Sunday, 7 December 2008

Birthday Week

Starting with a family get-together at a restuarant - and two close friends. The Staurday before my birthday beacuse that is when my sister and bro-in-law could make it up in their campervan. They parked on the driveway by our house which is up a long right-or-way two sections back from the road.

They and the two friends stayed the night and we had a BBQ breakfast the following morning -bacon, eggs, pinapple and ginger/honey bread baked by Caren - under the awning of the camper van. The warmth of the summer and the trees and bacon made it seem like we were camped by the seaside - plus good friends of course!

Thursday was our work team dinner after work - not late - very pleasanr. Friday was the Christmas lunch put on by work - in the next door church hall with the secret santa gifts. I got a fancy notbook and I gave a book on NZ shrubs in the bush for Mary at work who is into bush walking.

Saturday I worked on the pencil portrait of Darren's (son-in-law)Father who died 4 years ago. It is hard to get the skin tones right with a photo takn by flash but I think Darren's mothe rwill like it. In the afternoon Alan and I went to the Wilderness Writer's group Christmas picnic - this year at French Bay over the other side of Auckland - very pleasant. John brought his kayak and we had discussions on trees, birds, the differences between rooks, ravens, crows, magpies (Pied crow in NZ).

Sunday I finished the portrait of Gareth and took him to the picture framers. My daughter will pick him up.

Sunday afternoon up to Dave and Caren's in the country for a scumptious lunch. She is such a great cook, all the flavours balanced - chicken with capers, fresh green salad with mustard sauce and potatoes gratin with cream not cheese.

Dave, Alan and I had a wander into the bush to get some ferns Alan wants to put in down the back of our house. I haven't uploaded them yet.

Caren had invited their 4 neighbours for afternoon tea nad done a heap of backing traditional German cakes - liebkuchen is the only one I remember the name of - and waffles with cherries and cream AND THE MOST devine cheese cake with strawberries - made with quark so not heavy. My birthday cake.

After the neighbours had gone Dave flew the kite and we sat on the grass in the shade and watched him. No one's stomach wanted to have another game of pentanque.

All-in-all the perfect end to a lovely week.

Friday, 21 November 2008

what I've been doing

Finished 4 pastel paintings - 3 from photos I took in England 4 years ago, one of hubby's brotherand Sister-in-laws dog Pol who died a couple of years ago.
Above are Towards Fowlmere and Pol.

Started another 6 weeks of the bush walk and talks.

Granddaughter Charlotte had her first birthday.

Went on another 2-day pastel workshop with Larry Blovits - great

Friday, 27 June 2008

Saturday musings

I feel free. I have just written a letter to withdraw from my paper this year without academic penalty . If I do it before 4 July no worries.

My brain was just not coping with having to sit down after a day at work and read and thing. I really sympathise with Dave. Did his last assigment go OK?

Now I do not feel guilty doing art. Or reading.

When I knew I had to study and couldn't make my brain work, I stuffed around and did not do much. When I did do a bit of art I felt guilty so consequently I didn't apply myself to much. Most things were time fillers, time wasters.

On the internet I've been looking at calligraphy. Some great art out there and I'll add some links.

Anyway - going to tidy my room so I have some space to make a mess. LOL . Hey may even get enough space to ROFL. Me? with a tidy room?

Never. :)

Poor DH has a bad cold. For the first time he has lost his voice. I bought some soup and crumpets to entice him to eat. He's just got up and having a shower. Just in time for lunch.

Friday, 20 June 2008


As part of a challenge on I have done a mandala.

It represents me, things I like and have done - or some things!
8x8" in colour pencils

writing Friday Feast

Gosh - is it really so long since I posted? Being off work for a couple of weeks with a bad cold/flu? is no excuse.

Visited one of my favourite blogs - Greenish Lady - and she has a Friday Feast where she answers questions posed and one of the questions was What Colour Pen do you Write with?
I had to answer - loving colour and writing! - Oh I love purple too! I write with black in my scrapbook photo album but I usually use blue on daily writing because purple is harder to come by.

In my journal I aften use pen and ink and then I can do purple, brown, red, green, what ever.

One colour all the time is depressing

Any way, I thought I would join in the Friday feast to write at least once a week!
So it's Saturday - close enough:)


If you could live on another continent for 1 year, which one would you choose? I would pick Europe. If I had that chance I would have enough money presumably to travel around it. I really loved England and would love to explore that more and paint. I loved the German people but there is so much more of Europe I want to see. The old houses, the country, the villages.




On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how much do you know about the history of your country?

Now how do you measure this? I know the backbone and major dates. Some names of primeministers and other Important People. Having lived here 60 years, that part I know.
7 out of 10 becuase the feel of it is more important than actual dates.

Main Course

Finish this sentence: Love is… Aaargh - one sentence? Love is all encompassing.


Have you ever been in or near a tornado? No. I've seen a little one starting but we don't have many in NZ.
The one I remember most is 1991 when we were in South Africa and phoned home to our daughter who was baby-sitting our house. She was all shaky as a tornado had just gone past and shaken the whole house. The main damage was 5 miles away - fortunately only trees - but she was by herself and it scared her. We timed our call well.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Leaves again

Mother's Day. Appropiately here is a picture of my mum's bromeliad. We went around to her place yesterday afternoon and Faye and Brian (sister and BIL) were able to be there too. They live 5 hours drive away so we don't get together often enough.

I have started another leaves drawing in CP. Taking lots of photos now as the leaves are really changing colours. All trees seem to be on different timetables though LOL.

On the subject of art, I have added a link to maggie Stiefvater's blog. She has lots of advice and writes in a very chatty way with a great sense of humour - tickles my sense of humour anyway! She also picks an artist of the month to discuss. Well worth a visit. Oh, she is ALSO a writer - published.

And talking of publishing, I have three haiku in 'the taste of nashi', a book of NZ Haiku just out organised by the Windrift haiku group of Wellington.

behind the sheep truck
the smell
of grass and hills

a marshmellow sun
in the mist
my horse snorts

summer picninc -
a moth flies out
of my husband's wallet

Monday, 28 April 2008


A long weekend - ANZAC day on Friday and everything is closed until 1pm so most people can get to a remembrance parade. Less returned soldiers from WW1 and WW2 now but more younger people joining in and the schools, scouts, girl guides ETC join in too.

Saturday I went with Caren to the demonstrations that are a part of the World Tai Chi day -

Very interesting with all the different styles doing massed displays. Each school had their own style, even when doing the same 'form' there were variations between schools. Some of the uniforms - very Chinese with tunic and loose trousers - were very colourful.

There were none who were doing the 42 form exactly the same as the SIng Ong Tai Chi school I learn with.

I have started another coloured pencil work of leaves. It is hard to take a photo where the leaves have a natural composition and if the sun is shining, removing one or two from the composition, or rearranging them is impossible because it is too hard to work out the three-dimensional sapcing and the affect on shadows onto other leaves.

There is a bank near work and the council workers have trimmed branches off one side of some trees because they were getting close to power lines. They are diciduous trees but I noticed some new shoots even now in autumn where the tree is trying to replace branches. And how do they know the branches have gone? How do they know they are now unbalanced or have a hole in their side that needs to be filled up so they have a nice round shape?

Can anyone tell me? And how do they know to space their branches out anyway and grow to a certain shape depending on their type?

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Sunday april 20th 2008

Gosh. Three tries to write a title. And then I got the date wrong and had to go back and edit It kept saving before I had finisehed. But with the sun coming in the window onto my back on an autumn morning that is a little crisp, everything's sweet.

Went to my monthly writer's group meeting yesterday. I had no writing this time as I had been finishing the Green Leaves. And I've also been working on the hodge podge of a nature journal.

Changing subject, can anybody say why things have to be plastic shrink wrapped? Is it just me who does not see the sense in for example, having shoelaces in a little plastic (useless for anything else) tray with cardboard stuck on as a backing.

And when you buy something from a big store where the plastic is thick and you just about need a degree in knives/saws/bolt cutters to open the packaging - why,?

Next time when I have brought something like that, I will stand in the store and not leave until they have opened the darn thing. And they can keep the plastic too .

I'll let you know how that goes.:)

The leaves are oh so slowly changing colour. Here I am with my camera at the ready saying come on come ON. I want to do another work in coloured pencils of autumn leaves.

I'm starting a pastel of Bro-in-law's dog. We stayed ith them in Christchurch and I offered because I can and they are so hospitable. Their dog died last year - he had been around the world with them and lived in Australia, Hong Kng, France. He must have been at least 20.

So of fto do some work. More like play really.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Campus Course

I've just spent 3 days down at Palmerston Nprth on the campus course for the medieval history paper I'm doing this year - It is my last paper for a BA so also the last time I will probable be visiting that lovely campus.

Natalie, another pastel artist, picked me up on the Thursday and showed me a lot of her part of the country. All the years I've been visiting Palmy and never explored the countryside as I didn't have my car but flew down or went by train. 15 years of study almost ended. We went to Shannon (lovely jewelry and art shop and cafe, and interesting 2nd hand shop run by Gypsy)Foxton - (Mill, Murals, Shire horses, interesting art gallery), Foxton Beach and finished with art gallery in Palmerston North. Natalie knew the owners of the galleries and other people so made it doubly interesting.

Natalie took the photo of me helping with the shire horses as the drvier's helper hadn't arrived.

I had to take some last photos of the beautiful grounds of Massey campus and the valley with the Turitea stream running through. I got up on sunrise the first day. Being further South the sun is lower and took longer for the valley to fill with sun so time to go from spot to spot to find the best shot. And I took some in the evening but not as spectacular as the morning ones.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

blog flitting

Wandering through others' blogs, flitting via etherical links, found this. How appropriate!

You Are Impressionism

You think the world is quite beautiful, especially if you look at it in new and interesting ways.

You tend to focus on color and movement in art.

For you, seeing the big picture is much more important than recording every little detail.

You can find inspiration anywhere... especially from nature.

I also added some blog links. But now I have to go and do some shopping for Mum, then do some ATC's for a swap that has to go out tomorrow.


Saturday, 15 March 2008

Sunday March 16th 2008

Talked with Paul from UK on the phone today. He has re-kindled my interest in writing haiku. This come sand goes anyway as art and short stories tend to interfere with time and the creative space in the brain. This space seems to have a setting so one form of expression at a time dominates, especially when the conscious mind concetrates on working in the form of expression.

He said there is a new forum through World Haiky Club (Yahoo club) for beginners and said I could join for a refresher. He suggested I write a haibun so this is for Possum.

Bush Walk.

This autumn it is dry. The toadstools and fungus are absent in the undergrowth.
I am glancing in every part I can. Slow going. Our cat is unlikely to have wandered this far, but it is almost a week since she vanished.
I identify the evening bird song – blackbird, tui, little grey warbler.

The leaves of different trees make their own patterns on the sky. Different patches of leaves on the ground.

dry leaves
with orange pine needles
a tabby coat

Distant music. The cricketer’s cars departing from the club pitch that the track skirts around. The scrunch of the gravel under my sneakers. I walk here alone.

I see only trees, leaves.

a feather
from an unknown bird on the path – puss-cat
can you still catch birds?

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Lost cat

Our cat possum was last seen on Sunday evening and no sign of her since. The house seems very empty without her.

Alan has spent today making flyers and going around all the neighbours but there is no sign of her. She has never wandered away before and we've had her about 10 years.

We live up a long driveway and she never goes down to the road . She wasn't sick or old and decrepit. Here one day and gone the next.
My Car failed the warrant yesterday so I had to book it in the garage which is twice as much of a hassle with having to visit Mum every day after work.
So a very low start to the week after a full-on weekend.

A brighter note to look forward to on Thursday with a surprise for a close friend planned.
It was a busy weekend - on Saturday the craft class and on Sunday our grandson's birthday.

This is the fornt cover of the book - about 6x6". we bent over a thin sheet of copper for the edge.
The background is a lotus leave with some acrylic and a sprinkle of walnut ink powder . I haven't decided yet on the placement of the
small copper pieces. The sqaure and the copper cover edge have been altered with liver of sulphate . I heated the small piece in a candle flame and like the orange and purple of that better though.

the book has plastic pouches (scrapbook type)and we sewed brown paper arounD the edges so the plastic seems more in keeping with the nature journal.
i'll show more as I go.

It's fun collecting the bits and pieces.

Saturday, 1 March 2008


Well last weekend hardly did a thing as I had a pinched nerve in my back.
This weekend I did a bit more on the green leaves, my friend Caren came around and I finally posted the last 3 Postcards I was sending out as bonus draws in the OWOH giveaway.

Firstly, the green leaves now have some colour on all the paper but a way to go yet. The leaves are too yellow and I'm toning them down a little, Thebackground will have more depth with some darker, some blending and some of the blending will be with a light colour.

Caren and I were going to go on a bush-walk but it was too wet. We went to the Scrapbook Warehouse and managed to not spend too much even though we took half an hour to give the whole store the once-over. I put my name down for a nature book class which looks intriguing.

We then went to the Art Space Depot in Devonport then around the shops, still not spending too much. Home for lunch, then three hours of art. By then the rain had stopped and we went for an hour's walk. Lovely fresh air, a wind but not cold.

I've joined a new group on yahoo and making some ATC's for a swap. I had to make one for myself LOL and gave Caren 2 and here are some of them. Zentangles ( I used to call it doodling!) the swap is with face zentangles.

This one I called The Weaver

This, Moon Maid (Caren has the Moon Maiden)

'On the Road'
His World.
Caren has 'on the Road' - this photo has uploaded a bit squashed.

It was hard to think of names.
On the whole I am pleased because these are the first ATC's I've done other than one set of cloth ones.

Friday, 22 February 2008

continuing Green leaves

Doing a little bit at a time.

Once most of the colour is on I will burnish then add colour where needed and crisp up edges at the end.

Friday, 15 February 2008


The green leaves are progressing slowly so I thought I would post something I did years ago when I was doing oils. I did several sheets of practice items to get the horse colours right and this is one - about 6x7".
Fortunately I have written by each sketch the oil colours I used to get the result so when I get back into oils, I won't have to start at the beginning again hopefully.
This afternooon is the writers' group meeting I belong to . We email our stories or excerpts a week before and then get together to discuss each in turn. I don't need lunch or dinner on these days because we all bring a plate and I eat too much.
Tomorrow I am writing for the Horse Society dressage and will be taking photos. I is supposed to rain but I'm sure I'll get some photos. I know more the shots I am after now and some close-ups of heads woul be good.

One World One Heart draw

DRAW DONE!! This is exciting.
And the winners are - with the help of the random number generator ....
Greenish Lady
This girl remembers
Please contact me with your email and postal address -

And it was such fun I will send a little something also to

Thank you everyone for participating and the great comments

Saturday, 9 February 2008

What color is your soul painted?

What color is your soul painted?


Your soul is painted the color orange, which embodies the characteristics of balance, heat, enthusiasm, flamboyance, playfulness, aggression, over-emotion, danger, desire, strengthens the ability to concentrate, attraction, adaptability, and stimulation. Orange falls under the element of Fire, and symbolizes glory and fruits of the earth.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz

Quizzes and Personality Tests

Wednesday, 6 February 2008


I'm Getting a real buz out of the OWOH world-wide blogger connection.

It has made me realise how little info I have on my profile so I have added a photo and some more details.

Currently I am working on this coloured pencil drawing. 9 x 13"

Saying that, I had better actually do some more on it. Been toobusy visiting others' blogs!!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

One World One Heart

Lisa Oceandreamer from Heart of the Nest and Imagination Cafe is the organiser of this annual event which is designed to bring bloggers together from around the world who may never ordinarily meet. It closes the gap of the blog community and enables us to interact, discover new and wonderful people, and in the process possibly win a prize or many prizes along the way.

I am offering two lots of three postcards - a mixture of collage, homemade stamps and hand drawn and painted.

The draw will be on the 14th February. About to happen!

89 comments and no more as I will pick two from this list.

DRAW DONE!! This is exciting.

And the winners are ....

Greenish Lady

This girl remembers

Please contact me with your email and postal address -

And it was such fun I will send a little something also to




Here again

Made a promise to myself that I will update regularly. I have been enjoying reading other people's blogs and can't tell them about mine unless I have one that is current!

I have done some pastels but more coloured pencils. I have just sold one of Autumn Leaves. 9 x 13".

I liked doing this so much, I have started another with green maple leaves.

The biggest news during my absence from posting, is the birth of our grandaughter, Charlotte Alessandra.

It's February and the locusts are starting to drown out the bird song.

I have been doing a lot of walking and taking photos of the bush and anything else - mainly plants, the cat, Charlotte and Xavier, birds. Half of the bird ones get deleted as they are too small or out of focus.

It's funny how you take a photo and the pose looks weird or impossible because the camera catches a movement part-way through. Our eye sees the end of a movement and not the middle.