Friday, April 29, 2011

Floral Friday

Some floral embroideries:
Here are some Brazilian Embroideries that I did around 12 years ago. Back in the good old days when my fingers would let me do such work.

This first picture is the second one I did and is my favourite although I didn't notice until I had it framed that I had forgotten to put on the stems in couching stitch.

This was the first one I did and loved it so much I decided to do the others so I had a trio for my wall.
This was the last one I did and has the most stitches/techniques. It was a lot of work but well worth the effort.
Please share with me any Floral Beauties you have. I would love to see them.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Quilting Marathon

Firstly the important matter of Chocolate!
I hope everyone has had a lovely Easter Weekend and is full to pussy's bow with chocolate - (I hope this because it would make me feel so much better to know that I'm not the only chocoholic in blogland!)

Secondly I am happy to announce the completion of my
Quilting Marathon

on this quilt made by my SIL. (Sadly Michelle, she is a very productive quilter and crafter AND has a ridiculously tidy craft room - All those who wish her inflicted with a pestilence .. raise your current project, if you can find it!)

This quilt is HUGE.
First: I quilted the outer border with an edge to edge design which had to be adjusted for each row to allow for the triangles around the centre.

Second: I cross hatched all 48 nine-patch blocks diagonally; an exercise which used up quite some Panadol to counter the discomfort in my aching fingers, wrists and shoulders from hours and hours of holding a ruler steady to keep the stitching in straight lines.

Third: I quilted 17 motif designs on the plain blocks with the help of my daughter who worked at the front of the machine making sure I started and finished in the same place.
Now this is one of the reasons that people buy Stattler Stitchers or computerised additions for their quilting machines. To say that these motifs are wobbly is an understatement. But, you know they are done by hand, not by computer and the human element does show.

Fourth: The 17 flowers blocks were stippled. I probably could have found a much nicer bit of stippling for the photograph. Never mind.
All up it took me 14 and a half hours of quilting. Two full days work. Big job. Nice quilt. Happy with the result.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Floral Friday

Happy Easter to everyone!
(Just a slight digression to start)
I've just downed 2.5 homemade Hot-Cross buns and they were spectacular (even if I do say so myself) I'm looking for an excuse to sneak back into the kitchen for a cup of tea and another bun. So yummy!!

I have chosen a bit of a mix for my Floral Friday pictures.

Firstly is a stunning Kangaroo Paw which has been flowering for months. It is absolutely amazing. I was a little sceptical regarding it's survival when we planted it, as this area has heavy soil. The garden then turned into a bog from heavy spring and summer rains at which point I was completely resigned to it's imminent death BUT lo and behold it not only survived but has thrived!! Outstanding result! I am a happy little vegemite.

Secondly is a darling flowering gum which hangs over my fence from the next property. It is festooned - YES - festooned! with squillions of these delicate little pom-poms in the winter and just a joy to see.
Next is a couple of cross snap-dragons. They have just had a rather snappy argument about whether they are pink or puce. I can't say as I care really as I find all snap-dragons to be of utterly glorious colour.

Lastly is this sweet little sea-side daisy.
This little plant was growing out from a sleeper wall. It was it's own idea and I was happy to let it crawl around wherever it liked on that wall.
This would be perhaps my favourite ground cover. It is so easy to grow, needs so little water, flowers for so long and looks so beautiful.
I hope you have enjoyed looking at these pictures.
Please join in and let's see some of your favourite flowers.

Next week I will be minding my 17 month old granddaughter while her mother is in London enjoying her 10 day prize! Lucky duck! If I forget to post a Floral Friday next week please forgive me. It's been a long time since I had a little one for more than a day's babysitting! Should be fun!

The following week (May 6th) I'll be back home and Floral Friday will be all about ROSES! Ooooo I can't wait. Please join in and post lots of pics of your favourites.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Embroidered Cloth

My mother gave me a shoe-box some years ago and told me that I was the only one who could possibly be bothered dealing with it. ? Yes, ok, now what did she mean?
When I opened this box one of the things I found was this glorious embroidered cloth. Unfinished.

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus)
To give you an idea of the dimensions, this little wren is 50mm from the tip of his beak to the tip of his wing. Each stitch measures 1mm!

My mother had ufo's, just like the rest of us. Unfortunately I was unable to complete any of the works that were in the shoebox. Oh, yes the original embroidery threads are still in the box with each project. I was never taught fine embroidery and now my hands are riddled with arthritis making it a painful exercise anyway.
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
So here are some pictures of the work on this cloth. You can see how old it is by the marks and stains on the linen. I remember her seeking out beautifully fine linen for her work. She would often create her own designs.
I will show you more of what was in the shoe box in further posts.
Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)
Mum did so much embroidery and most of it was short/long stitch. I figure that she must have got tired of doing it so decided to do this cloth entirely in stem stitch, agonizingly fine stem stitch. If you click on the images you may be able to see how beautiful her sewing is. This was all done without the aid of a magnifying glass. I am completely in awe every time I look at it.

Scarlet Honeyeater - (Myzomela sanguinolenta)
The last picture is of the back of the Honeyeater. It is perfect. I asked her once how she got it so and she told me that the secret was to never, ever turn the work over. She started at the front and sewed over her first end and when she was done with that thread would sew it in behind the work just done! Amazing. I tried it and it worked - beautiful tidy back work.

I hope you enjoy this little look at this lovely ufo.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Floral Friday

Fabulous Floral Fabrics

This first pic is a lovely single rose print I picked up very recently.
I was never much of a fan of single roses but now I love them.
'A woman's prerogative' and all that I guess.

This is a lovely border print which I used as a border on an 'old fabrics' quilt.
The rose swag border is just beautiful.

More roses. This time some Michael Miller. This fabric is from the 'Spanish Roses' collection. I used it for a Queen size quilt for my bed. It has a black background and these intoxicating pink, red, yellow and cream roses in voluptuous bunches all over. It is a truly special quilt.

My last fabric is covered in floral butterflies. I bought metres of this because I loved it so much. I ended up using it for a tablecloth which is one of my favourites. I just love the imaginative design of this fabric and never tire of admiring it.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my favourite floral fabrics - Hey don't even get me started on my favourite Asian fabrics - that's for another Friday. Please join me in showing off any floral wonders you would like to share today.
And have a Fabulous Floral Friday!

Teddy Bear's Picnic

Abdul is an adorable Australian Camel. Originally, of course, his ancestors were from the Middle East and were brought to Australia to work in the deserts.
Abdul is a 6th generation Aussie and the closest he gets to 'working' in the desert is a trip to the beach where he may have to carry the picnic basket down to the beach.
He often dreams of the stories told to him by his Great Grandad of life in the old country; of exotic bazaars and markets and wonderful mystical stories of magic lanterns and flying carpets. This crocheted blanket is about the closest he gets to a magic carpet and he lies on it dozing and dreaming of sailing over deserts, palm ringed oases, cities of beautiful coloured tents and of sand dune mountains.
Abdul is most anxious to come to the picnic today and share some of his magic carpet adventures with his new friends at today's Teddy Bear's Picnic with Melody.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Floral Friday

I love walking around the garden in the early morning. The light is magical especially as it sparkles off the dew on all the leaves and flowers.

Here are some pics I took early this morning:

This leaf was just hanging in mid-air.
It was a little hard to focus as it kept fluttering and spinning gently on it's single gossamer thread.
These rose leaves appear to be sugar coated with their pretty coating of dew.
My small Golden Delicious apple tree has six apples ready to eat and they look so pretty and tempting in the early morning light.
Lastly is this morning web. I'm not good enough with the camera to get the whole web into focus but I quite like the hint of web, being out of focus, spreading out in the background.
(If you click on the image you will be able to see the web more clearly)

Please join me today with any floral pictures you have.
Next week I thought a theme of Favourite Floral Fabrics might be fun. This gives you time to rummage through your stash.
You may even like to put in some fabrics that are still in your stash for good reason! You know, the ones that you look at now and think "What on EARTH was I thinking!" haha - Could be fun!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lady Eva WON!!

This photo was sent in to the Today Show for the London competition and .......
Hey - Wow - they WON!
So it's off to London for my 2 daughters in 2 1/2 weeks. They both have littlies so its going to be all hands on deck and Gramma's on Duty for a week.

The girls are so excited, as you can imagine.
Fancy going to London for the Royal Wedding!!
Who'd have thunk it?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tuesday Treasures

Gippsland Beaches:
My local beaches and headlands are my Tuesday treasures for this week.
This picture was taken at Inverloch beach. It is a beautiful place to take a walk, do some fishing, wade with the kids, throw a ball for the dog or play beach cricket.

This beach is further down the coast towards Cape Paterson. Everywhere along this road, where you can catch a glimpse of the sea, is a postcard picture opportunity. There are so many of these little bays/inlets. Even on busy hot summer days there is hardly ever another soul in sight. You feel like Robinson Crusoe on your own private island beach. Most of these little bays are inaccessible unless by boat.

I am always amazed by the amount of beautiful and unique native flora around our coasts and the sheer numbers of birds in this dense and rugged scrubby bush atop the headlands.
It is such a joy to just sit and watch as you become invisible to the birds and see them busy at their daily chores. It is truly my happy place where I can go physically or mentally when I need a break.

Thank you Melody for hosting Tuesday Treasures again this week. I can't wait to see what others have shared.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

High Tea with Lady Eva

I know, I know, I hear what you're saying. There goes Bronwyn showing off her grandchildren again!
No excuses - I just love these photos taken by Eva's Aunty Michelle. We dressed Eva up in her best dress and pearls; made special cakes and biscuits and brought out her gorgeous tea-set and Grandma's china - just for a photograph.
I think you have to agree that the result is enchanting!

(Perhaps someone should have taken a picture of the three 'grown-ups' dancing around like loonies, gooing, gaaing and making complete nongs of themselves trying to get Eva to smile!)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Floral Friday

Ooops - sorry I'm so late everyone. I've been mowing the grass!
Butterflies and Bees:
I just can't get enough of them. Is there anything more satisfying in the garden than seeing happy butterflies busily flapping around the flowers.
And bees - - I just love bees. I plan to start some hives later this year and can't wait!! A few stings won't dissuade me. That first pot of honey will be so rewarding.

It would seem that this particular butterfly and bee are in Fabienne and Balthazar's garden!

Actually this daisy bush grew from a small cutting my dear friend Rosalie gave me. Fortunately when we moved there were so many seedlings in the pot plants we took with us that it will be easy to grow plenty more. What a splendid addition the yellow daisy is to the garden. Hardly ever out of flower and such a useful cut flower too.

Please share with us any fabulous florals you have. We would love to see them.