Wednesday, 30 July 2014

A Good Afternoon's Work.

 I managed to get a couple of hours worth of sewing done and you can see the result, several more rows. The patterned hexagons are all cut out of the same piece of fabric, just rotating the triangles to take in a different aspect of the pattern which was of a collection of coloured flower pots, just the pots, no flowers.
           It is certainly an easy way of getting multiple toning prints for a project like this.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Marmalade and Date Loaves.

 The 18 tangelos and 2 lemons made all these jars of marmalade. It set beautifully and the front right small jar was opened for testing.  Delicious! It's a subtle flavour, not as definite as mandarin but definitely citrus.
Why bake one date loaf if you can make and bake 3 with the same amount of effort. Triple the recipe and bake as usual.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Back to Fabrics.

 I've had bits of this quilt cut out for years, literally. I'm not a quilter but I took part in a weekend workshop to make this design and then never got further than cutting and joining some of the patterned hexagons.
 I have decided to clear the decks of unfinished objects in order to take part in a new challenge, one much more to my liking! After one afternoon of sewing I realised that this is going to take ages to finish.
What to do?
 A cheat's version of the design to make it grow more quickly...use strips of plain fabric to separate the patterned rows.
I think that it will look O.K. when it's all done, but it's really a bit of a poor job. Still better to have it finished with cheating than never to have it finished! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Tangelo Marmelade

Here is the entire crop of this years tangelos, rather like a mandarin but very juicy and not many pips. They are hard to eat easily, as the juice runs everywhere! I've never made them into marmalade before, so here goes.
 Cut them all up into small slices. We don't like the marmalade too homogenised, so I leave the pieces rather larger than most people would. Not many pips to contend with thank goodness.
 Add a few cut up lemons for extra pectin to aid the setting. This is 18 tangelos and 2 lemons all cut up. Then I add an equivalent quantity of water and leave it to sit over night.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

The City of Melbourne.

         It just keeps growing, especially upwards! Note the cranes on top of yet more skyscrapers.

Friday, 25 July 2014


 Lovely early morning  reflections in the swamp. It hasn't been like this for years, but after plenty of rain the frogs are really appreciating the damp conditions. The very special local toadlets are all set to breed too.
The weir on our own property is overflowing too and everything is lovely and green. It's a pity about all the dead trees that were killed in the 10 year drought though.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Not Taking Passengers.

            I've been watching the bush slowly envelope this old car for the past 13 years or so.
  The picture below, taken 4 years ago, shows a little less grass growing through the front window.

The one below shows the encroaching grass 4 years ago

Not quite the same view, but the grass has almost completely filled the inside of the car.
Anyone hazard a guess as to what sort of car it is? Some sort of Estate Van I think, as it has the remains of wooden support struts inside. Vintage?

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Avian Close-Up.

Full frontal of a tiny Red Browed Finch

                               I love the way the sun shines through these tiny feet and claws.

Monday, 21 July 2014

A Giant Falls!

 What a shame, this huge old Eucalypt has fallen over.  Lots of rain has saturated the soil and recent storm winds have blown it over.
The underside of the tree, showing how the roots have just ripped out of the ground. Lovely Colours!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Where are you?

           This rather large Echidna suddenly caught our scent and started sniffing the air.
It couldn't quite see where we were but took off regardless, straight to where we were standing.
                              What a privilege to see such a wondrous creature in the wild.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Printers' Tray Fun.

I found this picture of a printers' tray on the internet and with a lot of resizing etc I managed to fill all the compartments with the cyanotype butterflies. Well, not all the compartments, as I added a frame to the picture and it's inside the image, so that on the left for instance you can see a part of the unfilled space. It's all just for fun, so I'm not at all concerned!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Flower Brooch.

 Reading through one of the Blogs that I follow I was interested in the flower brooches that Gina was making. Here With a gift shop needing to be stocked for a forth coming Embroiderers Guild Exhibition I thought that I might have a go at the brooch. Auditioning fabrics above.
     I wanted colours in the mauve/turquoise/green ranges, so selected from my stash accordingly.
Here the circles of fabric are cut and folded into quarters, but I think that I should have chosen finer fabrics.
                                                Arranging and gathering the flower petals.
 Gina hot glued the button into the centre of the inner petals, but I tried to sew it.  Mistake, I should have known that Gina would have tried and tested the method. I had to use a bit of glue after I had sewed the button to a small circle of felt behind the petals.
 Adding the 2 layers of petals together. The mauve isn't quite so pink in real life so that it blends in better with the other colours.
The brooch backing, but true to form I didn't read the instructions properly!  I should have added a circle of cardboard between the petals and the felt backing to give it a bit more stability. Oh well, it's only a test run..

Monday, 14 July 2014

More of the Same!

                                                    Another butterfly photo that I've 'treated'.
 A photo of a skull that I took a year or so ago, I think that it's a sheep skull minus the lower mandible.
                                                                    Yet another butterfly.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Digital Cyanotypes.

 Today has been a very cold Sunday, so I have spent virtually the whole day fiddling around in Photoshop trying to make digital cyanotypes. (I did go for a walk first thing this morning and I also made a trip to Bunnings for some garden bits and pieces.)
 I have quite an extensive collection of mounted butterflies, collected many, many years ago, so they provided the raw material for the experiments.
Some turned out better than others, but  it was quite an effort with many different individual steps to get them to the stage that you see above.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

What The??

 While clearing out some old books for the Op shop I came across this advertising blotter (to blot ink with when writing with a pen and ink) for REX-PYE tinned goods.
I was reading it fairly vaguely when what I thought I had read, brought me up short, tinned salmonella???  I have no idea when this might date from, as I have never heard of REX-PYE goods.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Some not so Successful Printing.

 I recently went to a local Craft fair and spotted some very finely cut and interesting stencils.  I had a couple of hours set aside to try them out on a gelatine printing plate, but the results were pretty ordinary. The paint was either too wet or mostly too dry and the plate seemed to be too oily so that the paint beaded up all the time. I tried washing the plate with detergent, but I still had problems.
 This was using part of one stencil, which doesn't look much in the original colour scheme, but with a simple Photoshop inversion, I think it looks much more interesting.
                     Likewise, the print below in the original colours, with all the bubbles and spots.
                    Then the inversion, which looks to me like some very special rust dyeing!

Monday, 7 July 2014


          This swan was on the river right in the city a couple of days ago. What a handsome bird!
This photo I took last year in England. It is interesting that the 2 swans are totally opposite in colouring. I think that the beaks are a different shape too now that I compare the two.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Wishes Tree.

Here a young visitor pins his paper 'wish' onto the Wish Tree in the Melbourne Immigration museum
"What do you wish for yourself, for your loved ones, for the world?
Inspired by the Japanese Tanabata festival of wishes, the Wish installation invites you to think about what you most desire, and to share your wish by hanging it on our tree"

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Love Lock Danger?

 I remember seeing padlocks on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and wondering what it was all about, never thinking that the craze would pop up in Melbourne.
Walking across the bridge over the Yarra I spotted all the Locks that have appeared of late. I never thought that they might pose a danger to the bridge structure, but apparently their weight is of concern. See here. There must be thousands on this bridge, so their combined weight must be considerable.