Yay! Christmas is coming! Soon it will be gone again…(also yay). Rising to this occasion, the Photography Challenge this week is to show something that it’s not this time of year without. Christmas is all about family, but our family are scattered across the continent and holiday travel is expensive, so our family celebration is whenever we can all get together. Last Christmas was one out of the box though – our little grand daughter Matilda decided to arrive a bit early, on Christmas Eve, so our Christmas day was a hot, windy picnic, and a couple of hours of passing the baby around the room at the hospital in Ballarat.
She slept through everything. 11 months later, sleep is not her favourite thing anymore…
Juniper is 3 now, and her favourite thing is her engines . Whenever our family celebration ends up, there will be trains involved. The other thing I especially like at the holiday feast, whenever it is, is something homegrown, even if it’s only a handful of beans, or some parsley. Too bad I’ve already eaten these broad beans…
I’ve been away from home and with limited internet access (horrors!) for most of the week, because I was at my Mum’s place making a start on the magic art of shed clearing. My dad stashed a lot of things out of sight and mind, some I guess because they might be useful, some I really don’t know why…The photography challenge for this week is Magic – and not only is clutter clearing “magic”, there is a kind of magic in coming across forgotten,and rotting, mementos of my parent’s life together.
Dad’s suit circa 1955
Pram circa 1956
Shorts that Grandma made for Mum circa 1950
The contents of the shed were incredibly chaotic, layers of junk and buried treasure accumulated over years and years – dusty jars, juice bottles, tyres, rusty nails, bolts, screws, unwanted furniture and carpet (2 lots pulled up 25 years ago – Mum didn’t know they were there!), pieces of timber, large and small, 2 old decrepit Mercedes cars, used as storage containers….and so forth.
My youngest son and I put on gloves and sorted, chucked the real rubbish in the skip and salvaged whatever was usable or interesting. It isn’t finished yet, but we made a good start on it, and we only brought home a boot full…including Dad’s moth eaten suit.
I’ve always been fascinated by and collected tiny things, but rather than take photos of my miniatures for this weeks Photography Challenge, I went into the garden to find tiny flowers. The ornamental grape is just coming into flower (a month late), and in a week or so the garden will be filled with its perfume, and with bees. The plant is large, but it’s flowers are minute and very numerous.
There’s a Cecile Brunner rambler rose mingled with the vine – they flower at the same time, and their perfumes blend in the air. The roses are perfect miniatures on a very large plant, the arching canes being metres long, right over the top of the pergola.
More tiny things in my garden – a prickly little Juniper bonsai, Lobelias flourishing in a hanging basket, a dainty Aquilegia flower, and a spike of tiny onion orchid (Michrotis sp) flowers. The orchid is an endemic species, which “just growed” in another hanging basket one year, and has self-seeded into other containers in my garden.The tiny flowers are barely 1mm long, and I’d need a microscope to see them properly!
More than forty years ago, my husband joined a Record Club (LPs!). The deal was to buy six quite cheaply, and promise faithfully to buy more at the normal price. He ordered the five he liked, and Songs of Leonard Cohen to make up the six. I don’t know what the others were now, but I knew a poet when I heard one and bought all his albums over the years. I used to stack them in chronological order (can’t do that any more) and listen to Uncle Leonard while I painted. And now he’s gone, it seems, on that inevitable journey…
Leonard where are you?
Where in the widening world –
Across what sea, what ocean,
On what continent?
In what house, what room, what space?
Beside what window;
Looking at what view –
What street, what hill, what trees,
Where is your mind, your art,
Leonard where are you now?
I wrote the poem in 1981, it seems so long ago (Nancy…)
I’m in the process of moving 15 years accumulation of art supplies from the sunroom studio out to the shed studio, inspired by an increasingly mobile and curious grandchild to remove all those interesting and possibly hazardous things from her sight and reach. This process has produced plenty of chaos for this weeks photography challenge!
I found the Martha Beck quote scrawled on an index card, appropriately, amidst the chaos of the old order.
Meanwhile, in the garden, a much more pleasant version of chaos. I read a quote somewhere from a children’s book writer who said that a good story needs a balance of “chaos and control”, and I firmly believe the same rule applies to gardens!
This week’s challenge theme has a magical vibe – Transmogrify – which means “to change in appearance or form”, although not necessarily by magic…I guess caterpillars do it when they change into butterflies or moths, and that would have been a wonderful subject if one had obliged me at short notice. No such luck!
Instead, I have taken some photos of the Junk Charm Bracelets I make, and some of the bits and pieces I pick up to Transmogrify into charms.
If you look at the charms, you will see washers, small nuts, buttons, a hairclip and electrical connectors (not the real name…), along with beads and other pieces from broken jewelry and a couple of purchased charms. I acquired a collection of odd teenage doll shoes at the oppy/thrift store where I volunteer – I intercepted them before they could reach the bin- so more recent bracelets include some sort of little shoe. It was a simple matter to make a hole and thread the shoe onto a jump ring – transforming a bit of junk into a charm. “Repurposed detritis”, as my tag says!