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Sunday, 6 May 2018

I'm Bad...

Yep more blogging absence.  I've been so busy doing cool stuff, is my excuse, and I figure it's a good one. Only thing is, that means you don't get to see my cool stuff happening!

Ok, so this is my very cool kolrosing experiment...

Rubbing raw cacao into the carved lines of the design. 

After that, I burnished the lines back into timber with fine wet and dry.  It's amazing how it goes back to smooth wood and you can't feel the cuts any more, but the lines are still there as colour.

Not to impressive to look at yet, though...

Then, the moment of truth... Olive oil!

The first trepidatious pass.  Will it work?  Will it look good?

Yes is the answer!  Weeee!  I love it!

I'll get you a better photo for next time. this one was taken outside while it was still wet with oil.

The design for this lyre was taken from it's name: Fréowine, meaning 'noble friend' or 'wine friend' (someone you would go drinking with.)  I made a border of bees to represent the mead that the Anglo-Saxons loved to drink, and made a design of Odin's ravens, Huginn and Muninn knocking drinking horns for the central image.

The kolrosing looks quite delicate and decorative.  Every bee was drawn freehand, so they all have their own character, and the two ravens look like they are having a lot of fun. I love it!

I am still working on the tailpieces and bridges for both new lyres, plus a new tailpiece for Mondream, my original lyre. I am hand-sanding them so it takes a bit longer but I love the meditative state of hand-working wood.  There's no hurry. 

Other cool stuff? I have finished my non-fiction book on how to write first drafts of novels, the same way I do.  It is called "Wild Noveling: The First Draft."  I wrote it to be amusing and light and yet useful.  My very earliest report back from a first reader is that they loved it!  Yay!  More on that soon.

This morning we heard our very first rusty crow from our three baby roosters.  It was King Pellinore who first crowed, of course. He is half again the size of the other two.  He's a nice guy though... So far!  I hope he stays that way because he would be handful if he turns agro. He is huge!

I'll try to get you a pic for next time. In the meantime, here is Morgana the more adventurous little hen.  She's shaping up very nicely.
 The virginia creeper has been putting on its marvellous autumn show for us again.

I think this one below is my all time fave pic of it, and it also sums up how warm and cosy the cottage feels, when you approach it form the paddock on a winter's evening.

There have been some warm days, though, warm enough for picnics.

With amazing skies.

And there is still time to enjoy the extra air and space provided by our new screen door!  Yay!  The building of the verandah was aimed for this moment, and now it is here!

Next comes raising, levelling and paving the entry area. It never ends, does it!

 Mr Kitty would prefer that I did more sitting and crocheting. 

Sis Jen and I posted each other matching pics of cats on laps last night.  Funny!  You can tell the cooler weather is here!

Enjoy your changing season, and I'll talk to you again soon. 


Saturday, 14 April 2018

Catching up!

I don't know, suddenly I never remember to blog. Maybe this happens to everyone who starts a blog. It's not like I don't have news.   I have lots, I just don't have the urge to sit down and write it.  the time I spend blogging could be time spent with a musical instrument, or my dogs or chickens, studying druidry, or chasing the autumn sun around the property.

Ah well, life is cycles, maybe the urge will return.   I've been collecting photos still...

The bridges for my two new lyres begin their journey.  

Lovely old jarrah cut out of a weathered old bit of 2 by 4.  This will do for both the tailpieces and bridges.   

Autumn skies over Lake Leschenaultia

Roo doing a panorama

Lovely Wandoo trees nearby

A great old grass tree.

More lake, from the other end.

A family of black swans

A coot.  They have such bizarre feet, like little rows of leaves!  

See the feet? 

My view of WA author day on the verandah at Just Add Passion

The sky fROM the roof of our friend Gogs's house.  

A cutie clydie visiting the pie shop in Bakers Hill.  
The lake again, on a day spent with druids.  Lovely!

The embarrassed author at WA Author day.   It was fun! 
The copper piggy, as Roo calls him, also known as Torc, on the lyre of the same name!  Woohoo!

After a day of Incident Control Vehicle training today, I plan on tomorrow being a day of woodwork, art, music and kolrosing.  Here is my very first bee, cut into the other lyre, Fréowine. The bees will go right around the hole in the lyre to represent the mead being drunk by the two 'wine friends' of the design that will be on the lower part of the lyre.  I'll tackle it when all the bees have honed my kolrosing skills a bit more!

When it has all been scratched in, I will rub cocoa into the grooves, then oil and burnish them.  Cocoa made the nicest colour when we did a few tests, and smells delectable too. I hope some of the smell stays on the lyre when it is all done.  :)  Another arty adventure.  I do love a challenge!  

Have a lovely weekend.   I won't promise to post again on Monday.  Subscribe, and then you'll know every time that I do a post, no matter how irregular!          

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Just a... and his giant kitty kickin' back.

Just a floating Andrew in a lake...

And a niece enjoying herself with friends.

And a nice new tall chook pen fence!

A snuggly bug Tuppy in a half-made afghan...

An adorable Basset that I met today, name of Huey...

A moonlit bushwalk...

And a damn chicken scratching apart my raked piles of leaves as fast as I can rake them!

What can I do?  She thinks we're looking for bugs together.  It's charming and annoying at the same time!    

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Fun with olden daysy stuff

We've been having a good time today messing around with the ways I want to treat my two lyres, which are currently at this stage:

 Holes all drilled for the zither pins to go in to hold the strings.  Phew that was a bit of a mind bender but with Roo's help it got done.

As I said before, I want to use watercolour stain on one and then paint on it, and kolrosing on the other.

I think both will work!

The blue stain is just to die for, and the kolrosing is so lovely.  It is amazing how, once oiled and burnished, you can't feel the scratches full of cocoa or coffee or cinnamon any more.  They become once more a part of the wood, and yet they stay dark!

Andyroo made these while messing around deciding which of our tools worked best and which dark powder to rub in for best effect. How cool are they?

So, I will go ahead and do both as I'd planned, so long as the varnish over the watercolour stain and paint works.

It will be easy to slip during the scratching of the kolrose design, but I think a little roughness is part of the charm of such an ancient technique.

The blue-painted one will now be the boar one, Torc. With 8 strings, it isn't traditional anyway, so it might as well be fully modern, and with six strings, Fréowine will be more trad in style.

Torc's design currently looks like this: 

I'm still not quite sure how it will look when on the lyre.  More working out to do yet on colour use, line work compared to solid spaces, etc.

In other oldy-timey news, we got a couple of photos that were taken at the Norse storytelling night.  I just adore them, especially the one of us both!

They're dark but that suits the theme of the evening.  We off to another one soon, this one about medieval tales of King Arthur's court.  I'm really looking forward to it, especially since some more of our druid mates will be coming too!


Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Satan Smith: Crap Demon Hunter is here, and other news.

Well that was quick in the end. All it took was half a weekend of strangled screaming, a little blood on my forehead, and the book is up and running!  Word for Mac, you are no longer my friend!

The cover art, on the other hand, was fairly trouble free.   I'd love to be able to tell you that I remembered to do progress shots, but I so didn't!  I have the drawings, then the finished pieces.  Sorry about that!

Here is the final result, all put together.

The first book of the sequel is this one; Chicken soup for Satan.  Just in case you haven't read it yet.

It's a fun read and just a little bit scary.  Satan is a bit of an awkward guy who tries to come across as tough to keep him out of trouble.  He has a lovely rescue dog, Ghost.  The two of them move into a share house in the hills above Perth, Western Australia, and that's where the spooky fun starts and Satan starts to come out of his shell a bit too.

The second book begins with Satan still living at Avalon, but Satan Smith and his beautiful German shepherd, Ghost, are both reeling under the changes that have happened at their beloved home, Avalon. 

Just when they’ve started to think they’ll be happy forever, the woman he loves has gone and fallen for another man, a bloke that both Satan and Ghost think is the pits.

There’s also Satan’s new house-mate, who owns a spoiled Siamese cat… and a haunted painting.  Not entirely unusual in your average share-house, but still, it’s unsettling.    

Then there’s the spook who’s haunting his good friends next door and has a penchant for a little more mischief than some gentle chain-clinking and moaning.

Once more, Satan and his loyal sidekick, Ghost, have to rise to the occasion. Can what he has learned from his addled demon fighter Da help him succeed against these new paranormal threats? Will he ever come out of the closet as a folk music player?  Will he be able to keep his fists off the new boyfriend?  Only time will tell!

The second book is still fast and fun, narrated with the wry humour that is all Satan's own.   I'm told by my first readers that it is even better than the first and they had a lot of trouble putting it down.  Escapism at its best, with a cat, dogs and horses to make it even better!

In other news, the chookie babies are still growing. It charms me that they choose to come and settle for naps right at our feet out in the garden.

Pretty, sweet Guinevere

Adventuress Morgana and Bad Sir Grummore
Google offered me this arty version of one of my pics of Guinevere.  I like how the pattern of lacing shows up in black and white. Not sure about the black eyes though.  A possessed chicken?  An idea, perhaps, for my next Satan book?  Eek!

We've been working very hard the last few days with the amazing Thor the Inexhaustible to clear up the chook pen area so I can get the fence back up before the foxes notice.   That Bushy Yate tree made a heck of a lot of firewood.

I'm trying not to feel too bad about cutting it down. It was probably 25, planted by my mum, and about to drop its multiple trunks in all directions, as it had already proved.

With the last branch we managed to get the gate, which had been unscathed up to that point. Yay for us!  Luckily we only broke the lintel. 

It took a lot of work just to clear all the debris and 'bommyknocker' seed heads from the chook pen and surrounds when we were finished, but we're nearly there now. 

It was harder because the mower's trailer succumbed to its earlier unplanned modification by the Bushy Yate, so we had to wheelbarrow it all down to the bonfire pile, which is now ginormous!      

Today Thor and I got one row of heavy chook wire back up so at least the old girls will be kept in in the mornings, though the babies will probably fly out.  We'll be going higher as soon as we've got the materials.  After that I'm going to start on a chook shed to replace the damaged chook-dome.  It never ends!

Ah well, rest when you're dead, right?  Have a fun week!  Don't forget to buy my books and read them.   Here's the new one:  Satan Smith: Crap Demon Hunter.   As my sister, Jen, said, "Wow he really is a crap demon hunter!"  Luckily, though, he knows it!