Saturday, 30 June 2018

A-May-zing May, 2018

One of the girls I work with thinks I'm crazy.  Apparently working 4 days a week, studying one subject, being a wife and mum, doing a bit of art and helping out when I can with the Little Big Fella's school events is a bit much.

Sometimes I think she's right.

But mostly I think I'm trying to get the most out of the short life I have and trying to prioritise the people and things that I love and make me feel good.

May had some good stuff in it!

The Big Fella took the Little Big Fella out for a motorbike ride.  When they came back, the Little Big Fella was buzzing!  I asked how the ride went and he had this funny face and said, "show her, Dad!".  The Big Fella's phone gets passed over and I watch a video of my little boy driving our manual car!  He's 9!!!!

*Disclaimer: They were driving in the middle of the bush on a good dirt road with no other people, animals or trees nearby

Apparently the Little Big Fella has a bit of a knack for driving, because he didn't do a single bunny hop, and changed gears really well.  My nightmares about future car incidents have begun!  He did decide that 70kms per hour felt a little fast, though.

We had dinner with friends a few times this month, which, now that it's getting colder included a fire in their chimenea one night.  It also included an experiment with homebrew spirits, where toffee was poured into a bottle of rum.  It looked pretty cool!

My hairdresser's daughter had her first birthday in May and we were invited to celebrate with them.  Going to the hairdresser's is a noisy, social event for us, because there is a group of 3 or 4 of us who go together and the kids play while we get our hair done.  It's lots of fun hanging out with friends like that!

These two are surrogate brother and sister.  Both only children with no chance of a sibling, they get along SUPER well... for a while ;-)

A classic Little Big Fella face at the moment.

The birthday girl with the spoils of war, and a friend.

All the kids who get to play together on hairdresser days.
One of my dear friends came back for a visit and we got to spend a bit of an afternoon with her and a couple of other friends.  Even when it's a short catch up, it's fun and good for the soul.  I love that our kids get along so well, too!  It makes catch ups fun for everyone.

One of the main events in May each year is the local high school art show.  They show the work of their students, teachers, students from the Primary (Elementary) schools, and adult artists.  It's a decent show in the local art world, attracting works and visitors from up to 8 hours away.

I wasn't that excited about any of my pieces this year.  Uni has distracted me and work has been busy.  But I submitted a couple of photos I took in our local area, two paintings and my first ever mosaic to support the school.

We had a brilliant night!  Lots of laughter with my art friends, a bit of wine, and awesome shoes.

On my way to the show, I got a call from my youngest sister, who was in Italy with her partner.  I wondered why they were calling from overseas!  She told me they'd been to dinner at an ocean-view restaurant and at the end of the meal the waiter brought out another closhe, saying, "I think he has something to ask you" (in his gorgeous Italian accent, of course).  He proposed and she accepted and I squealed and probably broke her eardrum!

I'm so happy for them!  They obviously love and respect each other and he makes her happy and encourages her to be her best self, which I think is one of the keys to choosing a life partner.

I guess I'll have to start saving the pennies for another trip interstate!  Yay!!!!

The Little Big Fella's class submitted a piece for the show and won "Best Overall Student Work", too.  His contribution is the green one in the top right hand corner.

I only took one other photo of the art from the show - my favourite of the night because of its realism, colour and skill with pastels:

The artist who judged the show, Jenni Kelly, then stayed on and did a 2-day workshop for the weekend and I got to go.  

T doing the pizza dance while her canvas was drying

Teaching a little trick to give the lorikeets a bit of a highlight

Lay down the petals in white with a palette knife for texture, then spray the colour on!

This is my piece!  I LOVE the colour and learned so many fun techniques that I think I'll get to use in other styles of painting as well.

These three ladies are my heroes!  The two on the left are in their 80s and they are inspiring in SO many ways.  All three gave up much of their weekend to wait on those of us who were painting - preparing food and drinks, making sure we had what we needed, sorting out our finances, and encouraging us the whole time.  I am so blessed to be able to hang out with them each week!

These are all of our paintings at the end of the weekend.  Not all of the paintings are complete, but they're looking amazing!  Can you believe that we all started with the EXACT same process and colours?  And the lady in the top left of the photo has never painted before!  Such a fun weekend with a brilliant group of people.
A HUGE shout out to my dear friend, D, for taking the Little Big Fella for the whole weekend and looking after him so well!  She was going to do the workshop but pulled out, agreeing to look after our boys in exchange for me showing her what I'd learned.  I took plenty of notes and photos, so hopefully I can make the deal worthwhile for her!

There was a group running a laser tag event in the park over the weekend, which is one of several activities they got to do!  They had a ball and were exhausted at the end of it all.
I did a workshop with an indigenous lady from our art group a while back, and the Big Fella really liked it.  So I got it framed this month as well.  (My framer loves me in May!)

I'll finish off May with a new development in our lives.  The Little Big Fella wanted something online, so instead of just asking for it, he offered to do jobs around the house to earn it.  I nearly fell over!

Then gave him a list, of course!

The proof is in the photo ;-)

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

April 2018

April was a bit of a blur for me this year.  Work was crazy busy due to a raft of changes that were being introduced, uni was busy with an assignment that took way more time than I expected, and home and family life was busy as well.

Thankfully there was a bit of VERY fun stuff along the way.

School holidays for Easter were in full swing, and my dear friend, D took the Little Big Fella to the movies, then had him for a sleepover, then took us up to the Tablelands for a beautiful day's hike and picnic.  We are SO blessed to have such great friends, and such beautiful places near by!

Looking down on the spot where we normally swim.  I found out later friends of ours were the ones down there!

The view from our little beach picnic spot

Can you see our little friend?

The Commonwealth Games were in the Gold Coast, which is in our State here in Australia, so there were promo items all over the place.  I really enjoyed seeing the paralympian events integrated with the regular games!  It was so good to actually see them during peak times, rather than normally when they're on during the day when everyone is at work.

I started my first ever mosaic this month as well.  It's fairly basic, and still needs to be grouted, but I quite like it.

Unfortunately I didn't finish any art work this month because my uni assignment took all my spare time.  I'm going to have to push pretty hard to get something done for the high school art show at the end of May.  The challenge is set!

The Big Fella has been working on a new brewing system, which he finally completed in April.  Still a few tweaks to be done, but he's mostly happy with it.

I came home one day after a stressful few days, and found a bunch of roses on my table!  Apparently the Fellas had been shopping and the Little Big Fella suggested they buy them for me.

One of the Big Fella's mates has a 100 acre property about 2 and a half hours from us.  He had a big birthday so a bunch of us went and camped out and spent the weekend with him.  It was so good to get some time out, again in such a beautiful place.

The bigger boys tried to do some electrical work for the shed, while the Little Big Fella dinked his mate on his motorbike.  (Note that helmets were put on as soon as this photo was taken!!!!)

One of the guys has a clay target "trap", so everyone had a go with the shot guns.

Meet some of the piglets!  They thought I was bringing them food and were HIGHLY unimpressed (and noisy) when I didn't.

On the night of the actual party, one of the ladies brought out her face painting stuff and entertained the kids for a while.

The aftermath!
The night before ANZAC Day, the local junior footy club held a glow run.  The Little Big Fella and I went along for the fun and caught up with a bunch of friends at the same time (I haven't got their permission to put photos up, so you just get the ones of us).

They had a bit of a disco afterwards, with plenty of black lights to show the glow.

I ended up going to the ANZAC Day dawn service the following morning.  It's an interesting tradition, quite strong here in Australia.  It began as a commemoration of the Australian and New Zealand troops' participation in World War I, but now symbolises the "coming of age" of the two nations, and a recognition of our participation in conflicts since.  As all of the WWI veterans have now died, and many from WWII are gone, it's becoming common for their youngest living relatives to wear their medals at the dawn service or in the morning march, and "keep their memories alive".

Well, that's about it for April, 2018.  I'll finish up with a few photos of the bees in my basil - little native ones and "standard" ones.  See you at the end of May!