Ladies Bring A Plate IV

Maybe it should be IIIa, because I haven’t had time to do the next step of this project, and this will be a very quick post.

I mentioned in a earlier post that I wondered if one of the plates I have to work on was in the photo of the 21st party. When the images were printed for us, some were inadvertently done as A3s – which offered the opportunity to look more closely at the details. It’s not one of the cream coloured plates – but we think this pale pink plate is the one in Daryl’s Grandmother’s hand!20181030_104154s

Ladies Bring A Plate III

Having merged two historical photos for the dinner plate, my next task was to find images for the four bread and butter plates. I have a collection of old cook books, which I hoped would inspire me, if not provide something ready made. I really like the line drawing style some of them used, but none of the images fitted with what I was looking for. So I had to do my own drawings…


Afternoon teas and suppers served in our Hall invariably include sandwiches, and often sausage rolls as well – that’s the savoury plate. Cream cakes are always popular, and Lamingtons are another favourite, so the sweet plate has Lamingtons, butterfly cakes and cream kisses.

For the third plate, I took my inspiration from the table settings we use for High Tea at the Moyston Hall. By scanning my drawings, I was able to clean them up a little digitally much more effectively than with any analogue methods.

I found an illustration on the correct serving of tea in one of my old books, but I didn’t really want the text. I’m no expert at digital manipulation, but I did manage to remove the unwanted words. I was left with a paler rectangle which refused to blend in, and solved the problem by giving it a purpose.

Now that I have all my images prepared, and photocopied, the next step is to apply them…

Ladies Bring A Plate II

Having decided to decorate the old plates, the second task was to decide what to put on them. We had gathered some old photos of events in the Hall when we produced a history book for the Hall’s Centenary celebration in 2014, and I had one of those in mind – it was taken in the old supper room.

I was able to edit it a little to bring up the details of the the food on the table. Once a circle is cut to fit the old dinner plate, some of that will disappear, unfortunately. I wonder if the plate it will be applied to is there in the photo?!Daryl's 21st 1

I thought it might be interesting to superimpose the photo of inside with that of outside. It took some tweaking before I was really happy with the result. Aligning the window in both images was the key.Hall pic_2-001as

I made the party image slightly transparent, so that the outside wall is just visible behind the party goers. The occasion was a 21st birthday party – look at that cake! The plate held by the lady in the foreground (the birthday boy’s grandmother, I think) is similar to the  bread and butter plates I have plans for…

Ladies Bring a Plate

Our local Hall in Moyston has had more than a hundred years of community social occasions, most of which would have been catered for by the ladies “bringing a plate”. We had fifty years of the Moyston Old Time Dance, held once a month in the Hall. It started out as a fundraiser to build the new supper room, and went on until 2016. Local clubs took turns to cater, making sandwiches on the night and “the ladies” donating cakes and slices. Moyston Hall was renowned throughout the district for the quality of the food.


When we moved here 34 years ago, there was the “new” supper room, with an old kitchen behind it. I remember it as being dark and dingy, with a copper in one corner that was used in days of yore to make bulk coffee on those social occasions. They enhanced the flavour with mustard, and who knows what else… I kid you not! Sadly, no one thought to take photos.

Assessing the crockery recently, some very old plates came to light, marked as belonging to the Hall, and judging from the style, dating from the 1930’s. I decided on the spot that we should do something to/with/on them, and an hour or two later, we had a plan to apply images relating to the history of the Hall to these plates, and to display them somehow.plates

The finished piece will be in celebration of all the plates of food served up and enjoyed over the years.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Heritage

My Dad was an inveterate collector, obsessed with the rich heritage of Regency England’s gunmakers. He was famous amongst the arcane circle of gun collectors for his encyclopedic knowledge of the guns, their makers and their wealthy, titled owners. As a boy he loved pirate stories, and tales of derring-do, which morphed and grew as the years went by. He always excused his expensive habit as “investment”, which has proved true. Most have them have been sold now, which is rather sad, but inevitable.

I didn’t inherit Dad’s  passion for “Old Guns”, but I definitely have the collector gene, if there is one…None of my collections are going to realise much fiscal value in years to come, but that’s not the point. I like tracking down and looking at this stuff!

Some things I collect become parts of mixed media art – such as the wind-chime I made from a bit of  a broken coffee plunger and a lot of detritus. Then there’s vintage orange plastic (sometimes I buy green, too, but mainly orange), coloured glass (seen alongside a Russian samovar, which was Dad’s, not sure why he bought it!), vintage textiles, which I actually use, eventually, and a shelf of books about Kurt Cobain/Nirvana. Oh, and fake plastic (and ceramic) cacti, because…why not?

Weekly Photography Challenge: Unexpected

This weeks photography challenge is “Unexpected”. Today we went along to a West Australian Handmade and Designer Market (Christmas is coming!), and I took the camera along, in hopes of spotting “the unexpected”.  We saw lots of fabulous work, and collected a few business cards for future reference, but I didn’t take photos of stalls. I did however, snap a few shots of the Christmassy entertainment – very tall angels, a clown wearing tiny Converse shoes on her stilts, and Santa himself, dressed for Perth’s weather. Unexpectedly, he was in a hurry to be somewhere else, and nearly dived out of the shot…

If you are in Perth on Sunday 8th December, there’s another one…I’ll be back in Victoria, at the Ararat Farmer’s Market.


Agave blooms


Last Thursday was forecast to be very hot : 40 C (104 F). I wondered if I should skip my walk to the post office to collect our mail, but it wasn’t too windy, so I went anyway. I wore thongs/flip-flops, a loose shirt, and a pith helmet to keep the sun off (hey, pith helmets are cool ). I filled a bottle with water, and set off a little after 10, with the temperature already at 32 C. When I came home, 45 minutes later, it was 36 C (96.8 F). HOT. Going wasn’t too bad, but the home stretch proved a bit of a struggle.

And as I gasped my way along under the burning sun, carrying a newspaper, three letters and a depleted water bottle, it occurred to me that even little kids in Africa have to walk much further than this, no matter what the weather is like, just to collect water for their families. They carry heavy containers, and they don’t spill any. Maybe they leave home at a more sensible early hour, but the fact remains, for the thousands (if not millions) of people who don’t have ready access to clean water, a long walk in heat, wind, whatever, is a daily necessity, and the water they carry is a far heavier load than I could manage for any distance. Often the wells and waterholes they collect from are a hazard in themselves.Beaded goddess (love)

Yesterday’s walk to the post office yielded a letter from UNHCR, ( The UN Refugee Agency),  asking for donations. $432 can install a community tap stand with six taps, providing safe, clean water to hundreds of families living in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia, the second biggest refugee camp in the world.

Oxfam sink wells  , providing safe, clean water for villages in many different countries, wherever they can. Easy clean water means not only health, but the opportunity for education for children living in poverty. If you are reading this, you may well be planning your Christmas shopping list. Consider adding a few of the world’s poorest to your list, with a donation to UNHCR (,  Oxfam(, or one of the other NGOs that desperately need donations from people like us in order to carry on their work.Joy

You may not have a spare $432 ( I don’t!), but every little bit helps. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a few more billionaires decided to share some of their vast wealth with the poorest members of the human family? Now that would be a Christmas present!Gift box