Monday, 20 June 2011

A trip to the Sydney Opera House

Last week just whizzed by – nothing new I know, but this time I was actually OUT rather than IN (and just distracted by everything that comes along so that I'm busy!)

The long weekend was very chilly long weekend – which the children and I spent inside the majority of the time, with books, near the fire (actually I seem to recall quite a lot of ironing getting done and not much reading for me).

Hubby had taken off to Qld for an aerobatics competition on Friday and wasn’t due back until late Monday afternoon, so son and I had to round up the cattle that were going to be picked up to go to sale and put them in the yards. Apart from one snorty bull who we managed to go around (he wasn’t supposed to be there!) the cattle were very well behaved and actually followed the fence instead of spearing off into the centre of the paddock as they often do. We got them into the right corner, up the laneway, through the holding pen and into the yards, just as hubby flew over and half an hour before the truck arrived. Son and I were rather chuffed it all went according to plan.

Tuesday morning involved heavy monitoring of the children cleaning the car (I seem to remember being able to wash and vacuum a car, why can’t they?) and getting ready for a drive to Sydney leaving lunchtime. Hubby was off checking cattle and of course arrived back earlier than expected (it’s always either early or late… never as expected) and was ready to go before anyone else in the house. Typical. But we all managed to get dressed up and ready for our outing.

Five hours later we arrive in Sydney, looking only slightly rumpled, at my sister-in-law’s house. A quick spruce up and bite to eat and we were off again to our final destination of the evening – the Sydney Opera House! (Thus the photo at the top of the post!)

As the children study classical piano with their concert-pianist-trained teacher, we decided an evening of listening to one of the world’s best pianists was in order. After huge sums of money were sent to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, we obtained tickets to hear the renowned Lang Lang play at the Opera House. The whole experience was marvelous. We found our way to the northern foyer, listened to a talk on the music that we were going to here then found our seats in the magnificent Main Concert Hall. Hubby and I recall going there as a child but only for a tour, so this was a first for us too. This was the main concert hall (it looks like we're wayyyy up the back, but we could see everything quite clearly - close enough to see smiles on performer's faces) :

The Sydney Symphony played the first two pieces (Mendelssohn and Sibelius) and then Lang Lang came on and with a flourish began to play Tchaikovsky’s with the Orchestra. It was all wonderful! Even the children enjoyed it although one of the girls said she was too tired and just wanted to go to bed! I gave her a look that said “not on your nelly, girly” and she sat there, waking up sufficiently to enjoy it.

Unbeknown to us, it was Lang Lang’s birthday and the orchestra had organized a birthday cake after the concert – at 29 years old, this young man has the classical music world at his feet and he hammed it up on stage whilst the Sydney Symphony played and the audience sang “Happy Birthday”. One wag in the audience called out ‘speech’… and Lang Lang obliged! After an encore performance, he was presented with bouquets of flowers, one of which he pulled apart, presenting a flower to each female member of the orchestra. Lang Lang taking a bow :

Post concert the parking station was at gridlock, so instead we went for hot chocolate and a selection of treats (huge jam biscuits and incredibly rich chocolate pots!) at the Lower Concourse which houses bars and cafes with a magnificent view of the harbour bridge.

A photo opportunity or two was snapped (the above one blurry, but courtesy of the waiter in the cafe!) before wending our way back to sister-in-law’s house and a well earned rest.

More things to do in Sydney on Wednesday, including a visit to the orthodontist for the children and then the long drive home.

A day off on Thursday (well, housework and associated timewasters) and then Friday was the Zone Cross Country held in town where I worked all day for the P&C on the cappuccino stall. End result – very tired and windburned.

I finally made it to my bench this past weekend to do some orders and I'm hoping for some creative 'me' time there soon!

Till next :)

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Mice, sparkling gems and an award!

Yet again, I continue with my very poor blogging habits. I seem to remember blogging each week up until recently – how did I find the time!? I must be lacking in organization at the moment…

I thought about posting about the mice we have here on the farm. There is one in particular that consistently steals food out of the cat’s bowl. A fat, glossy little mouse he is ... and very careful to come out ONLY when the cats aren’t around. And when there is only one, a mouse can be pretty darn cute.

But some mouse stories aren’t so nice when they’re at, whilst not quite plague proportions, at least far too many of them. And the rats! Luckily we have bush rats, which I’ve found, at first hand, look just like massive mice. (And along with huge Bogong moths last month, I secretly started to wonder if something very strange was going on that was growing monster wildlife!)

So instead, I thought I’d stick to the jewellery front and what I’ve been up to.

I’ve been busy recently with a show and orders, but have also been sidetracked into my box of special gems. "The box" is getting so full that I decided I either needed a bigger box or had to create some jewellery to share these beauties around. Since shops are few and far between out here to find a larger box, I went with the latter choice and made some pieces with the sparklies!

Th pink amethyst, pink topaz and rock crystal quartz sterling silver necklace at the top of the post is one. Scrumptious, isn’t it? Rather springlike considering we’re in full winter here, but that’s the muse for you – she takes you where she will!

I made a wintry necklace too – with smoky quartz, petro tourmaline and vermeil. Rich and luxurious.

Then I got started on earrings ….

With everything from muted shades of pink and blue with rose quartz, pink topaz, pink tourmaline and iolite...

To rich red garnets and pink topaz reminding me of cool days and warm fires...

To colourful amethyst, peridot and blue topaz ...

And more ... like my favourites - these one made with swiss blue topaz, peridot, pink topaz, green topaz and apatite ...

See why I like my “special box”!? And, it’s a much nicer post than one about mice!

In other news, I was recently honoured to receive The Versatile Blogg Award from the wonderful Kelly of Vital Traditions all the way over in Washington State. I had the pleasure of being the roomie of Kelly at a conference a couple of years ago in Queensland, and she is honestly one of the very nicest people you could ever meet! Oh, and her all natural body products are THE BEST!

As part of receiving this award I need to pass this on and I've selected some of my daily reads for the award (check them out, you may find a new favourite!):

Gifts of Serendipity
Write Expressions
The Laurel Hedge
Cattle, Kids & Chaos

And, lastly before I sign off, I want to give a shout-out to Paula K and her new Smart Woman venture. Paula started the amazing and popular Connect2Mums site a couple of years ago and I've known her since those early days - she's a fantastic mentor and businesswoman, so if you're in small business (or thinking about it), pop over to her Facebook page and say hello!


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