Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Inspiration Meme

Weaver has suggested we all make a list of what inspires us today - so here goes - in a very haphazard way!

My mother, who always had time for us and also for the rest of the community. She was still an active member of the Red Cross until she was 90, by which time she was in a nursing home and could no longer walk or see very well. I hope I can be as well thought of by my community.

Lyndal Swan, who was my English and geography teacher in my subjunior year (grade 9 today I think). She inspired my love of Shakespeare, making his poetry come completely alive, so different from my husband's experience. he hated Shakespeare till we were fortunate to go to a couple of plays at Stratford-on-Avon, when he then agreed with me. When we had geography lessons Miss Swan simply closed the book and talked to us, she had visited many of the places we were learning about and over fifty years later I can still remember lots of what she said - much more than I remember about boring maths.

Jean Kent was an inspiration and very persuasive TAFE teacher who really started me on the whole textile experience. She persuaded me I could try to fit in a part time Certificate and Apparel Making course, which also contained a segment on applique and free machine embroidery - I never looked back, so I am so grateful for that.

Gabriella Verstraaten, with whom I was lucky enough to do a couple of workshops, creating bags and other wondrous things. She was so much fun and made everything seem so easy and persuaded us all that we were very creative.

Dale Rollerson, who has stretched me much more over the last ten or twelve years. I signed up for Playways and had no idea of the wonderful divergent directions it would lead me into.

Maggie Grey - I think I have all her books and I love going back to read them over and over and find new things to try. She publishes Workshop on the Web which I also find very inspirational.

Lynda Monk and Carol McPhee who have made me look at colour and texture in a whole new way.

All my blogging friends from whom I learn so much as they are kind enough to publish tutorials on their blogs

And of course my husband, Bill, who always encourages and admires the work I am creating.

This is probably a bit long winded and I know there are so many other sources of inspiration which I have not listed. I shall look forward to reading everyone else's lists tomorrow.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Oh, how I procrastinate!

This is what I did today instead of photocopying records for the accountant! Much more interesting, but..............

My eye is behaving very well, and I am amazed at how much I can see, not sure now that I need to hurry in to get new specs - that will save some money!

I have posted a series of photos as I have often had queries as to how I have made things - I usually think I am just following what all you other clever people are doing, but in any case this box started with a piece of paper fabric I made months ago (a la Beryl Taylor) with some paper napkin torn up - I suspect as part of Ratty Tatty Papers. I fused some vliesofix (unpainted this time) over the top, then laid out some of muy thread scraps - I don't think I ever need to buy any more threads, my drawers will no longer close properly I have so many. That is unlikely to stop me from purchasing the next gorgeous thread I see though.

I fused an aqua chiffon scarf over the top of this lot and cut out the pattern. I had imagined having a slightly golden look about some of it, but somehow my pieces always seem to develop a colour of their own, quite different from what I initially envisage.

Next I did some embroidery over the lot

and here it is all folded up. these are so quick and easy to do and all my friends love them.
Now we are going to have dinner with our grandkids so I can continue to procrastinate at least till tomorrow.

Friday, 24 July 2009

How glary is the room

I can see again!!! had the cataract surgery yesterday and the patch came off my eye this morning. I can't believe how bright everything looks, I almost feel I need sunglasses inside the house. Just wonderful.

Weaver has posted a photo of her parents taken a long time ago and asked if anyone else had a favourite old photo of their parents. This photo of my mother in her wedding dress is one I love. She and my father were married on 10th October 1935 in Goondiwindi, a country town in southern Queensland. Because there were no professional photographers in town, there are no photos of the actual day. The custom was for the bride to take her wedding finery away with her on her honeymoon, then get dressed up in it again in Brisbane for a professional photo. Dad would not take his tails with him, hence he was not in the photo! The huge bouquet was a prop at the photographer's. I have a long description of the weddding party which was published in the local paper, so we just imagine what everyone else looked like. How times have changed, now we can send photos all round the world in a few minutes.

Now I am off to spend the day photocopying documents for the accountant - boring, boring, boring. I am not confident about sewing today and I am not allowed to do anything active, so I might as well get the necessary but unpleasant jobs out of the way - or partly out of the way - I will probably decide I need a bread to sit and read a book half way through!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Where were you.......continued

I have mixed up my days, so I am a day ahead of myself, how could i lose a day and think it is Tuesday already!!

Where were you?

Where were you on this day 40 years ago? We were so excited to think we would see man walking on the moon. Mackay did not have a TV transmitter so the only people in town with television sets had to have 20 foot high aerials to pick up a signal from Rockhampton, nearly 400 km south of here - and mostly had a grainy black and white picture anyway. I visited a friend and waited and waited for the astronauts to wake up, then we had to peer at the screen to see shadowy figures! Still very exciting, but I remember the high school students being bored and saying it was just like the science fiction movies they had been watching for ages! I wonder if they are still saying it was boring, I bet they are much more likely to be saying "I remember......"

We have been having very strange weather for the last week or so - very summery temps last Tuesday, 17 - 27 degrees and high humidity, then by Friday down to 2.8 degrees. We are in the tropics, definitely not supposed to get that sort of temperature, I was colder than the whole time I was away! Thank goodness we are back to normal again now, with minimums of about 10 degrees and max about 21 - much more comfortable.
This calliandra is covered in lovely red pompoms for most ofthe winter and the honeyeaters just love it. There are always half a dozen or so feeding and singing in the branches. The bush is quite old and is getting pretty straggly, but I love having the birds so it is staying

We had a guided walk for Garden Friends last Saturday and Hamish was getting thoroughly bored so I took him out onto the boardwalk where he had lots of fun getting down to move the weeds around - his mother would have been horrified but she didn't see, and I mostly had hold of him so he couldn't fall in anyway!

Unfortunately we have lots of these weeds and the biological controls are not working very well so far. The reddish weed you can see in the photo is salvinia, with a few bits of lettuce weed. There is also a lot of water hyacinth in other patches. There are weevils supposed to control each of them, but so far the only one doing its job is the one to control the lettuce weed. The Gardens section of the lagoon was completely cleared eighteen months ago, but then in the flood early last year great rafts of weed washed down from further upstream - from where the owners had said there was no weed! I think there are plans to bring back the weed harvester, but that is a very expensive exercise so will await the budget deliberations.
Gorgeous sunny day here today so I am off outside to check on the seedlings I planted out yesterday.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Jack and Hamish

Hamish came to visit this morning and wanted to throw the ball for Jack, who was feeling quite good at the time. Hamish loves trying (without notable success ) to make Jack sit before he kicks the ball for Jack to chase. There is sometimes quite a shouting match!

Then he had to get down close to study the ball in Jack's mouth. Jack is still enjoying life, but would not eat his breakfast today and the swelling under his chin was much larger - oh well - a day at a time.

I have spent (wasted) hours looking for the image of this waterway which I took a couple of years ago when it looked like a wasteland. I know I have it somewhere...........too well hidden. Today the waterway looks wonderfully lush and will be even better in a few months time when the spring growth takes off. This is really a storm drain for the surrounding suburban area and has been very cleverly disguised to be a feature of this section of the Gardens.
I seem to be taking ages to get into gear properly again after having been away! Spent a lot of time supporting the medical profession last week, but I am now booked in for my cataract surgery next week, then a wait of another few weeks before the best bit - new glasses!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

More holiday photos

I have taken so long to come back with another blog, blogger wasn't going to let me in! I had to shut down the computer and restart to see the sign in bar.
Here is a selection of a few more photos from our trip and I won't bore you after that. Inland Australia has the most marvellous sunsets, especially in winter.

I loved the textures of this grand old paperbark tree in the Sydney Botanic Gardens, perhaps it has been there almost as long as the Gardens have existed- well over 100 years.

This tree sculpture was also in the Botanic Gardens, notsure if the tree is completely dead, or how they got the stone up there, but it is a great talking point.

This is a dripping wall in the grounds of Gunners Barracks and is how the soldiers got their drinking water. The rain ran down the grooves and collected in the hollowed out containers in the stone wall below. There were about a dozen of them in the wall - I am glad we don't have to depend on that today.

The camellias were coming into bloom everywhere, but would have been better a week or so after we left - of course! The ones we saw were beautiful however.
We really did have a wonderful time, and I learnt a lot more about my family history while I was away. What a pity we don't seem to take enough interest in history till the previous generations have all passed away. I often find myself saying "if only I could ask Mum". I did ask here lots when she was alive, but foolishly did not record it and my memory is very faulty.

When we were driving north along the NSW coast we were advised to go a bit off the highway to see the wonderful new development at Harrington. Well, we did and could only gasp and say we did not like the new development - about 90 million dollars worth - one little bit. Thank heavens we continued as we were hungry and there was nowhere else close for lunch, then we found this beautiful old fashioned seaside village. The view above is what we saw while we had an excellent fish and chips and salad lunch with a very good cup of coffee as well! I hope the new development keeps working backwards towards the highway, and leaves the coastline alone.
The news of our dog Jack is not very good, even though he is looking sprightly at present. He almost certainly has a form of leukaemia and has a very limited life span. He would need wedge biopsies to be 100 % sure, but we can't see the point as we would certainly not go through chemotherapy with him. So now we are just giving him lots of spoiling and as much quality of life as possible till he gets distressed again then it will be time to say goodbye. We have had 7 wonderful years with him, not nearly long enough, but that is the way the dice have rolled.
I still have not managed to get back to my workroom for any creating. The airlines managed to wreck my suitcase on my return flight, so I have visited the sales and purchased two new lightweight suitcases. Now I have been spending a few hours using little squeeze bottles painting flowers and squiggles etc on them so they are easy to identify at airports. I will post pictures when they are finished. I can identify my case at 100 metres with ease - amazing how many cases have the same or similar ribbons, but none has the same painted bits we have!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Back from Holidays

I'm back from a fabulous holiday - here is a small sample of photos, all I have had time to edit so far, and they are not necessarily in the proper order. We had to take photos in front of the bridge of course - brilliant sunshine and not too cold! Ebenezer church with the schoolmaster's house alongside - built 2oo years ago, I know that is not long for you Europeans and North Americans, but a very long time for Australia!

All dressed up for a re-enactment of the landing at Ebenezer from the Hawkesbury river.

The kids got sick of all the photo shoots so did what small children do!!

The view from where we were staying at Marks Point on Lake Macquarie - a truly glorious place about four and a half times the size of Sydney Harbour.

Here it is at sunset - no wonder Bill's cousin does not ever want to leave. The big disadvantage is the 60 odd steps (very uneven) from the road down to the water!!!
I haven't had time to look at any blogs yet, nor reply to the many emails which came in while I was away, but thanks to all of you who commented on my blog about the plates. I want to find the time to look at all the blogs to see some of the other plates, and catch up on all the news.
I have a son and two grandchildren staying here at present so there is not much spare time, lovely to have the company however. The one sting in the tail - there always has to be something - is that we have a very sick dog, waiting on needle biopsy results but the prognosis does not look very hopeful. Jack has been such a very important part of the family for nearly eight years, we are just hoping for the best.
More photos later when I have had time to edit a few more.