Saturday, January 28, 2012

I told George to move the tractor

(Source: My Daily News- canefields Murwillumbah )
The rain just kept falling, and the river kept rising. Wednesday saw us with SES volunteers door knocking to tell us to evacuate, the river was about to burst it's banks.  I can't tell you how that felt, the indecision, feeling pretty sure my house would be ok, but how can you know.  I decided to stay, and the predicted 5m+ river peak didn't happen, but it was a tense time while I watched Bureau of Meteorology updates on the river levels, and how much rain was falling.  I feel for the people who weren't so lucky, who had their homes overrun with dirty river water, and their belongings ruined.  Some of those people haven't been able to return home yet, and I can't imagine how that must feel, to not know what awaits them.

Looking south from the Murwillumbah Bridge, I live just over behind those trees, and up a bit on a rise

Street at the back of my house, the land drops steeply to this low lying area a stone's throw from the river

Looking across the playground -the park across the street 

(Source:My Daily News)
Not everyone was bothered by the flooding, nothing like boogie boarding down the main street, or mud sliding through the rain soaked grass.
(Source: My Daily News)
The rain's stopped for now, and things are nearly back to normal, but more heavy rain is predicted, so we'll wait and see what the coming days bring.

Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Holy cretan stitch, Batman it's raining cats and dogs

The rain's hardly let up, and the water keeps creeping across the park.....times like this I can boast I have water views.  The land rises up to my house, and it's high off the ground like the one you can see in the picture, so I'm in no danger.

Today is Take a Stitch Tuesday (, and the stitch this week is cretan stitch.  I've not used this before, I always thought it looked too complicated, so I ignored it as a seam treatment on cq.  But really, it's quite easy to do, and can look very different depending whether you make it close and small, or large and wide.  I've gone somewhere in the middle and added it here to one of my cq hearts, along with some feather stitch, which was last weeks stitch which I didn't get around to doing.  I've just done a basic stitch with both of them, and not taken them any further.

 This feather stitch sampler, however, is a fine example of taking it further. This was featured by Sharon as one of the highlights of week 3.

 Off to check there's no holes in the canoe!!

Forecast is for wet and stitchy

Non stop rain for so many days I've lost count.  Some of us are fed up already, not sure why, all they do is sleep anyway.

I've been stitching these little cq hearts......

Building more houses from finished
 one halfway there.....

 and a lovely gift in the mail from Kaite who sent me a little pack of critters to peek from my house windows, the rooster above was part of the gift.  Thanks Kaite *beams*
If the rain doesn't stop soon, we'll all have fish swimming in our windows!

I did get out on the weekend and headed to Currumbin Beach  in Queensland where it wasn't raining (then)  and had a walk and a paddle on the beach

I'm going to have paddle my way to town today to do a food shop, those bored kitties don't take kindly to being told the cupboard's bare.  I live close to the river and with this much rain there'll be flooding in the lower lying areas, one of which is my only way out, so I'm off .  This rain is pretty widespread across most of New South Wales and Queensland, and likely to continue for another week, so if it's wet where you are keep your tail feather's dry, or stay warm or cool, depending on where you are.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Little Houses

I've joined in the 'Building Houses from Scraps' project, and made these two yesterday. Started by Jeanneke  they seem to be enormously popular, popping up all over blogland.  Jeanneke is handpiecing 7.5 cm (3") size blocks, one a day for the whole year, but luckily it's a no pressure, break the rules kind of project, so mine are 10cm ( 4") and I'm going to do enough for a small wall hanging. I've foundation pieced mine by hand, and they're all going to be scrappy blues, with a red door and roof.

A nice project to work on yesterday while listening to the rain thunder relentlessly on the roof all day, and small and easy enough to whip up one a day....well, that's the plan!

....oh, and if you'd like to join in, the pattern will be available on Jeanneke's blog until the end of today.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


More fabric post cards from the Stitchinfingers Fabric Postcard 2012 Birthday Swap I'm part of .  These have come from all over....Ireland, USA, South Africa, and Canada.

Closer to home, this one is from Kaite who very cleverly added references to my chooks..and matched the heart to the basket she sent me a while back for PIF-Handmade. Thanks Kaite, lovely surpise!

and this one's from my friend Lajla....more of a mug mat she said, than a postcard.  Too nice to worry about spilling tea on it.

I found this blooming prettily in my garden this morning....a foxglove! I planted a few of these back in autumn, they're not a sub-tropical plant, but I thought I'd give them a try, but they didn't do very much, grew a few extra leaves was about all.  I thought it probably turned too hot and humid too soon for them so put it down to experience.  And now this pretty flower has popped up.

Look at the colours and spots inside that throat.

Enjoy your weekend, whatever you're doing.  It's cool here, so maybe some gardening for me.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Brisbane put on a beautiful day for our trip to the Threads Exhibition, my birthday outing, but despite how lovely it looks, the temperature was close to 40 degrees C (that's around 100 f) and we were pleased and relieved to be indoors for most of the time, but the short walk to and from the train staion was like walking through a furnace.  It was strange to think at the same time last year this city and surrounds was under water and sad to remember the many lives that had been lost throughout SE Queensland.

Brisbane skyline from Southbank

The Exhibition - "Threads - Contemporary Textiles and the Social Fabric" was wonderful and well worth the trip, and there were so many amazing pieces on display, all with their own story, that I've highlighted just some of my favourites.  

 This batik was part of a display from a north Western Australian Aboriginal community.  While some displays had a very clear political message, or documented social and political conditions, others, like these batiks, drew on traditional imagery and cultural narratives while using new techniques and materials. All of the pieces explored in some way the connection between old and new, and highlighted important links between people, places and ways of life.  Quoted from the Art Gallery blurb  " Threads have the capacity to unravel, opening up possibilities for innovation, discord and creative change and the weaving of new histories"

I like that!

Pearl diver's woollen trousers worn under diving gear, embellished with fruits of his labour...pearl buttons. 

Details from this large circular piece, all hand embroidered with motifs and patterns that are symbolic of  fertility, prosperity or protection.  Motifs also depict everyday domestic life.

Lajla liked this one

More detailed.....and humorous....hand embroidery

This is Burrut'tji....lightning serpent.  This batik from northern Australia depicts the cycle of natural events....storms, life giving rain, fertility.

a very powerful image

There was a display of baskets as well.  This one caught my eye with it's bands of striking colour.  It was made by a an elder, a man of the Girramay people from Far North Queensland, from twined vines.  He learnt basketmaking by watching his grandmother as a boy, and now introduces the arts of his rainforest people in a more contemporary way to a wider audience. He is also a passionate activist for land rights. 

This traditional robe from China was interesting.  It's made from plastic and hand embroidered with fishing line.  It represents the contradictions of a rapidly changing society, and the relationship between  tradition and modernity. A revered traditional costume has been made from  "vulgar, cheap, versatile, omnipresent, environmentally unfriendly high tech junk. "  The artist worked on this for nearly 10 years,

The following pictures are from another exhibition : "Across Australia" - celebrating the Gallery's collection of Indigenous Australian art.
Lajla looks a little worried she's about to be lunch!

 These are wooden carvings of 'camp dogs' from Arakun on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula, far north Queensland.  Stray dogs roam in packs in most Aboriginal communities, and around sunset they'll look for an "owner", someone to give them a feed.  Usually the Arakun people carve totems, which are sacred to different family groups, so the artist will work alone, but since camp dogs belong to all, this project allowed people to come together and  collaborate and to share their art
These are firestick figures from far north Queensland, made from clay, ochre and plant material.  They were made to carry firesticks from one camp site to another, and the carrier was under a great deal of pressure to ensure the fire stick stayed dry and alive.

 A woven vessel (erkel) from Queensland, made from spinifex grass twined with nylon thread, red ochre and galah feathers.  The photo doesn't do justice to the vibrant pink in the bird feathers.
Inside view

This is just a glimpse of the many wonderful pieces on display.  I might show some more another time.  There were a couple of large tapestries which sadly I didn't photograph, but they were amazingly detailed, handworked embroideries of major events of displacement and genocide.  Perhaps just too raw and heartbreaking to document?  I found all the items powerful and their stories moving, and I loved the way threads and the work of many seemingly disparate hands have woven stories and images we all understand and resonate to at some level.

.............. how spectacular is this?

My birthday finished  in a blaze of colour, with this stunning sky display at sunset

............and since I was now a year older, what better way to recover from the emotion, excitement and exertions of the day than to  find a cool spot with a breeze and have a little rest.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day of the Goat

It's my birthday today, and I'm off to Brisbane for a day of fun and frivolity.....first to see an exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery - "Threads : Contemporary Textiles and the Social Fabric and then who knows what else.

.....and for those who were curious, here's the gift sent to Naomi that I gave a sneak peek of a few days ago....I think she liked it a lot.  She likes to sketch and draw, using pastels, pencil or charcoal, so I made her this folder she can pop in her bag and take with her and sketch on the go.  The cover's made from some linen I rust dyed.  I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

'bye for now