Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

The Normanton Bush Races

On 24th September 2011, we managed to be in Normanton at the same time as the annual Stingers Bush Races (third time lucky, right?). The Stingers are the Normanton football team, and it is a massive fundraising day for them.

This humungus event sees everyone frocking up and heading into Normanton from all over the place – other towns & states, the Sunshine Coast :), and surrounding stations.

We didn’t pay too much attention to the actual horse races (which were 200m sprints down the track), as we were too busy socialising…and winning the prettiest hat award! Yes, you read correctly – I won the prettiest hat award. My prize was a $100 voucher, a purple sash that I almost wore pig shooting the next day, and some beautiful flowers. I ended up being happy that hubby bullied me into going up on the platform to be judged.

After the final horse race, most people change into something more comfortable (I’m talking jeans, boots and a shirt here!) and walk over to the arena for barrel racin’ and bull ridin’ events. We drove the 4WD up to the arena fence and watched the action from the comfort of our car, like a true local.

Hubby was asked to be the official photographer for the day, which he enjoyed. He even almost got knocked off his perched position on the fence by a wayward bull. The things he’ll do for the perfect shot. The locals only laughed. His photos will go in the paper and on the official website for the bush races. Here is a glimpse of his work –

Fencing in the Free Rangers

Surprise!!  Another chook post!

Yesterday we spent the day outdoors in our backyard, enjoying the beautiful sunshine! I dug holes and planted trees, and hubby put up a chicken-wire fence so our chooks wouldn’t escape. Yesterday was also the day that we introduced our girls to ‘free range’!

The first thing I had to do was clip their wings. I got onto YouTube and watched an array of videos on how to do it and it wasn’t as hard as I thought.

Click picture for more information.

It actually took 5 seconds to do both birds. This stops them from flying over the fence onto the street or into our neighbours yards. Once I got it into my head that the chooks couldn’t feel a thing and that it was like cutting our hair or nails, I felt like a farming pro.  They didn’t even flinch.

We have been keeping the girls in their pen for a week so they could get used to their new environment. We will lock them up at night and let them out during the day. I am still deciding whether this is a good idea while we are at work??? Any thoughts? We are total chook novices!

Here are some photos from yesterday:

Hubby's handiwork on the chook fence.

The other side.

The moment of escape.

Our ‘The Girls’

We picked up our new girls the weekend just gone. We were going to name them Sheryl and Beryl (and Meryl if we got a third) but they are now just going to be referred to as ‘the girls’.

I read on a blog a few weeks ago: “I started off calling our chickens names that went through the alphabet but once we got to Tess it began to get a little depressing.” Perhaps I am being a bit pessimistic, but that sounds like a plan – ‘the girls’. I am not good with things dying (not that it happens very often…promise!).

We collected our girls from a place that I expected to be murdered at and brought them back to their new home…our home. They are only four months old and should be laying delicious eggs when they turn six months old. In the meantime, we are just going to enjoy the ‘chick chick’ sound they make. At feeding time in our house you will now hear “Kirk, Kirk, Kirk”, followed by “Puss, Puss, Puss”, and a “Chook, Chook, Chook” to finish it off. Thank goodness we don’t have a pet bee or horse or turtle.

We ended up deciding on the chook breed of Australorps as they are friendly, perfect for the Queensland weather, excellent layers, recommended by Kirk’s dad who knows a lot about chooks, and they are cute. That last point is very important. While looking over my shoulder to make sure I wasn’t going to be hacked into little pieces, I saw ‘the girls’ parents in a pen next to where our two girls lived and they are stunning!  They are actually show chooks, so we may have some real beauties on our hands. Already they are beautiful in my eyes.

We only got two chooks for now and will expand our ‘farm’ with two more in a few months. Hopefully that will take us to four alive chooks in total. Wish me luck.

Mystery Tour REVEALED

So here is the story behind the photos from my previous post found here.

Some great guesses guys…and nearly spot on 🙂

Leaving our place.

Stopping off to get some fuel & pump up the tyres for the heavy load we were about to get.

The beautiful drive out to my parents place. You unwind just driving along this countryside.

From the top of my parents driveway.

We needed to borrow the trailer today so Kirk helped dad unload a cool room.

Part of the cool room fell off the trailer and the metal edge sliced down Kirk's leg and cut dad's finger. Lucky it wasn't too deep and I got some great photos 😉

At mum and dad's hanging out by the fire. Love this!

In an attempt to do First Aid on Kirk's leg...

Breakfast at mum and dad's place. The omelette was made using their neighbours chook eggs. In return, dad gives them some venison (deer) that he hunts. 

While Kirk was helping mum with some iPhone stuff I took some pics from their balcony.

Heading out of dad and mum's place - one of their cows.

Ducked in at home to grab a coffee before heading off to Brisbane. Kirk was in a funny mood.

A guy in Brisbane was getting rid of his chook pen, so we took it off him.

Now for some directions to get to our chooks! I love the iPhone maps.

Heading to the farm, which was on the way to Bribie Island.

Our two special packages - pen and box with our chooks in it.

Chook box.

Home at last and all set up for some scratching in the dirt.

Panini slightly annoyed and confused by the new family members.

The sisters in their new home.

It was a strange turn of events as we had planned to get the chook pen only and come home, but on the drive down to Brisbane we received a message saying some people had a couple of Australorp chooks for sale if we wanted them.

We are planning on keep the girls in their pen for a few days so they can get used to being together and in their new surroundings (also so our sooky cats can adjust). Where the chooks were previously kept by their old owners was inside an aviary with a rottweiler dog on either side…it was freaky and so loud with all that barking and banging about on the wire! We will eventually let the girls out during the day and put them in their pen at night. Here’s to hoping it all goes well 🙂

Mystery Tour

Retelling our mystery tour from today through photographs.

See if you can work out what we got up to!

 

Shattered

Look what happens when I try this:

Point made - we seem to have favourites in this house.

Make Love, Not War!

I celebrated my 30th a few months back in hippie style! It was such a blast and I had the best birthday with close friends and family.

When planning this party, there wasn’t much on the internet for inspiration. Mainly the same old stuff with no originality, so I thought I would post some ideas from my hippie party just in case there is someone out there looking for a little idea nudging.

First and foremost…the most important thing when planning a hippie party is to spell it correctly – it is hippie, not hippy 🙂

Invites: It all starts off with the invites – this kicks off the vibe! One way to get your guests, and yourself, super excited is to send out invites that will reflect the scene at your party. You want your guests to open the invite and see that this will be no ordinary party!! I wanted something bright and different! My husband is a whiz on the computer (as we know from here) so he designed them, and we added a little party gift which was a small button badge for each person to wear to the party (we bought them off ebay).

Original Kombi found on the internet

My invite

The doors open to reveal the party details

Details (minus the stalker details)

This is how we made this invite: We found a photo of a red kombi on the internet and changed the red colour to hippie designs that we also found on the internet. Hubby then got a photo of me and put me in the front seat using Photoshop. He added someone’s arm that he also found on the internet, added bangles and a headband. We printed these out on photo paper and I then cut out the doors and the outline of the picture. On a separate piece of white cardboard we printed the van without the doors (in the place of the doors we had the party information). We then stuck the photo onto this cardboard and cut it out. We made sure that we did not stick the doors down, otherwise you can’t open them to see the writing! We stuck a map on the back and a fridge magnet. The hippie badge for our guests to wear were positioned as the door handles. It was a whole lot of fun to make!

The Scene: My party was held at my parents house, which is perfect for parties. They live on 7 acres with no close neighbours, an open plan design, bifold doors that open out to a deck, and a swimming pool area that connects to the deck. My dad is so clever – he built this house!

Most of my guests who had arrived at this stage.

The pool area.

We had a problem with lack of parking up near the house, and because of all the rain it was really muddy. We solved this by asking people to park at the bottom of the driveway. In the letter box they would find a walkie-talkie (and to their surprise a bag of hash – dried spinach – rolling papers and matches:) ). They radioed in their ride which was my dad in his 4WD complete with coloured lights (cellophane over the head lights), spinning disco lights inside the car and groovy az music…arriving to the party in true hippie style. We tried to turn a problem situation with parking into something fun that added to the feel of the night. My dad was very happy to do this as it gave him a chance to meet people on the ride up. When people went home, he took them back down to their car.

When people got out of the car we had glow stick bracelets flung up in the trees with rope lights lining the walkway to the entrance. I had bought some incense to burn in the garden so it smelled hippie-ish too, but when it came to lighting them, I couldn’t find them anywhere! The front door had beads hanging down for guests to walk through, which we picked up at an Op Shop. When our guests walked in they came to a table with all the name tags. Next to their name tag we had a shot of sour apple liquor for a bit of fun. This was a hit and really set the party scene!

Hubby amongst all the decorations

The party had HEAPS of lava lamps scattered around the place, a big fluro coloured swirl on the roof from a projector, a continual clip of old hippie bands playing up on the wall from another projector, bean bags and cushions, candles lit in glass pasta sauce jars that were painted in bright colours, fairy lights, hired lights that came with the karaoke machine, bright balloons and some with peace signs on it (thanks ebay), a slideshow of photos on the TV from my life, rope lights, fluro feathers hanging all over the place. It was colourful eye candy! I spent a bit of time on decorations cause I really wanted the scene to be hippie-fied and something people would remember. It was a lot of fun! I made chains of smiley faces, hearts, peace signs and flowers from colourful paper I bought at Officeworks and then laminated with laminating sheets also from Officeworks.

Dance off under the moving swirl. My husband found this swirl on the internet, changed the colours, and played it through a laptop which was hooked up to a projector. Too clever!

Costumes: Closer to the date we sent out this picture via email and facebook, along with a countdown “15 days, 7 hours, 42 minutes and 22 seconds” (you can work this out on the internet).

The photo we emailed out to guests before the party. Most people didn't realise this was my husband complete with wig and fake chest hair. Hilarious!

This was to give people a bit of an idea on the level of costumes that would be happening at the party, and to get them pumped up about it. It worked, and I had quite a few friends say they ‘upped’ their costume after seeing this photo. They went all out and it really made the night!

Some true hippie-stylers! These boys grew their beards just for the party much to the disgust of their beautiful wives!

Huggy Bear from Starsky and Hutch - male winner!

We put on the invite that we would be having a ‘Best Dressed’ competition, but at the party I forgot to hold the competition earlier in the evening (having way too much fun singing karaoke), so come people had already left. Oops! But we did have two winners who were voted by those still partying away.

Food: My friend Jodi, my mum, and I got a menu sorted out and decided on foods that were a little retro from the hippie era of the 60’s & 70’s. The day before mum, Jodi and I spent the ENTIRE day making dips, scrolls, cobb loaves, and more and more food. It was amazing!

One of my brother in-laws with some 'Pure Kirk' - hubby's homebrew ginger beer

We had.so.much.food. Loads of beer, white wine, red wine (the wine was in bottles and we had some caskets just in case we ran out…we didn’t), champagne, fruit poppers, soft drink and Pure Kirk (hubby’s homemade alcoholic ginger beer), punch and ‘spiked’ punch with vodka in it. For water, we bought a big contained with a tap on it from Coles. All the drinks were in big bright plastic round tubs filled with ice. I was so worried that the ice wouldn’t keep the drinks cool….but I think it worked out okay.

Activities: Everyone likes a bit of karaoke (even if they don’t like to admit it 🙂 ) from the hippie era so we hired a machine that had speakers, microphone, screen and lights for around the place. I was tossing up about whether to have karaoke or not as I wasn’t sure if people would participate…but I am so glad that I did! It is something a little different and keeps everyone amused 🙂 As the birthday girl, you get asked to join in on a lot of karaoke songs (which I didn’t mind of course) and I did feel like a bit of a karaoke-hog.

Karaoke queens!

Karaoke - Jodi (Foxy Cleopatra) and I belting out some tunes!

Dancing!!!

Karaoke AND limbo! Talent 🙂

We also played Pictionary. On the back of the name tags was either a love heart or a peace sign with a number next to it. This determined what team you were in. I had one small whiteboard and my iPhone as timer. I pulled out a number from a container and whoever had that number (and was from the team who had the next turn), they would come out and have one minute to draw as many things they could from the list. It was a nice way to get everyone mixing as I had friends and family from different groups so most people didn’t know everyone at the party.

Pictionary

Pictionary

Pass the Parcel was fantastic! I started off asking everyone to get into a large circle and in alphabetical order (mainly so people could meet and learn some names). Once we did that, we played pass the parcel. We had two going around and each time the music (from the hippie era of course) stopped the person holding the parcel would open the first layer and get a little prize (peace key ring, freddo, etc) and there they would find a dare. A lot of the dares included other people, e.g. you and the three people on your right have to … blah, blah, blah….. This was because we had so many people there and many didn’t know others. We didn’t want them to make a fool of themselves in front of everyone all alone 🙂 My friend Jodi and I had such fun thinking up these dares! Some were:

  • Sing happy birthday to the birthday girl in fake Japanese
  • With the person on your right, moonwalk backwards around the circle
  • Every time you need to use the toilet throughout the night, you need to ask permission using the microphone
  • Do your best kung-fu ninja move with sound effects
  • Fake laugh as loud as you can
  • Howl at the moon
  • pretend you are a calf and choose your mummy. You have to communicate that you are hungry without speaking
  • For the next hour, at the end of every sentence you must say “Yeah I’m good!!”

    Moonwalking backwards

    Kung-fu moves!

    One of the winners reading out her dare!

Photos: We had a rockin photobooth set up by my husband, where people could go in and hold the camera remote, take a photo themselves and see it appear on the laptop screen in front of them. It all ran by itself, complete with an instant hippie effect. Because it was digital, everyone could take as many photos as they liked….and there were HEAPS! After the party we put all the photos from the night from the PhotoBooth and the roaming photographer (hubby) on a CD and I will be giving it to all our guests to say thanks for making an effort to come along and celebrate my 30th.

The photobooth my husband made cause he is smart. You can see up on the wall in the background our 60's and 70's music clips.

Using the remote to take a piccie!

Cake: I left this to last as it was really incredible. I have written about it before on my blog which you can see here. My friend Jodi is a whizz at making birthday cakes and she is very creative so I asked her if she could make mine for me. I found a piccie on the net of a great rainbow cake that I loved and she made my cake even better than the picture. When it was time for the cake, it came out just plain with white icing. A bit boring. Then after singing happy birthday and cutting the cake it revealed layers of fluro goodness! There was a communal “oooohh” and “ahhhh” from my guests. The cake was too delicious as well, but as Jodi said, “not to be consumed if you have ADHD”, cause of all the food colouring. Ha ha!

Cutting the cake. Check out those bright colours baby!

Cake!