Monday, December 28, 2009

White Christmas

We went to see the stage show White Christmas. It was wonderful: not the deepest story I have ever seen but the music, singing and dancing were great.

There is snow forecast for next weekend, maybe even New Year's eve, not good for the people who will be standing out in Times Square for the ball to fall.

I will try to put up a couple of pictures of Central Park with snow. It was a few days after the snowfall but it has been cold, so it had not melted. It is gone now as it rained ALL DAY yesterday (I was very jealous on behalf of Melbourne).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Whitish Christmas

Well, I arrived safely in New York last Sunday, just after the snow storm. We had a wait on the tarmac before we could disembark from the plane but at least we could fly in.
New York was covered in snow, looking lovely. It wasn't so good to walk around on the icy footpaths but mostly the snow had been cleared away and only some intersections were tricky.
I have taken photos of people (they all seemed to be men) clearing the snow away from footpaths, intersections and making spaces for people to get to the road from buildings. All very ho hum for people used to the snow but fun for me to look at.
When the snow is built up alongside the road, it is very hard for cars to find parking spaces. I would not like to try to find parking in any part of New York. Actually, I have no desire to try to drive here at all. It is fairly easy to get around by public transport. We have been using the buses mostly because we have not been in a hurry and you can see lots from the bus.
I went for a walk in Central Park and the snow was beautiful. I have taken some pictures but haven't tried putting any pictures on my friend's computer yet. Will maybe try later, or not.
We are going to see the stage play White Christmas - very appropriate.
Best wishes to my thousands of readers, Happy Christmas!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

White Christmas - perhaps

I'm sitting here, all packed to go to New York for Christmas. I am lucky enough to have a good friend living there and she has invited me over for a few weeks. I have just checked the weather forecast and it looks COLD. Perhaps there will be a payoff of a white Christmas, something that we do not get here in Melbourne.
We had a hot day here on Wednesday, about 39 degrees celsius (or should I call it centigrade?), with the last few days in the low 20s. But the HIGH forecast for Sunday (in New York) is -1 degree!! I hope the snow doesn't mean that the plane can't go to New York. One of the joys of travel, I suppose, the uncertainty.
I am hoping to go to the new medieval display at The Cloisters to see, among other things, the tapestry. I have heard that there has been a 5 year renovation going on, so it should be good to see.
I went to K Spoering's blog and she tells me that there are more tapestries to see at the MET, not that I am only going to look at tapestries, but it does give me a focus for my 'touristing'.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pink quilts!

I don't usually wear pink and I rarely have it in my quilts. I used to go to patchwork and applique classes and the teacher there hated pink! So I was interested to see the 12x12 group's pink quilt exhibition. There are some lovely ideas there, some pinker than others.
I am also using this blog to see if I can get it to post at a date later than I am writing it - it is currently December 15th so I'll see if I can delay it till the 16th, I don't want to have to wait too long to see if it works!
I have realised - someone told me - that I have to click the Publish Post button to have it scheduled. I think I only save the draft last time. Time will tell if I have done it right.

RMIT tapestry

While browsing the web and thinking about what I am going to do next year, I came across alink to some tapestry work designed by one of the teachers at RMIT.
Tapestry is beautiful but is often huge and takes such a long time to complete. I wonder how tapestry weavers ever make a living from such work, I can't imagine many people being able to afford to pay for the amazing amount of work involved. No wonder they are often commissioned by big companies.
There is currently a communal work in progress at RMIT that students will be able to work on next year. I think that it may even comprise part of the course for students who are doing Tapestry as a major subject, that you are expected to participate in a community work. Other people, who are not doing the tapestry major, are also contributing time.
It has four parts to it, four separate tapestries. Two are currently in production, although I think they are not being worked on at present, just for the summer holiday break. When I find out more about it, I will post about again.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Trying to get my head around blogging

I thought I had very cleverly arranged my posts to appear on consecutive days but have been disappointed to discover that they kept their original posting dates and that when I publish them they go into the order of my original writing of the post, not the order I wanted them to appear in. I'll have to read that help item again, more closely.
I also tried playing around with images for my header. I kept getting huge pictures and eventually thought I had made a good size but it has turned out to be much smaller than I had expected. AND I thought I had deleted it anyway, but I notice it is there.
Maybe I should do my blogging at sensible times of the day, not late at night when I am tired.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Finding tapestry blogs

Here I am, sitting inside on a beautiful day, looking for blogs about tapestry. I have found several today, very interesting and inspiring.
The first two sites that came up when I did the search were a computer site and a reading site. Then I came across a tapestry crochet site, I am not sure what that is, exactly, but it was also interesting to browse.
You can spend so much time looking around on the internet!
But then I found several interesting blogs on the topic I was trying to find.
I can see that I need to learn heaps more and to actually set up a studio, even if it is just a consistent place to work. As I am enrolled to learn tapestry again next year, I hope that I will be able to show some work in progress also.
I also enjoyed the post about PhotoShop and its usefulness as a design tool. I will have to practise with that also.
These two sites have useful tips as well as showing some beautiful work. They also have links to even more useful and interesting sites but I must go and do some other things, make use of the beautiful early summer day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Erskine Falls, Lorne

We did take one excursion on our restful holiday in Lorne. We visited Erskine Falls. (Check out the very fast panorama at this link!)

It is a very pretty spot. We were there midweek and it was a rainy day but there were overseas tourists there with us. We tend to take our beautiful coastline for granted and forget that people come across the world to see it.

I was taken with the mosses and tried to take some shots of them but, as it was a reasonably dull day, they did not all turn out as I would have liked. However, I have some shots that might provide some textural ideas for my tapestry course next year.

I have all these ideas for art work but that's where they stay, as ideas. But I was encouraged today by reading a comment from one of the members of the Aus/NZ Art Quilters' group. She was lamenting all her good intentions but lack of work, so I don't feel so bad about my low output, I am obviously not alone.


I took my visual diary to Lorne in the hopes of actually doing some drawing but no such luck. I am just not a drawer. However, I did take my camera. I took a series of pictures for possible future art use. I have enrolled to do woven tapestry again next year and, as I have done one of a scene at Rye, I thought I might be inspired to do a series of seascapes next year.

So I took some pictures at Lorne, just in case. We had some sunny weather and some cloudy weather. There were amazing colours in the sea and clouds, so I have taken a lot of photos in the hopes of getting something I can work with. The photos don't do justice to the colours but they are better than my (non-existent) drawings.

Dangerous place, Lorne

There were some signs that gave us pause, when we went out at Lorne. The signs at the beach were fairly clear. We used to go to the ocean beaches in our childhood and so are aware of the dangers of the rips and currents.

But the flags were out and swimmers kept between them.

The surfers tend to sit waiting for good waves a bit further along the beach. It was calm the whole time we were there, so there was a lot of waiting and the surfing was only on relatively small waves.

Although the weather was not hot, there were people in the water every day and the life guards were there also. Actually, we had a variety of weather in the few days we were there, from sunny and warm to cool and rainy (not enough rain but some).
The Lorne Life Saving Club was on duty every day we were there and seemed to have classes every afternoon, after school. We saw exercises in rescuing drowning swimmers and the younger members seemed to be having lots of fun while practising these important skills.

Lilly Pilly at sunset

Our lilly pilly is flowering at present. I was outside at about 8.30pm, nearly sunset. We are approaching the longest day here and the sunsets can be spectacular. But I was distracted by the lilly pilly plant that we have had in the corner of our garden for years and years. It has been growing under the lemon scented gum tree, and most plants struggle there, so we have not interfered with it. We occasionally put water on it but, with the drought, it seems a waste of water to try to keep plants alive if they need special watering. The lilly pilly has been there for ages and we are hoping it will continue to grow.

I had to take the pictures on 800 ASA (or is that ISO?) because it was getting late, so they are a little grainy. Actually, I had a lot of fun playing with my camera and trying to learn the different settings, while we were at Lorne. It was either very bright or quite late in the day and so I had to play around with exposure, etc. I will try to blog using these pictures in the next few days.

I noticed a bee, working away on the flowers. Obviously, the bees work longer hours in summer.
I am wondering if the berries will be good for dyeing. I will have to wait till they are ripe and give them a try.
I am going to the northern hemisphere for several weeks soon and will be going from the longest day to the longest night - and to a big difference in temperature. So I will try to enjoy the long days and warm temperatures here for the next week.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Visit to Lorne

I have been away for a few days for a very restful holiday at Lorne. We stayed at the Lorne Hotel, the destination of the Pier to Pub ocean swimming race that takes place every year in early January. (I have attended the race several times with some friends who have swum in the race but I have never attempted it, it looks very difficult, but it is usually a great day.) We were very happy with our room, we actually had a room each!

Our room also had a small balcony.

We were sitting quietly in our room one day when we saw a cockatoo outside the window. Of course we couldn't resist that cute face and let it have a biscuit - lo and behold, there were quite a few cockies that were watching from the trees across the road. They are very tame - they came to the balcony for their share. We are probably very unpopular with the cleaning staff as they made a bit of a mess, especially with the grape skins they let drop on the balcony floor, they only seen to like the inside of the grape. As you can see, they let us get very close to them.

On the way down we were a bit startled to see a sign reminding visitors from overseas to drive on the left side of the road. We had to go a bit of the way on the Great Ocean Road and it can be quite scary in places, narrow and up high above a cliff leading to the ocean. I wouldn't want to be unfamiliar with the roads and the correct side of the road there!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Flowers associated with Christmas

I have told myself that I should try to post at least once a week - not that it really matters. So, as I have not been doing much this last week, at least in a textile way, I have been taking some photos for future possible use.

One of the things that I love at this time of the year, with Christmas approaching, is the hydrangeas. To me, they are the Christmas flowers. They start to bloom and change colour and are so pretty and cheerful. The ones at our front door are ranging from pink to purple.

There are lots of poinsettias in the florists' shops but, for me, hydrangeas are the Christmas - and summer holiday - flower.