Monday, December 26, 2011

Spoiled for Christmas!


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

I over-indulged in lots of delicious food, including fresh fruit, croissants and prawns for breakfast (prawns have become a Christmas morning tradition at our house), and Mum's roasted goodies for lunch, for which we were joined by my Nanna & Poppa.

Pictured below are just a few of the gorgeous gifts I was spoiled with! - A beautiful scarf and a cute button necklace, handmade by my Nanna, and the beautiful book Food Fashion Friends by designer Fleur Wood from my mum, which I have been hanging out for!


Boxing day we headed to Hindmarsh Island to see my Nanny & Pop for Christmas. Above are a couple photo's taken in the salt scrub. In the photo on the right, you can just see the back of the shack in the background.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pretty Christmas Baubles

These are a sample of some of the pretty baubles I collected for this years Christmas, after deciding on a white, silver and cream colour scheme.
The wooden box, found at home, originally held bottles of wine, but has worked out perfectly for storing delicate decorations.

Tip: The more beautiful Christmas decorations tend to be sold as separates and can often get a little expensive, however, if you purchase your decorations just before, or just after Christmas, you may able be able to score your self some baubles on special. Currently Target has 40% off some Christmas decorations and Myer has 35% off all Christmas decorations. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Romance Inspired Afternoon Tea


Yesterday I attended the most gorgeous afternoon tea, hosted by a dear friend, held in leu of a bridal shower.
The above images are just a few of the shots I managed to capture of the afternoon. Featuring fresh blooms, delicious cupcakes, tarts, and other homemade goodies, and of course, the beautiful bride to be!
I can't take much credit for these photos - The romantic styling and decadent buffet pretty much sells it self!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Countryside Snap

Wednesday I spent the day travelling from one side of Adelaide to another, taking photos on work sites for a company I'm currently freelancing for. While down South, stopped on the side of the road, I took a few snaps of the countryside. Overall it was a successful day - I think we got some good shots!
I've been super busy of late: Christmas is just over a week away, and everything else seems to need to be done at the same time - That's the way it always seems to go.
I've been working on Christmas decorations and am hoping to get some photos taken and posted on here before Christmas is over! Fingers crossed I fit it all in!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to germinate fruit seeds

My mums seedlings

My mum has been growing her own seedlings in Jiffy pots of late, which are going quite well. So I have decided to have a go at growing my own seedlings.
I have been collecting the seeds from the fruit I eat (actually, more like I've been eating fruit purely to get the seeds - Seems gardening is good for both your soul and your health) and have looked up on the web how to germinate them (I found the website Mostly Maths to be quite helpful - A step by step guide of how they germinated their own seeds).
I remember being told that Maple seeds need to be frozen first in order germinate, recreating their natural icy habitat in Japan, and not surprisingly it's the same when it comes to other seeds - Basically you just need to recreate the plants natural habitat and germinating season. Rather quite logical when you think about it.
After soaking all the seeds for 24 hours (to help soften the outer shells and remove natural germinating-inhibitor enzymes), I wrapped each set of seeds in moist paper towel, which I then put in zip lock bags. And that's pretty much it!
The only other thing to do, is to figure out if the seeds need a warm or cold germinating process, and how long for.
Citrus generally needs a warm germinating process (lemon, orange, mandarin), and should spend generally 10 days to 3 weeks outside in the baggie, before planting.
Apples and strawberries favour a cooler climate and should be put in the fridge for 2 weeks before planting.
Stone fruit needer a cooler climate again. Apricot kernels need to be refrigerated for a month to 6 weeks and cherry seeds should be refrigerated for 3 if not 4 months to achieve germination. They would probably prefer a climate slightly cooler than the fridge, but it will suffice as the freezer may be a little too cold.

Fun Fact:  It's documented that apricot kernels contain the vitamin B17, which is said to both prevent and destroy cancer cells. In Mexico, they have cancer treatment centres dedicated to B17 treatments, and are said to have the highest success rate in the world for treating cancer, although these stats, nor even the treatment of cancer through B17, has never been acknowledged by most doctors or scientists in the Western world. Apricot kernels also contain a natural form of cyanide, which in small doses, has no effect on the human body, except to destroy cancer cells, but it is said for this reason, that apricot kernels are illegal in Australia (America and UK too I believe). Australian business 'Happy High Herbs' was actually raided and charged with possession and intent to sell apricot kernels. What would ever possess someone to perform such a criminal act? Shame on them! Everyone knows the only way to treat cancer is through pumping dangerous, all cell and immune system killing drugs, or radiation through your body ...Eating seeds... tsk tsk. In fact, Australians, all let us rejoice - Australia is leading the way in the criminalisation of alternative treatments, banning more plants and plant matter than any other country in the world. Hoorah! Another win for the drug companies! However did the human race survive before drugs?! Using natural herbs and plants for medicinal and health purposes... Pffft!

The only problem is, according to the information I found, even if you do successfully germinate the fruit seeds and grow seedling, you can't guarantee the plant will produce the same fruit in which the seed came from. You can't you even be sure the plant will produce fruit at all! And if it does, it could take years. Apparently a lot of trees that produce fruit, citrus and stone fruit especially, involve cross pollination processes and/or grafting the plant to another already mature plant of another species of fruit - Processes I'm not even going to pretend to understand.
But it's fun to try growing the seeds, and the plants should make lovely ornamental pieces none the less.

I will update my blog as the germinating process progresses.

Note: Please see disclaimer

Monday, December 5, 2011

Summer Gardening Love


I've been a bit slack on the blog posts of late - I've found with all the beautiful weather we've been having, I'm reluctant to sit in side and work on art, instead finding myself out in the garden.
I took the above photos in our garden this morning. My intent was to take some pictures of how our garden is looking overall, and show off the hard work both my mum and I have put into gardening of late (mum more so), but I'm a sucker for the close up photos (evident above). I'm happy with results none the less.
Beside gardening, I have also been working on a new project - I was recently nominated, and accepted the position of Publicity Officer, on the committee for The Gawler Community Gallery - which I am extremely excited about. I'm already enjoying the new challenge.

Flowers above: Agapanthas, Rose & Hibiscus.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Updated Blog Design

I've been wanting to update my blog design for a while, so last week I decided to take the leap.
I spent a long time looking at blog templates, but after literally looking at thousands, and still not finding one I was happy with, I decided to create my own design. Having little knowledge of html, I found a very simple standard blogger template work with, and played around and worked to create my own background and theme.

I have to say, I'm quite happy with the end result - I think it's much more me now!

The only problem was, after changing the template, all the images were the wrong size! So I had to go back through all my past posts and resize everything. With that finally out the way, the only thing left not quite finished is the blog header, but I'll save that for another day.

I've made it so it's more user friendly: The page bar above allows blog posts to be easily navigated by category and I've also added an 'about' page for new visitors. I also think it's much more professional looking now and theme ties in well.

Now that I've finally finished, I can get back to spending my time working on the actual content!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Road Works!!!

I'm in the middle of re-designing my blog at the moment, so please bear with me - I'll have my blog looking pretty soon enough!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fabric Flower 'Bloom' Hairpins

Above is a photo of some fabric flowers I've created to be worn as hairpins. These ones were especially made for my friends hens night this weekend. I created a special hairpiece for the bride also. Hopefully I'll be able to get some nice photos of them being worn.

Each bloom is carefully hand sewn from creamy satin, organza and lace, centred with beads and genuine fresh water pearls.

I'm happy to make these hairpins to order, if anyone is interested.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Framed Fabric Flower Arrangements

I was asked to make a couple more fabric flower arrangements for the gallery Christmas shop. I tried to make a blue 'Christmassie' inspired piece (left) to tie in with some of the other pieces for sale. I also made a small grey piece. I'm a fan of the white and cream myself.

If they tickle your fancy, I am happy to make these framed fabric flower arrangements on request, and can do to specification, colour, etc. Prices would generally range between $20-$50 depending on size and difficulty.
If you're interested, you can contact me here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gawler Community Gallery Shop


Yesterday my Mum and I went into The Gawler Community Gallery to drop off some pieces of work for the Members Exhibition and the Christmas Shop opening on the 10th of November.
I brought my trusty camera along so I could take some photos of the gallery shop to share here with you all.

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you may have noticed I mention (shamelessly plug) The Gawler Community Gallery quite a lot in my posts. I love the gallery because it is a fantastic way to not only share local art with the community, but it also gives everyone a chance to exhibit their work (especially with the cheap room hire) - No matter the level of their artistic talent. My Nanna, Joanne Hughes, is one of the founding members of the gallery and it is run solely on volunteers (I've been a member since it was first opened and been volunteering for a couple years now). 
Their are 4 rooms in which to exhibit work (3 upstairs, 1 downstairs), but there is also a gallery shop, in which members (anyone can join) can display their work for sale.
Every year at Christmas, the shop is extended to the downstairs room, with a display of Christmas creations and gift ideas. This year I have made an effort to put in a few pieces.

So if you get the chance, please come and visit the gallery. Come and show your support for local artistic talent, and get back to the heart and spirit of Christmas with handmade gifts. If your creative yourself, why not become a member and have a go at selling some of your own creations.

1. The Gawler Community Gallery - Station Master's House, Gawler Railway Station, Twenty Third St, Gawler South - Opened 10am-4pm, Thursday through to Sunday. (The term 'Railway Station' is used rather loosely - It's more of a 'bus' station at the moment, as they're re-doing the tracks and there's not actually any trains running.)
2. Gorgeous hand painted Christmas cards by Ellen Steyn - Original art work, a bargain at $5.
3. Display case in the Gallery Shop. A range of jewellery, bags, paintings, textile hangings, even drums, by local artists.
4. Just an example of some the work, hanging in the entrance hall.
5. Large assortment of handmade gift cards for sale.
6. Gallery Shop paintings, jewellery, scarfes.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lace & Pearls - Fabric Flower Arrangement

The above is a new piece I have created - An arrangement of fabric flowers I hand sewed, using a combination of new, recycled and vintage fabrics including satins, silks and lace, centered with pearls.
It will be exhibiting (and for sale) at the Gawler Community Gallery as part of the Members Exhibition, which is being held in conjunction with the Christmas Shop, opening on November the 10th.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Creative Person Overview - Brett Hughes


I'd like to share with you all another family member of mine, who is another very talented creative type (I happen to have a lot of those in my family), my Uncle, Brett Hughes. 

Brett is laid back, with a wicked sense of humour, and an inspiring outlook on life. He is also what I would refer to as somewhat of a 'nomad'. Having spent many years traveling, hitchhiking and busking around Australia, picking up odd jobs along the way, he never stayed in one place for too long. He's had over 60 different jobs; From radio host on numerous stations, to fruit picking, shoe making, even a stint as a 'Pickled Gherkin Tank Scraper' - Which he describes as 'a job so bad, that all he could do was laugh'. He now currently resides by himself in a little 1800s cottage, surrounded by forest in the gold fields, central Victoria.

He is a guitarist/singer/songwriter with a style that I can only describe as folk, pop-rock. Currently in a band called How Much For Cash, his music style is laid-back and has an air of Australian outback/country and often just a hint of melancholy. He also happens to be one of those rare, freakishly musically talented people who is able tune solely by ear (Actually I happen to have a few of those freaks in my family) It's just unnatural...  

He loves going to opp-shops and antique stores and rummaging through discarded and forgotten items. He is very good at picking items of value and has an amazing eye for interesting pieces, so much so that he works at an antique and collectibles store.
He is also an artist of sorts, creating what he calls agricultural industrial art; Fondly nicknamed Agri-dustrial art. Using a collection of  random old metal parts he has uncovered at the tip, old farm houses or found in paddocks using a metal detector, he creates amazing rustic metal sculptures. He really gives new meaning to 'One mans junk, is another mans treasure'. Anything from old parts from tractors, trains, sewing machines, to old gas top handles, even shells from WW2 have been used to create his pieces.
Like Brett, and like his music, his art evokes a laid back feeling of the country, outback and solitude, and is distinctively Australian. It is an appreciation of that others have over looked, and a tribute to a time forgotten. His creations, although often miss matched, overall, have a sense of harmony, and raw beauty. Not to mention that his work is eco-friendly.

Brett is not the most 'tech-savvy' of people, and is yet to set up a website where his work can be viewed and purchased. He doesn't even have an email, or even a computer! (How he manages without the Internet, I will never understand...) However, if you are interested in his work, you can contact him through me here.

You can also check out Brett on his son (my cousin) Cody's You Tube channel: CodyDaviesTV, where he did a short interview with him on one of his pieces. It's worth a watch if not just for a laugh - Brett was completely unprepared and is a little stuck for words at times.
Although, fore warning: You may hear some of the information in this post repeated in the interview, as I may or may not have stolen most of the details from it....