Thursday, 24 January 2008

I'm a random talker a new bike and NOT making do!

Chicky babe says that I am a random talker! As if that was not already obvious, considering my blogging! But I'd not actually thought about it before. Yes I do have 'random' conversations with the people I meet, complete strangers in shopping centers, the line at the bank, the waitress in the coffee shop. I hadn't considered it strange until now.

Apparently I'm "a medium random talker leaning slightly to an excessive random talker but not in a creepy way." Thanks Chicky Babe. Teenagers! Don't they know just what to say. This discussion came about because one of the sleep over crew thought I was a bit strange because I kept talking to her when she came into the room. Silly me. I thought I was being polite and friendly making them all feel welcome. Chicky Babe told her not to worry that I had random conversations with everyone.

I'm not going to stop though because I like the conversations and connections that I have with strangers. I could not imagine everyone going about their day and never speaking to someone just because they haven't been introduced. I think that would lead to further disconnection between people in our world. Blogs help me have random conversations with people around the globe. Better not tell Chicky Babe she will think I have now become an excessive random talker!

Today I bought myself a new bike. It is beautiful. I work very close to my home and thought I really should ride a bike to work. I did have a very old, old bike that I tried to ride to school one day. I nearly died. I was so embarrassed, I was dreadfully unfit. I did have a chest infection so that formed part of the problem. Then a friend of mine said, ' You do realise that your tyres are stuffed they are as flat as a pancake and that makes it impossible to ride!"

Thank God. It wasn't just me. So I was on the look out for a new bike, I wanted one that I could sit in a more upright position. I really didn't like the flat handle bars of the modern bikes. I found some called hybrid bikes, they were OK but they still looked like your average bike. I had french baguettes, a bottle of wine, a picnic and a pretty floral frock in mind and they just didn't fit. Then I saw this one....

My New Bike

I didn't relly want to spend as much as I did but once I saw it I just couldn't make do with the other ones. The hand grips are leather and have pink cross stitching on them. It just so matched the image in my head. A friend laughed at me, she is just so practical and finds it amusing that I am so influenced by aesthetics. (It comes from being an artist, however I do have a practical side in that I did decide not to get the particularly funky red bike that had only one speed. This one has three gears and so this satisfies both aesthetic and practical needs! If not my bank balance needs!) Having spent so much I will be compelled to use it. (Maybe, I hope)

The little dog in the basket is "Dusty the Dog"a character I will be using in my class. Chicky Babe is helping me to take photos of him and write some captions of his activities and adventures. We are going to take him to lunch at the local shopping center with my sister and her daughters tomorrow. The kids in my class will be able to take him home and continue his adventures at their places, draw or write about it and then share his stories with the rest of the class.

Dusty at a Christmas Party

Dusty Plays the Piano. (I'm not sure about his singing voice!)

With school starting again next week I will need to start thinking about that and spending my time making things for the class. I've changed from an upper primary class to a junior class and I'm teaching art again. HOORAY!!! I didn't realise how much I'd miss it when I transfered. In order to leave a difficult school that I had been at for over a decade I had to leave the art position behind and go back into mainstream. Now I have the best of both worlds. I think I will enjoy the smaller kids as they will be more willing to 'play' and imagine with me.

Now I'm off to make alphabet charts!

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Scattered Energy

How can I have Five books on the go!?! Generally I tend to finish one at a time. I suppose it is because none have really grabbed my attention as yet until I picked up the body artist. It is a very short book yet it is taking me quite some time to get through it. I usually devour books reading at least one or two a week while I am on holiday.The floating brothel is a book selected by one of the girls in my book club.

I told Chicky Babe I was going to a book club meeting and she spluttered and laughed, "Book Club!? More like champagne drinking club!" I would have to agree at present. We started well, selecting and reading a book a month and this continued for about a year but last year we were particularly slack with the book part of our club preferring the camaraderie and fine wine and cheeses or coffee and cake.

Just last week we went to a tea house and had a Parisian High Tea. It had a variety of little crustless sandwiches and cakes on a three tiered plate served with rose petal tea. It was so pretty. I thought to myself I should make a habit of carrying my digital camera around with me because even the aftermath of the repast was beautiful.

I have much on my mind at the moment and am somewhat distracted. I have so many things that I wanted to get done and I've not completed many of them. I was going to make some new clothes for school which starts again next week, I was going to sew new butterfly chair covers for my grandmothers 1950 original butterfly chair frames, I was going to crochet a hat and a top. What have I done? Well I did teach myself what it was I've been doing when I crocheted but I still haven't worked out how to follow the patterns fully. I did crochet a hat but because I didn't follow a pattern it was too big and I will have to frog it! I did make some knitting and crochet needle bags so I would know where they were when I needed them and a needle book for all my sewing needles too. I also made a set for a friend too.

The kids had another sleep over on Saturday. They had a ball. Dancing, singing and playing a cross between hide and seek and chasey through the house until 2:30am. When I changed from the patient friendly mother into the grumpy growling witch of a mother. Finally I managed to get some sleep at 3!

The next day they continued to run amok so I decided to finish off a bag that has been rattling around in my head for my entire summer break.

This bag has the large spots on the bottom and although it does not show up so well in the photo there are small spots on the top. A woman stopped me in a shop today and admired it, that was flattering. The white buttons are from my old button collection. I love this collection I have hundreds and hundreds of them, old, retro and vintage - collected from goodness knows where. Some from op shops and garage sales and some from my great grandmother and grandmother. Some find their way to me from friends. I can sit and paw through them for ages. Delighting in the discovery of the most perfect, delightful button for a specific purpose or one that will inspire a new project.

I quite like this blog medium because I can talk about what ever pops into my head. I also think I need to update it every so often so it makes me make time to do some more creative things or think about what is happening around me. I do wonder if any one reads it but that is not really the point is it?

Gosh I got right off the point! I was talking about the books I'm trying to read. Proust I have abandoned not because of the story but because of it's presentation. The print is SO small and I struggle to read it for that reason. Giotto's Hand I had completely forgotten about, I don't even know where I've put it down!!! The artist in his studio is more a browse and flick book selected from the shelf again as I am planning to build myself a studio.

A friend of mine is going to help me enclose a part of my new patio. This will be my space where i can work quietly maybe complete some of the paintings I have started and those that are swirling around in my head. I'd like to do some more jewellery too using silver as I did many years ago now. The problem will be I will no longer have an excuse for not doing more! Apart from time perhaps.

Coming off the end of the patio is a small paved area in front of my garden shed. I am going to turn this into my studio courtyard garden. Then I will feel at home. I really miss the studio space from my old house but I am really loking forward to creating a new space!

Saturday, 12 January 2008


On Christmas day Chicky babe discovered a trail of mud coming from the ceiling outside her room.
"what's this mum?"
"*!#*! Termites!"

Merry Christmas. They had got into the roof in the back part of the house which had been extended in the eighties- long before I bought it. They have come up from under the house and through the wood used to secure the plaster board onto the brick wall! I've had two guys come and check it out. I went with the one who was friendly, professional, good price and didn't make allusions to my unmarried status. To be fair to the first guy I did answer the door in a sheet. In my defense, however the appointment had been made for 4pm and it was 9am and I'm on holiday and I thought it was a friend who had left something at my place. He said "women are too beautiful to have to worry about these kind of things" & I should not worry, he would take care of it. Anyway the non-sleazy fellow is coming back on Monday and I need to shift 5 bookcases full of books and jewellery making paraphernalia! Along with any other furniture that will impede his thorough inspection.I've had about a week to do this job. Have I done it yet? NO!

I went to visit a friend and decided to teach myself to crochet properly. I've made scarves,poncho's, blankets, hats/tea cosies , jewelery- beaded crocheted wire chokers, bracelets and earrings and flowers ......

embroidered and crocheted brooches completed earlier this year (Oops! Last year, 2007)

Little cream and purple flower brooches with vintage button centers.

but I have no idea what I'm actually doing. I just hook loop and twist away until it comes together! I have no idea how to read a pattern. So I bought a book (Stitch'n bitch crochet the Happy Hooker- Not to enamoured with the title but the instructions are easy and clear to follow.) So yesterday I decided to make "samplers" in cotton that can be used as dish cloths or face washers using the basic stitches illustrated in the book. S in between my trips as taxi service to the children. I popped into Freo to get some yarn.

Plain crochet- double crochet

Shell Pattern

Close up of shell pattern

"Bobble and Puff Stitch"

close up of the puff stitch.

They are so wonderfully textural pieces, the cotton yarn is far better than wool in this respect. Cotton has a sheen and smoothness that accentuates the bobbles and ridges formed by the stitches. I love that my new camera is able to record the textiles so beautifully!
Now I really must get some sleep because I really can not put off moving books and furniture to ensure clear access for the termite man. I really have managed to keep myself busy NOT doing any housework or chores and now it has caught up with me!

Sunday, 6 January 2008


I love sunflowers! This is one of several that have popped up of their own accord following my planting some a couple of years ago. Bright, bold and hardy. Mind you the parrots love them and many of the flowers don't survive long. Fortunately my dog assists in keeping the level of damage done to a minimum by chasing them off. (Not so vigilantly that the garden is devoid of bird life thank goodness!)

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Growth, change and sowing seeds

New year was great Bantam Boy and Chicky Babe had friends come over for a sleep over- no sleeping of course until about 6am! They are still promising they will pick up the remnants of chocolate wrappers and party poppers! Bantam Boy shaved his beard and got a hair cut for the new year. I don't recognise him now. It took me ages to find him in the shop today. Most of his friends have welcomed the change. I preferred the long hair bearded boy actually. Not really the usual mother stance is it? I am getting used to it though.

I've been trying out my new camera and in the process of loading them onto the computer I opened up a file of photos of the yard about 2 years ago. The yard was virtually bare and the plants along the fence line were only about 50cm high! My lemon tree was a tiny little thing.
Now it is absolutely laden with fruit. It is a variegated Eureka as you can see the fruit is stripy too! They turn yellow as they ripen. My sister is particularly jealous of my 2m tall tree hers has been in her front yard for years and it is still less than 1m tall. looking forward to making lemon curd tarts.

I have just figured out how to use this blog compose page to get the text in the correct spot under the photos and move the photos around! This is much much easier!

I love the contrast of the pink and the green with this hibiscus. The tree is full of blooms bobbing in the wind just outside my lounge room window. I must confess this is not one I have planted. It is an old gnarled one that has been here for years. Actually it is responsible for my deciding to blog actually. I had been looking at the lovely places people have and one day as Chicky babe was using the computer a picture of a lovely garden filled the screen.
"Wow, what a pretty garden!Where is that from?"
"Mum you idiot That's OUR garden!"
It was then that i realised it was all about perspective really. Things that you choose to see and also what you choose to show. Later that afternoon I went out to have coffee with a friend along the river just where the harbor and the river meet near the old bridge in freo. It was a glorious day, warm with a slight breeze and I thought i suppose people in other parts of the world would think how it would be a lovely place to visit.

I am beginning to realise that I am fairly impatient, mostly with myself. Looking back at the house and garden when I bought it exactly 3years and one month ago there has been a lot of change. I've created a garden out the front, completely stripped the place of hideous dirty wall paper, knocked out a wall, replaced the kitchen and bathroom, polished the floorboards had french doors put in from the lounge to the new pergola. I have achieved quite a bit really,I still have a lot of plans including making a space for me to do more art work. This mosaic was one piece that tried my patience! It is 1m 80cm across the base and took a year to complete. A good deal of that time it spent on the kitchen/dining table. The kids didn't mind they liked the novelty of eating at the breakfast bar or the informality of eating in front of the T.V. It is almost time to do another. I'd like one to go outside the french doors with a water feature so it can be seen and heard from inside the house. Not sure of the design yet -birds maybe or something floral. I have some Art Nouveau wallpaper prints that could be a good starting point.

Sowing seeds.