Friday, December 21, 2012

greetings to all

The days have been rushing by as Christmas approaches, and some late 'spring cleaning' has been taking up too much time! Here are a some more beautiful embroidered pieces I saw a few years back. The first 2 and a close up of the central piece were in Salisbury Cathedral in the UK, and the last one I spied in the lovely Pickwick Lodge Farm B&B at Corsham near Bath.

 Altar cloth above, and screen below.

We were very fortubate to hear an impromptu performance by a visiting Dutch choir. They had just arrived and were having a look around before performing later that evening, and had a short 'test' of the acoustics.
 These very colourful flags were flying on the lawns outside the Cathedral - and rather made up for the fact that much of the exterior was covered with scaffolding.
This arts installation by sight impaired and disabled young people in Wiltshire composed 100 batik printed flags which could be walked through to experience the visual, touch and sound stimulation of the wind driven movement of the colourful flags.
This one is much simpler, and on lighter note - given there might be a few pheasants headed for the table this week.

On the home front, here are my first boysenberries of the season. I have just one bush, and only got this many all told last year. You might think them a little red and under ripe but I have to beat the birds!
The following is a big surprise. It is the incredibly delicate flower on one of our 2 Chinese jade plants. They both have flowered. I have been around jade plants all my life and never seen them before. They are incredibly tiny (you might spot the ant halfway down the left hand sprig, which is about as big as the floret) and didn't last all that long.
Another that lasts only one day - and today was the day - is this just ever so slightly pink tipped cactus flower. I am glad I spotted it in time.
Both these amazing and beautiful flowers spring from plants that get, and need, only very little care and attention.

Have a safe and happy Christmas everyone. I am looking forward to sharing time with family and old friends - and getting back to some stitching in the New Year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Off to a new home

Just a short note here. I made a little trip to hospital the other day, but not for any medical problem. Rather my Off to see the wizard is off to a new home. I have given it to the Flinders Medical Centre so that it can (hopefully) cheer up lots of children in the activity room of the Paediatric Ward. Here is a picture with Debbie Palmer, Event Manager for the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation on the left.

It will be framed or put behind perspex - a bit of a challenge there - not so much to keep little fingers off to protect the quilt, but to prevent any chance of cross infection between the children. I am looking forward to going back to see it hung.

I am not sure how long it might be there, but I have just heard that one of my early art quilts, Looking On, from 1995, was on show in Tenterfield - possibly in the Tenterfield Saddler shop - a few weeks ago, and apparently looking great. It was acquired by the Stockman's Hall of Fame after I entered it in the Dame Mary Durack Outback Craft Awards in 1995, and last I had heard of it some years back was that it was in Longreach. It is nice to know that it is still around and looking good. Sometimes when I think about that one there are a few techniques I now know that would have made it easier to do - but it worked, so that is all that matters I guess.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Some vestment pictures from earlier travels

It is some days ago now, but what a great festival of Quilts it was! A big well done to the Guild and especially the Exhibition Committee - and of course to all who exhibited their work. The show would be nothing without them.

Since then I have been contemplating whether I finish some unfinished projects, or start someting I'd rather do, as we enjoyed a short visit from daughter Rachel, where we caught up on all the adventures of her recent travels to North America. The visit necessitated packing up the sewing and cleaning up her room, but I am spreading out again now.
Looking back through my photos for more pattern pics I have been rediscovering some of the textiles I saw and photographed on our European trip in 2005. Mostly they come from churches. I will put them up as I check the diary for the details. (The photo tagging job is still to be finished!)

Here are a few from the magnificent Baroque Abbey at Melk, Austria's largest Benedictine monastery on a prominent rocky outcrop on the Danube.  These are beautifully embroidered vestments or chasubles of Abbot Dietmayr, who was Abbot from 1700 to 1739 
- and a later one - not sure of the details   

and here are a couple of photos of the Abbey

 The pictures don't quite join, but you canget the idea. There is an amazing library. My picture doesn't do it justice, but you can see it at   I have seen it  in lists of the world's greatest libraries.  Below is a taste of the fine views from the Abbey,

and this is the main entrance, with a fine fresco on the ceiling as you go through the archway.

And for something quite different, this is laces and embroideries for sale in Budapest.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Festival of Quilts this weekend

I am looking forward to seeing the SA Quilters' Guild exhibition (Festival of Quilts) this weekend. The awards are being announced at the monthly meeting tomorrow night. Apart from our group postcards, I haven't entered anything this year so I am thinking maybe it is time to start working on something for next year...

I have just managed to photograph my most recent jug and echidna acquisitions, so I can change the pictures at last. I bought several jugs back in August at the Strathalbyn Antiques and Collectibles Fair, and got just 1 on my trip. I saw a couple in restaurants we visited, but I didn't have any luck the time I tried to get/buy one. I need to get a new cupboard or shelving before I get many more... Echidnas must be out of fashion lately. I haven't seen any (that goes for real ones too!) for some time, but I have received a couple 2 as gifts.

Recently we took some time and visited Adelaide Zoo. That is a great place to spend a few hours. Of course the main attraction is still the pandas. We got there just as they were being encouraged out into their enclosures for a morning feed. Funi had a good romp around and, contrary to their lumbering appearance, easily climbed up a small tree. This is Funi


 and this is WangWang
 and here are some other birds, animals and plants that caught my eye

The meerkats are always amusing, while the mountain goats (below) always look like statues.
The tigers were playing hard to see, but the 'king' gave us a big yawn.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

dolphin cruise

I've been a bit slow getting out of the holiday mode (retirement is starting to look like a good ides!) and only done a little stitching. I have finished the last 2 postcards in our group challenge. Now I am collecting them all to display in the SA Festival of Quilts next week.

There are a number of sights and activities around Adelaide that I haven't ever done, or haven't for a long time, so I think I need to be a 'tourist at home' a bit more often. Before I returned to work we took a dolphin cruise on the Port River. It was a fine, picture perfect day, making for a great 2 hour trip that I 'd highly recommend.
  The old lighthouse
Two old tugs which now belong to the Maritime Museum. The Yelta takes tours and trips. I recall it being in Port Pirie sometimes when I grew up there.

 The Dolphin Explorer
 A seagull watching us. They are always so clean and white.
 Saw dolphins in several places - not close enough for good photos, but this at least shows they were there.
 One of the channel lights, and a sand bar that they protect against.
 Rarely seen baby seagulls
 The One and All sail training vessel was open for inspection
 Ropes, ropes and more ropes...

The temperature was only about 20, so it did get rather bracing on the top deck down at the channel entrance, and we retired to the next level then. Walking back to the car I thought these lovely window boxes gave these converted warehouses and a little European feel.