Playing with paint

Playing with paint
abstract art

27 January 2013

Rotten Weather

It is raining cats and dogs here, has been all night.   I have debris from the damn gum tree on my fence and patio.  The wind is getting close to cyclonic.   The electronic gates refuse to open into the complex.....brrrr.    What a climate of wild extremes we have here.

Before the rains came I took a photo of a stunning cactus flower that bloomed in one of my pots.   I dont know the name of it but the ants must like the nectar because they were all over it.

The branches that are coming down from the gum tree at this stage are only small, but gum trees are notorious for dropping larger ones and also falling over so keeping my fingers crossed that the storm passes before that happens.

Just as well there did not come down on the roof
This is taken through the window with the rain distorting the pic.
This is the offending gate that has us locked in. There is no battery backup on it which needs to be fixed.
The people who have just moved into the front flat have visitors for the weekend and one of them has his car parked inside the fence behind their garage so hope he does not want to leave to go home any time soon.   None of the tenants will be able to get out to go to work on Tuesday either.   There is a small gate to get out of provided the keys work in that which they often don't.
At a time like this I am glad I only have my own two feet to rely on.

Off to the front lounge room to watch some tv.  If only this weather could go to where the bushfires are down south.

Hope everyone is having a nice and safe weekend.


25 January 2013

Goodbye My Friend

This morning I received the news that an old and dear friend  passed away last night, after a battle with  cancer. Even though I have known she was not expected to live much longer, it has still been a shock and came too soon.

 All these months she has never given up hope of beating this terrible disease, but unfortunately she was unable to. She died on her 67th birthday, which makes it doubly sad, but her family were with her and she would have really loved that. I hope that even though she was unable to talk, she did know and died peacefully knowing they were there.

She was a good mother, and her family were her reason for living, she loved her children and missed them when they weren't there.  

Lin has been a friend to me for many years and was a wonderful support for me during the troubled times of my divorce all that time ago. Even though her own life has  not been  smooth sailing, she never lost her sense of humour, and many a laugh we have had over the years when reminiscing.

Lin always had a smile, and my memories of her feature lots of fun, and although I moved away we  kept in touch.   The photo was taken a long time ago, and is the only one I have.  We were at a fund raising function for our local Surf Girl. 

I have been wanting to go and see her for weeks, thinking I had time, but unfortunately time ran out.    Which says Never put these things off or it will be too late.

I know that she will be missed by her family.   Goodbye girl I will miss you too, and miss those happy  phone calls.

24 January 2013


Who in the stitching or quilting  world does not have one or two or maybe lots and lots of ufo's lurking in cupboards and boxes, languishing for want of someone to take them up and perhaps add just a few stitches or beads.  Maybe patchworkers just have to find the time to put together all those squares or finish off a quilt in other ways.

I am no different from anyone else, and have  good intentions from time to time.  I promise myself  not to start another thing until I have completed some of my ufo's.  So this year is the year of the ufo for me.
 Yes I have started.....The ufo  above  was started with the good intentions of producing a sampler of pulled and drawn thread work.....well the intention was good, but did not get beyond the first two blocks when it morphed.  So now it is a sampler of various stitches.  It is worked in perle no 8.  I have hemstitched round the outside and added a border of 4 sided stitch.  The heart is the beginning of a schwalm styled design without the pulled thread work.
Some of my friends may remember this piece which I started before I came to live in Toowoomba.  The green butterfly is a blackwork design from    the Inspiration magazine issue 52, designed by a lady called Tanja Berlin of Canada.   I lost interest when the flowers did not turn out to my satisfaction, because I tried to achieve some texture by using thicker threads.   My idea now is to use that stitching as a padding and go over them.  Hopefully that will work.     Long and short stitch along with satin stitch have long been my nemesis so perhaps when I get to this ufo I may have more luck with it.  It is worked on Dublin Linen, and was meant to be a cushion cover.
The little garden scene is attached to a reef scene which together I thought to call "On Land and Sea".   The tiny french knots on the background foliage is worked in fine Brazillian threads and taking forever before I begin the foreground which I have painted on.
The other end of the piece which will be framed as one  with the matts dividing off the two scenes.
I have posted this before.  You can see the marks where the matt will separate the two pieces.

Every UFO has its own story
Doiley started about 10 years or more  ago.  I am glad I gifted the rest of them that I had to a friend

This bag front just needs a few rows at the bottom and a bit of time to finish off the spaces.
A tiny beaded bag from about 8 years ago only needs the beaded strap attached

An idea that did not eventuate
The design is drawn on the background, but no time to start maybe one of the Tast 2013 stitches will give me inspiration
Backgrounds with texture for a future project

This just needs a few blue beads and it can go into my Journal Class Book
If only I can find the time to either complete or find a use for these I could then get onto the stitch files I want to work on, and then there is Tast 2013......I do need some motivation dont I.  Good luck with your own  UFO'S  this year my friends.

15 January 2013

Old Treasures

For some time now, I have had this circular piece of beautifully carved shell in my sewing basket waiting to be used in a piece of embroidery.   I found it among the needles threads and bobbins in my mothers old sewing basket.  It was etched on both sides and I could never decide which side to have uppermost, so the embroidery never eventuated.

When I went to the farm before xmas  I took it into my favourite  jewellery store in town who had repaired and restored jewellery for me before, and had it made into a pendant. The fixing they used means I can wear it with either side showing. 

 I do not have pierced ears, so find it hard to buy clip on ear rings, but found these on a table of jewellery at the local markets.  They are quite solid, and the best part was the price was $3.  Have no idea of the metal but they are heavy as well.
These things reminded me of a couple of pieces which I have that are getting quite old.
The next photo is of a pair of earrings and pearl necklace that I wore with my debut dress when I was 17.
 The next is of a brooch/pendant and earrings which I bought for my mother for Mothers Day the first year I was working after I turned 16.
The last photo below is of a cameo.  When I was first married and aged 21, I lived at a seaside resort in Victoria.  Over the road lived a dear old lady, a retired teacher, aged in her 90's.   At one time she became ill, and one of her friends asked me if I could prepare an evening meal and lunch for her, when I was preparing ours and just check on her of a morning and see that she had something to eat.

She was a sweetie, very interesting to talk to and I enjoyed her company.  She had long grey hair that had a tinge of yellow, which  may have been blonde originally. My baby daughter would sit on Miss Bedford's lap and clutch at  this flowing hair when I was brushing it before plaiting and  winding the plaits  round her head.

Eventually her nieces and nephews heard of her failing health and decided to take her to Melbourne to live with them.   Before Miss Bedford left, one morning she asked me  to get a beautiful old organdie blouse made in the Gibson Girl style with pintucks and lace on the front out of her cupboard.  Instead of buttons it had  cameos in different colours....of white, blue, lemon, pink and apricot.  

She told me she wore it with a long skirt for tennis parties on the lawn courts at her home where she grew up and  asked  me to choose one of the cameos to thank me for looking after her.     I chose the apricot, and have treasured it ever since.  A few years ago I  had it made into a pendant, so I could wear it instead of it languishing unseen in a box.
130yr old cameo

13 January 2013

Xmas Gifts

Well two posts in the one week....wonders will never cease...
My last post got a bit long so saved the best for now.   I want to share some lovely things I received for xmas.

When I opened a parcel from DIL and eldest son, inside were a collection of beautifully wrapped parcels.   On xmas morning I opened the first parcel and was so surprised to find this lovely silver bracelet.  It is the first bracelet I have ever owned as an adult,  although I believe I had a gold one similar to this when I was a baby.

The second parcel was this gorgeous cup and saucer, but don't you just love the box it came in.

As I opened the rest of the parcels, I discovered this array of lotions and potions. Some were the ideal size for travelling, which will lighten the load of my make up bag.

I also received some money, and with this I purchased this  outdoor setting for my patio.
As you can see, I get quite a lot of leaves on my patio from a huge gum tree out the back
These are leaves we swept off the patio (just returning them to the council who wont do anything about the tree)

 So with the money left over from the patio setting I went out and bought this monster.    It came in a box and I was even able to successfully put it together.  I used it this morning, and I looooove it to bits.   Did not take long, is light as a feather to use, and I was not out of breath and exhausted like when I sweep the damn leaves.   It is a blower vac, but the thing that threw me was attaching the vac bag.  I just did not have big enough hands to push the bag into the hole for it.
I am feeling very pleased with myself and feeling very clever.

11 January 2013

Home Again

Welcome all to my first post for the new year of 2013.   I can remember when I was younger thinking the year 2000 was unattainable but here were are 13 years after that and still around.

I spent a month away at the farm on some R and R.  Had been getting over  a chest cold, so it was nice to get some fresh country air.

The lovely birds all came to visit, they love the birdbath. I miss all my lovely coloured friends.

blue wren and honeyeater

King Parrot

Pink and grey Galahs

Double bar finches look like little owls
Then there were the wallabies.    In the morning we had an influx for breakfast, and a mother even bought in her joey.   Shorty the resident wallaby always makes himself at home too.

I laugh every time I see the wallabies sitting on their tails.  They look like old men waiting for someone to have a chat with.  I think they must feel very safe there because they dont run away so quickly when they see us.

Sunrise in the country is always lovely.  I was up early enough to catch this.  The sun was actually bright red but did not come out as such in the photo.

Not many flowers were blooming but I I took this crepe myrtle after an early morning shower.  When I was little we had one of these shrubs in our yard and I thought the flowers were fairy dresses.

We were given this plant which we were told was a racehorse tree because it grew so fast.  Over the years it never flowered though, but this year it has so had to get a photo.  It has grown into a large tree, and will be wonderful for shade as its boughs spread.

My stephanotis and the day lillies also put on a show for my visit

The stephanotis is a flower that brides had in their bouquets "in the olden days", and the men wore them in their buttonholes.

The day Lillies were stunning and gave a lovely show
I have yearned to return to the farm since I moved here, but I think this visit has changed my mind.  There is just too much work to keep it up to standard for people our age......and the spiders are still there.  I did my best to do a few chores, and try to do some tidying in the garden, but old age has caught up.  Unfortunately "himself" is a stubborn old mule and wont sell and move to somewhere smaller.  He is 80 this year and thinks he is 50......

Had another scare with my heart and ended up in emergency the night before I was due to leave for "the farm".  My heart was racing at 150bpm so it was pretty scary. The cardiologist said the sinus node in my heart is detiorating and has put me onto new medication.    I am feeling ok, but the extreme heat conditions we are having is making me feel tired.  

My cough has not completely gone either, so am a bit of an old wreck.  One thing I have always found though is there is always someone worse off than yourself.

The poor people who have been affected by the dreadful fires raging in the country are the ones who are really in need.

Sorry folks that this is so long.   Will try to be better this year and post more regularly.

Hope 2013 is a wonderful year for all my friends and new visitors to my blog.