Monday, September 28, 2015

Been a while...bits and bobs, music and a new painting.

It's hard to get to my blog these days.  It's partly because, well, ok, MOSTLY because, our internet connection here is flighty and temperamental.  And it does not like me...seriously, hubby can sit in front of glowing screen working all day, and it will behave itself nicely, but the moment I sit down, nope, little green light goes round and round and then goes red and that's internet for you, my pretty!  And being in a rural area means you pay big bucks for small download capacity, so we are all on a digital diet.  But it's not the only reason.  It's also because sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed because there's so much I want to post about, and yet, conversely, not so much about my artwork which was the main reason for starting a blog in the first place.  I'm busy, but I haven't done much painting, drawing or craft since I finished the map book last year.  I'm feeling the lack, I really am, but my space to work at home is limited, and I've been involved in music study and group projects and other things.  Which is actually marvellous, but I feel little out of balance.  So...I'll pop up some photos with some quick captions, to try and give you a whirlwind tour of what we've been up to in this corner of the world.

Well, I finished up my Certificate IV in Music in June, and our class were given the opportunity to appear (not quite the right word for radio, but anyway...) on our local Albany community radio station, 4ufm, and play some of our songs live.  So this is my song 'Ulysses', with moi on vocals and guitar, and I'm being accompanied by my lecturer Tony King on lead guitar, my friend and fellow student Ruby Moon on bass, and both on harmony vocals.  If you can hear squeaks and bumps, that probably me hitting my knee on the desk, as my chair swings around!  But not too bad!

I thought it was time to consider creating a 'mermaid in the attic' logo thingy.  So far this is my favourite design.  I like that it works as a black and white line drawing, but I can also imagine it painted up on wood in faded colours, like an old English pub sign, swinging above the pub door.  If I ever get my dream of a separate purpose built studio, I'll make myself one!

The first painting I've done in months!  I'm working on a little book of my poem "Snow White to the Woodsman".  It will have some very simple line drawings inside (possible to be individually embellished after they're printed), and this will be the front cover.

This is one of the internal illustrations.

I've become slightly obsessed with this Rhubarb Crumble recipe.  With fresh, spray free locally grown Rhubarb, how could I refuse?  Also good as Apple and Rhubarb, Pear and Rhubarb, or go for the Trifecta and have all three!

Weed Mat Day!  In August, we rolled out 40 metres x 5 metres of old rotted silage and covered it with weed mat.  Fingers crossed in a few months, we'll have lovely soil ready for vegies and fruit trees, and NO KIKUYU!

Me getting down and dirty spreading silage...Peyooo, it was pretty stinky!

Hubby surveying his realm.

A long walk down at Greens Pool.  I took so many pics, I'll have to do a separate blog post.  I still can't quite believe this is practically on our doorstep.

We have a 14 year old now, all blurry in motion!

And an 11 year old.

We went to the Winter festival at littlest munchkin's school.

Dads are funny, aren't they?!  The bonfire wouldn't take, so it wasn't long before about 8 dads were in there, making suggestions, doing dad stuff.  It took off eventually, but I suspect it would have anyway without all the fiddling and tweaking!

Sigh, every year I want to be able to share the wonder of the Lantern Walk, but this is the best I can get.  Down along the creek in the bush at night, by candlelight, admiring the beautiful fairy houses built by munchkin's class.

The fairy houses were so wonderful, I went back the next morning and took a few pics of the ones made by munchkin and her friends.

I've been baking bread.  I don't know why it took me so long to give it a go, I think I was scared off by the seemingly complicated 'chemistry' side of it, which isn't at all!

Fishing for Herring.  Yum!  You know you live in paradise when you can head down to the beach at 4pm and be home with dinner before the sun sets, and eating it within an hour of being caught.

It wasn't until well after we actually bought our block that we discovered this view.  Yes, that is the Great Southern Ocean!

In March I went to a 'Bush Tucker' workshop.  I'd really like to learn so much more.

And...the long and continuing saga of the shed, and the house.  So many restrictions, so many regulations, so many things you are not allowed to do yourself, no, you must pay lots of money for other people to do things that you know you are entirely capable of doing, but you're not legally allowed to because you're 'not qualified'.  We have the peculiar and illogical situation where we cannot even put a shed up on our land (let alone live in it), until the local council has seen and approved house plans.  Which puts us in a frustrating 'Catch 22' situation.  We wanted to live in our shed while we build our house (saving on rent), but we also wanted to live in the shed on our land while we DESIGN the house so we can get to know, and thus build to suit, the land, the aspect, the weather conditions, the prevailing winds, the lie of the land...and so on.  But no can do.  So we must, and now have, designed a house that might be ok, and might not, so that we can get building approval, so that we will be allowed to build our shed and move into it.  Then, finally when we actually are living ON our land, we will have to play for time so that we can get to know the land well enough so we can make any design changes that we think are needed to best fit what we learn from living there.  Does this make sense so far?  And it seems every little thing requires a 'permit' which must be applied for and a fee paid.  Our 'temporary accommodation' shed is shaping up to be so expensive as to be pointless, even if it saves us 2 or 3 years in rent and ultimately becomes hubby's 'man-cave' and handy man domain.

But, the good news is we now have Planning Approval (first flaming hoop to jump through), Building Approval (second hoop) and are now just waiting for the shed approval, so we can build it and move in.  The main things I'm worried about at the moment are we going to all fit (with all our stuff)?!  And will we get the shed up and water tank connected in time to catch the last of the rains?  Because if we don't we will have to buy water, thousands of litres of it, to get us through the summer.  Keep your fingers crossed for us for a long, wet Spring!
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