Monday, August 29, 2011

Birds of a feather...

 We visited a bird sanctuary and saw lots of beautiful feathers!  However they were still attached to the birds so I couldn't bring any home!

I've stitched another feather for Jude, still using the opshop shirt fabric. Onion dyed for the feather and plain white for the background. The thread is a silk that I brought with me for another project.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The power and the beauty

The force of Cyclone Yasi must have been horrific. This is a large tree on the edge of the beach.

A few metres away are rocks with beautiful coral washed up between them. So beautiful and delicate.

Friday, August 19, 2011

More feathers

I sat in the caravan stitching feathers while the man went to play golf. This is what he brought home for me!
Two more feathers for Jude's Magic Feather Project. The one on the left is on tea dyed fabric with a spiral stitched behind it. The one on the right is dyed with soy sauce!  I have let the 'invisible' basting stitches show. I really like the look of the tiny little stitches.
My three feathers are now 'flying' across the ocean to Jude.
(I think I may have to make another one! They are a bit addictive.)

Monday, August 15, 2011


I've finished a feather for Jude's Magic Feather Project. (There is a link at the bottom of this page.) I used a piece of onion dyed cotton and 'invisibly' basted it to a backing with a green thread, letting the little dots show. After I drew my feather I realised it was too big and the stitches would be more than 1/4 inch!  But it seems to have turned out OK with a bit of  'smashing' and a good press.Now I'm onto the next one!
On my walk this morning I passed some large trees that had fallen in the cyclone. On the ends that have been cut with a saw there were some feathers!

My dyeing efforts with the soy sauce and seed heads were partly successful. The soy sauce gave a soft yellow colour (the smell washed out fine), and the seed head/wood gave a pale pinky/orange effect. So with my tea and onion dyed fabric I now have several pieces of soft coloured cotton if I want to keep making feathers.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cassowary and colour

My sea lettuce didn't want to part with any of it's colour even when I bashed it with a wine bottle! So that piece of fabric is now soaking in some salad dressing and soy sauce! You never know?
Two more pieces of fabric are wrapped around some seed pods and seaweed remains that I found on the beach this morning.  I realise I could be doing this far more scientifically and waiting a lot longer for some results but I'm just having a bit of fun and playing with what I can find around me. It doesn't matter if nothing happens!
The rainforest up here is home to the cassowary - a large flightless bird. Because of the cyclone damage a lot of their food source has disappeared and this morning a male and his chick came into the caravan park looking for food. They can be quite dangerous with those monstrous clawed feet, so we all watched from a distance and took photos. People are discouraged from feeding them but special feeding stations have been set up in the rainforest so they don't starve.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Land or sea?

Found this beautiful skeleton on the beach this morning. Not sure if it's from the land or the sea? It's very delicate and looks lovely sitting in a glass on the shelf.
My dyeing experiments went very well. (Tea bag on the left and onion skins on the right. The colours are darker in real life.) I now have four bits of fabric to play with and have started invisible basting one of the onion skin pieces. This morning I picked up some seaweed that looks a lot like lettuce, so that has gone in the 'dye pot' as well!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fun in the sun

Our friends caught a lot of fish today. This is one of them. Isn't he a handsome fellow?
I want to stitch a feather for Jude's Magic Feather Project but I didn't bring any fabrics or extra cottons, etc with me. So I visited the local opshop and purchased a soft white cotton shirt for $3.  I removed the buttons and tore it up into usable pieces. A wash in the caravan sink and out in the sun to dry!  (I did try the shirt on but white is not my colour!)  I had to go to the next town to purchase some black and white thread!
Four pieces of fabric went into a couple of dye pots (coffee mugs), two with a teabag and two wrapped around some onion skins. I poured on some boiling water and let them stew overnight.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A year ago

A year ago today I started this blog while I was on a holiday in the tropics. Mission Beach is south of Cairns in Far North Queensland. I am back here again for the third year in a row and for a longer holiday this time. It is a beautiful place but has changed dramatically since last year. Cyclone Yasi decimated all the rainforest and everything looks quite different. It will take a long time to recover.
But the sun is shining, the man is out fishing and we are with lovely friends!
Last year I was working on my 'leaf creatures' as part of Jude Hill's Patchwork Beasts online workshop. This year I have brought several works-in-progress to stitch on, but I am also going to stitch a feather for the Magic Feather Project. I may have to go searching for a few supplies!
Also a warm thank you to the beautiful Kerri who helped get me started on this blogging journey. It's been a huge learning curve with the computer skills, but I've had so much fun and 'met' some amazing people.