Spring

Row of blossom trees in full bloom at Melbourne, 2015
A Melbourne Spring,Edinburgh Park.

Spring is in full glory  once more in our Southern hemisphere. Blossoming is at its peak. All around colours and scents are rich and delightful. There is a sense of focused busyness as nature tries to ensure the future.

 

paqkchoyandbee
At work

Spring inspires. Below is  an embroidery on wool felt that was stitched last year.This project drew inspiration from the blossoms in the top picture and also tried to connect to older symbols of Easter eggs,babies and blossoms for new life and new hope.

Hand stitched on felt
Springtime

Above all Spring is an experience of joyful beauty

 

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Iconic Melbourne

” How do I love thee, let me count the ways” said Elizabeth Barret Browning.

A quote so apt as I wonder “what is it about Melbourne that so delights and inspires?”

Old Melbourne Tram
Old Melbourne Tram

Love those trams- old and new. They make it so easy to move around the city.

Mosaic Bench,Fitzroy.
Mosaic Bench,Fitzroy.

Love the street fixtures.

Painting of a cat in stunning colours ,street art Fitzroy
Cat street art

And the street art.

Trees framing old and new styles of architecture in Melbourne
Melbourne Mix

Love the trees that line the streets and the mix of old and new architecture.

alleyMelb.

Love exploring the alleys that are interspersed through the city. These are fascinating little worlds of bustle and colour, delicious aromas, and street music.

Flying pig sculpture on top of electricity pole Melbourne
Pigs can fly!

Love that in Melbourne pigs can fly and that  sculptures with a sense of humour are placed around the city.

Blue monkey toy in garden boxes in city strip Melbourne
Waiting and Watching.

So many iconic notions make up the character of Melbourne. It is a city that has  a mix of culture and eccentricity, colour and mood.

Melbourne, “how do I love thee” – with all my heart.

Music in the City.

Musicians performing in an alley alcove in Melbourne,Victoria.2015
Melbourne Musicians

One of the things that I especially love  about Melbourne is the music. The streets are stages for  a joyous mix of buskers who represent possibly every genre. Rap, pop, classical, jazz , rock, opera, digeridoo, Asian flute and strings and more.

Dressed in red, a young f girl plays a delicate melody on her stringedfinstrument
An eyecatching musician, Melbourne.

Their ability ranges  from the beginner to the adept professional. Music  is  to be found all through the city  on the streets, in the squares and in the alleyways.

Horse drawn carriage,in Swanston Street, Melbourne
A different beat

Melbourne resonates to various tunes. The hum of the  traffic, the clip clop of the horse drawn carriages, rumble of the trams, beeps and sirens become an accompanying orchestra as  the city sings along.

This is but a tiny taste, There are so many other venues through the city and suburbs that offer a huge range of live performances. One of the many reasons that Melbourne has gained a reputation for being a city that promotes and encourages  art and culture.

Coming and going and doing

January has proved to be a month of comings and goings. During this time there were touchdowns in  three Australian states, Victoria, the A.C.T and Queensland, as well as in three different  capital cities, Melbourne,

Melbourne and Yarra river
Melbourne and Yarra river

Canberra, leaving as a warm,bright day became stormy ,

Canberra  rain clouds
Canberra rain clouds

and Brisbane. Brisbane as a last stop seemed to shine a special welcome back, the setting sun giving the city quite an ethereal glow.

Flying into Brisbane at Sunset
Flying into Brisbane at Sunset

 

All three cities have provided inspiring experiences and ideas, but it seems that the garden beauty of Melbourne, and in particular St.Erth at Blackwood, has lingered.

 

Works in progress-handstitched felt garden inpisred pieces, a hoollow forest log,mushroom house,miniature vegetable garden, lily pond scene.
Works in progress-

 

From this wonky computer taken, “pushed for time”, picture you can see that everything is still unfinished. These are  all are works in progress that will hopefully see completion this weekend.

Now I really do need to settle and connect again to that slower, daily rhythm that encourages creativity and utilizes the wonder and passion that the memories have filed. That rhythm requires stillness, solitude and a hermit like phase, which seems to be elusive as I dart here and there, reconnecting with friends, local places and activities. This year it seems has chosen constant motion and travel as a theme.

 

Garden Inspirations

Hand stitched wool felt pincushion . A small round pumpkin patch surrounded by fl,oral border,inspired by gardens visited when in Victoria,Australia
Garden pincushion

The recent trip to Melbourne, as well as my own garden, has inspired a small piece, this pincushion which is a tiny pumpkin patch surrounded by a border of flowers. Mostly made from wool felt the pumpkin vine has tiny wire tendrils . Growing with the vine are some novelty flower pins. The larger flower pinhead is hand made from the felt, the other pins purchased.

On return I discovered that the pumpkin planted in a garden box in our under cover area had escaped. It had literally taken off over the sides of the plant box, raced along the ground and headed out the door.

Pumpkin that has grown furiously and now well away
Escaping !

Visiting St.Erth, a Diggers Club Garden, the herbaceous border, food forest and terracing had an impact.

St.Erth, Blackwood,Victoria.Australia
St.Erth, Blackwood,Victoria.Australia

Another significant influence was the Community garden at St.Kilda . A  fertile oasis  with a noble intent, and although opposite Luna Park and the trundling roller coaster, crowds and traffic it offered a haven.

Veg Out - St.Kilda comunity Garden,Melbourne.Australia
Veg Out – St. Kilda Community Garden,Melbourne.Australia

This garden was originally a bowling club that has been “re-purposed” , and  meanders around small plots, aviaries and a chicken pen as well as various buildings.

Garden plots, St.Kilda community Garden. Melbourne
Garden plots, St.Kilda community Garden. Melbourne

Interwoven throughout this magical and quirky space is art: painting, mosaics, sculpture that work with the garden to create an interesting and enriching environment.

Metal sculpture of a rose at entrance of St.Kilda Community Gardens
A Wrought Rose at ST.Kilda

The other garden that has inspired  is this tiny community garden begun last year in a bluestone laneway. Already it is attracting birds,insects and lizards .

At the beginning, new community garden, Melbourne
At the beginning

Small beginnings have such potential for growth and magnificence. This is the garden that my daughter has initiated so it is one held dear and with much love and pride.

 

signs to start a community garden,Melbourne
Beginnings

Back Again.

Little cat in a window
Fur Friend

Life has intervened, as happens. The mad rush at the end of the year swept up all the best intentions to have some blog drafts ready to publish while away in Melbourne.

Has Christmas really come ? Was it only just  a blink of sparkling frenzy? Is all that anticipation and stress and mad running now a little blip of memory? Seems so.

Christmas tree,2014, formed form thongs,flip flops, and lights, pretty and different. Only in Melbourne.

An Uniquely Oz Tree

Melbourne is a city that holds my heart, moreso each visit. It never disappoints. Aside from the joy of being with family I had another mission this time. Cat sitting.

Grey and fluffy cat
Special Friend

Another unexpected event was a purchase, (it is said that Melbourne is the place to shop). Now I have my first, very own computer, so on a learning curve of exciting discovery – obviously more discovering and learning is needed  as I try to unravel the secrets of uploading and editing photos and managing a new programme. Exciting, excited. However it is also time to get back into my workroom and create to tap into all that inspiration that Melbourne offers.

 

Melbourne Vignettes

Southbank,Melbourne September 2013
Southbank,Melbourne September 2013

In late September I visited Melbourne. Once more it reminded me of Paris, although on previous occasions this was but a thought , now a comparison based on experience.

As in Paris music is to be found throughout the city, music of every genre. On Spencer Street Bridge which spans the Yarra River, Captain Pugwash kindly posed for this photo.

"Captain Pugwash" a Melbourne Musician playing accordion on Spencer Street Bridge
“Captain Pugwash”

In the city outside the Royal Arcade, as the trams rumbled past and crowds jostled, strains of classical music hovered in the air; rich, honey tones of a cello. Perhaps for a few seconds the frenzied crowds and souls were soothed.

cellist playing in the city Melbounre,outside the Royal Arcade.2013
Soothing Souls

A little further up the street there were rock and folk bands, a comedian, a clarinet and a mime artist, each adding to the richness and variety of creativity, music and culture to be found everywhere in the city .

Posing as a seated statue this man intrigued passers by in  Melbourne
All About Illusion,

Cafes, galleries, gardens and four seasons; cobbled, bluestone alleyways and terrace buildings; trams and horse drawn carriages; old lanterns, street art and flower displays;  the river. All of these and more to delight, inspire and savour. Every visit made to the city over the years presents  new discovery, new insights, new learning and inspiration .

Mosaic Mastery Melbourne
Mosaic Mastery Melbourne
Aftermath in the Alley- just after a storm.wisteria seems so artistically placed.
Cobblestones and Wisteria, Fitzroy
Street art depicting a monkey and asking "waht would a monkey want to say,part of a large allegory painted all over an old hotel,,Fitzroy,Melbourne2013
One wonders

Maybe he would suggest that a visit to Melbourne always nourishes all the senses.

Whither I Wander and Wonder

Sculpture in the chicken pen at St.Kilda community Garden
The Watcher

Watching, guarding, thinking, relaxing; I found this bird -man  resting on a bench in the chicken pen at St.Kilda Community Garden in Melbourne. What a wonderful guardian they have. I met him just after Christmas 2013 and totally smitten.

Art was incorporated everywhere  in the gardens. Each plot had a unique identity. I was very excited to see the care, love and creativity expressed there. Such an amazing place and a wonderful inspiration. Although located  in the  the city it was a place that was sacred with its heart beating strongly in exultation encouraging creativity, nature and self sufficiency.

Immediately opposite was the funfair, Melbourne’s historic Luna Park; brash, noisy, manufactured and artificial enclosed by black asphalt and high walls. Trundling and rumbling around on high wooden trestles was an antique roller coaster, accompanied by screams and yells. It was very loud in there compared to the peace across the road. The hard surfaces and flashing lights, advertising and contrived fun were a glaring contrast to the lushness of the garden and individuality of the art and decorations adorning it. The two co-existing side by side seemed totally incongruous, yet both characteristic of the St.Kilda genre.

A photo of Melbourne's St.Kilda Luna Park from Wikipedia by Adam J .W.C
A photo of Melbourne’s St.Kilda Luna Park from Wikipedia by Adam J .W.C

St.Kilda has a chequered history. Once home to the gentry with gracious and elaborate mansions, it became the fun district for the city at the turn of the Twentieth Century and later  better known as a notorious red light district. Since the 1960’s a Bohemian hub has flourished. It is eccentric, interesting and has a lively and vibrant buzz.

Stretched out behind both locations is the bay, also offering a  cacophony of sounds, colour and movement  as families congregate on the beach relaxing, chattering, playing games. The boardwalks seem to be an intermingling of different motions with  skateboarders and bikes as well as walkers. Out on the horizon stretches a line of container ships and closer to shore bobbing  sail boats. Such a richness of sights and sounds as well as  links to days of yore.

Did the experience enrich?  Incredibly so.  Many new ideas and a lot of contemplation has resulted, as well as  a deepening of love for the city and the diversity of experiences it offers.