Back to Perth…

…for the next phase of this journey.

The second day of mudcloth went well and everyone seemed happy when they left. Some lovely work was created with an array of amazing colors of the earth. (Pics up when I can!)

Actually got to see more than just the town after class. Kerrie led a few of us to her farm outside Lake Grace. Lots of acreage which included crop fields (they raise wheat, barley and rape seed, rotating the crops annually) and lots of the remains of ancient sea beds which are now salt lakes – all of which are dry and crusty on top/body-snatching muddy underneath.

From the house she drove through the bush to a reservation that borders her property. We parked next to the dam and walked up to the top of the rock from which we could see just about forever. No sunset to view due to clouds, but the chilled wine was good.

The rock, called Moon Rock, has something in it that reflects moonlight – which we also were not able to see tonight. But it was still, desolate, full of lichens and bush that will burst into color as soon as the rains come in earnest. Absolutely gorgeous in it’s waiting state.

After a full night of welcome rain (their last rain was October!) I am saying goodbye to Lake Grace early this morning – well, actually saying see you again as the invitation has already been extended to come back. Lovely spot of earth, rock solid people, abundant spirit – I will be back!

Map of Lake Grace hanging in the Inn.


Main Street Lake Grace looking due east.

Seems the police…

… were just in for the day as they were doing random alcohol testing on drivers going through town. First time ever according to one source. They headed out early Friday morning and vacated the unit at the Saltbush Inn. Sigh. We had such a fun rumor started about drugs and red lights…

My newest neighbor is a gal who has come in for the mudcloth workshop which starts today. A number of the students from yesterday’s gut class are staying on for mudcloth.

Everyone had a good play with the gut. We had a couple rinsing stations set up outside the Art Center, which is upfront and center in downtown Lake Grace being a renovated (and still in process) former grocery store. Lots of community members stopped by to check out the action including the local butcher. He seemed a bit taken aback when he realized what we were working with but quickly recovered to say he would be expecting a run on casing!

Dinner last night was at the local sports club which has field and court space for bowls, footie, tennis and basketball. The bar serves up great fish and chips on Friday nights. Entertainment was our group jokes and conversations, although one little tyke stole the show when he dragged off his dinner order across the floor.

Not sure whether it is the water, the excess salt from the surrounding lakes, the flocks of gullahs winging around, the brilliance of the stars or what, but I have been having extra vivid dreams here. Lots of familiar faces in very strange locations and activities…

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!

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!

Perth adventures

If I wait any longer to write in the hopes of getting pics up first, you might never hear from me! Multiple pics seem to undo me, so…

Perth is quite lovely, weather, location and people. Martien and Geri have fully welcomed me into their home, along with the ever present Clementine.


We’ve been full swing into the Easter holidays here since my arrival last Thursday. Friday was the annual P├ętanque tournament – didn’t win but also did not come in dead last! The best part of the tourney held along the Swan River, besides the great group of friends that I became part of for the day, was the numerous stoppings for tea and lunch and more tea. (Tea here means a whole lot more than just something to drink!)

A good part of Saturday was spent op shopping (think Goodwill and St Vincent shops) for items to be used in natural dyeing and/or mudcloth.

Sunday saw us enjoying Kings Park as well as a park further east on the Swan River where we also did our bit to keep fires to a minimum by gathering up various leaves and plant material.

Monday Martien got the fire going under a large stainless steel roaster and, after some rolling and tying of cloth/plant material/sticks, we gave the whole bit a go in hot rusty nail water for several hours. Patient waiting overnight before checking on the outcomes.

This morning held a bit of crisp chill in the air; it has warmed up very nicely. Our bundles have been unwrapped and magic has happened


We will do more dyeing next Monday when Wendy comes over. ITMT, casing calls as we prep for the class tomorrow.

Posting pics will happen, just not promising when!

The Blues recapped

Despite the lack of consistent internet connection, time in the Blue Mountains has been lovely. Cool, crisp mornings, warm sunshine when it wasn’t cloudy or rainy, lots of green vegetation, and some of the best fiber- interested folks around.

Caught up with some previously made friends, found a few small treasures in the traders hall, sampled some excellent Korean cuisine, enjoyed an anchovy pizza tremendously, drank my share of wine, was gifted – in many ways and by many people – with lovelies both physical and non.

Oh, and had some great students who did amazing work in both the mudcloth and basketry classes that I taught. All of them genius!

Will send up pics when I land next.