Mayday! Mayday!

Or, how did we get to the middle of May already?

Well, April was a write off to Life #2 for me, hence the cobwebs and tumbleweeds that have started to take up residence here at Strey Creative.

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Well they had…

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Anyway, now I find myself in the best part of autumn with some free time and the itch for exploring. First stop: the local national park.

I’d forgotten how much I love this place. It’s a few minutes drive from where I live and there are many entrances and trails to choose from. I dragged a friend along the first time so we could walk and talk and get to know each other better. We’ve known each other for a few years but y’know how things start to develop sometimes. 🙂

And I think what he learned about me on this particular excursion – apart from my love for scrambling over rocks and scrubby slopes and things – was the strange fey-ness that comes over me when I’m in nature. Especially when I come across things like this:

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How cool are they, right?

Yeah, I can crouch there fascinated for ages, mesmerised by what’s essentially random fungus in the dirt. I don’t know what it is about them. Or anything else that captures my attention in a way that makes time stop. It’s like when I’m in the creative zone: nothing else exists, time stops, food may or may not happen, daylight rolls over to night but all I know is that suddenly I can’t see what I’m painting anymore. Love that space.

However, on this particular day I did manage to tone it down a bit so as not to completely freak the guy out (coz knowing about someone’s ‘crazy’ and experiencing it are two different things!)

Instead, I took pictures and vowed to return with more time and less company so as to better appreciate the fungal beauty of the Aussie bush.

And subsequent wanderings have delivered an incredible bounty, I’m pleased to report. I didn’t know half of these existed (probably coz I’ve never looked before, but still). Some teeny-tiny, some rather plump and proud of themselves. All amazing.

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And my personal favourites – as I could not believe such a colour was possible:

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Yes, they’re purple! Yes, they’re real!

Actually, the guy gets credit for this find on trip #2 as he spotted them while I was distracted. (He was the distraction at the time, I believe.)

Oh. So. Much. Awesomeness.

I keep expecting to see little faery creatures dancing around them or peeking out from behind the stalks. And – hey, what’s that look for? Oh c’mon. You can’t say you’ve never thought of that kinda thing before. No, I didn’t eat any of the toadies, trust me! I can understand your concern there. I’m just a creative girl with a creative (& hopeful!) mind!
And it’s fun to see the magic in life. Real or imagined.

But yes, since then there has been more scribbling, more gallivanting with iPhone camera, and more strey creativity in general. Where will it take me next?

We shall find out next time!

Till then, have fun 🙂

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What the Water Gave Me

I’m not one to fling myself into the ocean much when I go to the beach. Sure, our beaches are beautiful, and I’ll wade in every now and again. But what I love most is walking along the sand searching for the odd, the interesting, and the magical. Yeah, I’m one of those ones you see crouched beside rock pools or hovering over dumpings of shells and rocks on the sea-licked expanse.

It’s easy to lose track of time and place when there’s so much to explore, with the afternoon wind and waves crashing in the background.

Sometimes I’ll collect things I find and like (though who knows what I’m gonna do with that pile of weird sea rocks & shells, or the funky driftwood stick…).

Other things, however, can’t be taken except in picture form. Either because they can’t be picked up, or you get the feeling they’re where they belong. Here are a few of my favourites from recent wanderings along Sydney’s Northern Beaches armed with my iPhone 4s.

A favourite escape

Narrabeen – a favourite escape

 

Sand stars?

Sand stars?

 

Arrangement as found

Sometimes Nature does its own arrangements

 

This made me think of a faery ring...  Sea-fae?

This made me think of a faery ring. Sea-faery-style.

 

I did say the odd and the interesting...

I did say the odd and the interesting…

 

I feel there's kind of sad beauty to this find.

There’s kind of a sad beauty to this find, I feel.

 

I wonder what its story was.

I wonder what its story was.

 

It still fascinates me now. Life, death, and what is left behind.

It still fascinates me now.

 

Life, death, and what’s left behind. The sea produces so many treasures for those who recognise them, and who take the time to visit.

Thank you for visiting!

 

(And thanks to Florence and the Machine for the title inspiration) 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have Phone, Will Create

On that bloody phone again, are we? Addicted much? Should we book in for surgical removal yet?

Huh? Did somebody say something? Oh, hey, howz goin?

 

That happens a bit now, I’ve found. Such conversations instigated by any number of family members, or my own inner voice, at any given creative time. Coz creative time can now happen anytime and anywhere (yay!), thanks to the marvel that is smart phone + camera + (I’m now discovering) photo editing apps.

Uhh… they’ve been around for years, Kel, I hear you say, bit slow on the uptake there.

Sure it’s not a new concept, but it’s new to me. (Hell, I’ve still got Flappy the carrier pigeon roosting in retirement out back, since I finally caved in to peer pressure and got an iPhone last year.) But what can I say? I’m certainly not interested in racing anybody to high-tech land. I’m a different kind of geek, thank you very much. I’m happy with my leisurely pace and my stumbling upon things in my own sweet time.

So, stumbling upon photo editing, as I have recently, I’ve discovered a whole new world of fun. I was already pleased with the easy, portable nature of a built-in phone camera for capturing those whims and inspirations that strike at odd times.

Bush walking one afternoon...

Bush walking one afternoon…

Now I can take that moment in time, spend hours experimenting, and end up with that same moment in time, just slightly modified. Faaantastic.

After some tinkering

After some tinkering

Also what I love about this is the simplicity. When the muse comes to visit I don’t always have the hours and space to get out drop sheets and paints and brushes. Or knives, embellishments and card stock. To be able to just point, shoot & then tinker is perfect. And I figure I can tie it in with my other projects as well.

Faery Charm, anyone?

Faery Charm, anyone?

Beats pictures of food.

What I’m probably liking most is that there are all these accessible, user-friendly apps that mean streys like me can add an artsy edge to our photos without getting all fancy-pants with expensive equipment and a whole new vocabulary. (I’ve flipped through a bunch of photography mags; I have no idea what they’re talking about.) They can start to sound a bit elitist as well which my photos… are not.

Nut

Nut

This is Nut. He’s a stray too. Picked him up at the toy-animal pound (aka the local op shop) a little while back. He’s a bit of a character and likes having his picture taken, so he might feature in some more. When I catch him causing some photo-worthy trouble… (often enough).

So this week’s creative spurt has been made possible by the Camera Awesome app, which has its own set of crazy terms for things you can do to photos, plus references to unicorns and other random things. RateCameraAwesome

Haha.

What other apps have people found good/useful/fun/worthwhile? If you can peel yourself away from them long enough to reply…