Sunday 28 December 2014

Christmas celebrations, choir, and ornaments

I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas!
I was actually quite sick with sinuses and asthma 
but I did manage to put on a smile 
and spend time at my daughter's house 
for Christmas celebrations with my beautiful family.
We all had a lovely time!

 Michelle got a selfie-stick from Alex for Christmas
and it was put to good use on Christmas day.
I want one!

 Michelle wasn't feeling the best either
but we both put on happy faces,
with a little help from some Christmas wine, perhaps?
I only had one, I swear.


On December 16th, our Mater Sing for Health Choir
sang Christmas Carols in the Mater Mothers Hospital foyer
after only four weeks of practise.
On December 17th and 18th, we repeated our performance
at the two Mater Volunteers' Christmas parties of
approx. 100 people at each.
We were very well received by our audience
and we even had them join in for a Christmas round at the end.
We all had an absolute blast!

 Photo courtesy of Mater Hospital - Queensland


I haven't been doing much in the way of sketching
but I have been painting.

As always seems to be the way,
I was frantically trying to finish ornaments in time for Christmas.
I had planned to start them early, like in September,
but my life was turned upside down when Dad became ill
and ended up in a high care aged facility,
so I kept putting the ornaments off until later.

Since the birth of my granddaughters,
I started a tradition of painting them a Christmas ornament  each year.

This year, I decided to recycle two light bulbs.
I have done similar in the past
and they are a lot of fun to transform.
Do you like my state-of-the-art bulb holders? hehe
Plastic bottles filled with pebbles for weight,
then the bulbs held in place securely with Blu-tack.
They worked perfectly!

First up, two coats of All Purpose Sealer.
That stuff is fantastic for using on slick surfaces.

Then a few coats of Jo Sonja Warm White.

Now, the fun begins.
Scarves first up.

Then, their little faces.
Brown eyes for Maddy,
Blue eyes for Mikayla.

And, of course the Christmas holly.

All dressed ready for the Christmas tree
wearing polar fleece for hats
adhered with Helmar quick-set Craft glue.

Just hangin'!

You can see the ornaments I painted for previous years
at the following links.

2010 (part 2)

I'm feeling almost human again today
and I'm looking forward to babysitting Mikayla and Maddy
while Michelle and Alex take in a movie at the cinema.

It's been pouring rain since yesterday and I'm loving it!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Any plans for New Year's Eve?

Monday 1 December 2014

I'm calling it quits...

I made it to number 88 of the 365 daily sketch challenge before calling it quits.
 I just felt way too pressured by it.
 Who knows, I may try the challenge again for 2015.

For now, you will still see regular sketches from me
but I have given myself permission to miss some days here and there.

I will continue to sketch directly with pen unless stated otherwise
 but I plan to vary my sketchbooks a bit.
The sketches below are all done in my Holcroft A6 travel journal.

I bought this little turtle figurine when I called into Mr Toys to buy a jigsaw puzzle. 
Mum, Brad, and I love working on the puzzle together. 
I also bought one for Mum to take home with her to keep her occupied when she's on her own.
Mum said it has helped keep her mind off Dad being in the home.

Our weather has been unbearably hot and humid of late.
So much so, that I invested in an industrial fan,
an evaporator/cooler fan,
and some block-out curtains.
Every little bit helps.
Today is officially the start of our summer.

OH dear, this Buddha does not look very impressed with the sketch I did of him. lol

Bradley and I attended choir practise last week
and look what I spotted in the Mater Children's Hospital foyer.
Bananas in Pyjamas caught with their pants down!

One of the feathers in my collection.

My sister dropped in some little tomato plants for me.
I just need to plant and stake them.
I sure hope  they provide an abundance of tomatoes.
We had a super-storm on Thursday
and it caused a lot of damage right across Brisbane.
Reece said the storm pelted them with golf-ball-sized hailstones in the city.
It was like a war zone in some areas.
Luckily, we only got ½" hail here.

Late again but, this week, I'm linking up to Sunday Sketches HERE.

Monday 24 November 2014

Another week of sketches...

I've been melting in the heat this past week 
and we're not even in full-fledged summer yet. 
I am definitely a cold weather gal!
 I don't mind a dry heat,
but unfortunately, we have high humidity here.

Anyway, more sketches below for the 365 daily sketch challenge.
I sketch directly with pen unless stated otherwise.

73/365 - My Buddha Belly (Jatropha Podagrica).

74/365 - I love beetroot so, when Beau told me about this juice,
I just had to try it.  YUM!

75/365 - I have one of these wooden HOME signs.
The colours are so pretty.

76/365 - Ginger beer is one of my favourite drinks.
When I think of home-made ginger beer,
I think of a stone-ware flagon with a cork.
Bundaberg ginger beer is my favourite commercial brand.

77/365 - This old bicycle is going to the roadside
for the council to collect so I thought I'd sketch it first.
I used the fast/slow method used by Danny Gregory in Sketchbook Skool.

78/365 - I'm in LAMY heaven!!!
My Lamy JOY pen with EF nib arrived  in the mail
and I'm thrilled with it!!!
I will always remember the fountain pen
my Dad gave me as a young teen.
I was a bit of a pen freak back then too
and I used it to write a lot of letters.
I wish I could remember what happened to it.
I'm guessing it was lost in one of our house moves over the years.

79/365 - The 'Sing for Health' choir that Bradley and I performed with
earlier this year are giving a Christmas performance.
We're quite excited!
While killing time until choir practise last week,
I sketched this potted palm at the Jacob's Well cafe
using my new Lamy JOY pen, of course.

I'm a little late but I'm linking up to Sunday Sketches HERE.

Sunday 16 November 2014

More daily sketches, a dog and a flower

Yesterday and today were absolute scorchers! 
The humidity was horrible! 
They say temperatures will be back to the mid-30's from tomorrow. 
I sure hope so or I may just melt away. 


Another week of sketches for the 365 daily sketch challenge. 

We have strategically placed a few of these 
ornamental black cats with reflective eyes around our garden 
in an attempt to keep neighbour's cats away. 
Those naughty felines have been using our garden
as their own personal toilet and I am not amused.

Some very quick pen sketches of people at the food court.

I finished my quad-rule sketchbook! YAY!
I decided to start another Holcroft travel journal for the next stage 
of the challenge, however, this time on plain white paper.
I must admit I'm loving the white crispness of the blank page.

I LOVE this brand of coconut cream/milk!
Rich, creamy and perfect for curries.
I keep the coconut milk powder on hand as a back up.

I was browsing photos the other day and 
decided to sketch this noisy miner from one of Beau's albums.
I did this one in water-soluble graphite with a touch of pen to define.
Yellow watercolour on the beak and eye area.

I borrowed Michelle's carpet cleaner the other day 
to shampoo the carpets. 
They came up lovely!

A poppy for Remembrance Day!

I'm linking up to Sunday Sketches HERE.


Just look who had draped himself over the arm of the couch the other day.

Me - "Mr Cody you are NOT a cat!  You could fall and hurt yourself."

His response -
"Life comes with risks and I'll take my chances.
Now, leave me alone, you peasants! "


Check out this gorgeous crimson mandavilla/allamanda (?) flower!

They have a few tripods of these gorgeous vines
around the nursing home gardens.
So pretty!

Happy Sunday to all!

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Remembrance Day

They shall not grow old,
as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them,
or the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun,
and in the morning,
we will remember them.

All gave some,
Some gave all.
Lest we forget.

Image above is shared from Facebook. 


More info on Remembrance Day HERE.

Monday 10 November 2014

Another week of sketches - 365 daily sketch challenge

More pen and watercolour sketches
for the 365 daily sketch challenge

Perhaps I should have called this one 'Bench-warmers'?

An imagination doodle with pen while watching TV.

I LOVE coconut oil!
It has so many uses and I was delighted to see it is now available
in a pump-action bottle. YAY!

Aaron moved his fish tank into the lounge-room
so we get to relax while watching the fish.
The angelfish are so graceful but can be big bullies in the tank.

My tea of choice is Twinings Green Tea.
This is the only green tea I can drink on an empty stomach
and not feel nauseous afterwards.
I do drink other brands too...
just not on an empty stomach. 

Yet another Buddha I have around my home.
I like the Tibetan-style Buddhas the best because 
they have a feeling of peace and tranquillity about them.

I bought a pair of Birkenstock sandals in an attempt to relieve
the problem I have with painful, flat feet.
Apparently, these sandals are good for that. 

I'm a little late but I'm linking up to Sunday Sketches HERE.

Sunday 2 November 2014

A week of sketches for the 365 day challenge

It's hard to believe we are into November already! 
Carrying on from last week, 
here is another week of sketches 
for the 365 Daily Sketch Challenge.

A pine cone I brought from my Mum's place. 
What I learned - Pine cones are darned hard to sketch!

Mum has been sleeping over two nights a week 
and we usually play a game of Yahtzee in the afternoon. 
This black Yahtzee set is reasonably new...
I love the black dice with red edges 
and the cool shaker cup!

Alas, one of my favourite tops finally bit the dust. 
I've had it for something like 15 years and
it was worn regularly during that time.
It was made out of an airy Indian cotton
and I knew it wouldn't last much longer 
as it has been looking a little thread-bare of late.
I half expected it to fall apart in the washing machine.
Thankfully, it saved me embarrassment by tearing 
when I was wearing it here at home and not when I was out and about.

Poor Jack has gone through hell this past week with itchy, inflamed skin.
I'm assuming it was caused by the scented products the groomer used on him. 
It could be that the trimmer head was quite hot by the time she got to Jack 
after grooming Cody.  The affected area is on his right side and underbelly only.
I had to put the cone hat on him to stop him biting at the affected areas. 
He has had an array of treatments such as chamomile tea swabs, 
coconut oil, aloe vera, goats milk soap baths, and even cortisone cream. 
All of the above were effective for temporary relief.
I had tried a cold tar shampoo recommended by a dog groomer
 to my Mum for her dog's skin condition,
however, it had Jack feverishly climbing the walls
 so I had to quickly re-bath him 
with the Billy Goat goats milk soap. 
Thankfully, it helped. 
Me thinks he will have to be a cone-head for another week 
just to be sure it is fully healed.
He is not impressed!

I've been practising people sketching for Sketchbook Skool homework.

The X-ray on my foot was clear apart from arthritic changes in my toes. 
The doctor has suggested I see a Podiatrist next as 
he feels my flat feet could be the cause of the pain.

Linking up with Sunday Sketches HERE.


We visited Dad on Halloween and look who we bumped into whilst there.
 This nurse is SO lovely! 
He goes out of his way to make the residents laugh and feel good. 
He even dressed up for Halloween.

I know it's not a holiday Australia usually celebrates 
but Halloween has been steadily creeping in over the past ten years.
It's a fun thing for the kids and the adults.
I love Trick-or-Treaters coming to the door!
I had my bowl full of goodies ready and waiting for the Trick-or-Treaters this year
but we only had three come knocking.  I was a little sad 
but I guess it was better than having none like last year. 
Michelle (my daughter) said they were bombarded with Trick-or-Treaters.
I'm going to put out a big sign next year.