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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Saturday Sky

I haven't posted a Saturday Sky for ages, but here is one at last. And yes it is a real photo! But it was blurry and an insignificant part of another picture (taken by Baby Bear who was focussing on something else) so i played with it until it developed this look, which I like. Those were real clouds and they evens prinkled some rain on us. Most of Victoria got lots of rain, we didn't get much in Glen Waverley (5mm) but the farmers got lots which is great. There is some more rain forecast today. In fact it is chucking down at the moment (whee!) and I am pointedly not complaining that in an hour's time we have to be over at the school at the official opening of the environmental project that George, among a tiny handful of other dads, has been building almost every Saturday for the last nine months. (I love it that he is so involved in the school, but sometimes I wish a few other people would get off their ar**s and do something too!) I am hoping that our wonderful principal has remembered how to make contingency plans for rainy days!

Wombat this morning said something terribly sweet - he is nearly 11 and we came back to Melbourne when he was nearly 3 - 'I remember that day when it RAINED ALL DAY'. Of course there have been a few of them in that eight year period, but precious few. I didn't remind him that his first 2 3/4 years were spent in Gloucestershire in the UK where it rained all day every day for most of his short life!
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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Latest Etsy Offerings

I've been whiling away a little time playing with beads.

I am getting concerned about Etsy. Apart fromt he fact that I haven't sold anything yet (not a whinge, the whinge is coming though!) I am worried about the future of the site itself. On the last week there has been a huge amount of down time while the backroom boffins did some boffining, and then some more, and then tried to fix the boffining that had already happened. It seems to be working OK at the moment...

I hadn't bothered reading the Etsy forums up till now, being a bit busy with other things, but cast a glance at them while all of this was going on. There was a mixture of people grumping that this was no way to run a business (it isn't), but far more people praising the boffins and stroking their egos and saying that everyone else should shut up and let them get on and play with their software.

I;m not going to get into that argument (much) and haven;t posted on the forums. But it makes me think, with a shudder, of Themestream, a pay-per-click creative writing site that I had the misfortune to become heavily embroiled with several years ago. Exactly the same things happened - they expanded far too quickly, didn't put enough of their (considerable) profits into keeping the site up with the traffic and the punters, and crashed in a blaze of - what is the opposite of glory? - owing thousands of people like me money.

I know that Etsy can't screw me of money - especially if I don't sell anything! But if I do, the money comes straight to me via Paypal. But it just has the same smell of death about it. I really want it to succeed - I like the philosophy of the site - I;d like it more if I could sell something, but that's probably got more to do with my photographs or merchandise than anything else. But it worries me none the less.

Rant over. I have schoolwork to do - actual textile art! Not just writing business plans!
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Friday, April 20, 2007

Lovely Lichen!

Here is the next set of bush texture photos I took. I love lichen!

All pictures are clickable to view in greater detail. The same goes for the previous texture photo post, the photos look muchbetter in close-up than they do smaller. (Two posts ago).
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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Latest Etsy Stuff!

I've been playing around again with stuff for my Etsy shop (see sidebar). The earrings are self-explanatory (except that the blue pair is quite deliberately mismatched, just for a bit of fun). I spent a couple of hours making rolled paper beads and decided that it was quite fun, except that there must be a way to get them off the skewers before the glaze dried without them sticking - I got most of them off but now I have to buy new skewers! And then I dabbled with the idea of putting a kit together of fabric embellishments and glass beads - it wasm y first time making wrapped fabric beads and a wrapped cord, and I hope someone thinks it's a good idea because I could happily turn these out in lots of different colours and have a lot of fun.
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Texture Photos

Regular readers (all three of you!) may remember that I enjoy taking texture photos in the bush. Here is the start of a series that I took while in Beaufort over Easter. The top one didn't work out properly, it was blurry, so I used Sharpen in Picasa until it got that brush-stroke look to it. There will be more photos to come over the next couple of days. The bush is so beautiful!
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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Is It Nearly Over?

I try not to whinge about the school holidays, 'cos I really do love my kids and like doing things with them and the general mess and hilarity that comes with having them in the house.

But by this stage (Thursday of the second week) I do find myself hanging out for next Monday!

Baby Bear returned from China cheerful, covered in spots (lots of greasy food and no fresh veges, she was not impressed with Szechuan food - turned out Chengdu was NOT in Shanghai province as I had thought), and laden with cheap and cheerful pressies for us and her myriad of friends. I have hung the Buddha head over my bed - I;m sure it must be good feng-shui - and she bought me some red envelopes to use in crafting.

Wombat has been a darling, but a very clingy and demanding one. The fantasy life we live together gets a bit wearing when it is twelve hours a day without a break. His anxiety levels are still very high despite nearly two weeks off school and his OCD is exhausting for both of us. On the upside he is happy and cheerful and having a good time. We went to see TMNT the other day (good enough, but SO violent and noisy!) and are off to see Mr Bean's Vacation, or whatever it is called, in half an hour.

George said last night that I seemed very tense and when did I last meditate? I laughed hollowly and pointed out that for two weeks I have been unable to go to the toilet without someone coming and talking to me through the door, let alone have any quiet time. The only way I can get away is to take the dog for a ten minute walk in the evening while dinner is cooking, or spend a couple of hours at the local shopping centre (this is alone time for me - I can tune out the other people and live with my own thoughts, and I don't have to interact with magic lemurs or all the baby Pokemon).

I have been trying to catch up with some homework - wrote a short piece on Anubis yesterday for the topic of symbolism that we are studying - and what a huge, fertile, exciting area that is, it's given me enough material for artworks for the rest of my life! I've also written half a business plan. Given that I haven't sold a single thing so far it seems a bit stupid writing one, but I guess that's what they are for.

There's a few more bits and pieces to go up on Etsy but I haven't photographed them yet or had the time to put them up. I am trialling lots of different things and when something actually sells I will make more than one of it/them! I have lots more ideas so will just keep trying until I hit the sweet spot. I am determined to make this work in the long run, not to make a fortune but to at least turn it into a part-time business - at least that's what the five year plan in my half written business plan says!!

We went to Beaufort for part of the Easter break - in the Pyrenees - the Australian ones of course. WE have friends who are building a house up there - VERY SLOWLY - and we took the two family rooms at thelocal motel and hung out together and had fun. A couple of short bushwalks (a bit too short, I wanted more exercise!) and some real 4WD stuff - no-one can say that we never take ours off road! We spent some time in Ballarat, visited the local gallery which has some excellent Australian art plus the real, original Eureka flag - important to our family because George's great-great grandfather was at Eureka - and found his great-great-great grandmother's grave and the address she used to live at - now a car park, of course!

Lots of close-up texture photos to come that I took in the bushm but I haven't sorted through them yet.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

School holidays

Thse are the two latest doodads I have made for my Etsy shop (see sidebar). I'm now working on some fabric cuffs and then another style of bag. It distracts me from doing homework! Actually I have done some homework but there is more to do before next term, just nothing very interesting.

It's the school holidays and so far Wombat and I have had a pleasant time together. Yesterday we went to the cinema to see Meet the Robinsons, about which I knew very little but turned out to be a charming film that I thoroughly enjoyed (so did he). This was followed by lunch at the Pancake Parlour, a family favorite. Today we only went out to do a little shopping but, followed by coffee (for me) and icecream (for him) made an enjoyable little trip. Season 9 of The Simpsons is out so we bought that - addicted to The Simpsons in this house, especially Wombat!

We are being hounded by a major company who shall remain nameless over a supposedly unpaid bill. Fortunately we can prove that we paid it on time, but it is starting to be a stressful experience. To add insult to injury, I own shares in the company and do not appreciate my shareholder profits being frittered away in postage sending overdue notices to innocent billpayers!

The Norah Gaughan bolero thing is coming along great guns but has been temporarily suspended while I do some secret knitting. I won't show a picture of the bolero at the moment because it looksl ike a shapeless mess.
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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Wolf, Looming

I was taking photos for the latest jeans bag in my Etsy shop (see sidebar) and I was trying to get a close-up of a tiny wolf button that's less than a centimetre square. The photo turned out really blurry but I kept pressing Sharpen in Picasa until this happened, and I decided that I really liked this picture. I am considering printing it out and doing things with it. Trouble is, my head is so full of ideas at the moment that it is exploding and I have homework to do which is less explosive and Wombat to amuse for the next two weeks of the school hols (Baby Bear is about to jet off to China to sing at the Festival of the Giant Panda with a school choir).

Edited on 2nd April to add: Poor kid, after two hours on the plane it was declared unfit to fly and they all had to disembark, be sent to a hotel, then sent to another one in the morning. She is flying out tonight at 8pm. It means that they lost the connection to Cheng-du, of course, and it was quite hard to organise them again - apparently she is going withm ost of the choir and two teachers, still via Singapore, but the remaining few, plus the other teacher and the tour rep, have to go via Singapore AND Hong Kong. I imagine there are three teachers there wishing they had booked something else for the holidays! She phoned me this afternoon sounding tired but quite cheerful and still looking forward to it. Not a good start to her first OS trip without her parents, though!

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