Sunday, June 30, 2013

I've been to Canberra, Canberra, Canberra ACT*

Seven great reasons to visit Canberra - even in winter!

1. National Gallery of Australia.
At the moment Turner from the Tate is on - a fabulous exhibition of over 100 of Turner's works, paintings plus sketches. Fascinating! But then I'm biased, I'm a huge Turner fan.
Never heard of him?
Here's something he did -

Alnick Castle
Also there is a pretty good permanent collection as well as special exhibitions.

2. National Portrait Gallery.
This is surprisingly fascinating.
I wasn't sure that I'd be that interested in portraits, but there is such a wide variety - of subjects and styles and the bios are fascinating.
This time there was a special exhibition about Paul Kelly and a really lovely one about Hilda Rix Nicholas, who I'd never heard of before. She led an amazing life and was such a talented and dedicated artist - it's a wonder that she's not better known.

La Robe Chinoise
Check her out here.

Plus there is a great cafe here! (Try the Persian Love cake)

3. National Museum of Australia
It's a fabulously curated museum.
The layout is a little confusing as it's set out in partial spirals - kind of. Anyway there was one bit I could see but couldn't get to - a bit like Alice in the garden of flowers!

4. Eating and drinking.
And why not!
There are great places to eat (and drink) everywhere.
We often stay in Dickson where you can walk to a dozen or more restaurants. This seems to be an enclave of asian cuisine.

I know Manuka also has a lot of places to eat, as does the city centre.
Plus for lunch all the museums and galleries have good cafes (did I already mention that?)

5. Driving around.
Driving around Canberra is interesting because we inevitably get lost and more often that not end up in a carpark! But maybe that's just us.
A drive around Yarralumla where many of the foreign embassies are is interesting, or drive around the lake (if its fine there is a bike track right around Lake Burley Griffin).
It's interesting to look at the somewhat dated architecture of some of the suburbs.

6. Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex - out at Tidbinbilla about 45 minutes drive from the city. Great visitor's centre with lots of spacey stuff.

photo from here
Also the nearby Tidbinbilla nature reserve has a variety of bushwalks and quite a pleasant drive.

7. Telstra Tower on Black Mountain. If it's a clear day you get a great view from the top. You can drive up or there are lots of walks around the mountain and bike tracks too.

I have also visited the National Sound and film Archive which was less than impressive but is in a nice old building and had a good cafe (of course).

Previously I've been to Questacon - great with kids.
The Australian Institute of Sport - also great with kids.
Parliament House - well worth a visit.
Australian War Memorial - more interesting than you can imagine.

Have you been to Canberra?
What is your favorite thing to do there?

*sung to the tune of Graceland (and you have to pronounce Canberra as "canbra")

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Out and about in - Canberra

Why would you go to Canberra at this time of year?
That's what we asked....but that's when the exhibition "Turner from the Tate" is on at the National Gallery (and Mr planet conveniently has a meeting to attend).

Of course you can't take photos inside the gallery and this is what it looked like outside in the sculpture garden -


And talking of sculptures - I found some treasures on my way from the Film and Sound Archives down to the National Museum of Australia....a sculpture park near Lake Burley Griffin just below Old Canberra house -

 I couldn't find any information about this one, but it looks like something from the outback - a termite's mound maybe?

 Spirit Levels by Christine O'Louglin
I really love site-appropriate installations like this - it has a sense of the absurd too!

 Common Food by Anne Rochette
Lovely stone donuts embellished with seeds I think - big enough to sit on.

 Ngaraka: shrine for the lost Koori by Djon Mundine.
Although this looks like a fragile wooden structure it made from metal that has rusted to a wonderful tone. Underneath are kangaroo bones - but the symolism is clear.

Old Canberra House a heritage listed building.

- and here's one I prepared earlier! On another visit, when the sun was shining, unlike this time!

Witness by Dadang Christanto

I have some more to say about Canberra but that will have to wait....

Friday, June 28, 2013

Owls and trees and a bit of seed beading - my creative space

I'm still finding inspiration from Beadfreaky's lovely little ceramic pendants.

I bought a few of them!

Here I combined an owl pendant with some nighttime themed components.
Some gorgeous rainbow moonstone beads, silver beads that look like birds nests. Contrast comes from the blue agate beads and labrodite beads and chips. I found some glass star beads to continue the theme and add some depth.

Here I used a tree pendant for a woodland theme - brass bird components plus some beads in the same tone family. A wonderful mookite beads, some rutilated rhodonite (the slightly pinky flat ones), a couple of green ceramic bead tubes, accented with the bright green howlite composite beads and a few unakite beads (the pink and green ones).
I used a small portion of chain at the back for lightness.

I'm pretty pleased with the way these turned out - but time will tell if anyone else is!

I also wanted to do a small project that I could do while the tennis is on (yes, it's Wimbledon time again).
I had an idea for some circle earrings - I guess it was making the large loopy ones awhile ago that kept the idea in my head. You can see them here.

I thought I'd have to use different size beads for this, but I really don't like the really little size 15 ones - and I don't have a great variety of this size anyway. But realised that I'd have to use them and some size 11's plus maybe size 8's in order to get the circle thing going.
Now I realise that I'm not inventing the wheel here and that there is probably a tutorial somewhere about how to make circles - so off to the interwebs I went - and I didn't have to look far.

If you haven't already found it, Interweave Press's Beading Daily site is a wonderful resource - there are many free downloadable projects as well as tips, technique tutes and all sorts of other grand stuff.

I happened to spot a beaded toggle clasp by Melinda Barta in the free peyote stitch projects ibook - that would tell me how to do it!

Sure enough it told me what I needed to know - bead sizes, number of stitches, number of rows - easy! So I could also concentrate on the tennis (Our Sam won and then our Bernie : D )

This is as far as I got last night and I think they might need to be a bit bigger, but I'll see what they look like when I finish.

How has your creative week been?

Do you have any favorite in-front-of-tv projects?

Joining in with My Creative Space at Village Voices on Kidspot - hop on over and have a look.

Friday, June 21, 2013

New supplies and inspiration - My creative space

It's always fun and inspiring to get new supplies!
Last weekend I went to the Craft and Quilt Show in Sydney and was thrilled that my favorite Venetian bead supplier was there.
She sells some of my very favorite beads - they are beautiful quality...not cheap. And not cheap imitations either!

I like to just make some simple earrings with them - to let their beauty take centre stage.

I've also been playing with the pendants that I showed you last week  that I bought from Beadfreaky on etsy.

I used a design idea by Sarah Kandell-Gritzmaker from Stringing magazine substituting what I had for bits I didn't have.
I used the loop bits from some fob or toggle clasps and took apart a necklace that had a green pendant with malachite beads (unsold, unloved!) for the back of the necklace.

I have many more ideas...but they will have to wait for another time....

Come on over and join in with us at My Creative Space on Village Voices at Kidspot.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Some days...

Some days I can't even wake up. I feel like I'm drugged...but I'm not.

Some days it's far too tempting to stay in bed for far too long. You know, when it's too snuggly and you take a cup of tea and breakfast back to bed and the cat cuddles up under the doona and you listen to the radio and can't think of a good enough reason to get out of bed?

Some days it seems as though I'm carrying problems from near and far, shouldering tragedies big and small.

Some days I need my spirits lifted.

Some days I just need to GET OUT.

Days like this when the sun is shining and the air is cool...these are the best days to get out.
These are the best days to lift my spirits.

These are the best days to get out into the bush.

Especially when these guys and gals run over to the fence to say "hello".

There were so many birds out and about today too - little flitty birds, whip birds, rosellas, sulphur crested cockatoos ripping at the tree bark.

An hour later I'm home again.

Some days you just have to get out and smell the fresh air.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ooomph and Picollo Pear

Here is a little gem on the Central Coast of NSW - at East Gosford.

It's tucked away behind the shops just off the main road that takes you from Gosford towards the you have to know it's there!

But once you get there you will find a cafe, food store and gift shop all snuggly fitting into an ex-garage or workshop space.
It has a wonderful post-industrial style - I like!

There are shelves of gourmet groceries.

Great coffee and yummy morning tea treats.*

Snugged into a front corner is Piccolo Pear - "a merchant of fresh flowers and fine wares".

Started a couple of years ago by friends Nina and Judy it's treasure trove of flowers, homewares, and gorgeous gifts. 

This is my favorite thing - mirror inside a shuttered window.

* All the food looked really yummy at Oomph. We went back later for a late lunch - a very late lunch. In fact lunch had finished but we had the most delicious calzone, which I was far too hungry to take a photo of!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fave albums - 7 Things Saturday

It's a funny thing with music isn't it? It all depends on the time of day, you mood, where you are, who you're with etc etc!

So choosing just 7 albums is hard - but here are 7 that I'm enjoying listening to at the moment without getting tired of them








How about you?
What are you listening to at the moment?
Got any recommendations?
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