Friday, December 24, 2010

happy celebrations!

hello and happy christmas from somewhere here to wherever you are!
What might this time of year mean for you...

I enjoy this time of year-connecting with my family, nature and myself!
I unwind. How do you take care of yourself?

'let it go. let it out.
let it all unravel.
let it free and it can be
a path on which to travel'
poem by Luenig.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mitiamo trip

Hello, I am going nuts with my camera at the moment. I have so many pictures to sort through and upload! In the meantime here's a few more images from the Mitiamo trip. Up above is a native and local pine tree variety. It's broken through a huge slab of ancient volcano granite and is a white pine. The Mt Terrick Terrick area was reserved originally for these trees-they are resistant to termites so this area was being preserved for timber. Fortunately for all the wedge tailed eagles, black wallabies and other beautiful locals it has all been protected as a national park now.
Something I find interesting is how the soil, the classic orange-red outback ground, looks dry and dusty, despite the huge amounts of rain this area has recently received, in fact on the way there and back lots of the side roads are still impassable, with water right over them.

The ground supports a lot of life though and as the rains fell out come these lovely wildflowers and wallaby grass. The star shaped very pale purple flowers are Wahlenbergia stricta.

The yellow flowers are a kind of daisy-the petals are tough and hard like paper and are so called 'everlasting daisies'
These clumping purple isotoma axillaris flowers are very prolific, growing around the granite rocks- they were so sweet, looking more like a cottage garden plant than a native flower.

Some of my family lived in this area a hundred odd years ago, maybe these flowers were appreciated by my old relatives, perhaps even placed on a grave?
One of the best places to see wildflowers in Australia is around old cemeteries. When mourners gathered wildflowers, and left them on the graves, they self seeded and have continued to reproduce each year( as they are relatively undisturbed and rarely cleared special grounds.)
So while it may seem morbid I love and recommend if you are ever in Victoria to go visiting old cemeteries!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


hello! I have lots of yummy new photos here today!
I was very lucky and my dad was well enough to take my lads and I out to one of my favourite places-Mitiamo rocks. Its called Terrick Terrick national park now, but has been a state forest, a pine reserve, etc, etc, over the years and has always been known to us as the Mitiamo rocks.
These are a native flower-lots about, very pretty. They are called chocolate lilies-apparently they taste like chocolate!!

This chubby wallaby is a black wallaby or swamp wallaby. Very tame and let us come quite near. Its beautiful to see such a healthy wallaby, nourished on the lush growth of the recent heavy rains.

This area has a long history-caves and waterholes where my kids play have been sheltering people for thousands of years.
This ancient tree has scars left on both sides of the trunk, healed marks where great areas of bark were carefully removed to make small canoes, large carrying bowls, and other useful implements. Its a beautiful piece of living history.

This river red gum area is usually quite dry, a small depression though, in this season has become a swollen creek. The trees can survive, even thrive in flood waters, and the brilliant green growth is a welcome sight after years of drought.

And this is my holiday projects...crochet hats. It was the first time of using fpdc-what a headache it was too learn, badly written instructions-but the result looks lovely-almost like cabled knitting. I ran out of yarn mid way so it became a lad sized hat :o)
But I have bought some delicious 4 ply yarn and am making myself one, and its so much easier to follow (i.e-bend the rules of the pattern) the second time around!!

Hope you are all finding ways to nourish yourself this season,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Midsummer in Ballarat...

Hello! We popped over to sunny old Ballarat(cough, cough), there we caught up with family and learnt a new game.
It's called 'jump the puddle.'
As you can see it involves running very quickly and well...I'll let you guess the rest!

Lets just say the shoes (and dog) were left outside to dry for a while!
Its been really wet and cold, good weather for puddle jumping and brisk walks. Make that brisk and bracing walks!

On the way back to my parents house today we briefly stopped at a park so the every noisy lads could burn off some excess energy. While stretching my legs this fungus caught my eye...
And this beautiful creature paused just long enough for shivery me to snap it! Don't you love the crisp black spots amongst all the soft oranges and browns?
There were so many fluttering around they were like a mist, but none of them wanted to settle long enough for a good photo. I don't blame them, did I mention its cold? :o)

Friday, December 17, 2010


Hello! More pretty shots from my walks, this Rosella is sitting on a red gum on the Murray river. If you look closely you can see a white and red sign on the tree reads "no parking"
Yes-the river really is up high!
This above shot was also taken in Echuca, near the old port. Such a cute duck-it was sitting on the bank for a while just watching the river go by, then suddenly must have seen something it liked and splosh, straight in!
This red wattle bird was posing, turning its neck from side to side, in between sipping nectar from nearby flowers (it's a honeyeater). I didn't have the heart to break it to him that my zoom function was going to make a good photo impossible, so here's my best attempt.
Can you spot the silver eye bird in this shot? They are cute and tiny and love my parents guava(feijoa) tree, there are 2 babies and 2 adults, but only one adult in this shot. I love watching them from my parents kitchen window, the 2 little bubs nestle into each other sitting on a branch.

And the flowers around here this year are spectacular! So much colour and vitality! So vibrant, these old fashioned roses have such a gorgeous fragrance too, I wish there was a blog version of scratch and sniff so I could share it with you...
Even the finished roses look beautiful to me, and I have spotted so many big fat swollen rosehips that my mind is turning over the possibilities of making some rosehip cordial. Will have to do some recipe searching!
Don't worry, with all these nature shots and walks I am not trying to hide a lack of making.
In fact, I have been crocheting, found some beautiful wool in a nearby op shop-20 cents a ball!! So I have made a hat and a few other little things...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

journey through the river country

Hello! We spent all day Monday on buses, planes, cars, in airports and basically we sat and sat and sat some yesterday we stretched ours legs and went for a walk down to the river.
There have been much needed rains and floods here which have given the trees, including this sprawling river red gum, some nourishment. It was beautiful to see red rumped parrots and blue wren as we walked along.

The grass was pushed over and covered in silty mud. These stalks were slowly lifting up to the sky again. There is so much long thick grasses everywhere, kangaroo grass rising higher than I have ever seen it.

And this little tree looked like it was already decorated for Christmas!
We had a lovely stroll (despite the mozzies and locusts everywhere!) it was spectacular to see the new growth on all the trees and shrubs and really refreshing to see pools of water where the ground has been scored with deep cracks...more soon, hope you're all enjoying the lead up to Christmas,

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hello all! I am down to my 2 last markets for the year this weekend! I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by and how much has been going on! I am heading down to Victoria to spend some good solid time with my family in the town where I grew up. It has a beautiful river with red gums growing on the banks and it should be looking pretty healthy as the rains have been falling there.
What are your holiday plans? I plan to read and take photographs of the special places I loved from my childhood.
These are the books I picked up from my local library;
Last Child in the woods by Richard louv, which is about why we ate spending less time amongst nature and how this can be changed.
The social entrepeneur by Andrew mawson, which looks into social enterprises and is written by one of the leading writers and planners in this field,
and last but not least ;Kitchen table sustainability by Wendy saarkissian, which is about too much and which is too good to try and sum up here. I would link for you but my iPhone says 'no' so google them! :0)
I am having my second last stall (for the year) tonight at the avid reader bookstore, which is hosting a booklaunch at the same time.
The book is one I am yet to see is a handmade craft special, and it will be interesting to meet some of the contributors of the book and even see 'for real' what they have made! Books and craft-yay!
If you'd like to come along; avid reader, boundary street, west end, Friday night- tonight( think my blog date is out of whack for some reason)
From 5.30-8.
Cheers xkate

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

wet weather events

Hello! Sorry I have not been posting much lately-my home computer internet connections is on the blink, and relying heavily on my iphone and wireless cafes is not working out so well...I hope to get it all fixed soon.
Anyhoo-today I am online with my trusty usb stick at my lovely friend Sams! Thanks dear one!! LOTS and LOTS going on...will start with the good news...

The fundraiser at Reverse Garbage went brilliantly-the organisers did an amazing job; the space looked wonderful and the food was delicious and presented so creatively!

The whole feel of the night was so good natured, the live music and the auction was exciting-its a thrill to see the crowd joining in the fun and chipping in towards the fundraising! The event kick starts the fundraising process-for the the purchase of a permanent home, a purpose bought Reverse Garbage building. I would love to see this come into fruition!
I am thrilled to have a selection of my dash robin pieces in the gallery store.

I chose some Christmas style items;, some of my partridges, jacaranda brooches and few other good gift giving ones. Reverse garbage receives a percentage for these
sales, I am really happy to know that commission fee is going to a good cause!

So that was the highlight of the week. The rest though was more like a series of lowlights! Yesterday I spent some time reflecting and regathering my spirits with the help of this little love, curling up on my lap, purring and basically letting me be quiet and down. The disheartened feelings I had when two highly anticipated weekend markets were totally washed out left me very flat. This is the not so cheerful part! My hope and optimism about this business is at a low point.
Saturdays Christmas Brisstyle market was hit by such extreme weather, high winds whipping up and absolute down pouring of rains. Unfortunately quite a few of us had wet stock but the efforts of the organisers are appreciated. Helen was racing around with plastic sheeting and trying to keep every ones spirits up despite how frustrating it must have been for her, it was nothing short of spectacular and inspiring.

On Sunday I did not have high hopes for a clear skied day. I gathered at Northey street with the few brave souls who had travelled to our market site. Bob soothed our souls with some amazing music, the acoustics of playing under food connects huge new tent and heavy rain was so moving it raised goosebumps.

I felt negative and bitter and without the kindness and gentle support of everyone around me I would have felt worse-this was the site where one of the stall holders was meant to be!
Can you believe it?!?!
These feelings pass, Buddhism and counselling have given me some small seeds of patience and in some ways I know I am and even
feel lucky. Knowing this is passing disappointment, not genuine depression. I hope and work towards never facing depression again, I had a terrible time in the past with it and am thankful to have mental stability.
So instead of surrendering to feelings of failure I am cherishing simple little happy tasks, one at at time, and holding fast to moments of joy,