Friday, November 18, 2011

Learning Blackwork

This is my first foray into blackwork   blue work??
Blue b work close upBlue blackwork
doing emb demo
Well the technique is blackwork, and thank you to my ever patient tutor, Shirley from “Stitches and Life”I have just started on a sampler piece and trying different variations. Decided to do it in blue as some years ago Shirley started me on drawn thread work and the edging on this piece of lugano is all I ended up doing!!  Typical!  The Blackwork is very addictive and very fun.  Thank you for starting me off, Shirley (and feeding and coffeeing me).
little pink rose                                          Peach rose
Miniature pink rose on my dressing table                                            Peach rose in hand made pottery by my
                                                                                                       Aunty – Heather Russell
.If only you could smell these roses – deeevine.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Almost Summer

This is a lovely time of year in the garden here.
flowering-cactus_thumb     Cactus Flower
Our scraggy old cactus didn’t disappoint and there were a couple of flowers left when we got home. They only last 24 hours.  Typical of most cacti  the flower is stunning.
Jasmine Vine Nov 2011
The star jasmine was in full bloom too.
For me, it is wise to get out in the garden early in the morning or after sun down in the evening.  Usually, at this time of the evening is when I am preparing dinner, so I have pledged to get out there for an hour early in the morning each day – well those days when I am not going out socializing.
This morning I was a little late getting into it due to the fact that our beloved Bella had to have her annual haircut.  Poor Bella is about 12 years old now and her back legs are a bit dicky with arthritis.  A bit of a handful to get in and out of the car.  She wasn’t too keen on going in for her salon treatment either.  Kept heading for the front door of the place!
Bella                              002
Bella ‘before’                                                                    Bella ‘after’ – with little green ribbons in her hair.
My friend, Shirley, is back from her little sojourn ‘down at the farm’ and she brought me back some floral gifts.  Thank you Shirley – she knows how much I love flowers.  She also gave me some cuttings to put in our garden.
Flowers from Shirley                    Roses daisies from Shirley
Agapanthus & November Lily                              Yellow roses and daisies – apricot ones are from my garden.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back from Outback

We went back o’ Bourke - and beyond -  where the crows fly backwards!!  The weather treated us very kindly and there was only one day where it reached about 40 deg. and that was in the Strzelecki Desert – so to be expected!

Kev in the Strzel Desert

(Mr Virgo in the Strzelecki Desert – very, very hot day)

Lake Eyre was an amazing, awesome sight.  We did a short plane flight over, and the lake showed us all of it’s different faces.  It has about 30% water in it right now and that is fast evaporating.  It will, without rain in the catchment areas, become once again a salt pan. 

View L Eyre 1View L Eyre 2View L Eyre 3View L Eyre 4

(Different views of Lake Eyre – taken from the aeroplane window – and, yes, the water is really pink/purple in places.)


(This is the very small aircraft we went over the lake in – Yikes!)

We camped in our tent for 12 nights, and I can tell you it was sheer bliss to get back into our own bed on Monday night  having had a long hot shower.  Even so, it was so much fun being out there and experiencing nature close up.  Too close up one night when our campsite became an attraction to hoards of desert mice.  EEK, I have a phobia of mice and rats, so you can imagine what sort of night I had in the tent.  Poor Mr Virgo was awakened every so often and at every slight noise to check the tent for mice. We had curry and rice for dinner and some of the rice had spilt onto the ground.  This is what attracted them.  Funny now looking back, and I am wondering what other campers (in caravans) were thinking when I was shrieking.

Mouse under chair

(Me – feet up on chair – terrified look on face – and oblivious to the mouse right under me, thankfully)


Collage 1

Collage 2

(Flowers in the desert and outback – if you recognize any as weeds – sorry, weeds can have nice flowers too!)

Inspiration from nature was abounding. The desert has come to life with all sorts of plant life, especially after rains earlier in the year.  The lake’s unique landscape and colours was also a great source of inspiration.  I just want to find some time now to do an art quilt or two!!