Thursday, March 31, 2011

The tree men came yesterday and removed 10 trees from the side of our house.  As you can see the area 

is quite narrow so imagine 10 trees most of which are higher than the roof line.

I am always fascinated to look at the cut surfaces of the trees and the bark so I have so many opportunities for pics.

Today I bought 12 new plants to start rebuilding the garden.  These are all australian plants and grow well in this district.  

I recently purchased a new (recycled) fish pond on ebay and this will be part of the garden renovations.  It is deep enough for some interesting water plants.

So you can see we will be busy for at least a year!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

another item finished

I have finished my little felt bag at last.  I decided to use my Pfaff embellishing machine to finish the construction.  It is so easy and relaxing to use.

A magnetic catch is a simple closure and I added some angelina fibre and beads as well to finish it off.   

It is just the right size for carrying a notebook, pen & camera.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oh I almost forgot in the haze of medication that I was mentioned this week by two dear friends and fellow bloggers.  I am having trouble uploading the link but I will try.

I would like to pass on the names of seven blogs that I find really interesting.They are

I am sure I have not done this correctly but please bear with me  till I feel a little bit better.

I had hoped to have something to show before I blogged again but a bad bout  of bronchitis has really given me a hard time. 

I have been fiddling around and not achieving much.  I have just made up a lingerie bag using some embroidery I did several years ago.  Another thing finished if not exactly new work.  

I am hoping to be feeling more active and creative soon.

In anticipation I have made up a batch of soda ash and water and have some lace and doilies soaking so that I can do some dyeing soon.

I also have some paper & board which might turn into a book if I can conjure up some enthusiasm.  Those wood stamps and the steel ones also might come in handy.  

In the meantime I am enjoying reading lots of blogs and storing up ideas and inspiration.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

technology and nature

 A couple of nights ago the moon was big and amazingly bright in the sky.  We went outside to take a look  although it was a little bit cloudy.  I took a couple of photos and then as we were about to go inside we saw these dear little possums in the trees.

The pictures of the moon didn't turn out well.  The clouds and the trees obscured the view.

Some weeks ago I bought some things in a clearance sale.  It was an engineering business which was closing down and most of the sale comprised of big machinery and equipment.  No one else was interested in these steel punches so for the princely sum of $9 they were mine.  There are numbers and letters, some tiny and others quite big.  My beloved husband has no idea why I would want/need such things but I am sure some of my blogging friends will understand.
Oh, and the technology: isn't wonderful.  A while ago my computer became infected with some nasty virus and I had 
to remove everything and start with the original factory settings.  Of course everything had to be reloaded and in the  process I lost all of my photos as well as lots of other things.  
Yesterday I clicked onto Picassa and lo and behold there were my pics.  I was so thrilled.  My holiday, my needlework, the trips to the beach with my grandchildren and father-in-law.  Thank goodness for the technology.  Sometimes it seems to be a bother but when it works it is marvellous.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

more fabulous fabrics

Well as you can see I went back for more bargains.
Black & white spotty silk,  black & silver luxurious metallic fabric, cream silk with silver and more white paper touch voile.

The really good news is that the shop will be open for another 4 weeks!!!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

fantastic fabrics

 Yesterday in noticed a sign in a shop window
"Fabric Sale".  It was in a little stand alone shop I have driven past lots of times.  This time I stopped.

The fabric in question was some "left overs" from a boutique run by a local designer and the range was limited.
 I did manage to find some pieces I simply had to have.

Delicious sheer cream silk and and grey- blue silk/satin  found their way into my stash. 
 I couldn't resist the soft and floaty pink to red silk: it reminds me of the colours of hibiscus and I think it will make sensational scarves.

As I was leaving the shop I noticed some really crisp white cotton and so I bought a couple of metres of that as well.  It is called paper touch cotton.  I have never heard of fabric called by that name but it is a perfect description of this gorgeous fabric.

This fabric is so lovely to touch and although I am not sure how I will use it I am thrilled to have bought it.  Oh did I tell you it was $5 a metre!!!!! 

What a bargain.  I think I will have to go back tomorrow in case there is anything left.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

trees, conservation and other questions

We are lucky enough to live in an area which has lots of native vegetation, including huge eaucalyptus trees.  When our house was built some thirty years ago trees were planted on the narrow side, between our house and our neighbour's.  Some of these now tower over our house dropping leaves into the guttering and dropping huge limbs without warning.  
Since moving here we have talked often about the dangers versus  the advantages of having these wonderful trees so close to the house and with heads over ruling our hearts we have decided that ten trees have to go.  This has been a really difficult decision and I do hope that it is the correct one.  We are in a fire prone area so this is another consideration.
The trees pictured are at our back fence and are to remain.  They give an indication of the size and unruly nature of the trees around us.

Of course we will plant another 20 trees and shrubs: there is space for some away from the house.

With all the natural disasters all over the world I cannot help worrying about what we are doing to our own little environment. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

colours of the reef

Last year I made several pieces of felt and they are just taking up space in my workroom so I have decided to make of bag out of this 
piece.  I had some matching fabric which was ideal for the lining so I have added some thin pellon and machine quilted it.  It is to be a simple bag with a fold-over flap so I hope to finish it tomorrow.  Unless of course I decide it needs a little bling to brighten it up.  The felt it made of merino wool and silk and the depth of the colour reminds me of the water in the great barrier reef.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

hidden treasures

Earlier this week I found myself wandering around an op shop.  I know you will find that hard to believe!

Anyway I bought quite a few treasures including a flower press.

It is not particularly old or interesting but I have always just used books and tissues when I wanted to press some flowers so I though I would buy this little treasure.  Imagine my delight when I discovered the roses and grevillea and other flowers pressed between the leaves.

I have scanned them and will print the image onto some silk and then after that I will try to create something else with them.  Once it is done I will show you what I have done.

In the meantime I shall endeavour to explain one of my photo altering techniques as I have been asked how it did it.  
I use adobe photo shop for my pics.  It is easy to use.  First I select a pic and send it to  the standard edit page.

It doesn't need to be a special pic but if it has texture and colour that is better.  I chose this because it was already on my computer and I thought it would work ok and would show how the alteration works.

I next select the Filter option and this opens a drop down menu and I select Render.  From there I choose Lighting Effects.  Now this is where it can be complicated.  Near the top of the page you should see another drop down menu which in my system says default but if I click on the arrow I have a wonderful array of options.  From there I choose five lights down.  Lower on the page there is a light type option - choose spotlight.  Now the image is ready to save before the next step.

Now I open the item again and follow the previous steps except I now choose 5 lights up and that is that.

I usually do other things to the image as well to play with the light but I wanted to keep this simple.  I do hope it is easy to understand.

I find with photo alteration it is a lot of fun to just play with the options available - I would like to see what others do.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

vintage linen

I have managed to fit in some op shopping lately and have bought some lovely hand worked pieces, most of which were in need of a good wash and iron.  Anyway I will just let the pics speak for themselves.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

 I have been looking through some of the things I have made in the past few years.  It is really amazing to consider how much time I have spent and how many techniques I have tried.
 The blanket was one I made just for the practice:  the background is wool and the embroidery is silk ribbon and stranded cotton.  The design is my own.

The piece on the right is the detail of a cushion.  The pleated ribbon flowers are made from gathered mokuba ribbon.  the roses are worked in silk ribbon.

The two pieces of silk are some that my husband gave me recently.  They are "pocket handkerchiefs" which came with ties.  I am not sure how to use them but I am thinking of a book cover for him.  The brown piece was part of a gift from his long departed grandmother.  I would like to make something that he can use.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

images and imagination

This image is quite strange 
and mysterious.  I did have fun with this one.


As our disappointing summer comes to an end I thought I would take a few photos of the garden

The garden has lapped up all that extra rain and I must admit it has made gardening easier.

A few more really hot days would have been welcome though.

yesterday was particularly gloomy and grey as you can see by the picture to the left here.  

We often see the planes practicing their formation flying before special events or  air shows in the city.

 You can see the planes in these two photos - and in the one above you can see the  helicopter behind them.  I am not sure why the helicopter was there but it was interesting.

Oh and here is another one of our garden.