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: Reflecting

Time for reflecting this week – and once again the week is running away from me.

Our lounge room is quite small, so a collection of mirrors hangs above the fireplace to make it seem bigger and brighter – lots of reflections there! IMG_1754editcrop

Our local Hall has been upgraded recently – nice new toilets, better kitchen facilities, all-abilities access. The fine old floor in the main Hall had a makeover, too, with a light sand and refinishing that brings up the colour and makes the floor glow. We are looking forward to dancing on it!

All the old photos were taken down and stored during the upgrade – now the Committee is faced with the task of putting them all back up. The collage of photos of local men and women who served in World War 2 is a subject for reflection of another kind. All these people went off into the unknown to defend the freedoms we take for granted. Fortunately most of them survived and made it back home. I had the pleasure of getting to know some of them, including Cpl Chris Wilton, whose brother lived across the road from us when we moved here over 32 years ago.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Danger

This week’s challenge is about danger – I’m finding there’s a danger that the week will slip past on a banana peel of busy-ness, and I won’t have thought of what to post before the next challenge gets to my mailbox. However, Michelle’s story of disappointingly small, not-very-dangerous looking seed pods reminded me of this street tree in Mt Hawthorn, Perth, which I used to walk past every day when my grand daughter Juniper was a new baby. I never saw one of the cones, and wasn’t sorry, since I was aware of their fearsome and deserved reputation. My husband and son once camped where the Bunya Pine is endemic, and got to hear the sickening thud of a cone hitting the ground from a great height.

Last summer, we stopped for a break at a park in Central Victoria – and found a Bunya pine cone on the ground. Green and full of sap, it was heavy enough to do serious damage, and covered in sharp spines, just in case. The “leaves” are also well armoured, but that didn’t stop a cockatoo from chopping it off. It is now dry, much lighter and smaller, but I still wouldn’t like one to hit me…Why municipalities decided to plant them as street trees, or even in public parks, is a mystery to me, although I guess it was back in the days when playground equipment carried the added excitement of real and present danger to life and limb, and litigiousness was unheard of.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Surprise

Life is full of surprises, especially for forgetful gardeners. It’s autumn down under, and nerines are appearing out of nowhere – or at least, out of bare ground. The red one was given to me as white, and took years to decide to flower at last in this unexpected colour. Surprise! I’m fairly sure the bud is a pink one, but I’d forgotten where I planted it…

The fragile little bells of Leucojum autumnale were a lovely surprise, because there were no flowers last year, and I thought it was lost forever.IMG_1359small

My favourite colour is pink’n’orange, so it’s a nice surprise to find a geranium that colour. A photo never seems to quite do it justice, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.IMG_1361small

 

 

Weekly Photography Challenge: Dense

This week we get into the thick of things with the challenge “Dense”. I looked through recent photos to find these – the cacti and cubby are in our garden, the rock and lichen from my stay in Hall’s Gap last week. I need to overcome some of the dense growth around the cubby, because our grand daughters are getting old enough to want to play there, and we don’t want to lose them in a mini jungle!

And here is Morgen, demonstrating another meaning of “dense”….that box is really tooooo small to sit in!cat-in-a-box

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