Sunday, April 28, 2013

Why I'm not going anywhere just yet.

Big, wild skies.

Small people in the flotsam.

                                                     Disipating storms, a fine balance.



Wind on salty skin.

Small people.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Scissors, Paper, Rocks

Remember this pretty peck of pebbles from the beach?

I thought I'd put my money where my mouth is and do something with it. So I cut (scissors) some nice thick water colour paper and drew on it with charcoal.

Then I made up a purple solution of the old Condy's Crystals and dipped the paper in it. BTW, did you know Condy's Crystals were once considered de rigueur for chook farmers to flavour their chooks water and  rid them of parasites. As it is a caustic solution, they may well have been rid of their chooks' digestive tracts too.

When it oxidises, it changes from purple to brown.

Then comes the magic science part. With some plain lemon juice, bottled or fresh, the paper can instantly be bleached back to white. It can be spattered on, or brushed or dripped. The edges can be bleached back too. The random organic nature of the runs is part of the charm of anything  on watercolour paper.

Then some colour can be added back over with water colour pencils and a wet  brush. Maybe a little white pastel can highlight bits and pieces. I'm still playing with this in between classes.
The yellow rock up the top is still my favourite just like in the photo.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On the Rocks

Still pondering on the beauty of that week at the beach, I found some more photos that might bear doing a bit of work with. 
Our lot favours the coast north of Brisbane for many reasons, some sentimental and some aesthetic. 

One of the characteristics of the beaches there is the large expanses of coffee rock deposited by volcanic activity some gazillion years ago. It is marvelous stuff, providing rock pools, bridges, caves and waterfalls to intrigue and occupy children (and adults) for hours. That has probably gone on for a million years or so too.

One of the interesting properties of coffee rock is that, being quite porous, it breaks down easily and can be carved and eroded into myriad different forms.

It seems to have deposited a fine black sand that emerged as the top layers of white sand were washed away in the storms. I remember being on a Greek Island with sand like this. I don't remember which one but it was near a volcano. Anybody?

We discovered that by drawing in the top layers of white sand, the lower layers of black sand showed through like some kind of lovely, natural etching.

While the girls were drawing in the sand, it occurred to me that the sands and tide had produced some rather exquisite drawings without any human assistance whatsoever.


Some of these lines would make for delicious drawings on heavily textured paper

and would translate beautifully into black and white ink or charcoal drawings.

They had such a strength and fluidity from the rock and sand.

Only nature could dream up such inspired composition.

I think this is my favourite. It would make a rather striking large canvas.

Just saying.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Finishing off

Finally the radioactive rug is finished. 

After it was all joined up I realized it wasn't quite big enough for our bed which was where I hoped it might live. I just couldn't face any more granny squares. A girl has her limits. So I just kept going around the outside in a border till it was the right size. It went a bit wonky the first few rows so it had to be disciplined with a severe pulling out of stitches and started again. Second and third time I finally figured out that I had to ditch all the connecting chains and just do the trebles. 

Then at the beach it was cool and quiet enough for me to whack on a scalloped edge to finish it off. 

  Done! Ta and Da at last!
So once again for a final appearance and yet another closure to the cycle of last year's Kafuffle.

We have the radiotherapy rug, a.k.a. family blanket ,

the biopsy blanket, a.k.a. rainbow ripple for Shorty Divine,

and of course the chemo quilt, a.k.a. Lala's blanket.

Here they are in their natural environment back home. Lala likes to bask like a cat in the sun. This is permissible in glorious Spring  Autumn sunshine. 

I love this time of year. We can finally behave like normal humans who live in more temperate climes and enjoy the benefits of gentle morning sunshine.

Usually I cower like a vampire in the Queensland sunshine. It is finally cooling down enough here to wear sleeves and long pants and a covered shoe. Bliss!

Lala likes to peruse the Aldi catalogue for such treasures as the travel pack of Zoobs for around $12. 
I only bought them because I wanted to say Zoobs a lot.

 "Where are the Zoobs? Have you got your Zoobs?" Try it. It's a satisfying word.

 Having decided to not crochet anything else for a goodly time we then stumbled acoss this tasty little pouffe in a gift shop.

Rainbow hexes, indeed. Couldja...wouldja...?

 Perhaps one close up of the stitches just in case.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Off with the Fairies

 At home in the holidays there has been a lot of this going on...

and this...

The boys seemed pretty happy skateboarding down Dog Park Hill and leaving bits of their DNA all over the tarmac in our leafy 'burb so they stayed home with Dad. The two girls and I got out of the way and went to visit with the flairy godmother at the beach.

After Flairy and I caught up on some good late night chin wagging, she went south for a few days whilst the girls and I stayed on in her cosy home to have a good rest. It is the first time I've been away for a significant break with less than three children since all the kafuffle last year and it was sorely needed. I was able to nurture my soul and my girls and look around with fresh eyes.

Lala, the card sharp, breaking in a new victim.
 It is funny how sometimes when you are away from something familiar for a while you see it differently. This little walk from the road to the beach, I have walked many times, usually with more people, a newborn, a heavily pregnant torso...

This time there was just the three of us. We are the famous four- Lala, Shorty, Mum and Didi the do-o-o-og.

 It was much quieter and gentler with just girl energy. We still walked for miles, fossicked for hours, chased and were chased by the dog, the waves, each other. It was spiritual balm.

We did all the usual stuff but relished every second of it. I actually read a book while the girls played in the playground!!! Imagine! Reading a book during the day!  Lala loved not competing with three brothers for some attention although she actually admitted she was missing them half way through the week. Shorty was just happy to be with her besties without a schedule for a week. We went to all our favourite beaches and nooks and crannies and reminisced about when they were babies. It was a lovely reminder of good times past and present. Sometimes you just need that, don't you.

Thank you, Ms Julie.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Princess Layer II

Alas Princess Layer, we knew her well. Late Easter Sunday she, of the stubby index finger, moved on to the big Chook house in the sky. She was one of our early birds having arrived in the Year of the Chicken. (2010) It was somehow fitting to have her leave us on the Day of the Egg. She was always a bit special so I have linked you here to two of my favourite Princess Layer posts.

Chicken Wars

Stubby Index Finger


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