Saturday, March 30, 2013

Nature inspired designs

So for the past few days I've been busy overhauling my business-related social media sites such as my flickr photostream, my other blog and my facebook page... but more importantly re-stocking one of my online store fronts with all my creative goodness :)

This little creative venture of mine is still relatively new and I've been on a huge learning curve since starting it. The principal product of the business is hand printed textiles and the designs are all inspired by my love of natural environments and animals. For now the main inspiration for the subject matter is our beautiful and often unique Australian flora and fauna.

I have shared some designs here every now and then because they relate or related to my garden. I posted this over on my other blog but it seemed fitting for them to be shared here as well:

'firewheel' design in Darah Red on White, Oatmeal and Natural pure linen.

'firewheel' design in Burnt Orange on White, Oatmeal and Natural pure linen.
Above: Some of you will already be familiar with this design as I debuted it in October last year. It is currently only available in the tea towels but will one day appear as a repeat pattern on fabric meterage / yardage as well as limited production off-the-shelf homewares and gift ware. This design was inspired by the stunning 'firewheel' flower I found in my mum's garden.

'flower of life' in Aqua on White, Oatmeal and Natural pure linen.
Above: This design is also available as fabric meterage / yardage and limited production off-the-shelf homewares. The repeat design is printed on the beautiful 9oz hemp / organic cotton that I have used previously but this time the base cloth is Silver Ash... a lovely light silvery colour (I'll be sharing the yardage later on). This design was inspired by ancient sun symbols...

'grevillea' in yellow on White, Oatmeal and Natural pure linen
Above: This design was inspired by a beautiful Grevillea Moonlight growing in my back garden. I'd already shared this design over here and spoke of the possibility of a grevillea design even further back, here and then more recently again here. It is currently only available in the tea towel design but will eventually make its way onto meterage / yardage as a repeat pattern and then onto limited production off-the-shelf homewares and gift ware.

'honeycomb' in Sumadra blue on White, Oatmeal and Natural pure linen.
Above: The 'honeycomb' design was inspired by the plight of the honey bee as a result of the Varroa destructor mite that is causing bee colonies around the world to collapse. Australia was the last frontier for healthy bees but I believe it hit our shores c2009 as seen in the documentary Honey Bee Blues. This design is available in the tea towels (pictured) as well as fabric meterage / yardage and limited production off-the-shelf homewares.

'wattle' in Charcoal on White, Oatmeal and Natural pure linen.
Above" The 'wattle' design was inspired by a beautiful coastal wattle growing in my front garden, in the early stages of bloom. This design is currently only available in the tea towels (pictured) and an eco-friendly greeting card but will debut one day as a repeat pattern for fabric meterage / yardage.

'wattle bird in the bottle brush' in White, Oatmeal and Natural pure linen.
Above: Last but not least is the 'wattle bird in the bottle brush' design. This design was inspired by one of my all time favourite birds that lived in my garden and used to play dive-bomb and chasing games with my beautiful little cat Max. This design is available in the tea towels (pictured) as well as fabric meterage / yardage and limited production off-the-shelf homewares and gift ware.

All the tea towels are now available to purchase through my Bluecaravan store. You can also find other products listed there like my eco-friendly greeting cards, fabric storage baskets (great for crafters), wine carriers, fabric meterage / yardage and I'm working hard to get the other products listed and available so stay tuned :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

A sunday scenic river cruise

Yesterday I went on a fabulous 3 hour tour, sounds like Gilligan's Island I know, but thankfully we didn't get shipwrecked! I had planned this a month or so ago and was really happy I made the effort, it was a stunning autumn day.

When I was younger, growing up in the Shire, friends or someone in our family seemed to always have a boat and so we'd occasionally go out at the weekends, cruising the Port Hacking. I have memories of camping at Maianbar with school friends... one of which lived in a multi-level house in Loch Lomond Crescent at the end of Woolooware Road (her little tinny got us over there and back). Other days, either with family or friends we would stop at one of the sandbars and set-up camp for the day... or cruise all the way up the Hacking river to Audley weir.

I LOVED those times and miss them dearly... being out on the water is something I find very comforting and soothing and yesterday brought all the good memories flooding back... it felt really good to be out there again.

This time though I was a paying customer with Cronulla Ferries and have nothing but praise for the service they provided. Just as an aside... they are the ones who run the ferry service to Bundeena and, as well as the 3 hours scenic cruise I did, they also do dining cruises, seniors & bus group cruises, live music cruises and charter & party cruises.

The cruise I took was on the Tom Thumb III and here's their little blurb. 'In 1796 Bass and Flinders discovered Port Hacking in the Tom Thumb 11, a small 8ft long rowing boat and spent three days exploring and mapping Port Hacking. In three hours, cruising in the relaxed and informal atmosphere of the M.V Tom Thumb 111, you will enjoy exploring the upper reaches of the Hacking River, one of Sydney's most unspoiled waterways, with its many bays and inlets down to the open expanses of Port Hacking and Bate Bay. You will see breathtaking views of the Royal National Park, which borders the whole southern shoreline. Learn about the early explorers of the district, Historical Settlements deer farming in the park, the states first fish hatchery. Pass by Aboriginal sites; whilst discovering their names and meanings, and cruise by some of Sydney's most magnificent waterfront properties.' ... and now I'll just leave you with the a sample of images taken, you can click on each image to view a larger version (the rest can be seen over on my flickr photostream):

This was taken after everyone disembarked after the cruise :)
Although autumn it was like one of those hazy summer days...
Picnickers at Reids Flat in the Royal National Park
We made it all the way to Audley weir then turned around to head back
Swimmers at Gymea Bay Baths

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bundeena, NSW

As promised last week, I'm back to share more images of the lovely little village of Bundeena on the Cronulla coast in the Sutherland Shire. You can get there by ferry from Cronulla or by driving through the picturesque Royal National Park.

As you can see from the Google map it isn't very large, with a population of around 3,500 the village hugs the coastline and you might probably be able to walk everywhere. There is a main strip of shops and assorted business, the land sloping up away from the coast, giving many dwellings coast views and glimpses.

Obviously the most popular areas are the beaches where you can camp, kayak, go boating, swimming, fishing, snorkeling, etc ... with the most convenient being Horderns Beach next to the ferry wharf... Other things to do are: eat at a number of local cafes and restaurants, stay for the weekend at any of the accommodation places on offer, whale watch, heritage and nature walks and visit the Aboriginal rock engravings.

Judging by the list of open studios on their Art Trail it seems there are quite a few creative people living in Bundeena. I will hopefully be doing the Art Trail myself next month and will share the details here... but for now will leave you with some pretty pictures (mostly) of Horderns beach:

Thank goodness it has escaped the clutches of greedy developers and retained it's historic and sleepy-seaside-town personality. Any of the charming cottages along the beach would suit me just fine!

There are so many beautiful places to see in Australia and in Sydney but if you are ever wondering where to explore next I can honestly say the Sutherland Shire has lots to do and see. I'm really enjoying rediscovering the area after being away for many years.