Friday, September 28, 2007

Donna's Book

the lovely Donna Daniel has allowed me to share her beautiful book that she has finally completed. This is a book I taught the girls at the shop a few months ago, inspired by the lovely Nina Bagley. It was such a long project I had to rely on the girls doing a lot of their pages at home. It gives me so much pleasure to see what creative work they came up with and Donna was no exception.

Donna was blessed with lots of beautiful family photo's, Donna thinks a lot of them may have been taking by an Uncle who was a photographer, they are not your usual snapshots.

Aren't these donkeys just wonderful, once upon of time they where so popular for rides etc but now seem out of favour. there is something so special about donkeys I think, used and abused thoughout Europe through the ages, guess technology has made them obsolete as a workhorse. I guess this is good for the poor little animal that was often mistreated.

I was unable to photograph all the pages but I am sure you will agree with me that Donna is a very talented lady.

blossoms in my garden

hope you are not bored with seeing photo's in my garden but is just the best time of the year and I love taking photo's early in the morning. This wonderful tree (pink wisteria tree) is in my wee garden and lightly shades our backyard in summer. Its a favourite spot for the birds to sit and view the neighborhood. At the moment it is has the most beautiful soft green leaves bursting out of tight buds and the most delicate pink wisteria flowers which are prolific at the moment, they are also perfumed and wafts of sweet scent swirls around my garden. The reason I captured these photo's this morning was there was a raucus noise outside and when I checked there was about 5 brilliant coloured parakeets sqwaking and enjoying eating the flowers, these birds have no table manners. unfortunately you will just have to take my word that they where there as by the time I rushed inside dodging the dog, turned the camera on, arriving back and trying to focus they all flew off.

This photo shows a close up of the blossoms, can't you just almost smell the perfume.

this wonderful rose is seduction, and isnt the colour seductive, it flowers prolifercally but has no perfume. If I prune the flowers off after flowering it will bloom again in no time. love the the little beads of dew on the petals.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

winged visitor

After our regular walk to the park (alex and I) this morning, I arrived home to find a winged visitor waiting by my back door. Now I know my dear friend Nina had a wonderful blue butterfly visit with her the other day and i was so envious,so as you can imagine I was delighted to find a most beautiful dragonfly sitting on some screwed up clear plastic.

On touching him gently he didn't move, aw no, he/she is dead. But on putting my finger carefully in front of him/her he climbed on. I walked around my back yard looking for the best
background to photograph him/her best and try to capture the beautiful transparent wings with touches of purest old gold colour.
I finally gently put him/her on a branch whereby it flitted off into the sky, I guess a rest is what it needed.

Friday, September 21, 2007

weekend in dwellingup

Last weekend I spent the weekend at Banksia Springs in the Lodge, with a group of women called Designing Women. This was a great opportunity for me to re familiarise with the Lodge as this is where we are holding the retreat with the wonderful Nina Bagley. As the retreat is in May ie Autumn I took the opportunity to take lots of Spring photo's of trees etc for the 'Book of Trees' which is the project Nina is teaching there. From the photo above you can see it has been raining, we have had the best rainfalls for quite a few years so everything smelt fresh and the air was so clean and fresh, so wonderful to get out of the city and breath in the fresh country air.
This handsome fella flew into the trees outside the room that I slept in, I couldnt resist capturing him on my camera through the window, he belongs to the kingfisher family and is the large cookaburra, such a comical bird.
Friday late afternoon the showers stopped and the sun came out giving me the opportunity to take a long walk in the bush, trusty camera in hand. As a born and bred country girl my soul hungers to be in the countryside and I find I can regain peace and tranquility so necessary in my life. As I was alone I managed to put my camera on auto and placed it on a large fence post to take the above photo, as I am camera shy it gives me the freedom to place myself where I want to be in the photo, oh these digital camera's are so much fun, I especially like the delete button. All this while I waited for a kangaroo to re appear, couldn't wait to long as it was getting late and I didn't fancy walking back through the bush in the dark.
I like the composition of this photo, the lovely lichen on the fenc post, rusty wire and wild flowers to the left.
This mushroom has pushed its way up through the gravel in the side of the road, amazing where they can pop up, its the first one I have seen growing up through gravel.
This is another composition that I liked the contrast between the rusty old chain plained wood and dried old leaves blown off the trees from last autumn and piled up in a clump completing the picture.
Sitting out on the deck Sunday morning soaking up the warm sunshine (the only time I really enjoy the sun in Australia, usually just to hot to enjoy) bees humming in the the shrubs behind me gathering pollen in the flowers, the bonk of the frogs in the pond just beyond the trees, the occassional bleat of sheep, am I in heaven, I could sit there all day and do nothing.
Saturday morning I demonstrated gel medium transfers and in the afternoon while they where demonstrating embellishing machines, I worked on my hat. We had all received these white hats that they where at bowls and had to decorate them, as I hadnt received my hat earlier I had to do a impromptu altered hat with what materials I could find, so painted flowers in bright colours then applied some gesso to tone down. Made some pleated medalians out of newspaper and a bit of gauze I embellished on the machine, it was a lot of fun and of course I didnt win but we had to all model them that night and this is me in mine, how stupid do I feel, hate wearing hats because they look so bad on me. The other girls came up with some stunners.
Had a lovely weekend, the food was delicious, was envious of one girl who had specified vegetarian which looked wonderful. The Australian bush which is not as lush and green as the New Zealand bush it has its own appeal, especially at this time of the year with all the wildflowers out, it also seems ageless.

Alex my naked airdale

Remember several posts ago I showed you photo's of my wonderful hairy teddy bear of a dog, well she's hairy no more. Alex was clipped on Monday, and as she had a lot of matted fur, I must admit I don't groom her like I should I am ashamed to say, anyway she had to be clipped right back to her skin. Now she looks more like a greyhound than a airdale. When you get an airdale clipped usually the fur under her chin (her beard) is left long and creates a box type face and the fur on her legs are only cut with scizzors and left about 2 inches long. So she wouldn't be up to show standard, but she doesnt care, she's all frisky now but looked a bit sheepish when I walked her to the park on Tuesday, she was like 'don't look at me I am naked' when the other dogs that regularly walk in the park ran up to say hello, I think they thought 'who's this new mut in our park'. Oh well enough doggy talk for now.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Spring is here in WA

Spring with all its glory has arrived, up and down weather, warm lovely sunshine one day and pouring with rain the next. Also with spring comes the wonderful flowers, the spring bulbs are my favourites. In New Zealand spring was heralded with bulbs and fruit trees bursting into flower and the arrival of frolicking snowy white lambs (here in Australia the lambs are born at different times of the year) this I miss. In my pocket of a garden I dont have many bulbs, just the dainty little snowdrops which I just love, reminds me of my childhood, they grew all around the paddocks in country New Zealand. the other plant that just bursts into bloom with a vengeance is the lovely McCartney rose. This rose only lasts a few weeks but what a show it puts on as it climbs through the trees. These photo's I took this morning, I thought they looked stunning against the bright blue sky. Within 1 hour the sky was overcast again as shown with the palm tree at the back of the shop, spring showers have arrived off and on all morning.

above is the wonderful climbing devonensis rose, which is a repeat flowering rose with the most amazing intoxicating perfume, my all time favourite rose, it can also be bought as a bush rose. The perfume is similiar to ponds cold cream. I recall when my mum died the nursing director at the nursing home told me to go home and smell the roses in my garden, what good advice, whenever I smell a rose it brings my mum back to me. love you mum

Alex my airedale

Spring is here and it amazes me how from one day to the next a season changes, from the 1st September all of a sudden it seems that its light earlier in fact 6.30 here in Western Australia its daylight now. Each morning I walk my trusted hairy friend alex (silly name for a female dog, but the breeder named her and as she was 18 months old when I got her it didnt seem quite right to confuse her with a new name so alex she stayed). alex my dear friend keeps me fit with our daily morning walks, and as she is a big dog we set quite a pace. alex is now 12 still thinks she's a pup, but sleeps more and has become rather deaf. she is an airedale and if you know the breed they are the biggest clowns out, very gentle mannered and non aggresive. alex's coat which gets very thick and has become matted, she looks like an oversized teddy bear, next monday she will be getting it all clipped off and then she looks like a skinned rabbit. I will post photo's after the clip. she still bounces around and is always ready for a game.

what a life aye!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Wednesday night girls

Every Wednesday night I teach a small group of wonderful girls, these girls have been coming to the shop mostly since we opened nearly two years ago.

We roll from one project to another, making shrines, journals and recently small 6" x 6" stretched canvas's the Joanne figured out from an article on Misty Mawn's technique.

The girls did a wonderful job on their individuals canvas's and all enjoyed the challenge.

Above is a photo of all their canvas's when they finished.

Above is a waxed canvas created by Mandy from the previous weeks class.
A smaller canvas of Mandy's
Cheryl's waxed canvas
Above is Mandy's Shrine that she did in previous classes, well done girls you all do such wonderful work, I am proud of all you do.
Joanne will be putting all these images in the gallery on our website if you are interested in seeing other work the girls have done.