Sunday, 29 July 2012

Violets and Potatoes

Winter in Melbourne has been very cold, wet and grey and I know why people go travelling north.
However, if there is no Winter, there is no Spring and my husband says we need the rain for the flowers (the same one who makes money trees). I wandered out into the backyard last week when we had a nice sunny period and made some discoveries.  The violets under the plum tree are blooming away and I picked a bunch and took them inside.  Violets remind me of my grandmother and when my sister got married, we carried posies of violets which inhindsight were amazing.

The colour purple

I noticed that most of the peas and snow peas are up; I will fill in the holes when we get some sun.  The coriander and the self - sown dill are starting to move and the broad beans are doing well.  We are lucky with the dill as it grows wild.  I usually have a huge crop of self sown parsley too but it seems to be having a holiday this year; maybe it will appear when it warms up a little.  The cumquat tree is on strike as I have not had a crop for the last two seasons probably because I fed it; never again.  However the big suprise was the self sown potatoes.  We must have left a few potatoes in the round last year and they sprouted so I left them be. The frost damaged the plants so we dug them up and got quite a few Nicolas (my favourite potato) and some Royal Blue ones.  What a winter feast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More purple.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Tapestry Exhibition

Today the RMIT online tapestry weavers group hosted the showing of the AuNZ Tapestry Challenge at the Spinners and Weavers Guild in Carlton. AuNZ Tapestry Weavers group hosts a challenge each year and this year the task was titled Circles and Squares.  The size of the tapestries is to be no bigger than 20 cm square. It is not a competition and all entries are accepted. Some of us put the exhibition up during the week and we were blown away with the tapestries.  They are beautiful and so diverse.  The quality of the weaving was amazing and they are so colourful. I will upload the flyer which has 4 tapestries from people who are members of both online groups.  I would love to show others but that would infringe intellectual property.

Sunday, 8 July 2012


A while back I saw that Beautiful silks in Fitzroy were having a Natural Dye Symposium and that one of the workshops was called Shifu and making miniature books. As I very inerested in things miniature, I enrolled without having investigated what Shifu is. Shifu involves cutting very fine paper, lokta, into strips like a paper lantern, then cutting it to have a continuous strip then spinning this to make a paper thread with which you weave to make Shifu.

A ball of spun paper

My first attempt.
As you can see , my first  attempt is not very even due to the fact that paper under strain breaks and I broke several warps.  However for a first attempt I thought it not too bad.  There were 9 in the class and I am very glad I did it as 2 of the other participants were also tutors at the Symposium. The tutor was Velma Bolyard and this was her first trip to Australia from  the USA and the students came from the eastern states of Australia and NZ.  We also made miniature book structures including one called a flag book which when you use different cououred papers is eally interesting.

Diligent  workers.
It was a very intense class and most people would baulk at the thought of spinning paper (it takes hours).
Velma had some gorgeous shifu books and one day (?) I hope to have 1 too. I have put  a link to her blog in my links.