Thursday, 31 March 2011

April fabric page, colour challenge and RAIN

This lovely page arrived in the mail today from Ritva in Finland.  My chosen theme this year is blue/green, leaving lots of scope to be as simple or as complicated as yu wish.

I have loaded these photos in the wrong order - the colour palette is at the bottom.  Once again this took me a long way out of my comfort zone, but that is probably a very good thing.

I have a couple of lovely new stamps from Dale which I used on the insides of these padfolios.

I wonder what the next colour way will be.

I haven't shown anything from my garden for ages, but this Whitfieldia longifolia has just started flowering, a new plant for me, comes from South Africa I think, and looks really nice.  It is also supposed to be very hardy.

We are just getting rain, rain, and more rain here - 900 mm so far for March, and still a few hours of rain to go yet!  I took my camera outside to see what I could find - only stepping on hard surfaces, you sink if you step off onto the grass.  The rain drops are just sitting on the ixora leaves.

And this is where our pavers abut the lawn - which was only mown 5 days ago and desperately needs doing again - no floats on our lawn mower though!
I hope blogger puts these photos up today.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Postcards and a heart

I have recently participated in a postcard swap organised by Vicki Welsh of 3 Creative Studios  The theme was 'The gilded Age' which I had to google as I had never heard of it.  It is the period in American history from the end of the civil war to about the turn of the century, spanning many new freedoms but also lots of excesses.  The card above came from Viv Manning in the UK.  She says on the back of the card that according to the Wiki site, the sewing machine 'did more than any other single development (until women's suffrage) to change the daily life of the average American woman'

I took as my theme the lavish interiors of the mansions of the tycoons.  I still have yet to receive a second postcard, will post a photo when it comes.  This was an interesting learning experience.

I forgot to show a photo of the lovely heart which Doreen gave me recently in Canberra.  The hand embroidery is really lovely.
The weather is VERY wet and miserable here with rain predicted to continue for hours yet.  Thank goodness Bill finally managed to mow the lawn yesterday, took about four hours of hard slog, the grass was so long and thick after over three weeks of wet weather.  You need floats on to go out there now.  This wet season has to end soon.
I don't know why blogger is not showing the photos when you log on, but if you click on the squares the enlarged photo shows up - I must have done something wrong, but I can't be bothered starting all over again.

Monday, 21 March 2011

More from Canberra

Blogger is doing silly things tonight, but at least I can finally see the photos and not a whole lot of gobbledgook which is what happened when I first uploaded.  I hope the photo of the Wollemi Pine in the Australian National botanic Gardens starts the blog, with the close up of the cones starting to form next.  It is looking beautifully healthy now, but was pretty sick last time we were there.
I loved the play of light and shade as we walked through the Fern Walk
This wattle tree was in full flower - very early I suspect
This photo of Parliament House was taken from the Telstra Tower on Black Mountain, you really get the most magnificent views all round Canberra from there.  The huge areas of green wooded country extendin right into the city are very apparent from there.   
Hamish and Alexander came to stay for the weekend while their parents went to a wedding in Brisbane.  We visited lots of playgrounds around Mackay, this water feature in the Botanic Gardens playgarden is very popular with all small children - and some not so small ones too.  We had a lot of fun and they were very good, but I must admit to being quite happy to see them go home again too.  Now I might be able to start on catching up on stuff in my workroom - haven't done more than dump stuff on the table in there since we came home.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Home again

We are back home again after a very enjoyable visit to Canberra, pity that we took the hot weather with us though.  At least we missed the torrential downpours here while we were away.  We spent a lovely day with Doreen and her husband Stephen - talked non stop for hours!  We could have gone on for a lot longer too.  I had a great time seeing lots of the beautiful creations Doreen makes.

Bill and I went up the Telstra tower on Black Mountain, the view was super, though a little hazy.

These photos have got a bit muddled up, this is the view looking out the windows in Stuart and Nat's house.  They are quite high up.

We spent a lot of time wandering around the Australian National Botanic Gardens.  This wonderful old eucalypt has been there since before the land was a botanic garden.  It looks so stately.
There are always dragon lizards around, they are not the least bit worried by humans.  This fellow was a couple of feet long all stretched out, he was fascinating.
I visited the Ballet Russes exhibition at the National Gallery and was completely overawed by what I saw.  The costumes were superb and the conservators have been quite incredible in their dedication in restoring the  costumes to their former glory.  Some of them had not been cleaned since they had last been worn, probable before the second world war.
More photos another day, now I need to do some paper work - that never goes away!
Thursday morning - I thought I had lost all this last night as Google told me it had vanished when I went to load. I was so tired and cross I just went off to bed - leaving the paperwork - but this morning found it as a saved draft - hooray! Sometimes the internet is just tooo clever.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

More goodies

Today I received a packet in a tyvek envelope containing these pretty hand dyed fat quarters from Vicki Welsh of 3Creative Studios  This was also part of the prize draw for last month's TOM.  She is such a generous lady.
Vicki also wrote a note on this gorgeous card she has made.
This month the colour palette challenge tested me a bit.  I love the colours shown in the picture below, but keeping strictly to them took a bit of discipline - I don't often end up with the same colours I was planning at the beginning of the project!
I made another little trinket box and lined it with taffeta in one of the colours of the palette.
This will be my last post for a week as we are off to Canberra tomorrow morning.  Of course the forecast for Friday is some rain - Murphy's Law at work again!  Hopefully there will be some fine days before we come home, we will still manage to enjoy ourselves whatever.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Felting workshop

I canh hardly move today I am so tired, but we had a wonderful day felting yesterday with Katelyn Aslett, a very talented felting artist from Townsville.  There were just eight of us, enough to feed off each other's inspiration but not too many for Kate to get around to help.

The bag above and below were made in one piece with a piece of synthetic fabric inside to make the pocket in the felting process.  The pictures have got out of order, mine is a couple of photos down.

This will be cut up and felted a bit more before being added to a cape as decoration - I wish I had managed to take a photo of the cape, the lady making it was very talented too.

these are flower brooches made by Katelyn - I think I may try my hand at making some a bit smaller than these - they are about 10 cm across.  I love them, but they seem a bit big to me for brooches.

This lovely scarf is my creation - with plenty of help from Katelyn.  The pink is a very vibrant colour which does not like my camera, I have taken about 6 photos in different positions and backgrounds and this is the best I can come up with.  I hope I can wear it later this week when we head off to Canberra for a few days.  I see the overnight temperatures have been down to 6 or 7 degrees.  Knowing my luck, the next heat wave will strike while we are down there!  I am sure I shall enjoy the drier atmosphere anyway - and I am looking forward to catching up with Doreen while we are there.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

A lovely gift

I have been taking part in Technique of the Month from Three Creative Studios.  The guest artist showing the technique of disperse dyeing in February was Shelagh Folgate and I have been lucky enough to win this lovely small journal she made.  I have to keep picking it up to feel and look - the cover base is pelmet vilene I think.

If you click on the photos to enlarge you will see more of the very fine detail, even to the seed beads sewn on the inside cover and the lovely cover papers.  Shelagh is very talented.

We have been watching the flower on this large bromeliad for at least the last four weeks, I am not sure if it comes out much more than this - probably not as the little sunbirds and honeyeaters are into it all the time - I can watch them through my bedroom window, but of course I never have my camera with me at the right time!

Here is a closeup photo - it is quite spectacular.
I am doing a oneday workshop on felting on Saturday with Katelyn Aslett, an artist from Townsville who is visiting Mackay.  Her work looks lovely, but I am not sure how energetic her felt making method will be - I may be stiff and sore on Sunday!