Friday, 31 August 2007

Museum Day, last day of winter

Today I spent the whole day doing stuff to get ready for the museum day tomorrow. Most of the morning was spent here at the puter doing headings and making information sheets to put on the notice board. ( I am a slow coach) I got some great, bright sheets of cardboard to set them up on. A bright hot pink, blue and orange. I filled up the rest of the board with photos of some pots our members made.
I went down to the museum about 3.30 to set up and we moved tables and arranged wheels and where the raku kiln would go, then I set up the notice board. It is coming together well. Now we just need customers and a nice sunny day for tomorrow, the first day of spring. I measured up 3 glazes to use, a white crackle, a glossy yellow and a turquoise blue. Sharon is bringing the copper penny and another glaze. I also took down the tools, moulds and bits and pieces to have for the come and try table. My little car was full. Good little work horse.
I got some repairs to my car done last week. I didn't get back to the garage to pay the bill yet so I don't know how much it cost.
Annie has Glandular fever. She went to the Doctor to get the blood test results and they said that she has had it for years and that the only symptoms she had probably had were tiredness up until now. She has always been a good sleeper so I never took any notice. Her brothers both got it in their teens , she most likely had it bubbling away in the background since then. It reacts with antibiotics so the tablets she had for an infection after the flu probably stirred it up. She has had the occasional sore throat but nothing very much to bother about until now. Not even bad enough to go to the Dr's for. She must have a neglectful mummy, not knowing she had it.
My great nephew died last Thursday and was buried this Thursday in Brisbane. I didn't know him well but I was close to his mum as she is just a few years younger than me. He got the flu and as he was H.I.V. positive it caused a lot of damage and his heart gave out. What a waste of a life. Though I believe homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice but is an inborn trait. Sad. Bye Tony....
Last night I went to my second stained glass lesson. A guy in town here does them and one of the nursies (Rose) from work asked me if I would like to go. I am working on a trial beginners piece that combines the two techniques of copper foiling and lead lighting. It is a panel with a flower. I chose bubbly glass purple petals and a clear bubbly glass center with green bubbly glass leaves. I am about a 1/3rd of the way through grinding the pieces to made them fit together. I am enjoying doing something new, but I don't really know what I am doing yet. The other people in the group seem good fun. It does not look like a cheap hobby to try though. I will have to explore patterns to decide what I would like to make next.
One of our old potter's club members, Betty, gave me a little box of beautiful antique glass samples and told me she knew I would use them for something and not waste them, so I hope I can learn to make something from them at the lesson, in her memory. She died just a few weeks ago. She was in her early 90's and very stubborn and determined to stay independent, yet she was at the stage where she needed to go in to care and was horrified at the thought. So she was ready to die rather than give in. She was a nurse too and knew what she wanted for her self. Love Ya Bette.
Bye Love Linda.


OOP's How do I make this go away!

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Last weekend I ran away from home. Mum, Annie, and I went to the coast. Bateman's Bay is the closest place to here, about 5 hrs drive. We stayed just north of the town at South Durras, it was beautiful. These birdies are the gregarious little rainbow lorikeets that abound all along the coast. They know how to get a few tidbits from the humans and are not shy in doing so. These little guys come right up and eat out of your hand even though they are wild birds.
I think this is some type of orchid. It was growing in Murramarang national park. Probably 2cm across in size.
This is at the beach south of the bay. Name starts with a T, um um! Anyway, one of the prettiest spots and my favorite, very protected with gentle waves and shallow water. Great for little kids and wimps like me. You can just see an egret standing in the water fishing. I didn't know they went in salt water.
Some rocks on the southern end of the beach. I have looked at these rocks each time I have gone here and marveled over the colours and patterns in them. I am trying to work out how I can get a glaze to do this.
These rocks, same place. They have been lifted up and turned on their sides, aren't they great! These quartz type rocks were lining the walls and ceiling of a sea cave in the cliff and were also in great swirly patterns. I reckon glaze on glaze in stripes, on a thrown plate with a wide rim?

This was outside our cabin in sth Durras, in the tree are a pair of King Parrots. They aren't as common as the other parrots but are bigger and very pretty. The cabin was in Lakesea Park which is an eco tourism place set between the lake and the ocean. The males have a bright red breast and green back, the females have more green on their breast and less red.
This is a crow. Notice he has blue eyes and no white bits. He cleaned up after the rainbow parrots. The other birds don't like these guys and chase them away even though they are bigger.
This cheeky brush tail possum shared our B.B.Q. and once the lights were turned out got quite game, even nibbling my toes. He went mad over my blue berries and date scones. There was 2 of them and they were fighting for food or territory.
This is a flower from an Illawarra Flame Tree.
Pelicans. Lake Durras is supposed to have the cleanest water on the coast. When the sun wasn't reflecting off the water you could see through it to the bottom and see fish swimming around.
Banksia Flower. There are lots of different types of banksia this is wild one not interfeared with by nursery men who like to play around with them.They are close cousins of Proteas from africa. The banksia not the nursery men.
Durras beach, big and wild and look at the sand, a minimum of footprints.
Big cuttlefish bones we found to take home for our cockies. There were heaps of these, too many for me to collect. The biggest one I got was 15 inches long.
What a handsome fellow. Another rainbow lorikeet.
This is a Currawong. Also known around here as a mountain magpie.
Here are 2 magpies. Their name shortened to Maggies. These are very interesting birds. Their white and black markings differ for individual familys and areas. They are quite territorial and when they sing and warble it is beautiful but it is to scare you out of their territory. They can become quite tame if you give them food and water and won't dive bomb you when they are nesting. When they do dive bomb you they scare the hell out of you and can become very dangerous. They are known to recognize different people and single them out to bomb. They go for your head and eyes if you enter their territory. I carry a stick and hold it higher than my head if I know they are nesting because they hit the stick before they hit you. Some people carry umbrellas or wear their sunglasses on the back of their heads as they swoop from behind and won't do it if they think you are watching them. I have also heard that people wear ice cream buckets with eyes drawn on the top of their heads. A lot of them are shot in breeding season which is sad because they are only trying to protect their babies and they only dive bomb for a few weeks of the year. They have been known to scare people causing them to fall off push bikes and last year an old man died from a wound to the eye that became infected after one of them attacked him. As they are omnivores they are very successful at adapting to urban areas. They do lots of fun things though. They do a dance with their claws scratching the ground that mimics rain, so worms come to the surface and they can grab them and eat them. You can see them doing this in open grassy lawn areas. They are also good scavengers and can be kept as pets and taught to sing and talk. During summer Pete puts water out for them in the afternoons and they sit near by and watch and wait for him.
Spring is here. The almond trees across the road from my house are in flower.
Closer pic of the almond flowers.
These plants are called Burrawangs. They are cycads and grow all through the bush along the south coast. These ones were about half way down the clyde mountain.
More Burrawangs. This picture was taken in Murramarang national park. The bush here is absolutely drop dead gorgeous. "Natures Garden" that no human gardener could ever copy, try as they might. I read that they are very slow growing and if you see one that is 2 meters tall it is probably a hundred years old. I was surprised to find that the trees in some of this area showed no fire marks on them. I drove my little car down a bush track and found this spot to go for a walk in the bush. When we got near the beach it was a nudist beach. No wonder it was tucked away in the bush so nicely. Ha Ha. It was almost deserted. It was a quick visit.
I couldn't resist doing this. Especially for my blog.
Bye Love Linda.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Australis robustus clayii Some pics.

Here are some pictures to share.

This is a picture my daughter Annie did with charcoal the other day. I thought it was pretty good.These are the chooks I made this afternoon.
This is our newest family member. He is Charlie and is about 5 mths old now. He entertains us all with his constant chatter, except for when he copies the phone ringing and drives us all batty. He is very interactive.
Pete and his favourite post work pastime.
Rufus, MY BLANKIE! He stole this old rug off the lounge one day and adopted it. He uses it all the time to cuddle up and sleep on.

I recently spent time repairing and renovating this dog. He is very old and brittle. Made of plaster, I got it at an auction about 15 yrs ago, he sits in my living area.
These are 2 of my silkie hens. The one at the front is the wrong colour, her comb should be black, not red and have blue bits at the sides, and has a extra big top knot. When it rains her top knot falls over and she looks really funny, like she is having a bad hair day. The silkies are quite old now and don't lay many eggs.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, very spring like. I had the day off and I was pottering around my garden, amongst other things, enjoying myself I was thinking about plant names and how they come about. Then my abstract old brain ran on to people names, so, I thought what if I had a plant name. I decided that I should be "Australis robustus clayii." Lol. Yeah I know I am weird.
I fired the old kiln with a load of bisque, raku clay pots for the event at the museum. A few of them were someone else's work so I was careful, everything looked alright when I opened it up this afternoon. A friend's grandson, Josh made a couple of chooks for the raku firing we will be having there and I thought they were cute so I made a few of my own this afternoon, just for fun.
Pete's sister and her husband came for afternoon tea yesterday afternoon, it was the first time she had got on a bike again after loosing her first husband in a bike accident several years ago. They have just bought a new black Harley, nice to look at and quite the status symbol etc. They can have it. I have always been scared of bikes. I have never been on one and never intend to. I actually had a ride in my uncle's sidecar when I was a teenager, but it had more than 2 wheels, so that doesn't really count. He did a lot of talking to get me in it though. He took me down the main st of Wagga and every time we turned a corner he took great delight in lifting the side car up into the air and making me squeal. It was great fun though. My uncle Wal has always been a character, still is. At the age of 82 he still goes for a daily walk of 4km (sometimes more) along the side of the road, he still drives his camper van everywhere and goes camping down the river often and is as brown and tanned as ever. He never learned to read but he can build or fix just about anything. He and his wife have been together since they were both 13yrs old and couldn't have children so they always have little dogs they take everywhere with them who have all been named Tiny. Yep! my mind has wandered off again on a tangent.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Kiln, python, spring.

Today Pete & I went to Henty which is about 3/4 of an hour drive from here and 4 towns away, on the other side of Wagga. I bought a second hand kiln from a man there who was selling his deceased wives pottery things. Anyway, the kiln is a gas port-a-kiln (metal casing, fibre lined) and a bit bigger and better than the one I have now. It has a bit of rust in it and needs some minor repairs after transport but it should come up o.k. and make my potting an easier process as I shouldn't need to cart things into Wagga to S.W. glaze them any more if all goes well with this one. I have made a space in my shed which fits it nicely, I just need to find another place to put my compost bins on the other side of the wall so the gas bottle can go there. I also need to get some tubing for the chimney and pay someone to connect it all up for me. I The kiln cost me $300 but it had quite a bit of kiln furniture and a computemp that came with it and if I had to buy those alone they would have cost more than $300 easily, so I reckon I got a good deal.
We dropped Annie off to visit with her new interest, Michael who lives in Wagga, on our way to Henty. When we went back to pick her up we went inside to meet his new pet. He has a large carpet snake in a case in his lounge room that Annie was eager to show us. Probably to see if we would freak out. Lol. Anyway he is quite nice, his name is George and he is about 8 ft long and probably has a diameter of 5 inches so he is pretty big. I, not to be beaten, got brave and patted him. I have never touched a snake in my life! It felt just like firm skin not too cold like I expected, and nice to touch. He checked me out too and was watching me, but I wasn't that game that I let him get on me when he reached out towards me. They feed him Guinea Pigs, fortnightly.
While we were away there was a hail storm here. There was not a drop where we were. When we drove home the road was wet from near Harefield back to here. It said in the rural newspaper this morning that the crops the local farmers have planted will fail if they don't get medium to heavy rain in the next few weeks. Here's hoping that this is the first of more rain. It also said in the paper this week that this winter we have had less rain than last year for the same period. Pretty stupid when there has been so much flooding along the coastal areas of this state in the last few months.
Spring is showing her promise of coming soon. The pretty wild almond trees across the road are beginning to flower, my old purple Irises have their first flowers, the apricot has some nice fat buds forming, the daffodils are out, the Daphne is in flower and smells wonderful and the perennial wall flower buds are just starting to open. My chookies are laying me one or two eggs a day. Just a few short weeks ago it was dark by the time I left work @ 6, now it is becoming lighter and is twilight. It won't be long till longer days are here again and I have time to enjoy a few hours of daylight after work.
All is shaping up well for the Museum Pottery day on 1st September, just a short time away and the first day of spring. I bought 6 bags of clay today for the demonstration and come & try table. I hope it's enough. When we went into the shop we couldn't get a park nearby as the trailer was on the car so Pete parked illegally out the front, I reckon he was sneaky and trying to make Annie and I hurry out of the shop, as visits with Annie & I to such places are a bit risky expense wise. Lol.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Feeling positive,

The Potter's club meeting was yesterday, I had a good day with quite a good lot of sales. Best of all I got 2 letters from the P.O. box saying that my application to Wagga City Council was successful for both grants. One grant was to attend a workshop in Fitzroy Falls in Feb 08 with Neil Boughton who does great raku lustres. They actually gave me more money than I applied for and I don't know why, so I have to check before we use it. If it is right I will use the extra money to pay the deposit on the accommodation I have booked. I was unsure if they would approve this one as the event is not held in Wagga. The other grant was to sand and reseal the gallery floors and was quite a bit of money, so I was excited to get that awarded too.
I got an email off Marion who was a good friend and potter's club member who moved away. G'day Marion it was great to hear from you. It sounds lovely where you are surrounded by bush and waking up to kangaroos and birds on your front lawn in the mornings. I have a vacancy for the workshop in Feb if you are interested. We would love to have you and it is not too far from you. Neils glazes would suit your work. You have too much talent to let your pottery slide.
Also following the meeting yesterday I am feeling more positive about the museum day in Junee on 1st September as it sounds as though we should get a good roll up of members to attend. I was a bit worried about numbers at one stage. First day of spring.
I trimmed up the camellia out the front the other day. It did not have a bud on it and it should be in flower now. I don't know if that is from my neglect of because of the drought and a very harsh previous season but it always flowers every year. The pruning will do it good though.
Nan and Michael are still in Grafton. They were laughing on the phone to me as it seems the baby, Ivory has taken a liking to Michael and won't leave him alone. Mum says it is funny because it is almost like she is flirting with him. She has taken to squealing at him if he doesn't watch her and give her his full attention. It is funny how little kids take to him. His friends children like him too and I know he loves that. He would be enjoying Ivory's attention. My cousins little boy follows him around and talks to him like a little old man when he sees him too. My cousins son has lost his grandfather and misses him terribly so I guess Mike is a male substitute, but we don't get to see them often enough. It seems that as we age we see less of one another. Get involved with our own little lives or whatever. Tyranny of distance etc. That's all as I am missing the show I have been following on S.B.S. on Sunday nights about a lawyer in the outback of W.A. Bye.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Boring, Boring, eating chockie bikkies. Garden,

It is boring here. I am sitting eating all the chockie chip biscuits I am not supposed to eat, out of boredom, they taste goooooood. Just going to work and coming home again to sleep. I had an annoying roster this month. Lots of days split up, so there was only a one or two day break here and there off between them.
I had x'rays done last week on my sternum and clavicle. I went off the anti inflammatories because my stomach was starting to get upset with them so the aches and pains are back. It really annoys me in bed and wakes me up often during the night. I go to the doctors next Wednesday to get results. Sternums are difficult to x'ray and it took them about 3/4 of an hour and lots of photos to get it right. I wonder how many rads I got from that? Whinge, Whinge.
Dave was here for tea last night and I did not want to cook so we went to the Commercial hotel and had tea there. He bought his dog Ruby with him to play with Rufus. She is a black Staffordshire terrier and about 3 times Rufus's size. Anyway after cleaning out the cats bowls and terrorizing her, Ruby decided it would be nice to have a wrestling match, -on my lounge-, at which point both doggies were firmly thrown outside. David came back and said "What! you threw my dog outside!" Uh Huh! We have never had a dog before Rufus that came inside the house much. Just remind me why that was please. Ruby makes Rufus look like an angel. But David loves her. Love Me Love My Dog. She is a funny dog though and when Dave says her name she answers him back by saying woo woo woo woo! Like she is giving him a mouthful of cheek in return.
I got a pretty dark pink double Marguerite daisy and some miniature cyclamens yesterday to try under the big cratageous tree out the back. The daisy will do fine but the cyclamen are an experiment. I guess I will have to wait until next winter to see if they pop back up again.
Yesterday was quite a nice sunny day here and I spent most of the morning outside doing a bit of maintenance in my garden. I put some more gypsum and dolomite around and did some cutting back and weeding. I have now finished rose pruning. I really slaughtered the miniature roses this year, they should come back strong next season. They always do.
I have left the box of pottery tools in the middle of the room so I can make more bits and pieces as everything will be in reach. I made 2 magic lanterns that I am pleased with, out of Raku clay. We have 3 firings planned in the next few months. Other bits and pieces were 3 slab vases in weird shapes and about half a dozen slab plates with the rose patterned tile pressed in the middle of them. Should be good. The monthly potter's club meeting is on tomorrow, I need to get on to organizing details of the museum day on 1st September, it is only a month away.