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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blogtoberfest 14

Occasionally it is fun to play with photo software.  I don't have Photoshop (too expensive!) so rely on the software that comes with Picasa and stuff that I can get on my phone.

I took these last year and played with them, using various filters and the like.  It amused me.

The only thing that is not tweaked with them is the basic composition.  It really was a heart shaped leaf, pretty much the colour that it is shown in the top photo, on a gravel path in a park.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blogtoberfest 13

On April 8th, 1989, we got married in the then Moe Uniting Church (now no more, I think it may have been knocked down and turned into apartments or something). 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Blogtoberfest 12

Sir Laurence (or Lawrence) Carter, Baron of the Exchequer, was an 18th century judge in England.  The name Lawrence Carter has been used in my husband's family for some time, possibly named after him or not.  My late father-in-law was insistent that this was not the case, but the family story persists.  This is a portrait of him.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blogtoberfest 11

I knew it would get too hard to keep up with Blogtoberfest, I'm feeling too tired to think of anything interesting, so here is an odd picture snapped in a Lakes Entrance cabin several years ago.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Blogtoberfest 9

A totally gratuitous photo of Sirius guarding her biscuit, lying in a welter of biscuit crumbs and smiling for the camera :)  Oh, and lying in front of a heater - guarding it, you know, against thieves and intruders.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Blogtoberfest 8

This sort of follows on the theme of yesterday.  I found this in the Pioneer Village at Swan Hill, on the Murray River and the border of Victoria.  It's a portable vault used by funeral directors in the country in the past, and I presume it was filled with ice to keep the deceased, er, 'fresh' in the searing heat that happens up there.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Blogtoberfest 7

Wentworth is a NSW town not far over the border from Mildura.  It's a hot, dry, dusty town and it's main claim to fame is its gaol, long since defunct as an actual penitentiary.  It's a museum now.  Last time I visited it, over 20 years ago, you could dress up in costumes and be photographed in a cell, and somewhere I probably have a photo of me doing just that (must find that one!)

It's an interesting glimpse of social history.  For quite some time after the gaol ceased its original function, it was used as a school.  Small changes were made - a pink peppercorn tree was planted in the old exercise yard to provide shade for the children (somewhere I think there must be an ancient statute that decrees that every Australian school must have a pink peppercorn tree in the yard somewhere) - but on the whole they used the old gaol facilities.  I wonder how that felt!

I was amused by the mortuary slab, just lying on the floor in a room, with the handwritten notice.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Friday, October 05, 2012

Blogtoberfest 5

While driving through central Victoria a couple of months ago we drove through a tiny place, the name of which I cannot remember, and the main street was full of yarn bombed trees.  I squealed, 'Look, yarnbombing!', George looked at me blankly, and I had to explain the concept to him!

I don't know where Yandoit is, but I presume it's near where we were.  I couldn't resist taking a photo of this poster - not in a ridiculing way, I just thought it was unique!

The yarnbombing had been done by people connected with the local yarn store, which sadly was closed - there was great stuff that I could see through the windows and I would have loved to have browsed.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Blogtoberfest 4

Sadly, the painted car in yesterday's post is not mine :(  It's in the Pro Hart Museum in Broken Hill, NSW, and was painted by him.

This is Rocky Road made from a Coles supermarket magazine a few months ago, obviously designed to use a new product as it included a particular, newly released jelly sweet in it.  For once I made it exactly as the recipe said (something I rarely do!)  It didn't last very long!  

The next Rocky Road I make will probably be the one that was on Masterchef last year that included fresh raspberries.  It looked amazing at the time and I have the recipe now.

The dress, by the way, turned out quite well, and I will post a photo when I have downloaded the latest ones from my camera.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Monday, October 01, 2012



I've screwed up the courage to post once a week for a few weeks after a long hiatus.  Now, a sweet encouraging comment from the originator of Blogtoberfest has spurred me into attempting to do it.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shh... Sewing!

I haven't done any dressmaking for a LONG time.  I have been trying to screw up the courage to start again for ages.  I thought buying my new Janome machine last year would do it.  Well, I did use it a bit, for textile art bits and pieces, but I could never get comfortable at the table it was on.  So George bought me a dewing table that's the right height and my back no longer hurts when I sew.

That was only a month ago so I haven't waited TOO long, considering how long I've been out of the game.  But really, the only thing that has pushed me into it at long last is the fact that I need a nice dress for Saturday (yes, that's the Saturday in three days time) and I can't wear any of the nice ones I already have because they are for warmer weather and it is going to be FREEZING.  (Late September in Melbourne can be anything, weatherwise, so I could well have got away with a sleeveless dress!)

I steeled myself to cut out the pattern.  To alter the bodice slightly.  Yesterday, to cut everything out.  Today, sewing commences.  Am I scared?  YOU BET!!!  But here goes!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ladies Only?

In the centre of Melbourne lies a large Anglican cathedral. There are benches set in the grounds, right by the bustling street. A few weeks ago I noticed this sign set into the pavement in front of one of the seats.
Presumably it dates from a time when Ladies might need some respite and a sit down, but obviously couldn't share a public bench with a man.

It was a little reminder of a different age, while a very 21st century crowd raced past- including me with my modern smart phone on which I took the photo, used software to 'antique' it, and I am even writing this post on the phone - all while thinking of crinolines.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

One Skein Wonder

A few months ago I had reason to want to create a gift for someone I have never met in person, but know online, who had suffered a tremendous loss in her life.  I decided to knit her a small shoulder shawl using a merino/possum wool sock yarn that I had in my stash, which was pretty colours and soft and snuggly.

It's a very easy pattern, but annoyingly I can't find it now.  It ought to be on Ravelry but I can't find it.  It took 100g of the sock wool, anyway.

As the intended recipient is also a mixed media artist I included two (non-matching) arms from discarded acupuncture baby dolls, tied together with a strip of sari silk.

Apparently it went down well and the waitress in the restaurant who witnessed the opening of the parcel with the dead baby arms was horrified!

There's quite a lot you can do with 100g of sock wool.

Edited to add : Thanks, Jill, you were quite right, it is the Bit of a Frill pattern, many thanks!

Monday, September 03, 2012

A new project?

This doesn't look very exciting, but it could be. These are a collection of handwritten recipe books, plus some torn from newspapers, mostly from my mother in law's mother, some from my MiL herself. The earliest goes back to 1913.

I have started slowly going through them and identifying recipes to try out. I find them fascinating from a social history point of view as they show a different way of life going back a century.

There is a lot of duplication, of course, and stuff that doesn't suit most modern tastes, plus recipes that one or the other of our immediate family members would not, or could not, eat. But I thought it would be fun and instructive to work through some of them, test cook them and turn them into modern day recipes.

Progress reports will be posted here. I am still in the very early stages of picking out potential recipes so there won't be photos for a while though.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Cute pig sculptures in Rundle Mall in Adelaide, taken in January this year when we were on holiday.

I've got quite a lot of pictures to post, of that holiday and another one to Broken Hill more recently, but I am going to string them out while I ease back into blogging!

Family stuff has settled down a LOT and things are much easier and more satisfactory.  As for work stuff ... well, let's just say that is in the hands of (very expensive) lawyers and I won't say anything more about it for the moment.

I've been quite unwell for about four months now though things are improving.

On the crafting front, I have started a Kaffe Fasset jumper that I bought as a kit before 1999, can't remember exactly when. It's so old I can't find an image online!  I will post a photo of the picture on the front of the pattern when I get a chance.  Or there's this link from Ravelry 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Harbinger of spring?

The first bloom on my banksia rose for the year, which gets lots of full sun.
I know I have been very absent from blogging this year. I have had a terrible time with work and family issues since the start of the year, most of which I don't want to make too public. I have been keeping up with some friends on Facebook but I know that some people who (used to?) read my blog aren't on there. Anyway. I just wanted to say that there are good reasons for my absence this year so far, but things are now improving and I will be trying to do short blog posts at least once a week from now on.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sirius post surgery

Poor Sirius has had three lumps and a loose tooth removed a week ago. This was taken while she was recovering. She is now sprightly and happy again :)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


So much for thinking that my blogging mojo had returned!

I've been doing some rethinking since I went back to work in January.  My promotion means that I am (mostly) enjoying my job more than I did last year, but it is also sapping my energy and my brain rather dramatically.  I have already pulled out of a swap I had signed up for and probably won't be engaging in any challenges, classes, swaps or anything else like that this year.  I am also seriously considering closing down my Etsy and MadeIt shops, which hardly sold anything anyway, as I don't have the time to promote them and do all that sort of stuff.

But I am not going to stop being creative!  I have pretty much decided to spend this year having FUN with creativity.  I am no longer going to try to make things with a view to selling them (not that I would knock back offers, you understand...)  I am not even necessarily just going to do my own designs - there are a few things I want to knit using - gasp - other people's patterns!  And I want the time to read some of the vast multitude of craft books and magazines that I have, and to play with materials, and to try some techniques here and there, and not have to worry about whether or not they are saleable and whether I have time to try to flog them.

Blogging will happen when I have time.

I have mentioned that we went to Adelaide in January.  Here are some pictures I took:

A hotel in Mt Gambier had some very fine cast iron lace work on the outside, and some delightful Art Nouveau embossed wallpaper on the stairs.

And, among various lovely places where local caves and sinkholes have been turned into damp, pretty sunken gardens, was Umpherston Cave , a completely barmy folly of a garden.  Lush ... verdant ... bonkers ...  And we found it hilarious that tourists (and locals) pay money to attend possum feeding sessions there.  In Melbourne we have to wade through possums eating everything in our gardens every night!  (Maybe we should open our gardens to the paying public from South Australia!)

And as we just happened to spend an afternoon in the Coonawarra, after which one or two ... crates ... of wine followed us home, we paid a quick visit to Penola and the new Mary MacKillop museum and the restored schoolhouse. 

There are more pictures, which can wait till next time I get round to blogging.

Oh, and crafting is happening.  But a Dr Who scarf takes a VERY LONG TIME to knit and isn't very interesting to photograph more than a couple of times during the process, and that's basically what I am doing right now.  For Wombat who decided he 'needed' a proper Dr Who Scarf.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

My Creative Space

Well, that was a much longer blogging hiatus than I had intended, but things just got away with me. Now my blogging mojo has, hopefully, returned.
I took three weeks off over Christmas and pootled around, doing some reading/crafting/TV watching/family stuff/time away. All very pleasant and satisfying. Another post will have some pics of our holiday in Adelaide and Mt Gambier. But this being my first Creative Space for the year, I suppose I had better post something actually created!
These are completed ATCs (Artist Trading Cards), my first ever, hence the distinct wonkiness. I did take pictures of the back too but have forgotten to put them on the USB which I am using at work to download these. I agonised over the backs for weeks, but in the end an article in Sew Somerset got me thinking and I decided to just embroider my name and the year in deliberately wonky hand stitching, and hand stitch the backings on.
They all have a basis of Mazey Patchwork, with hand embroidery and embellishments added after the initial machine stitching.

This has a heart-shaped Suffolk Puff held in place with a flower button, a silver charm that says Be True and some hand stitching. The fabrics are velvet, polyester chiffon (off-cuts from dressmaking) and quilting cottons from the stash.

This has a Suffolk Puff held down with a fancy button from somewhere, hand embroidery, a scrap of lace, and the fabrics are various scraps from the stash including a polyester chiffon.

And the final one has much the same mix of fabrics, hand stitching, and a clutch of tiny teddy buttons I bought at a craft fair somewhere.

For more Creative Spaces look over here...