Archive for July, 2015

Volcanic rocks, 2 After days of cold and wind, late winter has taken its toll on the landscape. It looks tired and less vibrant. Now the rocks and stones seem more prominent. And as everything continues to change and evolve, so do the large rocks we see everywhere. Rocks are born in volcanic fire and slowly break down into boulders over long spans of time. Their uses are many: strengthening foundations, building walls, fences and pathways. Rocks, detail Mighty forces of nature: wind, fire, water, and erosion, crush boulders into smaller pebbles. These are abundant everywhere, around and within waterways, scattered through forest floors and open grassland. River stones Eventually time pulverises the pebbles wearing them down into sand. But before sand can decompose into soil, it fills vast areas of land while bordering streams, rivers and oceans. Sand dunes In the story of rocks we see nature in the raw, charting her course over eons of time, but developing so slowly that none of us will ever witness these changes in a single lifetime.

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Cozy hearth 2

Winter is the time for comfort,
for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand,
for talk beside the fire.
It is the time for home.

Edith Sitwell

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Botanical flowers to colourBlack & white image from ‘Botanicals‘ by Lisa Congdon

Who doesn’t love to colour? As children we probably spent hours curled up on a rug with our crayons and colouring books. Now adults are also getting in on the act and going colouring crazy, thanks to its well-known therapeutic properties. With dozens of stylish adult colouring books available, this is becoming a perfect way to relax after a hard day’s work. Colouring is also a creative antidote to staring for hours at a computer screen or mobile phone.

Colouring is the new meditation, as some teachers use this practice to focus, relax and maintain a state of mindfulness. Colouring is a simple and inexpensive stress buster. By focusing attention on something different—engaging mental, physical and emotional states—one will automatically relax and regenerate.

All major book sellers carry beautiful art activity colouring books. These are printed on high-quality drawing paper featuring perforated pages for easy removal and framing. Many themed color-in pages are accompanied by an inspirational quote. There is also an abundance of single A4 size sheets available to download for free. Just use your search engine to find them.

Tools of the trade

Colour can be applied by using crayons, coloured pencils, paint, or colouring pens. I prefer the latter: pens produced in a rainbow of colours and hues by Faber – Castell on 0.3mm and at the top of the market, those produced by Staedtler (Lumocolour permanent) at 0.6mm. There are no rules to follow—choose any combination of colours you like—then relax, have fun, become a little kid again, and enjoy playing with colour.

Almost finished – see below.

 Almost Finished

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???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Queensland’s Scenic Rim, a cluster of ancient volcanic mountains, has grown into a lush landscape. Like a pearl nestled in its shell, the beautiful Fassifern Valley spreads outward, offset by the counterpoint of these rugged mountains. Its alluvial soil—rich and dark chocolate brown—produces fruit and vegetables for markets up and down the Australian east coast. The valley is also home to beef, pork and poultry producers and proudly boasts of its boutique and gourmet food, wines and craft beers.

Agriculture and tourism are the Scenic Rim’s two leading industries. Home to six National Parks and crystal clear lakes, the area is a haven for bush walkers, horse riders, naturalists and lovers of spectacular views. The Scenic Rim also showcases its treasures during the annual Winter Harvest Festival—a week-long¬† celebration of food, wine and farming. Classes in cooking and cheese-making, opportunities to meet and greet our local farmers, and market stall displays of jams, chutneys, specialty breads, and gorgeous winter vegetables add to the visitor’s pleasure.

Winter Harvest festival 1

We filled two large carry bags and I’m looking forward to cooking up a storm. Shopping for organic food, fresh from the farm gate, beats the supermarket any day.

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Bare trees

A winter solstice has come and gone.
Pale sunlight sweeps over the land
as frosted leaves and grass
fade into dull grey-green.
The cold returns.

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