Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Full Moon Art


That month slipped by pretty quickly and with no posting here.  Spring is a busy time here, with garden work going on, but also with daylight savings in progress, and a short spring before the really hot weather hits, I'm enjoying being outdoors until dark most days.  There's time to hang out with friends and neighbours, enjoy cool walks along the river with Mirrhi, or sit outdoors to sew until the light goes...just doing rather than blogging about it before the heat of summer drives me indoors again. 

I'm joining Woman with Wings again as we share our full moon art.  I made a small string pieced moon from scraps of my plant, rust and compost dyed linens and cottons.  It's about 11cms in diameter.

I was inspired by this quilt by Natasha Rutter titled "Moons" was posted in a textile newsletter I receive, but I can't find a website for her, so I have no have information about her or the quilt, unfortunately.

IMG_6038 (Small)
 This full moon is in Taurus, and is about connections.  As I stitched my little strings I thought about how strings connect our deeper inner selves, to those around us -family, friends and community, Mother Earth and the cycles of our lives. They make a complete "whole" when joined together.

Here's another look at the magnificent Jacaranda Tree from my last post, in full colour this time.  I love the 'reflection' of colour on the ground as the blossoms fall, which they do almost constantly, drifting down all day long.  People spend a lot of time raking the blossoms, or worse, getting their noisy blowers out in an attempt to keep everything neat and tidy.  Mother Nature, begone, keep your distance!

and to finish.........
 Good girl, stay!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Full Moon Art - Jacaranda Moon

Joining with Peggy of Woman with Wings again creating full moon art with the cycles of the moon.

At this time of the year the first blue mauve fuzz starts to appear on the jacaranda tree, while at the same time, as some of the old leaves are still dropping, the new blossoms are also falling, carpeting the grass underneath with pretty splotches.   A plainer moon than I usually do, my plan was to embroider tiny blossoms around the moon, but as I didn't have any of the right colour in my thread arsenal, instead it's scattered with the real thing.

I used this vintage quilt block as a background, since the sky has been dark with rain clouds for days, and all I could see of the moon was a pale, pale glow, just a hint there was anything there.

It's impossible to capture the colour of the emerging blossoms against the grey sky, but the branches make great patterns and have a beauty all their own.

Go visit Peggy and have a look at the full moon art created this month.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hello, my name is Betty

and I lay blue-green eggs. 

 Araucana Betty

Betty's offering in the middle, Lola's snow white egg to the left, and Brenna's big brown on the right. Green eggs and ham anyone?

Betty was late to lay, the others have been laying for about a month now, and I was beginning to worry.  Then she started talking about it, sitting  near the nesting boxes for days and having a little workshop with herself, and yesterday was the day!  Her egg is a deeper green in real life, and makes a lovely rainbow with the others.  Araucanas can lay a variety of colours, from pale blue and lavender, to this deep almost khaki colour. She's rather odd looking, with no comb or wattles, and a funny 'bed hair' tuft of feathers on top of her head.  I've promised this first egg to my neighbour's 3 yr old....I suspect she's going to be disappointed with the colour, although I've tried to tell her Betty's eggs might not be blue like the sky, I think she's still hopeful they will be. She's away on holidays, so I'll hear the verdict on the weekend. 

And an update on the other girl ................

Miss Mirrhi, 4 months old, and all long legs and perky ears. She's a  real sweetie, is just as happy to lay on my feet and nap as she is to chase and bring a ball, she sits, downs and comes on command, waits to let me go first through doors and gates, and waits until I give the ok before she eats.  She also rings a bell with her nose that I tied on the back door knob when she wants to go out..........sometimes it's a false alarm, as she's also partial to chewing on it.

When not collecting eggs and gushing over my puppy, I've been busy stitching and sewing......more on that next time.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Blue Moon: Swimming in Cosmic Tides

was Mary Pat Lynch's description of the full moon, a blue one, as this is the second full moon for August, on her blog Rising Moon Astrology.  I loved the images this conjured, and so I stitched a happily swimming blue moon, with fishy companions, as this full moon is in Pisces. Clouds covered the moon as it rose here, so I've included them across the moon. My moon circle's a bit wonky, as I was distracted as I was watching an excellent  Australian documentary "Go back to where you came from" as I stitched.  Click on the link to watch a preview of this hard hitting, heart wrenching, often confronting story that deals with the human and political side of asylum seekers and the debate currently raging in Australia about "boat people".
Joining with Woman with Wings once again for her Drawing down the Moon series of art inspired by the energy of the full moon.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, I hope you're keeping warm if you're in the eastern states of Australia, where winter is having a last blast at us, and sending temperatures way down.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Quilt finish and around home

It's finished at last. This quilt has occupied all my waking hours lately, and some of my sleeping ones too, as I'd wake and fret I wouldn't get it finished in time.  It's now in the hands of Mr Australia Post. It's a relief to have it done and away.

Just a little peek until it arrives at it's destination.

Around the homestead, the "new" chickens are no longer new, but part of the flock. Here they are dustbathing together, but since I took this photo, the new ones have been coaxed into sleeping in the big roost.  They were pretty nervous to start, and no wonder, with that big orange monster bearing down on them from above, and pecking madly.  All's well now, though, and spangly Lola now sleeps
happily under that monster's wing.

The girls have really grown up, as the middle next to orange Juno...started laying yesterday, and Lola produced her first egg today.  My last bantie, Goodie, doesn't lay anymore, and spends her days now standing quietly and very still, gazing off into the middle distance.  She still looks well, is very ready to let the young ones know when they've overstepped themselves, but I wonder if I'll have her for much longer....

I call this pair my yin yang cats....that's mother Molly on the right, and her "baby", Velvet Brown who's around 7or 8.  These two ended up staying with me when I was fostering cats for an animal rescue group.  They'd come out of a very nasty situation, and I couldn't bear for them to go through the adoption process, they were so terrified of people, so I kept them.  Even after nearly 4 years with me, they're still quite timid, and will come to me occassionally for an ear scratch, but mostly keep to themselves.  I'm more than happy to give them a safe haven and let them live out their days peacefully.

Until of course, this one showed up. This is Neesa, my feisty little princess.  She was treated cruelly as a tiny kitten as well, and has some "issues" too.  Here she's keeping an eye on Mirrhi...none of the cats have taken to Mirrhi, but she doesn't really care, she has me!

And to finish, here's the puppy herself, helping me in the garden. As you can see, she's quite the lady.

She's growing so quickly, and her legs are getting long and lanky.  She's a good girl, and no trouble, and has been quick to learn.....she waits for the magic word before she eats, she can sit, down and stay, she'll come most of the time, she sits and waits until I go through the door first.....she's also strong willed and is ready to argue if she's told 'no'! She's fun and wonderful company, and as I write this, she's napping on my feet.  It's hard work at times, but I have no regrets about getting her.

Have a good week everyone.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Puppies and presents

Mirrhi went off to puppy pre-school yesterday.  She was a little shy at first, and was happy to sit quietly, close to Riley, the maremma pup who lives next door, and who she knows well.  After watching for a bit, she gained her confidence, and happily joined the fray of whirling, running, jumping gleeful puppies.  As I expected, she wasn't at all happy when it was time to go on lead, despite working with her on the lead every day, she's not taking well to it.  It was entertaining at least, my puppy dancing and yelping on the end of her lead, while everyone else sat reasonably quietly!  She did however sit for her treat without being asked, 'waited' for permission to take it, and 'downed' when I gave the command, so we redeemed ourselves.

I gave up trying to take pictures, all the puppies moved so fast, it was a bit of a blur. Here's Mirrhi chasing Rosie the german short haired pointer, who's lovely long ears she liked to swing off.  There were 6 puppies there, including Mirrhi, of all shapes and sizes and she enjoyed the fun and games with all of them.

But puppy school is hard work!

A lovely surprise during the week was a parcel from across the ditch, from Leanne in NZ.  Leanne had a give-away on her blog, CottageTails for a candle lit from a candle, lit by a candle, blessed by the Dalai Lama, and joy! my name was pulled out.  I love to light it first thing in the morning, and remember it's journey.  Thanks Leanne.

 Mirrhi wasn't forgotten either, out from the parcel popped this shaggy rabbit!  Leanne's daughter Abbey has a pup, too, a sweet little miniature poodle, Stella., and it's been fun to share puppy tails.

 Hmm, not very sure of this....especially when it squeaks!

 It's alright now, I've got it under control!

Thanks Leanne, Abbey and Stella, I love my rabbit.

A stitching day here today, with the weather changeable from warm and sunny to cool and cloudy.   Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Moon worship

The full moon of a few days ago saw me celebrate with Mirrhi, the new little being who has recently...just a week ago.. joined my household.  As the moon climbed high in the sky, I sat outside, freezing my butt off, waiting for her to stop playing and do wees before bedtime.  Despite the cold, it was such a pleasure to be outside, all was quiet....apart from the odd bat or two flapping over...the night sky looked dark and crisp, the stars were bright pinpoints and the moon cast a gentle light over the garden.   I've joined  Woman with Wings again for August, and made full moon art.  Who better to be seen gazing in wonder at the moon than Miss Mirrhi herself?

The "ground" she's sitting on is part of a piece of linen I wrapped in a large rusty bolt and sun dyed in eucalyptus water.  The colours are appropriate, as I've just top-dressed my backyard, and put in gravel paths.

And here's the girl herself, being cheeky and playful, as she settles happily into her new life.

She's such a delight, too smart for her own little blue nose spots, lots of fun. ....and growing way too quickly.  I'll do a post on her another time, and how we're settling in together, and the joys and challenges of integrating an exuberant pup into a household full of cats, but now, after a full and busy day, "the baby" is napping and it's that time of night to put my feet up and relax for a bit before a last trip outside before bedtime.  I have the last of the centres of the dresden plate blocks to stitch down, and hope to get them finished tonight. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Introducing Mirrhi

Mirrhi is an Aboriginal word from Western Queensland meaning little girl.  Today is her first full day here, and her second night.  So far, we're all doing well.  She settled quickly and quietly last night, with no sound from her all night, waking about 6am, and waiting until she was outside to toilet.  She's taken well to her crate after some initial complaints, and now goes to it straight away to nap or play.  I have it in the kitchen, here next to my desk, so she can see me coming and going.  She's only locked in if I need to be away from her for any length of time and overnight; otherwise she can come and go as she pleases, but only in the kitchen or out to the deck so far.

It's been a busy day.......she's met the chickens and watched them for a little while, but made no attempt to chase, and soon went back to chewing her toys, and they soon forgot to be nervous around her and came up close to share an apple with me.  This evening the cats came out of hiding for a wary look-see....Mirrhi was out on the deck and unaware of them to start with, so the growling and hackle raising that went on seemed a bit wasted.  Molly had a sniff at her through the crate, which was very  brave of her, while Mirrhi cringed in the corner.

I'd forgotten how tiring small creatures are....the constant vigilance for signs that the toilet might be  needed, watching to see what's being chewed or eaten, and finding the balance between fun and discipline and being consistent, but I'm enjoying every minute, and she was great company this afternoon as I gardened and made sure the yard was puppy proof....she had quickly shown me where it wasn't!

We will both sleep well tonight I think.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

This girl is mine

........or she will be next week when she'll be big enough to leave her mum and siblings. 

She had been -running stumbling about playing, then the owner picked her up so I could take a photo, and she nodded off straight away.  I've had great fun thinking about names, discussing names, checking out other people's dog's names, it's quite time consuming.   I have a short list now, which could quite possibly change after I get to know her better.  I'd love to hear any suggestions for naming her.

It's all this little fellow's fault....I looked after him for a few days for my neighbours, he was such good fun and a wonderful companion, he reminded me how nice it is to have a dog around,  so I started to think seriously about getting one, and to look around.

Spencie from next door

A pile of girl has her back to the camera, that's her with the white splash on her tush. Mum is a blue heeler (Australian catle dog)/ kelpie cross and dad is a pedigree border collie)

Having volunteered with an animal rescue group, and owning 3 rescue cats, I know there are many dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages waiting for homes, beautiful dogs who are homeless for a variety of reasons and usually through no fault of theirs.  I did scour all the pet rescue sites, and could have gladly adopted all of them, especially the older dogs.  In the end,  I decided to look for a puppy, and a neighbour told me about this litter.  I think...hope...the cats will be more amenable to a creature smaller than themselves, one they can train and let know who is boss, I can train it to live alongside my chickens, and as the owner has chickens, this little one comes with some chicken experience already.  I also wanted a dog I could train to the way I want it to live with me, and that didn't come with any baggage other than puppiness.
And in case you think it's only been about puppy love around here, I finished this baby quilt for a friend's new granddaugher

and made a soft and cuddly knot doll to go with it...perfect for a new-born, it's all cotton, with an  organic wool-filled head for warmth and comfort, and knotted hands and hat just right for chewing on as she gets bigger.

And here's my full moon art for July, that I finished and forgot to postBecause I was in a weaving frame of mine after playing with my garden loom in the last post, I wove scraps of batik from a patchwork op-shop dress for the background, and various pieces of silk and glittery fabric for the moon.  I'll add more stitching 'one day'.

The weekend is coming, and hopefully bringing more sunshine with it after days of rain.  Enjoy yours whatever you do, rain or shine.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Moon made me do it

Early moon rise....just clearing the trees

A friend loaned me this book....thanks Lajla! You can see more of Tonya Ricucci's work on her blog

This full moon in Capricorn is about getting things done, well, I wanted to do words, so I put aside my moon stitching and have been stitching words's a bit addictive!  Nothing to show yet, they don't look like much until they're put together.

I'll have plenty of time to work on Full Moon Art today, and join in with Woman with Wings and others as they celebrate the moon, as it's my turn to sit in the Gallery and mind the shop.

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 2, 2012

In the garden -exploring, weaving, knitting

The weather's been sublime here, and apart from a few days of heavy rain, there's been warm bright sunshine and blue skies. Although I've had sewing to do,  it's just been too nice to be indoors, so I've been taking my knitting outside, letting the new girls out to explore and enjoyed the sunshine.

Spangly Lola

Busy Brenna ....she loves being out, and aggressively hunts worms and insects, from the ground and her nest mates.  I think she's going to be alpha  chicken.  She makes an amazing noise, somewhere between a honking goose and a mournful water fowl.

Speedy much to do and see.

Betty........likes to check it all out first.

They have all settled in well, there's the occasional outraged squark during the day, as the older two continue to attempt to stake their claim to the henhouse, but it's mostly darting and chasing, no vicious attacks.  Sadly, this little one, Hildie,  didn't make it, I found her very listless in the coop one morning when I let them out, and despite bringing her indoors and keeping her warm, and eye droppering food and water into her, she died shortly after.  I think the others might have suffocated her, they haven't quite got the hang of roosting yet, and would get off and huddle together in a pile.  Hildie was probably on the bottom. She was a dear little girl, and was the first one to venture out into the yard, then followed me around peeping happily, sounding like R2D2, all beeps and whistles.

Rest in peace, Hildie

I had this garden loom made a while back, and have been enjoying weaving cuttings and prunings from the garden into it.  I saw one in a Living Crafts magazine a while ago, and was really taken with it. Go here to see the website of the family that make them, they're from northern Maine, and have such a respect and enjoyment of their garden.

I love how I can watch the shadows and light on it, changing and moving, keeping me in touch and mindful of the passing day, and then the seasons.  The structure itself is symbolic of our human experience and is a quiet reminder of the inner qualities of this experience and harmonising the whole.  The top beam represents the creator, or creative power, the vertical posts : 2 states of experience - being and doing; the angled pieces represent balanced communication: listening and talking; and the two horizontal weaving beams are for feeling...the lower one, close to the earth for grounding...and the higher...the head for thinking.

At dusk

Moon rise.
I love too that it's all made from left over timbers from when I had the back of the house renovated.  Those upright posts are the old stair supports, from when the house was built over 90 years ago, and now have a new lease of life watching over my garden. 

As we move into Spring, I'll start weaving wool, roving, and fabric scraps for the birds to take for their nests.  They already like to perch up on it, and there's often little groups sitting happily up there.  For now, I've planted some bulbs under it, and will plant flowers and herbs seasonally under and around it.  It makes me very happy.

....and the knitting? This week is NAIDOC Week , celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples and I've been knitting beanies in the indigenous colours, of black, red and yellow.  These will be given to the children who attend the local Women's Service Indigenous playgroup and after school activities, a very new venture for the area.  I've made 12, and have one on the needles, nearly finished, and since I didn't decide until midway through June that I'd take on this project, I'm rather pleased and relieved they're all done, and ready to hand out on Wednesday.  They range in size from one for a new baby, up to 12 year olds.   

I'm back out to enjoy the winter sunshine, finish that last beanie and do some stitching for Full Moon Art with Woman with Wings.

Enjoy your week.