Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fishing Along the Coast

The weather and sea worked together a couple of days ago and we managed to get out in the boat for the first trip of the season. Because the seas were so flat, we mainly went after crayfish or rock lobster as they are also called. We got our quota of four – a maximum of two for each licensed person. Murray also caught a good sized snapper. I do get a wee bit stressed when crayfishing sometimes, as it entails getting in quite close to the cliff base, often amongst a breaker or two. And I am in the process of learning how to drive the boat while Murray pulls the pots.

The following are some photos I took while we were out and show the scale of the cliffs. They’re pretty magnificent in this part of the world.

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This is a spot called Deany’s Steps, which was carved out for easy access to the base of the cliff many years ago. If you look very closely you will see an opening to the left of the steps, which is the size of a doorway. This will give you an idea regarding the scale of the cliffs. However, due to the ever present ‘nanny state’ we are forced to live under, the entrance to these steps was blown up by Parks Victoria to stop people using them.

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Murray baiting up a cray pot.


A southern rock lobster.

Guess who got an Ipod for Christmas

I bought myself a new ipod for Christmas since my old one is now classified as ancient and was, in fact, playing up. I have now re-discovered podcasts. And I really don't need another thing to spend time on. I subscribe to Photoshop podcasts, plus yoga, plus food. Truly, there is not enough time in a day. Here are a few results of fiddling in Photoshop after watching a podcast today.

Somewhere in South Australia

Coffin Bay National Park

London Bridge, Shipwreck Coast, Victoria

Monday, December 15, 2008

As the tree droops, my balls fall off…

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I smothered my tree in balls this year but they fall off intermittently, either via the drooping branches or inquisitive grandchildren. Hey, I can see myself in some of the balls.

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Actually spent some time ‘making’ today, instead of obsessively admiring everyone else’s work on their blogs. Oh, I did manage to do that too. I made this envelope from card I salvaged from the ever present packaging of objects. I printed an envelope template from How About Orange onto it and then printed the pear design from LollyChops onto it.

I am continually gobsmacked about the wonders of technology and what it allows you to do. I have been a computer nerd for an inordinately long time. My first computer (I’ve lost count of the number of computers I have been through) was a very small monochrome monitor with text (orange in colour) only – no graphics at all, with 20mb of hard disk space which was ample. All commands had to be typed in. When word processing, for example, if you wanted a font to be bold, a code had to be typed into the document. If I wanted to print the document I had to type the appropriate command into the operating system, which happened to be DOS. I was fascinated then and I still am.

New discovery for me, something I should probably have known decades ago – the back of the stanley knife blade is a great scorer for placing folds in cardstock. Why didn’

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I continued ‘making’ and am hoping to make some bunting to hang around, mainly to make things look festive for the grandchildren. So far I have done three flags with the one design. And, yes, I probably have no hope of getting these finished before Christmas. They’ll be ready for next Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas clip art


Love this. Feel free to use. No copyright problems.

Monday, December 8, 2008

From Geelong to Adelaide

I went on a train trip last week on the Overlander, with Kaye and Annie. We spent time exploring Annie’s roots as the Adelaide Hills is her home territory.

The beginning

The start of the journey – Annie doing yoga stretches while waiting for the train.

On the Overlander Nine hours of pure relaxation – reading, trying to teach myself to crochet which I failed at, eating, drinking lattes, listening to music.


Exploring with Annie’s family.

bridge to Hindmarsh Island

The very controversial bridge over the Murray River, from the mainland at Goolwa to Hindmarsh Island. For much of the '90s, it represented one of the most divisive issues on the political landscape, featuring court challenges, a royal commission and a bitter cultural debate over Aboriginal spiritual beliefs. I must say, it is a monster of a construction that looks way out of place.

doorway Love these old stone buildings – lots of terracotta colours – pinks, yellows and oranges.


Typical South Australian landscape

bowl of apricots

We bought these apricots at a roadside stall – very luscious. The three of us have decided we are going to paint this image.

flame flower

Ah, not sure. Maybe the flower of the flame tree.

Gum blossomGum blossom

lichen Lichen

Waiting At Murray Bridge Near the end of the journey. Waiting for the train at Murray Bridge.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rocky 10

Out taking photos of the grandchildren playing, when Rocky 10 struck a couple of poses. And yes, it is Rocky no. 10. Not all have tangled with foxes but most have. I have managed to find homes for some of them.
He may not look it but he is very gentle. He is a Barnevelder which is a large, docile dutch breed.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

God I love bloggin'

Even though I really, really try to maximise the present and not think about the past or future, right now I am stressin' just a wee bit about having to return to employment next year - back to teaching. I have had the best year of my life in 2008 - not having to go to school and doing all those things I have lusted after for decades. My year has been so action packed. Must remember - it's not over yet.

And how on earth am I going to have time to blog? Bloody hell.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Felting Lilies

Still cramming everything in at the last hour. As part of the Experimental Textiles course I am doing with SW TAFE, a sample depicting CONTAIN had to be completed. The night before doing this, I was flicking through a magazine when I saw this photo of lilies - I have a bit of an obsession with this shaped lily in my art work.

It gave me the idea to do some felting CONTAINING this lily image, well, an approximation of it anyway.
So... I chose three of the lilies for their shape and placed a mix of orange and yellow wool over a layer of greens. It's not quite as simple as it sounds. I did put a bit of groundwork into it.

Now time for lots of elbow grease in the form of soapy water and agitation to get those fibres to hook onto each other. I must have done a good job because it shrunk so much more than I expected- more length wise than width wise so my lilies are fat. Before felting, it was very close to the same size as the bubble wrap. Felting is definitely not an exact science.

Next step - machine embroidery - another new skill I am just getting to know.

Yep, the leaves look a bit odd, but it is EXPERIMENTAL textiles and I am having so much fun experimenting.

Following is what I had hoped to be their shape, thanks to a bit of elongation in Photoshop.

And here is another piece I added to my samples folder for the CONTAIN subject, which is basically drawing pictures with the sewing machine. I hope I've got enough life left for all the ideas I have swimming around in my head.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Machine Embroidery with Soluble Stabiliser

Another exercise for Experimental Textiles with South West TAFE - the course that has now finished for the year. As usual, I'm still finishing off required tasks.

As part of the CONTAIN subject, I have used soluble stabiliser, and it was VERY experimental. I couldn't find directions for it's use, so I really had to experiment. Firstly, I laid out silk fibre on top of the stabiliser to depict a simple composition of three flowers. I obtained this beautiful fibre from and a little goes a long way.

I then folded the other half of the stabiliser over the top. Off to the sewing machine and this is when the problem solving had to be called upon. Through trial and error I worked out to lower the feed dog, use a ballpoint needle to help stop snags, change the foot to a darning foot (this made the most difference) and have stitch size at zero. I'm sure there are many other things I should know about this process. All advice welcome.

This is the result after sewing.

Then into a sink of warm water and a bit of agitation to get rid of the gloop.

Onto the line to dry.

And after an iron, this is the final result. It has resulted in a delicate fabric which I like. Actually I really like how it has turned out. The image doesn't do it justice. I made lots of mistakes throughout the process but I learnt a bit too. The next one will be better.

And the last image is from a bunch of flowers I received from grandchildren no. 1 and 3. They made a request to their other grandmother for flowers from her garden. I got a bunch of roses as well. I'm not au fait with flowers so I'm not sure what species they are.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yearbook Yourself

Just couldn't resist. The year - 1966. If you have time to waste go to the Yearbook Yourself site

Monday, November 17, 2008

Road trip to Eyre Peninsula, South Australia

First stop, Beachport

Pool of Siloam, seven times saltier than the sea, which is reputed to relieve sufferers of arthritis and rheumatism. The high salt concentration in the water makes swimming very easy, as the water is extremely buoyant.

Meningie, located 152 km south-east of Adelaide on the shores of Lake Albert.

T'was the harvesting season.

Spooky. Just had to visit the infamous bank at Snowtown. This is where the bodies of eight murder victims were stored in barrels in this disused bank building. It was the worst serial killing in Australia's history, and it didn't happen that long ago either.

Port Germein boasts the longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.

Lots of wheat fields.

Our main destination - Coffin Bay

Coffin Bay National Park

My other half doing what he loves second best.

A visitor to our front yard in Coffin Bay - the Pacific Gull

The front yard at 'our place' - truly amazing. Surrounded by the sea on three sides.

A very common sight in South Australia - the lone church.

And lots of old buildings, either in disrepair or lovingly maintained.

Horrock's Pass - great landscape.