Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Fibre-fever page forWendy

This is the fabric page I sent Wendy for July.  Her theme is Victorian.  I used TAP (Transfer Artist's Paper) for the first time, and I should have had some more practice.  The image is a photo of my grandmother in her going away outfit after her wedding in 1898, so I felt that the bits of image missing went with the age of the photo!  The pieces of lace I have stitched down are mostly from the stash I inherited from my mother-in-law, who used to do beautiful sewing.  I am lucky enough still to have quite a few pieces of lace left.
Our carpets were cleaned today and have dried reasonable well, despite the drizzly weather.  We have moved furniture out and then back and the dog kept getting more agitated all the time.  He is very glad to see everything back to normal now.
We had to leave the carpet cleaner to his job while we went to a funeral, it turned out to be a very sad event, although the man who died was nearly 81.  I often find when somebody old dies, the event, while sad, becomes a celebration of a long life and a chance to catch up with many friends and family you may not have seen for several years.  However, his wife was inconsolable, so it made for a very distressing funeral.
Now I think I shall sit in front of the TV and find a good DVD to watch while I do some hand sewing.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Fairy shoes and a couple of bookmarks

Here is another pair of fairy shoes which I have just finished - takes me ages to sew beads, but I enjoy doing it. 

Another couple of bookmarks - my stock is getting low at the Gardens shop so I need to build it up again.
We have had lovely weather for the last week or so, provided you don't want to go out on the water - the winds are blowing about 20 knots and the waters off Mackay are quite unprotected.  I hope the fine weather keeps up for another few days, we are having out carpets cleaned on Wednesday, which will entail a lot of furniture moving on our part, some of it onto a very open verandah.  There will also be a massive mining expo on for three days this week, which brings huge dollars into town.  I always have mixed feelings about this expo - I know it is good for the economy, but creates total chaos for the week for locals - selfish of me I know.  I feel sorry for any tourists who just arrive and want accommodation - the nearest accommodation will be 3 1/2 hours back to Rockhampton or 4 1/2 hours ahead to Townsville.  Everything in between is already booked out.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Fibre-Fever page for July and some felt

This lovely page came today from Barbara in Germany.  She has done some lovely embroidery on it to make the flowers really stand out.  She also was kind enough to add somesweet little doves in the package.  The photos makes them look big but they are only about a centimetre across.

Woo hoo, I have actually made a small piece of felt which will probably become a spectacle case.  I know it doesn't look much, I have shown photos of each side of it, haven't decided which one to use yet.  I made some nuno felt in a workshop many years ago and could barely move for several days afterwards.  The energetic exercise needed for the felting did nothing to help my arthritis.  I swore off felting for ever after - till embellishers appeared on the scene.  Then Jacinta persuaded me that using the bubblewrap method of wet felting is very gentle so I have tried again.  I almost added some extra bits on top of the fibres, but I was sure I wouldn't really be able to make felt, so I chickened out.  I am hooked.  This piece which is about 35cm x 23cm only took about 3 hours in fits and I want some more time in the day to make some more!  I have tried several times to add a link to Jacinta's name with no success.  Click on the link on my side bar to get to her blog.

I am finally able to drive the car again, but still taking Bill supermarket shopping with me - I hope today was the last time.  he is not very patient when I sometimes have to double back to an aisle at the other end of the shop because I have forgotten where an item is shelved.  Mind you, I am not happy with doing that either, but if I give up and go home I only have to come back later!  Time to do some watering in the garden, no sign of rain and everything is drying out.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Bits and Pieces

Look what is flowering here now - our congea vine is absolutely covered.
This is a close up of the flowers. Our grandkids love picking them and dropping them from a height - they spin like helicopter blades.  The catastrophe with our tree has some blessings - the sun now shines on the Congea so we have lots more flowers.
The Technique of the month for June was painting and dyeing fabric.  This piece was sprayed with water, then painted with dyna-flo paints and scrunched up together till it dried.  I didn't like the wishy washy colours I ended up with.  This photo makes them look better than they do in real life!

I used some stencils and metallic paint, but I wasn't happy with my results for that either so I kept overspraying with some of the starburst sprays and Adirondack sprays till I was a bit happier, then I added some more embellishing and made it into a cover for my sewing machine.

Oh dear, we are having an election in late August and I am sick of the politicking already.  I am vastly amused though that the leaders have chosen to have a televised debate this Sunday night.  They have had to move the selected time so they don't clash with the finals of Master Chef!  I have never watched the show (nor any of the televised debates for that matter) but I know millions of Australians do.  That show would win hands down over the debate.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

What came in the post today

This lovely needlecase came in the post today.  I won it on a giveaway from Linda  If you click on the link it should take you to the page on her blog where she has described it.  The stitching is so precise and I love the inside of it too.

As well as the needlecase, Linda included a lovely lavender bag, all wrapped up in gold wrapping paper which will definitely go into my stash - it is like a very large lolly paper!  Thank you so much Linda.
I am amazed at how well I am able to move around so soon after the hernia repair.  I am upstairs in the office, I even managed to climb the stairs the day after surgery - very slowly I admit - and hanging on to the bannister, but I made it!  I don't plan to run around the block, but I managed to walk from the carpark to the supermarket this morning to replenish the groceries, aided(?) by my husband who is a very unwilling shopper, but he was glad to come today.  I am sure I will be back to almost normal activities by next weel.  Yippee!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Today's walk

Jock and I started our walk this afternoon at the opposite end of the Gardens from where we usually go.  These photos are of the replica of a Melanesian long hut which the Islanders have built, and recently rethatched.  There are some beautiful carvings inside, but we are not allowed to photograph them.
You may need to click on this to enlarge it enough to see the ducks having a lovely time, feeding and splashing.  The weed has just about all gone from this stretch thank goodness.
These grass trees, Xanthorrea species (not sure which one) look so majestic with their tall spikes.  The parrots love the flowers on them when they first come out, they squabble and carry on and push each other out of the way.
I love the fields of arrowing (flowering) cane at this time of the year.  Unfortunately the sun went behind a cloud just before I got close enough to take this photo so you can't see the wonderful effect of the light.  Looking one way, the arrows are all silver, then as you look back they have a beautiful purplish hue.
This memorial to the South Sea Islander cane cutters is about three quarter life size and is erected near the long hut.  The maps show the main islands from which the Islanders came.
Jock was completely spooked and did not want to come away. I had to pull quite hard on his lead, even then he kept wanting to go back.  He could still see it  from the car and was barking to be let out.  Bill reminded me that Jack was affected in the opposite way, he would not go anywhere near the statue.  We can't imagine what it is that is having such an effect on them!
Now I am off to watch Little Dorritt on the television.  I need an early breakfast tomorrow before I head off to hospital for the afternoon to have a hernia repair - only day surgery these days, so hopefully I shall be back out walking again before too long.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

From the Botanic Gardens

Jock and I went walking in the Botanic Gardens yesterday.  This hibiscus insularis is flowering again - I think it is my favourite of all the hibiscus shrubs in the Gardens.  It is a native of Philip Island, a small island off Norfok Island and is critically endangered there.  We have them growing profusely in several spots here, so they obviously like our conditions.
These melaleuca flowers are so pretty, click on the images to see them in more detail.  They are local the the area around Mackay and have the red and green forms, as well as a pinkish form which is not yet in flower.

I don't know what order these photos will end up when the blog is published, but I wanted to show our overseas readers the start of the bark peeling away.  These trees have only been in the ground for a couple of years, so there is not a lot of paper bark yet, but as they mature, there are great slabs of bark peel off, it makes fabulous fibre to work with.

This pyrostegia grows in a garden we pass, it will keep its brilliant colour for a couple of months now, they are spectacular in sunny spots around Mackay all through the winter months, though you could hardly call our weather winter at present, maximums of around 22-23 degrees is definitely not cold.

I had better go, Bill has had his carpal tunnel surgery this morning and it is nearly time to collect him.  If it has gone as well as the previous one, he will come home, have some lunch and go straight back to work on the computer!! 

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Flowers in my garden

Here are a couple of photos of the zygocactus which have been in full bloom in my garden.  I was sure I had taken a photo of the beautiful white one with just a hint of pink in the flowers, but I seem to have lost it and of course the plant has almost finished flowering now!
I can't resist showing you a few more photos from the stunning ArtUWear display at the Textile Art Festival.  The theme was Alice in Wonderland

This entry was by Anne Enscoll entitled Alice in Underland.  The detail below shows the ants as buttons! 

I don't know who made this but I loved it - lots of felting
This entry by Carol Wilkes won the first prize.  Click on the photos to enlarge them to see the huge amount of work they have put into their entries.  Dale has some more on her blog, do visit them as well.

Now we are off to have dinner with the grandkids.  The weather has fined up here after a couple of cloudy days with high humidity but no rain.  Seems to be cooling down a bit, but not like the southern parts of Australia.  I am glad to be here.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

More from Textile Art Festival

Some of the crazy teacosies which were on display - lots of fun

These collections of quilts are explained on the website  Do check it out and read the story.  They all looked super

The Queensland Quilters' Association also had a lovely display of quilts

I really loved the colours in this quilt.  All of the photos should enlarge if you click on them.