wallflowerarts

Adding Gold to Our Rainbow

Archive for the category “Central West NSW”

It’s been awhile

Again. My health crashed pretty badly and we had a fair bit to do with the October Market and a couple of commissions. I got a diagnosis of a herniated disc pushing on my spinal cord in my neck and recently of Carpel Tunnel syndrome. Pain in my neck, shoulder, arm and hands has really limited my time on the computer and my migraines had been back to daily again. I’ve been told not to stop my handcraft/art though so at least I can keep creating.

I have been keeping up a bit more with our Facebook page and since I got my new phone I’ve been able to post photos on our Instagram again and post on our Twitter. These will probably be the best places to keep up to date with what’s new for us.

We have finished many items since I last did a round up so I’ll try and get the photos edited and posted but with our internet as slow as it is and sitting at the computer causing problems I’m not sure how long it will take.

For now I will share the photos I’ve managed to get to load on Instagram. Sorry for the low picture quality, My phone has never been good enough to have a decent camera. I hope to keep up to date with this blog more from now on.


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Embroidery commission for a friend’s niece. The power was off because of a storm so I sat in the doorway embroidering. Our house is pretty dark so doorway it was. I wish we had somewhere to comfortably sit in the front yard.

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The little fuzz bucket, Dougall, after his summer haircut. Both dogs grow long hair over winter and we cut them short come spring.

Pippin
And the big one, Pippin. Don’t let the slightly worried face fool you, that was for the storm. He was ecstatic to have short hair again, bouncing all over the place. Excuse the feed bag of fleece in the background. There was nowhere else to put it.

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The storm didn’t last long

Font garden Nov 2013
The roses on the fence are out and in the foreground you can see the Borrage and spinach

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Sunset

The Wholefood Kitchen
Asparagus, feta and quinoa salad and an apple juice at The Wholefood Kitchen, Bathurst. We adore The Wholefood Kitchen. It’s such a friendly place. The staff treat you like family and the food and coffee are excellent. Food is local and in season and amazing. It’s right near the Bathurst Wholefood Co-Op too. We have coffee here most Wednesdays before I go to Hydrotherapy. We sit and work on what ever projects we’re in the middle of. It’s really worth a visit if you’re in town. It’s open Wednesday to Saturday from 8:30am to 2:30pm
49 William St Bathurst NSW 2795
(02) 6332 9327

shawl
The shawl Ruth was working on. Hopefully we’ll get a full picture soon

Pizza capers
We finally got around to trying Pizza Capers in Bathurst. So much of their menu is gluten free. It’s fantastic to have this here as we don’t have a Crust Pizza up here.
I’ve never lived anywhere that has as many Gluten Free options as Bathurst.

Pizza
We shared a Bourbon BBQ Chicken pizza. It was a bit sweet for me but that’s the style of pizza. Most importantly, I didn’t get sick. We will definitely be going back.

Embroidery progress
More progress on the embroidery

Storm coming
Another storm

Front fence full of roses
The front fence is covered in roses

Peach and nectarines with sugar ready to become jam
Peach and nectarines with sugar ready to become jam

Orange and elderflower marmalade
Orange and Elderflower jam from a friend

Front garden Nov 2013
The garden. It’s such a pretty time of year. It’s full of ladybirds and butterflies and bees. Shame about the heat.
The darker rose on the far fence smells wonderful.

First Jam of the season
The result of the jam making. This one is such a beautiful colour.

Embroidery commission
The finished embroidery

Hipster Totoro
Hipster Totoro. I was needle felting a big grey Totoro for a friend and then accidentally added a mustache.

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kangaroos

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One of my favourite things about Hill End is how pretty it is

Old Man Roo

We can see these guys out our kitchen window every day

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It makes washing up during the day so much easier when you can watch a group of kangaroos eat and lounge around.

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Orange

A sunny day in Orange at the Art gallery and library

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Foggy mornings

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Sunday Link Post

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* Article about the amazing Holterman photo collection and it’s rediscovery in a Sydney Shed”Discovered by chance in a garden shed in suburban Sydney after being lost for more than half a century, the Holtermann collection is Australia’s most internationally significant historical photographic archive. Taken between 1870 and 1875, the collection of 3,500 glass plate negatives has recently been digitised by the State Library of NSW, unlocking fascinating stories hitherto hidden in the blurry background. Capturing nineteenth century Australia with extraordinary precision, the photos document life in gold rush towns such as Ballarat, Victoria and Hill End, NSW. Spectacular promotional shots of Sydney and Melbourne also feature alongside portraits of Australian citizens. Viewing the collection you are taken into their world.”
These are fantastic. When you look at them on the computer you can see so much detail. Loads of photos of Hill End in the collection. Including one of our cottage.

* Pin up girl clothing. I can’t afford this stuff but it’s reasonably priced and I love the look. Wish I could try some stuff on. I don’t like dresses and skirts and all but I’d love to see what these look like on. They are gorgeous.

* The High Cost Of Cheap Food. Great article about food security, ethical food and how the big supermarkets are screwing people over. Often ethical food is placed too far down the list of spending priorities. I’d rather eat free range and chemical free than go to see a movie. I prioritize my health an animal welfare above expensive clothes and the newest electronics. We get very little money a week between us but we buy local, ethical and as chemical free as we can.

* The Mudgee Project Mudgee is a town near(ish) to us. They are known for wine and honey. We shop their occasionally but with our doctors, hydo, more gluten free options and later shop opening hours, we tend to go to Bathurst much more often. This project is a photographer taking a photo of Mudgee once a week for a year. It’s a stunning collection of photos. I couldn’t make it to the exhibition as I had pneumonia but you can still look at the photos online.

* Easy Chain Stitch post on Sublime Stitching “The “chain stitch” is the one everyone has heard of, but hates to do. Why? Because it’s laborious. It doesn’t always come out nicely and it uses up a lot of floss. But, chain stitches create a nice thick, textured line. It’s one of the most embroidery-ish embroidery stitches there is. This technique will guarantee they always come out perfectly.”
I’d actually started doing them this way myself because I couldn’t get the other way to look right. It’s good information to have.

* How Fast Is The NBN This page shows in real time the difference between what Labor are going to implement (fibre to premises) and what the Liberals want to do (Fibre to the node and copper to premises). Liberals plan is ridiculous and we wouldn’t be any better off than we are now, possibly worse as we wont get subsidised satellite. The further from the node the more the signal is degraded. We’re a long fucking way from anywhere.
How are Australian businesses located anywhere other than the middle of the capital cities meant to compete with the rest of the world? Optic fibre all the way would allow rural and isolated schools and students to connect with other schools for projects it would allow people in rural and isolated areas to use skype services to consult with specialists in the city without having to drive for a day or more.

* Visual Art Resources From Accessible Arts NSW (disability and arts but useful for anyone starting out) Developing your exhibition plan, Presenting your exhibition, Documenting artworks, Photographing live performance.
Except I still don’t understand them and can’t really do them myself.

* Sandra Dieckmann’s illustrations She draws fantastic animals

* Pipecleaner sculptures Using nothing but pipecleaner. Animals. How??

* Cake Wrecks: Sunday Sweets – 80’s Movie Night theme. I love them.

* Bathurst photos from the Vault The Western Advocate has combined with the National Archives of Australia and Bathurst Library to bring you these hidden treasures.

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Win a print

snow in Hill End

A little competition today as a thank you to followers on my new Facebook page.
When my Facebook page reaches 50 likes I will randomly choose a follower to win a postcard sized print of my cover photo right now.
Clarke St, Hill End in the snow.
http://www.facebook.com/WallflowerArts

Please share with your friends.

If you don’t have a Facebook account and would still like to enter then leave a comment on this post and make sure I have a way to contact you and you will be entered into the draw too.

Art, my connection to where I live, the dissonance between that and my cultural heritage.

Widdershins – an exhibition of Moorland Mythic Art I so, so want to go to this gorgeous exhibition in Devon. Artist involved include Alan Lee and Brian Froud. So much gorgeous art that makes me cry. Oh god I wish I could see it in person.

“Dartmoor’s landscape is steeped in magic and mystery and it is home to many artists whose work is inspired by mythic themes. Widdershins showcases the work of those who live on Dartmoor (or have local connections) Widdershins explores local legends, world myth, folklore and faery tales in diverse, surprising ways… and although it all starts ‘Once Upon a Time’, it is definitely not for children only.”
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This is the sort of stuff I’d love to draw and sculpt and bring in to my work but I am so far removed from the landscape that is linked with British Folk Law.
I feel a real connection with the land out here but the myths and legends out here are either still set in European landscapes or they are Aboriginal law and to create with those is appropriation.

How do I work with Myth, Legend and the spirit of the land I live in without being disrespectful to the people that were here long before? How do I work with my cultural heritage when living and connecting with a land that is so vastly removed?

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I can make up new stuff on my own, I know, but there is something about working with legends and myth that goes back thousands of years, that other people connect with and have connected with.

I sit here in this ghost town of a gold village and I spin yarn from wool straight off a sheep. I embroider artworks with needle and cloth. I light my fire and sit by it’s warmth. These things were done by women in this spot since the 1850s. These slow ways of being, of creating, of living are something that connects me to the history of this place but I want to create art based on the spirits of this place, on the mix of landscape and imagination that brings the place to life.

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Water here is precious. Sun is plentiful and in summer it is dangerous. Summer is not the warm, pleasant, plentiful time of joy that it often is in England where I was born. Winter isn’t ice and snow and a baron land.
This village, at 850m above sea level and the other side of the Great Dividing Range from the coast is the closest I come to the weather and plant life I was born in to in Easbourne, Sussex, England.

We have milder summers and much colder winters than the coast. We have lots of European trees planted in the village. We actually get a proper Autumn here where all the leaves change.

Autum in Hill End

Within a short walking distance though it’s back to Gum trees and Wattle, which I love, but it is green all year round, or at least our version of green witch is really fairly grey. Summer is drought and heat and storms. It’s fire and floods and sun that burns everything brown and grey and brittle. It’s full of flies and mosquitoes, snakes and spiders. It’s certainly not a green and plentiful time.

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We get a few days a year of 40c. Much less than we did on the coast but still awful. We get some winter nights at -6c. Much colder than the coast but we’ve only had one decent snow fall where it stuck. And even that was gone by morning.

snow in Hill End

We get less water and more floods. This land is a harsh and dangerous paradise. It’s hard work and red dust and wide open spaces. It’s coal and steel and gold. It’s sheep and cattle and kangaroos that well outnumber the people. It is beautiful and harsh and so very, very old but at the same time it’s brand new.

High Water in the Turon

Road to town

I want to make art to reflect that, to connect to this land that lives and breaths with me. To show others the savage beauty and the things you can’t always see. The things that were and the things that weren’t and the things that are.

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I have been considering paintings that show European myths and legends in an Australian landscape and how out of place they look.
I want to go and sit out in the bush and take photos and draw the things I don’t see. I want to needle felt creatures that fit within our landscape but don’t exist and the ones that do.
In a less literal sense I want to spin wool dyed with the plants and ochres of where I live.

Now to find the time, space and money to make a start on this. Not sure I have enough of any of those to get much done any time soon though. I have only the space of my arm chair and the small amount of time when my health lets me think and do at the same time. Money is even more scarce at the moment.

2013 Heritage Wool and Natural Fibre Muster Part 2

Part one can be found here

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Such pretty yarn

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Felted fire

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Felts and dyes

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Gorgeous fibre

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Cute placemat

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These were all fantastic. Ruth ended up buying one

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So much pretty

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So many things we wanted but couldn’t afford

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We left the Arts Centre and walked over to the Court House where the rest of the stalls were.

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Outside the Court House

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I ended up spending ages feeling these Artisan Lace yarns. So soft and amazing colours. I wanted to use them for embroidery. I ended up narrowing it down to the purple and the peacock green/blue. I went away for a while to look at other stuff as I’d just bought some Woolganic from them but ended up coming back and grabbing the green/blue one. It’s stunning. Not sure what exactly I’ll embroider yet but I think it will be on the back of a black hoodie.

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This stall had the most amazing felted alpaca hats. I fell in love with the grey one. The prices were good but I just couldn’t afford it.

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Here it is. Isn’t it pretty. I also love the little alpacas

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And here is our spoils. From top left we have a new cable for Ruth’s interchangeable set as the old one broke. A gorgeous yarn by””, 8 balls of Woolganic wool. It’s so soft and pretty.
Second Row: The peacock blue lace weight yarn, a bag of white corn silk fibre, a lovely nostepinne that looks like a beater’s bat from Harry Potter.
Bottom row: black, purple and white Merino/Silk fibre, a bunch of business cards and some needle felting needles.

I did enjoy the show a lot and will try and get there again soon. I ended up with my health crashing badly after walking around for so long. Still managed to get to Orange and get some shopping done.

2013 Heritage Wool and Natural Fibre Muster Part 1

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Last Saturday we went to the Heritage Wool and Natural Fibre Muster in Carcoar.

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We turned up later than we hoped. Managed to drop in to the Bathurst Co-Op for veg and The Wholefood Kitchen for fantastic coffee and some delicious lemon and coconut cake on the way.

They had two gorgeous Alpacas out the front in a pen. Adorable things they are. The bigger one kept stopping the other one from getting to the food bucket.
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Bumble Hill Alpacas

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These are the gorgeous prizes for the raffle. The jumper on the left was so soft, knit in a fine alpaca yarn. Sadly we did not win. Would have loved that. The first prize is a beautiful woven throw rug and third prize was a cowl made with hand spun, died and knitted alpaca yarn. The proceeds of the raffle are going to aid the spinners in the Christchurch area.

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I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to put names to most of the stalls. It was packed and I was in a lot of pain. I grabbed a whole heap of cards but I really can’t remember which one went with which stall. 
This one I do know though. This is Casbar. Their farm is just outside Hill End, we’re practically neighbours. 
There was a gorgeous grey fleece that I would have loved to buy but it was out of my price range. 
There was also some soft, soft alpaca, some beautiful spun wool and lovely jumpers, hats and scarves.

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Casbar’s gorgeous scarves and a jumper

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Gorgeous hand painted yarn

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Denise Lithgow Designs

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Smooshy skeins, jumpers and hats

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Pinwheel jacket and lovely pastel yarns

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Dyed locks

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Orange lace

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The bobbin lace demonstrations were fascinating.

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We ended up in a photo in the Blaney Chronical. We’re in the third photo along watching 10yr old Anna demonstrate bobbin lace making.

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There was a competition through the local spinning and craft groups. The theme this year was bags.

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 It was a great day out with loads of smooshy yarn and fibre to feel.

It’s great to get to see stuff in person, see what it looks like in natural light, feel what it’s like, how stretchy or bouncy it is. Without Internet shopping we’d be terribly limited in yarn choice but it’s so hard to know what stuff is worth buying.

We will definitely try and get to the muster again next year.
I have way too many photos for just one post so look out for part two soon.

Amazing Local Food Part 1: Thompson’s Farm Stand at The Shed

Photo of sign saying Fresh Vegies, Chemical Free, Grown here' with an arrow pointing to the farm
One of the most exciting things for us in the village at the moment is the opportunity to get really locally grown fresh veg. In general, out here, local is a relative term. It’s over an hours drive to either Bathurst or Mudgee to go shopping, to the chemist or the doctor etc. In previous years we’ve been able to get a fair bit of local fruit, mostly from the feral fruit trees that were planted all over Hill End in years gone by. This year though, with the massive lack of rain and heatwave in the Summer not much of the fruit we had access too was any good. The Cherry Plums in our garden went straight from not ripe to shriveled and pruny in a matter of days. We are completely on tank water and our tanks aren’t very big so we don’t have a lot of water spare for plants. We also  have a tiny garden and what space we do have, gets very little sunlight so we can’t grow a lot of our own food. Because of this we’re really enjoying the opportunity to get fresh, local and chemical free produce.

Photo of produce from the farm stand. Greens, celery, radishes, snow peas, local honey and local free range eggs
Bec and Dave have restored the old Thompson vegetable garden and are growing loads of fantastic food.
Everything we have bought has been fresh and delicious. There is also a range of fantastic preserves and local honey available. Bec has plans to source more local stuff and expand the farm stand once she has things sorted a bit more and is able to find the time.

Photo of the polytunnel and garden where the fresh food is grown
I’ve always been willing to drive a fair way for fantastic food but it’s a real pleasure to be able to buy beautiful produce from just down the road, literally.

Photo of chard, snow peas, nasturtium flowers and two types of beans

If you’re in Hill End on a Saturday then you should definitely check out the farm stand, it’s open at 10am and is on Beyers Avenue, just after the road splits. Stay on the road towards Mudgee and the farm stand is on your right.

Photo of Farm Stand produce. Basket filled with persimmon and marigolds, bucket of greens, cut pumpkin and chard.

Photo of local honey in jars, radishes, chard and greens at the Farm Stand

basket full of persimmons and marigolds

photo of a white alpaca and sheep in the paddock that the farm stand is in

Photo of the Farm Stand while empty

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