Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Catching Up

I am very behind with my New Year wishes, but I will join my fellow Bloggers now in offering everyone my very sincere wish that 2013 will be a wonderful year.  We slept the New Year in this year, as hubby had a long day Monday, driving to pick up goods.  Our #1 son came over after lunch yesterday, hoping to do a spot of fishing.  I thought I'd share our dessert from last night.  The mixture of frozen/fresh/canned fruits on this pavlova and whipped cream was lovely - something I had to put together at short notice.   And now that the 'holidays' are behind us, I think we will settle down to more ordinary meals - enough of this naughty stuff!!

The fishermen had some success, landing these two Golden Perch, which made the perfect breakfast this morning.  What a nice way to start the day, naturally gathered food, home cooked!!!

Moving on from food, I have to share yet another knitting project, still can't get enough of my knitting at the moment.  I am not too sure this photograph shows the colour properly.  It is 100% merino 2 ply, Touch Yarns, and it came from in Victoria.  I found it beautiful to knit, and block.

I think this photograph shows it's colour a little more accurately.  It has so many different shades of red/pink, but the first thing you think of when you see it is ruby red lipstick, Hollywood style - well I do!!

The pattern I've used [Fragile Heart] is available via Ravelry.  These patterns are proving to be my downfall, ie I can't stop at just one.  You can see the information here.  Wearing these in a cowl effect is quite becoming in my opinion.  I've used 4mm, 4.5mm, and 5mm needles to achieve the open patterning.

Hopefully this photograph will give you an indication of the actual size of the shawl.  It was necessary to block it lengthways on a spare double bed, so you can see that it is quite elongated.  I've used #8 triangle beads, cherry lined clear.  In some photos you can't seem them, but they really catch the light as you move around the shawl.  I think I prefer my beaded knits to be like this, ie beading there, but not overpowering the piece.  I am also totally in love with the picot bind off.  If you have the urge to try some lace knitting, but are not confident of your ability, I can assure you all the patterns in this range are easy to follow - lots of glamour with a minimum of fuss.

Thank you to all for your support of my blog.  I am trying to post a little more regularly, so please bear with me in 2013.  We have had a small but useful fall of rain, but I think the weather this week will be quite hot. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Gifts at Christmas Time

This will be a very quick post today.  I really want to wish everyone a very happy Christmas with plenty of laughter, good health, and happiness, and especially time to spend with those you love.  This can often be a very sad time for people, remembering those they've lost, but for many it is a time to re-unite with their families, and spend time together.  I am grateful for the support and friendship I have received from so many wonderful readers.  These friendships would never have been possible but for this wonderful world of technology.  I am including one photograph, a small gift I've just completed.  This little pink cardigan has been made for a baby I will never see.  I am sending this to a friend in the US, a gift for her niece whose baby girl is due in January.  Why...........well, I don't know, simply because small things count, and the friendship and support I receive from my friend means a lot to me.  I receive that same support and friendship from so many.  What a pity more people in the world could not take a lesson from we ordinary people, plodding away, making friendships and sharing our passion.

There isn't much else to say today, except to again give my good wishes to all my friends, near and far.  Take care, have fun, stay warm/cool/safe, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.  The comments I receive mean so much to me, and this has helped me continue blogging for so long.  


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Our 'Dancing Queen'

Not a long post this time, days are running away on me.  I just wanted to share two very nice photographs I took of our grand daughter at her dance recital a few weeks ago.  She has always been a most photogenic child, and now it seems as though she is growing up too quickly.  She has been a very busy girl this term with swimming, as well as dancing, AND trying to cope with family life still disrupted as a result of the house fire.  Hopefully, all will be done by mid January, and things can return to normal.

The night was pleasant, not a long programme, but the small crowd enjoyed every dance.  One last photograph and I'll be off to try to catch up on some Christmas cleaning.  Sadly, I was unable to successfully clone out the arm in the following photograph.

Thank you to all who continue to support my blog.  I so enjoy your comments.  After a bit of conversation with my friend, Dian, I've realized the textured seed pods in my last post belong to the Plane Tree. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

More about texture

As fibre artists, I think we all get the thing with texture.  It's what makes us feel a buzz when we see a piece of embroidery, knitting, mixed media work, etc.  I've been playing with both my cameras lately [who's a smarty pants then...........LOL], and thought I'd share a few photos where the main focus is texture.  I know the guy in the photograph above isn't something delicate and genteel, but boy, just look at that skin, such a lot of texture there.  I took lots and lots of this fellow, sunning himself on a post.  He didn't seem to mind how close I got to him.  This one has been taken on my new DSLR Nikon, not on macro, but a reasonably close shot with a medium sized lens.  Somehow, I don't think he quite trusted me.........LOL..........

Much of the time, my world is full of drab colours.  I'm sorry I can't provide something a little livelier.  But, hey, not everyone sees beauty in the same thing.  This dry and decaying rose hip came up pretty well with the macro feature on my small Nikon, with just a hint of sharpening in PhotoShop.  French knots and long bullions would probably be the way to stitch something like this.

Right down on the ground, almost obscured by the lawn, I found these white puff ball fungi things.  On closer inspection, they had quite rough skin.  The little Nikon really is good with these macro shots, and I've taken the shutter speed back to 100, not the default 200.  Again, a tad on the boring side colourwise.

I decided to have a play with the fungi photograph.  Don't ask me what I did, but between PhotoShop and GIMP, I created this image, just for fun.  It's been filled with a light gradient, cropped, had the perspective altered, cropped again.........., well I won't continue, because to be honest I forget what I actually did and in what order.

On our recent trip to Toowoomba, I picked up these really interesting seed pods under some trees - much to the disgust of my husband.  If he hadn't been there, I'd have picked up a few more!!!!  They look like miniature meteorites to me.  I will try to find out the name of the tree.  I just love these, but again, they are quite dull.  This photo was just snapped on the verandah rail outside with the new camera, nothing special, just point and shoot.

I really like the seed pods in the above photograph, and decided to play with an image.  This altered image, again using a mixture of filters in PhotoShop and GIMP reminds me of something from a futuristic movie.   When I look at it, I have the feeling one of those pods is heading straight for my face!!! 

And, lastly, I took part of a macro shot,  added lots of filters, lightly coloured it with a gradient at 30% opacity, trying desperately to make the dull paper wasp nest into something resembling middle earth perhaps?????  No, I haven't been drinking, just trying to turn something dull into something interesting............LOL...

Just recently I received a newsletter from Sue Bleiweiss.  In the newsletter there was a link to a post where Sue is sharing her method for making the most gorgeous textured shoes.  These are simply gorgeous, not bright, but very dramatic, and I hope you make the time to visit the link here, and see how Sue created these.  

As always, I have to say a big thank you to everyone who so kindly commented on our old dog.  I am so touched by the friendship and support.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Farewell Old Friend

Thank you so much to the lovely people who always find time to comment on my posts.  I am sorry they have been so few and far between of late.  This won't be a long one I'm afraid.  Perhaps I'll have something a little more chipper in a few days.  It has been a sad time in our household in the last week.  The time came for us to send one of our good working dogs to the big cattle muster in the sky.  He was one of ten in the litter - February, 2000 - and from the moment I saw him, he was 'my pick'.  Although he was a 'working dog', he was always treated with great affection, and termed 'Mum's loving pup' because he was my pick of the litter.  The boss has said he never regretted keeping him, as he was very good at his job, ie working the lead.

Farewell old mate, we miss you Hank.  Dogtown is not quite the same without you.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


It's hard to believe that a fortnight has gone by since I posted last!!  Thank you so much to all who gave me such enthusiastic responses to my knitting.  I have been grappling with a decision lately.  My husband has told me he would like me to have a new camera, a 'better' camera than the little pocket one I currently use.  I would like one, but wonder about the practicality of the purchase.  He says I should purchase one of the DSLR models and just spoil myself, as I will celebrate my 60th birthday in the next few weeks.   A few months ago I took the photographs I'm sharing in this post.  These were taken on a warm sunny afternoon, with my little NIKON Coolpix.  The first three photographs you will see are just as the camera took them, but I've reduced the quality of them in Photoshop.

I really need to be able to take good close-up's, and I'd like the ability to take good, clear zoomed in shots.  This little camera certainly takes good macro shots, but it falls down in the zoom feature - they tend to be a tad grainy.  It is also quite slow to react, which often means a bird or animal has moved during the process............

These next three photos have been slightly enhanced in Photoshop, just a little sharpening, that is all.  You can see the pollen just that little clearer by doing this.

I hope readers will enjoy these.  The hardy old 'pigface' always puts on a good show, and it's such a pretty site in bloom.

I am still thinking.................  I doubt the kids will miss that money in their inheritance.............LOL....

Take care all, and I hope the weather where you are isn't as nasty as it is here at the moment - a hot northerly wind blowing, smoke haze yet again, and the mercury climbing every hour.  It's shaping up to be another hot afternoon!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Knitting with BLING

I'm back again with some more knitting, my kind of knitting, ie with BLING!!!  I really wanted to share this with readers, as it's so absolutely divine.  I can't explain how ethereal this is, not because of me, but because of the gorgeous yarn and the wonderful pattern, and of course the glistening beads!

The yarn used was one I purchased via a fellow Ravelry member who was de-stashing, but you can see it here.  In real life it reminds me of wisteria, a plant I've never been able to have.  My husband is so very anti anything that climbs, and would never build me a suitable trellis, so I've had to admire it from afar.  Here is a close up which I hope gives you an idea of the wonderful wistfulness of this shawl.  It's truly as light as a feather.

The pattern can be found here and if you've always wanted to make something glamorous, I can fully recommend any of the patterns provided by this lovely designer.  Bev is a friendly and helpful lady, and if you find yourself in a bit of bother understanding anything in the pattern/s [I added the plural because I'm sure you will be tempted more than once], a simple email will suffice.   And another shot for good measure!!  Can you see the lovely twirling cascading drape of the ends of the shawl??

Again, I wet blocked this but had to move to the living room floor, as it was simply too large for the bed.  I think I measured in the vicinity of 2.6 metres around the inner part of the crescent, and 54 cms deep in the centre.  It does spring back a little once the pins are lifted.

I know this is not a photograph showing the knitting, but I wanted to share it as well.  I took this close up in my friend's garden last year, and did a bit of filtering in Photoshop.  The colours in wisteria are simply glorious, and yet again I seem to have gravitated towards purple.  I do not know why, it's not a colour I would tell you I like if asked, go figure........  Anyway, last, but not least, altered wisteria.

Ahhh.....blooming marvellous  

I hope I have inspired some of you to try this simple yet beautiful form of lace knitting - nothing difficult, a lot of WOW factor for something quite simple.