Monday, May 21, 2018

Tank and Feathers

Outside, workers installed another water tank:

Inside I finished quilting the 9th charity quilt:
Not that you can see the quilting very well on the front. Here's the back:
Some of this was practice for this week of Angela Walters's "Free Motion Quilting Along Challenge", a simple feather design. It was good to have lots of room to practice those feathers!

Here's a section of the quilt so you can see the quilting better:

Sunday, May 20, 2018


My Japanese maple Acer palmatum "Osakazuki" is losing its leaves:
The remaining ones are turning beautiful orange and red shades:
This is its first year in the ground, so it is nice to see that its autumn colour lives up to the label.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


When I arrived home last night I discovered that the population of domestic creatures had grown:

Last weekend our 10-yr-old chook died, which was rather sad. But now we have 3 ducks to replace her. Nett increase in the creature count: 2.

Another unexpected arrival:
A spring star flower open before winter even starts!

Friday, May 18, 2018


Today a group of quilting friends took a trip down to Torquay to visit Jen Kingwell's shop, Amitié.
We sat and sewed, ate lunch from the in-store café, and probably all splashed a bit of cash on lovely fabrics and patterns.

The very high ceiling means there is plenty of room to display quilts above the stock shelves:
See the quilt up above the Featherweight? I photographed that because of a design idea I've had in one of my sketchbooks for ever. I based it on the robe Katharine Hepburn is wearing in this scene in Adam's Rib:
Adams rib trailer.png
Trailer screenshot uploaded by Lobo512 at en.wikipedia - Adam's Rib trailer, as featured on the DVD, Public Domain, Link

One day it will get made maybe!

There is lots of room between the shelves, too. The fabrics are all arranged by colour:
What I didn't photograph are the little baskets of 1/16ths scattered around between the shelves. They're ideal for if you just need a touch of something. For example, the background I've used in this week's temperature rosette came from one, as did today's hexie:

This is week 51. So close to the end. Here are the temperatures:

18/05/2018    13.1    aqua/teal
17/05/2018    10.3    aqua/teal
16/05/2018      9.3    blue
15/05/2018      9.8    blue
14/05/2018    14.3    aqua/teal
13/05/2018    11.2    aqua/teal
12/05/2018    11.3    aqua/teal

It really feels like winter has arrived. I know last year in the week before I started this quilt there were three "green" days - ie temperatures between 15 and 20C. But this year it seems green is gone.

Linked to Sarah's weekly Weather Report here.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Farewell to the Trees

This time for real:
Four boxes of TreeProject seedlings loaded onto the back of the ute. Two other boxes of just-germinated species will stay with us over winter.

Dropped off at a house in Ballarat, where they joined others, and from where they will be collected by the landholder and taken to their final home somewhere way out in the west of Victoria, almost to the border with South Australia.
Grow well, little trees!

One the way home we drove down an unfamiliar road, and saw a mob of kangaroos in a paddock:
 They seemed pretty relaxed about having their photo taken.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Late Bloomers

A bit of sunshine today, which was a nice change. Even the bees ventured out, as you can see in this photo of the finally-opening tree dahlia (Dahlia imperialis) flowers:

Another plant that doesn't start blooming until late in autumn is the bethel sage, Salvia involucrata 'Bethelii'. I thought it might not flower at all this year, but here is the first flower beginning to open:
It flowered all through winter in the city, finishing some time in September. But here it will stop once the frost arrives.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Gallery Visit

This afternoon we tried to go to the cinema to see Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf, which was only showing this weekend. But unfortunately tickets were sold out before we got to the box office. Instead we went across the road to the Ballarat Art Gallery, where we joined a guided tour, then saw the special exhibit Eugene von Guérard: Artist Traveller.

Von Guérard travelled around south-eastern Australia for 28 years, recording what he saw in his sketchbooks. The exhibition includes many of the sketchbooks, and larger drawings and paintings based on his sketches.

Here's a larger drawing of a local landmark:
"Lal Lal Falls near Ballarat 29th February 1856"

This drawing is owned by the State Library of New South Wales, so it was nice to get the chance to see it in Ballarat. However there is something odd about it. Here is a normal summer view of the falls:
My photo from January 2015. No water falling at all.

And here is a winter view from July 2016:
A bit of water, but nothing like von Guérard's drawing.

In fact the only time I've seen the falls looking at all the way they do in the drawing was after massive spring rains in September 2016:
And then the whole gully was full of water, not dry as it appears in the drawing.

There is a book accompanying the exhibition, which includes a different version of the drawing, although with the same date. The drawing in the book shows a lot less water going over the falls, and looks more like my winter photo. The actual sketch that the two drawings were based on is not on display in the exhibition, so I don't know how much water von Guérard actually saw on his visit to the Falls in February 1856. But I think it is fair to say that he just imagined what the falls might look like with a lot of water in the drawing above.

Elsewhere in the gallery I was quite taken with a Butler's Tray with Folding Stand, made for Alfred Deakin (Australia's 2nd Prime Minister) by  F E Strangward some time between 1910 and 1930:

I love the quilt-like designs made of tiny pieces of timber.

In searching for more information about F E Strangward I found an article in The Argus of 16th August, 1933; a glowing review of an exhibition of his mosaic woodwork in Melbourne. The article was written by Arthur Streeton, art critic for The Argus at the time. There are several of Streeton's paintings in the Ballarat gallery in the same room as this piece of furniture.