Friday, 23 March 2012

App recipes

Here is my sample for Dave's App Recipe Book Project, March 2012 Edition. Find Dave at

Lots of interesting, clever and fun apps to be seen here each month about this time. My entries are very simple, so here goes. 1. Here is my original photo of Sydney Opera House.
2. Adding WordPhoto.
3. Snapseed which offers LensLight. A bit of fiddling then I chose Lightning, saved then added Gold Rays.
4. PhotoArtistaHaikuHD. I just fiddled, looked, eventually saved.
Now, I wonder what order Blogger will put the photos in. Hopefully you'll be able to identify them. (Yes, they're mixed up. I can't figure how to fix this on my iPhone. Sorry.)

Don't forget to add a comment to the previous post if you'd like to be in the draw for the book I'm giving away this month. Good luck!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A give away - regardless of where you live. Just had to add that...

For months I've been meaning to give away a couple of books I have in duplicate. Yep, ordering the same book from two places is a bit stupid, but the up side is I can give one away. So leave a comment on THIS post to be in the running for the first one and I'll choose a winner (well, maybe Eddie will draw a name out of a hat) on the 1st of April. I'll give away the second book in a month or so.

This time the book is a Lark Studio Series and is titled Handmade Books. Leading artists. Signature works. Creative exploration. While of interest especially to book artists, I think assemblage artists may also be interested.
Now for a few of my favourite things. I'm a non-meat eater so I'm always looking for simple things to eat. At the moment I'm enjoying Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Veg Every Day. You may know his River Cottage books and TV series. Why do I follow an avowed meat eater? Well, Hugh (like Jamie Oliver) espouses good animal husbandry, demands that animals must be raised with consideration, and also believes that meat eaters should know exactly where their meat comes from and how it ended up on the plate. No punches pulled. So, while I still don't want to eat animals, I do appreciate his values. And I love his dedication to veggies.
And his endpapers are wonderful. Who would have thought that veggies were so beautiful?
While on the subject of veg, here's a couple of sites I like right now. Made from bean is written by local friends of mine. They have changed their lives by following the path they tell about here. Oh she glows is another story of a changed life. Both are vegan blogs, which always seems too hard for lazy me, but after reading both blogs I feel I would like to give it another try.  My daughter The Iron Deficient Chef (absolutely no iron deficiencies there) is a wonderful vegan cook and I love to eat at her house. I just need to get my own act together...

I have some new toys. I've mentioned before that I'm about to do a sawing class (and yes, my shoulder will be able to cope - thanks to all those who sent me good wishes for a quick recovery) and it happens next Saturday at the Sydney Jewellery School. I bought some of my supplies from The Eclectic Studio, which is connected to the Sydney Jewellery School.
On the left is a ring clamp; in the centre the German jeweller's saw; 3 dozen saw blades, so fragile you'd never imagine they could cut anything; a bench pin; and 2 of a set of 12 files. The reason I want to master sawing is due to Keith Lo Bue. He has made the most beautiful metal book, his first attempt at bookbinding, which takes my breath away. This link starts at the end of his process but does show the amazing (and tiny) brass book. If you like what you see, explore his blog. I actually have it in ebook form on my iPad, and I dip in and out of it constantly. I have a class with Keith in May. WooHoo!

Also via Keith I learned about Kumihomo braiding, so I've added some braiding disks to my collection of tools. I think you can see from the photo how the round disks form a round braid, while the square one makes a flat braid. I bought them from Over the Rainbow, an Australian company.
I've also found this rather nice shape in a journal I occasionally buy, on the rare times I feel I can afford it. It's a multi lingual floral art journal, Fleur. In a far off life I worked as a florist for a brief time - as long as it took me to realise that there was little glamour in constantly having wet hands and feet. But I still love the idea of 'out there' floral art and I can get a quick fix by browsing in this magazine.
I'm a proud grandmother - you all know that, so here's Fia with her medal from Little Nippers. This is an organisation run by the Surf Lifesaving Association in Australia and is a great idea for children who need to be beach savvy. Younger brother and sister are a bit envious but were told by Fia that they'll be able to be Little Nippers as soon as they learn to "shoot a wave". As most of the population of Australia hugs the coast, it is an admirable ambition.

Don't forget to leave a comment to be in the running for the book. You have until April 1.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Melbourne pics

I don't really know Melbourne, the capital city of the State of Victoria, so I was pleased when invited to a wedding down south to take the chance to explore a little. With my travelling buddy Jen, we flew down on Friday and on booking into our hotel found we had been upgraded to a very handsome suite. It really was a shame we were only staying four nights.
 This is the Exhibition Building, an example of the beautiful Victorian period buildings in Melbourne. Our hotel was just across the park.

The wedding was lovely, a very joyous occasion, and a happy chance to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones.

Jen and I did some exploring each day and soon realised that we needed at least a week and probably much longer to do justice to the galleries that abound there. Opposite the Exhibition Building is the modern Museum of Victoria, seen here in the following two photos.

The National Gallery of Victoria has some very interesting architecture. From inside the foyer one feels as if in an enormous spider's web. I loved this effect and from outside it was also quite stunning.
Among the many delights of Melbourne I discovered pear cider. (Thanks Jen!) I've never quite understood the charm of cider so this came as a revelation to me. Absolutely delicious!
I think I fell in love with the glasses! I've briefly searched the internet to see if I can buy some here but so far no luck. I'll keep trying.

My daughter Suzy is doing a Small Business course and as part of it she has had to start a blog. If you'd like to see Bundeena in the rain, please drop by, and she'd love you to leave a comment.

Another page I think you'll enjoy is Meliors' new web site. Her excellent blog is still at Bibliophilia. I find Meliors an inspirational artist, constantly progressing in her art to encompass huge conservation issues along with the minutiae of nature.

Speaking of nature, here is a little bit of my garden. One of my favourite flowers, the Naked Lady, always surprising me because I tend to forget where they are planted. What could be happier than a pink lily? Really called Amaryllis belladonna.
I've joined the walking wounded, to my great annoyance. I fell off a ledge and have done something very painful to my shoulder. I've been xrayed and ultra sounded and have no broken bones or tears, but what I do have is a lot of pain and discomfort. It's making me nervous because I have my class on the Jeweller's Saw in less than two weeks and I have visions of learning to use it with my left hand instead of my right. Right now I'm feeling the complete clutz, and constant painkillers aren't helping my thought processes or confidence.

 I think I'll go to bed and watch Stephen Fry. Surely he's the cure for all ills.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Bundeena walks

This will be mostly photos. Maybe a little self-indulgent but I really love this place and just want to share it with you. Staying in a wonderful house with views and a large deck overlooking the bay, it was difficult not to feel I was in paradise. Two visitors who were my constant companions were the young Kooka, and a Seagull with no feet. This little guy balances on the deck rail, en pointe, swivelling in the strong winds and hunting off any other seagulls with aplomb.

Walking in the Royal National Park, wherein Bundeena sits, is a delight and a privilege. Wild coastal scrub, Aboriginal rock carvings, magnificent rocky cliffs, native flowers and trees, animal scats and tracks - and all this with the sun shining mightily each and every day.

A cool path between ti-tree scrub. A snaky place but if we grow up in the bush here in Australia we know to keep an eye out for the snake snoozing in the sun.
The view from Bundeena Head. Golden sand, Sydney Sandstone rock faces, pristine waters.
Aboriginal rock carvings are on a huge flat rock face, not obvious to the passer-by, but a very thrilling experience when they are found. This is a Swamp Wallaby but there are also rays, whales, spirit figures, and the ubiquitous initials carved by idiots who think they are entitled to add to the art of our First People.
On a sandy track there were signs of a wallaby crossing. The tail marks have footprints on either side. I love knowing that not only are there birds everywhere but mammals and reptiles are also close by, possibly watching me as I peer into the undergrowth, hoping to see them.
This is an Erica, known as Swamp Fuschia. This is very typical Coastal Scrub, a great place for small birds.
Looking east from the deck this was a reflection of the sun setting in the west.

Here is the sunrise breaking through, followed by the stunning full sunrise. I couldn't stay in bed once I saw it was nearly dawn and I have to admit that I did take a lot of photos early in the morning.

Basil of course was there, my beautiful GrandPup, friend of Kookas and seagulls.
Tracy produced a wonderful vegetarian curry and it was lovely to sit out on the deck, eating in the gloaming.

Eddie made it into my last post so here's Cilla and Fia, in their new birthday dresses. Fia is just six and Cilla will be four in April. Her dress came early.
One last snap of natural history. A Leaf tailed Gecko sheltering from the rain. When I picked him up to take him to safety he hissed quite fiercely and tried to bite me. I do like lizards so much. My friend Jen, also fond of lizards, isn't feeling so charitable just now. A huge Goanna or Lace Monitor has visited her house this week, which she didn't mind, but she did mind that he also visited her chooks, killed a chicken and ate all the eggs.

Before I go, I must thank Amanda for the very welcome gift that landed in my mail box this week. I won't show what it is until I know Amanda has written about it on her blog. Thank  you, Amanda, a very cool gift.