Seasons Awry

 

Bird of paradise flower with vivid orange, topknot petals that look like flames
Garden Flame

It is April, yet we are having another day over thirty degrees centigrade. A day that is bright,clear, hot and feels like summer. Its has a glow and blaze like the flame of the bird of paradise flower that has decided to reveal its beauty and light to the garden this week.

However, in the southern hemisphere, this is supposed to be the time of Autumn. The time of mists and cooling down.Instead we are still heading to the beach.

Hand stitched Scene of beach with mermaid,fish,seahorse and crab, also incorporating real shells and coral
A Beach Frolic

Nature is confused. The garden last month offered Autumn crocus that has been followed by the yellow jasmine that usually blooms in Spring and early summer.

springjasmineinautumn

Summer has lingered longer this year and felt much warmer than in the past. This week seasons and seasonal markers have come to mind and taken shape as persona.

Small figures stitched from wool felt that each personify a season.
Season Sisters

These season sisters wear pointy hats for a reason. It was an ancient belief that such headgear focused energy and concentration to connect with a higher creative power; in this instance nature and the cycles that have manifested life and sustained it on our planet for millennia.

Whoops, not only are the seasons mixed up so is the order of the sisters, who stand as summer,autumn,spring and winter. initially i was going to remove the picture and replace it,on second thoughts  I shall leave it ,it works well with the sentiment.

Bunny Love

Small section of a nature scene with rabbit and duck,handstitched from felt.
Rejoicing the season

Easter has come early this year . In the northern hemisphere the symbols of baby animals,flowers and new life makes sense as a celebration of Spring, rebirth and renewal. Here, in the southern hemisphere, we are entering Autumn so this ancient Spring ritual seems a little out of place; however, the symbols can still make sense as we celebrate harvest and a time to go deep in the earth, to burrow, and to reflect on what we seeds we will sow to emerge anew in our Spring.

This musing led me to realise that often rabbits and hares seem to have hopped into my imagination and creative endeavors. I have been including tiny rabbits or hares in most of my nature pieces for sometime. Since the beginning of the year they have become little white creatures and seem to have wanted to take form as tiny companions and comforters for children. Considering that we have just experienced a lunar eclipse, and for many the celebration of Easter,  now seems an appropriate time to share some of these little rabbits

Rabbits and hares are ancient symbols in many cultures and belief systems.As a symbol they are often linked to the moon, to fertility, renewal, abundance, luck, emotion and intuition as well as the triple Goddess and  to the trinity.

I have also read that Native American wisdom terms the rabbit as the “Fear Caller”, calling to attention that  its timid, ever alert, nervous behaviour  can attract the very things that are feared by continually thinking about them.This makes a lot of sense to me and in this instance it has been suggested that we can use the rabbit as a reminder to work past fear and to create positive intent and action. Perhaps this is why intuitively  I have chosen   to make tiny rabbits as “pocket pals”.

Tiny white rabbit in an egg shaped pocket with flower decoration, handstitched from wool felt
Pocket Pal

 

The rabbit is also a symbol of family and that, too, is close to heart so I am going to continue to work with and love the rabbit as a guide.

White rabbit holding a heart,handstitched form wool felt
Bunny Love

 

Autumn seemed to have forgotten to visit this year. It has been unsettling. The ongoing heatwave has made it harder to work. Heart and mind  have yearned for cooler mornings,mists and coloured leaves.

Coloured leaves
Autumn glory

However, in the past few days, rain has come  and as if by magic the expanse of barren dust surrounding us has been transformed into a lush, green carpet. Fungi is making an appearance as well revealing that life is returning to the parched soil.

A white mushroom that has pushed up through leaf litter.
Breaking through

This morning Mother Nature announced that Autumn is on the way. An early walk in the garden led to this discovery, a perfectly beautiful crocus whose appearance heralds that change of season is on the way.

White crocus flower
Crocus

This tiny crocus is brave and resilient; it has surfaced in spite of a severe summer serving as a reminder of what should be and what can be lost forever if we do not connect and care better for our planet.

 

In the Heart of the City

Brisbane, city scene from southbank looking across the Brisbane river to the ever growing stacks of high rises
Brisbane, city scene from Southbank

Brisbane is growing rapidly. Like many cities worldwide the buildings are reaching up higher and higher to the clouds.

Our visits to the city centre have been few and far between, mainly driving past to the the airport. Rarely do we venture to the inner city. Even more rarely do we see it as a tourist, and then we head to Southbank  Parklands which was the  traditional home of the Turrbal and Yuggerah people. Now this area is the cultural centre of the city. It is here that the art galleries,museum, theatre, conservatorium,markets and eating spots are to be found, as well as the man-made “Streets beach”. It is also the location for various festivals throughout the year.

The epicurious garden Southbank Parklands ,Brisbane.
Epicurious Garden, Brisbane

On this visit we discovered Epicurious, an organic  garden established within the Parklands to enable people to experience and learn about gardening. Midweek free samples are available with volunteers on hand to assist with advice.

Epicurious vegetable and herb garden, Southbank.
Epicurious vegetable and herb garden, Southbank.

What a wonderful concept to bring awareness and connection to nature, and to encourage healthier lifestyle options.

Ibis and bearded dragon in the heart of Brisbane city
In the heart of Brisbane city

Close by to Epicurious is a rainforest area, where a huge fig tree provides a tunnel though it for children to explore, and a rock pool is a haven for wildlife.If you look closely there is a bearded dragon on the rock to the right of the ibis.Perhaps best of all this area of the Parklands offers an opportunity to find peace in the very heart of the city.

 

Welcome your Dreams

 

Another view of tiny felt mushroom house.
Welcome

 

Have you wondered, too, what it might be like to live in a little house like this?

As a piece of felt becomes a little mushroom house I  tend to go into flights of fancy.Making these is a joyful experience, the process, the materials, the dreaming and the stories they inspire. If they give pleasure and inspiration to someone else it is a rich reward for the many  hours it takes to complete.

Welcome your dreams. Explore and enjoy  the creativity they can unleash.

Small toadstool house handstitched from wool felt, with applique,embroidery and beading
Flight of Fancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making a Statement.

Closeup picture of flowers on poinciana tree that glows in our garden in the summer
Poinciana

Every summer the garden glows.

This tree is not a native but it thrives in our area, and gives the gift of beauty. As the season warms up the glow of this tree enhances and dazzles. The richness of red, the pattern of the petals, the contrast of the flowers to dry bush landscape around is a living work of art. It warms the imagination and inspires.

Textures : Poinciana petal and stone
Textures : Poinciana petal and stone

A local red is the flame tree which offers pure wonder when it is in full bloom. It hosts  a multitude of insects and birds who revel in its flowering. Whilde in bloom during spring and early summer it dazzles and makes an exuberant presence in the bush.

flame tree in full bloom
Flame tree

When the flowers disappear the green foliage blends into the landscape. Their strong presence, when garbed in red, has softened. It seems that, once they have made their statement, they wait patiently nurturing the seeds of creativity, the offspring of this strong statement of beauty and presence.

 

To market,To Market

A group of handmade vegetables form felt, zucchini,tomato carrot,beetroot and mushrooms, my own designs based on real vegetables.
Stew perhaps?

Felt + Food = Fun, Fascination, Frivolity and Fixation.

Once the urge to create felt food comes it takes on an obsessive compulsion.

A group of handmade vegetables form felt, zucchini,tomato carrot,beetroot and mushrooms, my own designs based on real vegetables.
Felt Food Collage

Why?  It has made me realise how little attention  we pay to the objects around us. It makes me observe more closely, look at all the tiny details and realise that too often we tend to glimpse and not really see. So I make and wonder and enjoy the entire process.

Purl one, Knit one

Strangely it is in our summer, our hot, humid summer, that an urge to knit happens.

Handnitted scarves,crafted from lace weight wool yarns
Some hand knitting from 2014

That urge in the past few years has come  after the mad rush and increasing stress and chaos of the festive season. Many years ago I realised that for me knitting is therapy.

Knitting is meditative slowing the mind, engaging focus and eliminating wandering thoughts. That gentle rhythm and the soft click clack of the needles starts to balance things out. As a calmer state takes over  there is the option to take up a challenge, to try a new pattern, to test one’s ability and concentration.

That challenge can be extreme at times but  always welcome as it makes me determined to succeed and not want to give in or give up. So saying that particular challenge might be put aside for some time, even begun again and sometimes the lesson is that you just need to let go.

For me all those aspects meld into a healing act.  It is a change from routine, a change from usual handwork and best of all it results in something that can be shared to bring warmth and comfort. I knit for pleasure, for family and friends and for charity, but  always  with love.

Happy New Year

Handstitched felt heart brooches wrapped in a ribbon that says love, a project my daughter and I shared.
Love is the answer

It is Day One of a new year that offers fresh beginnings, enthusiasm, hope, and an open heart.  May yours be such a year; a year of first days that inspire love and creativity.

Something that I shall be exploring more in this new  year is the creation of healing and spirit dolls.

My first handmade spirit doll created for a special friend on her birthday, the first stp taken to creating spirit dolls. this ones carries love and transformation in her essence, a wish for beauty and creativity.
Spirit Doll

For a long time this intent simmered with a folder of sketches compiled over two decades. It was a birthday and a little later a commission that motivated and finally led to taking that step from having too many ideas to fruition.

healingdolls
Healing dolls

This year there will be more explorations of this theme for, in creating a healing, spirit doll the making of it also becomes an act of healing .

Above all my wish for the year is that it is one of peace .

Peace banner, hung at Brisbane modern art gallery
PEACE is the WAY

Happy New Year!