Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Homely Things

It took a few weeks before this new house felt like it belonged to me and I belonged to it, but with every little thing achieved, it starts to feel more and more like home…….and home means homely things like bread baked and crocheting by the fire in the evening. Flowers in a vase and herbs flourishing on the patio. And it's raining at last! How comforting is the sound it makes on the roof after so many months of no rain at all. Yes, this is home.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Short Break

I have been extremely busy these past few months……selling and buying houses; packing and unpacking and CLEANING! So when the opportunity arose last week to go away with a friend for a few days, I jumped at the chance. The big bonus was that we were going to Mt William National Park in the far North-East corner of the state - a place I'd never visited before. It's an area of coastal  vegetation and heathland with Mt William, a smallish hill with mountainous delusions at its centre and miles of beautiful, empty beaches, rocky outcrops and abundant wildlife.

Although you have to carry in drinking water, the camping is pleasant, close to the beach under she-oaks. It is car camping, so you can bring lots of comforts!

We had lovely warm weather, but I imagine it can sometimes be very windy here (There must be a good reason that one of Tasmania's two wind farms is located not too far away!)

We were able to have a campfire, which is no longer allowed in many national parks.

(Photo: Margaret Hoban)

Beach, sky, birds, animals and the endless crash of the surf onto the beach.

We made an ascent of Mt William - a smallish bump of a few hundred metres, but I was pleasantly surprised by the "miniature mountain" feel of it, complete with its rocky summit and views all around. Unfortunately, it was hazy from forestry burn-offs, so the Furneaux Islands weren't visible as they would be on a clear day and the distance views were limited. Areal eye-opener was all the different species of fungi that were abundant - I counted around thirty different kinds!

The walk was pleasant and easy on a good track and the reward is this view:

All in all, it was a perfect, rejuvenating break and it has given me a taste to go and spend more time in a place with such subtle charm and plenty to see and do.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Something To Crow About?

I have just completed this crow - about half life-size. he is made from fabric over an air-dry clay form with legs made from wrapped wire. The whole thing was sized and gessoed and sanded smooth and then painted with artist's acrylics. All the feather details are achieved with paint. I'd like to do an interactive group of these in different poses. I think I will!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Few Short Walks………...

I am blessed that my new location is very near to quite a number of great short walks……the first is only a hundred metres or so from my front door: Woods Reserve. It is around 20 acres of remnant bush vegetation that looks out over the city of Launceston below. A little gem close to the city.

A little further away, but still within easy walking distance, is Duck Reach, the site of the first hydro-electric power station in the Southern Hemisphere - it brought power and light to the city of Launceston in 1895 until it was washed away in the monster flood of 1925. It was re-built some years later.
The power station is no longer used, but the building has been turned into a museum which highlights the foresight and ingenuity of Launceston's City Fathers in the C19th. From Duck Reach, you can explore numerous trails through the Cataract Gorge.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

New house……new life!

FINALLY………..getting a little bit of studio time after my move - and a moment to update my long-neglected blog!
The new house was an awful mess when I moved in - there was still a lot of the previous owners junk here and the place was very filthy - as if it hadn't been cleaned for about ten years. Well, I love a good challenge and a few days of scrubbing with the help of friends and the place was in a state where I could bear to stay here. And the unbearable smell has diminished to undetectability with cleanliness, air, sunshine and painting. (I don't think the curtains or windows had been opened in years) Just to give you an idea, here are some of the clean-up pics:

As you can see, there were some very interesting and downright dangerous diy electrical and plumbing solutions in place!

Here are a few pictures of the house as it is now - still plenty to do, but cleaned up, comfortable and liveable - I'm just chipping away at what needs doing as I have the time and energy. I've given myself a year and a half to get it how I really want it - inside and out.

Here's my "inside studio" (spare bedroom)

…..and the separate backyard bungalow that will become my "outside studio"

In between all the house and garden refurbishing, I have made time to get back into the studio and producing work again after the enforced hiatus:

I'm looking forward now, to being able to take it a little easier than I have for the last few frenetic months and settle back into my normal routines.

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