Thursday, October 5, 2017

Our Week with O'Shea

Last week I was truly blessed to have my gorgeous grandson O'Shea staying with me for a week. He lives about eight hours from me so I don't get to spend a huge amount of time with him or his little brother Finn. So I thought now that he is six and at school, it was the perfect time for a holiday with Granny Dave. After meeting up in Marlo and get in a bit of fishing it was time for O'Shea and Granny Dave to head to Melbourne. 

Clohesy family having a bit of a fish - O'Shea 1 - Daddy 1
My daughters two girls Clare (6) and Mikayla (4) were also looking forward to having lots of adventures with O'Shea, so Rachel and I planned a few activities. As it turned out it was an extremely busy week. 

Monday was a day at Melbourne Museum in Carlton. I have been to the Museum with Clare and Mikayla before and we just knew O'Shea would love it, as he did. I knew the kids would love the indoor play area, but I was totally surprised just how much two six year olds could enjoy a Museum. On the way home they said how much they loved it, but their favourite was the big crystals. 

O'Shea and Clare were pretty impressed with these Pygmy Blue Whale Bones

While O'Shea smiled for the camera,
Clare was just checking out those ants couldn't get to her

The both loved the crystals. 
Tuesday was a quieter day until we headed off to the movies to see The Emoji Movie. After lots of popcorn, candies and a Mexican dinner it was off home for a good nights sleep. 

Movie and Popcorn time

A bit of craziness at dinner

We spent a fabulous day on Wednesday at Werribee Open Range Zoo. Opened in 1983, this zoo covers around 560 acres and has some major exhibits with Hippopotamus, Lion, Zebra, Giraffe, Meerkat, Ostrich, beautiful Silverback Gorillas, African wild dogs, numerous antelope, Rhinoceros, and Australian animals. 

Such a magnificent animal these Silverback Gorillas are. 

O'Shea's favorite were the snakes. 

At the end of the day it was time for icypoles. 
Thursday was a day to head down to Somerton to Dinosaur World. The three kids enjoyed looking at all the moving dinosaurs, so from a kids view it was fun but from an adults point of view it was not as exciting. 

Oh how I Love these smiles

After such a big week it was time for some quiet time watching Trolls on the telly
While waiting for his Mum, Dad and brother Finn to come down to collect him it was time for O'Shea to have one last play date with his cousins. 

Overall we had a fantastic week and next time little Finn will be old enough to come for his first holiday from home. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

My Decluttering Cleansing Challenge

Last month I have been challenging myself and others with a 30 Day Decluttering Cleansing month.  I must admit I put the challenge out there for totally selfish reasons. I find that if I put it out there to others it makes me more accountable. Hence when I'm accountable to others I usually am successful with my challenges. But that wasn't always the case. Years ago I had a bit of a hoarding problem but with lots of work and soul searching I was able to get over it. Here's  how I made myself realise that I just didn't need all the stuff I had.

I think my issues started when I went through a divorce and was left with lots of stuff from my past. For a number of years my two kids and I lived with the clutter until after a bit of a revelation I realised that all the stuff that I was keeping from my past was stopping me from moving forward into my new life. At first I didn't know what to do and I found it very difficult to part with anything.
So to start off I set up some boxes in my lounge room and I labeled them throw away, donate, keep, pass onto owners, and don't know. At the end of each week I emptied the boxes to where they belonged. I only tackled one area at a time eg. one draw at a time, one tiny area at a time. After a lot of soul searching and positive self talk to myself  I had mostly everything under control but there were still a few issues.
After quite a number of years the time came for us to head off for twelve months in our camper "Myrtle". I had to put a lot of stuff into storage and my incentive was "Do I want to pay for this to be in storage?"  So once again I got the boxes set up and promised myself to be a lot more ruthless.
My clutter issues are pretty much under control now although I must admit I do still have some issues with my craft room. With that in mind this month I am going to challenge myself with all the craft supplies, half finished objects, instructions and incidental things my craft room holds.

If you would like to join me in this challenge please let me know. I'd love to have you along for the ride.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Buddha's Smile at the National Gallery Victoria

After a bit of a delay I am finally getting back into having an Adventure Day every week, to explore what my city, Melbourne has to offer.

I always like visiting the NGV with it's impressive waterfall entrance and it's amazing Grand Hall with it's spectacular stained glass ceiling.

National Gallery Victoria - St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

The magnificent waterfall entry to the NGV.  
The first time I ever visited this gallery I thought the water ran down between two sheets of glass. It wasn't until I put my face and hands on it and I got drenched I realised it didn't. 

The Grand Hall was opened on August 20, 1968.
This magnificent ceiling is the world's largest stained-glass ceiling
and was designed by Australian artist Leonard French.
The ceiling is high 13.72 metres and a  vast 60.9 x 15.24 metres.

The 224 triangles of diamond-cut primary colours weigh 300 kilograms each.

This latest venture was to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the Buddha's Smile Exhibition. Anyone who knows me and my obsession with Buddha's would instantly know this is one exhibition I would have to visit.

11 Headed Bodhisattva

A delicate but powerful piece

It was hard to get a great photo of this statue as it was behind glass.
But for some reason it mesmerised me. 

 The explanation in the NGV information brochure is "Explore the story of Buddha in his multitude of incarnations, from Buddhist-inspired works of art and Zen philosophy to Buddhist costume, religious symbolism, painting conventions and historical narratives. Buddha's Smile reveals the unique style and mediums of art throughout Asia with a focus on the tranquility and silent transmission of Buddhist philosophy through simple gestures of a smile."

Liu Xiaoxian
Our God, Laughing Buddha
Digital print on aluminium

The Our God, Laughing Buddha work is actually made up of
thousands of photos of Jesus, as shown in detail above.
The artist also made a corresponding piece of work of Jesus made
up up thousands of photos of the Laughing Buddha. 
I did have a little feedback from a friend that they thought the exhibition was just OK. From my perspective I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very informative with some amazing pieces of art.

Ceremonial hanging and covering... 19th Century
Depicting the life of King Ashoka -Buddha

"The Buddha smiled and varicoloured rays of light extended from the smile, up to the gods in heaven and down to the various hells, where warmth brought relief to those suffering in the cold hells and it's coolness brought relief to those in the hot hells'..........
......Adaptation from The Legend of King Ashoka

Friday, July 28, 2017

Yes I am still alive!!!

Wow I can't believe I haven't posted since March. Yes I am still alive and have been pretty busy with life in general. One of my big happy times was welcoming a new member to our family.
Clare and Starr at eight weeks old
Starr is an American Staffordshire Terrier (Staffy). We got her when she was 8 weeks old and she is now almost 7 months. Her training is going well and thank goodness she is over the baby stage of wanting to eat us. She still has lots of puppy issues but slowly but surely we are getting there.
Starr at six months
I have also spent quite a bit of time up on the New South Wales coast at my sons house. It was great getting to spend time with my two little grandsons O'Shea and Finn. Rachel, Clare, Mikayla and I also headed up there for a week of the school holidays. It was such a beautiful time spending time with both my two (now grown) babies and my four adorable grandbabies.



Mikayla having just finished her strawberries
I was also given the fantastic news (a day apart) that my daughter, Rachel and daughter in law, Stacey are both expecting their third children. They are due within about a week of each other. So that will be even more JOY in my life.
Stacey and Rachel with my two new grandbabies
 I must say Clare, O'Shea, Mikayla and Finn are all pretty excited that they are getting a new baby in the house. I will ask them again about a month into the arrival. Their idea of a cute baby may be a little tarnished by then.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

My Nillumbik Art Adventure

This week I got back into taking myself out on a Tuesday Adventure Day. This time I thought I would seek out some of the outdoor art the in shire I live in. I have lived in the Nillumbik Shire for quite a long time and have seen some of the art on numerous occasions, but I have never made a conscious effort to find out the artists or the meaning behind the piece. Nillumbik Shire covers quite a large area soI started in Eltham and ventured out.
"Wall of the Moon"
(Homage to Miro)
Tom Sanders
Eltham Town Square
Wall of the Moon is  a ceramic mural made of earthenware tiles.It consists of a playful organic abstract design similar in style to the Spanish artist Joan Miro. Shades of yellow and black glazes are layered onto matte black and shiny bronze tiles.

Eltham Town Square resident Platypus

"Classical Landscape"
Cliff Burtt
Alistair Knox Park

Surveyor of Suburban Environs
Ernst Fries
Alistair Knox Park

The Eye 
 Surveyor of Suburban Environs is a polished stainless steel sculpture comprising an eye reminiscent of ancient egyptian hieroglyphics, which is held up with a tappered and jaggered tail like pedestal.

Eltham's Timber rail Bridge
 Is this art? I think it is. Eltham's Timber rail bridge was built in 1902 and is the only railway bridge of predominantly timber construction that is still in regular use as an integral part of Melbourne's metropolitan electric railway network and one of extremely few timber railway bridges in the state that still carries trains.
"Alan Marshall"
Marcus Skipper
Eltham Library
 A realistic depiction (almost lifesize) of the author of almost fifteen books, Alan Marshall cast in bronze with green patination. Dressed in a jumper and slacks, Marshall is shown perched on a crutch, holding a book to his heart, gesturing to his audience to come and listen to his words. Alan Marshall lived in Eltham most of his life and was a central figure in the area's community of writers, artists, sculptors, film makers,actors and musicians.

Close up of Alan Marshall beckoning us to listen to his words

Deborah Halpern
Nillumbik Shire Offices
Wayfarer is an excellent example of Deborah Halpern's tile construction technique and playful style that she is renowned for. I have always loved Deborah Halpern's work and am delighted when I come across yet another piece either in  the city or in other Melbourne locations.

Robert Baines
Civic Centre
This piece Transaction by artist Robert Baines is a large cascading form in stainless steel. Multiple rows of concave dishes set on long steel stems which progressively increase in size as they rise in height.
Susie and Naomi Kumar
Coventry Oval
Diamond Creek
The Kumar sister designed this sixty metre gently curving bench, Benchmark, in response to the topography of the site, Coventry Oval. The sculpture is designed to describe the boundary between the formal oval and the natural creek bank.

"The Breeze"
Edward Ginger
Opposite Eltham Little Theatre
 The Breeze is an abstract work made out of welded steel and painted in enamel in bush fire red. It comprises of flat, cut out shapes, interlocking at different angles, giving the impression of being hinged together rather than fixed. The circular cut-out in the eye mimics the sun, symbolising the intense heat in the Australian climate,while the colour red alludes to the history of bushfire within the urban and rural fringe.

Kangaroo Ground War Memorial and Tower of Remembrance
 The Kangaroo Ground War Memorial Tower is built on the highest hill in the district. It was unveiled on November 11, 1926 and is used as a fire spotter in the summer. It offers 360 degree views which take in Melbourne, the north-east suburbs and the Dandenong and Kinglake Ranges.

One of the Windmill Palms
 Surrounding the tower there are seven windmill palms which represent the seven States and one Territory of Australia. The oldest of these palms are over 60 years old.

Looking south towards Melbourne, unfortunately it was a bit hazy 

While sitting enjoying the amazing vies the silence was only broken by the beautiful catter from the magpies.

"Man and Fire"
Shane McGrath and the
St Andrews Men's Shed
2013 - 2015

"Lasting Memories Mosaic Seat"
Lasting Memories Mosaic Group
St. Andrews Hall
 Lasting Memories Mosaic Seat is a large concrete seat in the style of an organic chaise lounge. The Lasting Memories Mosaic Group began this piece just after the Black Saturday bushfires on February 7, 2009. After the horrific fires ravaged through St Andrews and the surrounding areas, a group of bushfire affected ladies bravely came back to St Andrews to begin their healing in an artistic way.

Plague beside the Lasting Memories Mosaic Seat

A closeup view of some of the various pieces used in the seat. 

Each woman created something beautiful and meaningful, using remnants of crockery, glass, tiles and bricks salvaged from their own properties. This artwork identifies who they are and tells their personal "life journey"and family heritage and memories of what they had experienced before, during and beyond Black Saturday.

This closeup shot really gives the feeling of how hot the flames were
and how the sun glowed red