Some Odds and Sods

A few bits and bobs, odds and sods for you today.

I was procrastinating about the second square for my sister’s grandson’s quilt. I got some excellent ideas from many of you. Thank you for your helpful suggestions and ideas; in the end I went with a stylised car.

Can you tell that I had a little trouble appliquéing smooth curves? I wouldn’t want to travel too far with those wheels!


If you read my fortnightly newsletter (and the next one is due this weekend, sign up here if you would like to know more about my art) you will know that I have two collages accepted into an exhibition at our council gallery. It is a community based exhibition, designed to celebrate the opening of the gallery.

My two works are abstract representations of the wetlands that I have become fascinated with over the last few months. You may remember my post about it.

Both are so different to the fine, detailed realistic work of my previous botanic art. However, I have been moving in this direction over the last few years.

The paper for the reeds was created by smearing acrylic paint around on photocopy paper, mainly using an old credit card. Then I cut around the shapes that look to me like reeds. The papers for the sky and water were printed with my gelli plate.

If, by chance, you are around Moonee Ponds at any time soon, drop in. The exhibition opens next Tuesday, 23rd June at:

The Incinerator Gallery

Holmes Rd

Moonee Ponds

You may wonder about why it is called the Incinerator Gallery. Check out their website to find out more, including opening hours and social distancing measures.


The other news is that we sold out caravan the other day. If you have been reading my blog for a few years you might remember some of the trips the Fella and I did in our little Avan. The last big trip was the dash over the Nullabor Plain to Western Australia. Unfortunately it is a few years since we went travelling, and when we did it was obvious that it was becoming more and more difficult for the Fella.

We had tossed around the idea of selling it. However, whenever we thought about it, the problems associated with getting it ready were too much. The big issue was that it is difficult to park it in our suburban street and we have no off-street parking. To get it ready for sale would mean having outside our place for an indefinite period, irritating the neighbours, the school over the road and the parking inspectors. It was easier to leave it out the back of our friend’s large country block.

Then we got a phone call out of the blue. The buyer, John, is a friend of the friend in the country. He had seen the van, understood that maybe it needed a new battery, regassing of the air-conditioning, new seals etc, but offered to buy it without even going inside. An offer too good to refuse! It got better when he was happy to do all the paperwork and clean it out.

So now our little van is off on different adventures.

Will I miss it? I miss the idea of being able to take off. There were still lots of places left to explore, and I never did get to travel up to the Kimberleys. However, I know that currently it is not realistic. So I am glad there is one less thing to sort out, one less little niggle to be dealt with.

What will I miss? I will miss the chance to immerse myself in different habitats, being able to wander; but you don’t need a van to be able to do that. I will miss the quiet and stillness, especially in the evenings. The Fella always goes to bed way before I do, so evenings in the van were a time to read, sketch, journal, catch-up with myself, to listen to the night sounds.

Camped at Moody Bluff Rest Area, Nullarbor Plain, New Year’s Eve, 2016 (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

And lastly, a photo of the framed collage I dropped to the Incinerator Gallery. It is being guarded by a snake, created by my talented brother. His iso-art has been to create mosaic snakes!

5 delights and 5 downs of coming home

You all know what it is like to come home after a holiday.

The Downs List:

  1. Traffic. We hadn’t seen a traffic light from Mildura to Portland, but we knew we were coming home because of the traffic and the traffic lights and the frustrations created by silly drivers.
  2. Cleaning etc. I have done 7 loads of washing; we have washed the van inside and out and vacuumed the floor and other dust traps; we have been shopping to restock the fridge and pantry.
  3. Not going to sleep with the sounds of frogs and not waking up to the sounds of birds.
  4. The way the holiday retreats so quickly. I am immersed in my usual activities and the Big Sky Country of Menindee seems so far away.
  5. Not being able to travel in the car for hours and watch the bush go past. I know that for many this would be on their “Delights List”, but I love the long distances. I watch the changing environments and see the large raptors wheel across the sky. I read the map and enjoy the little towns we pass through. I think about all manner of things, especially those profound thoughts that are there one minute and gone the next!

So to the Delights List, the things I have missed:

  1. I am close to friends and family again; I am not relying on emails and Facebook and phone calls to keep in touch. I can bore tell my stories and show my photos and catch up with their lives. (However, #2 in the first list does make time a little difficult!)
  2. I have my painting to start. The beginnings are always fun.
  3. The toilet is much closer than in a caravan park ~ very important in the middle of the night!
  4. Stretching out on the couch!
  5. Delighting in the flourishing Spring garden. I am going to leave you with a gallery of the flowers and greenery in my garden.

What would be on your lists?

Odds and ends in Mildura

We went to the market in Merbien, about 20 km out of Mildura. The book stall was doing a roaring trade. We helped out by buying 5 books, for only $18. We also bought some vegetables that were so fresh we were still able to eat them over a week later.

I love asparagus and this was fresh and fat. I stood the bunches in cups of water. (For those of you who don’t know caravans, the white thing in front of the asparagus is the pump tap over the sink.)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)

You can see how fresh the eggs were! (I did wash them carefully before breaking them open.)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)

I loved walking down by the river. This duck family only had 12 ducklings. I saw one with 16!

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)

How could you not love it when the light is like this in the evening?

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)

Coffee in Hopetoun

The Fella and I were in the Grampians. Now, in your mind, travel a few hundred kilometres north, away from the craggy outcrops of Mt William and the Pinnacle, through the Mallee country. Flat, wheat growing country. No waterfalls here!

Our coffee stop was at Hopetoun. We went through towns that looked like they were struggling to survive, empty shops with dusty windows. In fact some hadn’t made it. All that was left was a plaque on a fence with something like “Site of the Methodist Church of  (insert town name here)”, or “Site of the (insert town name here) Primary School”. However, Hopetoun seemed to be living up to its name. It appeared to be a town that people cared about and wanted it to survive.

A good example is the coffee shop where we stopped. It was unique in that it was in the butcher’s shop! The shop was huge. They wanted to do something different with the space and decided on the coffee shop. It sounds strange, but it worked (and no meat smell either). The decor had a funky feel to it and the coffee was pretty good. As well, they served slices of local sponge with strawberries and cream!

The coffee shop in the butchers (photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
The coffee shop in the butchers (photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)

However, the thing I really loved about Hopetoun was their fountain in the round-about. It was such a sweet little thing that it brought tears to my eyes! I was even more delighted to read about it in the local paper — along with the results of the netball and football teams. Apparently the fountain has only recently been turned on again, after many years of drought.

What a little sweetie! Hopetoun fountain. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
What a little sweetie! Hopetoun fountain. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)

So the Fella, Alice and I bought some bread and headed off — further north, to Mildura, on the Murrary River.

The Grampians — Mt William

The Grampians, from Mt William (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The Grampians, from Mt William (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

Mt William is the highest peak in the Grampians, so it has a telecommunications tower on top. This means that there is an access road up to the top. However the road is not for mere (unfit) mortals like the Fella and me to drive up! We had to walk. The advantage was that it was a road, and so no rock hopping. (More of that in another post.) The disadvantage was that the incline was fairly constant for all of the 1.8 km we had to walk.

The cairn at the top said that the road was built in 1963. It was quite possible that when we camped in the Grampians as a child that we drove all the way up to the top.

I stopped often, with the excuse of taking photos of the lovely views and wild flowers. Really I was just letting my heart rate settle a little! As you enjoy the photos, think of the effort I went to, just for you!

 (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
(photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

Looking North (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Looking North (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

The Grampians, from Mt William (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The Grampians, from Mt William (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

Looking back to the car park. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Looking back to the car park. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)