Saturday, 29 January 2011

Another catch up....

I can't believe it's been over a week since I last posted!!

I've been keeping busy with so many things.  Brad's computer finally died and it chose to go out in dramatic style by tripping the safety switch to the house causing all our power to go out...an easy fix.  Thank goodness for safety switches!  Brad now has a brand new twin to my computer tower. We LOVE our new computers....so much faster and heaps of harddrive space!
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Brad had an appointment to see his Endocrinologist on Monday and we discussed whether or not he should start on Tegretol.  You may remember my rant about it here. Our stance has since changed a bit being that Brad's neurological condition started showing signs of deterioration a few weeks back where his right leg would suddenly seize up on him without warning whether he was carrying anything or not.  His Aunt's neurological condition started out mild and gradually became worse until it became extremely debilitating for her so we had some pretty big concerns.  After speaking to Brad's regular doctor and the Endocrinologist we felt much better about the Tegretol so now, Brad has added it to his daily medications.  So far, so good, and we noticed an improvement the very next day when Brad was actually able to carry his own cereal bowl to the dining table for the first time in weeks.
 
After the specialist visit, we walked down to Southbank Parklands which had been effected by the recent floods.  There is a section all along the river bank closed off to the public now while they work to get it back to its former glory.  The manmade beach and lagoons were wrecked by flood waters so no pictures of those.  I did get a pic of the bougainvillea arbour walkway and part of the park that wasn't effected by flood.


I don't know the name of these plants but they are HUGE!  They stand over 5 feet high and they're gorgeous! They make me think of Draceana but I don't know if there are giant varieties or not?
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a couple of self portraits
My hair is always up lately because it's been very hot and humid and we don't have air-con....it is summer after all.
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and yes, I have even managed some time to work in my art journals.  I really want to get more sketching done though....maybe today.

I didn't get a chance to take pics but, on Wednesday, we had a nice family lunch to celebrate Australia Day.  Mum, Dad, Michelle, Alex and Mikayla were here too and we all had a great time.
I will try to get a recent shot of Mikayla to show you soon.  She is such a cuddly bundle and I just can't get enough of her.
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To finish up this post......a cute pic of my boy, Cody, fast asleep.  This basket sits beside the computer table so Cody usually settles himself in for a nap when I'm working at the computer.
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I hope to get back to more regular blogging soon.

~ Love, light and peace ~

Thursday, 20 January 2011

catching up

Hi everyone!

Yes, I'm still here but haven't had much time online because I've been busy getting used to my new computer and the windows 7 operating system.  Aaron and Brad also had trouble with their computers so I took on a new title of - computer tech - this past week while I researched and fixed Aaron's computer. I had to format and reinstall the operating system on Brad's computer hoping that would do the trick but, although it's behaving a little better now that it's back to scratch, we think his computer is dying a slow death. Anywhoo, this all meant late nights into the wee hours of morning.

I'm happy to say that I have been squeezing a little artwork here and there.

A sketch for the Flickr 'Julia Kay Portrait Party'
Graphite in Moleskine sketch book
Ref. image - here
NC Mallory photostream - here
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Another page in my art journal
acrylic/mixed media in A4 journal
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And, of course, I've been spending some precious time with Mikayla (my granddaughter) who is growing by the day!  She is really taking note of everything now.
Michelle, Mikayla, Aaron and I dropped over to visit Mum and Dad the other day as they hadn't seen Mikayla, their first great granddaughter, since they visited Michelle in hospital.  They were so happy to see her!
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I also squeezed in my weekly self-portrait....in my PJs with Jack, Aaron's little dog, lying between my feet.
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The massive flood clean-up has been under way over the past week.  The damage is mammoth and they say it will take at least two years for Queensland to get back on her feet. I wish I could physically get in and help but this body of mine is wracked with pain even after 30 minutes of weeding or housework.....my hands and feet suffer daily pain which isn't improving and, if anything, is getting worse.  I would only be in the way at the flood sites....my donation, thoughts and prayers will have to suffice. Our local supermarkets continue to ration staples due to shortage of supplies but, that's okay...there are people so much worse off.  Our southern states also copped the flooding in areas due to the rains.  Thankfully, we've had a break from the rain the past few days although, with temperatures in the 30's C (90's F), it isn't a great relief.  More rain is forecast....let's just hope it's not to the extent we've already had over the past month.
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I'm trying to get around and visit blogs as I can....I have missed my daily interaction with my blogging friends. I hope you're all enjoying a beautiful week!

~ Love, light and peace ~

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Hello from flood-ravaged Queensland

Thanks so much for all the emails of concern for me and my family regarding the devastating circumstances Brisbane has been facing with the floods.  Thankfully, we live on a different river system on the outskirts of Brisbane so have managed to stay safe but our hearts sank deep witnessing what our fellow Brisbanites and Queenslanders have been through.....I've shed many tears.  The situation facing thousands is dire but the Aussie spirit remains strong in the face of it all and we will all pull together and recover. Our Federal and State governments have been amazing and are doing everything in their power to help ease the suffering and are also offering immediate financial relief to flood victims.  The State Emergency crews have been working around the clock and their efforts have been heroic.  Forty-eight evacuation centres were set up where thousands of Brisbane residents sought refuge as their homes literally flooded while the Brisbane River peaked overnight. The stories of heroism and loss of life have been heartwrenching.  Brisbane's sister city - Ipswich - also copped a battering and, Toowoomba, a city in the mountain ranges experienced what has been described as an 'inland tsunami'.  The residents there had no warning and the video footage was unbelievable!  The clean up in the flood affected areas across Queensland will be massive!

75% of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone.
Death toll is currently : 12 15
Persons currently missing : 62 but fluctuates
110,000 Brisbane homes without power
Major road and rail systems cut off and damaged

Some links of interest -
 We are glued to the TV watching the news events as they unfold and feel guilty that we are safe while so many are suffering.  

 My son, Beau, works for the RSPCA - animal shelter/refuge - and, yesterday, he went in to help with the evacuation of all the animals to safe areas as the shelter was going under.  Initially, he had trouble getting there because sections of major roads were under water so had to find alternative routes.  Thankfully, temporary foster families were found for all the animals and a large vet centre took some in too.

Last night, Beau and Reece were going in to the flood affected areas to help with sand-bagging but police stated they had enough volunteers for last night but more may be needed over the coming weeks.  The offers of volunteer help have been amazing!

Food supplies are critical and, even the shelves in our local supermarkets are emptying fast to the point where we are being rationed on the food items such as bread, milk, eggs, meat, poultry etc.  No bottled water was left on the shelves when we were at the supermarket yesterday.  Most of Queensland has been flood affected - farms and crops devastated - and this will dramatically affect vital food supplies and prices for months to come.

I was 15 when the '74 floods hit Brisbane and I remember it well.....this current situation is just as devastating.

Please keep Queensland in your thoughts and prayers.

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Sorry I haven't been able to ease your concerns any sooner but I had a stroke of bad luck when my poor old computer died three days ago and I had to get a new one. It has taken a while to set up the new one and install necessary programs.

Prior to the serious flood situation, I had done another art journal page complaining about the rain.....at that stage, I had no idea just how bad it was going to get.

On the homefront, due to the excessive rainfall and the new housing lot development behind our fence, we have still been dealing with water pouring into our backyard during the rain periods.  While this is a minor hiccup compared to the larger flood disaster across Brisbane, I'm all aches and pains right now because Aaron and I jumped the back fence two days ago and desperately tried to dig trenches in a futile attempt to divert water away from our back fence.  My back injury has flared up and I am battling migraines due to the emotionally gut-wrenching situations we have been seeing in our city. I'm feeling sad and depressed about it all.

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For obvious reasons, I haven't been able to catch up with blogs or respond to emails - a lot of which I lost when my computer died - but my heartfelt thanks goes out to all who have emailed me privately or commented on my blog. 

Again, please keep Queensland in your thoughts and prayers....as the flood waters recede, the hard work of cleaning up begins.

~ Love, light and peace ~

Thursday, 6 January 2011

just when you thought you had escaped my...

self portraits....UP pops another one!!!
i did try '52 weeks of me' back in 2009 but i only got as far as 19 self portraits.
you can check them out here.
so i figure i'm going to try again and, hopefully, this time i will reach 52...after all, it will be my 52nd birthday this year so that might be a good sign I can do it. lol

i think the self portrait project fits in well with my 'SELF' word for the year.  i've never been a photogenic person plus i'm the one who usually blinks JUST as someone snaps a photo....at least, with self-portraits, i have a little more control.  viewing myself from different perspectives may also help with my low self-esteem.  i'm not going to choose a specific day so, be warned, i may pop up on your screen any time of the week.

YOU CAN CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE
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i have been playing in my art journal daily so here's a peek

and i'm back to doing portrait sketches for the 'julia kay portrait party' flickr group.
Freehand graphite sketch in Moleskine sketchbook - © Serena Lewis
Reference photo here.
Mariah's Flickr Photostream here.

so far, i've been quite pleased with my SELF in getting some daily art done, riding the exercise bike and doing my daily meditations.  stay tuned...

~ love, light and peace ~

Monday, 3 January 2011

my word for 2011

i hadn't given much thought to my word for 2011 until around two weeks ago when the word 'SELF' kept popping into my head over and over again...it suddenly hit me...of course! i've been feeling disconnected from my higher self for some time now, my daily meditations fell to the wayside months ago and i haven't done a lot of art or sketching these past few months either.  on top of that, i have gained excess weight over the past year after i giving up my vegan diet and going back to being pescetarian (a vegetarian who eats seafood)....i believe the weight gain was due to the sudden influx of dairy fats back into my system coupled with onset of menopause.  if you follow my blog, you will also know that i've been coping with aches and pains over the past year and my health has become an issue for me. 

so it stands to reason that i need to focus on my 'SELF' and its many facets - including mind, body and spirit! better time management is a must!

as from tomorrow i plan to -
  • meditate daily
  • eat healthier
  • walk regularly
  • ride the exercise bike daily
  • journal daily
  • work in my sketchbooks regularly
  • smile often

all of the above will hopefully get me back on track to being a healthier, happier, more creative and connected ME!

to encourage these endeavours, i have signed up to a few sketch and journaling projects which are listed in my sidebar under '2011 participation'.  i figure i can encompass the lot into my daily art/sketch work.  i'm not going to put any pressure on myself in finishing a page a day but i will at least spend a little time each day working on a page until it's completed. below is my first art journal page for the year featuring my word for 2011.

i prepared the page spread first with a couple of layers of gesso, then painted a layer of yellow-green and warm white using acrylic paints roughly cross-hatched to blend them a little.   using an old credit card, i then scraped on some red and orange acrylics.  when dry, i used my graphite pencils to sketch a self-portrait. RATS! i always tend to make my face longer and more narrow than it is...a little more practice is needed.

then i used aqua acrylic paint to stencil on some contrasts.  i also used some rub-on lettering.

i painted '2011' in aqua acrylic paint and outlined it with my pigma micron pen.  i used stickers for 'self' and a little writing finished off the page.  it felt so good working in my art journal over the past two days.

i hope to show more pages from my art journals and sketch books each week.

have you chosen a word for 2011? 
or do you prefer to set yourself goals?
or neither?

anywhoo, whatever way you choose to take it on, i wish you all the very best for 2011!!!

~ love, light and peace ~
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