There has been art

I’m not dead.

In case you have been wondering.

Oh? You haven’t even noticed I have been absent?

Well, I have no excuse.  I confess, I have been slack.

I did go away.  With Hubby.  To Mount Gambier.

He shot sticks at circles while I browsed an art gallery and did some sketching.

Food was eaten.  The motel was pretty much a lesson in getting what you pay for…

And after two nights,

we drove the 5 hours home.

But the short trip away, combined with the Victor Harbor Art show (I sold NOTHING) did fire up the creative juices and so finally, I have art to show you.

Two sketches in charcoal.

A sunflower

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And a friend
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The potted plant is finished.

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and then there is this.
One of those random slightly bizarre conversations between mother and son.
A request, almost a dare was issued.
A painting of a duck. A mallard duck
With party hat and a rainbow.

All a bit of fun, and of course I agreed, but admitted that sadly, I had no canvas.

And then he called my bluff and presented me with a canvas.

Bugger.

Of course, I refuse to be out bluffed by an 18 yr old so I called his bluff and painted it.
And now he must hang it on his bedroom wall

FOREVER

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So there you go.

I did art.

Classes start next week.

Routine is finally returning

 

heart-trish

The smell of chocolate fills the air

It is a much cooler and nicer day today.  The rain has stopped and the fire is well and truly out after 6 days burning, destroying over thirty homes and many hectares of property.

We went from a 42 deg C mid week to a 22 deg C day with plenty of rain forecast.  The floods didn’t happen here in the city but the ground soaked up that much needed water and I think we all sighed a collective sigh of relief.

This week I took the hugest step yet towards my dream of traveling to the USA.

I booked my flights.

I went to the travel agent alone.  Hubby is happy to let me do all the leg work although I am pretty sure he is okay with everything so far planned.  (He really does love me very very much)

It is all so very exciting and just a little bit terrifying.  Especially the cost of accommodation in New York city.

I have planned a 7 night stop there.  In a lovely hotel on Broadway.   Hopefully enough time to have a decent enough look around.  Certainly plenty to see and very likely not enough time to see it all.

Several things on my “bucket list” to be crossed off.  MoMA, The Metropolitan, Statue of Liberty and perhaps a random Broadway show.

Even a hot dog in Central Park.  Cliche’ perhaps, but this might be the only opportunity for this little Aussie to experience one of the most iconic cities in the world.

From New York, across the country to Phoenix, AZ.

The offer of a local to guide us and a road trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon was too much fun to turn down.

I have been longing to see the USA desert for the longest time.  And happily in October, it might not be as scorching hot as it can be in the Summer.

We might even see bears!!

A couple of nights in Vegas, including Halloween, should be fun and probably enough freak show for us.  Dazzling bright lights and hopefully a show, as well as plenty of people watching will be amazing.

Last stop on our much too brief visit will be Texas.

And time spent with a best friend.

We have plans to paint.  And maybe even a football game.

Nothing definite yet,

except perhaps the tears, when it comes time for me to leave.

I am pretty sure that it is going to be heartbreaking to go.

Three weeks, multiple time zones, multiple airports, and a big variety of adventures ahead.

My bank account may never recover, but I have this dream, and I am making it happen.

Life can be short and unpredictable and I plan to live it to the fullest with no regrets.

In a perfect world,  I could have included more stops, got to spend more time with my blogging friends, but it just isn’t possible with my budget and leave time.

In other news,

I have baked today.
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Triple choc muffins

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Pinwheels

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ANZAC biscuits

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Chocolate cherry cookies

(Seems to be a recurring theme here…)

Tomorrow I take my paintings to the Art show. Bit of luck I might even sell one.

Until next time (I have dishes to do now)

heart-trish
 

 

A sensory overload

I walked outside a moment ago.  An overwhelming smell of hot asphalt rose to great me, as large drops of rain splashed and then evaporated.

Two days of extreme heat here in SA has also left an acrid smell of smoke in the air.  Assaulting the senses and stirring up primal fears.

Fire on the northern side of our city, and now moving across the hills.  More fires in regional areas.  Property damaged, families evacuated and a major emergency declared.

Parts of Victoria are also burning as winds push the flames across more and more land.

My social media news feed is filled with terrifying images of flames and devastation as family members leave their homes and take refuge in safer areas.

Be safe.

Two words repeated.  The sky is dark from rising ash and we sit and watch the news, and hope that the change now blowing through will help to slow the fire and give the brave men and women on the front line of fighting the dragon, some respite.

We are safe here.  Well away from the fires but conscious that for many, when the battle is won, life will never be the same.

it is a sobering thought.

Many of my friends have bushfire plans.  And as I sat on my own this afternoon, reflecting, I thought about what I would take if the worst happened here.

The pets, of course, although Obie (our snake) would be a challenge and the cat doesn’t like me.

Photos, clothes, my computer..

My indecision shows how rarely I truly think about the possibility of disaster happening.

And so much would depend on who was home at the time.

My friends in high risk areas, keep a bag by the door.  Have a plan to get out.

Many of them have chosen to go already.

Be safe

Houses can be rebuilt.

Please let us hope and pray, that no lives are taken.

The rain has stopped.

It wasn’t enough.

It’s up to the firefighters now.

Another year over

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The pav is in the oven and I have time to kill before my last shift at work for 2014.

Been a hell of a year.

Major changes at work resulted in a new location and a much happier me.

A new dream decided on – My grand adventure to the USA in 2015.

Big C, finishing school and learning to drive and now to find a “real” job

MJ still single but happy enough, busy at Uni and doing well.

Hubby still in the same job, loving his archery, still loving me (so he says anyway)

New friends made, old friends reconnected.

And lots of progress in my art thanks to a change in classes (but the same awesome teacher)

Not always wine and roses but we met every challenge thrown at us and we are still here.

2015 will be an exciting year. Exhibitions, new art, travel and of course constant changes and challenges.
No resolutions. I really prefer not to make lists like that.

Just simple goals.

To hug my friends
To laugh often
and to continue to challenge myself.

Thank you all who continue to follow my journey here. May 2015 bring you much happiness and fulfillment.

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If you are interested WordPress has done its annual review of my stats. If not, I will leave you here.

Stay safe, and keep smiling

Happy New Year

heart-trish

PS Random travel fact  – there is a “Dog Museum” in Texas.  Really, totally devoted to dogs.

Here is the link

https://roadtrippers.com/us/elm-mott-tx/attractions/the-dog-museum

I love the slightly bizarre

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Cheese and crackers

Untitled
a gorgeous birthday gift – an original Wendy Binks sketch.

Ham and Brie with cranberry sauce sandwiches are actually very nice toasted.  In fact, I have come to the conclusion that cranberry sauce goes quite nicely with most meats.  At least the left over chicken, ham and turkey still in the fridge since Christmas.

Actually, the turkey is finished and most likely the chicken too.

Which is why the ham is now being matched with the cranberry and I am sitting here with a plate of cheese, dip, crackers and cherries and it is only Monday night.

 Mangoes!!

So did you all have a good Christmas, or what ever celebration you might celebrate at this time of the year?

Despite the fact that some people I know might consider the greeting “Happy Holidays” to be a hijacking of Christmas, I am leaning toward the consideration that is a much more respectful and inclusive greeting considering so many faiths have significant holidays at this time of the year.

Our Christmas break was pretty wonderful.

First we had my birthday on the 23rd.  Only twelve more months now of being in my “Fabulous 40’s”.

49 doesn’t roll off the tongue easily and for some unknown reason I seem to regularly slip and say 39.  Perhaps it is wishful thinking or maybe I have enjoyed my forties so much I am looking for a do-over.

Chinese food, eaten while sitting on the lounge room floor was the birthday dinner.  Simple and relaxed.

Only one glass of wine, I had work the next day and I know too well what a hangover feels like.

No birthday breakfast out.  Our little tradition interrupted by the need to report to work by my males.  Instead, I was able to spend a big chunk of my morning before work in the (virtual) company of my friend as we “Skyped”.

I love Skype.  It is such wonderful technology.

To be able to sit and talk to someone face to face despite thousands of miles between us is something I could only have dreamed of when I was growing up and conducting a long distance romance with a cute boy who lived on a outback sheep station or when my best friend went to America for 12 months on a scholarship to study Math.

Back then, it was all letters (some I might still have along with pressed roses) or a crackley phone call made while knowing that the bill would most likely be horrendous.

Christmas Eve felt a little different this year.  No need to wait now for little people to go to sleep so “Santa” could pop the presents under the tree.

Poor Santa hasn’t been left a treat for a few years now and probably skips our place for better pickings elsewhere.

I never sleep in, and so it was simply a job of tucking the gifts under the tree before I made the morning coffee, knowing full well that there would be no sign of the young adults for at least a few hours more.

And despite their state of “grownupness”, there was a little pout when I told them that no presents would be opened until their grandparents arrived at lunchtime.

But I am tough, and it was lovely to include my parents in the fun of ripping wrapping paper.

Talking gifts, I was spoiled.  For the longest time I have been making noise about learning to paint in oils.

The stumbling block has been cost and lack of knowledge, but after making a suggestion that Hubby contact my lovely teacher for suggestions of basics (and handing him her business card) I had my fingers crossed for lovely new tubes of colour.

I was not disappointed.

Tubes of paint, bottles of stuff I have no idea how to use, and enough gift vouchers from family and awesome friends for another set of my favorite rather expensive brushes as I have been told that it can be disastrous for oil and acrylic to mix.

There shall be fun times ahead.

Boxing Day was the day I braved the lunatics and the crazies to trade those vouchers in on the brushes and canvases on sale at my favorite shop.

I blame Hubby for suggesting it and happily we took my car which is much easier to negotiate when the crazed zombies take over the shopping centre car-park. (t’was insanity for the longest time).

Blessed with a four day weekend, glorious weather and my shopping sorted, I had time to read a book, go to the beach and eat a large quantity of cherries and mango.

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But today, the holiday was over, and I was back to work.

But not until I spent some more time on Skype this morning.

Something new suggested to add to my travel plans.  A football game.

And mammoths.

You know, the best bit about Skyping with a bestie?

Seeing a real smile.  So much better than this    :)

heart-trish

Cookies and Cactus

Well, it is probably more succulent than cactus but it worked better for the title of this post.

Yes, back to the previous theme, you might have noticed. Wasn’t feeling the love for the new one so after a bit of trawling, I am back to this one.

What I am loving is my new signature graphic created for me (after a little grovelling and sweet talking) by my lovely friend Micael.

He is also responsible for my “Scribble girl” and also “awesome Mynx” over there in the side bar and I am so happy he helped me out with this change over to blogging simply as “Trish”.    (Edit – After all the fluffing around I have managed to lose my side bar..bugger.  Guess I will be doing more tweaking before the next post)

So

It’s Sunday.

Last art class for the year yesterday.

Took this with me
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changed it to this
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but it finished the class like this.
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Still a work in progress but I am loving the bright colours and textural feel.

Also yesterday, with the help of MJ & Miss S, I started my Christmas baking.  Just a few cookies.  I will do a decent splurge after Christmas so I can send a certain someone a belated Christmas gift  (Don’t worry, he knows it will be late)

There is Stained Glass biscuits, Pinwheels and Chocolate cherry cookies.  All family faves so I don’t expect them to last long.
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After a long day of creative enthusiasm, Hubby took me out for a birthday dinner and surprised me by taking me to a favorite hotel where good friends were waiting to help us celebrate.  (Don’t panic, you haven’t forgotten, it isn’t actually my birthday until Tuesday 23rd)

Amazing food.  I had the Vietnamese pork belly with a green mango, peanut and sweetcorn salad. (forgive the average photo)
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Followed by a dessert that blew my taste-buds apart.  No photo, but it was a glass with sponge cake soaked in lime syrup with passion-fruit and sugar peanuts with a peach sorbet.  Tart, sweet, crunchy, salty even.. Amazing.

I can show you this cutie though.  My birthday gift from our friends.
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My own little artist’s mannequin.   I Just need to give him a name.

Today, the house is restored to order and I am enjoying a little “me” time before family drops by later.   And after that, drinks with the neighbours.

Only a few more days of work madness before our 4 day Christmas break.

Can’t wait.

heart-trish

Hell of a week and it is only Wednesday

I am sitting here, on a Wednesday evening, trying to put into words my feelings about what happened in Sydney this week.

So many emotions.

Anger that a crackpot with a shotgun killed two innocent people, injured others and traumatized people who were simply stopping for coffee on a Monday morning.

Grief and sadness for the families of those that died.

It is so hard to believe that such a terrible thing happened here in Australia but what is pretty awesome is the way people are refusing to allow it to generate an atmosphere of fear.

As more information surfaces, it appears more that this man was violent and deluded and very probably felt he had nothing to lose.

He and his actions have been condemned by Muslim leaders and he certainly appears to have been working alone.

As I watched the constant news reports both during and after, I couldn’t help comparing it less to the terrorist attacks such as what happened in Canada recently, and more to those random school shootings in the USA and even the Port Arthur mass shooting, where a lone gunman with his own twisted agenda took the lives of innocents.   I can’t help wondering too, if the death toll would have been much higher if our country’s gun laws were not as strict.

But this is only my opinion, my attempt to make sense of the senseless.

Needless to say, it will have a impact on our society.  Questions need to be answered.

What I am proud of though is how people have reacted in rejecting the racist angle.  Instead offering support and protection to anybody who might feel threatened because of their dress, while riding public transport.  Within hours #illridewityou was trending and retweeted thousands of times.

This is what being Australian is about.  We look after our mates.

In other news,  I am officially over the madness of Christmas.  My shopping is done, although the gifts are still to be wrapped.

Been horribly busy at work, I have had to deal with unexpected financial stuff that required nearly two hours on the phone to a government department and I had three paintings accepted into a major regional art show.

Yep

Three.

Cross that off the bucket list.

This one “City Lights”

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And this one “Just the Tonic”

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And this one  “Autumn Vines”

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Certainly will be nice to sell them, but I wont hold my breath.  Just getting in to the exhibition is a buzz in itself.

So despite the awful stuff, there has been some awesomeness too.

Weekend is coming, last art class of the year and Hubby is apparently taking me out to dinner for my birthday

Cuppa tea time.

Keep smiling friends.  And in this crazy world, find your sunshine and then breathe.

heart-trish