Friday, 30 September 2016

waterfront property. again.

There's been rain, bad weather and devastation in South Australia this last week and someone on FB sent me a message saying they hoped we were well. I replied that we had perfect weather - sunny and gorgeous.

I spoke too soon.

It began raining yesterday afternoon and didn't stop till this afternoon. Lots of water. Strong winds last night, but thankfully only for a short time.

Now, we're used to a bit of flooding every year, but this is the second time this year and its the worst we've ever seen since we moved here.


We have two creeks that run down from the hills behind our place, join together outside our top paddock, then down through both our property and the next door neighbours. These overfill with sand every year (which washes down from properties above us) and break out into our paddocks. Normally, we get a breakout in the same spot just to the right of the proper creek. Today we had a breakout in two more places, further up the creek's path. 


We could offer white water rafting in our paddocks today!



Lucky we don't keep any animals in our stockyards!


We're really getting sick of fixing our driveway down at the gate. We just spent money on that at the end of summer, filling in the ruts and putting in a new culvert. That all washed away today.



The worst of it is that the water doesn't even go under the bridge where its meant to, it comes out onto the road, washing away huge chunks of it...


Then it rushes down to a low spot and crosses the road. I had trouble crossing that section of road this afternoon, same as at our driveway.


Lots of people had water issues today though. Tons of properties along our road had waterfalls and white water crossing their paddocks.



For the first time ever, however, there was a river in the valley on the lower side of our road. Entire paddocks were under water there.



I spoke to a few neighbours on the road and have decided its time to get the council to be more proactive in this. They were out today digging up blocked culverts but its not enough. They need to do more to sort this problem out. Its not just a property owners problem, its a council problem cause it affects roads and infrastructure.

Anyway. I say we have nothing to lose by getting a mob group together to speak to the council.

I'm a mover and shaker.

Wayne will say I'm a troublemaker.

z

Thursday, 29 September 2016

sculpture and soul searching

I had a comment about how I'm blogging a lot lately. Unlike the huge gaps between posts most of the other time.

The fact is I know I'm a poor blogger. Good thing I'm not trying to make money from this blog!

I began blogging as a way to share news and photos of our lives with friends overseas. Then I began to share projects and got into the whole DIY/repurpose/recycle blog thing. I enjoy that stuff, I do it for myself anyway, why not share with others who like the same thing? Makes sense, right?

But... there are days I just don't feel like blogging. I have nothing to say, I can't be funny, or I'm flat. Its one of those vicious circles: when I feel good I'm creative, when I don't create I feel flat. And work sometimes drains me to the point where all I want to do when I get home is curl up and zonk out in front of the TV.

On those days I think about giving up the blog. I mean, who cares what I make or do? I'm just some random person living on a small island on the bottom of the world. I have nothing important to say. 

I think the only reason I blog and share is cause I'm a showoff. I used to accuse my brother of being a showoff when we were kids but turns out I'm the one. 

Who knew...

Anyway, I'm still here, still blogging even if sporadically at times. You could say I like to be unpredictable. Like with the stuff I blog about. Its not all DIY, craft, decorating, gardening or any one thing in particular. Its a blog about me and my life - and I'm a wierd kind of jack of all trades kind of person.

So today I'll share some sculptures. The theme was 'body'... so body parts it is. As I found when making the animals, I love sculpting.



These sculptures are more along the lines of ART than the animals. I wanted them to look like an unfinished work.



Here they are finished. Difficult to photograph cause they're so bright white. 



Unfortunately the wire nose ring burned off in the second firing. I'll try to replace it but the bit remaining is in really firmly. I also need to make earrings to go in the holes I made in the ear.

So there you go. Another completely different thing.

z

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

falling in love with barbie all over again


When I was a kid I had a Barbie. In fact, I had a Barbie and a Skipper. I loved my Barbie, but I wanted a newer Barbie with long hair cause mine had stiff short hair. I also wanted the bendable knee type, Skipper had bendable knees cause I got her years later.

I'm not sure what the story of my original Barbie was, but she was a very early 60s model, most likely 1962. Since I was too young for a Barbie at that age, I'm guessing someone bought her for me and I didn't get her to play with till I was older.

Anyway, why am I discussing Barbies?

A couple of weeks ago someone posted some Barbies for sale on Facebook. I saw this one and my obsession began.


This is the Fashion Queen Barbie. Early 60s.

Needless to say I bought her!

But it got me thinking about my first (and only) Barbie. My mom gave her and all my other dolls away. No going back for me.

I began to feel nostalgic. Why is it that the older I get, the more I want stuff from my childhood?

Whatever.

I began to research Barbies. I learned about the different early models, the dates, the markings on their butts.

What I really wanted was to find, and buy, the same Barbie as the one I had when I was a kid. This is what I had: a blonde bubble cut Barbie.


This is more like mine looked like - stiff hair like a helmet. No fun for a young girl.


Turns out, bubble cut Barbie came in 4 colours.


While researching I stumbled upon a couple of sites for Barbie restoration. Its amazing what these people can do with Barbie hair! I mean, look at this!


How wonderful to get a bubble cut Barbie and have her hair redone to look this glamourous!


I want more Barbies now. I'm only interested in the hard plastic ones which were the earliest Barbies made. I dislike the cheaper feeling late models. Plus I think the early Barbies are just so beautiful.

I've already got the Fashion Queen Barbie - this is her in the brunette wig.


I still need to get my blonde bubble cut girl, but I also want a ponytail Barbie now! There are different versions of the ponytail model, some have longer ponytails. I think I want a brunette but the blondes are gorgeous too.



Love the curly fringe on these girls. They're so fifties.


I'm no expert for sure, but I believe the earliest Barbies have the most striking eyes.



I think what I'm falling in love with all over again is the beauty of these dolls. They're just so pretty.

Is this the beginning of a new collection? I sure hope not. I don't think I can afford to buy a lot of these old Barbies. I want TWO more and I'm done. 

That's my story and I"m sticking with it.

Remind me to share some photos of my other collections at some stage.

z

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

new grooming room stage 1

Oh man!

I feel like I've been hit by a bus.

I started work on the future grooming room today. I worked on it for about 6 hrs then had a shower and called it a day. It was a gorgeous day, I should have sprayed weeds and brushcut after ripping out walls, but I was more than ready to sit on the couch by then.

How about a glimpse of what I've been doing? This is what the grooming room looked like this morning. It was mostly empty but there were still quite a few things to be moved out for the 'blank canvas' I was after.


I managed to lug the cabinet and all the bits and pieces out of the room. Then I swept up all the rat poop. Eek.

This is what the ceiling looks like in there. Badly peeling.


And badly patched.


With plenty of holes. Ugh.

No idea how I'll deal with that yet.

The walls were filthy, lots of holes in the plaster (drywall for you americans!), old mold in places, and tons of gaps between the floor and the ceiling. Double eek.


There were quite a few shelves to take down. What I imagined would be a quick job was a monster. Some of the screws were so hard to remove I ended up breaking the plaster and prying one of the suckers off.



Since I'd already pulled out a section of plaster I thought, what the hell... I'll pull it all off and pine line the entire room. Fresh start. All nice and clean...

Surely that won't be so hard, right? I mean, how hard can it be? First I'll have to dig out my drop saw which is buried under garage sale items, then move the bench (which is darn heavy) to a spot where I can actually use it... then I'll have to measure (not my best skill), cut and nail the pine to the wall. I have a nail gun. Surely I can do that.

Right?

Anyway, when I pulled off the plaster on the wall leading to my workshop, which is lined in timber, I found this gorgeous moth eaten wallpaper. I wish it had been in better condition. I'd have kept it!


I found a lot of other stuff too. Bird skeletons for one thing. Oh fun. 

So, in the end I pulled the plaster off all the walls. This is what the room looks like now.



And yes, thats a hole in the outside wall you see there. With years of old bird nests in the wall beneath it. Triple eek.



Mouse droppings, rat droppings, dead spiders (no live ones thankfully), tons of bird dust... thankfully I was prepared for all eventualities.


I've organised an electrician to come give me a quote and tell me when he can rewire the room. I need more power points and I want fluoro lights. Sure hope he can do it soon.

Tomorrow I'll go buy the timber lining I need. I'll buy seconds quality pine so that shouldn't be expensive...

First job is to empty the room of all the old plaster - that in itself will be a big task and will necessitate a trip to the tip.

I can't do all the walls till the electrician has done the wiring but I can start. I can also replace the outside door. I'm considering cutting the inner door in half to create a barn door so I can keep dogs in the room but still have circulating air.

I plan to put some vinyl on the floor to make it easier to clean and better to stand on.

I now have to add "replace the rotten bits of wood on the outside wall" to the To Do List. I never planned to do that. Maybe I'll just replace the worst ones...

I always under-estimate the time a job will take, or even how hard it will be. Hopefully once the messy stuff is done the rest will flow easier.

I can dream, can't I?

z