Oct 31, 2011

Birthday Boy

Yes we have celebrated another birthday in the Sprite household. It was my son's 11th birthday yesterday (30th).
It's amazing how time seems to have flown. It was not long ago that I was holding that piece of plastic with the two lines confirming what I already suspected. I wasn't surprised, freaked out, angry. I was content. Happy. Even though this pregnancy was an "accident" and I was a single mother, I couldn't have been more happier. This is what I was meant to be. A Mummy.

Anyway. We decided we wanted to buy him an electric guitar for his birthday. Hubby took him to the music shop one day and he took a fancy to a red Fender Squier. So, secretly, Hubby went back and ordered the red for him, and also picked one out for his birthday(which, as you know was a couple of weeks ago). They were around $170each. Anyway, the owner had to order our son's in. We got the call it had come in. Two days before son's birthday, Hubby goes to pick up both guitars and amps. Owner can't find son's anywhere, and then realises....
Hubby has a slight freakout (though remained remarkably calm for him). Owner is fuming with himself...
Pulls down a $700 Metallic Red Fender Stratocaster (OMG) and says "Here, have this one and I'll wear the extra cost myself"...

How extremely nice is that?
So now son has the guitar that Hubby always dreamed of....lol.
Son was suitably blown away.

So both my boys have their guitars. And I have decided I would like to learn to. But on an Acoustic. Which Hubby has.
Bought myself a pink .70cent pick and I am ready for my lessons..lol. 

Oct 28, 2011

Extinction is Forever.

If you look down a list of endangered animals, you will continually read “Loss of habitat” and “Killed by poaching”. In our bid to dominate, populate and over develop the planet, mankind has been responsible for the irreversible extinction of so many of this worlds creatures.
It wasn’t until the 1800s that a few of our kind realised just how seriously destructive we were, and dedicated their lives to protecting and reversing the things that society had done. It couldn’t have been easy to do so back then, without the technology of today. Despite some heartbreaking losses, they were able to save some species from total extinction.
For example:

The White Rhino
Africa’s southern white rhinoceros was discovered in the early 1800s, and by 1892, a mere 75 years later, it was already thought to have gone extinct. The white rhino’s near extinction came at the hands of European settlers and hunters who enjoyed killing them because of their impressive size, as well as the fact that rhino horn fetched a good price in the Asian folk-medicine market.
Then, in 1895, about 20 southern white rhinos were discovered. People began protecting them, breeding them, and reintroducing them to areas from which they had been extirpated (ceased to exist in the area). Now, after more than 100 years of protection and management, their numbers have increased to nearly 20,000 in the wild. In fact, they are now the most numerous of the world’s five species of rhinos, and are no longer classified as Endangered.
However, white rhinos are once more in trouble, due to the fact that black-market prices for their horns have gotten so high (more than gold) that poachers will take almost any risk to kill one. Hundreds are illegally slaughtered every year. Almost one a day.
In addition, the population of the northern white rhino, is now down to around a half-dozen individuals, and almost extinct. The cause: illegal hunting for the Asia folk-medicine market.

The Siberian Tiger
At the turn of the twentieth century, there were two species of giant tiger—weighing up to 650 pounds (300 kilos)roaming some of the colder areas of Asia: the Amur tiger in the east, and its close cousin, the Caspian tiger, in the west. Both suffered at the hands of humans, who coveted their beautiful hides and also viewed them as potential killers of livestock. The Caspian cat, which had the misfortune of living closer to dense populations of humans, is now extinct. Having not been seen since the 1950s.
The Siberian tiger, whose native range extends along a narrow band of remote and icy Far Eastern Russia, China and Korea, was faring only a bit better until very recently. By the 1930s the Amur tiger’s population had declined to fewer than 40. Finally, in 1947, the Soviet (now Russian) government banned the killing of them. Tigers breed quickly when they have suitable food and habitat, and when they are not being killed faster than they can breed. The Russian tiger population was reported at between 450 and 500, which is a huge conservation success story.
Sadly, success can be short lived. One problem Siberian tigers face is that, because the current population is derived from just a few dozen individuals that survived their near extinction in the first half of the twentieth century, scientists fear the tigers lack sufficient genetic diversity. This means that all of today’s wild Amur tigers may be so genetically similar to one another that, among other problems, an illness capable of killing one of them would likely also be able to kill all of them, because of the fact that their immune systems have the same weaknesses.
Siberian tigers have also been losing habitat to logging and road building, as well as to changes brought about by global warming(yes, it IS real people). Drier, hotter conditions, along with frequent, forest fires, have been a major effect of climate change on tiger habitat.
The biggest threat to Amur tigers has been the recent, alarming increase in illegal hunting. Nearby China has the world’s largest market for tiger body-parts, which are used to make expensive folk medicines. Poachers in Russia will risk almost anything to kill one. So while China can be commended in it’s conservation of the Panda (and let’s face it, the Panda is always going to be good PA for China), the efforts to track down and stop the illegal poaching of tigers, has not been as fervent. 

                               ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   

In so many instances today, conservationists have to resort to the desperate, last-chance method of captive breeding in order to keep some species from going extinct and leaving our world forever. This is why the regulation of Zoos is so important. (And I don’t mean those privately owned zoos like the one in recent news in Ohio. Were animals are kept purely for rich peoples enjoyment.) We need to support these people who are taking an active role in conserving and helping to reverse what we, as humans have done to our world.

 More recent captive breeding success stories include the California condor, black-footed ferret, golden lion tamarin, and red wolf. It takes time to figure out what is best for a species and to build a successful reintroduction program based on that knowledge. The goal of captive breeding programs is not to just increase population numbers, but to give those new individuals a better chance of survival, after they are re-introduced back into the wild.

While we go on with our daily lives, mother earth is facing a battle for survival. There are some of us out there who care.

Extinction is forever.

Oct 23, 2011

An Arty Weekend

I have finally decorated my paintbrush box. I made this illuminated "S" and used my wood burning tool to put it on. Much nicer than leather burning. Just smells like a BBQ.

I also did another picture..not quite a Zentangle, but I like it all the same.

Are you doing anything arty this weekend?

Oct 18, 2011

Lost in IKEA - one Ant.

Oh Hi.. thought I'd share with you something I found out recently.. And that is how much my friend antarescryptos just LOVES IKEA... after his recent post here about his adventures I thought I'd make this post for you all.. to share the Ikea love around.. lol.
Recently Ant got a little lost in Ikea land.. maybe if he had a map like this it would have been easier to find his way out..

But not to worry... if he DID get locked up inside it he would have had plenty of yummy food to eat..

NO! not the material food Ant.. I mean the Meatballs!... sheesh!

HMM.. I wonder if Ant found any of THESE in the flat pack section....?

How could you not love a place that sells ready to assemble LOL Catz?

So the award goes to...
Just for you Ant..hehehee...
Bet you love IKEA now... lol. 

Oct 15, 2011

Got my drawing Mojo back.

Today we went to the Home, Camping and Caravanning show. Which was fun, climbing into various caravans and camper trailers.. figuring out what we wanted for when we travel. Yes we are still going to travel. Just not the epic journey we had originally planned with Betty the Bus.. (R.I.P Betty). Anyway, after we got home we went our separate ways. I secluded myself in the bedroom with my iPod and all my drawing materials and finally re-discovered my drawing mojo.

Some more Zentangles...Sprite style!

Oct 14, 2011

I love my beach (and a little rant)

Things are starting to settle down in our new place. The boxes are slowly disappearing, and things are finding a place to live in various cupboards, or be delegated back down to the garage. We've had a swim in the pool, and a couple of swims at the beach. Which I might have already mentioned is only a few minutes walk away.. :)

Hubby and Son have found a new Karate dojo to go to on Monday and Thursday nights. I now have Monday and Thursday nights back to myself, and I have even found an Artist who teaches watercolours. I start his class in a week or two. Very excited about that.

My Mum told me that they are going to be down our way at the end of the month. It's been a while since I've seen them. They are taking a break from house sitting at the cattle station to attend the birthday of my twin nieces that apparently me and my little family did not get an invite to. I could be hurt. I could be angry. And yes I am both, but mainly I am not surprised. I am sort of getting used to the subbing of me and mine from my siblings and their children. Hubby is absolutely livid and wants to crash it anyway.. But I couldn't be bothered. Really... after years of being left out of everything they do. Anyway... who needs them.

Well, I'm off to plan my creamy chicken carbonara for dinner.

Oct 13, 2011

Happy Birthday.

It's my Hubby's birthday today. 
Living with a terminal disease really makes you appreciate every birthday. Puts your life into perspective. Makes you forget about the little, stupid things, and prioritises the most important. Family. Being together. Making life fun.

Happy Birthday to my wonderful, annoying, caring, opinionated, romantic, talented, sexy, weird, exasperating, unique, funny Hubby.
My best friend.
I love you. 

Oct 10, 2011

Meerkat sketch

So right now I am all doped up on pain meds, as I have hurt my back as well as my left arm. Just thought I'd post this quick sketch of a Meerkat I worked on before our move. What do you think?

Also we had our first visitor to our apartment yesterday. A Butcher Bird who sat on our balcony for a while:)

Oct 8, 2011

You don't miss it until you don't have it.

It really is true that you don’t know how much you will miss something until it’s gone. 

I am referring to my art. During this whole moving experience (no I do not mean it was inspirational) I have had to pack up all of my art supplies. I managed to get my watercolour and drawing supplies into one big box. One box wich is now towards the back of the garage, surrounded by more boxes and furniture.
I am really getting itchy fingers though.  I woke up this morning and my beautiful beach was covered in a shadow of dark grey storm clouds and dazzling lightening strikes, and all I wanted to do was draw it, or paint it.  Now the clouds have blown away, the sun is shining and the blue waters are begging to be captured on paper in some form.

I found this great quote by the amazing artist Georgia O’Keeffe:

“I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say in any other way – things I had no words for”

A trip down to the garage is inevitable. Though I am not looking forward to it. I know exactly where my precious art box is, but there are so many things in my way of reaching it. It remains to be seen just how determined I am today...
After contorting myself up and over objects, hurting the muscle in my left arm yet again and juggling a heavy box back precariously over said objects, and then hauling it up three flights of stairs, I finally have my art box.
Ahh.. to have a pen in my hand once again. Did a quick pen sketch of the view from my balcony, then took my son for a walk past the music festival and on to the beach, where he promptly skinned his knee on the cement ramp and then got drenched by a wave.
Tomorrow the boys will be occupied all day with the V8 Supercars. (Bathurst) So I have the day to myself to be arty. I may even visit that art store again....Bliss :)

Oct 7, 2011

I haves the internets...

Hey! I am back. Phew! Did you miss me? lol...
Yes, today our new internet provider txted us to let us know we were now connected. With super fast internet.. YAY! What a difference being in a new area makes. So I am sitting here, with my glass of red, right next to my balcony (with ocean views) and listening to the local music festival. Who needs tickets when you can just walk out onto your balcony? This is the life...
OO... who is this artist playing... Think it's Eskimo Joe.. WOO!

Found a cool Art shop today and they had a sale off everything I wanted. Couldn't resist buying myself a new watercolour brush. Hubby had a fit when I told him the price of the precious.. hehee... He doesn't understand.. lol. I just need to brave the maze of boxes in our garage to find my art box with my watercolour and drawing supplies in it. 

So we are going for a walk tomorrow down to the beach (which I may have mentioned is five minutes walk away). The music festival goes all weekend, so it will be pretty crowded I am guessing.

I promised I would post some pics of the baby birds. They aren't very pretty. In fact they are ugly little critters, but cute anyway.

Mumma Bird

The precious cargo

Little things tripled in size in a week. This is the last time I saw them :(

Oct 3, 2011

What happens after you push your body for so long...?

You get sick... Dreadfully sick. As I have been for the last few days. The day after we stopped cleaning the old house and finally had a day of rest I woke up with the worst head cold ever. I feel so absolutely horrid. Body has pretty much given up.
So on our last day at the house I peeked into the bird nest and... they are gone! I don't know if they flew away or if they were... god forbid, eaten. Freaked out. Scanned the ground for little bodies, but no sign. Hubby thinks they just flew away but I don't know if they were old enough to fly yet. I mean, do birds fly a week after hatching? They don't do they? I don't know... The nest is intact, so nothing attacked them in there. My son said he saw them flying about with the parents. But I didn't see them :( It's a mystery...
The beach has been wonderful (apart from my cold). It's still pretty cold, being the beginning of spring, so we can't wait until it is warm enough to go for a swim. We checked out our route to the beach... We are like, five minutes walk away! The view from our balcony is great. My son loves seeing all of the big container ships that come past on their way to the port of Brisbane.
Went to the local second hand shop and found a beautiful wood and wrought Iron bed, a book shelf for hubby's dvds a recliner for Hubby, and the cutest little cupboard with woven baskets for my vegies. All of it gets delivered on Wednesday. YAY!
Anyway, time to get back to some normality.