Friday, 25 April 2008

Anzac day and beads and more

My year of "how to" is fast vanishing. I was going to learn all these new techniques and crafts which I have thought in other years I had not enough time for! Guess what, the same thing is happening again! I have managed to make these paper beads a couple of weeks ago, I have bought all the findings to turn them into a necklace and earrings to take away with me on Sunday. I have now packed them all into a bag to take with me, hoping I have time on Monday morning to make them up!!!

Today is Anzac day in Australia. I attended a very large parade in Mackay which was very inspiring. My 6 year old grand daughter was marching with her school, but passed by in such a flash I couldn't even see her. I rushed round the corner and just snapped away when the school appeared. Much to my delight when I downloaded the photos onto my computer I had manage to get her.

The little ones are pretty tired by the time they get to the cenotaph - about a 30 minute march, so they were looking a bitt ratty, but still waving their flags. I am wondering how my just 5 year old grandson went in his march in Gladstone. He wanted to go to the Dawn service with his father and big brothers, was quite put out when told he has to wait a few more years to do two marches!

We are going to Townsville for nearly a week for a conference - fun for me but hard work for Bill. The partners get taken round to see the sights and have lots of lunches and morning teas etc. I will probably need to diet by the time I come home. There are some lovely art galleries in Townsville, and I will have some spare time - after I have made my necklace of course!!!

I was a guide at the Botanic Gardens on Wednesday for a group of very young school children (aged 5 - 7), who were absolutely fascinated with the harlequin bugs I posted about recently. They were then looking at how water plants floated, examples being water lilies, water lettuce weed and water hyacinth. The last two are awful pests which washed down into our section of the lagoon with the flood. The teachers wanted to take them home to grow in a tank in the school for the children to watch. I don't think the curator approved of that at all - thought the weed might spread even further. Last year the Gardens spent about $70,000 hiring a water weed harvester which cleared our section of the lagoon. We don't have that sort of money to spend again this year, so they are looking at biological control, but will probably have to poison a lot of it to begin with.

Friday, 11 April 2008

A walk in the Gardens

Aren't these gorgeous? They are cotton harlequin bugs and some can always be found on the native hibiscus shrubs in our Botanic Gardens. Children just love them, we always have a hunt for the bugs when there are young school kids on a tour. The females are about twice the size of the males, but not nearly as beautiful.

This is a photo I took about 7 years ago before the Botanic Gardens were planned. The photo below is what you see standing in almost the same position! There is quite some change - we do live in the tropics after all and things grow very quickly. We live nearby and have walked in the area for a very long time. We loved seeing the buildings being built and then the Gardens being constructed. We will celebrate the fifth birthday of the Gardens on 31 May - most of the people involved at the beginning are still active in the Gardens now, should be a good party!

I have actually painted some papers today so should have something creative to show in another day or so, can't believe how fast the days disappear, really need to learn to sleep less or add some extra hours to each day!!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Reading matters

I haven't had time to do much creating the last few days, but I have started reading this fascinating book 'People of the Book' by Geraldine Brooks. I heard several interviews with her a few weeks back. The 'book' is a very old Jewish Haggadah. This book really exists, and was saved in the second world war by a Muslim librarian, then in the Bosnian-Serbian war by a Muslim librarian again. There are several other historical facts known about the book, and Geraldine Brooks weaves a wonderful story of fiction and fact about the conservator who works on it, as well as the people who handled it down through the centuries. I thought this was a book I could dip into at my leisure, easily putting it down when other jobs needed to be done!! More fool me, I am hopelessly addicted to reading and I should have held off starting this till I go to Townsville in a couple of weeks - when I will have quite a bit of spare time - I think.....

We had a lovely few days with our son and grand daughter, the little ones become big ones all too quickly. Hannah is still young enough to love a cuddle and hug in the mornings when she wakes, and to want Granny to read to her, even though she is reading her own very simple books now.

Still having wonderful Autumn weather, so I managed to get into the gardne for a short time, even spread some mulch around, with my mask firmly in place. I managed to acquire some wonderful fungus Asperllogis in my nasal passages before Christmas, or in reality, I think about June last year. It was apparently from something in the garden, very interesting to the doctors, but I would prefer to have been very boring and straightforward and just not have it!!! I had some surgery on my sinuses before Christmas and have to wear a mask in the garden - most offputting in the hot humid months here, and the grandkids think I look sooooo funny...........oh well, at least I can entertain them.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Playways exercise

This was an exercise I did for one of my modules in the Playways course which Dale of The Thread Studio runs. I have taken about twenty photos trying to get one without any reflections and this is the best that I can manage. I am very pleased with the framed result, the end of a long saga. I started doing a hand stitching exercise, didn't like the results much, then pinned it on the wall for quite some time, did a bit more, still not happy, so back on the wall. Over several months I kept adding bits till I was reasonably happy, but knew it needed something different. Then I cut a piece of black felt and stitched it round the outside - huge impact. After i received the piece back from Dale, I left it hanging on the wall for several more months before I got around to taking it to be framed. I was due to collect it from the framers a couple of days after THE FLOOD! More drama, the workplace was flooded with two feet of water. Thank goodness, the owner lives nearby and was able to get there and lift all the works in progress, so nothing was lost. They had to reframe everything after the workshop was dried out. They lost all their boards etc and had to get new stock in before they could hope to reframe anything. Some clients ere very impatient, but they would have been even more unhappy with a picture which went mouldy in a year or two!! I was thrilled to collect my work three days ago - now have to wait for my husband to hang it on the wall for me - that may take a while too.

We are still having absolutely magic weather here for the start of the school holidays. Our son Stuart is staying here for a few days with his six year old daughter Hannah - lots of enjoyment for us all. There won't be much textile creating going on for a while - much too nice outside, so gardening instead.