tasks/events at the top, meals at the bottom, and notes from the day in the middle of the column.

My new bullet is all prepped for August! I keep a small calendar of the previous month as well as the following three months where I can record future events for those months. Kinda like a mini-future log. I do keep a bigger future log at the back of my bullet.

The dailies are two to a page in vertical columns.

For my new Bullet, I was hoping to find page tabs that were all one colour unlike the multi-coloured tabs in the pic above. Unfortunately, I had no luck at Officeworks or elsewhere. So, I was considering cutting off the thin colour strip at the edge of the tabs until I had a brainwave.  I just painted over the coloured edges with a Posca acrylic paint marker. Worked a treat! Now, the tabs match my bullet journal — I love it!

For digital planning, I use the 2Do app for tasks, Google Keep for my lists, and Samsung/Google calendars for events and reminders too. I also use the Five Minute Journal app for daily gratitude.

Do you use a Bullet Journal?  Digital journals/planners? Or both, like me?

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Scribble Picnic - Hot Dog

This week, the prompt for Scribble Picnic is HOT DOG.

My eldest son and I brainstormed on this one and I ended up going with the following....thanks, Bradley! 

On hot summer days, THIS particular 'hot dog' likes to to go for a relaxing time at the pool. He loves going for a dip in the water to cool down. 

First a rough sketch with pencils 

And the end result 

To see what my fellow Scribblers have come up with for this week, click HERE

Michael has opted to put the Scribble Picnic co-op on hold for the moment.  He will be back with a further announcement on August 22nd. Stay tuned...

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Scribble Picnic - Stars

Time ran away from me again this week so it will be a quick post and run for now.

This week's prompt for Scribble Picnic is STARS. 

I was thinking of the Don McLean song 'Vincent' where part of the lyrics are 

Starry, starry night, 
Paint your palette blue and grey 

SO, a starry night sky was in order. I will admit that this was my third attempt as I've never done a night sky in watercolours before. I have done a few in acrylics with reasonable results but that's it.


To see what my fellow Scribblers have done for the prompt this week, click HERE
To find out how to join us each week, click HERE.

In keeping with my thought process for the prompt this week, I've included the music video clip of the song - Vincent. Enjoy!


See you next week at the picnic!

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Moment Sketchers weekend - Foxtail Palm

Hi everyone, 

Due to varying reasons at the time, I've missed a few Moment Sketchers weekends this year. The last one I participated in was back in February and I can't recall if I posted it to my blog or not. However, I did post it to Instagram so, for those of you who don't follow my Instagram feed, here it is - 


Aaron, Bradley and I had taken a trip up to Mount Tamborine and went to a lovely Japanese-themed Gardens while we were there. I sat and sketched this little bridge.

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This weekend, I have been stuck indoors due to a bout of asthma.   We've had rain for a few days and the cold winter air always goes straight for my lungs — the moisture in the air from the rain made it worse. 

SO, I didn't want to miss another Moment Sketchers so I opted to sketch the Foxtail Palm — botanical name is Wodyetia bifurcata — in our back garden. 

Sketched directly with watercolours first 

Then added some ink using an XS Faber-Castell PITT pen

I felt like it needed something else so I penciled in the back fence. I think I will leave it at that.

Moment Sketchers is a worldwide online art challenge that happens during the first full weekend of every month. This wonderful co-op is hosted by Candace Rardon. To find out more about the Moment Sketchers group, click HERE. It is open to all so do think about joining us each month. Candace is an amazing artist and storyteller — you can check out her blog HERE.

Hope to see you there in August.
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