Thursday 31 January 2013

Crazy week of weather!

Since I last posted, 
Queensland had to deal with some 
very nasty weather when
Cyclone Oswald threatened our North Queensland towns. 
It became an unstable storm cell, 
listed as Category 1 on a cyclone scale,
and slowly moved down the Queensland coastline 
 with gale-force winds and rain. 
Some areas suffered severe flooding 
similar to the floods of January 2011.

If that wasn't enough, 
SIX tornadoes developed and wreaked havoc 
further north of Brisbane.
One morning, we awoke to find that even 
BRISBANE was on tornado alert! 
I've never known that to happen before. 

Bundaberg and other towns are still inundated with flood waters 
and thousands of people have been displaced. 
Many had to be rescued from rooftops.
It's heart-wrenching! 

Queensland now faces a major clean-up.
We have been told to conserve water 
as one of the water treatment plants had to shut down 
due to the volume of mud and silt that was 
washed into the Brisbane River. 
Needless to say, 
people went into a panic and bought up ALL of
the bottled water from supermarket shelves.
160,000 homes lost power and, 
as of last night, some were still waiting for 
power to be restored. 
Friends of family have been without power 
since Saturday, poor things.

I am very grateful to live where we do 
as it seems we are in a fairly safe and sound area 
when it comes to flooding and power. 
That said, there were road blocks due to flooding 
not far at all from where we live.

Due to all the cyclonic weather 
sea foam developed at some of our beaches.
This video was taken at Alexandra Headland 
and shows bystanders, including two policemen, 
getting the surprise of their lives while 
watching a bus drive through the sea foam. 
A near miss for sure!

If you can't view it here,
try THIS direct link to YouTube.

Definitely nothing as interesting
going on in our own backyard. 
I put my potted plants outside 
to drink up some rainwater.
They LOVE rainwater! 
As parts of our gutters overflowed, 
I decided to catch me some rainwater 
for later use in the garden.
We ran out of containers to fill waaaaaaaay before it stopped raining 
but at least we saved a fair amount. 
Even the grass is now greening up
from the horrid, scorched brown colour it was before.

To end this post with a feel good mood.
I chose this video which shows how 
a random act of kindness 
can flow on and on.....ENJOY!

If you can't view it here,
try THIS direct link to YouTube.
Aaron started back at school yesterday after 
the annual school break. 
My baby is in Year 9 now!
It's time to get back to a regular routine so 
you should be seeing more posts from me.

Have a lovely week!

~ Love, light and peace ~

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Decorating with turtles and fish...

If you have been following my blog for some time, 
you will already know that I am very big into animal rights and welfare.
I've sponsored bears in the past and I have donated to animal causes worldwide
ever since I was a working teen.
This year, I'm going to adopt a baby orangutan.
No, won't come to live with me in Australia. hehe
The baby orangutan will stay in it's own habitat
 but my annual adoption fee will go towards it's care and support.
More details on that in a later post.

Lately, I've been wondering about ways I can use my art to help
or bring awareness to animal causes 
OR whether it would be better to keep the two separate. 

Well, I think I received my answer the other day.
I was in the studio painting a sea turtle canvas for my kitchen 
when a knock came at the door. 
It turned out to be a guy from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) 
and he was collecting donations for their latest rescue cause...

Green Sea Turtles in Northern Queensland!

How uncanny is that?!
I've NEVER had anyone from WWF knock at my door before
and, there I was, painting a sea turtle....the very thing he was promoting! 
I'm thinking there is definitely a message in there for me 
considering the timing.

Here is the turtle canvas I was working on.

I changed the colour scheme in my kitchen from reds to blues, greens, and purples
which is my favourite colour combo.
 I already had some metal fish tea-light ornaments from Bali
so decided to go with a fishy/sea theme too. 

The blue in the pic below is more true to the actual colour.

And I did not stop there....

Aaron liked my fish art so much he asked if I could do one for his room.
Lucky for him, he caught me while I was on a roll.
So the one below was done very quickly to keep him happy.
It looks great in his bedroom where he also has an aquarium.


My artistic license validating my completion of the 75 day sketch challenge.
I still can't believe I did it.
75 pencil-free sketches using only pen or ink in 75 consecutive days!
Brenda Swenson, the host of the 75 day challenge,
sent me one of her art cards too. Lovely!

I was going to post pics of my kitchen with it's new decor colours
but I'll leave that for another day as this post has become over-long.

I hope you all had a wonderful start to the week.

~ Love, light and peace ~

Sunday 20 January 2013

I'm back!!

It's been a busy January so far!
It's also been unbearably hot and humid.
I can handle the heat but
I don't cope well in high humidity as it causes my arthritis 
to flare up and, with it, comes lots of pain. 

Australia's temperatures are rising.
So much so, that they had to add another colour 
to our temperature map recently.

For numerous reasons, I gave myself an impromptu blogging break 
and, while I didn't get too much sketching done, I did get some art done.
I'll post about it over the next week to avoid this post being over-long.

For today, my salt lamp!

Beau (#2 son) turned out to be my secret Santa in the Christmas family gift exchange 
and he and Steven bought me a Himalayan rock salt lamp.

I love it!

I have it on my bedside table. 
I was surprised at how heavy salt lamps are!

Here it is turned on during the day time.

And at night-time.

It gives off a beautiful warm and tranquil glow.
Just perfect for meditation!
These lamps act like ionisers and also correct imbalances in a room.

Himalayan Rock Salt lamps are made from chunks of crystal salt 
taken from deep within the Himalayan mountains.

And, of course, I sketched it too.
Pencil-free sketch in A5 Holcroft sketchbook 
using ZIG Millennium pen, PITT pens and watercolours.

Another sketch I did of my green Buddha.
Pencil-free sketch in A6 Moleskine sketchbook using ZIG and Stabilo Point 88 pens.

And that about sums up this post.

I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful January.
If you're in the cooler regions, 
PLEASE send some cold my way.

~ Love, light and peace ~

Tuesday 1 January 2013

The start of a new year!

New Year has always been a big deal in our family and we have never let a new year go by without a big, hearty welcome and a toast at midnight to sing out the old and welcome in the new.   I remember when we were little kids that my Dad would actually come in and wake us all up to welcome in the New Year with Mum and him.   Actually, I did miss one year when I went to bed early on pain medication due to bad wisdom tooth pain. I tend to get a little emotional as the stroke of midnight hits every New Year's Eve, knowing another year has been and gone, as I look to the new year with a sense of wonder at what it will bring.  Of course, we MUST bring in the New Year to Auld Lang Syne.  It never fails to bring a tear to my eye.  Here is quite a nice version I found on YouTube performed by Dougie MacLean. 

Here is the direct link to YouTube just in case it doesn't play in the post.

I hope that 2013 will bring about a more loving, kinder, and cleaner world for humankind and all the beautiful animals we share this planet with. Our future generations are counting on it.

 image is courtesy of this Facebook page

  Happy New Year to all!!