Monday, November 29, 2010

A Colourful Weekend.

Just a few quick pictures from the weekend. Main Creek is looking stunning after all the rain we have had. The bird life both wild and domesticated are enjoying the abundance of feed and on this particular weekend, good weather. The dawn chorus must be an English phrase as there is nothing harmonious or serene about the awakening of Australian birds. They celebrate the arriving of the new day with shrieks and screams, hoots and ear piercing whistles, cackling laughter and whoops of delight, this is no gentle awakening but a get out of bed NOW.
There were lots of brightly coloured fabrics flapping in the breeze and I think the peacock thought he had to compete with all this unexpected colour, so he put on a fine display for us.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blog Reader rather than a Blogger

I thought I had better explain why I have gone AWOL yet again.  Back in my March post you will see the statement "for when we do the big renovations, yeah like that's going to happen any time in the next decade".

 Well I have to eat my word here as the back of the house has changed from this - where I am showing my crow bar swinging friend Karen in a very technical architectural kind of way, the grand plan. Well the house wasn't exactly like that to begin with. My lovely rusty dyeing room, toilet, laundry and a vast expanse of more rusty roofing have been removed at this stage.

To this -

It's actually starting to look like a proper house !! We are doing most of the work ourselves, so every spare (dry) moment is spent adding weather boards, new windows and doors and all the other paraphernalia that goes with a big reno job. My back yard looks like a building site and my workroom is full of stuff that shouldn't be there. I am staining windows and doors rather than dyeing lovely fabrics and any painting involves a very large brush and a huge bucket of undercoat. I know more about different woods, types of windows, hanging doors and styles of weather boards than I ever wanted to know, can set and up load numerous types of nail guns and have become quiet comfortable using large electric saws and tools that I would normally approach like a dangerous wild beast capable of ripping your arms off.
So all normal activity has ceased here for an indefinite period of time. I shall have a lovely new house when it's all finished, which is already much more pleasant to live in, or out of as we spend a lot of time on the new back deck. The only downside to all this reorganisation and newness is that I have lost my work spots. I can no longer throw dye around with gay abandon and have old tables and twin tubs on hand to dye up a storm.
But as I speak, there is meters and meters of white cotton in the washing machine, (which at present resides in the garage with meter and meters of wood) being prepared for the last workshop of the year up at Main Creek. I have a weekend off :) no sawdust and noise for two whole days, just two days of blissful colour and sewing, well the ladies will be blissfully dyeing and sewing while I help them along the way but I will be a talking a language I am more familiar with and handling dye pots and fabric rather than drop saws and nail guns.
 So I have become a Blog reader rather than a Blogg - er. I still visit your blogs, drool over your creative endeavours, then slink away back to the world of chaos and dust. Of course, one day - in the hopefully not too distant future, things will return to normal and I will find new spots to dye in, my workroom will again become my own and used for it's intended purpose with the added bonus of a proper house!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Productive Couple of Weeks

Another long absence from my blog :( but I have actually managed to get out into my work room and accomplish something.
I have just been checking back through my posts, looking for this, thinking it was only a few months ago and it was a WHOLE YEAR!! where does the time go?
Anyway the Shall I - Shan't I has become a shall, mainly because a couple of ladies want to make this pattern at a weekend retreat next month so it HAD to be made.
I must admit, I haven't made a quilt for a long time and I really enjoyed it, so much so, I have the colours picked out for the next one, with a little help from my colour expert Jenny S.

I have called this quilt Hatley Garden, as it reminds me of  - yes - the garden we had in the first house I can remember which was at number 1 Hatley Garden.

Not a great picture but I've got nowhere to hang a quilt to photograph, especially one this big!!

 close up

I am really happy with the way it has turned out, particularly getting the colours so close to the ones in the original design. I couldn't dye that piece of blue again, must have been a random dye colour I picked up somewhere, so used a piece of batik fabric Mum sent over in her Surprise Parcel.  Now I just have to sit and write up all the direction so it can be added to the projects over at Main Creek.

I have another group coming up to Main Creek at the beginning of May. They will be dyeing on the first day, then using their fabrics to make a satchel type bag and / or a book sleeve on the second day. So using my hand dyes again I have finally got around to covering my diary and making another bag, this time noting down what I was actually doing so it can be taught at the workshop. 

I love making these book sleeves, I get to use all those functions on my machine that I usually forget about. I love the braiding foot to couch down threads and actually use some of those decorative stitches. This time I used my alphabet card and the program function to put the days of the week along the inside cover and the months of the year on the spine. This one also has some stamping and fabric weaving. The embellishment on the front is an ugly piece of lace stuff that I bought at the quilt show a few weeks ago which I have then covered in layers of paint, gel medium and garnet granules, looks so much better than the black and gold it was originally.



Bit blurry but they are the days of the week.

During all this productivity I also managed to wash up another hundred meters of fabric, here is half of it.

Thankfully no dust storms to contend with, just the occasional shower. It is now all neatly piled in 8 meter lengths or rolled back onto its tubes ready to be dyed, thanks to the help of Jenny S and Kim this morning.

I have also been re-vamping the Main Creek Blog. Now that blogger has pages, I can organise the site much better and have all the brochures available to download, another time consuming job, but it's getting there. - so back to it :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Day of Domesticity.

Finally it feels like Autumn!! We have had weeks and weeks of hot and humid weather and I have done nothing, that's what it feels like anyway. This morning, with a fresh breeze blowing, and a much needed day off, I decided to get the garden sorted out, something I have been planning to do for weeks but weather and the lack of a wheel barrow has stopped me. The veggie garden is very bare at the moment with all the summer stuff finished and my poor soil in much need of a boost. I have plenty of compost but no way to move it from the end of the garden to the veggie bed. Steve has been promising to get a wheel barrow for weeks - but - it's got to be just the right barrow, a proper builders barrow for when we do the big renovations, yeah like that's going to happen any time in the next decade. I know I shouldn't be so cynical, but........
Anyway back to the garden and I made myself a nice little compost mover, a grape box, very waxy inside so would stand a bit of damp and dirt, and a length of old whipper snipper cord for a handle and I could drag it box load by box load, remembering not to be too ambitious as to how much it could hold as I would have to pick it up to empty it at the other end - worked a treat and the compost bin is now empty of good stuff and the garden bed revitalised

I must admit I don't know much about this gardening lark and just do what I think needs doing, but I'm sure my compost wasn't supposed to have quiet as much wildlife living in it, particularly the ants nests and remembered reading somewhere that not enough moisture was the cause of ants - so while I was dragging my box loads up the garden, I rigged up a sprayer to get it well watered while I was adding it to the bed.

Yes I did get a bit damp when emptying my box, but it's still warm here :) You can just see one of my erosion bundles tied to the pole there, it was completely surrounded by tomatoes plants when I first put it up, but is now a bit exposed.  As you can see though, this must be one of the turquoise ones as the colour is showing through it's wrapping, wonder what else is happening in there?

I have finally found myself a lemon tree on a dwarf root stock that will be happy in a pot and it seems to be doing OK along with the red peppers and rhubarb which has given us one delicious crumble already this year.

I am lucky enough to have as my main 'weed' problem, nasturtiums, which I let grow indiscriminately throughout the garden and they in fact help to control the unwanted weeds.
Under this old chair there is a hole in the concrete, which, of course always has weeds growing out of it, but once a nasturtium finds it's way in there, it's left to it's own devises and I think looks quite lovely and gives mad Mango a treat as he love a nasturtium or five.

I have also planted up the three pots with some asian greens and other things that are totally out of season, but interested to see what will grow in an Aussie autumn as it is exactly the same if not warmer than an English summer. So the garden is all neat and tidy, the pumpkin patch has had a bit of a weeding and the compost bins cleaned up a bit.

I have also recycled an old TV unit into a small coffee table by removing the glass door and touching up the bare bits with black paint, (a real Better Homes and Garden sort of project this one). It's an ugly thing but much smaller and more practical than the huge ugly thing  we were using before.

The morning started off cool and sunny but the clouds slowly built as the morning went by.

And now it is pouring with rain so the garden is getting a good soaking and the house is filled with the smell of just baked hot cross buns, the first batch this year, so I'm off for a coffee and at least two warm buns covered in butter, I think I've earned them :) Oh I do love a day at home.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Erosion Bundle Project.

I heard about this project on LOVE STITCHING RED and couldn't resist  giving it a go. Here is the link to the Erosion Blog where you can find out more.
I should have put more thought into what was going into my bundles, but sometimes I tend to think too much and never get anything done, so I just scouted around my very untidy workroom and put together some bundles, mostly fabric and threads of course :) I did follow a couple of links and looked at other bundle projects and got the idea to add a bit more organic matter, so grabbed my herb and spice jars on they way out to the workroom. I've put mustard seeds in one of them, might end up with with a big bundle of mustard plants LOL.

This one has the mustard seeds along with some scrim a letter from my mum, a mixed media piece that I didn't really like and other bits and pieces that I can't remember.

Paper bark, a polymer clay head, silk thread and black pepper corns with other bits and bobs.

This one has a big piece of harem cloth wrapped around another piece of paper bark, cinnamon sticks and paper pieces.

 And lastly some dyed muslin, thread, a little metal spade, gum leaves and nuts.

There are other things in the bundles too, even now I can't remember exactly what I put in so they will be a real surprise when I open them.

Having a very small yard it was going to  a challenge to find places to put them. One went into the wood pile which is under the ever growing pumpkin plant at the bottom of the garden, one is tied to the pole at the back of my veggie garden, another tied into the bush under our bedroom window, this is at the front  of the house an open to anyone walking past but is well hidden I think and the last is buried just inside the back gate. I'm so glad I took photo's and posted this as I'm sure I'm going to forget where they are !!
sorry the pics are a bit like find Wally pictures, see if you can find my parcels LOL.

I think there is a set date to reveal the bundles, but being in the southern hemisphere and summer time, I think I will have to leave mine longer, although it did rain a little while I was stowing them away, just have to wait and see what happens over the next few months.  Should be interesting !!