Weekly Photography Challenge: It’s Easy Being Green

verandahIt’s autumn down under, and until we get some rain, there’s not a lot of green in the landscape. But it’s easy to be green environmentally by reusing and upcycling whatever materials come to hand. Recently, we had our rotting old verandah replaced with a lovely new one – but we hung on to the old timber, thinking to have a bonfire with some of it, and reuse the wider boards for garden edges. Then it occurred to me that I might be able to reuse the joists and floor boards to put a dry floor int a dirt floored, spider infested shed. The first job was evicting spiders!

There was enough to do the floor, and line part of the walls, the iron for the roof came off another old shed we don’t need, more lining came from a demolished enormous corner TV unit…

The blind is an old one from the house, saved from landfill, and I’ll use up a few sample pots to give it all a bit of colour and also protect the wood from the elements, although it’s a bit late for that in places – the enormous hole in the roof led to a rotting window frame. I went shopping for putty to fix the loose glass, and discovered that it’s been replaced with a silicon product! Who knew?

The upgraded shed will be home for my son’s cat for a year or so (we have to put up an enclosure for him yet), after that it might be an off grid guest cottage for the brave.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Atop

I’m in Halls Gap this week, doing a workshop with Keith Lo Bue as part of Grampians Texture 2017. 9 – 4 Monday to Thursday is spent in the classroom learning what to make of Precious Little, the rest I aim to spend enjoying some solitude and the beauty of the place.

The Gap is, unsurprisingly, in a valley. The challenge this week is Atop, so I am showing you what is “atop” the surrounding hills (mountains, officially…) – rocks, trees, and this afternoon, a few wisps of cloud to remind us that autumn really is coming, even though the daytime temperatures are still reaching 30C.

The last thing I made today is a neckpiece with lichen atop an empty (and now artfully mangled) mints tin. The assignment was to use only three things (one from a nature walk, one from an exchange of “stuff” and one we’d brought along). No glue, no extra elements…but whatever techniques we liked. We had no idea we’d be trying to wear the stuff we picked up, from the walk or the exchange table, so there were some extraordinary and quite lovely creations by the end of the class today. Tomorrow…something completely different!flirty

Weekly Photography Challenge: Wish

Share a wish…I could have found more iterations of this wish for peace love and empathy, but three seems like enough for now. The yellow background piece is a page from an artist scrapbook I made some years ago – lots of bits of junk and scraps of paper went into it, and it was great fun to make. You can see it here.

The rocks I collected over a period of time – “freedom” and “rock’n’roll” are in there too, and I wish I had more of both.

The last image was done digitally, using an art programme the kids had. It was fun, but frustrating trying to draw with the mouse. Much more sophisticated versions are available now, and that programme is well and truly out of date now, but I’m glad I thought to print this one off to keep.

I’ve found a rock with “Love” carved into it since taking the first photo, so that’s at least one wish fulfilled. I also wish someone would come and do my dusting…IMG_1227edit

Weekly Photography Challenge: The Road Taken

Every day, we take one road or another, and where we end up depends on the road taken. Most days it’s the same old road, and sometimes it’s an adventure. This adventure began last September, when I booked tickets to see Pixies play in Melbourne. The concert was the day before my birthday, which made it “meant to be”!

We live in country Victoria, so it was a longish trip by coach and train to the city, before a leisurely stroll along Southbank (via the food court for a burrito), then along the banks of the Yarra, and across a bridge to find the Margaret Court Arena among all the other sports venues. We sat outside for a while, watching other patrons arriving, because people-watching is half the fun.

Once inside, local band the Merlocs got things started, and I couldn’t resist the image of red light and moving shadows. If the floor had been full, as it was an hour later, it wouldn’t have looked like that! The Pixies were, of course, awesome, and ended the night with Into the White in a cloud of white smoke. After that, it was a brisk walk back to the city alongside dozens of other people, under the light of the moon.