Weekly Photography Challenge: Motion

Another week, another Photography Challenge – and this time the theme is “Motion”, the aim being to capture an image of something or someone on the move.IMG_4478 (Large)

This shot wasn’t meant to be of a kangaroo in motion, but he decided at the last moment that he didn’t like the look of me after all…

On Saturday, we celebrated my youngest son’s 24th birthday with the launching of a ‘space capsule’ via helium filled balloons, followed by a bonfire which included the remains of some old, unusable furniture. I couldn’t resist a shot of Alex, his mate and his Dad trooping down to the paddock with their balloons ready for take-off. They attached a message to the capsule – a la message-in-a-bottle – in hopes that someone will find it and and let them know.

After the fierce and fast-moving grass fire that narrowly missed our township (thanks to firefighters on land and in the air) in January, we are particularly keen to clean up potential fuel from around the garden now that we can safely burn it.A fire in action is always a compelling photo opportunity, but seeing a soggy old mattress blazing fiercely is a sobering reminder to be careful of flame in the home…

Friday Poem: Your Face

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It’s actually raining at this very moment, and has been for a while, which is wonderful for our garden and for the water tanks of many people around here. Maybe I should have had a poem about rain for today’s post, but I don’t…

Your face
is my face
And the flowers on the altar
Last forever
While the smoke rises
Rises curls and vanishes
Lost in the fragrant clouds
The ageless flowers
Lost in your ageless face.

The poem, being a bit mysterious gives me an excuse to share some equally numinous and enigmatic photos.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Early Bird

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Well, this week sees a big challenge – be an early bird, in search of , not worms but interesting early morning pictures. Luckily for me, I’m in the southern hemishere, so dawn is getting later every day, not earlier…it’s also getting very chilly first thing, but not quite chilly enough to want to light the fire.

Morgen was keen to get into a warm spot on my bed, as I prepared to go out into the chilly garden and look for photogenic early morning rays of sunshine. The glory vine is in full autumn colour, revealing just how much it has invaded the nearby photinia tree. I’ve trimmed the cotoneaster hedge since then – nothing like a view through a lens for showing up a task that needs doing…Look at the dust on the bunting (or don’t, preferably…)

Creativity: Escape XX

Post number twenty of my altered book “Escape” – there are not many more pages to go now…

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The text here is obscured with stickers of my art work, plus free-hand painting and stamps. The hand and heart art work was meant for a Christmas card design, but I wasn’t really happy with it for the card, and used something else. I bought the rusty heart cut-out somewhere, and added a copper washer on top with an enameled heart from a piece of jewelry inside it. The pixie is a drawing I did of Kurt Cobain, years ago, in response/reaction to my husband accusing me (incorrectly) of “drawing Kurt Cobain with butterfly wings all the time”. I did draw Kurt, and I did draw figures with wings, but this was the first (and only) time I combined them. The wings belong to the Monarch butterfly.

The original pencil drawing was photocopied, and the copy coloured with Derwent pencils, after which it was copied again. I had it printed on a tee shirt, at a time when that meant going to a place in Ballarat to have it done. Now anyone with a PC, a printer and an iron can do their own. Technology isn’t all bad! I’ve drawn over the version printed in here with a fine-tip pen, and painted over it a little to blend it into the page. Originally the dictionary definition was hand-lettered above the image, but this smaller version has the definition cut from an old dictionary – evidently an old one, because “pixilated” now means something else entirely… The word ‘explore” has been added in commercial and hand-carved stamps as well as hand-written. escape 57

The following page features a loose watercolour painting – a sort-of self-portrait (I used to have brightly multi-coloured hair) – with another note-to-self written around the edge of the page. At primary school, we were taught to write in straight, horizontal lines, which has its place, but when making art, rules need not apply, and you can write wherever you want!

It’s also the picture I used for my Gravatar.

Friday Poem: Autumn Haiku

It’s cold, it’s autumn, so here’s an autumn haiku, written on a cold and windy day. We’ve had a few showers of rain, and things are looking a little greener, thankfully. Here’s hoping we get a good, wet winter to fill up the dams and rainwater tanks before summer rolls around again…IMG_4190 (Large)

Grey morning cold wind
My hair hanging in my eyes
I remembered you.

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Here is a photo of our neighbours – Luckily I had my camera handy when I disturbed them one morning recently. Unlike the wallabies, kangaroos generally prefer grass, and stay away from our garden.our neighbours

Creativity: Escape XIX

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This page of my altered book “Escape” features a leaf from a shopping list, stuck down before the rest of the page was painted pink – not quite magenta. The drawing of a sweet pea is from the pattern on one of the pretty cups, but I don’t remember how Tutankhamen came to be there too! The camera stamp, like the shopping list pad, came from Typo, a rich source of cute and funky stationery and home wares. The dictionary style piece is a sticker, and I embellished it with a ‘precious’ sequin, picked up at Ararat Performing Arts Centre during a dance competition. A few more stamps pulls it all together.

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The facing page is also painted pink, with some extra, hotter pink added on top and around the edges. A few select words are left uncovered. The wing stamps are a pair I carved. I did one, inked it and stamped it onto an identical eraser, then carved around the stamped image. Easy peasy mirror pair! I’ve used the same filigree rosette stamp as on the previous page, without re-inking it. Sometimes I just stamp randomly until there is no ink left – I especially like it with letter stamps I’ve used to make a name or message, working them over and over each other to make an abstract background.

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The handwritten text here is one of my “notes to self”, an elaboration of the Sesame Street advice that “It ain’t bad to get mad” – because sometimes anger is the only reasonable response.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Afloat

I could have picked a boat for the Weekly Photography Challenge theme of “Afloat”, but I’ve gone for a smaller scale, and comestible, subject – the Lime and Coconut Delicious I made on Saturday. I’d spotted a recipe in a magazine, and jotted down the ingredients, but found they were wildly different from my much loved, often eaten Lemon Delicious. So I just swapped limes for the lemons, and threw in 4 tablespoons of desiccated coconut. It was delicious, and fits the theme because the beaten egg whites float during the making, and the cakey part is afloat on the delicious sauce at the end.

Yesterday I went to the market in Ararat, mainly looking for fresh veggies, but I couldn’t go past a pair of vintage sundae glasses for a modest $4!

I’m not sure what this is in the States (icecream soda?) but in Australia, it’s a Spider, and used to be available in every milk bar in the land, different flavours having odd arachnid names, as I recall. They are not so common these days, sadly, but now I have the glasses, I can make my own! It didn’t fizz like I remember – maybe because it’s soy ice cream. It is essential to drink it through a straw, though, in case you didn’t know…IMG_4233 (Large)

Friday Poem: Ubiquitous

I wrote this late at night in a hotel room in Melbourne, after seeing P.J. Harvey perform at Hamer Hall.  I don’t remember the year, but I do know it was February 20, Kurt Cobain’s birthday. I couldn’t get to sleep, and lay awake in the small hours, composing in my head. I guess I must have slept eventually, but I was awake early, and went into the other room to record the words in a notebook.DSCF8009

They said he was ubiquitous –
but I knew he was just everywhere.
His face
on a million magazine covers,
five million bedroom walls.
His face,
his smile,
his fingers,
bulldozed into landfill everyday,
for toilet paper and cereal boxes.
And still it wasn’t

Never has one person
been wanted by so many.

Never has one person
felt so utterly alone.sept 2011 180 (Large)

In 2011, I traveled to Seattle, Portland, Olympia, Aberdeen,  Port Angeles, Victoria BC and back to Seattle. Before we left, I printed copies of “Ubiquitous”, in simple sentence form, on business cards which I tucked inside small seed envelopes. I added no ID, or clue to where they came from, since I thought it would be more interesting to just release them and not know what happened next…I left one in every hotel room we stayed in, plus other places we visited, such as the Nirvana exhibition at EMP in Seattle, and under the Young St bridge in Aberdeeen (sadly, next to syringes left by someone else). sept 2011 1054 (Large)

Sometimes I wonder what became of them all – did hotel cleaners find them, and toss them in the bin unopened, or did they stir someone’s curiosity – and if they did, who did they think I was writing about? At EMP or Aberdeen, it would be fairly obvious, I guess, but otherwise…?

If I was doing it again, I think I’d make feedback possible, like with a message in a bottle.

“I Remember the Sound of His Voice” – Eddie Vedder

Kurt Cobain’s body was discovered on this day, giving rise to outpourings of grief, and some fatuous and unconsidered remarks by some commentators.

After 21 years of mythologising and crazy conspiracy theories – just remember the sound of his voice, and miss him for a bit.

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Kurt was only man, a flawed one at that (who isn’t?). Maybe it was his flaws as much as his talent and passion that resonated – still resonates – with so many people.DSCF9418 (Large)

The images come from an artist’s book I made, titled “Basic”. I used the “True power…” quote several times in this book, but forgot to attribute it – where ever it came from, it rings true. The quote on the tag is a verbatim quote of something Kurt Cobain said in an interview – most likely having prepared it earlier, as he was wont to do.

Vale, Kurt.

Creativity: Escape XVIII

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On this page of my altered book “Escape”, I covered most of the text with half a torn big yellow sticker, and wrote my opinion about opinions over it with a black sharpie pen…I added a stamp of a bird cage and a smudge of paint down the outer edge. I left the words -“mother” and “Yes” because I am a mother of five, amongst other things.Escape 50

The next page is much softer in style and content – I do want to have harmony and some consistency in a book like this, but also contrasts and variety, otherwise it would be boring. And we don’t want that!

Most of the original text is again covered up, but this time with a sheet of handmade paper, and the notes-to-self concern my dream of opening a craft cafe, and the desire to experience live music as often as possible…The text at the top of the page I adjusted a little to suit the theme – and the final sentence was already fitting – so I have repeated it for emphasis. Of course I must open it! Just have to figure out all the details….escape 51

The next page looks rather messy and unresolved, I think…A print from a carved stamp coloured with watercolour paints, and a couple of commercial stamps for decoration. The paper is not the best for the watercolours, but it is bright and cheerful, obscuring the text, which isn’t.