Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halosarcia pergranulata

The new seedling

From the Nursery.

If you haven't heard of Halosarcia pergranulata, you may know it by its common name.
Black-seeded Glasswort
It is a small, succulent woody shrub. It grows dense and erect. It can reach up to 1 metre tall, but is usually much smaller. One of our many local indigenous gems.

It is an amazing plant. It actually likes dry salty ground. Both coastal and inland. 

As you can see from the photos, branchlets grow in a beaded formation. As it matures, it grows little reddish glass-like beads on the ends, with succulent spikes.

These plants are edible. I have eaten Sarconia, pictured below. It was pickled in a jar. Very salty, delicious in salads. 

Here's one I've prepared earlier.

Detail of the Plant

Not exactly its natural habitat, but the best that I could do.
Sarconia, a close relative, grows prostrate but is very similar.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My favourite machines.

Behold! My baby.
In response to this blog post by A life of charming moments by Miss Prudence knits, I thought I would show off my sewing machines.

As I do a lot of sewing, I need reliable machines. In 1989, at the starry eyed age of 25 I had saved up $800 to buy me a new one.

There used to be a sewing machine shop on Chapel St. in Windsor, run by two Jewish gentlemen. Sadly it is gone now, it was a brilliant shop. Naturally I went there.

To this day I am grateful to the man who served me. He talked me out of a new machine, and recommended a second hand Bernina.  Oh my we have sewn some seams together over the years, this machine and I.
Leonie age 25, for your amusement.
 And for the big jobs, I have these beauties. Old industrial Singers from sometime around the '50s. Straight sewer and overlocker. They weigh about a tonne each and are deadly weapons. They will break your toe if you trip on them, or sew right through your finger if you are not concentrating. On the up side, they both go like rockets.


It is a good year for strawberries.

 Two weeks ago I went into a wild, crazy gardening frenzy. The weeds were waist high, as I have been busy with the new business. But suddenly, I could resist the urge to play in the dirt no longer.

When the weeds are thick and tall, it is really satisfying to pull them out. Instant gratification, and the soil is all dug up and ready for the next crop.

And look what was hiding under the weeds. 

From a few spindly little leftovers from work that I put in last year. Mainly because I felt sorry for them. Look at them now.

And plenty of fruit on them too. Can't wait for this lot to ripen.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Little Mermaid.

We had a new model for our Life Drawing Class in Laverton last week. Her description of herself on the Life Model Society list read 'warrior mermaid', I was intrigued.

When she arrived for the gig, in her wrap around dress, with her wild mane of curls piled high on her head, we knew exactly what she meant.

She was wonderfully inspirational. You can see some of our drawings here. I was admiring this one by the lovely Anne, when Warren came along beside me and said it looks like the Little Mermaid of Copenhagen.

As I have never been to Copenhagen, I had to consult my good friend Google.
Isn't she lovely?

According to Wikipedia it is based on the Little Mermaid in the fairy tale that we all know and love by Hans Christian Andersen, a native of Denmark, and Copenhagen-ite from the age of 14.
The statue itself is only 1.25 metres tall, (4ft).
"The statue was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg, who had been fascinated by a ballet about the fairytale in Copenhagen's Royal Theatre and asked the prima ballerina, Ellen Price, to model for the statue. The sculptor Edvard Eriksen created the bronze statue, which was unveiled on 23 August 1913. The statue's head was modelled after Price, but as the ballerina did not agree to model in the nude, the sculptor's wife, Eline Eriksen, was used for the body.
The Copenhagen City Council decided to move the statue to Shanghai at the Danish Pavilion for the duration of the Expo 2010 (from May to October), the first time it had been moved from its perch since it was installed almost a century earlier.[3]"

She hasn't had it easy this last century, perched on that there rock. She has been vandalised on many occasions. Decapitated twice, once in 1964 and again in 1998. The first time the head was never recovered, so a new one had to be made. In 1984 her right arm was sawn off, then returned two days later.
In 2003 she was blown off her perch with explosives. They recovered and restored her body from the water. She has been painted flouro pink, dressed up in various garbs and she is still sitting proud.  

An interesting story, that has had me reading articles from the Ice News-(News from the Nordics) and the like. So thanks for sharing Warren, and thanks for your beautiful drawing Anne.

Welcome to the jungle.

It has been a while since I pruned the garden. I'm always planting things, without putting too much thought into how big they will grow. And as with most things that I do, I'm great at the creative, inventive stuff, but when it comes to maintenance........... pfffft.

The up side of that is that I don't need to draw the blinds very often.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A nice surprise on my doorstep.

A bit over a week ago it was my birthday. It was a little sad not seeing my daughter on the day, but received a lovely phone call from her. She did mention that she was still knitting my present.

So imagine my delight when a parcel arrived on the doorstep this morning.
Hand Made Wrapping Paper
Hand Made Card

Hand Written Message
And a fabulous hand made beanie! In comfy non-scratchy cotton, and in my favourite colour. I'm wearing it now.

Thats my girl.

Sharing the Beans.

Sharing the Love, Spilling the Beans. No I am not mixing my metaphors.

I am in fact, mixing the beans. A few of us at work shared an order for Diggers Seeds. It was like Christmas when they arrived. We were so excited that we couldn't resist getting them out and doing swapsies.

So now look at all the lovely beans that I have to grow.

Monday, October 8, 2012

My new shop.

That's right, I'm setting up a shop.

Well I have been trying to for quite some time. The problem is that I keep hitting walls, getting confused, being distracted by shiny things, stuff like that.

But at last, after a few tears and hissy fits, with a little help from my friends, it is starting to take shape.

Now I have made a button, but can't work out how to link it.

Ah well, maybe tomorrow. Hope you like the button.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A fast drawing is a good drawing.

Blind contour drawings by Anna
We had a brilliant time at life drawing tonight. Our lovely model Lauren was fabulous as ever. It was a big group, and everyone jumped in boots and all.
Blind contour drawing by Anne

As is the case in most life drawing groups, experience levels vary. But no matter where you are on the chart, you can always benefit from a right brain workout.
So we started out with a series of 30 second poses. No time to think or worry about details. Just capture the essence of the pose.
30 seconds by Anthea
30 seconds by Izabela

Then we concentrated on the negative space around the figure, some blind contour drawings, (ie looking only at the model, and not the page, and drawing with a continuous line). Not only do these exercises warm you up, wake up your right brain, teach you to draw what you see etc, but some of the results are fantastic.

I just love the energy and fun captured in these drawings.

After the warm ups, we drew some five, ten and twenty minute poses. Some beautiful drawings were produced. These will be posted in the next couple of days on my other blog, so do drop in here and check them out.
30 seconds by Izabela

1 minute by Izabela

1 minute by Izabela

1 minute by Izabela
Blind contour by Karin
30 second wonders by Anna.
30 seconds by Karin

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Planting Veges at the Nursery.

Day 3 of Blogtober, and today was a nursery day.

For my day job, I am lucky enough to work in an indigenous nursery. It is really interesting work.

As we are all keen gardeners, we often pop a few of our vegie seeds onto the seed trays alongside the Mellaleucas and the Atriplex.

The last few seasons we have gone a bit crazy with it. Pooling seed orders from Diggers, mass plantings etc.. My slightly excessive nature may have something to do with it.

Here are some we planted earlier, and some from today.

 A nice misty spray at regular intervals does wonders for germinating seeds.

A workplace that sows together, grows together.

Here is our lovely boss Richard, who we have well and truly corrupted with mass vegie plantings. Also the lovely Ada, who dropped by to help us plant the seeds. 


Some of babies from last year seem to have re seeded themselves. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Playing under the hose in the back yard on a hot day.

The four youngest of the Kervin clan.
In this day and age of water restrictions, I don't suppose kids get to play under the hose so much any more. While I am not in favour of wasting water, it is a bit sad that many kids miss out on this joy.

Here is a photo of us in our back yard at Kialla West. We moved out of that place in 1974, when I was ten, but this picture is probably a bit older. Memories of this time are hazy, but this photo reminds me of some of the special little things of my formative years. That old tractor tyre behind us was a sand pit. And the melaleuca tree behind us supplied me with endless little branches for weaving.

Funny, because I still love playing in the dirt and making things out of stuff.