Sunday, November 29, 2015

justquilts @ aliquilts, part 2

The kangaroos weren't the only experiences with wildlife while I was staying with Ali and her husband. Their place seems to be teeming with birds, and you wake up to an cacophony of song. You can see hares boxing.

Although this does not happen every day, Ali's husband said.
They do get regular visits from a King Parrot which they think comes down from the nearby National Park to pick up some extra kernels. This time, as it was joining our last printing mornings Morning Tea, it came really close, and 'sat down with us'.

We printed with thickened Procion dyes on the second day and the last morning.

This included a set of breakdown printing, too.

All these still need to be washed at home, and the final results might look slightly different. But I am certainly very keen on seeing them, and it is one of the first washes I am going to put on after I get home!

We had home-baked pizza from the self-built wooden oven crowned by a bloody moon-rise day after the full moon on my last evening.

And then it was time to say good-bye to a wonderful time in Tarome. Thank you very much to Ali and her husband for their gorgeous hospitality, for sharing their lovely home, and for the friendship we have struck up!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

justquilts @ aliquilts

After my weekend in Newcastle I continued on to Brisbane on Monday. Ali George picked me up at the central station after I had made my way downtown from the airport, so I could put my luggage in her car before exploring the city a little bit on my own while she finished up work.
There was a heavy thunderstorm in the evening, quite an introduction to Queensland climate!

And then Tuesday morning we started printing. Ali has the most wonderful facilities - an open air shed where you are protected from the sun, across the driveway from her lovely house in getting-to-be-remote Queensland.

The first day was dedicated to printing with paints.

Ali has made this wonderful printing block from using a leaf from her garden, and it makes a wonderful print!

Testing commercial stencils...

... and this is the harvest of the first morning's work.

In the evening we went 'kangaroo hunting' so I would actually have seen a live one, too, not only eaten the meat from the supermarket, and we had to go only about ten minutes in the car befor we found several pods grazing next to the road.

This morning we even had one in the back of the garden. And today we are printing with thickened procion dyes.

Preparing for breakdown printing

the second possibility - just pick it off the glass!

and off the stencil, too!

more prints with that wonderful printing block with that leaf!

using a foam brush

stacking it all in plastic, because otherwise it will dry out way too fast

last item before lunch
I just am amazed at being able to work like this, basically outdoors, with a light breeze going because of all the strategically placed windows. And for lunch we had meatballs with a little sauce that containned Koriander which had been grown in Ali's husband's garden. Just the thought! This is heaven, for sure!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Out of New Zealand...

It's getting to be near the tail end of my trip - only a few more days left before I have to go home. But I have gone on to Australia, where I will be facing the only 'real' business part of the trip. My artist-in-residency with Ali George, which I won last year for being a star-recruiter for SAQA, and which consists of printing sessions in her studio. That's going to be starting tomorrow.
Right now I am spending a long weekend with my pen-pal of 38 years (yes! that long! and we have been communicating by facebook really for a a few years now), and her wonderful family before moving on to Brisbane tomorrow.

Shauna could not pick me up at the airport because of family issues, so I got to experience the Sydney airport train on my own. I loved these signs along the platform.

And of course the train system would make a good pattern for a quilt. Much less complicated than the over-complicated European ones!

The most interesting moment was when I was trying to buy the ticket - no cash on hand! - and the machine was not accepting my debit card for my NZ bank account. For a moment I saw me stranded at Sydney airport without any monetary means, and not even a chance of getting in touch with my friend as my phone card had just told me that it was low as well, I could not send any text messages, as I had not thought of topping it up before I left NZ. However, the ATM machine was more gracious than the EFTPOS of the train company and I got cash, and I bought a ticket, and I could buy a new phone card and all was well!
I have learned that the 'always sunny in Australia' is a hoax - there is no such thing as sunshine in Australia, as far as I can tell. We've done a sightseeing tour of Newcastle.

And a bush walk to a beach, where we actually saw some dolphings just beyond the surf.

We found these wonderful blue berries and I wondered how they could be used for dyeing, but, alas, no chance to try out!

Lots of interesting things to see along the way!

Here's looking at you, kid...

Nest? or growth?

So is this inner ring from a bush fire that scarred the tree?

Paper bark
We're preparing a barbecue for later this afternoon - introduction to Australian cuisine ahead!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

NZ Travelogue: Marlborough Sounds

Just in case you have not yet been to New Zealand, but have read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" - do you remember that scene where that one designer of  Earth was so very upset about Earth being blown up to make room for the Intergalactic Highway, because he had worked so hard on the New Zealand Sounds, and he thought that especially the Marlborough Sounds had turned out so extremely well...? Here is an illustration of the point he was making.

Queen Charlotte Sound

Elaine Bay, in the evening sunlight...

Elaine Bay, in the morning

the other side of Elaine Bay

on the way to French Pass








I used to say Lake Wanaka was my favorite spot in New Zealand - and I admit I did not get down to it this time around. But for the moment I think I have changed my mind and fallen in love with Marlborough Sounds.