Sunday, 16 September 2012

First flight of the honeyeater

First flight was evidence of this little miracle. More like a sporadic blurr of fuzz and the soft crash landing in a pile of dry leaves.  A flapping frenzy ensued,  interrupted only by some strict "stay very, very still" instructions from the ever-vigilant parent. This nestling-no-more finally emerged on an upper branch. Rewarded. Rewarding. Last seen blurring in the direction of the more densely foliaged lemon tree. Never forget to grow your feathers ...

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Inside the log cabin

This is the finished quilt – from hand dyed indigo and rusted cotton - a log cabin with the centre of each of the twelve blocks printed with something grown in and around WMBM’s vegie garden. The printed centres form the heart of the hearth.  So this quilt’s new home is in the heart of our place – the central room around which everything else is built –taking up residence with the fireplace, a few lounge chairs and soft lamps under which many a chilly evening has been spent.

Paddock to plate

We try to support local producers or wherever possible, have "one degree of separation" from our food. What we don't grow ourselves, we try to source locally. So when we found Amy and her family company Siwa Fresh we were back in the position of knowing the family that grows our meat. Amy runs the front end of the business in Brisbane, while her parents grow the meat. Lamb and goat -  grass fed on their Roma property. We like hogget - for the extra few kilos and retention of the beautiful flavour of lamb. Tonight's roast is crusted in a blend of  home-grown parsley, coriander, rosemary and segments of preserved lime with garlic, pepper and olive oil.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Toning it down and using it up

Some of the fabrics I intend to use for "My Father's Shed" series were crying out ... literally. Using grevillea leaf from my parent's property, I've overprinted the rubbings on two of the more pink pieces. I printed with Karen Pharr Studios textile paints - purchased after meeting her in La Veta. Thanks to some sage advice from Sue Dennis in her Leaf it Alone workshop, I've been able to extend the life of these paints... almost indefinitely. It was a good reminder about investing in the best quality product I can afford, and then look after it! That recent experience prompted a total eclipse of the studio where a number of items were discovered, as if for the first time, including more  PFD metreage. Oh dear - it begged attention on this glorious second day of Spring (for those of us in southern parts).

Capturing spring

I have been finishing off a couple of UFOs and found this 12 block log cabin still pinned ready to quilt. It is pieced from many of the indigo and rust fabrics  of 2010 - and I have been shamed into action. I went for a walk through the vegetable garden and surrounds and picked 12 leaves - from coriander and parsley to grevillea shoots and callistemon leaf. The centre of each block has now been printed and imprinted with spring. It's also proved a great opportunity to practise stitch in the ditch which I can safely report, is most accurate after the first but well before the second glass of red is finished. Some reverse stitching in progress this morning.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Drawing board

Take a 1 inch square of any part of your body, and draw it on A1 size paper .... this one one of the many exercises undertaken as part of a Drawing unit through Open Learning Australia.  Whether it's a full degree, TAFE or a single unit - there are so many opportunities to participate in the fine and creative arts - I thoroughly enjoyed the unit on drawing through Curtin University - and found it a life changing experience - on every level.

My Father's Shed #2

Work is progressing on "My Father's Shed" series. I'm happy with the basic layout  and now it is time to refresh my perspective. Once the piecing is completed, I want to further explore the use of text in art.  Plenty of drawing still happening in the visual diary  - and it helps me resolve many of the questions about what is the purpose of the piece?  What am I trying to say? What if  ...? How could it be said differently?  When to stop, stand back and see what happens. Developing a critical eye, becoming dispassionate without indifference. Finding the right level of detachment. One of the many benefits of being a part of SAQA and the Queensland Quilters Art Quilt group is getting to spend time with equally passionate artists and experiencing the osmotic benefit of participation. It provides a real opportunity to grow. Sometimes it's a party in my head ... and other times it's "back to the visual diary". It is always, however, a real joy to be part of these amazing groups of artists.

Spring cleaning

On this first day of Spring the wattle have peaked and the scent of baby-powder fills the air. The timbre of bees is ever-present. Everything in the garden is bursting with colour and my favourite grevilleas are absolutely dazzling. I adore the variety that actually flowers on the branch - great fingerlings of grey foliage support the emergent feathery pink. Finally, the Queensland bottle tree, planted only five years ago is displaying a beautiful shade of crackled green. I love this time of year ....