Sunday, 4 December 2016

Butterfly sketches completed

We've been having incredibly hot, muggy days here in Brissie. We had another violent electrical storm come through last night and more are forecast for the coming week. Two people have been struck by lightning so far from two separate storms.  I do not like our summers at all. See yesterday's post to read about our own ordeal when caught in a violent storm last Wednesday.

Just a quick post today 

I finished off the butterflies I started last weekend.

They went from this 
a work in progress sketch of two butterflies

To this
one black brown butterfly with a bright yellow green design called Rajah Brooke's Birdwing. Also, a dark brown butterfly with some yellowish markings on the lower wings. This one is called The Red Helen
I was pleased with how they turned out. 
They are done with a mix of watercolours, coloured pencils, 
coloured ballpoint pens and ink pens.

I'm linking up with Sunday Sketches again this week. 
To see the work of other participants, click HERE.

Happy Sunday to all!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Being caught outside in a wild, electrical storm

After heading home from choir practice earlier this week, we were waiting at the bus stop when a storm started to move in.  It looked quite menacing and daylight began turning to dark.  That said, I was hoping we would make it home before the worst of it hit — BIG mistake!

Dark clouds approaching bus depot

I snapped the photo below just before we boarded the bus. 
It was 3 pm in the afternoon and, yes, it WAS that bad!

side view of huge, dark storm clouds

The wild storm hit a few minutes after the bus pulled out of the depot.  It pelted us relentlessly on the ten minute ride to our stop. The other passengers were looking just as nervous as we were. It was eerily dark. The wind was very strong and gusty! The rain was unforgiving and we had no umbrella — charming!  To be honest, an umbrella would have been a hindrance for me considering I was carrying my own — very full — tote bag, as well as, Bradley's heavy back-pack.  I also had the task of guiding Bradley because his white cane was not going to be of much help in the hazardous conditions.  

When we stepped off the bus at our stop, we were soaked through in literally seconds.  It was a 10 minute walk home and I had to take my sandals off because my feet were sliding and slipping all over the place inside my sandals.   Thankfully, I'd made sure Brad's hearing aids had been packed away safely before boarding the bus. 

If you can imagine it, the walk home was quite scary for poor Bradley considering his blindness and hearing impairment, not to mention the fact that he has a fear of water.  It was slow-going but, about four minutes from home, I spotted our knight in shining armour.  Okay, he wasn't wearing armour but my wonderful son, Aaron, was running towards us with a large umbrella. Our hero! He took the heavy back-pack from me so I could manage with the umbrella which did help protect our heads at least. 

I was so relieved when we reached the shelter of the entrance to our house...our sanctuary!   

I learned a valuable lesson — 

Next time, DON'T trust my own judgement when it comes to approaching storms.  They can be unpredictable and some of them move extremely fast. We learned later that one woman was struck by lightning during that very same storm.  Thankfully, she survived.  Also, a 13 year old boy was taken to hospital after sustaining injuries when a large tree branch snapped and fell on top of him. You can read about both incidents HERE.

On top of that, I ended up with a sore foot which was twisted from all the slipping and sliding inside my soaked sandals.

We took a little while to calm down after our experience but I'm feeling very grateful that we made it home safely and in tact.

On a happier note —

Bradley and I just finished week three of the 'Mater Sing for Health' choir practice. Three more to go before our Christmas performance day. We always look forward to singing with the Mater choir as all the members are so nice and friendly.  Our choir master is amazing too!  The Mater choir performs twice a year and is made up of patients, volunteers, and hospital staff. It is now on its third year and we still have some of the original members,  including myself and Bradley.

We both hope the choir will continue for years to come.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Graduation, formal, and some sketches

Aaron's Graduation ceremony went very well. I was quite emotional and will admit that more than a few tears were shed. Aaron is my last of five children to graduate and leave school and I'm so very proud of him. 

For the ceremony, Bradley and I were sitting beside a Religious Studies teacher who visits the school once a week. She had been invited by several of her students to attend the ceremony.  She was so nice and we had a lovely chat.  I was quite touched when she gave Aaron  a garland of chocolates, even though he wasn't one of her students.

Aaron, in school uniform, with his Graduation certificate
After his Graduation Ceremony 

an photo of Aaron with his best mate, Travis, wearing formal suits, at the local wetlands
Here he is with his best mate, Travis.  
They are suited up for School Formal photos. 

I feel like I blinked and my baby grew into this amazing young man overnight. 
Where did all those years go? Sniff—sniff—

He is now on a much deserved break before hitting the work-force.


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Bradley and I are currently watching the Crowded House concert which is being aired LIVE from Sydney.  Crowded House is one of my favourite groups from the 80's.  Don't Dream It's Over was my favourite song by them and I still use it as my mobile phone ringtone.  Click HERE to watch/listen on YouTube if the video doesn't work for you.


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I have only managed one sketch this past week with another in progress.

sketch of my blood pressure reader

I am thrilled that my blood pressure readings are coming down and I hope to be off the medication before too long.  All thanks to a vegan diet — more on that in another post.

And here is my work in progress
a work in progress sketch of two butterflies
I am sketching a variety of butterflies —
will post when completed.

I'm linking up with Sunday Sketches this week.
To see the work of other participants, click HERE

Happy Sunday to all!

Monday, 14 November 2016

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes....


It's been a busy couple of weeks since I last posted...

Aaron, my baby is graduating his final Senior year this Friday and I've been feeling emotional and so very proud. Needless to say, there have been lots of errands with suit shopping being at the forefront. It's hard to believe that my baby also turns 18 in December.

Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum)
This beautiful succulent sits just outside my front door and it is currently in full bloom. Beautiful, isn't it?

As you may notice in the top picture, the only down-side to this plant is that it seems to attract mealybugs at certain times of the year. They cover the underside of the leaves which end up turning blotchy yellow and fall off. Any tips on natural ways to deal with mealybugs would be greatly appreciated. Thankfully, these periodic insect attacks haven't stopped it from looking magnificent when in bloom.


As to the title of this post?

I've been mulling over some ideas lately and I've made the decision to bring some changes to my blog. I feel like I've neglected my blog, here and there, over the past four years and I really want to change that.

I was sucked into the realm of social media for a while but, in an effort to simplify my life, I now see some of the social media platforms as big time-wasters. Twitter was the first to go and Facebook may well be next. I'm finding Facebook harder to let go of because of the art, animal welfare, and vegan groups I belong to. It's also a way for me to keep in touch with family and friends who I don't often see in person. I guess they can always message or follow my Instagram account. I do love Instagram so I will keep that.

Admittedly, social media hasn't been the only thing to keep me from my blog over the past four years
but it has been the one thing that wasn't a necessity in my life.

As my regular readers know, my Dad's rapid decline in health and his eventual passing from Parkinson's and Stroke in 2015 was a big part of my life focus for a couple of those years. I certainly don't regret that time. I dearly miss my beautiful Dad every day.

This past year or so has brought a few changes to my life and I plan to share more on my personal path here.

So, you can expect to see more posts, each covering a specific topic to make it easier for my readers. However, my art/illustrated journals will still be my main focus. 

Stay tuned...

Sunday, 30 October 2016

INKtober: the last sketches I managed

I tried and failed but I enjoyed taking part. I had an emotional week which got in the way unfortunately.  So these are the last two I managed to get done for the INKtober challenge. Both are on a somber note but the reasons for sketching them are very close to my heart.

I sketched this greyhound in support for a protest rally held in Sydney last Sunday. The rally was to voice opposition against the overturning of the greyhound racing ban in NSW. Thousands of these beautiful greyhounds are killed every year because  they don't make the cut in training or they don't do well on the track. 

On top of that there is the horrific live-baiting scandal that was uncovered last year, where several greyhound trainers were found to be using possums (a protected species), kittens, piglets, and rabbits as live bait in training. This despicable treatment of innocent animals was exposed via hidden video taken by animal activists. Live baiting is illegal so you'd think it would be enough to warrant an immediate shutdown but, yet again, it's a battle because the almighty dollar always seems to take priority. 

Greyhound racing is a cruel industry that should be stopped and we will not give up the fight! 

And the last one I managed to do. 
Day 24 - A chicken who doesn't have a great life either in yet another cruel industry. 

"Humanity is accruing an enormous debt of karma by its treatment of animals."~ Eckhart Tolle


Linking up with Sunday Sketches this week. 
You can see the work of other participants HERE.
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