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December was absolute chaos. As soon as the kids finished school we all drove up to Yeppoon ( about 5 hours north), where I was running a Stop Motion Workshop for Flying Arts. Phil and the kids explored the area whist I was working and we reunited in the evenings for dinner. After our week away I spent a week preparing our house for the street Christmas party, then real Christmas and post Christmas visitors.
The end of December also marked the completion of this project. I have thoroughly enjoyed documenting 2022 and look forward to using this imagery to inform my paintings in 2023. Thank you for following along.
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The poinciana petals cover the ground in a glorious hot red blanket.
After the Cut off_Day 336 of 365.JPG
Missed the pickup deadline for the post but I think they will arrive on time.
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Often on school holidays the kids ride around our neighbourhood when I walk Penny. When they are out of our sight for too long Penny begins to constantly turn around and look in the direction they should be coming from, making it difficult to continue. I start to worry myself. When they come back into view I tell them to stick closer because Penny is worried.
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Today we returned from Yeppoon. I haven’t posted this week as I have been running a 4 day stop motion animation workshop for @flyingartsalliance for school students. I bought the fam with me on this trip and we had a wonderful time. We stayed right on the beach with Great Keppel Island in the distance and had some amazing experiences that I will be sharing with you through posts over the following days. I will be posting twice a day until I catch up with my daily draw project.
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On our first walk on the beach in Yeppoon I spied a piece of sea glass and gave it to my daughter. After that we went on a walk everyday looking for more and came home with a beautiful collection of what is essentially beach litter. I am planning on using it to make necklaces so we both have a wonderful memento of our time together on the beach.
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I saw this amazing flower when we visited the botanical gardens in Rockhampton. I had never seen one before and was very thankful for the identification plaque at the base of the tree. The name a comes from the large round cannonball like fruit it produces. It is a part of the Brazil nut family but the fruit sounds like it smells horrible. Finding new exciting plants is just one of many reason to explore your local botanical garden.
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The beach where I live faces north. The beach in Yeppoon faces east. To see the sun rise over the water and watch the play of afternoon shadows cast over the beach was so interesting to me. Many of my images from this trip will chronicle the altered fall of light. Here Olive and I are walking down to the beach on our daily quest for sea glass.
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Last week, as a part of the stop motion animation workshop I ran for @flyingartsalliance, I was privileged enough to spend the day at the Rockhampton Museum of Art. The students were taken on a wonderful tour by @easton_artist and also got to meet @benjasco_art, the current artist in residence at the gallery. Such a beautiful, thoughtful gallery - make sure to visit if you get the chance.
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When my husband said that he would like us to go to a Japanese restaurant as a family during our recent trip to Yeppoon I was very hesitant. Given the various food preferences of our children, I wasn’t sure how it would go down, and I was totally planning where we would go afterwards to get the kids a late dinner when they refused to eat the Japanese food. I HOPED it would be successful, but I was already forming a back up plan in my mind. But I underestimated my family. My husband explained to the kids how he used to go and get Japanese food with his dad and that it is one of his core memories. He didn’t like it when they first went. He started off eating plain rice, then graduated to tempura and then sushi. We got the kids to dress up in some nice clothes and headed out to the restaurant. The first night we went, without a reservation, they were booked out, so we reserved a time for the next night. Maybe that helped them to think the food would be good. We got dressed up again the following night, in the same clothes because we didn’t have many options in our suitcases. I talked Olive through the menu and Phil helped Alby. Olive had some chicken, tried the tempura, the udon noodles and the green tea. Alby tried and enjoyed everything. We all marvelled at the performance and decorative elements of our dinner and declared it the best meal we have ever eaten. The restaurant was located in an abandoned resort, which completely added to the theatre of the evening - I will share more about that in future posts. I was so proud of my children for understanding the importance of this meal for their Dad. I was so proud of my husband for having such faith in his children.
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Apparently maintaining a restaurant is a requirement for the Golf Course to remain open in an otherwise abandoned resort. Situated about 10 minutes outside Yeppoon, the Capricorn resort stands empty and dark, aside from an excellent Japanese restaurant on the bottom level. Hundreds of rooms remain dark and ballrooms are stacked with mattresses and pool side lounges. We were all amazed that there was a restaurant operating, the whole experience was both bizarre and amazing and gave us “The Shining vibes”. We all commented on how it would be an amazing film location. Definitely worth a visit.
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On our last day in Yeppoon we took a boat tour around Great Keppel Island. It was such an amazing adventure. We were on the tour with another family with children in the same year levels as ours and who had an equal desire to snorkel in as many locations as possible. We explored caves and reefs, saw turtles, rays - including a Manta ray- and a gorgeous array of tropical fish. It was an exhausting day, but in the best way. Thank you Scotty for an amazing experience.
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After dinner we got ice creams and watched the lightning in the distance from the beach stairs in Yeppoon. It was so humid that we had to race to eat our ice creams before they ran down our arms. A perfect end to a wonderful evening.
Mum burn_Day 347 of 365.JPG
Last week on our snorkelling trip I got quite sunburnt. I applied sunscreen in the morning before our trip but forgot to reapply it. I thought about all the things I did to get my kids ready for the trip, I gave them travel sickness tablets, made sure they had hats, water, sunscreen and masks. I asked them to get our flippers ready, which they did, but they accidentally grabbed two flippers in different sizes, so I gave them mine. I took photos of them all day and constantly checked on them to make sure they were safe. I gave them the items from my provided lunch that I knew they would prefer. I made sure that they reapplied sunscreen. Neither of them got burnt. But I forgot about me, carried away by looking after everyone else. These are all things that mothers do. My face got very burnt and my children never mentioned it, probably never even noticed it, because they are children. A bright red reminder to myself that my needs are important too and that I need to value them more.
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A major part of enjoying a trip away is knowing that Penny is safe. Ordinarily, she is quite jumpy around other dogs and prefers the company of people. However, when she is at the dog sitter she is calm and quiet and happy to be part of a giant pack of dogs. She is also very happy to come home and return to her solo status “ I get everything I want” dog.
After the Rain_Day 349 of 365.jpg
The hot roads were thick with steam after a heavy afternoon storm. We found and relocated a tree frog that had been washed onto the road. As a thank you it peed in my hand. Twice.
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Late this afternoon Penny and I walked through a strong pool of light, casting shadows on the trees and reflections in the completely still water of a little lagoon. So pretty.
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Today we hosted our street Christmas party. A huge couple of days of getting ready culminated in a beautiful afternoon with our neighbours, getting familiar with some newer faces and saying farewell to others. Everyone brought a plate and some drinks, Kris Kringle gifts to exchange and extra chairs.Even Penny was on her absolute best behaviour with so many new people her home. A good day in a good street.
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A quiet day today after the street party.
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We toured the lights in our local area on our bikes tonight. Not too many displayed lights, but they were lovely, and it is quite exciting riding through the night
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Today I snuck into my bedroom and wrapped the kids Christmas presents on my bed.I realised as I wrapped that the spread of gifts was a little one sided. This afternoon I had to pop to the shops to even things out. Wrap now if you can. P.s. Each year I wrap each childs gifts in a different design of paper to avoid confusion. This year, to mess with them both a little I will tell them both that theirs are the gifts wrapped in dog paper. It really doesn’t take much to amuse me.
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Today whilst we were out for a ride I made my daughter wait whilst I stopped to collect dead Rhinoceros Beetles as drawing references. When I lamented to her that the best ones had ants on them, she rolled her eyes, and in a monotone voice, told me to put them back. When other people rode by and looked at me curiously, I waved and continued to pick up beetles, Olive shook her hanging head and hid her eyes behind her hair
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Just a few quick sketches of the Rhinoceros Beetles I collected yesterday. I sketched, photographed and returned them to the outdoors rather quickly after I became aware of just how smelly large dead beetles become!
My best day_Day 357 of 365.JPG
On this day in 2010, after 76 days in hospital, Alby finally came home and I felt complete. When he was first born , in Toowoomba at 26 Weeks, we put our cat in long term boarding, flew our dog down to Melbourne to stay with our parents, and moved into Ronald McDonald House in Brisbane. Everything was fractured. This day marks the moment that we were all reunited. It is my best day.
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A delicious and messy tradition.
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Homemade Cinnamon rolls, blocks of Watermelon, Pineapple,Apple slices,Iced Coffee and glasses of milk before the opening of gifts. Followed by a long swim in the pool, a walk on the beach and a power outage whilst Christmas dinner was in the oven. The power is still not restored but our wonderful neighbour loaned us a big generator ( that is more powerful than ours) so that we could use the oven and finish cooking Christmas dinner. All in all a wonderful day.
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