Wednesday, 29 July 2009


after being given some gorgeous presents
which included these beautiful flowers

and lots of heartfelt goodbyes,
I've left work for six months of Long Service Leave.
(Long Service Leave, for those of you who don't know, is additional leave that is given in Australia and New Zealand if someone stays with an employer for a certain length of time. It's to do with our colonial past; it used to be a way of enticing public servants to come out to the furthest reaches of the Empire...and it's a fabulous institution!)

This is a real change of pace for me
and it's started beautifully ~ I spent my first weekend at a retreat in a lovely, secluded property on the outskirts of Perth. It was wonderful to reconnect with Nature out in the bush and in the gardens:


Lichen on granite


Winter narcissus

I also felt blessed to spend time with some truly wonderful people. I caught up with old friends and made some new ones. We meditated and walked and danced and shared delicious, lovingly prepared meals. We also created mandalas. I drew one in white pencil, using the beautiful camellias and sweet alice that were growing in the gardens as inspiration:


Mandala in progress

Molly, poor love, had to go to the cattery.

As you might be able to tell,
she's terribly timid and it was horribly cold
so she was very, very glad to get home.

Since then we've been doing a lot of snuggling on the couch,
Molly and I,
I've been making a Monroe Lacy Stole:

I can't wait to get to the edging ~ I'm going to put in some small glass beads.

I've also been keeping warm with this beautiful, hand dyed, feather and fan scarf, which I couldn't help but buy from Spacefrog's etsy store:

What's bringing warmth into your world?

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Prisons, Pictures and Great Grans...

....with some crochet, of course!

I thought I'd take another break from work
and all the filing, packing and shredding I have to do
to say hi.

Since I last posted, there's been a bit of crafty action here at Chez Inkberry.
I've made yet another simple dischloth:

I do like making these cloths.
I can crochet one up in an afternoon, which is satisfying,
and I use them for dry brush massages which, I've been told, are good for my immune system. (In my version, the washcloth takes the place of a brush.)

I've also been working on something for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
Meet Bluey:

I'm using Crochetroo's pattern, a 3mm hook and Shepherd Colour 4 Me wool.
He's lots of fun to make.
He'll probably be very hard to give away too.

...and I also thought I'd share some photographs taken at Fremantle Prison museum, which I visited recently.

Fremantle Prison used to be a maximum security gaol and, before that, housed convicts sent out from Britain. Not surprisingly, it's a pretty grim place but its history is fascinating and, unexpectedly, it has some amazing artwork. There are pictures that were painted by the last men to be imprisoned there:

and there are delicate drawings,
rendered secretly onto the walls of a cramped, dark cell
by a nineteenth century forger called James Welsh:

Beautiful, aren't they?
(Thanks to J for letting me use her fantastic prison photos.)

My paternal great grandmother's family came out to Western Australia around about the time James Welsh was drawing on the prison walls
...but I can't claim any convict heritage ~ they were all settlers.
My great gran loved to knit and crochet however and,
although I never met her,
I feel a sense of connection with her because of that shared love of yarn. I remember, when I was little, admiring a hexagon blanket that she had made, which might be why I'm so fond of the pattern now.

Here's a photo of her, knitting by the fire, with my great grandfather:

and here's a picture of my (very sombre) grandmother and great aunty, wearing her lacy socks:

(My nanna's on the right.)
I would imagine my great grandmother would have loved the internet, especially Ravelry!
Do you have any family stories to tell?

Have a wonderful week everyone.