2nd Annual Challenge of Travel Blog Hop

DSCN4354I had no idea what a blog hop was when I signed up for Erin Prais-Hintz’s 2nd Annual Challenge of Travel. (Read about what I blame her for here!) Fortunately she gives you all the information you need.  To date my limited involvement with challenges have been somewhat guilt inducing.  My FlickR 12 Polymer Projects in 2013 is flickering (but not extinguished) with the exhibition, lots of Samunnat stuff and just life in general (next year Elvira I promise I will be better organised!)  I was attracted by Erin’s first Travel Challenge but was in Nepal DSCN4343and preoccupied at the time.  I loved the Nepal inspired necklace she produced for it and determined to participate when I could.

Our challenge was to create a piece inspired by home and for me right now home is Broken Hill-a remote, hot, dusty mining town that they call the gateway to the Outback. It is the BH in the massive mining conglomerate BHP.  This was a timely challenge to respond to my adopted home, to try to convey something of the arid beauty and vastness that I find very special.  I envisioned an intricately caned piece, inspired by some of Carol Simmons beads pictured here andTidepool featured in PCD many years ago.  As often happens though, life suggested other priorities and I had to change the game plan to maintain equanimity.  Erin told me to have fun and I knew I would have more fun by having realistic expectations of what could be achieved.

DSCN4345During the month of the Challenge, the weather warmed and the wonderful desert wildflowers began to bloom…amongst the grey greens of the saltbush we saw vibrant purple solanum flowers with their crown like yellow centres, a steadily growing carpet of white and mauve brachycombs, blood red patches of the flamboyant yet elusive Sturt Desert Pea, yellow blooms I don’t know the name of and unbelievably delicate and beautiful wild magenta violets.  Some mornings I run out on a road to our Living Desert and see only no other people or houses but groups of kangaroos and the occasional emu.  The kangaroos look magnificent as they bound along, inspiring the weary runner. The arrival of two boisterous dogs in our lives meant walks inExif_JPEG_PICTURE the scrubby bush (or bushy scrub) became commonplace.  An early Spring unfolded. It’s not a soft Spring in the outback.  There is still a harshness…the big blue sky, red sandy tracks, bleached skeletons of animals that DSCN4402didn’t survive the conditions; rusting sheets of corrugated iron, stones of so many hues, some flecked with mica, glistening.  I wanted to somehow get the essence of that in the necklace I made.

So, here it is.  Complete with rusted metal, solanum blooms, gum leaves, bleached faux twigs and stones all made from polymer; real bones; a beautiful ammonite fossil to convey the agedness of my continent; and some goat poo (that’s polymer!) in a rueful acknowledgement of the introduced species that are causing havoc to wildlife.  My mum wore this necklace to the opening of the exhibition I have been relentlessly banging on about and she lovedDSCN4409 it which was good enough for me!

Erin, thanks for this wonderful challenge. I am really looking forward to seeing the responses of all the other participants to their homes.  Hello to you all from here!

43 thoughts on “2nd Annual Challenge of Travel Blog Hop

  1. Beth

    Wow – I love your description of the outback – the flowers and the animals are amazing! What a great place to live! Your necklace is stunning! I think you captured your staycation perfectly!

    Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      I don’t take for granted the fact that we live here Beth. It really is amazing. Thanks so much for your comments about the necklace!

      Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      Lee, thank you so much! Mum’s are biased though. Part of the job description? I do love the rawness around here. It’s been so much fun reading about everyone else’s homes too. Thanks for calling by!

      Reply
  2. Jo

    Amazing! Yep, this totally reminds me of the Outback, although my experience of it is limited to Western Australia. But the colours (that orange – so Australia!) are definitely ubiquitous throughout the continent. Great work 🙂

    Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      Ubiquitous is the word! I have grown to love the colour if not the dust! The wildflowers in WA are even more amazing I think! Thanks for the comment Jo. I am glad it evokes the outback-a very inspiring place.

      Reply
  3. Alice

    Gorgeous photos! I enjoyed reading about the Outback. What a wonderful place to explore. And your necklace is just beautiful with your beautiful polymer beads and other interesting beads.

    Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      Thanks so much Alice. Hasn’t this been a fascinating blog hop…seeing how everyone’s home is expressed in their art?

      Reply
  4. Lisa Cone

    Goat poo inclusion! I love it. Your piece is beautiful, unique and perfect. Love it! Thanks for the great pics also, I doubt I will ever get to actually visit your town, but I love the voyeuristic travel adventure.

    Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      Voyeuristic travel adventure! Wonderful! Sadly the goats are totally overrunning some parts of Australia like other introduced species like rabbits and the vile cane toad. They destroy the habitat of native animals and have become so hard to control. End of lecture! Thanks for your lovely comments and here’s to more blog hops!

      Reply
  5. Andrea Ross

    How very different from my post about a river and large trees with waterfowl. But all about the nature we find around us. Thanks for the pictures to see how your necklace came about.

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  6. Caron

    Oh Wendy – love, love, love your post and your necklace design. When I visited Broken Hill the flowers were not abundant however the roos were! There is something unique about the bush flower. You painted a wonderful picture of the outback with your words and your necklace captures the spirit of the heart of the nation.

    Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      Thanks so much Caron!! It is an amazing sense of place it here isn’t it! Am just a bit in awe of you bead weavers! Very clever. Give a hoy if you are passing by again!

      Reply
  7. Sandra

    Thank you for giving us the tour, and your necklace is such a perfect representation of what you showed us. I can’t believe it’s made all of polymer clay (something I need to pick up again and play with), and the inclusion of goat poo made me laugh!

    Reply
  8. Deb Hunt

    A beautiful piece Wendy. I loved it when I saw your mum wearing it to the opening of your exhibition and I love it all the more now I know the story behind it!

    Reply
  9. wendy Post author

    Thanks for commenting Deb and Cath, so so lovely to have you both there the other night. Made it very special!

    Reply
  10. maneki

    From Washington DC to rural England to Paris to the aussie outback — this challenge sure throws you from one end of the world to the other (all while sitting, in my case, in front of a computer in the scandinavian countryside)!

    Your necklace is lovely, it really create a feeling of the rough harshness of the dry, orange soil outback combined with the beauty of spring flowers. Would say delicate, but can desert flowers ever really be that? Little, but tough is probably a better description.

    (On a sidenote, I can’t hear Broken Hill without thinking of The Flying Doctors. Used to watch that show as a kid and they always talked about that place.)

    Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      It’s been fun hasn’t it Maneki!? I love the story part of making art?when we lived in. Nepal we met some Dutch people and some Finns and were really surprised to hear how popular the Flying Doctors series was! That and Skippy! Now, here we are with a Fying Doctor in the family and Skippy ( well, relatives) down the road! Thanks for visiting the blog. Cheers from here, Wendy

      Reply
  11. Erin Prais-Hintz

    Miss Wendy! I am so honored that you chose to participate in this hop with me! I am glad that you enjoyed yourself. Your journey through the rugged beauty of the outback is so palpable, so vivid. I have long wanted to visit Australia. Your descriptions make me want to rush out and get that ticket (and the passport too!).You have a gift of words! I love the image of the kangaroos bounding along as you jog by. That would be amazing! All I might see is a bushy tailed squirrel or a little chipmunk! If you liked this Challenge, keep an eye out for the 4th Annual Challenge of Color in November. Thanks for joining me on the staycation journey! Enjoy the day! Erin

    Reply
    1. Wendy Moore

      Erin what a wonderful Challenge this was! I have learnt so much and had fun reading about how place impacts on inspiration and creativity. And on our sense of ourselves. Bushy squirrels can be fun! I think that’s one of the things about this Challenge…one woman’s ordinary was another’s extraordinary! ( I wish I could remember quotes better!) I will be in colourful Nepal when the next Challenge is on but am thinking maybe the Samunnat ladies and I could have a joint go if we are not too crazy busy! That’s a big IF! It will be wonderful though and this will definitely not be my last EPH Challenge!

      Reply
  12. Sabine Spiesser

    Hi Wendy,

    Your necklace takes me right into the outback. I love a piece that tells a story. We have been privileged to have been in the outback during and after massive storms. The colours are so amazingly saturated and all the elements ring so true. Well done!

    Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      Those storms are incredible aren’t that Sabine. And your word saturated is so so spot on. How could we ever capture the intensity of our great big sky? You’d give it a good shot! Queen of colours. Hugs, Wendy

      Reply
  13. Wendy Koll

    I love your piece, especially the polymer rusted metal. I’ve enjoyed seeing the world thru so many eyes. Thanks for sharing your passion, traveling with you is delightful!

    Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      Oh you gorgeous thing Wyoming Wendy! We have done some special travelling together haven’t we?! I knew you’d like the rust. And the poo? And I am coming over all paisley again thanks to you! Hugs from here, the other one.

      Reply
  14. Marlene C

    Thank you so much for a glimpse of a part of the world so many of us wish to see, but few will. It’s beauty is inspiring for sure, and the piece you created captures it perfectly.

    Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      Marlene thank you for visiting. I do feel really lucky to be able to experience this part of the world. It was never planned but there you go! Hops/ challenges are a great way to get more of those glimpses aren’t they? Cheers from here, Wendy

      Reply
  15. Dawn Doucette

    Wendy, I LOVE your necklace. Your talent with clay is amazing! Love the purple flowers and your sense of humor in adding goat poo. LOL I laugh as I type that. Great to connect with you through Erin’s Hop! Here’s to hoping we hop again together soon!
    {Hugs!}

    Reply
    1. wendy Post author

      Thanks Dawn. It was a great thing to do and I certainly hope to hop again! I loved reading the stories as much as anything! Polymer is such forgiving stuff which is why I love working with it. Not limited to accurately recreating goat poo alone! But we won’t go there. Hugs, Wendy

      Reply
  16. Indigo Kate

    Only you, Wendy Moore, could combine rust and goat poo and create something incredible. Love your ‘up-for-anything-ness’ and sense of wonder about your part of the world. Thanks for sharing it, and everything else, with me x

    Reply
  17. Inge von Roos

    I finally got my post up a couple of weeks late and am enjoying hopping. I love the desert! Australia is high on my list of places I want to visit. Your necklace reminds me of spring very much.

    Reply

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