Monday, May 30, 2011

Bandits and Princes

I like fiddling around with a sketchbook and a pencil. I have sketchbooks filled with some pretty horrible drawings done two years ago and a few recent pictures that don't turn me red. Finally I have sort of mastered proportion. Anyway, Imogen decided that my pictures were good enough to post so I have. I have put up my two best pictures.
First is Princess Khaleilia. She is heir to the bandit throne. When her grandfather dies she will be the ruling queen. She leads the bandits on raids in the kingdom.
The other picture is of Prince Corin. He is Crown Prince of the kingdom that Khaleilia raids. In the picture he is dressed as a bandit though.

Corin didn't scan very well but Mum fixed him though. He was far too pale to begin with. Hopefully he is dark enough now to be seen properly. At least I've learnt to colour my pictures in darker.

Khaleilia went a lot better. She was darker to begin with but Mum and I still made her a bit darker on the computer.

What do you think of Corin and Khaleilia? They are my best pictures in the whole of my sketchbook.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Thing

As with my last two posts, this is another creative writing exercise continuing the adventures of Algernon Dragon. I hope you enjoy it.

Algernon Dragon hurried along the path towards his house. He buttoned his coat up to his chin and wrapped his scarf tighter around his neck. The light was fading. Cold crept in through any cracks it could find in Algernon’s coat. He shivered.

He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a torch. He pushed the button and a beam of light shot out. His house was not far away now. Algernon thought of the hot chocolate he would have when he got home. The thought made him hurry. If he was quick he could have a hot bath.

But the night had arrived. The light of the torch made the shadows darker and more menacing. Algernon gripped the torch tightly in his paw. He glanced around. The darkness seemed to be alive and moving. The wind whipped through the trees and whistled through the branches. He quickly looked back at his tiny puddle of light. The light flickered suddenly. It danced and jumped around. Algernon shook it violently. The beam of light settled down again. Algernon sighed with relief. But then the light deserted him, plunging Algernon into the dark.

Algernon looked around himself, his paws shaking. The shadows seemed to move and dance like monsters from the stories his mother used to tell him before bed. A small shadow crept from the trees and began to slink towards him. Algernon peered as hard as could, but he couldn’t see what it looked like properly. Was it a snake? Did it have huge teeth? Maybe it was poisonous. Was it icy cold? Did it have rock hard scales? Could the shadow be a dragon slaying monster? Algernon didn’t want to know.

He saw two glowing green lights shining in the middle of the shadow. Every dragon knows that dragon slaying monsters have glowing eyes. Were they hypnotic? Algernon looked away quickly. He’d be hypnotised if he watched them. But the Thing might sneak up on him. Algernon sneaked a look. If he didn’t look at the eyes he’d be safe.

But then Algernon saw a white flash just under the glowing eyes. Were they teeth? Were they poisonous fangs? Algernon couldn’t move. His sneakers seemed to be glued to the path. His muscles seemed frozen into place. The glowing eyes and the flashing teeth were so close he could smell a strange fishy smell. Did monsters eat fish? Algernon didn’t care. His legs finally unfroze and he pelted down the path.

His dragon sneakers slapped against the path, thumping in time to his racing heart. Algernon felt a cold sweat trickle down his snout. Something hit his leg. It was cold and hard. Was it the Thing’s teeth? Or maybe it was a claw. Algernon screamed.

Algernon’s furry hat slipped down covering his eyes. He screamed again. Had the Thing blinded him? Algernon felt his sneakers slip on the path. His legs flipped from underneath him and he flew towards the ground. Algernon’s nose crunched into the cold hard ground and he winced. For a few seconds he lay winded on the path. The Thing jumped into his mind. Where was it?

He pulled his nose out of the path and sat up. Algernon couldn’t see anything. He felt the warm tickly fur hat on his nose. Algernon sighed with relief. He wasn’t blind after all. He heard pattering footsteps. The Thing was coming. Algernon felt it rub against his leg. It wasn’t cold and it wasn’t scaly. It was warm and furry. The Thing climbed slowly into his lap. Algernon heard a noise like a little lawnmower. He grinned. The Thing certainly wasn’t a monster.

Algernon pulled his hat off. Sitting on his lap was his cat, The Kibble Eater. She rubbed her wet nose against his sore nose. He picked her up and stood up slowly. His knees hurt and his nose was swollen. But Algernon didn’t care. He was going home.

Algernon slipped his key into the lock and unlocked the door with a click. He pushed the heavy door open and turned on the hall light. Algernon dropped The Kibble Eater onto her favourite chair and headed for his bathroom. He turned the tap on and hot water splashed into the bath. He pulled a bar of soap out of the cupboard. The phone rang just as he was about to put the soap on the edge of the bath. The soap slipped out of his hand and onto the floor as he ran for the phone.

Aunt Bertha wanted to talk to her nephew. It had been her birthday a few days ago. She loved chocolate and Algernon had sent her a ginormous box. But Aunt Bertha wasn’t quite happy with her present. She might like chocolate but she didn’t like this particular flavour: Fishy kibble. Algernon groaned. That cat! She loved chocolate and had done a swap.

Aunt Bertha talked and talked and talked long into the night. Finally she decided that Algernon was innocent. She hung up the phone and left him to return to his bath. The water was cold and he bent over to pull the plug. He felt something slip underneath his foot. For the second time that night Algernon’s feet slipped out from underneath him. Soap!

The soap was added at the request of Imogen.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

One Bar is Too Much Soap

I wrote this short story as another creative writing exercise. I had to write about someone doing a job using active words. The first time I tried to write it I couldn't think of a single thing to write. After a good long sulky fit and a week of thinking time Mum gave me a topic. So thanks to Mum I actually finished my writing.

Algernon Dragon swung his long shiny dragon car into the supermarket car park. He spun the wheel and the dragon car slipped around the corner. Algernon squeezed his car into a parking space meant for normal cars. Most of it fitted. Only the boot and nose of the car poked out of the parking space. Algernon didn’t care.

Then Algernon padded over to the trolleys, He pulled out a trolley but shook his head. He didn’t want a trolley with a baby seat attached. Algernon shoved it back. He grabbed another trolley. This trolley looked right. Algernon grasped the handle and pushed it through the automatic doors.

He opened his shopping list and hunted for the first item. Peanut butter was first. But there were three kinds of peanut butter. Did Algernon want smooth, crunchy or super crunchy peanut butter? Algernon liked some crunchy peanut butter when he had toast. But he also liked smooth peanut butter in sandwiches and super crunchy peanut butter was also delicious. He thought a little more. Algernon didn’t want to leave one out. Algernon grabbed all three. They went thump into the trolley.

Next Algernon hunted for the cocoa pops. He liked them for breakfast with some milk. Algernon gaped at the cereal section. There were hundreds of breakfast cereals. There were wheat biscuits and muesli, cornflakes and rice bubbles. Finally Algernon spotted the cocoa pops. But next to them were cocoa flakes and cocoa balls. He rubbed his aching eyes. Shopping was harder then he had thought. He grabbed the normal cocoa pops. There was too much choice.

Tinned peaches were next on his shopping list. He looked through the piles of cans. There were kidney beans, apricots, pie fillings and tomatoes but Algernon couldn’t see the peaches. He padded a little further. They weren’t there. That section was stuffed with cosmetics. He thumped his tail in frustration. Algernon stomped back. He peered under the tomatoes and looked behind the pie fillings. Algernon sighed. He would have to go without the peaches. Algernon searched through the trays one last time. He lifted the tray of apricots. There the peaches lay exposed. He grasped a tin and tossed it in the trolley.

He looked at his list again. Algernon headed off to find the cleaners. He needed some washing up liquid. He chucked a bottle in. He thought about it. Did he usually get this brand? Or was it that one? Algernon put the washing up liquid back. He reached for the other one. But then he paused. He did get that one, didn’t he? Or was it the other one. Algernon groaned. He took both of them.

Algernon hunted for soap next. He found soap in six packs, single bars and huge boxes. He thought quickly. If he got a lot of soap he might have to wash behind his ears more than once a month. Algernon threw a single bar of soap in to join the rest of his shopping.

His cat ate so much kibble that Algernon needed to get a huge bag of cat food. He heaved a massive bag of fishy smelling cat food into the trolley then changed his mind. He put it on the floor and took out the cocoa pops. Algernon heaved the kibble back into the trolley and placed the cocoa pops carefully on top.

Algernon gazed with love at the fruit and nut. He’d run out of fruit and nut three days ago and hadn’t been able to eat it with his yoghurt. He grabbed two bags. Algernon turned to leave but paused. Would two bags last long enough? Algernon tossed in another bag.

He raced for the ice cream. Chocolate ice cream was his absolute favourite dessert. Algernon slid the freezer lid back. He reached in for the ice cream. Algernon flinched as his paws touched the icy tub. They went numb suddenly and Algernon dropped the ice cream back in the freezer. He rubbed his cold paws together to get some warmth into them. He blew gently on them. His fiery breath made them glow. Algernon grabbed the ice cream quickly and almost threw it into his trolley.

Algernon lifted the trolley up and dumped its contents on the conveyor belt. The cocoa pops fell on the floor. He bent over to pick it up and knocked the soap flying. Algernon dived to catch the soap and landed on his snout. Algernon winced. He scowled at the soap and dropped it on the conveyor belt.

With his paid-for-shopping in bags Algernon went back to his car. Three other cars were waiting for him to move it. The drivers shouted at Algernon. He just smiled and waved a scaly paw at them. Algernon opened his dragon car’s boot. He dumped the kibble in first. It landed with a thump. Algernon placed the chocolate ice cream with extreme care beside it. Algernon didn’t want to freeze his fingers again. Putting the shopping in his car was taking a long time. Algernon picked the trolley up and tipped all his shopping in the boot at once. The soap dropped on the ground. Algernon glared at it. He thumped the boot lid down.

Algernon slid behind the wheel of his dragon car and heaved a sigh of relief. He didn’t like shopping. Algernon turned the key and the powerful motor roared into life. Algernon pushed the accelerator with his back paw. He drove away in a cloud of dust leaving the soap lying in the middle of the car park.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Crafty Magic

Years ago Mum, Felicity, Duncan and Callum did creative writing lessons. Recently Mum found the book again and asked Imogen and I if we'd like to do creative writing too. As Imogen and I love writing we loved the idea. On Friday we did the first exercise. My piece of writing turned out so good that I decided to make it into a post.

I love my craft books, stuffed with projects begging to be made, my bags and boxes filled to bursting with cottons and fleeces, corduroys and jerseys, soft and colourful, my thick bright embroidery cotton and my reels of matching l threads waiting to decorate and join together the perfect project.

I love to snip and snap with my sharp sewing scissors, pin and sew, to see the project grow under my fingers and to watch my magical needle dive and surface, dive and surface, joining my fabric, covered with flowers or spots, with threads of crafty magic. I adore watching it change from a pile of fabric and a reel of matching thread to a toy, a doll or a tiny dress.

I love my sewing machine, heavy and white always ready to help me finish a larger project. I love to press my foot on the peddle and to see the fabric joining under my guidance, to hear the machine whirring and the needle stabbing through the fabric and to cut the last thread and to turn my creation right side out and see the perfectly sewn end product.

I love to emerge from creating with my finished project and to display my handiwork or to wrap it in patterned paper as a gift for someone’s birthday. I love to see it making a space look beautiful or to see someone made happy by my homemade gift.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Many First Holy Communions

When I was six and a half years old I had my First Holy Communion in a tiny log chapel in the bush. We were at Fitzroy Falls Conference centre for the homeschooling camp. There were two of us girls having our First Holy Communion that camp, my friend Lucy and I.

Mum's First Holy Communion

I can't remember when I got my dress but I know it wasn't new. I had worn it before but for that very special occasion it was dressed up. Felicity sewed pretty pink roses on the waist and neckline of my lacy dress. My veil was very old. Imogen and possibly Felicity had worn it for their First Holy Communions.

Duncan's and Felicity's First Holy Communion

I was really small then. I was so short that my feet didn't touch the ground from where I sat on the log pew. Lucy was quite a lot taller and could rest her feet on the ground. She looked like a cloud in a puffy dress that nearly reached the floor. Her veil kept slipping and she had to push it back onto her head to stop it from falling on the floor.

Callum's First Holy Communion

Dad baked us a Communion cake. It was huge, big enough to feed over a hundred people. The icing was cream with fondant icing pictures of a chalise, the Eucharist and a cross. Actually the cake was three cakes stuck together with icing.

Imogen's First Holy Communion

So many children surrounded Lucy and I when the cake was brought out that there was a solid wall of bodies. They were attracted to the cake like metal to a magnet. It was a good thing the cake was so big as everyone wanted a piece.

My First Holy Communion

It all happened so long ago but I can remember some parts perfectly. I suppose I remember it so clearly because it was such a special day for me. I wonder if Lucy remembers it like I do.

Sophie's First Holy Communion
Mum suggested that I find a photo of all of us on our First Holy Communion day. It took a bit of looking through boxes of old photos and flipping through albums to find some of the older photos but I even have a photo of Mum on her First Holy Communion Day. She had her First Holy Communion when she was an adult unlike all the rest of us. We were all about seven years old.

Gemma-Rose's First Holy Communion

Imogen and Callum received First Holy Communion at camp like I did. But then we stopped going to camp so Sophie and Gemma-Rose didn't. They received First Holy Communion at our parish. We did have cake still though.