A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

All By Myself


Sydney Harbour Bridge from Lavender Bay


Sydney Opera House from The Sydney Harbour Bridge with two Sydney Ferries in the foreground.

Sydney Harbour Bridge overlooking Walsh Bay Pier 2/3


Marina Abramovic visits Sydney. 

And I visited Marina Abramovic's space.
This was not an exhibition in a technical sense.
It was an experience.

A mind altering experience.  
At least this is how I perceived it.
After surrendering all belongings at the entry and being issued sound cancelling headphones, one could choose to participate in a number of activities, such as separating black mung beans from rice then counting them, contemplating coloured boards or sitting opposite another person in silence.
I listened to Natalie Abbott speak and watched some of her performance which included telepathically instructing a dance sequence to three fellow artists. 
Eventually I realised what Marina's work is all about...the whole point of the project. 
Participating IS the project, performing the activities is experiencing activities devised by Marina (the artist).
Marina's message, I think, is about endurance...how much can our body endure, how much can our mind endure.   
And when we push ourselves to endure a little more, aren't we pushed to achieve just a little more than before? 
Doesn't endurance make us stronger, better, faster?
I was converted to Marina some years ago after watching her in her documentary called The Artist Is Present.  
Aspects of Marina's life and art shocked me when I first viewed them, but by the end I was drawn to her, her mindfulness, her spiritually, her individuality.

Linking to




And










Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Blackbird Singing In The Dead Of Night


Yikes, can you see that?  2011!
The last time I worked on this quilt was around July 2011...that's four years! Four years!
So I've picked it up again. Why? I hear you ask.  For a couple of reasons.
1.  Our regular Wednesday Patchwork and Quilting class is on school holiday break and I don't want to work on my Celtic quilt unassisted. (The truth is, Anne is such a wealth of hints I don't want to miss anything she may have to offer if I continue to work on the quilt top on my own.)
2.  I've lost a project I'm making for my Sister.  Can you believe it?  I've lost a whole bundle of fabrics with which I've promised to make more cushion covers for my Sister! So in my hunt for the elusive project I unearthed the French General quilt top I have avoided for the past four years.
On closer inspection I realised that there is not much to do to finish off the French General so I've added some sashing and a border. 

Layering the quilt and machine quilting will be easy as it's not large, more a single bed topper size. If I'm organised enough I can have it ready for Mum's 82nd birthday in September.

In the meantime, I've made these upbeat drink coasters.


I know...they could also be mug rugs but for some reason I have an aversion to mug rugs, and the person I've made them for is slightly eccentric and I think he probably has an aversion to mug rugs too but I can totally see him using these to place his crystal cut glass scotch whiskey tumbler on.
The graphic fabric is the infill out of a panel of Milvale Quilt Labels.  I fussy cut these very carefully as I didn't have much area to play with.
The binding is a remnant from my Youngest Son's 21st birthday (Yikes again...in 2008!)quilt which I can't show you as that was before my blogging days.

A few weeks ago, feeling excited about the capabilities of my upgraded sewing machine, I practised  applique and free motion quilting on a square of fabric. 

 I'm always loathe to discard anything and the end result was a very scrappy raggy quilt made with some boring fabric.  The end result turned out much nicer than I imagined.




Now, I wonder where I've stashed that fabric?
Have you ever lost a quilting project among your stash?  And did you find it?  Was it where you expected to find it?

Have a happy sewing week.


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Machine Applique A Finish And A WIP

Did I tell you?  
Early this year I started taking patchwork and quilting classes from Anne Sommerlad.  Judy Tyrrell took over the Post Office Patchwork in Glenbrook late last year and I placed my name on the class list hoping to get a spot in a class, any class; so I could get together with other like minded people as soon as possible.
I consider myself very lucky to be tutored by such a talented teacher and designer. 
My first assignment was to learn how to machine applique ... but a saga unfolded as soon as I started classes.  My sewing machine, which I purchase around seven years ago has caused me lots of angst and I was hoping Anne would perform a miracle and show me what a purring beast it could be.  But alas, this was not to be and I was urged to return it to the retailer from whence I purchased it.

When I returned it to the shop, I was told that my model of sewing machine had been issued with a tension 'upgrade'.  "So", I said, "there's been a problem with this model then?" I asked, "Oh no, not a problem, just an upgrade."  Came the reply.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I got the 'upgrade' under warranty and also got the sewing machine serviced and now this wonderful appliance is purring away like a kitten.
I have created some gorgeous Anne Sommerlad designs.  What do you think?
 Above is my first assignment, quickly followed by the second (shown below) to reinforce my newly learnt skill.



This is the centrepiece of Anne's Celtic Throw design which she converted to a king single bed quilt for me.  I have chosen my own colour scheme which will be revealed as the quilt progresses.


Above is a close up of the detail.
I'm over the moon with the results!


Once more, the above cushion design is Anne Sommerlad's.  Isn't it just exquisite?
I have used Anne's design unchanged but chose my own colours using mostly fabrics I had in my stash.  It was a little bundle of fabric remnants I purchase some time ago at some fair or other.



The seat cushions are made from a polka dot and marbled fabrics I purchased from Post Office Patchwork.

I'm now inspired to replace our now tatty cushions with some newly made colour co-ordinated covers to replace them.


I'm linking up with

Photobucket

Monday, 22 June 2015

Two Cards Bigz Clear Oval Accent






I've been playing around with my new Sizzx die cut, the Bigz Oval Accent. I like these a lot and plan to make more.

Friday, 19 June 2015

It's Not Easy Being Green

One day last month I ventured into our local Salvos Store to do some browsing.  It's not a store that I can just wander into as do my shop in the village because it's set apart from the main shopping strip.  It's a store I drive past each time I drive into town but I have to make a conscious decision to go there. 
Once inside I found a huge pile of green single bed sheets (among other things of course!).  One hundred percent cotton, brand new, and a heavy cotton at that. At five dollars each I couldn't pass up on buying one and my intention was to use it as a table cloth on our newly refurbished dining room table.
Green is not my favourite colour. 
Especially this particular shade of green.
It is sort of a vintage green, you know, the one from the late fifties and early sixties.
Institution green.  School classroom walls green, public rest room green.
Much of the interior of my childhood home (which we moved into in the very early sixties) was painted green.
Mum used to tell me that the colour green is very good for the eyes.  She never said why.  Today, I avoid the colour green as much as possible, especially THAT shade of green.  I love the colours jade, aqua, turquoise, teal...but not green!
But I thought a green sheet as a table cloth for everyday use might be okay.
So yesterday was the day I decided to work on the green sheet and bespoke it to fit our dining table.
My Mum was a great seamstress and she taught me to sew when I was very young but she had the knack of just being able to put two pieces of fabric together and sewing it to perfection.  I didn't have that knack and found sewing very frustrating. Especially when I had to unpick sewing, which was more often than not.
But then I took up patchwork and quilting. And I discovered pins.
I have a multitude of pin cushions, this one was a Christmas gift from my Grand Daughter in 2013

And I was taught that if I ironed and pinned my hems, binding etc, well, things came together much better!


As I worked on my project (I needed to cut a strip of fabric off one end as the sheet was too long for our table) I came across a label.


It was then I realised that the sheets are ex-defence stores which must have been donated to the Salvos!

Oh well, there was no turning back! 

With the strip of fabric I cut off I made four serviettes.  I'm very big on serviettes as I refuse to buy paper products (except for toilet paper - and tissues when the lurgy is going around).


I'll just have to remember not to use these when I've got defence-forces family visiting!


But for everyday use I don't think it looks too bad.  I do have another table cloth I can alternate with. (We're not really a tablecloth kinda family but the new paint job needs protecting. And oh...the chairs that go with the dining table are awaiting a face lift and reside in the garage as I speak.)


And it kinda looks cute with my dragonfly china.

Being the ultimate re-cycler I had one little scrap of fabric that I couldn't throw out so I made Little Miss Seven a sack for her school lunch box for the days Nanna has to do school lunch.  It's just large enough to hold some ice coolers, or a frozen water bottle, or her frozen yogurt sippy.


I didn't bother with drawstrings or closures because it's only meant to soak up excess moisture in her lunch box.  The less for little fingers to worry about.

And the label, impossible to remove, except with scissors, I decided to keep (it's inside the sack) as it will be great to write her name on.

What weird and wonderful project have you completed from a reused item?


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Happy Birthday Queenie Part II

Vivid 2015

Vivid Sydney was inaugurated in 2009.  Our first visit to Vivid Sydney was in 2013 and our second in 2014.
This year we attended on the penultimate day of the festival and were a bit anxious about re-experiencing a crowd crush.
Well, the crowd crush wasn't quite as bad as what we experienced in 2013, but it was a bit of a turn off and once more cut our night short.
I've probably said it in the past but I'm going to say it again...the best time to go is Monday to Thursday nights.
Weekends just get too busy.
This year, both Mr H.P. and I thought that Vivid was, well, just not as vivid as it has been in the past.

However, there were a few new installations this year and more venues added that were scattered a bit further out from the CBD proper.  Unfortunately we did not get to installations further out but we did manage to see a new work displayed in the Rocks area and involved a projection onto the ceiling of a tunnel (Argyle Cut)in the Rocks.

For a better view, much of the audience lay on the road to view the projection.
Music accompanied the light show.







The whale and its calf would have to be my favourite.


















The peacock feathers are not bad either!


And then there was the selfie tunnel!  Ha ha, my first ever selfie. 


This image was projected onto a pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


And of course, what would Sydney Vivid be without the Sydney Opera House.





















We originally had walked from Milson's Point, over Sydney Harbour Bridge, to Circular Quay (above).  And Circular Quay is where organisers funneled the crowd to Customs House and after what amounted to around three hours of walking over the afternoon, we decided to call it a day and caught the train back to St Leonards where we had left our car.


Linking to Our World Tuesday







Monday, 15 June 2015

Happy Birthday Queenie, Part I

Australians celebrate Her Majesty's birthday by declaring a public holiday.  In most states it's held on the first weekend in June.
Many years ago we used to celebrate this weekend with bonfires and fireworks but when firework sales were banned (for safety reasons) and bonfires declared polluting, the practice has stopped. Except for those organised by large community groups and organisations, usually to raise funds for their individual causes by charging an entrance fee to their venues.
These too have died out because of rising cost for public liability insurance.
Our celebrations therefore have been reduced to a small bonfire (aka the brazier) and melting marshmallows on a stick over the flames.
This year we decided to visit VIVID in Sydney...simply because we couldn't resist.
So on two Sundays ago, we drove into Waverton, parked the car, walked to the Coal Loader before heading into St Leonards to have an early tea at Gilroy's Hotel . Then catching the train to Milson's Point and walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

We wanted to make a day of it, so today's post is dedicated to what we found in Waverton.  

Even though I was born and raised in Sydney, there is still so much I haven't discovered!

The Coal Loader was a pleasant surprise and Mr H.P. and I will definitely be going back for further investigations and to complete the walk along the coast.


First off we found an art work installation called Urban Serpent by Anthony Whyte and constructed from street signs.


The wharf is in disrepair and cordoned off from the public.
There is talk that plans are afoot to restore the wharf.





















Some of the historic remains on the site.
A tunnel links up to the walk along the coastline.


View over the water, HMAS Waterhen is nearby.

At the entrance you will find a sustainability centre and community garden.
Strawberry plants grow in vertical gardens.

Herbs also grow in vertical gardens and this water tank feeds water to other container-grown crops as well as supporting more produce growing in the tank.

Both Mr H.P. and I were inspired by the native bee hive!  The hive produces 500g of honey a year...the perfect amount for our household as we are not huge consumers of honey.





And what else would you find at the bottom of the garden besides a chicken coop?
I just hope that the person collecting the eggs has a steady gait, because literally, there were quite a few flights of stairs to negotiate to reach the coop.

And as we returned to our car, I came across this gorgeous yellow rose bobbing its head over a perfectly maintained picket fence. 



Apologies for the sloppiness of this post...google is not coming to party on this one!  I'm hoping for a better performance next time.  SP 





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