Odds and Ends

Hmmm….. It is obviously well past my return to the states, I think jetlag is well and truly past (although it has been a good excuse for some things!), and I am heavily into all the activities that make a full summer.

A week after my return I worked with 161 seventh graders at Batesville Middle School for three days making coiled baskets – they were troopers and most managed to make two or more projects.

Two weeks after that I teamed up with the Southeastern Indiana Tourism Bureau to treat 54 seniors to the joys of making open-twined garlic baskets! Holding the sessions at the Great Crescent Brewery in Aurora made it very manageable – owners Dan and Lani are really sweet about making the space work out.

Since we lost so many trees last year due to the emerald ash borer, our back deck has so much less shade during the day. To make the deck more hospitable, we made a rip-stop nylon sail, 12′ x 12′, to cover a good portion of the deck. It also does a great job shading the hot tub in the morning, too!

Last weekend I was in Indianapolis for the Midwest Weavers Association’s biennial conference held at Butler University. Good connections with some long time friends; relearned ply split braiding and had great fun breaking the rules for it; ¬† spent some time with a good friend who had recently moved to that area. Overall a good trip.

My hot tub buddies helped celebrate the summer solstice this week, but we missed getting to the blueberry farm for fresh berries. That will have to happen another day.

I have had an outdoor installation proposal accepted for the Weavers Guild of Greater Cincinnati’s member exhibit at the Fitton Art Center in Hamilton for the month of August – and I have about a quarter of the work made up so far.

The Mount St. Joseph Art Gallery has an invitational exhibit planned for October of this year and I will be one of the artists. Titled ‘Biophilia’, all the invited artists have a strong connection with the earth in their work. I’ve got two large pieces in play at the moment – one with mudded silk and waxed hand made papers that will be roughly 26′ wide and 9′ high (that looks really cool with light behind it),

and a much smaller cedar¬† bark and Siberian iris piece. More to do…

 

But the most important work I’ve done is to create an activity book for my grandson Ezra who will be turning one in early July. Made from a trendy short skirt and various other fabrics, it has dangling hearts, hidden pockets, buttons galore and things to do with them, laces and loops and the strangest looking ‘puppet’ thingee from a used onesie, lace, gloves and socks. Hope he has fun with it! (Will post an image after he receives it… just in case his folks see this first!)

And in two days we will have 5 year old Scarlett and her 15 month old brother Elliot here with us for some grandparent time! With luck they will stay till July 4, but we are staying open to schedule changes as we don’t know how the little guy will handle being away from mom.

Need to childproof the house tomorrow!

 

Time …

… at Alice Springs was a blur of activities, people and sights.

After an hour delayed flight from Melbourne, i connected with Janet dB and Phil H. Janet and I did the whole walking tour of the Alice Springs Desert Park – some very interesting displays of birds, nocturnals, plants/flowers and kangaroos.

Phil co-emceed the Eco-Couture Fashion Show Thursday evening that showcased 6 regional artists with their current recycled/reworked clothing. Some very cool work seen in a very cool setting (temps and ambience) as the event was held in the current airplane museum – the actual plane hangar from which they had to push out three small planes while the runway wound under the wings of an old DC3.

Friday dawned cool and sunny and we jumped into Beanie Festival activity early by attending the sponsors’ coffee inside the beanie competition exhibit space. Some wild creations! (See pics below.) And a quick look thru Beanie Central proved to be overwhelming with amount (7,000), color and variety of styles, shapes and sizes.

Janet and I then made our way to downtown Alice Springs, strolled through the mall and hiked to the Pink Botanical Gardens where we had a lovely lunch.

A quick trip back to the Art Centre and I was teaching a random basketry class outsied under the trees. A great group of ladies and they all created wonderful work. We hung around for the official opening of the Festival. Had a deluxe meal (grilled sausage, potato salad and saurkraut all piled into a huge hot dog bun) from one of the outdoor booths.

Saturday was full-on with bookmaking, mudcloth and rust dyeing classes during the day. Phil and I took in the view of Alice just at dusk on top of Anzac Hill, viewing the Macdonald Mountain range that curls around Alice.

Sunday was another busy day with repeats of rust dyeing and bookmaking with the addition of a soft book class. Turns out I have a groupie! One gal came to the Festival just to take classes with me and wound up in three of them. Too funny! Love it, Anne!

A predawn pick-up by a tour bus on Monday heading to Uluru, southwest of Alice Springs. The desert is lush right now due to summer rains and a big storm earlier in the fall. The first large rock formation seen was Mt. Connor which is larger and older than Uluru.

More adventures to come in Uluru!

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Playing around …

… in Melbourne with Anne N and her hubby Tony this past week has been great fun: making books, stitching, planning mudcloth clothing, checking out constuction sites, visiting other basketmakers, having teas, trading stories with neighbors and friends, traveling to the countryside, doing laundry, moving bricks, eating and drinking and watching more TV than I have in a long time. Way too busy to post any blog reports, sorry!

Ann and I motored east to Traralgon today tomspend a couple days with Glenys M before teaching mudcloth thus weekend in Meeniyan. Along the way we stopped in the village of Darnum for a coffee/hot chocolate and delicious piece of honeycomb caramel cake with cream at the local Tearoom. We also drove by the Musical Village just down the road from the Tearoom. Lovely vistas of the valley paddocks. (See pics 1, 2.)

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Glenys toured us around the hillsides to view a brown coal mine and the results of the Churchill Fire that went through about 4 years ago. Blackened tree trunks amid the small blue gums that have been planted to help reforestation. Eleven lives and many homes lost. (See pics 3-5.)

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I was just introduced tonigt to the Australian author and illustrator Shaun Tan – really cool work!

Passing days…

… here in Perth have gone quickly.

The weather has decidedly turned to fall with a crisp, cool note in the air. We had a lovely day of rain on Sunday that filled the water tanks.

Two days of mud play with 14 lovely ladies resulted in some marvelous work accomplished. Since Perth is predominantly on sand, some creative collecting was necessary to have mud/dirt that was suitable to use. Wound up with some really lovely colors.

On Monday Wendy, owner of the big copper pot, arrived. We filled both the copper and stainless steel/rusty nail pots with cold rainwater, kept a fire going under each pot and had 17 pieces in each pot by the time we were done bundling. Some did go into pots as free and easy cloth, no wrapping involved.

Tuesday was the grand opening of the bundles. The copper pot did well – a nice reddy brown achieved with the addition of eucalyptus tree bark in the yard. The stainless steel pot did super dark stuff as it had been sitting almost a week with things rotting in the pot’s water.

Still not getting many actual leaf prints, but the colors we are getting are lovely. The currajong seeds left a very yellow little spot! Pics will be posted, just not sure when.

Martien and I leave for Lake Grace early tomorrow morning. Will be doing mud and gut workshops there, too. The social scene in the evenings sound really grand: local pub for fish and chips on Friday and watching the local thespians produce Harry Potter and the Terrible Ripoff on Saturday. Can’t wait!

And I will be wearing my newest op shop rearrangement to the play!

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Detail of the top half of the garment – made from the polyester lining of a silk dress that Martien is using plus a tan silk blouse that I found. Rather stylish overall!

Get ready…

… For a fabulous adventure! I will be heading down under early next month for three very full months of teaching, traveling and time with friends.

The piles are growing of things I need and want to take along. Making sure it all fits and comes in within the weight limit will be a trick!

My hope is to keep this blog updated regularly during my travels…. Time will tell!