Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Creative Surfing

My son Ben has taken his board riding adventures to a new level by recording his paddles utilizing a GO-Pro camera. Shots were taken down the south coast near Middleton and Victor Harbour in South Australia. Watch here for a bit of fun and sun.

On the note of cameras..I bought a new camera about 6 weeks ago and have already destroyed it by letting my drink bottle leak in my bag, hence my camera became waterlogged and it no longer functions. BOO HOO
I have to save to buy another camera and it'll be another cheapy,but I think that the last one did an adequate job- value for money if you don't destroy it.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

No Washing Required

An overnight downpour, and I mean the heavens opened up and bucketed down means that my naturally dyed material neither requires testing to see if the dyes are fast or washing to remove the scent of fennel and other  plant life. It's all been done for me, there really must be fairies in my garden!
What I originally thought to be a lemon yellow has dried to more of a moss green tinged with brown, that's the fennel dye bath

Hanging wet yesterday

Dry today

I thought I would try dying some white crochet cottons that my aunt gave me in the pink dye bath , so I've started to brew a new batch.
I've also been to the local library and source books  on felting techniques. kind of thinking about trying to felt the dog fur..too yuck?? Anyway its free and I could dye it as Matilda has blond hair and plenty of it to spare.

This book has lots of useful information and helpful techniques as well as inspiration.
So many ideas, so little time to do it in.

I have started baby blanket number three,but will be starting it again. I used the wrong sized crochet needle and  the width is too small.
I ended up doing this pattern



The other patterns instructions, which I had chosen originally, were not very clear. This pattern comes from the same pattern book and also was difficult to follow. I don't know whether I have followed the pattern as written  or just made it up myself. At any rate this is what I'll be doing with a larger crochet hook.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Dye baths

Last night I made a batch of cinnamon and pecan swirl muffins, they've almost gone now despite trying to freeze some for school lunches next week. The recipe can be found on The Quince Tree

I measured the mushroom and it is just under fifteen centimetres

I've just removed some muslin from their dye bathes and am reasonably happy with the results. A pretty pink, which comes from the plant below. Far more satisfying that the boring brown that I got from the calico and brown onion skins

A golden yellow brown from dried pomegranate skins, what was left behind on the tree by the possums.

A lemon yellow from green fennel leaves and still very pungent smelling

I haven't washed these yet and tested them for fastness of colour, just hung them straight on the line;..

Why do today what you can do tomorrow, besides which I am exhausted from wallpapering my girlfriends  bedroom, it looks lovely but I want to grab a photo when the paper is dry.
Anyway I'm off to buy takeaway and have a lazy dinner tonight, still have to drive to get it though. Should be a fairy to do that...home delivered doesn't cover all the different orders!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Mushroom Village

I was hanging out the washing this afternoon and glanced across the yard to the compost heap. David my husband has quite a mound of grass clippings piled around the compost bin and at the edge of the pile was a whole village of mushrooms/ toadstools. They've obviously been there for a few days because some of them must have been 15 cm or more. See what evolves in the garden whilst I've been busy working. It must have rained more than I thought it had to encourage the growth of mushrooms. Stuck behind four walls leaves you blind to the happenings of the outside world. I'm just glad I looked up from my mundane task.

Are the black areas beneath the mushroom dried mushroom spores?
Tomorrow I am going to take a ruler outside and see how big these things are! Pity they aren't edible. I'm sure the dog would have eaten them before now if they were. She eats tomatoes, strawberries, figs, pomegranates and frajoias all which grow somewhere in the yard.
May be the fairies will come out and play and do a little gardening for me. Wishful thinking.
Enjoy your day, lift your head occasionally to take in your surroundings and hopefully time won't pass so quickly that you miss the small events that make life so important.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Hearts On A Wire

Remember the hearts I made out of air dry clay whilst trying to ''find a happy place"?
Well I finally decided to try to make something out of them. I saw a simple wreath made of 3 hearts at Christmas time, and that perhaps inspired me to make the white hearts. But I'll be beat if I could turn my wire once to form a loop on each side of the heart to form a simple circle to hang. Instead I got carried away with grape vine like swirls of wire and had to add a few simple beads to contrast. I used up lots of wire and I spent a lot of time curling my wire over my beading pliers.
Here's what I came up with.

Jordana has already asked if she could hang it in her room with some fairy lights wrap t around it as well. We will have to see what that looks like.

I've changed my mind

After looking at the photo of the baby blanket I've decided that I don't like the dark green edge of the blanket and that I should do what I originally planned and give a 3 coloured border. Jordana my daughter talked me  out of it saying to keep it simple, but it just doesn't appeal to me for a young baby to have dark green next to the skin. So I've opted for green pink and red, nice and vibrant in keeping with a rainbow of colours.

Of course I have run out of red wool and can't finish it until I purchase some more. I really liked the scalloped edge

I've picked out my next baby blanket pattern in pastel shade with lace work, for a little girl.

A quick walk on Saturday lead me to photograph the lovely blue green shades of the eucalyptus plants

Even though winter is supposed to be under way the region remains really dry and as you can see the grass is still dry. Waiting for some more good dousing rains to green up the vegetation. The weather is very conducive to walking at the moment, so I'm not really complaining about the lack of water.

Dont you love the sour green against the blue grey gum leaves?

And the lovely reds against the forest green colours of this eucalyptus.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Baby Blanket No. 2 - Ripple Effect

Its nice to have something good happen, and finishing my second baby blanket is a happy occasion. This week has been extremely busy as I have been working full-time for the past 3 weeks. Last night I collapsed into bed at eight thirty and actually went to sleep before the children. I just couldn't keep my eyes open.
I haven't spent a lot of time crafting and have been missing the recreational activity of hooking or sewing.

This week has also been soured by my daughter and I being fooled over the internet into thinking we had sold a product on eBay and we were really responding to someone's fraudulent activity. Needless to say my daughter has lost her electronic game she was selling and I'm out of pocket for postage, but it could have been worse. Just goes to show how naive I am in the cyber world, that's why I love shops. Won't fall for that trick again, I hope!
You kind of just hope that the person that finds the need to steal will hopefully be able to improve their life in some way and find other means of making a living. Otherwise I hope their computer, Iphone or other electronic device gets drowned in water and falls apart.

My faith in mankind / womankind has by no means been soured as I see the good in people everyday. I get to witness acts of kindness by collegues and friends through small simple actions and words.

So I'm looking for good and smiling at all those that try to help others.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Knitted Shoulder Shrug

I was treated a few mornings ago to the most spectacular sunrise.
Red sky in the morning sailors warning.. a forbearance to the impending inclement weather to come, but a spectacular display of beauty on the way to work. Some movement in the photos as I was driving (very slowly) at the time.

 I've been busy making a shoulder shrug utilizing Jo Sharp's contemporary knitting patterns in  Paton's Wilderness wool/ acrylic and viscose.

 Jo Sharp's finished garment

My finished piece.

I've also tried some solar dyeing. Starting with this, salvation jane and yellow weeds, wrap t in a bundle, rubber banded together and thrown on the roof of the pergola to face all forces of nature.

The resulting mess..this. A few green stains and the rest brown patches. This piece of material is definitely going to land in a dye bath when they are ready, although the star pattern is pretty in the left bottom quarter.

Back to the baby blankets, the mothers to be are getting closer to their ready made dates.
Stay safe and keep well. Would love to hear from  you.