Saturday, 25 September 2010

Missy's Garden: Gardening - a Game

These are 2 of the six little candle houses I made for the coming art and craft show. They have not been fired (cooked) yet. The lovely terracotta red color will show up after they are fired.
This is one of the larger lanterns I made. I like the rustic roughness of it and the weird style. It is meant for outdoor use around a BBQ or in the garden. This one has been fired so you can see the final color of the clay. I like to make all the stuff I do individual one of pieces.

Missy's Garden: Gardening - a Game
G'Day , Anybody, whoever, is anybody out there.
Today when I went to my blog I found a comment from Missy, I added her link above. She, or her Mum, have invited me to join in a game.
Well, I had some bad news last night and am a bit grumpy. Maybe that is not quite right I am very put out and feeling down about having to move ...AGAIN!
We have received notification that the owners of the house we have been renting want it back. They have been overseas for a year. Yeah yeah I know it is their house, but it is so inconvenient at the moment. You see I am trying to save to go up to Queensland for my sister's wedding in about 6 weeks time and thought I was doing quite well. I have paid for the accommodation and the plane fares for the whole family and what I can save between then and now was to be spending money. Last nights news absolutely blew my plans out of the water as we have to move in 1 months time. I am going backwards again. We have to find money to move and pay a bond as well as find another house in the next week or so. Arrrrgh. I hate this.
Anyway, back to this game.
Let me do the Pollyanna thing here for a moment and say joining in the game is just what I need to make me look at things in a different light. Thank You for that Missy.
The game requests that I write a list of ten things that I love doing.
Well here goes, let me try.
1. I love playing with clay. I did a bit of that today as I am preparing things to go in an art and craft show. The first one I have gone in since moving to Canberra 2 and a half years ago. I might give me a bit extra cash for Queensland, or....the new house. If my things sell that is. I have so far made 6 little candle houses, 6 small bowls and 9 smaller bowls all decorated with colored liquid clay called slip. Also 5 larger candle lanterns and a rectangular platter that I still have to decorate when it is dry enough.There are a few other odds and bods I can put in too. I have been potting since my eldest son was a baby and he is 28 now. I find lots of reasons I love my clay. Hmm must write more about that in another post.

2. Like Missy's mum I love observing our beautiful Australian wildlife. Canberra has lots of wonderful birds because of the nice urban planning which has left lots of green areas and bush in and around the suburbs. I have magpies and king parrots, sulfur crested cockatoos, Gang gangs, top knot pigeons, pee wees, wattle birds, rosellas, white winged choughs, currawongs, crows, and others I don't know the names of that visit my garden. Arrrgh their garden, not mine. I love them all. The magpies though, they are wonderful, they eat out of my hand and sit on the roof of the BBQ shelter or on the railing by the front door, and warble to me when they want to be fed. We used to have a large blue tongue lizard that shared our yard and the yard behind us but he is sadly no longer, it got run over. I loved to watch it sneak in and out of the rock garden out the front. There is also a snarly brush tail possum that frequents the big oak tree out the side of the house on the nature strip.

3. I love to spend time with my husband and son Mike who live with me. I don't see enough of my other two children they live in another town and are making their own lives but what time I do get to share with them is precious. I am so proud of my three children's achievements. They might not seem so fantastic to others in their achievements, they are not doctors or lawyers or Indian chiefs, but to me they are. I sometimes talk to them on face book. Which leads me to the next number...
4. I love to waste time on this here computer. I must confess that it is my most common form of entertainment these days. I would rather peek into others real lives , or that which they choose to share with me via their blogs and face book than watch anything television. Some of the people I have come to know in here are very special and at times I have leaned on some of them with things that are easier to write than say face to face. When I tire of that I move on to some of the silly games that I have found on face book. Big time wasters but I enjoy them. They are for me my way of vegging out and switching off. I need to do that.

5. I like creating. Whether it be with clay or plants or food or words or sometimes fabric. I have always done that for as long as I can remember. Always had to be making something. I find it very very satisfying to sit quietly and do things like that, maybe it is another way of vegging out or sometimes being able to save money. On Wednesday night I made a lovely batch of strawberry jam. It will last me for ages and was much cheaper than the shop bought produce for the same quantity, it tastes better and has no preservatives in it. But like Missy's mum said in her post , I like to tweak things and not follow the pattern or the recipe, or better still make up my own, it is more fun that way.

6. I enjoy watching people. Imagining who they are, what they do, what is their story, or making up a story about them using my imagination. I love when it runs riot.

7. I love tradition. I have a whole family full of it. I like to sticky beak back through my family tradition memories and bring them out and dust them off and link them together and to me. I wonder when I do, which parts of me came from whom. Who am I like ,what were they like, what made them them, and what makes me , me. I have silly sentimental bits and pieces that I have kept that link me to them. Amongst them books, crockery, photographs, even plants. I have a collection of plants that remind me of the people who gave them to me and I keep them alive even though their original owner is sometimes long gone.

8. I like driving. Big long country drives, the journey and what is seen along the way is more important than the destination. I listen to my old music along the way because it is not popular with the kids if they are with me, and I sing along. I find though that I sound much better if I turn the sound up loud and drown myself out. I used to sound OK when I was younger, but not any more. Haha.

9. Music. I like or can tolerate most styles. I do like my old stuff best though. I can listen to anything from pop music to rock to jazz and blues or folk or classical. I won't quote what I prefer not to listen to here as it is supposed to be about stuff I like doing. I often take my i pod to work with me and listen to it and bop around if nobody is in the building and they have all gone home.

10. I like my hair, I have grown it long now. But it has always been thick and strong. Of all the bits that are me I think I like my hair the best. It is always a bit messy, and gray around the edges, but hey, so what, that is me. Just me.

So, if you would like to join in the game please do. If you click on the link below the heading to this post it will take you to Missy's blog, you can read others or find out more about it than my skills have described here. Enjoy. I am not going to send this meme to anyone, but request you join in the game if it tickles your fancy, like it did mine.
Love Linda.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Sunday scriblings "Clean"

It is Sunday Scribblings time again. The prompt this week is clean.
I am clean and unclean.
I work as a cleaner but my home is not as clean as those which I clean.
My mind , well it could use a clean, a freshening and a renewal of old ideas, exchanged for new knowledge. A clean to wash away old fears, new fears, to give new courage, to step up and out.
Anyway, the first picture here is of my new friend, Gary Gnome. He came from Floriade which is a festival of flowers and gardening held each spring here in Canberra. I stood up at the children's table and painted him myself. I make my own friends,and he only cost me $12. Haha. Big kid. Then I proceeded to carry Gary around the park with me. In the first picture he is standing on the railing of the bridge over Lake Burley Griffin. On the right side behind him that big building is the High court of Australia. On the other side of him in the back ground is the Russel offices, that is a military admin area. High security etc. A bit further to the left again of that is one of the little schools that I work at in the suburb of Campbell. The lake is a man made lake , made from the damming of the Molongolo river. The white thing sticking up behind Gary in the distance is the Carillon.
This spring (and late winter) has seen Canberra receive lovely, life giving , cleansing rain and we have a wonderful water storage level of 78%. This time last year, going into the warmer time of the year it was still well below 50%. Great stuff after a drought. We are now on level 2 water restrictions, down from level 3, which means we are allowed to water our lawns and wash our cars at home instead of having to pay to have it done with recycled water at a car wash place. For this month at least.
Gary was looking for a place to shelter but he didn't have mush room. Sick pun, yep I know. But it is a clean joke. I do love a joke, clean or dirty.
Gary, tiptoeing through the Tulips in a fresh, clean, floriade garden bed.
Honey bee on rosemary in my garden. In Australia we are lucky to be one of the places where honey bees have not been affected and killed off by a viral disease that has damaged them in other places around the world. Farmers here are trying to protect their bees from this disease by keeping exports from other countries that have been affected , out of this country. Keep our industry clean....pleazzzzzze.
The fresh clean bloom on one of the camellia bushes around my yard at the moment.
Beautiful Red camellia. Herald of springtime, the cleansing and renewal of the earth.
Today I had a conversation with my neighbor about peoples perception and judgment of each other based on their income level, education level, job status, clothes, physical looks, you know...... all the sort of stuff we do to each other to categorize the people we meet each day and are in contact with. Yes we might try to pretend we are better than that, but we do all do that. She was of the mind that we should find new words to descibe our job status to improve our image. My idea was that if people find me of a lower status and standing than they are, then they would most probably not be the kind of people I want to associate with anyway. She, like me, worked as a house cleaner before her retirement. She laughingly suggested that I be called a domestic management specialist or a fairy godmother. Cute. She also said that instead of saying my husband was a screw, which is a nick name for a prison officer, he should be introduced as a correctional officer.
I don't know, I still reckon if they want to place us in a level below themselves, that I don't think they are the kind of people that I want to be with, let along try to impress. Some people are so pathetic, in their need to feel better than you, I really couldn't be bothered.
I can see beyond the outside and choose not to judge until I get to know a person better. Or is that being judgmental in a different way? Hahaha.
Back to that first picture for a moment, and to an attempt to sum up. Lake Burley Griffin is a strange lake. It has moods. It changes color from day to day. From light to dark gray, to almost black, to muddy brown,to that lovely dark blue you can see behind Gary last sunday, from choppy to mirror smooth. Like people and their moods. Not just a reflection of the sky or the weather, but moods of their own, influenced but not determined by their surroundings.
That's all Folks.
Love Linda.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Ah Spring! Floriade 2010 and Friday Fertilizer prompt.

I haven't been in my blog for a while. I just wanted to record for posterity some of the pics I have taken recently and said I would post on here, so here tis'.
This is also my entry into the "Friday Fertilizer , flaunt your flowers" prompt run by blogging gardener 'Tootsie Time". You can find a link to her blog and the other participants on my side bar. Click on the picture to get there.
It is spring time here in my part of the world and things are looking up. We have water, rain, lots of it Ya Hoo!. It is warming up and sunny most days, with bits of rain in between to succor the earth. The days are getting longer, slowly and I am no longer doing most of my afternoon shift in the darkness. AND...... there are flowers again. Beautiful lovely wonderful flowers.
Anyway.... the photos. The first one above is from a trip I went to Sydney about a month or so ago to meet up with my sister and Mum. It is taken from the window at the Watson's bay pub where we sat to watch the sunset. Pretty huh. Sydney harbor is surely one of the nicest harbors there is. That flouro sign you can see is to Doyle's seafood restaurant, a famous Sydney icon. This is the original one but they have opened another at Darling harbor in the city.
This photo is taken at Dixon street mall in Sydney . It is in china town. This man was on stilts and covered in a skirt of fake flowers, he was collecting money for the church in Korea of some such from what I could decipher from his halting English. I thought Hmmm, well that's o.k, even if the money does not end up there I understand. That is my Mum covered in flowers. She is 88 now, soon to be 89 in November. Not too shabby for her age eh. The fat one with the big nose is me. Hahaha.
O.K. The rest of these pictures are taken at Floriade, here in Canberra. Floriade started last Saturday and runs for a month. It is an annual event to showcase gardening and flowers that attracts a lot of visitors from all over Australia. They have displays and demonstrations and talks,and freebie concerts but most of all they have Tulips and spring flowers, millions of them.
The man doing the street theatre is juggling a couple of very large sharp knives with that fiery baton.He chose my husband Pete to assist him, it was a great laugh. Pete and another guy had to pull out the cans that he had that platform on before he balanced on the table. He was a Koorie man from The Alice, going by the stage name of Dusty Boots.
Beautiful rhododendron in the park, flowering at the exact, appropriate time to be admired by the floriade crowds. This plant would have to be the most photographed flower in Canberra at the moment, people were everywhere capturing it's beauty.
Meet some locals from Lake Burley Griffin. Grazing from the fresh spring grass beside the lake. Our beautiful black swans. They are native to Western Australia but these guys are part of quite a few who live here all year round and are accustomed to the two legged big critters, who frequent the park here.
What show would be complete without a petting zoo and little two legged critters to interact with them. This very young baby goat was absolutely exhausted and as with all very young things slept through all the excitement. Lots of children were patting him/her and he didn't take a bit of notice. So cute. I loved watching the children's faces as they interacted with the animals.
These fiberglass Zebras were part of the floriade display. They were done by a local artist, the herd was originally placed as sculptures out on the plains of Lake George which lies between Canberra and Goulburn. Some vandals decided to deface them and smash them up so the remaining Zebras where removed. Nice people to do such things and a very sad reflection on their type to behave in such a way.
This is part of the display of flowers at the back of the stage. As you can see there are many more flowers yet to open. They have to last a month.
Taken from the top end of Floriade near the display tents. This is one of the main beds. That blow up thing is a big paint brush.
The next lot of pics are of work done by fashion students making dresses solely from plants and flowers. These are just a few of the mannequins on display.

The mermaid above looks a bit aggressive, pity mannequins can't smile.
I think this one (below) is my favorite.

These next pics are inside the tent dominated by the orchid society. I loved the way the big display was done . It has green willow branches woven around the roof of the tent and flowers woven through them and rising up and across from the two main displays at each side of the stage.
This display of orchids was the center piece in the tent. Spectacular. You can see a bit more of the woven willow at the top of the tent here.

Some rarer specimens. Don't ask me their names.
And last but not least, a pure pristine white orchid.
That's all for this post.
Love Linda.