Monday, 28 September 2009

Reasons to be Cheerful

I'm still loving being on leave.
Simply being able to get enough sleep is fabulous!
So is having time to cook, time to go to art classes, becoming relaxed enough to really enjoy being with family and friends, having small adventures ~ so many joys.
I'm just back from a holiday,
going out into the Western Australian wheatbelt to see a spectacular show of wildflowers,
and what a lovely time I've had...
but, just before I show you any travel photos, I'd like to share some creativeness.

Here's my almost finished Monroe Lacy Stole:

(I've sewn on one panel of the edging lace and I have only one row of the second edging panel to crochet.)

and here are some Burnt Butter Biscuits which I made from this recipe on Little Red Hen's cooking blog:


and, lastly, here's a gorgeous little coin purse that I received from the ever generous 2paw:

Thank you Cindy!

So now on to my little vacation.
I went to find wildflowers with a dear neighbour and fellow flower enthusiast. We stayed at New Norcia, a monastic town (and a little oasis of Spanish culture) that's found in the middle of the wheatbelt. My friend and I also travelled out to a farming community called Dalwallinu. We were rained on a lot (it's been a wonderfully wet Spring) and got very, very muddy but we found wildflowers everywhere ~ blooming along the sides of the road and flowering in carpets out in the bush. Bliss!

Egg and Bacon, blooming just behind New Norcia Hotel.

New Norcia Hotel, where we lunched. Their pizza was delicious!

The view from our room at the Monastery Guesthouse.
Such a tranquil place to stay.
I struck up a conversation, over dinner, with two fellow guests who were translating papers from French and Spanish in the Monastery's archive. They were very European, very devout and fascinating to talk to. I am so grateful that I have the time and the opportunity to meet people who are so different to me and to the people I normally encounter (much as I love the familiar.)

Climbing Fringed Lily, New Norcia

Purple Fan Flower, New Norcia

Milkmaids, New Norcia

White Banjine, Dalwallinu

Acacia, Dalwallinu

Unfurling Everlasting, Dalwallinu

Molly's glad I'm back, although she didn't have to go to the cattery this time ~ Mum and Dad kindly offered to cat sit. She looked very relaxed on my return:

she's given my Monroe Lacy Stole the seal of kitty approval:

I have so much more to share!
I'm looking forward to showing pictures of the glass beads I've made, the pastel drawings I've worked on, further progress on my stole and yet more pictures of wildflowers...

Have a wonderful week.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Wildflowers, Pastels and Lace

I'm sorry it's been such a long time since I've posted here.
I didn't intend to take a big break from blogging but my laptop was hit by a really nasty virus. I had to wipe my computer's hard drive and reinstall all my programs ~ which was very time consuming.
But now I'm back with lots (and I do mean lots) to show.

I have continued to doggedly crochet my Monroe Lacy Stole.
Despite all my mistakes,
I have almost finished the body.

Now I'm working on a beaded edging:

I've done a little travelling since I posted here last, spending a weekend in an historic town called York with my oldest friend. We were so busy catching up and having fun I mostly forgot to take pictures...but I did manage to photograph the pressed tin ceiling in the town hall:

(If you care to look, there are some fabulous photographs of York here.)

I've been attending a pastels course too, which I'm loving. I didn't realise how much I'd missed being in a studio...and I'm learning a lot technically and meeting some gorgeous people.
Here are some of my works in progress:

Still life with Lemons

Still Life with Pears

Nasturtiums at the Front Door

...and I've been out in the bush again.
It's wildflower season here in Western Australia so there are some exquisitely delicate little flowers blooming in the country. (It was only a couple of years ago, when I made an internet friend who happened to be a horticulturalist, that I realised I lived in a botanical wonder.)

These tiny beauties grace my sister's home and the bush block that's close to my parents' house:

Milk Maids

Flame Peas





I do adore wildflower season. I used to love playing in the bush at this time of the year when I was a little girl. I was a great fan of an Australian author called May Gibbs, and I firmly believed that bush babies and fairies lived amongst the flowers...and, you know, I'm still not totally convinced otherwise.

I'm going on a tour of
the wheatbelt soon, in search of more flora. This time, I'm hoping to take lots of pictures so that I can draw from them, as well as post some here. Before I go, though, I'm planning on catching up on my blog reading ~ I've missed the good folk of Blogland!

Have a wonderful week.