Saturday, December 29, 2012

Georgeous flowering gum






I recently noticed this little plant on my daily walk and kept meaning to go back and photograph it in all its flowering glory... when I went past this morning I noticed many of the flowers are starting to disappear... perhaps eaten by birds or just part of the life cycle... so I finally remembered to go back later with my camera and capture it before all the flowers are gone.

I've identified it as Corymbia Ficifolia... or Red Flowering Gum... or Baby Orange - it's part of the Eucalyptus family... isn't it just divine! We have so many beautiful native plants here in Australia and as ever... I'm imagining this as a textile design.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Red and green and Christmas





I actually snapped this stunning bottle brush at the beginning of spring and just found these images filed away, realising I didn't share them here at the time... and what better time to share them than now as they are the perfect colours for Christmas!

This tree / shrub is at the front of my mum's property, right on the front corner of the balcony, it is so beautiful when in flower... the birds have since stripped it bare but like I said, it's nice to know they have food to eat.

With Christmas just about on our doorstep I just wanted to wish you all the best for the festive season and the new year :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Floral emblems and my new website.

What is this, you might ask... These are my interpretations of the floral emblems for each state in Australia as I had the brilliant idea to use them for my Stockists list on my new website

The new site was on my mind for a while and in development even longer. I designed it earlier this year and handed it over to a local agency to develop... then my unexpected surgery came along and threw my timeline out of whack... then it had to take a back seat to other projects that came along in the meantime... but the site is finally live and when I get back from my break the new online shop / wholesale & trade log-in area will be up and running too... woo hoo!

Of course looking at all the lovely floral emblems has given me all sorts of ideas for future designs!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nature's splendour

This is one of the views that greets you on the windy roads to Como (NSW)...




Despite all the man made bits it's still pretty spectacular, huh!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday morning...

I snapped these images in the street early this morning...

 Above: Grevillea Excelsior (Flame Grevillea) with a little visitor having breakfast

 Above: Grevillea Excelsior (Flame Grevillea)

Above: Grevillea Excelsior (Flame Grevillea)

 Above: Grevillea Excelsior (Flame Grevillea)

 Above: Grevillea Excelsior (Flame Grevillea)

Above: Grevillea Excelsior (Flame Grevillea)

 Above: Banskia Spinulosa - Banskia Giant Candles

 Above: Banskia Spinulosa - Banskia Giant Candles

 Above: Flowering Gum - sorry not sure which genus

 Above: Flowering Gum - sorry not sure which genus
 
 Above: Flowering Gum - sorry not sure which genus

Stenocarpus sinuatus - Firewheel tree in the neighbours front yard

 Above: Jacaranda mimisifolia - across the road

 Above: Jacaranda mimisifolia - in good company, down the road

Above: taking over the nature strip

Aren't they all just beautiful plants... the top three in particular, being natives... that grevillea! so beautiful as is the flowering gum... and the Banksia I think is just about to come into flower again as all the current ones have died off. All this loveliness just in this street alone - nice huh!

I'm thinking of doing a little series of my favourite houses & front gardens close to where I'm living as I've seen some nice ones I'd like to share... so stay tuned. I've already snapped the neighbour's house which I just love... I might start this next week.

Food for thought

So, it's been a few weeks since I've stopped by here...

I've just been reading this article over at the ABC News website and wanted to share it here.

The article is about the Federal Government developing a national food plan and oddly this terrifies me... why? because I have little faith in the government to do the right thing by consumers as it usually sides with big business because that's where the money is... and big business in this instance means Industrial Agriculture (think loads of chemicals in our soil and the depletion of anything natural); Factory Farming (think poor defenseless animals caged and penned in horrific conditions) and those in favour of Genetically Modified crops!

Unfortunately we may be inadvertently supporting the above every time we go to the supermarket and not question what it is we are buying. Read the article to get the full story but I would encourage you to educate yourselves about what you buy and where you buy it from.

Obvious reasons why I like the article is because it is telling the story I want to hear. It is calling for 80 per cent of all Australian food to be sourced from within 150km of consumption. Genius I say! It refers to the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance's draft People's Food Plan which emphasises the importance of local production and consumption. The AFSA represents some organic farmers, market networks, consumer and health groups.

I've always been a Coles shopper myself... I like the convenience of a one-stop shop, i.e. fruit and veg of good quality with my other grocery needs. I also like that Coles has been very pro-active in issues such as being the first in Australia to stock organic products. They still have a long way to go, for example I just wrote to both Coles and Woolworths via Animals Australia to urge them to take caged hen eggs off their shelves.

What I don't like is that Coles and Woolworths are now monopolising the market more and more and forcing smaller, independent businesses to close their doors. It's not just about supermarkets here people... 'Australia has one of the most concentrated grocery markets in the world. Woolworths and Wesfarmers (owner of Coles) account for almost 80% of supermarket sales, 60% of alcohol retail, 50% of petrol retail and 40% of all retail in Australia. The more market share they have, the more influence they have over suppliers, and the easier it is to stamp out smaller independent retailers.' (http://www.ethical.org.au/issues/?issue=16)

I have now started shopping at IGA more and more because I want to exercise my right to reject this duopoly by Coles and Woolworths. I want to send a message to them that while they might be doing some good things I don't like being smothered by them everywhere I turn and I want to know that I am supporting local business.

I could go on and on about this topic but some other people have probably articulated things better and gathered some very good facts so I'm going to share some links with you and urge you to really start thinking about where your food comes from... what are you supporting by the products you buy? what are you putting into your body and the bodies of those you feed? and what you are bringing into your home?

Here are the links and you have options to  follow them in ways that suit you, i.e. on Facebook, subscribe to free e-news letters and so on:
- Animals Australia
- Make it Possible
- Ethical Consumer Guide
- Truefood Network
- Greenpeace Australia Pacific
- Local Harvest
- Biological Farmers of Australia
- Australian Certified Organic
- local farmer's markets! (thanks JB, I added this after I saw your comment)

... there are many and varied organisations and businesses out there but this is a start and will hopefully lead you on a wonderful new journey... back to the past perhaps and how we used to do things before mass production.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Firewheel design

In my last post I showed photo's of the beautiful Firewheel flower and said that it might just work its way into a textile design... well it has! Not only that but I now have lovely crisp pure linen tea towels in my product range and to celebrate I'm having a blog Giveaway over here... so head on over and check it out for your chance to win... but be quick, entries close at midnight tomorrow night (Monday 22/10/12. More images of the tea towels can be seen here...


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Vibrant inspiration

I'm still in recovery mode after my surgery and have hardly left the house in the past few weeks... sort of have cabin fever. I did manage to get up to the back of the back yard today as I had wanted to pick a couple of flowers off a tree...

Now, Kangaroo Paw has always been my absolute favourite flower / flowering plant but I think that the Firewheel is a very close second... and I've only really just discovered it recently because one is growing in my mum's backyard!



 Above: Stenocarpus sinuatus or Firewheel tree

From the Proteaceae family, there are about 30 species in the genus, most are found in New Caledonia but we have about 7 that are native to Australia.



Above: the flower(s) close-up.

Look at the details of that flower! It's incredible... nature is simply amazing. I would say to definitely be on the look-out for a textile design from me based on this flower... will keep you posted.

Like I said, I haven't been doing much of anything but can now start to get back into the swing of things as I can drive again. I'll be heading back to my screen printing course this week - have missed 4 classes :(

I was lucky enough to be dropped off and picked up from my ceramics course the past couple of weeks (as it's close to home) so I only missed a couple of weeks of that class and I just posted some of the little experiments I've been playing with here.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Room with a view...

My sexy compression stockings... which were too big for my small feet!

Views to the ocean from my hospital bed - very special!

Just popping by to say I'll be absent from this blog for the next few weeks as I had to have major surgery recently... so no big outdoor adventures for me for a while.

I had surgery on Wednesday 8/8 and went home on Sunday 12/8 and am still on the slow road to recovery... so incredibly frustrating as I'm not good with too much down time. I like to keep busy and more so I really wanted to keep making head-way with all the business stuff I was working on... as well as venturing further afield to explore this area and share it with you.

Once I'm up and about again I'll be taking my camera with me to places like the Sir Joseph Banks Native Plant Reserve just near me... I also want to go back to my beloved Royal National Park which I have yet to visit since being back in Sydney... so much to see and do but for now it's rest, rest, rest...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Como Pleasure Grounds, NSW

Continuing on from here - located in the same area as the Marina and starting point for the bridge walk is the beautiful Como Pleasure Grounds.

This is another of my favourite finds because it is so beautiful in so many ways... for me as an artist / designer the abundant native flora and fauna (mostly birds) here is a wealth of inspiration - the location is stunning and the grounds have been laid out thoughtfully with play areas for children, picnic areas (including BBQ's and tables), benches to sit and take in the stunning views of the Georges River and surrounding bushland, pathways to explore, a 20m seasonal swimming pool (free), a shark-netted enclosure in the river as well and now there is even a cafe! It has everything!

Conceived by a wealthy individual named James Murphy he opened his 'pleasure ground' in 1885 with a clubhouse for German railway workers (now the historic Como Hotel). There was fair-ground type entertainment, a dance hall and paddle steamers ran river excursions as well.

What a wonderful history... to read more click here



The historic Como Hotel in the background

The knoll

Views out over the Georges River
Walking up onto the knoll


Some of the lovely picnic / BBQ areas

More of the picnic / BBQ areas

The playground




Can you see a little friend in the top right-hand corner of the image...
 










Above and below: you can see the Como to Oatley Bridge walk from here



Crazy people doing laps in winter

The Como Marina is nestled in to the left of this picture
Steps leading up to the newly opened Blackfish Cafe
The Blackfish cafe in the Como Pleasure Grounds
The Blackfish Cafe is another local eatery I have yet to try... but am sure I will.

So that's the Como Pleasure Grounds for you - really well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in the area. Even though I miss my 727m2 terribly, I am somewhat comforted to have easy access to such beautiful areas.

I think there's one more place in Como I can think to share but I haven't yet been there myself. Due the prolonged bout of flu I had recently and all the rain we've been having I haven't venture out with my camera again... so I will be light on posting here until I have more lovely things to share with you. After Como is complete I will start venturing further afield... I already have a number of places I want so share with you here so don't go too far away.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.