Friday, 31 August 2012

With Some Stitching.

I've added quite a bit of stitching now, also painted the birds a lot darker and added some sparkle to the water.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Back to the Textile Work.

     Progress so far with the textile piece based on a trip to the Northern territory some years ago.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Vines in the Park.

I couldn't resist photographing these amazingly contorted vine stems as I walked along a path in the National Park. The vines look as if they are made of very thick rope.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Natural Bunting.

 I have no idea what this vine is called, but draped over the walkway like this it looks just like some plastic bunting or a string of fluffy flags.
                       It's all natural however, made up of hanging clusters of bright red flowers.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Kuranda Railway Station.

 In 1957 when I last isited the Kuranda Railway Station, it was called the most beautiful station in Australia. It has changed little in the  past 55 years, it's still amazingly beautiful with all the lush tropical plants, all in pots as far as I could see.
                                                The patterns on the leaves are fascinating.
 Of course these planst are well known in glasshouses the world over, but growing in the open on a railway station is quite another thing I reckon.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Butterfly House Kuranda.

                                          The huge and beautiful Cairns Birdwing Butterfly.
                                         The Red Lacewing, wings open and wings closed.

                                                         The male Cruiser butterfly.
                              A horrible name for a beautiful butterfly......the Common Eggfly.
No visit to Cairns is complete without a short side trip north to Kuranda, where the tropical butterfly house is the first port of call. Most of the butterflies can be seen flying in the forests outside the butterfly house, but of course are impossible to photograph in the tree canopy.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Cairns Regional Gallery.

The exhibition 'Ghost Nets - Creative Collaborations' was on when I visited, and what an amazing exhibition it was. ' Ghost Nets are fishing nets that have been abandoned at sea- some deliberately, some through accident or oversight. Ghost Nets cause signficant harm to marine life, and their presence in the coastal waters of northern Australia poses serious threat to the wellbeing of indigenous communities living in saltwater country.'
All the exhibits, and these wonderful birds are just a part of the pieces, are made with collected Ghost nets from the sea.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Cairns Far North Queensland.

This sign was seen in many places while walking around the National Parks outside of Cairns. It didn't seem to worry the locals however as we spotted a group of  3 or 4 boys aged about 10 years old diving into the water oblivious to the warnings.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

River System.

This is a photo of a river system in the far north of Australia that I photographed from a plane window some years ago. I have applied a Photoshop filter to the picture which has changed the colours, but nothing else. I intend using this photo in a new piece of work that I have just started.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Although this is a cultivated variety, the native Hardenbergia is just starting to come into flower.  It's one of the first Spring wildflowers to appear and is always a welcome sign that Winter is departing soon! The wild version is a darker and more intense purple in colour.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Next ATC Challenge

 This is a small pot that I bought some years ago in Belize, Central America. It has been chosen for the next object as inspiration for this month's ATC challenge.
                                                             Lots of good patterns here !

Natural Bunting.

 I have no idea what this vine is called, but the way it is draped over the walkway looks for all the world as if someone has hung it there with some sort of plastic bunting or lights.
                                                              All natural however.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Mistletoe Buds.

                                                  The Native Mistletoe is coming into flower.

Sunday, 19 August 2012


           I have no idea what these knobs are, but the tree is definitely dead. So maybe they killed it.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Spring is on the Way!

                        The beautiful Silver Wattle is in flower, a sure sign that Spring is on the way.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Marble Cake.

 The beginnings of a marbled birthday cake, as requested by Master 4  for his Mum. He chose the colours and mixed them individually. Now for the icing and candles.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

A Bit More Painting.

The only thing that probably shows up as being different from the previous pictures of this work in progress is the seagulls. I have actually added a lot more fine detail, but they don't show up in this photo.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Beautiful Elephants.

The Melbourne Zoo is celebrating it's 150th anniversary, and one of the many events is the decoration of the baby elephants. Mali was born at the zoo and 50 fibre glass replicas have been made with various artists and groups commissioned to paint the baby elephants. There are 50 in all dotted about the city and environs.   see here for the city map of the Malis.
The artists painting the elephants have been sponsored by various companies and the works will all be auctioned in a month or so, hopefully the sponsoring groups will buy 'their' elephants. Here are just 2 of the baby elephants, one painted to show endangered Asian animals and the other completely covered in a glittering coat of mosaic tiles. Unfortunately I didn't take a note of the artists.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

More Treasures.

This objects appear to be made of Bakelite and were used for colour comparisons in testing the pH of various solutions against different indicators. I wonder how old they are.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Cupboard Treasures.

I've been hunting in the back of cupboards for some jewellery that I hid safely away some months ago.  Now of course I want to wear it and can't remember where I hid it! I did however find this old clothes brush which opens up to a manicure set and sewing kit .I'm not sure if the needlepoint on the lid is machine or hand stitched, but it's beautifully done.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

New Project.

 This is the starting point of a new piece of work based on one of the papers that I painted last week.
I started painting over the various shapes with watercolour pencils and crayons, blending the marks as I went. Here I see a view across some lakes to a distant range of hills with sand bars in the foreground.
I prefer this narrower format I think. The land mass has been accentuated and the shoreline picked out with white suggesting foam as the waves come to shore. I will have to add some seagulls to cover a spot in the sky!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Scarf Festival 2012.

The theme of the 2012 Scarf Festival was The Journey, and it was very interesting to see how the makers had interpreted this. For some it was an artistic journey, for others it was a geographic journey from their homeland to Australia as refugee,s and for others it was a personal and family journey. The scarves were fantastic and I especially loved the drape and expertise of the woven entries. Congratulations to all the winners in the various categories.

Friday, 10 August 2012

1910 Carpet Weaving Technology.

 This is the most amazing semi automatic carpet weaving machine located at the Wool Museum in Geelong Victoria. The gentleman here is working at the front of the machine with all the punch cards revolving above his head. The carpet is appearing below the machine at his waist level.
 This is the length of the platform supporting all the reels of wool yarn that are being used to weave the carpet. The work area is at the far end in the distance.
 Here is the upper level rows of yarn spools and the lower level can just be seen through the grating below.
The steady stream of yarn being fed into the machine can be seen here, although the photo is slightly out of focus.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Oldie but Goodie.

While searching through my stored art work I came across this felted piece made in 2007. It depicts various women through the ages, from an ancient fertility symbol to more modern images. The witches' cat in front of the moon is all part of the female story.  I'm still happy with this piece some 5 years on.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Cold Snap!

                                We're really in the grip of Winter at the moment, it's freezing cold!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

A Sink Full of Just Picked Spinach Leaves.

Spinach leaves freshly picked from the winter vegetable garden. After washing the leaves in a good sink-full of fresh water I lightly microwave the leaves, squeeze them out as much as possible and chop finely. Then I can store them in the freezer for summer ricotta and spinach pies. There is still plenty in the garden for eating now, either in salads or cooked.

Monday, 6 August 2012

A Bit More Stitching.

I wanted to add a bit of movement to this piece, so I have been hand stitching a few lines in fine red thread.
I have decided that I don't like the furthest right line however, as it sort of divides the red bar area from the rest of the picture.  It has to come out!