Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Just in time

Well, the turf has been laid, we have planted two trees and I have dug half the garden bed.  There are two creepers and some shrubs planted in it as well as some quick growing annuals to give us some colour till the shrubs take over.

We ran out of time before we went to Bundaberg to dig the rest of the garden and Bill had a carpal tunnel release just before we went away so he couldn't use the chain saw.  The calliandra was supposed to go when we returned, but Bill came back with a very heavy cold.  Then look what happened - this flower came out.  I think it deserves to stay if it can flower so soon after the terrible treatment it has had over the last couple of months.  I am very frustrated though, I want to dig the rest of the garden to sort it all out.........but I have now been warned off doing anything heavy as I have been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia that has a loop of small intestine caught in it.  I want to go to Brisbane to a Textile Festival at the end of June and I refuse to be unable to walk and cart stuff around there.  I have postponed surgery till early July and now I can't get out into the garden in the gorgeous weather we have been having for the last few days. Grrrrrrr..................
This is only a short post, Bill is watching the first State of Origin football match and I don't like football so I am off downstairs to watch a recording of Foyle's War which I recorded while we were away.  Catch you later

Monday, 24 May 2010

Fabric page and a paper wasp nest

I received this lovely page for the May swap in Fibre fever.  It was made by Suzanne in Germany and I just love it.  Do click on the image to enlarge it to see more detail.  I can't show you the page I made for Yoke yet as she is away and has not received it yet.  Now I have to think about a page on the theme of Doors for June - this is all a challenge for me and is making me do things I haven't attempted before.

This incredible paper wasp's nest was brought into the Botanic Gardens this morning while I was there.  I didn't have my camera with me, but thought I would try out the camera in my new phone.  It worked a treat, but then I had to work out how to get the photos onto the computer and an hour or so later I had downloaded the software the instructions said I needed - then I used the same method I have used for my other camera!!!  I suppose I will use the new software sometime.

When you click to enlarge these photos you can really see the texture of the outside paper they have made, I would love to use it somehow in a textile.  The wasps which build these hives are very small and almost black, quite different from the paper wasps I grew up with in southern inland Queensland.  If you don't disturb the nest these wasps will apparently leave you alone and live in harmony with you - or so I am told.
I have had some comments left quite frequently on my blog from a Chinese person.  I would love to reply, but I cannot understand Chinese and I can't manage to translate the comments box into English - if you read this can you please manage a translation for me.
Now it is time to take the dog for a walk, he hasn't had enough exercise lately and is getting into every sort of mischief he can find.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Childers streetscape

The partners programme at the conference took us to nearby Childers one day.  This is a photo of the backpackers hostel Which was the scene of a terrible tragedy 10 years ago next month.  A disgruntled fruitpicker who had been evicted for non-payment of rent came back and set the building alight.  Fifteen young backpackers from all over the world were burnt to death.  The front section ofthe building was all that could be saved and has now been turned into a visitors information centre, art gallery and museum to the young backpackers.  An artist travelled to each of the homes of the backpackers and made some wonderful collections of photos which are set into the back of a huge glass wall.  He also painted a mural including all the young folk's faces - although one is in shadow as they couldn't find any relatives to give some photos.  It is beautifully done and very moving.  Hopefully the standards for backpacker hostels are now being enforced much better so another tragedy like that can never happen again.

Childers is a thriving small town in the centre of a large small crop area, as well as sugar cane.  The main street has become a pavement gallery.  These two gorgeous boobook owls are part of it - sorry for the person in the photo of Mum, there were too many people around to get a clear photo.  The boobook owl is the totem for the local aboriginal tribe. 
There are dozens of these tile mosaics set into the footpath, telling the story of the development of Childers from the early settlement to the present day.  They really draw you along the whole length of the main street.
I can't make blogger place these photos where I want them - aarrggh!  Hopefully they will stay here now.  Towards the end of the walk along the pavement you come to a wonderful old pharmacy which has been preserved as a museum, with all the old bottles and equipment from the early twentieth century still there.  I am very glad the dentist has betterequipment than this to use on my teeth!! 
If you click on the photos to enlarge them you will probably be able to read a lot of the labels.  There were some huge mortars and pestles displayed which the pharmacist obviously used to grind up and mix powders etc.
I had to take a photo of this Underwood typewriter as I learned to type on one just like that in the early fifties!
I have had enough of trying to get photos and typing where I want it so that is enough for tonight.  Thanks to all who have commented on my blog in the last few days.  I accidentally deleted quite a few emails so I have been rather remiss in replying!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Back home again

I have actually been home for a couple of days, but it has taken me this long to get organised to put some words to paper - I have had fun catching up on some blogs though, but have many more to go.  The conference was a fantastic experience - as always.
This lovely pincushion was in our bag of godies handed out to each one of the 23 partners there. The organising committee did a great job.
I think this will be a disorganised post.  I remember there was a new way of uploading photos which I had only just started to use before I went away and I have completely forgotten what I did - this isn't working tonight - aarrrgh!

We lived in luxury - this was the only room left in the motel, what a shame!  It was huge, over 24 paces long - but with a very small hanging cupboard - oh well you can't have everything.  The bed was very comfy too, and as we had a kitchen there was no problem with my morning toast and coffee.
I told you there would be lots of eating etc.  Well, the first day we were taken to the Marina for lunch, a beautiful setting.  I had fish and chips.  Normally, I just leave the chips and eat the fish and salad, but these were the best chips I have ever had in my life I think, so I ended up without one left on my plate.  I needed to walk to leave room for the next delicacy
We were taken to Sandy's home for high tea with all the lovely fine bone china etc., and all the home cooked and decorated food selections - lots more walking needed.  It was just as well that I had a 15 minute walk from the motel to the meeting point for the buses which were taking us to the evening welcome function - more eating, but I didn't take my camera with me!
The weather was fantastic, especially as we had left Mackay in rain - again.  We were very lucky with the traffic.  While we were travelling south, all the heavy vehicles were coming north, including 12 escorted wide loads!  Of course the northern trek for the grey nomad caravanners has started so there were plenty of them as well.  When we were returning, there were almost no caravans and all the heavy transports were travelling south!!  We only came across one escorted wide load and they were just stopping at a service station - how lucky can you get.
I need to put some pea soup into the slowcooker to be ready for lunch tomorrow so I shall tell you some more tomorrow.  I hope to get back to some sewing soon also, I have finally caught up with all the accumulated paperwork and the washing and ironing.  Cheers.

Friday, 7 May 2010

I have been making some more souvenirs using bits of fabric which I have altered from the original failures.  I like this fabric on the glasses case now, it has had many different colours sprayed and painted on it, finally I stencilled with Jacquard metallic olive green and stitched around the images.
I have upgraded my google loading and I am just learning what to do.  I think it will be much easier to use than the previous image loader, but I thought I had lost everything for a few minutes.  This image is of a couple of business card holders I have made, following up on a suggestion from one of the other Friends.  She commented that women like something other than black leather, I confess I had never thought about it before, we will see if they sell.
I have had some more fun with the stitches on my newer Bernina, embroidering over the silk paper I made from some goodies I received from Dale.
We are going away for a week so I shan't be posting again for a little while.  This will be a holiday for me, but Bill will be running a sugar technologists conference in Bundaberg.  The partners have a special sightseeing pregramme organised for them which always involves a lot of eating very special foods - the diet will need to come to the fore when I return I am sure.  It is rude to say you don't like the food your hostess is providing.........isn't it?  That will be my excuse anyway.
Talk to you in a week or so, with probably some interesting photos to show.  Cheers.