Having merged two historical photos for the dinner plate, my next task was to find images for the four bread and butter plates. I have a collection of old cook books, which I hoped would inspire me, if not provide something ready made. I really like the line drawing style some of them used, but none of the images fitted with what I was looking for. So I had to do my own drawings…
Afternoon teas and suppers served in our Hall invariably include sandwiches, and often sausage rolls as well – that’s the savoury plate. Cream cakes are always popular, and Lamingtons are another favourite, so the sweet plate has Lamingtons, butterfly cakes and cream kisses.
For the third plate, I took my inspiration from the table settings we use for High Tea at the Moyston Hall. By scanning my drawings, I was able to clean them up a little digitally much more effectively than with any analogue methods.
I found an illustration on the correct serving of tea in one of my old books, but I didn’t really want the text. I’m no expert at digital manipulation, but I did manage to remove the unwanted words. I was left with a paler rectangle which refused to blend in, and solved the problem by giving it a purpose.
Now that I have all my images prepared, and photocopied, the next step is to apply them…
Our local Hall in Moyston has had more than a hundred years of community social occasions, most of which would have been catered for by the ladies “bringing a plate”. We had fifty years of the Moyston Old Time Dance, held once a month in the Hall. It started out as a fundraiser to build the new supper room, and went on until 2016. Local clubs took turns to cater, making sandwiches on the night and “the ladies” donating cakes and slices. Moyston Hall was renowned throughout the district for the quality of the food.
When we moved here 34 years ago, there was the “new” supper room, with an old kitchen behind it. I remember it as being dark and dingy, with a copper in one corner that was used in days of yore to make bulk coffee on those social occasions. They enhanced the flavour with mustard, and who knows what else… I kid you not! Sadly, no one thought to take photos.
Assessing the crockery recently, some very old plates came to light, marked as belonging to the Hall, and judging from the style, dating from the 1930’s. I decided on the spot that we should do something to/with/on them, and an hour or two later, we had a plan to apply images relating to the history of the Hall to these plates, and to display them somehow.
The finished piece will be in celebration of all the plates of food served up and enjoyed over the years.
I’m in Halls Gap this week, doing a workshop with Keith Lo Bue as part of Grampians Texture 2017. 9 – 4 Monday to Thursday is spent in the classroom learning what to make of Precious Little, the rest I aim to spend enjoying some solitude and the beauty of the place.
The Gap is, unsurprisingly, in a valley. The challenge this week is Atop, so I am showing you what is “atop” the surrounding hills (mountains, officially…) – rocks, trees, and this afternoon, a few wisps of cloud to remind us that autumn really is coming, even though the daytime temperatures are still reaching 30C.
The last thing I made today is a neckpiece with lichen atop an empty (and now artfully mangled) mints tin. The assignment was to use only three things (one from a nature walk, one from an exchange of “stuff” and one we’d brought along). No glue, no extra elements…but whatever techniques we liked. We had no idea we’d be trying to wear the stuff we picked up, from the walk or the exchange table, so there were some extraordinary and quite lovely creations by the end of the class today. Tomorrow…something completely different!
It’s been a week since my Dad died. He was 85, and in poor health, so it came as no surprise. There’s been a lot of organising of travel arrangements, and looking for photos and reminiscing. It’s sad, but hardly tragic, and life goes on unfolding – what matters is love. Have you ever noticed how linens seem to expand and grow when you pull them out, and shake out the folds?
I want to unpack my love
Bring it out of storage
Unfold it and keep unfolding
Spread it out across the world
‘Til there is nothing left unloved
And love has covered
Sheets and sheets of love
Reams of it
Unfolding from the cupboard of my heart
Fine linen bandages
Bolts of it unwinding
The more love is unfolded,
The more there is.
I took some photos of folds especially for this post. I think it’s amazing how much there is to see in such a simple subject, and a little tweaking of contrast and saturation can change plain white into lavender-pinks. The three pics in the gallery are all of the same raggedy, naturally dyed silk scarf, yet they are all a little different – just like us humans: basically the same, but all a bit different (some more so than others).
We’ve got a chance for some reflection this week, with the Photography Challenge theme of “mirror”. I have quite a few mirrors in my house – not because I am particularly fond of looking at myself, but because they bounce light around and make our small rooms seem bigger and lighter.I recently gathered five old ones to hang gallery-style above the mantelpiece in our tiny lounge room. This is “before”.. . while I was planning how to rearrange them all. My torso is visible reflected in one in the left-hand pic, while Morgen can be seen in the oval mirror sitting on the hearth.
In the redecorated room, fashionably pink, an old mirrored wardrobe door hangs on a wall – Juniper and her Tablet are reflected in it. I bought the lovely scented daffodils last Friday – the shop door was shut, but the bucket of flowers was outside…so I stuffed a quick note and the $6 under the door, and chose these beauties. They are a mirror of spring.
If something is Rare – it follows that it will be a challenge to get a photo of it…What is not so rare is for me to dither for several days, trying to come up with images for the Weekly Photography Challenge.
To capture this particular image, the sun had to be in just the right spot, glowing through my 70’s orange glassware, and I had to notice, and pick up the camera. Quite rare…
Olympia, my spotted owl
I’ve been crocheting Soft Vessels for a while now, choosing interesting thrifted yarns to work together to create unique little bowls or baskets. The one being modeled by Olympia is made from a linen yarn alongside fine crochet cotton and white baby wool (3 ply, I think). Spotted Owls are rare, their habitat threatened by forest clearing, and I’d really like to see one! Olympia is spotty, and named after the capital of Washington State,but she’s not a Spotted Owl…They are brown and look more like our Boobook Owl.
There was baby wool and crochet cotton left over from the Vessel which the owl is wearing for a hat, so I made a quite tiny one with those two yarns. It is the only one of it’s kind, and will remain so, because I’ve run out of the baby wool. I really like the effect of the two yarns together, though,so I think I’ll be doing some similar pieces in future.
Olympia is also wearing a very old woolen baby singlet/vest, which is seriously out of shape for baby wear, but just right for her.
I had another poem in mind, but I found this one first…It seems appropriate as the Australian Government is being forced to close Manus Island refugee detention camp – not that they plan to exercise any mercy if they can help it. I’m not sure if that is forgivable…it’s certainly not excusable.
Give me compassion
Big enough to forgive
Those who have none.
Heart of Compassion,
Give me the power of love.
Burn out my ego –
It’s better to burn out
Than fade away-
But either will do
For my ego.
Burn out my obscurations!
Fade away my false self!
Empty me of everything
But Peace and Love and Empathy.
If only governments could be emptied of ego, obscurations and falseness, and filled instead with compassion. I can dream…
The first photo is a drive-by shot with my old phone during a hailstorm – very obscure! then we have a crystal from a broken chandelier, and last, the rainbow light that the sunshine summons from a faceted crystal, always so pure and beautiful, I can’t help but fetch a camera if I have the chance.
Sometimes there’s a very long lead time before I can decide how to use a piece of fabric. Some years ago, I learned how to use shibori techniques with natural dyes, producing several delightful animalskin-like pieces of vintage blanket. I would pull them out every now and then to admire – but had no idea how to use them.
Then I found a sewing book at the Salvos in which there was a fairly short woven fabric scarf, which was fastened with buttons – and a light came on in my creative brain. My fairly short woven fabric scarves with button fastening look nothing like the one in that book, but it provided me with an idea that led to these Neck Huggers.
They are lined with taffeta or silk, to keep any woolly scratchiness away from the wearers neck, and feature really lovely old buttons to keep them in place. I had some pieces of tweedy fabric, also “too small”, which happen to have similar proportions. These are now Neck Huggers, too.
So, if you have some pieces you love, but don’t know what to do with, hang on to them! Because you will almost certainly find the right inspiration somewhere sometime, and put them to good use in the end.
On certain clear sky
the late-rising sun
shines clear across
where I sleep –
the eastern window
bright on to the curtain
of the window
The shadows cast themselves
from trees and leaves
and feathers on dream-catchers –
blown by the rising wind
a morning puppet show.
The photo at the top is of those shadows, dancing on the curtain. The second pic is the feathers on a dream catcher – made for me by my son’s partner, Janina, and finally – a spectral shadow of flowers from when bright sunshine was split into its component colours by a piece of faceted glass. I think I have at least one in every window on the sunny sides of our house.
I love macro, I miss my old film camera and its set of macro lenses, but I still get as close as possible to things to capture details that might otherwise go unnoticed. The Weekly Photography Challenge this time is to share such images, and I have LOTS. But I’m restraining myself.
I work with textiles a lot – I crocheted the pink and green Soft Vessel and I seem to have a collection of ethnic textiles without even trying – the embroidery is on an Indian child’s garment. It needs some repairs, but is too lovely to throw away.
I took a photo of Matilda’s Daddy’s hand in mine about thirty five years ago, which I need to track down (and scan, since it’s on a slide/transparency) so I can put the two together.
The “love frame” pic is a detail of a random, chance pairing of things on my messy/creative work table. The cake stand is a mini one. I love coloured coloured glass, pink’n’orange is my favourite colour, and I’m quite keen on cake, so it definitely had to come to my house. It’s especially lovely with early winter sunshine to light it up. The ripples in the old shelf echo the fluted glass of the stand.