Thursday, December 29, 2016

Too Hot, Too Wet!

We are having hot and humid weather. It is very hard to be motivated to be creative.
It rained mightily today but we didn't have our usual 15 degree drop in temperature that we usually get with thunderstorms, it is just hot and humid.

I walked down the street to see the views of the city - there weren't any - well, not great views of the city. It was extremely misty, I suppose it is the humidity. Not something we are used to in our summers. However, we have had more and more humid weather over the last few year. Don't tell me the climate isn't changing.

Here are some views of the city tonight - and the mist rising from the trees. When I first got there, you could not see the city at all! Most unusual.

You can see some pictures from the same vantage point, that I have taken in previous years, here and here.

I also have some pictures of our tiny creek, not so tiny tonight after the huge amount of rain we had this afternoon.

I also took a photo of the hydrangea at the front door - usually I am taking photos because of it wilting g in the heat and then rejuvenating after being watered. Today I took photos because of it being beaten down by the rain.

I noticed, while I was searching previous posts, that we had a flood along Darebin Creek in 2011 and my photos were not all that different. And it was summer then too. 
I really don't like the humidity! I can go to Queensland for that, Melbourne should have dry heat. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Between Projects

It may just be that it is that time of the year. I am between projects, not feeling very enthused about anything at the moment.
Summer is approaching, although we had a lovely cool night last night. The weather is changing on a daily basis and I think that enervates me. Any excuse.

Anyway ... The tapestry disappeared from the clothes line and is currently residing under some fennel greenery in the compost heap. And the temperature in the compost has risen in the last day. It is now approaching 60 degrees, something that I have been assured it to be desired (for compost).

The tapestry is only just under the surface, so not exposed to the full heat - yet. I will try to contain my interest and tendency to fiddle with it. I will leave it for at least three days (maybe!) and then put it down deeper.

I have also been trying to finish off a machine embroidery piece I started early in November. It was supposed to be going to be for The Alcove's summer sale/exhibition but I didn't get it finished. A familiar story.
Not the finished version, still a work in progress. 

It is based on a photo I took a few years ago and have used previously. This piece is slightly larger than A4.  I am thinking of doing another frame making course before trying to complete the whole piece.
(You can see how I have used the photo for a much smaller embroidery here.)

I have realised that it could fit the Ebb and Flow theme of the Embroiderers Guild, Victoria. This exhibition won't be till October but I probably won't do any great things for it in the near future, so it can be my failsafe piece. And we are allowed to put in up to three pieces, so I can still work on the idea.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Little Bit of Colour

I have taken the tapestry out of the garden. It has gained a little bit of colour from the hollyhock flowers.

I'm not sure if that colour will stay. If it rains in the near future I may find out.

The tapestry is currently hanging on the clothes line. Rain is forecast for Tuesday, so I may leave it there till then. That will be the test, whether the colour stays in during rain.

Then I  am going to put it in the compost heap. We have some new greenery in it at the moment, so that may have an effect.
The compost heap is covered to keep the forever hungry dog out! 

The compost is only at about 40 degrees Celsius at the moment. But that is warm enough to do something (she says, hopefully). It sometimes gets up to 60 degrees. That would be interesting.

There has been some family discussion about whether or not it will smell after being in the compost, so it may have to be washed, which may get rid of any colour also.

It is definitely still a work in progress!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hydrangeas and Christmas

It is an interesting date again - 12/12/16.
Not much has been happening, in terms of textiles. The tapestry is still in the garden but the weather has been much the same. Warm to hot days, especially in the sun. The tapestry is in shade for a lot of the day, lying under the hollyhock leaves. More flowers are falling but not much is happening in terms of colour for the tapestry.

But the hydrangeas are getting ready to burst into colour - something that happens every Christmas.

I also took some photos of the grass that we have had in our garden for ever! It is one of my favourite plants. I am not sure exactly what it is, I think it is a grass from South Africa. But that could be totally wrong.

The leaves are gorgeous and I really must see if I can use them for a design one day.

The hibiscus is gorgeous too. I have read that they are related to the hollyhocks. So I suppose I could use them for dyeing. But I think the colour would not be particularly strong, so I haven't bothered so far.
I am collecting some of the hollyhock flowers, just in case I decide to use them. I am not pulling them off the plant, just picking them up from the ground.
As you may be able to tell, I am thinking about textiles a bit but not doing much.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Continuing on.

I noticed the date: 12/12/16, so had to blog.
Nothing of much interest has occurred. I have left my little tapestry piece in the garden, under the hollyhocks. Some flowers fell on it and it was damp in the morning, due to the dew. More flowers have fallen but they have dried out as it was hot today.

But there is a little colour from the petals. They are also tending to disintegrate in the heat, and with handling, so that may be an issue.

It is supposed to be hot again tomorrow but there is rain forecast for a couple of days hence, so I will try to be patient and not interfere with the process in the meantime. It is quite possible that the tapestry will get wet as the household gardener might water the plants. Not a natural element I suppose, but still water. Just not rain.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Beginnings of change

I left my tapestry out overnight for two nights (so far). It was quite windy, so I laid a bit of wood on top to stop it blowing away. It also rained a bit. So it is lying under the mulberry tree, despite there not being many berries at the moment.

Obviously there are a few, or birds eating them, as there are some purplish stains on it. Not sure how colourfast it will be. Suppose it doesn't really matter as I have no intention of actually washing the piece, unless it becomes absolutely necessary due to circumstances beyond my control - i.e., a bad smell from the compost heap, when it eventually gets there. Whatever happens, it won't be a piece that gets a lot of use and therefore needs frequent washing.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Too Slow!

I noticed that our hollyhocks had grown very tall this year, probably due to the rather wet spring we have just had.
I thought I would tie them up so they wouldn't blow over.

So I went out this morning with the cut bits of the warp that I collected, now that I have cut off my small tapestry.
But I was too late for two plants!

I pulled off the flowers that had opened and mourned the many that had not developed yet.

I must admit, it isn't all bad. I was starting to wonder what I was going to do with all those flowers. Now I have much less stress.

I have been collecting them as I couldn't bear to see them just go to waste, but I don't think I have used up all of last year's flowers. Amazingly, the dried up, desiccated flowers still produce colour. I just have to get myself motivated to dye some more fabric - and then think about what I might do with it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I just could not not have texture!

I missed yet another interesting date last week, 4/12/16. And there is another coming soon, 8/12/16. But I am going to post today anyway, in case I forget tomorrow.

I have made my small white(ish) tapestry. I was going to practise even weaving, keeping my edges straight, etc. But I just couldn't bring myself to do that - I really like texture.

So I introduced some knobbly yarn I had. I don't know what it is made of, so my experiment is not going to be particularly scientific. But then, I am only doing for interest, not a real scientific enquiry.

And I was going along ok with the straight edges but then must have lost concentration for the last 3rd of the piece. It comes in on the right - always on the right.
Actually, the pulling in doesn't seem so bad in this picture, maybe I managed to pull it into shape a bit.

It is currently 'resting' on the loom, prior to being cut off tomorrow. Then I will put it under the mulberry tree, to be exposed to The Elements - including some fruit.

The plan is to leave it out in the open for a while and see what happens. We are currently having a fair bit of sun and warm weather. Then I will put it in the earth, in the compost heap. So that will be The Elements - sun/fire, earth, wind/air, water/rain (if we have any in the near future. Actually, it is supposed to be raining in a couple of days).

So  you can all look forward to some wonderful  pictures.