Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Monday, 28 April 2008
Friday, 25 April 2008
There was frost on the ground and smoke still in the air when I left home very early to attend the Dawn Service in this small country town this morning. My two dogs thought the early hour meant an exciting rabbit chasing walk in the dark, but they were to be sadly disappointed when left behind. Probably about two hundred people of all ages, including several babes in arms, were there at the small War Memorial outside the Post Office in the cold, to watch and listen and remember. The service focused not only on those who served and died for their countries during all the past major conflicts, but the importance of Anzac Day in contributing to the sense of community spirit and national identity. The fact that numbers attending this service and the march that will follow are increasing, seems to prove this as the younger generations become involved. We listened in the dark to speeches from servicemen of the past, and as daughters of a local farmer sang the National Anthem and "We are Australian". The Policeman's daughter sang Eric Bogle's haunting song "And the band played Waltzing Matilda", her voice echoing around the town in the early light, as a few tears were shed.
The service ended with traditional laying of wreaths at the foot of the memorial, and then those attending adjourned to the CFA buildings for breakfast of eggs and bacon around huge warming fires in 44 gallon drums and a chance to catch up with friends. Local identities, usually seen only in work clothes, were all scrubbed up and proudly wearing medals from their service years, and ready to take part in the march to be held later this morning. I have not been to a march in this town before, but plan to today - I expect I shall find it equally as moving as the service early this morning as it will stir memories of my own Father who spent almost thirty years of his life in the Royal Air Force before bringing us all to Australia.
Monday, 21 April 2008
Last of today's photos is one of a Gazania splendens, self sown and growing valiantly in the middle of my gravel driveway. I'm surprised it has survived my car wheels and the heavy frost we had this morning. Can you believe the colours and pattern? As a volunteer, it deserves to be moved to a safer spot.
Sunday, 20 April 2008
Friday, 18 April 2008
Monday, 14 April 2008
The new one needs a name, so any suggestions will be considered.
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos are not common around here, instead we have hundreds of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Galahs that fly in huge noisy flocks or cause havoc destroying tree, gardens and crops, so I was surprised to see a pair of them sitting in the big pine tree behind my house on my way inside after taking the chicken shot above. I did not take the photo below, but the cockies looked exactly like this but shinier and more glossy. I wonder if they are going to stay in the area, or are just passing through to more pleasant climes?
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Some time was spent yesterday using my new embellisher, and for the first time I actually made something with the result. These are the front and back of a book cover, and for a first effort it actually looks quite good. The base fabric was a piece of navy blue acrylic felt, embellished with merino wool and silk tops, and then finished with lengths of variagated embroidery threads. It is lined and measures about 5.5 by 7.5 inches. I think this machine has a lot of potential for creating interesting textures and surfaces, but one to learn a few techniques or else everything runs the risk of looking like coloured dreadlocks!
Thursday, 10 April 2008
The challenge for March (A-NZ Art Quilters) was to create a Journal quilt in the style of an abstract, using a photograph for inspiration. As I am still waiting for all my photos to be retrieved from the old hard drive, yesterday I went looking for something interesting around the garden. Having recently done something with an Autumn theme, I didn't want to go down the track of falling leaves or autumn colours so took a series of photos of odd things thinking there would be some detail that I could use..
None of these appealed, although I tried tracing bits of the tow bar to create a repeating design, but it did not look great! Oh for a snappy photo editing program to enable that sort of photo manipulation.
This is the photo I eventually chose - a small pile of cypress pine post ends, and an empty terracotta pot popped beside them. Not posed, but just sitting in a corner with the compost heaps and other essential bits of things for which I am yet to find a purpose!
This is the quilt that I made - batik and hand dyed fabrics, machine applique and quilting, with a tiny bit of additional pattern marking with a Pigma pen on the terracotta pots because I felt the hand dyed fabric was too plain.
Monday, 7 April 2008
This was one find on Saturday - a dollar for a supermarket bag stuffed with small amounts of tangled knitting yarns in a multitude of colours, textures and thickness. Thinking of my latest toy, and need for fibres to use when embellishing, I could not resist. Careful unravelling and rewinding while watching the ABC last night resulted in this lovely pile, and I only had to discard a very small amount that was tangled beyond redemption.
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Computer experts may laugh at my ignorance, but I was absolutely delighted to learn today of a small piece of computer technology called a Card Reader. This little gizmo lets one download photographs directly from a camera to a computer without using any other software. Previously I have always used the software that came with my digital camera, and hence a problem because the software was not compatible with the new Vista operating system on the new computer. I did not know such a gadget existed, and am delighted as I thought I might need to purchase a more up to date digital camera. Thanks a heap to the pleasant young man in the camera shop who saved me unnecessary expense and told me about this amazing little thing. It simple, inexpensive and it works.
Just to prove it, this is a picture of the embroidered basket liner I have been working on for the last couple of weeks. The pattern is by Leanne Beasley and was in Australian Country Stitchery, Vol 4 No 8, published in November 2004. My basket was a different size which meant a lot of extra fiddling to make it fit, and I changed a couple of colours in the embroidery - I love the funky flowers and the pockets will make it a useful work basket.
Friday, 4 April 2008
I have been thinking about doing this for a while, but when in Melbourne yesterday for some face numbing dental work, I gave myself another treat and purchased a Pfaff Embellisher at my favourite sewing machine store. I have had a wonderful time experimenting with what it can do, and have only broken one needle so far! I'm amazed at the way one can meld fabric and fibres, make different surface textures, trap textiles and couch cords, yarns and ribbons. My night time reading will no longer be blood curdling mysteries about serial killers, but Val Campbell-Harding and Maggie Grey's wonderful books - Embellish and Stitch and Stitch Dissolve and Distort and others.
The April TIF challenge has been set. The theme is to be based on the question "How do you see change?" It reminds me of staff development meetings in the large organisation for which I used to work, where change was constant and much resisted........The optional colours are these:-
Even though the dark red ochre at the end is the exact colour of the soil where I live, these do not appeal to me at all, so I have no idea what I shall do, but I think I shall be using my new toy!