Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Extra goodies for my stash

Dale was kind enough to give away a lovely bag of goodies to the first two people who knew the name of the NZ soccer team - All Whites of course.  This is the yummy bag I received - it also contained a copy of Quilting Arts Magazine and Cloth Paper Scissors.  Thank you so much.
Then in the mail today came this gorgeous pile of goodies - I won the draw for the prize for the June Technique of the month through 3 Creative Studios.  The generosity of these artists continues to overwhelm me.  Thank you so much.

Back from Brisbane

Well, I am back from Brisbane after an absolutely fabulous few days.  I came home very tired on course, so didn't get to post anything during yesterday - thought I would do it after we came home from an early evening drinks function.  There was some delicious tasting food there..........but, I came home with an awful case of food poisoning, so no posting, I spent the night trying to get past the cramps and vomiting, ugggh!
Dale and Jacinta had a fantastic artists at work area, always surrounded by lots of eager watchers.  They were both very happy to answer all our questions.  Jacinta is rolling one of her felted pieces here. 
And here it is unrolled, with some of the pieces on show, not quite felted yet.  If you click on the photos you should see a bit more.
There was just so much to see, I have heaps of photos which I haven't had time to edit yet, so over the next few days I will bore you with some of them. These bags are part  of a collection of bags in a challenge. I don't know who made most of them, I found it very hard to read the descriptions, they were on pages attched to the wall almost at floor level!
If this post is set out in a peculiar way it is because I am still trying to get used to the new blogger way of setting photos and text out - I am not sure I like it, stuff keeps showing up in the wrong place!
I need to do some shopping so more tomorrow.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Pictureless post

Sorry, I can't find where I have stored the photos I took of the roof work, but it is ALL FINISHED!!!!!!!  Jock is over the moon.  We have nearly gone demented keeping him inside, only taking him outside on the lead for toilet breaks - and making sure we go nowhere near any of the workers' lunch boxes.  Jock's neck has a very long reach.

The roof looks really good and it is so good to see the garden all clean and tidy again.

No posts for a few days, I am off to Brisbane tomorrow to see the Textile Art Fair.  My sister will meet me at the airport, then, as we have half a day spare, we are going to the Queensland Art Gallery to see the exhibition of hats which closes this Sunday.  Don't think I will be able to take photos, but I will get a postcard or two to scan - so many people have told us this exhibition is definitely not to be missed.

We are doing a couple of workshops at the Art Fair, in between seeing what is on offer at some of the stalls there, as well as watching Dale and Jacinta at work (alternately) in their artist's studio.  That should be a lot of fun and I know I am able to take photos there so lots to show you next week.  Of course, I had forgotten till I tested the links, Textile Tantrums will be on display as well - more photos.  Look at the link to Dale to see what I am talking about.  Cheers.

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Leichardt tree

This Leichardt tree has particular significance for Mackay, representing a very sad part of our history.  This is where the blackbirding ships brought the South Sea Islanders (from various Melanesian Islands).  They were then auctioned off to the local sugar cane plantation owners to work in the cane fields.  This happened over a period of about 30 years in the late 19th Century.  Some of the Islanders came voluntarily, but most were tricked into boarding the ships.  Most of them were repatriated to their homelands in the first years of the 20th Century - again, often against their will, as they had settled and married here by then.  Many managed to return over the next few years, but some have had lost relatives and family histories which have only been traced in the last twenty years or so.  Mackay has a large population of South Sea Islanders now, with a very proud history. 

This moving sculpture has been erected as a memorial to those early forced migrations.
Most of the Islanders could not read or write so they had to use thumb prints and these, along with the names they were given, are represented on one face of theboxes.
On the opposing face are the names of the many plantations in the Mackay district - altogether a very inspirational sculpture.
If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will see part of a blue painted building with 'chandlery' painted on it - if I had been psychic I would have taken a photo of it, as it is a very old Mackay building which has been vacant for several months and was burned down in a very spectacular fire yesterday afternoon.  Two other old deserted buildings alongside were burned also.  Our local paper today had many photos of the fire and the carnage, but the most interesting were of a wedding group who were having their phots taken in the park where the sculpture stands.  I'll bet nobody else has wedding photos with a building catching fire behind them!  The police suspect arson as there have been problems with vagrants squatting in the buildings - such a waste.
Our place has been bedlam today, the plumbers arrived at 7 am and filled the garden with all their junk - photos and story tomorrow, time for bed now, it has been a very long day.  Jock was totally stir crazy by this afternoon so I had to go on an extra long walk with him.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

A morning at the Gardens

There was a gardening bee at the Botanic Gardens this morning.  I don't do any of the actual planting or gardening - arthritic joints don't like that very much.  But....everyone thinks I am an essential part of the morning as I provide the morning smoko!  This morning's was a little late as I couldn't resist stopping to take a shot of this blue cheeked honeyeater feeding on the succulents - and I am sorry I don't know their name.  We were quite close to him but he took almost no notice of us.

Here are some of the workers hard at it.  This is one of the beds which was severely damaged in the cyclone, but it should look lovely in about another year when all the shrubbery has grown again.

This row of Bauhinia Blakeana trees is growing alonside where everyone was working.  they make a lovely show at this time of the year.  Stupidly, I didn't think of taking a closeup of the beautiful orchid-like flowers.  You may see more detail if you click to enlarge.
The weather was sunny and almost hot this morning while the planting was happening, but now a very cold wind has arrived from the south, clouds have come across and it is thoroughly unpleasant outside.  Our son and his family are all camping out with the district scout groups at a local dam.  I know canoeing is on the agenda for the scouts - I guess they are all young and won't feel a thing. Brrrrr.  I shall stay inside and do my gardening tomorrow, I think the change will have gone through then.

Friday, 18 June 2010

June page from Marja

Look what came in the mail for me today - this lovely fabric page from Marja
Marja also sent me these lovely little stickers.  As you can see, she comes from the Netherlands, I don't think she has a blog.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last blog and for those who asked, the door does not open - I couldn't imagine what to put behind it.
Maggi also asked why we have plumbers coming to replace our roof - in Australia they are the tradesmen who do that job if it is an iron roof - as ours is.  When the roofing arrives I will take a photo of it to show the overseas bloggers what our roofing material looks like.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

June page for Fibre Fever swap

This is the fabric page I made for Lise in the Fibre-Fever swap.  Her theme is doors and I know she likes medieval doors.  I first painted the piece of calico with white house paint, then embedded scrim onto it to givesome sort of texture like an old stone wall.  The doors are paper with various layers of paint, then some Xpandaprint puff paint and more colour then some stitching.  After I had done some stitching to make the stone blocks, I washed over everything with a pale wash of walmut ink.  This is comnpletely different from the sorts of things I usually make, but I have enjoyed the challenge and Lise like it - that is the important part.
A beautiful fine day today, almost hot.  The plumbers have not turned up to put on our new roof, they now say they are coming next Monday.  I just hope the weather holds, next week is show week here and we usually get rain!  The garden could do with some rain, but I would prefer to use the hose till the roof is on.  That will be the last of the repairs, seems like a long time , but there are many others around Mackay who will have to wait another few months yet for their repairs to be completed.   

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Peace and concentration

I am still getting used to the new way of loading photos in blogger.  This looks really good if you click on the photo to enlarge it.

I'm not sure if I have shown you this photo or not - the watelilies are all out again and they look so lovely, I never tire of seeing them
Here is Jock concentrating really hard waiting fortheball to be thrown for him
and here he is in the lap of luxury.  He has finally worn me down and is now allowed to sleep on this chair upstairs in the office.  He has been known to stand outside the door when we are both downstairs, barking to be let into the office!

I am distinctly relieved today.  I had a panic visit to the opthalmologist yesterday as my optometrist thought my right (good) eye had started to bleed.  Thank goodness, when all thescans and tests were done, the verdict was a false alarm, nothing has changed - brilliant!  I can only see broken images with my left eye so my right eye is very precious to me.  Please everyone, keep checking your macular to make sure you don't have a problem.
I am for once upstairs typing this while bill watches the State of Origin football - while I am glad to know that Queensland is winning, I can't be bothered wasting my time watching football, but I wanted to do some work on the computer.  This is turning into a huge rout, much to Bill's delight.  I'm done, and I am off downstairs to listen to music.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Tidying up and walking

Yesterday I had to have a very large cleanup in my workroom to find some stuff which I really needed.  I came across this bag which I thought I would show you before I returned it to its proper home downstairs.  About twenty years ago, I made this bag in a workshop with Gabriella Verstraaten.  This was one of my earliest ventures into textile art and Gabriella is such a gifted teacher.  We had so much fun, she taught us how to change the colour of a piece totally by overlaying some organza - I can;t find any of the original pieces of fabric I used, it was a horribly garish orangy colour, overlayed with a browny gold organza.
The sunbirds have come back to build another next at the Gardens - again on the creeper right over the stairs where everyone walks down!  I am not sure if they have abandoned the nest or they are still building, I shall make enquiries.

This is the lovely flower of the Tecomanthe creeper on which the sunbirds are building their nest.

The Lagoons looked so peaceful in the late afternoon when Jock and I were walking yesterday.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

A TOM and a POM

The Technique of the Month for June has been using shiva stiks and this is what I ended up doing - I have known about this technique forever but had never got around to trying it - sometimes it is good to be pushed.

After I had cured the shiva and removed the mask I stitched down the centres of the black bars, before making more souvenirs.

This is from the Product of the Month group - Dale Rollerson sends us a parcel of goodies every month with which to experiment.  Again, I have had some Luminarte polished pigments for a long time without really knowing what to do with them so this was a lovely wakeup call.  I was going to use this fabric as the lining forthe glassess case, but I thought it was a bit scratchy so I used some on the backs of the bookmarks instead.

This piece which will become another glasses case combines the two groups.  I used some of the soluble coluring pencils from last month's POM and some of my own to make the background, which I found a bit insipid, so I have stencilled it with gold paint and some pink luminarte.
I am enjoying these challenges, some of the techniques I will probably never try again, but several I most definitely will develop further.
I have finally got around to putting a header photo up - this is at the Botanic Gardens, taken a while ago.  Unfortunately the lagoon doesn't look as clear as that now as we have had some problems with water weed, but the weed has all been sprayed - with a new spray which doesn't affect the oxygen levels of the lagoon, so that is great.  Perhaps in another few weeks the water will be lovely and clear again.
The weather here has been absolutely perfect, beautiful clear sunny days.  There have been so many functions on over the last couple of weekends that have been successful beyond belief - probably because of the weather.  The Gardens Friends group has had a presence at a couple of these and now I shall have to get going to make lots more souvenirs as my stuff sold out!  I just wish this stupid virus would clear up so I can get some energy back again.  Bill is almost better so hopefully I shan't be far behind.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Fibre Fever page and some poppies

Here is the fabric page I made for Yoke - she has been away on holidays and has only just returned home.  I was starting to worry that the page had gone astray.  Yoke's theme is bridges.  The stream looks a bit strange, I can't get it to look any better with either a photo or a scan.  I used some irise film which has an almost holographic effect. 

I was asked to make this group of souvenirs with these poppy paper napkins.  I made some bookmarks and a padfolio quite some time ago, then decided they looked too bright and garish, so didn't make any more.  Just goes to show, what one dislikes another likes!  Actually, I quite like them again, perhaps it is something to do with the seasons.
Not much happening round here, Bill very generously shared his cold with me, then I lost my voice - perhaps that is a good thing too.  It is very slowly coming back, my energy is taking even longer.  I have so much I need to do, can't believe almost half the year has gone already!