Wednesday, 30 June 2010

PHOTO MONDAY - Self Portrait

This week our theme was based on a self-portrait.  

Last year I set myself a personal challenge to post a self portrait photo weekly.......I got as far as number 21 which, I guess, wasn't too bad considering I hate having my photo taken.

This morning, I snapped the pic below just before I left to go with Michelle for her first antenatal appointment. All is going really well on that score and Michelle is now officially 15 weeks preggers! Note my little furry companion lying at my feet....he is never far from my side.

I took the two pics below yesterday and had a little play with some effects in my graphics program.

I liked how the Buddha made a subtle appearance in the background,
bathed in light

I'm looking forward to seeing the self-portraits from our other photo group members.

~ Love, light and peace ~

Sunday, 27 June 2010

A tough winter here in South East Queensland.....

.....or maybe not

We are in the midst of our winter here but many of my northern hemisphere friends would chuckle and say, "That's not a winter!".  I can certainly see where they would have that view after experiencing a 'real' winter in Wyoming in the States some years back.  By comparison I would liken our winters more to a Wyoming fall.  As last Sunday was such a glorious winter's day, Michelle and Alex decided to take an impromptu drive out to Wellington Point at our bay-side and invited us along too.  How could Aaron or I refuse?!  Beau stayed home as he had things to do.  Brad stayed home because the rocky shoreline at the bay-side is too difficult for him to negotiate due to his blindness....and Reece and Sarina were off doing their own thing for the day.

I LOVE being near the sea!

It had been over two years since I last visited the bay so my parched soul just drank in all the beauty and felt so refreshed.  The smell of the salty, sea air was amazing and invigorating!


Normally we would go for a lengthy walk across that sand-bar (pictured below) but, as you may notice from the pic, the tide was already coming in when we arrived so we couldn't take our usual walk.  When the tide is out, the sand-bar is quite wide and it makes for a leisurely walk way out to a teeny island called, King Island.


We had a delicious lunch of fish and chips....one of my favourite things to do when visiting the bay or the beach.  These guys (Ibis) were patrolling the picnic area looking for hand-outs.

A common sight at the bay....people fishing from the jetty

Sadly, with the bay having a rocky shoreline, it makes for a lot of snagged fishing lines etc. so, as we walked the rocky shore, we collected snagged fishing lines, hooks and broken glass to put in the bin.  It upsets me to see it all knowing that it puts the sea-life and bird-life at risk but, hopefully, we kept a few of them safe by our actions.

close up of a small crab we found....sadly, not alive

another jetty pic.....what is that sitting on top of the light pole?

A pelican, of course...how cute he was too!
Pelicans are one of my top three favourite birds.

I loved the play of light on the water

Thanks for a beautiful day out, Michelle and Alex (pictured below with Aaron)!

~ Love, light and peace ~

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Shame, Labor, Shame!

a very quick pencil free sketch in A5 sketchbook

I normally keep politics off my blog but I am so upset over what happened on Thursday morning that I just had to voice my thoughts on the matter.  After all, that's what journals are for, online or otherwise. So....love him or hate him, I believe our Prime Minister DID NOT deserve the backstabbing treatment he received from his own party on Thursday morning.  I was SO outraged that Kevin Rudd was ousted in such a fast, cruel and callous way.  I could get into all the nitty-gritty of who I believe is really running this country but I won't as I just wanted to state how disgusted I am at the Labor Party for how they treated one of their own.  It was nothing short of brutal and I can say with surety that, after being a loyal Labor supporter for the past 32 years, they have now lost my vote. SHAME, LABOR, SHAME!

Friday, 25 June 2010

In need of help from a gardening expert....

Any clue on what plant this is??

It is growing in a pot at my parent's place and Mum feels it could have sprung from a vegetable seed she's thrown in there but she can't remember what.  Any ideas?

It's quite a striking plant but we have no clue what it actually is.

An identification would be much appreciated.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE - PLANT IDENTIFIED

YAY!!!! After doing some more searching on Google this morning, I found out what the plant is -


It originates in Guatemala and is a member of the Euphorbiaceae family.

Other common names - Gout plant, Gout stick, Guatemala Rhubarb, Australian Bottle Plant

NOTE - As is with most Euphorbia, every part of this plant is poisonous including seed pods.

I can't wait to tell Mum!

~ Love, light and peace ~

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

PHOTO MONDAY - Father

As it was Father's Day in the States last weekend, Judi chose 'Father' for our photo theme.  We don't celebrate Father's Day until September here in Australia but that's okay because I love my Dad and he's special to me all year round anyways.  We popped over to visit Mum and Dad on Monday and I snapped a few pics of Dad while I was there.

Here he sits in his workspace

What is Dad making?

Flies for fly-fishing

My Dad has been interested in fly-fishing for over fifteen years now.  Unfortunately for Dad, we don't live in a state that is suitable for fly-fishing and, while Dad used to travel down to New South Wales to fly-fish, he doesn't feel  comfortable travelling long distances on his own any more. So instead, he continues to enjoy all the other aspects of the sport such as reading books and watching DVDs on the topic plus, making flies of all different types and sizes.......and he's pretty darned good at it too.

Dad's fly-fishing supplies are well stocked and he even owns more scissors that I do.
I wonder why he needs so many?

Here is part of Dad's workspace/fishing room

A closer view

Dad is thrilled that he is going to be a Great-Grandfather for a second time in December when Michelle's baby is due.

I am so proud of my Dad and it makes my heart feel warm and fuzzy to know that he and Mum have always been there for me and my kids.

I LOVE YOU, DAD! XO

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On another topic, yesterday I experienced my first ever vertigo attack and,  as my luck goes, it was a severe one.  As soon as I got out of bed in the morning, I was immediately hit with the strongest feeling that the room was spinning  back and forth which had me feeling extremely disorientated....this was accompanied by an overwhelming sensation of nausea which soon led to vomiting......not pretty! :( It was a horrible experience that I wouldn't like to go through again.  The disorientation hung around for most of the day and, this morning, I woke up with a migraine as fallout from yesterday's events.  I went to the doctor today and he gave me a script for Stemzine to help with future attacks....cross fingers, there won't be any. 

Anywhoo, I hope you are all having a great week!

~ love, light and peace ~

Monday, 21 June 2010

MY EXCITING NEWS!!!

I'M GOING TO BE A FIRST TIME GRANDMA!!!   YAY!!


Yes, Michelle and Alex are expecting their first child and we are all so happy for them and, of course, very excited!  I've been dying to tell you all but, understandably, Michelle wanted to wait until she passed the magic three month mark so I now have the go ahead to spread the word. I'm so looking forward to being a Grandma!

Here is a pic of the happy couple holding their scan pictures

My baby girl is going to be a mama!

As you know, Michelle and Alex had already planned an October wedding and baby will be due December 21st so Michelle with have a cute baby bump to show off on her wedding day.   Baby may even arrive on Aaron's birthday which is December 23rd.   

I've been busy helping Shelly make the wedding invitations and custom envelopes

They open out accordion style - aren't they pretty?

Anywhoo, that's my exciting news and I'm so happy to be able to share it with you all.

~ love, light and peace ~

Thursday, 17 June 2010

'pay it forward' gift received.....plus a step by step painting

A couple of days ago, Shelly let me know that she received my Pay It Forward gift so I can post a pic now.

Shelly mentioned that her favourite flower was an orange hibiscus so that's what I painted for her.

I took some step by step pics to show the process of painting the piece.
CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Step One - I blocked in the base colour and did some line/vein work

Step Two - I painted in the throat of the hibiscus

Step Three - I blocked in the stamen and applied first layer of background colour

Step Four (final step) - I finished details of the stamen and applied final coat to background.

Orange Hibiscus on 5"x5" gallery-wrapped canvas using Matisse acrylics
© Serena Lewis

Please stay tuned over the coming days as I have some exciting news to share with you all.

~ love, light and peace ~

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

PHOTO MONDAY - Black & White

What an interesting theme this was....black and white photographs can be so dramatic and effective.  It was fun experimenting with what subjects would best capture the topic, however, I found myself fighting the urge to splash some colour into them.   Funny because, once I was on a roll with the black and white photos, I had to force myself to stop. lol

Those of you who have been following my blog for some time now will know that I love Tibetan/Indian style Buddhas and that I have a few of them around my home.  This particular Buddha resides in my lounge-room.

my Balinese fish (metal) sculpture

Below is a part of my potted large-leafed jade (Crassula_ovata) plant commonly referred to as a money plant. According to Feng Shui, it attracts good luck and fortune to have money plants in and around your home, particularly at the front entrance. 

a gardenia from my garden

i guess you could say my kitchen accents are based on a Mexican/chilli theme and, some years ago, i  just couldn't resist buying this ceramic bull (below) when i spotted him in a cheap dollar store.  i think he fits in quite nicely with my kitchen theme, especially with a bottle of tequila parked beside him.....which may  also explain the glazed over look in his eyes.    no....wait a minute....it was Beau who had the glazed over look in his eyes after downing the tequila at his sister's 21st birthday party some years back.  this particular bottle does not bring back pleasant memories for him and i still remember picking him up from said party and the need for a bucket and a few pit stops on the way home.  i also vaguely recall him muttering the words, "i'm never drinking tequila again, mum".  Yeah, right.....LOL

i thought it would be fitting to throw in something that IS actually black and white

~ love, light and peace ~

Monday, 14 June 2010

Weekly catch-up

I hope everyone has been enjoying a lovely weekend.  It's winter here so we've been spending some cosy evenings in the lounge-room cuddled up under blankets while watching DVDs. I managed another sketch in my nature journal using a reference photo I'd taken back in February.

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE

watercolour and Pigma Micron pen in A4 sketchbook

We had some cold, icy winds for a couple of days in the latter part of last week and it made for a spectacular cloud display.

It was like a painted sky with stipples and sweeps....I was mesmerised!

Almost like a cottonball effect in large areas

I have good news on the lawn front. You all remember from this post where the landlord finally had a new drainage system installed which left us with basically no lawn? I had to then beg for some turfing which was done nearly two weeks ago.  They arrived at 7:30am sharp and got busy making LOTS of noise which went on for the whole day while they scraped and carted away the damaged lawn surface. They then laid topsoil over what was left in preparation for the new turf.  Those machines sure do cut down the workload for these guys.

The next day, they arrived early and laid the turf.  It feels like heaven to have decent lawn again after it was ruined from all the flooding back in February.  What a difference!

Our yard went from this -

to this -

From this -

To this -

From this -

To this -

We've been watering it daily for the past couple of weeks and it seems to have taken fine.  I'm a happy, little Vegemite again!   The down side is that the owner went with the cheaper option of grass and this particular grass (green couch) doesn't grow well in shaded areas.  The turf guy said that the green couch, in areas of high fences and narrow parts of house perimeters, will eventually die off.  From experience, I know this to be true.  Not much we can do about it although I've never understood why housing estate developers don't just cement or use gravel down the narrow strips of a house perimeter.  Green couch probably works out cheaper for them but, in the long run, they just waste money because the grass dies off and weeds take over....I guess, by the time that happens, it's somebody else's problem.

Today is a public holiday to celebrate the Queen's birthday which I believe is actually in April so I have no idea why we celebrate it in June.....crazy Aussies, I guess.   My Uncle who was visiting from England one year couldn't believe that we have a public holiday to celebrate the Queen's birthday when  apparently, they don't even do that in England.  We Aussies sure do like our holidays!   Rain is forecast for later in the day so that will be great for the new lawn.  As for me, I will probably just potter around at home and do a little painting and laundry.  It's already 9:30am and I'm still in my PJs......so not the norm for me!

~ love, light and peace ~
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