Monday, January 28, 2013


so, you saw these shots before....I love them. Did some light editing and thought I would share the before, middle and end results...

georgie tri editgus tri editkate2 tri The middle shot is with the levels tweaked til I feel everything is OK, and would be happy to print as is. The end shot of all has been given a light action, and I love the washed out sort of look, wants me to have that old window frame I've got laying about all distressed and ready to take some photos...

Now I just have to decide if I want to use the full length shots or the close ups, or use a mixture of both...

(and I've shared the results of the rest of the edits over my other, much neglected photography blog, puddin & pie)

Sunday, January 27, 2013


and all dressed up with nowhere to go, actually, were just home from Australia Day celebrations and still clean.

IMG_1879 IMG_1880

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Mum, I'll take one of you....I don't have the poses like the kids sadly...

IMG_1911 I'll stick to being behind the camera...although I forgot to get the girls to take one of me with each of them, haven't done it in all last year. And don't you love that I have only just realised the potential of the back wall of my rustic laundry!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

meeting Isabelle

I'd forgotten these photos were on my camera; we recently got to visit a very new and shiny little Isabelle when in the city last week, daughter of a my lovely friend Mel. It was pretty exciting for the kids to visit in hospital, not something we normally get to do. The kids all got to have a hold.

IMG_1799  IMG_1801IMG_1809

Poor little baby girl. Was having a peaceful existence until we visited!


And then, after all of that action, I didn't even take a photo of Mel and Isabelle, we were too busy yacking and catching up. I will admit that we can both talk the hind leg off a donkey when we get together!

It doesn't take long for a person to forget how small babies are...mine is (OMG) SEVEN this year, and certainly doesn't fit on my lap any more...sniff.

I already shared some instagram shots of swimming at the Rockpool, but here are some real deal camera shots....

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Random photo of the wall of the life saving club or some building, which I thought would be AWESOME for a photo backdrop! My subjects weren't co-operative though, just wanting to swim and jump.

IMG_1817As always we can't wait to get out of the city, but right now, geez it would be nice to back there by the beach!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

doing stuff

I gave myself a bit of a mental shake the other day and decided to get in and DO some of the things I had been THINKING about doing for ages (you know those jobs you think will be tricky/time consuming/brain numbing)

I had the material, and laid in bed thinking about the how that morning, and then decided to DO, and give this old chair a badly needed facelift.

imageI wouldn't say its professional by any means (I had to use calico on the bottom of the cushion) , but it IS done and I have a few mental notes about the next two I have to do...because once you start, you can't have one looking all smicko and the rest all sad and dowdy.

Instead of tackling another armchair, today I decided to do the "easier" cane tub chair that needed a new cover as well. I fell in love with this fabric at spotlight the other day. I think I need to get some more.

 imageEagle eyed people will note that the fabric is cut the wrong way...I think the vine should run UP instead of fault for not paying enough attention at the first cut.  I've also just hosed the chair down and tomorrow will give it a nice coat or two of tung oil (I was going to stain it but don't have the stain, so why wait for something that isn't essential!)

The second armchair, which forms a pair with the first, will be covered in the same bright, rather garish fabric as the first (but I kinda like it a lot?!) and the third, which sits inside by the fire...I am not sure. I could use the blue/grey/navy which I love and it looks awesome, or perhaps wait and find something alternate but equally as awesome....oh decisions decisions!

Monday, January 21, 2013


I know you're probably as sick of hearing about fires as we are, and The Husband dropping everything to go and help put a block on them, but yes its happened again.

The same fire, albeit across the road, that I took photos of last week, has teased and bothered one of our neighbours once removed, all week. Burning in the National Park, there is little one can do but watch and wait and make sure gear is ready to go and tracks well graded.

Friday afternoon the call came, it was time to do some back burning. So in an orderly fashion the crews arrived and spent the night carefully putting breaks in place, working til the wee hours and catching some sleep on the road (literally). Its cooler and less windy at night (mostly) and makes back burning much easier and safer.

Saturday morning, after backburning The Husband went and sorted out some water issues, and then came home. He walked in the door at 2pm. He had a rest and then we started packing the toyota and the truck, meaning to leave that afternoon, taking the kids on a "mustering adventure" they had been invited on, with a bunch of other kids.

At 4:30pm, another phone call came in. Things had gone "pear shaped" and inexplicably (whirly wind?) the fire had escaped the very strong containment lines and was going every which way. So two hours after he'd gotten home, Trevor headed off again, with another of the crew. The photo below provided by my friend Rachel who lives close by.

They fought all Saturday night against a strong and gusty easterly, bringing the fire towards them and making conditions difficult. At least two large paddocks were sacrificed in the attempt to bring under control, and it took until daylight. The best part of Sunday was spent patrolling the line, crews taking sections to go back and forth. Hose down logs, chop down trees.

Below is another photo from Rachel, taken on Sunday.

We all know the devastating affects of fire, brought to us on the news across the nation this summer. Homes and lives have been lost. Here, we don't' have the population but the land burnt is used for grazing, and left unchecked could burn out hundred of thousands of acres (in fact, to our north, its estimated that one million square kilometres of grazing land has been burnt and a large, historical station complex burnt to the ground. )

Fingers crossed for rain, and that illusive wet season. The men need some sleep. And I want something different to blog about.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

something else I made

The other day, when it was pretty darned hot outside, and the aircon inside the office, and what I very tongue in cheek call my studio, was nice and icy (set a fair way below the recommended 25 degrees!) the kids and I pottered about.

One of the things I did was make this little nappy wallet for a newly born little Isabelle.

IMG_0520She'll be quite the little cowgirl and mum and dad have already got a pony lined up for the when the time comes. (heaven help them if she doesn't like horses!) Wipes in one side, a tube of bum cream and a few nappies, the new mum has reported that it works well and meant the big old nappy bag could be left in the car.

IMG_0663Secured shut with an elastic band (hairtie in a former life) and a button I think I took off one of the girls stained play shirts (it didn't need such a pretty button) it folds up neatly. I love the outside paisley sort of print..I think I'd wear a collared button up shirt in this if someone made one!

This used three fat quarters with a fair sized scrap of each left over. And took probably under an hour to make (less if you don't faff about or make any mistakes!)

and I made this with part of the leftovers:


Saturday, January 19, 2013

party time for birds

is over for another year. We watched the mangoes ripen for the longest time and then, wham, they were ripe all at once and the warfare commenced.  One tree was laden, the other not so much, and these pair got to enjoy one of the last ones on the tree that we didn't pick in time.

IMG_1705 It was a funny old mango season, and I think the intense heat we had before the mangoes were ready affected them. Not our finest tasting crop - ripe around the seed before the outside - but still well enjoyed. By the birds as well as you can tell.

IMG_1708Pretty little noisy thieving vandals, aren't they?!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

home and away

imageI was going to NOT postpone dentist appointments come hell or highwater (and with or without husbands) so late Sunday afternoon, after a birthday party and feeding the poddies, we headed to the city. On reflection the birthday party with lollies and cordial wasn't a good choice given the hi-jinks in the back seat, but a bit of bawling when Dad hit the roof never did anyone any harm before ;-)

We drove through the fire area, smoke billowing here and there (but all under control). We did the dentist thing (feeling poorer for the privilege) and visited a sweet little newborn baby girl. All of the kids got to have a cuddle of Isabelle Grace, who belongs to my lovely friend Mel. Mel, despites some misgivings about lack of maternal instincts, seems to be coping just fine (the fact that her husband is a nappy changing machine may be of some help!) Ah, the adventure of ones first child! And you know what? I loved holding her, and snuggling her little body close to me, but certainly no clucky or pangs to have some more. They've plumb worn me out ;-)

We managed to squeeze a visit to the Rockpool for an early morning swim. I decided to spectate..oh the thought of wrassling into my togs in the sticky morning (oh the humidity!), and then sticky and salty and damp in the car back to the unit...The kids and dad loved it though. I enjoyed the very slight breeze and the view.

Going to town means one gets to wear ones pretties, and I brought a few of them out to play. And of course, one cannot do so without sharing on Instagram!

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I'm really really loving wooden beads at the moment, and I had some time at Spotlight (and a whole lot of fun!) to gather some supplies to have a play making a necklace or two myself, and get some fabric to recover the cushions my cane tub chair on the front verandah (I bought some other stuff earlier but have repurposed it for another job). Although after wandering around looking for something that I really didn't know the name of (still don't) it sometimes really IS easier to shop online at home!

Speaking of cushions...holy moley. Priced new cushions for our 9 year old, sturdy metal outdoor setting....nearly the price of a whole new setting!!! More research is required.

AND HOT OFF THE PRESSES: in most exciting news, as I type....rain on the roof. Now I won't get too excited and say the wet season has set in, but hopefully even a few showers might offer some relief against the fires in the National Park that have been bothering the men over the past few days...and if its offer, we'll take at least an inch or two of the wet stuff to freshen things up til the Big Wet arrives. And purely selfishly, just the drizzle we've had this evening will do my garden no end of good!

With that, and the sweet sound of heavy raindrops (albeit slow drizzle) on the tin roof, I bid you adieu and head for bed. Is there ever a more relaxing sound (and accompanied by thunder is nice too, the lightening tonight seems to be all sheet which is nice to look at and far less likely to lead to more fire fighting escapades!)

and OH! hello Megan! ran into a lovely old friend in the shops this morning...haven't seen her for a couple of years, but she tells me she feels like she kept right up, reading the blog. Love my mates who read and comment verbally ;-) And mates that don't ever seem to age (slightly depressing that part). xo

Rainfall report tomorrow. Having to resort to old fashioned rain gauge instead of new fangled weather station which apparently has gone into shock at the thought of rain and refuses to register any precipitation. Do hope the kids haven't filled the old style one with the hose! ;-)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Friday night entertainment

Yesterday afternoon The Husband let me know he wouldn't be home (again) as another fire had flared up to their north. After working all night and day to secure the fire near our place, they certainly didn't want another one to come down and ruin their hard work, so off the merry fire fighters trooped to investigate. He did mention they were slightly peckish and would I please bring some food.

I made some ham, cheese and chutney sandwiches, threw in some apples and oranges and half a carton of coke into an esky and just on dark the kids and I trooped off on our Friday evening adventure, a quiet 60kms drive down the road.

This was our view as we approached the fire.

IMG_1756All that smoke!  Burning in the national park and right up against the highway, there was some concern it would escape the breaks around the national park. Bear in mind that The Husband and his crew had been at it since mid afternoon Thursday (and as one of the kids pointed out, Dad you haven't had a shower since Wednesday night!) with a scant few hours sleep on the road - literally, they laid themselves out on the freshly graded road which was soft and sandy - in the wee hours of Thursday morning. So it was safe to say they were rather keen for this fire to be done with as quickly as possible.

Mind you, as we crested the ridge and saw this on the way, I was thinking it didn't look good.

IMG_1759We had time to spare before we met at set rendezvous point, so went a little further up the road to the Burra Lookout for some sightseeing. This lookout is in the middle of the Great Dividing Range and overlooks a lot of gorge country.

IMG_1761Natures own firework show.

IMG_1767   The kids living life on the edge - literally - of a big rock ledge, surveying the bright embers of burning logs below.

IMG_1772 The two way crackled to life and we scrambled away from our sightseeing and went back to meet the men. They were in quite high spirits, the younger ones anyhow, and we had a picnic in the dirt as we watched the glow of the fire come and go through the tree tops, and they discussed plans.  Eventually we headed home and I am pleased to report this morning that it remained within containment lines. Kids will be pleased to know Dad found a shower at the neighbours place and a sleep early this morning (I did forget to take a clean shirt for him though)

And that was Friday night's entertainment. Better then watching TV, yes?

Friday, January 11, 2013

hot and crispy

That is what the weather has been like around here, day after day of hot dry days. Some hotter than others, yesterday - now I have a new fangled weather station thing, I can tell you with authority - it clocked 44.1 outside. It may have been hotter, but I wasn't looking at the thing ALL day.

Nothing of any excitement at all has been happening around here. I've done some well overdue cupboard cleaning and reorganising (perhaps as its been hot I've been looking for excuses to stay in the air-conditioning for as much as possible!) and the kids have been doing the same, staying inside, playing with lego and foraying out for swims in the afternoons.

We've had water troubles at the prickle farm to, so much time has been spent by the husband driving back and forth keeping the water up to the cows. It hasn't rained - still - and they rely on pumped bore water reticulated around the property by a supposedly sophisticated and self sufficient generator pump thingy (technical I know!) which hasn't been doing what its supposed to - ie start itself as required.

Luckily for us, we employ some other techy innovations that allow us to monitor the waters, which given the trouble we've had, has been very very handy.

tank levels The system, using satellite, monitors the level of the tank, and in another graph, also has data such as temperature, humidity and rainfall. We can tell by the level of the tank at a certain time of day whether the pump has started (and your heart sinks if that little yellow line is waaay down at the bottom of the graph, which means its EMPTY) (FYI this system is called Agmon)

tank picThe second system is based on mobile phone and it takes a photo a few times a day, so one can log in and see what the tank level is at. This is a different location to the graph above, this tank is beside the bore and once the water is pumped into here, it gets pumped up the line to the tanks in the graph (and others along the pipeline). It can be quite complex and it all relies on every thing working in sequence. This set up is called Usee.

We also employ other tools in our arsenal to manage and monitor things, the other most used - although can be a bit unreliable - is NAFI. North Australian Fire Information is a website that picks up hotspots on the earth as the satellite flies over and gives us approximate locations of any fires.

waterme That yellow flame there indicates the fire the men went to yesterday, in our immediate neighbours place. We were all packed, car ready, kids bathed and about to shower ourselves and leave for the city, when we got a phone call alerting us. That put paid to leaving, well the husband did immediately, in the ute with fire fighting equipment on board. We have got an excellent crew in our brigade that work together very well, and as they have been to MANY fires together in the past two years fall into their roles and get stuck into the job at hand.

The Husband, from what I can gather, spent the night on our old Gertie the Grader, putting in breaks around the fire, and reinforcing others to fall back on should it get away. My role is in IT, HR and Catering, although this fire being piddly in the scheme of things, that after the initial flurry of phone calls gathering troops and information, my job was done. (mind you, we are keeping a wary eye on the big red one at the top of the map, but fly overs by the helicopter indicate that its contained within previously burnt country).

We are missing our creek swimming and mud play of previous summer holidays, but we can' only hope that the wet season will start soon - the line of cranky storms that passed over yesterday held very little moisture and were mostly heat generated, although of course a few mm of rain does more than days of watering with sprinkler!

hope the summer holidays are more entertaining in your part of the country!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

faffing about

SIL ordered "art work" (with a theme) for her daughters bedroom for christmas...I didn't get time to look at doing it, so neices got a little something else to unwrap, and I got a chance to have a go at these today.

IMG_1695Glued some paper on 12x12 canvases, did some modge podge sealing (don't look TOO closely)...I do hope its what she wanted.

IMG_1697  IMG_1696 Well, I think they do fill the brief of Bright, Colourful, Girly and Elephants!

Onto neice #2 now, which is owl themed...I do hope she likes yellow! ;-)

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