Monday, 6 July 2015

Colour My July

Another brilliant winter sky taken from my front yard, so you have to look beyond the roof tops to appreciate the sky above the ocean. Had I known it was going to be such a spectacular sky i would have jumped in the car and admired the beauty down at the beach.

Remember my op shop finds? My two bedside tables have been completed by my lovely father. I went and got glass cut straight away for the tops (if left to my devices I would ruin the tops within weeks with my endless cups of tea and the amount of splashing and slopping I do). The glass tops cost twice as much as the cupboards did.
 Mid afternoon and already the sun is low in the sky.

Another mild evening and a flock of galahs are visiting in the neighbouring tree.

Based on the sunset from the previous night I quickly headed to the beach to see what would evolve in the evening sky. Nice but not as spectacular as before.

On Saturday I went to Willunga Markets. I waited for 10 minutes for a hot cup of coffee with many other lovers of hot coffee in the early morning.Jordy made an interesting observation that the whole process would have been made far quicker if they had a larger jug to heat the  milk in - sensible girl should have offered her pointer but remained humble pie to the humble ground crew. Worth the wait anyway because whilst I was waiting I spied this colourful make and had to have a chat with its owner. Some would even say this is a very dachshundie styled bag!

 Love the herbed bouquets

And lastly a glimpse at what I've started on - my tissue box quilt (Its actually bigger than this already but to show you would require downloading yet another batch of photos off of my phone and I really cant be bothered..look on instagram (moniquesmith64) if you want to see more of the quilt in progress.

Thats it from me except to say I have almost completed my second pair of socks...although I did run out of one colour and hence made the second sock different to the first. Oh well ... playing yarn chicken has its pitfalls. See you soon. Cheers Monique

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Unusually Light!

I'm starting this post with the very last photo I took on the way home from my walk, sometimes you save the best till last but sometimes it is just an appetiser for things to come.
I must say that the light tonight was just spectacular.
We have just had winter solstice and yet the days are so clear (cold and a tiny bit bitey but not the deluge kind of weather that we normally have for June- you might say unseasonably warm for this time of year
I started my walk just before 4 oclock, so the sun was already winding up for the day and casting long strong shadows across the hills.

The barbed wire takes on a vibrancy of its own in this light

The purple vines twisting their way through the gum trees reflect the light and stand out amongst the gum leaves

These ballerinas flash their pink tutus in the sun, Legs up girls!~

Sour green and grey, a stand out combination at anytime.

Even the blackened branches and remaining gum nuts stand out in the ethereal light

Golden wattle and a flash in the pan - capturing the wildlife was difficult tonight

hiding high in the leaves

or obscured from sight

I have walked this park many times but veered off the normal paths I take and went slightly further afield to be surprised by this hanging/ weeping eucalyptus tree. A few spectacular branches hanging down with lovely yellow flowers beginning to bloom. It almost has a bridal feel about it. I took lots of photos but culled it down to a few for you.

More photos of lovely light

Cheers Monique x

Friday, 26 June 2015

Sock Finish

Following on from the last blog post I thought I would actually show a comparison of the colours obtained from the purple carrot. When you look at the carrot it actually almost looks black and when cut bleeds a dark purple juice, they are dark purple the whole way through. It is only recently that these heritage carrots have started appearing in the greengrocers. I think that as more people are steering to vegetarian/vegan diets the variety of vegetables grown for market has increased. (They have always been around and as my friend informed me the purple colour was bred out of the carrots) Other than the colour I can say I am not at all attracted to the taste of these carrots, they are strong and almost bitter. I will save them for dyeing and at least I wont have to race my children to them, as all have vetoed them because of their flavour.

 Squares so far

And 21 weeks later a pair of socks is finally finished!
I actually have made three socks because I introduced the wrong colour purple in to one of them and decided I might as well finish that sock and match them up later. So. so far we have one pair and the promise of a second pair.
My mother has very quickly nabbed these to take to Holland with her. They are just a tiny bit short in the toe department for me and fit her perfectly.- they have happily been adopted. The second pair I have adjusted for the largeness of my foot (size 12 womens, 44 US= that is nothing to brag about but at least I am well grounded!)

Not perfect by any means but I am happy to be finished/

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Dyeing along with natural dyes

So it has been a little quiet on the bloggy front. I imagine we all go through phases where the impetus to write is not there and things just fall into a lull. Sometimes it is like that with creative flow and the urge to produce wanes. Mind you this is rarely a problem, as I always have a backlog of things that I wish to do. Sometimes I plan to start one thing and instead fall into another project without thinking it through.
It seems to me that once I start dyeing wools, I can't resist starting a project to utilise them.. Hence yet another hooked project started on impulse, just because some yarn came in out from the cold and hung in my room for less than one day.
I have managed to finish the second top (to match the first Pillow I did.) The one hanging in the first picture is not complete, but having tried to take a photo at night with flash did not produce a nice quality picture. That top was finished last week and is still waiting to be sewn into a cushion... and still I started another project!

This time the wool is thicker - a 8 ply I think and makes a bigger square.
I am using a 1970's Vogue crochet pattern , the square is designed for a baby blanket  in finer cotton . I think it comes up a treat in a bigger hook.

I must say I am jolly pleased with purple carrots! I have extracted such a range of colours from them. It may be due to the length of time spent on the stove top cooking, or soaking time or due to the different wools and manufacturing additives or just the type of pan I cooked it in (aluminum or steel)- alum is a mordant or the containers I let the wool and dye mixture rest in (honey and yoghurt containers- both which also can react with dyes) Whatever the reason the colour range has been fun to watch.

The skein on the left appears almost grey with a hint of purple and on the right a stunning magenta.

Top left : purple carrot- first batch
Top right : purple carrot - first batch second night, reheated dye
Bottom left : acorn dye
Bottom right : pomegranate dye

Tomorrow, if I have time, I will complete my second pillow and plod along with my crochet or knitting depending on the whim that takes me.

Hoping all is well with you and big hugs to Kim and husband xxx

Saturday, 13 June 2015

May, been there done that!

So, may slipped by without so much as a nod. I complete forgot the month that was. What a busy  month I had. A little jaunt to Hong Kong, winery tours and lunches, crafty bag finishes and my son's. Caleb's 21st party. Maybe I wont be so tardy for June. but better late than never! Cheers. M

Friday, 12 June 2015

Pillow Finish

Yup i've finished my cushion. I karate chopped it so that it would sit in this chair. The cushion is too big for this chair, although it is hard to tell from this picture. The colourings quite suit the chair dont you think? This is my curb side pick up chair. Yep, I picked it up of the curb (only moment after it was put there) it was awaiting rubbish collection. Hard to believe. i am forever hanging my legs over the arms when watching TV. The  rest of the family hate it...they think it is dirty... God I am not going to eat my dinner off it and really it is in very good knick. Bah hum bug to them!

Sun drenched photos in the back yard this morning... strong wintery light

In the shade at a reclaimed wetland. The wattle trees are just starting to bloom.

 I used a grey wool material to make the pillow

Such a magnificent and grand eucalyptus tree. Couldn't resist taking a photo whilst I wandered around the wetland

The ducks wandered up looking for a such duck luck.

I started to look for feathers and found a few in the water

A find at the local op shop which has now become a project for my father to renovate. He is staining them coco black and I have requested a matte finish - which is causing my father grief  (cause everything in his life has been stained mission brown or cherry red- aaurgh)... but he is the most obliging of dads and is doing a wonderful job of  up marketing these for me. Cant wait until they are done. I am keeping the handles... LOVE LOVE them

See you soon!