Friday, July 31, 2009

1000 blog post give away

I decided that as I have now passed my 1000 blog posting I would do a give away, so here is what some one could win by posting on my blog before midnight Friday 7th of August, Central Australian Time.
Click on the post to see an enlargement.
A lovely day today the sun is shining so I am about to go and see if I can pull a few weeds, I need to get outside and see what is going on.
After the terrible heat and long dry of last summer when I couldnt water for 3 months I cannot believe how well the camellias look, I have more flowers than ever before, perhaps there is a lesson to be learnt about too much watering.
Of course this month we have gone well and truly over our average for July, but we need lots more rain before the farmers will be happy, and truth to tell me as well as there is nothing like rain water for making gardens grow.

"What is now proved was once only imagined."

William Blake.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Little fabric owl

I have a very sweet little owl I bought in Japan quite a while ago and there has been an upserge in making what a known as 'stuffies', what in my day were soft animals.
I have had fun hand sewing the little cats and I collect owls so bit late in the day a why not thought occurred so here is my first little owl. I can improve on this one but at the moment he is quite happy being part of the ''owl and the pussy cat" idea.
This is my 1001 post, I wondered if I was booted off blogger when I got to 1000 but obviously they will let me keep going, at least for the moment.
As every one has give aways for a major mile stone I will have a think tomorrow about what I have and what I can give away and all the other things that are a bit like having to think too much after a tiring trip to the physio this afternoon.
Where the ligament attaches to the bone is terribly sore so I need more visits. I thought perhaps I had finished but obviously not.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another 10 minute collage

I havent done many of these lately but I had fun with this one.
Pat of Weaver of Grass blog set a challenge to see who or what had influenced us. I have written a rather long post on my other blog if you want to look.
I have spent most of the day tidying and sewing and cutting out and not doing a huge amount.
I have several things under way but not much finished so there is no point in talking about them.
Still cold and grey outside but not as much rain as we had hoped for, now the weather 'experts' I think personally that my farmer husband is as good as them, are talking about dry summers and worse fire problems etc etc. I know we are in a terrible muddle and that the seasons are not quite as expected and of course we are globally warming, we have been ever since the earth began, but we also have cycles of weather as our records will attest to, and no one can look ahead and positively say this or that WILL happen, if they are sensible they will say this might happen.
I quite like this quote from British poet Abraham Cowley

"May I a small house, and a large garden have.
And a few Friends and many Books, both true,
Both wise, and delightful too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Around the farm

The cob stallion, Pen-nant Prime Time, who has come home to live.
My rescue dog Jake, who I have had for 9 years, he is a great companion but a terrible thief and scavenger. He looks as if he has been down eating calf food.
He was about 5 they thought when I got him, nothing known about him he was a stray taken from the side of the road, so he is living a good life.
And here are some of the 100 odd heifers we raise each year for replacements in the herd, red and black and white friesans.
A funeral today and I have gone into that on my other blog.

"To wish to be well is part of becoming well."
Seneca 4BC - 65AD

Monday, July 27, 2009

A fairy house

I have been playing with these house parts, and come to think of it they are also holey so I suppose they might be part of the holey moley class I am doing.
I have a small grand daughters Birthday coming towards the end of the year and I wanted to have a try at these, they are designed by Gloria Bradford and I was quite pleased with my fme done on the Bernina I bought to do this sort of stuff on.
I went over to see Millie and Tabby today, not that Millie is into dolls but I thought a little house might tickle her fancy later on.
I am also sewing up another one and some doll parts so I am back into sewing again.
The fact that I fell asleep by the fire doesnt mean anything!
My football team won very well last night too.
quote for the day by George Sand. Probably not terribly appropriate but I like the essence of it.
'The old woman I shall become
will be quite different from the woman I am now.
Another I is beginning.'

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Point Sturt, June 08 and July 09

This is the plight of the Lower Murray and the Lakes and Coorong.
Today John and I drove out for my 'airing' and the decision was to have another look at the Point Sturt area on Lake Alexandrina.
With the River Murray in crisis and this is our only big major river in Australia, after at least 5 years of drought it was devastating to see how much lower the water is.
In the first photo this was taken today at the edge of what was once a cliff, the second photo was taken at about the same spot last year, the water then was at the base of the cliff.
The next photo is a longer shot today and the second is of approximately the same spot last year showing the huge amount of water that has gone.
I dont think any one knows how to fix this, the water is becoming undrinkable for stock, it is much harder to get and really the only sollution seems to be the end of the drought, and that probably means several years of good winter rainfall as one year is certainly not going to fix it.
It is dividing the communities along there, their major sollution seems to be that the Government should fix it, I know that it is because Governments have not stepped in early and taken control of the river and stopped the huge amounts of irrigation that has gone on and they have hoped it would all fix itself, but now how can any one fix a problem of no rain and no water?
Apart fom all of that it was a beautiful day as you can see, although a bit cold and we came home to have a coffe at our favorite spot in Victor and were told there was a female right whale and her calf just out the front. My first whale for the season and I didnt have to go to look for it. I took photos, but what did I get? sea!!
Our southern rights are a bit dull as they tend to sit on top of the water and shoot up a plume of spray every so often and then go under for a while, not a lot of tail lobbing or jumping, although as the calves get older they tend to be a bit more active.
Any way we did see them and photos or not it is a delight to know they are returning in larger numbers after being almost hunted to extinction.
No Haihu or quote tonight but I have just had a delicious and probably awfully fattening meal of green salad with olives bought this morning at the farmers market, chip potatoes and squid in tempura, the squid caught at Coffin Bay a few weeks ago and defrosted and yummy. White wine with the lot. Life is still good.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pugs, Peacocks and flowers

I have been busy today, a small painting on my other blog, I have cut out lots of patterns as I need to get back into doll making,walked around with the camera and had a friend to visit, which was great as I feel a bit I am back in the world of people!
This male peacock was sitting on top of a cage near the back door and his blue was so brilliant I had to take his photo.
Then I looked up and saw the tree dahlia still flowering, my others got so knocked around with the rain and wind but this is the nicest of all.
Here in the bathroom is a lovely lead light glass window my sister gave me, actually the whole bathroom revolved around that window and funnily enough the maker of it, lives not very far away. They are gouldian finches and the little red cyclamen matches some of the colours. Not easy to photograph as it was against the light.
Then Maggie waiting for her dinner, I stood with her bowl and all she wanted to do was jump up and wag her tail. She was a successful brood bitch but is now retired.
And then Tuppy, well in his hay day he was and I suppose still is an Australian Champion pug but now is old and deaf and going blind but still fun to have around so long as he knows where he is.
He was anxiously waiting to be fed as well.
Tonight I feel like ending with a quote,
by Christopher Darlington Morley it is from my quote book.
"There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My fish collection

I have had an unproductive day, shopping, cleaning and going to the physio who tut tutted that I had done too much and now everything aches.
I nearly thought I was going to Perth for Maggie Grey's workshop, I really really want to go but the cost is higher than when I last looked and so far we are no further ahead with the possibility of an overseas trip for my Birthday, in fact nothing has been decided about my birthday and I dont want to be 70 any way!!
Had to get that off my chest!
So here are a few of the fish, I had forgotten about them and I love all of them. The latest is the 'Blue tin tuna' I bought at our exhibition in April. He is the last photo.
You can see little corners of my house, and probably imagine the clutter! Luckily you cannot see that it is slowly falling around our ears.
I finally found my Haiku book, well one of them, come to think of it there is another somewhere
this one is by Gyodai
Leaf falling on leaf,
on piled-up leaves...
Rain splashing
in pools of rain...
It has been a bit like that in the last few days.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One of THOSE days

Everything I thought I was going to do today didnt quite happen the way I thought it would.
We were woken in the early hours of the morning by a short but very heavy and noisy thunderstorm with hail. Didnt get back to sleep.
It rained very heavily off and on all morning with brief bursts of sunlight.
I thought I was going to spend all the day playing with textile stuff. Couldnt find the vliesofix (bonding stuff) so spent a fruitless hour or so looking and then remembered I had used the last of it before 'the knee'.
John when asked to get some when he went into see the Dr and have more things cut out when asked by the friend who runs the shop how I was said"She is going through the grumpy stage".
So IN the Holey Moley stuff we are doing on line with Dale I thought I would do the holes in panty hose. Only after I had cut the leg off did I realise it was my smart fancy pair, too late by then. So I made holes not very well but they are better than the other holes I made doing "free machine" or free holes, I think mine ran away.
I took the camera outside and it was so dark the nice pale pink camellia in a pot by the bedroom door faded to white with the flash.
In desperation, I looked for more holes, well its not a hole but it is round, and reasonably decorative, full of leaves and water, the drinking bowl for all who pass by (animal or bird of course).
What else? Well I have finished the beaded pin for some one who hasnt got back to me yet to say if she still wants it, I guess she will.
Oh and the shot of texture in the garden, that is what all my garden books are raving about at the moment, different greens and texture, well not quite green in the New Zealand flax, it is a not so much texture as a focal point.
Dont you love the ferny looking leaves of the geranium maderense? It will flower this summer in the most amazing and huge head of purple flowers, that is one plant I dont mind self seeding mildy aroung the garden.
Have a look at Christine Atkins web site on my side bar, she is the friend who won her section of the Waterhouse Prize this week and she does the most amazing stuff.
Well the pug is demanding his food, no doubt John will too but not quite in the same way, the knee is not likeing me but I am having fun making silken circles with not my couronne stick (which I dont have) but a toilet roll and silk sari stuff that I bought to knit with and never did.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Around the garden

I did far too much yesterday, totally cleaned the house, changed the bed, washed and then proceeded to fall in a heap.
I did manage in the midst of it all a short walk down to the stables and took this quite nice photo by the gate into the orchard of wormwood and a small pink gum trunk.
The aloes are starting to flower, sending their tall red candles up, this smaller one is further advanced than the big one I have. They always look so cheerful at this time of the year.
Then another small collection, baskets, I made three of them but not the lovely dark grey and light grey one or the one with the handle.
I did a basket making course one year and although I loved doing it I havent done another one, there never seems to be time, trouble with me is I go from one thing to another, why oh why didnt I do this when I was in my 40's, not my 60's.
The stones are aboriginal grinding stones we found years and years ago, probably it is illegal to take them now but then no one bothered about them.
Off to feed the dogs who are telling me it is high time I did something about them, the old male pug who is deaf and going blind has no problems telling when he should be fed.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I have been wandering through a few blogs of people who have collections or who are gatherers, I am not sure what I am but I certainly gather all sorts of things and I do have a few collections.
I am not showing my cloth doll collection as I think that is a little obsessive.
so here are some and my favorite is the little shrine with my sand stone seated figure I bought many years ago on a skiing trip to Wanaka in New Zealand. John made the little wooden shrine for me and she has around her many things I think she would like.
Then, apart from the cloth African lady, who is one of my most favorite cloth dolls is my small collection of wooden Japanese dolls ewith a few other Japanese momentos.
Of course there are owls, these live in the bathroom. they are probably my nicest collection as I have been given them by friends and relations over the years.
I have always loved houses and had a few before I went on various trips and came home with some from different parts of the world although most are made by Australian artists and some are really cheap little things I just liked the look of.
I am a terrible magpie and one thing usually turns into several things. What does every one else collect?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stop Press

My friend Chris Atkins from Perth has just won her section, which was sculpture of the Waterhouse Prize which is the richest Natural history art prize in Australia. Well done Chris, I will try to get a photo of her winning entry when I go to see the exhibition on Monday.
I havent looked at the South Australian Museum site but it could well be there.
Chris is a very talented young woman.

Sundews and peacock madness

We went to visit friends for a quick lunch and on the way home on the back road these sundews were all in flower on the bank on the side of the road. They are one of our carnivorous plants and are really lovely. From their roots I believe you can make a dye, purple I think but I am not sure.
In the second photo you can see the sticky hairs on the leaves which trap small ants and flying insects attracted to the sundew they exude.
When we got home the peacocks were all behaving in a very silly fashion, the males are just starting to grow their tails so perhaps they are starting to show off to the females, but then again there may have been a fox around.
We had a very windy night but no rain.
I have been standing for too long, we went to the farmers market, not like Robyn of art propelled blogspots South African Market, where she can buy African artifacts and stuff as well as vegetables.
I bought 3 plants, 2 succulents and some thyme, some leeks, a bunch of rhubarb, cauliflour and mushrooms and if I didnt make my own bread I would have been very tempted with some sourdough.
I am trying to get some of my collections of 'things' into a box I found and have oiled that has divisions in it, actually I think it is a childs shadow box but I dont mind. I want to get some of the keys and bottle tops and possibly the kangaroo skull up, not to mention shells and rocks and feathers and other things I collect in my wanders.
I have been inspired by Robyn's blog and others who make collections.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Garden flowers

The sun is out and I have repotted some succulents that have been crying for me to do them and then a wander around the garden.
The little jack in the pulpit are out, there are actually two in the photo but one is very shy and hiding.
I think this camellia is The Czar but it is so long ago that it was planted I have forgotten, no good for picking but lovely on the bush.
This pink flower is a passionflower, I thought it was tropical but cant be as it goes mad at this time of the year and it is so cold and wet, I need to get to it as it is over the top of some of my roses. It has a lovely bright almost red flower and I dont begrudge its wandering ways for the show at this time.
The almond blossom is out, my poor little tree was a rescue from the nursery tip, and it struggles but has lovely blossom for a while, no almonds as we dont have another tree near enough to pollinate it.
It was lovely to feel the sun and the wind for a short time but I think that we are expecting more rain.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mason and Millie

I finally got over to Tabby's and saw two of my granddaughters, Gaby and Millie and my great grand son, Gaby's baby Mason, he is nearly 10 months and is a big and beautiful boy. Millie is about 20 months old and simply gorgeous. They play together really well and Millie cant wait for Mason to start walking, actually he is being a sensible boy and is just sitting so it may be a while although he loves to stand and feel his feet, maybe he wont be bothered with crawling.
I have been hanging out to see them but it just hasnt been possible.
I also had a bit of a walk around the garden as the sun was out at last, we have had about 4 inches of rain so it was lovely to see sunshine, but incredibly wet and mushy underfoot.
The pots in a pot by the back door give me great pleasure and I loved the way the sun was shining through this little orange lantern flower.
I have been having a lovely time going back through Robyn in South Africa's lovely posts, look for them in my boots and sketchbook side bar, click on Robyn, she carves the most incredible stuff and I wish I had her talent, not only that but she puts up many other artists as well. I think I am saving up to buy at least something from her, although unfortunately not her lovely totems.
I have been playing not terribly productively with my sewing machines, a lot of thread breaking today which is really frustrating.
I have just finished reading JohnGrisham's A painted house, I cant remember if I have read any of his others although The rain maker rings a bell. About an Arkansas family trying to get the cotton crop in, that is all but quite a lot wound into it, seen from a 7 year old boys eyes. One of several books I was given when a friend moved house.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Holey Moley!

Here are a couple of samples I have done for the Holey Moley Club, a new idea in online classes set up by Dale Rollerson of The Thread Studio. The first is using the flower stitch foot on romeo which is a water soluble plastic and I am not terribly good at using this but had fun trying not to let the stitches all go when I dissolved it. Some did but not enough to worry about.
Then using Kunin felt and the flower foot again I made circles and then burnt holes in them. Fun.
Still terribly wet and quite cold, the creeks are going up and down like roller coasters!
We went to Adelaide today and saw my mother who is not at all good, nothing to put your finger on but not really quite with it today and very tired.
A friend gave us lunch and then we collected a small wardrobe and came home.
My knee is a bit uncomfortable so I am going to feed the dogs and Oscar and make something easy for dinner, then put my leg up.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mannum and Collages

The first is a general view of the type of scrub that is on the hills above the River Murray and across to the other side.
Then how low the river is compared to these boat tie ups that should be in the water and are way way above it.
The third is the front of the Murray River Princess which is one of the paddle steamers that used to go up and down the Murray, I loved the railing and the brass bell. It was used as a cruise ship but I am not sure if it is still operating or not.
Then my collages, I sometimes do wonder what goes on in my mind when I do these, I tend to set the clock for 10 minutes, find what catches my eye in a magazine and go for it.
I loved the high red heeled shoes and the face in the girl in the other one is lovely.
I drove the car into get the mail this morning, the first time since I wrecked this knee, wasnt too bad but I then came home and tripped on a rug, not so good.
We have had over 50 mm of rain in the last 3 days which is wonderful, just so long as it doesnt stop for a while, all the billabongs are filling up and there are wild duck every where, infact they are a bit of a hazard when they are flying as if you hit one they are heavy and make a bit of a mess of your car.