Monday, November 06, 2006

Sites I like

The following are blog sites I enjoy visiting
birdwomanau, a fellow quilter, Rosdye and threebeautifulthings,
In this photo are three things I like, Jacaranda trees, rain, and the colour purple.


Over the weekend we had some wonderful rain and my rain tank is now well and truly overflowing. We mostly take photos when it is sunny and when it rains the camera remains tucked away. I have been documenting the changes around my the backyard I thought why not photos of the rain.As you can see,when we get a huge downpour, I end up with a 'river' running through my yard. When the builders built my house they cut out a pad for it lowering the house relative to next doors property, the result being I receive the run off from the storms from the higher properties. Across the front of the house I have a 'river' as the water flows out to the storm water drain running around the edge of my property. I realise a few well placed drainage systems would remedy this but then I'd miss out on my moat.
During the morning, between some of the lighter showers, I had ventured outside to photograoh the creeper hanging over the lattice fence between me and my neighbour. The delicate pink of the blossoms are glorious. The flowers are not robust and after a particulary heavy downpour I wondered how the flowers had fared.
The same bunch I had photographed earlier where decidingly worse for wear. The blooms bruised and battered.
But amongst the battered flowers their delicate beauty still remained and the soft petals glistened with small bubbles of water.
The blooms yet to open had survived the battering of the falling downpour. Late in the afternoon the sun peeped through the storm clouds and shone with a beautiful warm glow. I grabbed my camera and sped outside to capture some more images.
In the glow of the late afternoon sun the flowers took on a much deeper colour.
The soft pink of the flowers earlier in the day replaced with a rosy pink hue
Even though some of the flowers no longer had their petals they still appeared majestic.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Towards the end of September the Swell Sculpture Festival was held at the Gold Coast at Currumbin Beach. Spread along the beach and foreshore promanade were several stunning sculptures in a free to the public display. Sculptures ranged from the large to the small and many made from recycled objects. The above sculpture was by local artist Jan Keldar. The stunning mix of steel, stainless steel ,bronze and ferro cement creating a large rendition of an ancient marine life form.
Not to be out done by the man made sculptures Mother Nature added her own display of a sculptured form in this stunning display of a pandanus tree.
Looking out to sea the beautiful sculpture, Mahalo , by Jacqueline Campbell, asks us to celebrate life and live in peace and harmony with the earth, sea and sky.
From a distance this sculpture shone in the bright afternooon sun and beckoned you to examine it's structure. Upon walking closer I found the it to be made from recycled car tyres assembled and painted to resemble an asian pagoda. Local artist Niels Van Amsterdam the creator.
My favourite photo from the ones I took. Dancing in the Bouquet by Carlos Sanchez was stunning. After wandering in and around the sculpture the sun glistening from the edge of one of the large acrylic petals caught my attention. The resultant photo above.
A few weekends before the Swell festival I attended a Memoranza weekend for scrapbooking It was during the tea breaks at the back of the hall I spotted this image and the wonderful play of light and shadows.
Through the fence surrounding the hall , a lone branch of Bouganvillia spreads it ways through the palings seeking the light on the other side.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Visual Diary Scrapbooked

I have decided to create a proper scrapbook of my ideas which I have been using for the Friendship books. The first page is about me, the things I do and question about the things I like, or, the 'who am I'. I've given myself 'wings' because I have to 'fly' among the activities I get myself embroiled in. The photo of me is one Jean-Pierre ,my partner, took of me at Victor Harbor in South Australia.
The next two pages are a double spread. I have created small fold out pieces with a photo on each fold out. These eight fold outs are the most important things in my life, family, friends, quilting, scrapbooking, photography, cooking, writing, and belly dancing.

On the inside of each fold out is a written piece briefly describing why each activity is important. I intend this scrapbook to be a visual diary exploring the things which make me tick, my thoughts, the places I enjoy , stuff I do with friends and family and the general humdrum day to day stuff we all know is boring to everyone else but important to ourselves and our famliy history.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Friendship Book: The Dreaming 2006

I finally managed to get a page done for my friendship book about the Dreaming. I decided to make it a double page spread with the pages folding out from the middle to reveal the story in the middle. I found some scrapbooking card at the local newsagent with the aboriginal colours and set about designing the front piece.I wanted the design to flow like a landscape. I ended up laying the three pieces of paper together and cut the design through the three pages then reassembled the pieces I wanted. It was then time to sit and paint the two pages before gluing them into the book.
I went through my pictures trying to select which ones I wanted to include in the layout. With so many to choose from, around 400! it was no easy task. In the end I settled on eight images which I felt conveyed the overall feeling of the Dreaming.
The highlights of the weekend for me where;
the atmosphere even with the inclement weather in the first few days,
The wonderful Snuff Puppets at the Dancestry site,
Gorgeous sculptures by a New Zealand artist. Carved out of campher laurel these statues were stunning,
And who could forget The Bigotbri CWA Ladies, their act extremely funny.

The crowds weren't large compared to the anuual Woodford Folk Festival so moving around was easy and the warmth from large fires in huge tins dotted around the site a favourite with all.The Message Stick truck was a delight as well with its painted decoration. Everybody enjoyed the Closing Ceremony, a wonderful mixture of dance and song.

If you have the chance and have nothing to do over the long weekend in June I'd suggest a visit to The Dreaming for a great dose of music and culture.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Time:Friendship Book

Time, do we ever have enough of it? I am always wanitng more time. More to do the things I like doing but I can also waste a lot of it! I decided to explore what I do with time as an entry in my friendship book exchange. The following pages are the result. I created a fold out section in which to write about what I did with my time.The front image is my sewing machine and in the background my scrapbooking work space. I learnt to sew at an early age and my sewing machine has always been set up ready to use. It is a place I love to spend time, particulary making quilts. My creative place tends to be a bit of a mess, sigh, and I often think , if I had more time perhaps I could keep it tidy.My problem is I tend to be creating several things at once, sewing, scrapbooking, or photographying.
The fold out flap, when fully pulled, out reveals one of my recent photographs, a quiet image of autumn leaves , and my work bench with my design board covered in various pieces and the clutter of several projects over my working space.
Time. I can never have enough of it and with all the things I love to do, time will never be boring.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Dreaming 2006

The Dancestry Circle provided heaps of entertainment in the way of dance performances from dance groups around Australia, Mornington Island, Solomon Island and Jamaica. One of the highlights for me was to see the Snuff Puppets. These oversized human puppets delighted children and adults alike. The tale of the Nyet Nyet's , large woman figures, had every one intrigued. The Snuff puppets explore the stories of bunyips and like creatures from all over the country.


The Closing Ceremony:

The final event of the Dreaming was the Closing Ceremony. The stage set across the other side of a small lake in the center of the site. The sloping bank giving everyone a perfect view. The light levels were low and the dancers too far away to make flash a viable options. With my camera loaded with 400 Asa film , 300mm zoom lens, and tripod set up I began taking pictures wondering how they would turn out with the long exposures times. I was happy with the results when my films were returned from being developed.I felt the movement of the dancers during the long exposure added to the sense of mystery of the dance performances.

Towards the end of the ceremony they lit several flares.The bright orange flames provided extra light but the film picked up the light as a bright red hue and there was a loss of detail in the images. I scanned a negative and decided to see how it would look with the colour removed. The resultant black and white image revealed lots more detail than could be seen in the coloured images. I scanned the rest of the closing ceremony images and ended up with some useful pictures.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Dreaming June 2006

Grass sculptured cocoon, with sculptured butterflies attached, hanging in one of the trees on site.

Rain puddles creating patterns on the roadway and damp autumn leaves.

Over the Queens Birthday weekend my partner, Jean-Pierre, and I attended The Dreaming, an indigenous festival, at the Woodford Folk Festival site. Over the three days we were there we heard some great music, watched some wonderful films and contemporary dance, listened to great comedy and saw some beautiful indigenous artworks. The first two days were cloudy with intermittent showers but it did not stop anyones enthusiasm for the festival. The damp weather provided me with delightful photo opportunites, the rain intensifying the colours of the surrounding vegetation. Yothu Yindi played and were as inspiring as they were 20 years ago when they were at the height of their fame. Jean-Pierre and I had a wonderful time and this festival is definitly something we will try and attend next year.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Storm Clouds

On Sunday afternoon a brief storm passed through my area. The cloud above was a swirling mass of various shades of grey. It was stunning to watch. I ran around outside taking photographs, the thunder rumbled and lightning flashed across the sky. To the south of the house rain was falling in dark grey, solid sheets I expected the heavens to open at any moment and pour rain down on my head. As the storm passed over the roof of the house a brief shower fell but not enough to add anything substantial to my rain water tank. My partner was at Woodford , north of Brisbane, he texted me and said they had hail fall and towards the coast at Ormeau , were a girlfriend lives, they also had some hail.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

This morning I decided to play with the super macro function on my digital camera. I have always wanted to be able to do close up studies of flowers. I had wanted to get a macro lens for my SLR but due to the price have put it off waiting for the day I go overseas so I can get it at duty free prices. The macro on the digital allows me to get within 1cm of the subject. Kathy ahd given me a lovely bunch of flowers so what better opportunity to play.
I placed the vase of flowers on a chair in the sunlight shining through the family room window and after attaching the camera to my tripod started to take some photos. The only thing I find annoying about the compact digital camera is the way light makes the viewing screen difficult to see. With my SLR you are looking through the viewfinder your eye close to it sheilding out the extra light. I tried tossing a sheet over my head but found that annoying so after a few shots I headed off to my computer and downloaded what I had taken. Hmm not bad back to try out a few more pictures.
Most of the images worked well some I just quickly deleted never to be seen again. Playing with the macro function is definetly something I will do more often. now were is the nearest florist?

Friday 26th May
This evening Claire, Kathy and I gathered together to exchange our friendship books for the first time. We were without Lesley who ,due to work commitments ,was unable to attend. The others amazed me with what they had written in their books. They were so creative and I am sure as the exchange progresses we will all get better with our entries. One of the last entries I put in my own book was a spread on what I would do if I had 5 minutes to myself. I went through a magazine looking for pictures to glue on the page and then wrote about the things I could do in the 5 minute time span. We all think 5 minutes isn't very long but it is surpising the things you can accomplish, a quick read of a magazine, walk out side at night and admire the night sky, sunset, sunrise, listen to a song on a cd. Before the dinner I made a group of small tags up with headings on them as prompts to include on a page to write about. I told the girls they could decorate them as they wished. Kathy arrived at the dinner with a small bag of cut outs and mesh for us to use as well. I came away from the dinner brimming with ideas to put in Lesley book which is 'mine' now until the next exchange.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Before I gave the books to Claire, Kathy and Lesley I decided I needed to write something in each of the books to let know what I had in store for them and to give them some idea of what I hoped the books would achieve. I began by writing out a page of thoughts on what friendship meant to me and things I liked. I then photocopied the page several times and painted them different colours with water colour paints. When the pages were dry I cut them into vertical and horizontal lines and squares. The pieces of now disjointed writing were then glued haphazardly onto the first page of the books. The reassembled lines of writing still made a semblence of sense much to my suprise.
On the next page of the book I set out a page to add photos. One page to be of the owner of the book and opposite page to have small photo of the other book exchange participants.
It wasn't difficult to pick the photo I wanted to use for my booklet. I had not long ago organised a 'Belly Dance Dinner' for the four of us and had got my partner to take a photo of me beside the table set for the dinner. It would be a great reminder of our times together.
I do lots of writing and knew I would have no problems with what to write about but the others aren't writers so on the next few pages I set out some ideas for writing in the book.
As the exchange of the books progress the ideas for what to write will grow and the things we add to each book will only get better as we all explore what our friendship means to each other and as we discover more about ourselves through the expression of our thoughts on the pages.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The one thing I love about geting up early is watching the sunrise. This morning there was a sky worth seeing. I was up a bit later than usual and missed the early part of the sunrise but the bit I did see was dazzling. It looked as if someone had sprinkled marshmallows across the sky.I grabbed my camera and took several shots and have included one here for you to see.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

This is my first post, a big step into the online world.Recently three other friends and I began an exchange of friendship books and I have decided to share some of my musings with the rest of the world and as an incentive to keep the creative ideas flowing. It was my idea to create the friendship books after reading of other people doing similar things. The four of us share, quilting and bellydancing as hobbies and have shared some wonderful times away on delightful weekends at the Gold Coast.
I decided to create the books so we would all have something to keep as a reminder of our times together and as a way to get to know one another even better. I bought four small visual art diarys and set about decorating the cover and wrote a prologue in each of the books. I gathered together pens, glue, water colour pencils, photo splits and put all the bits and pieces and book into a small fabric bag for each of my friends. I then set about organising a dinner at home to exchange the books and thus begin the journey of discovery. This is the cover I made for my book, [the other books I made had similar covers] a mixture of torn hand made papers and paints.
So we all get to write in each others books we are going to exchange them on a regular basis.At the end of this week we are meeting for dinner at my place and have our first book exchange. My book will be passed onto one of the other girls and I will have one of theirs to write in over the next six weeks or so.