Sunday, 24 June 2007

Kitchen Stuff

I treasure everything on my kitchen dresser - this little teapot was from a garage sale, its perfect for just one cuppa. The beautiful teaset behind it was from the little antique shop at Hazelbrook.

This is a row of chooks that hang across the kitchen window. Too fiddly to repeat, so they never made it to my market stall!!
I wanted a set of old canisters for ages, but couldn't afford the hefty price tags. In the end, I bought odd pieces here & there; some I had to paint labels on. In the end, I was very pleased with the results and glad I didn't buy the brand new reproduction ones. These all have a story to tell and ooze character!! (Also very practical)...

Winter Garden

All the recent rain has been good for the garden - I'm afraid its been pretty much left to its own devices since I've started temp work - fortunately even the latest frost hasn't done too much damage. The tomatoes on the North side where we have the terraced veggie patch are doing well, I've already picked some of the cherry toms this week. The basil is surviving well there too.
The lime tree is still looking like a dead stick in the ground, but the lemonade tree, above, has some blossom on it which is a very good sign.


I love birdhouses; just got a new one for my collection off e-bay. I have them hanging outside under the kitchen window, all in a row.

Becs Mid-2007 Dance Concert

The outfit was orange, red, yellow so Bec put this together herself. Of course I'm biased, but she was by far the best of the group on stage; the energy that she put into the dance, her timing and big smile throughout was sensational; I thoroughly enjoyed the whole concert and felt very proud of Rebecca.

It was school photo's the day before the concert, (I'm hopeless with fiddly hairstyles) but somehow managed to get Bec's hair plaited OK.

Water Feature

When asked what I wanted for mothers day, I requested a water feature or a bird-bath - well, better late than never! It was worth waiting for and looks perfect in its position surrounded by my sweet peas. Dan, our sparky, just has to finish off the electrical connection next weekend so we don't have an extension lead across the front deck. It makes a very relaxing place to sit. Just have to get some water cress now and a couple of other plants for it.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Aaahh, me hearties..

...twas a wonderful afternoon at the movies, with a bucketful of popcorn treasure..
'n Cap'n Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and shiver me timbers (literally..its turned really cold)..all dem pirates. Twas good entertainment from Disney for sure... savvy?!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Chasing Your Dreams by Veronica Weal

Chasing Your Dreams © 2003 Veronica Weal

There's a weary young boy swimming lap after lap
On a cold windy day after school;
But the grandstand is empty, there's no one to clap
When he finally climbs from the pool.
But his mind remains focused, he blocks out the cold,
And he thinks of a future that gleams
With a brightness reflected by medals of gold -
He's a boy who is chasing his dreams.
There's a waitress who works in a run-down cafe
In the town that she always called home,
And she dreams, as she's clearing the dishes away,
About London, and Paris and Rome.
In the evenings she works in the pub, serving beer,
With no time to herself, so it seems;
But she cheerfully strives for a goal that is dear -
She's intent upon chasing her dreams.
On a street in the suburbs a young couple stare
At the house they are hoping to buy.
It is old and neglected, but what so they care?
They are young, and their hopes are set high.
Though the mortgage and bills wont be easy to pay,
And misfortune may wreck all their schemes,
They are planning extensions, and children one day -
And together they're chasing their dreams.
There's a man who lies still in a hospital bed,
And his body is blackened and burned.
He's a volunteer firefighter, left there for dead
When the wind unexpectedly turned.
And his wife prays to Heaven to keep him alive,
As her world falls apart at the seams;
But the staff are amazed at his will to survive -
Single-minded, he's chasing his dreams.
On a drought-stricken property out in the west
Starving sheep dig for roots in the dirt.
And the owners push scrub - they are doing their best -
But they're beaten, they can't stand the hurt.
Then the rain tumbles down, and their weak new-born lambs
Are submerged by the fast-rising streams;
But the rain keeps on falling, it's filling their dams -
So they'll stay, and rebuild all their dreams.
You need strength when misfortune must be overturned.
You need courage when put to the test.
When the things that you want are not easily earned,
That's the time for producing your best.
And the bravest are those who will never give in,
For tenacity often redeems;
So they fight to the end, and quite often they win -
For they never give up on their dreams.
There are times when those dreams will be hard to achieve,
There are times when you'll stagger and fall;
But you'll pick yourself up, if you truly believe
You can triumph in spite of it all.
For the goals that you reach for can only be won
If you carry the fight to extremes,
So refuse to give in; Never say that you're done -
And don't ever stop chasing your dreams.

Retail Therapy

Had a couple of stressful weeks going to job interviews so time for some retail therapy me thinks.. picked up this beautiful little ballerina from Frou-frou's with a bit of small change. Looks delightful on my dressing-table.


Its been a while since I've done any cross-stitch, but this is one of my favourites that I put in a distressed frame. I don't know if its the right place to hang this picture with a phrase like that....right above the toilet!

Window Boxes

We've had a lovely show of petunias & pansies in the window boxes for most of the Summer, they're getting a bit straggly now, but surprising how fast they re-grow when you cut them back, which makes for good value planting.

Kitchen Quilt

I would love some chooks, but for now, I have to settle for all my hand-crafted chooks. I try to limit them to the kitchen so they don't take over the whole house! Above is a chook made from a great fabric which features feathers, and below is a small wall quilt and some painted wooden spoons.

Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Soup

Put a dash of olive oil into a large saucepan and add a diced onion, stir until soft. Add 1 tspn minced chilli and 2 tspsns minced garlic. Chop up some sweet potato (kumera) and pumpkin (I used butternut), and place in pan with about 4 cups vegetable stock. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 mins. Puree with stick blender & season to taste. Add small can light & creamy evaporated milk or fresh cream and heat gently for another 5 mins.
To serve in bread 'bowls' as above, slice top off bread cob, scoop out chunks of bread from inside and bake in hot oven (210 degrees c) for 5-7 mins. Place on serving plate, ladle soup in and arrange 'lid' and bread chunks around the cob, as soft croutons. Eat bowl after the soup!

Sassasfras Gully Bushwalk

Bec & I went on a good local bushwalk Sunday, although we didn't do the whole track that takes about 3 hours, as we'd left it a bit late in the day. There was some unusual fungi including this bright orange above.

The walk takes in some lovely rainforest, waterfalls & swimming holes as well as unusual rock formations. There was plenty of unusual bird-calls too.

We'll definately do the whole walk in another few weeks; its a whole world away from the stresses of daily life - just what I needed...

Herb Scrambled Egg

One of my favourite brunches, scrambled eggs with fresh herbs from the garden. Lovely with a toasted bun.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

'Black Swans' by Banjo Patterson

As I lie at rest on a patch of clover
In the Western Park when the day is done,
I watch as the wild black swans fly over
With their phalanx turned to the sinking sun;
And I hear the clang of their leader crying
To a lagging mate in the rearward flying,
And they fade away in the darkness dying,
Where the stars are mustering one by one.
Oh! ye wild black swans, 'twere a world of wonder
For a while to join in your westward flight,
With the stars above and the dim earth under,
Through the cooling air of the glorious night.
As we swept along on our pinions winging,
We should catch the chime of a church-bell ringing,
Or the distant note of a torrent singing,
Or the far-off flash of a station light.
From the northern lakes with the reeds and rushes,
Where the hills are clothed with a purple haze,
Where the bell-birds chime and the songs of thrushes
Make music sweet in the jungle maze,
They will hold their course to the westward ever,
Till they reach the banks of the old grey river,
Where the waters wash, and the reed-beds quiver
In the burning heat of the summer days.
Oh! ye strange wild birds, will ye bear a greeting
To the folk that live in that western land?
Then for every sweep of your pinions beating,
Ye shall bear a wish to the sunburnt band,
To the stalwart men who are stoutly fighting
With the heat and drought and the dust-storm smiting,
Yet whose life somehow has a strange inviting,
When once to the work they have put their hand.
Facing it yet! Oh, my friend stout-hearted,
What does it matter for rain or shine,
For the hopes deferred and the gain departed?
Nothing could conquer that heart of thine.
And thy health and strength are beyond confessing
As the only joys that are worth possessing.
May the days to come be as rich in blessing
As the days we spent in the auld lang syne.
I would fain go back to the old grey river,
To the old bush days when our hearts were light,
But, alas! those days they have fled for ever,
They are like the swans that have swept from sight.
And I know full well that the strangers' faces
Would meet us now in our dearest places;
For our day is dead and has left no traces
But the thoughts that live in my mind to-night.
There are folk long dead, and our hearts would sicken --
We would grieve for them with a bitter pain,
If the past could live and the dead could quicken,
We then might turn to that life again.
But on lonely nights we would hear them calling,
We should hear their steps on the pathways falling,
We should loathe the life with a hate appalling
In our lonely rides by the ridge and plain.
In the silent park is a scent of clover,
And the distant roar of the town is dead,
And I hear once more as the swans fly over
Their far-off clamour from overhead.
They are flying west, by their instinct guided,
And for man likewise is his fate decided,
And griefs apportioned and joys divided
By a mighty power with a purpose dread.

Norman Lindsay

Just a last word on Norman Lindsay from an interview between George Negus and Norman's grand-daughter, Helen Glad on ABC radio.

"I suspect that the gods on Olympus are still trying to get Norman to shut up and get on, and he's, 'I can't talk, I've got to finish a watercolour, I've got to do this and that.'"
"Norman Lindsay was outrageously talented, outrageously intelligent, outrageously prolific, outrageously bohemian. In fact, many regarded him, and still do, as just plain outrageous. Whether he was writing, painting, drawing, cartooning or just having a chat, he always had a story to tell".
In his own words "Everything I did was 'indecent'. I was "a monstrous fellow". I was out to "violate all popular morality and everything else". I wasn't doing anything of the sort. I cared for nothing but to express myself"."He had one of those very broad educations which allowed the mind - his mind - to escape into an imaginative world. His day was divided up into watercolours in the morning, oil in the afternoon. When that light changed, he probably was able to get in his 'Bulletin' work. This was probably after he'd finished doing the etchings. Ship models maybe at the weekends".
"Rose was definitely the personification of what he believed was the feminine-dominant - the ideal woman - and she certainly was. She knew innately what was the very best of his work. And I remember as a small child coming up here with Rose - and the back bedroom was not used, it was a sort of store area - and she'd say, "Keep a look out for Pa." And she'd pull a screwdriver out of her apron and go and take the false back off a cupboard. And out would come these wonderful watercolours that she'd kept hidden from him because he was forever giving things away".

"He believed in the creative force of females, as opposed to the destructive potential of maleness".

My Favourite Painting

'The Garden God' by Norman Lindsay is one of my personal favourites - absolutely stunning up close.
To view more of his artwork click on the following link by 'desertqueen' - its like you're standing in the gallery! Very clever.

Rose Lindsay

Rose c.1938 - Oil on canvas by Norman Lindsay. You can only wonder at the fascinating world that they must have shared together on the Lindsay Estate, a bohemian world filled with so much incredible beauty, both natural, and created at the hands of such a genius as Norman. But as they say, behind every great man...
LINDSAY, ROSE (née Soady - 1885-1978), artist's model, printmaker and author, was born on 5 July 1885 at Gosford, New South Wales, and registered as Rosa, third of nine children of English-born parents John Francis Soady, labourer, and his wife Rosanna, née Gale. Although Catholic, her parents kept religion out of their family's daily lives. Rose was raised in bushland near the Lane Cove River, in the Sydney suburb of Longueville.

Rose Lindsay 1970, by Anthony Browell (b. 1945)- National Portrait Gallery.
Rose posed for Sydney Long, Antonio Dattilo Rubbo and Fred Leist before she met Norman Lindsay in 1902. By 1903 she was installed in his Rowe Street studio rooms as his model and lover, and they later married. Rose continued as Lindsay’s principal model, becoming possibly the most frequently painted woman in the history of Australian art. She wrote two books on her life, 'Ma and Pa: My Childhood Memories (1963)' and 'Model Wife: my life with Norman Lindsay (1967)'.
Late in 1912 Rose and Norman had purchased a house and built a studio near Springwood, in the Blue Mountains, which was visited by such well-known figures as 'Banjo' Paterson, Henry Lawson, Dame Nellie Melba and Miles Franklin. On 14 January 1920 at Hawthorn, Strathfield, Rose married Norman with Presbyterian forms. His divorce was made absolute two weeks later. Their children Janet and Helen were born in 1920 and 1922 respectively. Committed to Norman as both his muse and collaborator, Rose spent many hours at the etching press, perfecting her printmaking skills. In addition, she efficiently managed his career, while working on her own creative interests.
Rose and Norman travelled to the United States of America and England in 1931-32. From about 1958 she lived with her daughter Janet at Hunters Hill, Sydney. In her late seventies Rose began to write.Norman died in 1969.
In February 1973 the property at Springwood was purchased by the National Trust of Australia and opened to the public as the Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum.
Rose Lindsay died on 23 May 1978 at the Caroline Chisholm Nursing Home, Lane Cove, and was cremated. Her two daughters survived her. She was fondly remembered for her dry wit and vivacious temperament.

'The Magic Pudding'

"A peculiar thing about the Puddin' was that, though they had all had a great many slices off him, there was no sign of the place whence the slices had been cut. `That's where the Magic comes in,' explained Bill. `The more you eats the more you gets. Cut-an'-come-again is his name, an' cut an' come again is his nature. Me an' Sam has been eatin' away at this Puddin' for years, and there's not a mark on him".
Norman Lindsay's "The Magic Pudding" was written in the middle of the First World War, though actually published in 1918.

The story of the Magic Pudding is one of the great stories of the hazards of having something for nothing. The interesting thing about this is that it repeats in Australian terms a universal theme. (Growing up in the UK I remember 'The Magic Porridge Bowl").

The Magic Pudding was a pudding which could be steak and kidney pudding, or it could be a plum duff, or an apple dumpling; you just had to turn the dish around and whistle twice and it changed to whatever you wanted. It was absolutely unlimited in supply, and the pudding enjoyed being eaten and in fact pleaded to be eaten.

The theme of inexhaustible abundance is one which also runs through popular thinking about economics in all societies. These stories are all part of a very deep folk tradition, related also to the story of the three wishes. There is always a catch, a hidden trap, or a built in punishment for being too greedy. The magical gift is not to be abused. He of course realised that children love hearing or reading about eating delicious things and lots of them.

..."Round a bend in the road [the noble society of Puddin' owners] came on two low-looking persons hiding behind a tree. One was a Possum, with one of those sharp, snooting, snouting sort of faces, and the other was a bulbous, boozy-looking Wombat in an old long-tailed coat, and a hat that marked him down as a man you couldn't trust tn the fowl yard. They were busy sharpening up a carving knife on a portable grindstone, but the moment they caught site of the travellers the Possum whipped the knife behind him and the Wombat put his hat over the grindstone.
Bill Barnacle flew into a passion at these signs of treachery.
`I see you there,' he shouted.
`You can't see all of us,' shouted the Possum, and the Wombat added, `Cause why, some of us is behind the tree."

Norman Lindsay Gallery & Cafe

We had a relaxing morning at our favourite cafe. It just happens to be an award-winning restaurant/cafe in the grounds of a heritage listed property owned by the National Trust, the Norman Lindsay Gallery. Its a favourite spot as we had our wedding photo's taken in the beautiful grounds.

"Norman Alfred William Lindsay (1879-1969)Prolific illustrator, painter, sculptor, author and scale modeller, Lindsay is widely regarded as one of Australia's greatest artists".
"Norman was one of ten children of Dr and Mrs Charles Lindsay, of Creswick, Victoria. Remarkably, five of their progeny became artists of distinction. From an early age, Norman showed an outstanding ability to draw. He became the principal cartoonist for the Bulletin magazine, fought many controversies against "wowsers", particularly defending his right to paint the nude, wrote novels and children's books including "The Magic Pudding" and also made ship models and garden sculptures.
His major work was, however, the torrent of pen drawings, etchings, watercolours and oil paintings, all of which are well represented at "Springwood" (the Norman Lindsay Gallery & Museum).,com_wrapper/Itemid,76/
His artwork is widely collected and many works reside within private and corporate collections. His art continues to climb in value today. In 2002, a record price was attained by his oil painting, Spring's Innocence, which sold to the National Gallery of Victoria for $AU333,900.

His sumptuous nudes were highly controversial, and in 1939, several were burned by irate wowsers in the United States who discovered them when the train in which they traveled caught fire. Interestingly enough, Norman had actually sent them to the United States to protect them from the impending War!
Lindsay also created a scandal when his novel "Redheap" was banned due to censorship laws. Many of his novels have a frankness and vitality that matches his art.Sam Neill played a fictionalized version of Norman Lindsay in John Duigan's movie "Sirens" (1994), set and filmed primarily within the Gallery grounds. James Mason and Helen Mirren starred in "Age of Consent" (1969), Michael Powell's adaptation of Lindsay's 1935 novel".

The morning tea's and lunches are amazing - this is the apple & rhubarb crumble with home-made vanilla icecream. Just couldn't quite squeeze it all in; good job there's a good bushwalk within the grounds!

Lindsay was associated with a number of poets, such as Kenneth Slessor and Hugh McCrae, influencing them in part through a philosophical system outlined in his book Creative Effort. He also illustrated the cover for the seminal Henry Lawson book, "While the Billy Boils". Lindsay's son, Jack Lindsay, emigrated to England, where he set up Fanfrolico Press, which issued works illustrated by Lindsay.