Wednesday 19 December 2007

7 Weeks Later!

Yes, 7 weeks have passed since I last added something to my blog. To be honest, I have actually enjoyed the freedom of not writing to it every day or every few days. However, I freely acknowledge that it was a good way for anyone who was vaguely interested to catch up with me, or look at what I may have been making recently. Also a couple of Sydney people have expressed an interest in maybe purchasing some of my jewellery , so it's a way for them to see it, and have some idea of what I'm making.

Tuesday 30 October 2007


It's been positively ages since I showed off some of my recent pieces of jewellery. Above is the resin and lampwork necklace I was asked to make for a friend. I made a similar one for my sister's birthday.

Below, is a mother of pearl and Swarovski crystal necklace, with some earrings.

AND...saved my favourite to last. This is one I made for me, using resin, semi-precious fluorite, freshwater pearls ,Thai silver and a beautiful shell.

I'm really going to have to bite the bullet and start to try and sell some of my jewllery. I really enjoy the process of creating, especially the decision-making...colours, type/combination of beads, symmetrical/ pattern or not, but if I don't attempt to sell it, there really is no point except that it's sending me broke !! Just a bit lacking in confidence in 'pushing'...hmmm...not really the best jewellery on to others.

Monday 29 October 2007

The photo above is not a recent comes from 30th June,2005, when we had an amazing rain event at Caba. However, it is a fairly accurate depiction of last Friday night, when we had 97mm of rain in about 45 minutes. It was very very scary as our street once more filled to overflowing, yet drivers still tried to find a way through. Because I live near a corner,and because maybe someone had to do it, I went out with my torch and attempted to warn any drivers reckless enough to attempt it.

It is still raining here....and I can't believe how ungrateful I sound in saying that we've had enough.There are many more areas in our wide, brown land that are far more needy.

Sunday 28 October 2007


My favourite radio station is ABC Classic FM, part of the public broadcasting network here in Australia. Every year, for the past four years, they have invited listeners to vote for their favourite pieces of music. In previous years, the station has compiled The Classic 100, The Classic Piano 100, The Classic Opera 100 and The Classic Mozart 100.

This year it's the turn of the Classic Concerto 100.

As I type, we're currently listening to number 66, so perhaps, if you choose to click on the Classic Concerto 100 link, you'll get an update on the countdown. Also, you can listen online here.

My vote, after in-depth consideration, was for the Beethoven Violin, but I expect other favourites to be in the top 10. These include the Mendelssohn Violin, Rachmaninov's 3rd Piano , Mozart's 27th Piano and Bach's Brandenburg 3. It goes without saying the whole world loves Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, but as it has topped 2 of the previous charts, there has probably been a bit of sabotage going on, methinks!

Friday 26 October 2007


My friend Paul and I had a wonderfully relaxing day on the Tweed River the other day, swimming at our favourite little spot. That's it in the photo an almost full tide, the water is magnificent, and the sandy beach is perfect for collapsing onto!

On the way back to the boat ramp, several pods of dolphins swam past us. This was the absolute icing on the cake!! My attempts to photograph them were a soon as they saw my camera aimed at them, they'd stay submerged, till it was pointed elsewhere! Tricky things!

Wednesday 24 October 2007

New ATCs

My muse has been busy recently, creating both new jewellery and Artist Trading Cards for swaps I'm in, in 2 Aussie groups I belong to.

Above are the 2 ATCs I did for a Childhood swap. The 3 blondies are my nieces and nephew, in a photo I took about, maybe, 14 years ago.

Below are the 2 I made for a swap where we had to use wax crayons. I used them in the background, by ironing shavings from the crayons, using baking paper.

And finally an ATC for a Halloween swap and for a Blue swap.

If you are interested in trading ATCs, please leave me a message by clicking on 'comments' below.

Sunday 21 October 2007


Today is my sister Robyn's birthday....happy birthday Rob! I'm sure it will be a special day, shared with family and friends, and with lots of smoked salmon and bubbles! I wish I was there to celebrate with you! Have a fabulous day!

Saturday 20 October 2007

Creepy Crawleys!

Like many people I know, I enjoy being out in the garden in the early morning. The camera came with me today (I don't always take kind of seems to change the way I look at the world) and what a good thing. On the underside of leaves on both a grevillea and a banksia,I found spectacular ants' nests.

**WARNING** If you don't like creepy crawleys, look away now!**

My blood still goes cold even uploading these photos...they were big ants, about 8mm, long. They had built the nests from what looked like sawdust or something similar, and the nests were quite solid. I tried to poke into them with a stick ( eeerrggghhh) , but the stick didn't make any impression.

The curled-up leaf below, closest to the camera, is about 22cm long, and the nest on the underside is about 12cm long.

The photo below shows the underside of the same leaf....the nest was about 5cm wide, and about 4 cm high. There was a little tunnel down one side of it, so the ants could come and go. skin is still crawling.!!!

Thursday 18 October 2007


My fellow blogger Marie, at Montpellier Daily Photo, has tagged me...many thanks, Marie.

As with all things these days, there are rules :-
1. Link to your tagger and list the rules.
2. List 8 random facts about yourself.
3. Tag 8 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs.

However, as the name of my blog implies, the only rule is there are no rules! Rules are there to be broken, as long as nobody or nobody is harmed.

OK...ummmmm.....8 random facts about me....

1. I was at the Wimbledon men's final in 1985 when Boris Becker won his 1st championship, aged 18 ( I think). Check out the Beaut Aussie Sheila, above, sitting in a stand on an outside court that day.
2. Hated reading all through school...the day I left school, I started reading and haven't stopped.
3. I love drinking Eden Valley or Clare Valley riesling.
4. I love being in very isolated places, especially with vast distant views.
5. I am a chronic procrastinator.
6. I used to play the French Horn quite well, but my trumpet playing was truly awful.
7. Christmas is the best time of the opinion only.

Yes, I know..only 7 facts, but 7 is more interesting that 8 I reckon. tag some fellow bloggers.....

1. Sewcilla
2. Cat
3. Irina

OH...that'll do for now...yep, nowhere near 8, but too bad!

Wednesday 17 October 2007


There are many reasons for planting wattles. Apart from the fact it is our national floral emblem, they are very quick growing, even if a little short-lived. For me, the number one reason is that parrots love to eat the wattle seeds. This poor wattle has taken a battering in the last 2 years, with storms breaking branches and borers as big as your index finger munching into it. However, it put on a great flowering show about 2 months ago, and these corellas, above, have been visiting every day for both breakfast and dinner, as have plenty of galahs.

I wasn't quick enough was more that my excitement was the problem! Having a munch on the seeds was a pair of Eastern Rosellas.

But it then became more amazing, because also eating the seeds was a magnificent male King Parrot.

Saturday 13 October 2007


Having re-emerged from my little break away from the all-consuming world of blogging, I must acknowledge Jules' role in enticing me back. We spoke on the phone this morning, voice-to-voice, as real people, not just names on a blog page! It was amazing...we talked about other bloggers we have in common, so there should have been some ears burning in different parts of the world! We talked about her holiday in Vietnam, about our own lives and the role blogging has in our lives. I am still gob-smacked by it! Thanks Jules.

The above photo places me in a dreamily isolated place, on the Dampier Peninsular, in Western Aust., back in 2003...I really wish I could say that's where I've been for the last 2 weeks or so!

Sunday 30 September 2007


The little blond poppet is Caitlyn, my 3 year-old great-niece, and she had her first camping trip this weekend with her grandparents and our friends, Peter and Heather. It was for one night only but the bush telegraph reports it was great fun. Of course, she had to have her own camp chair! Wanting more photos?

A NEW IDEA ( for moi at least!)

The early mornings have been stunning the last few days...calm, clear...the early morning colours always have a coolness to them, even the oranges and golds of sunrise.

I thought I would do a series of posts about colour and randomly choose a different colour for each post. The posts could take any form. I'll write some colour words on little cards and then draw one out each day and that will be the subject for that day's post. BUT...then....remember, the only rule is no rule! The thought of 'randomness' is intriguing......

Monday 24 September 2007 love it!

The things to love about Noosa?Because I am a water/bush/beach/river/boat type of person, the things I love about Noosa generally centre around the water and the national park. Perhaps that's also because it's slightly less crowded out on the water or walking in the national park.

Above, sitting on the little ferry that plies the Noosa River between Tewantin and Noosa is wonderfully relaxing. Below is the Noosa Sailing and Rowing Club which, from it's wide and completely open verandah, has great views up and down the river, and to the distant hills. It is a stunning place to sit with a glass of bubbles and good company, and solve the world's problems.

Noosa National Park is the perfect cure for the crass, extravagant side of Noosa. The walking tracks goes all the way round the coast to the beach at Perigian, and also explores the hills and more forested areas. A few years ago, I walked straight past a tree here where a koala was sleeping! Thank goodness my walking companion was more alert!Below, a lone surfer paddles round the point. The water was not as clear as usual due to recent very heavy rain.

This photo shows some of the typical coastal vegetation of pandanus, cotton trees, palms and eucalypts, and looks towards Cooloola national Park.

Saturday 22 September 2007 either hate it or......

Ah, Noosa. I think it would be fair to say that anyone who's been to Noosa, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, has a definite opinion about the place and it tends to be either black or white, and not much grey. Visiting the area again, last week, when I was staying at nearby Tewantin, it was easy to see both sides of the argument. the black side. The beach, above, reminds me of one of the crowded French Riviera beaches, where all the 'beautiful' people lie side by side, in the latest resort gear. The main street, Hastings Street, is home to restaurants, cafes that look like something on the Champs Elysee, expensive resort wear boutiques or cheap, imported souvenir shops. Below,houses lining the river or the man-made canal estates sell for up to $8 million.

Enough! Next...the things to love about Noosa.

Friday 21 September 2007

The Three of Us, 1985 - 2007

My two special friends in the photo above are Veronica, on the left, and Tricia, on the right. We first met in a pub in London, in early February 1985, when we were Australian exchange teachers with the League For Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers. The three of us quickly became great friends and did many amazing and memorable things that year. Even though they both live in Queensland, our friendship has remained precious to the three of us, and we try to get together at least once a year.

Below is the three of us, in a photo taken in Jerusalem, in April, '85.

Saturday 15 September 2007

New ATCs

Today, a bit of show and tell about some recent work I've been doing with Artist Trading Cards, and in particular,different techniques for backgrounds.

Above, are cards I made for an insect swap. I just love dragonflies, and believe they are my totem. Below are the cards made for a Dream swap I'm hosting. Amazingly, they are nothing like my original idea, and I'm not quite sure where that idea disappeared to. The original thought was characteristically dark and obscure, so the final result couldn't be more different.

These last two were done using a technique from the fabulous book by Bernie Berlin, "Artist Trading Card Workshop". 'Confronting ' is something I think I strive for in my work.

I'll be away for a few days.....I'm heading up to Tewantin, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, to spend four days with my two special friends from our exchange year in London, wa-ay back in 1985.

Friday 14 September 2007

Recent Jewellery


It's been a while since I've had a show and tell with some of my recent creative output. So, I'll devote the next few posts to both jewellery and ATCs, and then I thought I might take you on a brief zip around northern Australia, aka the Top End. We'll visit some of my favourite places from 2003.

But for now...of course, I had to lead off with a charm bracelet...I just LOVE them! Below is a necklace made with moonstone, and three red-pink coloured gemstones( the names escape me, but one of them is probably rose quartz)

And finally, a necklace and earrings made from rose quartz and polished onyx.

Now , a plea for help! I would be grateful for anyone who can explain to me , in words of one syllable or less, how to post larger images on my blog. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday 11 September 2007

ELEMENTS : earth with a small 'e''s picture is of a rock map we came upon in an extremely isolated part of the Kimberley area in N.W. Australia in 2003. Made by a local mob of Aboriginal people, it is a map or picture of their country. It's not difficult to see the connection between a rock map and Aboriginal 'dot paintings'.

Friday 7 September 2007

Vale Pavarotti

On last night's 7.30 Report, Kerry O'Brien replayed part of an interview he did with Pavarotti when he visited Australia for the last time, in 2005. O'Brien asked Pavarotti about his most- loved memories of his career. This was his reply:

"There is a phrase in Italy. We say, 'The first love you never forget,' so let's say that La Boheme is my first love. "

The photo above is of Pavarotti in the role of Rodolfo, in Puccini's 'La Boheme', in 1988.

Vale Pavarotti....thanks for the memories.

Thursday 6 September 2007


"What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the [grass]"? - Jack Handey

Fingal Head is one of my favourite places on the coast. It's usually always really blowing a gale, especially if the wind is from the south, as it was this day. This patch of leathery grasses was so bent over because of the wind, and made such a wonderful wild rustling sound.

Thank you for your concern regarding the collapsed guttering. Hopefully it will be replaced soon.

Wednesday 5 September 2007

Wild Weather Warning!

Sending another Wild Weather Warning! While I deal with the insurance assessor and roof plumber, after my guttering collapsed in last night's storm( yes more water!), please do yourself many favours and lose yourself in this amazing blog.

There are breathtaking and miraculous photos of the nature and landscapes of Finland. If you care to follow the water theme, then February, July and August are sure to thrill you.

Tuesday 4 September 2007

ELEMENTS : water

"In the sweetness of friendship, let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things, the heart finds it morning and is refreshed. " Kahlil Gibran

Monday 3 September 2007

Elements: FIRE

Fire that's closest kept burns most of all. - Shakespeare

Saturday 1 September 2007

Wattle Day

1st September is Wattle Day, the day on which we acknowledge the wattle tree which is Australia's floral emblem.Most Australian sporting teams are decked out in the green and gold of the wattle.Sadly, many people are allergic to wattles, which can bring on hay fever and other respiratory complaints. Happily for me, I'm not one of them, and have 4 in my garden. In case you missed it, there was another wattle pictured with Vivian, the cheeky beach babe featured in yesterday's posting!

The first of the four elements will appear in my next post.

And check this out, to see an awesome photo of this week's lunar eclipse.

Friday 31 August 2007

Natural Elements

There's just the teensiest empty space in my daily life, because I'm not posting every day. Jeez, I just can't make up my mind on this one, can I!! it says above, the only rule here is that there are no rules. So, I can bloody do as I like!

Anyway, I came across this little 'theme', on a new blog I was led to, The Glass Doorknob. She has a l-o-n-g list of other blogs that also reflected on the four natural elements of fire, water, earth and wind.

So, tomorrow I'll post a photo of my first element, taken in my handkerchief-sized backyard.

Wednesday 29 August 2007

Lunar Eclipse

If you live in our wide brown land, I hope you were able to watch last night's total eclipse of the moon. It was called a 'Blood Moon', because at its maximum effect, the eclipse gave the moon a russet colour.Initially, we had a cover of light cloud here, but as the moon rose, and the eclipse began, the cloud did the right thing, and buggered off somewhere else! Up and down my street, people would come outside every 10-15 minutes and see what it was up to. Conveniently, it occurred between about 7pm and 9.30-ish, and so meant many more people saw it.

The photo above was taken in Brisbane by Beau Chenery. If you are interested in more images, my Local ABC has a page of links and information, including a time lapse movie.

Monday 27 August 2007


One whole day of sunshine.Yes.I can't believe I'm rejoicing but...we've had one whole,complete day without rain. So, now we start to dry things out, wash the mildew off the walls, and cut back the trees and shrubs that Nature has done a rough pruning job on, during last week's wild weather.

Between having a friend stay ( which I LOVE happening), life-in-general catching up and almost terminal exhaustion, Blogger has been very much neglected. Most people I know like their routines ,well, to some extent at least. However this little black duck likes her's more than most, and when routine goes out the window....I'll spare you the details.

Hopefully, this week will be slower, more ordered even, and I can dip my toe back into the blogging and artistic oceans.

Thursday 23 August 2007

Wild Weather NO.2

There's a bumper sticker that says "Respect the ocean", or something like that. I took these photos at Snapper Rocks yesterday, marvelling at the power of the ocean and the stupidity of brainless blokes.

Cheers mate!

This final photo captures the beautiful colours, in the sea and the sky, looking north from Snapper( one of the world's top 10 surfing breaks when it's pumping).