Thursday, 24 January 2013

Big Ideas from my Tiny World

Oh, and what a wonderful tiny world it is – my blood pressure has gone down and I’m sleeping better (except when Basil chases my toes across the bed in the wee hours and tries to sharpen his fangs on them). Life is, quite simply, wonderful.

I’m about to burst with creative energy! I feel as if I’m in the middle of a giant swirling cloud of ideas, and I just don’t know where to begin. If it’s a dilemma, it’s probably a nice dilemma to face! So many ideas; so many possibilities. I’ve been umming and aahing over a project, but a project has come to me, and I’ve written the first draft of a text for a  picture book. I’m going to have a go at doing my own illustrations (don’t laugh!) and  have bought some watercolours, pencils and a ‘how-to’ book.

I tried drawing a gumnut yesterday and realised drawing is harder than I remember. Still, for a first attempt it wasn’t too bad. 

Last year Mother Nature and a huge storm gave me a tree. The SES came and chopped it down before it could fall over, and left a giant pile of it on my nature strip. Yippeeeee, free firewood, I thought, and called the people who chop up wood.

‘That stuff’s pretty shit as firewood’, drawled the bloke who came to have a look at my pile of tree. ‘An’ it wouldn’t be worth our while gettin’ the big chipper out ‘ere.’ So my shit firewood stayed in a pile of logs too heavy to move - aka the Too-Hard-Basket - and back to Canberra I went.

The wood's not quite so green now, and only weighs half what it did, so my lovely neighbour Peter got stuck into it with a chainsaw and turned it into manageable logs that his wife Rita & I rolled into place along the nature strip in a sort of garden border. Here it is:

So I started getting grand ideas for it. I dunno - the past several years, I've struggled to have any ideas at all, but now it's as if the lid is off the pot, and they're all bubbling over into every part of my life. Picture this: a bird-bath on the stump, some plants potted into some hollowed out logs, a seat or two for weary passers-by (or for me as I survey my empire). Yes, nice, I thought. And then…

Somehow I ended up in the shed, a small spare log on the workbench and Basil dancing around my feet. Self, I said to myself, why just have ordinary logs with stuff planted in them? See, heaps of people do that, and I didn’t want my log planters to be like every other log planter in Mallacoota. I want my logs to be Special.

A few hours later (oh, my aching shoulder), I had this:

And then this:

I enjoyed it so much, but I have very limited tools, so I'm waiting for a set of carving tools to arrive in the post, now, and I'll add a few more details to Log #1 - which may end up being a doorstop or something - and if my stamina holds out, in about a year I will have a fabulously whimsical  carved log planter border.

Right now, though, I’m off to play with watercolours. Watch this space


Velocipete said...

Betty you are one very talented lady. Mallacoota seems to be leeching the 'I can't do this stuff' out of you. Go girl.

Trobairitz said...

Man, you are creative. Nice job thinking of the logs as a border and then to dress them up a bit with carvings is genius.

And kudos to you for giving the drawing a whirl. I still can't draw a straight line.....with a ruler.

lemmiwinks said...

Holy shit! You carved that by hand? Respect.

BTW, that's a very good picture of a gumnut, particularly for a kids picture book. Having read more than my fair share lately, I can say that there are plenty with pictures that are total rubbish!

Sue said...

Awww, thanks folks! Pete, I TOLD you Mallacoota was a magical place. I felt it the first time I came here, and I think that's why I kept coming back, and why I knew I had to live here!

Trobairitz, I can;t take any credit for the log border idea - that was Pete & Reet next door. I think Peter was getting twitchy about the messy pile of logs. Fingers crosased that the carving project goes ok (not that it matters if it doesn;t - remember, this is my year of stressing less :-)

Lemmiwinks - are you coming to my Disorgural 1.0 on 23-24 March? Email me for details. I'm sure you and the fam could do with a southern sojourn!

utilly said...

B's folks bought me a set like this,130,43332,43334 and I have to say they are awesome. Nice to see you carving and painting and everything.

lemmiwinks said...

Sue, I *wish*! You're sooooo far away though :(