Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Look what Jude gave me

My friend Jude has an eye for the creative arts.
She has an office worker mate who plays in his shed with different ideas
She commissioned a camel for me.

It's a beauty!
Thanks Jude.

I have popped it in the garden near my Yr 11 self portrait
The hanky was a hot day addition just a year or so ago.

I am surprised that the hanky has not disintegrated given the hot sun treatment
My teacher was a perfectionist and insisted we all did a good job
We spent a whole term on the 3D portrait.
He was a hard task master and for that I am grateful
I wonder what he would think about the hanky.
It made me smile.
I have linked this to Mud Colony.. check out some other potters @

Saturday, February 23, 2013

This is my weekly  http://mudcolony.blogspot.com.au/ post
I have been making some plates.
Just hand made,
rolled slab, pressed onto plastic plate covered with a cloth
that we use as a mould.

I wanted to try some different glazes so I made a few

They are not as big as a regular dinner plate,
but a good brunch size

Or a diet dinner plate
There were plenty of off cuts
so I made some plant tags.

All herb signs

Different sizes due to the nature of the off cuts
$2.00 each
at the Sunraysia Farmers Market.
For market dates check out their web page.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Orange socks

I am a fan of orange 
When I was feeding the animals the other night I could not resist this image.

Nor this one which puts it all in perspective.
An artist friend has recently given my his colour theroy and
orange is the colour of love he says.

The camels are not always pleased to share their dinner
The sheep just sneak their way in.
I try and feed them further down the fence line
I am sure Winston (on left) has a few favourite woolly girls.
I often see him having his daily siesta sitting with the sheep.
He is very protective of the lambs but not able to prevent the odd
fox snatch and grab.

A grumpy camel will stamp his foot,
just like a grumpy sheep who will also stamp her foot..
I have been known to stamp my foot when I am trying to get the dogs to do something.
They know I mean business when I do that. 

They are funny animals.
I love the variety in their voices.
I guess a Shepard of old would know his sheep by the sound of their voices.
Some are shrill and full of worry. Then there is the deep no drama Baa
The mothers call out to their babies and if the baby has been slow
to respond there is insistent distress until the return call is heard.
It's a real orchestra.
Every time I see this next photo as a thumb nail I am confused by what it is of.

Much easier now it is larger.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New 2nd hand kiln

A local pottery (Murry Gum Pottery) closed down a few years ago
allowing the owners to pursue different careers.
They have decided to move house and despite not operating the
kiln for several years it was difficult for them to let it go.
One  owner, husband and wife team.
Large, gas, comes with shelves and props to suit.
And an enormous set of shelves.
It comes with a new stainless steel flue, the old one had recently rusted away.
Their neighbour came over with his trusty tractor, the famous Grey Fergie kind.
A legendary tractor in these parts. Attributed to the saving of Wentworth from the 1956 floods.
It was the biggest recorded flood in this area, my house has a mark near the
mantle piece that denotes how far under water it went back then.
It is refered to as a 1 in  100 year event 
It is also the reason why we are not allowed to develop much on our land.
In case it happens again

We live approximately 15 km's from here, it was a slow drive home.
It hasn't rained all year but of course it is predicted for toady, tomorrow, and the day after.
So we had to find undercover storage space.
Shame the shearing shed is unavailble.
The wood shed is now completely filled with the kiln,
with a tarp cover to make sure everything stays dry.
I am hoping 2013 will mean a new studio for the Pottery Club.
Its been a long time coming and I won't hold my breath but I will keep you informed.
I am linking this post with Mud Colony which is a potters platform and it has been a while so I hope you can check it out by clicking this link http://mudcolony.blogspot.com.au

I am looking forward to using some of my reduction glazes having only fired in electric kilns these last few years.
I have been very busy in the garden as per usual and I thought I would share a photo of the basil circle. It's going gang busters at the moment.
I am selling many bunches a week...make hay while the sun shines they say.

I am also trialling growing Lisianthus.
There is a white flower in the centre of this photo.
I knew I would be really pampering this circle of Basil,
that's why I planted the Lisianthus there, I have a pink, purple and this white.
I am hoping it is a perennial plant as that means
I will have 4  x 2 year old plants next spring, if the frost doesn't muck things up.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Soaking in the sun

I was out in the paddock checking on the rabbit warrens and I spied this fellow soaking in the sun.
He calmly watched me slowly approach.
The Labradors leaping all around the place, unaware what
I was watching and trying hard not to disturb, just lucky
they were more interested in each other. 

It's times like these when it is great to have a camera in my pocket,
and I just happened to have mine on me.

I haven't seen one of these lizards on our side of the farm in a long time.
They are often seen on fence posts along the driveway in the middle of the farm.
I think it is a bearded dragon but it was not puffing out its collar.
It is so dry out there, there has been no rain this year at all.
Predicted for this weekend (market weekend. Oh no)
We have been irrigating with our big sprinklers all summer but
The pasture is still suffering.
I have been out there chip hoeing the paddy melons as they come up.
I have to eliminate the Khaki weed also.
Just when I think it is all done, I wait a few days and have another walk around,
then go a get the hoe.
Its a good fitness exercise, flat tummy stuff.
I could not believe the luxury at Michaal's bee hive the other day.
I knew she had rigged up a coolgarde type arrangement to cope with those over 40 days.
The blue drum sits atop the silver one and drip feeds water to a hessian cover that sits over the hive.
It has blown over but can be seen behind the hive.

I could hardly believe the green grass under the hive.
What luxury!
You might notice there are additional ant sumps under the grass
Meat ants have proven to be a fatal pest for the bees
swooping on to any poor soul that lands on the ground.
We have noticed that occasionally one meat ant will make it into the hive but is quickly ousted by the bees.
They are well established here now, I think one box is full and they are now filling up the top box.
That means there will be a honey dividend this year!
On a hot day it smells sweet as I walk past.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I wonder ?

I wonder if I can grow Dutch Iris from seed.
If I can grow garlic from seed, these pea like seeds should
produce Dutch Iris plants.
I cant remember if this pod was from the blue or yellow variety.
Either way they are stunning.
They are the blue/purple ones at the back on the left.
What a bonus if I can increase my plant stock.
The red curly Kale looks great set next to the Lebanese Egg plant.
The plants are producing well and we are enjoying
them on the BBQ and warm in a leafy green salad.
Fresh from the garden and you
just can't get better than that!

Monday, February 4, 2013


A home garden needs a large strawberry patch
If you want to pick a punnet or two.
Annually I clean up this patch trying to leave a few strong plants
for the next season.

This year I have picked many strawberries
but not many make it back up to the house.
I sell plants at the market for $3.00each
The last two market most of the plants were dripping with  fruit
but I only sold two plants.

The drought has taught gardeners that summer is the toughest time to
plant things in this climate.
That heat wave was ridiculous, 4 days in a row over 40...
Then we get the arctic blast and have struggled to get
over 20 for a week...cold and windy...strange
and a reminder that summer will not last forever and winter is creeping up on us.
I do prefer summer.
The year is off to a good start, I have had night classes over the summer
and Uni is about to start again. I got a few extra hours on the work clock
teaching drawing to first year Uni students.
That should be fun.
After school pottery starts tonight, Parent and child night.
Children $15.00 parents free.
Nice to see this combination being creative together.