Tuesday, 22 December 2009

dan mccarthy: screenprints

Dan McCarthy: The Woods

If this print wasn't already sold out I'd be lining up to purchase it. American printmaker Dan McCarthy's screenprint The Woods. Someone who loves printing and drawing trees as much as I do! And look at those sweet little owl faces in the trees! Little eyes peeping out at us. Click on the image to get a better look. Oh and he has some cool screen printed t-shirts for sale too. Thanks to printinteresting for leading me to his site.

Friday, 18 December 2009

garden surprise

succulent blossom, melbournesucculent blossom, melbournesucculent blossom melbourneCan you believe this garden marvel? A small round green not overly pretty succulent plant that can produce such an enormous and utterly lovely white flower. That stem is about 12 cm in length! I've been watching it grow over the last week or so. This plant only blossoms about every 1-2 years so finding it in full bloom this morning just made my heart sing.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

plum lucky; plum grateful

plumsplumsLast night we headed off down a back laneway near our house to a plum tree loaded up with fruit that the owner seemed not to want. Branches were hanging over into the laneway and in Australia it's legal for the public to take that fruit. As I was picking the plums I could hear the wings of fruit bats near my arms. We were in competition for these luscious red morsels! I plan to make jam on the weekend with that big bowl in the first pic. There is nothing quite like a liquidy plum jam drissled over dessert 7 months from now in the dead of winter. Behind the plum tree was an apricot tree also loaded with ripe fruit. It was well in the man's yard so sadly we could not pick any. We're considering knocking on his door and asking if we can fill up a few bags and pay him for them. I just hate seeing fruit rotting on the ground.This one little plum is the first and only fruit produced by our young plum tree this year. We planted it 18 months ago so were surprised to see she had produced already. Just one but delicious! I can't wait to see how many she gives us next year. It's plum crazy around here at this time of year. So many fruit trees to choose from! Figs galore in another 6 weeks or so, plums, apricots, lemons, limes, the list goes on. All because 50-60 years ago when immigrants from the Mediterranean arrived in Melbourne they planted fruit trees all over the inner city suburbs where they lived. Am I grateful or what?

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Ask anyone and you will find I'm not known for my joyful approach towards the 25th. But I do have nephews & nieces. And we have a family kris kringle. So to decrease my contribution to the consumerist drive at this time of year if I can't make stuff for gifts I make the wrapping paper. And the cards. It's the least I can do.I use plain old brown paper by the roll as my back drop. Last year I made ginger bread for my work colleagues and wrapped them up with little home made gift tags. I don't know if I will get that excited again this year. It was like a factory in our kitchen getting all that organised.

Do you have any handmade tricks for this time of year? Ways to escape dishing out bucket loads of money?

Saturday, 12 December 2009

another sleepy cotton story

'More picture of pajamas?' I hear you say. Well yes, just one more post about the pj sewing frenzy and then that's it. Promise.

These were made from 100% cotton purchased from our friend Spotlight. It's a heavier weight cotton then the previous pair but still ok for summer. I found the fabric in that funny section they call 'American craft fabric'. Whatever that means. My challenge was that I wanted the leafy branches to go length ways down the legs but because of the fabric width I was forced to go the other way. So the branches in fact go sideways across the legs. Some would say a little less flattering. I think I've just gotten away with it. What do you think? Please excuse the green polka dot felted slippers. It was a bit chilly here this morning.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

finished: pj pants

Drum roll please.......the PJ pants are complete! Yay! Mind you it took about 10 goes on scraps to master button holes. It turned out I just had to tweak the setting on my machine to make them happen properly. Two button holes are needed in the waist for the bias tape to come through at the front. So no actual buttons. They're a comfy fit. Nice wide leg pants (though that's hard to see in the photo where I'm modelling them) and damn easy to sew if you already know how to do button holes. I will confess my one error: I accidentally sewed the front of the two legs together so it looked more like a skirt. This was because I was following the drawings in my Japanese pattern book and misunderstood where they were going. So 10 mins or so of unpicking commenced before I could remedy the situation. I had a good laugh about it though.For those of you who want the detail here's the book I used. Pattern Q. It calls for PJs with fancy leg edges on 3/4 pants but I just used ordinary fabric and made them longer. My fabric (surprisingly) was found in Spotlight. It's extremely light weight cotton and good for PJs I think.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

making and reading

I'm going to make some new pajama pants from this fabric over the weekend. With any luck I'll be using a simple pattern from my Japanese sewing book.

I've just finished reading a novel by Kim Edwards: The Memory Keeper's Daughter and I loved it! The kind of book you can't put down. The artwork on the cover fits the tale so well - so ephemerally fragile and beautiful.

What are you up to over the next couple of days? Any plans? Reading anything good at the moment?