Sunday, 14 June 2009

Plates - yet again

I think I am definitely getting more and more senior moments!!! Here is the proper link for Elizabeth - I was determined to get there in the end. Don't know what my next move is if this doesn't work!!!

Plates update

For some reason the link I put in the last post to Elizabeth didn't work. I will retype it now, but if you can't get that to work, go to Dale's blog, the link definitely works there, as that is where I found Elizabeth blog address. Hope you have more success this time.


Two little gumnut fairies from the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie series put out by Bradford Mint hanging on my kitchen wall. I can't move this photo which I loaded after I had written the piece below. My mother bought the series of 5 plates - two each were given to my sister and me, then the last one was to go to whichever great grand child appeared first- that plate now resides in New Zealand.

The Weaver of Grass posted photos of her favourite plates after a message from Elizabeth in new York and I thought I would like to show some of my favourite plates also. The one above is a Royal Doulton plate given to my parents for a wedding present in 1936. The picture is of Richmond Castle, which we visited in 1997.

My mother hand painted this little covered butterdish in the early 1920s - I never use it now, but I have it in the front of my china cabinet where I can see it, I could not bear to throw it out.

This silver plate by Don Shiels was given to us for our silver wedding anniversary and hangs on the wall in our kitche.

This lovely plate hangs next to it. This has a picture of the Nimb palace in the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen and was given to me as a present when Bill and I attended a sugar conference there in 1983. We had a wonderful dinner in this palace to close the conference, so I have fond memories.

This Royal Copenhagen dish was part of a complete dinner service brought out to Australia in the early 1920s by Bill's grandfather. We have some very large meat platters which also belonged to the service, but nobody knows what happened to the rest of it - such a shame, they are lovely. We visited the factory of Royal Copenhagen during the sugar conference, which I found fascinating, but I wouldn't like to be the women doing the hand painting every day, very exacting and to me very monotonous.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Walking in the Gardens today

Yippee............I went back to see the eye specialist today and he is happy that he has reduced the swelling and haemorrhage in my eye sufficiently that he has set a date to do my cataract surgery - 23 July. Great news, then after about a month I may be able to get some new glasses and see a bit better.
We finally made time to walk in the Gardens again this afternoon so here are a few photos of what is flowering. The beautiful jade vine is looking very spectacular, I can't remember its botanical name, but there is no surprise it is called jade vine, the colour is beautiful and so intense.

The next two photos are of cane and taro and then the arrows of the cane. This section of the Gardens is a replica of Richmond mill garden from the early part of the last century. The South Sea Islander indentured labourers built lots of dry stone walls and grew their taro plants on the terraces. The varieties of cane planted here are some of the original types grown in the district. When I was first married there were fields of arrowing cane all round the district at this time of the year. Then the variety which produced all the arrows was banned because of a disease it developed, but this year there must be a new variety being grown all round the area which once again arrows. I haven't been able to get it in the photo, but the arrows look almost purple from one direction, then almost white as you look at them from another angle. People with allergies hate the arrowing, hay fever always takes over at this time of year, also not helped by all the fires around at present as the tops which have been cut off the cane during harvesting are being burnt. I am not sure why that is happening again either, I thought they were mostly used as a trash blanket to conserve moisture in the soil now. Bill has just told me that it is probably because the fields are being replanted - cane rattoons (regrows) for anywhere between 4 to 6 crops before being ploughed out and replanted.

the last photo is of one of the acacias - acacia conferta - looking very pretty just now. There is a different acacia in another part of the Gardens which I was hoping to show you, but it still has tightly closed buds, so will probably flower while I am away and I will miss it.

Of course the weather has thrown in a cold snap just as I am about to depart to the cold parts of Australia, but thank goodness not to Canberra where our son is. I heard on the news they had the coldest day for over 40 years today, I am glad I am not there. I don't need heavy clothes up here and it is always a panic trying to find something warm enough to take away with me. No doubt someone will lend me something and I will survive. I will still be able to talk!
Back in a couple of weeks

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Keeping me busy

This lot has kept me busy over the past couple of weeks - I agreed to make them for someone going overseas at the end of the month. She wants souvenirs with photos of Australian native plants (and a couple of plants in her garden) to take to her English relatives. The sewing was the easy part - I kept jamming the printer .............aargh.............and Bill was not impressed. he says printers were not meant to print fabric!!!
I was in a great hurry as I am going away again next Monday on a family pilgrimage with my sister and I still have to scan lots of old photos into the computer to take the images away hoping that cousins older than I will be able to identify them. I am as guilty as everybody else as I know I have boxes and boxes of photos with no identification on them so that the younger generation will have no idea who they are.............I keep saying when I get day it will really happen.
We are going to drive from Brisbane to Sydney, staying with cousins along the way and going to the 200 year anniversay of Ebenezer Church, the oldest church in Australia. My great great great great grandfather was one of the founders of the church. He was the surgeon on the Friendship in the first fleet in 1788. When I was growing up I always knew about him, but in those days it was considered very shameful to say you were descended from convict heritage - half of Australia must have been! - so I didn't realise till I was an adult that he eventually married (after they had four children) an ex convict from The Lady Penrhyn - also a first fleeter. How times change. Now everyone is claiming convict heritage as a badge of ritual almost. I also didn't realise that The Lady Penrhyn had been part ofthe first fleet before her notorious voyage to bring out the whores at a later stage.
There is a weekend of celebrations at Windsor where they are expecting about 3000 people I think, then on the Sunday afternoon the descendents of Thomas Arndell are meeting at Cattai National Park, where his home still stands. I remember my mother talking about going there to visit when she was a young girl so it will be fun to see everything for myself. I will also meet some Arndell cousins for the first time.
I wish these events were not held at the end of the financial year. I went away just before the end of June last year also and sorting out all the office stuff is not fun. This is when I wish I had really retired, instead of just the theoretical retirement our accountant talks about. On the ohter hand, I am sure this keeps my brain working, at least in a sort of way.
Time to stop, I had another injection in my eye today and it is starting to feel gritty so I am off to bed. I go back to have it checked on Friday, then hopefully when I return the doctor will say I can have the cataract done, and I may be able to see a bit better.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

More Textile Convention

Another collection of photos from the weekend. My computer and printer were not talking to me properly yesterday and by the time Bill fixed it all up we had to go off to a meeting......aargh! the photos of the Connections display aren't marvellous, but I loved seeing them all in reality - and recognising so many names from Playways and other workshops we have all participated in.

This was part of the Bernina Art to Wear display - awe inspiring.

The work in these quilts is amazing.

Words can't begin to describe the beauty of these pieces below by Beth Miller

They are truly magical, I spent ages just gazing.

We were all textile showed out after two days so spent Sunday visiting the Gallery of Modern Art to see the China Project by contemporary Chinese artists - interesting, but not always to my taste. I love the gallery though and the way they have made it so child friendly.
Lastly we visited the Queensland Art Gallery to see the superb exhibition on American Impressionism and Realism. If you are in Brisbane before September 20, do make an effort to see it - some wonderful paintings, I think the exhibition from the New York Met is only going to Brisbane. Several portraits by John Singer Sargent, the luminosity in his paintings is incredible, also some lovely child portraits by Mary Cassatt, and too many others to mention. What a way to end a fabulous weekend.
Now I have to get down to work, before I go away again in just under a fortnight!

Monday, 1 June 2009

What a weekend!

Well, I am back after a fabulous and exhausting weekend in Brisbane for the Textile show. I have managed to load these pictures completely back to front butit doesn't really matter, they are all of some of the wonderful stuff we saw.
While I have never been a quilter and have no aspirations to start now, I can really admire the work which has gone into the quilts we saw there. I loved the delicate colours of this one by Julie Haddrick of South Australia.

This quirky pole of knitted jumpers and heads is advertising an event to be held in a town west of Brisbane in July - they just appealed to my sense of humour.
As part of the show there was a competition for textile art from recycled objects. I messed up the photo I took of the winning entry and had by that time deleted the image from my camera so I can't show it to you - I have now learnt a new lesson - don't delete photos till you have completely finished editing! The winning entry was clever, but to me was simply something saying it had been made from recycled stuff. Whereas these..........................

I really hope these photos will enlarge for you, the one above is made by Linelle Steptoe of New South Wales and is of a waratah and banksia flower - all made from cured cane toad skin!! It is just gorgeous. The cane toad was introduced into Australia about 76 years ago and is now an appallngly destructive pest, so I am glad something useful can be made from it.

I am afraid I can't tell you who made this lovely piece of art, which happens to be made from recycled materials. I liked it the best of the whole section, but of course it didn't win! A lot of the entries were very clever, but gimmicky, while this one to me is something I would be very happy to have hanging on my wall.

There was a huge rush on Friday morning to get from the airport over to the Convention Centre as my sister Barb and I were booked to do a workshop with Carol Wilkes for the day - collaged cloth. What fun we all had, Carol is so easy to listen to, she has so many ideas and nothing was too much trouble. This is something she had made and had there to demonstrate some of her work to us. The class was large and we were all using computerised Pfaff machines supplied and set up by the sponsor - oh boy, was that a challenge! Thank goodness there were a couple of dealers helping out and going round sorting out everyone's problems. We were laying strips on a piece of fabric, then making cords and doodads to decorate and finish the piece - of course they all ended up as WIPs. I will try to take a photo of my WIP and blog about that tomorrow.

This photo was supposed to be at the top of the list, as this is Dale at the Thread Studio stand, and I only found out about the Textile show through reading Dale's blog and website. We did a short workshop with Dale which was heaps of fun. Thank goodness, when we went to buy our goodies the stall was far less crowded than when I took this picture. Poor Dale and Ian were having trouble setting up their stall on the Thursday and wondering why nothing fitted properly when they realised the tables were nearly half a metre shorter than the ones in Melbourne!! Anyway we all found the goodies we wanted - and a few more - so came away happy.
Barb and I also did short workshops using shiva sticks and another on Angelina and Crystalina fibres. That one was for scrapbooking, which I can't be bothered with, but I still learnt some new techniques. Now I need to get around to applying them!
There were huge crowds at the show on the Friday, but thank goodness much quieter on Saturday so we could wander around from stall to stall to have a good look at what was on offer - heaps of things which I had never seen or heard of before, so good to touch and feel rather than just look at photos on the websites. Found some really cute tiny little scissors which the stallholders say you can get through security and take on planes - but I don't think I shall try it out, I will be the exception that proves the rule for sure.
I need to go and do some work. I have some more photos to post, particularly of some really stunning quilts - wall hangings - not sure which you would call them, but they just took my breath away.