Weekly Photography Challenge: Optimistic

I generally like to aim to be realistic rather than optimistic, except when it comes to gardening…That’s the only possible explanation for planting Hummingbird- attracting Bergamot in the wrong continent. At least it has flowered for me! I’m still waiting on the hummingbirds, although we do have Eastern Spinebills visiting at times, and they should like it too!IMG_7181 (Large)

I also gambled on planting Lilium henryi for the first time, and to my great delight, they have been flowering since around Christmas.IMG_7182 (Large)

Still in the garden, after 22ml of rain last week – the only decent rainfall in months – the Belladonna lilies are suddenly pushing buds up from the dry old dirt! In a few weeks there will be fragrant pink flowers for me to enjoy. Not only that, but their appearance heralds the ending of another hot dry summer, and – I’m being optimistic – the promise of good autumn rain at last.IMG_7186 (Large)

Friday Poem:Loss

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I don’t lie awake all night every night, but there’s nothing like a sleepless session for writing poetry…Almost everyone has lost someone from their life, someone they miss so badly from time to time.100_1164 (Large)

Some nights
I could not sleep.
Lying awake
I thought of you
And my longing for you
Raged through me
Like a charge on
a battlefield,
Ragged and urgent.
I rolled over
to hold you;
But you were not there.

You were never
there.100_1165 (Large)

Creativity:Designing a Sign

We are working on making an old shed into a fun semi-outdoor living space. It was once pirate themed, but the new aqua paint has sent it more towards mermaids. I’ve settled on Seahorse Saloon as the name for this establishment – obviously it needs a suitable sign.

I’m away from home for a week, unable to work on the actual space, so I have been researching merpeople and seahorse images on Pinterest, looking for inspiration for my sign. I have a board in mind to paint it on, so that set the proportions. I’m thinking of the style of sign on traditional British Pubs, but cuter.

This is it, so far – a mermaid holding up a bubble, which will be an “O”, and chatting with a seahorse. The “S”s in the sign will be seahorses – I’m still thinking about the rest, maybe seaweedy…It seems like I’m going to do a separate painting of my grand daughter Juniper as a sweet little Mabel Lucie Atwell style mermaid, which will be fun. I might have to put baby Matilda in there, too!

We went op shopping/thrifting on the weekend, as you do. I was on the lookout for anything that would enhance the seahorse/mermaid theme. No mermaids or seahorses, but some over the top shiny gold hooks will be excellent as a place for pirates and cowboys to hang their hats. I imagine that pirates would bring treasure and trinkets from all around the world, so I feel free to be as “eclectic”as I like in the decor.:)

Weekly Photography Challenge: Alphabet

One of the first things we all learnt as toddlers was the alphabet, and this week’s photography challenge is to share images that include a string of letters.

The sign is beside a big Bunyah pine tree in North Perth, where my daughter Zoe used to live. I experienced a little frisson of dread every time I walked past it! The cones of this species are roughly the size of a football (pick your favourite code).

The rest of my choices are of graffiti – three under a famous bridge in Aberdeen, Washington state, where Nirvana fans have written their (mostly) loving tributes to Kurt Cobain. This was more than four years ago, so it will be different now.

The brick wall and many-layered old posters were in Perth, and the large piece in a lane off Sydney Road, Brunswick (Melbourne).It really is only paint on a wall…Although often very stylised and haed to read, there is a strong tradition of letters and words in street art. Click on any image for a better view.

Friday Poem: I Remember That Year

I would have called this poem Sweater Song, but that title is taken by Weezer. The story was inspired by a photo of someone wearing a beloved old sweater, but it really could have happened like this.tiny sweater

I remember you
In that thrift store sweater;
You were happy to buy it,
It was really your colour.
I remember you wore it
All through that winter.

Sometime in summer
It was stored and forgotten.
When the cold came again
You’d replaced it with another.

I found it today
At the back of a cupboard.
I remember you in that sweater;
I remember that year,
We were always together.DSCF4821 (Large)

Just think, if everyone gets carried away with clearing clutter, they will never have the experience of the exquisitely painful flood of nostalgia and memories that comes with finding a long lost (and forgotten) object in the back of a cupboard, or the bottom of a box. And without the odds and ends that we keep in drawers for no particular reason, how could anyone make mixed-media found object art? Here’s a piece I made a few years ago, mostly from such things!dec2010 221 (Large)

Creativity: Party Prop

I’m having a major birthday in a couple of months, which is a major excuse to organise a party (otherwise someone might spring a surprise party on me…) So, my party, my rules. Having discovered that there is a local band called “Kerplunk”performing “90’s alternative and punk” covers, they were booked and “Punk’s Not Dead” became my theme. Looking for ideas on Pinterest, I noticed that painted photo backgrounds are a thing, and decided that would be a fun thing to do.

I bought a huge photo print on canvas for $25 (half price). It didn’t fit in our small car until some (ahem) adjustments were made, requiring some repairs later…I had a few practice goes on it with spray paint, but I knew I wanted multiple layers, and the look of a much graffitied  wall. IMG_6917 (Large)

I had the good fortune to come across this book – inspiration sorted! IMG_6990 (Large)

A lot of band stickers featured on CBGB walls, and I don’t have many around, so I’ve improvised with what I’ve got. I found they don’t stick very well on the canvas substrate, whether because of the finish or movement, I don’t know. I resorted to gluing them.IMG_6993 (Large)

I’ve painted over some of the old writing (emptying the brush from painting walls), and done a bit more spray painting, including using a stencil (from Typo).IMG_6991 (Large)

Today I hunted out some permanent markers from my supply stash, and added a few more pieces, including my “peace love empathy’ heart design, which I’ve been doing for around twenty years. I’m missing yellow and violet from the rainbow, so I’ll have to remedy that!

“Anarchy Rules” had to be in there (funny!) and “Party” in bubble writing is on message for the occasion. What it really needs is a variety of “hands” – different people writing in their own style. Also more variety in the markers used.  I’m going to be working on that – visitors be warned!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Weight(less)

Challenge of the week for photo bloggers is “weight(less)”, – show us the effects of gravity, he says, or perhaps something that lifts your spirits. I have aimed for both in these recent photos.

In the first, a vast flock of Corellas is flying into the trees behind our house. I tried to get photos of them feeding on the ground, but as soon as one spotted me and my camera, they were off! The orange henryii lily leans over and dangles his(?) flowers very stylishly over my romantic pair of turtles. The tee-pee like structure is my yarnbombed sculpture, “Resurgence”, made with help from students of the local Primary School. Gravity ensures that the hundreds of knitted and crocheted leaves on it hang and flutter. Both the white lily and a the orange poppy appear to be weightless, but their petals soon fall to the ground irregardless.


We are experiencing the driest summer on record for our area, so anything green and growing in the garden near the house is a lift for our spirits. Fortunately, we are able to keep pots and some garden watered, and today it even rained a little bit…