Wednesday, November 18, 2015

trying to photograph flashing lights

I did take some photos of my Festival of Quilts Exhibition challenge piece and then forgot to post them. The theme was steam punk so I created a Quilt Factory with some LED lights for special effects. Had a bit of trouble with them staying on, but it got favourable reactions when they were working. As basically a point and shooy photographer it has been extremely difficult trying to capture them in photos - not helped by the fact that they are on several sequences.

The airship, balloon and ship have red flashing navigation lights, the lighthouse a fading light and the rest are continuous - blue on the airship, green for starboard on the ship and white for the factory rooms and lamp. I think this actually shows all but the red ones. Most of the cogs and metal pieces come from family "that might come in handy" collections, and the worked tapestry figures from an op shop find. No prizes but it was fun to do.

I have just completed some stitching on a background for a piece to come from the course I've been doing

They represent pyramids with a little (not too) straight stitching to highlight them. The red/brown fabric is something I dyed a couple of years ago.

Out and about the other day I saw this wonderful study in black and white -
showing some of our amazing eucalypt varieties. Nearby were these also

And while I was taking these photos I was being dive bombed by a common myna (or mynah). We all know about nesting magpies in pine trees, but I have not heard of this before. When I was growing up we had several huge pines in the front yard. "Our" magpies dived on strangers, but not us. I did experience it on the way to school though.
At home I have had my fifth lizard sighting. Seems there are at least 2, in different parts of the garden. This one has a white splash on the back of the head which the first one I saw (and posted a photo) didn't have.
 He was a little put out when I turned the water on yesterday!

My side pics and reading list need updating - I'll get to that shortly.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

the birds have flown the nest

The second hatching of blackbirds
have left the nest, so the other day I thought I would remove it and clean up the umbrella. Fortunately it is not too messy but I was fascinated by the nest. It is so sturdy in its construction that it  lifted off easily, and inside I found one little bluish egg alongside a hole where the nest was built around the finial on top of the umbrella.

I can't show a photo yet of my Steam Punk Challenge piece for our Guild Exhibition this weekend, because after I handed it in I realised that I had forgotten to photograph the completed work!
Since then I have had a further try at block making based on the papyrus plant. It is somewhat larger this time and am quite pleased with the result. This shows the new one with some of the smaller ones. Not a great print but I can use it as a background for some applique.

From some time out, these are a few photos from a walk on the beach. At first it looks like rocks and sand,
 but it is always worth closer examination -
a washed up feather
 a weathered shell fastened to a rock
 a shell wedged between the rocks
and a small sea anemone (?) - poke something in the middle and it closes up
On the sand, an interesting wash effect
and on the promenade, a young sprout on the trunk of the Norfolk Island Pine.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

it's warm and sunny ... it's spring

The last few weeks have seen any spare time working on my Guild challenge entry. It's finished - it had to be, for delivery by today, but  a further deadline to tidy the room for a vistitor earlier this week provided added incentive.

The temperature lately seems to be riding a roller coaster, with hot one day and cold the next, but there have been some lovely spring days with clear blue skies. On Thursday I went on a Fleurieu Quilters' shop hop and gallery tour. It was a great day and the 35 degree heat didn't deter anyone. First stop was the lovely Widebacks shop at Flagstaff Hill.  Widebacks are their specialty, but they've a good range of all quilting 'needs'. You can see them at
They served us a splendid morning tea to see us on to our next stop at Cheryl Bridgart's studio and gallery in the city. Have alook at her site
I have admired her brilliant work since my first workshop with her in 1995 (and I took another a couple of years later). Her house, studio and gallery is a clever conversion from the old Beltana House and stables. We sipped champagne while Cheryl told us a history of the house, then looked around the gallery before enjoying a lovely lunch. There were plenty of examples of her amazing embroidery, art, hats and clothing which are inspired by dreams and nature and often feature her favourite zebras (or their stripes) and eyes. This zebra is wearing one of the hats
Cheryl demonstrated her machine embroidery which she 'draws' straight on to her canvas/paper with her machine needle.
 Here is just a portion of 2 larger works

After that we visited Quiltaholics at Mt Barker.
Another lovely shop with a large fabric range, so of course out came the plastic again. Then it was a tasty afternoon tea befor we headed home.

 This is the result of my workshop with Cheryl many years ago. The vest is looking a little faded now.

On the garden front, I have seen my first blue tongue lizard since it has started to warm up. It came up from between some bricks I was about to re-stack.

The baby birds hatched but I didn't manage to retrieve my garden umbrella before a second blackbird started sitting (or the same one having another go?)
The warmer weather is bringing out the flowers - and the weeds. The roses are blooming and this kalanchoe is looking splendid. These were taken just after a watering

A couple of blocks away this interesting stand of red and pink together sits on the nature strip

Finally, a touch of brilliance on the sand dunes.

Monday, September 14, 2015

one project completed

The tapestry is finished at last. Not perfectly executed but I think it still looks magnificent. It is a scene from early Sydney. Next step is to get it framed, and then try and find a space on the walls to hang it.
Now I am working on a challenge piece for our Guild exhibition coming up soon, but no pictures for that yet.

Meantime, I have taken a few photos as I have been going about recently -
In the city, old

and new...
 Sublime, above, and ridiculous...
Yes, ants all over a mug on a windowsill.

In Cox's Scrub, re-growth after a bushfire a couple of years ago. Not a field of wildflowers

but masses of  young wattle bushes
At home, I know it is spring. I noticed a blackbird busy under the patio last week. Seems I should have noticed a week or two back, because the nest I discovered up in the corner was really substantial

and this week there are 3 heads peeping out. It's interesting to see some of the stuff incorporated into the nest. Thankfully the umbrella should be usable again quite soon.

Monday, August 10, 2015

one little block

Not much to show for the last few weeks. I'm making slow progress on the tapestry, whilst also working on a challenge piece, and trying to keep up with classwork for my online and drawing classes. I am quite pleased with this little print block I carved, in practice for a larger one. I've made stamps previously, but by cutting and gluing.
It is cold and wintery still, but it is pruning time, so I have been doing a little of that most days when the sun breaks through. Looking around the garden I have found quite a few spots of colour.
This was a hurried shot to try and get the baby magpie drinking and singing at the bird bath as I drove in. It watched me drive in and I got this one zoomed-in shot before it took off. It is there - behind the main trunk, you can just see a small white patch! Although we get a lot of birds, we don't get many magpies. On seeing the photo I liked the colours despite there being no bird. The pink prunus is just coming out and the yellow is a diosma in the background.
Two beautiful orchids
 A new tree fern frond
A splendid lily - finally a flower on a self sown lush green leafy plant in a pot. I had to wait for a flower to be sure it was a lily, but now I can move it into the garden.

For something different, it was a picture perfect day when I went to the recent Stitch and Craft show at the Adelaide showground and saw this

The ferris wheel is a permanent fixture, and this is one of the new pavillions.