Sunday, December 22, 2013

it's almost Christmas

Well I didn't do anything with the 70s bits - just took them along and wore a kaftan style evening dress from that time. That is the only sort of outfit I can still fit into, though even that was rather tight around the armpits! It was a fun night with quite a few other outfits and memories from the time. I would have liked to be able to fit into my hotpants which I wore with long white cut out boots (or were they sandals?). I gave them to the Power House Museum when we lived in Sydney.

Since then it has been mostly getting organised for Christmas - cards, presents, making 'bonboxes' (in place of bon bons), a pudding and the truffles are under way. We bought a new Christmas tree and pensioned off the one we have had for 40 years.
We have stopped off a couple of times recently to look out over Port Noarlunga and the mouth of the Onkaparinga River. The water was the most beautiful blue-green colours, although you don't see much of it in these shots.

There were not many on the beach, as you can see, but it would have been a different story this week as we have had an exceptionally hot spell. The library has been a very busy spot as we are one of the distribution points for the Council beach passes for the 2 drive on beaches. We are near to one of those beaches and beach goers come to us in all sorts of attire...

I had an interesting mishap/experience earlier in the week. I went into the city for an appointment, and whilst crossing a main road my sandal gave out. The sole split open and foam stuff was spilling everywhere. I trailed it into the office for the appointment having no time to do anything else. I headed for athe nearest shoe store when I left, and on the way the heel came right off and a little further on the second sole split (more like exploded) similarly. After I had thrown them in a bin I realised I should have taken some photos. They were a good name brand but I had had them for a couple of seasons, and pulled them out for the first time since last summer. It was quite a hot day, but I don't know if it was heat or age that caused it.

Here are a couple of photos from the garden, beginning with our latest blackbird nest, with two baby birds. They are in the apple trees - where I hung lots of CDs to keep the birds away!!!

The nest is quite a work of art, complete with some long lengths of black plastic string. 
A few of the flowers on the convulvulous. The plant  has been in for about 12 years now, and continues to grow and spread and flower, and flower. It gets chopped back regularly too.
This succulent is in a bowl on the patio
Flowers on the crown of thorns cactus
I like the way this new fern leaf has come up through the other plant (can't remember its name) creating such a contrast.

It's time to roll the truffle mixture and to say Merry Christmas and a Happy new year to everyone.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

a great exhibition

Well the SA Festival of Quilts is over for another year. The committee are probably saying 'thank goodness' but what a great job they did! And what an amazing display - lots of  variety and lots of inspiration. We have some very, very talented members and the judges job could not have been easy.
Congratulations Michele Hill - another Best of Show, and well deserved.
This 'Anyone for ludo? It is my completed drunkard's path workshop quilt. Have to say not my most favourite, but it came up quite well. The colour is not too true - the lattice is a deep purple
This is 'The birthday girl'. I have always loved the pictures of Alphonse Mucha and set out to do something in that style - it changed a bit as it went along! A lot of hand and machine applique, and a lot of hours. It has hand made roses and beading too.I incorporated a face I did in a Bonnie McCaffery workshop some time back which has been staring at me from the wall for a year or so.
Just realised I should have included some close ups.
At the moment I am project free, but I don't think that will last long. I am contemplating doing something for our guild 70s xhallenge for the December meeting. I have a piece of tie-dye left from the kaftans and pantsuit I made back then...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

lots of limes to come

No stitching to report at the moment. I can put up pictures of the last couple of projects when our exhibition starts in a few days. I haven't added anything to my reading list for a while - and I have still been managing to read a bit. Belonging to a book group means at least one a month, but it is often more like one a week. So while I add a couple of books to the list, I couldn't resist a couple of photos...

In the garden

 The current crop of limes was good, but if they don't all fall off, the next crop will be huge!
Probably too small to see, but the tiny spider sailed pat me on his web on the wind and landed on this Japanese bamboo leaf
So delicate blossom on the boysenberry. There aren't many yet - it is not looking as fruitful as the lime
A fun 'visitor' I received for my birthday a while back.
 A vibrant and beautifully formed calendula
We went to the Aviation Museum at Port Adelaide some days back. That was very interesting. It is well worth a visit. I didn't take photos there, but I did as we passed the SA Maritime Museum

 This fine mosaic bench has a map of the early Port Adelaide settlement
and while we were watching some very busy and determined bees enter a hole in the kerb I turned and saw this on a nearby post. By the weathering it has been up a while. Coincidence, or had someone else seen bees there?

And some street gums - beautiful patterns and textures on the trunk,  
 and interesting patterns of light and shade on the wall.
So to the books.

Monday, October 14, 2013

update time

I managed to finish the last postcard on time last week, but realised I hadn't put up pictures of the last three. So here they are...
"The visitor" is stencilled (then over stitched).

 "The marigolds" are burnt - a Qantas tablemat. The 'well' burnt and hence fragile ones are under a layer of organza.
"The pathways" are images from magazines rubbed onto packing tape - a simple but quite amazing process

They have been fun to do. Like I find most quilting/textile projects, the hardest bit is the working out what to do. Some of the techniques require the work to be done in stages, but the overall time for a completed project is quite short. I am collecting them up from the other 4 ladies who shared the exercise, ready to display them in the SA Festival of Quilts in a couple of weeks. It is giving me a good chance to really study them all, and to see just how clever we all are!

Here are a couple of time out pictures - beautiful red bottlebrush flowers (callistemon) I spotted at McLaren Vale with a very busy bee in the centre.

 and our fish pond.
 A recent walk on the beach saw this unusual cloud formation
 and a fisherman's catch.
Not quite time out, but while gardening I took this not quite so pretty picture when we emptied the compost bin - a whole lot of obviously healthy and contented slugs! uugggh

I hope the compost gives us a fine crop of vegies too. The apple trees have blossomed, and we're getting a few seedlings in. I picked the first snow pea today from some we planted a couple of weeks ago.

...and in between I am busily finishing my 2 pieces for the exhibition. The schedule is on time, and helped by having a few days off.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

pebbles on the beach and in the garden

I have been enjoying reading Michele Hill's blog about her William Morris tour. Nothing quite so exciting happening here though, just a lot of stitching. That's about all I am doing as I work on 2 quilts I have entered in the SA Festival of Quilts in November. I still have lots to do (no previews yet). The one taking most of my time is something original, and as usual, by the time I finish it I will have worked out the best way to do it! Secondly I'll be quilting the result of my workshop with Gina Burgess over 12 months ago. I am not starting that until I have finished the first one. So far my schedule is on track.

To ease the eyes I have been for a few walks that resulted, naturally in a few photos. Even on dull days there are many things to brighten the scene and/or give cause for thought.
The usually sandy beach
 At first I thought this gull was standing over another dead gull.
 Closer inspection revealed a cuttlefish backbone only partly shed/shucked/ released - I wonder what the correct term is?

Not sure who this large feather belonged to.
 Two views of a large, deep red shell shaped sponge


 A star fish leg?
 Beautiful and delicate pattern on this crab claw
and the unfortunate crab.

Last weekend I went to visit Mary Williams' excellent exhibition at Fullarton. What mastery of stitching! I think it is over now, otherwise I would be saying 'go'.
Mary had several works of fungi, and I thought of them again when I saw these a couple of days after.

They were growing in a car park garden bed near Woodcroft Library.
And speaking of garden beds, these are just around the corner from home

 This reminded me so much of one of my little Nature's carpets quilts
 And here, a real 'pot plant'. I am not sure if it was deliberate or abandoned, but it looked quite attractive in the pebbles in the garden.
 Finally, before I return to some quilting, some rich new growth on a pine tree.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

getting out and about in the un-fair weather

We have had a good share of winter weather over the last few weeks, with rain and unpleasant gale force winds keeping the emergency services busy. The weather certainly affected the turn out at the annual Antiques and Collectables Fair at Strathalbyn last weekend. It is always worth a visit, but compared to other years the numbers were very few, and surely a disappointment for the traders and stall holders. I did manage to find a few jugs to add to the collection though!
This is the scene at the Trash and Treasure morning -

 Usually this track is lined with stalls and the walkway is crowded. The blue sky came and went in a matter of minutes, and

the best thing was the fabulous rainbow between the rain showers.

The halls were a bit easier to get around without as many people as usual. I loved all the miniature sewing machines on your Treadles and Treasures stand Lynne. It is probably a good thing I have no room to start a new collection.   (See some on )

There are lots of exhibitions to see at the moment with SALA on this month (South Australian Living Artists). I have seen a few - at Willunga and Port Adelaide, and really enjoyed Essence put on by the Fibre Art group at Peppper Street Gallery. Some clever pieces there - well done girls.

Over the last couple of days I have been 'home touring' with Rachel who has been home for a few days, and wanting to re visit places in our local area that she hasn't seen for a while. It has been cold, misty, windy and rainy but still interesting. This is Cape Jervis - the light house and the ferry terminal. We realised it is about 26 years since we crossed to Kangaroo Island from here - it is clearly high time we went again!

At The Bluff, the large granite headland at Victor Harbor, we saw 2 black tailed gulls. The message seemed to be - "No, you won't see whales today, just me and my friend
 Which is my better side? Right?

Or left?"

I have not seen these gulls so close before, to get such a good look at their large and colourful  beaks.
This is Petrel Cove behind The Bluff showing quite a swell.
Today we visited the fabulous exhibition of the SA Museum Natural History Waterhouse Art Prize finalists. It is hard to pick a favourite though I have to admit to being taken by the winner - Flight of fancy by Judith Brown. I saw the potential for something like that when I collected the gladioli bulb skeleton I have had on my shelf for about 8 years now!!!
The exhibition is on for a few more days but if you can't get along check it out at

At the moment I should be stitching a postcard (due Monday) where we transfer a picture onto packaging tape, but I have just found that I don't have the right tape. The dispenser has silver duct tape on it, not clear. Looks like it is off to the shop tomorrow...