ramblingtart » sharing stories and art with the world from Australia

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A Black and White World

It’s a deliciously quiet and peaceful morning. I’ve got my first cup of coffee and can hear Bear rattling around in the kitchen as he whips up his favorite toasted egg bread rolls for our breakfast. The weather has warmed a smidgen this week and it’s lovely to only need a couple layers to keep warm instead of waddling around like a flannel-wrapped pillow. I’m taking a break from my wood-burning marathon to luxuriate in stillness and treat myself to a few moments of writing and reading.

I’ve been living in a black and white world these past few weeks as I delve into archives, old photos, and writings from the 1800’s while I prepare my first draft of the Australian history book I’m writing: “Freestone: A Mostly True History”. I get such a thrill when I find a great story to fill in a blank section of the timeline, pulling together loose strands of memory with hazy recollections to form a cohesive narrative. I especially like leafing through the old photographs, drawn by the occasional cheeky grin that slips through the stern facades old time photographers liked their subjects to assume.

There are sad stories and hilarious ones, tragic characters and those so inspiring I wish I could sit down with them for a long chat to learn everything I can. I’ve been amazed at how human beings do not change. The stories from this small Australian community in the 1800’s could be stories from any town around the globe at any time in history. Only the props are different.

There are loving parents and abusive ones, honorable folks and those who at best could be dubbed rascals. There are clever children and ornery neighbors, racists and humanitarians, hard workers and lazy bums. The community was both united and divided by religion, politics, and race. Some were able to bridge the gaps, others never even tried.

Freestone has had its fair share of scandalous liaisons, tragedies, and family feuds – wherever human beings gather, drama swiftly follows –  but as interesting as these stories are, the ones I like best are those that light up of the faces of the people I’ve interviewed. The ones that elicit smiles and chuckles. I love seeing them shake with laughter as they recall the antics of characters so quirky and vivid that their memory lives on decades after they’ve died.

The deadline for my first draft is 3 August, so the next couple of weeks will find me sequestered in my new office that Bear helped me make (thanks, babe!), writing my little heart out.

In the spirit of “a black and white world”, here are a few shots from my life.

This is me and my friend Ann on our medieval camping trip last weekend. We always get up before dawn and huddle around the fire Bear builds, brewing strong Earl Grey tea, chatting, and staring quietly into the dancing flames and shimmering sparks. It’s a truly wonderful way to start a day.

This is me in our woods, overjoyed to have warm sunshine on my face after equally glorious rain.

And a few more wood-burning designs I’ll be showcasing and demonstrating at the Allora Winter Festival tomorrow.

What are some of your favorite moments from your week? xo

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thefisherlady - the water droplets on the web are outrageous as is the one of you laughing freely into the sun
For me this week… trimming 56 goat feet and knowing they are beeeautiful~

Fear, Vegetables, and A Bit of Coccooning » Rambling Tart - […] These days my body may be present, but my mind is most often found dreaming amongst old black and white photographs, my eyes squinting over the tiny print of weathered newspapers from the 1800′s, my fingers galloping over computer keys as I transcribe story after story in preparation for the first draft of my history book. […]

Margaret | DestinationHere&Now - Beautiful shots of you and your friend

Krista - Oh darlin’ @disqus_o9c9vkchcC:disqus I’m so sorry you’ve been sick! I hope this week is much better, especially after a fabulous time with your bestie. 🙂 XO

Krista - I will love to see your black and whites when you figure out how to do them in a way that you love, @kimlivlife:disqus 🙂 Thank you for your kind comments on my work. I love doing it. 🙂

Krista - It sure is, @MyCustardPie:disqus So many fascinating people and stories. 🙂

Krista - It really is, @joanneeatswellwithothers:disqus 🙂 I love learning all these stories. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad you like them, @adribarrcrocetti:disqus 🙂 Thank you for the good wishes!

Krista - You know me too well, @disqus_v9uRgGTGfe:disqus 🙂 I promise I’m doing much, much better at pacing myself so I don’t crumple. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much, @liz_posmyk:disqus I’m glad you feel the charm of old photos too. 🙂

Anna Johnston - Oh Miss Krista, you truly are a beauty, your smiles are contagious. Fave moments this week… having my beautiful toasty warm bed and my microwave pillow, haven’t been feeling the best. Driving in the country with my bestie Tonto was pretty darn great too. 🙂

MyCustardPie - What an interesting project. Love the rest of your black and white pics too.

Kim - Liv Life - I love the black and white!! But I have to admit, I struggle with it in my own photography… I’m usually not satisfied without color, but I’m working on it as I very much appreciate the b and w work of others. I love your wood burning too! My husband used to do that when he was younger, but I don’t think my kids have even seen a wood burning set before. Beautiful work!

Joanne (eats well with others) - Immersing yourself in all those photos and stories sounds like so much fun!

Adri Barr Crocetti - What wonderful photos, and best of luck with your project. It sounds fascinating.

Maureen Shaw - What a fun project AND doing the woodburning. Don’t wear yourself out!

Liz Posmyk - Old photographs are so charming and I love your black and whites here. Happy deadline : )

Krista - Thank you so much, @GourmetGetaway:disqus 🙂 XO

Krista - Thanks, @turkeysforlife:disqus 🙂 I’m finding amazing stories – alas, I can’t use all of them if I don’t want to be lynched by an angry mob. 😉

Gourmet Getaways - Stunning designs for the festival! You are so blessed!

Julie

Gourmet Getaways

Turkey's For Life - Great photos. I love black and white. You must be finding out all sorts of different stories from doing your book research. Good luck with the first draft. 🙂
Julia

Krista - Thanks so much, @wanderingsheila:disqus 🙂 Your summer weather sounds absolutely exquisite! It is wicked cold here at the moment with fierce winds. Ayiyi. Will be glad when things warm up again. 🙂

Krista - So do I, @tandysinclair:disqus 🙂

Cathy - I love the old photo Krista. Good luck with meeting your deadline. The photo of you is fabulous, you look so happy 🙂 I’ve enjoyed the warm weather and sun shining this week 🙂

Tandy Sinclair - I love old photographs and seeing what our village was like at the beginning 🙂

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