Weekly Photography Challenge: Change

Change, so physicists and Buddhist tell us, is the only constant in the Universe, and this week it is also the theme for the Weekly Photography Challenge.I’m in Canberra with my daughter’s family for a change of scenery, and by a (fortunate?) coincidence, they are moving house during my stay. That’s a change, right there, but piles of boxes are less photogenic than a two year old. She has, of course, changed a lot in the past two years. She’s always been of an independent and curious nature,but now she can do more about it…


Here is Juniper two years ago in Perth, and one year ago in Canberra. We all know how children grow, but it’s still amazing how quickly they change.

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This morning, on the very same couch as the last two photos, she methodically sucked the juice out of pieces of orange, and lined them all up as she went. This, apparently, is the only way to consume an orange.

She is equally methodical in arranging, changing and rearranging her toys.

For a change, I’ve put some pics in slideshow format, and some in a tiled gallery as usual.

Change can be daunting, and it’s not always an improvement (time for another change, in that case) but it would be a dull old world without it!

Friday Poem: Missing/Out of Reach

image edit (Large)This is going to be late, although it’s still Friday in some parts of the world for most of our Saturday, so…It’s been a rather quiet, stay-at-home-and-sew kind of day in Canberra, and consequently, I completely forgot that it is Friday (and poem post day) until I was going to bed.

This post is in part a response to the Daily Prompt ” “Out of Reach.”, which was timely because it’s twenty years (TWENTY!) in a few days since the ABC aired a tripleJ special – Nirvana Unplugged in New York, changing the course of history for me a bit behind the “rest of the world”, and I’ve been thinking about what I missed –

I miss you
I miss you
You are everywhere
Still I miss you
I never even knew you
That’s why I miss you
I know too much
about you
Even so, I miss you
Why are you not?
No one can answer
Everyone has an answer
Nobody cares
Only I miss you
How can I miss you?
Your image proliferates
Iterated forever
denying your absence
Papering over the gap
The gap where you were

Cobain, I miss you
there are millions
Who miss you
Cover bands in China
Fans in Japan
Love multiplied
By longing, by regret
Love multiplied
By missing you
Missing you who is missing.

We are missing your presence,
Lost from the world.

I “accidentally’signed up to Pinterest recently, and discovered the hundreds of endlessly repeated images to be found there. So here are some more…I’ve taken photos of video (live not being an option,sadly) and edited them in paint.NET. Because it’s a fun thing to do.image 2 (Large)

Creativity: Art Away From Home II

Here I am in Canberra, our nation’s “bush capital”, staying with my daughter and her partner and their two-year old daughter, Juniper. I’m fitting in a little bit of creativity, in  between hanging out with Juni and her mum…

Juniper is busily creative herself – that’s a very good pencil grip for only two! We went fabric (and thrift/op) shopping today, so I can finish a cot quilt for Juni’s cousin-to-be. Juni wore the dress I made for her birthday, with fabrics from KimoYES and Addicted to Fabric in nearby Philip. The cute-as Japanese children’s print at the centre of the quilt is also from KimoYES.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Grid

For something different – this week’s Photography Challenge is to place a grid upfront in photos, rather than using an imaginary one to help compose a pleasing picture. I had a couple I’ve taken recently at home.

One is the ‘roof’ of our new shadehouse (aka “The Umbratorium”), and the other a gridded frame I’m using as a moodboard as I daydream about repainting our lounge.

I’m in Canberra for a few weeks, and took the camera out and about on the weekend – mainly to take pictures of Juniper, who is now two years old – but I found some grid patterns, as well.

We went to Weston Park to a miniature railway – lots of grids there! Juniper had two rides then cried all the way home, because she didn’t want to leave “Thomas…!” I found the drainage hole grid at one of the markets we went to, and the graffiti wall and gridded window where we parked our car to visit the famous Bus Depot Market. Juniper has decorated the screen door on to the balcony of her home – which gives the chalk an interesting texture.IMG_6106 (Large)

And finally, here is miss Juniper herself, enjoying a slice of rainbow birthday cake, with the grid of floor tiles as background.

Creativity: Art Away From Home

I’m going to be away from home for nearly three weeks, visiting my daughter, her partner, and now-2-year -old Juniper. Hopefully a change of scenery will give me some creative impetus as well as an opportunity to hang out with the family and play with Juni. So I’m figuring out what I can pack that will be versatile as heck and also not too bulky/heavy when it comes to the long trip home by coach and train…IMG_5912 (Large)

I’ll be taking some handmade books and pens and paints, with the intention of adding content, including the controversially titled “Make Art not Craft”. So far I’ve copied out dictionary definitions of “Art” and Craft”, and written a few paragraphs on the dichotomy (real or imagined) between the two). I’ll be looking for illuminating quotes and images to add.




I made this very tiny album last time I was in Canberra (with the option of boxes full of supplies), and I’ll take it back this time in hopes of finding some more (small)”happy” images to stick on the pages. Mostly the pictures are of peonies, but I’m not limiting it to the King of Flowers.

I’m also taking some yarn and a crochet hook, so I can make more leaves for the yarn bomb I’m making as part of the Public Art efforts of our tiny Moyston Arts Inc. The Primary school kids will be helping – more on that later!

Weekly Photography Challenge : Monochromatic(ish)

For someone who enjoys colour and plenty of it, this week’s Photography Challenge to produce monochromatic images is challenging indeed. I went out into the garden, which is mostly green just now, and did my best with a tricky assignment!

“Monochrome” is often translated to “black and white”, but really it’s “one colour”, and I’ve gone with that. Mostly. There is a solitary orange Sparaxia flower amonsgt all the green in one pic – in a month or two, that colour balance will reverse as dozens of flowers open in the sunshine and obliterate all the green. I took a couple more pictures inside as well as hunting out the metal bobbins and cutlery from the back catalogue. I love the subtle almost-colour of the tarnished old silverware – I bought a boxful for a mere $5, just for that colour/not colour…

Friday Poem: All Black

jan 2012 147 (Large)

On the evening before working (as a volunteer) at the Ararat Regional Art Gallery, I realised rather sadly that everything in that pile of clothes was black…I sometimes have trouble finding a particular garment, because everything in the drawer is black…I think I need to do something about this!DSCF4321 (Large)

Me all in black.
Strange, when I love
so much colour
That I wear so much

I don’t live in Melbourne.
I’m not a beat poet.
It’s not a uniform,
but it becomes uniform,
And I end up
all in black
on some of my days.

“Black clothing indicates a superior degree
of fashionable taste”,
So someone* said, a long time ago.
I think it might be lazy,
a short cut to get dressed.
This goes with that
as long as it’s black…

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My favourite black t-shirt. I don’t wear it any more, but I want to “do something” with it.

After writing about my terrible predilection for wearing lots of black, I went and bought a top in my favourite pink’n’orange – now I just need for the weather to warm up enough to wear it!

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I wish I could have this cladding on my house – it’s one side of the Experience Music Project building in Seattle. I bought the pink’n’orange button in the first pic on Bainbridge Island on the same trip. I also packed a lot of black clothes, because they all go….tsk.

  • *Castiglione, “The Book of the Courtier” 1528

Creativity: Stamping around the PNW V

There are only two stamps left to go in my little book of PNW memories. We actually spent a couple of days in Port Angeles after Aberdeen, but I didn’t do any stamps there. The bus trip involved three buses, a porta loo (eeew) and most of a day spent travelling. We glimpsed quite a few places we want to investigate properly “next time”. Crescent Lake was a big surprise – how come we’d never heard of it, we wondered, as the road ran on and on alongside it. It was frustrating being in a bus – no chance of stopping for some considered photographs – just the gamble of drive-by shots, with Bryan eventually telling me when it was clear of trees and good to click.sept 2011 1275

We spent maybe half an hour in Forks, waiting for the next bus, without the slightest idea that the Twilight series was set there. Our motel in Port Angeles was (natch) up a hill,(thankfully my case has wheels) and it was…different. We saw the only deer of our trip when we were having breakfast there one morning – it was in someone’s garden across the road. There’s an awesome bagel bakery, and an excellent Indian restuarant, wonderful views of Mt Baker across the Juan de Fuca Striat – and a plastic horned owl on the roof of a hotel, which caused us some excitement until I looked through a zoom lens and realised the sad truth about our owl sighting!

From there we went by ferry to Victoria BC – and we were in Canada, if only just, for 3 nights before going back to Seattle and then on home. One of my “must sees’ on this trip was orcas, and so we went on one of the many whale watching tours out of Victoria. We traveled far and wide, some of the time in thick fog, before Geoff finally located a pod – and it was worth it!

We also visited the Butchart Gardens (I learned to pronounce the name properly from a Canadian who lives near us), which was a marvel, and ate at an Indian restaurant, and, just for a change, a Tibetan one.(Chocolate Blueberry Momos – I would go back to Victoria just to eat them again. mmmm)DSCF9624 (Large)

The back cover of the little book is the business card for the bead shop I visited in Aberdeen. I had plans to buy some beads, and make a pair of earrings for each place we went, but he plan fell down when I couldn’t find beads in Portland or Olympia.(You can see I still haven’t made the Aberdeen ones….) Olympia has Shipwreck Beads, but it’s hard to get to by public transport, and I’d had enough of long walks for a while – and been kicking myself since!

Have to go back – so much we missed, so much we want to see more of, so much we just want to see again – maybe carve more stamps, buy more beads, and take heaps more photos!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Connected

The challenge this time is to portray connection in some way. Bridges have been popular, and I was thinking of our brand new wireless NBN connection (not very exciting photos, though), but my grand daughter Juniper is 2 (TWO!) tomorrow, so I’m going with family connection, and trying not to post too many pictures. There are only a handful of photos of my baby years (nearly 60 years ago), but there must be hundreds of Juni, thanks to digital technology…

We are going to see Juni for her birthday in a week or two, so I don’t have recent photos of my own – but here are some that mum Zoe sent me…

Feel free to add comments of the “my how she’s grown” and “isn’t she the cutest kid ever” variety! Sometime around New Year, she will have a little cousin. Renovations to our kids old cubby are planned…

We all met up at Cactus Country for Juniper’s Uncle Simon’s 40th – one of the staff took family photos for us, so no one was missing. It’s a great place to visit – make sure and take your camera when you do!

Friday Poem: Moon Song

There was another “super moon” last week, accompanied by stories of the wonders to be expected from it being a Pisces Super Moon. I can’t remember quite what they were, but it was all good. This full-moon-in-Pisces also shone straight in my bedroom window, and kept me awake one night, and because of this and some synthesis with the  magical moon stories, I produced this poem of faux memories, studded with fragments of other poems and stories…faux moonlight

I miss you
sad little pisces –
Jesus, man, how we laughed
on that night of the moon.

The night that she rose
pellucid and cold over
the dark beloved pines.

Somewhere an owl…

And the sea turning silver
and the fall, gall of coals
bright in the ash of a campfire
in the pines
at the edge of the woods
at the edge of the sea.

That was the night-
you must remember?
that we sang, you and I,
and you shone so bright,
so bright in that night,
and the moonlight became you…

You were sad, not so sad,
on that night, little pisces man,
singing the bones of the world –
old, old memories-
singing the moon
and the stars in your eyes;
Singing the darkness away.

a pile of coals

It’s always a challenge to find appropriate images to illuminate a poem, but faux memories are even trickier! However, a search in the back catalogue yielded these – moonlight, hot coals, a pine…beloved pine