Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Instantaneous Print

Here's a new print that's available now in the shop. It's a limited edition of 22, and is a mixed media combination of a giclee print with fabric and machine-stitched embellishments. Here's the description that I wrote in the shop listing:

"This print is about the feeling of simply just liking someone when you first meet them. Often, I'll take my dog for a walk in the park and we come across another dog that he just likes. I'm not sure of the reason, there is just something there that makes him like that dog.
Sometimes you might meet someone (or an animal) that you just like straight away for no apparent reason."

I wonder why it is that this happens? Maybe on some deeper level we know who is just right for us.


Monday, August 25, 2008

New Necklace Designs...

These little designs I call "I Speak The Truth". See? The little horse is speaking about exactly what's inside of him. He has nothing to hide. He is a simple being that likes to talk about fun and happy things. Like polka dots! :)

You can find them hanging out in the shop as of now.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chickens and other happy things...

Introducing to you our chickens, Cluckers and Pecky! Cluckers is the light one and Pecky is the dark one. They have just started to venture out into the open air after about a week which gave me the opportunity to take a happy snap of them. I love having chickens.

I did a bit of gardening today. The gardens here at this property are HUGE and there is so much work to be done. Most of it is country style gardens, due to the people that lived here before us. But today I am showing you a couple of flowers of our own that we have in pots. Jim & I are both hardcore native plant fans, and one day dream for our gardens to be 100% native. Australia is the driest country on Earth, so it makes sense to have plants that don't require a stack of water. This first shot is of a native orchid that's in flower at the moment. I don't even look after it much, but it flowers every year. The flowers look so cute, I imagine they are individual characters coz they kind of look like funny heads with antennae.

Here's a Kangaroo Paw I bought recently which is having heaps of flowers. Yay! Aren't the colours beautiful? I don't have much success with Kangaroo Paws, but this one seems to be going strong. Lets hope it keeps it up. Everything seems to grow so well out where we are in West Gippsland.

And as I was going around taking photos today I decided to take one of this sculpture I made a couple of years ago out of recycled materials. I made him whilst Jimmy was watching the footy. I am no sports fan, let me tell you, and I can often be found sitting in a chair crafting like a little old granny while Jimmy watches sport on telly. We are such old people :)

Hope you like our chickens & other shots from around the place! Now I'm going to go and rest my big pregnant guts on the couch for a bit, I am buggered. 29 weeks tomorrow. Geez, where has the time gone?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Lightbox & Necklace Design

Finally got around to making (well, mostly Jim making) my new lightbox. I get an upgrade with each one. My last one was made from a cardboard box, and this time I thought I'd go for more sturdy wood. (And yes, I can use tools, but if there's someone else around who can too and is up for the job, I'll happily delegate jobs to them.) Basically it's just made from two square side frames with some semi-transparent plastic tacked onto them, and then attached by two horizontal pieces at the back, top & bottom. Then I just bull-dog clipped my paper in there, which makes it easy to change backgrounds if I need to. The lamps I have are not very strong, and I would love to upgrade them, but it'll do for now. I just have to do a little bit of stuffing around in photoshop (playing with the levels, brightness and contrast, etc) to get them looking decent. If you have any questions regarding the box, or any suggestions (even better!) for improvement I'd love to hear from you :)

So, I re-shot a firm old popular fave using my new lightbox and you can now find it in the shop.

This is a new design, which can be found here, and it is titled "Spring is Coming". And it is... on this side of the world. I'm looking forward to it.

ps. We got our chickens! I shall introduce you to them soon! They are young so will not start laying until about another month and a half, but that makes me happy... it should be easier to make them tame whilst young. I have also been veggie gardening. I am really going all country and environmental.

pps. In my recent knitting addiction, I needed a certain sized double pointed needle set, and was getting very frustrated at not being able to find them in the numerous shops I entered. Would you believe, I found the set I needed for 50 cents at my local op shop? Unreal, banana peel. Even more environmental..!

Have an awesomely awesome day, everyone.

Friday, August 15, 2008

It's Knitting Time

My sewing machine doesn't like me. I killed my last sewing machine, and now this one has decided it doesn't want to stitch anything. Why!? My old one probably could've been fixed, but I think I took it to the wrong person. I got some weird guy to come and fix it, and it still was skipping stitches so I called him back and he had another look and told me nothing was wrong with it. 70 bucks down the drain. He really was quite a strange fella, Jim said he reckons he's got a collection of severed heads in his basement... (roll eyes here). Plus, he really overstayed his welcome so needless to say I was done with him and really didn't want him to fix my machine anymore anyway! I swear, he just went on and on about god knows what (I can't remember) and I was dishing up dinner and it just sat there on the table going cold screaming so obviously that it was time for sewing machine service men to bugger off so we could eat!
Anyway, I inherited this one from my Nan when she passed away, and it has worked fabulously, until recently.
So, screw you sewing machine. I'm going to knit instead!

This was from a pattern I bought off Illusion Yarns and this was my practise attempt. There are a few mistakes and I have no idea if I did it all right to the pattern, as I am a beginner, but I was still pretty proud of my efforts and am looking forward to making some more with the wool I bought in the next photo.

This wool is so soft and lovely to knit with. I just need to find a shop that sells the right sized needles. I have been into 3 different shops so far and no such luck. Oh well, I'm sure I'll find some soon.

Anyway, I'm off to do some crafty stuff and house-wifey stuff. (Cleaning.) I've got a new special limited edition print coming veeeerrrry soon, and I have completed some new necklace designs but am waiting until my new lightbox is finished before I upload them into the shop. That's on the list for this weekend. Also!! We are probably going to get some chickens!! I can't wait. Jimmy has been fixing the chicken coup that's here on the property and it's all ready to go.

Have a fab weekend everyone. I am praying for some sunshine. It has been cold and wet here ALL week. It's time for some sun!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tassie Snaps!

The holiday was awesome! I have good memories of that southern cold state we call Tasmania.
So I have some happy snaps for you! And unfortunately, some sad ones too about the destruction human beings have caused.

So, straight off the boat and into country, I was enthralled at the scenery. We drove for a little while to get to our first destination, and probably my favourite out of the whole trip, Cradle Mountain. And snow! We got to see snow, which I haven't seen in years. Jimmy was happy to see snow also, but in a typical boy kinda way he just wanted to throw snowballs at me and.. ahem.. write his name in the snow if you know what I mean. Males.
Anyway, I was literally crying with laughter at the sight of some dead snowmen on the side of the road. Jimmy decided to do some medical work on one and brought him back to life... crisis averted!!

Well done, doctor Jim.

This is another guy we came across. Ha ha ha! He's looking a bit sad... maybe coz he's so cold?

So this is me here at our cabin when we got to Cradle Mountain. Baby bump alert! This is me at 25 weeks.

This little guy, who apparently is called a Pandemelon was hanging out just outside our cabin. Very cute. We got to see a bit of wildlife, though we did see a lot of roadkill which is sad. Drive slower people! And avoid driving between dusk and dawn if you can!

So here is a pic of "The Enchanted Walk" which was right near our cabin. The scenery was magical, really. If we had our daughter with us already I would have been telling her that fairies definitely live here!

This is Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain. Such a beautiful area. We decided to go on walk that was described as "An easy walk around the lake suitable for all ages"...

...Except that is, for when it's snowing. But they don't tell you that, do they??? The boardwalk was covered in ice and snow and was extreeeeemely slippery!!! We had to walk at a snails pace shuffling along with extra precaution than normal due to me being pregnant and therefore having extra reason for not wanting to fall over. I was absolutely exhausted by the end and could hardly walk. I was tired and all emotional that I was exerting myself too much in my fragile state. God it was hard. "An easy walk around the lake suitable for all ages." Yeah... right!!! Are you picking up my sarcasm here!!?? My legs were sore for the next three days, even though I consider myself to be a relatively fit person. So, for the next three days, I swear to you, I was walking around like I had wooden legs.

But we still enjoyed parts of the walk! (This was before I absolutely fell apart!)

So then we left Cradle Mountain, and made the long journey down to Maydena (West of Hobart) seeing some sights along the way. This was a gorgeous lake we happened to find when Jimmy found a little dirt track and decided to drive down it.

This next shot is of Queenstown. Unfortunately, old mining practices devastated this area which was once filled with forests. The hills surrounding the town are completely dead and bare which is morbidly fascinating to see, and so sad at the same time to see what destruction humans are actually capable of doing. I read in a brochure that the locals like their "freak show" hills as a tourist attraction and want to stop the "greenies" from protecting the regenerative growth. I say that it is devastating enough to see the destruction done so far and am completely bewildered that people actually want to stop mother nature from doing her thing and letting it regenerate. I'm sure it would take hundreds of years to do so, but surely, wouldn't you want to let it start to regrow?? I say, if you want to see scenery like this, take a trip to Mongolia and let nature try to start fixing up what humans have ruined through stupidity.

Here's another beautiful view we saw along the way:

So I've ended one rant (about Queenstown) and now I begin another. We entered Maydena late one day which is a very small town on the edge of The Styx Valley of the Giants. (This was a cute photo opportunity that I took advantage of in the town.)

The next day we had a look around at some old growth forests.
Tourism and Forestry Tasmania don't publicize this area of Tassie, as they are logging it at the rate of approx 15,000 hectares per year. You can find info about this at The Wilderness Society along with some maps and guides. We managed to pick up a more current guide at one of the local shops in Maydena. The place has not been commercialised for tourism, so some of the tracks are hard to find and awkward to navigate, but that is because the good people at The Wilderness Society are the only ones who are seeking out the beautiful areas to see. (And pro-loggers keep removing their markers to help you find the tracks.) There is however a good walking track at "The Big Tree" which you can see Jimmy standing against in the next pic. The tree was so big at the base I found it hard to fit into the frame. I highly recommend visiting The Styx to see again an example what we humans are doing to some extraordinary natural wonders. Some of the trees are just massive, and the scenery, including huge tree ferns, luscious mosses and many other plants and animals makes this a fascinating and memorable place to visit.
Here's a direct link to some more info on Tassie's forests.

And here's evidence of what they're doing. We had to walk past a locked gate to get to this area. You can see some of the scope of what is happening (with little Jimmy standing there) but it's hard to capture on film and what we saw was just a snippet of what's going on all over the place in this area.

I've got so many more photos and stories of our trip, but I think that'll do it, I think I've already gone overboard! We just crammed so much into a week and I really loved it. I'll finish off with a daggy photo of me being granny-like on the balcony of a cabin we stayed in.

Hope you enjoyed my holiday snaps and stories. Now I'm going to go and read on The Wilderness Society's website if there's anything I can do to help stop the forest destruction. Feel free to join me & enjoy the rest of your week... :)