A day of sights and smells and flavors

Easter and family got in the way of continued blogging – sorry about that!

Just a few miscellaneous remarks first:  We saw a bandicoot crossing the road one night – a little furball scooting along. Very few wild animals were sp0otted during my whole journey- in Papua New Guinea as well as Australia. Not sure what that means…

And while with Di and Chris, I pitched in and did a bunch of the cooking and cleaning up and laundry duties to give them time to work on some art grant proposals with looming deadlines. I’ve since heard that both proposals were accepted and grants allocated!

One of the meals I prepared was  fresh pumpkin soup – not too bad for working without a recipe!

On March 16 we headed to the northern coast of Tasmania so I could participate in the biennial National Basketry Gathering starting on the 17th. Along the way we saw and experienced:

– black cows with a wide white band around their middles – quite the sight!

– evidence of earlier bush fires and logging/burning activity

-lovely lakes in the Central Highlands

-an old salt of a fellow at the Bothwell coffee shop – postcard perfect!

-a helicopter taking off next to the road – we weren’t too close, thank goodness!

-Steppes sculptures in the middle of nowhere

-the pub and hotel in Miena with a special on fish and chips and the first unfriendly Tassies – I think they didn’t like the fact that we were coming in at the very end of their lunch hour shift

-miniature ferns and pencil pine and ice age rock fields along the boardwalk of a national park

-the Tasmania Regional Arts Council offices in Latrobe and a great visitors center with museum

-an excellent little motel in downtown Devonport where we stayed in and had a great Indian take-out dinner

-great fresh ice cream – I think it was blackberry – along the rode to Devonport

With some time to kill the next morning, we drove over to Burnie to visit the Makers of Burnie center – based on the papermaking mill that used to be central to the city, the new center had a large papermaking display and working area plus a number of spaces for various local artists to display, sell and demo their work. We each made some recycled papers with embossed Australian animals of our choice. I also picked up some regional papers – wombat and kangaroo poo paper! Can’t make that back home, now can I?!?!?

Next up – the National Basketry Gathering experience!

Relevant pics now online!

Pics from the Dandenongs and sculpture park

I’m a bit slower on getting pics up than I thought I might be.  Old age creeping in!

Just uploaded pictures from the first few days of my visit to Australia. Shots from the Dandenong Mountain area plus a bunch from the sculpture park northwest of Melbourne. Talked about in my post of Feb 18.

The rains continue here as I get ready to do a demo of Appalachian basketry tomorrow at the Woman’s Art Club Cultural Center over in Mariemont area. Will pick up on more stories and photos from AU and PNG soon. I’ve been enjoying some show and tell with local family and friends. If you can’t wait for the posts, come on over!

new website look

I am probably the pokiest website person around!

I wanted to give my website a fresh look. The biggest problem, or rather the biggest challenge, is to do the behind the scenes programming for it. I work with html and don’t use a WYSIWYG program thingee, so I lumber along sort of relearning each time I do this. Thing is, I usually want to do something a bit fancier each time, so I push myself to learn more. Not a whole lot more. Just enough to do what I want to do. And enough to get me in trouble!

Anyway, after what has seemed like forever – but actually about three weeks – I’ve got it where I like it at the moment minus some work with images. Gathering all the images I want to use is my stumbling block now, but I didn’t want that to keep the overall site from looking fresh. So, the pages look different and I’m still working on displaying pictures.

I have a feeling it will be awhile before I am completely finished with adding new pictures.  And by then, I’ll probably want to revamp again!

Any feedback you might wish to give is always welcome!

Lots of fibery things …

… happening lately that have been keeping me busy.

After I finished working with the pampas grass pulp (didn’t pull it all but I’m saving some in the freezer) I finally got around to the asparagus stems I’ve been saving all spring. We took advantage of all the store sales and really enjoyed eating asparagus a lot. So, the stems were cooked up and waiting. Just did a bit of whizzing in the blender. The pulp drained really slowly which allowed for a very thin sheet. It turned out really crisp with nice fibers throughout.  And very green.  Quite happy with it!

Some members of our local weavers Guild created a yarn bombing project for the side of our shed which turned out great! It was on display in time for our end of year yard sale and picnic meeting.

And then, over the weekend some of the guild members headed off to Oldenburg, IN to hold a fiber retreat at the Franciscan Center of the nuns there. I went on Saturday, took several projects that I HAD to do (compile the kits for a mudcloth workshop, cut out felts from two woolen blankets for papermaking, write my poem on some of the pampas grass papers) as well as some that I WANTED to do (knitting a scarf, scrumbling, and starting the spinning for a contest entry on Navajo spindles – will tell more about this later). Felt good to get so much accomplished.

It was great having a full day to just do fiber work.  Actually I have those days a lot when I’m home, but sharing it with others was the great part! Lots of banter, snacks and creative ideas.

This week I’m doing the rest of the prep needed for teaching next week in Sewanee, TN at Shakerag. I’ve heard it is a lovely place and a fun time – will report back afterwards.

Still need to mail off my poem/paper this week – I joined a swap for original poems on handmade paper through the papermaking list on Yahoo. I imagine the others will have much better paper than mine, but I’m hoping for some constructive feedback.

Okay, back to prepping……

Projects finished

My fingers have been busy!  Finished up the knitting

and sewing projects that I had going.  I just hope they are to the liking of the recipients!  Will clue you in after gifts have been opened later this week.

A bit more energy in the bod.  I actually made a list today and crossed items off!  Haven’t done that since August and it felt good.

Tomorrow I’ll be making kolachi (a Polish nut roll that my love grew up with – all the neighbors would give them to his family) and wrapping gifts. And Wednesday we will be welcoming all the kids home. Can’t wait!

I wish you all a most blessed and joyous Christmas and Hannukah!