Monday, 29 September 2008
Saturday, 27 September 2008
After this we went to the Geelong Wool Museum to see Expressions 2008: the Wool Quilt Prize another collection of really beautiful works - none of them made in the traditional way with recognisable blocks, but beautiful woollen fabrics, many recycled from clothing or blankets, combined with linens, silks and cottons - mostly dyed with natural dyes or rust processes and embellished with hand and machine stitching. All just lovely. As part of this there were many Waggas from the 1940s, and it was great to see them included as works of art and part of Australia's history. I would strongly recommend for anyone within reach of Geelong to go and have a look at this excellent exhibition - the Wool Museum is fascinating too.
Friday, 26 September 2008
This huge skein of wool made me smile, so I bought it for a couple of dollars. I think it is wool - as it does not melt when lit, and smells like my carpet if the fire spits an ember and it is scorched. The yarn is a bit coarse for a jumper - perhaps it was for carpet weaving.... but the ball weighs just over 1.1 kgs or more than 2 1/4 lbs. Don't ask me how I might use it - I have no idea, but I'm wondering if it would shrink and felt if knitted.........BTW, those are Maggie's toes on the top step - I did not notice them before, or else I would have cropped the photo.
This is another of my unknown Daffodil varieties, multi-petaled and very fragrant.
The gorgeous thing below is a wood anemone - Anemone nemorosa 'Robinsoniana" tiny, a vivid blue and happily spreading in a patch under some birch trees.
This one is a Paper White, just beginning to bloom now as other varieties are fading. It is also very fragrant.
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
My son did most of the cooking; we had Atlantic salmon for dinner on Friday night, and then very slowly roasted venison with roast vegetables for dinner on Saturday. The birthday cake was made the next day by my daughter, a delicious Carribean Spice Cake with cream - we would have had no room for it on Saturday in any case, and this helped extend the food fest for the whole weekend. It was a totally indulgent, with champagne and other wines at the appropriate times and I felt both very lucky and very spoilt.
My son spent some time doing various chores for me – things I cannot do myself, or for which I do not have the tools. I now have a chicken shed door that no longer sticks when the wood gets wet and swells, a gate latch that no longer blows open in the wind, a shrub securely anchored to the ground and no longer likely to blow over, a potting bench no longer likely to collapse, steps with anti–slip tape on them, and big rocks in a garden bed just where I wanted them.
There were gifts as well, some computer software, flowers, a gorgeous coffee mug with a design that looks as if it comes from the medieval tapestry of the lady and the unicorn, and finally, knowing that I have a soft spot for owls, my clever daughter made me this:-
He was christened Owliver Cromwowl, but somehow I think may be just Oliver, and will be watching over my sewing room from now on, encouraging me to stop procrastinating....
Friday, 12 September 2008
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Monday, 8 September 2008
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Yesterday as part of the Open Garden Scheme, with friends, I visited Banongill Station near Skipton in the Western District of Victoria, 120 kms from where I live. It was spectacular and well worth the hour and a half's drive to see such a place and enjoy its history.
William Guilfoyle in the 19th century – it features wide lawns sweeping down to Mt Emu Creek, formal garden beds, wide gravel pathways, unusual plants, massive European trees, garden beds with roses, shrubs and succulents, the most wonderful wisteria covered pergola, and bluestone terraces filled with bulbs. There are also wild areas where the grass has been allowed to grow long, full of more Spring bulbs, an orchard, and a formal vegetable garden. The brownish pinky colour is the creek, covered with a water weed that gives it that colour.
Banongill Station which was first settled in 1853, where the original bluestone cottage is now part of the homestead kitchen, has had only 6 owners in the time since, with one family owning it for over 100 years. The property is a working station with over 17,000 acres of productive land specializing in fine wool, beef cattle, lamb production and crops. The very large homestead is surrounded by over 14 acres of garden that was originally designed by
Despite its size, this garden was immaculate, no doubt the result of constant hard work by the three gardeners who care for it and the commitment of the present owners to safe guard its history and protect it for future generations. This kangaroo sculpture was made from the same brushwood as is used for fencing common in South Australia, and was about 7 feet tall. Some bright spark has placed a single daffodil under his arm, so he looks very much part of the day.
It was a great day out, with morning tea on the way there, and a late picnic lunch on the way home, followed by a quick visit to the Skipton Cemetery to locate the grave of one of my friend's great, great grandfather who had settled in the area in the 1850's.
Friday, 5 September 2008
This is a new shrub recently planted in the ongoing development of my garden. It is called Mahonia aquifolia and I found it at my local town's monthly market. It will ultimately reach 2 metres tall, and has leathery evergreen (except in winter when they go this beautiful red) leaves. The flowers are not yet fully open, and will be followed by purple berries. It will make quite a statement when it grows a bit more.
I have hundreds of these particular daffodils, they were here when I bought this place, and I do not know the name of the variety. I was told they are a very old variety, and are most unusual in their multi petalled flower and lime green colour as the buds open. I have planted several thousand bulbs over the last three years, so you can understand why I love this time of year - I promise more pictures as they begin to bloom.
These little ones are called Tete-a-Tete - they look like a normal yellow daffodil, but are miniatures, only about 20 cms tall. They seem to have more than one flower per bulb so have an impact despite their size.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
No sewing, but I achieved a good deal in the garden, weeded, transplanted, tidied, sprayed and even mowed some grass, also for the first time this season. In another month or so, mowing will be a tedious time consuming weekly chore as it takes a full day to do the whole property. Today the weather was wonderful, blue skies, sunshine and it was almost warm - in fact today was the first day for several months that I allowed my slow combustion fire go out. It is my only form of heating, and I use about 12 cubic metres of firewood a year as it burns any the time it is cold, and 24 hours a day during winter, so that is another mark of the changing season.
Anyway, Spring is officially here, some of my daffodil and other bulbs are in flower with lots more in bud and this year's show will be good as we have had so much rain. Some shrubs have new leaves showing, and the roses have lovely new red shoots developing, while the fruit trees are covered in buds that will be blossom soon. I think the sunshine, different light and the fact it is not raining has done wonders for my state of mind. Here's to lots more of it.
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
· Bittersweet – because I love the colours of Morna’s textiles, her funky dolls and use of old things - woolly jumpers recycled into lovely felt penny rugs, old linens and other textile creations.
· Allie’s – I’m sure she has received many awards, but I’m listing her because she is inspired by her beautiful garden and I love seeing the way she constructs and works the flowers on her crazy quilts.
· LAM’s blog - I met Lynn when I was doing an online course last year, and know she designs and makes beautiful quilts, and teaches free motion quilting online as well as working with other textile arts and multimedia.
· Jude’s what if? Where Jude continues to experiment with stitching and ask questions which may prompt others to do things a little differently. Her generous spirit and willingness to share shine clearly through. Others are invited to contribute their ideas and works as in a sub-section called CQR.
· Dogdaisychains – another award winning blog, and one where I was lucky enough to win a recent giveaway. Jackie is an embroiderer who has had work included in WOW, and who has a couple of very useful tutorials on her site, as well as links to gorgeous photos of her work and her own Etsy shop
· Moonstitches – sometimes written in both German and English, by a person living in Japan. It is full of Liberty fabric quilts, knitting, photographs and a wonderful collection of fabric owls with a tutorial showing how to make them.
· Magsramsay – and English biologist who uses things from the natural world to inspire her art, textiles and award winning quilts. I particularly like her Thin Blue Line one.
Monday, 1 September 2008
It was only when my friend arrived with her family and other guests and we were wishing her a Happy Birthday that I realised that I had forgotten the cake. Out of sight – out of mind, it was still sitting 25 kilometres away on the top of my washing machine. There was no option other than return home and collect it, or else the day would be ruined, so off I flew. I was back before we all sat down to lunch and will privately admit to doing quite a lot more than the speed limit, all the time berating myself for my stupidity and having the memory of an ant......I’m only glad that Greg, our local police constable had not chosen to lurk behind a gum tree with his speed camera – at least I did not see him. I think it takes about three weeks for the blue notice to arrive in the mail......so I shall be on tenterhooks until the end of this month.