Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Wrist cuff giveaway and more

Jackie Cardy who blogs as dogdaisychains makes the most wonderful velvet and tweed wrist cuffs and brooches. She is asking for us all to help her with a market survey and will give away one of her beautiful wrist cuffs to someone. She needs at least 100 people to respond - you only have to measure your wrist - to make the survey viable so please click here to take part - and ask all your friends also. Then hope you will be the lucky winner!

I am having a quiet afternoon and evening as today has been another eye injection day. thankfully I don't seem to have much in the way of after effects at present, just the usual black bubble which should be gone by tomorrow morning. I am skipping next month though, I'm not running the risk of something going wrong just before Christmas!

I have been busy taking photos at the Gardens again. We are having a breakup for the Friends on Saturday night and will have a competition on a PowerPoint of recognising pictures of flowers or shrubs within the Gardens. While I was taking those I saw the magpie geese were on the lagoon. They are very large birds and look quite spectacular when they are flying in formation. There are also a few royal spoonbills there. For some reason we never seem to have the spoonbills with the yellow bills here.

These waterlilies are looking l ovely too. I love the little white ones which I hope you can see if this picture will enlarge. they are such tiny flowers and their lilypads are almost the same size as those of the blue ones.
This is taken inside the fernery, where we have a wonderful collection of bromeliads. I am starting to gather quite a collection of them in my own garden, they take almost no looking after, seem to be droughtproof, and only need the soil to hold them upright. I have a garden bed which has been invaded by the surface roots of a beautiful flowering Euodia ( I will post pictures when it flowers in January). I don't want to take out the tree, so we will use a mattock (small) to hack holes in the bed deep enough to anchor each of the broms. Then all they need is a bit of fertiliser a couple of times a year and the occasional hosing!
I looked at this variety of Bromeliad at the local market last weekend, but jibbed at the price they were asking - probably worth it, but I felt I would make do with a less exotic plant!

This is another lovely specimen also. We are very lucky at the Gardens as the local Bromeliad club come in several times a year and move plants around and generally look after them for the Gardens.

Hopefully tomorrow I will really get back to working on the pages for the tower book. I want to start on some more covers also, I received some Translucent liquid sculpey from Dale a few days ago and haven't had time to play with it yet.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

More ATCs and Maggie's class

Two more lovely ATCs have arrived at my place from the embellisher swap our group who recently finished Dale's course carried out. The one above is from Barb and has been done on foiled felt.
The gorgeous blue one has been made by Chris who does not have a blog site as far as I know. She used painted lutradur zapped and embellished to felt as the base. I really like them both.

Here are some photos I have taken of what I have been doing for the online free class if you have bought Maggie's latest book. Can't tell you what I have really done - you need to buy the book for that.

Sorry about the funny bit at the top of this photo, I couldn't find a suitable background to take the photo in front of. If I ever learn how to use the new Paint Shop Pro software Bill has just bought I could take that unwanted background away with no trouble! I have been studying the instruction book, I think it is written in English, but I am beginning to wonder, there is not too much that makes sense to me at present. I am sure the IT people who write these manuals only write them for others who already know what they are doing and therefore understand the text!!!

Anyway this is the book standing up, and the picture below is of the inside. Now I just have to make some pages - yet another challenge. As I told the group, I have been strictly a textiles person till now, all this mixed media stuff is very challenging - but lots of fun.

I want to make a book next year for when our son Stuart and his partner Natalie are being married, so I need to practise all the techniques I want to use, and this time I will really have to work on some designing first, and lots of samples. At least, that is my resolution at the moment. Most of my projects seem to happen serendipitously I am afraid. I do admire all of you who design and make sample after sample, I am far too impatient.
Now I had better go and make some more souvenirs before I go back to playing again.......till next time.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Botanic Gardens walk

Jack (my blue heeler dog) and I went walking in the Botanic Gardens late yesterday afternoon, where I spent some time trying to get a good photo of the Jabiru (black necked stork) and the pelicans and other birds feeding on the other side of the lagoon. I was not helped by the fact that someone (quite illegally) had let his dog off its lead not too far away from the birds, but thankfully he disappeared after a while. We frequently have the pelicans, moorhens and ducks and ibis, but the Jabiru has beome a very infrequent visitor. I love watching them, especially when they fly, as they have a big v shaped white patch under each wing. They look so aloof stalking their prey in the shallows.
This lovely flowering shrub is a desert rose, and I am sorry but I can't remember its proper name. I know I have another photo somewhere with the proper name on it, but I think I have about a thousand images stored now of flowers in the Gardens and I have not catalogued them properly - never enough time - (and always lots of much more interesting things which of course need doing right this instant).

These two kookaburras make their home in one of the wharf logs which are in the shade garden. they have had a couple of successful breedings but I don't think they have tried this summer yet.

I love these cycads, especially now they are all getting their new shoots. One (not pictured) is over 700 years old. it was donated to the Gardens when some graziers were clearing country on their cattle property south of Mackay. This is much better than just destroying it. I love asking school groups how old they think it is, some of the answers are so funny, and range from 10 years to a million!

On my way home I had to take a photo of these gorgeous orchids growing in my next door neighbour's garden. I have no idea what their name is, I only know they came from rainforest in far north Queensland.
I think I had better go and rescue stuff from my workroom, Bill is being very rude about not being able to see a flat surface in there at all! Mind you, I think he was just hoping to find one in there to do some work of his own, there is absolutely no flat surface available in the office - and that is not my fault (or not much anyway).
Hopefully there will be some samples of Maggie's course to show soon.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Of souvenirs and moths

I really want to get stuck into the online course for Maggie's book, but I need to keep sewing souvenirs to sell at the Botanic Gardens - they keep running out!! These are just some of the Christmas decorations I have been doing, and some of the bookmarks, which are always very popular. Glasses cases and the fairy shoes disappear as fast as I get them there also. Nice to know my work is wanted, but I can't keep up!
While I was doing my roster in the visitors centre at the Gardens today we were visited by this gorgeous moth. We thought it was a butterfly at first, but some research showed it is Alcides metauris a very large daytime flying moth. Its wingspan would have been about 3.5 inches.

The colours on its wings are really a lot more colourful than the photo shows, but they didn't show up inside the building.

Then we waw another one flying around just outside - one of their foodsource vines grows nearby. This picture shows the underside, just as spectacular and quite different from the topside.

This is taken showing the top side of the moth on the tree. It was hard to get a proper focus as the very bright daylight was just behind it all the time. We had attracted several other photographers by this time, so there was quite a battery of cameras snapping away.
There is a photographic competition running at the Gardens for a photo to be selected for a postcard, so it will be interesting to see if our moth turns up on any of them. They are a tropical breed and I think this is about as far south as you can expect to see them.
We have at last had a little bit of rain so my catalogues being killed in the garden beds here have been watered from the sky above, rather than depending on the hose! they are in various stages of disintegration and looking pretty disgusting by now.........ah well, no doubt we will find out more before they disappear completely.
Should have some photos to show tomorrow or the next day of what I have been doing, then back to more fairy shoes.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Apologies and some ATCs

First up I really want to apologise to Maggi to whom I gave an award in my last blog. If you clicked on the link for Gini you would have arrived at Maggi's blog. Sorry for my poor computer skills. I tried unsuccessfully to edit the post, then gave up in disgust and decided the best thing is just to start a new post!

This lovely ATC below is alnother one in the embellisher course swap and is from Sylvia who does not have a blog. I love all the subtle shading she has done.

This next one is quite different, from Marianne in Western Australia, she does not have a blog either. Marianne thought it was not very inspiring, but I love it.
Marianne placed her ATC inside this lovely card which is also made by her. It is a print from an original drawing of the Karri forest at Boranup in SW Western Australia.

Today is Melbourne Cup day in Australia, the race which stops a nation, but it doesn't stop too much in this household. I don't bother with Melbourne Cup luncheons these days, prefer to have prawns and a glass of wine at home where we can watch the race on our own TV, and also hear it! I have never been able to hear above the chatter when I have been at a large lunch!
Not anything to show you of mine today. I am experimenting with bits of Maggie's new book, and am also thinking about what to do with the cataloguekiller online lessons - they are very exciting. More later.