Luckily the “partners” Weekly Photography Challenge came up while I was visiting Canberra with Alex – staying at his sister’s and playing with his niece. They formed a productive partnership with Legos and trains.
Alex was born when Zoe was four (and a quarter), and as far as she was concerned, he was her baby, and I was just the surrogate and nanny. Now they are both adults, and Zoe has a child of her own, making Alex a proud Uncle. Juniper is not yet three, so I was very impressed with her imagination and dexterity using the Lego blocks. Unfortunately she was equally good at demolishing her partners creations! The house with eyes is a collaboration, though – Alex made the house, she added all the eyes.
We live a whole days travel away from them, so visits are infrequent, but as lengthy as we can wangle. On the last of our six days, a heavy-eyed Juniper snuggled on the couch with Uncle Alex watching Thomas videos, and was soon sound asleep…
I snapped Zoe taking photos of the pair on the couch, just before she scooped her up, and took her to bed. She was still sound asleep when we left next morning at sunrise…
My youngest son and I are spending a week with his closest (in age) sibling Zoe, toddler Juniper and her dad, Matt. Like most toddlers, Juni is more interested in process than product, which Uncle Alex is finding challenging. It’s such fun to make models from the Lego bricks he bought her, but, as the Buddha taught, nothing lasts!
Playing blocks with a toddler
A lesson in non-attachment
The whole world undone.
This week it’s curves we need to portray to rise to the challenge. There are curves all around us, every day. Our own bodies are full of curves, and although most architecture employs straight lines, the objects we put inside our building are frequently curved. Curves are pleasing, suggesting softness and a more relaxed outlook on life.
In order to photograph some curves, I didn’t even need to leave the room – but I added a photo I took at my mother’s house a few weeks ago.
Bowls and balls of yarn just seem to go together – in my house, anyway. The painting was just playing around with Peerless watercolours – but then curvy tea vessels appeared out of the background. There’s a very curvy vase on my mantelpiece, alongside several other curvy objects – the glass bird in particular. I will never acheive a minimalist mantel – partly because having the space occupied keeps the cat off – but also because I enjoy collecting and juxtaposing groups of things too much!
A couple of months ago, I uploaded some of my photography to Vida, from where anyone can order custom garments with these images printed on them. The photo above of a small blue plastic top (possibly from a Christmas cracker) spinning in a patch of rainbow light is one of them.You can see more here.
It was hard to choose, but I had to order at least one to wear myself, if only to find out what they actually look like!
This morning, the parcel finally arrived…
Beautifully wrapped in brown tissue paper, and tied up with ribbon – my Top of the Rainbow top, all the way from Karachi, via California.It really is a global garment! The makers are provided with literacy programs, which enables a better life for them and their children, which for me is a considerable “added value” for designs on Vida.
Another week, another challenge! This time, to portray “Pure” in some way- “a person, an object or a moment”. My first thought was grandchildren (again), but instead I’m sharing a couple of vintage petticoats! They turned up recently at the op shop/thrift store where I volunteer – looking amazing but a bit grotty. So I had to take them home for some TLC, and photography.
One of them, the pale pink is labelled as being pure cotton, but it is undeniably pure nylon, made when nylon was a new-fangled wonder fabric. The other is also All Nylon, with a skirt so stiff it seems more like insect screening than a fabric to wear. They must have been worn to plenty of dances back when they were new – upwards of fifty years ago.
When we moved here over thirty years ago, it rained so much that we would joke about the aptness of the town’s name (Moyston, geddit?). Since then the area of reliable rainfall has slipped slowly to the South, and cropping is no longer the reliable source of income a farmer would like it to be. Last year there was some winter rain followed by a very dry spring and summer, and crops that were ankle high…This year…well, we are hoping.
Oh listen to that rain!
Rain all day, all night,
And farmers out all night
Ploughing and seeding and hoping,
Hoping that this time….
This year more rain,
Crops knee high, thigh high
Brimming and full of grain.
Maybe this year will be
A worthwhile harvest.
Here are some rainy garden photos – taken after, not during. I hate cold water on the back of my neck…The middle one shows an impressive lot of seedlings – about half of which are nettles. Luckily my late German friend Regina taught me to appreciate them as food!
When I saw that this weeks Photography Challenge theme is “Numbers”, I really thought I’d be stuck. Numbers? Have I ever taken a photo of numbers? Maybe, but I can’t think of one…
Then some helpful horsey person tied up all these numbers on a fence and power pole just down the road from my house -add the school go-slower sign, and I have numerous numbers to share!
The downside is that these numbers mean there’s an endurance ride soon, entailing cloppity horses clopping past our house in the dead of night as they set of to endure the cold and dark back roads of our district. After the event is over, there will be enough of manure deposited around our oval to fertilise a very big number of rose bushes…and the equestrians clean it all up. Impressive!
I’m a regular volunteer at Ararat Regional Art Gallery, and one of my tasks is to help out with children’s workshops. A Mini-Maker’s Art Club started recently as a monthly story-and-craft session for preschoolers. I thought story time needed a suitably magical carpet for the littlies to sit on, and so I began to crochet one. It has grown a little bigger with each session, and all being well, I aim to have finished it by the July one.
I was inspired by the work of Alexandra Kehayoglou , but I don’t have the carpet loom or skills to copy her work. I do have free-form crochet skills and a stash of yarn that needs busting, so that’s how my “Moss carpet” has been growing.
One of our mums commented that it needed a pool, so I did one in blues with silver sparkles. Last night I made an arigurumi pebble to fill up a little round hole, and I will be making some more – can’t imagine why I didn’t think of it earlier!
The idea is to have a soft and tactile place to sit during story time – we have a supply of cushions as well – and to include little lumps and bump and many different textures so that it is always interesting. Ararat Regional Art Gallery has an international reputation with our permanent collection of textiles, so my story time mat complements that, too.
At present we are hosting a wonderful exhibition from NGV of Central Asian textiles and jewellery – a must-see for lovers of embroidery and textiles generally.
The creativity of the children’s clothing in particular is incredible – so many hours and loving stitches, amulets and protective symbols put in by mothers to clothe and keep their precious children safe. Have at look at the Gallery’s Facebook page (and like it while you’re there!) for a taste of what’s on show.