All posts tagged Australia

Greetings mes amis!

I have recently been fortunate enough to have had some creative opportunities pretty much fall into my lap. I take this as a sign I am on the right track. Finally. I won’t go into detail yet as from experience I have learned that this is a surefire way to shoot myself in the foot!

What I will say though, is that great opportunities don’t always come cheap. So to this end I have decided to reanimate Paperdoll Cabaret, my Etsy shop (It Lives!). It will be a little different this time than before since my focus has shifted (as far as my need to make stuff goes) from making jewellery to painting. I am currently in the midst of a little¬†flurry of activity designing what I hope will become cool items to put up. I’ll let y’all know when I’m up and running again. I’m going away on Friday for a few days and while this won’t really interrupt the design process, it will definitely cause a bit of a delay in actual production. But hopefully it won’t be too long…. to be honest I can’t afford it to be. I’m not going to miss the boat this time ūüėČ

On a different note, we had great fun last Wednesday (our 31st) dressing up and giving out candy to the local trick or treaters. In Australia (being in the Southern Hemisphere), and in the context it’s celebrated here, it is not a serious celebration. That, I believe would be the 2nd May here. However kids these days are really getting into it and it was¬†so much fun to watch their little faces (and not so little, there were quite a few older kids in the mix) light up when¬†I opened the door in¬†my pointy hat with my “pet spider” dangling from my finger. It was¬†though the chocolate bars I handed them were priceless. It was wonderful! And it’s all harmless, healthy fun. However, and there always seems to be a however, there are a lot of people around here who don’t agree and get quite upset about the whole thing. Even some people who work in shops that sell Halloween-related stuff. They can get quite snotty when you buy fake spiders etc. Go figure! I was told by some of the parents who were walking around with their children that they had received a frosty reception and worse from “Halloween Haters”. To all those people I blow a big, fat RASPBERRY! Don’t take it all so seriously! We put a spider on the gate to show that we were “Halloween friendly” and will continue to do something along these lines each year. Viva Halloween Australian style!!!

I am still unable to post any of my own photos here. I think there must be something wrong with my account settings. I can’t believe I am quite this hopeless. Then again….. ūüôā I will contact support through the week and see if they can help me sort this out. I’m not a great photographer but there have been a few photos I would’ve liked to share with you.

Oh yeah. A few days ago I purchased my first piece of jewellery from Shalottlilly. It’s currently away being photographed and it has to travel all the way from Texas so I’m not sure when it will arrive, but I can’t wait! This lady’s work is beautiful. Check out¬†the Shalottlilly¬†Facebook page to see for yourself.

And last, but certainly not least I hope anyone who has been affected by hurricane Sandy is ok now. I really hope you all stayed safe.

Take care.

Until next time

V ‚̧


In Your Face Gene Simmons, Mine’s Blue!

Published September 12, 2012 by Robyn


Since this area seems to be a haven for Blue Tongue Lizards, I thought I’d write a little bit about them for the readers in other countries who may not be too familiar with these very cool reptiles.

I come across them everywhere here – not just the backyard. When I walk Cindy (the dog) I see them poking out of drains basking in the sun, crossing the road and just generally hanging around. They appear to be so used to humans and other animals I can always get a really good look at them when I pass.

These lizards are slow moving and quite friendly. They are likely to let you get really close. I wouldn’t advise picking them up though unless they are really familiar with you, because if they are scared they do have a nasty bite, latching on and not letting go.

There are six types of blue-tongued lizards in Australia (hereafter referred to as Oz) :-

Eastern Blue Tongue Lizard – These dwell in South East of Oz and are the kind that live around here. They grow to about 30cm in length (not counting the tail). They are grey with brown stripes across their back.

Northern Blue-tongued Skink – These guys live on the savannahs of the tropical regions of Oz.

Western Blue-tongued Skink – This one is listed as a vulnerable species.

Central Blue-tongued Skink– Another vulnerable species.

Blotched Blue Tongue – From the Southwest of Oz, lives in highland areas. They are dark brown with light coloured splotches across the back.

Shingleback – Found west of the Great Dividing Range. It has a short, stumpy tail and large rough scales.

Pygmy Blue-tongue Skink– Only grows to about 90mm. They live within a very small area north of Adelaide and are listed as an endangered species.

Whatever species, the most noticeable feature is, of course, their blue tongue. Like all reptiles they are ectothermic which is why you see them sunning themselves during the mornings. When it’s cold they stay inside because they need a body temperature of 30 to 35 degrees C to be active.

They love to eat snails and slugs but will eat whatever they can get hold of, including dog food.

For most of the year they like to live alone, but during the mating season (September to November) the males pursue the females, which is why we see three-legged Louis (he is so cute, his little stump does the walking action too) making his trips up to the old barbecue to visit Lisa.

Mating seems like a rough old process. Many females carry scars from the male’s teeth during mating.

Their babies are born 3 to 5 months after mating. They are born live (not eggs) and have to look after themselves right from the start, beginning with eating the placenta, and go off to discover the great big world within a few days of being born. The Eastern Blue Tongue can have up to 25 babies at once and they breed annually where other species only breed on alternate years.

Blue Tongues can live for many years, up to 30 and like other lizards can drop their tails to avoid, daze and confuse predators.

The biggest dangers to Blue Tongues include :-

Cars – they love to lie on the road’s warm surface and tend not to move out of the way of cars.

Snail baits – cos they love to eat snails.

Lawnmowers – they hide in long grass and again tend not to get out of the way when the mower comes near them.

Cats and dogs – need I say more?

Other predators are eagles, poisonous snakes and large goannas.

So, there’s just a little bit about these excellent creatures. There’s lots of info around if you want to find out more. I love them.

V ‚̧

A Blotched Blue-Tongued Skink, Tiliqua nigrolu...

A Blotched Blue-Tongued Skink, Tiliqua nigrolutea , basking on open sandy ground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blue-tongued skink

Blue-tongued skink (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Greetings From The Sunny Mid-North Coast!

Published September 2, 2012 by Robyn


It’s been a week since I last wrote here. My plan was to write every couple of days or so, but the week has somehow slipped by without me noticing. To be perfectly honest I don’t have anything wise, witty or even particularly interesting to talk about, but

here’s a bit of a roundup of the past week. I have more pictures to add, but me being technologically ignorant, I can’t seem to get them loaded here. This one was hard enough! What I will do is go through all the support stuff and load up photos through the week.

The photo above is my Mum and I having lunch at the Boatshed. It is on a jetty kind of thing. There are boats moored and you are able to feed the fishies. We went there after seeing “The Sapphires” at the local movie theatre, which is an old family run business with a lot of the old fixtures still there. It is quite beautiful inside.

We went to Taree on Wednesday. My Mum was born there and went to Taree Public School (built 1902) – photo to come. That day we had lunch at a tea garden at Morelands (I have photos from here as well). I had a burger with “the works” – the works alright, complete with a skewer and a stalk of parsley sticking out of the top like a tree. It was huge but I managed to get through it all apart from one side of the bun! Piggy, piggy me, but it were yum! We met a lady(who’s name I am ashamed to say I don’t remember) and her dog Sassy, a beautiful black Kelpie.

The visit my Mum had to make to the doctor turned out ok. She has a problem, but one that can be managed easily. Yay! I had a fright when the doc called her name and when she got up I heard the doctor ask if someone was with her. Yikes!!! She is really independant and said yes she did but no, she didn’t need anyone to come in with her. I spent most of the visit standing outside the door trying to hear what was going on. The other patients must’ve thought I was a nutter!

We’ve been doing lots of ordinary things, watching girly movies(which my Mum loves), taking the dog for a walk, all that regular kind of stuff which I haven’t had a chance to do for years.

On a personal note, I really don’t think I am going to go back to Sydney. I’m sold on living close to the water, further away from the stinking rat race.

Well that’s about all I gotz to say. I will try and work out how to get the photos on properly. I see so many beautiful blogs with photos, I know there’s a way.

Oh, it is also Father’s Day here in Australia. “Happy Father’s Day Dad!” Miss you a lot.

Till next time

V ‚̧

Do Not Go Gentle

Published July 25, 2012 by Robyn
Welsh poet Dylan Thomas

Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While going through some stuff last night I cam across this. It is a favourite of mine and I thought I’d share:

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night

Old age should burn and rave at the close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right

Because their words forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight

And learn, too late, they grieved it on it’s way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay

Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Dylan Thomas

This was the first poem Dylan Thomas published, when he was only 18, a moving plea to his dying father.

Oh, and as and addendum to my last post It All Started With Tom Cruise, today Leisel Jones (Australian swimmer) is copping it from the media with suggestions that she is out of shape and does she really deserve her place in the Olympics. Of course it was accompanied by some very unflattering photos. Once again, the suggestion was that she is “past it”.

Well she¬†QUALIFIED didn’t she?¬† This is her 5th Olympics. A pretty awesome achievement¬† wouldn’t you say. And they don’t put you in the team for the “warm and fuzzies”. They want¬† you to win! Maybe she should take up knitting too ūüėČ

V ‚̧