Monday, 31 August 2015

Spring is Sprung!

 Not quite the first day of Spring, but the Golden Wattles in the North Eastern part of the state are in full bloom.
                There are leaves there, but the blossom is so thick that they are barely visible.
                      In the garden too, it's a mass of colour with all the bulbs starting to flower.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Community Garden Art.

  We visited a community garden which holds a competition each year, awarding prizes in various categories.

                    I thought that this bird perched on his pile of balancing rocks was really good.

               I'm not so sure about this giant ant, a bit scary having that loose in your garden.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Sailor Woodpecker!

 Whilst sitting in the ship's library we noticed a bird come down and sit on one of the many hanks of rope that are needed to hoist and take down the huge number of sails on the ship.
 I had my trusty camera with me of course and managed to get several nice photos through the glass window of the library.  I was later able to identify the bird as a Greater Spotted Woodpecker, or in this case a rope pecker.  Now what on earth, or sea, was it doing out on the Baltic?
 It was very difficult to get photos of the sails all up when on board and they were taken down whenever we were in port, but this is one angle that I rather liked.
 I don't think that they ever managed to put the final top sail on this mast out, it was hair raising enough watching the crew walking out along the lower ones, let alone that top sail.
This is the bridge, where all the 'driving' is done. There was even more' machinery' behind me and also masses down below in the engine room, which we were invited to visit. It was just too crowded to take photos unfortunately.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Sibelius Park, Helsinki.

                                        This is the amazing Sibelius monument in Helsinki.
                               It is made of 527 steel pipes, all worked on to produce different textures.
     Apparently the welder, an Israeli woman I think, damaged her lungs in the making of this.
                                                  Looking up from below the installation.
                                                    The man himself and the plaque below.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

In a Glass House!

         It's amazing what people choose to put in their glass houses, apart from plants that is.
                      I spotted all these creatures in a glass house that we visited in Helsinki
                I have no idea what this flying fox has in it's mouth, but it looks rather odd.
                                                              Orang-utans in Finland?

Monday, 24 August 2015

Flower Saga Continues.

Here I've stitched around each flower, and then in a radiating pattern from the centres out along each petal
Now I've added contrasting centres and hand stitching along the various stems.
Some running stitches in the vacant area above the flowers and grasses and some seed stitching on the centres of the flowers.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

A Break from Travel Photos.

 I wanted to actually do something with the Solar Fast grass prints that I made on cotton last summer.
The colour is Sepia and the original cotton was plain white, so I have various shades of sepia and cream.
 I started cutting up some other sun prints, thinking that the turquoise would be a nice contrast to the sepia, but it was too stark and drew the eye away from the grass prints.
 Hmmm, getting better I think. I cut the flowers out of many different prints, trying to get some nice patterns, especially ones with a circular look.
   Maybe a blue butterfly to draw the eye to the top of the picture and into the grass seed heads.
                   Now the flowers need to be stitched on and some centres added I think.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

On the Sea.

 This is an amazing old lighthouse that has the prows of different boats sticking out from it. Until you get up close to it to see what they are, the whole structure looks most odd!
 Here is a rather fanciful painting of it in our hotel. There are actually a pair of them on the foreshore.

               Some of the dozens of ropes needed to raise and lower the sails on the Sea Cloud 2.
Doesn't she look wonderful, well one of the masts does anyway! It's such a mammoth job to get them all up, that we only saw all sails hoisted once in the 2 weeks that we were on board.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

At the St Peter & St Paul Fortress Church.

                                      Even on the outside there is gilding and ornamentation.
                                                This is a particularly elegant dome I think.
                                                    Inside is gilt and glitter everywhere.
               This is the tomb of Peter the Great with his bust at the foot of it behind the flowers.
These colours are so soft and pretty, much nicer than the hard edge of gold on all the other surfaces.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The Peterhof Palace.

 This photo was taken before the fountains were turned on at 11 am, accompanied by stirring marshal music with lots of beating of drums during the finale.
               The final water display, none of which is produced by pumps, it's all fed by gravity.

Monday, 17 August 2015


           A group of naval cadets waiting for the rehearsal of the special Naval Day to start.
                                                      Don't the officers look smart?
                These men are all standing on the deck of a submarine in the Nevsky River.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

And Now for Something Different.

 Spotted in the church that I visited yesterday, these 2 obviously aren't interested in the glorious art work around them !
 This instrument sounded absolutely lovely, sort of like an amplified harp. He played all over the 'dish' with his hands, quite an unbelievable melody with a gentle percussion accompaniment.
 It looks as if he's hurting this baby monkey, but he actually seemed to look after it quite well. I hate the thought of using an animal in this way of course!
 This little girl's mother paid for her to be dressed up and photographed. She did look rather splendid.
                       Pity about the bloke in the back ground, a job for Photoshop I think.