An Aussie Meme

31 12 2008

Thanks to Steph…

1. Heard a kookaburra in person [yes, and seen plenty too]
2. Slept under the stars [yes]
3. Seen a koala [yes]
4. Visited Melbourne [yes]
5. Watched a summer thunderstorm [yes]
6. Worn a pair of thongs [wearing thongs right now!]
7. Been to Uluru (Ayers Rock) [yes, twice]
8. Visited Cape York [does the Daintree and Cape Tribulation count?]
9. Held a snake [yes]
10. Sang along with Khe San [absolutely]
11. Drank VB [no – I never drink beer of any description]
12. Visited Sydney [yes]
13. Have seen a shark [yes]
14. Have used Aussie slang naturally in a conversation [fair dinkum! what sort of question is that? ;-)]
15. Had an actual conversation with an indigenous Australian (aboriginal) [yes]
16. Eaten hot chips from the bag at the beach [yep; yum]
17. Walked/climbed over the Sydney Harbour Bridge [does driving over it count?]
18. Used an outside dunny, and checked under the seat before sitting down [yep – there was a slimy frog on it the one time I didn’t check the top of the seat one night when I was a kid!]
19. Seen Chloe in Young & Jackson’s [no, but I know what/who Chloe and Young & Jackson’s are — does that count?]
20. Slept on an overnight train or bus [yes, bus]
21. Been to Sydney’s Mardi Gras [no]
22. Have gone bush-bashing [yep, when I lived up north]
23. Taken a sickie [not as far as I can recall]
24. Been to see a game of Aussie Rules football [plenty since my nephew started playing AFL!]
25. Have seen wild camels [yep, and have even eaten camel!]
26. Gone skinny dipping [yes, though it was MANY years ago]
27. Had a Tim Tam Slam [absolutely]
28. Ridden in a tram in Melbourne [yes]
29. Been at an ANZAC day Dawn Service [no]
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset [yes]
31. Held a wombat [no]
32. Been on a roadtrip of 800km or more [often]
33. Seen the Great Australian Bight in person [yes]
34. Had a really bad sunburn [too right — sun/heat stroke too…]
35. Visited an aboriginal community [yes]
36. Seen a redback spider [many]
37. Have watched Paul Hogan [in ads, on TV and in films only]
38. Seen Blue Poles in person [no]
39. Wandered barefoot in the bush/outback [are you crazy? no way!]
40. Eaten Vegemite [I’ve eaten more kilograms of Vegemite in my lifetime than I’d care to count…]
41. Thrown a boomerang [tried in vain]
42. Seen the Kimberleys [yes — well, Kununurra, Wyndham, Emma Gorge – does that count?]
43. Given a hitch-hiker a lift [yes, once, years ago…]
44. Been to Perth [lived there for ~30 years!]
45. Have tried Lemon, Lime and Bitters [plenty]
46. Tried playing a didgeridoo [no]
47. Seen dinosaur footprints [yes, in Broome]
48. Eaten Tim Tams [of course!]
49. Been to Darwin [yes, for work]
50. Touched a kangaroo [yes, and I had a pet euro for a time]
51. Visited the Great Barrier Reef [yes and swam with the fishies]
52. Listened to Kevin Bloody Wilson [on tape and radio only]
53. Killed a Cane Toad [no]
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre [yes; ah, memories…]
55. Have read and own books by Australian authors [yes]
56. Visited Adelaide [yes]
57. Know the story behind “Eternity” [what’s “Eternity”?? guess the answer to that one is ‘no’]
58. Been camping [yes]
59. Visited Brisbane [yes, mostly for work]
60. Been in an outback pub [yes]
61. Know what the term “Waltzing Matilda” actually means [yes]
62. Gone whale watching [yes]
63. Listened to Slim Dusty [yes]
64. Own five or more Australian movies or TV series [don’t own ANY movies or TV series, Australian or otherwise]
65. Sang along to Down Under [often!]
66. Have stopped specifically to look at an historic marker by the side of the road [no]
67. Eaten a 4’n’20 pie [yes, and have even had a pie at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels in Woolloomooloo]
68. Surfed at Bondi [I’ve walked along the beach — does that count?]
69. Watched the cricket on Boxing Day [on TV only]
70. Visited Hobart [no, but I went to Launceston for 24 hours once to watch an AFL game (see #24) — does that count?]
71. Eaten kangaroo [yes and often, and very nice it is too]
72. Seen a quokka [yes]
73. Visited Canberra [yes]
74. Visited rainforests [yes]
75. Used a Victa lawnmower [yes, years ago]
76. Travelled on a tram in Adelaide [not that I can remember]
77. Watch canefields burning [I’ve watched them growing, but not burning]
78. Used a Hills hoist [every week…]
79. Visited the Olgas [yes]
80. Used native Australian plants in cooking [no, though I’ve eaten dishes with them in]
81. Visited the snow [yes]
82. Chosen a side in Holden v Ford [no, and I don’t care]
83. Visited the desert [yes]
84. Been water skiing [tried once; failed miserably]
85. Read The Phantom [when I was a kid!]
86. Visited Parliament House [yes]
87. Gone spotlighting or pig-shooting [yes, but it was kangaroo and wild goat shooting]
88. Crossed the Nullarbor [yes, road and air]
89. Avoided swimming in areas because of crocodiles [yes]
90. Listened to AC/DC [absolutely, and as loud as possible!]
91. Called someone a dag [yep]
92. Voted in a Federal Election [yes — even though there have been times the fine for not voting looks more attractive]
93. Have been swimming and stayed between the flags [yes]
94. Had a possum in your roof [yes]
95. Visited the outback [yes]
96. Travelled over corrugated roads [yes, too many times]
97. Hit a kangaroo while driving [no, thank God]
98. Been well outside any mobile phone coverage [yes — a few years back you only had to be 10 mins out of Albany and you had no coverage… And we lose coverage about 5 kms out of town here]
99. Seen an emu [many]
100. Have woken to the smell of bushfires [yes, unfortunately]





I’ve been busy: 2

30 12 2008

So, the abstract inchies were my first experiment in this short Christmas/New Year break.

My next experiment was a small landscape. We actually have hills here (99% of Western Australia is flat!), and they are the most amazing shades of green from about April until October. I had some green fabric… so I created a hilly scene on about a two inch wide piece of interfacing.

The green hills of home

The green hills of home

Close-up of The Green Hills of Home

Close-up of The Green Hills of Home

From the hills to the beach… The next fabrics that grabbed my attention in the scrap pile were some gorgeous aqua blues. So two beach scenes later and I was on a roll! Both beach scenes are about 4 inch wide (that’s 10 cm for the metric minded). I wanted to capture the clear blue sky of summer, the shades of blue/green of the water near Busselton, the white foam of the low waves, and the sand. I added some seagulls and some seagull (or human?) footprints. And a sun to one and a bright beach umbrella to the other.

Busselton beach

Busselton beach

Busselton beach in summer

Busselton beach in summer

Next, was an attempt to use a plastic template I’d drawn in the shape of a slender gum leaf. I had some grey/green batik that was perfect for the leaves, and I backed them with a deep bottle green. I only had a short width and length of interfacing so this became a bookmark. I discovered the joy of working with shiny rayon thread too — metallic thread just has too many issues, so I’m now using it sparingly. But this Madera rayon thread is pretty darned good. It has a shine and it works really well in a satin stitched border.

Gum leaf bookmark

Gum leaf bookmark

I’d also drawn a large leaf template, so a set of four 4-inch square leaf coasters were next… Each has the same fabric on the back as I used for that coaster’s leaf. And each leaf’s highlight thread (veins, edge) is the same as the thread used in the satin stitched edging. I stuck with various beige, tan, and mushroom thread colours to match the contrast with the leaf.

Leaf coasters

Leaf coasters

Finally (for now at least), I made a couple of Christmas inchies, which could be used as tree ornaments. The red one is not quite an ‘inchie’ — it’s about 2.5 inches square, and the green one is about 1.5 inchies square. I added some leaf embroidery to both too.

Christmas inchies

Christmas inchies

And in amongst all this, I thought I might set up an Etsy store to sell these little works of ‘art’. Your thoughts? (NOTE: I’m well aware that there’s very little money in handcrafts — you can never be adequately paid for your time, but covering the costs of materials is a good start!)

See also: I’ve been busy: 3





I’ve been busy: 1

30 12 2008
Breaks where you have nothing planned are a great way to recharge the batteries. And the creative urge.

Just before Xmas I thought I’d use some left over stiff interfacing (the sort that works well for placemats and coasters). I made some Christmas coasters using some of Bobbie’s foundation paper piecing blocks off her ‘In my garden’ CD.

But I still had some of that 2 mm thick  interfacing left — and lots of fabric scraps from other projects that I’ve been keeping for a ‘rainy day’. Well, it’s summer and hot and not raining, but the heat’s enough to keep me indoors, so I decided to experiment with using fusible web to applique random patches onto the interfacing.

My first experiment was some abstract ‘inchies’, which I first saw on the Feathered Fibers blog. I covered the front and back of the interfacing strip in black fabric, then fused on scraps of colour and did some machine applique using various stitches and threads to embellish them (and hold them down). But the back looked really awful, so after I’d finished the thread work, I added another layer of black fabric to cover the back of the stiching, then stitched in the ditch to hold the backing fabric to the front — I was going to cut it so something was needed to hold the little backs to the fronts.

Before cutting the strip into inchies

Next, I cut the strip in two lengthways, then cross cut the lengths into pieces between one and three inches. Finally, I satin stitched the edges with black thread.

Voila! A whole heap of little Mondrian-like inchies! Add a flat magnet and they can be fridge magnets, add a brooch pin and they become fabric jewellery, add a metal loop and they become keyrings…

So far, they’re just inchies! (the photos show little bits of the pins used to hold them in place, in case you were wondering what those funny silver bits were!)

Abstract inchies 1

Abstract inchies 1

Abstract inchies 2

Abstract inchies 2

Then I went further and decided to see if I could make ‘scenes’ using scraps, fusible web, and machine applique… See part 2.





Australian National Quilt Register

29 12 2008

I happened upon the National Quilt Register site today: http://discover.collectionsaustralia.net/nqr/index.php. A small group of women is attempting to document the old (pre-1965) quilts of Australia, with assistance from the public.

If you have an old Australian quilt and know something of its history — perhaps it’s been in the family for a few generations and the story of the quilt has been passed down to you by your mother, aunts, or grandmother — you can add pictures and details of it to this register (http://discover.collectionsaustralia.net/nqr/addyours.php).

You can find out more about this collection and the intrepid women putting it together here: http://discover.collectionsaustralia.net/nqr/about.php.





Channelling Jackson Pollock

24 12 2008

Kathy, on one of my tech writing lists, told us about this cool website: http://www.jacksonpollock.org/

You open the page, and it’s blank. So you click (left mouse) and a splotch of colour appears. Now keep clicking and dragging and you too can be Jackson Pollock! Each time you click the colour changes.

Here’s my first attempt—”Blue Poles” it’s not…

It's not Blue Poles...

It's not Blue Poles...

Thanks for the link, Kathy!





Feed me, please?

19 12 2008

The local family of magpies is growing up, and the parents have decided that humans are a good source of food. So a couple of weeks ago, a couple started coming on to the back veranda and just standing near the back door looking plaintively at us. Silly me — I found something to feed them, and now they come back pretty much every day. I should get a standing order for mince (ground beef) with the butcher! 😉 Some days there’s a just a few; other days we get the entire extended family — I think 12 is the largest number I’ve counted so far.

The reconnaisance magpie standing at the back door

The reconnaissance magpie standing at the back door

Let's bring in some more troops

Let's bring in some more troops

Hell, let's bring the whole family!

Hell, let's bring the whole family!





Cherry, cherry!

19 12 2008

When were coming back from Bunbury the other day, a roadside stall was selling fresh cherries for $18 a kilo. Oh man! Were they good!!! Unlike store-bought cherries, which are often small or have some too green and others too rotten, these were perfect. And fresh. And delicious. And big. We’ve been savouring them all week…. But they’re all gone now 😦

Fresh cherries from Donnybrook, Western Australia

Fresh cherries from Donnybrook, Western Australia